Opportunities abound in Angola for Standard Bank

Angola’s economy is expected to expand by 7% to 9% a year over the next decade. It’s one of the fastest growth rates in the world, yet the country’s financial sector is just keeping pace. So it may seem a bit ambitious for Standard Bank de Angola to aim even higher.

As part of Africa’s largest bank by assets, it has the resources, the expertise and the backing of Standard Bank Group to do just that. After just three years in the country, Standard Bank has grown to 21 branches (from just three in 2011). A large number of Angola’s 20.2-million population remains largely unbanked.

But it is Standard Bank Group’s corporate and investment banking teams that are playing a vital role in this country.

These specialist bankers are active in the country’s main sectors, including power and infrastructure; mining and metals; and oil and gas. Named “Best Bank in Angola” last year by International Banking and Finance Review, as well as “Best Investment Bank” by Global Finance and EMEA Finance, Standard Bank Angola has acted as lead arranger in a number of prominent capital-raising deals for companies ranging from BP Angola and Sonangol, to Coca-Cola Bottling and brewer Empresa de Cervejas.

Eleven years after the country’s 27-year civil war, Angola’s basic framework is still largely in tatters. There is however a lot of interest from international investors who want to invest in Angola because of the vast potential the country has – not just from a natural resources perspective, but also due to the interesting opportunities a number of other sectors offer. These include telecoms, media, power and infrastructure.

The infrastructure may still prove inadequate to many but is getting better. Electricity supply is still erratic and Angola’s communication and transport network is still in the rebuilding phase. As this happens, there is a lot more for Standard Bank to explore in Angola. And it seems the increasing number of tourists who visit Angola every year concur.