Standard Chartered to Win Angola License in 2013, Lopes Says
Comment of the Day

August 21 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Standard Chartered to Win Angola License in 2013, Lopes Says

This article by Colin McClelland and Manuel Soque for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section
Standard Chartered Plc will probably be awarded a banking license in Angola by the end of the year, allowing it to compete with local and Portuguese banks in Africa's second-biggest oil producer, a central bank official said.

The application “has to be approved by the council of ministers,” Antonio Andre Lopes, vice-governor of the Banco Nacional de Angola, said today in an interview in his offices in Luanda, the capital. “We have been receiving a lot of proposals from local and foreign investors to create new banks.”

Angola, which already has 23 lenders operating in the country, is trying to boost lending and banking services in a market where only 26 percent of people have bank accounts. Financial services companies already operating in the southern African nation include Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group Ltd, Banco Espirito Santo SA and local banks including Banco BIC SA and Banco Angolano de Investimentos SA.

Eoin Treacy's view At a local restaurant a few months ago, Mrs.Treacy and I got chatting to the couple at the table next to us, who were on holiday before moving to Kenya. He works for IBM and will be helping build a 14 country computer network for Standard Bank. I found this to be evidence not only of the pace of development in Africa but the commitment of large multinationals to develop businesses on the continent.

In the 19th century, Africa was referred to as the “dark continent” because it was considered to be so full of mystery, danger and opportunity. The connotation may have blurred somewhat in the last two hundred years but the sentiment is still largely the same. Africa is emerging from a very low base as governance gradually improves.

Countries embracing a market structure are benefitting from a blank slate in terms of infrastructure development which is allowing them to develop quicker than might otherwise have been the case. The new middle class represents a fertile growth market for the financial sector which explains why a number of institutions have such ambitious expansion plans.

8.35% of UK listed Standard Chartered's revenue originated in Africa in 2012. For South African listed Standard Bank the figure was 10.5%. 23% of Portugal's Banco BPI's revenue originates in Angola while Banco Comercial Portugues sources 9.8% from Mozambique and 5.78% from Angola. While the majority of these weightings are unlikely to have much of an impact on the price performance of the respective banks, Africa represents a growth market for them all, and is likely to become a progressively more important component of earnings in future.

Back to top