Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Angola’s banking system is likely to expand as “several” foreign lenders apply for licenses to operate there, attracted by the country’s strong economic growth potential, according to accounting firm KPMG LLP.
The number of banks in Angola doubled to 23 in the past five years, Vitor Ribeirinho, head of audit for KPMG in Portugal, said at a news conference in Lisbon today.
“There is space for banks to grow in Angola,” said Ribeirinho. “Only 13 percent of the population currently has access to banks.”
Angola emerged from a 27-year civil war in 2002 to become Africa’s second-biggest oil producer after Nigeria. The country’s economy is expected to expand 3.7 percent this year and about 12 percent in 2012, bolstered by higher oil prices, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said on Oct. 18.
Ribeirinho said he was “optimistic” that Angola may open a stock market in 2012 because the government set up an “installation committee” to move the plan forward.
Banks may benefit if proposed legislation aimed at forcing oil companies in Angola to use domestic lenders for their financial transactions is approved under the current terms, Ribeirinho said. Currently, oil companies in Angola like Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc, Chevron Corp. and Total SA don’t have to use domestic banks to pay for activities related to prospecting, exploration and the production of oil and gas in Angola. The proposal was submitted to parliament on Oct. 26.
--Editors: Jon Menon, Dylan Griffiths
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