Angola plans to privatise more than 70 companies in medium term: prospectus

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Joao Lourenco speaks at a media conference in Luanda, Angola, August 22, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Eisenhammer/Files

LUANDA (Reuters) – Angola plans to privatise 74 state companies over the next few years, predominantly those in the industrial sector, according to the prospectus sent to investors as part of the country’s Eurobond issuance.

Africa’s second-largest crude producer has been battered by a fall in the price of oil over the past four years and President João Lourenço, who took office in September, has pledged to reduce state interference in the economy, which remains centrally controlled after years of civil war and Soviet influenced state building following independence from Portugal in 1975.

“Generally, the government intends to sell its entire interest in these companies, the majority of which operate in the industrial sector,” the prospectus, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, said.

The prospectus does not list the companies or say how much the privatisations could raise, but a government source told Reuters that Angola’s ports, national carrier TAAG, BCI bank, and insurer Ensa were all being considered for full or partial privatisation.

“The government’s long-term policy is that companies which, in the government’s view, are not required to remain under public ownership as a matter of policy should eventually be privatised,” the prospectus added.

Lourenço aims to revive growth by opening the economy to foreign investors and diversifying away from oil, which currently accounts for 95 percent of exports.

Angola is in the process of raising $3 billion through two Eurobond issues, launching $1.75 billion in 10-year notes at 8.25 percent and a $1.25 billion 30-year tranche at 9.375 percent.

In the prospectus, Angola also said it saw its total debt – excluding that held by state oil firm Sonangol – reaching $77.3 billion, or 70.8 percent of GDP, by the end of 2018.

Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Susan Fenton

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Godwin Okafor is a financial journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and the Founder Naija247news Media Ltd He has over 16 experiences in journalism, which cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career in Business Day, Where he was a senior editorial graphic artist, before he left to start Naija247news, An Online Financial Newspaper in 2010. He has won series of awards and he is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.com and also sits on the board of Students In Business Awards, (SIBA).

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