Business & Industry
Dec 1, 2017
A NEW STEP TOWARDS INTERNATIONALIZATION
Angola is the third country in the world that receives greater financial support from China. The reconstruction and development of Angola after 2003 has benefit from this support, especially for the construction of new infrastructures and new urban centres with thousands of homes for middle and low income classes.
Economic growth and better living conditions are obvious and the fact that Angola is the largest oil producer in Subsaharian Africa was certainly a key factor for the financing conditions.
The drop in the price of crude oil initiated in 2014 has substantially affected all the producing countries, from the larger, as Saudi Arabia and Russia, to the very small. Angola was not immune and since then suffers many social, economic and financial difficulties, as it was very deep the dependency on the export of crude oil, more than 95% of total exports.
Faced with a reduction of the income in the domestic market, where it had already a sizable dimension that places Banco Sol among the larger universal banks, an internationalization strategy was conceived enlarging the stake in other markets with affinities with Angola, either geographically or commercial and financially.
Proceeding with such strategy and having already a large portfolio of private and corporate Chinese clients that are based in Angola Banco Sol has initiated due diligences for presenting Banco Sol to the big banks and investment funds of China. The option was to use the "door" of Macao, the Special Autonomous Region that the Government in Beijing have decided to designate as the platform for the development of cooperation relations between China and the Portuguese Speaking Countries, as Angola, Brazil and Portugal, as Macao is a privileged hub of cultural approach between the East and the West.
Therefore, the friendly and promissory welcome given in Macao to the visit of Banco Sol has open the way for different cooperation solutions that will be used for financing new feasible and sustainable projects to be launched in Angola in several sectors, as agrobusiness, renewable energy, urbanization, tourism, telecommunications, new technologies, services, health and education.
Trusting the principle that every crisis pave the way to new opportunities, Banco Sol has interpreted the fall in the oil price as a signal for searching new partnerships that may bring more capacity to invest in the national production and job creation in Angola and doubtless many Chinese banks and investment funds show more confidence that the country is going to overcome the difficulties that is facing and are just looking new shared ways of assuming risks and target the expected results.
Angola keeps exporting about 1,8 million barrels of oil per day, what places the country as number one among Subsaharian Africa oil producers. But of course the income from the export is now about 40 % lower, what implies a balance of payments with a deficit, as well as State accounts, due to the reduction of fiscal revenues, a situation opposite to the one until 2014.
Regardless of such conjuncture, Banco Sol has increased the solvability and the profitability, having increased the amount of loans to corporations, but minimizing risks, and reinforced the credit to the State in order to maintain essential public investments for avoiding recession and to keep gradually stabilization of the economy.
With more than 700,000 clients, more than 200 agencies and more than 2.3 million dollars in deposits, Banco Sol is a reference for banks of other countries that look for a reliable and operative financial partner in Angola for the viable organization of financing projects of Angolan and foreign investors in Angola.
Banco Sol has acquired experience in financing the economy, especially through microcredit and support to medium and small companies, being very active with programs for promoting investments for diversifying the economy and for reducing the dependency on oil exports, as it is the case of the programme called as Angola Investe, with interest subsidies and State guarantees. With such accumulated experience, it is prepared for applying solutions of co-financing with banks and investment funds, having received special attention from several financial institutions of China and Macao with whom bridges have been settled for supporting concrete and viable projects.
Coutinho Nobre Miguel, the President, told us that "this visit to Macao exceeded the expectations in terms of setting up agreements that may from now be possible to work together with financial partners from China and Macao that may add value to the Banco Sol actions for bringing projects that diversified the Angolan economy to the reality".
Angola is now entering a new era after general elections that went very well in a peaceful way and have been recognized as free and just. For entering again into a way of more accelerated growth and for reducing the level of social inequalities it is necessary to finance viable projects dully evaluated by banks and promoted by national and foreign investors interested in participating in the development of one of the more stable and promissory countries in Africa. The country is one of the main economies in Africa and the Continent is going to show a high economic growth rate and a better human development, increasing the living standards for more than one billion people, of which 400 million live in cities, being the growing urbanization one of the critical future characteristic's in Africa.
Banking systems must play a key role in the stabilization and development of the African economies. The banking system in Angola was already played a very important role in the recent past. Concretely, Banco Sol is nowadays recognized as a success case in banking in Africa, what is proved by the awards granted by the magazine The European of the agency Thomson Reuters, as "the best commercial bank in Angola in 2016" and Coutinho Nobre Miguel as the "CEO of a bank in 2016". Those awards brought international recognition to the efforts of Banco Sol to ameliorate the quality of services provided, trying to follow the best practices and international standards and helping individuals and corporations to develop their businesses and to manage their savings.
Angola is under a deep reform of legal systems for having better conditions to attract foreign direct investment and to create efficient public-private partnerships, not only in the oil & gas sector, but also for diversifying the economy in traditional sector, as agriculture, phishing, mining and others, but also in modern sectors of new technologies.
After 16 years of existence, Banco Sol is one of the big banks in Angola that is already considered as a reliable partner for many State and private entities including multinationals working in Angola, either for granting microcredit or for trade and project finance. Banco Sol is ready for being selected as the partner in Angola for investors that wish to take advantage of the opportunities that are critical for the development. That is why the presence of Banco Sol in Macao and in China is a step forward in that direction.