News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Angola news update, December 14th

In Angola on December 14, 2009 at 6:36 pm

POLITICS

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos signalled the oil-producing nation’s first post-war presidential elections, scheduled for 2009, would have to wait at least another three years (Reuters).

Angola plans to halve the number of nationals living on a dollar or less a day by 2015, Radio Nacional de Angola reported, citing Diogenes de Oliveira, head of parliament’s finance committee. Around 60 percent of the oil-rich nation’s 18 million people live below the poverty line, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said last week, accusing “irresponsible” officials of squandering state resources (Bloomberg).

OIL

Angola’s national oil company Sonangol won deals to develop two oilfields in one of Iraq’s most dangerous provinces (Reuters).

Marathon Oil Corp. the fourth- largest U.S. energy producer, agreed to sell a 20 percent working interest in Block 32 off the coast of Angola to that country’s state-owned oil company for $1.3 billion (Bloomberg).

The China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec), one of Asia’s largest oil refiners, may be granted an oil field in Angola by its parent company China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group), the China Business News newspaper reported (Macauhub).

BANKING

Portugal’s second-largest listed bank Banco Espirito Santo said it agreed to sell a 24 percent stake in its Angolan unit for around 254 million euros ($375 million) (Reuters).

Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender by assets, said its Angolan unit will start operations next year with capital of $50 million (Bloomberg).

South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) has decided to expand into the Angolan market, and is waiting for approval from the Luanda authorities to open a representative office (Macauhub).

MINING

The state-run diamond company, Endiama EP, aims to produce gems without foreign support. “We need to produce our diamonds ourselves,” chairman Sumbula said. The company’s partners include De Beers, which produces about 40 percent of the world’s diamonds. Endiama also aims to “make profits for the state” and is now engaged “classifying” its staff to see “what each can offer the company,” the Luanda-based company said (Bloomberg).

AIRPORTS  AND TRAVEL

The runway at Luena airport in Angolan province of Moxico, was re-opened  after work that began in May 2007 was concluded by Chinese construction company Sinohydro Corporation to extend the runway from 2,400 metres to 3,350 metres and a width of 60 metres (Macauhub).

The new Lubango international airport, in the capital of Angola’s Huila province, is due to be handed over within the next few days, the head of the company responsible for inspecting the project told Angolan news agency Angop (Macauhub).