Angola, Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, continues central bank shake up

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Saturday, May 14, 2016 3.21 PM / News

Highlights:

·         Two deputy governors replaced, two months after replacing the central bank governor

·         Three directors of the bank’s board were also dismissed and replaced.

·         Angola beefs up currency controls to cope with FX shortage:

o   Cuts the volume of FX travellers can take abroad from $15,000 to $10,000

o   State-owned oil company (Sonangol) also announces new hydrocarbon discoveries

 

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos on Wednesday replaced two deputy central bank governors, two months after he appointed Valter Filipe da Silva as the oil-rich African country’s new central bank governor.

 

According to the statement, Gualberto Manuel Amaro Lima Campos and Cristina Florencia Dias Van-Dúnem had been dismissed and replaced by António Manuel Tiago Dias and Suzana Maria de Fátima Monteiro Camacho.

 

The new appointments come as Africa’s second-biggest oil producer grapples with slumping crude prices, forcing the government into talks with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund about possible financial assistance. Three directors of the bank’s board were also dismissed and replaced.

The central bank faces a number of challenges including a slide in the kwanza currency, which has lost more than a third of its value against the dollar since the start of 2016.

 

The Luanda-based Banco Nacional de Angola left its benchmark rate unchanged at 12 percent since February.

 

Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer and attracted increasing investment after the civil war ended in 2002, as billions of dollars was spent on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. But it is highly dependent on oil, which provides about 98 per cent of export earnings and three-quarters of government revenues.

 

Under the rule of veteran President José Eduardo dos Santos, who has maintained a tight grip on power since 1979, it has also been blighted by allegations of rampant corruption, weak regulation and human rights abuses.

Other Developments in SSA:

·         Liberia joins the growing rank of African countries dumping their Central Bank Governors. Kenya, Angola and Ghana replaced their Central Bank Governors in the last 12 months

·         Third largest bank in the DRC (Banque International Pour L’Afrique au Congo) put under receivership

·         Chase bank Ltd. becomes third bank in 15 months to be put under administration

·         Two bank failures, one in Kenya (Chase Bank Ltd.) and the other in DRC (Banque International Pour L’Afrique au Congo) makes financial stability and systemic risk a burning issue

·         Series of bank failures likely to trigger a wave of M&A’s among Kenyan lenders

·         Kenya’s parliament considering proposal to raise bank deposits guaranteed by 20 times to 2 million shillings ($19,800)

·         Major East and South African economies posted a moderation in inflation rates in April - Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa

·         Mozambique was the outlier, spike in inflation driven by drought-induced rise in food prices

·         Uganda to route oil pipeline via Tanzania instead of Kenya

·         Kenya to tender own oil pipeline costing $2.1bn

·         Ghana 2015 GDP growth rate declines to 3.9% from 4% in 2014, Projected to reach 4.5% in 2016 as power shortages and fiscal obstructions are eased

·         Ghana to hold elections ahead in November 2016

·         Mozambique in a debacle with the IMF and donors after hidden debt of $1.35bn was revealed.

·         Gabon seeks to re-join OPEC

·         Third largest bank in the DRC (Banque International Pour L’Afrique au Congo) put under receivership

 

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