Spanish Bank Banco Sabadell SA Targets Oil Millionaires In Angola

Spanish Bank Banco Sabadell SA Targets Oil Millionaires In Angola

Spanish bank, Banco Sabadell SA (SAB), is targeting oil millionaires in Angola and plans to open up to 25 branches in the southern Africa country in the next two years, Bloomberg reported.

The number of millionaires in Africa’s second largest oil producers, after Nigeria, has increased in recent years in tandem with the a robust economic growth following the discovery and production of oil and gas after years of civil war.

SAB, Angola’s fifth largest lender said it will invest $45 million to increase its branch network to 42.

“We intend to consolidate the bank’s position in high-value segments such as investment, corporate and private banking, together with strengthening its involvement in infrastructure projects of the Angolan economy,” Carlos Silva, SAB’s chief executive officer, told Bloomberg in an emailed response.

Next year will see “continued enlargement in the affluent and emerging affluent market segments,” he said.

The number of millionaires in the southern African country that emerged from a 27-year civil war in 2002 will jump by 144 percent to 15,600 by 2030, a study this month by U.K.-based New World Wealth showed.

SAB, which posted an 18 percent rise in profits to $58.5 million last year, has also added an oil and gas desk to tap new opportunities, Silva said.

“Natural resources, coupled with a young and growing population make Angola an attractive investment destination,” he told Bloomberg. “It positions the country as a benchmark for emerging markets.”

A new oil company law channeling billions of dollars through Angola’s financial system is luring foreign banks to the capital, Luanda, the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, according to Mercer.

The law that began to be phased in last year requires oil companies to process payments through local banks. There are 23 licensed banks in Angola, including Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Banco Espirito Santo SA, Portugal’s biggest publicly traded lender.

Angola’s economy is expected to grow  between 5- 7 percent this year and next year, Bloomberg quoted a  Eaglestone Securities note published earlier this month.