Standard Chartered Looks Beyond Oil Industry for Angola Growth

Standard Chartered Plc will look beyond Angola’s oil and gas industry to pursue growth. The bank remains committed to Angola even as the country has had to deal with the plunge in crude prices, according to the U.K. lender’s local partner.The bank was “focused on the oil sector but with changes we’re seeing today in the market, an adaptation” is required, Manuel Joaquim Gonçalves, CEO of state-owned insurer Ensa Seguros, said in a Bloomberg interview in Luanda. “The bank continues to carry out normal banking operations.”

Ensa Seguros owns about a 40 percent stake in StanChart’s business in Angola. Both companies are committed to the partnership and will continue operations despite added “difficulties,” Goncalves said. They have “a will to build a bank as strong as possible in Angola,” he said.

Angola, Africa’s biggest crude producer, has had to deal with the drop the drop in oil prices that have fallen to the lowest levels in more than a decade. The Finance Ministry cut its economic growth forecast to 1.1 percent earlier this month from 3.1 percent while S&P’s Global Ratings revised its outlook for the country to negative from stable.

StanChart has operations in 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Standard Chartered opened a representative office in Angola in 2010 and started operating as Standard Chartered Bank Angola in partnership with ENSA in 2014.