International investors looking beyond Angola’s oil industry

Investment opportunities in Angola stretch beyond the oil industry.

So says Anthony Lopes Pinto, head of Angolan operations at pan-African financial services group Imara.

“International investors have picked up official signals that opportunities are not restricted to the oil industry. With the recovery of the oil price, wide-ranging investment possibilities are fast emerging,” notes Lopes Pinto in a company statement.

Imara and UK-based Group Fleming Family & Partners are this week hosting an Angola-focused investment indaba in London.

According to Lopes Pinto, the who’s who from the fund management and financial services sectors are expected to attend the event.

“Angola has one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Some northern hemisphere economies may be struggling to cope with the continuing international financial crisis, but Angola is back in the black, foreign currency reserves are at an all-time high and government efforts are gaining traction to diversify the economy and reduce Angola’s dependence on oil,” says Lopes Pinto.

Investors have been waiting a number of years for the Angola stock exchange – the Bolsa de Valores e Derivativos de Angola – to open. It is still unclear when the bourse will open, although, according to Imara, the government stated that it will “develop its capital markets” next year.

In an earlier interview with How we made it in Africa, Roelof Horne, a fund manager at Investec Asset Management, said his company would be interested to invest in Angola once the country’s stock exchange launches.

“We have been waiting for the launch of the stock exchange for the last few years,” he noted. “Three years ago I was actually in the stock exchange building. I met the manager of the stock exchange; I met their IT people. They have trading systems; they have stock brokers. Everyone was sitting waiting for the president to sign but for some reason they have decided not to press the button.”