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Angola’s Oil-Led Foreign-Currency Reserves Rise 44% in 2011

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Angola’s foreign-currency reserves rose 44 percent last year to reach $25.02 billion in December as Africa’s second-biggest oil producer benefited from rising crude prices, a document from Angola’s central bank showed.

Reserves climbed from $17.33 billion at the end of 2010, according to the preliminary report from the Luanda-based Banco Nacional de Angola obtained by Bloomberg News. The amount increased in December from $23.27 billion in the previous month.

“Angola looks extremely well positioned to grow sustainably going forward,” Stephen Bailey-Smith, head of research for Africa at Standard Bank Plc in London, said in a phone interview.

Angola should continue to benefit from higher oil prices and exports, which account for more than 90 percent of the country’s foreign-currency earnings, Bailey-Smith said.

“We expect oil production to increase this year to 1.84 million barrels per day from about 1.69 million last year,” he said. Angola may also record a budget surplus in 2012 of around 9 percent of gross domestic product, Bailey-Smith said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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