Angola’s Millionaires Targeted by Banco Privado Atlantico

Banco Privado Atlantico SA plans to open 25 more branches in the country over the next two years as it targets the growing ranks of the wealthy in Africa’s second-largest oil producer.

Atlantico will invest 4.4 billion kwanza ($45 million) adding to its tally of 42 branches, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Silva said yesterday in an e-mailed response to questions. The bank’s shareholders include Global Pactum SA and Angola’s state oil company, Sonangol EP.

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

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 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.

Atlantico will spend 110 million kwanzas on training in each of the next two years, with part of that going through an academy it shares with the local unit of Portuguese bank Millennium BCP. The bank, which boosted profit 18 percent to $58.5 million last year, has also added an oil and gas desk to tap new opportunities, Silva said.

Angola Benchmark

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

Angola has about 21 million people, according to the World Bank, and the government estimates that more than half of the population is under the age of 20.

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 cut its inflation rate to 8.38 percent in October, the lowest since at least December 2011, while keeping its currency, the kwanza, stable at about 100 to the dollar for the past 18 months.

Diversifying Economy

“The Angolan economy has been conducting a process of diversification to non-oil gross domestic product growth,” Silva said. “The macroeconomic outlook is stable.”

Angola pumped 1.7 million barrels a day last month, second to Nigeria in Africa, almost entirely from offshore fields operated by companies such as Total SA, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Angola’s economy will grow 5 percent to 7 percent this year and next, Eaglestone Securities wrote in a note published earlier this month.

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