Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Angola Sovereign Wealth Fund Denies Claims Investments Illegal

  • FSDEA reacts to media reports based on Paradise Papers
  • Swiss newspaper report alleges links to convicted businessman

Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund said all its operations are legitimate and denied allegations based on the so-called Paradise Papers about how its $5 billion of capital is invested.

“A series of articles have been published in a certain section of the media with unfounded allegations and incorrect information about Fundo Soberano de Angola,” the fund said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. “We would like to reiterate that the FSDEA conducts operations in a legitimate and accountable manner in every jurisdiction.”

The fund is run by Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the 39-year-old son of the former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Some of its cash is entrusted to Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, a Swiss-Angolan entrepreneur who has been convicted in Switzerland for qualified cases of misappropriation, according to Le Matin Dimanche, a Swiss newspaper. FSDEA funds come mainly from oil wealth generated by one of the continent’s top two crude producers.

The Paradise Papers are a database of financial documents leaked mostly from Appleby, a prominent offshore law firm. They were obtained by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and some media outlets.

Le Matin Dimanche reported Nov. 5 that about $3 billion of the Angolan wealth fund were invested in seven investment funds in Mauritius. Those funds are managed by a unit of Quantum Global Group, an investment bank owned by Bastos de Morais, who received an annual fee of 2 percent to 2.5 percent of capital under management per year, or $60 million to $70 million, the newspaper said. Bastos de Morais has denied any wrongdoing, according to Le Matin Dimanche.

Angola’s sovereign wealth fund has also agreed to invest in several projects in Angola that are managed by Bastos de Morais, including $180 million in a deep-water port in the Angolan province of Cabinda, according to Le Matin Dimanche. The wealth fund will spend $157 million in the construction of a skyscraper in the center of the Angolan capital, Luanda, on a building plot belonging to a company owned by Bastos de Morais, it said.

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