tentacles to the banking sector. This was confirmed when it injected a US$252 million capital into local bank Banco Económico, SA (BESA).

“The oil company is expected to provide a significant part of the capital injection that Banco Económico SA will receive, invest about US$252 million, which will allow a 35 percent stake in the bank,” said Sonangol in a statement.

Other investors in BESA include Lektron Capital, a Chinese-owned company, and Angolan group Geni.

Sonangol is a government parastatal that was founded in 1976 to oversee petroleum and natural gas production in Angola. Oil is the backbone of  Angola’s economy, making up over 90 percent of the country’s exports.

Last month multinational oil and gas company, BP group said it plans to invest $15 billion in new Angola oil fields. BP has to date invested more than $25 billion to grow its Angolan business, whose net average production is around 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

In 1966, Cabinda Gulf Oil Company discovered the most significant oil reserves in Cabinda at the time. From then on, oil has played one of the most important roles in the Angolan economy, having surpassed coffee in exports in 1973.

By George Mpofu

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