Standard Bank: New rules put Angolan unit in black

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Standard Bank broke even in Angola in August last year after a law requiring oil firms to pay suppliers in kwanzas and use local banks lifted revenue, assets and credit at the unit. Revenue rose 80 percent year on year to $75 million (R806m) last year, while assets increased by 150 percent to $1.7 billion, Pedro Coelho, the chief executive of the Angolan business, said on Friday. The unit still reported a loss for last year, even as loans more than tripled to $350m, he said. Standard Bank, which has been in Angola since 2010, is benefiting from a law requiring oil companies operating there to pay suppliers in kwanzas since July last year and use domestic lenders from October. “The law was a major factor in growing our business,” Coelho said. “It cascades because you start getting business from the oil companies, then you get it from service providers and local companies that work with them.” The unit might become Angola’s sixth- or seventh-largest bank by assets this year, up from 11th last year, Coelho said. “The foreign exchange law has been good for the country,” he said. – Bloomberg

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