Having come from a period civil unrest about a decade ago, Angola is still very much on its recovery path. Angola has continued to record the most impressive economic growth within the continent averaging at 15% between 2002 and 2010. However, despite all the gains made by Angola during its economic boom, money and capital instruments remain inaccessible to many with the non-existence of a stock exchange market.
The country has 18 commercial banks of which two are privately owned and three are state run. Only 10% of the population use banking facilities and few businesses apply for loans as current conditions are not conducive to lending.
The slow growth of the bond market in Angola is further suppressed by the lack of a stock exchange which could provide the much needed infrastructure to propel growth in the domestic money markets. However, there have been efforts to establish a stock exchange in Angola. The legal and regulatory framework has been put in place for the opening of the stock exchange. The national stock exchange will be referred to as the Bolsa de volaros e derivatives de Angola (BVDA). It will be regulated by the Capital Markets Commission, which will also regulate financial service providers such as brokers, traders, and mutual fund managers.
In a bid to manage the country’s debt and reduce its budget deficit, Angola was set to issue its first sovereign bond worth $4 billion in May 2010. Unfortunately this was not realised. The country’s high dependence on oil revenue, which has been perceived as highly risky by foreign investor, was attributed to the postponement of the bond issue. However, it is worthwhile to note that the government has put in place fiscal adjustment measures which have already made noticeable change with the reduction of public debt from USD 13.9 billion in 2008 to USD 12.7 billion in 2010.