Angola’s oil woes weigh on banking

Published: February 1, 2017

The struggling petro-economy is in the grip of a financial crisis that has pushed up non-performing loan ratios in its banking industry.

In May this year, Angola’s first shipment of bananas in more than 40 years left the country for Europe; a small sign of progress for a country that is struggling to find alternative sources of income to replace the huge gulf left behind by more than two years of sustained low oil prices. 

Pre-crash, oil accounted for more than 90% of both foreign exchange earnings and government revenues. Over the past two years, the country has successively slashed spending. The budget for public investment was cut by 53% in 2015, and a further 20% in 2016. After a decade of double-digit expansion, GDP growth slowed to 4.8% in 2014, 3% in 2015 and is likely to be flat this year. The currency, the kwanza, has been under enormous pressure, and has been devalued twice, while hard currency is hard to come by.

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