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Angola Launches its First Initial Public Offering

In June, Banco BAI, Angola’s largest private bank, floated a 10% stake following the country’s first initial public offering (IPO), viewed by observers as an important step in the government’s modernization drive. Under President Joao Lourenco, the southern African OPEC member has embarked on ambitious reforms to overhaul the state-dominated economy and attract private investment. In the BAI IPO, state-owned oil and diamond companies Sonangol and Endiama completely sold their stakes in the bank. “The government has shown a commitment to fiscal orthodoxy, a commitment to a flexible currency. And that’s what investors like to see,” says Charlie Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital. After Banco BAI successfully completed the Angola’s first IPO, raising $94 million, the country could be looking at a flood of listings and capital increases. As Angola prepares for general presidential and National Assembly elections on 24 August, the IPO and listing could boost President João Lourenço’s image as an economic reformer. National economic plans include modernization and an attempt to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil and diamond exports, as well as reduce the government’s economic dominance and attract foreign investment. The economy has been in recession for five years, but is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2022. The government reportedly plans to sell its stakes in several companies, including television and telecommunications provider TVCabo Angola, bank Caixa Angola, oil company ACREP and fuel retailer Sonangalp.