The year 2002 marked the end of Angola's long and bloody civil war and the dawn of a new and exciting chapter in the country's history. Angola's renaissance has effectively been one of the fastest evolving growth stories globally. Today the country is characterised by political stability, improving corporate governance, increasing sophistication and global acceptance. This is highlighted by their entry into powerful groupings like the OPEC and invitations to the annual G8 summit, among others.
The single most important driving force behind this rapid industrialisation has been their fortunate, if disproportionate, endowment with abundant oil, mineral and natural resources. This in an age marked by a new scramble for Africa's resources as led by emerging super power China, and closely followed by India and Brazil. Putting this into perspective, Angola's oil production more or less matches that of Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa's second largest economy, but with only an eighth of the latter's population.
With a deliberate focus to diversify the economy away from the dominant oil sector, the government has been actively promoting investment into other sectors, primarily financial services, construction and agriculture. In the space of five years, the number of banks have more than doubled to 23. Massive investment in reconstruction and infrastructure development has seen that sector contributing over 10% of GDP in 2011. The agricultural sector probably possesses the most significant potential and continues to be a strategic imperative, although still in its infancy.
Imara In Angola
Plans to launch an Angolan stock exchange were announced several years ago with a view to deepening the country's capital markets. In 2008 Imara applied for a stockbroking license with the intention of being one of the pioneers in this area.
Imara subsequently opened an office in Luanda in 2009 and we have since extended our research coverage to provide comprehensive macro-economic as well as bottom-up research on specific corporates in the economy. To date we have built up a wealth of information, extensively covering the banking, telecoms, breweries and insurance sectors. When the country's bourse, Bolsa de Valores e Derivativos de Angola (BVDA) commences operations, Imara will hopefully be one of the first independent stockbrokers.
With a wealth of experience in raising capital and executing corporate finance mandates across Africa, we have also focused our attention on courting Angolan corporates. This with a view to providing a full suite of corporate advisory services and to act as a conduit through which local companies can access international capital flows. It is an area that we continue to focus on and that will grow as the growth momentum ensues, post the recessionary trough experienced in 2009.
With established Afro-centric investment funds, Imara has an extensive portfolio of international investors with risk appetite for Africa's frontier markets. The asset management leg of our business will come into being on the receipt of our dual purpose stockbroking license. At such juncture, we intend to launch an Angola-specific investment fund that will act as a conduit for international portfolio investment into Angola's capital markets. We will complement this with domestic products to cater to the nascent pension fund, institutional and high net worth client segment, which at the moment has very few local investment options.
Managing Director, Imara Securities Angola SCVM
Telephone: +244 222 372 029