Lisbon - Angola plans to open its
much-delayed stock market in 2016 and could even bring it forward to 2015 if
the bourse was used to privatise state-owned companies, the country's Capital
Markets Commission (CMC) said on Thursday.
A Luanda bourse, a potential entry point
for foreigners, has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, but delays -
most due to lack of transparency - have frustrated investors looking to tap
into one of Africa's fastest-growing, but most impenetrable economies.
The latest delay came in 2011 when the
government said many Angolan companies did not meet the pre-requisites for
Angola is Africa's No.2 oil producer after
Nigeria and has rebuilt rapidly after the end of a civil war in 2002, but its record
on transparency remains among the weakest in the world.
Investors and analysts have questioned
whether the Angolan companies that dominate their sectors are in a position to
fulfil international standard criteria on ownership disclosure, auditing and
reporting of accounts, and corporate governance.
A new CMC board appointed last year has
decided to take a gradual approach to opening markets, a CMC spokesperson said.
The plan includes opening a secondary bond
market in the fourth quarter of this year, helping pave the way for a stock
market for which Angola has already identified several eligible private
companies, he added.
"Once the technological conditions for
the negotiation of debt - treasury and corporate - are created, then in
principle so will the conditions for the issuance and trading of shares, in
other words, a stock market," the CMC said in a statement.
"The CMC has identified several
private companies in sectors such as banking, telecoms, and retail as being
eligible for a stock market," it said. "Banks, for example, (are
ready) as they have been supervised by the central bank for years now."
A corporate bond market is set to be opened
next year, the spokesperson said, adding the calendar depended on the
government passing a set of rules into law, which is expected to happen in the
next few weeks.
The timeline for the establishment of a
secondary bond market is also aligned with the government's plans to issue up
to an estimated $2bn in sovereign Eurobonds this year as it may help attract
investors to the primary debt market, the spokesperson added.