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Vol 55 No 24

Published 5th December 2014


Good banks from bad

The authorities have created a new lender out of the ashes of BESA but mystery surrounds the state’s exposure – and the identity of the new bank's shareholders

The central bank, the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) has come to the rescue of the country's second-largest bank, the Banco Espírito Santo Angola. BESA went into administration last August because of a mass of bad loans and after the collapse of its parent bank in Portugal, the Banco Espírito Santo (BES). New shareholders who had injected capital in October have taken over BESA and the bank has been given a new name, Banco Económico SA, thereby preserving the same initials. A BNA statement in October said that Geni Holding Company, which is linked to Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of President José Eduardo dos Santos, has a shareholding in the new bank alongside the state oil company, Sonangol. Other shareholders include Novo Banco (a bank formed from what's left of BESA's parent bank, BES) and Lektron Capital SA, a company which even senior Angolan bankers say they have never heard of.

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