Angolan state-owned oil company, Sonangol announced that it plans to sell its stakes in oil blocks and several local banks in order to pay its debt. Currently, Sonangol owes the Angolan state an estimated $1.3 billion.
According to the Chairman of the company, Carlos Saturnino, who spoke to journalists on Wednesday, Sonangol’s debt declined to $4.8 billion in 2017 from $9.8 billion a year earlier after the government provided the company with $10 billion in financing.
Carlos Saturnino who succeeded the daughter of the former president Isabel Dos Santos last year is working hard to strengthen the company’s management weakness caused during the former administration. At the top of his list as the chairman of the company is to reduce Sonangol’s debt and increase its revenue.
Following this announcement, Sonangol will open a tender for possible bidders to study its stakes in Blocks 21/09 and 20/11 off the coast of Angola.
“I’d like to extend a general invitation to the oil industry to analyze the data on these oil concessions. The goal is to have a business group that is less heavy, smaller and more agile,” said Saturnino.
According to Bloomberg, Sonangol is also reviewing its investments in airline SonAir and five Angolan banks including the country’s second-largest lender, Banco Angolano de Investimentos, in which it holds an 8.5 percent stake.
“It’s possible that we can sell our stakes in these banks. The total investment in these banks are very big and we’re only speaking about Angola. We have other investments abroad,” Saturnino said further.
In Angola, the oil sector contributes more than 90 percent of the country’s export. The oil output in Africa’s second largest crude oil producer, Angola is forecast to be around 1.6 million barrels per day(mbpd) in 2018, which is close to the 1.632 mbpd it produced last year.