Angola said to discuss $500m loan with Gemcorp

Gemcorp Capital LLP is negotiating with Angola about providing Africa’s biggest oil producer with a loan of about $500 million even as the IMF said the country called off talks over financial support, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Talks are continuing to set up a facility for the Angolan Ministry of Finance to enable it to get dollars for the purchase of medicine and food and an agreement hasn’t yet been completed, the person said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Gemcorp is a London-based investor focusing on emerging markets.

A ministry spokesman in Luanda, the capital, said he couldn’t immediately comment. Gemcorp declined to comment when their offices in Luanda were visited.

A loan may provide some relief for Angola, whose economy has been battered by the plunge in oil prices since mid-2014. President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said the government is generating “barely enough” revenue to pay off its debt. during a July 1 broadcast on state television. A day earlier, the International Monetary Fund said Angola had called off talks about a bailout loan.

Investors have sold Angolan assets in response. Yields on the country’s $1.5 billion of Eurobonds due in November 2025 jumped 67 basis points on the day of Dos Santos’ comments. The yield rose 3 basis points to 10.61 percent by 11:34 a.m. in Luanda.

Gemcorp, founded two years ago and led by Atanas Bostandjiev, who formerly worked for Goldman Sachs Group and Russia’s VTB Capital, has previously done deals in Angola, a 2015 statement from the Angolan government shows. It has a 3 percent stake in Banco Atlantico and provided the government with a $300 million loan in May last year.

Deals arranged by VTB Capital in Angola include being among four Russian lenders that provided $278 million of loans to the southwest African nation in 2011. Angola later picked VTB to manage a $1 billion bond.