Angola to Sell Stake in Standard Bank Unit It Seized From Tycoon

A logo sits on display outside the offices of Standard Bank Group Ltd. bank in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. South Africas biggest lenders were faced with the pressing need to raise provisions to protect against souring loans, while demand for credit slumped as the coronavirus lockdown took a toll on business customers. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Waldo Swiegers/Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Blo)

(Bloomberg) -- Angola plans to sell a minority stake in Standard Bank de Angola SA that was controlled by a former insurance tycoon who is serving a nine-year prison term, according to a presidential decree. 

The Angolan government seized a stake of 49% in Standard Bank Angola in 2020 from Carlos Sao Vicente, who was convicted for crimes including embezzlement and tax fraud.

Angolan President Joao Lourenco approved the sale of as much as 34% of Standard Bank Angola through an initial public offering according to the decree. The state will keep a 15% stake in the Luanda-based lender. 

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest lender, owns the remaining 51% and has the right to buy an additional 24% stake in its Angolan unit through the IPO, according to the decree. It did not specify when the IPO would take place.

Sao Vicente, who has been ordered to pay Angola $500 million, was a key figure during the tail-end of former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ rule, which ended in 2017. During that period, he headed a group of companies, which sold insurance contracts to state oil company Sonangol and amassed a fortune that enabled him to buy the stake in Standard Bank Angola, among other assets. 

The decision to seize his assets was linked to moves by President Lourenco to crack down on alleged graft under his predecessor’s rule.

Standard Bank started operations in the southern African country in 2010.

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