AFRICANGLOBE – Angola’s largest commercial bank, Banco BIC, which is 42.5% controlled by Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, has reportedly been granted a provisional license by the Central Bank of Namibia to launch a local subsidiary which would operate as a banking institution in the country and trade under the name, Bank BIC Namibia Limited.
According to the Bank of Namibia’s spokesperson, Ndangi Katoma, the provisional authorization to the Angolan bank was effective from October 3, but it comes with limitations.
The license only permits Bank BIC Namibia to conduct business in the country for a provisional period of six months only. During that period, the bank will not be allowed to engage in any actual commercial banking activities with Namibians, such as soliciting deposits or offering loans.
“After this period, the bank may issue a certificate of authorization to this entity to conduct banking business, provided that it satisfactorily fulfils the readiness requirements before commencing with banking operations,” Katoma explained.
Nambia is a country in southern Africa with a small population of only 2.3 million people. At the moment, Namibia’s banking industry is dominated by South African banking giants such as First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank.
Banco BIC is the largest bank in Angola with an estimated 200 branches in Angola and operations in Portugal. Its largest shareholder is Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s wealthiest woman, whose fortune is estimated to be $3.5 billion. Just about a week ago, she increased her stake in the commercial bank from 25% to 42.5% after acquiring additional shares from Portuguese billionaire businessman Americo Amorim.
By: Mfonobong Nsehe