CEO of Angolan energy giant says will speed up asset sales, reform despite COVID-19
Angola’s state oil giant Sonangol will next year accelerate reforms and efforts to raise revenue after the pandemic drained investor interest in an asset sale that has so far netted only around $60 million, its CEO told Reuters in a rare interview.
Sonangol is the economic engine for Africa’s number two oil exporter, as the company and the country strive to move on from decades of alleged corruption under Jose Eduardo dos Santos – president until 2017 – whose daughter once headed Sonangol. In a rare interview with international media, CEO Sebastião Gaspar Martins said the global economic slowdown triggered by COVID-19 had made investors “more conservative”.
But the company’s efforts would gather speed next year, he said, and it has prepared formal plans to shed 39 of the 56 assets it planned to sell. He said sales had so far raised around $60 million without giving more detail. Buoyed by high oil prices in the last decade, Sonangol piled up assets all over the world, ranging from hotels and bank stakes to a 17th-century Portuguese convent, leading the country’s oil minister to call it an octopus that needed to be tamed.
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