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More Angolan banks may be closed down, central bank warns

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More Angolan banks may be closed down, central bank warns

Angolan central bank Governor José de Lima Massano said the regulator could shutter more banks if they fail to meet new minimum capital requirements, Bloomberg News reported.

The Banco Nacional de Angola head said some of the country's remaining 27 banks may be required to increase their capital "given the magnitude of their loan portfolios and the deterioration of [their] credit quality." He added, however, that Angolan banks have taken "notable" steps to register impairments to improve coverage for loan-related risks, Bloomberg noted.

The warning comes as the central bank prepares to conduct an asset quality review of its banks. Massano said the review, which will start in the second quarter, will be completed by September, the report added.

Earlier in January, the central bank withdrew the operating licenses of Banco Mais and Banco Postal after they missed a 2018-end deadline to increase their capital. In 2018, the regulator revoked the license of Ecobank Angola and placed Banco Angolano de Negócios e Comércio SA under administration.

Two-thirds of the Angolan banking sector's assets are held by five banks. State-owned firms control some of the country's large banks, with a few foreign banks holding stakes, while some of the shareholders of smaller banks are individuals with political ties, Bloomberg noted.

Massano said some of the big lenders are considering listing part of their capital, which should help boost transparency in the banking sector, according to the Jan. 17 report.