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Sat, 30 Nov 2019 11:45 - Updated Sat, 30 Nov 2019 11:45

Central Bank ceases acquisition of foreign currency from oil companies

Luanda - The National Reserve Bank of Angola (BNA) ceases on January 2, 2020, the purchase of foreign currency from oil companies operating in the country and transfers this operation to commercial banks.

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This operation had been in operation since 2014, whereby the oil companies used to sell more than USD240 million a month to the BNA, so that the Central Bank could be able to pay fiscal resident with foreign exchange.

The governor of the BNA, José de Lima Massano, who was speaking at a press conference after the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (CPM), said the intention is to pass these operations to commercial banks, allowing a more direct relationship with the oil companies.

“BNA has no vocation, and it is not its mission, to intervene daily in the foreign exchange market by selling or buying currencies. We have to let the market work,” he admitted.

The intention, which has been explored for some time, follows several security options for this type of transaction, taking into account the experiences of excessive concentration in one bank or another.

Also for this operation, the option of creating a platform was explored, but the possibility of companies selling directly to the commercial banks with which they have regular business relations was advanced.

Funds Limit (from 5% to 2.5%)

With this decision, the BNA reduced the foreign exchange position limit from 5% of banks’ own funds to 2.5%, so that the currency to be acquired by commercial banks is not retained by them.

Until now, up to 5% of banks funds could be currency retained within the respective banking institution, that is,  banks could buy currency and not sell (meaning they could retain) the equivalent to 5% of their own funds.

With this reduction, commercial banks will only have a margin of 2.5% of their own funds, for possible currency retention, to cover any needs they may have.

According to the governor of the Central Bank, this will allow the currency acquired from oil companies, by a private bank, to be placed in the interbank market, creating greater dynamism.

“Banks will be more active in the forex market, which will help accelerate the finding of a fair price and currency balance in our economy,” noted the BNA boss.

In the event that a commercial bank exceeds the limit of 2.5% and is unable to repay it on the interbank market, the bank is obliged to sell it to the BNA at its purchase rate.

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