Angola approves laws to open stock exchange, debt markets
LUANDA Oct 17 (Reuters) - Angola has approved laws to regulate stock and debt markets that it plans to open, the head of the Capital Markets Commission said on Thursday, signalling that the country is moving to finally launch the markets after years of delays.
A Luanda bourse, a potential entry point for foreigners, has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, but delays - most due to a lack of transparency - have frustrated investors looking to tap into one of Africa's fastest-growing, but most impenetrable economies.
The commission plans to open a secondary debt market next year to help pave the way for a stock market in 2016 for which Angola has already identified several eligible private companies, including banks, telecoms, and retail operators.
"With these laws, Angola creates the conditions for the securities markets to be able to operate," CMC President Archer Mangueira said in a statement, adding the rules had been published last week through a presidential decree.
"The first securities market operations in Angola will be done with public debt paper, an instrument which help satisfy the state's financing needs and also remunerates people and companies that invest in it."
Angola is Africa's No.2 oil producer after Nigeria and has rebuilt rapidly after the end of a civil war in 2002, but its record on transparency remains among the weakest in the world.
Investors and analysts have questioned whether the Angolan companies that dominate their sectors are in a position to fulfil international standard criteria on ownership disclosure, auditing and reporting of accounts, and corporate governance. (Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Alison Williams)
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