Africa’s richest woman expands banking empire

2014-10-08 13:59

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Windhoek – Africa’s richest woman, Angolan Isabel dos Santos, is set to spread her banking empire into neighbouring Namibia, after a banking licence was approved by the country’s central bank.

Bank of Namibia spokesperson Ndangi Katoma said the bank had granted provisional authorisation to Bank BIC Namibia Limited to conduct business as a banking institution in Namibia.

Bank BIC Namibia Limited is a subsidiary of Angolan Bank Banco BIC, which is 42.5% owned by Africa’s first woman billionaire, the daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Isabel dos Santos, is reported by Forbes to be worth $3 billion (nearly R34 billion).

But Katoma warned that Bank BIC Namibia would not be allowed to engage in banking activities with any person in Namibia just yet, “especially soliciting deposits”.

The Bank of Namibia must first issue a certificate of authorisation.

Banco BIC is one of Angola’s biggest banks, with an estimated 200 branches across the country.

Portuguese newspaper Publico reported last week that Isabel dos Santos had increased her stake in Banco BIC by 25% to 42.5%.

Namibia’s banking sector is currently dominated by three South African subsidiaries – First National Bank, Standard Bank and Nedbank – as well as Bank Windhoek.

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