Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund is seeking investments in mining, timber, health and agriculture in order to diversify its asset base and increase returns.
“A large portion of the portfolio is invested in international securities,” Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the fund’s chairman, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Cape Town on Thursday. “We are looking at several opportunities. We wouldn’t want to give away these opportunities by disclosing what they are before they are completely settled.”
The fund, which is managed by Zug, Switzerland-based Quantum Global Investment Management Ltd., was established to invest surplus state funds and promote development in Africa’s largest crude-oil producer after Nigeria. It has allocated $1.1 billion toward investing in toll roads, ports and other infrastructure projects and $500 million toward hotels. It also plans to spend about $250 million on agriculture projects.
“We are really long-term investors and not looking for quick wins,” Dos Santos said. “All of our funds have a 10-year horizon. What we find in our region of the world, in Africa, particularly in Angola, is that the safest way to invest is as the project starts. That’s when potential mistakes regarding the viability assessments of such projects can be made and when more care should be taken regarding the implementation.”
A plunge in crude prices in the second half of last year may leave the government with less scope to approve additional allocations to the fund. On Wednesday, Angola’s parliament approved a revised budget that will cut spending to 5.4 trillion kwanzas ($50 billion) this year, down from 7.3 trillion kwanzas proposed in December. Oil accounts for about 70 percent of the southwest African nation’s income.
Allocations to the fund are the prerogative of the government, which will have to decide how best to use the revenue it collects, Dos Santos said.
Growth in Angola, sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest economy, may accelerate to 6.6 percent this year from 4.4 percent in 2014, according to the government.
Dos Santos is the eldest son of President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, who has been in power since 1979. He denied there was anything untoward about his appointment, which complied with government regulations.
“I’ve been in the finance industry,” he said. “I’ve worked in insurance initially and then banking. A lot of activities we are doing as managers of state assets are in the financial field. It’s really been a natural progression.”