November 4, 2019 / 4:33 PM / 15 days ago

Portugal's Banco BPI to sell Angola bank stake but not in a rush

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s Banco BPI aims to reduce its 48.1% stake in Angola’s leading bank BFA based on a recommendation from the ECB but is in no rush to sell, the BPI chief executive said on Wednesday.

BPI, owned by Spain’s Caixabank, lost control of BFA in 2017 when it sold a 2% stake, after the European Central Bank recommended reducing exposure to Angola’s economy. BFA is now controlled by Unitel, Angola’s leading mobile provider.

“We continue with the intention of reducing our holding. When and how remains open. Fortunately, we have no deadline and will not sell at a bad price, we will sell when the conditions are good,” BPI CEO Pablo Forero told reporters.

“The most important thing is that BFA continues to do very well,” he said, adding that BFA had the lowest non-performing loan ratio among Angolan banks.

BPI reported a net profit of 254 million euros ($283 million) in the first nine months of 2019, half the level of a year ago, when earnings were boosted in part by one-off asset sales.

BFA contributed over 86 million euros to BPI nine-month results.

Barcelona-based Caixabank acquired BPI in 2017 after a two-year takeover battle.

Reporting by Sergio Gonaclves; Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Edmund Blair

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