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John Daly

John Daly

Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European…

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Out of Africa - Portugal solicits Angolan investment

Out of Africa - Portugal solicits Angolan investment

The following is an interesting and cautionary tale for investors looking at relatively "stable" Old Europe and Africa, seemingly mired in perennial crisis.

Since last year the Portuguese government has been heavily lobbying its former colony Angola to invest its petrodollars there as the nation struggles to comply with the terms of a $99 billion financial rescue package. For 500 years, Angola was Portugal's biggest and richest African colony, with huge reserves of oil, gas and diamonds.

The event marks something unique in world history since Columbus first set sail, ushering in centuries of European colonial domination - reverse colonization by an African country of its former masters. Angola, which the Portuguese discovered nine years before that epochal voyage, only became independent in 1975, and immediately slid into 27 years of vicious civil war, which only ended in 2002.

So, what has happened in the intervening decade?

Oil.

Lots of it - Angola is now Africa's second largest oil exporter, exceeded only by Nigeria. Angola now exports 1.7 million barrels per day, leaving the country of 19 million awash in cash.

And, given that its economy cannot absorb such a massive infusion of petrodollars, Luanda for the last five years has been quietly parking some of its surplus dollars in Portuguese assets.

The differences between the Portuguese and Angolan economies are striking. While this year economists predict that Portugal's economy…




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