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23 Sep 2005

Global Witness

Western banks to give huge new loan to Angola in further blow to transparency

...a syndicate of banks, led by French bank Calyon, is planning to lend around $2.25bn to Sonangol, the Angolan state oil company...In 2004, Standard Chartered acted as the lead arranger in a similar, $2.35bn loan. Barclays, Calyon, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, KBC, Natexis, Royal Bank of Scotland and Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo were also involved and the same banks appear likely to participate in the new loan...Oil-backed loans are condemned by the IMF as detrimental to growth and inherently lacking in transparency, since the use of the funds is undisclosed..."Global Witness believes that banks approached to participate in this loan should decline"; said Sarah Wykes of Global Witness. "...Ultimately, banks participating in this deal will be complicit in perpetuating the country's chronic corruption and poverty".