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LUANDA, May 17 (Reuters) - Sonangol, which acts as both a participant and regulator in Angola’s booming oil sector, has taken steps to increase transparency as it broadens its reach to new markets, Economy Minister Manuel Nunes Junior said on Monday.
The state-run oil company has been criticised in the past for not publishing its accounts and for using billions in oil revenues to act as a sovereign wealth fund for the Angolan government to buy stakes in companies abroad.
“Sonangol has its accounts audited by companies with an international reputation,” Nunes Junior said in comments broadcast on Radio Nacional de Angola.
“It also publishes its accounts (online), which is a sign of transparency and an important indicator as it shows the company is complying with international norms.”
Sonangol recently hired Ernst and Young to audit its accounts.
Sonangol Chief Executive Manuel Vicente said in February he planned to list Sonangol in South Africa, New York or Angola, whose stock exchange has been delayed for years.
With a war chest of nearly $1 billion to expand abroad, Sonangol has signed deals to explore oilfields in Iraq and is also looking for exploration opportunities in Brazil, Ecuador and the tiny African island state of Sao Tome and Principe.
Angola rivals Nigeria as the continent’s biggest oil producer, pumping around 1.9 million barrels per day.
Reporting by Henrique Almeida