Angola sent a distressed signal to International Monetary Fund (IMF), worth $1.5 billion, making its first OPEC member to fall victim of oil price rout. After pushing many high cost producers to bankruptcies in U.S. shale space, oil rout has started claiming sovereign victims. Azerbaijan is also engaged in talks with IMF.
IMF on Wednesday has confirmed that it has received a formal request from Angola for a three year assistance program, however as of current rules, it will not be possible to disburse any more than one-third the amount it has been asking. To disburse the asked amount special waver will be required.
IMF, next week will hold discussion with World Bank, which has already assisted Angola with $650 million last year to survive lower oil price.
With blood on the water, short sellers and hedge fund managers likely to ask, who’s next?
If Angola, second largest producer of Africa with output of 1.6 million barrels/day can fall, so can many others.
One of the biggest prize remains Saudi Arabia’s Dollar peg at 3.75 Saudi Real per Dollar. Bets have been going ups and downs that peg will break or shift.
Saudi Arabia’s FX reserve since summer of 2014, has declined by more than 20% but still well above $550 billion. Lower the oil price, lower will be the reserve and higher will be the pressure on pegs.