Standard Chartered has closed and pre-funded a US$1.5bn loan for the state-owned Angolan oil producer Sonangol, according to market sources.

It is expected that the bank will be offering senior tickets to a select group of banks, ahead of any potential general syndication.

This loan comes a year after the closing of a US$1bn 10-year receivables purchase agreement facility for Sonangol arranged via mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners Crédit Agricole and Standard Chartered.

Angola is the second largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa and the continent’s third largest economy.

The IMF released results of its annual review of the Angolan economy in mid-July, stating that country’s economic outlook for the rest of 2012 remains “favourable” despite a dip in global oil prices.

It forecasts that economic growth will come close to 7% this year as the country boosts oil production after a slump in 2011, before settling at a predicted 5% growth in 2013.

However the IMF warns: “The country remains vulnerable to oil revenue shocks, a large infrastructure gap persists and poverty remains widespread.”

It went on to call upon the government to increase transparency surrounding the use of the country’s oil revenues. It recommended the setting of “clear rules” governing the Oil for Infrastructure Fund.