Yaoundé - 13 April 2024 -

Douala Port's creditworthiness affirmed with A ratings, paving the way for future expansion

Douala Port's creditworthiness affirmed with A ratings, paving the way for future expansion
  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 03 April 2024 10:23

(Business in Cameroon) - The Port Authority of Douala, responsible for managing the port infrastructure of Cameroon's economic capital, has retained its long-term A and short-term A2 credit ratings with stable outlooks for both maturities, according to the latest assessment by Bloomfield Investment Corporation, the first financial rating agency in Francophone Africa. Valid from October 2023 to September 2024, this rating outlines a risk profile for loans in the local currency (FCFA).

Bloomfield views PAD as having "high credit quality" with "good protection factors" over the long term and assures that "timely repayment certainty is good" with "solid liquidity factors and fundamental corporate elements" in the short term. Bloomfield's optimism is supported by factors such as growth in international trade despite a crisis context; improvements in governance; strong financing flexibility; reduced debt levels; enhanced net cash flow indicating financial stability; continuation of data reliability and account clearing plans; and securing Treasury privileges that bolster PAD's collection capabilities.

Bloomfield's rating is based on PAD's financial reports for 2021 and 2022. These reports show increases in revenue, net income, cash reserves, and equity, moving from CFA65.5 to CFA69.7 billion, CFA6.5 to CFA7.8 billion, CFA18.2 to CFA47.4 billion, and CFA84.6 to CFA151.5 billion, respectively, while the company's financial debt decreased from CFA42.4 to CFA34.4 billion.

Risk factors

However, Bloomfield points out potential credit quality vulnerabilities, including a relative decline in financial performance indicators; a somewhat fragile security environment; and geographical limitations affecting the development potential of the Douala-Bonabéri port. PAD contends that its standardization and infrastructure development program should mitigate risks related to geographical limitations. The program aims to increase capacity and service quality for ships and cargo, develop an industrial-port zone, rehabilitate and modernize the fishing terminal, and notably extend the port towards Manoka Island in the Douala VI district.

This rating strengthens PAD's position in achieving its development program by potentially easing local financing mobilization. The same applies to PAD's classification by the Banking Commission of Central Africa (Cobac) as a "high-standard company" for the 2024 financial year. This status enables these companies to benefit from a 25% reduction in the weighting rates (0%; 25%; 50%; 75% and 100%) for provisions to be set aside by banks when the loan they grant is only partially covered by a guarantee. This helps to facilitate their access to credit.

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