Yaoundé - 09 June 2023 -

Cameroon: External debt of public entities up CFA41bn in Q1 2023

Cameroon: External debt of public entities up CFA41bn in Q1 2023
  • Comments   -   Friday, 05 May 2023 11:06

(Business in Cameroon) - The debt of state-owned enterprises and public bodies, as of March 31, 2023, was estimated at CFA879 billion, according to a recent note from the autonomous depreciation fund (CAA). 41.6% of the amount is domestic debt and the remaining 58.4% is external debt.

Regarding the external share, CAA found it is up by CFA40.7 billion (+8.6%) compared to the same period the previous year. The government agency blamed this increase on multiple depreciations of the euro, to which the local currency is pegged, against the U.S. dollar, due to the war in Ukraine. CAA also cited the surge in crude oil prices on the global market.

According to Xe.com, 1 dollar was worth CFA675.656 in September 2022, up 15% compared to CFA587.708 in March 2022. This is the highest rate in at least 10 years. The impact of the exchange rate variations was more noticeable on the National Refining Company (Sonara), whose external debt rose by 11.4% yoy over the period to CFA424.6 billion (or 82.6% of the total outstanding). Shut down since May 2019 due to a fire that destroyed part of its facilities, the state-owned refinery owes a huge amount to its foreign suppliers and the local banking sector. The central administration, which is the guarantor of last resort, has therefore undertaken repayment programs over 10 years with all creditors.

The remainder of the external loan portfolio of public enterprises is held by Camair-Co (CFA64.6 billion), the Port Authority of Douala (CFA12.56 billion) and ADC (CFA11.8 billion).

Translated from French by Firmine AIZAN

Written by Cédrick Jiongo

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