(Business in Cameroon) - Abbas Mahamat Tolli, governor of the Bank of Central African States, announced the upcoming listing of Commercial Bank Cameroun (CBC) on the regional stock exchange Bvmac. He made the information public last March 2 during a press conference after a meeting with Bvmac shareholders.
“All authorizations needed to begin the listing process have been obtained,” said Louis Banga Ntolo, MD of Bvmac, stressing, however, that, “the actual file is not yet in the hands of the Bvmac officials”. As a reminder, Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze launched in early March 2022 a notice of expression of interest to recruit the council of state that will help finalize the restructuring of CBC. The firm was expected to develop the overall timetable for the operation that would lead to the partial withdrawal of the State from the capital of CBC and assist in the recruitment of the company in charge of the IPO process.
The deal with the winning bidder will last 12 months, per the deadline prescribed by the notice of expression of interest. This means that the service should be completed by Q2 2023 so that the actual listing process begins. The IPO will sell to Bvmac 30% of the state shares in this former private bank.
Saved from bankruptcy after a long period of provisional administration imposed by the banking sector regulator (Cobac), following the discovery of difficulties related to compliance with prudential ratios and the preservation of equity capital, CBC had to be recapitalized by the State. The Treasury injected CFA12 billion into the bank in 2013, allowing the State to control 98% of its capital.
On December 31, 2020, the bank posted a net banking income of CFA24.22 billion, against CFA12.33 billion three years earlier. The provisions on the same date were close to CFA6.62 billion and the profit stood at CFA3.60 billion, up 44% from CFA2.5 billion in 2019.
Under its restructuring plan, the IMF requirements, and comforted by these satisfactory results, the Cameroonian state now seeks to partially exit CBC. The government plans to transfer 51% of the capital to a strategic partner to be selected by competitive bidding; and open 30% of the CBC to investors on the Bvmac.
Brice R. Mbodiam