(Business in Cameroon) - For the 2023 bond issue carried out by Cameroon last June, underwriters raised more than CFAF22 billion from private investors, according to a report recently published by the Ministry of Finance. The amount represents 13.43% of the more than CFAF176 billion raised by the country during this multi-tranche issue.
Private-sector employees were the biggest contributors to the funds raised from individuals, with CFAF7.3 billion invested or 4.1% of the overall sum. Civil servants and public-sector employees contributed the second-largest amount with CFAF4.33 billion (about 2.5% of the overall amount raised).
The other categories of private individuals invested a total of 7.4 billion CFA Francs in the operation (4.15%), compared with nearly 1%, or 1.6 billion CFA Francs for merchants and other individual entrepreneurs. According to Ministry of Finance figures, liberal professions invested just over CFAF1 billion (0.6%), compared with just CFAF329 million (0.19%) by the employees of international organizations.
However, despite the interest shown by individuals, this fund-raising operation by the State of Cameroon, as usual, owes its success to companies. They invested a total of CFAF154.3 billion, or 87.6% of the overall amount raised. Banks and other financial institutions contributed CFAF113.2 billion (64.2%). Pension funds contributed the second-largest amount with CFAF20 billion (11.35%), followed by insurance companies, which invested CFAF9.3 billion (5.3%). Portfolio management companies and investment funds invested CFAF 2.6 billion (1.5%) in this bond issue.
During the bond issue, Cameroon wanted to raise CFAF150 billion to finance infrastructure projects. Despite challenging market conditions, caused by the central bank’s restrictive monetary policy, the issue was oversubscribed. The country was thus able to take home CFAF176 billion, after proper authorization from Cosumaf, the regional financial market’s regulator.
Brice R. Mbodiam