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Yaoundé - 13 April 2024 -
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BVMAC initiates share split to enhance financial inclusion in Central Africa

BVMAC initiates share split to enhance financial inclusion in Central Africa
  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 13 March 2024 13:09

(Business in Cameroon) - The Central African Securities Exchange (BVMAC) plans to split shares to make financial market participation more accessible to low-income populations. Louis Banga Ntolo, CEO of the regional money market, disclosed this on March 8, 2024, during the 10th edition of "Ring The Bell for Gender Equality," an event led by UN Women to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. The event coincided with the 39th International Women's Rights Day and was held in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector arm.

"In our 2022-2026 roadmap, which serves as our business plan, we have included a reform aimed at financial inclusion. This involves splitting the value of a share to improve its liquidity," the BVMAC CEO said. For example, he explained, a company with 1,000 shares priced at CFA2,500 each could decide to split its share price by five, resulting in 5,000 shares at CFA500.

Furthermore, Ntolo mentioned that financial market reform is necessary to enable low-income populations, especially women, to engage in the financial market without needing a bank account. To achieve this, BVMAC will be working with fintech companies operating in the field of mobile money, a payment method approved by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), which identifies individuals through a microchip.

From then on, "you can purchase assets with an electronic wallet. Therefore, we will conduct splits similar to those in other stock exchanges, allowing shares listed on the BVMAC to be priced at CFA500 without altering the rights associated with a security. This means you will still have voting rights and pro-rated dividends, and it changes nothing about the financial instrument and the rights attached to it," Louis Banga Ntolo explained.

This ongoing reform at BVMAC aims to speed up financial inclusion, a significant challenge in the CEMAC region due to limited access and usage of financial services. According to data from the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), the financial inclusion rate was 32% in the CEMAC zone in 2021. To increase this rate to 60% by 2027, the central bank is focusing on innovation and expanding digital financial services in the sub-region.

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