(Business in Cameroon) - From XAF3,912.4 billion in January 2021, the volume of outstanding bank loans in the Cameroonian banking sector rose to XAF3,956.3 billion in February 2021, according to figures compiled by the Bank of Central African States. This performance, which is up by XAF43.6 billion month-on-month, demonstrates the recovery of economic activities in the country after the recession recorded in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Obviously, despite the threat of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, economic agents are intent on capitalizing on all the opportunities available to revive the country’s economy. The said opportunities include the credit lines opened by various financial institutions and banks to help companies recover from the health crisis.
For instance, on September 1, 2020, BGFI Cameroon set up a XAF10 billion credit line for local economic operators. Also, in November 2020, Société Générale and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an agreement to set up a XAF10 billion credit line (managed by Société Générale) to provide flexible financial assistance to local SMEs affected by the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, when praising the initiative, Minister of SMEs Achille Bassilekin III indicated that it would boost Cameroonian SMEs amid the global recession caused by the health crisis.
Apart from credit lines, since January 2021, economic agents are increasingly resorting to bank loans. A proof of this fact is the exponential rise in demands during the BEAC’s weekly liquidity injection operations since January 2021.
The demand is so high that it now exceeds the XAF250 billion offered by the BEAC during those operations. According to the central bank, most of the liquidity is captured by commercial banks operating in Cameroon, presented as an economic powerhouse in the CEMAC region.