(Business in Cameroon) - Between May 2017 and May 2018, Cameroon lost its position of first borrower on Beac securities market, outperformed by Gabon, the bank revealed in a monetary policy report.
In details, Gabon captured CFA455.6 billion, thus 39.9% of total treasury bills (BTA) issuance. While Cameroon mobilized CFA214.2 billion compared to CFA161.3 billion in May 2016-May 2017.
The high resource mobilization by Gabon is mainly due to its economy’s heavy dependence on crude oil (50% of revenues), despite efforts in recent years to diversify incomes. Indeed, as world oil prices dropped, the country had no choice but to resort to debt to offset strain on public treasury and reduce budget gap. Cameroon, on the other hand, has the most diversified economy in CEMAC, oil revenues represent only about 25% of revenues.
Let’s point out that under an economic program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Cameroon is working to shift from non-concessional loans (such as that on the BEAC securities market) to concessional loans from major international financial institutions.
During the period under review, public securities issuance on the BEAC market enabled CEMAC States to mobilize CFA1,142.7 billion through treasury bills (short-term securities), compared to only CFA73.8 billion through fungible treasury bonds which are long-term debt securities (maturing in more than one year).
In financing CEMAC countries with up to CFA1,216.5 billion over a one-year period, the BEAC public securities market has become an important financing vehicle for these nations.
Brice R. Mbodiam