(Business in Cameroon) - On October 8, 2020, the Central African Stock Exchange (BVMAC) held an ordinary meeting of its board of directors. During the session, Gabon Development Bank (BGD) announced its decision to withdraw from the capital of the stock exchange by selling its 32.15% stake, the release published at the end of the session indicates without providing further details about the reasons behind the decision.
This decision should reassure several investors who were worried about the fact that BGD, which is the BVMAC’s leading shareholder, is in liquidation. Indeed, this confirms that BGD, which has been ailing for years, is now in liquidation (a situation many experts thought would affect the credibility of the BVMAC, which embarked on a dynamization process).
This withdrawal appears like an opportunity for Cameroon to extend its influence over the stock exchange, which is based on its economic capital Douala. Let’s note that despite the merger of the Douala Stock Exchange and the BVMAC, the new stock exchange is still mainly controlled by Gabonese companies. They are BGD (leading shareholder), BGFI Capital, and BGFI Bourse (which are both subsidiaries of BGFI).
Cameroonian groups (Société Générale Cameroon, the National Investment Company of Cameroon, the Autonomous Amortization Fund, the national social security fund, the Hydrocarbon Prices Stabilization Fund, and Crédit Foncier) only control 18.1% of the stock exchange’s capital.
Besides BGD’s withdrawal, Cameroon has another opportunity to strengthen its position in the BVMAC. This opportunity is offered by article 8 of the Supplementary Act No. 06/17 CEMAC-Cosumaf-CCE-SE of February 19, 2018. According to the release published after the October 8, 2020 session, there were discussions about the member countries’ eventual entrance into the capital of the BVMAC.
The release does not provide additional details but according to the said article 8, CEMAC countries are allowed 24 months (starting from February 19, 2018) to acquire 5% of the merged stock exchange’s capital each.