(Business in Cameroon) - In the CEMAC region, commercial banks are increasingly appealing to the liquidity injection operations restarted by the central bank - BEAC because of the coronavirus pandemic, which affected economies worldwide. Throughout 2020, the weekly liquidities accepted by those banks were rather low, between XAF30 and 80 billion. However, since January 2021, the volume of liquidity the banks have been capturing weekly is steadily rising.
According to figures published by BEAC, from January 2021 to date, the commercial banks have captured XAF1, 173 billion liquidity with interest rates being about 3.25%, which is the central bank’s key rate.
Specifically, in January 2021, the commercial banks captured XAF590 billion liquidity during the injection operations. During the first three of the current month (February 2021), they have already captured XAF583 billion, including the record volume of XAF207 billion captured during the operation on February 2nd, 2021.
The central bank did not explain why commercial banks are showing renewed interest in the liquidity injection operations but, as a banker explained, "banks solicit liquidity when their needs are greater than its usual consumption." This rise in CEMAC banks’ liquidity needs can be therefore explained by the gradual recovery of economic activities despite the risks of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which seriously affected CEMAC economies (and almost the whole world in that instance) in 2020.
These commercial banks’ renewed interest in the liquidity provided by BEAC bodes well for companies seeking funds to recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. It also bodes well for public treasuries since those banks operate as primary dealers on the money market where public treasuries are planning major fundraising operations.
Brice R. Mbodiam