(Business in Cameroon) - Bange Bank Cameroon (Bange CMR SA), which obtained its operating license on November 10, 2020, is currently planning to open 10% (XAF1 billion) of its capital to Cameroonian investors, authorized sources inform.
Our sources add that local investors were reluctant at the beginning of the project but they are showing an increasing yet modest interest now. Once the 10% stake is successfully sold to national investors, Bange CMR SA will effectively start operations with the construction of two branches in Yaoundé and Douala, the two main cities in Cameroon.
Specifically, the equatorial Guinean banking group’s subsidiary will build its main agency in Douala while the Yaoundé branch will be incorporated into the parent company Banco national de Guinea Ecuatorial (Bange).
To quickly penetrate the highly competitive Cameroonian banking market, Bange CMR SA (the first subsidiary ever established by an Equatorial Guinean company) intends to focus on providing medium-term loans (repayable within 3 years) mainly. Medium-term loans are better suited at helping companies develop their operations, unlike short-term credits usually provided by most of the banks operating in the CEMAC region (according to some bankers, the preponderance of short-term credits in the region is due to the nature of deposits, which are mostly overnight deposits).
Bange CMR SA also intends to focus on leasing. That financial mechanism, which consists of financing companies’ equipment acquisitions, presents great yet underexploited potential in Cameroon. Indeed, despite the sharp increase in the volume of financing obtained by companies under that mechanism (between 2009 and 2016, the volume almost tripled from XAF45 billion to XAF125billion, according to the IFC), it is still largely below the potential of the Cameroonian market, estimated by the leasing association of Cameroon (CAMLEASE) to be XAF400 billion.
Brice R. Mbodiam