(Business in Cameroon) - By the end of 2019, Cameroon SMEs Bank (BC-SME)’s portfolio was constituted of 4,268 clients, 98% of which are SMEs and 2% large companies, authorized sources indicate. 65% of those clients are in the ICT & Services and construction sectors.
According to the Technical Commission for the Rehabilitation of Public and Para public Sector Companies (CTR), with 45% of the overall portfolio, the ICT & services sector dominates the BC-SME’s client base portfolio while the construction sector constitutes 20%. Next comes the agro-industry (5%), cotton-textile (2%), forest-wood (2%) and energy (1%) sectors.
For experts, the typology of BC-SME’s portfolio is indicative of the sectors that have been dynamic in Cameroon in recent years and even the ones that will be in the future. "The contribution of the construction sector to gross domestic product (GDP) in Cameroon has almost doubled from 2.77% to 5.3%. The turnover of companies in the sector has increased from XAF 569 billion in 2000 to XAF1030 billion in 2011," reveals a study by Acaexpertise.
At the same time, Sika (a Swiss company that manufactures waterproofing products in Cameroon) believes that the construction and public works sector will grow by 7.4% yearly on average till 2028 (in 2019, the growth was 8.4%), making Cameroon the most dynamic market in the construction sector in Central and West Africa.
A similar trend is also observed in the services sector. "Although its growth is below the average in the three sectors, the tertiary sector was the growth driver in Q1-2019, with a contribution of 1.8 points to growth," the National Institute of Statistics explained in its Q1-2019 report.
While it derives great benefit from these sectors by sourcing most of its clients there, BC-SME is far from meeting its true funding needs because of its financial difficulties marked by a net loss of XAF1.5 billion in 2019. To make it more efficient, the government started revising the public bank’s economic model. Henceforth, the bank will mostly provide funds indirectly via commercial banks (by setting guarantee funds).