(Business in Cameroon) - Boris Joseph (photo – at the centre), managing director of French banking group Banque populaire caisse d’épargne (BPCE), was received by Cameroonian minister of finance Louis Paul Motaze on July 18, 2019, in Yaoundé.
According to Boris Joseph, the meeting was to discuss sales of local BPCE subsidiary Banque internationale du Cameroun pour l’épargne et le crédit (Bicec). "At the technical and administrative level, things are going well with the help of regional and national authorities in Cameroon. We are very pleased since we are still within our timescales. We think that things will end well and in good conditions,” the managing director said.
“With the announcement of BPCE, its majority stakeholder (68.5%), and the acquisition of its shares by a major banking group (ed note: Moroccan Banque centrale populaire-BCP), Bicec is currently in a transition period. As Bicec’s monetary authority and preferred shareholder, Cameroon’s government via its minister of finance must ensure the smooth progress of this transition process,” a note of the ministry of finance informs.
The note reveals that Cameroon wants Bicec to still be a major player in the local banking industry and important actor in the financing of the economy at the end of this transition period. "The government also wants to negotiate with concerned parties on conditions for stability of the bank’s staff and also for the growth of this largest bank’s collaborators in their works," the ministry of finance adds.
On September 24, 2018, BPCE announced that it initiated negotiations with BCP for the sales of its assets in African subsidiaries, Cameroon included.
Two Cameroonian lawyers (Michel Janvier Voukeng and Guy-Alain Tougoua) are opposed to Bicec’s exclusive sale. On October 12, 2018, they filed a legal proceeding at Bonanjo lower court in Douala to require the national competition authority’s intervention. Since then, not much information has been available concerning the various negotiations for this sale.