Cameroon – Finance: The banking sector has experienced a decline in foreign exchange reserves and the interruption of remittances abroad in 2016

Written by Deckson N.

Activity in the banking and finance sector in Cameroon experienced a semi-fig-half-grape balance in 2016.

The bond issue launched by the State of Cameroon with the aim of seeking 150 billion FCFA on the financial market could be likened to a good point registered in 2016 in the Finance sector. “The operation was better than initially anticipated. It was significantly oversubscribed, in the very ambitious period that the issuer (the State of Cameroon) and the consortium (the banks) had set. We have obtained over 173 billion subscriptions, “said Alexandre Beziaud, the Managing Director of Société Générale Cameroun (SGC), one of the arrangers of this loan.

According to the Economie newspaper of December 14, 2016, the funds collected made it possible to continue the execution of certain projects. “Among these are the construction works of the Yaounde-Nsimalen and Yaounde-Douala Highways,” it reads. Some banks have diversified their service offerings with an emphasis on innovation, but they have also opened several branches across the country.

The banks also distinguished themselves by signing several partnership agreements with a view to extending and diversifying their activities. “The other major fact in the banking sector in 2016 is the exit of the commercial bank of Cameroon (CBC) from the purgatory of the provisional administration, this after seven years of uncertainties. A new management team has been appointed headed by Léandre Djummo, CEO, “the paper said.

The suspension of remittances abroad via Western Union, Moneygram, etc., is a shadow in 2016. This is due to the increase in the export tax. Also, foreign exchange reserves declined drastically. A situation attributed to the fall in oil prices, the increase in imports relative to exports, also, to the non-repatriation of export earnings by the exporting companies installed in Cameroon.

For experts, this decline in revenue results in an increase in domestic debt, estimated at about 100 million FCFA. The infectious spiral of closure of the Micro Finance Establishments continued with Crédit Mutuel. The Micro Finance Corporation for Savings and Investment Credit (COMECI), has almost experienced the same scenario.

The International Bank of Cameroon for Savings and Credit (BICEC), was the actress of one of the biggest scandals registered in the banking sector in Cameroon, including the diversion of 50 billion FCFA from BICEC followed by The incarceration of some of its officials, including the Deputy Managing Director of the bank and the convening of former General Managers at the Douala High Court.

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Deckson N.

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