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PUBLIC FINANCING : Cameroon Enjoys Least Interest Rates

For its first August outing, Cameroon is looking forward to obtain 20 billion FCFA in the form of 3-year Assimilable Treasury Bonds (OTA), from investors of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (Cemac) at an interest rate of 6.75 %.

Going by the monthly statistics of the Cemac Treasury Securities Market for the month of June 2023, Cameroon remains the country that owes the least expensive debt on the BEAC money market, despite the increase in the interest rate proposed to investors.

During the period mentioned above, the Cameroonian Treasury proposed average interest rates of 4.6% on its Assimilable Treasury Bills (Btas) and 5.8 % on its OTAs. The country remains below 6 % on its OTAs (against 9.2 % for Congo and 8.26 % for Gabon).

Despite the revaluation by Cameroon of its interest rate threshold of 3 % previously practiced on OLTs, Chad remunerated investors at 7.1 %, against 6.51 % for Congo and 6.32 % for Gabon. The Cameroonian Public Treasury has charged half the interest rates offered to investors by Chad and the CAR on OTAs. This increase in costs is itself a consequence of the austerity monetary policy put in place by the Beac to counter inflation.

The policy of prudence practiced by Cameroon on the interest rates offered to investors is not without impact on the participation of commercial banks in the operations of the Cameroonian Treasury. In fact, it recorded a decrease of 46.73 % in June 2023, compared to 187.50 % a year ago and 209.39 % in June 2021. A situation that justifies the repeated failures on its operations of issuing securities on the Beac market, since January 2023.

Estimated at 1,236.4 billion FCFA, Cameroon’s outstanding debts represent at the end of June 2023, 21 % of the overall envelope of financial commitments of the Cemac countries (5,895 billion FCFA). By categories of holders, the Treasury Securities Specialists (SVT) invested up to 841.1 billion FCFA on Cameroon securities in the period under review, or 68.04% of the total outstanding. Institutional investors, non-SVT credit institutions and individuals hold respectively 17.37 %, or 214.81 billion FCFA, 12.31 %, or 152.21 billion FCFA and 1.21 %, or 14.90 billion FCFA.

Sorelle Ninguem

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