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CFA zone bond issuances hit record levels amid growing financing needs

Wednesday, 08 May 2024 17:43
CFA zone bond issuances hit record levels amid growing financing needs

(Ecofin Agency) - The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), with its larger number of issuers and two dynamic bond markets, is the area driving these record-breaking statistics.

From January 1 to May 8, 2024, the Central and West African states using the CFA franc have issued 205 loan securities on their local capital markets, according to a count by Ecofin Agency based on various data sources. This figure represents a record since 2021 and is almost double the issuances recorded during the same period in 2023 (70).

The WAEMU zone, which has the largest number of issuers (8) and two particularly dynamic markets (BRVM and UMOA-Titres), recorded the highest number of issuances during this period, with 111. This volume is more than double what was observed during the same period in 2023 and also marks a record since 2021. The return of Niger to the market, after the lifting of ECOWAS sanctions, contributed to this increase.

In the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), the acceleration in the growth of bond issuances by states is even more notable. Their number reached 94 as of May 8, more than four times what was recorded during this period in 2023. For reference, in 2021, in a similar context, only 6 securities issuances had been carried out by the countries in this sub-region.

The adoption of the money market has become commonplace in these two sub-regions, fueled by the growing financial requirements of the states and the limitations of their tax systems in adequately funding their budgets. Within the WAEMU, even states whose leaders have built their legitimacy on criticizing the CFA franc system are consistently turning to the local capital market.

While this evolution presents opportunities for banks, which are the main investors in these financial products, numerous rating agency analyses draw attention to what could become a challenge, given the evolution of the debt of the issuing countries and their historical capacity to accumulate arrears.

For now, this sustained demand by the states benefits the banking institutions, which see opportunities to increase revenues in markets where financial intermediation is relatively modest. Also, the central banks of the two zones, particularly the BCEAO (WAEMU), have often demonstrated their ability to adapt to various situations, thus ensuring the stability of the financial sector.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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