The emergence of Covid-19 and its effects on the economy made the Central Bank of the CEMAC States rethink, as it was preparing to stop injecting funds into commercial banks every week.
The total gross investments made by all companies founded in Cameroon increased by 31.6% in 2021 compared to the previous year. If this growth in gross investment was observed in all branches of activity during the period analyzed, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the secondary sector (industry) registered the greatest increase (+36.9%).
“The increase in investment spending in the secondary sector is a consequence of the strong increase in buoyant branches that are “extraction of hydrocarbon products and other energy products” (+60.9%); “beverage industry” (+86.0%); “production and distribution of electricity, gas and air conditioning” (+65.4%); and the branch “manufacturing of basic metallurgical products and boilermaking” (+158.6%)”, specifies the INS report.
The authority in charge of collecting official statistics in Cameroon attributes this increase in investment by companies to the start of operations after the devastation of Covid-19 in 2020. Beac, the central bank of the six CEMAC countries, established a policy monetary incentive that catalyzed economic recovery (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea). The INS adds that “in a situation of resilience, companies have been able to benefit from a monetary policy focused on recovering growth.”
While the Beac was preparing to stop its weekly liquidity injection operations to commercial banks and replace them with withdrawals from the safe deposit boxes of credit institutions, it was forced to resume them in March 2020, the day after the first cases of coronavirus. in the CEMAC countries.
This rollback, which met the demands of bankers (Apeccam) and economic operators (Gicam), was aimed at giving banks large resources to grant more loans to companies and other borrowers at interest rates. In a situation where a health crisis has finally become an economic crisis.
Banks received 1.213 billion FCFA in March 2021.
Data from the Beac show that throughout 2020 this oxygenation mechanism for banks - which aims to motivate them to grant loans to enable operation and investment in companies - will be quite gloomy. Only a weekly mobilization of 30 to 80 billion FCFA is required, with 250 billion FCFA being offered for each operation. But starting in 2021, the amount of financing banks can obtain from Beac will skyrocket.
For example, in March 2021, Beac's weekly liquidity injection operations in the banking system allowed it to make a record allocation of FCFA 1,213 million available to CEMAC credit institutions. "During the central bank's weekly liquidity injection operations over a period of one month, the subregion's credit institutions had never raised so many resources," noted the Autonomous Amortization Fund (CAA) in its report on the public debt of Cameroon at the end of March 2021.
According to bankers, this dynamism around bank refinancing with the BEAC is only observed when their needs (cash required to meet credit requests from companies and individuals) exceed their usual consumption (volume of credits generally granted for a given period). .
Clearly, Invest in Cameroon decodes, after the pause observed around the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, companies in Cameroon, a country that hosts almost half of the CEMAC banking network and around 40% of its industrial fabric, have rushed to go to the banks to obtain the financing required for the resumption of their activities, with subsequent investments.