Treasury Bonds in Cameroun: Gov't Raises FCFA 8 Billion in Phase One

Finance Minister says the results augur well for the FCFA 15 billion target for phase two.The government of Cameroon has fetched FCFA 8 billion from the international financial market in treasury bonds in the first phase of bond issue launched on November 17, Finance Minister, Essimi Menye, has disclosed. Initially, FCFA 10 billion was targeted for the first phase. So many banks reportedly subscribed for the bonds but government scaled down the number based on the interest rates the subscribers proposed.

At the end, 12 banks from within and without the country were selected and a maximal interest rate of 2.8 per cent agreed upon for a time lapse of three months. The banks, among others, include Afriland First Bank, BICEC, SGBC Cameroun, Standard Chartered Bank, Ecobank Cameroun, SCB Cameroun, Union Bank of Africa, Cameroon, Ecobank RCA and Union Gabonaise de banque, Libreville.The Minister of Finance convened the national and international press in the conference hall of the ministry for a news conference last Friday November 25 to draw a balance sheet of the operation. The FCFA 8 billion harvest in one week, Mr Essimi Menye said, signalled a good start for the operation which generally targeted FCFA 50 billion. ??This is a good signal that our target of raising FCFA 15 billion in the second phase to rumble off on December 1, 2011 would be reached,?? Essimi Menye told the press. The maturity period for the second phase of the bond issue will be six months. Meanwhile, sources say the third and fourth phases will be launched on December 16 and 23 respectively. Hopes are that by December 31, government would have raised FCFA 50 billion to oil the State??s machinery for socio-economic development in 2012 given that the Head of State has on several occasions reiterated his resolve to transform Cameroon into a vast construction site by 2012.Mr Essimi Menye said contrary to allegations that the operation was to salvage the country from financial doldrums, putting treasury bonds on the market is a universal income-generating mechanism, which besides ensuring the liquidity of the State treasury also keeps the capital market on the move. The Minister said the money is already in the country??s operational account (compte unique de trésor) at the Central Bank. Government in 2005, he added, closed its hitherto accounts in commercial banks to open the unique account for the day-to-day running of the State. Plans are underway to make the operation routine in 2012.Answering questions on diverse and burning financial issues within and without the country, notably on the rumoured devaluation of the CFA Franc, Mr Essimi Menye refuted the allegations, stating that it is an operation that entails long negotiations adding that to the best of his knowledge, it has not been done.
 

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