Central Africa gets unified regional financial market

BUSINESS 07 Aug 2019
Central Africa gets unified regional financial market

By NOELA EBOB BISONG
The regional regulator, CONSUMAF (Financial Market Supervisory Commission of Central Africa) based in Libreville, Gabon, is now the sole regulator of the unified financial market of CEMAC. This follows the recent end of operations by the Financial Markets Commission (CMF) of Cameroon, a public and independent regulator of the national financial market established by law n° 99/015 of 22 December 1999. Its operations are said to have officially ended on July 31, 2019, when it closed the doors of its headquarters in Douala, pending its final dissolution by legislative act.
The cessation of all the activities of the CMF was recently ratified at the end of the 100th and last session of its deliberative body, the college of the CMF, chaired by Jean Claude NGBWA, outgoing President of the CMF and new Director General of BVMAC (Bourse de Valeurs Mobilières en Afrique).
The decision of a unified financial market for the subregion was taken by the Heads of State of the CEMAC member countries on October 31, 2017 at the end of the ordinary session of CEMAC held in N’Djamena, Chad.
It should be recalled that many did not believe in it at first, accustomed to the recurrent procrastination of the sub-region with regard to any initiative or project of deepening regional integration.
However, since the publication of the additional act n° 06/17-CEMAC of February 19, 2018, which specified the modalities of application and execution of the decision of the Heads of State, CEMAC took the bull of the unification of the market by the horns through the Steering Committee of the Reform Programme of CEMAC. The latter has set up 3 working groups (the Regulators group, the Stock Exchange group, the Central Depository group) under the coordination of BEAC (Bank of Central African States). The two scholarships finally merged a few weeks ago and the new leaders were appointed and took office in the wake. The Chairmanship of the stock exchange went to Gabonese Henri Claude OYIMA, CEO of the BGFI Group, while the Cameroonian, Jean Claude NGBWA was taken to the General Management of the new unified stock exchange.
In the end, the process of unification of the Central African financial market decided by the Heads of State is completed to date with only one regional regulator, COSUMAF, whose head office is set in Libreville in Gabon and a single exchange unified regional office, BVMAC, whose headquarters is set in Douala in Cameroon as well as only one central custodian BEAC.
All the activities and market transactions that have already been transferred to CONSUMAF before the agreed deadline (June 2019), as well as the transfer to Libreville of the CMF’s retained staff in line with the compensation of the outgoing staff, the 100th and last session of the college was devoted to the devolution of CMF’s movable assets as well as its accounting and financial liabilities according to the prescriptions and guidelines of the regulations in force in this area.
Some of the CMF’s strides include the various and successive bonds of the State of Cameroon; the sale of state owned OTZ bonds held by SONARA (74 Billion); the constitution of the share capital of Metropolitan Company of Douala (5.4 billion); the issue of TOTAL group shares reserved for employees; the loan of Financia Capital (6 billion); the private loan of ORA GROUP (30 billion); the Alios Finance Cameroon bond loan ($ 8 billion) as well as the development of a whole regulatory system including the elaboration of all the implementing rules governing undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) etc.
The Commission has also qualified some thirty staff and managers of Investment Service Providers (ISPs) or brokerage firms to intervene on the financial market. In addition, through its mission of watch and protection of public savings, the CMF has repressively terminated certain illicit market transactions or public offerings of a dozen structures.

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