Equatorial Guinea

Overview

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Policy Watch

BEAC Monetary Policy

17/12/2013

The BEAC held its 4th ordinary meeting on Dec 18th, 2013 and decided to leave the key rate unchanged at 3.25%.

BEAC Monetary Policy

31/10/2013

The BEAC decided to keep its key rate unchanged at 3.25%.

Debt vs GDP / Bonds vs bills

All Data - Equatorial Guinea

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
GDP (billions US$) 18.79 17.85 19.26 20.20 - -
Total Outstanding Amount (Billion US$) 0.05 0.03 0.23 - - -
Bonds 0.05 0.03 0.08 - - -
Bills - - 0.16 - - -
Outstanding Amount/GDP (%) 0.29% 0.15% 1.20% 0.00% - -

News

Country Summary

Equatorial Guinea’s economy went into recession in 2013, posting negative growth estimated at-1.4% of GDP after +5.3% growth in 2012, and is expected to continue to deteriorate in 2014 (-1.8%) and 2015 (-8.5%). The recession is the result of a fall in oil revenue and lower gas and oil output, both of these highly dominant factors in the country’s economy.

Hydrocarbons excluded, growth of the economy was largely driven by public investment aimed at developing and improving basic infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports. Public capital expenditure has grown constantly in recent years, and this trend should continue into 2014 and 2015, despite the fall in oil revenue that began in 2012. The fiscal deficit, which grew from 5.4% of GDP in 2012 to 7.5% in 2013, is therefore projected to deteriorate further, reaching 11.4% of GDP in 2014 and 12.8% in 2015.

Production at the significant oil and gas deposits discovered in the 1990s has driven strong economic growth, allowing per capita income to surge to an estimated USD 29 940 in 2013. Although revenue from hydrocarbon production has enabled rapid development of basic infrastructure in recent years, growth has not yet been supported by a process to diversify the economy, and improvements in the population’s living conditions have been very slow. The country’s Human Development Index (HDI) stood at 0.554 in 2013, ranking it 136th out of 187 countries, while it is ranked 59th in terms of per capita GDP. The oil and gas sector currently amounts to nearly 90% of GDP and provides almost all of the country’s exports, while agriculture, the population’s main source of income, is limited to subsistence farming and covers only 30% of the country’s needs.

Aware of the need to make growth more inclusive and to broaden its bases, the authorities have developed a national economic and social development plan, the PNDES (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo Económico y Social), aimed at turning Equatorial Guinea into an emerging economy by 2020. The first phase of the plan (2008-12) focused on developing transport and electricity infrastructure and public buildings (hospitals and schools) at the cost of substantial capital expenditure financed by oil and gas revenue. The second phase, begun in 2013, plans to maintain high public investment in infrastructure while targeting the development of five priority sectors that offer the country untapped comparative advantages and could generate wealth and jobs: agriculture and livestock farming; fisheries; petrochemicals and mining; tourism; and financial services. The authorities wish to improve the business climate in these areas to attract foreign investment and move up the global value chains (GVCs).

Member of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), Equatorial Guinea is also member the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), which includes Angola, Burundi, DRC, Sao Tome and Principe and the CEMAC member states, to first objective of strengthening regional economic integration. 

There are 4 commercial banks in Equatorial Guinea, which represent 16% of the total bank assets in the CEMAC region with XAF 1261 billion.

The securities market in Equatorial Guinea is inexistent, companies of Equatorial Guinea are not quoted on the Douala Stock Exchange (DSX) or the Central Africa Stock Exchange (BVMAC). Also, Equatorial Guinea hasn’t issue government debt instruments.

Source: African Economic Outlook

Monetary policy & Public debt

With the National Directorate of the Central Bank, a National Monetary and Financial Committee is established in each Member State. Its role within the limits of the powers delegated and according to the instructions given by the Board of Directors and Monetary Policy Committee, is to examine the general financing needs of the economy of the Member State and to determine the means to satisfy them, as well as proposals for the coordination of policy on national economy with monetary policy.

In the CEMAC region, the debt to GDP ratio must stay under 70%. It’s the convergence criteria adopted between the CEMAC zone and the WAEMU zone.

In Equatorial Guinea, there is no domestic debt at end of 2012 and the external debt to GDP ratio was 7,05%.

Market Structure

Issuers and Instruments issued

Instruments issued

Treasury Bills (T-Bills): Maturities available are 13 weeks, 26 weeks and 52 weeks.

Treasury Bonds (T-Bonds): Maturities available are equal or greater than 2 years. 

The nominal value of T-Bills is set at XAF 1 million or a multiple of this amount. The nominal value of Treasury bonds XAF 10 000 or a multiple of this amount. The T-Bills and T-Bonds have the same characteristics for all CEMAC members.

Market participants

Each State issues government securities by tender. States that maintain arrears on securities issued cannot issue further until the debt related to past emissions is cleared.

The Central Bank of Central Africa States (BEAC) organizes the auctions.

Primary Dealers (PDs), who are selected among the credit institutions, are the only ones who can participate in the auctions.

Commercial banks are the most active investors in government debt instruments.

Primary & Secondary Market

Primary market

Equatorial Guinea has never issued any government debt instruments.

Secondary Market 

Compared to the embryonic stage of development of CEMAC securities market and the absence of issuances of Congolese’s debt, the secondary market is clearly inexistent. 

Clearing, Settlement and Custody

Cellule de Regulation et de Conservation des Titres (CRCT) serves as account manager, settlement agent and central depository.

The CRCT is a structure, which receives the securities issued by the Treasuries of Member States of CEMAC, and held by Primary Dealers (PDs) who are its members exclusive. Membership is of Primary Dealer to the CRCT is mandatory.

The CRCT assumes the role of accounting issue. It debits the securities account of the government at each issuance and credit the investor account. It ensures daily system integrity by comparing the debited accounts against PDs accounts.

On the secondary market, any legal entity, wishing to acquire securities issued under this structure must have a "securities account" opened with a credit institution established in the CEMAC, an authorized Primary Dealers affiliated with the CRCT.

Protection of investors

The Commission for the Supervision of Financial Markets in Central Africa (CONSUMAF) is the regulator and controller of Financial Markets in Central Africa. As such, it aims to ensure the protection of investor information, savings invested in securities and the proper functioning of the market.

FOGADAC, a Guarantee Fund deposits in Central Africa was set up on 21 February 2011. The FOGADAC is a system of bank deposit insurance. Its main role is to repay or return deposits and other assets placed with banks, when they are finally in a position to make such repayment. The maximum amount, which may be claimed for reimbursement, for an investor eligible asset placed in a bank, is 5 million FCFA.

Guide to Buying Bonds

Procedures for market participation

The auction takes place at the asking price. Orders are served retained interest rates or the price offered by the bidders within the maximum interest rate or maximum price decided by the government.

At the end of the auction, the general information, including the amount of bids expressed the amounts used and the rate and limit price selected are disseminated through the press.

The methods of creating, presenting and counting of the tenders shall be determined by agreements on the one hand, between BEAC and National Treasuries, and secondly, between the BEAC and the Primary Dealers (PD). Subscriptions to government securities are firm and irrevocable. They are paid in a single payment by debiting the account of the PDs at the BEAC and credited to a special Treasury account opened for this purpose.

Given that the debt market is under developed, the optimal schedule has been adopted as part of regular program.

The six National Treasures issue in turn at regular intervals. Each National Treasury will issue T-Bills weekly on Wednesday. The amounts are generally low to allow all states to issue at the same time, resulting in each State having fifty-two issues of T-Bills per year. Each National Treasury can issue T-Bonds monthly. The auctions are scheduled to take place every Wednesday. However, given the nature of the instrument and the expected volume of transactions in relation to the needs for public investment, treasuries are not able to issue on the set day. 

A shift schedule was developed for planned Wednesday auction sessions: 

  • Cameroon: 1st Wednesday of the month
  • Central Africa - Congo: 2nd Wednesday of the month
  • Gabon: 3rd Wednesday of the month
  • Equatorial Guinea-Chad: 4th Wednesday of the month

These emissions will occur at regular time intervals and are publicly known.

The total amount of the twelve issuances will be released in the Finance Act each year. For each fiscal year, this amount will be communicated to the market by the Minister of Finance no later than November 30th of the previous year. This communication from the Minister responsible for finance may take the form of a conference, briefing or a press release. The amount of the emission will not be announced at this time.

However, the amount to be raised for each auction is specified in the auction announcement in accordance with National Treasury issuance calendar.

On the secondary market, the T-Bills are traded OTC and the T-Bonds are traded on the DSX and the BVMAC.

Settlement cycle

The settlement of transactions takes place at T+3.

Taxation

The level of taxation pursuant to Regulation No. 14/07 - UEAC-175-CM-15 instituting a specific tax regime applicable to the transactions listed on the Securities of Central Africa (BVMAC) "are exempt from income Tax Securities (IRVM) or any other taxes or levies of a similar nature, interest obligations of States for residents of the CEMAC." Subscribers residing outside the CEMAC zone must comply with income tax laws of their country of residence. The Issuer shall levy any withholding tax on loan repayments.

Rating

Rating Agency Current rating Outlook

Moody’s No rating No outlook

Fitch No rating No outlook

Standard and Poor’s No rating No outlook

Primary Dealers

Auctions of Government securities are exclusively reserved for Primary Dealers. Each CEMAC state has its own network of Primary Dealers. However, a credit institution, which meets the eligibility requirements, may be a Primary dealer only for the country they belong to or upon request, all the states. The Ministers of Finance, select Primary Dealers from all the credit institutions in CEMAC that meet specifications adopted by the Committee of Ministers, after consulting the Monetary Policy Committee.

Market restrictions

Openness to international investors

Foreign investors can access the debt market under the same terms as nationals of the zone. There are no rules that discriminate foreign participants in the market.

Capital control

This is no restriction on foreign ownership in the CEMAC zone.

Restrictions on FX and profit repatriation

There are no restrictions on obtaining foreign exchange.

The regional central bank, the BEAC, issues CFA for circulation among the members of the CEMAC. Although the Central African franc is at par with the West African CFA franc, the two currencies are not usually accepted for payment in each other’s zones.

Foreign investors have the right to repatriate earnings and the profits from sales of financial instruments. There are no restrictions on converting or transferring funds associated with investments, including remittances of investment capital, earnings, loan repayments, and lease p

Documents & Resources

Documents - Other sources