Algeria

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Debt vs GDP / Bonds vs bills

All Data - Algeria

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
GDP (billions US$) 199.29 207.68 208.68 224.12 - -
Total Outstanding Amount (Billion US$) 8.92 8.50 8.73 - - -
Bonds 6.42 6.66 7.14 - - -
Bills 2.50 1.84 1.59 - - -
Outstanding Amount/GDP (%) 4.48% 4.09% 4.19% 0.00% - -

News

Country Summary

Benefiting from political stability, Algeria’s economy continued to perform solidly in 2013, growing by 3% (3.3% in 2012). Growth was driven by private demand and investment by public enterprises, which offset a downturn in public expenditure and exports, especially oil and gas. After stabilising at 10.0% between 2010 and 2012, unemployment fell slightly in 2013, standing at 9.8% in September.

Inflation returned to its pre-2012 level, falling from 8.9% to 3.3% thanks to a prudent monetary policy, fiscal consolidation and government measures to control and improve distribution channels for consumer goods.

Algeria’s external position remains solid, but showed the first signs of a slowdown. The current-account surplus contracted to 1.2% of GDP (compared to 5.9% of GDP in 2012) as exports fell and imports rose. Foreign exchange reserves, however, remain solid, amounting to USD 196 billion (more than three years of imports) at the end of the year, while external debt remained low at USD 3.2 billion, or 1.5% of GDP.

China has become Algeria’s largest supplier, providing 12.0% of Algerian imports, compared to France’s 11.4%. Algeria’s other main suppliers are Italy, Spain and Germany. Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and France are Algeria’s main export markets, with the United States – the main export market in 2012 – falling to sixth place.

In 2014 oil and gas are set to recover and public expenditure is forecast to rise by 11.3%, mainly for investment to support domestic demand. As a result, forecasts predict growth of 4.3% and inflation of 4.2%.

Analysis of global value chains (GVCs) shows that the reforms to and dismantling of the public industrial sector have several consequences: assets were privatised, imports were replaced by domestic production, productivity was low, and the informal sector grew. The government sought to break this dynamic by adopting a policy for the recovery and industrial integration of sectors of the economy to increase and diversify domestic production and create jobs.

The Algerian banking sector is dominated by six large state-owned banks that channel the bulk of savings and grant the majority of credit lines, including those to public companies whose business contributes towards 50% of the national GDP. These banks hold 90% of all deposits. 14 foreign banks are also present in county. The banking sector is closely linked to the national economy and its vulnerability to external shocks is low, as demonstrated through its resilience to the 2008 financial crisis. The banking sector currently reflects structural excess liquidity due to a high savings rate and a relatively conservative credit policy.

The Algiers Stock Exchange was created in 1988 to further develop and deepen the capital market. At end of 2014, 4 companies were traded on the Algiers Stock with a market capitalization of 14.7 billion Dinars.

Given its large foreign reserves and a budget surplus, Algeria has not yet experienced pressure to develop its domestic bond market. However, bonds dominate the Algerian Stock Exchange. There are currently 25 long-term Treasury bonds and six corporate bonds issued by State Owned Enterprises and Private Companies to finance investments in public contracts that are listed on the exchange. The long-term treasury bonds were listed on the stock exchange in 2008, but trading has sharply declined due to an increase in trading fees. Short-term treasury bonds are traded over the counter (OTC) through bond dealers.

The Ministry of Finance has played a pivotal role in developing the country’s capital market. In June 2008, the Ministry of Finance introduced capital market reforms aimed at financing the economy and boosting the equity market. Following this decision, a working group comprising the Treasury Directorate, the COSOB, a commission in charge of organizing and supervising the operations in the exchange, was formed; the Algiers Stock Exchange and the Central Securities Depository were then set up.

The 2006 Law on venture capital facilitated the development of a fixed-income market.

Source: African Economic Outlook

Monetary policy & Public debt

The Public Debt Management section of the Ministry of Finance is responsible for:

  • The public debt strategy and its implementation;
  • The government’s borrowing programme in the financial markets, in line with its budget needs;
  • The development of an action plan and resources to collect financial information;
  • Setting the terms of the treasury securities to be issued (amount, maturity, yield…).

Setting the up the policy of the Treasury’s intervention in the capital markets. Operations in the money market are regulated by the Central Bank of Algeria which uses repos and reverse repos with terms ranging from overnight to several days, depending on the needs of Commercial Banks. The Central Bank also auctions term loans not exceeding 3 months.

Parallel to the interbank market and as part of the larger money market, marketable debt securities market will be created. Its deadline is yet to be defined as this project is engrained in the development of the money market.

The Bank of Algeria buys and sells government securities with maturities up to 6 months, private securities eligible for rediscounting and advances for its refinancing operations. The Bank of Algeria trades in the secondary market.

In Algeria, the domestic debt to GDP ratio was 1,67% at end of 2012 and the external debt to GDP ratio was 0,97%.

Market Structure

Instruments issued and Market participants

Instruments issued

To cover the financing needs of the government, the Ministry of Finance issues three types of Treasury securities: 

  • Treasury Bills (T-Bills): Maturities available are 3 months and 6 months.
  • Treasury notes: Maturities available are from 1 year to 5 years.
  • Treasury Bonds (T-Bonds): Maturities available are from 7 years to 10 years.

 Market participants

The ministry of Finance issues government securities. The Central Bank of Algeria 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, funds and insurance companies form the core of the investors. Foreign participation is minimal in this market.  

Primary and Secondary Markets

Primary Market

The primary market for treasury securities was created in May 1995. Primary Dealers (PDs) participate in the primary market through the Dutch auction, where prices are expressed in real terms. In 2012, two T-Bonds of 10-year and 15-year maturities were issued by the Algerian state. The total amount outstanding of T-bonds in 2012 reached 297,2 billion Dinars at end of 2012. It represents an increase of 8,7% compared to 2011.

Secondary Market

In line with the reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Finance, bonds were first introduced on the Algiers Stock Exchange on February 11th, 2008; these bonds may be reopened if the funds raised are insufficient. 
The secondary market for treasury securities is inactive. In 2012, only one deal was recorded at the stock exchange.

Clearing, Settlement and Custody

The Algiers Stock Exchange is a spot market, the buyer has the obligation to make the funds readily available to the seller who, himself, has the obligation to provide the securities.
The clearing agent must ensure that the investor placing the order has the securities and the funds necessary to trade.
Delivery of securities and settlement of the securities are made simultaneously, in accordance with settlement cycle set by the COSOB. 
If an investor cannot provide the securities within the timeframe set by the COSOB the investor is deemed to have defaulted. Details of the sanctioning measures have not been published.

Protection of investors

The organizing committee and monitoring of trading operations (COSOB) is the capital markets regulator and its objective is to:

  • Ensure the protection of savings invested in securities; 
  • Ensure the proper functioning of the capital market; and 
  • Assist the government in regulating the capital market.

Guide to Buying Bonds

Procedures for market participation

The Primary Dealers (PDs) are required to submit their bids in sealed envelopes. The highest bids are served first until the offering amount is reached. Bidders can submit their subscription on their own behalf or for their clients’ accounts. Special accounts, opened by the bidders, are pre-requisites to trade in government securities. Treasury bills are traded on the secondary market by PDs who act as market makers. These PDs provide liquidity through continuous announcement of bid and ask prices on listed securities. In 2009 - the last year in which the COSOB posted a publication on its website- total traded instruments amounted to 180 billion Dinars. Bonds with maturities of 7, 10 and 15 years are the only government securities traded by PDs. These fixed income securities are traded five times a week. Today, 25 bonds are listed on the Stock Exchange of Alger:

  • Seven have a maturity of 7 years
  • Ten have a maturity of 10 years
  • Eight have a maturity of 15 years

Bonds are listed using an electronic trading platform that allows orders to be matched automatically. The fixing quote applies a fixed price on all the transactions of one particular instrument operating during a day. 

Settlement cycle

Settlement is set at T+1 for bonds. The settlement cycle has not changed since the establishment of a Central Depository (Algeria Clearing).

Taxation

There is a 10% withholding tax on interest on bonds. For treasury bills, a fixed rate of 10% is payable at maturity whereas for coupon-bearing instruments, tax is paid on the coupon date. Bonds with maturities greater than 5 years are exempt from tax.

Rating

Rating AgencyCurrent RatingOutlook
Moody'sNo ratingNo outlook
FitchNo ratingNo outlook
Standard & Poor'sNo ratingNo outlook

Primary Dealers

Only primary dealers are authorized to participate in the auctions in the primary market.  All primary dealers are approved by the Treasury.

There are eleven (11) primary dealers, among which six (6) are state-owned banks, six (6) are insurance companies and one (1) is a commercial bank.

Market restrictions

Openness to International Investors

The Algerian market is open to foreign investors. Furthermore, the Algerian authorities are trying to guaranty benefits for Algerian interests. Several restrictive foreign investment rules have been adopted.

Capital controls

There are restrictions on foreign investments in Algeria, set up by the 2009 Complementary Finance Law, which stipulates that Algerians should have a 51% stake in new foreign investments.  In 2010, the 2010 Complementary Finance law, allowed the government to veto the sale of Algerian companies to foreigners investors.

Restrictions on FX and profit repatriation

Foreign exchange is available for investors to repatriate their profits without prior authorization. There is restriction on the repatriation of dividends and profits.

Documents & Resources

Documents - Ministry of Finance