Niger

Country Summary

Macroeconomic performance

Real GDP growth was an estimated 5.2% in 2018, up from 4.9% in 2017, reflecting stronger performance of the agricultural sector. On the demand side, final consumption grew by 4.5% in 2018, and investment, by 11.7% (compared with 2.4% in 2017). The GDP structure remains relatively stable, with agriculture ominating (43.4% of GDP in 2018), followed by services (35%), and industry (14.9%). Despite public finance consolidation, the fiscal deficit stood at an estimated 5.9% of GDP in 2018. Consumer price index inflation was an estimated 4.2% in 2018, reflecting an expansion in credit and money supply in the context of a contraction in net foreign assets.

The economic outlook is favorable, with real GDP growth projected at 5.3% in 2019 and 5.7% in 2020. Economic activity should continue to benefit from strong performance in the agricultural sector, underpinned by the expansion of irrigated land and the development of mini-dams. The 2017–2020 Economic and Social Development Plan provides for numerous infrastructure projects, notably the Cotonou–Niamey–Ouagadougou– Abidjan rail loop, a pipeline for exporting crude oil, the Salkadamna power project, and the Kandadji combined hydro and irrigation dam.

Recovery in Nigeria should also be profitable for Niger. The effectiveness of these prospects is also subject to risks related to climate shocks, a decline in the export price of crude oil, possible delays in the pipeline construction project, and the terrorist threat in the Sahel.

Tailwinds and headwinds

Agriculture remains a priority in the country’s strategy to strengthen and accelerate economic growth. The implementation of the five-year action plan under the 3N initiative “Nigerians feeding Nigerians” is ongoing, with encouraging results in terms of improved water resources management and increased productivity and value added for agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries production. The country has also undertaken numerous reforms aimed at improving the business environment and gained 26 places in four years on the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking. Despite the encouraging economic performance, poverty remains high (42.2% of the population in 2017), and access to basic services (health and education) is a major challenge.

As a large landlocked country, Niger is committed to regional integration, especially in the context of the Economic Community of West African States and the West African Economic and Monetary Union. Until early 2011, Niger exported exclusively agricultural and livestock products to these two economic areas. With the export of oil since 2012, the country has diversified its exports and improved its trade balance. Niger has implemented most regional regulations related to trade, including the Common External Tariff and its accompanying measures, and made progress in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. Niger has also signed the Continental Free Trade Agreement and is a member of the G5 Sahel subregional organization set up in 2014. Niger leads the group on climate change issues and chairs the Sahel Climate Commission.

Source: African Economic Outlook 2019

Fixed Income

Issuance strategy 

The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) comprises eight countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.. Bond issuance strategies vary from one state to another but most use the MTDS tool to develop their issuance strategy. Generally, most programs are focused on short-term tenor and characterized by securities with repayments by amortization and deferred coupon. Recently, with the advent of the AUT, the zone has progressed towards lengthening and standardizing securities. 

Benchmark issues 

For the moment, there is no benchmark maturity in the WAEMU. The region is in the assessment phase of developing a yield curve. WAEMU countries understand that issuance policies need to evolve towards considering the need for a yield curve. 

Yield curve 

Yield curve calculation models 

There is no benchmark yields curve in the WAEMU Zone. 

Interpolation methods 

As there is no yield curve in the WAEMU, no method for interpolation is in use. 

Yield curve managed by

Agence UMOA-Titres is responsible for the yield curve. 

Display platform 

There is no yield curve in the WAEMU. 

Challenges in building an efficient yield curve 

  • Market fragmentation: fragmented securities market and non-standardized securities. 
  • Price discovery issue
  • Narrow investor base: comprising homogeneous investors such as banks. 
  • Limited and illiquid secondary market: nonexistent secondary market where the securities are acquired for "buy and hold”. 
  • Coexistence of two agencies for issuing bonds and bills: The “Conseil Régional de l’Epargne Publique et des Marchés Financiers” (CREMPF) is in charge of monitoring the syndication. The Agence UMOA-Titres is responsible for auctions.

Guide to Buying Bonds

Procedures for market participation

The frequency of auctions is determined by the states, together with the Central Bank. Each state cannot hold T-Bills and Government bonds auction more than once a week. For Treasury Bills, a calendar program specifying the instruments and their amounts and maturities, is published quarterly by the Minister of Finance in consultation with the Central Bank, and in consideration mainly the foreseeable revenue and government spending. Whereas Treasury bonds, an indicative issuance calendar specifying the instruments and their amounts and maturities, is set annually by the Minister of Finance in consultation with the Central Bank.

Each issuance should be advertised at least 7 days before the auction by describing the issuance characteristics. Bidders submit to the Central Bank, sealed in a ballot box reserved for this purpose, a submission form specifying the amounts and the interest rates or the price offered. Submissions may also be made electronically in the conditions defined by the Central Bank.

Later than one hour after the deadline for bids submission, the National Directions of the BCEAO transmit electronically, by fax or any other means of rapid communication accepted by the Central Bank, the main submissions to the principal agency of the BCEAO, which is organizing the auction.

Treasury bills are eligible for refinancing by the Central Bank. Investors and the Central Bank may buy or sell Treasury bonds on the secondary market, awarded by private treaty. In this context, they are required to post the purchase price and sale, which they are willing to transact.

Treasury bonds can be traded on the secondary market. As such, they can be exchanged at the Regional Stock Exchange (BRVM) or outside the BRVM.

Settlement cycle

The settlement date is T+1 for domestic operations and T+3 for operations between Members of the Union. This period can be modified by BCEAO. However, the contracting parties are free to agree on a minimum term above to unwind their operations. If the instructions given by the two parties are identical, the operation is definitely offset the value date agreed. In case of discrepancy between the evidences, the Central Bank suspends the transaction and notifies this decision to both parties for correction. Central Bank ensures the existence of adequate provisions before executing the compensation requested. Transmission to the Central Bank of notifications occurs in the selection of speakers, fax, telex, ordinary mail or any other means of rapid communication accepted by the BCEAO.

Taxation

Treasury bills and Treasury bonds incomes are tax-free throughout the territory of the Member States of the WAEMU. But for non-members, the tax rates are different from one country to another. In Niger, the tax rate one securities income is equal to 6%.

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

There is no appropriate Primary Dealers System in the WAEMU zone.

Subscription of Treasury bills is reserved to banks, financial institutions as well as regional financial institutions with an ordinary current account in the books of the Central Bank. Other investors, physical or legal persons, whatever their country of origin can also purchase Treasury bills in the primary market through banks located in the territory of the Union.

The primary subscription of Treasury bonds is restricted to banks, financial institutions, regional organizations and financial management company and intermediation (IMS). Other investors, physical or legal persons, whatever their country of origin may also purchase Treasury bonds on the primary market through banks and brokerage firms (SGI) located on the territory of the Union.

Market restrictions

Openness to international investors

The members of the zone are actively encouraging foreign investment. Foreign companies are free to invest and list on the regional stock exchange (BRVM), which is based in Abidjan and is dominated by Ivorian and Senegalese firms. 

Capital controls

There are no significant limits on foreign investment nor are there generally differences in treatment of foreign and national investors, either in terms of the level of foreign ownership or sector of investment.

Restriction on FX and profit repatriation

WAEMU has unified foreign exchange regulations. Under these regulations, there are no restrictions for transfers within the community, and designated commercial banks are able to approve routine foreign exchange transactions inside the community. The transfer abroad of the proceeds of liquidation of foreign direct investments no longer requires prior governments approval.

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