Macroeconomic performance and outlook
Real GDP growth, averaging 5.6% over 2016–18, was estimated at 6.4% in 2019 due to strong performance by the primary and tertiary sectors. This growth is due to investments in infrastructure, extractives, and services, as well as to structural reforms, especially actions aimed at developing the private sector and strengthening the resilience of agriculture. Inflationary pressures remained contained, with an estimated rate of 1.5% for 2019.
The budget deficit, estimated at 3.2% of GDP in 2019, was a bit higher than the WAEMU target of 3%. The cur- rent account deficit, estimated at 14.6% of GDP in 2019, was due to investment-linked imports, persistently low world prices of raw materials (particularly uranium), and the narrow export base. Donors and foreign direct investment have financed most of this deficit. In June 2019, the risk of debt distress was assessed as moderate, with a public debt-to-GDP ratio estimated at 54% of GDP.
Despite progress in education and health, and a reduction in poverty (from 48% in 2011 to 40% in 2016), key human development indicators remain low. The unemployment rate, more pronounced among young people, rose from 13% in 2011 to 17% in 2017.
Tailwinds and headwinds
Growth is projected at 6% in 2020 and 5.5% in 2021. The strengthening of democratic institutions and the government’s strong commitment to attaining its development goals will help the country stay on a high growth track over the next few years. This favorable outlook is tied largely to support from donors and to accelerated foreign direct investment, particularly in such strategic sectors as oil.
Several measures—increasing connectivity, establishing program budgeting, and adopting performance plans for managing taxes and customs—have boosted tax revenues and led to more efficient and effective public spending.
Progress in major infrastructure projects, such as the Kandadji Dam and beginning construction of the pipeline for exporting oil, should support investment and the eventual expansion of oil production and exports.
Growth remains exposed to several risks. The persistence of regional insecurity puts substan- tial pressure on public finances, resulting in reduced allocations to priority sectors such as education and health. The agricultural sector, which represents more than 40% of GDP and almost 80% of the labor force, remains vulnerable to climate change. High dependence on external finance and low capacity in implementing large projects could lead to macroeconomic slippage. Export revenues are highly vulnerable to vol- atility in the prices of raw materials. And recent measures by Nigeria—abolishing re-exports from Niger and Benin and depreciating the naira—could become more significant.
Health sector preparedness
With estimated coverage of 50%, Niger’s health care system lacks the capabilities to handle major health crises. With a score of 32.2 of 100, the 2019 Global Health Secu- rity Index ranked Niger 132 among 195 countries. Despite government efforts in recent years, the percentage of the annual budget allocated to health care remains far below the 15% target set by the Abuja Declaration in 2001.
The government moved rapidly to conduct preliminary assessments of the health, economic, and social impacts and adopted a COVID–19 response plan. The plan aims to maintain and strengthen the country’s capacities to improve prevention, preparedness, and testing and to reduce the public health, social, and economic threats of COVID–19. The government took the following health mea- sures in February 2020 with technical support from the WHO: reactivating the coordination committee, increasing epidemiological monitoring, enhancing infection control, increasing the capacities of health services, and improving communication about risks and community awareness.
Measures to support economic activity and the private sector include removing taxes and duties on products needed for pandemic response and on intercity ground transportation, establishing removal credit facilities for imports, and reducing the VAT in the hospitality sector to 10% as recommended by ECOWAS. For social assistance, the support plan for vulnerable populations was revised to take into account a greater number of vulnerable individu- als, including those in urban areas, and to extend the dura- tion of the social support they receive.
Niger is a member of the eight-country regional group The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Generally, most programs are focused on short-term tenor and characterized by securities with repayments by amortization and deferred coupon.
The fiscal and current account deficits have contributed to increase Niger's debt ratio.For 2018, the ratio of domestic debt to GDP is estimated at 21.35% while the ratio of external debt is estimated at 60.19%.
The draft budget for the year 2020 relating to interventions on the regional financial market provides for a mobilization of XOF 175 billion in Treasury bonds.[source:finances.gouv.ne/]
As part of its market development activities, the UMOA Titres Agency has carried out a project to set up issuers' yield curves of the Public Securities Market of the UEMOA zone (MTP) with objective:
- to improve transparency on the MTP
- to contribute to better price formation during the auctions
- to make investors aware of the relationship between primary and secondary markets
- to provide local / international investors with a reference of price for securities issued by the States
The conditions for yield curves constructions have not yet all been observed on the (MTP). It was thus retained:
- in the short term, to develop a first version of yield curves taking into account the specificities of the MTP, while being sufficient evolutionary to support its development;
- in the medium / long term, define the necessary ways and means to Continuous improvement yield curves models following the evolution of the MTP.
Niger government securities yield curve extends to 6 years.
Yield curve calculation models
The yield curve is constructed on the basis of primary market returns. The model used is the Nelson-Siegel Svensson .
Yield curve managed by
Agence UMOA-Titres is responsible for the yield curve.
Agence UMOA-Titres website
Challenges in building an efficient yield curve
Fragmentation of the market
Narrow investor base: comprising homogeneous investors such as banks.
Low liquid secondary market
Guide to Buying Bonds
Procedures for market participation
The primary subscription of Treasury bonds and bonds is reserved for credit institutions, management and intermediation companies (SGI) as well as regional financial institutions with a settlement account in the books of the Central Bank.
Other investors, natural or legal persons, irrespective of the State in which they are established, may also subscribe to Treasury bonds and bonds on the primary and secondary market through credit institutions and SGI. located in the territory of the Union.
Emissions on the primary market of the MTP (Marché des Titres Publics) are made by auction.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.
Bond issues can be done by syndication managed by CREPMF.[http://www.crepmf.org/Wwwcrepmf/Reglementation/pdf/Instructions/INSTRUCTION_N36_2009.pdf]
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.
On the primary market by auction, the settlement date is T+1 of the issue date.On the secondary market, the payment of purchases of Treasury bonds and bonds by the primary subscribers is made by debiting their settlement account with the Central Bank on the value date of the issue of these securities. settlement date is the first business day following the conclusion of the transaction for domestic transactions and the third business day following the conclusion of the transaction for transactions between two (2) Member States. The Contracting Parties are free to agree on a term greater than these minima for the settlement of transactions, IF the instructions given by both parties are identical, the transaction is directly offset on the agreed value date. In the event of a discrepancy, the Central Bank suspends the transaction and notifies both parties of this decision for correction.
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 Agency||Current rating||Outlook|
|Fitch||No rating||No outlook|
|Standard and Poor’s||No rating||No outlook|
The securities market has a system of Specialists in Treasuries. The credit institutions and the SGIs may be approved as SVT under the conditions specified by an Instruction of the Central Bank. As such, they must respect certain commitments that confer special advantages. These commitments and benefits are specified by an instruction from the Central Bank.
List of Primary Dealers
|UNION TOGOLAISE DE BANQUE||BOULEVARD DU 13 JANVIER NYEKONAKPOE||+22822234300|
|SONIBANK||AVENUE DE LA MAIRIE||+22720734740|
|ECOBANK NIGER||BOULEVARD MALI BERO, GARE ROUTIERE||+22720737181|
|CORIS BANK INTERNATIONAL||1242 AVENUE DU DR KWAME N’KRUMAH||+22625312323|
|BANQUE REGIONALE DE MARCHES||Boulevard de la liberté x Rue du Benin||+22720340200|
|BANK OF AFRICA NIGER||IMMEUBLE BANK OF AFRICA DU NIGER RUE DU GAWEYE||+22720733620|
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.
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.