Togo

Country Summary

Macroeconomic performance

The negative impact of the 2017 political crisis and the severe fiscal adjustment necessitated by the reduction in the debt-to-GDP ratio (from 82% in 2016 to a target of 70% in 2019) held back real GDP growth to an estimated 4.7% in 2018. Primary sector growth was an estimated 5.1%, driven by agriculture (5.1%) and fisheries (6.2%). Secondary sector growth was more muted than in 2017, reflecting lower performance in manufacturing. The political situation is also holding back tertiary sector growth, which was an estimated 4.4% in 2018, down from 7.9% in 2017. On the demand side, economic growth was driven by gross fixed capital formation, contributing 3.8% to growth, and final consumption. Stronger domestic demand resulted in negative net exports. After peaking at 9.6% of GDP in 2016, the fiscal deficit settled at 2.1% in 2017 but climbed to an estimated 6.7% in 2018. Inflation was negative in 2017 and remained low at an estimated 0.4% in 2018.

Real GDP growth is projected to be 5.0% in 2019 and 5.3% in 2020, assuming that the political crisis is resolved and public and private investment recovers. Inflation is projected to remain under control at 1.2% in 2019 and 2.0% in 2020. Along with the anticipated recovery in business activity and capital investment, the fiscal deficit is projected to improve to 1.6% of GDP in 2019. The current account deficit is also projected to continue to improve, from an estimated 7.9% of GDP in 2018 to 6.8% in 2019, thanks to strong exports (phosphates, clinker, and cotton).

Tailwinds and headwinds

The government’s key interventions have focused on the agricultural and energy sectors and on public finance. In agriculture, major interventions include developing agro poles and establishing the Agricultural Incentive and Financing Mechanism. In energy, authorities finalized the strategy for universal access to energy by 2025. In public finance, authorities pursued revenue mobilization by strengthening the revenue authority, removing some fiscal exemptions, and streamlining public procurement. A new National Development Plan for 2018–22 was adopted in August 2018.

Togo actively participates in the ongoing regional integration and trade facilitation efforts within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. It has implemented the WAEMU and ECOWAS Common External Tariff since 1 January 2015. Within ECOWAS, Togo scores high on the regional integration index in environmental protection, regional infrastructure, free movement of people, and financial and macroeconomic integration. The port of Lomé is important infrastructure for regional trade, in particular for transit to neighboring landlocked countries but also some coastal countries: 40% of goods imported through the port are transit goods or destined to be re-exported to other countries in the region. Intra-WAEMU trade accounted for 52% of Togo’s exports in 2016.

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.

No later than one hour after the deadline of 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 Togo, 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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