Economic performance and outlook: Economic growth was estimated at 4.5% in 2017, down from 5% in 2016, but is projected to return to 5% in 2018. If rainfall amounts remain favorable, growth could reach 5.3% in 2019. Agriculture remains the foundation of the economy, accounting for 1.7 percentage points of growth in 2017. In 2018/19, the tertiary sector is likely to benefit from the increased capacity of the port of Lomé due to the installation of modern transshipment equipment. However, the political protests that have slowed economic activity since August 2017 could lead to a downward revision of growth estimates for 2017 and projections for 2018 and 2019.
Macroeconomic evolution: In 2015/16, the government took on large debts to finance investment. Debt rose from 73.3% of GDP in 2015 to 79.2% in 2016, exceeding the 70% threshold set by the West African Economic and Monetary Union. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is monitoring the increase under its 2017–19 Extended Credit Facility (ECF), with a view to reducing it to 69.9% in 2019. The government’s policy to reduce public investment is expected to reduce the budget deficit from 9.8% of GDP in 2016 to 4.7% in 2019. The external current account deficit is projected to improve from 9.7% in 2016 to 6.8% in 2019 as a result of reduced government imports. Inflation approached zero (an estimated –0.3%) in 2017. Combined with a strong appreciation of the CFA franc, this could impede exports. The Central Bank is pursuing an accommodative monetary policy by setting the key interest rate below 3%.
Tailwinds: Togo is aiming to stabilize public finances under a program launched in January 2017 under the ECF. The first IMF review, conducted in October 2017, concluded that all quantitative performance criteria had been met and that structural reforms were being pursued. In 2017, the government began to reduce its capital expenditure to 14% in 2018 and to 4.3% in 2019. These reductions are expected to end pre-financing mechanisms for public investment through commercial banks, thereby reducing the dominance of the government in financing economic activity. Private investment will become the main source of wealth creation, with a projected annual growth rate above 10% between 2017 and 2019. The acceleration of property transfers will encourage private investment, whose share in total investment is expected to increase from 52% in 2015 to 60% in 2017, then to 62% in 2018 and 64% in 2019.
Headwinds: Although Togo has made progress on the path to development, most of its population has not yet benefitted. Half of the Togolese people have no access to drinking water or electricity, and 55.1% live in poverty; the country has only one doctor per 14,500 inhabitants. The training provided by public higher education institutions does not reflect the needs of the labor market or the development challenges that the country faces. Togo ranks 162 on the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2016 Human Development Index; according to UNDP, 51% of the population lives in multidimensional poverty. In a context marked by the resurgence of political demonstrations, the organization of legislative and local elections in 2018 and a possible referendum on the constitution could hamper economic activity.
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.
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 calculation models
There is no benchmark yields curve in the WAEMU Zone.
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.
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.
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.
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 Agency||Current rating||Outlook|
|Moody’s||No rating||No outlook|
|Fitch||No rating||No outlook|
|Standard and Poor’s||No rating||No outlook|
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.
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.