Mr. Yibin Mu, Mr. Peter Phelps, and Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky
African bond markets have been steadily growing in recent years, but nonetheless remain undeveloped. African countries would benefit from greater access to financing and deeper financial markets. This paper compiles a unique set of data on corporate bond markets in Africa. It then applies an econometric model to analyze the key determinants of African government securities market and corporate bond market capitalization. Government securities market capitalization is directly related to better institutions and interest rate volatility, and inversely related to the fiscal balance, higher interest rate spreads, exchange rate volatility, and current and capital account openness. Corporate bond market capitalization is directly linked to economic size, the level of development of the economy and financial markets, better institutions, and interest rate volatility, and inversely related to higher interest rate spreads and current account openness. Policy implications follow.
This study empirically analyzes the determinants of bond market development in a cross section of 23 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries between 1990 and 2008. It considers the stage of development and the size of the bond market, as well as the historical, structural, institutional and macroeconomic factors driving bond market development in SSA. The study finds that the savings constraint is a key impediment to domestic bond markets development as well as financial market deepening, as it results in a low level of financial intermediation by the banks. Overall, the results show that a confluence of factors matters for the development of domestic bond markets in SSA; these include structure of the economy, investment profile, law and order, size of the banking sector, the level of economic development, and various macroeconomic factors. Policy implications include increased efforts to strengthen the investment environment and the need for a regional approach to bond market development.