This section was prepared by Philippe Callier. It draws on information received in the context of the Article IV consultation discussions and on an unpublished World Bank report on the financial sector of the C.A.R. prepared in 2003. End-2003 estimates are based on provisional November and December data and are liable to revision.
The governor of the BEAC is, ex officio, president of the COBAC. The board of directors of the BEAC may modify the terms of the convention establishing the COBAC (a unanimous decision is required). The BEAC is mandated to ensure the functioning of the COBAC on the BEAC’s own budget.
The capital of BICA, which replaced the Banque Méridien BIAO (BMBCA) following the failure of the Meridien Group, is now held by the Belgolaise (35 percent), the BICA’s Chairman of the Board (28 percent), COFIPA, a group of African business people (15 percent), the government and public enterprises (10 percent), and private central Africans (12 percent). The Belgolaise sold its share but the transaction was rescinded by the COB AC which has the responsibility to clear such deals after assessing the suitability of prospective major shareholders (the Belgolaise ceased however to provide the managing director and cancelled its line of credit to BICA). The capital of the CBCA, which was created when the Union Bancaire en Afrique Centrale (UB AC) was sold to the Fotso Group of Cameroon, is held by the Fotso Group (51 percent), private central Africans (39 percent) an the government (10 percent). The capital of the third bank, the BPMC, created in 1991, belongs to the group of the Credit Populaire du Maroc, a major public sector institution in Morocco (62.5 percent), and the Central African state (37.5 percent).
Since February 2003, the required reserve ratios stand at 7.75 percent of demand deposits and 5.75 percent of term deposits for countries classified as countries with satisfactory liquidity (Cameroon, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea). For the countries with a fragile liquidity position (C.A.R., Chad, and Gabon), the corresponding ratios are 5 percent and 3 percent.
In response to this excess liquidity in the region as a whole, BEAC increased the required reserve ratios in February 2003, accepted deposits from banks under the reverse auction scheme, and, in December 2003, reduced its interest rate on auctions from 6.3 percent to 6.0 percent.
A credit for which a payment is overdue by more than three months (or six months for real estate credits) is defined as doubtful. Provisioning of doubtful claims guaranteed by the state is optional.
The remaining balance on this loan is CFAF 600 million, without the interests and charges. The nominal capital of the bank is CFAF 1.5 billion.
The liquidity ratio is a weighted average of short-term assets in percentage of a weighted average of short-term liabilities. The required minimum liquidity ratio is 100 percent.
For the 19 savings and credit caisses created in the context of UNDP’s project in Support of the Fight against Poverty, doubtful credits amount to 79 percent of the total outstanding credits (of CFAF 19 million). Since the end of the donor support, a part of the savings of the membership is at risk, given the fact that the operating costs absorb part of the resources of the caisses.
2003 subsidies include support from the French Development Agency and from the Centre International du Crédit Mutuel.
Institutions with less than CFAF 50 million ($94,000) will not be subjected to on-site inspection.
No additional information is available on the general agents.
UCAR offers, however, a life insurance product that is a complementary pension scheme.
There have been no official financial statements since 1997. In 1997, globally, the OCSS was registering a deficit. The family allowances and workmen’s compensation branches generated surpluses while the pension branch recorded a deficit. No actuarial study of the pension scheme has been done over the past 15 years.