The gross reserves of the CEMAC banking system (made up of free reserves and mandatory reserves) increased from 2,431.7 billion CFA francs (approximately 4.42 billion USD) at the end of June 2019 to 2,631.5 billion F CFA (around 4.7 billion USD) at the end of June 2020, according to data from the Bank of Central African States (BEAC). This represents an increase of 8.2% over one year, relatively less than that observed between June 2018 and June 2019 (34.1%).
According to the central bank, this development contributed to the increase in the share of reserves in the banks’ balance sheet (reserves / total balance sheet) of the CEMAC, which rose from 17.4% in June 2019 to 17.9% un year later, ie a gain of 0.5 points against 3.4 points in June 2019. By component, she continues in a report, the annual increase in gross reserves of the banking system results from the increase in free reserves, 1,766.8 billion CFA francs at the end of June 2019, to 1,916.3 billion a year later, or 8.5%, after the jump of 39.2% observed a year earlier.
For their part, minimum reserves increased by 7.6% to stand at 715.2 billion against 664.9 billion in June 2019. “Main component of free reserves, the balance of banks’ current accounts at the Central Bank returned, under the period under review, from 1,467.9 billion to 1,583.6 billion, up 7.9%, after 51.8% previously observed. In addition, bank balances increased by 11.3% to stand at 332.7 billion in June 2020 “, details the institution based in Yaoundé.
As a reminder, 55 commercial banks run the banking sector in the six countries of the sub-region. According to a recent monetary policy report published by the BEAC, activity was marked, in 2019, by evolutionary fluctuations with a total of balance sheets which, as of December 31, 2019, stood at 12,363 billion CFA francs , an increase of 5.3%, compared to 2018.