A new era is opening up for the Central African financial market, following the merger on July 1, 2019 of the Douala and Libreville exchanges into a single stock exchange. They have just recorded the very first IPO of a company in the financial sector called ”La Régionale”.
“We believe that people will now be able to come to the stock exchange to buy La Régionale’s shares and if they need money, they can also come and invest their shares and this is our job and responsibility, ’said Charles Rollin Ombang Ekath, Director and General Manager at La Régionale.
This is also the first time that shares of a private company have been listed on the stock exchange. It’s an operation that breaks with the gloom observed for two years on this stock exchange, as reported by AfricaNews.
Louis Paul Motaze is the Cameroonian Minister for Finance. ‘’SMEs have a lot of difficulty getting financing from traditional banks because traditional banks provide what is called short term financing, whereas with the stock market, they can obtain long term financing. So, SMEs could benefit a lot from their participation in the stock exchange,’’ Motaze said.
The Central African Stock Exchange is one of the least active in Africa. And financial experts believe that the main challenge is the lack of communication.
‘’The general public must be increasingly taught and educated about the stock market. It will also be necessary to explain to business promoters and company managers, both small and large, the opportunities that the stock market brings them,’’ said Heubo Delort, Deputy Managing Director of Financia Capital.
AfricaNews correspondent Lambert Ngouanfo reports from Douala, the coastal city of Cameroon’s southwest that: ‘’There is a slight shift in the dynamism of the Central African financial market. The stock market culture is absent. However, for finance professionals, 80% of companies in the CEMAC zone are SMEs, which are in need of capital and should turn to the Central African stock market to raise funds in order to develop.’’