Commercial Bank-Cameroon: the State will sell 98% of the shares through competitive bidding

Following various embezzlements, Commercial Bank Cameroon was put under provisional administration in 2009 by Cobac, the regulator of the banking sector in the Cemac zone. The Cameroonian state, after having recapitalized and relaunched the establishment, announces its disengagement process.

It is now confirmed, the State of Cameroon will sell most of the 98% of the shares of the Commercial Bank Cameroon (CBC) that it holds. In a press release signed on May 4, the general manager of the bank, Léandre Djummo, provides details on this operation.

From this document, we learn that “the highest authority of the State” has chosen to “entrust the Bank to a strategic partner who will be recruited after a procedure of expression of interest”, “to open part of the capital to national private investors by placing part of the shares on the regional market ”, and“ retaining a residual stake in the capital ”.

At this time, the timeline for implementing these guidelines remains unknown. “All due diligence as well as the implementation schedule will be the subject of appropriate communication in a timely manner and in the forms required,” said Léandre Djummo. And to add: “The implementation of these guidelines should be accomplished in strict compliance with OHADA legislation relating to commercial companies to which the CBC falls, and after the imperative authorizations of the Central African Banking Commission (Cobac ) in accordance with the specific banking regulations which govern the modification of the situation of credit institutions in Central Africa ”.

It is also unclear how much of the state’s share will cede to the strategic partner, to national private investors, or how much it will keep. But according to the EcoMatin newspaper, the state decided to keep 17% of the shares and cede 51% to the strategic partner and 30% to the nationals.

Founded in 1997, the CBC experienced difficulties related to non-compliance with prudential ratios and the squandering of the bank’s own funds (almost non-existent in 2009, after having exceeded 11 billion FCFA in May 2008, according to an audit by the bank. Cobac). Then run by businessman Yves Michel Fotso, the promoter’s son, this establishment was finally put under provisional administration in 2009 by Cobac, the regulator of the banking sector in the Cemac zone.

After six extensions that will have run over 7 years, the end of the provisional administration was pronounced in 2016, after a recapitalization of the bank which enabled the State, by injecting nearly 10 billion FCFA, to take control of 98% of the assets of this former private bank. After raising its equity to 23 billion FCFA in 2020, the state now wishes to withdraw from the CBC.