Increasing Local Participation Within Senegal’s Financial Sector

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Senegal’s new oil and gas code specifies that the country’s natural resources are owned by Senegalese citizens. In the financial sector, this translates to increased participation from the public in the financial market. With mega projects in the pipeline, the need for a stronger local financial sector is a key pillar of economic development. Marie Odile SENE Kantoussan, Directrice Générale of CGF Bourse, spoke to Africa Oil & Power about how CGF Bourse is a partner of choice for financial consulting across sectors.

Senegal’s new oil and gas code specifies that the country’s natural resources are owned by the Senegalese citizens. In the financial sector, this translates to increased participation from the public in the financial market. With mega projects in the pipeline, the need for a stronger local financial sector is a key pillar of economic development.

To what extent do you wish to participate in the growth of the energy sector and what role can the regional stock market play in the sector?

When speaking of financial markets in the energy sector, we immediately think of initial public offerings. We really appreciated the fact that the President of the Republic reminded us that our resources belong to the country and therefore to the entire population. Thus, citizens would be able to benefit from raised capital thanks to their own savings.

The main objective is to allow the general public to invest their savings or resources and benefits from interest or dividend remuneration. These financial operations can be carried through public offerings as well as through private equity with a limited circle of investors.

The SENELEC public offering is an excellent example of a company in the energy sector entering the financial market. In 2018, it initiated a second public offering which was very successful as it mobilized $66 million, up from the $52 million target. We can also take the example of Total Senegal which is today the oil distributor in Senegal which boasts the largest number of shareholders.

Total Senegal with more than 6000 shareholders gives the image of a successful company that shares revenues with thousands of Africans. This approach reinforces the framework that is often mentioned, namely local content. The local content topic touches several aspects, but we insist on the financial aspects. Indeed, the population can largely benefit from investing its savings into raising capital. We also focus on companies that need financial consulting.

This is really an approach that we wish to pursue by meeting the different partners both at ministerial level and at the corporate level. We participate in brainstorming workshops which include authorities and companies. The coordination of this whole ecosystem should feed the financial market and accompany the need to strengthen the savings policy but also to create a virtuous circle that will allow to reach different savers and strengthen their heritage through the income of companies that are shared.

What are the different investor profiles in Senegal? What role does CGF Bourse play in fostering financial inclusion in Senegal?

From an institutional point of view, we can first cite the banks which are the first investors on the financial market essentially on the bond market. Then, pension funds, insurance companies, collective investment undertaking and individuals. We work with almost all social welfare and retirement institutions throughout the West African Economic and Monetary Union and we also have investors outside the continent who participate in fundraising locally.

The insurance companies, which come in third position, are savings collectors in the same way as the banks. We also have commercial and industrial companies that are interested today in cash optimization products in order to improve their financial income through their securities portfolio. Collective investment undertakings in transferable securities are developing more and are actively participating in the financial market through their investment vehicles, such as mutual funds. They channel the savings of individuals through investment in securities transactions via bond funds, whether diversified or composed solely of shares.

Furthermore, we are seeing an increasing number of individuals taking part in fundraising operations. Our financial market totals more than 22 years of existence and individuals increasingly represent a good part of
fundraising operations. In the context of financial inclusion, we are running our pages on social networks, conduct training activities, encourage the establishment of savings plans, clubs, dedicated funds. We place digitalization at the heart of this dynamic, which represents a central point in the recruitment of the greatest number.

CGF BOURSE is a Management and Intermediation Company approved by the  Regional Council for Public Savings and Financial Markets, for trades related to financial markets and corporate capital transactions.