Cameroon : Kribi Appears as ”Gold Mine” for Investors

Banks and other businesses are increasingly directing their investments towards Kribi which today symbolises the industrial ambition of Cameroon. Bange…


Banks and other businesses are increasingly directing their investments towards Kribi which today symbolises the industrial ambition of Cameroon.

Bange Cameroun S.A announced that it will inaugurate in the coming days its first branch in  Kribi, after those of Yaounde and Douala. The public bank of Equatorial Guinea did not want to justify this choice which is purely “strategic” but which seems to be shared by almost all actors in the sector.

In April of this year, it was CCA-Bank that sacrificed the ritual becoming the 9th bank to start its activities in the seaside city. Other banks are planning to do the same and those already established do not exclude the possibility of increasing their market share.

As at 30 June 2022, the banking activity in the city of Kribi represents an outstanding deposit of 35.5 billion for 24,731 accounts opened according to data from the banking market. As for loans, they stood at 22.6 billion CFA francs. Banque Atlantique has an undivided domination of the deposit market in the city with 47% of shares but only 2% in loans; this segment is dominated by Afriland First Bank with 42%. The seaside city currently accounts for less than 1% of banking activity in Cameroon, far behind Douala which alone accounts for 58% of the credit market against 48% for deposits.

Civil engineering, agri-food, cement, telecommunications… industrial installations are multiplying in the seaside town. The latest news in this part of the country is the announcement of the start of iron ore exploration in Kribi by Sinosteel CAM SA. The Chinese company, which has just obtained government approval, plans to invest 425 billion CFA francs in this project that will generate 600 direct jobs and 100 indirect. This is a real niche of opportunity for the banking sector, which should be able to capture the financial flows that will develop from the mining industry in this area and its value chains.

Cemtech Industries Cameroon (cement factory), Société industrielle de construction d’appareils électroménagers et de climatiseurs, Bolloré Transport Logistique (Btl), Ocean Shipping and Logistics Company S.A., Kribi Island Service (Kil), Société d’exploitation des parcs à bois du Cameroun (Sepbc), IHS (telecommunications), Tractafric Equipement today; Atlantic Cocoa Corporation (ACC) are some of the major companies Ecomatin sited who are fully established in Kribi.

In all, the work carried out by the thirty or so companies that have already obtained temporary occupation permits  in the industrial zone of the Autonomous Port of Kribi, which is currently being developed, represents a cumulative investment of more than  100 billion FCFA.

The trade generated by the activity of these large industries, coupled with the increase in population, is expected to benefit from the growth in numbers and thus the expected increase in bankable population in this part of the country. A niche at any price for banks.

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