CENTRAL BANK OF THE GAMBIA
cbglogo MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE

  1. The Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) of the Central Bank of The Gambia met on Thursday November 23, 2017 to assess developments in the domestic and the international economy and set the policy rate.

Global Economic Outlook

  1. Since the last MPC meeting, the outlook for the global economy continues to improve, underpinned by notable increase in investment, trade and industrial production in advanced economies supported by high business and consumer confidence. Moreover, benign global financial environment and recovery in advance economies are expected to support growth in emerging economies.  The slowdown in Sub-Saharan Africa appears to be easing, due mainly to recovery in oil production and easing of drought conditions in Eastern and southern Africa.
  2. In the light of these developments, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised upwards its forecast for the global economic growth for 2017 and 2018 to 3.6 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. Despite strong global demand, inflation is expected to remain subdued, projected at 3.2 percent for 2017.

Real Sector

  1. At the domestic front, economic growth is projected to increase from 2.2 percent in 2016 to 3.0 percent in 2017 predicated on improved agricultural production, trade and tourism as well as implementation of sound macroeconomic policies and improved business confidence. In the medium term, growth is projected to reach 5 percent against the backdrop of implementation of strong reform measures.

External Sector

  1. Preliminary Balance of payments estimates for the nine months in 2017 indicates an improved position compared to the same period last year. The current account deficit narrowed to US$46.2 million compared to US$59.9 million a year ago.Imports and exports (including re-exports) increased by 26.6 percent and 38.6 percent to US$105.5 million and US$281.8 million in 2017. The gross international reserves of the Bank remained at 4 months of imports of goods and services.

Exchange rate developments

  1. In the year to end September, 2017 volume of transactions in the domestic foreign exchange market totaled US$1.2 billion compared to US$1.4 billion the same period last year, reflecting the impact of the political impasse during the first quarter of 2017. On quarterly basis, volume of transactions increased from US$299.1 million in the second quarter to US$403.8 million during the third quarter of 2017.
  2. The dalasi remains stable in the domestic foreign exchange market. From September 2016 to September 2017, the Dalasi appreciated against the US dollar by 2.7 percent, Pound Sterling by 0.9 percent, and Euro by 4.7 percent.

Domestic Debt

  1. As at end-October 2017, domestic debt stock remained stable at D29.2 billion compared to the same period last year. Treasury bills and Sukuk Al salam combined, accounting for 58.3 percent of the domestic debt, declined to  D17.9 billion in October 2017 from D18.1 billion in the same period last year. Government’s position at the Central Bank was a net repayment of D3.6 billion in October 2017 from a new borrowing (net) of D2.3 billion at end-December 2016. Yields on all short-term Government securities declined markedly in 2017, reflecting reduced borrowing by government in the domestic market.

Financial Sector

  1. The banking sector remains well capitalized, highly liquid and also profitable. The risk weighted capital adequacy ratio stood at 38.7 percent, significantly higher than the statutory requirement of 10 percent. Liquidity ratio of the banking industry stood at 99 percent in September 2017 from 98.2 percent a year ago and also significantly higher than the requirement of 30 percent. Return on assets and return on equity stood at 2.03 percent and 13.24 percent respectively.

Monetary developments

  1. Money supply grew by 22 percent in September 2017, driven largely by the increase in net foreign assets of the banking system from D0.96 billion in September 2016 to D7.1 billion in September 2017.Net domestic assets of the banking system, on the other hand, contracted by 6.7 percent to D19.2 billion. Reserve money, the bank’s operating target grew by 20.2 percent in November 2017 from 21.8 percent the same period last year.
  1. Readings of the forward looking business sentiment survey indicate that inflation expectations remained subdued and prospects for the remainder of the year continues to be broadly favorable.In particular, tourism and construction sectors are very optimistic about business activities for the remainder of the year.

Inflation

  1. Consumer price inflation as measured by the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) is trending downwards. Headline inflation decelerated to 7.4 percent in October 2017 from a high of 8.8 percent in January 2017 due largely to the decline in food inflation from 10.1 percent to 7.9 percent. Non-food inflation also decreased from 6.8 percent to 6.7 percent during the review period.

 

Inflation Outlook

  1. The Committee observed that the near-term outlook for inflation remains favorable against the backdrop of lower global commodity prices, stable exchange rate in the domestic foreign exchange market, increased inflows from tourism and remittances, and implementation of sound macroeconomic policies. The committee observed, however that the risks to the macroeconomic outlook relates to the high public debt (120 percent of GDP) inherited from the past regime.

Decision

  1. Taken the above factors into consideration, the Committee decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 15 percent. The committee will continue to monitor developments in the domestic economy and stands ready to act if the economic conditions change.

Date for the next MPC
February 28, 2018

 

 

‘ENHANCING FINANCIAL LITERACY AND CAPACITY BUILDING ON ISLAMIC FINANCIAL INSTRUEMENTS (IFIs) – PROJECT NUMBER: 2014 – GAMFINAN -061
 PRESS RELEASE – CBG WEBSITE

The Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA) secured funding from the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMEC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to implement a project titled “Enhancing Financial Literacy and Capacity Building on Islamic Financial Instruments (2014-GAMFINAN-061)”. This project is geared towards enhancing literacy and capacity in Islamic Financial Instruments (IFIs) with a view towards promoting their increased availability in the COMCEC member countries of The Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. It is envisaged that an increase in the level of awareness and the visibility of IFIs within the targeted countries will have spill-over effects in other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, while also strengthening the solidarity between COMCEC member states. The project commenced in April 2015 and ended in September 2015 and was implemented by the Financial Supervision Department (FSD) of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), through a Project Implementation Team (PIT) comprised of a Focal Person (Mr. Bai Madi Ceesay, MOFEA), the Responsible Authority for the implementation of the project (Mr. Essa Drammeh, CBG), a Project Coordinator (Mr. Alieu B. Senghore) and the FSD Team.

The project deliverables included:

  • A baseline survey report on the current Islamic financial sectors of the project countries.
  • A study tour to Malaysia, the leading Islamic Finance hub in the world, for a group of financial supervisors from the Central Bank of The Gambia, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Sierra Leone to study the country’s Islamic finance sector.
  • A regional workshop that was held at Ocean Bay Ocean Bay Hotel on September 14th and 15th 2015 to deliberate on the steps and mechanisms that could be put in place to develop the respective Islamic financial sectors of the project countries that had participants drawn from the banking and insurance regulators of Nigeria and Sierra Leone respectively and from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), as well as a number of key stakeholders from The Gambia, which included participants from the Central Bank of The Gambia, the private sector (all banks and insurance companies), Shariah scholars, tertiary/training institutions and relevant government departments and agencies.

This project is in line with the CBG’s vision to position The Gambia as a leading Islamic finance hub in Africa. The CBG is of the view that the private sector will be the key anchor of any strategy to promote the use of Islamic Finance Instruments in the country and as such would like to drive the awareness of the project to private sector participants and solicit their support in the CBG’s continued efforts to develop the broad Islamic finance sector in the country and the sub-region.

The CBG would like to thank all the local, regional and international institutions that supported the implementation of this project, with special mentions going to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA), Bank Negara Malaysia, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Nigeria Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Sierra Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM). The CBG would also like to thank COMCEC for funding the project.

 

 

 

(1)PRESS RELEASE
ISSUE OF THE NEW FAMILY OF BANKNOTES

 

In February, 2015, the Central Bank of The Gambia announced that the new family of Gambian Banknotes including a new D200 banknote will be issued on the 30th March, 2015. Due to delay in the receipt of publicity materials from the printers, the issue into circulation of these banknotes is now slated for 15th April, 2015.
A nationwide sensitization campaign in connection with the issue into circulation of the new family of Gambian banknotes and proper handling of banknotes will commence on the 13th April, 2015.

BANKING DEPARTMENT
30th MARCH, 2015

 

 

CENTRAL BANK OF THE GAMBIA

(2)PRESS RELEASE

LAUNCH OF COMMEMORATIVE D20.00 POLYMER BANKNOTES, A NEW FAMILY OF GAMBIAN BANKNOTES AND COMMEMORATIVE COINS
The Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia received approval to introduce New Redesigned Family of Gambian Circulation Notes. The change was aimed at reducing the sizes of the national currency notes to achieve efficiency and take advantage of technological developments in the currency industry. The new notes also have advanced security features that would make counterfeiting difficult.

As a result, the CBG on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, launched the following currency notes and coins:

  1. Commemorative D20 Polymer (plastic) banknotes
  2. Commemorative Gold and Gold-Plated Silver coins
  3. Redesigned family of New Banknotes including a D200 banknote

 

The D20 Polymer will be put into circulation on Monday 02nd March, 2015 while the series of redesigned banknotes will be issued on Monday March 30, 2015. The Golden Jubilee Commemorative Gold and Gold Plated Coins will also be available for sale on Monday 02nd March, 2015.

  1. Commemorative D20.00 Polymer Banknote.

This is the first series of Polymer Banknotes to be issued by the CBG and is intended, among other things, to Commemorate 20 Years of the July 22nd Revolution and to be in line with international best practice.
The Polymer Banknote is based on the existing D25.00 note and therefore similar in many aspects except that the colour background of the D20 Polymer banknote is green and bears the portrait of the President, H.E. Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya. A. J. J. Jammeh. The polymer banknotes have a date of 22nd July 2014 with the words “20 Years of Progress and Self-Reliance” written on the centre bottom of the obverse side of the note.

Few critical changes were made to incorporate security features that are unique to only polymer notes to enhance the overall security level of the denomination. However, both the polymer and the current D25.00 notes shall be in circulation side by side and the latter will continue to be legal tender and be in circulation until it is fully withdrawn over time.

  1. New Family of Gambian Banknotes

Furthermore, the CBG will introduce into circulation a New Family of paper base Gambian Banknotes for all other denominations except the D25.00 which will be replaced by the D20.00 note. These notes will include a New D200.00 denomination. A fundamental distinction is that all the notes are smaller in size and all of them bear the portrait of the President. This new family of banknotes will be circulated nationwide along with the existing banknote family of D100.00, D50.00, D25.00, D10.00 and D5.00 until these are fully withdrawn overtime.

  1. New Commemorative Gold and Gold Plated Silver Coins.

In another development, the CBG also introduced New Commemorative Gold and Gold-Plated Silver Coins with face values of D50, 000.00 and D500.00 respectively. This was to commemorate the country`s GOLDEN JUBILEE marking the nation`s  50th INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY on 18th February, 2015.
Commemorative coins are issued in limited quantities and are not meant for general circulation but they are legal tender and available for sale at the Currency Unit of Banking Department of the Central Bank of The Gambia.
Given that The Gambia is a cash-based economy, we urge the general public to handle the notes with utmost care. A massive sensitization campaign will be conducted nationwide very soon.

BANKING DEPARTMENT
February 26th, 2015

Posters - DLR - Gambia A2 Poster - New family of Banknotes