CENTRAL BANK OF THE GAMBIA
cbglogo


August 25th, 2017

MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE PRESS RELEASE

 

 
1) The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of The Gambia met on Thursday August 24, 2017 to assess developments in the domestic and the international economy and set the policy rate. These are some of the highlights of developments in the domestic economy.

REAL SECTOR
2) According to the data from The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (Gbos), economic growth declined to 2.2 percent in 2016 from 4.3 percent in 2015 due mainly to the disappointing performance of the agricultural sector, the impact of the political impasse on tourism and related activities during the peak period, and limited availability of foreign currency in the domestic foreign exchange market that affected trade. However, economic conditions continue to improve in 2017 and there are increasing signs that growth may exceed our projection of 3 percent.

EXTERNAL SECTOR
3) Balance of payments estimates for the first half of 2017 registered a surplus of US$3.2 million compared to US$1.0 million recorded in the same period last year. This is attributable to the improvements in both the current account, and capital and financial accounts. The trade balance improved from a deficit of US$104.3 million in the first half of 2016 to a deficit of US$97.0 million during the review period. Both exports and imports fell by 6.9 percent and 6.8 percent to US$45.7 million and US$142.7 million in June 2017 respectively. The current account balance improved from a deficit of US$38.4 million in the first half of 2016 to a deficit of US$36.8 million during the review period due mainly to improvement in services and net current transfers. Gross official reserves have improved significantly, reaching 4.2 months of imports of goods and services in August 2017 for the first time in many years. This is as a result of the unwavering support of our development partners, in particular, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), European Union (EU) and the African Development Bank (ADB).

EXCHANGE RATE DEVELOPMENTS
4) Activity in the domestic foreign exchange market has stabilized supported by improved market conditions and confidence. Volume of transactions remained unchanged at US$1.2 billion in the year to end-July, 2017 relative to same period last year. Purchases, indicating supply, was US$583.6 million while sales, which indicates demand, stood at US$511.2 million.

5) The Dalasi remains stable in the domestic foreign exchange market. From May to end July, 2017, the Dalasi appreciated against the US Dollar and Pound Sterling by 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. The Dalasi however, depreciated against the Euro by 4.3 percent.

DOMESTIC DEBT
6) As a result of huge public debt inherited from the past regime, debt sustainability remains a priority. As at end July, 2017, domestic debt stock declined to D28.8 billion (61.1 percent of GDP) compared to D29.02 billion (67.1 percent of GDP) in the same period last year. Treasury bills and Sukuk Al Salam combined totaled D17.5 billion compared to D16.6 billion in 2016.

7) Yields on the 91 day, 182 day and 364 day bills stood at 8.0 percent, 8.92 percent and 10.59 percent in August 2017 from 16.12 percent, 16.93 percent and 20.08 percent in August 2016.

FINANCIAL SECTOR
8) The financial sector remains safe, sound and profitable. The risk weighted capital adequacy ratio stood at 32.5 percent, significantly higher than the statutory requirement of 10 percent. Total assets of the industry amounted to D35.7 billion in June 2017 compared to D29.6 billion in June 2016. Non-performing loans ratio improved to 9.4 percent from 9.7 percent in March 2017.

MONETARY DEVELOPMENTS
9) Money supply grew by 21.7 percent in June 2017, reflecting increase in the net foreign assets and net domestic assets of the banking system. Net Foreign Assets (NFA) of the Central Bank improved significantly from negative D530.5 million in December 2016 to D3.7 billion in August 2017. Net international reserves improved from US$19.84 million in December 2016 to US$112.2 million in August 2017. Quasi money (savings and time deposits) increased by 24.2 percent to D13.0 billion during the review period. Growth of reserve money, the Bank’s operating target, remained the same at 16.1 percent in June 2017

 

compared to the same period last year. However, money supply growth has been contained within the Bank’s target in August 2017.

INFLATION
10) Consumer price inflation as measured by the national consumer price index (NCPI) is trending downwards. Headline inflation declined to 8.0 percent in July 2017 from a high of 8.8 percent in January 2017 due largely to the decline in food inflation from 10.1 percent to 8.7 percent during the review period. On the other hand, consumer price inflation of non-food products and services increased slightly to 6.9 percent from 6.8 percent in July 2017.

OUTLOOK
11) The Committee noted that economic conditions continue to improve in 2017 and the outlook remains broadly favorable against the backdrop of projected increase in agricultural production, increased inflows, rebound in tourism and trade and restoration of confidence in the domestic economy. Moreover, monetary and fiscal policies would remain prudent and well coordinated. International reserves of the Bank have reached a comfortable level. Foreign exchange market conditions are expected to continue to improve and the Dalasi would remain stable. In the light of these developments, inflation is projected to continue to decline in the near-term.

12) The major risk to macroeconomic outlook is the level of debt (120 percent of GDP) inherited from the past regime.

DECISION
13) Taking all the above into consideration including inflation expectations which remained subdued, the MPC considered the current stance of Monetary Policy

 

appropriate and decided to maintain the policy rate at 15%. The MPC will continue to monitor developments in the economy and stands ready to act in the interim if the economic conditions change.

DATE FOR THE NEXT MPC MEETING
November 23, 2017

 

 

‘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