Bloomfield Investment conference, Africa rated by itself

For its first edition, the Bloomfield Investment Corporation “Country Risk” conference was held in Abidjan on April 6. It was an opportunity to evaluate the product “Ivory Coast”… Africa more generally. According to Bloomfield’s concept: take an African view on the Africans

As a growth pioneer in the French-speaking zone, but having experienced serious upheavals on its home front, the Ivory Coast is a wonderful case study for the validation of Bloomfield Investment Corporation’s methodology, the first pan-African rating agency. April 6 was thus a great opportunity for the first Bloomfield Investment Corporation “Country Risk” Conference.

When Stanislas Zézé created the Bloomfield Investment Corporation rating agency in October 2007 – the first in the French-speaking zone – which operates today in West and Central Africa as well as English-speaking Africa with an office to Nairobi – Bloomfield Investment Corporation, like international rating agencies, makes “one-off risk assessment operations”. But the originality lies in an African-led view on Africans, offering alternative analyzes to historical agencies such as Moody’s. Avec ici, the example of the Ivory Coast: “Until then, reports on Africa came from outside,” said Zézé.

Innovative practice

“Credit risk assessment is not a common practice for African financial markets, while investors around the world use financial rating to measure their exposure to default risk of issuers of securities,” recalled Bloomfield Investment. As explained by its CEO “country risk” is a mapping that will allow investors to have an idea about the investment potential in a country. The business and the socio-political environment, macroeconomic performance, all these factors will determine attractiveness … “But Africans must have the courage to talk about their weaknesses because the fact of recognizing their weaknesses is creating an opportunity for development. They don’t have to caress.  »

A Different Approach

Though the methodologies are different from Western agencies, notations remain no more complacent. For example, the Ivory Coast, whose report was submitted to the hearing for the conference, obtained a country risk rating of 6.1/10. But Moody’s noteds the country’s outlook on a BB basis, for Bloomfield the rating is revised to A2 – because the US agency assesses foreign exchange pay-off capacity, taking into account exchange rate risk, whereas Bloomfield evaluates the pay-off capacity in Franc CFA, as a way of thinking about issues specific to the UEOMA zone for Stanislas Zézé: “At Bloomfield, we start from empirical analyzes and not from scoring. We take into account qualitative criteria, including culture … and we also integrate that the Ivory Coast’s borrowing cost is too high compared to its rating.”

Contrasting notation

For Bloomfield, the Ivory Coast, therefore, must still work hard to improve its prospects as it has to promote peace in its socio-military environment inherited from the reintegration of the rebels, ragged with tensions on the cocoa market as the primary contributor to GDP, the new constitution to be implemented with serious institutional reform, a debt of 45% GDP to better control …

However, none of these areas should make us forget the country’s macroeconomic capacities – such as its 9% growth, or its leading position in the UEOMA zone, for which it contributes to 35% of GDP. A positive finding is therefore shared by Bloomfield: “the risk for the Ivory Coast is low” – as at Moody’s, “the Ivory Coast is the only country that has had an increase in its score over the two years spent in our agency …” confirms Aurelien Mali, lead Moody’s on the rating of the Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile, SEE YOU in six months for the Bloomfield Investment Corporation’s next “Country Risk” conference in another African capital.


Author: Issiaka Nguessan//Photo: Stanislas Zézé at the conference © Issiaka Nguessan

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