In terms of growth opportunities for banking and financial services providers, Cote d’Ivoire presents a highly attractivemarket, as we expect the country’s financial sector to experience an average growth rate of 13.0% in USD nominal terms between2019 and 2023. Given the country’s rising private consumption levels which have already attracted various international companiessuch as Burger King and Heineken, this is also driving increased demand for banking and financial services as more householdsbecome banked. The country’s regulatory environment is also attractive for foreign players as there are few caps on foreigninvolvement in the sector, and the regulatory regime for banks, insurance companies and listed companies is very uniform withCote d’Ivoire’s regional peers via its West African Economic and Monetary Union membership. For this reason, global financial serviceproviders such as VISA and Western Union have set up their West African headquarters in the country. Several downside risks doexist to this positive outlook, including exposure to the coca market, which saw a decline in output which will have hurt the banksexposed to the sector. Further, we caution that the Ivorian political climate remains volatile at best, and as the 2020 presidentialelections to approach we expect this weigh on sector and financial market performance.
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