Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a risk involved in purchasing public securities?

    An investor who purchases a financial instrument always runs a certain amount of risk. To take one instance, an investor cannot be certain of the price at which the instrument can be sold in the future.

    The term “risk” can refer to a variety of different types of risk. These include:

    • Liquidity risk: this is the risk of not being able to sell a financial instrument at its price.
    • Solvency risk: the risk that a creditor may definitively lose his or her claim if the borrower is unable to meet all of his or her commitments.
    • Foreign exchange risk: an increase in the rate of one currency may cause a drop in the value of assets denominated in a different currency.
    • Interest rate risk: interest rate variations expose holders of financial securities to a risk of incurring capital losses. This is an interest rate risk to the extent that it involves an actual cost or loss of income for the investor even when the issuer complies fully with the commitments he or she has made.
    • Political risk: this is the risk associated with a political situation or a decision handed down by the political authorities: discriminatory tax system, inability to repatriate capital, revolution, and so on.
    • Regulatory risk: changes in laws or regulations may directly impact the profitability of an economic sector.
    • Inflation risk: this is the risk of being repaid in a currency that has depreciated, or of ending up with a rate of return below the rate of inflation.
    • Cyclical risk: stock market depression or euphoria, anticipation of drops or increases in business.
  • Why are outstanding securities different from the issue amount?

    On the day when securities are issued, the outstanding is equal to the issue amount.

    Over the lifetime of the securities, events will take place that change the outstanding, such as purchase of securities by the states or the repayment of portions of the principal (in keeping with terms of redemption).

  • Is it true that lots are drawn for redemption by straight-line amortization?

  • When is the interest paid on treasury bonds?

  • How can I purchase public bills or bonds?

    Regarding securities issued by syndication, investors should contact a primary investment brokerage firm and will need to open a securities account. After securities have been issued, they may be traded (bought and sold) on the regional stock exchange (BRVM).

    As for securities issued by auction, investors may contact Primary Dealers, financial institutions or brokerage firms.

  • I would like to sell my bonds, will I lose my interest?

  • Can a state decide to pay certain holders of bonds or bills before others?

    No, public securities in the Union are dematerialized and they are processed independently of the identity of their holders.

    All investors holding the same financial instrument receive identical treatment.


  • Why do WAMU state governments issue Eurobonds?

    In the framework of their resource mobilization strategies, the member states can issue debt securities on the regional market (in CFA Francs) or on international financial markets (in currencies other than the CFA Franc). This latter method is designed to meet a number of goals:

    • Broadening the investor base;
    • Accessing new sources of funding;
    • Enhancing their presence on the international financial markets.
  • Where can I find information on government debt securities in the Union?

    Investors who require information about public securities may contact the regional stock exchange (BRVM) or Agence UMOA-Titres.


  • What is the difference between bonds issued through public offerings and bonds issued on the market through auction?

    When financial instruments are issued through public offerings, an investment syndicate made up of brokerage firms handles the sale of the instruments to investors and the general public. When the financial instruments are issued, they are listed on the regional stock exchange (Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières).

    In the case of financial instruments issued through auction, primary subscription of treasury bills and bonds is restricted to credit institutions, brokerage firms and regional financial investors with settlement accounts with the Central Bank. Other investors, whether they are private individuals or corporations, may also subscribe to bills and bonds on the primary market through credit institutions or brokerage firms established on the territory of the Union.

    Securities issued through auction are not listed on the regional stock exchange (BRVM).

  • How can I find ratings for treasury bills and bonds issued on the regional market?

    As stated in the regulatory texts of the Regional Council for Public Savings and Financial Markets (CREPMF), “any issuer, other than the states and local or territorial government, that makes public offerings, must be rated by a rating agency duly certified by the Regional Council”, thus, financial rating of the states is not a prerequisite for issuing financial instruments on the regional financial market.

    In the specific case of Eurobonds, rating is mandatory, and the fact is mentioned in the offering circular.

  • What is a public offering?

    Public offerings are made by governments or any other entity:

    • Whose securities are disseminated among more than one hundred entities with no legal ties to each other,
    • Who use either an investment syndicate or public marketing methods such as publicity and solicitation to offer investment products to the public in WAMU, and
    • Whose securities are listed on the regional stock exchange (Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières).