The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with Bank of Tanzania and Frontclear – an institution dedicated to money market development working in Tanzania since 2016 and ECA’s technical partner – organized a 2-day workshop to launch the feasibility of an Umbrella Guarantee Facility (UGF) for the Tanzanian market. The UGF – or Tradeclear – is a systemic approach to reducing counterparty credit risk in the market, the key challenge behind market segmentation.
Entrenched market segmentation pushes banks to rely on central bank standing facilities for their liquidity adjustment, despite often high levels of excess liquidity in the banking system. Where liquidity trading does occur, it is limited to few often larger counterparties. Segmentation thus prevents relatively smaller banks from mobilizing funds at lower rates, making the trickle-down effect of lowering credit rates in the financial system more difficult. Without access to the interbank system, such banks who often play an outsized role in serving SMEs, hoard liquidity as a primary risk mitigator versus putting it to more productive economic use. An inclusive interbank market will be central to recovery and to improved resilience to future shocks.
The Tradeclear Feasibility project will involve extensive market engagement to determine the optimal Tradeclear Tanzania structure, tailored to the local dynamics of market demand, legal factors, and settlement processes.
Liku Kamba, Manager Domestic Markets, Financial Markets, Bank of Tanzania opened the workshop by hailing the partnership with ECA and Frontclear since 2022 and reiterating the central bank’s commitment to develop Tanzania’s money market. Ms. Kamba encouraged financial institutions to take part in the workshop and the full feasibility study.
Sheng Zhao, Economic Affairs Officer, ECA, introduced ECA’s functions and ongoing efforts of its Innovative Finance and Capital Markets Section in helping African countries develop their domestic financial markets. Mr. Zhao also gave an introduction on ECA’s technical assistance programme on money and interbank market development in Tanzania, which is funded by the French Development Agency (AFD).
Philip Buyskes, CEO, Frontclear and Ingrid Hagen, Senior Vice President, Frontclear delivered presentations on repo and swap transactions, Tradeclear and its concepts, structures, benefits, mechanisms and needed documentations, and the purpose, steps, and required inputs of the feasibility study. Peer country experience was drawn to sensitize the market participants, and preliminary findings were introduced on the compatibility of standard repo documentation and the local legal and regulatory environment in Tanzania.
This workshop was attended by representatives from the central bank, the capital market authority, the securities exchange, commercial banks, pension funds, and legal firms. Participants had interactive discussions and provided valuable feedback on the market status, challenges, and demand for a more participatory interbank market.
This feasibility study came after the completion of Money Market Diagnostic Framework (MMDF) study in early 2023, implemented by Frontclear in collaboration with ECA and funded by AFD and Frontclear, with detailed analysis on Tanzania’s money market and recommendations for improvements to the monetary policy framework and liquidity management.
About the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA’s) mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its Member States, foster intraregional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. ECA is made up of 54 Member States and plays a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape.