In 1985 the country abandoned the national currency, the bikwele, and joined a number of former French colonies in pegging their own national currencies to the French franc and adopting the CFA Fr. The CFA Fr is supported by the French Treasury and is fully convertible. With this financial arrangement and the competent monetary policy of the regional central bank, the Bank of the Central African States, Equatorial Guinea has greatly helped reduce the levels of inflation from almost 40 percent in 1994 to a range of 6 to 12 percent in 1994-1999. Given the extremely fast economic growth of almost 20 percent in recent years, this inflation-fighting performance is impressive.
|Exchange rates: Equatorial Guinea|
|Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFA Fr) per US$1|
|Note: From January 1, 1999, the CFA Fr is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA Fr per euro.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
Attempts to establish a commercial banking sector following the 1979 coup failed miserably. Only the Banque centrale des Etats de l'Afrique centrale (BEAC) offers commercial financial services, although there are some prospects for new entrants in the commercial center of Malabo.