Togo - Services

A recent World Bank report shed doubt on the stability of Togo's banks, once thought to be amongst the most stable in West Africa, following the crises of the 1990s, during which period many banks suspended activities. The commercial banks, already faced with falling deposits and increased lending, also had to absorb public sector deficits in the early 1990s. Weak capital flows and stagnant exports led to a US$24 million decrease in bank assets by 1990-94. Credit grew by US$12 million in the same period, reflecting increased lending, while the government indebtedness increased by US$19 million. This meant that banks had to borrow heavily from BCEAO. The 2 state-owned banks fared the worst, and accounted for 74 percent of all lending and 62.5 percent of all deposits. The rest of the sector is shared between a variety of foreign banks, including French and Belgian interests.

In 1993, the hotel industry included 4,163 beds and employed 1,309 people. During the problems of the 1990s, hotel occupancy dropped to less than 20 percent of capacity. International arrivals halved, and visitors stayed on average only 3.5 nights. The 80,000 arrivals were a record in 1996, although many of these were business travelers and returning Togolese. Several state-owned hotels have been slated for privatization, and the government has allowed foreign leasing of the more prestigious hotels.

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