Morocco’s Banks Invested over $1.8 Bln in African Countries

Moroccan banks have invested more than $1.8 billion in 25 African countries between 2007-2017, says a report released by the Moroccan ministry of economy & finance.

These investments represent 52.2 pc of total Moroccan funds injected in Africa. Over 16.4 pc of the Moroccan investments were made in the telecom sector, 12.3 pc in industry and 5.8 pc in insurance, adds the report.

The document also recalls the cooperation agreements signed by Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE Bank and Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) with African governments and banks to support infrastructure programs, socio-economic projects, and government budgets.

Total client deposits at African branches of Moroccan banks reached $20 billion. Attijariwafa Bank accounts for 48.6 pc of the overall deposits, BMCE Bank for 33.2 pc and Banque Centrale Populaire for 18.2 pc.

According to the report, African client deposits at Moroccan banks increased 13.5 pc since 2009, while the loans provided by Moroccan banks to African clients stood at $17 billion.

Morocco has become a key investor in Sub-Saharan Africa owing to the strength of its financial sector. Its banks operating in Africa enable Moroccan and European businesses to expand in the continent.

Moroccan banks have branches in over 20 African countries, mostly in West Africa but some banks such as BMCE and Attijariwafa bank have opened branches in non-French speaking countries.

The purchase of Barclays Egypt in 2016 by Attijariwafa shows the Moroccan bank’s ambition to expand across the continent. For its part, Banque Centrale Populaire has announced plans to penetrate East African countries such as Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia.

The report on the hand urged Moroccan commercial banks operating in Africa to explore the growth opportunities offered by Islamic finance in the region.

“The expertise acquired by those banks in the Moroccan market and the partnerships they developed with leading partners affiliated with Gulf countries are decisive advantages to use to gain a profitable position in this specific segment in some markets like Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, and Nigeria,” the report read.

According to the ministry, several studies show that Africa would record a huge growth in Islamic finance now that various regulations are in place.

 

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