Monday, 2 September 2013

Morocco's banks get good ratings from Fitch's

Four of Morocco's leading financial institutions received good marks in August evaluations published by Fitch ratings agency. Two of the largest banks, both of which have the support of their French mother banks, namely the Société Générale du Maroc (SGMA) and the BMCI (BNP-Paribas group) were rated AAA/stable perspectives for the long term, while AttijariWafa Bank (AWB) was rated AA-/stable perspectives. The SGMA's credit subsidiary Eqdom was rated AA/stable perspectives.

AttijariWafa Bank is a major player in the Moroccan banking sector with 28% market share. With no outside shareholder, AWB's rating of AA- reflects a more exposed position than those of SGMA and BMCI. AWB is active across Francophone Africa: 6% of its loans are in Tunisia, a country passing through a period of instability, to say the least, while another 12% of loans are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fitch's considers that an increased volume of loans in the latter region constitutes a risk.

Although the AWB performs well in the Moroccan market, increased competition and a rise in interest rates could affect performance. Any lowering of Morocco's sovereign rating, currently at BBB-/stable, or a reduction in liquidities could lead to a downgrading of AWB's rating. Given the bank's short-term finance needs, its available liquidities (MAD19.6 billion / US$2.3 billion) are moderate.

For more news and expert analysis about Morocco, please see Morocco Politics & Security.

© 2013 Menas Associates

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