The North Africa Post

Fitch: Deposits in #Morocco Islamic Banks to Grow up to 10 %

According to Fitch Ratings, Islamic banking products in Morocco could expand their deposit bases by 5 to 10%. Fitch notes that the ability to grow the deposit base is positive for Morocco’s economic development because deposits represent about 70% of banking sector funding. The experts also noted that banking penetration is already high in Morocco, with 70% of adults holding a bank account. Therefore, participation banking is unlikely to take a significant market share from the well-established conventional banks. Growth rates in the Moroccan banking sector have been volatile in recent years, reflecting unsteady economic trends. Deposit growth has outstripped loan growth, but credit demand is set to accelerate. The ability to offer participation banking services could broaden the pool of potential depositors in the country, mitigating the competitive pressure.

Credit Agricole to Open #Morocco’s First Islamic Bank

Moroccan state-owned bank Credit Agricole (CAM) received the approval of the Ministry of Finance to open an Islamic subsidiary with The Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Credit Agricole will reportedly own 50% of the Islamic banking window as a joint venture with the IDB with an initial capital of 200 million dirhams. The two institutions have expressed plans to raise it to 400 million dirhams eventually. The central bank said earlier this year it had received seven requests to open Islamic banks and three to open windows selling Islamic finance products.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank plans Morocco and Algeria expansion

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC is planning expansion in Africa markets to tap demand in countries with a large Muslim population. In Africa, the bank has looked closely at Algeria and Morocco, Chief Executive Officer Tirad Mahmoud said. The bank may consider an acquisition next year as part of the plan, he added. The bank also applied for licenses in Algeria and Libya and is considering Tunisia and Morocco. The bank was among lenders that bid to buy the retail banking assets of Citigroup Inc. in Egypt this year, losing out to Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE last month. Mahmoud believes the banking industry is on the cusp of a historic transformation that will see a convergence between conventional and ethical banking.

Morocco: Dar Assafaa to become an Islamic bank

The Moroccan banking group Attijariwafa Bank plans to transform its subsidiary Dar Assafaa into an Islamic financial institution according to the group’s CEO Kettani. In this context, the banking group belonging to the Royal Holding SNI plans to increase the capital of Dar Assafaa to $ 18.40 million, and will inject more investments according to the development of this new market in Morocco. Attijariwafa Bank will develop its own participatory bank without foreign partnership, unlike Banque Centrale Populaire and BMCE Bank which have opted for the creation of joint ventures with foreign Islamic banks. Moreover, the institution will expand its range of products.

Egyptian firm Wins $30 Mln Contract for Extension of Abidjan international airport

The Arab Contractors (AC) has won a $30mln contract for the extension and modernization of the Abidjan International Airport cargo facilities in the Ivory Coast. The project is funded by the Islamic Development Bank and aims to create a commercial zone next to the airport, with a lodging area, hangars, a convention centre, a duty-free zone, office buildings, warehouses, exhibition halls, a shopping centre and housing for flying staff. Moreover, the Egyptian contractors will also have to refurbish the apron, renovate access roads and increase the terminal’s capacity from 11’000sqm to 26’000sqm.

Al Rayan gets Libyan bank takeover approval

Masraf Al Rayan got the approval by its extra ordinary general assembly to acquire an important share in a commercial bank in Libya. It now needs the nod of the Qatari and Libyan authorities before it can be a reality. The acquisition of the anonymous Libyan bank is part of the Masraf Al Rayan’s plan to pursue diverse investment opportunities. According to director Dr Hussain Ali al-Abdulla of Al Rayan, the Libyan bank is poised to be converted into an Islamic bank. Moreover, Masraf Al Rayan continues its efforts to acquire a large share in Islamic Bank of Britain.

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