Morocco

#Morocco opens an Islamic finance window

Casablanca Finance City welcomes international businesses that have been flocking to Morocco to take advantage of its cheap labour, skilled work force and proximity to sub-Saharan Africa. Amid the uprisings that characterised the Arab Spring, Morocco remained relatively stable. Political and social stability continued after 2010, while the neighbour countries struggled. Adding to Morocco’s allure is the introduction of formal Islamic financial products, officially labelled participatory finance in the country. In 2017 authorities issued five participatory banking licences to Moroccan banks and three to international banks. As Morocco continues to roll out participatory financial products and services slowly and cautiously, the sector will remain a niche.

Islamic Banking: Bank Al Maghrib Interested in IFSB Prudential Standards

Bank Al-Maghrib and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) co-organized a regional workshop entitled "Facilitating Implementation of IFSB Standards" in Rabat. The workshop focused on 3 standards for participatory banking: IFSB-15 "Revised Capital Adequacy Standard" on Prudential Capital and Solvency Standards, IFSB-16 "Revised Guidance on Key Elements in the Supervisory Process" on Supervision Standards, and GN-6 "Quantitative Measures for Liquidity Risk Management" on prudential liquidity standards. This event is part of the measures taken by Bank Al-Maghrib to finalize the regulatory framework governing participatory banking activities in Morocco.

#Morocco central bank okays five Islamic financial products

Morocco's central bank has approved the use of five types of Islamic banking transactions. This means a final regulatory nod for the country to launch an Islamic finance industry. The central bank has recently set up a central sharia board to oversee the sector. The five approved transactions include murabaha, musharaka, ijara, mudaraba and salam. The central bank also set regulations for conventional banks to open windows selling Islamic products. It had given regulatory approval to three major Moroccan banks to open Islamic subsidiaries: Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE of Africa and Banque Centrale Populaire, as well as to smaller lenders Credit Agricole and Credit Immobilier et Hotelier. Subsidiaries of Societe Generale of France, Credit du Maroc and BMCI have also won permission to sell Islamic products.

Qatar International Islamic Bank, CIH to Launch Islamic Bank in #Morocco

In partnership with the Moroccan Crédit Immobilier et Hotelier bank (CIH), Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) will launch Umnia Bank, a joint Islamic financial institution. Licensing for the Umnia Bank had already been issued by the Central Bank of Morocco. According to QIIB chairman Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani, QIIB is now closer to formally launching the activities of Umnia Bank. He expressed his happiness to reach this stage and stated that Umnia Bank looks to be the best Islamic bank in Morocco. He added that QIIB is determined to contribute to the growth of the Moroccan economy.

#Morocco Receives $7.6 Billion from Islamic Development Bank

During the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges forum held in Rabat, bank president Bandar Al-Hajjar spoke about the strategic ties between Morocco and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Al-Hajjar noted that Morocco has received a total of USD 7.6 billion from the IDB since its establishment in 1974 and currently the bank is carrying out a number of projects estimated at USD 1.2 billion. Al-Hajjar also praised Morocco’s efforts towards renewable energy, saying that there is a bilateral cooperation between the IDB and Morocco to share Moroccan experiments in this field with Sub-Saharan countries. The IDB has supplied Morocco with several loans over the past few years. In 2014, the IDB amounted to MAD 1.8 billion to Morocco in order to carry out drinking water supply projects, as well as the olive sector for small farmers. The IDB has also embarked on signing agreement with partners to invest in Morocco. In 2014, it signed a joint agreement with Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) to invest in the Moroccan private sector.

QIIB to begin operations in #Morocco with four branches

Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) inaugurated the bank’s new branch at the Mall of Qatar. CEO Abdulbasit Ahmad Al Shaibei said the bank is expected to start its operations in Morocco by the first quarter of 2017 with four branches. The lender had signed a joint venture agreement with the Moroccan Bank Credit Immobilier et Hotelier (CIH) for the establishment of a bank in Morocco in December 2015. Under the agreement, QIIB will have 40% stake in the proposed bank. The new QIIB branch is on the ground floor of the Mall of Qatar, considered to be one of the most important shopping destinations in the region.

Al Baraka Banking Group obtains a #licence to establish a new bank in #Morocco

The Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) has obtained the approval of the Bank Al Maghrib (the central bank of Morocco) to establish a new bank in Morocco. The Group is now represented in all countries in the Maghreb. The Group now owns banking subsidiaries in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco, as well as the African continent in Egypt, Sudan and South Africa. The Group has already obtained the approval of the Central Bank of Bahrain to establish the Morocco bank and will carry the name of Al Baraka Bank Morocco. The new bank will be under the management of Al Baraka Banking Group and will operate within its network of subsidiary banking units, which are currently located in 15 countries and in turn own more than 700 branches.

Le premier #sukuk «made in #Morocco» sera «souverain»…

La déclaration récente faite par le ministre de l’Economie et des Finances annonce que le premier sukuk émis au Maroc sera souverain. La structure juridique d’accueil de ce premier sukuk sera un fonds de placement commun de titrisation (FPCT) qui servira de levée de fonds auprès des investisseurs pour le compte de l’Etat. Cette entité spécifique (appelée aussi SPV «Special Purpose Vehicle») pourra être constituée sous forme de fonds de titrisation (FT) avec ou sans personnalité morale, ou de société de titrisation (ST). En optant pour un premier sukuk souverain, le Maroc n’échappe pas aux pratiques internationales en la matière. Les dernières émissions en Afrique vont également dans le même sens (Sénégal, Afrique du Sud, Côte d’Ivoire et Niger).

Islamic banking to boost financial #inclusion in #Morocco

The Moroccan government granted state-owned Crédit Agricole of Morocco (CAM) approval to open a subsidiary of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). In addition to IDB, three foreign banks are looking to launch subsidiaries with domestic partners after Moroccan officials encouraged partnerships rather than fully owned subsidiaries. Morocco could see additional Islamic products introduced into the domestic market if new regulations are passed. Morocco will also see the introduction of mobile-to-mobile payments next year, which is expected to extend banking coverage, as well as reduce the number of cash transactions. New regulations will allow non-bank entities and individuals to open accounts to expand e-payments to transactions such as retail, utility and mobile phone payments.

U.K.-Based Research Predicts Rise of Contactless Payments, Sharia-Compliant Credit Cards in #Morocco

New market research conducted by Timetric expects the rise of contactless payment services (CPS) and Sharia-compliant credit cards in Morocco over the next few years. According to the United Kingdom-based research, Centre Monetique Interbancaire, Morocco’s own internal network switch, launched CPS in the kingdom just over a year ago alongside MasterCard. So far the CPS point of service terminals have only been deployed in Casablanca, but they are expected to reach Rabat and Marrakesh in the coming months. By the end of 2016, Moroccans will be able to take advantage of 6,000 terminals, and by 2017 that number will more than double to 17,000. By the end of the year, the government plans to authorize a total of 10 banks which provide Sharia-compliant credit card services.

Finance islamique au #Maroc: la Société Générale va créer 10 agences de banque participative

A l’occasion de la rencontre préparatoire du Salon International de la Finance Ethique et Participative SIFEP Mohammed Tahri, directeur général adjoint à la Société Générale Maroc a annoncé que son institution envisage de créer une dizaines d’agences dédiées à la banque participative. Dans l’attente de l’agrément de Bank Al-Maghrib, la Société Générale Maroc se prépare à exercer l’activité de banque participative à travers des succursales pour tester le marché. Le responsable de la Société Générale Maroc a annoncé que les résultats d’une étude de marché confiée par la banque à un cabinet marocain en coopération avec un cabinet français spécialisé en finance participative indiquent une attente manifeste du public marocain vis-à-vis de la finance participative.

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.

Credit Agricole authorised to establish Islamic banking unit

Moroccan state-owned bank Credit Agricole (CAM) has won authorisation to create an Islamic subsidiary with The Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Morocco’s central bank is in the final stages of launching an Islamic finance industry. The North African kingdom adopted legislation allowing Islamic banks and insurers in the domestic market, and the central bank has set up a central sharia board to oversee the new industry. IDB and CAM will inject 200 million dirhams ($20.55 million) of capital into the offshoot of the new subsidiary before doubling it to 400 million later. The Moroccan bank will hold 51% stake in the new banking unit.

Al Baraka Banking Group Increase its Total Operating Income by 7% to US$ 538 million and Total Assets Reach US$ 25 billion in the First Half of 2016

The #Bahrain based Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) announced that it achieved an increase in total operating income of 7% and net profits before tax and provisions by 4% during the first half of 2016. Total assets increased by 2%, total finance and investments by 4%, deposits by 1% while total equity increased by 2% as at the end of June 2016. Total operating income reached US$ 538 million in the first half of 2016 compared to US$ 502 million during the same period of 2015. Al Baraka's CEO Adnan Ahmed Yousif said the Group opened 24 new branches in the first half of 2016 to bring total branches to 611. He considers the entry of the Group to Morocco market a very important achievement, because it represents one of the main markets in the Arab Maghreb and Africa. Also, it means a higher diversification in assets and income sources for the Group.

#Morocco to start approving Islamic banks for business to begin in 2017

Morocco's central bank will start issuing approvals for Islamic banks this year so that they can begin business in early 2017. The North African country had long rejected Islamic banking due to concerns about Islamist movements. Now the central bank has set up a central sharia board with the country's body of Islamic scholars to oversee the new industry. Lhassane Benhalima, the central bank's head of banking supervision said it was absolutely wrong that some banks had been pushing to delay the process. The central bank received seven requests to open Islamic banks and three to open windows selling Islamic finance products. According to Benhalima the bank is planning an Islamic interbank market and is encouraging the government to issue regular sukuk to ensure liquidity.

UPDATE 1-#Morocco to start approving Islamic banks for business to begin in 2017

Morocco's central bank will start issuing approvals for Islamic banks this year so that they can begin business in early 2017. The North African country had long rejected Islamic banking due to concerns about Islamist movements. Now the central bank has set up a central sharia board with the country's body of Islamic scholars to oversee the new industry. Lhassane Benhalima, the central bank's head of banking supervision said it was absolutely wrong that some banks had been pushing to delay the process. The central bank received seven requests to open Islamic banks and three to open windows selling Islamic finance products. According to Benhalima the bank is planning an Islamic interbank market and is encouraging the government to issue regular sukuk to ensure liquidity.

ASSAFAA BANK recrute des Directeurs d’Agences Finance Participative

Dar Assafaa se prépare à devenir ASSAFAA BANK, une banque participative qui exercera conformément aux dispositions de la nouvelle loi bancaire. Dans ce cadre, Dar Assafaa recrute des Directeurs d’Agences sur les villes de Tétouan, Rabat, Laâyoune, Dakhla, Tanger et Casablanca. Dar Assafaa est la première institution financière marocaine mettant à la disposition du public des formules de financement basées exclusivement sur les produits alternatifs.

#Bahrain's Al Baraka gets regulatory nod for #Morocco entry

Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group will establish a banking unit in Morocco after receiving approval from local authorities. The bank said entry to the Morocco market would significantly help diversify assets and income sources for the group. In contrast with its peers in the Gulf, Al Baraka has built the bulk of its business outside of the region, including units in Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and South Africa.

Finance participative au Maroc Un écosystème en constitution

La dernière déclaration du gouverneur de la Banque centrale sur la création imminente des banques participatives rassure sur la marche des préparatifs, tout en marquant un report inattendu de l’échéance, que les opérateurs ainsi que le marché attendaient pour le 16 mars 2016, soit quatre mois après la date de dépôt des demandes d’agrément, conformément à l’article 34 de la loi 103-12. Bien sûr, le même article dispose que ledit délai ne court qu’après la réception de tous les documents et des réponses aux questions complémentaires de l’autorité monétaire, et le gouverneur a pris soin de rappeler que les entretiens étaient en cours.

QIIB expects Morocco JV approval by third quarter

Qatar's Islamic lender QIIB achieved increase and growth in its various banking activities over the past year. The AGM approved the Board of Directors' proposal to distribute 40% cash dividends of the nominal value per share which is equivalent to QR4 per share. Besides, the bank is expecting approval from authorities in Morocco for its joint venture by the end of third quarter this year. The lender had signed a joint venture agreement with CIH Bank (Credit Immobilier et Hotelier), a Moroccan bank, for the establishment of a bank in Morocco in December last year. Under the agreement, QIIB will have 40% stake in the proposed bank.

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