Morocco’s Bourse Eyes IPOs, Short-Selling to Regain Index Status

RABAT (Capital Markets in Africa) – Morocco’s stock exchange plans to introduce new financial instruments and expand the number of listed companies as it seeks to regain the emerging-market status it lost in 2013 and court potential buyers.

Africa’s second-largest bourse by market value is expanding partnerships on the continent in a bid to attract more investments, Karim Hajji, managing director of the Bourse de Casablanca, said in an interview. The exchange plans to sell a stake to an international stock market operator to help achieve its ambition of becoming a platform for companies from North Africa, he said.

Index provider MSCI Inc. cut Morocco from its Emerging Markets Index in June 2013 after 12 years as a constituent, downgrading the nation to a frontier market, after stock-market liquidity dropped below the required level. To boost trading, Hajji, at the helm since 2009, eyes initial public offerings of local as well as foreign issuers, expanding short-selling, and requiring companies to maintain a free float of between 20 percent and 25 percent.

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