Top-Performing Arab Economy Balks at Currency Float on Egypt

Top-Performing Arab Economy Balks at Currency Float on Egypt

CAIRO (Capital Markets in Africa) – In five decades of importing steel wires, Zahar Benmoussa’s company never worried about currency risks — until Morocco announced plans to float the dirham. “For the first time in our history, we started to hedge” in the currency market, said Benmoussa, managing director at Casablanca-based Grillages Marocains. Across Morocco, fears of a weaker dirham triggered a rush for dollars and euros, causing a $3 billion drop in its reserves in…

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Moroccan Banks Vulnerable to Economic Shocks Amidst Weak Capital Says Fitch Ratings

Moroccan Banks Vulnerable to Economic Shocks Amidst Weak Capital Says Fitch Ratings

CASABLANCA (Capital Markets in Africa) – Low capital buffers mean many Moroccan banks are susceptible to economic volatility, particularly in light of their weak asset quality and above-average risk appetite, Fitch Ratings says. Tangible common equity averages about 10% of tangible assets for the major Moroccan banks – a limited buffer given the banks’ risk profiles, single-obligor concentration risk and possible under-reporting of loan impairments. The Fitch Core Capital/weighted-risks ratios for rated banks averaged 12.6%…

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Morocco’s Attijariwafa Plans Africa Expansions This Year

RABAT (Capital Markets in Africa) – Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco’s biggest lender, is planning to complete expansions in East and West Africa this year as it focuses on consolidating its new acquisitions to spur growth. The Casablanca-based bank aims to finalize a deal to buy Rwanda’s Cie Generale de Banque, known as Cogebanque, start commercial banking operations in Chad and apply for a banking license in Ghana in 2017, General Manager Ismail Douiri said in an interview in…

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World’s Deepest Devaluation Makes Egypt Assets RenCap’s Top Pick

World’s Deepest Devaluation Makes Egypt Assets RenCap’s Top Pick

CAIRO (Capital Markets in Africa) – Egypt is reaping the rewards of a painful devaluation. The plunge that sent its currency tumbling the most in the world over the past six months has made the nation’s assets among Renaissance Capital Ltd.’s top picks in developing nations. The Egyptian pound is now the cheapest of all emerging-market and African currencies after it scrapped controls in November, the investment bank’s real effective exchange rate model shows. The…

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Investec Asset Management invests in SJL Group

Investec Asset Management invests in SJL Group

RABAT (Capital Markets in Africa) – Investec Asset Management (IAM), through its Africa Private Equity capability, has completed the management buy-out of 100% of SJL Group. SJL is the market-leading transport and logistics operator providing fully integrated cross-border services on the Morocco-EU corridor, as well as in Tunisia and domestically in Morocco. Together with its co-investors, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH and Avanz Capital, IAM is backing an experienced senior management team, led…

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Fitch Affirms Morocco at ‘BBB-‘; Outlook Stable

Fitch Affirms Morocco at ‘BBB-‘; Outlook Stable

RABAT (Capital Markets in Africa) – Fitch Ratings-Hong Kong-07 April 2017: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Morocco’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘BBB-‘ with a Stable Outlook. The issue ratings on Morocco’s senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at ‘BBB-‘. The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at ‘BBB’ and the Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs at ‘F3’.  KEY RATING DRIVERS  Morocco’s ratings are driven by its economic…

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Morocco’s central bank keeps interest rate at 2.25%

Morocco’s central bank keeps interest rate at 2.25%

RABAT (Capital Markets in Africa) – Morocco’s central bank maintained its key monetary policy rate at 2.25 percent and raised its forecast for inflation and growth slightly this year due to improved domestic demand and a rise in imported inflation.    The Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), which cut its rate by 25 basis points a year ago in response to declining inflation, added monetary conditions tightened slightly last year due to an appreciation of the real effective…

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