Fitch places Morocco’s Wafa Gestion on Rating Watch
Fitch Ratings has today placed Moroccan Wafa Gestion's National Asset Manager Rating of aa- on Rating Watch, following the merger between Banque Commerciale du Maroc (BCM) and Wafabank.
Further to its acquisition of 100 percent of Omium de Gestion Marocain (OGM)'s capital in November 2003, BCM now holds 36.4 percent and 47.7 percent, respectively, of the equity and voting rights of Wafabank as well as 70.5 percent of Wafa Assurance's equity. This deal remains subject Moroccan Legal Authority's approval.
The new entity should become the largest Moroccan banking group, in terms of loans, clients and outlets, but should be second in terms of deposits. BCM benefits from a strong shareholder's structure, which is composed mainly of institutional investors, notably Omnium Nord Africain, Banco Santander Central Hispano and AXA Assurances. BCM is highly profitable and has a good cost/income ratio.
The first asset management company ever created in Morocco,
Wafa Gestion is 65 percent-owned by Wafa Bank and 35 percent-owned by Credit Agricole Asset Management and was set up in 1995.
The asset management company has always occupied a leadership position in its domestic market and the merger further strengthens Wafa Gestion. At 30 November 2003, Wafa Gestion and Attijari Management, BCM's asset management company, managed respectively 16.3 billion Moroccan dirhams ($182 million) and MD 8.03 billion. The assets managed by the new entity totaled MD 24.3 billion, a 36 percent share of the Moroccan market.
Both asset management companies are relatively similar in terms of activities, organization and systems. The potential merger of these entities should not generate important difficulties, says Fitch. The open-ended funds range should be rationalized. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)