Fitch Ratings has assigned support ratings of 4T to Societe Generale Marocaine de Banques (SGMB) and Banque Commerciale du Maroc (BCM).
The 4T ratings of Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE) and Wafabank are affirmed. At the same time, Credit du Maroc's (CM) Support rating of 3T has been changed to 4T to reflect the agency's revised support ratings criteria introduced in July 2002.
Fitch's support ratings deal with the question of whether a bank would receive support from its owners or the state if it were to get into difficulty. These ratings are not debt ratings but rather an assessment of any level of outside support that may, or may not, be available to a bank.
The rating agency has assessed that the Moroccan State would support BCM, BMCE and Wafabank. These are, respectively, Morocco's second, third and fourth largest commercial banks by assets, controlling deposit market shares of 18.7 percent, 19 percent and 14.2 percent.
The agency's view of support for CM, 51 percent controlled by France's Credit Lyonnais, and SGMB, 51.9 percent controlled by France's Societe Generale, differs slightly. While the agency considers that support, should it be required for these two banks, may be provided by their majority shareholders, it anticipates that, given their market shares, ultimate support would also be available from the Moroccan authorities.
SGMB is Morocco's sixth largest commercial bank by assets, with an eight percent deposit market share, while CM ranks seventh by assets and controls six percent of deposits in Morocco.
Fitch considers that the Moroccan state would be willing to support all five of these banks in case of need. However, the state's ability to do so may be constrained by the country's weak public finances. As such, the agency's view is that support for the above banks would be likely but not certain. The ‘T’ suffix highlights potential transfer risk. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )