French banking group Societe Generale intends to buy a 44.42 percent stake in Eqdom, the Moroccan consumer credit company. Following the announcement, the Tunis-based Maghreb Rating, an affiliate of Fitch Ratings, has put a ‘Rating Watch Positive’ in place for Credit Eqdom's Long-term 'A- (mor)' and Short-term 'F2 (mor)' national ratings.
Maghreb Ratings believes that the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval, should benefit Eqdom by widening its commercial network and giving it access to the management, product expertise and support of an established retail-banking group.
The acquisition is in line with the general strategy of Societe Generale, which focuses on retail banking and financial services to private individuals as a business priority. Societe Generale already has operations in Morocco through its subsidiary Societe Generale Marocaine de Banques (SGMB) and the consumer credit company Sogecredit, which is 60 percent owned by SGMB and 40 percent by Franfinance, a consumer credit subsidiary of Societe Generale.
Under a draft agreement with Omnium Nord Africain (ONA) group signed on March 1, Societe Generale will buy a 36.59 percent stake in Eqdom from Societe Nationale d'Investissement and a 7.83 percent stake from AXA Assurance Maroc. Two thirds of the stake in Eqdom will be acquired by Societe Generale, with the remaining one third being purchased by SGMB.
Eqdom is the leading consumer credit company in Morocco with a market share of around 20 percent. It grants loans to private individuals, particularly public sector employees. The Rating Watch for Eqdom's long- and short-term ratings will be resolved once the transaction is approved by the Moroccan regulator and Maghreb Rating has assessed the full impact of this acquisition on the company's risk profile. — (menareport.com)
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