Moroccan shares mark MSCI debut with a fall

Published June 3rd, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

CASABLANCA, (Reuters) - The Morocco bourse on Friday, June 1, marked its debut on the MSCI emerging markets index with a 0.1 percent drop and thin volumes, losing ground gained on speculation the listing would boost foreign investment. 

 

Twelve Moroccan stocks made their debut in the MSCI index on Friday, which saw total traded volume of just 21.5 million dirhams ($1.8 million). 

 

But the all-share index closed the week 0.21 percent higher at 658.48 points, with the four previous sessions marked by volatile swings in prices caused by a lack of direction. 

 

Analysts and fund managers said the inclusion of Morocco in the index was not likely to boost the sagging bourse because investors were waiting for the government to implement reforms to spur investment. 

 

The MSCI index is one of the world's most widely used stock index series. 

 

"Nothing happened on Friday, so we were not really disappointed," a broker said in reference to the MSCI debut. 

 

The market is awaiting the approval by parliament of reforms announced by the government in January, which include proposed tax breaks and a tax-deductible saving plan. 

 

"Institutional investors are still keeping away in a clear boycott move to protest the government's nonchalent attitude towards the implementation of the reforms," a fund manager said. 

 

Analysts expect the market to continue its fall in the coming sessions if foreign investors do not turn up. ($1= 11.941 Moroccan dirhams)  

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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