dit Du Maroc's Ratings Affirmed

Published March 31st, 2010 - 09:13 GMT
Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmed
the Foreign Currency ratings of Morocco’s Crédit du Maroc at BBB- (Long-term) and A3 (Short-term),
which are at the sovereign ceiling for Morocco, and the Financial Strength rating at BBB-. The Support
rating was maintained at 2. The Outlook for all ratings is Stable.
Crédit du Maroc (CM) was established in 1963, when the 34-year-old branch of France’s Crédit
Lyonnais (CL) was incorporated as Crédit Lyonnais Maroc, adopting its present style in 1966. The
Bank was founded as a joint venture wherein local investors, including the then state-owned BMCE,
held a minority interest. Current ownership consists principally of France’s Crédit Agricole SA. Wafa
Assurance, one of the largest Moroccan insurance companies and owned by Attijariwafa Bank (AWB),
holds a minority stake. In late 2008, Crédit Agricole SA signed an agreement with Morocco's
Attijariwafa Bank to sell its stakes in some African operations to Attijariwafa. The transaction included
selling assets in Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal and some other countries for an amount of
EUR250mn. In turn, Crédit Agricole purchased another 24% of Crédit du Maroc, held by Wafa
Assurance, to raise its share in CM to 77%.
CM maintains a sound overall financial position. The Bank has an adequate liquidity and funding
profile; funding is nearly all sourced from domestic retail customer deposits and the base of liquid
assets is reasonable. The expansion of deposits, particularly low-cost deposits, has been difficult over
the past year or so and this created some pressure on the Bank’s margins. Despite this, profitability to
end-June 2009 was good, aided by increased interest income from rising asset volumes and an
improved operating cost base. On the negative side, non-performing loans rose swiftly in H1 2009, the
first increase in bad loans for some time, as CM’s loan portfolio came under some pressure due to the
more challenging operating environment. Despite this, the Bank’s overall level of NPLs is reasonable
and adequate provisioning coverage is maintained. In 2008, the Bank’s capital base was boosted by a
subordinated debt issue which raised the capital adequacy ratio to a more reasonable level.
CM receives management and operational support from its French parent, Crédit Agricole, which aids
the Bank’s activities. With assets of MAD40,233mn (USD4,967mn) at end-June 2009, CM is the
smallest in a field of six main Moroccan banks, with a market share of about 6.5%. CM has typically
concentrated on lending to individuals and large companies. However, it is expanding its retail banking
activities. The Bank operates a network of over 260 branches in Morocco, two branches and one
representative office in France, and three representative offices in the Netherlands and Italy.
Darren Stubing darren.stubing@ciratings.com Tel: 357 25 342300
Tom Kenzik tom.kenzik@ciratings.com

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