The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Banking

Banks try to rebuild Morocco’s trans-Saharan empire

Across Africa, French leadership in banking is being replaced as Moroccan banks expand south of their borders, reviving historical political influences and ancient trade routes. Are these dreams sustainable or are they adventures heading towards disaster? Dominic O’Neill reports from Casablanca.

ONE OF MOROCCO’S most senior bankers is somewhat notorious for giving history lessons on the country’s relations with sub-Saharan Africa. But investors might be more interested in figures about profit growth and asset quality. As a first impression, the data do not do much to dispel the impression that romanticism is a bigger factor than commercial sense in Moroccan banks’ recent growth in Africa.

But the expansion continues. Morocco’s biggest bank by assets, Attijariwafa, has already taken control of four out of the five banks across west Africa whose majority stakes it agreed to purchase from France’s Crédit Agricole in late 2008. Attijariwafa now owns one of the biggest banks in each of Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Senegal.

Ismail Douiri, co-chief executive at Attijariwafa

"Our international strategy in Africa is not about size or pride. It’s about value creation"

Ismail Douiri, Attijariwafa

Attijariwafa is also growing organically elsewhere in west Africa under its subsidiary brand CBAO, the biggest bank by assets in Senegal, with more than 30% market share, thanks to various acquisitions over the past three years.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree