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Algeria’s battle for modern banking

A properly functioning financial system has long eluded the country. As it moves on from Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s 20-year leadership, can the financial system finally overcome its many problems?

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Nabil Djemaa expected big changes at Banque de Développement Local (BDL), one of Algeria’s largest banks. Speaking to Euromoney on the morning of July 31, Djemaa, one of the country’s most experienced bank auditors and a former employee of BDL, pointed to its chief executive’s close ties to Algeria’s recently fallen political regime.

Less than two hours later, Djemaa called back to share the latest: Mohamed Krim, BDL’s CEO, had just been dismissed.

Such quick-fire news is now commonplace in Algeria. One day a senior financier is rumoured to be under threat, the next he is dismissed or behind bars.

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