Morocco's banking sector gains strength in the MENA region

Forbes lists three Moroccan banks among the thirty most valuable in the Middle East and North Africa
Banco Attijariwafa en Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Attijariwafa Bank in Morocco - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

Morocco has shown great growth in the latest Forbes list, this time focusing on the value of banks. As many as three Moroccan banks have been included in the list of the thirty most valuable banks in the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Attijariwafa Bank, BCP Group and Bank of Africa demonstrate the strength of the Moroccan banking sector, which remains one of the strongest, even in times of regional instability.

Growth across the region

The Forbes report is very positive for the region as a whole. Globally, growth of 14% has been achieved across all banks in the seven markets taken into account for this statistic. As of 23 February 2024, as of the date of Forbes' data collection, the total value amounted to 581 billion dollars.

Sede del banco BMCI Group BNP Paribas en Casablanca, Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Headquarters of the BMCI Group BNP Paribas bank in Casablanca, Morocco - PHOTO/ATALAYAR

Fitch Rating, in its outlook report for 2024, already indicated some of the reasons for this growth. Rising interest rates and oil prices are two of the most important pillars. Especially because, they say, "reasonable levels of liquidity, profitability and adequate capital buffers are expected to be maintained in most GCC banking systems".

Attijariwafa Bank, BCP Group and Bank of Africa represent the Moroccan banking sector

They are the three that have managed to position themselves among the thirty most valuable banks in the MENA region. Together they are worth more than $20 billion, which, according to the Forbes report, demonstrates "the immense potential and stability of Morocco's financial landscape".

 - Sede del banco marroquí Attijariwafa en Casabalanca
Headquarters of the Moroccan bank Attijariwafa in Casabalanca - AFP/FADEL SENNA

The first of the three is Attijariwafa Bank, which ranks 18th on the list. It is the largest bank in Morocco and one of the largest on the African continent. It has a market value of 10.6 billion dollars and a customer base of more than 12 million. In addition, it has branches in 27 different countries, which has led to a growth that has been confirmed by the latest figures.

In fact, it has experienced almost 20% growth in net profit over the past 2023, which has caused Attijariwafa Bank to exceed 916 million dollars. But its growth extends to other areas, such as its market share of loans in Morocco, where it has grown to 26.97%, and its market share of deposits, which reached 25.21%.

Banco Central de Marruecos en Rabat - REUTERS/YOUSSEF BOUDIAL
Central Bank of Morocco in Rabat - REUTERS/YOUSSEF BOUDIAL

BCP Group, Morocco's second largest bank, is ranked 22nd thanks to a market value of 5.9 billion dollars. Although it is just over half the value of Attijariwafa, BCP has a presence in more countries than Attijariwafa, having expanded its portfolio to 32 countries, 18 of which are in Africa. It has grown during this last period as a key player in the MENA region, reaching almost ten million customers.

The third of the three Moroccans is Bank of Africa, which manages to enter the list in 30th place thanks to a value of just over 4 billion dollars. Like BCP Group, it has a presence in 32 countries, although its customer base is smaller, at 6.6 million. However, the Bank of Africa figures also reflect a growth that, together with the increase in value of many of the banks on this list, Forbes indicates demonstrates the "resilience of the banking sector in the region".