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Growing agriculture

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Morocco’s agricultural sector has doubled in a decade. Now the country is developing high value added products for export while covering domestic needs.

In 2010, the agricultural sector amounted to $8.5 billion or 14% of Morocco’s GDP, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. This is almost twice the contribution of a decade ago. And agriculture is one of Morocco’s largest employers, with four million people active in the sector. The Moroccan rural population is estimated to total 18 million, or about 49% of all households.

agriculture2“Morocco can still count on the bounty of its land and the diligence of its farmers for a substantial part of the country’s wealth,” explains explains Pascale Nejjar, director of FENAGRI, the federation of agricultural processors and manufacturers. “Agriculture remains a pillar of our economy and will become more so as the government enforces plans to increase productivity and re-orient output to richer seams.”

Morocco has about 8.7 million hectares of fertile soil and another 20 million hectares of semi-arid land. Its fertile land is located in temperate areas where fruits and vegetables grow abundantly. The majority of the fertile land (67%) is devoted to the cultivation of cereals. The Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean climates are both conducive to good harvests. Arid areas are more suited to low-density ranching and olive groves.

Moroccan agriculture is globalized. Although the country satisfies full domestic demand for many crops, (e.g. meat, fruits and vegetables) and even exports many of these items, Morocco also imports a variety of foods.

Green Morocco

Morocco introduced the Plan Maroc Vert (Green Morocco Plan) to increase the proportion of land devoted to higher valued products, increase the amount of irrigated land, develop a series of six agropoles (concentrated areas of fully integrated production zones), and to expand agricultural exports.

“Part of our emphasis is to increase our share of higher value-added processed foods, both for domestic consumption and for export,” explains Ms. Nejjar. “In our strategic plan we have targeted sectors like olive oil, dairy products, ready-made foods such as tajines or couscous.”

Irrigation has shown excellent promise. In 2003 only about 100,000 hectares were irrigated, or less than 0.1% of the country’s total land. In 2010, the number of irrigated hectares had more than doubled to about 250,000. The goal of Plan Maroc Vert is to reach 550,000 hectares under irrigation by 2020 and to shift from gravity irrigation to drip irrigation. The government is subsidizing drip irrigation investments for farms of less than five hectares when these are created through aggregation of smaller landholdings.

Olive production

Morocco is located in the Mediterranean olive belt, yet its production of olive oil is only 3% of the world total, compared to Spain’s 36% and Italy’s 25%.

To increase Morocco’s share of world olive production, the government implemented programs to improve the quality of the oil produced, increase domestic and foreign demand, and double the area dedicated to olive groves.

With almost $75 million in financing available to develop the olive oil industry, Olea Capital seeks to increase production capacity to 30,000 tons of olive oil. Most of the new production capacity is aimed at foreign markets.

Milk products is another target of the agricultural development plan and resources have been allocated to the segment’s development. Morocco only counts 50 production units, of which 26 are cooperatives. The government program is focused on improving cattle races, reinforcing milk collection and treatment facilities, and on diversifying cattle feeding methods.

Processed foods

The main area of focus for the producers’ federation, FENAGRI, is increasing the foreign demand for Moroccan processed foods. But this is proving difficult despite the government assistance.

“The Moroccan government provides active support, for example in helping us with sales and marketing efforts abroad,” says Nadia Mabrouk, founder of Saleva, an Agadir-based manufacturer of ready-made dishes such as tajine and tapenade, an olive-based appetizer. “Landing international distributors is our main difficulty, second is increasing awareness of our excellent products.”

Some Moroccan food processors have been successful capturing foreign markets, such Venezia Ice, an ice cream maker. Certain food segments have started using creative Moroccan branding. Tangerines from the northern Berkaane region have obtained an appellation d’origine controlée. Olive oil and other commodities are soon to follow. ●

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For more information:
Ministry of Agriculture
FENAGRI (Fédération Nationale de l’Agroalimentaire)

Posté dans Afrique, Agriculture, Agroalimentaire, Maroc, Secteur d'activité | Tagué

Phosphates and more

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The Moroccan government recently kick-started the exploration and exploitation of other minerals in order to bring diversity to the country’s mining sector.

Although Morocco relies more on its brains than its earthen sub-strata, mining does represent an important component for the economy. In 2010 the mining sector represented 6% of the country’s GDP, about 27% of the national export earnings, and provided employment to roughly 35,000 people.

Like many other countries, Morocco is basically a one-commodity show, with phosphates being the Moroccan bread-winner. Used mostly for agricultural fertilizers, phosphates represent about 94% of total mining output by volume.

Morocco is believed to hold the bulk of global phosphates reserves. The country is the world’s third-largest producer of phosphates and accounts for around 17% of global output. Due to strong international demand and tight supply, prices are expected to remain high in 2012.

The Phosphates Company (OCP) is one of the world’s biggest exporters of phosphates. It has a monopoly on phosphate mining in Morocco and plans to double annual production capacity by 2020 to 50 million tons a year. OCP employs almost 20,000 people.

The company is solely responsible for the production and sale of Moroccan phosphate resources, mined at the Benguérir, Khouribga, Youssoufia mines in central Morocco, and the Boucraa mine in southern Morocco. Altogether these sites represent about 86 billion cubic meters of reserves. OCP is a stateowned company created in 1920.

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Other minerals

Morocco recognizes its mining sector is overly dependent on phosphates and needs to diversify. Therefore it has started mapping out its geological resources under the National Geological Mapping Plan and is actively leveraging private investors to help develop alternative minerals.

Although still small by international standards, Morocco is an active producer of precious metals (silver and gold) and of other ores (iron, lead, zinc, copper). In 2010 these latter four racked up production volumes of about 50,000 tons each.

Mineral deposits have been found throughout the country. Lead, fluorine and antimony are found in the center of the country. The Anti-Atlas Mountains contain copper, manganese, gold and silver deposits, as well as strategic metals such as cobalt, tin and wolfram. The High Atlas range has deposits of lead, zinc, copper, manganese, iron and barite, while the eastern part of the country has reserves of lead, zinc and coal.

To attract foreign attention to the country’s mining opportunities, Morocco has substantially changed the legal framework for mining. “Mining companies that export from Morocco have the advantage of a lower 17.5% corporate tax rate as do mineral producers who sell on to value-added transforming companies for export,” explains Julien David of French law firm Gide GLN.

Hydrocarbon search

Oil and gas exploration and research in Morocco is spearheaded by the National Hydrocarbons and Mines Office (Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines or ONHYM).

Compared to its neighbors (Algeria, Mauritania and Libya) which have vast proven reserves, Morocco’s petroleum potential is still largely unknown. But geologic research carried out from 2000 to 2011 shows a glimmer of hope. According to ONHYM: “Several viable petroleum systems, with good hydrocarbon potential, exist in Moroccan sedimentary basins.” ONHYM has carried out exploratory drillings, either on its own or via licenses granted to foreign companies, and has identified 26 sites as promising for future exploitation. Morocco currently counts only 18 active sites.

Investment prospects

The strategic potential for phosphates is downstream in added-value activities, such as in the production of phosphoric acid, ready-made fertilizers and other chemical derivatives. The Moroccan chemical industry is growing rapidly as new compounds are being produced locally.

Elsewhere, the emphasis is on finding and developing new minerals production, in partnership with qualified foreign partners. Another area that offers future growth potential is quarrying, namely for marble and granite. ●


For more information:
ONHYM
OCP
Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment

Insight
Grand Central Phosphate

OCP, Morocco’s largest company with $5.2 billion in 2010 revenues, is helping move the country up the phosphate value chain. Why settle for the export of raw phosphates when one can produce finished or semi-finished products locally and export those?

With this vision in mind, OCP is developing Jorf Phosphate Hub (JPH) in Jorf Lasfar, a coastal town about 125 kms southwest of Casablanca. JPH is no small project: the total investment is set for $1.17 billion, in two phases. Over 300 acres have been set aside for factories, storage warehouses, materials handling equipment, and of course new harbor facilities to export the products (chemicals, fertilizers, and other phosphate-based products).

“The principle of JPH is to offer ‘plug-and-play’ options to companies wishing to develop downstream phosphate activities,” explains the JPH Project Manager at OCP. The hub will provide its industrial tenants with all the required infrastructure: water, electricity, waste treatment, pipelines, security, and of course roads and bridges to connect to the domestic and export supply chains. JPH will open in phases, with its first phase of four industrial plants opening in 2013, and the remainder in 2015.

Posté dans Afrique, Industrie lourde, Maroc, Mines, Secteur d'activité | Tagué

Building boom

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Morocco’s infrastructure boom is turning investors’ heads. Each new government budget includes more infrastructure projects, attracting bidders from Spain, Turkey, Portugal and elsewhere.

Morocco is investing heavily on infrastructure to boost economic development. Cranes are omnipresent. Earth-moving equipment rumbles throughout the kingdom. There are so many road, rail, harbor and industrial infrastructure projects going on that Morocco has earned the moniker “country under construction.”

Infrastructure is always in top position in the national budget. Such investment directly impacts the country’s economic growth which increases its transport requirements. Thus, major international operators who are facing dropping demand elsewhere due to the global economic slow-down are heading to Morocco and its resilient economy.

Spanish operators are among the most prominent. Companies such as Copisa, BSA, Ecisa and engineering firm Cido Consult all developed a Moroccan presence in 2011. The beginning of 2012 has seen the Spanish rush continue with the arrival of Grupo Mecanotubo, a construction company, and Euro Geotecnica, an engineering company specialized in geotechnical services.

Turkish firms, such as Makyol, for the widening of the Rabat-Casablanca super highway, or Yapi Merkezi, for the building the Casablanca tramway, have practically become household words in Morocco with their high visibility and big budgets.

All this foreign interest has ruffled some local feathers. Moroccan construction firms (BTP or Batiments et Travaux Publics in French) want their share of projects too. The National Federation of BTP companies (FNBTP) is successfully lobbying to ensure they get them. The Ministry of Equipment and Transport has reserved at least 15% of projects for Moroccan BTP firms.

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Housing

Despite the international crisis, Moroccan infrastructure is proving resilient. According to the High Commission for Planning (HCP) in early 2012, construction activities continued to strengthen following the trend that started in mid-2011.

Social housing is one of the main drivers of this. The 37% increase in new projects, designed to house hundreds of thousands of low income families, reflects the effect of incentives over the past two years that have revitalized real estate activity. Add to this a 26% increase in residential housing starts.

The results of an HCP business survey among BTP professionals points to a continued improvement in outlook for construction activity, underpinned by increased demand from private households. Other sector indicators confirm this outlook. Cement sales, for instance, rose 2.3% in the first quarter of 2012, beating the average trend for the second successive quarter. HCP estimates that value added of the construction sector should increase by 6% and 6.5% respectively during the first two quarters of 2012.

“In terms of employment, the BTP sector employed nearly 1,059,000 people in 2011, up from 1,029,000 people the year before, representing 9.18% of the employed population aged 15 and over,” says Fatna Shihab, head of social housing for the Ministry of Housing.

Highways

But the best is yet to come, foremost because Morocco’s highway construction program is far from complete. “The additional program for 2015 includes another 384 kilometers, representing a total investment of around $1.75 billion,” discloses Othman Fassi-Fihri, Director General of Moroccan Highways (Autoroutes du Maroc) or ADM, the stateowned operator of divided toll highways.

ADM’s action plan includes widening to six lanes the Casablanca-Rabat highway (60 kilometers, $150 million) by 2012, and the Rabat road bypass to be completed in 2014 (41 kilometers, $330 million). Other projects should also follow in 2015, including the Beni Mellal to Berrechid highway (172 kilometers, $705 million), and the Tit-Mellil to Berrechid highway (30 kilometers, $150 million).

Railways

Morocco’s railway program includes significant structural investments, within the framework of general agreements between the railway operator ONCF and both the government and the Hassan II Fund for Social and Economic Development.

This covers the financing of the mega-project for Africa’s first high-speed train (Train à Grande Vitesse or TGV), linking Tangier and Casablanca. The total budget for this is about $3.9 billion, of which about $2.3 billion is for the TGV and the remainder for modernizing existing railway assets.

And ports

Harbors have not been forgotten in Morocco’s infrastructure master plan for 2010-2030. Increasing international trade has meant an explosion in shipping. Government plans include continuing work at the major project of Tangier Med II harbor to increase the capacity to 8 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). The port extension will add two new deep-water container terminals, providing 5 million TEUs of additional capacity. ●


For more information:
Ministry of Equipment and Transport
Autoroutes du Maroc
FNBTP (construction federation)

Success Story
Warehouses sprout like mushrooms

For the past two years, French company GSE has been busy designing and building some of the largest warehouses and logistics platforms in Morocco. After successful forays in other emerging markets, what attracted GSE to Morocco was the ease of doing business and the important market potential, due to the country’s emphasis on infrastructure development and the ambitious supply chain efficiency program (see page 53, sidebar on AMDL). GSE was assisted by Maghreb Consulting for its market entry.

GSE’s main projects in Morocco have included vast warehouses for two top big box retailers Marjane and Label’Vie as well as a logistics platform for major trucking company SNTL. GSE is now preparing further projects with the French Chamber of Commerce.

Posté dans Afrique, Construction, Industrie lourde, Infrastructure, Maroc, Secteur d'activité | Tagué

Moving the goods

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Economic growth means more freight traffic. But while Morocco’s shipping and rail sectors are up to the task, its road sector has a way to go before it can meet the country’s growing transport demands.

Omar El Kadiri CEO, Globex/Fedex

Omar El Kadiri
CEO, Globex/Fedex

Morocco’s freight needs are met primarily by road and sea. The country’s harbors are key to the import and export of manufactured goods, whereas the roads are vital for domestic demand and for certain exports such as agricultural produce.

But Morocco’s inefficient allocation of transport resources makes for excessive transport costs. According to the Moroccan road transport association (FNTR), these costs account for an estimated 20% of GDP. With more efficient logistics and warehousing, the cost of logistics could drop to 15% of GDP by 2015.

Fortunately Morocco recognizes the importance of having a good transport infrastructure for economic development. This is shown in its five-year national plan for 2008-2012 which calls for investments of $18 billion. The next five-year plan will continue that effort.

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Roads

According to the Ministry of Equipment and Transport, Morocco has 60,000 kilometers of roads, of which 33,000 are paved. It has increased the network of divided highways from 600 kilometers in 2005 to 1,400 in 2010. This has been financed via public-private partnerships and toll systems for intercity stretches.

The remaining 27,000 kilometers of roads are mostly unpaved. The transport ministry, however, has embarked on a paving program partly linked to the development of agricultural clusters (agropoles) requiring an efficient connection to the supply chain.

Morocco’s road transport industry is fractionalized. According to the transport ministry, nearly 837,000 commercial vehicles were registered in 2011. The road haulers association (FNTR) states that 56,600 vehicles are registered with their members but most of these are more than 14 years old and 90% of their member companies have three or fewer vehicles.

Morocco plans to make the sector more efficient by re-structuring the larger professional entities, the small and mid-sized entities, and the informal owner-operator entities that operate at a loss by offering below-operating cost services.

Rail

In contrast to the road system, Morocco has the most extensive rail network in the Maghreb. Approximately 1,900 kilometers of track (of which 20% are dual tracks) are operated by the state-owned ONCF. In 2011, ONCF carried 28 million passengers and 32 million tons of freight.

However, 70% of the freight ONCF carries is phosphates, which will soon be transported by more efficient pipelines. ONCF is seeking replacement goods, including cereals and other agricultural produce, perhaps in containerized forms. But ONCF faces an uphill battle since the country’s geographic disposition is not as conducive to rail freight as to road freight. The distance from Tangier to Casablanca, for example, is only 350 kilometers.

ONCF is also focused on increasing ridership. Morocco has invested heavily in upgrading its rail infrastructure, improving rail beds and rolling stock and installing electrified overhead catenaries. These improvements have increased passenger traffic. In 2010, ONCF carried about 30 million passengers compared to 20 million in 2005.

Morocco is also soon to be the first African country to have a high-speed rail connection, linking Tangier in the north to Marrakech in the center of the country, about 750 kilometers.

Ports

With about 3,500 kilometers of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, Morocco has 26 harbors, of which 11 are for mixed commercial use, another 11 are for fishing and the remainder are for yachting.

The port of Casablanca on the Atlantic is the main maritime entry point for Morocco, with more than 26 million tons of freight transiting annually. Casablanca has two container terminals and a third is being completed. It handles much of the country’s container traffic, but this is down from previous years due to competition from Tangier-Med.

Tangier-Med is a mega-project that aims to become one of the largest ports on the Mediterranean. First opened in July 2007, the port now has two container terminals and the capacity to handle over 8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

On the horizon is another Mediterranean port, Nador West Med, which will focus on the hydrocarbon sector and offer transhipment options for Atlantic-to- Mediterranean freight flows. ●


For more information:
Ministry of Equipment and Transport
La Fédération Nationale du Transport Routier au Maroc (road haulers)
ONCF (Moroccan railways)

Insight
Rationalizing transport

The Moroccan Agency for the Development of Logistics (Agence Marocaine de Developpement de la Logistique or AMDL) was initiated in 2011 as a semi-independent agency of the Ministry of Transport. AMDL coordinates different companies in the transport and logistics sectors: warehousing owners, freight forwarders, transport companies, and owner-operators.

By 2015, AMDL plans to make available total warehousing and logistics platform space of 2,080 hectares (eventually 3,300 ha) and 70 logistics platforms in 18 cities nationwide.

The objective is to rationalize the road freight transport segment, which is currently inefficient. The new measures of efficiency include a lowering of transport costs as a portion of GDP, meaning lower prices and greater competitive advantage for export goods, as well as lower CO2 emissions.

Posté dans Afrique, Maroc, Secteur d'activité, Transport, Transport routier | Tagué

Insurance faces bright prospects

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Moroccan insurance has plenty of domestic potential, namely because of a new government framework regarding health coverage. The non-life sector leads but the much smaller life insurance sector presents opportunities as well.

Despite the global economic downturn, the Moroccan insurance sector is performing well. At the end of 2011, private insurance companies earned $2.8 billion in revenues from customer premiums, an increase of 9.2% over 2010. Nevertheless, the growth rate was lower than that prior to the recession.

“We are the largest Arab market, with the greatest degree of sophistication and maturity,” explains Bashir Baddou, managing director of the National Insurance Federation (Federation Nationale de l’Assurance). “We even have a re-insurance company and quality offerings.”

Non-life carries the sector

The current growth in insurance comes primarily from the non-life segment, which includes automotive, fire and casualty. Almost 70% of insurance premium revenues comes from the non-life sector, representing 2011 revenues of $1.9 billion, up from $1.77 billion the year before.

Within non-life, automotive is by far the largest segment, accounting for 47% of premium revenues ($875 million in 2011), up 6.4% over 2010. The remainder of non-life is split between casualty and fire premiums, representing shares in the non-life sector of 16.9% and 11.9% respectively.

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Life insurance booms

Although the life insurance sector and related capital products is much smaller than non-life, it is showing promising signs. Life and capital posted double-digit growth between 2010 and 2011, after poor performance in 2009-2010. The 15.9% boost in 2011 means the segment now totals premium revenues of $890 million.

Life insurance has significant future potential. For the past two years, Morocco has committed itself to a policy of revitalizing its long-term savings. New financial products have been introduced and innovative tax incentives are on offer. Never before has so much interest been given to encourage savings. These are fertile waters for both life insurance and financial capitalization products.

The market leader for life insurance in Morocco is Wafa Insurance, owned by Morocco’s largest bank, Attijariwafa bank. Wafa Insurance dominates the life and capitalization segment, with 36.7% market share, claiming premium revenue of $325 million in 2011, up 25.1% over 2010.

This performance was driven by increased demand for the savings products offered by the so-called “bancassurance” companies. These are financial companies allowed to sell both banking and insurance services to their clientele. In this case Wafa Insurance used the much bigger Attijariwafa bank’s extensive network of agencies and sales representatives to market their bancassurance products.

Alas, life and capitalization insurance seems to be a zero-sum game. Wafa Insurance’s double-digit growth is offset by declines at competing insurers such as RMA Watanya or CNIA Saada. The decline in bancassurance premium revenues for some players is explained by their decisions to exit insurance-assavings products in favor of non-life products whose performance is steady.

Program contract

Not only was 2011 marked by financial growth for the 17 companies active in the private insurance sector, but also by the implementation of the Program Contract, signed in 2010 by the Moroccan government and public and private insurance sector actors. According to the objectives of the partnership agreement, 90% of the population will be subject to compulsory health insurance and 50% will require independent health care insurance.

The agreement is expected to provide an additional boost to the insurance sector. It involves extending the coverage of people and goods, improving the quality of services and services, contributing more to the financing of economic activity, strengthening the sector’s presence abroad, and consolidating the insurance companies’ financial basics. In all, no less than 70 measures were defined in the contractual framework between business operators and the nine ministries involved in creating the program contract. Among these measures, the extension of minimum coverage for people and property and the improvement of the quality of benefits and services are key elements for insurance companies.

Foreign markets

Through its major shareholder group Saham, CNIA Saada has expanded its presence to 11 African countries after the takeover of Collina. Wafa Insurance has obtained the necessary permits to operate in Tunisia.

In 2011, Wafa created a joint venture with French company Inter Mutuelles Assistance to create a pilot project that could open the African gates. Societe d’Assistance Maroc, the joint venture vehicle, targets non-resident Moroccans and African expatriates. With a target potential representing several hundred million dollars, it is also considering options in the Algerian market as well as several sub-Saharan countries, where it could benefit from the presence of Attijariwafa bank.

Market threats also exist for Moroccan insurance. According to some professionals, these threats include increased competition as new entrants arrive, as well as the implications of the Solvency II Directive on the use of retained earnings to reduce the risk of insolvency.

Nonetheless, the overall prospects seem bright as the market expands and additional services are introduced. ●


For more information:
Moroccan insurance federation (Fédération Marocaine des Sociétés d’Assurances et de Réassurance)
Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale

Posté dans Afrique, Assurance, Maroc, Secteur d'activité, Services | Tagué

Casablanca bourse on the rebound

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Casablanca hosts Africa’s second-largest stock market after Johannesburg despite restrictions on the financial instruments it can trade. The bourse’s growth prospects are looking good.

The stock exchange in Casablanca was established in 1929. At that time, it was known as the Office de Compensation des Valeurs Mobilières, or the Office for Clearing of Transferable Securities.

Until 1967, the stock market saw relatively sluggish growth due to stifling restrictions, namely on currency exchanges. To overcome such shortcomings, reforms were undertaken in that year to provide Morocco’s financial markets with a well-organized legal and technical framework.

Another phase of growth occurred after Morocco completed its structural adjustment program (1986 to 1996), which consolidated macro-economic fundamentals and successfully brought under control its high level of debt and inflation. Part of this program, in 1993, laid the groundwork for the modern bourse, establishing a regulatory agency, as well as accrediting brokerage firms and creating a private company responsible for its management. This became the Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) in 2000.

More recently, improvements have included the reduction of the trade settlement period from T+5 to T+3 (May 2001); the relocation of electronic-based trading to brokerage firms’ trading rooms (January 2001); the introduction of new indices and weighting methods; and the establishment of five different types of quotation markets, including three equity markets, the bond market and the funds market (April 2004). Lastly, new listing requirements were introduced in January 2005.

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Ownership and governance

The CSE is a joint stock company (société anonyme) with a board of directors and a supervisory board. CSE reports to the Ministry of Finance and Privatization, and operates under well-defined terms of reference while complying with a set of rules known as General Rules. CSE is jointly owned by the 17 brokerage firms operating in the marketplace, and has a share capital of $2.2 million.

There are currently 81 companies listed on the CSE, representing a market capitalization of $67.7 billion at the end of 2010. In 2010 two new companies were listed, and in 2011 the number rose to four companies. Traditionally, banking and telecoms have been the strongest equity sectors on the market. Recently, companies in the infrastructure activities, such as housing, construction and real estate, have made strong showings, reflecting the country’s heavy investment priority for infrastructure.

“Here, the companies are often more recent creations, with more open-minded managers having larger capital needs, so the CSE is a natural source of funds for their investments,” explains CSE President Karim Hajji.

Most of the trading is of shares (equity markets), which represents 91% of the volume. The remainder of the trading is in the bond market. CSE does not yet offer currency trading, mostly because the Moroccan dirham is not freely exchangeable.

Growth by several means

The number of companies listed on the CSE has seen relatively slow growth. “In Morocco we face several difficulties in convincing companies to list their shares publicly,” as explains Mr. Hajji. “Foremost is probably the fact that top management is not yet used to the loss of confidentiality, and some sharing of decision-making. Many old school owners are control freaks who do not wish to share.”

Nonetheless, CSE’s ambitious growth target is to have 150 companies listed by 2015. Given recent performance, the CSE management is confident. In 2010, the MASI index, one of two stock indices that track companies listed on the CSE, rose by 21%, and the volume of transactions rose by 65%, reaching $14 billion over the year. This means that after the 2009 slump, the CSE is almost back to its pre-crisis level.

To attain this goal, the CSE management is on continuous road shows throughout the kingdom, meeting with companies to present the advantages of the stock exchange. Mr. Hajji’s schedule includes meetings with at least half a dozen companies each week around Caravane de la Bourse.

Another goal for the CSE is to reach half a million investors (i.e. individuals holding shares, as opposed to institutional investors) by 2015. To meet this goal, the CSE team is holding seminars and classes, either for a general public or for targeted financial actors. Until that target is reached, the CSE relies predominantly on institutional investors (70%) for its trading activity. Individual investors and foreigners contribute about 15% of market volume each.

Aside from new listings, the CSE growth comes from additional cross-listings between countries. For example in 2010 Tunisian car distributor Ennakl Automobiles listed on both the Tunis and Casablanca exchanges. There is similar interest from companies south of Morocco with less developed equity markets, for example Senegal or Guinea. CSE can also count on secondary listings from already-traded companies to raise additional financing from the stock market.

Obstacles to growth

The CSE does face some obstacles on its path to growth. “Morocco weathered the 2008 financial storm quite well since it had little exposure to the risk-laden instruments, but there is wariness vis-a-vis more sophisticated instruments,” explains Mr. Hajji. “But there is a desire to start trading currencies and develop the bond market.”

One of the nagging issues for the CSE is that of liquidity. “There is pent-up demand for further trading capabilities, yet we are bound by tight regulations and are hampered by high P/E ratios for our Moroccan equities,” laments Mr. Hajji. “This discourages many investors. With not enough paper to go around, prices on the stock market are quite high.”

Another restriction is that Moroccan pension funds can only invest up to 10% of their holdings abroad, adding to upward pressure on domestic equity pricing. But this may be resolved when changes to the financial rules take effect in 2014 or 2015. ●


For more information:
Casablanca Stock Exch. (Full digital annual report available to download)
Economy and Finance Ministry

Posté dans Afrique, Finance, Marchés financiers, Maroc, Secteur d'activité | Tagué

Banking for all

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Much of the growth of the Moroccan banking system is due to increased access to banking services. Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), Morocco’s second largest bank, explains their success.

rachid-agoumi

Rachid Agoumi
Directeur Général,
Banque Centrale
Populaire

Several factors contribute to increased banking penetration. The first is undeniably the densification of the banking network and its extension to remote areas that had witnessed low banking usage levels. Proximity is a key lever for banking services. To increase this closeness-to-the-customer factor, several banks set up so-called lightweight agencies, to reduce investment costs, while simultaneously introducing other technology-intensive solutions.

Another key growth driver was provided by changes in the regulatory environment. For a long time, the minimum income requrements set for opening an account was a major obstacle, since much of the population was excluded. The impulse given by the Moroccan Central Bank (Bank Al Maghrib) for low income banking in 2010 made access to banking services much broader.

More specifically at BCP, the emphasis has always been on increasing the number of account holders, the depth of penetration. Banking agencies have been established in far-flung, remoter areas of the country, be it in the less accessible mountainous areas of the Atlas chain or in the deep south. Unlike other banks, the BCP network is principally outside of the major urban centers.

In addition to this traditional agency structure, there have been four innovative programs that have proven successful for BCP: the low income banking program dedicated to a broad segment of the population; a program of banking services for retirees, stuctured via the two largest national pension funds CNSS and CIMR; the launch of Souk Bank, a initiative of mobile branches that crisscross the souks (open-air markets) of the Kingdom for rural banking; and finally, the involvement of the Banque Populaire Foundation for the development of micro-credit lending, in parallel to new bank account creations.

Growth from the Moroccan diaspora

The Moroccan diaspora has always been an important part of the business of BCP Banque Populaire. BCP currently holds a more than 50% market share in this important banking segment, since remittances from overseas Moroccans represent almost 10% of national GDP.

BCP has pioneered this field since the late 1960s, catering to the more than three million Moroccans located throughout the world (see sidebar on page 43). After obtaining a full banking license for its French subsidiary, BCP established antennae in the main EU countries. In parallel, clientele offerings were expanded to eventually encompass not only the standard portfolio (savings, investment and assistance products) but also new innovations. Islamic financial products are increasingly requested by this community abroad. ●

Q&A

What are the strengths that have made Morocco second-ranked in Africa in terms of FDI?

Many factors are contributing to my country’s attractiveness. Good economic growth rates. A structured set of government initiatives that are bearing fruit. Low debt levels. The financial sector in Morocco is healthy and plays a key role in funding projects in key industries. Let me cite tourism, energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, real estate and finally agriculture as examples.

What is the role of BCP within the various government sector plans?

We play an important role, formalized by various conventions signed between BCP and the government, and bolstered by the fact that BCP is the only bank in Morocco to be rated “investment grade” by Standard & Poor’s. Our key role in real estate deserves mention: we were leaders in setting up “Fonciere Emergence”, an fund that owns various industrial assets and logistics platforms, and then rents them to tenant companies. This reduces their capital needs.

BCP is actually part of Groupe Banque Populaire. Tell us more about the usefulness of your regional branches.

Structured as a cooperative bank, we have BCP as the central hub and ten regional banks as spokes around it. This gives us a nationwide footprint, and a deep understanding of regional competitive advantages. In turn, this has helped many a foreign direct investor.

Posté dans Afrique, Bancarisation, Maroc | Tagué

More deals

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Corporate finance is still a golden fleece, although things were better two years ago.

Mouhssine Cherkaoui Administrateur Directeur Général, Upline Corporate Finance

Mouhssine Cherkaoui
Administrateur Directeur
Général, Upline
Corporate Finance

The market for corporate finance and investment banking services in Morocco is relatively young. It started off in the mid-1990s, to accompany privatizations and initial public offerings on the Casablanca Stock Exchange.

Things have evolved since, and the past decade has seen a good degree of maturing, as services become more professional. A number of renown financial institutions, including Upline Group (part of Banque Centrale Populaire or BCP), have accumulated a wealth of experience via two decades of rich offerings.

Within corporate finance, the Moroccan scene has been most active for the following:

  • Capital markets: here the twin drivers are activities on the stock market and the private debt market. For the former, the usual suspects have been IPOs, secondary market share issues, and other share-related transactions. For the latter, the market has seen the issuance of company bonds and other financing instruments
  • Strategic operations: these include privatizations, public-private partnerships, mergers and acquisit-ions, private placements, joint ventures, etc.
  • Fund raising: from both private and institutional investors, as well as traditional debt from banks
  • Financial engineering: for mega-projects, this has included cost-benefit analysis and finance structuring, as well as financial advisory and company valuation services.

In retrospect, 2011 was characterized by an unstable regional geopolitical environment, and illiquid stock and bond markets. This made fundraising operations difficult. Nonetheless last year witnessed some sizeable operations worth mentioning:

  • beginning of SNI asset disposal, namely via the sale of part of food processor Lesieur-Cristal to Sofiprotéol and Moroccan institutional investors
  • three IPOs (Stroc Industry, Jet Alu and S2M)
  • capital increases (BCP and Label’Vie)
  • massive bond and negotiable debt security issues.

The sluggish regional and international context will continue to influence market conditions in 2012. We should see a year of further consolidation and tightening liquidity.

Yet this will not prevent several important corporations from raising funds for ongoing growth. For some, it will mean opening their capital to institutional investors and investment funds. For others, it will imply access to capital markets via bonds and negotiable debt securities. Lastly, some players might restructure their debt, namely overleveraged actors. Moreover, SNI will continue divesting its non-strategic assets. The Moroccan government might add extra boost to the market if it revives its privatization process, or issues tenders for expert financial support and advice. ●

Shall we do a deal in Morocco?

Upline Group, part of BCP bank since 2008, boasts of two decades of experience in various financial services. Here is how we can help your financial needs in Morocco.

  1. Brokerage. Through personal advice and an electronic trading platform, full access to Moroccan financial exchanges. Regular research and analysis notes to guide you.
  2. Asset management. About MAD 20 billion under management. Winner of the coveted “Alistotmar Chaabi Treasury” award. Sole Moroccan manager of a French fund.
  3. Private equity. The leading partner in private equity ventures. MAD 7.5 billion at the end of 2011. Diverse risk/return portfolio offers access to varied PE funds, including infrastructure, tourism, real estate and others.
  4. Corporate finance. Through a team of 15 investment bankers, we offer the gamut of investment banking services: debt and equity instruments, M&A, as well as privatizations.
  5. Insurance brokerage. Our branch Chaabi Courtage offers life and non-life insurance.

Our clients include Maroc Telecom, Vivendi, OCP, Label’Vie, Axa, Autoroutes Maroc, ONCF, etc.

Further information on www.upline.co.ma

Posté dans Afrique, Corporate Finance, Finance, Maroc, Secteur d'activité | Tagué

Fundamentally sound

Posté le

With more than $26 billion in assets, Morocco’s banking system is well-capitalized and growing fast. The country’s strategy is to become the dominant regional platform, thanks to conservative monetary policies and banking regulations, as well as expansive outbound tactics.

Morocco has a healthy interest in its financial sector. The country’s political stability and low risk levels have meant a steady increase in the importance of the financial industries within the overall economy.

In July 2011, the IMF noted that assets in the banking sector exceeded 120% of GDP, compared to 109% in 2007 and 81% in 2003. Financial services’ share of GDP has risen with overall economic growth, for example increasing from 17.5% in 2005 to 20.4% of GDP in 2009.

Banking was not always such a sweet business here though. “Until 1961, banking was a controlled, statist activity, with few actors and tight regulations,” explains Hassan el Basri, president of the Moroccan Banking Federation (part of CGEM, the employers’ organization). “In 1961 a progressive restructuring was initiated. One can distinguish between three phases in banking development since then.”

During phase one, from 1961 to 1993, nationalized banks were transformed to privately held ones. Phase two, from 1993 to 2006, was kicked off by a new Banking Decree (Nouvelle Loi Bancaire of 1993), that loosened banking regulation by shifting to indirect regulation. Monetary regulations were the norm, namely covering interest rates, banking ratios and monetary policy. Some banks disappeared (e.g. BNDE because of poor management). Other banks were privatized. Some small foreign banks (namely Spanish ones) disappeared. This phase also saw the introduction of universal banking rules (Basel I and II), including risk assessments and liquidity ratios. This phase also witnessed the end of mandatory employment rules, which had saddled banks with inappropriate human resources. In the 1990s, allowance was made for foreign banks to own 100% of banking assets. That is when BNP Paribas France bought its share of BMCI, Credit Agricole France bought its share of Credit du Maroc, and Societe Generale France bought its share of Societe Generale Maroc.

Thirdly, in 2006 another banking reform law shifted all regulatory powers to the Moroccan Central Bank, or Bank Al-Maghrib, although technically the Ministry of Finance still rubber stamps their decisions.

The Bank Al-Maghrib was founded in 1959 and is based in Rabat. In June 2010 (the latest figures available) it held net foreign reserves of $18 billion. In addition to currency management, the bank also supervises a number of privatized banks supplying retail services.

Three majors

Today the Moroccan banking sector is dominated by three major local banks: Attijariwafa bank, BCP (Banque Centrale Populaire) and Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur. The three major banks held around 80% of total assets in 2011.

There are 76 financial institutions in the country including 16 commercial banks, 37 financing companies, six offshore banks, and 14 micro-finance associations. Moroccan banks have kept clean balance sheets with low levels of bad debt, despite the growth in their lending portfolios. Non-performing loans represented 5% of total loans in 2011. Within the portfolios of the six publicly traded banks, on the aggregate, four categories of loans represent almost three-quarters of the total: household loans, manufacturing, construction and finance.

Morocco has a dense banking infrastructure with 21 commercial bank branches per 100,000 people. By comparison South Africa, which has one-and-a half-times the population of Morocco, has ten bank branches per 100,000 people.

banking1

Growth factors

Moroccan banking has been active, yet conservatively so, due mostly to two factors. “Firstly project finance has had an important impact on banking growth,” says Hassan El Basri. “As of the 2000s, private sector financing was introduced for large-scale projects, namely in the energy sector. These projects used to be 100% financed by foreign institutions, such as the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank. Other large projects were in the areas of telephony, particularly mobile networks, as well as tourism and infrastructure.”

“A second important growth factor,” proceeds Mr. El Basri, “was penetration of banking infrastructure and services among the public. In 2000, less than 40% of the population had bank accounts, now about 60% do. Accompanying and driving the account proliferation has been the opening of new bank agencies.”

Another growth vector has been the development of lower-income banking, in particular the Al-Barid Bank, the banking branch of the post office. Al-Barid was launched in 2010 to provide basic banking services to those with modest incomes. It has agencies in 1,800 post office branches and aims to have six million customers by 2013.

Elsewhere, Moroccan banks are competing for the business of Moroccans living abroad, helping them transfer money to Morocco and invest in the country. France accounts for 41% of remittances from Moroccans living in Europe while Spain accounts for 10%. Deposits held in Morocco by Europe-based immigrants stood at $15 billion in 2010, about 20% of total national banking deposits.

To foster expansion, there have been many banking innovations, such as “agences legeres”, or agencies staffed by two employees. Industrial investments are no longer subject to property purchasing taxes (charge fonciere), which are now carried by a government fund, Fonciere Emergence. As for retail banking, there have been many initiatives to boost account penetration (bancarisation in French) among the population. Banque Populaire (BCP) has introduced a well-received “mobile banking” unit that appears at weekly open-air markets throughout rural areas. Morocco also has “talking” ATMs, that enable illiterate customers to perform basic banking operations. A final word on Islamic banking. Although still nascent in Morocco, various new regulations should assist in its development over the next years. ●


For more information:
Moroccan Ministry of Economy and Finance
Bank Al Maghrib
Federation of Banks – Mr Hassan El Basri (click on Federations Sectorielles)

Insight
Stimulus from abroad

With about 3.3 million Moroccans living abroad, the country can count on its diaspora for beneficial financial impact, and more. According to the government’s Office des Changes, about $6.8 billion of inward remittances from Moroccans abroad flowed into the country in 2011.

Yet cold cash is not the only benefit derived from the diaspora. Moroccans residing abroad are key in transferring skills acquired through formal education, training and professional experience. The diaspora is also entrepreneurial, setting up businesses in their host countries, landing contracts and sometimes opening up subsidiaries in Morocco. There are also the homecoming microentrepreneurs, who open up often small businesses upon returning home, for retirement or other reasons.

Through this strong network of human, cultural and economic ties, the diaspora has proven a key contributor to Morocco’s growth, and an important window onto the world.

By Prof. Imane El Ghazali, ESCA School of Management

Regional Banking Platform
Building a financial hub

Capitalizing on its banking strength, Morocco’s main financial players (banks, insurance companies, the stock exchange) are now building Casablanca Finance City, a regional hub similar to financial centers in Dubai and Qatar.

Along with industrial developments, such as automotive and aeronautics, Morocco sees the potential for developing a strong regional financial platform.

With launch funding of $14.1 million, the Moroccan Financial Board will manage and promote Casablanca Finance City (CFC) as a regional financial hub and gateway into the African markets, just as the Dubai International Finance Centre offers a portal for Persian Gulf financing.

The venture’s shareholders include the creme de la creme of Moroccan finance, including the three leading banks, the Central Bank and CDG, several insurance companies, the stock exchange, and others. CFC will offer favorable tax advantages similar to those for the national free trade or nearshoring zones. In April 2010, the Moroccan government appointed Said Ibrahimi to head the CFC project.

Although it is still early in the game, CFC has already signed its first six tenants and is in advanced discussions with another 20 partners. The types of tenants CFC is targeting are financial and professional services, as well as regional headquarters for financial and non-financial firms active in other countries.

To ensure the success of the venture, partnerships have been signed with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise and Luxemburg for Finance. CFC wants to emulate the key success factors of the 40-year old Singaporean model. Areas of cooperation include the institutional and regulatory framework, optimizing legal frameworks for capital markets, and improving the ease of doing business. The link-up with Luxemburg for Finance, the Grand Duchy’s finance promotional arm, covers both mutual business development and training.

CFC will be located on a new site covering 100 hectares on the old Anfa airport. Construction will be in phases and is expected to deliver a total of 1.4 million square meters of mixed-use space (40% office, 40% residential, 20% other), so that CFC becomes an urban destination, not a financial ghetto. CFC will also include a large park. After its success developing its industrial sector, Morocco’s financial sector ball is rolling.

banking2
Success Story
Attijariwafa bank heads into Africa

Morocco’s top bank, Attijariwafa bank, has been following a progressive and successful southbound expansion into the heart of Africa. The bank’s director of international retail operations provides his insights.

By Mohammed Krisni Managing Director International Retail Operations Attijariwafa bank Group

By Mohammed Krisni
Managing Director
International Retail
Operations
Attijariwafa bank Group

Born in 2004 from the merger of Wafabank and the Commercial Bank of Morocco, Attijariwafa bank is both young and dynamic, and steeped in the traditions and business networks of its founding banks, created in 1906 and 1911 respectively.

Barely a year after the merger dust had settled, Attijariwafa embarked on its international expansion. The Moroccan borders were becoming too small for us! Our first step was in Europe, where our credentials helped us obtain a full banking license.

Immediately thereafter, we set our focus on Africa – both our natural backyard of Maghreb North African countries, and the farther-flung UEMOA and CEMAC countries of West and Central Africa.

Since 2005, we have grown this African foot print to cover 11 countries (out of the 19 in the zone). By the end of 2011, we employed 4,905 staff in 503 agencies, handling 1.4 million client accounts.

The goals of our international development are four-fold. Firstly, we realize that the penetration of banking services in many African countries is still low. We have been a key actor in this effort in Morocco, where penetration levels rose substantially in the past ten years. Secondly, we realize that an increasing number of companies and institutions need pan-African banking services, through a broad-based network. We wish to maintain our leadership as the foremost francophone-based bank.

Thirdly we have developed unique expertise in project finance, namely for infrastructure projects, and we wish to capitalize on this beyond Moroccan borders. Lastly, we see higher growth opportunities in some countries than at home.

Do we grow opportunistically? Yes and no.

Some of our pan-African growth has been via acquisitions. Other countries have been greenfield launches. We often operate in stages, with our growth matching the preparedness of the country, or the opportunities that appear.

banking3For example, in Mali (where I served as CEO), we acquired existing players. In Senegal, on the other hand, we progressed in phases. Phase one was the banking license. Phase two in January 2007 was the purchase of 67% of BST bank, and then 79% of CBAO bank in April 2008. We thus created the leading bank in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), and as a bonus landed a foothold in Guinea-Bissau. In the case of the Crédit Agricole subsidiaries, our strategic thinking was to acquire a basket of country operations, since that deal involved banks in Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Gabon and the Congo.

For us, greenfield growth does also exist, for example in Burkina Faso, in Mauritania, and via our representative office in Libya.

One of our key considerations in our acquisitions is to ensure smooth transitions with existing staff and managers. We transfer our best practices within our new operations – be it in the sales and marketing areas, in back office and systems, or in personnel training at our Casablanca headquarters. We also adopt relevant expertise from our local brethren. After completing a deal, we usually establish a 12- to 18-month roadmap for the integration.

Attijariwafa bank in ten years?

Within the realm of African banks, we are currently ranked sixth by assets, after four South African and one Egyptian bank. Our vision is ambitious and we expect to continue growing in geographic scope and in the breadth of our service offerings. We certainly look forward to accompanying the Moroccan financial authorities as they develop an African financial platform based in Morocco (Casablanca Financial Center).


For more information:
Ibtissam Abouharia: i.abouharia@attijariwafa.com
Head of Financial Information and Investor Relations

Posté dans Afrique, Finance, Maroc, Secteur Bancaire, Secteur d'activité | Tagué

Aviation takes off

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Morocco has developed an internationally competitive aerospace platform that is already recognized worldwide.

Ten years ago, Morocco focused on the potential of the aeronautics and space industries. Today, aeronautics is a significant engine of growth, with annual growth prospects of 20%. The industrial base includes more than 100 companies, consisting mainly of subsidiaries of multinationals or of joint ventures between Moroccan and international operators. This cluster includes aircraft maintenance, logistics, wiring, mechanical engineering, sheet metal, assembly, surface treatment and composite materials.

More than 8,000 skilled workers are currently employed in the aeronautics sector and future ambitions are big. The sector expects to reach 15,000 jobs by 2015 and 23,000 by 2020.

Much of the aerospace cluster is located in the economic capital Casablanca (Aeropole Nouaceur) and, to a lesser degree, in the Tangier free trade zone. Within GIMAS (Groupement des Industries Marocaines Aéronautiques et Spatiales), the federation that covers aeronautics and space industries in Morocco, optimism about the future of the aviation industry is aplenty.

“Moroccan order books are filled and the kingdom has become a globally recognized low-cost destination for aviation, offering logistical proximity and a skilled workforce,” explains GIMAS Chairman Hamid el Andaloussi. “Morocco has become the destination of choice for operators in the aerospace sector.”

International references include EADS, Boeing, Labinal, Snecma, Aircelle, Creuzet, Zodiac, Daher and Souriau.

The sector contributes high added value, with a production value of around $665 million in 2010, against only $575 million in 2009. Thanks to export sales, it also brings in foreign currency. For the year 2010, this reached $260 million against $230 million in 2009. The sector continues to attract foreign and Moroccan investors. Investments grew markedly from $34 million in 2009 to $41 million in 2010. In other words, aeronautics continues to earn its kudos as one of the key industrial priorities in Morocco’s so-called metiers mondiaux – the key professions for which the country wishes to develop world-class expertise.

Still climbing

AeronauticsAeronautics in Morocco is still on the climb due to a combination of factors. Firstly, there is the generally positive worldwide industry outlook, with top aircraft manufacturers enjoying full order books for the next five years.

Secondly, new investors are still flocking to Morocco. Large Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier is the latest to announce a substantial investment (see sidebar) amounting to over $200 million.

Whether via organic growth or via new joint venture openings, 2012 promises to be beneficial for local companies. Another growth factor is that Morocco is adding new capabilities and areas of expertise that integrate different technologies and add new value. The wide base of companies cover many of the links in the industrial chain: manufacturing, assembly, surface treatment, engine and fuselage maintenance, design and CAD-CAM. Morocco is fourth worldwide for the manufacture of electrical wiring.

Educating the workforce

According to GIMAS, the sector is liable to double in size over the coming years, taking advantage of this combination of favorable factors.

But there are challenges. Chafib Khalifa, deputy CEO of Midpark, a 165-hectare industrial park near Casablanca and platform destination for aviation industries, underlines the main difficulty encountered by companies in the sector.

“One of the biggest challenges faced by aerospace companies in Morocco is undoubtedly staff training,” Mr. Khalifa states. “This does not fully meet the needs of companies. New hires are often trained internally, which requires an investment in time and money. But there is a risk that trained staff will quickly abscond, attracted by better-paying offers from competitors. This can lead to a wage war and a loss of competitiveness.”

To meet these concerns, including providing 15,000 trained staff by 2015, the Institute of Aeronautical Professions (IMA) was launched in 2010 to provide training in fitting and assembly of aircraft components, aircraft sheet metal, composite materials, CNC machining, and electrical systems.

More than 300 people were trained in the first year and IMA proposes to train 1,000 people annually by 2014 instead of the 800 previously planned.

IMA Director Abdelbasset Bentoumi says the length of training, tailored to each business, ranges from 23 to 42 weeks and includes core training “in French, quality control, knowledge of aeronautics and aircraft, interpersonal communications and safety. The aviation industry, where quality and reliability are the watchwords, requires a fundamental teaching of educational rigor and professional commitment.” ●


For more information:
GIMAS (Groupement des Industries Marocaines
Aéronautiques et Spatiales)

National Pact for Industrial Emergence 2009-2015

Success Story
Bombardier lands in Morocco
Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier is planning its Moroccan debut in late 2013. The company has signed a letter of intent to develop an extensive manufacturing facility at the aeronautics cluster in Nouaceur near Casablanca.
Although finalized discussions are still ongoing, Bombardier plans to invest $200 million for the establishment of the unit. The money will be spread over eight years beginning in 2013.
Company spokesperson Haley Dunne explained: “The project will first enable Bombardier to produce simple components and structures, such as aircraft floorboards.”
Although Bombardier has not yet divulged the names of the Moroccan management team, the local strategy remains one of strengthening the company’s position in emerging markets, notably to take advantage of substantially cheaper production costs. The new company is expected to generate 850 direct jobs and a further 4,000 indirect ones.
This will be the second major accolade for the government’s Emergence plan, intended to develop a strong national industrial base. To date the prime industrial success story has been that of French auto manufacturer Renault, which has made large commitments in the Tangier area.
Posté dans Aéronautique, Afrique, Maroc, Secteur d'activité, Transport | Tagué