Rabat / Reuters
Moroccan lender BMCE Bank of Africaâ€™s net profit rose 1 percent to 1.95 billion dirham ($201.76 million) in 2015 as strong growth in banking activities offset non-recurrent charges and higher bad loans.
Consolidated net banking income rose 3 percent to 11.8 billion dirhams in the same period, it said in a statement on Monday. Banking income was held back by non-recurrent charges, BMCEsaid, without elaborating.
Its risk costs fell 19 percent to 1.4 billion dirhams from 1.8 billion in 2014.
BMCE, like other big lenders in Morocco, has faced higher risks in sub-Saharan Africa where it has been developing aggressively, and bad loans in its home market after years of economic turmoil following the financial crisis and Arab spring.
Total bad loans rose to 7.3 billion dirhams from 6.9 billion dirham at the end of 2014, data from the bank showed.
Return on equity (ROE) fell to 13 percent in 2015 from 13.7 percent in 2014. Total assets jumped 13 percent to 279.42 billion dirhams.
Sub-Saharan subsidiaries Bank of Africa, La Congolaise de Banque and Banque de Developpement du Mali contributed 30 percent to BMCEâ€™s profit, it said.
In 2013, the bank became the first private financial institution in North Africa to issue bonds in international capital markets.
Along with other Moroccan banks, BMCE is preparing to launch an Islamic subsidiary after the authorities gave the go-ahead to establish Islamic banks and issue sukuk, or Islamic bonds.
BMCE Bank is a large commercial bank in Morocco. According to the companyâ€™s website, it operates over 500 branches in Morocco alone. BMCE has offices in France, Spain,United Kingdom, China, Italy, Germany, UAE, Belgium, Canada and Netherlands.
The bankâ€™s stock is listed on the Bourse de Casablanca, or the Casablanca Stock Exchange.
Since privatisation, BMCE Bank has consolidated its position as an international banking institution, adopting a universal banking model. The Group has almost 12,000 employees, operations in about thirty countries, 4 million customers across a range of markets and 1,100 branches.
BMCE Bank enjoys broad
regional coverage in Morocco and is well positioned in Africa, Europe, Asia and North American region. The bank is
constantly ensuring the sustainability of its core business by developing high value added segments.
The Bankâ€™s diversification strategy has focused on expanding the SME customer segment and consolidating its position in the corporate segment, where it has been traditionally strong, thanks to its recognised expertise in project finance.