According to Silk Invest, much of the reason that “institutional investors started coming back [late last week] into the [Casablanca All Share Index] after a few weeks spent on the sidelines” was due to the announcement recently made by Central Bank governor Abdellatif Jouahri, who reiterated that the country’s banking sector hasd not been affected by the financial crisis given the sector’s limited exposure to foreign markets, and moreover that the banking system’s “resilience” is a “result of an ongoing reforms process.”  Moroccan credit growth increased 23% in 2008, and 17% this year to May.

Four banks lead the fray in Morocco: domestic players Attijariwafa Bank and BMCE (Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur) Bank, as well as BMCI and Crédit du Maroc (subsidiaries of France’s BNP Group and Crédit Agricole, respectively).  Only the first two, however, are discussed as having continent-wide aspirations; the two are actively opening branches in European capitals, as well developing a regional presence in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in west Africa.