Moroccan Banks Stand Out Amid Regional Turmoil
Political turmoil in the Middle East has caused bank ratings in the region to drop. But US ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has recognized Morocco’s banking sector as especially resilient among its neighbors. Zawya reports:
The overall capacity of governments of these countries to provide any kind of extraordinary support to banks in case of need remains uncertain, except Morocco where the authorities have more financial flexibility and capacity….
In keeping with the slow economic growth, lending growth is expected to be sluggish across the region. In Morocco, lending growth has slowed since 2012 as a result of banks’ more conservative underwriting standards, weaker economic growth, and funding constraints. Morocco’s economy depends largely on Europe, and weak economic conditions there continue to dampen credit demand. Retail loan growth remains resilient, however, and Moroccan banks’ mortgage loan portfolios, which account for about 20 per cent of loans, continue to expand as demand remains high in the middle-income segment.