Morocco's BMCE Bank profit up despite rising bad debts
RABAT, Sept 23
RABAT, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Morocco's BMCE Bank lifted banking income by more than a tenth in the first half of the year, helping boost net profit by almost two thirds despite a 10 percent increase in bad debts.
The bank, which increased net profit to 595 million dirhams ($70 million), is facing rising bad loans in Morocco, its main source of income, because of an economic slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa, which makes up 30 percent of earnings.
BMCE posted 6.3 billion dirhams in bad debts in the first half, up from 5.7 billion at the end of 2012, the bank said in statement.
Net banking income rose 11 pct to 4.8 billion dirhams as deposits increased by 1.9 pct to 147.3 billion, while loans grew 1.2 pct to 140.5 billion.
"The bank is benefiting from a lower cost of risk (-16.3 pct) which resulted from a favourable base effect, as 2012 first half cost of risk represented 94.5 percent of the whole year risk costs," analysts from Casablanca Stock exchange said.
The bank's shares were steady at 200 dirhams after the results.
BMCE Bank in July delayed the issue of a $500 million 5-year dollar-denominated bond. (Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by David Cowell)
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