RABAT, Sept 6 Attijariwafa Bank,
Morocco's biggest private bank, said on Friday first-half net
profit fell 4.8 percent to 2.2 billion dirhams ($256 million)
reflecting an economic slowdown and rising bad debts.
The bank is exposed to weak economies in sub-Saharan Africa
where it is developing aggressively. And a slow-down in the
non-agricultural sector in its home market contributed to an
increase in bad loans to 7.1 billion dirhams in the first half
of 2013, up from 6.4 billion at the end of 2012.
Attijari has subsidiaries in Tunisia, Ivory Cost, Senegal,
Mauritania, Mali, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville and Togo,
and branches in Europe gathering deposits from Moroccans living
The bank, which is controlled by the Moroccan royal family
holding SNI, said net banking income rose 4.7 pct to 9.1 billion
dirham, thanks to consolidated deposits and loans which
increased by 7.9 pct (238.7 billion) and 1.6 pct respectively.
It sees its return on equity (ROE), a widely-followed gauge
of profitably for banks, at 16.1 percent, down from 18 percent
at the end of 2012.
Attijari said it has the largest branch network in Morocco
and Africa with 3,037 branches, up from 2,882 in 2012.
The board will propose a 9 dirham dividend per share or 1.81
billion dirhams for the first half of 2013, up from 8.5 dirhams
in 2012. Its shares were steady at 314.75 dirhams on Friday
after the results.
(Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi. Editing by Jane Merriman)