RABAT, March 24 Attijariwafa Bank,
Morocco's biggest private bank, said on Monday 2013 net profit
attributable to shareholders fell 8 percent to 4.1 billion
Moroccan dirhams ($503.50 million) reflecting more bad debts and
non-current charges, the bank said in a statement.
The bank is exposed to weak economies in sub-Saharan Africa
where it is developing aggressively and to rising bad loans in
its domestic market.
The bank said the net profit was hit by a tax agreement paid
to the government for its subsidiary Wafa Assurance,
without impacting its balance sheet, and costs of a capital
increase reserved for its employers.
Bad loans rose to 9.08 billion dirhams in 2013, up from 6
billion at the end of 2012, the bank said, adding that 71 pct of
the loans were covered by provision.
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 4.9 pct to 17.9
billion dirhams, thanks to consolidated deposits and loans which
increased by 4.7 pct (237.7 billion) and 1.3 pct respectively.
It sees its return on equity (ROE), a widely followed gauge
of profitability for banks, at 15.4 percent, down from 18
percent at the end of 2012.
Attijari said it has the largest branch network in Morocco
and Africa with 3,197 branches, up from 2,882 in 2012.
The bank's shares were down 1.57 pct at 310 dirhams on
Monday after the results.
($1 = 8.1429 Moroccan Dirhams)
(Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Stephen Powell)