Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank reports 3.4 pct rise in 2018 net profit

RABAT, March 19 (Reuters) - Attijariwafa Bank, one of Morocco’s biggest lenders, on Tuesday reported a 2018 net profit attributable to shareholders of 5.7 billion dirhams ($615 million), up 5.8 percent, citing improved risk management.

The bank, controlled by the Moroccan royal family holding Al Mada, said its net operating income improved 4.6 percent to 9.9 billion dirhams thanks to a 20.5 percent drop in risk provisions to 1.7 billion dirhams.

Net banking income increased 3.4 percent to 22.4 billion dirhams on the back of a 9.1 percent rise in loans to 305.1 billion, while consolidated deposits rose 4.6 percent to 459.9 billion dirhams.

The bank proposed an annual dividend of 13 dirhams per share.

Attijariwafa has 20,125 employees holding 3.65 percent of its capital.

The bank operates subsidiaries in Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Tunisia and Togo as well as branches in Europe and the Gulf gathering deposits from Moroccans living there. (Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Kevin Liffey)