BMCE Bank of Africa: working for a continent

Banking & Finance
| The European | 9th March 2016


With its vast reserves of untapped potential, Africa is set to be the new growth frontier over the forthcoming decades. A number of factors point to the continent’s extraordinary growth prospects, which are unrivalled around the world. These include a population that will double by 2050, profound changes in consumption patterns and demographic expansion, together with an optimistic and creative younger generation reaching maturity. African countries have also been working to bring about economic stability. Tighter control of monetary policy, increased regional integration, the development of financial markets and a rigorous approach to regulation adopted by central banks have created a liquidity environment which is attracting foreign capital.

Against this backdrop, in order to play a supporting role in the emergence of Africa, BMCE Bank of Africa, a private sector banking group with Moroccan roots but African aspirations has embarked on a strategy of accelerating its investment in Africa. It’s a role very much encouraged by its Chairman, Othman Benjelloun.

A number of successful ventures have validated the bank’s decision to adopt such a strategy. BMCE Bank of Africa took an interest in sub-Saharan Africa as early as the late 1980s as part of a first ever southsouth co-operative venture with Mali. Similarly, in Congo Brazzaville, in 2003, BMCE Bank of Africa acquired a major stake in La Congolaise de Banque which it restructured. Today, it is the undisputed leader of its industry.

By building a presence in Africa through Bank of Africa (BOA), BMCE Bank of Africa aims to become a leading domestic, regional and African financial institution with extensive geographic coverage of most of the African continent by 2020. With nearly a 75% stake in BOA, this joint-venture partnership, a model for the region, not only provides exposure to markets with strong growth potential but also pools expertise and resources for greater wealth creation.

Bolstering operations

In terms of organic growth, BOA intends to bolster its existing operations to achieve a level of profitability to match its ambitions, particularly in countries with strong growth potential, such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory Coast, which is undergoing a reconstruction process, and Senegal.

Africa is not limited to the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) regions. prospects are attractive across the entire continent. Making inroads into English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries remains a medium-term objective. The goal for the next 10-15 years is to have operations in each of the 54 countries on the continent.

The Bank of Africa group’s growth prospects remain promising and are further enhanced by balance sheet consolidation via a series share issues by BOA Group and its subsidiaries as well as expansion projects underway in several African countries.

This international strategy, which also relies on developing a strong presence in international financial markets, has been further enhanced by establishing BMCE Bank International, a subsidiary of BMCE Bank of Africa in the UK specialising in corporate and investment banking activities with a focus on Africa. The rationale underpinning such a strategy has already borne fruit, as illustrated by the significant rise in the contribution from African subsidiaries to net income attributable to shareholders of the parent company, which was 27% at end-2014 versus 17% in 2008.

Corporate social responsibility is deeply rooted in BMCE Bank of Africa’s corporate philosophy. In accordance with the ethos of its Chairman, Mr Benjelloun, BMCE Bank of Africa allocates around 3-4% of gross operating income to the BMCE Bank Foundation, which is unprecedented around the world. The latter’s programme, which builds and manages schools in the rural communities, can be justifiably proud of its achievement of managing nearly 200 pre-school and school complexes with more than 380 teachers and nearly 15,000 pupils.

BMCE Bank of Africa Group’s continental ambitions also extend to this project which is to be rolled-out in other countries. After Senegal, Congo Brazzaville and Mali, the Foundation, chaired and steered by Dr Leila Mezian Benjelloun, plans to establish more schools elsewhere on the continent.

BMCE Bank of Africa in Africa ?? Among Moroccan banks, BMCE Bank of Africa Group boasts the most extensive coverage on the African continent with operations in 20 countries ?? More than 5,000 banking staff ?? Since its acquisition in 2007, BMCE Bank of Africa has invested more than MAD 3bn ($3tn) in Bank of Africa, the Group’s principal subsidiary in Africa ?? BMCE Bank of Africa holds more than 2.5 million accounts

BMCE Bank of Africa Group in figures (H1 2015 figures)

  • Total assets of 23.8bn euros
  • Operations in 31 countries
  • More than 1,200 branches
  • More than 4.5 million customers
  • More than 12,500 employees

CSR: Internationally recognised commitments

  • Inauguration of a new school of Beni Chiguer in Nador to expand the Medersat. com network, which now has 62 schools across Morocco
  • Launch of the first investment credit “Cap-Energy” in Morocco and in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region through an investment of 20m euros under the programme MorSEFF
  • BMCE Bank of Africa recognised for the second time in as Socially Responsible Bank of The Year at the African Banker Awards 2015
  • BMCE Bank of Africa ranking in the Top 70 of the new ESG index and Euronext Vigeo EM- 70, two polls dedicated to emerging countries
  • First initiator of a Socially Responsible Fund, through the Launch FCP ISR Capital Fund through BMCE Capital Gestion
  • Jobs for Youth 2015: Best Employer in its Industry, in a survey conducted by Amal Job The BMCE Bank Foundation
  • 192 built and equipped pre-school and school units
  • More than 400 teachers trained and supported by the foundation
  • 15,000 pupils educated and cared for
  • More than 6,000 adults achieving literacy, 80% of whom are women and girls
  • 60 community development projects implemented

Further information
BMCE Bank of Africa Morocco
Tel: +212-522-498-003
BMCE Bank International Madrid
Tel: +34 91 575 68 00

BMCE Bank International London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7429 5500
Bank of Africa
Tel: + 221 33 88 95 500

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