Morocco favors local institutional investors in Maroc Telecom stake sale

Maroc Telecom Chairman Abdeslam Ahizoune gestures during the company's full-year results news conference in Rabat. Maroc Telecom is Morocco's largest telecom operator. (File/Reuters)
Updated 11 June 2019

Morocco favors local institutional investors in Maroc Telecom stake sale

RABAT: The Moroccan government, which plans to sell an 8% stake in Maroc Telecom, will sell 6% of that this month as a block order to local institutional investors such as retirement funds, insurance companies and banks, the ministry of finance said on Tuesday.
The remaining 2% stake will be sold on the Casablanca stock exchange, where the company is already listed, it said.
The government owns 30% of Maroc Telecom, Morocco’s largest telecom operator, which announced on May 31 that the government would sell up to an 8% stake of the company’s capital.
The 6% stake comprises 52,745,700 shares, priced at 127 dirhams ($13.2) per share, which will be sold before the end of June, the finance ministry said in a statement.
Maroc Telecom is also listed on the Euronext exchange in Paris.
The 2% stake sale, totalling 17,581,900 shares, will take place on the Casablanca stock exchange as a public offering, the ministry said.
Besides Morocco, Maroc Telecom operates subsidiaries in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo and the Central African Republic.
The sale would pump $1 billion into the state budget as a first step in a privatization program that is designed to cut the 2019 budget deficit to 3.3% of gross domestic product, from 3.8% of GDP in 2018.
The government also plans to sell the five-star La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech and the Tahaddart power plant in the north of the country.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 18 August 2019

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”