NewsNorth AfricaInterview: Moroccan capital must take the initative - CEO Attijariwafa Bank

Sat,18Nov2017

Posted on Friday, 12 July 2013 11:14

Interview: Moroccan capital must take the initative - CEO Attijariwafa Bank

Ismail Douiri Co-Chief Executive, Attijariwafa Bank/Photo©AttijariwafaMorocco has world-class facilities but lacks local capital, says Ismail Douiri, Co-Chief Executive of Attijariwafa Bank. Although the bank is present in several French-speaking African countries, Douiri reveals that there are no immediate investment projects in English-speaking African countries.

 

The Africa Report: The 2010 Bouabid Foundation report is sceptical of this decade of Moroccan growth, claiming it is merely moving with the tide. Do you share this idea?

I think broader analysis would be that growth has so far been driven by consumption: rapid development of clients in the cities, with low inflation giving the emerging middle class higher purchasing power. But also by infrastructure-led investment – both governmental and non-governmental.

Now we need to add [production] to those engines, and exports in particular. This is where we need a renewed entrepreneur base and broader contribution by all economic players. Everybody needs to be in a dynamic where we understand we are working in a competitive world.

So far foreign investors have been able to see that Morocco has world-class facilities that are globally competitive. Now we also need Moroccan-led capital to make use of that new position.

Do you have a board which allows you to move on a more long-term basis?

The board is clearly focused on the long term. We constantly review our strategic plan with the board; we also formulate strategies for different initiatives – including the international developments that were carefully planned and prioritised based on each country's characteristics.

But it also looks at the short-term opportunities in an objective way, meaning it challenged us to justify why we're taking certain initiatives. With any investment there are risks, but as long as you make your assumptions clear and you discuss them, things should be under control.

Do you have ambitions in English-speaking Africa?

Let's say we don't rule that out, but there is no immediate project in that regard. We're just permanently assessing our options and making sure that if we make an investment it will be a profitable investment for our shareholders, because otherwise it's better to give them their money back. ●



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