Country FilesNorthCountry Profile 2014: ALGERIA

Sat,18Nov2017

Country Profile 2014: ALGERIA

alt Bouteflika reasserts his stake

The year was marked by spectacular events, tragically led by a jihadist attack on the Tiguentourine gas plant at In Aménas, that in January shook governments and the oil industry. But for much of 2013 Algerian politics was defined by the illness of the president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and speculation about the future.

 

 TABLE OF CONTENTS:

TOP ALGERIAN COMPANIES

TOP ALGERIAN BANKS

 

ar-infographie-algeria-2014Bouteflika reasserts his stake

The enfeebled president has positioned his allies ahead of the 2014 election

A drop in the value of hydrocarbon exports weighs on the trade surplus

The year was marked by spectacular events, tragically led by a jihadist attack on the Tiguentourine gas plant at In Aménas, that in January shook governments and the oil industry. But for much of 2013 Algerian politics was defined by the illness of the president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and speculation about the future.

With the expected April 2014 presidential election coming into view, a few alternative candidates have been mentioned, such as 2004 presidential Ali Benflis (see page193), but Bouteflika remains the dominant public figure in Algerian politics. Until his hospitalisation in France from April to July, momentum was building behind a fourth term for the 76-year-old raïs, the word for president in Swahili. The realisation that he was enfeebled by a stroke left Algerians with no obvious successor.

The Algerian elite–widely known as le pouvoir (‘the powers that be’) – was divided and undecided. In the interim, prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal did his best to look presidential, notably visiting a large number of the country’s 48 wilayat, or provinces. He oversaw a government committed to improving the implementation of policy and allocation of Algeria’s substantial hydrocarbons income, too little of which filters through to the wider population.

INTELLIGENCE RESHUFFLE

Then in September, Bouteflika and his ‘clan’, led by unpopular presidential brother Saïd Bouteflika, seemed to reassert their stake in the game at the expense of factional rivals led by the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS) intelligence chief, lieutenant-general Mohamed ‘Tewfik’ Mediene. A series of moves since then–most notably the removal of DRS high-flyer general Athman ‘Bachir’ Tartag, and other senior officers–have reinforced the view that in Algeria’s opaque politics Bouteflika, however infirm, is repositioned to stand himself, or at least to promote a proxy of his own choosing.

The early September military and security reshuffle consolidated Bouteflika allies’ positions,with the octogenarian chief of staff, major general Ahmed Gaïd Salah, promoted to deputy defence minister. That was accompanied by a government reshuffle which placed Bouteflika loyalist Tayeb Belaïz at the ministry of the interior and another supporter, Tayeb Louh, in the justice ministry. These appointments will have great influence over the electoral process and, potentially, over the outcome of a spate of corruption investigations at state energy giant Sonatrach and other institutions.

DISCONTENT

The bulk of the population is alienated from these developments. There are many thousands of strikes, protests and other manifestations of discontent each year. But this has not yet crystallised into a coherent national protest movement that might pose a real challenge to the political system. Meanwhile a low-level jihadist uprising continues. Although there have been no more major terrorist attacks since Tiguentourine, Algerian security sources reported killing 140 ‘terrorists’ from January to September 2013, mainly in frontier areas near Mali, Tunisia and Libya.

For now, the authorities have the muscle and resources to bottle up these undoubted social pressures, although there are some ominous signs. Algeria’s trade surplus for the first eight months of 2013 declined by 46.5% to $8.8bn from $16.4bn in January-August 2012, reflecting a sudden fall in the value of hydrocarbon exports. They make up 96.7% of total sales, for all the talk of diversification – and a further hike in the cost of imports.

Bouteflika is unlikely even to return as a dynamic force, but largely written off, he has shown he is a zaïm – charismatic leader - in the grand tradition. Bouteflika and other decision makers will now try to engineer the most favourable possible outcome to the 2014 presidential elections, keeping in place the established Algerian political configuration and policy mix.

Whether this is in the long-term interest of the wider Algerian population remains to be seen.

 

TOP ALGERIAN COMPANIES

 

Rank 2012Rank 2011CompanySectorCountryTurnover (Thds $)Turnover changeNet profits
11SONATRACHPETROLEUMALGERIA72,040,25022.53%9,015,485
4650NAFTAL*PETROL. SERVICESALGERIA3,367,077NA91,011
5567CEVITALAGRIBUSINESSALGERIA2,862,87026.72%261,872
6168sonelGAZELECTRICITY, GASALGERIA2,515,33911.58%-140,558
8479ORASCOM TELECOM ALGERIA*TELECOMSALGERIA1,793,840NA0
158167COSIDERCONSTRUCTIONALGERIA898,0358.61%173,052
169272WATANIYA TELECOM ALGRIETELECOMSALGERIA812,92676.09%0
183184AIR ALGRIEAIR TRANSPORTALGERIA734,1600.04%0
213205ALGRIE TLCOM MOBILIS*TELECOMSALGERIA633,120NA0
236263GROUPE CFAO ALGRIEDIVERSIFIEDALGERIA585,87321.42%0
263247GROUPE ETRHB HADDAD*CONSTRUCTIONALGERIA517,919NA59,189
275275ENT. NATIONALE DE TRAVAUX AUX PUITSPETROLEUMALGERIA473,2054.22%42,739
348402SOC. NAT. DES TABACS ET DES ALLUMETTESTOBACCOALGERIA336,92724.92%170,430
367354ALGRIE POSTE*POSTAL SERVICESALGERIA321,836NA0
377364ENTREPRISE NATIONALE DE FORAGE*PETROLEUMALGERIA311,139NA43,923
394439GROUPE IND. DES PRODUCTIONS LAITIRESDAIRYALGERIA296,26022.74%11,563
409409SOCIT NATIONALE DASSURANCESINSURANCEALGERIA277,2344.94%33,225
429-GROUPE BENAMORAGRIBUSINESSALGERIA258,835NA0
439455BIOPHARMPHARMACEUTICALSALGERIA250,227NA17,637
467469ENT. NAT. DE GRANDS TRAVAUX PTROLIERS*PETROLEUMALGERIA225,153NA3,970
468497ENTREPRISE NATIONALE DE GOPHYSIQUEPETROLEUMALGERIA224,7059.49%25,224
487484SHARIKET KAHRABA HADJRET ENNOUSS*ELECTRICITYALGERIA215,657NA29,651
 

TOP ALGERIAN BANKS

 

Rank 2012Rank 2011Bank nameCountryTotal assetsNet interest incomeLoansDeposits
88BANQUE EXTRIEURE DALGRIEALGERIA34,656,000534,00014,201,00027,961,000
1313BANQUE NATIONALE DALGRIE*ALGERIA18,624,966642,6839,733,1259,917,680
1921CRDIT POPULAIRE DALGRIEALGERIA12,983,633353,3936,109,5229,480,654
2019BANQUE DE LAGRIC. ET DU DV. RURAL*ALGERIA10,693,740202,8095,690,1139,132,308
8177BNP PARIBAS EL DJAZAIRALGERIA2,274,023167,6631,042,8041,724,390
8584SOCIT GNRALE ALGRIEALGERIA2,190,117190,1471,464,9901,729,576
9999BANQUE AL-BARAKA DALGRIEALGERIA1,743,420102,310768,0361,354,066
104110CITIBANK NA ALGRIE*ALGERIA1,706,14589,388431,3321,341,608
134-HSBC ALGRIEALGERIA1,137,00046,000357,000926,000
149147NATIXIS ALGRIEALGERIA880,99269,627571,321602,064
180170ARAB BANKING CORP. ALGRIEALGERIA558,51636,183214,400339,042
 

 

 

 

 

 



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