Country FilesNorthCountry Profile 2014: TUNISIA

Fri,24Nov2017

Country Profile 2014: TUNISIA

Flag Tunisia Picking up the pieces

After the euphoric post-revolutionary moment, Tunisia moved into 2014 against the backdrop of a long-running political crisis. In November 2013, the transitional government was looking for a new prime minister as the main political forces failed to reach agreement about issues ranging from the terms of a new constitution to the timeline and regulations for elections.

 

 TABLE OF CONTENTS:

TOP TUNISIAN COMPANIES

> TOP TUNISIAN BANKS

 

ar-infographie-tunisia-2014Picking up the pieces

Support for the main parties drops due to the failures of the transitional government

Economic growth is weak amid concerns over Islamist-backed instability

After the euphoric post-revolutionary moment, Tunisia moved into 2014 against the backdrop of a long-running political crisis. In November 2013, the transitional government was looking for a new prime minister as the main political forces failed to reach agreement about issues ranging from the terms of a new constitution to the timeline and regulations for elections.

The Assemblée Nationale Constituante (ANC), the only legitimate institution, failed to pass a draft constitution throughout 2013. The struggle within and between political parties was so intense that ANC President Mustapha Ben Jaafar put the body’s activities on hold in August 2013. It appears that the Islamists lost the fight over article 141, which threatened the secular nature of the constitution.

The government troika of Ennahda, the Congrès pour la République and Ettakatol is now simply a marriage of convenience. The latter two smaller parties may well be punished next year in the polls. Inexperienced and dominated by Ennahda’s Islamists, the government created a crisis of confidence that included economic weakness, a poorly managed budget, unfulfilled social demands and spiralling inflation. There is also a weak response from the government about escalating violence from religious fundamentalists.

TAKING THE HEAT

But it is Ennahda that is set to bear the brunt of this disaffection in the coming elections, when they finally occur. Polling company 3 Cindicates that 30.1% of the population supports Ennahda, while 33.9% supports Nidaa Tounes, Béji Caïd Essebsi’s opposition coalition. While the Islamists retain their strong network of offices across the country, funding that opponents claimed came from Qatar has dried up. Doha’s shrinking regional ambitions may lead to further difficulty for Ennahda, which is also beset by internal fights. The spiritual leader of the movement Rached Ghannouchi now seems isolated.

The assassination of leftwing leader Chokri Belaïd in February 2013 led to the collapse of prime minister Hamadi Jebali’s government. The July 2013 murder of Mohamed Brahmi–a nationalist ANC deputy – and fighting in Jebel Chaambi undermined prime minister Ali Laarayedh’s government. These events caused a political stalemate between the opposition and the majority.

One positive sign for the future is the increasing political maturity of the union movement, characterised in the early days of the revolution by wild cat strikes and infighting. Labour and employers’ unions worked together with the support of both the Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l’Homme and Ordre National des Avocats to force Ennahda towards legislative and presidential elections in late 2013.

WEAKENED SECTORS

Reaching that phase requires an improved security situation, something that could also kickstart an economic recovery. Wage increases, the devaluation of the dinar, 14% inflation and higher debt levels have also made their impact,hurting the interior of the country in particular. Sluggish eurozone growth has hurt Tunisia’s exports.

The 2014 draft budget is based on austerity and raising taxes. The country’s instability has weakened sectors such as tourism and phosphate production, which together contribute about 18% of Tunisia’s gross domestic product. A suicide attack in Sousse on 29 October 2013, the first suicide bombing since 2002, could bring difficulties for the tourism sector, which has not yet reached the number of visitors recorded in 2010.

The banking sector has not recovered from years of poor management under the previous government. Supported by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government commissioned audits of the largest state owned financial institutions in 2013.

Throughout 2013, ratings agencies lowered their expectations for the Tunisian economy. In June, the IMF disbursed the first tranche of a $1.7bn loan aimed at financing reforms and encouraging employment and investment. But donors, such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, have suspended their credit payments until there is a clearer idea about where the transition is heading.

 

TOP TUNISIAN COMPANIES

Rank 2012Rank 2011CompanySectorCountryTurnover (Thds $)Turnover changeNet profits
7874SOC. TUNISIENNE DES IND. DE RAFFINAGE*REFININGTUNISIA1,854,141NA-197,824
9496SOC. TUNISIENNE DE LLEC. ET DU GAZELECTRICITY, GASTUNISIA1,600,1400.94%-11,230
117-ENT. TUNISIENNE DACTIVITS PTROLIRESPETROLEUMTUNISIA1,285,059NA251,156
164164SOC. NAT. DE DISTR. DES PTROLES AGILPETROL. SERVICESTUNISIA857,882-0.27%0
174174POULINA GROUP HOLDINGDIVERSIFIEDTUNISIA783,2290.28%30,047
175-GROUPE CHIMIQUE TUNISIENCHEMICALSTUNISIA780,135NA26,580
179188TUNISIANATELECOMSTUNISIA762,9586.80%0
201185SOCIT TUNISIENNE DE LAIRAIR TRANSPORTTUNISIA682,899-5.79%-96,714
237234PHARMACIE CENTRALE DE TUNISIEPHARMACEUTICALSTUNISIA581,0405.04%8,956
279267TOTAL TUNISIEPETROL. SERVICESTUNISIA463,395-2.01%8,085
287-LEONI WIRING SYSTEMS TUNISIAAUTOMOBIle PARTSTUNISIA445,599152.17%4,216
298313SOC. FRIGORIFIQUE ET BRASSERIE DE TUNISBEVERAGESTUNISIA429,26111.67%52,438
301268GROUPE LOUKILDIVERSIFIEDTUNISIA425,286NA23,258
312304GROUPE TTS*HOTELSTUNISIA403,893NA13,460
321-COMPAGNIE DES PHOSPHATES DE GAFSAMININGTUNISIA386,250NA124,050
346318SOCIT MAGASIN GNRALRETAILTUNISIA343,270-7.25%-15,296
412454GROUPE ONE TECHelec. CABLESTUNISIA272,58216.78%11,828
432389SNMVT - MONOPRIXRETAILTUNISIA254,626-12.01%6,202
 

 

TOP TUNISIAN BANKS

Rank 2012Rank 2011Bank nameCountryTotal assetsNet interest incomeLoansDeposits
4848BANQUE INTERNATIONALE ARABE DE TUNISIETUNISIA4,710,872225,3593,202,1403,827,338
4949SOCIT TUNISIENNE DE BANQUETUNISIA4,675,940147,0933,730,3793,482,129
5252BANQUE NATIONALE AGRICOLE*TUNISIA4,302,909179,6103,597,5213,278,010
5560AMEN BANKTUNISIA3,665,563113,6422,847,5082,466,985
5755BANQUE DE LHABITAT DE TUNISIE*TUNISIA3,639,377133,9632,752,2482,309,429
7067ATTIJARI BANK TUNISIE*TUNISIA2,769,193124,5931,876,7832,217,779
7168ARAB TUNISIAN BANK*TUNISIA2,757,19898,8601,546,3721,986,497
8480BANQUE DE TUNISIETUNISIA2,252,248101,7661,901,3811,595,787
9086UNION INTERNATIONALE DE BANQUES*TUNISIA1,975,63584,3301,578,4281,542,716
105102UNION BANCAIRE POUR LE COMM. ET LIND.TUNISIA1,644,72380,6791,251,3341,176,292
175175AL BARAKA BANK TUNISIE*TUNISIA597,14217,579262,154419,455
192-TUNIS INTERNATIONAL BANKTUNISIA518,64320,538106,389244,816
 


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