(MENAFN Press) Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmed the ratings of Banque Marocaine pour le Commerce et l'Industrie (BMCI), based in Casablanca, Morocco. BMCI's Long and Short-term Foreign Currency ratings were maintained at BBB- and A3, respectively, with a Stable outlook. The Financial Strength Rating was affirmed at BBB-. The Outlook for the Financial Strength rating is adjusted to Stable from Positive, reflecting a more challenging operating and global environment. The Support rating of 2 is affirmed, reflecting the support and strength of BNP Paribas.
BMCI, majority owned by BNP-Paribas Group, has a good business franchise in the Moroccan banking sector, particularly connected to the corporate sector and an increasing presence in the retail sector, and its position is supported by a sound financial profile. The Bank receives operational and executive management support from BNP-Paribas Group.
Ratings are supported by acceptable asset quality, reflecting a moderate level of NPLs and very good loan-loss provisioning coverage. BMCI maintained a sound asset quality profile to June 2011. The Bank's capital position is reasonable and going forward, allows for moderate balance sheet growth. The liquidity profile is adequate, supported by an acceptable base of both liquid assets and customer deposits, together with medium-term funding. However, customer deposits declined slightly in the first six months of 2011 and the loans to customer deposits ratio rose to a higher than desirable level. Profitability dipped marginally in the first half of 2011 against the corresponding period of the previous year and full year 2011 returns may be below those of 2010.
Moroccan economic growth should remain robust in 2012 but may be slightly weaker than 2011, due to weakness in the country's major trading partners, particularly in Europe. In comparison to its neighbouring North African and Middle East countries, Morocco has been relatively stable and this should remain the case in 2012.
From 1964 to 1973, BMCI operated as Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l'Industrie “ Afrique, which was part of what is now the BNP-Paribas Group (BNPP). Incorporated with local capital in 1973, the Bank's principal shareholder remains BNPP, which holds a 66.74% stake.
At end June 2011, total assets stood at MAD58,483mn with BMCI operating over 250 branches throughout the country.
The ratings have been initiated by Capital Intelligence. The issuer did not participate in the rating process. The information sources used to prepare the credit ratings are the rated entity and public information. Capital Intelligence had access to the accounts but no other relevant internal documents of the issuer for the purpose of the rating, and considers the quality of information available on the issuer to be satisfactory for the purposes of assigning and maintaining credit ratings. Capital Intelligence does not audit or independently verify information received during the rating process.
The rating has been disclosed to the rated entity and released with no amendment following that disclosure. Ratings on the issuer were first released in March 1996. The ratings were last updated in May 2011.
The principal methodology used in determining the ratings is Bank Rating Methodology. The methodology and the meaning of each rating category and definition of default, as well as information on the attributes and limitations of CI's ratings, can be found at www.ciratings.com