MOROCCO –Bank of Africa Group, a multinational pan-African banking conglomerate, has shown overall resilience in the face of the global COVID-19 crisis recording a 1% rise in consolidated net banking income for the period ending 30th June 2019.

A statement from the bank revealed that the bank’s net banking income for the period under review rose to MAD 7 Billion (US$ 758.75 million) due to a 4.3% increase in net interest income and income from market operations, despite a fall in the other income sources.

Despite its resilience, the corona virus pandemic did trigger a fall in profits with net income attributable to shareholders of the parent company down 68% to MAD 373 million (US$40.43 million).

The bank attributed the decline in profits to several factors related to COVID-19, including its donation of MAD 1 billion ($107.62 million) to Morocco’s pandemic response fund. 

Bank of Africa also noted in its report a 68% increase in the consolidated cost of risk from MAD 872 million ($93.84 million) in June 2019 to MAD 1.5 billion ($161.43 million) in June 2020.

 The figure factors in the anticipated impact from the health crisis, based on “a dynamic and forward-looking loan-loss provisioning model.”

The bank’s net income more than halved during the same period, falling by 55% from MAD 1.059 million ($113.97 million) to MAD 476 million ($51.23 million).

Despite the decline in income and rise in consolidated risks, the Bank’s net banking income for the Moroccan subsidiary rose by 3.4% to reach MAD 3.6 billion ($387.4 million).

Bank of Africa Group says this is thanks to strong momentum by market operations and a backdrop of lower interest rates, resulting in a 42% increase in income from market operations.

 The report also credits the rise to a 2.7% growth in net interest income amid a reduction in the cost of funding.

In terms of loans, consolidated outstanding loans rose by 5% to MAD 195.5 billion ($21 billion) at the end of June.

Customer loans rose by 3%, hitting MAD 178 billion ($19.16 billion) while the Bank’s share of the loan market grew from 12.28% in December 2019 to 12.53% in June 2020.

To support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank launched two new products guaranteed by the Damane Oxygene program — allowing small businesses to finance expenses — and Damane Relance, which helps business customers with their financial recovery from COVID-19.

The bank has also partnered with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in a €145 million finance facility and signed two agreements to support Moroccan SMEs.

The Bank of Africa group has banking operations in eighteen African countries, and a representative office in Paris, France.

The Bank is majority owned by Morocco’s Bank of Foreign Commerce (BMCE) and it maintains its headquarters in Bamako, the capital of Mali.

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