MOROCCOHolmarcom group, an insurance and real-estate company, has announced that it seeks to buy stakes held by Paris-based Credit Agricole in its Moroccan branch Credit du Maroc, a move that will significantly change the landscape of Morocco’s banking and insurance industries.

“These discussions are at a preliminary stage without any certainty on their outcome. Holmarcom will communicate more in due course if this project comes to fruition and in the meantime, does not intend to comment further on this project,” said a statement from the Holmarcom group.

The deal, if completed, will bolster Holmarcom standing as one of leading insurance companies in the country by setting foot in the banking system.

Credit Agricole has started since 2008 a disengagement policy from Africa selling some of its branches to Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank. It has afterwards increased its stake in Credit du Maroc to 77.8%.

Holmarcom, held by the Bensaleh family, has stepped up investments in the financial sector and merged its two insurance companies Sanad and Atlanta. It also bought 51% stake in Kenya’s Monarch Insurance.

Holmarcom operates in 6 African countries in the main sectors of real estate, insurance, agri-food and logistics.

The capital of Credit du Maroc is divided between Credit Agricole (78.69%) and Wafa Assurance (10.73%). The remaining 10.56% are held by small shareholders.

Credit du Maroc’s consolidated results as of June 30, have shown favorable growth in terms of distributed loans and a sustained collection of deposits, according to the company’s semestrial report.

As a result of its successful performance and a net profit growth of MAD 278 million, as opposed to MAD 24 million for the same period last year, the Moroccan subsidiary, listed on the Casablanca stock exchange, has attracted the interest of the Holmarcom group, and for good reason.

In 2020, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed an agreement to loan Morocco’s Credit Agricole Group (GCAM) US$20 million as part of its foreign trade financing line.

EIB in a statement said that the uncommitted, multi-currency trade finance limit will be used to issue guarantees in favour of confirming banks.

The funds according to EIB will also be used to provide cash financing for pre-export and post-import financing and to provide cash flows for local distribution.