The Moroccan Economy in Brief: Saturday, July 20, 2019

Banks: AWB-AfDB agreement at €100 million for trade in Africa:
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a risk-sharing agreement (RPA) worth €100 million for Attijariwafa bank, the AfDB said on Friday. This risk-sharing program (50/50), designed to cover a portfolio of transactions of up to €200 million, supports more than €1 billion (cumulative value) of commercial transactions over the next three years, the AfDB said in a statement.

Moroccans spent 19 billion dirhams abroad in 2018:
Travel costs amounted to nearly 19 billion dirhams in foreign currency in 2018, up 9% compared to 2017, a year that had already recorded a 21% increase, according to the Office of Exchange figures. In 2018, Moroccan travel expenses abroad increased by 1.55 billion dirhams to 18.9 billion dirhams, a higher increase than the increase in foreign currency tourism revenues earned by Morocco (+1 billion dirhams), according to the same figures.

AFD and ONDA sign two financing agreements:
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Office National des Aéroports (ONDA) have signed two financing agreements for a 50 million euro loan and a 400,000 euro grant to strengthen aviation safety, airport security and energy efficiency measures. The two agreements were signed by Jean-Pierre Marcelli, Executive Director of AFD's Operations Department, and Zouhair Mohammed El Aoufir, Director General of ONDA, in the presence of Mihoub Mezouaghi, Director of AFD in Morocco, and ONDA's management, AFD said.

Microfinance: Outstanding loans of more than 7 billion dirhams at the end of May:
Although its overall outstanding amount is increasing, microfinance has recently attracted few clients. Active borrowers are in constant decline, especially women, who seem less and less interested in this type of financing, which they were used to. Referring to the monthly microfinance dashboard established by the Mohammed VI Centre for Support to Solidarity Microfinance (CMS), 903,598 active borrowers were identified at the end of May. This customer base is down 4.08% compared to the same month last year. A decline explained by the withdrawal of both individual borrowers (-1.64%) and solidarity borrowers (-8.56%) against strong demand from very small businesses (68.68%). By gender, the CMS reports an increase of 1.75% in male borrowers and a decrease of 10.27% in female clients.

OCP and ECA join forces:
The OCP group and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen collaboration on innovations and investments in agriculture using science and technology. This agreement also includes support for the Continental Free Trade Agreement and the economic empowerment of women in Africa.