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The Moroccan Economy in Brief: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Automobile: Sales up 37.4% in Q1:
The auto market appears to be picking up steam. Sales of new cars totaled some 44,163 units in the first three months of 2021, up 37.4% from the end of March 2020, according to the Association of Motor Vehicle Importers in Morocco (AIVAM). In detail, sales of passenger cars (VP) have increased by 37.05% to 39,129 units, while those of light commercial vehicles (LCV) have jumped 40.14% to 5,034 units. According to AIVAM, the Dacia brand continues to dominate the passenger car segment, with a market share of 29% and sales growth of 25.1% to 11,349 cars, followed by Renault (5,133 registrations and a share of 13.12%) and Hyundai (3,140 units and a share of 8.02%). For its part, Ford saw its sales jump by 75.71% to 1,172 units, while Citroën and Fiat managed to sell 1,760 and 1,258 cars respectively, representing increases of 11.25% and 7.16%.

Casablanca Stock Exchange: The MSI20 becomes the reference index:
The Casablanca Stock Exchange announced, Monday, the replacement of the MADEX, a compact index composed of stocks listed on the continuous, by the new generation index Morocco Stock Index 20 (MSI20), becoming the reference index of the Exchange. "The Casablanca Stock Exchange will proceed, as from January 1, 2022, to the definitive stop of the calculation of the MADEX index, which was created in 2002 and composed of securities listed on the continuous market," the stock exchange said in a statement.

Morocco: Economy recovers slightly in Q1:
After four quarters of consecutive declines, the first signs of recovery are coming. This is what emerges from the HCP note. The national economy would indeed recover by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2021, after four quarters of successive declines, under the effect of a rebound of 13.7% of agricultural value added and a decline of 1% of non-agricultural activities, says the HCP in its new note of economic situation. "This development would be attributable to the increase of 13.7% of agricultural value added, in a context of a decline of 1% of non-agricultural value added, instead of -5.5% a quarter earlier," said the HCP.

Africa: MAD 5.4 billion of Moroccan investments in 2019:
Moroccan investments on the African continent have increased from MAD 907 million in 2007 to MAD 5.4 billion in 2019, according to the Directorate of Studies and Financial Forecasting (DEPF). These investments are mainly made up of direct investments in sub-Saharan Africa and represent 47% of total Moroccan FDI, says the DEPF in a "Policy Africa" on the profiles of African economies. In sub-Saharan Africa, FDI from the Kingdom of Morocco is spread over 14 countries. The first destination remains Côte d'Ivoire (13%), ahead of Chad (12%), Senegal (9%), Madagascar (7%), Cameroon (4%) and Mauritius (3%), the DEPF said.

The dirham appreciates slightly against the euro:
The dirham appreciated by 0.26% against the euro and depreciated by 0.51% against the U.S. dollar, during the period from March 25 to 31, says Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) in its weekly indicators. Note that as of March 26, 2021, the outstanding official reserve assets stood at MAD 306.7 billion, down 0.3% week-on-week and up 19.6% year-on-year, according to BAM.