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The Moroccan Economy in Brief: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The MAD is strengthening against the euro and the dollar:
The MAD appreciated by 0.91% against the euro and 1.44% against the US dollar during the period from December 31, 2020 to January 6, 2021, according to Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM). During this period, no auction operations were carried out on the foreign exchange market, according to BAM in its latest Weekly Indicators Bulletin. As of December 31, 2020, the outstanding official reserve assets stood at MAD 320.9 billion up 1.4% from one week to another and 26.7% year-on-year.

The World Bank forecasts a 4% growth for Morocco in 2021:
The World Bank (WB) forecasts a 4% growth of the Moroccan economy in 2021 thanks to an increase in agricultural production at the end of the drought period and the easing of containment measures. "Morocco is expected to return to 4 percent growth in 2021 as a result of increased agricultural production following the drought period and the government's easing of containment measures," says the WB's latest January Global Economic Outlook report for countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Morocco's economy is expected to contract by -6.3 percent in 2020 according to WB estimates, which also forecasts economic growth in Morocco of about 3.7 percent in 2022.

MAMDA acquires more than 4.1 million BCP shares:
The Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) informs the public that the Mutuelle Agricole Marocaine D'Assurances (MAMDA) declared that it acquired on the block market, on December 31, 2020 from Banque Populaire Fès-Meknès, 4,116,000 shares of Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) at the unit price of MAD 243, directly crossing the 5% threshold of participation in the capital of the said bank. Following this transaction, MAMDA declares that it holds 13,174,352 BCP shares, i.e. 6.51% of the capital of the aforesaid bank.

Morocco-US Cooperation: The Dakhlaconnect platform launched:
Morocco-US cooperation has been strengthened with the opening of a U.S. consulate in this southern city. Sunday is the platform "Dakhlaconnect.com." The project, dedicated to investment promotion and territorial marketing, was launched at the headquarters of the wilaya of the region of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, in the presence of the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Near East and North Africa, David Schenker. Funded by the U.S. government, Office of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), through its branch of the U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), this platform aims to build a bridge between companies in the region, investors, customers and potential suppliers.

Morocco's foreign exchange reserves at an all-time high:
The assets of official reserves have reached an all-time high at MAD 317 billion, according to Attijari Global Research (AGR). "The liquidity shortage of the banking system improved in early 2021 as a result of the appreciation of foreign exchange reserves. In fact, official reserve holdings have reached an all-time high of MAD 317 billion," AGR analysts said in their latest "Weekly Rate Survey" for the week from January 4 to 7. To this end, the Central Bank reduced its 7-day advances from MAD 8.2 billion to MAD 36.5 billion while maintaining stable its longer-term interventions, including repurchase agreements, guaranteed loans and foreign exchange swaps.