Economic performance

With the 2019-2021 Strategic Development Plan together with the Group transformation plan, BANK OF AFRICA has embarked on the next stage of its development, which aims to deliver sustainable value creation. 

Throughout the year, BANK OF AFRICA again demonstrated its commitment to financing the domestic economy as well as its continuing to expand its international operations.

The Group pursued its digital transformation process by innovating at the organisational level and on behalf of its customers.

BANK OF AFRICA also reaffirmed its interest in supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and SMEs by continuing to roll out various initiatives on their behalf. His Majesty’s speech on 11 October 2019 encouraging banks to finance entrepreneurship was consistent with BANK OF AFRICA Group’s determination to bolster its role as partner to small businesses and to pursue this goal in 2020.

As a result, BANK OF AFRICA launched Intelaka, an integrated programme providing support and funding for small businesses. The package consists of financial as well as non-financial services, including access to the Entrepreneurship Observatory, training, regional centres of expertise and the Entrepreneurship Club. 

 
1 - A MAJOR PLAYER IN FINANCING
THE MOROCCAN ECONOMY

With an unwavering commitment to the corporate sector, BANK OF AFRICA has acquired extensive expertise in advising and supporting Moroccan businesses.
BANK OF AFRICA’s mission is to guide and support large businesses and encourage investment. The Group has become one of the key partners in financing the flagship sectors of the Moroccan economy, prioritising sectors that are key to the country’s economy development.
As a result, BANK OF AFRICA has prioritised large-scale projects, while meeting its undertakings to promote sustainable development. In the energy sector in particular, the Group has helped finance a seawater desalination project south of Agadir, a drinking water supply unit in Laâyoune and a desalination plant in Al Hoceima.
The Group has also focused its efforts on strategic sectors such as healthcare and tourism. In doing so, the Bank helped finance the construction of a hospital in Bouskoura and a number of hotels in tourist cities across Morocco.
Lastly, BANK OF AFRICA is supporting all the other major sectors that are important to Morocco’s economic development – textiles, transport, real estate, telecoms, ports, retail, automotive and the petroleum industry.
To improve the quality and range of services provided to large companies, BANK OF AFRICA has embarked on a transformation programme and has adopted a new organisational structure. This restructuring also aims to generate synergies with BMCE Capital and Corporate & Investment Banking. Closer cooperation between investment banking and corporate banking is likely to enhance interaction and improve decision-making with corporate customers being the main beneficiaries.
Similarly, to meet the needs of businesses, BANK OF AFRICA has enhanced its range of banking products and services in developing and marketing new solutions such as IS Factor and TVA Factor, which help private companies settle their corporate tax and VAT liabilities. Mezzanine PME, a new solution developed by the Central Guarantee Fund, is being marketed to viable businesses which can no longer access additional bank loans due to them being undercapitalised.

2 - DIGITISATION OF THE BANK’S
ACTIVITIES

In 2019, BANK OF AFRICA continued to implement its digitisation programme, which is an integral part of the Group’s strategy. A large number of initiatives were carried out as a result.
A sense of buoyancy returned to the majority of the personal and professional banking market segments as well as the corporate market in 2019. This was fuelled by various factors including targeted marketing and communications initiatives, campaigns focusing on specific customer segments, the gradual digitisation of customer processes and customer experience pathways, aimed at improving customer experience.
As a result, in 2019, BMCE Direct Web, the Bank’s online banking platform was entirely revamped with the Dabapay subscription service introduced. BMCE Business Online was also launched, enabling companies to monitor their banking transactions and access cash management and trade finance services.

3 - PRIVATE CUSTOMERS

Exclusivity in both services and approach

BANK OF AFRICA’s private banking division pursued its development strategy aimed at enhancing its range of services and generating synergies with the personal and professional banking network and business centres with a view to bolstering its private client portfolio and increasing product and service penetration. In particular, private banking sets itself apart from its peers with competitive pricing, services that make customers’ day-to-day lives much easier and expert investment advice, thanks to its partnership with BMCE Capital Markets.
A number of exclusive products were launched in 2019 such as the World Elite card, which comes with a next-generation contactless bracelet. This card uses state-ofthe- art technology, ensuring that contactless payments are entirely secure. Similarly, the BMCE Exclusive range of products and services enables clients to benefit from a comprehensive range of banking and nonbanking services which can be accessed via BMCE Exclusive’s Members Card.
4 - INVESTMENT BANKING CAPABILITIES BOLSTERED
BANK OF AFRICA’s investment banking division delivered a buoyant performance in 2019 with all the main indicators in positive territory. During the year, new business development gathered pace with the launch of the real estate business and the revival of the private equity business. In addition, the division’s digital strategy was bolstered with progress made on the CAP’TEC H project. The latter is an innovation-based programme bringing together Africa’s best start-ups.

A solid performance by the capital markets business

The capital markets business delivered solid results across the board. The various desks were able to capitalise on market opportunities by correctly positioning the trading book in anticipation of a move on the rate front during the year.
Indeed, the success of the BMCE Capital trading floor largely resulted from traders managing their positions proactively while sales teams made a sustained effort vis-à-vis their institutional clients in primary and secondary markets.
The BMCE Capital Bourse business enjoyed something of a revival in 2019 with noteworthy achievements, particularly in Morocco and in the WAEMU zone. At 31 December 2019, BMCE Capital Bourse’s market share was 14% share with volume up 2.5%. In 2019, the investment banking division was also involved in a couple of successful large-scale deals – BANK OF AFRICA’s capital increase, amounting to MAD 1.73 billion in addition to the CDC Group Plc deal, worth MAD 1.93 billion.
Despite challenging stock market conditions, BMCE Capital Securities saw its market share rise to 5.2% versus 4.4% in 2018. Lastly, the Custody subsidiary benefited from a more benign operating environment, posting a 5% increase in assets under custody in 2019. Mutual funds, which accounted for just under 48% of total assets, saw their market share broadly unchanged at 23%. As far as the middle- and back-office activity was concerned, the BMCE Capital Solutions business was able to process high volumes on a daily basis, largely due to good operational risk management.

Asset management business activities restructured to generate additional synergies

To generate additional synergies and pool resources, the asset management business in Morocco and overseas, the private portfolio management business and the discretionary portfolio management business have been grouped together within the ‘Asset & Wealth Management’ division.
BMCE Capital Gestion, the Group’s Moroccan subsidiary, once again underlined its status as a major player in the domestic market with MAD 60.4 billion of assets under management at 31 December 2019 and a 12.8% share of the market.
BMCE Capital Gestion Privée made every effort to grow its business against a backdrop of low interest rates and recovering equity prices. This business saw its ISO 9001:2015 certification renewed in 2019. All other businesses within the Asset & Wealth Management division are similarly certified. In West Africa, BOA Capital Asset Management showed a high level of resilience despite stiffer competition and a stock market which closed the year in negative territory. The subsidiary maintained its status as a major player within the industry with a 13.7% share of the market.
In 2019, a fund specialising in subsidiaries of SAHAM, an insurance company, was launched, new customers came on board and a number of institutional investors including pensions and life assurance companies registered growth in assets under management. In addition, BOA Capital Asset Management launched a unit-linked product in partnership with Atlantic insurance, a subsidiary of BANQUE POPULAIRE Group.
In Tunisia, the asset management activity registered a decline in assets under management for a third consecutive year (-6.8%), due to stiff competition from money market instruments. This did not prevent BMCE Capital Asset Management, however, from registering 13% growth in assets under management.

Advisory business resilient and revival of Private Equity business

Despite tougher competition, BMCE Capital Conseil saw its turnover reach an all-time high thanks to a number of large-scale deals. In Tunisia, the advisory market is still relatively immature although market conditions remain in the doldrums. By adopting a proactive marketing approach and offering a diversified range of services, BOA Capital was able to sign two new advisory mandates.
In addition, the Advisory & Private Equity division was bolstered during this year due to two projects – an SME fund for the WAEMU zone and a Fintech fund in Morocco.
As far as financial research was concerned, BMCE Capital Research continued to meet the growing demands of the different business lines, providing them with high-quality publications. The Research unit continued to enhance the quality of its publications and expand its coverage across the African Securities Network (ASN).
5 - DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIALISED
FINANCIAL SERVICES

Maghrebail consolidates its position

In 2019, Maghrebail pursued its development strategy by endeavouring to identify new growth opportunities and generating synergies and efficiencies with other Group subsidiaries. The Group’s leasing subsidiary took steps to bolster its risk and recovery policy, while continuing to improve diversification of its profit drivers – reducing refinancing costs and overheads and focusing on high value-added customer segments.
During the year, Maghrebail invested in its organisational structure and its human capital as well as embarking on a number of restructuring initiatives such as digital transformation and process security. Synergies between Maghrebail and BANK OF AFRICA were bolstered in 2019.
Maghrebail consolidated its position as the second-ranked company within the leasing sector with a 25.25% share of outstandings at 31 December 2019.

Salafin, a transition year after the merger

Following Salafin’s acquisition of Taslif, approved in December 2018, an integration plan has been implemented over the past year bringing together the various aspects of each entity’s business activities.
This plan has enabled both companies to merge their organisational and commercial aspects, human resources and information systems, while capitalising on the various synergies generated by the merger. Salafin is also pursuing its digital transformation process focused on improving customers’ digital experience and employee experience.
In such a context, Salafin managed to maintain profitability, generating MAD 130 million in net income at 31 December 2019, an increase of 2.6% compared to 31 December 2018. ROE was a satisfying 18.7%.

Maroc Factoring returns to growth

Following several years of transition aimed at changing the way in which the Group manages its factoring business, BANK OF AFRICA’s factoring subsidiary returned to growth in 2019, with net banking income of MAD 28.6 million, up 1% year on year.
In terms of risk management, 2019 saw the subsidiary’s cost of risk fall to 0.33% at 31 December 2019 versus 0.51% at 31 December 2018. At the same time, sensitive customer dossiers were closely monitored in close cooperation with the Group.

BTI Bank pursues its expansion

By focusing on a financial inclusion strategy and drawing on an innovative product range, BTI Bank is able to meet the financing needs of retail, professional and corporate customers. BTI is committed to developing practical and innovative solutions for every type of customer while adopting an ethical approach which promotes fair and equitable values.
Through its range of specialised participatory banking services, BTI Bank is pursuing a strategy of supporting businesses while establishing itself as the partner of choice for small businesses and SMEs in Morocco. In 2019, BTI Bank developed a number of new participatory products which are specially designed to support small businesses. In November 2019, BTI Bank signed a partnership agreement with the Moroccan Confederation of Small Businesses and SMEs. BTI Bank also received two awards. For the second consecutive year, it received the Customer Service of the Year award in the participatory banking category as well as an international award, ‘Best Participating Bank for Customer Service Quality in Morocco’, from World Finance.
6.-INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS HIGHLY DYNAMIC

Since it was founded, BANK OF AFRICA Group has acquired a reputation for being a dynamic bank with a global outlook. By making the right strategic decisions, the Group has been able to expand its international operations year after year, in Europe, Africa and more recently, Asia. The Group has emerged as a leading banking group with a strong international presence.

BOA Group, positive growth trajectory and a solid performance in West Africa

Despite a somewhat complicated political and economic context, BOA Group continued to improve its performance in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, more than 293,300 accounts were opened, taking the total number of accounts to just under 4.2 million at 31 December 2019. BOA Group’s total assets registered growth of 10.9% at 31 December 2019. Similarly, average outstanding loans rose by 5.7% to EUR 4 billion at 31 December 2019.
As far as the Group’s financial performance was concerned, aggregate net banking income was EUR 548.8 million at 31 December 2019 versus EUR 500.7 million a year earlier, an increase of 9.6% due to the improvement in both net interest income (+7%) and fee income (+15.7%).
Lastly, BOA Group’s consolidated net income stood at EUR 112 million at 31 December 2019 versus EUR 131 million a year earlier, down 15%, impacted by an exceptionally high level of loanloss provisions.

BMCE Shanghai Branch, pro-Asia strategy already delivering results

One of the highlights of 2019 was the official inauguration of the BMCE Shanghai Branch. BANK OF AFRICA Group is the first Moroccan banking group to establish operations in China. The new branch aims to become the benchmark in financing foreign trade transactions between China and Africa while actively helping to promote Chinese investment in Africa. As far as its development is concerned, the subsidiary is able to draw on the experience of a team of around twenty Chinese executives.
The initial results from the first year of trading are promising. At 31 December 2019, BMCE Shanghai Branch carried out USD 154 million worth of financing, benefiting Chinese and African customers.

Solid performance from European operations

In 2019, BMCE Bank International Madrid registered a solid financial performance in terms of profitability and commercial activity. The bank posted net income of EUR 9.2 million, an increase of 17% compared to 2018. These strong results were largely due to robust growth in financing foreign trade transactions and the positive impact from its commercial strategy, which aims to position the subsidiary as the partner of choice in trade finance transactions.
BMCE Bank International Plc London encountered a number of major challenges in 2019 such as helping define the Group’s European strategy in the context of Brexit, introducing a back office in London for the loan and trade finance business as well as ensuring an appropriate technology infrastructure. These challenges were met despite liquidity being tight and an increased cost of funding.
During the year, BBI Plc London saw its business expand with net banking income increase by 23%. This was largely due to the outperformance of the Capital Markets business due to some excellent investment decisionmaking, resulting in an improved portfolio yield while maintaining internal criteria in terms of rating and maturity. In addition, partnerships with various Group entities (BOA Ghana, BOA Ivory Coast, Tangier Offshore Branch, BBI Madrid) enabled synergy-based solutions to be implemented (Loan Solutions and Synergies and Corporate Banking).
Lastly, BBI Plc London is actively pursuing an ambitious development plan for the 2019- 2022 period which is focused on diversification as well as generating business flows from its representative offices in Dubai and Zurich.

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