Monday, July 18, 2011

Moroccan Economic and Telco News

A share of the Moroccan Government stake in Maroc Telecom to go on sale.

The Moroccan government said today it wants to cuts its 30 percent stake in Maroc Telecom. It is understood that this stake (based on Maroc Telecom's closing price on Friday) should be worth as much as $1.10 billion (8.86 billion dirhams). If the sale goes as intended the government would retain a share of around to as low as 23 percent.The sale will be through the Casablanca bourse.

The finance and economy ministry said in a statement that on Sept. 7 it would open bids it had received by financial firms to advise and lead the sale of up to a 7 percent stake in Maroc Telecom. It did not say when it expects the transaction to be completed.

In related news, Majd Hosn, a telecoms analyst for Pyramid, says Morocco's telecom sector revenue will see a 4.1% annual growth rate over the next five years. The telecommunications projections position the industry at $5.47-billion in 2015.

Moroccan communications ministry official Ibrahim Saeed told ITNewsAfrica that he is hopeful that these projections will maintain excellent prospects.

“We have worked hard to build a strong IT and telecom sector and hopefully Pyramid’s report will turn out true,” says Saeed.

“The leadership changes and popular uprisings that have spread in North Africa will take their toll on the stability and growth of Morocco,” adds Pyramid.

“However, (the country will) maintain a strong position compared to other Middle Eastern and North African communications markets.”

Tourism receipts up

Despite the present instability in the region, tourism receipts over the the first half of the year rose 9 percent to 24.7 billion dirhams and migrant remittances climbed 7 percent to 26.7 billion dirhams. According to data from the Office des Changes - the foreign exchange regulatory authority - this result is mitigating the potential impact on the availability of foreign currencies.

At the same time, Morocco's trade deficit jumped 24.5 percent in the first half of the year from a year earlier to 93.2 billion dirhams fuelled by higher oil and wheat import bills.

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