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EBRD supports the development of Morocco’s capital market

By Nibal Zgheib

  • EBRD to work with Bank of Africa to develop a green sustainable finance framework
  • Framework to accelerate social and sustainability bond issuance in the region
  • Agreement signed at the EBRD’s Annual Meeting in Marrakech

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting Morocco’s financial system and the country’s transition to a green economy by helping to develop its capital market.

At EBRD’s 31st Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Marrakech, the EBRD and Bank of Africa (BOA) signed a technical cooperation agreement to develop a green sustainable finance framework for BOA ahead of its first social bond issuance.

Morocco has a fairly well developed legal and regulatory framework and infrastructure for capital markets. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has posed new social and economic challenges that can be addressed with new capital market instruments that combine green finance with funding for wider social themes.

Helping financial institutions in Morocco to establish a framework that can accelerate social and sustainability bond issuance will enable them to attract a broader and more diversified investor base and have a positive impact on the country by financing projects with a green and social focus.

EBRD President, Odile Renaud-Basso, said: “Through this package for BOA, the EBRD will strengthen Morocco’s capital markets and help build a sustainable and resilient financial sector. It will also pave the way for replication by other local financial institutions, triggering a change in the sector to support and enhance the use of bond issuance that incorporates a green and social impact.”

The Bank’s technical assistance will include an analysis to identify the main gaps in BOA’s capacity, resources, assets and processes following recognised green, social and sustainability bond standards. The EBRD will work with BOA to establish an action plan for the adoption and implementation of a sustainable finance framework in preparation for BOA’s issuance of green, social and sustainability bonds.

BOA is a universal commercial bank incorporated in Morocco since 1959 and listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange. It is present in 32 countries and has a well-established network in Africa, Europe and Asia.

After launching the first “green bond” in the Moroccan banking sector in 2016, BOA remains innovative in its sustainable and inclusive finance instruments. Partnering with EBRD, Bank of Africa - BMCE Group aims to further develop this framework, in preparation for the launch of social and green bond issues in favor of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Bank of Africa’s ambition is to offer innovative financing solutions that meet the challenges faced by the private sector in Africa, in particular, small and medium-sized enterprises and those related to climate and gender," said Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, Managing Director of BOA.

Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became an investee economy in 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested almost €3.4 billion in Morocco through 85 projects.

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