BCM merges with Wafabank

05 December 2003
BanqueCommercial du Maroc (BCM)and Wafabankannounced on 1 December their intention to merge in January. BCM initiated the move with its purchase on 24 November of Omnium de Gestion Marocain(OGM)from the Kettani family for MD 2,080 million ($227 million). OGM controls 70 per cent of WafaAssuranceand 36 per cent of Wafabank. BCM also announced it would launch a takeover bid for 100 per cent of Wafabank's capital in March.

With total assets of MD 90,000 million ($9,810 million), the new entity will be Morocco's largest bank . The acquisition of Wafa Assurancewill also provide it with a strong foothold in the local insurance market.

There had previously been speculation that BCM had intended to merge with Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE) after the authorities rejected a bid in October by France's CaisseNationaledesCaissed'Epargne(CNCE)to take a 20 per cent stake in BCM (MEED 7:11:03).

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