BCP of Morocco Targets More African Banks After Mauritius Buy

(Bloomberg) -- Banque Centrale Populaire, Morocco’s second-biggest lender by assets, plans to acquire banks in at least four African nations as it targets doubling the region’s income contribution.

BCP is following Moroccan lenders like BMCE Bank and Attijariwafa Bank that have expanded in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade to capitalize on growing trade links and seek new opportunities for growth outside their home markets. It’s present in 14 African markets, after completing the acquisition of Mauritius’s Banque des Mascareignes this week.

The lender wants to source 30 percent of its income from Africa in two years from 18 percent last year, co-Chief Executive Officer Kamal Mokdad said in an interview Wednesday in Ebene, south of Port Louis, Mauritius’s capital.

“We’re looking for opportunities in Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Tanzania in the medium-term," Mokdad, 44, said. “We’re on the right track to reach 30 percent of income from Africa by 2020.”

The Moroccan bank will use the Indian Ocean island nation as a hub linking Asia to Africa as it seeks to tap increasing investments from countries like China and India to the continent, it said on Tuesday.

Banque des Mascareignes was formerly part of Paris-based Groupe BPCE. BCP expects to conclude the purchase of BPCE’s other African businesses by the end of the first half of 2019, Mokdad said.

The bank said in March it plans to make an announcement about its expansion plans in Rwanda after failing in its bid to buy a stake in Bank of Kigali Ltd.

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