Thursday, August 17

Morocco’s Attijari says one-off items cap 2012 profits

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RABAT, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Morocco’s biggest lender, AttijariWafa Bank , said on Friday its net profit edged up 1 percent to 4.5 billion dirhams ($531.47 million) last year, held back by one-off items.

Contributions to a solidarity fund imposed on banks by the government to fight poverty pulled net income down by 120 million dirhams, while provisions to hedge for political instability in Tunisia and Ivory Coast lopped off another 118 million, the bank said in a statement.

A further 100 million dirhams went into a 2.1 billion dirham capital increase for bank employees last year.

Attijari, in which a conglomerate controlled by Morocco’s royal family is a top shareholder, said its deposits grew 5 percent to 310.4 billion dirhams. Its loan book expanded 7.3 percent to 247.6 billion dirhams.

Attijari says it had the largest network in Morocco and Africa with 2,882 branches, up from 2,352 in 2011.

Its shares fell 0.9 percent to 300.05 dirhams on Friday after the results.

The board will propose a 9 dirham dividend for 2012, up from 8.5 dirhams in 2011, and the bank may pay out half of its profits to shareholders in the form of new stock, Attijari said in the statement on its website. ($1 = 8.4670 Moroccan dirhams)

(Reporting by Aziz el-Yaakoubi; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

((thomas.pfeiffer@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: thomas.pfeiffer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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