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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Credit du Maroc's Ba1 local currency deposit ratings; outlook stable

07 Dec 2016

Moody's also assigns Aa1.ma/MA-1 national scale local currency deposit ratings

Limassol, December 07, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has today affirmed the Ba1/NP local-currency deposit ratings of Credit du Maroc (CdM). Moody's also affirmed Credit du Maroc's ba3 baseline credit assessment (BCA), its ba1 adjusted BCA and its Ba2/NP foreign currency deposit ratings, which are constraint by the relevant country ceiling. The overall outlook of the issuer remains stable.

Concurrently, Moody's has assigned national scale local currency deposit ratings at Aa1.ma/MA-1 to Credit du Maroc. This rating action follows the publication of new national scale rating maps (NSR) for Nigeria, Kenya and Morocco on 28 October 2016. For more details of the new NSR maps, please see "National Scale Ratings Maps by Country" https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1047425.

NSRs provide a measure of relative creditworthiness within a single country, and are derived from global scale ratings (GSRs) using country-specific maps. With fewer than 20 fundamental issuers in Morocco rated by Moody's, the NSR map has been designed using Moody's standard approach, whereby the map design is selected from a set of standard maps based upon the anchor point, or the lowest GSR that can map to a Aaa.ma. As per the standard approach, Morocco's anchor point is set at Ba1, on par with the sovereign rating.

Today's rating affirmation reflect: (1) Moody's view of Credit du Maroc's "Moderate --" macro profile; (2) weak profitability and asset quality metrics; (3) moderate capital buffers; (4) a stable deposit base that supports the bank's funding and liquidity profile; and (5) Moody's assessment of a high probability of affiliate support in the event of need from its French parent bank - Credit Agricole S.A. (CASA, deposits A1 stable, baa1 adjusted BCA).

The stable outlook reflects Morocco's solid economic growth prospects, and Moody's expectations that this will allow CdM's profitability and asset quality metrics to recover from the weak levels reported in 2014 and 2015, following two years of business reorganization initiatives. The stable outlook also reflects the stability of CdM's parent rating and its continued support to its Moroccan subsidiary.

A full list of the bank's ratings is provided at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

AFFIRMATION OF THE BCA

Moody's affirmation of CdM's ba3 BCA, is underpinned by the stability of the bank's operating environment, reflected in a "Moderate --" Macro Profile for Morocco, stemming from relatively sustained economic growth, a high degree of political stability and limited susceptibility to external risks. These strengths are balanced against structural rigidities in the labour market and competitiveness, volatile agricultural output and the vulnerability of banks to large asset concentrations and an increasing exposure to sub-Saharan Africa regions.

The ba3 BCA also reflects weak asset quality metrics with a ratio of non-performing loans-to-gross loans that stood at 12.4% as of June 2016, primarily driven by distress in certain marine, textile and real estate exposures. These exposures had a negative effect on the bank's profitability, as provisions absorbed 70.5% of its pre-provision income in 2015, with the net income-to-tangible assets ratio dropping to 0.15%. However, a reorganisation of the bank's commercial and product activities, leading to improved efficiency, easing loan performance pressures, solid margins and boosted market activity, are improving the bank's profitability since the beginning of 2016.

The affirmation also reflects our view that capitalisation levels remain moderate, with a reported Tier 1 ratio of 10.6% as of June 2016, while the bank also maintains a robust funding profile in the form of stable and low-cost current and saving accounts which represented 82% of total deposits as of December 2015, as well as solid and historically stable levels of liquid assets.

AFFIRMATION OF THE GLOBAL SCALE DEPOSIT RATINGS

Moody's affirmation of CdM's ba1 adjusted BCA, incorporating two notches of affiliate support uplift, is based on our assessment of a high likelihood of affiliate support in the event of need from CASA. This reflects CASA's long track record of operational support to CdM, its 78.7% controlling stake and continued reinvestment in the bank. Although we assess the probability of government support to CdM to be high, given its importance to the payment system as the fifth largest bank in Morocco, with a deposit market share of around 5%, CdM's deposit ratings do not receive any additional government support uplift, since the adjusted BCA of CdM at ba1 is already in line with the rating of the government of Morocco (Ba1, stable).

RATIONALE FOR OUTLOOK

The stable outlook reflects Morocco's solid economic growth prospects, and Moody's expectations that this will allow CdM's profitability and asset quality metrics to recover from the weak levels reported in 2014 and 2015, following two years of business reorganization initiatives. The stable outlook also reflects the stability of CdM's parent rating and its continued support to its Moroccan subsidiary.

ASSIGNMENT OF NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS

Moody's assigned Aa1.ma/MA-1 national scale local currency deposit ratings to Credit du Maroc. National scale ratings are derived from the bank's global scale deposit ratings and demonstrate that CdM is one of the strongest credits in the country, primarily reflecting the high probability of parental support and its strong funding and liquidity metrics. The Aa1.ma rating is the second highest rating of three NSR categories corresponding to the bank's local currency deposit GSR. The bank's national scale foreign currency deposit ratings of Aa3.ma/MA-1 are constrained by the relevant country ceiling.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS --UP/DOWN

Upwards pressure on CdM's ratings could develop from (1) a significant strengthening of CdM's capital buffers; (2) a material reduction in non-performing loans and borrower concentrations; and (3) material improvements in the domestic operating environment, that would be reflected in the macro profile and/or sovereign rating.

Downward pressure on CdM's ratings could develop following (1) a deterioration in the operating environment, leading to an acceleration in non-performing loan formation that will also erode the bank's profitability and capital; and (2) a weakening capacity or willingness of CdM's parent bank to provide support.

NSRs for Credit du Maroc will face upward or downward pressure if their corresponding GSRs are upgraded or downgraded, unless this is in conjunction with a sovereign rating action that results in a recalibration of the national scale with an offsetting impact on NSRs. The NSRs may also change if the sovereign is upgraded and the national scale map is recalibrated but the corresponding GSR is unaffected. Because of the higher granularity of national scales, NSRs may also face pressure due to changes in creditworthiness that are not sufficient to cause a change in the corresponding GSR, measured using the same methodologies used to determine the GSR.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Credit du Maroc

Assignments:

....NSR LT Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Assigned Aa1.ma

....NSR LT Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Assigned Aa3.ma

....NSR ST Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Assigned MA-1

Affirmations:

....LT Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Affirmed Ba1, Outlook Remains Stable

....LT Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Affirmed Ba2

....ST Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed NP

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed ba1

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed ba3

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Baa3(cr)

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-3(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Remains Stable

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in January 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Moody's National Scale Credit Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale credit ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".za" for South Africa. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale credit ratings, please refer to Moody's Credit rating Methodology published in May 2016 entitled "Mapping National Scale Ratings from Global Scale Ratings". While NSRs have no inherent absolute meaning in terms of default risk or expected loss, a historical probability of default consistent with a given NSR can be inferred from the GSR to which it maps back at that particular point in time. For information on the historical default rates associated with different global scale rating categories over different investment horizons, please see https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_189530.

The Local Market analyst for this rating is Olivier Panis, +971.4.237.9533.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Moody's considers a rated entity or its agent(s) to be participating when it maintains an overall relationship with Moody's. On this basis, the rated entity or its agent(s) is considered to be a participating entity. The rated entity or its agent(s) generally provides Moody's with information for the purposes of its ratings process.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Alexios Philippides
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Ltd.
Porto Bello Building
1, Siafi Street, 3042 Limassol
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Sean Marion
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Ltd.
Porto Bello Building
1, Siafi Street, 3042 Limassol
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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