Morocco opens up to Islamic banking

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 10 Mar 2017

Morocco’s central bank has approved the use of five types of Islamic banking transactions, effectively rubber-stamping the launch of Islamic finance in the country.

The country’s Bank Al-Maghrib gave the green light to a number of financial institutions to develop Islamic banking units in laws published on March 5. It granted licences to entities including Moroccan banks Crédit du Maroc, Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE of Africa and CIH Bank, France’s Société Générale and Crédit Agricole, and Bahrain’s Al Baraka in January.

Ashar Nazim, partner at Ernst & Young, said a number of other regional banks in the Middle East, an established Islamic finance space, are also looking to expand their outreach in a selected way in the recently-opened Moroccan market.

"The new Moroccan legislation allows for a level playing field in the provision of banking services and promotes financial inclusion," he said. "But in...