Foreign investment in equities listed in Morocco has shown resilience to rise to 200 billion dirhams (20.8 billion dollars) at the end of 2019, up 5.6% compared to 2018.
In its 2019 report on foreign investment, the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) indicates that the share of capitalization held by foreign investors has remained almost stable compared to the previous year (32%). An increase driven by the appreciation of the prices of listed shares making up the portfolios of foreign investors, the MASI index having increased by 7.11% in 2019.
Foreign investment in listed shares mainly consists of strategic holdings which represented 91.5% of the total amount in 2019. In addition, the floating share of foreign capital invested on the Casablanca stock exchange stood at 2.7% of total market capitalization and 11.3% of floating capitalization.
Note that the stock of debt securities held by foreigners amounted to almost 2.42 billion dirhams (252 million dinars), 84% of which goes to non-resident foreign legal entities. Similarly, foreign investment in UCITS securities rose, with 2.9 billion dirhams at the end of 2019 against 1.8 billion a year earlier.
Finally, with regard to the contribution of foreign investors to the transaction volume, this increased, since foreigners were, in 2019, responsible for 19% of the overall transaction volume (central market and block market), compared to 9.12% in 2018. About 77% of transactions were carried out on the central market. Legal persons remain preponderant, since they have produced 96% of the overall volume.
Breakdown of ownership by business sector
In terms of strategic holdings, the two sectors “Electricity” and “Electronic and electrical equipment”, represented respectively by the companies TAQA MOROCCO and NEXANS MAROC, display a respective holding rate of 86% and 84%. These sectors are followed by the “Beverages”, “Telecommunications”, “Engineering and industrial capital goods” and “Utilities” sectors which are more than 50% owned by foreigners.
Predominance of investors from Europe and the Middle East
European and Middle Eastern investors alone account for 95% of global foreign investment and more than 30% of market capitalization. In value, they reached 190 billion dirhams (19.7 billion dollars) in 2019, up 4.39% compared to 2018 (182 billion dirhams).
The share of Middle Eastern investments in market capitalization remained at the same level as in 2018 with 16.64% in 2019, against a slight decline for the share of European investments which rose from 14.63% at 13.71%. However, the share in overall foreign investment increased slightly for the Middle East from 51.05% in 2018 to 52.08% in 2019, against a slight decrease for European investors from 44.94% in 2018 at 42.93% in 2019.
Highly rated banks
Finally, the sectoral distribution of the volumes traded by foreigners is characterized by its concentration on five major sectors with a cumulative weight of 84.86%. The “Banks” sector has the highest share, followed by the “Real Estate” sector and the “Telecommunications” sector with respective shares of 27%, 24% and 20%. In fourth position, the “Distributors” sector recorded a share of 12%, followed by the “Food and production” sectors with a share of 5%.