An increased presence in North Africa
Our ambition to become the leading privately-owned bank in North Africa means a proactive commercial conquest policy: we plan to open a further 380 branches (+60%) and double our number of individual customers (+1.3 million customers) by 2015 in a geographic area that still has a low banking-services penetration rate (42%). Jean-Louis Mattei, was very clear regarding our strategy, “we are a universal bank, and our intention is to broaden our client base as much as possible.”
Ariel Emirian, an economic analyst at Societe Generale, added, “we can see how the North African economy has held up. It’s a region that has reduced its debt and is less dependent on foreign capital. And it’s also a region where foreign direct investments (FDI) has increased.”
Substantial growth potential in the Maghreb
Bernardo Sanchez Incera emphasised that, “we came to Morocco because it’s a good example of what we want to do in this Group, of the kind of company we want to build… This is a young country with plenty of potential where we are a major local player – the fourth largest – and offering substantial synergies with the rest of the Group.”
At the same time, regarding Algeria, Jean-Louis Mattei noted that, “We clearly want to increase our development in Algeria. We are prepared to increase equity capital.”
As for Tunisia, Kamel Neji, Head of our Union Internationale des Banques (UIB) subsidiary, reaffirmed his desire to drive forward whilst ensuring the financing of the domestic economy. UIB also wants to serve interests in the Maghreb and become one of the region’s leading integration drivers.
A long-term strategy for the entire African continent
Africa currently generates one billion euros of Net Banking Income a year, i.e. 20% of total revenue from the Group’s international banking network, with 2.8 million clients and 850 bank branches in 15 African countries.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, our strategy is more about consolidating our positions via an innovative commercial strategy”, emphasised Bernardo Sanchez Incera.
To achieve this, the continent has become a laboratory for experimenting a mobile banking offer, called Yoban’tel in Senegal, that will be the basis for the development of a new banking concept in Africa. If this experiment proves to be a success, the model will be extended to Central and Eastern European countries. He added that, “emerging countries also play a pivotal role in developing our innovations; we implement […] experiments that can then be replicated throughout the Group.”
In Corporate and Investment Banking, the Group wants to become a regional player across the Northwest African countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, to help Small and Medium-sized Enterprises whilst enabling them to benefit from the Group’s worldwide stature. It has thus identified “emerging leaders” that are likely to become international companies. Their requirements will be followed both locally and from Paris. The Moroccan corporate and investment bank will be a hub for French-speaking Africa whilst the Egyptian corporate and investment bank will carry out a similar function for English-speaking countries in the region.
In order to signal the African continent’s importance in the Group’s past, present and future, Bernardo Sanchez Incera stated that, “our presence in North and Sub-Saharan Africa is a symbol of what we are and what we want to be.”