Trade Financing

Banking System
Morocco continues to develop its relatively comprehensive banking system, originally modeled after the French system. There are 16 banks in the country plus five government owned specialized financial institutions, about 30 credit agencies and about 12 leasing companies. The bank reform law of 1993 laid out parameters of banking activities, clarified oversight and control responsibilities, specified legal penalties for violations of banking regulations and established a depositors guarantee fund.

Morocco's banking sector is stronger, and the private sector's role is more active, and the Casablanca Stock Exchange is the third largest in Africa, after Johannesburg and Cairo. Privatized in 1996, the CSE is managed by 13 brokerage companies and regulated by an independent oversight commission similar to the SEC.

Authority to buy and sell foreign exchange has been delegated to the banking system, which will carry out transactions on presentation of appropriate documentation justifying the transaction such as an invoice to pay for imports. Capital transactions require authorization from the Office de Changes, and are routinely granted for business-related transactions. Under the Moroccan investment code, the government guarantees repatriation of both invested capital and profits, provided that the initial capital investment was filed and registered. Advance payments to foreign exporters are forbidden under the current regulations.