One of Africa’s biggest and most active stock exchanges is Morocco’s Casablanca Stock Exchange (www.casablanca-bourse.com), set up as a joint stock company (“société anonyme”) with a Supervisory Board and owned by the 17 stockbroking members. It has 74 listed securities and active daily trading.
It reports to the Ministry of Finance and Privatisation under well-defined Terms of Reference and complies with rules known as “General Rules”.
The first trading session was on 7 November 1929 as the “Office de Compensation des Valeurs Mobilières” (Office for Clearing of Transferable Securities). In 1948 the bourse acquired legal personality and in 1967 came a legal and technical reorganization and it became as a public establishment. Reform in 1993-6 defined the various market players, and introduced a range of rules and technical procedures needed for the development of the Moroccan financial market.
In March 1997, the Stock Exchange launched the electronic-based trading system followed by the central securities depository Maroclear in 1998. In end of the same year the Central Market and Block-Trade Market replaced the Official Market and Direct Transfer Market. Another milestone was in May 2001 when the settlement period for market transactions was reduced from T+5 to T+3.
The indices of the Casablanca Stock Exchange: Masi® and Madex® indices, as well as sector indices, return indices and currency indices, were launched in the beginning of 2002. During 2004, the Exchange adopted the float-weighted market capitalization method for calculating indices.
In April 2009, the Casablanca Stock Exchange officially adopted a corporate governance structure including a Board of Directors.
Although the market attracts interest from frontier market investors, there is not much coverage of the market in English, although the BMCE Bank International (www.bmce-intl.co.uk), affiliated to Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE), does give the daily prices, and the Casablanca SE website also gives daily trades with 15 minute delay. BMCE is headquartered in London and Paris and on 1 September changed its name from MediCapital Bank as a specialist bank linking international finance with the growing opportunities in Africa and a network of offices in 18 countries including independent companies linked to BMCE or parts of the Bank of Africa network. In July 2008 it acquired Pall Mall Capital SAS, a corporate finance boutique specialising in transactions in Francophone African countries, to develop our Advisory division.