Attijariwafa Bank Egypt: A new phase of the African strategy of the Moroccan banking group

It is official , Barclays Egypt became Attijariwafa Bank Egypt, with the replacement of the Barclays brand by that of Attijariwafa Bank on Friday, November 3rd. Now owned 100% by this former Egyptian subsidiary of the international bank Barclays, Attijariwafa Bank has played a bold move that allows it to open a new phase in its African development strategy.

By Abdennabi Aboulaarab, in Casablanca


In 2016, according to “The Banker 2017” report prepared by the Financial Times group, Attijariwafa was awarded third place in the ranking of the best African banks. Solidly established in the Moroccan domestic market, the first bank of the Kingdom had a net income group share of 4.8 billion up 5.7% in 2016. With an extensive network of 3,376 branches, Attijariwafa Bank is established in 16 African countries and 26 countries around the world.

This list is the result of an ambitious African strategy, initiated in 2004, by the acquisition of 54% of the Bank of the South in Tunisia. Since then, equity participation has followed one another in a first phase towards French-speaking Africa, where the bank is today almost present in all the countries of the zone.

Attijariwafa Bank Egypt: a new growth cycle

With the acquisition of the former subsidiary of Barclays Egypt, this is a second phase that is being deployed by the Attijariwafa Bank group. As confirmed by the statements of Mohamed El Kettani, CEO of the Group, the target is now East Africa, through the door of Egypt, one of the most important countries of the continent, whose geographical position makes it a must-do relay between Asia, the Gulf countries and Africa.

Behind the scenes, “this breakthrough has required more than five years of prospecting and monitoring the Egyptian banking market, but was crowned by a valuable transaction because Barclays Bank is a high quality bank, with very high quality human resources, a very good quality portfolio, and a high profitability “, according to Mr El Kettani.

With this acquisition, the Moroccan bank was able to make a strategic breakthrough, on one of the most important markets in Africa, rich of a population of 92 million inhabitants, thus opening the way to the Middle East and Eastern Africa.

Egyptian banking market: an interesting potential

Attijariwafa Bank has done a good job in getting a bank in a good shape. The former subsidiary of Barclays Egypt Bank had a staff of 1,500 employees and a network of 56 branches in 18 Egyptian cities. In 2016, its net banking income exceeded one billion dirhams, for a net profit of 361 million dirhams.

However, it is in the future that we must look, within a banking market with prospects for sustained growth, as part of the global development strategy of the Attijariwafa Bank Group in Africa. Thus, two criteria would have decided this acquisition, still according to the CEO of the bank, El Kettani. First, the low banking rate in Egypt, which will allow Attijariwafa Egypt Bank to develop its customer portfolio and expand its branch network.

Secondly, the strong international confidence in the recovery of the Egyptian economy, which is in the process of recovering beautiful colors. As a significant indicator, the mass of FDI attracted by Egypt is about to reach, and even exceed the 10 billion FDI projected in 2017 with $ 8.7 billion already harvested at the end of the last month of June.

Attijariwafa Bank, a player in African integration

One of the major focuses of the Attijariwafa Bank Group’s strategy following this acquisition is to play the card of African financial and economic integration. El Kettani, promoting his new bank to Egyptian and international financial players, declared that “today, 15 windows are open in 15 African countries, for the benefit of our customers, exporters, importers or investors”.

A strategic plan, 2017 – 2022, is therefore in place. Its main objectives are, first, the successful integration of the new Egyptian subsidiary into its Attijariwafa Bank group, especially in the banking information system. Then, the stabilization of the current portfolio and its development, for which an ambitious plan of extension of the network of agencies and recruitment of new human resources is planned. Finally, the introduction of new products, through the deployment of the Attijariwafa Bank group’s offer in Egypt, on business lines where the bank has proven expertise, such as real estate leasing, leasing and asset transfer. Gent, insurance, vehicle rental, Migrant Banking … And to capitalize on this start to the register of Moroccan-Egyptian friendship, it is expected that Egypt will be the guest of honor of the sixth edition, planned in 2018, the International Africa Development Forum, organized each year by the Attijariwafa Bank group. In March 2017, this forum brought together more than 2000 businessmen and policymakers from Africa, and resulted in the organization of 4,500 BtoB meetings,

By Abdennabi Aboulaarab, à Casablanca

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