By Sekar Krisnauli
By Sekar Krisnauli
Rabat – The Moroccan government has raised a total of MAD 1.94 billion ($197 million) after selling 40 percent stake of Marsa Maroc, the state-owned port operator, in the year’s first initial public offering in the country, according to a Reuters Monday report.
Established in 2006, Marsa Maroc manages and provides logistic services for terminals at nine Moroccan ports. Reuters reported that the operator seeks fund for expansions as it aims to bid two terminals at Casablanca Port and looks for opportunities in other regions in North and West Africa.
The move further adheres to Morocco’s plan to build five new ports by the year 2030 in an attempt to becoming the economic gate to the African continent, boost national economic growth, trade and improve infrastructure.
Valued at approximately MAD 5 billion, Marsa Maroc sold 29.36 million shares at MAD 65 each in the IPO, which marked the operator’s third attempt to join the Casablanca stock exchange. The money raised included MAD 600 million from shares sold to individual investors, Reuters reported.
“It is a good deal with almost zero risk. Marsa Maroc has no debt and the government will continue to take dividends due to public deficits,” a trade said.
The IPO was the nation’s first for a privatisation and is expected to revive Casbablanca’s stock market after struggling to maintain the effects of the euro zone crisis and a lack of foreign investers, according to Reuters.
The Oxford Business Group’s 2015 report acknowledged Morocco’s economic strategy by constructing new ports and suggested that it was “the right ingredients for future growth.”
Morocco’s ambition to build new port facilities at Nador, Kenitra and Dakhla, “as well as commodity-focused ports in Safe and Jorf Lasfar,” was one of the future plans mentioned in OGB’s report.