Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi has confirmed that the government will privatize Marrakech’s five-star La Mamounia hotel.
Rabat- Following the weekly government council on Thursday, El Khalfi announced in a news conference that the government approved Draft Law 39-89 permitting the privatization of public institutions and decided to sell La Mamounia.
Marrakech Mayor Mohamed Larbi Belkaid previously told Bloomberg that “the hotel had stopped distributing dividends to shareholders for eight to 10 years through 2017, mainly because of the repayment of loans obtained to fund a major overhaul.”
Morocco’s state-run rNational Railway Office (ONCF) owns 60 percent of La Mamounia. The state-owned investment management fund Caisse de Depot and Gestion (CDG) and the city council of Marrakech own 20 percent each.
The government’s decision came to reduce the budget deficit to 3.3 percent of GDP in 2019 and to improve their governance.
Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun declared in October that the Moroccan economy requires measures to mobilize resources, control spending, and reduce the burden on the investment budget. He also noted the impact which the rising prices of oil and gas, which peaked in early October, will have on financial balances.
Built in 1923, La Mamounia Hotel is a prestigious hotel known worldwide. It received a makeover at the hands of French designer Jacques Garcia in 2009. The hotel has earned many awards since its reopening in 2009.
In February, interior design magazine Architectural Digest listed La Mamounia among the “7 Most Historically Significant Hotels in the World.”
Rumors had it that the government might privatize ONCF. However, Benchaaboun said that government will not privatize ONCF but may consider selling stakes in Maroc Telecom, the country’s main telecommunication company.