Morocco has joined the Bloomberg African Bond Index (ABABI), launched in 2015 by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and global index provider Bloomberg.
The ABABI is a tool that allows investors to measure and track both the performance of bond markets in Africa and that of local currencies.
AfDB announced the addition of Morocco, alongside Mauritius, to the Bloomberg index on Monday, January 18.
The decision seeks “to deepen the continent’s local currency bond market,” the bank said.
Financial experts consider Morocco’s bonds to be among the most secure at the continental level, thanks to the country’s political and economic stability.
In December 2020, Morocco issued a $3 billion bond on the international financial market. The bond enjoyed an order book grossing $13 billion from 478 international investors.
The addition of Morocco to the ABABI testifies to the international reputation of Moroccan financial bonds.
“This is a positive development as the inclusion of Mauritius and Morocco, two of Africa’s better-rated issuers, will improve the overall credit quality of the ABABI, which now captures close to 90% of the outstanding amount of African sovereign local currency bonds,” said Stefan Nalletamby, the director of AfDB’s department of financial sector development.
Nalletamby argued that the inclusion of Morocco in the ABABI will make the index more reliable for international investors wishing to track African bond markets.
“This will be even more relevant following the COVID-19 crisis as sovereign debt managers, who will need to further diversify their local currency funding instruments, will also need to adjust their strategies, enhance transparency and widen their fixed income investor base, given the increased financing needs of the economies,” he said.
At its launch in 2015, the ABABI included Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Botswana and Namibia joined the Bloomberg index in October 2015, while Ghana and Zambia were included in April 2017. Morocco and Mauritius are the ninth and 10th members of the ABABI.