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Tunisia : Attijari is doing well, but it does not «change the opinions on the bank» !

«At the end of September 2008, Attijari Bank realised a GNP of 94,1 MDT, an increase of over 20% compared to previous year and a net provisional result of  27,2 MDT against hardly 0,5 MDT the previous year. The bank also continues to control its risks since the rates of its risk costs decreased from 2,6% to September 30th 2007 to reach 1,2% , against  1.3% expected for all the year 2008. Similarly, the exploitation coefficient (Overheads/ GNP) was contained at  54,5% against 59,5% the previous year and 55,3% expected for the end of the year. The total balance has already outpassed the assigned objectives for the end of the year since over the first nine months the bank reached 2 749 MDT against 2 737 MDT planned in the business plan advantaged by an excess at the level of the deposits at 2 327 MDT to September 30th 2008 against 2 237 MDT expected for the exercise 2008. This also applies for credits by disbursements since over the nine first months of 2008, the annual objective of 1910,6 MDT has largely been outpassed (1 912,6 MDT). This is for the bank result and merchantile ratios, as reported by an intermediary of the city. Upon reading them, we cannot, though, «change our opinion on the bank», as suggested in the logo of this Tunisian-Moroccan bank, advertised during the last press conference, organised within the bulk of financial information sessions, which overwhelm the banks, upon the demand of the Tunisian financial authorities.

 Credit, still more credit !

Like ALL the Tunisian banks, Attijari IS DOING WELL. Mohamed Kettani, president of the Moroccan group Wafa Bank, Attijari is its subsidiary for 3 years soon, even says he is proud of his subsidiary and hem ay feel so. Following a strong demonstration of the bank through the different ratios given and explained above, the first official of the bank in Tunisia, Hassan Bertal, enumerates then the different products offered or to be offered by the bank to its clients and which will be launched during the bank exhibition which started today in Tunis. Here follow the products, in bulk as noted quickly during the same press conference: Credit Fissa-Fissa, salary debit, housing credit, Tahsine credit, Secur plus, Gold card, SMS,  Tender age (complementary retirement), Tunisie Comex, Credit for customs duties for the enterprises, Youth prepaid card, Computer credit, Driving license credit, Tawa-tawwa (credit), simulation of application for real estate credit, credit over 25 years with fixed rate, credit for refill of fix telephone lines and mobiles GSM, Express overdraft. Connoisseurs, please look twice. Is there, in all this list, anything else than credit to consumption? «Except for error or omission» from our part, the answer is no and here there a question. What is the added value offered by Attijari Wafa, through purchasing Banque du Sud, for the Tunisian economy and for the Tunisian Lambda client ?
Privatised, with an operator who more and more endorses the image of an international and African bank, the la Banque du Sud, a public bank and which worked «year in, year out» (financially, of course) within the strict orientation of a country whose priorities are not mere credit and mere profitability (and which results are not yet visible, since it is only in 2011that Attijari will distribute its profits for the first time) was almost doing better work. As soon as it is recapitalized, Attijari fully falls in the category of private banks, which provide only credits and commissions, with little interest in investment or international trade towards new markets (except for Morocco where trade balance is largely in favour of Tunisia).
The access pass to the small Tunisian banking market was « liquidated » (banning the financial cost of this transaction), in that the results presented during this press conference looked like being outside the conjecture in which they were presented.

Where are the other figures?

The said press conference is indeed within the additional communication effort of all the Tunisian financial sphere relating to the international financial crisis and its impact on Tunisia. Like Attijari, all the banking sector is sound and profitable with good financial back-ups. Before Mr Moncef Chaffar (President of the Executive Board), Mr Mohamed Kettani and Mr Hassen Bertal (DG of Attijari Tunisia), the governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, the Minister of Finance and others, confirmed this officially. The international financial crisis is still brooding and will transform into an economic crisis. Attijari is in a country which has two enormous priorities. First, the creation of enterprises to create jobs, then export through market diversification, essentially in countries where Tunisia share is small and where support such as the support of the strategic partner network who bought the Banque du Sud, could make the difference. Where are then the projects, especially industrial ones, financed by  Attijari ? Where are the engagement ratios of the bank in favour of SMEs and the figures related to its co-financing actions of the BFPME projects ? Where are the figures relating to the rise in exports of the enterprises it supports towards African and other markets ?
For the time being, Tunisia does not need only credits to consumption, to get a driving license or to buy a flat. Tunisia needs projects, creation of new industrial enterprises and it needs to export still more. In any case, it needs more than simple products that we will have the leisure to discover in the banks’ Exhibition. This is how a bank, like Attijari, backed by such a large group as Wafa, could have made the difference, positioned itself differently and brought a value added other than that of credit to consumption, a highly inflationist product. This is where the Tunisian could have, thanks to the strategic Moroccan partner, been able to change his opinion about the bank !


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