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Tunisia : «The negative prospects of the BNA» ?

The last financial communication seems to have satisfied some observers and analysts of the market. There is, however, an obvious divergence between the analyses and the analysis of « Tunisie Valeurs”. In its last magazine (last October) the broker had low thoughts about the BNA due to the low profitability level (ROE and ROA below the sector), and the strong concentration of the credit portfolio in the agricultural sector, a sector which is very exposed to climate conditions and even though the bank general management confirms that it only represents 21 % of its credits. The Stock Market broker, however, advises its clients to «keep the title BNA », but warns them about «the negative prospects» of the bank !

« Tunisie Valeurs » raises in this study, mainly about the banking sector, the eternal question of the suspended credits, main problem of the Tunisian banks just before the enforcement of the Bâle II agreements (planned in 2010).

The rate of suspended credits in the Tunisian banking sector, was evaluated on June 30th 2008 (always according to the analysts of Tunisie Valeur) at 17.3% against 19% to 30/06/2007. This rate varies of 5% for the BT, about 29% for the STB, a variation which shows the disparity still existing between the Tunisian banks relating to their risk management. A variation, which could be explained by different factors, among which, mainly the information systems. It is, however, true that these rates did not improve and the efforts of the Central Bank, and particularly of Taoufik Baccar who can be truly qualified by the reformer of the Tunisian banking system, were very visible in this context.

«This improvement was possible thanks to the considerable settlement efforts and to the acquisition by the main Tunisian banks of new information systems which would optimise their risk management with ‘scoring’ techniques» confirms “Tunisie Valeur”. But the financial analyst adds, to explain this fall in the rate of suspended credits, which «was facilitated through massive elimination of credits and cessions to subsidiaries specialised in the settlement ». He gives examples of cases, mainly the case of Amen Bank and of BNA, before concluding that «in the absence of consolidated data relating to the amount of suspended credits, we cannot evaluate the rate of real exposureof these banks to risks of engagements », according to “Tunisie Valeurs” !

A very concentrated portfolio.

The National Agricultural Bank published at the end of the 1st semester 2008 a GDP of 98,2 MDT, increasing by 11.8% compared to the month of June 2007. The result of the bank stood at 15,2 MDT, against 10 MDT at the same date last year. «The BNA proceeded to massive elimination of suspended credits, which decreased their rate, estimated today at 15% » explains, however, «Tunisie Valeur » which then draws the attention in a more explicit way, to «the low profitability rate (ROE and ROA, below the sector), and the strong bank credit portfolio concentration on the agricultural sector (a sector which is very dependent on climate conditions) ». This is to explain «the negative prospects» that are underlined in the analysis relating to this bank.

Figures presented in the last financial communication by the BNA



Prév. Initiales fin 2008

Var. sept 08/sept 07

Taux de réal. au 30/09/08

Turnover (mDT)

242 811

277 099

367 200



Bank net Product (mDT)

132 516

149 876

213 369



Gross allocations to provisions (mDT)

38 849

40 222

69 197



Net profit (mDT)

15 186

22 820

27 999



Did things improve in 3 months ? The bank management did indeed make a rosier picture of the bank to September 30 th 2008 and presented figures, all of them very good. We are giving them without any comment. The STOCK Market broker is, of course, in charge of conforming these or his figures !

We should retain, though, that in a grading, also made by ‘Tunisie Valeurs’, relating to the performance of the titles which are quoted in the Tunis Stock Market, over the first 8 months of the year, that the BNA takes the last position with 1,2 % and just before the negative performances.


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