Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), one of Morocco's three biggest lenders, reported a 14.4 percent rise in 2015 net profit due to structural changes in the company, it said on Thursday.
BCP has become the major stakeholder in its regional subsidiaries after the government adopted a draft bill allowing it to take control of the 10 lenders. It is also planning to absorb El Jadida-Safi regional bank, it said.
Net banking income rose 4 percent to 15.3 billion dirhams, thanks to its sub-Saharan subsidiary Atlantic Business International, which contributed 14.4 percent.
Deposits rose 8.9 percent to 250.3 billion dirhams, representing a 27 percent share of the Moroccan market and including 83.1 billion dirhams of remittances from Moroccans living abroad, the bank said.
Total loans rose 2.1 percent to 210.1 billion dirhams.
But an economic slowdown in the country, along with other risks in Africa, contributed to a rise in bad loans to 11.87 billion dirhams at the end of 2015, from 10.4 billion in 2014.
The bank said it had set aside 623 million dirhams of additional provisions, taking total risk costs to 3.25 billion dirhams at the end of 2015.
BCP is one of the creditors exposed to the financial difficulties of Morocco's sole oil refiner Samir. The bank granted Samir 3.1 billion dirhams of loans three month before the refiner announced it was halting production at its 200,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Mohammedia refinery.
The bank is preparing to invest 400 million dirhams in an Islamic subsidiary as Islamic banks and insurers are being established in Morocco after the government adopted legislation allowing Islamic financing in its domestic market.