First Published: 2017-06-16

Investors buy more Morocco bonds despite Rif unrest
North African’s top-performing bonds in this quarter continue to lure investors even as protests against corruption, unemployment continue in northern Rif region.
Middle East Online

Casablanca stock exchange

LONDON - Investors continue to pour their money in Morocco’s top-performing bonds in the North African region this quarter despite the ongoing protests in the northern region against marginalisation.

Yields on securities issued by the region’s lone investment-grade nation have dropped even as Morocco’s Rif region has been shaken by seven months of demonstrations over unemployment and corruption, according to Bloomberg, citing bets that the Islamist-led government’s ability to maintain a six-year track record of defusing tensions and an appetite for riskier assets behind the gains.

The mainly Berber Rif region has been rocked by social unrest since the gruesome death of a fishmonger in Al-Hoceima last year.

Mouhcine Fikri, 31, was crushed to death in a rubbish truck in October as he tried to prevent the destruction of swordfish which had been confiscated because it was caught out of season.

Calls for justice snowballed into a wider social movement led by Al-Hirak demanding development, an end to corruption and jobs for the Rif which has long had a tense relationship with the central authorities in Rabat, and it was at the heart of the Arab Spring-inspired protests in Morocco in February 2011.

King Mohammed VI relinquished some of his near-absolute control through constitutional reforms following the 2011 protests.

“There won’t be a selloff as long as the monarchy prevails,” Hakki Vural, a money manager at Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH told Bloomberg.

“We are paying attention to the recent anti-government protests,” said Vural, who owns Moroccan bonds.

“But the conflict may be contained because “political and social support for King Mohammed remains high” and the government has taken steps to reduce rural unemployment,” he added.

 

Rouhani seizes opportunity to get closer to Qatar

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

Iraq forces battle deep into devastated Old Mosul

Prime time for Ramadan on Gulf fashion calendar

Mali activists call for referendum to be abandoned

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar

Iraq PM says IS admitting defeat in Mosul

Egypt delivers fuel to ease Gaza electricity shortage

Saudi Arabia named after ruling dynasty

Turkey detains catering boss after army food poisoning

Israel says will unleash 'unimaginable power' in future Lebanon war

Brussels nail bomber identified as Moroccan

Saudi stock market bullish on new heir

Lebanon's Salame to be new UN Libya envoy

New Saudi heir is king's agent of change

Turkish President accused of influencing courts