RABAT, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), one of the country’s biggest lenders, posted a small rise in first-half net profit, held back by rising bad debts and higher provisions.
BCP, which is rated BBB-/A-3 by credit rating agency Standard & Poor with a negative outlook, said on Wednesday bad debts rose to 12.48 billion dirhams from 10.02 billion at the end of 2012 due to a slowdown in the non-agricultural sector.
It also increased risk provisions by 9.9 percent to 8.46 billion dirhams from 7.7 billion at the end of 2012.
Earlier this month, credit rating agency Fitch said Moroccan banks would face high loan impairment charges for the remainder of the year, and revenue would come under pressure from falling demand for credit.
First-half net profit rose 5.7 percent to 1.7 billion dirhams ($200 million).
Deposits climbed 1.5 percent to 204.9 billion dirhams, giving the bank a market share of 27.6 percent. It collected 52.5 percent of the remittances from Moroccans living abroad, representing 75.2 billion dirhams.
Net banking income rose 16.5 percent to 6.5 billion dirhams, while net profit attributable to shareholders grew 1.3 percent to 1 billion dirhams. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Mark Potter)