Coronavirus: United Kingdom, facing worst recession on record, sees GDP drop 20.4% in Q2

The UK has seen its economy, hit by the coronavirus crisis, suffer a "record" contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter, and is officially facing its worst recession on record, agency figures show National Statistics (ONS), published Wednesday 12 August. 
Economists consider that a country enters a technical recession when it accumulates two consecutive quarters of contraction in its economy. According to the ONS, most of the contraction, which began to be felt in March, occurred in April, an entire month of containment and almost total cessation of activity in the country, which saw production collapsed by 20%.

With a very early recovery in construction sites and manufacturing activity, gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in May by 2.4% (revised figure), followed by an acceleration in June (+8.7 %) thanks in particular to the reopening of all shops. This is the biggest contraction in the UK economy since the ONS began these quarterly statistics in 1955, he said…

On the Casablanca Stock Exchange, the share of foreign investors exceeds the 20 billion dollars mark

Foreign investment in equities listed in Morocco has shown resilience to reach 200 billion dirhams (20.8 billion dollars) at the end of 2019, up 5.6% compared to 2018. In its 2019 report on foreign investment, the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) indicates that the share of capitalization held by foreign investors has remained almost stable compared to the previous year (32%). An increase driven by the appreciation of the prices of listed shares making up the portfolios of foreign investors, the MASI index having increased by 7.11% in 2019.

Casablanca Stock Exchange

Foreign investment in listed shares mainly consists of strategic holdings which represented 91.5% of the total amount in 2019. In addition, the floating share of foreign capital invested on the Casablanca stock exchange stood at 2.7% of total market capitalization and 11.3% of floating capitalization.

Note that the stock of debt securities held by foreigners amounted to almost 2.42 billion dirhams (252 million dinars), 84% of which goes to non-resident foreign legal entities. Likewise, foreign investment in UCITS securities rose, with 2.9 billion dirhams at the end of 2019 against 1.8 billion a year earlier.

Finally, with regard to the contribution of foreign investors to the transaction volume, this increased, since foreigners were, in 2019, responsible for 19% of the overall transaction volume (central market and block market), compared to 9.12% in 2018. About 77% of transactions were carried out on the central market. Legal persons remain predominant, since they achieved 96% of the total volume.

Breakdown of ownership by business sector

In terms of strategic holdings, the two sectors "Electricity" and "Electronic and electrical equipment", represented respectively by the companies TAQA MOROCCO and NEXANS MAROC, show a respective holding rate of 86% and 84%. These sectors are followed by the "Beverages", "Telecommunications", "Engineering and industrial capital goods" and "Utilities" sectors which are more than 50% owned by foreigners.

Predominance of investors from Europe and the Middle East

European and Middle Eastern investors alone account for 95% of global foreign investment and more than 30% of market capitalization. In value, they reached 190 billion dirhams (19.7 billion dollars) in 2019, up 4.39% compared to 2018 (182 billion dirhams).

The share of Middle East investments in market capitalization remained at the same level as in 2018 with 16.64% in 2019, against a slight decline for the share of European investments which rose from 14.63% at 13.71%. However, the share in overall foreign investment increased slightly for the Middle East from 51.05% in 2018 to 52.08% in 2019, compared to a slight decrease for European investors from 44.94% in 2018 at 42.93% in 2019.

Highly rated banks

Finally, the sectoral distribution of the volumes traded by foreigners is characterized by its concentration on five major sectors with a cumulative weight of 84.86%. The “Banks” sector has the highest share, followed by the “Real Estate” sector and the “Telecommunications” sector with respective shares of 27%, 24% and 20%. In fourth position, the “Distributors” sector recorded a share of 12%, followed by the “Food and production” sectors with a share of 5%.