Mr. Mohammed BOUSSAID, Minister of Economy and Finance, chaired, Wednesday, February 08th 2017 in Casablanca, the opening session of the Mutual Real Estate Investment Funds (OPCI) organized by the Colliers International group.
In his speech, the Minister stressed Morocco’s success in strengthening its macroeconomic stability and improving its business environment. He thus highlighted the positive development of economic indicators and public finances, which were recently approved by various rating agencies and several international organizations.
Mr. BOUSSAID explained that these performances were achieved thanks to the economic policy adopted, which made public investment a strategic choice and a priority lever to drain private investment.
In this context, the Minister recalled the efforts of the Government in recent years, through the implementation of a series of fiscal, regulatory and financial measures in support of companies and investors.
The objective is to improve the business climate in our country and to simplify the day-to-day business relationship with the administration. Thus, Mr. BOUSSAID pointed out that the issue of funding has also dominated the public policy agenda taking into account its effects on boosting private investment and its major role in developing our economy. He underlined the profound reforms in the financial sector, which are now initiated and will bring positive results in the years to come, in terms of consolidating financial stability, upgrading the banking sector and its opening-up, the strengthening of the role of capital markets in financing the economy and promoting financial inclusion.
In this respect, the Minister stated that the Ministry of Economy and Finance prepared a legal framework governing the activities of collective investment in real estate in Morocco, in this case the Law No. 70-14 on the OPCI with the objective of providing a favorable environment for collective investment in real estate, particularly professional real estate. He thus explained that investors, the inherent features of the OPCIs and the strict rules governing them in terms of governance, supervision or investment, make these funds a modern and high-quality investment tool.
In addition, the OPCIs address the needs of some investors in long-term financial tools backed by real estate assets and based on rental income.
The OPCIs provide as well a number of advantages in terms of flexibility in accessing different real estate markets and pooling of risk. For businesses, the OPCI is expected to contribute to the development of an adequate supply of quality rental property that meets the requirements of operators in the areas of trade and services, industry and tourism. This will make flexible the investment process and will contribute to optimizing the associated costs.
The OPCI could also be used as an instrument for the mobilization of new resources by companies and their financial restructuring program by selling their property assets, illiquid by their very nature, to the OPCIs. Finally, the Minister added that the introduction of the OPCI is likely to contribute to the professionalization and the upgrading of the property management industry and the optimization of its cost for economic operators. Mr. BOUSSAID thus informed the participants that the teams of the Ministry of Economy and Finance work steadily to prepare the regulatory texts essential for the early entry into force of this system and the development of this market. The introduction of an appropriate tax measure for the OPCIs is also part of this framework.