Subnational Capital Markets in Developing Countries: From Theory to Practice

By John Petersen; Mila Freire | Go to book overview

Chapter 20
Middle East and North Africa
Morocco

In a developing financial market with good potential, private investors are reluctant to lend to local governments that have little fiscal autonomy.

Samir El Daher


Lessons

In Morocco, a unitary state with highly centralized governance,
a national lending agency has dominated local government bor-
rowing. The country is working to decentralize its governance
and is still developing its domestic financial markets, which
have had little experience in lending to subnational govern-
ments. Municipalities depend heavily on centrally collected and
administered revenues and have little flexibility in setting local
rates. Even so, local governments are important service
providers, with large capital spending needs.

Morocco relies on a municipal development fund, the Commu-
nal Infrastructure Fund, as a vehicle for ensuring access to cred-
it for municipalities that are too small or too heavily dependent
on the central government to tap credit markets directly. The
country’s experience with its lending program has been fairly
positive, but resource constraints threaten to crimp future

-355-

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