Morocco says removal from financial watchlist will help ratings

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RABAT  (Reuters) – The Financial Action Task Force’s decision this week to remove Morocco from its “grey list” of countries under special scrutiny will help Rabat’s position in talks with international financial institutions, the Moroccan government said.

The task force is an inter-governmental financial crime watchdog that underpins the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing by setting global standards and checking if countries respect them.

Last month a Moroccan central bank official said leaving the “grey list” of countries under special scrutiny to implement those standards would be conducive to Rabat’s efforts to regain a higher investment grade.

Morocco has announced plans to issue a dollar-denominated bond and has mandated BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners to arrange meetings with investors, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The task force’s decision “will positively impact the sovereign and local bank ratings in addition to improving Morocco’s image and its position in negotiations with international financial institutions as well as fostering trust of foreign investors,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

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