North Africa

North Africa Mauritania Morocco Algeria Tunisa Libya Egypt

Overview

Countries in North Africa belong to the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Both these regional economic communities (REC) promote regional economic integration through trade and investment, with COMESA being the more active of the two.

The five North African countries which form the AMU are Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, with Libya being a member of both COMESA and AMU. Egypt is an important member of COMESA, given the size of its economy in the regional economic community.

The five countries, which comprise the AMU,are not only characterized by a common heritage and common history, they are also endowed with abundant natural resources. Algeria and Libya have the largest reserves of oil and gas area, while Mauritania has a significant mining sector. However, the financial sector remains underdeveloped and there is no regional market.

In the AMU region,the bond markets are underdeveloped, with the exception of the Moroccan and Tunisian markets, which are relatively well developed. Both countries have adopted reforms and strategies to improve their financial systems. However the markets in both countries are characterised by low volumes, low liquidity and a strong tendency to "buy & hold".
Algeria has a nascent bond market with a limited number of initiatives. Before the Arab Spring, Libya was in the process of implementing several financial sector reforms, to enable the development of its financial sector and its capital markets. As for Mauritania, the bond market is nonexistent and the financial system is underdeveloped.

Egypt embarked on first generation and second generation financial sector reforms to raise the competitiveness and increase private sector participation in its financial sector. However, the Egyptian domestic bond market remains undiversified in terms of issuers and investors.

Regional Bond Market Initiatives

  • Creating an enabling environment for cross-border transactions and trading of securities for institutional investors, pension funds, insurance companies and mutual funds.
  • Harmonisation of legal and regulatory frameworks, in line with international standards and best practices.

Regional Events and Meetings

  • Arab Maghreb Union 
  • No upcoming meetings

Summary table of the countries

CountryGDP (US$ million) 2012GDP growth (yoy)External Debt (US$ million)External Debt (as % of GDP)Domestic public debt (US$ million)Domestic public debt (as % of GDP)
Algeria198,1782.483,3101.671,9210.97
Egypt253,9052.22104,69041.2331,92012.57
Libya74,95995.50--3,2004.27
Mauritania3,7275.962707.243,40091.22
Morocco101,2753.1540,80040.2920,34320.09
Tunisia44,2163.314,82010.9013,49130.51