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Crony Capitalism in the Middle EastBusiness and Politics from Liberalization to the Arab Spring$
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Ishac Diwan, Adeel Malik, and Izak Atiyas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198799870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198799870.001.0001

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The Role of Finance and Banks in Moroccan Cronyism

The Role of Finance and Banks in Moroccan Cronyism

(p.309) 11 The Role of Finance and Banks in Moroccan Cronyism
Crony Capitalism in the Middle East

Mohamed Oubenal

Oxford University Press

This chapter studies business elites in Morocco to illustrate the importance of the control of the financial sector for the domination of the royal monarchy and its allies. It first highlights the role of banks in the history of Moroccan capitalism, from the setting up of a French protectorate over Morocco to the dominance of some major family groups in a private oligopoly. It then describes the importance of the financial sector in Moroccan cronyism and the growing role it has come to play in Morocco’s recent strategy of exploring African markets. Using a network analysis of board members of Moroccan listed companies, the chapter shows the centrality of finance compared to other key sectors of the economy. It argues that crony interlockers, who are members of royal foundations and represent an institutional investor, or a holding family that owns a bank and/or an insurance company are central actors in the network of listed companies. Finally, the chapter highlights how the financial sector is deployed in the post-Arab Spring strategy of expansion in sub-Saharan markets.

Keywords:   Interlocks, crony capitalism, Morocco, African markets, finance, banks

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