Forget Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Casablanca is carving a new identity as a financial hub, with the Casablanca Finance City (CFC) recently topping the Global Financial Centers Index in Africa.
The CFC zone already welcomes corporate and investment banks, law, audit and consulting firms and companies seeking a foothold in Africa. The list has expanded to include reinsurance companies and firms that perform an array of investment services, including capital market intermediation, financial research and ratings agencies. Large businesses can set up representative offices in the zone, allowing them to shift activity to the CFC gradually instead of establishing a regional headquarters immediately. Among the early takers, Bank of China will open a representative office in Casablanca to develop its African activities—joining Lockton, BNP Paribas, PwC and 100 other multinational companies.