Tunisia: The three public banks will not be privatised

Oct 21, 2015

However, minority stakes could be sold to private partners.

Three Tunisian public banks - Société tunisienne de banque (STB), Banque nationale agricole (BNA) and Banque de l'habitat (BH) - will ultimately not be privatised, Tunisie Valeurs, one of the main intermediaries on the Tunis Stock Exchange, announced in its October review.

These banks "will remain state-owned and governance will be private, on the recommendations of audit missions launched in 2013. At present, the privatisation of the three banks is therefore not on the agenda, but minority stakes could still be sold to private partners", says the document.

A budget of 1.3 billion dinars (€585.4 million) will be needed for the recapitalisation of these banks. The STB will alone benefit from a budget of 757 million dinars to strengthen its capital.

This announcement comes after the World Bank approved a $500 million (€446 million) loan to support specific measures to restructure state owned banks as well as reducing the burden of bureaucratic procedures that have been "one of the key impediments to growth".

In a statement, it said: "We have accelerated our program of support for Tunisia in response to the economic aftershocks of the Bardo and Sousse terrorist attacks, while also supporting the urgent task of safeguarding the achievements of the political transition."

The Tunisian parliament approved in August a plan to restructure Tunisian public banks, weakened by years of economic and political unrest as well as the repercussions of the recent terrorist attacks.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801803640-ADNFCR