Casablanca – The Executive Director of Bahraini Participatory Bank, Baraka Bank, says his bank will begin operations in Morocco in the first six months of 2017. In line with the reciprocal interest between Morocco and Islamic Banks in Gulf countries to start operating Islamic banks in the country, Adnane Youssef, Baraka Participatory Bank’s Executive Director. expects that his bank will launch its operations in Morocco within the first six months of the current year.Adnane Youssef revealed in an interview with Arabic-language news source CNN that his bank plans to reach 25 branches throughout Morocco. “The group received an official letter from [Morocco] offering an authorization to establish Baraka Morocco that will operate under the group,” Youssef stated in the same interview.The Executive Director continued by saying that the group would hold 49 percent equity in this establishment, whereas Morocco’s BMCE Bank would own control stake (51 percent). However, the new bank will operate under the “umbrella” of the Bahraini bank, as it has accumulated a long expertise in operating in the Islamic Banking sector in many countries.Youssef said that his group considers Morocco a starting point to access the West African market, which he described as promising, due of Morocco’s strong connections with countries in West Africa.In regards to whether the Moroccan market is capable of bearing the numerous Islamic banks that eye the country, the Executive Director of the Bahraini participatory bank pointed out that the situation is different for it as it spreads through many neighboring countries.