RABAT, Sept 29 (Reuters) - BMCE Bank, one of Morocco's largest lenders, on Saturday reported a 12.7 percent fall in first-half net profit attributable to shareholders to 1.1 billion dirhams ($116.7 million).
It said the decline was mainly caused by a 3.7 percent drop in net banking income compared with the same period last year to 6.5 billion dirhams.
Net operating income fell 7.3 percent to 2.8 billion dirhams, while the total cost of risk rose 2.0 percent to 649 million dirhams in the first half year-on-year.
Bad loans increased 4.2 percent to 7.9 billion dirhams in the first half, up from 7.5 billion dirhams at the end of 2017.
The bank's total assets fell 5.6 percent to 296.5 billion dirhams in the first half, from 313.3 billion dirhams at the end of 2017.
BMCE Bank, which has branches in 31 countries in Africa and Europe, will be the first Moroccan group to set up a bank in China as it prepares the opening of a branch dedicated to trade and corporate finance in Shanghai next November. ($1 = 9.42604 Moroccan dirhams) (Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi Editing by Helen Popper)