In election season, worry looms over Tunisia state banking trio

(The Africa Report/Jeune Afrique) --
By Nizar Manek in Tunis | 25 October 2014
After a vote to recapitalise Tunisia's ailing state banking trio bites the dust, enter the next stage of the saga: pass the buck to the next parliament.
Linked to almost 40 percent of Tunisia's economy, the fate which has befallen the north African country's trio of state-owned banks is no secret. Audits of two of the trio earlier in 2014, the first since the end of the over two-decade presidency of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, showed the banks have a combined capital deficit of 1bn dinars (US$550mn).
As Tunisia approaches election season, investors already appear to have signalled worry. While the volume of traded shares of state banks remains thin, market capitalisation figures released by the Tunis Stock Exchange, on which the trio are listed, show a loss of lustre.
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