In connection with "Vision 2010" - Morocco's tourism development plan announced in January 2001 by His Majesty Mohamed VI - 28 September saw the signing of an agreement providing for the EIB to acquire a stake in the tourism investment fund recently set up in Morocco by Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion and Club Méditerranée.

In this operation, the European Investment Bank will take a EUR 5 million equity participation in SIM (Société Immobilière de la Mer) via its Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP).

A powerful instrument of growth for Club Méditerranée in Morocco, this investment fund now boasts over 3 500 beds in four resorts (Yasmina, Marrakech La Palmeraie, Agadir and Smir). Already the owner of these four resorts, SIM is now strengthening its equity base, initially with the aim of financing renovation and upgrading projects in the Agadir and Smir resorts.

This equity participation is also designed to serve as a catalyst for the launch of investment projects in new resorts. Following this operation, SIM's ownership will break down as follows: Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion (57.17%), Club Méditerranée (24.28%), European Investment Bank (12.70%), Société Hôtelière El Riad (5.85%).

The project also fully accords with FEMIP's objectives for the implementation of risk capital operations in the MEDA region, i.e. financing the private sector through equity or quasi-equity investment, particularly in joint ventures between EU and MEDA country companies.

With Club Méditerranée committed to developing and adapting its hotel capacity to meet the constantly growing expectations of its customers, this ambitious programme will enable the company to present the new face of the historical resort of Agadir. Scheduled for completion by December 2005 with a total budget of EUR 9.2 million, the comprehensive makeover of this resort will showcase the "new Club Med" of the future in terms of organisation, operation, innovation and the upgrading of services (80 bedrooms converted into suites and all bedrooms and common areas freshly decorated).