Morocco's Casablanca stock exchange is hoping to boost its role in the $131 billion economy, aiming for three to five listings per year, seeking a potential doubling in the proportion of foreign investors on the exchange and planning to launch new financial instruments as early as November.

The exchange aims to jumpstart listings by working with business groups, company accountants and public officials, following just four listings in the 2021-2023 period, the bourse's chief executive, Tarik Senhaji, told Reuters in an interview.

Some companies were intimidated by the increased scrutiny and transparency involved in a public listing, but the IPOs that have gone forward, such as health company Akdital, have been oversubscribed.

"We are trying to explain to the companies that the trade-off is actually very positive," Senhaji said, noting the improvement to governance, cash flow and growth.

The bourse, which has a market capitalisation of roughly $62 billion, has seen average daily trading volume grow to $21.2 million in the year to date, from roughly $13 million in the past two years. But it must quickly expand its 76 listings to reach government targets, outlined in 2021, for 300 listings by 2035.

The exchange is hosting a capital markets day in London next week to lure more foreign investors, who account for around 10% of the exchange now. Senhaji thinks 20% or more is achievable.

Senhaji also said the addition of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) as early as November would increase overall participation.

"It will allow the funds to invest much more into the real economy, into unlisted companies and down the line, get those companies to IPO," he said.

Government reforms in the past year that moved state-owned enterprises, from airline Royal Air Maroc to fertiliser company OCPGroup, to a single agency tasked with revamping or upgrading them could also spur listings, he said.

While privatisation is politically sensitive, companies could list 30% or 40% of shares, benefiting from investment while maintaining government control.

"We're very excited about this agency and what it will do. I'm pretty sure this guys will be thinking about the interest of a stock exchange."

(Reporting by Libby George Editing by Frances Kerry)