Mauritius on top of Indian banks’ Africa agenda
Mauritius Bankers Association’s Chief Executive Aisha C Timol (second from right) at a seminar held on March 14, 2012 in the Hennessy Park hotel in Ebene.
Some Indian banks have recently expressed interest in setting up shop in Mauritius, according to Mauritius Bankers Association’s Chief Executive Aisha C Timol. The Indian banking sector is increasing eyeing Mauritius as a spring board for business opportunities in the vast continent of Africa.
Timol told the Press Trust of India at an interview in Flic-en-Flac, Mauritius, on September 13 that certain Indian banks are keen to enter Mauritius to tap the potential of the African continent. However, she did not disclose any details.
Besides Indian banks, Timol said that Chinese banks had also expressed interest and asserted that Mauritius has sound financial and legal systems in place to support a rich banking infrastructure. She highlighted the role of Mauritius’ sound regulatory environment in the exceptional performance of the banking sector in the island nation, relative to other parts of the globe.
She added that Mauritius was positioning itself as the gateway to Africa with the support of a well-developed banking sector.
Affirming that the banking sector in Mauritius is profitable, she cautioned that the island nation is, however, much exposed to recession-afflicted Europe in terms of its export oriented industries, including banking services.
With regard to employment opportunities in the domestic banking sector, Timol said that banks would need capacity building initiatives to meet the requirements, especially for highly skilled jobs. The sector presently employs around 15,000 people, she added.
There are 21 banks in the country with collective assets of around $30 billion. Seven are domestic entities including one joint venture and the rest are foreign banks. Out of Indian banks, State Bank of India – the largest public-sector bank in India with headquarters in the financial capital of Mumbai – and Bank of Baroda – another state-owned bank based in Gujarat – are already present in the island nation. Further, the financial services sector of Mauritius is also represented in India, where the State Bank of Mauritius has three branches.
Source: Press Trust of India