MAURITIUS TO EVOLVE AS A REGIONAL TREASURY HUB
The GDP growth of many African countries has improved as well as a microeconomic stability and economic policies.
“Today we are talking about Africa growing at 5 per cent and every top corporate in the world wants to be part of the African story, so they need an access point to the continent. So this is where Mauritius plays a significant role. We are seeing a number of corporates setting up offices, setting up treasury activities in Mauritius today and accessing Africa,” Bingumal Thewarathanthri, Head of Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered told CNBC Africa.
The Liquidity Management platform –a podium that enables the treasury desk of companies to channel investments and deal with multi-country strategies in Africa- launched by the Standard Chartered Bank in Mauritius has put the island nation on a pedal stool to become the leading Regional Treasury Centre in Africa.
(READ MORE: Mauritius’ good governance record attracts investors)
“Mauritius has a very strong regulatory framework, it is consistent and transparent. Also, the country has a strong legal framework. We [Mauritius] are completely free for exchange control and capital repatriation making it an international financial centre,” Thewarathanthri explained.
The RTC will help cushion international companies’ treasury policies looking to invest in Africa. It will also provide the companies with information and fund flows and help ease the treasury process.
“There are three types of client who are looking at Mauritius as an RTC hub. One is the African corporates who are going into the Pan African operations. Then you have Chinese and the Indian corporates who are looking at Mauritius, they have small shops here at the moment, they have started with very limited treasury activities. So we as a bank [Standard Chartered] are connecting the dots,” said Thewarathanthri.
Mauritius is already a finance hub for Africa, in 2012 51 per cent of investments made by global business companies registered in Mauritius went to Africa.
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report 2014 ranks Mauritius as number 20 out of 184 economies for ease of doing business and number one in Africa. Mauritius maintained its lead in Africa and is followed by Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Ghana.