15 MAR 2024

Shaping Global Finance: MCB’s Influence in Mauritius’ Financial Rise


Mauritius is rapidly establishing itself as a premier International Financial Centre (IFC), adeptly linking Gulf capital with Africa's emerging markets.

At the forefront of this development is the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), the country’s leading bank.

Thierry Hebraud, CEO of MCB, provides an in-depth look at what sets Mauritius’s banking sector apart.

« Our banking sector, dating back to the 1830s, is the oldest in Africa and boasts a rich tradition of financial services » He remarks. 'This historical depth plays a crucial role in making our banking environment both robust and dynamic”

The banking business in Mauritius is cardinal to the local economy, contributing heavily to both sector lending and GDP. « Mauritius’s banking sector domestic lending accounts for over 60% of the country’s GDP. Such a deep level of involvement is quite uncommon, not only in Africa but also on a global scale. This positions our banking sector as a fundamental component of Mauritius’ economic framework,” Hebraud notes.

Mauritius occupies a geostrategically significant position between Africa and Asia, facilitating cross-border transactions and channeling substantial investments into Africa, while also being a major investor in India. The nation serves as a hub for financial flows, attracting private equity funds. Its banking sector boasts non-resident deposits that amount to nearly double the size of the country's GDP. 

MCB plays a pivotal role in this dynamic, particularly in directing flows to Africa, in collaboration with African and international banks active on the continent. “MCB leads the way in Mauritius, serving a diverse clientele that includes local and foreign firms, private equity funds, and Pan African corporates. Our services span from routine banking needs to complex financing solutions. We have embraced digital solutions to meet international client demands, and are today at the forefront of technological advancements » Hebraud points out.

Discussing on the importance of collaborative relationships with other financial centers, Hebraud emphasizes “Our alliance with centers like the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) broadens our appeal. The diverse agreements and regional focuses between Mauritius and DIFC provide a more expansive platform for investors,” he explains.

The collaboration extends to practical initiatives, exemplified by MCB's Advisory office in Dubai and joint funding efforts with GCC banks supporting initiatives targeting Sub-Saharan Africa.

Looking to the future, Hebraud concludes, "Mauritius is continuously adapting to meet the evolving demands of the global finance sector. Our dedication to innovation and regulatory adherence uniquely positions us as a gateway for GCC investors looking towards Africa.”

Published on Arabian Business

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