7 August 2021
One year after launching its new brand, Absa Bank (Mauritius) Limited clearly sets its primary ambition, which is ‘to bring possibility to life’. As a fully-fledged Pan-African bank with international links, the bank positions itself as a partner of choice for investors and clients seeking growth opportunities in Mauritius, Africa and beyond.
Through a unique transition journey led last year, Absa Mauritius separated from Barclays and successfully established its brand by remaining close to its stakeholders and by reiterating its commitment as a dedicated banking partner. Absa Mauritius leverages its 100-year experience and proven savoir-faire as an active player in Mauritius’ economy, from offshore operations to tourism, aviation, manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors.
Sunil Ramgobin, Head of Corporate and International Banking at Absa Mauritius states that “Absa Mauritius has unequivocally earned its place among Mauritius’ leading banks. We stand as a ‘one-stop’ universal partner, with several novel and practical solutions to maximise value creation in a fast-moving world.”
Bridging business channels
Absa Mauritius is part of Absa Group Limited, a leading financial services entity present in 12 countries throughout Africa. Following a cooperation agreement signed with Société Générale, covering Transactional Banking – including Trade Finance, Cash Management and Client Coverage – the Group is able to extend its client coverage to 27 countries across Africa.
As mentioned by Ramgobin, “Absa is expected to be a major player in bridging business channels between the African continent, Europe, the United States and Asia. Our bank is seen as a hub for intra-Africa transactions, using its strategic network on the continent to assist corporates interested in investment opportunities in Africa.”
A Wholesome Market Offering
Along this innovative strategy, Absa Mauritius goes beyond traditional banking products to offer sophisticated financial solutions for clients in Mauritius and Africa. They range from debt capital markets and equity capital markets to advisory services for mergers and acquisitions.
Absa Mauritius also provides risk management products to help its clients manage foreign currency and interest rate risks effectively. Furthermore, it recently launched custody services to provide a complete banking suite to its clients, namely, to Financial Institutions and Non-Banking Financial Institutions.
Ramgobin points out that Absa Mauritius has gone above and beyond to support its clients in these times of subdued global economy, by helping them redefine their strategies and concentrate on their core activities. “We have looked into bridging the gap between clients and potential investors. We have also initiated robust internal research to provide clients with essential market information concerning diversification and other major emerging opportunities.”
Making a difference with the Absa Brand
Absa Mauritius’ unique selling point with local and international players goes hand-in-hand with the dedicated relationship management structure that it offers. A Group relationship management mechanism is set up for clients willing to grow in several African countries. Sector expertise professionals across the Group also offer knowledge and market insight to clients in order to provide them with the right framework and contacts for future growth.
Considering digital innovation and banking security as sine qua non in today’s world, Absa Mauritius recently launched a state-of-the-art online banking platform for its corporate and investment banking clients. A digital onboarding platform was also implemented to ease user experience whilst ensuring a robust KYC (Know Your Customer) process.
Recognition came Absa’s way with awards. In 2020, Absa Mauritius received the ‘Best Cash Management Bank in Mauritius’ award by the Asian Banker. The institution was also proclaimed ‘Best Investment Bank in Mauritius’ and ‘Best Bank in Mauritius’ by Global Finance.
A Strategic Approach
Mauritius’ latest free trade agreements have created new opportunities for investors. These accords – the African Continental Free Trade Area, Mauritius-China Free Trade Agreement, and India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement – testify to the country’s potential of becoming a hub linking Africa and Asia.
Absa Mauritius leverages these agreements as well as the bank’s African network and international offices in London and New York, to play a strategic role in connecting clients across key channels in Africa, Europe, Asia and America.
Mauritius’ post-Covid-19 outlooks
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all sectors of Mauritius’ economy, with the tourism industry hit hardest following border closures. In contrast, the textile sector has shown resilience, with some units operating at 80-90% capacity.
Absa Mauritius went beyond the governmental relief programmes to help its clients navigate these tough times, by supporting them with the restructuring and refinancing of their debt, in order to withstand the negative economic effects.
Following vaccination campaigns launched throughout the island, Mauritius is hoping to achieve herd immunity soon. According to Sunil Ramgobin, “We have to adapt to the new world and to our clients’ evolving needs. Partnering with the client remains key as we pave the way for the new normal.”