Barclays to help corporate clients in Seychelles manage risk factors


The Barclays chief operations officer for southern Africa, Dr Mabouba Diagne, trained representatives of import and export companies, financial operators, as well as the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) to develop strategies to cushion themselves against what he terms “risk convulsions”.

The Senegalese-born Dr Mabouba told the press that the project, which has received positive feedback from approximately 80 organisations that are currently involved, is being undertaken by Barclays as part of its corporate social investment programme.

“You must manage risks and be in a better position to protect yourself and mitigate the impact of volatile markets of the present times,” he advised the corporate organisations.

Dr Madouba said that a total of 12 countries are involved in the project, at a cost of an estimated 30 million South African rands. The Barclays group is firmly implanted in all the territories where the programme is being conducted, namely Seychelles, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Mauritius, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

Looking at Seychelles, Dr Madouba said the volatile currency market presents the biggest risk for business operators. He remarked that a year ago, the US dollar was exchanging for over R14 and it is currently down to less than R12.

It is possible, Dr Madouba noted, that the exchange rate might be reversed next year, when the Seychelles government starts repaying its external debts after the four-year grace period. He added that the unpredictable oil market also constitutes another uncertainty which needs to be addressed properly.

Dr Madouba, who has worked for major banks in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany, said a meeting of Central Banks from 15 African countries is expected to be held in April in Cape Town to discuss regional financial issues further.