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State Bank of Mauritius sets up shop in Victoria | 13 August 2019

State Bank of Mauritius sets up shop in Victoria

Vice-President Meriton looks on as Mr Li Kwong Wing and Minister Loustau-Lalanne unveil the plaque to officially inaugurate the bank

After months of planning and preparation, the State Bank of Mauritius Holdings Limited has launched its operations in Seychelles.

State Bank of Mauritius Holdings Limited (SBM Bank Seychelles) Limited, a subsidiary of the Mauritian financial group, SBM Holdings Limited, was officially inaugurated yesterday morning through the unveiling a commemorative plaque by the Minister for Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing, the chairman of the SBM group.

The bank is situated at the Allied Plaza on Francis Rachel Street.

Present at the ceremony were Vice-President Vincent Meriton, leader of government business in the National Assembly Charles De Comarmond, the first deputy governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles Christophe Edmond, the consul of Mauritius to Seychelles Francis Chang Leng, the management and staff of SBM and other invited guests.

SBM bank will be offering a full range of banking services, including internet banking facilities, to the Seychellois public and business community.

In his address for the occasion, Minister Loustau-Lalanne said that with SBM conducting its operations in Seychelles, it is anticipated that it will contribute towards the further development of the local banking sector and the entire financial system, as well as the broader economy.

“The provision of diverse facilities to customers and the availability of more choices can only help to create a strategic partners. He congratulated the SBM Group on the setting up of its new business in Seychelles.

For his part, Mr Li Kwong Wing said that Mauritius and Seychelles share excellent diplomatic relations, as well as rich historical ties and these have been the driving force for SBM group to establish its presence here.

He further said that first and foremost SBM wants to bring choice to the Seychellois clients in terms of availability of different products and services, secondly to bring competition in the financial sector in terms of interest rates and quality of products etc… and thirdly its capability to get resources raised on the Mauritian stock exchange and also on the international stock exchange.

Mr Li Kwong Wing noted that it took two years of studying the Seychelles’ financial market and also security aspects linked to internet banking before they decided to open the bank since obtaining the license from the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) on December 27, 2016.

“Receiving the license to operate as a fully fledged bank and opening our door in Seychelles is a big step towards our vision in the region. We recognise the growth potential across the Indian Ocean rim based on the projection of trade and investment. Seychelles is part of this potentially thriving region and is an integral player at the heart of the Indian Ocean,” said Mr Li Kwong Wing.

“We have expanded our presence in the region in a measured way, in selected geographic areas where we believe we can support and help our target customer segments to grow and succeed, leveraging on our synergies across different entities,” he added.

Li Kwong Wing noted that SBM now has a top-tier in Mauritius and apart from a subsidiary in Seychelles, it is also present in India, Madagascar and Kenya.

He said that with the leveraging on proximity and the wide range of products and services developed and expertise built in Mauritius, SBM has been looking to grow in the Indian Ocean and along the Africa-Asia corridor.

Mr Li Kwong Wing said Seychelles has been found to fit perfectly well into the group’s focus where it can leverage on its strength to support the development of the country’s financial sector. He thanked all those who helped in making SBM’s journey a reality.

The opening of SBM Bank (Seychelles) Limited brings to nine the number of commercial banks currently operating in the Seychelles’ financial system. It has six staff for the moment (four Seychellois and two expatriates) and opens from 8.30am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday and from 8.30am to 11.30am on Saturdays.

The Mauritian financial group, SBM Holdings Limited is a leading provider of banking and non-banking solutions to retail, small and medium enterprises, corporate and high net worth clients. The holding company is the third largest listing on the official market of the stock exchange of Mauritius, with a market capitalisation of around US $471 million (the equivalent of nearly R6.5 billion) as at June 2019.

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