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AfrAsia Bank expands its presence in South Africa


Mauritius-registered boutique bank AfrAsia Bank Limited is expanding its South African base by opening a new office in Durban, demonstrating the growing success of its unique banking model and its faith in the potential of the South African economy. The launch will be held on Thursday 24 February 2011 at the Hilton Hotel in Durban.

In 2009 AfrAsia Bank was granted a Representative Office License by the South African Reserve Bank and currently has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Subsequently, it has invested into a Corporate Finance franchise which has since then been renamed AfrAsia Corporate Finance (ACF). On why Durban was chosen as an important location for the opening of the new office, James Benoit, Chief Executive Officer states "Durban is one of the most important cities in South Africa and the opening of an office there is indeed the next logical step for us after Johannesburg and Cape Town". We believe that the SA economy offers great potential going forward and it is indeed a strategic decision to increase our presence and exposure to this country" states Benoit.

On the successes of AfrAsia in the South African Market, Kamben Padayachy, General Manager, Head of Global Banking, Treasury and Markets states, "First of all, we wanted to position ourselves for the massive Foreign Direct Investment flowing in via Mauritius and, second, it was to capture the business of South African companies and individuals investing directly into Mauritius or using the country as a platform to structure their outbound investments. I must say that we have been successful on both counts as we have seen a substantial increase in the flows in both directions since the set up of our SA offices. We expect this to further increase with the new Durban office."

Mauritius is emerging more and more as an International Financial Centre of substance. Headquartered therein, AfrAsia Bank has developed regional reach and positions itself to facilitate cross-border trade and investment flows into Africa and Asia. "Asia and Africa are the two continents that are driving the global economy these days. And we believe that this is very much the story going forward" says Padayachy, " Furthermore, as the economies of China and India expands, we are seeing an increasing appetite from these countries for Africa's natural resources and this is driving the expansion of trade and investment flows between these two continents. Mauritius is naturally poised to play an important role in facilitating these flows with its network of Double Taxation Agreements and its membership of the SADC and COMESA trade zones. Mauritius also shares important cultural ties with India, China and Africa".

AfrAsia Bank has a comprehensive offering to service client requirements for Corporate & Investment Banking and Private Banking & Wealth Management. On their unique banking model, Benoit states, "AfrAsia Group is a focused boutique financial services provider offering the whole span of products and services ranging from transactional banking capabilities to investment solutions for both Private and Corporate segments. It is headquartered in a modern, established and reputable International Financial Centre (Mauritius), but with regional reach into Africa and Asia. It also leverages its strong shareholder base which consists of the biggest conglomerate in Mauritius (GML Group), the Dale Group based in SA, Intrasia Capital based in Singapore and Proparco, one of the biggest European DFI based in France."

At the launch event, senior officers of AfrAsia wish to outline their plans to the Durban business community and explain why they are so positive about the potential of our market. "I'm looking forward to working with our newly appointed Head of Business for KwaZulu Natal, Imtiaz Yusuf," said AfrAsia's South African Chief Representative Officer, Colin Grieve. "We believe Mauritius is an ideal platform for trade and investment flows and Imitiaz will create greater awareness of these opportunities as well as the benefits of using AfrAsia bank."

"This is indeed very exciting times for us as it is another important milestone for the Bank. It is reinforcing our footprint in SA" concluded Benoit.


DESIGNATION: Head of Marketing and Public Relations
CONTACT: (230) 208 5500

AfrAsia Bank expands its presence in South Africa

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