GLOBAL BUSINESS BANKING
Leveraging on the image and reputation of Mauritius as an International Financial Centre (IFC) par excellence, the Global Business Desk continued its business expansion during the year under review by widening and diversifying its market-related initiatives, resulting in a sustained increase in the balances of Segment B deposits and advances.
Segment B - loans and advances by country
The Desk further developed and nurtured its business relationships with International Management Companies and other key players within the Global Business Industry, not only in Mauritius but also from other IFCs. As at 30 June 2014, the Bank had been dealing with 121 intermediaries in Mauritius and 117 intermediaries from outside Mauritius.
The solid performance of the Global Business Desk reflects the success of a series of key initiatives already instigated in previous financial years in further establishing the Bank’s brand, strategic positioning and credentials regionally and internationally. The Desk geared up its capabilities and bolstered its field presence through participation in selected international conferences and road shows as well as sponsorship of high-profile networking events. For instance, the Bank actively supported the first ever Mines and Money conference in Mauritius in June 2014, the 2014 STEP South Africa conference, the annual conference of an international trust company, the Mining Indaba, the AVCA and Super Return Private Equity conferences.
In addition to business prospecting missions and road trips in targeted markets, the Desk also capitalized on cross-selling opportunities across business segments and locations in order to enhance the visibility of the Bank’s value proposition. In August 2013, the Desk together with the South Africa Representative Office partnered with Discovery South Africa in an Offshore Bootcamp in Johannesburg, which was attended by more than 150 South African Independent Financial Analysts.
Moreover, in view of the challenging conditions in India, which include the country’s poor macroeconomic growth due to high inflation, a weak currency, which depreciated nearly 20% against the US dollar between May and August 2013, slow growth in both public and private consumption and a fall in fixed investments to 8% in 2013 from 11% in 2012, AfrAsia Bank Limited has considerably reduced its exposure to the Indian economy and diversified its loan portfolio to the African markets. This strategy was already adopted by the Bank since early 2012 well before the start of the Indian crisis. However, the Bank will continue to review its position on India should the political climate improve.
Exposure to the African Continent is made up of a combination of both short and long term assets. The short term assets are made up primarily of working capital facilities such as overdrafts and trade finance lines while the term funding assets are generally made up of term loans up to 5 years, project finance loans and leverage finance transactions. AfrAsia Bank Limited has also increased its participation in syndicated facilities to African Corporates which constituted 31% of current total advances.
All the business realizations for the year under review have been achieved thanks to significant resources devoted to staff development and competency enhancement, particularly via targeted in-house trainings. Given the increasing number of international intermediaries (based outside of Mauritius) adopted by the Desk and the resulting business, a separate dedicated team has been set up to deal with those intermediaries and their Clients. 2014 has seen the adoption of the US FATCA laws by more than 100 countries around the world and more onerous compliance requirements on the banking sector in general. The OECD has also been fostering automatic exchange of client information amongst countries, which will make the movement of capital more transparent, going forward.
The future strategy of the Global Business continues to be on reinforcing its positioning on the regional and the international front, with a specific focus on Africa given the attractive economic potential of the Continent. The focus remains on expanding the international reach of the Bank through increased field visibility, the fostering of enhanced business relationship and the gearing up of internal capabilities.
Leveraging on the image and reputation of Mauritius as an International Financial Centre (IFC) par excellence, the Global Business Desk continued its business expansion.