Mauritius Bank in talks with CBN for operational approval

The Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking of Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), Thierry Hebraud, has revealed plans to expand the company’s operation into Nigeria, as the company reviews its revenue sources.

During the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire, on Tuesday, Hebraud said Mauritius Commercial Bank is in its final approval stage of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and operation will commence in Africa’s largest economy in a couple of months.

According to him, the financial institution’s branch in Nigeria would have started sooner, but it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, discussion is now underway to ensure Nigeria becomes one of its earnings market.

“Today, more than 50% of our balance sheet is outside Mauritius, and the major part is in Africa,” he said. “I believe within the next couple of months, we will be operating the new representative office in Nigeria.” Hebraud was quoted by Reuters.

Mauritius Commercial Bank has invested around $300 million in Ghana, and $200 million in both Senegal and Ivory Coast. The firm’s quest to invest in the Nigerian market comes amid plan to make an inroad into the renewables and mining market.

The lender had previously focused its investment in upstream and downstream oil and gas industry, but with global investment moving from fossil fuels to green energy, the company is readjusting its portfolio to house the latter.

Hebraud said, “We believe we’ll continue to grow in the oil and gas sector, but at a slower pace. We’ll definitely grow in the energy and infrastructure,” adding separately that there’s need to continue investing in oil & gas despite the switch, “Imagine all banks withdraw from this sector, you’ll shut down the electricity of half the continent.” he said.

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