Sharona Rambocus spoke to MIFC Newsroom on how Mauritius IFC
is the 'to go country' to dobusiness in
Africa. Sharona is a CFA Charter holder and also holds a
Bachelor in Economics and Management (France), a Master's
degree in Management (France), and Master's degree in
International Financial Analysis (France).
Sharona acquired 9 years' experience in the financial
services sector in Mauritius, managing Funds, being involved in
deals structuring, M&As and corporate valuation, as well as
managing a portfolio of high net worth individuals. As a Senior
Manager in the International Business Development unit of ABAX,
Sharona assists in business development whilst looking after the
setting up and administration of business entities in Mauritius.
Sharona is also the Vice President of CFA Society Mauritius and
serves as a volunteer with CFA Institute.
How do you think new measures announced for financial
services in the 2016/17 budget can increase the leverage of
Mauritius as an IFC?
The value of an IFC is mostly based on its reputation. We do
have the required eco-system to be called an International
Financial Centre. With numerous of distinctive features, such as a
strong regulatory and judicial system, economic and political
stability, a qualified work-force, ease of doing business and an
operational and functional stock-exchange, Mauritius already has a
strong leverage and credibility to be the place for doing business.
As regards to the measures announced in the budget, Mauritius
will further position itself as a place for consolidation for
investments and trade. In the medium and long term, we would
see more companies do listings, finance raisings and set-up their
head-quarters in Mauritius.
What is the perception of foreign investors regarding
investment opportunities in Mauritius following the new financial
measures announced in the budget?
We are well positioned to listen to and service foreign
investors. We have received requests from potential clients, in
view of setting up different types of businesses. We had
queries for the setting up of investment banking companies and law
firms. There have been requests for additional information as
well. So, the response was relatively positive.
What are the competitive edges Mauritius IFC has in regards
to wealth and asset management?
With respect to wealth and asset management, first and foremost,
there is no exchange-control in Mauritius which sends a very strong
and positive signal for investors. Our stock-exchange is one
of best in Africa and companies can be listed and be visible very
easily, which gives comfort to investors. We have a
favourable tax-system, qualified labour-force, our judicial is
strong and accessible. Finally, Mauritius as an IFC also
provides a wide range of services, such as stock-broking, auditing,
banking, custody, which position Mauritius as a lucrative
investment destination. Mauritius has so much more to offer
than just treaty-shopping.
How converging towards Africa is an opportunity to
further enhance Mauritius as IFC?
Mauritius is part of Africa. When the international players,
DFIs and multinationals talk about Africa, Mauritius is the go-to
country. The island has the potential to consolidate and
position itself as a strong and ethical IFC. There is a
growing interest from investors to use Mauritius as a platform for
business and channel investments into Africa. Other than being
tax-efficient jurisdiction, Mauritius has an excellent pool of
bilingual financial and legal professionals.
Finally, how do you perceive the new initiatives the
government has initiated for the financial services
As I alluded before, the initiatives and measures for the
financial services sector are positive and demonstrates venues for
future developments. However, we need to be more pro-active to
implement these initiatives and to enhance our image as the place
for doing business in the African region. Promotional agencies have
already embarked in numerous activities to promote the key
advantages of the Mauritius IFC.
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Now that the United Kingdom has served notice to leave the European Union under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, managers of offshore funds have a clearer timetable for when Brexit will happen, with the UK scheduled to leave the EU in March 2019.
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