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Acquisition of

in shareholding of AfrAsia Bank Limited by the National Bank of Canada


hours dedicated to social and environmental programmes









children supported in Mauritius through our CSR programmes







Adhering to sustainability reporting policy, UN Global Compact


The Bank's anchor shareholder is GML, the largest conglomerate in Mauritius. GML exists since 1939 and is today a well-diversified Group with strategic stakes in companies operating in the main pillars of the Mauritian economy: sugar, commerce and industry, financial services, talent sourcing, offshore, insurance, hospitality, real estate and biotechnology, communication and innovation. The Group employs over 13,000 persons with a turnover of approximately MUR 31bn and asset size at MUR 49.9bn in 2014. GML is ranked first in the Top 100 companies in Mauritius for the last four years and third in the Indian Ocean.
Founded in 1859, National Bank of Canada, the sixth largest bank in Canada, is an integrated provider of financial services to retail, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. Its head office is located in Montreal and its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). It has some 20,000 employees and 2.4m clients and offers a complete range of services, including banking and investment solutions, securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management. Clients in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world are served through a network of representative offices, subsidiaries and partnerships.
Intrasia Capital is an investment, development and boutique private equity firm based in Singapore with additional offices in Mauritius and Australia. Intrasia Capital is primarily focused on investing in and developing high growth international public and private companies in energy and resources, real estate, financial services and agricultural sectors. The Company provides guidance and support to the Bank's international expansion.
Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique (PROPARCO) is a development finance institution jointly held by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and public and private shareholders from the North and South. PROPARCO's mandate is to foster private investment in emerging and developing economies with the aim of supporting the growth of companies and financial institutions with a major impact on development. Its operations span four continents, from major emerging economies to the poorest countries, from politically stable environments to fragile States. They cover the financial sector, infrastructure, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, services and microfinance. PROPARCO strives to uphold responsible financing principles in all projects. Managing environmental and social risks is a key feature of its work.

AfrAsia Bank Limited holds a Banking Licence to conduct banking business in Mauritius issued by the Bank of Mauritius under Section 7 of the Banking Act 2004 since 29 August 2007. The Bank and its Group Entities have also been granted the following licences:

Legal Entity Domiciled Regulatory Oversight
AfrAsia Bank Limited Mauritius (Domestic) Bank of Mauritius, Financial Services Commission, South African Reserve Bank
AfrAsia Holdings Limited Mauritius (GBL1) Bank of Mauritius, Financial Services Commission
AfrAsia Corporate Finance (Pty) Limited South Africa South African Reserve Bank, Financial Services Board (FSB-South Africa)
AfrAsia Corporate Finance (Africa) Limited Mauritius (GBL1) Financial Services Commission
AfrAsia Capital Management Limited Mauritius (Domestic) Financial Services Commission

The Bank of Mauritius has also granted the Bank the status of Primary Dealer to deal in government securities.

AfrAsia Bank Limited
Subsidiaries /Associates
AfrAsia Investments Limited 100%
AfrAsia Holdings Limited 100%
AfrAsia Kingdom Holdings Limited 100% Effective as from 18 February 2015
AfrAsia Corporate Finance (Pty) Limited 100% Effective as from 1 October 2013
AfrAsia Corporate Finance (Africa) Limited 100% Effective as from 1 October 2013
AfrAsia Capital Management Limited 100% Effective as from 3 October 2013
AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Limited (Formerly Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited) 62.75% Effective as from 18 February 2015

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Geographic Diversification

Diversification across Africa, Asia and the World

The Bank continues to build on its relevance locally, regionally and internationally through its offices in Mauritius (Port Louis and Ebène), South Africa & the United Kingdom. The Bank keeps on exploring opportunities in core African markets, expanding its presence in the SADC and COMESA regions, across Asia and Europe as well as emerging markets while developing its tailored banking services to a wider market.

Investing in our People

Building a Culture of Excellence

The Bank's unique culture is fundamental to who we are as an organisation and a key aspect of its brand promise, 'Bank Different'. With a passionate team serving clients in more than 121 countries, the Bank continues to build a talent pipeline to ensure that its workforce is representative of its niche markets and clients' aspirations.

Core Business Segments

Corporate & Investment Banking, Private Banking & Wealth Management, International Banking and Treasury

AfrAsia Bank Limited continues to meet clients' evolving needs to differentiate itself in its target market through its value proposition and remains a strong competitor in its core business segments.

'Bank Different' as Commercial Focus

Taking the AfrAsia brand internationally

From enhancing customer experience to launching innovative banking solutions, AfrAsia Bank Limited has always been recognised for revolutionising the financial sector, thus creating value for its customers while responding to their specific needs and financial aspirations. The Bank aims at continuously shaping its commercial tactics to improve operational processes, putting a greater focus on its core business segments and integrating multi-channel strategies to create lasting relationships and reinforce customer loyalty while simultaneously consolidating the Bank's positioning locally, regionally and internationally

Strategic Goals

Our client-centric approach, diversified business model and commitment to our long-term strategic priorities have been fundamental to our growth and will allow us to continue to create value for all stakeholders

To achieve a sustainable rate of return on equity above the Bank's cost of equity capital

To be the best private and corporate bank in Mauritius

To be a leading provider of innovative banking solutions in our core business segments, serving the Africa-Asia trade corridor and beyond

To create a homogenous brand experience and consolidate the Bank's local, regional and international position

To identify and develop talent to guarantee success while fostering pride in belonging to the Bank

To penetrate new markets and fully realise opportunities to drive investment, trade and wealth creation


Our values deserve an award, come to think of it, more than one. Clients have always been a touchstone for AfrAsia Bank Limited. A strong commitment to client satisfaction is what drives the Bank. Its hard work, conviction, trust, enthusiam and devotion together with the most loyal clientele, have built a rock-solid foundation for award-winning service and performance.

Euromoney (2015)

  • Best Private Bank in Mauritius
  • Best Private Bank for High Net Worth Clients
  • Best Private Bank for Super Affluent Clients
  • Best Private Bank for Asset Management in Mauritius
  • Best Private Bank for Investment Banking Capabilities in Mauritius
  • Best Private Bank for Research and Asset Allocation Advice in Mauritius
  • Best Private Bank for Succession Planning Advice and Trusts in Mauritius

EMEA Finance (2014)

‘Best Transport Infrastructure Deal in EMEA’ for supporting the Ethiopian Railways Corporation’s rail infrastructure upgrade

World Finance (2014)

Best Wealth Management Provider in Mauritius 2014


  • To capture cross-border trade and investment flows routed via the Mauritius IFC
  • To be the reference bank for intermediaries based in Mauritius and other reputable IFCs


  • With Mauritius being the preferred jurisdiction for cross-border investments, AfrAsia Bank Limited will capture more of such flows by working closely with Private Equity advisors, lawyers, trade financiers, banks and others


  • Geographic client diversification in more than 121 countries
  • Presence at conferences and roadshows to promote Mauritius and AfrAsia Bank
  • Working with 164 intermediaries in Mauritius and 134 based outside Mauritius


  • Mauritius being 'blacklisted' by the OECD/ FATF/G20 countries
  • Existing Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) renegotiation and amendments
  • Other IFCs extending their treaty network with African countries
  • Changes in the legal and compliance framework
  • Country, Currency and Credit Risks


  • To position AfrAsia Bank Limited as the leading private bank for HNWI & UHNWI locally and in the African region while expanding its global reach
  • To craft tailor-made products and services through the Bank's open architecture approach, all adapted to clients' financial aspirations


  • There is a growing number of HNWIs in the region, including Africa
  • Tapping emerging middle-class in Africa
  • The risk aversion of foreign banks in the African market creates prospects for Private Banks highly regulated industry
  • Digitisation and mobile platform


  • The number of clients increased by 30% and deposits rose by 33% for this Financial Year
  • The Bank was awarded 'Best Wealth Management Provider in Mauritius 2014' and 'Best Private Bank in Mauritius 2015' by World Finance and Euromoney respectively


  • Economic uncertainty prevailing
  • Political risks
  • Rapid technological advances resulting into new competition
  • New products
  • Service levels


  • To consolidate our position on financing of conglomerates and increase our share of business on the overall corporate market, with key focus on trade finance and foreign exchange capabilities respectively
  • To lay emphasis on excellent service quality and to have a diversified assets book


  • To grow the international Corporate and Investment banking through organic client acquisition where significant cross sell opportunities exist and to consolidate the Bank's extensive FI network
  • Expanding corporate customer base to include the 300 top corporates as well as selective businesses in Madagascar and the region
  • Tailor made financing for real estate projects to cater for promoters & end-buyers


  • Relationships with more than 85% of the Top 100 bankable companies in Mauritius
  • Significant growth of 26% in Corporate assets
  • Breakthrough with large corporate customers in relation to FX (+11%) and trade finance business with significant contribution to Net Interest Income


  • An increasing level of competition in the banking sector
  • General political and economic risks which currently face emerging markets


  • To uphold the 'Bank Different' approach while continuing to innovate and develop new banking solutions that create value for customers
  • To reinforce the Bank's communication approach with further specialised attention, streamlined processes and integrated channels with customers


  • Using technology and new trends to improve the customer experience journey
  • Ensuring the Bank's major events such as AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open & AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction remain valuable sponsorship assets to promote the brand internationally while reaching potential customers


  • Opening of flagship branch in Ebene
  • Title sponsor of first worldwide tri-sanctioned tournament, AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open
  • Participation in roadshows, conferences, panel discussions to take the brand internationally
  • Introduction of foQus, a quality excellence project, aimed at enhancing customer experience


  • Reputational risk
  • Product risk


  • To recruit and develop employees to achieve individual goals that align to our corporate objectives


  • Career paths and succession planning
  • Improve our induction programme
  • Grow more in-house talent
  • Build upon the foQus programme to reinforce organisational culture and values


  • Recruited 39 full-time employees during this year
  • Approximately MUR 3m invested in Learning and Growth
  • Continue to provide job opportunities via the Youth Empowerment Programme scheme; providing real work experience and training


  • Due to new banks on the market, there is an increasing risk of attrition
  • Skills gaps continue to be a challenge in Mauritius
  • High compensation packages are needed to attract unique skills and talented employees


  • To be the preferred provider of FX and Interest Rate instruments as well as structured solutions to our clients in Mauritius and the region


  • As customers grow more savvy and have more appetite for innovative products with yield enhancement ideas in the current low interest rate environment, AfrAsia Bank Limited is poised to provide different types of investment products to cater for the sophisticated investor community


  • Among the top three banks in terms of market share in the domestic FX Turnover as well as Treasury trading income


  • The constant excess in MUR liquidity coupled with the fall in interest rates continue to put pressure on our balance sheet management during the year
  • The Bank continues to manage those risks by the deployment of the excess liquidity in Government papers and FX swaps
  • Competition among Banks
  • Face to face meetings
  • CEO Road Shows
  • Social events/activities
  • Training and coaching
  • External learning and growth opportunities
  • Committees
  • Recognition and reward
  • Clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and targets are communicated
  • Passion and right attitude
  • An environment that encourages growth and open communication
  • Provide the opportunity to achieve personal goals whilst aligning to Company objectives
  • A safe and healthy place to work
  • Continued career enhancement
  • Open door management style; with mutual trust and positive culture
  • Regular feedback and coaching
  • Competitive remuneration and non-financial rewards
  • A high level of employee empowerment and autonomy
  • Customer meetings and site visits
  • Conferences/Road Shows
  • Business association meetings
  • Digital communication via emails, social media
  • Customers provide the basis for continued growth
  • Crafting personalised, innovative, tailor-made banking products and services that aim at achieving clients' financial aspirations and lifestyle evolution
  • Quality of the banking suite of products and services
  • Matching customer needs with the appropriate service model
  • Solidity and stability of the Bank
  • The relationship approach and frequency of communication
  • Regular presentations and Road Shows
  • External newsletters
  • Integrated reports, media releases and published results - Board Meetings - Annual General Meetings - Investor Relations microsite
  • Investors provide the financial capital necessary to sustain growth
  • Providing sustained returns on investment through sound risk management, strategic growth opportunities and good governance practices
  • Delivering sustainable returns
  • Leadership and strategic direction
  • Corporate governance and ethics
  • Progress with project pipelines, business plans and future growth projects
  • A high level of empowerment and autonomy
  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Site visits and business association meetings
  • Performance level agreements
  • Selecting worldclass suppliers to cater for the Bank's requirements and provide a high rate of return
  • Quick turnaround time in decision-making and processing payments
  • The entire process is kept transparent to the suppliers which helps us maintain good relations with the serious suppliers in the market
  • The suppliers always see to it that we receive services in time and that continuity is maintained. They ensure that given the nature of our business, we do not have any denial of services
  • Regular meetings between the Bank and regulators
  • Workgroups – on issues and Regulatory Guidelines
  • Written communication
  • Regulatory returns
  • Onsite and offsite supervision by regulators
  • Trilateral meeting
  • Regulatory Approvals
  • The regulator provides the enabling regulatory framework
  • Providing banking and financial services in a transparent, secure and responsible way
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction
  • Complying with acts, regulations and guidelines
  • Products and services being provided and their communication
  • Compliance with Acts and Regulations
  • Transparency and accessibility to correct information
  • The Bank's duty of confidentiality
  • Appropriate Customer Due Diligence and KYC
  • CSR events, community and environmental projects
  • Meetings with Entrepreneurs/ Corporates
  • Social Media
  • External Newsletters
  • Media Releases
  • People contribute to the country's economic growth through their enterprise's success
  • Building long-term goals, relationships and respect for each other
  • Improvement in quality of life: social, literacy, health and environment
  • Strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mauritius
  • Build on our social efforts through children education and sports sponsorship programmes
  • Optimise our environmental footprint while fostering social and ecological consciousness
  • Implementing environment-friendly business practices
  • Assess and optimise the environmental impact of the Bank's offering
  • How our sustainability strategy makes a difference in people's lives
  • Develop processes to measure the effectiveness of our social and environmental programmes

Keep on innovating to provide a different banking experience to our clients locally, regionally and globally

Pursue balanced growth opportunities and efficient use of capital to create more value for our stakeholders in the long-term

Extend our presence and product offering into our key markets, primarily into Africa and Asia, while capitalising on shareholders' expertise in those markets

Refine our risk appetite across our diversified business model while consolidating strong risk management culture

Chairman's Message


This report marks many milestones achieved this past year and numerous new avenues forward for AfrAsia Bank Limited. It is the first report to you from an Independent Non-Executive Chairman, which duty I have been entrusted with. It is with humility and a deep sense of service that I have accepted to be the second Chairperson of your Bank.

On behalf of the Board and the Bank, we place on record our sincere thanks and deep appreciation of the contribution and leadership of Arnaud Lagesse, CEO of GML, the founding and largest shareholder of AfrAsia Bank Limited. Arnaud served as Chairman for the first seven years, overseeing the creation and success of the Bank along the visionary lines he aspired to it when fi rst seeking the banking licence in 2006.

I welcome the new CEO, Sanjiv Bhasin, who will be tasked to spearhead the reorganisation of the Bank's internal structure to better serve our clients while reinforcing our footprint in key markets and creating more value for all stakeholders.

Allow me to comment briefly on the performance of the Bank for the year ended 30 June 2015.

I would like to emphasise that the Bank has been profitable and has a strong capital base. Offsetting strong net interest income growth and treasury dealing profits was the residual impact of closing the Zimbabwe banking operations in February 2015.

The net result was thus heavily impacted, with Bank net profit after tax at MUR 175m vs MUR 223m last year and Group net loss after tax at MUR 176m vs Group net profit after tax of MUR 325m last year. With the strategic investment by National Bank of Canada, now at 17.5% along with a general rights issue, which in total increased equity capital by nearly MUR 1bn, we now have a strong common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 7.5% and total capital adequacy ratio of 13.7%. We have maintained all dividend requirements to our Class A shareholders throughout.

Fully aware of the importance of maintaining an adequate level of capital to support further profitable growth, we have adopted a dividend policy that ensures first the payment of dividends to our Class A shareholders; and a flow of dividend payments that provides an adequate cash return to our ordinary shareholders whilst keeping a sufficient amount of retained earnings to fuel the Bank's growth.

The Bank has been a fast growing, dynamic and entrepreneurial business for several years now. At the same time, there has been a focus on fostering a culture that knows of and implements compliance to the regulated environment we operate within. The Bank has also implemented extensive systems, along with significant new executive hires in audit, legal and compliance. Several independent examinations and audits have also been commissioned throughout the year.

The Bank is now operating across many jurisdictions and with substantial numbers of new staff hired over the last years. It is in the process of rolling out a new team culture programme with detailed training and induction programmes. The 'Bank Different' culture has been core to the Bank's success and it is now time to refresh and revalidate how this works in our daily service to customers and how we engage with each other. The Bank has gained and will maintain a competitive advantage from its unique and internally-developed process, which is always a work in progress and the quality, diversity and adaptability of its human resources in an ever-changing competitive environment.

Indeed the environment is in constant change. Major trends are already reshaping the global economy. The centre of gravity of the global economy is irreversibly moving to the Africa–Asia axis, coupled with the urbanisation of population in Asia and Africa as a new middle class of consumers emerges; and the disruption of industries with the progress and innovation in the information, communication and technology sector. Your Bank is well-positioned to ride on the waves of these trends.

The Bank will leverage on the key attributes of its four main shareholders, namely the entrepreneurial spirit and mind-set of its major and founding shareholder, GML Group, to offer a unique suite of banking services to the family owned business and their founders of Africa; the banking and risk management skills of the National Bank of Canada, to offer sector specific financing and risk management solutions to companies in the region, with an emphasis on Africa; the network of the investee companies of PROPARCO to expand the Bank's network of collaboration in Africa and the business network in Africa and Asia of Intrasia Capital to develop new business relationships.

The Bank has now reached a level where it can count on a stable stream of profitability and cash flow. It is well equipped to forge ahead and assume a greater responsibility in society that transcends its primary objective of profit maximisation for its shareholders.

We shall continue to ensure that the Bank achieves a target return on average equity capital commensurate with the risk inherent to our banking franchise. This will require that the Bank clearly defines its risk appetite and then judiciously deploys its capital to maximise the return on its capital according to this risk parameter.

AfrAsia Bank Limited continues to incorporate sustainability approaches to the way it conducts business. Across society, the workplace and the communities it serves, the Bank embraces Environmental, Social and Governance considerations (ESG) to align with its corporate strategy and uphold its sustainability structure.

On a deeper level, the Bank will ensure that each and every member of its staff becomes fully conscious and aware of being a Human Being and not just a Human Doing. While the Bank fully assumes its responsibility as a corporate citizen, it is equally important that the business and regulatory environment remain supportive.

It is a great concern that the Centre's reputation has been recently affected. This now requires the full effort of all members of the financial centre ecosystem to work together to improve our international image.

Fully aware that banking is a highly regulated industry, we fully support all efforts that enhance the reputation of the Mauritius financial centre as a well-regulated and supervised jurisdiction with independent regulatory institutions. However, it is imperative that Mauritius maintains its competitiveness by keeping the cost of compliance at a reasonable level. We are thus proponents of a risk-based approach to supervision and in effective collaborations between the regulator and industry participants in the development of regulation and supervision guidelines. Mauritius is an emerging financial centre focused on serving the banking and capital raising needs of Africa. There is a need to take into account the specific environment of our region in crafting the regulatory and supervisory framework. Otherwise there is a risk of creating road blocks to its development and rendering the centre less competitive.

In the course of the year, one independent director, Mike Pike, retired as per the current banking regulation, having served the seven years. We thank him for his contribution.

I also extend my heartfelt gratitude to James Benoit and Kamben Padayachy who resigned from their respective posts of Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Head of Global Banking, Treasury & Markets, for their helpful contribution and strategic direction throughout their journey at the Bank. I would also like to thank, Thierry Vallet, Acting CEO for his leadership during the transition period.

On behalf of the Board, I thank you, valued shareholders, who have entrusted us with your capital. I assure you that both the Board of Directors and the entire management team will continue to be prudent stewards of this capital.

I also thank the management and all the staff for their continuing dedication to the building of a 'Bank Different' in the region.



Chief Executive Officer's Message

Acting Chief Executive Officer

It is my honour to present to you the 2015 Annual Report as acting CEO during the transition period between James Benoit and his successor, Sanjiv Bhasin.

James Benoit, co-founder of AfrAsia Bank Limited and who served as CEO since inception, resigned from his position this year. A firm believer of the growth prospects of Africa, James helped to achieve many tangible brand and investor targets regionally and internationally with a uniquely loyal and dynamic team and banking culture. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to him for his contribution. I am also pleased to welcome Sanjiv Bhasin who has an extensive experience of 38 years across market-leading institutions and will continue building on the Bank's success and write the Africa sequel.

This year is a year of transition, not only for AfrAsia Bank Limited, but for Mauritius and beyond. The global economy remained volatile and perplexing during the year. Here in Mauritius, we also had political changes and some corporate failures. These have had their knock-on effects on the economy and for us at AfrAsia Bank Limited. Still, it was the year in which we gained great insight into our business model, continued to innovate and made some inspiring and bold moves.

Our challenges in our Zimbabwe operations continued and we took the decision in February to surrender our banking licence there and wind up the operations. This was expensive financially and painful for the impact on staff there; we have a separate insight on this elsewhere in the report. We also learned though that despite the global turmoil, Africa remains a beacon of investment and AfrAsia Bank Limited is participating strongly in this.

Our uniquely innovative flagship digital banking centre was launched this year along with a prepaid VISA Platinum card; both firsts in this market. Several new investment funds and private banking services were also rolled out. All of these have continued to see us nominated for, and win, international awards yet again.

We brought in National Bank of Canada as a shareholder during the year for an initial 9.5% stake which has since risen to 17.5% on our last rights issue and saw us raise nearly MUR 1bn of fresh Tier 1 capital. We also invested heavily in our brand and we hosted the world's first ever tri-sanctioned professional golf event involving the European, Sunshine and Asian Tours, the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. With the support of the government and other private sector partners, this was the country's largest ever sporting event showcasing just what we can all do together and gave Mauritius and AfrAsia Bank Limited truly global branding coverage.

Our asset base stood at MUR 22bn at year end while our liabilities amounted to MUR 67bn. Mainly this was on the back of strong global business and private client deposit flows which increased by over 50%. With clients in over 121 countries, AfrAsia Bank Limited and Mauritius as a jurisdiction are now key financial intermediaries for the entire world that is doing business in Africa and Asia.

We cautiously expanded our loan book at a less rapid pace. With credit market fragility globally and locally and the uncertainty of interest rates and currency wars, this is a deliberate strategy. Our surpluses have largely been deployed in shorter term bank placements and money market lines which provide us more agility to manage balance sheet risks.

The 'Management Discussion And Analysis' discusses the detailed metrics. Total Operating income was strongly up 40% but, with final Zimbabwe write downs, our Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) reduced to MUR 175m. However our core customer loan book has performed well and we have avoided many international and local credit issues that have ensnared our competitors. Cost income ratio remains very well managed despite the heavy investments in people, premises and products.

During the year, we made substantial investments in new IT systems including core banking, treasury, automated money laundering detection, prepaid cards and the new digital branch and office spaces in Ebène. We are now poised to leverage these for several years.

Heavy investment was also made in marketing of, which AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open was the largest. With our international reach and now that we are part of the largest domestic banks, we can say that AfrAsia as a brand and a business is now well established and winning all manner of international accolades, which then turn into deep business referrals and relationships.

Our total staff headcount increased to 234, with excellent gender diversity of 52% female. Out of the Executive Committee, four [31%] are female and hold vital roles as Head of Marketing, Credit, Finance and Human Resources.

I remain firmly convinced that the strong African investment trends we are seeing will continue. AfrAsia Bank Limited and Mauritius are uniquely equipped to be the key capital and liquidity solutions providers for these investors. This should drive our growth at similar levels for several more years to come. As such, with our new partners from Canada and our continued building of the brand, our people and infrastructure in Mauritius, we have gained insight, remain innovative and are inspired to pursue our strategy.


As a public company incorporated on 12 January 2007 and holder of a Banking Licence issued on 29 August 2007, AfrAsia Bank Limited remains guided by the principles issued by the Mauritius Financial Reporting Council in its "Guidelines on Compliance with the Code of Corporate Governance" by the Bank of Mauritius in its "Guidelines on Corporate Governance" and by the provisions of the Mauritius Companies Act 2001.


Executive Director

Appointed: 14 February 2011

Resigned: 23 September 2015

Qualifications:Master's degree in Monetary Economics from the University of Paris Dauphine and a post-graduate degree in Banking and Finance

Kamben was one of the Founding Executives of AfrAsia Bank Limited since its inception in May 2007. He has over 20 years' experience in banking, having successively worked with BNP Paribas (BNPI), Barclays Bank and Standard Bank prior to joining AfrAsia Bank Limited. He has held senior management roles at both retail and corporate levels throughout his career and has originated investment banking transactions from debt capital markets to structured trade finance. Kamben was the Deputy CEO and Head of Global Banking, Treasury and Markets at AfrAsia Bank Limited. He is a Director of AfrAsia Special Opportunities Fund, a company listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.


Board of Directors
(Resigned 23 September 2015)


Acting Chief Executive Officer (appointed 24 September 2015) and General Manager
  • One of the Founding Executives of the Bank
  • Worked previously for LONRHO, ILLOVO, Ireland Blyth Limited, Groupe Generali and Mauritius Commercial Bank
  • Qualifications: Honours Degree in Engineering, Post Graduate degree: MBA with a major in International Finance from HEC Paris
  • Director on the Boards of AfrAsia Capital Management Limited, AfrAsia Investments Limited as well as several investment funds


Deputy CEO, Head of Global Banking, Treasury and Markets (resigned 23 September 2015)
  • One of the Founding Executives of the Bank
  • Over 20 years' experience in banking
  • Worked previously for BNP Paribas (BNPI), Barclays Bank and Standard Bank
  • Qualifications: Master's Degree in Monetary Economics from University of Paris Dauphine and a Post Graduate Degree in Banking and Finance
  • Director on the Boards of AfrAsia Capital Management, AfrAsia Special Opportunities Fund and AfrAsia Investments Ltd


General Manager, Head of Domestic Banking Relationships and Sales
  • One of the Founding Executives of the Bank
  • More than 20 years' experience in banking
  • Worked previously for State Bank of Mauritius and Standard Bank (Mauritius) Limited
  • Qualifications: Business Administration and Banking Studies
  • Director on the Boards of AfrAsia Capital Management Limited and AfrAsia Investments Limited


Regional ICT Consultant
  • Over 20 years' experience in the Banking/IT sector
  • Worked previously for IOIB, F.U.E.L, SBI Mauritius Limited
  • Qualifications: MBA (IS) from University of Technology Mauritius, a Certificate in Banking Studies, Oracle DBA and WEB Programmer's Certificates


Head of Group Legal
  • Joined the Bank in November 2014
  • Previously worked for BLC Chambers as Senior Consultant and was partner in Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault, a Banking and Financial Services Group
  • Qualifications: Law degree from University of Montreal (LLB), Bachelor of Business Administration/Applied Economics and Finance (BAA)


Head of Group Internal Audit (resigned 31 July 2015)
  • Extensive banking experience in the Global Business and Domestic Banking environment
  • Worked previously for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in the Personal Banking and Corporate divisions, Sub Custody and Risk Management functions


Head of Compliance
  • 25 years in the banking and legal field in the Banking Sector
  • Worked previously for SBI Mauritius (IOIB) Ltd
  • Member of the Mauritius Institute of Directors (MIOD) and associate member of Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)
  • Qualifications: Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).


Head of International Banking
  • Over 20 years' experience in financial management
  • Worked previously for International Financial Services Limited (Mauritius) and Deutsche Bank (Mauritius) Limited
  • A member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the Association of International Wealth Management (AIWM) and the Mauritius Institute of Directors (MIoD)


Head of Information Communication Technology (ICT)
  • More than 17 years of global leadership experience in the Middle East, Africa and India in banking technology related areas, complemented by business, operations and risk
  • Recently worked for State Bank of Mauritius as lead for the core-banking transformation
  • Degree in Engineering


Head of Finance and Treasury Back Office
  • Over 20 years' experience, gained both locally and internationally
  • Qualifications: Master's degree in Applied Finance, is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser
  • Director on the Board of AfrAsia Investments Limited


Head of Group Operations
  • Over 30 years' standing and has international exposure working in various capacities
  • Qualifications: A Chartered Accountant, MBA holder, Bachelor of Law, various international certifications
  • Previously worked for State Bank of Mauritius Limited, ING Vysya Bank (India), Central Bank of Oman and IDBI Bank (India)


Head of Marketing and Public Relations
  • Over 20 years' banking experience
  • Worked previously for: Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and Mauritius Post and Cooperative Bank (MPCB)
  • Qualifications: Pre Associateship (Chartered Institute of Bankers), International Certificate for Financial Advisors (Chartered Insurance Institute), General Management Certificate (ESSEC Business School, France)


Head of Credit and Risk Management
  • Over 20 years' experience in the banking sector
  • Worked previously for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and the Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd
  • Qualifications: Associate PRM from the Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA), Banking Studies at the University of Mauritius, General Management Certificate (ESSEC Business School, France)


Head of Treasury
  • Over 30 years' experience in banking
  • Worked previously for the Bank of Mauritius and the Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited
  • Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Management from the University of Mauritius, MBA Edinburgh Business School


Regional Head: Corporate Banking
  • 15 years' banking experience, gained in Mauritius and South Africa
  • Previously worked for Standard Bank – Corporate & Investment Banking
  • Qualifications: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management, Bachelor of Social Science Degree (B Soc Sc) University of Cape Town


Head of Human Resources and Change Management
  • Over 25 years' experience, in UK and African markets
  • Worked previously for Barclays Bank (UK) and Bramer Bank (National Commercial Bank)
  • Qualifications: Human Resources, Project Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, currently completing MBA Edinburgh Business School, member of MIo


Head of Business Development (Africa)
  • Over 14 years' experience gained in Mauritius and the Far East
  • Worked for Standard Bank, as General Manager, Global Markets Advisory (China) and was previously Head of Sales - Global Markets (Mauritius)
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management and Marketing, ACI Dealing Certificate


Chief Representative Officer – South Africa
  • Over 25 years' experience with local and international banks and financial markets in various roles including Head of Treasury, Head of Corporate Banking and General Manager of investments
  • Author of a book on investment strategy, lectures banking principles to MBA students at a local business school
  • Qualifications: Master of Commerce


Chief Representative and Head of Private Equity - London Representative Office
  • Around 30 years' experience in private equity and venture capital markets
  • Advisor, author and trainer with strong knowledge of the African Private Equity arena
  • Previously held several position as Independent Director for various funds and businesses based in Mauritius & overseas


Managing Director: AfrAsia Corporate Finance
  • Experienced senior Structured Financier with an MBA and 12 years' experience in Investment Banking
  • Qualifications: B.Com (Law), LLB, LLM (Corporate Law), MBA, HDip (Tax), HDip (International Tax) Admitted Attorney and Notary Public of the High Court of South Africa
  • Previously worked as Senior Manager in the Structured Finance team, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank South Africa. She has extensive experience in structuring and funding cross-border transactions in various targeted product areas, sectors and emerging markets as well as preference share funding


Chief Executive – AfrAsia Capital Management
  • Over 17 years' experience as Fund manager
  • Previously worked for AXYS Capital Management, consultant for a risk management consultancy firm in Mauritius, performed several risk management assignments for parastatal bodies and companies operating in different sectors of the economy 2013
  • Qualifications: MSc in International Business & Finance from the University of Reading, UK, BSc (Hons) in Economics, a member of the CFA Institute


Risk Management Report

One of the key missions of AfrAsia Bank Limited (the "Bank") is to identify, assess and manage the credit, operational, market and liquidity risks to which the Bank is exposed, thereby providing a sustainable environment to attract and promote business opportunities whilst improving the risk/return profile of its activities.

Through a robust internal control mechanism, together with comprehensive and up-to-date risk policies, reliable decision making support with strict adherence to the legal and regulatory requirements, our goals remain to maintain the confidence of the stakeholders by mitigating our risk through the management of current and potential credit, operational, market and liquidity risks.


The Domestic Landscape – Review of 2014/15

2014 elections: A landslide signaling sweeping reforms

On 17 December 2014, a new coalition Government was sworn in after winning a spectacular and unexpected landslide victory in the general elections. This brought an end to nine years of power led by the Labour Party and signaled the beginning of a new economic agenda, which was the hallmark of the electoral campaign. After months of uncertainties and stalled policy action which are often characteristics of any democratic pre-election period, the new Government took office with the promise that it would bring a "second economic miracle" to the shores of Mauritius.

Global Outlook and Regional Developments

Slow but gradual rebound in advanced economies...

Global growth is projected at 3.1% in 2015, marginally lower than in 2014, with a gradual pickup in advanced economies and a slowdown in emerging market and developing economies, according to the IMF. The sudden increase in financial market volatility globally in August 2015 triggered by the sharp stock market decline in China and concerns about the sustainability of its growth engine did not have long-lasting effects: financial conditions have remained favourable in advanced economies.

Global output forecasts for 2016 are expected to be lower than predicted in mid-2015 but could nevertheless strengthen to 3.6%. Recovery has been more entrenched in the United States and the United Kingdom and this is projected to increase moderately in 2016, despite fears of monetary tightening. The mild but sustained recovery in the euro area in 2015 and the return of Japan in positive growth territory are set to continue in 2016 but, according to the IMF, medium-term prospects remain subdued.

Inflation has remained on a declining trend in 2015 in advanced economies. This is expected to rise in 2016 but it is generally believed that the rates will remain below central banks' targets. In the UK in September 2015, for instance, for only the second time since 1960, the inflation rate has turned negative, reflecting a weak price backdrop. The Bank of England has warned that this could persist in 2016, thus remaining far below its target rate of 2%.

Located in the two largest cities in Africa's biggest economy, Johannesburg and Cape Town, the primary functions of the South Africa Offices are to promote Mauritius as an international financial and business destination and AfrAsia Bank Limited as the banking brand of choice.

Corporate South Africa's investments into Africa

On the corporate and institutional front, South Africa remains one of the dominant investors on the Continent. According to the latest World Investment Report, South Africa recorded a 4.3% rise in FDI to USD 6.9bn during 2014, making it a leading outward investor, particularly into the rest of the African Continent. South Africa's investments into more than 40 African countries range beyond traditional mining, telecommunications, banking and travel. Other successful South African businesses with African operations are involved in insurance, construction, chemical, pay-TV, food and beverage as well as the pharmaceutical sectors. Every year growing numbers of African consumers shop at South African retailers such as Shoprite or Massmart stores. Many of these companies engaged in trading in Africa have invested via Mauritius – or use Mauritius as an international treasury centre.

Private Banking in Africa

According to New World Wealth's Africa 2015 Wealth Report, the number of HNWIs in Africa increased by 145% between 2000-2014, comparing very favorably with the worldwide HNWI growth rate of 73% during the same period. Moreover, these numbers are expected to rise by a further 45% by 2024. Clearly there is a correlation between economic growth and the creation of a successful and wealthy entrepreneurial class. With the African Continent set to become one of the world's fastest growing regions over the next 10 years, there will be a concomitant rise in the demand for banking and investment products and services which augurs well for those providing private banking to the African clientele.

The Focus

The Representative Offices have been capitalising on 3 main trends:

  • continued interest in expanding into new markets where there is growing consumer demand. Countries in SADC and COMESA are of particular interest. Being a member of both blocs and offering a network of double-taxation agreements, IPPAs and other advantages, Mauritius is an ideal platform to facilitate accessing these markets
  • managers of listed and unlisted funds continue to be attracted to Mauritius as a base for their operations, and
  • like corporates, there are individuals who similarly seek international diversification of their wealth and access to private banking products.

The Representative Offices' local presence combines well with the Bank's competitive products and services enabling AfrAsia Bank Limited to successfully compete for international banking in the markets in which it operates.

Since inception, the strategy has been to retain the services of seasoned bankers who are well grounded in the local market and also have the ability to inform prospects about international banking through Mauritius. This ranges from being able to discuss with global business companies as well as speaking to individuals about the private banking platform in Mauritius.

Key success and future outlook

Tangible and intangible benefits accrue to positioning ourselves in one of Africa's largest economies.

  • Being situated in the Continent's banking and stock market hub provides access to high quality local and international corporates as well as fund managers
  • Increasing acceptance of AfrAsia Bank Limited as a regional Bank of substance is evidenced by the profile of African companies and intermediaries choosing to do business with the Bank

Each year, the South African Representative Offices continue to contribute to the Bank's expansion into African and other markets.

The team in South Africa. From left to right; Ravi Teji, Vanessa Sabbatini (consultant), Colin Grieve, Anne Ferriera, Lise Tayler and Dennis Shoko

The Bank's presence in London reflects the city's importance as a centre for African-focused capital flows. It is also home to a large proportion of the major African private equity groups and our London Representative, Garry Sharp, himself has deep experience in African private equity stretching back nearly twenty years.

The key role of the Representative Office is to act as a networking and contact centre, enhancing our relationships with London financial institutions, advisers and intermediaries, and with clients and contacts who pass through the city. The Bank also liaises closely with the London offices of Mauritius-based management companies and similar partners.

Key achievements in the last twelve months have included:

  • deepening AfrAsia Bank Limited's links with London-based, Africa-focused Private Equity funds. The Bank now provides banking services, including bridging loan and portfolio company facilities, to a significant and growing number of these funds and the London connection has helped accelerate this progress.
  • cooperation with International Management Companies. A growing number of AfrAsia Bank Limited's IMC partners are opening London offices. The Bank is collaborating closely on joint business development activities with these offices to offer total solutions to London-based clients.
  • developing relationships with major international conglomerates with African exposure. As Mauritius becomes more established as the natural offshore base for international investment in Africa, these links are helping to promote the Bank's positioning as their natural Mauritius banking partner.
  • broadening private banking coverage, the presence of a London Representative has strengthened the Bank's appeal to High Net Worth Individuals based in London.

The Financial Year 2014/15 was marked by the closure of the Bank’s Zimbabwe operations, despite all efforts made to salvage them. This happened against the backdrop of deteriorating macroeconomic conditions and a continued liquidity crunch in the banking sector.

In February 2015, the board of AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited (ABZL) decided to surrender its banking licence. Despite the writeoff of this investment, AfrAsia Bank Limited continues to maintain a strong capital based of MUR 4.9bn, demonstrating the resilience and financial strength of the Bank.

AfrAsia Capital Management


  • ACM has successfully grown its business both in terms of assets under management and bottom line over the last three years
  • ACM has launched a new CIS – AfrAsia Partners Fund - to cater for investors looking for "patrimonial investment solutions"
  • Over time, ACM has built a client base that includes major companies in different sectors of the economy
  • ACM's Return on Equity and Return on Capital Employed have averaged 86% and 103% respectively over the last three years
  • To offer a holistic service, ACM has engineered many structured product investment ideas, and has embraced an open architecture platform to provide clients access to different asset classes, regions and investment products from reputed international asset managers and niche players

AfrAsia Corporate Finance

AfrAsia Corporate Finance (ACF) is a niche, independent corporate finance adviser; providing clients with innovative structuring and financial solutions. The AfrAsia Corporate Finance Team based in Johannesburg, South Africa, consists of Marisa Meyer and Llewellyn Gerber; together they bring nearly three decades of experience.

Collectively, Marisa and Llewellyn have broad and deep experience in a variety of disciplines, ranging from Investment banking, Capital Raise and Tax Advisory to Debt Capital Markets, Valuations and Fairness Opinions as well as M&A advisory.

ACF has been instrumental in prepping, executing and delivering on many strategic and multifaceted business transactions. Their approach to partner with their clients rather than acting solely as advisors, coupled with their experience, connections and skillset, means they are able to provide their clients across the African continent with a range of appropriate solutions, all the while offering them the satisfaction that all their business requirements will be met.




Long-Term Financing

  • Develop and provide financial products and services responsibly
  • Business Principles & Code of Ethics
  • Technology

Most Preferred Employer

  • Culture of Excellence
  • People Development
  • Diversity

Children's Education

  • Children's Education & Welfare
  • Development of Sports
  • Health

AfrAsia Green Programme

  • AfrAsia Bank Limited Think Green Programme
  • AfrAsia/ GML Fondation Joseph Lagesse Green Space


AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open 2015

AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the first ever tri-sanctioned golf tournament endorsed by the Sunshine, European and Asian Tours, all of whom are founding members of the International Federation of PGA Tours, was held at the Heritage Golf Club. George Coetzee was crowned winner of this inaugural tournament.

AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction 2015

The AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, held in Boschendal (Cape Town) raised an astounding ZAR 10.5m for children's education in South Africa's winelands.

Brand Ambassadors: Hennie Otto and Max Orrin

The Bank has signed a sponsorship agreement with the young and talented English golfer Max Orrin, winner of the 2014 AfrAsia Golf Masters as well as a personal endorsement deal with three-time European Tour Champion Hennie Otto.

AfrAsia International 7's Rugby Tournament

The Bank, in collaboration with Rugby Union Mauritius, organised the 2nd edition of AfrAsia International 7's Rugby Tournament at the Northfields Sports Club, Mauritius. The Outeniqua team from South Africa were crowned as winners.

Sponsor of 2014 Derby Golf de Guérande, France

The Bank sponsored Golf de Guérande's inaugural Derby Golf 2014, a 36-hole stroke play event played over two days, witnesssing the participation of 120 golfers.

Africa Pensions and Sovereign Investment Forum 2014, London, United Kingdom

AfrAsia Head of Private Equity and London Representative Office Garry Sharp was a key speaker at the Forum, and focused on future challenges of doing business in the African market.

Offshore Bootcamp sponsored and co-hosted by AfrAsia Bank, Cape Town, South Africa

Ryan De Vries, AfrAsia Bank Cape Town Business Head and South Africa Chief Representative Officer Colin Grieve spoke about international banking, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and future automatic exchange of information agreements.

Private Equity in Emerging Markets 2014, London,United Kingdom

AfrAsia Head of Private Equity and London Representative Office Garry Sharp attended the conference focusing on latest developments in the asset class and emerging economies.

Annual Super Return Africa 2014, Cape Town, South Africa

Our team attended the conference, focusing on the opportunities and challenges of investing in private equity across Africa.

Africa Financial Services Investment Conference, Brighton,United Kingdom

Garry Sharp, Head of Private Equity of AfrAsia Bank Limited, was a speaker at the conference, focusing on "Private Equity and Financial Services: Pointers from a Busy Year."

Launch of Ebène digital flagship branch

AfrAsia Bank Limited opened its conceptual branch in the Ebène CyberCity, showing its continued growth and development of the brand, delivering simultaneously a distinctive customer experience through the I-Displays, I-Tables and the 84" I-Wall, a first in Sub-Saharan Africa.

AfrAsia Tecoma Award 2014

The Bank sponsored the AfrAsia Tecoma Award for the third time, honouring the best of the local business community whose courage, foresight and determination has created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. Aisha Allee from Blast Communications became the first woman to be honoured with this recognition.


Report on the Financial Statements

We have audited the consolidated and separate financial statements of AfrAsia Bank Limited (the “Bank”), which comprise the statements of financial position as at 30 June 2015 and the statements of profi t or loss and other comprehensive income, changes in equity and cash flows for the year then ended, and the notes to the financial statements which include a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes, as set out on pages 186 to 307.

This report is made solely to the Bank’s members, as a body, in accordance with Section 205 of the Mauritius Companies Act. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Bank’s members those matters that we are required to state to them in an auditors’ report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Bank and the Bank’s members, as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.







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