(Seychelles News Agency) – Seven months after being granted its license from the Central Bank of Seychelles, the State Bank of Mauritius has said that it is recruiting a chief executive and plans to launch its operation in the archipelago by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
SBM will become the second bank from Mauritius to offer its services in Seychelles after the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB).
SBM was granted its license in March following a banking request made in October 2015.
SNA speaks to the Chairman of SBM Holdings Ltd Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing on why Seychelles was chosen as the bank aims to diversify its base of operations in the region, as well as on the services the bank is planning to offer to Seychellois clients.
SNA: Mr Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing, what steps have been taken since the Central Bank of Seychelles granted a license in March to the State Bank of Mauritius to open a branch in Seychelles?
KC: Since we obtained the license, the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) has set up a team in order to meet the requirements of the banking license. The team is also tasked with following up on the implementation of initiatives that will lead to the establishment of banking operations in Seychelles. This includes a recruitment exercise for a Chief Executive Officer for the Seychelles operation, the setting up of a board of directors and the selection of a strategic location to house the business.
SNA: What are the conditions attached to the license?
KC: This is mainly the legal provisions required in preparation for the State Bank of Mauritius to launch its operations in Seychelles. You will understand that we cannot provide details at this stage.
SNA: What has motivated SBM to invest in Seychelles?
KC: It’s been 42 years since the SBM launched its operations in Mauritius. Today it is a strong financial group, standing as the second largest bank in the country and enjoys a solid reputation particularly in the field of Retail Banking.
However, the Group’s revenues remains focussed at the local level and there is a need to diversify our activities abroad.
Building on its expertise in the banking sector, SBM has for some time now been looking for expansion opportunities in the region, namely the Indian Ocean and in east African countries.
Nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean and ideally located on the Asia-Africa corridor, Seychelles fits perfectly within the group’s regional expansion strategy. This also represents an opportunity to better support our customers who have settled in the archipelago and expand our customer base.
SNA: How was Seychelles identified?
KC: Following fact-finding visits in Seychelles, SBM has identified a strong demand for banking products such as the financing of small and medium enterprises, factoring services, leasing and offshore banking among Seychellois customers.
SNA: Are there any new products and services that will be offered to Seychellois customers and other residents of the archipelago?
KC: SBM plans to offer a wide range of products and services, including treasury, asset management, brokerage services, bank cards, e-commerce, online banking and mobile banking solutions.
SNA: Who will be in charge of the operations of the SBM Bank (Seychelles) Ltd?
KC: A recruitment exercise is ongoing and the selection process is currently underway.
SNA: When is SBM Bank (Seychelles) Ltd scheduled to open its doors?
KC: We are planning to start our operations by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
SNA: Where will the bank be based on Mahé?
KC: We are currently looking for a strategic location for our business.
SNA: What is the capital being invested in the Seychelles venture?
KC: We are planning to invest the capital that is required to meet the regulatory requirements and support the expansion of our operations in the Seychelles.
Mauritius – 3 Minors Flee Phoenix Probation Home
Three minors, aged 13, 14, and 15, who had escaped from the Phoenix Probation Home on January 17, fled again at around 7:45 am on Sunday. A staff member assigned to the facility noted their disappearance and reported their escape before filing a complaint at the Phoenix police station.
In her deposition, the staff member explained that she saw the entrance door of the probation home open, as well as the exterior gate. She recounts that the three minors fled again on Sunday.
Police Search for Fugitives
The police’s dog section and the Phoenix Central Investigation Division were notified to find the fugitives. The Family Protection Brigade was also notified of their disappearance. These minors have recently been admitted to this center. One of them arrived a month ago, another three months ago, and the oldest six months ago. They were found earlier last week before fleeing again.
Call for More Specialized Care
The Ombudsperson for Children, Rita Venkatasawmy, was consulted and explained that she visited the site. “I think a more specialized framework is needed. Unfortunately, I have not personally spoken to the girls to understand where the problem comes from. One thing is certain, the house is in good condition and the food is up to par.”
Mauritian Deputy Premier Lectures Tanzanian Stakeholders On Tourism, Economic Growth, PPP
Zanzibar — Former Finance Minister and Deputy Premier of Mauritius, Dr Ramakrishna Sithanen on Wednesday called for the strengthening of partnerships between the private sector and the government in an effort to boost economic growth in Zanzibar.
Dr Sithanen, who held talks with the business community in the Isles, offered his experience to the business community in Zanzibar, as he explained how his country, Mauritius, managed to retain its exclusivity in the tourism industry.
He spoke to at least 40 stakeholders who are key contributors to Zanzibar’s’ economic growth, including representatives from Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI), the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Zanzibar National Industry as well as the Agriculture (ZNCCIA) and Zanzibar Association of Tour Operators (ZATO).
During a meeting presentation, Dr Sithanen, the man touted as a key contributor to the transformation of Mauritius, told the investors that the best way to grow the economy of most African countries, including Zanzibar, was to harness the public-private partnerships(PPP).
He said, “There should be cohesion between the private sector and the government. I know, it’s not an easy process for the two parties to agree as they have different interests, but they need a common ground which will be for the betterment on the country’s economic growth
Dr Sithanen suggested that Zanzibar should embrace three key strategies that helped Mauritius to grow its economy. “There should be investment in infrastructure, invest in people and in institutions,” he noted.
On infrastructure, he explained that it involves constructing more roads, airports, ports and the soft infrastructure such as good governance, credibility health and training.
“People must be trained, have an education and acquire skills. Whereas institutions refer to the judiciary system, freedom and academic,” said Dr. Sithanen.
He was invited to Zanzibar by a major tourism investment company, Pennyroyal Gibraltar Ltd and Zanzibar Amber Resort, which is currently implementing major tourism projects including hotel resorts and beaches.
The Director of Pennyroyal Gibraltar Ltd, Mr Saleh Said, believes that Zanzibar, which is geographically similar to Mauritius and has great potential to develop into a world class luxury tourist destination and facilitate Direct Foreign Investment.
Mauritius – Kas Poz Vibrates To The Rhythm Of The Sega Tipik
Popular success for the evening organized by the cultural magazine Kas Poz as part of the festival of music, Wednesday June 21 at Backstage, Henessy Park Hotel. Several artists were at the rendezvous for a Jam session on the sega tipik and local music. Back on this event in pictures.
Mauritius – Reena Rungloll’s Murder Suspect, Johan Barkly, Confessed To Helping Accomplices Depose Body
Murder of Reena Rungloll- suspect Johan Barkly confessed to helping his accomplices get rid of the body of the victim.A decisive step in the investigation into the murder of Reena Rungloll in October 2016. A new reconstruction of the facts took place on Tuesday afternoon in a cane field in Trianon where the young woman’s body had been found Week after the murder.
A decisive step in the investigation into the murder of Reena Rungloll in October 2016. A new reconstruction of the facts took place on Tuesday afternoon in a cane field in Trianon where the young woman’s body had been found Week after the murder. Yohann Barkly, one of two other suspects arrested Saturday, was on the scene to tell the investigators what happened. The young man confessed to the police that he helped the main suspect Jimmy Mahadewa and his brother, Nitin, to get rid of the young woman’s bod
Mauritius – Centrale De Nantes Engineering Training And Research With International Collaboration
Many of us think that the engineering professions are necessarily technical and require to be a simple performer respecting procedures. Yet, being an engineer does not mean only training in a specific trade. This is at least the vision of the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, whose Mauritian campus is based in Pierrefonds.
Founded in 1919, this high-level institution has always favored the combination of research, training and international collaboration in order to achieve the best possible results. Today, Centrale Nantes is one of the top five engineering schools in France and trains engineers at the root of the company’s progress on a global scale.
It welcomes about 2,200 students, 40% of whom come from foreign countries. A total of 73 nationalities co-exist on a daily basis to learn and contribute to the evolution of all the elements that surround Man. It also has partnerships with more than 170 prestigious universities around the world.
Professor Frederic Meslin – Director Ecole Centrale de Nantes in Mauritius.
Research and industrial innovation
Many are unaware of this, and yet all the evolution we see around us is largely linked to research and industrial innovation to which engineering contributes. Thus, the profession being constantly changing, Centrale Nantes has chosen to train the students to agility. Therefore, the objective of the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Engineering program is to provide all the necessary maps for the efficiency and success of the engineers of tomorrow. Engineers at the disposal of companies and international industries, agile, audacious, with a sense of ethics and responsible for their societal environment.
In doing so, Frédéric Meslin, director of Centrale Nantes in Mauritius, points out that the school is linked to the industrial fabric. This, by contributing to economic development and by creating new skills, while taking care to develop them as the needs evolve. Three societal issues are constantly being studied: energy changes, digital and future industries, as well as the development of health.
Giving the keys to agility
Frédéric Meslin points out: “Today, an engineer is there to solve problems and not to ask them. These problems evolve with society. Centrale Nantes is therefore a versatile school and our idea is not to ultra-specialize engineers, but rather to give them all the keys to this agility. The fields of science and technology are so sharp that one can never train an engineer to the page and able to evolve serenely in time if one ultra-specializes. ”
Giving the keys to agility, strong scientific and technological foundations, technological development based on current technological developments and emphasizing personal development and well-being. These are the priorities of Centrale Nantes.
Fostering learning in the field
Articulated over four years, the BSc (Hons) in Engineering program proposed by the Ecole Centrale de Nantes in Pierrefonds covers three first strands of specialization in the last year: civil engineering, ocean engineering and industrial engineering. All three areas are accessible to all students. The program was designed to give them the opportunity to explore each area before choosing to focus on a particular environment during their fourth year of study. Thus, the first three years revolve around a common core, during which students are also invited to go to France to spend a year at the École Centrale de Nantes. The objective of this year is simply to immerse students in the heart of larger infrastructures and confront them with another environment and another culture. An engineer, according to Frederic Meslin, must always find himself out of his comfort zone.
Over the four years of study, Centrale Nantes also gives its students the opportunity to start their own professional project. For this, they have the opportunity to follow 10 months of internship in company as well as engineering projects registered in the curriculum. The rest of their careers depend only on their choice and personal involvement.
A training ahead of its time
This is how the loop is looped. Centrale Nantes trains engineers in trades that nobody suspects and, thanks to the culture instilled in them, genuine chameleons of engineering will be on the market within four years. “At 7,000 euros (about Rs 280,000) the year, the BSc (Hons) in Engineering offers an indisputable quality / price ratio,” concludes Frédéric Meslin.
Mauritius – Minister Of Education Launches Evening Schools
Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Minister of Education, announced a project to monitor private lessons as it launched the Mauritius Institute of Education’s virtual campus on Wednesday (February 8th).
Leela Devi-Dookun said that the Ministry of Education is working on a project so that students take less private lessons. It is our priority project right now. According to information gathered from the department, there had been a meeting even on Wednesday, February 8, to discuss it. However, we say we want to put it in place before we talk about it. It appears that part of the project will be to make all school materials available online. It is already believed that with the launch of the Massive Empowered Classroom, a project that will allow access to online materials, students will not need any special lessons.
In addition, a series of measures will be put in place to allow students to have as much equipment as possible at home. It is reported that it is hoped that this will discourage individual lessons, but above all, the desire for a level playing field. Thus, the students, who have the means, and those who have less, will all have the same material. Moreover, the ministry does not rule out crack down on teachers, who coach. Later, there could be regulations similar to the abolition of Standard 4 lessons.
The Western Bias in Our Education
For all of us, it would be worth the while to ‘take the best and leave the rest’ from all cultures and transform that into a working paradigm for our common future
Drug: six people including Mauritians in front of the parquet of Saint-Denis
Development in the case of “exceptional” seizure of 42.6 kilos of heroin aboard the Mauritian boat Sweet Love Mama, in the port of Ste-Rose on the night of Thursday to Friday 11 November. Six suspects, including Mauritians, appeared before the public prosecutor’s office of the criminal court of Saint-Denis on Monday (November 14th). A 16-year-old girl, who had been worried in this case at first was dismissed.
In its online edition on Monday, the newspaper linfo.re, indicates that the investigators want to know if the exchange of heroin occurred only once when it is a network from to La Meeting. Already, the investigators have become aware that there is indeed a network because some suspects have confessed a previous convoy of heroin at the beginning of the year.
The Journal of the Reunion Island (JIR), for its part, reports that a second boat was also intercepted at the western port of the sister island. According to the newspaper, the yacht Ilôt Gabriel, capable of making the journey between Madagascar and Mauritius, via Reunion, could have been used to store the drug.
Still according to the press of Reunion, the investigating judge will undoubtedly solicit the cooperation of the Mauritian and Malagasy authorities in this case. On the one hand to deepen the investigation, in search of potential sponsors, and on the other hand to go back to the source of this possible trafficking of heroin.
Linfo.re indicates, in the wake, that the owner of the boat Sweet Love Mama was not aware of the transaction that was going to happen, just like one of its passengers. It is a third man who initially proposed a game of fishing before asking the others to go to Sainte-Rose for personal reasons. The market value of this drug is estimated at Rs 639 million.
Record seizure for the Indian Ocean
The 43 kg of heroin over Rs 600 million seized on the Sweet Love Mama outboard in Reunion is a record for the Indian Ocean, says the press of the sister island. The biggest seizure in Mauritius was carried out in November 2001 by a man named Yousouf Elias Hajee Sheriff, alias Isoop Tole, where about 15 kg of heroin, estimated at Rs 150 million, had been found in his house.
The Real West for Traffickers
Drug traffickers found the flaw in the country’s surveillance system. This, while the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Central Barracks focus on security at the airport and port to combat drug entry. The west coast became their starting point and destination to carry out their illicit activities.
Limited staff of the National Coast Guard (NCG), lack of appropriate facilities or an area that spans several kilometers to monitor. These are all noted weaknesses that make the shipping of drugs by sea in the west has become the new route of traffickers.
These weaknesses were, moreover, pointed out by the Director of Customs, Vivek Ramburrun, during his hearing before the Commission of Inquiry on drugs on 3 November. “Ships that want to leave for Madagascar or Reunion must absolutely go through the west of the island. This is the direct path where the sea is normally quiet for good navigation, “said a senior officer of the Anti-Drug & Smuggling Unit (ADSU). But the NCG only has a local in Black River with a dozen men and two (three on some occasions) Fast Interceptor Boats to monitor all this part of the island. “It’s almost impossible mission to control all boats in the West. There are about fifty who take daily the sea, “explains our interlocutor.
This is why the MRA intends to put more emphasis on the boats that crisscross our coasts, especially in the regions of Grand Baie, Tamarin, Albion, and Le Morne. These are the favorite places where speedboats and boaters can head straight to Madagascar or La Réunion in just a few hours without being controlled by the authorities. While a boat leaves the north of the country to make the same route, it will soon be detected by the radar of the NCG in the Salines once arrived off Port-Louis because the zone is highly secured.
In addition, to escape the controls, the boats gone recovering from the drug set sail on their destination in the evening. “With a powerful engine, the speedboat can win the Big Island in four hours and it’s even faster for the sister island,” our source told ADSU.
The Central Barracks evoke three ways in which the drug is transported to our territory by sea. The first: the merchandise is thrown off Mauritius and the skipper has only to sail to recover it by using his GPS. It is this mode of operation that was used, according to the police, by the network called “Gro Derek” where it was enough for a fast boat to take delivery of the parcel off Albion.
Second option: the drug is recovered directly in Madagascar. “The round trip normally takes a weekend as the journey takes place overnight. The shortest route remains the departure of Tamarin, “says one to the ADSU. The third scenario is that the drug is linking Madagascar-Reunion-Mauritius. In this case, a Reunionese complicity becomes essential to hide the merchandise until the Mauritian contact comes up.
Generally, the boat passes through Le Morne to head for the sister island. The Central Barracks believe that this is what would have taken place for the Sweet Love Mama and her skipper Armonzo Capdor who was pinned in the port of Ste-Rose. The latter was to return to Tamarin early Friday morning. It remains to be seen who should take possession of the parcel.
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