AfrAsia bank to expand its Africa loan book threefold by 2012

11 years, 2 months ago - March 04, 2011
The bank will seek to invest in medium-sized companies focused on infrastructure and commodities and listed on Johannesburg’s stock exchange

AfrAsia Bank Ltd., a closely held Mauritian corporate lender, plans to expand its African loan book by more than threefold in the next 18 months, Chief Executive Officer James Benoit said.

The bank will seek to invest in medium-sized companies focused on infrastructure and commodities and listed on Johannesburg’s stock exchange, Benoit said in a March 1 interview in Port Louis, Mauritius’s capital. The company currently has three offices in South Africa.

“Our loan book in Africa stands at $30 million,” he said. “We expect it to reach $100 million in 2012. We aim to reach this goal through financing South African entities, with capitalization of some $100 million, which are expanding in their country and in the region.”

AfrAsia Bank started operating in 2007 and had assets of 14 billion rupees ($480 million) at end-February, according to Benoit. It also hold investments in Asia and plans to sell shares, probably on Mauritius’s stock exchange, within five years.

“In reaching the $100 million mark, we will match the loans book that we have in Asia,” Benoit said. “We are seizing opportunities as Mauritius positions itself as a financial hub in the Indian Ocean, as a link for investments from Asia to Africa and from the latter to other countries of the continent.”

Text by Bloomberg

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