Absa Africa Financial Markets Index
Barclays Bank Mauritius launches an index of high standards to assess the attractiveness of Africa’s financial markets

Barclays Bank Mauritius launched the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index on Thursday 22 November 2018, in partnership with the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) and with the support of the Bank of Mauritius (BoM). Launched for the first time by a Mauritian bank, the Index is a premier indicator to assess the attractiveness of Africa’s financial markets, for use by regulators, investors, corporates and asset managers. Mauritius was ranked fourth in the Index, superseding multiple countries in the region.

Policy makers and other stakeholders of financial markets can benefit from this tool to identify the areas and initiatives which will drive the most significant improvements. In the report, Mauritius is encouraged to broaden its financial market to increase economic growth and enhance accessibility.

“With the advent of Absa, our banking institution is now more focused on what Africa has to offer in terms of investment. Africa is one of the major players in the current global economy and represents high investing potentials. It is indeed a great honour for us to contribute to the economic advancement of the continent”, stated Ravin Dajee, Managing of Barclays Bank Mauritius. Absa positions the institution as an outstanding pan-African banking group offering a myriad of possibilities to its clients.

Today, Mauritius is a jurisdiction attracting quality international investments which are subsequently redirected towards the African continent. “AFMI draws attention to the considerable investment opportunities that lie over the African market and allows African countries to assess their own progress. As for Mauritius’ ranking, we are comfortable with how the country currently stands in regard to the report. We are confident that we are on track to gain even more momentum when it comes to its participation in how the African continent can identify and capitalise across the various economic opportunities that are open to us ”, adds Vishal Joyram, Head of Global Markets of Barclays Bank Mauritius.

Maria Ramos, CEO of Absa Group, stresses that the development of well regulated, deep and liquid financial markets is a key priority that should be at the top of Africa’s development agenda. She explains that the index facilitates a meaningful debate about the maturity and accessibility of Africa’s financial markets. The report highlights an overall progress of countries subject to assessments with policies that support the development of financial markets across the continent. The greatest area for improvement for the African continent remains the ‘capacity of local investors’. The index also shows that improvements in market infrastructure and regulatory frameworks could boost the performance of countries in the middle of the index over coming years.

The 20 economies surveyed are: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The index provides a toolkit for countries wishing to build financial infrastructure by tracking progress annually across six pillars: market depth; access to foreign exchange; tax and regulatory environment and market transparency; capacity of local investors; macroeconomic opportunity; and enforceability of financial contracts, collateral positions and insolvency frameworks.

“Mauritius has an economy with a strong regulatory and legal framework and its position in the Index gives us the impetus to seek new opportunities”, adds Ravin Dajee. He firmly believes that the joint efforts of all stakeholders from the financial sectors will encourage financial market development, benefiting not only the Mauritian economy, but also the African continent economy at large.

The index can be viewed here.