Money Markets

Djibouti banking boom attracts foreign investors

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By REUTERS

Posted  Tuesday, March 23  2010 at  00:00

The currency peg of the Djibouti franc at 177.71 to the US dollar has been favourable, Haid said.

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“The peg has allowed us to be successful economically and to play an important role in the development of Djibouti as a financial place,” he said, adding it was too early to talk about a monetary union among Comesa states.

Burdensome regulations

“Today we have 15 per cent of the population, which have a bank account. We have not yet reached the African average of 28 per cent, but we’ll try to achieve this in 2011,” Haid said.

In the first nine months of 2009, Djibouti banks had recorded a 31 per cent jump in customer numbers to 53,332.

However, critics say limited privatisation, burdensome regulations and corruption have hampered the sector’s transformation.

Djibouti ranks 102 of 179 countries in Transparency International’s 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index.

The international money transfer network Dahabshil opened its first bank branch in Djibouti in March, and wants to offer Sharia-compliant products.

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