Mauritius Commercial Bank opens Kenya representative office

The oldest and largest bank in Mauritius has opened a representative office in Kenya, joining a growing list of foreign lenders from Kenya’s trading and business partners seeking a foothold in the country.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) authorised the new Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) office last week to serve as a marketing and liaison centre.

The bank is now set to be the eighth to have a representative office in Nairobi.

“The office will support the growing trade and investment flows between Kenya and Mauritius,” said the CBK in a statement released last Friday. MCB has been in operation since September 1838, and as at close of last week’s trading had a market capitalisation of Sh144 billion ($1.6 billion) on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.

Outside Mauritius, MCB has a presence in Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, France, Reunion and Mayotte.

The Kenyan banking sector has continued to attract increasing interest from regional and global banking brands which see Nairobi as an ideal entry point and base when targeting the wider East Africa region.

Other lenders with representative offices in Kenya include HDFC Bank (India), Nedbank and FirstRand Bank both of South Africa, Bank of China, Bank of Kigali, Central Bank of India and Rabobank Nederland.

US bank JP Morgan Chase indicated last month that it intends to open an office in Nairobi as it expands in Africa.