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Corporate

Mauritius beats Kenya to foreign capital

Tatu City, is also owned by a parent company incorporated in Mauritius as MCIH. Photo/COURTESY
Tatu City, is also owned by a parent company incorporated in Mauritius as MCIH. Photo/COURTESY 

Foreign companies with an eye on Africa’s emerging markets are flocking to Mauritius to incorporate local subsidiaries in a move that could deny more than a dozen African governments billions of shillings in corporate taxes and position the island nation as the region’s economic hub.

Kenya, which has been eyeing the regional economic hub status, is one of the likely casualties of the migration to the Indian Ocean state, whose favourable tax regime and efficient judicial system have become popular with multi-nationals looking for a safe haven to anchor their expansion into Africa’s highly profitable but risky frontier markets.

In the past five years alone, more than four foreign firms have entered the Kenyan market using Mauritius-based subsidiaries threatening Nairobi’s ambition to become the business hub for the 15 nation Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).

Waguthu Holdings (K) Limited, the company that is associated with the multi-billion shilling real estate project, Tatu City, is also owned by a parent company incorporated in Mauritius as MCIH.