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PRESS RELEASE

BEI/11/67

23 May, 2011

European Investment Bank supports private sector growth in Mauritius

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide a EUR 30 million loan to the State Bank of Mauritius to provide long-term finance for the private sector. This will primarily support projects in Mauritius, as well as other Indian Ocean countries. Part of the funding will specifically target small and medium sized companies. The European Investment Bank support package will be accompanied by technical assistance to enhance lending to Mauritian SMEs by the State Bank of Mauritius. Loan agreements were signed in Mauritius earlier this month and ratified in Luxembourg.

Highlighting the importance of the loan to the State Bank of Mauritius Plutarchos Sakellaris European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific lending operations said “The European Investment Bank recognises the essential economic role played by small and medium sized companies. We are pleased to be able to continue to facilitate private sector investment in Mauritius and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean through a valuable relationship with the State Bank of Mauritius.”

“We are delighted and honoured to be the only bank in Mauritius benefiting from a line of credit from the European Investment Bank. SBM has played a significant role in Mauritius over the last 40 years, and has been a strategic partner to both large and mid-sized companies, as well as SME’s. This second line of credit from the European Investment Bank will enable us to fulfil long term foreign currency funding needs of our clients, particularly in export-oriented sectors, in line with the country’s development strategy.” said SBM Chief Executive, Gautam Vir.

The loan by the European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term lending institution, reflects the commitment to supporting both the private sector and financial services in Mauritius and is fully in line with goals of the European Community Country Strategy for Mauritius. Encouraging development of small and medium sized businesses is crucial for improving the competitiveness of the Mauritian economy and overall economic growth through job creation.

This initiative follows a EUR 20 million European Investment Bank global loan to the State Bank of Mauritius to support local small and medium sized companies signed in 2005. More recently the European Investment Bank has extended key funding worth EUR 28 million to help reform the Mauritian sugar industry.

The European Investment Bank has been active in Mauritius since 1975 and provided more than EUR 301 million for 38 projects in the country. In Mauritius the European Investment Bank has financed investment in tourism, transport, telecommunications, food, water, energy and textiles, as well as helping the sugar industry and small businesses.

Notes for Editors:

  • The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s long-term lending institution. Last year the EIB provided EUR 72 billion for 460 projects around the world.

  • SBM notes to Editors: The State Bank of Mauritius Group (SBM) is a leading financial services group in Mauritius with a growing international presence. It provides all services of a universal bank within a diversified business model. The lines of business include: Retail Banking, SMEs, Private Banking and Wealth Management; Corporate Banking and International Banking & Global Business; Treasury services; and eBusiness. SBM started operations in 1973 and was listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in 1995. It is the second largest company listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, with a market capitalisation of Rs 29 Bn (USD 980 m) as at January 2011. 

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