November 06, 2007 (LBO) — The Mauritius Commercial Bank has become the fifth foreign bank to secure a banking license to operate in the Maldives, the Maldivian Monetary Authority said Tuesday. The bank has been given six months to begin commercial operations in the Atoll nation and open a branch in the capital of Male to offer regular banking products, the Maldivian financial regulator said.
The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) has in the past given commercial loans to clients involved in the Maldivian tourism sector, Maldives Monetary Authority Governor, Abdulla Jihad said.
“We have granted the approval after due consideration, this new introduction would bring a lot of conveniences, this is step forward in the expansion of the financial sector,” Jihad said.
MCB’s Maldivian operations will be staffed by five Maldivians and three foreigners initially.
Currently the biggest counter on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, MCB controls 40 percent of the Mauritius market and has overseas presence in Madagascar, Mayotte, Mozambique, Reunion Island, Seychelles and Paris.
Maldives’ economy of under a billion dollars is currently serviced by state-run Bank of Maldives, State Bank