Kenya has attracted quite a large number of Mauritius investors. Reports indicate that Mauritius firms have invested over USD 100 Mn in the country, mostly in financial services and the sugar sector.
The rush to Kenya by Mauritian firms can to a large extent be attributed to the double-taxation agreement signed a few years ago, which was recently re-signed, between Kenya and Mauritius. Analysts also say these islander-based firms are driven by the need for geographic diversification and the desire to tap into Kenya’s economic growth.
The latest Mauritius investor to pump assets into the country is financial services provider Mauritius Union Assurance (MUA Ltd). The firm has set aside USD 30 Mn for investment in its business in Kenya.
In a statement, the insurance company said that the USD 30 Mn investment would be the company’s single biggest investment in Kenya.
This investment comes five years following the firm’s first entry into Kenya through the acquisition of a USD 22 Mn stake in Uganda’s owned Phoenix Group in 2014.
MUA Group’s Chief Executive Bertrand Castres noted that the investment will mark another milestone in the group’s pledge to growing Kenya’s economy and the greater East African region.
“Today, East Africa represents about 23 per cent of our turnover. Our aim is to significantly increase that figure over the next three years,” he said. MUA has been present in Kenya since 2014. Castress revealed that the company aims to eventually become a key player in the Kenyan market.
Mr Casteres said the firm will channel the funds to positioning itself as a disruptive player in the market with innovative insurance products and services.
While speaking during the pronouncement of the new round of investing, MUA East Africa CEO Ashraf Musbally mentioned that the firm is keen on maximising its position on the continent to further expand through acquisitions.
“Surprisingly, Kenya is our smallest operation where we have less than 1 percent of the total industry and hence our reasons for further investments. This will be our largest investment in the country,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was recently in Mauritius on a four-day state visit where he met Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. They both reached a consensus to support private sector investments in the two countries, by reducing the procedures required to set up a business.
“We can facilitate you to ensure that you prosper and our nations prosper so as to create jobs,” President Kenyatta told the Mauritius-Kenya Business Forum in Port Louis.
It is during the visit when the two countries re-signed the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, which a Kenyan High Court last month ruled as unconstitutional on basis that due diligence was not conducted.
Countries enter into double taxation agreement (DTAs) to address the problem of same income being subjected to tax twice.
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