Seychelles’ Government to speed up bank transfers

Posted in Seychelles banking, Seychelles government at 3:44 pm by Robert Klien

The government of Seychelles has announced its intention to speed up the system of payments for goods and services by transferring the money it owes directly into suppliers’ bank accounts.

This move will be carried out by the government through the Ministry of Finance and in collaboration with the Central Bank of Seychelles. The introduction of the new method is part of its plan to modernise and improve on service delivery.

The new method is planned to be in operation by June 1. This move will do away with government cheques and their 3-day clearing process, as well as abolish the weekly payment schedule. With the new system in place, creditors will not have to queue at the Treasury in order to collect payments and remittance advices. It will apply to contractors, suppliers, businesses and individuals for services rendered or goods sold to a particular ministry, department or budget-dependent agency.


Seychelles Savings Bank cuts interest rates

Posted in Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking, Seychelles government at 2:14 pm by Robert Klien

A further cut in interest rates on various types of loans and advances will be made by the Seychelles Savings Bank. The new rates will come into effect from July 1.

Nevertheless, savers will still benefit from existing rates because there will be no reduction in interest rates on all types of deposits.

As mentioned by President Michel in his National Day speech, the prime lending rates (PLR) on housing loans and commercial loans will be reduced to 6% and 7% respectively.

It is worth noting that this will be the 4th reduction in lending rates during the last 9 months, the 1st taking effect on October 1, 2009, followed by one on December 1, 2009, and the 3rd on March 15, 2010.

According to the bank, during this period the maximum benefit was passed on to borrowers in the commercial sector, which has seen a huge reduction of 10%, from a PLR as high as 17% in September to 7% from July 1.

The bank expects the cut in interest rates to encourage people to borrow money at a more affordable rate, which should result in accelerated economic activity and benefit everybody in the long run.


DBS to issue bonds to boost Seychelles’ economy

Posted in Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking at 3:41 pm by Robert Klien

With a view to raise capital and to accelerate lending, the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) has announced its plans to launch 2 bond issues for a total amount of R100 million.

It should be noted that this followed recent President’s and the bank’s board announcements that the government was considering ways of stimulating the economy by means of lowering interest rates.

Lending rates have been already slashed by the Development Bank from 15% to 10% as from April 1. The new bond issue will allow it to cut rates further.

In its press release, the Bank said that the 2 bonds will be issued for a value of R50 million each and will be launched on July 1. The 1st will be a 2-year bond with an interest rate of 5% per annum, while the 2nd will be a 3-year bond at 5.5% per annum. Both bonds will be available from July 1. Both residents and non-residents will be allowed to by the bonds. Issued singly or jointly, they will be transferable through the Central Bank of Seychelles at any time before they mature.


Seychelles Bankers’ Association warn of credit card fraud

Posted in Financial Services, Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking at 3:17 pm by Robert Klien

A number of incidents have taken place where the owners of bank cards have lost their money after requesting its transfer over the phone. That is why the Seychelles Bankers’ Association warned customers to be careful regarding this.

Mohinder Singh Phogat, The chairman of the Seychelles Bankers’ Association, said that there are types of cards the owners of which can ask through e-mail or telephone for transferring money but, in the absence of the card, they give their card and pin numbers over the phone.

There have been cases when fraudsters have stolen cards and requested such transactions in order to contact recipients of the money asking them to transfer the money elsewhere. In this process the money gets lost. Phogat said that experienced operators like major hotels are familiar with the checks necessary to avoid such fraud while smaller establishments are sometimes likely to become victims of the fraud.

The Seychelles Bankers’ Association is urging bank customers to adhere to guidelines that are given by the banks with a view to avoid being defrauded in scams.


Seychelles’ President visits Central Bank

Posted in Seychelles banking, Seychelles government at 4:57 pm by Robert Klien

On March 25, President James Michel visited the Central Bank of Seychelles. Mr Michel said that it is an example of how an institution can empower young Seychellois in playing a key role in the economy of the jurisdiction.

As regards wide acclaim that the Seychelles rupee has received from foreign investor guides and media, Mr Michel said that the employees of the Central Bank should go on developing their competence to help the bank carry out its mission of a better economy in a competitive environment. The President said that the global recognition of rupee as a strong performer, which was reported in the international media, reflects the success of the economic reforms initiated by him in 2008.

Also, Mr Michel noted that Seychelles has been a leader in many fields such as in the environment and human resources development.


Seychelles’ Central Bank to discuss reforms

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles banking at 12:03 pm by Robert Klien

On November 3, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) will host a special event in its series of anniversary lectures at the International Conference Centre.

This year’s lecture is titled “Seychelles’ economic reforms, one year on – what the future holds”.

The event will be a round-table discussion of the reform programme started in November 2008. At the event, the results that have been achieved so far will be outlined. Also, the challenges that have arisen and the outlook for future reforms that will come will be discussed. After the discussion, the participants may ask questions to the speakers.

The panel of the speakers will include:

•    Moderator Peter Sinon,
•    principal secretary for finance Ahmed Afif,
•    CBS governor  Pierre Laporte,
•    Seychelles Bankers’ Association Jocelyn Ah Yu,
•    Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dr V. Ramados,
•    Lungos (civil society) the Rev Christine Benoit,
•    Seychelles Polytechnic Sheera Philoe,
•    manufacturing sector  Aubrey Lucas,
•    fishing sector Beatty Hoareau,
•    small business Santasha Hoareau.


Seychelles’ Central Bank comments on Foreign Exchange Law

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles banking at 1:44 pm by Robert Klien

On October 12, a team led by Central Bank governor Pierre Laporte explained the requirements of the Foreign Exchange Act for those who use both the rupee and foreign currency in order to complete their transactions.

At a meeting that was held at the International Conference Centre, the Central Bank representatives answered questions of a 150-strong audience. Most of the visitors came from the tourism industry. This meeting was organised in order to explain, in a transparent manner, the provisions of the law after as far as, according to Laporte, many people had called the Central Bank asking to clarify certain aspects of the Foreign Exchange Act.

Laporte stressed that hotels must not set their own exchange rates, so, customers will know how much approximately they will be expected to pay for goods and services.

According to Laporte, goods and services should be advertised in rupees. However, there is an exception for adverts that appear abroad or on the Internet where they may be meeting both local and overseas clients. In the above-mentioned cases both the rupee and another currency are allowed.

Also, Laporte said that even though the demand for the local currency is increasing and many old notes are being withdrawn, the Central Bank of Seychelles does not intend to print any new notes over the next 2-3 years. The jurisdiction has enough notes that are not in circulation.


Prince of Saudi Arabia in tourism talks with Seychellois President

Posted in International relations, Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking, Seychelles government, Tourism industry at 10:24 pm by Robert Klien

On May 28, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia visited President James Michel at State House. The Prince and the President held talks in the presence of Nouvobanq managing director Ahmed Saeed and Minister for National Development Jacquelin Dugasse.

It should be noted that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was talking about investing in the tourism industry in Seychelles. He told the media that the jurisdiction to a great extent depends on tourism, and that he would be visiting shortly the Four Seasons. He also mentioned the Raffles hotel on Praslin to be inaugurated in the end of next year as it is important for economic and tourism development.

Prince Alwaleed told President Michel that he is looking forward to having more projects in tourism in the jurisdiction.

Saudi Arabian delegation arrived to Seychelles from Mauritius and went home after a few hours.


Seychelles’ bankers appoint new chairman

Posted in Business and Economy, Offshore Services, Seychelles banking, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 11:18 am by Robert Klien

In the end of January, at a meeting, the Seychelles Bankers’ Association (SBA) appointed a new chairman with immediate effect. The managing director of Barclays Seychelles Loganaden Sidambaram was appointed to this position, so he will replace R. C. Behl.

The other officer holders that were appointed are treasurer Michael Benstrong of the Seychelles Savings Bank and auditor Ahmad Saeed of Nouvobanq.

In 2009, the SBA will be aimed at mounting a communication campaign in order to shed more light on the roles and responsibilities of commercial banks towards their customers and the general public.


Central Bank says inflation will fall

Posted in Business and Economy, Foreign investments, Seychelles banking, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 5:50 pm by Robert Klien

The high inflation that hit Seychelles in November 2008 was caused by one-off factors and December figures will most likely show similar trends. Nevertheless, prices in Seychelles are expected to come down soon.

On January 19, Central Bank governor said that inflation figures for December are not yet available. Central Bank governor Pierre Laporte was summing up the main messages at a press conference with Finance Minister Danny Faure and principal secretary in the ministry Ahmed Afif.

According to unofficial indications, generally, December prices remained at the same level as in November. Laporte noted that the reasons for high inflation in November were such factors as the exchange rate depreciation, new taxes (GST), and speculative factors. He also noted that the Central Bank is keeping liquidity tight, so, inflation should start coming down soon.

Laporte said that the Central Bank was aware of the hardship on the population and businesses that were caused by higher interest rates on loans but he noted that they were expected. According to the Central Bank governor, “However, there are indications that the interest rates could have reached its peak as evidenced by more competitive bidding on government treasury bills. With more competition for these securities and inflation likely to start falling soon, interest rates should follow”.

It is important that the higher interest rates could attract more foreign investment to Seychelles, one of the leading offshore jurisdictions of the region.

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