Bank Al Habib from Pakistan is set to cover cross border trade business across Africa from its new base in Seychelles, which will initially commence operation as an offshore bank.

With its latest inauguration, which brings the number of such institutions to seven, Bank Al Habib is expected to tap into the potential of the East African market, offering cross-border services the countries are now generally lacking.

Vice-president Danny Faure says: “We look forward to the bank introducing new innovative products in this particular area. Covering of the international trade business across Africa from its base in Seychelles, will be quite unique and also instrumental in providing exposures to the Seychelles in cross border trade finance.”

The bank will initially commence operation as an offshore bank, and subsequently enter onshore banking, said Ali.

The Seychelles branch is then expected to offer international banking and serving also the domestic market by providing new products and services to Seychellois. For instance, it will be engaged in taking deposits and advancing loans and credit facilities to corporate and individual clients.

Bank Al Habib will also work with other banks and financial institutions by undertaking, arranging, or advising on deals in trade finance, working capital finance, project finance and other financial products.

Faure adds that over recent years, Seychelles has seen a growth of foreign companies, introducing new products and services for the domestic market, whilst also serving other African and international markets. Faure states: “The financial highlights of Bank Al-Habib speak volumes. A very strong balance sheet, excellent credit rating and numerous awards, including the Strongest Balance Sheet in Pakistan in 2013 [referring to a survey presented to the SIBOS Conference held in September 2013 in the UAE].”