21 April 2017

Mauritius Times: Editorial

The country would stand to gain if the President came out in public to confirm that she is not involved in any such thing. It will be even more reassuring if what she says carries conviction beyond the least doubt in the public mind, given that there may be assumptions in the minds of some people that one who is protected by immunity as President would have crossed the bounds, aware of the fact that she cannot be taken in. The time has come to clear the air of all of this as that makes the act of governing the country with the required serenity more and more difficult.

Mrinal Roy: Let the people decide

There is a pervasive feeling of alienation towards the political class in the country, heightened by poor governance, the systematic uncovering of lavish largesse towards the coterie and blue-eyed advisors at the expense of the public Exchequer, poor judgment, frequent tinkering with public institutions, the absence of transparency, a clannish culture, an abject patronage of apparatchiks and the inept and tiresome daily propaganda blitzkrieg on national TV during prime time news. This is all becoming more and more galling by the day. People are shunning TV news, swiftly moving into a switch off mode and biding their time. As is the case in Britain, will the government have the grit to test its legitimacy by calling for urgent general elections?

Rajiv Servansingh: The Rogers-Sunnystars-NMH Saga

What can be termed the New Mauritius Hotels (NMH) Saga has been making the headlines in the financial press for some time now. This is an important event for the local business community not only because of its huge financial implications for the parties involved (especially for the Rogers Group) but also because it offers an opportunity to clarify some highly technical and legal aspects of our Securities Act of 2005 and the Securities (Takeover) Act of 2010. The outcome of the investigation being led by Mr Kriti Taukoordass, appointed by the FSC to inquire into the matter, could also have serious consequences to which we shall come later in our comments.

19 April 2017

Mauritius: Prime Minister lauds Mauritius-China Relations

China is reaching out to the world and is opening the global economy with innovative concepts and Mauritius salutes the Belt and Road initiative and is proud of  its association with the People’s Republic of China.

The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, made this statement this morning at the opening of a symposium on Enhancing Mauritius-China relations organised by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade.

Mr Jugnauth highlighted the strong economic and cultural partnership that Mauritius shares with China. He enumerated the various major projects that has changed the economic landscape of the country thanks to the support and collaboration of the People’s Republic of China.

China is a reliant partner for the development of the African continent, he said adding that Mauritius will continue to look to China as a privileged partner for future economic development, mostly in the sectors of tourism, trade and civil aviation.

The symposium marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Mauritius and the People’s Republic of China. A delegation from China led by the Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, Dr Han Fangming, is participating in the symposium in partnership with Global Finance Mauritius.

The following themes are the core of the symposium: Past and Future Mauritius Relations; the Belt and Road Initiative and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road; Mauritius as a bridge to route investment in Africa; and how Technology will influence business in Africa.

The new BMW M4 CS

M GmbH is presenting another exclusive limited-run special-edition model in the shape of the new BMW M4 CS. The M4 CS fills the gap in the line-up between the M4 Coupe with Competition Package and the uncompromisingly track-focused BMW M4 GTS.

Economist Intelligence Unit: Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2017

Singapore is the most expensive city in the world according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2017. In fact, Asia is now home to 5 out of the top 6 cities in the survey as Asian cities rise up the rankings.

This special report contains a full ranking of the 133 cities found in the March 2017 edition of The EIU's Worldwide Cost of Living survey. The cities are ranked on their relative expensiveness, based on a survey which compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. In addition to the ranking table, the report looks at the key trends affecting the cost of living in different cities across the world.

2017 Rankings

The five most expensive cities in the world
WCOL index
City Country (New York=100)
1 Singapore Singapore 120
2 Hong Kong Hong Kong 114
3 ↓ 1 Zurich Switzerland 113
4 ↑ 7 Tokyo Japan 110
5 ↑ 9 Osaka Japan 109
The five cheapest cities in the world
WCOL index
City Country (New York=100)
1 ↑ 6 Almaty Kazakhstan 38
2 ↑ 16 Lagos Nigeria 39
3 ↓ 1 Bangalore India 42
4 ↑ 3 Karachi Pakistan 44
5 Algiers Algeria 45

18 April 2017

Mauritius to become southern hemisphere's number one financial centre within a decade

Mauritius is destined to become the southern hemisphere's leading international financial centre within the next decade, affirms the CEO of one of the world's largest independent financial services organisations.

The comments from Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group, follow the announcement that his company has received an investment banking licence from the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius. 

Mr Green observes: "As a firm, we spent months carrying out comprehensive research into the world's leading and most established international financial centres in order to launch our investment banking division. 

"After detailed analysis from our in-house teams and external experts, it was definitively and unanimously concluded that Mauritius would be the ideal jurisdiction.

"Amongst other major influential factors, Mauritius has a strong global reputation, which is founded on the fact that the government is unequivocally pro-business – which is, of course, key to attracting foreign investment - and this is reflected in its policies and its procedures.  

"Mauritius also has an enviable reputation for its legally robust framework and its educated and English and French-speaking population.  

"In addition, and importantly for firms that operate globally, it has an internationally convenient time zone, it has good communications systems and world-class infrastructure and accessibility.

"If this weren’t enough, it is extremely financially competitive compared to other international financial centres."

He continues: "If our research reports these findings about Mauritius, it can be reasonably assumed that our global financial brands will also be coming to the same conclusions.  This is especially true at a time when firms like ours are wanting to look beyond the more established centres of international finance due to their rising operational costs and increasing and unnecessary bureaucracy."

Mr Green concludes: "With this in mind, I am confident that Mauritius could become the southern hemisphere’s leading international financial centre within the next 10 years.

"The northern hemisphere powerhouse for international financial centres such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo will maintain their dominant position in the world for decades to come.

"However, the southern hemisphere's international financial centres such as Sydney, Sao Paolo and Johannesburg, will be needing to up their game in order to compete with Mauritius as global financial hubs and to attract international financial services firms.

"Mauritius, with its financially competitive environment, its infrastructure, and its government's agility and pro-business approach based on good governance and compliance procedures, is already ahead of the curve as a world-class business destination."

12 April 2017

Oxfam: Cash stashed offshore by top 50 US companies jumps to $1.6 trillion

The 50 biggest US companies, including global brands Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, GE, Chevron, Wal-Mart, and Apple, stashed $1.6 trillion offshore in 2015 –  $200 billion more than the previous year - according to a new report by Oxfam. 

The report, ‘Rigged Reform,’ reveals that big US companies are increasing their use of tax havens and boosting their investment in political lobbying in order to push for even greater tax breaks.  It warns that President Trump’s proposed tax reforms will further rig American tax laws in favor of the rich and powerful and intensify the destructive global race to the bottom on corporate tax - at the expense of poor communities in the US and around the globe.

The report finds:
  • The 50 largest US companies used a secretive network of 1751 subsidiaries in tax havens to stash about $1.6 trillion offshore in 2015. The companies reported an additional 143 tax haven subsidiaries and $200 billion in offshore earnings compared to 2014.
  • Tax reforms proposed by President Trump and leaders in Congress could give these 50 companies a windfall of between $312 and $327 billion on the profits they hold offshore, in addition to massive financial benefits resulting from a dramatic cut in corporate rates and other more favorable tax treatments.
  • The 50 companies spent $2.5 billion lobbying the US government between 2009 and 2015. An estimated $352 million was spent lobbying on tax issues – helping to secure over $423 billion in tax breaks. Oxfam estimates that for every $1 these companies spent lobbying on tax, they received an estimated $1,200 in tax breaks.
  • Five companies, General Electric, Verizon Communications, Comcast, AT&T and Exxon Mobil, account for approximately a quarter of all lobbying on tax by the top 50 companies.
  • On average these 50 companies are members of at least two coalitions lobbying for more favorable tax treatment, with eight of the 50 companies being members of four or more coalitions.  Wal-Mart leads the way as a member of at least six separate coalitions seeking to influence tax policy.

Robbie Silverman, Senior Advisor for Oxfam, said:

Tax avoidance has become standard business practice across the globe. Corporate tax dodgers cheat America out of approximately $135 billion in unpaid tax revenues every year. They use the same tricks and tools to cheat poor countries out of an estimated $100 billion annually.  This money could save the lives of six million children in the poorest countries, and get 124 million children into school for the first time.

Rigged Reform’ highlights how President Trump’s tax reforms, which will primarily benefit the richest in society, are being paid for by cuts to programs designed to help the poorest people in the US and around the globe. This includes programs providing low-income Americans with affordable housing and job training, as well as a proposed 31 percent cut to overseas development aid at a time when 20 million children, women and men face starvation in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

The proposal to cut US corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 15 percent will also feed into a destructive race the bottom that has seen countries across the globe slashing corporate tax rates in recent years.   The proposed Border Adjustment Tax, which will increase taxes on imports and remove taxes on exports, is likely to harm poor consumers in the US and poor people around the world. Oxfam estimates the scheme’s impact on the value of the dollar, and the knock on affect this has on the cost of debt repayments and commodity prices, may cost poor countries more than the US currently spends on poverty focused overseas aid.

Silverman said: “President Trump promised to fix the rigged political and economic system yet his tax reforms will further enrich powerful corporates at the expense of ordinary people and small businesses. The President and leaders in Congress must rethink their reforms and build a tax system that works for everyone and not just a fortunate few.

The US must work with governments around the globe to stop the mutually destructive race to the bottom on corporate tax and ensure all big businesses pay their fair share,” said Silverman.

10 April 2017

Navigating Offshore: Analyzing International Finance Post-Panama

When a businessman with international holdings and properties rose to the highest seat of power in the United States without releasing a single page of financial data, transparency and shell companies reignited as a central issue in American politics.

deVere Group to shake-up banking sector with e-money app: deVere Vault

Banking as we know it is finished, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, as his firm today enters the fintech sector.

The comments by Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, come as he launches deVere Vault, a global e-money app.

The announcement follows pushes ever further into the banking sector for deVere.  In the last two months, it has launched its own private bank and has received an investment banking licence.

The commencement of deVere Vault has been facilitated by deVere receiving its own e-money banking licence.

Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere comments: “The launch of our challenger bank, deVere Vault, is the latest move to provide expat clients a comprehensive, global service. Personal advice with digital solutions is what people need in today’s world".

deVere Vault, a low-cost, app-only e-money service, has been driven by demand from internationally-mobile individuals, globally-focused firms and expats. They want to access, manage and use their money instantly and seamlessly wherever they are in the world".

For these people and firms, plus the broader key 18-45 year-old demographic worldwide, it is now normal to do everything on their mobile or tablet. Increasingly, this is also extending to their day-to-day financial requirements". 

It is a trend that is only set to gain momentum moving forward. I believe the days of traditional banking are numbered. This is due to the speed with which banking information can be accessed and transactions made via app-only services. Such money apps are growing in popularity due to this high level of convenience, increased security, and as people become ever-more tech-savvy".

Mr Green goes on to say: “Initially, deVere Vault will provide global services in electronic money and a single card, multi currency service. Focusing on those with an international lifestyle, we will also ensure that the best currency exchange ratios are given".

You will be able to open a deVere Vault account in around five minutes, withdraw money from any cash machine worldwide, get real-time notifications with all your transactions, spend money on the card wherever Mastercard is accepted, and send and receive money in most major currencies instantly with other deVere Vault account holders".

The deVere CEO concludes: “And this is just the beginning. We’re confident that deVere Vault is set to revolutionise how people access, manage and use money across the world and positively disturb the wider banking sector. Banking as we have known it until now is finished".

This is a low-cost, e-money app designed for today’s globalised world".

Panorama: The Big Bank Fix

Following the acquittal of two former Barclay's traders last week, Panorama asks if the right people are being blamed for what has been called the biggest financial fix of all time. Piecing together explosive new evidence, which calls into question the safety of other convictions, Panorama reporter Andy Verity reveals that manipulation of the world's most important interest rate, Libor, was allowed and even ordered by people at the highest levels of the financial establishment.

Panorama: The Big Bank Fix will be broadcast on BBC One on Monday 10 April at 20.30

Big Bang ERP Opens Their First International Office in The Heart of Ebene CyberCity, Mauritius

Big Bang ERP, a Canadian-based cloud solution consulting firm opens their first international office in Mauritius to better meet the demands of their clients around the globe. A 4-Star NetSuite Solution Provider, Big Bang ERP also specializes in Salesforce, Rootstock, ServiceNow and other industry specific softwares to tailor scalable solutions for every industry.

According to Mark Rhyman the Co-CEO and Chief Business Development Officer at Big Bang ERP, they chose to open their second office in Ebene CyberCity because of the amazing talent and it's perfectly located time zone.

Mauritius is a central hub where the skill set is incredible. Everyone is bilingual and returning graduates from prestigious universities worldwide. Mauritius is like the Singapore of the Indian Ocean, it allows us to adequately serve our European, African and Australian customer base," said Rhyman.

Appointing Jeek was a natural progression considering his remarkable level of education and business experience. We originally needed someone with the right mindset to step in to help us with our EMEA clients but, one thing led to another and a few coconuts later, he was the perfect fit to run our new Mauritian office,” said Rhyman.

Jeek knows what it takes to be successful; with over five degrees and certifications from prestigious universities, he is more than qualified to successfully multitask between Big Bang ERP, being a successful author and a member of Mensa.

I am extremely proud to be leading our EMEA branch, and certainly excited to help the companies across the region through our Cloud Advisory Expertise. Mauritius is an African hub where many companies are striving to find the right balance between increasing efficiency and scaling lightning fast," said Jeekeshen Chinnappen, Director of Business Development at Big Bang ERP.

06 April 2017

Moody's: Accounting rules distort meaning of debt on European companies' balance sheets

Unrelenting low interest rates and rising currency volatility, among other factors, mean that debt as reported on European companies' balance sheets under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) needs careful analysis, says Moody's Investors Service in a report published today.

"In the current environment, there is a significant risk that the amount reported as debt will fail to represent either the amount owed to the lenders, or the future cash outflow needed to discharge the obligation" says Trevor Pijper, Vice President - Senior Credit Officer at Moody's.

In its report, Moody's identifies five drawbacks that distort the meaning of the amount reported as debt. These include not incorporating the hedging of foreign currency risk, the use of fair value hedge accounting for interest rate swaps, the treatment of accrued interest payable, the adjustment made when a subsidiary is acquired, and the treatment of the cost of borrowing the money.

"Companies voluntarily disclosing additional information not required under IFRS helps us to identify and address the above distortions, and factor them into our credit metrics where material," adds Mr. Pijper.

31 March 2017

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media For Lawyers

Knowing how not to use social media is just as important as what you should be doing. Find out what potential pitfalls and ethics violations lawyers face.

30 March 2017

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity - Gauging The Cyber Threat: An Executive Briefing

With cyber threats constantly described in the news as “sophisticated” and “increasing,” WSJ Pro Cybersecurity latest special report explores the difficulties that lie ahead for business executives and their organizations.

FSC: Guidelines For Issue of Insurance Policy Documents in Digital Format

The Financial Services Commission, Mauritius (FSC Mauritius), is issuing the Guidelines for Issue of Insurance Policy Documents in Digital Format (the ‘Guidelines’).

The objective of the Guidelines is to set out minima criteria for the guidance of Insurers regarding the issue of insurance policy documents in digital format.

In effect, the Guidelines aim to ensure that the marketing and sale of insurance products through the Internet does not compromise the authenticity, validity and integrity of the insurance policy. The Guidelines are further intended to ensure that Insurers conduct their business in a way that promotes the best interests of consumers and the integrity of the financial services industry in the context of electronic marketing and sale of insurance.

The board of directors of Insurers must adopt internal policies and must establish internal procedures to ensure compliance with the Guidelines. Furthermore, Insurers should incorporate in their internal control system appropriate measures to verify compliance with the procedures, policies and controls set by their board.

The FSC Mauritius would like to thank the representatives of the Working Committee and other stakeholders who have worked collaboratively to finalise the Guidelines.

The Guidelines will be effective as from 01 July 2017.

27 March 2017

Oxfam - Opening the vaults: The use of tax havens by Europe’s biggest banks

Europe’s 20 biggest banks are registering over a quarter of their profits in tax havens – well out of proportion to the level of real economic activity that occurs there, according to a new report by Oxfam and the Fair Finance Guide International today.

The report, ‘Opening the Vaults,’ suggests the discrepancy may have arisen because some banks are using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of tax, to facilitate tax dodging for their clients, or to circumvent regulations and legal requirements.   

The research was made possible by new EU transparency rules that require European banks to publish information on the profits they make and the tax they pay in every country they operate. The report finds: 

  • Tax havens account for 26 percent of the profits made by the 20 biggest European banks - an estimated €25 billion - but only 12 percent of banks’ turnover and 7 percent of the banks’ employees.  
  • Subsidiaries in tax havens are on average twice as lucrative for banks as those elsewhere.  For every €100 of activity, banks make €42 of profit in tax havens compared to a global average of €19.
  • Bank employees in tax havens appear to be 4 times more productive than the average bank employee – generating an average profit of €171,000 per year compared to just €45,000 a year for an average employee.
  • In 2015 European banks posted at least €628 million in profits in tax havens where they employ nobody. For example, the French bank BNP Paribas made €134 million tax-free profit in the Cayman Islands despite having no staff based there. 
  • Some banks are reporting profits in tax havens while reporting losses elsewhere. For example, Germany’s Deutsche Bank registered low profits or losses in many major markets in 2015 while booking almost €2 billion in profits in tax havens.   
  • Luxembourg and Ireland are the most favored tax havens, accounting for 29 percent of the profits banks posted in tax havens in 2015. The 20 biggest banks posted €4.9 billion of profits in the tiny tax haven of Luxembourg in 2015 – more than they did in the UK, Sweden and Germany combined.
  • Banks often pay little or no tax on the profits they post in tax havens. European banks paid no tax on €383 million of profit they posted in seven tax havens in 2015.  In Ireland, European banks paid an effective tax rate of no more than 6 percent – half the statutory rate – with three banks (Barclays, RBS and Crédit Agricole) paying no more than 2 percent.     

Manon Aubry, Oxfam’s Senior Tax Justice Advocacy Officer said: “New EU transparency rules give us a glimpse into the tax affairs of Europe’s biggest banks and it’s not a pretty sight. Governments must change the rules to prevent banks and other big businesses using tax havens to dodge taxes or help their clients dodge taxes.

All companies and individuals have a responsibly to pay their fair share of tax. Tax dodging deprives countries throughout Europe and the developing world of the money they need to pay for doctors, teachers and care workers,” said Aubry. 

Many countries are being cheated out of the money needed to tackle poverty and inequality by corporate tax dodgers, with poor countries being hit the hardest.  Tax dodging by multinational companies costs poor countries over €90 billion every year. This is enough money to provide an education for the 124 million children who aren’t in school and fund healthcare interventions that could prevent the deaths of at least six million children. 

Transparency measures, such as the EU rules on public country-by-country reporting, are vital tools in the global fight against tax dodging. However, a new European Commission proposal designed to extend public reporting beyond the banking sector is flawed. The proposal is limited to companies with a turnover of €750 million or more, a measure that would exclude up to 90 percent of multinationals, and does not require companies to report on their activities in all the countries they operate - including developing countries.   

The EU’s transparency rules are starting to open up the often murky world of corporate taxation to public scrutiny.  These rules must now be extended to ensure all large corporations provide financial reports for every country where they operate. This will make it easier for all countries – including the poorest – to establish if companies are paying their fair share of tax or not,” said Aubry. 

Z/Yen - The Global Financial Centres Index 21 (GFCI 21)

Today Z/Yen publishes the twenty-first Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 21). We are holding simultaneous launches in Milan and Shenzhen. Z/Yen are delighted to be working in collaboration with the China Development Institute (CDI). The GFCI rates 88 financial centres. The top ten are shown to the table below. Full details are available here. The main headlines are shown below.
Brexit and the US election have had a significant impact. London and New York fell 13 and 14 points respectively. These were the largest declines (except for Calgary) in the top 50 financial centres.
No change in the top five positions. Despite the ‘interesting times’ in which we live, London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo remain the top five financial centres.
The gap between third place Singapore and second place New York continues to close. Singapore rose by eight points and is now only 20 points behind New York having been 42 points behind in GFCI 20.
Western European financial centres are still volatile. Of the 29 GFCI centres in the region, 16 declined and 12 rose. Geneva recovered some of the ground it lost in GFCI 20. Ratings for Amsterdam, Vienna and Gibraltar fell significantly.
The leading financial centres in the Asia/Pacific region rose in the GFCI ratings.Beijing in particular rose significantly and in now within the top twenty centres worldwide.
Centres in the USA, with the exception of New York, rose in the index. Los Angeles moved up 20 points into the top 20 global centres. In Canada, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver all performed well in GFCI 21. Financial professionals continue to favour safety and stability in their choices of location.
Five of the top six Eastern Europeancentres rose in the ratings. Istanbul was the exception to this pattern, falling 11 points. Istanbul is now in 66th place in the GFCI having been 45th a year ago. Continued conflict and political uncertainty affect confidence in the Turkish capital.
Financial centres in the Middle East and Africa did well in GFCI 21. Apart from a very small decline by Dubai, the other main centres improved in the ratings. There were strong rises for Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.
Latin American centres continue to struggle. Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Panama all fell significantly. Buenos Aires and Santiago remain associate centres having failed to accumulate a sufficient number of assessments to enter the main index.
Offshore centres had mixed results. The British Crown Dependencies remained stable, whilst Caribbean centres had mixed fortunes with the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands falling, but Bermuda and the Bahamas rising slightly.
Mark Yeandle, Associate Director at the Z/Yen Group and the author of the GFCI, said "We live in uncertain times and financial professionals hate uncertainty. Brexit has caused uncertainty in Europe and the election of Donald Trump has caused uncertainty globally.”
Professor Fan Gang, President of the CDI, said "The gradual phasing-out of easing monetary policies in Western countries may have significant impacts on the structure of global financial markets, we need to monitor this closely.”
2New York780
4Hong Kong755
6San Francisco724

22 March 2017

Un réseau de faux médicaments devant le tribunal correctionnel de Marseille

Le gérant de Multiscope Trading, une société offshore installée à l'Ile Maurice et la responsable d'une entreprise implantée à Nice comparaissent devant le tribunal correctionnel de Marseille pour avoir participé à l'entrée en Europe de plus de quatre tonnes de faux médicaments fabriqués en Chine.

21 March 2017

Increasing Digital Clutter Leaves Consumers Exposed, Kaspersky Lab Study Reveals

Kaspersky Lab today announced a new report, which highlights consumers’ attitudes and behaviors toward their digital clutter, and how a lack of app maintenance could leave devices vulnerable to security threats.

Digital Clutter is a phenomenon resulting from increased amounts of content stored on smartphones, tablets and computers. The findings are part of a new report compiled by Kaspersky Lab called “Digital Clutter and Its Dangers.”* The study is based on insight gained from an online survey across 17 countries, an experiment into app performance by Kaspersky Lab internal testers and statistical analysis from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).

The study found that consumers typically install 12 Android apps every month and delete only 10, in effect adding two apps to their device on a monthly basis. A build-up of apps means that it’s important to keep them up-to-date to prevent a mobile malware attack through an app vulnerability. Although half (55%) of survey participants said they regularly revise the contents of their devices and delete unused apps and content, a quarter of consumers (28%) only update apps on their devices when they are forced to, and 10 percent try not to do it at all.

One of the main dangers is that the apps themselves can put user data and devices at risk. Technical findings from Kaspersky Lab show that of 100 Android apps users can manage (i.e. install and delete), 83 have access to sensitive user data, such as contacts, messages and data, and can even make calls and send SMSs.

In addition, findings from KSN show how apps can operate without user permission. When a representative sample of 66 of the most popular Android apps were tested, 54 launched in the background without users even touching them, consuming, on average, 22Mb of traffic per day without any user interaction.

One way to control what an app or program can access is to be aware of application settings, and understanding its terms & conditions. However, the report found that only 33 percent of people intentionally adjust the settings of each application on any devices. Furthermore, 63 percent don’t read licensing agreements, read it too quickly or can only recall main points or not much of the material.

Users are exposing devices and personal data to security threats by failing to undertake simple but essential care for their devices,” said Andrei Mochola, head of consumer business at Kaspersky Lab. “The build-up of digital clutter on our devices means that we increasingly overlook the maintenance of these apps. We do so at our peril because this can lead to a wide range of problems such as device glitches, battery life issues or malware infection. We urge users to put their digital houses in order. Just like a clean, uncluttered room breathes fresh energy into your home and life, in the same way, an uncluttered computer or smartphone results in a more enjoyable, and a crucially, safer experience.

In order to combat the clutter and protect your personal data, users are advised to take the following steps:
  • Update apps and software – regular updates should be undertaken as soon as new versions of apps and programs are released;
  • Change app settings – manage how each app interacts with your devices. Failure to maintain settings – like those that can track user locations and share data with third party servers - may result in unused apps gaining access to information on the device without you being aware.
  • ‘Spring clean’ your device – clear out and refresh the information stored on your devices; determine what information is stored on which apps and what permissions each program has.
  • Use dedicated software – software cleaners such as the one integrated into Kaspersky Lab flagship security solutions, scan all applications installed on your device and mark those posing potential risk or are rarely used.

*The study “Digital Clutter and its Dangers” was based on insight gained from a unique combination of online research and technical analysis of security threats and app performance:
  • Statistics from the Kaspersky Security Network, a cloud-based system that processes depersonalized cyber threat-related statistics received from millions of Windows and Android devices owned by Kaspersky Lab users across the globe.
  • A real-life experiment on Android devices analyzed the performance of applications was conducted in January 2017 by Kaspersky Lab internal testers.
  • An online survey conducted by research firm Toluna and Kaspersky Lab in January 2017 assessed the attitudes of 16,250 users aged over 16 years old from 17 countries. Data was weighted to be globally representative and consistent, split equally between men and women.

14 March 2017

Cim Financial Services Limited (CFSL) - Substantial Transaction Circular (STC)

The Board of Directors of Cim Financial Services Ltd (Cim) announced that the company has reached an agreement to sell its Global Business activities (Cim Global) to SGG Group for approximately MUR 3.2 billion (USD 90.3 million). The sale would represent a profit on disposal of MUR 2.5 billion or MUR 3.60 per share. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval as well as the approval of the shareholders of Cim.

The proceeds of the sale will allow Cim to pursue its growth plans in Mauritius and in the region for its fast growing Finance and Property businesses.

Paul Leech, CEO of Cim Group, commented on the transaction: “The decision to sell Cim Global is timely given the increasing pace of consolidation internationally in the Global Business sector. The business is being sold at an attractive multiple and the cash proceeds will give us the ability to pursue our ambitious development plans in our finance and property businesses.

The arrival of another major international player in the Mauritius Global Business sector represents a major vote of confidence in the attractiveness of the jurisdiction and brings not only a significant piece of FDI to the country but also the opportunity to expand the range of services offered to multinational clients”.

Circular in respect of the proposed disposal of the entire holdings of Cim Financial Services Ltd (the “Issuer” or “CFSL”) in Cim Global Business (“CGB”) to SGG Participations S.A. (the “Buyer” or “SGG”), (the “Transaction”).

12 March 2017

Mauritius Signs Double Taxation Agreement With Ghana

The Government of Mauritius has signed a Double Taxation Avoidance agreement (DTA) with the government of Ghana.

The countries have also set up a Ghana-Mauritius Permanent Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, as part of measures to facilitate trade between the two countries.

As well, Ghana and Mauritius have agreed to collaborate on an Investment promotion and protection agreement to better channel investment into each other's country, possibly via Special Investment Zones.

Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, signed the agreement on behalf of Ghana, while Hon Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade signed on behalf of Mauritius.

The DTA is subject to ratification by Ghana's Parliament.

The agreements were signed on Saturday March 11, 2017 at Port Louis, Mauritius in the lead up to the celebration of the Indian Ocean nation's 49th Independence anniversary, which falls on March 12.

Speaking at a joint press conference after the signing ceremony, Ghana's Vice President, Alhaji Dr Bawumia, who is the Special Guest for the Celebrations, explained that the agreements form part of Ghana's quest for greater cooperation with the rest of the world, especially Africa, in order to boost trade.

"We have seen the manifestation of the first fruits of this Joint Permanent Commission with the signing of the historic double taxation agreement between Ghana and Mauritius, and we believe that this will provide a platform to give confidence to investors both in Ghana and Mauritius to undertake investments in our respective countries and not be taxed twice by our respective governments. We believe this is just the beginning of our cooperation," Vice President Bawumia indicated.

Dr Bawumia emphasized the need for greater intra-African trade to better improve the lives of Africans.

"Our government believes very strongly there has to be more trade within the African continent and among countries of the South. There has to be more investment, and more cooperation. We are happy to note that this type of cooperation that we seek is being manifested, especially recently in our relationship with Mauritius, in the area of trying to set up Ghana as an International Financial Services Centre in the West African Sub region," Dr Bawumia indicated.

Prime Minister of Mauritius, H. E. Anerood Jugnauth, announced that a number of framework agreements have also been reviewed, including the setting up of a Technology Park at Dawa in the Greater Accra region, and investments in the energy and tourism sectors.

"We have also agreed to pursue consultations on two project proposals submitted by Mauritius, namely, the setting up of a solar energy power generation, and a tourism and hospitality project providing for the construction of a coastal resort in Ghana."

"Cooperation between the Public Utility Regulatory Commission and Mauritius was also discussed" Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth disclosed.

The Ghanaian delegation included Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communication, Hon Mohammed Awal, Minister for Business Development, Mr Reginald Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and other senior government officials.

10 March 2017

Affaire Alvaro Sobrinho: Quel est le rôle de la Management Company?

Comment les noms de certaines personnes, qui prétendent n’avoir aucun lien avec les sociétés de l’homme d’affaires Alvaro Sobrinho et n’avoir jamais été sollicitées, ont-ils atterri dans les dossiers de ces sociétés? Et pourtant, c’est le cas, que ce soit en tant que cabinet de conseils légaux ou directeur sur l’Investment Committee d’Alvaro Sobrinho (AS) African Asset Management Ltd. Serait-ce la faute à la Management Company? Quels sont alors son rôle et ses responsabilités? Éclairage

09 March 2017

Bank of Mauritius: Public Notice

Following reports in the media regarding the refusal of a banking licence by the Bank of Mauritius (Bank) to an entity related to Mr Alvaro Sobrinho, the public is hereby informed that no such entity ever made any application for a banking licence. Accordingly, the issue of refusal of an application by the Bank for a banking licence to that entity does not arise.

As regards media reports on the issue of Investment Banking licence, the Bank wishes to apprise the public that the Ministry of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms made a proposal to introduce a new category of licence, namely Investment Adviser – Corporate Finance under Section 30 of the Securities Act. As the list of activities of an Investment Adviser – Corporate Finance and those of an Investment Bank would overlap and could lead to regulatory arbitrage, the Bank agreed that Investment Banking Licensing be transferred to the Financial Services Commission, provided that such activity does not entail deposit taking.

It is to be further noted that Rule 6(2) of the Financial Services (Investment Banking) Rules 2016, specifically provides that, ‘No person holding an Investment Banking Licence shall conduct Banking Business as defined in the Banking Act unless that person holds a banking licence issued by the Bank of Mauritius under the Banking Act’.