This year, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) is 30 years old, and like most really successful 30 year-olds, is now looking to new horizons to fulfil its ambitions. Having outgrown its island origins, the SEM is now exploring the potential of the African continent to continue its upward growth curve.
In its early days there were just 5 stocks listed with a market cap of $92m. Trading was an informal affair with brokers meeting once a week and putting in their orders around a table. Today the SEM, headquartered in Port Louis, boasts around 150 listings, 60 being on the main board. Of the local companies that represent the R96m market capitalisation, over 40% are in the banking and finance sector, reflecting the double-digit growth in the sector. The SEM itself is part of this growth which is driving Mauritius’ reputation as the investment gateway into Africa.
As part of a strategy to establish its international credentials, the SEM last year created an African Board which now has 26 listings. By contrast the JSE spent 6 years trying to do the same thing and in all attracted only three listings.
“Since 2015 we have declared our intent to position the SEM as an attractive listing platform for African issuers, but also for international issuers doing business in Africa” says chief executive, Sunil Benimadhu.
There are several reasons the SEM holds an appeal to foreign investors including:
- its trading infrastructure meets international standards
- is the only exchange in Africa that can list and trade in multiple major currencies
- no withholdings tax on dividends, no capital gains tax, “free” repatriation of profits, capital and interest
- Mauritius’s attractive Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) network
- an ideal place to raise capital for investment in Africa
Nolands has an established and growing network in Mauritius, with highly experienced professionals with local and international experience based in Port Louis. Any queries can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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