Mauritius Hunts Foreign-Company IPOs to Boost Bourse Value

The Stock Exchange of Mauritius plans to boost the value of its markets to match the size of the Indian Ocean island’s economy by attracting foreign companies to sell shares on the bourse.

The Port Louis-based exchange owns and manages two markets with a combined capitalization of 276 billion rupees ($9.1 billion). The value may increase to the size of Mauritius’ gross domestic product, which the World Bank put at $11.9 billion in 2013, within the “next year or so,” Chief Executive Officer Sunil Benimadhu, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa to be aired July 5.

“The more international companies we bring to list to our market, the more we would expect our market capitalization to grow.” he said.

The exchange is making rules for listing easier, including allowing multiple currencies, as it seeks to attract more companies. Its economy is set to expand 3.7 percent this year and 4 percent in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Benimadhu said they want to get more businesses to choose their markets for main listings rather than the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. (JALSH) Rockcastle Global Real Estate Co. and Atlantic Leaf Properties Ltd., both Mauritian, have secondary listings in South Africa.

“We are seeing more and more of these kind of companies applying to Mauritius for a primary listing in Mauritius and a secondary listing on the JSE,” he said. “We will see more and more of this.”

Africa Platform

The 42-member Semdex (SEMDEX) Index, the main equities gauge, snapped a six-day rally, falling 0.1 percent to close at 2,089.96 in Port Louis. That extended this year’s decline to 0.3 percent, while the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index has rallied 12 percent in Johannesburg over the same period.

The Mauritian bourse is vying for more foreign companies to use the country as a platform for Asia and Africa, Benimadhu said. The new listings would include companies in the mining and agriculture sectors, he said, without giving details.

“We are very optimistic about the growing role that Mauritius and the Stock Exchange of Mauritius will play as a capital raising, listing, trading and settlement platform for Africa,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net Vernon Wessels, Emily Bowers

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