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Mauritius Ponzi Probe Risks Extending Africa’s Worst Stocks Rout

Shares of Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), the largest company by market value on the nation’s Semdex Index , have dropped 7 percent since April last year and recorded their third quarter of declines in the three months through March.

Shares of Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), the largest company by market value on the nation’s Semdex Index , have dropped 7 percent since April last year and recorded their third quarter of declines in the three months through March.

Photographer: Lars Halbauer/AP Photo
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A selloff that made Mauritius equities the worst performers in Africa this year risks deepening as a probe into an alleged Ponzi scheme involving one of the Indian Ocean island’s banks and insurers damp investor sentiment.

“The overall sentiment is more on the downside,” Melvyn Chung Kai To, a trader at AXYS Stockbroking Ltd., one of the country’s largest brokerages, said in e-mailed comments on April 15 from the capital, Port Louis. “It’s a hit for our financial services industry. A bank went bust and the largest life insurer is also out.”