Chief Executive of Mauritius Stock Exchange, Sunil Benimadhu said the country’s bourse will launch a new index in November 2018. The index will be dedicated to African firms in a bid to attract more issuers from the continent.
The government of Mauritius , which already has an established offshore financial centre, is seeking to increase its appeal to foreign investors by introducing a trading platform that incorporates commodities and currency contracts.At a news conference, Benimadhu revealed that the Mauritius stock exchange has a market capitalisation of $12 billion, but only 29 of the 156 new listings since 2009 are from Africa focused firms.
The new market category known as the African Board, will require prospective issuers of securities to have half of their assets on the African continent or show they generate half of their annual revenue from operations on the continent.
Benimadhu said “it aims at enticing potential African issuers, global companies having an African focus, exchange traded funds holding African (underlying assets), issuers of African depositary receipts and of African debt products to raise capital and list”.
The chief executive revealed that the current 29 Africa-focused issuers on the stock exchange, which were attracted by its multi currency listing, trading and settlement platform, raised 45 billion Mauritius rupees to fund their activities. He also noted that 22 of the issuers, who have a market value of 54.3 billion rupees have been earmarked for inclusion on the Africa Board at its launch.
The Mauritius stock exchange plans to launch the SEM African Index on November 1, 2018, to track the performance of all equity products listed on the Africa Board. Benimadhu said the goal is to have 60 securities qualifying for listing on the Africa Board within the next five years.
Issuers on the Mauritius bourse can choose to raise funds in Mauritius rupees, U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds.