The Semdex marginally built on gains from last week, rising 0.2% w/w to 1,696.65. Value traded was appreciably higher than average, at MUR 307.7m. The biggest contributors to the market’s rise were Banks (+0.1%) and Hotels (+0.4%). Capping the market’s gains were Investment Holding Companies (-1.2%) and Industrials (-0.7%). The currency weakened 1.8% against the EUR, to its weakest point for the year, at MUR 39.17 per EUR (-2.9% YTD). Versus the USD, the MUR strengthened 0.5% to MUR 30.35 per USD.
The top five traders this week were MCB, Terra Mauricia, Mauritius Union Assurance, Rogers & Co, and Lux Island Resorts. The most significant gainers were New Mauritius Hotels (+1.7%), Ireland Blyth (+0.6%), and MCB (+0.6%). On the downside were Mauritius Stationery (-21.1%), Lux Island Resorts (-7.7% to an all-time low), Dale Capital (-5.6%), POLICY (-4.3%), and Mauritian Eagle (-4.1%).
In company news, Alteo released FY12 results showing EPS rose 5.5% to MUR 3.75. Sales grew 12.6% to MUR 3,673.4m, which management attributed to a record year out of the TPC Ltd sugar operation in Tanzania. In fact, TPC was so important that management noted, “The 2012 performance is mainly attributable to the higher profitability of our Tanzanian operations which helped to offset the loss registered in the property development sector”. Rising finance costs and a non-cash gain in FY11 meant that PAT rise only 5.5% to MUR 700.4m.
Also in the sugar industry, reports of a fire on Terra Mauricia’s northern cane fields weighed on its price. Terra ended the week 2.1% lower at MUR 38.00.
A potentially positive development for the tourism industry is an announcement from Tourism Minister Michael Sik Yuen that Mauritius Air will start operating direct flights to Shanghai, China’s biggest city, two times each week. Unfortunately the flights are only foreseen to start in January 2013, which is quite far away considering the state of the local industry.
In economic news, foreign direct investment in Mauritius rose 19.8% y/y in 1H12 to MUR 4.1bn (USD 133.9m). The Central Bank noted that FDI was focused mainly on real estate (MUR 2.1bn), followed by construction (MUR 1.2bn). The top source of FDI was South Africa (MUR 1.3bn), followed by France (MUR 1bn).
Source: African Alliance