How To Invest in the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in 6 steps
Pick a Broker: Brokers are authorised intermediaries to trade financial assets on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM).
Open a Trading Account with the Broker: The only requirement is to be of legal age and reside in Mauritius. The broker will provide access to their investment platforms, allowing you to send purchase and sale orders to the Stock Exchange's central system. These accounts are called CDS Accounts. The Central Depository & Settlement Co Ltd, or CDS, is the centralised depository and clearing house for trades executed on the SEM. i.e. All purchased/sold shares are credited to/debited from the respective accounts upon receipt of funds from the Central Bank on the third day after execution at 10 am.
Choose the asset to invest: The investor must decide whether to invest in shares, sovereign or corporate bonds.
After making a decision, send a Buy order via the Broker: Submitting a purchase order for a financial asset. Setting a limit or market price for the selected asset is possible.
The transaction is completed once buying and selling prices match: When the bidding price of an asset equals the asking price, the trade is executed. The Brokers make the transaction payment at the Stock Exchange in your name and deliver the transaction amount to the buyer/seller broker. You become the legal owner of the asset.
The Broker issues the transaction notification and charges their fees: There is no fixed fee, which means that when choosing a broker to invest in the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, it is essential to choose the one that can better adapt to the investor's situation.
How does the Stock Exchange of Mauritius work?
What is the Stock Exchange?
Based in Port Louis, SEM was founded in 1988 and is the country's leading Stock Exchange.
In short, the stock exchange is the institution that facilitates the negotiation of financial instruments in Mauritius. The supply of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, and currencies and the demand for these instruments (i.e. investors) interact. The Stock Exchange holds daily "Trading Sessions", providing the physical, technological, human and operational means that allow efficient communication between Brokers, Issuers and Investors.
Since 1989, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius has come a long way. From the teetering steps of the early days when trading took place once a week for a mere 5 minutes through the open-outcry system, when the settlement cycle of a transaction exceeded two weeks, and when the total value traded during the first six months of operations barely exceeded Rs 15 million, the SEM has today emerged as one of the leading exchanges in Africa and has been at the forefront of the change process in the exchange space on the continent. In 1989, SEM started its operations with the Official Market only with five listed companies and a market capitalisation of nearly USD 92 million. However, the market size has grown from a market capitalisation to GDP ratio of less than 4% in 1989 to a current market Cap/GDP ratio exceeding 95% in an economy with a 5% average growth rate during the last 30 years.
The Stock Exchange of Mauritius operates two markets today: the Official Market and the Development & Enterprise Market (DEM). SEM can list, trade and settle equity and debt products in US Dollars, Euros, Sterling Pounds, and Rands besides the local Rupees. Local investors account for about 60 % of the daily trading activities, and foreign investors account for the 40 % remaining. Institutions like mutual funds, pension funds and insurance companies generate 75 % of that local volume. 9 investment dealers operate at SEM. Each investment dealer holds a license granted by the Financial Services Commission. In addition, investment dealers must have at least one duly licensed representative who shall be entitled to carry out the functions of the Investment dealer.
SEM is a World Federation of Exchanges member. It also is recognised by the UK's HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs).
SEM has over 100,000 investors in the +200 securities listed.
What is a Securities Issuer?
Issuers of securities are companies that seek to grow through raising capital at SEM. These companies raise money by issuing debt (bonds) or capital (shares). Issuers of securities may be government-controlled entities or private companies, but no matter who owns the company, the issuer backs the investment.
For example, if you invested in bonds from a private company, the company will be required to pay the principal and interest to the bond investors.
Which Companies Trade at the Stock Exchange of Mauritius?
AFRICAN EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: Afreximbank is a supranational financial institution that aims to facilitate, promote and expand intra- and extra-African trade.
AFRICA CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS LIMITED: Africa Clean Energy Solutions Limited (ACES) has been established to develop and operate clean energy power plants throughout Africa and to become a significant independent provider of clean energy. In addition, the company aims to become a utility company in various African countries in the renewable energy field.
AIR MAURITIUS LIMITED: Air Mauritius is the flag carrier airline of Mauritius. The carrier is 51% owned by Air Mauritius Holdings Ltd., which the Mauritian Government owns in its majority (43.83%).
ALTEO LIMITED: Alteo is the largest sugar producer in Mauritius, with a strong presence in Africa. Alteo operates three sugar factories in Mauritius, Tanzania and Kenya. In addition to its sugar activities, Alteo owns and operates three power plants.
ARINDO HOLDINGS (MAURITIUS) LIMITED: Arindo is a holding company holding a category 1 Global Business License following the Mauritian Companies Act 2001 and the Financial Services Act 2007 of Mauritius.
AUTOMATIC SYSTEMS LIMITED: ASL’s principal activities are running a totalisator (Tote) betting system on races in Mauritius organised by the Mauritius Turf Club and the organisation of fixed-odds betting on foreign football matches, both following the provisions of the Gambling Regulatory Authority Act 2007.
ASTORIA INVESTMENTS LTD: The primary objective of Astoria is to achieve strong USD capital appreciation over the medium to long term by investing in global, equity-dominated holdings of primarily direct, high-quality listed businesses, primarily in developed markets.
BAYPORT MANAGEMENT LIMITED: BML is a holding company that runs businesses involved in retail financial services.
BLUELIFE LIMITED: The principal activities of BlueLife consist of property development projects and real estate property investment, including investment in hotels, among which is the Azuri complex. The Company has two ancillary clusters, asset management and property development support services.
BMH LTD: BMH is a diversified investment company and is one of the entities forming part of the Constance Group. Its portfolio comprises mainly sizeable investments in the diversified conglomerate IBL, one of the leading Mauritian groups, and Hotelest Ltd, the Constance Hotels Services Ltd holding company operating in the tourism sector. In addition, BMH also invests in the following economic sectors: Commerce, Financial Services and Property.
BRAVURA HOLDINGS LIMITED: Bravura holds a Global Business License under Mauritius's Financial Services Act 2007. The investment objective of Bravura is to invest through its subsidiaries in financial services and investment banking businesses in various Southern African markets.
CAUDAN DEVELOPMENT LIMITED: Caudan Development Limited specialises in the ownership, promotion and development of Le Caudan Waterfront, a mixed commercial project on the waterfront of Port-Louis. Apart from the waterfront project, the company also rents industrial buildings at Pailles and Riche Terre.
CIEL LIMITED: CIEL is a diversified investment group operating five business clusters (Agro & Property, Textile, Hotels & Resorts, Finance and Healthcare) spread across Mauritius, Africa and Asia.
CIM FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED: The company is a financial services group listed on the Official Market of the Stock Exchange and headquartered in Mauritius.
DACOSBRO: Dacosbro has been established to acquire quality real estate investments to achieve significant capital appreciation and sustainable income returns over the medium to long term.
DALE CAPITAL GROUP LIMITED: Dale is a specialist Private Equity Investment Group having offices in Mauritius and Cape Town, South Africa.
ENL LIMITED: ENL Limited is a diversified conglomerate engaged in sustainable value creation in the following sectors: real estate, hospitality, agro-industry, commerce, logistics and fintech.
FINCORP INVESTMENT LIMITED: Fincorp Investment is engaged in investing activities. The company has on its books the following primary investments: a wholly-owned subsidiary, Finlease, which provides operating and financial leasing services, and a 46% stake in Promotion and Development Ltd, a quoted investment company having diversified interests, including a majority stake in Caudan Development Ltd (mentioned previously).
GAMMA CIVIC LTD: The Gamma Group is a leading building material, construction, real estate, hotels and leisure and lottery gaming group in Mauritius.
GO LIFE INTERNATIONAL LTD: Go Life International is a multi-faceted healthcare company offering a comprehensive all-inclusive product range, addressing market needs from pharmaceutical, generic, nutraceutical, and medical consumables to high-end sophisticated hospital equipment.
GRIT REAL ESTATE INCOME GROUP LIMITED: The Company is a real estate income group that generates US dollar and Euro yield for investors by investing in a diversified portfolio of high-quality real estate assets across the African continent and Indian Ocean Islands, excluding South Africa, anchored by blue-chip, international tenants.
HAREL MALLAC & CO. LTD.: With its origins dating back to 1830, the Harel Mallac Group is one of the oldest trading companies in Mauritius and has pioneered significant sectors of the economy, such as retail, technology and fertiliser manufacturing. With activities expanding on the African continent and offices in Burundi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia, the Harel Mallac Group employs 1,100 people.
IBL LTD: IBL Ltd is a diversified conglomerate engaged in various activities from financial services to fish storage and processing to mechanical and electrical engineering, logistics, aviation, shipping operations, distribution of consumer goods and a chain of supermarkets. It holds substantial investments in several industries, such as the real estate industry, tourism, financial services, communication and biotechnologies.
INFRASTRUCTURE COMMODITIES (MAURITIUS) LTD: The Company has been incorporated as an investment holding company to acquire minority stakes in companies focusing on developing and acquiring natural resources needed for infrastructure development.
INNODIS LTD: Innodis is one of Mauritius's most significant food and non-food production and distribution groups.
LIGHTHOUSE CAPITAL LTD: It was established with the primary objective of investing globally in properties and listed real estate and infrastructure companies in selected jurisdictions, including Canada, Australia, Singapore, Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom.
LOTTOTECH LTD: Lottotech Ltd operates the Mauritius National Lottery on behalf of the Government of Mauritius.
LUX ISLAND RESORTS LTD: The main activity of LIR consists of operating and managing resort hotels under the LUX brand.
MAINLAND REAL ESTATE LTD: The primary objective of Mainland is to acquire and invest in global real estate assets and companies predominantly situated in the United Kingdom and selected Western European jurisdictions.
MCB GROUP LIMITED: MCB Group is an integrated banking and financial services provider, established in 1838, that offers tailored and innovative solutions through its local and foreign subsidiaries and associates.
MAURITIUS CHEMICAL & FERTILIZER INDUSTRY LTD: MCFI is a manufacturing company operating an NPK complex fertiliser plant and a blending plant in the Port area.
THE MAURITIUS DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT TRUST CO LTD: MDIT's objective is to secure investors the benefits of a good dividend yield and long-term capital growth.
MEDINE LIMITED: ML operates as a diversified group with four pillars of activity, namely Agriculture, Education, Leisure and Property.
MERITWISE GROUP PUBLIC LTD: The company focuses on high-potential growth companies and considers opportunistic investments in potential private companies in the financial and consultancy business in Asia Pacific, which will be held in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia.
MAURITIUS OIL REFINERIES LIMITED: Mauritius Oil Refineries started its commercial operations in 1968. Moroil set out to ensure the Mauritian population a continuous supply of locally refined edible oils of international quality, in line with the national import substitution policy, at competitive prices.
MUA LTD: MUA and its subsidiaries have provided insurance services in Mauritius for over 70 years, focusing on the market's short-term and long-term segments. Through its subsidiaries, MUA also has a presence in stockbroking activities, corporate pensions and mutual funds management.
NEW FRONTIER PROPERTIES LTD: The Company invests primarily in properties, property-related rights and land regarding retail and logistics/warehouse properties and developments. Geographically, the New Frontier targets assets primarily in the UK and mainland Europe.
NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST LIMITED: The Company was incorporated as a closed-end fund whose principal activity was investing in shares and securities in local and international markets.
NEW MAURITIUS HOTELS LIMITED: NMH is a leading hotel group in Mauritius. It owns and operates eight resorts in Mauritius, one in Seychelles under the Beachcomber brand, and one hotel in Morocco managed by Fairmont.
OMNICANE LIMITED: Omnicane was launched in July 2009 through a strategic re-branding of Mon-Trésor-Mon-Desert Ltd, a long-established sugarcane group in Mauritius whose origins can be traced back to the 1850s. The Group now produces 40% of Mauritius’ exported refined sugar and supplies around 28% of the electricity needs of Mauritius.
PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT LIMITED: Through its majority stake in Caudan Development Limited and as the company's manager, PAD is closely involved with the Caudan Waterfront project.
PHOENIX BEVERAGES LIMITED: Phoenix Beverages, operating under the PhoenixBev Brand, is an independent brewer and soft drinks bottler company incorporated in 1960 and operating in Mauritius and the wider Indian Ocean region.
PIM LTD: PIM, formerly Plastic Industry (Mauritius), was Incorporated in 1970 and is a manufacturer of plastic products, mainly plastic chairs, packaging for chemicals, detergent, paint, pharmaceutical, beverages and the food sector.
POLICY LIMITED: Policy Limited is an investment company with a long-term strategy.
PSG KONSULT LIMITED: PSG Konsult is one of the largest independent intermediary financial services providers in South Africa and is a leading independent financial services group. PSG Konsult has an extensive South African footprint and a Namibian presence.
REGIS HOLDINGS LIMITED: RHL is a holding company and, through its various subsidiaries, provides logistics, equipment, procurement and other specialised services to a wide range of customers, including national and international oil and gas companies, oilfield services companies, drilling and mining companies as well as product and equipment manufacturers and other heavy industry-related contractors.
ROGERS AND COMPANY LIMITED: Rogers & Co. Ltd is a listed international services and investment company established in 1899 with specialist expertise within four markets: FinTech, Hospitality, Logistics and Property.
SANLAM AFRICA CORE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS LIMITED: SACREIL is a long-term investor in commercial real estate in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
SBM HOLDINGS LTD: SBM Group acts as a one-stop shop for banking and non-banking financial services, covering a wide range of deposit, payments, and financing, and investment advisory and ancillary solutions. SBM Group is present in Mauritius, Madagascar, India and, most recently, Kenya.
SUN LIMITED: SUN is an established hotel group in the Indian Ocean, owning and managing five resorts in the Republic of Mauritius and one in the Republic of Maldives.
SWAN GENERAL LTD: Swan provides the full range of non-banking financial solutions - general insurance, life assurance, pension & actuarial services, pension administration, investment advisory, wealth management and stockbroking for corporate clients individual customers.
TADVEST LIMITED: The company is an investment holding company with a portfolio of assets focused primarily on the real estate sector. However, it invests in agriculture and the industrial sectors and intends to diversify in the renewable energy and healthcare sectors.
TERRA MAURICIA LTD: Formerly known as Harel Frères, it started as a small sugar factory. Today Terra is one of Mauritius's major cane sector players. The group diversified its activities throughout the years, from an essentially sugar-oriented company to one with interests in energy production, manufacturing of alcoholic beverages production and commercial distribution, property development, construction, leisure and financial services.
TRANS SWITCH AFRICA HOLDINGS LTD: Trans Switch is a holding company consolidating or investing in business process outsourcing service providers specific to the financial services industry.
THE UNITED BASALT PRODUCTS LIMITED: The activities of the Group's subsidiary and associate companies are all related to the building industry.
UNITED DOCKS LTD: United Docks Ltd (UTDL) is a leading real estate developer with around 100,000 sqm of prime freehold land in Port-Louis.
UNIVERSAL PARTNERS LIMITED: Universal Partners is an investment holding company that seeks private equity investment opportunities in high-quality, cash-generative businesses across Europe.
VIVO ENERGY MAURITIUS LIMITED: Vivo Energy, a Shell licensee, is the leading oil company in Mauritius and plays a pivotal role in supplying the country’s energy needs.
SEMDEX: The Top Index of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius
The SEMDEX, the benchmark index, is an index of prices of all listed stocks where each stock is weighted according to its share in the total market capitalisation. It is a weighted index, and each stock is weighted according to its shares in the total market capitalisation. Thus, changes in the SEMDEX are dominated by changes in the prices of shares with relatively higher market capitalisation.
How is a Trade completed in the Stock Exchange?
A trade, or, in other words, the investment flow of any financial instrument, could be summarised as follows:
Sellers (supply) offer to sell a financial instrument at a price, for example, a bond issued by a company. Sellers aim to make this price as high as possible (Price 1).
Investors (demand) who wish to buy the bond make an offer for a price. They want this price to be as low as possible (Price 2). Then, Price 1 is higher than Price 2.
Buyers interact with sellers until they are at the point where Price 1 equals Price 2. When this occurs, the financial transaction is completed, and the seller and the buyer exchange ownership of the bond. For this interaction to occur, a Broker is needed: A company that mediates sellers and buyers, ordering prices and quantities of financial instruments. Below we explain the services that these companies provide.
What is a Broker?
Transactions of financial assets execute through a company that works as an intermediary between investors and sellers. These intermediaries are internationally known as Brokers, StockBrokers or Investment Dealers in Mauritius. Through complex technological tools, Dealers manage transactions between investors, ordering the purchase and sale orders of financial assets by price and by order of arrival. By performing this service, they obtain a commission when, for example, executing buying a share.
To invest in the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, an investor needs to open an account with a local Broker. Currently, there are 9 approved dealers:
Capital Market Brokers
SBM Capital Markets
International Brokers operate easy-to-use apps that allow you to buy and trade financial assets (like US Stocks, Commodities, Indices) on any device.
Investing in International Financial Assets [From Mauritius]
As we have mentioned many times in this guide, trading of financial assets must be done through a Broker. If you decide to open an account with a broker who trades in the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, you will be allowed to trade locally listed assets only.
If you, in turn, decide to open an account with an international Broker, you may invest in countless global assets. In other words, you can invest in international financial assets such as stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange from Mauritius through an international Broker.
The job of an international Broker is to connect their clients with international Stock Exchanges. In other words, if a client intends to buy Apple shares (which are listed in New York), the broker buys them for the client and deposits them in the client's trading account. In general, almost all significant Brokers provide access to Exchanges from the United States, Canada, the UK, Japan, Switzerland and Europe.
Opening an account with an international broker is usually an online process, and you can operate in the global financial market from your phone in just a few days.
Best Brokers to Buy International Stocks available in Mauritius
This article will help you start investing, from the minimum amount required to open an account to some ideas to consider in your portfolio.