Mauritius draws South African Investors

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Mauritian Board of Investments senior director Nitin Pandea says South Africans had bought a third of all Mauritian integrated resort scheme (IRS) properties and smaller-scale real estate scheme properties sold to date. Mauritian Board of Investments senior director Nitin Pandea says South Africans had bought a third of all Mauritian integrated resort scheme (IRS) properties and smaller-scale real estate scheme properties sold to date.

South African investors are flowing back into the property market in Mauritius, according to Nitin Pandea, who heads the Mauritian Board of Investments.

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Mr Pandea said in Sandton yesterday South Africans had bought a third of all Mauritian integrated resort scheme (IRS) properties and smaller-scale real estate scheme properties sold to date. Two large IRS schemes have been completed while six are under construction.

The schemes are an initiative of the Mauritian government and are designed to encourage resort and residential property investments by noncitizens.

Mr Pandea said foreign direct investment from SA had ballooned in recent years to about 100m a year. Meanwhile, about 1,500 applications for residency permits had been granted to South Africans, most of whom were professionals.

Mauritius, which was once heavily dependent on sugar production and later tourism, has looked to increasingly diversify its economy. Manufacturing now makes up 17% of the economy.

Mr Pandea said Mauritius was looking to attract manufacturing investment from SA. He added that the board of investment, which facilitates investment into the country, had seen “strong interest” from South African manufacturers and seafood producers.

While manufacturing is now the biggest contributor to gross domestic product, other sectors including logistics, information and communication technology, finance and real estate are playing a greater role in the island’s economy.

South African developer Atterbury Property built Bagatelle-Mall of Mauritius, the island’s first regional shopping centre, which opened in 2011. Tenants include Mr Price, Truworths, Woolworths, Spur and anchor Pick n Pay.

Other South African companies with a presence in Mauritius include Aspen Pharmacare, Investec and real estate company Seeff.

The Mauritian stock exchange plays an important role in giving South African investors access to offshore investments. A number of JSElisted companies have primary listings in Mauritius, including offshorefocused property funds, which are required to have primary listings elsewhere in order to be allowed a listing in Johannesburg.

Mr Pandea said the board was working closely with its South African counterparts to facilitate a “win-win situation” for both countries in expanding into the rest of Africa, where Mauritius is positioned well as a logistics hub for exports.

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Hotels and Leisure  |  Mauritius Property Market  |  Nitin Pandea  |  Mauritian Board of Investments

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