Bloomberg News

Mauritius Rupee, Stocks Drop as Europe Debt Crisis Cuts Demand

September 06, 2011

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Mauritius’s rupee headed for an almost eight-week low against the dollar as the worsening debt crisis in Europe, its main trading partner, curbed demand for riskier emerging- and frontier-market assets. Stocks declined.

The currency depreciated 0.9 percent to 28.30 per dollar, the weakest intraday level since July 22, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rupee slumped the most in more than three months against the euro, losing 3.3 percent to 40.8854. The 38-member SEMDEX index gauge of stocks retreated 0.9 percent to 1,929.58 at the 1:30 p.m. close in Port Louis, the capital, its biggest drop since Aug. 19, led by Mauritius Commercial Bank, the country’s largest lender by market value.

Ministers from Germany, Finland and the Netherlands will meet today to discuss a Finnish demand for collateral in a bailout for Greece, while the Italian Senate will debate an austerity plan amid a strike.

“Markets have been thrown into the deep end of bear-market territory,” analysts at MCB wrote in an e-mailed note to clients. “The potential consequences” of international lenders withdrawing support for a Greek debt repayment “could plunge the whole eurozone into a deep recession, even threatening the survival of the euro.”

Europe is the largest buyer of the Indian Ocean island nation’s manufactured goods, with a 65 percent share, the Central Statistics Office said on Aug. 30. Tourists from Europe, led by France, account for almost two-thirds of arrivals in the country, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority said.

Buying prices for the dollar range ranged from 27.3424 to 27.5108 and the selling price rose to 28.8101 compared with 28.7277 yesterday, according to indicative exchange rates published today on the Bank of Mauritius’s website.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Linda Shen

-0- Sep/06/2011 10:14 GMT

-0- Sep/06/2011 10:17 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis via Johannesburg at gbell16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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