Bloomberg News

Mauritius Rupee Drops Most in 3 Months on European Debt Concern

September 12, 2011

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Mauritius’s rupee declined the most in more than three months against the dollar as concern that Greece will default on its debt caused the euro to weaken, cutting demand for riskier assets. Stocks declined.

The currency of the Indian Ocean island nation weakened as much as 2 percent, the most since June 6, to 28.8 per dollar, and traded 1.4 percent down at 28.65 by 2:24 p.m. in Port Louis, the capital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Versus the euro, the rupee declined as much as 2.1 percent and trading 1 percent down to 38.011.

The euro dropped to the lowest level since 2001 against the yen and slid to a six-month low against the dollar on speculation German Chancellor Angela Merkel is preparing for a Greek default. Emerging-market stocks fell, driving the benchmark index to its lowest in more than two weeks, and commodity prices declined for a third day.

“Risk aversion” is “stepping up,” analysts led by Benoit Anne at London-based Societe Generale SA, said in an e- mailed note to clients today. “The euro is currently under severe pressure,” and “this has triggered a massive shock to global risk appetite.”

Europe accounted for 63 percent of tourist arrivals to the island for the January to July period, according to data from the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. Europe is the main export market, with a share of 64.5 percent, the Central Statistics Office said on Aug. 30.

Buying prices for the dollar ranged from 27.6725 to 27.8434 and the selling price rose to 29.1554 compared with 28.9864 on Sept. 9, according to exchange rates published today on the Bank of Mauritius’s website.

Mauritian stocks retreated for a second day, with the 38- member SEMDEX gauge declining 0.1 percent to 1,929.03 by the 1:30 p.m. close, the weakest level since Aug. 22, led by Mauritius Commercial Bank and the State Bank of Mauritius Ltd., the country’s largest lenders by market value.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Linda Shen

-0- Sep/12/2011 10:25 GMT

-0- Sep/12/2011 10:39 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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