Bloomberg News

Mauritius Stocks Snaps Eight-Day Winning Streak on Hotel Losses

November 15, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Mauritian stocks snapped the longest winning streak in more than seven months after hotel operators posted losses as the debt crisis worsens in Europe, where most of the country’s tourists originate.

The 38-member SEMDEX index of the official market retreated 0.3 percent to close at 1,918.08 by 1 p.m. in Port Louis, the capital, snapping an 8-day rally. New Mauritius Hotels Ltd., the largest resort operator by market value, led declines, slumping 2.4 percent. Naiade Resorts Ltd. retreated 0.4 percent, and Sun Resorts Ltd. fell the first day in three, declining 3.7 percent. Air Mauritius Ltd. fell a second day, sliding 3.9 percent.

Sun Resorts, the Indian Ocean island nation’s second- largest leisure operator by market value, posted a third-quarter loss that widened 30 percent to 172.5 million rupees ($5.9 million). Naiade Resorts, the third-biggest hotel operator, recorded losses of 71.4 million rupees in the quarter ended Sept. 30 yesterday.

“The debt crisis in Europe is curbing demands for high-end tourism destinations such as Mauritius,” said Imrith Ramtohul, a senior investment manager at Mauritius Union Group, which oversees combined portfolios worth about 6 billion rupees, including holdings in Sun, Naiade and Air Mauritius. “Another factor is the stronger rupee versus the euro.”

Europe accounted for 62 percent of visitors to the Indian Ocean, led by France, according to data from the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. The number of tourists arriving in Mauritius in October increased 3.8 percent to 90,616 from 87,340 a year ago, the government said in a statement on its website on Nov. 11.

The rupee strengthened 0.7 percent versus the euro, which accounts for 41 percent of foreign-currency income in the country.

--Editors: Linda Shen, Peter Branton

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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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