(Updates with closing price in second paragraph)
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- New Mauritius Hotels Ltd., the country’s biggest leisure company by market value, dropped to the lowest level in almost three years after the European Commission interim forecast a contraction in the economy in the euro area, Mauritius’s biggest trading partner.
The stock retreated 2.1 percent, its biggest decline since Jan. 25, at close in Port Louis the capital, to 71.50 rupees, its weakest level since March 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The EC expects the euro region economy to contract 0.3 percent in 2012, the commission said yesterday in its interim spring forecast. The statement came after the Mauritian stock market closed. Gross domestic product in France, the main source of tourists for the Indian Ocean island nation, will grow 0.4 percent after the economy expanded 1.7 percent in 2011, according to the commission.
“The forecast is probably the main reason driving the share price down today,” said Kishen Nadassen, a senior research analyst at Port Louis-based CIM Stockbrokers Ltd., in a phone interview from the city.
Tourism and textiles are Mauritius’s biggest foreign exchange earners. Visitors from Europe accounted for 63 percent of the total in 2011, led by France. Arrivals contracted in December and January, two months of the peak period running from October through to March, and declined 3 percent in January, Statistics Mauritius said Feb. 16.
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