Mauritius - Money

The country's central bank is the Bank of Mauritius, while the commercial banking system is dominated by 2 banks, the Mauritius Commercial Bank and the State Bank of Mauritius. There are a number of other, smaller, banks in operation, however. There is an extensive ATM network across the island, and ATM-sharing mechanisms are now in place. Progress has also been made with regard to developing a better, electronically-based, national payment system.

The Mauritian Rupee has decreased in the value relative to the U.S. dollar, with the decline being fairly marked over the period 1996-98, where it depreciated by an average of 10.5 percent per year. There have been no dramatic devaluations or currency crises in the history of the country, however. Inflation , too, has remained at manageable levels, averaging 7.6 percent between 1990 and 1999.

There are no exchange controls in Mauritius, which means that both foreigners and locals can take an unlimited amount of money out of the country if they wish to do so.

The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) has been in operation since 1989. Its market capitalization is currently around US$1,643 million, with 48 listed companies. There are a further 80 companies listed on the "overthe-counter"

Exchange rates: Mauritius
Mauritian rupees per US$1
Jan 2001 27.900
2000 26.250
1999 25.186
1998 22.993
1997 21.057
1996 17.948
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Mauritius 1,531 1,802 2,151 2,955 4,034
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
South Africa 4,574 4,620 4,229 4,113 3,918
Comoros N/A 499 544 516 403
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

market. The trading activity taking place has increased substantially over the years, although it is still low by international standards.

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