HSBC Treasury Management Profiles 2018 -

Current section, Introduction

Introduction

An Indian Ocean archipelago, Mauritius has one of the highest standards of living in Africa (GDP PPP USD19,548 in 2016). Since gaining independence from the UK in 1968, Mauritius has successfully developed from a low-income economy based on sugar production into a middle-income diversified economy based on tourism, textiles, sugar and financial services. Mauritius is recognised as being a model of stability and economic prosperity in the region; the economy grew 3.7 per cent in 2016 and is forecast to grow 3.9 per cent in 2017. These qualities, in addition to a stable financial system and a highly skilled workforce, have historically attracted strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows; FDI increased 41 per cent in 2016 year-on-year, to MUR13.6 billion. Real estate (especially associated with the tourism sector) and financial services are the main recipients of FDI. The island, which markets itself as a bridge between Africa and Asia, is trying to shift its economy towards information and communications technology, the seafood and marine industry, and the biomedical services sector. It also aims to position itself as a regional Fintech hub with its corresponding benefits for the financial services and technology industries.

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Legal and regulatory

  • Foreign exchange accounts can be held by residents both domestically and abroad
  • Non-resident bank accounts are permitted in both foreign and domestic currency
  • Mauritius is a member of the COMESA regional trade zone. A Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS) facilitates cross-border payments and settlement between central banks in the COMESA area. REPSS processes payments in EUR or USD
  • Mauritius does not apply exchange controls. Resident and non-resident domestic currency (MUR) accounts are freely convertible

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Taxation

  • Resident companies are taxed on their worldwide income
  • Non-resident companies are taxed on Mauritian-sourced income only
  • The standard rate of corporation tax is 15 per cent

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Payment instruments and systems

  • Although cheque use is in decline, the cheque remains an important payment instrument in Mauritius, for both retail and commercial payments. Electronic credit transfers are used by companies for salary and supplier payments. Payment card use is rising, increasing 4.4 per cent and 7.1 per cent in volume and value respectively in 2016. A National Payment Switch is being implemented for all card and mobile-based payments
  • Mauritius operates two national payment systems: MACSS, an RTGS system, and the BCS, for low-value electronic payments

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Cash management

  • Notional pooling and cash concentration are not available. Cross-border cash management is permitted
  • A range of collection services are available, ranging from courier pick-up services and lockbox solutions to electronic collection services

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Electronic banking

  • Fifteen banks provide electronic banking services in Mauritius. There is no bank-independent electronic banking standard
  • Internet and mobile banking services are provided by all of the country’s banks for both corporate and retail purposes. Internet banking transactions rose 9.6 per cent and 7.4 per cent in volume and value respectively in 2016 year-on-year. There were an estimated 925,848 mobile banking users

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Sources:

  • International Financial Statistics, IMF
  • World Trade Organisation
  • Statistics Mauritius
  • Bank of Mauritius

The materials contained on this page were assembled in June 2017 (unless otherwise dated).

 

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