Mauritius bourse holds steady even as turbulence on low investor confidence persists
The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) ended last week on a steady note with the MCB Group recovering sightly while Air Mauritius shares lost heavily amidst uncertainty; and, on the positive side, local hospitality major Sun Resorts released favorable quarter results. (Image: Indian Ocean Times)
The Mauritian bourse ended the week in mitigated territory with the bluechip index, the SEM-10, inching up by 0.1%, while the broad equity index, the Semdex, remained constant at 1955.8 points.
The overall market capitalisation on Friday, 8 May 2015 amounted to nearly Rs 217.4 billion. Transaction movement was low with only Rs 17.7 million as turnover and value traded standing at 2.1 million.
On the Development and Enterprise Market (DEM), the Demex was up by 0.1% upon the gain of 4.7% by the rebranded entity of Swan Life Ltd.
Stocks pushing the SEM-10 index up were: banking major MCB Group which inched up by 1.0% to close at Rs 203.25, followed by investment stocks – namely CIEL Limited and Rogers & Co. Ltd – which appreciated by 1.2% and 1.4% respectively.
Other components of the SEM-10 reported a mixed performance, with Alteo Ltd dropping off 3.7%, New Mauritius Hotels Ltd dipping by 1.2% and Terra Mauricia Ltd, whose stock dipped by 0.8% upon unfavourable results, closing at Rs 31.20.
Meanwhile, SBM Holding Ltd, ENL Land Ltd, Ireland Blyth Ltd and Lux Island Resorts Ltd posted a flat performance.
The top three performers which compensated for decliners during the week, thus keeping the Semdex stable, were Caudan Development Ltd which increased by 5.2%, followed by Mauritius Union Assurance Co. Ltd which gained 8.2%, and finally, Swan General Ltd, whose rebranding was positively welcomed by investors, increasing by 4.4% and ending the week at Rs 360.00.
Among the worst three performers of the week was Go Life International PCC, quoted in USD, which went down by 25.0% to close at $0.03; Air Mauritius, whose disappointing quarter results triggered concern among shareholders, leading to a depreciation of 17.4% for the stock to Rs 11.40, and finally, another major decliner was Automatic System Ltd, which fell 4.3%.
Major news during the week was the rebranding of The Anglo Mauritius Assurance Society Limited to Swan Life Ltd on the DEM market and that of Swan Insurance Co. Ltd, which changed its name to Swan General Ltd on the Official Market.
Also, striking a clear note of optimism in an otherwise uncertain market, local hospitality major Sun Resorts Ltd reported favourable results for the first quarter of 2015, promising an overall favorable financial year ahead.
It is to be noted further that Bramer Brokers Ltd’s licence was suspended on the 8 May 2015 by the Financial Services Commission and thus it is no longer operating as a broker on the SEM upon cancellation of its licence to trade via the Automatic Trading System.
Finally, the first quarter results of Air Mauritius Ltd for 2015 were not favourable, with losses of Euro 2.7 million upon depreciation of the Euro together with a high gearing ratio of 4.5:1 causing shareholders to experience uncertainty and concern. On 4 May 2015, trading in the company shares was put on hold by the SEM fearing a fall in share value consequent on rumours of the national carrier’s bankruptcy, after which trading was resumed only after an issuance of an official communique by Air Mauritius to justify its financial position and make it clear that it had the funds to meet its debt obligations.