Geert Bekaert and Campbell R. Harvey's


Chronology of Economic, Political and Financial Events in Emerging Markets




Major Political and Economic Events


The introduction of the Insider Trading Laws.a4


The allowance for emigrants was increased from Mau Rs 100,000 to Mau Rs 200,000 a family.a3(first entry)


The transfer tax on capital transfers was reduced from 45% to 15%.a3


The limit on remittances by emigrants was increased to Mau Rs 500,000 a family from Mau Rs 200,000.a3


The tax applicable to residents and nonresidents was reduced from 15% to 5%. All foreign investors became eligible to repatriate capital, including capital gains, without prior approval from the Bank of Mauritius or payment of a 5% tax.a3


The stock market was opened to foreign investors following the lifting of exchange control. Foreign investors do not need approval to trade shares, unless investment is for the purpose of legal or management control of a Mauritian company or for the holding of more than 15% in a sugar company. Foreign investors benefit from numerous incentives such as revenue on sale of shares can be freely repatriated and dividends and capital gains are


Net purchases by foreign buyers slid 54% in the first quarter due to the Asian financial crisis.


The government revised the tax system.


The worst rioting in 30 years, due to the death of a popular reggae singer while in policy custody, forced banks and businesses in the Mauritius capital of Port Louis to close for several days. GDP growth was forecasted to fall from 5.4% in 1998 to 4.0% in 1999.


Conglomerate Rogers decided to separate itself from its tourist arm, divesting its holdings in New Mauritius Hotels.


In the third quarter, following a prolonged drought, the sugar industry was predicted to experience a bleak year.


In the last few months, the industry minister announced new listing rules, a major change in the exchange ownership, and a change in code of conduct rules for brokers.


A tax rebate announced in the 1999/2000 budget in June allowed retail investors to claim a tax rebate on new stock investments of up to 10,000 rupees through year end.


The Mauritius rupee depreciated against the U.S. dollar. Higher fuel costs and lower sugar export revenues increased the trade deficit.


Public debt service had doubled over the past five years.


The enactment of the U.S. Trade and Development Act provided duty-free access to the U.S. market.


Mauritius informed the OECD that they were committed to ending harmful tax practices by the end of 2005.


The general election resulted in incumbent Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth forming an alliance government and agreeing to share his Prime Ministership with his deputy, Paul Berenger. The Southern African trade protocol came into effect and accelerated intra-regional trade. The Central Depository and Settlement Company planned to reduce settlement time from T+5 to T+3 early next year.


Mauritius Telecom announced that France Telecom would take a 40% stake in the state-owned company for US$261 million.


The World Economic Forum's latest Africa Competitiveness Report ranked Mauritius the second-most competitive country in Africa.


In the budget, the government forsake short-term budget-deficit concerns for long-term economic structuring. The rupee depreciated 4% for the quarter as exporters clamored for further devaluation.


In the third quarter, Finance Minister Berenger said that the country's Banking Act would be amended to allow commercial institutions to invest up to 10% of their capital in shares, ending a ban on banks buying stocks.


Cassam Uteem resigns as president, refusing to sign controversial anti-terrorism bill. Vice president also refuses to sign and resigns. Head of legislature becomes acting president and passes legislation into law.


Karl Hoffman elected president by National Assembly.


"Cyber Cities" plan launched to create concentrations of hi-tech facilities and boost economy.


The country's interim President and Supreme Court Chief Justice Arianga Pillay has signed into law the controversial anti-terror legislation that led to the resignation of two presidents in the space of three days in the past week


The Indian Ocean island state of Mauritius has granted self-rule status to Rodrigues Island, which lies 350km north-east of Mauritius proper, effective from 12 October.


Housing and Lands Minister Mookhesswur Choonee resigned from his post, just hours after he was arrested and charged in connection with a fraud case.


Effective today, all offshore entities will be taxed at 15%. b7


The Mauritian Parliament has ratified the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in a new Anti Money-Laundering (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill passed


Mauritius' central bank has cut its Lombard rate from 10.25% to 10%.


Mauritius' historic power transfer continued smoothly as President Karl Auguste Hoffman stepped down to make way for Sir Anerood Jugnauth, the island's Prime Minister until three days ago.


the country's central bank cut its key Lombard rate by another 25 basis points to 9.75%


Mauritius' former Minister of Housing and Lands, Mukeshwar Choonee, has been reinstated to the Cabinet after corruption charges against him were dropped by the island's public prosecutor.


Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has spoken out against British Prime Minister Tony Blair, after the latter refused to meet his Mauritian counterpart Paul Bérenger on a visit to London. Bérenger was in London to discuss the status of the disputed Chagos islands, which were forcibly depopulated and excised from Mauritius prior to independence.


Regulations on Foreign Investors


Restrictions: Non-citizens can subscribe to new issues and invest in unit trusts.

Taxation: None; foreign investors have the same tax treatment as residents for dividends and capital gains.a6


Restrictions: Virtually no restriction on foreign investment except that SEC written consent is need for 15% or more of the voting capital of a Mauritian sugar company to be held by foreign investors.

Taxation: Exempt income: (a) Interest payable on bonds approved for issue by the SEC and for admission on the official list. (b) Dividends paid by a company listed on the Stock Exchange or by a subsidiary of that company. (C) Gains or profits derived from the sale of units or of securities quoted on the official list.a7


Restrictions: A foreign investor in export-oriented manufacturing
is permitted 100% equity, although the government encourages local
participation. Foreign participation may be limited to 50% in investments
serving the domestic market, and is generally not encouraged in areas where
Mauritius has already mastered the technology.

Taxation: Corporate tax rate is changed from 35% to 25%. b1


No change.


Taxation: VAT rate increased to 15% effective July 1. b1


Taxation: Effective July 1, all offshore entities will be taxed at 15%. b1