Mauritius FDI rises by a third in 2012

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 15, 2013 11:20 hrs

By Jean Paul Arouff

PORT LOUIS, March 15 (Reuters) - Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Mauritius grew by 33.9 percent in 2012 to 12.66 billion rupees ($408.06 million), official central bank data showed on Friday.

The fallout of the euro zone's financial troubles had cut flows to the Indian Ocean island, which markets itself as an investment bridge between Africa and Asia, to 9.46 billion in 2011 from 13.9 billion rupees a year earlier.

Famed for its white sand beaches and luxury hotels, Mauritius is shifting an economy traditionally focused on sugar, textiles and tourism towards offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism.

The central bank said most of the investment was directed to the real estate sector, attracting 5.12 billion rupees, followed by financial and insurance activities, which got 4.34 billion rupees.

UK was the biggest source of capital with 3.69 billion rupees followed by South Africa, which put in 2.79 billion rupees.

Bank of Mauritius also said the current account deficit narrowed to 10.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 from 13.3 percent a year earlier, helped by a higher surplus on the services account.

"Provisional estimates of the balance of payments show that the current account deficit in the year 2012 improved to 35.5 billion rupees," the central bank said. ($1 = 31.0250 Mauritius rupees) (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Patrick Graham)

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