Stock Market Guide to the Stock Exchange of Mauritius
Founded in 1988 and located in picturesque Port Louis, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) is a private limited company and the country’s principal exchange. The Stock Exchange Act of 1988 established the SEM as well as the Stock Exchange Commission (SEC) charged with the responsibility of regulating stock exchange operations. The SEM is a founding member of the African Stock Exchange Association (ASEA) which aims to provide a formal platform encouraging co-operation between stock exchanges in the African region. Member countries include Mozambique, Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Mauritius, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The SEM operates two distinct markets, being the Official List and Over-the-Counter catering for unlisted shares. The Official List of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius features approximately 40 companies, with the Over-the-Counter market dealing with around 80 companies. Sectors on the SEM are categorized as Banks and Insurance, Sugar, Industry, Commerce, Investments, Leisure & Hotels and Transport. The Official Market makes use of three market indices – SEMDEX, SEM-7 and SEMTRI.
Trading at SEM takes place from Monday through to Friday and is conducted by means of an open outcry, single-price auction and order-driven system. A major development at the SEM was the establishment in the latter part of 1997 of a new electronic clearing and settlement system. A further noteworthy development took place in 1998 with the implementation of a Central Depository System which allows delivery versus payment (DVP) on a rotating basis of T+3. Acknowledging the need to keep up with the fast-moving world of technology, future plans for the Stock Exchange of Mauritius include the introduction of a fully electronic trading system, as well as the incorporation of new financial products on the stock market.