Why is Mauritius the fastest-growing wealth market in Africa?
Mauritius is mostly known for its beautiful beaches and turquoise sea. To investors however, it is recognised as an International Financial Centre that offers many advantages, both personally and professionally. This was further restated with the publication of the 2019 Africa Wealth Report.
The 2019 Africa Wealth Report provides a full review of the wealth sector in Africa. It includes HNWI, luxury and wealth management trends in 17 countries and 20 cities across the continent. While the report found that the total wealth held in Africa was up by 14% over the past 10 years (i.e. 2008 to 2018), it also highlights that the continent’s performance was hindered by poor performance in the three largest markets: South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria.
During this period, Mauritius was the top-performing individual market with a growth of 124%, and is the 2nd fastest-growing wealth market worldwide (after China). This growth was boosted by a large number of HNWIs who have moved to the island over the past decade, and who came mainly from Europe and Southern Africa. Today, Mauritius is home to around 4,400 HNWIs, compared to 1,800 ten years ago.
Several reasons explain the position of Mauritius among the fastest-growing wealth market globally that continues to attract HNWIs. They include:
- Safety and living environment
- A thriving and growing financial services sector
- Rising residential and commercial property prices
- Taxation: tax rate harmonised at 15% (corporate and personal income tax), with no inheritance nor capital gains tax
- Low inflation and unemployment rate
- Bilingual population (English and French)
- A political stability, prompting foreigners to invest
- Secure ownership rights
- Well-developed banking system and stock exchange
- Ease of doing business: Mauritius ranks 1st in Africa and 13th globally in the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report
- Strong FDI inflows : from countries including France, China, South Africa and the UAE (according to Bank of Mauritius)