The Stock Exchange of Mauritius Ltd (SEM) was incorporated in Mauritius on March 30, 1989 under the Stock Exchange Act 1988, as a private limited company responsible for the operation and promotion of an efficient and regulated securities market in Mauritius. Since October 6th, 2008, the SEM has become a public company, and over the years the Exchange has witnessed a significant overhaul of its operational, regulatory and technical framework to reflect the ever-changing standards of the stock market environment worldwide. SEM is today one of the leading Exchanges in Africa and a member of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).
The SEM operates two markets: the Official Market, the Development & Enterprise Market (DEM). The Official Market started its operations in 1989 with five listed companies and a market capitalisation of nearly USD 92 million. Currently, there are 38 companies listed on the Official Market representing a market capitalisation of nearly US$ 5.59 billion as at 31 January 2012. The DEM has been launched on 4 August 2006 and there are presently 49 companies listed on this market with a market capitalisation of nearly US$ 1.92 billion on 31 January 2012.
On 07 September 2015, SEM launched the SEM Sustainability Index (SEMSI), a new Index starting at 100 points and comprising listed companies of both the Official Market and the DEM that demonstrate good sustainability performance based on a set of established criteria inspired from the Global Reporting Initiative G4 guidelines. SEMSI has an integrated approach and takes into consideration all four key pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental, social and corporate governance). The SEMSI criteria of eligibility are based on the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Guidelines and are aligned with international ESG and related sustainability issues, while also taking local imperatives into account. The criteria are intended to be updated and developed over time, with the aim of encouraging constant improvement in sustainability performance. By setting up SEMSI, the SEM took a leading role in creating a more sustainable capital market and became a signatory and Partner Exchange of the United Nation’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative in 2015. SEMSI adds another dimension to SEM’s Internationalisation process, increasing its visibility and showcasing Mauritius’s leadership in the field of sustainability and good governance.
Over the last few years, SEM’s leadership and innovative agenda has been recognised at the highest level in the continent. SEM’s Chief Executive was elected as President of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) (the apex body regrouping 23 member Exchanges in the African region) between 2010 and 2014, and has contributed to raising the visibility of African Exchanges at the international level and improving the market ecosystem in Africa. SEM has also been very active at the global level as a member of the World Federation of Exchanges’ (WFE) (the apex body regrouping around 60 Exchanges from all around the world). SEM’s innovative drive and active involvement at the global level has been recognized by the member Exchanges of the WFE, which elected the SEM’s Chief Executive as a Director of the WFE Board for a 3-year term at the WFE’s recent general assembly in Seoul, South Korea.
SEM in fact won for the third time in five years, the “Most Innovative African Stock Exchange of the year Award” at the Institutional Investment Capital Market Awards 2015 organised by Africa investor (Ai), a leading international research and communication group. The Award was presented to the SEM at Thomson Reuters in New York on 25th September 2015.
Looking forward, SEM is committed to reinforcing its foundations and maintaining its development momentum in line with its multi-pronged internationalisation strategy of steadily moving from a domestic-equity-focused Exchange to a multi-product-internationally-focused Exchange. In the years to come, the split of listings on SEM is expected to overwhelmingly consist of international funds, international issuers, specialised debt instruments, Africa-based ventures, a broader range of ETFs and structured products. The value of products traded and settled in USD, Euro, etc. is expected to increase over time, confirming the internationalised status of the SEM over time. As SEM also aspires to emerge as a capital raising platform for Africa-focused investments routed through the Global Business Sector, the SEM platform will growingly be used to channel investment flows from SA/Europe/Asia into Africa and from USA/Europe into Asia. The number of issuers, players and investors in our market will increase over time, increasing the breadth and depth of our market in Mauritius, and thereby also bringing a meaningful contribution to the integration of the Mauritius financial services sector within the international financial system. SEM also aims at consolidating its position with a view to further contributing more broadly to the development of the Mauritian economy and of capital market activities on the national and regional fronts.
The Market Cap. of the Official Market was 5 Billion Euros in June 2016.