Mauritius central bank seeks to buy gold from Australia

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) – Mauritius central bank plans to buy gold from Australia to keep the Indian Ocean economy’s currency from extreme fluctuation, its finance minister said on Monday.

In 2009, Mauritius bought two tonnes of gold from the International Monetary Fund, valued at an equivalent of $72 million at the time.

Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo said the central bank will buy an undisclosed amount of gold from Australia’s Perth Mint. He has said the depreciation of the euro against the rupee was hurting exports industries and tourism operators.

Gold remains an essential insurance policy in the present economic context where currencies are extremely volatile, Lutchmeenaraidoo told reporters on the sidelines of an IMF forum in Balaclava, to the north of the island.

It was not immediately clear how much Mauritius gold holdings will reach out of its total foreign exchange reserves after the purchase.

Lutchmeenaraidoo said there was also a plan to introduce a Mauritius Gold Fund on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, which he said would be exempt from tax for its citizens who invest in it.

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