Mauritius foreign direct investment jumps 48.7 pct in 2014

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) – Foreign direct investment in Mauritius grew 48.7 percent in 2014 to 14.15 billion rupees ($388.20 million), thanks to investment in real estate, hotels and restaurants, official data showed on Friday.

 Foreign investment in real estate led with a total of 6.17 billion rupees, the central bank said. Hotels and restaurants accounted for 4.89 billion rupees.

France was the biggest source of investment with 3.48 billion rupees.

Famed for its white sand beaches and luxury spas, the Indian Ocean island nation is diversifying its economy away from sugar, textiles and tourism into offshore banking, business outsourcing, luxury real estate and medical tourism.

In a separate statement, the Bank of Mauritius said the current account deficit widened to 10.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2014 from 9.9 percent a year earlier, owing to a deficit in the income account.

“For the year 2014, preliminary estimates of the current account balance point to a higher deficit of 39. 62 billion rupees, compared to 36.23 billion in 2013,” the central bank said in the statement.

($1 = 36.4500 Mauritius rupees)

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