The European Union’s move to put Mauritius on a money laundering ‘blacklist’ has cast a cloud over its reputation as a domicile for local fund managers looking to invest in projects on the continent.
This development has left local fund managers apprehensive about doing business in the island nation.
This is according to the ‘South African Fund Managers: Trends in Fund Domiciliation and Capital Raising’ report put out by Jersey Finance in partnership with African Business magazine.
The matter arose in early May when the European Commission said it had come up with a new methodology for defining countries that had “strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regimes”.
This saw it put Mauritius on a blacklist, along with The Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama and Zimbabwe.
The Mauritian government responded quickly. In a statement, it pointed out that the EU did not speak to it about its concerns and that this move could have far-reaching implications for the economy.
“Placing Mauritius on the blacklist will cause irreversible damage to our reputation. This will undermine investor confidence, reduce cross-border investment flows and lead to a severe disruption of our banking system. As a result, further harm will be caused to our economy.”