An is­land in­vest­ment

Tony Matkovich, sales con­sul­tant at La Balise Ma­rina, speaks to Home­Front about this Mau­ri­tian de­vel­op­ment

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

Q AWhy is Mau­ri­tius cur­rently such a hot in­vest­ment node? The Mau­ri­tian gov­ern­ment has in­vested time, re­sources and money into chang­ing and in­no­vat­ing the way in which it at­tracts and con­ducts busi­ness, both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. This has made this In­dian Ocean Is­land syn­ony­mous with a favourable eco­nomic and busi­ness cli­mate, ed­u­cated and friendly peo­ple as well as a beau­ti­fully pre­served en­vi­ron­ment, de­light­ful beaches and nat­u­ral cli­mate.

Mau­ri­tius pro­vides a gateway to the Mid­dle East, In­dia, Asia, Aus­tralia and Africa for many busi­nesses and en­trepreneurs look­ing to en­ter the emerg­ing mar­kets of these re­gions. It has a strong, di­ver­si­fied econ­omy that of­fers fis­cal ben­e­fits, such as a flat 15% cor­po­rate and per­sonal tax rate, the ab­sence of in­her­i­tance and cap­i­tal gains tax, no for­eign ex­change con­trols, trade bar­ri­ers or quo­tas and no re­stric­tions on cap­i­tal repa­tri­a­tion. It has a strong fi­nan­cial and off-shore sec­tor, a sta­ble po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment, a mod­ern and re­li­able IT and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture and a com­pre­hen­sive legal frame­work. What is the ben­e­fit for South Africans who in­vest in Mau­ri­tian prop­erty? Mau­ri­tius has proved that through in­no­va­tive gov­er­nance and associated poli­cies growth and sus­tain­abil­ity is achieved. Not only do the res­i­dents of Mau­ri­tius ben­e­fit, but for­eign in­vestors now have the chance to en­joy the ad­van­tages of the is­land’s busi­ness and life­style of­fer­ings through per­ma­nent res­i­dency af­forded them through the in­te­grated re­sorts scheme (IRS) for any for­eign buy­ers of lux­ury free­hold ti­tle res­i­den­tial prop­erty over $500 000. No-one who has in­vested in Mau­ri­tian IRS prop­erty has resold their villa for less than the ac­quired value. Ad­di­tion­ally, as Mau­ri­tius forms part of SADC, South Africans want­ing to pur­chase prop­erty in Mau­ri­tius are not sub­ject to the R2m for­eign in­vest­ment al­lowance. This af­fords the op­por­tu­nity to own a sec­ond home in an in­ter­na­tion­ally emerg­ing, for­eign cur­rency based prop­erty mar­ket, of­fer­ing a rand hedge to in­vestors with­out any in­vest­ment cap or associated lim­i­ta­tion of the R2-mil­lion per­sonal off­shore al­lowances. What does the La Balise Ma­rina de­vel­op­ment of­fer prop­erty in­vestors? La Balise Ma­rina is a low den­sity, one of its kind, fully ser­viced Ma­rina IRS de­vel­op­ment sit­u­ated in Black River on the West Coast of Mau­ri­tius. La Balise is the first IRS de­vel­op­ment of­fer­ing for­eign buy­ers water­front free­hold prop­erty.

The de­vel­op­ment of­fers a pre­mium life­style with about 113 res­i­den­tial units rang­ing from canal du­plexes of 135m2 to vil­las of more than 350m², each fin­ished to high stan­dards. The ma­rina has di­rect ac­cess to the sea with a moor­ing at­tached to each unit. The two-and three­bed­room du­plexes range in size from 135m2 to 170m2 of cov­ered area, while the vil­las are built on stands with an av­er­age size of 1 200m2 to 1 500m². Home size ranges from 301m2 for a three­bed­room, three-bath­room villa to 359,9m2 for a five-bed­room, five-bath­room villa. Most units also have a swim­ming pool. Who are the de­vel­op­ers and what track record do they have? La Balise Ma­rina is be­ing de­vel­oped by ENL Prop­erty and In­vestec Bank (Mau­ri­tius). The main share­hold­ers of ENL Prop­erty are the Espi­tal­ier Noël fam­ily, who started the Mon Désert sugar fac­tory in the late 1820s and over the years have de­vel­oped a sub­stan­tial and suc­cess­ful sugar busi­ness on the is­land.

Along with the agri­cul­tural as­pect of the busi­ness, ENL moved into other in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing com­merce and ser­vices, man­u­fac­tur­ing, as well as fi­nance and in­vest­ment in the late 1950s.

When the com­pany ENL Com­mer­cial was set up in 1969 it al­lowed ENL to build up a diver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy. ENL Lim­ited, through its sub­sidiary ENL In­vest­ment, owns a con­trol­ling stake in Rogers & Co, one of the largest com­pa­nies on the is­land, a 49% stake in the Food & Al­lied Group, the largest agro-in­dus­trial group, and a sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in New Mau­ri­tius Ho­tels, the owner and op­er­a­tor of The Beach­comber ho­tel chain. The other de­vel­op­ment part­ner in this ven­ture, In­vestec Bank (Mau­ri­tius), is an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned bank with ma­jor op­er­a­tions in SA, the UK and Mau­ri­tius. The pro­mot­ers have also ap­pointed rep­utable pro­fes­sion­als and sup­pli­ers in or­der to en­sure that the end prod­uct that is de­liv­ered to res­i­dence own­ers is of the high­est qual­ity. Where is the de­vel­op­ment at in terms of con­struc­tion? The 37 acres of land that the La Balise Ma­rina will be de­vel­oped on is al­ready owned by the pro­mot­ers, negat­ing the need to fund its pur­chase through res­i­den­tial sales, thereby sub­stan­tially re­duc­ing pro­ject risk. A sub­stan­tial cap­i­tal in­vest­ment has been made by the pro­mot­ers to un­der­take the site prepa­ra­tion and de­vel­op­ment, which is al­ready un­der way. The de­vel­op­ment is be­ing un­der­taken in two phases, and we are cur­rently pro­mot­ing Phase 1 of the de­vel­op­ment. How well has this de­vel­op­ment been re­ceived by in­vestors? The launch to South African in­vestors proved to be very suc­cess­ful, as La Balise has re­ported strong sales of res­i­den­tial units. This is fur­ther sup­ported by macroe­co­nomic fac­tors such as a stronger rand and the con­tin­ued aver­sion South African in­vestors have to lo­cal prop­erty. The Mau­ri­tian prop­erty mar­ket has de­fied the global trend of de­flated prop­erty val­ues due to the coun­try’s con­tin­ued eco­nomic growth and in­no­va­tive gov­ern­ment poli­cies that sup­port this prop­erty mar­ket trend.

There are also a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional buy­ers who have se­cured a prop­erty in the de­vel­op­ment, but cur­rently the ma­jor­ity of in­vestors are South African, with 52% of sales in process com­ing from this coun­try. What added value does the de­vel­op­ment of­fer in­vestors? An ad­di­tional fac­tor that is at­tract­ing a great deal of in­ter­est in the de­vel­op­ment is the rental pool. The rental pool will of­fer pur­chasers the op­por­tu­nity to ben­e­fit from a reg­u­lar re­turn on their in­vest­ment as it will be drawn from a com­mu­nal man­aged rental pool.

There­fore, when the home is not in use by the owner for hol­i­day pur­poses it be­comes a work­ing as­set that fur­ther jus­ti­fies the in­vest­ment.

The unique bou­tique mari­nastyle re­sort will also of­fer spa fa­cil­i­ties and a re­tail cen­tre for shop­ping re­quire­ments, as well as many re­sort ameni­ties, in­clud­ing a gym, a lap pool, a kids’ club and a ten­nis court. Pric­ing: From Rs21 074m + $70 000 for a two-bed­room, one bath­room unit Up to Rs 97 682m + $70 000 for a five-bed­room, five-bath­room villa Con­tact: Ryan Proksch 011 234 2180 Tony Matkovich (on is­land) +230 483 7272

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