Country: Mauritius
Code: MUR
Symbol: Rs

The official currency of the Republic of Mauritius is the rupee. Mauritius is an island nation near the southeastern coast of Africa, just east of Madagascar. The Mauritian rupee has been the national currency since 1876. It is officially subdivided into 100 cents, but no cent-denominated currency is now in circulation. The rupee is issued by the Bank of Mauritius.

The rupee was established as the national currency in 1876 due to an influx of Indian immigrants who brought with them the Indian rupees on which the Mauritian rupee was modeled. The Mauritian rupee was put into circulation in 1877 at a value on par with the Indian rupee, at which a peg was established. Until 1914, the Mauritian rupee was also used at the currency of Seychelles. In 1934 the peg to the Indian rupee shifted to a peg to the pound sterling. This peg was maintained at a rate of 13.33 rupees: 1 pound until 1979.

The Bank of Mauritius first began operating on a permanent basis in 1894. This was the third Bank of Mauritius in the nation’s history. However, the Bank of Mauritius was purchased by HSBC in 1959. In 1967, a new Bank of Mauritius was established as the nation’s central bank. It was modeled on and set up with help from the Bank of England. The objectives of the bank are to protect the internal and external value of the rupee and to strengthen the economy of Mauritius.

Since gaining independence in 1968, the economy of Mauritius has transformed from an agricultural economy to a highly diversified modern economy classified as middle-income. The Mauritian economy has distinct and equally important industrial, financial and tourism sectors. Annual growth remains above the African average at 6 percent and is spurred on by infrastructural and social improvements. The GDP of Mauritius is the sixth highest in Africa, with the most important exports being textiles and sugarcane. Tourism has become attractive due to the removal of taxes on many types of goods. The sectors experiencing the most growth since the turn of the century include electrical equipment manufacturing and telecommunications. The Mauritian economy is considered so successful that it is used as a model for the benefits of economic development in conjunction with social and human development. The biggest issue that continues to be faced by Mauritius is inflation. Annual inflation rates have averages over 9 percent since 2006.