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Economy

Mauritius says ready to sell Britam stake seized from tycoon

Dawood Rawat who is wanted by the Mauritian government for allegedly perpetrating a Sh67.2 billion Ponzi scheme. PHOTO | FILE
Dawood Rawat who is wanted by the Mauritian government for allegedly perpetrating a Sh67.2 billion Ponzi scheme. PHOTO | FILE 

Mauritius is looking to sell a 23 percent stake in Kenya's British-American Investments Co (Britam), seized from a disgraced tycoon, a senior government official said on Thursday.

The Indian Ocean island nation seized Dawood Rawat's assets in early April after accusing him of running a Ponzi scheme through a Mauritian insurer, sending shares of Britam down by almost a quarter.

In an address to parliament this week, Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo said the government hoped to secure a single buyer for the whole lot.

"In fact, I can tell the House one thing, if there is a buyer for Britam at 4.5 billion rupees ($128 million), we will sell it immediately," he said, according to a transcript of the proceedings seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The Mauritius government said it wants to sell the tycoon's assets to compensate investors who lost cash in the alleged Ponzi scheme.

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In June the government-appointed receiver Mushtaq Oosman of PriceWaterhouseCoopers told Reuters the value of the share price was too low to sell.

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