Sugar Company Goes Financial?

Mauritius Sugar Firm Ups Stake in Swan Insurance

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) – Mauritius’ leading sugar producer, Harel Freres Ltd. (HFL) said on Thursday it had bought additional shares in Swan Insurance Company, making it the firm’s biggest shareholder.

Mauritian sugar firms have sought to widen their revenue sources after the European Union ended its guaranteed price for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar.

The final price cut took effect in October 2009.

HFS Chief Executive Cyril Mayer said his company had increased its stake to 43.8 percent from 26.8 percent in the leading insurance company.

Shares in HFS climbed 2.7 percent to close at 38.50 rupees on Thursday following the announcement.

“The market reacted positively as the sugar company had diversified into financial services,” Kishen Nadassen, Senior Research Analyst at Cim Stockbrokers said.

HFS has also expanded into energy production, alcohol production and property development.

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