News highlights for the week: Cyber attack at the Mauritius Commercial Bank

Expat news
  • Cohncentric /
Published on 2024-04-04 at 14:17 by Lila Chaleon*
This week has been eventful in Mauritius, with the MCB falling victim to a hacker attack, the release of new tourism statistics, the decision to maintain the BoM's key interest rate, and the passing of Azize Asgarally, a significant figure in Mauritian politics.

Cyber attack at the MCB

The MCB faced a significant cyber threat this week, as hackers targeted some of its corporate clients, the bank disclosed in a press release on Wednesday. The breach was detected through the bank's security protocols, flagging "abnormal instructions" among certain corporate accounts. Following an extensive investigation, MCB confirmed the breach and opted to temporarily halt its online services as a precautionary measure. Emphasizing the importance of vigilance, MCB urged its customers to assess the security of their own IT systems. Although online operations have been restored, this incident underscores the critical role of cybersecurity in the banking sector.

Tourism surge: 109,709 visitors in January

In the latest report by Statistics Mauritius released on Thursday, the island nation welcomed a noteworthy 109,709 tourists in January, all arriving via air travel. While figures for arrivals by sea are pending, this uptick from January 2023's 105,563 visitors signifies a positive trend in the country's air tourism sector. Moreover, January 2024 saw tourism revenues soar to Rs 9.16 billion, surpassing the previous year's Rs 8.44 billion mark. These statistics highlight a promising trajectory for Mauritius' tourism industry, solidifying its standing as a premier destination. Additionally, the report notes that in 2023, the island attracted over 1.29 million tourists, contributing to tourism revenues of approximately Rs 85.99 billion.

Steady key rate at 4.5%

The Bank of Mauritius opted to maintain the Key Rate at its current level. Governor Harvesh Seegolam justified this decision by citing economic analyses both domestically and internationally. Seegolam projected a continued decrease in inflation in Mauritius for the year, while anticipating sustained buoyancy in the tourism sector following last year's record-breaking revenues of Rs 86 billion, which positively impacted the foreign exchange market. He also highlighted the robust performance of the Mauritian economy, lauded by international bodies, with a 7% growth in 2023 largely driven by the construction sector, increased investment, and declining unemployment. With a favorable economic outlook, the Bank of Mauritius forecasts a real GDP growth of 6.5% for 2024.

Passing of Azize Asgarally

Azize Asgarally, a prominent figure in Mauritian politics, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91 at C-Care Wellkin. Asgarally, who served multiple terms as a Member of Parliament, leaves behind a legacy marked by his political commitment and activism in trade unions. As a writer, his literary contributions, including works such as "Home Again," "Hell Hot Bungalow," and "Ratsitatane" in Kreol Morisien, have left an indelible imprint on the island's cultural landscape. His profound and symbolic writings have not only enhanced the nation's international standing but also become subjects of study in academic institutions both in Mauritius and abroad.