African bull markets

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Many of Africa's 17 stock markets are booming. From the Wall Street Journal:

The continent's so-called frontier markets, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius and Botswana, are up an average of 26% so far this year in dollar terms, according to Liquid Africa. By comparison, the MSCI Emerging Market Index, which includes just three African countries -- South Africa, Egypt and Morocco -- has risen 9.5% during the same period.

If you haven't heard this story, it's because the numbers are still small. The London Stock Exchange is five times as big as all African stock markets combined. And South Africa's exchange is 2/3 of the African total. Research reported in the FT predicts that these small markets may continue to escape the wild swings affecting other emerging markets for the next five years. This could change if talk of regional exchange integration amounts to anything.

See a new IMF working paper on how "the stock market is a surprisingly important source of finance for funding corporate growth" in Ghana. Thanks to RGE Monitor for the links.

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