On a monthly basis, Frontier Market News will look at the best and worst performing Frontier Markets. Here’s the list for July 2019.
For comparative purposes, the MSCI Frontier Market Index’s return in July 2019 was +1.94%.
Best Performing Frontier Markets
1st – Jamaica (11.12%)
Jamaica continues its impressive run with a solid 11.1% growth in its stock exchange over July. The Caribbean island nation is the best performing Frontier Market so far this year, as well as ranking highly in May 2019.
Barita Investment Limited, the best performing company on the Jamaican Stock Exchange in July, boasted an impressive 115% increase in its share price after reporting a third-consecutive quarter of record profits, where it saw its net profits rise by a very impressive 670.7% for the nine-month period ended June 30th.
The other top performers were JMMB Group Ltd (36%), Sagicor Real Estate (28%), Seprod Ltd (24%) and NCB Financial Group Ltd (13%).
2nd – Sri Lanka (10.48%)
The Colombo Stock Exchange hasn’t been performing spectacularly in 2019, but investors will be very happy with its performance in July after it increased by just under 10.5%.
A substantial increase in foreign inflows, reported to be the highest seen in seven years, was a primary factor in the market’s performance as the exchange closed to a near-seven month high, subsequently pleasing investors. The best performer was Dunamis Capital Plc which saw an increase of just under 90% in its share price after speculation of a possible acquisition of shares of its subsidiary First Capital Holdings Plc (who then saw a 76% increase in its share price) by an investor at a preliminary stage.
3rd – Bahrain (5.21%)
Bahrain completes the list of top performers in July after it’s BB All-Share Index increased by 5.2% over the course of the month, buoyed mainly by Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) which reported an increase in quarter-end sales compared to the same period in the previous year and saw its share price rise by 14%.
Bahrain was also the third best performing market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), finishing behind the United Arab Emirates (9.8%) and Kuwait (6.8%)
Special Mentions: Romania (4.42%); Vietnam (4.39%); Lithuania (4.32%); Morocco (2.92%)
Worst Performing Frontier Markets
1st – Namibia (-7.91%)
Namibia was ranked as the worst performing Frontier Market in July 2019 as its stock market dropped by almost 8% by the end of the month.
Companies in the financial sector – including TrustCo Group (-16.1%), Investec (-10.7%), Old Mutual (-9.3%) and Standard Bank (-8.7%) – dragged the bourse downwards and were the main contributors to its lag in July. Mining company Anglo American, which is also listed on the Namibian exchange, released mixed results for the six months to the end of June and also highlighted declining production output from Namibia and Canada.
2nd – Nigeria (-7.50%)
Close behind in second place was the 7.5% decline in Nigeria’s All Share Index, continuing a negative trends that sees it sitting among the worst performing Frontier Markets so far in 2019. Investors had also lost N366bn in a three day period in the middle of the month.
Brewery companies in Nigeria did not fare well in July as the likes of International Breweries (-31.7%) and Nigerian Breweries (20.6%) recorded dips in their shares prices, consequently putting pressure on the Consumer Goods Index. Oil companies were also laggards in the bourse, as the likes of Forte Oil (-26.7%), Total Nigeria (23.4%) and Japaul Oil (-12.5%) ended the month in the red.
Nigeria is currently the third worst performing Frontier Market in 2019, so far down by 11.8%, and is only behind Lebanon (-15.2%) and Oman (-13%).
3rd – Bangladesh (-5.22%)
Last but not least, investors in Bangladesh’s stock exchange saw a fall of 5.22% during the month and at one point it reached its lowest level in 30 months.
The fall in the markets’ value prompted stock exchange authorities to monitor sales by brokers and financial institutions in a bid to stabilise the market after concerns over bank liquidity, the current dispute that network operator Grameenphone has with the telecom regulator (causing shares to plunge by almost 6%), and the liquidation and suspension of People’s Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, a non-bank financial institution.
Special Mentions: Lebanon (-4.30%); Ghana (-3.45%); Oman (-3.20%); Mongolia (-1.68%)