On a monthly basis, Frontier Market News will look at the best and worst performing Frontier Markets. Here’s the list for August 2019.
For comparative purposes, the MSCI Frontier Market Index’s return in August 2019 was -1.71%.
Best Performing Frontier Markets
1st – Oman (6.77%)
The best performing Frontier Market in August was Oman as the MSM30 Index jumped by just under 6.8% over the course of the month, which also ranked it as the best performing market in the GCC region.
Bank Dhofar SAOG (15.0%) was the best performing company on the index, followed by Raysut Cement (12.2%) and HSBC Oman (9.3%), with the latter leading the pack in terms of profit growth in the banking sector.
2nd – North Macedonia (3.93%)
North Macedonia’s blue-chip MBI 10 Index rose by just shy of 4% in August, with only one company (Komercijalna Banka Ad Skopje) ending the month with a fall in its share price.
Banking sector stocks topped the index. TTK Banka Ad Skopje led the pack after posting a 10.9% gain, followed by Stopanska Banka Ad Skopje (which grew by 6.9%, despite a fall in net profits) and NLB Banka Ad Skopje (6.3%).
3rd – Romania (2.70%)
Romania completes the list of top performers after its Bucharest BET Index recorded a 2.7% increase over the course of the month. The stock market is also the second best performing Frontier Market since the beginning of the year (after Jamaica) and outperformed most global indices in the first half of the year.
The 16 companies on the blue-chip index recorded a 22.7% increase in their average profit margins in the first half of 2019. The top performers were Societatea Nationala Nuclear (11.6%), Sphera Franchise Group (5.1%) and SC Fondul Proprietatea (4.6%)
Special Mentions: Serbia (2.17%); Morocco (1.77%); Slovakia (1.33%); Jamaica (1.11%)
Worst Performing Frontier Markets
1st – Namibia (-9.28%)
Namibia’s stock market has earned the title of “Worst Performing Frontier Market” for the second month in a row after it declined by almost 10% in August.
The Namibia Overall Index reached an all-time low in August as it continued its downward trend for the year. Shoprite Holdings was the worst performing company and saw its share price fall by 28.6%, mainly due to unions in South Africa and Namibia calling for people to boycott the supermarket. Truworths International (-17.9%), PSG Konsult (-15.0%) and Barloworld (-10.3%) completed the list of poor performers on the bource, all expereicing share price falls of over 10%.
2nd – Kenya (-6.68%)
Kenya, the second worst performing Frontier Market of the month and also the second worst performer since the start of the year, experienced a 6.7% decline in the Nairobi SE 20 Share Index and even reached a 10-year low.
Kenya Airways lost almost 30% of its value in August amid persistent losses and mounting debt on its balance sheet. National Media Group’s share price fell by 15.2% after it reported a 24% fall in pre-tax profits for the first half of 2019. The other poor performers were Centum Investment Company (-10.8%), Britam Holdings (10.7%) and Kenya Electricity (-8.0%).
3rd – Mongolia (-4.47%)
Completing the list of worst performing Frontier Markets is Mongolia as its flagship MSE Top 20 Index declined by just under 4.5%. As of the end of August, it was the 5th worst performing Frontier Market since the beginning of 2019.
Mining companies in Mongolia, such as Kukh Gan (-12.5%) and Shayrn Gol (-9.7%) suffered over the month, while beverage-maker APU JSC also ended the August in the red with a 9% fall in its share price.
Special Mentions: Kazakhstan (-4.21%); Iceland (-4.11%); Lebanon (-3.49%); Jordan (-3.03%)
Frontier Markets Year-To-Date (for end of August 2019):