In its quarterly review for February 2020, Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) announced that there will only be change in its Frontier Markets Index: the inclusion of Nigeria’s BUA Cement.
BUA Cement, the third largest cement company in West Africa via a merger between Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and Obu Cement Company, will be added to the MSCI Frontier Markets Index as of the close of Friday 28th February 2020. It will join a handful of other Nigeria equities in the Index, including MTN Nigeria Communications which was added in August 2019’s review.
The inclusion in the Frontier Markets Index will be seen as positive news for Nigerian investors, especially after it was ranked as one of the worst performing Frontier Markets in 2019 after its flagship All-Share Index declined by 14.6%. As of the end of Janaury 2020, Nigeria was the 5th largest constituent in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index with a weighting of 5.69% and is behind Kuwait (37.76%), Vietnam (15.24%), Morocco (9.37%) and Bahrain (6.02%). BUA Cement’s inclusion may move Nigeria above Bahrain in terms of weighting in the Index.
Unlike the November 2019 review where there were wholesale changes to the MSCI Frontier Markets Index and also the MSCI Frontier Markets Small-Cap Index, no securities were removed from the main index, nor were there any changes to the small-cap index.