19-Oct-2021

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Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has made the underlying structure and resilience of African financial markets a more important matter for domestic and international investors, as the continent copes with the challenges of returning to sustainable growth.

Now in its fourth year, the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, produced by OMFIF, has become a benchmark for the investment community to gauge countries’ performance across a range of indicators important for financial market development, focusing on six fundamental pillars:

  1.  Market depth
  2.  Access to foreign exchange
  3.  Market transparency, tax and regulatory environment
  4.  Capacity of local investors
  5.  Macroeconomic opportunity
  6.  Legality and enforceability of standard financial markets master agreements

Key findings from the 2020 edition reveal:

  • Average overall score dips to 51 out of 100 in 2020 from 53 in 2019, partly due to slower market activity in the first half of 2020 and stricter scoring in some indicators.
  • Countries perform best in ‘market transparency, tax and regulatory environment’, scoring 67 on average.
  • South Africa and Mauritius maintain their lead in the index, scoring 89 and 79, respectively.
  • Namibia tops ‘capacity of local investors’, while Mauritius retains its lead in ‘legality and enforceability of standard financial markets master agreements’.
  • Green finance is gaining momentum, with Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt among countries that have issued sovereign green bonds in the past year.

Accompanying the index is a complimentary digital interactive databank that allows users to visually compare and contrast the overall scores and positions on individual pillars in 2020. Access to the databank will be automatically emailed to all report downloaders.