Diminishing returns

It’s been a tough year so far for emerging markets with many African bourses at the forefront of the fallout. Of the 11 main Africa indices, ex South Africa, only two were showing positive returns to the end of October – Botswana’s Gaborone Index (11.22%) and Tunisia’s TUNINDEX (0.46%).

Recently published projections by the World Bank* saw annual GDP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa declining to 3.7% in 2015 from 4.6% in 2014 and well below the annual 6.5% recorded in 2003-2008. Falling commodity prices, the slowing Chinese economy, challenging global conditions and weakening exchange rates against major currencies have all impacted negatively on investor returns on the continent.

Leading the losers for the month, Kenya’s NSE 20 suffered further downward pressure in October, plunging -7.3% to take its year-to-date performance to -24.33% into the red.

Zimbabwe’s ZSE Industrial Index weakened by -0.83% and was down -19.63% on the year.

Egypt’s EGX 30 had a positive month, rising 2.39%, but by the end of October its year-to-date performance stood at -15.89%.

Nigeria’s All Share Index retreated -6.49%, reversing its 5.16% gain in September. At month’s end, its year-to-date loss was -15.77%, or a deficit of -22.65% in US dollar terms.

Ghana’s GSE Composite Index gained 0.18% and was -10.96% in the red YTD, or -24.17% in US dollars.

The SEMDEX in Mauritius shed -1.52%, with year-to-date losses of -9.27%.

Namibia’s Overall Index gained 4.72% after five straight months of negative performance, including a -7.4% rout in September. By month’s end the index was -8.38% in negative territory on the year.

Zambia’s Lusaka All Share ended the month -0.48% down, with a year-to-date decline of -6.3%. In US dollar terms, the loss stood at -52.48%.

Morocco’s CFG 25 dipped -0.26%, taking its year-to-date deficit to -4.1%.

Tunisia’s TUNINDEX declined -3.06%, its third straight losing month, but the index remained slightly in profit for the year, at 0.46%.

Botswana’s Gaborone Index slipped -0.53% in October but was easily the best performer so far in 2015 with a year-to-date profit of 11.22%. Copyright. HedgeNews Africa – November 2015.

*World Bank report Africa’s Pulse – October 2015 – http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2015/10/25116683/africas-pulse-october-2015