Will Kenyan Bank Stocks Sizzle or Fizzle in 2014?

Bullish

Bank stocks made Nairobi Stock Exchange investors much richer in 2013.

A stable political environment, regional growth, good profits, and a relatively steady interest rate environment kept the bulls running.

But all of that’s in the rear view mirror. What we really want to know is whether these stocks are worth banking on this year. Will their shares pop or drop? Sizzle or fizzle? Jump or slump? Rise or… Well, you get the idea.

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Nigeria’s 10 Best Stocks of 2013

Nigerian Stock Exchange

It was a remarkable year for the Naija exchange. The All Share Index surged 44.6% in US dollar terms thanks to impressive profit growth and a raft of market reforms.

Let’s take a closer look at the year’s best performers.

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Kenya’s Five Best Stocks of 2013

Photo by Erik Hersman

In a year that saw Kenyans hold their collective breath through a tense presidential election and then be faced with a horrific terror attack, investors worldwide made their bullishness on the nation’s future clear.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange’s All Share Index soared 43.7% in US dollar terms, ranking it among the world’s very best.

While big names like Safaricom and ARM Cement recorded terrific performances in 2013, the year’s most explosive price gains came from insurance firms and investment holdings companies.

Let’s count ‘em down, shall we?

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The BRVM’s 5 Best Stocks of 2013

The BRVM's home base, Abidjan

Investors at the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières reaped the peace dividend in 2013.

Less than two years after the end of its second civil war, stability has returned to Cote d’Ivoire. And Ivorian companies, which dominate the BRVM’s main index, propelled the Abidjan-based market to a 46% return in US dollar terms.

Here’s a countdown of the top performers.

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Mauritius’ 5 Best Stocks of 2013

Sunny skies for the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in 2013

It seems there’s less trouble in paradise.

After a disappointing 2012, which saw its main index drop over 13% in US dollar terms, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius rebounded for a solid 21% gain this past year.

Here’s a countdown of the stocks that made the biggest splash.

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Ghana’s Best 5 Stocks of 2013

The Ghana Stock Exchange's performance reflects vibrant Accra

Ghana investors will probably pinch themselves after reviewing their portfolios’ 2013 performance.

In spite of a breathtaking 19% drop in the value of the local currency, the market still surged almost 45% in US dollar terms, ranking it among the world’s best.

Which companies notched the most impressive performances? Let’s take a look-see.

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The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s 5 Best Performers of 2013

Tobacco growers performed well on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 2013

It was a terrific year at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The market’s main index climbed 31%.

Surprising, isn’t it? With a disputed election result, tougher indigenization laws, and under-capitalized banks, you’d think investors would be sizing up a good mattress to hide their hard-earned savings under – not investing in stocks.

But while the mood in Harare may have been gloomy, foreign investors saw relatively inexpensive assets, priced in dollars, in an economy with relatively cheap foreign exchange controls. And they swamped the market. Foreigners accounted for more than 80% of trade volume during the second half of the year.

Curious to see what they were bidding on?

Here’s a countdown of Zimbabwe’s top stocks of 2013.

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What’s in Store for the Nairobi Stock Exchange in 2014?

Nairobi Stock Exchange

To bull, or not to bull: that is the question!

Samuel Gichohi of NIC Securities tells us why he believes the Nairobi Stock Exchange’s bull run will be sustained into the new year and shares his thoughts on which sectors and stocks offer the most compelling opportunities for Kenya investors.

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Botswana’s 5 Best Stocks of 2013

Home of the Botswana Stock Exchange

The Botswana Stock Exchange had a disappointing year. As of this writing, its Domestic Companies Index had increased just 5.0% in dollar terms (17.9% in local currency).

Botswana has been slow to recover from the big gem price crash of 2011. Diamonds account for roughly 30% of the southern African nation’s GDP.

But while the market as a whole may have been mediocre, several companies posted terrific performances.

Here’s a countdown of Botswana’s best stocks of 2013.

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Africa’s 10 Most Transparent Countries (and Why Stock Investors Should Care)

Photo: Leandro's World Tour

Transparency International released its 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index last week. The index ranks 177 countries according to how corrupt their governments are perceived to be by investors, businesspeople, and international lenders.

Here are the ten African countries that ranked highest and why you as a stock investor should take note.

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