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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Stash Cash Before Investing in Shares

Photo: Quiquemendizabal

Reader Tunde writes:

Dear Ryan,

I am a 22-year-old graduate from a polytechnic in Nigeria with a diploma in business administration and management.

I’m from a poor background but have had dreams of a great future since I was a young boy.

Can you help me invest in the stock market? I would welcome any tips you may have.

Thank you,


How to Sell Your Shares If Your Broker Goes AWOL

Photo by Gary Simmons

Reader Tomi writes, “My mum wishes to sell shares of her Nigerian stock, but her broker seems to have disappeared. How can she go about getting her shares sold?”

Unfortunately, Tomi’s mum isn’t the only Nigeria investor to face this problem. In the wake of Nigeria’s financial crisis, the Nigerian Stock Exchange made an attempt to restore investor confidence by suspending 61 brokerage firms that failed to meet minimum capitalization requirements. This resulted in lots of confusion for these brokers’ customers, leaving them with questions much like Tomi’s.

But don’t despair, Tomi. Your mum’s shares most likely haven’t disappeared, and as I’ve learned from the Nigerian brokers quoted below, there are a number of people who can assist you with tracking them down.