There are a number of stock exchanges in Africa, most of whom are very small by world standards. The JSE Securities Exchange South Africa (JSE) in South Africa is the largest and most developed bourse on the continent.
Regionalisation is considered by many to be inevitable for African economic growth and development in stock markets as they struggle to consolidate in order to overcome poor liquidity and to attract more foreign investment.
During 1998, authorities in the Central African part of the franc zone consulted the Mauritian stock exchange on the potential for a regional stock market. At the same time, plans for a bourse in Gabon were reported to be proceeding under the aegis of the Finance Ministry. The Central African exchange would serve Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, which share a common currency, the CFA franc, and a common central bank.
A unified stock market for the east African region of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda is planned and may be in place by the year 2000. The exchange could have trading floors in all three capitals in the region, with trading being functional between the three centres (while Nairobi already boasts a well established bourse, the other two countries in the region have only recently set up exchanges). A regional exchange would help companies tap into a wider capital base, encourage more to list on the exchange and improve liquidity for investors. The three exchanges have already agreed on the principles of cross border listing and are now focusing on developing regional products.
Emerging Market Funds
Worldwide, there are over 1300 equity funds which are invested in emerging markets.
Africa’s relative attractiveness as an emerging market has led to an improvement in foreign investment, with a concomitant increase in the number of bourses now operating on the continent. The number of Africa-specific funds has also increased.
Notable Africa orientated funds are:
· Calvert New Africa Fund, managed by New Africa Advisors (pan African)
· Foreign and Colonial Emerging Middle East Fund
· Framlington West Africa Growth Fund, formed in 1995 and managed by Framlington Asset Management W.A. (West Africa)
· Framlington Maghreb Fund, managed by Framlington Investment Management (North Africa)
· Genbel Investments
· GT All-Africa Fund, managed by GT Management Plc (pan African)
· HSBC’s Equator Bank’s Africa Growth Fund (AGF), the first African fund, set up in December 1990
· Mauritius Fund
· Mercy Asset Management Fund
· Modern Africa Growth and Investment, founded in 1997 to provide joint venture opportunities to SA, US and French companies seeking to expand into the continent
· Morgan Stanley African Investment Fund, probably the biggest dedicated fund, a closed-end equity and debt fund formed in early 1994 and managed by Morgan Stanley Asset Management (pan African)
· New South Africa Fund, managed by Fleming Investment Trust Management (Southern Africa)
· Regent Undervalued Assets Africa Fund, managed by Regent Fund Management (pan African)
· Save & Prosper Southern Africa Fund, managed by Save & Prosper (Southern Africa)
· Simba Fund , managed by Baring International Investment (pan African)
· South Africa Trust, managed by Old Mutual
· Southern Africa Fund, managed by Alliance Capital (Southern Africa)
· Southern Africa Investors Ltd (SAIL), managed by Mercury Asset Management (sub-Saharan Africa)
· The African Emerging Markets Fund, listed in Ireland, and managed in the USA by Emerging Markets Investors Corporation (pan African)
· The Near East Opportunities Fund (Martin Currie)
In addition, a variety of US and European resource funds holds substantial gold and other mining share investments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.