African Equity Markets in 2015: BRVM Bourse 2015 Champion, Botswana runner-up, Zimbabwe worst market

Lagos, Nigeria Capital Markets in Africa — African stock market performance measured by country equity benchmark index returns produced a negative returns in 2015, with four positive growths and fourteen negative returns on a local currency basis.  The performance was more disheartening on a US-dollar adjusted performance basis, with just one equity market produced a positive return. These unimpressed performances (compared to 2014) across African equities can be attributed to interlocked negative feedback loops between declining commodity prices, depreciating local currencies, and rather disappointing macroeconomic data in various African countries.

On local basis return, 2015 average return across eighteen African stock indices was -6.7 percent (relative to 9.7 percent, 27.7 percent and 15.7 percent recorded in 2014, 2013 and 2012 respectively). The 2015 returns range from -29.4 percent recorded by the Zimbabwe equity market (measured by ZSE Industrial Index) to +17.8 percent registered by Cote d’Ivoire equity market (measured by BRVM Composite All Share).

In the positive territory, Botswana equity markets surged by 11.6 percent to end at 10,602.32 points and Swaziland equity market (measured by SSE All Share) advanced by 9.8 percent to close the year at 327.25 points. Also, South African Johannesburg All-Share ended 2015 at 50,693.76 points after gaining 1.9 percent (compared to 7.6 percent gain in 2014).

However, on the red district, Egypt equity markets benchmark index (EGX 30 index) depreciated 21.52 percent in 2015 relative to a gain of 31.2 percent in 2014. In the same mood, the market capitalization lost about EGP 70.2 billion in 2015 compared to a gain of EGP 73.2 billion in 2014 (the market capitalization settled at EGP 500.0 billion and EGP 426.8 billion at the end of 2014 and 2013 respectively).  Still, on the key loser, the Nigerian equity market benchmark index (All share index) declined by 17.4 percent in 2015 (compare to -16.2 percent in 2014 and +47.2 percent in 2013). Likewise, the Nigerian equity market capitalization closed 2015 at NGN 9.9 trillion after dropping NGN 1.7 trillion from market capitalization of NGN 11.6 trillion at the end of 2014. 

Comparatively, markets in United States, the S&P 500 Index ended 2015 with -0.73 percent and in the United Kingdom, FTSE 100 Index returned -4.93 per cent while in the France (CAC 40 index) and German gauge index advanced by 8.53 percent and 9.56 percent. Looking into Asia, Nikkei 225 that tracks the performance on Japan market posted a gain of 9.07 per cent, while Hang Seng, the gauge for the China market was 7.16 per cent down.


To get better view of how African equity markets evolved in 2015, the heat map below shows the end of the month returns. The indicator’s performance is shaded as: red cells show the 25th percentile returns attained, yellow the 50th percentile and green denoted the 90th percentile returns attained across the 12 months and 18 African equity markets considered. Looking at the heat map, the months of January, February and April were better months whereas August and November were worse months for investors during the year.

Heat Map AfricanEquityMonthlyPerformancesin2015

From foreign investor viewpoint, African equity shed off an average of -22.1 percent in 2015 against -0.31 percent and 18.1 percent in 2014 and 2013 respectively. Only, Cote d’Ivoire equity market (measured by BRVM Composite All Share) ended on a positive note, even though the currency depreciated by about 12.57 percent against the US dollar in 2015, the market manage to gain 4.7 percent in 2015. On the other hand, Zambia equity markets occupied the worst performing stock markets after dropping 45.9 percent in 2015, Zambian kwacha depreciated by 72.25 percent against the US dollar in 2015. It is followed by Namibia with -41.6 percent (Namibian dollar down by 34.01 percent), Malawi and Egypt recorded deceleration of 31.9 percent and 28.26 percent respectively (with Malawi kwacha and Egyptian pound declined by 43.61 percent and 9.40 percent against US dollar respectively). Ghana posted -25.5 percent loss while Nigeria posted 24.3 percent (curtailed by central bank currency control policy).

The African equity benchmark indices, FTSE ASEA Pan Africa Index lost 21.5 percent  and the S&P All Africa Index fell by 22.1 percent in 2015.


  • The S&P All Africa index is a comprehensive benchmark for the African market, covering companies listed in 13 countries: Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe plus companies listed in developed markets that derive the majority of their revenue from the African continent.
  • The FTSE ASEA Pan Africa Index Series represents the performance of eligible securities listed on ASEA (African Securities Exchanges Association) member exchanges. It is a free float market capitalisation weighted index series constructed from securities domiciled in the almost eighteen countries.
  • BRVM Bourse is the regional stock exchange for eight West Africa countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.




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