African Stock Market January 2016: Tunisia equity triumph, rewards investors amid of global equity markets panic

LAGOS, Nigeria, Capital Markets in Africa — Global equity markets opened 2016 on a panic mood amid of negative outlook on China’s growth prospects and commodity slumps. As a result, African equity market performance measured by country equity benchmark index returns ended in negative for the month, with four gainers and fourteen losers on the local currency basis. Still on local basis return, the January’s average return of -3.0 percent (relatively to  -0.9 percent in October) was recorded across eighteen African stock indices and January monthly returns range from  -16.5 percent recorded by the Nigerian equity market (measured by All Share Index) to +7.4 percent registered by Tunisian equity markets (measured by All Share Index).  

The Nigeria equities market was on a panic sell-off mode in the first 12 trading consecutive trading session of the month as investors dumped shares on account of the continuous slide in crude oil prices which heightened investors’ apprehension on the macroeconomic fundamentals, operating environment and financial performance of companies. In the January, the market capitalization ended at NGN 8.32 trillion having lost NGN 1.63 trillion relative to end of December’s market capitalization.

Egyptian EGX 30 Index was second worst performer after dropped 14.5%. The main index shed 1,013 points in January  to close at 5,992.72 points, compared with 7,006.01 points at end of December. Out of the 20 trading days, the index fell on 10 trading days, with highest falls of 5.60 percent and 5.26 percent occurred on 14th and 20th January 2016, respectively. Market capitalisation lost around EGP 37.568 billion (US$4.797 billion) to EGP 391.121 billion, from EGP 428.690 billion last month.

Also, Zimbabwe’s equity markets (measured by ZSE Industrial Index) sagged by 10.3 percent to close at 103.94 points, Kenya’s Nairobi Securities Exchange All-Share ended January at 136.81 points after dropping 6.1 percent and Cote d’Ivoire equity market (measured by BRVM Composite All Share) dipped by 4.7 percent to close at 289.77.

Tunisia All Share index led the pack of gainers after adding 7.4 percent to end the month at 5,415.98 points, having recorded gains in 14 days out of the 20 days. Likewise, Mauritius All Share benchmark index accelerated by 1.8 percent to end at 1,843.03 points and Ghanaian Composite Index increased by 0.50 percent, ending positive in 11 out of the 20 trading days.

Looking at one-year performance (1 year in the table below), the returns across eighteen Africa equity indices ranges from -36.7 percent to 12.3 percent recorded by Zimbabwe’s equity markets and Cote d’Ivoire equity market (measured by BRVM Composite All Share) respectively. 

On US dollar basis, African equity shed off an average of -4.8 percent in January and -25.6 percent in one year. Tunisia All Share index end in the positive region by gaining 7.0 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.  See table below for other African equity performance.

The African equity benchmark indices, FTSE ASEA Pan Africa Index lost 7.5 percent in January (-27.4 percent over one year) and the S&P All Africa Index fell by 5.5 percent in January (sagged by 26.4 percent over a year period).


  • 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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