Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Friday, October 13 2017 - 08:00
OMFIF: Barclays Africa Group Launches New Index to Track Continent's Financial Markets
LONDON, Oct. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Expanding and deepening financial markets across Africa is a central condition 
for the next stage of the continent's development. That is a key conclusion of 
the Africa Financial Markets Index [ ] 
launched today by think tank OMFIF and sponsored by Barclays Africa Group 
Limited (BAGL).

(Logo: )

Africa's large and dynamic markets present above-average opportunities for 
growth, yet investment prospects - for both international and local investors - 
are hampered by underdeveloped financial markets and unclear legal and 
regulatory frameworks.

The Index ranks the maturity, openness and accessibility of 17 financial 
markets in Africa, based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria. 
Development of local investor capacity and ability to attract foreign capital 
are key points of focus. "Through expert analysis of the African financial 
markets, the Africa Financial Markets Index draws global attention to the 
considerable investment opportunities and uncovers the untapped market 
potential," says Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

The Index focuses on six fundamental pillars for financial market performance:

- Market depth 
- Access to foreign exchange
- Market transparency and regulation
- Capacity of local investors
- Macroeconomic opportunity
- Enforceability of international financial agreements 

The markets surveyed are; Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, 
Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South 
Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. 

 The Index intends to track progress annually, supplying a toolkit for 
countries wishing to build financial infrastructure.

African countries are implementing a growing number of national policy 
frameworks for market development. One of the greatest constraints on 
growth-enhancing investment is the low capacity of local investors, partly 
linked to limitations on the range of assets for local investors.

Given its size and historical position, South Africa tops the 2017 list, 
despite poor recent macroeconomic performance, based on the strength of its 
financial markets as well as its relative openness and transparency for 
transactions. Others are closing the gap. Mauritius and Botswana have strengths 
in tax and regulation and access to foreign exchange. Kenya and Ghana provide 
signs of progress. Ivory Coast, with a low overall score, is home to a growing 
regional bourse, pointing to future improvement. Ethiopia shows the highest GDP 
growth prospects of the 17 countries - even though it comes bottom of the list 
in terms of financial market prowess.

"The Index provides countries with valuable insights and tools to improve the 
state of their financial markets," says Maria Ramos, Chief Executive, BAGL. "By 
broadening and deepening their understanding of the requirements of local and 
international investors, Africa's leaders can develop robust markets - a prime 
condition for sustainable, inclusive growth."

""Liquidity, regulation, foreign exchange restrictions and policy choices are 
among the chief concerns for investors considering their African engagement," 
says David Marsh, Managing Director, OMFIF. "Our survey highlights the areas 
where specific countries need to make genuine advances to forge strong 
positions in the competition for sustainable investment."

In addition to statistical analysis, OMFIF gained additional insights by 
surveying 60 top executives from financial institutions operating across the 17 
countries, including banks, investors, securities exchanges, regulators, audit 
and accounting firms, and international financial and development institutions.

The Index can be viewed here:

Media enquiries:
Sarah Butler
Communications and Marketing

Lerato Matsaneng
Media and Corporate Relations
Barclays Africa Group

For further information about Barclays Africa, please visit