South Africa retains top position on Absa Financial Markets Index

While retaining top position overall, South Africa did lose ground in two important metrics.

South Africa has retained its overall top position in the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, but lost its leading place in two of the six pillars that the report focuses on when assessing 20 economies across the continent. 

Kenya overtook South Africa in the “access to foreign exchange” pillar, while Nigeria took the top spot in the “market transparency, tax and regulatory environment” pillar. 

The remaining pillars, in which South Africa retained the top position, were: market depth, the capacity of local investors, macro-economic environments and the enforcement of property rights. 

The report stated that South Africa retained its overall top position because of its strong financial market infrastructure. 

The top five rankings as listed in the report are now: 

  1. South Africa 
  2. Botswana (up from third last year) 
  3. Kenya (up from fifth last year) 
  4. Mauritius (down from second place last year) 
  5. Nigeria 

Compiled of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, the index ranks the attractiveness of Africa’s financial markets for use by investors, policy makers and asset managers. The report considered market depth, access to foreign exchange, tax and regulatory environment, the capacity of local investors, macro-economic environments and the enforcement of property rights. 

Maria Ramos, CEO at Absa Group, wrote in a foreword to the report: 

“Emerging market economies are under intense pressure with currencies depreciating, growth slowing and interest rates rising, which had highlighted the importance of strong domestic financial markets in improving countries’ resilience to withstand shocks.”