Africa’s public markets are in the noise


Before spinning Africa Eats out of Fledge last year, I spent a lot of time digging into the public stock markets of Africa, understanding what it means to be public on an exchange in an emerging market country. I’ve been buying and selling shares on public stock markets since the 1980s but only companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ.

This week I can across this infographic, showing the relative size of the public markets around the world:

Like the private markets I talked about last week, the public markets in Sub-Saharan Africa are so small that they not only don’t get a labeled sliver in the 12% pie slice that is Emerging Markets on that graph (which itself is skewed as China is part of that slice), but Kenya, Nigeria, and Mauritius are all so small that they didn’t even make it onto the long list of Other EM, all smaller than Peru and Pakistan, despite there being 200 million Nigerians and despite Mauritius being the second largest stock exchange in SSA.

Bottom line, if there is one thing well known about Capitalism is that capital doesn’t flow where it is most needed nor where investors can earn the biggest returns.

By "Luni"


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