Nigeria fuels surge in African equities

Africa mapA positive reaction to Nigeria’s recent election helped the country’s stock market rise nearly 10% in April, contributing to an overall rise in African equities.

The Nigerian broad market index from S&P gained 9.8% in April, meaning the exchange is now up more than 20% so far this year, in dollar terms.

The largely peaceful election, in which incumbent Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari on March 31, gave investors comfort that the Nigerian economy would continue to perform well. A gradual recovery in the oil price may also have played a part.

The gains helped the All Africa index from S&P rise 6.2% during the month. The index provider noted that large companies did better than small ones, stating that “our best performing index in April was the blue-chip S&P South Africa 50”.

Not every African market rose in April. The index of the Egyptian exchange fell, and S&P says there is now a difference in year-to-date returns of more than 30 percentage points between Nigeria and Egypt.

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