8 March 2018

Africa: Tanzania Financial Markets Among the Best in Africa - Study

TANZANIA financial markets have been rated on 11 slots in Africa overall index after scoring 44 per cent, heading to sustainable and inclusive growth. The index report, the first of its kind to be issued by Barclays Africa Group, showed that the country has beaten Egypt, Morocco and Ivory Coast.

Launching the report yesterday, Barclays Tanzania Managing Director, Abdi Mohamed, said the Africa Financial Market Index (AFMI) advocates for the expansion and deepening of financial markets across the continent.

"The Index provides countries with valuable insights and tools to improve the state of their financial markets," Mr Mohamed told reporters yesterday. The survey of the stock markets of 17 African countries showed that Tanzania scored 44 per cent in the continent ahead of the likes Morocco (42%) Ivory Coast (41%) and Egypt (39%).

South Africa with a score of 92 per cent was ranked first. AFMI measures six pillars namely depth and breadth per instrument or product that can be traded, access to foreign exchange, market transparency, tax and regulations, macroeconomic opportunity, legality and enforceability. The index measured and tracked 40 indicators across the six pillars. Mr Mohamed said:

"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." Tanzania scored second highest ranking in East Africa in Market transparency, tax and regulatory environment pillar, ahead of Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Morocco.

Tanzania outpaced some Western African peers in the market depth pillar, which focussed on areas such as the range of financial products, currencies and hedging options available and capacity of local investors' parameters.

The survey however challenged Tanzania to improve on its accessibility to foreign exchange and its increase in capital controls which have contributed to low scores within in the report.

Barclays Head of Africa Trading, Corporate Investment Banking George Asante said improving the regulatory and policy environment is a prerequisite for attracting foreign capital.

"[This] is an important barometer measuring the progress and potential of Africa's financial markets," Mr Asante said. He added: "African financial markets have traditionally suffered from a lack of depth relative to other regions." The lack of depth has been a key factor holding back the ability of firms and investors within and beyond the continent to exploit expansion opportunities.

The Barclays Africa Group Financial Markets Index was produced by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) in association with Barclays Africa Group in the course of last year.


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