By John Ikani
The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2021 (AAFMI) has ranked Nigeria as the third most attractive country in Africa for foreign investment.
The AAFMI in its financial markets index 2021 report, stated that Nigeria scored 63 points to occupy the third position, while the first and second position went to South Africa and Mauritius, which scored 86 and 70 points respectively.
According to the report, the AAFMI surveyed 23 countries in Africa and used six pillars to rank their openness and attractiveness to foreign investment.
The six pillars were market depth; access to foreign exchange; market transparency, tax and regulatory environment; capacity of local investors; macroeconomic opportunity; and enforceability of financial contracts.
Nigeria’s performance across the six pillars were: market depth, 62; access to foreign exchange, 20; market transparency, tax and regulatory environment, 86; capacity of local investors, 44; macroeconomic opportunities, 69 and enforceability of standard master agreement, 100.
The report stated that nine countries in the index, including Nigeria, have introduced products that could be classified as green or sustainable and emphasised that, “green bonds are the most popular instrument, being at investors’ disposal in seven countries.”
The report further stated that Nigeria was also among countries that are using technology in their stock exchanges to boost retail participation.
It went on to note that Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched FinPort, a fintech and innovation portal to assist fintech businesses to understand the regulatory requirements for the Nigerian capital market.
It added that the SEC would be rolling out a regulatory incubator for fintech seeking to conduct capital market activities.
However, the AAFMI stated that Nigeria has continued to perform poorly in access to FX and has imposed administrative controls that expanded the number of goods subject to import restrictions, enforcing existing export repatriation rules and restricting FX supply to certain windows.
The 2021 index was produced by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) and sponsored by Absa Group Limited.