A Review of West African Regional Stock Exchange

The MSCI Frontier Markets Index includes from the countries that are less developed than emerging countries. Frontier markets include countries like Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Estonia, etc.

The MSCI classification of countries for the various indices they provide are shown in the chart below:

Click to enlarge

Frontier Markets Countries


2. The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) consists of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Currently the MSCI WAEMU indices include securities classified in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.

Source: MSCI

I recently learned that the French-speaking countries in West African countries have their own common stock exchange called the West African Regional Stock Exchange from an article in The Wall Street Journal. The following are key points from that piece and my research:

  • The exchange is based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
  • The total market capitalization of the West African Regional Stock Exchange in 2015 was $15.B. Since 2010, the market cap has increased by 90%.
  • The Eight French-speaking countries also share a common currency called the CFA Franc.
  • Only 30 companies are listed on the exchange. But the composite rose 17.8% in 2015.
  • The market is very liquid. Only 4% of total listed equity were traded last year.
  • Some of the large companies listed on the exchange include the Senegalese unit of Total SA, Ivorian utility unit of Total SA  and the Ivorian units of Unilever NV and Nestlé SA.

The top 20 companies by market cap as of Dec, 2015 are shown below:

West africa REgional Exchange-Top 20 Firms




Big Number, WSJ, May 17, 2016

BVRM, Wikipedia

Companies listed on the Exchange, BVRM

West African Regional Stock Exchange Site

Related ETF:

  • iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM)

Disclosure: No Positions

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