Standing out among frontier markets that have been outpacing developed and emerging economies, the Nigeria exchange traded fund could continue to find support from a young and rising middle class.
The Global X Nigeria Index ETF (NYSEArca: NGE), which launched in April 2013, has gained 10.5% over the past three months, compared to the 4.9% drop in the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (NYSEArca: EEM) and 9.4% rise in the S&P 500 over the same period.
Mark Mobius, chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, expects Nigerian stocks will continue to outperform in the frontier markets segment, Bloomberg reports.
“Nigeria is very, very important,” Mobius said in the article. “You’ve got a vibrant and growing middle class, a big consumer population, a young population that will be consuming more and more.”
According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s economy could grow 6.7% in 2014, compared to 5.3% 2014 growth forecast for other developing markets.
In 2013, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index surged 47%, Africa’s best performing country after Ghana, which gained 79%, compared to the 5% dip in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and 21% rise in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index.
Mobius believes that the under-performance in emerging markets last year will give the stocks “breathing room” for developing countries to outperform developed markets in 2014.
The frontier market refers to countries that have lower market capitalization and liquidity than more developed emerging economies.
Additionally, Mobius is highlighting Nigeria as a frontier opportunity dominated by Middle East countries.
“People are beginning to understand the frontier markets are much more varied, it’s not only Kuwait, it’s not only Bahrain,” Mobius said. “It’s many, many more countries and a country like Nigeria should really have a heavier weighting than some of these Middle Eastern countries.”
Mobius is referring to the weighting methodology in the MSCI frontier markets index. The iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (NYSEArca: FM) has a 20.2% weight toward Kuwait, 18% in Qatar, 15.7% in the United Arab Emirates and 13.8% in Nigeria. FM gained 21.7% over the past year.
Global X Nigeria Index ETF
For more information on Nigeria, visit our Nigeria category.
Max Chen contributed to this article. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM.