Nigeria is now Africa’s largest economy and with that crown has come increased attention on the potential and peril offered by the OPEC member’s economic story.
In a report released earlier this week, Renaissance Capital lauded Nigeria, noting it is one of top frontier markets in the eyes of global investors while highlighting the country’s low debt/GDP ratio and accelerating growth.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has been on the receiving end of some praise in recent weeks. Earlier this week, BlackRock Managing Director & Head of Americas Index Strategy Sara Shores in an interview with ETF Trends, that although Nigeria equities have lagged, the country has strong growth expectations. [Frontier Changes Could Make for a Better ETF]
Nigeria’s economic ascent is relevant to investors in several ETFs, including the wildly popular iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (NYSEArca: FM). With changes looming for the MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index, Nigeria will eventually become FM’s second-largest country weight behind Kuwait. The $830.4 million FM currently devotes 11% of its weight to Nigeria, making it the ETF’s fourth-largest country weight.
Although NGE is down 5.6% year-to-date, the fund has been solid since the start of April, gaining nearly 6%. Plus, Nigerian stocks, at least as measured by NGE, are inexpensive. The ETF’s P/E ratio of 8.98 is below the 9.92 it had for 2013, according to Global X data.
The Market Vectors Africa Index ETF (NYSEArca: AFK) is up nearly 9% this year with almost half that gain being accrued after Nigeria’s GDP rebase made it Africa’s largest economy. Nigeria is currently AFK’s third-largest country weight at almost 17%, but AFK is a GDP-weighted ETF, so it is possible Nigeria could eventually become the fund’s largest country exposure. [What Nigeria’s GDP Change Means for This ETF]