Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

HARARE — Analysts are bullish about stock markets across Africa, with Renaissance Capital noting in a report released on Tuesday that the sub-Saharan Africa region remains on a growth trajectory.

The bullish sentiment over the stock markets across the region comes despite a number of countries in the region scheduled to hold elections this year.

Elections in Africa are often associated with uncertainty, but analysts have taken a long-term and positive view about polls in Kenya and fresh voting expected later this year in Zimbabwe. "Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, remains strongly on the trajectory of growth," said analysts at Renaissance in a research note titled "African Boom Continues".

Tony Hawkins, a Zimbabwean economist, said on Tuesday that foreign investors were active on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, while another analyst, at EFE Securities, said African bourses were attractive to investors.

"So far foreign participation has been quite bullish. This is in tandem with what is happening in the rest of Africa — look at Nigeria and Kenya and all the other African markets, they have been up and it’s mainly because of foreign investor participation," said Isaac Isaki, an equities analyst at EFE Securities.

Renaissance Capital is expecting "the reform drive in Nigeria to remain on course" this year.

Analysts have said they expect Nigeria’s "2015 elections to begin affecting markets" only next year.

"After a 35% rise in the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2012, we have already seen a 20% addition since the start of 2013, while in Kenya the 29% rise in 2012 has been followed by another 8% rise so far this year."

The Nigerian stock market opened the week 0.59% higher.

Renaissance Capital’s analysts were "cautiously optimistic" about the Kenyan market. Kenya has over the past few years seen a surge in interest by international investors seeking to capitalise on the country’s booming telecommunications and information communications technology sector.

The Kenyan market this week hit a 25-month high, with trade buoyed by expectations of strong company earnings in the coming weeks.

Zin Bekkali, the CE of asset-management firm Silk Invest, has said that while investors have in the past "tilted away from Africa", they are now increasingly attracted to the continent’s markets as this is "where they want to go above all (else)" these days.

"If you look across African markets you will see that … (as of the middle of last month), stock markets are up in quite a few of the bigger markets — 10% across the board — as global investors and local investors have more risk appetite," investment analyst Edem Lassey said earlier this month.