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Nowhere Left to Hide? Stock Market Correlation, Regional Diversification, and the Case for Investing in Africa

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  • Todd Moss and Ross Thuotte

Abstract

Investors diversify their portfolios to boost returns and manage risk. However, the benefits of diversifying across geographic regions are reduced if markets are highly correlated. This paper examines trends over the past two decades and finds, as expected from global market integration, that regional indices have become increasingly correlated with the S&P 500 index. Sub-Saharan Africa is also part of this trend, but is a notable laggard. For instance, in 2010 the correlation with the S&P500 was 0.86 for markets in Latin America, 0.79 for Asia, and just 0.31 for sub-Saharan markets (excluding South Africa). Additionally, correlations among African markets are generally very low. While there remain barriers to exploiting this trend, Africa’s integration lag may present opportunities for investors seeking regional diversification—and policymakers seeking to attract greater portfolio investment to the continent.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd Moss and Ross Thuotte, 2013. "Nowhere Left to Hide? Stock Market Correlation, Regional Diversification, and the Case for Investing in Africa," Working Papers 316, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:316
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/files/1427009_file_Moss_Thuotte_market_correlations_FINAL.pdf
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    1. The Upside of Down and a Positive-Sum World
      by charleskenny in Global Development: Views from the Center on 2014-01-07 23:39:06

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    Cited by:

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    2. Imhotep Paul Alagidede & Gideon Boako & Bo Sjo, 2021. "African equity markets’ exposure to oil and other commodities - implications for global portfolio diversification," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 45(2), pages 288-315, April.
    3. Boako, Gideon & Alagidede, Paul, 2018. "African stock markets in the midst of the global financial crisis: Recoupling or decoupling?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 166-180.
    4. Boako, Gideon & Alagidede, Paul, 2017. "Co-movement of Africa’s equity markets: Regional and global analysis in the frequency–time domains," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 468(C), pages 359-380.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international financial markets; portfolio choice; emerging markets; Africa; market correlation; stock markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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