LONDON Dec 30 Time for an end of year quiz.
Which emerging and frontier market countries were the best stock
performers in dollar terms?
Nil points if you said China, with its colossal internal
market, recession-free Poland, or oil-rich Nigeria.
In fact, bottom of the class if you said anything outside
The winners (in index compiler MSCI's emerging and
frontier leagues) are: politically torn
Bulgaria (frontier) and - take a deep breath -
depression-wracked Greece (emerging).
A IS FOR ATHENS
Greece re-joined MSCI's emerging markets
index in November after being downgraded from developed market.
But the twice-bailed-out euro zone member has seen returns
rise by more than 50 percent this year - coming from a very low
level but also boosted by fund managers positioning for the
Second in the league, though a long way behind, is Egypt,
which has benefited from $12 billion in handouts from Middle
Eastern neighbours following the ousting of Islamist President
Bringing up the rear of the table is Peru, which has
suffered from lower mineral prices, and close behind is Turkey,
which is currently suffering a second round of political unrest
for the year.
B IS FOR BULGARIA
Bulgaria played catch-up this year after
lagging many frontier and emerging markets last year on worries
about banking and trade links with bordering Greece.
Returns on the MSCI Bulgaria index are up 98 percent in
2013, outstripping the United Arab Emirates, which has benefited
from financial services and its safe haven status in a
conflict-ridden region, alongside its energy resources.
Bottom of the table is Ukraine, which took a $15 billion
bailout from Russia this month in an attempt to stave off
devaluation and default.