Egypt was 2014’s best destination for stock market investors, producing a total return including dividends and share price rises of more than 30 per cent in a year in which the US led equity rallies in developed economies, according to Financial Times.
The MSCI index for Egypt has almost doubled since mid-2013, the paper reported.
Total returns based on MSCI indices were calculated in dollar terms, so the recent collapse of the rouble aggravated the woeful state of the Russian market, where investors suffered a “negative return” — or loss — of minus 42.3 per cent.
The best performing large developed market was the US, where the total return reached 14.5 per cent on signs of a broadening and accelerating economic recovery, said Nick Nelson, equity strategist at UBS.
In contrast, “Europe underperformed — in part because of a renewed slowdown in the economy, even in Germany, but also because of the failure to deliver significant earnings growth for the fourth year in a row".
The core European countries of Germany and France saw losses equivalent to 9.3 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively after taking into account dividends and price movements.
European countries’ poor equity performances also reflected the dollar’s strength against the euro and sterling. The UK market made a return of minus 5.8 per cent — better than Italy’s minus 8.5 per cent, but not as good as Spain’s minus 3.8 per cent.