The Safest and Riskiest Frontier Markets To Invest In 2018

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The Investment Safety Rankings have been updated for 2018, see the new rankings here. For the uninitiated, these rankings have been compiled by us as a quantifiable way of deciding which markets are safe to invest in. Here is our post from 2017.

What Has Been Updated?

Our rankings rely on three main sources of rankings: the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, and the Fund For Peace’s Fragile States Index.

We have updated the Ease of Business Rankings to 2018 (from 2017), the Corruption Perception Index to 2017 (from 2016), and the Fragile States Index to 2018 (from 2017), so all three rankings have been updated to the latest available data.

The Biggest Improvements

The 8 countries that improved the most were:

  1. Trinidad and Tobago: +17 spots, from 92 to 75
  2. Vanuatu: +17 spots, from 102 to 85
  3. Seychelles: +16 spots, from 71 to 55
  4. Swaziland: +13 spots, from 134 to 121
  5. Kosovo: +8 spots, from 64 to 56
  6. Gambia: +8 spots, from 162 to 154
  7. Morocco: +7 spots, from 93 to 86
  8. Nepal: +7 spots, from 141 to 134

The rankings were more stable compared to 2017 where eight countries shifted more than 15 spots. The top 4 movers were mostly due to the Corruption Perception Index including them into their overall rankings after omitting them in years past.

The Biggest Drops

The six countries that took the largest step back were:

  1. Bahrain: -16 spots, from 60 to 76
  2. Liberia: -12 spots, from 152 to 164
  3. South Africa: -9 spots, from 74 to 83
  4. St. Vincent and the Grenadines: -9 spots, from 85 to 94
  5. Turkmenistan: -9 spots, from 133 to 142
  6. Saint Lucia: -8 spots, from 57 to 65

Bahrain dropped in all three rankings, which collectively pulled it down the most among all countries over the past year. Liberia’s fall was due solely to a drop in the Corruption Perception Index where it fell 32 spots.

What Are The Safest Frontier Market Countries To Invest In?

The top 10 frontier market countries that are the safest to invest in are:

  1. Iceland (#14)
  2. Estonia (#19)
  3. Lithuania (#27)
  4. Slovenia (#28)
  5. Latvia (#31)
  6. Mauritius (#33)
  7. Brunei (#39)
  8. Romania (#41)
  9. Croatia (#42)
  10. Cyprus (#44)

Unsurprisingly, European frontier markets continue to dominate the list of safest countries and there was little turnover in the top half.

What Are The Most Dangerous Frontier Market Countries To Invest In?

The 10 frontier market countries that are the most dangerous to invest in are:

  1. Somalia (#192, out of 192)
  2. South Sudan (#191)
  3. Yemen (#190)
  4. Afghanistan (#189)
  5. Syria (#188)
  6. Sudan (#187)
  7. Chad (#186)
  8. Central African Republic (#185)
  9. Democratic Republic of Congo (#184)
  10. Eritrea (#183)

Not much movement at the bottom of the rankings either, with Somalia coming in dead last again and no movement in the bottom 5.

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