Financial Markets Index: Uganda’s Ranking Elevates from Fifth to First in EAC

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The managing director of Amalgamated Banks of South Africa Limited (ABSA), Mumba Kalifungwa, has said Uganda has progressively improved in the Africa Financial Markets Index, from its previous position of fifth in 2021 to first place in 2023 with a 62.8% score among the East African Region and placed in fourth position in Africa.

According to Kalifungwa, the ABSA team that compiled the index measured the performance of twenty-eight African countries, including Uganda, on policymakers, investors, and asset managers around the world, with the aim of assessing financial development based on indicators of market accessibility, openness, and transparency.

“Over the years, Uganda’s ranking has improved from tenth place in 2017, when the report was first released, to fifth place in 2021, to the current fourth position in Africa and first in East Africa. 2023 was tough, but the economy remained resilient in spite of difficulties in inflation and slower prospects,” Kalifungwa said.

A financial market index is a tool used to measure the performance of a group of related financial assets, like stocks, bonds, or commodities. Offering insights into the direction and health of the financial markets, overall financial market indices are important tools for investors, fund managers, economists, and policymakers to monitor market trends, make investment decisions, and assess the broader economic landscape.

Michael Atingi-Ego, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda, said that Uganda has maintained its rankings of being first in the region and fourth in Africa, which is admirable in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“The central bank’s decisive macroeconomic and macro prudential policies helped to shield the domestic economy and financial system from the complete pass-through of various external shocks from the global economy,” Atingi-Ego said.

He, however, noted that, despite its positive developments in the rankings, Uganda dropped in scores from 64.4 in the previous year to 62.8%, which is said to be due to reduced Forex reserves and liquidity that resulted from flight to quality as offshore funds exited frontier markets amid the rising interest rate environment in their home countries.

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