Founded in 1998 the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) is the stock exchange for the UEMOA zone. Initially composed of 35 companies listed on its equity sub-fund, the stock exchange grew to 45 companies at the end of 2017, 35 of which were Ivorian. In addition to this, the stock exchange boasted 37 bond lines.
In 2015 the BRVM was designated the best-performing African stock exchange with the BRVM Composite Index increasing by 17.7% that year. The MSCI Emerging Market Islamic Index nominated Côte d’Ivoire as a frontier market in Africa and the BRVM as the best Islamic stock exchange in sub-Saharan Africa following the successful launch and listing of sharia-compliant bonds (sukuk) issued by three West African countries, namely Côte d’ Ivoire, Senegal and Togo in 2016 and 2017.
However, with all of its sector indices in the red, the regional market closed 2017 with a significant deficit, declining by 16.8% in its composite index. The BRVM-Composite Index had been at its highest level since 2010, but the performance in 2017 made it the worst-performing African stock market in terms of index performance. The region’s macroeconomic indicators, however, have remained good, as has Côte d’Ivoire’s economy, which has posted a growth rate of over 6% since 2011.
The strongest turbulence on the stock market in 2017 was observed between March and November. Over the course of these nine months, the BRVM-Composite Index lost 21.8% of its value, weighed down by individual declines. The index’s largest capitalisations, Sonatel and Ecobank respectively lost 8.4% and 9.5% of their value.
The stock exchange’s slowdown is the consequence of atypical occurrences that caused a sudden reduction in enthusiasm and a loss in the flow of liquidity towards the market. More specifically, the mixed financial performance of listed companies, the accumulated profit-taking that took place, and various security transactions – including 25 stock splits in a year, when only five had occurred between 2012 and 2016 – led to the first setback in the exchange’s strong performance since 2012. Despite two new entrants to the BRVM’s Equity Sub-Fund in 2017, market capitalisation contracted by 11%, down to CFA6.8trn (€10.3bn) compared to CFA7.7trn (€11.6bn) a year earlier.
The global market’s trade balance on the global market also stumbled with a decrease of 34.6%, around CFA268bn (€402m), against CFA409bn (€613.5m) in 2016. This trading volume was drained to 33.9% or CFA91.5bn (€137.2m) on the Sonatel share; 4.8%, around CFA13.7bn (€20.6m) on Coris Bank International; and 3.7%, or CFA10.3bn (€15.45m) on Ecobank CI.
Ecobank earned a record 48.4% stock price increase at CFA29.68 (€0.04) only three months after joining the market’s listings in 2017, the best performance within this sub-fund. Beset by many taxes such as excise duties on tobacco, Société Ivoirienne des Tabacs - Côte d’Ivoire lost 97.6% of its stock price value during 2017.
For years the BRVM has undergone many upgrades, deciding to develop its activities through constant innovation. Thus, after the launch on December 19, 2017 of its third compartment dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the BRVM multiplied its promotional campaigns at the regional and international roadshows level in order to encourage SMEs to be listed by 2020, and to make the regional market more attractive. The offering of new securities and the development of innovative products through the future launch of funds, as well as diaspora bonds and project bonds, and the creation of a market for mineral resources, makes it possible to anticipate an increasingly better outlook for the BRVM in the short and medium term.
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