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Economic Brief - Capital Market Development in North Africa Current Status and Future Potential


Capital markets in North Africa have a long history but have been marginal to the region’s development. For the private sector to expand and flourish there is strong evidence which shows that the ability to raise equity finance is indispensable. However this investigation reveals the limited breadth and depth of the North African markets. Markets in sovereign and corporate bonds complement equity financing, but these are also underdeveloped in North Africa.

The study finds that legal and regulatory provision is for the most part adequate, but there has been an absence of confidence by both domestic and foreign investors. Transparency and corruption perceptions have been unhelpful, as have been the bureaucratic obstacles to doing business. Nevertheless market performance is encouraging despite the negative impact of the global financial crisis and the Arab Spring.

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