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A U.S-based economic advisory firm, Frontiers Strategy Group, said investment interest in Nigeria by international organisations and multinationals had continued to grow despite rising insurgency in the country.
This is contained in a report entitled “Frontier Market Sentiment Index”, issued by the Wall Street Journal, monitored in Abuja.
The report the News Agency of Nigeria reports that out of 11 African countries in a survey conducted by the firm, Nigeria ranked first as the most preferred economy for investment by the multinationals, which included European and American firms.
According to the report, Nigeria emerged the number one frontier-market economy in Africa in terms of attracting the most attention from European and American multinationals.
It stated that the country led other African nations with 29.57 per cent and was followed by Kenya with 23.17 per cent.
It quoted Mr Matt Lasov, Global Head of Advisory and Analytics of the U.S. firm as saying, “we collect data about which countries the companies are watching for potential future investment.
“Over time, that gives us a clear picture of their market priorities; which countries they are including in their future plans and which they are dropping.’’
The report said that security situation in Nigeria and Kenya was least considered by the multinationals in their preference for both countries as top business destinations in Africa.
“Rising insurgency in both countries apparently has not discouraged multinationals from venturing into business dealings as opportunities in the countries probably outweigh security risks,’’ the report said.
It stated that Angola was rated third preferred investment economy by the multinationals, with 21.9 per cent and was followed by Ghana with 18.73 per cent.
“The top three African countries’ rating may not come as a surprise to many. Firstly, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and it is still growing; Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy.
“Angola’s oil wealth had in recent times made its economy bigger, with crisis-hit Portugal relying on the Southern African country as it seeks foreign investments to put its economy back on track.
“The corporate world’s fascination with Africa shows clearly in the rates of change of sentiment,” the report said.
It, however, said that Nigeria remained the clear leader out of the African countries with twice the number of companies in the index considering investing in the West African country.
“Nearly three in 10 companies have Nigeria on their watch list,” it said.