Frontier markets grabbed the headlines Monday after Kenya’s biggest IPO sent shares of one stock surging 60%. But is the risk worth the reward?
Kenya is the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa. Agricultural output was reduced by a severe drought in 1999 and 2000, and recovery has been limited by widespread governmental corruption and by low prices for several primary exports. The International Monetary Fund has repeatedly suspended loans to Kenya (in 1997, 2001, and 2006) because of corruption, but GDP grew more than 5% in 2006.