Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is the frontier market that attracts the most attention from American and European multinationals, according to an index commissioned by the Wall Street Journal.
Argentina, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia followed respectively.
But it was the sub-Saharan Africa countries that dominated the table, making up nine of the top 20 economies. Asia had three countries in the top tier.
The data found that one country in particular has seen multinationals’ interest wane dramatically. From 2013 to June 2014, corporate sentiment toward Ukraine dropped 12.5 points following a long period of violent protests and political instability.
The Frontier Markets Sentiment Index, developed by Frontier Strategy Group, based in Washington, D.C., provides insight into 200 multinationals’ sentiments toward markets regarded as the riskiest to invest in.
Matt Lasov, global head of advisory and analytics at Frontier Strategy Group, told the Wall Street Journal: “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 are they including in their future plans and which they are dropping.”