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The development of Africa's financial markets is hampered by the low capacity of local investors, patchy implementation of regulations, tight liquidity and restricted access to foreign exchange in many countries, according to an inaugural survey of 17 nations on the continent.Africa's financial markets outside South Africa are among the smallest and least sophisticated in the world, despite some of the economies being the fastest growing.Each market was divided into six "pillars": market depth; access to foreign exchange; market transparency, tax and regulatory environment; capacity of local investors; macroeconomic opportunity; and legality and enforceability of standard financial markets agreements. All markets were scored out of 100 in each pillar.Local investor capacity is the area requiring the greatest improvement, the research found.Access to foreign exchange is arguably the biggest challenge for foreign investors.
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