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The world’s wildest investments

What do Mongolia, Ukraine, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Zambia and Croatia have in common? Bartle Bull investigates the world of frontier markets

By Bartle Bull   February 2011

A good place to invest? The Nkana mine in Zambia—one of the world’s frontier markets. Photo: Per Arne Wilson

With economic growth stagnant in mature economies, and demand for raw materials surging in China, globally-minded investors piled into developing markets in 2010. MSCI, the data provider, saw its emerging markets index go up 15 per cent; but its frontier markets index performed even better, delivering a 20 per cent return.

What is a frontier market? The index itself is hardly a good guide. Developed Kuwait and the UAE are in it, while Iraq is out. Argentina, embarrassingly for Argentinians, is…

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