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The Little Book of Emerging Markets: How to Make Money in the World's Fastest Growing Markets by Mark Mobius

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Chapter Three

Discovering Frontier Markets

Don’t Miss the First Mover Advantage

During a recent trip to Lagos in Nigeria, I got stuck in a hotel elevator not once but twice. I must admit, though, this was not atypical even for the nicest hotels in some emerging market cities. This experience speaks to the demand for more power sources in emerging countries, particularly frontier countries such as Nigeria, since that hotel, like other hotels and businesses in Nigeria, had to depend on its own diesel generators to produce electric power because the public power system was so unreliable, and in this case, the hotel generator failed.

In recent years, it has been widely recognized that among the emerging markets are numerous new markets that are showing even faster growth. These newer emerging markets, which we call “frontier markets,” are found all over the world—in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia. The list is long and includes such countries as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Ukraine, Romania, Argentina, and many more countries that have been underresearched or ignored totally because they were too small or perceived as being too risky or too difficult to enter because of foreign exchange restrictions and other investor barriers.

Why Invest in Frontier Markets?

In the period from 2001 to 2010, the top 10 fastest-growing countries have all been emerging markets but nine of those have been frontier markets. ...

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