Top Gainers and Losers – World Stock Market Index (2012 1H)

James Ryan Jonas

As Europe finds itself being stuck in bigger economic turmoil, investors are moving out of the Eurozone and dumping their money in emerging markets where risks are relatively lower but with yields that are more promising.

Benefiting from the outflow of investors’ cash in problem-laden North America and Europe are emerging markets such as Venezuela, Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines, and Estonia whose stock markets posed the highest returns during the first six months of 2012.

Below is a complete list of the year-to-date performance of stock markets around the world.

The Caracas Stock Exchange of Venezuela posted the highest returns among all stock market indices worldwide, rising 110.58% — basically doubling one’s money in just 6 months. Market analysts attribute this spike to a deluge of foreign cash into the country following President Hugo Chavez’s announcement this year that he has cancer. Analysts see Chavez losing in another bout of presidential elections in October 2012, paving the way for a long-awaited change in administration.  

The Philippines is 4th in terms of performance, with the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rising 20.89% year-to-date. The country benefited from strong economic fundamentals and ratings upgrades from various credit rating agencies.

Top losers, as expected, are from the European region. The stock market of Spain, a country which analysts say would soon face an “inevitable government bailout,” declined 27.89%.

Other European countries facing debt and economic problems, such as Italy, Portugal, and Greece, also posted negative growth rates in the 1st half of the year.

Stock Markets Performance around the World
(YTD as of July 20, 2012)


James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.