5. Nigeria
gallery top markets world nigeria
YTD gain: 31%

Africa's second-largest economy has continued to grow at a rapid pace this year, with economic growth clocking in upwards of 6% each quarter in 2012.

The market got its most recent lift after Standard and Poor's and Moody's lifted Nigeria's credit rating, bringing it in line with Fitch's to three notches below investment grade, citing improved financial stability and the country's commitment to reforming the banking and electricity sectors.

In fact, Nigeria's banks have been among the best performers on the country's stock exchange. First Bank of Nigeria is up a whopping 70%, while Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank have both gained about 40% this year.

Nigeria is also starting to attract more attention from foreign investors, which analysts expect will only grow with the country's recent entry into Barclays' and JPMorgan's benchmark emerging markets bond indices.

"These events should spur additional capital flows into Nigeria, said Larry Seruma, managing principal at Nile Capital Management. Seruma manages the Nile Pan Africa Fund (NAFAX), the only U.S. mutual fund to focus exclusively on the continent of Africa. Nigeria accounts for about 40% of the fund.

Source: Morningstar
Data as of Nov. 14.
  @CNNMoneyInvest - Last updated November 28 2012 11:57 AM ET
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World's 40 best-performing stock markets in 2012

Despite a volatile year and a slowing global economy, these stock markets have delivered healthy gains in 2012.

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