1. Venezuela
gallery top markets world venezuela
YTD gain: 219%

The Caracas stock exchange has staged a huge rally this year, with its benchmark exchange more than tripling in value since January.

The gains have largely been driven by Venezuelan banks, including BBVA Banco Provincial, whose shares have climbed more than 200%.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize the country's banks at the start of the year, but as it appeared less and less likely that Chavez would clinch his third six-year term as president, bank stocks surged and led the broader market higher, said Asha Mehta, portfolio manager at Acadian Asset Management.

Ever since Chavez wound up getting re-elected in early October, the market has backed of its highs.

Mehta considers the Venezuelan stock market to be "uninvestable" due to the government's lack of support for free enterprise. Add to that a lack of liquidity and slim number of publicly traded stocks, and limited access to local markets for foreign investors.

Source: Morningstar
Data as of Nov. 14.
  @CNNMoneyInvest - Last updated November 28 2012 11:57 AM ET
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