Saxo Bank's equity market World Cup challenge – Colombia to win? Saxo Bank's equity market World Cup challenge – Colombia to win? Saxo Bank's equity market World Cup challenge – Colombia to win?

Saxo Bank's equity market World Cup challenge – Colombia to win?

Peter Garnry

Chief Investment Strategist

For a complete list of five-year price charts for all stocks in Saxo's 2018 Equity World Cup, click here.

It’s summer and it’s 2018 which means that the FIFA World Cup in Russia is about to start. The first match kicks off on Thursday June 14 at 18:00 local time, featuring the host, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. This battle for glory by national football teams from around the globe is mirrored by the battle fought by countries on electronic exchanges worldwide as they compete to be favoured by global investors. In tribute to financial markets and their participants we decided to play a virtual game of our own – welcome to the 2018 World Cup for stocks!

Game rules

Each participating country is represented by a publicly listed stock chosen by SaxoStrats (see country list below) – the main criteria has been the largest market cap stock for each country. For some countries we change the stock because it would likely not reflect people’s perception of the country; for example did we change SAP for Germany to Adidas because the latter is more iconic for Germany and something that relates well to the World Cup because Adidas is a sponsor.

In the cases of Senegal, Uruguay, and Iran we have entered substitutes. Senegal and Uruguay do not have sufficiently liquid stock markets from which  to choose stocks. These two countries will each be represented by a government bond (bullet bond and denominated in USD) with almost the same maturity. In the case of Iran, the trade sanctions mean that we have no access to financial market information from there. As a result we have given Iran the honour of representing the oil market (Brent crude).

The 48 group matches that will be played from June 14 to June 28 will be decided based on the cumulative total return of the instruments with the start date set to June 13 (close prices) and the end date set to the day of the final match (close prices). This means that the stock with the highest total return during these two weeks will most likely win the most matches and win group matches. It is important to note that we judge the companies solely relative to each other based on the total return over the period. As such our updates and comments will not reflect any price targets or recommendations (neither direct or indirect).

We will make our stock predictions continuously and each day we will compare the results from financial markets with the real football results.

In order to avoid commenting on stocks from countries that have not advanced to the knockout matches, we will reset the 2018 World Cup for stocks after the group matches. We will of course track in parallel the pure stock game and tell which country won based on stocks if we had not restarted the game. So in the knockout phase we let the actual countries from the real world battle it out again using cumulative total return with the start date set to Friday 29 June (close prices) and end date to the match day (close prices).

Source: Saxo Bank

Believe in momentum, believe in Colombia

The momentum effect (or factor if you will) is well-documented since the 1990s and basically says that stocks that have outperformed will most likely continue to outperform. Based on this observation we have calculated the total return across the stock game universe and ranked them to see which country/stock right now looks the most promising. In turns out that Colombia (Ecopetrol) is the clear winner on momentum with a total return YTD of 46.8% (in USD) with runner-up being Saudi Arabia (SABIC) having 30.9%. Behind the big return in Ecopetrol shares is of course the strong price performance of oil on top of still strong investor sentiment on Latin American equities; well, except for Argentina which is experiencing a capital flight crisis. So despite Messi in real life football, Argentina should have high expectations for our stock game unless we see a big reversal in sentiment.

We will make our final prediction next week on the opening match but our current prediction is that Saudi Arabia (SABIC) will beat Russia (Gazprom).

Source: Saxo Bank

Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 05

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication.

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments.Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Capital Markets or its affiliates.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Full Disclaimer (
- Analysis Disclaimer (
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited
Suite 1, Level 14, 9 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

Contact Saxo

Select region


The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. The Target Market Determination should assist you in determining whether any of the products or services we offer are likely to be consistent with your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.

Please click here to view our full disclaimer.