The number of stock markets around the world that have provided a positive annual return to investors has risen to its highest level since 2007, according to new research by Lloyds TSB International. In September 2012, 82% of the 39 countries tracked saw an annual rise in equity prices, the highest proportion for five years. This is over 10 times the proportion a year ago (8%) and is also almost double the proportion a decade ago (42%). Overall, equity prices in the 39 countries tracked in the survey have risen by an average of 11% over the past year. Thailand is the top performing stock market, while Slovakia, China and Spain are the worst Thailand, at 42%, recorded the strongest rate of growth in equity prices over the past year, followed by Denmark (35%) and the Philippines (34%). UK equity prices have risen by 12% over the last twelve months, while Swiss equity prices have increased by 17% over the same period. In contrast, the Eurozone accounted for four of the six countries that recorded the worst stock market performance over the past 12 months. Slovakia (-15%) recorded the biggest fall, followed by China (-12%) and Spain (-10%). Emerging economies account for the best performing stock markets over the past decade All five of the top performing stock markets since 2002 are in emerging market economies1. Indonesian equity prices recorded the biggest increase (917%) over the past decade. This was 17 times the increase in UK equity prices (54%). Brazil (586%) recorded the second biggest increase, followed by India (567%) and the Philippines (373%). Equity prices have fallen in just two of the 39 countries tracked over the past decade. Greece, at -60%, recorded by far the most significant decline, followed by Japan (-5%). Finland (5%), the Netherlands (19%) and France (21%) recorded the smallest rises, while Switzerland (36%) was the seventh worst performing stock market out of the 39 countries covered in the report. Equity prices have risen most in the countries with the fastest growing economies Equity prices have typically risen by most in those countries with the fastest growing economies. GDP has increased, on average, by 201% in the 10 countries with the biggest rises in equity prices since 2002. This is over three times the average 64% rise in GDP in the 10 countries with the worst stock market performance. The significant increase in Indonesian equity prices over the past decade partly reflects the 355% rise in GDP in the country over the same period. Suren Thiru, economist at Lloyds TSB International, said: "It is encouraging that equity performance has improved across a number of countries over the past year, although much of this increase was from a relatively low base following the sharp falls recorded in 2011. "Over the past decade, equity price performance has generally been stronger in the countries with the fastest growing economies. The top performing stock markets are primarily in emerging markets economies, which have benefited from rapid economic growth compared with more developed nations. “Looking forward, the outlook for global equity prices is likely to be driven by the extent to which world economic recovery continues as well as the impact of the ongoing problems in the Eurozone."