Sunday, January 19, 2014
Tunisia was a French protectorate until 1956. In 1916, it surcharged some of the stamps from its regular Scenes set of 1906, issuing a semi-postal set funding relief of prisoners of war in Germany (Scott #B3-11). Only 9,474 sets were issued, and Scott '14 prices the unused set at $290.05.
This scarce set has a potential dual market among collectors of both French Colonies and Tunisia.
Tunisia was led was led by the authoritarian government from 1987 until the Tunisian Revolution of 2011. Tunisia now finds itself as an export-oriented country in the process of liberalizing and privatizing an economy that, while averaging 5% GDP growth since the early 1990s, has suffered from corruption benefiting politically connected elites. The country has a diverse economy, and its major industries include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, petroleum products and tourism. This republic of 10.3 million people is considered a moderate Islamic nation, and was ranked the most competitive economy in Africa and the 40th in the world by the World Economic Forum. The European Union is Tunisia's main trading partner, and the country has also attracted major investments from several Persian Gulf countries.
I view the 1916 Semi-postal set as an attractive investment based solely on interest from French Colonies collectors. Of course, should a significant stamp market develop among Tunisians, the set will be given an added boost.
Those interested in learning about investing in stamps should read the Guide to Philatelic Investing ($5), available on Kindle and easily accessible from any computer.