The short-term challenge for the Egyptian Government is to mobilize domestic and foreign investment to create 800,000 jobs. This was the energizing call from Hesham Kandil, the Prime Minister of Egypt, opening the 16th African Stock Exchanges Association conference in Cairo 2012 #ASEA2012 today (3 Dec).
The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) has announced the 16th annual general meeting and flagship conference of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA). This is the top conference for Africa’s capital markets. It will be Cairo on 2-4 December 2012.
Ethiopia has raised Birr 7 billion ($408 million) of debt to finance the $4.8 bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River, and plans to issue more bonds to raise the finance domestically.
Mark Voss of fund manager Silk Invest foresees a turning point for the Egyptian market in a recent note. He also notes growth in Tunisia, with companies back to pre-revolution levels, tourism boom in Morocco, giant growth in Ghana and telecom payments innovation in Kenya.
Tiny, small and medium businesses in Egypt and Tunisia, later Algeria and Morocco, are set to benefit from a new €30 million ($43.2 mn) SANAD Fund for MSME.
Egypt is chasing its short-term domestic market to fund ballooning Government deficits, but seems to be preparing for a new Eurobond issue to replace $1 bn in 8.75% Eurobonds maturing in July. US President Barack Obama’s May guarantee on $1 billion of Egyptian debt could cut the country’s borrowing costs by $100 mn.
Leading African private equity firm Citadel Capital said that Egypt’s public prosecutor has lifted a travel ban imposed in April on its chairman Ahmed Heikal, according to Reuters. The company also announced Citadel Capital Partners Ltd. sold 13.4 million shares in Citadel Capital worth US$12.4 mn.
The Egyptian Exchange is to introduce new products and trading innovations, including remote orders placed abroad, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), intraday trades and short selling. Mohamed Abdel Salam, chairman of the Exchange, says transparency is up and political uncertainty down in Egypt.
The Egyptian Exchange opened today at 10:30am after nearly 2 months, and was immediately swamped with a flood of selling, which saw the index plunge nearly 10% and trading halted a few minutes after the exchange opened. After a regulated halt, the EGX 30 Benchmark slowly edged up before drifting through to close at 5,142.71 after a further 2 hours, down 8.9% on the day.
African exchanges could grow dramatically in both market capitalization and turnover in the coming decade, following the explosive trends already charted by the Indian and Chinese markets. This was the view of Sunil Benimadhu, President of the African Stock Exchanges Association (ASEA), speaking at an African investment conference organized by stockbroker Securities Africa in London on 14 March.
The Egyptian Exchange has failed to meet another self-imposed deadline to reopen on 6 March, and investors are increasingly unhappy. In a statement on 3 March the stock exchange said the delay was linked to the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik.
Investor confidence in Egypt is likely to be further undermined after officials again delayed the reopening of the Egyptian Exchange from today (1 March). It was announced late on Monday that trading would not start today at 10:30am but would again be put off until Sunday, 6 March. There have been repeated delays to the reopening.
The Egyptian Exchange is set to reopen tomorrow (1 March) after it closed on 27 Jan. in the popular uprising that saw President Hosni Mubarak resign on 11 Feb. It was due to open earlier, but delayed because strikes were devastating the banks on which it relies for clearing and settlement. Some selling is anticipated.
A leading African private equity firm, Citadel Capital based in Cairo, says change in Egypt brings “very compelling opportunities for long-term private equity investors in Egypt and beyond.” But it warned in a recent press release: “The situation on the ground in Egypt remains fluid” and there could be “short-term impact on both our investment and divestiture plans.”
The Egyptian Exchange has again postponed its reopening and says it will only open when the strike-hit banking system gets back to normal. Dates mentioned include 20 or 22 Feb, and the bourse is likely to introduce rules to limit trading volatility. It closed on 27 Jan after a 16% fall in its EGX30 Index.
The Egyptian Exchange has postponed its reopening until Wednesday 16 February. The stock exchange closed on 27 Jan after the main EGX 30 Index fell 16% in a week, and was due to open again 13 Feb. Talks continue with regulators, stockbrokers and the Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry.
Bulls seem to be waiting for a positive outcome from widespread pro-democracy unrest in Egypt, one of Africa’s biggest stock markets and prices have climbed for depository receipts of Egyptian companies and for an Egypt exchange-traded fund available internationally. The Egyptian Exchange has been closed for several days as unrest intensified.