Mohamed Farid, chairperson of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), met with representatives of ten British and American investment funds that manage $3.9tn, including Fidelity Investments, MetLife Investment, and Aberdeen Standard Investments, during a meeting organised by BNP Paribas in London.
Farid said that 2018 will be a strong year for the EGX, supported by several IPOs, where there are pharmaceutical, chemical and real estate companies lined up. During his meeting with investors, he pointed out that the Egyptian economic reform programme should be seen as a story of transformation more than a plan for stabilisation, especially with regard to fixing services and public utilities, such as electricity and fuel.
He noted that the programme has been able to reap rapid gains from investors in equity and debt markets in Egypt. In the next phase, Egypt should witness the return of foreign direct investment inflows by investors in the non-oil sector, which usually takes longer to understand the new economic landscape. He added that the next phase of Egyptian economic growth must be based on structural changes aimed at prolonging the economic cycle to achieve sustained high economic growth for more than five years.
This came on the sidelines of his participation in extensive meetings organised by the Egyptian-British Business Association at its mission to the United Kingdom.
Farid called on several British institutions to invest in Egypt, stressing that the Egyptian capital market holds many promising opportunities, pointing to the attractiveness of the Egyptian Exchange, especially after the decision to liberalise the exchange rate, along with upcoming government proposals due to begin soon.
The EGX aims, through its promotion team, to attract large companies to the stock exchange, and by attracting major companies to enlist on the EGX, aims to expand the ownership base of these companies and support them in financing their expansions. This will also increase the investment opportunities available to investors within the market, which gives a needed boost to the Egyptian economy.
The mission, in which Farid partook, also included over 50 international companies and institutions.
The Egyptian delegation discussed the most important problems facing investors in entering the Egyptian market, related to tax reforms, regulating exit policies, mechanisms for obtaining financing, and improving government-business relations as key pillars to accelerating the entry of serious investments into the country.