Europe in the crosshairs for Finance Ministry’s EUR-denominated bond roadshow. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy revealed hints at the destination of the roadshow for a planned EUR 1-1.5 bn bond issuance. The roadshow will include Switzerland, the UK, Italy and Germany, the minister reportedly told Al Mal on Sunday. El Garhy explained the move by stating that Europe would be targeted as it is Egypt’s biggest trading partner. Also likely in the cards are stops in Asia, where appetite was heavy for Egypt’s most recent offering. The ministry has said it plans to make the bond offering — Egypt’s first denominated in EUR — before the start of the next fiscal year on 1 July.
The news comes after Côte d’Ivoire issued last Thursday a EUR 1.7 bn bond that became the largest euro-denominated issuance from an African sovereign since at least the start of this century, according to data from Bloomberg. It was also the second-biggest transaction in the currency from emerging markets this year, after Romania’s EUR 2 bn issuance in February.
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir arrives in Cairo today for talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Al Shorouk reports.
Egypt and East Med gas appear to be driving interest in listings on the LSE: Greece’s Energean Oil & Gas listed on the London Stock Exchange on Friday. The company raised USD 460 mn, which along with a credit facility signed earlier this month, will go towards the USD 1.6 bn development of its Israeli offshore gas fields Karish and Tanin, which have potential reserves of up to 2.4 tcf. “East Med has had a lot of activity. Investors saw an opportunity to participate in the only independent E&P (exploration and production company) in the East Mediterranean, which is dominated by the majors,” Energean Chief Executive Officer Mathios Rigas told Reuters in an interview. The story is part of a string of announcements by companies traditionally averse to investments in Israel that followed the signing of the USD 15 bn gas import agreement between Egypt and Israel.
Mohammed bin Salman will touch down in the US this morning for a two-plus week, coast-to-coast visit. The Saudi crown prince is expected to be welcomed by US Vice President Mike Pence and national security advisor H.R. McMaster, according to the UAE’s The National, which has broken what it says is an exclusive look at MbS’ agenda. It includes a three-day stop in Washington, DC, before visits to Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston and Silicon Valley. MbS will meet with Trump tomorrow and is also expected to have sit-downs with Apple boss Tim Cook and Microsoft founder Bill Gates while in the US. The Washington Post has a good backgrounder. The New York Times, meanwhile, notes that in the run-up to the visit, the Trump administration has “implored Congress not to block military aid” to the kingdom, which the Wall Street Journal says comes as “debate flares over US support for [Saudi’s] deadly campaign” in Yemen.
Look for wall-to-wall coverage of MbS’ trip in Western media. The Times has already rolled out the welcome mat, with pieces on everything from “a cyberattack in Saudi Arabia with a deadly goal” to the disappearance of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi (“He owns much of Ethiopia. The Saudis won’t say where they’re hiding him”) and MbS’ bid to create an entertainment industry from scratch.
Vladimir Putin has won another six years as Russian leader, the Associated Press reports, saying the Russian president “rolled to a crushing re-election victory Sunday.” Moscow thanked the UK for helping Putin win the landslide victory, writes the Financial Times.
China’s parliament is expected to name US-educated economist Yi Gang as the country’s new central bank chief, the Financial Times (paywall) reports. Yi, who has served as deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China under Zhou Xiaochuan, is the candidate of continuity and his appointment should ensure Beijing continues to move aggressively to control risk in its financial system.
Meanwhile, value investors are “set to reap benefits of steady emerging market growth,” the FT’s Steve Johnson writes. Earnings growth will be more muted across the EM board this year at 14% against a torrid 22% last year (which helped EM equities post their strongest showing last year since 2009), most analysts seem to believe. But UBS has revised its EM earnings growth estimate upward to nearly 19%, which would make “downtrodden value investors” the biggest winners. Already this year, the MSCI EM Value Index has risen 7.2%, outpacing its Growth equivalent, which has advanced a more muted 4.8%, Johnson writes. (Value stocks, he notes, are “typically defined as those with a low price-to-book or price-to-earnings multiple.) You can read the full story here.