EGX is the fifth best stock market in the world in 2018, says Country Economy: The EGX is the fifth best performing stock market in the world after rising 16.25% YTD in May 2018, according to data compiled by Country Economy. Topping there list was Venezuela’s IBC Caracas which soared 1304.26%, followed by Ukraine’s PFTS index (the main index), GSE Ghana and Ukraine’s “UX” Index.On the regional side, the Egyptian stock exchange was the best performer among Arab bourses, and second in Africa only to GSE.
Inflation numbers are expected to come out today. This month is all the more significant as the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet on 17 May to set interest rates.
The CBE’s MPC meeting comes at a time when central banks across emerging markets look to contain the impact of a rising USD and the prospect of a rate hike by the Fed. Some have already started taking action, with Argentina’s raising interest rates three times, Russia putting the brakes on further monetary easing and Indonesia burning reserves to prop up its currency. Bloomberg has the list of upcoming decision dates by central bankers.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell downplayed the impact a rate increase by the US central bank will have on emerging markets in a speech on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports. Powell said the role of U.S. monetary policy “is often exaggerated” as a force contributing to financial conditions in other economies. He conceded that spillovers do occur because of the USD’s role as a widely-used reserve currency. “There is good reason to think that the normalization of monetary policy in advanced economies should continue to prove manageable for EMEs,” Powell said.
The IIF totally disagrees, saying capital inflows to EMs will shrink: A surging USD is likely to hit foreign investment into emerging markets this year, cutting its capital inflow forecast for this year by USD 43 bn to USD 1.22 tn, the DC-based Institute of International Finance said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. capital inflows as a share of GDP will fall to 3.7% from 4.2% in 2017, it added. “Prospects for non-resident capital inflows to emerging markets this year have deteriorated…Rising U.S. bond yields and a stronger dollar have prompted a ‘sudden stop’ in portfolio flows since mid-April,” the IIF said in a report.
Will Emaar resolve its dispute with the Public Enterprises Ministry today? The general assembly of the Public Enterprises Ministry’s El Nasr Housing and Reconstruction has reportedly authorized Mahmoud Hegazi, the CEO of parent company the Holding Company for Construction and Development, to reach a settlement with Emaar over the Uptown Cairo project today, sources tell Youm7. El Nasr, which filed for arbitration in Cairo last July, is demanding Emaar pay EGP 1 bn and return 3 mn sqm of land in Mokattam it says Emaar has failed to develop since they acquired it in a 2005 agreement. El Nasr is also looking to retrieve 215k sqm it says are technically outside Uptown Cairo’s borders. Sources told us last week that Emaar is offering EGP 100 mn to settle the dispute, despite the ministry acknowledging that it was not at fault for delays in moving ahead with the project.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to meet his Dutch counterpart Stephanus Abraham Blok today in Cairo, Youm 7 reports. There were no details from the paper or the ministry on the agenda.
Eva Pharma CEO Riad Armanious was the only Egyptian named in the World Economic Forum’s 100 global leaders under 40 2018 list. The annual list selects 100 of “the world’s most promising artists, business leaders, public servants, technologists and social entrepreneurs” based on their “ground-breaking work, creative approaches to problems and ability to build bridges across cultures and between business, government and civil society.”
The US and Saudi Arabia are attempting to play down the impact of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear pact. The US administration is already in talks with various oil majors who “would be willing to increase oil supply to offset this,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said yesterday, according to Bloomberg. Saudi Arabia also said it would work with OPEC to “mitigate” the impact of the move. In a statement carried by Bloomberg, Saudi officials said that “any supply shortages” would be tended to, without specify whether that means that the kingdom plans to boost oil output.
Meanwhile, the Europeans said they would approach the US about an exemption from sanctions they now face after the US backed out of the agreement, accusing Trump of “no longer [wanting] to cooperate with other parts of the world,” according to the FT.
PSA- Bad weather ahead: Hot dusty winds could turn into a sandstorm today, the national weather service warns. Cairo, Sinai, and Upper Egypt will see the worst of it. Look for a high of 39°C in the capital city.
We urge you to enjoy this last weekend before Ramadan (within reason), sandstorms notwithstanding. The Holy Month is expected to come on Wednesday or Thursday next week. For food and exercise tips, as well as the Ramadan viewing program, please check last week’s special edition of Your Wealth. Ramadan Kareem.