Retailers bullish on Egypt, MAF doubling down on Egypt
Retailers remain bullish on Egypt:Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) is doubling down on investments in Egypt, Tamim Elyan writes for Bloomberg. “I’m not worried about falling disposable income because for a number of years Egypt has had an official economy that was sustained by a gray one … The current situation is beginning to look positive compared to where things were,” MAF CEO Alain Bejjani tells Elyan. The under-served population creates a chance for exponential growth, Yasser Abdul Malak, CEO of Nestle’s Northeast Africa unit, adds. Bejjani suggests that the “official numbers” might not always match “reality;” he says “the Egyptian market is deep. We have seen a lot of conversion into the official economy and this has helped the market to sustain itself." Data from Fawaz Alhokair’s Egyptian unit, Marakez, supports that. The unit’s CEO (and friend of Enterprise), Ahmed Badrawi, told Elyan that “the first two months sales figures of our retailers are better than last year; this is positive because you could potentially expect sales to fall to the ground … This is a period of adjustment and people are adapting."