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Sunday, 20 August 2017

New EGX boss Mohamed Farid speaks with AMAY on regulatory changes, attracting new listings, and international marketing of the bourse

Newly-appointed EGX boss Mohamed Farid plans to introduce short-selling, moveforward with new listings, and launch int’l roadshows: Farid outlines what he calls a three-point development strategy that aims to improve the EGX’s overall performance and boost liquidity levels in the medium-term. The EGX boss told Al Masry Al Youm in an interview yesterday that his strategy aims to first deepen the market by introducing new trading tools that would attract new investors, such as sukuk, as well as short-selling and an options market, with the latter two possible coming into effect by the end of this year.

The House of Reps will pass key changes to regulations governing private placements and the issuance of sukuks. MPs will also be asked to give the EGX flexibility to set lower listing fees to attract smaller companies. Farid had also promised a commodities exchange and a secondary bond market during his tenure. Look for much of this to be enshrined in proposed amendments to the Capital Markets Act, which as we’ve noted in the past the House should receive in October.

The EGX is currently reviewing IPO filings from six other companies not including state companies Enppi and Banque du Caire, Farid said. Negotiations are ongoing with the Investment Ministry to add more state companies to the IPO pipeline. These efforts, he added, are also accompanied by a drive to implement structural reforms and upgrade the EGX’s technical infrastructure. New directives have already been put in place to reinforce data protection mechanisms and improve overall market transparency.

The final cornerstone of the EGX’s strategy is marketing. In collaboration with the Investment Ministry, the coming year will see roadshows to the Gulf, Europe, and the US to promote investment in Egypt and speak with foreign investors about regulatory changes. Further promotional efforts will see the Egyptian Exchange joining the 57th World Federation of Exchanges general assembly and annual meeting from 6-9 September in Bangkok, Thailand. Cairo will also host the annual assembly for African exchanges on 19-21 November, Farid added.

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