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Sunday, 24 September 2017

BlackRock interested in Egyptian debt

BlackRock’s head of emerging stocks sees value in Egypt and is keen on international and local currency bonds there. BlackRock MD Amer Bisat tells Bloomberg that “Egypt is a place that has gone through a wrenching adjustment as part of an IMF program and offers good fundamental value for the yields that you’re getting … Local currency in particular is a very interesting [prospect] at this stage … It’s a fixed exchange rate, effectively very cheap level, with very high yields and a commitment to reform.” Globally, Bisat is worried about when the “good times” for emerging markets will end and notes that a reversal in sentiment EM bonds could be painful.

Arqaam Capital is also keen on Egypt, saying it will continue to “build its local capabilities in Egypt to provide a bridge for capital flows into the Egyptian economy.” Radi El-Helw, Managing Director, Arqaam Egypt says: “With the brave and bold economic and structural reform program that the Government of Egypt has embarked on, we are bullish with respect to the future prospects of the Egyptian market… We are excited about the developments in Egypt’s capital markets, which today represent one of the most vibrant markets for public and private investors across the Middle East and North Africa region. In spite of perceived economic and political challenges, the reality is that Egypt still represents one of the most active markets in terms new IPOs and number of M&A transactions executed, both of which reflect strong convictions by local, regional, and international financial and strategic investors in the future of the country.” El Helw says Egypt continues to be a very competitive location because it offers access to a skilled labor pool “at highly competitive costs relative to other regional markets covering the MENA region.”

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Financial Holdings says the reform program has encouraged it to invest more in Egypt through its local arm Capital Properties, CEO Jassim Alseddiqi told Investment Minister Sahar Nasr on Friday. The firm was particularly interested in a number of the companies in the state’s program to IPO publicly owned assets. It is also interested in investing in education, the statement said.

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