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Thursday, 5 July 2018

What we’re tracking on 5 July 2018

Egypt has received the fourth tranche of its USD 12 bn Extended Fund Facility from the IMF, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait confirmed in an interview with Youm7. Sources had said this week that Egypt received the USD 2 bn tranche last Friday, bringing the total amount received by Egypt up to USD 8 bn.

We’re pretty excited at the prospect of the Finance Ministry revealing the long awaited timeline for the state privatization program sometime next week, sources had told us. Minister Mohamed Maait himself stated that the committee tasked with setting up the program will hold a meeting next week to kick start the process. Eastern Tobacco is still the frontrunner with a 4% share sale expected to take place in 1Q2018-19, followed by state energy firm Enppi in September or October.

Meanwhile, we’re still looking for news of a shuffle of the nation’s 27 governors that was expected last week. Also on our radar is news that a visiting World Bank delegation might send signals on the WBG’s interest in chipping in additional financing for rail and river transport.

21 more companies from the EGX denied their affiliation with the UAE-based Abraaj Group in disclosures to the bourse yesterday, Al Mal reports. The latest group includes QNB – Egypt, Juhayna, Suez Canal Bank, Ibn Sina Pharma, the National Company for Maize Products, Delta Insurance, and Misr National Steel, among a host of others. Around 73 companies had rushed to meet an EGX requirement last week that they disclose any business or investment ties to embattled private equity firm Abraaj in the wake of the company’s collapse and liquidation.

Egypt is expected to ink today six MoUs with Hungary that will see the two countries cooperate in transport, agriculture, and communication, among other fields, according to unnamed government sources. The agreements will be signed on the sidelines of the third joint Egyptian-Hungarian Business Council.

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook updated for July 2018 is out on Monday 16 July. The report will be available for download here.

After the Saudi MSCI inclusion, GCC tipped for inclusion in JPM EM index: Another emerging markets coup is in the offing, as JP Morgan has begun consultations to include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar to its emerging markets government bonds index. “If JPM was to go ahead with the inclusion, this could prove to be a major boost to the region, supporting their debt issuance,” said Abhishek Kumar, head of EM debt at State Street Global Advisors tells the FT. He estimates that the move could lead to passive inflows of at least USD 45 bn, the equivalent to about 30% of the value of GCC sovereign bonds. “It may possibly lower their funding cost and may ultimately lead to higher regional growth,” he added. JPMorgan’s EM bond indices had excluded all GCC countries but Oman due to their gross national income per capita exceeding the ceiling of USD 18,769.

Not definitive yet: A spokesman for the bank declined to comment to Reuters on the likelihood of them getting the green light in the next update of the index, which normally gets announced around September. The JP Morgan’s “indices work to strict rules of eligibility and this rumored scenario with GCC countries (gaining inclusion) may never come to pass,” they added.

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