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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Fund managers “have turned negative” on Egyptian equities amid EM Zombie Apocalypse

Fund managers “have turned negative” on Egyptian equities amid the Emerging Markets Zombie Apocalypse, a monthly poll of leading fund managers shows, according to Reuters. Of the 13 managers polled, 15% said they expect to curb their exposure to Mideast equities within the next three months, while around 8% said they plan on raising them.

One-third of managers see themselves cutting allocations to Egypt: Egypt “is not protected by a currency peg, with 31 percent expecting to cut allocations to Egypt and 8 percent to raise them — the most negative balance since February 2017.” Egypt will likely see capital outflows as investors’ demand for EGP-denominated bonds is waning, says Global Investment House’s head of regional asset management Bader Ghanim al-Ghanim. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE are somewhat spared from the negative sentiment thanks to their currency pegs to Saudi and Kuwait’s anticipated inclusion in global equity indexes, and to the UAE’s comparative affordability.

The upside for Egypt: We’re “probably still the best place in the Middle East and North Africa to find bottom-up stories that can deliver 20 to 25 percent earnings growth for a sustainable period,” Al Mal Capital’s Vrajesh Bhandari says. Investors’ bearish sentiment on Egypt’s equities is driven more by the “macro clouds” than by domestic or corporate fundamentals, he suggests.

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