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Monday, 1 February 2021

What the markets are doing on 1 February 2021

Saudi Arabia is trying to rebrand Riyadh as the new Dubai: The kingdom has already attracted 24 multinationals to set up regional headquarters in Riyadh by flaunting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious economic reforms that aim to shift Saudi’s dependence away from oil and open up more of the economy, reports the Financial Times. The new entrants to Riyadh include US construction giant Bechtel — who will also be project managing a futuristic 170km city strip planned in Neom named “The Line” — as well as Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons and Indian hotel group Oyo which hopes to ride the wave of increased tourism in the country.

Dubai is taking measures of its own to attract more foreign investment into the country, which (as we noted yesterday) involve easing citizenship rules.

The EM bond rush shows no signs of slowing: Investors have bought a record USD 115.2 bn of sovereign and corporate emerging-market debt so far this year, the Financial Times reports. The boom in issuance is being driven, not just by a need for liquidity, but by the knowledge that bond yields will not remain at rock-bottom forever.

M&A WATCH- Emirati F&B player Agthia Group acquired Kuwait’s Al Faysal Bakery for an undisclosed sum last Thursday, a move that will quadruple its footprint in Kuwait. EFG Hermes acted as Agthia’s sole financial advisor, it said in a press release (pdf).




-0.3% (YTD: +6.5%)



Buy 15.68

Sell 15.78



Buy 15.68

Sell 15.78


Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending




-1.2% (YTD: +0.2%)




-0.9% (YTD: +10.9%)




-1.6% (YTD: +6.5%)


S&P 500


-1.9% (YTD: -1.1%)


FTSE 100


-1.8% (YTD: -0.8%)


Brent crude

USD 54.91



Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.72




USD 1,854.50




USD 32,684.19


The EGX30 fell 0.3% yesterday on turnover of EGP 1.5 bn (7.6% above the 90-day average). Domestic investors were net sellers. The index is up 6.5% YTD.

In the green: Pioneers Holding (+2.4%), Ibnsina Pharma (+1.2%) and CIB (+0.6%).

In the red: Ezz Steel (-2.5%), Qalaa Holdings (-2.3%) and Elsewedy Electric (-2.3%).

Asian markets are mostly in the green this morning, but futures suggest European and North American markets will all open in the red later today.

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