Who’s going to IPO in 1H2021? We asked four top analysts.
IN THE HOT SEAT TODAY- CI Capital co-head of research Monsef Morsy, HC head of research Nemat Choucri, Prime Holding’s head of research Amr ElAlfy, and Renaissance Capital’s head of MENA research Ahmed Hafez.
In our 2020 year in review, we identified a 2021 IPO pipeline anchored by seven companies, based on our Enterprise Realness Rating. Today, we take the pulse of four leading analysts on whether they think we got it right — or are out to lunch.
CI Capital’s plan to take Taaleem Educational Services public in 1Q2021 is on track, Morsy conrirmed. CI said it is planning to list up to 40% of its education management venture in 1Q2021. Choucri is also confident the IPO will take place in the same timeframe, but ElAlfy thinks it could happen later in the first half. The Education Ministry’s move to scrap the 20% cap on foreign ownership of private schools is unlikely to impact the timeline, but could positively impact the valuation, ElAlfy adds.
Three of the four believe NBFS player Ebtikar is also very likely to go to market: Choucri believes it could happen as early as 1Q2021, Morsy believes it could happen a little later (likely in 2Q) while ElAlfy sees it in 2H2021.
Integrated Diagnostics Holding, which a report in the press claims could pull the trigger on its dual listing of ordinary shares on the EGX before 1Q2021 is out, looks like it will almost surely happen in 2021, with Morsy and Hafez favoring the first half.
Three of the four think e-Finance will happen this year: Hafez believes the sooner the IPO takes place, the better. Choucri thinks it could happen in 1Q, while ElAlfy sees 2Q as the likely scenario, but also believes e-Finance should have gone to the public market in 2020 following Fawry’s successful sale. Morsy thinks another state-owned company could likely IPO before e-Finance.
On the flipside: Morsy favors Banque du Caire for 1H2021, while ElAlfy and Choucri think the initial public offering by the state-owned giant could slip to the second half or even 2022. Choucri points to weak investor sentiment towards the banking sector in 2020, outside EGX30 heavyweight CIB. Hafez believes the IPO is unlikely in 2021, citing the same reasons.
Macro Pharma is flying below the radars of three of the four analysts, and the interesting food outfit Galina said an EGP 600 mn stake sale via private placement being quarterbacked by RenCap. A full listing on the EGX listing would follow, the company’s founder said, but it’s not likely to be this year.
Who did we miss? Choucri is on the lookout for Raya Holdings NBFS arm Aman Financial Services, which we had recently reported was eyeing an IPO within the coming two years. ElAlfy believes we could see IPOs from the Public Enterprises Ministry or the military’s National Service Products Organization in 2H2021.
What about stake sales of partially privatized state-owned companies? Hafez thinks Abu Qir Fertilizers could come to market if there’s a commodity price rally driven by China.
When’s the best time to go to market? While 1H will be welcoming to payments and NBFS offerings in a market hungry for new paper, ElAlfy and Choucri think 2H2021 looks more promising, expecting both a more comprehensive rollout of vaccines against covid-19 (here and in global markets) as well as further interest rate cuts by the CBE to boost appetite for Egyptian equities. Hafez believes 1H is best if a company is ready.
What do they want to see more of? Morsy tips banking. ElAlfy would like to see more ins. companies. Choucri, meanwhile, highlights payments and education (noting the performance of CIRA and Fawry over 2020) and thinks the fundamentals speak in favour of NBFS given the very wide swath of companies under-served by more risk-averse banks.
TODAY’S MARKET CLOSE-
The EGX30 ended today’s session flat on turnover of EGP 1.75 bn (19.5% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 7.0% YTD.
In the green: Orascom Investment (+7.5%), Pioneers Holding (+6.1%) and GB Auto (+4.1%).
In the red: Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (-1.3%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (-1.1%) and Heliopolis Housing (-1.0%).
WHAT’S DRIVING THE MARKET today? We asked Prime Holding’s chief economist, Mona Bedeir:
“Macro triggers like interest rates and monetary easing have limited impact on trading,” says Bedeir, pointing to the market’s muted reaction to 400 bps worth of rate cuts in 2020. “It was expected that the CBE wouldn’t act in this meeting.” What does have an impact on trading? The current retail-driven market is on the lookout for IPOs and M&A activity to open the door for “fresh product, a fresh injection of money, and new investors.”
While it won’t impact trading, Bedeir is anticipating the core inflation reading to get a proxy indicator on demand pressure inflation. Core inflation is on a downtrend and is currently less than its 10-year average, she adds, which is considered “muted inflation pressure” and therefore muted demand. From the corporate perspective, it gauges how much room a firm has to adjust their pricing strategy if the cost of inputs increases, which is difficult when there’s no demand, she says.