Meet Prime Holding’s Mona Bedeir, our Analyst of the Week
OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Mona Bedeir, Senior Economist at Prime Holding (Linkedin)
My name is Mona Bedeir and I’ve been at Prime Holding for the past four years. I’m a senior economist in the company’s research department and work on Prime’s daily research note as well as a monthly product that covers Egypt’s PMI, inflation, and reserves data. I focus on Egypt and my specialization is in macro, but we’re aiming to venture further into the region in the coming period, starting with GCC countries.
Joining Prime was my shift away from academia — I was previously a teaching assistant at MSA University while studying for my master’s in economics from Cairo University. Having a theoretical understanding of economics gives you a better oversight of the real world mechanisms while also helping you see other execution strategies. I’m also on the way to finishing my PhD from Cairo University.
The best part of my job is the challenge that every day I get to focus on a new topic. Economics is vast and always changing. I also enjoy using what I do at work to help people who ask me for advice.
The most frustrating part of my job is when I realize I don’t have recent data to analyze the whole picture. If I could add any indicators to the market, I would start with retail sales and labor market data. While the financial sector is very important of course, I believe the real economy is a door to understand what’s really happening on the ground.
When recommending an investment I always try to get a sense of the type of asset the investor is looking for and the purpose behind it. If they want a quick return, my recommendation will be much different than for an investor who's looking long-term. I ask questions such as what extent they can tolerate risk and how they weigh between risk and return.
I use a cost-benefit analysis to decide on anything in my professional and personal life. That’s what’s in my head if I’m deciding how to call an investment — or whether I should go out with my friends later tonight. However, it was a bit more tricky during the covid-19 pandemic when there was such a fundamental uncertainty that most cost-benefit analysis couldn’t be accurate.
At that point, I began recommending safe haven assets such as gold as a long-term investment. When the uncertainty lifts a bit, I do believe that we’ll return to being able to more accurately calculate risk. In general, I’m pro long-term investments.
I believe that commodity trading is an undiscovered gem for investment and that if you’re familiar with the local and global markets you’ll be able to gain high returns from them. Commodities are a reflection of the real economy. That said, I also think we should focus on human and social capital.
2021 is the year of unclear skies in Egypt and beyond. I don’t think this will be the year of Egypt due to covid-19 and its implications. Without the pandemic, 2020 could have been the year of Egypt, but the timeline has been pushed back a few years. I would go as far as to say that Egypt won’t have “it’s year” until at least 2023.
If I wasn’t focused on Egypt, I would have liked to focus on Africa as a whole. I believe the continent’s markets have a lot of overlooked potential that needs a spotlight.
If I wasn’t an analyst altogether, I would have liked to work at an NGO for social development. More specifically women empowerment and gender protection. I like my work to help people.
When I’m not on the clock, I like to bike. I’ve also started going on rides with friends on weekends and my last ride was at the Wadi Degla Protectorate in Maadi.
The last great thing I watched was a documentary called Return to El Salvador which covers the period after the civil war. I’m a big fan of documentaries in general and especially ones that cover these transitional periods.
I’ve read quite a few good books in the past few months. I’m currently reading the Description de l'Egypte series that included memoirs of people who lived in Egypt during the French occupation. I’m a big fan of historical books that include firsthand accounts of major events. One of my favorite writers is Elif Shafak and I recently read her book The Bastard Of Istanbul that describes her relationship with her home country. Finally, the book I always pick up whenever I’m struggling or whenever the world feels heavy on my shoulders is The Open Door by Latifa Zayyat. The book speaks to me personally and I often wish I had existed at that time and participated in its events.
My trick to staying organized is always to promise myself a treat once I finish a task. It ensures I stay committed even if it's as little as promising myself a bar of chocolate. Of course, this comes after I prioritize my day and have everything in a checklist. I’m also a big fan of deadlines and even make sure to ask for one at work.
The EGX30 rose less than 0.1% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.4 bn (2.7% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is up 6.35% YTD.
In the green: Ibn Sina (+3.5%), MM Group (+3.0%) and Ezz Steel (+2.9%).
In the red: Fawry (-3.8%), Credit Agricole Egypt (-2.3%) and Eastern Company (-0.9%).
The board of Egypt Starch and Glucose approved to have the company delist from the EGX, the company said in a bourse filing today (pdf). The board also signed off on the fair value report, which prices shares at EGP 9.63 per share.