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Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Good news, brokerage firms

The EGX30 rose 2.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.12 bn (24% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net sellers. The index is down 1.3% YTD.

In the green: MM Group (+5.9%), Ibnsina Pharma (+5.8%) and Abu Qir Fertilizers (+5.4%).

In the red: Orascom Development (-1.1%), EKH (-0.5%) and SODIC (-0.2%).

Brokerages are about to get a financial shot in the arm from a fund to which the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has given the green light. The fund aims to boost trading volumes on the Egyptian Exchange, the regulator said in a statement (pdf). The statement provided no information on the size of the fund, who would own and manage it, or how it will work. We reached out to a number of sources at the FRA for comment; all declined to provide additional information.

The fund will be structured to allow brokerage companies to access financing at competitive rates to support margin trading, EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid told us, adding that authorities are yet to decide eligibility criteria.

The move is an extension of the central bank’s share-purchase initiative launched last year and it aims to support the market stability and boost liquidity, he said.

This isn’t the first time policymakers have tried to boost liquidity on the exchange: The fund is part of several initiatives to stimulate trading on the EGX including allowing factoring companies to finance margin lending by brokerage companies and the EGP 20 bn share-purchase program launched last March in a bid to stem sell-off and support asset prices amid the covid-19 induced market volatility and of which the bank used EGP 500 mn as at last January.

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