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Thursday, 1 April 2021

What the markets are doing on 1 April 2021

KSA’s top listed companies are redirecting dividends into MbS’ investment plan: Twenty-four of Saudi Arabia’s largest companies have agreed to reduce dividend payouts and commit USD 1.3 tn over the next 10 years to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s new domestic investment strategy, Al Arabiya reports. The “Shareek” program, announced on Tuesday, is meant to bolster private sector contribution to GDP by up to 65% by the end of the decade, MbS said. Around 60% of the USD 1.3 tn are being contributed by Aramco and Sabic alone, Bloomberg reported. The total amount of the program will rise to USD 7.2 tn, including USD 2.6 tn from government spending, as well as USD 800 bn from Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, MbS added.

The EU is trying to capitalize on Brexit to take euroclearing away from London as a big portion of EUR-denominated contracts are cleared in the City, says Politico. While the British are clearly opposed to those efforts, the biggest challenge facing Brussels isn’t so much UK opposition as it is the gigantic volume of financial trades that would need to be shifted over to mainland-based clearinghouses. The market size for clearing EUR interest-rate swaps, or forward contracts used by financial institutions to hedge against interest rate fluctuations, alone runs into the tns, and 90% of those are being cleared by London-based LCH.

What is clearing, you ask? Tap / click here for our recent primer.

The renminbi had its worst month in a year-and-a-half low against the USD in March: The onshore currency fell 1.4% during the month to RMB 6.57 — the worst performance since the height of US-China trade tensions in August 2019, the Financial Times reports. Investors fear the country’s economic bounce to pre-pandemic levels could lead to the government withdrawing stimulus, which according to Capital Economics’ Senior Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard could cause a “cyclical slowdown.” The country’s central bank will welcome some currency depreciation to give exports a boost, but significant fall in the currency is unlikely to happen, analysts say.

The US private sector hired more new employees in March than any month since last September, according to data from the ADP Research Institute released Wednesday, Bloomberg reports. A bounceback in the leisure and hospitality industries was widely responsible for the gains, as the US’ successful vaccine rollout continues to buoy economic prospects. The economy is also getting a boost from President Joe Biden’s recent USD 1.9 tn stimulus package, as well as a new USD 2 tn infrastructure investment plan, the details of which we had in yesterday’s PM.




-1.6% (YTD: -2.6%)



Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76



Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76


Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending




+2.8% (YTD: +14.0%)




– (YTD: +17.2%)




-0.3% (YTD: +2.3%)


S&P 500


+0.4% (YTD: +5.8%)


FTSE 100


-0.9% (YTD: +3.9%)


Brent crude

USD 63.54



Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.60




USD 1,710.20




USD 59,088.62


The EGX30 fell 1.6% yesterday on turnover of EGP 1.21 bn (16.4% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 2.6% YTD.

In the green: Orascom Financial (+5.0%), Heliopolis Housing (+0.6%) and Madinet Nasr Housing (+0.5%).

In the red: Fawry (-4.4%), Pioneers (-2.6%) and Ibnsina Pharma (-2.4%).

It’s green as far as the eye can see on Asian exchanges, but futures suggest a mixed open in Europe and in North America, where the Dow, S&P and TSX look set to open in the red, while the Nasdaq will start out in positive territory.

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