Meet our analyst of the week: Misr Capital’s Ahmed Adel
OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Ahmed Adel, head of buy-side research at Misr Capital (Linkedin).
My name is Ahmed Adel and even though I started my career on the sell-side, I’ve shifted to buy-side — a move I’ve been trying to do for a while now after having more than 12 years of experience in equity research. I started my career at Naeem Holding, where I met my first mentor, Micheal Miller, who is now an investor manager at Martin Curry. I then moved to HC Securities and then Beltone Financial for five years. During my career in sell-side, I covered telecoms, healthcare, and consumers in the MENA region.
I decided to move to buy-side because I wanted to be able to make decisions for my entity. I had a rich experience in sell-side and I had the privilege of seeing a lot of transactions, but I felt that I could do more than giving recommendations and waiting to see if clients would go for my calls. Buy-side is where you take the decisions while also getting the chance to cover all sectors. I try to always be selective and comprehensive while utilizing my analytic background to come up with stock selections.
The best part of my job is always seeking investment alpha. I also enjoy the depth of analysis and fundamentals. I love numbers in general and modeling is a great way to put that love into my work.
Meanwhile, the best part of my career was being the lead sell-side analyst for two IPOs in the market: MM Group and Ibn Sina Pharma.
The worst part of my job is always having to be connected. It’s very hard to make plans and stick to them because anything can pop up suddenly and you have to drop everything to manage it.
The pandemic didn’t affect our workflow much and I attribute that to the proactive team I work with. When you have a strong team, nothing will stop them from doing their work whether it's from home, from the office, or under attack — that last one might be a stretch [laughs].
At Misr Capital we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when deciding on viable investments. We use it in our valuations and scoring for companies and management has been very receptive to this change in thinking and developing. I think in Egypt in general we need to focus on the governance aspect in the near term by having independent board members and more female representation on boards. I see the country improving on the ESG fronts in the next 2-3 years as Egypt’s authorities have been supportive of the move and continue to encourage it immensely.
As a father of two daughters and a brother to many sisters, I hope more focus on ESG can make the country a better place for women. I’ve seen through my family and female colleagues the challenges that face women at work and in life, and it’s important moving forward to have them well-represented and empowered on boards and in business in general.
My theory of investment is viva fundamentals. I’m a big fan of Seth Klarman’s saying, “We don't have an analytical advantage, we just look in the right place.” Everyone has access to the same financials, but it's about looking in the right places and sifting through the available information to find what’s important to you.
The most important thing I look at in the company is an adaptable vision and quality. The world is changing technologically and economically and firms need to be able to be flexible to it and find ways to capitalize on it while maintaining a certain quality in operations and management. During covid for example, firms had to find digital methods to offer a service or fill in gaps in their business cycle and this helped them find real value for the future.
I think the fresh blood we’ll potentially see this year in Egypt’s capital markets bodes well for 2021. I also think we have a solid outlook on the macro front thanks to the government's reforms and the expected return in tourism. I think the royal mummies parade really added to the latter of those and I’m personally very proud of what I saw.
What I think the market needs going forward is more sector representation and better disclosures — of course alongside the planned IPOs to go through.
Watching movies is a kind of meditation for me and I like to see films from different cultures and locations as opposed to always sticking to Hollywood. The last great things I watched are an Indian movie called The White Tiger, Turkish movie Paper Lives, and a German series called Bad Banks. Other than those, my guilty pleasure is to watch cooking shows with my wife. We particularly enjoy Kitchen Wars — Manu habiby —and Hell’s Kitchen.
In my freetime, I like to spend time with my daughters, wife, and parents. I’m very family oriented. With my daughters, Linda and Nelly, I like to introduce them to old games such as ‘Basra’ and Ludo and see how they react to it. At three and five years old, they’re usually into it for a while, but soon opt to go back to their more modern games. When I can, I also like to take them on trips and try to see the world from their eyes.
The biggest thing the pandemic has taught me is to appreciate our life and our health. Unfortunately, I think it’s true that you only appreciate something when you don’t have it anymore. I really missed going to the office for example, something I thought wouldn’t ever happen.
The EGX30 fell 1.4% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 995 mn (27.3% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 5.0% YTD.
In the green: AMOC (+15.1%), Fawry (+0.8%) and Credit Agricole (+0.3%).
In the red: ElSewedy Electric (-7.3%), Heliopolis Housing (-4.4%) and Ibnsina Pharma (-4.1%).