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Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Egypt’s inclusion in JPMorgan's bond index could be less lucrative

Inclusion in the JPMorgan bond index may not be quite as lucrative as first thought: Egypt could see inflows worth USD 1.4-2.2 bn in the local currency bond market if JPMorgan reincludes it in its emerging-market government bond index, research analysts at the investment bank have said, according to Reuters.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait this month said Egypt could expect USD 4.4 bn in inflows after being included in the index, while an economist at South African financial services company RMB Holdings put the figure at USD 4.8 bn.

Expect it to be closer to USD 1.4 bn: "With investors already holding relatively large [overweight] positions in local assets, particularly in Egypt, we expect inflows are likely to be closer to the lower end of this range,” the analysts said.

What we know so far: The US bank said this month it had put Egypt on its ‘index watch positive’ list, meaning that it is looking at including the country’s local-currency bonds on its popular index of sovereign EM bonds. Fourteen Egyptian bonds are up for consideration in the index, which would have a weight of almost 1.78%, the analysts said. The bank will make a decision within the next six months.

This wouldn’t be the first time Egypt has been a part of the index, having been kicked off in the wake of the economic turmoil that followed the 25 January Revolution in 2011.

Waiting for Euroclear? Egyptian bonds could be cleared through the Belgium-based clearinghouse Euroclear between September and November this year, making it easier for foreign investors to invest in EGP bonds.

Don’t know what Euroclear is? Check out our explainer here.

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