Meet our analyst of the week: Banque Misr’s Eman Negm
OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Eman Negm, economic strategy manager at Banque Misr (Linkedin).
My name is Eman Negm and I’m the economic strategy manager at Banque Misr. I worked in academia for eight years as an assistant lecturer teaching economics at Modern Sciences and Arts University (MSA). I then decided I wanted to apply the theory I had learned to the practical world, so I joined the research team at Prime Holding. I worked there for eight years and I was very lucky to meet Aboubakr Emam who was the head of research there at the time, and I moved with him to Sigma Capital for a year. I then moved to my current position at Banque Misr which was an entirely new experience and sector to me, but I loved the challenge it posed.
My work sees me set the strategy for the bank for the next five years. We’re trying to compete at the global level as opposed to just with the local banks. Our strategy reflects that by focusing on issues such as green finance and financial inclusion. We look at what services we need to offer our clients, what firms we could acquire to further our reach, and how to internally digitalize our processes to be more efficient. I think the last one is probably the most difficult, as a lot of people already have an established way of doing things, and don’t want to shake up the status quo. On a day to day basis, my job entails monitoring peers, tracking our status on the strategy, and writing reports.
The process we go through to put together a strategy is quite comprehensive. We first conduct market research and look at competitors locally and globally. When we find new trends or products we’re interested in, we see how other people executed them and how we can apply it in Banque Misr. We also check if it's in line with Central Bank of Egypt regulations and whether the sector we’re looking at is interested. We then meet with sector heads to set an objective and execution plan.
The pandemic has put a big dent in our strategy for the coming years. All the numbers changed [laughs]. From interest rates, to sectors being impacted differently, we had to set new KPIs and financials. Even the HR strategy completely adjusted to account for work from home and online training sessions.
One of our main goals in the next period is to make Egypt a gateway to Africa. The bank is aiming to expand across the country and continent. It doesn’t have to be a physical presence, our digitalization strategy allows us to expand through digital channels through which we will offer some of our services in different countries.
I think this year is better than 2020, but we’re still far from a full recovery. Smart policies and initiatives from the government and the CBE helped the country somewhat absorb the negative impacts of the pandemic, but we still need time to get back on track to pre-covid forecasted growth for many firms and sectors.
The thing I’m most proud of at work is putting together my team. They’re all eager to learn and dedicated to the job. It’s been great to see them grow and excel. I love to see how knowledgeable they’ve become about everything from global news to economics, and see them implement their knowledge through our work.
There are many digital initiatives the team has been spearheading, such as launching digital branches, as well as instant and express loans for SMEs. If I had to take it further and list what’s still missing and what I’d like to see in the sector nationwide, I think we need to take more steps to develop blockchain, derivatives trading, and contactless cards.
I’m always very excited for any initiative that supports inclusivity. For example, we’re launching products targeting and being tailored to suit SMEs and women to allow for easier access to financing, which in turn helps bolster the economy. The country needs all sectors to be contributing to its growth, not just a single entity or area.
As a working mother, I’ve been doing my job from home since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s been very hard to manage work and online schooling simultaneously. I want my life back [laughs]. I’m very grateful to my boss Wassim El-Metwally who was very understanding of the situation and gave me the leeway to work from home.
The last great thing I watched is the Ramadan show Khali Balak Min Zizi. My six-year-old daughter is very similar to Zizi and Tito and the TV show helped me change the way I approach and understand her. It was a milestone for me and I’ve since been trying to give her more attention and be calmer with her.
The last great thing I read was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. However, one of my favorite books is The Secret; it really changed the way I see things. Now I try to remember that if I truly believe something will happen, chances are it just might. The effectiveness of this kind of thought has been proven to me time and time again.
When I’m not working I like to do arts and crafts. I like upcycling things, especially through decoupage or painting. Me and the kids have upcycled clothes, furniture, and basically anything we can find. Overall, most of my time is spent with my kids.
The EGX30 fell 0.7% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.53 bn (14.9% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 5.6% YTD.
In the green: Orascom Financial Holding (+5.2%), Export Development Bank (+3.6%) and EFG Hermes (+0.9%).
In the red: Ibnsina Pharma (-6.3%), GB Auto (-2.9%) and Pioneers Holding (-2.6%).