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Thursday, 10 June 2021

FTSE Russell index inclusion could bring USD 4 bn into EGP bonds, says FinMin

The Finance Ministry is expecting an additional USD 4 bn in foreign inflows into Egyptian debt on the back of Egypt’s inclusion in the FTSE Russell’s new frontier-market sovereign bond index, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a statement yesterday. The British index provider yesterday launched its Frontier Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Series, naming Egypt as one of the 13 countries included on the USD 414 bn index.

If accurate, this would make the FTSE Russell a significantly more lucrative source of foreign currency than the JPMorgan EM bond index, which is expected to bring in USD 1.4-2.2 bn into Egyptian debt should the investment bank reinclude Egypt on the index later this year.

Inclusion is a sign that economic reforms are paying off, says Maait: Inclusion in the index, which tracks local currency bonds issued in frontier markets, reflects efforts taken to lower public debt and improve Egypt’s credentials among emerging market peers with the ongoing economic reforms, the minister said.

More on the index: By quantity, EGP bonds have a weighting of c. 13.6%, but a country-capped index means that Egypt can only have a maximum weight of 10%. Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Vietnam are also included. Inclusion in the index will be reviewed semi-annually in March and September.

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