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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Meet our analyst of the week: Banque Misr’s Yara El Kahky

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Yara El Kahky, economist and capital markets analyst at Banque Misr’s Market Intelligence Unit (Linkedin).

My name is Yara El Kahky and working in research was always my dream job. I graduated from the German University in Cairo (GUC) with a double bachelor's degree in economics and innovation technology management and then went to get my master’s in international finance at the Berlin School of Economics and Law. At the time, there was an internal debate on whether I should stay abroad or come back home, but I decided that I wanted my future to be in Egypt and I came back in 2015. I started my career as an intern at Naeem Holding under a rotational graduate program and was hired as an equity trader. It wasn’t what I was passionate about, but my dream job was in sight, so I persevered until I joined Naeem’s research department a year later as an assistant economist. I was promoted to an economist in 2019, but left Naeem in 2020 to join Banque Misr in my current role. I’m also currently studying for my PhD from GUC.

My role involves sector strategy, quality assurance, and research. We analyse everything that has to do with the Egyptian economy, from macro indicators to global market mover news that can have an impact locally. We also work with the government on projects with aims such as helping Egyptian banks improve their investment decisions.

I love everything about my job. I can’t do something unless I’m passionate about it. I like the fact that it constantly forces me to read between the lines and pick up on small details that could see big events ensue. I’m always proud when I can come up with a unique statement or forecast and it materializes.

The worst part of my job is that it’s very time consuming. It can sometimes flow into holidays or my social life. However, I knew about this coming into the industry, so it’s all part of doing what I enjoy.

My theory of investment is to know your risk before your return. Even if a stock has potential and a low price, there’s always a risk to consider. Which is why you should only invest spare money that you can leave in the market long-term without needing to withdraw it for personal reasons.

The most important factor I look at to judge the health of the economy is the interest rate. I think from it you can derive the analytical story that links to everything. Of course, you can’t be an economist and not love figures for GDP, exchange rate, and exports/imports.

I think 2022 will be promising, but not quite there yet. There are so many factors that have us drawing up question marks. We’re still waiting to see how the return of Russian tourism will impact the EGX and the global reaction to interest rate hikes by the Fed which might not be positive on our local T-bills and bonds. Then there’s the slated IPOs for next year that could or could not go through, meaning foreign investors haven't yet come back to our stock exchanges. And of course, everything is constrained by the new delta variant of covid-19 and the low vaccination rate. I’m usually quite conservative in my outlook, but I truly believe that it won’t be the year of Egypt until all these question marks are erased and 40-60% of the population is vaccinated.

In my opinion, textiles are an overlooked sector. People are always consuming, even if they’re in debt [laughs] and textiles are a huge part of that. It also provides the possibility of adding more vocational training and jobs to market while lowering the import of clothes. I’m currently also working as a fashion designer and I own the brand YK Concept Designs. Fashion is booming and more people should jump on the bandwagon.

I don’t really watch much TV. Between my job, my fashion brand, and my PhD, I barely see my friends and family. I’m even tempted to cancel my subscription to Netflix so that I’m not tempted [laughs]. But I think that being passionate keeps me going, even if it's overnight and during weekends, what I do brings me a different kind of happiness.

Fashion is kind of related to my job as both involve a lot of research and looking at trends and presentations. It’s more specific, looking at age range and social life, but it has its ups and downs and is also quick to change.

My future plans are to really grow my fashion brand and teach at a university — hopefully GUC since I’m a proud GUCian.


MARKET WATCH-

The EGX30 rose 0.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.4 bn (7.4% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is up 2.3% YTD.

In the green: Speed Medical (+9.8%), Egyptian for Tourism Resorts (+5.7%) and MM Group (+4.6%).

In the red: Credit Agricole (-2.2%), Ezz Steel (-1.5%) and Elsewedy Electric (-1.1%).

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