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Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Meet our analyst of the week: Beltone’s Rawan Ali

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Rawan Ali, associate at Beltone Financial (Linkedin).

My name is Rawan Ali and I’m an associate at Beltone on the macro and strategy team. I’m the primary analyst for the GCC region, mainly Kuwait, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. I’ve been working at Beltone for the past four years and it has really helped me grow on both a professional and personal standpoint. Prior to that I worked as a teaching assistant in economics at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology after I graduated in 2016. I then had a quick stint at a political party before moving to my current job. I’m currently studying for my masters in economics from Cairo University and after I finish it, I’m planning to also get my PhD from abroad… but I’ll probably take a break for a year or two first [laughs]. We’ll see where life will take me.

The best part of my job is being exposed to the market talk. You get to meet and discuss the market with the people who are actually investing into it. It often feeds into our view as we have an idea of how investors think and perceive things. Research in general allows a lot of room to expand your knowledge. The horizon is endless and I love all the winding roads you have to take to get to a conclusion.

The worst part of my job is the deadlines, especially if you’re working on something you haven’t been exposed to before and you’re tight on time. It’s a demanding job, but that’s not always a bad thing for me. I love my team a lot and the work environment is great, so even when we put in long hours, we enjoy each other’s company throughout.

Egypt and the GCC have some similarities on the macro front when it comes to private spending and energy. I think the past two years were very transitional when it comes to the macro picture. The huge stimulus packages that were offered helped boost private spending in both the GCC and Egypt. Another similarity is the push in the energy sector. In the GCC, this was in the form of oil exports while Egypt did well when it came to natural gas. Egypt’s trade surplus was supported by high natural gas exports and this was a really good feat as it was challenging to keep trade intact with the ongoing supply chain problems. It also contributed to a stable EGP.

We expect Egypt to grow at a 5.6% clip in FY2021-2022. That’s similar to the rest of the region, with Saudi Arabia expected to be up by 4.9% in 2022 and UAE by 5.3% in 2022. As for FY2022-23, we’re expecting a 5.9% growth for Egypt, but it really depends on a number of uncertainties that we could face such as lockdowns or more variants.

Global inflation rates will probably catch up to Egypt this year. We’re expecting a tightening of monetary policy in the coming two years as a result and we forecasted a hike of 100 basis points in interest rates in 2022.

The pandemic definitely changed the way I do my job as I learned that there are two sides to every coin and the one that is most likely to appear is the one with a more solid explanation. When it comes to things such as judging whether oil prices will increase or stay at the same level, you have to choose which of the scenarios is more probable, given a number of uncertainties. When I get things like this right, I feel very proud, but when I get them wrong, I research the subject a bit more to see what factors I might have overlooked to note them the next time. It’s a long process, but it helps me learn.

I used to be more conservative in my forecasts but now I’m more confident in identifying possible catalysts and upsides. Still, it’s important to keep things in proportion and I avoid hyping a stock up if I don’t think that it deserves so much attention. There has to be an actionable framework currently being implemented to confidently be bullish about an investment.

The last great thing I watched was The Queen’s Gambit. I actually just finished it last weekend [laughs]. I like to watch shows that have a personality that is so invested in something specific, like Stephen Hawkings in The Theory of Everything. I try to figure out where they get their inspiration from: Reading a lot? Marveling at the unknown? Following a mentor?

I’m currently reading The Only Game in Town by Mohamed El Erian. He talks about central banks and their role during times of crisis during the financial crisis. He also discusses how their role should be shaped going forward and the policy changes needed to ensure a sustainable financial system. Next on my shelf is definitely Blowout by Rachel Maddow where she talks about the dark side of the oil and gas industry and all the politics involved.

In my downtime, I like to spend time with my dog Jazz. He’s everything to me and any time I have, I try to allocate it to him. Otherwise, I like to watch movies or practice the guitar. I’m obsessed with jazz music (hence my dog’s name) and I enjoy listening to it whenever I can. I also like going for a cruise with my fiance or just spending time with him in general.


MARKET NEWS-

Orascom Construction is paying out 2021 dividends to its shareholders of EGP 3.65 per share, the company said in an EGX disclosure (pdf).

The International Company for Medical Industries (ICMA) has listed new shares on the EGX as part of the company’s EGP 33.48 mn capital increase, the company said in a bourse filing (pdf).

MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 fell 0.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 986 mn (19.3% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 0.4% YTD.

In the green: MM Group (+3.1%), TMG Holding (+1.1%) and Abu Qir Fertilizers (+1.1%).

In the red: Speed Medical (-3.1%), GB Auto (-2.8%) and Mopco (-2.4%).

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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