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Monday, 24 January 2022

Global FDI surges 77% in 2021; above pre-pandemic levels

Global FDI rebounds in 2021: Global foreign direct investment eclipsed pre-pandemic levels in 2021, rising 77% to USD 1.65 tn from USD 929 bn the year before, according to new UN figures.

Divide #1: Almost three-quarters of the increase went to developed economies, which saw total FDI inflows triple to USD 777 bn during the year. Gains in the developing world were more modest, rising 30% to USD 870 bn through the period.

Divide #2: Investors loved infrastructure projects last year, as stimulus and long-term financing arrangements helped inflows to almost double from 2020. In contrast, investment in greenfield projects were effectively unchanged, while the number of new projects reliant on global value chains fell.

Want more? Check out UNCTAD’s latest Investment Trends Monitor (pdf) here.

What about us? After showing signs of recovery at the tail-end of 2020, FDI flows went into reverse during the first half of 2021, falling to a mere USD 427 mn in 2Q, down two-thirds from 2Q2020 (aka the lockdown quarter) and the lowest quarterly figure since 4Q2011.

Some of the world’s biggest asset managers are doubling down on their bullish positions on emerging markets, despite fears that upcoming interest rate hikes in the US will weigh on the asset class, Bloomberg reports. Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas’ asset management arms are both continuing to go long on EM equities, betting that low valuations and favorable domestic interest rates will cause them to outperform their US competitors.

The early signs have been good: The MSCI EM Index has risen 3.6% over the past month despite investor nerves about rising rates, increasing inflation and the spread of omicron. The S&P 500, meanwhile, is down 7.7% YTD.

Saudi digital security firm Elm eyes USD 820 mn IPO: Elm, a digital security firm owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is looking to raise up to USD 820 mn in its upcoming IPO, according to a statement to the Tadawul. The firm plans to sell a 30% stake, setting the indicative price range at SAR 113-128 (USD 30.12-34.12) per share. The company’s bookbuilding process kicked off yesterday and will wrap this Friday, 28 January.

The planned IPO comes as the Tadawul continues its tear: Goldman Sachs expects the Saudi bourse to remain the Middle East’s busiest, according to Bloomberg. The Saudi exchange had a strong showing in 2021, outperforming its Gulf neighbors in terms of the volume of IPOs, including bumper listings from Acwa Power and Saudi Telecom subsidiary Solutions.




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S&P 500


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FTSE 100


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Brent crude

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Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.94




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+0.6% (as of midnight)


The EGX30 fell 0.7% yesterday on turnover of EGP 513 mn (55.2% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is down 2.5% YTD.

In the green: CIB (+0.8%).

In the red: Heliopolis Housing (-4.4%), Egyptian Resorts Company (-4.3%) and MM Group (-3.7%).

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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