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HC expects the CBE to keep interest rates unchanged

  • HC Securities & Investment shared their expectations on the likely outcome of the MPC meeting scheduled February 3rd and based on Egypt’s current situation, they expect the CBE to keep interest rates unchanged.

Head of macro and financials at HC, Monette Doss commented: “Egypt’s inflation remains largely contained towards the lower end of the CBE target range of 7% (+/-2%) for 4Q22. We, however, expect inflation to average 7.0% in 1Q22, as we expect a pick up in food and gasoline prices reflecting global inflationary pressures. We continue to believe that carry trade is essential for supporting Egypt’s net international reserves (NIR). More so as demonstrated by the net foreign liability (NFL) position of the Egyptian banking sector (excluding the CBE), which increased to USD7.12bn in November from USD USD4.8bn in the previous month. Accordingly, we perceive continued pressure to maintain the current levels of Egyptian treasuries interest rate. Currently, Egyptian treasuries offer a real return of c4% (given 12M T-bill rate of 13.2%, taxes for US and EU investors of 15%, and our 2022e inflation forecast of 7.2%). Even though the US Federal Reserve might start increasing interest rates in March, US 2-year notes are expected to offer a negative real return of -2.2% given Bloomberg consensus estimates of 2022 2-year notes rate of 1.4% and average US inflation of 3.6% over 2022-23. Currently, Turkey offers a real return of 3.8% on our calculations (based on its 2-year note rate of 22.6%, zero taxes on Turkish treasuries, and Bloomberg inflation consensus estimates of 18.8% on average over 2022-23). We note that Egypt’s credit default swap (CDS) is currently at 550 bps, just above Turkey’s CDS of 527 bps. Accordingly, we believe that Egypt’s carry trade remains attractive at the current levels, and with inflation remaining within the CBE’s target range, we expect the CBE to maintain rates unchanged in its upcoming meeting.

It is worth mentioning that, in its last meeting on 16 December, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep rates unchanged for the ninth consecutive time. Egypt’s annual headline inflation came in at 5.9% in December, with monthly inflation decreasing 0.1% m-o-m, reversing an increase of 0.1% in November, according to data published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

The Global Green Economy in 2022

Egypt & Africa now have a new responsibility for the Green Economy in 2022. Looming climate change and international negotiations over the global problem have sparked a “Green Transition” in Africa & Egypt. The United Nations IPCC, an intergovernmental panel on climate change, has recently updated its reports to state that globally, we must reach a net-zero CO2 emissions level by 2050 to begin reversing the impacts of global warming. For this reason, the green economy has seen a new surge of funding and interest in Q1 of 2022. Contact an HC Securities & Investment experts to discuss how the Green Economy of 2022 can impact your portfolio.

  • The IPCC Net Zero Emissions Goal Stimulates Innovation & Green Investment

A Task Force established by the IPCC has concluded that immediate action must be taken. That mandate has kickstarted a transition towards a new wave of green innovation. Anytime innovation is involved, lenders aren’t too far behind. Financial activities surrounding profitable green initiatives are on the rise. Emerging nations in Africa are now at the top of the list for securing funding and technology from large financial institutions. This renewed investment into the green transition has sparked interest from many banks and investment firms from around the globe. 2022 is sure to see a great deal of financial activity in the green sector from emerging nations.

  • The Growing Market For GSS Bonds

Green, social and sustainable bonds are a new trend across the globe. Many nations have issued them and the market is growing. A total of 16 nations currently issue GSS bonds, however only 1 exists in africa. Nigeria is shaping up to be a central location for investment firms, banks and private investors looking to support state-run green initiatives. As 2022 brings a transition into a net zero emissions plan, GSS bonds could provide a new source of financing for Egypt and countries in Africa.

  •  The New Assault On Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Fossil fuel subsidies have been known to promote excessive energy consumption. When energy prices are low thanks to government subsidies, both private and public organizations over consume. Fossil fuel subsidies are necessary in some places, however when they are used inefficiently it can cause some serious problems. 2022 has already shown a trend of correcting old, out of touch fossil fuel policies. Consequently, removing energy subsidies frees up additional capital to fund the green transition. We can expect this year to bring the removal of more fuel subsidies in Africa and Egypt and major investment in new green initiatives.

  • A Rapid Green Transition Is Coming

One thing is for certain, a transition is on the horizon. Egypt and Africa along with the rest of the world is on a rapid transition to a net-zero emissions point. To get there, we are seeing huge investment and initiatives from intergovernmental organizations around the globe. Smart investors and savvy entrepreneurs can potentially take advantage of this green transition to earn great returns. As Egypt and Africa become larger players on the international stage, all eyes are watching. Heading into 2022, the GDP of Africa & Egypt is on the rise. Similarly, the amount of investment being diverted into green projects is on the same trajectory. But can we reach net-zero emissions by 2050? Only time will tell.