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HC: Possible higher inflows into Egyptian sovereigns following the inclusion in the FTSE and the JP Morgan GBI-EM

  • HC Securities & Investment shared their expectations on the likely outcome of the MPC meeting scheduled June 17th 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: “The May inflation figures came in slightly better than our estimates of 5.0% y-o-y and 0.8% m-o-m. Over the rest of 2021, we expect monthly inflation to average 0.8% m-o-m and 6.8% y-o-y accounting for rising international commodity prices and a possible pick-up in tourism and consumer spending following the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. We, therefore, expect 2021 inflation to remain within the CBE’s target range of 7% (+/-2%) for 4Q22. Given sluggish tourism receipts, currently, Egypt relies on foreign portfolio inflows into sovereign debt as a main source for foreign currency which poses interest rate pressures on sovereigns. This is evident in T-bill rates declining by only 129bps since January 2020 despite the CBE undertaking a 400 bps rate cut during that period which resulted in a decoupling between corridor rates and sovereign yields. Currently, banks earn an after-tax rate of 10.6% on 12M treasuries and around 10.8% on lending to the private sector (according to the CBE’s subsidized loan initiatives to different sectors at 8% while compensating participating banks for the difference between mid-corridor rate + 2%). We believe that at this point a rate cut could result in further deviation of sovereign and corridor rates with the risk-free rate being on the lower side. We note that over the last 3 months foreign portfolio inflows into Egyptian treasuries have been largely stagnant with announcements for foreign holdings in May being at USD28-29bn, the same figure that was announced for February. We also note that net foreign assets for the banking sector (excluding the CBE) came in at USD3.52bn which we believe is a vulnerable level given that Egyptian banks are the main cushion against a currency sell-off. We accordingly, expect the MPC to maintain rates unchanged in its upcoming meeting. We believe that a 100 bps rate cut is possible in 2H21 following the resumption in tourism and a possible pick-up in international trade. Also, possible higher inflows into Egyptian sovereigns following the inclusion in the FTSE Frontier Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Series and the JP Morgan GBI-EM Global Diversified Index could allow room for the MPC to undertake a rate cut.  That said, we believe that Egyptian treasuries provide attractive real yield of 4.0% on our calculations (13.3% on 12M T-bills, 15% tax rate for European and American investors and our inflation estimate of 7.3%) compared to a real yield of 3.1% for Turkey (18.7% on 1-year treasuries, zero tax rate and Bloomberg inflation estimate of 15.6%).

It is worth mentioning that, in its last meeting on 28 April, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep rates unchanged for the fourth consecutive time after undertaking cuts of 50 bps twice in its October and November 2020 meetings. Egypt’s annual headline inflation accelerated to 4.8% in May, with monthly inflation increasing 0.7% m-o-m compared to an increase of 0.9% in April, according to data published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Heliopolis Housing’s five-year strategy supports a kick-starting monetization

HC Brokerage issued their update about Egypt’s real estate sector shedding the light on Heliopolis Housing’s performance and upgrading the rating to Overweight

  • The five-year strategy and the successful sale of a 270-feddan land plot are the new management’s first steps; we await more such efforts to turn around the company

  • A new revenue-share agreement with a private developer in the 7.1m sqm Heliopark plot could provide some EGP100bn in revenue stream over 15 years; according to management

  • We reduce our target price c24% to EGP8.41/share but upgrade our rating to Overweight from Neutral on the share price dip

Mariam Elsaadany, real estate analyst at HC Brokerage commented that: We expect an operational turnaround following several weak quarters: Heliopolis Housing has reported net losses from 4Q19/20 to 2Q20/21 due to a slowdown in the Egyptian real estate market, impacting its unit sales. In October 2020, management outlined a 2020–25e strategy that addressed its plans for its 18.0m sqm of undeveloped land following the resignation of its previous board and management team. The strategy outlines the company’s land plots to develop independently and other plots it intends to develop under revenue-sharing terms in its two projects New Heliopolis City and Heliopark. Since this announcement, the company successfully sold a 270-feddan plot for EGP2.57bn (an average price of EGP2,263/sqm given the prime nature of the plot). The company has not yet agreed on a payment method with the buyer; however, payment over installments would increase the value to EGP4.00bn. For Heliopark, the company’s prime 7.12m sqm land plot, management seeks to assign an international company to design a new general master plan for the project during 2021. Management is also open for negotiations with major real estate developers to develop 1,000–1,200 feddans of the project under a revenue-sharing scheme and is planning to develop 200 feddans of the project on its own. Some ten real estate developers have bought the bidding terms for Heliopark, including SODIC (OCDI EY, Overweight, TP EGP30.0), Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), Mountain View, Madinet Nasr Housing (MNHD EY, Overweight, TP EGP7.05), Al Marasem Development, and Tiba Real Estate. The company is working on finalizing a deal in 3Q21. We expect Heliopolis Housing’s 5-year strategy to impact its financials and operations substantially, especially after it signs a revenue-sharing agreement for Heliopark, securing some EGP100bn in steady revenue stream over the coming 15 years, according to management.”

“Heliopark revenue-sharing agreement should be favorable to HELI: Although the company did not receive any bids yet for Heliopark, it has clarified that the terms could be advantageous to HELI and include a minimum cash guarantee. We do not include such a deal in our target price; however, using SODIC East’s NPV/sqm of EGP1,219/sqm for the entire 7.11m sqm of Heliopark yields a total valuation of EGP9.48bn or EGP7.10/share. This value implies a c2.1x premium to our valuation of EGP3.37/share for the plot using its current master plan as part of our land valuation. Additionally, the company plans to sell all of its finished inventory during 2021, which should reflect positively on its FY20/21 and FY21/22 financials as the 270-feddan land sale should boost FY20/21 profitability. As for financing, the company plans to borrow some EGP681m of bank debt to finance the necessary infrastructure in New Heliopolis City, after it borrowed a total of EGP2.77bn from FY17/18 to 2Q20/21 to finance infrastructure spending. Also, the company will implement a capital increase in 2022 as part of its five-year strategy. With a net debt-to-equity of 2.54x as of 2Q20/21, a capital increase should improve the company’s balance sheet. Management has guided the capital increase would be worth around EGP1.00bn, which would decrease net debt-to-equity to 0.40x, on our calculations. The increased future profitability should sustain the company’s dividend distribution policy, in our view, as the company will undertake the bulk of its infrastructure spending during 2021.” Mariam El Saadany added

The real estate analyst at HC concluded her update on HELI stating that: “We decrease our target price by c24% to EGP8.41/share but upgrade our recommendation to Overweight from Neutral: We reduce our target price for Heliopolis Housing by c24% to EGP8.41/share. We exclude future land sales from our forecasts in line with the company’s new strategy, which does not account for future land sales beyond the 270 feddans in New Heliopolis. Our target price implies a potential return of c83% on the 10 May 2021 closing price of EGP4.59/share; therefore, we upgrade our recommendation to Overweight from Neutral on the sharp share price decline. The sale of the 270-feddan plot decreases the company’s net debt balance to EGP175m from EGP1.34bn previously. In our previous target price, we had included EGP2.44/share of land sale proceeds for a total of 290 feddans worth of land sales which contributed c22% of our previous target price. Of our new target price, land valuation contributes c94% of the value with only c6% from our DCF, which is still higher than the negative DCF contribution to our previous target price due to the improved liquidity position. We do not account for new revenue-sharing agreements in our valuation as the company did not announce such deals yet. Our land valuation for the Heliopark plot implies total sales proceeds of EGP100bn. Still, a revenue-share deal with a reputable developer will serve as an upside to our numbers and will reflect positively on investor confidence, in our view. We use a DCF‐based sum-of-the-parts (SOTP) valuation model for the company with a 5-year average moving WACC of 17.32%. Our target price includes (1) EGP6.42/share for the company’s 18.0m sqm undeveloped land bank, (2) EGP2.59/share for its undeveloped residential and commercial phases of SODIC East, (3) EGP0.56/share for the units the company sells independently, and (4) EGP0.04/share for leased assets. We deduct a 4Q20/21e net debt position of EGP175m, which reduces our target price by a negligible EGP0.13/share, and the repurchase of the 0.71m sqm in New Heliopolis City reduces our target price by another EGP1.06/share (using an average repurchase price of EGP2,000 per sqm). Our target price of EGP8.41/share puts the company on an FY21/22e P/NAV of 0.22x, with the stock currently trading at an FY21/22e P/NAV of 0.12x, a c53% discount to peers’ trading average of 0.25x, which is no longer justified given (1) a new management team, (2) the sale of the 270-feddan plot for a lucrative value of EGP2.66bn, (3) the company expecting to finalize a revenue-share deal in 1Q21/22. We estimate the market is valuing the company’s proportionate land bank at EGP306/sqm, a c48% discount to our implied value of EGP590/sqm, which is significantly higher than the c12% discount in our previous valuation.”

HC Brokerage and Avior Capital Markets hold their first Virtual Conference

The Avior-HC Egypt Virtual Conference starts today and runs until 20 May, offering some 30 financial institutions from the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, the UAE, and Egypt insights on compelling investment opportunities within the Egyptian equities market. Investors will e-meet representatives of some 26 listed companies on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) through group meetings and 138 one-on-one meetings.

The conference will also host two sessions with government officials as speakers, including Central Bank of Egypt Deputy Governor Rami Abulnaga and the CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE), Ayman Soliman.

Investors will also get a glimpse of how global equities, the EGX30, Egypt CDS, Egyptian treasuries, global commodities, currencies, and other asset classes are expected to perform over the year through a Technical analysis (TA) session with Mohamed El Saiid. Mohamed is the Executive Director and Head of the TA department at HC Brokerage and the former President of the International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA).

Hussein Choucri, Founder, Chairman, and Managing Director of HC Securities & Investment, said: This is an important part of our services in which we update and attract foreign institutional investors and inform them about recent developments taking place in the Egyptian economy and the capital market.

Peter Koutromanos, CEO of Avior, said: The conference illustrates Avior’s accelerating internalization and its strategy to link global investors to the Investment opportunities available in large emerging markets such as EGypt.  We are delighted to work with our partner HC Securities in delivering this initiative.

For Further details on Avior Capital Markets, please visit: https://avior.co.za/

For Further details on HC Brokerage, please visit: https://www.hc-si.com/

About Avior Capital Markets

Avior Capital Markets (Pty) Ltd is an independent, globally recognized capital markets research and trading firm providing in-depth and insightful research in a broad range of equities, and fixed income, and derivatives in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa. Avior Capital Markets US LLC is a FINRA registered broker-dealer (CRD # 172595) formed for that purpose in the State of Delaware with its principal office at 733 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017.

HC: Edita Food Industries, undemanding valuation

  • In a recent report, HC Brokerage presented their analysis of the food & beverage sector in Egypt where they shed the light on Edita Food Industries’ performance and maintained their OW rating on compelling valuation.

  • Consumption recovery is behind us; however, the 14% VAT imposition may drag volumes; we estimate a 2020–25e volume and revenue CAGR of c10% and c14%, respectively
  • Improved sales mix, along with indirect price increases, should mitigate higher costs, translating to a 2020–25e EPS CAGR of c18%
  • We reduce our 12M target price c18% to EGP12.0/share on lower estimates but maintain our OW rating on compelling valuation

Noha Baraka, the Head of Consumers at HC commented that: “Inevitable volume recovery, in our view, yet the potential imposition of a 14% VAT remains a risk: We see a good year ahead for the snack-food market, with inevitable private consumption recovery, in our view, backed by easing inflationary pressures, stable FX rates, and a low-interest-rate environment. If it were not for the possible imposition of a 14% value-added tax (VAT) (instead of 5% currently) on snack food goods, including bakery, we would have been more optimistic about a surge in demand. This surge would have been backed by the Egyptian government’s eased COVID-19 precautionary measures allowing more on-the-go consumption of snacks, not to mention the change in consumer behaviour, tilting more towards products offering more value for money, despite higher price points. However, we opt to be conservative in our volume estimates for the time being as we believe direct price increases following the VAT imposition could initially cause a demand shock, especially in light of tamed inflation rates. Accordingly, we expect total volume to rise c9% y-o-y in 2021e to 104,800 tons, almost unchanged compared to our previous estimate. Longer-term, we expect inflation to average c9% and private consumption to increase and normalize at 5% from an estimated 1.0% only in FY20/21, further supporting our assertion of an acceleration in the pace of volume recovery. Accordingly, we look for a 2022e–25e total volume CAGR of c11%, on average. We expect the croissants and wafer segments to stand out the most given new product launches, not to mention the inauguration of the biscuit segment and potentially rolling out of new SKUs, and the materialization of the company’s Moroccan JV to all help accelerate demand recovery.”

“We expect high margins to sustain over our forecast period, despite an unfavourable cost outlook: Despite the significant surge in most of the input costs, rising almost c18% y-t-d (except for sugar and cocoa, which remained essentially unchanged y-t-d, yet still increased c31% y-o-y), and higher cost base to support new ventures, we believe a more robust EGP/USD rate and higher volumes should primarily mitigate this. Therefore, we expect the 2021e EBITDA margin to expand 1.4 pp y-o-y to 17.1%. Going into 2022e we expect margins to continue expanding mainly on: (1) Edita’s continued efforts to re-engineer its portfolio and introduce to the market new offerings at higher price points, 2) venturing into new segments, 3) and ramping up of utilization rates. Thus, our numbers point to a terminal EBITDA margin of 17.6% by 2025e.  We are optimistic about the company’s management initiatives over the past year to increase its debt level in EGP terms, which we expect would expedite Edita’s earnings recovery and enhance returns. We forecast 2020–25e EPS to increase at a CAGR of c18%, on average, which leaves our ROE at 27.3% by 2025e from 17.2% in 2020, further solidifying our view of improving profitability.” Baraka added.

“ We reduce our 12-month target price by c18% and maintain an Overweight rating on further share price dip: We reduce our 12-month target price by c18% to EGP12.0/share on our new lower estimates across the board. Our new target price implies a 2022e P/E multiple of 19.1x and EV/EBITDA multiple of 9.5x, offering a potential return of c58% over the 22 April closing price of EGP7.75/share. Therefore, we maintain our Overweight rating. In our view, the current valuation is highly compelling, with the stock trading at a 2022e P/E multiple of 12.3x, which is a c49% discount to its peers’ implied multiple of 24.2x. The stock is also trading at a 2022e EV/EBITDA multiple of 6.1x, a c61% discount to its peers implied multiple of 15.5x. We believe the market is overstating VAT-associated risks and over penalizing the stock, which is unjustified in our view in light of its good operational recovery. We see Edita as too cheap to ignore in a sector characterized with high trading multiples nature, suggesting potential share price correction from current levels.” Baraka Concluded.

HC: March inflation figures came in slightly higher than our estimates. We expect the CBE to keep interest rates unchanged

  • HC Securities & Investment shared their expectations on the likely outcome of the MPC meeting scheduled April 29th 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: “March inflation figures came in slightly higher than our estimates of 4.4% y-o-y and 0.5% m-o-m, which we believe reflects a correction from the previous suppressed levels. Over the rest of 2021, we expect monthly inflation to average 0.9% m-o-m and 6.7% y-o-y accounting for rising international commodity prices and a possible pick-up in economic activity following the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. We, therefore, expect 2021 inflation to remain within the CBE’s target range of 7% (+/-2%) for 4Q22. Looking at the results of recent government T-bill auctions, we believe that foreign portfolio inflows are gradually regaining momentum as evident in the high coverage and possibly the beginning of a cool-off in yields from accelerated increases witnessed over the last couple of months. In recent auctions, yields on US 10-year T-bonds declined to 1.57% from a high of 1.73% in the beginning of April, which we believe reflected positively on foreign portfolio inflows in Egypt. However, we expect to see upward pressure on US treasury yields with Bloomberg 2021 consensus inflation forecast for the US at 2.6%. Also, monetary tightening in other emerging markets, such as Turkey poses upward pressure on Egypt’s yields. Currently, Turkey offers a yield of 17.2% on 19M treasuries, resulting in a real yield of c4%, on our calculations, given zero taxes and Bloomberg consensus inflation estimate for Turkey at 13.2% over the period. This compares to a real yield of 3.9% on Egypt’s 12M T-bills, on our numbers, given 15% tax rate for US and European investors and our inflation forecast of 7.5% over the next 12 months. That said, we expect the MPC to maintain rates unchanged in its upcoming meeting.

It is worth mentioning that, in its last meeting on 18 March, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep rates unchanged for the third consecutive time after undertaking cuts of 50 bps twice in its September and October 2020 meetings. Egypt’s annual headline inflation remained unchanged at 4.5% in March, with monthly inflation increasing 0.6% m-o-m compared to an increase of 0.2% in February, according to data published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

How Investor Trends and Behavior Have Permanently Changed Post Pandemic

  • Everyone from small to medium and even enterprise-level organizations have changed forever. The pandemic currently facing the globe has brought a special set of circumstances that have permanently altered the way investors make decisions. This article is all about how investor trends and behavior will shift post-pandemic. Before we dive into some of those new trends, let’s take a look at a few economic sectors that are currently on the rise and which sectors are on the decline.


Post-Pandemic Economic Sectors You Want to Pay Attention to

Quaternary activities fall under what’s known as the knowledge sector of the economy. In both emerging markets as well as developed nations, quaternary activities show great potential from an investor’s perspective. Accounting and brokerage firms, mutual fund managers, tax consultants, software developers, statisticians, business intelligence firms, and cybersecurity agencies all have something in common. They are decentralized in nature.

These quaternary activities in the knowledge sector show strong opportunity for investors because they have the ability to be decentralized. Not being connected to any one single economy, location, or governmental organization means they can operate independently. That is a huge advantage and one trend among investors as we head into 2021.

Not All Economic Sectors Are Equal

Unlike quaternary activities in the knowledge sector, investor trends show diminished interest in tertiary activities. However, not all tertiary activities show a decrease in revenue earning potential. More specifically, the retail industry that is composed of retail consumer spending and restaurateurs are particularly vulnerable. Therefore, post-pandemic investing will undoubtedly show a bearish trend in these areas.

New Trends in The 2021 Landscape

Our world is rapidly changing. Certain trends that have emerged at the end of 2020 have now solidified themselves at the beginning of 2021. Let’s take a look at three of the most impactful trends in the business environment changing our world.


An Emphasis on Remote Operations

As businesses attempt to adapt to a post-pandemic landscape, more and more companies are embracing remote operations. Whether it’s software development, project management, ERP, business intelligence, business development, or anything else, innovative tech allows it to be completed over a remote platform. This includes companies that provide services like telehealth, online meeting platforms, remote sales team building software, and even dating apps. The future is becoming increasingly virtual.

Business Intelligence Becomes Mainstream

Interpreting big data and using that information to arrive at data-driven decisions is not a new industry. However, our post-pandemic landscape is putting a new emphasis on services like Microsoft’s Power BI and business intelligence firms that help interpret big data and convert that raw information into useful formats. Everyone from investors to sales managers utilizes business Intelligence platforms to make more informed, and educated decisions backed by the data.

Finance Becomes Decentralized

Fintech services and cryptocurrencies have shown a trend of becoming increasingly decentralized. Businesses no longer have to rely on central banks and government financing. Investors and other businesses have alternatives that come in the form of decentralized fintech providers, innovative online lenders, trading platforms, and brokerages that leverage a decentralized business model. This is a trend becoming more popular by the day.

Specific Industries You Want to Be A Part of Post Pandemic

A little bit earlier we discussed economic sectors already showing huge potential as we move into a post-pandemic landscape. However, let’s dive a little bit deeper to discuss specific industries within those sectors where investing trends and behaviors show great promise.


Now is as good as time as any to hop onto the cybersecurity wave sweeping through the globe. As an investor, entrepreneur, equities broker, or anyone else searching for booming industries, you should be aware of a few things. Cybersecurity is a large industry. Diving into the specifics reveals that the areas of authentication, cloud data protection, and application monitoring are the most lucrative niches within the market.

Education & E-Learning

With brick and mortar schools physically shut down due to pandemic precautions, virtual education and the E-learning industry is on the boom. Countries like China are at the forefront of developing large & powerful enterprise-level organizations focusing on virtual education and E-learning platforms based 100% online.

Global Logistics

International shipping is the lifeblood of every economy. As goods are manufactured around the globe and shipped out across the ocean, fortunes are made and empires are built. It’s been that way for thousands of years. You could say that the global logistics trade is both recession & pandemic proof. The industry never sleeps and investors can count on the ships moving so long as there is oil to fuel them.

The Future Is Largely Unwritten

This article has given you a detailed snapshot of what industries are booming and which economic sectors are most vulnerable. While investor trends and behaviors can leverage that information, the future is largely unwritten. While we may know what a post-pandemic business environment will look like, only time will tell how that directly impacts the free market.

HC updates its estimates for SIDPEC’s target price

Market excitement overdone; Downgrade to UW

  • Polyethylene prices reach all-time highs, but we assume this will be short-lived and has yet to reflect on feedstock costs

  • Polypropylene project shelved; paving the way for the return to dividend distributions, while the potential sale proceeds provide upside risk to valuation 

  • We cut our 2021–24e EBITDA and EPS estimates c21% and c26% respectively, exacerbated by lower sales volumes and a weaker USD, and downgrade to Underweight helped by the recent share price rally

Polyethylene prices quickly recovered, but feedstock could follow suit, not fully translating into margin expansion for SIDPEC: After hitting lows following the pandemic, international polyethylene prices rebounded impressively toward the end of 2020 before reaching all-time highs this month on a series of supply shocks (from the US arctic freeze to an unexpectedly heavy cracker turnaround season in Europe to short supply of containers in Asia and high freight rates), amid robust post-COVID demand. While most estimates point to these levels sustaining through 1H21, long-term prospects have become increasingly difficult to forecast. We assume a return to mid-cycle by the end of next year and only oil price-driven growth thereafter. We also do not expect these high prices to result in a pure windfall for SIDPEC’s earnings in 2021 as this level is likely to put the company’s feedstock formula back into effect, after having fixated at the formula’s implied floor for the better part of last year, on our calculations. Not to mention the risk of ongoing feedstock supply issues, which besides affecting production volumes, could also have further implications on feedstock costs as the imported gas will likely come at substantially higher prices. The company is budgeting for a c23% y-o-y increase in raw material cost per ton, on our base-case calculations. We  therefore opt to maintain the current (suboptimal) utilization rates and local-based gas prices until further clarity about the steadiness of supply from GASCO going forward and the pricing and contribution of the imported quantities, which still translates to significantly better-than-budgeted figures for 2021 and a substantial operational improvement over 2020.

Polypropylene project behind us, potentially resolving a key share price overhang: The company is finalizing an agreement with the Red Sea National Company for Refining and Petrochemicals (RSNCRP) to sell its polypropylene project license and participate in the shareholding of the latter with a 5% stake. We believe this to be the best-case scenario as we had not been fond of the project due to 1) unclear (and significantly changed) economics, 2) disproportionately large size (and risk) compared to SIDPEC, 3) the commitment of the company to hold a 100% stake in the venture, and (4) the unfavourable market perception of the capital increase that would ensue. This deal also reimburses some EGP700m in project license costs (and feasibility studies), previously seen as sunk costs, though unlikely through cash proceeds. This, and improved earnings, should help the company return to paying dividends next year.

Downgrade to Underweight: We lower our 2021–24e EBITDA and EPS estimates c21% and 26% respectively, which translates to a c11% cut to our 12-month target price to EGP8.00/share. Our new target price puts SIDPEC at a 2021e P/E multiple of 8.8x (trading at 11.1x) and implies a negative potential return of 20.2% on the 23 March closing price of EGP10.0/share. Therefore, we downgrade the stock to Underweight from Neutral. In our view, current valuation is stretched, with the stock rallying c45% over the past five months. The market is likely overlooking the potential imminent increase in feedstock costs along the end-product price rally, which is likely to appear as early as 1Q21, in our view.

HC successfully advises Almarai on the acquisition of 100% shares in Bakemart UAE and Bahrain

  • HC Securities & Investments acted as co-advisor to Saudi food giant Almarai on the acquisition of 100% shares in Bakemart UAE and Bahrain in a deal worth AED 93.5 million (USD25.5 million).

The transaction remains subject to obtaining certain mandatory and regulatory approvals including the approval of the General Authority for Competition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The acquisition will further expand Almarai’s bakery product offering and enhance its contribution to the Kingdom’s food security in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Established in 1977, Almarai is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and is actively engaged in five categories across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Dairy, Juice, Bakery, Poultry and Infant Nutrition. Almarai is currently the Middle East’s leading food and beverage manufacturer and distributor – and the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company.

Mohamed Aburawi, head of investment banking at HC commented: “We are pleased to support Almarai on this important transaction in expanding its bakery business. HC has developed a long term relationship with Almarai for over a decade; back in 2009, HC advised Almarai on the acquisition of 100% of The International Company for Agro Industrial Projects “Beyti” marking its entry to the Egyptian market. This transaction also testifies of the HC’s cross-border execution capabilities, in addition to its ability to offer best-in class advisory services and connect investors with best-of-breed opportunities in the region via its offices in Cairo and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)”


HC Securities & Investment

HC Securities & Investment (HC) is a leading investment bank in Egypt and the MENA region. Since its inception in 1996, HC has leveraged its relationship-driven insights, local and regional market knowledge, industry-specific expertise and strong execution capabilities to provide its clients with a wide range of services in investment banking, asset management, securities brokerage, research, custody, online trading and private equity through its offices in Egypt and the UAE (DIFC). HC Investment Banking has an outstanding track record of advising leading corporates in Egypt and the MENA region on M&A, capital market, and financing transactions in excess of USD 5.9bn. HC Asset Management, , now manages 11 onshore mutual funds for commercial banks and portfolios for institutions and sovereign wealth funds with assets under management in excess of EGP 7bn. HC Brokerage is ranked among the top brokers in Egypt and provides a wide array of services, including research and online trading to institutional and retail clients.


For further information, please visit www.hc-si.com or contact Marwa Nakhla, Corporate Communications Supervisor, at mnakhla@hc-si.com

Egypt currently relies on foreign portfolio inflows as a main source for foreign currency, HC expects the CBE to keep interest rates unchanged

  • HC Securities & Investment shared their expectations on the likely outcome of the MPC meeting scheduled March 18th 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: “February inflation figures came in lower than our estimates of 4.9% y-o-y and 0.5% m-o-m, which we believe reflects suppressed consumer demand currently. Over the rest of 2021, we expect monthly inflation to average 0.8% m-o-m and 6.4% y-o-y accounting for possible domestic price shocks following the recent commodity price rally and possible recovery in consumer confidence following the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our numbers rule out domestic gasoline price increases since the current market price reflects a Brent price of USD61/barrel (as estimated in the FY20/21 government budget). We estimate FY20/21e average Brent price at USD54/barrel, as it averaged USD44/barrel in 1H20/21 while Bloomberg consensus estimates for 2H20/21 come at USD62/barrel. We, therefore, expect 2021 inflation to remain within the CBE’s target range of 7% (+/-2%) for 4Q22. On the external position front, however, we believe that Egypt currently relies on foreign portfolio inflows as a main source for foreign currency given slashed tourism revenue and low exportation activity. Hence, with treasury yield hikes in the USA as well as different emerging markets such as Turkey, we believe that the CBE has limited room to undertake further interest rate cuts in its upcoming meeting. We believe that global interest rate hikes reflected in a decline in average monthly portfolio inflows in Egyptian treasuries to USD1.25bn during January and February from USD2.29bn in 2H20. We, accordingly, expect the MPC to keep rates unchanged in its upcoming meeting. That said, we note that Egyptian 12M treasuries currently offer a real yield of 5.1% (given a nominal yield of 13.3%, 15% tax rate on treasuries’ income for American and European investors and our 2021e average inflation forecast of c6%) which is higher than Turkey’s real yield of 2.0% (given nominal yield of 15.7% on 14M treasuries, zero tax rate, and Bloomberg 2021 inflation forecast of 13.7%).

It is worth mentioning that, in its last meeting on 4 February, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep rates unchanged for the second consecutive time after undertaking cuts of 50 bps twice in its September and November 2020 meetings. Egypt’s annual headline inflation accelerated to 4.5% in February from 4.3% in the previous month, with monthly inflation increasing 0.2% m-o-m reversing a decline of 0.4% m-o-m in January, according to data published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

HC is positive on the Egyptian economy… Shifting to higher-beta stocks

  • HC Securities and Investment Research Department released its latest report about Egypt’s macro economy. They assured that they are positive on the Egyptian economy, which fared better-than-expected in light of COVID-19, on IMF and government supports.

  • Private sector pickup materializing on monetary easing, moderate inflation, and stable EGP
  • We are positive on the Egyptian economy, which fared better-than-expected in light of COVID-19, on IMF and government supports
  • We are bullish on real estate, financials, and select industrial and consumer names, filtering through to 9 high-conviction picks

HC’s research team explained: “Our 2021e macro assumptions entail moderate inflation, stable EGP, and further 100 bps policy rate cuts: Despite COVID-19 concerns, we are bullish on the Egyptian economy in 2021 following a total 400 bps policy rate cuts in 2020, our expected 100 bps rate cut in 2021, inflation moderating to an average c7%, and EGP stability, in our view. Starting July 2020, the Egyptian government eased COVID-19 restrictive measures, highlighting its unwillingness to impose any curfews or lockdowns during a second pandemic wave. Despite this, the health system remained under control, which has helped Egypt to record positive GDP growth of 3.6% in FY19/20, while the IMF estimated all MENA countries to record negative GDP growth in 2020.  While the FY19/20 GDP growth was supported by a 5.4% growth in final consumption (public 7.2% vs. 5.2% private), we expect an FY20/21e GDP growth of 2.8%, supported by 6.2% growth in total investments (public 7.0% vs. 5.6% private). We expect slashed tourism receipts to result in a wider current account deficit of c4% of GDP in FY20/21e from c3% in FY19/20 despite Egypt recording an oil trade balance surplus in FY20/21e, and worker remittances increasing c10% y-o-y in FY20/21e, on our estimates. That said, Egypt’s carry trade remains appealing, offering a 12M positive real interest rate of 4.1%, on our calculations. We hence see robust portfolio inflows, which–together with Eurobond issuances and the IMF loans –should finance Egypt’s debt repayment and help the BOP reverse to a surplus of USD1.70bn in FY20/21e, from a deficit of USD8.59bn in FY19/20, in our view.”

HC’s analysts concluded: “Against this macro backdrop, we stick to 9 high-conviction picks in real estate, financials, and select industrial and consumer names, based on which we present our proposed equity investment portfolio with the highest risk-adjusted return: Considering our macro view, we prefer sectors benefiting from a low-interest-rate environment, pent-up demand, stable EGP, private consumption recovery and a pickup in private investment. These criteria lead us to pick stocks in real estate, financials, and select industrial and consumer names. Last year we preferred stocks with limited downside risk. However, going into 2021e and in light of our economic view, we currently recommend shifting to higher beta stocks and stick to 9 high-conviction picks. Our picks are Orascom Construction in the industrial sector, Eastern Company, and GB Auto in the consumer sector, Commercial International Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt and EFG Hermes Holding in the financial industry, and TMG Holding, SODIC and Orascom Development Egypt in the real estate sector.”