December 29, 2020

HC’s Head of Equity Research Nemat Choucri, shares her views

Norway

HC’s Head of Equity Research Nemat Choucri, shares her views about the economic sectors in Egypt

  • Tourism sector

We don’t expect a recovery in tourism before 2H21 until COVID-19 vaccinations become more available to the general public in Egypt and abroad, and accordingly we don’t expect a recovery in tourism to pre-COVID-19 levels to take place in 2021

  • Stock market

We expect a rebound in the Egyptian stock market activity in 2021 in light of the rolling out of COVID-19 vaccinations, currently prevailing low interest rates (a total of 400 bps policy rate cuts in 2020), compelling valuations, increased participation of retail investors, and the Egyptian government’s efforts and initiatives to support local industries and attract private local and foreign investments

Foreign holdings in Egyptian treasuries recovered to USD23bn in November, after it fell by USD14bn in March, when COVID-19 was announced as a pandemic, from a level of USD28bn in February. We expect Egyptian equities to also attract foreign portfolio investments in 2021 especially that the market is currently oversold (down c24% y-t-d), and foreigners were net sellers in 1Q20, 2Q20 and 3Q20

  • Foreign direct investments (FDIs)

FDIs have significant room for growth as it fell by c10% y-o-y in FY19/20 to USD7.5bn, and by c11% y-o-y in 4Q19/20 to USD1.52bn. We expect the Egyptian government’s recent efforts including lowering interest rates, the new customs law, the unified tax law and the amendments to the investment law to bear fruit and attract significant FDIs

We also expect the said efforts, in addition to the government’s recent initiatives to support local industries and an expected cut in natural gas prices to industrial users to also stimulate private local investments