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Chapter | Insurance from The Report: Egypt 2019

With the largest population in the Middle East and a relatively established insurance sector, Egypt has long been a promising market for insurers. Domestically licensed companies have shown strong growth in recent years, driven by public expenditure on capital projects and increasing private sector activity. However, the sector’s impact on the lives of ordinary Egyptians has been limited, with 1% of the population covered, compared to a global average of over 6% and an African average of nearly 3%. The low penetration rates highlight considerable potential for further expansion, into which authorities aim to tap and double the market’s premiums by 2024. A new insurance law is expected to function as a legislative platform for future growth.

Chapter | Capital Markets from The Report: Egypt 2019

The year of 2018 was challenging across the board for many emerging markets, and changing trends in global capital movements have brought turbulence to the Egyptian Exchange as well. After rising significantly in the first four months of 2018, the exchange’s main index, the EGX30, showed a sustained retrenchment to end the year at a level not seen since early 2017. Throughout this period, however, the authorities implemented a series of reforms that are establishing the bourse as a safer and more transparent destina¬tion for domestic and international investors. With forecasts for the country’s economy broadly positive, Egypt’s capital markets are well positioned to serve their purpose as facilitators of growth and develop-ment over the coming year. This chapter contains interviews with Mohamed Farid Saleh, Executive Chairman, Egyptian Exchange; and Hussein Choucri, Chairman and Managing Director, HC Securities & Investment.

Chapter | Banking from The Report: Egypt 2019

Egypt has been a regional banking powerhouse for more than a century and is home to the biggest bank¬ing sector in North Africa. The industry is also one of the region’s most stable, surviving both the economic turbulence that followed the Arab Spring and a more recent foreign currency crisis that saw government auctions of US dollars and the growth of a parallel market for foreign currency. The resolution of the currency challenge through the flotation of the Egyptian pound in 2016 has helped strengthen bank profitability, and a positive economic outlook for 2019 underwrites the continuance of this trend. However, the sector also faces near-term challenges, including a looming deadline for a bold small and medium-sized enterprise lending target, the introduction of new accountancy standards and the probable implementation of a significantly revised banking law. This chapter contains interviews with Hisham Ezz Al Arab, Chairman, Federation of Egyptian Banks and Commercial International Bank; and Dante Campioni, CEO, AlexBank.

Chapter | Economy from The Report: Egypt 2019

Since the election of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in 2014, Egypt’s economic policy has been centred on reducing public sector costs and boosting private sector growth. Five years after Egypt began to implement a comprehensive reform of its economy, the nation’s macroeco-nomic indicators are showing sustained improvement. However, while accelerating growth and a narrowing fiscal deficit have vindicated the government’s auster¬ity measures, a high inflation environment continues to place pressure on the budgets of ordinary households. Looking ahead, the IMF estimates that GDP will grow by 5.5% in 2019 and 5.9% in 2020, powered mainly by a recovery in tourism and rising natural gas output. While the macroeconomic outlook is positive, the challenge of maintaining the support of a population that has yet to feel the benefits of economic reform remains. This chapter contains interviews with Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation; and Tarek Tawfik, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

Chapter | Country Profile from The Report: Egypt 2019

Egypt gained independence in 1922 with the end of the British protectorate, but it has operated as a presidential republic since the 1952 revolution. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is the current leader and has served since June 2014, while the current prime minister and head of government in office since June 2018 is Mostafa Madbouly. The country’s economy has struggled since the 2011 revolution and although economic growth has improved since, many challenges remain. A number of significant steps are being taken to improve economic order and stability in the country, such as to improve public finances, reduce the size of the state and to make the investment environment more attractive. Moreover, Egypt has recently oriented its focus towards increasing its investments across Africa and to boost trade with its African partners. The country has relied heavily on the US for aid and support in the past but is now build¬ing a broader network of international partnerships, including with Russia and China, both of which have entered African markets aggressively during the past decade and have continued to strengthen ties with Egypt through investments in several mega-projects. This chapter contains an interview with Abdel Fattah El Sisi, President of Egypt; a viewpoint from Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF; and an interview with Jeffrey Donaldson, UK Trade Envoy to Egypt.

Chapter | Table of Contents from The Report: Egypt 2019

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