CI Capital, a leading Egyptian diversified financial services group, kicks off its 2nd annual MENA Investor Conference in Cairo, from Tuesday 30 January to Thursday 1 February. This year’s conference is witnessing the active participation of 200 investors from 75 leading global institutional investment firms, from the United States, Europe, South Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with aggregate assets under management (AUMs) in excess of USD10trn. The conference will see the participants meet with ministers, senior government officials, and top listed companies on the Egyptian and Arab stock exchanges.
The conference tackles the results of financial reforms undertaken by several governments, as well as the most important and compelling investment opportunities in the MENA region. It will also shed the light on efforts to enhance such growth opportunities, creating a channel for local, regional and global investors.
The conference will be attended by Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Eng. Tarek Kabil, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Khaled Badawi, Minister of Public Enterprises, Dr. Mohamed Moait, Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Rami Abul Naga, Sub-Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Mr. Mohamed Farid, Chairperson of the Egyptian Exchange, General Ahmed Abdeen, Chairman of New Administrative Capital, and Mr. Khalid Mahmoud, CEO of the Egyptian Ports Development Group. Topics to be discussed cover key economic issues, including financial inclusion, new investment laws and procedures, national projects, and government efforts to develop industrial and export strategies, managing state-owned assets and capital market reforms.
“The willingness of key policy makers to attend and participate in the conference reflects the positive sentiment that officials are keen to relay. It is also evidence of the greater level of transparency necessary to drive a clear roadmap for investors with medium and long term horizons, inspiring a fruitful partnership between the public and the private sectors in reaping the fruits of the economic reform and investment opportunities during the coming period,” said Mahmoud Attalla, Chairman and Group CEO, CI Capital.
Atallah added that, “The conference aims to create a platform for investors and top listed companies in the regional exchanges across different sectors, to discuss potential means to improve investment in the region, and how to overcome the expected challenges over the course of the coming year.”
The results of the economic reforms, undertaken by several Arab governments to achieve high and sustainable growth, have yielded a positive return on these economies, one year after implementation, said Karim Khadr, Managing Director and Head of Brokerage at CI Capital.
He added that the decision to float the Egyptian pound had a clear impact in increasing GDP and foreign reserves growth rates: government treasury-bills attracted USD19bn in cash flows, reduced the budget deficit, eliminated the parallel market, with foreign reserves at the CBE reaching USD37bn, and the removed all restrictions on the movement of capital. This is in addition to economic growth of 4.2% during the last fiscal year, compared to 3.5% that was expected by the International Monetary Fund during 2017.
Khadr also praised the role played by Arab governments to improve the investment environment in the region, and their seriousness in the process of economic and social reform by adopting new policies to push the growth of the private sector and allow for participation in the management of state-owned assets, as well as facilitating foreign direct investment. GCC governments also sought radical changes to diversify revenues, away from the dependency on the oil sector.
This year’s conference is witnessing outstanding growth in terms of attendees and number of meetings, with 67 listed corporates from 6 countries across the MENA region attending over 2500 one-on-one meetings with 75 global buy-side asset managers from the USA, Europe, South Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The meetings will discuss ways of investing in the region and offsetting potential challenges. Some investors were also invited to take part in a field visit to several companies and factories operating in the West and East of Cairo, to witness developments and achievements on the ground in several vital sectors, including the industrial, retail, consumer, gas, and oil sectors.