Egypt is a crucial market for many of our clients. Its economy is the third largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The country has strong ties with the West and has played an important negotiating role in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Egypt's main export is crude petroleum and the country also boasts a thriving textiles industry. We ensure our clients make sound investment decisions in Egypt, using our risk-assessed total analysis model. Our teams keep our clients informed of the latest market moves and political developments as part of our 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspective. Our expert views are supported by our interactive data and forecasting. We also provide in-depth analysis on 23 of Egypt's most important industries. Our analysts will make sure you, as our client, have the edge in Egypt.

Country Risk

Egypt Country Risk

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Core Views

  • 2015 will be a relatively positive year for the Egyptian economy, as the currency stabilises and investment returns to the county.

  • The fiscal and net export position will improve significantly on the back of fuel subsidy reform. Subsidy cuts will likely be watered down if public unrest occurs on a significant scale, however, the bulk of reform will remain in place.

  • Hikes to domestic energy prices will push consumer price inflation back into the double digits by the end of the year.

  • Egypt's geopolitical importance will ensure that even if an IMF agreement is delayed for longer than expected, further foreign aid commitments will materialise around the turn of the year. Western powers such as the US and EU have an interest in ensuring the North African country does not experience a more...

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Egypt Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Egypt Operational Risk

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BMI View: Investors face numerous risks in Egypt across almost every segment of our operational risk rankings. The country has a strong trade union presence, a significant risk of terrorist attacks, and an education system which falls short of supplying adequately skilled graduates for the labour market. In addition, the utilities network suffers from frequent shortages which disrupt business activity, and the business environment remains somewhat hostile to investment. On the positive side, Egypt benefits from good international supply chain connections and trade infrastructure. The country has the largest population in the Arab world, with rising incomes and a high rate of urbanisation, and therefore offers an increasingly attractive consumer market.

Egypt receives a low score for almost every component of our Operational Risk Index. While there...

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Egypt Crime & Security

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BMI View: Security and safety are not major concerns for businesses operating in Egypt, especially when compared with the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region. As with most major countries, Egypt experiences issues with petty crime; however, this varies across the country, with most crime occurring in Cairo and Alexandria, while the south is almost crime-free. That said, terrorist incidents have become increasingly common, and while they do not compare with attacks in other parts of the region, namely Iraq, Libya and Syria, terrorism is still a cause for concern. Egypt scores 28.9 out of 100 in our overall Crime and Security Risk Index, placing it 13th out of 18 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) states.

There is a generally low threat from crime in Egypt, and foreign workers and tourists in major cities are not...

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Egypt Labour Market

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There are a plethora of labour risks in Egypt. Widespread poverty is present in the main cities of Alexandria and Cairo as well as in the South of the country, even though Egypt is relatively wealthy in aggregate. This results in significant income disparities and affects the composition and educational levels of the work force. We give Egypt an overall Labour Market Risk score of 39.7 out of 100 in our Operational Risk Index. This places the country 16 th in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, between Syria and Morocco (which have scores of 42.4 and 38.5 respectively), and 29 points behind Israel, the regional leader.

Education risks are significant and appear to have worsened over the past two decades. While primary school is compulsory and free - leading to very high attendance rates - the quality varies substantially and Egypt is no longer the educational beacon of the Middle East that it once was. This presents...

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Egypt Logistics

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BMI View: Egypt's logistics network poses a number of key risks to business activity which will cool investor sentiment towards the country over the medium term. Of particular concern is the underdeveloped and overburdened utilities network, which results in shortages of electricity, fuel and water disrupting business operations. In addition, the poor quality of alternative transport options means that supply chains are subject to frequent delays due to their reliance on the congested road network. These logistics shortcomings threaten to hinder Egypt's economic growth, which is beginning to recover following the prolonged unrest since 2011. The main advantages for investors are to be found in extensive maritime and air trade connections, which reduce trading times and costs. Egypt is placed in the middle of the pack in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in our overall Logistics Risk Index, in...

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Egypt Trade & Investment

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BMI View: Egypt is one of the less attractive destinations for trade and investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The country lacks a well-defined and implemented legislative environment, and has relatively weak intellectual property rights. That said, there have been some improvements on this front as of late, which should continue with the entrenching of President Sisi's administration. We have awarded Egypt a score of 47.3 out of 100 for the overall BMI Trade And Investment Risk Index, placing it 12th out of 18 states in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Egypt's poor infrastructure and convoluted, over-regulated labour market is an unattractive proposition, deterring potential foreign direct investment (FDI). In addition, the market is relatively closed to investors, which hinders the country's ability to capitalise on its innate...

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Egypt Industry Coverage (23)

Agribusiness

Egypt Agribusiness

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BMI View: Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer and will benefit from the recent sell-off in grain prices. The country is in the process of reforming its food subsidy programme in an effort to make the process more efficient. We believe that particularly good growth prospects exist in the country's livestock and dairy industries, as cattle herds continue to recover from a foot and mouth outbreak in 2012. These sectors will also benefit from lower global grain prices relative to the last several years and an improving domestic economic situation.

Agribusiness Market Value
BMI Market Value By Commodity (2011-2019)
...

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Autos

Egypt Autos

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Given the incredibly high base of 2014, we do not expect the same levels of growth, which surpassed 50%, in 2015, but still expect solid double-digit growth of 15% for cars and 10% for light trucks. With the heavier commercial vehicle market set to benefit from improving business sentiment and the bus market receiving a boost from both the government's scheme to replace older buses and an uptick in the pivotal tourism sector, we see the total new vehicle market growing by 13.4% in 2015.

Early sales for the year are positive, growing 16% year-on-year in January, in line with our expectations for double-digit growth. However, there are risks to our sales outlook from the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) decision in March 2015 to protect the pound by restricting the number of dollars that can be deposited with the bank each day and by calling for importers to limit their vehicle import volumes.

This will also...

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Commercial Banking

Egypt Commercial Banking

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...
Commercial Banking Sector Indicators
Date Total assets Client loans Bond portfolio Other Liabilities and capital Capital Client deposits

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Consumer Electronics

Egypt Consumer Electronics

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BMI View: The Egyptian consumer electronics market staged a strong recovery in 2014 after disruption from economic and political crisis. We expect the recovery to stall slightly in 2015, due to our in-house Country Risk team's view for more rapid depreciation of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar. That aside, we have a positive medium-term outlook for Egypt's consumer electronics market, with a young population, low device penetration rates, rising incomes and the falling cost of devices to drive growth. We expect government, vendor and operator-led investment in supporting...

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Defence & Security

Egypt Defence & Security

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BMI View:   At the end of 2014, security issues for Egypt both at the domestic and regional level continue to be of major concern. The BMI view is that Egypt's violent crack on all forms of political opposition risks pushing more and more young people - a key segment of the population - towards adopting extremist views in the long term. As the military seeks to continue strengthening its grip on power, we are expecting defence spending to increase both in absolute and relative terms in 2015.

Demonstrations amongst Egyptian youths continue in the Nile Delta, which we suspect has the potential to be the Achilles heel of the al-Sisi's regime. The collective punishment of entire communities in the Sinai also places the army at risk of losing the battle of hearts and minds against...

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Food & Drink

Egypt Food & Drink

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BMI View: Egypt is re-establishing its position as the standout growth market for consumer companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and we believe this is a good time for food and drink companies to actively pursue expansion in Egypt, be it organically or via acquisitions. The pace of real GDP growth will pick up markedly over the coming years, helped by greater political stability and low base effects. Our view on the improving outlook for the economy, combined with an improving political scene, is being reflected by increased interest from multinational food and drink companies, including The Coca-Cola Company and Kellogg Company. This illustrates the attractiveness of the sector, which holds...

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Freight Transport

Egypt Freight Transport

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BMI View: Ongoing improvement in Egypt's political situation - with the election of President el-Sisi having brought in a level of stability not experienced since 2011 - will see the Egyptian freight transport sector enjoy continued expansion in 2015. While this will not be spectacular, we expect positive growth in volumes across all freight modes, supported by an improving consumer outlook, a recovery in the tourism sector, and increased construction. Crucially, the outlook is not only brighter for the near term, with significant investment into transport infrastructure ensuring continued growth over future years. Air freight will be the growth outperformer, boosted by a recovery in tourist numbers.

Following several quarters of anaemic growth, we...

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Information Technology

Egypt Information Technology

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BMI View: A combination of a more stable domestic political and economic environment, combined with a supportive policy environment, underpins our positive medium-term outlook for the development of Egypt's IT market. However, short-term downside risk is still elevated due to Egypt's fragile political and economic environment, and our forecast for Egyptian pound depreciation against the US dollar in 2015. Additionally, the potential reduction of financial support to Egypt from Gulf states...

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Infrastructure

Egypt Infrastructure

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BMI View: A strong fixed investment drive supported by Egypt's government will boost infrastructure industry growth in the next decade. A strengthening project pipeline presented at the Egyptian Economic Development Conference supports our increasingly positive view of this construction market.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as development assistance are critical to Egypt's infrastructure development. As political stability and policy clarity, as well as pent-up demand, entice investors back into the country, our Country Risk team expects a significant upswing in FDI inflows into Egypt over the coming quarters.

Key Trends And Developments

  • A total of 50 construction projects requiring more than USD70bn capital expenditure (capex) were presented at the Egyptian Economic Development Conference...

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Insurance

Egypt Insurance

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BMI View: The key development in 2015 is the launch of a new indigenous reinsurance company. This should facilitate access to reinsurance for property insurers and some other players in Egypt's non-life segment, and will underpin solid, high single-digit growth in premiums through the forecast period. While particular initiatives should boost life premiums in the short term, the market is in many ways mature. We expect that the insurers will maintain tight control of claims and other costs through the forecast period.

Total premiums written in Egypt's insurance sector this year should be equivalent to around 0.7% of GDP, or USD25 per capita. These are low figures, and reflect the fact that the vast majority of the population does not use insurance at all. Low levels of household income and lack of understanding of insurance are likely to persist throughout the forecast period,...

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Medical Devices

Egypt Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View: The Egyptian medical device market is fairly attractive in the Middle East and Africa region, with one of the fastest 2013-2018 CAGRs. Per capita medical device expenditure is low, which indicates the enormous potential for growth as the country has the second largest population in the region. As production is relatively limited, the market is reliant on imports. In a climate of relative political stability...

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Metals

Egypt Metals

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BMI View: We forecast modest growth in the Egyptian steel sector over the coming years, in line with our outlook for the wider economy. We expect the political situation to continue to show exhibit greater stability over the coming quarters and for stabilisation in the Egyptian pound.

We  remain positive about the effects of Egypt's transition towards a democratic government, as investors will begin to look more favourably towards the country as a potential market to work with. We have seen these positive effects on the country are already beginning to show. For 2014, we forecast steady Egyptian steel production growth on the back of greater investment in expanding production capacity and more stability in the country following the 2013 ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as greater investment pouring in from Gulf...

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Mining

Egypt Mining

Oil & Gas

Egypt Oil & Gas

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BMI View: A wave of deals including upstream investment pledges, LNG import contracts and refinery investments, will add major impetus to Egypt's oil and gas sector over the next five years. We forecast gas output to return to growth over the coming years, though expect oil production and refinery output to remain weak.

Headline Forecasts (Egypt 2013-2019)
2013 2014e 2015f ...

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Petrochemicals

Egypt Petrochemicals

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BMI View: Egypt is set to become one of the fastest growing petrochemicals markets in the Middle East and North Africa region as it continues its recovery following a turbulent economic and political period, according to BMI's latest Egypt Petrochemicals Report.

The main generator of petrochemicals consumption will be export-oriented industries, such as the automotive sector which consumes an array of polymers and synthetic rubbers and is set for a strong recovery. In the domestic market, construction will take the lead as fixed investment in infrastructure rises and residential construction is stimulated.

  • Capacity is due to ramp up in 2015 with Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (Ethydco) planning to commission an olefins facility with capacities of 460,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) ethylene and 20,...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Egypt Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: Egypt's inclusion on PhRMA's Special 301 Submission for the second year running highlights that regulatory approval delays and a restrictive pricing policy are still issues being faced by innovative drugmakers operating in the country. The domestic production of generic versions of Sovaldi by local firms, without authorisation, demonstrates that poor intellectual property protection remains an issue in Egypt.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: EGP17.65bn (USD2.49bn) in 2014 to EGP18.93bn (USD2.50bn) in 2015; +7.2% in local currency terms and 0.4% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly in line with Q115 in local currency terms, revised downwards in US dollar terms.

  • Healthcare: EGP96.88bn (USD13.68bn) in 2014 to EGP107....

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Power

Egypt Power

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BMI View: Egypt is in desperate need of increased power capacity as the country's energy infrastructure struggles to cope with the demand for power. With the political situation still in a state of flux and the economic outlook uncertain, Egypt's ability to channel investment towards the sector is likely to remain limited in the medium term. That said, the dip in international oil prices is a significant opportunity for the government, reducing the country's import bill and easing pressure on state finances, while potentially easing the passage of much-needed reforms to the country's expensive regime of energy subsidies.

Key Trends And Developments

Egypt's power sector is enduring a challenging period. With economic growth hinging on the provision of adequate and...

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Real Estate

Egypt Real Estate

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BMI View:   Egypt is only just beginning to recover from the political instability seen in the country over the previous three years. On top of this, regional violence and strife have added a further deterrent to would be investors. Instability is also keeping away tourists, negating one of the most powerful drivers of the Egyptian economy. Nevertheless, holding an important position within regional culture and with demographic trends on its side, the country's economy continues to move forward, and there are many signs that the real estate market may be turning a corner.

Political upheaval, first the overthrow of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011, followed by the removal of the democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, has led to economic stagnation and flight of foreign capital. In recent quarters the government...

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Retail

Egypt Retail

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BMI View: As stability has slowly returned to the country and economy, growth has also picked up which has led to an increase of income and spending power. The expected increase in the proportion of those in the middle income bracket (USD10,000+), will lead to an increase in demand for luxurious goods as well as a change in the makeup of the retail formats in the industry which has been dominated by unorganised retail and extremely fractured in nature. The change in preferences has led to a growth in the number of malls and hypermarkets, as well as the growth that has rapidly affected the e-commerce industry as Egypt modernises. The overall outlook for retailers is therefore positive as there will be a number of opportunities to become established in the growing retail industry in Egypt.

The Egyptian retail industry has been traditionally characterised by traditional informal and unorganised...

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Shipping

Egypt Shipping

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BMI View: We hold a broadly positive view on the Egyptian shipping sector in 2015, expecting the country's economic recovery following years of political unrest - the election of Field Marshall el-Sisi as president in 2014 has introduced a measure of stability not seen since prior to President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in 2011 - to power throughput growth at the country's ports.

Fundamentally, strikes at the country's ports have diminished, and a number of expansions are under way once more, including a new berth to be developed at Damietta. The country benefits from the presence of the Suez Canal, and a recovery in consumer demand in Europe's developed markets - thanks to lower oil prices boosting household spending power - will see volumes through the waterway grow, delivering a boost to Egyptian container-...

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Telecommunications

Egypt Telecommunications

Tourism

Egypt Tourism

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BMI View : 2015 should see the continuing recovery of Egypt's tourism market. Following a disappointing last few years, where political turmoil and fear of political violence have deterred tourists from visiting the country, we are starting to see a turnaround enabling the market to recover. The situation remains fragile, however, with the consumers and businesses waiting to see if political stability can be sustained.

Europe remains Egypt's largest source market, accounting for around 62% of total tourist arrivals the country, while Russia remains the biggest single source market, with over 1.7mn tourists expected to travel to Egypt in 2015. The downside risk to our forecast comes in the...

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Water

Egypt Water

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BMI View: This quarter has seen the extensive upgrading of our water sector forecasts for Egypt, which now include mains and sewage network connectivity, desalinated water production, non mains consumption and treated wastewater forecasts. We have also revised our existing forecasts to take the new data into account. Overall, we believe that the political recovery, and influx of financial support and foreign investment from various sources including the UAE and the US, will improve the country's economy, and increased stability will encourage sustained water infrastructure investment. Given the ongoing risks of reduced water availability due to the Ethiopian dam plans, we view the additional investment as crucial to boosting Egypt's water resources over the medium term.

The election of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been positive for Egypt's infrastructure development and the country's...

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