The key part that Egypt’s banks are expected to play in supporting the rollout of a raft of infrastructure projects across Africa as part of an intracontinental development drive is examined in a Covid Response Report (CRR), recently produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in collaboration with Hisham Ezz Alarab, former chairman and managing director of CIB.
The CRR provides in-depth analysis of Egypt’s response to the pandemic in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, focusing on key data and infographics relating to the country’s socio-economic landscape.
In its coverage, the report charts the effectiveness of fiscal and sectoral reforms implemented from 2016 onwards which, back by a $12bn loan from the IMF, have helped to enhance Egypt’s business and investment environment, and positioned the country as one of only a few forecast to post economic growth this year and beyond.
Against the backdrop of a changing economic landscape, the report documents the banking industry’s response, particularly to the arrival of Covid-19 and the expansion opportunities emerging for lenders.
It explores Egypt’s plans to strengthen its presence in Africa, buoyed by rising trade with COMESA member states, completed projects in Nile basin countries and progress in implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area while considering the funding openings that continent-wide expansion is providing for local lenders.
Egypt’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which number around 2.5m and account for 75% of the labour force, are seen as a key driver of private-sector economic growth. The CRR traces the steps taken to boost small businesses’ expansion, led by a push to increase lending to the segment. It also looks at moves underway to encourage SMEs to formalise their operations and engage with the financial system.
In separate coverage, OBG tracks the digital transformation gaining pace across the country as part of its ICT strategy ‘Digital Egypt’ and Vision 2030 objectives.
The rapidly expanding digital financial services industry is a key focus. Subscribers will find an in-depth analysis of the regulatory framework rolled out for digital banks, along with regulations for e-payments, fintech and cryptocurrency. There are also details of introducing the national prepaid ‘Meeza card’, which allows citizens to pay governmental fees, use ATMs, POS machines and e-commerce websites.
Other topics explored include the increasing focus on sustainability for longer-term projects, which is, in turn, set to drive up demand for green finance.
The report also includes several case studies mapping out CIB’s response to the pandemic and its growth story, including the mitigation measures implemented by the bank when the virus arrived, steps taken to bolster support for SMEs, and growth of digital services and its expansion in Africa.
Karine Loehman, OBG’s Regional Editor for Africa, said that Egypt’s banks were well placed to tap the many openings emerging across the continent, having until now maintained their focus primarily on the domestic market.
“Increasing investment and trade ties have combined to produce the conditions that lenders looking to expand within the continent require,” she said. “Growing demand across Africa for infrastructure and services is heightening the need for financing, which will be instrumental in supporting post-pandemic economic recovery.”
The CRR on Egypt forms part of a series of tailored reports which the global research and advisory company is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Covid-19 Economic Impact Assessment articles and interviews. It will be entirely Arabized for the first time, brought to you by Al Borsa/ Daily News Egypt.
The CRR is available to view and download at:
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Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global research and advisory company with over 30 countries, spanning Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. It is recognised internationally as a distinctive and respected provider of on-the-ground intelligence on the world’s fastest-growing markets, termed The Yellow Slice, about OBG’s corporate colour.
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