Egypt has at­tracted $18bn in in­flows since the flota­tion of the EGP: Jim Cowles

Egypt has at­tracted $18bn in in­flows since the flota­tion of the EGP: Jim Cowles

The Daily News Egypt - - Front Page - LON­DON – Névine Kamel

EGYPT, AF­TER RE­FORMS TAKEN BY THE GOV­ERN­MENT DUR­ING THE LAST YEAR, IS A GOOD AREA FOR TRANS­AC­TIONS

JIM COWLES, CEO OF CITIBANK IN EUROPE, THE MID­DLE EAST, AND AFRICA (EMEA), EX­PRESSED HIS OP­TI­MISM TO­WARDS THE GROWTH OF THE ECON­OMY IN EGYPT AND THE OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES IT OF­FERS FOR FI­NAN­CIAL TRANS­AC­TIONS.

Jim Cowles, the CEO of Citibank in Europe, the Mid­dle East, and Africa (EMEA), told Daily News Egypt that Citi has played a key role in at­tract­ing for­eign port­fo­lio in­vest­ments into the Egyp­tian trea­sury bill mar­ket via its di­rect con­tacts and ac­tive mar­ket­ing role with for­eign in­vestors. “Egypt has at­tracted an es­ti­mated $18bn of such in­flows over the past year since the flota­tion of the EGP, and Citi has played a role in around 60-65% of these in­flows”

He added in a re­sponse to a ques­tion from Daily News Egypt at the EMEA sum­mit, held be­tween 13 and 14 November in Lon­don, that Citi en­joys a close re­la­tion­ship with the gov­ern­ment of Egypt and is one of the four lead man­agers of the sov­er­eign Eurobond, through which Egypt has been able to raise $7bn for bud­get fund­ing dur­ing 2017, in­clud­ing an un­prece­dented 30 year tranche”.

When we look now to the econ­omy of Egypt, the re­forms that the gov­ern­ment has taken dur­ing the last year, “the bold de­ci­sions”, we find a good area for trans­ac­tions, Cowles said.

“The gov­ern­ment has re­ally taken some un­pop­u­lar de­ci­sions, such as the re­struc­ture of sub­si­dies, the flota­tion of the Egyp­tian pound, but it was im­por­tant to the re­cov­ery of the econ­omy”, he said. He added that Citi group aims to de­velop its ac­tiv­i­ties in Egypt, “be­cause there is a real po­ten­tial there.”

“I know Citi group has sold its con­sumer units in Egypt, but that’s be­cause we want to fo­cus in pre­sent­ing a unique and dif­fer­ent ser­vice there,” ex­plained Cowles, go­ing on to say, “but it was a right de­ci­sion and when I look back I still be­lieve that this was a right one. They are many clients for con­sumer business in Egypt.And we want to present some­thing unique, that’s why Citi group had fo­cused on trans­ac­tions with gov­ern­men­tal in­sti­tu­tions since then”

Citi signed in 2015 an agree­ment with Com­mer­cial International Bank (CIB) to sell its con­sumer bank­ing business in Egypt. Ap­prox­i­mately 900 full­time con­sumer bank­ing and con­tract em­ploy­ees, eight Citi branches, and Citi’s ATM net­work in Egypt has been trans­ferred to CIB upon clos­ing the deal.

Citi said then that it aims to fo­cus on ex­pand­ing the ser­vices it of­fers to Egyp­tian cor­po­ra­tions, banks and pub­lic sec­tor clients, as well as con­tin­u­ing to ser­vice its multi­na­tional clients with oper­a­tions in Egypt, along global in­vestors.

This de­ci­sion was in line with Citi’s global strat­egy of fo­cus­ing their re­sources on those sec­tors where it has a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, in­clud­ing their in­sti­tu­tional fran­chise in Egypt.

Egypt is a part of the Mid­dle East and the African area which, as the CEO of EMEA said, which has a lot of po­ten­tial in the fu­ture.

For the Mid­dle East, the price of oil has dropped in this last year and these coun­tries had to come up with dif­fer­ent fis­cal plans and so­cial pro­grams; “fer­tile soil” for fi­nan­cial ad­vice and trans­ac­tions.

Citi has re­ceived a CMA Li­cense in Saudi Ara­bia in April 2017. Cit­i­group Saudi Ara­bia pro­vide a full range of in­vest­ment bank­ing, debt and eq­uity cap­i­tal mar­kets, and se­cu­ri­ties re­search ca­pa­bil­i­ties to its lo­cal and international in­sti­tu­tional clients.

“Saudi Ara­bia is a re­gional eco­nomic leader and a strate­gi­cally im­por­tant mar­ket for Citi.We are very proud of our long as­so­ci­a­tion with Saudi Ara­bia and are de­lighted at the op­por­tu­nity to es­tab­lish a pres­ence in the King­dom,” said Cowles, men­tion­ing that the po­lit­i­cal tur­bu­lences in Saudi Ara­bia didn’t af­fect their business there.

Speak­ing about Africa, Cowles said some coun­tries on the con­ti­nent are sup­posed to re­alise growth be­tween 5 and 7%, that means a growth of 9 to 12% of fi­nan­cial ser­vices, “a sig­nif­i­cant area force where Cit­i­group aims to mul­ti­ply its ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing to the up­com­ing pe­riod.”

The fourth EMEA (Europe, the Mid­dle East, and Africa) sum­mit be­gan on Mon­day in Lon­don.This sum­mit, held for two days, fo­cused on in­no­va­tion and fin­tech (fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy) this year, which is the fu­ture of fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions. Daily News Egypt was there and cov­ered the two-day ses­sion of the con­fer­ence.

Jim Cowles, CEO of Citibank in EMEA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Egypt

© PressReader. All rights reserved.