Credit Agricole is currently studying market demand for a real estate investment fund under new regulations issued by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), according to Ashraf Abdel Whab, head of the Treasuries, International Transactions, and Financial Institutions department at the bank.
“The bank has a strategy for developing the investment funds that it manages, which at the moment amount to four, two of which invest in stocks. The third is a cash fund and the fourth is a balanced fund,” he said.
Abdul Wahab cited a reduction in the size of its cash funding from EGP 1.9bn to EGP 1.4bn to comply with Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) regulations pertaining to the volume of banks’ investments in cash funds.
He said that the bank’s funds witnessed a decline after the 25 January Revolution, but the bourse’s strong performance following 30 June compensated for that period by absorbing losses. He pointed out that the bourse has risen strongly since the beginning of this year.
Abdul Wahab said that the proposed tax on investors’ profits gained from company shares will not have a significant impact on the Egypt’s stock market, which is present in large markets across the world. He added that these only reflect a limited part of investors’ profits.
The head of the Credit Agricole Treasury said that the bank will cover any government proposals for international bonds in a commentary on the government’s intention to put up bonds worth $750m in the near future.
Abdul Wahab mentioned the bank’s interest in managing finance ministry proposals in financial markets, pointing out that there was in attempt to do so in the past year but it did not happen due to political unrest.
Abdul Wahab anticipates that the corporate bond market will be very active throughout the next year, as a result of the anticipated improvements in direct investment.
On the other hand, Abdul Wahab said that the bank intends to participate in the Central Bank’s initiative for low-cost real estate financing for low- and middle-income demographics. The bank will provide a service to clients to transfer salaries for those who meet specific conditions first before studying the possibility of providing the service to other customers.