Egyptian Exchange (EGX) chairman Mohamed Omran has urged international financial institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to seek out ownership stakes in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt.
The remarks came last Monday during the MEDA Finance 2014 conference for banking and novel financial instruments, attended by a number of international investment firms, and the head of the European Union delegation to Egypt, James Moran.
“I am trying to use the platform we have inside the Egyptian exchange to help small sized [enterprises become] medium sized, and the medium sized to become bigger sized,” Omar said.
Omran said that the board of directors at the EGX increased the trading hours of the Nilex stock exchange, the EGX market for the 24 growing medium and small sized companies listed in the exchange, to four hours.
“The good news is that the turnover ratio is around 100%, which is four times the ratio for the big market; this is an indication of how investors are receiving the changes happening inside the stock exchange,” Omran said.
He added that the government attempted to create a platform for SMEs which granted them access to finance through the capital market.
The EGX chairman said the Egyptian economy is expected to pick up as the country gains political stability, saying it had “the fundamental tools to excel once again”.
On Wednesday, the EGX announced that the executive regulations for its listing rules were approved during the EGX listing committee’s meeting.
Discussing the latest changes in the listing rules, Omran stated that the EGX has made “very significant changes” in order to encourage companies to list themselves on the market.
Omran said that under the new listing rules, the EGX can accept companies that do not possess the required minimum percentage of profitability, provided that they present a clear business plan demonstrating their ability to achieve profit targets over a period of two or three years.
The listing rules were also approved by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA).