The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Egypt: Reviving an old institution

Like many old bourses in emerging markets, the one in Cairo creaks a bit. Transforming it into a smooth-running, well-oiled machine will require changing attitudes as well as systems. But the need to attract foreign and domestic money to the corporate sector will probably ensure it comes right in the end. Nigel Ash reports.

"What is true for London, Paris or New York is not necessarily true for Egypt. You cannot have a market that has been closed and mothballed for decades turn back overnight into a problem-free market."

This comment by an Egyptian banker on attempts to modernize the Cairo Stock Exchange (CSE) reveals the full extent of the challenge ahead. It is not the establishment of new systems and regulations, difficult as these are, that is the main problem facing the reformers: it is the hidebound ways of the borrowers, the investors and the stockbrokers which are the most resistant to change. Until they do change, the full potential of the CSE cannot be realized: it has a tiny $5 billion market capitalization and consists of 700 companies, of which only 40 are actively traded.

"Almost nothing exists. Companies do not go and raise capital on the stock market. They do not even think about it," continues Mohamed Ozalp, whose Misr International Bank (MIBank) owns a share of a new broker El Rawad.

As for investors, Ozalp points out, along with many other commentators, that Egyptians are used to tangible assets such as property and gold. Shares and bonds are not regarded as intrinsically valuable - a perception that is likely to be reaffirmed rather than dispelled by the proposed automation of trading and settlement.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree