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Egypt: Making the case for SMEs

The Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (Case) has launched a new exchange for small and medium-sized enterprises. Case has established several new trading capabilities in the past two years, such as margin trading, online trading and short-selling. Case also plans to launch a derivatives exchange late next year. "We would like to see our derivatives market competing with other emerging markets," says Maged Shawky Sourial, chairman of Case since 2005.

Sourial has overseen the tail end of a decade of impressive growth at the exchange. Less than 10 years ago, a E£60 million ($11 million) trading day would have made it into the newspapers. Now Case is seeing average trading volumes of between E£1 billion and E£1.5 billion a day. Thirty percent of that daily volume is traded by institutions rather than individuals, and Sourial wants that figure to grow to at least 50%, which he expects to happen in the next two years. And, although he has no qualms about the level of foreign influence on Case, Sourial would like to see more domestic participants. "I’m not worried," he says. "When you sell land or a company to foreigners, they don’t take it away with them.

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