Finances of Egyptian listed firms and the performance of the Egyptian stock exchange
This paper analyzes the finances of Egypt's listed firms and the performance of the Egyptian stock exchange during the period 2003-07/08. Egyptian companies can be clearly divided into a top tier and a second tier. Egypt's top tier of listed firms tends to finance themselves mainly from operating cash flows, trade credits, and other short-term borrowing. This raises questions as to whether recent performance could have been even better had these firms done more in the way of long-term financing and long-term investment. This issue is even starker for a large second tier of much smaller firms. Regarding the stock market, the analysis finds that the Egyptian Exchange has experienced extraordinary market capitalization growth fueled by strong price increases. Market activity has been increasing as well, but reached expected levels only recently. Despite strong improvement, however, many companies remain illiquid. In its ability to raise capital, Egypt seems to do well, but privatizations and relatively low gross fixed capital formation might distort this picture.
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