Conference Soft Opening Reception: 13 May 2017

   Meetings: 14-16 May 2017 at Sheraton Miramar Resort

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Conference in Focus

During this dynamic time, it is crucial to find credible, comprehensive, and on-the-ground insights to guide your investment decisions. In the warm climes of the Red Sea, senior management from leading companies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia will have the opportunity during the conference to present their case to investors and cement their relationship with current and potential shareholders.

The event gives greater attention to Egypt and Saudi Arabia – two markets which have been quick to implement reforms and consolidate fiscal balances. Here are key themes to consider in each country.

Egypt

Embarking on a comprehensive reform program carries short-term costs, primarily higher inflation leading to weakened affordability. However, there are strong political grounds for the crystalisation of investment reforms such as facilitating land allocation, devising tax and non-tax incentives, and the incorporation of SMEs into the formal economy, among others. This should present a fertile ground for a broader recovery in growth and employment, however, this is more likely to become evident towards the end of 2017 – a year in which marco KPIs will rebalance. In the meantime, themes we choose to focus on include: increased competitiveness of exporters, growth in consumer banking, revival of energy resources (especially natural gas) and a universal healthcare system in the works.

Saudi Arabia

The National Transformation Plan demonstrates Saudi’s unprecedented determination towards reform. Similar to Egypt, the market has not yet adjusted to long standing distortions from fiscal consolidation. In the interim, we believe defensive sectors offer the soundest exposure. Currently, we are witnessing a gradual shift towards subsidy removal and a strong drive towards privatization. Key sectors of focus include healthcare, as private healthcare providers will likely enjoy superior traffic growth - on across-the-board as a result of a spending rationalization program undertaken by the government. Another shift that is also likely to prevail in the coming years, is finding opportunities to replace expatriate-run businesses; such businesses are likely to suffer from margin compression—select retailers fall well into this category.