CAIRO, April 28 Egypt's stock exchange has
granted Beltone Financial (BTFH.CA) the country's first licence
for exchange traded funds (ETF), the bourse's head Mohamed Omran
said on Monday, adding that trading could start within six
Egypt, whose economy has been battered by more than three
years of political and economic turmoil, is trying to attract
capital back into the country and restore investor confidence.
"The infrastructure and the regulations relating to the
index funds are ready for work and within six weeks we can see
trading of index funds papers on the bourse," Omran said.
Beltone Financial was the first company to express interest
in ETFs, which are listed investment funds, and is launching a
fund called XT-Misr that mirrors the performance of the
country's EGX 30 stock index.
Beltone's chairman Aladdin Saba declined to reveal the size
of the fund but said Beltone would participate in it with 10
million Egyptian pounds ($1.43 million). The firm is allowed to
increase this by 50 times, depending on the demand for the fund,
Egypt's financial market regulator last month released the
rules to facilitate the creation of index and real estate funds
as well as amendments to margin trading rules in an attempt to
increase liquidity in the market and draw more local and foreign
Much of the activity in Egypt's capital markets froze up
during the political instability which followed the toppling of
President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Egypt's last initial
public offering of shares was in November 2010.
The weakness of the stock market has deprived companies of a
source of funds, pressured balance sheets and hurt business
confidence. Many foreign portfolio managers have pulled money
out of the Egyptian market.
($1 = 6.9953 Egyptian pounds)
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by