53 MENA Companies Gather in London to Attend the 3rd EFG-Hermes Event Today

At the largest MENA investor conference in the United Kingdom, senior management of leading listed Middle East and North Africa companies will give first-hand insights into their recent performance, showcasing value opportunities to global investors with combined AUM in excess of USD 5 trillion.

Leading global investors with aggregate assets under management in excess of USD 5 trillion gathered today in London for the opening session of the largest MENA-focused investment conference ever held in the United Kingdom.

Held in collaboration with the London Stock Exchange, the conference will have 162 fund managers from 91 institutions in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and North Africa interacting in face-to-face meetings with senior management from 53 of the largest and most actively traded companies in the Middle East and North African countries. The two-day event will also include some companies from sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition to one-on-one meetings, presenting companies and investors will have the opportunity to hear first-hand insights from H.E. Dr. El Mostafa Hegazy, the political adviser to Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour.

The London MENA conference has quickly become the largest MENA-dedicated investor event held in the UK, noted EFG Hermes Securities Brokerage Co-Head Mohamed Ebeid.

“It is increasingly clear that top regional companies have the strategies, infrastructure and management talent they need to grow, a fact underscored by their performance year-to-date despite very challenging political conditions regionally,” he added. “The outstanding attendance on the part of both presenting companies and investors speaks directly to the value opportunities on offer across the region.”

The 3rd EFG Hermes London MENA Conference comes at the close of the region’s second-quarter 2013 earnings season, during which more than 37% of the 121 companies in EFG Hermes Research’s coverage universe that report quarterly results beat earnings expectations despite ongoing regional challenges.  It also comes as EFG Hermes Research casts the spotlight on opportunities for value investors across the MENA region, which is currently trading at a healthy 6% discount to emerging market equities on the basis of 2013 earnings multiples. The region had previously traded at a premium.

“The valuation discount we now see across the Arab world markets creates an entry point for investors,” said EFG Hermes Research Head Wael Ziada. “Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in particular, appear set to outperform, while Dubai and Kuwait will perform in line with MENA. The wild card is Egypt, which is trading a price-to-book values well below historical averages amid political turbulence. Against this background, investors need to hear first-hand how current management teams are planning for their next phases of growth regardless of any political overhangs.”

“Investors will see first-hand why we believe financing investment in non-oil growth will drive a recovery in bank earnings, while compelling demographics and expansionary fiscal policy will provide opportunities for consumer stocks,” added Ebeid.

The 53 presenting companies from 11 countries include sectors ranging from financial services, energy, consumer discretionary, consumer staples and telecommunications services to health care, industrials, utilities, materials, and real estate and hospitality.