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Egypt’s Fintech Industry Is Leading From The Front

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  • Egypt’s Fintech Industry Is Leading From The Front

Egypt boasts one of the fastest-growing business markets in Africa, as can be seen in the expansion of its financial technology (fintech) industry. According to the latest report from Africa’s leading corporate information and market mapping platform provider Asoko Insight, the fintech market comprises approximately 40 players – including startups, financial institutions and micro-finance providers, as well as incubators, hubs and investors – and has attracted significant investment over recent years.

With growth more than doubling in the five years to 2017, the fintech industry is one of Egypt’s fastest-growing business sectors. The fintech market is playing an important role in transitioning Egypt from cash to electronic payments at all levels of the financial services sector, from the high-level, centrally coordinated national banking system to the grassroots level, where fintech providers target the unbanked.

With a population of almost 100 million people, Egypt is one of the most populous countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), yet low levels of financial penetration mean that only a third of the adult population has a formal bank account. This has opened a significant market to providers that can facilitate access for the large unbanked population, as well as open the banked population to more technologically sophisticated services.

Rising levels of financial inclusion generate demand for fintech though perception remains a challenge

Traditional measures of financial inclusion have been rising, with the proportion of Egypt’s adult population holding a checking, savings or credit account growing three-fold from 2011 to 2017, to hit 32%. Debit card ownership also rose significantly from 5% to 24.8%, although credit card usage has remained low at just 3% and card use is generally limited to payroll. Most measures of digital financial service usage have also been increasing rapidly, in some cases outpacing traditional access, albeit from a lower base.

The proportion of the population with a mobile money account, for example, jumped from 1.1% to 22.8% between 2014 and 2017. Roughly one-fifth of the population used a credit or debit card to make a purchase over the past year, compared to less than 5% in 2014. E-commerce and online bill payments remain relatively rare, however, and those using digital payments registered a slight decline over the period.

Fintech is a key beneficiary of rising mobile take-up and technology

Egypt’s population is demanding more financial inclusion and increasingly looking to their mobile handsets to access these services, creating a conducive environment for fintech growth. Mobile technology has developed to the point that the country has more mobile subscriptions than its population, with a penetration rate of 110%, and mobile banking is overtaking traditional banking in popularity. At least 12 Egyptian banks have already implemented mobile wallets into their systems and more banks are likely to follow suit. Egypt’s high mobile penetration rate, large pool of unbanked citizens and considerable youth bulge, with 52% of the population under the age of 25, represent an opportunity for fintech companies to provide convenient, cheaper and digital financial and banking services. In turn, rising fintech adoption in Egypt is expected to create more growth opportunities for investors, consumers, and businesses.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd

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The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.

The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.

The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.

The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.

Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.

The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.

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Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

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Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.

This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.

Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.

On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.

Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”

The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.

There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.

“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”

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Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020

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Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020

The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.

EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.

If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.

The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.

It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.

It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.

“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”

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