OK, so the whole Arab Spring movement didn’t have the positive impact that we thought it might. Somehow though, Egypt has suddenly become the hottest market in the Middle East. Its economy is on the mend, with GDP growth forecasts as high as 4% this year compared to its 2% growth in 2013. The IMF also believes that the government’s reform policies are beginning to pay dividends.
Institutional money is pouring in as well. Emaar Misr, the Egyptian branch of Dubai’s Emaar Properties, plans to raise US$370 million in an IPO. Elsewhere, Canada’s Bombardier and Egypt’s Orascom Construction have announced they will build a 52km monorail, at a cost of US$ 1.5 billion, that will provide much-needed traffic relief to Cairo’s suburbs. The city is bursting at the seams, with 20 million residents and few public transportation options. There’s no word on whether or not this project is tied to President Sisi’s ambitious plans for a new US$300 billion capital city.