During the past year, events in Egypt have been chaotic at times.
The military may be in charge, according to some reports, and the elections for parliament have been overturned by the nation’s highest court, which indicates the courts may have more power. From the headlines, it appears that no one knows who is really in charge.
Despite the chaos, the yield on Egypt’s 10-year government bonds is only 6.7 percent. Greece is paying more than four times as much and Portugal’s rate is about twice as high. Egypt’s rate is below the rate on Spanish, Irish, Cypriot and Hungarian government bonds, which stands near 7 percent.
In the stock market, the benchmark Egyptian index known as the EGX 30 is up 22 percent since the beginning of the year. In Europe, stock markets are lower, with the Dow Jones Spain Titans 30 Index down 20 percent and the Dow Jones Italy Titans 30 Index down 15 percent.
The economy of Egypt is actually in better shape than that of many European countries. Egypt has what is considered a manageable debt-to-GDP ratio of about 70 percent, far below the levels seen in Europe, Japan and the United States.
Tourism is back on track in Egypt, which helps keep unemployment down. Officially, unemployment is about 12.4 percent in Egypt, less than half the horrific levels found in Greece and Spain.
Reading headlines, one would most likely expect Egypt to be an economic basket case.
Instead, it has been one of the best performing stock-market investments of the year. Investors should focus on value — rather than the news headlines — and be ready to invest when the news seems like it just can’t get any worse.
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