As Egypt teeters on the edge of globalization and some wonder if it can be afforded, could an exchange traded fund (ETF) dedicated solely to the country be in the offing?

Egypt has the largest population in the Middle East, and Cairo in particular is growing so much that its population is spilling into the desert, according to a report on Marketplace from American Public Media.

Modern Cairo dates back 1,000 years, meaning its infrastructure is literally ancient. Diane Singerman, a co-author of "Cairo Cosmopolitan," says there has been a lot of investment in bringing things up to date. There’s a ring road around the city and a metro is being built, but a lot of what’s taken place is because of the tourism industry.

 

And while tourism brings in money, Cairo has a dilemma: pour more money into things that will continue to bring in those tourists, or put that money into its population, much of which is living in poverty?

One quick way Egypt could rocket into the modern age is through gold. It has a 4,000-year history of gold mining, but it has so far missed out on the recent boom, according to another report on Marketplace. The Egyptian government is drafting a new mining code that’s more favorable to outside investors, and one company is building the country’s first major modern gold mine.

While there is no direct exposure to Egypt via an ETF, the country is 6% of the SPDR Emerging Middle East & Africa (GAF).

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.