Egypt is falling today as measured by EGPT (Market Vectors Egypt, Expense Ratio 0.98%) about 2.5%, trading at its lowest levels since about mid-January and slipping beneath its 50 day MA for the first time in about a month as well. EGPT is the only Egypt focused ETF in the U.S. marketplace and the fund remains notionally small with about $53 million in assets under management currently, and averages only about 10,100 shares traded daily.
No doubt, headlines that surfaced this weekend involving the ISIS executions in Libya of Coptic Christian Egyptians have rippled through the region, and Egypt as a state has already responded with several rounds of airstrikes against supposed ISIS targets in Libya.
On several occasions last year beginning in early September when EGPT was trading considerably higher, in the $73 range ($59 handle this morning). In spite of recent selling pressure in Egypt and no thanks to the distressful headlines regarding ISIS, it has still out-performed the broader region of Africa as represented by the ETF, AFK (Market Vectors Africa, Expense Ratio 0.81%), where Egypt is the second largest single country weighting at about 23% of the fund.
South Africa is the largest weighting, edging out Egypt by about one percent. We also see exposure to Nigeria (16%), Morocco (9%), and to a lesser degree Kenya (3%) and Ghana (1%).
There are also holdings that are domiciled in the U.K. (13%), and Canada (3%) but these companies have business operations in the continent of Africa. As Egypt gets pulled into the broader “Global Terror/ISIS” conflict, there is no reason to believe that trading activity in EGPT and in the region in general will not pick up considerably.