Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has signed the amended Capital Market Legislation into law in a presidential decree published by the Official Gazette, according to a Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation statement issued on Monday.
The amended Capital Market Law aims to encourage investment and offer financing opportunities for public and private projects, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said.
The legislation allows also investors to hedge risks by introducing futures trading, a practice in which to two parties agree to trade an asset at a future time at a determined price.
The House of Representatives had approved in February amendments to 45 articles of the law, which were presented to the House by the ministry.
“The amendment is the largest and most comprehensive since the law was issued 26 years ago,” Minister Nasr said.
Amendments include a reorganization of the issuance and trading of sukuk (bonds that generate returns in a way that complies with Islamic Sharia) as a financial tool in the capital market, effectively canceling the old sukuk law.
In addition, the changes stipulate a reduction of listing fees for securities to 0.002% from 0.005% to help small and medium enterprises find new sources of funding by listing on the Egyptian Exchange.
Amendments also protect the rights of minority stakeholders in cases of acquisitions and increase penalties for financial crimes including violations of acquisition regulations and trading based on insider information.
The newly-ratified law also establishes a federation for securities companies for the first time in Egypt, to replace the Securities Workers' Syndicate first established in 2012.
In February, credit rating agency Moody’s hailed the law as credit positive for banks.
“The amendment is credit positive for banks because the increased capital markets activity will raise banks’ income from their debt capital markets business while also providing funding options,” Moody’s had said.
The law helps Egypt’s economy reach global competitiveness, achieve financial inclusion and activate the role on the non-banking financial sector to boost economic growth, Minister Nasr said.