• Consumer finance supports economic growth

Cairo: Mr. Said Zater, CEO of Contact Financial Holding and Chairman of the Egyptian Federation of Consumer Finance, participated in the 8th edition of the Capital Markets Annual Summit, held under the theme of "Structural Reforms - Sustaining Development", which is held under the auspices of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Financial Regulatory Authority, and other entities. The summit discussed the structural reforms being undertaken by the Egyptian government across all economic sectors in terms of investment and sustainability.

During the second panel titled "Corporations and the Challenges of Managing Cost of Financing," Said Zater stated: "Consumer finance is one of the most important economic sectors in Egypt, as it touches the lives of everybody, contributes to stimulating consumption, and supports economic growth. It is the future we will all be living. The issuance of the consumer finance law in 2020 has opened up serious opportunities for companies to enter and play a significant role, especially in light of crises such as COVID-19 and exchange rate fluctuations." He added: "Consumer finance differs from other types of financing such as leasing, for example, as it is not possible to impose a floating interest rate on the customer.”

Zater also discussed consumer behavior, where customers may use consumer finance to purchase goods, they may not urgently need for fear of price increases in the future, or for savings purposes due to inflation, leading to difficulties in paying the required installments.

Zater said that "Contact" started in 2001 as the first finance company in Egypt, and started issuing securitization bonds in 2005 as the first issuer of securitization bonds in Egypt, and later issued sukuk, until it became one of the largest issuers of bonds and sukuk in Egypt. He added that the company needs significant liquidity to finance its operations, so it resorts to all financing tools, as reliance solely on banks is not feasible, so we are looking for the financing needs to reach the required liquidity.

Regarding Ras El Hekma deal, Zater anticipated that exchange rate stability would attract investors, adding that efforts should be made to stabilize the exchange rate and employ resources to maintain a healthy market that enables companies to view the Egyptian economy optimistically.