Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: Egypt 1932-39 Military Stamps

Between 1932 and 1935, the British provided stamps at a reduced rate for use by their military forces in Egypt, per the terms of a concessionary arrangement made with the Egyptian government. The stamps were to be affixed to the back of envelopes bearing an "Egypt Postage Prepaid" handstamp on the front, and were used by military personnel and their families for letters sent to Great Britain and Ireland.

These stamps are of particular interest because they have dual market appeal among collectors of both British Commonwealth and Egypt, with the growing stamp market in Egypt being a potentially powerful catalyst that could push the values of these stamps up significantly. I've listed the British Forces in Egypt stamps with the lowest printing quantities, along with their Scott '10 Catalog Values, below:
- 1932 3m Black on sage green (Scott #M2; 41,800; $ 55.00 )
- 1933 3m Brown Lake (Scott #M4; 54,000; $ 8.75 )
- 1934 3m Deep Blue (Scott #M6; 63,000; $ 8.25)
- 1935 1p Jubilee Overprint (Scott #M9; 27,000; $ 325.00)
- 1935 3m on 1p Bright Carmine (Scott #M11; 10,000; $ 25.00)

In addition, there is a non-Scott-listed variety of the 1935 3m Christmas stamp (Scott #M10). The normal vermilion stamp (Scott '10 CV=$ 2.25) is relatively common, with 101,100 issued. The neglected yellow orange variety (Michel #10b), which is currently valued at around triple the normal stamp, had a printing of only 12,075.

Also note that the 1935 1p Jubilee Overprint (Scott #M9) has added appeal as part of the George V Silver Jubilee Omnibus set of stamps issued by the various Commonwealth countries.

With an estimated 76 million people, Egypt possesses one of the most developed economies in the Mid-East, with a GDP growth rate of 5%-7%. The government is undertaking major economic reforms to further spur development, including massive investments in infrastructure and liberalizing economic and tax policies to encourage foreign investment. Egypt's main challenge in the years to come will be one of social and political democratization - how to assure that enough of the new wealth trickles down to the majority of the population to lessen the problems of poverty and political instability. Nevertheless, barring major political instability, it is likely that Egypt will be one of the fastest growing economies over the next several decades.


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