Monday, 23 January 2017

Int’l companies feeling the burn of EGP float

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We’re starting to see the impact of the EGP float and devaluation on international companies’ bottom lines in their 4Q2016 results. Schlumberger had to write off USD 63 mn in Egypt and Savola recorded an unexpected loss in the quarter, citing the EGP devaluation as a factor.

Before we continue, a word from our regulators: Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) Sherif Samy and EGX chairman Mohamed Omran gave Al Borsa their two cents on investment policy, with the two operative words being stability and cohesion.

Egypt needs a way to codify the economic reform agenda in a manner that would make it impervious to change by future governments, said Omran. He advocated for state-owned assets and companies to be managed by a single investment entity which would include the private sector, as a means to ensure the streamlining of policy and management of public assets. Curious Omran should mention that just as the state plans to restructure the National Investment Bank (NIB) and amend its regulations, according to Planning Minister Ashraf El Araby. NIB, which is charged with running the IPOs, is locked in a EGP 56 bn dispute with the National Insurance Authority, and Finance Ministry, the newspaper says.

More input from outside the Ismail cabinet is needed on a number of key pieces of legislation such as the cabinet-approved Bankruptcy Act, said EFSA’s Samy. Important elements are missing from the law in its current form, including provisions outlining the fiduciary responsibilities of board of directors in cases of insolvency, said Samy. Input from outside the cabinet is crucial, says Samy, to prevent any conflict and contradictions in the many laws which are in the pipeline for 2017, which include: amendments to the Capital Markets Act which allow trading of futures contracts and to the Competition Protection Act.

Samy shared his thoughts on the IPO of state-owned industry, which he feels must be made more enticing by merging smaller entities into larger ones. Samy would also like to see Egyptian indices such as the EGX30 traded on indices markets, especially considering the gains made on the EGX.

Positive news for Egypt coming out of Saudi Arabia last night, as the Kingdom’s finance ministry announced that there would be no fees applied on remittances out of the country, Reuters reports. The move comes days after the kingdom’s advisory Shura Council said it was considering a proposal to impose a 6 percent levy on expatriate remittances.

Saudi made more headlines with news that OPEC members have agreed on a monitoring mechanism for the accord to cut production by 1.8 mn bbl/d to be implemented by OPEC’s monitoring committee. Production cuts have reached 1.5 mn bbl/d, said Saudi’s Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih. The optimism over the ensuing rising oil prices may not last long, however, as Al-Falih said that there was no need to extend the agreement beyond the six months. Bloomberg’s Julian Lee speculates that the six month limit arose out of a surplus during the era of overproduction coinciding with Saudi increasing its dependence on natural gas for its electricity supply, a surplus which is expected to run out in six months.

As for the Aramco IPO, Saudi has promised it will reduce oil taxes to make the flotation more appealing, Bloomberg reports.

Over in Trumpland, El Presidente has shot the starting gun on Nafta negotiations, saying that meetings with the Canadian Prime Minister and Mexican President have been scheduled. He warned that US will unilaterally withdraw should both countries refuse to negotiate, BBC reports.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Could the House of Representatives finalize the cabinet shuffle this week? If the cabinet shuffle were a high school gossip column, Al Shorouk would be running it. Its army of anonymous sources (which today claim to come from the cabinet) tell it that the list of candidates for the shuffle is with Parliament, which will decide on the appointments as early as this week. While state-owned Al Ahram is claiming there is a chance that the shuffle will include an economic minister, the wisdom (or lack thereof) of giving the House such a large say in determining the next lineup would lead us to preclude that likelihood. Al Ahram is saying eight ministers will be replaced, including: Education, health, civil aviation, tourism, culture, manpower, and antiquities. Get your seasoning ready.

As we gear up to take Wednesday and Thursday off, we’re happy to hear that warm weather is expected in Cairo throughout the week, with highs reaching up to the mid-twenties from Tuesday onwards. One thing to look at starting from Thursday is bibliophiles’ favorite event of the year: The annual Cairo International Book Fair, which takes place at the state fairgrounds in Nasr City.

Egypt’s national football team faces Ghana at 9 pm on Wednesday in the Africa Cup of Nations. We jumped the gun yesterday when we said Abdallah El Said’s goal secured qualification to the knockout stages, which still depends on the results of the final day of group-stage matches. Forgive the enthusiasm. On a related note, CAF officials have accused Egypt of violating broadcast rights, a move which may risk Egypt being kicked out of the tournament and banned for two years from CAF events. The CAF apparently will only make do with a lawsuit, according to Al Mal.

On The Horizon

The specific date for IMF mission chief to Egypt Chris Jarvis’ visit to Cairo is not yet clear. We know it is scheduled for the end of February and will review and assess progress with the economic reform program. According to the fund’s schedule, the USD 1.25 bn second tranche of the USD 12 bn loan should be disbursed by 15 March, contingent on the results of the first review.

Applications to Flat6Labs Cairo are open to entrepreneurs now: Flat6Labs accelerator program selects up to 10 companies to join it each cycle, puts them on track to become a full-fledged scalable startup, and provides them with up to EGP 1 mn in funding. Companies that have successfully completed previous Flat6Labs cycles include Instabug and Pushbots. You can apply here.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

A day late and a USD short, Hona Al Assema’s Lamees Al Hadidy reviewed the main highlights of the IMF’s staff report on Egypt’s USD 12 bn facility. CI Capital’s Hany Farahat told Lamees in a call that he saw the statements of the IMF chief of mission in Egypt Chris Jarvis as “reassuring,” as they conveyed a message the EGP will appreciate in the next few months. The analyst reserved particular praise for the report’s recommendation of subsidies reduction, especially considering the Zohr field coming online this year. Farahat wants the CBE to cancel the cap on USD deposits before June. He appears to be not in favor of reinstating a stamp tax on stock market transactions (watch: runtime: 8:09).

After discussing how the report doesn’t do much by way of recommending a comprehensive investment strategy, Lamees channeled her inner Fidel Castro. She went on a tirade of how the facility would severely hurt the middle class and that she doesn’t see a way out. The government should have been tougher on the IMF, she suggested, and drawn a red-line at social harmony (watch; runtime: 4:44). We wonder what other bright back up plans she had cooking up. Lamees once again demonstrated how useless our MPs are when she interviewed the House Economics Committee Chairman Ali Moselhy who moaned to her that they still have not received a copy of the IMF report from the Ministry of Finance. He used that as an excuse as to why he couldn’t take part of the weekend to read it.

Al Hadidy also spoke with the House Housing Committee chair Alaa Waly on the Contractor’s Compensation Act. The House is slightly amending the draft and will be finalized this week (watch; runtime: 37:53).

Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer focused on the upcoming cabinet reshuffle, where sources told him that it will encompass from nine to 11 ministries, including the Ministry of Interior. Sources added that the shuffle will see the merger of the ministries of tourism and civil aviation into one ministry, and the merger of the ministries of manpower and immigration.
Amr Adib began last night’s Kol Youm episode from the studios of On TV’s news channel On Live, which will officially launch on Monday (watch; runtime: 25:40), segueing into a diatribe about how banks need to treat their customers better when they deposit USD instead of giving them the third degree (watch; runtime: 2:11). We would like to point Adib to our archives page and invite him to read our issues for the past 14 months to get an understanding of why banks have been acting stringently.

Speed Round

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The impact of the EGP float on international companies’ bottom lines is starting to show: Savola Group recorded a larger-than-expected net loss in 4Q2016 of SAR 964.3 mn (USD 257.2 mn). The company said it had to take losses in Egypt due to the EGP devaluation as well as impairment charges of goodwill, property, and equipment. Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the Saudi food producer to make an average profit of SAR 53.6 mn in the quarter. Savola attributed the drop to lower gross profits, higher financial charges, and non-recurring items booked during the quarter.

… Similarly, oilfield services provider Schlumberger reported an attributable net loss of USD 204 mn in 4Q2016, down from USD 1.02 bn a year earlier, when it recorded USD 2 bn in restructuring and asset impairment charges Reuters reported. According to an SEC filing, Schlumberger took a USD 63 mn currency devaluation loss in Egypt. In total, the company recorded USD 536 mn in restructuring charges worldwide from costs of workforce reduction, facility closure, and other costs relating to the acquisition of Cameron International Corporation.

On a related note, we are starting to see the first glimmers of what may emerge from the revisited FY2016-17 budget, which is currently being worked on to factor in the EGP float. So far, supply subsidies expenditures have been increased to EGP 53 bn, said Supply Minister Mohamed Ali El Sheikh. The budget for supply subsidies, which stood at EGP 40 bn before the float, had been increased in December to EGP 50 bn, he tells Al Ahram. The Social Solidarity Ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to increase the budget allocated to social protection programs by EGP 1.5 to bn EGP 14 bn following the EGP float, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Waly told Al Borsa.

Al Futtaim Real Estate has allocated EGP 4 bn towards investments into Cairo Festival City in 2017, Managing Director Mohamed El Mikawi tells Al Mal. The company is beginning construction on one of the two hotels planned for the project and to complete a number of hotel apartments onsite, he added. Al Futtaim Group was not impacted significantly by the increase in building material prices domestically as significant portions of construction were completed before the EGP float, said El Mikawi. The company is looking to deliver the second phase of the Oriana Villas project this year and will complete the first phase of its Festival Living project by 3Q2018, he added.

This comes as Nestlé Egypt will be allocating EGP 1 bn in investments over the next five years to increasing output across the board, Al Borsa reported. In addition to expanding its range of products for infants, Nestlé — fresh of its EGP 400-500 mn bid to acquire Caravan Marketing Company — is also looking to grow its exports during the year to combat the effects of the devaluation, which are likely to prompt a second hike in product prices soon, CEO Yasser Abd El Malek says.

“We never comment on speculation, but I believe Souq is a great company. I’ve got a lot of respect for what they’ve done,” said Majid Al Futtaim CEO Alain Bejjani at the WEF in Davos, The National reported. While Bejjani declined to comment specifically on a potential acquisition of Souq.com, he did state that his company was investing heavily into digital trading. “The e-commerce pure-play landscape in the region has changed dramatically in a short space of time," he said. “We’re investing in it in a big way and we have very ambitious plans.” It was reported recently that Souq.com had begun negotiating with Majid Al Futtaim and other investors after talks with Amazon had reportedly collapsed over valuation disagreements.

On step closer to deregulating the gas market: We have inched one step closer to seeing the gas market privatized as the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has set a preliminary price of USD 0.4 per mbtu for private companies looking to use the national gas grid, unnamed sources tell Al Shorouk. EGAS appears to have side-stepped forming the new regulator for the industry, which as per the Natural Gas Act is supposed to set prices, and moved directly on that front.

The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) is not doing Egypt any favors with the terms and conditions it laid down for its latest bid round, Patrick Werr writes for The National. He echoes a similar sentiment to Aton Resources’ CEO Mark Campbell, who wrote for us last week urging EMRA to seize Egypt’s “golden opportunity.” Werr says, “A better approach would be to treat [mining companies] as venture capital companies, most of which will eventually fail. Try offering them a one-year reconnaissance license and letting them choose which areas to explore. They don’t need such large concession areas. Eliminate as many of the upfront costs as possible to attract as many exploration companies as possible. Abolish the joint ventures and production-sharing agreements with the government and extend exploration and exploitation periods, up to 30 years perhaps.”

The Alexandria Minerals and Oils Co. (AMOC) could be offering an additional 10-20% of its shares in its IPO this year, Chairman Amr Moustafa tells CNBC ( runtime 26:27) in an interview last Thursday. The government has yet to notify the company or its board of its timetable for the issuance, but Moustafa said he suspects it will be around mid-July. The later in the year, the better, he added, since the gradual increase in global oil prices could help the stock climb to its fair value of EGP 98-100. It remains unclear how AMOC’s ownership structure will change after the offering. The company is currently 53%-owned by national banks and 27% by the oil sector, after 20% of its shares were floated in 2004.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree granting the Military Production Ministry a license to operate in the pharma industry and establish a company, Al Shorouk reports. Reuters has also taken note of the story as part of the military’s ongoing assistance “in major infrastructure projects and distribution of subsidized commodities to keep a lid on rising prices.”

“Soon” could mean a month on restoring Russian tourism: Restoring flights of Russian tourists to Egypt should take another month, said the newly appointed consul general at the opening of Russia’s third consulate in Egypt in Hurghada, Al Masry Al Youm reported. Based on reports from the Russian security teams who have been visiting, these flights will be restored gradually for a month, but the decision is obviously with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the consul. While this is nowhere near a solid deadline, this is the closest thing to an actual date we have been given on the issue. Our comrades must forgive us if we’re not holding our breaths. Russian news agency Sputnik also covered the opening ceremony.

Abu Dhabi creates a USD 125 bn fund: The government of Abu Dhabi merged Mubadala Development Co and International Petroleum Investment Co to create the USD 125 bn Mubadala Investment Co, Reuters reported. Using 2015 valuations and data from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Mubadala Investment would be the world’s 14th largest investment fund. The fund will be run by CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak, formerly the chief of Mubadala Development. “Mubadala Investment will have a total of 68,000 employees globally with partnerships and businesses in 30-plus countries, it said in a statement.”

At least five army soldiers were shot and killed by unknown militants in Central Sinai’s Al Hosna area, AMAY reports. Witnesses said the soldiers were in a taxi, headed back from a break, when assailants stopped them and opened fire. Attacks on Egyptian security forces intensified in recent weeks, ahead of the sixth anniversary of 25 January. This comes as a car bomb exploded near the Italian and Egyptian embassies in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday, according to a Reuters report picked up by Egypt Independent. No casualties have been reported.

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Egypt in the News

Egypt, Turkey, and Israel have all fallen prey to delusions about US President Donald Trump, Steven A Cook writes for Salon. “It all seems rather strange given how Trump rode to power, winking at Islamophobes as well as anti-Semites and otherwise appealing to isolationists. If there was any sign during the long campaign about Trump’s approach to the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy more generally, it was retrenchment,” Cook writes, but “the Egyptians, for example, are convinced that the Trump administration will offer its unconditional support for El Sisi.” He adds that Trump’s world is purely transactional and wonders what Egypt’s currency is in this world. “The old Egyptian refrain about being a ‘force for stability in the region’ is getting old — and is no longer accurate. Besides, what does Trump care about the region other than ‘bombing the [expletive] out of [the self-proclaimed Islamic State]’?” Cook says it is unlikely that American power can put the Middle East back together, but “it can definitely make things worse.”

Egypt’s program to treat hepatitis C patients using medications including Sovaldi has treated nearly one mn patients, most at the government’s expense, and now experts say it could be a model for the rest of the world, Heba Saleh writes in The Financial Times. “Gilead agreed to provide the medicine cheaply because it knew the number of Egyptian patients was very high. The system put in place by Egyptian health officials ensured there would be no leakage of the medicine to other markets,” Wahid Doss, the head of the state’s National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis said. The next step in the program, Doss says, is to discover and treat Egyptian who are infected with hepatitis C and do not yet know it and a screening program has already begun.

Egypt’s National Center for Water Researches (NCWR) says it has successfully applied a new method to bring in an extra wheat harvest in Egypt, writes Marwa Yahya for Xinhua. The technique is called vernalization which freezes seeds during germination to accelerate their flowering process, Chairman Hisham Mustafa said, and could double Egypt’s annual harvest. It can reduce irrigation consumption by 40% and allow for two harvests in one season, he added. While some believe the harvests are unlikely to have the same level of efficiency, NCWR says the problems lie with scope and training farmers and not in quality.

Cutting the Ikhwan out of the picture leaves room for greater threats: While their strength does represent a threat to the United States, pushing the Ikhwan entirely off the board “may snowball into a far more perilous status quo,” as it creates room for ultra-extremist groups to advance. A recent research report from the CIA, picked up by Asharq Al-Awsat, argues that (as Hosni Mubarak had in the days before his ouster) the Ikhwan “are an essential curbing factor for all extremist groups,” although “CIA intelligence experts have warned as well that the fundamentalist organization cannot be trusted.” The report suggests that the Mubarak-era paradigm of a half-baked alliance with the group might be best.

International coverage of Egypt also included:

  • A statement from Egypt’s prosecutor general picked up by The Associated Press and Reuters announcing that Italian authorities will send experts to examine footage from the Dokki metro station on the day Regeni;
  • Talks of moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed Jerusalem could trigger a backlash from Washington’s Middle Eastern allies, including Egypt, Saudi, and Jordan, who are pivotal to its fight against Daesh, says NYT report;
  • Reuters is running a piece on the reopening of Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art;
  • The Hollywood Reporter reviews Egyptian political thriller “The Nile Hilton Incident,” which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

On Deadline

Newton wants a less bloated cabinet: The Al Masry Al Youm columnist with the pseudonym Newton hopes the Cabinet reshuffle will come about with a reduced number of ministries. The current composition of government has a needlessly large number of ministries, he writes. The ministries of tourism, antiquities, culture, and civil aviation could be merged into one that would have a more comprehensive approach to tourism. Similarly, he suggests, the functions of the ministries of agriculture and irrigation should be consolidated into one that would be able to determine what crops to grow based on water resources.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek has given Italian experts the green light to investigate CCTV footage from the Dokki metro station where Italian researcher Giulio Regeni was last seen before being kidnapped last January, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The decision is being positioned as evidence of transparency on Egypt’s part in the ongoing investigation into Regeni’s murder.

Egypt and Sudan are in talks to set up a free trade zone at the border between both countries to boost Egypt’s imports to Sudan and its neighboring countries, an official from Sudan’s Commerce, Industry and Investment Ministry told Al Mal.

A parliamentary delegation is in Brussels after receiving an invitation from the European parliament to discuss the NGO law, the refugee crisis, and the Libyan and Syrian crises, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

Energy

Electricity Ministry completes El Shabab, West Damietta power plants in 2Q2017

The Electricity Ministry is set to complete converting the El Shabab and West Damietta power plants to the combined cycle system in 2Q2017, EEHC Chairman Gaber El Dessouky told Al Mal. The power plants are 83% and 80% complete, respectively, he added. The total cost of the projects is around EGP 6 bn and is financed by the Islamic Development Bank, EBRD, the European Investment Bank, and the Saudi Fund for Development.

Electricity Ministry considers reducing fuel oil used in production

The Electricity Ministry is considering reducing fuel oil used in production to reduce the financial burden on the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, unnamed sources tell Daily News Egypt. Following the float, fuel oil increased in price to EGP 2,500 per tonne from EGP 2,300 while one cubic meter of natural gas rose to EGP 1.5 from EGP 0.9. Another scenario proposed by the ministry was to increase electricity prices, but President Abdel Fattah El Sisi pushed strongly against a price hike.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Beyti launches new factory by end of year

Beyti Food Industries is set to begin operations at its EGP 1 bn new juice factory in Nubaria in the outskirts of Alexandria by the end of the year, CEO Mohamed Badran tells Al Borsa. The company sees its sales growing by 20% y-o-y in 2017 following expansions last year, he added, with exports also growing to comprise 20% of total sales, from 10% in 2016. The juice factory is part of a EGP 4 bn expansion plan than also included a 5,000 cattle capacity farm. Badran says the expansion financed by Beyti’s Saudi parent Almarai reflects trust in the Egyptian economy’s growth prospects.

Domty not entering new projects, further price increases expected

Domty Food Industries’ expansion plans are undeterred by the economic situation, but no new projects will be entered, CEO Mohamed El Damaty told Al Borsa. Further price increases to products can be expected, he added. Domty had announced they were investing EGP 240 mn in 2016-2017 to launch yellow cheese and cheese sandwich production lines this year.

Halwani Bros investing EGP 100 mn into dry products factory this year

Halwani Bros are looking to build a dry products factory with an investment value of EGP 100 mn this year as part of its strategy to boost production by 50%, CFO Fathy Mohamed told Al Borsa. The new factory will separate dry products from the existing poultry factory, he added. The company had estimated the project’s cost before the EGP float and is currently reevaluating the cost studies ahead of beginning construction, said Mohamed.

Manufacturing

Samsung studying assembling new devices at Beni Suef factory

Samsung is studying assembling new products at its Beni Suef factory provided the 5-10% customs tariff on their components are revised, Samsung Electronics VP Sherif Barakat told Al Borsa. The new products will include smartphones in which, as we noted yesterday, Samsung aims to grow their market share to over 50% from 40% last year, he added.

Guangzhou Goodsense looking to build aluminum composite panels factory

China’s Guangzhou Goodsense Decorative Building Materials are looking to build an aluminum composite panels factory in Ataka in partnership with the Egyptian-Saudi Wellbond Company, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil told Al Masry Al Youm. The project has an estimated cost of USD 100 mn and will be financed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and China, said Kabil. The factory will cover a large portion of domestic demand, and will allocate a percentage towards export, he added.

SCZone finalizing talks with Siemens, GE for EUR 400 mn wind turbine blade factories

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) is finalizing negotiations with Siemens and General Electric to establish two wind turbine blade factories at a total cost of EUR 400 mn, SCZone Chairman Ahmed Darwish told Al Borsa. According to Darwish, the SCZone is expected to negotiate with the two companies the amount of land needed for each factory, and grant the land within the year.

Health + Education

No increase in university tuition fees -Minister

There will not be a tuition fee increase in public or private universities for returning students, said Higher Education Minister Ashraf El Sheehy, Ahram English reported. Private universities will be bound by a “code of honor” to maintain a cap on fees for returning students, he says, but will be able to increase fees by 5% for new students. Additionally, universities will not require a portion of their fee in foreign currency, he added.

Real Estate + Housing

SODIC nearing official bid on 250 feddans in Dream Land

SODIC is reportedly close to presenting an official bid to acquire 250 feddans in Dream Land owned by National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr owned Misr Real Estate Assets, sources at NBE told Al Shorouk. Negotiations between Misr Real Estate Assets and Hassan Allam have reportedly stopped due to disagreement over the price. The land came into the ownership of Misr Real Estate following a legal dispute with businessman Ahmed Bahgat that ended with a court order forcing the foreclosure of his assets by NBE and Banque Misr.

Tourism

Matrouh governor signs agreement with Wadi Degla to establish touristic project in Daba’a

Matrouh’s governor signed an agreement with Wadi Degla Developments to establish a resort, including two hotels, in Daba’a with an investment value of EGP 855 mn over three years, according to Al Mal.

Telecoms + ICT

Orange Egypt is ready to roll out 4G services once trial run is completed

Orange Egypt said it is ready to launch 4G services once its trial run is completed and receives NTRA approval to launch, Al Masry Al Youm reported. Orange Egypt said it invested EGP 2 bn in preparing its networks to provide 4G services, according to Al Mal. The news comes despite the NTRA reportedly asking mobile network operators to stop the trial launch of 4G services on the 3G spectrum because of complaints about 3G service quality following the start of the trial launch. Orange appears to be undeterred and will proceed with trial runs. Vodafone Egypt had also claimed is has met all the requirements to launch 4G services.

InnJoo looking for domestic partner to begin local manufacturing

Dubai-based InnJoo is looking to expand its activities in Egypt, specifically by looking for a domestic partner to begin manufacturing its products locally, Al Borsa reports. According to InnJoo’s regional manager, Ahmed Kandil, the company is aiming to secure a market share of at least 6% in smartphones.

Automotive + Transportation

Government to establish airport in East Sinai to service Gulf of Suez and surroundings

The government is reportedly in the process of building an airport in East Sinai to service the Gulf of Suez and surrounding areas, according to Suez Canal Economic Zone chief Ahmed Darwish, Youm7 reports.

EgyptAir could be cutting back on flights to Saudi Arabia

EgyptAir could be reducing its number of flights to Saudi Arabia, Al Borsa reported. The proposal is currently under study, according to company chief Safwat Musallam, who explained that demand for flights to the Kingdom has gone down significantly now that ‘umra season is over.

Banking + Finance

United Bank to offer mobile banking services starting this January

United Bank will be activating its mobile banking services as of this month, after introducing internet banking last December, Al Borsa reports. The bank is looking to expand its presence in Egypt and intends to open seven new branches during the year.

Rasmala plans to grow Assets under management to EGP 7.5 bn in 2017

Rasmala is planning to grow its assets under management by 15.4% to EGP 7.5 bn by the end of 2017, Al Borsa reports. The company is optimistic about the Egyptian market’s potential and ability to reel in direct and indirect foreign investments, CEO Ahmed Aboul Saad said. The company’s strategy for the year will focus on attracting larger institutional investors.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Youth activist released on probation, presidential pardoning committee submits new lists for review

The co-founder of the April 6 youth movement Mohamed Adel was released from custody, Sunday, after completing an almost three-year prison sentence for violating the country’s protest law, Ahram Online reported. Adel will remain on probation for another three years but his lawyer said he would be appealing sentence. Ahram Online also said that the presidential committee tasked with pardoning political prisoners submitted three lists of names for review last Thursday.

National Security

Egypt extends participation of troops in Saudi Alliance

Egypt’s National Defense Council, headed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, agreed during a Sunday meeting to extend the participation of Egyptian military forces in the Saudi Arabian-led military operation in Yemen, Reuters reports. The announcement did not specify a timeframe for the extension. The story was also covered on German news agency Deutsche Welle.

Sports

Egypt exits Handball World Championship after loss to Croatia

Egypt is out of the Handball World Championship after losing to Croatia 21-19 in the round of 16, Ahram Online reports. The Egyptian team has failed to progress past this stage of the championship since 2001.

On Your Way Out

The Wamda troupe tell the tales of folk heroes and repurpose their ancient sketches with a modern twist in Khan El Khalili’s El-Sehaymi House, Ahram English tells us. Formed in 2004 by theater professor Nabil Bahgat, the troupe aims to document, revive, and renovate shadow puppets and the aragouz, and also hosts a weekly workshop for children between 9 and 18 on how to make different puppets and create their own stories.

A radio service for Cairo’s metro riders: Kemet is a three-month old radio service that broadcasts 16-minute long episodes on Egyptian cultural heritage and folklore. The service runs for 18 hours straight everyday, starting 7 am, on the platforms of Cairo’s metro stations and aims mainly to enhance people’s cultural and historical knowledge. Executive Officer Ahmed Meshal tells Gulf News that the programs cater to the different classes, educational backgrounds, and age groups of the Cairo metro’s 5 mn or so daily commuters. He added that the broadcast avoids “divisive issues” and “a triangle of taboos: [redacted], religion, politics.” While the street has given mixed reviews about the service, Meshal says that his next step is to bring it into the trains.

By The Numbers

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.7462 | Sell 18.8986
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.65 | Sell 18.75
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 18.6 | Sell 18.7

EGX30 (Sunday): 12,722.08 (-0.66%)
Turnover: EGP 994 mn (129% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +3.055%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session 0.7% down. Sunday’s top gainers were ACC, Elsewedy Electric, and Domty. Sunday’s worst performing stocks included Elsaeed Contracting, SODIC, and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology. The market turnover was EGP 995 mn and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net long | EGP +70.0 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP +44.7 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP -114.7 mn

Retail: 67.8% of total trades | 66.2% of buyers | 69.5% of sellers
Institutions: 32.2% of total trades | 33.8% of buyers | 30.5% of sellers

Foreign: 11.2% of total | 14.8% of buyers | 7.8% of sellers
Regional: 9.4% of total | 11.6% of buyers | 7.1% of sellers
Domestic: 79.4% of total | 73.6% of buyers | 85.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 53.32 (+0.19%)
Brent: USD 55.56 (+0.13%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.16 MMBtu, (-1.37%, February 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,215.30 / troy ounce (+0.86%)

TASI: 6,898.93 (+0.34%) (YTD: -4.32%)
ADX: 4,698.78 (-0.13%) (YTD: +3.35%)
DFM: 3,558.68 (+1.80%) (YTD: +12.94%)
KSE Weighted Index: 408.22 (+0.09%) (YTD: +7.40%)
QE: 10,959.82 (+0.17%) (YTD: +5.01%)
MSM: 5,750.91 (+0.29%) (YTD: -0.55%)
BB: 1,259.55 (+1.60%) (YTD: +3.20%)

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Calendar

22-31 January (Sunday-Tuesday): 28th African Union Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

24 January – 26 January (Tuesday-Thursday): Global Oil & Gas Middle East and North Africa 2017, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

25 January (Wednesday): Revolution (police) day, national holiday.

26 January – 10 February (Thursday-Friday): Cairo International Book Fair, Nasr City fairgrounds.

28-29 January (Saturday-Sunday): International Conference on Computers, Data Management and Technology Applications, Intercontinental City Stars, Cairo.

30 January – 01 February (Monday-Wednesday): Beltone Financial’s Africa’s Era, Egypt’s Moment Conference, Cairo.

30 January – 02 February 2017 (Monday-Thursday): Arab Health Exhibition, Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center, UAE.

05 February (Sunday): Emirates NBD PMI Egypt release.

14-16 February 2017 (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt Petroleum Show 2017 (EGYPS), CIEC, Cairo.

15-16 February (Wednesday-Thursday): International Conference for Globalization & Emerging Economies, Alexandria.

16 February (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

06-08 March (Monday-Wednesday): 13th EFG Hermes One on One Conference, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

07-09 March (Tuesday-Thursday): Microfinance forum, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.

09-11 March (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Projects Summit, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

29-30 March (Wednesday-Thursday): Cityscape Egypt Conference, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.

30 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

31 March – 03 April (Friday-Monday): Cityscape Egypt Exhibition, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo. Register here.

01 April (Saturday): SEOcon, The Greek Campus, Cairo.

03-06 April (Monday-Thursday): Agri & Foodex Africa, Khartoum International Fair Ground, Khartoum, Sudan.

08-10 April (Saturday-Monday): Pharmaconex, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday.

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim, national holiday.

20 April (Thursday): Closing date for the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority bid round number 1 for 2017 for gold and associated minerals.

24-25 April (Monday-Tuesday): Renaissance Capital’s Egypt Investor Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day, national holiday.

30 April – 03 May (Sunday-Wednesday): Cement & Concrete 2017, Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center, Saudi Arabia.

01 May (Monday): Labor Day, national holiday.

16 May (Tuesday): Official expiry date for the decision to suspend capital gains taxes on stock market transactions.

27 May (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

26-28 June (Monday-Wednesday): Eid Al-Fitr (TBC).

30 June (Friday): 30 June, national holiday.

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day, national holiday.

02-05 September (Saturday-Tuesday): Eid Al-Adha, national holiday (TBC).

22 September (Friday): Islamic New Year, national holiday (TBC).

06 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

01 December (Friday): Prophet’s Birthday, national holiday.

08-10 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

01 January 2018 (Monday): New Year’s Day, national holiday.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594). Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2016 Enterprise Ventures LLC.