Thursday, 19 October 2017

It was a mediocre year for IPOs, M&As in the Middle East.
Plus: Tourism revenues are skyrocketing, pricing requirements may be unconstitutional

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

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The second Egyptian-Portuguese Business Forum will take place today, with some 25 Portuguese companies in the finance, food, pharma, energy, ICT, logistics and railway transport sectors taking part. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva will be attending the forum. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi also met yesterday with Portugal’s Administrative Reform Minister Graça Fonseca, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Meanwhile, it’s very busy news morning to end the work week, so take a nice big sip of coffee and read on before you start making your weekend plans.

On The Horizon

The executive regulations to the Investment Act will be issued next week, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told the press yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Cabinet received the regulations from the Investment Ministry yesterday and will discuss the package next week, the PM said. The Council of State had completed its review of the regulations late last month. Also on the Cabinet’s agenda next week is a discussion of the Unified Building Code.

EGAS will also send the Natural Gas Act’s executive regulations to the Ismail Cabinet this month, a top Oil Ministry official tells Al Shorouk. The regs have already been drafted and are awaiting Minister Tarek El Molla’s sign off, they add. We had previously been hearing that these will be issued before the year is out with an eye to begin issuing licenses to import and operate next year. We noted yesterday that we’re seeing an influx of companies applying for licenses to import natural gas, with three companies already receiving preliminary approval from EGAS.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will inaugurate the new Alamein city early next week. Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the city will eventually be home to 3-4 mn people and house an industrial zone, universities, and tourism developments.

EFG Hermes will hold its 7th Annual London Conference on 6-9 November. The conference will see C-suite execs from top listed companies in MENA as well as frontier markets (among them Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) meet face-to-face with top global investors with mandates to invest in emerging and frontier markets. The event will take place at Emirates Arsenal Stadium in London.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was an uneventful night on the airwaves, with the new traffic law and an upcoming presidential pardon coming out as the only somewhat noteworthy topics in the mix.

Amendments to the traffic act approved yesterday by Cabinet are not right for Egypt, House Transport Committee member Saeed Taema told Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal (we have more in the Speed Round, below). The new law is styled after Dubai’s regulations, which control streets that are vastly different from our own, he said, adding that the fines are too high and will push drivers to circumvent the system (watch, runtime 19:56). The proposed amendments are heading to the House for discussion ahead of a vote.

Another presidential prisoner pardon is coming up, pardon committee chair Mohamed Abdelaziz told Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer. The batch is likely to include members of ultras football fan clubs.

Other topics featured on this rather bland night included cooperation with Portugal on administrative reform and squash champion Ramy Ashour’s refusal to compete in a tournament held in Qatar. Lamees Al Hadidi also spent the entirety of her episode paying tribute to renowned Egyptian belly dancer Tahiya Karioka, while Amr Adib was off.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The latest Thomson Reuters Middle Eastern IB league table is out, and it was not greatyear for either IPO or M&A activity. Taking it from the top:

  • Total IB fees generated in the Middle East rang in at just over USD 669 mn during 9M17, down about 4% from the same period last year;
  • How the fees break down: Syndicated lending fees accounted for nearly 43% of all fees, followed by debt capital markets underwriting fees at almost 29%, M&A fees at just under of 22%, and ECM fees at 6% of total fees generated.
  • The total value of M&As with any Mideast involvement (meaning inbound, outbound or in-market) was USD 35.2 bn, about 7% down from the same period last year. Inbound M&A, though, was up 220% from 9M16 at USD 7.3 bn, an all-time high. Energy & power, materials and financials were the most active sectors for M&A in the first nine months of the year, and no Egyptian transaction made the top 10./
  • Mideast equity and equity-related transactions raised USD 1.2 bn in 9M17, down 20% year-on-year and “the lowest first nine months for issuance in the region since 2004.” The region saw eight IPOs raising USD 694 mn. Consumer products and services, energy and power, and financials were the most active sectors for ECM transactions in the first nine months.
  • Debt issuances were the star of the first nine months, up 82% compared to the same period last year, bolstered by issuances from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Oman

So, who made money? HSBC topped the Mideast league table with USD 52.8 mn in fees, followed by JP Morgan (USD 44.0 mn) and Citi (USD 35.8 mn). HSBC and JPM’s rankings were unchanged from last year, while Citi kicked Sumitomo out of the top three.

The hometown gang at EFG Hermes handily cleaned up on the ECM fees table with a35.4% market share of fees in the category. Citi placed number two by fees, followed by PKF International. EFG Hermes places second on the overall ECM ranking with three transactions (ADES International Holding on the LSE, Humansoft in Kuwait and ENBD REIT in the UAE). (On the fees ranking, Thomson Reuters separately accounts for EFG Hermes’ 28.7% share through EFG Hermes Holding and then another 6.7% in market share contributed from EFG Hermes UAE).

EBRD approves funding for three remaining solar power plants under USD 500 mn framework: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved financing for three solar power plants in Egypt under its USD 500 mn renewable energy framework, a statement said yesterday (pdf). This brings the total number of projects under the framework up to 16, with a combined capacity of 750 MW, making EBRDthe single largest investor in renewable energy in Egypt.”

Co-financing with China: The three newly-approved projects, which were allocated a USD 73 mn package, will be co-financed by the Industrial Commercial Bank of China, with a matching loan from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. Saudi’s ACWA Power will be developing the plants with China’s CHINT Solar and Egypt’s Al Tawakol Electrical Co. under phase two of the feed-in tariff program in Benban, Aswan. “These will be the first private utility-scale renewable-energy projects in a country whose energy sector is otherwise dominated by the use of hydrocarbons. The projects are expected to lead to many more investments that will improve Egypt’s energy mix through greater use of sustainable energy sources.”
Egypt is drawing in USD 1.8 bn in solar power investment largely from the EBRD and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), Anna Hirtenstein writes for Bloomberg. EBRD is backing 16 photovoltaic projects, and the IFC is financing 13 with a combined capacity of 1.4 GW in Benban. The site is expected to have a capacity of 1.8 GW and cost USD 2.8 bn by the time the projects are completed in 1H2019. EBRD and IFC are “writing loans for USD 380 mn and USD 203 mn, respectively, and have mobilized the rest from co-investors,” Hirtenstein writes. IFC has lined up loan agreements for all of its projects except two, which it expects to sign this week, spokeswoman Riham Mustafa said.

After years of wrangling, we have the right regulatory framework in place: EBRD’s loans are financing “the first private renewable energy projects in Egypt, and it’s not an easy macroeconomic or geopolitical situation … Yet because it’s got the right regulatory framework in place, Egypt has been able to attract all of these different investors and should comfortably get more than a gigawatt of capacity financed this year,” EBRD Head of Power & Energy Utilities Harry Boyd-Carpenter says.

The comes as the EBRD and Électricité de France signed a USD 150 mn contract with Elsewedy Electric to build two solar power plants with a combined capacity of 100 MW at the Union for the Mediterranean’s Energy and Climate Business Forum in Cairo on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry.

Gaza is also getting some solar power as well, with three new solar energy plants set to be operational by April, Reuters reports. US-based Samaha Group will build the plants that will produce a total of 40 MW of power for about EUR 50 mn.

Peugeot-Citroën halts Egypt investment plans until the fate of the Automotive Directive is made clear: Peugeot-Citroën halted negotiations with seven auto component manufacturers pending clarity on the much-anticipated Automotive Directive, Egyptian Federation of Industries’ automotive feeders division member Hossam Abdel Aziz tells Al Mal. The French automotive manufacturer had entered talks with AutoCool Egypt, Dr. Greiche Glass, Boysen Egypt, Industrial Control for Engineering Industries, El Teriak Industrial Group, and the Industrial Development of Automotive Components with an eye to benefit from the incentives laid out in the Automotive Directive. Abdel Aziz says he expects negotiations to resume once the directive — which offers local assemblers incentives to go further up the value chain — becomes law. This comes just one day after Chinese auto firm Geely announced it has plans to turn Egypt into a regional manufacturing and distribution hub, but that these plans are contingent on the passing of the directive. The House of Representatives’ Industry Committee had said earlier this month that the Automotive Directive would be a “top priority” on its agenda, whose opposition from auto importers has caused the legislation to remain dormant for several months.

Tourism revenues are up 211.8% y-o-y to USD 5.3 bn in 9M2017, a government official told Reuters. The increase in tourism revenues came on the back of increased arrivals of 55.3% y-o-y to 5.9 mn and a rise in tourists’ average spending to USD 88.2 per night. European tourist arrivals increased by 85% y-o-y to 3.2 mn in the nine-month period.

EKH disavows Tri-Ocean Energy amid reports of a “USD 1 bn embezzlement& allegation: Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH) has had to issue a statement to the EGX explaining that Tri-Ocean Energy has not been a subsidiary of the company since 25 February 2016, Al Mal reports. The statement follows reports earlier in the week by Youm7 that two former senior Tri-Ocean Energy executives are allegedly being investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office amid accusations they embezzled as much as USD 1 bn (an unrealistic figure in any case) from the oil and gas company over a period of two years. An initial investigation had shown “dodgy accounting” and some USD 18 mn missing from Tri-Ocean’s books, according to the newspaper. The report claims that the Prosecutor General has ordered an asset freeze and a travel ban on both executives and their families. EKH’s statement says that the reports have no bearing on the company or its operations.

M&A WATCH- Arqaam Capital is acting the sellside advisor for two of the “major shareholders” of instant coffee maker Misr Cafe, sources told Al Mal. The two shareholders are looking to exit their 75% stake of the company and include the founder as well as an Egyptian shareholder. The company, which was established in 1984, was delisted from the EGX in 2007. Al Mal notes that Abraaj Capital had considered acquiring a controlling stake in the company in late 2015, but that talks had halted last year.

M&A WATCH- HyperOne is not up for sale, founder and Chairman Mohamed El Hawary tells Al Borsa. The executive vehemently denied news reported earlier this week that the retailer had received two separate bids to acquire a controlling stake from a foreign investor entering the country for the first time, as well as the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund. The news reports said HyperOne had hired Pharos Holding as a sell-side advisor and Al Tamimi & Co. as legal counsel.

Requirement that pricing be printed on packaging could be unconstitutional: Article seven of the proposed Consumer Protection Act may be unconstitutional, House Economics Committee member Amr El Gohary tells Al Mal. The article — which stipulates that manufacturers and service providers clearly print or otherwise make clear the prices of their goods and services, and grants Cabinet the power to use mandatory pricing on certain products — contradicts the constitution’s assertion that adopts the concepts of a free economy based on supply and demand, El Gohary says. The amendments to the CPA follow a decree earlier this month forcing food manufacturers to print pricing product packaging that has manufacturers up in arms.

CIB feted at dinner with investors, corporates and journos in London: On Monday evening, Egypt’s ambassador to the UK, Nasser Kamel, held a dinner at his London residence in honour of CIB and the bank’s contributions to business and the nation’s economy. Among those in attendance were senior executives from multinationals (including Vodafone, KPMG, and BP), institutional and private equity investors, CIB independent board members, senior editors from The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. The ambassador cited CIB as an example of the high caliber of Egypt’s private sector and noted, in particular, the international recognition of CIB’s performance when it was named the World’s Best Bank in Emerging Markets by Euromoney this past July. Among our friends attending from CIB were Chairman and Managing Director Hisham Ezz Al-Arab and CEO Hussein Abaza as well as Amr Ganainy, Sherif Khalil, Nevine Wefky, and Islam Zekry.

France gives assurances it is selling us “high quality” wheat: France’s ambassador to Cairo Stéphane Romatet assured Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy that France is keen to keep participating in Egypt’s wheat tenders and continue providing “high quality” wheat, El Moselhy said on Wednesday. The statements followed a sit-down with the ambassador and representatives of a French wheat market association, according to Al Masry Al Youm. El Moselhy appears to have stressed the need to implement both EU and Egyptian quality control standards on inspections of wheat imports. The statement, which is playing out in the local press as France striking a more conciliatory tone, follows a tussle between Egyptian inspectors and traders from France after a shipment of French wheat was seized for allegedly containing poppy seeds. A separate Romanian shipment was also seized. We noted yesterday that the disruptions have thrown off the market, with traders alleging that inspectors angry at a change in the inspection system.

On a related note, Geneva-based grain trader Grainbow filed a lawsuit against the General Authority General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) and the General Company for Storage and Silos at an Egyptian administrative court, Reuters’ Arabic service reports. The firm reportedly demanded a USD 1.2 mn payment from the state buyer over a Russian wheat shipment delivered in early March, according to Ivan Vikoulov, a partner at Gibraltar-based grain trader Quorum Capital Ltd, which works closely with Grainbow. The disagreement started over demurrage fees Grainbow had to pay due to delays in the inspection and processing of the shipment at its destination port, said one of three unnamed sources in Cairo who confirmed the story to the newswire.

In other industry news, US Wheat Associates is closing its office in Egypt after nearly 40 years of operating in the market, Reuters says. The trade group that promotes US exports is scheduled to shut down on 1 December, reflecting the loss of market share for US wheat in the country as Egypt switches to supplies from the Black Sea region and Russia. The move will not impact the local market or the bread subsidy system, since the US Wheat Associates dealt mainly with the private sector, Supply Ministry adviser Mohamed Sewed tells Al Ahram.

This came as GASC launched a tender yesterday to purchase an unspecified amount ofwheat for delivery between 1-10 December, the newswire also notes. The authority is eying supplies from North America and Russia, as well various eastern and western European markets, including France, Germany, Romania, and Poland.

Is Russia backing companies in RIZ to the tune of USD 9 bn? In another sign that we are nearing a contract on the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ), Moscow will apparently be providing USD 9 bn in funding to companies looking to set up shop at the RIZ, officials at the Russia Africa Business Forum (which took place earlier in the week) said, according to AMAY. Both Suez Canal Economic Zone chairman Mohab Mamish and Trade and Industry Ministry Tarek Kabil said earlier in the month that an agreement had reached on the RIZ and they are expected to be signed in the coming months.

The Ismail Cabinet approved yesterday amendments to the traffic law that would set new rules for licensing and hikes fines for traffic infractions, according to a statement. The amendments introduce a new system would grant license holders a certain number of points that authorities then deduct from for each traffic violation committed. A license would be revoked once points run out, Ahram Online says. The proposed amendments would also prohibit the issuing of new public transport licenses for old vehicles. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail had previously said that the amendments would also incorporate tuk-tuks into the formal traffic system. The proposed amendments now go to the House of Representatives for discussion, where a member of the Transport Committee has already flagged them as possibly “inappropriate” to our grim traffic reality.

The ministers also discussed the Health Ministry’s strategy to curb population growth, which aims to encourage people to have no more than two children by raising awareness about the perils of population growth. The plan also targets empowering women to complete their education and join the labor force, which the ministry hopes will reduce the prevalence of underage marriages.

Other decisions taken during the weekly meeting include:

  • Signing off on amendments to the universities law governing the role of student unions;
  • Approving the establishment of an innovation fund to provide financial assistance to burgeoning researchers and innovators.

Qatar’s Emir Tamim Al Thani said he’s ready to open talks to end the diplomatic crisis with the Arab quartet boycotting the country, the AP reports. He urged neighboring states to end the four-month blockade. “We are all brothers and we have suffered losses due to this crisis,” he said — advice Qatar would have done well to heed since 2013. The news comes after Qatar brought home some USD 20 bn from abroad to help it deal with the economic fallout from the boycott, the Financial Times notes.

Here at home, Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek has brought antitrust charges against Nasser Al Khelaifi, CEO of the Qatar’s beIN Media Group, beIN Sports’ parent company, Ahram Online reports. The Prosecutor General’s office alleges that the network cut its services to Egyptian subscribers on NileSat, forcing them to switch to the Qatari Sohail satellite to watch Confederation of African Federation matches. The charges filed by Sadek come as Al Khelaifi, who is also the chairman of French football club Paris Saint-Germain, was accused last week of bribing former FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke for the TV rights to for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups by the Swiss attorney general’s office, The Guardian reports.

Saudi Arabia still plans to go through with both the international and domesticofferings of shares in Aramco in 2018, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al Falih said on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. His statements follow heightened speculation that the Kingdom was considering delaying its IPO and was even entertaining a possible direct sale of 5% of the company to a consortium of Chinese state-owned oil companies. Al Falih declined to answer questions on whether Chinese investors were interested in buying.

Iran will continue to honor the terms of its nuclear agreement with Europe and the US so long as they do the same, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday, Bloomberg reports. However, Iran will “tear it to pieces” if the countries on the other side of the deal back away from it now, Khamenei said, advising Europe against aligning with the US after President Donald Trump promised to walk away from the pact.

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Worth Watching

Egypt’s first long distance trail in the Sinai stretches almost 250 km from the Gulf of Aqaba to St. Katherine. The 14-day Sinai Trail, which connects ancient travel, trade and pilgrimage routes in the Sinai wilderness, was first opened in 2015 and has been maintained since by three local Bedouin tribes: the Tarabin, Mazeina and Jebeleya. The eco-tourism project already received international acclaim with an award from the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2016 and shoutout in Wanderlust Magazine (watch, runtime 2:18).

Egypt in the News

On a slow news morning for Egypt in the international press, the crackdown on the LGBTQ community in Egypt continues to be the most prominent story of note. Sudarsan Raghavan writes for The Washington Post writes that the crackdown intensified over the weekend as security forces raided cafes in downtown Cairo and courts delivered harsh prison sentences. “The targeting of the community was never on this scale before,” said Doaa Mostafa, a human rights lawyer. LGBTQ rights activists say the crackdown is part of an effort “to distract from the country’s pressing political and economic woes, including rising costs of living and declining government subsidies, that have fomented anger on the streets.”

On Deadline

The recent campaign calling on President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to run for re-election next year clashes with democratic norms, Ashraf El Barbary says in a column penned for Al Shorouk. El Sisi should be required to clearly present his achievements over the past presidential term, using them as the foundation of his re-election bid, with other candidates should also be given space to contend.

Worth Reading

Are traders going to be pushed out of their jobs by artificial intelligence? Banks and investment funds are beginning to use machine-learning software — which allows computers and other forms of artificial intelligence to learn based on patterns and algorithms rather than programming — to begin taking over some of financial workers’ more “routine tasks,” Bloomberg reports. While the automation process has yet to push traders out of their jobs, firms appear to be already on that trajectory: “Bn’aire trader Steven Cohen is experimenting with automating his top money managers. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has said 100,000 financial workers aren’t needed to keep money flowing.” Despite the strides artificial intelligence has taken, the business information service notes that some roles remain a far bigger challenge than others to automate, including the “analysis of contract and illiquid assets underpinning securities in opaque markets.”

Meanwhile, Japan and China are embracing industrial robots and factory automation at a much more rapid pace than the rest of the world, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joshua Hunt says. Japanese automation solutions company Fanuc has been producing hundreds of industrial robots — some of which produce more robots in the factory, while others are being used by major manufacturers to handle jobs from constructing complex motors to categorizing and packaging pills. China is a particularly popular destination for these industrial robots as workers “have proved less willing to perform dangerous, monotonous tasks” now that wages and living standards are on the rise.

Image of the Day

A picture of a black Rhino bull killed by poachers in South Africa won the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. Their website has the story behind the brutal image, which was taken during an undercover investigation into the illegal trade of Rhino horns. Shot in South Africa’s Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park, the act was thought to have been committed by locals.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Tripartite committee nods to GERD impact studies: Officials from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia appear to be in general agreement over the results of the environmental impact studies on Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to an Ethiopian News Agency report picked up by Al Masry Al Youm. The officials had met in Addis Ababa over the last few days to discuss progress on the dam, which could have deep, long-term impact on downstream nations — particularly us here in Egypt. The French consultancy firms conducting the studies will be concluding their work and submitting their final report to the tripartite committee from the three countries, who will collectively foot the EUR 4.5 bn bill. Egypt had reportedly been concerned over the delays in issuing the studies. Ethiopia’s Irrigation Minister Seleshi Bekele said that Ethiopia is fully committed on sharing relevant information with both Egypt and Sudan, and has been inviting both countries to address concerns and resolve misunderstandings, according to Anadolu.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Aton discovers gold-bearing veins at West Garida

Gold miners Aton Resources announced the discovery of high-grade gold-bearing veins at the West Garida prospect. “The discovery of another potential high grade gold system at our Abu Marawat Concession is hugely exciting, given that it follows on from the other great results in the intrusion related belt. These new discoveries in outcrop reinforce for us the district scale high grade gold potential of our IR belt,” said Aton President and CEO Mark Campbell. “Aton has now commenced preparations for diamond drilling in the area to test the down dip extent of the gold mineralization.”

Manufacturing

Sinai Cement looking to invest EGP 100 mn in production lines

Sinai Cement is looking to invest EGP 100 mn to upgrade production capacities at its facility, according to a bourse disclosure. The project will be financed through proceeds from an upcoming capital increase to EGP 1.3 bn from EGP 680 mn. The proceeds will also be used to clear the company’s EGP 564 mn in debt.

Sisi to inaugurate 20 factories in Sokhna in February, canal revenues down MoM

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will inaugurate 20 factories in Ain El Sokhna in February, Suez Canal Authority head Mohab Mamish said yesterday, according to AMAY. Mamish also announced that Suez Canal revenues increased 3.4% y-o-y to USD 4.35 bn between January and October 2017. September saw revenues of USD 459.8 mn, a 2% dip from the month of August.

Health + Education

Health Committee to summon Health Minister to discuss drug shortages

The House of Representatives’ Health Committee will summon Health Minister Ahmed Rady to discuss med shortages and pricing, according to Al Borsa. The committee is also planning on sending recommendations to the ministry on how to address the shortages and resulting increases in med prices. Rady announced in a statement Tuesday, however, that only 10 products were in short supply, down from 25 last month. The Pharmacists’ Syndicate puts the figure closer to 1,400.

Tourism

Part of a statue believed to be of Ankhesenpepi II discovered in Sakkara

Archaeologists discovered the head of a wooden statue, “likely belonging to a female regent who ruled the country more than 4,000 years ago,” the Associated Press reports. The discovery was made in Sakkara, near Giza, but the Antiquities Ministry says the statue is in “poor condition and will have to undergo restoration.” The head is believed “to depict Ankhesenpepi II, the mother of King Pepi II of the 6th dynasty who ascended to the throne at the age of six. She ruled Egypt as regent during the early years of his reign.”

Telecoms + ICT

Vodafone, TE still haven’t reached domestic roaming agreement -VFE CEO

Vodafone Egypt has yet to ink a domestic roaming agreement with Telecom Egypt, VFE CEO Stefano Gastaut said, according to Al Mal. Talks between the two over the roaming agreement — which will allow TE to use VFE’s network infrastructure to offer its own mobile services — have been ongoing for some time, with Etisalat and Orange Egypt having already signed. Addressing the press yesterday, Gastaut said that a “solution” must be found for TE’s “clear conflict of interest” in holding a 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt. Market analysts expect TE will be forced to sell the stake to cover their cost of investment.

MNOs bring new scratch card prices into effect

Mobile network operators (MNOs) officially brought the new scratch card prices into effect yesterday and sent out large shipments to local distributors, Al Mal reports. Local distributors had alleged last week that MNOs were withholding new shipments to clear out market inventory before the new pricing system came into effect. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority announced earlier this month that the value of airtime charged on cards would be lowered by 36% while leaving face values unchanged.

National Security

Gowind Corvette, Type 209/144 submarine arrive in Alexandria

The first Gowind 2500 Corvette frigate and a second Type 209/1400 submarine arrived in Alexandria yesterday, the military announced. “A military drill was conducted between the Egyptian and French naval forces, including the two new additions to the Egyptian fleet, in the Atlantic Ocean during the frigate’s voyage to Egypt, the statement said,” according to Ahram Online. The Corvette is one of four ordered, the three remaining of which will be built in Egypt under a transfer of technology agreement. Two more of the Type 209/1400 submarines from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems are set to be delivered.

Chief of Staff meets with US general

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy met with the Commander of the US Army Central (ARCENT), Michael Garrett yesterday to discuss increased cooperation on security, according to Ahram Gate.

On Your Way Out

Kourtney Kardashian shows Egypt some love: Kourtney Kardashian put out a warm Instagram post reminiscing about the wonderful time she had in Egypt a few months back. “My recent trip to Egypt was one of the most incredible trips of my life,” she says in her diary. “Visiting Cairo and the Great Pyramid at Giza was one of my favorite moments — it’s one of the seven wonders of the world. The energy inside the pyramids is indescribable,” she adds (good to know Wikipedia was handy). In our defense, she has a lot of followers and we want to keep those tourism numbers up.

ON THIS DAY- On this day 30 years ago, the US experienced the biggest single-day stock market collapse in history after the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 22.5% in what was known as Black Monday. In 1954, Egypt signed an agreement with the UK in 1954 to have it withdraw all of its troops from Egyptian territories within 20 months. The American Revolution effectively ended on this day in 1781 after British General Lord Cornwallis surrendered in Yorktown, Virginia. Born on this day in 1910 is Nobel Prize winning physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who won the award “for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars.” Nobel Prize award in Chemistry winner Ernest Rutherford died on this day in 1937.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.5960 | Sell 17.6960
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.58 | Sell 17.68
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70

EGX30 (Wednesday): 13,590 (+0.5%)
Turnover: EGP 2.0 bn (113% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +10.1%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.5%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.2%. The market’s top performing constituents were: Egyptian Iron and Steel up 16.9%; Kima up 7.4%; and Palm Hills up 6.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: Eastern Co down 3.7%; Porto Group down 2.2%; and Telecom Egypt down 1.3%. Market turnover was EGP 2.0 bn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +168.1 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -31.4 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -136.7 mn

Retail: 72.3% of total trades | 64.6% of buyers | 79.9% of sellers
Institutions: 27.7% of total trades | 35.4% of buyers | 20.1% of sellers

Foreign: 11.7% of total | 16% of buyers | 7.5% of sellers
Regional: 8.9% of total | 8.1% of buyers | 9.7% of sellers
Domestic: 79.4% of total | 75.9% of buyers | 82.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 52.03 (+0.29%)
Brent: USD 58.19 (+0.54%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.86 MMBtu, (-3.38%, November 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,282.7 / troy ounce (-0.27%)

TASI: 6,941.78 (-0.72%) (YTD: -3.73%)
ADX: 4,502.05 (+0.3%) (YTD: -0.97%)
DFM: 3,645.44 (+0.06%) (YTD: +3.24%)
KSE Weighted Index: 431.4 (-0.2%) (YTD: +13.5%)
QE: 8,144.11 (-1.03%) (YTD: -21.97%)
MSM: 5,090.15 (+0.03%) (YTD: -11.98%)
BB: 1,278.46 (-0.33%) (YTD: +4.75%)

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Calendar

18-19 October (Wednesday-Thursday): Middle East Info Security Summit, Sofitel El Gezirah, Cairo.

18-20 October (Wednesday-Friday): AfriLabs annual gathering with the theme “Future of Cities: Innovation, Spaces and Collaboration,” The French University, Cairo. Register here.

21 October (Saturday): The African Leadership Academy will hold its “Beyond Education” seminar on university readiness and the future of leadership in Africa, at the Dusit Thani, Lakeview, New Cairo and the Hilton Pyramids Golf, 6 October City.

23-27 October (Monday-Friday): 29th Business and Professional Women International Congress themed “Making a Difference through Leadership and Action,” Mena House Hotel, Cairo. Register here.

06-07 November (Monday-Tuesday): Crisis Communications Conference, Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel, Cairo.

06-09 November (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes’ 7th Annual London Conference on 6-9 November, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

16 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

19-21 November (Sunday-Tuesday): 11th Annual INJAZ Young Entrepreneurs Competition, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo.

26-29 November (Sunday-Wednesday): 21st Cairo ICT, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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

01-03 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Solar-Tec, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Electrix, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

07-09 December (Thursday-Saturday): The Africa 2017 forum: “Business for Africa, Egypt and the World” Conference, Sharm El Sheikh.

28 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

17-21 February 2018 (Wednesday-Saturday): Women For Success – Women SME’s "World of Possibilities" Conference, Cairo/Luxor.

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