Monday, 13 September 2021

EnterprisePM — EGX boss Mohamed Farid proposes regulations that would allow for SPACs.

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, to an uncharacteristically slow September news day that was pierced by new capital markets regulations. After yesterday’s bid by financial regulators to make listings easier, we may see SPACs debut here in Egypt.

THE BIG STORIES TODAY

#1- EGX boss Mohamed Farid wants to bring SPACs to Egypt: Egyptian companies wishing to go to market by acquiring or merging with another company could soon be able to do so under suggested amendments to listing rules submitted by EGX boss Mohamed Farid to the Financial Regulatory Authority for consideration, according to an EGX press statement (pdf). The proposed amendments also include clauses that would ease the process of listed companies acquiring non-listed entities.

#2- Fawry will launch a consumer finance company with EGP 10 mn in capital, after its board announced it had greenlit the establishment of the entity in an EGX disclosure today (pdf).

#3- EFG Hermes closed its buy-now-pay-later subsidiary Valu’s first EGP 323 mn securitized bond issuance, the firm announced (pdf), the initial tranche of a larger EGP 2 bn securitization program approved in July.

^^ We’ll have chapter and verse on all three stories in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:

  • Egypt sees blockbuster 1H2021 for M&A: The value of M&A transactions in Egypt more than quadrupled y-o-y during 1H2021, seeing transactions worth more than USD 4 bn during the six-month period.
  • The FRA makes it easier for big companies to list on the EGX: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) will reduce the amount of capital that companies need to offer to the public in a move designed to encourage share sales on the Egyptian bourse.
  • Al Nowais could sell solar licenses in Benban: Ten companies are allegedly in the running to purchase the Emirati energy firm’s license to operate a solar plant in Aswan’s Benban solar park.

HAPPENING NOW- Israeli PM Naftali Bennett is in Sharm El Sheikh today to meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The two are set to discuss the Palestinan-Israeli peace negotiations, as well as bilateral relations between Egypt and Israel. This is Bennett’s first official visit to Egypt — and the first of any Israeli PM since Benjamin Netanyahu visited Hosni Mubarak just a few weeks before the 2011 revolution.

In other diplomacy news, the EU is set to begin discussions with the Foreign Ministry this week over its 2021-2027 strategic cooperation priorities, which will determine funding priorities for both countries, head of cooperation at the EU’s delegation to Egypt Ibrahim Laafia told Al Mal. The EU is expected to disperse between EUR 50-60 mn in funding to Egypt by the end of the year to support agriculture, environmental, and training projects, Laafia said.

PSA- Saudi Arabia has reduced the quarantine period for travellers to the kingdom to five days effective from 23 September, Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement. Unvaccinated travelers and those who have received a single dose of a vaccine recognized by KSA should present a negative pcr taken within 72 hours of travel, take another pcr test within 24 hours of arriving, and a third test on day five of their quarantine —after which they can end the quarantine period if the result is negative.

That includes us: Officials lifted a ban on direct entry from Egypt and 19 other destinations to the Kingdom last month, though tourists and non-resident travellers are only allowed to enter to perform Umrah.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The United Nations is holding a humanitarian conference in Geneva today, and has announced it plans to raise more than USD 600 mn in contributions for Afghanistan throughout the year, the UN said in a press release (pdf). The Taliban’s takeover of the country last month ended the flow of bns in aid to the country, putting UN funding programmes under more pressure. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN has also been struggling financially, failing in some cases to dole out employee salaries, according to Reuters.

Over in the GCC, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) will be offering 7.5% of its drilling unit at Dhs 2.3 per share, valuing the company at USD 10 bn, the company announced (pdf) today. The company has opened subscription to UAE retail investors until 23 September, while institutional investors will have until 26 September to subscribe to the offering. ADNOC Drilling is expected to list on the ADX on or around 3 October. ADNOC’s IPO comes as Abu Dhabi is working to revive its IPO pipeline and following state-backed holding company ADQ announcing its plans to list before year end.

Advisors: Moelis & Company has been appointed as independent financial adviser, according to the company’s intention to float (pdf).

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

EFG Hermes’ fourth Virtual Investor Conference kicks off today and runs through to 21 September with the theme of “After Reflation — FEMs in 2022.”

Environment minister speaks at AmCham: Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad will give a speech on strategies for generating green, private sector-led growth at AmCham’s virtual monthly event tomorrow. Register here.

Ride-hailing app DiDi is launching in Egypt today, Al Arabiya reports. The Chinese company will launch in Alexandria before expanding to other areas of the country.

It’s day four of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open today: There are eight matches on today as the bottom half of the men’s and women’s round three draws are decided. You can find the schedule here.

Sahara Expo: The five-day agricultural conference continues at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event wraps up on Wednesday.

FOR TOMORROW-

Tomorrow is the final day that shareholders in EK Holding can apply to convert the trading currency of their shares from USD to EGP. Since 15 June, shareholders have been able to apply through their custodians to switch the currency of their shares to EGP — but will still be able to collect their dividends in USD. The EGX will announce after 14 September the EGP rate at which the shares will be converted.

The UN General Assembly starts tomorrow in New York and runs through to 30 September. The general debate will take place from 20-28 September. Leaders from at least 83 countries are expected to attend in person — in contrast to last year, when the meeting was almost 100% virtual. There’s no word yet on whether President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will attend in person or virtually.

Apple is holding a virtual event on Tuesday where we can expect a new iPhone, new AirPods and probably a new watch. Apple has scheduled the event for 7pm CLT and shows it running for two hours. You can stream it here.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

It’s interest rate week and 10 analysts we polled expect the central bank to leave rates on hold for a seventh consecutive meeting when CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday. Analysts pointed to the uptick in inflation and the pressure to maintain foreign inflows into Egyptian debt.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The temperature is set to drop by at least three degrees. The mercury will max out at 36°C during the day and will drop to 24°C at night.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

KUDOS- Ola Electric Mobility is set to run the world’s largest women-only factory: The Indian company’s new electric scooter factory aims to build 10 mn two-wheelers annually — or 15% of the world’s e-scooters — in a massive operation run and led by exclusively women, according to a blog post. The USD 330 mn factory will employ 10k women at all levels, making it the world’s largest women-only factory as well as the only all-women manufacturing facility in the global auto industry. Under the current plan, a scooter should be manufactured every two seconds by utilizing around 300 robots to work alongside the women, reports Bloomberg. Ola’s long term goal is to rollout a full lineup of electric vehicles including three-wheelers and cars, though it is unclear whether those will also be female-run.

Chinese regulators want to split 1 bn+ users superapp Alipay and restructure the giant fintech into two different apps, according to the Financial Times. Not satisfied with the breakup of its parent company Ant Group into Ali Baba (its e-commerce arm) and Alipay (its consumer lending arm), the Chinese wants to split the latter into its two subsidiary apps — credit card business Huabei and its microloans business Jiebei, sources close to the Chinese financial regulators tell the salmon-colored.

Israel is making sure it has enough vaccine doses to potentially offer a fourth round of booster shots, Bloomberg reported citing the country’s top health official. Some 2.8 mn of the 7 mn Israelis eligible for jabs have already received a third dose of a covid vaccine. Israel is pushing ahead with its booster shot plans despite repeated pleas from the World Health Organization (WHO) to governments to refrain from administering third jabs until at least the end of 2021, as poorer countries struggle to access vaccines.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(all times CLT)

True to its title, Brand New Cherry Flavor is definitely something entirely new: Set in the ‘90s, the miniseries follows aspiring film director Lisa Nova on a mind-bending journey as we see how far she’s willing to go to make it big in Hollywood. It effortlessly combines horror, psychological thriller and just plain bizarreness, while throwing in just enough humor to take the edge off of its darker tone. The show’s mood and setting is offset, however, by its preachiness; is a #MeToo revenge fantasy, and it doesn’t let you forget it.

This afternoon in the Premier League: The only match that is being played today is Everton vs. Burnley, which kicks off at 9 pm.

In La Liga: Getafe is playing against Elche at 8 pm and Granada is up against Real Betis at 10 pm.

Serie A: The sole match is Bologna against Verona at 8:45 pm.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(all times CLT)

A Walt Disney-themed art exhibition launches today at Manial Palace, and will continue until 28 September.

Dozan Studio & Art Zone’s cinema club is screening David Fincher’s 2020 movie Mank — a biographical drama that tells the story of the development of the screenplay for one of cinema’s great masterpieces, Citizen Kane.

Cairo Jazz Club’s Closed Circuit series returns tonight at 8 pm, with Moad taking over the decks to kick off the night, passing the stage on to Misty for the rest of the night.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

An atypical story of a woman fighting to get out of her husband’s shadow: The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam follows computer scientist Asha and her husband Cyrus who develop a (controversial) social media app that replaces religious rituals. As the app takes off, Cyrus takes all the credit and is hailed as a messiah while Asha gets marginalised. The clear juxtaposition between their marriage and technology makes it a sharp satire on startup culture and modern search for meaning. Even if you’re not a techie, you’ll enjoy Anam’s witty take on the industry.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

EARNINGS WATCH- Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) incurred net losses of EGP 35.5 mn in 2Q2021, compared to losses of EGP 49.9 mn during the same quarter last year, according to their financial statements (pdf). Revenues rose to EGP 220.7 mn in 2Q2021, compared to EGP 177.3 mn in 2Q2020. For 1H2021, OIH’s net losses reached EGP 66.6 mn, from a net profits of EGP 1.71 mn during the same period of 2020. Revenues increased to EGP 427.3 mn during the first six months of the year, compared to EGP 356.7 mn in 1H2020.


MARKET WATCH-

The EGX30 rose 0.9% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.2 bn (21.6% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is up 2.7% YTD.

In the green: Egyptian Resorts Company (+5.9%), Palm Hills (+4.4%) and Cleopatra Hospitals (+2.4%).

In the red: Raya (-0.8%) and Speed Medical (-0.4%).

🙉 LIFE

As workers head back to the office and children resume face-to-face learning, it’s time to remember how to be a morning person: Morning routines are hardly a stranger to us at Enterprise — we have an entire section that runs every week where we look at how a successful member of the business community starts their day. However, as the kids return to school full-time and employees trickle back to the office, it's time to remember what works in the early hours to ensure that you’re productive and refreshed for the rest of the day.

Getting back the morning mojo means changing your nights: Some 54% of those working remotely were waking up later while 49% hit the hay later than before, a Nielsen survey conducted last year showed. These late nights should be the first thing to go. This can be done gradually by getting into bed 15 minutes earlier than usual day by day until you find a sleep schedule that allows you to wake up refreshed, Rebecca Robbins, a sleep scientist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, tells the Wall Street Journal. Getting a more restful sleep can also be achieved by cutting out screen time at least 30 minutes before bed.

A solid morning routine is also essential: Now that we’re facing the prospect of having to get dressed every morning as well as the dreaded Ring Road commute, many of us are having to remember how to exit that early morning zombie mode. After waking up, it’s a good idea to head outside or open windows to get exposure to sunlight to help reset your circadian rhythm. After two weeks, you’ll feel good about waking up at the new hour, Robbins says.

Other additions to morning routines that can make your day from the very start are journaling and meditating,or for the more athletically-inclined, taking a run, jog, or bike ride. Sakneen’s Ramy Khorshed, Network International Egypt’s Hany Fekry, and Edita’s Menna Shams El Din have all preached about the benefits of starting off the day with these practices. Meanwhile, Four Fat Ladies’ Heba Shunbo proudly told us that she’s “part of The 5am Club” and takes the time to meditate, read something interesting and do some journaling.

Sometimes it requires a push, we know: Even if you’re not a morning person, like Matter’s Dina Aly, it’s good to take a page out of her book and still force yourself to be active in the morning.

The almighty snooze button needs to be taken down a notch: The New York Time’s Wirecutter has a whole piece on the damages the snooze button causes to your sleep and your mornings, and we’re ashamed to say that our personal record is pressing snooze six times before getting up to start our shift. The sleep you get in between snoozes doesn’t really benefit you and actually makes it harder to drag yourself out from under the duvet. The article suggests using a gentler tone to wake up to, harness scents or lights to wake you up, or utilize a human alarm clock to wake you up (family members will love this task). EFG Hermes Foundation’s Hanaa Helmy would approve, as she “never hits the snooze button” and instead immediately puts on good music to wake up to.

The most important thing… don’t check your work email, Ellin says. At least not first thing in the morning. “Save it for when you’ve had a little time to adjust to the waking world,” she adds. Twitter MENA’s Benjamin Ampen makes it a point to leave his phone outside the bedroom so that he doesn’t check his phone first thing in the morning.

The pandemic showed flexibility doesn’t have to impact productivity: If the mornings just don’t seem to fit everything you need to do anymore, approach your boss and ask for a flexible sign in time. After work from home forced flexibility on us all, the idea of a rigorous schedule came into question. Working parents with youngsters, such as Waseya’s Ezzeddin Zahzah, Publicist Inc.’s Mai Abaza, and Savills Egypt’s Catesby Langer-Paget, are well-acquainted with the morning rush to get the kids ready for the day. The current back-to-school season can be testing if time isn’t on your side and more managers might be open to making your life easier to ensure you come to work motivated and ready to get down to it.

Tim Cook is a huge believer in the benefits of being a morning person: The Apple CEO wakes up at 4am each day and is a firm believer in the proverb ‘the early bird gets the worm’. In an interview, he explained: “I do that because I can control the morning better than the evening and through the day. Things happen throughout the day that kind of blow you off course. The morning is yours. Or should I say, the early morning is yours.”

Look to our Morning Routine section every Thursday in EnterpriseAM for examples on structured and fun morning routines by interesting and successful friends of ours in the business community, who have given us a look into their homes, businesses and how they start their days.

📆 CALENDAR

10-17 September (Friday-Friday): CIB Egyptian Squash Open, Giza.

12-15 September (Sunday-Wednesday): Sahara Expo: the 33rd International Agricultural Exhibition for Africa and the Middle East.

13 September (Monday): Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad will give a guest speech at AmCham’s monthly virtual event,

13-21 September (Monday-Tuesday): EFG Hermes’ fourth Virtual Investor Conference.

14-30 September (Tuesday-Thursday): 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York.

15 September (Wednesday): The CFO Leadership & Strategy Summit is taking place in Egypt.

16 September (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

18 September (Saturday): Expiration of United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL

21-22 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

22-25 September (Wednesday-Saturday): Cityscape Egypt, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

29 September (Wednesday): DevOpsDays Cairo 2021 is being organized by ITIDA and the Software Engineering Competence Center in cooperation with DXC Technology, IBM Egypt and Orange Labs.

30 September-2 October (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Projects 2021 expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

30 September-8 October (Thursday-Friday): The Cairo International Fair, Cairo International Conference Center, Cairo, Egypt.

30 September: Closing of 2021’s first oil and gas tender in the Gulf of Suez, Western Desert, and the Mediterranean.

30 September (Thursday): First tranche of overdue subsidy payouts will be handed to eligible exporters.

October: New legislative session begins — must be held by the first Thursday of October.

October: Romanian President Klaus Iohannis could visit Egypt in mid this month to discuss ways to boost tourism cooperation between the two countries.

1 October (Friday): Businesses importing goods at seaports will need to file shipping documents and cargo data digitally to the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system.

1 October (Friday): Expo 2020 Dubai opens.

1 October (Friday): State-owned companies and government service bodies selling goods and services to customers that have not yet signed on to the e-invoicing platform will suffer a host of penalties, including removal from large taxpayer classification, losing access to government services and business, and losing subsidies.

6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.

7 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Armed Forces Day.

9 October (Saturday): Public schools begin 2021-2022 academic year

11-17 October (Monday-Sunday): IMF + World Bank Annual Meetings.

12-14 October (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

18 October (Monday): Prophet’s Birthday.

21 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Prophet’s Birthday.

24-28 October (Sunday-Thursday) Cairo Water Week, Cairo, Egypt.

27-28 October (Wednesday-Thursday) Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference, Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, Cairo, Egypt.

28 October (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

28 October (Thursday): Second tranche of overdue subsidy payouts will be handed to eligible exporters.

30 October – 4 November (Saturday-Thursday): The first edition of Race The Legends, Egypt.

November: The French-Egyptian Business Forum is set to take place in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

November: Egypt will host another round of talks to reach a potential Egyptian-Eurasian trade agreement, which can significantly contribute to increasing the volume of Egyptian exports to the Russia-led bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

1-3 November (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Energy exhibition on power and renewable energy, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

2-3 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

1-12 November (Monday-Friday): 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Glasgow, United Kingdom.

16-17 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Africa fintech summit, Cairo.

26 November-5 December (Friday-Sunday): The 43rd Cairo International Film Festival.

29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Centre.

7-8 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): North Africa Trade Finance Summit.

12-14 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Food Africa Cairo trade exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

13-17 December: United Nations Convention against Corruption, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

14-19 December (Tuesday-Sunday): The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater.

14-15 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

16 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.

22-24 April 2022: World Bank-IMF spring meeting, Washington D.C.

May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt

16 June 2022 (Thursday): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools

27 June-3 July 2022 (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

**Note to readers: Some national holidays may appear twice above. Since 2020, Egypt has observed most mid-week holidays on Thursdays regardless of the day on which they fall and may also move those days to Sundays. We distinguish below between the actual holiday and its observance.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. 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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.