Tuesday, 23 March 2021

EnterprisePM — The EGX clawed back losses after a sharp plunge at the opening bell

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to a particularly torrid Tuesday, sand storm and all.

THE BIG STORY OF THE DAY here at home is the unexpected and violent sell-off on the Egyptian Exchange, which is now in its second day and has seen the benchmark EGX30 move deeper into the red, having wiped out all of its gains for the year.

We’re not the only market taking it on the chin right now — Turkish stocks dodged having their worst two-day slump in 20 years after investors swooped in to pick up shares at pennies on the greenback. The Borsa Istanbul plummeted 9% on the back of a sharp sell-off during the first few hours of play, Bloomberg reports. It was the second day of turmoil since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to fire a central bank governor with a sound grasp of macro policy. The TRY, meanwhile, plunged to a new low against the greenback.

So is this the start of a flight from emerging markets? Is the EGX slumping because of Turkey? “Probably not” and “No.” The selloffs in Turkey and Egypt are unrelated: Turkish shares and the TRY are under pressure because Erdogan last week sacked his third central bank governor in less than two years. Bloomberg columnist John Authers notes that other emerging markets — even those that elect “market-unfriendly” presidents — generally make sure not to mess with the independence of their central banks. “International markets like central bank independence,” he wrote.

So what’s going on with the EGX? We take a deeper dive in this afternoon’s Speed Round, below.

HAPPENING NOW- Today is the worst of the ongoing sandstorm, with dusty winds expected to reach speeds of 40-50 km/hr, according to the national weather service. Look for a high this afternoon of about 32°C. The forecast calls for clear skies tomorrow, with the mercury returning to a more seasonally appropriate 22°C and staying in the low 20s throughout the weeknd and well into next week.

CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from this morning’s edition of EnterpriseAM:

  • London-listed consumer healthcare giant IDH has gotten the go-ahead from the FRA to list its shares on the EGX. The company doesn’t plan to issue new shares, but instead will go ahead with what will become the country’s first technical listing.
  • Your daily vaccine update: Egypt could land the rights to make a vaccine owned by Sinovac (the less effective of China’s two highest-profile jabs, lagging the Sinopharm product now being deployed nationwide). Meanwhile, tourism workers are at the head of the line for vaccinations, as are folks heading on Hajj.
  • The first Europe-bound LNG shipment from the Damietta liquefaction plant arrived in Belgium on Sunday — almost a month after the facility restarted operations and sent out trial shipments of gas following an eight-year hiatus.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD: The story of AstraZeneca vaccine is a saga that just never seems to want to end. A top US health authority is calling into question data about the vaccine’s efficacy that just yesterday was widely welcomed by policymakers.

What’s going on? The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (a division of the National Institute of Health) said in a statement that it is worried AstraZeneca “may have included outdated information” from a clinical trial, the result of which was that it “may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.” AstraZeneca said yesterday the vaccine was 79% effective in stopping symptomatic covid-19 cases and 100% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization after completing US trials. The data was released just days after Europe said it would resume using the jab after earlier halting vaccinations, citing what proved to be unfounded fears it could cause blood clots. The news leads the front pages of the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal and is getting plenty of ink from the NYT, Bloomberg and CNBC.

ALSO HAPPENING NOW- Israel’s elections are in full swing, with Benjamin Netanyahu crossing his fingers that the swift vaccine rollout will gain him another term as prime minister, reports Reuters. His main challenger is Yair Lapid, a former finance minister who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party and is an advocate for the regional peace initiative. The polls are currently too close to call.

Oil prices fell below USD 61 on concerns over a lag in short-term demand caused by an uneven pandemic recovery, Bloomberg reports. It won’t be until vaccines are fully rolled out on a global scale and more stimulus pumped into the US economy that demand, and hence prices, will return to their pre-pandemic levels. Oil producers are now expected to keep plans for May production cuts in place as we approach OPEC’s monthly production meeting next week.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The CIB PSA Black Ball Open 2021 men’s squash competition is running until Thursday, following the completion of the women’s round last Thursday. Some 48 men will compete for a USD 175k purse. You can stream the event live on SquashTV or the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan). You can also snag tickets online to attend in person at the Black Ball Sporting Club in New Cairo. The women’s league saw Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini take home the grand title.

The Real Gate real estate exhibition will kick off on Thursday and run until Saturday at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center.

Head to Sharm for a startup gathering: Investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers will gather in Sharm El Sheikh for the Startup Festival on 28-29 March 2021. More than 80 startups will participate in the exhibition, which will feature panel discussions and workshops. The gathering will also unveil who is taking home hardware from the “Egypt Entrepreneurship Rally Competition.” The gathering is organized by the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, and companies that have graduated from AAST’s supply chain and logistics as well as youth incubators have the chance to pitch their ideas to investors.

The Spring Flowers Exhibit (Ma3rad El Zohoor) is currently taking place at Orman Botanical Garden in Giza. More than 200 exhibitors have set up shop to sell flowers, plants, agricultural products, and gardening equipment. The exhibit runs through 13 April.

The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is set to open on 3 April in El Fustat. Local and international visitors alike will pay less for admission for the first two weeks to explore the museum’s central hall, according to a cabinet statement. Meanwhile, the Royal Mummies Hall will be ready for visitors starting 18 April. The museum is designed as a celebration of Egyptian civilization from prehistory to the present day.

AUC Press’ Mad March book sale will be ongoing for the rest of the month. The sale is open to the general public every day from 10am–6pm CLT at AUC Tahrir Bookstore & Garden.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

Sophia the robot is aiming to be the next Picasso, but NFT style: Sophia’s creative juices are flowing and she’s gotten on board the non-fungible token (NFT) digital art train — if you’re unsure what an NFT is, it’s basically both a certificate of provenance and ownership for a piece of digital art, we explained in this story. The robot’s first artwork will go up for auction tomorrow in what will be the first sale of NFT digital art created jointly with artificial intelligence, writes Reuters. The artwork titled “Sophia Instantiation” was created in collaboration with Italian digital artist Andrea Bonaceto and is a 12-second MP4 file showing the evolution of Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting, accompanied by a physical artwork. NFTs have become the latest investment craze with a digital art piece selling for nearly USD 70 mn this month. Can we say “End Times,” ladies and gentlemen?

And while we’re on NFTs: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey sold a tweet NFT for the equivalent of USD 2.9 mn yesterday, reports CNBC. The tweet, which said “just setting up my twttr,” was first published in March 2006 and was snatched up for 1,630 Ether by Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi. Dorsey said he will convert the proceeds to BTC and will then donate that to GiveDirectly’s Africa response fund.

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners have invested a combined USD 150 mn in Telegram, according to Gulf Business. The UAE-headquartered social media platform has become one of the world’s 10 most downloaded apps with over 500 mn monthly active users and is now looking to open an office in Abu Dhabi Global Market as a launchpad for additional growth.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

Season three of Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive has been released this week. If you’re not familiar with the show yet, the docuseries gives a behind-the-scenes look at the drivers and races of the Formula One World Championship. Covid-19 makes a guest appearance this season, with the series following how the pandemic affected the championship while also following along stories of racers such as Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, and Romain Grosjean as well as racing automakers including Scuderia Ferrari.

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias’s The Fluffy Movie is now on Netflix. Anything involving Iglesias is one hell of a good time and will make you laugh for days. Iglesias is known for his wild stories and even wilder impersonations and The Fluffy Movie was one of the first endeavors that ricocheted him into fame. If you’re already a fan of Iglesias, he also has a scripted comedy series on Netflix called Mr. Iglesias where he plays the role of a high-school teacher in a school with underprivileged kids.

As for football, still no matches in sight today.

🧀 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Melt Bistro and Cafe was brought to Egypt by Majid Al Futtaim and, if the name is any indication, boasts cheesy meals or normal dishes where you can request melted cheese be added from a giant cheese wheel of your choice. Featuring fresh produce and ingredients in all their offerings, we recommend the steak sandwich or the veal milanese. For dessert, go for the carrot cake pancakes or the melted chocolate fondant. You can find Melt at City Centre Almaza and Mall of Egypt — where the restaurant offers a fantastic view of Ski Egypt.

We talked to Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO Ahmed Galal Ismail on our podcast Making It and discussed the group’s priority of selling quality experiences (listen, runtime: 42:44).

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

Dirty Backseat is taking the wheel at Cairo Jazz Club in Agouza tonight for Alt Tuesday. Dirty Backseat is the brainchild of music producer Moe Hani and this will be his first performance alongside a band.

The Warehouse (Al Ma5zan) — a play based off of Quentin Tarantino’s film Reservoir Dogs — will be showing at Rawabet Art Space in Downtown this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The play will be performed by the Kenoma Theatre Company and you can find out more about the event here.

SPEED ROUND: MARKET WATCH

EGX claws back losses after 5% plunge

The benchmark EGX30 lost another 0.6% today, clawing its way back after a sharp plunge in the broad-based EGX100 index early in the session triggered an automatic suspension of trading to allow things to cool off. Today’s trading was light, with turnover of EGP 1.1 bn (32.1% below the 90-day average), but still a bit ahead of yesterday’s EGP 940 mn. Local investors were net buyers after initially being hit with margin calls at the start of the session.

The exchange has absorbed a one-two punch delivered over two days — first by foreign investors, then by locals — that has wiped out all of the gains the bourse had made since the start of the year. The EGX30 is now at its lowest level since October 2020 and is down 3.5% year-to-date, but is still nearly 30% up from the lowest point it touched during the pandemic-induced sell-off a year ago.

Time to take a breather? A veteran market watcher we spoke with just before dispatch told us he thinks the EGX coming back from a sharp selloff early in the session suggests that the selldown may have lost steam and investors are now moving in from the sidelines to pick up well-priced names. Still, with three weeks left until Ramadan (when cash demand from retail investors is high)…

So, what happened? A pullback by foreign investors yesterday touched off today’s wave of selling (probably forced, early in the session) by retail investors, analysts tell us. Foreign fund managers have been moving out of emerging markets — equities and fixed income alike — since mid-February, attracted by rising US treasury yields, says Pharos Head of Research Radwa El Swaify. A noisy political backdrop that includes uncertainty about talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam could also be dampening foreign appetite, adds Abou Bakr Emam, head of research at Sigma Capital.

Critically, there weren’t many foreign investors left in the market compared to their pre-pandemic appetite for Egypt. Many who left in the global risk-off last year are still sitting on the sidelines. Where allocations to Egypt from frontier fund managers were in the 10-11% range before covid-19, Egypt is now down to 7-8%, as we noted last week. Conventional wisdom is that it will take a wave of compelling IPOs to bring global fund managers back en masse.

That’s left domestic investors in the driving seat. Since the second half of 2020, they’ve accounted for 60-70% of market turnover every day, and where a foreign or domestic institution is more likely to take a “buy and hold” approach, individual investors trade on momentum, jumping in and out of shares (or the market as a whole) based on news flow, rumors and their gut feelings.

The speed and sharpness of yesterday’s selloff probably forced “a series of margin calls” for retail investors, Prime Research suggested in a note today, extending the slump into today. And Sigma’s Emam thinks domestic institutions probably don’t have the liquidity they’d want to have to jump into the market when margin calls are still ringing in the air. He also notes that the market hasn’t exactly cheered the end of Eastern Tobacco’s market monopoly with the prospect of a second license being issued. And why would they? Eastern is an easy play if you’re in the mood for a steady dividend payer.

A top exec at one of the country’s most visible publicly traded companies says it isn’t time to panic. Speaking on condition he not be named, the veteran market watcher said he thinks foreign investors were net sellers yesterday “not because they were exiting the market in a bulk — it’s foreign investor, singular, not foreign investors, plural. If it was the latter, the trading in my share would have been big blocks, not the 100 here and 100 there that I saw yesterday.”

One catalyst to watch for: Dividends in general, and Telecom Egypt’s in particular. Now that EFG Hermes has said it is not paying a cash dividend this year, many foreign pension funds — who invest for dividends before they do for share appreciation — will be waiting for next week before making a decision on Egypt. That’s when Telecom Egypt’s OGM is set to discuss (pdf) a proposal to bump the teleco’s dividend by as much as 50% after Vodafone Egypt approved a chunky EGP 2 bn cash dividend, of which some EGP 900 mn will be pocketed by TE.

Surely the good news on domestic macro indicators and the vaccine rollout should boost sentiment? Don’t count on it, Emam says. The top exec agrees, saying he believes that recent talk of there being a third wave of covid-19 — one that could gather strength during Ramadan — is probably at play. “Volumes are low, and retail investors are not sophisticated. They see London, France and Germany closing up shop? They get hit by margin calls? And people need cash ahead of Ramadan anyway. I expect some thinness in volumes for the next while.” El Swaify, meanwhile, says it’s an open question what happens next. With retail investors now accounting for 70% of market activity, margin calls just magnify both volatility and the magnitude of the swings that follow.

In the green today: CI Capital (+3.4%), Orascom Development (+3.0%) and GB Auto (+2.7%).

In the red: Qalaa Holdings (-5.8%), Orascom Financial (-5.2%) and Export Development Bank (-5.1%).

GO WITH THE FLOW

Meet our analyst of the week: CI Capital’s Monsef Morsy

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Monsef Morsy, head of research at CI Capital (Linkedin).

My name is Monsef Morsy and I’ve been working in sell-side research for the past 16 years. After graduating from Cairo University’s faculty of commerce, I began working at Pharos, where I eventually became their deputy head of research. I’m now head of research at CI Capital covering the banking and financial sector in MENA.

The best part of my job is definitely being — or trying to be — on top of everything that's happening locally and regionally and being able to formulate a forward view on a specific topic or event. That also requires the ability to be able to visualize the appropriate tool and, whenever possible, basing a view or outlook on scientific approaches. Whether I’m right or wrong, the process itself is fulfilling for me personally and I enjoy it.

There isn’t something I would underline as the worst part of my job, but there are challenges. The first challenge is the risk that views or calls I have on specific stocks and investments might not materialize, as stock performance is often impacted by speculation and unfounded fundamentals. The second challenge is how demanding working in investment banking and specifically research is. The industry is dynamic and you have to keep tabs on every development across the board.

Doing the job with the current lack of travel has been doable as everyone is adapting together to the new norm. Everything has become virtual on a global scale, so it's not odd that we’re not in face-to-face meetings at the moment. Hopefully this won’t last for much longer though, and I’m anticipating we might be back to normal as usual by next year.

The road show is definitely not dead. While we’ve gotten through this year with successful online conferences such as our 5th Annual MENA Investor Conference, the importance of having a physical conference with investors coming to meet corporates face-to-face is something we can’t let go of just yet. However, I do think that roadshows might become less frequent than they were pre-covid.

My theory of investment is to always look at the fundamentals. As long as a sector or company has a strong fundamental story and strong backing in financials, figures and ratios, I think that’s basically what makes an investment a good one.

I think my new slogan is “a system will bring success.” Everyone needs a system that governs the whole process of analysis, writing reports or reaching valuations. Having a system in place is very important and will help ensure you have a solid foundation when coming up and presenting your views. This applies to both your personal and professional life and it's the message I’d like to convey to my younger colleagues in the field and people who are interested in working in the sector.

I prefer a top-down approach when recommending a stock. This means looking at the macroeconomics of a country, then the specifics of the sector, and finally the business’s historical performance, financial statements, and main metrics. Every step of the process is important to reach a solid outlook on a stock.

We need to see more new ideas on the stock market. I would say more e-payment, health, ins. or education companies should be listed as they have great potential in the coming months and years. I’d also like to see more SME companies IPO, which could shift the overall dynamics of the market. We need more stories like Speed Medical, for example, which had a successful move up from the Nilex to the EGX last year. The current direction from the government is helping facilitate this, such as the recent central bank initiative to make accessing bank finance easier for MSMEs.

Egypt has a solid foundation going into 2021, but we’re not decoupled from what is going on globally. While the country’s macroeconomic figures are strong, the pandemic and global vaccination rollout is leaving many things uncertain for all countries, including Egypt. I think a well distributed rollout — where the vaccine is administered in all countries and not just a select few — would help reduce the risk of local issues and accordingly would support Egypt’s story in 2021.

I was a numbers person when I first started my career, but as I matured I started to value words on the same level. Being a good analyst isn’t just about understanding the numbers, but translating them into something more human. So it's about getting the numbers out there while also creating and marketing a story or idea. Today, I would say I’m both a numbers and words person.

The last great thing I read is Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. As for things I watch, I normally tend to opt out of anything in the drama genre. I think life is too full of drama for me to add more when I decide to watch something. I recently watched the TV series Bns and really enjoyed it. I also listen to a lot of … let’s say upbeat music — which anyone who knows me will know is the opposite of my personality [laughs].

When I’m not on the clock, I try to spend time with family as much as I can. I’ve recently started to workout and I’ve been trying to make it part of my daily routine in the past few months. Getting off the chair and being active has really affected my mood as it brings me a lot of happiness. Finally, I’m a huge Al Ahly fan and watching football is a habit of mine I don’t think I’ll ever break.

MACRO PICTURE

The EM policy dilemma threatens fresh bout of volatility

The EM scramble to strike policy balance could lead to a wave of volatility: As the global commodities boom threatens to cause a surge in inflation, central banks in emerging markets are faced with an age-old dilemma: keep rates high to hold down prices or accommodate growth and pour more fuel on the fire. The first option would anchor growing price pressures as the world emerges from covid but it comes at the expense of muted growth from elevated rates.

The tension between the need for growth and the fear of inflation was on display last week, as several EM central banks unexpectedly hiked rates in anticipation of accelerated inflation. Russia’s central bank unexpectedly increased rates for the first time since 2018, while Brazil raised rates by more than economists had forecast in its first rate-hike in six years. Then there’s Turkey, which is now in a crisis after that country’s president sacked his third central bank governor in two years. The governor’s offense? Not playing ball and lowering rates.

Either way, the path ahead could be bumpy: “The tug of war between accommodative policies and robust growth … could result in heightened volatility,” Barclays Capital’s Christian Keller and Michael Gapen wrote in a recent report picked up by Bloomberg. Hikes in borrowing costs — most significantly in the US — will “illuminate” challenges faced by emerging markets as the USD strengthens and rising US treasury yields, they wrote.

US bonds have experienced a fierce sell-off in recent weeks amid rising concern by fixed-income investors over inflation and a possible earlier-than-expected rate hike. The yield on the 10-year note is currently on its longest rising streak since early 2018 after climbing for a seventh consecutive week last week, Bloomberg notes.

Higher US yields could mean higher borrowing costs in EM: If we continue to witness a rally in US treasury yields, alongside stimulus-driven inflation, this means “a decent chance for more pain” for EM bonds, BBVA strategist Danny Fang said. “The rise in US rates is a reflection of the ongoing inflation concerns. There are inflation concerns in parts of the emerging markets too, but beyond inflation, the higher US rates can lift local rates up too on a short-term basis as well.”

So far, EM assets are sending mixed signals: Currencies made gains last week, ending their longest weekly losses streak since August 2019, Bloomberg says. The MSCI gauge of equities, however, ended the week in the red for the first time since late February. Still, volatility levels in stocks remain low, with the Cboe Emerging Markets ETF Volatility Index, a VIX for EM equities, still much lower than its pandemic high. Net inflows into the largest EM-focussed ETFs were also positive, extending a 20-week run.

Who’s meeting this week? Policymakers in Thailand, South Africa and Mexico are expected to hold their policy rates when they meet this week, with Thailand likely to put emphasis on “targeted measures” and Mexico and South Africa to wait-and-see. Hungary, Czech Republic, Nigeria and Ghana are also set to leave their benchmark rates on hold.

LIFE

Mediocrity as a path to improvement: Covid-19 thrust new roles and responsibilities onto most of us, leaving many feeling helpless and possibly mediocre. But moments when we feel our least capable can also be the most crucial to finding success, despite our frustrations with the initial challenge, David Bodanis writes for the Financial Times. Expounding on the generative power of mediocrity, Bodanis maintains that with the right attitude, certain defeats can actually illuminate a wide range of possibilities that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

The liberation of failure: Hitting rock bottom can be tough to bear but it can also develop a useful sense of urgency to figure things out, Bodanis explains. JK Rowling, the author behind the Harry Potter series who was a single mother and self-described failure when she started writing, exemplifies the surge in energy that can accompany feeling like you need to get your act together.

Getting that rock bottom clarity: There’s also clarity that comes with having nothing to lose once you’ve found yourself at a distance from a clear path to success. Decisions can then be made from a broader view of things that can incorporate some creativity into how you might take the next steps to reinvent yourself. Being able to step back and restrategize can give you a chance to change course into something more rewarding, says Bodanis, giving the example of renowned Portuguese football manager José Mourinho, whose career as a player was unnotable, but who became a household name as a manager.

The creativity of necessity: Examining what you’ve done so far and why it hasn’t yielded the desired results can be an impetus for a more creative approach. Not being weighed down by success is an advantage here, as people rarely walk away from, or question something, if it seems to be working for them. The appearance of success can blind you to other possibilities, and mediocrity can be a liberating position from which to consider how things could be done differently.

Not buying it? Neither are a lot of people, who still maintain that a 10-step plan can drag you out of mediocrity, and that “choosing” success can get you where you want to go, though most people are too risk averse to decide to make a change. Plunging headfirst into mediocrity and seeing what it can teach us, as Bodanis suggests, may be the refreshing anti-advice we were waiting for.

ON YOUR WAY OUT

Covid-19 is pushing more people to do their Ramadan shopping online, with 22% of adults surveyed in Egypt saying they spent more time shopping online last Ramadan because of the pandemic, and 41% saying they use their phone more during the Holy Month, according to insights from Facebook’s Ramadan Consumer Report on Egypt. The survey is part of a wider poll of 17.7k people from eight Muslim-majority countries designed to measure people’s shopping behaviour and media consumption during the holy month. The power of social media marketing is apparent, with over half of those surveyed saying they looked to Facebook-owned services for shopping ideas and 67% saying they looked online in general. Advance shopping is also likely to continue to be a trend, with 38% saying they start planning their shopping at least a month before Ramadan, and 35% saying they had completed it before the holy month began.

You have exactly three weeks to go before the start of Ramadan.

CALENDAR

March: Potential visit to Cairo by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

23 March (Tuesday): The second edition of the Egypt Retail Summit takes place at the Nile Ritz Carlton hotel.

23 March (Tuesday): The British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) virtual conference on sustainable manufacturing in Africa.

23 March (Tuesday): AUC Women on Boards Observatory event to launch 2020 annual monitoring report.

25-27 March (Thursday-Saturday): The Real Gate real estate exhibition, Egyptian International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

29-30 March (Monday-Tuesday): Arab Federation of Exchanges Annual Conference 2021.

29-30 March (Monday-Tuesday): Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport Startup Festival, Sharm El Sheikh.

31 March (Wednesday): Deadline to visit the moroor and get an RFID sticker affixed to your car’s windshield — or run afoul of the Traffic Police.

31 March (Wednesday): Income tax deadline for individuals. Real estate tax deadline.

1-3 April (Thursday-Saturday): HVAC-R Egypt Expo.

6 April (Tuesday): French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Egypt working breakfast with Sovereign Fund of Egypt CEO Ayman Soliman.

7 April (Wednesday): British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) webinar on digital banking and fintech.

8-10 April (Thursday-Saturday): The TriFactory’s Endurance Festival at Somabay.

13 April (Monday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

25 April (Sunday): Sinai Liberation Day.

29 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC),

29 April (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review rates.

1 May (Saturday): Labor Day (national holiday).

2 May (Sunday): Easter Sunday.

3 May (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

13-15 May (Thursday-Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25-28 May (Tuesday-Friday): The World Economic Forum annual meeting, Singapore.

1 June (Tuesday): The IMF will conduct a second review of targets set under the USD 5.2 bn standby loan approved in June 2020 (proposed date).

7-9 June (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

17 June (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review rates.

17-20 June (Thursday-Sunday) : The International Exhibition of Materials and Technologies for Finishing and Construction (Turnkey Expo), Cairo International Conference Center.

24 June (Thursday): End of the 2020-2021 academic year (public schools).

26-29 June (Saturday-Tuesday): The Big 5 Construct Egypt, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo, Egypt.

30 June (Wednesday): 30 June Revolution Day.

30 June- 15 July: National Book Fair.

1 July: (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 30 June Revolution.

1 July (Thursday): Large taxpayers that have not yet signed on 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.

19 July (Monday): Arafat Day (national holiday).

20-23 July (Tuesday-Friday): Eid Al Adha (national holiday)

23 July (Friday): Revolution Day (national holiday).

5 August (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review rates.

9 August (Monday): Islamic New Year.

12 August (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Islamic New Year.

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

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

1 October (Friday): Expo 2020 Dubai opens.

6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.

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

18 October (Monday): Prophet’s Birthday.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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