Tuesday, 12 October 2021

EnterprisePM — The global economic recovery is holding steady — but at risk, the IMF says in its latest global forecast

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

It’s all downhill from here, friends — two more days and we slide into the weekend, and hump day has been kind to us after the pyrotechnics in the wee hours of this morning. Still, we have plenty of news:

THE BIG STORIES TODAY so far-

#1- The global economic recovery is holding steady — but increasingly at risk. That’s the main takeaway from the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook report (pdf), in which the lender marginally downgraded its projection for global growth in 2021. The report warns that vaccine inequality and economic divergence between developed and developing nations will exacerbate three big risks: Health concerns, supply disruptions, and price pressures.

#2- Ain Sokhna Port is getting fresh investments from DP World and CDC Group: Emirati port giant DP World and the UK’s development finance arm CDC Group are setting up a new USD 1.7 bn platform to invest in African ports and logistics infrastructure, DP World announced in a statement. Up for a slice of the investments so far: Egypt’s Ain Sokhna Port, Senegal’s Port of Dakar, and Somaliland’s Berbera Port.

#3- Fawry makes its first investment away from home: Egyptian e-payments giant Fawry just finalized its first overseas investment, participating in a USD 5 mn funding round for Sudanese classifieds platform and marketplace, alsoug.com.

#4- The size of the retail tranche of e-Finance’s retail offering will be unchanged at 1.6%, we’re told by a source close to the transaction. We had done math in EnterpriseAM, based on a Reuters report, that suggested the size of the retail offering was expanding. The FRA said in a statement out yesterday that the company could increase the total size of the offering to 417.8 mn shares (against nearly 258 mn shares originally), or 26.1% of e-Finance’s shares. If the company were to price the offering at the top of the range it has communicated, the transaction could be worth more than EGP 5.8 bn, making it one of the largest Egyptian IPOs in recent memory.

^^ We’ll have the full rundown on these stories and more in tomorrow’s edition of EnterpriseAM.

HAPPENING NOW- European markets are mixed this afternoon, with the DAX 30, FTSE 100 and CAC 40 all in the red at dispatch time, but the Stoxx 600 (just barely) in the green. European benchmarks have largely followed the tone set in Asia earlier today, where shares in Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai all closed in the red. The big surprise: Wall Street looks set to open in the green, a flip from earlier today. The EGX30 closed up 0.7% today on weak volumes.

Two top US brokerages think the US shares are looking good. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan say rising inflation is transitory and now would be a good time to buy the dip, Bloomberg reports. Analysts from the investment banks say the 5% drop in the S&P 500 is as much of a correction as we’re going to get. And those rising energy prices? UBS Global Wealth Management strategists acquiesce that they will slow down growth, but don’t think they’re “sufficient to cause recession.”

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

  • State-owned e-Finance boosted the size of its IPO amid strong demand from institutional investors.
  • Egypt’s debt is growing, but the pace of growth is slowing, the World Bank says.
  • Global Ventures wants to do more here: The Dubai-based VC fund plans to invest some USD 15 mn in Egypt before the year is out, with another USD 20-30 mn in the pipeline for 2022.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- No single story has captured the imagination of the global business press. Reuters is leading with how inflation fueled by what is now clearly a global energy crunch could threaten the world’s economic recovery. The Financial Times, meanwhile, is still talking about the reprieve handed to IMF boss Kristalina Georgieva, who now has the backing of the organization’s executive board after charges she helped cook data to curry favor with China.

This one sent chills down our backs: The WSJ is out with an exclusive on the latest in Xi Jinping’s Great Capitalist Smackdown, which sees the nation’s state-owned banks and financial firms facing probes about their business with the private sector.

From the Dept. of This Should (and Could) Have Been Us: Morocco is now Africa’s largest exporter of passenger cars, having surpassed South Africa — an ambition we here at home once harbored. How did Morocco manage it? Policy consistency, good infrastructure and far (far) less red tape — along with a basket of interlocking trade agreements that look a heck of a lot like ours. The Financial Times has the story in How Morocco transformed itself into a carmaking hub.

HAPPENING TOMORROW-

The G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors gets underway tomorrow in Washington, DC. Look for the landmark OECD international tax agreement to get a formal endorsement at the meeting, ahead of the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome at the end of the month. Egypt signed on to the agreement — which would see the introduction of a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15% — back in July. The G20 sitdown comes as the IMF and World Bank annual meetings continue, also in DC.

Cultural diplomacy will be the main talking point at Gouna Culture No. 7, which takes place tomorrow at the Dawar El Omda Hotel in the seaside city. Among those leading the discussion are Mexican Ambassador to Egypt Octavio Tripp, Asociación de Amigos de la Biblioteca de Alejandría México Gloria Pérez, and UN International Liaison Chapter San Francisco Count Federico di Wardal.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

PSA- Our next long weekend is coming up: ​​​​The Prophet Muhammad’s birthday falls on Monday, 18 October. We expect a three-day weekend starting Thursday, 21 October. Look for confirmation from the cabinet toward the end of the week.

Conference season ratchets up this month, with a number of exhibitions and business events here and throughout the region taking place this week, including:

  • The Turathna Exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, which will run until Friday, 15 October.
  • The International Conference on Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East kicks off in Nicosia tomorrow. The conference brings together 65 of leading policymakers, scientists and diplomats from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Greece to advocate for a move away from fossils toward renewables in the region. You can check out its website here.
  • The GITEX Global is being held in the Dubai World Trade Center from 17-21 October. The event brings together players in Big Tech to discuss what’s next in areas such as AI, cloud, 5G, cybersecurity, blockchain, and more.
  • Further down the road: The Middle East Angel Investment Network is hosting its Angel Oasis in El Gouna on 27-29 October, with separate pricing for in-person and virtual attendance.

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 overnight thunderstorm threw us for a loop, but temperatures are back to this winter’s new normal with a daytime high of 34°C and nighttime low of 20°C in the forecast, our favorite weather app tells us.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

SIGN OF THE TIMES- The next cohort of executive EMBA students: Entrepreneurs. Once the degree of choice for those looking to climb the corporate ladder, executive MBA programs are increasingly attracting mid-career entrepreneurs looking to up their credibility and expand their networks, with an eye to attract investors and funding, the Financial Times reports. Corporate funding for EMBAs began to dwindle in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, setting in motion a new trend that has instead pulled in entrepreneurs interested in developing their careers, particularly after gaining real-world experience in building a business and identifying their own knowledge gaps.

It is NEVER too late, ladies and gentlemen. Never. Consider this: “The college sophomore was tired. She’d just finished playing 54 holes of competitive golf over two days, 36 of them in the rain. Now there was a four-hour van trip back to campus, and the sophomore had plenty of homework to keep her 4.0 average. She could start researching a term paper for her literature class; she could bury herself in statistics assignments; she could crack open her criminal justice textbook. She could also watch a video from her PE class, though that might be hard to hear, with her teammates cranking music in the van.” The catch? The sophomore in question is age 63.


SIGN OF THE TIMES- More and more people are trooping back into the office (in the US, at least) than at any time since the pandemic began. And more employers are planning to follow suit in the weeks and months to come, the Wall Street Journal reports. Players in industries ranging from finance to manufacturing and entertainment all want their people back under the same roof.

So what does the “end” of covid look like? Well, there’s probably not going to be an “end” — the disease is here to stay. But Axios reports that researchers think “victory” over the bug looks kind of like … Denmark.

Also: Delays between vaccine jabs and a “mix and match” approach may be helpful, Canada’s CBC reports, writing that the delay of up to four months between jabs and the decision to allow people to have, say, a jab of Pfizer followed by one of Moderna has actually helped create stronger and more lasting immunity. Not that that helps when another country wants you to have two matched jabs, but…


Once upon a time, people were told to drink “Wate-On” to gain weight. Today, we just call it “food.” The ingredients: Refined carbs and seed oils. Just sayin’. Check out the vintage ad courtesy the dumpster fire that is our Twitter.

WATCH THIS- Okay, we can’t claim that we follow handball. But Zamalek keeper Karim Hendawy’s highlight reel (courtesy the International Handball Federation) is just killer (watch, runtime: 1:00).

Anti-greenwashing requirements in the EU are proving more complicated than expected, leading asset managers to say they’re unlikely to meet a 1 January 2022 deadline to correctly label the sustainability of investment funds, reports Bloomberg. The European Fund and Asset Management Association — which represents fund managers with a cumulative USD 22 tn AUM — has said the deadline is too soon to implement the so-called Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), particularly as the EU is in the process of finalizing new requirements. Fund managers therefore have yet to see what these standards entail and how to calculate them, let alone put them into practice. European authorities had intended to provide a complete draft of RTS in late September or early October, but this has been delayed due to its “complexity.”

China has already beaten the United States in the battle for AI supremacy, the former Pentagon software chief tells the Financial Times. “We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already done … it is already over in my opinion.”

Lego has taken a stand against gender-based marketing, saying it would stop targeting toys to boys or girls through packaging or other means. The company isn’t planning to change its products, but will stop segmenting them into gender categories, Lena Dixen, a senior vice president, explained to the Danish press. The decision comes after a survey was conducted to see if kids categorized toys for each gender, with 7k parents and children taking part. Around 75% of boys and 62% of girls believe that some toys are only for girls and some are only for boys — and parents only perpetuated the stereotypes by pushing Lego more on boys than on girls. Lego’s stance comes amidst a push for equality from the Danish company with hopes that the new marketing scheme will make all children “feel welcome in the Lego universe.” Bloomberg has the story.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special. + Chow down on some Japanese-Peruvian fusion.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(all times CLT)

Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special The Closer has been at the center of major controversy: Chappelle has a way of poking fun at the awkwardness and inconveniences we all face in our day-to-day lives — and the sixth in a series of Netflix specials by the comedian is in keeping with his hilarious style. The trailer for The Closer features him saying, “Comedians have a responsibility to speak recklessly. Sometimes the funniest thing to say is mean. Remember, I’m not saying it to be mean: I’m saying it because it’s funny.” The comedian, who is known for speaking out about racism, might have taken his statement too far: The special’s launch was quickly marred by criticism that the comedian made misogynistic, anti-trans and socially irresponsible jokes. Civil rights groups petitioned for it to be pulled from Netflix, reports BGR, while The Independent is out with an op-ed about the danger in Chappelle’s new style of humor.

Matches to look out for in today’s European World Cup qualifiers: Portugal is playing against Luxembourg and England is competing against Hungary, both at 8:45pm.

🍣 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

A Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant lands in New Cairo: If you’re a fan of creative sushi rolls, Ginger at RiverWalk is the place for you. Blending traditional Japanese sushi with Peruvian influences through sauces and spices, their menu is diverse and fish-forward to say the least. Particularly eye-catching is the restaurant’s gorgeous plating of dishes, from beef tataki on a gray inscripted marble cube to their fuego seafood shell dish, which is served with flames dancing on top. We’re fans of their seafood tacos, whether it’s shrimp topped with citrus acevichado sauce or salmon in a crispy nori shell. Make sure to check out their appetizers and soups, and leave room for their crinkle Biscoff tots.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(all times CLT)

Omar Khairat is performing at the Cairo Opera House two consecutive concerts tonight and tomorrow at 8pm. You can buy tickets from here.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

A murder that takes place in an escape room — and serves as an allegory of society: In Reprieve by James Han Mattson, four financially-wrought people are offered a chance to compete for a cashprize by getting out of an escape room. The book pulls at the threads of the characters’ multilayered histories to make sense of their actions during the game. But when the game ultimately leads to a murder, the mood shifts and the contestants pull themselves together to get out alive. Reprieve is a “provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment,” all within a closed and tension-filled setting. Together, all the elements of the book entangle to form an allegory for the dividing lines that are present in American society and the systematic factors at play that led the characters to such desperation. NPR is out with a review.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

Meet our analyst of the week: Beltone’s Toka Elwazery

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Toka Elwazery, equity research associate at Beltone Financial (Linkedin).

My name is Toka Elwazery and I’ve been at Beltone for three years. I graduated from AUC with a double major in finance and accounting. I’ve covered several sectors since joining the research team, starting off with industrials, consumers, and healthcare; now, I cover education and real estate in Egypt and the GCC. The shifts helped me a lot in my career as each sector taught me a new aspect I should pay attention to or a different way to create models. However, education was my favorite sector to cover, especially since there’s so much potential growth in the industry at the moment. It’s also easy to link it to the real world and measure your analysis with what’s happening on ground.

The best part of my job is that I’m always on top of the news. I read a lot as part of my job since I always have to be up to date with what’s happening in the market and the sectors I cover. The years working have made me more knowledgeable and gave me exposure to areas I might not have interacted with otherwise.

The worst part of my job is when market slumps occur. The cyclical nature of the market means that there are times when people stop looking at a sector or the entire stock exchange in general. We’ve been seeing a bit of that lately as the EGX experiences low trading volumes. That means that interactions with foreign investors decrease and you lose that exposure.

I think physical roadshows will increase next year, but it depends on the vaccination rollouts across countries. Some people might also prefer to stick to the virtual rendition of roadshows because it’s easier to implement logistically and less cost-intensive. However, I’m particular to physical roadshows. I was very lucky to have gone on a roadshow from a very young age and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had professionally. You travel and meet people from different backgrounds and cultures and you get to know their personal investment strategies. I learned a lot from hearing the questions thrown at me and bit by bit I got more confident in presenting my ideas in a creative way and tailoring my approach based on the reception I got.

I like to take a top-down approach when looking at stocks. I explore the country first and see whether it has an interesting growth story, and then I look at the company’s fundamentals and its management very closely. I also like to look at the stock’s trading history. Some stocks move up or down arbitrarily despite news that should have seen it move in a specific direction. Other stocks are strong fundamentally but have liquidity issues or are in a troubled industry.

I recommend investments based on the person I’m talking to. I try to figure out their investment strategy, their risk appetite, and their overall psychology. I learned to ask a lot of questions to get a good idea of what works for a specific investor and then I use that to recommend a suitable stock. One of the things I ask about is what is already in their portfolio as I believe investors should diversify their investments.

I’m not sure if the EGX30 will close this year in the green. I think the upcoming e-Finance IPO will say a lot. It could be a big trigger for the market by increasing investor confidence in the EGX.

I think 2022 could be the year of Egypt. People underestimate the potential of the country and its market. The fixed income market is doing well and there’s a lot of untapped value in the equity market. Everything else is also on track on the macro level with the boost from infrastructure and other megaprojects. Egypt is the place for people to invest in after the pandemic and I think there’s a chance the market could rally. Yes, there are risks, but the long-term outlook is positive.

I’m currently watching The Good Doctor. I appreciate their passion on the show and how they take any challenge and overcome it with new ideas. Before that, I watched the last season of Money Heist and I really enjoyed it.

The last great thing I read is The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin. The novel talks about a man who was falsely imprisoned for 30 years and how he managed to hold onto hope and kindness despite his conditions.

In my downtime I like to play sports. I’ve been an athlete since I was three years old and I was in Egypt’s national team for badminton when I got older. We played a ton of international tournaments and won the African championship several times. Otherwise, I like to spend time with family or travel. My favorite destination in Egypt is Luxor and Aswan — I enjoy places that have stories and history to them.


EARNINGS WATCH- Domty reported EGP 51 mn in net income in 3Q2021, up 24% y-o-y from EGP 41.3 mn in the same quarter last year, according to an earnings release (pdf) citing unaudited figures. The company recorded EGP 956 mn in revenues, up 32% compared to 3Q2020.

MARKET WATCH-

The EGX30 rose 0.7% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 811 mn (46.4% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 0.6% YTD.

In the green: ElSewedy Electric (+3.6%), Orascom Development Egypt (+2.5%), and Ibnsina Pharma (+2.2%).

In the red: AMOC (-3.9%), Pioneers Properties (-3.4%) and Raya Holding (-1.9%).

📆 CALENDAR

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

9-15 October (Saturday-Friday): Turathna Exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

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

13 October (Wednesday): Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, Washington DC.

14-15 October (Thursday-Friday): The Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mid-October: The Egyptian Banking Institute, the Financial Services Institute, and I-Score will begin airing in mid-October the Digital Credit Scoring Webinar Series, a line-up of webinars on the banking sector and banking regulations.

18 October (Monday): E-Finance begins trading on EGX.

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.

30-31 October (Saturday-Sunday): G20 Leaders’ Summit, Rome, Italy.

31 October (Saturday): World Cities Day, Luxor, 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.

15-21 November (Monday-Sunday): Intra-African Trade Fair 2021, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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.

8-10 December (Wednesday-Thursday): Global Forum for Higher Education and Scientific Research (GFHS), Cairo, Egypt.

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.

15 December (Wednesday): Deadline for joint stock companies and investment companies in Cairo to join e-invoicing platform.

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

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

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

19 February 2022 (Saturday): Public universities begin the second term of the 2021-2022 academic year.

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.

2H2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

18-20 October 2022 (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

**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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