Tuesday, 21 September 2021

EnterprisePM — Global markets are not melting down after yesterday’s big selloffrounds.



Good morning, nice people, and welcome to another brisk afternoon for the news as we slide toward the end of hump day.

HAPPENING NOW- Global markets are not melting down after yesterday’s big selloff, but the EGX30 came under pressure in trading today. Egypt’s benchmark index closed the day down 1.9% (-3.2% year to date) after being hit by a second day of selling.

European shares are holding up well this afternoon, with stocks in major markets from London to Frankfurt and Paris all handily in the green after taking it on the chin yesterday in a wave of selling that analysts attributed to worries about the possible meltdown of real estate developer China Evergrande, which the financial press has taken to calling the world’s most-indebted company. (We have more on Evergrande below in The Big Story Abroad).

Futures suggest Wall Street and Bay Street will both open in the green later this afternoon. Apple (said to be working on iPhone features to help identify depression and cognitive decline), Uber (which has hiked its guidance) and Johnson & Johnson (whose booster shot seems to be 94% effective) are all on the rise in pre-market trading.

ALSO- The US Federal Reserve starts today a closely watched two-day meeting. Chairman Jay Powell’s remarks tomorrow afternoon (Eastern time) will be closely parsed for any indication that the Fed boss is backing away from plans to taper stimulus later this year.

Analysts at Goldman don’t seem to see higher interest rates anytime soon: Low rates should push investors towards long-term positions in high quality stocks, Goldman strategists wrote in a note picked up by Bloomberg. The strategists said that they favor shares with good margins and stable earnings over the longer term such as Tesla, Uber and Netflix, while short-duration stocks could outperform if rates rise.

THE BIG STORIES so far today:

#1- More regulatory scrutiny of the property market? The Housing Ministry is studying several new options to regulate the real estate market, including possibly appointing a financial auditor from the Financial Regulatory Authority or the Central Bank to submit quarterly reports on every company’s developments, according to an unconfirmed story in Al Mal.

#2- B2B e-commerce platform Cartona has closed a USD 4.5 mn pre-series A round led by a Dubai-based VC outfit Global Ventures, with the participation from Kepple Africa Ventures, T5 Ventures and a group of angel investors, according to a press release (pdf). Cartona was represented in Egypt by Venture by Shahid.

ALSO- Shiphaly, a Cairo-based platform connecting shoppers and travelers, raised what it said was a “six-figure” seed round from Saudi and Egyptian angel investors, led by Faisal Abdulsalam the founder of Purity, the company announced (pdf). The release did not specify a currency for the round.

^^ We’ll have more on both these stories in tomorrow’s edition of EnterpriseAM, which is very much starting to shape up as Our Weekly (Unanticipated) Startup Issue.

Egypt will be clad in black until Thursday to mourn the death of former Defense Minister Mohamed Hussien Tantawy, who passed earlier today at the age of 85, according to an announcement from Ittihadiya. Tantawy’s military service began in 1952 when he enrolled in the Military Academy. He commanded a battalion during both the 1967 war with Israel and the 1973 October War, and was later commander of the Republican Guard and of Egyptian troops committed to the 1991 war to eject Iraq from Kuwait. Tantawi was appointed defense minister in 1991 and promoted to field marshal in 1993. His brightest moment in the public eye came in 2011, when Tantawi became the country’s de factor ruler as the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and helped ease the country into the post-Mubarak era. Tantawy was ordered into retirement by Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Check out obits in Youm7, Al Masry Al Youm and Ahram Gate.

Tantawy will be honoured with a military funeral later today. Top officials including President Abdel Fattah El Sisi are expected to attend, Al Ahram’s breaking news website reports. El Sisi said earlier today that Tantawi “led the country wisely in the most difficult circumstances and played a key role in protecting Egypt.”

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

  • 5 state companies could offer shares on the EGX by June 2022: Five state companies could offer shares on the EGX during the state’s current fiscal year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said without disclosing more details. Look for that to include a mix of both IPOs and stake sales by already-listed companies.
  • Fawry acquires minority stake in social commerce startup Brimore: Fawry has acquired a minority stake in Brimore for EGP 15.7 mn as part of an upcoming series A funding round by the startup. Fawry did not disclose what that sake represents in percentage terms.
  • Bidayat and the SFE are looking to partner on innovation zone in Islamic Cairo: Rachid Mohmaed Rachid’s Bidayat will study the possibility of developing the historic Bab Al Azab area in the vicinity of the Cairo Citadel into an innovation zone that will support various SMEs, under the terms of an MoU signed with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt

THE BIG STORIES ABROAD- There are two on our radar this afternoon

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won re-election, but failed to secure a majority of the seats in parliament, meaning he will have to rely on other parties to pass legislation, writes the Wall Street Journal. With the vote counting still not wrapped up after Canadians went to the polls yesterday, Liberal candidates are leading or elected in races for 157 seats (the same count as before the election was called), short of the 170 required for a majority. Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives are leading or elected in 122 ridings, just one seat more than before the election writ dropped. Trudeau thanked Canada’s voters in a Tweet. Want to dive deeper? Head to Canada’s CBC or the Globe and Mail (a good paper that styles itself the country’s national newspaper despite scarcely a nod to news east of Montreal or north of Thunder Bay). The story is also front-page news in the Financial Times.

MEANWHILE- Embattled real estate developer China Evergrande is really on the ropes as ratings agency S&P said it is likely the company will default on its massive pile of debt. The company’s chief is trying to reassure staff and customers alike that they’ll be made whole, but the Financial Times is reporting that there appears to be fraud afoot, saying execs claim the company “used bns of USD raised by selling wealth management products to retail investors to plug funding gaps and even to pay back other wealth management investors.” Ponzi scheme, anyone?

ALSO- Lawmakers in Libya have voted to withdraw confidence in the government of national unity, Bloomberg reports. Details are scant — expect more color to emerge in the coming hours.


IMF + EBRD webinar: Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik will speak during a webinar hosted by the IMF and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) tomorrow at 3pm CLT. The gathering is running under title of “State-owned enterprises in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia,” with Tawfik set to speak on the role of the state in the economy alongside five other panelists including the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia head Jihad Azour and the EBRD’s head of external relations Alan Rousso. Check out the agenda here.


Conference season continues next week with ITDA’s DevOpsDays Cairo 2021, which is being organized together with Software Engineering Competence Center, DXC Technology, IBM Egypt and Orange Labs. The event will take place on Wednesday, 29 September. Other events include:

  • Egypt Projects 2021 construction expo, which will take place at the Egypt International Exhibition Center on 30 September-2 October.
  • The Cairo International Fair, which will take place on 30 September-8 October at the Cairo International Conference Center.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- One more hot day before autumn settles in: Expect temperatures of 38°C during the day tomorrow, with the mercury falling to 22°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.


European governments look set to spend EUR bns to subsidise households gas and electricity bills, as record high prices threaten a winter energy crisis across the continent, the Financial Times reports. Italy is expected to follow France in announcing an EUR multi-bn support package to help households pay their electricity bills, ahead of a meeting between EU leaders this week to discuss national responses to rising power costs. The UK government, meanwhile, may have to prop up bigger energy companies with loans after admitting the potential for a wave of bankruptcies over the winter after several smaller firms went bust in August.

Why are gas prices surging? Low storage supplies and a reduction in Russian gas exports to the continent in favor of Asian markets are the immediate drivers of the price squeeze, though fingers are pointing in all directions as to what got us here. Spain has placed the blame squarely at the feet of gas companies for raking it in, and is calling for coordinated EU-wide action “to avoid being at their mercy.” Some energy companies say a sharp reduction in gas supply amid the switch to renewables is behind the price squeeze, while other players are using the situation to call for the EU’s planned carbon tax to be scrapped. But the EU energy commissioner is holding firm on the need to switch to clean energy: “The only real, long-term solution here is to increase the share of renewable energy, which is already generally the cheapest energy on the market,” she told the FT.

Here’s a thought: Why not buy EastMed gas? Egypt, along with Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine, have officially set up the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) with Cairo as the location of its HQ to cooperate on natural gas policy and infrastructure. The move is a big step towards our ambitions of being a regional natural gas hope, wth Egypt’s liquefaction plants servicing the region and used as jump off point for export outside the region. Egypt and Cyprus agreed last week to begin studies that would pave the way for Cypriot gas to be sent to Egypt for re-export.

Instead of doing more to fight income inequality, the rich are trying to fund their immortality: A growing number of Silicon Valley tech bn’aires are investing in the fast-emerging field of longevity, aiming to help people “cheat death,” reports CNBC. Meds, therapies, and other life science tech is currently being researched by the likes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet’s Larry Page, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison. If / when this tech is brought to the public, it makes sense that it will probably be unaffordable for the average consumer. However, with all tech that was once limited to the wealthy elites, it eventually trickles down through the classes and will “benefit humanity as a whole”, investors tell CNBC, including Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

We’re about to see how valuable their ‘immortality’ investments really are: Stay tuned for the listing of Juvenescence, British bn’aire Jim Mellon’s life extension company which was meant to take place in six to 12 months last September, reported CNBC then. Juvenescence is working to provide a wide range of anti-ageing therapies that it thinks have the potential to extend human life, but the IPO is yet to happen.

Are we really at a point where this is a reality? Read Lifespan: Why We Age―and Why We Don't Have To by Harvard Scientist David Sinclair and Matthew D. LaPlante, where the duo explain recent advances in genetic reprogramming that could allow people to not just feel younger, but actually become younger.

Twitter will pay USD 809.5 mn to settle a 2016 lawsuit alleging the company was misleading investors about the number of its monthly active users and timeline views, the company said in a press release. Under the settlement, all claims against the company and the other defendants will be resolved and clearing them of any fault, liability of wrongdoing. “Twitter and the individual defendants continue to deny any wrongdoing or any other improper actions,” the statement said, explaining that the settlement will be paid during 4Q2021. The settlement is still subject to court approval. The lawsuit was led by the National Elevator Industry Pension Fund, represented by Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, and KBC Asset Management NV, represented by Motley Rice.


Your favorite noodles straight out of your favorite anime


(all times CLT)

After Ewan McCregor’s Emmy award for outstanding lead actor in Netflix’s limited series Halston, we decided to dig into it. While this is a compelling look into the fashion mogul’s life, talent and drive, we have to disagree with the Emmy nominating committee’s assessment that his is one of McCregor’s best performances, despite scoring his first career Emmy. The pacing of the show leaves much to be desired. However, it does stay true to the designer and the era where he flourished with on-point costume design, set design, and music. If you’re interested in vintage fashion, fashion history, or art, this one is definitely for you.

The Egyptian Super Cup: Egyptian Cup and Egyptian Premier League champion Al Ahly will face the Egyptian cup runner ups El Gaish for the Egyptian Super Cup tonight at 7 pm.

In La Liga: Getafe is up against Atletico Madrid at 7:30 pm, and Athletic Club will take on Rayo Vallecano, while Levante plays against Celta Vigo at 10 pm.

In Serie A: Fiorentina against Inter Milan and you can watch the match live here.

The third round of the Carabao Cup kicks off today at 8:45 pm. We recommend you watch: Norwich City vs Liverpool, Man City against Wycombe, and QPR against Everton.


Your favorite noodles straight out of your favorite anime? Craving Ramen and not up for the drive down to Makino in Zamalek? Online noodle shop Ichimiro Ramen delivers all over Cairo. The simple manu features shoyo (beef) and shio (chicken) ramen, served with handmade noodles, fish cakes (aka Narutomaki), eggs (Ajitama Tamago), fresh veggies and a broth. Our favorite is the Narutomaki.


(all times CLT)

The Amy Winehouse tribute night at ROOM Art Space in New Cairo will be held tonight at 9 pm by a group of young performers called Bohemian Project.

Voice, another band combining 15 musicians and 14 singers, will be performing a musical concert at El Sawy Culturewheel in Zamalek from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.


Haunting folk tale rebooted: The Lamplighters by Emma Stone is a historical fiction centered around the real-life vanishing of three Scottish lighthouse keepers, which remains a mystery until this day. The novel sees the protagonist speak with the missing lamplighters’ wives, where they retell the story from their own point of view. Here the author explores how fear blurs the lines between reality and imagination, augmenting the mystery tale with even more twists and mindboggler realities.


Meet our analyst of the week: Prime Holding’s Nada Wagdy

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Nada Wagdy, equity research analyst at Prime Holding (Linkedin).

I’ve been working in sell-side for the past three years. I graduated from Helwan University and during my time studying I took part in the CFA Society as an ambassador teaching FIVA or finance, investment, valuation, and analysis. I joined the first CFA Research Challenge and my team was awarded first place. I had no doubt that finance was the direction I wanted to go in. I now work as a consumer analyst at Prime Holding.

The best part of my job is that it makes you educated about a variety of sectors. You know about the dynamics of other fields and can hold a proper conversation about them. I also like that I get to learn everything new everyday. I believe that working in the sell-side gives you the chance to move around because you learn so many skills. You could go on to work in IR or journalism, for example.

The most challenging part is always being updated with the market. However, it’s what makes you good at your job in the end.

I prefer work from the office. While work from home wasn’t difficult, it was a bit boring and there was a lack of motivation. I also felt that my day wasn’t organized and my working hours were extending to the whole day.

My theory of investment is holding on to your value stocks until market data tells you otherwise. The big challenge with that is making sure you’re keeping up to date on the position to determine when to buy or sell. I’m also a strong supporter of diversifying your portfolio, but again, it all has to be timed correctly.

In consumer goods, the most important things I look at before recommending a stock are macro indicators. The level of income, GDP per capita, unemployment rate — they all impact consumption one way or the other. After that I look at the sector itself and assess how well it's doing and whether there are catalysts that could move it and then finally the company itself. It usually makes more sense to me to take a top down approach when looking at consumer goods companies.

I don’t think the EGX30 will close in the green this year. It’s performed much better than last year, no doubt about that, but it still isn’t performing as well as we’d like and usually it moves in a way that surprises us. So we’ll see.

I also don’t think 2022 will be the year of Egypt. I would say it’s the back-to-normal year. We’re still in recovery mode from last year, but there are still two quarters that will really show how we did this year. A lot of things are still having an impact on various sectors including the shortages of shipping containers and semiconductors.

If I had to switch and cover another industry, I’d choose healthcare and pharma. I believe that the pharma sector is somewhat similar to consumer goods, especially when it comes to the over the counter market.

When I watch something, I always want it to be comedic and relaxing. Life is stressful enough [laughs]. The last great thing I watched is The Insider, which stars Russell Crowe and Al Pacino. As for reading, I like to pick up books or read articles that have to do with psychology. It’s what I find the most interesting.

In my down time, I like to work with my hands. During university, I used to make accessories and display them in showrooms. Now it’s mostly cooking or other handmade crafts.


The EGX30 fell 1.9% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.5 bn (4.4% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is down 3.2% YTD.

In the green: GB Auto (+1.3%), EFG Hermes (+0.1%) and Fawry (+0.1%).

In the red: Ezz Steel (-8.3%), Raya (-7.7%) and AMOC (-7.5%).


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.

19-22 September (Sunday-Wednesday): Insurance Federation of Egypt’s Rendezvous conference, Sharm El Sheikh.

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

22 September (Wednesday): IMF + EBRD “State-owned enterprises in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia” webinar.

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.

30 September (Thursday): Direct flights between Egypt and three Libyan airports resume.

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): Deadline for state-owned companies and government agencies to sign up to e-invoicing platform.

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.

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.

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. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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