Monday, 8 March 2021

EnterprisePM — Happy Int’l Women’s Day.

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

IT’S A BIG NEWS DAY here at home as we slide into the final hours of the workday, with word that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is bidding to take private LSE-listed ADES International Holding, the top regional oil and gas services outfit that grew out of Egypt. Meanwhile, Banque Misr says it has no intention of upping the price it is willing to pay for financial services player CI Capital. We have chapter and verse on both stories in this afternoon’s Speed Round, below.

HAPPENING NOW- Some 400k people in Egypt have signed up to receive the covid-19 vaccine so far, Health Minister Hala Zayed told reporters on the sidelines of a conference today, Youm7 reports. Priority right now is for seniors and younger folks with underlying health conditions; citizens, foreign residents and refugees can register to get the jab.

You can register to take the vaccine here and can choose to file your paperwork in English or Arabic. The rollout started up last Thursday with the Sinopharm and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs. Sinopharm is taken in two jabs administered 21 days apart, while folks getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine take a second dose after a three-month period.

IT’S A PARTICULARLY CRAZY DAY abroad, with at least three stories vying for your attention:

  • Oil looks like it’s going to stay up in the USD 70 / bbl range after an attack on an Aramco facility by Yemen’s Houthi rebels (more in Speed Round, below);
  • Turkey really, really wants to be friends with Egypt and GCC countries, Erdogan’s spokesman told Bloomberg in an exclusive interview (more in Speed Round, below);
  • GE is closing in on the USD 30 bn sale of its aircraft leasing unit to Ireland’s AerCap. The story leads the front pages of both the Wall Street Journal (which broke the story) and the Financial Times this afternoon.

What’s so big about the GE sale? It would be the latest in a string of moves by the once iconic industrial conglomerate to restructure and streamline its operations following an epic corporate meltdown. The aviation unit is the largest remaining piece of what was once GE Capital, an operation that at one time rivaled US banks, but almost tanked the company in the 2008 financial crisis. GE already parted ways with its biotech business in a USD 21 bn agreement with Danaher in 2019, and its lightbulb business in 2020. GE shares more than doubled in the past six months driven by improving financial results, but the stock price is still down roughly 75% from it's all-time high in 2000.

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

  • At what price a transaction? CI Capital thinks Banque Misr’s offer to acquire up to 90% of its shares is underpriced.
  • The 8.6 mn AstraZeneca jabs we’re expecting should arrive within the next few weeks, a bit later than originally projected.
  • Egypt is among the countries that would benefit most from new IMF special drawing rights.

YOUR STATUTORILY REQUIRED COVID STORY for the afternoon: The EU’s vaccine regulator is still skeptical about Russia’s Sputnik V, urging member nations not to authorize its emergency use while the bloc’s regulator continues its rolling review, according to Reuters. Sputnik has already been approved by member nations Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, and Brussels said it could begin further talks if four countries request the vaccine.

Here at home, the EDA authorized Sputnik V for emergency use last month. The approval came after Health Minister Hala Zayed said large shipments of vaccines would start arriving by the second half of the month, partly consisting of Sputnik V, but we haven’t yet heard concrete updates. The private sector could also be making purchases after Prime Speed Medical signed an initial agreement for 10 mn doses late last month. As many as 45 other countries have given the jab the green light, including the UAE, Iran and Tunisia.

What does the evidence say? Leading medical journal Lancet out of the UK found Sputnik V has a 91.6% effectiveness rate.

But Russia isn’t being an angel when it comes to vaccine politics, the US government claims, according to a Wall Street Journal report that alleges a “Russian disinformation campaign aims to undermine confidence in Pfizer and other covid-19 vaccines.”

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Photopia’s Cairo Photo Week 2021 kicks off this Thursday and runs through 20 March. The photo festival will feature over 100 activities including workshops, panels, photo challenges, exhibitions, portfolio reviews and photo walks throughout the week, all led by more than 80 local and international photographers. Genres including fashion, food, portraits, documentary and photojournalism are all in the spotlight. You can check out the event program on Photopia’s website, there’s plenty to look at on the group’s Instagram feed @cairophotoweek, and both physical and virtual tickets are available here.

Also on Thursday: The next iteration of Le Marché, an anchor of the annual expo scene, takes place 11-14 March at the Egypt International Convention Centre, with over 300 local and international brands set to showcase their wares. Full details and digital catalogue on the show’s website.

The Cairo Fashion & Textile Expo trade show is set to open at the Cairo International Convention Center on Thursday, running through 13 March.

Higher education fair EduGate kicks off tomorrow and will run until Thursday at the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski on the Ring Road. Participants include universities, colleges and training institutions as well as scholarship and grant providers. There’s also an online-only version taking place 18-20 March.

AUC Press’s 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.

The next Gouna Film Festival is set to run 14-22 October in person, with covid-19 mitigation measures in place, organizers said yesterday.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

Ready your TV sets, the PlayStation 5 will officially launch in Egypt “soon” according to a teaser from PlayStation Arabia’s Twitter feed, which stopped short of providing a timeline. The console has been available available on Souq for a while now at a hefty markup — EGP 15k for a box that’s going for c. USD 400 (a little over EGP 6k) in the US right now. Sony has been struggling to maintain PS5 stock around the world amidst a global chip shortage affecting electronics and cars worldwide. There’s no mention if Egypt is becoming an official region on the PlayStation store.

How would you invest USD 1 mn right now? We can all be forgiven with thinking about a post-covid future now that more than 300 mn covid jabs have been administered, with hundreds of mns more to follow. With optimism in the air, Bloomberg asks six experts how they would invest USD 1 mn today. The panel’s suggestions range from infrastructure stocks, manufactured housing and angel investing in startups, to more unusual and fun options like a vintage Mercedes, soccer jerseys, and music royalties.

…and while we’re on royalties, music back catalogs are turning into a red-hot asset class. In December last year, Bob Dylan sold his entire catalog to Universal Music for an estimated USD 300 mn. In January of this year, Shakira did the same thing with Merck Mercuriadis' LSE-listed Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Already this year, Hipgnosis acquired rights to catalogues by Jimmy Iovine, Lindsey Buckingham and Neil Young — and already owns select songs by Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Beyonce. Bloomberg’s Odd Lots explores the fast-growing demand for this asset class with independent music valuation expert Alaistar Moughan (listen, runtime 44:00).

India is raising the stakes in the EV game: Ola Electric, a subsidiary of one of India’s largest startups, is planning a USD 330 mn mega-factory on the outskirts of Bangalore that aims to produce 10 mn vehicles annually by the summer of 2022, the company’s co-founder tells Bloomberg. Ola Electric is backed by Kia, Hyundai, as well as investment firm Tiger Global Management and Japan’s Softbank. The news comes as Egypt looks to an EV future as Infinity builds out a national charging network and former state-owned zombieco El Nasr looks set to start producing EVs in a joint venture with Dongfeng.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(all times CLT)

Netflix has released a self-titled biographical documentary about football star Pelé, which follows the 12-year period in which Pelé won three World Cup titles and went from young superstar in 1958 to national hero in 1970. The film is set on a backdrop of tumultuous political times in Brazil which adds to the plot and moves the story along to the ending we’re all familiar with. Check out this review by Sports Pro.

Disney’s latest film Raya and the Last Dragon is out on Disney+, following the main character Raya who teams up with the last remaining dragon to restore harmony to the world and end the threat posed by a plague that turns everyone into stone. Raya is a movie about learning to trust one another, letting go of stereotypes, and uniting for the greater good. The film has also hit cinemas nationwide in case you want to make it an outing. Want to know more? Check out these reviews by NPR and The New York Times.

Not much kora for you all today: The Premier League will see Chelsea and Everton face off tonight at 8pm, while West Ham and Leeds will hit the field at 10pm. Real Betis take on Alavés at 10pm in La Liga, while Serie A has Inter Milan playing Atalanta at 9:45pm.

🍕 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Make pizza at home tonight with an easy meal kit: If you’re a fan of pizza, you’ll be a fan of Vinny’s Pizzeria, which serves pies in several forms and flavors. You can stick to the classic thin crust or pan pizza, or you can try out their pizza cake and choose how many levels you’d like your cheesy monstrosity to be. The restaurant has begun offering “make your own” pizza kits for folks who know their way around an oven. The kit makes two pizzas and includes dough balls, sauce, and cheese along with other ingredients based on the kit you order.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(all times CLT)

Cairo Jazz Club in Agouza is celebrating International Women’s Day with Femmes on Decks, which will see three female DJs — Joella Jackson, Maie, and Akladios — spin the turntables tonight at 8pm. Meanwhile CJC in Zayed has a salsa night at 7pm with instruction from Soul Motion Studio.

The Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) is hosting the short film festival De Sync tomorrow at 7pm. The theme this year is “between words and intentions” and will feature films by Menna Ekram, Islam Kamal, Ahmed Elghoneimy, and Fardia Zahran as well as a discussion moderated by director Heba Yousry.

Demi Gallery in Zamalek is showing works by sculptor Ahmed Askalany that explore what famous pieces would have looked like if they had been created elsewhere and under different conditions in an exhibition aptly named “What If?”.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Your work is only as good as how well it is marketed, which is why Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday aims to reveal to creatives of all stripes — authors, entrepreneurs, musicians, filmmakers, fine artists — how a classic work is made and marketed. The book puts forth a foundational set of innovative principles as well as interviews with some of the world’s greatest creatives, to help readers gain perennial success on whatever endeavor they have at hand.


🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The thermometer is set to hit the 30°C mark tomorrow in the capital city and will fall to 18°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us. The entire week looks like it might be somewhat warm, the mercury easing back to a daytime high of about 24°C on the weekend.

SPEED ROUND: M&A WATCH

Saudi wealth fund to take top offshore outfit ADES International private

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is looking to take leading regional oil and gas services company ADES International private. The USD 161 mn transaction would value the UAE-based rig player, which grew out of Egypt and remains the country’s largest offshore oil and gas service provider, at some USD 516 mn.

ADES’ independent directors are recommending shareholders accept the offer, they said in a disclosure carried by the London Stock Exchange’s regulatory news service this morning. The Saudi wealth fund has offered to fund the transaction at USD 12.50 a share — a 40% premium to the company’s USD 8.95 share price at the end of last week.

ADES International’s share price surged on the news: ADES International’s shares are up over 34% to hit USD 12 on the news.

In detail: The transaction will see Innovative Energy Holding acquire and take private ADES International Holding. Innovative Energy is a newly established company that will be jointly owned by the PIF, Zamil Investments and ADES Investments. ADES Investments currently holds 64% of ADES International Holding, while Zamil holds a 5% stake. Both companies will transfer their holdings to Innovative Energy after an agreement is finalized. The disclosure does not specify whether the PIF will hold the full remaining stake. The company’s shares would then be delisted from the LSE.

Why the delisting? Innovative Energy says that “as a private company … [ADES International] will benefit from a longer term approach to strategy and decision making and that ADES International will have greater flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities.”

What ADES said: The company’s board of directors judged the offer to be “fair and reasonable” and will recommend that shareholders accept it, according to the disclosure.

Why this matters: ADES is Egypt’s largest offshore driller and started life here in Egypt before going public in London in 2017. It has since expanded into Kuwait and Algeria and ramped up its revenues from Saudi Arabia in the three years since its IPO through a series of acquisitions. There’s plenty more on the company in its investor presentation here (pdf).

Advisors: EFG Hermes is acting as ADES’ financial advisor while Moelis & Company is providing financial advice to the Public Investment Fund. Investec Bank and Canaccord Genuity are acting as the corporate brokers for ADES.

SPEED ROUND: M&A WATCH

Banque Misr won’t hike its offer price for CI Capital

Banque Misr says it has no plans to hike the price it’s willing to pay to raise its stake in CI Capital to 90%, a source close to the transaction told us, confirming reports made earlier this morning on Al Mal. The story follows a statement by CI Capital saying the offer price was below a valuation reached by its financial advisor. Banque Misr lodged a mandatory tender offer at EGP 4.70 per share that’s currently ongoing and wraps up on Thursday. This is an invitation to shareholders to sell at a set price, and it’s the right of shareholders to sell if they want to, sources said. The offer price is close to a market average determined by several research houses, they added.

Banque Misr reasons that the actual value of the transaction is substantially higher because of an employee ESOP: If the ongoing MTO sees Banque Misr acquire more than 51% of CI Capital, this would trigger a post-acquisition Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The ESOP will mean BM will end up paying an additional EGP 212 mn in stock options to CI Capital’s employees as a retention and incentive scheme, the newspaper noted, citing a source. This means that the agreement values CI Capital at the EGP 4.7 bn flat transaction price plus the added EGP 212 mn payout to employees under the ESOP, the source said.

What’s happening here: CI Capital’s board yesterday said in a regulatory filing that BM’s mandatory tender offer price, which values the company at some EGP 4.7 bn, is too low when benchmarked against an independent valuation report. BM currently owns a 24.7% stake in the financial services firm and has lodged an MTO for up to 653 mn more shares to get 90% ownership. The state-owned bank became CI Capital’s largest shareholder last August when it acquired an additional 11% stake.

On the question of what’s a fair price: Sell-side analysts have set target prices for the share in the EGP 5 range, including EGP 5.00 (Pharos), EGP 5.20 (Prime) and EGP 5.47 (HC). The source we spoke to says that the target price is something an investor could believe will happen in the long term, and not necessarily a market value. As things stand, the bank’s offer is a chance for shareholders willing to sell and make a shorter-term gain.

Still, CI Capital is asking for more: The firm is asking for EGP 5.60 per share, 19% higher than Banque Misr’s current bid. This is based on a fair value report by its financial advisor, Baker-Tilly Wahid Abdel Ghaffar & Co, which priced the company’s shares at EGP 5.60 apiece in case of snapping up more than 51% of shares, and at EGP 5.73 if buying up to 51%, valuing the firm anywhere between EGP 5.6-5.73 bn. Banque Misr has previously resisted market pressure to bump up its offer.

Does this mean the acquisition could be called off? MTOs are considered successful if more than 51% of the targeted shares subscribe to the offer price. But a bidder has the right to ask for the FRA’s approval and snap up less shares through the MTO, meaning BM could still end up raising its ownership stake by buying out certain shareholders in CI Capital even if the latter’s board objects to the MTO price.

Would Banque Misr look at another target? The source refused to comment on whether an unsuccessful MTO would lead BM to turn away from the bid altogether and declined to comment on any future or alternative plans to acquire another investment bank.

SPEED ROUND: AROUND THE WORLD

Turkey’s FM says Ankara really wants to patch things up with Cairo

Turkey is interested in negotiating maritime issues in the East Med with Egypt and hopes that “a new page can be turned in [their] relationship with Egypt,” Turkish Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said in an interview with Bloomberg. Turkey also hopes to mend relations with Egypt’s Gulf allies, Kalin said, and to address with Egypt other issues including governance in Libya and the Palestinian peace process. His comments follow statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who last week said that Egypt and Turkey could soon reach an agreement on the Eastern Mediterranean maritime borders.

Egypt denied it was in unilateral negotiations over a demarcation agreement with Turkey in the East Med, unnamed diplomatic sources reportedly told Arab News, following Cavusoglu’s statements. Egypt will not negotiate without the presence of Cyprus and Greece, the sources said, reiterating Egypt’s rejection of the maritime agreement between Libya and Turkey.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is in Cairo and Cyprus today and will discuss the continuing tensions with Turkey with Foreign Minister Sameh Shourky as well as Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Cairo, and with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides in Nicosia, according to a statement from the Greece’s foreign ministry.

CATCH UP QUICK-

Brent crude oil prices continue to rise following attacks on Aramco facility by Yemen’s Houthis yesterday, CNBC reports. The international benchmark Brent crude futures rose as much as 2.9% to USD 71.38 / bbl this morning in Asia, its highest level in 14 months, amid concerns about the security and stability of energy supplies, the FT reports. Oil prices were already on good footing following last week’s OPEC+ meeting, where the cartel voted to maintain current supply curbs. The attacks targeted an Aramco petroleum tank in Ras Tanura and a facility in Dhahran, but neither attack resulted in injury, loss of life or property, the Saudi Energy Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

GO WITH THE FLOW

The markets on 8 March 2021

The EGX30 fell 0.9% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.33 bn (9.8% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is up 5.7% YTD.

In the green: AMOC (+3.2%), MM Group (+1.6%) and Orascom Financial (+1.3%).

In the red: Pioneers (-4.3%), GB Auto (-2.7%) and TMG (-2.4%).

WORTH LISTENING

Highlighting the brilliant women who have joined us on Making It

Hear it straight from the mouths of Egypt’s women business leaders: Among the privileges of this job is the chance to speak with leaders of all backgrounds to get their perspective on life and work here in Egypt. In honor of International Women’s Day, we thought it would be appropriate to get a refresher on the insights some of these women business leaders shared with us on Making It.

Juggling family and business: Our first ever guests in the studio were Abeer El Sisi and her husband Karim El Sahy who together co-founded AI digital assistant Elves. Joining us on the eve of giving birth to her third child, Abeer spoke with us on what it takes to work with your spouse and the importance of the division of labor both at home and at the office. Abeer manages the eponymous “elves” who are the go-between of the user and the AI engine that drives the service. She spoke with us on building such a team and the importance of building a unified corporate culture (listen, runtime: 29:13).

Succession in a male-dominated industry: Jeweler Azza Fahmy has been celebrated for rising up in an industry dominated by men, and her two daughters who have joined the company are planning to carry that legacy forward. Azza Fahmy CEO Fatma Ghali — who spearheaded the expansion of the brand outside of Egypt — sat down with us on how ultimately the market will judge on creativity and innovation more than gender. “I’ve never felt challenged being a woman. I have challenges as a business, but I’ve never gone into a meeting thinking I’m at a disadvantage because I’m a woman,” Ghali told us (listen, runtime: 29:27).

Pricing art to the masses: TAM Gallery Co-Founder Lina Mowafy started her business an online gallery that aimed to give new artists a chance to break into the Egyptian art world. Fast forward less than a decade later, and the online gallery is now complemented by a physical art space in 6 of October City as well as TAM Corporate that integrates art into public spaces. But beyond giving exposure to up and coming artists, Mowafy has the hard job of putting a price on art — which beyond being culturally significant is a major asset class in its own right. You’ll catch some good art investing tips here (listen, runtime: 29:19).

Creating a household name: Another duo, Nola Founder Laila Sedky and her brother Adel Sedky, the CEO, created one of the most recognizable brands in the confectionary business. Laila and Adel understand the business of selling happiness. Their tenure at Nola saw them grow the brand beyond the flagship store in Zamalek and their ambition grow to wanting to take it abroad. From leading the local cupcake craze to making pivotal decisions on the sustainability of their brand and the subsequent reorienting of their customers, all while dishing out fresh and exciting takes on classic Egyptian desserts, Laila and Adel are experts at marketing and operations, looking beyond trends, and separating between work and family (listen, runtime: 38:51).

The natural advantages of a woman entrepreneur: TPay Mobile CEO Sahar Salama introduced cutting edge technologies into Egypt’s fintech scene by creating a payment solution through telecom operators. During our sitdown, Salama brought up a study that says that women entrepreneurs have a higher success rate than their male counterparts, which she argues has to do with how women function as the activities they do in a day-to-day business shows complex processing and execution capabilities. “This nature, if coupled with experience and education…makes women always do things differently” (listen, runtime: 30:52).

Women in STEM have gone from a trickle to a stream: Managing Director of SAP Egypt and Frontier Markets Hoda Mansour has achieved three-digit-growth for the enterprise software developer in the country and has proved the business’s resilience throughout the covid-19 pandemic. Mansour has long been an advocate for women joining STEM fields saying that while she was in the minority while studying in university “but so what?” She told us that she’s been seeing more women enter the sector and at the time of the interview, SAP Egypt had more women than men at the company. Mansour was twice recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential businesswomen in the Middle East in 2018 and 2020, and recently ranked #26 in Forbes’ Middle East’s Power Businesswomen 2021 list (listen, runtime: 37:10).

One of our own in Silicon Valley: We talked to software superstar Nancy Zayed co-founder of MagicCube along with her husband Hisham Shawki on rising in the hub of tech innovations. And what a rise it was: Zayed’s 10-year tenure at Apple saw her secure the company’s second Emmy for her work on Final Cut. And she happened to have met Steve Jobs. Not resting on her laurels, she created with Shawki MagicCube — a company that aims to eliminate the redundancy of hardware-based security devices. The company has managed to secure investments last year from Visa and CVentures (listen, runtime: 42:18).

Zayed gives her take on gender equality in a Q&A on MagicCube’s website.

Consolidating healthcare in the time of covid: Integrated Diagnostics Holding CEO Hend El Sherbini transformed her mother’s testing facility MK Lab in Egypt into a regional diagnostics powerhouse with local players Al Mokhtabar and Al Borg under its belt as well as other facilities across Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria and Jordan. El Sherbini speaks to the merits of institutionalizing her family business and highlights the role consolidation plays in enabling affordable healthcare. Especially in light of the covid-19 pandemic. Today, the London Stock Exchange-listed diagnostics giant is working towards a listing on the Egyptian Stock Exchange that could take place later this year. El Sherbini recently ranked #25 in Forbes’ Middle East’s Power Businesswomen 2021 list (listen, runtime: 42:58).

Making It is also available on: Our Website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Omny | Anghami.

WORTH READING

Come to Riyadh — or else

Saudi’s aggressive “Move In or Lose Out” ultimatum puts businesses on edge: Many international businesses and investors are working out their next moves after Saudi Arabia threatened to withhold government contracts unless they move their regional headquarters to Riyadh, a move that aims to pull multinationals from Dubai, according to the Financial Times. Businesses are being given until the beginning of 2024 to relocate, after which state-owned entities will “cease contracting with companies and commercial institutions with regional headquarters not located in the kingdom,” Saudi state news agency SPA reported last month.

This is all in service of MbS’s grandiose regional ambitions: Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (MbS) wants to establish Saudi Arabia as a regional business hub, attracting the world’s largest companies to set up shop in the King Abdullah Financial District — a huge development comprising 59 skyscrapers — instead of the UAE, the favored destination of most multinationals. The government is investing USD 220 bn to develop the city, with the ambition of transforming the capital into one of the world’s 10 biggest cities by the end of the decade.

Time for Plan B: MbS is resorting to Operation Arm Twist after his offer of lucrative tax breaks earlier this year failed to turn heads. In an initiative launched in January dubbed “Programme HQ,” the kingdom announced it would offer companies a 50-year exemption from corporate taxes, remove them from hiring quotas, and protect them from future regulations if they set up their headquarters in Riyadh. The programme didn’t go down as expected when only 24 companies agreed provisionally to move. “My sense is they didn’t get as big a splash as they would like so they have ratcheted it up,” a Gulf-based executive told the salmon-colored paper. “They wanted more like 100.”

The kingdom has leverage but…? Despite being the region’s largest economy, the world’s biggest oil exporter and the vast sums of government investment in the economy, many multinationals continue to have concerns about committing to Saudi Arabia. The country’s conservative culture and poor education, as well as its human rights record exemplified by MbS’s alleged involvement in the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, all count against it.

PARTING SHOT

Happy International Women’s Day to all our women readers. We know you’re a special bunch — leading businesses, pioneering industries, and making an impact in every sector — and we’ve been honored to talk to some of you on our podcast Making It.

We’ve made some progress here in Egypt in the past 12 months, notably including the Financial Regulatory Authority’s order that all listed companies must have at least one woman board member by this year. The regulator has also said it is drawing up a code of ethics to clamp down on harassment in the workplace, and the country has worked curb [redacted] harassment by presenting changes to the criminal code designed to protect victims’ personal data, while

This year’s IWD theme is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a covid-19 world,” highlighting the role women have been playing at the forefront of the global health crisis as health workers, caregivers, country leaders, and innovators, according to the World Economic Forum.

The whole world has a long way to go, though: Covid-19 has disproportionately affected women, who have been 1.8x more likely than men to have lost their jobs or livelihoods during the crisis, Sanda Ojiambo writes in an op-ed for The Financial Times. Women are also at a higher risk of exposure to the virus, as they constitute nearly 70% of all healthcare workers, while also working in essential services such as teachers, cleaners, and store attendants. Philanthropist Melinda Gates puts the cost of gender inequality in the USD tns.

CALENDAR

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

8 March (Monday): The IDC Future of Work Egypt conference will be held virtually featuring experts from Egypt and Jordan.

11 March (Thursday): AmCham event featuring Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.

9-11 March (Tuesday-Thursday): EduGate 2021 – Enter The Future conference, Kempinski Royal Maxim Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

11-12 March (Thursday-Friday): Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok will arrive for a two-day visit to follow up on GERD talks.

11-13 March (Thursday-Saturday): Cairo Fashion & Tex trade show, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt

11-14 March (Thursday-Sunday): First edition of Afaq Real Estate Expo, Tolip El Galaa Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

11-15 March (Thursday – Monday): Al Bazaar fair for handicrafts and house decors, Cairo International Conference Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

11-20 March (Thursday-Saturday): Photopia’s Cairo Photo Week 2021 will take place with this year’s theme being Depth OFF Field.

16 March (Tuesday): AmCham webinar featuring business tech expert Patrick Schwerdtfeger.

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

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

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.

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.

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 interest 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 June-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 interest rates.

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.

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

30 June- 15 July: National Book Fair.

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 interest 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 interest 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 interest 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 interest 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. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.