Tuesday, 13 July 2021

EnterprisePM — Mortgages for low- and middle-income earners are now a thing

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, wonderful people, and welcome to another very brisk afternoon. The Sisi administration dominates today’s news cycle with word of a new EGP 100 bn mortgage finance initiative for low- and middle-income earners and new ESG reporting requirements for all EGX-listed companies as well as most providers of non-bank financial services. We have chapter and verse in this afternoon’s Speed Round, below.

HAPPENING NOW- Remember that new requirement that all invoices be logged with the Tax Authority? It’s real, and companies can now issue invoices through an app rolled out by the Egyptian Tax Authority, according to a press release (pdf). Companies registered with the electronic invoice system can use the app to send invoices in real time to the authority with an approved e-signature and receive notifications with updates on the status of the invoice. The application, called Egyptian eInvoicing, is available on the iOS App Store and Google Play App Store, with more options currently available for Android operating systems.

Egyptians stranded in the UAE have until Thursday, 15 July, to register their data with the Immigration Ministry to return to Cairo via Emirati carrier FlyDubai, Minister Nabila Makram said in a statement. The ministry is coordinating with as many as 38 travel agencies to repatriate people and change the route of their round-trips to Dubai-Cairo rather than from Saudi Arabia, which suspended flights with the UAE last week, with no timeframe in sight for the lifting of restrictions. As of last Wednesday, some 1.26k Egyptians had asked to return home. Stuck in the UAE? You can register here.

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

  • Tobacco license tender goes live in August: Players will be able to bid to establish Egypt’s second major tobacco company in the second iteration of a tender that was pulled earlier this year over accusations of unfair terms.
  • USD 494 arbitration ruling against Damietta Port Authority overturned: An ICC ruling had stipulated the payment as compensation to the Damietta International Ports Company in a dispute over the termination of a contract to construct a container terminal at Damietta Port.
  • MPs authorize President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to do whatever it takes to solve GERD: The mandate appears to allow the presidency to take any measure he chooses — up to and including military action — to mitigate the dam’s threat to Egypt’s water supply.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The crawler on CNBC says it all: “stock futures fall as hot inflation report overshadows better-than-expected earnings results.” JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are making bank, but the United States saw consumer prices jump sharply in June, according to new data that has the WSJ warning that “economists expect a prolonged increase in inflation, as expansion accelerates amid pandemic-related supply-and-demand imbalances.”

But the White House isn’t sure we should all be freaking out, with the Biden administration’s Council of Economic Advisors writing in a blog post that “the inflationary period after World War II is likely a better comparison for the current economic situation than the 1970s and suggests that inflation could quickly decline once supply chains are fully online and pent-up demand levels off.” Read the full post here.

YOUR MANDATORY COVID STORY- Your AstraZeneca jab isn’t going to get you into Europe: The European Union (EU) isn’t recognizing India-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccines — the ones being administered in Egypt as part of the Gavi/Covax initiative, according to the Associated Press. The EU says that the pharma company hasn’t completed the necessary paperwork on its Indian factory, including details on production practices and quality control standards. The EU’s stance has been called discriminatory by the World Health Organization, which approved the vaccine after a visit to the Serum Institute of India factory. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca shots produced in Europe have been greenlit for EU residents wishing to travel throughout the bloc.

HAPPENING TOMORROW- The EGX will hold its board elections for the 2021-2025 term. Here’s a rundown (pdf) of the candidates vying to fill board positions, updated yesterday after Porto Group Chairman Gamal Fathallah withdrew from the race.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

You have two more days to visit the Cairo International Book Fair at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event will run through 15 July and the fair’s committee has now allowed the exhibition ground to operate at 70% capacity.

The Clean Energy Business Council’s webinar Women Entrepreneurs in Canada and the Middle East is taking place on 28 July at 3pm, showcasing female entrepreneurs working in climate tech in the two regions, and highlighting the challenges they face.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

YouTube Shorts has landed in Egypt, with the new short-form video experience allowing mobile creators to edit short videos on their phones, according to a press release (pdf). Shorts’ creation tools include a multi-segment camera, music recording, the ability to add text, and automatically-added captions. The feature, which can be accessed within YouTube’s app, was rolled out in September 2020 and is already available in 26 countries. The new expansion, which includes MENA, will see Shorts brought to 100 countries worldwide.

Want to buy a ticket to the space station? Virgin Galactic says soon you can: Following bn'aire Richard Branson’s successful test flight to the edge of space at the weekend, his company plans to kick off its very own commercial ticketed space-tourism trips in 2022, the Financial Times reports. The company is aiming to make available around 400 flights a year at every spaceport. More than 600 people have already paid up to USD 130k apiece for tickets, while another 1k have each put down a USD 1k deposit to join the line when sales open. Also vying for a slice of the space tourism market: Jeff Bezos has also planned a trip to space with his Blue Origin spacecraft, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to send four passengers on a three-day orbit around earth.

Google is being asked to cough up USD 593 mn in fines after violating a French antitrust order to fairly compensate publishers for showing their news content on Google News, Bloomberg reports. This comes after the company earlier this year paid a USD 270 mn settlement fee to French regulators in an antitrust case that alleged the tech company had abused its leading role in the digital advertising sector, as well as an ongoing antitrust probe in Germany.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now on Netflix. The multidimensional storyline and ingenious visuals saw the animated film reel in the Best Animated Feature award at the Oscars and Golden Globes in 2019. The film begins with teenager Miles Morales developing mysterious powers after being bitten by a spider. Morales soon realizes that there are others who share his special, high-flying talents from across many dimensions and the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker, takes him under his wing. The team of Spider-men and spider-women team up to defeat Kingpin, a hulking villain who can open portals to other universes.

When are the international leagues coming back?

  • Ligue 1 will be the first to kick off, starting on 8 August.
  • The new Bundesliga season will commence on 13 August.
  • La Liga will also be back on screens on 13 August.
  • The English Premier League’s new season will begin on 12 September.
  • Serie A will be back on 19 September.

🍦 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

By far the best desserts we’ve ever had: This imposingly yellow shop on Road 261 in Maadi is a sweet-lover’s best-kept secret. Run by two bubbly sisters, Hagar and Hoda, Conitta had us drooling in front of their elaborate displays. Their specialties are their homemade colorful stuffed cones that you can fill with anything from Nutella and Lotus spread to white chocolate or sweet potato. To top it off, add some of their delicious soft serve. Conitta also makes a range of other desserts including oozing and gooey brownies in a variety of flavors, molten cakes, and our personal favorite, their truffle cookies which we found positively exquisite. Don’t leave without trying out their cinnamon butter truffle cookie — it will be nothing short of life-changing.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

Maadi’s Arcade Gallery is inaugurating a new month-long exhibition titled Blue tonight at 7pm.

Watch the rare conjunction of Venus and Mars tonight at a 7:30 pm event called Space1 in Sheikh Zayed, featuring professional astronomers and equipment. Space1 will kick off at 7:30.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Combining science fiction, mythology, and techno-thriller, Appleseed by Matt Bell is a one of a kind reading experience. The book weaves together three stories from different centuries and civilizations with one common denominator: climate change is ravaging the Earth and someone must combat it. In the eighteenth century, two brothers with a tense relationship trek across the land planting apple trees to profit off of in the next few years, but end up remaking the wilderness in an unsustainable way. Meanwhile, 50 years into the future, one genetic engineering and food science company now owns all the world’s resources, but its founder has decided to undo his own work for the sake of humanity. Even farther down the line, 1k years in the future, North America is covered by a massive sheet of ice and a survivor tries to find any remnants of human life. The Los Angeles Review of Books are out with a great piece on Bell’s novel.


☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We spoke too soon about 40°C weather… Tomorrow is the last day of 40°C, before the mercury goes up to 42°C and 44°C on Thursday and Friday, according to our favorite weather app. Meanwhile, Sahel is for 33°C weather tomorrow, with temperatures expected to stay in that range throughout the rest of the week.

SPEED ROUND: REAL ESTATE

Subsidized 30-year mortgages are now a thing for low- and middle-income earners

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) launched today an EGP 100 bn mortgage finance initiative for low- and middle-income earners, offering 30-year finance at a subsidized rate of 3% to qualifying borrowers, according to a CBE statement (pdf).

The program will only finance fully-finished homes, and so isn’t designed to support off-plan construction (the form that currently dominates the new-build market). Only homes that are included in the national real estate registry are eligible for finance under the program, and buyers will only be able to apply for finance for their primary residence. There is one loophole, though: Borrowers may be able to obtain finance for an unregistered home if they can pledge collateral worth as much as the home they want to buy.

THE FINE PRINT- You’re considered a low-income borrower if your monthly take home is less than 4.5k (EGP 6k per household). Borrowers in this bracket will be required to pay a 10% down payment and can access finance for homes worth up to EGP 350k. Middle income borrowers are defined as folks with monthly net salaries of no more than EGP 10k for individuals (EGP 14k per household). Middle class borrowers will need to cough up a down payment of at least 15% for homes worth up to EGP 1.1 mn and 20% for homes valued at EGP 1.1 mn to EGP 1.4 mn.

The program has generous eligibility requirements — it’s open not just to people with full-time jobs, but also to folks who are self-employed, including craftsmen. Pensioners are also eligible, provided they make a 40% down payment, and that they would be under 75 years old when the finance period concludes.

YOU CAN DIVE DEEPER with additional detail on the initiative in this CBE circular here (pdf)

Background: The new program, which was announced in March, comes after the CBE had launched last year its EGP 50 bn mortgage finance program for middle-income housing, which was a continuation of a previous initiative that ran from 2014 until January 2019. Under the previous initiative, those earning up to 40k a month were eligible for a preferential interest rate of 10% on their mortgages.

SPEED ROUND: CAPITAL MARKETS

EGX-listed companies + NBFS players will face mandatory ESG disclosures

Mandatory ESG reporting requirements are coming for EGX-listed companies and just about all NBFS players under a decree issued by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), which will force corporates to report on key environmental, social and governance metrics and principles each year at the same time as they file their annual financial statements, according to a press release (pdf).

There are two levels of compliance under the decree (details here and here):

  • EGX-listed companies and NBFS players (listed or not) with issued capital of at least EGP 100 mn need to make an annual ESG disclosure.
  • Those with issued capital of 500 mn or more will need to report on performance indicators that align with recommendations from the Task Force on Climate Financial Disclosure (TFCD), the statement said.

The reporting requirement comes into effect at the start of 2022. Companies will need to disclose quarterly the steps they’re taking to start complying with the decree, and their first full ESG disclosure is due on the same day they file their financial statements for FY2022.

BACKGROUND- The FRA is casting the requirements as part of a long-term strategy to position Egypt as a sustainable finance hub. Mainstream investors are increasingly making ESG a part of their investment decisions, and Egypt’s policymakers have taken note: The country issued its inaugural USD 750 mn green bond issuance last year (the region’s first sovereign offering of the climate-friendly securities). Our friends at CIB are following suit, becoming the first private sector entity to get clearance for a green bond. The FRA gave the nod earlier this month to its USD 100 mn offering.

NEED HELP COMPLYING? Our parent company, Inktank Investor Relations, is the leading IR and ESG reporting firm in frontier and emerging markets. If you need help or want to discuss how the new requirements apply to you, reach out to Moustafa Taalab on mtaalab@inktankIR.com or check out the firm’s credentials here (pdf).

ALSO ON THE ESG FRONT TODAY- The topic is the Financial Times’ Big Read of the day as the salmon-coloured paper looks at how investors are “weighing sovereign debt profits against human rights.” Egypt gets a mention, with the paper explaining that while we’re “very popular holding among emerging market bond managers,” our rights record is spotty.

SPEED ROUND: M&A WATCH

CI Capital board gives Banque Misr preliminary approval for Souhoola majority stake purchase

CI Capital’s board gives initial nod to the sale of a controlling stake in Souhoola to Banque Misr. The board approved in principle a non-binding offer from state-owned Banque Misr — the investment bank’s parent company — to purchase CI’s entire 98.01% stake in its consumer finance subsidiary, Souhoola, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf) today. Souhoola’s app offers in-store finance as well as car and education loans.

It’s anybody’s guess how much the transaction is worth. The board said it had signed off on a fair value report on Souhoola from Karvy Financial, which CI Capital hired last week, but doesn’t specify a value. The final value of the offer will be determined once Banque Misr completes its due diligence, which is currently underway, and submits its mandatory tender offer.

SPEED ROUND: STARTUP WATCH

Elmenus closes USD 10 mn pre-series C

Our friends at homegrown food ordering platform Elmenus closed a USD 10 mn pre-series C funding round led by Fawry, Marakez, and Luxor Capital (in the latter’s first-ever investment in MENA), according to Magnitt. Fawry’s investment comes as it targets the country’s large, fragmented restaurant industry. Elmenus will use the investment to expand their operations and increase their user base.

Elmenus expects by the end of this year to have 12k restaurants from 20 Egyptian cities on its platform and offer them new data tools to help them scale their businesses. The company is also planning to expand into new markets in Africa by the end of the year, CEO Amir Allam said in April. The statement came after former Just Eat CEO David Buttress invested an undisclosed amount in Elmenus earlier this year and joined the company’s board of directors.

ALSO FROM PLANET STARTUP- 10 startups could receive investments of up to EGP 1 mn each under a new corporate accelerator program titled Raya FutureTECH that is being launched by Raya Holdings subsidiary Raya Customer Experience and VC firm Openner, according to a press release (pdf). Under Raya FutureTECH, selected customer experience startups will participate in a three-day bootcamp, after which 10 will land investment. Participants will also receive hands-on support from Openner including mentorship on design, technology, and growth plans. Applications are open until 31 July on the Raya FutureTECH website.

GO WITH THE FLOW

Meet our analyst of the week: Naaem’s Omneya El Hammamy

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Omneya El Hammamy, associate vice president of research at Naeem Holding for Investment (Linkedin).

My name is Omneya El Hammamy and it was my dream to work in financial and capital markets. I graduated from the German University in Cairo with a double major in economics and finance, but my first job was as a retail management information systems analyst at BNP Paribas. After three years there, I decided to shift careers and began to study for the CFA. It was one of the most impactful decisions in my life and I think the CFA adds a lot of credibility in the market, not to mention the technical know-how. My entry into the field was at Prime Holding in 2015. At first I was treated like a fresh graduate since my previous job was irrelevant to the role. But I persevered and climbed up the ranks and in 2018 I joined Naeem as the associate vice president of research.

I now cover F&B, healthcare, and consumer stocks in Egypt. I think it's important to have various exposures to sectors to cultivate more diverse knowledge about the market and a better view of the economy. However, the sector I enjoy covering the most is F&B, as I use the products from the companies I cover and it makes it feel relevant to me personally.

The best part of my job is that it keeps you aware of everything that’s happening in the world, whether it's political or economic. The learning curve is very steep and the constant competition drives you to make that trek upwards by always gaining more knowledge and insight.

The worst part of my job is the stress. It gets better with time, but it’s very important to find ways to let it out. For me, I workout several times a week and also draw or paint mandalas. Both activities relax me and help me keep up with the demands of the job.

My theory of investment is to have a long-term view. I like to invest for a minimum period of 3-5 years, and that means that I put an emphasis on value investing. I look at fundamentals and how they could be affected in the long run by keeping up with regulations in the works, industry-specific issues, and the overall macroeconomic environment. I think a top-down approach at looking at the market is important as it puts things in perspective.

The most important factors I look at before recommending an investment are the business model and the management. For the business model I look at the products the firm is rolling out as well as their future outlook, while in management, it’s important to focus on their credibility and how they react in times of uncertainty and crisis.

Out of the three sectors that I cover, I think healthcare has the most potential. There are so many good indicators and developments on the way that could support a fast recovery. The pandemic has put healthcare in the limelight, and investors see its importance in the long run. We’re also expecting a lot of M&As to fuel growth in the sector. In Egypt, we’re also excited about the pharma companies who have begun to manufacture covid-19 vaccines, as it could improve retail sales and even help our exports in the sector. Meanwhile, Government initiatives such as the Universal Healthcare Act can also help boost volumes for labs, hospitals, and other medical facilities.

I don’t think 2021 will be the year of Egypt. The markets are suppressed by the GERD dispute as investors shy away from the lack of visibility on what the future holds. I think as long as this political risk remains, we won’t be seeing a turnaround story anytime soon. We’re also waiting for tourism to pick up to pre-pandemic levels, and for the vaccine rollouts to progress to provide optimism that the economy is going to recover.

If I had to expand my coverage, I’d like to cover more emerging markets. I find them interesting as they often include turnaround stories brought on by different catalysts. They’re fast paced and require you to really tie together all the events that are happening at once.

I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries lately. The last great things I watched were The Social Dilemma, The Great Hack, and Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb. I’ve also been checking out more foreign films and I really enjoyed the Spanish movie The Platform and Italian film Perfect Strangers.

The last great things I read were The 48 Laws of Power, Think and Grow Rich, and The Power of Habit.

In my down time, I’ve started trying to learn to improve my cooking skills. This was one of the discoveries I made about myself during the lockdown [laughs]. I try new recipes and experiment with different cuisines.


MARKET NEWS-

Orascom Construction will distribute dividends of USD 0.23 per share to shareholders on the Nasdaq Dubai while EGX shareholders will receive the equivalent amount in EGP, according to a disclosure (pdf). The record date is 2 August while payment will take place on 10 August.

MARKET WATCH-

The EGX30 rose 1.9% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.35 bn (10.3% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is down 3.8% YTD.

In the green: Fawry (+7.5%), Ezz Steel (+3.8%) and CIB (+2.5%).

In the red: Edita (-2.5%), Eastern Company (-1.4%) and Abou Kir Fertilizers (-0.4%).

WHAT’S NEXT

Regulators scratching their heads: DeFi – Part II

We took a look at the emerging decentralized finance space angling to disrupt the finance system in yesterday’s issue of EnterprisePM. But with its rendering of brokerages and middlemen unnecessary, and in the absence of specific legislation targeting transactions, how are regulators proposing to set a framework for this relatively new space?

A quick refresher: DeFi is an umbrella term for a raft of financial applications in cryptocurrency (mainly stablecoins), geared towards disrupting financial intermediaries and facilitating peer-to-peer transactions. DeFi transactions use blockchain, mainly Ethereum — to create “smart contracts” through which users can manage financial transactions outside the purview of traditional financial institutions. DeFi differs from regular crypto trading in that it does not require an exchange, and in that it can facilitate the tokenization of real world assets such as commodities and shares into tradeable tokens.

If this sounds like a nightmare for regulators, that’s because it is. Regulations that govern cryptocurrency projects currently also govern DeFi, though present regulation is inadequate as it assumes the presence of intermediaries in trades, which does not apply to decentralized DeFi digital asset classes. So what are regulators planning on doing about it?

The World Economic Forum published this month a policy toolkit (pdf) for DeFi, in a bid to help shape the regulation of digital asset marketplaces between countries and drive policy-making decisions. The report raised a number of issues that could prevent regulators from getting a clear handle on the sector.

#1- Governance tokens: Many DeFi projects include governance tokens that allow voting rights on certain governance decisions. As deregulated autonomous organizations (DAOs) DeFi projects do not have a centralized management that runs operations on a day to day basis. While conferring limited management rights, the tokens are also tradeable on exchanges. Regulators will need to decide whether to treat such tokens as investment vehicles, or governance tools, and how to tax and manage them accordingly.

#2- Decentralized creators: DeFi services are created through a collaborative process, typically involving a group of protocol developers, or an open source development community, who build on one another’s code base. The operation of the service is then largely automated through the protocol and smart contracts. This poses the question, at what point do regulators impose restrictions? And on whom? Developers have also argued against the regulation of source code, which some say amounts to censorship, as they consider open source projects a form of “protected speech.”

#3- The scope of trading: DeFi makes possible far more varied services than traditional crypto, including derivatives trading, insurance, credit, and savings accounts. Regulators could be more inclined to move against DeFi if it begins drawing users away from the traditional financial system and competing with conventional exchanges.

DeFi apps are also keen to resist classification as virtual asset service providers: Recent draft guidance by the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organisation that develops anti-money laundering standards, suggested expanding the definition of virtual asset service providers to include decentralized software programs. This would encompass DeFi apps, and could oblige them to begin complying with know your customer (KYC) procedures required of banks. The FATF has said it will postpone issuing its guidance until October.

Some countries have already turned their regulatory sights towards DeFi: Thailand’s SEC announced earlier this month that any activities related to DeFi may require a license from the financial regulator “in the near future.” The latest regulatory push came on the heels of the launch of the country’s first DeFi yield farming platform, Tuktuk Finance, operated by Thai crypto exchange Bitkub. At that time, the platform’s native token, TUK, immediately saw “ a several hundred dollar spike,” then plummeted just shy of USD 1 within minutes, illustrating the volatility of DeFi tokens that has both tempted investors and alarmed regulators.

And this is taking place as regulators worldwide gather speed to clamp down on crypto: Countries including Turkey and Ghana have joined Egypt, Bolivia, Nepal, Algeria and Vietnam in banning cryptocurrencies or severely restricting their use. India could soon follow suit, and is drafting legislation that aims to crack down on its crypto market later this year. In China, the government is getting serious about its anti-crypto crackdown, recently banning financial institutions and payment companies from providing services in the crypto business, and shuttering at least half of the world’s mines — located within China’s borders.

So what does all this mean for DeFi? Governments can deploy a range of regulatory actions to manage DeFi, including designing new license types, issuing guidance or expectations, or imposing prohibitive measures in the sector. Regulators can also consider an “opt in” model, where DeFi projects can voluntarily decide to comply with regulations in return for certain protections. What DeFi creators don’t want is for governments to decide to apply the same rules used to regulate crypto onto DeFi apps, thereby forcing them to comply with untailored measures that would strip DeFi of what makes it different from crypto brokerages to begin with.

Ultimately, the relative newness of the space means policy recommendations must remain adaptable: “There were no decentralized digital currency assets before 2009, and no general purpose smart contract platforms before 2015, so any recommendations about the proper treatment of an offshoot such as DeFi must consider potential and unpredictable developments in a space that is evolving rapidly,” the WEF forum report concludes.

CALENDAR

July: The government’s fuel pricing committee will meet to announce 3Q prices.

14 July (Wednesday): The EGX will hold board elections for the 2021-2025 term.

Mid-July: Legislative session expected to end.

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

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

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

23 July-11 August (Friday-Wednesday): Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

28 July (Wednesday): Clean Energy Business Council’s webinar Women entrepreneurs in clean energy (3pm)

2-4 August (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt is hosting the Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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.

3-5 September (Friday-Sunday): The World Karate Federation will hold the third competition of the 2021 Karate 1-Premier League in Cairo.

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

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

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

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.

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.

6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo.

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.

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.

May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

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.