Tuesday, 25 May 2021

EnterprisePM — Private sector involvement is urgently needed for Egypt’s post-covid recovery, says European Commission



It’s been a very Ramadan-esque news day today, with diplomacy still guiding the conversation in the local and foreign press.

We’re back this afternoon with Part 2 of our exclusive interview with EFG Hermes CEO Karim Awad, where he dives deeper into EFG Hermes’ forays into merchant banking and direct investment, as well as the expansion abroad of its NBFS arm. Karim also discusses what’s next for the debt market, and what obstacles foreign institutional investors see in Egypt.

Missed Part 1? You can catch Awad speaking on the nuances of EFG Hermes’ acquisition of the Arab Investment Bank in cooperation with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt and what that means for privatization here.

AND SPEAKING OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR-LED GROWTH- The European Commission is urging that it take a leading role in Egypt’s post-covid recovery. In a report that was out earlier this month, the commission looks at how the pandemic has affected our economic reform agenda and what it would take to bounce back. We dive deep into the report in the Speed Round below.

The IMF is still not out with a staff report on Egypt’s economic performance and policies as of dispatch time. The report is due to be released today, according to IMF Executive Director Mahmoud Mohieldin.

PSA- The Health Ministry has launched at-home vaccinations for people unable to head to vaccine centers, including the paralyzed and people with physical challenges, Office Director to the Assistant Minister of Health Ramy Galal told Amr Adib on El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 04:28). Galal added that individuals can request a vaccine to be delivered by registering on the Health Ministry website and then calling the hotline 15335. The ministry will then determine whether they are eligible for an at-home vaccine.

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

  • Egypt’s refinancing costs leaves it vulnerable to high debt levels: Egypt, along with South Africa, Ghana and Kenya, are the four EMs that could suffer most from elevated debt refinancing costs due to its high FX needs, S&P Global Research said.
  • Agri-fintech startup Mozare3 has landed a seven-figure investment in a pre-seed round led by our friends at Algebra Ventures and Mohamed Okasha’s Distruptech.
  • Egypt diplo star rises: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had his second call with US President Joe Biden in less than a week to discuss reviving the Palestine-Israel peace process after Egypt successfully brokered a ceasefire agreement that ended 11 days of violence in Gaza.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Madbouly cabinet has recalled a draft law that is part of the long-awaited automotive strategy, and had been slated for discussions in the House of Representatives, according to a letter seen by Enterprise. The reasons behind the decision are still unclear. The House is expected to discuss several different bills that set a legislative framework to uplift the auto industry through incentives, infrastructure improvements, and trade agreements with other countries. Cabinet had approved the overall strategy last year, but revealed very few of its fine details. The draft law that was recalled this morning was one of the legislative provisions required to kickstart the plan.

What we know about the strategy: We reported last year that a cornerstone of the new plan would be to provide customs discounts to manufacturers on a sliding scale linked to the percentage of locally-produced content they use, as well as introduce a new ‘value-added rule’ to calculate domestic content used when deciding whether a car qualifies as locally-made.

Several other bills have also now made it back to the drawing board, after having been with legislators. Details on these pieces of legislation are scant and little-reported on by the local press. We’ll be keeping an eye on them and will come out with updates as they come to us. They include:

  • Three as-of-yet unspecified amendments to the 1973 Traffic Act;
  • A bill which aims to promote exports;
  • A bill to introduce legislation to regulate nature reserves;
  • Changes to the 1981 Education Act; and
  • Amendments to a law regulating Egypt’s fisheries.

IN DIPLO NEWS, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has landed in the Middle East today, in a four-city tour dedicated to maintaining the Gaza-Israel ceasefire, reports Reuters. Blinken’s first stop is in Jerusalem, where he’ll be sitting down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before heading to Ramallah for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. An anonymous senior State Department official told the newswire that it was too early for wider peace talks between Israel and Palestine, and reiterated the potential of a two-state solution.

Blinken’s next stops will bring him to Cairo and Amman in the coming days, but no timeline has yet been provided.

The Regeni case is back in the news: Italian prosecutors have asked the judge presiding over the case of the death of Giulio Regeni to put four members of Egypt’s security services on trial, Reuters reports. It remains unclear if the judge would make a ruling before day-end, though “any full trial would be unlikely to start before the summer recess,” writes the newswire.


The European Union is hosting a webinar in Egypt tomorrow to discuss the outcomes of the Inclusive Economic Growth Program which supports SMEs to bolster the economy and promote inclusive growth, according to a press release (pdf). The EU-funded program has carried out initiatives to develop sustainable tourism and heritage sites, among others. The webinar will feature Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt Tobais Krause as well as Assistant to the Minister of International Cooperation and Supervisor of the European Cooperation Sector Sherihan Bekheit. You can register for the webinar here.

Day two of the British Egyptian Business Association’s (BEBA) Healthcare Virtual Week is tomorrow. The session will offer solutions on how to digitize Egypt’s healthcare industry. The event starts at 12pm and you can register here.

BEBA will also hold a virtual conversation with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla on 7 June to discuss the sector’s achievements. You can register through this link.



The El Gouna International Squash Open 2021 is ongoing and runs until Friday. Fans will be allowed to enter the stands, with the first few match days without charge and tickets to be sold for the semis and finals. You can also watch the matches live on PSA Squash YouTube page. The event is supported by our good friends at CIB. Five Egyptian men have made it to the third round of the top half of the tournament, while in the women’s tournament, four Egyptians are still standing in the final legs of the competition.

Meanwhile, the CIB PSA World Tour Finals will run on 22-27 June in Cairo.

Bibliotheca Alexandria is organizing a webinar to discuss safekeeping artifacts and heritage this Thursday. Headlined “Fighting treasure hunting from Africa for the Americas: Protecting the history of the drowning world,” it will feature University of Edinburgh’s Arturo Rey da Silva. You can tune in live at 2:30pm from the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies’ Facebook page.

There are 14 days left to apply for the 2021 edition of Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition, according to a press release (pdf). The Jack Ma Foundation’s philanthropic program aims to shed light on and support Africa’s entrepreneurial talent. This year’s competition will see 10 finalists split a USD 1.5 mn cash prize, access mentorship programs, and more. You can apply through their website.


Amazon could soon acquire the Hollywood studio MGM Holdings for an estimated USD 9 bn as soon as next week, in Amazon’s second largest acquisition since Whole Food’s USD 13.7 bn agreement, writes The Wall Street Journal. The potential takeover will transform the film studio — which dates back to the silent-film era — into a digital streaming service provider. The studio is behind hits such as Rocky, the James Bond franchise, Pink Panther, and Singin’ in the Rain.

First Facebook, then Amazon, and now Google under an antitrust probe: Germany’s antitrust regulator announced opening two investigations into European units of Google and its parent company, Alphabet, on allegations of anti-competitive practices, according to a statement today. The probe aims to determine whether the breadth of Google’s digital products is resulting in illegal cross-market monopolization. The investigation — the biggest Google has faced in the region since the EU collected more than USD 9 bn in fines in 2019 for antitrust violations — follows the application of a new law late last year giving German authorities a sharper teeth to clamp down on tech giants, with similar proceedings launched recently against Amazon and Facebook.


Netflix Original The Woman in The Window is a claustrophobic murder thriller that promises to be different than anything you’ve seen before. The film’s main character Anna Fox is an agoraphobe (someone afraid to leave their own home) and witnesses a murder from her window. When she starts to probe the issue with her neighbors, she begins getting threats and eventually comes face to face with the aspiring serial killer. The Woman in The Window is one of those movies where plot twists jump out several times towards the end of the film and leave you reeling. The New York Times and Town and Country Magazine are out with reviews.

The Egyptian Premier League has three matches on today: Wadi Degla is playing against Al Gaish at 7pm, while Al Ittihad will go up against El Gouna and Aswan against Misr Lel Makkasa, both at 9pm.


Maadi’s Korean restaurant Gaya will get you right when you walk through the door with a good whiff of food that makes our stomach growl even if we weren’t that hungry. Gaya’s appetizers aren’t to be missed, and we insist you try the seafood pancake (you can thank us later). Their main courses come in a steaming plate of aromatic goodness, and we recommend the beef bulgogi — with a side of fried rice too and you’re good to go. It’s good to step out of your culinary comfort zone once in a while, and Gaya is a great place to ensure you love the new experience.


Become a master of negotiation with The Five Tool Negotiator by Russell Korobkin. The UCLA law professor comes up with five tools that help you identify, communicate, and achieve the best possible outcomes in a negotiation whether it’s buying a used car or a multi-mn business acquisition. Korobkin describes negotiations as “both a strategic and social activity” and he makes sure to outline all the different questions that should be revolving in your head as you try to bargain, as well as what your counterpart is also thinking. The book brings to life concepts from the fields of psychology, economics, and game theory, all while retelling interesting anecdotes and incorporating fascinating social science experiments.

???? TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We’re in for daytime highs of 39°C tomorrow, falling to 21°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.


EFG Hermes’ Awad on forays into merchant banking, foreign expansion of NBFS arm, and what’s next for the debt market. — part 2 of 2

Part two of our exclusive with EFG Hermes Group CEO Karim Awad continues this afternoon with a look at what’s next for EFG — and for the market in Egypt. If you missed Part 1 — where Awad dives deep into the Arab Investment Bank (AIB) acquisition and teaming up with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt — you can check it out here.

Among the key takeaways of part two:

  • EFG Hermes is still in investment mode — merchant banking and direct investment are on the menu.
  • The NBFS arm could grow outside Egypt, starting with valU in Saudi Arabia.
  • The biggest obstacle to the return of international institutional investors? The absence of new, large-cap names.
  • The debt market has been a shining star for companies looking to mobilize the capital they need to grow.

E: EFG went down this road before with Bank Audi. What’s different this time?

A: Primarily that there are huge chances for synergies between EFG Hermes today and AIB. It’s not a financial investment.

E: Will merchant banking still be on the menu for you going forward?

A: Absolutely. What we’re doing now is completing a pivot that started with our generating cash by exiting the Lebanese commercial bank at the right time. Some of that cash we returned to shareholders. Some of it we used to create the NBFI platform. Part of it is allowing us now to enter into our partnership with the SFE on the bank. And some of that cash has and will allow us to pursue merchant banking, private equity and other direct investments in the future. Look at EFG Hermes EV Fintech — it’s a partnership that acknowledges our industry is going to be shaken up by tech, and we want to be at the forefront of that conversation.

E: EFG Hermes is a global name outside Egypt — you’re the top-ranked broker in Kenya, you’re growing in KSA, you’re in Pakistan and Vietnam. But your NBFS platform is Egypt-only. Does the model scale outside of Egypt?

A: We wanted to make sure we had the business model right, and we’re now convinced we do. That’s why we’re seriously looking at which of our NBFI brands could work in which of our other markets — for example, we think valU could do really well in Saudi Arabia. ValU has been a great story for us in Egypt, and we think that as a fintech solution, it’s definitely exportable to Saudi Arabia, and we have three other markets that we could consider.

But you need to remember here that the market in Egypt is just huge, from NBFI to commercial banking, and it’s going to keep us very busy for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, the growth of the investment banking market has naturally been slower, and that’s why we started building our franchise outside with that end of the business. We’ve closed IPOs in Saudi Arabia, we’re working on transactions in the UAE, we’ve done cross-border M&A and we have a great brokerage market share.

E: What is next for EFG as an investment bank?

A: I think we’ve done a really good job building the franchise outside of Egypt, and I’m extremely happy with progress in important markets like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. As you said, we’re number one by market share in Kenya, which we entered just 2-3 years ago. We want to see more market share in KSA, and we want to grow our presence in frontier emerging markets, especially when it comes to the advisory side of the business.

E: Let’s turn back to the market here at home. When will foreign investors come back to Egypt? They’re the natural constituency to appreciate what you announced last week with AIB.

I think the issue with the stock market today is that the amount of investable paper is limited. The simple fact is that larger institutional investors demand large cap stocks in which to invest, and they want to see more diversity on the EGX in terms of names that represent the depth of the Egyptian economy.

E: So what’s going to bring them back?

A: A large IPO of a state-owned company. Or a large transaction like a [fintech player] Fawry or [education outfit] CIRA that has size and that puts on offer a sector to the economy without which they didn’t have access before. But more than anything else, they need more large caps. The simple fact is that a USD 100 mn IPO is going to attract a few foreign investors, but not all of the classes of foreign investors that you need.

Go back to when the market was doing USD 200-300 mn a day you had a lot of large caps with freefloats big enough that institutions could get in and get out on a daily basis. Today you have CIB, you have Fawry, you have Eastern and maybe Elsewedy. We have what, three constituents in the MSCI [Emerging Markets Index]? Back in 2010, the comparable figure was in the range of 10-11. We need to see good, fundamentally sound large caps that have significant growth potential.

E: What do your equity and IPO pipelines look like?

A: Healthy [smiles]. Look, we have good pipelines on both M&A and equity, but execution will always remain a function of markets.

But there is a disconnect right now: We think the economy is doing extremely well and the stock market does not reflect that at all. There is a huge disconnect that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. It’s the opposite of the concern that some pundits have in looking at wesstern markets.

E: I think we probably want to close with a look at debt markets. If things have been slow on the equity front and picking up on M&A, they’ve been comparatively torrid on debt.

A: Developments in the debt market have frankly been extraordinary. Where the equity market has lagged, the debt market has been doing extremely well, in no small part thanks to the fact that the various regulators have really made it a priority to make debt more tradeable. We’ve seen a nice boom in issuances, from securitization and sukuk to corporate bonds. It’s a very healthy development, because debt is the backbone of any capital market globally.

E: But commercial paper and corporate bonds have been … slow. And securitization has really seemed to be the province of NBFS players and the real estate industry.

A: We want to see more commercial paper come to market, and we’ve put our money where our mouth is in that respect — we were among the first to issue commercial paper recently for our brokerage business. We see it super-interesting avenue for financing.

Look, the market — for commercial paper, for bonds, for securitization — it’s snowballing. It takes time, but we’re at the start of a really strong period of growth. And remember: The banks and investment banks usually go to the most obvious clients to start, right? That’s why you’re seeing a lot of real estate and a lot of NBFI players.

I think the changes now being discussed to allow landlords and schools and clubs and the like to securitize future cashflows is a really good development that will bring another class of clients to the market that weren’t there before. I’m optimistic.


Egypt’s post-covid growth will need increased private sector involvement –European Commission

Egypt needs to involve the non-oil private sector in its sustainable covid recovery plan, according to an economic brief by the European Commission. The removal of non-tariff barriers and the levelling of the playing field between public and private companies should activate the private sector’s potential for job creation and growth, the report suggests. “Strong population growth amid low participation rates calls for a redoubling of efforts to make Egypt’s post-COVID growth path more inclusive and sustainable, with the non-oil private sector at its core,” the report reads.

Egypt fared better during covid than its peers: Moderating inflation allowed for lower monetary policy rates. Foreign exchange reserves, meanwhile, were replenished to USD 40.3 bn at the end of April, thanks in part to the government’s FX-denominated Eurobond and green bond issuances last year, and exchange rates have remained fairly stable since early 2020. The fiscal deficit also enjoyed stability amid high uncertainty, the report says. While the initial stimulus deployed only amounted to 1.8% of GDP — comparatively less than in other countries — “an immediate policy response has helped the economy to withstand the worst repercussions and maintain a positive, albeit easing, growth profile.

That said, Structural reform plans were hampered by covid-19: While Egypt’s 2016 IMF-supported reform program left the country in a strong fiscal position as covid-19 took its toll on the global economy, the government had to shift its focus to stabilization, rather than building a more sustainable, inclusive economy, the report says. With Egypt still heavily dependent on the tourism and oil and gas sectors, bans on international travel and oil price slumps put pressure on Egypt’s current account. Since the government’s focus is geared towards macro stabilization, redoubled effort is needed to broaden and deepen the structural reform agenda of the renewed IMF program to achieve more sustainable and inclusive growth, the report suggests.

Worryingly, the non-oil private sector struggled most, the report says. Even prior to the covid-19 crisis, the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) had largely lingered just below the 50-point neutral threshold, in contrast to the general performance of the economy. April’s reading came in at 47.7, marking a fifth month of contractions for the country’s non-oil private sector. The share of private businesses in total domestic credit almost halved between 2010 and 2020, with the industrial and service sectors suffering most. This is because in times of uncertainty, banks find it safer to lend to the public sector. “While strong public sector involvement can dampen volatility in a crisis, it can also limit the breathing space of private sector activity,” the report notes.

But private sector employment potential is key to meeting the challenge of Egypt’s ever growing population. The most recent unemployment data puts Egypt’s jobless population at 7.2%, but does not track the distribution of labor force participation across the public vs private sector. As per the report, it can be assumed that job losses sustained during covid-19 were mostly in the private sector, which could further skew labor force dynamics and result in severe labor market mismatches in the future. Moreover, employment increased in sectors with low added value and declining productivity. “More dynamic private sector employment and a better alignment between the educational system and labour market needs will be indispensable to meet the challenge of absorbing the large number of new entrants into the labour market each year,” it states.

So what do we need to do to sustainably and inclusively move forward? Firstly, capitalize on global value chain disruptions that occurred during covid. Given Egypt’s strategic geographic location, Egypt could position itself as an attractive partner for international firms looking to strengthen links in the region, especially in the automotive, chemical and textile sectors.

Secondly, remove trade barriers such as import bans and registration requirements to improve our competitiveness. This also includes automating customs procedures — which the government has already initiated through the Customs Authority’s new National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation — and streamlining customs services and storage royalties. Thirdly, leveling the playing field to nourish competition, which is already happening through the reform of competition policy legislation.

And finally, digitalize the economy, and fast. This will increase transparency, efficiency, social safety and healthcare services. The government has undertaken a number of recent efforts towards this goal, including reducing red tape for digital and SME lenders and implementing upgrades to Egypt’s network infrastructure.


IDH obtains USD 45 mn in financing from IFC

Consumer healthcare giant Integrated Diagnostics Holdings (IDH) has secured a USD 45 mn debt financing package from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), according to a press release (pdf). The eight-year loan will be used to finance the recently EGX-listed company’s growth plans in high growth emerging markets, in addition to its current presence in Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria and Sudan. Additionally, the financing will also be used in expanding IDH’s medical services and testing, with a particular focus on covid-19 testing in Egypt and Jordan, the statement reads.

Advisers: Renaissance Capital advised IDH on the transactions. Clifford Chance was appointed legal counsel to IDH in England and the US, while Nour & Partners in Association with Al Tamimi & Company are acting as the local legal counsel to IDH.


Raya Holding is back into the green

EARNINGS WATCH- Raya reverses its net loss position in 1Q2021: Raya Holding reported a bottom line of EGP 35.8 mn in 1Q2021, reversing a EGP 68.8 mn net loss incurred in the first quarter of last year, according to its quarterly financials (pdf). This came as the topline nearly doubled to EGP 4 bn during the quarter, up from EGP 2.4 bn in 1Q2020.

Middle East Glass Manufacturing Company's bottom line more than doubled to EGP 69 mn in 1Q2021, up from EGP 31 mn in the same quarter last year, the company told the EGX.


The EGX30 fell 2.13% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.24 bn (2.5% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 2.89% YTD.

In the green: MM Group (+0.7%).

In the red: Sodic (-6.2%), ElSewedy Electric (-4.1%) and Ezz Steel (-4.1%).


Music that promises better sleep, less stress

Binaural beats are being touted as a form of sound-wave therapy that helps reduce stress and anxiety, induce sleep, and enhance focus. While this might sound like hippy-dippy nonsense, the concept behind it is somewhat rooted in science — as long as you listen using headphones or earbuds, according to PopDust.

So how does it work? Binaural beats create an auditory illusion by playing on the difference between sound frequencies, as measured in Hertz (HZ). Binaural beat tracks will play slightly different Hz frequencies in each ear, hence the need for headphones or earbuds for the illusion to work. While people are capable of hearing sounds that vibrate at a frequency of anywhere from 20 to 20k Hz, binaural beats usually stay under 1k Hz, while the different sounds in each ear stay at most 30 Hz away from each other. When your brain is hit with two different frequencies at once, it attempts to create a unified version by synchronizing both into a new third sound that exists only in your head. Many believe this process results in a deep meditation of the brain.

Show us the science please: The musical form has had promising results when tested to relieve anxiety in emergency room patients or depressive symptoms in elderly residents of nursing homes. In the studies, the hospital patients reported less anxiety, while the latter study had more tangible results, with older people who listened to binaural beats found to have a lower heart rate, blood pressure, and heart rate variability. Many studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of the audible therapy, and this journal article explores how and why binaural beats have an effect on the brain, testing its effect on creativity, mood, attention, and vigilance.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have its critics, with some researchers suggesting evidence of binaural beats’ benefits are slim, and faulting the existing research for its small sample sizes and unreplicable experiments. Discover Magazine highlights some examples where binaural beats actually reduced people’s accuracy when performing tasks.

Want to check it out anyway? Call it a placebo effect or a solution to busy work days, it can’t hurt to turn on some background music and see where it takes you. You can find musical creations for basically any purpose you need with a quick YouTube search, but here are some videos you can check out: positive energy, deep sleep, focus and energy, memory, and stress relief.


20-28 May (Thursday-Friday): Gouna International Squash Open 2021.

24-26 May (Monday-Wednesday): British Egyptian Business Association virtual healthcare week.

26 May (Wednesday): The European Union is hosting a webinar in Egypt to discuss the outcomes of the Inclusive Economic Growth Program. You can register for the webinar here.

26 May (Wednesday): Final day for Africa-based startups to apply for the French government-sponsored AFD Digital Challenge (pdf).

27-29 May (Thursday-Saturday): Informa Markets’ Nextmove real estate exhibition, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City.

30 May (Sunday): Al Mal GTM is organizing the Portfolio Egypt conference under the theme ‘Growth under the weight of the pandemic.’

31 May (Monday): Egypt is hosting Trescon Global’s World AI Show with the support of ITIDA.

7 June (Monday): British Egyptian Business Association hosts an event featuring Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.

11-14 June (Friday-Monday): Egypt will organize the first edition of the Heads of African Investment Promotion Bodies Forum in Sharm El Sheikh

14 June (Monday): Egypt's Green Economy Forum.

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

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

22-27 June (Tuesday-Sunday): The CIB PSA World Tour Finals for 2020-2021 will take place in Cairo.

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

30 June (Wednesday): 30 June Revolution Day.

30 June- 15 July: National Book Fair.

July + August: Thanaweya Amma exams take place.

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

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

1 July (Thursday): Businesses importing goods at seaports will need to file shipping documents and cargo data digitally to the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system.

15 June (Saturday): EGX-listed will have to complete filing their financial disclosures for the period ended 31 March.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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