Wednesday, 10 March 2021

EnterprisePM — What rising US treasury yields mean for us here in Egypt

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Hello, friends: It’s another busy newsday, with a heavy dose of macro pushing M&A out of the headlines: Inflation is inching up and our bid to become the Eastern Med’s premier energy hub just got a big shot in the arm as agreements were signed that bring the Damietta LNG plant ownership dispute to a final resolution.

Meanwhile, today’s Go with the Flow asks three of the country’s top sell-side analysts what rising US treasury yields mean for bonds, stocks, and the EGP and we have news that Fitch just reaffirmed the country’s long-term issuer rating.

(Expect more M&A news in tomorrow’s edition of EnterpriseAM. This is shaping up to be one of the the biggest weeks in a long time for M&A — by volume, if not by value.)

HAPPENING NOW- Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is in Paris today for a meeting with his counterparts from France, Germany, and Jordan. On the agenda: The Middle East peace process, including Palestine-Israel conflict, according to a cabinet statement. Shoukry will also hold bilateral talks while there.

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

No single story is dominating the global business press this afternoon. European stocks and US futures both edged higher today “as cyclical shares outperformed and the rally in the technology sector appeared to lose steam,” Bloomberg reports, adding that BTC just broke north of USD 55k. The Wall Street Journal is leading with the US House of Representatives being on track to approve a USD 1.9 tn covid-19 bailout package, while the Financial Times says officials are hammering out details for what would be the first high-level meeting between the US and China since Joe Biden took over the White House. The meeting could see top foreign policy and national securities officials meet face-to-face in Alaska.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- Nearly 80% of migrants in Egypt have lost 70-80% of their income because of covid-19, according to a report (pdf) by the Red Cross Red Crescent Global Migration Lab.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- Profit at the Dubai International Financial Center is down 74% for 2020 thanks to covid-19. DIFC is the regional home of finance stalwarts including Citi, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, among others.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #3- Elon Musk added a record USD 25 bn to his personal wealth in one day as Tesla’s stock price jumped 20% amid the Nasdaq rally yesterday, Bloomberg reports.

PSA- Have you registered to get your covid-19 vaccine yet? Senior citizens and people of any age who have an underlying health condition can sign up now in English or Arabic on the Health Ministry’s vaccine portal.

TIP: Have notes or records from your doctor on hand — you’ll need to upload them to verify your underlying health condition, which can include diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory illnesses, kidney disease or cancer. Folks who are immuno-compromised (as a result of illness or meds your physician has put you on) are also encouraged to register now.

FOR TOMORROW-

Thursday is looking really, really busy, with tons of events for you to attend if you’re vaccinated, celebrating post-covid immunity, or simply cancelling the virus:

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok will arrive for a two-day visit to follow up on GERD talks.

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla is speaking at AmCham about the mining and mineral resources sector.

Le Marché, the anchor of the annual expo scene, takes place tomorrow through Sunday 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.

Photopia’s Cairo Photo Week 2021 is kicking off tomorrow and will run 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.

The Cairo Fashion & Textile Expo trade show is set to open at the Cairo International Convention Center tomorrow, running until Saturday.

The handicraft and home decor show Al Bazaar kicks off at the Cairo International Conference Centre.

Tomorrow is your last day to check out higher education fair EduGate at Kempinski Royal Maxim 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.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Marketers League runs this Saturday and Sunday, 13-14 March, at Kundalini Grand Pyramids Hotel in Giza. This year’s theme is Beyond the Pandemic with panelists and speakers including our friend Tarek Nour (founder of Tarek Nour Communications), Ayman Hegazi (CEO of Allianz), Sherine Zaklama (CEO, Rada Research and Public Relations), and Walid Hassouna (CEO, EFG Hermes Finance).

Life coach Arfeen Khan is giving a talk at a virtual AmCham event on Monday, 15 March.

Talking sustainable manufacturing with BEBA: The British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) will host a virtual conference on how Egyptian and UK firms can work together on sustainable manufacturing projects in Africa in the post-Brexit environment on Tuesday, 23 March. Check out the agenda here (pdf).

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.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

Photo nerds, rejoice: Nikon has confirmed it’s cooking a Z9 professional mirrorless camera, promising the “best still and video performance in Nikon history” with 8k video and a built-in vertical grip. The camera should be on the street before year-end. Nikon Rumors has a rundown on what it thinks are the camera’s likely specs.

And for the tech nerds among us: Apple is rumored to have scheduled its first event of 2021 for Tuesday, 23 March. 9to5Mac says we can look forward to AirTags, a new iPad Pro and new AirPods. Expect the event — if it takes place — to run virtually. The company has also recently discontinued its (frankly fantastic) iMac Pro, leaving us wondering whether we might see a replacement for that running on Apple Silicon later this month, too.

Are you still smoking? Or quit in the last 15 years? New screening guidelines say an annual CT scan could save your life — and that the extra dose of radiation from the scan is probably a risk worth running. “There is building evidence that a pretty simple, five-minute, low-dose, low radiation scan can really save a lot of people’s lives,” the New York Times quotes a top US cancer doc as saying, adding that “about 75 to 85 percent of the cancers found with this screening are Stage 1, and curable with just surgery or radiation.” Advanced lung cancers has one of the worst mortality rates of any cancer. The WSJ and Associated Press also have the story.

Just in time for the commodities supercycle: Are we running out of sand? Yes, writes CNBC, writing that “climate scientists say it constitutes one of the greatest sustainability challenges of the 21st century.” Sand is the world’s most-consumed raw material after water and is used to make everything from roads, bridges, high-speed trains to “the glass used in every window, computer screen and smart phone. Even the production of silicon chips uses sand.” The worst thing about it? We don’t even know how fast we’re running out of it, let alone have consensus on how we might start rationing and regulating our use.

Unseen sculptures by Egypt’s Mahmoud Mokhtar are set to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s Middle East art sale, the auction house announced. The 20-30 March sale of 20th century Mideast art includes two never-before-seen sculptures by trailblazer Mahmoud Mokhtar. The pieces were bought directly from the artist by the collector Hafez Afifi Pasha — an influential politician and the first Egyptian delegate to the United Nations — and have remained in the same family for decades, writes Arab News. The first sculpture, titled “Ibn El-Balad” was Mokhtar’s university graduation project; Sothebey’s thinks it will go for USD 107-131k. The second sculpture is titled “Arous El-Nil” and will likely command USD 143-214k. Bidding will begin on 23 March — Sotheby’s has a primer on how online bidding works.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(All times in CLT)

The latest season of Last Chance U will premiere tonight on Netflix, this time focusing on basketball as it follows the East Los Angeles College Huskies, a junior college program, for their 2020 season. ELAC’s basketball team is filled with former Division I players and recruits looking to revive their careers and earn a spot at the top level of college hoops. The show looks at how the covid-19 pandemic hit the season. Previous seasons followed American football and in 2020 the show won an Emmy. You can check out the season trailer (watch, runtime: 02:19).

Pyramids will be playing against Zambia’s Nkana today at 6pm in Group D of the CAF Confederation Cup. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Premier League has Ismaily playing Al Ahly at 7:30pm tonight.

The Champions League will see PSG play Barcelona at 10pm and Liverpool face off with RB Leipzig at 10pm. The English Premier League has Manchester City versus Southampton at 8pm, while Atletico Madrid will go up against Athletic Club in La Liga.

🥐EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Head to Lokali, a laid-back Maadi restaurant that only uses fresh, local ingredients in its dishes. A female-led restaurant, Lokali is in a quiet part of Maadi that is perfect for an intimate outing with a few friends (Google Maps). Bonus: You can bring your pet to chill with you in their sunny and colorful garden area. From experience, Lokali’s guests are sure to give your furry friend a great day with lots of petting and cooing. Expect heaping portions and great taste. We love their buttermilk chicken sandwich and sweet potato lasagna — and, of course, all their burgers. Make sure you don’t leave without trying their fresh waffles: Our favorite topping combination is the salted caramel popcorn, whipped cream, and cinnamon. Check them out on Instagram @lokalieg.

MEANWHILE- Dolato Gelateria is looking to set a Guinness World Record. The ice cream shop’s Instagram feed (@dolatoeg) doesn’t say what record they’re trying to set, though.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(All times in CLT)

The French Institute in Cairo is showing its second film of African Cinema Month today at 6pm. This week’s film is “Sur les chemins de la rumba" by David-Pierre Fila.

LIVE STREAMED- The Cairo Classical Ensemble will perform Spring Love Themes at 8pm in an event organized by the AUC Center for the Arts. The ensemble performs works by Mozart, Cimarosa and Piazzolla for oboe and string quartet. You can find the livestream link in the event details.

A photography exhibit titled “Conversations with Cairo” is showing at L' Immeuble Building in Downtown Cairo.

Beatles tribute band Glass Onion is performing at the Cairo Opera House on Friday at 8pm and will be joined by Awtar Quartet. We’ve been to Glass Onion concerts before — it’s a good time.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Our Women On The Ground is a compilation of essays by Arab women reporting from the Arab world that starts off strong with a foreword by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Themes include remembrances, crossfire, resilience, exile, and transition, with essayists including Egypt’s Hannah Allam, an NPR correspondent, and Lina Atallah, Mada Masr’s editor-in-chief. Our Women On The Ground brims with new female voices offering a different view of the Middle East, pushing back on media coverage that has long been dominated by men or foreigners.


🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We’re heading back into the 20s temperature range tomorrow. Our favorite weather app expects a high of 29°C (which is still pretty high for winter) and an overnight low of 14°C.

SPEED ROUND: MACRO

Inflation edges up in February as education, tobacco costs rise

Annual urban inflation accelerated to 4.5% in February, up from 4.3% the previous month, state statistics bureau Capmas’ latest reading (pdf) showed. The increase came after a drop in January, when the headline rate fell from 5.4%, and in December, when it slowed down from November’s five-month high of 5.7%. On a monthly basis, prices ticked up 0.2%, partly reversing a drop of -0.4% in January. The story is getting attention from Reuters and Bloomberg.

The increase can be attributed to rising education, tobacco costs: It came as education costs surged 30% y-o-y nationwide Philip Morris International hiked the price of tobacco products in early February. Rent also increased on a monthly basis, as well as the price of electricity and cooking gas, Capmas said. The increase in those outpaced a drop in food prices, which fell 0.5% y-o-y after having already dropped in January and December.

Annual core inflation — which strips out volatile items such as food and fuel — remained unchanged at 3.6% in February, according to central bank figures (pdf). On a monthly basis, the core rate dropped to 0.3% from 0.5%.

Approaching the central bank’s target: The headline rate is approaching the lower band of the CBEs target, although still short of 5%, putting it below the 7% (+/- 2%) target the CBE wants to achieve by 4Q2022.

Could a commodities price rally have an impact down the road? There’s “suppressed consumer demand currently,” but the reading will rebound to a monthly average of 0.8% and a 6.4% annual rate due to a potential price shock following the recent commodity price rally, HC Securities Monette Doss said. EFG Hermes, meanwhile, left its forecast for average inflation for the rest of the year unchanged at 6%, head of macroeconomic analysis Mohamed Abou Basha told us. Commodity prices have seen strong gains since the covid-inspired market crash last March, which could put upward pressure on domestic inflation in Egypt. We took a deep dive earlier this month into what it could mean for the economy at large.

The uptick could prompt the CBE to leave rates on hold when it meets a week from tomorrow. Abou Basha is calling a hold and says that “some base effects and rising commodity prices will lift inflation slightly higher in the next few months.” Beltone Financial’s Alia Mamdouh said in a note this morning that with stable food prices stable, especially with commodity prices rising significantly in recent weeks, the CBE is expected to keep rates on hold,

The CBE could also be reluctant to spook foreign debt investors: “While inflation numbers support a 25-50 bps cut in rates, the rise in US Treasury yields and the risk for EM portfolio exits might prompt the MPC to keep rates unchanged,” Pharos’ head of research Radwa El Swaify said.

(See Go With the Flow, below, for everything you need to know about how rising US treasury yields could affect Egypt.)

The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee is due to meet on Thursday, 18 March to set interest rates. The MPC left rates unchanged during their most recent meeting on 4 February, even when inflation was falling, as it cited muted economic activity.

SPEED ROUND: ENERGY

Signed, sealed, delivered…

The eight-year Damietta LNG plant ownership dispute is now officially over after final settlement agreements were signed, the Oil Ministry said in a statement today. Some 40 agreements were signed to settle claims between the government, state-owned EGAS, plant operator Spanish Egyptian Gas Company (Segas), and Union Fenosa Gas (UGS), the JV between Naturgy and Eni, the statement said.

So who owns what now? Naturgy reached an agreement with Eni to exit UGS and redistribute ownership between EGAS and the EGPC, who will hold a combined 50%, while Eni holds the remaining 50%, the ministry said.

The plant already restarted production last month and loaded two trial shipments to China and Bangladesh. Oil Ministry spokesperson Hamdy Abdel Aziz previously told us that the final agreement to end the dispute and establish the new ownership structure marks the plant’s transition from last month’s trial run. The plant’s resumption is a key step towards our ambitions to become an energy hub and boost natgas exports to Europe.

Origins of the dispute: UGS filed a case in 2014 at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes over a disruption to gas supplies in 2012, and the arbitrator ordered Egypt to pay USD 2 bn in settlements to UGS in 2018.

SPEED ROUND: MACRO

Fitch gives long-term FX debt outlook a 👍

Fitch Ratings affirmed Egypt’s long-term FX issuer default rating at ‘B+’ with a ‘stable’ outlook. The outlook is supported by the country’s track record of fiscal and economic reforms, which authorities continued to enact, and a large economy, “which has demonstrated stability and resilience through the global health crisis,” the ratings agency said.

A better growth outlook: Fitch forecasts a real GDP growth rate of 3% in FY2020-2021, up from a grimmer 2.5% it had penciled in last July. Growth is then expected to bounce back to pre-covid levels in FY2021-2022 on the back of a recovery in tourism and Suez Canal shipping, supported by the global economic comeback, Fitch said. Inflation, which has recently been on a downward trend, is meanwhile see averaging 5% this fiscal year and 7% if FY2021-2022, levels that are “well below” FY2019-2020, which saw inflation exceed 13%.

Downsides? Fitch sees a risk in Egypt’s so-called “continued exchange rate rigidity.” It adds that we’re vulnerable to external capital outflows as foreign investors are holding more of the country’s debt as other factors weighing on Egypt’s credit outlook and macroeconomic stability. These include the fiscal deficit remaining large, and the government is running a high general debt-to-GDP ratio. Egypt is also getting weak governance scores as measured by the World Bank governance indicators.”

GO WITH THE FLOW

What do rising US treasury yields mean for bonds, stocks, and the EGP?

How will rising US treasury yields affect Egypt? The country’s all-important carry trade could come under pressure as emerging-market bonds, equities and currencies have been losing out on relative appeal as US treasury yields have surged in recent weeks from their covid-19 lows. Analysts we spoke to say FX buffers and a stable EGP, plus a high real rate offered by EGP debt, make us comparatively safe in the medium term.

But this is just relative to other EMs and a long-term increase in US treasury yields and the return of inflation globally (as the world recovers from the pandemic) could create issues for foreign portfolio investment down the road, leading to pressure on the EGP and lower foreign investor appetite for the EGX.

IN THE HOT SEAT TODAY- Pharos’ head of research Radwa El Swaify, EFG Hermes head of macro research Mohamed Abou Basha, and HC Securities chief economist Monette Doss help us digest the wider implications.

How far have US yields increased? 10-year treasuries broke above 1.6% in late February, after having closed 2020 well below 1%. It eased at the start of March, but the passage of President Joe Biden's USD 1.9 tn covid relief plan on Saturday took it back to the one-year high, and it has been fluctuating within the 1.5-1.6% range since then.

In short: treasuries now offer investors 1.5x better returns than they did earlier in the pandemic. The surge in yields guided the MSCI gauge of emerging-market stocks to a two-month low at the start of the second week of March — bringing back memories of the so-called “Taper Tantrum,” when the Fed began in 2013 to roll back its large bond-buying program, making US bonds cheaper and triggering an exodus of capital from emerging markets.

Anxiety remains particularly high that we’re about to see another wave of outflows, especially after a statement from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell last week failed to signal the Fed will act to stop surging treasury yields.

But in the medium-term, Egypt is on the safer end. “We’re relatively immune” to higher treasury yields as EGP-denominated treasuries offer high returns at lower risk compared to other EMs, Pharos’ Radwa El Swaify told us. Real rates on EGP bonds — or the yield adjusted for inflation — remain among the highest in the world. We also stayed open and were among only a handful of economies to grow despite covid, El Swaify added.

Foreign holdings of Egyptian debt recovered to exceed their pre-covid level, rising to USD 29 bn at the end of last month. This came after a pandemic-induced EMs-wide sell-off between March and May, when investors dumped 60% of their holdings. Any potential reversal to inflows should US treasury yields continue to increase is likely to weigh on this recovery.

We were recently left out of HSBC’s list of emerging markets most vulnerable to a possible tantrum. The country doesn’t fit the vulnerability profile as much as Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa — who have a history of running current account deficits or have large debt piles, plus a debt mostly held by foreigners. In Mexico, foreigners hold 46% of the government’s local-currency debt, while in Egypt this number was closer to 12% at the end of FY 2019-2020, figures from the CBE (pdf) show. Though we remain relatively less vulnerable, a high-debt-to-GDP, which currently stands at 87%, as well as structural issues, could affect our ability to handle long-term shocks.

Strong FX reserves have kept the EGP more stable: The central bank and the banking system have been building a healthy stock of FX reserves and net foreign assets, El Swaify emphasized. This has been allowing the EGP to USD exchange rate to remain stable and eliminates the risk investors would face from a sudden depreciation, she said. The stock of reserves helped the EGP remain intact even when the covid-inspired sell-off that swept EMs earlier in 2020 wiped off nearly USD 10 bn from EGP bond portfolios, she pointed out. The CBE’s stock of foreign reserves inched up to USD 40.2 bn in February, up USD 100 mn from January, but still below its pre-covid peak of USD 45.5 in February 2020.

Analysts don’t see the EGP sliding (much) against the greenback this year: The currency could depreciate by 3% vis-a-vis the USD by the end of the year as low domestic inflation inches up later in 2021 because of higher prices in the US and Europe, key trading partners for Egypt, HC’s Monette Doss told us. This would bring the EGP to USD to a little over EGP 16 per one USD, up from its current average of EGP 15.66 to the greenback. Pharos also made a close forecast late last year, seeing a nominal rate of EGP 16.00 to the USD by the end of FY2020-2021 and expecting the same annual average for three years.

But we could face more volatility this time around: While comparably less vulnerable, Egypt is more so than it was before the pandemic hit, EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abou Basha said. Foreign reserves are still short of their February 2020 peak. This means the central bank now has “relatively” less room to counteract sharp portfolio outflows or a loss of a key source of foreign currency, especially with covid still weighing on tourism receipts, Abu Basha tells us.

And we might already be witnessing slower inflows: Foreigners have been increasing their holdings by a monthly average of USD 1.25 bn so far this year, down from an average of USD 2.2 bn when the recovery from the covid slump was underway in 2H2020, Doss told us, citing her firm’s calculations. “Egyptian treasuries are currently facing higher competition due to rising yields in the USA and Turkey … [and] this is clearly reflected … with yields on 12M T-bills increasing by 30bps since the beginning of 2021.” Global inflation is also on the rise, increasing the risk of monetary tightening and higher interest rates.

Another risk of monetary tightening looms: Abou Basha doesn’t expect the low interest rate environment globally to change soon, but points out that when world central banks start to gradually tighten policy, we might see pressure on the CBE to follow suit to protect foreign inflows. This would be a reversal of the CBE’s easing cycle — and remember, lower rates are key to prompt corporates to start taking on debt to support capital expenditures.

What about the impact of rising US yields on the EGX? Foreigners are smaller players, and US yields aren't as strong a factor in attracting more of them, El Swaify told us. The primary issue for the EGX is the lack of new paper. The only time foreigners returned to the EGX “with momentum” was when Fawry went public in 2019, she added. Investors want “high growth stories,” and fintech and banking are major themes that interest foreigners as this market is highly underpenetrated.

The EGX has been suffering from a dearth of new listings in recent years: Early 2020 brought only a single new name: mid-cap real estate player Emerald (and that was even before the pandemic hit in March). There are a number of planned listings in 2021 that raise hopes the IPO pipeline will flow again, including an upcoming of 49% of CI Capital portfolio company Taaleem Management Services, a 2H2021 planned listing by non-banking financial services provider Ebtikar, and a potential dual listing by LSE-traded diagnostics powerhouse IDH.


The EGX30 fell 0.9% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.5 bn (1.6% above the 90-day average), the second day in a row it has closed in the red. Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 3.6% YTD.

In the green: Orascom Investment (+4.9%), CI Capital (+1.3%) and Sidi Kerir (+1.3%).

In the red: Ezz Steel (-2.5%), Fawry (-2.5%) and Heliopolis Housing (-2.1%).


CATCH UP QUICK on a handful of other stories that should probably be on your radar this afternoon:

  • Syria’s Antaradous will pay almost USD 40 mn (plus interest) in compensation to Amer Group and Porto Group after a Cairo Appeals Court decided on 22 February to uphold a 2019 arbitration ruling in Amer and Porto Group’s favor, Porto said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The dispute centers on a failed partnership ona project in Tartous. The case has gone through several rulings since 2019, when the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration first ruled in favor of Amer and Porto Group in 2019, ordering Antaradous to pay USD 39 mn in compensation.

CALENDAR

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

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

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

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.

13-14 March (Saturday-Sunday): The Marketers League Conference will take place at Kundalini Grand Pyramids Hotel in Giza. This year’s theme is Beyond the Pandemic.

15 March (Monday): AmCham event featuring life coach Arfeen Khan.

16 March (Tuesday): AmCham webinar featuring business tech expert Patrick Schwerdtfeger. Non-members can register here.

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.

23 March (Tuesday): The British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) virtual conference on sustainable manufacturing in Africa.

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.

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