Good afternoon, everyone, and the capital markets-intensive newsweek continues.
Is the state privatization program finally waking up from its slumber? We begin with Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik, who revealed that two or three state-owned companies will sell shares on the EGX in 3Q2021. We have chapter and verse in the Speed Round below.
The news comes as Taaleem looks set to make its trading debut on Wednesday. Shares in the higher education management company will begin trading on the EGX on 7 April under the ticker TALM.
Taaleem raised EGP 2 bn after wrapping up the sale of 49% of its shares to institutional and retail investors, the EGX announced on its daily newsfeed. Retail investors snapped up 5% of the 357.8 mn shares offered on the stock exchange at EGP 5.75 apiece in an offering that was more than 29x oversubscribed when it closed last week. They now own 2.45% of the company. Institutional investors, meanwhile, bought the remaining 95% to hold 46.55% of all outstanding shares. The private placement portion of the IPO was 2.34x oversubscribed.
Another good week for startups? Sawari Ventures closed its EGP 440 mn Egypt-focused tech fund, bringing the total value up for offer to Egyptian companies under a unified platform with a Netherlands-based fund to north of EGP 1 bn. It becomes the latest in a series of funds that have been securing investments to channel to startups, after private equity firm Ezdehar said it may be looking at a first close for its second fund, worth USD 120 mn, at the end of May. We expect more announcements to come.
HAPPENING NOW- The Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group are now officially underway. Central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics currently discussing how to ensure debt sustainability for economic recovery in west and central Africa. The topics up for discussion for the rest of the meetings — which run through next Sunday, 11 April — include the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, aid effectiveness, and the global financial system. Some events will be open to the public and can be streamed live from the World Bank’s platform.
The IMF’s updated World Economic Outlook is also due out tomorrow, which you can find here on the report’s landing page when it is out.
CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from this morning’s issue of EnterpriseAM:
- Egypt's FX reserves inched up by almost USD 140 mn in March to USD 40.34 bn.
- Egypt could impose stricter measures in April and May to combat a third wave of covid-19.
- Dual-fuel vehicles delivered in the pilot phase of the government’s natgas transition plan are now on the road.
Stock market regulators will meet to discuss potentially introducing restrictions on margin trading, Rania Yacoub, a member of the Financial Regulatory Authority’s (FRA) advisory committee, told the local press today. The FRA will sit down with representatives from the EGX and clearinghouse MCDR to discuss proposals including a maximum limit on the volume of margin trades allowed for each security, investor, and for the market as a whole, the authority’s deputy chairman, Islam Azzam, said in a statement.
This is what industry players wanted: Representatives from a handful of brokerages and custodians recently called for the maximum limits after the volume of high-risk margin transactions reached EGP 5 bn on the EGX. It’s expected to increase further as the FRA has green-lit a new EGP 1 bn+ fund to support margin lending in a bid to boost trading volumes.
The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Egypt is organizing a webinar on the government's Real Estate Wealth Inventory and Management Project in collaboration with LYNX Strategic Business Advisors tomorrow at 4pm. The event’s keynote speaker will be Egypt’s Deputy ICT Minister Khaled El Attar who will discuss administrative development, digital transformation and automation. He will be joined by Carrefour COO Hervé Majidier, Tameer CEO Antoine El Khoury, and Voltalia Egypt Country Manager Karim Elazzawi. You can register for the event using this form.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
ITIDA is hosting the ‘Hangout with VCs’ event this Thursday, 8 April in collaboration with The Financial Times’ The Next Web — a well-established global network of investors and VCs focusing on tech — that will be presented with Egyptian startups, according to a press release (pdf). Startups can submit applications until the day of the event here.
The Spring Flowers Exhibit (Ma3rad El Zohoor) is currently taking place at Orman Botanical Garden in Giza. More than 200 exhibitors have set up shop to sell flowers, plants, agricultural products, and gardening equipment. The exhibit runs through 13 April.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
Users of Google Maps app will soon be directed to the route with the lowest carbon footprint if it has a similar ETA as the fastest route, in line with Google’s commitment to be the first multinational to go carbon free by 2030, the company said in a blog post last week. The feature is also part of Google’s plans to bring over 100 AI-powered improvements to the real-time mapping app, including adding a feature that will guide you through indoor malls, airports, stadiums and other large public places in the near future.
A long time phone manufacturer hangs their hat: LG Electronics will close its mobile phone manufacturing business by the end of July to instead focus on growth areas such as EV components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, AI, and B2B solutions, the company said in a statement. Phones constituted 8.2% of LG sales last year and while there will be a short-term loss of revenue, the company expects the closure to be financially favorable in the long run, reports Bloomberg. Investors signalled a similar sentiment with LG shares rising 4.1% following the announcement.
The Bank of Japan began testing a digital JPY, joining other central banks worldwide who have been ramping up testing on digital currencies. The BoJ is starting phase 1 testing on issuing the digital currency, which will be conducted until March 2022 and will focus on ore functions such as issuance, distribution and redemption, it said in a press release (pdf). The Japanese central bank will then proceed with plans for phase 2 that will examine more detailed functions including setting limits on the amount of digital JPY each entity can hold, according to Reuters. BOJ Executive Director Shinichi Uchida hinted at the possibility of launching a payments and end-user trial phase.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(All times in CLT)
Some of us aren’t crying because of this movie (sob). We have allergies. But it is pretty sad: The 2016 film Moonlight visualizes a boy’s internal struggles across several stages of his life, doing so adeptly and with amazing camera work and a powerfully minimalist script. The film follows Chiron, an African-American living in Miami, who struggles with his race and identity throughout his childhood, adolescence, adulthood with each stage depicted separately. The Oscar-winning film is ultimately quite sad and it made at least one of us here in Enterprise cry. The film is “looking to prompt empathy and introspection most of all,” The Atlantic says, while The New York Times attempts to sum up Chiron’s confusion with a few questions “How tough are you supposed to be? How cruel? How tender? How brave? And how are you supposed to learn?” You can watch Moonlight on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Catch the Barcelona match today in La Liga, as Valladolid faces off against Barcelona at 9pm.
Meanwhile, gameweek 30 in the English Premier League is coming to an end today, with Everton to play against Crystal Palace at 7pm and Wolves to go up against West Ham at 9:15pm.
In our local Premier League, Al Ittihad and Al Mokawloon will hit the field at 7pm.
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
The French Institute in Cairo is holding the opening for exhibition Maalesh by Léon Dubois today. Dubois travelled across the Mediterranean and documented his journey, the cities he saw, and the overall atmosphere using his camera. The exhibition will run until 6 May.
Agouza’s Cairo Jazz Club has on Tourkey and Selim tonight for Closed Circuit at 8pm. The DJing duo will spin their set Lines.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
Come Fly the World explores history during the 1960s and 1970s through the eyes of female flight attendants flying across the globe during major world events such as the Vietnam War, decolonization in Africa, and the fight for women’s rights. Author Julia Cooke follows Pan Am flight attendants who jetted high-flyers around the world in sleek, comfortable planes, coming into contact with some of the biggest names of the time and listening in to conversations that would shift world politics and economies. The female leads of the tale come from different backgrounds and races and unite in tasks such as bringing home soldiers and evacuating children. You can check out this book review by The Washington Informer or read more about these Pan Am attendants in this piece by Conde Nast Traveler.
🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Leave your jackets at home tomorrow. The mercury is going up to 35°C during the day and will fall to 19°C at night in an unseasonably hot day tomorrow, according to our favorite weather app.