Tuesday, 25 January 2022

PM — It’s almost the weekend

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Happy hump day and welcome to what is the second-to-last afternoon of this shortened week, ladies and gentlemen. The news cycle is picking up steam today, with big stories to keep an eye on both here at home and abroad.

PSA- It’s officially a four-day workweek for everyone in the nation: The EGX confirmed that it will be closed this Thursday in observance of the 25 January Revolution / Police Day. The Manpower Ministry, central bank, and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly have in recent days announced that banks and the public and private sectors will have the day off.

THE BIG STORIES TODAY-

#1- We have our first listing of 2022: Al Khair River for Development and Investment’s (aka Nahr El Khair) shares began trading on the EGX this morning under the ticker KRDI.CA, according to a statement (pdf) from the EGX. Shares in the company rose 169% in its EGX debut, closing at EGP 0.269.

#2- Edita Food Industries will invest around EGP 400 mn to add new production lines for their baked goods and wafers segments in 2022, IR director Menna Shams El Din told Enterprise, confirming a report from Al Mal. The investments will also go towards expanding operations at its recently inaugurated production facility in Morocco, Shams El Din said.

HAPPENING NOW-

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune met at Ittihadiya today, according to a statement. The two leaders discussed cooperation between the two countries on geopolitical issues, agreeing to work together on pushing for peace in Libya and Palestine. El Sisi and Tebboune also discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, reiterating the importance of reaching a fair agreement on filling and operating the dam. The two sides agreed to hold a joint higher committee that would involve the prime ministers of both countries “as soon as possible.”

The IMF is kicking off the press briefing for the release of its World Economic Outlook update shortly after we hit “send” on this afternoon’s edition. The report looks at the forecast for the global economy in the midst of rising inflation, continued supply chain snags, and the emergence of the omicron variant.

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

  • We’re spending a whole lot more on wheat: The rise in global wheat prices will cost us an additional EGP 12 bn this fiscal year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said yesterday. We could also be facing more price rises as conflict in the Donbas could have an impact on Egypt and other wheat dependent countries in MENA.
  • Samurai bonds coming in 1H2022: Egypt aims to sell around USD 500 mn of JPY-denominated bonds in Japan by the end of June, Maait said.
  • EBRD writes USD 100 mn check for Scatec’s green bond: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will subscribe to almost a third of Scatec Solar’s upcoming green bond issuance, which will use the proceeds to support its solar plants in Benban.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

The Ukraine tensions are still getting plenty of ink this afternoon, as the US and UK’s move to beef up their troops in eastern Europe is drawing “great concern” from Moscow, according to Reuters. The economic effects of the tensions are also featured heavily in the coverage, with Bloomberg noting that Qatar would not be able to fill a natural gas supply gap for Europe if Russian gas flows were interrupted because of sanctions. Meanwhile, Poland’s currency is collateral damage in all of this, with the PLN falling against the EUR partially due to the country’s “dependence on energy imports from Russia,” according to the business information service.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Startups have until next Sunday, 30 January to apply for the spring 2022 cycle of EGBank’s Mint Incubator. The incubator offers two tracks: A sector-agnostic track for startups at the MVP stage, and a fintech track that accepts early-stage startups both at the ideation and MVP stages. Main founders must be between 16-35 years old. You can apply here.

The Cairo International Book Fair starts this Thursday at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. Members of the public will be allowed to enter without providing proof of vaccination, the Culture Ministry said last week. The two-week event runs through to 7 February.

Catch an art exhibition for a good cause: The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and AlexBank are organizing the first art exhibition by marginalized children in partnership with Townhouse Gallery, Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, and Ubuntu Art Gallery, according to a press release (pdf). The exhibition will showcase work from art workshops attended by 250 children from institutions such as Banati Foundation, Samusocial International, Association for the Protection of the Environment, Educate Me Foundation, the UNHCR, and Save the Children International. The opening of the exhibition is slated for 13 February before opening its doors to the public at Townhouse Gallery from 14-19 February.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Beware the windy Wednesday: Our favorite weather app is telling us to expect a daytime high of just 11°C on Wednesday along with stiff winds and a chance of up to 5 mm of rain. At night the mercury will fall to 6°C.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Hyundai’s crystal ball says the global chip shortage could ease next quarter: The South Korean automaker expects its vehicle production to rebound in the first half of this year as the capacity of the global semiconductor industry rises during 2Q2022, Executive Vice President Seo Gang Hyun said in a conference call, reports Reuters. The omicron variant will continue to disrupt chip manufacturing in Asia as lockdowns are set and cases spread, but the impact should begin to subside in the coming months, he added. Hyundai and its affiliate Kia have forecast a 12.1% y-o-y jump in their combined global sales in 2022, after the past year saw the two companies fall almost 4% short of a target of 6.92 mn vehicles due to the chip shortages.

Meta’s promise of internet at no charge ended up costing the world’s poorest USD mns. Software problems at Meta / Facebook, which the company knew about and failed to fix, led to the company’s efforts to the world’s poorest online through apps and services to backfire, reports The Wall Street Journal. The plan, which saw the company reach agreements in 2015, with cellular carriers in countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, was meant to allow people from low-income brackets to use a limited version of Facebook and other websites without data charges through internet.org. Internal company documents showed that many of these ended up being charged for them, resulting in people unknowingly being charged for using data worth up to USD 7.8 mn monthly for the fiscal year ended July 2021.

WATCH THIS SPACE- VCs poured USD 1.4 bn into publishing startups in the US and Europe in 2021, doubling their investments from previous years, as interest in specialized publications that can attract a “loyal, engaged community of readers” grows, reports Bloomberg. Publications are increasingly monetizing through digital subscriptions, licensing, advertising and commercial ventures, and only expanding into adjacent fields once they have secured a passionate and loyal reader base. Competing in general interest categories is still proving to be challenging — not to mention expensive — for most publishers.

The Beatles memorabilia will be featured in the digital auction, Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection, with items including outfits worn by John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s handwritten notes, reports Rolling Stone. The items, which are being offered as audio-visual non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by John Lennon’s son, are available as images with narration by Julian Lennon (in other words, buyers won’t actually take anything home). The items include three Gibson guitars that belonged to Lennon, which are expected to sell for USD 6-8 k, Lennon’s black cape from the film Help!, among other clothing items, which are expected to sell for USD 8-20 k and handwritten notes written by Paul McCartney for the song Hey Jude, which is expected to go for USD 50-70 k. Part of the proceeds from the sales of the NFTs will go to Lennon’s White Feather Foundation.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

The Gilded Age shows the dark side of 19th-century New York high society + Confidence Culture argues against the notion of women’s confidence adding to inequality

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(all times CLT)

The Gilded Age is a new period drama by the creators of Downton Abbey: Also created by Julian Fellowes, the series takes place in 19th-century New York high society as old money clashes with the recently wealthy. The main character, Bertha, is of the latter group and tries to fit in with the obscenely rich crowd, which she now lives among. Bertha, George and their younger child, Gladys soon move into a manor in a high-end neighborhood and the clashes begin as the neighbors are less than welcoming to the newcomers. However, Bertha soon finds a friend in Agnes — a woman who married into old money — who shows Bertha that under all the shine and glamor is a lot of lies, immorality, and unhappiness. You can find the show on OSN Streaming, or check out a review from Glamour.

Today in Afcon: Senegal will face Cape Verde at 6pm today in the round of 16, while the match between Morocco and Malawi will start at 9pm.

Yesterday's results: Cameroon managed to end the Comoros’ Afcon journey and eliminate them with a score of 2-1. Meanwhile, Gambia beat Guinea 1-0 and qualified to face Cameroon in the round of 8.

🍔 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

We love burgers with a twist, and Arabella Plaza’s Bulldog Burger gives us just that. They have a short menu with only a handful of sandwiches that come with unexpected toppings that end up working well together (or you can play it safe and order an original burger or hotdog). We recommend their basil burger that comes with basil, balsamic sauce, and mozzarella cheese. They also have a corn bomb burger (spicy corn mix and chili sauce) as well as their signature bulldog burger that has bacon, pineapple, red cheddar, and the house sauce. As for hot dogs, their crack jack is an easy choice, topped with potato chips, ranch, and cheddar, while delish relish comes with spicy corn mix and rocca. Bulldog Burger also gives the option of creating your own sandwich in case you like to come up with your own culinary masterpieces.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(all times CLT)

Scene Noise and Cairo Jazz Club are bringing the latest edition of Fresh Meat, featuring emerging artists in the rap scene. The event will bring to the stage Uzu, Mosalem, Azwed and rap collective, Ka2en while DJ Mekki will play opening and closing sets. Catch the event today at 8pm at Agouza’s Cairo Jazz Club.

SunCity Mall is hosting a chess tournament on Thursday at 1pm.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Women’s confidence is not the culprit behind inequality: Poor self-esteem and imposter syndrome are among the main issues cited by employers on why women don’t climb the corporate ladder as fast as their male counterparts. However, in Confidence Culture, authors Shani Orgad and Rosalind Gill argue that “confidence culture demands of women near-constant introspection and vigilance in the service of self-improvement,” but fails to address the structural and systemic barriers. Instead, it puts the blame on women in more aspects of their life than just the workplace, but also body image, relationships, motherhood, and international development. The confidence culture has also become a lucrative business, with firms jumping on the wellness bandwagon and marketing their brands as promoting self-improvement and self-love. The result: Women are always pushed to work on themselves more, while institutions and societies are let off the hook for their role in adding to inequalities, writes the Financial Times.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

Meet our analyst of the week: Beltone’s Neveen Ghonima

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Neveen Ghonima, associate vice president at Beltone Financial (Linkedin).

My name is Neveen Ghonima and I’ve been covering the consumer sector for 10 years now. I graduated from AUC with a degree in business in 2011 and I obtained my masters in quantitative economics from an Erasmus Mundus joint program. I always knew that I wanted to work in research — it came naturally to me since both of my parents are academics and I grew up around that environment. I had short stints in teaching and investment banking, but it wasn’t for me and I went into equity research instead, which was a natural fit. I started at Pharos before moving to Beltone in 2016 and I’ve been there ever since.

The best part of my job is that the fast moving consumer goods sector gives me a chance to provide foreign clients with some local flavor. I like to retell my experience as a consumer using the products from the firms we cover. I give clients first hand insights into what people think of the products, how they’re selling on the shelves, what’s being marketed heavily, any new products that are coming out and what the target persona is — it’s these things that give foreign clients an added value as they get a sense of what the companies’ roles are in the day to day.

The worst part of my job is always being on call. You can’t take a few days off freely — something could happen and you’ll have to jump back in. However, it’s a blessing that research is something you can do from home and I’ve been enjoying that for a while now. I do miss the client meetings and seeing my work family, but it's good having the option to WFH when covid cases rise.

Covid has made things very dynamic when it comes to research. We have to review our forecasts more frequently than we used to and with everything going on with the supply chain crisis and commodity prices increasing, there are so many additional factors you need to consider when looking at stocks.

I think the consumer goods sector will grow in 2022 despite the omicron variant. The biggest hit would be from resumed lockdowns, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing reduced movement in the coming period. Consumption is increasing and there are new behavior trends that started in 2020 — such as people being more health conscious and using more hygiene and safety detergents — that will stick around. There have also been lifestyle changes that have accelerated due to the pandemic such as the move to online shopping and paying digitally.

I’m a purely research person so my theory of investment is, of course, to look at the fundamentals [laughs]. If strong fundamentals are there, companies will continue to grow regardless of any shocks. There might be hiccups or slowing of growth, but the existing value and potential will always propel it forward.

The most important factor I look at before recommending an investment is the management and transparency. With time and experience, you get a sense of whether the guidance they’re giving is reasonable and true. Some management teams are more credible than others and this shows when they follow through with their forward looking statements. Of course, even this is to a reasonable degree because something like covid-19 could show up and change everything.

Liquidity is the biggest issue for the EGX in 2022. The market is mostly retail now and institutions are not as active as they were before. It’s a serious overhang and some foreign investors have exited the market entirely due to it. We’re hoping that more IPOs will improve the liquidity a bit and bring back the institutional investors.

If I had to cover another industry, it would probably be non-banking financial services (NBFS). Overall, NBFS is booming and it’s a very interesting place to be, especially in Egypt. However, the consumer sector is my favorite and I can’t really think of myself in anything else [laughs].

The last great thing I watched is Don’t Look Up. It’s a bit exaggerated, but it is true in the sense that the world can be very extremely shallow. I also appreciated the climate change analogy and how the world is blind to it.

I like to read noir fiction books. My favorite is The Shadow of the Wind as I like how it depicts family dynamics. I also like The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, and Before You Go To Sleep.

In my downtime, I spend time with my children and husband. I’m the proud mother of Fouad and Farah and they occupy most of my time. When I can, I squeeze in some reading or working out. I love to run; in the early days of covid, I would start off my day with a 5k run.


MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 fell 0.6% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 688 mn (39.5% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 3.4% YTD.

In the green: Speed Medical (+2.2%), GB Auto (+2.1%) and Heliopolis Housing (+1.6%).

In the red: Fawry (-2.4%), AMOC (-2.1%) and CIB (-1.3%).

📆 CALENDAR

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

1Q2022: Swvl acquisition of Viapool expected to close.

1Q2022: Waste collection startup Bekia plans to expand to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

1Q2022: Rameda Pharma will begin selling its generic version of Merck’s oral antiviral covid-19 med.

1Q2022: Pharos Energy’s sale of 55% stake in El Fayum, Beni Suef concessions to IPR Energy Group subsidiary IPR Lake Qarun expected to close.

Early 2022: Results to be announced for the second round of the state’s gold and precious metals auction.

1H2022: Target date for IDH to close its acquisition of 50% of Islamabad Diagnostic Center.

1H2022: e-Finance’s digital healthcare service platform, eHealth, will launch its services.

1H2022: The government will respond to private companies’ bids to build desalination plants.

1H2022: Egypt’s second corporate green bond issuance expected to be announced.

January: Sovereign Sukuk Act executive regulations expected to be finalized.

January: Tenth of Ramadan dry port tender to be launched.

January: Three-month trial period of ACI for air freight to begin.

9 January – 6 February (Sunday-Sunday): 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon.

Second half of January: Egypt will host the Egyptian-Bahraini Joint Committee.

Second half of January: Regulations for installing EV charging stations will be published.

25 January (Tuesday): The IMF will release its World Economic Outlook.

25 January (Tuesday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

25 January (Tuesday): Techne Summit announces awardees of Corporate Innovation Program.

25 January – 1 February (Tuesday-Tuesday): EGX will open over the counter transactions for the National Bank of Kuwait.

25-26 January (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

26 January (Wednesday): Climathon Giza 2022.

27 January-7 February (Thursday-Monday): Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center.

27 January (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

30-31 January (Sunday-Monday): Ins. Federation of Egypt medical ins. forum.

30 January (Sunday): Apparent deadline for the Egyptian government to meet human rights-related conditions to unlock USD 130 mn in frozen US aid.

End of January: The Egyptian-Romanian business forum will take place with the aim of strengthening joint investment relations.

January-February 2022: Construction work on the Abu Qir metro upgrade will begin.

February: Hassan Allam Construction’s new construction firm established with Russia’s Titan-2 to handle construction work on the Dabaa nuclear power plant begins its operations.

February: Ghazl El Mahalla shares will begin trading on the EGX this month.

February: Suez canal transit fees set to increase 6%, exempting cruise ships and LNG carriers.

Mid-February: End of grace period to comply with new minimum wage for firms who sent in exemption requests.

Mid-February: A Hungarian delegation will arrive in Egypt for talks over a potential investment in an industrial area in the SCZone.

3 February (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

3 February (Thursday): January PMI figures for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE will be released.

4-20 February (Friday-Sunday): 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing.

11 February (Friday): Deadline for Anghami SPAC merger.

11-13 February (Friday-Sunday) FIBA Intercontinental Cup, Cairo.

14-16 February (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

14-19 February (Monday- Saturday): An art exhibition created by marginalized children will be held at Townhouse Gallery. The event is organized by the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, AlexBank, Townhouse Gallery, Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, and Ubuntu Art Gallery.

15 February (Tuesday): The Industrial Development Authority’s deadline for receiving offers from companies for licenses to manufacture steel products.

15 February (Tuesday): Orange Ventures’ deadline to receive applications from seed-stage fintech startups.

19 February (Saturday): Public universities begin the second term of the 2021-2022 academic year.

19-21 February (Saturday-Monday): Nebu Expo for Gold and Jewelry 2022.

21 February (Monday): Hearing at Cairo Economic Court (pdf) on FRA lawsuits filed against Speed Medical.

26 February (Saturday): Speed Medical will elect a new board during ordinary general assembly (pdf).

https://enterprise.press/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Speed-Medical-statement_190122.pdf

End of February: Lebanon to receive gas from Egypt via a pipeline crossing Jordan and Syria.

March: Rollout of the government financial management information system (GFMIS), a suite of electronic tools to automate the government’s financial management processes (pdf) that will replace the existing “closed” financial management system.

March: 4Q2021 earnings season.

March: Deadline for the World Health Organization’s intergovernmental negotiating body to meet to discuss binding treaty on future pandemic cooperation.

March: World Cup playoffs.

March: The government hopes to sign a final contract between El Nasr Automotive and a new partner for the local production of electric cars.

March: Target date for Saudi tech firm Brmaja to IPO on the EGX.

March: Egypt to host World Tourism Organization Middle East committee meeting.

9-18 March (Wednesday-Friday): The 55th edition of the Cairo International Fair.

15-16 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

24 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

28-29 March (Monday-Tuesday): The Egypt International Mining Show (EIMS 2022) will take place virtually.

31 March (Thursday): Deadline for submitting tax returns for individual taxpayers.

31 March (Thursday): Vodacom purchase of Vodafone Group’s stake in Vodafone Egypt expected to be completed by this date.

31 March (Thursday): Supply Ministry expected to take final decision on bread subsidies by this date.

2 April (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

3 April (Sunday): Bidding begins on the Industrial Development Authority’s license to manufacture tobacco products.

4 April (Monday): CDC Group will formally change its name to British International Investment.

22-24 April (Friday-Sunday): World Bank-IMF spring meeting, Washington D.C.

24 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday (holiday for Coptic Christians).

25 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

25 April (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day.

28 April (Thursday): National Holiday in observance of Sham El Nessim.

30 April (Saturday): Deadline for submitting corporate tax returns for companies whose financial year ends 31 December.

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2022 earnings season

May: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

1 May (Sunday): Labor Day.

3-4 May (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

5 May (Thursday): National Holiday in observance of Labor Day.

2 May (Monday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

19 May (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

14-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

15-18 June (Wednesday-Saturday): St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), St. Petersburg.

16 June (Thursday): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools.

23 June (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

27 June-3 July (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

30 June (Thursday): June 30 Revolution Day, national holiday.

End of 2Q2022: The Financial Regulatory Authority’s new Ins. Act should be approved.

End of 1H2022: Emirati industrial company M Glory Holding and the Military Production Ministry will begin the mass production of dual fuel pickup trucks that can run on natural gas.

2H2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2H2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

July: A law governing ins. for seasonal contractors will come into effect.

1 July (Friday): FY 2022-2023 begins.

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

26-27 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

18 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

September: Egypt will display its first naval exhibition with the title Naval Power.

20-21 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

22 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

6 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, national holiday.

18-20 October(Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

Late October – 14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

November: Cairo Water Week 2022.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

3 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

21 November-18 December (Monday-Sunday): 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatar.

13-14 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

22 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

End of 2022: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will complete the roll out of its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

January 2023: EGX-listed companies and non-bank lenders will submit ESG reports for the first time.

**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 above between the actual holiday and its observance.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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