Wednesday, 24 November 2021

PM — Booster jabs are coming to Egypt



It’s an unexpectedly brisk news day, considering it’s been a generally calm week so far. We’re certainly not complaining — especially since the biggest stories of the day here at home are all good news.


#1- Booster jabs approved for Egypt’s most at-risk: A plan to offer third shots of covid-19 vaccines to those most vulnerable to infection here at home has received government signoff, Higher Education and Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said today, according to a cabinet statement. Booster jabs will be offered to those with primary immune disorders, people taking immunosuppressive therapies, elderly people, and those with high exposure to the virus, such as healthcare workers, Abdel Ghaffar said, without specifying when the rollout would begin.

More covid news from the cabinet meeting: An app is under development to streamline submitting covid-related tests and paperwork for tourists to Egypt.

#2- OC joins Ain Sokhna green hydrogen project: Orascom Construction is joining a consortium of Norway’s Scatec, Nassif Sawiris-backed Fertiglobe, and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt to build a 100 MW green hydrogen project in Ain Sokhna, OC said in a statement (pdf). OC will be responsible for the local works on the facility, which it expects to wrap before COP27 kicks off next November.

#3- Germany’s BSH Home Appliances will begin constructing its planned EUR 30 mn oven factory in 10th of Ramadan City next year, according to a press release (pdf). The factory, which will have a production capacity of over 350k units per year, will be Bosch und Siemens Hausgerät (BSH)’s first in Africa. Construction is set to take two years, with the factory slated to come online in 2024.

^^ We’ll have more on these stories in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.


Aldar-ADQ MTO subscription period begins: The 10-day window for SODIC shareholders to subscribe to Aldar Properties and ADQ’s mandatory tender offer for 90% of SODIC kicked off this morning and wraps at the end of the trading day on Tuesday, 7 December. Aldar and ADQ are offering (pdf) EGP 20 per share.

Swiss investors in town: A delegation of 16 Swiss business leaders are wrapping up a four-day visit to kick the tires on potential cooperation, according to a cabinet statement. International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat met with the delegation earlier today to discuss the government’s structural reform program and forward-looking development plans, the statement said. The visit comes a few days after the two countries signed a cooperation agreement through 2024 that will focus on Egypt’s transition towards a green economy.

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

  • Investor confidence in Egypt is showing a “marked improvement,” EFG Hermes Group CEO Karim Awad said at EFG Hermes’ Egypt Day conference yesterday, pointing to progress on the government’s economic reform program as having a significant impact on the business climate.
  • CIB approved the allocation of USD 70 mn in proceeds from its maiden green bond issuance to fund sustainable projects in the education, banking, and food and beverage sectors.
  • Covid death toll: More than 20k Egyptians have now died as a result of covid-19. Egypt has one of the highest covid mortality rates in the world, with 5.7% of reported cases resulting in death.


Olaf Scholz taking over from Merkel as Germany’s next leader: The country’s finance minister and member of its left-leaning Social Democrat Party (SPD) will succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel early next month, with Germany’s “traffic-light” coalition having come to an agreement on joint governance. The SPD, liberal FDP, and Green parties began a joint press conference to announce their coalition agreement in Berlin as we hit “send” on this afternoon’s edition, German media reported. The news comes after almost two months of negotiations between the political parties after national elections in September, which returned a narrow victory for the SPD, while Merkel’s Christian Democrats saw their worst-ever result, forcing the party into opposition for the first time in 16 years. The story is getting wide coverage in the international press (Financial Times | Deutsche Welle | Bloomberg | Wall Street Journal | CNBC).

Biden’s oil dump barely makes a dent in prices: The announcement yesterday that the US would release 50 mn bbl of crude oil into the market as part of a coordinated effort to increase supply with a handful of other nations appears to have made little impact on prices, Bloomberg reports. Benchmark US crude had been trading lower in recent days in anticipation of the news, but WTI futures for January stabilized to trade at USD 78.39/bbl as of dispatch time, not far off YTD highs of over USD 80/bbl.

Why the ‘meh’ from the market? The contribution to the plan from partners including India, the UK, China, Japan and South Korea is set to come in below expectations, while much of the oil from US reserves will have to be returned to the stockpile by buyers, according to Bloomberg. “It doesn’t really make a big difference physically in the market today but will probably just make things worse rather than better down the road,” one analyst told Bloomberg.

Now the focus is on OPEC’s response: The Saudi and Russia-led group of oil exporting nations could clap back by halting planned supply increases for months, offsetting the impact of Biden’s dump. All eyes will now be on the OPEC+ meeting scheduled for next Thursday, 2 December, where the group will agree on January output. OPEC had rebuffed calls from the US and others to increase output at a steeper rate preceding Biden’s intervention, with key officials insisting that the market will switch into a surplus by the first quarter of next year on the back of a resurgence in covid cases in Europe and the US, Bloomberg reports.


Luxor’s 3k-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes or Rams Road will be unveiled in an opening ceremony tomorrow, according to the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry. The avenue features sphinxes and statues lined up on either side of a 3 km long walkway that connects the Karnak Temple with the Luxor Temple.

Rameda Pharma’s annual general meeting (pdf) will take place tomorrow, during which the company will decide on the sale of a 5% stake in the company from an individual shareholder to an unnamed institutional investor.

Startup gathering RiseUp starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday.


The Cairo International Film Festival kicks off its weeklong run this coming Friday.

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

☀️TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect a daytime high of 26°C tomorrow and a nighttime low of 15°C, our favorite weather app tells us.


Bye bye British monarchy, long live the Republic of Barbados: The Caribbean island nation will on Monday remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state, according to an official statement. Barbados is now becoming a republic 55 years after the country declared its independence from British rule, and more than 400 years since the first English ship arrived on its shores, Reuters reports. The move will sever the last official tie between the UK and the former British colony, in what some are hailing as a chance to break with a painful history. Barbados was England’s first solvent slave society, receiving 600k enslaved Africans over the 17th and 18th centuries, who were put to work on sugar plantations.

A domino effect? The move could pave the way for other former colonies to dump their association with the British monarchy once and for all, with Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines said to be considering following Barbados’ lead, according to Reuters, while Canada and Australia may also have pause to reconsider keeping the British monarch as their head of state.

Apple is taking the Israeli spyware group behind Pegasus to court: The tech giant is suing Israel’s NSO Group, accusing it of an “egregious, deliberate and concerted effort” to target and attack its users, the company said in a statement today. Apple is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages as well as an order to stop NSO from using any of its devices or services. This comes months after Apple uncovered an NSO “zero-click” ransomware attack that runs through iMessage that allows hackers to access iPhones remotely. NSO started making headlines after its Pegasus hacks helped foreign governments hack the mobile phones of heads of state, diplomats and military chiefs worldwide, including in Egypt. In response to all the controversy, NSO claimed that Pegasus helped governments “catch paedophiles and terrorists.” Picking up the story are The Financial Times | Reuters | BBC

Paris Hilton is going big on the NFT craze, contributing an undisclosed amount to USD 20 mn raised by NFT foundation Origyn, reports Bloomberg. The USD 300 mn Swiss foundation is aiming to allow users to authenticate items of value with digital certificates using their smartphone. Hilton has been riding out the NFT trend for the past year and a half and has also backed Origin Protocol, a decentralized NFT platform. NFTs have seen a recent boom in popularity, with Christie’s making waves earlier this week with their sale of a digital collage — along with an NFT to ensure authenticity — for a whopping USD 69.6 mn.


Netflix’s first Arabic reality TV show is all about drag racing + The almighty checklist inspires an entire book


(all times CLT)

Netflix’s first Arabic reality TV show: The Fastest takes the Arab World’s love for fast cars and pits contestants from across the region against each other in a series of drag races, in six episodes narrated by Saudi actor and comedian Tarek Al-Harbi. Racers from KSA, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon and Syria compete, and share the stories of how they got into racing, with several women taking the wheel. One thing’s for sure: They did not skimp on their cars, riding everything from Camaros to Ferraris. The race tracks are also a unique element to the show, with each race taking place at a different location (like an airport). Each episode sees one racer eliminated from the competition and the victor at the end of the reality TV show is awarded USD 50k. Whether you’re into supercars or just some plain drama, The Fastest is an enjoyable, adrenaline-filled look into a little-examined phenomenon in the Arab World.

Group A: The City and PSG clash is lighting up the Night of Champions: Manchester City meets Paris Saint-Germain at 10pm in a group A Champions League match that is attracting the attention of football fans around the world. City currently leads the group by only a point ahead of PSG. The other match in the group between Club Brugge and Leipzig at 10pm will decide if Brugge will qualify for the round of 16 and if Leipzig will reach the Europa League.

Group standings: Manchester City (9 points) – PSG (8 points) – Club Brugges (4 points) – Leipzig (1 point).

Group B: Liverpool will face Porto at 10pm without any pressure after easily qualifying for the next round. The Portuguese team won’t be all that breezy as they fight to maintain the second position, especially with the expected pressure from Atletico Madrid, who will face Milan at 10pm. Many expect to witness a fluctuation in the standings tonight.

Group standings: Liverpool (12 points) – Porto (5 points) – Atletico (4 points) – Milan (1 point).

Group C: Ajax Amsterdam, who officially qualified, goes out to face Besiktas, who is at the bottom of the group, at 7:45pm, while Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund (the second and third with the same number of points and the same hopes of qualifying) compete at 10pm.

Group standings: Ajax (12 points) – Lisbon (6 points) – Dortmund (6 points) – Besiktas (zero).

Group D: Inter Milan hosts Shakhtar Donetsk at 7:45pm, which is a chance for the Italian club to lead the group, even temporarily, before the match between Real Madrid and Sheriff Tiraspol at 10pm. Theoretically, all four teams still have a chance of qualifying and the final results might come at the last minute of the next round.

Group standings: Madrid (9 points) – Inter (7 points) – Sheriff (6 points) – Shakhtar (1 point).


(all times CLT)

Local band The Sinatras are taking the stage at El Sawy Culturewheel tomorrow at 8pm. They will be joined by vocalist Youssef Gabriel and are set to play songs by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and more.

Take a tour of Al Sayyida Nafisa Cemetery with Athar Lina on Saturday at 10am. The tour will take you all over the area to explore mausoleums, domes, and mosques. You can register here.


Don’t doubt the power of a checklist: In The Checklist Manifesto, surgeon and writer Atul Gawande shows how the simple checklist has been nothing short of revolutionary. Checklists were first introduced by the US Airforce to help pilots fly sophisticated planes, Gawande explains, but checklists are now a common feature of every aspect of our life. Gawande tells stories of how checklists are now integrated into medicine, disaster response, investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all sorts — to say nothing of personal task lists. The book isn’t just a love letter to checklists; it also acts as a guide on how to break down tasks in a way that gets things right every time around.


Market roundup on 24 November

The EGX30 fell 0.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 897 mn (38.5% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is up 4.7% YTD.

In the green: EFG Hermes (+6.7%), GB Auto (+4.3%) and Gadwa for Industrial Development (+2.3%).

In the red: Rameda (-4.1%), Fawry (-2.5%) and Credit Agricole Egypt (-1.4%).


Corporate phishing is on the rise, with several high-profile phishing scams making global headlines of late. Hackers made off with the data of mns of Robinhood users at the start of the month, using social engineering tactics to gain access to 5 mn email addresses and 2 mn full names through an employee of the digital trading platform. Meanwhile, the US brought charges in early November against one Ukranian and one Russian in connection with the Russia-linked REvil ransomware attack earlier this year which targeted US businesses and government entities, including multinational software company Kaseya. Add to that the surge in cryptocurrency-related scams, such as when hackers stole USD mns from DeFi platform bZx through a phishing scheme targeting a company employee, and the online world seems to be turning into a hacker’s Wild West fantasy.

But what exactly is corporate phishing? Bad actors on the internet try to breach online security systems to gain access to companies’ data — often through surprisingly unsophisticated methods. Often, it’s a strange-looking email landing in the inbox of a company employee from an unknown contact, or someone impersonating a known contact. The email will use social engineering tactics — psychological manipulation techniques employed to gain someone’s trust — to attempt to get the recipient to click through to an innocent-seeming link. The link usually allows the attacker to install malware on the employee’s device, granting access to company files through vulnerabilities in their digital systems.

Phishing is on the rise here at home as well: We’ve been hearing of more phishing attacks taking place here, where homegrown hackers have also been targeting employees over the phone. Fraudsters appeared to have gotten their hands on one or more telemarketing lists and were placing calls in which they used social engineering tactics, pretending to be the Central Bank of Egypt or your bank of choice, to try to brow beat you out of your personal information back in September. The tactics, in a call one of us received, included aggressive threats of fines and frozen accounts if we didn’t cough up the information they wanted.

Why do some of us fall for it? The psychology behind phishing is also fairly simple. Hackers exploit people’s natural inclination to trust, and our tendency to respond to a sense of urgency. Scammers put pressure on their mark to respond quickly to the request, not leaving us time to engage our analytical brains, and will often stress the confidentiality of the matter so that the employee is discouraged to ask colleagues for a second opinion, according to cybersecurity firm Egress. New employees are especially likely to be targeted, as are people with busy, stressful positions who may be expected to respond to communications around the clock, Egress says. New hires may be less familiar with usual practice and hesitant to ask for help from colleagues, while overworked employees are more likely to lose concentration and make impulsive decisions.

So, what happens in a data breach? In a successful phishing attempt, the hackers will either get their victim to hand over sensitive information or successfully install malware on the victim’s device, according to security news and research firm CSO. In the first scenario, the hackers, newly armed with an employee’s login credentials, are then able to enter company files and steal sensitive data, either to leak it, sell it on, or use it to launch further attacks on company clients. In the second scenario, the malware infects the company’s computer systems with code that serves the hackers’ purposes. That could mean adware, spyware, or, as is common in corporate contexts, ransomware: When company data is irretrievably locked up until a ransom is paid up to the scammers.

You need to be watching your inbox: More than 35% of over 10k companies surveyed by ransomware protection firm Barracuda were targeted by so-called bait attacks this past September, with each company receiving on average three bait emails. These attacks see hackers send very short or even blank emails to potential marks, and are meant to suss out how likely a recipient is to reply. Once the employee hits send, they’re “on the hook”: Further emails will arrive persuading them to divulge sensitive or financial information in preparation for a hack attempt. Usually sent through newly set-up Gmail accounts, these attacks are both hard to trace and, because they don’t contain much information, near impossible for phishing filters to detect.

But phishing has evolved into more than just an email problem: Most of us know to think twice before clicking on links or responding to emails sent by unknown contacts but hackers now have more angles of attack. Employees have sprawling online identities that stretch across multiple platforms — and many of us are guilty of recycling the same passwords for email, workflow platforms, messenger and video apps, cloud-based work files and even bank accounts. If one password falls into the wrong hands, it can open up multiple entry points to a company’s online work and storage spaces.

Humans are the weakest link: Digital security startup SlashNext calls multi-channel digital attacks “human hacking,” writing in its 2021 Human Hacking Report that, “humans are the most porous cybersecurity entry points into an organization.” Last July saw the number of active, malicious URLs for use in phishing scams peak at over 1 mn — a more than 40% y-o-y increase — as attackers sought to capitalize on the Tokyo Olympics with fake ticket offers meant to steal credentials, according to the SlashNext report. Meanwhile, 85% of all online data breaches involve human interaction, according to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report 2021.

How can you spot and prevent a phishing attack? Look for anything that seems “off.” Warning signs include typos and poor grammar (or the lack of typos from a busy exec); a bank asking for or sharing account information, which in the vast majority of cases should only be done over a secure digital platform; and messages from unknown contacts, or from known contacts who usually contact the recipient via other channels, cybersecurity experts tell The Conversation. For more red flags, check out this useful resource from security awareness training provider KnowBe4 (pdf).

But it's not just an individual responsibility. Company managers should also work to lay the groundwork to protect their organizations from phishing attacks before disaster hits. The UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre recommends that all companies put in place an incident response plan and run drills to practice it. The plan should cover everything from how to quickly force a password reset if credentials are compromised, to the staff member responsible for removing malware from the system. Its Exercise In A Box tool allows companies to test their resilience against attacks in a safe environment.

Awareness is the best defense: The first and most important step is to make sure all company employees know what phishing is. Armed with that knowledge, when an odd message comes into an employee inbox on any digital communications platform, they will already be alert to the potential danger.

The bottom line: Never click on a suspicious-looking email or link; never give out sensitive information, including personal credentials, passwords or account information, over a non-secure platform; and never be intimidated into thinking that it’s wrong to verify someone’s identity before carrying out their request. If in doubt, trust your instincts and take the issue up the line to a more senior member of staff.


November: The French-Egyptian Business Forum is set to take place in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

November: Egypt will host another round of talks to reach a potential Egyptian-Eurasian trade agreement, which can significantly contribute to increasing the volume of Egyptian exports to the Russia-led bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

22-24 November (Monday-Wednesday): The Home Appliances and Table Show (HATS Egypt) is taking place, organized by the Engineering Export Council of Egypt.

24 November-7 December (Wednesday-Tuesday): Designated period for SODIC shareholders to subscribe to Aldar Properties and ADQ’s mandatory tender offer (pdf).

25 November (Thursday): Rameda Pharma’s annual general meeting (pdf), at which it will decide on the sale of a 5% stake in the company from an individual shareholder to an unnamed institutional investor.

25 November (Thursday): Ibnsina Pharma’s extraordinary general assembly meeting (pdf) to discuss the company’s planned capital increase to EGP 280 mn through a share issuance.

25-27 November (Thursday-Saturday): RiseUp Summit, Cairo, Egypt.

26 November-5 December (Friday-Sunday): The 43rd Cairo International Film Festival.

28 November-1 December (Sunday-Wednesday): Creative Industry Summit, Nile Ritz-Carlton.

29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Centre.

30 November (Tuesday): Launch of open call by KfW for green project proposals in Egypt as part of their Investing for Employment facility (pdf).

End of November: El Nasr Automotive expects to have found a replacement for Dongfeng as its partner for its local EV assembly plans.

1 December (Wednesday): Unvaccinated members of the public will be banned from government buildings from this date; unvaccinated students will be prevented from accessing university campuses.

1 December (Wednesday): Government departments will begin moving to offices in the new capital.

2 December (Thursday): The 23rd OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting.

5 December (Sunday): Purchasing managers’ index figures for November for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will be released.

7-8 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): North Africa Trade Finance Summit.

8-10 December (Wednesday-Friday): Global Forum for Higher Education and Scientific Research (GFHS), Cairo, Egypt.

9-10 December (Thursday-Friday): The US’s Summit for Democracy. Egypt is not among the invitees.

10 December (Friday): Capmas will release November inflation figures.

12 December (Sunday): Raya Holding’s Ordinary General Assembly meeting.

12-14 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Food Africa Cairo trade exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

13-17 December: United Nations Convention against Corruption, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

14 December (Tuesday): Inquiry session for the Industrial Development Authority’s licenses to manufacture steel products.

14-19 December (Tuesday-Sunday): The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater.

14-15 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

15 December (Wednesday): Deadline for joint stock companies and investment companies in Cairo to join e-invoicing platform.

15 December (Wednesday): Target date for snackmaker Edita to wrap up due diligence on its acquisition of the Ole brand owner Egyptian Belgian Company.

15 December (Wednesday): The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will give its final approval for a USD 100 mn facility to state-owned Banque Misr to finance local SMEs working on green projects.

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

End of 4Q2021: EdVentures plans to have closed at least one more edtech investment round.

End of 4Q2021: Fawry plans to have launched its MyFawry card.

1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.

1H2022:: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will roll out its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

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

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

1Q2022: Swvl acquisition of Viapool expected to close.

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

1 January 2022: Capital gains tax comes into effect on the EGX for local investors.

7 January 2022 (Friday): Coptic Christmas.

10-13 January 2022 (Monday-Thursday): World Youth Forum, Sharm El Sheikh.

15 January (Saturday): Target date for the finalization of snackfood giant Edita’s acquisition of the Egyptian Belgian Company, owner of the Ole brand.

17-19 January 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.

27 January 2022 (Tuesday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

11 February 2022 (Friday): Deadline for Anghami SPAC merger.

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

14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

15 February 2022 (Tuesday): The Industrial Development Authority’s deadline for receiving offers from companies for licenses to manufacture steel products.

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

March 2022: 4Q2021 earnings season.

March 2022: World Cup playoffs.

2 April 2022 (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

22-24 April 2022 (Friday-Sunday): World Bank-IMF spring meeting, Washington D.C.

24 April 2022 (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday (holiday for Coptic Christians).

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day.

Late April – 15 May 2022: 1Q2022 earnings season

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

2 May 2022 (Monday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

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

27 June-3 July 2022 (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

30 June 2022 (Thursday): June 30 Revolution Day, national holiday.

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

8 July 2022 (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July 2022 (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

30 July 2022 (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August 2022: 2Q2022 earnings season.

6 October 2022 (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October 2022 (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

18-20 October 2022 (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

Late October – 14 November 2022: 3Q2022 earnings season.

**Note to readers: Some national holidays may appear twice above. Since 2020, Egypt has observed most mid-week holidays on Thursdays regardless of the day on which they fall and may also move those days to Sundays. We distinguish below between the actual holiday and its observance.

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

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