Tuesday, 31 May 2022

PM — Cargo traffic jams are the next supply chain problem

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Happy hump day, friends. It’s hard to believe we’re just halfway through the week, but we think the news flow is taking a bit of a breather as earnings season winds down. Today was the deadline for EGX-listed companies to file their earnings for 1Q2022.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

Our natural gas and LNG export revenues grew 98% y-o-y in 4M2022 to record USD 3.89 bn, Reuters reports, citing Oil Ministry data it has seen. Meanwhile, our 2021 revenues from natural gas exports jumped 768% y-o-y to USD 3.96 bn, according to the data. The rise comes as the government is pushing to ramp up its exports of liquefied natural gas, particularly to the EU amid its energy crunch on the back of the war in Ukraine.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

The global business press is leading with macroeconomic news this afternoon, as eurozone inflation hit a record 8.1% in May (pdf), accelerating from 7.4% in April and surpassing economist forecasts of 7.7%. The inflation figures come a little over a week ahead of the European Central Bank’s next monetary policy meeting on Thursday, 9 June, during which the bank will consider how quickly to begin raising interest rates. CNBC, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times have the story.


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

  • NBE, Banque Misr suspend sales of 18% CDs: State-owned National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr will no longer be selling one-year, 18% certificates of deposit introduced after the Central Bank of Egypt’s devalued the EGP on 22 March.
  • Swvl slashes headcount as startups around the world gird for nuclear winter: Nasdaq-listed mass transport startup Swvl is laying off 32% of its staff in a bid to turn cashflow positive by next year.
  • PM spearheads fair competition push to boost privatization plans: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly will head a new ministerial committee to shore up competition policy and ensure all businesses are playing on a level field

FOR TOMORROW- The Islamic Development Bank’s 2022 annual meetings kick off tomorrow and wrap this Saturday, 4 June in Sharm El Sheikh. Enterprise will be attending the annual meetings and bringing you updates from there.

The Islamic Corporation for the Ins. of Investment and Export Credit will hold two high-level parallel meetings on climate action and digital transformation during IsDB’s annual meetings.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Greek Campus is holding a workshop tomorrow headlined “Transitioning to e-mobilitythat will look at the electric vehicle industry in Egypt (and worldwide). The workshop will run from 6-9pm and will be led by Ayman Mohamed and Ahmed El Hosseny, co-founders of local EV marketplace Electrified.

Conference season continues next week:

  • Africa Health ExCon runs from Sunday-Tuesday, 5-7 June at Al Manara International Conference Center, Egypt International Exhibitions Center, and the St. Regis Almasa Hotel in the new administrative capital.
  • Technology conference Tech Invest 4 will take place next Tuesday, 7 June at the Grand Nile Hotel in Cairo.

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 36°C and a nighttime low of 20°C in the capital city tomorrow, our favorite weather app tells us.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Goodbye, global container shortage. Hello, global cargo traffic jam: Shipping operators are trying to stay ahead of the peak season that usually comes at the end of June — ahead of back-to-school season — to avoid last year’s shortage by increasing capacity and placing orders ahead of time, but the sheer volume of cargo is now clogging ports and railway lines, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing officials at ports and shipping companies. Analysts estimate that 12% of the world’s boxships are currently stuck outside congested ports for weeks longer than normal. Measures taken by companies during the covid-19 pandemic to furlough staff and cut storage space are now adding salt to the wound, with a significant lack of trains, truck drivers, and warehousing space hampering inland delivery and adding pressure to the global supply chain.

Thinking of your upcoming summer getaway? You might want to eliminate Nepal from your list of choices, considering it has earned the unattractive superlative of being the world’s riskiest place for flying. Having recently recorded its tenth fatal plane crash in as many years, the South Asian country has become infamous for its risky flying conditions, Bloomberg writes. Most recently, a flight carrying 22 people — 14 of whom have been found dead — lost contact after taking off from the Nepalese city of Pokhara. Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, in the country’s northeast, has been unofficially dubbed the world’s most dangerous airport. So why do people keep going to Nepal? The country is very rich in history and scenic landscapes, making it an attractive getaway for a mid-year vacation.

What do you do when Brexit threatens your cross-border labor market? You loosen visa requirements for top grads: The British government has launched a new visa scheme aiming to attract the “brightest and best” graduates from around the world. Alumni who graduated in the past five years from one of the eligible leading universities — including Harvard, MIT, and Yale — will be able to apply for a “high potential individual” visa regardless of where they were born, or whether they have a job offer. Successful applicants with a bachelor's or master’s degree will be given a two-year visa, while PhD holders will be granted a three-year visa. Their families can also apply to join them in the UK. This comes as part of a new post-Brexit immigration drive as the country faces a tight labor market. The list of eligible universities from 2021 comprise 20 US institutions, as well as universities from Canada, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Germany, Australia, Singapore, France, Sweden, and Switzerland. No African universities have made the list.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is David Letterman’s interview show with a twist: Streaming on Netflix, the interview show’s fourth season was recently released with a new lineup of big names. Letterman starts off strong, with his first episode featuring former US President Barack Obama. Following seasons feature everyone from Melinda Gates and Malala Yosafzai to George Clooney, Dave Chappelle, and Robert Downey Jr.

What’s fun about the show is that it doesn’t always stick to the traditional couch interview format, instead allowing each guest to take Letterman on a mini-adventure, whether it’s fishing, cooking, or shopping. In RDJ’s case, Letterman gets a tour of his animal menagerie which is home to many cute llamas while Billie Eillish tries to teach him the ropes of music production. Letterman has built enough reputation to be able to delve into the tough questions and many episodes have an emotional element while also holding on to the host’s penchant for humor. Tina Fey broke down in tears over her family issues while Julia Louis-Dreyfus — of Seinfeld fame — opened up about her experience with cancer. Check out an episode or two of your favorite celebrities and enjoy getting to know them on a deeper level.

No football today, folks.

🎾 We do, however, have squash to get your sports fix: The semi-final round at the El Gouna International Squash Open kicks off tonight. In the men’s category, Paul Coll (New Zealand) meets Tarek Momen (Egypt) at 7:30pm, while Egypt’s Fares Dessouky and Mohamed ElShorbagy go head-to-head at 9pm. Over in the women’s category, we have Nouran Gohar (Egypt) v Sarah-Jane Perry (England) scheduled for 6:45pm and Nour El Tayeb (Egypt) v Tinne Gilis (Belgium) at 8:15pm.

🍝 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Comfort food, but make it luxury: Heliopolis’ Rossini specializes in Italian cuisine while also serving a selection of fresh fish and sushi. The restaurant offers flavorful dishes from the get go, with a menu of appetizers that had us drooling. We loved their melted camembert topped with honey truffle and served with a crusty baguette as well as their parmesan fries. From there, flip to their pasta page and choose a creamy pasta or risotto — and choose if you’d like to get them tossed in the massive cheese wheel they have on stand by. If you’re looking for something less cheesy, the steak plates are also popular at Rossini or try out their Granchio Rossini — a signature crab shell gratin that comes with the rest of the crab to bite into.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Experience dance movement therapy with Simonetta Ottone at Dawar Arts today from 6-9pm. The session, titled Dance to Live, is an introduction to their dance therapy classes.

The king of shaabi, Abdelbasset Hamouda, is taking the stage at Cairo Jazz Club 610 tomorrow at 9pm to sing some of his timeless hits.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

As summer rolls in, it’s time to choose a few light beach reads like Emily Henry’s Book Lovers: Already making it to #1 on Amazon’s new releases list, Book Lovers is the perfect portrayal of an enemies-to-lovers romance with characters that aren’t cliche. Nora Stephens is a cutthroat literary agent who has spent her life in her head as she reads book after book. When she decides to be the main character in her own story, she agrees to go on a trip with her sister to a small town in North Carolina. It’s there that she meets — or re-meets — Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city that doesn’t want to be anyone’s hero. The pair clash heads every time they encounter each other… until one day they don’t.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

EARNINGS WATCH-

Telecom Egypt’s 1Q2022 net income declined 36% y-o-y to EGP 1.40 bn, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). The telecom company’s normalized net income — which excludes Vodafone Egypt’s one-offs, the effect of the rising FX rate, provisions, and impairments — came in at EGP 1.7 bn, staying flat y-o-y. Revenues for the quarter rose 12% y-o-y to record EGP 9.4 bn.

Orascom Financial Holding reported EGP 27.43 mn in 1Q2022 net income, rising 41.5% y-o-y, according to the company’s financials (pdf). Revenues rose 37.6% to EGP 104.93 mn.

B Investments’ net income dropped 55.9% y-o-y in 1Q2022 to EGP 22.31 mn, according to a disclosure to the bourse.


MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 rose 0.4% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.5 bn (44.4% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net buyers. The index is down 15.1% YTD.

In the green: E-finance (+4.1%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (+3.1%) and Ezz Steel (+2.8%).

In the red: Palm Hills Development (-9.4%), Cleopatra Hospital (-6.4%) and Heliopolis Housing (-4.3%).

🌱 FOUNDER OF THE WEEK

OUR FOUNDER OF THE WEEK- Nayrouz Talaat, founder and CEO of Direxiona (LinkedIn).

My name is Nayrouz Talaat, and I’m the CEO and founder of Direxiona. I was a business journalist for the better part of my professional career. I took several entrepreneurship-related courses including marketing, finance, and leadership, before starting my entrepreneurial journey in 2016. My love of business inspired me to pursue an MBA with a specialization in digital economy from Mastricht’s School of Business, which I completed in 2021.

I decided to start a business of my own after attending several entrepreneurial events, including the annual RiseUp Summit, where I witnessed firsthand the impact entrepreneurs have in terms of solving real life problems through their startups. I fell in love with the impact side of the equation, so I decided to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure of my own in the hope of solving a problem no one else was tackling.

Direxiona, launched in 2017, is the first tech-enabled platform in Egypt to connect women and men who want to learn how to drive with the nearest professional instructor. We utilize tech to educate our users about the ins and outs of safe driving, so they can pass their driving exams, and ultimately become more confident behind the wheel. We do this through structured curriculums.

I initially started the business to help break down the stereotype that all women are bad drivers. Because we are often ridiculed for our driving skills, I initially decided to launch Direxiona as a platform that helps women become more confident, capable drivers. I personally faced a lot of negativity in the streets of Om el Donia, and I didn’t want Egyptian ladies to have to go through that as well. Direxiona has evolved since then, and we now cater to both men and women who want to learn to drive.

One of the main problems we faced initially was finding female instructors to teach our female users. Because we launched Direxiona with women in mind, we knew they would feel more at ease if they were being taught by female instructors. The problem was that demand for female instructors far outstripped the supply. We solved this problem by training women to become instructors. We currently have qualified instructors from both genders so we can better serve the needs of our users.

To focus on my entrepreneurial journey, I had to give my startup two valuable resources: my time and my social life. The startup challenge is huge. It’s safe to say that I missed out on a lot of family time, and sacrificed a lot of social gatherings to focus on my business. My journey was particularly challenging because I was simultaneously focused on my startup , and on my career as a business writer. So I had my foot in both camps, and had to juggle both at the same time, which was tiring to say the least. However, when the business started getting recognition locally and internationally, all the hard work became worth it. I love the fact that we’re helping make people’s lives easier; that’s the best part of the job.

One of the challenging parts of the job is the difficulty of leading people from diverse backgrounds. Another challenge is funding, especially because Direxiona is a self-funded startup. We won a few competitions such as the Innovation Arena, and the EGP 80k prize money helped us a bit in terms of financing. We also received two grants, one worth EUR 15K from the French Development Agency, and another one worth EUR 9K from Enpact. One of our main priorities now is to partner with angel investors and VCs for future funding, which will be important to ensure the company’s survival.

The most important KPIs I focus on include keeping track of customer feedback. Customer satisfaction is paramount for us. We also observe the performance of our driving instructors and how many hours they spend teaching our clients, among other things. We also monitor our company’s sales performance.

Our short-term goal at Direxiona is to keep developing our app and enhance our services. We currently operate in Cairo and Giza, and our long-term goal is to expand locally, and serve clients all over Egypt, before expanding regionally.

If I had to do it all over again, I would not go for the self-funded route again. I would advise would-be founders against bootstrapping. Being backed by investors, and having capital at your disposal from the onset provides founders with a certain degree of freedom and security.

A startup that I think is killing it is Orcas. They are super impactful, and their model is very unique.

My advice for any would-be founder? Surround yourself with the right team, set a realistic plan for growth, and do your homework diligently when it comes to market research. Founders have to study the market and understand the models of their competitors.

📆 CALENDAR

OUR CALENDAR APPEARS in two sections:

  • Events with specific dates or months are right here up top
  • Events happening in a quarter or other range of time with no specific date / month appear at the bottom of the calendar.

MAY

27 May-3 June (Friday-Friday): El Gouna International Squash Open 2022.

30-31 May (Monday-Tuesday): Egypt Can with Industry, Cairo, Egypt.

31 May (Tuesday): Last day for EGX-listed companies to file 1Q2022 earnings

31 May (Tuesday): The application deadline for ITIDA’s annual Export IT program.

May: Government to announce its automotive strategy by the end of the month.

JUNE

1-4 June (Wednesday-Saturday): The Islamic Development Bank will hold its 2022 annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.

2-3 June (Thursday-Friday): Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) will hold two high-level parallel meetings on climate action and digital transformation during IsDB’s 2022 annual meetings in Sharm.

5-7 June (Sunday-Tuesday): Africa Health ExCon, Al Manara International Conference Center, Egypt International Exhibitions Center, and the St. Regis Almasa Hotel, new administrative capital.

5 June (Sunday): GB Auto is hosting an extraordinary general assembly meeting (pdf).

7 June (Tuesday): Technology conference Tech Invest 4, Grand Nile Hotel, in Cairo.

9 June (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy 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): EU-Egypt Sustainable Food Value Chain conference, Grand Nile Tower Hotel, Cairo.

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

21-22 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, Cairo.

21-23 June (Tuesday-Thursday): Commonwealth Business Forum, Kigali, Rwanda.

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

26 June (Sunday): The deadline for private companies to pre-register ahead of bidding for the second phase of the PPP national project to establish and operate 1k language schools.

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

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

30 June (Thursday): Deadline for bids for National Democratic Party HQ redevelopment contract.

June: Egypt will launch a unified ticketing system for all means of transport at the Adly Mansour Interchange Station.

June: Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit Egypt to coordinate ways to ship Ukrainian wheat to Egypt amid the war in Ukraine.

JULY

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

July: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

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

1 July (Friday): Official rollout of e-receipt system begins.

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

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

21 July (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

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

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

AUGUST

August: Work to extend the capacity of the Egypt-Sudan electricity interconnection to 600 MW to be completed.

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

SEPTEMBER

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

September: Central Bank of Egypt’s Innovation and Financial Technology Center to launch incubator for 25 fintech startups.

8 September (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

18 September (Sunday): Deadline for brokerage firms, asset managers and financial advisors to register with the Egyptian Securities Federation.

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

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

26–27 September (Monday-Tuesday): The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.

OCTOBER

October: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

1 October (Saturday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

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

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

10-16 October (Monday-Sunday): World Bank and IMF annual meetings, Washington, DC, chaired by CBE Governor Tarek Amer

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

27 October (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

Late October – 14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

NOVEMBER

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.

3-5 November (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Fashion Week.

4-6 November (Friday-Sunday): The Autotech auto exhibition kicks off at the Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

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

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

15 December (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

DECEMBER

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

JANUARY 2023

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

January: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

MAY 2023

22-26 May (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

2Q2022: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt will invest in two companies in the financial inclusion and non-banking financial services sectors.

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

End of 2Q2022: Door for bidding for the contract to redevelop the site of the former National Democratic Party HQ to close.

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.

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.

2H2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

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

2023: Egypt will host the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in 2023.

**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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