Tuesday, 9 August 2022

PM — Daydream a little dream

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Happy hump day, friends. It’s still another rather quiet news day here on the home front, but our drought is being punctuated by a pickup in M&A activity.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

Another GCC sovereign fund wants a piece of Mopco: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is about to acquire a state-owned stake in local fertilizer firm Mopco through the EGX, a source at the bourse confirmed to Enterprise. The transaction would make the Public Investment Fund (PIF) the second sovereign Gulf shareholder in Mopco, after Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ bought a 20% stake in the state-owned company for USD 266.6 mn as part of its USD 1.8 bn grand entry to the EGX in April.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

Mar-a-Lago raid still leading the conversation: The international press is still leading their front pages this afternoon with the FBI’s raid of former US President Donald Trump’s Florida home: The Financial Times | Reuters | The Wall Street Journal.


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

  • Emirati fertilizer company CFC Group will establish a USD 400 mn industrial complex in Qena under the new joint industrial partnership between Egypt, the UAE, Jordan and Bahrain.
  • The newly-established Arab Alloys Company is investing EGP 1 bn to build a ferroalloys industrial complex in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
  • The International Finance Corporation has offloaded its entire 14% stake in National Printing Company in an EGP 175.9 mn transaction.

FOR TOMORROW-

Inflation data for July is set to drop tomorrow. Inflation had unexpectedly slowed for the first time in seven months in June as food prices declined for a second month in a row, but analysts expect it to accelerate again in 3Q2022.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Ghazl El Mahalla IPO: The retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla’s mini-IPO will wrap next Sunday, 14 August.

MNHD shareholders have the final word on SODIC takeover bid: Madinet Nasr Housing and Development will hold a general assembly meeting on Tuesday, 16 August, to decide whether to allow SODIC to conduct due diligence ahead of a potential takeover.

Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to discuss interest rates next Thursday, 18 August.

National Dialogue: The board of trustees overseeing the National Dialogue will hold its next meeting on 27 August. On the agenda: Choosing the rapporteurs for all of the committees and subcommittees of the social, political and economic tracks, and preparing the agenda and topics of discussion for the dialogue.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Temperatures in Cairo will hit 39°C tomorrow during the day before falling to 25°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.

***

WE’RE LOOKING FOR SMART, TALENTED PEOPLE to help us build some very cool new things. Today, we run two daily publications, five weekly industry verticals, and a monthly newsletter designed to make our readers feel just a bit smarter.

We have tons more in the pipeline — come help us build new publications. We offer the chance to work in a fast-paced newsroom on a broad range of topics and in a variety of formats. Our goal is simple: To create value for our growing community of >199k readers by telling stories that matter.

We’re looking for editors who want to run publications and teams, editors to help reporters craft stories and talented reporters. Egyptian and foreign nationals alike are welcome to apply. So are job-switchers: If you’re an equities analyst tired of the rat race, we’re a great place to come work.

Apply directly to jobs@enterprisemea.com and mention Patrick in your subject line.

Or hit this link for more information. It’s worth it — trust us.

***

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Let your mind wander — it’s more beneficial than you think: Down time has become synonymous with scrolling through social media or mindlessly streaming a movie or show, but new research suggests that it’s healthy to spend time with your thoughts with no distractions. Alone time, devoid of distractions, can spark joy, serenity, and even make us more creative, science journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer writes for the New York Times. “You’re essentially being the actor, director, screenwriter, and audience of this whole mental performance,” one psychologist said.

Sometimes giving your mind a license to go down rabbit holes leaves you more stressed if your thought patterns become dominated by work, life, or other responsibilities and sources of anxiety in your life. In that case, psychologists recommend trying to practice mindfulness, during which you focus on the present moment rather than letting your mind go rogue. So the next time you find yourself with a moment to spare, give your mind a break, let it run amok and see where it takes you.

Graduating to a pay gap: Pay disparity between male and female college graduates in the US appeared as soon as they joined the labor market, a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data for 2015-2016 graduates showed. The analysis covering 1.7 mn graduates showed average pay for men surpassing that of women three years after graduation in some 75% of 11.3k undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered in 2k universities. Male graduates’ average pay in almost 50% of the programs exceeded those of women by 10% or more. Among examples of early-gender pay disparity were in Georgetown University alumna, where men graduating from undergraduate accounting programs earned an average of USD 155k three years after graduation, approximately a 55% premium over female colleagues. The gap is seen across a range of fields, including those that are classified as male dominant and likewise for fields typically dominated by women. Most degree programs saw higher average earnings for men than those for women.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

Wes Anderson’s latest star-studded film The French Dispatch is “a love letter to journalists.” The anthology film portrays the American staff of the French office of the fictional Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun newspaper as they publish the French Dispatch’s final issue. The weekly magazine and a few of its stories (although highly dramaticized) were inspired by the early days of The New Yorker. The editor of the magazine unexpectedly dies of a heart attack and leaves the staff instructions in his will to suspend publication of the magazine following a final issue that is to include his obituary, three stories, and a travel guide. The film portrays the three stories, with each piece taking place in its own time period in Ennui-sur-Blasé (a fictional French town, which translates to boredom-on-apathy). The first story, “The Concrete Masterpiece,” portrays an incarcerated genius modern artist serving a life sentence. The second, “Revisions to a Manifesto,” is inspired by the May 68 student protests in France. “The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner” follows the kidnapping of the police commissioner's son. The film is available on Disney+ or Amazon Prime.

In the Egyptian Premier League tonight: Ghazl El Mahalla plays against Pyramids FC at 6:40pm, while Zamalek plays against Misr Lel Makassa at 9pm — which is also the same time for the Al Bank Al Ahly v Pharco kickoff.

The White Knights are now closer than ever: Zamalek (69 points) need to come out on top in three games out of a remaining five in the league to clinch the title regardless of the results of rivals Pyramids (62 points) and Al Ahly (59 points with a postponed game to play).

🍲 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Marzipan serves up authentic Egyptian dishes in a high-end setting. The restaurant’s breakfast menu offers up classics like shakshouka and Egyptian feteer served with molasses, white cheese, cream, foul, falafel and pita bread. The lunch and dinner menu includes all the classics from molokhia to sharkaseya but we recommend the “knuckles fattah” (fatet kaware3), which is truly delicious, and the baked rice (roz me3ammar) with pigeons. While you can definitely get these classics at a lower price point, the freshness of the ingredients and luxurious experience is worth the extra penny. With branches in Park Street and White by the Waterway, the restaurant’s interiors pay tribute to Egyptian cinema’s golden era, with framed vintage photographs of stars like Faten Hamama and Omar El Sherif.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Experience Tahteeb, an art form and sport that dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, at AUC Tahrir tonight at 8pm. The night starts out with the screening of 30-minute documentary El-Bab (The Door) directed by Abdel Fattah Kamal, followed by a performance by the Medhat Fawzy Center for the Stick Arts, a folklore music and dance group from El Warsha Theater Troupe.

Kadim Al Sahir is performing at the Cairo Opera house at 8pm tonight.

BubbleGum Kollectiv are taking over Cairo Jazz 610’s Tuesday Midweek Party, playing upbeat pop hits at 9pm.

Catch alternative rock band Stigma at Room Art Space New Cairo at 9pm.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Fooled by Randomness: The fallibility of human knowledge. The book, a standalone piece in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s five volume series, The Incerto, argues that humans underestimate the impact of randomness and downplay the role of luck in the outcomes of events, often explaining them away as skills and determinism. He points out that this is especially evident in the stock market, where it is very likely that an unskilled investor, whom he refers to as a “lucky idiot” can have years of success due to the inherent randomness of stock market price movements. The book also tackles other biases such as survivorship bias and skewed distributions and how they play into the decisions we make.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

EARNINGS WATCH-

Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development’s bottomline dipped 0.9% y-o-y in 2Q2022 to EGP 116.7 mn, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). The company’s revenues jumped 120% y-o-y during the quarter to EGP 972.3 mn.

Talaat Moustafa Group Holding’s bottomline increased 26% y-o-y in 2Q2022 to EGP 532.43 mn, according to the company’s financial statements (pdf).The company’s revenues went up 43% y-o-y during the quarter to EGP 4.07 bn.


MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 fell 0.8% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 593.55 mn (27.4% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 16.6% YTD.

In the green: Palm Hills Development (+2.8%), Orascom Construction (+2.2%) and Telecom Egypt (+2.1%).

In the red: Qalaa Holdings (-4.6%), Ibnsina Pharma (-3.2%) and Orinetal Weavers (-3.0%).

🌱 FOUNDER OF THE WEEK

OUR FOUNDER OF THE WEEK- Ahmed Mahmoud, Co-founder, and CEO of DXwand (LinkedIn).

My name is Ahmed Mahmoud and I am the CEO and co-founder of DXwand. I’ve been working in tech for 19 years. I studied computer engineering at Ain Shams University and knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur ever since graduating from university.

I noticed there was a gap in the market for conversation AI for Arabic dialects during my time at Microsoft working on digital transformation for several enterprise customers. Conversation AI solutions from Silicon Valley, or the west in general, were ineffective with Arabic because there are so many dialects. I realized this was a niche that western tech companies were not focused on, so we began working on DXwand and joined the Lean Startup Program. We were awarded a grant during the demo day of the accelerator program. Shortly after DXwand signed its first client in 2019, I resigned from Microsoft and fully dedicated myself to the company.

DXwand is a B2B experience management solution for conversations. We started the company to deliver machine learning that provides three main services to our clients. The first is to automate conversations in an intuitive way, whether these are voice conversations via a call center or text conversations on platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp. Secondly, it gives companies real-time insights through dashboards, which gathers information from conversations such as recurring issues customers are facing with a product or service or if customers are inquiring about products that the company does not offer. These insights help companies make decisions that address issues customers are facing with products faster and release products that meet consumer demands.

The final thing we provide is a customer data platform that extracts demographics from conversations. Typically, call centers can only see your number and your name if you provide it, so that’s the information that is stored in their database. We extract further information from conversations with clients and add them to the database: For example if a customer is speaking to a telecom company and mentions that the internet is down and his kids can’t access their online classes, it picks up on that. Then it adds to the database the fact that the customer is a parent so that later, if the company has a new offer that parents would be more interested in, they can look up those customers and proactively reach out to them.

Our language agnostic conversational AI and digital assistant tool is really our USP. We don't depend on language models. The majority of solutions on the market work on language models that are trained to pick out names and verbs from sentences. We use a language diagnostic approach, which offers deep learning algorithms and model training services that learn from the language and dialect that you provide.

It works with any spoken language as long as there is sufficient data to use for learning. In Egypt alone, we have more than five spoken dialects. A lot of the spoken languages are a mix of languages that are entirely different from the official textbook language and in order to accommodate them the machine has to have the ability to learn. We even uploaded the minion's language from the movie (which is a fully registered language) and it worked.

It was not easy to get to this stage. It took us years to reach the level we are at today, but now we can adapt to any changes in language in any country.

Some of the KPIs I look at consistently are new signups, revenues, and machine learning confidence and recall, which tells me if we’re on the right track or if we need to add more data or different algorithms. I also look at conversations over time. They tell us if people are engaged or disengaged. Revenue vs new revenue is something I also pay attention to as well it lets us know whether we’re penetrating the market or making money off of the same clients.

To date, DXwand has raised around USD 2 mn. We recently raised USD 1 mn in a pre-series A investment round led by Huashan Capital. We also had angel investors from Egypt in our recent round. With our new funding, we want to focus on regional expansion and on setting a higher barrier to entry, for competition by accelerating our product development and research.

If I had only enough money to do one thing, I would spend it on team growth. Growth in terms of competency, learning, and satisfaction. I would focus on that because I know that if your team is treated well, trained properly, and has the right mindset then you don't need to worry about anything else.

I enjoy listening to audiobooks in my spare time: I really enjoyed Masters of Scale. You can learn a lot from successful entrepreneurs' experiences. I also like to play ping pong and spend time with my kids.

I think Rabbit and Breadfast are two startups that are killing it. What I really found impressive about Rabbit is that they cracked the code in no time. The process was very fast from the moment they received their funding to building an app, to when they began delivering orders, and they always meet their SLA of delivering orders in under 20 minutes.

📆 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.

AUGUST

Late July-14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

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

August: Sharm El Sheikh will host the African Sumo Championship.

9 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with higher education players.

11 August (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

14 August (Sunday): Retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla IPO ends.

14 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with finance and ins. players.

16 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with wood manufacturers.

16 August (Tuesday): MNHD’s general assembly meeting to decide whether to allow SODIC to go ahead with due diligence on its takeover bid.

18 August (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

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

23 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with chemical producers.

25 August (Thursday): Second Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Bangkok, Thailand.

25 August (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

25-27 August (Thursday-Saturday): Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

27 August (Saturday): The National Dialogue board of trustees holds its fifth meeting, which will set the agenda for the dialogue and choose rapporteurs for the involved committees.

28 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with mining and petroleum refining players.

30 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with minerals players.

31 August (Wednesday): Late tax payment deadline.

31 August (Wednesday): Deadline for qualifying companies to submit offers to manage and operate a soon-to-be-established state company for EV charging stations.

31 August (Wednesday): Submission deadline for fall 2022 cycle of EGBank’s Mint Incubator.

31 August (Wednesday): Beltone convenes its general assembly to restructure the board following the change of ownership.

SEPTEMBER

September: Naval Power, Egypt’s first naval defense expo

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

September: Egyptian-German Joint Economic Committee.

September: A delegation from Germany’s Aldi will visit Egypt to look at potential investments.

September: Government to launch an international promotional campaign for Egyptian tourism.

September: Egypt will host the second edition of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (ICF).

1 September (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

1-2 September (Thursday-Friday): Third Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Santiago, Chile.

4 September (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with electricity players.

6 September (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with building and construction players.

6-9 September (Tuesday-Friday): Gate Travel Expo 2022, El Qubba Palace, Cairo.

7-9 September (Wednesday-Friday): African Finance Ministers to meet in Cairo to coordinate an African-led position during COP27.

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

8 September (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

11 September (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with accommodation and food services players.

13 September (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with sports industry players.

11-13 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Environment and Development Forum (EDF), InterContinental City Stars, Cairo.

15 September (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with water and sewage utilities players.

15 September (Thursday): Fourth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Beirut, Lebanon.

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

20 September (Tuesday): Fifth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Geneva, Switzerland.

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.

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Africa Renewables Investment Summit (ARIS), Cape Town, South Africa.

OCTOBER

October: House of Representatives reconvenes after summer recess

October: Air Sphinx, EgyptAir’s low-cost subsidiary to commence operations.

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

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

1 October (Saturday): 2022- 2023 academic year begins for public universities.

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 chaired by CBE Governor Tarek Amer, Washington, DC.

16-19 October (Sunday-Wednesday): Cairo Water Week 2022, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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

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

Late October-14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

NOVEMBER

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): Autotech auto exhibition, Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

6-18 November (Sunday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

7 November (Monday): The inauguration of the first line of the high-speed rail.

7-13 November (Mon-Sun): The International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

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

DECEMBER

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

13-15 December (Tuesday-Thursday): US-Africa Leaders Summit.

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

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

December: The Sixth of October dry port will begin operations.

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.

7 January (Saturday): Coptic Christmas.

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

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

FEBRUARY 2023

11 February (Saturday): Second semester of 2022-2023 academic year begins for public universities.

13-15 February (Monday-Wednesday): The Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps), Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

MARCH 2023

March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

23 March (Wednesday) — First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.

APRIL 2023

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

22 April (Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.

MAY 2023

1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

4 May (Thursday) National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).

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

JUNE 2023

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.

JULY 2023

18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.

SEPTEMBER 2023

26 September (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

28 September (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

OCTOBER 2023

6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

2H 2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2H 2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

2H 2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q 2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

3Q 2022: Swvl to close acquisition of Urbvan Mobility.

4Q 2022: Infinity + Africa Finance Corporation to close acquisition of Lekela Power.

End of 2022: Decent Life first phase scheduled for completion.

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.

1Q 2023: Adnoc Distribution’s acquisition of 50% of TotalEnergies Egypt to close.

**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.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.