Thursday, 12 May 2022

PM — It’s a diplomacy-heavy end to the week

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, friends, and a happy THURSDAY to you all. It’s one of those (very) rare occasions where we have no big or interesting news on the home front to speak of today. But considering how busy the post-Eid news cycle has been, we’re certainly not complaining.

A LOT OF DIPLOMACY HAPPENING- Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly is in Tunisia today and tomorrow for a meeting of the Egyptian-Tunisian Cooperation Council, according to a cabinet statement. Joining Madbouly in Tunisia are Education Minister Tarek Shawki, Higher Education Minister and acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat, CIT Minister Amr Talaat, Housing Minister Assem El Gazzar, Agriculture Minister El Sayed El Quseir, GAFI head Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Financial Regulatory Authority head Mohamed Omran, and the head of the Trade and Industry Ministry’s Egyptian Commercial Service, Yehia Elwathik Bellah.

Foreign Minister and COP27 Sameh Shoukry is co-chairing a two-day meeting of climate leaders in Copenhagen, alongside Denmark’s Climate, Energy, and Public Utilities Minister Dan Jørgensen and COP26 President Alok Sharma, according to a ministry statement. Shoukry met earlier today with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, a separate statement reads.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman could be in town next week for talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa said last night, without giving any details (watch, runtime: 3:01).

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

Finland and Sweden plan to formally seek NATO membership amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement, with Sweden expected to follow suit, Reuters reports. The Nordic countries are the two biggest EU nations who had stayed out of NATO, and the move would be a monumental shift for the two countries’ long history of wartime neutrality. It would also result in the expansion of the Western military alliance, delivering a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s ambition to weaken it. Putin had cited NATO expansion as one of the main reasons for the country’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. Finland’s announcement drew anger from the Kremlin, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov threatening an unspecified response.

ALSO ON THE FRONT PAGES- Remember what it was like when covid-19 first landed within our borders? North Korea is just now catching up with what the rest of the world already experienced in early 2020, reporting its very first outbreak of the virus and imposing a national lockdown in a bid to contain the spread. Pyongyang — which so far has not vaccinated its population — has said the outbreak is the “gravest national emergency.” Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times have more.

HAPPENING NOW-

The Event Horizon Telescope team is set to announce within minutes what it says is a “groundbreaking” discovery in the Milky Way galaxy, according to Space.com. You can catch the live stream here.


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

  • Another step towards sustainable bonds: Ministers have approved a plan by the Finance Ministry to broaden its green financing framework to include sustainable development bonds, allowing the state to raise money for a wider array of social and environmental projects, cabinet said yesterday.
  • Total Eren + Enara Capital to build green ammonia facility in SCZone: Egypt inked a memorandum of understanding with an alliance that includes Total Eren and Africa-focused SME investor Enara Capital to build a green ammonia plant in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
  • Cairo-based logistics startup Mylerz has raised USD 9.6 mn in equity funding from private equity outfit Lorax Capital Partners, with participation from e-payments giant Fawry, which will also provide payments services for the company.

FOR TOMORROW-

The PSA world squash championships get underway tomorrow. The men’s and women’s finals will be played on 22 May. There is USD 550k at stake for each of the men’s and women’s championships, making this the biggest purse on record for a squash tourney. The CIB-sponsored championships will play out at SODIC’s Club S Allegria and at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Keep an eye out for Madbouly’s big presser at the start of next week: The promised press conference to announce new details of the state’s response to the economic turmoil fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine will take place early next week, cabinet said in a statement yesterday following its weekly meeting. Cabinet is expected to reveal new details on how the government intends to attract more FDI and expand the private sector’s role in the economy.

A huge US “GreenTech business mission” is inbound next week. More than 40 US companies will be in Egypt during 15-17 May to kick the tires on green investment and potential business partnerships in sectors ranging from energy to healthcare, agriculture, aviation, construction and water resource management. The high-level delegation will meet with members of the business community and senior government officials, including Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and other members of cabinet. The mission is being organized by AmCham and the US Chamber of Commerce.

It’s interest rate week: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 19 May. Our customary poll of analysts sees the central bank getting more aggressive with its tightening cycle, with five of seven respondents expecting rates to rise by as much as 200 bps on the back of rising inflation and emerging-market outflows.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Brace yourselves — a heatwave is coming: Expect the mercury to rise in the capital city over the weekend, reaching a daytime high of 33°C before cooling to a low of 22°C tomorrow, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority said yesterday. Saturday is expected to see a high of 34°C and low of 20°C.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Surprise: Big Oil isn’t all-in on mitigating climate change: Fossil fuel firms are discreetly planning “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would unleash close to 650 bn tons of CO2 emissions and ultimately jeopardize the 1.5°C warming threshold, according to an investigation by the Guardian. The newspaper’s investigation into major gas and oil players such as Exxon, Gazprom, and others, suggests the firms are not buying into global efforts to curb global warming. Big Oil will be shelling out USD 103 mn daily through to 2030 to fund 195 carbon bombs to exploit new oil and gas fields, with 60% of these projects already pumping. These new expansion plans would produce greenhouse gases equivalent to a decade of China’s CO2 emissions in the short-term, and the equivalent of 18 years of current global emissions in the long term.

The biggest culprits: The US, Canada, and Australia are some of the countries with the largest expansion plans, with Exxon taking the lion’s share of these climate-dooming plans. The company is on track spend USD 21 mn daily for the remainder of the decade on carbon bombs.


SIGN OF THE TIMES- DXB just posted its best quarter since the pandemic began as revenge travel picks up: The UAE travel hub could reach pre-covid levels earlier than expected, and has upped its year-end traffic expectations to 58.3 mn, exceeding a prior forecast of 57 mn. The airport handled 13.6 mn passengers in the first quarter of 2022, more than double the 5.7 mn in the same period last year. Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths thinks they’ll be close to pre-pandemic levels during 2024. “The original idea was 2025 or even beyond,” he told Bloomberg TV. “People are engaging in revenge tourism after two years of lockdown, they’re rushing out to buy tickets.” This could be bad news for travelers, who could soon start seeing more expensive travel fares due to high oil prices and inflation, Griffiths told Reuters, adding that he doubted that would turn people off traveling, due to the huge demand built up during the pandemic.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(all times CLT)

After a long work week, sometimes all you need is a movie that makes for easy viewing: Enter The Takedown, a light action comedy, starring the quick-witted Omar Sy, with picturesque views to help you unwind this weekend. The French cop buddy movie is a sequel to 2008’s On the Other Side of the Tracks, and it’s a refreshing relative to its genre contemporaries (think Rush Hour, Bad Boys, and Lethal Weapon). The Netflix movie brings together two fiercely competitive old pals to solve a murder that involves a terrorist white supremacist group. We recommend you watch it in French with English subtitles, which feels a lot more natural than the English dubbing.

The North London derby is tonight: Tottenham face Arsenal in a highly-anticipated clash at 8:45pm, concluding the 36th week of the Premier League. Whoever lands on top tonight will be one step closer to the Champions League — the Spurs are currently in 5th place with 62 points, while the Gunners are four points ahead of them in 4th place.

Meanwhile in Spain: La Liga champion Real Madrid faces bottom-placed Levante at 9:30pm, while Real Sociedad and Cadiz face off at 7pm, and Rayo Vallecano v Villarreal is on at 8pm.

On Saturday, the 37th week of the Spanish League kicks off with two matches: Espanyol v Valencia at 6:30pm, and Celta Vigo v Elche at 9pm.

CAF Champions League semi finals: Tomorrow, we will find out one of the teams advancing to the African final, as Morocco's Wydad meets Angolan Petro Atlético at 9pm. The Moroccan team had previously won the first leg, 3-1. On Saturday, we’ll get confirmation on whether or not our very own Al-Ahly makes it to the final. The Egyptian team faces Algeria’s ES Setif in the return match at 9pm, after Al-Ahly emerged victorious 4-0 in the first leg in Cairo.

And last, but most definitely not least, the FA Cup Final: Liverpool and Chelsea clash in the FA Cup Final on Saturday at 5:45pm.

Lionel Messi is officially the highest-paid athlete in the world, according to the annual Forbes list. The Paris Saint-Germain star earned USD 130 mn over the past year, which puts him ahead of the NBA's LeBron James and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo.

🥐 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Get a breath of fresh air this weekend at The Finch, the Cookery Co’s latest addition to the culinary scene in the city’s west. Located in 6th of October's Palm Hills Club, the social bistro is surrounded by scenic greenery and a vast open space that will get you to unwind as you gorge on The Finch’s delicious comfort food. Their menu is full of must-trys. We highly recommend their freshly baked pastries, and their fluffy croissant is not to be missed — our bakery connoisseurs think it’s one of the best in town. You also can’t go wrong with their Steak & Fries or one of their yummy salad options.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(all times CLT)

Italian artist Licia Martini’s work will be on display in an exhibition entitled Caleidoscopio at Bibliothek Egypt starting today. Through her watercolor paintings, Martini emphasizes the beauty of nature with a touch of playfulness. The solo exhibit runs through 31 May.

Fan-favorite spinners Disco Misr are launching their new album tomorrow at 8pm at Cairo Jazz Club 610. Their re-inventions of Arabic retro tunes are guaranteed to make you dance the night away.

Gather your friends and family and head to Cairokee’s concert at Zed Park October tomorrow. The prominent Egyptian rock band will be performing their favorite hits at 7pm, though doors open earlier at 2pm.

enterprise

👂 EARS TO THE GROUND-

WHAT’S NEXT- Awardwinning podcast In Machines We Trust looks into the automation of just about everything, and the consequences of delegating our sensitive life decisions to artificial intelligence. Hosted by Jennifer Strong and the MIT Technology Review team, the series explores the far-reaching impact of AI through the voices of inventors and founders who are grappling with the power of the technology and fueling the development of new AI forms.

Too many episodes and not sure where to start? You can explore the show’s miniseries on the use of facial recognition technology by police, which earned the 2020 Front Page Award for best investigative reporting in audio.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Can sadness be a superpower? As the world promotes relentless positivity as the answer to our mental health woes, Susan Cain’s new masterpiece Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole is a lyrical exploration of the power of melancholy. This book is for those of us whose moods are lifted by listening to sad music and those who find comfort in rainy days. Cain defines bittersweetness as “a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world.” Through a range of case studies, and personal anecdotes, her chapters are filled with examples of beauty that comes from embracing sorrow, advice on using pain for more powerful leadership, and the beauty of expanding the language of vulnerability.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 fell 1.6% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 957.76 mn (9.2% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 10.6% YTD.

In the green: Orascom Construction (+2.6%), Fawry (+0.6%).

In the red: Palm Hills (-5.0%), Qalaa Holdings (-4.0%) and Ezz Steel (-3.9%).

♻️ GREEN ECONOMY

Green hydrogen might have its moment sooner than previously thought: As gas prices in Europe continue to skyrocket due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, green hydrogen has suddenly emerged as a viable and lucrative substitute that has drawn interest from governments and private players who are moving fast to bring the alternative energy source into the mainstream, Bloomberg reports.

NEED A REFRESHER ON GREEN HYDROGEN? We got you covered here.

Record high gas prices sparked the scramble for green hydrogen: European countries have long planned to increase green hydrogen’s place in their energy mixes but the process has been slow. It wasn’t until gas prices began rising in Europe last year that the case for green hydrogen was solidified. Prices have soared 450% over the past year on the back of tightening global supply and, most recently, the conflict in Ukraine.

And, of course, war: The problem of heavily depending on Russian hydrocarbons has been thrown into sharp relief this year as tensions have soared following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia supplies 45% of the EU’s gas imports and some 40% of its total gas consumption, according to the IEA. Some 93% of hydrogen producers, users and investors polled by BloombergNEF last month said that they project the war to accelerate the development of the green hydrogen industry.

The industry has long been held back by high costs, but this is expected to change:

Green hydrogen is produced using a process known as electrolysis where H2O (water) is separated into H (hydrogen) and O (oxygen), enabling hydrogen to be extracted. Only 0.1% of the world’s hydrogen supply is actually green, which is largely due to the fact that the process is more expensive than its non-green equivalent. Now, by virtue of soaring gas prices, green hydrogen has become the more cost-effective option. Adding to that is the rising price of carbon in the EU, which has nearly doubled in the past year, making the green version even less expensive by comparison.

Government policy is also helping usher in the transition: The EU has now doubled green hydrogen targets, and wants to have 80 GW of capacity by the end of the decade, up from less than 1 GW currently. The UK is doing likewise, and has set a goal of producing 5 GW of power from electrolyzers by 2030.

Companies are already pouring bn’s into production plants and infrastructure projects to facilitate the transition: Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group have agreed to a USD 50 bn project to develop the hydrogen supply chain with German utilities company E.On while hydrogen infrastructure investment platform Hy24 has earmarked some USD 1.6 bn for various projects. “The economics are moving in favor of green hydrogen. The projects we’re seeing look more bankable from a finance perspective now,” Ivan Pavlovic, executive director at French bank Natixis CIB, told Bloomberg.

Here in Egypt interest in green hydrogen is picking up steam: Two green hydrogen plants have been signed off on in recent months. Norway’s Scatec, Fertiglobe and Orascom Construction will build a 100-MW facility while Emirati renewable energy company Masdar will work with Hassan Allam Utilities to establish a facility capable of producing 480k tons of green hydrogen a year.

And there’s more to come in the lead up to COP27: The EU is gearing up to sign MoUs on green hydrogen and ammonia production during the COP27 summit in November, EU Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans told Oil Minister Tarek El Molla last month. Timmermans also discussed a plan to develop a “Mediterranean Green Hydrogen Partnership,” for which little is known beyond it being something akin to “the East Mediterranean Gas forum, but for green hydrogen.”

This is all part of a larger policy push towards green hydrogen adoption: President Abdelfattah El Sisi last year issued a directive to establish Egypt’s green hydrogen strategy, with an eye towards launching an initial phase of projects that could be worth USD 3-4 bn. These ambitions are being supported by tax incentives that would allow companies involved in a number of key areas that include green hydrogen and green ammonia production, storage and export to deduct 30-50% of their investment costs from their tax bills.

📆 CALENDAR

OUR CALENDAR NOW 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

10-12 May (Tuesday-Thursday): EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum, Marrakesh, Morocco.

12 May (Thursday): Financing sustainable development in Egypt virtual roundtable, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.

12-13 May (Thursday-Friday): Egypt and UK will organize the May Ministerial Meeting in Denmark to discuss climate ahead of COP27.

13-14 May (Friday-Saturday): Target Misr Expo, Dusit, New Cairo.

13-22 May (Friday-Sunday): PSA World Championships, Cairo.

Mid-May: The trial period to extend the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system to air freight.

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

19 May (Thursday): EFG Hermes’ general shareholders’ meeting to discuss, among several things, a capital increase of EGP 973 mn to finance the distribution of bonus shares to the company’s minority shareholders.

23 May (Monday): Lynx Strategic Business Advisors are hosting a webinar titled “Introducing Egypt's New E-Receipt System.”

25 May (Wednesday): 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.

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.

31 May (Tuesday): Extended deadline for EGX-listed companies to disclose 1Q 2021 earnings.

May: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

May: General Authority for Land and Dry Ports to issue the conditions booklet for the tender to establish and operate the Tenth of Ramadan dry port.

JUNE

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).

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): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools.

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

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.

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: World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington, DC

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.

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.

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

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP 27 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.

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

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.

14 March-30 June: The “Escape to Egypt” exhibition at the Coptic Museum, in celebration of its 112th anniversary.

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.

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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