Wednesday, 26 October 2022

PM — Dirt for immunity



Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and happy almost-THURSDAY. The news cycle is taking a bit of a breather on the local front after the three-day Egypt Economic Conference gave us a very busy start to the week.


The House of Representatives gave its final approval to a handful of bills today, including two bills that will make it harder for people to obtain gun licenses, the Agriculture Act, and amendments to the Civil Status Act that requires citizens to obtain their national IDs at age 15, instead of 16.


Musk’s Twitter takeover could be completed this Friday: Elon Musk has reportedly told the investors who have agreed to finance his USD 44 bn acquisition of Twitter that he plans to close the transaction by this Friday, a source with knowledge of the matter tells Reuters. The equity investors, which include Sequoia Capital, Binance, and Qatar Investment Authority, have received the necessary papers for the financing pledge from Musk’s lawyers, the source said. The banks that have agreed to finance Musk's takeover of Twitter are in the process of signing the relevant documentation for the final debt financing arrangement, Bloomberg reports. The Wall Street Journal also has the story.


Egypt and the UAE’s three-day gathering to mark 50 years of bilateral ties kicked off earlier today, with an economic forum with attendees including ministers, senior officials and business leaders from the two countries. Tomorrow, the event will include a media forum.

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

  • SODIC is making a bid to acquire Orascom for Real Estate: The upmarket real estate developer has submitted a preliminary, non-binding offer to acquire 100% of the Orascom Development Egypt subsidiary.
  • The Egypt Economic Conference wrapped yesterday with closing speeches from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, both of whom laid out what they see as next steps for the state’s role in the economy, manufacturing and other policy areas after three days’ worth of public talks.
  • From the House yesterday: Green financing + gun licensing + ID cards: The House of Representatives approved two green finance agreements, as well as two draft bills that will make it harder for people to obtain gun licenses, and a draft amendment to the Civil Status Law that would require citizens to get their national ID cards at 15 years old instead of 16 years old.


Empowering the South: Green Economies and Climate Resilience takes place at the Greek Campus today. Speakers at the conference include former deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El Din, Egypt climate czar Mahmoud Mohieldin, and International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat. You can register for the event here.

An IMF delegation will land in Cairo in the first week of November to continue loan talks, Jihad Azour, the IMF’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said earlier this week.

Law firms Matouk Bassiouny and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will hold a webinar on 2 November that will spotlight COP27’s potential impact on businesses globally. Register for the webinar here.

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

🌤️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The showers and thunderstorms of yesterday should mostly give way to the sun tomorrow in Greater Cairo, where our favorite weather app tells us to expect a daytime high of 29°C and a nighttime low of 19°C.



Time to put down the disinfectant and get a little dirty: Cleanliness and detoxifying have become pervasive in cosmetics, diets, and wellness but a growing body of research suggests that dirt is good for us, the Financial Times reports. “We’re entering an age when soil-friendly practices and regenerative agriculture are going to feed through to what we put on our skin, the food we eat and how we behave,” said Beth McGroarty, vice president of research and forecasting at the Global Wellness Institute.

What is “regenerative” agriculture? The term refers to a more eco-friendly approach that goes beyond simply preserving the soil and actively offers solutions, as The World Economic Forum estimates that we only have less than 60 years of this topsoil left. One scoop of soil may contain up to 50 bn lifeforms and this incredible diversity is critical to the health of the soil, which works to distribute water and nutrients to plants, and control rainfall, among other essential factors to maintaining the health of our planet.

It’s impacting modern beauty and wellness companies as well: Bog Skincare, which is named after a 2k-year-old body discovered perfectly preserved in bogland some 20 years ago, bases its formulas on organic peat, which contains anti-aging antioxidant levels 300 times higher than Trolox, the industry standard antioxidant, according to clinical trials by Glasgow University. Further research discovered that the peat’s humic and fulvic acids had anti-wrinkle capabilities. Perfume companies are also beginning to focus more on soil-friendly practices rather than making general “sustainable” claims. Leading the movement is Guerlain, who recently auctioned off digital artwork NFTs to raise funds for a new “laboratory garden” dedicated to investigating regenerative agriculture practices.

Ever wondered why you get bitten by mosquitoes more than others? Some people have higher levels of specific acids on their skin which are irresistible to the pesky insects, according to a study by New York’s Rockefeller University. Participants were asked to put nylon stockings on their arms to capture the natural odor of their skin. The stockings were then placed in a clear plastic container full of mosquitos to observe which the insects flocked to the most. People with higher levels of carboxylic acids on their skin were more likely to be "mosquito magnets," the study's principal researcher said.

Breakthrough in the production of bug spray: These discoveries may pave the way for new products that mask or alter certain human scents, reducing mosquito bites and the spread of sometimes deadly diseases like yellow fever, dengue, and Zika virus. Some 700 mn people globally catch diseases caused by mosquitoes each year, and studies expect that numbers will climb as temperatures rise, a University of Washington professor and a mosquito expert tells the Washington Post.

iPhones are going to have USB-C chargers: Apple will adhere to a EU law requiring it to replace its iPhones’ lightning chargers to USB-C, Bloomberg reports, citing the tech giant’s marketing chief Greg Joswiak. Apple will make the shift next year, ahead of the law going into effect in 2024, Joswiak said. The chargers have been a point of contention between Apple and the EU for 10 years, he said. It’s still unclear whether the USB-C supported iPhones will be rolled out exclusively in the EU or worldwide.


(all times CLT)

Dramedy in a British hospital: This is Going to Hurt is a BBC series created by Adam Kay, based on his best-selling 2017 memoir. Set in 2006, the show stars Ben Whishaw (whom you may recognize as Q from the 007 films) as an overworked junior doctor struggling with immense fatigue as he works in the obstetrics and gynecology ward. The grueling job takes a toll on Kay’s relationships, as he struggles with his family and tries to maintain a social life. Characters routinely break the fourth wall in the series, directly addressing viewers with dialogue, and the plot is full of comedic and dramatic tones. You can catch the trailer here (runtime 0:40).

Champions League: Barcelona takes on Bayern Munich in the fifth round of the Champions League today at 9pm. Barcelona is third in its group, four points behind Bayern Munich (12 points) and Inter Milan (7 points).

Other matches in the round:

Ajax v Liverpool (9pm)

Napoli v Rangers (9pm)

Inter Milan v Viktoria Plzen (6:45pm)

Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen (9pm)

Tottenham v Sporting Lisbon (9pm)

Eintracht Frankfurt v Marseille (9pm)

Bruges v Porto (6:45pm)

Egyptian Premier League: Pharco plays against Haras El Hodoud at 5pm.

(all times CLT)

Levantine artists hit up Cairo Jazz 610: Syrian producer/MC Bu Kolthoum (whose name is a mash-up of Umm Kulthoum and pre-Islamic Arab warrior and poet Bin Kulthoum) will perform his hits Jouwana’ and Mamnoun tonight at 9pm and Lebanese DJ/musician Wass plays his hip hop and R&B filled set.

The Wannabe Comedians take the stage at OX Egypt tonight at 8:30pm with a lineup of Egyptian comedians.

Catch Noha Fekry at the Jazz Bar in the Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo at 9:30pm tonight.


A blend of romance, adventure, and faerie lore: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas delves into the story of Feyre who murders a “wolf” in the woods one day, only to be dragged by a Fae named Tamlin to the magical island home to faeries for retribution. Although Feyre was captured as punishment for her doings, she lives a far better life on Prythian than she ever did in her mortal world. She falls in love with Tamlin, but deeply misses her village as the plot unfolds, revealing the true colors of the characters and the truth behind Feyre’s captivity.


The EGX30 rose 0.75% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.25 bn (17.9% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net sellers. The index is down 11.68% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+6.5%), Elsewedy Electric (+4.3%) and Heliopolis Housing and Development (+4.0%).

In the red: Alexandria Containers and Cargo Handling (-4.0%), Orascom Construction (-2.1%) and Mopco (-1.1%).




Invest in your tech priorities: With inflation running high and a global recession likely lying in wait for us come next year, businesses are facing an uncertain future. But that doesn’t mean they should let investing in tech infrastructure fall by the wayside. Whether a company’s goal is to save costs, boost margins, grow existing business, or pivot to a new business model, the right tech can help you get there. Gartner — a member of the S&P 500 — is a research and advisory firm that delivers technology-related insights to its clients. Its 2023 Top Strategic Technology Trends report (pdf) runs through the key tech that businesses should take advantage of over the next three years.

2023’s top ten tech trends include the metaverse; super apps, which we covered in detail in a recent three-part What’s Next series, here, here, and here; adaptive AI, which many international schools in Egypt have already been using for a while; and sustainable tech. There are five of Gartner’s top trends that are a little lesser-known to the average layperson. We break them down for you here:

#1- Digital Immune System (DIS): In order for a business to be cyber resilient, it needs a data-driven defense strategy against viruses (in the form of a technical solution) that can serve as the digital immune system (DIS) to a firm’s IT environment. Much like a biological immune system, a DIS is “adaptable and constantly evolving” to tackle unforeseen attacks. Once a DIS overcomes a virus, it is able to do so over and over again. However, if a DIS is not evolving consistently, it will be unable to take on new threats and eventually lose its effectiveness.

DIS applications: Brazilian bank Banco Itaú was able to increase the amount of events that are automatically remedied by 37% and lower mean resolution time for resolving issues by 45% after adding capabilities for prevention and correction to its monitoring systems, according to the Gartner report. American Airlines also ramped up its DIS to tackle growing system complexity and fix unknown vulnerabilities and weaknesses.

#2- Applied observability: Data observability is a company’s “ability to understand, diagnose, and manage data health across multiple IT tools throughout the data lifecycle.” Applied observability takes things a step further by allowing IT executives to make faster, more accurate future decisions by using real data as opposed to predictions, according to Gartner. Tesla, for example, uses aspects of applied observability to determine the cost of car ins. for drivers. The company uses features in some of its models to determine the ins. premium for a vehicle based on a driver’s Safety Score — an assessment of driving behavior to generate a score that determines the probability of a future collision. Daily Safety Scores are combined into a 30-day mileage-weighted average to calculate the Safety Score used to update a driver’s premium every month.

#3- AI trust, risk and security management (AI TRiSM): AI TRiSM exists to tackle ethical, business, and legal issues raised by artificial intelligence. While AI is a strong and versatile instrument used to solve and ease our daily lives — from giving song suggestions on Spotify to saving us hours with Google Maps — the benefit a tool provides from its success is often comparable to the impact of its failure, warns governance, risk, and compliance firm Fairly. In other words, with great power comes great responsibility: An unintentional bias from an AI algorithm can lead to qualified individuals not getting a life-altering job, digital privacy service provider, Triple Blind reports. Enter AI TRiSM — a “framework that supports AI model governance, trustworthiness, fairness, reliability, robustness, efficacy and privacy,” according to Gartner.

Real world AI TRiSM, groundbreaking results: The Danish Business Authority (DBA) devised a system of applying ethical principles to AI models, according to the report, by linking its ethical guidelines to real actions. They established a model monitoring framework to check predictions against fairness tests in 16 AI models that monitor financial transactions worth EUR bns.

#4- Industry cloud platforms: Industry clouds are collections of cloud services, applications, and other tools that are built for strategic use cases in specific industries. They bring together cloud services that would otherwise be purchased individually in a pre-integrated and adjustable manner. Businesses that use industry clouds to utilize carefully considered, cutting-edge digital solutions will probably gain a considerable competitive advantage. By 2027, over 50% of companies will use industry cloud platforms to expedite their business initiatives, Gartner predicts.

Industry cloud platforms in action: One of the most heavily populated cities in China, Hangzhou, collaborated with multinational tech player Alibaba to address its congestion problem by developing a cloud-based system called the City Brain. The system monitors every vehicle in the city and stores information that it gathers from public transportation data, thousands of cameras, and a mapping app, among other sources. AI then processes the data and uses it to control city congestion by controlling traffic lights to speed up traffic and alerting authorities about collisions and illegal parking incidents. Following implementation, the city's congestion ranking plummeted from the fifth-most crowded city in the country to the 57th spot, according to CNN.

#5- Platform engineering: Having an efficient system to cut the time it takes to deliver apps and increase the pace of producing business value can give companies a competitive edge. Platform Engineering is a term used to describe the process of creating common platforms as a product — having a dedicated team that builds and maintains a platform used to accelerate the delivery of apps. Nike's use of platform engineering has enabled it to adapt to change more rapidly, accelerating the time it takes to market and saving operating costs while boosting its scalability, according to the report.



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

26 October (Wednesday): Empowering the South: Green Economies and Climate Resilience conference, the Greek Campus, Cairo, Egypt.

26-28 October (Wednesday-Friday): Egypt celebrates 50 years of ties with the UAE.

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

30 October-1 November (Sunday-Tuesday): Egypt Energy, Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC), New Cairo.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

Late October: First Abu Dhabi Bank to complete full integration with Bank Audi’s Egyptian operations after merger.


First week of November: IMF delegation to visit Egypt for negotiations on loan agreement.

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

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Arab League annual summit, Algiers, Algeria.

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.

5-8 November (Sunday-Tuesday): Techne Summit for Investment and Entrepreneurship, Alexandria, Egypt

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

7 November (Monday): Middle East Green Initiative, Sharm El Sheikh.

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

9 November (Wednesday): Finance Ministry to host “Finance Day” at COP27.

11-12 November (Friday-Saturday): Saudi Green Initiative, Sharm El Sheikh.

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

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

27 – 28 November (Thursday-Friday): The first edition of the Egypt Media Forum.

27-30 November (Sunday-Wednesday): Cairo ICT, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo.


3 December (Saturday): Dior Men’s pre-fall collection show in Giza.

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.

December: Egyptian Automotive Summit.

December: Egypt to expand Sudan electricity link capacity to 300 MW.


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.

1 January (Sunday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

1 January (Sunday): Residential electricity bills are set to rise as per the government’s six-year roadmap (pdf) to restructure electricity prices by 2025.

7 January (Saturday): Coptic Christmas.

24 January-6 February: The 54th Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center

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

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

30 January-1 February (Monday-Wednesday): CI Capital’s Annual MENA Investor Conference 2023, Cairo, Egypt.


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.

23-27 February (Thursday-Monday): The eighth annual Business Women of Egypt’s Women for Success conference.

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

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday) Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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.


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

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


6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.


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.

4Q 2022: Electricity Ministry to tender six solar projects in Aswan Governorate.

4Q2022: Raya Holding subsidiary Aman and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia to launch their fintech company.

4Q 2022: Saudi Jamjoom Pharma to inaugurate its EGP 1 bn pharma factory in El Obour.

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.

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; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.