Tuesday, 16 November 2021

PM — House gives preliminary approval on granting the PM new emergency pandemic powers.



It’s an energy-focused hump day, ladies and gentlemen, with a flurry of energy news coming out of various global oil, gas and commodities summits today, some of which looks like it could pose upsides on the domestic front.

This includes Tel Aviv reportedly wanting to back out of the UAE pipeline agreement over “environmental risks,” and Europe having to diversify its gas imports away from Russia as it reportedly risks more rolling outages this year.

Domestic carbon capture projects on the horizon? Italian energy firm Eni is in talks with the oil ministry on joint projects in carbon capture, the details of which are set to be announced at next year’s COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, according to a ministry statement.


#1- Unemployment rate inched back up in 3Q2021: Egypt’s unemployment rate rose for the first time since returning to pre-pandemic levels in 3Q2020, inching up to 7.5%, marginally up from 7.3% last quarter, according to figures (pdf) released by Capmas. The state statistics bureau put the jump down to the entry of fresh graduates into the job market in August and September, which it says widened the size of the workforce and led to a subsequent rise in unemployment levels.

#2- EFG Hermes now has full ownership of Tanmeyah: EFG Hermes has acquired the remaining 6.5% stake held by retail investors in its microfinance firm Tanmeyah for EGP 415 mn, a company official confirmed to Enterprise. The microfinance player has issued EGP 18 bn in loans to some 1.5 mn clients since it was founded in 2009, according to Al Mal, and recently became the first microfinance firm to offer pre-paid meeza cards in Egypt.

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

HAPPENING NOW- The Prime Minister will be given expanded powers during pandemic and other health crises after the House of Representatives approved the measures today, Youm7 reports. The PM would have the authority to impose restrictions on movement and public gatherings, suspend schools and universities, and set opening and closing times for retail stores, among other powers.

The 25 powers granted to the Prime Minister also include setting price caps on key goods and services. These powers can also be expanded at a later date depending on the circumstances. The powers were put forward as part of a draft bill outlining procedures to combat pandemics, which just received a preliminary sign off from the House, the newspaper reports.

The first day of the Africa Fintech summit is currently underway. The summit looks at innovation in the fintech ecosystem, venture capital and other forms of investing, and will also discuss the rise of healthtech.

CORRECTION- A story we picked up from Amwal Al Ghad earlier this week incorrectly claimed that Tatweer Misr is borrowing EGP 3.5 bn from the National Bank of Egypt and AAIB. Representatives from Tatweer told Enterprise it is not borrowing the sum from these banks. We have updated the story on our website to reflect this information.

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

  • Gov’t looking to gradually back out of certain economic sectors: The state will decide its “priority areas for structural reform” in order to open the door for more private sector involvement in the economy, and will review every two years which state-owned enterprises it will drop, and which it will keep in its portfolio.
  • House gives PPP Act final nod: Private sector players will have an easier time bidding for public infrastructure projects under amendments explicitly allowing public entities to partner with private companies on transport, energy, communications and healthcare projects.
  • e-Finance pushes expansion with B2B e-commerce, digital health, and tourism platforms: e-payments firm e-Finance is focused on the build-out of new lines of business and expanding its regional footprint, and is also pursuing a number of non-bank financial services licenses.


Haftar joins the Libyan presidential race: Khalifa Haftar announced his candidacy for president in the December 24 election in a televised statement today, which will see him face off against Seif al-Islam Al Qaddafi, who announced his candidacy on Sunday. Haftar backs the eastern Libyan government and commands the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, a position he relinquished to his chief of staff in September to run for president. He is supported by Egypt, the UAE, France and Russia. Parliament Speaker Agila Saleh, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and former Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga are also likely to make presidential bids. Ahram Online, Reuters, Washington Post and the Associated Press all have the story.


The Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 is still ongoing in South Africa. Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea is heading a delegation of 40 Egyptian companies participating in the trade fair this year, according to a statement.The event this year will focus on the newly-launched African Continental FreeTrade Area (AfCFTA) which aims to boost trade and investment for 55 countries, including Egypt. The trade fair will run until Sunday.


We’re getting a royal visit this week: British royal family members Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be in Cairo on Thursday and Friday, following a visit to Jordan today as part of a royal tour, in which they are expected to focus on bilateral relations and climate change.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The mercury will rise to 26°C during the day tomorrow before falling to 16°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.


Bn’aires may have to (gasp) fly commercial, with “distressed buyers” reportedly paying above the asking price for private jets as inventories hit an all-time low, one industry analyst told the Financial Times. The partial resumption of scheduled flights has propelled an increased turn by the super rich to private jets,with upwards of 4.2 mn private jet flights recorded this year by aviation data provider WingX, and flights in the first week of November recording a 54% y-o-y rise. Demand for private jets has soared among wealthy travelers, with the president of Airbus’ private jet arm reporting that the first available delivery slot for one model of its aircraft was early 2024 — a statement echoed by another private jet company executive.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they accelerate the climate apocalypse: Private jets are 5 to 14 times more polluting than commercial aviation per passenger, according to the European Federation for Transport and Environment, which estimates that a shocking 1% of people cause 50% of global aviation emissions.

After Parasite and Squid Game, Korean producers are chasing the next homegrown smash hit. South Korean conglomerate CJ Group will invest USD 4.2 bn in content production over the next five years, Bloomberg reports. The group, which had a hand in Oscar-awarded film Parasite, is betting big on Korean pop culture on the back of successes from superstar K-pop band BTS to the global TV event that was Netflix’s Squid Game.

More firms are “jumping into the industry” as entertainment emerges as a new growth area, the head of a Seoul-based corporate research firm told the newswire. While still modest compared to those of the US or China, foreign revenues from South Korean content increased 6.3% to hit USD 10.8 bn in 2020, topping agricultural products, cosmetics and household appliances. The boom in Korean content is also moving the markets, with the shares of a handful of film and music production companies up by double digits this year.


Russian monarchs misbehave in (Catherine) The Great + Comedian Russell Peters is coming to Egypt + Catch the Vienna Philharmonic in NAC next week


(all times CLT)

Russian history isn’t exactly famous for its comedic value. But what if it were? Historical comedy-drama The Great doesn’t stake an especially strong claim to truth, billing itself in the opening credits as “an occasionally true story.” It charts the rise of one of modern history’s greatest female monarchs — Catherine the Great (played by Elle Fanning) — from her arrival in Russia as a wide-eyed princess set to be wed to the daft and detestable Prince Peter (played by Nicholas Hoult), to her eventual rise to the throne. Spending his days between drinking himself silly and shooting bears for sport, Catherine quickly realizes Peter is unfit to rule and hatches a plan, along with a few royal allies, to usurp the throne. The real life Catherine the Great was known for being a champion of the arts, reinvigorating Russian cultural life and promoting education for the masses — one of the few traits the fictional version of her in the show shares.

Not a show for the faint of heart: The series is a delightful romp through Russian history — rife with palace intrigue, witty dialogue, and absurd turns of events — and really plays up the debauchery of royal life in the 18th century. A word of warning: The show is in no way PG friendly, and is not for the easily offended; profanity, innuendo, and cruelty for the sake of comedy are as common as the powdered wigs worn by the drunken revellers who populate most scenes. The first season of the show is available to view on OSN play, with the second season set to drop on 20 November.

Egypt is currently on the field against Gabon, having started their World Cup qualifier match at 3pm at Alexandria’s Borg El Arab Stadium. As of dispatch, Egypt is ahead 1-0 after Magdi Afsha got one past the goalie in a penalty shot.

European World Cup Qualifiers (all matches at 9:45pm):

In Group D, France and Finland are taking the field. France has already secured its place for Qatar 2022, but today's match is a chance for Finland to secure its ticket to the playoffs. Meanwhile, Ukraine is playing against Bosnia and Herzegovina with the hope that they’ll come out on top and beat Finland for a playoff spot. France is in first place with 15 points, followed by Finland with 11 points, then Ukraine with 9 points, then Bosnia with 7 points.

In Group E, Belgium also booked its place in the next World Cup, so while today’s faceoff against Wales has a foregone conclusion, the latter will play with the aim of expanding the point difference with the Czech Republic. The Czechs are playing a life or death match against Estonia today as they aim to collect three points and secure as many goals as possible, while waiting for Wales to stumble against Belgium. Belgium currently leads with 19 points, followed by Wales with 14 points, then the Czech Republic with 11 points.

In Group G, The Netherlands is in the lead with 20 points. The battle between Turkey and Norway is intensifying with both tied at 18 points and Turkey ahead by only one goal. The Netherlands will host Norway in a high-stakes fiery match while Turkey will compete against Montenegro.


Burgers, tacos, and churros — this place has it all: Hush Burgers & More in Heliopolis brings the classic burger joint menu and aesthetics and perfects them. You can’t go wrong with any of their burgers, all of which are similar except for the number of patties you’d like to stack. They also serve a crispy chicken sandwich and a vegetarian burger for those who’d rather opt out of meat. Their taco options are just as simple, choosing between chicken or minced meat, while appetizers include nachos and a fried potato skin bowl. Hush will be a hit for those who find themselves lost when presented with a lot of menu options — plus the place is great to just relax with a group of friends, a burger, and a drink.


(all times CLT)

The Vienna Philharmonic are coming to Egypt, led by world-renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti. The event will take place next Sunday, 21 November at the City of Arts and Culture Hall at the new administrative capital. Tickets are available for sale on TicketsMarche.

It’s still a ways away, but we can’t help getting excited about comedian Russell Peters coming to Egypt with two shows next month. Peters will be performing on 17 and 18 December as part of his “Act Your Age” tour, which looks at cancel culture, aging, and the current state of the world. Details about tickets have not yet been announced, but they should start going on sale next week. If you don’t already know who Peters is, check out his stand ups on Arab Men and Language Barriers — two of our favorites.


Remembering a leading light of Arabic literature in translation: We were very sad to hear that leading British translator Humphrey Davies passed away this week at the age of 74. A graduate of AUC’s CASA program for Arabic, Davies put down deep roots in Cairo over the many decades he called the city home. His projects took in an impressive sweep, from medieval manuscripts to modern novels, and are lauded for their creative flair and their ability to faithfully convey the feel of the original Arabic. “For my generation, Humphrey was The Translator. A stand alone cultural machine who loved what he did,” writer Khaled al-Berry told ArabLit.

Where to start in the Davies canon: Among Davies’ best known works are his translations of Alaa Al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building, four novels by Elias Khoury including Gate of the Sun, and much of the work of Naguib Mahfouz. For something a little more contemporary, try al-Berry’s Life Is More Beautiful Than Paradise, or Aziz Mohammed’s Kafka-inspired The Critical Case of a Man Called K. For history buffs and lovers of Downtown Cairo, Davies’ and Lesley Lababidi’s Field Guide to the Street Names of Central Cairo opens up new perspectives on some of the city’s oldest streets.


Meet our analyst of the week: Alpha Capital’s Salma Taha Hussein

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Salma Taha Hussein, independent board member at Alpha Capital Group and ex-head of research at Concord International Investments (Linkedin).

My name is Salma Taha Hussein and I’ve been working in the field for almost 25 years. I started my career working on the USAID Privatization Project led by Arthur Anderson. The project’s mission was to conduct valuations on all public-sector companies and recommend and guide the government on the most appropriate privatization method — whether through an IPO or selling to a strategic investor. In some cases, the recommendation was to liquidate the company altogether, especially when there were years of losses or the product wasn’t needed anymore.

I then moved to Fleming Commercial International Investment Company where I worked as a senior research analyst on the sell-side. This was during a period that I consider the rise of the EGX — when we saw a lot of large companies listing, such as Ezz Steel and Orascom Construction. The office would often send me to London to talk to foreign investors and understand what they look at when investing in Egypt, and how they choose equities.

I then moved to Concord International Investments where I spent 15 years. This was my shift to buy-side and it was very different. On the sell-side you look at the short-term more often, but buy-side is more long-term, which requires a different vision and approach. For the first few years, I managed a fund in Turkey and was really engrossed in their market. I was also a member of the investment committee at Concord in asset management, where I learned to balance client’s portfolios and create models to maximize return.

Now I’m an independent board member at Alpha Capital Group, and I’m studying for my PhD. I’m doing my PhD in economics and political science at Cairo University, with a focus on governance and institutionalizing digital transformation.

The best part of my job is the exposure and knowledge I receive. I visited a lot of companies in different sectors, both here and abroad, and I got to understand their operations in depth. I still remember the details of cheese manufacturing from when I was working on an F&B company… I even remember the ingredients that were in the feta cheese [laughs]. I’m curious and an inquirer by nature, so the job really satisfies this part of me.

The worst part of my job is the stress. You often don’t know if you’re making the right decision at the right time — plus you’re under tight deadlines. But I believe that I have acquired good stress management skills. Now I break tasks into smaller ones and schedule them out in my agenda. I also make sure that the stress doesn’t affect my team. I allocate tasks in a way where everyone works on what they’re good at, but if there’s flexibility, I try to challenge them so that they’re not bored.

My theory of investment is to create a matrix of factors that I need to consider. I start by looking at the macroeconomic developments and setting aside all the companies that will be impacted by them. Then I look at companies that have good fundamentals and a strong story. I also look at indicators such as market cap, growth, liquidity, and the percentage of shares in freefloat.

The most important factor I look at to assess a company is the management. They have to be accountable and have a clear and achievable vision for the future. I look at their historical performance and their ability to stick to a strategy and targets. The biggest red flag for me is if management backtracks on their decisions overnight.

I believe that governance is the main reason Egyptian stocks have not been performing as well as they should, since a lack of accountability and transparency affects the market and the economy overall.

It’s impossible to determine whether the EGX30 will close in the green this year. I have concerns over the stock market regarding how it doesn’t move in a logical way. When Egypt managed to handle the pandemic well and also achieve positive growth, we still didn’t see the EGX perform as it should. Its movement often has nothing to do with the performance of the company or the country. It’s completely disassociated, and I don’t understand why. That’s actually the question I’m trying to answer in my PhD. I do think more companies should list and there needs to be more liquidity, but there are also a lot of other less vocalized factors that need to be identified and addressed for the EGX to become competitive.

I don’t think 2022 will be the year of Egypt. I forecast that the global wave of inflation will hit Egypt’s economy very soon, causing higher costs, higher prices, and lower gains. There are so many ongoing challenges we’re facing, such as the supply chain crisis and the removal of subsidies, it’s sure to have an impact. We also have a continuing problem of uncertainty in the market that drives away investors, most recently on the issue of the capital gains tax. This uncertainty stems from a larger structural issue we have in the country, where it’s often unclear whether something will be implemented or not. I think 2023 could be the year of Egypt if vaccination rates continue to increase and the country determines a clear track to move forward on.

The last great thing I watched wasn’t on TV — it was actually the Masters Swimming Championship I attended at Gezira Sporting Club. The Masters Swimming Championship is a competition for swimmers between the ages of 25 and 89, and it was so inspiring to watch.

I’ve been swimming and competing in triathlons since 2016. There’s no better feeling than crossing the finish line. In 2018, I joined the Masters Swimming Championship with the Shooting Club. Swimming really helps me handle the stress… once I hit the water everything negative just fades away.

My second biggest hobby is reading. I’m currently reading Saleeb Moussa by Haitham Daboor. My favorite books are The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. An outstanding Arabic book is Awlad Haretna by Naguib Mahfouz.


Raya Holding’s bottom line soared 688% y-o-y in 3Q2021 to EGP 330 mn, according to the company’s financial statement (pdf). Revenues grew 48% y-o-y to EGP 4.1 bn during the quarter. On a nine-month basis, the company reversed its net loss position to book EGP 481.9 mn in net income, compared to a net loss of EGP 53.7 mn in 9M2020, on a 64% y-o-y increase in 9M2021 revenues to EGP 12.4 bn.

Eastern Company reported a 37% rise in its bottom line in the first quarter of its 2021-2022 fiscal year, with net income coming in at EGP 1.6 bn, the company said in its earnings release (pdf). The tobacco monopoly saw revenues increase 11% y-o-y to EGP 17.5 bn during the quarter.

The company also announced coupon payments worth a combined EGP 1.6 per share for its FY2021 returns, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). The first coupon payout of EGP 1 per share will take place 1 December, 2021 and the second — worth EGP 0.6 per share — will be paid on 15 February, 2022. Total dividend payments from the company’s coupons amount to some EGP 3.6 bn.

Arabian Cement returned to the black in in 3Q2021, reporting EGP 67.2k in net income after making a EGP 34.1 mn loss in the same period last year, according to the company’s financials (pdf). Revenues during the July-September period rose 13% to EGP 677.9 mn.


The EGX30 fell 0.7% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 939 mn (36.4% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 5.2% YTD.

In the green: Orascom Development Egypt (+1.9%), TMG Holding (+1.4%) and Oriental Weavers (+0.8%).

In the red: Pioneers Properties (-7.2%), Aspire Capital (-6.9%) and Egyptian Resorts Company (-6.8%).


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

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

15-21 November (Monday-Sunday): Intra-African Trade Fair 2021, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

16-17 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Africa fintech summit, Cairo.

18-19 November (Thursday-Friday): British royal family members Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit Cairo.

23 November: 2021 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) summit in Sharm El Sheikh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

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

7 January 2022 (Friday): Coptic Christmas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2022: World Cup playoffs.

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

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

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

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

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

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

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

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

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

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

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

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