Sunday, 18 September 2022

PM — Instagram vs. urban surveillance reality

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, wonderful people. We’re off to a medium-quiet start to the workweek here on the home front, while the rest of the world is still very much in weekend mode.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

Fintech fund Nclude capital reaches USD 105 mn with second round of funding: Nclude, the high profile fintech fund launched by Dubai-based VC Global Ventures has closed its second round of funding, bringing its total capital to USD 105 mn with participation from local and foreign investors, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to Enterprise, without disclosing who the investors are. The investors will be announced soon, our source told us.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

There’s no single story driving the conversation in the international business press this afternoon. The Financial Times’ lead story remains unchanged from this morning’s survey of economists, which sees the Fed raising rates beyond 4% and holding them there into 2024. Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and CNBC are all covering (albeit with varying degrees of prominence) a UK Defense Ministry briefing that expects Russia to ramp up its attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine.

HAPPENING NOW-

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly is in London to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, joining world leaders and heads of states at Westminster Palace, according to a cabinet statement.


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

  • The Central Bank of Egypt is likely to raise interest rates when it meets on Thursday in a bid to tame inflation and support the local currency, according to our regular interest rate poll.
  • B Investments has not yet decided on whether to preempt Adnoc’s bid to acquire TotalEnergies Egypt, saying it is “not in a position to respond” by a 15 September deadline, citing “unresolved legal issues related to the validity of the transfer notice” from current owner TotalEnergies Marketing Afrique.
  • ​​The government wants to attract private sector investment to state-owned Heliopolis Hospital under a wider plan to open up the healthcare sector to private-sector players.

enterprise

*** It’s Inside Industry day — your weekly briefing of all things industrial in Egypt. Inside Industry focuses each Sunday on what it takes to turn Egypt into a manufacturing and export powerhouse, ranging from initial investment and planning to product distribution, through to land allocation to industrial processes, supply chain management, labor, automation and technology, inputs and exports, regulation and policy.

In today’s issue: As part of the government’s continuing consultations on its state ownership policy document, the wood and furniture industry had its turn late last month to share its thoughts on the privatization plans for the industry. We look at how industry players want the state to proceed with its ownership status in the sector.

FOR TOMORROW-

EFG Hermes One on One kicks off in Dubai, making it the first time since the start of covid-19 that the world’s premier frontier and emerging markets investor conference has taken place in person. The conference runs through the end of the week until Thursday.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

HSBC is hosting an energy transition webinar series next Tuesday-Thursday, 27-29 September. The series will look at the “latest climate analysis in relation to the global energy market and transition to net zero” in six different sessions covering energy security, what is required to ensure the success of COP27, financing and investment needs for the energy transition, and the scaling up of renewables in the region, among other topics. You can register for the series here.

Intellectual property strategy coming this week: Egypt will launch its intellectual property strategy this Wednesday, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said on Wednesday, according to a cabinet statement. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Daren Tang will make an appearance at a ceremony being put on to launch the program, the PM said.

Winter is coming: Shops will shift to winter hours on Friday, 30 September, Youm7 reports. Shops and malls will close one hour earlier at 10pm (11pm on Thursdays, Fridays and national holidays) while cafes and restaurants will shutter at midnight rather than 1am. The government first introduced seasonal retail opening hours in 2020.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect the weather to remain more or less on par with today, as our weather app tells us the high will be 32°C and the low will be 24°C.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

It’s not just about watching foreign shows — subtitles are becoming trendy. More viewers, especially younger ones, use closed captioning tools on their streaming and social media apps such as Netflix and TikTok videos, the Wall Street Journal reports. While closed captions, which display text in the same language as the audio, have long been important for hearing-impaired people, they have become a must-have for many people who don’t suffer hearing loss. They assist them in understanding audio and allowing them to multitask, several people told the WSJ. Some 70% of Gen Z respondents (aged 18 to 25) and 53% of millennial respondents (aged up to 41) reported watching videos with text most of the time in a recent study by language-learning app Preply cited by the journal. In comparison, just slightly more than a third of older respondents said they watch subtitled-content.

Why do they do it? There are several reasons for turning on subtitles or captions, including the desire to learn a new language or the inability to understand a speaker's accent or mumbled words. (Not to mention the viewers who just want to know the dialogue that’s happening as they munch on noisy snacks.) All the tech giants are catching up: Netflix, Apple, Google, Meta, and Tiktok have all increased on-device auto-captioning options in recent years. According to a Netflix representative, the number of people using captions and subtitles has more than doubled since 2017.

An Instagram versus reality art installment shows ubiquity of urban surveillance: Belgian artist Dries Depoorter, who used AI to cross-reference Instagram influencers’ posts with open street camera surveillance footage from EarthCam, shows how easy it is to locate people by combining AI with publicly available data points, reports Bloomberg. Depoorter’s two-minute video project, “The Follower,” has since been removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim by EarthCam. Depoorte’s past works have dealt extensively with subjects like surveillance, privacy, social media and machine learning.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

Do Revenge is a mash-up of 90s teen movies with a dash of Hitchcock: The snappy Netflix dark comedy is set at a prestigious school in Miami and features students dressed up like they’re on the set of Clueless, with cool kids lounging by the fountain in typical Scream style, and we get an inside look at the various subcultures at the high school, a la Mean Girls and 10 Things I Hate About You. The movie centers on Drea (Camila Mendes), a high-achiever with the sole goal of getting into Yale, who makes over social misfit Eleanor (Maya Hawke). Meanwhile, the show’s only adult character, the high school principal, is played by the ultimate 90s teen star: Sarah Michelle Gellar. The plot is a spin on Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, in which a killer convinces an anonymous stranger to “switch” murders with him so that the police will treat both crimes as random and never catch either of them. But instead of murder, the goal here is shame: Drea and Eleanor plot to trade revenge missions on their high school tormentors so that no evidence will trail back to them. Our verdict: Do Revenge is a fun, Gen Z-inspired remake of the sassy adolescent classics of the 1990s, and is worth tuning into when you’re looking for some light streaming after a long day (watch trailer, runtime 2:39)

Zamalek begins its African Champions League journey at 5pm with a game against Chad’s Elect Sport in the first leg of the preliminary round. The return match will be held in Cairo a week later.

English Premier League: Gameweek 8 concludes today, and the league resumes in October as the players go on their international break. Everton’s match against West Ham kicks off at 3:15 pm — just a few minutes after we hit “send” on this issue — while the match between Brentford and Arsenal wrapped up earlier with a score of 3-0 for Arsenal.

La Liga: The Madrid derby between Atletico and Real kicks off at 9pm. Also today: Villarreal faces Sevilla at 4:15pm, and later at 6:30pm Real Betis plays Girona and Real Sociedad plays Espanyol.

It’s a big day in Serie A: You don’t want to miss Italy’s two giants Milan and Napoli facing off at 8:45pm. The two teams are in the lead after six rounds, at 14 points each, along with Atalanta who faces Roma at 6pm. Roma is currently in fifth place with 13 points. Monza v Juventus kicked off at 3 pm and the teams are currently battling it out on the field as we dispatch.

For fans of France’s Ligue 1, we recommend tuning into Lyon v Paris Saint-Germain at 8:45pm.

🍰EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Start the week with a worthy sugar rush at West Cairo’s Süss: Sometimes all you need is a no-nonsense destination to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings, and we recently came across all the treats we could possibly need at 6th of October’s Süss. The pastry shop offers some of the most innovative dessert options, starting with their Iced Pistachio Croissant or Oreo Leche Croissant (or just a tasty regular ol’ plain one if you’re so inclined). Next up, the menu boasts a sugary take on Japanese sushi, including white chocolate sushi, mastic sushi, or cheesecake sushi. The restaurant also offers fettuccine crepe and ice cream pizzas that are worth feasting on. Süss is located at Melanite Mall.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Frank Sinatra fans, head to Zamalek’s Sawy Culture Wheel tonight at 7:30pm for The Sinatra Show with Gaby Bishara and listen to a live performance of all your favorite tunes.

Zamalek Art Gallery is kicking off the 2022-23 Art season with Wisdom of Shadows. Innocence of Light: The one-of-a-kind exhibition by renowned artist Mohamed Shaker will showcase his most recent Assemblage series, along with paintings chronicling his extensive artistic voyage. The artworks will be on display through 10 October.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

The host of Crime Junkie makes her writing debut with a gripping psychological thriller: In All Good People Here, a journalist who gets obsessed with the unsolved death of her childhood neighbor — and the disappearance of another girl 20 years later — discovers her hometown’s dark secrets. With her debut novel, the reigning true crime podcast queen Ashley Flowers has created a gorgeously winding trip, with beautifully-developed characters that kept us on the edge of our seats the entire time. We love a good thriller or murder mystery, and enjoy trying to figure out the puzzle before the book is over — at least three times while reading All Good People Here, we were absolutely certain we had it all figured out, only to find that we were dead wrong.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 fell 3.1% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.27 bn (25.2% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 18.3% YTD.

In the green: QNB Alahly (+7.0%), CIRA (+1.6%) and Oriental Weavers (+0.5%).

In the red: Fawry (-9.1%), GB Auto (-8.7%) and Heliopolis Housing and Development (-8.4%).

industry

Wood + furniture manufacturers weigh in on the state’s privatization plans: As part of its state ownership policy document, the government is currently looking to exit the wood products and furniture industry as it aims to transform the sector into a more lucrative investment avenue for foriegn investors. Stakeholders in the industry gathered late last month to voice their opinions on what the sector needs to thrive and to lay out recommendations on how to bring the private sector on board.

The key takeaway: The biggest challenge facing private sector players in the industry remains the shortage of raw materials, according to several sources speaking with Enterprise. But beyond that, manufacturers are also struggling in the face of the high industrial land costs and competition with informal workshops that operate in the shadow economy, industrial players tell us. The policy document is a “strong indicator” that the government is serious about encouraging private sector participation in the economy, which is a critical message for international investors, Nabolia CEO Eslam Zein El Abdin told Enterprise. Attracting international investment partners significantly increases local players’ chances of tapping export markets abroad and securing more revenues, he said.

A refresher on the state’s privatization drive: Every Sunday and Tuesday, workshops are held as part of a series of public consultations over the policy document — which lays out privatization plans on specific industries. These come as the government seeks to widen private sector involvement in the economy over the next three years, and aims to draw new investments worth some USD 40 bn over the next four by selling stakes in state-owned assets to local and international investors. You can refresh your memory of what went down with the pharma industry, engineering and automotive industry reps, FMCG players, the printing and packaging industry, and textile and garments manufacturers in our previous editions of Inside Industry.

Raw materials shortages remain top of mind: Furniture manufacturers rely heavily on imported materials, Furniture Export Council member Eslam Khalil told Enterprise. Finding a way to set up a framework that would ensure material availability would go a long way for the industry, agrees Federation of Egyptian Industries’ (FEI) furniture manufacturing division member Alaa Nasr.

So moving towards making these materials available locally is critical: Making wood products and materials available locally is one of the main requirements to ensure the stability of furniture manufacturing, says Furniture Export Council member Mahmoud Abou Shousha. This could be achieved by expanding Egypt’s tree planting, while relying on wastewater treatment plants for irrigation, suggests Osama Zaitoun, managing director of Egypt-Kuwait Holdings-affiliated Nile Wood Company. Between expanding the production of wood locally and the existing direction of using recycled agricultural waste to produce wood boards, we could entirely eliminate the need for imported wood by the end of 2023, Zaitoun predicts.

On the flipside, there’s a huge window for exports: There’s an untapped window of potential to export Egyptian furniture and wood products, says Nasr. Africa in particular could be a strong potential export market, considering incentives currently in place to ship products to the continent, Nasr tells us.

New incentives driving private sector investments would go a long way to improving competitiveness on a global scale: Providing the private sector with investments related to industrial land prices and allocation through a usufruct framework would be a welcome form of support for the wood and furniture industry, agree Tarek Habashy, undersecretary of the FEI’s furniture manufacturing division and SAI Solutions Chairman, and Samir Aref, a member of the Egyptian Investors Association. Usufruct agreements for industrial land are helpful for manufacturers because it’s cheaper than buying the land, and that price difference can be directed towards capital investments, expansions, and improving product quality.

There’s also a shortage of trained laborers, which Nasr says is a critical challenge for the industry to create a diversity of products. He suggests that it’s important to expand on vocational training for the industry to support the labor market.

The sector still needs more state support + regulation to improve its performance: Part of that state support is formalizing the shadow economy, which industry players tell us is difficult to compete with because informal workshops don’t have the same tax or regulatory burdens. Zaitoun suggests government incentives for the informal industry to go legit. Other regulatory oversight the sector needs is tightening customs regulations for imports of production inputs to ensure they meet global quality standards, says Assal Furniture CEO and board member of the FEI’s furniture division Hussein Assal.

As is the case with many industries, public-private frameworks and more cooperation would be very welcome: Expanding public-private partnerships in the furniture and wood products industry and offering up projects under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) framework could also help to open up new export markets by tapping into the public and private sectors’ individual strengths, suggests Alsnosy Balbaa, vice president of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport.


Your top industrial development stories for the week:

  • Elsewedy Electric opened the second phase of its USD 50 mn Kigamboni industrial complex. The factory has an annual production capacity of 2.5k transformers.
  • Chinese mobile maker Oppo will set up a USD 20 mn mobile phone plant in Egypt. The facility will have an initial production capacity of 4.5 mn devices per year and create some 900 jobs within the next three to five years.
  • Emirati fertilizer company CFC Group will start contracting in February for its USD 400 mn industrial complex in Qena Governorate.

📆 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.

SEPTEMBER

September: Central Bank of Egypt’s Innovation and Financial Technology Center to launch incubator for 50 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.

13-27 September (Tuesday-Tuesday): UN General Assembly, New York.

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

18 September (Sunday): Deadline to apply for investor funding under the Planning Ministry’s Smart Green Governorates initiative.

19-22 September (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes One on One Conference, Dubai.

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

21 September (Wednesday): The Egyptian Virtual Food Show (pdf).

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

22 September (Thursday): Deadline to submit prequalification applications for companies interested in submitting a proposal for sea water desalination projects

25-27 September (Sunday-Tuesday) A delegation of executives at Egyptian real estate companies visit Saudi Arabia to present developers with potential investments in Egypt’s real estate sector.

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.

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): HSBC Energy Transition Webinar series.

28-29 September (Wednesday-Thursday): The sixth edition of Arab Pensions and Social Ins. Conference in Sharm El Sheikh.

30 September (Friday): Winter opening hours for shops and restaurants begins.

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): Start of 2022-2023 public school year.

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

4-8 October (Tuesday-Saturday): The Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council of the Trade and Industry Ministry is organizing a trade mission to Kenya.

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

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

10 October (Monday): The CEO Women Conference

10-16 October (Monday-Sunday): World Bank and IMF annual meetings, Washington, DC.

15 October (Saturday): Cairo Metro will launch a global tender for maintenance work on the power stations and overhead catenary system of Line 1.

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

17 October (Monday): Fifth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Geneva, Switzerland.

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

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.

NOVEMBER

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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