Sunday, 28 August 2022

PM — It’s not just Qatar getting a flood of World Cup tourists



Good afternoon, friends. We come to you with one of the slowest Sunday afternoons in recent history, although we expect the pace to pick up significantly as the week rolls on.


Ghazl El Mahalla IPO still fails to reel in retail investor interest: The subscription period for the retail component of Ghazl El Mahalla’s micro-IPO closed today, with the football club receiving bids for around 18% of the shares allocated to the public, according to an EGX bulletin. The club has allocated 98 mn shares to the retail component of the IPO and is selling them for EGP 1.02 apiece. As of market close today, Ghazl El Mahalla received bids for 17.6 mn shares.


We have another thoroughly mixed bag in the international business press this afternoon. The Financial Times is leading its front page with a plan from EU ministers to bar Russian tourists from entering the Schengen area, while Reuters and CNBC’s big story is currently an airstrike from Russian forces on workshops in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya region, near a nuclear plant.


The Madbouly government is currently holding consultations with representatives from the wood industry on its privatization strategy. The government is holding workshops and consultations with stakeholders from different industries every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday on its privatization plans. You can find more details on the schedule of the meetings here.

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

  • You can now deposit + withdraw more from your bank account: The Central Bank of Egypt has raised the daily limit that individuals and businesses can withdraw in-branch from their bank accounts and scrapped limits on cash deposits at both bank branches and at ATMs.
  • The EGX has a new boss: Rami El Dokany has been named head of the EGX for a one-year term by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, succeeding Mohamed Farid, who was appointed acting chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority earlier this month.
  • Now is the time to invest in the EGX, says Tellimer: EGX-listed stocks are trading at a 50% disc. to their recent five-year average, creating a good buy for investors, said Hasnain Malik, head of equity research at Tellimer.

CLARIFICATION: Hisham Ezz Al Arab’s remarks regarding the expectation that CBE Governor Hassan Abdalla might “go faster” on allowing the EGP to float against the greenback were made hours prior to his being named advisor to the governor. Hisham was not speaking in his capacity as an advisor. The story has been updated on our website.


*** 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: A little over two weeks after Ahmed Samir was tapped as the new trade and industry minister, manufacturers and industry players appear to be optimistic that bringing in fresh blood will help spur action on long-stalled issues. Our industry sources suggest that many of their longstanding issues remain top of mind, while others have gained new urgency in recent months.


Egypt is hosting the African Ministers of Local Development Committee, which begins tomorrow and runs through Wednesday. Delegates from 55 African countries will discuss topics such as public service, local government, urban development, and decentralization. Representatives from the World Food Programme, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, will also be in attendance, according to a Local Development Ministry statement.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The temperature in Cairo will hit 40°C tomorrow during the day before falling to 25°C in the evening, our favorite weather app tells us.


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A World Cup-spurred tourism boom is spilling over from Qatar: An accommodation shortage, a low tolerance for alcohol, and a strict dress code in Qatar is expected to push tens of thousands of football fanatics to look elsewhere, Bloomberg reports, citing fans and tourism officials from neighboring Gulf countries. The tournament, which will kick off in November, is set to drive a tourism boom across the Gulf, with fans set to stay in nearby countries and cities — particularly Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Oman — for the much anticipated month-long event. Dubai is expected to see around 40 match-day flights leaving to Doha on a daily basis, out of a total of 90 from neighboring Gulf nations. Dubai also built a new hotel to accommodate spectators who plan to stay in the emirate and take the flight to Doha with easier immigation procedures.

The MTV Video Music Awards are set to take place tonight in New Jersey, hosted by LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, and Jack Harlow, the AP reports. Aside from MCing, Harlow is also a top contender with seven nominations, along with Lil Nas X and Kendrick Lamar. Doja Cat and Harry Styles come in second with six nominations each. Our playlists lean towards a slightly older era of music than the top nominees offer us, so it brings us great comfort that Eminem, Snoop Dog and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers will be performing. Also worth noting: Madonna received her 69th nomination, making her the only artist to receive at least one nomination per decade in the VMAs’ 50-year history.

A clash of vaccine titans: US biotech company Moderna is suing Pfizer and German partner BioNTech for patent infringement related to the development of the first covid-19 jab, a press release by Moderna read, alleging that the mRNA technology it developed before the pandemic was copied without permission. The lawsuit was filed at the US District Court in Massachusetts, with another at the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany.


(all times CLT)

Netflix’s Mo brings humor and depth to a Palestinian experience in the US. Comedian Mohammed Amer plays a Palestinian refugee juggling work, life, and a string of misfortunes while trying to become a legal US citizen. He's a hard worker who can't find steady employment because of his visa status — and he can’t risk getting arrested and being deported to his home country, where he hasn't lived since he was a child. Despite his frustration, Mo is never bitter. He's only doing what he has to so he can provide a decent life for himself and his family. The bittersweet dramedy is one of the few US TV shows featuring Muslim and Arab voices, and it has already drawn comparisons with Hulu’s Ramy, which centers on the semi-autobiographical life of prominent Egyptian-American comic Ramy Youssef. It’s hard not to be drawn in by Mo’s instantly-likable persona and a storyline that juggles serious issues with humor and emotion (watch trailer, runtime 2:03).

Matchday 4 of the English Premier League concludes today, with Nottingham Forest v Tottenham at 5:30pm. Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle and Aston Villa v West Ham are currently on the field as we dispatch after a kickoff at 3pm.

Speaking of which, how did yesterday’s match outcomes affect your fantasy results? Sign up for the Enterprise Fantasy League via this link, or by using this code: 8o4sut.

We’re up for three big games in Spain: Villarreal plays against Getafe at 5:30pm, while Barcelona clashes with Valladolid at 7:30pm. Espanyol goes head to head against Real Madrid at 10pm.


The Dog Cafe is a haven for dog lovers in West Cairo: Did you know there’s a cafe in Sheikh Zayed that caters to both humans and their four-legged friends? The Dog Cafe is not just dog-friendly, it also offers canine companions a whole array of fresh food and treats. We stumbled upon this wonderful spot at Eden Plaza over the weekend, when they were hosting a dog health event that includes a medical check up at no cost, along with nail trimming for furry friends. The Dog Cafe vows to ensure dog guests get freedom to “express normal behavior” and “freedom from fear and distress” and also has a spot for donations to animal shelters and a space for posting photos of lost dogs. We’re happy to report that their coffee is also outstanding, and their TDC signature salad was delicious. There’s a separate dog menu that includes pumpkin pretzels, fish ‘n’ chip cookies, and beef biscotti.

(all times CLT)

The Cairo Opera House’s annual Citadel Music Festival resumes tonight, with performances by singer Medhat Mamdouh and his band, and Syrian-Armenian singer-songwriter Lena Chamamyan. The festival runs until this Wednesday, 31 August.

Get your circus mood on at AUC’s Tahrir Cultural Center for two days, starting tomorrow: A two-day circus event will being with a screening of Fellini’s masterpiece La Strada on Monday 8pm at Ewart Hall, followed by a special live circus performance in the garden on Tuesday.


Enter a world of magical realism through the multigenerational memoir The Man Who Could Move Clouds: Magic runs in author Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ family. She was a child who was not easily surprised, having grown up in a house full of her mother's fortune-telling clients during the political upheaval of 1980s and 1990s Colombia. Her maternal grandfather, Nono, was a well-known curandero, a local healer endowed with what the family termed “the secrets” — the ability to communicate with the dead, predict the future, heal patients, and move clouds. In 2012, Contreras joined her mother on a voyage to Colombia to exhume her Nono's remains. Contreras traces her history back to her Indigenous and Spanish roots, uncovering the harsh and rigorous colonial narrative that split her family into two camps: Those who feel “the secrets” are a gift and others who believe they are a curse. This chilling and exquisitely-written memoir explores larger themes of who gets to be remembered and how. Contreras creates a web of colonial history, personal narrative, and mysticism around the axis of her family story.


The EGX30 fell 1.1% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.19 bn (29.7% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 14.8% YTD.

In the green: Ibnsina Pharma (+6.4%), Orascom Construction (+5.3%) and Madinet Nasr Housing (+3.1%).

In the red: e-Finance (-5.5%), Housing and Development Bank (-3.3%) and Elsewedy Electric (-1.8%).


Which big policy issues do industry players hope the new trade and industry minister will prioritize as he takes office? A little over two weeks after Ahmed Samir was tapped as the new trade and industry minister, manufacturers and industry players appear to be optimistic that bringing in fresh blood will help spur action on long-stalled issues. Since he was sworn in as minister earlier this month, Samir has been fielding several requests from industry, particularly to enact measures that would help make raw materials more readily available, resolving issues with securing imports, addressing the high cost of industrial lands, and increasing government-provided export subsidies, our sources tell us.

How does this square up with industry sentiment earlier this year? Many of the points our sources brought up were also thorns in their side when we polled manufacturers back in June. However, our recent conversations indicate that some problems — particularly those that pertain to licensing and land provision — have become bigger priorities, while others such as raw material availability, have cropped up more recently.

Raw materials availability is top of mind: Making raw materials available is currently the biggest issue facing manufacturers, Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ (FEI) engineering industries division Mohamed El Mohandes and FEI board member Mohamed El Bahi tell Enterprise. Some factories have effectively halted production after having run out of their stockpiles of raw materials, they told us. “Egypt is a raw materials importer, so ensuring the flow of these materials into the country is critical to protect factories from stalling and to allow producers to maintain their trade obligations,” El Mohandes said. Resolving this issue, or at least giving manufacturers visibility on when it will be resolved, is probably the biggest challenge facing the new minister, El Mohandes and El Bahi agree.

A shortage of raw materials, or skyrocketing prices to secure them, has been a significant sore point for industry players over the past several months, particularly following the introduction of import restrictions earlier this year. Although President Abdel Fattah El Sisi later announced that production inputs and raw materials would be exempt from the new rules that require importers to get letters of credit, rather than documentary collection, it has remained a problem area for manufacturers across several industries, including engineering industries, pharma, and printing and packaging.

The good news: There may be a breakthrough on that front soon, courtesy of new Central Bank of Egypt Governor Hassan Abdalla, who has been holding meetings with cabinet members and senior figures in the banking community, stoking expectations among business leaders that they may be looking for ways to ease the import restrictions that have hobbled everyone from manufacturers to retailers.

The next big priority: Tackling red tape and streamlining licensing procedures. Ending an ongoing “crisis” with handing out industrial licensing is also one of the big issues facing manufacturers today, 10th of Ramadan Investors Association Chairman Samir Aref told Enterprise. There are currently some 2k industrial licensing requests pending sign-off from the ministry, Aref tells us. Former minister Nevine Gamea was criticized by MPs and investors during her time in office for the slow pace of industrial licensing and bureaucratic reform. The ministry and the Industrial Trade Authority had issued earlier this year a detailed guide on the process for industrial licensing, which should allow investors to lock down an operating license on the same day as they apply.

Part of the problem is also the lack of clarity and the persistent overlap of government bodies’ mandates when it comes to licensing, says Amr El Samdouni, secretary of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce’s transport and logistics division. “Although there has been some momentum in resolving this issue recently, it hasn’t been resolved fully enough to address problems with a shortage of industrial land for manufacturers,” El Samdouni tells Enterprise.

Then there’s the high cost of industrial land: “The state has spent bns on infrastructure and equipping industrial zones and cities, but industrial land pricing requires a massive amount of capital investment,” Aref said, suggesting that making industrial land available through a usufruct framework would encourage investors to set up new factories and expand existing ones. Samir has received formal requests from manufacturers to lower the price of industrial land, our sources confirmed to us.

Are we finally going to see the automotive strategy soon? Samir, the new minister, was one of the architects of the new automotive strategy, which has been in the works for years and aims to increase local vehicle manufacturing and assembly and increase the sector’s competitiveness to become a regional manufacturing hub and bolster export volumes, head of the Egyptian Association of Automobile Manufacturers Khaled Saad told Enterprise. His involvement in the drafting of the strategy could be a sign that the policy package could see the light soon, Saad said. Introducing the production incentives could help prop up the ailing automotive industry, which is grappling with irregular imports and difficulties getting cars through customs, Saad told us.

Your top industrial development stories for the week:

  • South Korea’s state nuclear power company has signed a KRW 3 tn (USD 2.2 bn) contract with Rosatom to supply equipment and help build the 4.8 GW Dabaa nuclear plant.
  • Hyundai Rotem has signed a USD 656 mn contract to locally produce rolling stock for the Cairo metro.
  • The Supply Ministry has inked contracts with private sector players to build three new commercial trading and logistics centers worth EGP 2.4 bn.
  • Aswan could get a massive EGP 20 bn fertilizer industrial complex: Aswan Governor Ashraf Attia presented a EGP 20 bn project to build the governorate’s largest fertilizer industrial complex.
  • Anchorage Investments has shortlisted four international firms to build its USD 2 bn petrochemical complex in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.


OUR CALENDAR APPEARS in two sections:

  • Events with specific dates or months are right here up top
  • Events happening in a quarter or other range of time with no specific date / month appear at the bottom of the calendar.


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

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

28 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with representatives from the wood industry.

30 August (Tuesday): Deadline for companies to file 2Q financial statements.

30 August (Tuesday): Deadline to apply for government non-profit universities via the tansik (enrollment) website.

30 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with representatives from the food and hospitality sector.

31 August (Wednesday): Late tax payment deadline.

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

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

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


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

September: Egyptian-German Joint Economic Committee.

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

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

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

1 September (Thursday): Credit hikes for ration card holders will come into effect.

1 September (Thursday): Madbouly government set to introduce new social protection measures.

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

1-3 September (Thursday-Saturday): The Union of Arab Banks is organizing a forum on money laundering and terrorism financing in Sharm El Sheikh.

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

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

4 September (Sunday): Industrial Development Authority’s deadline for companies interested in providing various services in the industrial zones in Qena and Sohag to submit a written expression of interest.

5-8 September (Monday-Thursday): Gastech 2022, Milan, Italy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14 September (Wednesday): Expedition Investments’ MTO for Domty expires.

15 September (Thursday): Deadline for B Investments to respond to Adnoc’s bid for TotalEnergies Egypt.

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

15 September (Thursday): Deadline to apply for the fifth phase of the export subsidy program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 investment opportunities 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.

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


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 school year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Late October-14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.


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

3 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

3-5 November (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Fashion Week.

4-6 November (Friday-Sunday): Autotech auto exhibition, Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

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

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

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

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


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: 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.

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

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


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

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

MARCH 2023

March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

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

APRIL 2023

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

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

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

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

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.

MAY 2023

1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

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

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

JUNE 2023

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

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.

JULY 2023

18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

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

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

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

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.


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.

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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