Thursday, 2 June 2022

PM — KSA could plug the Russian oil gap

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, wonderful people. It is finally the weekend and if that weren’t cause enough for celebration, we have good news on the business and investment front to leave you with.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

UAE’s Al Futtaim Group is looking to invest around USD 700-USD 1 bn in Egypt over the next three years, CEO Omar Abdullah Al Futtaim said today in a meeting with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, according to a cabinet statement. Al Futtaim has discussed boosting investments in Egypt with several global investors represented by the group, especially in the industrial sector, the statement quoted the chief executive as saying.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

Oil prices eased today after Saudi Arabia indicated it could step up oil production if Russian output dips under sanctions, with international benchmark Brent crude falling 0.8% to USD 115.39 per barrel. The kingdom is “aware of the risks and that it is not in their interests to lose control of oil prices,” the Financial Times reports, citing people it says are familiar with the matter. This comes after EU leaders agreed to ban 90% of Russian crude by the end of the year as part of the bloc’s sanctions on Russia in retaliation for invading Ukraine, which initially pushed oil prices up.

The story is leading the conversation in the global business press this afternoon: Bloomberg | Reuters | Wall Street Journal | CNBC


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

  • State grain buyer GASC has purchased 465k tons of wheat for shipment in July and August in a fresh international tender.
  • Gov’t hikes customs exchange rate: The Customs Authority yesterday raised the USD customs exchange rate to EGP 18.65 from EGP 17.00 in May.
  • Tullow and Capricorn in big oil merger: UK-listed energy firm Tullow Oil is merging with Capricorn Energy — formerly Cairn Energy — in an all-stock transaction that Reuters has valued at some USD 827 mn.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

NEWS TRIGGERS you’ll want to keep an eye on as the new month gets underway:

  • PMI: May’s purchasing managers’ index figures for Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be released on Sunday, 5 June. The UAE’s release is out tomorrow, Friday, 3 June;
  • Foreign reserves figures for May should be announced sometime next week;
  • Inflation figures for May are due out on Saturday, 9 June (from state statistics agency Capmas) and Sunday, 12 June (central bank figures);
  • Capmas’ monthly bulletin covering the price of key building materials is due out on 5 June;
  • The Central Bank of Egypt holds its policy meeting on Thursday, 23 June.

Conference season continues next week:

  • Africa Health ExCon runs from Sunday-Tuesday, 5-7 June at Al Manara International Conference Center, Egypt International Exhibitions Center, and the St. Regis Almasa Hotel in the new administrative capital.
  • Technology conference Tech Invest 4 will take place next Tuesday, 7 June at the Grand Nile Hotel in Cairo.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We’re maintaining our mild heat wave over the weekend with daytime highs of 37-38°C on Friday and Saturday and nighttime lows of 22°C, our favorite weather app tells us.

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🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

In case you didn’t catch the news yesterday: Johnny Depp was awarded USD 15 mn in the defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard. The Depp-Heard trial finally reached a close yesterday, with the Pirates of the Caribbean actor coming out on top after suing Heard for USD 50 mn in damages over a 2018 essay published in The Washington Post, where she said she had become a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” A Virginia court ruled that Depp would receive USD 10 mn in compensatory damages for libel and USD 5 mn in punitive damages, while Heard would receive USD 2 mn in compensatory damages for her counter-lawsuit, reports the Financial Times.

The trial had turned into a media circus across traditional outlets and social media where the memes were rampant. As the case comes to a close, the BBC and The Telegraph have rounded up some of the best moments from the trial in a last huzzah for one of Hollywood’s most recent real life dramas.


Daimler Truck Holding sees no downturn in the truck manufacturing business as the component crunch begins easing: The world’s biggest truck manufacturer has positive sentiments concerning the chip shortage crisis, seeing promising signs that the worst has passed, company head Karin Radstrom told Bloomberg. The break in the clouds comes after months of factory outages due to covid-19 and component shortfalls, which means that even amid a slowing economy, the truck business has a long backlog that is keeping it busy. Demand is still outpacing supply in the sector as transport booms worldwide, she added. However, Radstrom is trying to keep his expectations in check, saying “It’s better, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than last year.”

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

We Own This City gives you an inside look at police corruption during a real event: The new HBO show looks at the events of 2015’s Baltimore as riots broke out across the city over the suspicious death of 25-year-old Black man Freddie Gray. Facing pressure over the public outcry, the Baltimore Police Department turned to a hero among the ranks, Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, who leads a Gun Trace Task Force that aims to help get guns and narcotics off the street. His task force is especially important at the time as the city reached its highest murder count in more than two decades. While this all sounds fine and dandy, an unprecedented criminal conspiracy is unfolding within the police department as Jenkins and his crew take advantage of their rank and spearhead acts of corruption left and right. We Own This City is a depiction of the US political sphere and the many liberties it affords to its officers in blue that allow them to essentially take control of the city.

The UEFA Nations League is on tonight, with 10 matches set to begin, while Albania’s match against Russia canceled for the night. We recommend tuning in to the Czech Republic v Switzerland match and the Spain v Portugal match, which will both kick off at 8:45pm.

IN OTHER FOOTBALL NEWS: Get your Egypt v Guinea tickets: First-class tickets for the upcoming Egypt v Guinea AFCON qualifiers game on Sunday will cost EGP 200, second-class tickets will cost EGP 100, and third-class tickets will cost EGP 50, the Egyptian Football Association announced. Around 40k supporters will be allowed to attend the game at the Cairo International Stadium, and tickets will be sold via Tazkarti.

🍕 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Korba’s Pepenero makes its way to New Cairo: The iconic Italian restaurant that all those who visit Korba know and love has opened its second branch in New Cairo recently. The restaurant serves all the Italian essentials, from pizzas to pastas, as well as main dishes with chicken, steak, and salmon. We love their ravioli primavera, lasagna, and their risotto di mare. On the pizza side, their burrata pizza is a must-try with a heaping ball of the delicious cheese sitting pretty on top. For a non-pizza option, try their pollo pizzaiola con fusilli with chicken in a herbed tomato sauce alongside red sauce pasta. We recommend their tiramisu or their pizza dolce (a sweet chocolate pizza) for dessert.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Mellow dream pop band Cigarettes After Sex are playing in Cairo this weekend. The band will take the stage at Cairo Jazz Club 610 on Saturday night at 7pm.

Wissa Wassef’s exhibition The School of Instinctive Creativity is on display at Ubuntu Art Gallery. The exhibit will run until 21 June.

👂 EARS TO THE GROUND-

Hard Money’s Mn USD Podcast — not necessarily written that way, but thank you email spam filters — puts comedy into the stock market. The hosts are Enrique Abeyta, a 25-year stock market trader and former hedge fund manager who has managed bns of USD, and Matt Saincome, founder of punk comedy website The Hard Times — who definitely has not had much luck with the stock market. The unlikely duo take on a fun and ambitious mission: To invest USD 10k of Matt’s money until it grows to USD 1 mn. Every week, the pair discuss their latest investments and online moneymaking through games such as online poker. In some episodes they also call up an investor to give them his/her two cents and how to proceed from where they’ve left off.

How well have they done so far, you ask? Abeyta and Saincome have made it to USD 42k as of last episode, so you can still catch them on their wild ride.

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💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Adam Grant writes about that area where business and psychology intersect in his book Originals: Grant is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is known as a great thinker when it comes to the potential of humans to make change and impact. However, Grant makes his points in a way that isn’t gimmicky, instead relying on a lot of common sense and strategic thinking as opposed to motivational fluff. The book argues that original thinkers aren’t always conspicuous, instead they can also procrastinate, doubt, and fear. Yet, it’s their decisions to act despite it all that sets them apart and makes them emerge as great business leaders, writers, artists, or whatever they choose to do. The book is applicable to everyone and it’s a great read to take some of its lessons and apply it to your own career.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 fell 0.8% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 447 mn (47% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 16.3% YTD.

In the green: Ibnsina Pharma (+7.1%), Madinet Nasr Housing (+6.3%) and Palm Hills Development (+3.6%).

In the red: CIB (-2.4%), EFG Hermes (-2.0%) and Oriental Weavers (-1.7%).

🌏 ECOLOGY

Can seaweed help alleviate the side effects of climate change?

The simple plant that’s surprisingly effective (and versatile) in mitigating climate change: Seaweed. The microalgae, which typically grows in saltwater such as oceans and seas, is “incredibly efficient at sucking up carbon dioxide and using it to grow,” according to a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Seaweed is considered particularly sustainable due to it being “low-to-no input because they don’t require feed, freshwater, or fertilizer.”

Its environmental impact can be seen both under and above water: In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and contributing to the Earth’s total oxygen production (scientists estimate as much as 80% of the world’s oxygen is produced from the ocean), seaweed also devours harmful gasses such as phosphorus and nitrogen. The plant also plays an important role in maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems, as they “improve water quality and create habitat for other species,” the NOAA study notes. Seaweed is also helpful in counteracting eutrophication — the process through which water becomes overly filled with nutrients, giving rise to unwanted species — by consuming nitrogen and phosphorus from the water and using it as nutrients to grow.

It’s not just about what’s in the air or water. Seaweed is versatile enough that it can be used as a packaging material, for example, making it a viable alternative to plastic packaging that some businesses are utilizing. The push to move away from relying on single-use plastic and to find ways to address plastic pollution has also seen scientific breakthroughs such as relying on microorganisms to help with the plastic recycling process.

There are also a handful of commercial products seaweed can be used to produce across several industries. In pharma, for example, “carrageenan and algins are used in pharmaceuticals as binders, stabilizers, emulsifiers and for creating molds,” and are also among the ingredients used for solid and liquid medications, as well as wound care products. Seaweed also makes its way into several cosmetic products, such as face masks, creams, and shampoos, and is also sometimes used as an organic fertilizer for plants.

And the cherry on top: Seaweed farming is relatively simple, which is another reason for the macroalgae’s farming boom. They do not require fresh water, and another benefit is the fact that harvesting the aquatic plants is undemanding. Rhianna Rees, a seaweed researcher and Seaweed Academy coordinator at SAMS Enterprise, recently spoke to CNBC about the ease associated with farming the macroalgae. “It’s a lot less industrial than it might come across,” she said. “When you think of farming you think of big machinery, you think of mechanical harvesting, and that’s not at all what seaweed farming is about.”

Considering all these benefits, it’s not surprising that the seaweed industry is growing: The seaweed industry reportedly raked in an impressive USD 14.7 bn in “first-sale value” in 2019, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Globally, the sector has been expanding dramatically for decades. A FAO report detailed that seaweed production had surged from “10.6 mn metric tons in 2000 to 32.4 mn metric tons in 2018.”

UK + US are jumping on the wagon: The UK is reportedly upping its efforts to harvest the aquatic treasure, including with the recent launch of The Seaweed Academy, the kingdom’s first dedicated seaweed industry facility. The aim of the seaweed facility is to spur the commercialization of the UK’s macroalgae sector and boost the competitiveness of the country’s seaweed products in a global market that is dominated by countries in eastern and southeastern Asia. The UK government allocated approximately USD 500k for the project. The US is also looking to get in on the seaweed farming game, with the NOAA stating that dozens of farms are currently operational in waters off New England, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. In 2019, Alaskan farmers produced over 112,000 pounds of seaweed, a 200 percent increase over the state’s first commercial harvest in 2017, according to the report. The NOAA dubbed the seaweed industry the “fastest-growing aquaculture sector” in the US.

📆 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.

MAY

27 May-3 June (Friday-Friday): El Gouna International Squash Open 2022.

JUNE

1-4 June (Wednesday-Saturday): The Islamic Development Bank will hold its 2022 annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.

2-3 June (Thursday-Friday): Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) will hold two high-level parallel meetings on climate action and digital transformation during IsDB’s 2022 annual meetings in Sharm.

5-7 June (Sunday-Tuesday): Africa Health ExCon, Al Manara International Conference Center, Egypt International Exhibitions Center, and the St. Regis Almasa Hotel, new administrative capital.

5 June (Sunday): GB Auto is hosting an extraordinary general assembly meeting (pdf).

7 June (Tuesday): Technology conference Tech Invest 4, Grand Nile Hotel, in Cairo.

9 June (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

9 June (Thursday): Digital Transformation Summit, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo

14-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

15-18 June (Wednesday-Saturday): St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), St. Petersburg.

16 June (Thursday): EU-Egypt Sustainable Food Value Chain conference, Grand Nile Tower Hotel, Cairo.

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

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

21-23 June (Tuesday-Thursday): Commonwealth Business Forum, Kigali, Rwanda.

23 June (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

26 June (Sunday): The deadline for private companies to pre-register ahead of bidding for the second phase of the PPP national project to establish and operate 1k language schools.

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

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

30 June (Thursday): Deadline for bids for National Democratic Party HQ redevelopment contract.

June: Egypt will launch a unified ticketing system for all means of transport at the Adly Mansour Interchange Station.

June: Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit Egypt to coordinate ways to ship Ukrainian wheat to Egypt amid the war in Ukraine.

JULY

July: A law governing ins. for seasonal contractors will come into effect.

July: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

1 July (Friday): FY 2022-2023 begins.

1 July (Friday): Official rollout of e-receipt system begins.

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

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

21 July (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

26-27 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

AUGUST

August: Work to extend the capacity of the Egypt-Sudan electricity interconnection to 600 MW to be completed.

18 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

SEPTEMBER

September: Egypt will display its first naval exhibition with the title Naval Power.

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

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

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

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

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

26–27 September (Monday-Tuesday): The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.

OCTOBER

October: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

1 October (Saturday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

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

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

10-16 October (Monday-Sunday): World Bank and IMF annual meetings, Washington, DC, chaired by CBE Governor Tarek Amer

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

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

Late October – 14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

NOVEMBER

November: Cairo Water Week 2022.

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

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

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

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

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

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

13-14 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

15 December (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

DECEMBER

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

JANUARY 2023

January EGX-listed companies and non-bank lenders will submit ESG reports for the first time.

January: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

MAY 2023

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

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

2Q2022: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt will invest in two companies in the financial inclusion and non-banking financial services sectors.

End of 2Q2022: The Financial Regulatory Authority’s new Ins. Act should be approved.

End of 2Q2022: Door for bidding for the contract to redevelop the site of the former National Democratic Party HQ to close.

1H2022: Target date for IDH to close its acquisition of 50% of Islamabad Diagnostic Center.

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

1H2022: The government will respond to private companies’ bids to build desalination plants.

1H2022: Egypt’s second corporate green bond issuance expected to be announced.

End of 1H2022: Emirati industrial company M Glory Holding and the Military Production Ministry will begin the mass production of dual fuel pickup trucks that can run on natural gas.

2H2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

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

2H2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

End of 2022: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will complete the roll out of its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

2023: Egypt will host the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in 2023.

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

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

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