Thursday, 25 November 2021

PM — New energy projects coming for the private sector through EMGF

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Mabrouk, friends — we’ve made it through the workweek. We can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving today, which means we’re starting the tumble towards the end of the year. Before you know it, we’ll be staring down the face of the new year (and hopefully a proper winter season).

Speaking of winter: Some good news for parents looking for something to keep the kids busy during the break: EGX-listed education outfit CIRA is bringing the US’ IVY Camps to Egypt, starting off with an online winter camp next month, according to a statement (pdf). The camp — which will cap each class capacity at six students — will focus on STEAM, business leadership, arts, media, and communications, in addition to providing pre-university courses for students heading to higher education soon. CIRA also plans to bring the camp offline to the North Coast as early as next June.

THE BIG STORY TODAY-

#1- New energy projects in the pipeline for the private sector? The East Mediterranean Gas Forum has several future projects lined up that will entail cooperation between the forum’s member countries, international financial institutions, and the private sector, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said at the forum’s ministerial meeting earlier today, according to CNBC. No further details were provided. Cyprus has also been tapped to take over the presidency of the forum for 2022, according to an Oil Ministry statement. Cyprus’ Permanent Secretary of the Energy, Commerce, and Industry Ministry Mario Panagides has also been tapped as the forum’s executive board for next year. The forum, whose member states include Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Italy and France, will hold its next meeting in June 2022.

#2- EFG Hermes subsidiary valU is eyeing expansion into Saudi Arabia and North Africa as early as next year, EFG Hermes Finance CEO Walid Hassouna told Bloomberg Alsharq. The buy-now-pay-later firm’s plans for cross-border expansion come as it is on track to record EGP 2 bn in revenues this year, doubling its 2020 figures, according to Hassouna.

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

  • Egypt’s economy grew 9.8% in 1Q2021-2022 — its quickest pace in two decades — as it continued to rebound from last year’s slump in activity caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Booster shot rollout coming soon: The Health Ministry has decided to start handing out booster shots to vulnerable people and the elderly in the coming days amid elevated case rates at home and surging infection rates abroad.
  • Coca-Cola is pouring USD 1 bn into Egypt expansion: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) is looking to invest USD 1 bn in the Egyptian market over the next five years following its acquisition of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

The death of 27 migrants as they attempted to illicitly cross the English Channel this morning is topping headlines across the foreign press. London and Paris exchanged blame for the accident in the channel, which is known for its strong currents, with border control continuing to be a source of friction between the two countries. Four human traffickers were arrested by French police, but the nationalities and identities of the migrants remain unknown. Reuters, BBC, France24, AP, and the FT all have the story.

MARKET WATCH-

Saudi Arabia and Russia could decide to hold off on planned oil supply increases to offset the impact of US President Joe Biden’s decision earlier this week to turn on the oil taps and release release 50 mn bbl of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. It’s still unclear whether Riyadh and Moscow will be able to sway the rest of the OPEC+ cartel to shift its policy at the next meeting scheduled for 2 December, as Kuwait and the UAE are both “resisting a pause,” the newspaper says. WTI futures for January inched down another 0.18% today to trade at USD 78.25/bbl as of dispatch time.

HAPPENING TODAY-

Rameda Pharma’s annual general meeting (pdf) takes place today. The company will decide at the meeting on the sale of a 5% stake in the company from an individual shareholder to an unnamed institutional investor.

Startup gathering RiseUp kicks off this evening and runs through Saturday.

Luxor’s 3000-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes or Rams Road will be unveiled in an opening ceremony this evening, according to the Tourism Ministry. The avenue features sphinxes and statues lined up on either side of a 3 km long walkway that connects the Karnak Temple with the Luxor Temple.

FOR TOMORROW- The Cairo International Film Festival kicks off its weeklong run tomorrow.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

It’s a new month next week. The key news triggers to keep your eye on as we approach December:

  • PMI: Purchasing managers’ index figures for November for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will be released on Sunday, 5 December. Figures for the UAE, which normally drop on the same day as Egypt and Saudi, will be released two days later on Tuesday, 7 December.
  • Foreign reserves: November’s foreign reserves figures will be released during the first week of the month.
  • Inflation: Inflation figures for November will be released on Thursday, 9 December. Data for inflation typically drops on the 10th of every month, but is moved up one day if that falls on a Friday.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will hold its final meeting for the year to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 December.

PSA- Calling all college seniors and recent grads: You have until next Monday, 29 November to register for a career development training program from the CIT Ministry’s Digital Egypt Youth initiative. The program will be held online in January 2022.

The new round of Silicon Waha’s Startup Factory will kick off on 10 December at the Assiut Technology Zone. The program will offer marketing tips and tricks for startup founders, who can apply here.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The weather is heating up again: The mercury will go up to 27°C on Friday, 29°C on Saturday, and 30°C on Sunday, with the weather peaking on Monday at an unseasonably warm 32°C, our favorite weather app tells us. Nighttime lows will be in the range of 16-20°C in the coming days.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

The US just got a (long-term) leg up in the race for chip manufacturing: Samsung is building a USD 17 bn chip plant in Texas as the tech group responds to the US’ push to increase local semiconductor manufacturing amid the global chip shortage. The Texas plant will be the South Korean firm’s chance to increase its competitiveness against TSMC, the world’s largest foundry which manufactures chips for other companies. The global chip shortage highlighted the West’s weak spot when it comes to chip manufacturing, with a huge portion of the few available facilities located in Asia. The plant won’t be operational until 2H2024, meaning the US will continue to be dependent on these foreign firms for a bit longer. The Financial Times and BBC have the story.

Is English football ready for a radical change? A new government-backed report is calling for the creation of an independent regulator for English football that it deems necessary for the long-term financial stability of the game, the BBC reports. The suggestions include a proposal for Premier League clubs to pay a transfer tax on agreements to help support the English football pyramid, and giving the regulator the right to prevent changes in club ownership. The report also recommends that clubs create shadow boards of fans to be consulted on key decisions.

The Pentagon is taking UFO sightings seriously: The US Department of Defense has decided to launch a new program that will detect and identify unexplained flying objects — which it said are a “real threat” — close to sensitive military areas, Reuters reported. The US intelligence community recently released a report on 144 UFO (not necessarily extraterrestrial) sightings by Navy pilots since 2004, with intelligence officials unable to explain 143 of the sightings, but concluding they are likely real objects that could pose a threat to national security.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

What really happened between The Beatles? + Thanksgiving dinner at Eish w Malh. ALSO: Listen to You’re Wrong About podcast

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(all times CLT)

The Beatles: Get Back wants to change the narrative of the band’s split: The Oscar-decorated director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson, was approached in 2017 by Apple Corps, the company that manages all of The Beatles’ creative and business interests. Apple Corps offered Jackson access to all the audio visual materials in their vaults if he would create a documentary about the band that “tells the full story.” With little more than those instructions, Jackson went through 60 hours of unseen film footage and 150 hours of unheard audio recordings to create The Beatles: Get Back — a three-part docuseries spanning seven hours. The viewer is introduced to The Beatles when they’re 13 years into their run and follow them as things start falling apart between them. Despite this being the entry point, Jackson is adamant in showing the band members’ love for each other and the passion they had for music, shying away from overdramatizing the breakup. You can watch the docuseries on Disney+ starting today and we’re hoping it will drop on OSN Streaming soon.

Goodbye Champions League, hello Premier League: After two fun nights in the Champions League, it's time to take a break and get into local football again, which kicks off next Saturday with Arsenal and Newcastle in the English Premier League at 2:30pm. At 5pm, Liverpool will compete against Southampton, while Crystal Palace will play against Aston Villa, and Norwich City against Wolverhampton. The last match on Saturday will see Brighton face Leeds United at 7:30pm.

Barcelona has a big task ahead of it on Saturday, as it goes out to face Villarreal in the Spanish League at 10pm.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich gets a chance to further establish its position at the top of the league when it hosts Arminia Bielefeld, who is near the bottom, at 7:30pm.

In Serie A, Juventus will play against Atalanta at 7pm on Saturday while Inter Milan will compete against Venice at 9:45pm.

Also, don’t miss the final of the Copa Libertadores (Champions League of South America) at 10pm on Saturday between the two Brazilian clubs Palmeiras and Flamengo.

🍗 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend at Eish + Malh: Our go-to for Thanksgiving dinner every year, Eish + Malh has a Thanksgiving menu this weekend that has all the trimmings. Their special Thanksgiving plate — including turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce — is a must-try. We also love their ravioli di zucca, which comes with squash and ricotta cheese filling in a pumpkin sauce. Other savory special menu items include creamy pumpkin soup, arancini di zucca (risotto balls with pumpkin), and of course an extra side of sweet potatoes or stuffing (highly recommended). For dessert, go for their homemade pumpkin pie or maple pumpkin pie milkshake. You can also feel thankful for breakfast or brunch by ordering their pumpkin pancakes which are served until 4pm. FYI: You have to reserve in advance.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(all times CLT)

Local artist Misty is celebrating his recently launched EP, “Things,” tonight at Cairo Jazz Club 610. The four-track EP features a number of international vocalists and has already been remixed by the likes of French DJ Vhyce. Misty will be joined by Moenes and Alan Dixon who will also be playing sets.

Event organizer Sunny Side-up is hosting a Mexican Fiesta tomorrow that promises to take you on a trip to Tijuana. The day-long brunch will have live music, pinatas, and lots of sangrias.

Techno star Deborah De Luca is performing at the Mohamed Ali Club tomorrow alongside Ouzo, Jimmy, and Awadly.

Lamassat Art Gallery is hosting a new exhibit titled Realistic Forum showcasing paintings and photographs that celebrate the realism school of art.

It’s standup comedy night at Makan Art Space, featuring comedians Mina Selim and Walid Khairy.

👂 EARS TO THE GROUND-

You’re Wrong About podcast visits a person or pop-cultural moment that has been misunderstood or unfairly maligned, which is especially relevant in today’s cancel culture. The topics are all things you’re sure to have seen while scrolling through socials or at least heard about (such as the woman who sued McDonald’s for spilling hot coffee on her lap). Hosts and journalists Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall tackle the subject matter with a ton of research and even more empathy, but still find a way to integrate humor into the mix. Recent episodes look at how true crime content may be doing more harm than good (listen, runtime: 52:46); how Nestle executives, global health institutions, and a “very racist white lady” created nutritional myths we’re still living with today (listen, runtime: 01:10:51); and an episode with the obscure title “The Chicks vs. The Iraq War” about a dissident singer and the US’ first internet-enabled cancellation (listen, runtime: 1:30:23).

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

How focusing on a niche can help you scale: Niche Down by Christopher Lochhead and Heather Clancy postulates that by being specific with your target audience, it’ll be easier to scale up your business. It might seem counterintuitive, but the authors argue that by having a niche, you’re actually harnessing differentiators and helping your business stand out. The caveat: To be effective, it has to be done well and with a certain amount of art to the strategy. The book introduces a research-based approach to thinking about your business called “category design” which aims to get people to think about a problem — and the solution you offer — in the way you want them to. They use artist Pablo Picasso, Spanx founder Sarah Blakely, and several others to illustrate their point in a succinct and insightful book that will help you look at marketing differently.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

Odin to split into two companies + Raya acquires additional stake in Polish pasta maker

MARKET NEWS-

Odin Investments will spin off its operations into two companies after receiving approval from the EGX’s Listing Committee today, according to an announcement (pdf) from the bourse. One company will be specialized in real estate while the other will focus on financial services. Trading on Odin’s shares will be paused until the transaction is completed.

Raya Holding has increased its stake in Polish pasta maker Makarony Polskie to 24.38% after it acquired an additional 4.99% stake in the company today for USD 820k, according to a bourse disclosure (pdf). The transaction was executed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange where Makarony Polskie is listed.

MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 rose 0.7% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.1 bn (26.5% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is up 5.4% YTD.

In the green: Heliopolis Housing (+8.8%), TMG Holding (+6.4%) and Rameda (+5.7%).

In the red: Cleopatra Hospital (-1.5%), Speed Medical (-1.3%) and CIB (-0.7%).

⚧️ WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

Campaigning for women’s empowerment: Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, kickstarting a 16-day campaign of activism for the cause. This year’s theme, according to the United Nations, is Orange the World — with the color orange representing a brighter future without violence against women and girls. Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime, and that percentage has only increased during the pandemic times with a new report from UN Women finding that “2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence and are more likely to face food insecurity.” The problem is only exacerbated by the lack of effective channels women can access to report or gain support in cases of abuse. This makes violence against women much less likely to be reported.

What’s the situation like in Egypt? Violence against women in the country has taken several forms, as suggested by The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (pdf). They include violence domestic violence, [redacted] harassment, FGM, and structural violence that limits women’s participation in public matters. A 2015 survey titled the Economic Cost of Gender-Based Violence found that around 7.8 mn women suffer from all forms of violence yearly, whether perpetrated by a significant other or individuals in their close circles. Meanwhile, FGM is estimated to affect 90-97% of Egyptian women and some 17% of girls have been subject to child marriage. Also, over 99.3% of women in the country have experienced [redacted] harassment, a 2013 UN Women report found.

Our shortcomings on these fronts caused Egypt to fall in The Economist’s Safe Cities Index, pointing to “lack of laws safeguarding women’s safety from domestic violence and harassment weighed on the ranking.”

Enter USAID: The international institution launched the Safe Cities project in Egypt this year, with investments of USD 8 mn, to “end violence against women and girls by combating harassment, promoting legislative reforms, and improving support mechanisms for victims.”

In 2015, Egypt adopted a five-year national strategy to combat violence against women which seeks to coordinate efforts by the Government, the National Council for Women, the National Committee on the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation, and civil society. The strategy included initiatives to develop the procedures to communicate cases of violence as well as a mechanism for collecting data on acts of violence.

There’s been a lot going on since — legislation-wise at least: Egypt introduced tougher penalties for committing FGM, stipulating that a minimum five-year jail term will be handed to individuals found guilty of committing or facilitating the act. While this is technically a step in the right direction, activists were quick to pipe up and question whether the government would actually be able to enforce it. A tougher stance was also taken on harassment with offenders now subject to receive a minimum five-year prison sentence and fines worth EGP 200k-300k. Women’s rights have warned that the penalties won’t mean much unless they are enforced. The matter was also addressed through changes to the criminal code designed to protect the personal data of victims of [redacted] harassment and assault also received a preliminary nod from the House this year. Lastly, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued an order to finally bring women into Maglis El Dawla and the Supreme Judicial Council and 98 women judges were sworn into office in October. There has been no activity or statistics released about domestic violence this year.

While this is good and dandy, we hope to see actual change taking place on the ground.

📆 CALENDAR

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.

24 November-7 December (Wednesday-Tuesday): Designated period for SODIC shareholders to subscribe to Aldar Properties and ADQ’s mandatory tender offer (pdf).

25 November (Thursday): East Mediterranean Gas Forum ministerial meeting, Cairo, Egypt.

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 (Monday): Deadline for registration for MCIT’s online career training program by Digital Egypt Youth.

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.

2 December (Thursday): The 23rd OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting.

5 December (Sunday): Purchasing managers’ index figures for November for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will be released.

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

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

9-10 December (Thursday-Friday): The US’s Summit for Democracy. Egypt is not among the invitees.

10 December (Friday): Capmas will release November inflation figures.

10 December (Friday): Silicon Waha’s Startup Factory program kicks off in Assiut Technology Zone.

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 December (Tuesday): Inquiry session for the Industrial Development Authority’s licenses to manufacture steel products.

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): Target date for snackmaker Edita to wrap up due diligence on its acquisition of the Ole brand owner Egyptian Belgian Company.

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.

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.

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

1Q2022: Swvl acquisition of Viapool expected to close.

Second Half of January: Egypt will host the Egyptian-Bahraini Joint Committee.

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

7 January 2022 (Friday): Coptic Christmas.

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

15 January (Saturday): Target date for the finalization of snackfood giant Edita’s acquisition of the Egyptian Belgian Company, owner of the Ole brand.

17-19 January 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.

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

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

11-13 February (Friday-Sunday) FIBA Intercontinental Cup, Cairo.

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

15 February 2022 (Tuesday): The Industrial Development Authority’s deadline for receiving offers from companies for licenses to manufacture steel products.

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

March 2022: 4Q2021 earnings season.

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.

Late April – 15 May 2022: 1Q2022 earnings season

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 2022 (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July 2022 (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

30 July 2022 (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August 2022: 2Q2022 earnings season.

6 October 2022 (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October 2022 (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

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

Late October – 14 November 2022: 3Q2022 earnings season.

**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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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