Thursday, 11 August 2022

PM — Putting pen to paper

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, friends, and a very happy THURSDAY to us all. It’s another relatively calm end to the week — the perfect note on which to escape from the capital city.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

AP Moller-Maersk signs agreement for USD 500 mn East Port Said Port investment: Denmark’s AP Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest container line, signed today a contract to invest USD 500 mn in the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) in the East Port Said Port, according to a cabinet statement. AP Moller signed the agreement with the Suez Canal Economic Zone. Both entities are partners in SCCT. The investment will be earmarked for operating a new 1km container berth to raise the port’s capacity.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

Average US gas prices have fallen to below USD 4 per gallon for the first time in months, according to the American Automobile Association. This is well down from their June peak of just over USD 5 — an unprecedented high that drove already-surging inflation — but still some USD 0.80 a gallon higher than they were a year ago, the Wall Street Journal notes. US crude oil prices — which largely determine the price of gas — closed last week at their lowest level since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, partly off the back of mounting recession fears, we noted. Market fears of severe supply restrictions have also abated since then, Reuters tells us. Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Washington Post all have the story.


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

  • The Saudi sovereign wealth fund acquired minority stakes in four EGX-listed companies for USD 1.3 bn yesterday, buying stakes in Misr Fertilizers Production Company (Mopco), Abu Qir Fertilizers, Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling, and e-Finance.
  • Egypt has been a MENA M&A hotspot so far in 2022: Egypt recorded 65 M&A transactions worth USD 3.2 bn in the first six months of the year, making it the second-largest M&A destination in the region by value and dealcount.
  • Inflation resumed its upward trend in July, reaching a fresh three-year high on the back of higher food and fuel prices

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Ghazl El Mahalla IPO: The retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla’s mini-IPO will wrap this coming Sunday, 14 August.

MNHD shareholders have the final word on SODIC takeover bid: Madinet Nasr Housing and Development will hold a general assembly meeting on Tuesday, 16 August, to decide whether to allow SODIC to conduct due diligence ahead of a potential takeover.

Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to discuss interest rates next Thursday, 18 August. Look for our poll of economists on Sunday to see where they see interest rates landing next week.

National Dialogue: The board of trustees overseeing the National Dialogue will hold its next meeting on 27 August. On the agenda: Choosing the rapporteurs for all of the committees and subcommittees of the social, political and economic tracks, and preparing the agenda and topics of discussion for the dialogue.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect daytime highs of 39°C over the weekend and nighttime lows of 23-24°C, according to our favorite weather app.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

PSA- Universities in the US could soon have more inclusive approaches to admissions strategies. Two lawsuits currently before the Supreme Court could restrict or outlaw the common practice among universities that sees them taking applicants’ race into consideration in the admissions process, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing university admissions officials and counselors. For decades, colleges have taken applicants’ race into account when making admissions decisions, since the legal framework as it currently stands permits colleges to consider race in their admissions decisions, but does not impose an outright rigid quota for minority applicants. (Editor’s note: Egyptian and other North African applicants are typically considered as “Caucasian” — not a minority group.)

So what different approaches might we see? Universities are mulling using income as a proxy for race, with the obvious drawback being that race does not accurately correlate to income level and would likely change the demographic mix of accepted applicants. Some institutions say they are also considering ending the use of “legacy status” (applicants who have close family members who attended the same college) as a factor for admission, as it disproportionately gives preference to white and wealthy applicants. However, this option appears to be an unlikely route for universities concerned about losing donations. Other approaches include looking at metrics other than high-school GPAs and test scores, which could help boost diversity, and proactively reaching out to low-income students to let them know that if admitted they would qualify for a scholarship.


The booming professional headshot industry shows that more and more people will shell out USD 1k or more to make a great first impression on LinkedIn: Amid a period of record job changes, and with pressure to cultivate an online image going strong, an increasing number of people are ready to invest in the perfect professional headshot to stand out from the crowd. Photographers leading this burgeoning industry estimate that business professionals now make up 90% of their clients, in a complete turnaround from their early career days shooting models, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It’s all about “authenticity,” not vanity, subjects maintain. Headshot photographers speaking to the WSJ offer facial-expression coaching or have informal pre-shoot coffee chats with their subjects to produce images that look professional but not stuffy. For this, they might charge anything from USD 245-1.5k for a photo session and USD 240-300 per image used. But headshot converts maintain it’s worth it to get usable images to put forward the “best versions” of themselves. LinkedIn data — which shows that bios with headshots get 21 times more views than those without, and that users receive nine times more connection requests when they use pictures — may support them. We…remain skeptical.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

enterprise

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

Will the robots take over with the intelligence we’re designing for them? Nearly a decade ago, late physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking expressed his concern that artificial intelligence and machine learning could one day surpass human intelligence and spell doom for the human race. Do You Trust This Computer? is a documentary directed by Chris Paine that explores this exact premise and whether the advancements of technology will continue being a boon for human development or become more perilous than helpful. The film features discussions with Elon Musk, inventor Ray Kurzweil, and AI researcher David Ferrucci, who led the IBM team responsible for the development of its Watson computer system. You can watch the documentary on Amazon.

Al Ismaily plays host to Al Ittihad Al Sakandary in the Egyptian League tonight at 6:30pm — the sole match of the day.

The pace picks up tomorrow: La Liga kicks off with a face-off between Osasuna and Sevilla at 9pm.

Here at home, Enppi and the National Bank hit the field for the round of 16 in the current season’s Egypt Cup at 8pm.

On Saturday in the English Premier League: Aston Villa hosts Everton at 1:30pm, while there are five separate matches scheduled for 4pm: Man City v Bournemouth, Arsenal v Leicester City, Brighton v Newcastle United, Southampton v Leeds, and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The day wraps with Brentford v Man United at 6:30pm.

Barcelona is also kicking off its season in La Liga with a match against Rayo Vallecano at 9pm in a match that already has a dark cloud hanging above it for Barcelona, which is struggling to register their newly signed players.

Meanwhile: Celta Vigo meets Espanyol at 5pm and Real Madrid hits the field with Villareal at 7pm.

Italy’s Serie A will see its own new season beginning with title holder Milan facing off against Udinese at 6:30pm, at the same time that Sampdoria and Atalanta begin their match. At 8:45pm, Inter meets Lecce and Torino meets Monza.

🥪 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Hungry by the beach in Sahel? Head to Moxy’s in Telal for some delicious sandwiches to munch on while on the go. The restaurant offers a wide variety of paninis — including the shrimp-based The Fisherman and refreshing summer special Genao. And if you’re sticking to your summer health kick, Moxy’s has fresh salads and wraps on the menu, ranging from the classic Caesar and Greek, to the more refreshing options, like a spinach salad with green apple cubes and blue cheese. Moxy’s also has your caffeine needs covered throughout the day, with coffee maker Eight oz serving up the classics — latte, americano, mocha — either hot or iced. And if caffeine isn’t your thing, try one of their smoothies to keep you refreshed and hydrated throughout the day.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

It’s another stand-up night at El Sawy Culture Wheel, with comedy troupe Squadra taking over the stage at 8 pm.

Start warming up those vocal cords: Karaoke night at Room New Cairo starts at 8pm.

👂 EARS TO THE GROUND-

The Indicator from Planet Money packs a lot of punch in its 10-minute episodes. The daily podcast, hosted by Stacey Vanek Smith and Cardiff Garcia, tackles a timely facet of the economy in each of its episodes, offering insightful tidbits on topics ranging from climate change’s effects on personal finances to how friends might be the key to economic success and the secret to upward mobility. The podcast's ability to cover complex issues and breakdown trending topics in a fast and digestible format makes it worth the listen. If you’re still not quite sure what the terms bull and bear market mean or if you’re interested in why we came to use them in our daily jargon, this episode on the topic gives you the quick lowdown.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Why is art selling for so much these days? A 1986 Jeff Koons rabbit sculpture sold for USD 91.1 mn at Christie’s in 2019, breaking the record for most expensive work sold by a living artist. If you’re baffled by the astronomical prices artwork has been fetching lately, look no further than The USD 12 mn Stuffed Shark. The book dives into the economics and the marketing tactics that have enabled the modern art market to churn out such hefty price tags. Author Don Thompson interviews auction house executives, buyers, and artists to determine what could compel a seemingly sensible New York investment banker to pay USD 12 mn for a decaying, stuffed shark carcass.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

EARNINGS WATCH-

Telecom Egypt’s net income after tax rose 38.2% y-o-y in 2Q 2022 to record EGP 2.42 bn, according to the company’s earnings (pdf). The telecom operator reported EGP 10.98 bn in revenues during the quarter, up 22% y-o-y.


MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 rose 0.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.08 bn (25.8% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 16.4% YTD.

In the green: Rameda Phar (+5.0%), GB Auto (+3.2%) and Telecom Egypt (+2.4%).

In the red: Alexandria Containers (-1.9%), Heliopolis Housing (-0.9%) and CIB (-0.8%).

👪 DEMOGRAPHICS

Egypt’s migrant numbers have grown nearly 50% in the past three years: Egypt is home to some 9 mn migrants, most of whom fled from conflict in their home countries, according to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) report (pdf). That figure indicates that migrants comprise some 8.7% of the Egyptian population and shows that the number of migrants living in Egypt has gone up 43% from the organization’s previous survey in 2019 which saw the number of migrants living in the country at the time at 6.3 mn.

There’s also an important distinction to be made here: Only 3% of that 9 mn figure are registered UNHCR refugees and asylum seekers.

Most migrants in Egypt are from neighboring countries in the region: Sudanese migrants constitute the majority of this demographic, with 4 mn people of Sudanese origin living in Egypt. Syrians living in Egypt are about 1.5 mn strong, while Yemenis and Libyans residing here are about 1 mn each. Collectively, citizens from these four countries make up 80% of the migrant population in Egypt.

They’re fairly young and mostly in urban areas: The average age of migrants in Egypt is about 35 years old and over a third of the population resides in urban governorates. About 56% of the total migrant population lives between Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Damietta and Dakahlia. The remaining 44% are scattered across 15 governorates that include Assiut, Aswan, Marsa Matrouh, Port Said, Qena and the Red Sea Governorate.

Conflict in the region is a primary driver of migration: War and political conflict in the region in the past decade are the main factors behind the uptick in migrants residing in Egypt since 2019. “Positive discourse towards migrants,” and the provision of some social services are also factors the report suggests is contributing to the uptick in the number of people finding home in Egypt.

Work and education are the two main reasons people are migrating from neighboring countries: Some 36% of migrants are here seeking work, while 26% are here for higher education, combined that’s about two-thirds of the entire migrant population, the report finds. Some 16% are here seeking asylum and those looking for medical care and marriages make up 10% of the overall group.

Most migrants find temporary homes in Egypt for a little over a decade: Some 60% of migrants living in Egypt have been residing here for over 10 years and 6% have been here for at least 15 — which the IOM considers to be an indication of being “well integrated,” into Egyptian society. But overall, 94% of migrants coming through Egypt spend less than 15 years living in the country.

Drivers of economic activity: At least one third of the country’s migrant population have found stable forms of employment or have started their own businesses, the report finds. Syrians for example, are one group the report singles out as significant contributors to the country’s economy. Some 30K Syrian investors are responsible for investments worth up to USD 1 bn.

But many are still struggling to get by here: Some 15% of migrants here are considered “vulnerable” or “persons of concern,” who would greatly benefit from more public assistance, the report says. This could be in the form of cash stipends, housing subsidies, food, education and healthcare, the report explains. Syrians and people from Sudan and sub-Saharan Africa are the populations of most concern to the UNHCR’s office in Egypt. Migrants living in Egypt, especially those who are black, often face abuse as well as steep social and legal challenges.

📆 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.

AUGUST

Late July-14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

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

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

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

12 August (Friday): Swvl to sell USD 20 mn in stock to a US investor in a private placement.

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

14 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with finance and ins. players.

16 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with wood manufacturers.

16 August (Tuesday): MNHD’s general assembly meeting to decide whether to allow SODIC to go ahead with due diligence on its takeover bid.

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

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

23 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with chemical producers.

25 August (Thursday): Second Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Bangkok, Thailand.

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

25-27 August (Thursday-Saturday): Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

27 August (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.

28 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with mining and petroleum refining players.

30 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with minerals players.

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

September: Naval Power, Egypt’s first naval defense expo

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

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

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

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 (Tuesday-Thursday): Environment and Development Forum (EDF), InterContinental City Stars, Cairo.

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

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.

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.

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.

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): 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 chaired by CBE Governor Tarek Amer, Washington, DC.

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.

NOVEMBER

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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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