Thursday, 26 May 2022

PM — The Robots Cometh — for chores

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Give yourselves a pat on the back for making it to this very well-earned THURSDAY afternoon, friends. It’s been a marathon week, and today is no exception.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

We have more clarity on consumer refunds on car payments: Customers who made a down payment or paid partial installments on a car before 12 April but have yet to receive their cars are entitled to receive a full refund of their payments plus 18% annual interest, according to a Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) decision published in the Official Gazette today. The decision gives consumers the upper hand in providing them with the option to decide whether to take the refund and interest, or reach a “better” agreement with their car dealer. Dealers will have a maximum period of five weeks — including a two-week deadline on notifying the CPA of why they are unable to deliver cars to consumers and another three-week period to actually dole out the refunds — to comply with the decision.

^^We’ll have more details on this story in Sunday’s edition of EnterpriseAM.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

Monetary policy across different markets is broadly driving the conversation in the international press this afternoon. The Financial Times’ front-page story is the possibility of the US Fed adopting a more hawkish position and enacting more aggressive interest rate hikes in a bid to tamp down inflation, which some officials at this month’s Federal Open Market Committee said “may well become appropriate.” Elsewhere, Reuters takes note of the Russia Central Bank’s decision to enact a 300 bps interest rate cut at an extraordinary meeting today as inflationary pressures are beginning to ease, while the Turkish central bank’s decision to maintain its interest rates unchanged despite currency pressure and inflation risk is the big story for Bloomberg.


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

  • The Madbouly government is looking to attract foreign investors with major new projects: In a meeting with US and Egyptian CEOs yesterday, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said his government will launch a string of major new projects in the coming months and pledged fresh incentives to draw foreign investors into the country.
  • Construction of the pipeline connecting Cyprus’ Aphrodite natural gas field to Egypt will begin by the end of the year, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said.
  • Gov’t responds to MP reservations about budget allocations: MPs now reviewing the draft FY 2022-2023 state budget should view the spending plan as “tentative” as global conditions continue to shift the goalposts, Madbouly told House committee heads this week.

CORRECTION- The Egypt Education Fund is currently 80% owned by EFG Hermes, with the remaining 20% owned by GEMS Education, Amr Sherif, communications director at the fund’s manager, Egypt Education Platform, told Enterprise. We earlier this week reported that the fund is a 50/50 JV between the two companies — as was the case when it was established in 2018. EFG has been gradually increasing its stake in EEP over the past few years, Sherif said.

FOR TOMORROW-

The Fin Expo Egypt is kicking off tomorrow and will run until Thursday at the Intercontinental Citystars. The expo will feature over 25 companies exhibiting their fintech products and services with 3k visitors expected.

El Gouna International Squash Open 2022 will kick off tomorrow and run until the following Friday, 3 June. The competition will feature some of Egypt’s top seeds including world #1 Nouran Gohar and world #2 Ali Farag (who just earned the PSA squash championship cup). The prize pool for each of the men’s and women’s competitions is USD 180k.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Madbouly government will hold public consultations on its privatization plans over three months, according to a cabinet statement. “We as a government are ready to hear all opinions and approaches because our objective is the interest of the country and the advancement of the economy,” PM Moustafa Madbouly said at a Cabinet meeting.

PSA- Companies have another month to bid for the government’s PPP schools program: The Finance Ministry has extended the deadline for receiving bids from private sector companies to build and operate schools under its public-private partnership (PPP) schools program to 26 June, instead of 25 May, Al Mal quoted Ater Hanoura, head of the Finance Ministry’s Private Partnership Unit, as saying.

** Amcham AGM: Our friends at Amcham are hosting their annual general meeting on Sunday, 29 May at the St. Regis Cairo Hotel. Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir will give a guest speech.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The mercury is set to rise steadily from 36°C today in the capital city to 40°C by Sunday and to stay between 38-44°C as far into the future as the weather witches who run our favorite app can see.


LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST ON WHAT AI CAN MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS. Last month, we explored how the government has made artificial intelligence a national priority. We spoke with the former ICT Ministry’s advisor for AI Sally Radwan about the government’s national AI strategy and how it is being implemented (Part 1 | Part 2).

In another of our podcast roundtables, we sat down with the companies building AI systems in Egypt to get a bird’s eye view on what’s happening in the sector: Who’s adopting it, how they’re going about it, and what challenges they’re facing.

You can catch the episode on our website here (listen, runtime: 44:01), or tune in via Apple Podcasts | Anghami | Google Podcasts | Spotify). Or you can read edited excerpts of our conversation here.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Move aside, vacuum cleaners: Dyson will soon offer robots to do your chores for you. The household appliances giant is working on rolling out “domestic robots” that will be able to take on household tasks, the company said at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, reports the BBC. Dyson is planning to set up a “major robotics center” within its Wiltshire facility that will house a team of robotics engineers specialized in computer vision, machine learning, sensors and mechatronics. The company has not yet revealed the specific devices or robots that it plans to bring to market, the exact tasks they would be able to complete, or when it expects to launch them.

A British culinary crisis if ever there was one: Soaring prices of fish, potatoes, cooking oil, and flours are pushing around a third of fish and chips shops in the UK to the brink of shuttering, insolvency firm Company Debt said, according to Reuters. “Fish prices have gone up extortionately; oil prices have gone up extortionately; and everything across the whole spectrum that we sell has gone up extortionately,” one shop owner told the newswire. The dramatic jump is a result of the trifecta of Brexit, covid-19, and the war in Ukraine, which together have yielded price pressures and difficulties in securing supplies.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

The fourth season of Stranger Things (or at least the first seven episodes) is dropping just in time for a weekend binge. The season, which we’ve been waiting on for nearly three full years, picks up more or less where we left off at the end of Stranger Things 3 in July 2019, following Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) as Eleven and Will try to settle into a new life in California, while the rest of the gang goes on with life back in Hawkins. Each episode this season will be rather lengthy, running at around 75 minutes each. A promising review: “Stranger Things 4 is bigger, bloodier, and much more intense than the seasons that came before it, but it also feels like a natural evolution of the sprawling epic the Duffer Brothers have been telling from the very beginning,” writes The Verge.

As football season draws to a close across Europe, our trusty Egyptian Premier League will give us our kora fix for the next couple of months. Al Masry will face Al Ahly Bank at 6:30pm today, while Pyramids and Future will clash at 9pm.

Tomorrow: El Gouna goes against Al Ittihad at 6:30pm, and Misr Lel Makassa will face Farco at 9pm.

On Saturday, Zamalek is up against Ismaili on Saturday at 6:30pm, and Smouha will face Enppi at the same time. Ghazl El-Mahalla and Tala’a El-Gish will play at 4pm.

And finally, the most anticipated game of the season is the sweetest note to wrap your weekend on: The Liverpool v Real Madrid Champions League final will kick off on Saturday at 9pm.

🎾Good news / bad news from Roland Garros: Our very own tennis champion Mayar Sherif became the first ever Egyptian woman to make it to the second round of the French Open on Tuesday, after defeating Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk. The 26-year-old has unfortunately withdrawn from the championship, however, due to a fractured foot. Sherif was scheduled to face off with Slovenia’s Tamara Zidanšek.

🐟 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Back to the classics: Sea Gull is a great place for a satisfying “aklet samak”: On an anchored boat on the Nile, Sea Gull gives you a wide selection of high quality seafood as well as a great view of the water. The restaurant has stuck to the traditional fish ordering process where you have to go see the fish and pick out what you want, but they let you get creative with how you want your seafood cooked. Get their sea bass with cream and mozzarella or their mussels with garlic and lemon. We also loved their fried calamari and shrimp (and really appreciated that it came fully peeled). Sea Gull just opened branches in North Coast’s Marina Hotel as well as in New Cairo’s Mar.v Mall (located on the North 90 street).

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT
(all times CLT)

A self-love celebration is happening at The Natural Hair Fest tomorrow: Hosted by the Hair Addict (whose founder Doaa Gawish we recently spoke to), the event is looking to make self-love gender neutral this year by emphasizing the importance for everyone to embrace their natural hair and natural beauty. The event runs from 2-10 pm at The Field in Maadi.

MASQ is hosting an exhibition titled ‘I’m one but also two’ in celebration of Europe Day: The exhibition will include a collection of artworks in different mediums that explore various aspects of the interrelation between Egyptian and European cultures. The exhibition includes sculptures, paintings, photography, video projections, collage, and installations. MASQ is a cultural hub located at the Sultan Qaitbay Mosque. The exhibition will kick off on Saturday at 5pm.

Tawlet Yvonne is hosting a BBQ brunch on Saturday from 2-5pm with a live performance by Sara Morgan. Tawlet Yvonne is located in Maadi and offers delicious Lebanese food.

👂 EARS TO THE GROUND-

Ford CEO Jim Farley just launched a new podcast called Drive: The auto expert is diversifying out of his field, booking guests from various backgrounds on his new podcast show that debuted yesterday. Episodes will drop weekly and the lineup of guests includes Jimmy Kimmel (host of Jimmy Kimmel Live), Jochen Zeitz (CEO of Harley Davidson), Emelia Hartford (content creator who builds and races cars), Duke of Richmond Charles Gordon-Lennox who founded the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival, and NFL quarterback Tom Brady. You can check out the first episode featuring Dax Shepard, one of the hosts of Top Gear America.

enterprise

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

The Entrepreneur’s Paradox looks at “how to overcome the 16 pitfalls along the startup journey”: Author Curtis J. Morley labels the entrepreneur’s paradox as wanting financial independence and personal freedom only to find yourself spending long hours building a successful business. In his book, he outlines 16 of the biggest issues that founders face at the beginning of their journey that if they don’t handle deftly, can lead to the ruin of their business. These pitfalls include climbing without a map, building rather than selling, and losing sight of culture.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

EARNINGS WATCH-

Housing and Development Bank’s (HDB) net income fell 3.5% y-o-y in 1Q 2022 to EGP 628 mn, according to the bank’s latest financial statement (pdf). The bank’s net interest income rose 18.6% y-o-y to EGP 976.50 mn.

Heliopolis Housing and Development’s 1Q 2022 bottom line fell 96.9% y-o-y to EGP 3.17 mn, according to the company’s financials (pdf). Revenues for the quarter also fell 61.4% y-o-y to record EGP 63.54 mn.


The EGX30 fell 0.5% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 572 mn (32.4% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 14.6% YTD.

In the green: EFG Hermes (+3.0%) and CIB (+0.5%).

In the red: Palm Hills Development (-8.9%), GB Auto (-8.3%) and MM Group (-7.6%).

📈 THE MACRO PICTURE

Everyone is really concerned about inflation right now: Inflation is the number one concern gripping the world right now as the commodity price shock and supply chain disruptions cause the biggest spike in the cost of living in decades, according to Ipsos’ latest What Worries The World report (pdf). A third of the 19k people surveyed by the market research firm in April said rising inflation was one of their biggest concerns, up from just 10% a year ago.

Inflation hasn’t been a factor in years: Inflation became one of the world’s five biggest worries for the first time since 2013 in March, and only became a bigger concern in April, rising another 6% to become the most important thing weighing on people’s minds. Of the 27 countries included in the survey, 26 saw increasing concern about heightened prices in April as the war in Ukraine sent shockwaves through the commodity markets, and food and energy shortages worsened.

Inflation is at historic highs in many of the countries included in the survey: Turkey’s inflation is running at a two-decade high of 70%, prices in the US are accelerating at a rate not seen since the early 1980s, while the UK is now predicting its consumer price index to hit 14% before the end of the year.

Concern over the economy isn’t limited to inflation: Some 31% of respondents cited poverty and social inequality as one of their biggest worries. Colombia, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey and Belgium top the list of places where social inequality was most troubling. Only four countries polled indicate that poverty and social inequality is more distressing than any other issue, down from six in the previous month.

Job security is (slightly less) of an issue: Some 29% were concerned about job security, down from 35% in the same time last year. South Africa is by far the most worried about unemployment, with some 64% of respondents indicating it was their primary concern.

People are feeling generally negative about the state of their countries: The survey indicates a broader pessimism among respondents with the direction their countries are heading in. Two-thirds of people think their countries are declining, and in 19 of the 27 countries featured the figure is over 60%. This is a long-term trend, with reports returning similar levels of dissatisfaction over the past year.

European nations are more concerned about war than other areas of the world: Ipsos added military conflict to its survey following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and it comes as no surprise that people in European nations are more likely to cite war as a pressing concern. Almost 4 in 10 people in Poland cite war as one of the biggest problems facing the country, while Germany (35%), Sweden (30%) and the UK (28%).

A global north / south divide on climate change: The survey revealed a divide between the developed and developing worlds, with respondents in richer countries more likely to cite climate change as one of the biggest issues.

And covid-19 now seems like a long time ago: Fears of covid-19 have dissipated as vaccines have become more available and economic problems come to the fore. The virus is now the eighth-largest problem cited by respondents, below taxes, corruption and access to healthcare.

📆 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

22-26 May (Sunday-Thursday): Davos 2022.

25-26 May: (Wednesday-Thursday): Fintech gathering FIN Expo Egypt is taking place at Intercontinental Citystars, Cairo, Egypt.

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

29 May (Sunday): AmCham holds its AGM, St. Regis Cairo Hotel.

30-31 May (Monday-Tuesday): Egypt Can with Industry, Cairo, Egypt.

31 May (Tuesday): Last day for EGX-listed companies to file 1Q2022 earnings

31 May (Tuesday): The application deadline for ITIDA’s annual Export IT program.

31 May (Tuesday): Extended deadline for EGX-listed companies to disclose 1Q 2021 earnings.

May: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

May: General Authority for Land and Dry Ports to issue the conditions booklet for the tender to establish and operate the Tenth of Ramadan dry port.

May: Egypt to sign contracts for second and third high-speed rail lines with Siemens by the end of the month.

May: Government to announce its automotive strategy by the end of the month.

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 will take place at the Grand Nile Hotel in Cairo.

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

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.

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: World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington, DC

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.

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.

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

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP 27 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.

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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