Monday, 8 August 2022

PM — Satisfy your musical itch

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, wonderful people. It’s only Monday, but it’s another day of good news on the business front.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

We have the first project that’s going to be implemented under the industrial partnership between Egypt, the UAE, Jordan, and Bahrain: Emirati fertilizers player CFC Holding will invest USD 400 mn to set up an industrial complex for fertilizers and feed production in Qena, Al Mal cites CFC CEO Ahmed Khalifa as saying. CFC will set up the complex in partnership with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, with an eye to begin construction next January and bring the plant online at the beginning of 2025.

^^We’ll have more on this story and others in tomorrow’s edition of EnterpriseAM.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

The ceasefire in Gaza is getting some play in the international press, particularly after US President Joe Biden backed the agreement. In a statement released after Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire, Biden called on the Israeli and Palestenian parties to “fully implement the ceasefire and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza as the fighting subsides.” Biden’s calls were heeded, as Gaza’s only power plant began operating again and Israel began to partially reopen crossings into the embargoed strip to allow humanitarian assistance, the Associated Press reports.


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

  • We have a new head of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA). EGX boss Mohamed Farid has been appointed as acting chairman of the FRA for one year, the exchange announced yesterday.
  • Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could purchase United Bank from the Central Bank of Egypt before the end of the year, with due diligence close to wrapping.
  • Pachin has another potential suitor: EGX-listed Paint and Chemical Industries (Pachin) has received a non-binding offer from Universal Building Materials and Chemicals (Sipes) to acquire up to 100% of its shares.

FOR TOMORROW-

We have two more rounds of public consultations on the government’s state ownership policy coming up this week:

  • Higher education players will voice their thoughts on the privatization strategy tomorrow, 9 August.
  • Experts and think tanks will hold another round of talks on Thursday, 11 August.

Remember: The government holds workshops every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday to see how its plans will affect specific industries. You can find more details on the schedule of the meetings here.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Inflation data for July should land on Wednesday, 10 August.

Ghazl El Mahalla IPO: The retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla’s mini-IPO will wrap next 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.

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- We’re set to see a daytime high of 37°C before the mercury drops to 26°C in the evening.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Inflation has been a boon for the gig economy — but not so much for gig workers: Companies like Uber and Instacart that rely on “gig workers” who perform tasks on technology platforms, such as delivering food and driving passengers, have broadly been doing well in the inflationary environment, as more and more people look to get in on the gig economy to make some extra income. But while the companies are doing better, the workers they rely on are facing more competition for the finite number of gig jobs available, and are still struggling to make ends meet as rising expenses are offsetting any increase in income, the Washington Post reports, citing gig workers and economists. Several workers the Post spoke with also said they’ve been getting fewer and smaller tips (since customers aren’t immune to inflation, either).

Remember: Gig workers are attracted to the proposition of high pay for flexible work they can do in addition to their primary source of income, but gig jobs typically don’t offer typical employment benefits such as health coverage or job protection.


Frustrating workplace? Go ahead and vent — but choose your ears wisely: While workplace frustrations are no secret, airing them out to the wrong person or via the wrong medium can quickly backfire, work and life columnist Rachel Feintzeig writes for the Wall Street Journal. If you want someone to confide in, pick a colleague you trust, someone who isn’t a boss — or your junior, someone you know you can talk to without your complaints and frustrations becoming the talk of the office.

Most importantly, focus your rant on yourself and your emotions, rather than complaining about a certain individual. And definitely don’t take to your Twitter account to air out your grievances: “Anything written will always be risky.” One psychologist recommends recording yourself yelling on your phone and then listening to it again before deleting it. The process of listening to yourself can give some perspective on the situation and your feelings towards it, they suggest.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

How a Mormon murder triggers doubts on faith: True-crime drama Under the Banner of Heaven traces events leading to the grueseome 1984 murder of Mormon mother Brenda Lafferty (playsed by Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her 15-month-old daughter. The search for the culprit leads Detective Jeb Pyre (played by Emmy-nominated Andrew Garfield), a devout Mormon himself, to question his beliefs. As Pyre works on the case and investigates the Lafferty family, an influential Latter-Day Saint (LDS) clan, he discovers the troubling truth behind the LDS and its values. The show has sparked criticism among the Mormon community, who argue that they’ve been defamed and demonized. You can stream Under the Banner of Heaven on Hulu, or catch the trailer here (watch, runtime: 1:56).

It’s a slow football night, with only the Egyptian league to entertain: Ceramica Cleopatra plays against Enppi at 6:30pm, while Tala’e El Geish clashes with Eastern Company also at 6:30pm.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Feeling a bit musical? Head to El Sawy Culturewheel at 6pm to attend a guitar workshop, where you’ll be introduced to the basics and techniques and get some practical training.

Find your new go-to sing-along song tonight at Cairo Jazz Club 610’s Karaoke night.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Barbarians at the Gate: A classic of the business world. The 1989 bestseller is a business reporting classic, detailing the fall of US conglomerate RJR Nabisco. Penned by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, Barbarians at the Gate follows one of the 1980s’ biggest business scandals, starting with the merger of a tobacco company and a packaged foods player (already not a great idea) to create RJR Nabisco, to the era of CEO F. Ross Johnson, during which the company’s stock performance plummeted but the company’s management team continued to see perks. Johnson eventually proposed a leveraged buyout of the company, kicking off a bidding war that raised plenty of questions and eyebrows about the ethics of Wall Street.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 fell 0.8% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.7 bn (52.1% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 15.9% YTD.

In the green: Oriental Weavers (+4.9%), Alexandria Containers and Goods (+4.0%) and Eastern Company (+2.5%).

In the red: Ibnsina Pharma (-4.9%), CIRA (-4.8%) and Fawry (-4.3%).

🚀 WHAT’S NEXT

enterprise

Digital payments are more popular than ever in Egypt: Over the past year, some 88% of consumers in Egypt have used at least one digital payment method, according to a MasterCard survey (pdf). Among the 1k people polled, some 35% said they’ve used tappable smartphone wallets, 27% indicated they’ve used a digital money transfer service and 24% have used a QR code of some form.

Digital payments are on the rise: Almost two-thirds of respondents indicated that they’ve increased their use ”of at least one digital payment method in the last year,” the report says, noting also that the portion of Egyptians testing out a new service in the past year sits above the current global average of 61%. This includes the use of digital cards, SMS payments, money transfer applications and instant payment services. Even more significant is the fact that 15% of those surveyed in the report said that they used banknotes even less in the past year than they did previously.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: Cash is still king in Egypt. Though e-payments and fintech have grown in the Egyptian market in recent years, cash still accounts for the bulk of transactions. In 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic fuelled wider adoption of digital payments, three-quarters of the country’s payments were still performed using cash.

Security is still the biggest concern when it comes to digital payments: Some 39% of those polled in Egypt indicate that security is their primary concern when it comes to determining which new digital payment method to use. Other considerations, such as reward programs, promotions and accessibility, are also among the top priorities for Egyptian consumers. Some 31% of respondents said social and environmental benefits are taken into account when selecting a new service, although it remains unclear just how significant either of these factors are in people’s decision-making processes.

Short-term financing schemes are gaining momentum in Egypt: Some 81% of respondents said that they are currently familiar with buy now, pay later options and half of them would be comfortable using these services to pay off larger purchases in installments. “Consumers also find BNPL useful for unique use cases, including as a budgeting and financial planning tool,” the report said.

…and so are account-to-account payments: Most consumers ( 80%) are now comfortable directly linking their bank accounts to merchant sites for future purchases, the survey found, citing “greater agility to optimize bill payments, prioritizing control, flexibility and convenience,” as reasons for more widespread adoption of these kinds of payment methods.

Part of that comes down to access to more convenient bill payment options: Two-thirds indicated that flexible bill payment options, where the exact dates of recurring monthly bills can be adjusted to accommodate for irregular income streams, would be of interest to them. More than two-thirds of respondents also said that they would like automatic payment options for household bills.

Growing confidence in fintech is also playing a part: More than 60% of those surveyed said they trust using mobile apps to transfer money from their phones to other parties, though less than half said they were willing to share their financial data to access personal finance and payment services.

Most of that growth is coming from Gen Z and millenials who are more likely to use digital or contactless payment methods than older generations. Some 40% of younger consumers in Egypt are likely to have used a new payment method, like a tap to pay card or a wearable device, whereas only 26% Gen Xers are likely to have done the same. Part of this generational gap exists because of a divergence in perceptions of security and data privacy associated with digital payments, which younger generations tend to be less skeptical of, the report says.

But covid-19 has also had a hand in driving the popularity of new payment methods: Almost two-thirds of respondents to Mastercard’s 2021 survey on spending habits in the region said they have tried a new payment method they would not have used had it not been for the pandemic. Not only that but the report found that over half of consumers would avoid businesses that didn't accept electronic payments and 68% said they were more likely to stick with businesses that offer different payment options.

And we could be looking at even greater demand for noncash payment options in the not so distant future: The MENA Fintech Association earlier this year projected that nearly seven in 10 payment transactions in the Middle East and North Africa will be digital in 2023 and set the pace of digital payments growth at a compound annual growth rate of 20%. These figures would put digital payments on track to surpass USD 20 bn next year, which is more than double the size of digital transactions tracked in the region during 2019.

📆 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.

9 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with higher education players.

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

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.

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): 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: 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.

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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