Tuesday, 18 January 2022

PM — A shortened workweek is coming to the UK



Happy hump day, wonderful people. We’re more than halfway through this (freezing) workweek, so pat yourself on the back, if you can still feel your hands.


Crypto asset platform Rain raises USD 110 mn series B: Bahrain’s Rain Financial, whose subsidiary Rain Management is the region’s first fully licensed digital currency exchange, has raised USD 110 mn in a series B funding round led by Paradigm and Kleiner Perkins with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Global Founders Capital, MEVP, Cadenza Ventures and CMT Digital, according to a company release. Rain counts Egypt’s Yehia Badawy among its four co-founders.


The World Economic Forum’s virtual Davos Agenda is ongoing: The world’s political, corporate, and intellectual power brokers are wrapping up a session on “Renewing a Global Social Contract” as we dispatch this afternoon’s issue, following discussions on improving global cooperation and what the future of cybersecurity looks like. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had addressed the event earlier this morning. The virtual five-day Davos Agenda is on until Friday.

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

  • Egypt’s first-ever SPAC to list on EGX by next month: The SPAC will list “at the end of this month or early next month” and would have initial capital of EGP 10 mn, Financial Regulatory Authority chief Mohamed Omran said.
  • Nahr Elkhair shares could begin trading on the EGX this week: Nahr Elkhair Development and Investment will sell as much as 61.5% of its shares on the bourse, potentially giving the IPO a transaction value of c. EGP 307 mn, Omran also said.
  • More green debt coming in 1H2022? We could see a USD 400 mn corporate green bond issuance in 1H2022 which will be used to finance renewable energy projects and could be cross-listed on the EGX and the German or Luxembourg bourses, Omran added.


Expectations of sooner-than-expected interest rate hikes from global central banks is pushing up yields on government bonds, triggering a sell-off around the world. In the US, yields on two-year notes hit 1.04% — their highest since February 2020 — as the market begins to price in four, rather than three, interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve this year. The two-year bonds “closely track interest rate expectations,” the Financial Times notes. CNBC also has the story.

Over in Europe, yields Germany’s 10-year Bund are now on the cusp of turning positive for the first time since 2019, rising to -0.002% today from 0.061% yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Partially behind it all: Inflation: Oil prices rose to a seven-year high, with Brent crude futures currently trading at USD 87.24 / bbl.The Bank of Japan revised upward its inflation projection upward for the first time since 2014, forecasting a 1.1% increase for the fiscal year starting in April, from the previous 0.9%.

FOR TOMORROW- South Korean President Moon Jae-in is due in town from tomorrow until Friday, in what will be the first visit to Egypt by a South Korean president in 16 years. Moon will meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi during a regional tour. Moon is currently in Riyadh, after swinging through the UAE yesterday.

On the agenda: The two presidents are expected to hold talks with the aim of signing a trade agreement between the countries, as well as discuss cooperation on EVs, water desalination, green hydrogen and renewables.

National flag carrier EgyptAir will operate a flight from Casablanca to Cairo tomorrow to bring home Egyptian expats stranded in Morocco following border closures.


You can still catch Consoleya’s Startup Meet-up series today featuring a talk from Ayman Ashour, founder and principal at Newton International Management. The talk, titled Exits and Reset Dilemmas, will see Ashour discuss how to plan for your startup’s exit and the connections you’ll need along the way. Our friend Hossam Allam from Cairo Angels will moderate the discussion. The event will take place from 6-9pm — you can register using this link.

Taking stock of Nafeza + looking at what’s next: Lynx Strategic Business Advisors is hosting a webinar this Thursday, 20 January at 1pm CLT that will see Customs Authority Chairman Elshahat Ghatwary and Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Misr Technology Services Khaled Nassef discuss the progress on implementing the new digital customs system, Nafeza. The keynote speakers will also discuss their recommendations for the way forward and how to expand the application of the system. You can register for the webinar here.

Applications are open until 31 March to join the Femtech Accelerator Program run by Flat6Labs and women’s healthcare firm Organon. The four-month-long virtual accelerator will support women-led digital healthcare start-ups operating in MENA to build products, test market fit and improve business models. You can register at this link.

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

🌧 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We might be in for some rain tomorrow, with a 40% chance of precipitation, our favorite weather app tells us. The day will see the mercury reach 17°C, and you might want to bundle up at night, when the mercury will plunge to 7°C.


Who had a good outcome from the supply chain crisis? Shipping companies, who pocketed some USD 150 bn in net income last year. The spot rate to ship a 40-foot container from Asia to the US spiked to over USD 20k last year, a tenfold increase from the USD 2k it would’ve cost a few years back, Bloomberg writes. Long term contracts between carriers and shippers have risen over 200% over the last year, while bigger corporations can stomach the shipping increase and negotiate better prices, smaller exporters and importers are struggling.

Higher shipping costs come with a risk of increasing inflation: A 15% increase in shipping costs leads to a 0.10 percentage point increase in core inflation in the US, said an economist with the Kansas City Fed, saying that increasing shipping costs are currently a persistent, not transient, issue.

Following the UAE’s lead, the UK just initiated a four-day work week trial: More than 30 companies in the UK kicked off a six-month pilot program that will reduce the working week to four days, instead of five, the Independent reports. The pilot will see employees work one day less, without any loss in pay for the participants, in a bid to shift to productivity-based work strategies. The UK’s trial comes after the UAE government recently implemented a nationwide 4.5-day work week for public sector employees that will also see them shift to a Monday-Friday schedule.

How does meta plan to monetize the metaverse? So far, it looks like Facebook’s parent company intends to utilize highly targeted advertising techniques and sponsored content to monetize the metaverse — the immersive, avatar-dominated virtual world which many claim is the future of the internet — if hundreds of applications filed to the US Patent and Trademark Office are any indicator. The patents include plans for a “virtual store” that would enable consumers to purchase digital commodities, or products that match real-life items which are endorsed by specific brands, the Financial Times reports.


Willem Dafoe shines as troubled Vincent Van Gogh + All your favorite Egyptian dishes can be found at El Toro


(all times CLT)

At Eternity's Gate delves into the trials and tribulations of Vincent Van Gogh: The 2018 film features a shining performance by Willem Dafoe, who depicts the famous painter’s final years. At Eternity’s Gate takes you in depth into the mind of a troubled genius and Dafoe delivers the character with effortless grace (and sometimes violence). This movie does not shine as a biopic in the traditional sense. Very few films know how to get the audience to experience the madness of the characters they portray. Some do it well through clever plot arcs (think Fight Club) and others like Darron Aronovsky (Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream) try to outwardly project the delusions of their unreliable narrators through intense visual chaos. At Eternity’s Gate does it through clever cut outs, time lapses, point of view cinematography and very extreme close-ups to give an eerie sense of inexplicable confusion — that can only be calmed through painting. A must see and one the best movies we’ve seen in the past decade.

Four matches to keep you company in Afcon today: Group B is up at 6pm, with Malawi playing against Senegal and Zimbabwe against Guinea. Then it’s Group C’s turn at 9pm as Gabon faces Morocco and Ghana faces Comoros.

Premier League match cancellations are a testament to how important Africa’s players are: Following Liverpool postponed its game with Arsenal earlier this month, and the latter doing the same to Tottenham this week, we thought it would be a good time to take stock of just how crucial Africa has become to world football. Yes, covid and injuries had a lot to do with it. But another major common denominator is Afcon. There’s Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Thomas Partey, Pierre Emerick Aubamyang, Riyad Mahrez and others.

Brighton and Chelsea will hit the field today at 10pm in the English Premier League.

La Liga: Real Betis will play against Alaves at 9pm while Cadiz and Espanyol compete at 10:30pm.

A couple of cup matches to look out for: Juventus and Sampdoria will battle it out in the Coppa Italia tonight at 10pm while Dortmund will play against St. Pauli in the DFB-Pokal at 9:45pm.

El Zamalek is currently on the field against Pharco in an Egyptian League Cup match that started at 2:30pm. Later at 5pm, Enppi will compete against Ghazl El Mahalla and Al Gaish will face Ceramica Cleopatra.


El Toro will satisfy your cravings for delicious local dishes: The restaurant has gotten to a strong start, opening in New Cairo, Maadi, and Zamalek (plus Sahel during the summer), with a branch to open in Arkan soon. El Toro specializes in gourmet Egyptian food with everything from traditional fuul and ta3meya breakfasts to grandma-inspired main dishes. It’s a great place to get a heaping spread in the morning — we recommend filling the table with their fuul iskandarani, ta3meya stuffed with labneh, sausage omelet, french fries, white cheese with tomatoes, and our personal favorite, feteer meshaltet. For main dishes, they’ve got oxtail with rice, chicken sharkaseya, kabab hala, fattah, or go outside the box with their beef fillet with Arabic coffee creamy chili sauce. El Toro also has a ton of sandwiches, soups, and salads for a mid-day meal.


(all times CLT)

The French Institute in Cairo will host a discussion on costumes worn in the opera during the 19th century today at 7pm. This comes as part of an exhibit held at the institute showing some of the sketches of the costumes worn in the iconic Opera Aida that was first performed in Egypt.

The Leah Manatis: 50 paintings exhibition is currently open at Access Art Space. The exhibit will run at the Downtown gallery until 5 February.

Join the Cairo Business Community Gathering tomorrow at Emerald Plaza, featuring a talk on how to build a successful startup as well as the chance to network with other entrepreneurs. The gathering will take place from 8am to 10am.


You need to grow your people to grow your company — an accepted fact among entrepreneurs who work in people-dependent industries. In Smart Growth by Whitney Johnson, she provides a guide on the “how” aspect using the S curve model. Businesses that help people develop their potential have a focus of cultivating a culture of learning, Johnson argues, with three stages to look out for: the Launch Point, the Sweet Spot, and Mastery. Each employee will land in each one at their own pace and it’s important for management and HR to understand how to approach each person differently. Johnson uses a ton of well-written examples and case studies to help recognize what stage a person is in and how to propel them forward with clear actionable steps.


Meet our analyst of the week: Pioneers’ Nour ElNayal

OUR ANALYST OF THE WEEK- Nour ElNayal, junior equity analyst at Pioneers Securities (Linkedin).

My name is Nour ElNayal and I didn’t have any finance experience before working at my job. I studied political science as a major and history as a minor at AUC, so I really had no background in stocks [laughs]. Nonetheless, I’m currently a stock trader at Aspire Capital’s Pioneers Securities. I got the job because of my abilities to tell a story to people. The more financial and technical aspects I learned on the job through training and through help from the team. We don’t divide industries between us at Pioneers — instead, we all work on everything and get that breadth of exposure.

The best part of my job is that you’re always on your toes. The stock market always has something new every day and you need to be alert and think and move fast. In my case, I tend to get more creative in times of crisis. People think that market crashes are a bad thing, but it's a great time to enter the market and wait for the next upcycle.

The worst part of my job is that it’s very stressful. Sometimes you need to catch a breather, but it’s hard to do that. If you disconnect for even a few days, you miss out on so much and you’ll need to catch up. It’s also a job that is better done on the ground. Because we work in teams, we work better when we’re in the office and can collaborate face-to-face.

I feel the energy and petrochem sectors are a hidden gem in the market. They have a lot of potential and this showed especially when they proved to be resilient in the face of market dips. They produce needs rather than wants and there’s a lot of liquidity in the sector.

My theory of investment is to be a chameleon, changing colors based on the client. There isn’t a cookie cutter outline for investing and it all depends on the client’s psychology. You have to understand their risk appetite and their interest and it’s important that you have the ability to do that in a brief window. This will affect everything from the tone you speak with and how you deliver news.

The most important factor I look at before recommending an investment is how lucrative it is and volumes. They have to go hand in hand or else it’s a risky investment that you might not be able to get out of easily. After that, you combine these two factors with the fundamentals and the news around the company at the moment to have a 360° view of the potential of the company. The timing is also very important and you should aim to see this potential before the rest of the market.

I’m very optimistic about the EGX30’s performance in 2022. The stock market needs a strong push through fresh paper and the return of foreign investors. A lot of foreign institutions exited the market in the past few years due to uncertainty and changing regulations. However, I think that the year ahead will be positive as these changes in regulation are actually quite beneficial to the market and that will begin to play out. It’s a great time to enter the market, especially in sectors such as banking and non-banking financial services.

The high interest rate environment is not necessarily worrying. It’s always competition to an extent, but people who have tried their hand at the stock market know that it's much more lucrative. So I think a high interest rate environment would impact the amount of new clients that decide to invest in the stock market, but existing clients will remain.

The last great thing I watched is Queer Eye. The last season featured a new approach where they brought on a lot of people that make a difference in a community.

I’m currently reading 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do. I like it so far.

In my freetime, I like to work out and do things that relieve stress such as spinning classes and yoga. I’m also a very social person and I like to constantly meet new people as I feel it helps expand my network. I’m the kind of person that will speak to strangers while at the sports club [laughs]. I also have a blog on Instagram where I like to write about my personal experiences on everything from mental health to dating. My approach to it is that it's 100% raw and real.


The EGX30 rose 0.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 633 mn (45.9% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 0.6% YTD.

In the green: Egyptian Resorts Company (+6.1%), CIRA (+5.3%) and GB Auto (+5.0%).

In the red: Fawry (-1.8%), Rameda (-1.2%) and Palm Hills Development (-1.1%).


1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

1Q2022: Swvl acquisition of Viapool expected to close.

1Q2022: Waste collection startup Bekia plans to expand to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

1Q2022: Rameda Pharma will begin selling its generic version of Merck’s oral antiviral covid-19 med.

Early 2022: Results to be announced for the second round of the state’s gold and precious metals auction.

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.

January: Sovereign Sukuk Act executive regulations expected to be finalized.

January: Tenth of Ramadan dry port tender to be launched.

January: Three-month trial period of ACI for air freight to begin.

9 January – 6 February (Sunday-Sunday): 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon.

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

Second half of January: Regulations for installing EV charging stations will be published.

15-19 January (Saturday-Wednesday): World Art Forum, National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Cairo.

17-21 January (Monday-Friday): World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda, virtual.

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

18 January (Tuesday): Founder and Principal of Newton International Management Ayman S. Ashour will give a talk titled Exits and Reset Dilemmas at Consoleya.

19 January (Wednesday): EgyptAir will operate an exceptional Casablanca-Cairo flight to bring home Egyptians expats stranded in Morocco following border closures.

20 January (Thursday): Kadmar Shipping’s new line transporting agricultural crops between Alexandria and Russia begins its operations.

20-21 January (Thursday-Friday): South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Egypt as part of his diplomatic tour of the region.

23 January (Sunday): Deadline for Macro Pharma to IPO on the EGX.

25 January (Tuesday): The IMF will release its World Economic Outlook.

25 January (Tuesday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

25 January (Tuesday): Techne Summit announces awardees of Corporate Innovation Program.

25-26 January (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

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

30-31 January (Sunday-Monday): Ins. Federation of Egypt medical ins. forum.

End of January: The Egyptian-Romanian business forum will take place with the aim of strengthening joint investment relations.

January-February 2022: Construction work on the Abu Qir metro upgrade will begin.

February: Hassan Allam Construction’s new construction firm established with Russia’s Titan-2 to handle construction work on the Dabaa nuclear power plant begins its operations.

February: Ghazl El Mahalla shares will begin trading on the EGX this month.

February: Suez canal transit fees set to increase 6%, exempting cruise ships and LNG carriers.

Mid-February: End of grace period to comply with new minimum wage for firms who sent in exemption requests.

Mid-February: A Hungarian delegation will arrive in Egypt for talks over a potential investment in an industrial area in the SCZone.

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

3 February (Thursday): January PMI figures for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE will be released.

4-20 February (Friday-Sunday): 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing.

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

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

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

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

15 February (Tuesday): Orange Ventures’ deadline to receive applications from seed-stage fintech startups.

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

19-21 February (Saturday-Monday): Nebu Expo for Gold and Jewelry 2022.

21 February (Monday): Hearing at Cairo Economic Court (pdf) on FRA lawsuits filed against Speed Medical.

End of February: Lebanon to receive gas from Egypt via a pipeline crossing Jordan and Syria.

March: Rollout of the government financial management information system (GFMIS), a suite of electronic tools to automate the government’s financial management processes (pdf) that will replace the existing “closed” financial management system.

March: 4Q2021 earnings season.

March: Deadline for the World Health Organization’s intergovernmental negotiating body to meet to discuss binding treaty on future pandemic cooperation.

March: World Cup playoffs.

March: The government hopes to sign a final contract between El Nasr Automotive and a new partner for the local production of electric cars.

March: Target date for Saudi tech firm Brmaja to IPO on the EGX.

March: Egypt to host World Tourism Organization Middle East committee meeting.

9-18 March (Wednesday-Friday): The 55th edition of the Cairo International Fair.

15-16 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

24 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

28-29 March (Monday-Tuesday): The Egypt International Mining Show (EIMS 2022) will take place virtually.

31 March (Thursday): Deadline for submitting tax returns for individual taxpayers.

31 March (Thursday): Supply Ministry expected to take final decision on bread subsidies by this date.

2 April (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

3 April (Sunday): Bidding begins on the Industrial Development Authority’s license to manufacture tobacco products.

4 April (Monday): CDC Group will formally change its name to British International Investment.

22-24 April (Friday-Sunday): World Bank-IMF spring meeting, Washington D.C.

24 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday (holiday for Coptic Christians).

25 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

25 April (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day.

28 April (Thursday): National Holiday in observance of Sham El Nessim.

30 April (Saturday): Deadline for submitting corporate tax returns for companies whose financial year ends 31 December.

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2022 earnings season

May: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

1 May (Sunday): Labor Day.

3-4 May (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

5 May (Thursday): National Holiday in observance of Labor Day.

2 May (Monday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

19 May (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee 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): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

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

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

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

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

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

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

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

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.

Late October – 14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

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

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

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

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

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

January 2023: EGX-listed companies and non-bank lenders will submit ESG reports for the first time.

**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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