Tuesday, 20 September 2022

PM — Sleep better, eat better

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Happy hump day, wonderful people. It’s an interesting Tuesday afternoon here at home, where capital markets look set to take over the news cycle through the end of the week.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

Tawasol-LimeVest consortium ups bid to acquire Alex Medical: The Tawasol-LimeVest consortium has increased its bid to acquire 100% of Alexandria Medical Services a day after Yas Holding reentered the bidding war for the healthcare provider. The company has upped the per-share price of the offer by some 2.8% to EGP 49 per share, the Financial Regulatory Authority said in a statement (pdf) to the EGX. The offer values Alex Medical at some EGP 763.2 mn by our math — and comes in some 0.8% higher than Yas’ offer.

CORRECTION- This story was updated on 20 September, 2022 to correctly reflect that the updated offer is 0.8%, not 2%, higher than Yas’ offer. 

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

The Federal Reserve is kicking off its two-day policy meeting amid rising economic uncertainty and market volatility surrounding the pace at which it’s raising interest rates. The central bank is widely expected to announce a third successive 75-bps hike when the meeting wraps tomorrow on the back of last week’s disappointing inflation data. An increase of this magnitude would take the Fed Funds Rate to its highest level since March 2008.

The meeting and the market’s reaction is leading the conversation in the international business press this afternoon, as US stock futures dropped and yields on 10-year US Treasuries rose. The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, and CNBC all have the story on their front pages.


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

  • EFG Hermes Group CEO Karim Awad is “extremely bullish on the countries in which EFG does business — and singled out the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
  • Part 2 of our exclusive sitdown with Mahmoud Mohieldin: UN High-level Climate Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin tackles the hard questions on climate finance: from the role of the private sector — and especially mid-sized business — vs the role of governments, to climate debt vs climate investment.
  • Yas Holding relaunches its bid to acquire Alex Medical: The UAE’s Yas Holding (formerly known as Emirates Advanced Investments) appears to be reentering the bidding war for Alexandria Medical Services.

FOR TOMORROW-

Intellectual property strategy coming: Egypt will launch its intellectual property strategy tomorrow. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Daren Tang will make an appearance at a ceremony being put on to launch the program.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to discuss interest rates on Thursday, and the signs are pointing towards a third hike of 2022. Six of seven analysts and economists surveyed in our regular poll expect the Monetary Policy Committee to raise rates as inflation rises and the EGP continues to weaken. HC Securities also added its voice to the chorus, saying earlier this week it sees the central bank raising rates by 100 bps on Thursday and another 100 bps in the November meeting due to Egypt’s deteriorating external position and expectations for inflation to accelerate in the coming months.

Our friends at HSBC are hosting an energy transition webinar series next Tuesday-Thursday, 27-29 September. The series will look at the “latest climate analysis in relation to the global energy market and transition to net zero” in six different sessions covering energy security, what is required to ensure the success of COP27, financing and investment needs for the energy transition, and the scaling up of renewables in the region, among other topics. You can register for the series here.

WANT MORE on the region’s energy transition? Catch this op-ed in EnterpriseAM by HSBC’s Group Head, Center of Sustainable Finance and Head of Climate Change Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Zoe Knight on to the capital that’s needed to help drive that shift.

A Spanish business delegation will be in town next Tuesday and Wednesday (27-28 September) for the Egypt-Spain Multilateral Partnership Forum, organized by the Spanish Institute for Export and Investment, according to a press release (pdf). The two-day conference will include seminars and panel discussions on trade and investment in transport, energy, and water with Egyptian ministers and representatives from government bodies, alongside officials from international financing institutions and Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Xiana Méndez Bértolo. The agenda for the conference is available here (pdf).

GITEX Global is being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center from 10-14 October. The event, which is running under the theme “enter the next digital universe,” will bring together players in Big Tech to discuss AI, cybersecurity, blockchain, the metaverse, and more.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The daytime high in the capital city will be the same as today, 32°C, while we’re in for a slightly cooler evening with a nighttime low of 22°C, our favorite weather app suggests

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Struggling with a junk food addiction? You’re probably sleep-deprived and being driven to consume extra fat and sugar, according to research from the University of Chicago and Columbia University cited by the Washington Post. Researchers have discovered how much poor sleep can influence the amount and type of food we eat and crave, and the body’s ability to gain or lose body fat. A lack of shuteye can trigger changes in our brain activity and hormones, which can drive us to consume more calories, and getting just one more hour of sleep can lead to better eating habits.

Swapping sleep for indulgence: Studies show that sleep-deprived people have stronger activity in the region of the brain involved in pleasure-seeking and reward, creating a more powerful need to indulge in junk food. Sleep loss also causes decreased activity in parts of the brain that regulate food intake, making it harder to exercise self-control.

Undoing the damage: The University of Chicago researchers found that overweight people who extended their sleep by around 1.2 hours a night reduced their daily food intake by 270 calories — without being given any dietary advice. They lost a slight amount of weight over a two week period compared with the control group, and reported feeling better and having more energy.


Can video games help ward off dementia? Researchers are finding new benefits in giving your brain a “workout,” the Wall Street Journal reports, citing researchers from the University of Texas and the University of Iowa. Studies have shown that changing your diet and exercising more may help avoid or put off developing dementia, but researchers are now looking at specially-designed video games as a potential weapon in the fight against dementia. There is a new wave of digital games being marketed as a “brain workout,” with features designed to improve cognitive abilities like speed, attention, and memory.

These are not your typical Minecraft or Grand Theft Auto-style games. Some require the player to recognize and remember specific sounds, patterns, and objects, all while making split-second decisions that get more challenging as the game progresses. These games could help boost memory and daily functioning, but many scientists think it’s too soon to tell if those benefits will last. Some researchers, though, find the concept of brain-training games promising enough to spend mns of USDs on exploring — especially since a 2020 study suggested that as much as 40% of dementia cases could potentially be prevented or delayed with lifestyle modifications such as diet, exercise and managing hypertension.

Want to try exercising your brain? You can explore CogniFit, an app that charges a monthly or annual fee, or Double Decision, whose games are available commercially and have been utilized in studies funded by the US Defense Department.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

The Last Movie Stars is a complex homage to two classic Hollywood icons: The six-part HBO Max docu-series is about the complicated romance between two of Hollywood's most intriguing stars, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. The awardwinning documentary was directed by Ethan Hawke and its executive producer is none other than Academy Awardwinning director, writer, and producer, Martin Scorsese. Through long-lost transcriptions of interviews with Newman, Woodward, and those close to them, we get a detailed look at the lives and careers of the pair as they establish an unparalleled cultural legacy. Hawke sought the help of some of his actor friends to flesh out the series’ plot by repeating the lines of renowned actors: George Clooney provides the voice of Newman, and Laura Linney lends her voice for Woodward. The end product is a heartbreakingly honest depiction of a celebrity couple's marriage, complete with all the collateral damage that occurs when real life influences creative work (watch trailer, runtime 1:55)

⚽ No football today, folks.

🍳 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Grab brunch, bagels, and the perfect brew at West Cairo’s Koffee Kulture: We recently stumbled upon a spot that was overflowing with people in Arkan’s extension in the morning, while most of its neighboring cafes and restaurants were deserted. We just had to walk into Koffee Kulture and see what all the fuss was about, and it instantly became one of our new favorite all-day breakfast spots in West Cairo. First off, the bagels: The balanced chewy-yet-tender texture is a slam dunk in our books, and we particularly enjoyed their Italian Twist — a baby caprese bagel with mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette. Next up, the dessert: Their sweet croissant is baked to perfection — you can have it smothered in powdered sugar or dipped in chocolate or pistachio glaze — and you don’t want to miss their mini cheesecakes. Now on to the most important part: The coffee. Their signature iced coffee is an absolute must-try, and their creative serving containers give an extra oomph to the experience. We recommend their Koffee Frappe, and be sure to try some of their unique flavors such as the Ginseng koffee.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Laugh away your mid-week worries with the Comedy Bunker at CJC 610 tonight: Mohamed Helmy and his troupe of stand-up comedians will lead the comedy night, which is scheduled to begin at 8pm.

Or dance the Tuesday slump away with an Arctic Monkeys Tribute Night at Room Art Space New Cairo. The Mangabeys will take the stage to perform some of the band’s best hits starting at 9pm.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Legendary storyteller Stephen King takes us on a genre-hopping fantastical journey in his latest novel: Fairy Tale tells the story of 17-year-old Charlie, who inherits the keys to a parallel universe where good and evil are at war, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. The idea for the novel came about in the early days of the pandemic, when King wanted to create something that would make him happy. He came up with an escapist, captivating story set in a world that is both familiar and foreign. Under the rule of the “Fair One” — who has destroyed the country and seeks to increase his control — princes and princesses, Goldilocks, Rumpelstiltskin, and some of our favorite fairy-tale characters are suffering. What unfolds is a fantastic and frightening story, where the valiant Charlie and his German shepherd must lead the good fight against an all-consuming evil. The writing, as is typical of King, is superb, and the novel is a wondrous gift to all readers and the inner child within them.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 rose 1.59% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.04 bn (8.6% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net sellers. The index is down 16.22% YTD.

In the green: Fawry (+6.2%), Elsewedy Electric (+5.1%) and Madinet Nasr Housing (+4.5%).

In the red: Eastern Company (-1.3%), Ibnsina Pharma (-1.2%) and Alexandria Containers (-0.8%).

🌱 FOUNDER OF THE WEEK

 

OUR FOUNDER OF THE WEEK- Every Tuesday, Founder of the Week looks at how a successful member of Egypt’s startup community got their big break, asks about their experiences running a business, and gets their advice for budding entrepreneurs. Speaking to us this week is Nadia Salem (LinkedIn), founder of interior design house Beit Nadia and furniture store Noun.

My name is Nadia Salem, and I’m the founder and owner of interior design house Beit Nadia and Noun furniture store. I started Beit Nada as an interior design firm in 2017 and then we started doing bigger architectural projects and landscape design, commercial and retail. I found a gap in the market while I was working because a lot of the time I couldn’t find or source the furniture that I was looking for. So we started doing our own designs and our own production, which is a big selling point for us.

I started with one employee and now I have 32. We’ve worked on around 130 projects so far, with around 40 commercial and 90 residential.

I decided to build my own business because I felt that I wanted to accomplish more. I felt that I was in a space where I wasn’t developing. I wasn’t able to be creative or to produce as much as I knew that I could and I wanted a bit o f freedom to do my own thing, which I was able to do when I freelanced on my own projects. So I took a leap of faith and with a bit of marketing and word of mouth, I set up my own firm.

The problem that we’re trying to solve at Noun is addressing the gap between creative ideas and furniture options in Egypt. We’re doing this by designing our own collections. Right now, we sell online at nounfurniture.com and we’re reopening our showroom next month. With the interior design firm, we are providing a service to anyone who wants a nice experience or curation for their space.

I gave up my sanity when I set up my own business [laughs]. It was extremely tough and I was pretty young at the time (I still am). Financially, mentally, and emotionally, it was very tough, but the most difficult part was establishing the actual business rather than the creative side of things. Overnight, I went from being an employee with almost zero responsibilities to a business owner with employees and rent. In the beginning, I wasn’t able to produce creatively, but bit by bit, I started to learn.

Right now, we’re focused on expanding the furniture line. Import restrictions will help us with that because there is a shortage of furniture in the market and our business addresses that gap. We have around 200 original products and pieces.

The best part of my job is being able to create. You start out with a blank canvas and it’s really interesting that you can create a lot of things for a very small space out of nothing. A single room can be transformed into many different things. The worst part is sourcing materials and obviously, time and quality with the contracting side. We always have quality control issues in Egypt.

You have to let go of your fear if you want to start your own business. You have to be very patient because there are so many problems everyday. I try to focus on solving the problems and moving on rather than dwelling on them, even when we make mistakes. I constantly have to solve problems on the job and accommodate mistakes with my work.

Being the sole founder of a company is lonely. You have to deal with the problems, the financial losses, your reputation, all on your own, so it’s definitely overwhelming sometimes. But with a proper team, things start to come together.

Currently, we sell more or less online. We shut down our showroom and plan to reopen a new location at a commercial hub in October, which is a very big step for us. We’re launching a huge new collection for Cairo homes and coastal furniture. We try to offer pieces at different price points, so we really have something for everyone, and that was our goal from the beginning.

I bootstrapped, so I saved money to start up the company and grew from there. I might be interested in bringing investors on board in the future. I have a plan to expand with less design and more mass production for another brand, and that is when I think I’ll need partners or investors.

I started the furniture brand because the turnover is a lot faster than the design side. Sometimes you end up losing money on the design side.

My family was completely against me starting my own business. They thought I lacked experience and that I should wait. I thought it was the right time and took that step and I’m very happy that I did. Now, they’re quite impressed and happy with the results.

I’m more of a designer than a businesswoman. I have a couple of my dad’s friends that I consult for advice when I need help with something business-related. Sometimes I wonder if I should have done a business degree and done design on the side.

When I have downtime, I mostly hang out with my friends and not think about work. I recently started doing a bit of meditation and yoga. It was a very tough step for me because everyone used to tell me to take half an hour a day to breathe and I would say that I don’t have time for that, but it really helped with my anxiety and taking control of the day to take half an hour a day to breathe and reflect. The other thing I started to do recently is wake up early and plan things better early in the day.

If I had to exit the business tomorrow, I wouldn’t stay on as an employee. And if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, I would probably build another business in something jewelry- or fashion-related — something on the creative side of things.

In our field, you get inspiration from everything around you. All the beauty around me inspires me. But of course, when I travel, I get to see things in motion — furniture collections and things that relate to our field more than here. We are starting to expand in this area in Egypt, but things are still a bit slow.

📆 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.

SEPTEMBER

September: Central Bank of Egypt’s Innovation and Financial Technology Center to launch incubator for 50 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.

13-27 September (Tuesday-Tuesday): UN General Assembly, New York.

19-22 September (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes One on One Conference, Dubai.

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

21 September (Wednesday): The Egyptian Virtual Food Show (pdf).

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

22 September (Thursday): Deadline to submit prequalification applications for companies interested in submitting a proposal for sea water desalination projects

25-27 September (Sunday-Tuesday) A delegation of executives at Egyptian real estate companies visit Saudi Arabia to present developers with potential investments in Egypt’s real estate sector.

26–27 September (Monday-Tuesday): The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.

27-28 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Egypt-Spain Multilateral Partnership Forum, Sofitel Gezira, Cairo, Egypt.

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Africa Renewables Investment Summit (ARIS), Cape Town, South Africa.

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): HSBC Energy Transition Webinar series.

28-29 September (Wednesday-Thursday): The sixth edition of Arab Pensions and Social Ins. Conference in Sharm El Sheikh.

30 September (Friday): Winter opening hours for shops and restaurants begin.

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): Start of 2022-2023 public school year.

1 October (Saturday): 2022- 2023 academic year begins for public universities.

4-8 October (Tuesday-Saturday): The Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council of the Trade and Industry Ministry is organizing a trade mission to Kenya.

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

8 October (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, national holiday.

10 October (Monday): The CEO Women Conference.

10-14 October (Monday-Friday): Gitex Global, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE.

10-16 October (Monday-Sunday): World Bank and IMF annual meetings, Washington, DC.

15 October (Saturday): Cairo Metro will launch a global tender for maintenance work on the power stations and overhead catenary system of Line 1.

16-19 October (Sunday-Wednesday): Cairo Water Week 2022, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

17 October (Monday): Fifth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Geneva, Switzerland.

27 October (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

27-30 October (Thursday-Sunday): Cairo ICT, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

Late October: First Abu Dhabi Bank to complete full integration with Bank Audi’s Egyptian operations after merger.

NOVEMBER

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

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Arab League annual summit, Algiers, Algeria.

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

3 December (Saturday): Dior Men’s pre-fall collection show in Giza.

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.

December: Egypt to expand Sudan electricity link capacity to 300 MW.

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.

24 January-6 February: The 54th Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center

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

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday) Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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.

4Q 2022: Electricity Ministry to tender six solar projects in Aswan Governorate.

4Q2022: Raya Holding subsidiary Aman and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia to launch their fintech company.

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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