Sunday, 20 March 2022

PM — State banks and Global Ventures launch USD 85 mn fund.



It’s the unofficial investment issue, ladies and gentlemen, with major FDI and local investments worth EGP 1 bn and above leading headlines in the local press.


State banks and Global Ventures launch USD 85 mn fund: Banque Misr, the National Bank of Egypt, Banque du Caire have teamed up UAE-based MENA VC firm Global Ventures to launch the USD 85 mn Nclude fund, according to a statement (pdf) this morning from Global Ventures. Other investors include state-owned e-Finance and the Egyptian Banks Company, according to a separate statement from e-Finance (pdf). The fund will focus on fintech and digital payments solutions, and has already made investments in startups including Khazna, Paymob, Mozare3 and Lucky.

Another green ammonia plant in the SCZone? We also have a consortium made up of France’s EDF Renewables and Egypt’s ZeroWaste reportedly in talks with the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) over a potential USD 1 bn green ammonia plant that would be used as fuel for ships, SCZone head Yehia Zaki told Enterprise, confirming a report from Al Borsa. The plant would have an annual production capacity of 219k tons per year.

Intro to invest EGP 1 bn with foreign acquisitions and potential IPO in the works: Then we have Intro Sustainable Resources (IRS), which is targeting investments worth EGP 1 bn into recycling this year, Al Mal quotes company CEO Mostafa Khairat as saying. The company is also looking at possible acquisitions in Africa and the GCC as part of a foreign expansion and could consider an IPO in 2023 to fund further expansions, Khairat is reported to have said.

^^We’ll have more on these stories and others in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.

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

  • CBE to raise interest rates this week -poll: The Central Bank of Egypt will likely raise interest rates for the first time in 16 months when it meets this Thursday, a move that the majority of analysts and economists we polled see as significant to curb inflation that has been pushed to a three-year high by the war in Ukraine.
  • Egypt is hoping to lure tourists from several European countries and the United States to our beach resorts with a new promotional campaign that’s hoped to help fill the gap left by the loss of Russian and Ukrainian tourists, two of the country’s most important tourism markets.
  • Eni to work with Egypt + others to find alternative gas for Europe: Eni pledged to bring more than 14 tn cubic feet of additional gas to the global market and mitigate Europe’s energy crisis by “leveraging established alliances with producing countries,” including Egypt.


Russia has reportedly bombed a school in Ukraine’s Mariupol, which its forces appear to be closing in on after weeks of failing to capture any major cities in Ukraine, Bloomberg reports. Some 400 civilians were hiding out in the school, but there is no official confirmation so far on the death toll from the attack, according to Reuters. Ukrainian civilians are being evacuated through seven new humanitarian corridors Kyiv and Moscow agreed to open up today, including from Mariupol to Zaporozhye, as well as villages in the Kiev and Kharkiv regions, Russian news agency Interfax said. “Several thousand” residents have been evacuated from Mariupol to Russian territory over the past week, Mariupol’s city council said, according to Reuters.

Russia also said it launched a hypersonic missile and cruise missiles to destroy fuel and ammunition depots in Ukraine, according to Interfax. The cruise missiles were deployed from the Black and Caspian seas, while the hypersonic missile was launched from Crimean airspace, Russia’s defense ministry said. Ukraine has confirmed the hypersonic attack, with a presidential aide saying the move comes as Russia is forced to use “more destructive artillery.”

Regrouping to capture the capital: Russian forces are expected to launch a fresh attack on Kyiv in a bid to take the Ukrainian capital as their chokehold on Mariupol tightens, Ukrainian military officials said, according to the Financial Times. The regrouping comes as “Ukrainian forces have defeated the initial Russian campaign of this war…[which aimed] to seize Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and other major Ukrainian cities to force a change of government in Ukraine,” the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest update. Russia’s best chance of success at capturing the capital would be pausing to draw up plans and build resources for a fresh campaign, but is instead “continuing to feed small collections of reinforcements,” which ISW expects to fail.


Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is on a tour of Asia that will take him to Singapore and Pakistan later this week. The minister has in recent days made whistle stops in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Egyptian German Green Energy Forum will take place at the Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis hotel on Tuesday 22 March at 5:30pm. The event is hosted by the German-Arab Chamber of Industry.

The three-day maritime logistics conference Marlog kicked off today at the Hilton Green Plaza hotel in Alexandria.


Catalyst Partners will launch what it is calling the MENA region’s first impact investing fund on Tuesday 22 March, the firm said in a statement (pdf) last week. The fund was founded by the Ins. Holding Company, Misr Ins., Misr Life, Misr Finance and Investment Fund, Banque du Caire, Post For Investments, and Attijariwafa Bank, and aims to deploy EGP 1 bn in local SMEs over the next five years.

EV-charging bid deadline extended: The Public Enterprises Ministry has extended the deadline for companies applying to manage the soon-to-be-established EV charging stations company to Thursday, 24 March, after the deadline expired last Thursday, the cabinet announced in a statement. Three companies have told the government they want to take part in the project so far, according to the statement.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect a daytime high of 19°C and a nighttime low of 9°C, our favorite weather app tells us.


The short list of Chelsea FC’s potential owners: Big names in both the sports and business worlds are lining up with their bids to buy Chelsea FC from Russian b’naire Roman Abramovich, who’s selling the English Premier League club after his inclusion on the sanctions list imposed by Western countries. The short list of potential buyers, according to Bloomberg, includes:

  • Part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team Todd Boehly, who reportedly bid for the club back in 2019 but was turned down by Abramovich;
  • UK property developer Nick Candy, who promises to involve Chelsea fans in the running of the club if he buys it;
  • Hedge fund Citadel founder Ken Griffin, who has teamed up with the family owners of the Chicago Clubs;
  • Former chairman of Liverpool FC and British Airways Martin Broughton, who claims to have global backing from investors;
  • US asset manager Oaktree Capital;
  • New York Jets owner Woody Johnson.

Sub-Saharan Africa needs USD 350 bn between now and 2030 to solve its long-standing electricity access problem, according to a Wood Mackenzie report carried by Business Insider. Around 600 mn people in the region still do not have access to electricity, mainly due to underinvestment in electricity infrastructure. To solve the problem, countries must launch further electricity grid link-ups as well as off-grid systems using renewable energy sources such as solar power. The growing prevalence of renewable energy and its lowered costs could help bridge the investment gap and provide reliable and affordable energy access across the region. This comes at a crucial time as electricity demand in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase nearly eight-fold by 2050.



(all times CLT)

Soil is a Belgian drama focused on a Muslim family that starts a business repatriating the dead: Focusing on the Moroccan community in Belgium, the series follows one of these families as they take on the family business and shift its operations into repatriating the dead and funeral services for Muslim families. While some families want their deceased to be buried in Belgium, others want them to be laid to rest in Morocco, with the business focusing on the logistics in between. The two brothers, Ismael and Rachid, are often at odds about how to run the business and how to advertise it, the latter of which gets them into trouble quite a few times, even leading the brothers to receive death threats. It’s quite an interesting plot (and business idea, of course), with the show offsetting the heaviness of death with goofy humor and family politics. You can watch Soil on Netflix.

El Clasico Night: Football fans know where to be tonight at 10pm, with one of football’s most famous matches taking place today between rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. Regardless of its popularity, the match won’t change the league standings much as Real is 10 points ahead of Sevilla, its closest rival, while Barcelona lags 15 points behind. After the Clasico, there will only be nine rounds left until the end of the competition to determine the champion.

Other matches in La Liga tonight: Celta Vigo versus Real Betis at 5:15pm, Cadiz v Villarreal at 5:15pm, and Sevilla v Real Sociedad at 7:30pm.

Today, we conclude a week that may be the shortest in the history of the English Premier League, with only four matches in all — two of which are taking place today. Leicester City and Brentford will play at 4pm while Tottenham and West Ham will hit the field at 6:30pm.

FA Cup: Chelsea succeeded in overcoming the Middlesbrough hurdle yesterday and qualified for the semi-finals. Meanwhile, today we follow the rest of the 8th round matches of the FA Cup, which include: Crystal Palace v Everton (2:30pm), Southampton v Manchester City (5pm), and Nottingham Forest v Liverpool (8pm).

Serie A: After Inter stumbled in a draw against Fiorentina yesterday, Milan seized the chance and beat Cagliari to snag its place at the top of the Italian League, three points ahead of Napoli and six points ahead of Inter. Today, Juventus — currently in fourth place — will try to go up the standings, playing against Salernitana in a match that starts at 4pm.

Other matches in Italy: The Roma and Lazio derby kicks off at 7pm, while Bologna collides with Atlanta at 10:15pm.


Chiqita Egypt offers wood-fire rotisserie chicken that will have you licking your fingers: The Sheikh Zayed food joint offers rotisserie chicken that you can get plain or with your choice of peri-peri sauce. The hero of the show, in our opinion, is all the sides, from delicious mashed potatoes and mac and cheese to sweet potato fries and pasta. Chiqita also has a great lasagna and a hummus salad that are worth a try. Finally, don’t leave without trying their s’more fries which feature sweet potato fries, marshmallow fluff, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

(all times CLT)

De Sync is hosting the Short Film Competition Program for the 43rd Cairo Film Festival today at 6pm. The films’ creators will give talks on how they made the films and the challenges they faced ahead of their inclusion in CFF in November. A number of films will also be screened starting from 7:30pm.

TAM Gallery kicked off its Artists of Tomorrow exhibition this weekend, showcasing several rising artists. The exhibition is ongoing at their venue in District 5 — on the Ain Sokhna Road — until 10 April.


Get to know the dynamics of the knowledge economy to monetize your skills: How to Get Paid for What You Know is the perfect book for those wanting to start a side-hustle but not knowing how. Author Graham Cochrane is a business coach and YouTuber who started Recording Revolution — a blog about music that turned into a seven-figure business. He takes that experience and creates a guide on how to come up with a lucrative idea, build an audience, package it into a product, and sell it in an authentic and ethical way. From there, he also explains ways to leverage the online tools available to you to market your product and automate the process for a more efficient workflow. Cochrane argues that you can make money from your passions with investments as small as USD 50.



Orascom Development Egypt’s net income dropped 52.9% y-o-y in 4Q2021 to record EGP 100.70 mn, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). Revenues rose 25% y-o-y to record EGP 2.15 bn. Annually, the company recorded EGP 1.31 bn in net income in 2021, up 130% y-o-y, while revenues rose 41.4% y-o-y to EGP 7.05 bn.


The EGX30 rose 2.3% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 820 mn (11.6% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 8.2% YTD.

In the green: Orascom Development Egypt (+8.8%), Rameda (+6.7%) and CIB (+3.9%).

In the red: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt (-0.1%) and Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (-0.1%).


While 5G has been boasted as the future of telecommunications, there’s been little revenue to show for it. The three largest US telecom carriers — Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile — invested over USD 100 bn into the technology last year, but have seen very little returns, industry analysts tell Bloomberg. This has raised concerns that while governments and policy makers worldwide are encouraging such spending with hopes that 5G would nurture high-tech industries, uneven revenue prospects have raised fears that the expensive upgrades won’t translate into a higher bottom line.

Is the 5G juice really worth the squeeze? Crystal balls seem to think so: The full economic impact of a 5G rollout worldwide could potentially enable up to USD 13.1 tn worth of goods and services and add up to 22.8 mn jobs by 2035, according to a study done by Qualcomm. This payout comes with a USD 700-900 bn bill, according to a separate report by McKinsey.

Why are expectations so high? 5G is meant to make internet speeds and response times significantly faster: 5G is a software defined network, meaning it will lessen dependence on cables by operating through the cloud. It’s anticipated that it will have 100x more capacity than its predecessor, 4G, which will dramatically improve internet speeds, according to a video explainer by CNBC (watch, runtime: 05:13). Internet response times will also be much faster on 5G at 0.001 seconds, or 400 times faster than a blink of an eye. This is particularly important when it comes to autonomous vehicles, medical devices, smart homes, industrial operations, and agricultural machinery.

But the need for it just isn’t present yet: The current mainstream uses of the internet, such as watching high-quality videos and gaming, often function just fine under normal 4G speeds. This means that internet users are often uninterested in paying a premium to access 5G, especially at the cost it is at now, writes the Wall Street Journal.

And setting up 5G is so darn expensive: While 3G and 4G were easier to roll out as they could be set up on existing frequencies, 5G needs a frequency with much higher bandwidth which will require brand new infrastructure to be set up.

And technical issues persist: A main opponent to the rollout of 5G is the aviation industry which has been vocal about worries that the network could interfere with key aircraft radars. In the US, safety concerns have led the country’s federal aviation regulator to warn that it may prohibit low-visibility landings in the proximity of 5G signals — a move that could disrupt up to 350k flights per year and cost the industry as much as USD 2.1 bn.

Nonetheless, telecoms are banking that if you build it, they will come: While uses for things such as IoT aren’t prevalent yet with few businesses offering this advanced type of wireless service, industry optimists insist that the boom is on its way, but it will take several more years to jump off the drawing board.

Even if the optimists are proven correct, it might not be the telecoms that reap the rewards. Tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple are working to create new products and services tailored for 5G networks — which could bring them more revenues than the telecoms that introduced the technology. Apple’s new iPhones and other devices all boast 5G technology while Google has also introduced smartphones that connect to the network. Their efforts have proven successful so far, with 5G phone sales exceeding those of 4G for the first time in 2021, even in markets where the technology hasn’t even been rolled out yet, reports LiveMint. Meanwhile, Amazon and Microsoft are lining up new IoT devices for the home or industry that require 5G and Facebook has taken it upon itself to try and introduce the needed infrastructure itself, teaming up with partners such as Marvell Technology Group.

If you can’t beat them, join them: Telecoms such as AT&T have teamed up with these tech giants, joining forces with Microsoft and Amazon to create partnerships in the 5G space that will prove financially beneficial for all parties. The telecom carriers are offering to provide businesses with a roster of services including voice, data, network management, and security, explains longtime Wall Street industry analyst Peter Supino to the WSJ. This might see telecoms shift to more of a wholesale supplier of network capacity and mobile cellular service to the cloud companies, Supino adds.


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.

1Q2022: Pharos Energy’s sale of a 55% stake in El Fayum, Beni Suef concessions to IPR Energy Group subsidiary IPR Lake Qarun expected to close.

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.

1H2022: The Transport Ministry to sign a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Ports to set up a transport route across the Nile to transport products from Al Canal’s Minya sugar factory.

15 February-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): ITIDA’s Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is organizing the first Metaverse Hackathon.

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: Contracts for last two phases of Egypt’s USD 4.5 bn high-speed rail line to be signed.

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.

March: The Salam – new administrative capital – 10th of Ramadan Light Rail Train (LRT) line will start operating.

March: The new multi-purpose station at Dekheila Port and the revamped Ain Sokhna Port will start operating.

March: General Authority for Land and Dry Ports to issue the condition booklets for the operations of the Tenth of Ramadan dry port.

Mid-March: Bidding for the construction of Anchorage Investments’ petrochemical complex in the Suez Canal Economic Zone starts.

14 March-30 June: The “Escape to Egypt” exhibition at the Coptic Museum, in celebration of its 112th anniversary.

20 March (Sunday): Applications close for Visa’s global startup competition, the Visa Everywhere Initiative.

20-22 March: International Maritime and Logistics conference Marlog kicks off.

22 March (Tuesday): Egyptian German Green Energy Forum, 5:30-9:30pm CLT, InterContinental Cairo Semiramis.

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

24 March (Thursday): GB Auto Extraordinary General Assembly (pdf).

24 March-1 April: Ahlan Ramadan Supermarket Expo, Cairo International Convention Center.

25 March (Friday): Egypt will host Senegal in the first leg of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers’ playoff (TBC).

26 March (Saturday): Egypt-EU World Trade Organization dispute settlement consultations end.

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

28 March (Monday): The second leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers’ playoff between Egypt and Senegal (TBC).

28 March (Monday): The court hearing for a case brought by Arabia Investments Holding (AIH) against Peugeot has been postponed until 28 March.

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

31 March (Thursday): Vodacom purchase of Vodafone Group’s stake in Vodafone Egypt expected to be completed by this date.

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

April: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

April: Ghazl El Mahalla shares will begin trading on the EGX.

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.

14 April (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

Mid-April: Trading on the Egyptian Commodity Exchange to start.

22-24 April (Friday-Sunday): World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, 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.

4 May (Wednesday): 3 February (Thursday): Deadline to send in applications for Cultural Property Agreement Implementation projects to the US Embassy in Cairo.

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.

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.

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): 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.

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 first financing product.

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.

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: Work to extend the capacity of the Egypt-Sudan electricity interconnection to 300 MW to be completed.

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.

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.

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

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

October: World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington, DC

October: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

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: 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 COP27 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.

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.

January: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

**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.

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