Tuesday, 16 August 2022

PM — Twin ecological crises in Brazil

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Happy hump day, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a mixed day on the news front today — not too busy here at home, but not quite what we would call a “slow” day.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

Auf Group grabs local snacks player: Egyptian healthy food company Auf Group acquired a 75.5% stake in Modern International Confectionery Co, Auf Group’s Chief Marketing Officer Rasha Ghaly told Enterprise, confirming a report from Al Mal. The acquisition comes nearly a month after UAE’s food and beverages group Agthia’s board approved a proposed acquisition of a majority stake in Auf Group for EGP 2.9 bn.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

There’s no single story capturing the attention of the international business press this afternoon. Among the stories getting coverage is an explosion in Russia-held Crimea targeting an ammunition depot, with Ukraine hinting it was responsible for the attack without outright claiming responsibility (Reuters | the Wall Street Journal). CNBC is also on a similar topic, leading its front page with Russian President Vladimir Putin lashing out against the West for “trying to prolong” Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Elsewhere, the Financial Times’ top story is hedge fund Elliott Management offloading nearly its entire stake in Japan’s SoftBank.


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

  • Israeli energy firms want to invest in Egypt’s renewables sector: Israeli gas producer NewMed Energy is lining up a joint venture with Tel Aviv-listed Enlight Renewable Energy to invest in renewables projects across the MENA region.
  • Ukrainian officials are trying to arrange the release of a 60k-ton shipment of wheat destined for Egypt after the ship carrying it was detained last month for investigation into its ownership.
  • Giza Systems is one step closer to being Saudi-owned: Saudi Arabia’s competition watchdog has given the greenlight to Saudi Telecom’s internet subsidiary to acquire a controlling stake in Giza Systems.

CORRECTION- In our coverage this morning of foreign holdings of Egyptian treasury bills, we incorrectly reported the figures for May and June. Based on Central Bank of Egypt FX rates at the end of May and June, foreign holdings in June were USD 8.35 bn, and May holdings were USD 8.10 bn. The story has been updated on our website. H/t Ahmed A.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Consensus in the market is that the Central Bank of Egypt will go for a rate hike on Thursday. We’re updating this morning our interest rate poll from earlier this week after hearing back from another analyst and their crystal ball. As of this morning, six of eight analysts and economists we surveyed see the CBE going for a rate hike: Four are calling a 100-bps hike, one is forecasting a 200-bps rise and another a more modest 50-bps increase. A Reuters poll out yesterday is also calling a rate hike, with the wire service saying the sweet spot is 50 bps.

Expect more details on how gov’t plans to cut back on electricity: The Electricity Ministry will hold a press conference in the next few days to announce details of measures to curb electricity use that cabinet approved last week, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker reportedly told Al Mal.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The mercury will rise to 39°C during the day tomorrow before falling to 23°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Women in Egypt can now participate in a five-day writing program, courtesy of the Netflix Fund for Creativity Equity and content creation company Sard, according to a press release (pdf). The program, Because She Created, is geared at training twenty women from outside of Cairo in creative writing and improving their storytelling and creative expression skills through classes, talks by entertainment professionals and visits to the cinema and the theater. The Netflix Fund for Creative Equity creates upskilling initiatives for communities that are underrepresented in the entertainment industry and Sard was founded by awardwinning author and scriptwriter Mariam Naoum in 2016 as a space for budding screenwriters to enhance their writing skills and their creative potential.

Brazil’s aggressive agricultural boom is threatening its main biodiversity hotspot: A farming boom at Brazil’s Cerrado savannah has helped the country become an agricultural powerhouse, but the area’s ecological balance is paying the price, the Financial Times writes, citing ecologists. What is now a conversion of the Cerrado into arable land over the past few decades is sparking concern from scientists on the impact this boom is having on rich wildlife and the savannah being a crucial water source. But further worries emerge on the impact of deforestation in Cerrado on climate change, with a removal of trees, bushes and roots aggravating the risk of a carbon dioxide release from the savannah known to act as a “sink” for CO2. Brazil’s biodiversity is already under pressure as a result of its deforestation drive, which has led to a significant uptick in the number of fires in its Amazon rainforest.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

The highly-anticipated adaptation of graphic novel The Sandman is here, and it’s visually stunning. Author Neil Gaiman has the power to make you feel like you’ve been transported to a fantastical world that doesn’t exist anywhere else. One of his most critically-acclaimed works, The Sandman is now available to watch on Netflix, and we’re happy to report that the first season lives up to the buzz. After being imprisoned for over a century, the Sandman — the cosmic being who controls all dreams — must travel across worlds and timelines to restore order in the universe. If you’ve never read the comic book, the superb storytelling makes you want to immediately get your hands on it. The Sandman’s family provides a fascinating background story, and while the first half of the season is admittedly stronger than the second, the show is still solid thanks to an excellent cast. The Sandman is off to a great start, bringing some warmth amid the darkness that’s bound to tug at your heartstrings.

⚽ No football today, folks. Take the time off to buff up your fantasy football team, and make sure you join the Enterprise Fantasy League by clicking here, or by using this code: 8o4sut.

🍔EAT THIS TONIGHT-

A new burger truck has landed in the land of Sahel: Graffiti Burger. The new burger spot in New Alamein is worth checking out the next time you’re on the coast, especially because it is yet to open in Cairo. They offer a wide selection of sauces, but their unique Graffiti sauce is where it’s at. Along with our burger, we also had their signature Mac and Cheetos — pasta smothered in white sauce, cheese sauce, and Cheetos powder for a delicious, cheese flavor-induced food coma. Their beef graffiti steak sandwich is also worth ordering. Though new to Egypt, Graffiti Burger has branches in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iraq.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Get through the work week with Cairo Jazz Club 610’s Tuesday Midweek Party: DJs SIDD & SeifO will start things off, followed by Omar Khalifa Music, who will be celebrating his birthday behind 610’s decks with a special set tonight.

It’s FullBand Live Night at Room Art Space New Cairo tonight at 9pm: A full band is going to accompany 11 different artists singing 11 different songs of different genres.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Margaret Atwood’s Burning Questions is a superb collection of retrospective essays. The famous author writes about art, feminism, censorship, her own work, and where she gets her ideas. Atwood’s third collection of essays includes work from 2004 to 2021 — a time where she solidified her reputation as a literary legend. The Handmaid’s Tale, which she wrote in 1985, became a classic and a hit TV show, as well as an ominous sign of things to come. Atwood talks about how she got inspiration for the book, her writing method, and how she came to write its sequel The Testaments in 2019. Throughout the essays, Atwood reflects on her continuing concern with the moral and ethical questions that her fiction (especially her climate novels) raises.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 fell 0.7% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.25 bn (36.2% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 17.6% YTD.

In the green: Rameda (+3.4%), Ibnsina Pharma (+2.3%) and Juhayna Food Industries (+1.3%).

In the red: Fawry (-4.6%), Madinet Nasr Housing (-3.6%) and Housing & Development Bank (-1.8%).

🌱 FOUNDER OF THE WEEK

Meet our founder of the week: OneOrder founder and CEO Tamer Amer

OUR FOUNDER OF THE WEEK- Tamer Amer, founder and CEO of OneOrder (LinkedIn).

My name is Tamer Amer. I'm a restaurateur and the founder of OneOrder. I have been in the restaurant industry for 24 years but originally I was a water polo player for the Egyptian national team and played in the 1997 world cup. During my college years in America I started working for my uncle’s restaurant in Dallas, Texas and I fell in love with the job. I liked the diversity of the daily challenges and the instant gratification you get when you get good feedback from your customers. After I graduated, I moved to LA and continued working in the industry with my uncle until I launched my own brand — Spark Woodfire Grill. I sold it in 2008 and moved back to Egypt, where I started a sushi bar called Fuego.

I didn’t think I was going to last that long in Egypt but after the 2011 revolution, the restaurant industry really started booming. I think the whole culture of going out and enjoying life has transformed the community into appreciating the good things in life including going out to eat and trying different restaurants, so it was a great time for the restaurant industry. Fuego was going really well; we opened up four more branches and in 2019 I launched Longhorn Texas BBQ.

As an operator who has been in the industry for so long, I started to ask myself: Why are restaurants suffering? And one of the issues that jumped out at me is the tremendous cost of the supply chain. Restaurants should not be spending so much on warehouses, their own supply chain team, or their own trucks.

This is where OneOrder came into play. Restaurants have been spending 6-7% of their total revenues on stabilizing their supply chains, putting them at a disadvantage. In particular, newer restaurants that are just starting out don’t have the stamina to spend that much just to have products on their shelves. As a restaurant operator, I was waiting for someone to start a company like OneOrder but it never happened.

OneOrder is a one-stop shop for restaurants to source all their produce and equipment. It offers its users next-day delivery, enabling restaurants to have 360° visibility of their entire company starting from ownership to operators and chefs to cost controllers and accounting. We buy in bulk so the restaurants that work with us are capitalizing on our economies of scale and bulk buying, as well as reducing the cost of going through the hassle of ordering from hundreds of suppliers on a daily basis.

Within five months of launching, OneOrder grew tenfold: We started out with five restaurants in March and currently we serve almost 100 restaurants.

We will continue to beef up our technology and interface. Our homemade warehouse management system is sophisticated and allows us to move orders of over 150 items in less than 12 minutes.

The AI component is quite significant in our operations. It projects the needs of the resturants moving forward as we compile their data. In about 6-7 months our system will start projecting orders for restaurants using data and analytics, making it accurate to a great percentage.

From day one it was evident to me that the problem in Egypt was going to be the supply chain process and by the time you get the hang of it, you’ll have already lost a lot of money up front. The losses that come from not understanding the market is why a lot of restaurants in Egypt shut down early on.

I am a man of this industry and I am on a mission to help because I was so fed up with the industry — with the supply cycle, which took advantage of restaurant owners and operators and nobody was there to help.

We closed our first round of financing back in February, raising USD 1 mn from A15.

We expect to expand outside of Egypt within the next year. We are in the process of fundraising in efforts to fund our local and regional expansion. We see OneOrder as a global player.

The last great book I read was Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. He is a master of economics, and a Nobel prize laureate. He teaches his readers how to balance between fast intuition and slow thinking and how to utilize both to their advantage.

Inspiration is everywhere you look and the people around you and the hard working people that never give up no matter how fortunate or unfortunate they are financially. It’s not about the financial gain, it's about hammering away at the passion and the hard work you do and eventually things fall into place.

My entire family is very proud of what I do. I like to spend any spare time I get with my two 13-year-old boys. I don't see much of them during the day so I always look forward to squeezing that 15-minute conversation with us laying on the couch.

📆 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

August: Sharm El Sheikh will host the African Sumo Championship.

16 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with chemical producers.

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 the mining sector.

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

21 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with firms in the electricity sector.

23 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with firms in the construction sector.

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 firms in the water sector.

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): Retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla IPO ends.

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 timber merchants.

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.

31 August (Wednesday): Beltone convenes its general assembly to restructure the board following the change of ownership.

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): Credit hikes for ration card holders will come into effect.

1 September: Madbouly government set to introduce new social protection measures.

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.

5-8 September (Monday-Thursday): Gastech 2022, Milan, Italy.

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.

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

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.

24 September (Saturday): Start of 2022-2023 school year.

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: 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): 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.

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.

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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