Sunday, 13 February 2022

PM — Walking the talk

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, folks: It’s a good news / bad news sort of afternoon, with reports of new investment into Egypt’s healthcare sector and new developments in FAB’s potential acquisition of EFG Hermes being balanced with the increasing prospect of major conflict in Europe. Let’s get to it.

THE BIG STORIES TODAY

#1- EFG looks to appoint advisors for FAB acquisition bid: EFG Hermes’ board of directors agreed on Thursday to proceed with appointing an international financial advisor and local counsel for its potential acquisition by First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the leading financial institution announced today in an EGX disclosure (pdf). The Emirati lender last week announced that it had offered to purchase at least 51% of EFG for EGP 19.00 a share.

#2- Alta Semper to invest Macro proceeds in healthcare? Private equity player Alta Semper Capital could invest part of the proceeds from the sale of its shares in Macro Group’s IPO into the Egyptian healthcare sector, according to a report in the local press, which cites Managing Director Ahmed Rady. The firm made USD 85 mn selling its stake in Macro during its IPO last week, handing it spare capital to deploy to the sector.

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

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

  • M&A in Egypt continued to accelerate in 2H2021 as waning pandemic uncertainties and cheap international borrowing rates fuelled a rebound in transaction volumes following the covid shock in 2020, according to a Baker McKenzie report.
  • The Madbouly government wants our first Samurai bond issuance to be fully guaranteed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to ensure strong investor participation.
  • The private sector was Egypt’s leading wheat importer last year: Private sector wheat imports surpassed purchases by the state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) in 2021 — and could continue to lead Egypt’s wheat imports.

HAPPENING NOW-

The Senate gave its final approval to the draft Labor Act earlier today, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The Senate will now pass the bill back to the House of Representatives for final approval. The law would, if enacted, extend both maternity leave and notice periods, cap working hours, and change minimum raise increments, among other things. We have an explainer on the bill’s finer points here.

The draft Ins. Act, meanwhile, is up for debate at the Senate’s Financial Affairs Committee today and tomorrow, Ahram Online reports. The bill would make the Financial Regulatory Authority the primary regulator for the ins. sector and make ins. compulsory for SMEs and freelancers.

The Arab Sustainable Development Week is ongoing and will run until Tuesday at the Arab League headquarters and the Nile Ritz Carlton.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

Talk of war in Ukraine is still front-page news everywhere you look this afternoon: As Western nations move to pull non-essential diplomatic staff from Ukraine and advise citizens to evacuate, some airlines are now canceling or diverting flights to the country on fears that war is imminent between Moscow and Kiev, according to the Associated Press. More than a dozen countries, including the US, the UK, and Germany, have told their nationals to leave Ukraine as Russia continues its war games in Belarus, amassing an estimated 100k troops along Ukraine's border.

FOR TOMORROW- The three-day Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS) begins at the Egypt International Exhibition Center tomorrow, and runs until Wednesday.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

An art exhibition featuring work from marginalized children will be held at Townhouse Gallery from tomorrow until Saturday. The event is organized by the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, AlexBank, Townhouse Gallery, Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, and Ubuntu Art Gallery.

PSA- Companies that are required to sign up to the sixth phase of the rollout of the government’s electronic invoicing platform must do so by Tuesday. Over 31k companies had signed up by January to the Tax Authority’s e-invoicing system for B2B transactions, Egyptian eInvoicing.

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 21°C tomorrow, while the mercury will fall to 9°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

With the COP presidency still in hand, the UK is struggling to “walk the talk” when it comes to green promises, writes the Financial Times. Since COP26 in Glasgow, the UK COP team have been meeting with delegations from countries around the world to hammer out green agreements. Britain is also working to push the global implementation of the broad agreements delivered in Glasgow, which focus on coal, carbon markets, financing for developing nations and national climate targets. At the same time, however, UK leaders have failed to stick to a common narrative around the green transition, instead defending new oil and gas projects and refusing to impose a windfall tax on the sector as surging energy costs put pressure on households and companies.

Climate targets are taking a backseat thanks to the energy crisis, which is “squeezing the political space for countries to focus on their climate change policy,” Alex Scott, who works at the climate think-tank E3G, told the FT. This is putting the UK’s COP team in the tricky position of pushing other countries to accelerate their green energy plans at the same time as the government stalls on its own domestic climate agenda.

Egypt will be handed the COP presidency in November as the country hosts COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh. Until then, it’s likely that Egypt will increase its diplomatic push ahead of the climate forum, similar to the 460 UK climate attaches who helped to lobby ministers worldwide ahead of Glasgow, the FT writes.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Automotive players are reskilling for the electric future: Bosch, Europe’s premier auto parts supplier, will spend EUR 2 bn to retrain its workers for the shift from fuel-powered engines to electric vehicles, the FT reports. The German company’s move aims to limit job losses caused by the EU’s plan to ban new fossil-fuel cars by 2035, which threatens the livelihood of thousands of workers across the continent.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

(all times CLT)

Another one for true crime show fans: Catching Killers talks to the investigators behind cracking infamous serial killer cases, retelling the harrowing and suspense-filled details of the process of finding these criminals. Season two of the show has just been released, looking at three different cases in the US and Canada. The first looks at BTK, a Kansas serial killer who re-emerges after 30 years of hiding, leading investigators to use DNA technology and garner help from the media to catch their guy. The Phoenix Serial Shooter is another case in the US, in which the killer sees murders as a sport as he targets random pedestrians on the streets. Finally, the Toronto Village Killer gets two episodes which explore how men with similar features were being reported missing in Toronto in a horrific story of cannibalism.

The chase continues between Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the English Premier League today. Liverpool will be looking to narrow the gap between them and league leaders Man City to nine points when they kick off against relegation-threatened Burnley at 4pm. At the same time, Newcastle will play against Aston Villa and Tottenham against Wolverhampton. Later today at 6:30pm, Leicester City will face West Ham.

In La Liga: Barcelona will host Espanyol in the “Catalonia derby” at 10pm, with Blaugrana fans hoping for a victory that will propel the team to third place in La Liga. Other matches in the Spanish League today include Levante versus Real Betis at 5:15pm and Real Sociedad against Granada at 7:30pm.

In Serie A: Juventus are looking to cement their coveted fourth-place position when they meet fifth-placed Atalanta at 9:45pm. Only two points separate the two sides, with Atalanta having a game in hand.

Pyramids and Al Masry begin their journey in the group stage of the African Confederation Cup today. Al Masry is now playing against Cameroon’s Coton Sport in a match that started at 3pm, while Pyramids hosts Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya at 6pm.

🍕 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Stop by Pizza Near Me for a slice of deliciousness: The new pizza deli in Arabella Plaza has tray after tray of pizza coming fresh out of the oven all day, serving customers by the slice or by a portion of the tray. The owner has other pizza places in Italy and Malta, but decided to venture into Egyptian bellies with the new food joint. The hot pizza options include staples such as pepperoni, mozzarella funghi, and vegetarian. However, if you want to try something a bit new, go for their eggplant-focused pizza (melanzane) or the tacchino patate mozzarella which has turkey, potatoes, and spicy olive oil. Pizza Near Me also has cold pizzas topped with tuna, salmon, or shrimps. For a sweet treat, you can go for their stuffed Nutella pizza.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

(all times CLT)

The Unuk Dance Collective is ongoing, with different workshops and performances everyday. Today’s event is a Qigong workshop where participants will be led through the Chinese exercises that aim to improve qi (energy) circulation and the function of organs. The workshop will take place at 7pm at Dokki’s Cultograph.

Medrar is hosting the solo exhibition Guideposts by Bassem Yousri in which he is “investigating the form and function of structures born of a culture of improvised troubleshooting in a shifting cityscape.” The exhibit will run until 10 March.

Komedy Koshk will be performing tonight at The Room New Cairo at 8:30pm.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

The importance of democratizing access to tech: Dignity in a Digital Age, written by US Congressman Ro Khanna, looks at the unequal distribution of tech within the US and the effect it has on people, education, jobs, and the economy. After the pandemic underlined the necessity of tech adoption, it is even more important now to bring in those left behind by the digital revolution, Khanna argues. The book features insights from several political philosophy and economics experts, who alongside Khanna, suggest that the approach of “progressive capitalism,” can help democratize access to tech. While the book is mainly US-focused, it provides a roadmap and policy recommendations on how to fastrack access to tech that can be implemented in countries like Egypt, such as more public and private partnerships.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

EARNINGS WATCH-

Alexandria Minerals and Oil Company (AMOC) recorded EGP 407.5 mn in net income in 2H2021, compared to EGP 42.6 mn during the same quarter last year, according to the company’s earnings (pdf). This came on the back of sales growing by two-thirds to EGP 7.1 bn.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Egypt reported a 45% y-o-y increase to its bottom line in FY2021, bringing in EGP 710 mn, according to an official statement. The bank said its net assets increased by 41% y-o-y, reaching EGP 48.4 bn.


MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 fell 1.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 797 mn (23.8% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 4.3% YTD.

In the green: TMG Holding (+2.7%), GB Auto (+2.5%) and Qalaa Holdings (+1.3%).

In the red: Rameda (-5.6%), Palm Hills Development (-4.8%) and Housing and Development Bank (-4.6%).

📆 CALENDAR

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.

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.

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.

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

11-12 February (Friday-Saturday): German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be in Cairo for a two-day visit.

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

13-15 February (Sunday-Tuesday): Arab Sustainable Development Week. Arab League headquarters, Nile Ritz Carlton.

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

14-19 February (Monday- Saturday): An art exhibition created by marginalized children will be held at Townhouse Gallery. The event is organized by the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, AlexBank, Townhouse Gallery, Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, and Ubuntu Art Gallery.

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.

22 February (Tuesday): The Egyptian National Railway is holding a forum to gauge public interest in its plans to delegate the management and operations of freight transport to the private sector.

22-24 February (Tuesday-Thursday): Investment Forum, General Authority For Investments (GAFI) Main Office, Nasr City.

26 February (Saturday): Speed Medical will elect a new board during ordinary general assembly (pdf).

27 February (Sunday): British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) green finance event with Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Semiramis Intercontinental, Cairo

28 February- 1 March (Monday-Tuesday): The Future of Data Centers Summit.

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 Tourirsm Organization Middle East committee meeting.

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

3 March (Thursday): Fawry’s extraordinary general assembly (pdf) to vote on EGP 800 mn capital increase.

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.

24 March (Thursday): Egypt will host Senegal in the first leg of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers' playoff.

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.

29 March (Tuesday): The second leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers' playoff between Egypt and Senegal.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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