Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Post-covid business climate isn’t getting any better, but firms remain hopeful -business barometer



…aaand we’re back after taking yesterday afternoon off — and not a moment too soon, as the busy news agenda from this morning shows no sign of slowing.

THE BIG STORIES this afternoon range from the economy (one survey suggests business conditions deteriorated last quarter) to tons of news of interest to manufacturers. We have the rundown in this afternoon’s Speed Round, below.

HAPPENING NOW- Egyptian ministers are heading to Sudan to talk GERD: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati are in Khartoum today to talk GERD with Sudanese officials including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, Abdel Fattah Burhan, a cabinet statement said. Three-way talks with Ethiopia have been stalled for months, with Ethiopia recently announcing plans to build 100 more dams across the country.

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

  • Tana Capital-backed Alex Medical Investments in pole position to acquire Alex Medical: The company’s subsidiary, TAT Medical Services, has upped its bid for 100% of Alex Medical Services and is now willing to pay EGP 49.04 per share, up from EGP 45.53 it offered in May.
  • Aldar has another month to bid for SODIC: The company has until 14 July to submit a mandatory tender offer for at least 51% of upmarket real estate developer SODIC after the Financial Regulatory Authority agreed to its request to extend the deadline by a month.
  • World Bank downgrades Egypt forecasts for coming fiscal year: The Bank is now expecting GDP to grow at a 2.3% clip during the state’s current 2020-2021, down from 2.7% in its January forecast, and expects 4.5% growth in FY2021-2022, a downward revision from 5.8% previously.

HAPPENING NOW ABROAD- Joe Biden is on the road for an eight-day trip to Europe with the G7 summit as the first stop — followed by a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week in Geneva. Look for an agreement on a global minimum corporate tax to be high on the agenda at the G7 summit, which runs Friday-Sunday in the UK. Reuters notes: “G7 finance ministers agreed before the summit to pursue a global minimum tax rate of at least 15% and to allow market countries to tax up to 20% of the excess profits — above a 10% margin — generated by about 100 large, high-profit companies.” Biden has an up-hill battle getting the tax (which he supports) through the Congress, the Financial Times notes.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD as the business day gets underway across the ocean: The global business press thinks we’re edging closer and closer to the day of reckoning for Big Oil after Shell said it will “speed up its energy transition” and “accelerate its plan to cut greenhouse gasses” in the wake of a Dutch court ruling we mentioned recently. The story leads the front pages of the Wall Street Journal. The Financial Times and Reuters also have the story, presenting the summit as a near-last-ditch bid to “show [the world] that the West isn’t over yet.”

Is a post-covid travel system taking shape before our eyes? The European Union is moving toward the 1 July launch of a new travel certificate system that aims to make it easier for visitors to move between countries in the bloc. Non-EU citizens can apply for the certificates, but won’t automatically be granted one even if they are admitted to an EU country, the Associated Press reports. This comes as the United States inches closer towards lifting covid-related travel restrictions for the EU, UK, Canada and Mexico, a White House official told the FT.

Other stories that should be on your radar:

  • Major news sites as well as Amazon, Spotify and Reddit went offline for an hour yesterday after a widespread outage at the cloud-based content provider Fastly, Bloomberg reports. The story is everywhere in the foreign press, from the Associated Press to CNBC.
  • Could we say bye bye to Bibi next week? Israel’s parliament will decide Sunday whether to remove Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office after a 12-year run and appoint a new government, Bloomberg reports.
  • A video of French President Emmanuel Macron getting slapped in the face is making the rounds on social media. The incident took place during a walkabout in southern France yesterday; two people have been detained by police.


The Entering African Markets exporter training program continues through tomorrow, according to a press release (pdf). The program was launched by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation in cooperation with the Egyptian Export Development Authority.

Egypt is hosting the first forum of the heads of African investment promotion agencies from 11-14 June in Sharm El Sheikh under the theme “Integration for Growth,” according to a cabinet statement. Ministers and heads of investment agencies from 34 African countries are expected to attend.

Entrepreneurs in the tourism sector have until 20 June to apply for the six-month Tourism Recovery Program launched by Enpact and the TUI Care Foundation and supported by GIZ, according to a press release (pdf). Some 100 startups will be eligible for direct support to the tune of EUR 9k each. The program also aims to create an international network of tourism business to expand cooperation between Egypt, Germany, and other European countries. You can apply here.


We’re not going to be getting Apple’s new “private relay” feature here in Egypt: The new function — coming this fall in iOS 15 and designed to hide users’ web browsing behavior from Apple, internet providers, and advertisers — will not be available in Egypt, China, Belarus, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Uganda and the Philippines for “regulatory reasons,” Reuters reports. The new feature is expected to render IP addresses useless in pinpointing a user’s location or tracking their “digital fingerprint.” Withholding the feature from a number of countries has been described as an ethical compromise on privacy by Apple, to ensure it keeps its foothold in big markets.

If The Robots don’t get us… Smart city technology could leave cities large and small vulnerable to cyber-attacks — and become tools for “digital authoritarianism,” the FT writes in Exporting Chinese surveillance: the security risks of ‘smart cities’.

Wanna get one past the taxman? Go learn from Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett in this fantastic takedown by ProPublica on how the plutocrats are dodging taxes. Bezos has twice avoided paying a penny in federal income taxes. So, at various points, have Elon, bn’aire activist investor Carl Icahn and George Soros. The piece is admittedly a stretch in some respects — its “true tax rate” based on (un-taxable) estimated increases in wealth is bunk — but awfully good reading. Read: The secret IRS files: Trove of never-before-seen records reveal how the wealthiest avoid income tax.

Speaking of taxes, Amazon may have to pay up after all: G7 nations will attempt to apply their new 15% global minimum corporate tax rate to Amazon by considering the margins of the company’s more profitable cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Reuters reports, citing unnamed officials close to the talks. European countries had been concerned that the new agreement (above) would let Amazon off the hook, since its margins are lower than the minimum 10% threshold stipulated by the proposal, but AWS’ 30%+ profits could mean Amazon would be taxed after all if the agreement is ratified. The Financial Times also had the story.

SUPERCYCLE WATCH- Producer prices are soaring in China thanks to the post-covid commodities boom, adding to inflationary pressures globally, according to producer price index (PPI) data cited by the FT. China’s PPI — a gauge that measures the price of goods leaving its factories — beat forecasts by gaining 9% during May, its biggest y-o-y increase since September 2008. The index has been steadily inching up in recent months due in part to a favourable base effect. Higher factory prices also come as delays at several ports in southern China caused by a fresh covid-19 outbreak have led to worries of supply chain disruptions and pricier exports.

HERE AT HOME- Analysts have penciled in heightened inflation “soon” as a result of the year-long commodities rally. Inflation figures for May from state statistics bureau Capmas are expected out tomorrow at the latest. Annual urban headline inflation unexpectedly slowed to 4.1% in April, after having held steady at 4.5% in March from February.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- “Startup founders should think carefully before choosing, because some titles suggest competence, while others suggest warmth,” the Wall Street Journal writes in the latest from the Department of the Obvious. Read CEO? Entrepreneur? Scientist? The title you choose sends a message — it shouldn’t take you more than about 60 seconds.

As for us? Dear Leader and Ruler of All We Survey will do very nicely, thank you.

Your business is not your kid. Go watch a movie, play football, have a chat, go for ice cream — anything — while your spawn still thinks you’re cool. Or at least tolerable. There will be plenty of time to obsess over your business when the kid is a teen. That’s all we can think of after reading Why many entrepreneurs treat their businesses like their children, in the WSJ.

FROM THE DUMPSTER FIRE that is our social media, we offer the following:

  • People working from home are having [redacted] on company time? How did we miss out on that trend? Point-counterpoint on returning to the office, courtesy Jordan S. Terry, the very smart and sarcastic former Wall Street analyst and investment banker.
  • The best rundown on the Suez Canal / Ever Zeft on Twitter is this thread by the New School’s Aaron Jakes. Read past the de-rigeur Western academic potshots at Egypt and the Sisi administration (required by tenure committees?) and learn about the mini-Suez Canal in France and the back-and-forth between lawyers now unfolding.


Our favorite sassy villain is taking center stage with the eponymous series Loki: The first episode was released today on Disney+ and will hit OSN’s Streaming Service later tonight. Loki is already making a bang by hinting at what the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse (MCM) will look like in upcoming films. The time travel crime-thriller picks up straight after Avengers: Endgame, with Loki coming up with his own plans to take over Earth. His ambitions quickly go sideways as he is abruptly detained by the Time Variance Authority (TVA), a bureaucratic organization that oversees every MCM timeline, and charged with allegations of disrupting the “Sacred Timeline.” Loki is offered two options: to immediately have his existence erased or team up with the TVA to track down a greater threat to the timeline. We don’t want to spoil the episode for you, but it’s easy to guess which he chooses, seeing as more episodes are set to be released in the coming weeks — preferably with his existence intact.

Rave reviews about Loki are coming in strong and fast: Tech Radar | Deseret News | The Verge | Esquire


(All times in CLT)

The Contemporary Image Collective is currently hosting Notes on Collaboration, a series of discussions on the notion of togetherness and how to reflect it through art or writing. The event will run until 30 June.

The Darkroom Cairo is hosting a demo session on Saturday where participants can discuss, shoot, develop and print film in the in-house darkroom.

Stand up comedy crew The Elite are performing tomorrow at El Sawy Culturewheel at 7pm.

Nagham Masry is performing at The Room New Cairo on Friday at 9pm. The two man band will play a fusion of old Arabic poems, songs, and melodies with Western musical influences.

Get an exclusive tour of Abdeen Palace with guides Walk Like an Egyptian this Saturday at 9:30pm.


The Suez Canal crisis is now a children’s book, and we’re tittering: The Big Ship and the Little Digger takes the tiny digger who captivated social media and turns him into the hero of an illustrated children’s book that aims to teach children about “the power of naive optimism to move impossibly large obstacles that get in your way.” Written by Ryan Peterson, the CEO of San Francisco freight forwarder company Flexport, the book also provides some basic information about the logistics industry. The next generation of helpful ‘Little Diggers’ will also “learn the power of doing the right thing even when it seems like half the world is laughing at you.” While we disagree that it was only half the world that was laughing, the book is a great commemoration of one of the most meme-worthy disasters that hit the globe this year — plus all the proceeds will go towards Flexport’s humanitarian logistics programs for covid-19 relief in India.

🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The last day of the workweek will see the mercury rise to 39°C during the day and fall to 22°C at night, our favorite weather app forecasts.


Post-covid business climate isn’t getting any better, but firms remain hopeful -business barometer index

The business climate in Egypt worsened for the second consecutive quarter as the emergence of new covid-19 variants globally led to a slowdown in domestic sales and demand as well as lower exports, the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies’ (ECES) said in its latest Business Barometer report (Arabic, pdf). The ECES’ business barometer, a gauge of real economy trends including supply and demand, output and input prices, wage and employment, stayed unchanged from the previous quarter at 47.0 in 3Q2020-2021, three points below a 50.0 “neutral level,” said the research center. Among the report’s highlights:

We’re still doing better than during peak covid: The contraction during the third quarter of the fiscal year — which ran between January and April 2021 — was less pronounced than in the peak of the pandemic between April and July 2020, when the gauge was as low as 36.0.

But businesses are holding back: The drop in sales and exports caused many businesses to cut down production and capacity utilization. Firms surveyed by the ECES also said they had held back on expansion plans including adding new production lines, products, or technologies until conditions improve.

SMEs were the hardest hit: Sub-gauges measuring activity in small and medium enterprises were all below the 50.0 mark. For larger companies, only gauges measuring production, capacity utilization, and export growth came in below 50.

Higher input prices, wages: Respondents cited paying more for inputs as covid-19 continues to affect supply chains, which led to an increase in a sub-gauge measuring end-product prices across both SMEs and larger companies, but at a slower pace than in 2Q. A separate gauge measuring wage increases also rose by 9 basis points since the start of the calendar year due to annual raises in most companies.

Investment growth was also slow during the third quarter of FY2020-2021, with another gauge measuring investment spending recording a neutral 50.0.

But the outlook is optimistic, despite ongoing uncertainty: The business community remains hopeful the gauge will move into expansion territory in 4Q2020-2021 (April-June) to reach 51.0, the ECES said. Forecasts across all sectors, except for tourism and financial services, were positive — with respondents saying telecoms, construction and transformative industries showed the most promise so far into the ongoing quarter.

A separate gauge measuring activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector, the purchasing managers’ index, has also remained sluggish since December 2020. The PMI edged up to 48.6 last month, from 47.7 in April, remaining well in contraction territory. However, overall business sentiment, measured through a monthly survey conducted by IHS Markit, showed that market conditions in major areas of the economy improved compared to the previous three months as optimism continued to grow.


Of Poles, Elaraby and property taxes…

Ain Sokhna could be home to a new Polish industrial zone spanning up to 1 mn sqm in the Suez Canal Economic Zone in the wake of an agreement signed yesterday between the SCZone and a Polish special economic zone, the Trade and Industry Ministry and the SCZone said. The zone will focus on food, electronics and car parts and would be the first foreign industrial zone in the country to be set up by an EU member state, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea said. Polish companies that previously visited Egypt had also expressed interest in the energy and petrochemicals, and telecom sectors.

What is this Polish SEZ? The SCZone signed the agreement with the president of an SEZ in Katowice, an industrial city in south-west Poland. More than 450, mainly automotive businesses are currently based in the zone. Katowice SEZ was named the second-best in the world in 2019 by the Financial Times.

This comes just as the Russians eye Sokhna: The Russian government recently contacted the SCZone with a view to possibly opening an industrial zone in Ain Sokhna. This would be Moscow’s second in Egypt after the proposed USD 7 bn, 5.25 mn sqm Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in East Port Said, which is also part of the SCZone.


Elaraby Group plans to establish in 2022 an industrial complex for household appliances, its second in Quesna, Menuofia, bringing its total nationwide to five, CEO Mohamed El Araby said at a public event, according to Al Mal.

The group also plans to establish three factories in its Beni Suef complex next year to manufacture washing machines, motors and fans. The complex currently includes five operational factories with investments of c. EGP 2 bn. The group inaugurated in May its newest kitchen appliances factory in Qalyub, with an estimated annual production capacity of 500k units.

Ambitious growth targets: Elaraby aims to generate EGP 22 bn in sales in 2021, El Araby said, the same figure targeted last year, the CEO noted. The group will also aim to export appliances worth USD 250 mn by the end of this year — and to raise the value of its annual exports to USD 500 mn within five years, the CEO said.


Manufacturers could be getting a breather from high property taxes after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi instructed state officials to calculate taxes based on the construction cost of a given factory instead of its market value, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea told Hapi Journal. A proposal to move forward with this plan will be on the agenda during a meeting of cabinet’s economic group scheduled for tomorrow, and comes amid calls from manufacturers and exporters to scrap the real estate tax on factories altogether.

Also on the agenda in tomorrow’s meeting: A more favorable timeline for businesses to remit value added taxes (VAT), and measures to reduce the time needed for goods to be released from ports, Gamea added.


So close you can taste the money…

We’re a bit closer to landing a USD 400 mn World Bank loan to help support the rollout of the Sisi administration’s national health ins. system after the House Health Committee approved the agreement yesterday, Youm7 reports. The funding will be provided by the bank’s lending arm, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and will help subsidize ins. costs for people unable to afford it as well as to fund infrastructure.

SME loan given final approval: This came on the same day that parliament approved a USD 50 mn loan from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development to finance SMEs. The loan was greenlit by the cabinet last March.


TMG says it’s not doing another JV with banks + ABUK net income up

FACT CHECK- Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) says it hasn’t established a new real estate joint venture, dubbed Rawasi, with the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). We picked up news in yesterday’s AM edition from Masrawy that TMG had set up a new company with the two state-owned banks. TMG and NBE were unavailable for a comment as of dispatch time when reached out. The Masrawy report cited a discussion with NBE Deputy Chairman Yehia Abou El-Fotouh.

EARNINGS WATCH- Abu Qir Fertilizers’ net income rose 14.5% to EGP 2.44 bn during the first nine months of its fiscal year, up from EGP 2.13 bn in the same period the year before, according to its latest financials (pdf). Sales increased during the nine-month period to just over EGP 6.3 bn from EGP 5.8 bn in 9M2019-2020. The company’s ongoing fiscal year began on 1 July 2020 and ends on 30 June this year.

Abu Qir made it onto Egypt’s benchmark EGX30 index earlier this year after the bourse completed a rebalancing of the gauge under new inclusion criteria.

The EGX30 rose 0.8% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.38 bn (5.8% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net sellers. The index is down 7.4% YTD.

In the green: Edita (+6.0%), Sidi Kerir (+5.8%) and Orascom Financial Holding (+4.5%).

In the red: Telecom Egypt (-2.3%), Oriental Weavers (-1.5%) and TMG Holding (-1.0%).


The future of grocery shopping is here

Remember how the prospect of a trip to the supermarket used to be a barrier to satisfying your late-night cravings? Ultrafast grocery delivery apps could make that a thing of the past. A new generation of startups are tapping into the ultrafast grocery delivery market — which is valued at almost USD 1 tn in the US and more than EUR 2 tn in Europe — and rolling out apps that vow to ship customers' needs and wants in just minutes, the Financial Times reports. Demand for delivered meals and groceries has exploded worldwide amid covid-19, with Morgan Stanley estimating the online food delivery market hit USD 45 bn in 2020 in the US alone.

What's the edge? These third-party platform-to-consumer delivery apps — which began to gain traction from locked-down shoppers during the covid-19 pandemic — are inspired by traditional food platforms centered on restaurants and takeaway meals, but with a twist. Think of them as more of a convenience store at your fingertips, delivering food necessities as well as other goods such as detergent, pet supplies and cosmetics faster than a visit to a physical retail outlet. These apps are also able to pick up supplies from multiple locations, while some stock their own supplies.

What does it take to maintain supply velocity? Small-scale warehouses, a fleet of couriers, a myriad of pantry staples — and lots of greenbacks should all be on the checklist, according to the Financial Times. Boosting supply chain velocity is key to enhancing stature, and this could ripple outwards and increase external funding required for B2B and B2C expansion.

Establishing "dark stores" is an essential step: A number of startups such as US-based goPuff are enroute to becoming vertically integrated players by creating their very own ultra-local, delivery-only fulfilment centers — called “dark stores” because they are not open to the public — and recruiting their own fleets of drivers. The dark retailer market is already gaining traction worldwide, with Germany's Gorillas and the UK's Dija and Weezy, and France’s Cajoo — all promising to fulfil delivery needs within minutes.

Investors are rushing to hop on the bandwagon, investing about USD 14 bn into these "instant needs" delivery apps since the onset of the pandemic more than a year ago. More finance was raised by rapid delivery apps in 1Q2021 than during all of 2020, the salmon-colored newspaper said, citing figures from research firm Pitchbook Data. Istanbul-based startup Getir, which promises an average grocery delivery time of 10 minutes, raised USD 300 mn in March — two months after securing a separate USD 128 mn in funding. Another 10-minute grocery delivery startup, Gorillas, became the fastest European startup to gain a unicorn valuation when it landed USD 290 mn in Series B funding, despite being founded less than a year ago.

Another recipe for success? Take DoorDash's growth strategy: The San Francisco-based food delivery startup bounced back from a slump in 2016 by identifying a gap in the market and targeting the less-catered to suburbs instead of the oversaturated inner cities. DoorDash also uses its tech to lend a helping hand to its partnered restaurants, providing them with advanced data to help understand consumer behavior. The brand now dominates market share in the US third-party delivery space, and it’s steadily climbing — it held 35% of consumer spending in the US third-party delivery market in October 2019, and by March 2021 that figure hit nearly 55%, according to Bloomberg Second Measure.

Investing in ultrafast supply apps is growing in popularity: Although Deliveroo's LSE debut has proven an unappetising flop, with the UK-based food delivery startup's IPO tumbling almost 30% below its opening valuation of GBP 7.6 bn on the first day of play, most traders are still confident that this newest tweak on online delivery apps is a winning recipe. It would be unwise for investors to back off the marketplace on the back of Deliveroo's "worst IPO in London’s history," which is attributed to “the shortcomings of the UK IPO market," a London VC founder told the FT. E-food pioneer Dominique Locher shares a similar sentiment, suggesting that traders should not get cold feet as "the market is huge."

Third-party delivery is hot business in Egypt right now: Delivery services and stay-at-home dining have soared under covid-19. Last year alone saw Otlob rebranded as Talabat after being bought by German takeout delivery service Delivery Hero, who also reportedly bought last summer Dubai-based online grocery marketplace InstaShop for some USD 270 mn. InstaShop operates in Egypt, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Lebanon. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti food tech startup Zyda launched in Egypt in February, with plans to invest USD 2 mn, in addition to delivery-turned-loyalty and engagement app Koinz raising a USD 4.8 mn seed round in March. Household shopping service GoodsMart, which had raised a couple of funding rounds from Algebra Ventures over the past four years, also saw a substantial increase in demand amidst the pandemic.


7-9 June (Monday-Wednesday): A delegation of 18 French companies will meet with international financial institutions and Egyptian private partners in an event organized by Business France The event will take place at Sofitel Gezirah.

11-14 June (Friday-Monday): Egypt is hosting the first forum of the heads of African investment promotion agencies from under the theme Integration for Growth.

14 June (Monday): Egypt Green Economy Forum.

14 June (Monday): The Central Bank of Egypt will launch an electronic clearing system for foreign currency cheques between banks.

15 June (Saturday): EGX-listed will have to complete filing their financial disclosures for the period ended 31 March.

16-22 June (Wednesday-Tuesday): Ismailia International Film Festival, National Film Center Ismailia.

17 June (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

17-20 June (Thursday-Sunday): The International Exhibition of Materials and Technologies for Finishing and Construction (Turnkey Expo), Cairo International Conference Center.

20 June (Sunday): Ismailia Economic Court to hold hearing on Ever Given compensation case.

22-27 June (Tuesday-Sunday): The CIB PSA World Tour Finals for 2020-2021 will take place in Cairo.

24 June (Thursday): End of the 2020-2021 academic year (public schools).

24-29 June (Thursday-Tuesday): The fifth edition of the Aswan International Women’s Film Festival.

26-29 June (Saturday-Tuesday): The Big 5 Construct Egypt, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo, Egypt. The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards will also be taking place at the event on 27 June.

26 June – 1 July (Saturday-Thursday): Sharm El Sheikh Film Festival.

30 June (Wednesday): The IMF will complete a second review of targets set under the USD 5.2 bn standby loan approved in June 2020 (proposed date).

30 June (Wednesday): 30 June Revolution Day.

30 June- 15 July: National Book Fair.

July + August: Thanaweya Amma exams take place.

1 July: (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 30 June Revolution.

1 July (Thursday): Large taxpayers that have not yet signed on to the e-invoicing platform will suffer a host of penalties, including removal from large taxpayer classification, losing access to government services and business, and losing subsidies.

1 July (Thursday): Businesses importing goods at seaports will need to file shipping documents and cargo data digitally to the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system.

5-8 July (Monday-Thursday): The 8th Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s ministerial conference on women will be hosted by Egypt’s New Administrative Council and Egypt will assume the presidency of the conference for the next two years.

19 July (Monday): Arafat Day (national holiday).

20-23 July (Tuesday-Friday): Eid Al Adha (national holiday).

23 July (Friday): Revolution Day (national holiday).

July: The government will announce details of its new structural reform program.

2-4 August (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt is hosting the Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

5 August (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

9 August (Monday): Islamic New Year.

12 August (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Islamic New Year.

12-15 September (Sunday-Wednesday): Sahara Expo: the 33rd International Agricultural Exhibition for Africa and the Middle East.

16 September (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

30 September-2 October (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Projects 2021 expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

30 September-8 October (Thursday-Friday): The Cairo International Fair, Cairo International Conference Center, Cairo, Egypt.

1 October (Friday): Expo 2020 Dubai opens.

6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.

7 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Armed Forces Day.

12-14 October (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

18 October (Monday): Prophet’s Birthday.

21 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Prophet’s Birthday.

28 October (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

1-3 November (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Energy exhibition on power and renewable energy, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

1-12 November (Monday-Friday): 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Glasgow, United Kingdom.

29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo.

13-17 December: United Nations Convention against Corruption, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

16 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.

May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

27 June-3 July 2022 (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

**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 below between the actual holiday and its observance.

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