Sunday, 11 July 2021

Enterprise PM — The year of M&A continues with Elsewedy, Raya Contact Center entering the fray

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Hello, wonderful people, and welcome to a busy news day. Our Speed Round section features plenty of bold-faced names making news in everything from M&A (Elsewedy, Raya) and investment (SFE) to consumer finance (GB Auto).

MEANWHILE- We’ve completely cancelled covid in Sahel, and Cairo isn’t far behind. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the world is ready to follow suit: Belgian researchers are waving red flags in the case of a 90-year-old woman who died after having been infected with both the alpha and beta strains of the coronavirus. It raises questions about whether co-infection is the next risk, Bloomberg writes.

Either way, we can expect to need annual covid-19 jabs as is the case with the flu, according to presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tageldin, echoing warnings from western MDs.

That brings us to our first SIGN OF THE TIMES today, as the Financial Times notes that with business meetings now becoming commonplace as the pandemic cools off (for now?), the world is grappling with “disastrous collisions between shakers, bumpers and fist knockers.” Dramatic much?

HAPPENING NOW- It’s official: Cement producers will have to cut back production for 12 months starting this coming Thursday, 15 July, under a decision issued by the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA). The order is the cornerstone of a bid to cut “the oversupply glut that has plagued the sector over the past three years,” the Federation of Egyptian Industries' cement division said in a statement (pdf). The new quotas set a 10.69% baseline cut and give additional room for cuts of 2.81% per production line and more for older factories, Reuters previously reported. The proposal had been submitted by 23 industry players to “preserve market plurality” and save their businesses.

So, is your new-build home about to get more expensive? The FEI has urged cement manufacturers not to go overboard with price hikes. The news comes after some players bumped up rates last Tuesday by as much as EGP 50 per tonne, the head of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce’s building materials division Ahmed El Zeiny told Masrawy.

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

  • Russia has finally lifted the ban on Red Sea flights after six years, with the move estimated to eventually bring in some USD 3 bn in annual tourism revenues.
  • Bechtel will design Africa’s largest petrochemical complex, worth USD 7.5 bn, which is being built by the Red Sea National Refining and Petrochemicals Company in the Ain Sokhna industrial zone.
  • Egypt will receive its first shipment of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as a new batch of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab in the coming days.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The first pillar of the global tax pact may not be ready for lawmakers to review before spring 2022, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, according to Reuters. The first phase of the pact is designed to “allow more countries to tax large, highly profitable multinational companies” and is now moving on a “‘slightly slower track’ than a global corporate tax of at least 15% as part of a tax agreement among 132 countries,” the newswire reports. The imposition of a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15% could come into play as soon as this year.

CLOSER TO HOME- Western enthusiasm for SPACs is waning, but that doesn’t mean blank-cheque companies are running out of steam in MENA: Shares of Dubai-based Shuaa Capital surged 15% today after the company said it is in early talks with investment banks to set up three SPACs of around USD 200 mn each to go after targets in energy, finance and tech, Bloomberg reports.

SOUND SMART- What’s a SPAC? To paraphrase the old 1980s TV ad, it’s “a question a child might ask, but not a childish question.” So don’t worry: We’ve got you covered.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- Goldman Sachs is wondering whether it needs to bump up salaries for junior staff. Some in the firm’s ranks are arguing they need to focus on rewarding young snowflakes for performance, but others worry that they’re being out-spent by rivals in the war for talent.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The EGX will hold its board elections for the 2021-2025 term on Wednesday, 14 July. Here’s a rundown of the candidates vying to fill positions.

You have four more days to visit the Cairo International Book Fair at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event will run through 15 July and the fair’s committee has now allowed the exhibition ground to operate at 70% capacity.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

Space tourism’s first high-profile flight is taking place today: Virgin Galactic is sending founder Richard Branson and five other people to the edge of space, 50 miles above Earth, in a mission called Unity 22, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company’s fourth flight is being positioned as a further testament to its abilities ahead of the launch a commercial space tourism program next year, which analysts say will charge USD 400k per ticket. Virgin Galactic’s takeoff comes a week ahead of Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos’s trip to space aboard a Blue Origin flight. Branson, Bezos, and Tesla’s Elon Musk are all going full force on space tourism, which would pick up as a commercial experience for the ultra rich in the near future.

If you care more about finding a new planet than fixing the one we live on now, watch Virgin Galactic’s livestream at 4:30pm CLT on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. Or not, if you’d prefer not to give the rich attention-seekers more time than they deserve.

Binance traders worldwide are demanding their money back after the platform froze for an hour just as BTC and other cryptocurrencies plunged on 19 May, according to the Wall Street Journal. Users in France and Italy are looking at separate avenues to chase the company for their alleged losses. Soon after the crash, a Binance executive tweeted an apology and promised that staff would reach out to those affected. The Tweet was soon deleted. The trading platform has come under fire since then, with many countries forcing the firm to pause operations until it complies with local securities laws.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

It’s finally here, folks: Catch England versus Italy in the Euro 2020 final, which will take place at 9pm CLT in London’s Wembley Stadium. The highly anticipated clash between the Three Lions and the Azzurri comes after both made it through a tumultuous and exciting tournament. England narrowly beat Denmark in extra time to reach the final, while Italy had to brave a nerve-wracking penalty shootout against Spain, gaining the lead in the final moment.

Both countries have a lot on the line: Despite nine previous appearances at the tournament, England have never won the Euro, while Italy took home the trophy once in 1968. The game marks England’s second-ever appearance in the final of a major global tournament, the first being the finale to their successful 1966 World Cup campaign. For Italy, victory would cap the renaissance the team has had since it failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Markets sage Mohamed El Erian has the best rundown we’ve seen of which countries in Europe are rooting for whom.

HERE AT HOME- Al Ahly is playing Misr Lel Makasa at 7pm in the Egyptian Premier League.

ALSO TODAY- The men’s singles final at Wimbledon gets underway at 3pm CLT, with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic taking on Italy’s Matteo Berrettini. Yesterday, Australian Ashleigh Barty beat Karolina Pliskova in a tough match to become the first Aussie woman to win at Wimbledon since her mentor and idol, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, won back in 1980.

Netflix Original anime Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is bringing the popular video game to life: The miniseries follows a group of government agents who are tasked with containing a zombie outbreak in the White House — which quickly escalates into a diplomatic crisis between the US and China (seems realistic enough). Infinite Darkness takes place between the video games Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The anime takes a new turn, choosing to treat the zombie aspect as an afterthought, delving instead into the backstories of people who created these “bio-organic weapons, making the newest addition to the Resident Evil franchise more political drama than action series.

🥐 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Sando Haus is the ultimate fusion of flavors in Sahel this summer. Okay, we admit: We’re biased, seeing as the joint is run by our pal Nada Amin (the former Extel- and Institutional investor-ranked EFG Hermes research analyst) and her brother, Mohamed. But trust us: You’ll love it. Blending Asian inspirations from Japan and Vietnam with the best of South African meats, Sando Haus offers towering Japanese-style sandwiches and sides at Sahel’s Diplo 3 Strip. When we say fusion, we mean it: From their Tiger’s Treat featuring breaded chicken strips and mango chutney-mayo, to their King’s Katsu Sando combining beef fillet and sweet tonkatsu sauce, and pickled onions, all the way to their Vietnamese-inspired Buddha’s Banh Mi. To complement the meal, get one of their salads or fries and finish it off with Chichi bites (French toast strips). Can we just mention that we love their space’s design, with a pink and green exterior that just screams Sahel vibes? Look for Sando immediately on your right at the start of the Diplo strip after you turn off the highway.

Oh, and because our community is ridiculously small: Nada’s husband is none other than EFG Hermes analyst Yousef Husseini, with whom we had a lovely talk for last week’s Analyst of The Week feature.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

An audiovisual performance and installation by Mohammed Allam, Ahmad Kubbara and Mena El Shazly will take place at 7pm as part of the de*sync film nights held by the Contemporary Image Collective (CIC).

A Sharmoofers concert is taking place in New Cairo’s Hyde Park this Thursday at 6pm. You can grab your tickets using this link.

Alaa Farghali is holding a talk and book signing for his Arabic-language novel Wadi El Dom which received the 2021 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Fiction. The event will take place at Downtown’s Consoleya coworking space tonight at 7pm.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

The criminal underworld of international gold smuggling, exposed: Dirty Gold: The Rise and Fall of an International Smuggling Ring is written by Jay Weaver, Nicholas Nehamas , Jim Wyss, and Kyra Gurney and follows the true story of “the three amigos,” a Miami-based trio who built a USD 3.6 bn business through illicit trading of metals, especially illegal Peruvian gold. They were arrested in 2017, but the case brought to authorities’ attention a massive and dangerous international business that is more lucrative than cocaine trafficking. The Miami Herald journalists who covered the story present the case as well as the resulting investigations in a gripping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- More 40°C days for Cairo ahead, but we’re not complaining too hard… We’re saving that for later in the week when the mercury will rise to 43°C. Meanwhile,

Sahel has 32°C weather to offer, our favorite weather app tells us.

SPEED ROUND: M&A WATCH

Year of M&A continues with Elsewedy, Raya Contact Center entering the fray

Elsewedy to snap up a controlling stake in Egypt’s International Cables Company in EGP 410 mn transaction: Elsewedy Electric has signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 99.25% of Egypt-based cablemaker International Cables Company (ICC) for EGP 410 mn transaction, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals.

Look for as many as two more acquisitions from Elsewedy before the year is done. The company’s M&A director, Ahmed Nabil, has previously said the company is aiming to close three transactions in the second half of the year, looking at unidentified technology, electric equipment and cable makers. The company is open to transactions in the USD 100 mn range — or more if it makes strategic sense, Nabil said.

What’s ICC? The company employs some 400 people and produces low-, medium- and high-voltage cables as well as telephone cable at a facility in the 10 Ramadan industrial zone set up back in 1989. The company has “achieved robust growth over the past years … positioning it as an attractive investment … for strategic investors,” sell-side advisor Al Ahly Pharos said in a statement (pdf) without providing further information.

Advisors: Al Ahly Pharos was financial advisor to the selling shareholders. Our friends at Alieldean Weshahi & Partners were counsel to Elsewedy, while Al Kamel Law Firm had sell-side duty.

IN OTHER M&A NEWS- Raya Contact Center is on course to acquire an 85% stake in Bahrain-based call center company Gulf Customer Experience (Gulf CX) in a USD 12 mn transaction, investor relations head Karim Seoudi told Enterprise, confirming a statement to the EGX (pdf). Raya is purchasing a total of 335,829 shares in Gulf CX, with Raya valuing the entire company at USD 14.32 mn, the statement said. The company plans to fully acquire Gulf CX over two stages, the first being the acquisition of 85% of the company, with the two sides expected to ink a final agreement “within days.” The remaining 15% should be snapped up over the upcoming three years at most, according to Seoudi.

Advisors: EFG Hermes is acting as Raya’s financial advisor, while Al Tamimi & Company is acting as counsel, Seoudi tells us.

Background: Raya had announced in May that it was on the verge of acquiring an unnamed call center company based in the Gulf. Raya submitted its initial offer to acquire the call center back in October, as part of the company’s plans to expand its footprint in the GCC, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

SPEED ROUND: INVESTMENT WATCH

SFE loves pharma manufacturing, confirms it’s bidding for a piece of Amoun with ADQ

The Sovereign Fund of Egypt has plenty of appetite for pharma, with CEO Ayman Soliman telling Hapi Journal the company is in talks with potential partners to invest in domestic pharma manufacturing targeting both the domestic and export markets. Data from the government’s Unified Procurement Authority will, in part, guide its choices on what products have the best local prospects. The story doesn’t say how much the SFE will look to invest in manufacturing, nor does it specify whether it’s looking at greenfield or brownfield targets.

And it’s now official: The SFE will partner with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ in the acquisition of 100% of domestic manufacturing powerhouse Amoun. Soliman confirmed that new investments in manufacturing will take place alongside the fund’s acquisition of a stake in Amoun Pharma, a transaction being led by ADQ. The SFE had reportedly joined ADQ in the bid for Amoun back in February, but the story was never confirmed. A subsidiary of ADQ confirmed at the end of June that it’s still aiming to buy Amoun via a mandatory tender offer that could be worth as much as EGP 10.3 bn. Amoun is presently a unit of Canada’s Bausch Health.

Healthcare real estate and logistics are also getting some love. The fund is looking to invest in real estate projects that could be repurposed as hospitals, in partnership with health operators. It is also in the process of establishing a logistics company to invest in supply warehouses and build logistics hubs for the private sector and e-commerce companies. Partnerships in the sector will be finalized in the coming six months, Soliman added.

BACKGROUND: Healthcare is a top priority for the fund, which has made several moves into the sector since the onset of the pandemic. Other than a USD 300 mn joint venture with Concord International Investments in May, the SFE was reportedly eyeing a stake in state pharma company Chemical Industries Development. Healthcare is one of four previously announced sub-funds the SFE is carving out, alongside financial services, tourism and real estate, and infrastructure.

The news comes just one week after the SFE said it would invest in Lighthouse Education, a new platform with partners including Misr Ins. Holding Company (MIH), Banque Misr, and the Suez Canal Bank. The Lighthouse transaction is part of an EGP 1.75 bn push into K-12 education announced earlier this month; partners include Egyptian banks, among other investors. We’ll have more on Lighthouse’s plans in tomorrow’s Blackboard in EnterpriseAM.

SPEED ROUND: CONSUMER FINANCE

GB Auto gets FRA nod to expand consumer finance activities

GB Auto has landed final regulatory approval to launch new consumer finance activities for factoring arm Drive, according to a company statement (pdf). The nod from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) will allow Drive to widen its activities beyond car finance into other market segments. Drive had received an initial nod from the FRA to launch consumer finance products back in 2020.

Drive had the largest share of Egypt’s factoring market in February, increasing its market share to almost 22% in February after loaning out EGP 254 mn. Its market share in May dropped to 6.31% however, with EGP 280.6 mn worth of contracts.

Sarwa Capital’s subsidiary Contact and Raya Holding subsidiary Aman were the first companies to be granted consumer financing licenses, following the passing of the Consumer Credit Act last year. Other consumer finance outfits that had reportedly been seeking licenses at the time include EFG Hermes’ valU, Premium Card, and CI Capital’s Souhoola. Some twenty five companies are currently licensed to provide consumer financing services in Egypt FRA Deputy Chairman Islam Azzam said last week.

Consumer finance players are also in line for a VAT exemption, under an agreement with the FRA which aims to provide consumer finance players the same VAT treatment afforded to other NBFS providers.

SPEED ROUND: STARTUP WATCH

SME fintech startup Hollydesk looking to close six-figure USD round

Fintech startup HollyDesk is looking to close a six-figure USD funding round by the end of the month, CEO Mahmoud Moussa told Masrawy, without disclosing the exact amount or the investors. Proceeds from the round will allow the company to grow its customer base, which focuses particularly on companies with fewer than 1k employees, Moussa added. The company also plans to expand to Saudi Arabia by the end of the year, followed by North Africa at a later stage, Moussa said.

What does the company do, anyway? HollyDesk provides a SaaS tool that offers companies a dashboard to manage their finances, including real-time expense tracking and management of both receivables and payables through a payment gateway. The company has teamed up with our friends at CIB to provide rapid collection of funds through electronic wallets for employees or other company-verified parties, and is in talks with Fawry to provide a similar service.

GO WITH THE FLOW

EGX30 turnover below EGP 1 bn mark today

The EGX30 fell 0.3% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 820 mn (33.1% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 6.4% YTD.

In the green: MM Group (+1.9%), TMG Holding (+1.5%) and Eastern Company (+0.8%).

In the red: Oriental Weavers (-3.1%), Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (-2.2%) and Pioneers Holding (-1.9%).

STATS + INDICATORS

Measuring peace across the globe

The world is becoming more troubled: There are often clear signs that a country’s order is eroding, from a crackdown on press and oppositional voices to a currency going haywire. The Global Peace Index Report 2021 created by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) has set out to chart which of the 163 surveyed countries have become more peaceful and which are turning more crackpot.

The metrics: Countries are ranked on two different metrics. The Positive Peace Index (PPI) is a composite measure of factors that might be expected to make a country more peaceful. These include a country’s levels of corruption, human capital, broad access to public services such as health and education, and a well-functioning government. Countries that perform well on the PPI index are usually less tolerant of violence and offer peaceful channels to resolve disputes. The second metric is the Global Peace Index (GPI), a measure of how peaceful the country actually is. This is based on a further 23 weighted indicators, such as the country’s homicide rate, the ease of access to weapons and the levels of political violence and terrorism.

The IEP has been pretty accurate before… Egypt is a case in point: In 2009, it ranked Egypt #63 on the GPI but #115 on the PPI. The Positive Peace Deficit (when countries rank at least 20 places higher on the GPI than the PPI) was attributed to former President Hosni Mubarak’s muzzle on dissent which muted voices without fixing their concerns. Two years later, mns of Egyptians took to the streets in protest, calling for a new government to resolve their grievances. The PPD model is often looked at as having predictive power of future conflicts.

This past year has seen the average level of global peacefulness deteriorate by 0.07%, with 87 countries improving, and 73 declining. However, the change in score is the second smallest in the history of the index. The 2021 GPI instead reveals a world greatly affected by the global health issues taking the world by storm. The covid-19 pandemic has slowed down some forms of violence in the short term, however the growing unease with lockdowns and rising economic uncertainty resulted in civil unrest increasing in 2020. While it’s still too early to determine the long-term effects of the pandemic on peace, the increased economic stress increases the likelihood of political instability and violent demonstrations, the reports says.

The most peaceful countries in the world are topped by Iceland, a position it has held since 2008. Rounding out the top five countries are New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia.

Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq.

Regionally, six of the nine global regions became less peaceful in 2020: Europe was placed as the most peaceful region, also recording an increase in peacefulness over the year. Meanwhile, North America ranked second, but constituted by far the largest regional deterioration after growing civil unrest and political instability took place in the US.

While MENA remains the least peaceful region in the world, it saw the largest improvement over the past year. The level of ongoing conflict fell, as did the impact of errorism and the number of deaths from internal conflict. Meanwhile, the economic impact of violence also improved across four regions. Qatar (#29) is the region’s most peaceful country, followed by Kuwait (#36) and the UAE (#52).

Where does Egypt rank? Egypt’s overall rank across all 163 countries is #126, up three places from last year. Regionally, Egypt comes in at #11, out of the 20 total MENA countries looked at.

What held us back? Tensions between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam were a source of diplomatic friction and possible escalation of violence over the past year. The report also points to several medical staff being detained for spreading news on social media about the lack of personal protective equipment and the lack of covid-19 testing.

It wasn’t a great decade for us as far as the GPI is concerned: Egypt was among the 10 countries that saw the largest falls in GPI between 2009 and 2019, joining countries such as Libya, Syria and Ukraine.

GAMING

Gaming is the latest industry to go totally digital

Where ownership is concerned, gaming is the next to go: While we hadn’t previously thought of it this way, we're slowly losing ownership of many forms of media as the push to digital continues to accelerate, writes the Financial Times. It started off with the film and TV industry, as physical DVDs and VCR tapes became defunct as people flocked to streaming sites such as YouTube or Netflix for their entertainment fix. Books were next, with Amazon being able to yank a title off your Kindle anytime it wants. Gaming seems to be the latest industry to surrender to the digital advance, with physical games moving towards the exit as players switch to downloads, rather than the purchase of physical games.

The ephemerality of digital media: Whereas with DVDs and books you *owned* an item — unless of course someone stole it — if Netflix decided to take down a film tomorrow it would simply be gone forever, a phenomenon even more likely with the mns of content creators on YouTube that can delete videos on a whim. Music soon followed the same path with the emergence of platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, and Anghami, which quickly replaced mp3 song files and CDs.

Physical games are becoming luxury items, and the pandemic is pushing them there: The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X generation could become the turning point where physical media becomes all-but obsolete, with the two gaming giants offering digital only consoles that eliminate the need for discs altogether. With the ongoing covid-19 pandemic pushing consumers to shop online more, companies felt confident in making such a drastic change. Further bolstering their confidence; several gaming companies including Capcom and Sony reported that digital downloads overtook physical disc sales during the past year, with Cyberpunk 2077 reporting the biggest digital launch of a game yet — before it flopped on its release.

Gaming’s biggest conference was even moved online this year: The E3 conference was held virtually this year after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. The E3 conference has been a “spiritual home” for gamers since 1995, and is where much loved consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Wii were first seen, as well as now-classic games like Halo 2. But some have doubted whether the in-person event can regain its previous lustre, and have raised the spectre of the conference migrating to a digital presence permanently.

Video game fans have clung onto physical games, but there are multiple benefits to switching to digital: Of course, convenience is first and foremost. Especially during the pandemic, many people opted to buy games from the comfort and safety of their sofas as opposed to visiting a store. Digital games also can’t be lost, stolen or damaged. And possibly more importantly, moving to digital entertainment is greener and better for the environment since they cut out the carbon emissions of production and transport.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of losers in the transition: Independent stores who resell old games are slowly losing their customers. While there aren’t statistics for this locally, we’ve all been to the multiple games shops in Egypt that offer stacks and stacks of used games. Digital games also require fast internet — which to be frank, Egypt does not excel at — to enable the download of updates and support gameplay in real time across multiple locations. With that in mind, physical games are likely to continue to play a role in the industry in Egypt longer than in the west.

CALENDAR

July: The government’s fuel pricing committee will meet to announce 3Q prices.

14 July (Wednesday): The EGX will hold board elections for the 2021-2025 term.

Mid-July: Legislative session expected to end.

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

21 July (Wednesday): Clean Energy Business Council’s webinar Women entrepreneurs in clean energy (3pm)

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

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

23 July-11 August (Friday-Wednesday): Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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.

3-5 September (Friday-Sunday): The World Karate Federation will hold the third competition of the 2021 Karate 1-Premier League in Cairo.

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

15 September (Wednesday): The CFO Leadership & Strategy Summit is taking place in Egypt.

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.

30 September: Closing of 2021’s first oil and gas tender in the Gulf of Suez, Western Desert, and the Mediterranean.

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

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.

24-28 October (Sunday-Thursday) Cairo Water Week, Cairo, Egypt.

27-28 October (Wednesday-Thursday) Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference, Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, Cairo, Egypt.

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

30 October – 4 November (Saturday-Thursday): The first edition of Race The Legends, Egypt.

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

November: Egypt will host another round of talks to reach a potential Egyptian-Eurasian trade agreement, which can significantly contribute to increasing the volume of Egyptian exports to the Russia-led bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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

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

12-14 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Food Africa Cairo trade exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

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.

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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.