Sunday, 8 March 2015
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WHAT WE’RE TRACKING THIS WEEK
The Egypt Economic Development Conference opens in Sharm El-Sheikh on Friday, closing Sunday.
LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
With just six days to go before the EEDC, talk show hosts are gearing up for wall-to-wall coverage. Several channels are airing footage of the preparations currently underway in the resort town. Lamees El Hadidyannounced that topics related to the economic summit will occupy most of her airtime for the remainder of the week, with live CBC coverage from Sharm El Sheik to begin on Friday.
“Sharm El Sheikh is getting ready to receive 3,500 guests. There are no more hotel rooms and no more flights,” said El Hadidy, who was clearly relieved to see everything coming together at the last minute. “We are already getting bits and pieces of encouraging news about projects ahead of the summit such as BP’s USD 12 bn project to produce natural gas off the coast of Egypt. This is a huge vote of confidence and it will hopefully the first of many more to come in the next few days. But again it’s not just about the projects — it’s about the government’s vision and proving to the rest of the world that we are on the right path.
“Of course we know that the Ikhwan will do their best to try and disrupt this process. They are doing everything within their power to send out warnings and messages to discourage people from attending and participating,” said El Hadidy, who used her nightly segment of Ikhwan-bashing as a segue into coverage of the execution of Mahmoud Ramadan, the bearded Morsi supporter captured on video pushing a 19 year old kid off the roof of a building in Alexandria back in 2013.
“I am reassured by the fact that our new Minister of Interior, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, has announced that his security plan for the EEDC goes far beyond Sharm El Sheikh and includes the entire country. I think this is very important, and I commend the new minister for his initiative,” said El Hadidy. “There has already been a major overhaul of Dakhleya. This type of comprehensive change — which we have never seen before in Dakhleya — doesn’t happen overnight. This has obviously been studied for a long time. I think this new minister means business. Security is his top priority.”
Amr Adeeb also commented about the execution of Mahmoud Ramadan. “The outrage over this death on the part of the ikhwan is just outrageous. He viciously murdered an innocent child with a Daesh flag stuck in his pants — and that was before we even know what Daesh was,” said Adeeb, who kept playing the video of the boy being pushed off the roof over and over again. “Now they have come up with a new death list in retaliation and every single media personality in Egypt is on the list. Why is this guy so important?”
Adeeb conducted an interesting discussion with Akhbar Al Youm Chairperson, Yasser Rizk about the surprise cabinet shuffle on last Thursday.
According to Rizk, the unexpected decision to remove key ministers before the EEDC and not after was the result of President Al Sisi’s mounting displeasure with former Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, which reached a tipping point after the fire at the Cairo International Conference Center.
“Whether the fire was actually the result of extreme negligence or a security breach, something angered the president and that’s why the change occurred when it did,” said Rizk who concedes that the move was rather abrupt given that there were three ministers removed who had projects ready to present at the EEDC. “I personally called Mohamed Ibrahim to thank him for everything that he has done for the country,” addedRizk.
“The President clearly wants to focus more on information gathering and fundamental changes within the Ministry of Interior and he wasn’t getting that from Ibrahim,” said Adeeb.
TALK SHOW SPOTLIGHT: Naguib Sawiris on ONTV
The highlight of the evening was Naguib Sawiris’s interview on OnTV with Lillian Dawood.
Sawiris began by asking to be interviewed in colloquial Arabic as Dawood, a Lebanese national, generally speaks in a mixture of classical and colloquial Arabic.
“Our Arabic is one of the gifts that God gave to us Egyptians along with light blood” — i.e. a sense of humor — ”People all over the Arab world understand our local dialect and I’m very proud of that,” Sawiris said.
“The economic summit starts in a few days. What are your expectations,” asked Dawood.
“It’s important not only because of the projects, but also because for the first time Egypt will be presenting an economic strategy. If things go well, we will longer need aid or any kind of economic assistance in five years’ time. We will be independent and relying on our own resources. In the meantime, we will need to attract USD 15 bn in FDI each year. At the summit, we will announce the strategy and ask our brotherly Arab countries to help us out one last time,” said Sawiris.
“Is this message already clear to our Arab brothers?”
“To a great extent it is, particularly in the UAE, a little less so in Saudi Arabia and a little less in Kuwait. After the Arab backing, the Europeans will follow suit and so on. We are putting Egypt back on the investment map. The last four years were total chaos on every front; infrastructure, energy, traffic, you name it. Now we are putting ourselves back out there as a country that is open to investment,” said Sawiris.
“When the Ikhwan were in power, people thought that I left the country — but I didn’t really leave. I came back regularly. I looked for a place to live, but that place had to be sunny, the people had to have a good sense of humor, and there had to be beaches. So I considered Italy and Brazil, then I thought, ‘No, I need an Arabic speaking country.’ So I considered Lebanon. And then I thought, ‘No, I need a country that has a river running through it.’ And that always led me back to Egypt. No one can chase me away. I am Sa3eedi and I will never leave,” said Sawiris.
“Our biggest problem is energy. It’s the bottleneck right now, so as a family this is the first sector we will be focusing on. We are planning on investing USD 2 bn to build a conventional power plant to be followed by a second investment in solar power plant. We are in final negotiations now and if we finish in the next few days, we will announce the projects at the EEDC,” said Sawiris, who also indicated that he is interested in investing in the transportation sector, both river and mass transport.
“I think the most important thing that this government has done is the new investment law. For the first time they actually met with and consulted investors, the people that have suffered the most in the past. No one will invest in our country if we ourselves don’t want to invest. So first we have to feel comfortable.”
Commenting on the cabinet shuffle, Sawiris said that he was personally not happy to see the Minister of Interior go. “He is to be commended for the excellent role he played on 39 June and its aftermath. That is not to say that I agree with everything that the Interior Ministry does, there are definitely shortcomings, but this man did not have an easy job and yet he carried it out well.”
On the parliamentary elections Sawiris said that he is not seeking anything for himself personally but he would like to see the FEP winning as many seats as possible. “Our ultimate goal is to eradicate poverty in this country within the next five years. We believe in freedom, human rights, the eradication of poverty.”
Commenting on acquisition of a controlling stake in Euronews for USD 40 mn, Sawiris insisted that he will have nothing to do with editorial content.
“In the Mubarak era I was very unhappy with the lack of freedom and censorship. We wanted to have a newspaper and a television channel [without restrictions]. My motive was to wake up the population and let them see that we should be living in a more democratic society. On 28 of January, 2011, I was doing an interview on Al Arabiya and I was directly asked the question: ‘Are you with the midan or not with the midan?’ I said I am with the midan. As soon as I came out of the interview, I got a phone call from my father asking, ‘What were we you thinking.’ I said, ‘That this is what my conscience told me to say.’
“My investment in Euronews is a purely financial transaction. I did, however, choose to invest in this particular network because they are completely impartial, they present the news as-is without inserting an opinion and this is what we need right now. There are so many question marks about the way CNN has presented coverage on Egypt to the outside world and to a great extent also BBC
“I have no hidden agendas, I want one thing only for this country, to eradicate poverty. We will succeed if they leave us to do our work,” said Sawiris. “If I set my mind out to do something I will do it. I love this country and I cannot live anywhere else.”
BP signs deal to invest USD 12 bn over the next 5 years to develop Egypt’s West Nile Delta gas fields: On Friday, BP announced that it had signed an agreement with Egypt to develop the West Nile Delta (WND) gas fields, from talks that were first announced back in December 2014. The agreement involves the investment of USD 12 bn by BP and its partners over the next five years to produce 5 tn cubic feet of gas and 55 mmbbls of condensates. Notably, all of the gas produced will be for domestic use, with production set to start in 2017. You can read the BP press release here. Fortune’s take on the story notes that “the final price agreed upon is pretty much the same price that was in the initial agreements back in 2008, in a range around USD 3 per mn Btu and capped at USD 4.10, according to BP .. The WND project is 33% owned by Germany’s DEA, but DEA’s owner RWE AG has just agreed to sell it to Luxembourg-based LetterOne. (Read)
Cabinet shuffle: Here, in brief, are the 8 new members of the Cabinet, along with the outgoing ministers:
For a more in-depth look at the backgrounds of the new ministers, please find Ahram Online’s guide here.
Foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia announce preliminary agreement on water-sharing of the Nile: The foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have reached a preliminary agreement regarding the eastern Nile basin which aims to resolve disputes pertaining to the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam. The agreement will now be presented to the three countries’ heads of state for approval. Foreign Minister said Sameh Shoukry that the principles presented represents “a new beginning for cooperation between the three countries”. (Read in Arabic or on AFP)
Deal with Arabtec on 1 mn homes project before Sharm? Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly told reporters on Thursday he was optimistic the ministry could reach a deal to keep Arabtec’s 1 mn homes project on track, Reuters says. The agreement to see Arabtec build homes in 13 cities across the country at a cost of some USD 40 bn was initially signed with the armed forces, but has since passed to the Housing Ministry for final negotiations and implementation. After it emerged last week that the project was on hold, Arabtec Chairman Abdulla Al-Qubaisi was reportedly due in Cairo for talks Wednesday and Thursday. Amwal Al-Ghadadds that a source at the Housing Ministry claims Arabtec has yet to respond to the ministry’s latest offer. The primary sticking points appear to be requirements that Arabtec secure foreign funding and cap unit prices below those of the government’s Dar Misr project.
UAE’s Al Ghurair threatening to freeze work on USD 370 mn sugar refinery? Canal Sugar, a subsidiary of the UAE’s Al Ghurair, has reportedly threatened to stop work on a USD 300 mn sugar factory, alleging the General Authority for Reclamation and Agricultural Development is attempting to change or reduce the amount of land originally allocated to the company in Minya, Al-Mal reports. (Earlier coverage of the project had put the value of the project at USD 370 mn plus an estimated EGP 2.5 bn for land reclamation.)
MAF to nearly double investments in Egypt: Majid Al Futtaim Group will invest a further USD 12 bn in Egypt, bringing its total investments here to EGP 30 bn, Al-Mal reports, saying the news followed a meeting between senior MAF officials and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab. The fresh investment should create some 8,100 direct job opportunities. The group, however, is seeking Mahlab’s assistance resolving an issue with MAF’s land in Sixth of October City.The news comes as Majid Al Futtaim was unveiled as a platinum sponsor of the EEDC in Sharm. MAF will be represented at the event led by the newly appointed CEO, Mr. Alain Bejjani.
Tax cuts to be announced at Sharm conference? Tax holidays may be a thing of the past, as Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said last week in Dubai, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see tax cuts announced at the EEDC. Al-Masry Al-Youm reports on the general expectation that the 10-year tax policy Salman promised to unveil in Sharm will include tax cuts.
Russia will complete delivery of Antey-2500 air defense missile systems to Egypt by the end of 2016, under a deal signed earlier valued at USD 1 bn. However, there is some uncertainty regarding whether the deliveries have begun, with Russia Beyond the Headlines asserting that deliveries have already begun. The surface-to-air missiles have a range of 400 km. (Read in Russian state news agency TASS) Meanwhile,Military & Aerospace is reporting that Egypt will receive an unspecified allotment of Hellfire missiles from the United States.
Amendments to the special economic zones’ law are ready for cabinet review, according to Investment Minister Ashraf Salman, who said a draft will be presented at this week’s regularly scheduled meeting. The exact provisions of the law are yet to be made public. (Read in Arabic)
El-Sisi’s weekend meetings focus on Sharm, security and education: Thursday through Saturday were busy at Ittihadiya as President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi began counting down the days until he is scheduled to open the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm. Interestingly, two of the three statements were included significant content on education.
El-Sisi + U.S. congressional delegation on Saturday, headed by the chairman of the defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. The statement from the Office of the President noted “The delegation affirmed that they would continue to provide their fullest support to Egypt from within Congress, including militarily, and back it in its war on terrorism, whether in Sinai or along its western borders.” El-Sisi noted that security cooperation “also has an economic aspect, particularly encouraging investment in Egypt to help create job opportunities for the youth as well as support the government’s efforts to fight poverty and ignorance.” Among those present were Reps. Pete Visclosky, Kay Granger, Ken Calvert, Marcy Kaptur and Steve Womack. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt R. Stephen Beecroft were also in attendance.
El-Sisi + eight new members of cabinet on Thursday, also attended by PM Ibrahim Mahlab. Significantly, the release leads with the president’s commentary on education, in which El-Sisi “highlighted the need to follow up on the implementation of the national strategy to reform education by 2030.” After the expected directives to step-up counter-terrorism activity and attract more tourists, the President dwelled at length on agriculture, noting the need to expand the availability of fertilizers, enhance the role of the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit, and “formulate a comprehensive strategy for the agricultural sector and the marketing of agricultural produce, especially Egyptian cotton.” The final note of significance came as El-Sisi noted that the creation of a ministry to oversee technical education should underscore that “the state will concentrate on the sector in the upcoming phase and will strive to link technical education to the labor market, in order to enhance the skills of Egyptian technicians to satisfy the needs of the local and regional markets.”
El-Sisi + Education and Scientific Research Council on Thursday, with a focus on preparations for Sharm El-Sheikh and the role of education in counter-terrorism activities. Also high on the agenda were reviews of plans to overhaul how engineering is taught and beef up technical and vocational education, dovetailing with the emphasis on education and technical education in the earlier release on the president’s meeting with new members of cabinet.
New Tourism Minister sets target of 20 mn tourists annually within five years, reports Al-Borsa, following up on Khaled Ramy’s first meeting with his staff.
The government is aiming for the Suez Canal Zone project to eventually make up 30-35% of Egypt’s economy, according to Investment Minister Ashraf Salman during a news conference on Thursday, as reported by Reuters.
New electricity law awaiting approval from State Council: In an interview on CBC Egypt, Minister of Electricity and Energy Mohamed Shaker said the new electricity law was sent to the State Council for approval. Shaker said: “Hopefully, the President signs the law into effect before the Economic Development Conference next week.” Shaker further stated that the new law, which seeks to privatize both generation and distribution while leaving the government in charge of overall regulation and policy, resonates with the general framework of increasing investment in Egypt’s energy sector, particularly with the start of the Economic Development Conference in a few days in Sharm El Sheikh. (Read in Arabic)
Dual nationals will be allowed to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections after the Supreme Constitutional Court struck down an article barring them from running. (Read in Arabic)
Barron’s cover the performance of the Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF, which appreciated 5% last week, and post an interview with CIB Chairman Hisham Ezz El Arab. Ezz El Arab talked about CIB’s ownership structure, market presence, and growth opportunities. He is sanguine about the current infrastructure and energy investments saying that “green energy especially solar and wind are an opportunity. The area south of Suez, to Sudan, is an ideal area for wind farms. We have space in the desert for solar fields. Egypt has a lot of open land,” but worries about regional political factors.
SODIC recorded a net profit of EGP 154.3 mn in 2014 on a top line of EGP 1.37 bn. This is a turnaround for a EGP 477.1 mn loss registered in 2013. (Read)
EFG Hermes chief Karim Awad sits for a long interview with Arabian Business to discuss his outlook on EFG’s operations from 2013-2015 as well as his views on MENA and Egypt: “We want to refocus the business on three main lines: infrastructure-specific, yielding assets, as well as consumer-related businesses. We added around USD 200 mn of assets under management to our private equity business in 2014, through buying, in conjunction with co-investors, a stake in a collection of wind farms in France.” (ReadEFG Hermes: How patience turns to profit)
New railway company: Khalid Farouk, deputy chief Egyptian National Railways, expects to soon announce the creation of a new railroad company that will explore light rail opportunities in partnership with the private sector. The news comes as Ahmed Hamed, president of Egypt’s Railway Authority, said that 15 illegal crossings have been shut down following the latest in a string of accidents at illegal crossings, Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.
U.S. spy chief says 40 Americans who went to Syria have returned: Borrowing a page from Morsi’s playbook, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has commented on the 40 Americans who have returned to the United States from Syria, saying as long as they had not become engaged in violence, returning to the U.S. was their “privilege as American citizens.” However, Clapper does not display any certainty over what these individuals were doing were in Syria: “Some might have been aid workers, he said.” Clapper is of course best known for his testimony in front of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee where he described the Ikhwan in Egypt as “largely secular,” (Watch, running time: 55 seconds), prompting the NIA to issue a statement the same day clarifying his comments. Their statement read that what Clapper had actually meant to say was that the political system which Mubarak created and which the Ikhwan participated in was secular.
U.S. to offer Gulf states nuclear umbrella against Iran: Israeli newspaper Haaretz takes note of an article in Al Hayat that states that the U.S. will offer Gulf Arab states a “nuclear umbrella” as protection against Iran. The report emerged on the heels of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Read in Haaretz)
EGYPT IN THE NEWS
As is often the case, there is a divergence in the “hard news” on Egypt in the past few days – the BP deal, the cabinet reshuffle, the preliminary agreement between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the Renaissance Dam and sharing of the Blue Nile water – and the stories that the international press is currently concerned.
The two lead stories on Egypt in the foreign press over the past few hours have focused on the news of the carrying out of the first execution of a Morsi supporter, namely one of the individuals shown in a video throwing a teenager off of the rooftop of a building in Alexandria in 2013. The trial itself is noted for irregularities, including the imprisonment of one of its lawyers, as noted by the NYT. The news also appeared in Al Jazeera, The Guardian, and Al Arabiya.
The next story taking up space in headlines is news of a “blue” movie (we can’t use any of the standard descriptors or we’ll be blocked from mailboxes) filmed near the Pyramids of Giza by Russian tourists. The 10-minute film appeared online over one year ago, but only has only now gained attention thanks to Al Masry Al Youm reprinting the story with blurred out photographs. (Read in Reuters)
Patrick Kingsley in The Guardian asks: ‘Will #SisiLeaks be Egypt’s Watergate for Abdel Fatah al-Sisi?,’ and answers himself in the final few paragraphs: “Nevertheless, the leaks have neither brought down the government not[sic] threaten to … Real or not, many Egyptians may also be neither surprised nor bothered by their content.” One must wonder how long it will take for the perpetrators of the leaks and the individuals who continue to insist on their importance to come to this painful realization. One can likely expect more leaks leading up to the investment summit, but for how long will they keep it up before they admit the leaks are not having the desired effect and that a significant majority in Egypt is unfazed? We have the rest of our lives to find out. (Read)
Investment Minister Ashraf Salman reviews Egypt’s recent political and economic progress, as well as a brief overview of some of the major projects that will be on offer at the Egyptian Economic Development Conference this week, in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled ‘Egypt’s Quiet Economic Revolution.’ (Read)
Gizmodo has picked up the story on the proposed Zayed Crystal Spark pyramid / obelisk-shaped skyscraper, in a piece that is heavily critical of Egypt for focusing on building high-rises when the country is still suffering from a lack of affordable housing. (Read Egypt is Building a New Pyramid)
Egypt signs two environmental protocols with Somalia and Sudan: Minister of Environmental Affairs Khaled Fahmy and Somali Minister of Environment signed an environmental memorandum for cooperation in the field of environmental planning, protection, wildlife preservation and the green economy. Similarly, Fahmy and Sudanese Minister of Environment and Urban Development Abdel Qader signed a fourth executive program in accordance with the environmental protection protocol previously enacted between the two countries in 2005. Fahmy said that the two signed protocols seek to increase efficiency and establish joint cooperation projects in industrial and agricultural projects, biofuels, development of green belts, development of the coast of the Red Sea and environmentally friendly policies to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. (Read in Arabic)
WHAT YOU CLICKED ON LAST WEEK
Norwegian blog Energi og Klima [Energy and Climate] published last week an English translation of an article originally released in January 2015 titled ‘What do we want with Statoil?’ The article is an in-depth look at the dim view the oil & gas industry has on the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) “450 scenario“ first presented in the IEA’s 2014 World Energy Outlook. The ‘450 Scenario’ aims for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere to c.450 parts per mn by 2050, in order to slow down expected climate change to 2℃, which would require a global agreement by 2020. The article notes that oil & gas players such as Statoil and ExxonMobil, despite nice-sounding statements embracing emissions regulations, view the actual achievement of the 450 scenario as “highly unlikely.” (Read What do we want from Statoil?)
In a related development, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) wrapped up its ministerial-level meetings in Cairo on Friday, issuing a statement titled the Cairo Declaration which sets the goal of taking action to reduce global temperature rises to below 1.5°C by 2100. “What is required, if the Green Economy is to effectively take off across Africa, is to scale-up investments and adopt the right mix of policy, incentives, enforcement, education capacity development and informational tools,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP.
Unedited Footage of a Bear: Released in December 2014, ‘Unedited’ is one of the more recent entries [redacted because of email filters] infomercial series. The short film begins with some amateur footage of a bear in the wild, before turning into an extended Lynchian allergy medication commercial that serves as a cautionary tale on the potential side effects of prescription drugs, such as being attacked and replaced by a violent doppelganger, as a metaphor for not quite acting like oneself. Since it’s running time of 10 and a half minutes is an eternity in the world of internet videos, a one-minute preview may be viewed here to help inform your decision before watching the short film in its entirety here. Directed by Alan Resnick and Ben O’Brien.
ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY & SUBSIDY REFORM
Egypt launches new solar power plant in Siwa
Aswat Masriya | 05 March 2015
Egypt launched on Thursday a 10MW solar power plant in Siwa, according to an announcement by the minister of electricity as reported by Aswat Masriya. Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said the new plant would generate was built at a cost of USD 25 mn, provided from a grant from the UAE signed last year whose total value is at USD 140 mn. (Read)
Ministry of Electricity owed EGP 20 bn from the government and private consumers
Al Borsa | 05 March 2015
EGP 20 bn are owed to the Ministry of Electricity from the government and private electricity consumers, a source at the ministry told Al Borsa. The public sector owes the ministry EGP 7 bn while the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater owes EGP 4 bn. While the electricity ministry has paid the Ministry of Petroleum EGP 1 bn days ago, the source said the oil ministry is still owed EGP 52 bn. (Read in Arabic)
Around 50,000 tons of coal arrive at Al Adabiya port
Al Shorouk | 05 March 2015
Al Adabiya port has received around 50,000 tons of coal arriving from South Africa, according to the Red Sea Ports Authority. Al Adabiya has prepared for shipment to ensure abiding by adequate environmental standards. The port authority said a representative from the Ministry of Environmental Affairs will be observing the unloading and transport process. (Read in Arabic)
OIL & GAS
EBRD supports sustainable development of oil and gas sector in Egypt
Press Release | 05 March 2015
The EBRD has inked an MoU with EGPC, EGAS and Ganope with a view to strengthening cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as air pollution while shoring-up energy security. The bank will conduct an evaluation study on reducing associated petroleum gas (APG) flaring” while also pursuing measures to “improve energy efficiency of the country’s refineries and raise the environmental, health and safety standards in the oil and gas industry.” The EBRD will also work with EGAS and EGPC to “explore opportunities to improve legislation” in the field. EBRD has committed more than EUR 740 mn to Egypt since beginning operations in Egypt in 2012. (Read)
EGAS’ gas agreements allow for extra LNG shipments
Al Shorouk | 05 March 2015
The agreements EGAS penned for LNG cargoes allow for extra shipments if required, a source at the Ministry of Petroleum told Al Shorouk. Extra shipments’ pricing will be linked to international oil price. The source added that the ministry is currently in processes of commissioning a new FSRU. (Read in Arabic)
Extending steel antidumping duty considered
Al Mal | 06 March 2015
The antidumping council is considering extending the anti-dumping duties imposed on steel imports. This follows complaints from domestic producers. The council is currently assessing domestic production and existing stocks and will present its report to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to make a final decision on the issue. (Read in Arabic)
NTRA and GSMA sign a digital inclusion MoU
Zawya | 05 March 2015
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA) and the GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) have signed an MoU to establish a framework of cooperation promoting Egypt’s mobile economy. The agreement also aims for a wider digital inclusion of Egyptians. The executive president of the NTRA said the MoU reflects the government’s intention “to develop a supportive regulatory environment that is based on international best practices and aimed at attracting long-term investment in mobile network infrastructure and services in Egypt” and includes including e-Government and mobile money. (Read in Arabic)
BANKING & FINANCE
Piraeus eager to finance energy projects at the Sharm summit
Al Borsa | 05 March 2015
Financing energy projects presented at the Sharm economic summit will be prioritised by Piraeus Bank. The bank is currently awaits the final list of projects that will be presented as well as their feasibility studies in order to look into the possibility of extending credit. Piraeus’ CEO expects mega-projects nationally to be able to absorb some of the idle liquidity in banks. (Read in Arabic)
OTHER BUSINESS NEWS OF NOTE
Holding companies to present 10 projects worth EGP 11 bn at EEDC for possible private investment
Youm7 | 07 March 2015
A source at the Ministry of Investment told Youm7 that state-owned holding companies will present to private-sector investors 10 projects worth nearly EGP 11 bn in Sharm next week, including three tourism projects worth nearly EGP 3 bn; three real estate projects worth EGP 4 bn; and four petrochemical projects worth EGP 4 bn. The 10 are among 18 projects to Investment Minister Ashraf Salman for possible investment by the private sector. (Read in Arabic)
Italian consultancy firm D’Appolonia wins bid to prepare Golden Triangle plan in Upper Egypt
Al Borsa, Ahram Online | 06 March 2015
Minister of Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced that Italian engineering consultancy firm D’Appolonia has won a bid to design the master plan for the Golden Triangle scheme to connect Safaga, Qena and Al-Qaseer in Upper Egypt. Abdel Nour confirmed that the Italian firm will have a maximum of nine months to prepare and present a comprehensive study and master design of the Golden Triangle plan. Abdel Nour added that the Golden Triangle represents a vital development project that will contribute to development of Upper Egypt’s mineral resources, agricultural projects and tourism activities. (Read in Arabicand in Ahram Online)
Construction of bridge in east Cairo to cost EGP 150 mn
Al Borsa | 07 March 2015
Governor of Cairo Galal Mustafa Saeed said that the Zakat Foundation Bridge currently under construction in Eastern Cairo will cost around EGP 150 mn. The bridge connects the Ring Road to Ein Shams, El Marg and El Matareya in effort to relieve traffic congestion in the Eastern part of Cairo. The bridge is 7 kilometers long and 40 meters wide and is set to become a key transportation thoroughfare in the congested Eastern Cairo. (Read in Arabic)
EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS
New investment law to attract European investments –James Moran
Amwal Al Ghad | 05 March 2015
The newly-passed investment law will attract new European investments to Egypt, according to James Moran, the EU ambassador to Egypt. Moran expects a large number of European businesses to attend the Sharm economic conference. He also noted that Egypt remains a strategic partner to EU member-states. (Read in Arabic)
ON YOUR WAY OUT
A Novel Solution to Public Urination: Walls That Splash Pee Right Back at You (City Lab)
Egypt to open Rafah crossing in both directions this week -state television (Aswat Masriya)
Ex-Mossad chief calls Netanyahu’s Congress speech ‘bulls—’ (The Hill)
Organizers of the Sharm investment conference have launched a Chinese website. The news comes as China Ports, CIC Investment and Huawei are among the participating companies, Al-Borsa reports.
Egypt will receive its first shipment of LNG in April.
BY THE NUMBERS
USD CBE auction (Thursday, 05 March): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday, 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Saturday, 07 March): 7.66 (unchanged since Wednesday, 04 March)
EGX30 (Thursday): 9,575.98 (+1.21%)
Turnover: EGP 478.1 mn (25% below the 90-day average)
WTI: USD 49.61 (-2.27%)
Brent: USD 59.73 (-1.24%)
TASI: 9,517.0 (+0.6%)
ADX: 4,587.2 (-1.8%)
DFM: 3,747.5 (flat, 0.00%)
KSE Weighted Index: 451.5 (-0.3%)
QE: 12,139.4 (+0.1%)
MSM: 6,526.5 (-0.3%)
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.
Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID: 553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.