Monday, 17 August 2015

El Sisi enacts tough new anti-terror law late Sunday night



We haven’t a clue why, but the algorithms that govern our delivery to your mailboxes were hyperactive yesterday. If you missed the Sunday edition of Enterprise, check our archive. As always, we’d like to take this moment to remind our friends and readers that the English edition of Enterprise is out before 7am Sunday through Thursday.

If ever we should fail to appear in your inbox, you can find us onlineWe’re on the web at the same time as we release to mailboxes.


The ‘heat dome’ remains firmly in place over the Middle East. The story in general — and its impact on Egypt in particular — continue to make international headlines. With the death toll now reportedly surpassing 100 as of late yesterday, with nearly 1,700 cases of heat stroke, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority say temperatures today are expected to be higher than 42 Celsius and nighttime humidity is estimated to be 80-85%. Stay indoors as much as possible today, folks.

The state’s Supreme Council for the Press unveiled yesterday what they called a “revised” draft law to regulate the nation’s press and media space. For those who can’t wait for us to take a deep dive into the law tomorrow, Al-Ahram runs what appears to be the complete text. The draft would require that media outlets be entirely owned by Egyptian citizens or corporations and would require that all media companies are headed by Egyptian nationals who are members of the Press Syndicate.

Egypt is set to host the 7th African Consumer Protection Dialogue Conference today. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy are set to attend alongside representatives from 15 African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa among others, Al Masry Al Youmreported.


Hamas delegation, headed by senior leader Ismail Haniyeh, will visit Cairo on Tuesday, Youm7 reports. The delegation will visit several countries in the region including Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The first day of school at state-run universities will be Saturday, 26 September, the Supreme Council of Universities has ruled, according to Al-Ahram.

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Magdy El Galad devoted the lion’s share of Hona El Assema to coverage of the Tax Authority employees’ demonstrations against the Civil Service Act. Individuals who oppose the act misunderstand its provisions, explained El Galad, taking the government’s side in the matter.

Sunday night’s guests were human resources experts Dr. Ahmed Sakr, a critic of the new law, and Dr. Tarek El Hossary, a supporter of the act and advisor to Planning and Administrative Reform Minister Ashraf El-Araby.

Sakr: “The Civil Service Act’s remuneration scheme will fail to attract the most qualified candidates to government positions. These candidates will continue to prefer private sector employment over positions in the government.”

Tarek El Hossary: “While I agree that the legislation has its shortcomings, this act is a small yet integral element of the government’s strategy to overhaul the bureaucratic, inefficient administrative system on which the state runs.” El Hossary also said it is untrue the act will result in salary cuts for some government employees.

Meanwhile, Diaa Rashwan played lead host at Al Qahera Al Youm for a second consecutive night. The program focused primarily on the particulars of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s address earlier in the day to a military audience. Rashwan commended El Sisi on his ability speak extemporaneously, describing his oratory style as being more genuine and intimate than the formal Arabic that is most often heard during such occasions.

“The president’s speech today touched upon all of the issues that pertain to Egypt’s future. He didn’t discuss the agony of the past. He was completely focused on elucidating the bright future that lay ahead for the country and its citizens. He did not discuss the past, a period in time that an illegal organization [in reference to the Ikhwan’s commemoration of Rabaa] has been trying to exploit.”


How much more expensive can homes in Cairo get?

Much more, according to the minimum accepted bidding price in the latest government auction. Plots of land in New Cairo (35-150 acres) have just been announced at prices crossing the EGP 3,000 per square meter mark, with bids lower than EGP 2,900 per sqm being rejected. The largest plot of land (150 acres) was announced at EGP 3,290.

About a year and a half ago, SODIC was awarded its 301-acre plot in New Cairo at a price of EGP 1,915 per sqm — at the time, a record for a parcel of that size. The price in 2014 was driven by a lack of government land auctions from 2010 till late 2013, leaving developers in dire need of land. What resulted was the 40% price jump passed on to the end user — a price jump we all witnessed in the residential housing market last year. Upper-middle income prices rose from EGP 4,000-5,000 per sqm in 2011 to EGP 7,000-9,000 for core and shell offerings in the east and west of Cairo. Middle-income government offerings came in at prices hovering around EGP 4,000 in New Cairo.

Where do we go from here? Click here to read more.

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El Sisi enacts anti-terror law: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi officially signed into law the anti-terror law last night, according to presidency spokesperson Alaa Yousef, Al Shorouk reported. The law imposes penalties ranging from the death sentence to prison terms, deportation, and fines on a range of offenses. The most controversial aspects of the new law include provisions that grant the president the authority to close off an area, impose a curfew on it, or evict its residents, all for a period of six months; impose sanctions on journalists who report statistics in terror cases that deviate from the official norm; expanding powers of detention afforded to both police officers and prosecutors; limit the number of appeals in terror cases; and impose stiffer penalties on anyone convicted of funding terrorist organizations. Al-Ahram has embedded the full text of the law from the Official Gazette in its breaking news site; the Gazette entry was released just before midnight last night.

Jordan will begin pumping natural gas to Egypt soon at a rate of 200 mcf per day, according to Jordan’s deputy energy minister. Natural gas in surplus will be channeled to Egypt. Jordan’s daily needs of gas are 350 mcf and as Amman begins importing LNG cargoes, it will pump the excess amounts to Egypt via pipeline. Jordan had commissioned an FSRU with a capacity of 550 mcf per day, whose costs, according to a Jordanian official, will partially be covered by Egypt.

Israeli Cabinet approves blueprint for natural gas development: Minister in the Israeli cabinet approved the agreement on Sunday by a vote of 17-1, as reported by Bloomberg, with the only dissenting vote coming from the environmental protection minister, Arutz Sheva reports. The framework will now head to the Knesset for a final vote, where Netanyahu’s coalition holds a one-seat majority, according to Bloomberg.

Juhayna’s Board of Directors statement on Safwan Thabet asset freeze: Juhayna’s BoD issued a statement to the EGX clarifying that the state-ordered asset freeze to which JUFO chairman and CEO Safwan Thabet was subject on Thursday cover only his personal assets. In addition, “to the Board’s knowledge that decision has been issued without notifying Mr. Thabet and without taking any prior procedures before its issuance, and there are no charges pressed against him or judicial cases pending against him,” and that the administrative decision “has no bearing on Juhayna’s standing or relationships with governmental or non-governmental entities and no bearing on its shareholders.” (Read, pdf)

… Meanwhile, Egypt Independent ran a translation of an op-ed penned by the writer who goes by the pseudonym “Newton” in AMAY titled ‘What investment future?’ “A victim of this [the freezing and seizure of assets without proper investigations] is Safwan Thabet, a businessman who persuaded the largest producer of dairy products, a Danish-Swedish company, to invest in Egypt and export the goods to the world so as to bring in hard currency. Trade Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Investment Minister Ashraf Salman and International Cooperation Minister Nagla al-Ahwani were present at the signing of the contract. In other words, the government that blesses his business is the same that seizes his funds without investigation or notification. It is true that Thabet’s grandfather was Al-Hudeiby, a leading Brotherhood figure. Is this his fault?” (Read)

We’ll have 4G mobile service in 1Q2016, CIT Minister Khaled Negm promised once more yesterday. The issuance of 4G licenses will allow for the introduction of a fourth mobile operator, which presumably will be Telecom Egypt, and allow the Ministry to issue a unified telecoms license. Negm also added that he aims to increase the number of internet users by 500k before the year’s end and set a floor for internet speeds at 2 Mbps, Reuters’ Ehab Farouk reports. Negm dodged the fundamental question of whether state-owned fixed-line monopoly TE will have to divest its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt before entering into competition with VFE, Mobinil and Etisalat.

Hijab hasn’t been banned in primary schools: Rest easy, conservatives: The kiddies in KG can still don the veil and trudge off to class, according to Hany Kamal, the Education Ministry’s spokesperson. Kamal was forced to do damage control after Education Minister Moheb Al-Rifai
made comments during a television appearance that were critical of the veiling of primary school students, causing a stir in both the domestic and international press. The minister had said children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood when he was asked about the possibility of banning hijab in the schools. Kamal said the issue is one of personal freedom. (Oh, and that photo of veiled “Egyptian” girls in the Independent link, above? That’s an AFP photo of schoolgirls in Gao, Mali. Classy as only Fleet Street can be, the Independent is.)

The domestic press is making much hay of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab’s call on Saturday night to Al Qahera Al Youm (covered in our Talk Show Round Up yesterday) to declare that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi isn’t entirely dissatisfied with the Council of Ministers’ performance.

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, other Islamist parties call for political dialogue to end polarization: Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya’s political arm, the Building and Development Party, called on Friday for a national dialogue to end ‘political polarization,’ as reported by Ahram Online. “We also call on media outlets and also all political and cultural elites to stop spreading hatred among Egyptians, which has produced a societal rift,” according to the party’s statement. Islamist party Al Watan on Friday also called for “the essence of national reconciliation on the basis of respecting law and the constitution,” in a separate statement.

The judiciary is reportedly divided over who should be appointed the nation’s next prosecutor general, leading to a delay in an appointment of over a month, Al Masryoon reports. Supreme Judicial Council head Gamal El Din Abdel Latif says five names are on the short list of candidates, three of whom must be chosen by the SJC sent to Ittihadiya, which will choose the appointee. Those on the short list reportedly include SJC member Adel El Shorbajy, Assistant Prosecutor General Zakariya Osman, Court of Appeals head Hisham Badawy, Criminal Court head Mohamed Fahmy (who presided over Ikhwan trials), and Deputy Justice Minister Adel El Saeed. Al Masryoon often takes an Islamist bent to its stories, so take the report with a grain

Tapping the ‘Golden Triangle’: A major conference will be held under the auspices of Prime Minister Mahlab at the end of August to discuss the most efficient means to tap develop mineral and other natural resources in the so-called Golden Triangle area (Safaga, Qena, Luxor). said the Industrial Development Authority head Ismail Gaber, according to Al Ahram. The IDA appointed Italy’s D’Appolonia in March to develop a master plan for the region. The Mahlab government subsequently declared the area a special economic zone and is expected to kick off a pilot development project next year. The Golden Triangle’s place in Egypt’s energy strategy is outlined in Oil Minister Sherif Ismail’s EEDC presentation.

Egypt plans to build the largest fish farming complex in the Middle East, announced President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Construction of the 23,000 acre aquaculture complex, which will be located in the East Port Said area, will take 1.5 years to complete, reports Al Borsa. In related news: The ministries of Agriculture and Supply also plan to invest in developing Nile-based fisheries to better exploit Nilotic fish. Furthermore,the Agriculture Ministry has pumped EGP 300 mn to revitalize the strategic animal husbandry program as part of the government’s newly launched extensive strategy to develop animal resources, focusing on cattle ranching, fisheries and poultry farms, said Agriculture Minister Salah Hilal on Sunday. The program was launched in the 1960s to ensure steady and cheap meat domestic supplies, but fell on hard times due to government negligence. Hilal added that the ministry also plans to launch an insurance fund for livestock, the SIS reports.

Trade and Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour inaugurated the first phase of the electronic international logistics monitoring system at the port of Alexandria on Sunday, accompanied by the ministers of Finance and Transport. At the ceremony he stated that the this system will be a node in a much larger electronics network linking all of Egypt’s major trade hubs and comes as part of government’s plan to facilitate imports and exports, boost the efficient flow of goods, and encourage business and investment, SIS reports.

SPOTLIGHT on El Sisi’s speech to the military’s Morale Affairs Department

President El Sisi ordered the armed forces to new communities in Sinai and the Western Region, Al Borsa reports. In a speech to the Moral Affairs Department of the Armed Forces on Sunday, the president urged political parties to choose their candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections with care. He also declared that Egypt is in the midst of administrative reforms that will not impede individual rights of citizens.

With that in mind, he also directed Administrative Control Authority Mohamed chief Gamal El Din to look into administrative issues and complaints that have been troubling investors, and to work out a plan to facilitate investment and encourage development, said presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef. According to Al Ahram, the President also ordered Gamal El Din to redouble efforts to root-out corruption.

Meanwhile, the president said the dredging of the New Suez Canal had cost EGP 20 bn, or around EGP 8 bn less than initial estimates, reports Al Borsa. He also announced that four tunnels will be built to connect the Canal with the Delta, adding that they will be done by the end of October 2016. The article does not specify whether this is linked to the new 30 June extension which will link to the Canal being developed by the Housing Ministry.

The President also ordered yesterday the expansion of the one mn feddan reclamation project by 500k feddans at his meeting with Prime Minister Mahlab and Ministers of Housing, Agriculture, and Water Resources, Al Ahram reports. The President issued directives that all state agencies are to give the project whatever resources it requires to hit the fast track.

SPOTLIGHT on 2Q2015 corporate earnings

Egyptian Resorts Company swings to net profit on 2Q2015 results, turning in an EGP 207 mn bottom line on an exceptional sales performance against a net loss of EGP 5.8 mn in the same period last year. Notably: “The first half of 2015 saw ERC close new land sale contracts bringing the total value of contracted land sales up to USD 74.5 mn with a weighted average contracted price per square meter of USD 116.” The full earnings release is here.

Property developer Medinet Nasr reported 2Q2015 net profit of EGP 62.415 mn, an increase from last year’s EGP 55.180 mn, the company said in a statement to the EGX on Sunday. It also reported an increase in its sales to EGP 181.368 mn from EGP 179.402 mn.

Arab Dairy reported consolidated 1H15 results, posting a net profit of EGP 2.85 mn, up from a net loss of EGP 22.6 mn from the same period last year. (Read)

Orascom Hotels and Development, a subsidiary of Orascom Development Holding (ODH) posted EGP 937 mn in revenues in 1H15, up from EGP 750 mn in 1H14, on the back of an increase in total sales for the period of 228%. Unaudited net profit reached EGP 154.7 mn, compared to a net loss of EGP 34.4 mn in the the same period last year, a growth rate of 25%. (Read, pdf)

Credit Agricole Egypt SAE reported a net profit after taxes of EGP 483 mn, a 55% increase for the same period last year, as it announced its full-year results for FY 2014/15 in a statement to the EGX (read in Arabic, pdf). The bank’s loan portfolio grew to EGP 14.4 bn, an 8.4% y-o-y rise, in the same period.

The National Bank of Kuwait (Egypt) has reported net earnings of EGP 284 mn, up nearly 60%year-on-year on an unspecified rise in net interest income, according to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA). Assets grew more than 43% y-o-y to EGP 33.8 bn, while deposits were up nearly 40% EGP 28.5 bn in the same period.


Edita: Trading at a premium — and under watch for potential valuation upgrade

Edita Food Industries reported a 13.1% y/y jump in its Q2-15 revenues to EGP 514.8m, which pushed its H1-15 revenues to EGP 1,043.7m, versus EGP 905.9m in H1-14. Revenues were bolstered by the 6.2% increase in the average consumer price of Edita’s products, and, even more so, by the addition of  three new production lines in H1-15 that pushed Edita’s total actual production to 26,832 tons in Q2-15, up from 24,015 tons during the same quarter a year earlier.

Despite the y/y surge in revenues, Edita’s net profit remained stable in Q2-15 at EGP 67.0m, mainly due to 1) additional costs associated with the ramp-up of the newly-added production lines, 2) one-off charges related to the company’s IPO, and 3) a 30.0% y/y increase in selling and distribution expenses in line with the company’s ongoing strategy to boost the ratio of direct to total sales to 50% by 2018 and expand its distribution footprint. Indeed, sales through retail and traditional channels accounted for 32% of total revenues in H1-15 versus 29% in H1-14. We view the shift to retail sales positively given that it cements the firm’s position as an attractive party in a potential value-accretive M&A transaction, which partly justifies that the stock is currently trading at a 20.8% premium to our DCF-based FV estimate. We’re also putting Edita under watch for a potential valuation upgrade — click here to learn why.


Alongside with FGM and garbage in the streets, alcohol is part of the ‘Holy Trinity’ of stories about Egypt for Foreign Journalists of a Certain Ilk. The Independent takes on Egypt’s penchant for alcoholic beverages in “Egypt’s alcohol restrictions have left consumers at the mercy of a single company or the option of drinking some potentially dangerous alternatives.” The piece mangles the history of Al Ahram Beverages’ privatization (Ahmed Zayat flipped it to Heineken in 2002 after first taking it off state hands), provides not a single detail of the development of the domestic alcohol industry and (mercifully?) works in references to knock-off brands without even bothering to get into booza and safinga.

The world’s next top model contest. And by world, we mean women of different nationalities coming to Gouna. And it’s more of a beauty pageant than a modelling contest, really, judging by the looks of its participants. The contestants come from around the world to compete in the pageant, being held in Gouna for the third-year in a row on 4 September, and is being organized by Panama-based pageant events company WBO. You can take a look at the 2015 contestants here, (no direct link is available; their photos may be viewed from the ‘Contestants’ tab), as well as the crowning ceremony of 2014’s winner Tania Cuero from Columbia here, (Watch, running time: 8:10).

Liverpool Echo has a story on one of the, uh, contestants, Sophie Brizzell, who travelled to China earlier this year, unaware that the event there had been cancelled. Brizzell notes that she and the other contestants will first endure boot camp training before the competition begins. Hopefully the pageant organizers have the foresight to hold this boot camp indoors, because we really don’t need any of these people dying from the heat.

Dar Al-Ifta accuses publication Middle East Eye of aiding terrorism: “Dar Al-Ifta’s Fatwa Monitoring Observatory said Sunday that ‘terrorist organisations’ have established fake media outlets in the West to ‘spread lies and rumours that target the reputation of Egypt,’” as reported by DNE. “It is clear, after a close monitoring of what is being published in Middle East Eye, that it supports terrorist organisations, where it publishes flawed reports in the West to draw an authoritarian image of the Egyptian regime, contrary to reality,” the observatory said.

Who actually died in Egypt’s Rabaa massacre?’: Oxford University researcher Neil Ketchley and professor Michael Biggs conducted statistical research for the Washington Post to try to tease out the socioeconomic profiles of those who died at Rabaa two years ago. They found that the fatality rate was not higher in districts that had voted for Morsi in the first round of the 2012 presidential election. Perhaps most interestingly, they found that the dead came from districts with low rates of illiteracy, which they suggest undercuts claims that the protestors were “half-educated” or “peasants”.


The Harvard Business Review looks at when and how companies should apologize in The Organizational Apology. “At some point, every company makes a mistake that requires an apology—to an individual; a group of customers, employees, or business partners; or the public at large. And more often than not, organizations and their leaders fail to apologize effectively, if at all, which can severely damage their relationships with stakeholders and their reputations, especially if the incidents become public (and publicized). Companies need clear guidelines for determining whether a misstep merits an apology and, when it does, how to deliver the message. In this article, we present an apology formula, drawn from our work and research in management and psychology, that provides a diagnostic and practical guidance on the who, what, where, when, and how of an effective apology.” (Read)


The trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie “The Hateful Eight” was released last week. (Watch, running time: 2:23)


Are you a serial killer of plants? Do you buy plants for your home or office after being told they’re appropriate for indoor settings, only to watch them wither and die? This flowchart from Lifehacker titled Find the Indoor Plant You Probably Won’t Kill may be just the thing for you / us, especially the decision tree on the far left hand side: “How much light does your room get? > I survive on artificial light > Have you killed plants in the past? > Yes > ZZ plant: ZZ plants [Zamioculcas] thrive with neglect.” (View flowchart). A ZZ plant is pictured here by the Cairo-based landscaping company Jardinage.


Egyptian FM pledges full support for Somalia’s political and constitutional road map: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry pledged his country’s continued support to help Somalia and its people succeed in achieving its 2016 political road map which includes ratifying a new constitution and parliamentary elections. He promised helping fighting terrorism in the area. Shoukry also offered help strengthening Somalia’s education system. (Read in Arabic)


Cyprus seeking more clarity on Israel’s gas agreement, floats export alternatives
Cyprus Mail | 14 Aug 2015
Cyprus still does not yet know how the agreement reached between Israel and its gas developers affects its own plans, Cyprus Mail reports. The “too many unknowns” include awaiting Israeli cabinet ratification, which would be followed by the Knesset’s, but even then, Noble and Delek will have to line out buyers before increasing their investments in the fields. Noting that pumping gas to Egypt is amongst three possible options for Noble, Cyprus Mail the gas producer would “need to drop the sale price to Egypt substantially, if BG in Egypt is to agree to buy the Leviathan gas and then re-export it to Europe at a competitive price, as LNG” especially as BG is reportedly seeking the lowest possible rate for Israeli gas. This would mean that Noble will have to also drop its domestic rates further. The publication floats its “best option” as an alternative, which, citing a gas expert, includes pooling gas from Israel’s Leviathan field and Cyprus’ Aphrodite, sending it to an LNG plant in Cyprus, and exporting to Europe via Turkey. (Read)

Oil Ministry to expand refineries to satisfy local demand
Al Borsa | 15 Aug 2015
The Oil Ministry is engaged in a refinery expansion program in Upper Egypt, Suez, Alexandria, and Cairo, according to Oil Minister Sherif Ismail. Ismail added that there currently new projects to produce middle distillates to increase domestic production and reduce imports. All of the expansion projects are tied closely to developing the pipeline network to accommodate the increased output, the Minister added. The story offers nothing in the way of news and is a recap of the ongoing program, but is significant for being touted in public at this moment. (Read in Arabic)

Government to extend a USD 500 mn payment to IOCs next month, Oil Minister says
Al Borsa (Print) | 16 Aug 2015
The government will likely repay USD 500 mn to IOCs next month, Oil Minister Sherif Ismail expects. In total, Egypt owes IOCs USD 3.5 bn, the Minister added noting that President El Sisi stressed, during his meeting with BG Group’s CEO Helge Lund, on the need to repay energy companies. Ismail said that 19 E&P agreements will be signed before the year’s end as well as tendering 11 concession areas for minerals’ E&P.

Drop in oil prices will benefit the Egyptian economy, says Ismail
Al Ahram | 16 August 2015
The collapse in crude oil price over the last three weeks will reflect positively on Egypt’s economic growth indicators, leading to cheaper imports of fuel, said Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail. As the country aims to increase its fuel imports to meet growing demand from both industry and consumers, the continued drop in oil prices will only facilitate economic policy. The minister expects that prices will hover between USD 40-USD 50 through year’s end. (Read in Arabic)


Union Company for Flour Mill seeks land for EGP 200 mn pasta factory in Suez Canal Axis
Al Borsa | 16 Aug 2015
Union Company for Flour Mill ins interested in building an EGP 200 mn pasta factory as part of the Suez Canal Axis Development Project. The company is waiting for the government to allocate land before taking further action, according to company president Atef Makram. Proximity to the canal will allow for direct import of wheat, he added. (Read in Arabic)

6 bn bread loaves distributed each month, Supplies Ministry says
Ahram Gate | 16 Aug 2015
The Supplies Ministry distributes 6 bn baladi bread loaves each month and this could increase by 5%, Minister Khaled Hanafy remarked. Being able to know this data is a “technological revolution” on its own, Hanafy added, noting that previous figures were estimates merely. The Minister added that citizens who have the electronic ration cards would soon be able to use them to access credit and loans with relaxed terms. (Read in Arabic)

28% drop in wheat imports this year, says Minister of Supply
Amwal Al Ghad | 15 Aug 2015
Wheat imports dropped 28% this year to 4.6 mn tons from 6.4 mn tons last year, said Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy. The bread and supply commodities systems have allowed for the availability of bread in big quantities and high quality, added Hanafy, in addition to allowing citizens to substitute bread points for other ration supplies. (Read in Arabic)


South Valley Cement Company completes EGP 200 mn coal mill in mid 2016
Amwal Al Ghad | 16 Aug 2015
The South Valley Cement Co will complete installing a EGP 200 mn coal mill required to shift its primary energy source from mazut to coal, by mid 2016. The company will need to import about 230k tons of coal annually to run its factory in Beni Suef, according to company manager Ahmed Ibrahim. (Read in Arabic)

Chamber of Metallurgical Industries calls on Abdel Nour to impose tariffs on imported steel
Al Mal | 15 Aug 2015
Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour promised he would study requests to impose 40% tariffs on steel tubes, and 30% tariffs on steel bars, to protect the local market from imports, especially Chinese steel, head of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries Gamal El Garhy said. (Read in Arabic)

Two new garbage recycling facilities in Kafr El Sheikh
Al Mal | 15 Aug 2015
Two new garbage recycling facilities will be constructed in the industrial zone in Matobas in Kafr El Sheikh by the end of the year, according to Kafr El Sheikh governor Osama Abdel Wahid.
The land for the facilities is currently being allocated and operations will begin as soon as possible, he added. 17 waste management companies have applied to work at the facilities, said Abdel Wahid. (Read in Arabic)


Ministry of Health preliminary agreement on increasing price of pharmaceuticals
Al Mal | 16 Aug 2015
The Ministry of Health gave a preliminary nod to increasing the price of pharmaceuticals, giving in to demands from the Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industries, which said its members are losing money, sources told Al Mal. The mechanism for increasing prices suggested by the chamber will be amended, according to the sources, to implement the increase in stages. The price rises will not be uniform. Pharmacies will be allowed a 5 ppt increase in profit margin under the proposed changes, with domestic drugs commanding a 25% margin and imported medicine an 18% margin. (Read in Arabic)

High school students protest renewed registration fees; police threaten arrest
Al Masry Al Youm | 16 Aug 2015
High school students in front of the Ministry of Education on 16 August continued their protest of both renewed registration fees and the adding of grades for “student behavior.” Police officers, on the other end, threatened students to leave the protest and stop blocking traffic or “get arrested.” (Read in Arabic)

** Further reading in Health & Education: Khaled Montasser’s translated op-ed from AMAY regarding a smear campaign launched against Sovaldi by individuals he describes as “certain people who had hoped they would be chosen for the National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis, or doctors whose clinical business has dropped when the Health Ministry tightened control[s] … to ensure … proper treatment.” (Read:Has Hepatitis C mutated and triumphed over Sovaldi?)


Arab Contractors agree to three projects in sub-Saharan Africa
Amwal Al Ghad | 16 Aug 2015
Arab Contractors said they signed three large project agreements as part of its plans to expand southward. The three agreements are in sub-Saharan Africa and include building a pediatric hospital in Uganda. The projects also include building 1,000 residential units and a pharmaceuticals plant in Equatorial Guinea where Arab Contractors is looking to be involved in a number of expansion. (Read in Arabic)

Mediterranean Contracting to build EGP 200 mn residential project in Cairo
Amwal Al Ghad | 16 Aug 2015
Mediterranean Contracting Company is building an EGP 200 mn residential project in New Cairo, Amwal Al Ghad reported. The project will be completed over three phases and is commissioned by a real estate investment company. Construction works of the project, which is located near the AUC campus, will commence “within the next few months” and is set to be delivered by mid-2016. (Read in Arabic)

Investors accuse Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development causes losses to state
Al Mal | 16 Aug 2015
A number of agricultural investors have filed a case against the Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development accusing it of causing losses to the state of some EGP 3 bn by building on more land than they were originally allocated for Shorouk and Badr cities. (Read in Arabic)


Luxor governor has heat-defying plan to revitalize tourism
Al Mal | 16 Aug 2015
The governor of Luxor Mohamed Badr has agreed to open touristic and antiquity sites in Luxor to the public at nighttime, to revitalize tourism coming to Luxor that has been stagnant since the 2011 uprising. Hotel occupancy rates in Luxor are currently at 9%, the highest in a long time, according to Badr. The Luxor and Karnak temples have been equipped with state of the art lighting systems to pave the way for one and two day trips coming from Marsa Alam and Sharm El Sheikh. (Read in Arabic)


Munufeya Governorate to license Tuk-Tuks
Al Masry Al Youm | 16 Aug 2015
Munufeya Governor Hisham Abdel Baset announced on 16 August the officially licensing of tuk-tuks in the governorate. All tuk-tuks held by traffic authorities for than a month will risk confiscation and a EGP 100 fine every day until claimed by its owner. Abdel Baset further said that designated tuk-tuk routes will be provided in the governorate. This comes after the three-wheeled vehicles have been banned in a number of Cairo neighborhoods. (Read in Arabic)


CIB to activate clearing house service agreement with Vodafone and Etisalat
Daily News Egypt | 16 Aug 2015
CIB is activating an agreement with Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Egypt to include them in its Automated Clearing House (ACH) service “in the upcoming period,” Daily News Egypt reported. ACH services are based on “transfers of financial transactions between banks and clients, whether direct debit transfer or direct deposit” to provide a “tool for direct debit and direct deposit, and is based on aggregating and liquidating all financial transfers resulting from electronic transactions in the banking sector.” The bank already serves ACH credit clients operating in 16 fields. (Read)

EDEPCO to negotiate USD 125 mn loan
Al Mal | 16 Aug 2015
The East Delta Electricity Production Company is in the process of negotiating a USD 125 mn loan to finance the acquisition of spare parts and components for its power plants, sources told Al Mal. The newspaper places the story in the context of the Ministry of Electricity’s third emergency plan involves increasing the national grid’s total output by 3,400 MW, at a total cost of USD 2.7 bn. (Read in Arabic)


Private Security Division appeals regulatory law
Al Mal | 16 Aug 2015
The Private Security Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce will appeal the private security practice law on the grounds of it being unconstitutional, according to division vice president Sayed Abdel Wanees. The division is set to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Interior to discuss article 8 of the law that requires private security companies to pay EGP 100k for the license to practice, with Ministry of Interior, Armed Forces, and General Intelligence affiliated companies exempted from this clause. (Read in Arabic)


Egyptian exports down 14% y-o-y in 1H2015
Amwal Al Ghad | 16 Aug 2015
Preliminary statistics indicate that Egyptian exporting activities continued to drop in 1H2015, the head of the General Organisation for Export and Import Control said. Exports are down 14% y-o-y, making achieving the government’s target of reaching a total exports value of USD 28 bn unlikely. The data was passed on to Industry and Trade Minister Mounir Fakhry and is being revised prior to its official release. (Read in Arabic)

Al Wafd’s reform faction charges El Badawy with mismanagement
Al Ahram | 16 Aug 2015
The breakaway reformist faction of the Al Wafd party has lobbied a series of charges against party head El Badawi—who was recently sentenced to 3 years in jail—including mismanaging the party politically and financially, in its first press release marking the opening of the separatists’ new offices. The press release also stated that the “Al Wafd Reformist Front” party will seek to run in the elections as part of “a larger coalition of nationalist parties.” (Read in Arabic) The rift in Al Wafd is part of a larger Ahram Online piece pointing to “Egypt’s non-Islamist political parties in disarray,” citing similar convulsions within the Dostour Party. Hala Shukrallah resigned from her position as President of the Dostour Party on 16 August, citing “complicated conflicts” that threaten the continuation of the party.


In an Armed Forces seminar yesterday, President Abdel Fattah ElSisi urged university graduates to work as truck drivers to “build Egypt”, Al Mal reports. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said that graduates should work as tuk-tuk drivers in the face of diminishing public sector jobs. (Watch in Arabic, running time 2:03)

Qalaa Holdings is organizing conference entitled “Developing Solutions for Internal Transport in Egypt” set to take place on 9 September, announced Karim Sadek, managing director at the company. In addition to exploring the logistics sector, the conference will aim to encourage businesses to invest in Africa, Al Mal reports.

The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation will buy the nation’s cotton crop after coming to an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, says head of the Farmer’s Union Mohamed Farag. (Read in Arabic)

TUI Group expects that the June terrorist attack in Sousse, Tunisia to cost the company EUR 35-40 mn in its current financial year, Reuters reported. The impact of the attack on TUI was flagged as EUR 10 mn in the third quarter, an amount that Chief Executives Peter Long and Friedrich Joussen said would be increased by EUR 25 mn in the fourth quarter. Many of the victims of the terrorist attack were on TUI holidays.

Al Ahly reach Egypt Cup semis after defeating Ittihad El-Shorta 5-0. (Watch in Arabic, running time: 4:58)


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