Monday, 26 October 2015
Alex Governor El Messeiry resigns after five die in flash floods, El Sisi calls emergency Cabinet meeting (Speed Round)
Central Bank of Egypt leaves USD:EGP rate unchanged at yesterday’s auction (Speed Round)
Olayan emerging as likely winner of bid for Qalaa’s Rashidi El Mizan (Speed Round)
GB Auto in deal with Aboul Fotouh to add Chery cars to its portfolio (Speed Round)
By the Numbers + What does the CBE’s management shuffle mean?
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has called for Cabinet to hold an emergency meeting this morning, AMAY reports, in response to the flooding from heavy rains in Alexandria, which so far have claimed five lives. Prime Minister Ismail accepted Alexandria governor Hani El Messeiry’s resignation late Sunday evening. More on the flooding and the governor’s resignation follow in Last Night’s Talk Shows and Speed Round, below.
As a result of the emergency Cabinet meeting, the American Chamber of Commerce is postponing its luncheon with Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil, originally scheduled to take place today. A new date is to be announced.
The capital city can expect muggy weather and temperatures in the mid-20s today, the Weather Authority forecasts, with a chance of showers. Look for heavier rains in Alexandria, Sinai and elsewhere, with a continued flash flood warning in effect for Sinai and the Red Sea governorate.
Egyptian expatriates will begin casting their votes in the run-off phase of the first round of parliamentary elections today, reports Al-Ahram. 222 candidates will be on the ballot. Expats vote today and tomorrow; voters in Egypt head to the polls Tuesday and Wednesday.
UN special envoy to Libya in Cairo for two-day visit: UN Special Envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon will conclude his two-day visit to Cairo today to discuss the ongoing crisis in Libya. Bloomberg has a good summary on how the proposed peace agreement has thus far fallen apart beyond a 20 October deadline. The AFP reports that a peace rally in Benghazi against the unity agreement was attacked by unknown assailants at the time of writing, leaving at least 12 reported dead thus far.
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING THIS WEEK
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will begin a tour of the UAE, Bahrain and India on Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef announced on Saturday (read in Arabic). El Sisi will visit the UAE and Bahrain first before heading off to India to attend the third annual India-Africa Forum Summit.
Also happening this week:
ON THE HORIZON
1 November: Turkish general elections. Following a vote last June which failed to give Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP Party the supermajority he needed in order to be able to introduce a constitutional amendment to transform Turkey into a presidential system of government, Erdoğan will to try again, next week. Last June, Erdoğan’s plan was thwarted by the pro-Kurdish HDP Party, which managed to secure 80 seats or 12% of the chamber, marking the first time Kurds were elected to Turkey’s Parliament. Co-chaired by Selahattin Demirtaş, a politician whose popularity and outreach to non-Kurdish seculars and liberals have made him a rival to Erdoğan (who still enjoys enormous popularity), the HDP appears to be the only force in Turkish politics who may be able to once again stymie Erdoğan’s efforts. Bloomberg suggests Erdoğan may attempt a third election if he still doesn’t get his way this time around.
LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
Egypt’s talk shows focused squarely on the deadly flooding in Alexandria.
“This is not the first time that we witness flooding in the streets of Alexandria, yet the government has done very little to solve the problem. Lives were lost because of this year’s flooding… What saddens me the most is that these deaths were preventable,” said Lamis El Hadidy, host of Hona El Assema.
Parliamentary candidate Farag Amer called-in with some additional commentary: “Alexandria could have taken steps to avoid this crisis… I told [now-former governor] Hani El Messeiry that he lacked the decision making capabilities that his position of governor requires. He failed to have any plan to address this recurring crisis”
Meanwhile, Amr Adeeb, host of Al Qahera Al Yom, took the opportunity to attack Prime Minister Sherif Ismail for failing to make any public comments on the crisis.
Adeeb: “I cannot stand the governor of Alexandria. But he is not the only one to blame for this crisis. This issue has plagued Alexandria for several years, yet the government, as a whole, has continued to ignore it… Where is Prime Minister Sherif Ismail? Why are you silent? We have not seen you do anything. You should at least visit the mother of the children that died [during the flood].”
Ibrahim Eissa was also in a particular fiery mood on Wednesday night, sparing no time in attacking the government for the flooding in Alexandria.
“I don’t understand how the government can promote mega-projects to investors, when it is incapable of providing Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city, with a proper sewage system,” said the perplexed host. Eissa then attacked government for appointing El Messeiry as governor of Alexandria “What criteria was used in the selection of Messeiry as governor? He has no experience [in government]. His career was entirely in the private sector. This is a serious problem in Egypt: Government appointments are arbitrary. Individuals are selected for roles whose skills they clearly do not possess.”
A MESSAGE FROM SODIC
Come run against cancer with SODIC and the Cairo Runners this Friday
SODIC is proud to partner with Cairo Runners for a special 6 kilometre charity run this coming Friday, 30 October 2015. All funds raised will benefit Baheya Cancer Hospital, the first hospital in Egypt and the Middle East to specialise in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. All services at the hospital are free and are extended to all women who enter the premises.
TO PARTICIPATE: Registration is at 7:30am at Westown Hub, with the run getting underway at 8:00am sharp. Runners of all ages are welcome. Meet at Westown Hub at 7:30am sharp on Friday, 30 October 2015. Donations can be made at that time or anytime prior at SODIC Headquarters in SODIC West. Tap here to learn more.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail accepted Alexandria Governor Hany El Messeiry’s resignation on Sunday, according to AMAY, appointing the deputy governor on an interim basis. Ismail also called on the president of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater to monitor the Alexandria situation. Administrative Prosecution Authority chief Sameh Kamal said he had opened an investigation into whether local administration and municipality officials in Alexandria were negligent in failing to prepare for the floods, which have left as many as five people dead.
We also note that Ismail announced on Sunday that Cabinet will allocate EGP 75 mn to upgrade Alexandria’s rain drainage system, which is primarily to blame for the annual flooding in the nation’s second-largest city, Ahram Online reports. The same piece quotes Messeiry as saying that the drainage system had not been upgraded in 15 years.
All of which begs the question: Why are ministers, governors and other public officials expected to absorb blame and resign for incidents caused by decades of under-investment? Be it a new transportation minister who is sacked for an accident early in his tenure that was the result of decrepit infrastructure and lack of funds to repair it. Or the absence hard currency to buy imported medicine blamed instead on the health ministry’s “lack of follow-up.” Or the calls for the removal of electricity ministers during power cuts… How can the political system advance in a country in which (we would argue) a majority of the chattering class believes in transparent scapegoating? If government bodies were given adequate resources to address long-term problems, perhaps then they could be held accountable. It is difficult to argue that good people such as El Messeiry should set aside private-sector careers to answer the call to serve the nation when their fate as sacrificial goats seems pre-ordained.
Devaluation Watch: The CBE kept the exchange rate unchanged at auction yesterday at EGP 7.9301 per USD 1. Reuters says the USD weakened on the parallel market EGP 8.25 from EGP 8.50 per USD 1. This week’s second auction is scheduled for tomorrow.
The World Bank has still not reached a decision on whether it will loan Egypt the USD 3 bn which Hany Dimian announced two weeks ago, Al Borsa reports, citing a source at the bank. The newspaper adds that negotiations on the final amount and payments are ongoing and that it is still too early in the game to make such a call. The FX crunch had prompted the government to seek “emergency financing” of USD 5 bn from the World Bank and the AfDB.
Plans to commission a fourth FSRU have been shelved, EGAS Chairman Khaled Abdel Badie told reporters yesterday. Egypt is still on track to import LNG until 2020, but the discovery of Zohr and expected production from North Alexandria allowed the government to cancel plans to for a fourth FSRU and to postpone the commissioning of a third one until 1Q2017. Abdel Badie said the third FSRU will be docked at the Sumed terminal. (Read in Arabic)
Speculation on Hisham Ramez’s next move: DNE quotes sources who believe Ramez is poised to become the next Chairman of the Arab International Bank, succeeding Gamal Negm, the CBE’s deputy Governor. “The AIB was established in 1974 following an international treaty ratified by Egypt, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and UAE … to carry out the all the banking, financial, and commercial works related to the economic development and foreign trade projects, especially for member states, and other Arab countries,” DNE writes. The paper says the market does not think it is likely that Ramez will return to CIB, which he left in early 2013 to assume the Central Bank’s governorship.
Saudi-based conglomerate Olayan Group is nearing an acquisition of Qalaa Holdings’ confectionary maker Rashidi El-Mizan. The final terms and conditions for the acquisition are being worked out, with the agreement expected to close next week, Al Borsa reports. Olayan, which is run by famed Saudi business woman Lubna Al Olayan, reportedly beat out Beltone and Halwani Bros, among other suitors for the storied halawa and tahina maker.
OTMT submits offer for Beltone Financial Holding: Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) and ACT Financial submitted a mandatory tender offer to acquire 100% of Beltone’s shares yesterday, with a minimum offer for 51% of the shares, according to a statement sent to the bourse (PDF).
GB Auto is adding Chery vehicles to its brand portfolio after entering into a tripartite cooperation agreement with Chery International of China and Aboul Fotouh (AF Automotive). GB Auto will “exclusively distribute Chery-brand vehicles through its nationwide network in Egypt,” according to a company statement. AF Automotive will “continue to assemble Chery models at its Egyptian facilities, while GB Auto will be responsible on an exclusive basis for order planning, marketing and distribution,” the statement read. (Read the release in English or in Arabic, pdf)
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser briefed President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday on progress the company has made on three power plants with a combined capacity of 14.4 GW, according to a statement released last night by Ittihadiya. Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker told the president during the sit-down that Siemens has so far met its production schedule. Siemens is is building six 500 KV transmission stations to feed power generated by the three plants into the national grid and is also working on “improving the efficiency of [plants including] the Ataka and El Kureimat stations, which will add a capacity of 800 megawatts to Egypt’s national grid by next summer.”
The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority issued new amendments to the Listing Regulations barring any company insiders from trading in securities of their company for five days before any major company announcement and up to one day any after such announcement is made. Investors owning 20% of a company must now disclose to the EGX their intention to trade in the stock in advance. This ceiling stood at 10% before the amendments were introduced. Al Mal has more. The news comes as EFSA plans to amend the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Law to allow the formation of investment funds designed to support finance sustainable development and charitable projects.
Matrouh Governor Gen. Alaa Abu Zayd reportedly signed 15 MoUs for investments in retail, tourism and industry at the Matrouh investment conference. Shorouk is reporting staggering numbers for these MoUs: a USD 10 bn port development project and series of development projects in Siwa worth USD 12 bn. DNE is reporting that Dubai-based real estate developer Mada’in Properties signed with Saudi investors to establish real estate, agriculture and tourism projects, while Cairo Post is reporting that an MOU was signed with Korean investors for an international medical tourist resort, which hopes to attract five mn tourists.
Brotherhood businessman Hassan Malek is now said to have been interrogated on charges he financed Brotherhood activities and not on allegations he was involved in a scheme to destabilize the Egyptian pound. Malek’s lawyer, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsood, said prosecution never indicted his client on charges of harming the national economy. Malek reportedly admitted during an eight-hour interrogation that a member of the Ikhwan, but denied he held a leadership position in the outlawed group. An unnamed security official told Youm7 on Sunday that Malek’s business partner, Karam Abdel Galil, owner of Noran and Al Tawhid Exchange Company, has had a history of “fraudulent currency trading” and was previously arrested in 2001 and 2003. Malek’s wife, according to the same source, had been accused in 2004 and 2005 of various “economic crimes.” Domestic media has cheered the investigation, publishing stories about Malek’s businesses and alleged stockpiles of cash. This Youm7 piece is a case in point.
Alexandria University denied that scientist Essam Heggy’s lecture at its campus was cancelled due to national security concerns, Aswat Masriya reports, but rather that students who had invited Heggy to speak had not secured the appropriate permits ahead of time. The students who had organized the lecture similarly stated that the event was cancelled due to security concerns.
M&A activity in the GCC may seem in good health, “but that’s far from the case,” Bloomberg Businessweek says. “There are a few … [agreements] here and there but not enough to justify a presence of a large operation on the ground,” the Ashmore Group’s John Sfakianakis notes. What’s to blame? Low oil prices, poor sentiment regionally, and increased emerging market volatility are driving the lack of activity. However, some transactions are still moving forward, including a USD 5 bn bid for 49% of Chinese firm Sandong Dongming Petrochemicals by two Qatari companies and a USD 2.8 bn bid by the Emirates National Oil Company for 46% of Dragon Oil. Still, investors are looking for stability: “We hope to see stable oil prices. I don’t think it will make much of a difference at which level they stabilise … Once the level of volatility is reduced, once the impact of the potential slowdown in emerging markets is much clearer than it is today, then investors will find it easier to make decisions and to execute their strategic plans,” Ahmed El Guindy, head of investment banking at EFG Hermes, commented.
Carnivores, we have a problem: The internet is awash with news of a World Health Organization report that should come out today that will possibly list red and processed meats alongside cigarettes, alcohol, and asbestos as cancer-causing substances.
EGYPT IN THE NEWS
The lead story on Egypt in the foreign press this morning is news of the severe weather ongoing in some parts of Egypt and the region as a whole, as in reports by the AFP, the Japan Times, and the UAE’s The National. Most international reports on the flooding in Egypt is accompanied with reports on the flooding in Lebanon creating streams of garbage in the streets (watch in Arabic, running time: 37 seconds).
Egypt’s youth don’t care about elections, but they still want a democracy: Farid Y. Farid writes for Quartz on the low voter turnout in the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections. Farid finds a common theme we have pointed to time and again, when he quotes a young voter as saying: “The candidates themselves running are not known to us residents,” he said. “They have banners everywhere but no one knows what they are about”. (Read)
What Drives Success? The New York Times, 2014. “While Asian-American kids overall had SAT scores 143 points above average in 2012 — including a 63-point edge over whites — a 2005 study of over 20,000 adolescents found that third-generation Asian-American students performed no better academically than white students … the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.” (Read)
Our Brand is Crisis. This 2005 documentary follows American political strategists hired to run Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada’s 2002 campaign for the Bolivian presidency. Watch it as a documentary now before the George Clooney-produced comedy adaptation with Sandra Bullock coming out later this year ruins the whole thing. (Watch the trailer for the 2005 documentary, running time: 1:46)
IMAGES OF THE DAY
Women laughing alone with salad. This, the original post in 2011 shocked global consciousness into awareness that there was an inexplicably recurring theme in stock photographs of women alone yet having the times of their lives with salad. Women laughing alone with salads also makes an excellent Halloween costume.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir in Cairo to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional conflicts. Al Jubeir extended an official invitation from King Salman to El-Sisi to attend the Summit of South American-Arab Countries, which will be held in Riyadh in November. Al Jubeir also relayed the King’s offer to form an Egyptian-Saudi cooperation and coordination council, to coordinate on regional and bilateral policy, AMAY reports. At an earlier meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Al Ahram reports that both sides saw eye to eye on regional crises, papering over the burgeoning Russian-Egyptian friendship. Al-Jubeir reiterated Saudi-Arabia’s stance that there should be no role in Syria’s future for Al Assad, Yahoo News reports. Neither side commented on the delayed aid from the Gulf.
Mahmoud Hegazy, the Military’s Chief-of-Staff travelled, to Madrid to hold meetings with Spanish officials to enhance military cooperation, Al Shorouk reported.
Interest expressed in third licensing round in Cyprus, Egyptian companies interested in Cypriot gas, minister says
Energy companies are showing interest over a third E&P licensing round in Cyprus EEZ following the discovery of Zohr in Egypt’s, Cyprus Mail reported. “What I can tell you is that those who showed more interest are the ones who have the geological data of our area and they can better understand what the Zohr discovery means for them,” Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said without specifying a timeframe for when the third licensing round will be opened. He added that Egyptian companies remain interested in Cypriot gas. (Read)
NBE setting up syndicate for EGP 4.9 bn loan to power companies
The National Bank of Egypt is looking to put together a syndicate to loan Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) EGP 3 bn and a further EGP 1.9 bn to the Cairo Electricity Production Company (CEPC). The loans will be used to fund operations, maintenance and upgrades, said an official from NBE.
Another BG meeting, another payment reassurance
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla met with BG’s chief of operations to discuss the company’s operations and to reassure the petroleum giant once more that Egypt will meet its commitments. Upcoming projects at BG include developing the West Delta B-9 field, said the Prime Minister’s spokesperson Hussam Al Qaweesh. (Read in Arabic)
NREA to announce shortlist for 250 MW wind power plant tender in February
The NREA will draw up a short list of companies qualifying for a build-own-operate (BOO) tender to build a 250 MW wind power plant in February, said NREA head Mohamed El Sobky. 22 foreign and local companies including Saudi’s Aqua Power, GD France, and US-based First Solar have applied for the tender which was issued in August to build the EGP 2 bn plant. (Read in Arabic)
Badr City to announce Rubiki highway tender winner in 1.5 months
The Arab Contractors and Hassan Allam Abd have submitted competing bids for Badr City Municipality’s tender to improve the efficiency of Rubiki highway. The project to develop the 12 km highway will take approximately 12 months to complete. The Municipality will announce the winning bid within the next month and a half. (Read in Arabic)
BASIC MATERIALS + COMMODITIES
Calls for the government to remove controls on fertiliser prices
The government should remove the controls on the price of prices of fertilisers, the head of the Chemical Industries Holding Company told Al Borsa. The companies engaged in contracts with the government and incurring severe losses because they are committed to provide their product at the government-mandated subsidised prices, he adds. This is despite a 20-25% increase in input prices over the past two years on top of the increase in gas prices. (Read in Arabic)
New pier in Damietta Port to be built for MOPCO products
The Misr Fertilizer Production Company’s (MOPCO) USD 1.9 bn expansions have prompted the Damietta Port Authority to consider constructing an entire pier to accommodate exports from the expansions, said Port Authority head Gen. Bahry Saleh. The exports are expected to generate USD 750 mn in annual revenues. (Read in Arabic)
EMRA to tender sites for gold exploration in 1Q2016
The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) is preparing to issue a tender for gold exploration in 1Q2016, Amwal Al Ghad reported. EMRA has already issued tenders for nine concession areas for eight different materials this month. The Authority is also looking to finalise issuing 90 E&P licences in order to expand the extractive sector further still. (Read in Arabic)
Misr Spinning and Weaving Company’s workers strike continues for a fifth day
Workers at Misr Spinning and Weaving Company continued their strike for a fifth day on Sunday. They shuttered operations and staged a sit-in at the factory, demanding a 10% raise ordered by the president, in reference to a decree issued by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi that workers in state-owned industries that don’t fall under the provisions of the Civil Service Law would receive a 10% raise. However, the Cotton Textiles Industries Holding Company and Holdipharma have both refused to issue the bonuses, after the Finance Ministry stipulated in October that the bonuses do not apply to state-owned companies, Al Borsa reports. The strike prompted promises by the minister of manpower to meet with the striking workers and to resolve the dispute within 48 hours, said the head of the Spinning and Weaving Syndicate Abdel Fattah Ibrahim. He urged that the workers end their strike.
HEALTH + EDUCATION
Gilead to ship 90k packs of Harvoni to Egypt in November
Gilead Sciences said it will ship 90k packs of hepatitis-C cure Harvoni by the end of November, according to Al Borsa. Gilead is contracted to supply 90k packs of the drug at a total cost of EGP 275 mn with the drugs being delivered over three shipments. Harvoni is different from Sovaldi and AbbVie’s Qurevo in that it does not require any complementary drugs. The shipments will begin once the Health Ministry finishes registering the product domestically.
REAL ESTATE + HOUSING
Give the Arabtec project to local contractors, EFCBC member says
The government should award the Arabtec one mn houses project to local contractors with the same terms and specifications of the original agreement, a member of the Egyptian Federation for Construction and Building Contractors (EFCBC) said. There is a large shortage for middle income housing, he added, saying that there is high demand for units in the EGP 500k-1mn price range. In addition, the luxury sector is also being saturated and is at risk of experiencing a shortage in the near-term. (Read in Arabic)
Housing Ministry advised to annul October Oasis MoU with Palm Hills
Al Shorouk reports that a “regulatory body” has advised the Ministry of Housing to annul the MoU with Palm Hills Development to develop ‘October Oasis,’ a 10k feddan project in 6 October. Instead, it proposes the project be executed under the supervision of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) to allow more real estate developers to participate in the project.
TELECOMS + ICT
Mobinil operates slowest internet connection in Cairo, NTRA report declares
A telecommunications service report by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) disclosed that Mobinil’s is the slowest internet connection time in Cairo, according to Al Mal. Meanwhile, Vodafone Egypt recorded the fastest connection time in Cairo and the North Coast, while Etisalat recorded the fastest connection time in the eastern and western regions of the Alexandria Governorate.
AUTOMOTIVE + TRANSPORTATION
Weather conditions force Sokhna Port shutdown
Heavy rain and adverse weather conditions caused the shutdown of the Sokhna Port yesterday, Al Borsa reported. Visibility fell significantly, creating impediments to navigation in the port, the Red Sea Ports Authority spokesperson said. Other Red Sea ports continue to function normally. Also, the Port of Damietta also continued to operate normally despite heavy rain. (Read in Arabic)
Transport and Housing Ministry to determine costs of drydock utilities
The Transport Ministry and the Housing Ministry have yet to determine the cost of installing utilities at sites for proposed drydocks across the country. The move will determine the investment value of the projects in preparation for a tender which will be issued by the General Authority for Dry Land Ports. The Transport Ministry had already sent the Housing its cost estimates for the project, and has yet to receive a reply. These dry docks will be built on 950 feddan area spread across Egypt designated for the project by presidential decree. (Read in Arabic)
Red Sea Port Authority to issue USD 1.5 bn BOT tender to develop stations at ports
The Red Sea Port Authority will issue in the coming days a USD 1.5 bn build-operate-transfer (BOT) tender to develop three new stations at the ports of Safaga, Al Adabiya, and Tor. The new stations include an advanced dry bulk carrier facility in Adabiya port, which will reduce emissions, and a multipurpose facility at the port of Toor, said Red Sea Port Authority head Hisham Abu Sana. (Read in Arabic)
1,000 civil aviation pilots out of work
One thousand pilots, or roughly half of the entire civilian pilot workforce, are currently out of work in Egypt, according to Civilian Pilots’ Syndicate Secretary General Ali Roushdy in a statement on Friday. Roushdy suggests that the market is saturated and that Arab airlines are not hiring as they are looking for more experienced pilots. (Read)
EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS
Several North Sinai parliamentary candidates withdraw following killing of Nour candidate
Several parliamentary candidates in North Sinai, have all withdrawn from the elections following the assassination of the Nour party’s only North Sinai candidate, Mostafa Abdel-Rahman, on Saturday, Ahram Online reports. However, none of the candidates have explicitly stated that they are withdrawing from the race due to the killing. One of the candidates who has pulled out, Hossam Refai, states that the remaining candidates in North Sinai will meet to determine who else may withdraw from elections. No group has claimed responsibility for Abdel-Rahman’s assassination. (Read)
President Abdelfattah El Sisi issued a decree on Sunday to amend some of the laws governing prisons, AMAY reports, the most notable of which include defining four kinds of prisons: penitentiaries, general prisons, centralized prisons, and maximum-security prisons. The amendments also include:
Egypt to set up ad hoc court for human trafficking, illegal migration crimes -Justice minister: Egypt will set up an ad hoc court for human trafficking and illegal migration crimes, said Minister of Justice Ahmed el Zend on Friday, SIS reported. The remarks were made during a meeting held Friday with the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) William Lacy Swing. (Read)
25 militants killed, 15 others arrested in two days -armed forces: 25 militants were killed and 15 suspects were arrested over the past two days in Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai, according to a statement from the armed forces as reported by Aswat Masriya. 39 explosive devices were also dismantled in the recent campaign.
Gunmen on motorbike shoot police officer dead in Beni Suef: Two gunmen on a motorbike shot dead police officer Khalifa Ali Hassan south of Cairo on Saturday, according to a statement by the interior ministry, Ahram Online reports. The attack took place in the city of El-Fashan in the southern part of Beni Suef.
Zamalek off to shaky league start; Al Ahly win second consecutive game
Defending Egyptian football league champions Zamalek SC tied 0-0 with Aswan on Sunday evening to lose its first two points in the competition, while Al Ahly beat Ghazl Al Mahalla 2-0 to temporarily top the league table along with Al Dakhleya and Al Ittihad after two rounds. Abdallah Al Said and Hossam Ghaly scored Al Ahly’s goals in the 38th and 82nd minutes respectively. (See Zamalek game highlights here; Ahly highlights here)
Salah scores for Roma against Fiorentina amid boos from the home crowd
Egyptian international Mohamed Salah scored a in AS Roma’s 2-1 away victory against his old team Fiorentina on Sunday, KingFut reports. After refusing to renew his loan last season with Fiorentina, Mohamed Salah was due for a hostile reception. Salah scored just six minutes in after a beautiful shot in the bottom left corner, but refused to celebrate in deference to the team and crowd that took a chance on him last season. Salah received some anticipated boos from the home crowd throughout the game. he was sent off just four minutes before the end of the match, receiving two yellow cards in a matter of seconds after a foul and disagreement with the referee. (Watch Salah’s goal here; running time 1:01)
ON YOUR WAY OUT
Armenian genocide refugees remembered in Egypt’s Port Said: Last week 250 Armenian community leaders inaugurated a memorial dedicated to the Armenian refugees who fled the genocide to settle in Port Fouad camps, Ahram Online reports. “For survival, we must fight, this is what we aim for. We should educate the new generation so as to survive through them. We owe it to those who fell in the battle and to those who fled to Egypt seeking life. It is because of them that we are here today, to remember and memorise, to prove that we will continue our mission in life, on this land,” said Armenian Orthodox Church in Egypt Bishop Ashod Mnatsaganian.
QUICK FACT: Egypt recorded net FDI of USD 3 bn in 3Q2014-15.
USD CBE auction (Sunday, 25 October): 7.9301 (unchanged since Sunday, 18 October)
USD (CBE market rate): Buy: 8.0074 | Sell: 8.0301
USD parallel market (Sunday, 25 October): 8.50 (-0.10 since Tuesday, 20 October, Reuters)
EUR (CBE market rate): Buy: 9.00027 | Sell: 9.0307
EGX30 (Sunday): 7,653.14 (0.55%)
Turnover: EGP 344.67 mn
EGX 30 year-to-date: -14.26%
Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +26.3 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -6.4 mn
Local: Net Short | EGP -19.9 mn
Retail: 80.2% of total trades | 75.4% of buyers | 84.9% of sellers
Institutions: 19.8% of total trades | 24.6% of buyers | 15.1% of sellers
Foreign: 7.4% of total | 11.0% of buyers | 3.9% of sellers
Regional: 7.1% of total | 6.2% of buyers | 7.9% of sellers
Domestic: 85.5% of total | 82.8% of buyers | 88.2% of sellers
What does the CBE’s management shuffle mean?
The experience of outgoing governor Hisham Ramez, coupled with limited resources, suggests that the end game for the de-facto peg is in sight and tighter liquidity conditions are ahead of us. On 15 and 18 October 2015, the CBE launched a third round of EGP devaluation and, given governor-designate Tarek Amer’s experience in jointly managing a major currency crisis in 2003 (with Dr. Farouk Al Oqda), we expect the ongoing realignment in the exchange rate to continue and likely at a faster pace.
Given Mr. Amer’s experience with a similar situation in 2003-04, we will likely see a two-pronged FX policy in the rest of 2015. Specifically, we expect to see 1) a major near-term EGP devaluation versus the USD coupled with 2) liquidity draining operations possibly through open market operations (to raise policy rates), reactivation of reverse repo transactions and/or higher reserve requirements on eligible EGP deposits (which were slashed from 14.0% pre-revolution to 10.0% post revolution).
Most importantly, Mr. Amer’s experience in relying on market-based tools suggests that selected FX controls will likely be abolished in the near-term. In specific, we believe an immediate removal of FC cash deposit limits (USD 10,000/day and USD 50,000/month) as particularly critical to ease the current FX shortage and gradually encourage conversion to EGP, particularly if the EGP weakens materially and interest rates on the EGP remain high.
What does this mean for equity markets and who benefits? Tap here for our full analysis.
WTI: USD 44.60 (-1.72%)
Brent: USD 47.99 (-0.19%)
Gold: USD 1,164.00 / troy ounce (+0.10%)
TASI: 7,276.26 (-1.44%)
ADX: 4,472.50 (-0.29%)
DFM: 3,598.78 (+0.29%)
KSE Weighted Index: 391.78 (+0.51%)
QE: 11,644.09 (+0.51%)
MSM: 5,922.18 (+0.28%)
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.