Tuesday, 17 November 2015

U.S. pharma reps address grievances to health, investment, trade ministers


Faragalla isn’t moving to Sharjah after all (Speed Round)

U.S. pharma reps address grievances to health, investment, trade ministers (Health + Education)

El Sisi convenes first National Security Council meeting (Speed Round)

Global business press worries about encryption, Shengen, global anti-Daesh coalition after Paris (Speed Round)

The case against rushing to judgment on the Metrojet crash (Egypt in the News)

Salah Diab pens op-ed describing his recent arrest (Speed Round)

National team’s World Cup 2018 quest continues tonight in Borg El Arab with (re-)match against Chad (What We’re Tracking Today)

By the Numbers + ‘Reverting to extreme caution.’ Also: What’s clinker?


Another round of heavy rainfall is hitting Alexandria and Beheira. Egypt’s Meteorological Authority warns of the potential of flash floods.

SODIC is holding its 3Q2015 results conference call today at 3:30 pm. CEO Magued Sherif, CFO Omar Elhamawy and Head of Corporate Finance Heba Makhlouf will speak.

Egypt’s national football team will have the opportunity to redeem itself and beat Chad in tonight’s crucial match in Alexandria. The Pharaohs lost their first game of the 2018 World Cup African qualifiers to Chad by 0-1. Now to tip the scale, the Egyptian team has to achieve a two goal-lead to qualify for the second round of the African qualifiers. Complicating the situation, our team will miss the efforts of its top strikers, who are still suffering from injuries: AC Roma’s Mohamed Salah and Zamalek’s Bassem Morsi. With the team struggling to score goals, Egypt coach Hector Cooper is considering using Al-Ahly Captain Hossam Ghali to support the ailing offense. Cooper said that Ghaly’s skills and experience will play a vital role in supporting the attack on Chad. Twenty thousand fans will be allowed to attend the match at Borg Al-Arab Stadium in a rare exception to the state’s ban on spectators. Kickoff time is at 6:30 pm CLT.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail will hold a press conference today at Jolie Ville International Congress Center in Sharm El Sheikh at 12 pm CLT. The cabinet press office had not specified the agenda at press time.

The CEO’s Thoughts conference will be held today; agenda here (pdf).

The two-day 3rd Africa Global Business Forum opens today in Dubai.

The 13th International Operations & Maintenance Conference in the Arab Countries opens today in Cairo and runs until Thursday.

This publication is proudly sponsored by

Pharos Holding - http://www.pharosholding.com/

CIB - http://www.cibeg.com/


The second stage of elections for the House of Representatives are set to begin on Saturday and will run until Monday. Voters in Cairo, North and South Sinai, and 11 other governorates will head to the polls. Find your polling station here and navigate the drop-down menus here to find the list of candidates in your voting district.

And as a quick ‘programming note’ this morning: We’re kicking the special package of entrepreneur-related material for Global Entrepreneurship Week back to our weekend edition.


It was a slow night on the talk shows front. Lamis El Hadidy, host of Hona El Assema, opened her program with coverage of President Francois Hollande’s national address outlining France’s strategy for the fight against Daesh. Guest Mohamed El Alfy erroneously claimed, “Hollande threatened that France would withdraw from the European Union if member states failed to cooperate in the war against terror,” said El Alfy. El Hadidy made no effort to correct him; the BBC’s coverage of the Hollande speech is here.

The host concluded her program with preliminary coverage of the second round of parliamentary elections set to take place next week. Several candidates called-in, making the same hackneyed predictions that we have heard of many times in the past. “I am confident that El Mal El Siyasi [candidates with strong ties to the business community] will not win seats… The youth of of Boulaq and Ezbekeya will not allow that to happen,” said Mohammed Hammouda, a candidate for the district of Kasr El Nil.

Ibrahim Eissa’s eponymous program focused on the role of the National Security Council, which convened today for the first time since its establishment a year and a half ago. The host criticized the council for its lack of direction and purpose. “The council does not appear to have any clear-cut goals. Its statement today was vague on the state’s approach to handling of terrorism, Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Eissa also criticized the council’s civilian cabinet members, who Eissa said lacked political experience. “Cabinet is made up of mainly technocrats. They have very little political experience, and this is needed in the council. How will they be able to provide assistance to the president if they lack this expertise? How can they direct the state in its war against terror?”

Finally, Amr Adeeb, lead host of Al Qahera Al Youm, opened with a discussion on Daesh with conspiratorial undertones. “Why hasn’t Daesh attacked Israel? Why have they not at least failed in attacking Israel? Does Daesh not view Israel as an enemy? What is Israel’s relationship with Daesh? More importantly, and I challenge anyone to respond, what is Daesh?”

Adeeb then interviewed several parliamentary candidates, saying he will not allow his audience to remain in the dark about their candidates. His co-host, Rania Badawy, told the audience “When in doubt, vote for women.”


Enterprise is available without charge — just visit our English or Arabic subscription page, depending on which edition you would like to receive. We give you just about everything you need to know about Egypt, in your inbox Sunday through Thursday before 7am CLT (8am for Arabic), and all we ask for is your name, email address and where you hang your hat during business hours.


Speed Round is presented in association with

SODIC - http://sodic.com/

Will he stay or will he go? A day after posting on his Facebook page that Faragalla was going to begin moving its operations from Borg El Arab to Sharjah, CEO Farag Amer posted again saying that the company’s board has refused categorically to move its operations outside of Egypt, despite all the challenges they face. Farag Amer has been complaining of a water crisis in Borg El Arab, where floods have increased the salinity levels of water there, rendering it unusable for consumption or food industries.

Scrambling for foreign currency: The Central Bank of Egypt wants to keep in its own coffers the foreign currency coming to Egypt and is reportedly negotiating with exporters to release their payments in EGP instead, according to an unnamed source speaking to Al Shorouk. Exporters are expressing concerns over the proposal, with some saying that it is unreasonable for them to be expected to accept all of the challenges to secure foreign currency, reaching up to having to buy it at significant premium on the parallel market, and then be repaid in EGP. The only solution that could make them even consider such a proposal is for the CBE to ensure the availability of foreign currency needed for to finance inputs, some exporters said.

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) said shareholders representing 97.4% of Beltone Financial Holding’s shares have agreed to the tender offer submitted by the company. In the same press release, OTMT said it is changing its accounting treatment of its North Korean subsidiary, Koryolink, making it more in line with the Egyptian Accounting Standards and the International Financial Reporting Standards. OTMT will deconsolidate Koryolink from its consolidated financial statements, keeping it as an associate instead of being a subsidiary. OTMT says current sanctions in North Korea are affecting its ability to impose control over Koryolink, convert cash, and repatriate dividends.

Egyptian Resorts Company (ERC) released 9M2015 results on Monday, posting a 9M net profit of EGP 189 mn versus a net loss of EGP 47 mn in the same period last year. Net revenue also surged to EGP 316.2 mn over the same period, compared to EGP 16.8 mn y-o-y. “The improvement in 9M results can be attributed mainly to year-on-year increases of 513% in activities revenues (EGP 297.4 mn) and 19% in service revenues (EGP 36.2 mn),” the statement read. Commenting on the company’s 9M 2015 results and the outlook for the remainder of the year, Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Kamel said: “As it came to its close, the nine months results saw us realize the gains of the strategy we chose to follow in 2015 as well as the challenging times that preceded it … In the face of greatly unsettling local and international news, we are cognizant of the fact that the Egyptian tourism industry is not ‘out of the woods’ yet, so we still have a tough job ahead of us. Financially, we will endeavor to maintain costs under tight control while proactively managing our cash flows with spending focused on meeting our obligations on infrastructure and proprietary projects.” The company’s full earnings release is here (pdf).

Arabian Cement Company also released 3Q2015 results, posting a net profit after taxes of EGP 121 mn, compared to a net profit of EGP 93 a year ago despite a decline in sales and a more than 2x increase in FX losses.

Telecom Egypt released its third quarter earnings on Monday, reporting a EGP 1.2 bn net profit, or growth of 340% year-on-year. Consolidated revenues for the group grew 8% year-on-year in 3Q15 to EGP 2.9 bn.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with the National Security Council yesterday, SIS reported. The meeting focused on domestic security and the need for “cohesion among nations” in the international battle against terrorism in light of the Paris attacks. The meeting also looked into progress on the Daba’a nuclear power plant, Al Mal reports. The NSC’s agenda also included economic issues, including the need to resolve ongoing disputes with investors amicably. The Council includes the prime minister, the defence minister, and interior minister along with a number of other cabinet members and security and intelligence chiefs.

Egypt’s gas finds, Iraq oil agreement could turn Egypt into an energy export hub: Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said increased energy production domestically could allow “Egypt to re-export Iraqi oil as part of a larger plan to become an energy export hub,” Reuters reports. “We’re hoping that during 2020 to 2022 we will be able to become self-sufficient and decrease importing so that Egypt becomes a regional energy hub,” El Molla added. If Iraqi oil is no longer required for domestic consumption, Egypt could re-export it via shipping it out to the Mediterranean via the SUMED pipeline. SIS carries the El Molla’s comments in Arabic.

SODIC signed EGP 3.6 bn worth of contracts in the first nine months of 2015, CEO Magued Sherif told a news conference, as reported by Reuters. SODIC deployed EGP 1.8 bn in 9M2015, and is targeting a further EGP 500 mn in investments by the end of the year. The company is considering buying land on the coast of the Red Sea in 1Q2016, as well as another plot on the North Coast. It will also start a new development project on land bought from the government in 1H2016. SODIC is targeting sales of EGP 4 bn this year, up from EGP 3 bn in 2014. The company is also reviewing bids by contractors on its Ceasar development in the North Coast. The first phase of the development will include building 185 residences at a cost of EGP 936 mn, said SODIC’s managing director Magued Sherif in a press conference. SODIC anticipates EGP 1.4 bn in sales from the project. (Read in Arabic)

Salah Diab has penned an op-ed describing his recent arrest — a column that has so far been carried only in the print edition of his newspaper Al Masry Al Youm, not its website, and in English in AMAY’s sister site, Egypt Independent. The piece directly addresses President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Read in Egypt Independent or in Arabic in Youm7)

Supply Ministry makes grain merchants offer they can’t refuse: The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) reached an agreement with the grain merchant arm of the FEI to supply the private sector with imported wheat. The move has already led to a EGP 350 drop in prices to EGP 2050 per ton, reports Al Borsa. While the drop in price of a basic staple is good news, grain merchants have slashed prices and agreed to allow GASC to supply them out of fear that the authority might come in as a competitor, selling grain at below market prices. The authority also has an advantage over the private sector in FX reserves, according to Abdel Ghaffar Al Salamony head of the Grain Merchants Division in the FEI. Similar arrangements to this have been made by the Supply Ministry with to supply retailers with groceries, and is a cornerstone strategy to cut down prices of supply goods.

Shell plans to retain four senior BG executives after merger, Qatar sovereign wealth fund unloads GBP 1 bn in Shell and BG shares: Royal Dutch Shell Plc will keep four senior executives from BG Group Plc following their planned merger next year, according to an internal memo on Monday as reported by Bloomberg. “BG Chief Operating Officer Sami Iskander will become executive vice president for joint ventures once the merger completes. Steve Hill, currently BG’s head of trading, will become executive vice-president for gas and energy marketing and trading at the combined group, while Tom Melbye Eide, BG’s general counsel, will be Shell’s general counsel for upstream,” Bloomberg reports, citing the memo. Meanwhile, the Telegraph notes that the sovereign wealth fund the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has spent the past few weeks unloading a total of GBP 1 bn in shares of Shell and BG Group, selling 43 mn shares in BG and 24 mn shares in Shell.

Marriott International is set to buy Starwood, creating biggest hotel chain in the world, reports Reuters. The USD 12.2 bn transaction will mean the combined company will own or franchise over 5,500 hotels with 1.1 mn rooms worldwide. Sheraton owner Starwood Hotels & Resorts earns two thirds of its revenue from outside the US, which was the strategic plan behind the acquisition. “This greater scale should offer a wider choice of brands to consumers, improve economics to owners and franchisees, increase unit growth,” said Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson, who will head the combined company. A number of companies and sovereign wealth funds had expressed interest over the past few weeks in acquiring Starwood, including China’s sovereign wealth fund.

Aftermath of the Paris attacks: A manhunt for the suspected mastermind of the attacks, Belgian-Moroccan Abdelhamid Abaaoud is ongoing — and actually began back in January following his escape from a gun battle in Belgium with the police. More on Abaaoud can be found in the Guardian’s profile. Schengen visas are still valid for travel to France, although visitors should have all supporting documentation with them, as detailed by Ahram Online. Daesh have now threatened a similar attack in Washington D.C. in a new video released online, Reuters reports. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) takes readers through the some of the events of the attack — not a comprehensive blow-by-blow account but mainly focusing on French president Francois Hollande’s decision to keep the match at Stade de France going and not to inform the players or the fans as he was (rightly) uncertain about their safety outside the stadium.

How the business press is playing it: Alongside their blow-by-blow coverage of how the carnage unfolded and the manhunt for the perpetrators, the global business press is now looking at ramifications of the weekend terror attacks. Reported from Turkey, Moscow and Washington, the WSJ (paywall) probably has the most concrete take this morning on what’s next in the aftermath of Paris, arguing that, “Pressure Grows for Global Effort Against Islamic State After Paris Attacks; France backs single alliance with U.S., Russia to fight extremists.” The FT (paywall), meanwhile, worries about the future of border-free travel under Schengen, which it call “one of the most visible manifestations of European unity.” CNBC, meanwhile, looks at how “calls are growing for government back doors to encryption,” particularly for messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.


US terrorism expert lambasts those who rush to judgment on cause of crash of Flight 9268: A majority of reactions to the crash of Flight 9268 are unfortunately at opposite extremes: either supreme confidence by international media and officials that it was a terrorist attack, or supreme confidence on the part of Egyptians that the media speculation itself is part of a vast and clandestine conspiracy to destroy Egypt. Voices in the middle that are willing to accept any outcome of the investigation but urge patience until those findings are presented have, for the most part, been drowned out and or mischaracterized as subscribing to conspiracy theories. Last week, Brian Michael Jenkins — a terrorism expert, former member of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security and senior advisor to the president of the RAND Corporation — argued in the Hill: “Except for the event itself, all of this reporting is based upon leaks, unnamed sources and speculation in the news media … Terrorists often claim credit for attacks, but the claim in this case is unusual … A more credible claim would have provided some details … Investigations of airline crashes take months, sometimes years, and bringing terrorists to justice can take decades — far beyond the 24-hour news cycle that relies on anonymous sources for updates and talking heads for instant analysis. (Read in The Hill or RAND Corporation’s website)

Egyptian Museum celebrates 113th anniversary, hints at Pyramid discoveries: The AP notes despite the positive atmosphere, “Officials, band players and performers outnumbered the tourists.” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty however remarks “we always have new things” and “promised there will be more attractions and breakthroughs” in a possible reference to last week’s announcement of “anomalies” discovered by thermal scans of the Great Pyramid. (Read)

The Nile river delta is “sinking into the sea”: Newsweek interviews local farmers and reports on the continuing deterioration of the Nile, with up to “60 percent of the Delta region” at risk of becoming unfarmable due to rising sea levels by the end of this century. Further, an increase in water consumption has meant that factories and settlements along the Nile bank have increased their output and waste, polluting the river to a “brown, toxic trickle.” Attempts by farmers to connect to cleaner water sources like the Nile Delta aquifer have only worsened the original problem of flooding by creating more pressure and further drawing the sea in. Despite all this, the interviewed farmers are framed as positive towards the future and El Sisi, “The government is under a lot of pressure… Later, [El Sisi] will help us.” (Read)


The Benjamin Franklin effect: The idea of getting someone who doesn’t like you to do you a favor sounds dubious. Add to that idea: The act of doing you a favor actually improves their opinion of you for the better, and it all sounds like complete nonsense. But this phenomenon is precisely what has come to be known as “the Benjamin Franklin effect,” which has been observed in a number of studies (research abstract). The explanation for the change of heart is cognitive dissonance: If we are called upon to do a favor for someone we don’t like and actually perform it, it’s theorized that our minds resolve this contradiction by convincing oneself that the person is actually likeable and or deserving of the favor after all. This counterintuitive behavior is named after Benjamin Franklin, as his is the first written record of this principle in action, as described in detail in his autobiography (which is worth reading in its entirety as he’s far more hilariously greedy and manipulative than dry history textbooks suggest). Franklin describes the “effect” in his dealings with a politician who held a low opinion of Franklin. The passage in questions begins on page 93 with: “My first promotion was my being chosen, in 1736, clerk of the General Assembly. The choice was made that year without opposition; but the year following, when I was again proposed … a new member made a long speech against me …” (Read, pdf)


Daily News Egypt has an expanded photo gallery of the images of the French flag projected on one of the pyramids — in addition to images of the Russian and Lebanese flags in honor of those who died in the crash of Flight 9268 and the 44 who died in last week’s bombings in Beirut. (View image gallery)

The disparity — real or perceived — on the amount of coverage the Paris attacks received versus the twin suicide bombings in Beirut has it itself become the focus of media scrutiny in recent days, with the New York Times and Mother Jones both covering the phenomenon. While we are loathe to admit it, Vox’s take is pretty smart, as they take readers into the editorial perspective: “no one will ever read this.”


37th Cairo Film Festival: Nahr El Hob [The River of Love]: Tonight at the Cairo Film Festival at the Cairo Opera House, the festival will pay tribute to late Egyptian cinema icons Omar El Sherif and Faten Hamama, in a screening of the adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the 1960 black and white classic Nahr El Hob [The River of Love]. The two actors first met on the set of the 1954 film Struggle in the Valley, where they fell in love and married shortly thereafter in 1955. The River of Love is the final film the couple made together — they divorced in 1974, after having lived apart for almost a decade due to Hamama’s self-imposed exile. Both actors passed away earlier this year; Hamama in January, and El Sherif in July. Even in his final year, El Sherif described Hamama as “the love of my life”. (Watch the famous dance sequence from Nahr El Hob in Arabic with English subtitles, running time: 5:30)


Egypt negotiating with KPC importing an additional 500k bbl of crude a month
EGPC is asking the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) to increase its supply of crude to Egypt by 500k bbl per month to drive it up to 2.7 mn bbl. The crude shipments are refined in Egyptian refineries and used to supply the domestic market. A source says if KPC agrees to the increase, and the extra quantities are not needed in Egypt’s domestic market, they will either be sold internationally or stored in Egyptian tanks until they are sold. (Read in Arabic)

Delek acquires Noble Energy’s stakes in Israeli fields Karish and Tanin
Delek Group is acquiring Noble Energy’s stakes in the Karish and Tanin reservoirs in Israel for USD 67 mn, Israeli business news site Globes reported. The process is in order to meet a 14-month timetable given to the companies to sell the fields to a third party. Globes says the leading candidate to buy the stakes is Italy’s Edison, but other companies, including Eni, Hess, and EOG, have also expressed interest. Karish and Tanin are estimated to hold 60-80 bcm of gas. (Read)

Eni to increase production in Noras by 70 mn cubic feet of gas per day
Eni plans to raise production in the Noras field in the Western Desert by 70 mn cubic feet of gas per day by tapping into well three of the concession. The field’s entire production capacity is expected to reach 300 mn cubic feet per day by year’s end and 500 mn cubic feet mid-2016, said a “prominent official” in EGAS to Al Borsa. He adds that an agreement has been reached with Eni to price gas from the Noras field and is awaiting legal approval from the relevant authorities. (Read in Arabic)

25% of parts for smart meters tender to be sourced locally
The Electricity Ministry dictated that 25% of parts used to manufacture smart power meters must be sourced locally, Al Borsa reports. The move comes after companies bidding on the tender to supply the meters objected to the original terms, which stipulated that 25% of the meters are to be manufactured locally. Twelve companies bid on the tender on Monday including El Sewedy, Huawei and Ericsson. (Read in Arabic)

** Further reading in Energy: Geologists’ and oceanographers’ speculation the Levant basin may be a cache for gigantic oil and gas deposits culminated with the discovery of the Zohr field, Platts’ Tamsin Carlisle writes. IOCs are now opting to look for oil and gas off Egypt’s coast Carlisle adds, and the gas could eventually find its way to Saudi oil fields for injection into mature reservoirs.


Sharm El Sheikh airport suffers from tourism downturn, still pushing expansion
Sharm El Sheikh Airport expects revenues to plummet 40% by year’s end as a result of a reduction in airplane services and commercial activity, said Mahmoud Esmat head of the Egyptian Airports Company. Potential losses resulting from the Russian and English travel bans have not yet been tallied, according to Esmat. Despite these losses, the company is moving ahead with constructing the new passenger terminal, runways and other facilities. The Civil Aviation Ministry borrowed EGP 3.5 bn from a consortium led by the Islamic Development Bank to fund the expansion, which hopes to increase the capacity of the airport to 18 mn tourists. (Read in Arabic)

HCWW asks Ministry of Finance for EGP 100 mn to complete drainage networks in Alexandria
The Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) has asked the Ministry of Finance to be allocated EGP 100 mn to complete the drainage networks in Alexandria as part of the emergency plan to address flash flooding, according to HCWW Chairman Mamdouh Raslan. The project will be executed by the Armed Forces Engineering Division and the executive arm of HCWW. A total of EGP 2.5 bn have been allocated to drainage projects in Alexandria this fiscal year, adds Raslan. (Read in Arabic)

Arab Contractors begins work on EGP 3 bn Rod Al Farag axis
Arab Contractors broke ground on the Rod Al Farag axis, an EGP 3 bn highway 39 km in length running from the Ring Road to Shoubra. The project—which is being managed by the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces—is expected to take 18 months to complete. The move is part of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s drive to have the armed forces lead the development of major highways and road infrastructure nationwide. The program began this summer. (Read in Arabic)

Oil spill forces shuttering of water stations in Upper Egypt
A 1 km-long diesel spill on the Nile in Upper Egypt led the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) to shut down two water pumping stations in Nagaa Hammadi to prevent contamination of drinking water supplies. The spill is moving in the direction of Abu Tesht in Qena, which may prompt the company to shut the El Sheikh water station, according to the head of PR at the HCWW. An oil spill back in August had led authorities to shut down drinking water in Assiut. (Read in Arabic)


Supplies Ministry gets Carrefour to reduce prices of 27 goods
Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafy has reportedly reached an agreement with Carrefour Egypt’s executive regional director, Hervé Majidier, to reduce the prices of 27 goods in Egypt. The discounts will range from 10-40% starting from Sunday until the end of 2016. Majidier said the move is considered part of Carrefour’s social role in Egypt and added that the supermarket chain will also be selling Food Industries Holding Company’s products in its stores as plans to expand to 65 outlets domestically within the next five years. A similar agreement was reached in 2014-15 when the prices of 30 items were fixed, he added. (Read in Arabic)

Juhayna targets EGP 4.4 bn in sales this year
Egyptian food and beverages giant Juhayna is anticipating EGP 4.4 bn in sales by the end of the year. These figures, if realized, come on the back of a product line up of over 200 SKUs, with a production capacity of 2.7 Ktons per day, said the head of advertising at the company Passant Foad. Foad elaborated that challenges facing Juhayna is include an underdeveloped market for dairy, where the average Egyptian consumes 22 L of dairy per year, compared to a 108 L annual consumption in Australia. (Read in Arabic)

Government considers importing cattle from France
The General Organisation for Veterinary Services said it is considering lifting the ban on importing cattle from France, Al Mal reported. The ban was placed more than 10 years ago following the spread of mad cow disease across Europe. The government will also make a final decision on approving imports of livestock from Brazil. Both countries already supply Egypt with frozen meat products. We reported yesterday that GASC was issuing a tender to import meat to ensure essential commodities are available domestically. (Read in Arabic)


EGAS writes off EGP 3 bn in receivables from factories
EGAS said it is writing off EGP 3 bn in receivables that were due from factories, Al Borsa reported. The write off is an application of the government’s decision to charge manufacturers only for the natural gas they consume, rather than the amounts contracted. A source at EGAS said the authority will notify factories with the decision and that it approved having them pay part of their receivables interest-free. The source added that different organizations owe EGAS a combined EGP 70 bn, EGP 15 bn of which is due to be paid by public and private sector industrial entities. The source added that amending the gas pricing agreements with energy-intensive users has not yet finalised. (Read in Arabic)

Damietta drains 1.4 mn cubic meters of water for Furniture City development
Damietta governorate cleared 331 feddans of land for the development of Furniture City, draining 1.4 mn cubic meters of water covering the land, Al Borsa reports. The project seeks to establish 2443 furniture workshops and manufacturing facilities, in addition to building exhibition rooms. The project will involve the development of utilities for these factories in addition to a hospital for workers. As we noted on 4 November, the Factory City project, which was ordered by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, was designated a Special Investment Zone by Prime Minister Ismail. (Read in Arabic)


American pharma manufacturers meet with ministers to address grievances
American pharma manufacturers were set to meet with the ministers of health, investment and trade and industry yesterday to discuss their grievances in Egypt. The meeting was reportedly requested three weeks ago, but Prime Minister Sherif Ismail had declined to meet with the company representatives. Chief amongst their concerns is the inability to repatriate foreign currency earnings. The manufacturers are also asking the government to abide by WTO regulations and allow them to set their own prices freely and to respect their intellectual property rights. The meeting comes after Egypt ended the import of hepatitis C medications. (Read in Arabic)

Pharco reports 100% cure rate when combining sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) with ravidasvir for Hep-C, non-cirrhotic, genotype-4 patients
Egyptian pharma group Pharco has completed the world’s largest study of its kind in a Phase III clinical trial combining sofosbuvir and ravidasvir in genotype-4 patients, as announced by its lead principal investigator Gamal Esmat at the 66th Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases conference in San Francisco yesterday, according to a release. “The study indicates that we may be able to treat even compensated cirrhotic patients with a high SVR12 rate when we extend therapy to 16 weeks,” Esmat was quoted as saying during the presentation. Pharco licensed ravidasvir hydrochloride in Egypt from America’s Presidio. (Read)


Arabtec wants to build 13,000 homes in Egypt, not part of the mn homes project
Arabtec has submitted a proposal to build 13,000 homes in Egypt, the company’s Chairman, Mohamed Thani Murshed Al Rumaithi, told Reuters. This proposal is separate from the one mn homes proposed contract, Al Rumaithi noted. Egypt and Arabtec have failed to agree on the final terms for the one mn homes contract. Al Rumaithi expects Egypt to “accept soon” but noted that “2015 will be a very, very tough year” for Arabtec considering the losses the company faced. (Read)


IFC to provide loan to Credence Group to boost tourism
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will hold a signing ceremony on 19 November for a loan agreement with Credence Group, a hospitality company in Egypt, according to an IFC statement as reported by Egypt Independent. Credence runs the Sindbad line of resorts throughout the Red Sea, as well as Sequoia and Left Bank restaurants in Zamalek.

EgyptAir flight prices to Sharm El Sheikh down by 40%
EgyptAir recently launched an initiative to bring tourists back to Sharm El Sheikh by slashing the prices of their domestic and international flights to Sharm El Sheikh by up to 40%, according to Hisham El Nahas, president of EgyptAir. Speaking about the suspended flights between Russia and Egypt, El Nahas said the Russian side asked for a translated copy of EgyptAir’s operational manual. A translated copy was given to the Russians on Thursday, but given that there was no response on resuming flights on Saturday, flights continue to be halted. (Read in Arabic)

70K Russian tourists evacuated from Egypt
Over 70K Russian tourists have been evacuated from Egypt thus far following the crash of Flight 9268, the Moscow Times reported, citing Russian state news agency TASS. It is estimated that 5K Russian tourists remain in Egypt, with c.3K in Hurghada and the remainder in Sharm El Sheikh. 480 tons of luggage has were back separately.


Red Sea Ports Authority studies issuing EGP 6 bn projects
The Red Sea Ports Authority will issue a public tender to prepare feasibility studies on a batch on investment projects at red sea ports worth around EGP 6 bn. The projects include two unloading terminals in the Adabiya port costing EGP 1.3 bn, an EGP 500 mn container terminal in Safaga, a EGP 550 mn multipurpose terminal in Al Tor, in addition to two hotels and residential buildings near the Sharm El Sheikh port costing EGP 1.5 mn, in addition to an EGP 350 mn marina and EGP 250 mn passenger terminal. (Read in Arabic)


First Equity Partners to market investment opportunities in Egypt next March
First Equity Partners (FEP) plans to launch a campaign marketing investment opportunities in Egypt next March in London, said the group’s Deputy CEO Omar El Maghawry to Youm7. FEP had reached agreements with a number of international financial institutions and investment funds to market these opportunities, according to El Maghawry. The firm is currently vetting projects ahead of the launch. The move comes a week after Investment Minister Ashraf Salman agreed to renew contracts with investments banks to market national projects abroad. (Read in Arabic)


Three Danish companies looking to invest in Suez Canal Axis
Danish companies Maersk Egypt Shipping, Novo Nordisk, and Sinai White Cement have expressed interest in investing in the Suez Canal development axis project. This followed a trip organised by the Danish Embassy in Cairo that included representatives from 11 Danish companies. The head of the trade section at the embassy said the trip aimed to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. (Read in Arabic)


Tahya Masr begins paying compensation for flood victims through the NBE
The National Bank of Egypt and the Tahya Masr Fund have begun distributing compensation payments to the victims of the flash floods, paying EGP 2K per every feddan of property damaged, Al Borsa reports. Tahya Masr has also released EGP 100 mn out of the EGP 1 bn allocated for urgent wastewater and drainage projects in Alexandria and Beheira. (Read in Arabic)


Study of Flight 9268 crash debris in Sinai is in final stage -Putin: Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey that investigations into the cause of the crash of Flight 9268 are in its final stages, Russian state news agency TASS reported. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reiterated that “no version of the cause of the Russia-owned aircraft crash in Egypt can be ruled out” and that Russia awaits the official results of the investigation.

Security forces kill 24 Daesh militants in central Sinai according to unnamed sources, military spox denies incident: Security forces killed 24 Daesh militants in central Sinai, according to unnamed security sources speaking to Reuters on Monday. The report also states that eight militants were successfully captured. A military spokesperson, however, reportedly denies the report in its entirety.

Unknown assailant stabs Nour Party candidate in Egypt’s Sharqiya: Salafist Nour Party parliamentary candidate Emad El Mahdy was reportedly stabbed in front of his campaign headquarters in Sharqiya, according to a post from his campaign page on Facebook, according to Ahram Online. The assailant fled the scene and El Mahdy is being treated in a hospital northeast of Cairo. The attack marks the third incident of Nour Party members being targeted, with another of their parliamentary candidates shot dead in Arish, north Sinai last month.

Prosecution orders detention of Austrian national for 4 days: Port Said prosecution has ordered the detention of an Austrian national for four days pending investigation of his activities in Egypt following his arrest for taking photographs of Port Said’s airport, security and seaport, Ahram Online reported. The individual in question stated he was on assignment from a German firm exploring the possibility of investment in Egypt. A representative from the Austrian embassy was reportedly in attendance during his questioning.

US secretary of the air force talks training with Egyptian military officials: US Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James spoke of training opportunities for the Egyptian air force in her recent talks with senior Egyptian military officials, according to a statement on Saturday by the US Embassy in Cairo, Ahram Online reports. “As we finished delivering the F-16 air fighters to Egypt, we spoke about how our air forces can work together in order to defeat terrorism and the possibility to train pilots in the future,” James is quoted in the statement.

Powered by
Pharos Holding - http://www.pharosholding.com/

QUICK FACT: A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the heat energy required to raise the temperature of 450 ml of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Around 3.5 million btu (MMBTU) are required to produce 1 ton of clinker — a heated mix of raw materials that is mainly composed of limestone and that is then ground with gypsum to produce cement. Cement companies in Egypt pay USD 8 per MMBTU, but a lack of natural gas supplies forced them to seek alternatives such as coal and waste.

USD CBE auction (Monday, 16 November): 7.7301 (unchanged since Wednesday, 11 November)
USD parallel market (Monday, 16 November): 8.52 (-0.18 since Wednesday, 11 November, Reuters)

EGX30 (Monday): 6480.65 (-0.64%)
Turnover: EGP 495.4 mn
EGX 30 year-to-date: -27.4%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX contained Sunday’s sell-off, losing just 0.6% on Monday after nosediving 4.2% the day before as the local market felt the weight of the weekend’s terror attacks. Among the stocks that were most hard-hit were defensive plays that are supposed to act as safe havens for investors in times of panic, with the likes of Edi­ta and Juhayna tumbling 7.0% and 4.0%, respectively. Globally, equities across the world came in mixed with Europe­an stocks mostly edging up and Asian equities closing in the red.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -247.3 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -71.1 mn
Local: Net Long | EGP +318.4 mn

Retail: 37.0% of total trades | 23.1% of buyers | 51.0% of sellers
Institutions: 63.0% of total trades | 76.9% of buyers | 49.0% of sellers

Foreign: 26.7% of total | 15.8% of buyers | 37.6% of sellers
Regional: 5.3% of total | 2.1% of buyers | 8.4% of sellers
Domestic: 68.0% of total | 82.1% of buyers | 54.0% of sellers


Reverting to Extreme Caution

This week, we advise clients to “materially” increase cash holdings in their portfolios for three primary reasons: First, foreign investors will likely dump CIB, the index’s largest constituent and their key holding in Egypt, in fear of intensifying military action against ISIS and flee Egypt assets in specific for fear of deteriorating access to foreign currency. Second, Paris attacks will likely trigger a sharper reaction by the government and monetary authorities to stem off “the incremental” pressures on the EGP, such as fiscal austerity measures, another round of rate hikes or stiff capital controls. These measures, particularly high rates, will continue to raise the opportunity cost of holding equities, on a risk-adjusted basis. Third, the ongoing Fed-driven selloff in global equity and commodity markets will not be helping in the short-term, even if Egypt’s selloff had started a lot earlier. The Fed-driven selloff, or at least super volatility, will likely reach its zenith in the second week of December, ahead of the Fed’s meeting in 15/16 December 2015.

Based on the three reasons outlined above, we strictly advise clients to exercise the maximum degree of risk aversion until further notice or until valuations fall by another 10-15%, at least. If you have to be invested, continue to park in defensives and dollar-positive stocks. This may soon lead us to materially increase our market risk premium (currently 7%, mostly based on the historic excess return method) over and above the current increase in the risk-free rate. If so, current valuations will no longer look cheap. Tap here for the full run-down.


WTI: USD 40.26 (-1.18%)
Brent: USD 43.38 (2.45%)
Gold: USD 1,084.40 / troy ounce (+0.32%)

TASI: 6,960.09 (+1.14%)
ADX: 4,135.99 (+0.96%)
DFM: 3,174.27 (+0.89%)
KSE Weighted Index: 392.68 (+0.07)
QE: 10,810.37 (-0.46%)
MSM: 5,835.52 (-0.04%)

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.