Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Yes, no, maybe? Lamis says 8-10 ministers will exit stage right as cabinet spokesman dismisses “media talk.” (Talk Shows + Speed Round)
Oil Ministry inks USD 1.2 bn loan agreement with European banks for MIDOR expansion. (Speed Round)
CBE extends tourism sector support initiative (Speed Round)
EGPC to launch global tender for new oil, gas drilling rights by 1Q2016. (Energy)
Banque Misr, NBE ready to issue USD certificates for Egyptian expats. (Speed Round)
Malaysian, British, Italian delegations in Cairo to talk investment. (What We’re Tracking)
Tax Authority plans amendments to Income Tax Act. (Speed Round)
SWFs set to pull USD 404 bn out of listed equities this year, EMs will be worst-hit, says SWFI. (Speed Round)
Zamalek and Ahly eyeing former Premiership coaches. (Speed Round)
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY
It’s looking like a packed day, ladies and gents.
A delegation of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce will visit Cairo today to discuss investing in Egypt, says Malaysia’s ambassador to Egypt. The delegation will meet with Investment Minister Ashraf Salman and the head of the Suez Canal Development Project Ahmed Darwish, in addition to a number of Egyptian business leaders, Al Mal reports.
A delegation from the Italian Civil Aviation Authority arrived in Egypt to discuss cooperation with EgyptAir, says Chairman of EgyptAir Sherif Fathy. The talks were originally meant to take place early this month during a visit by an Italian trade delegation that was cut short by the murder of Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni.
A delegation of eight U.K. oil and gas companies began a week-long visit to Egypt yesterday, headed by Energy Industries Council Director of Africa and Middle East Terry Willis, according to a statement on the British Embassy’s Facebook page. The mission is being hosted by UK Trade and Investment in Cairo. Smaller, specialised companies “have exactly what Egypt needs to exploit its new discoveries effectively and thereby harness the energy to power its economy,” said British Ambassador John Casson. The companies are set to meet representatives from BP, Eni, and Petrojet as well as the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.
The first conference of Arab parliamentary chairpersons will begin today under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and in coordination with the Arab League and Arab Parliamentary Union, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo. The gathering ends tomorrow.
Today is also the official opening of the 8.5 km-long, 18 m-deep East Port Said Side Channel, which will be attended by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.
The N Gage customs debate on “The Impact of the 2016 Customs Reforms on Trade Facilitation” takes place today at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza.
The Suez Canal Global Conference wraps up today. We’ll be on the lookout for any material updates.
PROGRAM ALERT: Watch Amr Adeeb and Rania Badawy live at 10:30am CLT to analyze President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s speech on Egypt’s vision 2030 plan. The president is set to launch the program tomorrow in a public speech at Cairo’s Al Galaa Theatre, according to Ahram Online.
Oh, and U.S. Republicans are having a caucus in Nevada. Trump leads the polls, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in a tightly-fought battle for second place. The Atlantic will be liveblogging the results. The Washington Post has done the math and thinks Trump could well win the Republican nomination.
ON THE HORIZON
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi kicks off on Sunday, 28 February, an Asian tour that will see him visit Japan and South Korea.
The Emirates NBD / Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia are set to be released on Thursday, 3 March. Tap here to see the releases when they come out.
The trial of the police officer accused of killing a taxi driver in Darb Al-Ahmar is set to begin on 5 March, a Cairo court said in an official statement picked up by Ahram Online.
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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
Lamees El Hadidy says she has insider information to share with us on CBC’s Hona Al Assema about a possible government shakeup, claiming that while Prime Minister Sherif Ismail will retain his position, 8-10 ministers will be sacked. The comments fly in the face of statements made by cabinet spokesperson Hussam Al Qawish that talk of a reshuffle is hearsay (more in Speed Round below). By phone, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Magdy El Agaty, said: “Cabinet shuffles are in the president’s hand, not the prime minister’s.” El Hadidy went on to criticize the current system for nominating ministers. “It’s known that security apparatuses will nominate their respective candidates, which has been a failure,” El Hadidy said. “We need people who have experience … We need a different method for choosing candidates.”
El Hadidy transitioned into addressing the House of Representatives and its “slow pace of process,” saying ambiguity about how parliamentary sessions operate has been the order of the day in the House’s first 45 days. MP Emad Gad phoned in to give his two cents: “In all honesty, I see that the main problem comes from the absence of a strong political voice. The Support Egypt Coalition now is like a general without an army, and an army without a general.” MP Ahmed Saeed responded by phone: “I agree, but the Support Egypt Coalition is a coalition under construction, not an actual coalition yet.” (Watch)
On Al Qahera Wal Nas, Ibrahim Eissa spent the first hour of his show addressing the abhorrent conditions at the National Heart Institute (NHI) and what that says of the deteriorating medical sector in Egypt. Eissa specifically criticized the NHI and the absence of infrastructure to incorporate the latest technological advancements in cardiac procedures. “The NHI is a metaphor for Egypt,” Eissa said. “Nothing has transpired in the NHI since June 2015.”
Eissa then delivered a monologue about religious fanaticism in Egypt, saying it is too-often due to misconstrued religious verses and sayings. Finally, he listed the top 10 challenges people with disabilities face in Egypt, including the obvious: social ostracization and disenfranchisement.
Over on OSN’s Al Qahera Al Youm, Amr Adeeb and Rania Badawy discussed the rising price of goods and supplies. “Even if parliamentary members justified these increases, the people have already had it,” Badawy said. Adeeb criticized the government for not being able to engage citizens to help solve the problem. “We can’t even establish a cooking oils company,” Adeeb said. “There are issues that we don’t need foreign experts to analyze. The market is its own indicator.”
In the next segment, Badawy and Adeeb turned to regional issues, specifically the latest developments in the Syrian crisis and the Saudi-Lebanese standoff. Neither host offered new analysis; in the midst of the segment, Adeeb went on a rant about King Ramses’ sun alignment ceremony, jokingly holding the antiquities minister accountable for the sun failing to land on Ramses’ face. “The antiquities minister jinxed it,” he said.
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No cabinet shuffle? Talk of a cabinet shuffle is media speculation, says the cabinet’s spokesperson Hussam Al Qawish. The government is operating on the agenda drawn up by the current cabinet, he adds. Speaking on the delay in presenting the government’s agenda to parliament, Qawish states that the House of Representatives is to blame and that the government is ready to present. MP Ashraf Al Araby, who heads the House Budget Committee, says the consensus in the House was to form its 28 planned committees before the government presents its agenda, Al Borsa reports. Both statements echo those made by parliamentarian Bahaa Abu Shokka and Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Magdy Al Agaty to TV anchor Amr Adeeb earlier in the week. The Ismail government will present its agenda to parliament toward the end of March, Al Qawish said.
The Oil Ministry has signed preliminary agreements with three European banks to finance its expansion of the MIDOR refinery, Reuters quotes the state news agency as saying. The value of the loan is USD 1.2 bn and represents 80% of the total estimated value of the USD 1.4 bn project, with the rest being self-financed, MIDOR chairman Mohamed Abdel Aziz says. The banks include France’s Crédit Agricole and BNP Paribas as well as Italy’s CDP. The expansion aims to increase the refinery’s capacity to 160k bbl from 100k bbl daily. Italy’s Technip and SACE confirmed late last July that they had closed an agreement “to modernize and expand the MIDOR refinery near Alexandria.” Technip is the EPC contractor for the project. SACE is Italy’s export credit agency.
CBE extends tourism sector support initiative: The Central Bank of Egypt is extending its initiative to support tourism by allowing sector companies to defer their liabilities to banks for three years without interest. The CBE is giving banks the freedom to provision any amount they see fit. The official notice is out on the central bank’s website now in pdf.
It is entirely up to the CBE to resolve issues foreign air carriers have with transferring funds outside Egypt, says Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou, who added that that the central bank alone is responsible for foreign exchange policy. Zaazou did express optimism that the issue would be resolved soon and said he had taken it up with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. This follows reports on Sunday that Air France and KLM have threatened to halt flights to and from Egypt, claiming they are unable to repatriate funds parked in Egyptian banks. Zaazou was said to be working with the CBE on getting the parties to agree to repatriate the funds in installments over four to six months. Zaazou also states frankly that he does not know when tourism will return to Egypt, Al Mal reports.
Meanwhile the central bank is negotiating with the Immigration Ministry to issue USD-denominated instruments and portfolios to Egyptian expatriates, Daily News Egypt reports. Immigration Minister Nabila Makram said “Egyptian expatriates need to set an investment mechanism to ensure Egyptians abroad can attain their [USD] requirements at any time.” Daily News Egypt reports that Makram and CBE Governor Tarek Amer “will start an international tour … to promote these new portfolios, which will give the chance for Egyptian expatriates in other countries to help their home country.”
…Al Borsa says Banque Misr and NBE are already set to issue USD-denominated certificates of deposit to Egyptian expats. Sources say the banks are weighing three possible options for the issuance, the simplest of which are one-, three-, and five-year certificates with USD-denominated interest. A second option would see one, three- and five-year certificates in USD, but with interest settled in EGP. The third option would have expatriates give up their USD for an “attractive” interest payment in EGP of 13.5-14%. The details of the potential issuance are being finalized now, sources tell Al Borsa.
The Tax Authority is looking to amend the Income Tax Act. Articles slated for change include those that relate to real estate taxes and fines on delayed tax payments, says Tax Authority head Abdel Moneim Mattar. The authority is also looking to evolve a tax framework for SMEs that corresponds with the CBE’s initiative to attract and incentivize SME financing, he adds. Speaking at a meeting his senior staff, Mattar said the authority is looking at increasing wages for its employees. AMAY notes that tax bureaucrats are complaining their salaries are being eroded by inflation.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) published a review of its work in Egypt. The bank’s “new strategy focuses on two operational pillars—infrastructure and governance … It also seeks to create much-needed jobs for the country’s young, rapidly growing population … to reduce economic and social disparities in accessing basic services, ensure equal access to economic opportunities and promote private sector growth and competitiveness,” says AfDB’s resident representative in Egypt Leila Mokaddem. AfDB’s projects in Egypt can be reviewed here (including a letter from Mokaddem) as well as profiles of select individuals benefitting from AfDB projects domestically. Both documents are pdf downloads.
“The appeal for Egypt in improving access to [African] markets is obvious. Instability in the Middle East and stagnancy in traditional European trading partners’ economies have added urgency to this drive,” writes Qalaa Holdings’ Karim Sadek in a piece for the Financial Times’ Beyond Brics blog after Egypt played host to the Business for Africa Summit. But while there are impediments to the move (namely the ongoing infrastructure gap, with transport costs in landlocked countries accounting for more than 50% of the retail costs of goods), Sadek says “the true potential cannot be accounted for in terms of goods trade alone. It is an enigma that there is hardly a single investor in Egypt from sub-Saharan Africa.”
Saudi Arabia, UAE issue travel warnings against Lebanon: The Saudi Foreign Ministry “advises all citizens not to travel to Lebanon and demands that all citizens residing or visiting Lebanon to leave the country, not to stay there unless necessary, take care and caution while being there and contact the Saudi embassy in Beirut to provide the necessary facilities and care for their safety,” according to Saudi Arabia’s official press agency. The UAE’s Foreign Ministry raised its travel warning to Lebanon to a travel ban, according to the Emirates News Agency, and is reducing its diplomatic representation in Lebanon to a minimum.
Members of the Saudi Royal family have invested USD 26.1 mn in JetSmarter, the “Uber of private jets,” Bloomberg writes. Members of the Saudi Royal family reportedly took part in a previous USD 20 mn financing round. Explaining the concept of JetSmarter, founder Sergey Petrossov said most private jets “aren’t used that much … They either stand idled at airports or are flying empty on route to pick up clients from a certain location. Those empty seats and flights can be offered to travelers for less than the typical price of chartering a jet and for a fee that may be at least in the same ballpark as the cost of a first class ticket.”
Sovereign wealth funds will pull c. USD 404 bn out of listed equities this year, with emerging market stocks faring the worst in the pullback, Business Insider writes, citing a report from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. That’s about 2x the outflows recorded in 2015 — the first year in nearly three decades that emerging markets saw net outflows.
The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse are in what the WSJ is calling “advanced talks to merge” that could “create a formidable European rival to the big U.S. marketplaces.” This is the third time the two have talked about a merger. The Journal notes that “Exchanges, once monopolies and a focus of national pride, have spent the past decade doing deals and cutting costs under pressure from fast-expanding upstarts. A deal would leave three giant global exchange companies: U.S. market leaders CME Group Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc., along with the merged LSE-Deutsche Börse as the biggest exchange operator in Europe by the value of shares traded.” While the two companies have described the potential transaction as a “merger of equals,” Deutsche Börse shareholders would wind up owning 54% of the new entity. See the Financial Times, New York Times and CNN Money for more coverage.
Zamalek signs former Premiership coach, Ahly to follow suit: Former Aston Villa and Rangers manager Alex McLeish (who also has agreed to become Zamalek’s football head coach. The Guardian says “the 57-year-old, who has also managed Nottingham Forest, Birmingham and the Scotland national side, will take over from the former Tottenham striker Mido, who was sacked two weeks ago.” A few days earlier, rivals Al Ahly revealed that “they have reached verbal agreements” with former Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol, among three other coaches, but with Jol being the favourite, according Ahram Online.
THE MACRO PICTURE
Falling oil prices weighed on stocks yesterday after markets digested statements from Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi that a lack of trust between the world’s biggest producers meant a cut in production “is not going to happen,” according to CNBC (the link includes coverage and, at time of writing, links to four videos with clips of al-Naimi speaking in Texas). Japan and China both retreated yesterday, as did US and European stocks. And while we’re on volatility, “Surely this would mean that such wild moves and diverging performances provide unusual opportunities, and the sell side is bound to come up with great opportunistic trades,” SocGen strategists led by Charles de Boissezon write of recent market volatility, according to Bloomberg. Adds the news service: “Not so: our ‘sell-side idea meter’ (patent pending) is at record lows.”
“African Markets Catch Bear Fever” is the apt title of a Bloomberg piece on how a “toxic cocktail of plunging commodities prices, policy mismanagement and stubborn corruption have exposed investors like Mark Mobius for their excessive optimism.” Head of African research at Standard Chartered Plc in London Razia Khan says, “These are economies that have diversified very slowly … so many decades later they’re reliant on commodities. It’s not the environment in which you’d expect deepening of markets.”
Chief of the Dallas Federal Reserve Robert Kaplan tells the FT (paywall) that he calls for caution over interest rate rises due global turbulence, arguing that the central bank in Washington should be open to leaving rates on hold for an extended period if necessary. Meanwhile, money management giant BlackRock has warned bond investors they’re not prepared for the Fed to raise interest rates, according to Bloomberg. Central bankers will likely not wait out 2016, “yet this is exactly what the futures market is suggesting. Inflation has strengthened, suggesting that the central bank may not be quite as dovish as the market expects,” says Russ Koesterich, the global chief investment strategist for New York-based BlackRock, in a report Monday.
EGYPT IN THE NEWS
CNN sat down to talk to Finance Minister Hany Dimian (watch, run time 3:00), who said that one of the factors behind the recent downgrade in the economic growth forecast for the current fiscal year to 4-4.25% is, unsurprisingly, the Metrojet crash. “There is a negative impact, no doubt. But we hope that we will make it as short lived as possible,” he added. When asked about the pressure on the EGP, “I don’t see any problem with what’s happening and we can reverse course when things go in a different direction.” And on how Egypt’s security crackdown is set to impact foreign direct investment: “What do you expect? If you’re in a region that is quite turbulent … you have to be very firm.”
Bloomberg reports that the EGP fell to a “record” low of EGP 9.12 against the USD on the parallel market yesterday according to “the average of quotes from four dealers in Cairo and Alexandria surveyed by Bloomberg.” The rate was actually reported to be EGP 9.15 exactly a week ago, so technically yesterday’s wasn’t quite as bad as it could have been. The Associated Press carries the same story this morning, quoting CI Capital’s Hany Farahat as saying, “They cannot prevent devaluation, they’re just postponing it. And this is causing the situation to get worse and worse.”
“In 2015, Egypt became one the world’s biggest prisons for journalists. In most cases, their only ‘error’ was to have covered demonstrations or protests or to have spoken with members of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Reporters Without Borders said in an open letter to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. The Guardian picked up the statement in a version of an article that first appeared on Mada Masr, going on to discuss the cases of photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid and journalist Ismail Alexandrani.
Also making the rounds again this morning are stories on four-year-old Ahmed Karni’s life sentence for murder with both CNN and NPR giving their takes on what is shaping up to be one of the most embarrassing stories covered by the foreign press this month on Egypt.
A New Breed of Trader on Wall Street: Coders With A Ph.D.: “Jane Street has acquired a reputation for being perhaps the toughest interview in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street… the ideal candidate possesses what he calls second-order knowledge – a form of intellectual humility in which really smart people can accept being wrong and own up to mistakes. In that vein, a prospect might be fed a math problem that cannot be answered, just to gauge reaction to failure.” (Read)
DIPLOMACY + FOREIGN TRADE
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stressed the need for developed nations to make good on their USD 10 bn pledge to fund renewable energy development in Africa made at the Paris COP21 environment conference. His remarks came at a meeting with France’s Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Minister Ségolène Royal on Thursday, Al Masry Al Youm reports.
Egypt submits proposal to build logistics centers connecting Agadir Agreement participants: Egypt submitted a proposal to establish logistics centers that will connect the four countries in the Agadir agreement to facilitate bilateral trade, FEI board member Mohamed El Bahy tells Amwal Al Ghad. A joint task force has been established that is set to meet in April in Tunisia to establish their executive regulations and discuss the requests submitted by Lebanon and Palestine to join the trade agreement, he adds.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Tuesday with veteran peace negotiator and Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat to discuss the Israel-Palestine peace process and moves to establish an independent Palestinian state and a two-state solution, according to ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid. He adds that the coming period will see more involvement from Egypt and other Arab countries in the peace process, in addition to putting forward proposals to establish an international peace conference.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with the President of the Pan African Parliament Roger Nkodo Dang in the wake of the Business for Africa Summit, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Dang lauded Egypt’s commitment to enhance economic integration in Africa while El Sisi underscored the priority of the African continent in Egypt’s foreign policy.
EGPC to launch int’l tender for new oil, gas drilling rights at the end of 1Q2016
The EGPC will launch an international tender for drilling and exploration toward the end of 1Q2016. The land, which will be part of the tender, has received security clearances, says Oil Minister Tarek El Molla. He adds that four agreements signed with IOCs for oil drilling rights with GANOPE will be sent to the House of Representatives for review, with two of these having already received approval from the cabinet. (Read in Arabic)
OC-led consortium to complete three Suez Canal tunnels in 18 months
The Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors consortium will complete the construction of the three tunnels that run under the Suez Canal in 18 months, an executive from the Arab Contractors tells Al Borsa. Construction started four months ago, with the total cost of the project estimated at around EGP 10 bn. (Read in Arabic)
Spanish engineering firm awarded EUR 315 mn contract in Egypt
El Nasr Company for Intermediate Chemicals awarded Spain’s Actividades de Construccion y Servicios a EUR 315 mn, 30-month engineering contract, according to a Reuters brief. (Read)
REAL ESTATE + HOUSING
Misr Italia Group studies EGP 1.2 bn investment in Technology Valley
Misr Italia Group is studying investing EGP 1.2 bn into the Suez Canal Axis Development project’s Technology Valley, company Chairman Hany El Assal tells Amwal Al Ghad. The investment will be used to build a complex that includes a hotel, a mall, administrative buildings, and entertainment activities, he notes. El Assal is set to meet with head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish to further discuss the project. (Read in Arabic)
USD 32 mn allocated to tighten security for the tourism sector
The government has allocated USD 32 mn to step-up security in the tourism sector, says Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou at the Tourism Sector Planning and Growth Conference. Zaazou says the government plans on launching multiple promotional campaigns and is forming planning committees made up of experts in the sector. These two plans will be key features of a strategy to revitalize tourism, which includes developing and upgrading resorts and focusing on cultural and historical sites. (Read in Arabic)
Tourism Ministry about to launch first phase of solar power initiative for hotels
The Tourism Ministry is about to launch the first phase of the initiative to power 100k rooms using solar energy in collaboration with the Solar Energy Development Association. The ministry allocated EGP 20 mn for the first phase and will pick 10 hotels to take part in the pilot project. The initiative aims to power most of Egypt’s resorts with solar energy and replace lighting with more energy-efficient LED lamps. (Read in Arabic)
TELECOMS + ICT
Sky Telecom joins e-Finance to facilitate e-commerce, e-government services
Sky Telecom signed an agreement with e-Finance to create “Egypt’s largest digital platform for e-commerce, services and e-government services.” Sky Telecom will connect over 20,000 retail outlets to the platform, which will provide convenient and secure access to e-government services, telecoms, utilities, and a range of complementary services from partner organisations on the platform. The project, according to Sky Telecom, is line with the Egyptian government’s plan develop the ICT industry and establish Egypt as a global digital hub. (Read)
OTHER BUSINESS NEWS OF NOTE
Egyptian census costs EGP 500 mn, says CAPMAS chief
The Egyptian census is considered one of the largest and cheapest statistical projects in the world, costing the state EGP 500 mn, says CAPMAS chief Abu Bakr El Guindy. One Egyptian family costs the state USD 0.33 in the 2006 census, while it cost USD 5 in Yemen, USD 18 in Saudi Arabia, and USD 28 in the US, he adds, attributing the difference to 80% of the project’s costs going to salaries. (Read in Arabic)
EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS
Abdel Aal apologises to parliamentary reporters, urges them to resume coverage
House of Representatives Speaker Ali Abdel Aal apologised to reporters yesterday over MP Mahmoud Khamis’ assault of Al Watan journalist Mohamed Tarek, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Abdel Aal also urged the reporters to resume their coverage of parliamentary sessions. He also stressed that the House will facilitate the journalists’ job in covering the sessions.
One-stop-shop policy ready for implementation in Suez Canal Development Area
A one-stop shop for investors in the Suez Canal is ready and is one of the key features that will attract investment in the Suez Canal Development Area (SCDA), says head of marketing at the SCDA Tarek Hashem. The SCDA’s ability to implement the policy comes down to its power to grant usufruct licenses to investors for up to 50 years and provide them with the necessary infrastructure. The one-stop shop will grant investors access to services including providing permits, ins. and banking services, and environment and engineering consulting services. (Read in Arabic)
Middle East defense spending to slow this year due to low oil prices
Growth in Middle East defense spending will slow this year because of the drop in oil prices, despite the wars in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, as per a report by IHS Jane carried by Bloomberg. “After growing swiftly between 2012 and 2014, defense spending in the region is expected to be little changed at [USD170 bn] over the next two years as budgetary pressures come up against security concerns.” Saudi Arabia’s 2015 defense budget was the largest in region at USD 46.3 bn, but the fastest growing were the budgets of Iran, Tunisia, and Israel, according to the report. (Read)
ON YOUR WAY OUT
The Health Ministry began a blood drive yesterday that is set to be the largest in Egypt’s history. The drive will continue to 15 March with a target to receive blood from over 110k donors, according to Al Mal.
On one hand… A Cairo criminal court ordered on Tuesday the release of Mohamed El-Zawahri on parole pending trial due to health reasons, Ahram Online writes. El-Zawahri is accused of joining a terrorist organisation (Al-Qaeda) and other charges, including attempting to overthrow the regime and promoting radicalism.
…and on the other: By order from the country’s top prosecutor, journalist and rights activist Hossam Bahgat was banned from travel on Tuesday, according to a post on Bahgat’s Facebook account. “Last November, the human rights activist and Mada Masr contributor was detained for four days by military prosecutors on charges of ‘publishing false news aimed at harming national security,’” according to Ahram Online.
Thankfully, we got rid of the Islamists… The Idko misdemeanor court upheld a three-year sentence against Moustafa Abdel Naby, who declared he was an atheist on his personal Facebook page. Abdel Naby was charged with “insulting religion and using phrases that diminish the glory of God,” Al Mal reports.
USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 23 February): 7.7301 (unchanged since Wednesday, 11 November 2015)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 23 February): 9.12 (+0.02 since Monday, 22 February, Reuters)
EGX30 (Tuesday): 6,104.74 (+0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 487.18 mn (12% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -12.86%
THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: EGX30 ended in the green yesterday, up 0.3%. The benchmark index’s top gainers were Oriental Weavers, United Arab Stevedoring, and Eastern Company. Edita Food Industries, Porto Group, and Arabia Investments were the day’s worst-performing index constituents. EFG Hermes Holding inched up 0.7%, with its turnover constituting around 21.4% of total turnover. With shares worth EGP 487.2 mn changing hands, foreign investors were the sole net sellers. Regional stocks performed about the same, with Saudi Arabia’s TASI rising 0.8%, Dubai’s DFM General Index 0.7%, and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index 0.4%.
Foreigners: Net short | EGP – 37.3 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP + 13.9 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP + 23.4 mn
Retail: 62.7% of total trades | 59.9% of buyers | 65.4% of sellers
Institutions: 37.3% of total trades | 40.1% of buyers | 34.6% of sellers
Foreign: 20.4% of total | 16.6% of buyers | 24.2% of sellers
Regional: 6.1% of total | 7.6% of buyers | 4.7% of sellers
Domestic: 73.5% of total | 75.8% of buyers | 71.1% of sellers
WTI: USD 31.48 (-5.35%)
Brent: USD 33.27 (-4.09%)
Gold: USD 1,232.30 / troy ounce (+1.82%)
TASI: 6,023.1 (+0.8%)
ADX: 4,313.6 (+0.4%)
DFM: 3,191.8 (+0.7%)
KSE Weighted Index: 354.6 (+0.9%)
QE: 10,002.8 (+0.9%)
MSM: 5,430.4 (-0.1%)
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