Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Purchasing managers index, auto sales are down.

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Republican candidate Ted Cruz ended his campaign after a crushing defeat to Donald Trump in the Indiana primary, the New York Times reported. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton with 53.2% of the vote to 46.8%. FiveThirtyEight had tallied polls plus forecasts showing Clinton will handily defeat Sanders, with a 90% chance of winning the Democratic nod. The delegate math for Sanders after this point is incredibly daunting, as noted by Nate Silver here (no direct link to table available, scroll to the entry timestamped at 7:44 pm). Clinton is widely expected to clinch a majority of delegates by 7 June.

FT profiles tech angel investor Hanan Abdel Meguid: The tech veteran (and one of the nicest people Enterprise knows) is profiled as part of a lengthy Financial Times (paywall) piece that puts the spotlight on six up-and-coming startups from around the world. Her company, Kemelizer, is currently backing two startups, Iqraaly, which “aims to be the Audible of the Middle East,” and another investment in slickr.co, which she calls a toolbox for fashion ecommerce. “I first want to explore and find out what is the number of start-ups doing really well versus those which win awards but don’t succeed as businesses,” she says. “The real matrix now is to go from hype to reality.”

El Garhy chats with Lamees: The Suez Canal, bolstering exports, and focusing on developing industry will offset lost tourism revenues, balance the trade deficit, and boost FX supply, said Finance Minister Amr El Garhy in an interview on Hona Al Asema on Tuesday. El Garhy also reiterated that falling oil prices have worked out in Egypt’s favor.

The Second Annual Egypt CSR Forum wraps up today at the Nile Ritz Carlton. Cabinet members including Ashraf El Arabi, Sahar Nasr, Tarek Kabil, and Ghada Waly were set to meet. We’ll be keeping an eye out for updates.

The four-day Cairo Food Africa Exhibition kicks off today at the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Center.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Senior executives from 75 South Korean companies are set to take part in the Egyptian-Korean Business Forum in Cairo tomorrow. Participating companies include Hyundai, Datsun, Daewoo, Hana Bank, GS Construction and Engineering, and Samsung, Al Borsa reports. The delegation will be led by South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Joo Hyunghwan, who will meet with Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil.

On The Horizon

Business News Foundation’s Third Annual Energy Conference: Energy and Sustainable Development kicks off on 10 May at the InterContinental Hotel Citystars Cairo. Register here.

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Speed Round

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Where’s the bottom? Egypt’s non-oil private sector continued on its downward trend in April as performance worsened for the seventh month straight, according to the Emirates NBD Egypt PMI, which posted a reading of 46.9, up from March’s 31-month low of 44.5, but well short of the magical reading of “above 50,” which would indicate that business is expanding. The silver lining is that the rate of contraction is easing. The main problem was an “unprecedented rise in input costs,” which increased charges and reduced input buying, pulling the level of inventories down at their fastest rate “in series history.” New orders and employment also fell. “Egypt’s private sector continues to struggle amidst the FX shortage. Although further EGP weakness will eventually help lay the foundations for an economic recovery, in the short term uncertainty over the exchange rate could see additional declines in output, and a further rise in inflationary pressures,” Emirates NBD senior economist Jean-Paul Pigat said.

EGP stable at auction, falls to EGP 11.05 on parallel market. The CBE sold USD 119.6 mn in its weekly auction yesterday at an unchanged rate of EGP 8.78 per USD 1. Traders told Reuters the FX rate weakened further on the parallel market to around EGP 11.05 per USD 1, weaker than the EGP 10.40-10.50 per USD 1 quoted last week.

The Central Bank of Egypt has not yet received any deposits or transfers from foreign countries, a source at the bank told Al Ahram. The funds are expected to arrive within a few days, the source added. The UAE had pledged to deposit USD 2 bn at the CBE last month.

The Middle East is really corrupt, Transparency International discovers, and we’re all very, very shocked: One in three people in the Middle East and North Africa paid bribes in 2015, according to a Transparency International report. Younger people are more likely to have paid a bribe than older people, and more men resort to paying bribes than women. “These numbers are unlikely to improve if the current trend continues, as the majority of people (61 per cent) in the region believe that the level of corruption has risen in the past 12 months,” Transparency International says. The landing page of 2016 TI report for MENA is here and you can view it online in full here.

EGX league table for April is out: EFG Hermes topped the EGX’s brokerage league table for 2016, ranking number one on the EGX table that excludes special transactions with an 18.67% market share. Rounding out the top five: CI Capital (7.99% market share), Pioneers (5.33%), Sigma (4.68%), and Naeem (3.24%).

Ranked by special transactions (or “traded deals,” in EGX-speak),EFG Hermes is number one with a 24.2% market share, followed by Pharos (17.91%), Pioneers (10.25%), CI Capital (9.27%), and Al Ahram (8.69%).

The overall rankings (regular trading + specials): EFG Hermes (19.0%), CI Capital (8.1%), Pioneers (5.7%), Sigma (4.6%), and Pharos (3.5%). The EGX’s league table ranks brokerage houses by total value traded. We then aggregate the figures for the two subsidiaries through which EFG Hermes trades and the two through which CI Capital trades to arrive at our ranking.

Apache optimistic about Egypt, says CEO: Apache has better cash margins in Egypt than the US, said Apache President and CEO John Christmann on Tuesday at a U.S. industry gathering yesterday, adding that he was glad the company held onto its assets in Egypt. “In a sub-[USD]50 oil world, the international assets really shine through,” said. “The thing we like about Egypt is, much like the Permian Basin [in Texas], there are many ways to win,” Christmann said. Egypt has opportunities in oil and gas, both onshore and off, and through horizontal and unconventional production, he said. “We really do see Egypt growing and growing in importance,” said Matt Loffman, manager of the Houston office for consulting firm Douglas-Westwood, specifically in natural gas. “The willingness of the government to exploit the reserves has been a major part of that.” (Read)

Automotive sales fell 31.2% y-o-y in 1Q2016 to 49,600 vehicles, down from around 72,200 units in the same period last year, according to data from the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC), an industry association. Passenger car sales dropped 31.7% during the quarter, with Al Mal reporting total sales revenue of EGP 6.3 bn. Bus sales declined 23.1% in 1Q2016, while sales of trucks plummeted 34.1%. Fully imported (CBU) vehicles took the brunt of shrinking sales, dropping 33.2%, while locally assembled vehicle sales declined 23.1%. Sales will fall 50% y-o-y by the end of 2016 on the back of the FX crunch, Elsaba Automotive chief Alaa Elsaba tells Al Borsa, calling on the government to swiftly adopt the automotive directive. The so-called auto directive — passed by Cabinet and believed now to be at the presidency for review — would provide domestic assemblers with tax incentives and other incentives to go further up the value chain into manufacturing, creating jobs and sustaining an industry that claims it is threatened by unfair competition from Turkish, Moroccan and European Union imports. (See Transport + Automotive, below, for more on the automotive directive, which HSBC says will benefit the industry, including listed player GB Auto.)

The Chamber of Metallurgical Industries was not notified of a cabinet decision to backtrack on reducing the price of natural gas supplied to steel factories to USD 4.5 per MMBtu from USD 7, Deputy Chairman Rafiq Al Dawi told Amwal Al Ghad. The reported cabinet decision came after producers hiked their average price per ton sold on the back of rising input prices and the devaluation of the EGP; Al Dawi confirmed to Amwal Al Ghad that steel prices are up as much as EGP 1,000 per ton. The flap over gas prices has prompted Gamal Al Garhy, the metallurgical chamber’s chairman, to argue that the government had no intention of following through with the price cuts in the first place — and accused “a particular businessman” in the industry of having influenced cabinet’s decision to reverse the gas price cut. In an interview with Al Borsa, Al Garhy balked at other industries wanting similar reductions in energy prices, saying natural gas is more of production input for the steel industry than it is an energy source.

On the flipside, sources at EGAS told Al Borsa that the regulator was never told by cabinet to reduce the price of gas to steel manufacturers. EGAS does not have enough gas available to meet industry demand, the sources claim, adding that there is a risk gas supplies to manufacturers will once again be cut as demand grows during the peak summer months.

It would appear that OTMT could resolve regulatory violations alleged by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) as early as next week, removing the sole remaining regulatory obstacle to Beltone’s acquisition of CI Capital, sources tell Al Borsa. The backstory almost reads like ancient history now: EFSA might grant OTMT’s majority shareholder an exemption from having to issue a mandatory tender offer to buy out minority shareholders in OTMT. The mandatory tender offer, the regulator reportedly feels, should have been triggered back in 2012 when OTMT’s ownership structure changed during the company’s demerger. The source added that OTMT and Beltone are also working on ironing out any remaining paperwork issues that could trip up the transaction.

Naguib Sawiris appears to be overjoyed, announcing on Twitter that he is forming a working team to come up with an initiative that “will bring happiness to 90 mn Egyptians,” Shorouk reports. What, we’re getting our own UAE-style minister of happiness now? We had really hoped that was a “thing” that had disappeared from our collective memory.

MOVES- Orascom Construction appointed Jérôme Guiraud as non-executive Chairman of the Board, replacing Nassef Sawiris, until the dissolution of the AGM on 25 May. Shareholders will be asked to confirm Guiraud’s appointment as a company director at the AGM. Guiraud will also represent 51% majority shareholders NNS Capital and the Sawiris Family on the Board. Guiraud has been CEO and director at NNS Capital since 2008, and currently sits on the board of OCI NV. In announcing the appointment, Sawiris noted, “The construction group has always been a launch pad for entrepreneurial growth since its inception and will remain a very important component of future Orascom and Sawiris Family growth initiatives.”

Admit it, you’ve done something similar at some point in your career: The Interior Ministry mistakenly emailed journalists a copy of its plan to “handle the Press Syndicate crisis” yesterday before sending a follow up email noting a “technical error,” AMAY reports. Ministry sources said the email was meant to be sent to Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar from the media department for approval. Excerpts from the email show the ministry planned to sway public opinion against the journalists and syndicate using “carefully selected experts.” Among the planks of the program: Claiming syndicate leaders had committed a crime by sheltering leftist journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El Sakka, who were arrested in a raid on the syndicate’s headquarters on Sunday.

The Interior Ministry raid to arrest Badr and El Sakka was made on the basis of valid prosecutor’s warrants, Shorouk News reports the Prosecutor General’s Office as having said yesterday. The prosecutor’s office has also imposed a gag order banning coverage of the details of the arrest and investigation, AMAY reports. The prosecution also warned that the syndicate’s leadership would face legal consequences if it was determined they gave Badr and El Sakka sanctuary at the Press Syndicate HQ despite knowing they were the subject of arrest warrants. The Press Syndicate will discuss a media blackout in response to the gag order during its Wednesday general assembly, said its deputy head Khalid Al Balshy. The general assembly will also discuss staging a weeklong protest, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

A number of political parties have declared their solidarity with the Press Syndicate in their ongoing sit in, condemning the Interior Ministry’s actions as a violation of the constitution and calling for the Interior Minister to resign. These calls have been coming from the leadership of the Egyptian Democratic Coalition, the Nour Party, the National Movement party headed by Ahmed Shafiq, and the Dostor Party, according to Al Shorouk. Former presidential nominee and head of the Popular Front Hamdeen Sabbahy lent his voice to these calls and demanded an apology from the presidency, Al Shorouk reports. The Interior Ministry continued its “siege” of the journalists’ headquarters, preventing leaders of political parties and unions from entering the building, Al Mal reports.

Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day. According to Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index 2016, Egypt was ranked 159 out of 180, dropping one position from last year’s report. The report, which was released last month, concludes that there was an overall global decline in press freedom “indicative of a climate of fear and tension combined with increasing control over newsrooms by governments and private-sector interests.”

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is looking to raise around USD 3 bn this year via Eurobonds, syndications, and bilateral and institutional lending to finance its activities, bank President Benedict Okey Oramah told Reuters on Tuesday. "We are going to issue a Eurobond very soon. We are going to go to the syndicated loan market. We are also prepared to issue some local currency bonds, so we can fund some local currency activities." Oramah said the bank aims to issue a Eurobond by mid-year depending on market conditions, but stopped short of disclosing how much it would raise. Local currency bonds are set to be issued in the last quarter of the year at no more than USD 200 mn, he said. The bank is also looking to increase deposits from the central banks of member countries to USD 10 bn compared to USD 3 bn currently, Oramah said.

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The Macro Picture

Water scarcity due to climate change could cost the Middle East and North Africa up to 6% of their GDP in less than 35 years, the World Bank warned. Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president said “water scarcity is a major threat to economic growth and stability around the world and climate change is making the problem worse,” he said. “If countries do not take action to better manage water resources, our analysis shows some regions with large populations could be living with long periods of negative economic growth.”

It looks like the eurozone’s aggressive monetary policies aren’t cutting muster as the European Commission (EC) once again downgraded its inflation forecasts due to low oil prices and the global economic shortfall, according to the FT (paywall). The EC expects inflation would only rise to 0.2% this year, down from a 0.5% forecast in February. “Oil prices fell again at the start of 2016, dragging inflation below zero,” the commission said. “External price pressure is also weak due to the slight appreciation of the euro and overcapacities in several emerging market economies that are holding back global producer prices.”

Egypt in the News

An agreement that will see China participate in building Egypt’s new administrative capital project is “part of Beijing’s plans to boost business in emerging markets,” Tamer El Ghobashy and Esther Fung write for the WSJ. “The early stages of the planned new capital show how Chinese businesses eager to expand overseas are taking advantage of opportunities created in emerging markets where leaders are eager to boost political support through economic development,” they write. China State construction said in a stock exchange filing that the first phase of the capital will include a national meeting centre, a parliament building, governmental premises, and conference and exhibition halls. “The construction time is estimated to be three years, and the total size of the contract is [USD 2.7 bn].”

Egypt is hoping for a hotel market revival, Nicolas Parasie writes for Nasdaq. Cairo’s hotels enjoyed an average occupancy of 75% before 2011, a rate that dropped below 40% afterwards, and even though room rates went up, revenue per available room declined mostly because of a weaker EGP. Parasie believes international and regional investors see long-term potential as the global officer of worldwide operations at the Ritz-Carlton, which recently opened in Cairo, says “we don’t have a short-term mentality, we’ve been here for a long time.” The same sentiment is reiterated by Hassan Ahdab, regional vice president Africa and Indian Ocean Starwood Hotels, who says “the country will in the long term regain confidence from the traveler."

It appears the WSJ put together a two-part feature on the Egyptian housing market yesterday. One tells us that domestic investors are pouring money into the sector as a hedge against a currency losing value. But “demand … continues to outstrip the supply of new units,” meaning the housing bubble spectre looms over the industry. This segues nicely into the other piece on the country’s housing shortage, which tells us that while the government embarks on low-income housing projects, their magnitude may not just fall short, but they are unlikely to materialize without private-sector help. Meanwhile, some aren’t convinced at all of the sector’s efficacy, with Damac’s Chairman Hussain Sajwani saying “You must be a mad businessman to take your money [to Egypt],” due to the weak currency and unstable political climate.

Worth Reading

Worth reading: The Doom and Gloom Edition. The Financial Times and the New York Times are speaking our language this morning with what long-time Enterprise readers will recognize as two of our favourite Doomesday themes. The Financial Times is starting a four-part series headlined Robots: Friend or Foe (landing page for day one of the package).

Meanwhile the New York Times gives us all a glimpse of what an organized response to one of the greatest threats facing Egypt might look like in Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’.

Not enough of a downer for you? New York Times Cairo Bureau Chief Declan Walsh decamped to Syria, from whence he has penned the bittersweet On Streets of Syria’s Capital, Even the Sweet Is Sour. A story of war, loss and survival told in part through two small businesses and black humour? What’s not to love.

Image of the day

Sometimes good things happen, too: Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani released from Evin prison after 12-year sentence reduced. 28-year old Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani, who received a 12-year prison sentence for drawing the Iranian parliament as animals in response to their vote to restrict Iran’s once-vaunted family planning program, was released on Tuesday, the AP reported.

Farghadani’s sentence had been just the beginning of her problems; aside from beatings she received in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, in a separate case against her, she was threatened by the state with 99 lashes for shaking her male lawyer’s hand. Farghadani’s story was not just that of the destruction of another young person from the region, but was a red flag for Iran’s ambitious program to double its population, which we detailed extensively in February.

(View the image that started it all here, and see this picture of Atena upon her release on Tuesday standing alongside her mother, who we’re guessing will probably never let her out of her sight again, via Politico’s staff cartoonist Matt Wuerker)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Sudan is again claiming that it has sovereignty over Halayeb and Shalateen, Ahram Online reported. "We will not let go of our sovereign rights to the Halayeb Triangle," Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour told the parliament of Sudan on Monday. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry was unavailable for comment, but was previously quoted saying the situation with Halayeb and Shalateen was totally different to that of the now Saudi-controlled Tiran and Sanafir.

Egypt’s economy possesses “diversified potential” and is “likely to survive,” wrote Marwa Yehia for Xinhua in response to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s comments on Egypt’s economy and its likelihood of collapse without outside help. "The Turkish FM’s comments are deeply biased and baseless," said former IMF advisor Fakhry El Fiqy.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi told a US congressional delegation in Cairo on Tuesday that human rights and freedoms in Egypt should not be looked at from a "Western perspective" because of the different challenges and domestic and regional conditions, according to Ahram Online. The delegation, which is led by Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Congressman Michael McCaul, arrived to talk bilateral ties and counterterrorism efforts. El Sisi also said Egypt was committed to cooperating with the US to tackle mutual goals, particularly the threat of terrorism.

Energy

Bechtel to provide Assiut refinery with delayed coking technology

Bechtel signed an agreement with Assiut Oil Refining Company (ASORC) to provide the process design of a delayed coking unit at the Assiut refinery. Bechtel says ASORC will use its ThruPlus coking technology to upgrade heavy oil into high-value, light hydrocarbon liquids as part of its USD 1.5 bn refinery modernization program. "The addition of a modern delayed coking unit was determined to be the most economical option to allow the refinery to increase complexity and eliminate heavy fuel oil product,” ASORC’s Chairman said. (Read)

Engie invests USD 490 mn in renewable energy projects

Engie (formerly GDF Suez and still, we argue, one of the worst rebrandings in recent corporate history) are looking to build two renewable energy projects in Egypt with investments of USD 490 mn, the company’s regional manager revealed. One is a solar power station costing USD 110 mn to be completed by 2017 and the other a wind farm costing USD 380 mn that should be completed by 2018, he added. The company is looking to bid on energy projects issued by the government in the Suez Canal region and the new capital and is establishing a new office in Cairo within weeks to regulate its operations in the MENA region, he adds. (Read in Arabic)

Total completes seismic mapping in Nile Delta concession

Total has completed seismic mapping of its Nile Delta concession, sources from EGAS told Al Shorouk. Total is waiting for BP to complete its own drilling process to rent the same drill for its exploration wells, the source added. Total was awarded a tender for the Nile Delta concession in 2013. (Read in Arabic)

Four companies bid on tender to import steam turbines for West Cairo power plant

Four international companies have submitted financial and technical proposals for a tender to supply the West Cairo power plant with steam turbines, Cairo electricity Production Company Chairman Mohamed Mokhtar told Al Mal. The companies include Korea’ Doosan Group, General Electric, a consortium of Siemens and Shanghai Electric, and Toyota Tsusho, he added. The 650 MW power plant is expected to cost around EGP 6 bn when completed. (Read in Arabic)

Six int’l electric companies compete to import and install steam turbines in Al Waleediya power plant

General Electric, Siemens, Toyota Tsusho, Shanghai Electric, Harbin Turbine Company, and Doosan Global have submitted bids on a tender to import and install steam turbines for the USD 700 mn Al Waleediya power plant in Assiut. Harbin Turbine is the frontrunner offering to complete the project for EGP 526 mn, followed by Doosan (EGP 633 mn) and Shanghai Electric (EGP 727 mn), according to sources. (Read in Arabic)

Basic Materials + Commodities

Centamin 1Q2016 net profit up 27% y-o-y

Centamin’s 1Q2016 net profit before tax rose 27% y-o-y to USD 67.5 mn, with annual production at the Sukari mine up 16% y-o-y to 125,268 ounces at a cost of production of USD 603 per ounce and all-in-sustaining cost of USD 758 per ounce, the company said in a statement issued Tuesday. (Read)

Manufacturing

Gov’t to build 5 sqm industrial zone in Tenth Ramadan

The Industry and Trade Ministry is planning to establish a new 5 mn sqm industrial zone in Tenth of Ramadan City, according to the deputy head of the Egyptian Union for Investors Associations Mahram Hilal who urged the government to ready the land before the year is out. He also called out the government for failing to this day to implement the one-stop-shop policy. (Read in Arabic)

Tourism

Easter revives Sharm El Sheikh hotel occupancy rates

Easter and Sham El Nessim holidays lifted hotel occupancy rates in South Sinai, Hisham Aly, the head of the South Sinai investors association, told Al Shorouk. Sharm El Sheikh’s hotel occupancy rate went up to 40-50%, he added. Occupancy rates also increased in Luxor and Aswan during the week, Al Shorouk noted. (Read in Arabic)

Automotive + Transportation

HSBC’s research supports GB Auto’s push for the automotive directive

It would appear that HSBC agrees with suggestions in Egypt that the automotive directive will help rescue the domestic assembly industry, Al Borsa reports. A new research report by the bank suggests the automotive directive would will help companies in the sector, specifically GB Auto (as the listed bellwether for the industry) counteract the negative impact of the devaluation by encouraging more foreign companies to invest and removing some of the advantages of Moroccan and Turkish assembled cars have in Egypt. By raising the competitiveness of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cars built in Egypt, the directive will help boost GB Auto’s performance as it looks poised to form key partnerships with international players looking to invest in Egypt. (Read in Arabic)

Abu Ghaly motors to be official distributor of Petronas motor oil in Egypt

Abu Ghaly has won the contract to be the official licensed distributor for Petronas’ motor oil in Egypt after an 18 month negotiations process, said Abu Ghaly managing director Mohamed Abu Ghaly. The company plans to open a new motor oil production line in Borg Al Arab, he added. (Read in Arabic)

Banking + Finance

Emirates NBD launches Nile Account, extends DirectRemit service to Egypt

Emirates NBD has launched the Nile Account and extended its DirectRemit service to Egypt, allowing non-resident Egyptians in the UAE access to banking. The Nile Account offers existing Egyptian customers access to banking services available in Egypt, while the DirectRemit service allows transfer of remittances to Emirates NBD accounts in Egypt within 60 seconds. The service will largely target expatriates. (Read)

NBE studies EGP 7 bn loans to energy, transportation sectors

NBE is currently studying new loans worth a combined EGP 7 bn to companies operating in the energy and transportation sectors, Deputy Chairman Yehia Aboul Fetouh told Al Mal. The loans include EGP 2 bn to a company operating in the ports sector, an EGP 2 bn loan to a company operating in petroleum products to be paid over seven years, and an EGP 3 bn loan to an electricity company. Aboul Fetouh didn’t reveal the names of the companies, but expects a consortium to be formed with domestic banks to cover the loans. (Read in Arabic)

Other Business News of Note

Arab Moltaqa plan EGP 200 mn investments in 2016

The Arab Moltaqa Investments Company is looking to invest EGP 200 mn into the health and energy sectors, Managing Director Khaled Abu Heif told Amwal Al Ghad. The company’s expansion strategy involves entering new sectors through new investment partnerships, he added. Arab Moltaqa’s consolidated earnings for 9M2015 were up 440%, he noted. The company’s current operations span the agricultural, industrial, land reclamation, real estate, and tourism sectors. (Read in Arabic)

Legislation + Policy

Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid announces strategy to raise FDI to USD 10-15 bn by 2018

Egypt will net FDI in the USD 10-15 bn range by 2018 on the back of a new strategy from the investment ministry, the domestic press reports. The strategy will include “new articles and amendments” to the Investment Act that presently top the legislative agenda for the Investment Ministry. The Investment Ministry is planning to issue a bankruptcy act and a new law governing government and sovereign wealth funds. Khorshid’s plan will also include forming a committee to better engage and include the private sector in investment policy. The ministry also plans to open offices in nations that trade extensively with Egypt to promote investments, primarily in national projects, including in the GCC, China, EU, and US. It is also devising a strategy to boost indirect investment over the coming three to five years. (Read in Arabic)

On Your Way Out

An Egyptian man was found dead on a railway track in Naples, Italy last Saturday, according to a Foreign Ministry statement published on Tuesday. Mohamed Baher had “illegally” migrated to Italy in 2006, according to the statement. The Egyptian embassy in Rome has asked that the Italian authorities investigate and share the results of the preliminary autopsy.

Human Rights Watch says Egyptian authorities should to release Dr. Taher Mokhtar and two roommates arrested with him as the “arrest and detention appear to be solely related to the doctor’s research and past political activism,” according to a statement from the group on Tuesday.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 3 May): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 3 May): 11.05 (+0.07 since Monday, 2 May, Reuters)

EGX30 (Tuesday): 7,531.6 (-3.11%)
Turnover: EGP 694.6 mn (60% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: 7.5%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 fell 3.11% on Tuesday to 7,531.6 points with shares worth EGP 694.6 mn changing hands. All EGX30 constituents ended the day in the red yesterday. Foreign and retail investors investors were buyers while local, institutional, and Arab investors were sellers. Regional markets followed suit, with the TASI down 1.2%, ADX 2.0%, and DFM 1.8%.
Foreigners:Net long | EGP + 82.2 mn
Regional:Net short | EGP – 23.7 mn
Domestic:Net short | EGP – 58.5 mn

Retail: 51.2% of total trades | 55.2% of buyers | 47.1% of sellers
Institutions: 48.8% of total trades | 44.8% of buyers | 52.9% of sellers

Foreign: 21.2% of total | 27.2% of buyers | 15.3% of sellers
Regional: 14.0% of total | 12.3% of buyers | 15.7% of sellers
Domestic: 64.8% of total | 60.5% of buyers | 69.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 43.76 (-2.39%)
Brent: USD 45.20 (-1.57%)
Gold: USD 1,287.80 / troy ounce (-0.39%)

TASI: 6,638.2 (-1.2%)
ADX: 4,382.1 (-2.0%)
DFM: 3,324.0 (-1.8%)
KSE Weighted Index: 363.1 (-0.1%)
QE: 9,939.0 (-1.5%)
MSM: 5,984.0 (+0.5%)

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Calendar

04-07 May 2016 (Wednesday-Saturday): The Cairo Food Africa Exhibition, Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Center, Cairo.

07-08 May 2016 (Saturday-Sunday): Techne Summit, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt. Register here.

10 May (Tuesday): Business News Foundation’s Third Annual Energy Conference: Energy and Sustainable Development, InterContinental Hotel Citystars Cairo. Register here.

16-17 May (Monday-Tuesday): Egyptian-Bahraini committee meets, Cairo.

25-26 May (Wednesday-Thursday): The Middle East and North Africa Solar Conference and Expo MENASOL 2016, Hyatt Regency, Dubai.

02-03 June (Thursday-Friday): The first annual EBRD Research Symposium on The Economics of the Middle East and North Africa, EBRD headquarters, London, UK.

06 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day (national holiday)

27 November 2016 (Sunday): 2016 Cairo ICT Conference Group

04-06 December 2016 (Sunday-Tuesday): Solar-Tec exhibition, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo

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