Monday, 23 May 2016

El Garhy targets 5.2% GDP growth in 2016-17 budget


What We’re Tracking Today

Is the Egyptian Army readying a wide-scale anti-Daesh offensive? The talk is all over social media this morning, but has yet to appear in the mainstream press. The only “media outlets” giving the news prominent at the moment are ideological twins Al-Bawab and Breitbart News. Breitbart quotes an unnamed “Arab intelligence official” as saying the Israelis have given a nod to the operation, while Al-Bawab has chapter and verse on what it claims will be an operation throughout most of north Sinai governorate. Breitbart says the offensive could start this week, while Al Bawab says it is set to begin “within hours.”

Sheikh Al Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb will meet today with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Ahram Online reports.

The House of Representatives is set to vote on a USD 243 mn loan from the Arab Monetary Fund tomorrow (Tuesday, 24 May), said House Economic Committee member Amr Al Gohry. The loan, which carries a 1.2% interest rate, will be used to shore up FX reserves. The committee will discuss the CBE report today ahead of sending it to parliament for the vote.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Sir Suma in town to ink EUR 320 mn in agreements: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Sir Suma Chakrabarti will arrive in Cairo on Wednesday, 25 May to sign EUR 320 mn in loan agreements with the government. The loans will help finance transportation, irrigation, and water infrastructure development projects, Al Borsa reports.

With just over two weeks to go before the Holy Month is due to begin (probably on 7 June), we’re looking at the usual pre-Ramadan crush of conferences this week and next:

  • On 25-26 May (Wednesday-Thursday) The Middle East and North Africa Solar Conference and Expo MENASOL 2016 kicks off at the Hyatt Regency in Dubai.
  • Also on Wednesday: The FAO and EBRD conference “Securing the future of Baladi bread: how Egyptian public-private partnerships can help deliver tomorrow’s food security,” Sofitel El Gezirah, Cairo. Register here.
  • The second Africa and Middle East conference on software engineering (AMECSE) is happening at Intercontinental Citystars in Cairo on 28-29 May.
  • The two-day Middle East Regional Forum Egypt kicks off on Monday 30 May at The Movenpick Hotel & Casino Cairo-Media City in Cairo.
  • N Gage’s Investment Regulation Forum in cooperation with Pepsico hits the ground running on 29 May (Sunday) at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo. Register here.
  • On 1-2 June (Wednesday and Thursday) the Cisco Connect Egypt 2016 is taking place at Cairo’s Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski. You can go ahead and tap here to register.
  • Right after, the first annual EBRD Research Symposium on the Economics of the Middle East and North Africa takes place on 2-3 June (Thursday-Friday) at the EBRD headquarters in London.
  • OPEC meets on Thursday, 2 June. Don’t expect an agreement to reduce output.


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Speed Round

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Egypt deployed a submarine capable of reaching 3,000 meters below the surface of the sea on Sunday to search for black box flight recorders of EgyptAir MS804, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said in a televised speech (watch, runtime: 13:16). Underwater equipment from Egypt’s offshore oil industry was brought in to help the search, said the president, which an oil ministry source tells Reuters referred to a robot submarine used mostly to maintain offshore oil rigs.

"As of now, all scenarios are possible," El Sisi said in his first public remarks on the crash. Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian have coverage this morning.

The Egypt-led investigation committee will release a preliminary report on its findings in one month, state-run newspaper Al Ahram reported on Sunday, a tight deadline on a process that can last months, if not years. Ayman al-Moqadem, the head of Egypt’s Air Accidents Investigation department, said the report will present all data gathered by that date. Al Ahram also managed to get its hands on the Airbus accident report from the flight, showing the ACARS messages transmitted before the crash. Meanwhile, the US Navy located 100 pieces of debris positively identified as aircraft wreckage during its search for the wreckage on Saturday, according to its official Twitter feed.

The Associated Press reports that the first audio made available from the flight indicates all was routine when the aircraft checked in with air traffic controllers in Switzerland late Wednesday night. The recording was taken from, which provides live air traffic control broadcasts.

Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed is apparently not worried about the crash’s impact on tourism. Rashed told Bloomberg and Reuters in an interview on Sunday in his Cairo office that government plans to attract 10 mn tourists next year, generating USD 12 bn in revenue, remains unaffected. “The efforts that we need to put are maybe 10 times what we planned to put in place but we need to focus on our ability to drive business back to Egypt to change the image of Egypt,” Reuters quotes him as saying. Egypt will not cut prices for vacationers because the country already offers “good value,” he said. “Nothing has changed in my view," he added. "We’re going to work hard, we’re going to set high targets and we’re going to do everything we can do to maximize tourism revenues.”

Egypt will increase its natural gas production to 5.5-6 bcf/d by the end of 2019, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla announced yesterday, according to Reuters. Egypt’s output is currently around 3.9 bcf/d. “Egypt currently has 12 natural gas field development projects underway worth a total of [USD 33 bn] in investment,” Reuters adds. El Molla also confirmed the ministry will commission a third FSRU in 2017, which would bring LNG imports to 2 bcf/d.

House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal warned parliamentarians that criticising Egypt’s monetary and fiscal policies in the media could see them become the subject of a hearing at the House ethics committee — a prelude to more serious punishments, Reuters’ Arabic service reports. “Some MPs consistently appear on television programs talking about the monetary policy of the state, undermining the national economy … during these sensitive times in which we live,” he said during a session. The House will not “tolerate any criticism or attack on — nor will we allow anyone to speak in public on the monetary policy of the state — based on false information.” His statements came the same day as Finance Minister Amr El Garhy and Planning Minister Ashraf Al Araby made detailed presentations to the House on the 2016-17 budget and year one of Vision 2003 (see Spotlight for more on both plans).

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) will push once again for Telecom Egypt (TE) to exit its stake in Vodafone Egypt when seeking a 4G license, a senior official from the NTRA tells Al Borsa. TE is being required by regulations to exit on its second attempt to establish an independent mobile network due to a conflict of interest, the official added. The state-owned fixed-line monopoly currently holds four board seats in Vodafone Egypt. The government had planned to push TE out of Vodafone Egypt back in 2013 when it had planned to issue a unified license to operate a network, but backed out when plans for the license were scrapped. The NTRA will reportedly grant TE a grace period to meet requirements to obtain a 4G license and will grant Vodafone Group shareholders preferential rights to buy back TE’s shares. Al Borsa also suggests that the government will seek to retain a 45% interest in Vodafone Egypt, but not through TE.

Banque du Caire may be the first of the state-owned banks and public sector companies to IPO this year, according to Youm7, which quoted statements from EGX head Mohamed Omran at Al Mal GTM’s Portfolio Egypt Conference. Back in February, CBE Governor Tarek Amer had confirmed that the CBE would be reducing its stake in unnamed two state-owned banks by 20% when they IPO, but noted that the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr were not for sale. Omran praised the move to list public sector companies, saying a listing would ensure transparency and accountability. State-owned companies will face the same regulatory burden as private-sector companies that list, he added.

National Bank of Egypt is the “bank of the year,” according the sixth annual Business News index measuring performance across the Egyptian banking sector. Bank of Alexandria was named the most efficient, Egyptian Gulf Bank the fastest growing, and CIB the best provider of services to the retail segment. According to Daily News Egypt, “the Business News indicator is composed of four main indexes: speed of growth, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and spending on social responsibility.” The index is also available on Al Borsa and also includes an in-depth supplement (pdf download).

Edison and Qalaa Holdings are in talks with the Electricity Ministry to build a EUR 100 mn combined cycle power plant in Abu Qir that will sell power directly to consumers. The two companies have reached an agreement with the EGPC to supply the 180 MW power plant with natural gas from Edison’s concession in Abu Qir and are currently in talks to rent land in the area, a source from Edison tells Al Borsa. The plant, which will be developed in Italy and assembled in Egypt, would be a 50-50 JV between both companies. The pair hope to launch the project in September and begin issuing civil engineering tenders in October. Edison plans to begin drilling by year’s end, with the Abu Qir field expected to produce 100-150 mcf/d of natural gas.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated the USD 1.96 bn Misr Fertilizers Production Company (MOPCO) fertilizer plant in Damietta. The expansion project, according to Al Ahram, has a urea production capacity of 2 mn tonnes, increasing Egypt’s annual urea output by 50%, which we reported yesterday. Egyptian entities own around 70% of the project, with Canadian fertilizer producer Agrium holding 26%, and the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries 3.3%. The new plant also aims to export 60% of its output. The environmental impact of the expansion project was fully assessed, Environmental Affairs Minister Khaled Fahmy said, according to Al Shorouk, in a nod to the problems with ‘community relations’ (we’re being euphemistic here) that bedeviled it in 2008. The ministry had a number of requirements, all of which MOPCO abided with, Fahmy noted.

The Health Ministry has reportedly approved raising the prices of 92 treatments whose prices exceed EGP 30 by 20%, sources tell Al Mal. These sources also stated that the products were being manufactured by multinationals including Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Sanofi. Last week the Ismail cabinet had approved raising by 20% the price healthcare compounds that had been retailing for under EGP 30 to ensure the compounds were made available in the market. These sources allege that multinationals are piggybacking on this decision by reducing package sizes to bring the cost-per-package to below EGP 30 and so become eligible to raise prices. An industry association representing the multinationals denied this and other reports on social media that multinationals have increased prices, Al Borsa reports.

Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilaly Group plans to begin constructing its USD 345 mn, 854 m tall skyscraper in Egypt in 3Q16 as part of USD 600-650 mn in new investments it has earmarked for Egypt over the coming three years, said Al Hilaly’s chairman Sami Al Hilaly. The company also plans to build a USD 100-150 mn coastal tourist resort, which will be developed concurrent with the skyscraper dubbed Al Hilaly Tower, Al Hilaly in an interview with Al Borsa. The 98-story tower, expected to be the tallest in Egypt, will retail outlets and an artificial lake. Rental contracts have been signed for around 60% of the project, he claims. The company, which says it has USD 2 bn in assets worldwide, plans to IPO in Dubai in three years’ time.

EFG Hermes Asset Management boss Amr Seif takes International Adviser’s Mark Battersby on a tour of Egypt, the GCC and frontier markets in a very wide-ranging discussion that uses the launch of the UCITS-compliant EFG Hermes MENA and and Frontier funds as news hooks. Seif welcomes reform in the GCC (calling it “orderly and equitable”), is optimistic about Egypt’s infrastructure and consumption stories, and taps Pakistan, Vietnam, some Sri Lankan equities as well as shares in Kenya, Croatia, Bangladesh and Egypt as among his picks for the Frontier fund.

Blumberg Grain expands to Algeria: Blumberg Grain, a fixture of the Egyptian commodities scene for its work on the shouna project, is expected to sign an agreement “within the coming weeks with Algeria’s state grain agency OAIC to build high-tech wheat silos.” The silos can store up to 1 mn tonnes, and CEO David Blumberg hopes the agreement can be signed before Ramadan. “The design in Algeria will be different from the ones in Egypt as in Egypt they don’t have the capability to transport wheat in bulk,” Blumberg said. “A final agreement in the next few weeks will pave the way for investment in Algeria by Blumberg,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Zika has appeared on Africa’s doorstep: Tests show an outbreak of the virus on the African island chain of Cape Verde is of the same strain as the one blamed for birth abnormalities in Brazil, the World Health Organization said on Friday. “The findings are of concern because it is further proof that the outbreak is spreading beyond South America and is on the doorstep of Africa. This information will help African countries to re-evaluate their level of risk and adapt and increase their levels of preparedness,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti. Are you listening, Egypt? The CDC confirmed last month that the virus is linked to microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects, but there have also been reports linking the virus to neurological disorders in those contracting the virus, not just pregnant woman. Stay indoors, folks. Preferably under a titanium shield.


Finance Minister Amr El Garhy presented a detailed overview of his FY 2016-17 budget to the House of Representatives 50 days before the new fiscal year is set to begin. The government is targeting GDP growth of 5.2% (with GDP set to come in at EGP 3.2 trn, Al Mal reports) for 2016-17, accelerating to 6.2% by FY 2019-20. The budget deficit for the coming year is set to fall to 9.8% of GDP (or EGP 319.5 bn, according to AMAY) from a projected 11.5% of GDP this year on total expenditures of EGP 936 bn. Public debt should drop to 97% of GDP as a result, the minister said.

Spending on social services is forecast to grow 12.5% to EGP 421 bn, with some EGP 46.3 bn earmarked for food subsidies and petroleum and fuel subsidies set to fall 43% from this year’s level to EGP 35 bn, according to Al Borsa. The cut in fuel subsidies is based on oil at USD 40 a barrel, despite it edging towards USD 50 of late. The new budget has also allocated EGP 29 bn in spending for power subsidies, according to a Finance Ministry statement. Some EGP 33 bn will be spent on subsidized housing in the new budget, with an ultimate target of EGP 100 bn.

El Garhy’s presentation stands out for its clarity, depth and timeliness, but that hasn’t stopped AMAY from noting that it was technically due to the House 30 days before the new year fiscal year, which would have meant that El Garhy would have had to present the same day he was appointed Finance Minister.

El Garhy is banking on new revenue streams including the value-added tax, reforms to the real estate tax system and a new customs act that will enforce strict punishments on customs evaders and reduce times and fees for importers. The ministry also plans to manage public debt more efficiently and to better manage its sources of financing, according to an emailed statement.

Also yesterday, Planning Minister Ashraf Al Araby presented the government’s strategy in the first year of its Vision 2030 (mercifully referred to by the domestic press as year one and not Year Zero). The plan, detailed here in Al Masry Al You, is a rehash of the main targets and programs of the Ismail Cabinet’s work plan, which was presented to the parliament and which we covered extensively. The broad strokes of the plan’s economic planks include a focus on targeted sector growth through key development projects:

  • Power: Completing the construction of 8 power plants producing 20 GW and completing renewable projects which will produce 3.3 GW;
  • Agriculture: Completing the 1.5 mn feddan land reclamation project;
  • Industry: Rehabilitating factories; developing utilities for existing industrial zones and building new utility infrastructure across Egypt’s governorates; completing the Robeky leather industries complex; establishing a EGP 1 bn company to manage the furniture city project;
  • Tourism: Targeting 10 mn tourists by promoting the sector in multiple markets;
  • Transportation: Completing 16 new highways;
  • Telecoms: Begin constructing seven new tech zones/

Key macro drivers on which the plan focuses include:

  • Improving the investment climate by (you guessed it) effectively implementing the one-stop shop policy; improving the legislative climate by implementing laws including the bankruptcy act; increasing access to GAFI by opening more branches across the nation; promoting investments in untapped and poorly developed territories.
  • Improving the business climate in key sectors by completing the payment arrears owed to foreign E&P companies by the end of 2016; reducing time to obtain licenses for factories; encouraging investments in tourism; and bolstering investments in internal trade.
  • Improving the lot of SMEs by enforcing the Central Bank of Egypt’s initiative; studying establishing major microfinance institutions in cooperation with Egypt Post; facilitating credit to SMEs by simplifying licensing procedures; amending legislation on competition which would allow SMEs to compete for tenders and benefits.

The budget and Vision 2030 plan are now with the House Budget and Planning committee for review; both will then go up for a vote before the full House, Al Borsa reports.


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The Macro Picture

The US is close to meeting most economic conditions the Fed set to raise interest rates in June, according to Eric Rosengren, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Rosengren told the Financial Times (paywall) he was set to back tighter monetary policy. “I want to be sensitive to how the data comes in, but I would say that most of the conditions that were laid out in the minutes, as of right now, seem to be . . . on the verge of broadly being met,” he said.

Meanwhile, the US is wielding the “biggest stick” in trade dumping, overtaking India as the leader of anti-dumping and other trade defense cases, according to the Financial Times (paywall). The US and China butted heads on the issue as early as two weeks ago, with three politically sensitive anti-dumping cases this summer against Chinese steel imports “that could result in the US imposing punitive duties of as much as 500%.” However, the data also serves to highlight the gap in such cases between the US and EU, “where a debate is under way over whether to grant China “market economy” status in the World Trade Organisation, a concession that would make it even harder to bring anti-dumping cases.”

Speaking of China, the country has stepped its battle against bad debt into fifth gear amid criticism of its debt-fueled economy, the Financial Times (paywall) writes. Its state-led debt-for-equity scheme soared in value by about USD 100 bn in the past two months to USD 220 bn by the end of April, according to data from Wind Information. The programme forces banks to write off bad debt in exchange for equity in struggling companies. Analysts say “coercing banks to become stakeholders in companies that could not pay back loans will further weigh down profits this year.”

Egypt in the News

Israel returned two stolen sarcophagi lids to Egypt on Sunday, saying the move was a sign of warmer relations between the two countries, according to the Israeli Foreign Minister. “The return of the Egyptian [artefacts] is symbolic, more than anything, of the changing relations [between] Israel and Egypt,” Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold told Reuters.
“Israel Antiquities Authority investigators found the two artefacts, one dating back between 3,400 and 3,600 years and the second about 3,000 years-old, in an antiquity dealer’s shop in East Jerusalem about five years ago.”

Egypt’s mineral resources could surpass oil and gas as a source of wealth considering the country sits on a veritable goldmine, if you will, according to the head of a company prospecting for gold and other minerals in the country’s Eastern Desert. Minerals have been largely neglected since the 1960s, but are estimated to be worth hundreds of bn of USD, Patrick Werr writes for the National. “It’s effectively virgin territory, but with a map," said Mark Campbell, president of Alexander Nubia. In fact, the Luxor Hamama mine, acquired by a Canadian listed company in 2006 could be as big or even bigger than Sukari. “There is a good possibility we have a tiger by the tail," said company geologist Leonard Karr.

Worth Reading


Worth Watching

Donald Trump, USD 37.82, and Two Band-Aids: New Yorker writer Mark Singer’s assignment to profile Donald Trump in 1997 makes for 14 minutes of what can only be described as some of the better stand-up comedy we’ve seen in a long time — far more so than any late night host or professional “comedian” could hope to achieve, as Singer was actually forced to study and interact Trump, who of course did not appreciate Singer’s profile. (Watch, audio may be set to mute by default, click on speaker icon for sound)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi called for an Egyptian-Lebanese joint venture to be formed to export to Africa at a meeting with Industry and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil. Cooperation between Egypt and Lebanon to export to African countries has been in the works since last year and was the focus of a meeting between Kabil, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, and Lebanon’s prime minister, economy minister, and speaker of the house, Al Mal reports.

A delegation from the Saudi Fund for Development visited Egypt last Thursday for talks on how to invest USD 1.5 bn to develop the Sinai, according to the Saudi Embassy’s official Twitter account. The initial agreement was inked in March during a meeting in Riyadh; the delegation was set to meet with International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr


Elsewedy Electric receives necessary approval for Angola contract

Elsewedy Electric obtained all necessary approvals required for its USD 484.5 mn project in Angola and the contract is now active, according to a bourse statement. Elsewedy Electric is contracted to build three power plants in Angola. Activating the contract, which was signed in January, was awaiting the approval from the relevant court, according to the statement.

IOCs trying to pay domestic liabilities in EGP

Some IOCs operating in Egypt are trying to increase the proportion of costs they can pay in EGP, SDX Energy (formerly Sea Dragon)’s country manager Ahmed Moaz told Al Mal. The main problem facing IOCs, Moaz said, is they are contracted to pay their suppliers mostly in USD, but the Egyptian government is paying IOCs increasingly in EGP. Companies are worried this might begin to significantly impact their exploration and production activities.

Basic Materials + Commodities

PwC, Beltone Financial to complete within six months plans to list companies owned by the Supply Ministry –Hanafy

PwC and Beltone Financial will complete within six months plans to list some companies owned by the Supply Ministry, Minister Khaled Hanafy said. An alternative, the minister posited, would be to list the ministry’s holding companies to raise capital, but this would require legislative amendments, according to Al Borsa. The capital raised would be used to restructure companies and put them on a path of profitability. Hanafy also said the ministry is working on establishing a registered trademark for its sugar producers, which “are older than the Suez Canal.”


Electrolux Egypt in the market for EGP 200 mn loan

Electrolux Egypt is reportedly in talks to borrow EGP 200 mn from a state-owned bank to finance expansions, Al Shorouk reported. The company has planned to invest EGP 3.5 bn in Egypt over the next three years.


Pyramisa Hotels shutters Luxor and Aswan Isis hotels, plans to resume development of Dubai hotel

The board of directors at Pyramisa Hotels and Resorts has decided to close down the Pyramisa Isis Hotel & Suites in Luxor and the Pyramisa Isis Island Resort Aswan for four months starting in June due to low occupancy rates and weakening tourist arrivals, company sources tell Al Borsa. The company plans to resume development of its hotel in Dubai in 3Q16, a project which has been stalled for two years to a lack of financing. The company is talks with banks, including the National Bank of Egypt to provide a loan to resume the construction, Al Borsa reports.

Banking + Finance

NBE reissues high-interest rate CDs

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) is reissuing the certificates of deposit issued to foreign currency holders who convert their holdings to EGP and carried an interest rate of 15%. Chairman Hesham Okasha said the decision to reissue them came after receiving extra demand in some branches, Al Mal reported. The CDs were issued for a period of 60 days that expired last week, when NBE announced it raised USD 169 mn from selling them.

Traders accused of Beltone share manipulation hit 12

The number of traders the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) has referred to the prosecutor general’s office on charges of manipulating the market for shares of Beltone Financial has hit 12, according to an unnamed EFSA official speaking to Bloomberg. We had reported last week that the figure was 10. The as-yet unnamed traders were referred earlier this month, the official said. Beltone is not a party in the issue and has still not been informed if any of the people involved are related to the company, Beltone’s Corporate Finance and Investment Relations Director Osama Rashad told Bloomberg by phone.

Other Business News of Note

El Farasha for Printing to IPO in July

El Farasha for Printing and Packaging will float a 25-30% stake in an IPO in July 2016, said Investor Relations Manager Ahmed Younes, according to Al Mal. El Farasha completed the necessary processes and valuations, but still awaits EFSA’s approvals to proceed with the IPO. The company says it already exports 5% of its production and is looking to expand its output to 26.4k tonnes annually. El Farasha is a family-owned business setup in 2003 with a paid-in capital of EGP 90 mn, Al Mal adds. The company is a top provider of packaging to multinationals operating in Egypt as well as to domestic FMCG brands, with clients including Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Nestle and Mondelez, among others. The story does not take note of who is advising on the transaction.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egypt targets USD 10 bn in FDI next fiscal year, Khorshid says

Egypt is targeting USD 10 bn in foreign direct investment (FDI) in FY2016-17, Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid said during a conference. The ministry is working on improving General Authority for Investment’s operational efficiency and making the regulatory framework attractive to investors, she said. Also being set up are laws governing bankruptcy and dissolution, Khorshid added. During the same conference Ashraf Ghazal, the Planning Ministry’s adviser for follow-up and administrative reform, said Egypt needs USD 20 bn in investments to follow through on plans outlined during Egypt’s 2030 vision, according to Daily News Egypt.

National Security

Falcon partners with government entities to create an airport, port security subsidiary

Falcon Group has formed a subsidiary to provide airport and port security services, CEO Sherif Khaled told Al Borsa. Khaled says the new entity remains a private security provider, but is formed in partnership with some government entities. The company’s board is being formed now, he added. Falcon has a minority stake in the new entity, but its exact amount is being negotiated.


Head of Egyptian FA resigns to stave off FIFA sanctions, court dissolves federation anyway

Egyptian Football Association (EFA) head Gamal Allam ‘resigned on Saturday “to save Egyptian football” as FIFA warned that Egypt could be suspended from international football due to government interference, Ahram Online reported. “While Allam was in charge, the EFA board was dissolved pursuant to a verdict in a court case that dates back to a lawsuit filed in 2013 by the president of the second division football team Bani Ebeid, Hermas Radwan.” Yesterday, the Administrative Court issued a decision to uphold the verdict dissolving the EFA, Al Shorouk reported. It is unclear how this will be viewed by FIFA.

National football team’s Ramadan Sobhi to miss qualifier for school exam

Egypt’s national team will be down one player in the form of 18-year-old Ramadan Sobhi of Al Ahly during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania on 4 June because he needs to sit for school exams, according to BBC Sport. “His exam is on 5 June and we failed to book him a plane ticket straight after the game so he will not be with the Egyptian delegation,” said Egyptian national team director Ihab Lehta announced. “That is a big blow for us … but we trust in the other players too,” he added.

On Your Way Out

And we have Ramadan mosalsalat, ladies and gentlemen. Ahram Online pulls what it says is a full list of them. On the docket this year are the usual murder, crime, and comedy, peppered with Ras El Ghoul (no relation to the Batman villain), the ghost of an artist named Raouf Da Vinci (little relation with the actual artist), and Superman’s Egyptian love children (no relation to anything on this planet).

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 17 May): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Thursday, 19 May): 10.95 (compared with 10.80 on Wednesday, 18 May, Al Mal)

EGX30 (Sunday): 7,494.76 (-0.06%)
Turnover: EGP 379.2 mn
EGX 30 year-to-date: +6.98%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 kicked off Sunday’s session on a positive note, but the buying appetite didn’t survive for long, with the index ending the day down a minor 0.06%. Top gainers were Elsaeed Contracting, Global Telecom, and Palm Hills, while Porto Group, TMG Holding, and Emaar Misr were among the more notable losers. At a market turnover of EGP 379.2 mn, local investors were the sole net buyers during the day. Other indices in the region didn’t fare much better, with the Saudi Tadawul falling 1.0%, the DFM 0.7%, and ADX 1.1%.

Foreigners:Net short | EGP – 11.3 mn
Regional:Net short | EGP – 0.7 mn
Domestic:Net long | EGP + 12.0 mn

Retail: 63.2% of total trades | 65.7% of buyers | 60.7% of sellers
Institutions: 36.8% of total trades | 34.3% of buyers | 39.3% of sellers

Foreign: 8.6% of total | 7.1% of buyers | 10.1% of sellers
Regional: 2.7% of total | 2.6% of buyers | 2.8% of sellers
Domestic: 88.7% of total | 90.3% of buyers | 87.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 48.28 (-0.27%)
Brent: USD 48.72 (flat)
Gold: USD 1,251.00 / troy ounce (-0.15%)

TASI: 6,628.95 (-0.99%)
ADX: 4,187.59 (-1.13%)
DFM: 3,208.52 (-0.66%)
KSE Weighted Index: 355.83 (-0.25%)
QE: 9,638.26 (-1.79%)
MSM: 5,931.09 (flat)

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25 May (Wednesday): The FAO’s and EBRD’s conference: Securing the future of Baladi bread: how Egyptian public-private partnerships can help deliver tomorrow’s food security, Sofitel El Gezirah, Cairo. Register here.

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

28-29 May (Saturday-Sunday): The second Africa and Middle East conference on software engineering (AMECSE), Intercontinental Citystars, Cairo.

29 May (Sunday): N Gage’s Investment Regulation Forum in cooperation with Pepsico, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo. Register here.

30-31 May (Monday-Tuesday): The Middle East Regional Forum Egypt, Movenpick Hotel & Casino Cairo-Media City, Cairo.

01-02 June (Wednesday-Thursday): Cisco Connect Egypt 2016, Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, Cairo. Register here.

02 June (Thursday): Thomas Piketty lecture in partnership with AUC Middle East Studies Center / School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. AUC Tahrir campus, Ewart Hall, Cairo.

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 June (Monday): First day of Ramadan (tentative date)

06-08 July (Wednesday-Friday): Eid El Fitr (national holiday, tentative date)

06-09 August (Saturday-Tuesday): The International Conference on Chemical Sciences & Applications, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transports, Alexandria.

11-13 September (Sunday-Tuesday): Eid El Adha (national holiday, tentative date)

02 October (Sunday): Islamic New Year (national holiday, tentative date)

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

01 November (Tuesday): Prophet’s Birthday (national holiday, tentative date)

27 November (Sunday): 2016 Cairo ICT Conference Group

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

04-06 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Electricx exhibition, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo

11-13 December (Sunday-Tuesday): The Middle East Fire, Security & Safety Exhibition and Conference (MEFSEC), Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo

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