Tuesday, 31 May 2016

IFC is “long on Egypt.” The global press? Not so much.


What We’re Tracking Today

Among today’s events:

  • EBRD chief Sir Suma Chakrabarti is due in Cairo on today; he will also speak tomorrow at 9am on “Inclusive Growth: Challenges and Opportunities” at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is expected to arrive in Cairo today at the head of a ministerial and business delegation. The Prime Minister is expected to meet with top government officials during the three-day trip and sign cooperation agreements for automobile, railway, air travel projects, said cabinet spokesperson Hussam Qawish.
  • Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid will be the keynote speaker at the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt’s annual general meeting, which gets underway today at 12:30pm. Khorshed will speak on “Reviving the Investment Climate in Egypt: Strategies and Reforms.”
  • Cairo Angels’ first “community talks” event, headlined “Road to Series A,” takes place tonight from 6:00-8:00pm CLT. Email info@cairoangels.com to reserve a seat. Max capacity: 30 people.
  • Day two of Beltone’s three-day Virtual Investor Conference is today.

We’re also on the lookout for USD 2 bn that the UAE is due to be deposit at the Central Bank of Egypt by the end of the month — which would be today, if you’d like to be technical about it.

Flying Air France in June? You may want to keep a watchful eye on news that the airline’s pilots union has voted to strike in June, AFP reports.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Thursday is also shaping up to be an insanely busy day:

On Saturday: GB Auto investor relations officer Andre Valavanis will compete for the World Boxing Federation’s African welterweight title on a fight card scheduled for Saturday, 4 June 2016. Event details are here.

On The Horizon

We could tell you that the Markit / Emirates NBD PMIs for Egypt, KSA and the UAE are due out on Sunday. Or that the House Economic Committee will discuss amending the Investment Act sometime next week. But all we can do is brace ourselves for the sudden withdrawal of caffeine, whether that takes place Monday or Tuesday.

Speaking of Ramadan: The EGX will move to its customary shorter trading day during the Holy Month, with trading running 10:00am to 1:30pm CLT and the discovery session running for 30 minutes starting at 9:30am.

Oh, and don’t forget: Clocks will advance one hour on 7 July after Ramadan and El Eid, as we reported earlier this month.

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will invest USD 25 mn in Carbon Holdings, according to an emailed statement. The company “plans to increase production of ingredients used in plastics, tires and automotive parts and food packaging, among others,” IFC said in emailed statement. The IFC’s investment is part of plans to commit USD 2 bn to Egypt, Bloomberg notes. Carbon Holdings is building the USD 7 bn Tahrir Petrochemical Complex in Ain Sokhna. The complex is expected to begin operations in 2021 and will process 4 mn tonnes of naphtha annually to make polyethylene, polypropylene, and other chemicals, according to CEO Basil El Baz.

…The potential is “big,” Mouayed Makhlouf, regional director at the IFC, says about investing in Egypt’s private sector in segment of Bloomberg TV’s Bloomberg Markets Middle East. Since 2011, the IFC has invested about USD 1.4 bn here. “There are risks in Egypt … but there are a lot of potential opportunities … the medium-to-long term potential for Egypt is big,” Makhlouf says. “We are long on Egypt … our largest portfolio in MENA is in Egypt,” he adds, noting that “the biggest vote of confidence for Egypt” would be securing an IMF program. (Run time 04:10)

Fitch Ratings affirmed Egypt’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘B’ with a Stable Outlook. Fitch says the “ratings balance a high fiscal deficit and general government debt/GDP ratio, low foreign-reserve coverage of imports and recent volatile political history, with low external debt and gradual progress in implementing an economic and fiscal reform programme.” Fitch also thinks Egypt will miss its budget deficit target for FY2015-16, expecting it to record a deficit of 11.6% of GDP for a number of reasons, including: “failure to introduce VAT as planned … the devaluation in March and surging interest payments. It also says the budget deficit target for FY2016-17 of 9.8% of GDP will be missed as well, but expected to be reduced y-o-y to around 11% of GDP. The ratings agency expects GDP growth to undershoot and record 3.6% in FY2016-17. A positive point is that “net external debt will remain just below 7% of GDP, compared with a ‘B’ median of 26.3%… the rating is supported by the absence of a recent history of debt restructuring.”

The Finance Ministry is expecting to receive the state council (Magles Al Dowla)’s review of  the value-added tax (VAT) law soon, deputy finance minister Amr El Monayer said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The Finance Ministry will then send the proposed law to the House of Representatives. He noted that the proposal will include a unified (and as-yet unspecified) rate. Exceptions will be tools and machinery (taxed at 5%) and vehicles, which will have a “different rate.” El Monayer added that “basic services and commodities” will be tax exempt.

…Goods already taxed at higher rates will not be affected: Implementation of the VAT will not increase tax rates on cars, cigarettes, alcohol or telecommunications services, Tax Authority chief Abdel Moniem Matar told Al Mal. Matar explained that those goods and services are already taxed at a higher rate than the expected VAT rate of 14%, and hence the introduction of the new tax policy will not affect them. He also noted that fertilizers will retain its preferential tax treatment and is expected to still be taxed at 5%.  

The inflationary impact of the VAT should be in the range of 0.8-1.3%, said Assistant Finance Minister Yasser Sobhy. Recent exemptions of goods and services, particularly food, have lowered the government’s estimates of the tax’s impact from a previous range of 1.5-2.5%, as 45% of individual spending goes towards food, Sobhy said yesterday.

The Industry and Trade Ministry will spend EGP 3.4 bn (or c.USD 400 mn) in FY2016-17 to promote Egyptian exports, said Industry and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil. The funds are in addition to EGP 6 bn in export subsidies, Al Mal reports, without giving a breakdown of how the new funding might be used. Kabil has also allocated EGP 1 bn to support specific sectors, the minister added, stopping short of clarifying whether this was related to the EGP 1.5 bn exceptional export subsidies program which we noted yesterday.  

The news came as Egypt’s non-oil exports grew 9% y-o-y to USD 3.7 bn in April, according to remarks attributed to Kabil in an emailed statement. It’s the first time exports have risen in more than a year. Imports fell 22.6% y-o-y to USD 12.8 bn in 1Q2016 (compared with from EGP 16.6 bn last year), the statement also noted. We’ll be on the lookout for the CBE’s quarterly balance of trade report for a detailed breakdown. Kabil said on Saturday that non-oil exports have dropped consistently for the last 15 months, shedding c. EGP 2.8 bn mainly due to natural gas shortages.

House planning and budget committee says budget doesn’t meet constitutional minimums: The House Planning and Budget Committee has officially informed the Finance Ministry that its proposed budget for the FY2016-17 fiscal year does not meet the constitutionally mandated spending on health and education, set at 10% of GDP. Committee member Sylvia Nabil tells Al Mal that Finance Minister Amr El Garhy promised a swift reply to the committee’s inquiry. As we noted yesterday, El Garhy had already anticipated this and has already begun revising the budget.

Investment, public enterprise ministries said divided on IPOs for public-sector companies: Public Enterprise Minister Ashraf El Sharkawy reportedly used last week’s cabinet meeting to come out against the government’s plan to sell stakes in state-owned companies, government sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. No public-sector companies have yet been formally put on the IPO track because the initiative has come out of the investment ministry and was allegedly developed “without consulting other ministries,” the source added. El Sharkawy has his own plan to restructure the companies. El Sharkawy, who had always opposed public sector IPOs, had previously made statements distancing himself from the policy and suggested the IPOs would be for companies not under his ministry’s charge.

El Sisi inaugurates 11,000-unit affordable housing project: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi formally inaugurated phases one and two of the Tahya Misr housing project in Mokattam, Cairo, a development that includes some 11,000 residential units at a cost of more than EGP 1.5 bn. The bill for phase one will ring in at EGP 850 mn, and an emailed statement from Ittihadiya says the Tahya Misr Fund has covered the cost of the EGP 700 mn second phase. “The two phases of the project were launched in January 2015 and completed in record time. The units are allocated for the residents of several slum areas in Cairo.” An EGP 500 mn third phase, launched in January 2016, is due to be complete within about a year, the statement added.

Cleopatra Hospital Company’s Egyptian retail offering of 6 mn shares was reportedly 28.6x oversubscribed on the last day for individual investors to line up for shares, according to Al Borsa. The publication praised EFG Hermes handling of the transaction, saying it seemed set to avoid the pitfalls of last year’s Emaar Misr IPO, which was similarly oversubscribed but plummeted on trading. Official figures on total oversubscription should be out by week’s end; the institutional offering was 6.73x oversubscribed.

Brokerage outfits have assigned price targets as high as EGP 12.16 to Cleopatra Holdings, whose shares start trading on Thursday.Shares in the company, which owns four leading Cairo-area hospitals, are set to open at EGP 9.00 and will trade under the ticker CLHO. Pharos Holding thinks the fair value is about EGP 12.16, while most brokerages surveyed by Al Borsa have assigned price targets in the EGP 10.00-11.66 range. Sigma Capital sees 30% upside to the shares, setting a target of EGP 11.66. The share’s longer-term performance will be driven by Cleopatra Holding pumping EGP 124 mn this year to improve infrastructure, Sigma says.

Dentsu Aegis Network acquired a majority stake in Egyptian full service digital agency Digital Republic. According to the official release: “Digital Republic will become part of Dentsu Aegis Network’s digital agency Isobar.” Following the acquisition, Digital Republic will rebrand to ‘Digital Republic, Linked By Isobar,’ adding to Isobar’s current offering in Dubai and furthering its global network in over 45 markets. Digital Republic’s client roster across the region includes Unilever, McDonald’s, Reckitt Benckiser, Edita, Savola and Frico, among others. Neither party disclosed the transaction size or their advisors.

Press Syndicate head Yahia Qalash and board members Khaled Elbalshy and Gamal Abd El Rahim were arrested yesterday on charges of harboring fugitives. The order from the Prosecutor General came after 13 hours of questioning on Sunday, ostensibly to hear their side of the dispute, according to a statement from the syndicate. All three were released on bail Monday evening. The Prosecutor General ordered that all three syndicate officials stand trial this Saturday, adding charges of spreading false news. The syndicate condemned the arrests. The arrests stem from an incident earlier this month in which police raided the syndicate’s Downtown Cairo headquarters to arrest journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El Sakka. The move sparked a weeks-long public outcry and protests by the Press Syndicate, which issued a series of demands including the resignation of the Interior Minister.

The House Human Rights Committee may issue condemnation of the arrests today through its head Mohamed Anwar Al Sadat, according to statements made by a number of committee members on Monday. Amnesty International called the arrests “a dangerous escalation of the Egyptian authorities’ draconian clampdown on freedom of expression.”

Planes flying into Cairo International Airport may have been attacked by GPS jammers that could impact safe navigation. Flight Service Bureau, which chronicles international flight operations, notes, “Egypt notified airlines … that GPS jamming is a concern to arrivals and overflights, and warned against conducting RNP/RNAV arrivals or approaches. The jamming was announced on 24 May, and is centred on Cairo Airport; the source is unknown.” The news has so far been picked up by U.K. tabloid Mirror and the IB Times, which are positioning the news as raising “fresh terror fears.”

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The Macro Picture

With emerging markets currencies losing ground against the USD thanks the the prospects of a rate hike at the next U.S. Fed meeting, CNBC lapses into clickbait territory with the headline “Why the emerging market dream story may be over.” Headline aside, the broadcaster serves-up a fairly nuanced (if occasionally shallow) look at why 2016 may not see a broad EM recovery. The bottom-line: Those who rushed into EM “without research or strategy” may still get hammered, but “investors who succeeded [in] understanding local culture and establishing themselves will harvest serious returns in the next 10-15 years.”

Egypt in the News

Talk about a bad day for Egypt in the international press: Egypt is “worse than Clouseau,” The Economist says, telling its readers: “When Egypt investigates tragedy, don’t expect results.” The magazine cites the crash of the Metrojet flight in South Sinai last October, for which Egypt has not yet produced a final report, hinting that people should not expect anything different for flight MS804. “Egypt is developing a knack for interminable probes that lead nowhere, or that produce self-serving results.” Ditto the case of the eight slain Mexican tourists, The Economist adds: “There is little argument over what happened: the military hit the group with an airstrike. But Egypt’s “transparent” inquiry was undercut by a ban on reporters covering the incident, or the probe. No findings have been released, though Egyptian officials blamed a travel agency for bringing the tourists to a restricted area.”

The Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor piles on: The US should ask how the 762 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles delivered to Egypt fit into its “fourth-generation war,” Jackson Diehl writes. Diehl says President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is pointing at the US when he talks about the fourth-generation war, where “modern communication channels, psychology and the media are … deployed to create divisions and harm Egypt from within.” Diehl is uneasy with the notion that “Egyptians are being fed propaganda describing the United States as the sponsor of a massive plot to divide and destroy the country.” An acquaintance of his suggests one assurance could be: “a prime-time televised statement by [El Sisi], in Arabic, assuring Egyptians that the United States is not plotting to destroy the country and has nothing to do with a fourth-generation war.”

(On the subject of what Egypt will do with MRAPs, we’d suggest the need here might be a bit higher than in Neenah, Wisconsin, as Diehl’s competitors at the New York Times note in “War Gear Flows to Police Departments”: “ Inside the municipal garage of this small lakefront city, parked next to the hefty orange snowplow, sits an even larger truck, this one painted in desert khaki. Weighing 30 tons and built to withstand land mines, the armored combat vehicle is one of hundreds showing up across the country, in police departments big and small.)

…Over in the UAE., The National was a little kinder towards Egypt, publishing letters to the editor suggesting that Egypt is as safe as any other country. One reader says: “I have lived in Egypt before, during and after the revolution. I have lived during the phase when Egypt was without a president. Never once did I feel threatened or at risk, even when I was in Tahrir Square with my Egyptian friends. I am waiting to share those memories with my children one day.”

Worth Reading

Depending on your mood today, you have two options.

Feeling upbeat and want some “inside baseball” reporting that combines finance and foreign affairs? We offer a time machine to 1974 with “The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret: How a legendary bond trader from Salomon Brothers brokered a do-or-die deal that reshaped U.S.-Saudi relations for generations.”

Already having a bad day? It could always get worse under President Trump. (Not that we love Hillary, but…) “With Donald J. Trump pulling even or ahead of Hillary Clinton in a series of recent national polls, the once unthinkable has become at least plausible,” the New York Times writes in its introduction to a solid package looking at the “battleground regions” that will ultimately seal his campaign’s fate.

(Meanwhile, physicist Stephen Hawking says he is “bewildered” by Trump and, elsewhere, Politico wonders, “Can the World Survive A Perpetually Combative President Trump?)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

It would appear that Egypt has received the first USD 500 mn tranche of a USD 2.5 bn Saudi grant to help finance the government’s economic development agenda, a government source tells Al Mal.  Saudi Arabia is expected to complete the transfer of the USD 2.5 bn grant to Egypt by January 2017, said International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr according to Al Mal. Nasr stated that the grant will not require an approval from the House of Representatives by virtue of being a grant that would not require funds from the budget to repay, AMAY reports. The same could not be said for a USD 1.5 bn loan from the Saudi Fund for Development to develop Sinai, an agreement initially inked in March. The Fund will hold off on sending the first USD 500 tranche of this loan pending parliamentary approval, said Nasr. As we noted last week, a delegation from the fund was in Egypt to discuss how it would be dispersed. Parliament’s approval will also be sought for another USD 200 mn in financing for Sinai development, according to a statement from the ministry.

Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy was accused yesterday by a Kenyan diplomat of having referred to Sub-Saharan Africans as “dogs and slaves” in Arabic during last weekend’s United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, according to Kenyan news outlet Capital News on Monday. Yvonne Khamati alleges in a letter (page 1, page 2) that Fahmy “dismissed our concerns … [and] referred to Sub-Saharan Africa[ns] as dogs and slaves, in Arabic” during a debate on Gaza. Khamati is demanding that “Egypt, at the highest level, unreservedly apologize to Africa” (among other things). The diplomat is tweeting about the alleged incident, and the news has come to the attention on Twitter of at least two international journalists covering Africa, making it possible the flap will have legs.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is providing Egypt with a USD 500 mn loan with preferential terms to finance water desalination projects in Sinai, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr told Al Borsa. The UAE had pledged to give Egypt USD 4 bn in the form of a USD 2 bn deposit at the CBE and USD 2 bn in investments in development projects. The ministries of international cooperation and housing are currently completing the project studies ahead of presenting them to the UAE.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed yesterday that a man was arrested in Kuwait for stripping and beating an Egyptian employee. The case, which we noted yesterday, exploded on social media and in the domestic press. The MFA statement names the suspect as Ali Abdullah El Shemary, saying El Shemary was a “bedoun” (as in “without,” a Kuwaiti term noting that he holds no nationality), contradicting earlier reports that he was Kuwaiti.

The State Information Service and state-owned China newswire Xinhua will partner in print, audio, and video media projects, according to SIS.


Elsewedy Electric in talks to borrow USD 75 mn

Elsewedy Electric is negotiating to borrow USD 75 mn from the IFC and EBRD, Chairman Ahmed Elsewedy told Al Mal. The funds will be used to finance a 50 MW photovoltaic solar power station in Aswan. Elsewedy Electric says it is looking to import solar panels from China and secure funding before September’s end.

EGAS issues tender for 11 LNG cargoes for June-August delivery

EGAS has issued a tender to import 11 LNG cargoes, sources told Reuters. The cargoes are for June-August delivery. A source at EGAS added that the company will soon issue another LNG import tender.

Electricity Ministry inks final agreement with Engie, Toyota, Orascom to build Gulf of Suez wind farm

The Electricity Ministry signed a final contract with a consortium including Engie (previously GDF Suez), Toyota, and Orascom to build a 250 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, Daily News Egypt reported. The consortium will finance the project, while the Ministry has agreed to a 25-year offtake agreement, a senior official told Daily News Egypt. The price of electricity was set at USD 0.047 kW/h, he added. The ministry is also set to discuss another 250 MW wind farm project in Suez with the Lekela Power-Actis consortium, as well as a 320 MW wind farm with Italgen, the source added.

ACWA Power will not press for int’l arbitration, will  finalize Dairut power plant agreement in two months

ACWA Power is not interested in international arbitration and will look to force it into talks with the Egyptian government on the USD 2.2 bn Dairut power plant, said ACWA Power’s regional director Hassan Amin. ACWA will finalize the agreements for pricing the power from  the 2.25 GW plant, for the gas it will receive, and the financial guarantee for the project with the Power Ministry in two months, said Amin. Developing the power plant in Upper Egypt was one of the agreements signed by President El Sisi and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during the latter’s visit in April.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Gov’t passed wheat buying target, keeps on going

Egypt has bought 4.46 mn tonnes of local wheat since the start of harvest season, Reuters reported. The government had a purchasing target of 4 mn tonnes initially, but the Agriculture Ministry said it was committed to buying any wheat that local farmers wished to sell until the season ends in mid-June.


Henkel set to invest EUR 50 mn over the coming five years

Home and personal care products manufacturer Henkel is looking to invest EUR 50 mn as part of its domestic expansion strategy over the coming five years, President of Henkel Egypt Ahmed Fahmy told Al Masry Al Youm. EUR 40 mn will be used to build a new detergent and home care factory in 6 of October, he added, while EUR 10 mn will be allocated to expanding existing factory in Port Said. The company sources 70% of its production inputs domestically, he added, helping Henkel mitigate the impact of the ongoing FX crunch. The company’s current strategy involves reinvesting revenue in the domestic market, said Fahmy.

Health + Education

Pharmacists threaten strike to increase profit margins

The Egyptian Pharmacist Syndicate is considering a strike until the government and manufacturers agree to increasing profit margins for retailers to 25% from 20%, Al Borsa reported. The Syndicate had earlier supported its industry syndicate in pushing for liberalizing prices, but backtracked on the support once the Cabinet issued a statement raising the price of products under EGP 30 by 20% because companies were able to sidestep the new legislation by increasing the price of each individual blister pack rather than the whole box.


Egypt pleas for gradual lift on ban of direct flights from Russia

Egypt is ready for a gradual lifting of a ban on direct flights from Russia, said Tourism Minister Mohamed Rashed “Our plea is to allow flights to Aswan and Luxor first, and then to Hurghada and Marsa Alam and then finally to Sharm El Sheikh,” Rashed said in an interview with RIA Novosti, reported Sputnik.

Automotive + Transportation

Marsa Alam Airport resumes air traffic on Mondays

The Marsa Alam Airport will resume Monday flights, the head of the airport’s PR department said, reports Al-Ahram’s breaking news portal. The airport was previously closed to air traffic on Mondays and Fridays due to construction at the terminal.

First railroad delivered phosphate arrives at Damietta Port

The first shipment of phosphate delivered by rail has arrived at the Damietta Port from Al Sebaeya mines in Aswan, head of the Damietta Port Authority Ayman Salah told Al Mal. The Shipment follows orders from Transportation Minister Galal Saeed to increase the percentage of cargo handled by rail and Nile transport, he added. The directive is part of a strategy of easing the burden on roadways and reducing the end cost of transportation for phosphate, he said.

EgyptAir offering 25% discounts tickets for three-person parties

(EgyptAir is offering 25% discounts on international flights to and from Egypt when reserving for three people on the same flight, with the exception of Jeddah and Medina, announced Chairman of the EgyptAir Holding Safwat Mosalam. The discount runs on tickets purchased between 30 May and 12 June, for outbound flights between 6 June and 4 July, and inbound flights between 20 July and 30 September, Al Watan reports.

Banking + Finance

NBE aims to grow SME portfolio to EGP 30 bn by end of FY2016/17

NBE is looking to grow its SME portfolio by 30% to EGP 30 bn from around EGP 23 bn by the end of FY 2016/17, sources told Amwal Al Ghad. NBE holds the lion’s share of banking transactions with the Social Fund for Development, and participates in the CBE initiative to support micro-sized enterprises and SMEs through 5% interest loans, financing of up to 90%, and payment durations of up to seven years, the source added.

Other Business News of Note

Booz Allen Hamilton announces expansion in Egypt despite challenging climate

Booz Allen Hamilton is planning an expansion in Egypt, despite a challenging climate, Al Shorouk reports. The FX crunch and difficulty in repatriating funds stand as some of the biggest challenges in drawing private sector investment in infrastructure development projects under the public-private partnership model, said Nabih Maroun, Senior VP for MENA at Booz Allen Hamilton. These factors coupled with an intransigent bureaucracy and a propensity to not disclose information by the government is scaring off investors, Maroun added at a press conference announcing the expansion. Steps towards political stability has helped encourage Booz Allen Hamilton to take up the decision, Maroun noted.

Ali Helmy Eissa selected as new chairman of Egyptian Businessmen’s Association

Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Businessmen’s Association, Ali Helmy Eissa, was chosen to replace outgoing EBA chairman Hussein Sabbour whose resignation was accepted by the board, Al Mal reports. Eissa is the chairman and managing director of Nahdet Misr Company For Agro Industries.

Legislation + Policy

EFSA drafting new legislation governing factoring companies

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) is drafting new legislation governing factoring companies, which buy receivables from other companies at a discount, which it will complete and put up for discussion in mid-July, said EFSA head Sherif Samy on Sunday. EFSA has not yet settled on whether this will be a standalone legislation or will be lumped in with the Leasing Act which is also being drafted. The law aims to facilitate factoring transactions and transfer of ownership through factoring companies. It will still retain the minimum capital required for these companies at EGP 10 mn and would set governance regulations for the industry, Al Mal reports.

National Security

Badie gets seventh life sentences

Morshed El-Ikhwan Mohamed Badie was handed his seventh life sentence yesterday. The ‘supreme guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood was one of 36 people sentenced to life in prison for their roles in violence in Ismailia after the revolution against then-president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Al-Ahram’s breaking news portal reports. CNN has the story in English.


Egyptian skeet shooter turns in world record performance

Egyptian skeet shooter and Olympic medal hopeful Azmy Mehelba became the seventh person in his discipline to turn in a perfect score of 125 at competition on Sunday. The 2014 world championship bronze medalist is ranked number two by the International Shooting Sport Federation, Ahram Online reports.

On Your Way Out

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi condemned a mob attack on a Coptic woman in Minya last week and reassured (runtime: 2:23) her that her attackers would be prosecuted. El Sisi was referring to several incidents of sectarian violence in which a mob of around 300 people torched seven homes belonging to Coptic residents in Karam village in Upper Egypt’s Minya after rumors spread of an interfaith relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman, said the Bishop of Minya on last week, according to Al Shorouk. The mob carried weapons and robbed the houses, then burned them down, Bishop Makarios said. They then stripped an elderly Coptic woman and paraded her through the street. Police have so far made three arrests and the story continues to make international headlines, led by a widely syndicated Reuters piece.

The grumpiest man in politics is upset with both the media and “anti-national research centers,” Ahram Online’s Gamal Essam El-Din reports.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 24 May): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Sunday, 30 May): 11.00-11.04 (compared with 11.00 on Tuesday, 24 May, Al Mal)

EGX30 (Monday): 7,452.88 (-0.44%)
Turnover: EGP 382.5 mn (12% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +6.38%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: EGX30 ended the day in negative territory during today’s session, losing 0.4% by the end of the day. Oriental Weavers, Telecom Egypt and EFG Hermes were the benchmark index’s top performing stocks, while Amer Group, Edita and Porto Holding were the worst performing constituents. At a market turnover of EGP 382.5 mn, local investors were the sole net buyers of the day. Regionally, Saudi Arabia’s TASI and Dubai’s DFM General Index inched down 1.1 % and 1.6%, respectively.

Foreigners:Net short | EGP – 34.4 mn
Regional:Net short | EGP – 15.7 mn
Domestic:Net long | EGP + 50.1 mn

Retail: 62.2% of total trades | 62.3% of buyers | 62.2% of sellers
Institutions: 37.8% of total trades | 37.3% of buyers | 37.8% of sellers

Foreign: 14.8% of total | 10.3% of buyers | 19.3% of sellers
Regional: 6.4% of total | 4.4% of buyers | 8.5% of sellers
Domestic: 78.8% of total | 85.3% of buyers | 72.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 49.55 (+0.45%)
Brent: USD 49.69 (-0.14%)
Gold: USD 1,216.00 / troy ounce (-0.06%)
Nymex (futures prices) USD 2.17 MMBtu, (+0.05%, July 2016 contract)

TASI: 6,359.9 (-1.1%) (YTD: -7.98%)
ADX: 4,259.5 (-0.9%) (YTD: -1.11%)
DFM: 4,259.5 (-1.36%) (YTD: +4.93%)
KSE Weighted Index: 356.2 (-0.20%) (YTD: -6.68%)
QE: 9,552.0 (-1.30%) (YTD: -8.41%)
MSM: 5,838.6 (-0.90%) (YTD: 8.00%)
BB: 1,094.41 (+0.22%) (YTD: -9.99%)

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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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