Monday, 6 June 2016

Is Khorshid going to bat for investment incentives?

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

It’s the first day of Ramadan. When do we eat? Iftar will be at 6:55pm CLT today, while the cut-off for sohour will be at 3:09am CLT, according to Islamic Finder. (On a slightly less glib note: Ramadan Kareem to each and every one of you who celebrate the Holy Month. As was the case last year, we’ll do our best to be coherent in our semi-caffeinated, pre-sohour state.)

Just in time for the Ramadan crowds: Egypt’s population has officially hit the 91 mn mark at 10pm CLT yesterday, growing by a full 1 mn since December 2015, according to a statement from CAPMAS. Naturally, Cairo Governorate saw the most significant population growth, expanding 10.5% during the period to 9.5 mn people, followed by Giza which grew 8.6% to 7.8 mn, Al Ahram reports.

Even if you, like us, are capable only of bemoaning the loss of your caffeine this morning, you still need to go change your LinkedIn password. Now. Facebook founder and first-generation humanoid robot Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts were hacked, likely after his password was compromised in a hack of LinkedIn’s user database.

How can you know if your password has been compromised? The quickest way we know is to visit Aussie security expert Troy Hunt’s beautifully simple “have i been pwned?” Pop in your email address(es) and the site will run it against known database breaches including a list of 5 mn compromised Gmail logins, 164 mn LinkedIn accounts, 152 mn Adobe accounts, 65 mn on Tumbler, 30 mn on Ashley Madison (but you never cheated anyway, right?). The list goes on.

How can you protect yourself? You can go manually change all your passwords. Or you can change LinkedIn now, then download LastPass (which we use here at Enterprise because it has excellent company-level sharing functionality) or 1Password (our preference if we were individual subscribers) to come up with and manage new passwords across all your accounts. Both work well on laptops and iOS devices.

***
DID YOU, TOO, HATE THE LINES ON OUR WEBSITE? We think our website is looking a lot more like the email edition this morning: We’ve removed the lines that previously separated every. single. story on the website — and left in place only those that denote breaks between sections. We’ve also made the button for our sharing tool a lot more like the one in the email edition.

Unfortunately, the TL;DR links (above) still won’t work on Mail.app on iOS — Apple no longer supports the technology necessary to make it work. Have a suggestion for how we can make Enterprise better — aesthetically or content-wise? Drop us a line at editorial@enterprise.press. We literally read every email we receive.
***

What We’re Tracking This Week

Welcome to the empty period: Trading activity on regional markets slumped yesterday in advance of Ramadan. We like the name that Muhammad Shabbir, the Dubai-based head of equities and funds at Rasmala Investment Bank, gave this time of the year: “This is an empty period … here is general lack of catalysts for the market to move. We expect it to remain sideways until at least early July.”

Bloomberg also warns that the ratio of CIB shares traded on the LSE as GDRs has increased to 31.75%, edging closer to the maximum threshold of 33%.

Expect news on the final agreements for the Daba’a nuclear power plant this week after the Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker set out on a six-day trip to Moscow on Wednesday, a senior ministry official told Al Shorouk.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The thinnest of silver linings: Business conditions in Egypt’s non-oil sector worsened again in May, but the rate of decline was the slowest in three months, according to the Markit / Emirates NBD Egypt PMI, with the gauge reading 47.6, up from 46.9 in April. The main drivers behind the contraction this time around are FX concerns, as purchase prices increased at a survey-record pace and tariffs rose sharply as a result. May saw declines in output and new orders, and payroll numbers decreased for the twelfth consecutive month. Jean-Paul Pigat, Senior Economist at Emirates NBD, looks at the positives, saying it is “encouraging to see signs that the downturn has started to ease, as tentative as those indications may be. But the survey also continues to point to fundamentally weak demand conditions across the economy, which in light of the ongoing FX shortage, is likely to persist.”

Emirates NBD is in the race to acquire Barclays Egypt, sources confirmed to Al Mal, and has asked Barclays and the Central Bank of Egypt to be able to conduct due diligence. Emirates NBD had entered Egypt in 2013 by acquiring BNP Paribas’ Egyptian operations. Sources added that three to four more suitors might bid for Barclays-Egypt, including Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank, which has already appointed UBS as its advisor. It is not clear who is advising Emirates NBD in the transaction or what valuation it set for the bank. Al Mal says Barclays Egypt is expected to be sold at 1.5-2x book.

For the remainder of its time in Egypt, Barclays will pursue a “very conservative” strategy, executive board member Mohamed Sherif told Al Mal. Barclays Egypt is focusing on preserving capital and its asset base. Sherif said the bank will focus on expanding lending to large corporate clients, finance for SMEs, innovation in service provision, the use of its branch network, and accelerate the roll out of the payroll solutions implemented in partnership with DoPay.

BPE Holding is awaiting the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) to approve its fair share value ahead of listing 10% of its shares on the EGX after Eid, Al Borsa reported. Beltone Financial Vice-Chairman Maged Shawky is quoted as saying EFSA’s delay in approving the IFA’s report is behind what the newspaper characterized as a delay in the IPO. A senior company official told us last week that the company is looking to raise around EGP 120 mn with the offering, expected in 3Q2016.

Domty’s board of directors approved converting up to 33% of the company’s shares into GDRs, according to an announcement on the EGX trading floor, Al Mal reports. There were no details on when this would take place.

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has set conditions on the tender for financial and technical consultants to shepherd the issuance of 4G licenses, sources told Al Borsa. As we noted late last month, NTRA is considering granting the license to Telecom Egypt six months ahead of other applicants. The news comes as CIT Minister said international network operators would be welcome to bid on 4G licenses in Egypt if existing operators failed to do so, according to remarks carried by Al Shorouk.

Khorshid looking to restore investment incentives for free zone companies? Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid spoke about her ministry’s agenda to the House Economics Committee on Sunday, a presentation that was light on policy details. The minister noted she is setting up a committee with representatives from the legal affairs and justice ministries to begin drafting amendments to the investment act. About the only concrete policy proposal to emerge is a very welcome one: Khorshid suggested she’s in talks with the Finance Ministry to restore investment incentives for free zone companies scrapped under the new(ish) Unified Investment Act. That doesn’t go far enough: Egypt faces competition from MENA countries offering deep tax incentives and even capex rebates. We offer a one-stop-shop that doesn’t work. The ministry’s priority appears to be raising Egypt’s standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, which she hopes will jump to 60 by 2030, from a current 131. Khorshid said that passing legislation such as the Bankruptcy Act will help bring that about, AMAY reports.

Khorshid is said to have told a press conference following the meeting that the Ismail government will generate USD 5-10 bn from the IPO of state-owned companies, Al Mal reports. She did not comment on how she plans to get that done in light of the Public Enterprise Ministry’s opposition to the policy.

MOVES- Veteran lawyer Mohamed Khodeir was appointed head of the General Authority for Investments and Free zones by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail on Sunday. His appointment comes after an 11-month search for a successor to outgoing head Alaa Omar. Khodeir’s legal background was deemed crucial to his appointment, hinting that the coming period should see a drive by the ministry to implement its legislative agenda (more on this in Politics + Economics). Topping Khodeir’s priorities will be resolving disputes with investors and coordinating with the ministry on its policies and message. Khodeir served as a partner at Al Tamimi & Co. law firm in Qatar and was managing partner and founder of firm’s Egypt office, according to an emailed statement.

Supermarket chains Carrefour, Kazyon, and Fathalla have reportedly bid to rent some 10 branches of former retail giant Omar Effendi nationwide on a right-to-use basis for nine years. Omar Effendi’s chairman told Al Borsa the company is leaning toward agreeing with the condition that Omar Effendi’s name and trademark be preserved. The return from renting out Omar Effendi’s branch holdings would be more significant than operating them at a loss or shutting them down, he says.

Egyptian dentist arrested in Bitcoin “sting operation:” Ahmed A. H., a 30-year old dentist, has been arrested by the police in a sting operation for conducting bitcoin-to-USD transactions on LocalBitcoins.com, according to a statement (Arabic) from the Ministry of Interior on Thursday. This comes despite a number of local users still operating on the site, and a lack of any clear regulation on the matter, as reported by cryptocurrency news site Merkle.

… Meanwhile, in the UAE: Dubai-based Bitcoin startup BitOasis announced its first round of seed funding last month, led by VC firm Wamda Capital, CCN.LA reported. The UAE government was an official partner to the Keynote 2016, a blockchain technology conference held last week at Burj Al Arab.

Don’t understand Bitcoin? This man will mumble an explanation at you. (Watch, running time: 1:13)

Global consultants (and BFFs of Mohamed bin Salman) McKinsey is in the spotlight after having built up “a secretive USD 5 bn internal investment arm that manages the fortunes of its past and present partners, raising questions over possible conflicts of interest,” the Financial Times reports. The story is an FT exclusive so far, and the McKinsey Investment Office hides in the open with this (barely) 2pp landing page, which notes that the institution “is managed independently, and all its activities are separate from McKinsey’s consulting operations.”

Investment banking is dead. Long live investment banking. We’ve all heard for years — since the 2008 subprime meltdown, to be precise — that investment banking is a dead career path in the eyes of millennials. Perhaps someone could explain to us, then, how 267,000 people (most students and recent grads) applied to work for Goldman Sachs last year? Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein says the bank hired exactly 3% of all applicants, according to Bloomberg. The FT also has the story this morning. Want to work at GS after graduation — or trying to get your kid a gig there? Go check out “Six signs you will be rejected when you apply for a job at Goldman Sachs (and how to overcome them).” Clickbait title aside, there are a few pearls of wisdom in there.

*** OUR GCC EDITION IS ON “HIATUS” for the month of Ramadan. We’ll be publishing weekly on Thursdays as a “week in review” given the typical news slowdown in the GCC during the Holy Month. You can find the GCC Edition website here.

Egypt in the News

Is Ousta gaining on Uber and Careem? TechCrunch thinks so. With “one download a minute, and a ride request a minute as well, it might look like the locals are carving their market edge faster than the competition.” Not only does the local ride-hailing app promise no surge pricing and lower fares in general, but it boosts several features the competition doesn’t have: The app boasts an SOS button for emergency situations while on a ride, a “live fare” option, and uses social media for its customer service. All of these come together to make Ousta “more relevant to our unique culture,” says creator Nader El-Batrawi. (Among the many things we’ve learned from listening to Kara Swisher on her Recode podcast, it’s that only two of Uber / Careem / Ousta will gain significant market share — and that the market-share split is likely to be something on the order of 65 – 30 – 5. If we’re not mistaken, the rough statistic in question is in episode 22, an interview with Lyft president John Zimmer.)

Egypt and Israel are stepping up security cooperation amid suggestions that Hamas and Daesh’s Wilayet Sina affiliate have developed ties and are cooperating on smuggling and medical care, report the Wall Street Journal’s Rory Jones and Tamer El-Ghobashy.

Former Investment Minister and current World Bank Group Senior Vice President Mahmoud Mohieldin says Islamic finance can be leveraged for sustainable development. “Islamic finance can help deliver much-needed solutions to the Muslim world’s development challenges. Its ability to enhance financial stability, promote financial inclusion, and drive sustainable development could spark transformative change across the region,” he writes in Project Syndicate.

And the award for the worst Egypt-related headline today goes to: The Toronto Star, for their really painful “A relative of King Tat? Egyptian mummy adorned with tattoos.” The piece is about a mummy of a female with a number of tattoos “intentionally placed on visible areas such as the neck in order to signify her important religious role” — a mummy from the Deir el Medin site that we took note of about a month ago. King Tat? Really, Toronto Star?

Worth Reading

Companies still led by their founders outperform: “Over the past decade, we at Bain & Company have been studying the deep roots of the most adaptable and sustainably successful companies… We found that the companies most successful at maintaining profitable growth over the long term were disproportionately companies where the founder was still running the business (such as Oracle, Haier or LBrands), was still involved on the Board of Directors (like Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts), or, most importantly, where the focus and principles of how to operate that the founder had originally put in place still endured,” writes Chris Zook, partner at Bain & Company’s Boston office and co-author of The Founder’s Mentality, along with James Allen, also a partner at Bain’s Boston office.

Zook also points to USD 4 bn venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as being the evangelist for the concept in StartupLand, as outlined a blog post by Ben Horowitz dating back to 2010: Why we prefer founding CEOs: “When my partner Marc [Andreessen] wrote his post describing our firm, the most controversial component of our investment strategy was our preference for founding CEOs… Professional CEOs are effective at maximizing, but not finding, product cycles. Conversely, founding CEOs are excellent at finding, but not maximizing, product cycles. Our experience shows — and the data supports — that teaching a founding CEO how to maximize the product cycle is easier than teaching the professional CEO how to find the new product cycle.”

Read: Founder-led companies outperform the rest—here’s why in the Harvard Business Review, March 2016.

Image of the Day

Good luck fasting in Reykjavik, you might have time for a snack. How many hours are people fasting around the world this Ramadan? Cairo appears roughly in the middle of a list of roughly two dozen cities. (View image via Huffington Post)

Worth Watching

Hunter S. Thompson interview: PBS Digital animates the audio recording of a 1967 interview with author Hunter S. Thompson on his time spent with the criminal syndicate motorcycle club the Hell’s Angels. (Watch, running time: 5:07, you may want to turn on the subtitles from the closed captions icon.)

The Macro Picture

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is set to make a speech today in Philadelphia in the wake of the disappointing May US jobs report. The data point to the weakest job growth since September 2010, calling into question whether the Fed will lift rates this summer as previously anticipated, according to the FT (paywall). Meanwhile, Bill Gross of Janus Capital says low interest rates are destructive (running time: 22:27) in a talk with Bloomberg about the jobs report how it may impact Yellen’s decision making process.

The European Central Bank will begin its program to buy corporate bonds on Wednesday, according to the FT (paywall). And while investors are rushing to buy corporate bonds eligible for the program, according to Bloomberg, some worry it could kick up an “M&A or share buyback boom and drive a deterioration of credit quality; or force investors to take on excessive credit and duration risk,” according to the FT (paywall). “Others wonder if the ECB buying will fall far short of what is already priced in. Then there are external shocks — the surprisingly low US jobs figure drove yields on some German Bunds so low that they are ineligible for ECB QE buying.”

Energy

Two petroleum companies near stock market listing

The El Neel Oil Marketing Company is looking to list 10% of its shares on the stock market by the end of 2016, while the Misr Fertilizers Production Company (MOPCO) is pending EFSA approval of a fair value report by its independent financial advisor before moving forward with its offering, Al Mal reports. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla had earlier said the ministry was planning on listing four companies including MIDOR, Gascool, MOPCO, and El Neel.

EGAS collects EGP 200 mn from factories, another EGP 500 mn in August

EGAS collected around EGP 200 mn in payments from factories during the course of May 2016, Chairman Mohamed El Masry told Al-Ahram’s breaking news site. A series of meetings with the largest industrial consumers of natural gas are planned to reschedule their debts, he added. Another EGP 500 mn in payments are expected in August, said El Masry. A debt rescheduling agreement has been signed with 280 brick factories for payments of around EGP 380 mn, he added.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Agriculture ministry says 4.7 mn tonnes of wheat collected, experts put number into question, ministry denies allegations

An economist is questioning the accuracy of the government’s reported what purchase figures this harvest season. The state has claimed to have purchased 4.71 mn tons of domestically grown wheat this season, but Mohsen Al Batran, head of Cairo University’s Center for Economic Research and Studies, told Al Masry Al Youm that the state’s total storage and silo capacity stands at something on the order of 4 mn tons, calling into question both this year’s figure and last year’s report that the state had purchased 5.3 mn tons from local growers. The agriculture ministry has denied the allegations, with spokesman Eid Hawwash telling Al Mal the numbers are accurate and can be verified with the General Authority for the Control of Exports and Imports, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, and Cabinet.

Rice farming behind significant water shortages in Egypt

The growth of rice farming this year is behind water shortages faced by some governorates, according to the Irrigation Ministry. Land cultivated with the water-hungry crop has expanded to 1.2 mn feddans from 174k feddans in the beginning of planting season in April on the back of the spike in rice prices, which the government is actively trying to curb, said the head of the Irrigation Authority Emad Mikael. Most of the expansion of land planted with rice is unauthorized and unlicensed, he added, Al Borsa reports.

Manufacturing

Saturated market, regulations behind weak cement license turnout

A challenging regulatory environment and an already saturated market are the primary reasons behind the low turnout for new cement licenses, the head of the Cement Division at the Chamber of Building Materials Medhat Stefanos told Al Shorouk. The chief regulatory complaint: that cement manufacturers must arrange their own energy source, which is “beyond the capabilities of the private sector at the moment,” he added. While the market consumption is around 52-55 million tons per annum (MTPA), domestic manufacturers have a combined production capacity of 70 MTPA, said Lafarge Egypt Communications Director Samar Raouf. The Industrial Development Authority said only six companies have applied for eight of the 14 licenses out of the 35 companies that expressed interest, despite extending the deadline. Apart from the five we noted yesterday, Royal Al Minya Cement Co. also applied for a license, Al Mal reports.

Health + Education

Hikma looking to increase exports out of Egypt to USD 50 mn

Jordan’s Hikma is looking to bolster exports to Africa from its Egyptian subsidiary and the GCC to a minimum of USD 50 mn from USD 3 mn over the next four years, executive vice chairman Mazen Darwazah told Al Mal. Hikma has a 3% market share in Egypt, making it the ninth largest manufacturer in the country, he added, The company aims to become one of the top five manufacturers by 2020. Hikma will invest EGP 500 mn to upgrade its infrastructure, he added.

90% of antibiotics in Egypt ineffective

Bacterial mutations have made 90% of the antibiotics in Egypt ineffective, said Medical Syndicate board member Khalid Samir at the CardioAlex medical conference held from 31 May to 3 June. He attributes this mutation to the excessive use of antibiotics not sanctioned by doctors, Al Borsa reports.

Real Estate + Housing

New Administrative Capital Company meets with developers to settle on land pricing

The New Administrative Capital Company is holding meetings with real estate developers and investors to sort out pricing for land and working out a framework for developing projects at the new capital city. Land was initially priced at EGP 4,310-4,510 per sqm in the four plots of land tendered by the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), which was not welcomed by developers. They are currently pushing for land prices to increase in line with other developments in the area such as Future City. The meeting is expected to hash out these differences in opinion, Al Borsa reports. NUCA is expected to begin promoting development at the new capital in July.

EGP 200 mn capital real estate developer established

A real estate development company by the name of “Upscale Misr” is launching with capital of EGP 200 mn, CEO Mohamed Khairy told Al Mal on Thursday. The company is seeking investment funds and international institutions, he added, saying Upscale Misr is planning an EGP 4 bn university city in Borg Al Arab over an area of 150 feddans that will include all educational and housing facilities. Upscale Misr claims to have contracted engineering and project management consultancy firm Atkins as well real estate consultancy JLL for the project, said Khairy.

Magic Dreams will complete EGP 350 mn Merryland renovations in 2Q2017

The Magic Dreams Company is set to complete the Merryland renovations in 2Q2017 at an investment cost of EGP 350 mn, Chairman Nasser Salem told Al Borsa. The company has contracted two UAE-based partners to execute 50% of the project each, he added, noting that 50% of architectural work has been completed at a cost of EGP 60 mn. Magic Dreams is currently negotiating an EGP 70 mn loan from NBE to complete the project, he said. NBE has agreed to the loan on the condition that Heliopolis Housing renew the Magic Dreams lease and reschedule its debts.

Egypt represents 6% of MAF business in region, offers up 4,000 jobs at fair

DNE sat down with Chief Human Capital Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Holding Mouien Al Madhoun after the company held its Mall of Egypt Career Day on 4 June. The recruitment push offered over 4,000 job opportunities, which the company attributes to its Egypt expansion plans, says Al Madhoun. “Mall of Egypt is slated to be one of the largest malls in the region, with investments worth EGP 5 bn … The mall would create over 41,000 direct and indirect jobs.” The company plans to expand both in Cairo and other governorates, by setting up malls and more branches of Carrefour, with Egypt representing 6% of its business in the region.

Tourism

Too early to judge JWT’s performance, Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed says

It is too early to judge JWT’s performance in promoting Egypt as a tourist destination, Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed told Al Shorouk. If JWT’s services prove to be wanting, “we will take a clear stance,” Rashed added. The tourism representation office at the Egyptian in embassy in Russia had sent the Tourism Development Authority a letter asking it to cancel its agreement with the JWT-commissioned PR agency there, claiming it is doing an inadequate job targeting countries covered by the office, including Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. JWT has a three-year contract to promote Egyptian tourism in global inbound markets.

Automotive + Transportation

Germany interested in helping Egypt build a car factory

The German side of the Egyptian-German Economics Committee expressed interest in helping Egypt develop a car factory with the help of “a prominent German car manufacturer”, said Industry and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil. This would not be another assembly plant but a full-fledged manufacturing plant, said Kabil who didn’t elaborate further. His statements come at the sidelines of the Committee’s meeting which was saw the signing of a number of agreements which we noted yesterday.

Egytrans awarded EGP 90 mn tender to transport components for Beni Suef, Administrative Capital power plants

The Egyptian Transport and Commercial Services Company (Egytrans) has been awarded an EGP 90 mn contract to transport components, including turbines and generators, to the site of the Beni Suef and administrative capital power plants, Chairman Abeer Leheta told Shorouk. Additionally, Egytrans has put additional components in storage at the Adabiya Port until they are requested by Siemens. Egytrans was awarded both Gabal El Zeit power plant tenders as well as the South Helwan tender.

Shell snaps up 17% of Egyptian market, to increase factory capacity to 100 mn litres per year

Managing Director of Shell Lubricants Egypt Saher Hashem tells DNE he sees potential for growth of the automotive lubricants market in Egypt despite the fact that “investment climate in Egypt needs to speed up procedures, particularly with regards to the issuance of licences to engage in certain activities.” The company’s market share currently stands at 17%, he said — the largest in the MENA region. It also plans to boost its factory production to over 100 mn litres per annum in the coming years. The company isn’t currently looking at M&A targets.

Banking + Finance

Beltone Financial consider acquiring a leasing company if CI Capital agreement fails

Beltone Financial says it has set its sights on a leasing company it plans on acquiring in case its acquisition of CI Capital doesn’t pan out. Beltone Vice-Chairman Maged Shawky told Al Mal the company was aiming to make use of CI Capital’s ownership of Corplease to enter the leasing market. He added that the investment bank had also signed an MoU that remains active and allows it to acquire 8% of AXA Egypt’s shares. This could also provide it entry into the leasing and insurance markets.

EGX continues to suspend trading on Beltone shares

Meanwhile, the EGX has continued cancelling trades in shares of Beltone Financial on suspicions of stock market manipulation, Al Borsa reports. This comes despite the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority having already sent its case file into 12 unnamed brokers suspected of illicit trading on Beltone; the investigation has explicitly cleared Beltone itself of any wrongdoing. The EGX had blocked trades since February, with 14 sessions having suspended in April alone. Beltone’s share price rose 516% to EGP 22.80 since February where it traded at EGP 3.70. This rise is expected to continue on the back of its acquisition of 51% of Auerbach Grayson, Al Borsa says/

No deadline for high-interest rate foreign currency conversion CDs, Banque Misr decides

Banque Misr removed the deadline placed on the issuance of the certificates of deposit issued to foreign currency holders who convert their holdings to EGP and carried an interest rate of 15%. Sources at the bank tell Al Borsa the issuance was very successful and manage to raise of EGP 1 bn worth of foreign currency, but refused to give an exact amount.

Arab African International Bank studies EGP 500 mn loans

The Arab African International Bank is studying EGP 500 mn in loans to four renewable energy companies, sources told Al Borsa. Each individual loan ranges between EGP 90-120 mn, he added, expecting decisions to be reached for around 40% of loan requests by 3Q2016. The bank is also studying contributing EGP 600-700 mn to a joint loan to finance the Suez Canal tunnels, he added, with its total contribution reaching EGP 3 bn in the form of letters of credit.

Other Business News of Note

Agriculture ministry signs EUR 2 mn agreement for Marsa Matrouh development

The Agriculture Ministry signed a EUR 2 mn cooperation agreement with the EU on Saturday as part of the its Rural Development Programmes to reclaim, develop, and rehabilitate valleys in the Marsa Matrouh governorate, Al Shorouk reported. The project will be implemented over an area of 15,000 sq km and includes setting up 100 reservoirs to hold 150 cubic km of rain water.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Budget deficit increased to 9.2% of GDP between July and March 2015/2016

Egypt’s budget deficit in July-March 2015/2016 increased to 9.2% of GDP to EGP 254.9 bn y-o-y, according to a Finance Ministry statement issued on Friday, Al Shorouk reported. Revenues increased 3.2% to EGP 291.1 bn during the same period as tax revenues increased around 3.7% y-o-y to EGP 212.4 bn. As for expenditures, they increased 8.7% to EGP 533.3 bn.

National Security

National Defense Council talks army budget, rationalizing prices

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi presided over a meeting of the National Defense Council on Sunday that discussed the armed forces’ budget for FY2016-17, a security plan for coinciding with the Ramadan, and “measures undertaken by the government to rationalize prices and tackle price hikes and attempts to exploit citizens,” according to an Ittihadiya statement. “The president gave directives to continue exerting efforts in full collaboration between the ministries and relevant state authorities to address price hikes and attempts to monopolize commodities in violation of the law.” No further details were provided.

On Your Way Out

The Giza Security Directorate forced the cancellation of a metal concert featuring international artists Sepultura due to “incomplete permissions” Ahram Online reported. The concert was set to take place at the Nile Country Club, but was moved to a private villa in Sheikh Zayed a few days before the concert after Nile Country Club cancelled the event. Unconfirmed reports indicate three of the organizers may have been arrested, with the standard accusations that they had organised a “Satanist party” were part of a group organizing “strange rituals.”

A Cairo appeals court has acquitted 33 protesters sentenced to two years in prison for protesting the transfer of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, the Associated Press reported. The verdict was issued late on Saturday, defense lawyer Sarah Rabie told the newswire.

With final Thanaweya Amma exams taking place, cheating has once again made the headlines. The Arabic and religious studies exams was apparently leaked over the weekend, undermining the efforts of both the Education Ministry and the Interior Ministry who have pledged to severely clamp down on cheating following last year’s debacle. Facebook page “Shou Ming Beghashesh” — the latest iteration of the Shou Ming page that leaked exams last year — was behind the leak.

The markets yesterday

Share This Section

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

USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 31 May): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 31 May): 11.00 (compared with 11.00-11.04 on (Sunday, 29 May, Reuters)

EGX30 (Sunday): 7,563.5 (-0.71%)
Turnover: EGP 253.2 mn (42% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +7.95%

WTI:USD 48.62 (flat)
Brent:USD 49.64 (flat)
Gold:USD 1,242.90 / troy ounce (flat)
Nymex (futures prices): USD 2.4 MMBtu, (flat, July 2016 contract)

TASI: 6,413.0 (-1.2%) (YTD: -7.2%)
ADX: 4,295.8 (+1.0%) (YTD: -0.3%)
DFM: 3,285.3 (+0.7%) (YTD: +4.3%)
KSE Weighted Index: 353.4 (-0.5%) (YTD: -7.4%)
QE: 9,570.7 (+0.4%) (YTD: -8.2%)
MSM: 5,818.5 (-0.02%) (YTD: +7.6%)
BB: 1,114.9 (-0.11%) (YTD: -8.29%)

Share This Section

Calendar

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

13-14 June (Monday-Tuesday): Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva is due to visit Egypt and may oversee the inking of a cooperation agreement between GAFI and the Portuguese Agency for Foreign Investment and Commerce

14-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meets to discuss interest rates. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference on Wednesday after the meeting.

16 June (Thursday): The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to discuss interest rates.

23 June (Thursday): It’s Brexit Day as the United Kingdom holds a referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union.

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

05-08 September (Monday-Thursday): The 6th EFG Hermes London MENA and Frontier Conference, Emirates Arsenal Stadium, London, U.K.

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

19-20 September (Monday-Tuesday): Euromoney Egypt, venue TBD

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, Cairo International Convention Centre

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

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

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

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.