Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Has the Ramadan news slowdown begun?


What We’re Tracking Today

A new World Bank report sees low growth for emerging markets in general — and for MENA in particular — but the outlook for Egypt isn’t horrible. We have a full summary of the World Bank’s half-year update to its report “Global Economic Prospects: Divergences and Risks” in The Macro Picture, below.

We can’t say for certain the “empty period” has begun, but the slowdown in news yesterday was palpable.

Yes, but is it the “real” Koueider? If we learned nothing else amid yesterday’s news drought, it’s that the tightly-held belief as to which “Koueider” (Koueider or Mandarine Koueider) is the “real Koueider” is entirely a function of the neighborhood in which you / your parents / your grandparents grew up. Still, we’re glad the gang at Uber (sort of) granted us our wish: The ride-hailing app will allow you to summon a basbousa on demand tomorrow (Thursday) from 2-6pm in Cairo and in Alexandria, the company said in an emailed statement heralding Uber 7alaweyat. Why do we say “sort of” granted us our wish? We had asked for Uber kunefa yesterday, but we’ll make do with basbousa.

Meanwhile, across the pond: Hillary Clinton proclaimed herself the Democratic presidential nominee after what the New York Times called a “crushing victory” in the New Jersey primary and a win in New Mexico. Rival Bernie Sanders is reportedly making plans to lay off most of his campaign staff even as he continues to cling to hopes that a commanding win in California could keep his campaign alive until the Democratic party’s convention next month. Polls in California closed at 5am CLT, and with 7% of ballots counted at dispatch time, Clinton had c. 63% of the vote to Sanders’ 37%. The New York Times liveblog and the Los Angeles Times are your go-to sources if you’re not on Ze Tweeter.

When do we eat? Iftar will be at 6:56pm CLT today, while the cut-off for sohour will be at 3:08am CLT, according to Islamic Finder. As we eat, we will continue to call for thinking people everywhere to boycott the so-called “hijinks” of Ramez’s “hidden camera” show, which has sunk to new levels of un-watchability this Ramadan with “Ramez Plays with Fire” after seeming to have hit its nadir last year. Why this ‘gentleman’ deserves coverage in the business press is an eternal mystery.

On The Horizon

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

Right after, the Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to discuss interest rates on 16 June (Thursday).


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Speed Round

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“We found gold”: Egypt may be the new hub of gold mining exploration, Alexander Nubia’s CEO Mark Campbell tells CNN’s Ian Lee (runtime 04:06). “We’re not doing anything really clever, we’re following where the old timers had gone,” Campbell says, noting that gold exploration has taken place in Egypt’s Eastern Desert for thousands of years. He adds that the company already “found gold,” but did not say whether the quantities were commercially viable or not. The industry has a significant multiplier effect for the economy, Campbell notes, as mining is more labour-intensive than oil and gas. He says currently, mining is “nascent” in Egypt, but the opportunities are “substantial.” Egypt has an advantage over African mining countries as it already has much of the infrastructure requirements and Campbell does not see “a lot of risk” being in Egypt.

Food manufacturer Obour Land will submit its final documentation to the EGX for an IPO “within days,” Al Mal was informed. Obour Land is reportedly targeting an EGP 200 mn capital increase. The company plans to inaugurate its first dairy and juice plant this year at an investment cost of EGP 50 mn, while also seeking to expand its sales volume and market shares. CI Capital is managing the issuance, Al Mal says, but Obour Land is reportedly looking for an international advisor at the same time.

The Egyptian Exchange’s listing committee has approved Beltone Financial’s capital increase to EGP 3 bn from EGP 1 bn, allowing the firm to call a general assembly to vote on it in a month, Al Mal reported on Tuesday. The bourse also approved increasing issued and paid capital EGP 1 bn to EGP 1.338 bn, distributed over 500 mn shares with a nominal value of EGP 2. The EGX had said it would delay an approval “until the company submits reasons for the move.” Beltone auditor Deloitte had requested more time to finalise its assessment of the increase. There’s still no word on regulatory approval for Beltone’s acquisition of CIB-owned CI Capital.

Royal Dutch Shell has lowered its investment plan for Egypt to USD 342 mn from USD 442 mn for the next fiscal year, an Oil Ministry official told Al Borsa. Shell has reduced its investments due to rising receivables from the government for gas produced from its concessions, the official added. The move appears to be part of a wider plan by Shell to increase cost savings to USD 4.5 bn following its USD 54 bn acquisition of BG Group, according to Reuters. Shell said on Tuesday it will exit oil and gas operations in up to 10 countries and sell 10% of its production as part of a USD 30 bn asset sale plan by 2018. Shell, which operates today in more than 70 countries, is looking to concentrate on 13 countries, including Brazil, Australia, and the US. The story does not speculate on which countries Shell is looking to exit.

Star Egyptian startup Instabug raised USD 1.7 mn in a seed round after completing Y Combinator’s winter program this year, Wamda’s Rachel Williamson wrote. Instabug is bug-tracking software that allows developers to trace bugs in their codes. “The round was led by US-headquartered Accel Venture Partners and included Mopub founder Jim Payne and Cloudera cofounder Amr Awadallah. Instabug has now raised a total of [USD 2.12 mn] from three rounds, with Egyptian angels and Y Combinator investing in 2013 and 2015 respectively.” Instabug also plans to grow its San Francisco office, according to Techcrunch. The company, founded by Moataz Soliman and Omar Gabr, rose to prominence after graduating from accelerator Flat6Labs’ third cycle in the summer of 2012.

The Central Bank of Egypt sold USD 119.9 mn at its regular auction yesterday, keeping the FX rate unchanged at EGP 8.78 per USD 1. Amwal Al Ghad says the funds were used to clear the pharma import backlog. On the parallel market, Reuters says greenbacks were selling for EGP 10.90 per USD 1, Al-Borsa says the EGP was stable at 10.75, and Al Ahram reports the rate to be 10.60. (Dare we say there may be a certain amount of, uhm, “shaping of public opinion” when Ahram starts tracking the parallel market rate, as has been the case of late?)

The CBE has reportedly injected USD 15.694 bn into banks between November and April through both regular weekly USD auctions and exceptional sales, according to a statement from the presidency on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Banks provided USD 33.7 bn in FX to meet the demands of importers during the same period, according to the statement, which followed a meeting between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and CBE Governor Tarek Amer and is front-page news in the state press. “Since lifting restrictions on foreign currency deposits and transfers earlier this year, flows of foreign currency into domestic banks have increased ten-fold,” Amer said. He told El Sisi that FX reserves grew over USD 1 bn over the past month thanks to these policies, Al Mal reports.

Amer also reportedly briefed the president on an agreement with the Finance Ministry to tap international debt markets, but didn’t provide details on the timing or size of the planned issuance, according to Bloomberg. “The government sold Eurobonds for the first time since 2010 in June last year, but a second intended for the fourth quarter of 2015 was delayed due to rising borrowing costs. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said in February that the government would sell bonds in the second quarter of this year,” Bloomberg’s Ahmed Feteha notes.

Trouble in the wheat market: The Agriculture Quarantine Authority may be back to its zero-tolerance policy on ergot. The Agriculture Quarantine Authority is reportedly refusing to clear 70,000 tonnes of imported wheat from quarantine in Egypt’s ports, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The Canadian and Polish shipments have apparently met regulations limiting ergot contamination to 0.05%, but the authority is stating that it’s not good enough and are insisting on holding them there, said Tarek Hassanein, head of the Grains Division of the Federation of Egyptian Industries. Hassanein is calling on the government to clarify if there was a change in policy. Meanwhile, a source from the Supply Ministry confirmed that the ergot limit stands at 0.05%. The ergot issue roiled global wheat markets from January through March this year and sparked speculation in the industry that the sudden focus on ergot indicated that state importer GASC was facing FX issues.

AfDB offering funding for informal housing developments? The African Development Bank (AfDB) may be interested in offering Egypt as much as EUR 300 mn to fund upgrades in areas with high concentrations of informal housing, Al-Ahram’s breaking news site reported yesterday. Egypt had requested AfDB participate in the program in the last meeting between the International Cooperation Ministry and the bank in June last year.

The three major telecom operators met earlier this month with ICT Minister Yasser Al Qady to lobby for their vision of the 4G licensing framework, Al Borsa reports. Operators want to persuade the regulator to resolve some of the issues from the defunct unified telecoms license and guarantee “a fair and competitive” environment for all operators once state-owned Telecom Egypt (TE) joins the fray.

The existing operators want to end TE’s monopoly on fiber-optic lines to end — and want to be licensed to rent out their infrastructure to subsidiaries and third parties, suggesting we could see new competition in the ISP space and the creation of a market for virtual mobile network operators. The current Big Three also want to be allocated more 3G spectrum if they’re going to have to allow TE to piggyback on their existing 2G and 3G networks. Orange Egypt and Vodafone Egypt are reportedly pushing to be granted licenses to handle international calls independent of TE at the current market price once TE obtains a 4G license. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority had previously refused issuing international calling licenses at the same rate it granted to TE, charging Vodafone EGP 3.9 mn and Orange Egypt EGP 3.8 mn.

The Suez Canal Authority has reduced transit fees for the US East Coast / South Asia / South East Asia route by 65%, Al Mal reports. A 30% reduction had already been in place since 7 March to attract shipping traffic. The new discount will be in place until September, according to a statement from the authority.

Corruption case roils Cairo Metro Line 3? The European Investment Bank (EIB) has reportedly forced the postponement of tenders for the EUR 940 mn third phase of Cairo Metro Line 3 until there’s clarity on a corruption case brought against National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) chief financial officer Hisham Helmy, Al Borsa reported on Tuesday. Helmy was allegedly caught on camera taking a bribe from a private firm that was taking part in a tender and subsequently arrested by the Administrative Control Authority. As the largest single backer of phase three, the EIB is contractually allowed to intervene in NAT tenders for the line under certain circumstances. EIB is providing EUR 600 mn in financing for the project, while France is kicking in EUR 300 mn.

In case you haven’t noticed, Uber and Careem have been implementing surge pricing as of late, seeing fares increased by 30-60% due to high demand in certain areas and low driver turnout as the ongoing heat wave overlaps with Ramadan, Al Borsa reported on Tuesday. Hadeer Shalaby, general manager at Careem Egypt, has denied that the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) contacted the firm over surge pricing, saying fares would return to normal when heavy traffic and high demand fizzle out. Rival local firm Ousta has called on the CPA to enforce common pricing in the industry to encourage fair competition, but the CPA said it hasn’t received complaints about surge pricing and added neither Uber nor Careem is under investigation. Ousta, a darling of the local media, says it’s growing in the domestic market because it refuses to do surge pricing and offers features Uber and Careem have yet to match.

Today marks the second anniversary of Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s presidency. The domestic press is marking the occasion with lists of his accomplishments since taking office, with Al-Ahram leading the way.

Saudis in row with UN over “blacklisting”; Egypt sucked into the vortex: Saudi Arabia is reportedly organizing what a United Nations official called a “full-court press” to pressure the UN into fully removing from a black list the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen. Riyadh is “threatening to cut Palestinian aid and funds to other U.N. programs,” Reuters reports, adding that, “The United Nations announced on Monday it had removed the coalition from a child rights blacklist — released last week — pending a joint review by the world body and the coalition of cases of child deaths and injuries during the war in Yemen.” Pressure reportedly included suggestions that “clerics in Riyadh [could meet] to issue a fatwa against the U.N., declaring it anti-Muslim, which would mean no contacts of OIC members, no relations, contributions, support, to any U.N. projects, programs,” the wire service reports. Egypt is among the nations that Reuters says complained to UN chief Ban Ki-moon over the blacklisting.

Do NOT feed the kiddies to the sharks: We really and truly meant to say yesterday: “You may not want to let the kiddies in the water” if you’re heading to Sokhna this weekend to escape the heat and while away the fasting hours. Officials banned offshore swimming and sport fishing for 15 days starting Monday after a rare shark attack there last weekend. We’re still debating whether the absence of “not” in our piece was a Freudian slip, something we can blame on fasting, or just bad editing.


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The Macro Picture

Emerging markets’ drive to “catch up” with the incomes of more developed one has been set back decades due to their slowing economies and the commodities slump, according to World Bank Research on Tuesday, the Financial Times (paywall) reports. The bank downgraded its growth forecast for EMs due to worse than expected performance by commodity-exporting countries, expecting the global economy to grow 2.4% this year from a previous forecast of 2.9%. Emerging commodity exporters are set to expand only 0.4%, down from 3.2% in 2013.

The outlook for our corner of the world isn’t looking wonderful, largely on the back of low oil prices:Scroll down the report’s home page on your tablet or laptop to the “Data” section and toggle Middle East and North Africa. We’re going to beat the world average for GDP growth through 2018, but will lag both sub-Saharan Africa and emerging economies generally.

What does the report say about Egypt? Egypt is all over the MENA section (pdf) of the World Bank report, where the bank suggests that: “For oil-importing countries, a lower aggregate forecast for 2016 is due to slowing growth in the largest economy, Egypt, where expected growth of 3.3 percent in FY2015/16 is well below the authorities’ target of 5 percent. The weakness is due to a sharp downturn in tourism since October 2015, softening business sentiment, and the foreign currency shortage that plagued the economy for most of the fiscal year. The currency devaluation in March may boost the price competitiveness of Egypt’s exports, however.”

But the outlook on Egypt isn’t bad: While it notes that “growth is forecast to ease in Egypt, to 3.3 percent in fiscal year 2015/16 (ending June 30, 2016), 0.5 percentage point below the pace expected in January,” the World Bank notes says Egypt’s economy will grow at 3.8% in the current calendar year, then accelerate to 4.4% in 2017 and 4.6% the year after.

How can we do better? Morgan Stanley thinks the key to the success of emerging markets are babies and bn’aires, according to Bloomberg. “Have more babies. Control borrowing. Rear self-made bn’aires. Keep your currency cheap. That’s the advice of Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, for nations seeking to rise — or at least avoid a fall.”

Oh, and maybe stop the rise of AI. (See today’s Worth Reading for more on that topic.)

Egypt in the News

Daesh is indirectly threatening to blow up the pyramids in its latest video, according to the Daily Mail. The almost ten minute video shows footage of a 2,500-year-old temple in Iraq being demolished before a final scene shows the pyramids and a man pledging to blow up “ancient sites built by the infidels.” You can watch the full video here(run time 9:45).

Activists are concerned President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is broadening Saudi citizens’ rights to own real estate in Egypt, Ahmed Hidji writes in Al-Monitor. Their concerns are driven by a case that saw Saudi citizen Hamoud bin Mohammed Saleh allowed to own two parcels of desert land previously owned by Egyptian citizens in Giza, bypassing a law that restricts non-Egyptian ownership in Egypt to two properties, each not exceeding one acre. An international law expert sees it a slippery slope that could end up with Saudis dominating the real estate market in Egypt, pushing real estate prices even higher.

Human Rights Watch caught wind of the charges brought against a lawyer and two judges who proposed an anti-torture law in March 2015. A judge charged Negad al-Borai, head of a law firm that held workshops preparing the law, with offenses that can carry up to 25 years in prison. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council appears to have ordered an investigation into Hesham Raouf and Assem Abd al-Gabbar, judges who worked with al-Borai to draft the proposed law.

China’s CCTV covered how Egyptians prepare for Ramadan, which the channel says mostly involves buying more food. CCTV’s report from Cairo notes that food consumption increases 20% during Ramadan (includes video, runtime 1:24).

Worth Reading

Robots will limit the outlook on job creation in Egypt, other developing nations: “Developing countries from India to Indonesia and Egypt to Ethiopia have long hoped to … [stimulate] job creation and economic growth by moving agricultural workers into low-cost factories to make goods for export,” writes the Financial Times, but the rise in automation is unlikely to create as many jobs as was hoped. “Today’s low-income countries will not have the same possibility of achieving rapid growth by shifting workers from farms to higher-paying factory jobs,” researchers from the US investment bank Citi and the University of Oxford concluded in a recent report, “The Future Is Not What It Used to Be.

Image of the Day

Having one of those days when everything about Egypt [readacts] you off? See no hope? This photo of the Instabug team at the Pyramids — young, mobile professionals all — is the first ingredient in the antidote.

Worth Watching

Egyptian grandmothers are the same the world over: Watch French filmmaker Jonas Parienté cook molokheya with his Egyptian Jewish grandmother(run time 8:22) as part of UNESCO’s Grandmas Project, “a collaborative web series under the patronage of UNESCO that shares the stories and recipes of grandmas around the world, filmed by their grandchildren.”

The video is worth watching if only to see her wheeling a suitcase around to fill with food for her grandson to take home from what appear to be three refrigerators scattered around the house. You can take the girl out of Egypt…

Meanwhile, talk show host Ahmed Moussa suggests Egyptians feeling the food price crunch this Ramadan need only limit their iftars to dates, milk, and lemonade. He, on the other hand, says he’ll be feasting on lamb. Watch the clip here (run time: 2:08), but more importantly satirist Marwan Youins’s commentary (run time: 5:12) that made the rounds on Facebook yesterday.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt and Pakistan met in Cairo for a seventh round of bilateral talks, Radio Pakistan reported. The meetings discussed regional and international issues and the two sides agreed to review cooperation agreements and bolster bilateral trade.

An agreement was signed to export 60 containers of ceramics to Uganda as part of the Egyptian-Lebanese initiative to export to African markets, said Industry and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil. This was the first agreement signed under the initiative and since the formation of an Egyptian-Lebanese Trading and Investment in Africa Company, Kabil added. The initiative will see Lebanon rely on Egypt’s position in African trade blocs to expand its exports.


Zero growth rate for crude oil production in 1H2015-16

The Oil Ministry is targeting around 695k bpd of crude and condensates in the coming period, EGPC chairman Tarek El Hadidi told Amwal Al Ghad. Crude production has had a 0% growth rate in 1H2015-16, while it dropped 1.1% y-o-y in 2Q2015-16, he added.


Industrial Development Authority looking for EGP 1 bn financing for 4,000 feddan infrastructure project

The Trade and Industry Ministry is seeking EGP 1 bn in financing to fund utilities infrastructure for the 4,000 feddan Abu Zinema industrial zone in Sinai, ministry sources tell Amwal Al Ghad. Industry and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil had previously stated that the ministry plans to increase its fund for industrial utilities development to EGP 1.4 bn in the FY 2016-17 fiscal year, from EGP 400 mn. The zone will reportedly focus on mining.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Arab Contractors completes EGP 1.5 bn wheat silo project in June

The Arab Contractors are set to complete in June an EGP 1.5 bn contract to build wheat silos by finishing the last three of 15 new silos spread throughout the country, Chairman Mohsen Salah told Amwal Al Ghad. The undertaking is part of a larger project to build 50 storage silos funded by a UAE grant aiming to increase storage capacity by 60,000 tonnes, he said.


Military Productions Ministry signs MoU with Bauer Group to build irrigation systems factory

Irrigation systems and piping manufacturer Bauer Group signed an MoU with the Military Production Ministry to help establish an irrigation systems assembly plant for the Helwan Machinery and Equipment Company. The next phase of the MoU would see the facility converted towards full manufacturing, with Bauer helping the company reduce manufacturing costs by 50%, AMAY reports. No details were provided as to the size of the MoU.

Health + Education

Cheating scandal inadvertently sparks national dialogue over nature of exams in Egypt

The Interior Ministry arrested the administrators of three Facebook pages it accuses of leaking Thanaweya Aama certificate exams after the English exam was leaked on Tuesday. The move follows the arrest of 12 Education Ministry officials and the administrator of the Shou Ming Cheats Facebook page over the spate of leaks that led authorities to cancel the religious studies final exam. The issue has been dominating local media, prompting Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to suggest a policy to clampdown on online leaks was in the works. Why is this even important? MPs have already begun proposing changing the nature of standardized testing in Egypt as a result of the scandal. Some have suggested amending the nature of exams away from pure memorization of facts to testing comprehension of subject matter. Other MPs have suggested open book exams and even online exams, Youm7 reported. Has this finally dawned on them?

Real Estate + Housing

Majid Al Futtaim invests EGP 2 bn into Maadi City Center

Majid Al Futtaim has earmarked EGP 2 bn for the renovation of Maadi City Center, Chief Human Capital Officer Mouien Al Madhoun told Al Borsa. The project is currently under study, which could take between 12-18 months, he said, with construction commencing immediately afterward. Mall of Egypt will be officially inaugurated in September at a total cost of EGP 5 bn, while the Almaza Mall will be completed in 2019, added Al Madhoun.

Azmeel Group completes 10 buildings in New Cairo

Azmeel Group has completed the construction of 10 buildings in New Cairo at a total cost of EGP 400 mn, Managing Director Ahmed Shahin told Al Borsa. The buildings house a total of 250 homes, he added. The company has adopted the separate building strategy to better meet market needs, to reduce risk by spreading investments over different projects in different areas and provide a faster return on investment, he said.

Banking + Finance

Three banks sign EGP 120 mn settlement agreement with steel manufacturer

Banque Misr, SAIB, and Piraeus Bank have signed an EGP 120 mn settlement agreement with a major steel manufacturer, sources told Al Mal. The company is in talks with another two banks for another settlement agreement, the sources added. Banque Misr, Alex Bank, Qatar National Bank, and the Ahli United Bank recently completed an EGP 310 mn settlement with a communications company, the source said. The story names neither of the companies that has allegedly reached a settlement with its creditors.

Other Business News of Note

Egyptian-Sudanese agreement to plant 18,000 feddans in East Nile project

Egypt and Sudan signed a cooperation agreement that will see Wadi Foods Group plant 18,000 feddans in the East Nile agricultural project in Al Jazirah, Al Shorouk reported. Wadi Foods will invest around USD 30 mn in the project, said Chief Strategy Officer Mohamed Mahgoub.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Saudi Arabia could tax expat workers’ remittances

Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council is discussing a proposal that would tax remittances by 2-6%, according to Daily News Egypt. “The tax percentage will be decided according to how long an expat has worked in the kingdom, gradually reducing to 2%, according to the council’s financial committee.” The measure does not target Egyptians specifically and “aims to encourage expats to invest or spend their money in the kingdom and help nourish its economy.”

Ministry of Agriculture to build 100k greenhouses as part of 1.5 mn feddans project

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to build 100k greenhouses as part of the 1.5 mn feddans project, ministry spokesman Eid Hawash said, adding that the project will be begin soon, Al Shorouk reported on Tuesday. The project, which will be equipped with drip irrigation system, is set to substantially save water and increase agricultural productivity, with one greenhouse spanning 500 metres expected to have the same production rate of 1 feddan.

National Security

Egypt set to receive Advanced Fulcrum fighters from Russian Aircraft Corporation

A number of MiG Advanced Fulcrum lightweight multirole fighters for Egypt is currently in production at the Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC MiG) as part of a contract worth USD 2 bn, according to industry sources. There’s no word yet on the number of aircraft on order or whether they’re MiG-29M/M2s or MiG-35s, industry site AIN Online says, noting that RAC MiG is “desperate to secure the Egyptian order; without it, production of the Advanced Fulcrum series may close down soon.” The site reports that funding for the weapons buy is apparently coming from Saudi Arabia

Three killed, three arrested in relation to Helwan attack

Three suspects in last month’s attack on a police convoy that left eight police officers in Helwan killed were killed and three arrested during a police raid in Damietta on Monday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement released yesterday, according to .


Ministry of Interior grants preliminary approval for crowds to attend Egypt Cup matches

The Interior Ministry has granted the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) preliminary approval to allow crowds to attend matches of the top eight in the Egypt Cup this season, which could potentially open the door for crowds being allowed to attend the Egyptian Premier League, Youm7 reported on Tuesday. Ex-EFA board member Mahmoud El Shamy said he had already talked with EFA Executive Director Tharwat Sweilem about selling tickets online in the hopes of using buyers’ information to help boost security at the games. Stadiums for the Egypt Cup and the Egyptian Premier League have been generally empty since the Port Said events of 2012 that saw 74 spectators killed and hundreds injured. President El Sisi had also expressed his desire to see “stadiums packed again” during his interview with Ossama Kamel over the weekend.

On Your Way Out

Tourist arrivals to Egypt more than halved y-o-y as Russian tourists avoid Egyptian destinations. CAPMAS said arrivals in April dropped 54% y-o-y to 425k, according to Al Shorouk. In total, 2.4 mn tourist nights were recorded during the month. In related news, occupancy rates in Sharm El Sheikh have reportedly dropped to 11% since Ramadan began.

The trial of former anti-corruption watchdog Hisham Genena was adjourned at its first session yesterday to 21 June after the former head of the Central Auditing Organization asked for more time to study evidence, the BBC reports.

A fire engulfed an unnamed fabrics factory in Sixth of October City’s third industrial zone Tuesday evening, Major General Magdi El Shalaqani, director of the civil protection administration in Giza, said, Al Shorouk reported on Wednesday. Eight fire trucks were rushed to the scene, he added.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 7 June): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 7 June): 10.90 (-0.30 from Monday, 6 June, Reuters)

EGX30 (Tuesday): 7,717.35 (+1.02%)
Turnover: EGP 583.3 mn (34% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +10.15%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: EGX30 climbed throughout the day to close 1.0% higher with most stocks closing at or near their highs. Ezz Steel, Palm Hills and South Valley Cement were the benchmark index’s top performing stocks. Meanwhile, Edita, Porto Group, and Amer Group were among today’s biggest losers. At a market turnover of EGP 583.3 mn, local investors were the sole net sellers of the day.

Foreigners:Net long | EGP +33.3 mn
Regional:Net long | EGP +7.9 mn
Domestic:Net short | EGP -41.2 mn

Retail: 60.7% of total trades | 53.6% of buyers | 67.8% of sellers
Institutions: 39.3% of total trades | 46.4% of buyers | 32.2% of sellers

Foreign: 20.7% of total | 23.6% of buyers | 17.9% of sellers
Regional: 7.9% of total | 8.5% of buyers | 7.1% of sellers
Domestic: 71.4% of total | 67.9% of buyers | 75.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 50.36 (1.39%)
Brent: USD 51.44 (1.76%)
Gold: USD 1,247.50 / troy ounce (flat)
Nymex (futures prices) USD 2.48 MMBtu, (+1.64%, July 2016 contract)

TASI: 6,533.42 (+0.87%) (YTD: -5.47%)
ADX: 4,345.77 (+0.75%) (YTD: +0.89%)
DFM: 3,327.10 (+1.46%) (YTD: +5.59%)
KSE Weighted Index: 354.18 (-0.21%) (YTD: -7.21%)
QE: 9,857.95 (+2.27%) (YTD: -5.48%)
MSM: 5,843.31 (+0.46%) (YTD: +8.08%)
BB: 1,116.39 (flat) (YTD: -8.18%)

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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.

21 June (Tuesday): Trial of former Central Auditing Organization chief Hisham Genena resumes.

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

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