Sunday, 12 June 2016

Beltone’s acquisition of CI Capital is off.


What We’re Tracking Today

Beltone Financial’s general assembly will meet today to vote on converting up to 33% of the company’s capital to GDRs, Al Borsa reports. The assembly will also discuss and the procedures for the EGP 1 bn capital increase and the acquisition of a 51% stake in New York-based global agency broker Auerbach Grayson, which Beltone picked up after AG quietly put itself up for sale.

U.S. President Barack Obama has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president and urged Bernie Sanders in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday to funnel his campaign supporters behind her to unite the Democratic party, according to the New York Times. At a Washington rally later in the day, Sanders urged voters there to go to the polls in their primary on Tuesday “and to keep pushing for a political revolution.”

When do we eat? Iftar will be at 6:57pm CLT today, while the cut-off for sohour will be at 3:08am CLT, according to Islamic Finder. (And at least one of us over here is pretty excited that iftar tomorrow just happens to be the same time as the keynote for Apple’s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference gets underway. It’s most likely going to be all about software, but that hasn’t stopped us to muttering incantations, prayers and invocations for a redesigned MacBook Pro…)

What We’re Tracking This Week

Inflation and interest rates are on our minds this week after core and headline inflation both broke above 12% in May, according to figures released by the Central Bank of Egypt on Thursday. Headline inflation rates accelerated to 12.30% in May from 10.27% the month before; food prices typically rise significantly heading into Ramadan, and EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha told Bloomberg that the pass-through effect of devaluation also played a role. Core inflation (which excludes fruits and vegetables) was also up, rising to 12.23% in May from 9.51% in April; that’s the highest core inflation reading since 2009, Bloomberg notes, quoting Abu Basha saying rising medicine prices played a role.

The inflationary spike comes in the same week as both the U.S. Fed and the CBE are due to meet to review interest rates. The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meets to discuss interest rates this coming Tuesday and Wednesday (14-15 June), with the Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee due to do the same on Thursday.

Analysts are so-far evenly divided on whether the CBE will hike rates: Reuters quotes Arqaam’s Reham El Desoki as forecasting a 50 bps bump in rates on Thursday, saying, “We expect annual headline inflation will remain high in the coming months, possibly registering 14-15 percent in the remainder of the year.” Beltone’s Shady Fakhoury, on the other hand, echoed many in the banking world as he noted the CBE is “unlikely to raise rates … due to the risk that it would increase treasury yields and further widen the government’s fiscal deficit,” Bloomberg says.

The CBE raised rates 150 bps in March to curb inflation after it allowed a 14% devaluation, but held rates steady at its last meeting on April 28.

On The Horizon

If this week is about economics, next week is set to be about politics — both at home and abroad. The next session in the trial of former Central Auditing Organization chief Hisham Genena is due to take place on Tuesday, 21 June, and it’s Brexit week as the U.K. heads to the polls to vote on whether to remain in the European Union on Thursday, 23 June.

Speed Round

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CIB has scrapped plans to sell its subsidiary, CI Capital, to Beltone Financial, Reuters reported. The transaction, valued at EGP 924 mn and first announced in February, was nixed after failing to win regulatory approval. CIB cited the “prolonged period” it has taken Beltone owner Orascom Telecom & Media Technology (OTMT) to obtain a no objection certificate from Egypt’s market regulator, according to Bloomberg. The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) had refused to issue an opinion on the acquisition citing a pending court case surrounding Beltone Financial’s parent OTMT’s ownership structure. However, EFSA head Sherif Samy stated on Thursday that the settlement with OTMT and the regulator had no bearing on its view of the CI-Beltone merger, Al Borsa reports.

Beltone Financial said it could make another run at CI Capital once “all the obstacles” are removed as it still believes in the “powerful entity” that its acquisition of CI Capital would create, Al Borsa says. “The two parties [to the agreement] are sure that governmental agencies insisted on not passing it, as well as refusing to extend the period of the acquisition,” Beltone Financial’s legal adviser, Ashraf El-Ibrachy, told Daily News Egypt on Saturday.

Other suitors in the wings? We’re not holding our breath for an immediate sale, but as a wise man has said: At the right price, everyone is a buyer — and everyone a seller. Arqaam, which acquired advisory house Akanar in March, was believed to have been seriously interested in CI Capital. Dubai’s Rasmala also made rumblings about bidding for CI at the time the Beltone pact was first announced, but eventually held back from making an offer. And don’t expect the National Bank of Egypt to make a bid: The interest it showed in making a counter-offer was clearly intended to play the role of spoiler for Beltone.

Eni and BP announced an “important gas discovery” in the Baltim South Development Lease in the East Nile Delta. “Further appraisal activities will be required to underpin the full resource potential of the discovery,” BP said. The company said the discovery “is a new accumulation along the same trend of the Nooros field discovered in July 2015 and currently producing 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.” Eni, which operates the concession, says the discovery “further confirms the significant potential of the so called ‘Great Nooros Area,’ which is now estimated to hold 70-80 [bcm] of gas in place.” BP holds a 50% stake in the Baltim South Development lease, and Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC, holds 50%. The well was drilled by Petrobel, a joint venture between IEOC and EGPC.

Reuters notes that “Egypt currently has 12 natural gas field development projects under way worth a total of [USD 33 bn].” Egypt is the “gift that keeps on giving,” Bloomberg said in its coverage of the discovery.

Embattled Canadian medical compound manufacturer Valeant International is considering selling Egypt’s Amoun, which it acquired in late 2015. The move comes as Valeant reportedly puts its debt-reduction plans into high gear, according to people with knowledge of the matter quoted by Bloomberg on Thursday. Valeant is working with Goldman Sachs Group on the sale, which is at a preliminary stage, the people said; Valeant, Amoun, and Goldman execs all declined to comment. “Amoun may attract [bidders] with an interest in expanding in emerging markets … The Egyptian company’s current executives could also pursue a management buyout with help from financial investors, though no final decision has been made,” the people said. Valeant is selling non-core assets to reduce its USD 31 bn debt load, eyeing a sale of some of its Latin American operations and selling some of its “smaller … assets.”

The Interior Ministry’s financial crimes investigations unit apparently verbally informed FX bureaus that they are to stop operating after iftar during Ramadan for an unnamed “security reason,” bureau heads tell Al Mal. The MOI informed them that the security of any exchange operating past iftar “would be the [exchange’s] responsibility.” Most bureaus have refused to comply with the warning as business is almost non-existent during Ramadan days, said one operator.

The never-ending story: Policymakers “tried to trick the market, but ended up being tricked … The basic intuition of regular people, not to mention investors, is telling them that the pound will still lose more value,” Multiples Group managing director Omar El-Shenety tells Bloomberg’s Ahmed Feteha and Tamim Elyan. Feteha and Elyan also quote a number of people dealing directly with the parallel market, with one electrical store owner saying “most days, I make more money from selling [USD] than regular goods” and an Egyptian expat saying parallel market traders offered to exchange his foreign currency holdings at a premium.

Meanwhile, the EGP strengthened slightly on the parallel market to EGP 10.93 for USD 1.00 on Saturday, according Al Mal, while Al Borsa reporting a rate of EGP 10.92. On Thursday, the USD was selling for EGP 10.95 on the parallel market, according to Al Shorouk.

Al-Ahram, meanwhile, is living on another planet: We noted last week that the state-owned newspaper had begun reporting parallel market rates — and we figured it was part of a bid to shape market opinion. Well, in Ahram land the EGP is going from strength to strength, as the paper said it gained EGP 0.70 against the greenback on the parallel market. A buck is going for EGP 10.40, according to Ahram.

The Finance Ministry will issue USD 700 mn in one-year, USD-denominated T-bills to local banks and foreign financial institutions next Tuesday, according to a CBE statement issued Thursday statement, Reuters reported.

Egypt, World Bank in talks for USD 880 mn in financing for rail, airport projects: Egypt and the World Bank are finalizing a USD 600 mn loan to develop railway communication systems and USD 200 mn to develop Cairo International Airport’s Terminal 2, the World Bank’s Olivier Le Ber told Al Shorouk. He also discussed with the Transport Authority the possibility of loans to Egypt for urban transport development. The World Bank is also working on financing a program to replace old taxis with new vehicles that have smaller environmental footprints.

Juhayna has pulled its “dondoo” packaged milk ad after some on social media objected to its referencing milk produced by human mammary glands, Al Borsa reports. At dispatch time, the ad was still on Youtube here (run time: 0:30). (Our apologies for the circumloquacious language on the glands that produce the milk, but the algorithms that govern our deliverability to your inboxes don’t like the simple English word starting with the letter “b” that we’d prefer to use.)

An influx of counterfeit coins was behind the CBE’s decision to print EGP 1, EGP 0.5, and EGP 0.25 banknotes, a Central Bank of Egypt official tells Al Borsa. Counterfeiters had been manufacturing coins in China and smuggling them into Egypt, said the sources. The CBE was forced to issue EGP 500 mn in banknotes to protect liquidity in the market after the bank recalled the coins to investigate. One Egyptian was detained for producing EGP 2 bn of the coins in China and smuggling them to Egypt, the source said. CBE Governor Tarek Amer had stated the move was to combat “change hoarders,” while some observers had suggested the coins were simply too expensive to produce. The CBE has begun distributing the new banknotes to the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr and Banque du Caire, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

MOVES- Khaled Badawi has been appointed as managing director of Al Ahly Capital, Al Mal reported. Badawi was most recently a managing director at Qalaa Holdings, which he joined after a stint as CFO at Qalaa subsidiary ARESCO. He was previously MD of Reftruck Egypt and began his career at CIB, where he served as assistant manager of the corporate banking group. Badawi has international experience at both the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait and the National Bank of Kuwait.

Shearman & Sterling was legal advisor to EFG Hermes on its USD 310 mn sale of a 40% stake in Crédit Libanais to a group of Lebanese and Arab investors, according to a statement from the law firm on Thursday. The statement noted Shearman team included “partners Marwan Elaraby (Abu Dhabi – Capital Markets), David Dixter (London – Capital Markets) and Simon Burrows (London – Mergers & Acquisitions); counsel Pawel Szaja (London – Capital Markets); and associate Paul Pasalic (London – Mergers & Acquisitions).

The Official Gazette on Thursday contained a number of important decisions: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued a decree exempting the Suez Canal Economic Zone from abiding by the requirements Sinai development law and its amendments. Another decree issued also granted the Defence Ministry the desert land surrounding 21 national highways and assigning them as land with strategic importance militarily. A third decree exempted companies building a clean coal-fired power station in Sinai from the minimum requirements of Egyptian ownership in the company’s capital. The plant, in Ayoun Moussa, is being developed by UAE’s Al Nowais Investments.

A project that will see Egypt and Saudi Arabia link their electricity grids will be completed in 2020, pushed forward from 2018, a source at the Electricity Ministry said. A number of tenders and contracts have been delayed, which meant the trial operations of the project will only be possible by March 2020, Al Borsa says.

Raya buying a stake in a pasta maker — in Poland? Raya Holding’s business model has shifted pretty decisively from tech and telecom to private equity, but we’re still scratching our heads over news it has entered into negotiations to buy a 19% stake in Polish food producer Makarony Polskie, according to a bourse statement. Makarony Polskie makes pasta. In Poland. Go figure. Reuters has coverage in English.

Egypt’s gold rush continues — in Ethiopia. ASCOM Mining Ethiopia has beaten “one in a thousand” odds and made one of the largest gold discoveries in Ethiopia at its Asosa-Dish Mountain concession, a special Ethiopia supplement in the European edition of Newsweek (pdf, pp16-17) reports. The Qalaa Holdings subsidiary has invested some USD 40 mn to date and its maiden resource statement has revealed the presence of 48 tonnes of gold. The company is “well on track to apply for a mining license” by the time its exploration permits expire in 2017, says Qalaa Principal Omar El-Alfy. “We are extremely determined about getting to development and are looking forward to growing this business. This is just the first stepping stone. Once we start producing, it will grow very aggressively [and] quickly.”

A second specialist ship joined the search for EgyptAir flight MS804’s black box. “Remi Jouty, director of the BEA air accident agency, which is advising Egypt on the underwater search, said the first ship continued to pick up locator signals from the first recorder, whose location had been narrowed to within 1 to 2 kilometres. Pending the search for the two recorders, the Egyptian-led investigation is still ‘very far’ from understanding why Flight 804 crashed into the Mediterranean,” Reuters reported. Even after locating the black box, Jouty says it is “difficult to image the recovery taking less than a week” from there. The second vessel, provided by Deep Ocean Search and named the “John Lethbridge,” arrived in Alexandria Port on Thursday afternoon, according to a statement emailed by the SIS’ Foreign Press Center.

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Egypt in the News

Emerging markets and increased demand from Egypt, India, and Pakistan are helping keep an LNG glut at bay, Bloomberg reports in a piece in which Royal Dutch Shell puts to rest fears of an LNG oversupply. “There isn’t really yet the kind of oversupply that people talk about,” Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s integrated gas and new energies director, said on Friday. “The absence of more Europe-bound shipments is a testament to the ‘genuine LNG buyers’ mopping up new LNG supplies from exporters including the U.S. and Australia, Wetselaar said.”

An early building block of Egypt’s tiny but growing tech scene: Bloomberg Businessweek profiled the Cairo shared workspace Fab Lab. Despite all the challenges arising from security crackdowns, poor education, and bureaucracy, one researcher says “Tech, it’s something you can actually have an effect on … Maybe this is how you can change the world, finally.”

Labor unrest still has legs in Egypt, according to the Associated Press, spurred by “hard times” even as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s government “has largely succeeded in quashing political demonstrations over the past two years. Rising prices, low wages and delays in salaries and bonuses have workers vowing more strikes and protests, even at the risk of a violent crackdown.” Labor activist Kamal al-Fayoumi said: "No one can predict the future, but if prices keep rising, and salaries stay the same, the workers will hold peaceful protests until the salaries match the price."

Surprising no one, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are home to virtually no Donald Trump supporters, according to an opinion poll conducted by an Israeli college. “The overall pattern is that most people … do not support either candidate, but they hate Trump essentially and one out of three support Hillary,” said survey director Alex Mintz, director of the IDC’s Institute for Policy and Strategy. (Yes, that’s an Israeli institution allegedly surveying opinion in Egypt and KSA. As the story notes: “In a novel approach, it was carried out by telephone by Arabic speakers who said they were calling from the Institute for Policy and Strategy. If pressed, they told respondents that they were located in Israel.”)

BBC’s The Inquiry podcast asks why can’t Egypt stop FGM? “FGM is more common in Egypt than anywhere else in the world. These astonishing statistics are all the more surprising when you consider that Egypt banned the practise in 2008,” the BBC says. The inquiry reaches a grim conclusion that “perhaps the simplest answer [to why Egypt can’t stop FGM] is … because not enough Egyptians want to.” (Run time 22:59)

The 15th Venice Biennale for Architecture opened last week and includes an Egyptian pavilion whose efforts were “triumphant,” Mohamed Elshahed writes for Cairobserver.

Worth Reading

The real Don Corleone: While he did not serve as the direct inspiration for ‘The Godfather,’ Bernardo Provenzano is one of the closest real-life analogues you’re going to find. Provenzano was suspected of being head of the mafia in the Sicilian town of Corleone and the boss of all bosses of the Sicilian Mafia up until his arrest in 2006. “The police had been looking for him for forty-three years… He was the head of the most famous criminal organization in the world, had been convicted of dozens of murders, was thought to control a fortune as large as some of the richest men in the country. They found him in a little shed a mile away from his hometown… in a cold room, living among the muddy buckets and hoses and tins a local farmer used to make cheese, and he was brought out into the public.” (Read “Capturing the last Don”)

Image of the Day

Brutalist buildings can be beautiful. A new book, This Brutal World, collected a list of “impressive concrete structures from around the world” and the BBC’s Jonathan Glancey chose his favourites. The list, while it includes iconic buildings like Russia’s embassy building in Havana, Cuba and Boston’s City Hall, leaves out our very own (and very miserable) Mogamma’.

Worth Watching

CBS Face the Nation host John Dickerson and Stephen Colbert on the main question of election 2016. (Watch, running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes)

The Macro Picture

Buy anything, Bloomberg writes. “Even if emerging-market stocks are dipping, most risk assets, including commodities, developed-market stocks, and emerging-market currencies are making multi-month highs, while haven assets such as gold and government bonds are doing the same.” The market disconnect is being tacked up to global central banks that are expected to stay more accommodative for longer. Right now the focus is on the European Central Bank’s corporate bond purchase program.

Meanwhile on Friday, the global rally in government bonds “broke records” while equities “buckled as a combination of anxiety over the world economy and Britain’s referendum on EU membership sent investors racing to safety,” according to the FT (paywall). “To see the 10-year Bund [yield] so close to zero is shocking,” said Philip Brown, head of sovereign capital markets at Citigroup. “Equities are falling and fixed income is rallying in a flight to quality — there are real fears in markets about global growth.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The diplomatic “crisis” that occurred during the recent UN conference in Nairobi has “ended,” Egypt’s SIS announced. The claims that derogatory phrases were uttered by an Egyptian representative there are “void.” The Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said “having reviewed the minutes of the conference sessions and examined all videos of the conference coverage, the investigators concluded that such accusations were fabricated.” Egypt reiterated its demands for the Kenyan official who made the allegations to be sacked.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority has informed Egyptian food exporters that they must register their factories and slaughterhouses online at the authority’s approved exporters registry and must include quality standards certifications, Al Ahram reports. Certificates required include ISO 2200, ISO 9001, GMP, and HACCP, said Ali Al Kabeer, head of the Industry and Trade Ministry’s Export Councils Department.

Nasr meets Afreximbank chief: International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr met with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Chairman Benedict Okey Oramah on Thursday, Al Mal reported. Afreximbank has provided USD 3.4 bn in support to Egypt between January 2015 and June 2016, Oramah said. The bank is organizing an expanded African conference in 2017 to provide funding and promote inter-African trade, he added.


Siemens asks gov’t to pay USD 700 mn

Siemens has sent the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) invoices for a total of USD 700 mn for work it conducted on power stations at the new administrative capital, Borollos, and Beni Suef. An EEHC source told Al Mal the company is currently reviewing the invoices and sourcing the funds to pay Siemens through the banks financing the projects.

NBE signs EGP 1.98 bn financing agreement with ANRPC

National Bank of Egypt (NBE) signed an agreement to lend the Alexandria National Refining and Petrochemicals Company (ANRPC) EGP 1.98 bn, Al Mal reported. The loan will be used to finance the naphtha reformer complex and expand its production capacity. The loan covers 72% of the project’s investment cost and has a maturity of nine years.

German-Arab Chamber expecting 70 German renewable energy companies in November

A delegation of 70 German renewable energy companies in the market for solar and wind energy investments will arrive in November, Rainer Hirit, the head of the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce, tells Al Borsa. Hirit, however, warned that most German companies he talked to had complained of the country’s FX shortages, and that they may look for other flexible markets for investment.


Four new drinking water plants launched in Al Wadi Al Gadid

Four new drinking water plants have been launched in Al Wadi Al Gadid yesterday, Governor Mahmoud Ashmawy said, according to Al Mal. The plants went into operation in the governorates of Al Bustan, Nasir Al Thawra, Port Said, and Al Hez. Thirty-one other plants are currently under construction, at a total cost of EGP 250 mn, with the armed forces building two.

21 water projects to be launched by end of June

Twenty-one water projects are set to be launched by the end of June, while an equal number will be launched by the end of the year, in an effort to solve the brewing water crisis in several regions, the spokesperson for the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater Mohy El Serafy said. He added that a new system for water bill collection has been placed by installing more accurate meters that would charge those with higher water consumption more money in order to curb waste, Al Shorouk reports.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Egypt buys 4.8 mn tonnes of domestic wheat on Friday

Egypt has bought 4.8 mn tonnes of domestic wheat since the start of the wheat harvest season, which is less than the 5.3 mn tonnes collected last year, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday, Reuters reports. The government had originally set a target of 4 mn tonnes but said it would continue to buy from local farmers. We had reported on 7 June that the figure stood at 4.7 mn tonnes, with the season officially ending on 15 June.


Oriental Weavers looking to double export volume to Africa

Oriental Weavers exported more than EGP 80 mn in goods to Africa last year and is in negotiations with the newly established Egyptian Lebanese trading company to increase that volume. According to a bourse statement, Oriental Weavers is looking to double its exports to African market “within the next few years.” It also announced that it is close to securing a EUR 2.49 mn propylene / nylon thread production line.


Russia doesn’t know if Egypt implemented its airport security recommendations

Russia has not yet been “informed about the implementation of Russian recommendations on aviation security in Egypt,” Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said, according to Sputnik. “In late April, we handed to Egypt our notes based on the results of another phase of work of our expert group… There was no invitation of the Egyptian colleagues for another phase of checks,” Sokolov added.

Holding Company for Tourism signs Magawish development agreement with Wadi Degla next week

The Holding Company for Tourism is signing an agreement next week with Wadi Degla Co. for the development of Magawish in Hurghada, Al Borsa reported. The agreement includes bottom-up development from infrastructure to housing, tourism, commercial, and entertainment projects over an area of 375k sqm, the Holding Company for Tourism Chairman Mervat Hatba said. The project has a total estimated cost of EGP 3 bn, she added. Wadi Degla is also in agreement to build a 400 room hotel in Ain Al Sokhna for the Holding Company.

Telecoms + ICT

NTRA to set final framework for 4G licenses on Monday

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority will meet tomorrow to set the final regulations, terms and conditions for the 4G licenses, an official from the ICT Ministry tells Youm7. The NTRA will give applicants three weeks after announcing the terms to decide whether they will apply before launching the tender, the official added. Four licenses will be up for grabs, with international operators allowed to bid of any of the existing operators back out.

Automotive + Transportation

Passenger car sales stood at EGP 2.3 bn

Passenger car sales in April amounted to EGP 2.3 bn on the back of 11,500 passenger cars sold, according to Al Borsa, which rather awkwardly compared sales of the first four months (EGP 9.1 bn) of 2016 and 1Q2016 (EGP 6.8 bn). Korean-made cars led sales for the quarter and April, followed by Japanese, American, and Chinese cars.

Banking + Finance

Al Ahly Capital invests EGP 600-700 mn in three projects

NBE’s investment banking arm, Al Ahly Capital, agreed to invest EGP 600-700 mn on three projects, Al Mal reported. The projects are in the sectors of real estate, renewable energy, and cement, a board member said. EGP 400 mn will be directed toward a real estate project in Cairo, EGP 50 mn will be used to expand Al Ahly Capital’s stake in Misr Cement (Qena), and EGP 110 mn will be invested in a renewable energy project. It is unclear if the investment bank will increase its investment in any of these sectors or add new ones to reach its spending target.

HC Securities, Misr Insurance Holding subsidiary sign asset management partnership

HC Securities and Misr Insurance Holding’s subsidiary Misr Asset Management (MAM) have signed an asset management partnership agreement on Thursday, Al Borsa reported. The move comes as part of HC’s expansion plan, where it intends to launch “non-traditional” financial products geared for the government, particularly for Misr Holding and its subsidiaries, said Omar Radwan, head of HC Asset Management. The partnership will target private insurance funds, worth EGP 100 mn, as well as government portfolios, said MAM’s board of directors chairman, Atef El Mahmoudy. Radwan, however, assured that the two firms would remain two separate entities, with no merger in the works. Misr Asset Management is 60%-owned by Misr Insurance Holding, 29%-owned by Misr Life Insurance and 11%-owned by Misr Insurance Company, while HC manages more than EGP 4 bn worth of assets.

Nasser Social Bank to expand to 270 branches by 2020

Nasser Social Bank is planning to expand its network of branches to 270 by the end of 2020, from 91, Vice President Mohammad Shuman told Al Borsa on Thursday. He added that the move comes as a prelude to the bank’s transfer from a body under the supervision of the Social Solidarity Ministry to one under CBE.

Other Business News of Note

Tarek Nour Communications awarded EGP 40 mn electricity rationalisation campaign

Tarek Nour Communication (TNC) will run a government campaign to rationalise electricity consumption worth EGP 40 mn for three years, Al Borsa reported. A source at the Electricity Ministry said the campaign will be financed by the CBE and will include advertising campaigns on TV, radio, as well as billboards. The campaign aims to reduce electricity consumption by 20% and TNC beat seven other agencies to it, the source added.

Legislation + Policy

State pensions to increase by 10%

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has approved a proposal to increase state pensions by 10%, which will affect around 9 mn Egyptians, presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said, Al Mal reported on Thursday. The president also set the minimum pension at EGP 500. Speaking on the decision at the state iftar ceremony on Saturday, El Sisi stated that this was not enough but that this was all the state could manage in light of its dwindling resources over the past five years, Al Borsa reports.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Cabinet approves factory bailout fund

The Ismail cabinet has approved the establishment of a long-discussed EGP 150 mn factory rescue fund, Federation of Egyptian Industries Chairman Mohamed El Sewedy told Al Mal. Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil has previously noted there are a total of 871 non-performing factories — mostly small enterprises — that could be eligible for funding under the scheme. The cabinet statement on the fund gave no further details.

On Your Way Out

Border guards and the Egyptian Navy turned back 445 world-be illegal migrants on the North Coast, Egypt’s army spokesman said on Friday, according to Ahram Online. Forces in the port city of Rosetta were able to stop a boat carrying 267, including 24 Egyptians, 64 Sudanese, 71 Comorans, 50 Somalis, 37 Ethiopians, and 21 Eritreans from leaving. Two trucks carrying five Egyptians were also halted.

The first batch of food aid from Egypt has arrived in the occupied town of Douma in Eastern Syria, said chargé d’affaires of Egypt’s embassy in Damascus Mohamed Tharwat, the New York Times reports reported. The convoy was funded by donations by Syrian expats in Cairo.

A fire broke out in a transmission substation in Hurghada‘s city center late Saturday, Al Masry Al Youm reported. Nobody was injured in the fire, which has been put out and the cause of which is now under investigation.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 7 June): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Saturday, 11 June): 10.92-10.95 (compared to 10.90 on Tuesday, 7 June, domestic press)

EGX30 (Thursday): 7,756.3 (-0.31%)
Turnover: EGP 483.4 mn (11% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +10.71%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended the week in the negative territory, losing 0.3% by the end of Thursday’s trading session. The benchmark index’s top-performing constituents were Edita, Credit Agricole, and Telecom Egypt, while the worst-performing index members were Amer Group, Emaar Misr for Development, and Juhayna (albeit on negligible volumes). At a market turnover of EGP 483.4 mn, foreign inves­tors were the sole net buyers. Regionally, Saudi Arabia’s TASI was up 0.03% and Dubai’s DFM General Index 0.49%.

Foreigners:Net long | EGP +73.2 mn
Regional:Net short | EGP +4.2 mn
Domestic:Net short | EGP -69.0 mn

Retail: 49.3% of total trades | 46.1% of buyers | 52.4% of sellers
Institutions: 50.7% of total trades | 53.9% of buyers | 47.6% of sellers

Foreign: 28.0% of total | 35.6% of buyers | 20.4% of sellers
Regional: 4.3% of total | 3.9% of buyers | 4.7% of sellers
Domestic: 67.7% of total | 60.6% of buyers | 74.9% of sellers

WTI: USD 49.07 (-4.77%)
Brent: USD 50.54 (-4.14%)
Gold: USD 1,275.90 / troy ounce (+0.82%)
Nymex (futures prices) USD 2.56 MMBtu, (+4.07%, July 2016 contract)

TASI: 6,606.9 (flat) (YTD: -4.41%)
ADX: 4,381.1 (-0.6%) (YTD: +1.72%)
DFM: 3,371.0 (+0.5%) (YTD: +6.98%)
KSE Weighted Index: 354.9 (-0.2%) (YTD: -7.01%)
QE: 9,837.0 (-0.8%) (YTD: -5.68%)
MSM: 5,886.1 (flat) (YTD: +8.88%)
BB: 1,119.6 (+0.3%) (YTD: -7.92%)

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13 June (Monday): Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference gets underway with a keynote speech at 7pm CLT. 14-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meets to discuss interest rates. 15 June (Wednesday): Buying season for Egypt’s domestic wheat harvest officially ends. 16 June (Thursday): The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to consider 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) November (TBD): Delegation of German companies in the renewable energy sector due to visit to discuss investment opportunities. 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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