Wednesday, 27 July 2016

El Garhy confirms USD 12 bn IMF loan in the works


What We’re Tracking Today

Just when we were about to give up hope, we muddle through: The Central Bank of Egypt did not devalue the EGP at yesterday’s weekly FX auction, Tarek Amer has not resigned — the rumors were such that he felt it necessary to issue a denial — and Cabinet confirms we are in late-stage talks with the International Monetary Fund for a multi-bn USD assistance package. We have coverage in today’s Speed Round.

The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Egypt is in Egypt for security and economic talks until Saturday. More on the first day of their meetings in Diplomacy.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Nine out of 13 economists expect the CBE will leave rates unchanged on Thursday’s meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, according to a Reuters poll. The other four economists are leaning toward a hike of 50 to 100 basis points, mirroring the 100 basis point increase during the MPC’s meeting in June.

EFG Hermes economist Mohamed Abu Basha is among those expecting no change, but anticipates a rate hike could be in the cards later in the year. As for inflation, which last meeting’s rate hike failed to rein in, Abu Basha expects it to “ease in the coming couple of months.” Arqaam Securities economist Reham El Desoki believes the CBE will continue to raise rates given the “imminent devaluation and implementation of fiscal reforms (VAT and possibly energy price hikes),” adding that “interest rates have historically increased to higher levels to rein in dollarization and manage inflation expectations, and we believe that curbing the expected spike in short term inflation and de-dollarization are the main concerns for now for the CBE.” Beltone’s Hany Genena wrote in a note yesterday, “We do not see an alternative to an immediate full-fledged floatation so we also believe the CBE has every possible incentive to strike the market with a super rate hike (> 1%).”

The US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Markets Committee will conclude its two-day meeting today, where it is expected to keep rates unchanged, at least until its meetings in September or later.

The Democratic National Convention is in its second day as we go to dispatch, and the event is scheduled to run until Thursday. While the first day had a rocky start, US First Lady Michelle Obama brought the house down with what some are calling the best speech of her life as she made an impassioned plea for Democrats to come together to elect former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Watch, running time: 14:45). Michelle Obama’s speech may have, in fact, been too good, with many Democrats likely wondering why she wasn’t the one running. Inexplicably, Republican nominee Donald Trump praised Michelle Obama’s speech, despite that its near-entirety was a dismantling of Trump without ever mentioning his name. On the second day of the convention, former US President Bill Clinton spoke in support of his wife’s candidacy. We have to be honest and say we haven’t watched it yet; it’s really long, we have a lot going on in Egypt, and with all due respect, he’s not Michelle Obama. (Watch, running time: 49:52)

Kremlin rejects accusations its intelligence services hacked, leaked DNC emails as ‘absurd’: The Kremlin responded on Tuesday to allegations by US-based cybersecurity experts that its intelligence agencies were responsible for hacking the US Democratic Party’s emails, saying such claims were absurd, Reuters reported. “We are again seeing these maniacal attempts to exploit the Russian theme in the US election campaign… This is not good for our bilateral relations, but we understand that we simply have to get through this unpleasant period,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov to reporters.

On The Horizon

Kidnapping, doping and bodies in the water in the run-up to Rio Olympics: To fears of the Zika virus, a horribly polluted rowing / sailing / open-water swim course and the Russian doping scandal, you can now add a dead body floating on the swim course and the most expensive kidnapping in Brazil’s history. The New York Times leads with the image of the floater in “Keep Your Mouth Closed: Aquatic Olympians Face a Toxic Stew in Rio,” while the Telegraph has coverage of the GBP 28 mn ransom demanded for the safe return of Formula1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law. The Rio Olympics officially get underway on Friday, 5 August and wrap-up on Sunday, 21, August.

Speed Round

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You may now breathe a sigh of relief: We’re officially chasing a USD 12 bn IMF facility as part of a comprehensive plan to secure USD 21 bn in foreign financing over three years. The Ismail government confirmed in a statement (pdf) last night Egypt is “finalizing talks” that began in April for a USD 12 bn facility from the International Monetary Fund.

How much is in the offing? Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy broke it down in a call-in with Lamis El Hadidy’s “Hona El Assema.” The bottom line: We’re looking at about USD 7 bn per year over three years, including USD 4 bn annually from the IMF facility and a further USD 2-3 bn per year between international bond issuances and budgetary support from the World Bank. At USD 12 bn, the IMF facility looks set to be considerably larger than expected, with earlier reports having put it in the USD 5.8-7.1 bn range. (Watch, runtime: 19:01; with El Garhy’s announcement of the figure coming in at 7:10).

There is, of course, conditionality: The statement from cabinet indirectly linked the IMF talks to the pursuit of the government’s reform agenda, including passage of the value-added tax and the Civil Service Act, cutting imports, and reducing both subsidies and government spending. The cabinet economic group also shoe-horned into its list of reforms the growth of exports, the issuance of FCY-denominated bonds and the IPO of state-owned businesses.

What’s the timeline? An IMF delegation is set to arrive in Cairo on Saturday, 30 July, according the cabinet statement. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy and Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer will lead negotiations for Egypt, and it looks like a final agreement is perhaps two weeks away. The IMF team will be led by Egypt mission chief Chris Jarvis, according to Masood Ahmed, the IMF’s MENA Director. “We welcome Egypt’s initiative on the talks, which will include discussions of its economic policies,” said Ahmed according to Al Mal. The announcement from the cabinet economic group marks the first official confirmation that Egypt is and had been pursuing an IMF facility after months of tiptoeing around the topic from the both the government and the IMF.

Ambivalence in the House on the prospect of IMF talks? House Economics Committee member Rep. Ashraf Al Araby called the move a positive step, but fears the government might move to amend the House-approved reform agenda depending on the tenor of the talks, Al Borsa reports. (Just to avoid any confusion here: Al Araby shares the same name as the minister of planning.) Committee member Passant Fahmy views the loan as necessary in light of the severe FX shortage, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

IMF has recently inked agreements with Jordan, Morocco: The IMF has recently inked a number of support agreements across the region, signing yesterday a letter of intent for a USD 700 mn, 36-month Extended Fund Facility with Jordan to help shore up the country’s reserves as well as assist with refugee inflows. Last Friday, the IMF approved a USD 3.47 bn “precautionary and liquidity line” with Morocco to act as a cushion while the country pursues its reform agenda. Morocco does not plan to draw down on its PLL unless it experiences an actual balance of payment need due to external conditions. The PLL would mark the third such arrangement with Morocco, while Jordan just completed a three-year stand-by arrangement for USD 2 bn in August of last year.

News of the facility is getting plenty of ink in the international press. Heba Saleh has filed a quick take for the Financial Times that leads their Emerging Markets (digital edition) page this morning. Bloomberg’s Ahmed Feteha notes the Cabinet statement as saying Egypt hopes the facility will “boost international confidence in the economy, attract foreign investments, and therefore establish fiscal and monetary stability” and quotes Beltone’s Hany Genena as noting, “This is very positive news. An agreement with the IMF would restore much of the lost confidence in Egyptian policy makers. The IMF’s stamp of approval would attract billions of dollars in bilateral support and in private investments.”

Is a float imminent? Reuters’ coverage also quotes Genena, where Amina Ismail and Lin Noueihed also quote Genena, noting that he said, “Confidence will be restored in the government and central bank. Secondly, we will see flotation of the pound, if not tomorrow, next week, the week after.” Reuters first broke news in late June that Egypt was in talks for an IMF facility, citing an unnamed cabinet minister.

Not so fast, says Amer: The central bank governor reportedly insisted at yesterday’s cabinet economic group meeting that there will be no devaluation at upcoming CBE auctions, government sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. The CBE kept the EGP stable at 8.78 to the USD in Tuesday’s regular auction meant to clear imports of basic food, selling USD 116 mn, Reuters reports. Amer’s remark suggests the CBE is hoping the IMF facility — which will take weeks to conclude before a first transfer is possible — will be part of a liquidity shield that might allow the bank to flood the market with liquidity ahead of any potential float.

The discussions comes as the EGP found (some) respite in the parallel market, strengthening to 12.80-12.90 to the USD, five traders told the wire service after quoting up to 13.10 a day earlier. Bloomberg reported 12.99 to the USD on Tuesday, based on an average of quotes from five currency traders in Cairo and Alexandria.

With the EGP’s downward spiral in recent weeks causing tremors, it was not surprising that rumors emerged that CBE Governor Tarek Amer had resigned. Amer denied the notion in remarks to Al Borsa. The governor has been widely blamed for the EGP’s slump after successive comments suggesting that defending the currency for the past five years has been a mistake and hinting further devaluation was in the cards.

NUCA wants USD, but where developers would get them is anyone’s guess: Companies that can develop or offer USD-denominated revenue streams will be prioritized in bidding for the second phase of public-private partnership projects NUCA plans to issue, Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly told Al Mal. The first phase included MoUs signed at the EEDC in March 2015 that have been executed since then. The phase-two land plots are in Six October, Sheikh Zayed, New Aswan, and New Assiut and include plots zoned for housing, tourism and retail.

At House hearing, business calls for “gradual” implementation of value-added tax. Representatives of over 50 companies spanning 14 sectors and 12 business associations called for a gradual implementation of the VAT during the House Planning and Budget Committee’s special hearing on the legislation yesterday. The industry reps have accepted the VAT in principle, but are skeptical of the Ismail government’s view that the impact on inflation will be minimal and so are pushing for the tax to be applied gradually, said House Economics Committee member Hisham Amara, who attended the hearings. The fear is particularly acute for the pharma industry, and representatives of the tourism sector have called for tourism to be exempt from the tax in view of the industry’s ongoing slump. The hearing also got into key objections from the Federation of Egyptian Industries and Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, DNE reports, including reducing the baseline tax rate from 14% and scrapping the requirement that companies not be required to register to collect VAT until they have revenues of EGP 500k per year or more. Planning Committee Chair Hussein Eissa tells Al Mal that more hearings will be scheduled to hear all views out.

Did El Garhy promise the FEI a greater say on VAT legislation? Finance Minister Amr El Garhy promised to form a committee headed by Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer to discuss with the FEI possible amendments to the act. The move came after a Monday meeting with the FEI leadership, Al Ahram reports. El Garhy apparently addressed the issue of the EGP 500K mandatory minimum not being inclusive by reminding attendees that separate legislation to tax SMEs is in the works. El Garhy promised FEI head Mohamed El Sewedy that the draft legislation will be sent to the federation this week to get their opinion.

Despite the conciliatory tone at the FEI meeting, El Garhy and El Sewedy do not see eye to eye on the blanket reduction of gas prices to industry. El Garhy had reportedly stated that he is against the measure a meeting with the Egyptian Businessmen’s Association earlier this week, according to Al Borsa. This comes as Mohamed El Sewedy issued a statement on his Facebook page calling the step “essential” to industry. The government had held off on a promise to reduce prices to the steel industry to USD 4.5/mmBtu from USD 7/mmBtu.

Inspection committees have found 4% of the 5 mn tonnes of local wheat allegedly purchased by the state is missing from silos, Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy told Reuters on Tuesday. Hanafy, however, asserts that he is not and should not be held politically responsible for any alleged wrongdoing. “What is the mistake that the government made that it should not make again?" he asked. The House of Representatives’ fact-finding committee probing wheat collection has said it would recommend sacking Hanafy, while the minister blamed the House for the debacle on the airwaves earlier this week.

Hanafy also confirmed that Blumberg Grain’s proposal for phase two of a grain storage and logistics project was rejected because “financially [it] was not suitable.” To quell fears, Hanafy said we have wheat sufficient to last until mid-January, enough sugar for the end of the year and enough vegetable oil to last through to the end of September. An EGP 8 bn revolving credit facility was made available through local banks to GASC “to purchase goods and sell them as subsidized commodities to make balance in the market,” he added.

Russian aviation safety inspectors due in Egypt in September? Russian flight safety experts may visit to inspect the implementation of Russia’s security recommendations at Egypt’s airports as early as September, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said on Monday, state news agency Sputnik reported. The news came as Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy and public prosecutor Nabil Sadek flew to Moscow yesterday to hand Russian officials the latest findings in Cairo’s investigation into the October Metrojet crash, according to Ahram Online. Chief of an investigation committee probing the plane crash Ayman Al-Moqadem is also part of the delegation. Fathy was in Russia last week to talk to officials on resuming Russian flights to Egypt and the security measures hindering their return.

MOVES- Abed Ezz El Regal was appointed vice president for production at EGAS. Ezz El Regal was previously chairman of the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO).

Nabil Salaheldin Gaber was appointed chairman of GUPCO replacing, Abed Ezz El Regal. Gaber was previously GUPCO’s VP for operations.

A number of civil service employee associations have come out against the passing of the Civil Service Act, despite the law having been diluted significantly over the past year to appease them. The public school teachers union is railing against the entry level salary, set at EGP 875 per month, and are calling for a minimum of EGP 1,200, citing on a court ruling back in 2009, Al Mal reports. Other organizations are critical of the wage gap between managers and regular employees. Key features of the act, a copy of which was published in Youm7, include:

  • Three and a half years to fire poor performing employees (Article 27): An employee must receive a poor performance evaluation for two consecutive years, then be moved to a separate unit. If his or her performance doesn’t improve within a year, then a six-month period of half pay is instituted. Only then can termination proceedings begin.
  • Raises and bonuses (Articles 37 & 38): All state employees will receive an annual raise of no less than 7%. A 5% incentive bonus once every three years will be granted to-better performing employees. Employees who complete an academic degree during their tenure are entitled to a one-off bonus. The old executive regulations of the act established a separate raise based on academic qualifications; these must be amended to as a result of the new act
  • Promotions (Articles 29-32): Promotions will be won on the basis of both seniority and qualifications. All employees are eligible for promotion on the basis of seniority contingent on their evaluation and the time spent in grade, while promotions based on qualifications will depend on both a strong evaluation and on successfully completing training for the more senior position. A promotion carries with it a 2.5% pay increase.
  • Retirement (Article 69): All state employees are eligible for early retirement at 50 and social security benefits will depend on years on the job.

What changed from the last edition of the act? The annual raise was set at 5% before it was first rejected by the House, while the incentive bonus was increased from 2%. Other changes include amending the clauses on punitive salary deductions that will be set by infraction and which now give the bureaucrat the right to appeal any such measure. The changes also set a maximum 42 hours of work per week and a minimum civil service wage, in addition to financially compensating workers for lost vacation time. As we noted back in May, the amendments also establish a single salary rate, compared to the two under the old system, making it triple the current base salary.

Conclusions: While motivated bureaucrats can hope to see their lots improved (only slightly) with hard work, the act largely fails to punish the inefficient worker, who can coast by on mediocrity until retirement. The new act, in effect, has largely failed in its purpose to make the civil service more efficient.


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The Macro Picture

Does a slump in the fast food market signal recession in the US of A by next year? Food for thought: The outlook for US restaurants looks grim, Reuters and the Financial Times report, using slowing sales growth in McDonald’s second quarter earnings as a springboard into the story. Enter Zerohedge, which picks up on a report by Stifel analyst Paul Estra that warns “a slowdown in the restaurant industry is a harbinger for an overall economic recession.” Recent results, he said, “reflect the start of the restaurant recession and likely [are] a harbinger for a US recession in early 2017.”

Egypt in the News

Guardian correspondent Jack Shenker’s book “The Egyptians: A Radical Story” is no longer banned in Egypt after months of “pressure,” according to a statement from Shenker. The book, published by Allen Lane/Penguin in January, was “withdrawn for ‘investigation’ by the authorities without any explanation,” he said. In Shenker’s own words, the book “attempts to explore Egypt’s revolution and counter-revolution from below, and includes criticism of the current regime’s woeful record on human rights abuses, police torture, and other acts of state violence.”

Worth Reading

Mohamed Khan, 1942-2016: As Mada Masr puts it in their dedication, “Mohamed Khan… was one of Egypt’s greatest and most influential filmmakers. His films make up a significant part of [a] very important period in Egyptian filmmaking history, associated with the 1980s and often called neo-realism… Khan’s most prevalent themes include class struggle, the effects of Anwar Sadat’s capitalist open-door policy, societal oppression of women, and food.” The renowned Egyptian film director Mohamed Khan passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 73 in a Maadi hospital, according to Ahram Online. Khan is perhaps best known for his 1978 film Darbet Shams, 1983’s El Harrif and 2001’s Ayyam El Sadat (Days of Sadat), which is considered one of the pinnacle roles of late actor Ahmed Zaki. (Read Mada Masr’s tribute: 10 articles and a video inspired by the late Mohamed Khan)

That aside: Khan was simply one of life’s good guys, as underscored by the simple fact of him floating on a cloud of air, a smile plastered on his face, when we last ran into him at our neighborhood bookstore / magazine shop after he learned he would at last be made Egyptian by presidential decree, as his father was Pakistani and his mother Egyptian.

Worth Watching

El Hareef [The Player], 1983, Directed by Mohamed Khan, starring Adel Imam. As Amany Ali Shawky puts it in her review of the film: “Between the ill-fitting day job, elating football games in the afternoon and occasional one-nighters with colleague Aziza (Zizi Mostafa), pretty much nothing happens. And that’s the pure beauty and feral brilliance of the Khan and Bashir al-Deek storyline.” In the following scene, Imam’s character Fares visits his father to inform him that Fares’ mother has died. At first pretending not to hear him, his father finally replies, “Do you have a cigarette? We’re all going to die.” (Watch in Arabic, running time: 5 minutes via Melody Aflam)

Image of the Day

Public Enemy No. 1, Age 3: A three-year-old — yes, a 36-or-so month old child — was acquitted “of charges of robbery, resisting arrest, and terrorising citizens in three out of four cases. He was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia” on another charge in a case that apparently began when the child’s father registered a commercial vehicle in the boy’s name. The boy’s lawyer was in court recently to try to get the third and final case kicked. The Daily News has the full story, including a photo of the very cute child in court with his lawyer. Yes, a three-year-old child. In court. With his lawyer. As a defendant in a criminal case.

Said another lawyer in the Nasr City courtroom: “It was a different experience. The scene in court was ridiculous. Bystanders in the court could not believe that a lawyer was carrying his defendant in front of the judge.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met on Tuesday with the British parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Egypt led by Member of the House of Commons Sir Gerald Howarth, according to a statement from Ittihadiya. The meeting with El Sisi appears to have been aimed at beginning the work necessary to deepen bilateral ties in the wake of the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, as well as to “present the reality” of developments in Egypt, according to the statement. Specifically, the meeting addressed “Britain’s travel ban on Sharm El Sheikh and measures Egypt is taking in cooperation with British authorities to lift it,” as well as how to reach political solutions to preserve the territorial integrity of countries in the region, which appears to be a veiled reference to Syria and possibly Libya.

The delegation also met with Egypt’s House of Representatives, with several Egyptian Representatives issuing a number of interesting statements on behalf of the UK delegation. Tarek El Khouli, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the British delegation agreed with Egypt’s assessment that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, “despite a British report last December that described the Muslim Brotherhood as possible extremists,” according to El Khouli, Ahram Online reported. Another member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Karim Darwish, said that Sir Gerald Howarth, head of the delegation, reportedly said “three presidents have pushed their countries into destruction and disrupted the internal cohesion of their countries; Hitler in Germany, Pinochet in Chile and Morsi in Egypt.”

The International Cooperation Ministry signed an agreement for a USD 18 mn grant from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency to supply equipment and machinery for research to the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST), Amwal Al Ghad reported. The grant comes as part of the Egyptian Japanese initiative to exchange educational experience, said International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr. E-JUST will begin offering bachelor’s degrees in engineering as early as September 2017, she added.

Marine terminal DP World Sokhna received a high-ranking delegation of British investors headed by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the Trade Representative of the UK government and Member of the British House of Commons, according to a statement from DP World on Tuesday. The delegation was in Egypt 10 days ago for high-level talks. The delegation was accompanied by Chairman of the Suez Canal’s General Authority for Economic Zone Ahmed Darwish, along with representatives of the British Embassy in Cairo. DP World Sokhna’s top management met with the delegation, gave a presentation on the port operations and arranged for a field tour for the delegates.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif, on Tuesday, according to a statement from Ittihadiya. The meeting was also attended by Minister of Defense and Military Production Colonel General Sedki Sobhi and focused on furthering bilateral cooperation on military relations and security, especially with regard to counterterrorism.


Egypt signs oil and gas exploration agreements with US, Cypriot firms with investments worth upwards of USD 4.3 mn

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla signed oil and gas exploration agreements with US company IPR and Cyprus subsidiary Mediterra, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The agreements entail the drilling of three exploratory wells in sectors 7 and 8 of the Al Baraka field in Aswan, investments worth at least USD 4.3 mn and a one-off fee for the licence totalling USD 200k, according to Reuters. The agreements, which were signed between Egypt’s Ganoub El-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company and the two firms, will help boost oil production to meet domestic demand, said El Molla. He added that the agreements will “intensify research activities in the southern area of the country which has promising petroleum prospects,” according to the statement.

Electricity Ministry submits Dairut power plant project to Cabinet’s economic committee

The Electricity Ministry has submitted the results of the negotiations with Saudi’s ACWA Power over the Dairut power plant to the Cabinet’s economic committee to discuss the stalled project, sources told Al Mal. The Oil Ministry is meant to supply the fuel for the power plant, but negotiations had reached a standstill over the price, the source added. The committee is expected to discuss the project next month. The Dairut power plant has a planned capacity of 2,250 MW divided between three 750 MW combined cycle units and is the Electricity Ministry’s first Build Own Operate (BOO) project, scheduled to come online in 2018.


National Authority for Potable Water and Sewage to tender 10 sewage plant projects next month

The National Authority for Potable Water and Sewage is set to tender 10 projects to build sewage plants in Menoufiya, Beheira, and Beni Suef next month at an estimated cost of EGP 250 mn, sources told Al Borsa. Each of the projects will be financed from the existing state budget for each local district; each will also take about 12 months to build.

Mokhtar Ibrahim Company to complete four new bridges by December

Societe Egyptienne D’entreprises (Moukhtar Ibrahim) is set to complete by December four new bridges as part the first phase of the national road network at total cost of EGP 500 mn, Managing Director Mohamed El Khatib told Amwal Al Ghad. The bridges are located in Zagazig, Mansoura, and the 30 June Axis, he added. Some projects as part of the national road network upgrade were delayed due to land ownership disputes, he added.

Real Estate + Housing

Tatweer Misr issues tender to build 600 units in Il Monte Galala

Private developer Tatweer Misr has issued a tender to build 600 homes and villas in the first phase of its Il Monte Galala Project in Ain Al Sokhna, CEO Ahmed Shalaby told Amwal Al Ghad. Over 15 companies presented bids, with a decision expected in September and construction to begin in October, he added. The Il Monte Galala project has an investment value of EGP 8 bn and includes 1,600 units in the first phase scheduled for 2019. The project is expected to be completed in 10 years, said Shalaby.

President El Sisi ordered 69,000 home expansion in social housing project

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has ordered 69,000 homes be added to the construction of Phase 1 and 2 of the social housing program. The directive came during a meeting with Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly, Al Mal reports. Construction of the 531K homes of both phases are expected to be completed in mid-2017.

Automotive + Transportation

Construction of third phase of Cairo Metro third line begins in September

Construction on the third phase of the third Cairo Metro line will begin in September, Transport Minister Galal Saeed said in a meeting with a delegation from the French Development Agency (AFD), Al Borsa reported. Saeed discussed the possibility of AFD financing the final phase of the third line, which stretches to Cairo Airport, in addition to an extended conference in November to discuss untraditional methods of financing Cairo Metro projects, ticket pricing and commercial use of the trains and stations.

Ousta undergoes another round of funding

Car-hailing app Ousta is raising another round of funding, offering an undisclosed non-controlling share of the company for EGP 50 mn, said co-founder Nader El Batrawy. The company, which launched in February, plans to use the funding to expand its fleet to 10,000 cars this year, from a current 4,000.

Banking + Finance

Pioneers Holding requests EGX approval for EGP 708 mn capital increase

The Pioneers Holding Company for Financial Investment has filed for permission to raise its issued capital by EGP 708 mn through the distribution of one bonus share for every four currently held by each shareholder, Al Mal reports. The increase would bring Pioneers’ issued capital to EGP 3.54 bn from EGP 2.83 bn; the hike will be financed through retained earnings.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Security officials will dominate the next shuffle of governors

Former army and police generals have been overwhelming tapped to replace outgoing governors in the upcoming shuffle, a government source tells Al Shorouk. Apart from three civilian candidates the rest all hail from a security or military background. The candidates’ names have been a tightly-kept secret with only President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and the Local Administration Minister Ahmed Zaki Badr deciding the appointments. The newspaper’s source had nothing to say on when the long-rumored shakeup might take place.

On Your Way Out

If you skipped it above, go back up and see our Image of the Day.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 26 July): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 26 July): 12.80-12.99 (down from 12.90-13.00 on Monday, 25 July, Reuters, Bloomberg)

EGX30 (Tuesday): 7,540.0 (+0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 560.6 mn (29% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +7.6%

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +2.7 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +10.6 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -13.3 mn

Retail: 63.1% of total trades | 63.4% of buyers | 62.8% of sellers
Institutions: 36.9% of total trades | 36.6% of buyers | 37.2% of sellers

Foreign: 20.1% of total | 20.3% of buyers | 19.9% of sellers
Regional: 4.1% of total | 5.1% of buyers | 3.1% of sellers
Domestic: 75.8% of total | 74.6% of buyers | 77.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 42.88 (-0.09%)
Brent: USD 44.81 (-0.13%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.68 MMBtu, (-1.03%, Aug 2106 contract)
Gold: USD 1,318.9 / troy ounce (-0.14%)

TASI: 6,470.8 (-0.7%) (YTD: -6.4%)
ADX: 4,591.7 (-0.5%) (YTD: +6.6%)
DFM: 3,539.8 (-0.4%) (YTD: +12.3%)
KSE Weighted Index: 351.6 (flat) (YTD: -7.9%)
QE: 10,537.8 (-0.2%) (YTD: +1.0%)
MSM: 5,810.5 (flat) (YTD: +7.5%)
BB: 1,159.9 (+0.4%) (YTD: -4.6%)

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28 July (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to review rates.

28 July (Thursday): Ruling expected on charges of disseminating false news against former Central Auditing Organization head Hisham Genena.

05-21 August (Friday-Sunday) Rio Olympics.

07 August (Sunday): Deadline for mobile operators to submit applications for 4G licences

29-30 August (Monday-Tuesday): Wastewater Egypt conference.

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

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

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

22 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to review rates.

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.

11-12 October (Tuesday-Wednesday): Global Islamic Economy Summit, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

17 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to review rates.

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 December (Sunday): Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday (national holiday; date to be confirmed).

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

29 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets to review rates.

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