Monday, 15 August 2016

IMF will help Egypt line-up USD 5-6 bn + Uber to invest EGP 500 mn in Egypt

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

CBE chief, bank bosses to meet: Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer is set to meet with the managing directors of all domestic banks on today, according to an earlier report in the domestic press.

The Finance Ministry is due to appoint advisors today for a USD 3-5 bn bond issuance. Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas are reportedly among the 20 institutions that have submitted proposals.

NI Capital is could announce today that investments banks can submit proposals to advise on the float of state-owned companies, a process that is expected to begin in December, a government source tells Al Masry Al Youm. No other media outlet has yet picked up on the rumor..

On The Horizon

A Russian delegation of experts is due to make an inspection of airport security in Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh on 28 August, according to Russian state news agency TASS citing Ahram Gate. The Russian government will use the team’s report to help decide when Russian tourists can return to the Red Sea.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

IMF to help Egypt line-up rest of funding to plug financing gap: Deputy Finance Minister Mohamed Maeet denied yesterday that the IMF is requiring Egypt to secure USD 5-6 bn in bilateral assistance during the first year of reforms before it can obtain the first tranche from the IMF, Al Ahram reported. Al Arabiya had earlier published an article (carried in Egypt by Al Borsa) suggesting that IMF head of mission in Egypt Chris Jarvis had said that Egypt “needed to obtain additional financing of between USD 5-6 bn through bilateral agreements in the first year of the reform program to be able to receive the first tranche of the facility.”

Speaking to Bloomberg, Jarvis said, “All IMF-supported programs have to be fully financed,” Chris Jarvis, the IMF’s mission chief for Egypt, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “In Egypt’s case, we would be looking for commitments of around USD 5-6 bn from bilateral creditors before the program is brought to the Board so that we can be sure that the program is fully financed. … [The IMF will be ] working together with the Egyptian authorities in the coming weeks to secure this financing.” (The Bloomberg link is also worth hitting for the autoplay video it includes. Yes, the hated autoplay is worthwhile in this case, carrying as it does commentary from Bloomberg’s Alaa Shahine on the IMF loan. runtime: 3:09)

Cabinet to double number of beneficiaries under Karama and Takaful income assistance programs? Cabinet is planning to expand the Karama and Takaful programs to 1.5 mn families by the FY2017-18 fiscal year, from a current 706K families since the program launched, a government source told Al Shorouk. The news, which followed President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s weekend speech on the economy, is well-timed to build public support for the reform program. Thursday’s IMF statement noted that the IMF-backed reform program “also aims to strengthen the social safety net to protect the vulnerable during the process of adjustment.” As we have previously noted, Karama provides the elderly and the disabled with a cash stipend, while Takaful is a conditional cash transfer made four times a year to families with children and is conditional upon their school attendance. Families on Takaful receive a base stipend with an additional amount for each child

The IMF is stepping up its Middle East involvement with its loan to Egypt in a region “where economic reformers haven’t exactly had the most success,” Andrew Mayeda and Alaa Shahine write for Bloomberg. “The fund faces many of the challenges it encountered when it lent to Egypt and other countries decades ago, such as poor governance and public resistance to belt-tightening,” they add. AUC economics professor Ahmed Kamaly notes that the “autocratic nature” of most Arab regimes could mean that economic reforms are imposed “with relative ease,” but “once the urgency fades, officials turn away from undertaking reforms, either to appease the public or to protect the interests of cronies.” He cites Egypt’s agreement with the IMF in the 1990s as an example, when the momentum of reforms was tempered by the end of the decade after the economy stabilised.

Government on the PR offensive following IMF loan agreement: Following President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s speech yesterday on the economy, the Ismail cabinet is preparing to launch a “national dialogue” on the economic reform program in a bid to market it to the nation, a senior government source tells AMAY. Led by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and senior economic ministers, the government will use a series of regularly scheduled meetings to sell political parties, leading MPs, and the media on the program.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to sign agreements worth bns of USD during a state visit to China coinciding with the 4-5 September G20 summit, government sources tells Al Borsa. USD 6.6 bn of Chinese funding will go towards building a 1 GW solar farm in Egypt, cementing a MoU signed between the International Cooperation Ministry with electrical equipment manufacturer TBEA China back in July. The agenda will reportedly also include:

  • An official request for a USD 1 bn facility from the People’s Bank of China to fund wastewater infrastructure projects;
  • Signing USD 310 mn in new grants from China to fund various development projects including the development of the EgyptSAT 2 satellite;
  • Requesting a USD 11.8 mn grant to the Education Ministry to fund a Chinese technical institute at the Suez Canal University.

In preparation for the visit, the Ismail cabinet held meetings on Sunday to discuss progress on Chinese projects in Egypt the two proposed coal-fired power plants in Hamrawein, and the Six of October Monorail, for which China Gezhouba Group and CRRC Corporation are competing, Al Ahram reports.

The Finance Ministry stuck to its guns on the 14% baseline for the value-added tax rate during ongoing talks with the House of Representatives’ Legislative and Planning and Budget Committees, Al Mal reports. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy is refusing to accept a 12% rate on the grounds that the exemptions list is already too extensive, said Legislative Committee member Khaled Hanafy (who shares a similar name as the minister). For its part, the Finance Ministry appears to be tight lipped, with Deputy Minister Amr El Monayer stating that the matter is in the hands of the committee and the House, Youm7 reports. He did state, however, that the 14% was appropriate considering the exemptions list.

This comes as the Planning Committee is planning to recommend international school tuition be VAT-exempt, said the committee’s deputy head Yasser Wakeel. This on top of the seven goods and services that the House was trying to exempt, which we noted last week. Furthermore, Wakeel tells Al Borsa that he is planning to obtain an exemption for automobiles from a flat tax of 1% imposed for cars with engines under 1600cc and the 15% tax on cars of 2000cc and above.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has prepared draft legislation to increase the cost of 14 government services, a source told Al Masry Al Youm. If implemented, the price increases, which will impact services including commercial and real estate registration as well as issuing passports, are estimated to bring in an additional EGP 6.5 bn. The ministry is passing the proposed amendments on to the cabinet and House of Representatives.

Blumberg Grain is hoping to reach an agreement with the Egyptian government on phase two of the Shouna Development Project “in the next two weeks,” according to a company statement (pdf) yesterday. The statement followed Blumberg Grain’s meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail on Thursday. Phase one of the project was completed in April 2016 and phase two sees the development of 300 new Blumberg Grain Aggregation and Processing Centers and includes a system allowing for “accurate, up-to-the-minute, digital inventory of its grain under storage, which will assist in combatting corruption across the wheat value chain.” Blumberg Grain’s Middle East and Africa CEO, David Blumberg, notes that while “the modest issues that stand in the way of phase 3 project implementation” have not been resolved yet, the company is confident “the Egyptian Government will do everything in its power to ensure the rapid development of the entire shouna network.” Blumberg is sweetening the prospect by saying that the investment would make Egypt Blumberg Grain’s Headquarters and Hub for the Middle East and Africa and would include a number of other investments, adding that their impact on the economy would be over USD 8 bn in five year and it requires no financing. Reuters also covered the statement. Bloomberg carried the news as well, adding a small warning from Blumberg that “Algeria is waiting on the wings” for a chance to “grab the [USD 250 mn] investment.”

What’s Hanafy thinking? Blumberg Grain may not be a shoe-in for phase two, as three other offers are on the table from companies in the UAE, the US and Italy, claimed Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy in a statement to Al Masry Al Youm. “The government will look into the offers in the coming weeks and determine the winning company then,” said Hanafy. The minister had announced back in July that the Blumberg’s phase two proposal was rejected.

More arrests on wheat scandal: Meanwhile, The General Prosecutor’s Public Funds Investigation Unit has issued arrest warrants for six more people entangled in the wheat corruption scandal, following the arrest of 13 officials and private silo owners, unnamed sources told Al Shorouk on Sunday. The prosecution’s investigation apparently revealed a concerted conspiracy to defraud the government which included the selling of wheat by private companies to the state under assumed identities of farmers. Another company has been accused of forging official documents. The investigation revealed that around 250k tonnes of wheat were missing or were never produced. As we noted yesterday, the House committee investigating the fraud claimed to have direct evidence implicating the Supply Minister in the scandal.

French bank Natixis bought a 11.8% stake in EFG Hermes Holding from Dubai Financial Group as part of a debt repayment plan, Bloomberg reported. Natixis was reported in May to be working with boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. to find buyers for Dubai Group’s nearly 12% stakes in EFG Hermes and, separately, in Bank Muscat. “Natixis is enforcing its right to seek a buyer for the assets under the terms of a restructuring deal Dubai Group made with its creditors two years ago. As part of that agreement, Natixis had the option to sell the stakes if Dubai Group hadn’t repaid the loan by the end of March.” Dubai Group Chairman Fadel Al Ali said yesterday that “the sale of our stake in EFG Hermes is consistent with the business plan for Dubai Group, which was agreed with its lenders as part of the restructuring agreement.” EFG Hermes notified the EGX that representatives of Dubai Group on its board have vacated their seats and were replaced by Natixis’ representatives Jean Cheval and Simon Eedle. Eedle is group head of Middle East operations for Natixis, while Cheval is head of Natixis’ finance and risk department as well as a member of its executive and management committees. Both men previously worked at Banque Indosuez.

Uber is investing EGP 500 mn in Egypt over the coming two years as part of a larger EGP 2.2 bn Middle East expansion plan, Uber Egypt General Manager Anthony Khoury said in a statement yesterday (pdf). “The investment will go towards providing more resources and training to grow the driver network, continuing to develop the technology as need for Egypt in order to reach more people and cities and the opening of bigger office spaces and training centres,” the statement said. Uber Egypt also noted that there are over 30k drivers using the platform to generate income on a full- or part-time basis; 40% of them were unemployed before joining the ride-hailing company. Al Borsa has picked up the statement in Arabic.

FiT phase two: Producers could get international arbitration if state gets lower tariffs. We have long maintained that the state’s insistence on domestic arbitration in the first phase of the feed-in tariff program for renewable energy was a stratagem hatched after the state felt it had agreed too high a price for energy produced in phase one. That view got a bit stronger yesterday as Al Borsa reported that one scenario the Electricity Ministry is considering would see international arbitration allowed in phase two if the tariff were lowered to USD 0.09 per kWh (from USD 0.14) and total capacity under the program were capped at 1 GW. Other phase two options: USD 0.11 per kWh and domestic arbitration, while also retaining the requirement that 85% of funding for projects be sourced from foreign institutions. Yet another option would be to leave the program sized at 1GW, but a lower price per kWh and additional, unspecified benefits to companies. Al Borsa’s source, a senior government official, said the proposals will go to cabinet for consideration in the coming two weeks.

Engie backs out of FiT: Meanwhile, Engie (which the domestic press still insists on calling GDF Suez) is reportedly pulling out of the FiT program altogether, said a company source. The source blamed the government’s insistence on international arbitration, saying it was the reason the International Finance Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development pulled funding for its 50 MW solar plant in Benban. The company will continue to seek working in Egypt’s renewable sector but outside the FiT framework, the source added. The company plans to invest USD 7 bn in renewable energy projects in Egypt and the GCC over the next two years, said a senior executive at Engie.

New limits on purchases abroad for CIB, Barclays card holders: CIB has reduced cash withdrawal limits. Among them, platinum, platinum EgyptAir and corporate credit card holders will see monthly purchase limits while abroad fall to USD 7,500 from USD 12,000. The full list of limits on FCY cash withdrawals and purchases abroad is here in the official bank statement (pdf). The news has also been picked up by Al Ahram. Barclays-Egypt has capped withdrawals abroad for platinum and other card holders, Al Mal reports, and raised fees for using debit cards while outside the country. AAIB, SAIB, Bank Audi, Barclays and QNB, among others, have previously capped purchases abroad and withdrawals, as we have previously reported.

** Earnings watch: Dairy producer Domty reported 1H2016 net income of EGP 44.87 mn, down from EGP 62.07 mn in 1H2015 in a regulatory filing (pdf). The decline came largely on the back of one-off sales returns of EGP 18.6 million.

Edita says price-point migration strategy working: Leading packaged snack food producer Edita’s earnings call took place last week, with Chairman and MD Hani Berzi telling listeners on the CI Capital-hosted call that the company’s 2Q2016 results underscore that “our price-point migration strategy is turning the corner. Consumers are adapting, as our gradual recovery in cake revenues shows. As I think most of you listening know, we made a decision late last year to upsize a key product, Twinkies. That meant scarifying some of top-line growth in favour of protecting margins and delivering quality earnings growth going forward. We believe we correctly read the impact inflation would have on consumer spending. And just as critically: Our competition is now following our lead in raising prices even as we widen our advantage through innovation.” Edita phased out its Twinkies SKU late last year in favour of higher margin products including Twinkies Extra.

Also worth noting this morning:

The weirdest election campaign in US history looks set to get weirder still. As if Thursday’s surreal CNBC Squawk Box interview with Republican nominee Donald Trump on “economic policy” (and the notion of Barack Obama as the “founder of Isis”) wasn’t enough, the Wall Street Journal is warning us this morning that “Democrats [are bracing] for more leaks from hackers,” noting that “two websites believed to have ties to the Russian government now serve as portals for leaking sensitive information about the Democratic Party.”

If you’re a fan of The Office (the original Ricky Gervais offices, not the US edition), you may now rejoice: “David Brent: Life on the Road” sees Gervais reprise the role that catapulted him to international renown in the original BBC mockumentary. Writes the FT’s Emma Jacobs: “More than twelve years after the end of The Office, when he was made redundant as regional manager of paper supplies company Wernham Hogg, the film finds Brent working as a travelling salesman at Lavichem, a toilet cleaning and feminine hygiene products company.” The Financial Times story is definitely worth a read if you’re a fan. The film is set to debut in Ireland and the UK on 19 August and on Netflix next year. Watch the official trailer (run time: 1:59)

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The Macro Picture

Canada, Russia, US, Australia look to record grain harvest mean “disinflation” in EM. US growers in 11 states are forecasting record wheat harvests this year and the USDA is predicting one of the best-ever seasons for corn and soybean crops. The Financial Times is arguing that this will be fundamentally disinflationary for emerging markets, saying declining food prices could join lower import costs (thanks to broadly strengthening EM currencies — Egypt aside, taban) and lower oil prices in driving prices down. It could mean a lower import bill for Egypt — and inflows into global emerging markets. Writes one analyst: “The idea of a disinflationary shock in EMs could add another round to that yield hunt. If you expect inflation to fall then the ex-ante real interest rate just went up. It could be another factor that pushes people to EMs.”

Egypt in the News

All Quiet on the Western Front: Pickup of wire coverage of both the USD 12 bn staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund and judoka Islam El-Shehaby’s refusal to shake an Israeli competitor’s hand continued to be picked up, albeit at a muted pace.

Renaissance Capital’s CEO and head of MENA equities Ahmed Badr was spot-on when he spoke with Bloomberg’s Yousef Gamal El-Din on what’s next for Egypt after the IMF staff-level agreement. (Watch: run time 2:54)

Only a handful of publications (mainstream and Islamist-leaning) took note of the three-year anniversary of the events at Rabaa on 14 August 2013.

Egypt should pass a transitional justice law that opens an impartial investigation into the “mass killing of protesters in 2013” that will lead to compensation of victims’ families, writes Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Director Sarah Leah Whitson in the wake of the three-year anniversary of the killings in Raba’a.

The Indian festival of colours, Holi, has become a recurring celebration in Cairo’s Hawamdia district, where “hundreds of young people, parents and their children, all wearing white cloths, splashed vibrant bright coloured powders on each other,” The Indian Express reported.

On Deadline

Former MP Amr El Shobaki writes on why the newly formed Supreme Council for Tourism can’t save the ailing industry for Al Masry Al Youm. Egypt needs to admit mistakes and “gaps” in its security, explicitly referencing the Giulio Regeni case and Metrojet incident, before it can restore faith in its tourism sector to the outside world, he says.

Al Masry Al Youm Chairman Abdel Moneim Saeed writes on the misconceptions about the IMF loan, including the assumption that the IMF is imposing itself on Egypt, that the economic reform measures are new, and that the IMF is responsible for the condition of limited-income families.

Al Ahram columnist Farouk Goweda delivers a message from solar energy expert Hisham Suleiman on the measures taken to implement renewable energy projects. Goweda reviews the legislation allowing for the regulation of the renewable energy market, the Cabinet decision allowing the government to buy energy from the private sector, and the approval of 182 renewable energy companies.

Al Ahram columnist Salah Montasser penned a piece on Ahmed Zewail’s inventions: the femtosecond microscopy and the 4D electron microscopy.

Worth Reading

The Kremlin’s army of paid internet trolls: While certainly not the first piece on Russia’s paid disinformation internet trolls, Adrian Chen’s June 2015 investigative piece into the Kremlin-funded ‘Internet Research Agency,’ rises to the level of essential reading. The Kremlin’s ability to do everything from influencing global public opinion to using social media to fake the occurrence of terrorist attacks is something which should give everyone working in both government and the private sector pause, especially with recent allegations that Putin’s troll army have mysteriously transformed into Trump trolls. (Read The Agency)

Worth Watching

New trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One. While the new footage from the upcoming Star Wars film, scheduled for release by the end of the year, looks stunning, one still may get the impression that almost none of the characters come across as interesting or compelling. (Watch, running time: 2:15)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Aaty is attending talks hosted by the World Bank in Washington DC with his Ethiopian and Sudanese counterparts, Daily News Egypt reported on Sunday. While the report is understandably scarce on details given the security implications surrounding the talks on the almost-completed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, it was noted that the meetings included a visit to the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River to help share experiences on managing dams’ flows and storage.

A Yemeni delegation headed by PM Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr arrived in Cairo yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reported. The delegation met with PM Sherif Ismail and the visit is expected to last several days.

Ankara and Cairo aren’t hopping back in bed together any time soon: Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid denied yesterday there was any movement on rapprochement with Turkey, telling CBC Extra: “We have not officially observed in any way any regional or international attempts for intermediation or reconciliation.” (Watch, run time: 0:49)

Energy

EBRD offers SUMED USD 100 in funding

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has offered the Arab Petroleum Pipelines Company (SUMED) USD 100 mn in funding to build a pier and facilities to handle petroleum products at Ain Sokhna, according to Al Mal. The loan of offer reportedly carries a 10-year maturity. SUMED has recently signed a funding agreement worth EGP 100 mn for the project with NBE. Sources tell Al Mal the company is also considering rival financing offers from bank consortia including NBE, CIB, Banque Misr, Arab African International Bank, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. SUMED requires around USD 255 mn in financing in order to complete the project.

Infrastructure

Alexandria studies EGP 240 mn proposal to recycle rainwater

The Alexandria Sanitary Drainage Company and the Arab Contractors are studying an Alexandria University proposal to build an EGP 240 mn drainage network to collect, store, and recycle rainwater, Al Borsa reported. The project is meant to address a recurring flooding issue in Alexandria in the winter season.

CBE approves SCZone request for companies to pay utilities in FX

The Central Bank of Egypt has approved a request by the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) to make companies pay electricity and water utilities bills in USD, SCZone spokesperson Nasser Foad said, Al Shorouk reported on Sunday. The move comes in an effort to amass enough FX to repay the loans used to fund the build-out of its water and power plants.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Beyti repurpose advertising budget towards subsidizing prices

Beyti has decided to not increase the prices of its Beyti Milk and Kol Youm milk lines, Managing Director Mohamed Badran told Al Mal. Badran says the two product lines are the company’s best-selling and popular with limited-income households. Instead, Beyti will be slashing its marketing spend and reallocating funds to keep prices of Beyti Milk and Kol Youm at their current levels. The company ran no advertisements during Ramadan because it used the money to supplement the cost of raw materials to maintain prices, Badran explained.

Cherkizovo begins poultry exports to Egypt

Russia’s Cherkizovo Group announced it has dispatched its first poultry shipment to Egypt, according to Reuters. The first batch of 270 tonnes was shipped via Cherkizovo’s Chicken Kingdom poultry farm in the Lipetsk region. The company expects to export 10,000 tonnes of poultry to Egypt through the end of 2016. Cherkizovo said it expects its exports to account for 20% of the total revenue within the next three years, according to the company’s CEO.

Manufacturing

Domty to start operating new Sixth of October factory in December

Arabian Food Industries Company Domty is set to start operating its new factory in Sixth October by early 2017, CEO Mohamed El Damaty said, Al Borsa reported on Sunday. The EGP 240 million factory will allow Domty to produce new goods including pastries and yellow cheeses, as we had previously noted. El Damaty also added that the launch of Domty’s new juice factory is set to take place in three weeks’ time, which will see the firm’s production capacity for juices increase from 65k to 100k tons per year. The firm has also succeeded in increasing its production capacity for white cheese to 175k tons per year and is expected to reach 215k by the end of the year.

Real Estate + Housing

Reacap in talks for a “strategic partnership” with Wadi Degla Real Estate

Naeem Holding’s real estate arm, Reacap, announced it was beginning due diligence with Wadi Degla Real Estate Development as a prelude to a potential “strategic partnership,” according to an EGX statement. The company the outcome of the negotiations between both parties will be announced after completing the due diligence and asset valuations. No timeline was given for the transaction.

SODIC in talks to buy Dreamland land plot

SODIC is reportedly in talks to buy a 250-feddan plot of land that previously belonged to Dreamland from National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Al Shorouk reports. NBE-owned Egyptian Company for Asset Management foreclosed on the Dreamland plot following the string of disputes between Dreamland’s owner Ahmed Mansour and NBE and Banque Misr. Sources tell Al Shorouk that SODIC and NBE have reached a final agreement, but did not reveal the price. They add that the state anti-corruption watchdog Administrative Control Authority is participating in drafting the contracts for the transactions to guarantee that there are no legal disputes over the land in the future.

Tourism

State discusses renovations at Pyramids, museums -Antiquities Minister

The Antiquities Ministry has completed restoration work at several tombs in Saqqara and Luxor, as well as the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art, according to Al Borsa, reporting on a meeting yesterday between Antiquities Minister Khaled El Enany and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Plans to renovate the Giza Pyramids complex as well as a number of historical villas were also discussed.

Automotive + Transportation

Car importers rely on exporting stock and shipments to avoid slump in auto industry

Several car importers have reportedly resorted to exporting some of their stock to neighbouring African countries to source hard currency or avoid what Al Shorouk called a market “slump” on the back of a nationwide FX shortage.

Jordan wants Taba to be official border crossing with Egypt

Jordan has reportedly asked Egypt to declare Taba as an official transit and crossing border between the two countries during a meeting between Transport Minister Galal Saaed and Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Al Mulki in Amman, Al Mal reported on Sunday. The Jordanian port of Aqaba directly faces Taba, so the move would make the flow of people and goods between the two countries easier.

Banking + Finance

PBDAC negotiates EGP 100 mn loan from Saudi Fund for Development

The Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC) is negotiating with the Saudi Fund for Development for an EGP 100 mn loan at low interest to finance agricultural industrialization projects, Chairman ElSayed El Kosayer told Daily News Egypt. The CBE had agreed to exempt PBDAC from the reserve requirements on deposits of up to 10%, freeing up around EGP 360 mn annually in liquidity, he added.

Other Business News of Note

Arafa Holding obtains property rights of two Italian brands

Arafa Holding has obtained the property rights of Italian fashion brands Marco Azzali and Borromeo Uomo in US, EU, and African markets, Al Mal reports. The company says the new trademarks will help expand its exporting activities and open new markets internationally.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Political parties and figures sign petition against IMF agreement

Several political parties and notable figures have signed a petition demanding that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi immediately halt negotiations with the IMF and refrain from signing an agreement, on the grounds that such a deal would drastically increase public debt and would prove detrimental to the majority of citizens, Al Mal reported on Sunday. Among the parties and figures who signed the petition are the Socialist Popular Alliance, Karama, the Misr Al Hurriya Party, ex-presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, economist Ilhamy Al Merghani and politician George Isaac. They demand that the state should instead focus on implementing the economic program “Watany” by shifting away from being a consumer economy, as well as recover smuggled funds from abroad, while also providing energy subsidies to heavy industries, abolishing the Civil Service Act and halting the privatisation of government bodies, among other demands.

On Your Way Out

We’re running out of cigarettes: Stocks of cigarettes at factories are down to just a day-and-a-half’s worth, Mohamed Othman, Chairman of the Eastern Company told Al Ahram. There are studies to grow tobacco in Egypt to increase the domestic supply, Othman noted. He also complained of the difficulty in calculating demand accurately due to the large number of smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes.

On the night of the opening ceremony, the chief of security was mugged at knifepoint. Two coaches for Australia’s rowing team were attacked and robbed in the Ipanema neighborhood, while some Olympians were robbed of belongings in the athletes’ village during a fire drill. Bullets have landed in the equestrian venue, and a bus carrying members of the news media was attacked, its windows shattered.” But it wasn’t until a high-profile American swimmer was mugged with three of his teammates that the Grey Lady took note.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 09 Aug): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Thursday, 11 Aug): 12.50 (buy) and 12.75 (sell) (from 12.75 on Wednesday, 10 Aug)

EGX30 (Sunday): 8,351.0 (-0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 467.0 mn (7% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +19.2%

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +1.9 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -3.2 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +1.3 mn

Retail: 76.0% of total trades | 73.2% of buyers | 78.8% of sellers
Institutions: 24.0% of total trades | 26.8% of buyers | 21.2% of sellers

Foreign: 11.9% of total | 12.1% of buyers | 11.7% of sellers
Regional: 5.9% of total | 5.6% of buyers | 6.3% of sellers
Domestic: 82.2% of total | 82.3% of buyers | 82.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 44.59 (+0.22%)
Brent: USD 47.07 (+0.21%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.57 MMBtu, (-0.81%, Sep 2016 contract)
Gold: USD 1,343.40 / troy ounce (+0.01%)

TASI: 6,374.3 (+0.8%) (YTD: +5.1%)
ADX: 4,527.1 (0.0%) (YTD: -7.8%)
DFM: 3,567.4 (+1.2%) (YTD: +13.2%)
KSE Weighted Index: 353.7 (+0.1%) (YTD: -7.3%)
QE: 11,053.9 (+0.9%) (YTD: +6.0%)
MSM: 5,896.7 (+0.1%) (YTD: +9.1%)
BB: 1,156.5 (0.0%) (YTD: -4.9%)

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Calendar

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

28 August (Sunday): Russian delegation expected to arrive to inspect airport security at Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh

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

04 September (Sunday): Arab Trade & Supply Chain Finance Conference.

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

05 September (Monday): Markit Emirates NBD PMIs out for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE at 6:15am CLT.

06-08 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Citi’s 2016 Global Technologies Conference, New York.

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

14-16 September (Wednesday-Friday): Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Healthcare Conference 2016, London, UK.

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

19-20 September (Monday-Tuesday): Arqaam Capital MENA Investors Conference 2016, Park Hyatt Dubai, UAE.

19-21 September (Monday-Wednesday): Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Consumer and Retail Conference 2016, London, UK.

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

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Citi’s Frontier Markets Symposium – London 2016, UK.

02 October (Sunday): Islamic New Year (national holiday, tentative date).

06 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day (national holiday).

11 October (Tuesday): 2nd Annual Leasing Conference entitled “New insights to stimulate financing instruments”, Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel, Plaza Ballroom, Cairo.

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

26-27 October (Wednesday-Thursday): The Marketing Kingdom Cairo 2 event, Cairo.

November (TBD): Delegation of German companies in the renewable energy sector due to visit to discuss investment opportunities.

14-16 November (Monday-Wednesday): Bank of America Merrill Lynch MENA 2016 Conference, The Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, 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.

29-30 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Citi’s Global Consumer Conference, London, UK.

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

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

07-08 December: Citi’s 2016 Global Healthcare Conference, London, UK.

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.

13 December (Tuesday): Amwal Al Ghad’s top 50 most influential women in Egypt women forum, Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel, Cairo.

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

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