Wednesday, 31 August 2016

IMF’s Jarvis lauds passing of VAT legislation

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Telecom Egypt (TE) looks set to sign the 4G licensing contract today, which would officially turn the state-owned company into a mobile network operator in-waiting, Al Mal reports. CIT Minister Yasser El Kady will join top executives of TE and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority for a press conference to outline some of the key elements of the agreement. Other MNOs have until 22 September to accept the license terms.

The Ismail Cabinet is expected to discuss today lowering the feed-in tariff (FiT) rate for phase two projects as outlined in the Electricity Ministry’s proposed framework, government sources tell Al Borsa (more on that in the Speed Round). Cabinet will also reportedly address the ongoing shortages of meds, Al Mal reports.

Egypt and Jordan are expected to sign more than a dozen agreements today at the 26th Egyptian-Jordanian High Committee meeting, including pacts to ease restrictions on labor mobility between the two countries and another on industrial zones, Al Mal reports. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met with his Jordanian counterpart, Hani El Mulki, at the sidelines of the preparations, the newspaper reports.

Strawberry flap continues: Among the agreements being signed with Jordan is one covering the export of strawberries to the Hashemite Kingdom. That pact comes in the midst of an ongoing investigation by health officials in the United States linking a hepatitis A outbreak caused by a strain of the virus associated with past outbreaks from frozen strawberries in Egypt. A representative from Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry reiterated that Egypt has yet to receive any formal complaint from American health officials. We have more on the hepatitis A outbreak in Egypt in the News.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to issue pardons for 300 young men and women today, sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. the list is expected to be made up of people who have served the majority of their sentence and college students.

What We’re Tracking This Week

El Sisi to visit India, China: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to make a stop in India on a state visit tomorrow en route to the G20 summit in China, which will take place next week. India is proposing several projects, says Egyptian Indian Business Council head Khaled Abou El Makarem, including a medical city “three times the size of Kasr El Eini” that includes a university, a nursing institute, and a hospital, Amwal Al Ghad reported. The proposed location is in the Administrative Capital, he added. Other projects include an Indian University, an electronics and mobile phone factory with Lava International, a tractor factory, a tuk tuk factory (presumably GB Auto’s manufacturing plant, expected to see tech licensed from Bajaj), as well as petrochemical and food industry projects, said Abou El Makarem.

On the Horizon

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are expected to sign the agreement for the technical studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Monday, sources “close to the negotiations” tell state-owned Al Ahram on Tuesday. All three countries have submitted their approvals on the agreement which have been delayed for as long as we can remember. The report would confirm a previous statement by the foreign ministry that the signing would take place between 5 and 6 September.

The EFG Hermes London MENA and Frontier Conference will run next Monday-Thursday (5-8 September) in London at Emirates Arsenal Stadium.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

IMF’s Jarvis praises passage of VAT bill: Passing VAT legislation is an “historical achievement” for Egypt, Chris Jarvis, the IMF’s mission chief to Egypt said. Amr El Garhy’s Finance Ministry has drafted a “good” law, Jarvis added, extending praise to the House of Representatives for “opening new channels for discussion,” Al Shorouk reported. His statement came following the parliament’s approval of the VAT on Monday. VAT will help the government expand its revenue sources and allow for more spending on social programmes. Jarvis also said the IMF is willing to provide technical assistance as well as international best practices for implementing and administering the tax, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer welcomed Jarvis’ statements. MPs tell Al Borsa that the law will come into effect in October once the executive regulations have approved in September.

On a related note, it would appear that the Finance Ministry will be placing private medical practices under the VAT system, according to statements from a ministry source. The ministry is preparing new model invoices for law firms, medical practices and engineering consultants as part of their transition into the VAT, said the source according to Al Shorouk.

Trading of Domty’s GDRs is expected to begin by the start of next week, a senior company executive told Bloomberg. Domty has received final approval from the EGX to launch GDRs, “which it hopes will lure foreign investors and boost liquidity.” CEO Mohamed El Damaty says “a lot of investors are reluctant to enter [the Egyptian market] without GDRs,” which Bloomberg attributes to “an ongoing foreign-currency shortage that is crippling businesses and raising expectations for a devaluation of the [EGP].”

Lower FiT in phase two and possible international arbitration? The Ismail Cabinet is expected to discuss today lowering the feed-in tariff (FiT) rate for phase two projects as outlined in the Electricity Ministry’s proposed framework, government sources tell Al Borsa. The proposal will set a lower tariff in phase two at somewhere between USD 0.07 and USD 0.09 per kWh from USD 0.14 in phase one. The framework will also allow FiT companies which failed to close on phase one to transfer their projects over to phase two under the new rates, the source added. Phase two will also require companies to increase the percentage of local components in their plants to lower FX costs. The Electricity Minister and CBE Governor are apparently holding talks to discuss making FX available for FiT projects.

While the sources do not state whether international arbitration is on the table in phase two, it does appear the government is trying to paint arbitration in Cairo under international rules as being “international arbitration.” We had noted earlier this month, that among the four frameworks under consideration for phase two was to allow international for the USD 0.09 per kWh rate.

The central bank kept the exchange rate stable at EGP 8.78 per USD 1 at yesterday’s weekly FX auction, Reuters reports. The CBE sold USD 119.2 mn to clear medication and infant formula backlogs, as has been the pattern for weeks now. Pharma manufacturers nonetheless continue to call for priority access to FX. The EGP weakened on the parallel market to EGP 12.75 per greenback, according to Al Ahram, the higher end of the EGP 12.70-12.75 range Reuters quoted. Al Mal put the rate at EGP 12.60.

Investment ministry wants you to take an online survey: The Investment Ministry is asking you whether Egypt needs a new Investment Law or whether some amendments would suffice. The survey is available on GAFI’s website (in Arabic only). GAFI’s Chairman Mohamed Khodair hopes the business community actively participates in the survey to expedite the legislative reform agenda. Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid says the government has a “clear vision” on how to improve business conditions but is hoping for more input from the business community, according to Al Shorouk. As we noted yesterday, Khorshid is compiling a report which would recommend 10 amendments to the act, including bringing back investment incentives including free zones. The poll is online until 12 September.

Pharos to advise on Suez Fertilizer Float: The Egyptian Financial and Industrial Company (EFIC) has tapped Pharos Holding and Misr Financial Investments Company to manage its planned offering of a 40% stake in EFIC subsidiary Suez Fertilizers either through a public offering or private placement, EFIC Chairman Aly El Sayad said. He added that the firm will likely go with the public offering, which according to El Sayad could net proceeds of c. EGP 400 mn, Al Borsa reported on Tuesday. The company will use the proceeds to pay off Suez fertilizers’ debt and to introduce a new product to the market. EFIC had approved doubling Suez Fertilizers’ capital to EGP 600 mn back in June.

**Earnings Watch: El Sewedy Electric reported its consolidated 1H2016 earnings yesterday, with net profit after minority increasing 141% y-o-y to reach EGP 1.63 bn on revenues of EGP 10.55 bn, the company said in a regulatory filing. Revenue growth was driven by the company’s wires and cables segment as well as its meters division, where sales were driven by strong performances in Europe and the GCC.

Among others companies that reported their earnings:

  • Arabiyya Istithmaraat reported a consolidated net loss of EGP 22.56 mn in 1H2016 compared to a net profit of EGP 6.24 mn in 1H15.
  • Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt reported a consolidated net profit of EGP 490.34 mn in 1H2016, up from a net profit of EGP 389.50 mn in 1H15.
  • Sinai Cement reported a consolidated net profit of EGP 15.37 mn during 1H2016, up from a net loss of EGP 28.70 mn in 1H15.

The House of Representatives unanimously passed the Construction of Churches Act on Tuesday, Al Shorouk reports. The act passed despite vocal objections from a number of Coptic MPs including Nadia Henry and Emad Gad, who were opposed to articles that would make the size of a church in any one district a function of the size of the area’s Christian population, Al Mal reports. The newspaper alleged that Coptic MPs were effectively silenced by their coalition leaders, who reportedly told them that any objection to the law would cast suspicions on their “patriotism.” Both the Evangelical and Coptic Orthodox Church had approved the legislation. The House appears to be anxious for recess as it passed the law after deliberating on it for one morning. The VAT legislation passed on Monday after just two hours of discussion.

The House also apparently passed amendments to the Diplomatic Corp Act which would make diplomats not subject to the Civil Service Act. The House is expected to discuss the law combating illegal immigration, a draft of which is provided by Al Shorouk.

MOVES- Aton Resources appointed Thomas Maher to its board of advisors. Maher, the president and COO of Apex International, was previously regional VP and general manager of Apache Egypt. Aton Resources says, “Maher’s appointment greatly increases the depth of business, financing and corporate experience at the company along with his Egypt in-country business knowledge and is a very timely addition as the company advances its Egyptian projects, including the Abu Marawat and Hamama deposits.”

Sadat steps down as House rights committee chair, international press takes note: Mohamed El Sadat has resigned from his position as head of the House Committee on Human Rights, as result of what he describes as the “intransigence” of the House, Al Mal reported on Tuesday. His resignation comes amid reports by other MPs that El Sadat had complained about House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal’s frequent overruling of his motions. The resignation followed House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal saying to the chamber that a complaint had been lodged with an international organization against the House by an Egyptian MP, Ahram Online reported. “This complaint was filed by a high-profile MP and it was written in English… this is a dangerous development [and] I will not let it pass easily,” Aal said. The story is getting international coverage after being picked up by Reuters.

Readers may recall that on Monday, we triumphantly proclaimed that Egypt had reached a post-burkini ban age. Beachgoers wearing bikinis, one-pieces and burkinis could coexist in peace, we said, noting Mona Eltahawy’s recent New York Times op-ed about tolerance of diversity on the shores of Egypt’s North Coast. Nevermind. Apparently a beach resort official not only asked a burkini-clad woman to leave a swimming pool in Ras Sedr, but when she refused she was verbally harassed by the official, Ahram Online reported on Tuesday. The official is being questioned by prosecutors, who are also attempting to determine if the resort’s regulations include bans on burkinis. The garment originated in Australia, and the question of its legality appears to have become a national obsession in France.

Meanwhile, bikini fever has spread to Israel, where culture ministry officials have taken a tack opposite to that of French officials: They kicked a singer off the stage for wearing a bikini top beneath an open shirt. The story has earned international coverage in the New York Times; Forward has a coverage and a photo of the offender, Hanna Goor, on the day she was booted from stage.

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The Macro Picture

Love-hate-love for emerging markets: For the last fortnight, the global business press has seesawed between Doomsday scenarios and predictions of a bull run for EM. The Financial Times has gone from crowing that inflows into GEM are at a 58-week high to insisting that “emerging markets will not escape the Fed’s grip” and a warning that “the rally in EM masks frailties.” Bloomberg and CNBC, meanwhile, are now advancing the thesis that emerging markets can probably escape a US rate hike unscathed.

US markets are quiet in anticipation of the US jobs report on Friday, the next key marker of financial data that could give an indication if and when the US Federal Reserve would hike rates. “After [Federal Reserve Chair Janet] Yellen’s comments at Jackson Hole, there are some investors who think higher interest rates could hinge on this jobs report,” according to Scott Wren, a senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, as quoted by the AP. The navel-gazing starts today with a private-sector payroll report seen as suggesting what Friday’s number might look like. And the omnipresent Mohamed El-Erian tells CNBC that he currently sees a 60% chance of a rate hike, but that could go to 80% with a strong Friday jobs report.

Spotlight on Apple’s tax bill

The European Commission ruled yesterday that Apple owes Ireland EUR 13 bn (that’s about 1.2 times the amount Egypt is seeking from the IMF) in back taxes, following a three-year investigation that concluded that Apple’s Irish tax benefits are illegal. “The standard rate of Irish corporate tax is 12.5%. The Commission’s investigation concluded that Apple had effectively paid 1% tax on its European profits in 2003 and about 0.005% in 2014,” BBC says. The amount the Commission is asking Apple to repay is equivalent to all of Ireland’s healthcare budget and 66% of its social welfare spending.

Do you think Dublin is happy about it? Wrong. Ireland is fuming, with Finance Minister Michael Noonan saying "I disagree profoundly with the Commission … The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.” Ireland’s tax system is one of the competitive advantages it has over other EU countries, making it particularly attractive to high-tech companies. Google’s EU headquarters are not in London, Paris, or Frankfurt, it’s in Dublin, ditto Facebook’s International headquarters, Yahoo’s, and Airbnb’s. Noonan is just trying to protect jobs in Ireland and maintain the country’s attractiveness to international investors. The case, controversial as it is, and in the light of Egypt just passing a VAT law, shows how powerful competitive tax policy can be.

If you want to know more about how Apple (and other companies) have managed to move about with paying so little in taxes, learn more about the “double Irish” and “double Irish with Dutch sandwich” arrangements.

Egypt in the News

Driving the conversation this morning: Foreign press coverage of Egypt is largely focused on the passing of the law on church construction and the widening outbreak of hepatitis A in Virginia linked to strawberries exported from Egypt. Catholic News Agency notes the disparity in church and mosque per capita, with only 2.6k churches in the country, which breaks down to one church for every 5.5k Christians versus one mosque for every 620 Muslims. The Associated Press’ piece from yesterday afternoon will be influential in shaping how the subject is treated, which is to say that it encapsulates what critics have been saying for weeks on the bill: “Angry critics in the community say the law will only enshrine restrictions… According to an official supplement to the law, the governor should also take into account ‘the preservation of security and public order’ when considering the application,” which seems to suggest that if there are fears, perceived or real, of protests over construction, the permit will be denied. However, we are unable to find any mention of this supplement in the domestic press’ reports on the law, except for a popular Christian-affiliated website which links back to America’s ABC News, which in turn was based on the above AP story. We will keep an eye out for any official word on this alleged supplement, and if anyone can provide any clarification, let us know.

The outbreak of hepatitis A in Virginia, purportedly from strawberries sourced from Egypt, has spread, going from 28 confirmed cases on Thursday to at least 44 as of yesterday, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The story is getting coverage in New York Magazine, ABC News, as well as television broadcasts (run time: 1:52) from local ABC News affiliates, however each report gives a varying number of cases based on the date of its publication.

Strawberries aren’t the only Egyptian export taking a beating in the press these days, with Bloomberg View doing a follow up on the Welspun “Egyptian” cotton story we noted last week and again on Sunday, where it was discovered that the Indian supplier was hawking cotton mislabelled as Egyptian to US retailers. As Bloomberg’s Virginia Postrel wrote on Tuesday: “The scandal that has devastated… Welspun… may also end up wrecking the prestige of Egyptian cotton.” She goes on to explain that Welspun was technically correct in that was grown in Egypt, however Postrel makes the distinction that what was often associated with Egyptian cotton, was of course, long-staple cotton also known as Pima.

NPR’s Morning Edition spoke with Leila Fadel, who is leaving her post in Cairo after almost six years. Fadel “watched Egypt go from a wave of optimism about democracy to a time of violence and uncertainty.” The one moment that stands out to her during her time in Cairo, she says, is the killings in Raba’a. As she leaves, Fadel says she loves Egypt and it is now very difficult for her to be walking away when “the trajectory is in such a downward place” (runtime 06:38).

Egypt is planning on showcasing the Suez Canal area development projects during the G20 Hangzhou Summit, China’s CCTV reported (autoplay video), adding the 86 Chinese companies have invested more than USD 1.1 bn in the zone. "There are obstacles to operating in many African countries but, for us, Egypt is a priority investment destination. As this is a special economic zone, the quality of the management and facilities is very good and the levels are improving continuously … With the Chinese government launching the new China silk road and rail project we are encouraging many companies to invest outside China and to grow and develop here," Li Daixin, executive director of TEDA Egypt, which is an investor in the Suez Canal zone, said.

Egyptian football club Al Ittihad has released its newly-signed Cameroonian player Samuel Nlend after testing positive for HIV, Yomi Kazeem writes for Quartz. Kazeem says there is precedent in allowing clubs to release players solely based on them testing positive for HIV, and Egyptian work permits require a negative HIV test. But he says the club’s decision to “out” the player and publicly announce his infection is appalling and should have been kept confidential.

On Deadline

Al Ahram columnist Makram Mohamed Ahmed says the Arab League should play a pivotal role in disarming militias and extremists in Syria, as it is the only way to prevent more fighting in the vacuum after Bashar El Assad leaves. Talk of removing Bashar El Assad has become irrelevant, he says, as the US, Russia, Turkey, and Iran have accepted he remain in power until the coming parliamentary and presidential elections.

Image of the Day

Construction progress on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam from February 2010 to April 2016. Construction began in April 2011, and is now c.70% complete. Construction on the dam will be complete before the impact studies agreed on by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. (View image via Google Earth, The Conversation)

Worth Watching

The Glocal posted a compilation video of what they deem to be the nine best beaches in Egypt. Of course there are some great locations left out, but overall it’s well put together, and has already inspired some gentle but not off-base mocking. (Tap the image above to watch on Facebook or tap here to watch on Youtube, running time: 1:51)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Tanzania is set to become the fourth African country to sign an electricity purchase agreement with Ethiopia, Sudan Tribune reported on Monday. The agreement is for 400 MW of hydroelectric energy, with the two states set to sign the agreement within weeks. Upon completion, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is expected to generate c. 8 GW of energy, some of which is expected to be exported to neighboring states.

Energy

El Molla in Cyprus for gas talks, expected to sign bilateral agreements

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla arrived in Cyprus yesterday on a visit that was originally scheduled for last Thursday. He is meeting with his Cypriot counterpart, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis to discuss energy cooperation, Al Ahram says. According to Interfax Global Energy, El Molla will sign a bilateral agreement for the sale of Cypriot gas to Egypt during the trip, which would “supply Egypt’s domestic market as well as its LNG export facilities at Idku and Damietta.”

Nine companies chosen for the final round of bidding on importing 250K smart meters

Huawei, Siemens, Ericsson, and El Sewedy Electric are one of nine companies chosen for the final round of bidding on a tender to import 250K smart electricity meters, Al Borsa reports. The winning companies will be selected in two weeks, said a Power Ministry official. It is yet unclear whether three or six companies will be selected, according to sources from one of the bidding companies. These nine companies were chosen from an original pool of 68 companies which bid for the project, as we noted back in June.

Manufacturing

Printing and packaging chamber proposes industrial city in Suez Canal axis

The Chamber of Printing and Packaging Industries is meeting with the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone to discuss a project to build a sector-specialized industrial city in the Canal axis area, head of the chamber Khaled Abdo told Amwal Al Ghad. The city’s industry will serve its surrounding industries and allow for more exports, says Abdo. The project’s feasibility will be discussed on 6 September with SCZone chief Ahmed Darwish, he adds. The printing and packaging industry has only been able to supply 55% of public school demands for books as raw material prices have gone up by 30%, says Abdo.

Health + Education

Pharmacist Syndicate calls for sacking, imprisonment of health minister over failure to expel El Ezaby from syndicate

The Pharmacist Syndicate filed a lawsuit against Health Minister Ahmed Rady, calling for his removal from office and imprisonment after its leadership called the minister’s “failure” to expel Ahmed El Ezaby from the syndicate, Al Borsa reported on Tuesday. The story claims that El Ezaby who is head of the pharma division of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, had been ordered expelled from the syndicate after a Cairo Appeals Court decision upheld a lower court ruling in which his chain of stores was alleged to have violated industry regulations.

Health Ministry plans to build EGP 2 bn blood derivatives factory

The Health Ministry plans to build an EGP 2 bn blood derivatives plant in cooperation with the Military Production Ministry, Al Borsa reported on Tuesday. Until the project is completed, the government will be collecting plasma through centres operated by the state-owned firm Vacsera and will be sending them abroad to be used to manufacture blood derivatives, said Vacsera chief Hala Adly.

Real Estate + Housing

Madaar Development begins construction on first phase of Azha project

Madaar Development has begun construction on the first phase of its Azha project in Ain Sokhna, CEO Gasser Bahgat told Amwal Al Ghad. The first phase includes 400 houses over an area of 300k sqm. The Azha project lies over an area of 1.6 mn sqm and has an investment cost of EGP 7 bn, he added. Madaar expects to generate EGP 11 bn from selling 2,000 units and targets completing first phase by 2018, he added.

Automotive + Transportation

At monorail meeting, Ismail pushes Canada’s Bombardier to do more in Egypt

Top executives from Canada’s Bombardier presented their plan to build the monorail project linking Sixth of October to Giza to Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and a number of cabinet ministers on Tuesday, Al Mal reports. As we previously noted, a consortium led by Orascom Construction and Bombardier had offered to build the project for USD 1.3 bn, bidding against a USD 1.1 bn offer from a consortium consisting of China Gezhouba Group, Petrojet, Concord Engineering, and CRRC Corporation. At the meeting, Ismail reportedly urged Bombardier to do more business in Egypt.

Mansheya tram project is back on track as feasibility studies are in final stages, says Alexandria governor

Feasibility studies on the final stages of the EUR 300 mn Alexandria tram project connect the El Raml Station to Victoria are currently being finalized, with construction on the project set to resume soon, said Alexandria Governor Mohamed Abdel Zaher, Al Borsa reported on Tuesday. The project, which saw some delays earlier this year due to traffic congestion caused by construction work, is funded by the French Development Agency. We are holding our breaths on this one, folks.

Banking + Finance

Beltone Market Maker begins providing market-making services for OC on Nasdaq Dubai

Beltone Market Maker, a subsidiary of Beltone Financial Holding, has begun providing market-making services in the shares of Orascom Construction on Nasdaq Dubai, according to a company statement. “The move supports liquidity in the shares of Orascom Construction … which listed on Nasdaq Dubai in March 2015.” Beltone Market Maker acquired a licence to market-make on Nasdaq Dubai securities in August 2015.

Raya’s Aman for electronic payments begins operations in September

Electronic payment solutions firm Aman is set to begin operations in September, Raya Trade CEO Basim Moujahid told Daily News Egypt. The company aims to roll out 2k points of sale across 15 governorates by the end of the year, he added.

Other Business News of Note

Egypt exports first two batches of polyethylene from Ethydco Complex

Egypt has exported the first two batches of polyethylene manufactured at the Ethydco Complex in Alexandria, according to a report submitted by the Egyptian Petrochemicals company to the Oil Ministry seen by Al Ahram. The plant was inaugurated by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated earlier this month In total, 8.3k tonnes were exported, the Oil Ministry said. The first batch was exported to Germany, Poland, and Spain, while the second went to Italy, North Africa, Greece, and the Balkans, according to the report. Additionally, 7,300 tonnes were supplied to the domestic market.

Egypt Politics + Economics

El Garhy discusses timeline for marketing USD 3 bn eurobond sale with investment banks

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy is discussing the timeline for marketing the USD 3 bn eurobond issuance with JPMorgan, Citi, BNP Paribas, and Natixis who are managing the sale in September, Al Borsa reports. Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk had previously stated the issuance would be via the Luxembourg bourse, the newspaper reported.

Subsidies smart card program expanded to cover 7 mn farmers, first phase cost EGP 357 mn

The government is expanding the subsidies smart card program to provide 7 mn farmers with subsidized fuel and fertilizers at a cost of EGP 357 mn in the first phase, Al Mal reported on Tuesday. The Military Production Ministry is leading the development of the project in conjunction with the ministries of planning, agriculture, finance, and ICT.

On Your Way Out

“Zero Girl” gets a 94.02% on her exams this time around: Mariam Malak, who earned the nickname in the domestic press as the “Zero Girl” or alternately the “Zero Schoolgirl” last year after she claimed her exam booklet was switched with that of another student’s, scored a 94.02% on her exams this year, Egyptian Streets reported, citing Al Shorouk. Her brother points to her high score this time around as evidence that she was correct in her claim that her exam had been switched, as well as having a strong academic record to bolster her claim. After a forensic report came back saying the exam was hers, “her story quickly gained traction across social media platforms, where users developed the hashtag ‘I believe Mariam Malak,’” as reported by Egyptian Streets.

Photojournalist Omar Adel, who had gone missing on Saturday after having told his brother he was being arrested, was spotted by his lawyer at Marg police station on Monday, Daily News Egypt reported. His lawyer, Ali El Halwany, states the police at the station had denied Adel’s presence there. “I stayed at the police station trying to find him, and there he was, entering the station among a group of detainees. He looked messy and there were signs of beating on his face. I could not speak to him,” according to a Facebook post by El Halwany.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 30 Aug): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 30 Aug): 12.60-12.75 (compared to 12.75 sell, 12.65 buy on Monday, 29 Aug, Al Mal)

EGX30 (Tuesday): 8,080.8 (+15.3%)
Turnover: EGP 509.5 mn (17% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +15.3%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX moved into positive territory to close up 0.6%. The day’s top gainers were Global Telecom, EFG Hermes Holding and Ezz Steel. The worst-performing stocks of the day were Amer Group, Eastern Company, and Arabia Investments. Market turnover stood at EGP 509.5 mn, with domestic investors the sole net buyers of the day.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -25.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -8.4 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +34.2 mn

Retail: 64.5% of total trades | 62.9% of buyers | 66.2% of sellers
Institutions: 35.5% of total trades | 37.1% of buyers | 33.8% of sellers

Foreign: 19.8% of total | 17.3% of buyers | 22.4% of sellers
Regional: 10.9% of total | 10.1% of buyers | 11.7% of sellers
Domestic: 69.3% of total | 72.6% of buyers | 65.9% of sellers

WTI: USD 46.23 (-0.26%)
Brent: USD 48.32 (-0.10%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.88 MMBtu, (+0.91%, Oct 2016 contract)
Gold: USD 1,315.2 / troy ounce (-0.10%)<br
TASI: 6,129.6 (+1.0%) (YTD: -11.3%)
ADX: 4,494.4 (0.0%) (YTD: +4.3%)
DFM: 3,513.2 (+0.5%) (YTD: +11.5%)
KSE Weighted Index: 347.6 (+0.5%) (YTD: -8.9%)
QE: 11,314.6 (+0.5%) (YTD: +8.5%)
MSM: 5,771.3 (-0.1%) (YTD: +6.8%)
BB: 1,138,5 (+0.2%) (YTD: -6.4%)

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Calendar

29-31 August (Monday-Wednesday): Egyptian-Jordanian Commission meeting

01 September (Thursday): President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to be in India on a state visit en route to the G20 summit in China.

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

04-05 September (Sunday-Monday): President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to be in China for a state visit coinciding with the G20 summit.

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.

08-09 September (Thursday-Friday): Regeni case prosecutors from Egypt and Italy set to meet in Rome.

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.

22 September (Thursday): Deadline for mobile network operators to accept the final terms for 4G mobile broadband network licenses.

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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