Wednesday, 21 September 2016

National health insurance scheme could cost you as much as 3% of your salary budget under proposed legislation


What We’re Tracking Today

Euromoney Day Two: Euromoney’s final day began with a keynote speech by Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil, who touched on everything from his view on devaluation — he expects a free float,which he believes would help boost exports by 10% and limit imports — to other structural issues such as the need to expand industry and focus on exporting to Africa.

Kabil also acknowledged at the conference that two US companies submitted an official complaint to his ministry on goods exported from Egypt not meeting US standards, DNE reported. Being an SME ourselves, we also attended yesterday’s panel on small businesses — and were unsurprised to find the panel included exactly one SME business out of five participants. Tap here to read our quick wrap-up of yesterday (including Kabil and the SME panel), which also has links to our audio bootlegs of Monday’s sessions featuring Finance Minister Amr El Garhy, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, and CI Capital’s Tarek Tantawy.

In an interview with Reuters Arabic, Kabil once again supported the exporters registry, which continues to be attacked by the EU, stating that the move was meant to ensure quality of imports coming into Egypt.

Also at Euromoney: SODIC was selected as “Best Residential Developer” and “Best Office / Business Developer” in Egypt in 2016 by Euromoney Awards. It’s the fifth Euromoney award for the developer. You can read the full press release here.

Interest rate watch: The Amreeka edition. The US Federal Reserve’s FOMC will wrap its two-day meeting today and should announce at c. 2pm Eastern (8pm CLT) whether it will raise interest rates. A Reuters poll of economists expects no hike today — and adds that Fed policymakers will probably also “again cut their forecasts for how high interest rates will need to go in an economy where output, productivity and inflation are growing at a slower pace than in past decades.” Why do we care so much about US interest rates? For starters, no rate hike is, generally speaking, good news for emerging markets: Low rates sent investors out of the US in search of yield in the first place; higher rates will pull the more risk averse of them back to US shorts. The FOMC made clear at the time that as many as four rate hikes could take place in 2016, and that clearly hasn’t happened. The New York Times has a solid (and interesting) explainer headlined “Why Raising Interest Rates Has Been Such a Tough Call for the Fed.” The Fed last raised rates in December 2015, its first hike since 2006.

Interest rate watch: The Egypt edition. The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will set interest rates on Thursday. All 12 participants in Reuters’ poll of analysts expect a rate hike ranging between 50 bps to 200 bps, with seven expecting a 100 bps rise. Pharos Holding expects a 100 bps increase in policy rates, “mostly due to inflationary concerns and in preparation for devaluation.” Arqaam’s Reham El Desoki, who also expects a 100 bps hike, believes a hike is “within the CBE’s inflation targeting regime” and will attract investment for the household sector and foreign investors. Beltone’s Hany Genena, however, expects a 200 bps rate hike as he reckons a flotation of the EGP is likely to happen by 6 October “maximum.” EFG Hermes expects a 50 bps hike on Thursday on the back of the fast-track implementation of the VAT, saying, “Anecdotal evidence suggests businesses have in many cases implemented the tax already. Fast-track implementation comes after tobacco prices rose by an average of 20% a few days ago and electricity prices rose by 50% on average in late August therefore warranting a policy rate hike, in our view.”

Trading in Domty’s global depository receipts begins today, Al Borsa reports. As we noted previously, Domty shareholders can converts up to 21.67% of the company’s current outstanding share capital to GDRs (based on Domty’ current free float of c. 43%), under updated EGX regs. Domty’s GDR page is online here.

El-Sisi’s visit to New York continues: Following his address to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, President Abdelfattah El Sisi will head a climate change committee with African leaders today on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly meeting, Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy told Al Mal. El Sisi is also scheduled to attend a UN Security Council summit addressing Middle East developments, particularly Syria and Libya. We have more on El Sisi’s address to the UNGA and his meetings in Speed Round.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Cheese maker Obour Land will file with the EGX this week seeking a listing in advance of an IPO. Sources tell Al Borsa the listing could take place before the end of this year. The company intends to offer 25% of its shares, with use of proceeds for the funds including support for its EGP 100 mn expansion of its juice and dairy production lines, the newspaper says. CI Capital is advising.

4G decision day: Tomorrow is deadline day for existing mobile network operators to accept final terms for 4G mobile broadband network licenses.

Learn more about the New Administrative Capital: N Gage Consulting will hold a workshop on the New Administrative Capital, also on Thursday. Registration for the event is now closed.

Speed Round

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The agreement with the IMF is a buy-in into our home-grown programme, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk told Yousef Gamal El Din and Alaa Shahine on Bloomberg Markets Middle East (runtime 05:49). Kouchouk says Egypt is in talks with China for a financing package, but as with previous reports, he could not confirm the amounts Egypt is seeking. “We have an inclusive proactive pillar,” Kouchouk say about the plans to address the inflationary impact of some reforms measures. Egypt will double its spending on cash transfer programmes Takaful and Karama, increasing the number of beneficiaries to 1.5 mn families from around 700k now. Kouchouk says “this is realistic.” The target now is to inspire confidence in the Egyptian economy, but the “real” medium-term goal is to create enough “productive jobs” in the economy through promoting exports and improving the business environment. Shahine followed up by explaining that Egypt’s biggest challenge is triggering sustainable inflows of funds and to convince investors to “put their money in [Egypt] … otherwise … this would be one aid package after the other” (runtime 01:30).

Meanwhile: China gave more detail yesterday about funding talks with Egypt, says there are discussions about a swap agreement: Lu Kang, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson said “China and Egypt’s central banks are in discussions about a local currency swap and have made some initial progress. But they have not decided on the specific scale of the swap.” Reuters notes it is unclear if the swap talks are related to the talks on loans, but reiterated IMF official’s remarks that Fund staff “had held ‘very productive discussions’ with authorities in China and Saudi Arabia” about their contributing to bilateral funding to Egypt.

Saudi Arabia will make a deposit at the CBE “within the next few days,” an unnamed source told Al Mal. We’ve been expecting a deposit of USD 2-3 bn from the Gulf state. Kouchouk said the government had already reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia to provide part of the bilateral funding required by the IMF to unlock its financing agreement.

Second tranche of World Bank funding could arrive soon: A delegation from the World Bank Group is reportedly set to arrive in Egypt on 25 September to negotiate the terms for the second tranche of its three-year, USD 3 bn funding agreement, sources told Al Mal. Egypt received the first USD 1 bn tranche of the agreement this month. International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr has also said she is set to sign a USD 500 mn funding agreement with the WB next month to support governorates in Upper Egypt, but it is not clear if this is part of the USD 3 bn agreement or not. In his Bloomberg interview, Kouchouk says that it is a joint delegation from the World Bank and the AfDB that is expected by the end of the month.

Egypt is under pressure to loosen its restrictions on ergot content in wheat “or face an extended boycott from international traders,” Bloomberg’s Anatoly Medetsky and Abdel Latif Wahba write. “They will probably return to the terms that existed before,” said Vadim Sarkisov, director of Russia’s largest grain exporter OOO Trading House RIF. If not, Sarkisov, says, “we will look for other markets … What’s the point of participating if the wheat we offer has a percentage of ergot, even if it’s microscopic?”

Also, we’re not a in trade war with Russia: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has denied reports that Moscow’s ban on fruit and vegetable imports from Egypt came in retaliation for Egypt’s rejection of Russian wheat, Reuters reported. No, tovarish, it’s all a big coincidence. Egypt’s Agriculture Quarantine Authority received a notice from Russia detailing the problems with Egypt’s food imports, said Industry and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil, who did not elaborate further, Al Shorouk reports.

We’re not done grandstanding on ergot: Egypt is not accepting ergot-contaminated shipments, said Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Eid Hawash. “Egypt will not bow down to foreign or domestic pressure to reverse a decision that is final,” a General Authority for Supply Commodities source tells Al Borsa. He points to the boycott by foreign traders and Russia’s ban as examples of that pressure. He added that Supply Minister Mohamed Ali El Sheikh has a plan to address the repeated boycotts which he will bring to today’s cabinet meeting.

The central bank kept the EGP stable at EGP 8.78 per USD 1 at yesterday’s FX auction, where it sold USD 120 mn to cover basic commodity imports, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Greenbacks were changing hands at EGP 12.80 per USD 1.00 on the parallel market yesterday, according to Reuters, a slight increase from EGP 12.78-12.80 per USD 1.00 recorded earlier this week.

Companies will pay equivalent of 3% of employee’s salary into national health insurance scheme under legislation due to hit the House next month: The Ismail government plans to introduce the Universal Health Insurance Act to the House of Representatives in October when the latter returns from recess, said Deputy Finance Minister Mohamed Moeit. He tells Al Borsa that ministry plans toallocate EGP 5 bn to the Health Insurance Authority, the state entity in charge of funding the health insurance program once the law passes Parliament. Under the health scheme, employers must pay into the national health insurance scheme a sum equivalent to 3% of an employee’s salary, while 1% of the salary will be deducted from an employee’s paycheck, said Moeit. Funding for the program will also come from taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and nightclubs, he added. The law would require the government to upgrade and modernize the 550 hospitals it operates to provide better service. The program will be implemented in phases, with the first targeting five governorates to gradually build up capacity to cover the country.

Meanwhile, the African Development Bank will apparently kick in a USD 225k grant for a “financial assessment” of the national health insurance program, according to a statement yesterday from the International Cooperation Minister.

Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank confirms it has offered more than USD 500 mn to acquire Barclays Bank Egypt, Attijariwafa’s Development Manager Nabil Kadiri told Al Borsa. Kadiri expects Barclays could make a decision on the sale in as little as two weeks, noting that Attijariwafa will look at other targets if it fails in its run at Barclays. The Moroccan bank and Emirates NBD both submitted bids to acquire Barclays’ Egyptian arm earlier this month. This could mean we finally need to learn to pronounce “Attijariwafa” rather than mumbling something to the effect of “Attifujjywujjy” when it tries — every three or four years — to acquire an Egyptian bank.

Investors in the feed-in tariff (FiT) program have mixed feelings about the new terms set out under phase two, according to company executives speaking to Al Borsa. Some, including the head of project development at Desert Technologies Mohamed El Dal’y, feel that the new rate is so low that margins may make their projects unbankable. Solar Shams’ head of operations believes that the old rates made sense when factoring in FX losses and had hoped that more incentives would be on offer. He also feels lenders would be turned off by the new domestic component requirement of 30%. The regional director of ACWA Power, however, believes that the new terms are encouraging.

This comes as the Electricity Ministry was supposed to meet with international finance institutions yesterday to discuss financing for phase two projects, said New and Renewable Energy Authority chief Mohamed El Sobky. The International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank were among the lenders were supposed to attend. Their objections to the government’s insistence that arbitration of any disputes under phase one would be settled in Cairo was a key aspect of the failure of phase one.

And speaking of the EBRD: the bank had apparently reached an agreement with the International Cooperation Ministry over the lender’s strategy in Egypt, which will focus on private sector and SME development, energy and renewable energy projects and programs that aim to strengthen governance in Egypt. The IFC will continue to focus its resources on infrastructure development and energy, said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for MENA, according to Al Borsa. Nasr denied “rumors” that the IFC was pulling funding from Egypt, a claim first made by Al Mal and on which we set the record straight yesterday.

Marriott will manage USD 600 mn Ritz-Carlton Resort in Sharm El Sheikh for property owner Latif Group, Al Shorouk and Hotelier Middle East reported. The resort will be built at Shark’s Bay and is expected to be operational by 2020. The 252-room property will include 12 villas and three restaurants, among other amenities.

MOVES- Mohamed Abdel Rahman Hathout was appointed chairman and managing director of Enppi. Hathout, previously the deputy CEO for planning and projects at EGPC, replaces Imam Mohamed El Said, Amwal Al Ghad reported.

MOVES- Cleopatra Hospitals appointed healthcare veteran Mohamed Tarek Zahed as non-executive chairman. Chief executive officer Ahmed Ezz Eldin will relinquish the chair’s duties and focus on his executive role, according to a bourse statement. Ezz Eldin remains a member of the board.

An EU-Turkey-style refugee arrangement with Egypt? Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said the EU should forge an agreement with Egypt, similar to Turkey’s, where the EU provides funds to Cairo to stem the flow of migrants northward. “Austria fears asylum seekers could start coming to the EU from Egypt next year,” according to EU Observer.

CORRECTION- In yesterday’s issue, we reported thatPrime Minister Sherif Ismail and Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil met with the CEO HeidelbergCement Group to discuss expanding investments in Egypt, but incorrectly named the group’s CEO. The CEO of HeidelbergCement Group is Dr. Bernd Scheifele. The meeting was also attended by Jose Maria Magrina, CEO of Suez Cement-HeidelbergCement Group, and Omar Mohanna, chairman of Suez Cement-HeidelbergCement Group. H/t Zena S.

Spotlight on El Sisi in New York

El Sisi addresses the UNGA: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi spoke on a wide variety of subjects in his address to the 71st United Nations General Assembly, touching on everything that is to be expected: Africa, Palestine, Libya, Syria and the value of a stable Egypt in a tumultuous region.

The president opened by reiterating previous calls for the developed world to step up to its obligations to developing countries to improve access to economic opportunities. Speaking on behalf of Africa in his capacity as the chair of African states at the recently negotiated Paris climate change agreement, he confirmed the continent’s commitment to the pact.

El Sisi also delved into a defense of the post-2013 political order, saying the Egyptian people prevented the country’s slide into chaos and emphasizing that the international community must recognize the country as the lynchpin of stability in the region. He went on to say the 2014 constitution enshrines protections of human rights, and that Egypt has successfully elected a parliament that has been busy at work fulfilling its legislative role, highlighting Egypt’s economic reforms and praising Egypt’s renewable energy initiative.

At one point, El Sisi asked if he could go off script to directly address the Israeli leadership and people, urging them to seize the opportunity to write a hopeful new page in history, replicating the “wonderful and unique” peace enjoyed with Egypt by pursuing a two-state solution with Palestine. He called for a halt to settlements and a return to the Arab Peace initiative. El Sisi’s remarks echo his statements made earlier this year. The president continued by noting the crises in Libya and Syria, saying Egypt was deeply involved in diplomatic efforts with the former to support a unified government and the national army, saying that the time for militias in Libya is over. He also reiterated Egypt’s long-held position that the Syrian crisis must be resolved politically and must preserve the country’s territorial integrity. Watch President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s full remarks in Arabic (15:11) or dubbed in English (22:26)

Meetings on the sidelines: El Sisi also met in New York with UK PM Theresa May, Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi and Jordanian king Abdullah II.


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Egypt in the News

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s trip to New York is once again driving the conversation about Egypt in the international press. The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor turns in the not-surprising “Trump met his favorite Middle East strongman. What happened next will not surprise you.” Meanwhile, the New York Times Editorial Page Editor’s Blog takes note of the same meeting, but holds it up as “The Latest Example of Donald Trump’s Double-Talk,” juxtaposing Trump’s pledge of “loyal friendship” with an advisor’s remark that “it is a mistake to imagine that Trump does not mean to fulfill his most radical ideas. ‘Maybe, in the end, the courts don’t allow him to temporarily ban Muslims. … That’s fine — he can ban anybody from Egypt, from Syria, from Libya, from Saudi Arabia.”

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi sat down for an interview with Charlie Rose on Tuesday, Ahram Online reported. El Sisi said there can be “no return to dictatorship” in Egypt and faulted the media for portraying an inaccurate picture of the human rights situation in Egypt. He also stated there is no religious discrimination in the country, and promised to restore all churches damaged or destroyed in 2013 by the end of the year. The interview is not available online in part or in full.

Time for the country to give back to Nubians -The Economist. Despite the 2014 Constitution being the first official recognition of the Nubian homeland and establishes the goal of developing the area within ten years “the state has been stalling,” head of the Public Nubian Union, Mohamed Azmy told The Economist. Many believe Article 236, which sets out a Nubian right of return, was merely a means to gain Nubian support for the constitution at the time. Azmy points to a growing rift between older generations, who are “more accommodating of the state,” and the more restless younger ones.

HRW: Court “jeopardises” human rights work: A court ruling freezing the assets of three human rights organizations as well as five defenders is jeopardizing the existence of Egypt’s most prominent NGOs, writes Human Rights Watch deputy MENA director Lama Fakih. “Egyptian authorities are single-mindedly pushing for the elimination of the country’s most prominent independent human rights defenders,” she says, “Egypt’s international partners should not be fooled by repression cloaked in the guise of legalistic procedure.”

Related: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was “extremely alarmed” about the verdict, Al Shorouk reports.

On Deadline

Al Masry Al Youm chairman Abdel Moneim Said says the social contract between the people and the government where the government is responsible for everything is an endless, downward spiral. Between the population growing to 100 mn, the flawed subsidy system, and the state of public services like transportation, health and education, the expenses only increase but do not yield more competitive individuals domestically or internationally, he says.

Image of the Day

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met on Monday in New York with the ‘Friends of Egypt’ group, including US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA 48th District, pictured), along with Congressman James French Hill (not pictured), a member of the House Finance Services Committee. Key takeaway from Ittihadiya readout on the meeting: “Congressmen Rohrabacher and Hill commended Egypt’s measures to realize economic development as well as its efforts to combat terrorism and enforce security and stability at the regional and international levels.” (Archival image, photo credit: Office of the Presidency of Egypt.)

Worth Watching

The following video emerged in the past few days from China and is already being dubbed the worst kung fu fight of all time. At a running time of around 2 minutes, they maybe hit each other a couple of times, after a lot of circling, and more circling, and finger-wagging, and what we presume are insults in Chinese. Finally, the fight seems to just suddenly stop, possibly due to extreme exhaustion. (Watch The worst kung fu fight ever, running time: 2:11)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed agreements with French consultancy firms BRL and Artelia to conduct impact studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) yesterday, Reuters reported. The studies will start in late 2016, and would take 11 months to complete, said BRL Director General Gilles Rocquelain. The French firms will conduct a “modeling of water and hydroelectric resources as well as an assessment of the cross-border environmental, social and economic impact” of the GERD, said Water resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty.

Latvia had offered to build trains in Egypt three years ago — and has never received a response, the Latvian ambassador to Cairo said, Al Masry Al Youm reported. The offer reportedly involved building 700 trains over three phases, with Latvian Transport Minister adding that the offer could potentially extend to building an assembly plant in Egypt, during his meeting with Military Production Minister Mohamed El Assar yesterday. The Latvian ambassador is expected to meet with Suez Canal Economic Zone head Ahmed Darwish to discuss the formation of a train assembly plant there, as the European nation is interested in forming a strategic partnership with Egypt as a beachhead in Africa.


EGAS grants preliminary approval for Dolphinus, TAQA to import gas

Dolphinus Holdings and TAQA Arabia have both put in requests for licenses to import natural gas — presumably from our eastern neighbors — in addition to two other non-Egyptian companies, a government source tells Al Borsa. While EGAS did grant the companies a “preliminary approval,” the source notes that licenses to import gas cannot be issued until the House of Representatives approves the long-awaited Natural Gas Act, which would deregulate the natural gas industry and see the state step back to become the market regulator and provider of pipelines. The source confirms that the bill is still with the Egyptian Council of State (Maglis El Dowla).

Basic Materials + Commodities

No date set for hearing on results of state commissioners report -OCI

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) was not notified of a hearing on the results of the State Commissioners Authority report on the sale of Orascom Cement to Lafarge in 2007, OCI told Al Mal. The statement negates articles published by domestic media earlier this week claiming the State Commissioners had in fact published the report, and recommended taxing the entire transaction and transferring the case to the Administrative Court.

Food Industries Holding Company to issue tender to import 30,000 tonnes of cooking oil

The Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC) will issue a tender next week to import 30k tonnes of cooking oil, the company’s financial director Abdul Aziz Abed told Al Borsa. The state-owned company imported 15k tonnes of cooking oil prior to the Eid Al Adha break and Egypt’s current reserves are enough to last it until the end of 2016, he said. FIHC covers around 70% of the Egyptian market’s cooking oil needs annually.


Universal group investing over EGP 1 bn in washing machine factory

Universal Group is investing over EGP 1 bn in a washing machine factory, Chairman Yousry Kotb told Al Mal. The company is in talks with domestic and international banks to partially finance the project, with the balance coming from retained earnings, he added. Universal exports c. 50% of its production, said Kotb. We had reported earlier that Universal was investing EGP 200 mn in new production lines, as well as launching an EGP 130 mn production components factory.

Real Estate + Housing

Cairo Governorate completes EGP 500 mn third Asmarat neighbourhood in June 2017

Cairo Governorate is set to complete the third “Asmarat” affordable-housing neighbourhood in Moqattam by June 2017 at a total cost of EGP 500 mn, Cairo Governor Ahmed Taymour told Amwal Al Ghad. The project has been largely financed by the Tahya Misr Fund. The Asmarat housing project is relocating residents of unsafe informal settlements, primarily residents of Doweiqa, the site of frequent rockslides.

IDA, GAFI meet to discuss granting land in Upper Egypt to investors

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) appear to be giving out land without charge to investors in Upper Egypt and will meet next week to finalize the regulations and conditions for the tender, IDA head Ismail Gaber told Al Borsa, adding that the draft will soon be sent to cabinet for approval. The offering will begin by the end of 2016 at the latest, Gaber revealed in a press conference on the sidelines of the Euromoney conference yesterday. In a rare form of solidarity between the two bodies on the sticky issue of tendering land, both regulators will cooperate on the tender, with GAFI having the final say on determining winning bids.

Automotive + Transportation

Articulated buses to operate in Egypt in 1H2017

Articulated buses could replace the Heliopolis tram by 1H2017, said Rizk Abu Aly, head of the Public Transport Authority, Ahram Gate reported. The authority expects to operate 10 buses as a first phase at a cost of EGP 25 mn. The government has reportedly received offers from both local and international firms to build the vehicles. Ticket prices will be set at EGP 2.

NRA deputy sacked over Qena train wreckage yesterday

Egyptian National Railways deputy chief Ashraf Raslan was sacked by Transportation Minister Galal Saeed after a train wreck in El Arg, Qena, yesterday evening killed two people, Al Mal reports. The crash allegedly took place as a passenger car collided with the train at a level crossing.

Banking + Finance

Public Enterprise Ministry launches profitability indices for subsidiaries

The Public Enterprise Ministry has launched profitability indices for its subsidiary companies that compare their results against FY2014-15 as a baseline, the Ministry said in a statement carried by Al Shorouk. The statement notes that 10 out of 13 public sector companies were profitable in 2016, compared to just eight in 2015. We’d love to see the audited financials.

Egypt Politics + Economics

260K business already VAT-registered, Tax Authority breaks down where to expect inflation

260K business have been registered under the value-added tax (VAT) with 200K more expected to be registered in the coming period, said senior Tax Authority official Mohamed Showqy. From these new entrants around 138K will be businesses which have recently met the EGP 500K threshold to be taxed, Al Mal reports. The ministry has been sifting through all available tax records to draw up a shortlist of companies that must register for the VAT and has been informing these companies that they must register within the month allotted.

In other VAT news, mobile network operators have begun issuing and distributing new mobile recharge cards under the new post-VAT pricing scheme agreed upon with the Finance Ministry, Al Shorouk reports. The costs of the cards will rise 10%, with 4% of these being reimbursed to the consumer through extra airtime. Sources stated, however, that the MNOs do not plan to print the new prices on the cards themselves, raising concerns that retailers will use the opportunity to price gouge. At a press conference yesterday, Tax Authority chief Abdel Monem Mattar stated that prices of mobile phone bills should rise between 5-7% as a result of the VAT, and urged consumers to be well-informed on the official pricing. Mattar also warned that cost of transporting goods will also rise, as the 13% baseline VAT will apply to the purchase price of trucks. The same could not be said of cars, which has seen its fixed tax rate drop. Air Conditioners, some refrigerators and television sets have also seen the fixed rate drop.

National Security

Egypt requests USD 70 mn worth of Sentinel radars, equipment from the US

The US State Department has “made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt for Sentinel AN/MPQ-64F1 Radars and related equipment, training, and support” at an estimated total cost of USD 70 mn. According to a statement by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Egypt requested the purchase of eight Sentinel AN/MPQ-64F1 Radars, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) VRC-92E Radios, 16 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) Ml 152 with Shelter Carrier Kit, along with associated software, training materials, and US Government and contractor support.

UK committing to expanding training relationship with Egypt

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says the UK has pledged to continue working alongside the Egyptian military to enable further training, during his visit to Egypt this week, as we noted yesterday. More than 80 personnel from the Egyptian Armed Forces trained in the UK in the use of Counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) and close protection during 2015-2016, according to a statement from the UK Ministry of Defence. “We are now going to step up co-operation with our Egyptian allies to help them increase training capacity in their Armed Forces,” Fallon said.

Interior Minister forms High Police Council

Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar announced forming a High Police Council yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The move is part of a reorganization of the command structure of the Interior Ministry.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 20 Sep): 8.78 (unchanged since Wednesday, 16 March)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 20 Sep): 12.80 (unchanged since Sunday, 18 Sep, Sada El Balad)

EGX30 (Tuesday): 8,048.7 (+0.94%)
Turnover: EGP 404.8 mn (7% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +14.9%

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -36.3 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP -56.0 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -19.7 mn

Retail: 62.2% of total trades | 61.1% of buyers | 63.3% of sellers
Institutions: 37.8% of total trades | 38.9% of buyers | 36.7% of sellers

Foreign: 19.3% of total | 14.8% of buyers | 23.8% of sellers
Regional: 13.8% of total | 20.7% of buyers | 6.9% of sellers
Domestic: 66.9% of total | 64.5% of buyers | 69.3% of sellers

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The benchmark EGX30 rose 0.9% in the first hour into the session. The early buying appetite maintained its strength with the index closing at 8,049, up 0.9%. TMG Holding, EFG Hermes and CIB provided support to the index. Among the day’s worst performers were Eastern Company, Amer Group and Egypt Kuwait Holding. The top gainers were Global Telecom, Edita and Elsewedy Electric. At a market turnover of EGP 404.8 mn, regional investors were the sole net buyers of the day.

WTI: USD 43.44 (+0.32%)
Brent: USD 46.52 (+1.39%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.07 MMBtu, (+0.89%, Oct 2016 contract)
Gold: USD 1,319.00 / troy ounce (+0.06%)<br
TASI: 5,925.1 (-0.2%) (YTD: -14.3%)
ADX: 4,463.9 (-0.4%) (YTD: +3.6%)
DFM: 3,455.2 (-0.9%) (YTD: +9.7%)
KSE Weighted Index: 5,925.1 (-0.2%) (YTD: -8.2%)
QE: 10,256.5 (+1.0%) (YTD: -1.7%)
MSM: 5,752.1 (-0.2%) (YTD: 6.4%)
BB: 1,131.9 (-0.3%) (YTD: -6.9%)

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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): N Gage Consulting’s New Administrative Capital workshop powered by Hill International, Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel, Cairo. Register here.

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

26 September (Monday): Technical delegation from the ministries of agriculture and trade to visit Moscow to discuss lifting the ban on imports of Egyptian plant products.

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

28 September (Wednesday): Narrative PR Summit organised by CC Plus in partnership with the American University in Cairo, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo.

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

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

07 October (Friday): Deadline for phase one feed-in tariff investors to decide whether to remain under phase one conditions or move to phase two terms.

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.

31 October (Monday): Deadline for Telecom Egypt to reach an agreement with MNOs over using their 2G and 3G network infrastructure

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.

10-13 December (Saturday-Tuesday): Projex Africa and MS Marmomacc + Samoter Africa, 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.

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.

14-16 February 2017 (Tuesday-Thursday): Egyptian Petroleum Show, Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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