Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A clear prelude to devaluation: CBE moves to shield banks from interest rate hike


What We’re Tracking Today

** What Enterprise readers really think about the Egyptian economy. The results of our first-ever reader survey are out. The tl;dr in one (long) sentence: You expect the economy is going to get worse before it gets better, but if the EGP is at USD at 11.51-13.50, you’re fundamentally confident in the future: You’re going to keep investing, and nearly half of you expect to beat your competition over the next six months. Tap or click here to see the results.

BONUS: The results page includes a download link for a copy of the XLSX we have used to track the parallel market rate since late 2014.

Your response to the survey was overwhelming, and we’re going to take some advice from the many of you who suggested we make this a regular thing. We’re back-and-forth on whether this should be a monthly or quarterly feature — we’ll let you know next week, and would really value your suggestions in the meantime if you have arguments either way. Let us know:

We’ll let everyone know tomorrow the names of the 20 winners of our mug draw.

A clear prelude to devaluation: Reuters’ Asma Alsharif and Nadia Gowely hit a homerun yesterday evening, with three bankers telling them that the Central Bank of Egypt is angling to protect their banks from the impact of a substantial interest rate hike. The sources told them “the central bank had verbally instructed them to reclassify ‘available for sale’ bonds and bills, which are tradeable on the secondary market, as ‘held to maturity.’ That would mean they do not have to mark the bonds’ value to market, protecting the banks in question from a major hike to benchmark interest rates which would decrease the capital value of the bonds and hit the overall value of bank holdings.”

In a nutshell: “‘What the central bank is doing is protecting banks from making huge losses on their portfolios, revaluation losses, which could occur if interest rates rise,’ one banker at a private sector bank said.”

<rant>As one of the smartest guys we know said last night, this is good news and bad news. The good news: This is an obvious prelude to a devaluation. It’s textbook, really: Raise rates to curb inflation. The bad news: The textbook doesn’t work in Egypt. Interest rates are not an effective means of transmission for monetary policy in a nation in which maybe one in 10 people have a bank account, the grey economy probably dwarfs the official economy, and SME credit is little more than a myth. Hiking interest rates will make borrowing more expensive for the government and push the very few SMEs able to access credit out of the marketplace. Worse, the state will likely pay more in debt service than it would have had it chosen to boost commodity subsidies or extend new cash benefits to the poor. As for corporations? Banks will still offer preferential borrowing rates to their largest clients — and those few SMEs able to borrow will face credit-card-like interest rates.</rant>

US business delegation report: The last day of the US business delegation spanned from talks on oil and gas to electricity and energy, U.S.-Egyptian relations and the Suez Canal Economic Zone. We were reminded of the potential of our gas sector and we will know by November which state-owned oil companies will IPO, thanks to Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla’s announcement. (The minister also hinted at significant onshore and offshore oil and gas discoveries expected next year.) We learned that the famous arbitration clause for the feed-in tariff has finally been worded and appeals on local arbitration will happen outside of Egypt. And Suez Canal Economic Zone Chairman Ahmed Darwish gave a vivid presentation of the prospects of investments in the Suez Canal Zone and confirmed companies will “highly likely” pay utilities in USD.

Among those speaking yesterday: Oil Minister Tarek El Molla, Deputy Energy Minister Sabah Marashly, SCA chief Darwish, and the US State Department’s David Thorne. We have full coverage of yesterday in a report here.

Apple has inadvertently leaked images of its new MacBook Pro. The function row is indeed replaced by an OLED panel and it has TouchID, thinner bezels, visible speakers on the 13” model and — this is going to be unpopular with a lot of you — what appears to be a keyboard on the order of the 2015 / 2016 MacBook, which we absolutely love. MacRumors broke the news. The new model rolls out at an event tomorrow (Thursday, livestream here) at 10am PDT (7am CLT). The news came as Apple released its earnings yesterday, slightly missing analyst expectations for the final quarter of its fiscal year, but projecting record sales over the coming holiday season (earnings release or Reuters coverage).

We hate to rain on your parade, but the National Weather Service is apparently calling for rain and warm temperatures in Cairo on Thursday and Friday, Ahram Online reports, adding that thunder and lightning storms could pass over Upper Egypt as well as areas of the Red Sea and Sinai.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Are you a runner? SODIC’s annual Charity Run in collaboration with Cairo Runners takes place this Friday, 28 October in honor of Breast Cancer Month. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE). The 6 km run in SODIC West (Google Map) begins at 7:45am. Drive out yourself, or catch a ride on SODIC — the event’s Facebook page lists 6:30am pickups in Heliopolis, Lebanon Square and Nasr City. Stick around for post-run refreshments and a live music performance. Last year’s event was a blast, and you’ll do good in the process — trust us, it’s worth getting out of bed. Can’t make it but want to make a donation? The Facebook page lists BCFE accounts at CIB and other banks near you.

Global FinTech Week takes place on Wednesday October 26th at 18:00 at Flat6Labs, Cairo. The event include entrepreneurs, investors, startup enthusiasts, and ecosystem builders around a dynamic fintech panel discussion followed by pitches from the startups of 1864 FinTech Accelerator. The event is being hosted by Seedspace and 1864 FinTech Accelerator, powered by Flat6Labs in partnership with Barclays Bank Egypt. Contact Flat6 for more information, or check out the event’s press release here (pdf).

A European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) delegation in town for meetings with business and government wraps up its visit tomorrow.

Speed Round

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Egypt has moved up nine spots to rank at number 122 out 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report, behind the Bahamas and ahead of Brazil. Egypt ranked 131 last year. The report attributes the rise to an improvement in the ease of establishing a new company, which jumped 34 spots, and improvements in protecting minority shareholder rights, where we rose eight spots from last year. The worst place in the world to do business: Somalia, ranked number 190. The best: New Zealand (may we please have Anzac biscuits for mentioning this?). The US ranks number eight, the UAE advanced to 26, making it the top-ranked Arab country, and Israel was number 52. The full report can be viewed here (pdf, 356 pages), or you can check out media coverage at home (Al Mal) and abroad (WSJ)

The Investment Ministry issued statements to the media explaining reasons behind declines in certain indices. Caps on deposits, withdrawals and restrictions on obtaining letters of credit saw Egypt drop 11 places to 168 in the trading across borders section of the report. And it’s not just that we have problems: Others are improving, the ministry said, explaining that Egypt fell three places to 82 on the getting credit index because others advanced. Egypt is playing catch up and hopes to improve its standing on that index when legislation such as the Moveable Assets Act are ratified. As for the 11-position drop in the paying taxes index to 162, the ministry stated that the value-added tax had not been ratified yet when the report was being compiled. Egypt also fell by three positions and was ranked 162 in enforcing contracts.

What, what? Egypt is objecting to being included among countries in which women require permission from husbands to start a company. Mohamed Khodeir, head of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, says that’s simply inaccurate, Al Mal reports. From personal experience: We’re quite sure he’s right.

Regional investment bank EFG Hermes is opening a permanent office in New York, angling to become the one-stop-shop of choice for North American investors looking to tap opportunities in emerging and frontier markets, the company said in a statement. The office will be headed by Karim Baghdady, a 10-year Wall Street veteran and familiar face to many Enterprise readers. The move comes as EFG Hermes begins to penetrate frontier markets, starting with the announcement earlier this year that it was entering Pakistan with the acquisition of Invest and Finance Securities Limited (IFS). About 60% of frontier market flows originate in the North America.

Baghdady, who joined EFG Hermes on September 1, was most recently the Director of International Sales at CI Capital, where he led that firm’s presence in North America. He tells us: “EFG Hermes already has a hyper-focus on client service developed over decades in MENA. We know how to package a full investment banking offering, including outstanding research, for North American investors, and now we’re doing this for new EM and frontier markets. The goal is the bridge the information gap a North American investor faces — we have the experience navigating new compliance and regulatory environments — and replicate our expertise across markets including Sub-Saharan Africa, Vietnam, and Pakistan. We’re delivering high-quality research and deep knowledge of regulatory environments so that the investor has access to 20 or 25 markets through a single office in New York.”

EFG Hermes shares advanced 3.6% in trading yesterday as the market welcomed the news, which has gotten wide pickup in the financial press and trades. Baghdady spoke with Bloomberg’s Youssef Gamal El-Din yesterday morning to break the news (watch, run time: 3:32), while our friend Mohamed Ebeid was on CNBC Arabia doing the same (watch, run time: 5:02). More: Bloomberg, Reuters.

Juhayna is postponing new investments and is focused only on completing existing projects, the company said in a statement. The nation’s leading dairy products company is also trying to maximize the volume of raw materials it sources domestically to curb imports and overcome the USD shortage. A planned EGP 640 mn investment in upgrading transportation and distribution, adding production lines, and growing dairy and livestock farms has been cut back to EGP 500 mn. Sourcing USD from the parallel market has driven up the cost of production, CEO Seif El Din Thabet told Al Mal, but prices to consumer are up only 10%.

The ministries of finance and investment are reportedly at loggerheads once more over incentives under the new Investment Law, government sources tells Al Borsa. Talks between the two ministries are ongoing, they added, without specifying which specific incentives in the draft may be points of contention. Last time around, it was the return of free zones — or any incentive in any form, really: former Finance Minister Hany Dimian was ideologically opposed to tax breaks and believed free zones made it easier for companies to dodge customs. Speaking on Hona El Assema this past Monday, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail did not deny there are disagreements over the bill when it was brought up at a cabinet meeting last week. The newspaper also shed some light on some of the incentives in the law, based on what it claims is a copy it has obtained of the first draft. Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid had warned earlier this week of being cautious about copies floating in the media. Besides free zones, the incentives reportedly include:

  • Exempting labor-intensive companies in strategic sectors from paying income taxes for five years after their establishment;
  • Imports of capital goods could see customs rates decline to 2% from a current 5%;
  • All goods and services in free zones will not be taxed.

Nasr City Free Zone — also known as the bowels of hell — never looked so good.

The Central Bank of Egypt left the official USD EGP rate unchanged at its weekly auction, selling the usual USD 120 mn for EGP 8.78 to the USD, Al Borsa reported. Meanwhile, the EGP weakened on the parallel market yesterday, with greenbacks reportedly changing hands at EGP 16.20, according to the newspaper, up from EGP 16.05 on Monday. Reuters reported a slightly stronger rate yesterday of 16.10, while Ahram Gate insists rumors of devaluation drove the rate to 15.50. Our usual caveat applies: Nobody is buying — and nobody selling — at these prices

Buying a Paris-New York flight on EgyptAir? It’s going to cost you extra if you buy it in Egypt. The local press is awash in reports that EgyptAir has increased by 10-20% the price of tickets purchased in Egypt for flights originating outside the country and not landing here. The move is an attempt to end the practice of individuals buying tickets in EGP and selling them abroad for hard currency. (Folks, we’re brilliant. If there’s a way to skirt a rule, we’ll find it.) Youm7 has the story in English, Ahram Online in Arabic. Officials from EgyptAir also refuted reports which we noted on Monday that it is repricing its tickets using a rate higher than the official USD:EGP benchmark set by the CBE. Prices are based on market conditions and destinations and not on an exchange rate, said the official, according to Al Borsa.

As the EGP continues to weaken, tourists must now pay for their accommodations in foreign currency or submit a receipt to hotels that their EGP was exchanged at a state-owned bank, said Tourism Minister Yahia Rashed, according to Al Borsa. The move is meant to allow hotels to earn FX — and to keep USD outside the hands of parallel market speculators, said the minister. Resident foreigners, however, will be able to pay in EGP. As our legal experts are off to bed for the night, we cannot confirm whether enforcing payment in FX in Egypt for anything other than casinos is legal. It used to be that non-resident foreigners had to pay a foreigner rate, but even that was in EGP, so far as we recall.

Cairo International airport’s new terminal is compliant with all aviation security requirements, said Russia’s Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov yesterday, according to TASS. Certain items have not yet been implemented airport-wide but a lot has been done in the new terminal, “which is nearly fully in line with all international aviation and transport security requirements, except the automatic control system of staff access to airside," the minister said. Russia has not levied additional security requirements, Sokolov added. Yalla, tovarishch, let your countrymen go…

There has been no confirmation that Saudi will resume shipments of petroleum products in November after their spending deliveries this month, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla told Reuters, corroborating reports which we noted on Monday. "The contract is in effect for five years so whether it’s interrupted for a week or a month or two or three the contract is in effect and still on," he added. There have been no confirmations of a return of aid either, he said. Aramco’s delay in fuel shipments will have no bearing on Egypt’s capacity to produce electricity, said Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker, Al Shorouk reports. 72% of Egypt’s plants rely on natural gas and so won’t be affected by October’s delay. And in case you are not tired of hearing it: the Daba’a contracts will almost be signed, said Shaker at the youth conference.

Meanwhile: Egypt has reportedly reached an agreement to import petroleum products from Kuwait, a government official told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai on Tuesday. Unlike Aramco and other import agreements with the UAE, these imports will not include preferential terms, facilities, discounts or grants — Egypt must pay for the shipments in cold, hard “cash,” the official added. The size of the shipments was not revealed, but is subject to Egypt’s ability to pay for the shipments. The agreement is yet to be ratified by the Kuwaiti cabinet.

In other energy news, International oil companies have refused to bend on payment terms for fuel shipments, with Egypt having asked for six months to make good on what it buys, sources told Al Mal. Some IOCs have accepted extending the period to three months, while others said they would study the proposal with their respective parent companies, the sources added.

The Finance Ministry has finished drafting the executive regulations of the value-added tax (VAT) expects to issue them early next month, said Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer. The regs are extensive and address most of the concerns of the representatives of the over 20 economic sectors who met with the ministry to discuss the them. The ministry does plan to hold a meeting this week with the Federation of Egyptian Banks to discuss their objections to non-banking services provided by banks being subject to the tax, El Monayer tells Al Shorouk.

You know you’re late when Parliament, of all things, is telling you to speed it up: The House of Representatives is reportedly getting agitated that the Finance Ministry has not yet issued the executive regulations. The ministry had apparently promised the House Budget Committee it will send them a draft of the law by mid-October, said committee member Yasser Omar, according to Al Borsa. Parliamentary approval is not required to pass the executive regulations. By law, the Finance Ministry was required to issue the regs on 8 October.

Unsolicited advice to the nice people in Finance, of whom we are (genuinely, without sarcasm) very fond: We’re all babies. None of us want to pay taxes. Especially not the lawyers. Or the doctors. Or the dentists. Or the auditors. Or the financial advisors… So khalas. Issue the regs. Tax us all and let God sort it out. You need revenues, we need potholes filled, hospitals refurbished, a social safety net for the poor…

The NTRA has given Vodafone Egypt and Orange Egypt six months to sign an international gateway agreement. The clock started ticking the moment they acquired the 4G license, sources told Al Mal. Mobinil (at the time; now: Orange) renewed its agreement with Telecom Egypt to rent infrastructure and international calling services for five years in 2015, while Vodafone did the same for three years also in 2015. Etisalat Egypt obtained the international gateway license when it first entered the Egyptian market in 2007. The international gateway licenses would be implemented once the old agreements expire.

COME WORK WITH US. We’re looking for bright, talented writers and analysts to join our team to work on the current Enterprise Morning Edition and new products we have in the pipeline. You’re likely an equities / macro / research analyst, IR professional or journalist, but we’re less interested in your formal education than we are in amazing writing and storytelling skills, intellectual curiosity, fluency with numbers and passion for business / finance / economics / politics. Bilingual candidates preferred (English-Arabic), but we’ll consider particularly talented unilingual English speakers. A sense of humor is a must, as is healthy skepticism. We prefer Egyptian nationals, but can sponsor work permits for particularly talented foreign applicants. Want to get the conversation started? Send a great cover letter and an updated CV to Bonus points for not starting your cover letter with “Dears.” We’ll reply by Halloween day to folks we’d like to interview.

Spotlight on: 2016 Reuters Middle East Investment Summit

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority is studying allowing companies to issue bonds with shorter maturities, authority chief Sherif Samy told Reuters. The shortest bond maturity at the moment is 13 months, he added, but the authority is looking to allowing bond maturity of “a few months,” to accommodate leasing, microfinance, and seasonal industries. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing technical assistance, he added, noting that around two to three months are needed to complete implementation.

The austerity drive in Saudi is pressuring people’s ability to buy homes — and unlike here in Egypt, it’s driving down prices of houses in some segments by almost a third, Reuters reports Cuts to public sector allowances, raising fees and taxes are hurting consumer disposable incomes, the local JLL boss says, and slowing government efforts to boost homeownership. The shortage of low- and middle-income housing is estimated at 1 mn homes, a figure which could increase because of Saudi Arabia’s young and growing population.

The Kuwait Finance House is looking to manage international bond issuances, sukuk, and securitization for Kuwait and its GCC neighbours, CEO Mazen Al Nahed told Reuters. Kuwait’s largest Islamic bank arranged 51% of the USD 2.393 bn raised through securitization to manage the country’s budget deficit. The bank is in regular meetings with GCC countries to discuss bond issuances, he says.

Tunisia is set to issue projects to international investors valued at USD 50 bn as it looks to create job opportunities and maintain stability, Tunisian Investment Minister Fadhel Abdelkefi told Reuters. The projects include construction of a new deep-water port at Enfidha in northern Tunisia to desalination plants and energy-generating projects, he adds, and will be announced at an international investment conference next month.

Algeria is accelerating diversification of its oil-dependent economy in the coming year, following a cut in state subsidies to offset lower energy earnings, the head of the Algerian Parliament’s finance committee Mahdjoub Bedda told Reuters.

Major global shipping line Maersk has confirmed that it’s mulling the Suez Canal’s offer to pre-pay fees in exchange for a discount, Reuters confirmed yesterday.

Zulficar and Partners won the International Financial Law Review’s award Middle East M&A transaction of the year for CIB’s acquisition of Citibank Egypt’s consumer and retail business. Zulficar was advisor to the seller and provided the structure of the transaction. The firm shared the award with Matouk Bassiouny, where counsel sat on the other side of the table

** Has your company or firm won an award (a real one — no pay-for-play)? Someone get promoted? Bring on a new partner? Have you recently closed a transaction? Let us know. Email: with the who, what, when, where, why and how. As sarcastic and grumbly as we can all get here at Enterprise, we love good news.

Egypt in the News

International press coverage of Egypt was largely centered around the sugar crisis, with many correspondents using the seizure of sugar at factories and warehouses as a way into stories about Egypt’s economic challenges. The latest — and most significant — to file is Heba Saleh from the Financial Times (paywall), while Bloomberg with follow-up stories and both the BBC and the Guardian have joined the party.

Meanwhile, Egyptian traders in the world’s largest wheat market (that would be us, for the uninitiated) are the subject of Salma Wardany’s lovely, non-Bloombergian lede for Bloomberg: “Bleary eyes and missed dinners are now part of the job description for a wheat trader in the world’s most important market.” The key takeaway: “Discussions to buy wheat are taking longer because Egypt is receiving fewer offers, giving negotiators less room to bargain between sellers, Soliman said. Even though a long-running standoff over how much fungus is permissible in a wheat cargo has largely been resolved, relations between buyers and sellers remain strained.”

Also worth noting this morning:

And last, but not least, ever wonder what a ‘gown holder’ was? “A gown holder is a diamond ring with attachable tweezers, so that a lady may lift her hem off the floor as she dances — arm outstretched, like a Disney Cinderella,” the New York Times helpfully tells us in a piece that briefly mentions a USD 10k gown holder on sale from the estate of King Farouk.

On Deadline

Former Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa ElDin says the current draft of the Investment Law brings nothing new to the table, in a piece penned for Al Shorouk. The draft makes two incorrect assumptions: the notion that foreign investors must be given tax exemptions and special incentives to come to Egypt, and that we don’t have enough time to reform the investment climate properly. Bringing back notorious tax exemptions at a time when social solidarity is fragile is dangerous, while a health investment environment is far more important than special incentives.

El Watan’s Ali El Selmy says that cutting government budgets alone won’t achieve much without restructuring the entire bloated bureaucracy. The jumble of intersecting jurisdictions and over-staffed government bodies must be cleared. Meanwhile, the newspaper’s Moataz Abdelfattah feels we have a thing or two to learn from the Great Depression of the 1930s when it comes to solving the unemployment crisis.

Worth Watching

“I honestly don’t know why I am doing this race”: Seventeen Egyptian athletes from Ayman Hakky’s TriFactory completed the Barcelona Ironman triathlon on 2 October. For the uninitiated, that’s a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km bike ride, and a 42 km run. The team was the largest Egyptian contingent to compete in a full Ironman, and MBC is producing a short film on their 400-hour journey to the finish line. (That’s 400 hours — or nearly 17 days — of pure training). The full film is set to debut this weekend. In the meantime, we have the trailer for Mission: Barcelona(run time: 3:56).

Not up for a full Ironman? TriFactory is running its popular Sahl Hasheesh Triathlon from 1-3 December on the gorgeous Red Sea coast.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) and JICA inked a USD 396 mn agreement yesterday to finance upgrading Egypt’s electricity infrastructure, according to an International Cooperation Ministry statement. The funding will be geared towards improving the efficiency of electricity distribution at three power plants of North Cairo, Elatf, and Sidi Krir. This comes as the French Development Agency (AFD) is interested in providing technical support to the electricity sector valued at EUR 150 mn, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and restructuring the energy sector, minister Mohamed Shaker told Al Mal.

Egypt discussed FTA with Eurasian countries: An Egyptian trade delegation participated in a coordination meeting with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) in Moscow on Monday to discuss a potential Egyptian-Eurasian free trade agreement, according to a Trade Ministry statement.


Electricity Minister meets with China’s Dongfang Electric

Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker met with a delegation from China’s Dongfang Electric, which is bidding on the USD 8 bn 6.5 GW Hamrawein clean coal power plant project, Al Shorouk reported. Dongfang Electric is competing with heavy-hitters including Harbin, Shanghai Electric, General Electric, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and Sumitomo, and El Sewedy Electric, Al Borsa reports.

Canadian Solar backs out of FiT

Canadian Solar is pulling out from the feed-in tariff program entirely and has officially informed the Electricity Ministry that it is not participating in phase one or two, Al Borsa reports. The company had previously planned to set up a USD 100 mn, 50 MW solar energy power plant in Zaafarana.

Basic Materials + Commodities

GASC buys 420K Russian, Romanian wheat

GASC bought 420K tonnes of wheat at an international tender announced on Monday, according to statement from the Supply Ministry. 240K tonnes came from Romania, while 180K came from Russia.


Auction for new cement licenses scheduled next week

The Industrial Development Authority will move ahead with the auction for eight new cement licenses next week after five of the six bidding companies reportedly submitted letters of guarantee, Al Borsa reports.

Health + Education

Bin Zayed Group investing in Egypt’s pharma sector

The UAE’s Bin Zayed Group announced they are investing into Egypt’s pharmaceuticals sector after successfully launching the Glaxon Pharma brand in Egypt. The group has not decided on the value of the investment, but will begin operations by 2017, Chairman Hesham Abdel Rasoul told Al Mal. The group plans on building a pharmaceuticals factory in Egypt, he added.

Real Estate

SAMA Group to increase its investments in Egypt to EGP 8.3 bn during 2017

Sama Group is aiming to increase its investments in Egypt to EGP 8.3 bn in 2017 from a current EGP 7 bn, Chairman Hassan Rateb revealed, according to Al Borsa. The company is reportedly targeting expansions in the real estate and energy sectors. Sama Group is also on the verge of signing an EGP 1 bn agreement with the Housing Ministry for real estate projects in the new Administrative capital, said Rateb.

Banking + Finance

SAIB and SCZone sign agreement to facilitate financing to investors

SAIB bank signed an agreement with the Suez Canal Economic Zone to facilitate financing for investors in the area and take an active role as a financial consultant on projects in the SCZone, Al Borsa reports. The SCZone had signed a similar agreement with CIB back in September.

El Wataneya For Mining & Quarries in talks for a USD 40 mn loan

El Wataneya For Mining & Quarries is in talks with a number of unnamed local and international banks for a USD 40 mn loan to finance a new calcium phosphate factory in Qena, Al Borsa reports. The company is seeking the loan after China’s CGC Overseas Construction Group (CGCOC) pulled out of talks to fund the plant.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Takaful and Karama programs expanding

The Takaful and Karama program are expanding to 27 governorates, launching operations there on Saturday, according to Al Shorouk’s interview with Assistant Social Solidarity Minister Neveen El Kabbaj. She added that the program has disbursed EGP 3 bn since it started.

El Sisi to form committee to look at releasing young detainees

The Sharm El Sheikh multi-party youth conference kicked off yesterday. The most significant news to come out of it was an announcement by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi that a committee may soon be formed to look into releasing young detainees, Al Shorouk reports.

The markets yesterday

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USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 25 Oct): 8.78 (unchanged since 16 March 2016)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 25 Oct): 16.10 (from 16.05 on Monday morning, 24 Oct, Reuters)

EGX30 (Tuesday): 8,261.14 (+0.4%)
Turnover: EGP 625.03 mn (44% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +17.91%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: EGX30 closed Tuesday’s trading session 0.4% up. Today’s top performers were Egypt Kuwait Holding, Edita, and Porto Group. On the flip side, today’s worst performers were Global Telecom, Arab Cotton Ginning, and Domty. With market turnover at EGP 625.0 mn, local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net long | EGP +20.3 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP +67.4 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP -87.7 mn

Retail: 61.2% of total trades | 60.7% of buyers | 61.7% of sellers
Institutions: 38.8% of total trades | 39.3% of buyers | 38.3% of sellers

Foreign: 14.3% of total | 16.0% of buyers | 12.7% of sellers
Regional: 14.4% of total | 19.8% of buyers | 9.1% of sellers
Domestic: 71.3% of total | 64.2% of buyers | 78.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 49.32 (-1.28%)
Brent: USD 50.21 (-1.14%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.76 MMBtu, (-0.68%, November contract)
Gold: USD 1,276.50 / troy ounce (+0.23%)<br
TASI: 5,882.4 (+1.5%) (YTD: -14.9%)
ADX: 4,264.4 (-0.6%) (YTD: -1.0%)
DFM: 3,336.8 (-0.7%) (YTD: +5.9%)
KSE Weighted Index: 355.3 (+1.9%) (YTD: -6.9%)
QE: 10,404.2 (0.0%) (YTD: -0.2%)
MSM: 5,522.9 (-0.2%) (YTD: +2.2%)
BB: 1,143.5 (-0.4%) (YTD: -6.0%)

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24-27 October (Monday-Thursday): European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is in Cairo to discuss opportunities to “intensify its activities” in Egypt.

24-29 October (Monday-Saturday): The 2016 Dubai Design Week Iconic City exhibition Cairo NOW City Incomplete, Dubai Design District (d3), 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.

2-6 November (Wednesday-Sunday): Petroleum Housing Conference, Petrosport Club, New Cairo, Cairo

3 November (Thursday): The Emirates NBD PMI for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE compiled by Markit comes out here.

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.

25-26 November (Friday-Saturday): 27th Energy Charter Conference, Tokyo, Japan.

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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