Wednesday, 16 November 2016

If Bobby and Wags were real, they’d like Egypt right now

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We really don’t want to jinx it, but today could be the first comparatively quiet news day since the float of the EGP.

The End Times are apparently upon us, if the global financial press is to be believed this morning. And it’s all The Donald’s fault. Saudi Arabia is warning him not to change US oil policy, the specter of nuclear war between Russia and the United States is back, and the election of The Orange One “heralds the beginning of a new era that will be marked by the retreat of globalisation and rising bond yields.” And all of that is in just one day. In the Financial Times. The Wall Street Journal gets into the act with an op-ed headlined “Trump Threatens the Postwar Order.” Oh, and the Trump transition is allegedly in disarray. And John McCain is really upset that Vlad and Donald are besties. And folks in the international community accuse Egypt of a being a drama queen…

No, really: It’s bird flu season, and the H5N8 strain (which has not yet been reported in humans) is apparently rather virulent in birds. Reuters notes the strain is in Europe and Israel, which typically means Egypt is next. Egypt had one of the highest incidences of H5N1 bird flu.

On a rather more positive note: Khorshid makes surprise visit to Cairo American College to boost entrepreneurism. Given our roots as a magazine on entrepreneurship (we were to have launched our zero issue right around the time of a certain event in late January 2011), longtime readers won’t find it surprising that we’re a sucker for this story: High school students at CAC competing in the 2016-17 Injaz Egypt Entrepreneurship program got a boost from Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid, who stopped by campus for a surprise visit yesterday to take student questions and discuss the Ismail government’s support for SMEs and budding entrepreneurs. The year-long competition will see CAC students square off against schools across the country to come up with a product, set up a virtual company, develop a business plan, hire staff, do market research and then create, market and sell their product. Many readers will recognize our old friend Hassan Abdou in the group photo below — the industry veteran and serial entrepreneur is the advisor and mentor to the CAC program.

Want to give Injaz a boost? You’ll be in good company. Their website lists familiar faces including Neveen El Tahri, Nevine Taher, Nevine Loutfy, Hesham Mekawi and Hani Elmessiry as board members.

What We’re Tracking This Week

We’re back to “before the end of the month” on the executive regulations for the value-added tax, according to recent statements by Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer. The ministry had promised that the regulations would be out this week. Speaking on taxation disputes, El Monayer said that the ministry will order the formation of 25 tax settlements committees, Al Mal reports.

The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday to review interest rates. We expect that the color commentary from MPC will be more significant than any policy decision they may be after the CBE raised rates 300 bps with the float of the EGP.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is holding a workshop in Alexandria on Thursday to introduce the business community to its activities in the coastal city, according to Al Mal.

On The Horizon

Dabaa nuke plant agreement this month: The Electricity Ministry is expecting to sign the final agreements for the Dabaa nuclear power plant with Russia’s Rosatom this month, unnamed officials tell Al Shorouk. The ministry has already signed four contracts for plant design and construction, fuel supply, and training for staff, the source added. The plant will include four reactors and is scheduled to be completed by 2022. It will go into production by 2024, generating 4.8 GW. Meanwhile, the House Energy Committee says the Dabaa has yet to pass committee, a process committee head Talaat El Sewedy promised wouldn’t take more than two weeks.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is set to visit Portugal next week, where he will meet recently elected president Marcelo de Sousa, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The meetings are expected to coordinate on fighting terrorism, boosting bilateral trade, and illegal immigration, Youm7 says.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Amr Adib is intent on proving himself the king of fundraisers. His call to donate to the Abou El Rish Children’s Hospital, which is plagued by med shortages, has already raked in pledges from big name businesses including Pioneers Holding, Domty and rival TV networks CBC and Al Nahar. The Housing Ministry has also said it would donate land to the hospital. Adib said his campaign collected pledges of EGP 3 mn in its first day (watch; running time: 0:37). Adib interviewed the dean of Qasr Al Ainy School of Medicine to speak about the healthcare sector (watch; running time: 05:34).

Sticking with healthcare were Mehwar TV’s Sabahak Ma’ana and MBC Masr’s Yaduth fi Masr, zeroing in on the pharma industry and its med shortages. The latter had Health Minister Ahmed Rady over for an interview in which he announced that the state had allocated USD 186 mn this year to import 146 meds. The minister, however, maintained his position on the need to cap retail prices of meds in Egypt. Rady stuck to his guns throughout a nine-hour meeting with pharma manufacturers and pharmacy owners, according to Ahmed El Ezaby, head of the Pharma Division of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, who called in to Sabahak Ma’ana (watch: runtime: 12:30). While the meeting failed to reach an agreement on pricing, manufacturers agreed to give retailers a 5% margin under directive 499.

Lamees Al Hadidy spent the whole episode at the opening ceremony of the 38th Cairo International Film Festival along with Khairy Ramadan, where they both interviewed a number of Egyptian and regional actors (watch,runtime: 17:29). Ahmed Helmy won the Faten Hamama Award for Excellence 2016.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Getting some love from international bond investors: The EGP float is working as London hedge funds are “making their way back” to holding Egyptian treasuries, Lyubov Pronina and Ahmed Namatalla write for Bloomberg. Bloomberg mentions specifically GAM money manager (and occasional FT Beyondbrics blogger) Denise Prime, who made her first investment in Egypt last week since 2008 buying T-bills for a USD 5.4 bn fund: “Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and Ashmore Group Plc also have Egypt back on their radar,” the piece adds. While some investors remain wary of the memory of thin, illiquid markets post-2011, Aberdeen money manager Kevin Daly is more optimistic: “This is a story which potentially should improve … You had a huge foreign-exchange adjustment, rates have gone up and now you have IMF money coming in. Country risk is heading in the right direction.”

Competition authority may get sharper teeth to regulate M&A transactions: Proposed amendments to the Competition Act would allow Mona El Garf’s Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) to monitor and sign-off on M&A transactions prior to their execution, said ECA chief Mona El Garf at a workshop on Tuesday. The legislative change would effectively allow the authority to block the transactions if they violate antitrust laws in a manner that would be familiar to readers who have worked in European Union or North American regulatory environments.

Under current legislation, the ECA can only review an M&A after contracts have been signed and only if their size exceeds EGP 100 mn. Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil, who attended the workshop, expressed his support for the legislation, saying the ECA should be granted more authority to curb anti-competitive behavior and attempts to cobble-together a monopoly. M&A activity, the minister noted, was up nearly 30% in Egypt in 2015 and accounted for 14% of regional merger activity last year.

The proposed amendments will be presented to the business community for feedback this month, Al Borsa reports. The risk: El Garf is far and away one of Egypt’s most competent civil servants (we can’t even call her a bureaucrat), and longtime readers know we’re fans of her judgment. The question is how deeply embedded that wisdom is in the fabric of the regulator before it is given more sweeping powers.

El Garf also stated that the ECA is currently investigating allegations of antitrust violations in the healthcare and insurance sectors with specifying which companies were being looked at. Back in June, the ECA had announced that an MoU inked between the Egyptian Insurance Association and the Healthcare Companies Association violates the nation’s antitrust act, claiming the agreement prevents consumers from choosing the coverage and companies they want based on price and quality.

Kuwait to the rescue: The country has agreed to provide Egypt with 2 mn barrels of crude oil per month starting in January 20178, with a nine-month payment grace period, sources tell Kuwaiti daily El Rai. The announcement should help ease pressure on Egypt, which has been increasing its international fuel tenders since Saudi Aramco decided to suspend fuel shipments to Egypt indefinitely. Neither El Rai nor a Reuters report speculated on the duration of the supply contract. Kuwait and other GCC countries have been actively mediating between Cairo and Riyadh since tensions between the two erupted in public.

More good news coming from Kuwait: Remittances from there have been averaging around EGP 500 mn per day over the past week, sources tell El Rai. Three major FX bureaus in Kuwait surveyed by the paper appear to indicate that Egyptians have been wiring back home around EGP 100 mn per bureau every day, with the source noting that Kuwait is home to some 40 exchanges. The source added that remittances have grown substantially since the announcement the IMF’s board approving the USD 12 bn loan to Egypt. Last week, NBE vice-president Yahia Aboul Fotouh claimed that remittances were up fourfold since last Thursday.

Meanwhile, Banque Misr has taken in USD 350 mn since the EGP float, an official from the bank tells Al Borsa. USD 300 mn have been used to clear its backlog, the official added. This comes as SAIB and United Bank have stopped selling 20% CDs after reaching their target levels, Al Borsa reports. Aboul Fotouh told Al Mal that NBE has intention at this time to halt their sale. CDs have brought in EGP 57 bn to the bank to date, he added.

Egypt will receive the second USD 1 bn tranche of a USD 3 bn World Bank loan by early January, the World Bank’s Vice President Hafez Ghanem tells Reuters. “We are planning to go to our board of directors either by late in December or early in January, so we are talking of a matter of weeks," he said to the newswire at the COP22 UN climate change conference. Egypt and the World Bank had signed an agreement last December and the country had been anticipating the second tranche since early 2016. The country is also waiting to receive USD 500 mn from the African Development Bank, the second tranche of a USD 1.5 bn facility.

Meanwhile, the IMF apparently told Al Mal that it will publish the details of the USD 12 bn loan agreement with Egypt in two weeks. The documents which will be released will include the letter of intent signed by the government, which reportedly outlines the conditions for the bailout and its terms.

It’s not just pharma anymore: Other industries are calling for the government to renegotiate contracts after the float. Business across the industry spectrum are calling for a revaluation of government contracts after the Ismail government’s economic reform program saw the EGP allowed to flat and fuel prices raised as much as 40% at the pumps.

Companies planning to sign on to phase two of the feed-in tariff (FiT) will request that the tariff rate be increased, Al Borsa reports. Under phase two terms, the Electricity Ministry will pay 30% of the 25-year contract in USD at the exchange rate set on the day of the announcement of the rate back in September, while 70% will paid at the rate set on payment day. FiT companies are also worried about rising costs of developing their projects since the float. Furthermore, rooftop-installed solar arrays will be paid in EGP, stoking fears among companies that the float will offset any gains in the 35% reduction in the costs of solar panels. The New and Renewable Energy Authority held a meeting on Tuesday to determine the impact of the float of FiT projects and will present its recommendations to the ministry this week.

International contractors working on the Cairo Metro are also pushing to revise contracts with the National Authority for Tunnels, according to the newspaper. Digging on the third phase of the Cairo Metro Line 3, which was scheduled to begin at the beginning of the month, has been delayed by France’s Vinci, said a source from the Transportation Ministry.

Fertilizer companies have also gotten on the bandwagon, stepping up requests that the government liberalize prices of domestic fertilizers and provide farmers with a cash subsidy instead, Al Borsa reports. Production costs since the float have risen 60-70%, said the CFO of Delta Company For Fertilizers and Chemical Industries Magdy Abdel Fattah. The company had anticipated a managed float, and had budgeted for an exchange rate of EGP 9.25 to the greenback. Gas pricing is also an issue, the story suggests.

These sectors now join the embattled pharma industry which has been trying to get the government to allow it to raise retail prices, which the Health Minister Ahmed Rady had declared would not happen. On that front, October Pharma announced that it would temporarily cut output by 50% and halt the manufacturing of 30 SKUs once stocks run out in 45 days’ time. CEO Ahmed Zaghloul told Al Borsa that the company has incurred EGP 16 mn in losses since the float.

GB Auto abandons parallel market? The banking sector has managed to cover 55% of GB Auto’s import needs, a company source told Al Mal — and the company is content to wait in the queue for the rest instead of going to the parallel market. GB Auto has traditionally been one of the three most aggressive purchasers of parallel market FX, a fact that helped it ensure it had inventory on hand during the recent crunch, sending its market share to north of 40% as some competitors struggled to fill their lots. Meanwhile, the float and the subsequent doubling of customs USD rates is pushing the company to raise prices on spare parts. GB Auto has also ratcheted up prices on its Geely, Mazda, and Chery, having earlier raised prices on its Hyundai models following the float.

What’s a new car from GB Auto going to cost you? Al Borsa has its updated chart of Hyundai prices and has new list of prices for GB Auto’s other brands.

Oh, and if you’re looking to buy a Volvo, you should hold off on that until the exchange rate hits EGP 13, according to Ahmed El Shamy, head of sales at Ezz Elarab Automotive Group, Al Mal reports. (We’d love an XC90, but we’ll settle for an XC60.)

SODIC reported a 38% y-o-y increase in net profit after minority interest to EGP 108 mn in 3Q2016 on revenues of EGP 530 mn, up 74% y-o-y, according to the company’s earnings release. The growth in revenues reflects the delivery of the first phases of Eastown Residences, which began in May and accounted for 30% of the value delivered in 9M2016. Gross profit margin for the quarter reached c.34% compared to c.38% during 2015. Profitability for the period has been weighed down by the strong contribution of Eastown deliveries that accounted for 38% of the quarter’s delivered value and resulted in the 400 bps differential between both quarters, as the first units of the project carry lower margin units. Backlog stood at EGP 11 bn compared to EGP 8 bn last year providing strong earnings visibility for the coming three years. Managing Director Magued Sherif told Al Borsa. SODIC has already sold 95% of the houses offered on sale this year and is on target to have completed the delivery of 935 units by 2016’s end. According to Reuters, Sherif also said SODIC took the decision to raise the prices of its residential units by 20-30% following the EGP float and is also delaying three new projects from 4Q2016 to 1H2017. SODIC is also looking for new opportunities in the North Coast. EFG Hermes recently declared that SODIC is still “one of its preferred names” in the sector despite the recent rally in its share price post the float.

EFG Hermes reported a 3% y-o-y increase in net profit after tax and minority interest in 3Q2016 to EGP 41 mn on operating revenues of EGP 294 mn, up 28% y-o-y, according to regulatory filing. Operating revenues were driven in part by a strong performance at the non-bank finance platform, higher contribution from securities brokerage, and a capital gain realized from seed capital redemption. Net profit after tax and minority interest from continued and discontinued operations were up 25% y-o-y to EGP 151 mn. Both microfinance player Tanmeyah (acquired this year) and EFG Hermes Leasing (launched last year) made new contributions to EFG’s top line. Expansion will continue to be the order of the day, EFG Hermes Group CEO Karim Awad said: “In the days ahead, EFG Hermes will announce a strategic alliance with a global player which will both push new revenue lines and serve to expand our access to new markets. Our strategy for geographical diversification will also gain further traction as our acquisition of Pakistan’s IFSL finalizes and as we seek licensing in another frontier market. Similarly, we are pushing forward with opening our office in New York to better serve our institutional clients in the United States.

Meanwhile, EFG Hermes’ Rx Healthcare Fund is targeting a first close of USD 100 million and is scheduled to start fundraising in 2017, according to the company’s earnings press release.

The Egyptian Resorts Company (ERC) reported a net profit after tax of EGP 7.3 mn in 3Q2016 on revenues of EGP 49.5 mn, the company said in a statement. On a nine-month basis, the company recorded revenues of EGP 65.8 mn, down 79% y-o-y, blaming the overall slowdown in revenues on significantly lower land plot sales, characteristic of the B2B land sales business model. Despite an overall slowdown, ERC realized revenues from land and unit sales to both sub-developers and retail of EGP 32.9 mn during 3Q2016, some of which were from previous land sale contracts.

Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH) reported a 120% y-o-y rise in attributable net income to USD 12.1 mn in 3Q2016 on consolidated revenues of USD 76.7 mn, up 38% y-o-y, according to a company statement. The significant improvement in revenues and net profit comes despite an extremely volatile economic environment, mainly thanks to a successful diversification strategy and a strong treasury function.

Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (MNHD) reported a 317% y-o-y rise in consolidated net income in 3Q2016 to EGP 310.1 mn on revenues of EGP 578.7 mn, up 307% y-o-y, the company said in a statement. Contracted sales grew 812% in 3Q2016 to EGP 1.507 bn from EGP 165.2 the year before, as the company bolstered marketing efforts to boost sales performance. MNHD delivered 98 units at the Taj Sultan project. “The third quarter of 2016 has truly been a milestone period for the company, the strongest in its history,” said MNHD CEO Ahmed El Hitamy.

Cheese manufacturer Domty posted a 71.7% y-o-y decline in net profit after tax in 3Q2016, which came in at EGP 10.0 million, according to a statement issued by the company. “Despite the increase in sales during both the three and nine month periods in 2016, profitability was weighed down by the weakening of Egyptian pound and the lack of foreign currency supply through official channels,” the company said. During 3Q2016, Domty managed to defend its share of the Egyptian market and grew its top line for the period by 36.4% y-o-y to EGP 453.1mn. Despite the headwinds, Domty is “pushing ahead with our expansion into the baked goods market while at the same exploring opportunities in the yellow cheese segment.”

State-owned IPO target Misr Fertilizer Production Company (MOPCO) reported losses of EGP 99 mn in 9M2016 on revenues of EGP 1.1 bn, the company said in a statement. Net sales came in at EGP 552 mn, with losses attributable to inflated tax levels hitting EGP 626.7 mn, with EGP 525 mn related to one-time deferred tax charges. The statement did not provide comparative figures for 9M2015. MOPCO began trading on the EGX, as the first state-owned company to be listed in over 10 years, on 7 September.

The Court of Cassation has overturned a death sentence against former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and former Ikhwan supreme guide Mohamed Badie, and ordered a retrial for both, reported Reuters. The death sentence was issued in June 2015 in relation to the mass jailbreak during the 2011 revolution. Morsi has separately been sentenced to life in prison for terrorism offences, and still faces trial on other charges, reports BBC. Four other Ikhwan leaders had their death sentences annulled, while 21 life sentences for other members were also overturned.

If you, like us, are following the Israeli gas story in the hope Egypt will develop into a regional processing and export hub:The Wall Street Journal overplays Egypt’s posturing on a lawsuit as an obstacle an Israeli gas import agreement in “Israeli Waters Part for Gas Exploration.” The story focuses on Israel opening for exploration blocks that could have in aggregate 2.5x the natural gas reserves of Tamar and Leviathan combined. Oh, and we have competition for that gas. In the form of Turkey. To which Israel just appointed its first ambassador since relations between the two countries ruptured in 2010.

Finally: Don’t worry, Joseph isn’t coming back to reclaim the Pyramids as his granary. In other words: Former US presidential hopeful Ben Carson is not going to serve in the Trump administration, the Washington Post reports. Carson once famously declared that “Joseph built the pyramids to store grain.” (Watch, run time 1:27).

Egypt in the News

Morsi back in the headlines this morning after Court of Cassation overturns death sentence: The ultimately not-very-surprising Court of Cassation ruling yesterday overturning the death sentence handed former president Mohamed Morsi is dominating coverage of Egypt this morning. Examples in the Financial Times, New York Times, Voice of America and BBC. Most media outlets will pick up coverage from the Associated Press (with a note from Morsi’s son and lawyer saying the ousted president has been in solitary confinement since 2013) and Reuters (short and to-the-point).

Elsewhere: Remember that Egyptian cotton scandal we were covering back in August and September — the one that saw an Indian company accused of faking Egyptian cotton for major US brands (background here and here), then coming to Egypt to beg forgiveness? Well, the story has resurfaced: The producer, Welspun, could face class-action lawsuits in the United States. It’s a great, deep dive into the intersection of US retail and the Egyptian cotton industry — and a reminder that the next time your American pal makes fun of you for Egypt’s love of (ludicrous) third-party lawsuits, you can slap them back with the need for tort reform in America. A class-action suit? Because someone faked an origin label? On sheets? Sure. That’s going to Make America Great Again.

Other stories worth a moment of your time this morning:

On Deadline

Ziad Bahaa El Din criticises leftist political parties, says Egypt needs better opposition: Former deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El Din says in his Al Shorouk column that political opposition to the Ismail government’s economic reform agenda fails to differentiate between the causes and the consequences of economic reforms. It is the years of poor economic policy-making that have led to “impoverishing” Egyptians, not the most recent spate of reforms, he says. He is specifically unhappy with the actions (or lack thereof) taken during the period that followed the EEDC and the reliance on national megaprojects at “unjustifiably” excessive costs and speeds. He also says that if leftist parties believe that investments are essential for economic development, then there is no business for them in setting what investors can or cannot invest in, their profit margins, or in controlling profit repatriation. Bahaa El Din, a former member of the Social Democratic Party, also asks opposition movements and parties to be a bit more realistic, and calls them ideologically inconsistent. They can either agree to a doctrine that believes in lower taxes and a reduced government involvement or higher taxes so that the government can increase its spending, but the mix of calls for lower taxes and increased government spending does not add up. Bahaa El Din says that while the government needs to revisit its economic policies, the opposition movements also need to revise theirs.

Image of the Day

No, the central bank did not start a competition to redesign Egyptian banknotes (unfortunately), according to a statement carried by Al Masry Al Youm. The idea started on a Facebook page calling itself the Egyptian Currency Design Challenge calling for entries to redesign Egyptian banknotes. Some of the entries are impressive, and the page does make clear that it “is not supported or accredited by any official governmental entity or institution. It is held only for the purpose of displaying our rich Egyptian art and culture by sharing visions, concepts and thoughts of talented Egyptian creative artists with the rest of the world.” You can view the submitted designs here.

Worth Watching

Watch out for these when using an ATM Machine: A cyber security consultant for Carbon Black busted an ATM Skimmer, which is seamlessly disguised into the card holder of an ATM machine in Vienna. By looking for clues such as traces of glue, he spots it and removes the skimmer which can steal credit card data (runtime: 1:57). With limits on credit card usage easing up, we urge you to stay on your toes. Paranoia has benefits.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

We may be besties when it comes to security cooperation, but good relations with Israel of late don’t extend to turning a blind eye to legalizing rogue West Bank settlements, the Associated Press reports, noting that Egypt expressed “deep concern” on Tuesday over a bill that would do just that.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry flew to Beirut last night to meet with newly elected Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Al Hariri, the Ministry said in a statement. The meeting is Egypt’s first with Lebanon since Aoun was elected in October. The Ministry said Shoukry is in Beirut to convey the country’s support to Lebanon and its institutions.

The Cairo-based Euroget Group inaugurated a USD 110 mn gold refinery plant in Ghana on Tuesday, which Ahram Gate claims to be “the largest gold refinery in Ghana and West Africa” to-date.

International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday, to renew a local development initiative for five years. The initiative aims to achieve sustainable development and create thousands of job opportunities in impoverished communities in Upper Egypt.

Energy

Cabinet approves Paris as seat for international arbitration in FiT phase two

The Ismail Cabinet has approved Paris as the seat for international arbitration of any dispute arising from phase two of the feed-in tariff program, New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) head Mohamed El Sobky told Al Mal.

Electricity Ministry in weekly negotiations with ACWA Power for Dairut plant

The Electricity Ministry is holding weekly meetings with officials from ACWA Power to build the 2,250 MW Dairut power plant, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker told Al Borsa. The power plant is planned to consist of three combined-cycle units and is expected to be built over three years. The plant will be built under the Build Own Operate (BOO) system. Hassan Allam Construction have agreed to finance 25% of construction costs, with total costs estimated at USD 2.5 bn.

Electricity Ministry to issue tender for 2.2 GW wind farm

The Electricity Ministry intends to issue an international tender to establish wind farms in Egypt with a generation capacity of 2.2 GW, Minister Mohamed Shaker told Al Borsa. Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas had made a bid to install 2.2 GW over five years at a cost of USD 2.2 bn. Vestas was due to begin procedures for the construction of a 250 MW wind farm in December, but after receiving another offer from General Electric, Shaker said his Ministry will not be striking any agreements before first exploring the best available options.

Apache bids for new oil and gas exploration zones in Western Desert

Apache is bidding new E&P concessions in the Western Desert, Al Borsa reports. As we noted in August, the 11 blocks offered by the Oil Ministry back in May received an unimpressive turnout.

Infrastructure

Finance Ministry to issue tender for development of Safaga port by February

Egypt’s Finance Ministry will be issuing tenders for the development and expansion of the Safaga port by February next year, Al Borsa says. The project seeks to expand the port’s capacity by adding eight new platforms, in addition to a platform dedicated solely to raw phosphate exports, according to the head of the Finance Ministry’s Public Private Partnership Central Unit Aater Hantoura. In statements to Al Borsa, Hantoura added that his division is also reassessing pricing on four PPP projects following the Central Bank’s decision to float the EGP.

Tourism

Messi in Egypt to plug Tour n’ Cure

Barcelona FC star Lionel Messi will be in Egypt to promote the Tour n’ Cure hepatitis C medical tourism program, which has the endorsement of the Catalan club, said Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy.

JWT launches Egypt promotional campaign in Italy

JWT has launched Egypt’s promotional tourism campaign in Italy in the first week of November, Executive Chairman Hany Shoukry told Al Shorouk. The campaign will run for a period of three months until January 2017, he added. JWT’s campaign in Italy includes also promotional images on public transport touting Egypt as a beach destination.

Telecoms + ICT

Telecom Egypt signs multi-year agreement with Intelsat

Telecom Egypt signed a multi-year agreement with Intelsat to provide VSAT services for a network that connects multiple sites across Egypt.

Legislation + Policy

Parliament sanctions NGOs draft bill, 6 int’l cooperation agreements with Egypt

Members of parliament have signed-off on the new draft law for NGOs, Ahram Gate reports. While they can still receive funding from foreign institutions, civil society groups must first acquire government approval in accordance with the new law. The act also forbids NGOs from participating in political activities whether through funding, endorsement, or otherwise. During their Tuesday session, the House of Representatives also voted in favor of four international cooperation agreements between Egypt and a number of countries that should reel in about USD 3.5 bn in funds, including a JPY 18 bn loan from Japan and a EUR 65 mn facility from Germany.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Shafik looks to get his name off no-fly list now that land corruption case has been shelved

Ahmed Shafik’s lawyers, who are looking to remove the former presidential candidate and Mubarak-era prime minister from Egypt’s no-fly list, believe they are close now that the latest investigation into his alleged land corruption case has been shelved. His attorney Yehia Kadry is pressing the Prosecutor General’s office to inform the courts of the decision so Shafik’s name can be taken off the list, Al Shorouk reports.

On Your Way Out

Jakarta governor calls on Al Azhar to plead his case in blasphemy trial: Indonesia’s national police chief approved Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s request to bring in Al Azhar scholar Amr Al Wardani to testify in the case filed against Ahok. Ahok is facing trial after allegedly having “insulted Islam by criticizing his opponents’ use of a Quranic verse in a stump speech. Ahok is a member of Indonesia’s Christian minority,” CNN had reported, with protests ensuing that included calls for Ahok’s death. “Wardani’s planned attendance sparked protests from several Islamic groups,” Jakarta Post reports.

Political activist Sanaa Seif was released from prison, Tuesday, after completing a six-month sentence on charges of insulting the Egyptian judiciary. Seif had refused to present herself for questioning over charges of inciting unrest, which the prosecutor general had considered an insult to the state’s judicial system.

One of the greybeards around here enjoys metal — to the point that one of the highlights of the amazing series “Bns” (who knew you could make a show about hedgies semi-authentic and dramatically compelling?) was the surprise guest appearance of Metallica. Imagine said greybeard’s delight to wake this morning and find Metallica featured in the Wall Street Journal (paywall), complete with a micro-interview with drummer Lars Ulrich. ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ — the group’s new album and its “first major studio record released on its own label” — is due out on Friday. Singles are already on Apple Music. Sad fat: The Journal tells us that not only has Garth Brooks sold more records than Metallica — he’s outsold the Beatles. There is no accounting for taste. If you’ve not checked out Bns, you’ve got time to get hooked and binge on season one before season two comes out on 19 February 2017.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.1786 | Sell 15.8857
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.15 | Sell 15.75
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.25 | Sell 15.75

EGX30 (Tuesday): 10,640.57 (-0.5%)
Turnover: EGP 1.761 bn (305% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +51.87%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 closed down 0.5%. The Index’s heavy weight constituents, including CIB and Global Telecom, pulled the index down as their share prices fell 1.5%, and 1.9% respectively. Yesterday’s top gainers were Porto Group, Arab Cotton Ginning, and Amer Group. On the downside, Tuesday’s worst performing stocks included Domty, Edita, Eastern Co. Market turnover was a very healthy EGP 1.8 bn, with regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net long | EGP +79.1 mn
Regional: Net short | EGP -86.7 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP +7.6 mn

Retail: 69.0% of total trades | 72.2% of buyers | 65.8% of sellers
Institutions: 31.0% of total trades | 27.8% of buyers | 34.2% of sellers

Foreign: 9.2% of total | 11.4% of buyers | 7.0% of sellers
Regional: 17.0% of total | 14.6% of buyers | 19.5% of sellers
Domestic: 73.8% of total | 74.0% of buyers | 73.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 45.55 (-0.57%)
Brent: USD 46.77 (-0.38%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.71 MMBtu, (-0.11%, December 2016 contract)
Gold: USD 1,231.60 / troy ounce (+0.58%)

TASI: 6,492.86 (-2.09%) (YTD: -6.06%)
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Calendar

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

16-17 November (Wednesday-Thursday): The annual conference of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS) hosted by the EGX, Sharm El Sheikh.

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

18-20 November (Friday-Sunday): 4th Africa-Arab Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

21-22 November (Monday-Tuesday): President Abdel Fattah El Sisi visits Portugal.

22 November (Tuesday): Industrial Development Authority cement auction (unconfirmed report)

22 November (Tuesday): Al Ahram Hebdo and the French Embassy in Cairo’s French Investments in Egypt: Opportunities and Challenges conference, Al Ahram’s headquarters, Cairo.

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.

30 November (Wednesday): OPEC’s 171st ordinary meeting, Vienna, Austria.

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

03-05 December (Saturday-Monday): African Investments and Business Forum, Algiers, Algeria.

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.

09-11 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

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.

January: Jordanian trade delegation to visit. Date TBD.

14-16 February 2017 (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt Petroleum Show 2017 (EGYPS), CIEC, Cairo

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