Monday, 28 November 2016

Qatar’s ambassador to be PNG’ed? Plus: New taxes coming?


What We’re Tracking Today

Eurobond decision today? The Finance Ministry will take a decision on the timing of issuing eurobonds today, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk said, according to Al Shorouk. A source noted that five investment banks had advised the government to delay the issuance as the interest rates are currently “unattractive.”

Random fact of the morning: From Bloomberg’s regional markets wrap-up yesterday: “Foreign investors have been net buyers of Egyptian shares every day since Nov. 3, adding the equivalent of USD 203 mn to their holdings, compared to a net outflow of USD 88 mn from Dubai Financial Market equities.”

Flying Lufthansa this week? You’ll want to keep a close eye on the news. The German airline cancelled 35 more flights yesterday amid continued fallout from a pilots’ strike, and seems set to cancel short-haul flights tomorrow and both long- and short-haul flights out of Germany on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

What We’re Tracking This Week

The new companies that will run the Siemens-built power plant will clear their last major regulatory hurdle this week when the general assembly of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) meets on Wednesday, Al Borsa reports. The assembly is set to approve the establishment of four companies: One for each of the Siemens plans in Beni Suef, Burullus and the New Administrative Capital and a fourth to manage assets that fall under the emergency electricity generation plan. State-owned investment bank NI Capital is advising on the process. Electricity Ministry Undersecretary Sabah Mashaly suggested last week that that each company will have initial capital of EGP 40 bn.

The House of Representatives is holding sessions on the automotive directive today and tomorrow, Al Mal reports. The House’s industry and budget committees met yesterday with representatives of auto companies including Bavaria Group and General Motors to discuss the legislation, said the head of the Egyptian Automotive Manufacturing Association Hassan Suleiman. The House Industry Committee will meet with other manufacturers today along with representatives of the Egyptian Auto-Feeders Association and the Tax Authority, Al Borsa reports. An unnamed committee member disclosed that the for the most part, the committee is satisfied with the tax breaks granted to companies as the price of boosting exports and building a domestic manufacturing industry. The committee is expected to conclude its review of the law and send its report to the full body of the House at the end of the week, with an eye to getting the law passed early next year. We had a rundown of the bill’s likely key features in our Spotlight yesterday.

Where, oh where have my VAT regs gone? Oh where, oh where can they can they be? While the date for the unveiling of the executive regulations of the value-added tax (VAT) has been shiftier than a desert sidewinder, the Finance Ministry has always maintained that they would be coming this month. Two days and counting.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Citi’s Global Consumer Conference takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday in London, OPEC meets in Vienna on Wednesday, and a Russian delegation is due in town sometime this week to finalize the Dabaa nuclear power plant agreements. (Are we alone in suggesting we tie their sainted nuclear plant to the resumption of direct flights?) Thursday is Consumer Protection Chief Atef Yacoub’s so-called “buy nothing” day.

Get your umbrellas ready and prepare for traffic jams from hell: The weather in Egypt will be “unstable” this week, with heavy rains and thunder expected on northern coasts along the Mediterranean, as well as the Delta, Cairo and Sinai. Our favourite weather app is showing a 25% chance of rain on Tuesday, rising to 55-58% on Wednesday and Thursday, with cooler temperatures on the weekend.

On The Horizon

The Emirates NBD Egypt PMI by Markit will be out on Monday, 5 December 2016.

It’s the last gasp of conference season for 2016:

  • The Electricx exhibition, Cairo International Convention Centre on 04-06 December.
  • Slovenian President and business delegation visit Egypt on 05-06 December.
  • Building a Sustainable Future for Solar in Egypt event, Sonesta Hotel, Cairo on 06 December.
  • Citi’s 2016 Global Healthcare Conference, London, UK on 07-08 December:

National holiday? Monday, 12 December looks set to be the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which is typically a statutory holiday.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will hold its last meeting of 2016 on Thursday, 29 December.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Scorn for Qatar was the rage on last night’s talk shows after Al Jazeera aired a report criticizing mandatory national service in Egypt. Al Jazeera claimed that its website was the victim of a cyberattack by Egyptian ISPs just hours before the documentary (Al ‘Asaker, or The Soldiers; watch, runtime 52:01) was due to air. Ahram Gate reported that the Qatari broadcaster’s website was breached by unidentified hackers who uploaded a picture of the Qatari army with an accompanying hashtag that jokes, “Qatar’s army, the finest Indians on earth.”

Hona Al Assema’s Lamees Al Hadidy spent her full show last night dissecting Qatar. Lamees explicitly blamed Qatar and Turkey for rising terrorism acts in the region, airing a CNN report dating back to 2014 that she said explained Qatar’s role in supporting Islamist terror. (Watch the entire segment, runtime: 1:05:53). Lamees then kicked it up a notch and launched a hashtag demanding that Egypt declare Qatar’s ambassador to Cairo persona non-grata. That’s dip-speak for “kick him out of the country.” Lamees then hosted MP and TV host Abdel Reheem Ali, who claimed to have evidence of the relationship between Qatar and Islamist president Mohamed Morsi (watch, runtime: 34:49) and then showcased a special report about Egyptian paratroopers (watch, runtime: 18:30).

While Kol Youm’s Amr Adib also railed against Al Jazeera (watch, runtime: 8:08), he focused on a Youm7 interview with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and other cabinet ministers set to be published in the newspaper’s print edition this morning(thanks for the heads up Adib). Ismail reportedly confirmed that metro ticket prices will rise to EGP 2 from EGP 1 (watch: runtime: 1:39). This is the first concrete confirmation from his government on an actual policy on the metro ticket prices, after dancing around the issue for some time now. The interview also delved into the subsidies system, where Ismail noted the government will consider the phone bill of citizens and their property to filter out those who are not eligible for the commodity subsidies. Adib praised Youm7’s editor-in-chief Khaled Salah for being able to secure an interview Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid, saying “you know that it is rare when Dalia Khorshid talks,” (watch: runtime: 7:30).

On Al Kahera wal Nas, Ibrahim Eissa criticized the Ismail government’s “lack of vision.” Eissa maintained his usual line about the cabinet ultimately being beholden to the state security apparatus and not the people (watch, runtime: 0:45). This is one of the primary reasons why so little gets done, he says. Ministers move and shift as the government deals with problems day-to-day, and there’s no coherent strategy as a result, he added (watch; runtime: 1:17).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

How will the float affect next year’s IPO pipeline? Most investment bankers polled by Al Borsa see that the float of the EGP, which has sent trading volumes on the EGX up as much as 3x over pre-float levels, will help IPO activity next year, though they differ on the extent of that growth.

The base case: We’ll see only four IPOs next year, including the listing of state-owned companies, said EFG Hermes co-head of investment banking Mostafa Gad. While the float was good for the EGX, investors will still need to see more done on the ground on the reform front, he added. EFG Hermes is managing the IPOs of Banque du Caire, Nile Air, and an unnamed financial services company, he noted.

A bit more optimistic: Mohamed AlAkhdar, Director of Investment Banking at Beltone, expects two or three major IPOs alongside a spate of smaller-scale listings. He feels that there won’t be as much appetite among foreign investors for IPOs under EGP 500 mn, especially after the float. Beltone will be running four IPOs in 1H16, including the EGP 400 mn listing of MM Group For Industry & International Trade.

Uh… really? Prime Holding Managing Director Mohamed Maher and AT Brokerage’s Mohamed Fathallah see a wave of IPOs coming next year, with the latter projecting 20 offerings.

What does the nation’s IPO pipeline look like? By Al Borsa’s count, nine IPOs on the EGX have been announced. If they go forward in December as some expect, El Farasha for Printing and Packaging and Obour Land will close out the IPO pipeline for 2016, good for a total of five offerings in 2016 alongside Cleopatra Hospitals, Domty and state-owned MOPCO. Our in-house IPO tracker shows 16 companies have either credibly announced this year that they are exploring an IPO in 2017 or beyond, or are in line to be thrown on the auction block by the state should its IPO program go forward. At least a dozen other low-probability candidates have either sought the publicity that goes along with an announcement that they’re mulling an IPO or have been mooted as candidates.

4G services will launch within days, the acting head of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) told Al Borsa. The NTRA will allow mobile operators to provide 4G services using the bandwidth allocated for 3G as they have not yet received the spectrum allocated to them for 4G services. NTRA says operators have lodged the request. If this is the case: Prepare to hear “el shabaka zeft” for days to come…

Sleight of hand: CIT Minister Yasser El Kady said the Ministry is considering having Telecom Egypt (TE) transfer its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt to its subsidiary TE Holding to “end the ‘crisis’ of conflict of interest,” according to Al Mal. TE Holding was created in 2009 and is 99.9% owned by TE. El Kady says corporate governance rules apply, so there’s no problem of having TE own a stake of Vodafone as long as it does not have representatives on its board of directors. Uhm… sure. TE CEO Tamer Gadalla took it a step further and said there is no legal requirement for TE to divest from its Vodafone stake, despite both companies being in direct competition now in providing 4G mobile communications. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority says its main concern is how the stake affects commercial relations between TE and Vodafone Egypt, but so far it has seen no indication of trouble.

Are we back to this 5G business again? El Kady reportedly promised that Egypt will be among the first to get 5G services launched in the region, Al Mal reports. Yes, maybe when we finally get our space program up and running, master interdimensional travel, all while running on TE Data’s 0.5 MB connection.

LG Egypt had a dismal 2016, CEO says: LG Egypt incurred losses of nearly USD 150 mn in 2016, CEO Don Kwack told Al Mal. The company was growing at a clip of 10% per year until 2H2015, but this flattened after, falling to -30% y-o-y by the start of 2016, Kwack says, blaming the FX rate fluctuations. The plant is operating at 55% capacity and the prospect of expanding beyond producing flat screen TVs to washing machines and AC units is contingent on hard currency availability. He says LG Egypt is still struggling to repatriate profits as although CBE regulations allow for it, obtaining USD liquidity is still a challenge, but the company has no plans to exit Egypt. The float will impact all sale prices similarly, Kwack explained; finished products that were imported will hardly see any price increases because they were imported using exchange rates of “EGP 16-17” per USD 1, but others, manufactured domestically, could see their prices nearly double and their inputs we previously imported at the official FX rate of EGP 8.8 per USD 1, he says. LG has invested USD 180 mn in Egypt.

Are the Ismail gov’t and the House about to tag-team the wealthy? The House of Representatives’ Budget Committee is looking into proposals to amend the income tax act to move Egypt towards a more ‘progressive’ taxation system, Al Borsa reports. State officials had previously mentioned that the government is considering shifting to a tax regime that would see individuals and companies at the higher end of the income scale paying a larger percentage of their income in taxes. Last year, the government had cut the income tax rate to a fixed 22.5% from 30% for individuals and corporations. Officials also scrapped a 5% wealth surtax for individuals and corporations that earn more than EGP 1 mn a year. Members of the House Budget committee told Al Borsa yesterday that while there is some opposition to raising taxes, the dominant Support Egypt coalition seems to be leaning in favour of the move. No story on this subject overnight gave any detail as to what representatives might be thinking.

The news out of the House comes as the Finance Ministry has moved from simply considering a more progressive tax system to openly advocating for one in its Human Development Report 2016, which came out a few days ago. The report basically states that the private sector has not been paying its fair share, according to Al Mal. In 2014, the private sector contributed 70% to GDP, but only 19% of its profits were taxed. Sales taxes on goods and services cannot compensate, as they only amount to 40% of all tax revenue — the majority of which is made up of income tax. Implementing a more progressive system would make the tax burden fairer, the report concludes.

(Take any assertion about what the report does or does not say with a teaspoon or two of salt: The ministry appears to have removed the report from its website.)

The report also reportedly takes a negative view of tax breaks, specifically the decision to delay the capital gains tax in 2015. The move is a break with principles of social justice in the Ismail government’s economic reform agenda, said the report, according to the Al Mal. The report also recommends imposing new taxes on real estate and mining.

But it’s not all bad: The Customs Authority has begun studying a fixed exchange rate for customs — a move called for by numerous importers, especially from the auto industry, according to Customs Authority head Magdy Abdel Aziz. Abdel Aziz added that the authority is looking to eliminate taxes in free zones and special economic zones, Al Mal reports.

CPA chief Atef “Smiley Face” Yacoub is still going after Ahmed El Ezaby. The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) is calling on the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ pharma division to call for a vote of no confidence on division head Ahmed El Ezaby, alleging that 216 brands of what it describes as “illegal, smuggled medicines” were allegedly found at three El Ezaby pharmacies on a raid last week, Al Mal reported. The agency has also recently raided the national chain Seif Pharmacy after it received reports of unregistered medications, head of the agency Atef Yacoub said. The CPA’s raids come as pharma retailers and manufacturers in general — and El Ezaby in particular — have loudly asked the Health Ministry to permit a repricing of meds after the float of the EGP, something ol’ Smiley Face is crusading to stop at all costs (pun most definitely intended). House Speaker Ali Abdelaal met with a delegation from the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ pharma division yesterday to discuss how to address the industry’s post-float concerns, Al Borsa reports.

MOVES- Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank-Egypt announced appointing Fareed El Belbesy as acting non-executive Chairman and Zohair Hamada Ahmed Edris as acting Managing Director, according to a bourse statement. The two assume their duties following the recent death of Nevine Loutfy.

No boots (or helicopters) on the ground in Syria: Egypt has no military presence in Syria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. There are “constitutional and legal procedures that are necessary for Egypt to dispatch troops anywhere,” MoFA spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid explained. Abu Zeid’s remarks came after a report cited unnamed sources as claiming that Egyptian helicopter crews were on the ground in Syria flying missions against Islamist rebels for the Assad regime.

Building support for an EU migrant assistance program? President Abdelfattah El Sisi told a delegation of European MPs on Sunday that Egypt is carrying a heavy load, hosting nearly 5 mn refugees on its soil, Al Masry Al Youm reported. El Sisi said the state has been offering refugees the same services it does citizens, particularly in health and education, in addition to its efforts to battle illegal immigration to Europe. The president met earlier this month with the EU’s migration commissioner, and both Germany and Austria have been nibbling around the edges of a package of aid in return for Egypt agreeing to host additional refugees.

HSBC, JPM to finance Leviathan: HSBC and JPMorgan have signed commitment letters to extend up to USD 1.75 bn in financing to the developers of Israel’s Leviathan gas field, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, Reuters reported. The partners said the funds would go towards the A1 development stage of the project, which “includes the supply of gas from Leviathan to the domestic market, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and other regional agreements, if signed.” Leviathan is expected to start production in 2019 or 2020.


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The Macro Picture

The global economy really needs high oil prices. “Forget the stagflation of the 1970s. Higher oil prices would be a boon for the global economy,” Bloomberg writes, covering a research note from Goldman Sachs. The report’s authors suggest that “The difference between today and the 1970s is that oil creates global liquidity through a far more sophisticated financial system. More sophisticated financial markets in the 2000s were able to transform this excess savings into greater global liquidity that increased asset values, lowered interest rates, and improved credit conditions that spanned the globe.”

That’s great, because OPEC is going to cut production — right? Well, maybe not. The theory back in September was that the cartel would reach a pact with non-OPEC members to support prices with a production cut of about 1 mn barrels a day, to total output of 32.5 mn barrels. The catch now: Saudi brinksmanship.

What’s Riyadh up to? Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih — also known as “he who now refuses to honor his contracts with Egypt — was quoted yesterday as saying, “We expect demand to recover in 2017, then prices will stabilize, and this will happen without an intervention from OPEC. We don’t have a single path which is to cut production at the OPEC meeting, we can also depend on recovery in consumption, especially from the U.S.”

Would failure to reach a production cut be catastrophic? The Financial Times may be overplaying its hand a bit, but it certainly thinks so: “Some of the world’s biggest oil traders have delivered a stark warning to the Opec cartel, saying a failure to sign-off on a production cut this week will trigger another dramatic drop in crude prices,” the newspaper says, quoting the CEO of one of the world’s largest oil traders as saying that, “if they walk away without a deal the market will punish that result possibly [by] USD 10 a barrel or more.”

Egypt in the News

How slow a news day is it for Egypt in the Western press? Bad enough that we’re running this: The Swiss government will decide this February whether it will extend or suspend its freeze on USD 570 mn in assets belonging to ex-president Hosni Mubarak, the South Atlantic News Agency Mercopress reported. A Swiss official told the agency he believes that assets of Mubarak and others including Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali will likely remain frozen.

Worth Reading

The Financial Times’ former Paris correspondent pens a love note to the city. If you, like at least one of us, is a “Paris person” and not a “London person,” you’ll want to read this morning’s Expat Lives column in the Financial Times (paywall) about one of our favourite cities in the world: “Sundays in Paris were a window on to an era that London, Mexico City and other capitals I know well have long abandoned. It took us at least a month to adjust to the closed shops and the almost ghostly hush that settles on much of the city from about lunchtime. Once acclimatized, though, I grew to love Sundays more than any other day. … All the while, Guillaume and his PDS, under the semi-permanent threat of closure because of complaining neighbours, spoke volumes to me about how creative, different, occasionally irreverent and frustratingly unpredictable but ultimately irresistible Paris can be.”

Worth Watching

Life size Lego model of a 1964 Ford Mustang: With all the talk of auto assembly in the past couple of days, we have something to lighten the mood. Even decades later (sigh) we cannot get over how amazing Lego is. To prove it, here is a clip of a team working to assemble a life size Lego model of a 1964 Ford Mustang (runtime: 0:41). The Housing Ministry should definitely look into hiring these people for some of their projects. Scratch that: All of their projects.


Petrojet awarded USD 90 mn contract in Oman

Petrojet was awarded a USD 90 mn contract to extend gas pipelines to the city of Duqm in Oman, Al Borsa reported. Petrojet will operate the contract on an EPC basis, the company’s Chairman says. The project includes extending 221 km of pipeline of 36 inch diameter.

Environmental Affairs Ministry approved plans for Zohr pipeline

The Environmental Affairs Ministry approved the plans to build a 220 km pipeline connecting the Zohr gas fields to an onshore processing station in Port Said, Ahram Gate reported. The Ministry approved of the studies for the pipeline, saying it complies with all of its environmental regulations.

Electricity Ministry to delay Damanhour power plant to 2022-2027 plan

The Electricity Ministry has decided to delay issuing the tender for the USD 1.3 bn Damanhour power plant, moving it to its 2022-2027 plan from the 2017-2022 version. Sources tell Al Borsa that after revising the plan, and with the capacity expected to be generated from the Siemens power plants, the ministry decided to postpone the project. The ministry also decided that when it does launch the project, it will be tendered under the EPC+Finance framework. International lenders who have pledged to finance the project will await the tender before deciding to continue with funding the project. These include the European Investment Bank (which pledged USD 600 mn), the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development (USD 240 mn), and the African Development Bank (USD 80).

Basic Materials + Commodities

World Bank extends field irrigation project to June 2017

The World Bank has decided to extend the project to upgrade field irrigation system for seven months until June 2017 to complete the program, Al Borsa reported. The Agriculture Ministry signed a cooperation protocol with the World Bank to, in addition to the Armed Forces, cooperate to complete the project. The USD 100 mn program aims to upgrade irrigation systems over an area of 200k feddans in Giza and Kafr El Sheikh.

Real Estate + Housing

First Administrative Capital land goes to auction in January, Housing Ministry says

The Housing Ministry intends to put its first land in the new Administrative Capital to auction by early January, according to Minister Moustafa Madbouly, who in previous statements had told Al Ahram that 2,500 feddans would be auctioned off to the private sector before the end of this year. The government is also planning on offering part of the Company for the Urban Development of the Administrative Capital to the public, with the remaining shares held by the New Urban Communities Authority and the military. In other industry news, Madbouly said he expects Egyptian real estate investments during FY2016-17 to reach EGP 50 bn compared to EGP 37 bn in the last fiscal year.

Telecoms + ICT

Fawry investing EGP 100 mn into expansions next year

The Egyptian American Enterprise Fund-backed payment processor Fawry plans to invest EGP 90-100 mn next year to expand its network of partner outlets and upgrade its infrastructure, Managing Director Mohamed Okasha told Al Borsa.

El Sisi applauds CIT progress in Egypt as tech companies talk future plans

Industry gathering Cairo ICT opened yesterday. Smartphone maker Oppo Egypt said it is looking to open new retail outlets and could consider manufacturing in Egypt. Microsoft Egypt is working on some 60 government projects and wants you to know it’s helping the state digitize and link its data. And Sico Technology (no, we’ve never heard of them, either, but their website is here) thinks it can manufacture (yes, manufacture) mobile handsets in Upper Egypt.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi opened Cairo ICT yesterday, lauding the coming launch of 4G mobile data services and an initiative to establish national databases and automate government offices. El Sisi also tasked CIT Minister Yasser El Qadi to finish building two of seven planned tech zones before the end of next year. El Qadi said that CIT contributes about 3.2% of Egypt’s national income and employs around 500k citizens, adding that his ministry will continue to meet its deadlines.

Automotive + Transportation

EgyptAir Holding Company launches plan to curb costs by 30%

The EgyptAir Holding Company has launched a strategy to curb costs by 30% to prevent incurring losses in FY2016-17, Chairman Safwat Mosalam told Al Shorouk. The strategy includes reducing salaries of employees outside Egypt by 20%, in addition to reducing the number of EgyptAir offices abroad, he added. The company reported EGP 200 mn in profits in the last three months by reducing fuel consumption, he added. EgyptAir are studying increasing domestic flight prices following the EGP float, said Mosalam.

Banking + Finance

NBE provides USD 2 bn to import fuel shipments

The National Bank of Egypt has provided EGPC with USD 2 bn in letters of credit to finance importing fuel shipments, banking sources told Al Shorouk. Egypt turned to alternative markets when shipments from Aramco stopped, the source said, with state banks financing shipments from Algeria and Kuwait. The Finance Ministry covered fuel imports from the UAE. Additionally, Egypt is nearing similar agreements with Iraq and Russia, the source added.

Al Ahli Bank officially rebrands Piraeus Bank Egypt’s operations under its banner

Kuwait’s Al Ahli Bank (ABK)-Egypt has officially changed the name of Piraeus Bank branches following a USD 150 mn acquisition from Piraeus Bank Greece last year, Amwal Al Ghad reported. Branches have been rebadged as ABK-Egypt, and the bank’s website now carries ABK-Egypt branding despite still carrying the word “Piraeus” in the URL.

EG Bank 20% partner in Aman for Electronic Payments, looks at Egypt’s leasing sector

EG Bank is joining Raya Holding to establish “Aman for Electronic Payments,” Raya said in a statement. Raya will own 80% of the company, with EG Bank holding 20%. Raya is also studying whether to enter the financial leasing sector in partnership with EG bank and other investors, the statement said.

mVisa to launch in Egypt, company hopes to join new National Payments Council

Visa is preparing to launch its mVisa mobile application in Egypt, after its success in the Kenyan and Indian markets, the Director of the company’s MEA division, Tarek El Hosseini, tells Al Borsa. El Hosseini said the new service will allow users to remotely pay for everything from groceries to utility bills. You can go dig into mVisa here in the company’s Indian website.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Supreme Investment Council tasks committee with improving Egypt’s Global Competitiveness Index rating

The Supreme Investment Council has tasked a ministerial committee with improving Egypt’s rating on the Global Competitiveness Index issued by the World Economic Forum, Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid told Al Masry Al Youm. Egypt currently ranks 115 out of 138 countries on the index.

Gov’t planning to cut 20 mn from subsidies ration card system

The government is targeting clearing around 20 mn freeloaders from the commodity subsidies system (who will be measured henceforth by our own unit, ‘the Kramer’; 1 Kramer = 1 mn Egyptian freeloaders) to around 60 mn. Government sources tell Al Borsa that this is expected to save the state EGP 7-10 bn. This would double the number of Kramers the government had been planning to cut in the initial phase. The government is continuing to fine-tune the criteria it is setting to eject them from the subsidies system from the ten key ones we noted last week, the source added.

Customs Authority to implement black- and white-list system

The Customs Authority will be implementing a black- and white-list system and compiling a comprehensive database of importers and exporters once its new x-ray equipment comes online in early 2017, Al Borsa reports. The authority is also preparing for the launch of its new website next week. Yes, folks, then nice people at the Customs Authority visited Cairo ICT yesterday…

National Security

Safran discusses growing investments in Egypt with the gov’t

French defense and aerospace manufacturer Safran has held meetings with Egyptian government to discuss growing their investments in the country, AMAY reports. The company, which developed systems for the Rafale fighters, has been drawn in by the recent economic reforms undertaken by the Ismail cabinet, according to Walid Fouad, General Manager at Morpho Egypt, a subsidiary of Safran Group. The meeting took place at the sidelines of the Defense, Safety and Security Conference which is running concurrently with the Cairo ICT, and where Safran is showcasing its Patroller Drone System.

On Your Way Out

The future of solar power in Egypt could be in small-scale private projects, Rachel Williamson writes in Wamda. Cairo Solar, for example, “has returned to its original bread-and-butter mission of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installations and is looking into other options, such as supplying solar agriculture options to new landowners in the 1.5 mn feddan desert land reclamation project.” Williamson notes that “while everyone Wamda spoke to was positive that renewables in general, and small scale solar in particular, had enough momentum to push on, they agreed it would take at least two years to recover from the double hit of the mishandled FiT program and the newly floated [EGP].”

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.48 | Sell 17.91
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.55 | Sell 17.85
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.45 | Sell 17.8

EGX30 (Sunday): 11,145.95 (-1.82%)
Turnover: EGP 925 mn (135% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +59.09%

Foreigners: Net long | EGP + 35.2 mn
Regional: Net short | EGP – 32.5 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP – 2.7 mn

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: EGX30 closed Sunday’s session 1.8% down. Global Telecom and TMG Holding weighed down the index performance as they fell by 4.3%, and 3.5% respectively. Only Arabia Investments and Ezz Steel ended in positive territory. On the downside, yesterday’s worst performing stocks included Emaar Misr, Domty, and Sodic. The market turnover was EGP 925.8 mn and foreign investors were the sole net buyers

Retail: 69.1% of total trades | 78.8% of buyers | 59.5% of sellers
Institutions: 30.9% of total trades | 21.2% of buyers | 40.5% of sellers

Foreign: 7.9% of total | 9.6% of buyers | 6.1% of sellers
Regional: 6.8% of total | 5.2% of buyers | 8.4% of sellers
Domestic: 85.3% of total | 85.2% of buyers | 85.5% of sellers


The Golden Time of Equalweight

The market has started to cool off, after three weeks of strong steam. As of Thursday’s close, most of EGX30 constituents were trading within 5-10% of our target prices. Since floatation, market participants have tapped all sectors, with DCF potentials confirmed across the board. In addition, mid and small cap stocks have finally started to move with local investors looking for out of the box ideas, that are away from the blue chips. Market prices have reached close to full potential for FY2016, on DCF and multiples’ basis. Shifting models one-year down the line has created an additional upside potential of 15-25% from the current DCF valuations, with the absence of the 2016 floatation pains for some industrial producers and with potential positive developments that might materialize in 2017.

This improves the financial performance of different sectors, including potential lending and non-funded income growth pick-up by mid-2017, potential upgrade in asset based valuation for real estate companies in specific, due to floatation and the re-pricing of real assets. It also includes higher replacement cost for heavy-capex industrial producers (whether consumer staples, durables or construction and building material players) and higher pricing of products across the board to save margins and to what extent will volumes get affected. <br With EGX30 constituents are still trading at attractive FY2017 multiples, despite the DCF valuations being stretched, this leads us to the conclusion that “short-term” potential is definitely limited, but several developments down the line in 2017, the rerating will start to materialize to eventually reach higher potential from where we are now. According to our calculations on EGX30, the index might hit 14,500 by the end of 2017. The market is currently trading at a market cap weighted average of 9.5x P/E FY2017 and 1.6x P/B FY2017.
We believe that the market steam will cool off over the next 6-8 weeks, especially with fiscal year close and the holiday season, with the potential for revival afterwards.

Tap here for the full note.


WTI: USD 46.21 (+0.33%)
Brent: USD 47.38 (+0.30%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.15 MMBtu, (+1.94%, December contract)
Gold: USD 1,195.20 / troy ounce (+1.20%)

TASI: 6,843.8 (+0.7%) (YTD: -1.0%)
ADX: 4,298.3 (+0.6%) (YTD: -0.2%)
DFM: 3,338.2 (+0.4%) (YTD: +5.9%)
KSE Weighted Index: 367.7 (-0.2%) (YTD: -3.7%)
QE: 9,734.2 (+0.2%) (YTD: -6.7%)
MSM: 5,519.1 (-0.0%) (YTD: +2.1%)
BB: 1,196.5 (+0.9%) (YTD: -1.6%)

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

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

30 November (Wednesday): Industrial Development Authority cement auction (unconfirmed report)

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.

05-06 December (Monday-Tuesday): Slovenian President and business delegation visit Egypt.

6 December (Tuesday): Building a Sustainable Future for Solar in Egypt event, Sonesta Hotel, Cairo.

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.

13 December (Tuesday): Business News’ Third Annual Egypt Automotive Summit, Semiramis InterContinental, Cairo.

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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