Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Cabinet shuffle coming “very soon,” El Sisi says, hints Ismail will stay


What We’re Tracking Today

A CABINET SHUFFLE IS COMING, expect Sherif Ismail to remain as PM: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi confirmed in the second part of his sit-down with state-owned newspapers that a cabinet shuffle is in the works. Speaking on his faith in the government of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, the president said a cabinet shuffle is coming “very soon” but did not elaborate further. He did, however, express “his full trust” in Ismail, which we’re taking as a sign the PM will remain the head of the government.

Good news for the Cabinet economic group? Speaking to the notion that the current cabinet is unpopular, El Sisi suggested approval ratings are fickle and move in the opposite direction of inflation, saying, “This is a very unfair way to assess the government.” The president’s remarks about cabinet came the section of his interview that focused on his political agenda, terrorism, and foreign policy. The first part of the interview yesterday dealt with the economy and his administration’s reform agenda. We rather like the current economic group in cabinet and hope any shuffle will leave them in place. They’re competent and they are, by and large, doing the right thing. Changing horses midstream works counter to the policy stability business needs in the coming years as we digest the VAT, the float of the EGP and other fallout from the reform program. (We have more on El Sisi’s interview in Speed Round, below.)

It’s eurobond roadshow day today, with Finance Minister Amr El Garhy having arrived in Abu Dhabi last night, Youm7 reports. After meeting with debt investors there, he’ll head to Dubai. The roadshow will then move to the US for one on one meetings in New York on Wednesday, Boston on Thursday, Los Angeles on Friday, before arriving at the final leg in London on Monday, 23 January. Egypt will be looking to raise USD 2-2.5 bn, with the issue primarily being five- and ten-year maturities but with a “small portion” at a 30-year tenor. El Garhy will be joined by Vice-Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies Ahmed Kouchouk and Samy Khallaf, advisor to the Minister of Finance and Head of Debt Management. We wish them all Godspeed.

Egypt has moved global energy markets: Commodity and energy benchmark player S&P Global Platts will begin assessing prices for LNG delivered to the Middle East as demand in this part of the world has risen tenfold, Reuters reports. The Platts Middle East Marker (MEM) price assessment (paywall) will rely on the five core markets of Egypt, Kuwait, Dubai, Jordan and Pakistan, with the port of Ain Sokhna set to be the point for the Platts price marker. Deliveries into other ports will be assessed by applying a freight cost factor, Platts said. The price assessment will be published at 16:30 London time daily. “[The move] is designed to reflect the growing importance of the Middle East as an LNG import destination rather than just an exporter of cargoes," Platts’ Global Director of LNG Shelley Kerr said.

The World Economic Forum gets underway this morning in Switzerland (forum website here). Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to address the WEF, marking the first time a Chinese president has attended the forum — it seems likely you’ll be able to stream it live here starting at about 12:10pm CLT. Enda Curran has a take on the Xi phenomenon in a piece for Bloomberg, noting him as an “unlikely champion for business elites.” Xi’s arrival comes as some among the elite of Davos look to pandering to the loons, including conference founder Klaus Schwab who urged that we should listen to the populists, CBS News reports. And just to make sure we’re in touch with the commoners, Schwab made sure to invite Shakira and Matt Damon to present on day one (at least the latter has real credibility among do-gooders for serious work on water and human rights).

The IMF appears to see some positivity in a Trump presidency, saying the U.S. economy would grow faster than previously expected in 2017 and 2018 based on the incoming Trump administration’s tax and spending plans. The IMF kept its global growth forecasts unchanged, however, due to weakness in some emerging markets Reuters reports.

Egypt will play its first match of the African Cup of Nations 2017 against Mali tonight at 9.00 pm CLT. As we noted earlier this week, tensions are high as a number of broadcasters from Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) announced they will air Egypt’s matches regardless of who has the broadcast rights. CAF has said unauthorized broadcast of fixtures could see Egypt booted from the ACN and from future CAF events.

In a rare goof on our part we failed to note over the weekend that the US and elected to lift 20-year sanctions on Sudan, a decision (pdf) many in Sudan hope will help alleviate the crippled economy. Reports show that the SDG has rallied since the announcement and strengthened 30% to the USD in the black market.

Three days (including today) and a wakeup until the Trump administration takes over in America. The Donald’s inaugural will be on Friday.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Something is happening with the investment and automotive industry acts this week, and we’re hoping for more clarity on both tomorrow. Both Maglis El Dowla and the House are said to be reviewing Dalia Khorshid’s proposed investment act, while — oddly, in our view — the Central Bank of Egypt appears to have taken an interest in the automotive directive. The central bank’s decision to advance an alternate measure — if accurately portrayed in the press — comes as the directive is stalled in the House, which has rejected certain articles of the act and had held off further discussion on it pending “further study.” Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil has designated the auto industry as a priority, telling investors (pdf) at the EFG Hermes Egypt Conference last week that “The automotive strategy now before Parliament, he said, has the potential to transform Egypt into a leader of the auto industry in the Middle East and Africa.” We’ll have more on both stories tomorrow.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Tiran and Sanafir are all anyone wanted to talk about — except for Sherif Amer, who appears to have been the only talking head to have paid attention to the fact that a cabinet shuffle is coming.

We appear, as a nation, to be losing our collective mind over Tiran and Sanafir, islands few had ever spared a moment’s thought before last spring. Hona Al Assema’s Lamees El Hadidy was incensed with the government, holding it accountable for the entire debacle and even calling for heads to roll from the cabinet. “There is a mistake regarding this agreement … it might be in the documents or from the state lawyers’ side,” she said (watch: runtime: 4:06). For the rest of the episode, Lamees interviewed judicial experts who discussed the constitutionality of the agreement and potential next steps (watch: runtime: 40:29).

Debates with legal experts continued to pop-up — Whack-a-Mole style — on Kol Youm with Amr Adib and on Al Hayah Al Youm with Lobna Assal. Perhaps the most useful interview was with MP Mohamed Abu Hamed on Mehwar TV’s 90 Minutes: Abu Hamed insists that the House has the constitutional right to review the agreement (Watch: runtime: 7:10).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Moody’s has stable outlook for North Africa and Levant economies, sees Egypt growing 4-4.5%: Moody’s says a lower energy price environment as well as reform momentum in the region are the main drivers for its stable outlook for the Levant and North Africa economies. In a report on 2017 outlook for the region released yesterday, the ratings agency says “Egypt retains the region’s highest economic strength assessment, which reflects not only its scale but also its growth outlook compared to peers.” It forecasts the Egyptian economy will “grow by 4.0% and 4.5% in 2017-18, supported largely by private consumption, as well as increasing public and private investment. Conditional on a continued stabilization in the security environment, investment will be driven by infrastructure projects and the renewed development of natural resources: the Zohr offshore natural gas field has the potential to restore power supply and meet Egypt’s natural gas demands.”

In addition, “investment incentives from the recent devaluation of the EGP and shift to a flexible exchange rate system to outweigh the short-term challenges stemming from higher inflation and reduced purchasing power for domestic consumers. While tourism arrivals remain near post-crisis lows, they appear to have bottomed out in recent months.” The threats remain present in the potential for socio-economic discontent “fueled by high inflation and reduced purchasing power” and “security risks persist, as evidenced by scattered terrorist attacks targeting security forces and government officials, as well as civilians.”

Sound smart: This is the same Moody’s that agreed a couple of days ago to pay USD 864 mn or so to end a US investigation into its role in helping create the subprime mortgage crisis in the US that set off the Great Recession.

The Higher Administrative Court has handed down a final verdict rejecting the transfer of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia,citing what it called government lawyers’ failure to provide evidence that the islands belonged to Saudi Arabia in the first place, Reuters reported. The court had earlier annulled the agreement in June, but an appeal by the government sent the issue to the HAC, the top court in the administrative judicial system.

No comment: Neither KSA nor the Ismail government have had official comment on the ruling as of this morning.

Does the House still have a say in the matter? Constitutional expert Shawky El Sayed thinks not and says the court’s ruling is “final and can’t be appealed” or discussed any further by the House of Representatives, according to Al Shorouk. He added that the decision to resort to international arbitration belongs to the two governments. An unnamed government official tells AMAY, however, that MPs can choose to uphold or reject the court’s decision.

Reactions from MPs were varied, according to Ahram Gate, with MP Mostafa Bakry’s objection appearing to be the most resounding (since he did write a book arguing in favor of the swap and had promised to resign if the court rules the islands Egyptian). Many others hailed it “as a confirmation of the truth.” MP Mohamed El Sadat suggested the House suspend all its talks on the treaty to avoid a squabble with the judiciary and urged the government to stop contesting the decision. The House’s 25/30 coalition also issued a statement supporting the ruling and calling for the release of citizens arrested for protesting against the treaty, Al Mal reported.

The verdict is going over well with Egyptian civil society types. AMAY has a nice roundup of reactions from Egyptian writers, artists and politicians.

Not so much in KSA, the newspaper reports, where some are calling for international arbitration and others are demanding the expulsion of Egyptians from the kingdom. A former Saudi legislator said KSA has presented proof the islands are Saudi and said Riyadh could take the case to the UN or seek arbitration. The politician, Anwar Eshki, also told BBC Arabic that the rift with Cairo is over other regional issues unrelated to the islands.

A really bad day for KSA: The Tiran and Sanafir ruling was one of three blows the kingdom took on the economy front yesterday. The International Monetary Fund has revised its forecast for KSA growth down to 0.4% in 2017 from a previous estimate of 2.0%, and KSA is getting flack after its oil minister suggested there is no need to extend an agreement on an OPEC production cut beyond six months. The IMF and OPEC news overshadowed an announcement that Saudi is launching a 10 GW, USD 30-50 bn renewable energy program and could consider building 2.8 GW in nuclear generation capacity.

Day two of El Sisi’s interview with state newspapers: Beyond dropping the bomb on the cabinet shuffle, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s sit-down with the editors of state-owned newspapers saw the president announce he is forming a political advisory council on both domestic and foreign affairs.

Egypt has made tremendous strides in combating the ideology of terrorism and the public is more aware on the dangers of fundamentalism, the president said. Egypt’s resolve to combat extremist ideology and the nation’s rejection of religious tolerance were evident in how quickly the public bounced back after the terrorist attacks at the church of St. Peter and St. Paul last month. He also played up successful operations against terror networks by pointing to how little the war on terror has impacted the economy even though this form of warfare is “more arduous” than conventional conflict. “We have adopted a flexible and adaptive strategy which has contributed to reducing the capacity of these networks,” said El Sisi.

As Egypt approaches the sixth anniversary of the 25 January, the president said the days of Egyptians need to understand that there were positives and negatives to the overthrow of the Mubarak regime in 2011. Don’t take political demands from 2011 to the extreme, the president warned. El Sisi took opportunity to criticize the media once again, but said that he had no intention of muzzling it.

On foreign relations, El Sisi downplayed delays in the return of Russian tourists, putting the industry second to Cairo’s strategic relationship with Moscow. Egypt must accept in good faith Russia’s decision to delay the return of tourists, he added. El Sisi said he is optimistic about relations with the US given the incoming Trump administration, suggesting that expanded military aid and cooperation on terrorism would be in the cards.

Our notes on the first part of the president’s interview, which focused primarily on the economy, are here. Finally, we note that the president’s interview studiously avoided mention of Tiran and Sanafir as the questions came before the Higher Administrative Court’s ruling of yesterday.

Naguib Sawiris behind GBP 3 bn merger of gold miners: “Bn’aire Sawiris behind planned Endeavour-Acacia merger,” blares the headline in the Financial Times, suggesting that Naguib is the force moving a merger to create a GBP 3 bn London-listed gold producer. Sawiris and other family members have “large stake” in Toronto-listed Endeavour Mining, which has operations in Mali, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. It is proposing to merge with Tanzania-focused Acacia Mining, majority owned by Canada’s Barrick Gold. Together, they would have a combined annual output of about 1.5 mn ounces, putting the merged entity ahead of Randgold Resources, the largest London-listed gold producer. The FT notes that “Analysts said a merger of the companies was likely to garner support from institutional shareholders on both sides of the Atlantic providing the terms of the deal were sensible and did not favour one set of investors over another.”

The float of the EGP has negatively impacted most sectors of the real estate market in the short term, JLL said in its year-end report on Egypt (pdf). Developers chose in November to pass the rising cost of building materials on to homebuyers, with further price hikes of 25-30% expected in early 2017. Some developers sought to introduce flexible payment plans to offset the impact. Office and retail rentals quoted in USD have doubled in cost in local-currency terms, prompting a growing number of landlords and developers to agree to cap FX rates at lower-than-market rates. Only the tourism sector has benefitted from the float, with demand expected to pick up as Egypt has become 52% cheaper for foreign visitors. Most hotel owners are looking to renovate existing, older and inefficient properties in Cairo to increase profits from operational efficiencies, rather than investing in the construction of new hotels.

Why are some companies continuing to rely heavily on the parallel? CEOs polled by Al Mal admitted that they still source anywhere between 15-100% of their FX through the parallel market. The most commonly cited reason is the inability of the banking sector to meet the requirements of importers in a timely manner. Mohamed Shokry, CEO of Misr Food Additives (which claims to source 30% of its FX from the parallel market), tells the newspaper that while banks have been dishing out USD, it is not enough to meet their import schedules. “Banks take 70 days to make the FX available,” said Hassan Mabrouk, GM at Universal Group. The issue doesn’t appear to be universal as companies such as DBK Pharma and Eva Pharma have acknowledged there was some inconvenience, but that these have largely been resolved with the latter stating that they completely rely on the banking system for FX. “it’s a case by case issue,” said a banking official. While demand is high, USD inflows from investment and the eurobond issue will help stabilize reserves moving forward, the official added.

Meanwhile: Picking up where we left off yesterday, the Finance Ministry has fixed a customs exchange rate of EGP 18.5 per greenback from today and until the end of February, Al Borsa reported. Minister Amr El Garhy had announced at a Sunday press conference that the government would be setting a fixed exchange rate each month using a reference rate set the previous months as a guide.

The Central Bank has issued criteria to guide banks wanting to allocate loans from international funding institutions to strengthen their tier-2 capital base. In a circular issued yesterday, Monday, the CBE said the loans must be unconditional and not lent against any specific asset if they’re to factor into the institution’s capital adequacy ratio. Banks should also process the loan in the same way they would handle facilities from the CBE. A number of local banks have entered into loan agreements with international institutions recently, according to Al Mal, including Banque Misr (which it says has signed agreements for USD 500 mn from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and USD 350 mn from Credit Suisse) and the NBE (a total of USD 1 bn in facilities from China).

Eight policemen were killed and three others were injured in an attack on a checkpoint in the New Valley province of Egypt’s Western Desert, AMAY reported. Two terrorists were killed during the gun battle, Reuters added. Meanwhile, an Egyptian offshoot of Daesh has reportedly claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb outside a police station in North Sinai that claimed the lives of at least 10 last week, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.

CORRECTION- Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said he expects foreigners to buy USD 10-11 bn of Egypt’s local debt. We mentioned incorrectly yesterday that Egypt was expecting foreigners to double their purchases of eurobonds. We regret the error. The piece was amended and updated on our website.


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Egypt in the News

The international press was abuzz this morning with the Higher Administrative Court’s final verdict rejecting the transfer of Red Sea Islands Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. The Guardian writes that the ruling was cause for celebration among the masses but notes how it reflects that the “centers of power within the Egyptian state do not always see eye to eye,” while CNN focused on how the treaty, and public backlash against it, have impacted Cairo and Riyadh’s relations. The New York Times’ Nour Youssef also zeroed in on the two countries’ strained relationship and spoke to analysts and experts about how the verdict is expected “to further shake, but not break, these strained ties.” Heba Saleh covers the case for the Financial Times and Dahlia Kholaif does the duty for the Wall Street Journal. The BBC, NPR, and the Associated Press also have the story.

What is it about Egyptians and squash? One of the best squash players in the United States is a half-Egyptian graduate of Harvard, the Wall Street Journal (paywall) tells us in its lovely profile of Amanda Sobhy, the sixth-ranked women’s squash player worldwide.

The notion that “The Most Dangerous Job in Journalism Is Just Being a Reporter in Egypt” is an insult to men and women who work — and too-often lose their lives — in active war zones every day. That hasn’t stopped US tabloid Foreign Policy from making that claim atop a nearly 4,600-word piece that amounts to “foreign reporter becomes friends with Ikhwany sympathizer who goes to jail for his convictions.”

Copts have rejected a proposed US bill that aims to require the United States to monitor the reconstruction of Christian sites in Egypt, writes Jenna Le Bras for La Croix International. The draft bill aims to monitor the rebuilding of churches damaged in terrorist attacks and to oversee the delivery of construction permits required under a new law adopted by the Egyptian Parliament last summer.

Egypt is yet to decide between three goalkeepers, but Essam El Hadary could become the oldest player in history to compete in the African Cup of Nations if he is chosen for play tonight’s game against Mali, BBC says.

On Deadline

Al Masry Al Youm columnist Amr El Shobaky publishes a letter from a reader on how centralized administration breeds corruption in Egypt. The centralized system leaves smaller officials feeling lethargic towards situations that could easily be addressed, he says. Governors are simply observers of whatever ministry is operating in their governorate, while to stop illegal construction, the head of a municipality must report to the Ministry of Interior, which reports to the facilities police, that then reports back to the municipality.

A return to incentives and tax breaks in the new investment laws could add to the country’s burdens, Ziad Bahaa El Din says in a column penned for Al Shorouk. While Bahaa El Din acknowledges that the new laws are an attempt to rectify previous missteps that resulted in lost opportunities to attract investments, he maintains that returning to the policy of offering incentives and tax breaks will open the door to graft. We’d like to congratulate Bahaa El Din for building up the op-ed so much only to demolish it so masterfully with his faulty logic.

Worth Reading

Inflation is bad, but this is just ridiculous. There is a bottle of water that costs USD 100k. To add insult to injury there is also such a thing water sommelier, who this guy Martin Riese, is claiming to be the first American to hold that title (look out Neil Armstrong). He cofounded Beverly Hills 9OH2O, sells a bottle from the “Luxury Collection, Diamond Edition” for USD 100,000 (which you can actually order online here). This is the sad state of affairs of the bottled water business, into which Sophie Elmhirst delves with a very engaging piece for The Guardian. In the past 20 years, bottled water became the world’s fastest-growing drinks market: The global market was valued at USD 157 bn in 2013, with expectations it will reach USD 280 bn by 2020. The writer traces the boom back to Perrier’s Orson Wells ad back in 1979 as part of a USD 5 mn campaign in America, when Perrier’s sales in the US were multiplied by 30 in three years.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Hong Kong has banned the import of “poultry meat and products from Egypt” and parts of Poland and Ukraine over bird flu fears, a rather poorly written statement from the HK government says.

Egyptian and Belarusian companies signed six MoUs to trade heavy machinery and agricultural equipment during the Egyptian-Belarusian Business Forum yesterday, Al Mal reports. Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko met with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, the newspaper reports, during which Ismail reaffirmed Egypt’s interest in joining the Eurasian free trade agreement. Lukashenko also met with Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, who urged the Belarusian president to stimulate the flow of tourists from Belarus to Egypt, according to Al Mal.


Sharkawy & Sarhan explain how the draft gas law will affect down- and mid-stream activities

The draft Gas Law gives private parties access to the gas infrastructure and provides details of a new licensing regime through regulating transmission, distribution, storage, liquefaction, regasification, shipping, and the supply of gas, according to a note by Sharkawy & Sarhan. The law creates a new independent public entity affiliated with the Oil Ministry that will be responsible for granting licences to parties, ensuring competitiveness and transparency, setting tariffs, and settling disputes. The law firm says the draft will change market dynamics as “EGAS and EGPC will continue to ship gas along with other licensed parties. EGAS and EGPC will contract with [Transmission System Operator] and be committed to the obligations regarding the supplying, shipping and using the grids. EGAS and EGPC will also be bound by the tariff determined by the Gas Regulator and shall preserve transparency.”

Schneider Electric looking to amend contracts with Electricity Ministry

Schneider Electric Egypt is in negotiations with the Electricity Ministry to amend contracts to account for the EGP float, Al Mal reported. The increase in production and import costs is threatening the feasibility of projects, said company VP Khaled Kamel. Schneider are looking to increase exports from 25% in 2016 to 40% this year by adding production lines to its existing facility in Badr City, and increase domestic component from 40% to 60% to meet growing demand and offset USD shortages, he said. The company is looking to expand into new markets in Africa, Lebanon, Iraq, Cyprus, Libya, Sudan, Zambia, and Kenya, as well as grow existing business in Qatar and the UAE.

Italy’s Ansaldo and the global Power Systems win tenders in Asyut and West Cairo

Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction will be signing a contract today to supply and install steam turbines at the Walidya electrical power station in Assiut, Al Borsa reports. Meanwhile, Italy’s AC Boilers (formerly Ansaldo Caldaie) also on a bid to supply and install boilers at the West Cairo electrical power station, the newspaper also reports.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Egypt will produce 2.4 mn tonnes of sugar this year

Egypt is expected to produce around 2.4 mn tonnes of sugar this season, Reuters reported. The harvest will include 1.1 mn tonnes of sugar cane and 1.3 mn tonnes of sugar beet, Supply Minister Mohamed Ali El Sheikh said. Meanwhile, Egypt will import 800k – one mn tonnes of sugar to cover the remaining domestic demand, he added.


Pakistan’s Saif Group meets with Investment Minister to discuss credit facilities

A delegation from Pakistan’s Saif Group met with Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid to discuss credit facilities for the Mediterranean Textile Company to boost exports, Ahram Gate reported. Khorshid promised to facilitate a meeting with state banks to provide operational credit to support the textile industry.

Telecoms + ICT

Global Telecom Holding announces share buy-back and cancellation of GDR program

Global Telecom Holding have announced a proposed share buy-back and cancellation of GDR program, the company said in a statement. The fixed price buy-back program will acquire up to 10% of the total issued share capital of the company at a price per share of EGP 7.90 and for a total consideration of up to EGP 4.1 bn. The program, subject to regulatory approval, is set to commence on 19 January and expire on 16 February. GDR Holders may not sell their GDRs directly in the buy-back, but can withdraw the ordinary shares underlying their GDRs from the depository and then offering for sale the ordinary shares in the buy-back. Additionally, the company is looking to sign a bridge loan agreement for USD 200 mn with Telecom Ventures LLC and International Wireless Communications Pakistan LLC acting as guarantors, Al Borsa reported. The company has allocated future profits towards paying back the loan.

NTI, ETIT reach agreement to produce first Egyptian automated tracking device

The National Telecommunications Institute (NTI) and the Egyptian Company for Tracking and IT (ETIT) have reached an agreement to produce locally Egyptian-designed automated tracking devices, while maintaining international standards, Al Borsa reported.

Automotive + Transportation

Mitsubishi discontinues Lancer, Egyptian distributor seeking alternatives

Bye bye Lancer, it’s been a fun ride: Mitsubishi’s distributors in Egypt are looking for an alternative to the Lancer model, which Mitsubishi announced will be discontinued globally in August after 10 years in the market, Al Mal reports.

Uber hikes fares and price per kilometer, says it’s still the most affordable ridesharing app

Uber has decided to raise its starting fare to EGP 5 from EGP 4 for its regular service and EGP 6 from EGP 5 for its premium service, Al Borsa reported. The company has also raised the price per kilometer by EGP 1.5 and EGP 1.7 for the regular and premium services, respectively. The company issued a statement noting that despite the hikes, it “remains the most affordable ride in town.” We noted last month that Cab service apps Careem and Ousta had filed a complaint against Uber with the Egyptian Competition Authority for refusing to raise its fares before the end of January 2017.

ARTOC Auto to sue Skoda

ARTOC Auto is taking domestic and international legal action against Skoda after the latter suspended its supply of spare parts for six month and unilaterally canceled the agreement with the Egyptian distributor, according to Al Mal. ARTOC’s lawyer says the issue arose when the Czech company requested that ARTOC agree to allow another company to import and distribute Skoda cars in Egypt, which the Egyptian company refused.

Legislation + Policy

EFSA working on financial valuation standards

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority’s (EFSA) board of directors is discussing the financial valuation standards this week and will meet on Wednesday to ratify them. EFSA chairman Sherif Samy said that all independent financial advisors will be held to the standards and implementation will be mandatory to all advisors in their valuation of any projects or entities, according to Al Borsa. The standards aim to promote transparency and attract investment by protecting investors during the valuation of securities for the purposes of offering, acquisitions, mergers, and capital increases.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Supreme Investment Council orders the establishment of National Payments Council

The Supreme Investment Council ordered the establishment of a National Payments Council during its third meeting on Monday, AMAY reported. The initiative is part of the 17 pro-investment policies the Council had adopted in its first meeting in November and will aim mainly to oversee Egypt’s transition into a less cash-reliant society. During the meeting, Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid said that the Council of State is currently reviewing the draft Investment Act and should be sending it to the House of Representatives soon.

On Your Way Out

A sad state of affairs: The total revenue made from ticket sales to the Giza pyramids in 2016 was EGP 47 mn, Al Mal reported. That is just around USD 2.5 mn in current exchange rates. The site received 1.572 mn visits during the year, up 16.7% y-o-y.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.7149 | Sell 18.8751
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.751 | Sell 18.851
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 18.60 | Sell 18.70

EGX30 (Monday): 13,264.82 (-0.17%)
Turnover: EGP 1.473 bn (260% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +7.451%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The Egyptian benchmark index closed 0.2% down. Monday’s top performing stocks were Domty, Egypt Kuwait Holding, and CIB. Monday’s worst performing stocks included ACC, Global Telecom, and Palm Hills. The market turnover was EGP 1.5 bn and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net long | EGP +156.9 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP +10.6 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP -167.5 mn

Retail: 71.3% of total trades | 69.6% of buyers | 72.9% of sellers
Institutions: 28.7% of total trades | 30.4% of buyers | 27.1% of sellers

Foreign: 9.2% of total | 14.2% of buyers | 4.1% of sellers
Regional: 8.3% of total | 8.6% of buyers | 8.0% of sellers
Domestic: 82.5% of total | 77.2% of buyers | 87.9% of sellers

WTI: USD 52.47 (+0.19%)
Brent: USD 55.72 (-025%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.49 MMBtu, (+2.05%, February 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,205.90 / troy ounce (+0.81%)TASI: 6,823.63 (-1.55%) (YTD: -5.36%)
ADX: 4,653.48 (-0.46%) (YTD: +2.36%)
DFM: 3,669.00 (-0.26%) (YTD: +3.91%)
KSE Weighted Index: 399.60 (+0.25%) (YTD: +5.13%)
QE: 10,759.40 (+0.16%) (YTD: +3.09%)
MSM: 5,745.96 (+0.03%) (YTD: -0.64%)
BB: 1,220.39 (+0.43%) (YTD: 0.00%)

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15-17 January (Sunday-Tuesday): International Conference on Improving Sustainability Concept in Developing Countries, Cairo.

15-20 January (Sunday-Friday): Bidding window for Petroleum Ministry’s gold exploration tender in eastern desert and Sinai, Egypt.

17-20 January (Tuesday-Friday): World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland

17-18 January (Tuesday-Wednesday): Underground Infrastructure & Deep Foundations Egypt, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.

22-31 January (Sunday-Tuesday): 28th African Union Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

24 January – 26 January (Tuesday-Thursday): Global Oil & Gas Middle East and North Africa 2017, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

25 January (Wednesday): Revolution (police) day, national holiday.

28-29 January (Saturday-Sunday): International Conference on Computers, Data Management and Technology Applications, Intercontinental City Stars, Cairo.

January 30-February 1 (Monday-Wednesday): Beltone Financial’s Africa’s Era, Egypt’s Moment Conference, Cairo.

30 January-02 February 2017 (Monday-Thursday): Arab Health Exhibition, Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center, UAE.

05 February (Sunday): Emirates NBD PMI Egypt release.

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

15-16 February (Wednesday-Thursday): International Conference for Globalization & Emerging Economies, Alexandria.

16 February (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

06-08 March (Monday-Wednesday): 13th EFG Hermes One on One Conference, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

07-09 March (Tuesday-Thursday): Microfinance forum, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.

09-11 March (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Projects Summit, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

29-30 March (Wednesday-Thursday): Cityscape Egypt Conference, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.

30 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

31 March – 03 April (Friday-Monday): Cityscape Egypt Exhibition, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo. Register here.

01 April (Saturday): SEOcon, The Greek Campus, Cairo.

03-06 April (Monday-Thursday): Agri & Foodex Africa, Khartoum International Fair Ground, Khartoum, Sudan.

08-10 April (Saturday-Monday): Pharmaconex, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday.

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim, national holiday.

20 April (Thursday): Closing date for the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority bid round number 1 for 2017 for gold and associated minerals.

24-25 April (Monday-Tuesday): Renaissance Capital’s Egypt Investor Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day, national holiday.

30 April – 3 May (Sunday-Wednesday): Cement & Concrete 2017, Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center, Saudi Arabia.

01 May (Monday): Labor Day, national holiday.

27 May (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

26-28 June (Monday-Wednesday): Eid Al-Fitr (TBC).

30 June (Friday): 30 June, national holiday.

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day, national holiday.

02-05 September (Saturday-Tuesday): Eid Al-Adha, national holiday (TBC).

22 September (Friday): Islamic New Year, national holiday (TBC).

06 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

01 December (Friday): Prophet’s Birthday, national holiday.

08-10 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

01 January 2018 (Monday): New Year’s Day, national holiday.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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