Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Nestlé buys Bonjorno instant coffee brand

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We’re trying not to hold our collective breath as we wait for the cabinet shuffle promised to come “very soon” by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

In the meantime, we’re going to be watching the IMF presser today to unveil the terms of Egypt’s USD 12 bn extended fund facility. The fund will also discuss its economic outlook on Egypt, Al Ahram reports. This should quiet down the media and MPs who have been clamoring lately for more details on the facility three months after the agreement was signed.

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy and company should be in New York to pitch the eurobond issue to investors today before moving on tomorrow to Boston. El Garhy told Al Ahram that the bond sale could take place as soon as the roadshow ends in London on 23 January. Bloomberg’s Ahmed Feteha writes a short guide to the issuance. Even with additional firepower, the central bank won’t lend to the government as liberally as it used to and will keep reserves as “a cushion for possible economic shocks,” said Noaman Khalid, an economist at Cairo-based CI Asset Management. Reuters adds some color on yesterday’s presentation, adding that government representatives provided no “specific pricing indications” but a source close to the matter said that the sale could “offer a premium of up to 20 basis point to Egypt’s existing curve.” The presentation was compelling, one investor told Reuters.

Is a sukuk next? The same Reuters piece quotes investors who attended yesterday’s Abu Dhabi session as saying “government representatives” had suggested that Egypt could issue USD-denominated sukuk this year.

Kabil, Khorshid, Sahar Nasr in Davos: Dalia Khorshid (Investment) and Sahar Nasr (International Cooperation) join Tarek Kabil (Trade and Industry) and the Egyptian delegation in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, Al Masry Al Youm reported. Khorshid will be meeting with investment bankers and multilateral institutions to drum up investment opportunities in Egypt, Al Borsa reports. Ditto Kabil, who will also take part in the Future of Arab Economies panel and meet with his Chinese counterpart, according to Al Shorouk. Nasr is scheduled to discuss on Thursday the medium-term benefits of Egypt’s economic reform plan including an improved business climate, and increased productivity and exports, as part of wider development in the MENA region.

Speaking of the WEF, Chinese President Xi Jinping emerged a champion of globalism at highly anticipated opening plenary sessions. Xi denounced protectionism, urged against a trade war, and promised that China has no intention of devaluing its currency. We’re not sure why it’s a surprise that the world’s export powerhouse likes trade, but Xi’s speech is getting incredibly wide coverage. See the Financial Times or Reuters for starters.

A new name all of you will want to remember going forward: Anthony Scaramucci. He’s the Trump advisor who, in the wake of Xi’s speech, was sent out at Davos to put a positive spin on The Donald’s antagonistic stance on China. His message to the elite at Davos: The new administration does not want a trade war with the Middle Kingdom, but wants fair trade, the Wall Street Journal reports in a very interesting profile of Scaramucci. Scaramucci’s conciliatory remarks also covered the EU and NATO, which he said are not obsolete, but need fine tuning.

Sound smart: Scaramucci is a hedge fund manager and has just sold his USD 12 bn fund of funds, SkyBridge Capital, to fully engage with the Trump administration. He’s in charge of “explaining his ideas and projects to Americans,” the WSJ says — and to the Denizens of Davos, Bloomberg notes in a shorter profile.

What’s freaking out those Denizens of Davos? Not the global economy. For the second year running, no economic issue has made the list of biggest global risks we face this year, according to some 750 experts polled by the World Economic Forum. This year’s list, from the top: extreme weather, involuntary migration, major natural catastrophe, large terrorist attacks, massive data fraud / theft. (Hit the link for additional commentary as well as a table of what survey respondents saw as risks in past years.)

Also today: The Administrative Court has referred a lawsuit calling for the suspension of the IMF agreement to the State Commissioner’s body, Ahram Online reports. The lawsuit was filed by yet another random group of ham-and-egger / press [redacted] lawyers seeking a few moments in the sun.

On The Horizon

Are you bridging next week? Consider this a friendly reminder that Wednesday, 25 January is a national holiday in observance of something or another. Now might be a good time to weigh your odds of escaping and turning over the shop to your minions (or rolling the dice and seeing whether you can get away with asking the boss to bridge). It’s our last national holiday until 16-17 April, when we celebrate Eastern Easter and Sham El Nessim.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Lamees El Hadidy was shocked that Juhayna chairman Safwan Thabet, football great Mohamed Aboutrika and Business News publisher Mostafa Sakr have been placed on a terror list as allegedly known associates of the Ikhwan, suggesting the move was extreme (watch; runtime: 3:34). Aly El Dash, a lawyer for Thabet, said his client was surprised by the decision. “There has been no investigation since the judiciary froze Thabet’s assets in 2014,” he said (watch, runtime: 4:14). Aboutrika’s lawyer, Mohamed Osman, said his client had not been afforded the opportunity to answer the charges (watch; runtime: 3:54). We have more on the case in Speed Round, below.

Elsewhere last night, Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer featured an interview with Finance Minister Amr El Garhy recorded before he left for the eurobond roadshow. The minister used the time in part to explain in layman’s terms why international bonds are a useful tool to finance the budget deficit.

Responding to a question on whether the current government is following the footsteps of Mubarak-era cabinets tapped to lead economic change, El Garhy said that the Ismail government doesn’t delay “tough decisions for fear of losing popularity.” On the budget deficit, El Garhy said “if we succeeded in reducing the budget deficit to 10% and below by 2020, the government will be able to redirect spending to key priorities including health and education.”

El Garhy also promised the government will ensure the nation’s poor are protected from the impact of subsidy cuts, including the rising price of electricity. The minister (with whom we sympathize for having to answer the same question again and again and again) also had to offer his stock defense of the float of the EGP.

El Garhy’s cabinet colleague Dalia Khorshid spoke with Lamees from the World Economic Forum in Davos. The investment minister said the Egyptian delegation will focus selling Egypt’s economic reform story (watch; runtime: 2:14).

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib looked into Egypt’s export figures and how to improve them. Industry and Trade Ministry spokesman Yasser Gaber spoke at length with about the ministry’s effort to grow trade with Africa, which Egypt has designated a priority market for exports (watch, runtime: 5:03).

Adib also compared prices in private supermarkets with those at military-owned outlets (watch: runtime: 12:09).

Is Education Minister Hilali El Sherbiny about to exit stage right? Cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan called in to Al Hayah Al Youm to say that Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s meeting with El Sherbiny and other ministry staff members doesn’t necessarily mean he’s about to lose his job in the expected cabinet shuffle (watch, runtime: 3:33). Cabinet had issued a statement earlier in the day explaining that the meeting was to discuss policy.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

M&A Watch- Nestlé SA announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Caravan Marketing Company, the owner of the Bonjorno instant coffee brand. “The acquisition reflects Nestlé’s ambition to invest in Egypt and foster the development of the rapidly growing soluble coffee segment which has been gaining popularity among Egyptians,” according to Nestlé’s official release. Yasser Abdulmalak, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Egypt, said, “The acquisition will combine Nestlé’s strong marketing & innovation capabilities with Caravan’s distribution model and significant presence in retail.” Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Talks about the acquisition first emerged last May, when Nestlé reportedly made an offer for the company. At the time, Al Mal said Caravan appointed CI Capital as its sell-side advisor.

Juhayna’s Safwan Thabet, footballer Aboutrika placed on terror watchlist. A Cairo Criminal court has placed the Muslim Brotherhood on its list of designated terrorist groups and reportedly included Juhayna Chairman Safwan Thabet, retired footballer Mohamed Aboutrika and Business News Chairman Moustafa Sakr in a 22-page list of allegedly affiliated “terrorists,” Al Shorouk reports. Thabet and Aboutrika’s assets will remain frozen for another three years and the court decision will prevent them from taking on any government roles. The state will also cancel their passports and place them on a no-fly list, according to the newspaper. Those on the terror list, including several prominent members of the Ikhwan and their supporters, face charges of funding and supporting activities that threatened public and national security. Others on the list include former president Mohamed Morsi, Ikhwan supreme guide Mohamed Badie, strongman Khairat El Shater, businessman Hassan Malek, and Islamic scholar Yussef Al Qaradawy.

Global Telecom Holding (GTH) has picked Pharos Holding to manage its share buyback and the scrapping of its GDR program, according to Al Mal. Ibrachy & Partners will act as legal advisor for the transaction. GTH had announced a fixed-price buyback program to 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 move, according to GTH board member Hassan Abdel Hamid, is aimed at avoiding the large costs associated with being listed in two different stock exchanges and to focus operations on the EGX.

A great export season for Egyptian orange growers: We’re already the world’s top exporter of citrus fruit, the Ministry of Trade and Industry tells us, and now the volume of Egyptian oranges exported to Europe in the “next few months” is expected to be 20-25% higher y-o-y, Netherlands-based fruit and vegetable importer Marni Fruit told Fresh Fruit Portal. Marni Fruit’s manager said the increase in the supply of Egyptian fruit in European markets is partly due to the EGP’s devaluation, which now favors Egyptian exporters. Other factors in favour of domestic growers: The larger size of Egyptian fruit and a good orange harvest, which allowed for a larger export volume. Heavy rainfall in Spain cut output there, reducing competition with Egyptian oranges.

Corplease tops 11M2016 financial leasing league table. Corplease, GB Lease, Al Tawfeek Co., Incolease, and Global Lease were Egypt’s top five financial leasing companies in 2016, according to Al Mal. The companies held a collective market share of 52.3% in 11M2016, with Corplease at the lead with a 16.2% share, followed by GB Lease with an 11.1% share.

An MP grandstanding on the proposed investment act? Quelle surprise. The deputy chair of the House of Representatives’ Economics Committee took to the press yesterday to lambast proposed Investment Act. Pouncing like a starving cheetah on the grandstanding rope tossed him by Al Borsa, Amr El Gohary said that the act offers far too many incentives to investors at the expense of the state. He was especially critical of the extremely low prices of land the law would permit and of the notion that foreigners could be allowed to account for 20% of labor on any given project. The final draft of the bill is with the Egyptian Council of State, which is expected to send it to the House in the coming days. On a related note, the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) has not had a change of heart about the bill, but is now claiming that it had a hand in the final draft, Al Shorouk reports. The FEI had previously been insisting on dropping the bill in favor of the old pre-2015 investment act.

The House of Representatives has raised the basic tax exemption to EGP 24,000 from a previous EGP 13,500, meaning anyone earning under EGP 24,000 annually pays no income tax. The move is being positioned as part of an effort to ease the pain of the ongoing economic reforms, according to Al Borsa. An unnamed source from the Finance Ministry said that the ministry was not notified of the House’s decision to amend the law, Al Mal claims. As we noted last week, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy had announced that the ministry is working on a new income tax law to bring the code up to international standards, but had not provided any information on the nature of the changes.

This reeks of opportunity: Government offices and companies now have three months to switch from a cash to an electronic payment system for their staff salaries, according to an ultimatum issued by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail on Tuesday, Youm7 reports. The decision prohibits a return to cash or cheque payments and is part of a state-endorsed initiative to enhance financial inclusion. Government has for more than two years now accelerated the pace at which it has shifted payroll to the banking system.

Turkish police said they captured the suspected gunman who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Day, Reuters reported. The suspect, a man of Uzbek origin identified as Abdulgadir Masharipov, was detained with a man of Kyrgyz origin and three women from Egypt, Senegal, and Somalia.

** Investor relations analyst wanted: Inktank Communications, the Cairo-based investor relations firm that works with both major EGX-listed companies and privately held groups, is looking for two investor relations analysts. The position with our parent company entails working on everything from investor presentations, earnings releases, board material and client transactions to investor-focused press releases and correspondence. Outstanding English-language writing skills are a must. While we have a hiring preference for Egyptian nationals, applications from foreign candidates based in Egypt are welcome. Learn more about the position at inktankcommunications.com/careers or apply now with a cover letter and CV to jobs@inktankcommunications.com.

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Egypt in the News

A Reuters story on the addition of retired football star Mohamed Aboutrika to Egypt’s terror list is setting the tone on coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning. Aboutrika is in Gabon, where he’s calling games for the African Cup of Nations tourney, the newswire says. An Egyptian court added Aboutrika to a terror list on Tuesday for his alleged affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. His lawyer says it’s unclear when the former footballer would be coming back from Gabon.

Speaking of the African Cup: Egypt’s draw with Mali made international headlines overnight, as did goalkeeper Essam El Hadary’s new title as the oldest player to ever compete in the AFCON. El Hadary replaced an injured Ahmed El-Shenawy midway through the first half, according to ESPN. Australia’s SBS, The Guardian, and Fox Sports have all picked up the story.

Echoing the line of a Daily News Egypt piece with which we could not disagree more, Russian state-owned outlet Sputnik speculates “current hard economic conditions” are behind the imminent cabinet shuffle promised by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Reuters also took note of the shuffle story, noting economic challenges only as background.

Halawa trial adjourned after witnesses fail to identify defendants: The trial of Irish-Egyptian Ibrahim Halawa, who was arrested for protesting in Cairo, was adjourned after ten witnesses, including nine police officers, failed to identify any protesters from among the defendants, reports The Irish Times. Halawa and three sisters were arrested in 2013 in connection with protests over the ouster of then-president Mohamed Morsi.

On Deadline

The Tiran and Sanafir case has proven once again that the government lacks political vision, which has led to Egypt enduring one crisis after the next, Amr El Shobaky writes for Al Masry Al Youm. The government’s missteps in the Tiran and Sanafir debacle began with the secretive negotiations on the border demarcation agreement, which showed that the government does not pay heed to the importance of transparency, followed by the timing of the announcement, and finally in the rhetoric fed to the public through the media, El Shobaky says.

Worth Reading

Acquisitions such as the Bonjorno buyout in Egypt announced yesterday could be a key feature of Nestlé’s business model going forward as the global giant looks to make up for having missed its global growth targets. The Economistnotes that Nestlé has been missing its sales growth targets of 5-6% in the past few years. This is part of a bigger trend as “changing consumer tastes explain some of these shortfalls. So does a shifting retail landscape.” In other words, Nestlé’s vast portfolio of products has become harder to manage. The company still holds 20% of the global market across the whole range of its products, but The Economist poses questions about how new CEO Ulf Mark Schneider, who took office on 1 January, will deal with slow growth concerns. “He is the first outsider to get the top job since 1922, and his background—running a healthcare firm, not selling chocolate bars or frozen pizza—suggests the main source of worry for the business.”

A threatening trend is manifested by companies like Brazilian private equity firm 3G which buys slow-growing food and drinks companies and cuts their costs, as it did with the merger of Kraft and Heinz in 2015. However, Nestlé differentiates itself from this business model. “We are very much in an investment position, not in a cost-cutting exercise,” says François-Xavier Roger, Nestlé’s chief financial officer, “but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be cost-efficient in what we do.”

Worth Watching

Nothing in Egypt can make us feel as nostalgic as listening to stories of how cosmopolitan and beautiful Alexandria was up until just two generations ago. Al Jazeera World reminded us of a poignant tale of Egypt’s once-thriving Greek community, told through interviews with those returning to find their old homes, neighborhoods, businesses, and friends, when it uploaded a clip from a 2012 documentary (runtime: 02:15). Until the mid-1900s, more than 200,000 Greeks lived in Egypt, and a large number of them called Alexandria home, but today it is estimated that there are only around 500 Greeks still living in the coastal city. “It was a great city … Alexandria was fabulous, it was often compared to Paris and London … It was a melting pot. This is what I miss today,” Alexandra Papadimitriou, who grew up in Alexandria, says. Alexandria-born archaeologist Harry Tzalas says “what makes us Alexandrians cry is not for the city, the city is still there, the buildings are still there, it’s the youth we lived. This is nostalgia.” The documentary, Egypt: The Other Homeland, can be watched here in full (runtime: 47:32).

Energy

Egypt signs two oil and gas exploration agreements

Egypt signed two exploration and production agreements in the Western Desert and Suez Canal regions, Aswat Masriya reported. The first agreement was signed with Sahara for Oil and Gas, a sister company of Sahara Petroleum Services (SAPESCO), with an investment value of USD 30 mn. The second agreement was inked with the Offshore Shukeir Oil Company to carry out exploration on behalf of EGPC in the Suez Canal region.

Kuwait Energy sells 25% of its interest in Abu Sennan concession

Kuwait Energy of signed a Farm-Out Agreement (FOA) selling a 25% participating interest in the Abu Sennan concession to newcomer Global Connect, according to a statement from Kuwait Energy. Kuwait Energy held a 50% interest in the concession, which was discovered last July, with Dover Investments and Rockhopper Exploration.

Health + Education

House Health Committee to question Rady on health spending

The House Health Committee has requested that Health Minister Ahmed Rady submit a report on the ministry’s expenditures for 1H2016-17 to determine whether its budget is in line with the compromise reached last on meeting the constitutional requirements on health spending, Al Borsa reports. A committee member said that, if the report were to reveal that the government had allocated EGP 47 bn to the ministry, rather than the EGP 74 bn the House had agreed upon, this would be grounds for a vote of no confidence in the Ismail cabinet for violating the constitution. This member appears to have missed the point entirely of the compromise, whereby the House signed off on the government NOT meeting the requirement. Forgive him, Father, for he is an MP.

Real Estate + Housing

Al Hefda Egypt Kuwait investing EGP 1 bn this year

Real estate developer Al Hefda Egypt Kuwait is investing EGP 1 bn into projects this year, Chairman Al Hussein Mohamed Eissa told Al Borsa. The company will apply for land plots in the first phase of the Administrative Capital, he added. Al Hefda recently partnered with Kuwaiti investors to build a residential project in Haram with an investment value of EGP 400 mn, he added, and has a similar project in Sixth of October.

Developers are asking consultants to reexamine cost studies

A number of real estate developers have asked consultancy offices to revisit cost studies to reflect the increasing cost of raw materials, Al Borsa reported. Developers want to reevaluate the cost of growth, said Inter-Consult Chairman Aly Raafat. Construction costs grew by 25-30% following the EGP float, which even the most conservative of feasibility studies couldn’t account for, said Engineering Consultants Group Chairman Amr Allouba. Some developers are asking their consultants for engineering solutions to curb costs without compromising quality, said deputy GM at Mancon Consultancy Mohamed Moussa.

Porto, Amer to build EGP 340 mn Santorini compound

Sister companies Amer Group and Porto Group signed a EGP 340 mn agreement to build 500 homes for the Santorini compound in Ain Al Sokhna, Al Borsa reported.

Land tenders for New Capital’s phase one to be issued within three weeks

The government will begin issuing tenders for land in phase one of the new administrative capital within the next three weeks and at discounts of up to 25%, according to Al Shorouk. Phase one stretches across some 10.5k feddans and will include 170k residential units developed by the New Urban Communities Authority.

Tourism

Joint US-Egyptian project to restore hundreds of pharaonic coffins

Egypt is set to restore over 600 pharaonic wooden coffins under a joint US-Egyptian project, Reuters reported. The project is funded through a USD 130k conservation grant given by the US to Egypt in December 2015. That project is part of a larger U.S.-Egypt treaty signed in 2016 to curtail illicit trafficking of antiquities. "There has been no other project like this worldwide with this number of coffins being documented or restored," said head of the museum’s restoration department Moemen Othman.

UK Minister of State for Security inspects Terminal 2 of Cairo Airport, discusses restoring flights to Sharm El Sheikh

Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy met with the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Security Robert Ben Wallace to inspect Terminal 2 of Cairo Airport and discuss restoring British flights to Sharm El Sheikh, Al Borsa reports. Wallace also met with Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar to discuss the recent developments in Egypt’s security situation, according to Al Shorouk.

Tourism Ministry looks to boost tourism from Kazakhstan, India, China

The Tourism Ministry is looking to attract greater tourism flows from Kazakhstan, India, and China to Sharm El Sheikh, and is looking into establishing flights from seven Kazakh cities, said Tourism Minister Mohamed Rashed, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

Telecoms + ICT

ICT Ministry signs MoU with China’s Development and Reform Commission

A delegation from China’s National Development and Reform Commission met with ICT Minister Yasser El Kady, the ministry said in a statement. El Kady signed an MoU that aims to enhance cooperation and exchange experiences in the ICT field, and improving the commercial and industrial technological projects between the two countries for the development of the One Belt, One Road initiative’s information link (a fancy word for a database of IT projects between the initiative members). Additionally, an experimental IT economic cooperation zone between China and Egypt has been established.

Banking + Finance

CBE approves EGP 2.5 bn capital increase for United Bank of Egypt

The central bank has approved an EGP 2.5 bn capital increase for the United Bank of Egypt, ahead of its impending sale to a strategic investor scheduled for this year, Chairman Ashraf El Kady told Al Mal. The bank’s capital increase, which increases its capital to EGP 3.5 bn, is financed through a 2013 subordinated loan from the central bank, as per news from last August. The Bank is set to be sold to a strategic investor sometime this year.

CBE governor to meet with Investor Associations next week to resume talks on pre-floats LCs

CBE Governor Tarek Amer will meet with members of the Union of Egyptian Investors Associations early next week to resume talks on the repayment of LCs issued before the EGP float, Al Borsa reported. The meeting will look into rescheduling the loans, set a fixed exchange rate for the debt as well as interest rate, according to the Union’s Mohamed Farid Khamis. In a meeting last week, the Federation had agreed with PM Sherif Ismail that pre-float LCs would be repaid over a seven-year period.

EEHC seeking EGP 10 bn loan to fund future expansions

The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) is seeking an EGP 10 bn loan from banks to fund future expansions in electricity transmission and distribution, Al Borsa reports. According to the newspaper, the EEHC is planning to approach the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr for a syndicated loan to fund the first phase of the EGP 37 bn transmission build-up.

Other Business News of Note

Move in the House to exempt recruitment firms from VAT

There is a move in the House of Representatives to try and exempt recruitment agencies from the value-added tax (VAT). the House Proposals Committee has recommended the move to the House Planning Committee and the Legislative Committee. They argue that this would facilitate workers seeking abroad and send back remittances, Al Shorouk reports.

Legislation + Policy

House signs off on protest law amendments, proposed amendments to personal status law

The legislative committee at the House of Representatives’ signed off on amendments to the protest law adopted last month that would have the Interior Ministry seek court approval before it can disperse it or change a protest’s location, Al Shorouk reported. The committee also approved the government’s proposed amendments to the personal status law, which covers matters of marriage, death, inheritance, and child custody.

EFSA finalizing draft of accounting procedures

Al Borsa published the most recent draft of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority’s accounting procedures to factor in the EGP float. Amendments to this are expected.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Importers division wants cheaper USD, fixing for at least three months

The importers division at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce has rejected the government’s fixing of the customs USD exchange rate at EGP 18.5 per USD 1 until February, Al Mal said. The division believes the rate should be closer to EGP 16 per USD 1 and wants the government to fix the rate for “at least three months” to preserve “balance and market stability.” The government has also set the rate for the EUR and GBP at EGP 19.7 and EGP 23.1, respectively, according to Al Borsa.

Saudi funded development projects ongoing -sources

Projects financed by Saudi Arabia in Egypt have not come to a standstill, a government source told Al Borsa, a day after the Higher Administrative Court’s ruling to annul the maritime border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia. According to the USD 1.5 bn agreement from the Saudi Development fund, completing 25% of any project triggers the disbursement of the following tranches of finances, the source said. Other sources added that some joint investment projects between the two governments are in the contracting stage.The Saudi Arabian government and its officials have been quiet and reactions to the verdict have been limited to social media platforms. Al Shorouk spoke to Saudi shura council member Mohamad Abdullah Al Zalfa, who stressed that the issue will not affect Saudi-Egyptian relations and the matter shouldn’t go to international arbitration. Meanwhile in Egypt, Legal Affairs Minister Magdy El Agaty said on Tuesday that article 151 of the constitution gives MPs the right to review and sanction any treaty despite any court rulings, so long as they don’t result in the “ceding of any part of state territories,” Ahram Online said. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal concurred. In his first televised interview

National Security

Egyptian Air Force to equip Hercules aircraft with electronic intelligence capability

Egypt will equip at least one of its Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft with an electronic intelligence (ELINT) capability, IHS Jane’s reported. “According to a notification posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the US Air Force has contracted Sierra Nevada Corporation to deliver the capability. No further details were revealed. The Egyptian Air Force currently fields 22 C-130H and three C-130H-30 Hercules aircraft, any of which could be adapted to the ELINT role either through the fitting of integrated mission equipment or with a roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) mission compartment.”

Sports

Egypt ties with Mali as El Hadary becomes oldest player in Africa Cup of Nations

Egypt played a disappointing game in its first match of the Africa Cup of Nations against Mali, ending with a 0-0 draw after Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny wasted two chances in the first-half. Egypt now ties with Mali in second place in Group D after favorites Ghana beat Uganda 1-0. Egypt’s next game will be this Saturday against Uganda at 9.00 pm CLT. The star of the show last night was Egypt’s goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, who became the oldest player in history to play at the tournament at the age of 44 years. He received a congratulatory tweet from FIFA for the milestone which was widely covered internationally.

On Your Way Out

We’re investing in crocodiles now, apparently: Al-Monitor picks up where we left off in November with a look at the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency’s new project to creating Nile crocodile farms and terrariums after their numbers increased noticeably in Lake Nasser recently.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.74 | Sell 18.92
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.75 | Sell 18.85
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 18.6 | Sell 18.7

EGX30 (Tuesday): 13,436.1 (+1.29%)
Turnover: EGP 1.808 bn (315% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +8.839%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 closed Monday’s session up 1.3%. Yesterday’s top performing stocks were Heliopolis Housing, Amer Group, both up 6.1%, and Ezz Steel, up 5.6%. Today’s worst performing stocks included ACC, down 4.7%, Global Telecom, down 3.9%, and Arabia Investments, down 2.5%. Market turnover stood at EGP 1.8 bn, with foreign investors as the sole net buyers of the day.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +256.2 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -48.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -208.1 mn

Retail: 68.1% of total trades | 63.3% of buyers | 72.9% of sellers
Institutions: 31.9% of total trades | 36.7% of buyers | 27.1% of sellers

Foreign: 15.1% of total | 22.2% of buyers | 8.0% of sellers
Regional: 10.3% of total | 8.9% of buyers | 11.6% of sellers
Domestic: 74.6% of total | 68.9% of buyers | 80.4% of sellers

WTI: USD 52.63 (+0.29%)
Brent: USD 55.61 (+0.25%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.43 MMBtu, (+0.64%, February 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,215.40 / troy ounce (+0.21%)

TASI: 6,873.53 (+0.73%) (YTD: -4.67%)
ADX: 4,663.14 (+0.21%) (YTD: +2.57%)
DFM: 3,558.68 (+1.80%) (YTD: +12.94%)
KSE Weighted Index: 409.03 (+2.36%) (YTD: +7.61%)
QE: 10,927.83 (+1.57%) (YTD: +4.71%)
MSM: 5,737.24 (-0.15%) (YTD: -0.79%)
BB: 1,229.38 (+0.74%) (YTD: +0.73%)

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Calendar

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.

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