Sunday, 5 February 2017

More subsidy cuts said to be coming


What We’re Tracking Today

We’re still waiting for news of a cabinet shuffle promised by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi late last month. A spokesman for Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said late last week that the final lineup is still a work in progress. Word on the street is that roughly 10 ministers could exit stage left, including possibly one member of the cabinet economic group.

Tonight’s the night: The Pharaohs will be facing off with Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations final tonight at 9pm CLT as Egypt hopes to take the title for the first time since 2010, FIFA reminds us. While the first and second spots in the championship will be determined tonight, Burkina Faso has already edged out Ghana for third place, according to the BBC.

It’s purchasing managers’ index day. The Emirates NBD Egypt PMI by Markit is due out this morning by 6:15am CLT — or just after we hit “send” on Enterprise. It will be posted here when released. The last iteration found the gauge to cap off the worst quarter on record. The Saudi and UAE polls are also due out this morning at the same time.

Random observation of the morning: It’s easier to open a new business in Egypt than it is in America. We kid you not. Writes Merryn Somerset Webb for the Financial Times (with the required dig a France): “The World Bank puts the US at number 51 on its list of ease of opening a new business across the world. That puts it below Russia, Belarus, Burundi, Egypt, Jamaica, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mongolia and even France.” Don’t believe her? Check out the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report here. Egypt is ranked 39 for ease of opening a new business, the US comes in at 51. The three easiest places in the world to start a business? In order, they are New Zealand, Canada and Hong Kong.

The Donald is “taking an axe to Wall Street regulation.” US President Donald Trump is looking to de-fang the Dodd-Frank act, a key piece of financial legislation in the United States passed in the wake of the global financial crisis that “reined in mortgage practices and derivatives trading and curbed the ability of banks to trade with their own money,” the New York Times’ Dealbook reports. Trump made the announcement while sitting next to Blackstone chief Stephen Schwartzman and openly praised JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon — a frequent target of regulators during the Obama administration — at the same gathering.

Snap[chat]’s IPO is the international business story you’ll be sick of within a week. Snap is the company that owns Snapchat — the app that makes your teenager certain that Facebook is only for old folks. The company would like to become the next Facebook and has some analysts predicting it’s more like the “next TV” because of its “lean back” experience. It also thinks it deserves investors’ money without giving them any say (at all) in how it will use the cash. As Reuters reports, Snap’s USD 3 bn IPO outlines “aggressive expansion plans but [offers] new investors no say on how the company is run and no promise of profits.” That’s right: A company that lost USD 500 mn last year will offer new shareholders exactly zero voting rights. Evan Spiegel, the 26-year-old Stanford dropout behind the company (profiled here in the FT), is now officially the tech entrepreneur we most dislike.

Sound smart: At least 10 of the 12 investment banks that have signed up to underwrite the Snap IPO weren’t even allowed a peek at the S-1 ahead of it being filed. On the list: Citi and the Royal Bank of Canada, Reuters reports. That prospectus, now public, is raising eyebrows for (literal) references to poop (as in we take our smartphones to the bathroom), sexting (Snap is about much more than that) and a ghost puking a rainbow. Check out the S-1 filing for yourself on the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Between what appears to have been an attack on the Louvre by an Egyptian citizen and Giza going without water for three days, the events of this past weekend were tailor-made for the Talking Heads.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid condemned as a “terrorist act” the attack on a soldier at the Louvre by Abdullah Reda El Hamahmy, an Egyptian national, saying during a call-in to Al Hayah Al Youm that it would have no impact on ties with Paris. The Ismail government will issue a formal statement on the incident once French authorities have concluded their investigation, he added (watch, runtime 2:44).

Hona Al Asema’s news team interviewed the alleged perpetrator’s father, a retired army general from Mansoura, who denied that his son held any extremist views, despite reports that he referenced Daesh on his social media accounts. El Hamahmy was based in Dubai and had been to Paris on a business trip which he extended for some sightseeing, according to his father (watch, runtime: 8:59).

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib rejected the father’s notion that his son was just a normal guy, noting: “El Hamahmy’s tweets show us that he was motivated by terrorist ideology.” Adib reviewed reactions from the international press to the attack, particularly Donald Trump’s tweet, which used the incident to justify his Muslim ban. Adib noted other press reports ridiculing Trump’s tweet, as Egypt and the UAE have not (yet been) included in the ban (watch, runtime: 9:07).

Closer to home, contractor Mokhtar Ibrahim was blamed entirely for the three-day water outage in Giza. A spokesman for the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater interviewed on Lamees El Hadidi’s Hona Al Assema said “engineering mistakes” were made by Mokhtar Ibrahim prolonged the outage from a planned 24 hours to around three days (watch, runtime: 5:23).

Host Lamees Al Hadidi put on her venture capitalist hat last night to speak about the Hona Al Shabab start-up competition launched by CBC in cooperation with EG Bank. Applicants will pitch their projects to leading entrepreneurs on Hona Al Assema. The top three projects will receive seed funding and loans of around EGP 1 mn each. Contest partners Endeavour Egypt, 138 Pyramids and RiseUp will offer winners training and mentorship (watch, runtime: 5:17).

In her weekly 4+1 debate segment, Lamees and her guests discussed increases in the price of subsidized commodities and the most important question in all of recorded history: Is Egypt is a poor country? (Watch; runtime: 36:02)
With no Zamalek or Egypt match last night, Amr Adib copied his better half’s homework and centered his episode on SMEs, interviewing the head of the National Bank of Egypt’s SME department (Hazem Hegazy) and head of the Small and Medium Enterprises Union (Alaa El Saqty). Hegazy announced that NBE’s SME loan portfolio has grown to EGP 200 bn thanks to the Central Bank’s small business initiative (watch, runtime: 6:41), while El Saqty discussed his organization’s program to get college degree holders and non-college-educated workers to collaborate on producing goods that Egypt imports (watch, runtime: 6:29).

Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal interviewed the head of CAMPAS’ 2017 census unit Abdel Hameed Sharaf, who denied reports that this year’s census was designed to help cut welfare cheats from the subsidies system (not a bad idea) and obtain tax records, adding that the census data was strictly confidential (watch, runtime: 4:15).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

A French soldier shot and injured a machete-wielding Egyptian at the Louvre Museum in Paris.Egyptian security officials have identified the alleged attacker as Abdullah Reda El Hamahmy, 29, from Dakahlia, Reuters reports. El Hamahmy is alleged to have attacked two soldiers checking bags near the museum’s shopping mall and was shot in the abdomen, prosecutor Francois Molins said. The Associated Press says the investigation is now looking at whether El Hamahmy acted alone. French President Francois Hollande, however, said he is certain it was an act of terrorism. El-Hamahmy’s family denied their son had any affiliation with terrorist groups and said he was a “normal young man.” The New York Times also has the story.

More subsidy cuts coming soon as IMF delegation reviews Egypt’s progress on reform program: The Ismail government is preparing a series of new “austerity measures” which it plans to discuss with an International Monetary Fund delegation currently visiting to review progress on the reform program Egypt agreed as a condition of its USD 12 bn extended fund facility from the IMF, government sources tell Al Shorouk. The measures include further hikes in the prices of fuel, electricity, and subsidized food commodities. There are divisions within the government over when to implement these new increases, as many senior officials fear the social backlash, said the source. He added that while the delegation is “sympathetic” to the dilemmas of the government, they warned of the consequences of delaying implementing them. As we noted last week, the delegation’s report on the implementation is a requirement for unlocking the second installment of the USD 12 bn IMF funding.

While we’re on subsidies, Patrick Werr points to Egypt’s fertilizer industry as a clear case of how subsidies distort the market. In his column for The National, Werr notes that subsidising energy to fertilizer producers has not only led to farmers overusing them on crops, adding pollutants to the Nile and Mediterranean, but also resulted in shortages in the market as producing fertilizers and selling them at the prices set by the government became a money losing endeavour.

Licenses for cars, driver and company required in new Uber, Careem Act: Ride-sharing platforms including Uber and Careem would require multiple licenses and permits under legislation to regulate the industry expected to be proposed by the Ismail government, Al Borsa reports. Ride-sharing companies as well as individual cars and drivers would all need to be separately licensed under the proposed measures. Company officials say the regulations would simply turn their fleets into taxis that can be hailed online instead of networks of independent drivers.

The new law would also outline a new tax framework for the industry, something MP Ahmed Zaidan, a member of a joint committee in the House of Representatives currently reviewing the draft, said would be welcomed by both Uber and Careem. Had the committee members read Enterprise (or stayed awake during hearings with representatives Uber and Careem), they would have remembered that industry leaders — including Careem MD for Egypt Wael Fakharany — have called for amendments to existing executive regulations instead of a new law. Don’t expect the legislation to be ready anytime soon, as Zaidan said that they have to work on other acts before getting to this one.

On a related note, Careem plans to announce the launch of Careem Go and Go Plus services at a press conference scheduled for tomorrow, Al Mal says. The announcement reveals exactly nothing about what the service might be.

A final date for the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt has yet to be determined, the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement cited by Al Masry Al Youm, but Cairo International Airport has set specific routes for Russia’s Aeroflot at the request of a Russian security delegation, the Egyptian Airport Company’s president told Al Borsa. The ministry’s statement comes after Cairo Airport’s Terminal 2 passed a key Russian security audit on which state-owned television channel Russia 24 aired a report, sources from the airport told the newspaper.

In other tourism news, Ukrainian tour operators are asking Egypt for incentives including lower ground handling fees so they can increase tourist inflows to the country. Senior Ukrainian officials promised the governors of South Sinai and the Red Sea that they would work to deliver 1 mn tourists to Egypt per annum during a tourism-centered press conference in Kiev, Al Borsa reports.

New discoveries to be announced in 2H2017 will put Egypt on the natural gas export track, Bloomberg reports, citing remarks by Oil Minister Tarek El Molla. The discoveries will bring Egypt “closer to its goal of self-sufficiency by 2019,” the story says, quoting EGAS chief Mohamed El Masry as noting that “Egypt will start exporting natural gas in 2019” and will “import 43 to 45 cargoes of liquefied natural gas between March and December this year from Oman, Russia’s Rosneft, and France’s Engie.” Reuters’ Arabic service also has the news, as does Al Borsa.

Centamin gets love from the FT after quadrupling dividend: Egyptian miner Centamin is getting love from the Financial Times as it promotes company analysis from sister publication Investors Chronicle. Noting that the company has quintupled its full-year dividend, the publication writes that “a payout equivalent to 70 per cent of free cash flow looks improbable if gold stays at USD 1,211, but Centamin’s USD 0.135 final dividend has set the benchmark for cashed-up peers not considering mergers and acquisitions.”

Egypt is kicking Sicilian artichokes to the curb: Sicilian purple artichoke producers are being swamped by produce from Egypt, according to Fresh Plaza. One producer says “prices are very low (for the Purple variety) because the domestic produce is being replaced by the Egyptian one. Markets and stores are literally flooded with large quantities of artichokes from Egypt, which are cultivated at a much lower cost.” He says Egypt artichokes are pushing prices below the cost of domestic produce. (We still won’t eat the things, happy as we may be about an export success story…)

“Minor fire” at El Sewedy Electric warehouse, production no interruption to manufacturing: A “minor fire” at an Elsewedy Electric warehouse in 10 Ramadan City yesterday was contained in under an hour and resulted in loss and damage of no more than USD 10k, a source with first-hand knowledge of the incident tells us. The warehouse stored accessories at a fiber poles factory. Manufacturing was not interrupted by the incident, we’re told.

BPE Partners has inked a partnership agreement with SSAT Education in its bid to build 200 PPP schools for the Egyptian Education Ministry, Al Mal reported. We reported in November that BPE and Orascom Construction are two of 79 companies vying for the project. SSAT would provide BPE Partners with technical support for the bid. A government representative said the ministry will issue a shortlist of the bidders qualified for the state tender “soon.”

Water returned to Giza on Friday: The Water Holding Company and National Tunnels Authority might impose a fine on the Société Egyptienne d’Entreprises (Mokhtar Ibrahim) after technical difficulties caused delays in maintenance works and disrupted water services in Giza for more than 48 hours, Al Mal reported. The government had announced that pipelines would remain dry for 24 hours while Mokhtar Ibrahim relocated a water pipeline the make way for construction of a new section of the Cairo Metro. Water began returning gradually to homes as of Friday morning.

14-year-old Demyana Amir succumbed yesterday to her wounds from the St. Peter and St. Paul Church bombing, bringing the total death toll from the December attack to 29, Ahram Online reported.

US Congress members introduce legislation to honor Sadat: US senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat “for his courageous and steadfast contributions to the history of peace in the Middle East.” The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by US Congress, and its backers want to see it awarded by the centennial of Sadat’s birth in 2018. “Sadat was a once-in-a-generation leader,” said Rep. Chris Stewart. “He demonstrated a moral and political courage that is rare among world leaders, and which transformed the course of history. It’s wholly appropriate that we recognize that courage with the Congressional Gold Medal.”

Federal judge suspends Trump’s “Muslim ban”: Nationals from the seven Muslim-majority countries listed in President Donald Trump’s ban are boarding flights to the US “normally” after a federal judge temporarily halted the executive order and reversed around 60k visas that had been revoked (as long as they were not physically canceled), CNN reported. The Justice Department has filed an appeal against the judge’s order, which Trump promptly attacked in a tweet. US Customs and Border Protection have notified Cairo International Airport of the suspension of the ban. Airlines in Egypt have returned to allowing citizens of the seven countries to board US-bound flights, Al Ahram reports.

Oil prices jump in response to new US sanctions on Iran: US crude shot up to USD 53.83 per barrel after the Trump administration imposed further sanctions on Tehran this past Friday, CNBC reports. The sanctions bar 12 entities and 13 individuals from accessing the US financial market and is seen as an initial reaction to Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for Houthi militia in Yemen, a senior US official said. Oil prices are likely to continue climbing in light of these sanctions, particularly after OPEC’s decision to cut oil production came into effect last month, the broadcaster suggests.


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Egypt in the News

Predictably enough, an alleged attack on a French soldier at the Louvre by an Egyptian national is dominating headlines about Egypt this morning in the international press. Elsewhere over the weekend and into this morning:

NYT’s Ross Douthat believes Morsi’s brief tenure as Egypt’s president, and not Putin’s example from Russia, provides an appropriate case study for US President Donald Trump. “Nothing about Trumpian populism to date suggests that it has either the political skill or the popularity required to grind its opposition down. In which case, instead of Putin, the more relevant case study might be former President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood leader whose brief tenure was defined both by chronic self-sabotage and by the active resistance of the Egyptian bureaucracy and intelligentsia, which rendered governance effectively impossible. The Egyptian deep state’s sabotage of Morsi culminated in a coup. This is not my prediction for the Trump era. But what we’ve watched unfold with refugee policy suggests that chaos and incompetence are much more likely to define this administration than any kind of ruthless strength.”

An Egyptian scientist says he invented a machine that ploughs fields in a manner that saves about half the amount of water usually used for irrigation in rice fields, and a quarter of fertilizers used in cultivation, according to SciDev. The machine’s inventor, Mohamed El Hagarey, was granted the prestigious WatSave Award for Young Professionals from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage in mid-November. He says the machine costs USD 5,000 but still needs further development before it is ready for commercial production.

Other stories worth noting this morning:

  • Egypt is reportedly pressing Hamas to open talks with Israel on the release of captives, Times of Israel reported. Senior Hamas members are in Cairo in what’s seen as an easing of tensions between the Palestinians and Egyptian officials.
  • Ancient Egypt embraced the feminism and gender equality seen in modern-day Western societies, but the glass ceiling existed back then as well, Egyptian-Belgian author Khaled Diab writes for Al Jazeera.
  • A preacher in Suez has been suspended and his preaching license revoked after he deviated from the pre-determined theme of the sermon to praise goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, Gulf News reports.

On Deadline

Cairo and its long history are being neglected and forgotten now that Egypt is building a new capital, writes Lamees Gaber in Al Watan. Cairo’s historical sites have faced waves of destruction over time — the Opera House, the Azbakiya Gardens, even the Salah Al Din Citadel are all relics on which time has taken a toll. Now, the government announced it would be tearing the 116 year-old Intercontinental hotel in downtown Cairo to build a shopping mall and restaurants. “Has the new capital taken all our attention now? Have we closed the file on this ancient city that is Cairo?”

Worth Reading

Israel’s security and tech firms do business in Saudi Arabia … just very quietly: In the relationship between Israeli tech firms and Saudi Arabia, good agreements and plausible deniability make “good neighbors,” Jonathan Ferziger and Peter Waldman write for Bloomberg Businessweek. They look at some of the cases where Israeli companies interacted with Arab governments, including the one of Shmuel Bar, whose company was approached by “someone from the upper echelons of power in Saudi Arabia” to use its Palantir-like technology to ferret out Saudi jihadis. The caveat was that he was asked to create a pass-through company to hide his own’s Israeli identity. “For now, ‘everything has to be under the radar,’ says Shabtai Shavit, the former Mossad chief. Another company’s technology, AGT International’s, came in handy in the UAE as it processed video and still images captured at the scenes of the stabbing of an American teacher in Abu Dhabi and identified the suspect within a day — who had also planted a bomb at a home there, which was diffused. “What always surprises me is how much money and technology and equipment flows between mortal enemies on the political stage,” one engineer says.

Worth Watching

Make “Your Momma” Great Again: With the coming of The Donald, many here have pointed to the horror that a Mortada Mansour presidency would be. The profane Zamalek chairman, public buffoon, former MP, and proud peeping tom has actually run for the presidency twice, backing out in 2014 because he dreamed that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi should be head of state. Back during his first run, Egyptian trolls (in our book, the most creative people in the world) made an amazing campaign video (watch; runtime: 0:33) for The Mortadel, which splices him yelling his catchphrase “Omak” (Your Momma) into Afaf Rady’s classic anthem “Egypt Is My Mother.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The Italian embassy in Cairo held a memorial service for Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of when he was found murdered on the approaches to the Cairo-Alex Desert Road tollway, Al Mal reported. Investigations into the murder are ongoing with efforts from both Italy and Egypt.

Egypt and the UAE will meet for bilateral political consultations twice a year under an agreement reached in Abu Dhabi by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The two Libya, Yemen, and Syria during their meeting.

South Sudan rebels are accusing Egypt of carrying out bombing raids against their positions and warn of regional war, Reuters reports. The rebels claim the Egyptian Air Force dropped “more than nine bombs and explosions on SPLA-IO positions.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid denied the allegations.


EGAS urges factories to pay overdue gas bills on time

EGAS has agreed to restructure a total of EGP 2 bn in receivables from factories over periods of three to five years, EGAS Chairman Mohamed El Masry told Al Borsa. He said companies are committed to their repayment schedule and complied with paying 10% of what is owed. El Masry added that EGAS has not cut gas supplies and will not reduce the quantities allocated to factories. The news comes as EGAS has reportedly sent warning letters to factories urging them to stick to the gas bill payment schedule set by the company’s board of directors, Al Borsa reports.

Molla in talks with Petronas over Borollos gas field phase 9B

Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla discussed the USD 950 mn plan to develop phase 9B of the Borollos gas field with the head of Malaysia’s Petronas on Saturday, Al Borsa reported. The project involves drilling eight new wells with a daily capacity of 387 mcf.


Endowments Authority looking into establishing fertilizer factory with EGP 300 mn investment value

From the department of WTF, we have this: The Religious Endowments Authority wants to establish a EGP 300 mn fertilizer factory to increase the crop yield from agricultural lands the authority owns or rents, sources from the authority told Al Borsa.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Supply Ministry’s reserves last more than four months, gov’t to curb price increases

Egypt has a five-month reserve of wheat, Supplies Minister Mohamed El Sheikh said, according to Reuters’ Arabic service. Stocks of sugar and rice are also in good health, he added, saying there is enough of them to last for four months. Cooking oil reserves could last for five months. The ministry has issued tenders for wheat imports, but new guidelines and quality specifications will be issued in two weeks’ time to regulate the process, El Sheikh added. Separately, the minister said the increase in prices of staple commodities for ration card holders was in response to international price increases as well as the EGP depreciation, but stressed that the government will move to curb price increases, Ahram Gate reported.

Koudijs Kapo Feed launch EGP 150 mn fish feed factory

Koudijs Kapo Feed have launched an EGP 150 mn fish feed factory with an annual capacity of 150k tonnes in Borg El Arab, board member Alaa Kamar told Al Borsa. The project was financed by retained earnings and an EGP 30 mn loan from CIB, he added. The factory’s production is sent to fish farms in Kafr El Sheikh, Beheira, Sharkiya, and Suez, he said.

Health + Education

Pharma Syndicate, Health Ministry meet to discuss profit margins

A meeting between representatives from the Pharmacists’ Syndicate and Health Minister Ahmed Rady to discuss the pharmacists’ profit margins on medications failed to resolve the impasse between the two sides, Youm7 reports, citing a statement from the syndicate. The syndicate had demanded profit margins of no less than 23% for domestic meds and 15% for imported products, in addition to reverting to directive 200, which gives the Syndicate a say in the opening of a new pharmacy, including the approval of the pharmacy’s trade name, within the syndicate.

According to Al Masry Al Youm, the syndicate’s Dakahlia branch is planning on holding a demonstration in Cairo tomorrow in protest against the January price hikes. As we noted earlier, the syndicate announced it would boycott purchasing meds from producers at the new prices until 10 February and hold a strike on 12 February because they were excluded from discussions on the price increases.

AstraZeneca increasing investments to EGP 400 mn, implying new investment of EGP 100 mn

AstraZeneca Egypt are increasing their investments to EGP 400 mn this year, country President Khaled Atef told Al Borsa. The company is launching a new med for hypertension and heart disease, he added. We had reported last year that AstraZeneca had invested EGP 300 mn in the domestic market.

Real Estate + Housing

Housing Ministry to issue terms and conditions for bidding on land in new capital next week

The Housing Ministry will be issuing the terms and conditions for bidding on land in the new administrative capital on 12 February, Housing Minister Mustafa Madbouly said, according to Al Borsa. The Administrative Capital for Urban Development Company will auction off land through a closed bidding system, with each piece ranging between 50 and 500 feddans, for a total of 15k feddans in the first phase of the capital, the newspaper reports.


Tourism promotion campaign for Egypt in Russia not ready -JWT

JWT are not ready to launch a promotional campaign for Egypt in Russia, Egypt CEO Hany Shoukry told Al Shorouk. The company does not have the necessary funds and has not received a clear payment schedule from the Tourism Development Authority (TDA), he added. The authority is behind on payments to several of JWT’s international partners, he added, and owes USD 16.5 mn since the This Is Egypt campaign was launched in August 2015. Last week a senior TDA official had said that the Russia promotional campaign was ready to launch as soon as flights with Moscow are restored, a contradiction which leads us to wish that money would be spent on an actual press secretary.

Automotive + Transportation

Maersk Line uses rail for the first time to transport containers in Egypt

Shipping company has used rail for the first time ever to transport 120 containers from the Damietta Port to Sokhna Port, Al Borsa reported. The Chairman of the Damietta Port said the national Ports Authority has looking to reduce reliance on ground transport and resort more to rail. He said the plan is to get more shipping companies using the railway network to transport containers nationally from ports.

Auto sales decline 28.8% in 2016

Auto sales declined 28.8% year-on-year, with 198K vehicles sold in 2016, according to data from the Automotive Information Council, Al Borsa reported. Passenger car sales dropped 27%, while bus and truck sales fell 35% and 30% respectively for the year. Chevrolet clocked in the highest number of cars sold with a market share of 21.7%, followed by Hyundai (19.5%), Nissan (11.6%), and Toyota (6.6%). According to the newspaper, Nissan’s topped sales for December with 1,821 cars.

CPA decision to force some auto companies to accommodate customer complaints

Some auto companies will be forced to extend the warranty periods for a number of customers to accommodate delays at their workshops and service centers, according to new decisions issued by the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) issued in response to complaints, Al Mal reports. The decisions also instruct the companies to complete the work within 20 days or face paying each customer a EGP 300 daily fine or having to provide a different car until the job is complete. Others will be forced to replace flawed cars that are still within warranty. The CPA had met Saturday to address 54 customer complaints against auto companies.

Legislation + Policy

Egyptian Council of State concludes review of Investment Act

The new Investment Act has been reviewed by the Egyptian Council of State (Maglis El Dowla) and is back with the cabinet to make the Maglis’ recommended amendments before going up for a vote at the House of Representatives “soon”, Al Borsa reports. While she didn’t get into any of the particulars of the changes, Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid showered the Maglis with praise for its recommended amendments, stating that they are in keeping with the true purpose of the legislation.

Manpower Ministry completes Labor Unions Act

The Manpower Ministry has completed drafting the Labor Unions Act after taking into account input from business owners and labor and has sent it to the State Council (Maglis El Dowla) for review, Minister Mohamed Saafan said in a phone-in to a talk show last night (watch, runtime 2:15).

Egypt Politics + Economics

Criminal charges against Mubarak-era trade minister scrapped after settlement

A Cairo court scrapped the criminal charges against Mubarak-era trade minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid on Saturday after he reached a settlement agreement with the Justice Ministry last November, Ahram Online reported. Rashid, who faced graft and corruption charges, will pay the government nearly EGP 500 mn as part of the agreement.

On Your Way Out

The Agriculture Ministry announced it is now open to receiving requests to export horses after meeting the requirements set by EU authorities, Al Borsa reported.

Cairo Jazzman, a documentary on Egyptian composer and musician Amr Salah premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam last week, according to The National. The film documents the three weeks leading up to the Cairo Jazz Festival, as Salah, the festival’s organizer, struggles “with a tiny budget and minimal assistance from public bodies.” You can watch Cairo Jazzman’s trailer here (runtime 1:35).

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.62 | Sell 18.77
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.65 | Sell 18.75
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 18.3 | Sell 18.35

EGX30 (Thursday): 12,806.07 (+1.76%)
Turnover: EGP 1.223 bn (186% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +3.735%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The Egyptian benchmark index ended Thursday’s session 1.8% up. The top performing constituents were ACC, Oriental Weavers, and Eastern Co. Thursday’s worst performing stocks included Egyptian Iron and Steel, Orascom Construction, and Madinet Nasr Housing. The market turnover was EGP 1.2 bn and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net long | EGP + 21.7 mn
Regional: Net short | EGP – 9.4 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP – 12.3 mn

Retail: 52.2% of total trades | 48.3% of buyers | 56.0% of sellers
Institutions: 47.8% of total trades | 51.7% of buyers | 44.0% of sellers

Foreign: 26.6% of total | 27.4% of buyers | 25.7% of sellers
Regional: 7.7% of total | 7.4% of buyers | 8.1% of sellers
Domestic: 65.7% of total | 65.2% of buyers | 66.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 53.83 (+0.54%)
Brent: USD 56.81 (+0.44%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.06 MMBtu, (-3.89%, March 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,220.80 / troy ounce (+0.11%)

TASI: 7,098.64 (-0.03%) (YTD: -1.55%)
ADX: 4,446.21 (-1.77%) (YTD: -2.20%)
DFM: 3,623.75 (-0.82%) (YTD: +2.63%)
KSE Weighted Index: 425.36 (-0.66%) (YTD: +11.91%)
QE: 10,570.41 (-0.24%) (YTD: +1.28%)
MSM: 5,802.62 (+0.16%) (YTD: +0.34%)
BB: 1,307.75 (+0.86%) (YTD: +7.15%)

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26 January – 10 February (Thursday-Friday): Cairo International Book Fair, Nasr City fairgrounds.

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

08 February (Wednesday): N Gage Debate on National Food Safety Authority, Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza, Cairo.

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

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

23 February (Thursday): Potential date for resumption of flights between Egypt and Russia, according to Izvestia newspaper.

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

08 March (Wednesday): 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.

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

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

16 May (Tuesday): Official expiry date for the decision to suspend capital gains taxes on stock market transactions.

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).

17-19 September (Sunday-Tuesday): Pipeline-Pipe-Sewer-Technology Conference & Exhibition, Intercontinental Citystars Hotel, Cairo.

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.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.