Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Are we going to do a deal with Europe to get aid for clamping down on illegal migration?


What We’re Tracking Today

CORRECTION- The proposed stamp tax rate on stock market transactions is five thousandths, or 0.5%, not as we mentioned incorrectly in yesterday’s issue 0.005%. We apologise and regret the error. Our plan is to dust off our primary school math books, read them, then commit seppuku afterwards. The entry has been corrected on our website.

Is the EGP, up 14% in the last two weeks to 15.73, setting itself up for another tumble? The EGP’s surge in the last two weeks is “the strongest fortnightly surge in an emerging market currency in the last five years,” the  Financial Times writes, citing calculations by Renaissance Capital. RenCap chief economist Charles Robertson has hinted that the CBE may have intervened to support the currency in a bid to curb inflation. Robertson stressed there is no direct evidence of intervention, but said “this has all happened too quickly for my liking.” He predicts that recovering trade and tourism would help the EGP rally in 1H2017. RenCap had targeted an exchange rate of EGP 15.50 by mid-year and said the EGP “still offers value, but a pull-back in the coming days / weeks would not surprise us at all.”

On a slow news day in Egypt, we have a handful of international stories that we in the chattering class will be mumbling about today. They include:

Famine has been declared in South Sudan’s Unity state, CNN reports. The UN says that 100k people are on the verge of starvation and that 5 mn people — or 40% of the country — is in “urgent need of help.” CNN is in rare good form with its on-the-ground report (read and watch, runtime: 2:50). (Apologies to Ben Wedeman and Ian James Lee, of whom we are unabashed fans. They’re CNN correspondents who are always in good form.)

The owners of Kraft Heinz have USD 15 bn in dry powder to deploy on a “megadeal,” the Financial Times reports, noting that Brazil’s 3G Capital raised USD 10 bn in its last fund and “has the option to ask investors to contribute a further USD 5 bn.” 3G spearheaded portfolio company Kraft Heinz’s failed USD 143 bn bid for Unilever. A week ago, nobody was talking about the desperate need for growth at Kraft or Unilever, but whether you’re reading the Wall Street Journal or Reuters, that’s suddenly the conventional wisdom. Worth reading for those of you following the mini-saga is Reuters’ look at how 3G Capital’s “ruthless approach to costs” may cost it deals in the future. The piece was written with Unilever in mind, but it holds no matter what 3G looks to buy.

The Donald has a national security adviser. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, an active-duty general who is one of America’s top strategists and a “respected intellectual” who was once close to the late spy / ‘80s technowar novelist Tom Clancy, has agreed to serve as US President Donald Trump’s national security advisor.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations died suddenly yesterday, the day before his 65th birthday. The inimitable Vitaly Churkin passed of a heart attack.
Footballer Lionel Messi is set to fly to Egypt today to promote the Tour n’ Cure hepatitis C medical tourism program. The trip has been postponed twice already, Al Masry Al Youm says.

RANDOM FACT of the morning: There are 2,473 bn’aires in the world right now. Oddly enough, nobody at Enterprise is among them.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Could the executive regulations for the VAT really be coming out in the next couple of weeks? It might just be, as Maglis El Dowla (the State Council) is finally done reviewing the draft rules that would govern the value-added tax and has reportedly suggested amendments in a report that was due to the Finance Ministry yesterday, Deputy Minister Amr El Monayer tells Al Mal. While he doesn’t give us an exact timeframe, El Monayer says that his team will work to “incorporate what they can” of the Council’s input before sending the regulations to Finance Minister Amr El Garhy to issue “immediately.” Maglis El Dowla had received a draft of the regulations early in February. (Tap here for a refresher on the executive regulations.)

The 17th International Exhibition for Grain Industries Technology continues today and wraps up tomorrow.

HSBC’s MENA & Turkey Equity Conference gets underway tomorrow in Dubai.

On The Horizon

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is heading to Washington on 25 February (that’s this coming Saturday, for those of you keeping track at home). Shoukry will meet with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and should lay the groundwork for a visit to the White House by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy will appear before the House of Representatives next week to present the USD 12 bn IMF loan agreement — which may require approval before an IMF delegation arrives early in March to compile a progress report on disbursing the second tranche of the facility — and talk budget deficit projections and public debt.

The Finance Ministry should complete an early outline of the FY2017-18 budget sometime next week, unnamed government officials tell Al Borsa. The new budget will probably not see sharp increases in state salaries or allocations for basic goods and services, they said, and should be ready for the House’s review by April.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Hona Al Assema’s Lamees Al Hadidi spoke on Monday’s meeting between the CBE and the Union of Egyptian Investors Association on settling LC-debt incurred by companies following the EGP float (the details of which can be found in the Speed Round). She interviewed Mohamed Khamis Shabaan, head of the Sixth of October Investors Association, who claims the CBE informed them that companies whose debts exceed to USD 5 mn — which are carrying 88% of the LC-debt out there — owe a combined USD 600. He adds that the banks will be repaid in EGP (watch, runtime: 6: 55).

A number of automakers have reportedly agreed to begin offering discounts on cars even before the Finance Ministry agreed to lowered the customs FX rate 11% to EGP 16.5 to the USD 1, El-Sabaa Automotive Group’s chairman Alaa El-Sabaa tells Lamees. The industry has been cut prices on cars an average of about 10% to stimulate buying amid flagging sales (watch, runtime: 8:01).

Over on Kol Youm,GAFI head Mohamed Khodeir tells host Amr Adib that the Investment Act will pass the House in about a month’s time. GAFI will begin hearings on the law next Tuesday, he added (watch, runtime: 5:16). House Economic Committee chair Amr El Gohary told Adib that the law only arrived at the committee’s doorstep last week. “We finished studying 60-70% of the draft law by ourselves,” he said. Wow. All by yourselves. You deserve little gold stars to take home to Mommy and Daddy. (watch: runtime: 5:02).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Egypt could see a Turkey-style anti-migration agreement with the EU as early as next month, the Reuters reports in a piece that’s been picked up by major global media outlets including the New York Times. The EU is offering simplified visa procedures for Egyptian nationals and increased economic aid to Egypt in exchange for “smoother deportations of unwanted African migrants,” two senior officials in Brussels said. Tunisia is also in line for a pact. Officials and diplomats say Cairo has put a high price tag on any new help. “Egypt has two concerns, socio-economic stability and security. And these are interlinked,” said an EU official who visited Cairo in January for talks on migration. “We are working on establishing a dialogue that would look at that, to the benefit of both the migrants there but also Egyptians from the most vulnerable groups.”

Wait, haven’t I heard this before? Yes, indeed you have, careful reader of Enterprise. We’ve been going on about this since last September, when the Austrians first pushed the notion of a migrant deal with Egypt; Germany back the initiative less than a week later. Top EU diplomat Federica Mogherini poured cold water on the notion of a pact earlier this month. Directly asked “On Egypt: is there a migration compact in the pipeline?” she replied, “No, on this question no, clearly not.”

What’s next? Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is expected in Brussels for a foreign ministers’ meeting on 6 March, which another EU official said would be a good opportunity “for Egypt and the EU to agree that they want to intensify this cooperation.”

Also watch for: German chancellor Angela Merkel could be visiting Egypt in a matter of weeks, our ambassador to Berlin told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal last night. Merkel’s visit will come just before a delegation of German parliamentarians is in town to meet with members of the House of Representatives. Watch to see if Merkel make any of the right rumblings about an agreement. (Watch, runtime: 3:35).

Curbing migration and tightening border security were on the minds of both European Union officials and Shoukry when the Egyptian foreign minister and his Tunisian and Algerian counterparts signed a tripartite framework in Tunisia yesterday to end the conflict in Libya. Shoukry said that the main pillar of the trilateral talks was the Skhirat agreement, adding that the three foreign ministers stressed the importance of having a mechanism of political representation in the Libyan parliament and the High Council of State, Ahram Online reports. At a joint press conference, the three ministers again rejected foreign military intervention and stressed the importance of the army of the internationally recognized Libyan government, a perennial Egyptian talking point.

Investor Associations claim to have reached agreement to settle pre-float LCs: The Union of Egyptian Investor Associations (UEIA) is now claiming that it had reached an agreement with the CBE on settling LCs opened from before the EGP float. Members tell Al Borsa that companies with outstanding pre-float LCs worth USD 5 mn or less will repay banks at interest rate of 12% that increases annually over a period of 2-7 years. Banks will be obliged to negotiate interest rate increases and set the repayment period on a case-by-case basis, they said. In a meeting with the UIA on Monday, Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer reportedly also agreed to allow companies to translate their USD debts to EGP at the prevailing exchange rate on the day they ink their settlements. Amer has reportedly instructed banks to begin drafting the agreements within those parameters today and to refrain from taking legal action, in addition to doubling the limits on future LCs. Amer and the UEIA will continue to meet to find a solution for companies with debts north of USD 5 mn, members said.

Take it with a grain of salt: Talks are clearly underway, but as we noted last time this made the news, the story is part of a lobbying effort by the industry association. With no “unnamed CBE official” quoted and no generic “senior banker” saying the CBE is leaning on the industry, our take is that this issue is still far from settled.

It looks like cash subsidies might be off the table for now: There is “no need to rush” major decisions such as a switch to cash subsidies from the current commodity subsidy system, newly-appointed Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy tells Al Ahram, saying cash subsidies aren’t feasible given the nation’s current economic challenges. El Moselhy, who had said that his main focus will be streamlining and refining the subsidy system, is conducting a comprehensive policy review before developing an action plan to present to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in two weeks’ time. The House of Representatives expects a subsidy phase-out strategy from El Moselhy in 10 days’ time.

Russia’s contract with Egypt to deliver MiG-29 fighter aircrafts to Egypt is moving on schedule, Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Deputy Director Alexei Frolkin said, according to Sputnik. The contract, reportedly for 50 MiG-29 Fulcrum multirole fighters, sets 2020 as a completion deadline for delivery. Frolkin made the comments at the 2017 IDEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi, which comes with “considerable movement” in the market for fighters in MENA. “For beleaguered fighter manufacturers in Europe and the USA, beset by shrinking budgets in their domestic markets, the fighter boom in the MENA region has been a welcome development. For Dassault, for instance, the sale of the Rafale to the Egyptian air force represented the first firm order for the type after many years of marketing, and a number of “near misses” such as an aborted sale to Morocco,” David Donald writes for IHS Jane’s 360. Sending a different message was the CEO of the Rostec State Corporation who said, “Russia is ready to sign the [agreement] on military technology deliveries to Egypt as soon as Cairo solves its financial problems.”

Are we buying Russian choppers for Mistrals? Sputnik says Egypt is considering a Russian offer to deliver Ka-52 Alligator helicopters for its Mistral helicopter carriers.

This comes as Egypt is positioning itself on the sell-side of the arms trade, making its first appearance at the Idex defense trade show we note above, Gulf News reports. We here at Enterprise love exports of any form.

On a related note, Egypt has been ranked as the 11th largest importer of arms from 2012-2016, a period which saw the highest level of arms sales globally since the Cold War, according to the by the Stockholm Institutional Peace Research Institute. The global spike has been driven by demands in the Middle East (rising 86% over 2007-2011) and Asia. Neither the Institute’s press release or its charts provide a breakdown of figures for Egypt, but other outlets have noted that Egypt’s purchase of Mistral-class ships and Rafale aircrafts have raised France’s rankings as an exporter. Saudi Arabia is the largest regional importer (growing 212% for the period) and Algeria is the largest importer in Africa, with 46% of all imports to the continent.

The amendments to regulations on how FX losses last year may be treated for tax purposes under Egyptian Accounting Standards were published in the Official Gazette yesterday after former investment minister Dalia Khorshid gave them her official nod earlier this month. The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority had extended the deadline for EGX-listed companies to submit their half- and full-year financial results to allow them time to factor in the changes to the accounting standards. Al Borsa has the full text here.

MOVES- Hatem Darweesh has joined law firm Zaki Hashem & Partners as a partner in the firm’s arbitration and litigation departments. Darweesh has served as a sole arbitrator, a party-appointed arbitrator, and counsel in a large number of local and international commercial arbitrations under a variety of arbitration rules including ICC, ICSID, CRCICA and UNCITRAL.

MOVES- Heidi Orpin has replaced Ahmed Arafa as the new division head for Audi at the Egypt Automotive and Trading Company, Volkswagen and Audi’s official distributor in Egypt, Al Mal says. Orpin has previously served as senior communication manager and marketing manager at Renault Egypt, and had been a senior communication executive for Toyota Egypt.

PHD moves into Alexandria: Palm Hills Developments (PHD) signed an agreement with an undisclosed party to co-develop over 135 feddans in Alexandria into an integrated community. PHD claims the agreement, signed on a revenue sharing basis, makes the company “the first major developer” to enter Alexandria and is the company’s first project outside the suburbs of Cairo and the North Coast. The development is located in close proximity to the Al Nozha International Airport. PHD will be responsible for all construction, development, infrastructure, marketing, and sales activities and plans to launch the project before the end of the year.

We’re trying to be sympathetic. We really are. But parents who (like many of us here) have enrolled your kids in schools / unis with foreign teachers: The khawaget ain’t gonna work for EGP. Dozens of angry parents of American University in Cairo (AUC) students have reportedly filed a lawsuit to protest the sharp rise in tuition fees, which have nearly doubled in EGP terms after 3 November float. Youm7 mistakenly reports that the lawsuit is a bid to force AUC to accept full tuition in EGP, but it seems likelier that the parents are trying to get the university to revert back to an EGP-based pricing scheme. While the university has quoted half of the tuition in EGP and the other half in USD since 2014, students are allowed to pay in either currency based on the prevailing exchange rate of the day, according to the AUC website. AUC Students had also organized protests against the tuition increase in November. The court is expected to speak on the case on 12 March.

The Court of Cassation has upheld death sentences yesterday against 10 people convicted in the Port Said stadium riot that killed over 70 Al Ahly fans in 2012. “The verdict by the Court of Cassation is final. The defendants were charged with murder, along with other charges. The court also upheld convictions of 22 suspects who received up to 10 years imprisonment over the rioting. A total of 11 defendants were sentenced to death but one remains at large and was tried in absentia,” Maggie Michael writes for The Associated Press.

Image of the Day

Forgeries and fakes of Egyptian modern art are on the rise, and the lack of specific laws protecting art collectors against forgeries is making it difficult to clamp down on the issue, Gracie Brahimy writes for Artlyst. Brahimy takes a look at the personal experience of the Khedrs, the first individuals to raise legal cases against fake and forged works in Egypt to explore the rise of the phenomenon in the non-Western world. The con to which the couple fell victim was allegedly orchestrated by a “well-respected figure in the arts” who introduced the Khedrs to art collecting, only to sell them replicas of artworks, with the purchasers none the wiser. According to Brahimy, the scheme was particularly successful due to the general lack of knowledge in the country on Egyptian modernist painters.

Want to familiarize yourself with modern Egyptian art? Start with the image above from the Museum of Egyptian Modern Art, also known as the Gezira Center for Modern Art, one of Cairo’s hidden gems and home to works by world-renowned Egyptian artists including Mahmoud Saïd, Mahmoud Mokhtar, and Youssef Kamel, among others. The museum was most recently the target of an art heist, when a “movie director” stole five originals from it and replaced them with fakes under the not-so-watchful eye of museum security. The perpetrator was arrested and the originals reportedly returned. The Culture Ministry has a list of fine art museums and related facilities on its website; it’s not attractive, but many entries do seem up to date. H/t Mostafa El M.

Egypt in the News

Leading the conversation last night in the foreign press on Egypt is the Court of Cassation upholding the death sentences on 10 people convicted in the Port Said Stadium riot. The story is receiving widespread coverage including the New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, and The Times of Israel who do not add much by way of analysis on the topic (and we should be grateful for that).

Daeshbags’ pledge to “eradicate” Egyptian Christians also getting wide coverage: The foreign press has also expanded its coverage on Daesh Sinai’s propaganda video which we noted yesterday, particularly the group’s threat to eradicate Egypt’s Christian population. Beyond describing the threat and video in lurid detail, the Associated Press ends its coverage by noting criticisms from within the Coptic community that very little has been done in rural Egypt to protect them, as Muslim radicals frequently attack Christian homes and businesses over a range of issues, including the construction or restoration of churches, land disputes or affairs between members of each community. The New York Post also has the story.

Meanwhile, The Christian Times is reporting that an Egyptian court has reopened last Wednesday the case against three men accused of stripping and beating a Coptic Christian woman in Minya in May, after rumors spread of an interfaith relationship between her son and a Muslim woman. And Australia’s ABC is running with a lurid feature headlined Coptic Christians flee an unwelcome Egypt, seek refuge in Australia.

Israel, Daesh engage in skirmishes on the border: Meanwhile, justice met Daesh quick after a news agency affiliated with the group reported that four of its members were killed in an Israeli drone strike at the Raffah border on the Egyptian side, Haaretz reports. Wire coverage of the story is getting widespread pickup. This was followed by a reported retaliatory attack by the group, which fired two rockets into southern Israel yesterday, according to the Guardian.

In Trump Talk of Terror Listing for Muslim Brotherhood Alarms Some Arab Allies New York Times’ Declan Walsh reminds us that the Ikhwan remain a political force throughout the Arab World and warns that a move by the Trump administration to label it a terrorist organization could complicate — at the very least — US diplomacy in the region. In Morocco, an Ikhwan affiliated party has won elections, and the group is a leading opposition party in Jordan. The move would, however, endear Trump to Egypt, which is looking to renew ties with the US after what HuffPost contributor Josef Olmert called the Obama Administration’s policy of “appeasement towards the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.”

Also weighing in from the right is the Daily Telegraph’s defense editor, who has written a guest op-ed for the Wall Street Journal headlined “Cleaning Up Obama’s Mess in the Middle East” that should go over well in Cairo: “Like the Gulf states, Egypt can act as a useful bulwark against Iranian aggression in the Middle East, and can play a central role in defeating Islamic State. Cairo is also heavily involved in trying to prevent neighboring Libya from becoming a haven for Islamist terror cells, and is one of the principal supporters of Gen. Khalifa Haftar, the military hard man who has largely rid Libya’s oil-rich eastern provinces of the menace of Islamic extremism.”

Newly-appointed Beheira Governor Nadia Abdou has earned the nickname “iron lady,” La Croix International’s Marie Verdie writes. “Even before she became the first female vice-governor in 2013, Abdou was already a pioneer as the first woman to hold a number of positions,” Verdie writes, reciting Abdou’s accomplishments. She adds that through Abdou’s career, she managed to become the director of the Alexandria Water Company and was also a feminist activist.

Other international coverage of Egypt making the rounds this morning:

  • An unsubstantiated report that a rocket launcher was found in a trash heap outside Cairo International Airport appears courtesy of the tabloid department at The Telegraph.
  • The Ikhwan-lovers over at Middle East Eye are launching another attack on the state’s NGO policy. (Not that the policy deserves much in the way of defense, but still…)
  • Scatec Solar will receive certification from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that three of its solar power plants in Africa, including its project in Benban, emit zero carbon emissions, according to Clean Technology Business Review.
  • The Algemeiner is noting Ittihadiya’s statement that Haaretz included “false information” on the quiet peace initiative talks last year between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, then-US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • The Egyptian Education Ministry said it had applied the Japanese “Tokubetsu Katsudo (Tokkatsu)” whole child education model in 12 Egyptian schools and would be applying the model in 100 others, according to Al Monitor.
  • Al Bowaba News is a bit behind on the times and running an outdated story on the announcement that tenders for the New Administrative Capital are coming.

On Deadline

Were there people within government trying to sabotage ex-investment minister Dalia Khorshid? Columnist Seliman Gouda suggests so in a piece penned for Al Masry Al Youm in which he praises Khorshid for fending off “those who had been trying to push her out of the ministry” during her 11-month tenure. Gouda says that Khorshid wasn’t able to translate her private sector expertise into public work “due to elements outside of her control.” Gouda is not the only one who thinks so, it would seem. Writing for Al Borsa, Hussein Abd Rabo warns now-Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr to prepare for a tough battle ahead, as there are “people with interests” who have made a job out of creating difficulties for Khorshid, and Ashraf Salman before her, to prevent the Investment Act from seeing the light of day.

Worth Watching

Bassem Youssef rails against double standard of discrimination: In an interview with Deutsche Welle (watch, runtime 9:00), satirist Bassem Youssef rails against the double standard that pushes some to denounce Trump’s discrimination against Muslims in the US but stand idly by when religious minorities are exposed to the same brand of hate in the Middle East. Youssef later got steamrolled by the Internet’s moral absolutists and put out two posts on Facebook explaining that his taking a stand against discrimination in the United States and the same practices in the Arab world are not mutually exclusive. As for Egyptians who support Trump, Youssef has a simple message: When the [redacted] hits the fan, you’ll be left wiping your face.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

An Egyptian delegation from the Egypt-France Business Council kicked off a yesterday a three-day visit to Paris to promote investment opportunities in Egypt, chairman Fouad Younes tells Al Borsa. Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil and GAFO boss Mohamed Khodeir are on the trip. On the agenda are discussions of a shipping line linking Alexandria and Marseille, and a French industrial zone in Borg El Arab or the Suez Canal Economic Zone, says Younes. The delegation will meet with 100 heads of French companies and will visit the Senate. French investments in Egypt amounted to EUR 4.2 bn last year, mainly in chemicals and car manufacturing, building materials, and pharma, Kabil said at a seminar organised by the Council and the Senate, Al Borsa reported.

An Egyptian-Lebanese business forum will take place in Beirut this Thursday. Lebanese PM Saad El Hariri will open the event, which Investment Minister Sahar Nasr will reportedly attend.


Petroleum Minister meets with Sinopec head, Apache VP

Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla met with the head of China’s state-owned Sinopec, Wang Yupu, who said his company is mulling a petrochemical project in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Also present at the meeting was the vice president of Apache, which previously sold a one-third stake in its Egyptian oil and gas assets to the Chinese company in a USD 3.1 bn transaction. China’s ambassador to Egypt also attended.

China’s CHINT interested in supplying SCZone with electrical gears

The chairman of China’s CHINT may be interested in a manufacturing components for the electrical power industry in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said yesterday. CHINT is also reportedly interested in renewable energy projects and smart meter projects in Egypt.

Shell, Petronas begin working on Borollos gas field 9B

Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas have begun working on phase 9B of the Borollos gas field, an unnamed EGAS official tells Al Shorouk. The USD 950 mn project involves drilling eight new wells with a daily capacity of 387 mcf. BG, since acquired by Shell, had suspended work on phase 9A+ and 9B of the gas field last March after the government rejected paying USD 7 per mmBtu for phase 9B, and eventually reached an agreement with the government to maintain a price cap of USD 5.88 per mmBtu for gas from the phase. Work on the gas field later stalled as the state fell behind on payments to Shell and BG, but Shell ultimately ramped-up exploration and drilling activity on the back of promising data. As we reported last week, the government is reportedly gearing up to repay USD 500 mn-1 bn to IOCs including Shell.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Customs Authority prevents importers from storing staple goods outside the port before customs clearance

Importers will no longer be allowed to store their shipments of staple goods — including wheat, sugar, corn, and rice among others — outside official port facilities until they’ve cleared them from customs and paid the levy in full, Al Borsa says. The decision also extends to goods that are exempt from import tariffs and the value-added tax, and comes as part of the Customs Authority’s efforts to curb tariff evasion. Importers had previously been allowed to store their cargo in outside facilities for up to nine months without clearing them from customs, which left much room for problems, officials tell the newspaper.

GASC issues vegoil tender

State commodities buyer General Authority for Supply and Commodities (GASC) has issued a tender for 10,000 metric tonnes of sunflower oil and 25,000 metric tonnes of soybean oil, to be delivered by 20 April, Black Sea Grain reports.

Health + Education

Ranbaxy Sun Pharma opens USD 12.5 mn factory in Sixth of October

Ranbaxy Sun Pharma opened a USD 12.5 mn plant in Sixth of October city; it is Sun Pharma’s first manufacturing facility in Egypt, India’s Economic Times reports. The factory’s production capacity is estimated at 50 mn pills per annum for four meds and is expected to deliver EGP 150 mn in annual sales, according to Al Masry Al Youm.


Italian delegation in Cairo calls on European countries to lift travel warnings to Egypt

A delegation of Italian parliamentarians, politicians, and professors on a visit to Egypt called on European countries to lift remaining travel warnings for Egypt, Egypt Independent reports. The delegation’s arrival in Cairo marks the first formal visit from Italian officials since the murder of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni last year.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Policeman charged with torturing to death fish vendor released on bail, tuk tuk driver shot by policemen dies from wounds

One of the nine policemen charged with torturing to death fish vendor Magdy Maken last year has been released on EGP 5K bail, Al Shorouk reports. Meanwhile, a tuk tuk driver who was shot by a police officer a few days ago in Menoufiya has died from his wounds, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Last month, reports arose of a shakeup at the Interior Ministry ahead of the cabinet shuffle that saw more than 100 mid-level police officials and 11 assistant and deputy ministers reassigned. The ministry also introduced a number of new policies, including the formation of committees to evaluate policemen on ethics, behavior, and psychological condition, in addition to the establishment of its own human rights committee, which appear to be part of a reform of the police force promised by the government.

Higher Constitutional Court rejects dissolution of political parties

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled against the dissolution of the Salafist Nour Party and other parties that spawned from religious organizations after the 2011 uprising this week, various media reports said. While the exact parameters of the verdicts are unclear, the court appears to have dismissed the lawsuits for not being raised by an entity with legal standing to do so, such as the State Council’s Political Party Affairs Committee, according to Akhbar Al Youm.

Prime Minister Ismail participates in Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa meeting

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail participated in a meeting of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa, along with Egypt’s parliamentary speaker Ali Abdel Aal and the interior, justice, finance, investment and international cooperation, and parliamentary affairs ministers, according to a Cabinet statement.

National Security

Defense Minister on official visit to Hungary

Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi left yesterday for Hungary for an official visit, the MOD said in a statement.


Egypt’s squash champion Youssef Ibrahim wins Squash Open D’Italia

Egyptian squash champion Youssef Ibrahim won his first Professional Squash Association title, beating out France’s Baptiste Masotti for the 2017 Squash Open D’Italia, Daily News Egypt reports.

On Your Way Out

An Egyptian entrepreneur says he built the “Tinder for business” to get “people to meet for business reasons and connecting,” Wamda reports, covering the startup Geomingle. Its founder, Mostafa Hashem, says Geomingle is “cross between dating app Tinder and business networking site LinkedIn. ‘Different cities employ the app for different reasons. For example, Dubai and Bahrain tend to use the app for recruitment and connecting, while in Egypt, people look out more for the networking part,’ Hashem says.”

State statistics agency CAPMAS has expanded the religion category in its census and is giving Egyptians five options to choose from: Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Other, and N/A, Youm7 reports. Here’s to when progress finally does arrive and we can see Jedi added on there (we jest).

Waste of oxygen — and surprisingly still an MP Elhamy Agina — is still confused as to why his statements that women should be subjected to female [redacted] mutilation to compensate for widespread performance dysfunction by men caused such an uproar, telling Al Shorouk that he used the always-reliable interwebs for his facts.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.7374 | Sell 15.8379
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.75 | Sell 15.85
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.73 | Sell 15.78

EGX30 (Monday): 12,444 (-0.8%)
Turnover: EGP 1.3 bn (192% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +0.8%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.8%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent fell 1.8%. The EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Arab Cotton Ginning up 9.9%, TMG Holding up 9.0%, and Egyptian Resorts up 6.3%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included Global Telecom down 5.5%, Crédit Agricole down 2.7%, and Domty down 2.6%. The market turnover was EGP1.3 billion and foreign investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net short | EGP -65.4 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP +8.4 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP +57.0 mn

Retail: 68.6% of total trades | 67.0% of buyers | 70.3% of sellers
Institutions: 31.4% of total trades | 33.0% of buyers | 29.7% of sellers

Foreign: 14.1% of total | 11.6% of buyers | 16.7% of sellers
Regional: 8.1% of total | 8.4% of buyers | 7.7% of sellers
Domestic: 77.8% of total | 80.0% of buyers | 75.6% of sellers

WTI: USD 53.72 (+0.60%)
Brent: USD 56.27 (+0.16%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.77 MMBtu, (-2.26%, March 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,235.70 / troy ounce (-0.27%)

TASI: 7,071.9 (-1.0%) (YTD: -1.92%)
ADX: 4,850.2 (-0.9%) (YTD: +0.74%)
DFM: 3,604.0 (-1.1%) (YTD: +2.07%)
KSE Weighted Index: 424.0 (-0.7%) (YTD: +11.55%)
QE: 10,912.8 (0.0%) (YTD: +4.56%)
MSM: 5,852.3 (-0.1%) (YTD: +1.20%)
BB: 1,325.5 (+0.3%) (YTD: +8.61%)

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20-21 February (Monday-Tuesday): Fulbright Student Alumni Regional Conference: Contemporary Health Issues, Conrad Hotel, Cairo.

20-22 February (Monday-Wednesday): 20th International Conference on Petroleum Mineral Resources and Development, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, Cairo.

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.

14-15 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): The third Builders of Egypt conference, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Cairo.

15 March (Wednesday): Arab Women Organization’s event: Investing in refugee women, UN General Assembly Building, New York City.

15-19 March (Sunday-Thursday): 2017 Automech Formula car expo, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

18-19 March (Saturday-Sunday): Delegation of Japanese food industries companies visits Egypt.

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

29-31 March (Wednesday-Friday): Balanced Development of Siwa Oasis International Tourism Conference, Siwa Oasis.

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.

08-09 May (Monday-Tuesday): Third Egypt CSR Forum, Intercontinental Citystars Hotel, Cairo.

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

22-23 May (Monday-Tuesday): North Africa Mobile Network Optimisation Conference, Cairo.

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.

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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