Thursday, 9 March 2017

Balance of Payment surplus of USD 7 bn


What We’re Tracking Today

We’ll be taking our value-added tax executive regulations sans salt this morning, as the Finance Ministry officially released them yesterday morning. They clarify key issues with the VAT, define sectors and industries, outline reductions and rebates, and set the status of contracts signed pre-VAT. We have more for you to peruse in the Speed Round.

It turns out that the expected World bank (WB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will be sending a mission to Egypt to assess its position in the WB’s Doing Business report, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry. Minister Sahar Nasr is currently meeting with a delegation from the WB and the IFC in preparation for the visit, which is set to take place next Sunday and Monday (12-13 March), Nasr said, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

From all we’ve heard, Dubai’s Gulfood festival was a resounding success for Egypt as Egyptian food manufacturing companies signed export contracts worth over USD 200 mn, said Edita chairman Hani Berzi — who also chairs the Food Industries Export Council. He tells Al Mal. Berzi expects the food sector’s exports to increase 15% compared to last year — which reached USD 2.7 bn, according to the newspaper — buoyed by the competitiveness of Egyptian products and a weaker EGP. He adds that the council will focus primarily on African markets. Export council CEO Manar Nasr tells the newspaper that 131 companies participated in Gulfood and there are plans to increase that number by next year.

The government should do more to help manufacturers and exporters compete against countries such as Turkey, Sakr Group for Food Industries chairman Ahmed Sakr, said. Hero Middle East and Africa’s export manager Wessam Samir believes that Egypt’s chances in the highly competitive market are good, considering the interest Hero’s products have received at Gulfood. Arma Food industries export manager Hani Fouad called for trade agreements with West African countries. He noted that his company targets a 25% increase in its exports this year from USD 80 mn last year.

Both the FABEX Middle East 2017 and the second Egypt Projects Summitwill take place today at Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Center and run through to the weekend.

** We’re off tomorrow: We are not publishing a Weekend Edition tomorrow as our families have complained we don’t see them often enough. We’ll be back at about 6:05am as usual on Sunday. Enjoy the weekend, folks!

On The Horizon

The House of Representatives will vote on the Contractor’s Compensation Act in a plenary session on Monday 13 March. Contractors have been urging the state to hasten the bill — which will compensate suppliers and contractors for FX losses incurred after the EGP float — since it was first proposed in December, claiming that the delay has been straining the sector, whose material costs have increased exponentially since November.

Also on the legislative agenda next week: The House of Representatives’ Manpower Committee will begin discussing the Labor Act on Monday, according to Al Borsa. The bill is geared more towards securing workers’ financial and social rights, MPs tell Al Mal, with clauses that preserve the eight-hour workday, will force private sector companies to institute an annual raise of at least 7%, and enshrine workers’ right to strike. The legislation also establishes a National Wages Council that is expected to set new guidelines for pensions and minimum wage among other things. Workers are not happy claiming that the bill further restricts workers’ rights to strike by revoking strike rights for workers in transport, pharma, and food industries.
The House general assembly also plans to vote on the Natural Gas Act by the end of March.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was a fairly boring night for on the airwaves, as discussions were mainly centered around food prices, subsidies and the exchange rate.

Lamees El Hadidy was the only one to give a shout out to international women’s day by kicking off her version of the View, Hona Al Settat, with an episode centered around domestic violence (watch, runtime 32:31).

Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin spoke to the Deputy Head of the Tax Authority Mohamed Abdel Sattar briefly about the recently-issued VAT executive regulations (watch, runtime 4:21). He then discussed with cabinet spokesperson Ashraf Sultan about the government’s decision to purchase wheat from farmers at EGP 575 per ardeb (up from EGP 420) and reduce the price of subsidized rice to EGP 6.5 per kilo (watch, runtime 5: 24).

Times are tough, so the new wheat prices will have to do, Farmers Union Head Roushdy Arnout told Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer, explaining that farmers were hoping for a price closer to EGP 650 per ardeb.

Amer was also concerned with bread subsidies but then was reassured that “things are much calmer now” by the head of the bakeries division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), Abdullah Ghorab, who commended Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy for issuing some 100k smart subsidy cards on Wednesday.

The host then moved on to the USD exchange rate with the head of the FEI’s importers division Osama Gaafar who said is likely to continue rising against the EGP to as much as EGP 19 per greenback as preparations for Ramadan peak.

Meanwhile on planet Kol Youm, Amr Adib took up his customary critical tone to take a stab at what he called Egypt’s lackluster booth at the ITB Berlin expo and the proposal to hike Egypt’s visa fees, which he said was driving potential tourists away (watch, runtime 1:52). Adib also compared different countries’ displays at the expo, singing Turkey’s praises for its extravagant setup. “This is what a country with problems does to attract new tourists,” he bellowed (watch, runtime 10:12). Needless to say, he was not too impressed with the dancers swaying to the tunes of Boshret Kheir by the Egypt booth (watch, runtime 2:17).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Habemus VAT executive regulations: The Finance Ministry issued the executive regulations of the value-added tax (VAT) law yesterday. The ministry says the executive regulations clarified definitions, including, for example, contentious items like what “professional services” entail, and resolved ambiguity on exemptions and processes. It also explains the transition to VAT and exemptions, and outlines that VAT comes with a unified dispute resolution mechanism and clear procedures for appeal and the executive regulations consolidate reporting into just one tax filing. VAT tax evasion was also labeled a felony involving a breach of public trust that carries a five-year prison sentence and a EGP 50k fine. Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer said the ministry will issue more guidance to add further clarification on how certain specific sectors will be treated under the VAT regime. Here are the key highlights from our reading of the Finance Ministry’s release:

You will get a tax refund if you paid VAT on goods and services that are exported regardless of the degree of processing. Also refunded are additional taxes paid as well as credit due to taxpayers that was retained for six or more periods. VAT is refunded on capital goods used in producing goods and services that are themselves subject to VAT as long as the initial VAT is not expensed. Overall, tax rebates will be processed in a maximum of 45 days, according to the executive regulations.

Contracts signed before implementing VAT for goods and services that were provided in a time period before and after implementing the VAT law have to be amended to include the VAT on the portion of the contract deliver after the law came into effect.

Taxpayers are also allowed to deduct VAT paid on production inputs. These deductions are also applicable to VAT-exempt tax agreements with other sectors including international organization, oil and gas and mining agreements, and for diplomatic missions as well, as long as the treatment is reciprocal.

Also outlined is how VAT is calculated for used goods, sales on installments, and bartering. For bartering the appropriate VAT rate is calculated based on the market price of the good or service being exchanged. For installments, the tax only takes into account the interest payments in excess of the CBE discount rate, anything less than that is VAT-exempt. Used goods being resold will have VAT applicable to only 30% of the resale’s value.

Also on the VAT exemptions list:

  • Financial transactions between subsidiaries and parent companies.
  • Stock market transactions.
  • Work done by companies’ rep offices abroad.

Not required to register for VAT altogether along with business turning over less than EGP 500k a year:

  • Producers and importers operating in activities that are not subject or exempt from VAT.
  • Providers and products and services that are only bound by tax schedules.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Tourism Federation is still urging the government to postpone imposing the VAT on the sector for one year until conditions improve, says Daily News Egypt. The federation plans to submit a formal request to the Finance Ministry soon to explain how the tax could further strain the industry, sources said. No word yet on how lawyers, who have filed a lawsuit to shut down the law, have taken it.

President El Sisi sends reassuring message to investors in upcoming Oxford Business Group report: The success of Egypt’s economic reform program still requires a number of important structural and policy changes, at the head of which is the long-awaited Investment Act, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi reportedly told the Oxford Business Group in an interview set to be published before the end of 1Q2017. From the brief excerpt which ran in AMAY, President El Sisi’s interview appears to directly address the concerns of the business community, as he reassured them that Egypt is doing its best by way of investment policy initiatives and legislation to improve the investment climate and earn their trust once again. He points to Egypt’s improving metrics and stability on the political front as signs that Egypt is ready for more foreign direct investments. The interview will be a part of a report which will survey the government’s reform measures and their impact on the investment climate, written in collaboration with the American Chambers of Commerce and Egypt’s General Authority for Free Trade Zones and Investments.

Egypt records a balance of payments (BoP) surplus of USD 7.0 bn in 1H2016-17, up from an overall deficit of USD 3.4 bn registered a year earlier, according to the central bank’s BoP report. The central bank points specifically to 2Q2016-17, which saw the EGP flotation, and registered USD 5.1 bn of the BoP surplus recorded in the half-year period. The current account recorded a deficit of USD 9.6 bn, wider that the USD 9.4 bn registered in 1H2015-16, as it is still being held back by the performance of the tourism sector in the six-month period. The silver lining is that tourism revenues increased by 8.9% y-o-y in 2Q2016-17 in a proportional increase with tourist nights spent in Egypt. Also improved in 2Q2016-17 are remittances inflows, which grew by 35.6% compared to 1Q2016-17 and by 11.9% y-o-y. Witnessing significant inflows was the capital and financial account, which attracted USD 17.6 bn in 1H2016-17, up from USD 6.2 bn a year earlier. Gross FDI inflows were up by USD 1.3 bn to USD 7.4 bn, with net inflows to the oil and gas sector increasing by USD 1.7 bn y-o-y to USD 1.8 bn and net greenfield investments reached USD 2.46 bn in the same period. Portfolio investments were also up and the surge in foreign investments on the EGX and in treasuries increased the net liabilities of the CBE to the external world, implying a net inflow of USD 8.1 bn in 1H2016-17 from USD 1.5 bn a year earlier.

… Separately, the banking system has facilitated USD 21 bn in trade financing operations since the EGP float on 3 November until the end of February 2017, according to an official statement by Central Bank of Egypt assistant sub-governor Tarek Fayed, carried by Al Masry Al Youm. USD 14 bn in documentary collection and letters of credit were fulfilled and USD 7 bn worth of new letters of credit were opened. Separately, the central bank reiterated that it does not have any official social media page on Facebook.

The Supply Ministry decided yesterday to raise the quota of bread bakeries are allowed to sell to temporary card holders in four governorates, to reach as many as 3,500 loaves per day, depending on the needs of each area, Al Borsa reports. Largely backtracking on last week’s decision to cut down on the number of subsidized bread loaves each bakery can sell through the golden card system to 500 per day, following protests in six governorates on Tuesday. Some people continued to protest yesterday, maintaining that they do not have access to their daily bread rations, Al Shorouk reports.

The ministry is also moving fast to replace temporary cards with regular supply smart cards, issuing 100k subsidy cards. The move is meant to nix the golden card subsidies system, which El Moselhy said made it hard to monitor the distribution of bread and left the subsidy program vulnerable to fraud. Temporary cards are issued to non-residents of a governorate, those who have lost their smart cards, or those in line to receive smart cards.
StoryHed_! Transportation Ministry looking for USD 15.2 bn in investor funding as Cairo Metro sees financial difficulty

The Transportation Ministry is shopping for investors to help fund USD 15.2 bn in new rail and metro projects, according to statements by Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat at the Middle East Rail conference on Tuesday. The bulk of the investment being sought is for three high-speed rail lines running from Luxor to Cairo, Alexandria to Cairo and from Luxor to Hurghada, which will have a combined cost of USD 13.7 bn, The National reports. Other projects for which it is seeking backing include: The USD 984 mn Cairo Metro Line 3; a USD 290 mn super tram linking satellite cities in New Cairo; a USD 86 mn passenger and freight line linking Mansoura to Damietta; and a USD 89.6 mn freight line connecting Egypt’s biggest phosphate mine at Abu Tartur to Safaga port.

Funding the Cairo Metro appears to have taken a new level of urgency as the government appears to be unable to pay its contractors in the last eight months due to liquidity shortages, according to statements by Egyptian Company for Metro Management & Operations CEO Khaled Sabra. He tells Youm7 that the company might have to resort to increasing ticket prices to offset the severe losses it has sustained in recent months and pay its rising debts that are now up to EGP 500 mn. The government has been fiddling with the idea of raising ticket prices from EGP 1 for several months now, but pressure from the street has kept it from making a move.

Zohr is a godsend to industry: The government has reportedly once again promised steel producers that it will reduce their natural gas prices to USD 4.5 from USD 7 per mmBtu by the end of 2017 once capacities from new field discoveries come onstream, according to the head of the steel division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) Gamal El Garhy, Al Borsa reports. We would usually take this with a grain of salt, but with Zohr coming online, industry appears to be getting a reprieve from higher gas prices. Industry groups, which have been lobbying for lower gas prices, had been promised lower prices since last June. In July last year, the Trade and Industry Ministry announced it was working on a standard pricing scheme to supply all industrial sectors with natural gas at USD 4.5 per mmBtu by September last year.

Naeem Holding to launch EGP 1 bn real estate fund: Naeem Holding for Investments received approval from the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority to establish what it says is Egypt’s first real estate fund with investments worth EGP 1 bn, the company said in an Egyptian Exchange filing. The fund targets investing in a diverse portfolio of real estate assets and would target further liquidity through stock exchange listings, Naeem Real Estate Fund CEO Alsherif Wahdan said.

Mashreq Bank sees greater opportunity in Egypt since the EGP float in November and the country’s subsequent move to secure a USD 12 bn loan from the IMF, said Jan-Willem Sudmann, group head for international banking at the Dubai-based bank. Even though the Egyptian pound lost 150% of its value against the USD after the central bank floated the currency, Sudmann tells The National that the bank did not see a flood of default from clients with debt in hard currency and that the bank would continue lending to big corporations. His statements come at a time when the bank is looking to boost its international business in countries including China, India, and Egypt to where 30% of operating income comes of them, up from a current 24%. Mashreq is trying to diversify the away from the oil-dependent nations of the GCC which have been hit hard in recent years by low oil prices.

The Ismail cabinet witnessed the signing of a USD 150 mn agreement with the UK, which UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson had pledged during his visit to Cairo last month, according to a cabinet statement. At the meeting ICT Minister Yasser El Kady also discussed the ministry’s plan for the electronic visa system, which he says will be rolled out in May, Al Mal reports. Other decisions taken during yesterday’s meeting include:

  • Approving amendments to the guidelines for the Nuclear Power Plants Authority that outline its operational framework, including granting the authority the sole right to propose establishing a nuclear power plant;
  • Approving raising the price of wheat purchased from Egyptian farmers to EGP 555-575 from EGP 450 per ardeb;
  • Approving legislation stipulating obtaining a license for the trade and ownership of personal drones;
  • Approving a USD 3 mn grant from China to combat climate change;
  • Sanctioning a KWD 300k aid package from the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development to support Egypt’s demining of the North Coast;
  • Approving an economic and technical cooperation agreement with Djibouti.

Wall of shame: Egyptian men could be holding back women’s progress in the labor market. Men younger than the age of 45 – particularly in Egypt, Morocco, and Libya are more likely than older men to say they would prefer women to stay at home was one of the sad conclusions of Gallup and ILO’s report on the perception of women in the workforce. Egypt has one of the world’s third biggest gender gaps in opinion about women working within only 44% of men saying they “would like women to have paid jobs or do both paid work and care for the home,” significantly below the 66% global average for men and, more importantly, below the 70% of Egyptian women who are in favor. The report notes that “in Egypt, for example, majorities of men between the ages of 15 and 29 (58%) and 30 to 44 (62%) prefer women to stay at home, while less than half (47%) of those aged 45 and older do. This is in stark contrast with what young Egyptian women want: 25% of 15- to 29-year-olds would prefer to stay at home, as would 27% of those aged 30 to 44. Egyptian women aged 45 and older are more likely than their younger counterparts to want to stay at home (41%).” The landing pages of the report from Gallup and the ILO are available and you can download the report in full.

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Image of the Day

Inji Efflatoun’s legacy is equal parts artistic and political. Born in 1924 to an upper-class Egyptian family, she actively advocated for women’s rights and subscribed to Communist ideologies that both fueled her groundbreaking painting style and landed her in prison under Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule. Inspired by “the social reality of the people of the Egyptian working class,” Efflatoun produced a number of “existentialist, psychologically charged” works throughout her younger years as a surrealist artist. Above is one of Efflatoun’s pieces, Contemplation (1940), which Mada Masr’s Ismail Fayed describes as “a voluptuous ink-on-paper urbanscape overwhelming several mysterious figures.” You can take a look at more of Efflatoun’s work featured in the SafarKhan Art Gallery here.

Egypt in the News

Still topping international coverage are the bread protests that broke out in Alexandria, Kafr El Sheikh, Minya, Assiut, Giza, and Fayoum on Monday. Tarek El Tablawy says the government defended the move in his piece for Bloomberg. Ruth Michaelson added more substance in The Guardian by noting that “while the cuts are unlikely to have a dramatic affect [sic] on the bread rations of the average citizen, the suggestion struck a nerve among the Egyptian public,” as TIMEP’s Timothy Kaldas tells her the government’s problem was one of communication; “the problem is that they offered no information and then left people to make their own conclusions.”

The National has an interview with Egyptian doctor and science fiction / horror novelist Ahmed Khaled Towfik, saying Arabs don’t like science or technology books. "The Arab reader likes books that provide social commentary, or romance or drama, or a mild form of philosophy,” Towfik says. Politics is high up there in the region’s reading lists, and of course, you can’t go wrong when you combine political drama and romance, he says. Towfik will be part of a panel discussion on sci-fi today and will hold a talk about his latest book Like Icarus tomorrow at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

On account of International Women’s Day, feminism in Egypt is making the rounds in the foreign press this morning, with Rana Magdy writing about the history of women’s rights issues in Egypt for openDemocracy. There’s no denying that feminist discourse has been struggling in Egypt, particularly as it is deeply connected to what she says is the patriarchal state, which seeks to keep it controlled and contained, Magdy writes. One area where the entrenched patriarchy doesn’t seem to prevailed is sports, where Egyptian women athletes have been outperforming their male counterparts, according to Al Bawaba. Squash is one of the sports where Egypt continues to excel, but women are still doing better than men — as evidenced by Marwan Elshorbagy failing to make it past the first round of the Professional Squash Association Canary Wharf Classic in London — while Nour El Sherbini became the first Egyptian to in the World Squash Championships.

Other reports on Egypt in the international media worth noting in brief:

  • Christian families in Northern Sinai are worried Daesh affiliates have “killing lists” and that their names are on them, reports Magdy Samaa and Raf Sanchez for The Telegraph (paywall).

On Deadline

Human rights violations in Egypt are one of the major forces obstructing the flow of foreign direct investments, lawyer Hafez Abu Seada writes in his latest column for El Watan. Despite the improvements to the country’s investment climate following recent reform measures and the International Monetary Fund’s USD 12 bn facility, Egypt’s human rights — which made the pages of reports published by the US State Department, Amnesty International, and the UNHCR — leads international firms and investors to think twice before bringing their money into the country, as they are bound by international human rights standards.

Worth Watching

No, Messi, you are not a moron. It’s just Zahi.  The same man who insulted Argentine footballer Lionel Messi for seeming to show no interest in the great pyramids of Giza during a private tour last month was filmed in 2015 storming out of a scheduled debate session with historian Graham Hancock, who he threatened to bar from ever entering Egypt, over the mere mention of a theory that he fundamentally disagrees with (watch, runtime 2:42). Hawass leaves the room before the debate even begins, yelling at Hancock to “go away from me” and attacking him for opening a discussion on an issue, which his royal tour-guidance says he definitively closed.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Direct flights from Warsaw to Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Gouna, Safaga, and Marsa Alam are set to begin at around April, said Egypt’s ambassador to Poland Hussam El Qawish. Charter flights between Warsaw and Hurghada, Marsa Alam, and Safaga are also set to increase from four weekly flights to 12 in April, he added, according to Al Masry Al Youm. He added that tourism has been seeing an uptick from Poland since January following a promotional campaign and the inauguration of charter flights from there. We should expect announcements on further trade cooperation as Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil will head a delegation to Warsaw in the next few days, said El Qawish. On the diplomatic front, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi invited Polish President Andrzej Duda to visit Cairo sometime in the second half of 2017. His trip will be preceded by a visit from Foreign Affairs Minister Witold Waszczykowski, El Qawish said, without specifying a date.

Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr discussed funding for Egypt’s social security network with the French Development Agency , during her meeting yesterday with the agency’s energy project manager Julia de Pierrepont, Al Ahram reports.

Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek is requesting to open an investigation into the death of an Egyptian inmate in an Italian prison last week, Al Mal reports. The Foreign Ministry had demanded an investigation into the incident earlier this week, after Italian authorities said the inmate, Hany El-Sayed Mohamed, committed suicide in prison.

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) will be participating in an investment expo in Barcelona in June to promote projects and investment opportunities in the area, Daily News Egypt reports.


Government to announce new waste-to-energy feed-in tariff by end of March

The feed-in tariff for waste-to-energy projects is likely to rise to EGP 1.08-1.40 per kWh from EGP 0.92 per kWh and will be announced by the end of March, government officials tell Al Borsa. Businesses had been hoping for a rate of EGP 1.10 per kWh, the same tariff recommended by the government committee tasked to study the issue, which was meant to submit its report by the end of last December.

Health + Education

Egyptian Competition Authority refers seven medical equipment suppliers to prosecution

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) referred seven medical equipment suppliers, including Temco Technology and Ghalioungui, to the Prosecutor General for conspiring to fix prices on public hospital tenders, Al Mal reports. The ECA’s yearlong investigation concluded that the companies conspired between to present the same bids in tenders to supply public hospitals over a two-year period between 2013 and 2015, which not only drove up prices of equipment, but also took advantage of loopholes in the Tenders and Auctions Act which allows the government to distribute orders equally among companies which present the same bids. The ECA alleges that this led to shortages in medical supplies at public hospitals due to high prices.


Yehia Rashed promotes Holy Family Route at ITB Berlin, meets with Bundestag’s budget committee chairman

Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed discussed Egypt’s efforts to revive tourism, including a project to track the route Jesus, Mary, and Joseph took during their journey from Palestine to Egypt, at the ITB travel trade show in Berlin, according to an emailed statement. The minister said that promoting eco-tourism in Egypt is also at the top of the ministry’s list of priorities during the coming period. Rashed also met with the chairman of the Bundestag’s budget committee yesterday, during which the two discussed the possibility of Germany providing funding for an Egyptian museum, Al Mal reports.

Banking + Finance

Banks to notify CBE before sourcing foreign currency to gov’t entities

The central bank has sent a directive to all banks requiring them to notify it every time they are tasked with sourcing foreign currency to any government entity or their suppliers. The central bank says this directive follows a decision by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.

Other Business News of Note

MIlitary Production Ministry announces pipeline of healthcare, manufacturing projects

The Military Production Ministry is looking to export goods (both military and civilian) to African states and plans to partner with companies in those countries, Military Production Minister Mohammed Al Assar said at a meeting with ambassadors, Al Mal reports. On the sidelines of the meeting, the ministry also announced that the signing of a cooperation agreement with Emirati company Al Etihad to establish a polythene and polypropylene pipes manufacturing plant, according to Al Borsa. He did not disclose the investment value. The ministry is also establishing an artificial turf manufacturing plant in cooperation with an unnamed German company. The ministry is also making moves in the healthcare industry, announcing two projects in the health sector worth USD 115 mn. The first, a USD 100 mn oncology meds factory, will be in partnership with Pharco Pharma. The ministry is also partnering with an unnamed Chinese company to develop a safe syringes factory. The ministry made sure to note that it is not involved in manufacturing infant formula, which is the purview of the Defense Ministry Health exports will not include baby formula, as the Ministry only produces health equipment, according to Al Mal.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egypt to open the first public free zone in two months’ time -Khodeir

Egypt plans to launch the first public free trade zone in two months’ time, General Authority for Free Zones and Investments (GAFI) chief Mohamed Khodeir tells Al Borsa. The authority has yet to decide on a location, but is reportedly considering setting up shop in Upper Egypt. Many businesses and investors were concerned by the fact that the new Investment Act — which is expected to come into effect by the end of Marchdoesn’t bring back private free trade areas. Khodeir reassured members of the Egyptian Credit Association on Wednesday that there are “alternative investment schemes” to the private zones “that offer even greater incentives.

On Your Way Out

Celebrating International Women’s Day, Google looked back at some of its older doodles celebrating female pioneers who paved the way to where we are today. The doodle is a slideshow featuring “a little girl whose grandmother tells her the best bedtime story ever: the tale of her favorite historical heroine. The little girl then visits 13 remarkable women in her imagination, taking us along on a journey that spans centuries and circles the globe.” We took immense pride in seeing Lotfia El Nadi’s doodle from 2014 there, especially after seeing Nevin Darwish fly the Airbus A380 aircraft. El Nadi was the first ever female pilot in Egypt, Africa, and the Arab world in 1933 to fly a plane from Cairo to Alexandria — an incredible distance at the time, and an even greater distance in the journey toward equality. El Nadi also worked for women’s equality and was a “living proof that women could do and be anything, if they only dared to dream,” as Google describes her. “I learned to fly because I love to be free,” she said. You can see a real picture of El Nadi here.

People are getting jailed for TV piracy in Egypt now: A court sentenced a man to one-year in prison and ordered him to pay an EGP 100,000 fine after finding him guilty of illegally distributing and selling OSN content. “The judges have sent out a very strong message. Stealing content from OSN, and other legal owners, can land you in jail as well as face very big fines in Egypt,” Sophie Moloney, OSN chief legal officer, commented.

Apple lovers rejoice, as reseller Tradeline will be slashing its prices 15-20%, effective today, according to Al Mal. The cuts are the “natural result” of the lower USD exchange rate and had Apple’s blessing, Tradeline’s Commercial Director Mohamed Medhat said.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.7521 | Sell 17.6435
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.6 | Sell 17.7
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.55 | Sell 17.65

EGX30 (Wednesday): 12,735 (+0.5%)
Turnover: EGP 1.1 bn (149% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +3.2%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.5%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent declined by 0.5%. The EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Egyptian Iron and Steel up 8.7%, Domty up 6.8%, and Ezz Steel up 5.0%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included Emaar Misr down 1.8%, Cairo Oils and Soap down 1.8%, and Sodic down 1.7%. The market turnover was EGP1.1 billion, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP + 34.6 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP – 5.6 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP – 29.0 mn

Retail: 70.8% of total trades | 65.3% of buyers | 76.3% of sellers
Institutions: 29.2% of total trades | 34.7% of buyers | 23.7% of sellers

Foreign: 15.4% of total | 17.0% of buyers | 13.8% of sellers
Regional: 10.4% of total | 10.2% of buyers | 10.7% of sellers
Domestic: 74.2% of total | 72.8% of buyers | 75.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 51.12 (-3.80%)
Brent: USD 53.96 (-3.51%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.95 MMBtu, (+4.36%, April 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,209.60 / troy ounce (-0.53%)TASI: 6,970.8 (-0.3%) (YTD: -3.3%)
ADX: 4,590.8 (0.0%) (YTD: +1.0%)
DFM: 3,530.6 (+0.8%) (YTD: 0.0%)
KSE Weighted Index: 421.1 (0.0%) (YTD: +10.8%)
QE: 10,361.5 (-0.5%) (YTD: -0.7%)
MSM: 5,801.3 (+0.1%) (YTD: +0.3%)
BB: 1,336.5 (+0.3%) (YTD: +9.5%)

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08-12 March (Wednesday-Sunday): 2017 ITB Berlin, CityCube Berlin, Germany.

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

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.

04 April (Tuesday): Emirates NBD Egypt PMI reading for March announced. The report will be available here.

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.

20-23 September (Wednesday-Saturday): 2017 Automech Formula car expo, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, 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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