Monday, 13 March 2017

There’s no VAT on koshary, ful and other affordable street food


What We’re Tracking Today

The Finance Ministry will propose a stamp tax of 0.125% on stock market transactions that would gradually rise to 0.175% by its third year, top ministry officials tell Al Shorouk. The measure will be unveiled at today’s meeting of the cabinet economic group. The stamp was proposed in place of a capital gains tax that has been temporarily shelved for the coming three years; the measure is expected to come into effect by May.

A busy day for the House: The Contractor Compensation Act continues to make its way through the House, and the House Manpower Committee is due to start discussions today of the proposed Labor Act.

Elsewhere this morning, we wonder: What does this mean for Egypt, if anything? “Vodafone has joined the push to bring customer service jobs back to the UK with the announcement of 2,100 new call-centre roles. The mobile phone company, which has struggled with customer service issues in recent years, will ‘onshore’ the support roles from South Africa, where it uses an external agency. It will retain some customer service operations overseas, including technical staff in Egypt,” reports the Financial Times (paywall).

It could be a turbulent week on the global scene: It’s a reasonably mellow (but not quiet) news day for Egypt, and it’s hard not to hope that it remains that way for the rest of the week given it is shaping up to be a turbulent few days on the international front. Wednesday is D-Day. Look for global markets to be roiled by:

  • The US Federal Reserve, when the Federal Open Markets Committee’s two-day meeting ends on Wednesday. Fed watchers expect a quarter-point rate hike — and for the FOMC to signal that more rate increases are in the works for this year. US rate hikes are generally not considered “good news” for EM. (That first link is to Reuters. This piece in the Financial Times is worth reading if you’re a subscriber.)
  • The United Kingdom, where Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to formally beginthe process of withdrawing from the European Union this month, with the earliest date she could do so being Tuesday. (Don’t understand Article 50? The Independent has got your back.)
  • Elections in the Netherlands, where the anti-Muslim party of Geert Wilders, who would pull the Netherlands out of the euro at a minimum, is now running a very close second to the incumbent PM’s conservatives. Voters go to the polls Wednesday, and mainstream parties have promised not to form a coalition with Wilders.
  • The Donald is meeting Angela Merkel on Tuesday, setting up a sit-down between the standard bearer of a new global disorder (Mr. Trump, the self-styled capitalist) and the last defender of the liberal post-Second World War order (Ms. Merkel, the former East German). The meeting is set to take place the same day that a key German economic sentiment index is released, helping set the tone for this fall’s election. Reuters has meeting coverage.

(Sidebar: Turkey is having a little spat with the Netherlands after the Dutch refused to allow a wagonload of Turkish ministers to speak over the weekend to potential absentee voters in the Turkish referendum that would give Erdogan’s office more power. Ever-restrained, Erdogan has taken to calling the Netherlands a “banana republic” and “Nazis” while his foreign minister has called the country “fascist.” Enjoy, Dutch people. We’ve been there.)

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

With Lamees El Hadidi and Amr Adib still off the air as Amr recovers from exhaustion, the talking heads offered up a mixed bag of nuts on the airwaves last night.

Taking over the reins at Kol Youm is Amr Adib’s old airtime buddy, actress Ragaa El Geddawy, who will be filling in until the host recovers, ONTV chief Amr Rizk tells Al Mal.El Geddawy, who customarily hosts a light social segment of Adib’s Sunday episode called Ask Ragaa, played a pre-recorded interview COMESA’s competition watchdog George Lipimile, who is in town to investigate the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) alleged bid-rigging in granting broadcasting rights of CAF tournaments. Lipimile said the commission cannot definitively say whether CAF and Lagardère Sports restrained competition until the investigation is complete (watch, runtime: 9:03).

Finally, agricultural policies that make sense: There will be no cultivation of sugar cane or rice on land from the 1.5 mn feddan desert reclamation project — the crops simply consume too much water, Egyptian Rural Development Company chairman Atter Hannoura told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 4:04). The move follows the recommendation by FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva over the weekend that the project needs to adopt sensible crops to grow at a time where the region and country could be suffering from major water shortages as a result of poor agricultural practices. (To say nothing of climate change and a certain dam upstream in, say, Ethiopia.)

Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer hosted Deputy Housing Minister for urban development Ahmed Adel Darwish, who laid out the government’s plan for the Maspero Triangle development project and the relocation of the area’s current squatters. According to Darwish, families will be allowed to choose between purchasing residential units in Al Asmarat, to be paid off in monthly installments of EGP 300, or renting units in the Maspero area after the development is complete.

Amer then moved on to discuss the garbage recycling initiative finally picking up steam in Egypt, with Kafr El Sheikh Governor El Sayed Nasr alleging the governorate beat Cairo to the punch, and first began buying solid waste from citizens seven months ago at an average of EGP 3,000 per tonne.

Director of the state-controlled Tahya Misr Fund Mohamed El Ashmawy told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal that the fund is coordinating with the Social Solidarity Ministry to launch a housing project for street children (watch, runtime: 1:25), and has allocated some EGP 350 mn for Hepatitis C treatment (watch, runtime: 1:30).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Expect your corner koshary and ful shops to be exempt from VAT: The Finance Ministry issued a directive exempting some restaurants that typically serve-lower income groups from charging value-added tax (VAT) on food items served. Not part of this exemption are all franchises of international or domestic restaurants. Restaurants in shopping malls, tourist areas, airports, and gated residential compounds will also have to continue collecting the VAT, according to the directive. Also not exempted are restaurants serving food made from wheat (so no feteer / pizza, then?) or dough-based pastries as well as restaurants that charge their clientele extra for service “or any other charges.” Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer, who had said last week to expect more guidance from the Ministry on the application of VAT, says the exemption comes in line with the social element of tax reform and the state’s policy to protect those least well off. He reiterated that businesses with a turnover of less than EGP 500k a year remain exempt from VAT.

A copy of the Bankruptcy Act is out: A copy of the Bankruptcy Act, which is currently being reviewed by the Council of State (Maglis Al Dawla), has made it to the press. You can view the full text here, courtesy of Al Borsa. The law, which creates a clear regulatory framework for bankruptcy proceedings in the private sector, is part a basket of structural reforms meant to improve Egypt’s business climate and boost investor confidence. By outlining clear steps and guidelines for cases of bankruptcy, the legislation protects heads of failed companies and individuals from debtors prison and a tangle of complex criminal court proceedings. The Council of State expects to conclude its review of the draft act within a month. Among its highlights:

  • Economic courts hold sway, will form bankruptcy divisions: Economic courts are the only authority allowed to look into bankruptcy cases and a bankruptcy judge’s ruling will also be considered final and cannot be appealed. Economic courts will effectively create “bankruptcy courts” — departments to handle bankruptcy filings, including mediation, restructuring and settlement procedures.
  • Who can file for bankruptcy? A request for bankruptcy can be filed in person by the debtor, by the creditor, or by order of the Prosecutor General’s Office, with a statute of limitations of up to one-year after a person’s death or after retirement.
  • It’s not just about liquidation — restructuring is also in the cards: Companies with paid-in capital north of EGP 1 mn can lodge a request to restructure or choose to negotiate a settlement in lieu of declaring bankruptcy before bankruptcy court proceedings begin or a verdict is issued by an economic court in a bankruptcy case.
  • Crime and punishment: Cooking the books to declare bankruptcy or fraudulently reaching a settlement or restructuring agreement could result in prison sentences of up to five years and fines up to EGP 500k. Concealing financial records and accounting negligence in bankruptcy cases carries a minimum sentence of six months in prison and up to EGP 200k for the primary perpetrators and board members convicted of the crime.
  • The law will be applied retroactively to ongoing cases.

Majid Al Futtaim boss optimistic about Egypt consumer sentiment, not fretting overinflation. Chief Executive Officer Alain Beijani told Bloomberg Television that he’s not concerned about inflation, saying that while Egypt is going through “difficult times,” the nation has a lot to offer. The country is now approaching the “end of the tunnel,” having enacted tough reforms in 2016 and early 2017, he said, and the economy is starting to show signs of turning the corner. On consumer demand: “Egypt has very deep consumer demand. The reality is that there’s still growth in consumer demand. There’s a change in consumption patterns that has been impacted by the [events of the] past two years, that’s absolutely true. It’s also been impacted by the change in offerings in the market given the restrictions on imports that were there, primarily driven by the lack of foreign currency. I would say that Egyptian consumer demand is still good. We’re seeing more and more tourism coming into Egypt. In the last month we’ve seen some very good news in that respect. So overall we’re positive on the outlook.” Outside Egypt, the Dubai-based Beijani says, MAF is looking to grow in the GCC and has entered Kenya this year. Majid Al Futtaim recently opened its flagship Mall of Egypt in Six of October. Watch the full Bloomberg interview(runtime: 4:05)

Shake up at Careem? Wael El Fakharany has stepped down as managing director of Careem Egypt and the ridesharing company’s SVP for government relations, sources told Al Mal. We have independently confirmed the news of El Fakharany’s departure. Separately, Careem announced appointing Ramy Kato as its head of operations in Egypt in addition to his current role as VP of Careem Care. “Kato will be responsible for managing all Careem operations in Egypt including overlooking Careem’s expansion plans in the local market, government relations and day-to- day business operations.”

Head of SME unit at unnamed bank nabbed by top anti-corruption cops: The Administrative Control Authority (ACA), Egypt’s top anti-corruption agency, has reportedly arrested the head of SME banking at an unnamed bank. The individual was arrested along with an unspecified number of accomplices for allegedly accepting a total of EGP 2 mn in bribes to grant loans on falsified paper under the central bank’s SME lending initiative, Al Shorouk reports. The ACA claims borrowers claimed some EGP 25 mn in fraudulently obtained loans from the EGP 200 bn initiative, which offers subsidized interest rates to borrowers.

M&A WATCH- Ayman Mamdouh Abbas is planning on increasing the stake of CI Capital he is proposing to buy to 4.5% from 2%, according to Al Mal. A consortium of investors had offered to buy 71.94% of CI Capital in December and EFSA greenlight some of the investors’ bids. Two investors had reportedly backed out of the agreement. Abbas says he received approval from CIB, CI Capital’s parent, to acquire a larger stake. He adds that this increase would not require him to be approved again by EFSA as it would still keep his bid below the 5% threshold that EFSA Chairman Sherif Samy said would require obtaining approvals de novo.

EFG Hermes subsidiary finalizes Pakistan brokerage majority stake acquisition: EFG Hermes Frontier Holding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EFG Hermes, has finalized the acquisition of a 51% stake in Pakistani brokerage Invest and Finance Securities Limited. The transaction, agreed to in August, was closed at a price of PKR 15 per share for a total of PKR 153.12 mn (c. USD 1.46 mn).

IPO WATCH- Law firm Zaki Hashem & Partners has filed a formal request on behalf of MM Group for Industry and International Trade to float 30% of its shares on the EGX at EGP 6.06 per share, firm partner Helal El Hossary tells Al Borsa. The Group’s is one of six capital raisings that could go forward in the first half of 2017. As we noted last month, Beltone Financial will be managing the offering, which will see 80-85% earmarked for institutional investors, with the balance comprising a retail offering to local investors. The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority had approved a fair value assessment for MM Group at EGP 6.75 per share.

Abou Hashima to IPO Egyptian Media Group? The Egyptian Media Group, controlled by Ahmed Abou Hashima, is planning an initial public offering, according to FEP Capital CEO Abdullah Al-Shaheen, who stopped short of specifying a timeline for transaction, Youm7 reports. FEP Capital is advising EMG on the planned listing. Al-Shaheen also said FEP plans to invest EGP 250 mn in SMEs and distressed manufacturers over the next two years, according to Al Borsa. FEP Capital had pledged in 2015 to invest a total of EGP 500 mn and has made good on half of that amount over the past two years, the newspaper says.

AUC has to collect tuition fees fully in EGP, the administrative court ordered, according to Al Shorouk. Payment of tuition fees cannot include foreign currency, the court added. Al Shorouk notes that AUC has been collecting half of the tuition fees in USD and the other half in EGP since 2014. As far as the piece notes, it is not clear if the court decision places any restriction on charging the tuition fees in EGP equivalent of a USD amount. We believe AUC has the right to appeal the decision.

Is Amazon looking to open an export logistics center in Egypt? A number of Egyptian companies are in talks with e-commerce behemoth Amazon to become part of an Egypt logistics center that could connect Egypt to Amazon’s global network. Mintra Paper Industries CEO Hany Casis tells Al Borsa that Amazon had said that Amazon will “soon” be in touch with the Egyptian government about establishing a distribution center and could have staff here for talks in “two to three weeks.” Amazon will be looking to contract three companies to handle the flow of some USD 1 bn in products from Egypt to the US and Europe, Casis said. The former chairperson of Egyptian-American Business Council added that his company, Mintra, has already closed an agreement to supply Amazon. The news comes as Amazon has reportedly jump-started talks to acquire for USD 650 mn.

** EARNINGS WATCH: Cleopatra Hospitals Group announced net income of EGP 89.4 mn in 2016, up 73% y-o-y. Revenues increased by 16% y-o-y to EGP 864.4 mn during the year. The largest contributor to group revenues was Cleopatra Hospital at (44%), followed by Cairo Specialised Hospital (21%), Nile Badrawi Hospital (18%) and Al Shorouk Hospital (17%). Acquisitions are in the pipeline: Company CEO Ahmed Ezzeldin noted: “Our Group today is better positioned and better prepared to start the next chapter of growth characterized by a follow through on our commitment to a value accretive capital investment program. We are currently conducting due diligence on a potential accretive fifth hospital acquisition in Cairo which we expect to announce in 1H 2017. We are also reviewing a number of brownfield acquisitions to further expand our footprint.”

Etisalat Misr’s revenue in 2016 came in at AED 4.03 bn (USD 1.10 bn), falling 11% y-o-y due to “unfavourable exchange rate movements.” In EGP terms, Etisalat Misr’s top line rose 8% y-o-y on growth in the data segment and subscriber base. Etisalat Misr’s EBITDA for 2016 was AED 1.6 bn (USD 435.6 mn), with an EBITDA margin of 39%, 2 ppt higher than 2015’s. The results were disclosed as its Dubai-based parent, Etisalat, recorded net profit after federal royalty of AED 8.42 bn (USD 2.29 bn) in 2016, with total consolidated revenues coming in at AED 52.36 bn (USD 14.26 bn), according to the company’s consolidated earnings release.

MOVES- Bank of Alexandria announced the appointment of Hassan Ghanem as executive board member and Sherif Lokman as head of retail and small business.

Proposed Investment Act comes under fire during House committee hearing: Abla Abdel Latif, head of the President’s Economic Development Council, and Egyptian Competition Authority chief Mona El Garf leveled criticism at the Investment Act in testimony before the House Economic Committee yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. Abdel Latif said the bill alone is not enough to promote investment and needs a bundle of complementary legislation, including the Industrial Permits Act, to be issued in tandem. Meanwhile, El Garf is reported to have said that the draft of the act is too lengthy and diverges from the one approved by the Council of State (Maglis Al Dawla). According to El Garf, the sheer volume of clauses in the bill makes it difficult for investors to understand their rights and obligations. Businessman Amr El Lamei took the discussion back to square one, saying the issues with the original investment law were not made clear, and suggested that the House return the legislation to the Investment Ministry. The House Economic Committee had granted the bill preliminary approval last month. The House as a whole is expected to vote on the bill this month.

Contractors are losing their minds over what they see as “delays” in the House of Representatives passing a bill meant to compensate them for losses on government contracts incurred as a result of the float of the EGP. The bill — the text of which we are yet to see — would presumably allow the government to revise contracts to reflect the new cost base backing. Cue much whining from the sector, along with promises of at least one “urgent meeting” today. Al Borsa says. Both the House and the government are keen on issuing the bill as fast as possible, on legislator promises Al Shorouk, adding that the final draft should be coming to a vote in a plenary session “within days.” Local media reports last week said that the House would vote on the bill on Monday 13 March.

The population of Greater Cairo is set to grow by 500,000 in 2017, more than any other major city in the world, Reuters’ Arwa Gaballa reports, citing a Euromonitor International report. Greater Cairo, a metropolitan area including Cairo and parts of the Giza and Qalyubia provinces, is home to some 22.8 mn currently, Gaballa notes. A top Housing Ministry official says the government is building 17,000-18,000 homes in the New Administrative Capital and will put them on sale in April to help absorb the flow, adding that the government is also “working on developing areas in northern and southern Egypt.”


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Image of the Day

Jealousy, we are thee: Global bike riding collective Global Riders kicked-off in January an 11-person bike expedition from Cape Town to Cairo. The party, lead by veteran rider Helge Pedersen, has reached Hurghada and is expected to hit Cairo on Saturday. Pederson had led a similar expedition back in 2012 and his images are spectacular despite their low resolution.

Egypt in the News

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has not toed the GCC’s “anti-Iranian line in the region” and is “instead following his own pattern of supporting state actors against non-state actors,” Eric Trager writes for the Washington Institute. Trager says El Sisi views himself as “a strongman combatting those who seek chaos, foremost among them the Muslim Brotherhood.” He believes El Sisi will follow an “‘Egypt first’ playbook.”

Egypt as economic boogeyman: Nigeria’s central bank governor Godwin Emefiele is using Egypt’s inflation rate, which surpassed 30% year-on-year in February, to justify not adopting a free float of the naira. According to Reuters, he said, “I have heard commentators suggest we should follow Egypt’s example and free the naira … What they do not tell you is that following their currency adjustments inflation today in Egypt is over 30 percent. Is that what we want in Nigeria?” Apparently, he’s not interested in basic economic realities, either.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

US Ambassador Stephen Beecroft visited Port Said over the weekend to meet with Egyptian shipping company representatives regarding recurrent transits of the canal by US vessels. “The Suez Canal is a vital waterway that is crucial to the global economy and regional and international security … I am pleased to be here and to see firsthand the role it plays in global affairs. I appreciate the support of the Egyptian authorities in making this visit possible,” Beecroft said in an embassy statement. US naval vessels enjoy priority access to the Suez Canal.

Egypt is committed to cooperating with Nile Basin countries to protect all countries’ water rights, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi told journalists from 25 African countries yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. The journalists were in town to participate in a workshop organized by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development, which is run by the Foreign Ministry.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri will be heading a delegation of 40 companies visiting Cairo on 22 March to discuss increasing Lebanese exports to Egypt to reach USD 1 bn from a current USD 700 mn, Egyptian-Lebanese Business Council member Fouad Hadraj said, Al Borsa reports.

Egypt could benefit from Turkey’s expertise in a number of industrial sectors, including the auto industry, Chairman of the Egyptian-Turkish Business Council Mesut Toprak said, Youm7 reports. The council convened yesterday for the first time in three years, with 11 Turkish companies in attendance.

The World Bank will disburse in April the first USD 12 mn tranche of its USD 500 mn loan to finance the Upper Egypt development program to the Qena governorate, World Bank Vice President for Global Practices Jan Walliser told Qena’s governor yesterday, Ahram Gate reports.


EGAS natural gas imports down since start of 2017 thanks to higher output, lower consumption

EGAS has cut its imports of natural gas imports to five monthly shipments (equivalent to 700 mcf/d) from eight (800 mcf/d) since the beginning of 2017 thanks to rising domestic production and lower consumption, Al Borsa reports. Imports will rise again to 1.4 bcf/d in May when summertime demand kicks in, according to a top EGAS official. Domestic production is expected to increase to 5 bcf/d from a current 4.5 bcf/d by the second half of the year, before the Zohr field comes online.

Electricity Ministry to bring new power lines and water-powered station online by September

The Electricity Ministry will bring some 800 km of power lines and associated distribution infrastructure worth a combined EGP 4 bn by September when Elsewedy Electric and Saudi’s NCC Ltd. complete work in Upper Egypt, a top ministry official tell Al Borsa. The 500 KV lines will run parallel to the main line that runs out of the high dam in Aswan. The Electricity Ministry is currently in talks with the Finance Ministry over additional funding for upgrades to its transmission infrastructure, the source adds, explaining that the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company has reportedly signed an agreement with China’s State Grid to add 1,120 km of above-ground lines.

Meanwhile, the ministry is due to bring a small 32 MW hydroelectric station online in Asyut next month, the newspaper ads, as part of a plan to modestly expand hydroelectric generation capacity.

Nuclear Power Plants Authority submits final list of 20 companies taking part in Daba’a

The Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) has submitted to Rosatom on Saturday its official list of 20 Egyptian companies qualified to work on the building of the Daba’a nuclear power plant, Al Borsa reports. As we’ve noted previously, the list includes Orascom Construction, Elsewedy Electric, Hassan Allam, Petrojet, and Arab Contractors.

Commercial operations at new capital combined cycle plant to begin at the end of March

Siemens will begin commercial operations at the new capital combined cycle power plant at the end of the month, Orascom Construction’s quality control manager Maged Kamal said. Two turbines of the power plant, which have been currently operating on a trial run, will be fully operational by the end of March and will bring the plant’s production capacity to 800 MW. Three more turbines will begin commercial operations by the end of the year, which would bring total capacity of the plant up to 1,200 MW, he added, according to Daily News Egypt.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Wheat reserves to double after local harvest

Egypt’s wheat reserves currently stand at over three mn tonnes and are set to double with the start of the local wheat harvest season in April, Reuters reported, citing a Supply Ministry statement. The current wheat reserve level is enough to last at least four months, the statement said, adding that stocks of vegetable oils and rice stand at 3.5 and 3.6 months, respectively.


Rubex to complete development of a total of 12 factories by the end of 2017

Plastics manufacturer Rubex plans to complete the building of five factories in 2H17, said chairman Magdy El Taher. The factories will largely be self-financed, he tells Daily News Egypt. The company is currently completing a complex of seven plants, which would bring its total facilities 18, according to a regulatory filing. The company is planning to export 30% of its goods, primarily to African markets, by FY2017, El Taher said, according to Al Dostor.

Banking + Finance

EGX issues new regulations to organize transfer of unlisted securities’ ownership

The EGX has issued new regulations on the transfer of ownership of securities not listed on the stock exchange. The regulations outline the timeframe for traders to inform the EGX about over-the-counter (OTC) transactions and stipulates that brokerages keep all documents relating to OTC transactions for five years, according to an EGX statement published by Al Borsa.

NI Capital to form private equity fund in 2H17

State-run NI Capital plans to establish a private equity fund in 2H17, sources tell Daily News Egypt. The move is part of a wider expansion into private equity by the National Investment Bank subsidiary which would see it invest in a number of different sectors, the sources added. NI Capital is taking a leading role in a number of key government-led economic initiatives, including the IPO of state-owned enterprises and the formation of companies to manage the three Siemens power plants.

Other Business News of Note

Remittances from Egyptians in the UAE account for 4% of total remittance outflows -UAE central bank

Remittance outflows from all expatriates in the UAE rose 8% year-on-year in 2016 to AED 161 bn, the UAE’s central bank said, according Al Borsa. Egyptians accounted for 4% of total remittance outflows from the Emirates throughout the year, the central bank said.

Legislation + Policy

EFSA issues set of precautionary measures to ban transactions from traders under investigation

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) issued on Sunday precautionary measures the authority is allowed to take against brokers under investigation of stock manipulation and other violations. These measures include suspending transactions from brokers with repeated violations for a period of up to three months, while EFSA investigates the case. If the investigation implicates the broker and a case is brought to trial, the broker will be suspended until a verdict is reached, according to a statement from EFSA. the measures appear to backup changes an EGX decision taken last week granting EGX Chairman Mohamed Omran the power to suspend brokers suspected of market manipulation for up to one month — something Omran doth protest has anything to do to with the case against Beltone shareholders being investigated for market manipulation.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Free Egyptians Party to hold leadership elections amid fracturing

The Free Egyptians Party plans to hold elections on 24 March for party leader and has begun accepting nominations despite the party splintering after it ejected founder Naguib Sawiris, Ahram Gate reports. The party’s board members are reportedly solidly behind Sawiris, while current leader Essam Khalil holds the loyalty of the rank and file, the newspaper claims.


Allegations of CAF violating market competition laws are “unsubstantiated” -CAF

The Egyptian Competition Authority’s (ECA) allegations that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) offered Lagardère Sports the exclusive right to air CAF competitions without allowing for a fair competition from other bidders are “unsubstantiated,” CAF said in a statement yesterday. According to CAF, the Lagardère Sports agreement was signed “following an extensive period of negotiations” and the only other offer CAF received was “materially and substantially inferior” — and was presented 15 months after the Lagardère agreement was approved. The ECA had accused CAF President Issa Hayatou in January of abusing his controlling position by reaching the agreement with Lagardère Sports a year and a half prior to the expiry of the current one, violating market competition laws and harming the Egyptian economy. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa’s (COMESA) competition commission also launched an investigation last month.

On Your Way Out

Meet six of our best and brightest IGCSE students: The British Council and Cambridge International Examinations honored six Egyptian students who scored the highest grades internationally on the IGCSE maths, physics, sociology, accounting, French, travel and tourism, according to a statement. The six achievers are (from left to right): Rawan Mokhtar (math), Nayer Sanad (accounting), Mohamed Tawfik (physics), Salma El Toukhy (travel and tourism), Fagr Fathy (sociology), Yara Hamed (French). The ceremony last Thursday also celebrated the academic achievements of 122 secondary school learners’ awards in the 2016 Cambridge IGCSE and International AS and A Level exams, including 83 awards in Cairo and 39 awards in Alexandria.

Aswat Masriya to shut down: Thomson Reuters announced that its Egyptian news platform Aswat Masriya will close due to lack of continued financing. The website was launched following the 2011 uprising in Egypt, in the run-up to the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections. "Since 2015 Aswat Masriya has been registered as an Egyptian company. The Aswat Masriya team have been kept consistently informed of the financial challenges and latest developments. The process has been completely transparent and compliant with Egyptian law,” Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said.

If you’re a TE Data subscriber who’s suffered from some internet problems in the last week or so, it might be time for you to upgrade your modem. The service interruption was came after hackers targeted older modems on TE Data’s network, according to a statement picked up by Al Mal. TE Data’s customer support reportedly went offline after customers bombarded the company with complaints. Classic.

63% of Egyptians say they don’t believe verbal divorce counts if it remains undocumented, according to the latest poll by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera). Baseera found no significant discrepancy between the number of male and female respondents rejecting undocumented verbal divorce, but only one third of those polled said they have been following the ongoing discussions of the issue.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6318 | Sell 17.7418
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.6 | Sell 17.7
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.5 | Sell 17.6

EGX30 (Sunday): 12,919.90 (+0.52%)
Turnover: EGP 870.1 mn (100% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +4.66%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session, up 0.52%. Index heavyweight CIB 2.01%. The market’s top performing constituents were: Rowad Tourism up 10.0%, National Co. for Maize Products up 9.98%, and National Cement up 8.24%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included Saudi Egyptian Investment & Finance down 7.32%, Universal Packaging Materials (Unipack) down 7.19%, and Juhayna Food Industries down 6.38%. The market turnover was EGP 870.1 million, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +23.2 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +48.4 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -71.6 mn

Retail: 69.3% of total trades | 70.2% of buyers | 69.4% of sellers
Institutions: 30.7% of total trades | 29.8% of buyers | 30.6% of sellers

Foreign: 12.27% of total | 19.1% of buyers | 5.4% of sellers
Regional: 8.55% of total | 5.8% of buyers | 11.3% of sellers
Domestic: 79.18% of total | 75.1% of buyers | 83.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 48.09 (-0.82%)
Brent: USD 51.03 (-0.66%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.08 MMBtu, (+2.29%, April 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,204.40 / troy ounce (+0.25%)

TASI: 6,834.1 (-1.2%) (YTD: -5.2%)
ADX: 4,436.4 (-0.5%) (YTD: -2.4%)
DFM: 3,480.9 (-1.1%) (YTD: -1.4%)
KSE Weighted Index: 420.9 (-0.4%) (YTD: +10.7%)
QE: 10,491.2 (+0.2%) (YTD: +0.5%)
MSM: 5,741.2 (-0.9%) (YTD: -0.7%)
BB: 1,366.0 (+0.9%) (YTD: +11.9%)

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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.

25-26 April (Tuesday-Wednesday): MENA New Energy conference, Hyatt Regency, Dubai.

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.

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.