Wednesday, 22 March 2017

UK joins US in banning electronics on flights


What We’re Tracking Today

** What are the biggest challenges facing businesses in Egypt? Were the last three months good for doing business? Where do you and your business see the exchange rate stabilizing? Help us help you find out by taking our quarterly reader poll for 1Q2017. The survey would only take a couple of minutes to complete and, as always, you don’t need to answer every question — but we’ll be ridiculously grateful if you do. And taking the couple of minutes to fill it out will benefit everyone in the community by serving as a snap poll of sentiment.

Fill out the survey and maybe we’ll take you to lunch at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. We’ll draw the names of two readers who filled in all survey questions and send them to lunch with the editors of Enterprise at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza (that’s the one in Garden City). Each reader will be entitled to bring a friend or colleague. If you’re interested, make sure you leave your full name, email address and best telephone number at the end of the survey. The poll closes next Tuesday, and we’ll announce the results and the names of our lunch guests on Sunday, 2 April.

Good morning, you’ve just been stamp taxed: The Ismail cabinet approved imposing the 0.125% stamp tax on all capital market transactions, during its Tuesday meeting, a cabinet statement said. The tax will increase progressively to 0.175% over the coming three years. A 0.3% levy will be imposed on the buy- and sell-side of transactions where 33% or more of a company’s shares are being sold. The decision — which will still pass through the Council of State and House of Representatives — is expected to come into effect on 1 May. The cabinet also approved postponing the capital gains tax for three years from May 17, Reuters reports, citing the state news agency MENA.

We anxiously await seeing how this news plays out in the stock market today. In the days preceding the decision, the market reportedly lost EGP 3.7 bn, something which perplexed Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer, who maintained that the stamp tax came as a surprise to no one.

The UK sits, rolls over on command, and oh, joins the US in banning laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices on inbound flights from several Middle Eastern countries including Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in London on Tuesday that phones larger than normal-sized mobiles or smartphones will also be forbidden. “We have been in close contact with the Americans throughout this process,” Slack said as he announced the details, which earmark a different list of countries from those on which restrictions were imposed by the U.S. earlier on Tuesday. “We’ve spoken closely, but we’ve each taken our own decisions,” (our entire staff burst out laughing at that last point). According to Bloomberg, the measures will affect 14 airlines: EgyptAir, British Airways Plc, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways Ltd., Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Atlas Global, Middle East, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, EasyJet Plc, Tunisian, and

…As for the ban by daddy Amrika, Egyptian authorities will begin enforcing the ban on flights from Cairo to the US on Friday 24 March, sources at Cairo Airport told Ahram Online. EgyptAir released a statement confirming the ban on Tuesday.

How long will the ban take place? It will be in place initially for nearly seven months before it is reviewed, Reuters reports. An Emirates spokeswoman said on Tuesday the airline understood that "the directive comes into effect on 25 March 2017 and is valid until 14 October 2017." A U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman termed that date "a placeholder for review" of the rule. The stated reason for all this mess is an unspecified security threat. As we noted yesterday, passengers from 10 international airports from Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Morocco; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia can expect to park their valuable devices with their checked baggage. We respectfully urge all baggage handlers at these airports to be gentle.

Thank you, Fed, for all the help: US equities are looking expensive after the Trump reflation trade and asset inflation driven by the Fed, making EM asset classes six of the 12 best performing asset classes so far this year. Analysts are even overlooking EMs’ propensity for excess, with Egypt being a prime example as the USD 4 bn eurobond issuance was three times oversubscribed, according to the Financial Times.

And speaking of EM bond sales, Saudi Aramco is seeking to raise about USD 2 bn in its debut bond sale in 2Q17, ahead of its planned IPO. Aramco will issue SAR-denominated sukuks which may be privately placed with investors, anonymous sources tell Bloomberg.

The Egyptian-Lebanese Business forum will be held today in Cairo, headed by Prime Ministers Sherif Ismail and Saad Al Hariri, with 200 companies participating, Al Borsa reports.

What We’re Tracking This Week

The Finance Ministry will issue a directive on the tax treatment of FX costs within days , which would take into account the differences between official and parallel rates, Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer says, according to Al Borsa.

On The Horizon

Egypt is reportedly 10 days away from receiving the second USD 500 mn tranche of a USD 1.5 bn loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB), country mission chief Laila Al Moqadem said on Tuesday, according to Al Borsa. An AfDB delegation will visit Egypt in June to negotiate the disbursement of the third and final USD 500 mn tranche with the government. A bank delegation had also visited Cairo recently to evaluate a number of potential projects in sanitation, slum area development, and youth employment that are expected to collectively exceed USD 200 mn in value.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The most notable of last night’s segments was probably Hona Al Asema’s Lamees El Hadidi’s phone conversation with Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, who said that he would be over at the House of Representatives today to discuss solutions for the woes of the Cairo Metro Company. The company’s recent financial troubles, Arafat said, is the result of multiple issues, such as maintaining ticket prices at EGP 1 and increasing wages by some 400% between 2011 and 2017. He also said that while studies have concluded that the average ticket price should currently stand at EGP 4, “that’s not something we can do given citizens’ challenging economic circumstances right now.”

The minister also spoke to Lamees briefly about five major shipping lines halting their operations at the port of East Port Said, which include Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Hapag-Loyd, Yang Ming Marine Transport, and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki (watch, runtime 11:11).

El Hadidy then shifted to coverage of the recent decision to ban electronic devices from airplane cabins of UK and US flights jetting out of a few Muslim countries. The decision, according to the head of Asharq Alawsat newspaper’s DC office Heba El-Qodsy, is meant to minimize the potential existence of remote-control detonators (watch, runtime 5:54).

Meanwhile on Masaa DMC, host Osama Kamal gave the floor to readymade garment exporters’ criticisms of the government for decreasing its support and halting export subsidies for the past year. Government statistics apparently showed that each EGP 1 of subsidies brings back some USD 6 to the state (watch, runtime 6:56).

On Mehwar’s 90 Minutes, MP Ismail Nasr El Din talked to the host about proposed amendments to the controversial old leasing law, which has kept rent prices for old properties at a stable rate for decades and has now come to the forefront of the debate (watch, runtime 45:02). The MP reassured citizens that the amendments to the legislation will not evict people from homes they have lived in for years.

Amr Adib will reportedly made quite the comeback tonight with an interview with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad El Hariri that we will definitely be watching out for.

Speed Round

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Egypt aims to raise EGP 6 bn from the sale of stakes in state-owned companies on the EGX in FY 2017-18, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy tells Reuters, without specifying which companies would be involved, or the exact size of the stakes that will be offered to investors. “The government plans to sell minority stakes of 20-30% mainly through stock exchange offerings, which are widely seen as more transparent and could also help strengthen the bourse and attract investors,” Reuters says. State-owned Banque du Caire is expected to list in 1H2017. EGX Chief Mohamed Omran criticized the government for failing to set an exact timeline for the listings, saying it has reflected negatively on the EGX, AMAY says.

This comes as Egypt is targeting USD 9 bn in external financing during FY2017-18, including USD 3 bn from international debt markets and USD 5-6 bn from international lenders, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk tells Al Borsa. The government plans to hold another FX-denominated bond issue sometime in 2018, he added.

Meanwhile, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said she is looking to boost foreign direct investments in Egypt to USD 10 bn next fiscal year, the newspaper reports. As we noted yesterday, El Garhy’s targets were more ambitious, suggesting FDI will reach USD 13-15 bn.

As for the FY2017-18 budget, Egypt’s total subsidy expenditures are estimated to come in at EGP 385 bn, up from EGP 285 bn in the current fiscal year, El Garhy told Al Ahram in an interview published on Tuesday. Social welfare programs, including Takaful and Karama, will cost the state around EGP 200 bn next fiscal year, he added. As we noted on Monday, El Garhy had said that GDP growth should be somewhere between 3.8 and 4%, with output reaching EGP 4.1 tn, up from EGP 3.4 tn in FY16-17. As for the budget deficit, projections see it ranging from 9.25% to 9.5% of GDP in FY2017-18. El Garhy told the newspaper that the total public debt for FY16-17 came in at EGP 3.4 tn, or 103% of GDP, on the back of rising interest rates which cost the state this year EGP 305 bn, and is expected to reach EGP 380 bn in FY17-18. El Garhy confirmed that the budget will be ready on 31 March, while Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk told Al Masry Al Youm that the date will be when the ministry sends over a draft to the House of Representatives.

And speaking of subsidies, the Military Production Ministry expects to complete its review of the food subsidy rolls by early April, a ministry official tells Al Shorouk. It’s a date, Kramer.

Back to foreign funding, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is planning to invest EUR 1 bn in Egypt this year, said EBRD’s Managing Director for the SEMED region Janet Heckman. The majority of these investments will be geared towards private sector projects, SMEs, and renewable energy projects. According to Heckman, the bank is currently looking into providing funding for five projects under the second phase of the feed-in tariff in 2H2017, in addition to being in talks with Egyptian banks to offer lines of credit to SMEs, Al Borsa reports. "There’s been more investor interest in Egypt since the currency reforms and some of the other economic reforms that Egypt is undertaking," Heckman tells Reuters.

The EBRD also announced a EUR 140 mn facility to promote green investments in Egypt in cooperation with the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank, and the EU.

Investments worth over USD 30 bn will be spent in Zohr, North Alexandria, and Atoll gas fields in the next four years, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. El Molla also said the government has managed to reduce IOC receivables by half in 2016 and issue a large number of E&P tenders successfully.

Israel is looking to pump gas to Europe soon: Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz believes talks to build a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey may conclude as early as this summer. Steinitz told Bloomberg TV’s Yousef Gamal El Din and Shery Ahn “the purpose is to conclude by this summer a government-to-government agreement on a gas pipeline stretching from Israel to Turkey, in order to export natural gas from Israel and also the vicinity, to Turkey … My vision is that three years from now we will be able to export natural gas to Turkey and six years from now we will be able to complete this cross-Med pipeline [to Italy].” Steinitz mentioned that talks to export gas to “the two empty” liquefaction facilities in Egypt continue. He views “the East Med Basin, the economic waters of Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt, maybe also Lebanon in the future put together, will be some kind of replacement” to the North Sea.

Gov’t backtracks on USD 60 entry visa hike: The government decided yesterday to backtrack on hiking tourist visas to USD 60, and will maintain the cost of single-entry visas at USD 25, while multiple-entry visas will be repriced at USD 60, Al Borsa reports. Yesterday’s decision follows local and international outrage by tourism operators that an increase in visa fees would further reduce tourist arrivals, sources tell the newspaper. Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed had previously acknowledged that the price hikes drew the ire of the tourism sector — including attendees of the ITB Berlin Travel Expo earlier this month.

Full 4G spectrum and electronic entry visas coming in May: Mobile network operators can expect to receive their full 4G frequencies by May at the latest and the CIT Ministry is working on delivering ahead of schedule, Minister Yasser El Kady told Al Mal. The ministry will also begin implementing an electronic visa system for inbound tourists by May, at the behest of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, he added.

Saudi’s Al Hokair Group is looking to invest around EGP 15 bn in Egypt over the next three years to expand the Mall of Arabia brand, says Ashraf Farid, chief business development officer of Marakez — Alhokair’s subsidiary in Egypt. The expansion plans include building three new Mall(s) of Arabia in Tanta, New Cairo, and the new administrative capital, he tells Al Borsa. The company also plans to complete second phase of the Mall of Arabia project in Six October City, which includes a residential development that was the subject of a dispute with the New and Urban Communities Authority.

Egypt and Rosatom are expected to sign the final agreements for the Daba’a nuclear power plant in June, unnamed government officials tell Al Borsa. The two remaining contracts will be signed in May before President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin sign all four final contracts in June, according to the officials..

Ireland sending medical examiners to check up on Halawa: Ireland’s government is sending an independent medical team to examine Irish detainee Ibrahim Halawa’s health condition. Irish Minister for Children Katherine Zappone described the move “as a matter of extreme urgency,” as he is currently on hunger strike and has low blood sugar levels, The Irish Times reports. A government spokesman said “the Egyptian authorities usually granted requests made by the Irish authorities.” 21-year-old Halawa’s trial is set to resume today, after being adjourned 19 times.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi commemorated Mother’s Day with a basket of initiatives that he announced during a special celebration on Tuesday, which also included a long-term strategy for female empowerment by 2030, AMAY says. El Sisi also pledged a EGP 250 mn grant to an initiative that supports women-led SMEs, a EGP 50 mn grant to support women breadwinners in rural Egypt, and a 250 mn grant to help the state create the appropriate environment that allows mothers to work (watch the speech here, runtime 19:18).

The Ismail cabinet was on a roll yesterday after approving the stamp tax and reversing the entry visa hikes. Other decisions include:

  • Approving amendments to the anti-fraud law that sets penalties for the manipulation of commodity prices in the market in its various forms, such as keeping stocks in storage longer than they should to resell them at higher prices;
  • Sanctioning Egypt joining the African Union’s initiative to battle corruption by multinational corporations in Africa;
  • Signing off on a presidential-level agreement that establishes a direct flight route between Egypt and Hungary.

Goldman Sachs’ Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein published his letter to the shareholders of the bank. He says 2016 started with concerns about global economic growth but as the global economic outlook improved in the second half, other concerns drew to the forefront. Looking ahead, Blankfein says, “economic growth was showing signs of improvement, even before the election. U.S. interest rates are poised to rise, as policymakers digest improving economic indicators, while other global markets hold steady or even engage in stimulus, creating opportunities for investors in monetary policy divergence.” Separately, Goldman Sachs will begin moving hundreds of people out of London before any Brexit agreement is struck as part of its contingency plan, Reuters says.

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Image of the Day

Are the stresses of life in Cairo starting to get to you? Of course they are, and that was a rhetorical question. Instead of wasting untold amounts of money on a therapist, why don’t you stop by Unleashed, which will give you the chance to let out your frustrations by pummeling everything from old televisions to clay urns and wooden chairs…for a fee of course, Reuters reports. We already feel better looking at this photo.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning was the US, UK ban on carrying electronics on board flights. We did run into some choice reading last night as well:

In the love triangle between the US, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it is looking like Egypt has the upper hand, according to Yahoo Finance. Citing statements and comments from the Trump administration, Yahoo states that US President Trump was not too impressed by Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, who apparently tried to sweep him towards Team Saudi, only to be met with politeness at most: “If Washington had to choose, it would choose the geopolitical (Mediterranean-Suez-Red Sea) and cultural weight of Egypt.” Bin Salman, desperate to make things work with Trump after strained relations with the Obama administration, came out with a statement declaring Trump a friend to all Muslims and ramped up diplomatic efforts to restore ties with Egypt.

Is Egypt the most attractive market for independent oil companies? That is the view taken by Gulf News, which said that the country is seeing the biggest wave of independents flocking to it in the Middle East. “Egypt is a well-known petroleum province, with a robust local oilfield services market, and strong infrastructure to capture all new production,” the newspaper says. The country has enabled many companies to come in during this current window and acquire resources. This has largely been due to some challenges around receivables from state oil and gas companies, issues which are being rectified. Gulf News lists Rockhopper Exploration, SDX Energy and Warburg Pincus’ Apex International Energy as but a few that have made acquisitions in the past several months and actively investing significant capital “into a country where they aim to establish a large resource base.”

Egypt may have introduced “Mother’s Day” to the region, but its roots in the country run deeper than modern times, according to Al Arabiya. The news outlet credits Egyptian journalist Ali Amin with popularizing the day in the Arab World though his column in Al Akhbar Al Youm. Shounaz Mekky, however, posits that the idea of honoring mothers dates back to Ancient Egyptians, who were among the early civilizations to celebrate motherhood. “It is said that as per the pharaonic tradition, an annual festival was held to honor goddess Isis, who represented the ideal mother and wife in Egyptian mythology.”

Other mentions of Egypt in the international news worth a skim include:

  • Egypt and Turkey sent artifacts — including antique gold coins — worth a combined total of USD 100 mn to the US in 2016, Live Science reports, citing US Census Bureau figures.
  • Local experts say Oil Minister Tarek El Molla’s decision last week to shuffle the heads of state-controlled oil and gas companies was a power play, according to Interfax Energy.
  • Egypt is upping the pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to end internal division and resuming Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts,” Al Jazeera says.
  • CBS News covers the story of 11-year-old Ziad Mohamed, the Egyptian boy who adapted to being born without limbs due to a rare disease by using soda bottles as prosthetics.
  • The discovery of an Ancient Egyptian colossus that was presumed to be of Ramsis II can make a difference by encouraging authorities to turn Matariya — which has fallen victim to illegal encroachment — into an open-air museum, Garry Shaw writes for Apollo Magazine.

On Deadline

Huawei’s decision to move its MENA headquarters from Egypt to Morocco is due to the difficulties Chinese citizens face to get visas and work permits to Egypt, Ali Wali writes for Al Masry Al Youm. Morocco has exempted them from visas altogether. According to Wali, the company’s decision should serve as a wake-up call that Egypt needs to review its laws and policies on labor in order to attract foreign talent, rather than drive it out of the country as a result of our policies requiring foreigners to obtain work permits.

Worth Reading

In a region heavily dependent on fluctuations in the oil market, Egypt’s non-oil sector may be the quickest to bounce back, according to Emirates NBD’s chief economist and head of research Tim Fox, who ran a comparison of the PMI and inflation rates between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. On inflation, Egypt has been doing worse than others as the headline. The UAE saw a 0.7% month-on-month increase in January on the back of sharply higher transport costs as petrol prices were increased, while Saudi Arabia saw annual inflation falling in January. The picture turns significantly when looking at the PMIs, with Saudi and the UAE showing vulnerabilities that indicate that even as output and new orders rise, the benefit is still not feeding through into job creation. Egypt PMI, however, pulled back significantly in February with a reading of 46.7, something which is expected to continue as the country reaps the benefits of the float which has improved export prospects for the country. He concludes that Egypt is by no means out of the woods yet, but there are promising signs that the worst may be over.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with the Chairman of Germany’s Herrenknecht AG Martin Herrenknecht and former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss potential cooperation on training and the exchange of expertise, Al Mal reports.

President El Sisi also met yesterday with members of the Egyptian-French parliamentary friendship association visiting Cairo to discuss Egypt’s progress on the economic and political fronts, and ways to increase cooperation between Egypt and France, Al Mal reports.

Egypt and Sudan become one, again: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour denounced the social media spat between Egyptian and Sudanese citizens, saying in a joint statement following a phone call yesterday that the “unacceptable” behavior aims to damage relations between the two countries, Al Shorouk reports.

Japan wants more incentives to invest more: Japan’s External Trade Organization (JETRO) requested that Egypt ensure the Investment Act includes a clear economic vision, adequate investment incentives, and an outline of each sector’s priorities, JETRO Egypt’s general manager Atsushi Ikeda tells Al Borsa. He also said that he expects trade between Egypt and Japan to increase by 10-20% by the end of the year if issues in FX supply are addressed and clear fiscal policies are put in place.


Rosneft to supply 10 LNG cargoes to Egypt

Rosneft signed an agreement to supply 10 LNG cargoes to EGAS in 2017, Reuters reports.The first delivery is expected in May, in time for the surge in seasonal electricity demand during Ramadan and the summer months. Rosneft did not say where it is sourcing the LNG from.

Electricity Ministry to establish 4 companies to manage projects under 2017-2022 plan by July

The four companies which will manage the Siemens plants will be established before July 2017, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker tells Al Mal. The ministry has completed its outline of the companies’ administrative structure and is currently coordinating with NI Capital to prepare the financial valuations for the projects that will be managed by the new companies, Shaker says. There was previous talk that the companies will be part of the state IPO program.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Demand for Egyptian olive oil increases following EGP float

A weakened EGP led to increased demand for Egyptian olive oil exports, writes Shawn Mitchell for Olive Oil Times. Wadi Food reported a jump in sales of 40% in 2016, driven by olive exports, while exports by Olivee increased 65% to USD 19.5 mn in 2016.


Oryx Metal Industries to Invest EGP 100 mn in Egypt

The UAE’s Oryx Metal Industries will invest EGP 100 mn in to acquire a concrete plant in Sixth October City, as part of its expansion plans for Egypt and the region, the company announced in a Tuesday press conference covered by Al Mal.

Health + Education

Health Ministry launches pharma fund that will supposedly help keep local meds prices low

The Health Ministry is looking to collect EGP 4 bn for a new pharma fund that will aim to cover at least a portion of Egypt’s needs of imported meds that don’t have a locally-manufactured alternative, Al Borsa reports. The fund will fall under Health Ministry jurisdiction and rely solely on donations from individuals and local and foreign governmental and non-governmental institutions, according to Al Mal.

Real Estate + Housing

Kuwait’s Manazel Real Estate inks EGP 1.2 bn residential project agreement

Kuwait’s Manazel Real Estate signed a EGP 1.2 bn (USD 66 mn) agreement with Egypt’s Landmark Real Estate to develop and market a residential project in East Cairo, Al Borsa says.

Real estate developer Profit to inject EGP 400 mn in New Cairo residential developments in 2017

Egyptian real estate developer Profit plans on investing EGP 400 mn in residential projects in New Cairo during 2017, Managing Director Hafez Gebril said on Tuesday, according to Al Mal.


TDA to open bidding window for Ras Sudr Airport project at the start of FY2017-18

The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) will open bidding for the Ras Sudr Airport and accompanying 6 mn sqm touristic complex at the start of FY 2017-18, according to TDA chief Serag El Din Saad, Al Shorouk reports. 15 touristic real estate developers and investors have already expressed interest in the project, Saad told reporters on Tuesday, including Orascom Construction and Hassan Allam.

Telecoms + ICT

Huawei Egypt to establish new assembly and export center, fiber optics factory

Huawei wants to establish a new assembly plant and export center for the company’s products, Huawei Egypt CEO Terry Liu told Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr in a meeting, according to a ministry statement. Huawei is planning to establish a fiber optics manufacturing plant in partnership with China’s Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable company. No further details were provided.

Infor expresses interest in investing in Egypt through collaborations with local software companies

CIT Minister Yasser El Kady met with executives from MasterCard and Infor during his 10-day visit to the United States. Infor expressed its interest in investing in Egypt through collaborations with local up-and-coming software companies, Al Borsa says.

Automotive + Transportation

Al Masry Al Youm partners with auto distributors on “Buy Your Dream Car” initiative

Al Masry Al Youm had launched an initiative called “Buy Your Dream Car” to lower car prices in partnership with around 20 distributors on Hyundai, Geely, Nissan, Subaru, Chevrolet, Opel, Mazda, Kia, Ford, Toyota, Suzuki, Renault, Volvo, Chery, and Volkswagen, among others. The initiative, which runs from 19-31 March, is the latest attempt by the sector to jump start floundering car sales.

Cab service application Ousta launches on-demand courier and delivery

Cab service application Ousta has expanded its services to include an on-demand courier and delivery option under a separate app, Oustaman, Disrupt Africa reports. Oustaman is currently operating in Greater Cairo, and the startup plans to expand the service to other major cities in Egypt, including Alexandria.

Banking + Finance

Citigroup, EFG Hermes consultants for Al Imtiaz sale of 10% of Humansoft

Citigroup Global Markets Limited and EFG-Hermes UAE Limited were tapped by Kuwait’s Al Imtiaz Investment Group as consultants to sell a minimum stake of 10% in Kuwait-based Humansoft Holding company, Al Borsa reports. Al Imtiaz owns 20.17% in Humansoft’s shares.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Minimum pensions will reach EGP 1,220 per month by July 2021 -Social Solidarity Minister

Minimum pensions will rise to EGP 1,220 per month by July 2021, after which they will rise 10% annually, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali tells Al Mal. The minimum was set last year at EGP 400 per month, with a 25% annual increase for the first five years and a 10% increase for every year after that.

National Security

First trial run for Egyptian Navy Gowind 2500 corvettes stalls

Trial runs for the first Egyptian Navy Gowind 2500 corvette launched this month by French defense manufacturer DCNS reportedly stalled due to “minor propulsion issues,” Quwa reports. ENS al-Fateh, set for delivery by year-end, is one of four Egypt ordered in 2015 as part of a EUR 1 bn contract under which three of the ships will be constructed in Egypt.


Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman becomes third-fastest woman to swim 100-yard butterfly race

Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman snatched her first-ever individual National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title, and simultaneously became the third-fastest woman to swim the 100-yard butterfly race in history, according to StepFeed. Osman, who is currently a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, beat her previous best time by 0.35 seconds, and her gold-medal-winning performance is only 0.04 seconds slower than that of the second-fastest woman in the category.

On Your Way Out

Egyptian startup Kotobna says print might not be dying, and “people still love it,” Radwa Rashad writes for Wamda. Kotobna offers on-demand printing of books for a one-time USD 99 fee, which is a cheaper option for authors, who otherwise suffer from “hidden costs” associated with book distribution. Since April 2015, the startup has published 440 books, registered 17,000 users, and had 27,000 books downloaded.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0821 | Sell 18.1891
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.10 | Sell 18.20
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 18.00 | Sell 18.10

EGX30 (Tuesday): 12,905 (-0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 1.1 bn (154% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +4.5%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session down 0.9%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent declined by 1.7%. The EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Juhayna up 7.3%, Domty up 5.5%, and Oriental Weavers up 3.6%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included Porto Group down 3.7%, Global Telecom down 2.7%, and Pioneers Holding down 2.0%. The market turnover was EGP1.1 billion, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +3.9 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +0.3 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -4.2 mn

Retail: 66.7% of total trades | 66.5% of buyers | 66.9% of sellers
Institutions: 33.3% of total trades | 33.5% of buyers | 33.1% of sellers

Foreign: 10.7% of total | 10.9% of buyers | 10.6% of sellers
Regional: 9.6% of total | 9.6% of buyers | 9.6% of sellers
Domestic: 79.6% of total | 79.5% of buyers | 79.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 47.34 (-1.82%)
Brent: USD 50.96 (-1.28%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.09 MMBtu, (-0.06%, April 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,246.20 / troy ounce (-0.02%)TASI: 6,912.8 (-0.1%) (YTD: -4.1%)
ADX: 4,512.8 (+1.2%) (YTD: -0.7%)
DFM: 3,494.9 (+0.5%) (YTD: -1.0%)
KSE Weighted Index: 425.6 (+0.1%) (YTD: +12.0%)
QE: 10,485.5 (+0.8%) (YTD: +0.5%)
MSM: 5,629.9 (-0.7%) (YTD: -2.6%)
BB: 1,365.8 (-0.6%) (YTD: +11.9%)

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29 March (Wednesday): First Time SME Equity Fund Managers in Egypt Opportunities and Challenges seminar, Marriott Zamalek Hotel, Cairo. 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. 28 April – 08 May (Friday-Monday): IMF delegation visit to Egypt to assess economic reforms. 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.