Sunday, 26 March 2017

Uber’s sense of humor has been blacklisted in Egypt


What We’re Tracking Today

** Take our quarterly reader survey and we’ll take at least two of you to lunch… 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 will 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.

…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.

Central bank Governor Tarek Amer has not resigned and told Al Arabiya he will return to work “soon” after having had surgery. Amer said “there is no reason” for him to resign as CBE governor, particularly after having moved to float the EGP in November. Rumors had been circulating over the weekend, prompted by a story on a tabloid website (previously well-sourced on CBE issues) that Amer had stepped down.

It will be a busy day for: The House of Representatives. The House Economics Committee will begin discussion of the USD 12 bn IMF bailout agreement. The committee has reportedly invited Finance Minister Amr El Garhy and three of his deputies, as well as Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer, to join the discussion, Al Borsa says. The agreement will not be going to a plenary session for a vote before it gets a seal of approval from both the economics and budget committees, but a member of the latter said that it was not yet on their agenda. The Legislative Committee signed off on the pact two weeks ago. The House will also discuss the Contractor’s Compensation Act during its general assembly meeting today, MP Mohamed Badawy tells Al Shorouk. Contractors had been threatening to derail projects due to what they perceived as delays in passing the bill that would compensate them for losses incurred on government contracts as a result of the EGP float and presumably see the government reprice contracts to reflect the new cost base. Also expected today: A plenary session debate of an amended version of the protest law (an article of which was earlier declared unconstitutional), and MPs will begin discussing a bill to create a 10-member National Election Commission.

The cabinet economic group will be meeting today to discuss the FY2017-18 budget, Al Ahram reports. Expenditures will surpass EGP 1.1 tn on the back of increased spending on subsidies and social welfare programs, in addition to making good on constitutional requirements of allocating 8% of total state expenditures to health and education, which Prime Minister Sherif Ismail had promised earlier this month. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy had previously told the newspaper that total spending on subsidies should come in at EGP 385 bn, up from EGP 285 bn in the current fiscal year, while social welfare programs, including Takaful and Karama, will cost the state around EGP 200 bn. A Finance Ministry source also tells the newspaper that the budget will target 4.8% GDP growth and a budget deficit ranging between 8.5 and 9.5% of GDP, which will push down total public debt to 92-94% of GDP.

Heading to Blighty this week? Keep your eye out for the new, 12-sided GBP 1 coin, which includes anti-counterfeit features including micro-lettering and a hologram-like image. The new coin goes into circulation on Tuesday and the existing coin is legal tender until 15 October.

What We’re Tracking This Week

AmCham is hosting an investment conference on Tuesday, 28 March with a keynote address from Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and panels on investing in consumer sectors, private equity and real estate. The very bright Ahmed Kouchouk, deputy minister of finance, is also due to speak. The event runs 9am-4pm at the Cairo Marriott. Non-members can register here.

We’re looking forward to the Egyptian Private Equity Association’s seminar on “first-time SME equity fund managers in Egypt.” Panelists include EPEA President Abdalla ElEbiary, Karsten Sinner from EBRD, Monty Palmer from USAID’s SEED program, and local SME funds Ezdehar, Tanmiya Capital Ventures and LimeVest. The event runs 9:30am-1:30pm on Wednesday, 29 March at the Cairo Marriott. RSVP to You can find additional details here.

** PSA: the EPEA event is Wednesday, 29 March. We goofed on the date last Thursday — our apologies for the confusion.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday to review rates.

On The Horizon

Egypt’s first annual healthcare investment conference will run 8-10 April at Cairo International Convention Center on the sidelines of the Mediconex exhibition.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

With so much going on over the weekend, the country’s talking heads had an assortment of topics to dive right into on Saturday night.

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib covered Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy’s Saturday press conference, where he discussed the ministry’s plans for commodity subsidies and offered a glimpse at the subsidy bill for the FY2017-18 budget (more in the Speed Round). El Moselhy also announced that the state has launched a tender to buy rice ahead of Ramadan (watch, runtime 2:50).

El Moselhy proposes another layer of smart cards for Kramers to abuse: El Moselhyalso phoned into Masaa DMC to talk to host Eman El Hossary about a proposal to offer subsidized meals at public schools through a special ration card, which he says is not only a form of financial support but will also decrease the risk of outbreaks like last week’s, when around 400 school children got food poisoning from their school cafeterias (watch, runtime 8:19).

On Hona Al Assema, Lamees El Hadidi spoke to Metro Company official Ashraf Abdel Salam about the company’s plan to repay its EGP 500 mn in debt over two years. Both Lamees and her guest seemed in favor of the decision to raise the metro ticket price to EGP 2 from EGP 1 (more in the Speed Round), which they said will make it possible for the company to meet its obligations. The Metro Company is also looking to increase its revenue from advertisements and has already entered into five-year EGP 175 mn agreement with a Railway Authority subsidiary (watch, runtime 37:46).

El Hadidi also gave people a little insight into the confusion caused by a text message sent by the three main operators Orange, Vodafone, and Etisalat, asking some 1.1 mn mobile users to head down to the nearest branch to update their user data in person rather than via phone or online. The request was made by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), according to Vodafone PR Director Noha Saad and Orange Egypt PR Director Hala Abdel Wadood, who said that the NTRA is refusing to make any exceptions, even for the elderly who would find it difficult to leave their homes (watch, runtime 4:20). The move is part of a campaign launched in 2015 by the NTRA to every mobile line is associated with a national ID or foreign passport.

On Al Hayah Al Youm, Lobna Assal hosted 1980s economy minister Sultan Abou Ali to discuss recent economic policies, particularly the EGP float, which Abo Ali said has not done much in the way of improving the investment climate or increasing exports, adding that a higher number of foreign transactions in the stock market is not a measure of economic growth (watch, runtime 2:26).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Former president Hosni Mubarak is at home in Heliopolis, where he has an around-the-clock security detail and is not expected to enter detention again as he faces charges of improperly accepting gifts from Al Ahram newspaper during his rule. Mubarak, 88, was discharged early on Friday morning from Maadi Military Hospital and whisked to Heliopolis, where his lawyer says the former president had breakfast with his wife and two sons, Gamal and Alaa. Shocking just about no one, Mubarak’s release did not spark protests.

The story dominated international coverage of Egypt this weekend. Start with this high-profile piece by the New York Times’ Declan Walsh (“Egypt Roared as Mubarak Fell. It’s Mute as He’s Freed.”), then move on to more perfunctory offerings from the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters (with a factbox) and the Associated Press (also with a factbox).

Egyptian journalists are far less interested in the return of the Heliopolite than are their foreign counterparts, with the domestic reaction quite muted. With nothing else to show, Al Shorouk ran down the various reactions activists and lawyers gave to foreign outlets, including The Guardian. The bottom line: His release was largely expected, and we all have plenty of more important things to worry about. Mubarak’s lawyer, Farid El Deeb, phoned in to ‘Ala Mas’ouleety to give television cretin Ahmed Moussa the blow-by-blow on Mubarak’s release (watch, runtime 21:58). Meanwhile, actor Ahmed Bedeir put his love for the former president on full display, telling Youm7 that Mubarak returning home is “righting a wrong” and that he was certain from the get-go that Hosni was innocent.

House Economic Committee will split proposed Investment Act into two bills: The House of Representative’s Economics Committee has decided to split the Investment Act into two separate bills: A primary 50-article bill concerned solely with investors and another 55- or 57-article bill to organize investment procedures and outline the role of state entities, such as the General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI) and the Supreme Investment Council, Economic Committee Chair Amr Ghallab tells Al Borsa. The committee expects to complete the process — which mainly aims to simplify the law for investors — by the end of this week and has the Investment Ministry’s full support, Ghallab adds, explaining that Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and GAFI boss Mohamed Khodeir will meet with MPs this week to provide their input. Ghallab hopes to have both bills before a plenary session vote by mid-April. MPs will be meeting with business associations this week to seal the fate of private free zones, which the Economic Committee is leaning more towards leaving out.

Meanwhile, Foreign direct investment in Egypt reached USD 4.3 bn in 1H2016-17, rising USD 1.2 from USD 3.2 bn during the same period the previous fiscal year, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said, according to Al Borsa. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy had told Reuters last week that FDI will hit USD 13-15 bn in FY2017-18, which would be the highest volume of FDI in Egypt’s history.

The stamp tax is becoming official: The Finance Ministry has finished drafting amendments to the Income Tax Law to incorporate the stamp tax on EGX transactions okayed by the Ismail cabinet last week, Al Borsa reports. The amendments will impose a 0.125% levy, that will gradually increase to 0.175% over a three-year span, on the buy- and sell-sides of all capital market transactions, as well as a 0.3% duty on transactions where 33% or more of a company’s shares are being sold. Expect the legislative equivalent of the full meal deal: The wording will pass through cabinet and the Council of State before being sent to the House of Representatives for approval, according to deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer. Meanwhile, the implementation of the capital gains tax has been pushed off for another three years.

More changes to the Income Tax Law coming? Beyond the stamp tax, it would appear that the Finance Ministry is working on revamping the tax code yet again, only this time with the aim of “making it more progressive” and “in the interest of social justice,” according to a statement by Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer on Thursday. These changes will include more generous tax refunds and rebates for those in the lower income brackets who pay less taxes, said El Monayer. He added that the ministry is considering multiple ways to implement this, but the jist of it is, the less taxes you pay, the higher the refund you will get. El Monayer added that the ministry is also amending the tax code to include the incentives under the Investment Act.

Metro tickets doubled in price to EGP 2 on Friday. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat made the announcement on Thursday. Fares for the elderly and people with disabilities were unchanged, but students will pay 50% more and government employees will see their fares rise 100%. Cairo Metro Authority loses EGP 200 mn per year and has accumulated EGP 500 mn in debts to ministries and companies, Arafat said, according to Al Borsa.

The move resulted in the expected uproar: Two lawyers have already filed a lawsuit against Arafat, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operations chief Ali Al Fadaly and Accountability State Authority head Hisham Badawy for the decision to raise prices, according to Al Mal. The plaintiffs argue the move was somehow both illegal and unconstitutional. The House Transport Committee is equally outraged and wants a plenary debate on the move, Al Borsa reports, saying the fare hike could have been avoided if the Metro had restructured and stopped squandering its advertising revenues.

Some MPs have been singing a slightly different tune, however, including House Transport Committee head Saeed Taeema, who lauded the decision to hike prices as “brave and necessary,” Al Shorouk reports. Taeema still maintained that the government should have received approval from the House before authorizing the fare hike and said the Metro needs to develop new revenue streams.

State spending on bread and commodity subsidies will break north of EGP 80 bn in the 2017-18 state budget, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told reporters on Saturday in wide-ranging remarks. Bread subsidies alone will set the state back around EGP 60 bn while other foodstuffs will ring in at EGP 26 bn. The Supply Ministry is also gearing up to import more meat and poultry ahead of Ramadan and the Eids, the minister said. Meanwhile, the Military Production Ministry expects to finalize its review of the food subsidy rolls by June at the latest with a view to cutting off welfare cheats. The Supply Ministry is considering adding 17 more commodities to the commodity subsidy program, which until now offers welfare beneficiaries around 56 products but as of next month will allow them only to purchase oil, rice, and sugar at reduced prices. El Moselhy also confirmed to reporter that the government has no intention of setting fixed commodity prices, calling the proposal “unconstitutional.”

The Administrative Control Authority (ACA) is looking into what can be done to lure back five major shipping lines that have pulled out of East Port Said Port. The nation’s top anti-corruption watchdog, which has lately served as the state’s top troubleshooter on important economic and business issues, is meeting with industry players to solicit input on possible amendments to a 2016 law that doubled port fees, a move that prompted five major shipping lines to pull out of the East Port Said Port and transfer their activities to a Greek port, Al Mal reports. The Transportation Ministry hiked port fees last year, maintaining the move would have no impact on business. The House Transportation Committee scheduled a hearing for today with Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat to discuss the shipping line pullout.

More Aramco oil at the door: Egypt is set to receive its fourth fuel shipment from Saudi’s Aramco today after receiving a third shipment just yesterday, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said, according to Youm7. Egypt had received the first two shipments under its five-year USD 23 bn agreement with Aramco last week after a months-long hiatus that began in the fall. Officials from the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation are set to meet with Aramco officials in early April to set a schedule for the rest of the shipments, with chatter suggesting that the agreement might be extended for six months to account for the delay in deliveries.

The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has ordered that Uber suspend its ad campaign on charges of having a sense of humor. CPA head Atef Yacoub decreed that the ride-sharing giant’s campaign, with the slogan “I was saved from driving my mother-in-law home 64 times,” violated decency laws and regulations, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Not even the time-tested tradition of making fun of one’s in-laws is safe from the CPA.

Rooya Real Estate Development is set to IPO in1H17, possibly listing around 30% of its shares, chairman Hisham Shoukri told Al Mal. The company tapped Grant Thornton as financial advisor to prepare the fair value report, while Baker McKenzie is the legal advisor. Pioneers Holding, which holds 60% of Rooya’s shares, said in March last year it expects to raise EGP 2 bn in the offering. Rooya will begin construction of its 140,000-sqm Hadaba project in 6 of October with EGP 300 mn initial investments within days, Shoukri adds.

Maadi bombing claims one: One man was killed and three members of his family injured by a bomb blast in Maadi on Friday. The Associated Press reports that the blast claimed the life of a guard who came upon an improvised explosive device while cleaning a yard off Midan Gazayer.

Did it feel like poltergeist to you Friday night? Egypt was hit by a minor earthquake on Friday night, which registered at 3.3 on the Richter scale, Ahram Online reports. While not many people reported to be affected by it, the earthquake was blamed by the twitter-sphere for a collapse of a building in Garden City. No fatalities were reported.

Emaar Malls has made a USD 800 mn bid to acquire Souq, challenging Amazon’s USD 650 mn offer to the regional online retailer, Bloomberg reports, citing sources close to the transaction. The regional malls giant’s offer includes a USD 500 mn convertible deposit, according to the sources, and no final offer has been reached with either party. A source from Souq had said last week that Amazon and Souq were in negotiations on valuation, future plans for the company, and its trade name, and that the two companies would finalize the transaction this week.

A couple of oil and gas stories worth noting this morning: With OPEC members meeting in Kuwait this weekend to review production, Russia is hunkering down for “years” of oil at USD 40 / bbl, reports Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Turkey and Cyprus are in a spat over offshore oil and gas exploration, with Cyprus saying on Friday “it won’t give up a search for oil and gas off its shores despite a call to stop by Turkey which warned that it would ‘take all necessary measures to protect its interests’ in the eastern Mediterranean,” according to an Associated Press piece picked up by CNBC.

The Germans — they’re just like us. A German bank accidentally transferred EUR 5 bn to four other banks because of a technical glitch. State-owned KfW got the money back, but the kicker is that this isn’t the first time it’s erroneously transferred hundreds of mns of EUR: It did it with Lehman Bros. the day that institution filed for bankruptcy, Bloomberg reports.


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Image of the Day

Today’s “aww” moment brought to you by ‘Didi’: Being the selfish capitalists that we are, we have a tendency to measure foreigners’ love for us by the number of tourists they bring in or the USD value of their investments. But Diana Sander from Germany has reminded us of the human side of that love. Dubbed “Didi” by her students and the community, Diana built and runs a school in the village of Baharwa. The school provides nursery and kindergarten education to the children who previously had no access to education, according to Al Arabiya.

Egypt in the News

Europe’s arms sales to Egypt, particularly its navy, are underpinned by both historical factors and modern changes in geopolitical affairs, writes Mohamed Soliman for Foreign Affairs. The strategic importance of Egypt to Europe (especially France) has always been the Suez Canal and the need to keep it open for European shipping, with France and UK going to war when Nasser nationalized it. Egypt’s importance grew as countries vied for a greater share of foreign trade, while modern terrorism and illegal migration have now added a new level of urgency to ensure Cairo receives the aid it needs.

Archaeologists unearth Ancient Egyptian relics in Luxor, Aswan: A team of European and Egyptian archaeologists discovered a 33,000-year-old alabaster statue of King Tutankhamun’s grandmother, Queen Tiye, in Luxor, according to The Sunday Times. The archaeologists reportedly found the statue “by chance” while lifting a colossus of the Boy King’s father, King Amenhotep III. In Aswan, meanwhile, a separate group of archaeologists from the University of Jaén unearthed a tomb believed to belong to the brother of a 12th dynasty monarch, RT reports. Ancient Egypt is also in the spotlight across the pond, where The New York Times takes a deep dive into an exhibit of mummies from Egypt and pre-Colombian Peru at the American Museum of Natural History. The production opened last week and runs through January 7, 2018.

Egypt’s economic reforms have benefited one kind of trader: the stock broker. That is the contention of Bloomberg’s Ahmed Feteha, who compares the fate of financial services in Egypt to those of selling fruit and veggies on the streets. Foreign investments in the stock market have led the EGX on a record run in January, while Egyptian debt has proven very attractive to investors, a benefit little understood and felt by the majority of Egyptians. The key for this benefit to translate into the wider economy rests on the people’s patience and the risks of a return to social and political unrest. For now, at least, the risk appears low, the author argues.

Other international stories worth a look this morning if you have a moment to spare:

  • From USA Today: “Egypt’s Jon Stewart tries to rebuild his comedy career in the U.S. It’s hard.” So, perhaps he might stop trying?
  • The postponement of a verdict in the case against Aya Hijazi and the Belady Foundation for Street Children has been condemned by Human Rights Watch.
  • A senior NATO official has cited news reports that Russia is using Egypt as a staging point for military action backing Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The AP is picking up a story on clashes in Luxor between police and a Muslim mob looking to attack Christian homes after reports that a convert to Islam was being held against her will.
  • Al Monitor is reporting on an international solar-powered car race in Hurghada last week.
  • A long-distance cyclist who set a new world record for the Cairo to Cape Town is the latest to be featured in the Financial Times’ series on the “special items … expert travellers take with them to ease their journeys.”

Worth Reading

Twilight of the rock gods: “As rock ‘n’ roll loses its founding megastars—and sales juggernauts—the music industry faces pressure to revamp,” writes the Wall Street Journal in a piece that’s sure to make you feel old. “Of the 25 artists with the highest record sales in the U.S. since 1991, when reliable data first became available, just one—Britney Spears—is under 40, Nielsen data show. Nineteen of the 25 are over 50 years old.” Average age of a Rolling Stone: 73. Average age of a member of Guns N’ Roses” 53. Bruce Springsteen is 67, and Madonna 58. And yet the oldsters are still pulling in the lion’s share of receipts. On concerts along: “Justin Bieber, 23, brought in USD 163 mn, or 60% less revenue than Bruce Springsteen, even though he played about 40 more shows.” The Wall Street Journal (paywall) dives deep into what’s next for rock, which still account for the lion’s share of revenue in the US music industry. (Read)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The agenda for President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi’s visit in April to Washington will be purely political, unnamed government sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. It is unlikely that a business delegation will accompany El Sisi on the visit, the sources say, and the newspaper quotes Egypt-U.S. Business Council chairman Omar Mohanna as noting there are no plans now to organize a delegation of investors to accompany the president to DC.

On a related note: Investment Minister Sahar Nasr met with representatives of major US companies operating in Egypt, according to a ministry statement, citing executives from companies including GE, IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer, Uber, and Pepsico. The meeting was “with the Egypt-U.S. Business Council (EUSBC) chaired by Omar Mohanna, in presence of representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce,” the statement said.

President El Sisi had met with Taha Al Hussein, chief of staff to the Sudanese president, where they both denounced reports of a squabble between both countries playing out in the media, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Egypt has resumed imports of Brazilian meat, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Saturday picked up by Reuters. The ministry added that the imports would be subject to checks in both Brazil and Egypt. The move comes only a few days after the ministry announced it was suspending all imports of Brazilian mean after Brazilian authorities reported that they have been investigating the meat industry in what appears to be a widespread bribery scandal involving quality control officials. Bloomberg and the Financial Times have more. Egypt is Brazil’s second-largest market for beef after China and ahead of Russia, data from the news service shows.


Emirates NBD, Industrial Development and Workers Bank, AiBK kick combined EGP 520 mn into syndicated facility for EGAS

Emirates NBD, the Industrial Development and Workers Bank of Egypt, and the Arab Investment Bank will provide a combined EGP 520 mn to the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Al Mal reports, as part of an EGP 2 bn facility Banque du Caire is arranging for EGAS to pay back debts including to international oil companies. Other participating institutions include Al Baraka Bank, Egyptian Gulf Bank, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, and the National Bank of Greece Egypt, sources say.

Rockhopper in legal fight with Italy about offshore discovery

Rockhopper, the oil and gas outfit that originated in the Falklands and now has operations in Egypt, Croatia and Italy, is in a legal fight with Italy about an offshore discovery. “The dispute relates to a decision by Italy’s ministry of economic development in February 2016 not to award Rockhopper a production concession covering the Ombrina Mare project in the Adriatic,” the Financial Times reports.

Technical studies complete for MIDOR’s USD 1.9 bn second phase expansion

Technical studies for the USD 1.9 bn second phase of Middle East Oil Refinery’s (MIDOR) expansion were completed and funding is being arranged, chairman Mohamed Abdel Aziz says, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The second phase will increase production capacity by 60%. The first phase expansion was concluded in 2016 and increased capacity by 15%, he says.

Alexandria Petroleum Company, Petrojet sign contract to manufacture NMP

The Alexandria Petroleum Company signed a contract with Petrojet to manufacture NMP, a petrochemical used in refining petroleum, Youm7 reports. Under the agreement, EGP 100 mn were allocated for installation and construction, and Petrojet will handle all business and management operations. The new facility is expected to have an annual production capacity of 16k tonnes. China currently has a monopoly on NMP production.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Juhayna targets 40% increase in sales to EGP 7 bn in 2017

Juhayna is targeting a 40% increase in sales to EGP 7 bn in 2017, Al Borsa reports. The company expects sales to recover as consumers see improved purchasing power in the second half of the year. Juhayna will increase prices by 5% if the EGP : USD rate settles at EGP 16-18 to the USD.

Kuwait bans peppers imports from Egypt

Kuwait banned imports of peppers from Egypt following advice from the Committee on Food Safety in Kuwait, Al-Qabas newspaper reports, picked up by Al Borsa. Saudi Arabia had done the same last December over allegations the peppers were contaminated with pesticide residues.


Kuwaiti company looking to establish EUR 480 mn pipe factory in Egypt

An unnamed Kuwaiti company is looking to establish a EUR 480 mn pipe factory in Egypt, and has presented the necessary studies on the factory to the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) for review, Youm7 reports. IDA head Ahmed Abdel Razek had met with a delegation of businessmen from an association of Gulf businessmen promoting investments in Egypt. The association is planning to hold a conference to promote GCC investments in Egypt on April 22.

Telecoms + ICT

Vodafone Egypt secured largest market share in 2016

Vodafone Egypt secured the largest market share of cellphone users in 2016 with over 40 mn customers, Youm7 reported. The company’s customer base rose 4% year-on-year in 4Q2016, while its net profits dropped 68.4% year-on-year in 3Q2016.

Banking + Finance

EFG Hermes concludes advisory on Emirates NBD REIT’s listing on Nasdaq Dubai

EFG Hermes successfully concluded on Thursday its advisory on Emirates NBD REIT’s USD 105 mn IPO on Nasdaq Dubai. The transaction included an offering of ordinary shares outside the US to institutional investors, the investment bank said in an emailed statement. EFG Hermes was joint global coordinator and bookrunner on the transaction with Emirates NBD Capital. Shuaa Capital acted as co-lead manager of the IPO, while White & Case acted as legal advisor.

Sarwa Capital wants to issue securitization bonds worth EGP 1 bn maximum

Sarwa Capital is seeking regulatory approval for an EGP 1 bn issuance of securitized bonds, Managing Director Amr Lamei tells Al Mal. The offering is expected within two months.

Other Business News of Note

Arab Contractors signs EGP 10 bn contract with Kuwait’s Public Works Ministry to develop Kuwaiti road

Arab Contractors signed a EGP 10 bn contract with Kuwait’s Public Works Ministry to develop the Al-Nuwaiseeb road in Kuwait, Al Borsa reports. The project, which entails developing 37 km of road, will take up to 36 months to complete, Arab Contractors Chairman Mohsen Salah said. The company is currently working on the fourth phase of the EGP 15 bn development of Kuwait’s Jahra road, according to Salah.

Amer Group expects GDRs to begin trading on LSE before end of 1H2017 -sources

Egypt’s Amer Group expects its GDRs to begin trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) before the end of 1H2017, sources close to the matter tell Al Mal. The company is waiting to receive the final okay from the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority. EFG Hermes is managing the program.

Legislation + Policy

Federation of Egyptian Industries completes review of Labor Act

The Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) completed the review of the new Labor Act ahead of hearing sessions at the House this week, Al Shorouk reports. The FEI’s labor committee issued recommendations for a number of amendments to be discussed at the House.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egypt’s building material exports growth rises by a record 478% thanks to EGP float

Egypt’s building materials exports grew by a record 478% y-o-y in January to EGP 7.68 bn thanks largely to the effects of the EGP float, Building Material Export Council Chair Walid Gamal El Din tells Al Mal. Egypt’s participation in international expos and trade shows has also been good for business, he adds, and the council has signed a number of export agreements with business delegations from Ghana, Nigeria, and Ethiopia that attended the Cairo International Fair.

National Security

16 members of security forces killed in Sinai over the weekend

Four soldiers were killed on Saturday when an explosion hit their armored vehicle in north Sinai, Reuters reports. This follows the death of 12 security forces personnel on Thursday by a roadside bomb in pursuit of suspected militants, Armed Forces spokesperson Tamer El Rifai said, according to the Associated Press.

On Your Way Out

Google celebrated Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy on what would have been his 117th birthday with a Doodle on its homepage on Thursday “for pioneering new methods, respecting tradition, and valuing all walks of life.”

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0838 | Sell 18.1894
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.10 | Sell 18.20
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 18.00 | Sell 18.10

EGX30 (Thursday): 13,032 (+1.2%)
Turnover: EGP 1.1 bn (146% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +5.5%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 1.2%. CIB, the index’s top constituent, rose 1.0%. Top performers included Qalaa Holdings up 4.8%, Porto Group up 3.8%, and EFG Hermes up 3.5%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks included ACC, which was down 1.3%, GB Auto down 0.7%, and Heliopolis Housing down 0.2%. The market turnover was EGP1.1 billion, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP + 93.4 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP + 14.7 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP – 108.2 mn

Retail: 64.1% of total trades | 63.1% of buyers | 65.0% of sellers
Institutions: 35.9% of total trades | 36.9% of buyers | 35.0% of sellers

Foreign: 20.4% of total | 24.7% of buyers | 16.0% of sellers
Regional: 4.5% of total | 5.2% of buyers | 3.8% of sellers
Domestic: 75.1% of total | 70.1% of buyers | 80.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 47.97 (+0.57%)
Brent: USD 50.80 (+0.47%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.08 MMBtu, (+0.82%, April 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,251.70 / troy ounce (+0.13%)TASI: 6 ,878.7 (+0.7%) (YTD: -4.6%)
ADX: 4 ,495.3 (+0.3%) (YTD: -1.1%)
DFM: 3,461.4 (-0.4%) (YTD: -2.0%)
KSE Weighted Index: 424.6 (+0.4%) (YTD: +11.7%)
QE: 10,445.2 (+0.5%) (YTD: +0.1%)
MSM: 5,635.1 (+0.3%) (YTD: -2.6%)
BB: 1,375.5 (+0.6%) (YTD: +12.7%)

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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.