Thursday, 6 April 2017

Finance industry veteran Mohamed Taymour passes at age 75

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Mohamed Taymour (1942-2017). Egypt’s close-knit finance community mourns today the death of one of its founding fathers after Mohamed Taymour passed away at the age of 75. The nation’s finance industry has had two golden ages. The first was a 50 or so year run that began with the founding of the National Bank of Egypt in 1898 by the Sir Ernest Cassel, Cairo’s Suares family and Constantine Salvagos of Alexandria. That era came to an ignoble end with the Free Officers’ Revolution in 1952.

The second golden age of Egyptian finance began on a hot August day in 1980. As Taymour told us several years back, that’s when “with two friends I decided that Egypt was entering an era in which private sector investors and institutions would need professional advice in raising funds and negotiating with the government-dominated banking sector. With only a secretary and telex machine, and sharing a small apartment with an architectural office, we launched the predecessor of EFG Hermes under the name of Technical Financial Services (TFS). By 1984, the firm had grown to a total of six professionals and we officially incorporated it as the Egyptian Financial Group (EFG). The rest, as they say, is history.”

Two pivot points led to the creation of Egypt’s modern financial system. The first was the founding in 1975 of Chase National Bank, the institution that has become CIB. The second wasn’t the passage of the 1992 capital market law, but when Taymour gave the go-ahead to Ahmed Heikal’s plan to acquire a brokerage house and start up an asset management business. “I still remember our sales strategy as we started seriously building out the distribution business,” Heikal would later recall. “Nobody outside Egypt really knew who we were, so we would all come into the office on Fridays to cold call [western] asset managers. We chose the houses we would call by whether their listings were bolded in the Yellow Pages. That’s how we built the international side of the business — one cold call at a time.”

(You can read more of Taymour’s reflections on founding EFG Hermes in the firm’s 2010 Annual Report. His recollections appear on pp 44-45.)

Taymour understood that our industry is fundamentally about people. Looking back at EFG Hermes on the twenty-fifth anniversary of its founding, he singled out the people (including Ahmed and Hassan Heikal, Alaa Saba and Ali El-Tahri, among others), the team spirit and the code of ethics that he said had made the firm what it became. Even his choice of the lawyer who incorporated his company back in 1984 proved prescient — she was a young Mona Zulficar, who today is EFG Hermes’ chairperson and a leading corporate lawyer.

Taymour built an institution. In tipping his hat to the people who helped build EFG, Taymour was the first in our industry who acknowledged that good people came — and stayed to build an institution — not on the promise of good salaries, but on the prospect of being able to buy a stake in the business. In giving up equity to grow the firm (and by later bringing in Citi as a 20% partner), Taymour set EFG Hermes on course to become a truly independent multinational — and one that has never forgotten its Egyptian roots.

Taymour was a quiet patriot, recalling that not long after the merger of EFG with Hermes Financial Services, he inaugurated a lecture series designed to remind his staff of where they came from. Zahi Hawass, then an obscure archaeologist, was the first speaker in the series. “The rationale was simple: Yes, we were globally experienced. Yes, we were financial professionals. But we were also Egyptian. Among the many who followed Dr. Hawass were the great colloquial poet Ahmed Fouad Negm and the famous writer and thinker Mahmoud El-Saadani,” he said in 2011.

Taymour’s legacy isn’t just the creation of Egypt’s asset management industry in the early 1990s or EFG Hermes’ leadership of the privatization and IPO booms later in that decade, but the brand-name Egyptian multinationals that have thrived in no small measure because they had access to the capital market he helped create, from the Orascoms and GB Auto to EFG Hermes itself.

Dr. Mohamed Taymour was a past chairman of the Egyptian Capital Market Association, a leading industry group. Taymour stepped down as chairman of EFG Hermes in 2005 at the age of 62 and went on to become chairman of Pharos Holding. He was an active member of the board of the Tourism Fund and of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies and served on the boards of Audi Bank and the Arab Investment Group. An industrial engineering graduate from Cairo University, he held a PhD in systems analysis from Dartmouth College. He is survived by his sons Elwy (chief executive officer of Pharos) and Sherif.

On The Horizon

Cleantech alert: The Trade and Industry Ministry’s Egypt National Cleaner Production Center (ENCPC) are launching the “Leeha ‘Eema” program to finance, mentor and develop waste management startups. Some 45 startups from across Egypt will be taken through a seven-month training and networking program, with the 10 top companies in the running for prototyping grants. The program is funded by the MENA Transition Fund in Egypt through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and is part of the Green Growth Industrial Waste Management and SME Entrepreneurship Hub Project (IWEX). The deadline to apply is Wednesday, 12 April, according to a statement from ENCPC. There’s an information session 7-9pm on Monday, 10 April at Injaz, and you can read more about the program in Arabic here.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to DC was still the highlight of the night on the airwaves. El Sisi is expected by the local press to remain in DC until Friday, which would overlap with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit. The Chinese leader’s visit kicks off today.

AmCham Egypt President Anis Aclimandos expects an new interest in Egypt from mid-sized US companies after the trip. He spoke last night with DMC’s Osama Kamal (watch, runtime 12:06). US investors expressed a lot of interest in the Egyptian market, particularly after meeting with El Sisi, Ittihadiya Spokesperson Alaa Youssef told Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer .

Over on Kol Youm, Amr Adib played a short clip of El Sisi’s interview with Fox News in which the president talks about working with the Donald Trump administration on counter-terrorism, as well as Russia’s involvement in Syria (watch, runtime 3:57). (We have more on the interview in Speed Round, below).
The host then moved on to developments in the Investment Act, which MP Mohamed Badrawi said was in the final round of discussions, explaining that the House of Representatives is waiting on government input on a few points before sending the bill to a plenary session for a vote next week (watch, runtime 2:20). That is not the impression we are getting in the news on the act (more in Legislation + Policy)

And because the night would not be complete without at least one reference to food, Adib aired a report on the rising prices of fish, which lately has been causing a stir (watch, runtime 12:53). Fish vendors blame wholesalers for the surge.

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees El Hadidi was off last night.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Foreign holdings of Egyptian debt has grown by more than USD 1 bn since mid-March, Ahmed Feteha writes for Bloomberg. He says this is “a sign that investor confidence isn’t waning five months after authorities floated the pound and secured an IMF loan.” Foreign holdings of Egyptian government securities reached EGP 79 bn as of 4 April Samy Khallaf, head of public debt at the finance ministry, told Bloomberg.

The Egyptian economy looks like it will soon take off, veteran finance writer Patrick Werr writes in The National. He’s pinning his expectation on five factors, expecting natural gas exploration to continue booming, with scope for exports in the near future. Tourism is also on an upward trajectory, he says, noting that “the real test will come in the autumn, when the post-summer tourist season begins.” Werr also sees exports rising and imports falling, foreign investment increasing, and more IPOs coming to the EGX.

Kramers will not live to mooch another year after all: The Supply Ministry is not shelving plans to remove subsidy fraudsters from the system. Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told reporters on Wednesday that the ministry intends to purge welfare rolls of some 10% of ration card holders in April and May, according to Al Borsa. The news comes as a bit of a surprise since El Moselhy was quoted just last week saying that the subsidy rolls would remain intact for now as times are tough enough as it is.

Real estate developer SODIC signed yesterday an EGP 1.3 bn medium-term facility with Arab African International Bank (AAIB), according to a statement from the company. The facility will be used in part to repay a EGP 900 mn syndicated facility previously signed in 2013 to finance the SODIC West project. The loan will also help in pushing forward the completion of several commercial, retail and medical developments within SODIC West, including the Courtyards, Forty West, The Polygon, Allegria, Westown Residences, Westown Hub, Westown Medical Centre, and the second phase of the Strip. Read the full statement from SODIC here. Pictured above: SODIC CEO Magued Sherif (right) with AAIB head of corporate banking Tamer Waheed.

Much ado about nothing: The local and international press alike are making a bit too much out of a disclosure yesterday that N.R. Investments Sàrl has bought 135.4 mn shares of GB Auto, or about 12.4% of the company. A senior company official tells us that the transaction was simply a restructuring of ownership by members of the controlling Ghabbour family. EFG Hermes executed the transaction.

Saudi’s Al Hokair Group is planning to invest USD 100 mn in Egypt’s solar power sector this year, Al Borsa reports. Cabinet has approved Al Hokair subsidiary FAS Energy’s financial model for a 50 MW solar station it is proposing to build under phase one of the feed-in tariff program, FAS Energy CEO Sabri Asfour tells the newspaper. Al Hokair will fund 85% of the project and is seeking financing from an Egyptian bank for the balance.

With one day to go in the subscription period, MTI’s retail offering is 4.7x oversubscribed, Al Borsa reports. The company previously announced that its institutional offering of 25.5% of the company’s shares at price of EGP 5.96 per share was 9x oversubscribed, the newspaper reports citing company sources. Trading on MM Group is set to begin on Tuesday, 11 April.

Naeem Holding started a private placement for a EGP 1 bn real estate fund, the company’s CEO Yousef Al Far said, according to Reuters. The private placement will take place for one month and will be followed by an initial public offering before Ramadan. Al Far said the three-year fund will aim to return at least 26% annually. Naeem also said it is considering setting up specialized real estate funds that could be focused on the residential sector only, Al Mal says.

The slump in car sales is likely to last through the rest of 1H2017 as prices continue to climb, Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce member Alaa El Sabaa tells Al Mal. The drop in sales is the sharpest since 2004. We noted earlier this week that car sales for February were down 60% year-on-year, despite the market’s attempt to battle the slump with discounts and promotional offers.

Kuwait renewed yesterday its oil and fuel supply agreement with Egypt for another three years, AFP reports. Under the agreement Kuwait will supply Egypt with 2 mn bbl of crude per month, in addition to 1.5 mn tonnes of petroleum products per year for USD 4 bn, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation said in a statement. The previous three-year agreement signed in 2013, expired in December.

El Sisi’s interview with Fox News aired last night: FoxNews’s Bret Baier sat down with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for a brief interview in which the president was asked about everything from aid to human rights to his opinion on US foreign policy toward the Middle East and the changes he expects to see under the Donald Trump administration.The interview doesn’t break much in the way of new ground, but El Sisi did insinuate that US policy on the region in the last four years have been less than satisfactory, noting that he was already seeing a shift in direction under new leadership and explaining that he believes Trump truly grasps the complexity of the situation in the region. As for Russia’s involvement in the Middle East, El Sisi said that the country is merely protecting its regional interests at a turbulent time. On the question of military and economic aid, the president said that he has faith in Trump’s promise to fully support Egypt. Pressed on human rights in general — and the trial of US citizen Aya Hijazi in particular — the president told Baier that his administration operates within its legal bounds to protect national security and stability. You can watch the full interview here (runtime 15:55).

El Sisi stopped by the Pentagon on Wednesday, where he met with US Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said he plans on visiting Egypt soon to resume talks on military cooperation, according to Ahram Gate’s pickup of an Ittihadiya statement. US National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and IMF Director Christine Lagarde also visited El Sisi in DC yesterday.

Ittihadiya also released yesterday a readout (pdf) on the president’s meetings with US congressional leaders as well as a series of images from those meetings (here, here, here, here, here and here).

Arab-American-Israeli Summit in July: The White House will host an Arab-American-Israeli peace summit in July that will see Trump, El Sisi, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II sit down with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to further discussions on the Middle East peace process, diplomatic sources tell AMAY.

More news has been filtering in on the Egyptian delegation’s trade talks in DC, where US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross reportedly agreed to holding a new round of negotiations over the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) as a precursor to a potential free trade pact, El Watan reports. The meeting also looked at expanding Egypt’s agricultural exports to the US to include green beans, mangoes, and peppers, in addition to increasing the citrus exports. Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil had been pushing to reduce the mandatory Israeli content in goods exported to the States under the QIZ program to 8% instead of the current 10.5%,.

…Walt Disney reportedly came up during trade talks, but El Watan has little in the way of details. We had noted last month that Disneyland had cut off 28 Egyptian textiles exporters.

On the sidelines of the Egyptian delegation’s visit to the US, Carbon Holdings is expected to sign a “major” agreement with Bechtel Group at the American Chambers of Commerce in Washington, AmCham Egypt President Anis Aclimandos tells AMAY, without specifying a date. Aclimandos, who attended President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with US companies this week, also said that US investors were primarily interested in the fields of energy, railway, infrastructure development, ICT, and water desalination.

Among the handful of international stories worth noting this morning:

  • The US Fed is looking to sell down some of the USD 4.5 tn in bonds and other securities it’s holding on its balance sheet. The Fed accumulated the bonds during its three rounds of quantitative easing to boost the economy after the Great Recession. The move could both impact the price of the securities the Fed would look to offload, CNBC notes, adding that some members of the Federal Reserve believe “the move itself would amount to a rate hike” — to say nothing of being largely unprecedented in size.
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May and LSE CEO Xavier Rolet made the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia — to Riyadh, that is, where they tried to pitch Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih on listing Saudi Aramco in London instead of on the NYSE.
  • Hmm… Wonder if they would ship any of it to Egypt? Qatar Gas and ExxonMobil are going to start drilling for gas off the southern coast of Cyprus in 2018.
  • In the wake of Tuesday’s horrific chemical weapons attack in Syria that has been blamed on Bashar Al Assad, Donald Trump has “opened the door to a greater American role in protecting the population in a vicious civil war that he has always said the United States should avoid,” the New York Times reports. “I now have responsibility, and I will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly,” CNN quoted him as saying. The incident killed 86 civilians, including 32 children. Egypt has condemned the attack.
  • Former right-wing publisher Steve Bannon has been dropped from the US National Security Council but retains the “highest level” White House security clearance and remains an advisor to US President Donald Trump in what pundits are taking as a victory for US national security advisor HR McMaster.

Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day

Today’s Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day is of the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. The temple was dismantled in 1968 and moved 65 meters northwest to save it from becoming submerged under water after Egypt built the Aswan High Dam. Moving the temple was a massive, UNESCO-led project that cost over USD 40 mn at the time. That’s about USD 285 mn in today’s terms, if we’re not mistaken.

The image was shot for CIB’s 2016 Annual Report (microsite and print edition) by Zeina Abaza at Inktank Communications, which has produced the bank’s annual report for the past eight years.

The Macro Picture

The trend toward international harmonization of regulations has lost momentum as the world’s largest economies realign policies to meet domestic priorities of stability and growth, according Goldman Sachs Asset Management. There is a clear diversion internationally, with the US pushing for more deregulation and Europe and China moving differently.

The initial expectation of a less-burdensome regime, combined with tax cuts, has driven US indexes to new highs on sentiment… We see opportunities in Financials, as the sector is trading at a discount to long-term averages on some metrics relative to other sectors, where valuations already reflect positive sentiment,” says John Arege, Co-Lead Portfolio Manager of Large Cap Value & Large Cap Core Strategies. In Europe, while there is deharmonization, “regulatory tightening probably peaked early last year with the Basel III proposals, and regulators have since worked with market participants to scale back. Standards will still get tougher, as new measures will be implemented in the next few years, but they are less aggressive than originally drafted, and the industry has more certainty.”

The situation in China is more nuanced; GSAM says “regulation in China today is a feat of engineering. Policymakers are managing a globally significant slowdown … Over the past couple of years as growth threatened to undershoot the official target, authorities de-escalated some regulatory objectives. The recent stabilization in growth has allowed the focus to return to reform … We think this environment is fertile ground for active managers… That said, in this re-balancing we are also alert to the risk of policy missteps leading to volatility in global markets.”

Image of the Day

Egyptian archaeologists are digging away in Dahshur to unearth what might have been Ancient Egypt’s first smooth-sided pyramid. The remains were discovered near the royal necropolis in the south of Cairo and are believed to have belonged to 13th dynasty king Imni Kamao, whose name archaeologists found engraved on the walls and pillars in the corridor leading to the insides of the giant structure. Check out more images here, courtesy of Al Arabiya.

Egypt in the News

From Fox’s “Exclusive: Egyptian president says Trump has ‘true understanding’ of terrorism’” to the Huffington Post’s “Americans Persecuted By Egypt Regime Watch As Trump Embraces It,” US media continues to dwell on President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to Washington. And we have had quite enough, thank you. Our final kick at the can, we hope:

The Trump administration’s hesitation to officially designate the Ikhwan as a terrorist organization is a “grave error,” particularly in light of “its declared objective to ‘destroy the Western civilization from within,’” writes the Conservative HQ, which attributes the lack of movement to the Ikhwan’s “penetration” of the US government, pointing to Obama-era officials such as Huma Abedin. Documents obtained by Al-Monitor, meanwhile, seem to indicate the US administration dragging its feet on the matter is a result of persistent lobbying from the Ikhwan. The organization says “they remain “‘the strongest [group] on the Egyptian political scene, and is still capable of engaging in any democratic political competition despite all the deadly blows it receives.’ The group will soon return to the scene, it notes.” Al-Monitor says the documents show “the Brotherhood is still counting on major powers” to support their return to work in the Egyptian political arena once it has the opportunity to do so.

(The domestic press, meanwhile, is convinced that the Ikhwan will never be designated as terrorists because we’re surrounded by Islamist stooges including Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco.)

The Red Sea is Egypt’s real treasure and remains an attraction for internationaldivers, Richard Aspinall writes for The Guardian, including pictures he took from his Red Sea diving adventure. Aspinall describes his swim with the sharks at the Brothers Islands.

There is political will to revive museums in Egypt, but not enough money, argue Hannah Mcgivern and Aimee Dawson in a piece for The Art Newspaper. Egypt needs EGP 2 bn to reopen 20 museums closed since the 2011 revolution, Antiquities Minister Khaled El Enany had said. The National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation needs EGP 800 mn for its permanent displays.

Other coverage worth noting in brief:

  • The cement industry in Egypt played a pivotal role in the return of coal imports to compensate for energy shortages, Mongabay says, detailing the timeline of the shortages and the coal issue it says is the “most public cabinet-level political battle.”
  • Egyptian footballer Ramadan Sobhi has been getting mad props from the foreign press, most recently from Bleacher Report, which calls him “a legend in the making.”
  • “Hosni Mubarak’s freedom is legal. However, it was never supposed to be a purely judicial matter and should never have been an acceptable path to resolution after the January 2011 uprising in Egypt,” writes Mohamed El Meshad in TRT World.
  • Last week’s Arab League summit revealed some “interesting shifts” in regional dynamics, particularly with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s closed meeting with Saudi’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Francis Matthew writes for Gulf News.
  • The Egyptian electricity line that supplies the southern Gaza Strip with power will be coming back online soon after a near two-year pause, says Middle East Monitor.
  • Senior British Imam Ibrahim Mogra is urging the Vatican’s Pope Francis to shed light on the “plight of persecuted Christians in Egypt,” during his April visit, Christopher Lamb writes for The Tablet.
  • A British national trying to board a flight home was detained and held in an Egyptian cell for three days after airport security forces “mistook his homemade iPod amplifier for a bomb,” Daily Mail says.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Irish national Ibrahim Halawa may be released from pre-trial detention “on humanitarian grounds,” Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said, according to BreakingNews.ie. Halawa’s lawyers said in court yesterday that the medical examiner who visited the detainee last week had recommended more medical exams, which necessitate Halawa’s release. The judge said he would consider the request, RTE says. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny had also issued a personal plea to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to release Halawa from prison, The Irish Independent reported. “We are very concerned about it and it is receiving the most urgent attention of any Irish citizen abroad,” Kenny told the Irish Parliament.

Italian investigators have drawn up a shortlist of 10 people they accuse of direct complicity in the murder of Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni, Mada Masr reports, citing sources from the joint Egyptian-Italian committee investigating the murder. A team from Italy is expected to arrive in Cairo to push for their indictment.

A World Bank (WB) delegation will visit Egypt within weeks to follow up on ongoing projects and evaluate new ones, according to an Investment Ministry statement, Al Borsa reports. The Social Solidarity Ministry will ask the WB for a fourth USD 65 mn tranche of a USD 400 mn loan to support Takaful and Karawa program in the next few days, First Assistant Minister Nevine El-Qabaj says, Al Mal reports. The tranche is set to be disbursed before the end of this fiscal year. USD 305 mn were already disbursed. SME funding seems to be on the agenda too, with Nasr having discussed it with bank officials in Washington, according to Al Borsa.

Manufacturing

Tahya Misr and Vacsera complete insulin plant feasibility study, to start construction in July

State-owned company Vacsera and the Tahya Misr Fund have completed feasibility studies for the USD 30 mn insulin plant that they will begin building in July, Fund Director Mohamed Ashmawy told Al Borsa on Wednesday. The plant is part of a joint Vacsera-Novo Nordisk project that aims to help Egypt meet its domestic demand for insulin and eventually grow into an exporter. Novo Nordisk is expected to cover 50% of the project’s costs, while the Tahya Misr Fund will contribute around 33-35%, with Vacsera covering around 10%, former Vacsera CEO Nabil El Beblawi said.

Holding Company for Chemical Industries looking to establish USD 400 mn tire factory

The Holding Company for Chemical Industries is looking into establishing a USD 400 mn tire factory with the Transport and Engineering Company, the company’s president Yasser El Naggar said, according to Al Ahram.

Health + Education

Korea International Cooperation Agency to provide USD 5.83 mn grant for new university in Beni Suef

The Korea International Cooperation Agency will offer a USD 5.83 mn grant to fund an Egyptian-Korean university in Beni Suef, the Korean embassy said in a statement picked up by Ahram Gate. The Higher Education and the Investment and International Cooperation Ministries signed an MoU with the agency regarding the project’s feasibility studies.

Real Estate + Housing

90% increase in number of Egypt’s vacation homes over past 11 years -Colliers International

The number of vacation homes in Egypt has increased 90% in the past 11 years, with the North Coast remaining the most popular destination for Egyptians to purchase a second home, according to Colliers International’s report on Egypt’s second home market. The depreciation of the local currency has driven up real estate sales as a whole as people increasingly turned to purchasing second homes as a hedging instrument, thereby pushing up the average cost of these units. Nonetheless, holiday homes in Egypt remain affordable, relative to international markets, the report says.

Tourism

Tourism Ministry committee recommends minimum charge prices for hotels

The Tourism Ministry committee mandated with setting a minimum charge for hotels in Egypt is recommending that five star hotels in Cairo charge a minimum of USD 110 per night, committee head Magdy Naguib tells Al Borsa. The committee is also recommending that five star hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Alexandria, and Luxor charge guests USD 35 per person for an all-inclusive stay. Four and three star hotels in all areas would charge USD 25 and USD 20, respectively. According to Naguib, the committee has also set punitive measures for non-compliant hotels, including the revocation of their license or shutting them down altogether. The ministry is expected to send its report to Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed by mid-month

Telecoms + ICT

Silicon Waha looking into establishing new tech zone in SCZone

Silicon Waha is looking into establishing a new technological zone over 30-40 feddans in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Al Borsa reports. The company will discuss the project with officials from the SCZone next week, and is aiming to launch the zone next year, according to an unnamed government source.

Automotive + Transportation

Kenya terminates 25-year concession for Qalaa to operate RVR

The Kenyan government terminated Qalaa Holdings-owned Rift Valley Railways’ 25-year concession last Thursday, according to Kenya’s Business Daily. The validity of the termination notice was the subject of the ongoing suit before court, Qalaa reportedly said in a statement on Wednesday. “Should a valid termination notice be issued, RVR shall have six months to cure any defaults found to have occurred in the concession,” the firm is reported to have said, according to Kenya’s the Standard.

Banking + Finance

Banque Misr in talks to borrow USD 700 mn from international institutions

Banque Misr is in negotiations for USD 700 mn in funding to support its foreign currency liquidity, vice Chairman Akef El Maghraby told Al Mal. Banque Misr is in talks with Afrexim Bank for a USD 200 mn loan and USD 500 mn from the European Investment Bank. El Maghraby expects an agreement with Afrexim Bank will be finalised this month. Fitch Rating had expressed concerns over Egyptian banks’ capitalization because of their exposure of foreign currency loans, an expected they could resort to subordinated loans. The central bank has issued the criteria for banks to recognize international loans as part of their capital base in January.

Legislation + Policy

House tourism, industry committees voice objections to Investment Act

MPs are continuing to object to the Investment Act, with the House tourism and industry committees bellyaching over claims that the act neglects the needs of these sectors, Al Mal reports. Progress on the act has also been complicated by internal disputes within the House Economic Committee over the selection of Amr Ghallab as its chair. Ghallab maintains that the committee will finish voting on the act in its entirety and bring it to a plenary session next week (inshallah).

National Security

Egypt receives third batch of Rafale fighters

Egypt received the third shipment of three Rafale fighters from France as part of a EUR 5.2 bn contract signed in 2015 on Wednesday, Reuters reports. Under the contract, France is to deliver a total of 24 Rafale jets, a Fremm naval frigate and MBDA air-to-air missiles.

On Your Way Out

So close and yet so far: In a wiggle worthy of the reptile that he is, Ahmed Moussa has managed to skirt a six month suspended prison sentence for airing a private phone call between former Egyptian vice president Mohamed ElBaradei and former army Chief of Staff Sami Anan, Ahram Online reports.

Traffic jams push up Egyptians’ fuel consumption approximately 30% each year, House Energy and Environment Committee member El Sayed Hegazy tells Youm7. Hegazy says the state is just as responsible for these traffic jams as Egyptians’ (awful) driving habits, and calls for harsher punishments and increased fines for traffic law violations.

How did we come to this? Suez Canal University is investigating English Lit professor Mona Prince for “inappropriate” behavior, after a two-minute video of her dancing on the roof of her own home went viral on Tuesday, Ahram Online says.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.9715 | Sell 18.0753
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.00 | Sell 18.10
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Wednesday): 13,290 (+0.2%)
Turnover: EGP 1.3 bn (10% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +7.7%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.2%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended 1.6% up, being the top performing stock in yesterday’s session, followed by Egyptian Resorts up 0.9%, and Global Telecom up 0.1%. Today’s worst performing stocks included Domty down 4.9%, GB Auto 2.6% down, and Heliopolis Housing down 1.9%. The market turnover was EGP1.3 billion, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net long | EGP +164.1 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP +2.3 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP -166.4 mn

Retail: 62.5% of total trades | 59.9% of buyers | 65.1% of sellers
Institutions: 37.5% of total trades | 40.1% of buyers | 34.9% of sellers

Foreign: 27.9% of total | 34.5% of buyers | 21.4% of sellers
Regional: 6.9% of total | 6.9% of buyers | 6.8% of sellers
Domestic: 65.2% of total | 58.6% of buyers | 71.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 50.82 (-0.41%)
Brent: USD 53.98 (-0.35%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.28 MMBtu, (-0.52%, May 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,257.60 / troy ounce (-0.06%)

TASI: 7,050.9 (+0.9%) (YTD: -2.2%)
ADX: 4,640.7 (+2.0%) (YTD: +2.1%)
DFM: 3,573.3 (+0.4%) (YTD: +1.2%)
KSE Weighted Index: 420.2 (+1.0%) (YTD: +10.6%)
QE: 10,467.0 (+0.7%) (YTD: +0.3%)
MSM: 5,623.6 (0.0%) (YTD: -2.8%)
BB: 1,350.5 (+0.1%) (YTD: +10.7%)

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Calendar

03-06 April (Monday-Thursday): Agri & Foodex Africa, Khartoum International Fair Ground, Khartoum, Sudan.

08-10 April (Saturday-Monday): Pharmaconex, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday.

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim, national holiday.

20 April (Thursday): Closing date for the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority bid round number 1 for 2017 for gold and associated minerals.

22-24 April (Wednesday-Friday): Food Africa, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

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.

26-27 April (Wednesday-Thursday): Corporate Governance Case Study Workshops by the Egyptian Private Equity Association and IFC.

28-29 April (Friday-Saturday): Pope Francis visits Cairo.

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.

05-07 May (Friday-Sunday): Egypt Property Show, DWTC, Dubai.

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

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

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

27 May (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

26-28 June (Monday-Wednesday): Eid Al-Fitr (TBC).

30 June (Friday): 30 June, national holiday.

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day, national holiday.

02-05 September (Saturday-Tuesday): Eid Al-Adha, national holiday (TBC).

17-19 September (Sunday-Tuesday): Pipeline-Pipe-Sewer-Technology Conference & Exhibition, Intercontinental Citystars Hotel, Cairo.

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

22 September (Friday): Islamic New Year, national holiday (TBC).

06 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

01 December (Friday): Prophet’s Birthday, national holiday.

08-10 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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