Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Inflation shows signs of cooling, falling to 2.0% m-o-m in March

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

A nation in mourning began burying yesterday the victims of Sunday’s church bombings. “Women wailed as caskets marked with the word ‘martyr, were brought into the Mar Amina church in the coastal city of Alexandria on Monday, the footage broadcast on several Egyptian channels. Coptic priests, boy scouts, and mourners carrying flowers joined a procession into the church, the pace set by a beat of snare drums,” the Associated Press reports.

The Health Ministry’s latest count on casualties puts the death toll at 46 people, according to a report by Ahram Online quoting remarks by an official to the state-owned MENA newswire. An earlier statement by a ministry spokesperson put the toll at 45, including 28 in the Tanta attack and 17 in Alexandria.

The story continues to dominate headlines on Egypt this morning in the Western press. The dominant narrative: For Egypt’s Christian community, “Grief turns to anger” (Wall Street Journal, paywall) and “rage at abandonment” (Reuters).

More attacks foiled: Reprisals for the attack came swiftly as security forces killed seven men they alleged were Daesh terrorists planning attacks on Christians in Assiut, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The terrorists were found to be in possession of ammunition, weapons, and Daesh literature, the ministry said.

The Ismail cabinet voted yesterday to pay EGP 100k in compensation to each family that lost a loved one in the attacks. The immediate heir of any person killed in the attack will also be entitled to collect an “exceptional” pension of EGP 1,500;

Pope Francis’s two-day trip to Egypt starting 28 April is still on, the Vatican said, according to ANSA. "There is no doubt that the Holy Father will maintain his resolution to go,” Monsignor Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State, said. Al Azhar’s chief protocol advisor to the Vatican Kadri Abdelmottale put out a statement assuring the Pope’s safety. "I can guarantee that there won’t be any security problems," Abdelmottale told ANSA. Reuters counters with a piece citing diplomatic and Vatican sources that said the visit could be scrubbed or the itinerary changed at any time because of security worries.

World leaders continued to condemn the attacks and offer support to Egypt onMonday. Among them: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Czech President Miloš Zeman while the German Chancellor’s spokesperson put out a statement calling for Muslims in Egypt to stand in solidarity with the Christian minority, the AP reports. These also included sterner condemnations from Turkey, whose top cleric Mehmet Görmez slammed the attacks and offered condolences to the families, Turkey’s Yani Safak reports. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation also issued an official condemnation, according to Qatar News Agency. BothIran and Hezbollahput out statements condemning the attacks.

Global Affairs Canada is advising against nonessential travel to Egypt following theattack, due to “the unpredictable security situation.” The advisory does not apply to the Red Sea coastal resorts, Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor, and Aswan along the upper Nile, where Global Affairs Canada says travellers should exercise a high degree of caution.

Apple CEO Tim Cook put out a tweet in Arabic that reads: “We are terribly sorry for the heinous attacks in Egypt and offer its people our condolences.”

What We’re Tracking This Week

Extra T-bill sales this week: Egypt will hold several treasury bill sales this week to compensate for auctions originally scheduled to take place during next week’s Easter holiday, when banks will be closed, Reuters reports. The auctions will include 182-day and 364-day bills on Wednesday and 91-day and 273-day bills on Thursday as well as three- and seven-year bonds also on Thursday.

Speaking of the holiday: Sunday and Monday are national holidays in observance of Easter and Sham El Neseem. That’s followed by national holidays for Sinai Liberation Day (Tuesday, 25 April) and Labour Day (Monday, 1 May).

Egypt’s registry of exporters is on the WTO delegation’s agenda this week: Import restrictions imposed last year under the Exporters Registry Act that troubled some of Egypt’s trading partners, among them the EU and that weirdo in Ankara, are among the issues that the World Trade Organization (WTO) delegation intends to discuss with authorities during a three-day visit set to take place this week, sources close to the matter confirm to Al Borsa.

Tax Authority to decide on further VAT rebates for IOCs end of the week: The Tax Authority intends to make a final decision by the end of this week on offering rebates and exemptions on the value-added tax to international oil companies’ contractors and equipment suppliers, authority chief Sherif Samy said on Monday, Al Mal reports. IOCs themselves are exempt from the tax under the terms of their agreements with Egypt, but are presently exposed to VAT on non-production services they purchase.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The aftermath of Palm Sunday’s church attacks dominated last night’s talk shows as thenames of suspects began to surface and tightened security measures came into effect.

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib named Ashraf Ragab as one of the attackers and spoke to hisbrother, who said his sibling was being wrongly accused by Al Watan newspaper of being behind the attacks. The newspaper’s Samar Abdel Rahman, however, maintained that she has recordings of Ragab’s wife telling her that Ragab had called to say his goodbyes. Ragab’s wife, Abdel Rahman says, who was in Syria two days prior to the attack and did run in Daesh’s circles (watch, runtime 33:39).

(There has been no official confirmation on the identities of the attackers. Al Arabiya is running a piece on the suspects without naming names. Helpful, that.)

Adib also spoke to the newly-appointed head of the Gharbiya security directorate, Tarek Hassouna, who confirmed that authorities are installing metal detectors and setting up permanent security checkpoints around churches in every governorate. Police will also be coordinating with church security officials to keep tabs on who is going in and out of the buildings, Hassouna added (watch, runtime 5:47).

Gharbiya Governor Ahmed Deif Sakr confirmed that videos from nearby camerasrevealed that a suicide bomber had easy access to the church in Tanta because the metal detector at the gate wasn’t working. The governor was speaking with Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer.

Amer also spoke with Kamal Amer, the head of the House of Representatives’ National Security Committee. The MP said the House thinks the government needs legislation that would allow security forces to install surveillance cameras along Egypt’s main streets. The MP also took some time to explain the significance and importance of the Emergency Law following the attacks.

On Hona Al Asema, MP Alaa Abdel Moneim explained to Lamees El Hadidi that the changes to the criminal proceedings act are meant to expedite court processes in terrorism cases. Abdel Moneim, however, criticized the government for impeding earlier discussions on these amendments, saying that it had an entirely new criminal law to put forward (watch, runtime 13:21).

El Hadidi also confirmed with the Coptic Church that the Vatican’s Pope Francis is stilldue in Cairo on 28 and 29 April (watch, runtime: 2:16).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Inflation is showing signs of cooling: You may now breathe a (tentative) sigh of relief. Consumer price inflation cooled again in March, standing at 2.0% month-on-month compared to February. M-o-m inflation was 2.63% in February and 4.07% in January. The annualized rated accelerated to 30.9%, up from 30.2% in February, its slowest gain in five months. The core inflation rate fell to 32.25% y-o-y in March from 33.1% a month earlier, the central bank said. The drop in the core rates is the first since November. “The initial price shock seems to be tapering off … Sharp changes in prices in the future will be linked to further reform measures, the usual fluctuation in the exchange rate or seasons when consumer demand increases,” Reham El Desoki, senior economist at Arqaam Capital told Bloomberg.

Inflation will be impacted by two seasonal factors in the coming two months, argues Pharos Holdings’ Ramy Oraby in a research note issued yesterday: The month of Ramadan, in which prices usually increase, and the wheat harvest season, “which tends to diffuse sharp food price movements.” He also adds that “at the current exchange rate level, the pass-through risks remain limited.”

The Ismail cabinet approved the imposition of a three-month state of emergency starting from 1:00 pm yesterday,reacting to a move by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Sunday. In accordance with the constitution, the decision must now be signed off by the House of Representatives within seven days. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal invited Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to discuss the emergency law with MPs at today’s plenary session before it is put to a vote, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

TALKING HEADS ON THE ATTACKS, STATE OF EMERGENCY: Alaa Shahine asks on Bloomberg TV if the Egyptian government will follow through with the “tough” measures planned as part of the economic reform package following the terrorist attacks on Sunday. There are more tough decisions that should be taken during this period following the currency flotation and in an environment where inflation is running north of 33%. “The risk is will the government now think … let’s delay some of these tough decisions or reforms we have to take. This is something that people would be watching out for,” Shahine says. On imposing a state of emergency, he says “Egypt has been reaping the early gains from the IMF accord” but the next stage should be a resurgence in FDI inflows. Shahine suggests the behavior of foreigners on the EGX and in the local currency debt market will be a gauge for how the decision is being received (runtime 03:43).

Hani Sabra, head of the Mideast and North Africa practice at the Eurasia Group, tells Bloomberg the attacks “will make the military and broader security establishment very skittish, but will not force a major course correction on the economy unless it translates into broader unhappiness with the government’s performance.” He suggests that “what the authorities are more sensitive to than attacks on Coptic Christians is massive anti-government protests by middle class Egyptians — their core constituency that provide the state legitimacy.”

Robert Fisk does a hatchet job for The Independent, saying imposing a state of emergency shows that private investment cannot grow. Fisk read his tea leaves and suggests the state of emergency will “be going strong in a year’s time.”

The International Labor Organization’s Cairo office chief thinks the state ofemergency will have a negative impact on investment, Al Borsa reports.

Speaking as a member of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, Tarek Tawfik says theimpact of the emergency measures will be minimal. Tawfik added that the FEI is bringing in foreign business delegations and is planning roadshows abroad to promote investment in Egypt.

The Ismail cabinet signed off yesterday on the draft Consumer Protection Act and referred it to the Council of State for review, an official statement said. The legislation sets stricter penalties for violations such as price gouging, hoarding of goods, and failing to meet health and quality requirements to name a few. It also makes it mandatory for shopkeepers to print out receipts for every transaction and outlines guidelines for returning purchases. The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) will also be opening up more branches across the country to become more accessible to a larger segment of the population.

There was no mention in the statement about a direct price control mechanism, something suggested by unnamed government officials earlier this month. Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy had ruled out last month that the act would give the CPA or any other government agency the ability to cap prices in a bid to curb inflation. We’ll be checking the bill the instant we get our hands on it to confirm we’re officially in the clear.

Cabinet also approved a draft law that sets a legal framework for ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Careem. The 23-article bill would set rules for the use of privately-owned vehicles, stipulating in its current form that only a vehicle’s owner could drive it as an Uber or Careem employee and that they would be able to use it for seven hours a day at most. Service providers, who will be made to pay taxes and take out insurance policies covering their drivers and passengers, will also have to acquire permits for the vehicles under the proposed act. Ride-hailing apps have six months to comply with new regulations once issued.

Cabinet also ratified an agreement to import around 12 mn bbl of crude oil a year from Iraq. The pact will be signed “within days,” Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla told the press on Monday. The first 2 mn bbl are due to arrive in May and both sides are expected to negotiate an agreement to refine Iraqi crude in Egypt and re-export back to Iraq as finished products.

El Molla also announced yesterday that Egypt “might” use part of its World Bank loan to repay its arrears to international oil companies. It has been suggested on Saturday the payment will be substantially less than promised.

Members of the House of Representatives clamored yesterday to prove they’re tough on terror as the House discussed legislation relevant to the state’s security clampdown following Sunday’s devastating attacks. At the top of the agenda was granting preliminary approval to amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act that are designed to expedite the prosecution of terror cases, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The amendments were originally proposed back in November, according to MP Ehab Kholy, but gained new urgency following Sunday’s church attacks.

House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said MPs would discuss a law on the media by today at the latest, saying the draft will serve as a prelude to debate on another piece of legislation to regulate the press, Al Mal says. Under the state of emergency, social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube will be monitored as a matter of national security, Abdel Aal added, according to Ahram Gate. Abdel Aal said all European countries monitor social media, while certain countries surveil other, lesser known platforms. The speaker’s promise to the House that the media will be regulated came after a demand from Free Egyptians leader Alaa Abed that the media not “work against state institutions.”

Amendments to the protest law passed in a final plenary vote, and Abdel Aal referred the Tiran and Sanafir island agreement to the House Constitutional and Legislative Committee for review, according to Ahram Gate.

With parliament largely preoccupied with its “revolution” against terror, other legislation has been put on the back burner for now. The House will discuss on Wednesday the 10% social welfare raise for bureaucrats who do not fall under the Civil Service Act with Finance Minister Amr El Garhy and Manpower Minister Mohamed Saafan, Al Borsa reports. The raise was originally scheduled to come up for talks yesterday. The general assembly also signed off on a USD 15 mn grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development geared towards healthcare, municipal services, and sanitation projects, according to Al Shorouk.

IPO WATCH- The subscription period for the retail offering of Raya Contact Center’s IPO will begin today and run until Sunday, 16 April, Al Borsa reports. The company is offering around 49 mn shares at a maximum price of EGP 17.91 per share for both retail and institutional investors. The final share price will be set by Tuesday, 18 April at the latest, according to Helal El Hossary, a partner at the Zaki Hashem & Partners law firm, the issuer’s legal counsel. Dechert LLP is serving as international counsel to the issuer, while EFG Hermes is the sole global coordinator and bookrunner, with Matouk Bassiouny as its local counsel. The offering is expected to raise up to EGP 875.7 mn, according to the newspaper. You can read Raya’s price range announcement here (pdf).

EFG Hermes has a pipeline of five to six IPOs and acquisitions worth a total of USD 500-700 mn for execution this year, the firm’s co-head of investment banking, Mostafa Gad, tells Reuters. The transactions are in sectors including consumer goods, healthcare, and banking.

Meanwhile, EFG Hermes’ RX Healthcare Fund may invest up to 30% of its capital in Egypt if real opportunities with promising revenues are available, said former Health Minister and ex-Dar El Fouad chief Hatem El Gabaly, who has been tapped by the investment bank to lead the fund. He added that the fund will pull the trigger on its first transaction in an unspecified African country “very soon,” Al Borsa reports.

MOVES- Refaat El Genedy was appointed the new CEO of state-owned Telecom Egypt’s ISP subsidiary TE Data, taking over from Ahmed Osama, Al Mal reports. Osama and his deputy, Ismail Said, have been moved to advisor positions in the mother company.

EARNINGS WATCH- Al Ezz Dekheila Steel reported a net profit of EGP 91 mn in 2016, compared with a net loss of EGP 263 mn in 2015, according to filing with the EGX. The company’s sales grew 26.9% in 2016 to EGP 13.51 bn. Meanwhile, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt reported a net profit of EGP 2.91 bn in 2016, up sharply from EGP 781.99 mn in 2015, according to a disclosure. The bank said that EGP 1.55 bn of its bottom line was due to gains from foreign currency benefits after the float in November.

Say your company arranges to have someone beaten up. It doesn’t matter why you thought it was necessary to beat that person up — this is not how you respond in public: United Airlines over-booked a flight. It asked for “volunteers” to get off the plane so that four of its crew members (needed elsewhere, it seems) could fly. There were no takers, so the crew selected four people to boot off the aircraft. One man objected — and was dragged, bleeding, from the plane by airport police. Watch the video and there’s none of the usual grumbling from bystanders that would indicate that the man being hauled down the aisle on his back had been in the wrong, just expressions of “No,” “Hey,” “Come on,” “That’s wrong,” “Look at what you did to him” and a sarcastic “Good work.” The guy who posted the first Twitter video of the incident told the New York Times that the man claimed he was a doctor trying to get home because he had patients to see. (watch, run time 0:20)

How did United Airlines reply? From the company’s chief executive: “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.” The story is all over the airwaves in the US and Canada and has now crossed over to the Financial Times (front page of the digital edition, at that). See Reuters, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal. 9 News out of Colorado has additional video.

Death to corporate-speak: “I apologise for having to re-accommodate these customers.” What does that even mean?

Finally, for journalism geeks this morning: The Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in journalism were announced yesterday. Yes, it’s a US thing, but they’re the Oscars of journalism. Check out the Pulitzer website.

CORRECTION- The Saudi Egyptian Industrial Investments Company acquired a 38% stake in medical disposables company Farcomake for Advanced Medical Industries for EGP 35 mn on Sunday. The transaction was managed by Sigma Capital. We had mentioned the name of the acquired company incorrectly in yesterday’s issue. We apologize for the error. The entry has been corrected on our website. H/t Khaled H.

…In related news, Saudi Egyptian Industrial Investments Company said Farcomake is investing EGP 100 mn in expanding production lines to cover domestic demand for kidney disease treatments and increase exports. The investment will be covered by an EGP 65 mn loan and the EGP 35 mn capital raising proceeds, according to Al Mal.

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The Macro Picture

The global energy market is skewing to the buyer’s side, writes Nick Butler for the Financial Times. OPEC may have met its match when three of the largest LNG importers — Kogas of Korea, JERA from Japan and China’s Cnooc — signed a MoU agreeing to co-operate in the procurement of LNG at the end of last month. Basic market forces were behind this shift, as the global supply of LNG has outstripped demand, with data from the International Gas Union showing that traded LNG in 2016 rose to 258 mn tonnes, while global liquefaction capacity grew to 339 mn tonnes, “leaving an overhang that helped push prices down.” Asian LNG is being sold for as little as USD 6 per mmbtu, down from USD 20 in 2013. The glut is expected to continue as a number of export projects come onstream. What does this mean for Egypt? Butler suggests that there is no clarity on when Omm El Donia’s recent gas discoveries might be utilized given current market dynamics. Even setting aside our dream of becoming an export hub for energy (we don’t think the situation is as dire as Butler does), we can think of (a) power generation and (b) satisfying demand from domestic industry, particularly if well-priced feedstock were offered in place of current cash export subsidies for select industries.

Egypt in the News

Sunday’s terror attacks on Christians in Alexandria and Tanta topped headlines on Egypt once again this morning. Two themes pervaded the coverage: Disappointment and anger from Coptic Christians who feel unsafe, and analysis on Daesh’s strategy and the forces which compelled its brazen attack.

Mourning and criticism: Amina Ismail put out two stories for Reuters on the feeling of rage and abandonment felt by Christian families mourning their dead. She cites people’s criticism of what they claim were lax security measures on Sunday and the anger expressed at security forces in the morgues. CNN’s Monique El-Faizy was overly alarmist, suggesting that the attacks could lead to outright dissent from a frustrated Christian population. “Copts are increasingly willing to criticize both Sisi and church leadership,” she writes. El-Faizy didn’t pull any punches when criticizing the authorities, who she believes will not be able to do much despite the state of emergency, as they have failed to protect their own security forces in Sinai. The Associated Press is characterizing the attack as a blow to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s image among Christians, who are now doubting his ability to protect them.

Analysts are saying the bombings in Egypt suggest Daesh are finding themselves coming under increasing pressure in Iraq and Syria, according to the AFP. Daesh “has been unable to seize population centres [in Sinai], unlike its early gains in Iraq and Syria, and it has also lost top militants to Egyptian military strikes in recent months.” Sunday’s attacks followed a recent shift in Daesh’s strategy from December when it first began targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt as part of spectacular attacks away from Iraq and Syria “in an attempt to regain the narrative, boost morale and win recruits,” Jantzen Garnett, an expert on the jihadists with the Navanti Group, says.

Beyond acting out in the face of setbacks in Sinai, Iraq, Syria and Libya, the Financial Times argues that fomenting sectarian violence has always been the most crucial strategy adopted by Daesh, as it is the fuse by which regional chaos occurs and in which it thrives.

Other stories following up on the attacks that are worth noting in brief include:

  • US President Donald Trump’s call to President El Sisi goes beyond standard protocol and demonstrates just how close both leaders have become, according to Haaretz.
  • Police officers who were killed during the attack receiving tributes in the foreign press. Al Arabiya put out pictures of Emad El Rakaybi who blocked the entry of the bomber in St. Mark’s Cathedral, while the Independent is profiling 55-year-old Nagwa Abdel-Aleem, who lost her life in the same attack.
  • Christian news outlet Aleteia is noting an update that an altar boy who was reported to have been killed in the attack is alive.
  • The Associated Press is running an educational piece on who Coptic Egyptians are.
  • Have you heard of the Coptic Saint Verena? She apparently introduced hygienic practices to Europeans, according to Al Arabiya.

Away from reactions to the terrorist attack, Peter Hessler looked into the evolution of Egyptian Arabic and fusha (classical Arabic) in The New Yorker. Looking past Hessler’s recurrent obsession with describing characters he comes across in Egypt in voyeuristic detail, he manages to provide an interesting take on linguistics and the evolution of Egyptian Arabic in particular and fusha generally across the region. He notes the diversion between fusha and the spoken language in Egypt, saying: “if even educated people struggle with fusha, what does that mean for everybody else? More than a quarter of Egyptians are illiterate, and the rate is significantly higher among women, who are less likely than men to be in environments where fusha is used… The difficulty of fusha may have contributed to the tradition of using foreign languages to educate Egyptian university students in technical subjects… Ashraf El-Sherif, a political-science professor at the American University in Cairo, told me that many of his élite students can barely use written Arabic. He believes that the political consequences are significant. ‘They will make public policy about a country they don’t know,’ he said. ‘Practically speaking, they’ve become foreigners. They are Orientalists.’”

On Deadline

The best reaction to Sunday’s terror attacks is to resume life as normal. Allowing panic to consume daily life would be playing directly into terrorists’ hands, Al Shorouk’s Editor-in-Chief Emad El Din Hussein says. He criticized Egypt’s decision to impose a three-month state of emergency, saying that while the decision may have merit on the security front, it will signal to terrorists that they were successful in sowing fear among Egyptians. Hussein points to Western countries, where terror attacks of varying natures have all failed in instigating any significant changes in daily life. (We’re not advocating for or against the state of emergency, but: Perhaps Hussein hasn’t heard of the Patriot Act, the extraordinary rendition program, or the Snowden leaks?)

It’s a shame that Egypt can mend relations with the United States but not with an important neighbor like Sudan, Fahmy Howeidy writes in his latest column for Al Shorouk. Howeidy criticizes both countries for failing to take any steps to resolve standing disagreements over the Halayeb and Shalateen territories and Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam. He suggests both states are instead adding fuel to the fire, with Sudan enforcing entry visas and Egypt’s Foreign Minister canceling his trip to Khartoum for “bad weather.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Increased transparency from the Egyptian government on military spending could be the key to obtaining more aid from the US, members of Congress said, according to Daily News Egypt. Congressman Juan Vargas claims that the US funnels vast amounts of aid into Israel due to its transparency in disclosing where the funding will be directed, particularly in its anti-terror operations. US President Donald Trump’s keenness on maintaining a good relationship with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi also presents a “unique opportunity” for Egypt to be the beneficiary of increased aid from the US, particularly if Egypt proves to be successful in ongoing military operations, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney added.

Israel decided yesterday to close its side of the Taba Border Crossing between Eilat and Egypt on concerns of terrorist attacks targeting tourists, including Israelis, in Sinai, JPost reported. “Israel will not allow its citizens to enter Egypt through the crossing, however Israeli citizens will be permitted to return to the country via the Taba crossing.” This followed calls by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office for Israelis to leave Sinai. After the border crossing was closed a rocket originating in Sinai struck a greenhouse in a community near the Gaza border on Monday morning without casualties, Haaretz reports.

Egypt is looking to borrow EUR 10 mn from the Spanish government next fiscal year to establish five water treatment plants in Giza and Upper Egypt, Al Borsa reports.

The Arab Organization for Industrialization Chairman Abdel Aziz Seif El Din met with a 41-member African military delegation in Cairo yesterday to discuss potential agreements in military industries, Al Shorouk reports.

Egypt has been training Africans on the prevention of radicalization and extremism under a Japan-funded UN Development Programme project to promote peace and stability throughout the continent, Guardian Nigeria reports.

Energy

Italgen interested in investing USD 350 mn in a wind farm in Zaafarana

Italgen is considering investing USD 350 mn in a 350 MW wind farm in Zaafarana, according to an emailed statement. CEO Giuseppe de Beni discussed the project with Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Sukari gold mine production drops 13% y-o-y in 1Q2017 -Centamin

Preliminary gold production from the Sukari gold mine declined 13% year-on-year in 1Q2017, while quarterly throughput declined 1%, Centamin announced yesterday, RTT News reports. Centamin is maintaining its target of producing 540K ounces this year.

Manufacturing

LG to inject USD 130 mn in new investments in Egypt

LG Egypt plans to invest USD 130 mn in Egypt, Managing Director Don Kwack told Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, according to an e-mailed statement. Expansion plans include its new washer machine line which is set to launch end of May to manufacture 100k machines per year, Kwack says. LG intends to establish assembly lines for ACs and fridges, with plans to fully manufacture in Egypt. The company acquired a new 207k sqm land plot in 10th of Ramadan for the factory.

Tourism

JWT’s promotional campaigns to focus on specific destinations in Egypt

The Tourism Ministry has decided to make specific tourist destinations and sites the focus of its promotional campaigns and suspended promoting Egypt as a whole in light of the recent attacks and the ensuing damage to the country’s brand, sources tell Al Shorouk. This moratorium will continue for the next several months. Tourism Development Authority head Hisham El Demery is expected to meet with the heads of ad agency JWT to discuss the new strategy ahead of the launch of new campaigns in Italy and Germany.

Automotive + Transportation

GE offering to develop Egypt’s railway network

GE is in talks to supply Egypt’s railways with 100-200 train, 35% of which would be manufactured in Egypt. North East Africa’s President and CEO Ayman Khattab discussed the offer with Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, according to an e-mailed statement.

Osta in talks with Egyptian and Arab investors to finance expansion plans

Local cab-calling app Osta is still in talks with a number of Egyptian and Arab investors to finance planned expansions, company chief Nader El Batrawi told Al Mal on Monday.

Banking + Finance

Orascom Development Holdings will delist EDRs on 18 April

Trading on Orascom Development Holdings Egyptian Depository Receipts on the EGX will end on 18 April, after the company sent it its official paperwork to voluntarily delist, according to a statement from the EGX on Monday picked up by Al Masry Al Youm.

Other Business News of Note

VFE’s domestic roaming offer to TE is not the first

The offer Vodafone Egypt (VFE) submitted to Telecom Egypt (TE) on Sunday to allow it to use parts of its network was an amended version of an earlier offer, VFE’s External Affairs and Legal Director Ayman Essam said on Monday, Al Borsa reports. We noted yesterday that former TE CEO Tamer Gadallah indicated that the company was in “advanced stages” of talks with one of the MNOs, but refused to name the company. Both VFE and Orange Egypt had submitted technical offers for the agreement that would allow TE to use the MNOs existing network to offer 3G mobile services, and are expected to follow that up with financial offers within the coming few days.

Sawiris-owned RiverBank officially launches operations in Europe

Riverbank S.A, which is majority-owned by Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, officially launched operations in Europe on Monday after receiving its license from the European Central Bank last month, Al Mal says. The bank specializes in SME-financing and will be focused on opportunities in the Benelux Union and Germany primarily.

National Endowments Investment Company to begin developing EGP 300 mn residential project

The National Endowments Investment Company is beginning work on its EGP 300 mn residential development in Damietta Farscore, a company officials told Al Borsa on Monday. The company expects to complete the project, which has been on hold for two years due to insufficient funds, within a three-year timeline.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.9935 | Sell 18.0950
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.00 | Sell 18.10
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Monday): 12,849 (-0.4%)
Turnover: EGP 745.1 mn (36% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +4.1%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.4%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 0.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: ACC up 2.6%, Pioneers Holding up 1.1%, and Orascom Construction up 1.0%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included: Global Telecom down 3.0%, Egyptian Iron and Steel down 1.5%, and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology down 1.4%. The market turnover was EGP 745.1 million, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +22.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -4.2 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -18.6 mn

Retail: 69.7% of total trades | 73.9% of buyers | 65.6% of sellers
Institutions: 30.3% of total trades | 26.1% of buyers | 34.4% of sellers

Foreign: 17.1% of total | 18.6% of buyers | 15.6% of sellers
Regional: 6.1% of total | 5.9% of buyers | 6.4% of sellers
Domestic: 76.8% of total | 75.5% of buyers | 78.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 53.17 (+0.17%)
Brent: USD 56.06 (+0.14%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.25 MMBtu, (+0.46%, May 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,257.80 / troy ounce (+0.31%)

TASI: 7,062.2 (+0.1%) (YTD: -2.1%)
ADX: 4,571.7 (-0.4%) (YTD: +0.6%)
DFM: 3,536.5 (-0.5%) (YTD: +0.2%)
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Calendar

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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