Wednesday, 12 April 2017

MPs approve three-month nationwide state of emergency


What We’re Tracking Today

Investigators have reportedly identified the perpetrators of the Palm Sunday cathedral attacks in Tanta and Alexandria, Ahram Online reports. The media is rife with speculation about the names of the suspects, which authorities refused to publicly disclose, referring to them only by the pseudonyms revealed by the Daeshbags after the attack on Sunday: Abu Ishaq and Abu Baraa Al Masry. Conflicting reports surfaced in the local press, with AMAY claiming in one report that forensic tests proved that the Tanta suicide bomber was the man aliased Abu Ishaq and in another that the same person was the suspected Alexandria attacker. Kuwait’s Arab Times also reports that Abu Ishaq, who had lived and worked in Kuwait for four months in 2016, is “allegedly responsible” for the attack in Alexandria, while Abu Baraa is behind the Tanta attack.

Honoring Taymour: The Annual Capital Markets Summit presented Pharos CEO Elwy Taymour with an award honoring his late father, Pharos and EFG Hermes founder Mohamed Taymour, Al Borsa reports.

How’s yer stock price now, skippy? Investors “re-accommodated” United Airlines’ stock price yesterday, sending it down about 3% at one point as the furor gained steam over the airline violently removing a 69-year-old MD from a flight out of Chicago O’Hare. After initially commending his staff for going “above and beyond to ensure we fly right” and blaming the passenger entirely for United’s need to “re-accommodate” the passenger as it did, the airline’s CEO wrote (post the hammering of his share price) that “I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.” It was, he said, a “truly horrific event.” Reuters has more.

Sometimes, the internet’s sense of humor feels very Egyptian. That was the case yesterday, when memes exploded about United. One of our favourites riffed on the classic 1980 spoof “Airplane.” USA Today, of all places, has a nice roundup of others.

Food for thought this morning: Job interviews do little to predict how a candidate might actually work out on the job. That’s the takeaway from a New York Times piece by a management prof from Yale whose research found that “the problem with interviews is worse than irrelevance: They can be harmful, undercutting the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees. … Realistically, unstructured interviews aren’t going away anytime soon. Until then, we should be humble about the likelihood that our impressions will provide a reliable guide to a candidate’s future performance.” Better than asking random questions? “Use interviews to test job-related skills, rather than idly chatting or asking personal questions.”

The IMF is “sounding the alarm” over Bahrain’s 18% budget deficit, Bloomberg reports, saying the country needs to make “urgent spending cuts.”

Samsung’s “Bixby” voice-activated virtual assistant may not launch until May even though the phone is due to be released globally on 20 April in the US and a week later in the rest of the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.

There’s a light drizzle coming down in the People’s Democratic Republic of Maadi as we write this morning, and there’s a fair chance of thunder showers in Cairo this afternoon from about 3-6pm before we slip into what looks to be beautiful weather. Expect highs between 26 and 31°C through Thursday through Tuesday If you’re sticking around Cairo for the break,

On The Horizon

We’re heading into a run of national holidays. This coming Sunday and Monday (16-17 April) are off for Easter and Sham El-Neseem (Coptic and Western Easter overlap this year). Tuesday, 25 April is a holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day, while Monday, 1 May is a day off for Labor Day.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The enacting of the Emergency Act and the new Media Act had the talking heads sweating last night. (We have more on both measures in today’s Speed Round, below.)

On Hona Al Asema, Lamees El Hadidi was unsettled by what she saw as House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal “celebrating” the state of emergency and remarks that she read as veiled threats to take “exceptional procedures” against the press and media (watch, runtime: 11:13).

Arrests and a crackdown on the media under the two measures will only reaffirm the image of an authoritarian Egypt, National Human Rights Council member Hafez Abu Saeda warned, telling Lamees that authorities should be measured in their use of the Emergency Act (watch, runtime 5:38).

Lamees also covered the establishment of three new regulatory bodies to govern independent and state-owned media. The host spoke to Supreme Media Council chief and one-time journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed, who told her that entities are meant to ensure that standards of professionalism, objectivity, and accuracy are upheld (watch, runtime 9:49).

The new regulators will also impose policies and outline the work of media institutions “without interfering in content,” Supreme Media Council member Suzan El Kelany told Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer. National Journalism Authority member Diaa Rashwan (a terrorism analyst who styles himself a journalist) also said that the Media Act gives the regulators authority to replace editors and board members at state-owned newspapers.
Over on Kol Youm, MP Mostafa El Gendy told Amr Adib that House Speaker Abdel Aal said a group of international lawyers intends to sue countries “that foster terrorism” but refused to name said countries (watch, runtime 4:39). (Yo, Al Thani — we think he’s talking about you and your homeboy Erdogan, last seen playing dress-up with his toy soldiers.)

Meanwhile on Masaa DMC, Banque Misr Chairman Mohamed El Etreby had a chat with Osama Kamal about the effects of the EGP float, telling him that FX inflows into the Central Bank since November EGP float have now reached USD 18.7 bn. El Etreby added that the banking sector has also opened USD 26 bn worth of LCs since November (watch, runtime 3:31).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor yesterday of imposing a three-month state of emergency, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The measure was proposed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and approved by Cabinet after the Palm Sunday bombings. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail spoke to MPs before the vote, saying the measure was necessary to efficiently wage war on terror, according to a Cabinet statement. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal stressed that the state of emergency won’t affect ordinary citizens and will not be extended indefinitely, as was the case during the Mubarak era. It is in place for a specific time and to serve a specific purpose, Abdel Aal said.

MPs edge toward warrantless arrests, allow security forces right to detain suspects without evidence: The House Legislative Committee approved amendments to the Emergency Act that would permit detentions without arrest warrants and allow security forces to detain individuals under suspicion for intending to commit a crime without specific evidence, Mada Masr says. The amendments, proposed by committee member Tharwat Bekheit, are to Article 3 of the 1958 emergency law, Al Shorouk reports. MPs are also proposing the Prosecutor General be tasked with reviewing detention orders and requesting that the Emergency State Security Court extend pre-trial detentions indefinitely. The measures are intended to replace an article that the Supreme Constitutional Court had deemed unconstitutional in 2013. The amendments must be passed on to the Council of State within seven days for review prior to being put to a plenary vote in the House.

The newly-formed Supreme Terrorism Council is mandated with implementing a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism and extremism, according to a statement from Ittihadiya. The council will have the power to compel cooperation from every ministry and state institution with a role to play in the war on terror. The council, which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi established on Sunday, has the authority to issue binding decisions on specific measures in connection with the state’s counterterrorism efforts.

Three bodies now regulate Egypt’s media industry. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued a decree yesterday establishing three bodies to regulate independent and state-owned media, enacting the Media Act parliament had approved back in December, Al Borsa reports. The Supreme Media Council, which will be headed by former Press Syndicate head Makram Mohamed Ahmed, has the authority to ban the dissemination of foreign news for national security reasons and can ban the publication of inflammatory news or news that might be detrimental to the “peace and stability” of the country. It will effectively govern all media activity in Egypt, whether online or print, public or private. The National Press Authority, which will govern and manage all state print news outlets, will be headed by journalism veteran Karam Gabr. The National Media Authority replaces the Egyptian Radio and Television Union, which managed state-owned broadcast media. It will be headed by Hussein Zein, a senior official at Maspero, where he was head of NTN, the “Nile thematic channels.”

Cabinet Economic Group approves Capital Markets Law amendments: The Cabinet’s Economic Group signed off on proposed amendments to the Capital Markets Law on Tuesday and sent the package to the Council of Ministers as a whole for review, according to a statement from the Investment Ministry. The amendments — which primarily aim to protect the rights of minority shareholders — enforce stricter penalties and fines for violations of the law and allow authorities to unwind stock market trades if there’s suspicion that international money laundering may be involved.

The amendments also cover the issuance of sukuks and the trading of futures contracts and give the EGX flexibility to set lower listing fees to attract smaller companies to the market. They also extend to GDR listings as well over-the-counter transactions. The new legislation will see the regulator launch a database of firms allowed to issue fair value reports, the statement read. The government had passed amendments in March that tightened the executive regulations governing the Capital Markets Law, giving the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority wider powers to investigate investors.

The Finance Ministry has cut the value-added tax on imports of machinery, equipment, and capital goods to 5%, effective immediately, according to a statement from the ministry. The tax cut also applies to production lines that are imported either in parts or already assembled. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy says the exceptional rate reduction decision was taken after noticing problems in implementing the VAT law and to support domestic production and national mega projects. El Garhy says measures have been put in place to ensure this rate reduction is used to support expanding production domestically and not as a loophole for tax avoidance.

M&A WATCH- The merger between satellite channels CBC and Al-Nahar has fallen through, sources close to the matter tell Al Borsa. The transaction, announced last May, reportedly faced “many procedural and technical difficulties.”

Shares of MM Group (MTIE.CA) rose 8.2% in their EGX debut yesterday, closing at EGP 6.45, Al Borsa reports. The stock hit an intraday high of EGP 6.70. Investment Minister Sahar Nasr was on hand for the ringing of the bell to start trading. Beltone Investment Banking was the sole global coordinator and bookrunner, while Zaki Hashem and Partners served as local counsel.

Exports up, imports down in January. Egypt’s trade deficit dropped 37.1% year-on-year in January to USD 2.34 bn compared to USD 3.72 bn in the same month last year, according to the latest statistics from CAPMAS. Exports rose 27.1% y-o-y to USD 1.82 bn, led by rising crude oil and fertilizers sales. Imports fell 19.3% y-o-y in January to USD 4.16 bn compared to USD 5.15 bn in 2016, Leading the dip: A 143% drop in crude oil imports, a 19% decline in the import of petroleum product imports, a 36.4% drop in passenger car imports, a 27.5% drop in primary steel product imports, a 27.1% drop in plastic imports, and a 2.3% in pharma product imports. Tap here for the detailed report.

EARNINGS WATCH- Elsewedy Electric reported a 209% y-o-y increase in its consolidated net profit after minority interest to EGP 3.9 bn in 2016, according to its earnings filing. Revenues rose 30% y-o-y to EGP 24.6 bn during the year, the company said in its earnings release, which quotes CEO Ahmed El Sewedy as saying, “Our performance in 2016 speaks volumes of what a well-managed, export-driven, multi-country corporation can achieve when it is supported by the right macroeconomic framework and policies. Our company today is more competitive, more profitable and is ideally positioned to unlock future growth not just domestically, but on a regional and global scale.”

Elsewedy Electric also submitted a request to decrease its issued and paid-up capital to EGP 2.18 bn from EGP 2.23 bn, according to an EGX filing. The company intends to scrap 5 mn treasury shares worth EGP 10 per share. Separately, Elsewedy Cables signed a QAR 124 mn contract with Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation to supply and install high voltage ground cables, according to a filing with the EGX.

Orascom Development Company reported a consolidated net loss attributable to shareholders of CHF 196.4 mn in 2016, compared with a net loss of CHF 19.1 mn in 2015, the company said in its earnings filing. Real estate revenues reached CHF 65.4 mn in 2016 compared with CHF 66.4 mn in 2015.

Raya Holding reported consolidated net profits of EGP 118.1 mn in 2016, up from EGP 103.8 mn in 2015, according to a bourse filing.

The number of reported terror attacks across Egypt dropped considerably in 4Q2016, according to a think-tank report. On the whole, Egypt saw an average of 68 reported attacks per month in 2016. The majority of reported attacks targeted security forces and 92% of all attacks were in North Sinai. Read the full report from the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International says Egypt had the sixth highest number of executions in 2016 worldwide, with twice as many people executed last year than the year before. Although Egypt only carried out 44 executions in 2016, we handed out at least 237 death sentences throughout the year.


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Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day

Today’s Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day is of Cairo’s Moez Street. A UN study found Moez Street in old Cairo to have the largest concentration of medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world. 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

Favorable demographics are driving rapid economic advancement for emerging markets (EMs) and creating a broader set of opportunities for investors. That was the takeaway from the 2017 Goldman Sachs Asset Management symposium, where panelists were concerned about how rising US interest rates and a stronger USD will impact EM flows, but noted that EM equities have historically done well in a rising rate environment, provided that the Fed “is hiking for reasons that are supportive of EM, such as improving growth.” Still, demographics and middle class expansion will remain defining themes for EM. Anja Manuel, Co-Founder and Partner at Rice Hadley Gates, says “for many EMs, demographics is destiny. For example in 2030, fewer than half of the Chinese population will be working, while more than 70 percent of Indians will be working. This is the moment when India should reap its demographic dividend.” But China remains in a “demographic sweet spot” for now, says Cartica Capital CEO Teresa C. Barger. “As a financial investor with a two- to five-year horizon,” Barger says, “demographics would not be a reason to avoid China now, though there may be other considerations. Within any larger demographic trends, there are micro stories that affect how you invest.”

Overall, talking to CEOs looking to expand into EMs for the first time, Manuel says “I find is that many tend to overestimate the big risks, such as physical security and whether they will lose their whole investment, while underestimating the everyday difficulty of getting things done in countries where relationships are paramount and there’s a lot of red tape. We generally counsel our clients to look at countries that are making the right governance decisions — whether it’s implementing anti-corruption measures or moving up the ease of doing business index. There’s usually a correlation between these reforms and higher growth.”

Away from EMs, Goldman Sachs Securities Division’s clients were more focused on Europe this month, according to the result of the Marquee Quickpoll. The event they are focusing most on globally in April is the first round of the French presidential elections, which is scheduled for 23 April. Over three-quarters of the respondents think Marine Le Pen’s chances of winning the presidency is low or very low. The poll also showed that investors expect the top performing major equity market in April to be the Euro Stoxx 50.

Egypt in the News

The leading headline on Egypt in the foreign press this morning is the House ofRepresentatives’ adoption of the three-month state of emergency. Most media outlets focus on how the move could erode freedoms. Reuters quotes the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, which said the law would not achieve security and was intended to “further suppress freedom of opinion, expression and belief, and to crack down on human rights defenders.” Democracy Now has a 26-minute report on the measure, the entire focus of which is to disparage the government’s human rights record and give Al Jazeera a run for its money on giving Omm El Donia a good kick when it’s down. Speaking of which, the Qatar-based organization ran a feature on the emergency law and what powers it grants the president. While it does meet what we expect from the outlet, it is surprisingly tempered compared to what we’re seeing on this issue.

There’s also a glut of coverage on the aftermath of the Palm Sunday attacks, but it’s mostly derivative stuff: commentary from Christian papers, solidarity pieces from GCC-based outlets, recycled and overused platitudes from many leading Western papers.

The New York Times’s Declan Walsh recaps how Daesh’s new plan is to “divide Egypt by killing Christians,” revisiting how defeats in Syria and Iraq pushed Daesh to “find a new battleground where it can start to proclaim victory again.” Walsh adds that “few believe it can succeed… and despite deep-rooted prejudices, there is no popular support for a bloody pogrom.” The NYT’s editorial board presses the point that we shouldn’t play into the attackers’ goals to “fan the sectarian discord between Christians and Muslims.” Making a more poignant point than usual, the Gray Lady’s editors remind us that “the struggle against terrorism is not a ‘war’ that can be won if only the right strategy is found and that it is also important not to spread illusions about quick or easy solutions. No less important is not succumbing to despair, panic or hatred. Not to surrender, in other words, to what the terrorists seek.”

Meanwhile, it’s amateur hour over at the Washington Post’s editorial board as it pontificates about how The Donald’s confidence in President El Sisi is misplaced. They argue that the church bombings — particularly the one in Alexandria, where Pope Tawadros was leading prayers — was the most prominent indicator of how El Sisi’s security strategy had failed. Exactly. Something goes boom (or a car smashes into a crowd) in the US, UK or Western Europe and it’s a tragedy. If you’re from our part of the world, it’s the failure of an entire security policy — and was probably caused by that security policy pushing people to join the terrorists in the first place.

Sunday’s attacks put Egypt’s fragile economy at risk, says DW: There were actually signs that the Egyptian economy is picking up, albeit in a small and slow way, German outfit DW says in a short video report. Inflation kept rising since the EGP float, but began inching down in March. However, following Sunday’s attacks and after imposing a state of emergency, holding on to the economic gains the country has made will be “challenging,” the report says. DW then spoke to the head of the German Chambers of Commerce, Phillip Andree, who believes that the attacks risks scaring off foreign investors (watch, runtime: 11:17)

The (ex-Qatar) GCC and London Arabic-language press is reflexively backing Egypt. Asharq Al Awsat is running piece highlighting the solidarity shown to Egypt from global leaders and governments. Kuwait’s Arab Times released two opeds, one penned by its editor-in-chief Ahmed Al-Jarallah who declares that the region shares in Egypt’s pain, the other declares how Daesh’s plans are doomed to fail.

Perhaps the most vocal outlets this morning are Christian outlets. The most pragmatic view we have found among them came from Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, who tells Crux he believes the religious establishment in Egypt needs to undergo a change. “The religious discourse given in the mosques has to change, because people need to be trained to be more open to their brothers,” Greiche says. Other outlets varied. Father Raymond J. de Souza appears to be proud by what he thinks are Coptic Christians willingness to be martyred for their faith. Indian Archbishop Felix Machado opened up to the Crux about his relationship with Coptic Christians during his time in Rome. Right wing advocacy group the American Center for Law and Justice is calling what happened in Egypt part of a global genocide on Christian and are urging the Trump administration to take further action, while Religion News is noting the donations being collected in the US to help rebuild the churches.

The number of Egyptian startups on AngelList grew to over 430 in early 2017, from 47 in 2013, according to an FT World Tech Founders podcast (runtime 13:44). Nafham, which offers free video lessons on YouTube for students, is one of them. “The revolution unleashed something,” says Heba Saleh, the Financial Times’ Cairo correspondent.

Away from coverage of the Palm Sunday attacks, Egypt’s ambassador to India, Hatem Tageldin, wrote for The Hindu saying Egypt’s path of democracy is a marathon, not a sprint.” This comes in response to an editorial titled “Back to square one: Egypt’s restive politics” the paper published, which he says “seemed to overlook” this point.

On Deadline

Political reconciliation with Islamists is no longer a viable option after the latest church attacks, and has already been proven ineffective over the past several years, Morsi Atallah writes for Al Ahram. Atallah urges the government to call a spade a spade.

Worth Reading

Furor at state-owned daily Al Ahram over chairman’s bid to censor article on Islamism and anti-Christian hate. Ahmed Abdel Tawab wrote about a seemingly obvious point profoundly and succinctly and got in trouble for it at Al Ahram in a flap that delayed the newspaper’s publication yesterday. Abdel Tawab believes the painful truth that should not be overlooked is that Coptic Christians were the exclusive targets of Sunday’s attacks — and that the bombings were inspired by criminal religious interpretations in the perpetrators’ heads. Abdel Tawab says that claiming the terrorists’ targets were unequivocally clear: Christians. This wasn’t a case of indiscriminate attacks regardless of whether the victims were Muslim or Christian.

This clear distinction is vital, he says, as acknowledging the fact will help us, as a nation, eliminate the root causes of terrorism. Leniency is no longer acceptable with a religious discourse that encourages hate, Abdel Tawab says. Acknowledging the targets of the attack, taking responsibility, and weeding out extremists is key to preventing future attacks. He also explicitly speaks against “religion-based political parties” and asks the state to take decisive action against them. He accuses those parties of promoting hate and cultivating a fertile ground for terrorism to grow by trying to censor freedom of expression, lobbying against appointing Christians to higher executive government positions, and also refusing to name streets and schools after the country’s Christian martyrs.

The article caused quite a stir at Al Ahram, with Chairman Ahmed El Naggar, for some reason, calling for it to be withdrawn, for Abdel Tawab to barred from writing in the future, and delayed the paper’s printing. Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Abdel Hady Alam refused El Naggar’s orders, accused him of violating the institution’s bylaws, and threatened legal action if the editorial content of the paper is tampered with, according to documents published by Al Masry Al Youm.

Al Bawaba isn’t safe either: On a related note, Authorities seized print editions of Al Bawaba newspaper yesterday for the second day in a row, Ahram Online reports. The paper had suggested that a security lapse led to Sunday’s church bombings.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Three business delegations from Poland will visit Egypt in April, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Ahmed Antar says, Al Mal reports. Representatives from state-owned companies producing railway cars will visit end of this week, followed by a Polish Agriculture Ministry delegation and company representatives who will visit 22-24 April to discuss investing in the 1.5 mn feddans project. Execs from renewable energy companies will visit 27-29 April, Antar adds. In mid-May, a delegation from Polish Special Economic Zones will visit to discuss establishing a Polish Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. This comes ahead of the planned visit by the Polish President Andrzej Duda in 2H17, with 250 company representatives.

Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi met with a US Congressional delegation in Cairo yesterday, during which the congressmen reaffirmed the US administration’s support for Egypt in its fight against terrorism, Ahram Gate reports. Members of the delegation have been nudging Egypt to increase its transparency in order to obtain more military aid and assistance from the US, as we noted yesterday.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with Germany’s Food and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt in Cairo yesterday, according to a statement from Ittihadiya.

Egypt signed an EUR 10 mn grant agreement with the EU to support women’s rights and empowerment, according to an Investment and International Cooperation Ministry statement. The grant will be directed towards the National Council for Women to fund the national plan to stop female genital mutilation and empower families, Minister Sahar Nasr says.

Sudan’s decision to impose a visa requirement on Egyptian men aged 18-50 to visit is “to prevent terrorists from entering the country,” the Sudanese foreign ministry said, according to Ahram Online. Sudan imposed restriction last weekend, a few days before a planned visit by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Khartoum that was postponed afterwards. An Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry source called the timing of the decision “odd.” Egypt has had an entry visa requirement for all Sudanese men aged 18-50 for some time now, and its visa, unlike the Sudanese one, is not for free.

(Want more on Egypt-Sudan relations? Al Monitor has a very detailed timeline of the escalating beef between Egypt and Sudan over Halayeb and Shalatin.)


LG’s post-float FX losses land north of USD 170 mn

LG sustained FX losses north of USD 170 mn since the EGP float last November, Egypt Managing Director Don Kwack told Reuters’ Arabic service on Tuesday. The company plans to increase its working capital by some USD 130 mn in the coming period, as it expands its operations and brings its washing machine production line onstream in May, Kwak added.

IDA to establish seven new industrial zones

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is gearing up to establish seven new industrial zones in Upper Egypt, Six October City, and 10th of Ramadan City, chief Ahmed Abdelrazek said on Tuesday, Al Borsa reports. The areas are expected to house around 200 factories operating in a wide variety of industry and will also cater to SMEs.

Real Estate + Housing

United World Infrastructure in talks to develop USD 500 mn economic cluster in Egypt

Dubai and Washington-based infrastructure investment company United World Infrastructure (UWI) is in talks with Egypt to invest USD 500 mn in a series of economic renewal development projects in Cairo. These include plans for urban redevelopments of parts of the city, and presumably the construction of a new suburb, Thomson Reuters reports. The project would span at least 2,000 acres, according to UWI’s managing director Aaditya Sarna. The company is currently drawing up financial offers and a master plan for the development.


Five international charter airlines apply to government’s incentive program

Five international charter airlines have applied to the Tourism Development Authority’s incentive program, Al Borsa said on Tuesday. The program offers payouts and fee exemptions to flights with 50-80% seat occupancy rates that bring in regular tours from the EU to a number of Egyptian airports, including Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Taba, Marsa Matrouh, and Alamein.

Automotive + Transportation

Six car models hold 50.8% of passenger car market in Jan and Feb -AMIC

Six car models collectively held a 50.8% share of the passenger car market in January and February, according to the latest report from Automotive Information Council (AMIC) picked up by Al Mal. Nissan’s Sunny took the lead with a market share of 16.8%, followed by Mitsubishi Lancer (9.2%), and Nissan Qashqai (7.6%). While Nissan’s Sentra came in fourth with a 7.5% market share. In contrast, the eight car brands MG, Proton, Brilliance, Ssangyong, Skoda, Chrysler, Honda, and the Chinese FAW did not import any new car shipments during 1Q2017 for multiple reasons that include FX liquidity shortage and excess inventory due to dwindling sales, the newspaper also adds, citing a Customs Authority report.

Banking + Finance

Egypt’s banking sector sees robust year-on-year growth

Releases from Egypt’s major banks for FY2015-16 indicate that the country’s banking sector has seen robust year-on-year growth amid a stable outlook from Fitch, Oxford Business Group says in its monthly report on Egypt. According to the report, Banque Misr and the National Bank of Egypt each reported year-on-year increases in net income after taxes. Meanwhile, foreign-owned banks, including Bank Audi and Abu Dhabi’s Union National Bank have announced plans to expand in Egypt. Government securities have also shored up local currency liquidity, OBG says: “Government bonds have made up a large share of bank’s assets in recent years, as the state has looked to finance its budget deficit by issuing debt in local currency. There are positive signs for banks in this, though planned fiscal tightening could lead to a tapering of bond assets available in the medium term, prompting banks to look for new places to park capital.”

Egypt Politics + Economics

AEIA head expects agricultural exports to Africa to double by year’s end

Egypt’s agricultural exports to Africa will double by the end of 2017, speculated Agricultural Export Improvement Association (AEIA) head Mohamed El Beltagui on Tuesday The remarks came during the signing of a cooperation MoU with the German-African Business Association, Al Mal reports..

National Security

Russia confirms beginning MiG-29 fighter delivery this year

President of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation Yuri Slyusar confirmed that Egypt will begin receiving MiG-29 fighters this year, according to TASS. There has been speculation earlier this month that Russia has already begun delivering the fighter jets to Egypt as part of the agreement to deliver 50 MiG-29 Fulcrum multirole fighters by 2020. “Implementation of this contract, training of pilots and deliveries of aircraft equipment will start this year," Slyusar says.

On Your Way Out

Egypt’s eternal Antiquities Minister and patron saint of tour guides Zahi Hawas has been appointed as the UN International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development’s global cultural heritage ambassador, Egypt Independent reports.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0206 | Sell 18.1221
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.05 | Sell 18.15
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Tuesday): 12,995 (+1.2%)
Turnover: EGP 898 mn (22% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +5.3%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session up 1.2%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: ACC up 5.7%, Elsewedy Electric up 4.7%, and Credit Agricole up 2.7%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included: Heliopolis Housing down 0.3%, Juhayna down 0.1%. The market turnover was EGP 898 million, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +60.9 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +1.5 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -62.4 mn

Retail: 69.1% of total trades | 64.9% of buyers | 73.2% of sellers
Institutions: 30.9% of total trades | 35.1% of buyers | 26.8% of sellers

Foreign: 17.0% of total | 20.3% of buyers | 13.6% of sellers
Regional: 9.0% of total | 9.1% of buyers | 8.9% of sellers
Domestic: 74.1% of total | 70.6% of buyers | 77.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 53.58 (+0.34%)
Brent: USD 56.43 (+0.36%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.17 MMBtu, (+0.63%, May 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,278.80 / troy ounce (+0.36%)

TASI: 7,036.4 (-0.4%) (YTD: -2.4%)
ADX: 4,563.0 (-0.2%) (YTD: +0.4%)
DFM: 3,535.2 (0.0%) (YTD: +0.1%)
KSE Weighted Index: 422.0 (+0.3%) (YTD: +11.0%)
QE: 10,411.8 (-0.7%) (YTD: -0.2%)
MSM: 5,550.0 (-0.5%) (YTD: -0.4%)
BB: 1,362.7 (0.0%) (YTD: +11.7%)

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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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