Thursday, 13 April 2017

Egypt is a safe-haven trade
Plus: Zulficar, Sara’s Organic Foods win global awards


What We’re Tracking Today

Egypt’s Orthodox, Evangelical, and Catholic churches will not be celebrating Easter this year as they mourn the victims of the Palm Sunday attacks, AMAY reports. The Coptic Orthodox Diocese in Minya, which was the first to make the announcement, said that celebrations will only be limited to the liturgical prayers "without any festive manifestations," according to the Associated Press. Tanta’s Coptic Orthodox Diocese followed suit and announced canceling all Easter celebrations, according to Al Shorouk.

The news comes as a number of diplomatic missions, including the United States, have reportedly warned their staff to avoid houses of worship for the coming two weeks as a security precaution.

Meanwhile, forensics and CCTV footage confirmed the attack on the St. Mark’s Coptic Church in Alexandria was perpetrated by 31-year-old Mahmoud Hassan Mubarak Abdallah, according to an Interior Ministry statement on Wednesday. Abdallah, who had previously only been identified by Daesh by his pseudonym, was reportedly part of a terrorist cell headed by his brother-in-law. The ministry also released a list of other members of the cell, most of whom reside in Qena. Authorities have yet to reveal the identity of the Tanta bomber.

31 of those injured in the Alexandria attack have been discharged from hospital, while 17 remain hospitalized, Ahram Online reports, citing Alexandria governor Mohamed Sultan.

Banque Misr’s card and online banking services will be down from 11pm tonight until 2am tomorrow and again from Sunday afternoon until Monday morning for routine service updates, Youm7 reports.

We hate nearly everything about awards: the pay-for-play, fly-by-night nature of 99.9% of them in particular. Seeing how the sausage is made has forced us to become vegetarians.

That makes it about 1000x more enjoyable for us to note that two friends have won very real, very prestigious, “you can’t pay for them” awards. In the order in which we received the news yesterday:

The folks at Zulficar & Partners were named best arbitration firm in the Middle East for 2016 at Global Arbitration Review’s annual awards ceremony in Milan last week.

And just yesterday, our good friend Sara-Kristina Nour, whose eggs and fresh vegetables from Sara’s Organic Food, are a mainstay of our household, was named Cartier’s 2017 Laureate for the Middle East and North Africa at the luxury goods maker’s juried Women’s Initiative Awards in Singapore. The awards aim to “drive change by empowering women entrepreneurs.” Sara gets a year of support from McKinsey, admission to a special executive course at INSEAD and USD 100k in funding for her business. Check out Cartier’s profile of Sara, or view past winners. You can also head over to Sara’s website to learn more about her business or sign up for her basket weekly basket deliveries. The business is also on Facebook and Instagram.

** WE’RE ON BREAK until Tuesday, 18 April. Banks and the stock market are off this coming Sunday and Monday for the Easter and Sham El Nessim holidays. We’ll likely have a Weekend Edition for you tomorrow, then we’re off until Tuesday. We wish all of you a safe, happy long weekend filled with the love and laughter of family and friends.

On The Horizon

The House of Representatives’ Economic Committee postponed its vote on the new Investment Act until next week, citing the government’s delay in responding to inquiries on certain clauses, sources told Al Borsa on Wednesday. The committee was expecting a report from the General Authority for Free Zones and Investments on Sunday or Monday this week, clarifying the types of incentives that would be given to foreign investors under the terms of the act, discussion of which was set aside in the immediate wake of the Palm Sunday terror attacks. Next week’s vote is expected to also settle debate over the return of private free zones, committee chair Amr Ghallab said.

The House also postponed until next week the general assembly’s vote on a 10% social welfare raise for bureaucrats who don’t fall under the Civil Service Act, according to Ahram Gate. Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy confirmed earlier reports that the raise, which will range in value from EGP 65-120 per civil servant, would be distributed in May and applied retroactively.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The talking heads dwelled last night on the Interior Ministry’s announcement of the identity of one of the Palm Sunday attackers and others involved in previous acts of terror.

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib donned his Dr. Phil suit to console alleged Alexandria attacker Mahmoud Hassan Mubarak’s distraught brother, who broke down during the show as he talked about his fears of being targeted by his community in retaliation for his brother’s actions (watch, runtime 7:27).

On Masaa DMC, Osama Kamel hosted the suicide bomber’s wife, who said her husband had been abroad since December and only called to check in on her and their three daughters a few times since (watch, runtime 3:21). She still doesn’t entirely believe that her husband was behind the attack, she said, claiming that the video footage is not very clear (watch, runtime 3:09).

Meanwhile on Al Hayah Al Youm, Tamer Amin hosted Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed, who discussed the ministry’s plan to modernize (watch, runtime 2:01) and its emphasis on digital marketing channels (watch, runtime 5:02).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Renaissance Capital says investing in Egypt is an emerging market safe-haven trade, Global Chief Economist Charles Robertson told Bloomberg TV. Egypt is one of the places that provide “idiosyncratic opportunities,” he says, despite the terrorist attacks. “It’s high yield and it’s got a cheap currency,” Robertson adds. Looking at EMs generally, Robertson also recommends an overweight position in Russia, saying “it’s becoming a more normal country,” (runtime 04:10).

…The Palm Sunday attacks and the imposition of a three-month state of emergency will probably slow the recovery — “not by much, but they do not help matters either,” Patrick Werr writes in The National. The state of emergency could create a “climate of alarm that could act as a deterrent to investment, whether by foreigners or Egyptians,” he says. Pharos’ Radwa Elswaify tells Werr that “investments as in FDIs were already not on the table now. We were estimating 2018 or 2017 end at the earliest, which I think the bombings should not affect … If we are talking hot money, Treasury and stock market, they were not affected [by the bombings]. Foreigners were net buyers the second day of the attacks and the value of their purchases did not come down.”

The government is planning to issue USD 3-4 bn in bonds during the FY2017-18 fiscal year, said Deputy Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, according to Al Borsa. USD 1 bn of these will be sukuk issuances, added Maait. The Ismail cabinet’s economic group had approved amendments to the Capital Markets Law on Tuesday which would govern the issuance of sukuks.

The Legal 500, a directory that identifies and recommends the best firms and lawyers around the world, released its ranking of law firms in 2016. The ranking is based on feedback from the firms’ clients and on the performance of law firms in different areas of practice. We were happy to see lots of our friends making the list as “Tier 1” Egyptian law firms in many of the sectors, including:

Banking and finance:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners
  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Sharkawy & Sarhan
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners
  • Zulficar & Partners Law Firm

Commercial, corporate, M&A:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners
  • Ibrachy & Partners
  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Nour & Selim in association with Al Tamimi & Company
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners
  • Zulficar & Partners Law Firm

Dispute resolution:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners
  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Shalakany Law Office
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners
  • Zulficar & Partners Law Firm


  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners
  • Shahid Law Firm
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners

Intellectual property:

  • NAL & Partners

Oil and gas:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners
  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners

Projects and infrastructure:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners


  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners
  • Shalakany Law Office
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners

EFG Hermes concludes advisory on sale of stakes in Humansoft and Edita: EFG Hermes said in a statement yesterday that it has successfully concluded its advisory on two high-profile secondary stake sales, one for the GCC’s largest tertiary education company and the other for Egypt’s largest snack food player, Edita Food Industries. EFG Hermes acted as joint bookrunner with Citi for Al Imtiaz Investment Group’s USD 120 mn sale of a 10% stake in Kuwait’s Humansoft to institutional investors by way of an accelerated bookbuilding process. The firm also co-managed with CI Capital an accelerated bookbuilding process for the sale of Actis’ remaining 7.5% shareholding in Edita for EGP 898 mn, also to a group of high-profile international institutional investors. Actis had a nice statement out on its exit of Edita earlier this week.

The private sector will not be allowed to import any wheat during local harvest season when it starts on Saturday,15 April, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told AMAY on Wednesday. These most recent remarks follow a number of conflicting statements from the ministry on its private sector wheat imports policy during the season, which is looking as stable as the roller coaster ride in Dream Park and eerily reminiscent of last year’s ergot flip-flop. The ministry had last confirmed that the government was not banning imports by private companies after it had come out earlier stating that it would restrict them to the General Authority for Supply Commodities between April and July to avoid mixing local and imported wheat.

Subsidy moochers be warned: Update your info, or no soup for you: Commodity subsidy beneficiaries who don’t update or complete their missing data by the 30 June deadline will have their ration cards suspended, the government warned on Wednesday, according to Al Ahram. Only a few thousand of some 19 mn beneficiaries with missing data have so far responded to the government’s calls, officials said.

Water prices will increase next fiscal year for all, rich and poor, according to statements by the chairman of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater Mamdouh Raslan. The company has set up a proposal to change the water billing system and reworking the breakdown of the consumption tiers. The new system will see three strata: 0-10 cubic meters, 11-20 cubic meters, and 21-30 cubic meters, according to a very poorly written piece from Daily News Egypt quoting the chairman. All three will see their water prices increase. We had noted last December that the price increases would only affect those consuming more than 21 cubic meters.

MNOs have agreed where and when 4G will launch, but they ain’t sayin’ when: Vodafone, Orange, and Etisalat have reportedly agreed with the ICT Ministry on the latest date by which high-speed 4G networks will go live — and in which geographical areas the service will first launch, Al Mal reports. The catch: No further details were disclosed about the protocol they signed. It is likely 4G will be offered before year-end, an unnamed source tells the newspaper. Orange Egypt CEO Jean-Marc Harion said the company will receive its spectra and roll out services “within a few weeks,” according to Al Masry Al Youm. The three existing mobile network operators and newcomer Telecom Egypt will reportedly roll out 4G first in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Sharm El Sheikh, and Hurghada, Al Mal had reported two months ago.

EARNINGS WATCH- Qatar National Bank Alahly reported consolidated net profits of EGP 1.26 bn in 1Q2017, rising from EGP 904.9 mn during the same period last year, according to a regulatory filing.

Egypt exceeded its tourist arrival targets by 10-15% in 1Q2017, Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed said on Wednesday, Ahram Gate reports. The figures suggest that the sector is gradually recovering and that recent efforts to promote tourism to Egypt are proving effective, he added.

Egypt’s population is growing at a rate five times faster than is China’s and eight times faster than South Korea’s, state census bureau CAPMAS head Abu Bakr El Gindy said on Tuesday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. This is important, folks: China is just now starting to face up to something of an existential crisis: The country’s population is going to peak by 2030, by which time it will have about 80 mn fewer workers than it did last year. India, meanwhile, will overtake China as the world’s largest country within the next five years and will continue growing after China stalls — and then Africa will leapfrog them both.

Dakhleya warns press on fake news: The Interior Ministry issued a sharp warning to a number of news outlets that it may resort to “judicial procedures” against publications that spread fake news. The warning released yesterday specifically addressed El Wafd, El Masreyoun, Al Bawaba and Al Masry Al Youm, accusing them of publishing false reports on a bomb in 6 October as well as reports of the ministry dismantling of an explosive device near the sufi Sidi Abdel Rehim mosque on Sunday. Authorities had seized print editions of Al Bawaba newspaper on Monday and Tuesday for calling for the resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar. Meanwhile, an Egyptian criminal court sentenced a rights lawyer to 10 years in prison and five years of house arrest and a social media ban on charges of using Facebook to “destabilize the general order” and “harm national unity and social peace,” the Associated Press reports. This comes as presidential decree establishing three media regulatory bodies was published in the Official Gazette yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports.


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Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day

Today’s Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day is Castle Zaman, a resort located between Taba and Nuweiba in South Sinai. Taba is one of Egypt’s most strategic and picturesque coastal towns in South Sinai. From the swimming pool at Castle Zaman, pictured above, located on a mountain top between Taba and Nuweiba, the countries of Jordan Saudi Arabia and Israel are all visible. 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.

Egypt in the News

Coverage of the aftermath of the church bombings continues to dominate the conversation about Egypt in the international press this morning, with pickups of the Interior Ministry’s statement identifying the attackers being the most talked about story. Other stories worth noting include:

Sunday’s attacks left President Abdel Fattah El Sisi grappling with the question of how to defeat a Daesh insurgency while also trying to repair “a broken economy,” Hamza Hendawi writes for the Associated Press. He notes that “militants are adapting and finding new ways of hitting back” and that they are now clearly targeting Christians with an aim “to embarrass el-Sissi by exposing holes in security.” Hendawi adds that economic tensions could possibly increase over the summer and that the attacks and the state of emergency that followed only further undermine efforts to revive the tourism industry.

Sunday’s church bombings and the subsequent state of emergency risk derailingthe economic reform agenda, says business analysis firm Frontera News in a series of five short pieces on Wednesday. The risks are twofold: this week’s events may add fuel to the discontent felt on the street-level to the high inflation — already the biggest challenge to the reform program; and the bombings might risk Egypt losing the backing of foreign investors, who may view the country as not as stable as previously thought. Unlike its previous series on Egypt, Frontera appears to have changed its tune on the reform agenda itself, which they feel has been helping Egypt diversify away from its tourism industry. It acknowledges that the pace of inflation has slowed down in March, but notes that it is too early to expect this slowing down of inflation to start showing its impact at the retail level, especially at a time when the country is trying to push through more reforms.

Al Arabiya is dabbling in self-orientalism, with Egyptian pundit Mohamed Noseirsuggesting there are several cultural practices unique to Egypt that have both inspired the attacks and have led to the security lapse that have allowed the attacks to happen. He has a point on some of these, namely the propensity to invoke a state of emergency, which he says doesn’t really deter terrorists and might scare off potential investments. Others are just plain asinine, such as this gem that when things are going well, we are not as cautious (as is every culture on the planet).

Other international coverage in the aftermath of the Palm Sunday attacks included:

  • The Palm Sunday attacks are a “terrifying reminder of the escalating threats facing Egypt’s Christian minority,”Human Rights Watch says.It also warns that the imposed state of emergency could risk more abuses.
  • Daesh-affiliate terrorists Sinai Province are looking to divide Egypt’s Muslim and Christian communities and have also killed people following different interpretations of Islam, Callum Paton writes in Newsweek.
  • Palm Sunday’s bombings helped President El Sisi build closer ties withhis US counterpart, former NY Times reporter Judith Miller writes for Fox News.
  • Christian Science Monitor is praising the solidarity between Muslim and Christian clerics.
  • The Coptic faith has been oppressed since its founding by St. Mark, writes Samuel Tadros writes for The Atlantic.

Elsewhere this morning: The foreign press chewed over Pope Francis’ planned late-April visit to Egypt. Italy’s ANSA Med is running statements by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas where he declares that the pope’s visit would encourage moderate clerics. Francesca Astorri interestingly suggests in Al Arabiya that the trip is part of the Catholic church’s efforts to bolster its evangelical mission in the context of a dwindling Catholic population in Europe and Middle East.

In the Arab world, Egypt has been long recognized for its own brand of soft power, the House Foreign Relations Committee Chair Dalia Youssef writes in the Washington Examiner. Besides recounting the platitudinous lists of how Egyptian music, film, culture, and dialect are spread across the region, Youssef says this soft power “is important not only for the country’s identity, but also to encourage a serious discussion among Arabs on religious discourse.” Her main point is that Egypt is seeking a more robust relationship with the US and that this relationship should strengthen Egypt’s soft power for a more “prosperous and secure Middle East.”

Other coverage worth noting in brief:

  • Eman Ahmed, who was once dubbed the world’s heaviest woman, has lost over 262 kgs since getting surgery in India, Huffington Post India reports. “Water content in her body has been reduced. Now, the challenging part is to bring down fats in her body,” Ahmed’s surgeon says.
  • Nigeria’s diplomatic relationship in Egypt is the subject of a glowing editorial in Nigerian publication Leadership.

On Deadline

A number of columnists chewing over the root causes of terrorism in Egypt have taken a surprising turn and avoiding the now-standard list of empty platitudes. That’s not to say they get it right, but at least they’re escaping the usual narrative. In a column for Al Masry Al Youm, Amr El Shobaky flatly says that Daesh’s success in finding recruits in Egypt is due to the political exclusion of major factions, not Al Azhar’s teachings or the media. Largely echoing his sentiment, Al Shorouk’s editor-in-chief Emad El Din Hussein says that the blame is misplaced on social issues such as poverty and poor education, pointing to the fact that many Daesh recruits are from relatively privileged economic backgrounds and are well-educated. Former Bahraini Education Minister Ali Fakhro bravely takes to the pages of Al Shorouk to say that GCC countries, not Egypt, should be put under the spotlight for being a breeding ground for extremism. Meanwhile, Ashraf El Barbary takes aim at the House of Representatives’ speed in rubber-stamping President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s decision to impose a three-month state of emergency, saying it implies heavy-handed security measures are the state’s only way forward.

Worth Watching

Why big pharma is turning to biological meds: Biological meds are increasingly being seen as more lucrative to pharma companies than the standard chemical kinds. While chemical drugs are based on small, stable molecules (and have been used since the industry emerged), their biological counterparts are based on much larger and more volatile proteins. Despite their lack of stability, biologics-based drugs have recently become more appealing to big pharma companies as they use our own DNA to cure us, making them more effective than chemical meds in treating genetic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, the Wall Street Journal’s Preetika Rana explains (runtime 2:53).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr discussed Egypt’s efforts to improve the business climate and its ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business report, with a World Bank Group delegation on Wednesday, a statement from the ministry said. The issue was also looked at when Nasr sat down with the head of the Middle East and Africa Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Carlos Conde. They also looked avenues for further cooperation.

Nasr’s busy schedule also included a meeting with Uber VP Emil Michael who told her that the company is looking to expand its operations in Egypt, according to a ministry statement.

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy discussed cooperating with the European Commission on improving the country’s tax system with its Director GeneralChristian Danielsson on Wednesday. The commission’s delegation expressed interest in providing technical and financial support to improve the efficiency of Egypt’s tax collection, and helping bring up revenues in line with economic performance, according to a ministry statement.

The European delegation also sat down with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla to discuss implementing the Natural Gas Act, which would deregulate Egypt’s gas market and see the state take on the role of regulator. They discussed the possibility of the EU funding more sustainable energy projects, according to a statement from the ministry.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s will be heading to Khartoum next week for the joint political consultation meeting that was originally slated for earlier this week, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The planned meeting comes amid political tensions between the two countries over the Halayeb and Shalateen region. Shoukry reaffirmed that Egypt and Sudan’s bilateral ties have deep historical roots and are based on mutual respect. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour echoed Shoukry’s statement, likening the two countries to a set of twins who “cannot be separated” as a result of temporary tensions, according to the Kuwait News Agency.

Shoukry announced that Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu will visit Cairo soon, Al Mal reports. This came at a meeting with the House’s Arab Affairs Committee. Shoukry provides no further details, but we can imagine it has something to do with a minor little construction project on the Nile.

Our friendship with Trump doesn’t mean we should follow his protectionist ways: Egypt has to look to more trade and investment partners than just the US if it hopes to grow as a global player, World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Service Division Director Abdel Hamid Mamdouh said on Wednesday, according to Al Shorouk. In a not-so-subtle wink at Egypt to stay clear from Trump’s protectionist policies, Mamdouh said that the US’ policies towards China are expected to drive the latter to pursue more trade with the EU, which could provide numerous lucrative opportunities for a country like Egypt, he added. A WTO delegation is currently in Egypt to discuss the country’s trade policies, including the much-maligned exporter’s registry.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi met with Cyprus’ Defense Minister Christoforos Fokaides in Cairo yesterday to discuss increasing military cooperation, Al Mal reports.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is implementing 10 projects in Egypt worth USD 30 mn, with funding coming in from multiple different countries, ILO Country Office for Egypt Peter Van Rooij tells Al Mal.


House still trying to reverse last year’s port fee hike

The House of Representatives’ Transport Committee is still hoping to reverse the government’s decision to hike port fees by as much as 100%, MP Mohamed Badawy tells Al Mal. The hike, which was instituted last year, had caused five major shipping lines to pull out of the East Port Said port and transfer their activities to Greece. Committee members are expected to discuss the issue in a meeting by the end of next week with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, Suez Canal Economic Zone chief Ahmed Darwish, and Suez Canal Authority head Mohab Mamish.

Basic Materials + Commodities

EGP 3,000 tax imposed on each tonne of exported sugar

Exporters will now be forced to pay an EGP 3,000 levy on each tonne of sugar they export, according to a decision issued by Trade Minister Tarek Kabil on Wednesday, AMAY reports.

Prices to be printed on rice, sugar packets this week

Sugar and rice manufacturers will be expected to print the prices of the commodities on packages produced after 15 April, Al Borsa reports. Manufacturers will be allowed to put price stickers on sugar and rice produced prior to that date. The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce had previously been lobbying to postpone the deadline for printing prices to after Ramadan to avoid incurring losses for manufacturing.

Siwa Oasis’ date production the biggest worldwide

Egypt’s Siwa Oasis is the world’s biggest producer of dates, accounting for approximately 84,000 tonnes of the country’s annual date production of 1.5 mn tonnes, Agricultural Economics professor at Cairo University Gamal Seyam tells Anadolu Agency. According to Seyam, these dates are usually not exported due to “the poor quality of dates, challenges facing exports and neglecting the development of the palm sector.”


BASF wants to increase its business volume by 5% every year

German chemicals and plastics manufacturer BASF wants to grow its business in Egypt by at least 5% every year, Managing Director Ayman Nafie tells Al Borsa. The company’s business reached EUR 140 mn at the end of 2016.

Real Estate + Housing

SECON to spend EGP 3.5 bn

The Saudi Egyptian Construction Company (SECON) plans to spend EGP 3.5 bn in 2017, SECON CEO Darwish Hassanein tells Amwal Al Ghad. EGP 1.2 bn will be spent on the SECON Nile Towers project. He added that the company plans to complete development of homes in the project this year, and will finish work on the hotel in 2018, he added.


Egypt still promoted in tourism campaigns, no change post Emergency Law -TDA

Tourism campaigns abroad remain unchanged after the imposition of a three-month state of emergency, the Tourism Development Authority says in a statement picked up by Al Shorouk. This comes in response to reports that Egypt’s name will no longer be the focus of campaigns, but rather specific tourist destinations and sites inside Egypt. The Authority is only surveying the repercussions of Palm Sunday’s bombings abroad, the statement says.

Automotive + Transportation

Toyota-Bolloré alliance inspects East Port Said port ahead of imported car pier development

A delegation from the Toyota-Bolloré consortium arrived in East Port Said on Wednesday to inspect port facilities ahead of the potential development of a pier for car imports, AMAY reports. The consortium is currently in the final stages of negotiations with the Suez Canal Economic Zone and is expected to begin construction in the coming months, port Director Ali Assem tells the newspaper. We noted earlier this week that Japan’s NYK, one of the shipping lines that pulled out of Egypt after the hike in port fees, was also a part of the consortium. A delegation from the European Investment Bank is also expected to visit East Port Said soon to discuss potential investment opportunities, Assem adds.

Taxi Plus to expand in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada this year

Homegrown ride-hailing service Taxi Plus is planning to expand in Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada this year as part of its plans to launch operations in all governorates across the country, Al Borsa reports. The company was established in December.

El Sewedy Logistics Properties, DB Schenker start construction of logistics facility

El Sewedy Logistics Properties and DB Schenker Egypt began building a logistics and warehousing project in Tenth of Ramadan, according to a statement. Located at Pyramids Industrial Parks’ Industria West, the facility will be operational by December 2017.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egyptian economy seen growing by 4% in 2017 in AMF forecasts

The Arab Monetary Fund expects the Egyptian economy to grow by 4% in 2017 and 4.5% in 2018, driven mostly by economic reforms and higher international demand for investments and trade activities, the organization says in its latest report.

On Your Way Out

63% of Egyptians approve of imposing the three-month state of emergency, according to a poll the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion (Baseera) released yesterday. 67% of respondents above the age of 50 were supportive of the decision, compared to 60% of those aged 18-29. Among those polled, 60% said they believe the measure will be effective in combating terrorism.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0297 | Sell 18.1326
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.05 | Sell 18.15
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Wednesday): 12,984 (-0.1%)
Turnover: EGP 884 mn (23% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +5.2%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session down 0.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Telecom Egypt (up 2.1%), Ezz Steel (+1.5%), and SODIC (+1.4%). Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included: Elsewedy Electric (down 3.3%), Domty (off 2.1%) and Egyptian Resorts (down 1.7%). Total market turnover was EGP 884 million, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +55.1 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +2.9 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -58.0 mn

Retail: 64.3% of total trades | 61.9% of buyers | 66.6% of sellers
Institutions: 35.7% of total trades | 38.1% of buyers | 33.4% of sellers

Foreign: 18.2% of total | 21.4% of buyers | 15.1% of sellers
Regional: 16.2% of total | 16.3% of buyers | 16.0% of sellers
Domestic: 65.6% of total | 62.3% of buyers | 68.9% of sellers

WTI: USD 52.97 (-0.26%)
Brent: USD 55.86 (-0.66%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.18 MMBtu, (-0.35%, May 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,287.70 / troy ounce (+0.75%)

TASI: 7,099.1 (+0.9%) (YTD: -1.5%)
ADX: 4,555.1 (-0.2%) (YTD: +0.2%)
DFM: 3,540.6 (+0.2%) (YTD: +0.3%)
KSE Weighted Index: 420.3 (-0.4%) (YTD: +10.6%)
QE: 10,489.3 (+0.7%) (YTD: +0.5%)
MSM: 5,557.4 (+0.1%) (YTD: -3.9%)
BB: 1,357.3 (-0.4%) (YTD: +11.2%)

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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.

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Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.