Thursday, 20 April 2017

Gov’t hikes foreign borrowing ceiling


What We’re Tracking Today

Egypt delegation heading to DC for IMF, World Bank spring meetings: Finance Minister Amr El Garhy is in Washington D.C. to attend the IMF and World Bank spring meetings, Al Masry Al Youm reports, noting that Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk is also part of the delegation. Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer and Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr are also attending. Nasr is due to present Egypt’s economic reform program at the G-24 ministerial meeting set to be held today on the sidelines of the spring meetings, Ahram Gate reports. The IMF and World Bank spring meetings kick off tomorrow and run through Sunday. The agenda page for the gatherings is live.

Thought paper for tax collectors and ministers of finance: The April 2017 edition of the IMF Fiscal Monitor is out ahead of the spring meetings under the headline “Doing More with Less” and notes in passing that “as is the case with growth-friendly policies, inclusive policies can be implemented without increasing the overall budget envelope and the fiscal deficit. In countries with limited or no fiscal space, inclusive policies would have to be accompanied by offsetting measures. In Egypt, for instance, full implementation of the VAT and tax administration reform could free resources for higher spending on health, education, and social protection.” The landing page for the report is here, while the full 162 page pdf is here.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s economy is expected to grow 4.0% in FY2016-17, in line with theFinance Ministry’s projections of 3.8-4.0%, according to a Reuters poll of 11 economists on Wednesday. The poll predicts economic growth will slow the following year to 3.3%, well below the government’s target of 4.8% laid out in the FY2017-18 budget, before accelerating back to 4.0% in FY2018-19. The median average annual core inflation — which takes an average of the 12 monthly readings — was 13.7% for the current fiscal year, up from a previous forecast of 13.0%. Analysts expect inflation to jump in to 21.0% in FY2017-18 before slowing to 13.0% the following year. As we noted yesterday, the IMF sees Egypt growing 3.5% this year while the World Bank puts the figure at 3.9%.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is in Cairo today, according to Voice of America, pointing to the latest leg in Mattis’ Mideast tour as a sign of “Washington’s warming of relations with Cairo during the Trump administration’s first 100 days.” On the agenda: Counterterror efforts and the security situation in Libya, VOA says. Looming in the background: Cairo’s close ties with Moscow. “We will explain to the Egyptians, as we have to other Arab countries in the region, that getting too close to Russia is not in their best interest,” the news service quotes a US official as saying. Mattis took questions from reporters in Riyadh yesterday, and a Defense Department transcript of remarks by Mattis, KSA Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and US Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell is here.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is due in Sudan today for a meeting of the joint Sudanese-Egyptian consultative committee. A visit previously scheduled for earlier this month was postponed.

Nobody’s singing a swan song for active EM fund managers — yet — but two US giantssee a shakeout happening in the US asset management industry. Both BlackRock and Fidelity see that the rise of passive investing will drive consolidation in the industry. Noting a space of recent mergers, the Financial Times writes that “Lower-margin players in more exposed areas such as mainstream equities are likely to be vulnerable to take over attempts.” The paper quotes the head of Fidelity’s USD 2.1 tn asset management division as saying, “The trend is pretty clear. Margins will continue to come under pressure. The industry is going to look very different in five years. There will be fewer and larger managers.” BlackRock boss Larry Fink, recently in the headlines for axing portfolio managers and hiring robots, tells Reuters that “‘I believe you’re going to see a consolidation in our industry,’ … citing previous waves in industries such as banking.”

On The Horizon

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the “first among equals” of the Eastern Orthodox Christian world, will join Pope Francis in his visit Cairo on 28-29 April visit. Catholic news portal Crux says the invitation reportedly came from Al Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed El Tayeb. “As a result, it may well be that the leaders of both the Christian West and East join the head of the local Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, in presenting a united front in their meetings at Al-Azhar,” Crux adds.

Renaissance Capital’s second Egypt Investor Conference takes place in Cape Town on 24-25 April, “with top executive representation from 13 corporates representing sectors ranging from banking to property development, consumer goods, healthcare, industrials, materials and energy.” What investor expect: RenCap notes that “Now that Egypt’s exchange rate adjustment is out of the way and FX liquidity has returned to the economy, investors will be looking for the government to deliver on its structural reform programme to secure sustainable foreign direct and portfolio inflows (alongside support from the IMF and other institutions). How consumers are coping with the pressure of a weaker exchange rate and higher inflation, and what the banks are seeing in terms of credit quality and demand will be key questions for corporates during the conference.”

Shares in Raya Contact Center will start trading on 27 April, CEO Ahmed Imam told Reuters. Shares in the offering, which involves selling a 49% stake in company, will open at EGP 16.50. “The company aims to double revenues and profit within two years as it expands in Egypt and the region, Imam said, adding that he expects revenue to increase 33 percent this year and profit by more than 40 percent.”

Budget debate next week: The House of Representatives’ Planning and Budget Committee is scheduled to begin discussing the FY2017-18 state budget mid-next week.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Last night’s talk shows presented a mixed bag, with little of particular importance piquing the interest of the nation’s talking heads.

Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority chief Sherif Samy was on Mehwar TV’s 90 Minutes to tout the cabinet’s approval yesterday of amendments to the Capital Markets Act (more on this in the Speed Round) (watch, runtime: 3:31).

Local Development Minister Hisham El Sherif spoke to the hearts of every Enterprise employee when he lambasted state bureaucrats on Masaa’ DMC last night. He holds them partly to blame for why economic reforms are not translating fast enough into real change on the ground, saying that civil servants have been lagging behind policymakers in implementing reforms (watch, runtime: 7:20).

Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer and soul mate Mostafa El Fekki discussed political tension between Egypt and Sudan. The two pinned the blame largely on Sudan as the sole instigator of recent tensions.

Al Tayyar Group Chairman Ashraf Sheeha talked about the mess that is umrah flights to Saudi Arabia, which consumed the local press yesterday. Apparently terminals to Saudi had been overflowing and packed with pilgrims due to three consecutive flight delays to Jeddah Airport because of the bad weather in Saudi Arabia, he told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin. Sheeha added that the CBE FX allocations for pilgrims were not sufficient, forcing tour operators to secure FX on their own (watch, runtime: 8:15).

Hona Al Assema’s Lamees Al Hadidi was on women’s education in her weekly women-focused Hona Al Settat show (watch, runtime: 1:51:50).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The Ismail cabinet raised the ceiling on the maximum value of USD bonds it can issue on international markets to USD 7 bn from USD 5 bn, according to a cabinet statement. The statement added that Finance Ministry was seeking to obtain additional financing in the face of a rise in interest rates on the domestic market and to increase FX reserves held by the CBE. “The government’s current trend is to replace domestic borrowing by external borrowing in order to reduce the cost of borrowing as local interest rates rise,” Reham El Desoki of Arqaam Capital told Reuters. The decision comes amid expectations of a bond issuance worth USD 3-4 bn at the end of this year, announced by Deputy Finance Minister Mohamed Maait last week. About USD 1 bn of that figure will be in the form of sukuks, Shariah-compliant bonds.

Cabinet also approved a framework for sukuks yesterday: A framework for the issuance of sukuks for companies and government bodies was adopted as part of amendments to the Capital Markets Act approved by the cabinet yesterday. The amendments also include enforcing stricter penalties and fines for violations of the law, giving authorities the power to reverse trades if international money laundering is suspected, and creating a registry of firms authorized to issue fair value reports. The amendments also cover trading of futures contracts and give EGX room to set lower listing fees to attract smaller issuers.

Cabinet will allow the private sector to bid for as many as 45 full-service “Takamol” hospitals to the private sector. The proposal won approval at yesterday’s cabinet meeting. The House Health Committee had rejected a similar proposal from the Health Ministry last July, which would have seen the private sector participate in the development and refurbishment of 377 hospitals providing low-income families with access to comprehensive healthcare. The government is now dressing the idea as turning public clinics into advanced healthcare centers in a bid to downplay the dreaded “privatization” word, according to ONA News Agency. Other decisions taken during yesterday’s meeting include:

  • Approving the Finance Ministry acting as guarantor for the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company’s annual payments for power plant projects;
  • Approving amendments to a law governing the formation and structure of export councils which mandate that a third of their seats be filled by members of business associations;
  • Signing off on a EUR 100 mn loan from the French Development Agency for the Alexandria tram project and other funding agreements with the agency for a primary healthcare support project;
  • Approving a presidential decree to reorganize the General Organization for Teaching Hospitals and Institutes.

Orascom Construction announced late yesterday the start of production at Iowa Fertilizers Co., the first world-scale greenfield nitrogen fertilizer plant to be built in the US in more than 25 years. “The plant has a nameplate capacity of 2,200 metric tons per day (mtpd) of ammonia, 2,200 mtpd of urea synthesis, 1,200 mtpd of granular urea, 4,300 mtpd of urea ammonium nitrate and 900 mtpd of diesel exhaust fluid, with a combined sellable capacity of 1.5 to 2 mn metric tons per annum of products,” the company said in a statement (pdf), noting that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad attended the inauguration of the facility, “one of the largest private sector construction projects in Iowa’s history.” OC, the Nasdaq Dubai- and EGX-quoted engineering and construction contractor, is number 34 on ENR’s 2016 Top 250 International Contractors list.

State-owned fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt reached an agreement yesterday to offer 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile services on Orange Egypt’s infrastructure, TE announced in a statement. The agreement includes an MoU for TE to use Orange Egypt’s infrastructure for five years, starting from the beginning of 2018, at a cost of EGP 2.5 bn, according to the statement. Under the deal, TE will use Orange Egypt’s network for domestic roaming for three years, Al Borsa reports.

TE expects to roll out its mobile services during the summer season, company president Ahmed El Beheiry said at the signing ceremony. El Beheiry said the financial, technical, and legal details of the agreement with Orange Egypt will be hammered out within two months’ time, Al Mal reports.

The agreement does not bar TE from signing other agreements with Vodafone Egypt or Etisalat Misr, an option TE will likely pursue in the future, El Beheiry said. A CIT Ministry source told the newspaper that Orange Egypt just ironed out the technical and financial details with TE first. The source expects TE to split the coverage nationwide geographically among the three current mobile network operators.

Meanwhile, Orange Egypt CEO Jean-Marc Harion expects the company will receive its 4G license within a month and will roll out the service within three months, Al Borsa reports.

The never-ending saga of the Investment Act continues: The old adage that a camel is a horse designed by committee comes to mind this morning as we look for clarity on what the House of Representatives is doing with the Ismail government’s draft Investment Act. Approval by the House Economics Committee appears to be dragging on thanks to debates over semantics: It now appears that the committee is debating to reduce the number of articles in the law to under 60 from 99, ostensibly to make it easier for investors. (That’s the same justification MPs had earlier used when they wanted to split the act into two separate pieces of legislation.) The proposal carries favor with the Support Egypt Coalition leader and head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries Mohamed El Sewedy, parliamentary sources tell Al Borsa. There is no clear explanation on which articles might be cut or why. The vote to approve the act, which was supposed to have taken place last month, has now once again been pushed to next week. Also still unclear this morning: Whether MPs are inclined to allow the establishment of private-sector-run free zones.

Egypt has been ranked the third most attractive investment destination in Africa by Africa-based investment management firm Quantum Global. Their research arm‚ Quantum Global Research Lab‚ sees Botswana as the most attractive destination, followed by Morocco in its Africa Investment Index (pdf). Egypt scored highly in the firm’s ease of doing business index, demographic factors and liquidity.

Agreements for the Daba’a nuclear power plant are ready for signing, Rosatom State Corporation General Director Alexey Likhachev said, according to Sputnik. “I can say for sure that in this case, the date of signing contracts depends on the Egyptian side. Technologically, we are ready for signing literally today,” Likhachev said. Egypt expects to sign the four contracts in May, a source from the Nuclear Power Plants Authority tells Al Shorouk.

Hero Foods will begin shipping Vitrac jam to a food chain in the US market, Al Borsa reports. Hero is targeting USD 10 mn in export sales to the United States over the next three years, Hero Middle East & Africa Managing Director Mahmoud Bazan says. The company wants to export products worth over EGP 500 mn by year-end, with exports making up 50% of its sales.

Automotive directive, exports could drive growth at one of Egypt’s largest glass manufacturers: Glass manufacturer Dr. Greiche wants to grow exports to beyond their 17% of sales by targeting African markets, Al Borsa reports. The company is targeting a 14.5% sales growth this year and says the automotive directive — which would give incentives to auto assemblers who go deeper into manufacturing — would help the business grow, board member Magda Greiche.

Al Ahram chairman quits to protest interference by new regulator: Al Ahram Chairman Ahmed El Naggar has resigned to protest what he claimed is interference by the National Press Council in the management of the country’s newspapers, he tells Al Shorouk. According to El Naggar, the council requested that the newspapers’ managers not take any financial or managerial decisions without prior review by the council. The council accepted El Naggar’s resignation, Al Mal says, and has appointed board member Hisham Lotfy as the interim head of Al Ahram’s board of directors, council chief Karam Gabr said in a press conference, according to Al Shorouk.

Wasting no time at all, El Naggar could face a corruption probe after six members of Al Ahram’s board of directors announced they plan to file a complaint with the Prosecutor General on alleged corruption during El Naggar’s time as chairman, Al Mal reports.

MOVES- Real estate developer Abraj Misr has appointed former CIT Minister Hany Mahmoud to its board of directors, Al Mal reports. Others in the new board lineup include real estate development consultant Fathallah Fawzy, Multiples Investment Group founder and chairman Omar El Shenety, and former assistant chairman of Arab Contractors Medhat Askar. Mahmoud was recently appointed non-executive chairman of Vodafone Egypt. Abraj Misr, of no relation to the emerging markets private equity giant Abraaj Group, was said last year to be contemplating an IPO on the Egyptian Exchange but has since been silent on its plans.

MOVES- Vezeeta, the MENA-focused platform for automated physician, clinic and hospital booking, announced yesterday (pdf) that appointment of Fawzy Abu Seif as its first general manager for Egypt. Abu Seif, a veteran of Vodafone Egypt, was at the time of his appointment Vezeeta’s Chief Marketing Officer. The company says it has more than 3,500 physicians online and claims to be adding at least 250 new doctors per month, with a year-end target of booking 100k appointments per month.

Hurghada sees significant growth in travel bookings in 1Q17: Travel bookings for Hurghada have seen significant growth rates during the first three months of the year, according to a report from Traveltainment. Bookings surged 102% year-on-year in January, followed by a 52% y-o-y growth rate in February and a 72% increase in March. “These growth rates are well ahead of the double-digit declines in the first quarter of last year, and have reinforced the Red Sea destination’s position as the third-largest destination airport for German package holidaymakers,” German travel trade magazine fvw says.

This comes as Marsa Alam’s Sharm El Luli beach was ranked as the third-best beach in the Middle East in TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travelers’ Choice rankings. Shark’s Bay Beach and Ras Um Sid in Sharm El Sheikh landed in the fifth and seventh spots, respectively, while Dubai’s Jumeirah Public Beach took the number one spot on the travel site’s list.

Egyptian-American charity worker Aya Hijazi was released from detention late on Tuesday, her lawyers told The Associated Press. A court had acquitted her two days earlier of charges of human trafficking and child abuse.


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Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day

Today’s Egypt Holiday Photo of the Day is of Luxor. Luxor has been called the “world’s greatest open-air museum” as the ruins of Karnak and Luxor temples lie within the city, and across the Nile are the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. 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

MSCI Frontier markets dying? Frontier equity markets are in danger of dying as many of the nations making up frontier market indices graduate to “emerging market” status, Natasha Doff, Isobel Finkel, and Tracy Alloway write for Bloomberg. This graduation risks removing the largest and most liquid of the frontier markets. “With few obvious candidates to replace them, analysts at Citigroup Inc. have been sounding the alarm on what they’ve dubbed the “index problem” besetting a genre whose returns beat more-developed peers over the past five years.” Hertta Alava, who manages a frontier fund for FIM Asset Management says “you have to ask what is left in the Frontier Index … If Pakistan and Argentina leave the index, it won’t be a very attractive composition any more. I think more and more funds will choose not to track the index.” Pakistan is being re-categorized as emerging market next month by MSCI with Argentina and Nigeria also being considered for reclassification.

Ashmore Group fund manager Andrew Brudenell is not too worried and hints that it could be part of a normal cycle. “I’ve seen liquidity come and go … Things get very liquid and very enthusiastic and then they dry up. You need to understand how to construct your portfolio based on what’s realistic liquidity in the market,” he says. Citi’s Andrew Howell disagrees, saying that while it is not a major problem for active investors, the growth in passive investing and how flows could decide inflows and outflows into index funds. He says he would like to see MSCI add more frontier markets into its benchmark including Georgia, Ukraine, Cambodia. He also suggests producing a new more-liquid frontier-EM index, “an amalgamation of emerging-market countries such as Egypt and Colombia and frontier stocks.” Alava is less worried and says there are more prospects for frontier markets. “There are over 100 countries in the world that don’t have a proper stock market yet … So there will be new countries, but it will take time,” he says.

Image of the Day

Egypt unveiled the completely restored granite colossus of King Ramses II at the Luxor Temple on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The statue was in 57 pieces when it was discovered sometime between 1958 and 1960. “The statue was displayed just hours after archaeologists unveiled the tomb of a nobleman from more than 3,000 years ago,” Reuters says.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning is the unveiling of the restored Ramses II colossus at the Luxor Temple on Tuesday, with most outlets picking up coverage from Reuters. In keeping with the theme of ancient discoveries, Daily Mail is running a story on scientists’ discovery of a “now-extinct carnivorous mammal from Egypt” that may have hunted our human ancestors.

The recent spate of terrorist attacks against Christians in Egypt is also getting significant attention from foreign journalists. The Associated Press, Reuters, and Arutz Sheva took note of the police tracking down and killing one of the gunmen behind Tuesday’s attack on a checkpoint in St. Catherine. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Council’s Zack Gold tells the New York Times’ Declan Walsh that the attack shows that Daesh had penetrated deeper into South Sinai than previously thought possible, which helps the terrorist organization in its “economic warfare against the state.”

Mount Sinai’s monks prayed for longer than usual yesterday as “following the church calendar, which lays down that the Wednesday after Easter is a day for commemorating the martyrs and ascetics,” according The Economist’s Erasmus blog. The lengthier prayer had nothing to do with the Tuesday night’s attacks near the monastery. Some are taking the attacks as an indication of an international war against Christians, including Jennifer Breedon, who penned an op-ed for Fox News claiming that the media is shrugging off the suffering of Christians in Egypt, Nigeria, and Pakistan “at the hands and blades and guns of ISIS and other radical Islamists.” The Christian Times is also reporting that a Muslim mob burned down three homes in Minya following a prayer service last week, injuring eight Christians. There appears to be no official statements confirming the incident.

Expanding metro lines and light rail is a mega-project that should command priority above all, Patrick Werr writes in The National. “The lack of local public transport should be put at the level of a national emergency: he inability to move efficiently around cities is stifling economic growth, generating the destruction of vast tracts of agricultural land and historic buildings and causing severe hardship,” Werr writes. He says the expansion is needed urgently not just in Cairo, but in the larger provincial towns throughout the country as well.

Ties between India and Egypt should be stronger, Tarun Basu writes in India’s The Economic Times. “With so much goodwill in Egypt for Indians one often wonders why the two countries are not closer partners and why friendship with Egypt is not talked about in India in the same vein as other countries with which New Delhi shares close political, economic and cultural ties,“ Basu writes. He adds that, by moving forward with the India on the Nile festival despite the recent terror attacks, India is demonstrating a major vote of confidence in the Egyptian government’s ability to deal with terrorism.

Other coverage worth noting in brief:

  • Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy has traveled to London with other officials, according to Middle East Monitor. The reasons behind the visit are unknown and the publication says it is the second visit by an Egyptian military official to London in two months.
  • Legislative amendments proposed following Palm Sunday’s attacks “would pose an even greater threat to civil liberties by weakening the few remaining protections in the criminal justice system,” Amnesty International’s North Africa campaigns director says.
  • Al Arabiya profiled Egyptian travel blogger Yara Yehia, who “promotes a list of destinations where travelers can find luxury for less.”
  • Arab women are becoming more and more reliant on the internet as their go-to source for fashion, online fashion new site Fustany, Amira Azzouz, tells Wamda.
  • The discovery of a tomb and ancient statues in Luxor comes with the hope that it could revive Egypt’s floundering tourist industry, Euronews reports.
  • Egyptian film “Clash” is “a rather amazing new-wave-style drama that combines claustrophobic intimacy with some logistically epic scene-setting,” Peter Bradshaw reviews in The Guardian.
  • The Higher Education Ministry is looking to attract foreign students to national universities as a way of bringing in foreign currency and is promoting Egypt as an educational hub, particularly for Arabic and Islamic jurisprudence, Al Fanar Media reports.

Worth Watching

The world’s oldest university in Morocco’s Fez was once kept under lock and key — four of each, to be exact — in what CNN calls “a 16th century security system.” Behind the copper door that in yesteryear required the presence of four different keyholders to unlock are some of the most valuable manuscripts in the world, including a 9th century Quran and one of the oldest known accounts of Prophet Muhammad’s life. The works at al-Qarawiyyin University (all 30,000 of them) remain as valuable as ever, but access to them is now controlled by a single curator and keyholder (watch, runtime 1:09).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal met with Nick Ayers, a top advisor to top adviser to US Vice President Mike Pence, in Cairo yesterday to discuss Egypt’s counterterror effort and bid to slow the flow of illegal immigrants to Europe, according to Al Mal. Abdel Aal and Ayers also discussed the US listing the Ikhwan as a terrorist organization, for which Ayers allegedly expressed support, Rep. Tarek Radwan said.

El Sisi, Ethiopian foreign minister meet: Egypt neither conspires nor interferes in other countries’ domestic affairs, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi told Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu, Al Masry Al Youm reports. It is important to reach an agreement over the rules of filling the Renaissance Dam’s reservoir, El Sisi said during a Cairo meeting yesterday. Gebeyehu also delivered a letter from Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to El Sisi, saying Ethiopia cares to develop relations with Egypt. Desalegn is set to visit Cairo soon to attend the joint Egyptian-Ethiopian higher committee meeting. Ethiopia will not take any decisions that would harm Egypt, and is keen to work with the Egyptian government to promote the two countries’ political and economic interests, Gebeyehu said in a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry following a meeting between the two (runtime 5:01).

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil removed imports of recyclable polyethylene wastes from a blacklist of banned hazardous substances, Al Masry Al Youm reports citing a statement from the Chemical Industries Export Council.


Japan Bank for International Cooperation considers investing in petrochemicals projects

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation is considering investing in new petrochemicals projects on the back of its successful contributions in key projects, including the Egyptian Refining Company’s refinery, said the head of the bank’s Europe and Middle East Division at a meeting with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla on Wednesday, AMAY reports.

Health + Education

Pharco Pharma to complete procedures to establish EGP 1 bn oncology medicine factory next week

Pharco Pharma will complete the procedures to establish its EGP 1 bn oncology medicine plant, next week, Al Borsa reports. The factory will be built at Vacsera’s industrial complex in 6th of October over 61k sqm and is expected to manufacture 93 different types of meds once it’s operational in two years’ time.

Real Estate + Housing

Stella Di Mare 2 sales reach EGP 1 bn

Sales of Stella Di Mare 2 homes have surpassed EGP 1 bn since the project was announced last year, Remco Tourism ’s vice chairman Onsi Youssef said, Al Mal reports. The project, which spans 2 mn sqm, is expected to cost EGP 3 bn, and sales are expected to reach a total of EGP 5 bn.


Domestic tourism on top of ministry’s agenda

A promotion plan for domestic tourism will be ready within the next six months, Minister Yehia Rashed says, according to Al Shorouk. Growing domestic tourism is one of the main pillars of the Tourism Ministry’s action plan, Rashed said.

Telecoms + ICT

Prime Minister, CIT Minister meet with Vodafone Group CEO

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and CIT Minister Yasser El Kady met with Vodafone Group’s CEO Vittorio Colao in Cairo yesterday to discuss the company’s activities in Egypt and opportunities for further investments, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

Other Business News of Note

Spinneys to invest EGP 400 mn, open eight new branches this year

Hypermarket chain Spinneys Egypt is planning to invest EGP 400 mn to open eight new retail locations this year, including one store in Sheikh Zayed that is set to open by the end of this week, Al Borsa reports. The company is also looking to open a total of 40 new branches over the coming five years at a rate of eight branches per year, according to CEO Mohanad Adly.

Legislation + Policy

Draft of the amendments to judicial codes “leaked”

Al Shorouk is running what it says is the draft of amendments to the judicial code that would allow the president to appoint the heads of the judiciary committees. According to the draft, the president’s choices are limited to the three most senior judges on each council. The proposal has caused significant controversy in the judiciary.


Matouk Bassiouny advised on EGP 10 bn financial transactions in 2016

Law firm Matouk Bassiouny has advised on financial transactions worth EGP 10 bn in 2016, partner Hossam Gramon tells Al Borsa. The firm recently advised on an EGP 1.3 bn loan from the Arab African International bank to SODIC, the government’s Eurobond issuance, and the EGP 6 bn financing for mobile network operators to pay for their 4G licenses.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Security forces kill St. Catherine gunman

South Sinai security forces killed yesterday the gunman behind the Tuesday attack on a checkpoint in St. Catherine that left one policeman dead and four others injured, according Interior Ministry statement. Meanwhile, a suspects allegedly involved in the Palm Sunday bombings has reportedly turned himself in to the authorities in Qena, Al Shorouk reports.

National Security

Navy receives ThyssenKrupp Type 209/1400 submarine

The Egyptian Navy received a second Type 209/1400 submarine from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems at the Ras El Tin naval base in Alexandria, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The submarine was unveiled at the base yesterday (watch, runtime 3:51). The first vessel was unveiled in Kiel, Germany last December as part of four-sub agreement.

Sherif Ismail imposes curfew in North and Central Sinai

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail imposed a curfew in specific areas of North and Central Sinai, effective today, Al Shorouk reports. The curfew will run from 7pm to 6am, except for Al Arish and the international road, where the curfew will run from 1am to 5am.

On Your Way Out

Sales of meds to treat indigestion and food poisoning were up 30% on Sham El Nessim as the nation indulged its taste for fiseekh and ringa, Al Borsa reports

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0356 | Sell 18.1385
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.05 | Sell 18.15
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Wednesday): 12,895 (-1.0%)
Turnover: EGP 733 mn (35% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +4.5%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session down 1.0%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.0%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Juhayna up 2.5%, Oriental Weavers up 0.8%, and GB Auto up 0.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks included: TMG Holding down 4.3%, ACC down 4.1% and Orascom Telecom Media & Technology down 4.1%. Market turnover was EGP 733 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +69.4 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +21.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -90.5 mn

Retail: 64.9% of total trades | 62.4% of buyers | 67.3% of sellers
Institutions: 35.1% of total trades | 37.6% of buyers | 32.7% of sellers

Foreign: 17.2% of total | 21.9% of buyers | 12.4% of sellers
Regional: 15.1% of total | 16.5% of buyers | 13.6% of sellers
Domestic: 67.7% of total | 61.6% of buyers | 74.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 50.44 (-3.76%)
Brent: USD 53.08 (-3.30%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.19 MMBtu, (+1.27%, May 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,283.40 / troy ounce (-0.83%)TASI: 6,948.1 (+0.1%) (YTD: -3.6%)
ADX: 4,531.6 (+0.8%) (YTD: -0.3%)
DFM: 3,505.7 (+0.3%) (YTD: -0.7%)
KSE Weighted Index: 408.9 (-1.1%) (YTD: +7.6%)
QE: 10,296.0 (-0.4%) (YTD: -1.3%)
MSM: 5,511.1 (-0.3%) (YTD: -4.7%)
BB: 1,339.6 (+0.1%) (YTD: +9.8%)

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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 (Saturday-Monday): 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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