Thursday, 4 May 2017

Is this the leading edge of a wave of domestic investment?

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Yes, we know, it’s anecdotal evidence and all, but we can’t help but smile this morning as we note:

  • a steel company committing USD 250 mn to new lines;
  • a PE outfit saying it has bought 75% of a 100+ year-old heritage brand (and that it plans to invest even more in it);
  • a VC outfit buying into an online grocery player;
  • an investment bank looking to expand outside Egypt.

It’s (almost) enough to make us non-cynical about the notion that a US-based tech giant with 15k employees might consider investing USD 1 bn in Omm El Donia. We have the details in Speed Round, below. We’ve long been yammering on about foreign investors being unlikely to come into Egypt in droves until domestic investors light the way. It’s starting to feel more and more as if we’re on the leading edge of a wave of domestic investment.

We stopped in on the World Bank yesterday as part of the media delegation accompanying AmCham’s 2017 Doorknock mission to Washington, DC. The annual pilgrimage sees leading figures in the Egyptian business community engage directly with policymakers and lawmakers to make the case for closer ties between the two nations. At the World Bank, Vice President for MENA Hafez Ghanem noted that he’ll be visiting Egypt with a WB delegation at the end of next week for meetings with government officials. Ghanem also said that the third USD 1 bn tranche of the USD 3 bn World Bank loan is expected to be disbursed around December. Final dates will be confirmed in September. Ghanem also spoke favourably of the Ismail government’s drive to create jobs and strengthen the social safety net, which he noted are in line with the World Bank’s priorities.

The Ikhwan are running their own little parallel lobbying mission in DC, and it’s every bit as crazy as you would imagine. A handful of Ikhwan are in DC looking for attention, and judging from what “media coverage” there is out there, the Parallel Universe Doorknock of Crazies appears to involve a lot of waiting around to meet with junior staffers — when not posing around the Hill while flashing the group’s four-fingered gang sign. (Make sure you scroll through the full article to catch all of the photos.) Among the Ikhwan’s crack lobbyists: Ayat Al-Oraby, who the always-blunt Mokhtar Awad describes on The Tweeter as “a raving sectarian lunatic based out of NY & frequent guest on pro MB networks.” The lady in question called last fall for a boycott of Christian businesses (watch, if you have the stomach for hate this early in the morning, runtime 3:19). Y’all keep it classy now, hear?

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi wraps up his two-day visit to the UAE today. The two have discussed bilateral ties as well as regional issues including terrorism and the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Libya, according to an emailed statement from Ittihadiya (pdf). The UAE’s readout on the meeting, carried by state news agency WAM, is long on expressions of mutual admiration, but short on detail. You can also check out a nice gallery of images from the visit released to The National by the royal court. On the whole, we’re taking the amount of visibility here as suggesting there may be a thaw in relations in work. As we have previously noted, the UAE had effectively “lost patience” with Egypt on a number of fronts. The story is getting coverage in the Western press thanks to a piece from the Associated Press.

Arab youth are afraid of The Donald, increasingly anti-American — and now see Russia as the region’s top non-Arab ally. Oh, and they also want to live in the UAE, are “using English more in their daily lives,” and are freaking out about unemployment, the rise of Daesh, and terrorism, according to the 2017 Arab Youth Survey. Tap the link for “Findings” in the top nav to skip the list of panelists and commentators and all their pretty pictures and head straight to the results.

Raising eyebrows on the Tweeter this morning is this piece from the Washington Post: “France’s presidential front-runner is 39; his wife is 64. French women say it’s about time.”

Car geeks, take note: It may not go on the auction block, but Bloomberg has found what it believes may be the world’s most expensive car. And no, it’s not some Dubai-domiciled supercar: The late owner of the 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale had for decades displayed it at “a giant flea market and drive-in movie theater complex in Fort Lauderdale, Fla” that he owned.

We had the pleasure yesterday of meeting some really switched-on young people from Cairo American College’s Injaz team. You’ll be hearing more from us about them soon, but in the meantime, allow the crusty oldsters here at Enterprise to say this: If these kids are the future, the future is gonna be alright.

On The Horizon

The House of Representatives is scheduled to hold on Sunday the final vote on the 10% social welfare raise for bureaucrats not covered by the Civil Service Act, Al Ahram reports.

The House Budget Committee is expected to begin discussing the FY2017-18 budget on Monday, 8 May, once the finance and planning ministers are free to attend the sessions, as both are tied up with a visiting IMF delegation and the marathon proceedings attendant to the draft Investment Act.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The airwaves served us with a random assortment of terribly non-exciting topics last night, with coverage of the latest happenings in the Investment Act being the most thrilling of the lot (we have more on that in Speed Round).

Masaa’ DMC’s Osama Kamal spoke House Economic Committee member Rep. Ahmed Farghal about his squabble with Trade Minister Tarek Kabil during the session. Kabil objected to amendments to the act that would give GAFI supreme power over the allocation of land to business and industry (watch, runtime 11:40).

On Al Hayah Al Youm, host Tamer Amin talked to Cabinet Spokesperson Ashraf Sultan about the new EGP 250 mn joint stock company that the IDA will establish to manage industrial zones (watch, runtime 4:14). He then moved on to talk about recent amendments to the Antiquities Law that are meant to help in the recovery of tourism and include stricter penalties for harassing visitors at tourist sites or peddling products without the necessary licenses.

Antiquities Minister Khaled Enany rang up Lamees El Hadidy to chat about other steps the ministry is taking to boost the sector, such as offering discounts to production companies on shoots at touristic sites (watch, runtime 5:15).

Lamees then moved on to the 1.5 mn feddans project, and spoke to the chair of the House’s Agriculture Committee El Sayed Hassan Moussa about his concerns that water resources available to the land reclamation project are insufficient. The Director of the Finance Ministry’s PPP Unit and Chairperson of Al Reef Al Masry Atter Hannoura, however, refuted the claims and told Lamees that the studies conducted in the area prove otherwise (watch, runtime 17:28).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

After reports of drama yesterday and Tuesday, could today be the day the House finally votes on the Investment Act? The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Investment Act in a plenary session today now that the debate over the return of private free zones has been put to rest, MPs tell Al Borsa. The House Economic Committee voted on Wednesday to keep articles they introduced last Saturday that allow for the establishment of new private free zones, which the government of the day had stripped from the act in 2015.

The House has the final say on the matter, but the committee’s decision goes against the wishes of the Finance Ministry. The ministry had spoken against private-sector-run free zones several times over the past few months, arguing that the zones do little to boost exports and have a negative impact on state coffers. Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer told Al Mal that the ministry restated its objections to members of the Economic Committee, hoping to change their minds.

Debate over free zones opens up a can of worms: Apart from private free zones, other amendments introduced by the committee appear to be stirring trouble with ministers who said they had not been notified in advance. Trade Minister Tarek Kabil was particularly unhappy about articles that would give the General Authority for Free Zones and Investment sole jurisdiction over tendering land to investors in various fields. Kabil reportedly threatened to pull out of the meeting when the debate with MPs grew heated after he argued that the move adds unnecessary red tape to the process, which he believes should be carried by each respective ministry independently. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy was also displeased with the decision to offer additional incentives and tax rebates to investors, which MPs eventually agreed to curb. CIT Minister Yasser Al Qadi was also present at the meeting to lobby against the Economic Committee’s move to remove articles relating to the establishment of technological zones.

Tensions running high around the cabinet table? Unnamed state officials tell AMAY that the ministers are not too happy with Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, who is portrayed as having signed-off on the amendments without consulting them first. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal is said to have had to broker talks between El Garhy and Nasr on Tuesday, Al Borsa says. The ministers have reportedly asked Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to intervene, the newspaper adds, and Ismail met with House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, according to Ahram Gate.

Cabinet’s progress on the economic reforms it promised as a condition of the USD 12 bn IMF bailout is so far in line with the fund’s expectations, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told the press yesterday. According to El Garhy, discussions with the IMF delegation currently in town to assess our reform program are going well so far. El Garhy otherwise remained tight-lipped on the details of the discussions, but confirmed that Egypt is on track to receive the second tranche of the USD 12 bn facility in June as scheduled. According to previous reports, subsidy cuts, the budget deficit, measures to curb inflation, and legislative reforms are among the top items of the IMF team’s agenda.

Spending on fuel subsidies increased more than 90% to EGP 78 bn in the first nine months of FY2016-17, compared to EGP 41 bn in the same period in FY2015-16, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla told Reuters. The cost of fuel imports increased significantly since the EGP was floated in November. The newswire says “Egypt plans to gradually reduce fuel and power subsidies as part of reforms aimed at slashing the budget deficit.”

In related news, the Central Bank’s net foreign reserves climbed to USD 28.64 bn at the end of April,up fractionally from USD 28.53 bn at the end of March, according to a CBE statement.

Non-oil private sector companies signaled a deterioration in overall business conditions for the nineteenth consecutive month in April, the Emirates NBD PMI reading showed. The PMI reading recorded 47.4 in April from 45.9 in March, a nine-month high, signalling a slower rate of deterioration. Output and new orders fell, albeit at slower rates, and the declines resulted in firms decreasing their payroll numbers and purchase activities.

The high note in the report came from export orders, which rose for the first time, ending a 21-month contraction streak. “The slower pace of deterioration in the headline Egypt PMI is an encouraging start to Q2 as it follows on from a gradually improving trend already seen through Q1. It reinforces the perception that after bottoming-out in Q4 2016, the economic situation in Egypt is beginning to stabilize. As well as being the overall gauge posting its strongest overall reading in nine months, particular comfort can be taken from the fact that the new export orders index grew for the first time in nearly two years which is likely to reflect the positive impact of a weaker exchange rate,” Tim Fox, Head of Research and Chief Economist at Emirates NBD, commented.

USD 250 mn investment in steel industry: El Garhy Steel Group is planning to build two smelting and rolling plants at a total cost of USD 250 mn this year, Chairman Gamal El Garhy tells Al Borsa. Once completed, the two factories will increase the group’s smelting production capacity to 1.2 mn tonnes per annum.

Who said nobody’s going to invest in consumer plays this year? Private equity outfit Feather Invest has acquired a 75% stake in Arafa El Sergani Halawa and Tahini, the company that owns the 145-year-old Arafa El Gamea brand name. Feather did not disclose the transaction value, but flagged that it “has allocated an approx. investment cost of EGP 95 m to be deployed in its new venture with the Arafa family and attracted top notch talent from local and regional multi-national firms to lead the business. The firm has also tagged a select group of similar industrial operations in which it intends to deploy an approx. amount of EGP 150 m in the coming 18-24 months,” it said in an emailed statement (pdf). You may not have heard of Feather Invest, but odds are good you’ll recognize at least one of the firm’s founders, where bold-faced names include SMG boss Ibrahim El Ghattas (think: Porsche and Harley Davidson in Egypt), Khaled Ismail (the prominent angel investor and venture capitalist), and Seif Fahmy (Booz Allen and the Egyptian National Competitiveness Council).

Online grocery service GoodsMart has raised USD 750k from Algebra Ventures. Disrupt Africa says Algebra Ventures Managing Partner Tarek Assaad and former SODIC Managing Director and current Marakez CEO Ahmed “Dasha” Badrawi will join the GoodsMart board. The investment will go towards expanding GoodsMart’s operational capacity, increasing service coverage in Cairo, and raising awareness. In addition to Assaad, Algebra’s managing partners include Khaled Ismail and Ziad Mokhtar.

Is Infor looking to invest USD 1 bn in Egypt? A delegation from enterprise software provider Infor met with EGX Chief Mohamed Omran yesterday, who said the company is planning to invest nearly USD 1 bn in Egypt. According to the EGX statement, Infor reps took positive note of the float of the EGP and of Egypt having made it easier to repatriate profits. Infor acquired Accentia Middle East, a Cairo-based Infor partner serving the MENA region, in March. The statement from the bourse included no additional details of how or when Infor plans to deploy capital in Omm El Donia. CIT Minister Yasser El Qady met with Infor during a recent swing through the United States.

Kenya will be EFG Hermes’ next expansion market under a frontier push that has already seen it acquire a Pakistani brokerage. The firm will receive a securities brokerage license in Kenya in the “very near term,” Bloomberg quotes Kenyan Capital Markets Authority CEO Paul Muthaura as saying. Ali Khalpey, a co-founder of Exotix Africa who is now CEO at EFG Hermes Frontier, adds that in Kenya, “The first step is a brokerage license and as we establish our presence on the ground we will expand into investment banking,” Khalpey said. “We are talking to people about recruitment, but we will wait for the license to become active. We are looking at a 10 to 15 person office. We would love to grow that as we add new products.” EFG is also looking at Nigeria (that’s more of a 2018 thing, Khalpey suggests, given economic conditions) and “Bangladesh and Vietnam look extremely interesting to us.”

IPO WATCH- Financial consultancy firm Fincorp is reportedly working on fair value studies for three initial public offerings that could potentially take place this year, Managing Director Hatem Hady tells Al Borsa. The list includes real estate developer Misr Italia, City Trade, and DBK Pharma.

Smileyface is back: The Consumer Protection Agency has asked the Tax Authority to open investigations into 19 auto showrooms it alleges are engaged in tax evasion, CPA head Atef Yacoub said yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

The Ismail government approved yesterday amendments to a bill that would grantpermanent residence to foreigners who purchase real estate, according to a Cabinet statement. Under the new procedures, foreigners seeking a one-year residence visa will be required to purchase real estate worth USD 100k, up from USD 50k. Five-year visas will also be granted in return for the purchase of real estate worth USD 400k. Other key decisions taken during yesterday’s weekly meeting include:

  • Granting the Industrial Development Authority the right to establish a joint stock company to manage and maintain industrial zones under its control;
  • Signing off on a bundle of decisions from Cabinet’s Investment Dispute Resolution Committee;
  • Approving a EUR 175 mn facility and two grants worth EUR 3 mn from the French Development Agency to finance energy projects and a further EUR 50 mn from the same agency for an east Alexandria wastewater treatment plant;
  • Ratifying a cooperation protocol with France’s ESLSCA to set up a branch of the business school in Egypt;
  • Approving setting up a basic and applied sciences center at the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology;
  • Approving amendments to the Antiquities Law that will impose a EGP 3k-10k penalty on shop vendors who harass tourists, Antiquities Minister Khaled El Enany said, according to Ahram Gate. The minister said penalties for unlicensed digging for artifacts have also been increased to reach life in prison.

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) has issued new regulations oninvestment in brokerage firms, EFSA chief Sherif Samy announced yesterday, Al Borsa reports. Under the new policy, which Samy says complement recent amendments to the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Act, the authority must sign off on any transaction in which an individual or entity will acquire 10%, 25%, 33%, 50%, 66%, or 100% of a brokerage firm’s capital. According to Samy, investors will not be required to get the green light from EFSA to increase their holdings within their respective tier. Institutional investors in brokerage firms will not be required to seek approval so long as they will not exercise effective control over any brokerage firm. EFSA has been tightening regulation of capital markets over the past several months.

Kuwait Energy is seeking a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange in a bid to fund growth across MENA, according to Reuters. The company will “apply for admission in June, hoping to achieve a sufficient free float to meet the eligibility requirements for a premium listing.” Kuwait Energy CEO Sara Akbar says the LSE is a “natural home for Kuwait Energy” and could provide “a stable platform from which to take the company to the next level of growth." Numis and Bank of America are joint global coordinators and EFG Hermes is bookrunner on the c. USD 150 mn IPO, Bloomberg notes.

Egyptian policy makers, take note: For once, Saudi Arabia may have leapfrogged Egypt when it comes to its regulatory framework. The kingdom has specified a framework for the regulation of the ride-sharing industry and awarded Uber a certificate of compliance. The regulations look to be part of KSA’s “Saudi-ization “ drive, as Uber’s press release quoting the head of the Saudi Public Transport Authority goes on at length about the fact that only Saudi nationals are allowed to sign up as Uber drivers in the kingdom. Uber has some 65k drivers there and is looking to have 100k by 2020, the company noted in an emailed statement (pdf).

Other stories in the international business press worth a moment of your time today:

The US Fed has left interest rates on hold and “downplayed weak first-quarter economicgrowth while emphasizing the strength of the labor market, in a sign it was still on track for two more rate rises this year,” Reuters reports. It’s the Fed’s first tightening cycle in more than a decade, the news service notes, after slashing rates to near zero to try to bring the economy back after the Great Recession of 2007-09.

Donald Trump plans to live forever. That’s all we can surmise from his declaration to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he plans to “start a process which hopefully will lead to peace [with Israel] over the course of my lifetime.” Reuters has the story and the White House briefing room carries the full transcript of Trump’s remarks as he welcomed Abbas to the White House.

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Image of the Day

A team of Spanish archaeologists uncovered yesterday a unique funerary garden in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis on the west bank of what is now Luxor, Ahram Online reports. The archaeology team made the discovery while carrying out excavations of early 18th Dynasty rock-cut tombs from circa 1500-1450 BCE. The significance of the finding lies in the fact that similar funerary gardens were previously only seen through images on the walls of New Kingdom tombs, and is the first archaeological confirmation of this element of Ancient Egyptian funerary rites.

Egypt in the News

On a slow news morning for Egypt in the international media, the award for the most facile and trite piece on Egypt goes to Mr Philip Jenkins, who writes for The American Conservative saying the terrorist attacks in Egypt “plausibly could succeed in splitting Egyptian elites and causing significant defections… In the worst-case scenario, such a process runs the risk of bringing Egypt to conditions that we more commonly associate with Iraq, which would pose catastrophic dangers.” He says the US “should be prepared for sudden and perhaps lurching transformations” in Egypt.

Pope Francis says his trip to Egypt “was intended as a ‘sign of peace’ and a way of promoting a vision of ‘healthy secularism’ for the entire Middle East region,” John L. Allen Jr. writes for Crux. The vision of this “healthy secularism” emerged in conversation with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and other political and diplomatic figures, Francis says. He also noted that the trip had a strongly ecumenical character, pointing particularly to the joint declaration with the Coptic Church to not repeat the baptisms administered in their respective churches. Francis also said Egypt is “a beacon of hope and refuge,” according to The Catholic Register, and “peace between Christians and Muslims in Egypt, he said, is a sign of the country’s identity ‘as a land of civilization and a land of covenant.’”

Other coverage of Egypt in the international media worth noting in brief:

  • There is no clarity yet on the international forces that will facilitate security in in four zones in Syria, Sputnik says. A source says Algeria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, as well as the BRICs and the CSTO countries could participate.
  • An Egyptian artist claims he created the world’s biggest Koran, reproducing it on a 700 metre-long paper scroll, Reuters says. The artists, Saad Mohamed, “wants to submit his Koran for inclusion in Guinness World Records … there is so far no record holder for the largest handwritten version.”

Worth Watching

Crown prince in rare interview on Saudi Arabia’s future: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) sat down for a rare television interview on Tuesday night, a year after launching the Vision 2030 program to overhaul the kingdom’s government and economy. Bloomberg rounded up the main points of the interview nicely: On Aramco, MbS said “Saudi Arabia will continue to own its oil reserves and will only sell shares in the concession of Aramco” with the size of the IPO depending on demand. From the proceeds of the IPO, 50-70% will be invested domestically via the Public Investment Fund. On domestic policy he said the government is working on compensating Saudi citizens for cuts to state energy and water subsidies through a cash payout program and plans “to offer hundreds of thousands of free homes and a mn more with some form of low-cost financing.” MbS also said a planned SAR 200 bn stimulus package “will greatly encourage the private sector.” You can watch the interview here in full (runtime 55:37).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has said his government “will apply the principle of reciprocity” to Egypt if Cairo continues to deny entry of Sudanese nationals, according to Sudan Tribune. The comments came after Egypt denied Sudanese journalists Iman Kamal al-Din and Al-Tahir Satti entry to Egypt and deported them. “We agreed with the Egyptian foreign minister during his recent visit to Sudan on a number of issues however the deportation of the journalists almost brought us back to square one,” said Ghandour.

Bilateral ties between Egypt and China have grown to become a comprehensive strategic partnership, driven in large part by China’s Belt and Road initiative, Xinhua reports. Egypt is China’s third-largest trade partner in Africa in terms of volume. “The number of Chinese companies operating in Egypt increased from 30 in 2014 to more than 100 for the time being,” Han Bing, minister counselor for economic affairs with the Chinese embassy in Cairo, told Xinhua. China is already the single largest investor in SCZone, the report adds. Separately, a conference to promote Egypt’s tourism industry in China that aims to attract one mn Chinese tourists is set to launch on 20 May, according to Egypt Independent.

Rival Libyan leaders Fayez Al Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar held their first direct talks in Abu Dhabi as diplomatic efforts to end six years of violence in the North African nation intensify, The FT reports. The talks reached a “significant breakthrough,” the UAE said, without providing details. “Egypt and the UAE have been spearheading regional efforts to mediate between rival authorities in eastern and western Libya” and one Western diplomat reportedly said the meeting was “an important political signal.” Sputnik says “sources close to Haftar have suggested that the meeting was cordial and positive… The latest meetings between the two men could be a significant step toward ending the stalemate that has crippled Libya’s ability to unify following the 2011 revolution.”

Belarus will be establishing new industrial zones and factories in Egypt “soon,” Federation of Egyptian Industries head Mohamed Elsewedy tells Ahram Gate. The story provides no additional detail.

Infrastructure

Hungarian company to build wastewater treatment in Alamein

The Housing and Military Production ministries have signed an agreement with an unnamed Hungarian company to build to the first wastewater treatment plant in New Alamein City, according to Al Masry Al Youm. In related news, Organica Technologiak and its agent in Egypt, ECC-Aquatech, are signing an agreement today to implement more sustainable and environmentally friendly wastewater treatment plants in Egypt in accordance with modern international standards.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Egypt’s cotton industry sees revival following EGP float

The cotton industry in Egypt is starting to see a revival following the float of the EGP, Menna A Farouk writes in Al-Monitor. The devaluation that ensued and the global crackdown on fake Egyptian cotton encouraged farmers to double the area planted with cotton and increase their exports. The US Department of Agriculture forecasts that the areas where cotton is produced in Egypt would double to 110,000 hectares and production would almost double and reach 340,000 bales in the marketing year 2017-18.

Manufacturing

IDA to tender 26 mn sqm for industrial projects this year

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is planning to tender 26 mn sqm of land for industrial projects this year as part of a program to push 60 mn sqm into the market over the coming three years, IDA head Ahmed Abdel Razek said.

Health + Education

Parliament strengthens penalties for organ trafficking

The legislative committee of the House of Representatives has recommended increasing penalties for those engaged in the organ trade, according to Al Masry Al Youm, citing remarks by committee chair Rep. Bahaa Abou Shokka.

Real Estate + Housing

Egypt leads Africa in new hotel development projects

Egypt is the leader in new hotel developments in Africa, Hospitality Net reports. There are currently 53 hotel projects underway in Egypt, according to an industry database. Morocco follows closely behind Egypt, with 50 total hotel projects currently under construction. Overall, “the new hotel construction pipeline for the African continent has begun to look healthier than it has in many years” with 336 new hotel construction projects underway.

Foreign buyers make use of EGP float and buying property

Egyptian developers are finding the EGP flotation useful as overseas buyers “are willing to be enticed” by the devaluation, according to Gulf News. If at all there has been any inactivity, it is largely confined to the smaller developers,” Zeyad Tarek Al Beshry, General Manager at Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, says. He says property buyers are following institutional funds who are “wanting to come in and buy up the currency.” Al Beshry says “when a high-end villa with a price of USD 500,000 suddenly becomes USD 250,000, it will have to stoke interest from overseas.”

Telecoms + ICT

OTMT gives Oi until 1 June to put together restructuring plan

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) and a group of bondholders have given Brazilian telecom company Oi “until June 1 to put together a restructuring plan to help it exit bankruptcy protection,” Reuters reports. “This is the fourth extension granted Oi by Orascom, which offered in December an exchange of debt for shares and a capital injection of as much as [USD 1.25 bn] in the phone company… The Orascom-bondholder group has committed to underwriting the entire capital injection if no other investors step forward. The reorganization plan was due to expire on Monday but the ad hoc group of bondholders allied to Sawiris said it was revising the plan.”

TE in talks with Huawei and Nokia to develop 4G infrastructure

Telecom Egypt (TE) is reportedly in talks to have Nokia and Huawei provide key technology for its 4G network, Al Borsa said on Wednesday. TE has reached preliminary agreements with both companies over the construction of cell towers in Cairo and Alexandria, sources tell the newspaper.

Automotive + Transportation

Nissan, Chevrolet top car sales in March

Nissan dominated passenger sales in March, securing a 22% market share in Egypt with 2,302 units sold, according to the Automotive Industry Information Council (AMIC). Chevrolet sales came in second place with an 18% market share, followed by Hyundai at 16%, Al Borsa reports.

Other Business News of Note

Le Marché on schedule to run between 11-14 May

Furniture expo Le Marché is set to take place as scheduled between 11-14 May, organizer Epic’s General Manager Ahmed Tarek tells Al Borsa, dismissing rumors that the expo was postponed or canceled. The expo has been postponed twice since December by the Interior Ministry.

Cairo judge being investigated for murder

Cairo judge being investigated for murder: Authorities are reportedly investigating a Cairo judge for allegedly shooting and killing a low-ranking police recruit in the Nasr City area earlier this week, Al Shorouk reports. Unnamed security officials tell the newspaper that the judge in question turned himself in. The judge claims to have shot the recruit after mistaking him for a burglar.

Arab Financial Investment Company establishes export arm with EGP 100 mn capital

The Arab Financial Investment Company is in the process of establishing a new trade and exports arm with a capital investment of around EGP 100 mn to capitalize on the benefits currently enjoyed by exporters, Managing Director Nagui Hady said on Wednesday, Al Mal reports.

Illicit Gains Authority fines Youssef Boutros Ghali EGP 10 mn in graft case

The Illicit Gains Authority fined former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali EGP 10 mn for having allegedly exploited his position to build a home inside the Lake Qarun protectorate, Al Shorouk reports.

National Security

No plans for base in Eritrea, source says

An Egyptian military sources denied reports that Egypt is planning to establish a military base in Eritrea, according to Anadolu Agency. "Egypt does not plan to establish any bases overseas," the source said, and Eritrea has repeatedly denied reports about allowing foreign countries to establish military bases on its territory. The reports were first circulated by the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization, an Eritrean opposition group.

On Your Way Out

Mohamed Kamel’s Egyptian short film Wintry Spring (Rabie Chetwy) won the best foreign film award at the Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival, according to Ahram Online. “Since the film’s release in 2015 through a world premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the film has been circulated and screened in over 130 film festivals around the world.” You can watch the film’s trailer here (runtime 01:15). Ridgewood is in the US state of New Jersey.

Los Angeles-based Egyptian artist Sherin Guirguis is holding an exhibition titled My Place is the Placeless as part of her Artist Lab Residency & Exhibition. The exhibition will be held at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. In it, “she will create an environment for investigations into the intersections of art and activism through the explorations of materials made from the earth’s elements, including pigment, paper, soil, and water. Guirguis seeks to address problems of displacement, environmental destruction, and cultural and historical memory loss through conversations with local artists engaged in political activism.”

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0335 | Sell 18.1365
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.05 | Sell 18.15
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Wednesday): 12,604 (+0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 614 mn (42% below the 90-day average)
EGX30 year-to-date: +2.1%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EG\X30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.6%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 0.8%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Oriental Weavers up 3.4%, GB Auto up 3.3%, and Juhayna up 2.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: Cairo Oils and Soap down 16.3%, Qalaa Holdings down 1.0%, and Global Telecom down 0.7%. The market turnover was EGP 614 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +28.1 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -2.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -26.0 mn

Retail: 62.4% of total trades | 58.3% of buyers | 66.6% of sellers
Institutions: 37.6% of total trades | 41.7% of buyers | 33.4% of sellers

Foreign: 26.5% of total | 28.8% of buyers | 24.3% of sellers
Regional: 6.1% of total | 5.9% of buyers | 6.2% of sellers
Domestic: 67.4% of total | 65.3% of buyers | 69.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 47.68 (-0.29%)
Brent: USD 50.64 (-0.30%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.22 MMBtu, (-0.34%, June 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,240.50 / troy ounce (-0.64%)

TASI: 6,967.71 (-0.64%) (YTD: -3.37%)
ADX: 4,581.26 (+0.62%) (YTD: +0.77%)
DFM: 3,419.06 (-0.51%) (YTD: -3.17%)
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Calendar

04-07 May (Thursday-Sunday): Caféx, CICC, Cairo.

05-07 May (Friday-Sunday): Egypt Property Show, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai.

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

9-11 May (Tuesday-Thursday): 2nd Egypt Oil & Gas Summit, Cairo.

10-12 May (Wednesday-Friday) The 15th Middle East & North Africa International Franchise Exhibition, AUC Downtown Greek Campus, Cairo.

10-12 May (Wednesday-Friday): RenCap’s 8th Annual Pan-Africa 1:1 Investor Conference, Lagos.

15-17 May (Monday-Wednesday): Morgan Stanley’s 3rd Annual GEMS Conference (EEMEA), London.

14-16 May (Sunday-Tuesday) CI Capital’s fifth annual Egypt Investor Conference, Gouna.

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

21 May (Sunday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee Meeting.

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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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