Sunday, 21 May 2017

Donald Trump has landed in Riyadh and is meeting Arab leaders one-on-one ahead of landmark speech


What We’re Tracking Today

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will hold a rare Sunday meeting today to discuss interest rates. Analysts see the Central Bank leaving rates unchanged, despite the IMF suggesting that they’re an “appropriate tool” to cool inflation. Standard Chartered agrees, according to the Wall Street Journal’s weekly frontier column, which notes, “Standard Chartered this week voiced concern about Egypt’s inflation rate … urging the country’s central bank to raise interest rates to 15.25% to choke off inflation, the bank said private credit has grown rapidly as banks have acquired more liquidity.”

Six of seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg argue against a rate hike, saying to do so would be “counterproductive because the price gains are not being driven by excess demand.” An analyst at Standard Chartered argues that “while inflation is being driven by cost factors, other indicators — including rising domestic credit — suggest the economy still faces excess liquidity.” The roundup of views, by the business information service’s Ahmed Feteha, is absolutely worth reading this morning: Why Rate Increase Is No Answer to 30 Percent Inflation in Egypt.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi flew to Riyadh yesterday to attend the Arab-Islamic-American summit, alongside US President Donald Trump and other world leaders, says a statement from the presidency picked up by Al Mal. El Sisi, who is expected to give a speech today about Egypt’s counterterrorism strategy, will also be holding one-on-one meetings with a number of his regional and global counterparts during his two-day stay. Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir will not be among them, as Al Shorouk reports he informed Saudi’s King Salman he would not be joining the gathering for “personal reasons.” Al Bashir is sending Minister of State Taha Al Hussein to attend the summit on his behalf.

Trump-mania sweeps the Gulf: Judging from media coverage to date, The Donald is to the GCC what Elvis was to teenage girls in about, say, 1957. The US president was accorded a remarkable welcome when he touched down in Riyadh yesterday, and Trump’s first visit abroad is leading newspapers around the world. The regional enthusiasm will continue today as he makes what is expected to be a landmark speech on Islam. Trump is also expected to meet the leaders of the GCC countries as well as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

For good measure, the official Saudis Must Have Fun Organization put together a celebratory Harley ride and a car race pitting four US drivers against four Saudis. “After the biker rally, thousands of men filled a stadium at the university to watch a car race also timed to coincide with Mr. Trump’s visit. Three food trucks, another American import, did brisk business, selling burritos and hamburgers, and the ceremony opened with the Saudi national anthem and the Star Spangled Banner.” Read With Harleys and Hamburgers, Saudis Salute U.S. on Trump’s Visit, then head down to Speed Round for more coverage.

Meeting with Trump? “Keep it short and give him a win,” advises the New York Times, boiling down the collected wisdom of the global diplomatic community.

Trump is in Israel tomorrow for a two-day visit, then heading to Italy, the Vatican and Brussels.

Cairo American College wins first place in Injaz Egypt’s 2017 Company Competition: The CAC Injaz team will now go on to represent Egypt at the regional inter-school competition, which will be hosted in the fall here in Cairo. Their Zip & Flip beach bag-towel combo has made more than EGP 40K in sales since the company first launched one month ago. The team did an excellent job yesterday presenting their business and answering questions in front of a panel of judges from the Egyptian business community. Injaz Egypt was established in 2003 and is the regional operating center of Junior Achievement (JA — check out the worldwide, US or Canadian sites). The first stage of the competition is over but the bags are still available for order on Facebook and Instagram. The CAC Injaz team was advised by Hassan Abdou, a longtime friend of Enterprise and fixture of the business community.

Longtime readers know we love a good redemption story, and the New York Times’ Dealbook serves up a great one with a look at Jon Corzine, a former boss at Goldman Sachs, ex US senator and former governor of New Jersey who is bidding to write the final chapter in a storied career after suffering the death by suicide of his 31-year-old son and the meltdown of MF Global on his watch as CEO. His swan song: A hedge fund “designed to take advantage of the turmoil in the Trump era.” Read In Tumult of Trump, Jon Corzine Seeks a Wall Street Comeback.

Move over, slime: Fidget spinners are all the rage among the kiddies — pre-teens inparticular. A Forbes contributor looks at the “science” behind them, while Business Insider has a psychologist on to debunk the notion that the things are a treatment for ADHD. CNN helpfully explains that “Adults don’t get it, and that’s the point,” but the best thing you can do while weathering your nine-year-old’s entreaties to “just Amazon one, please, ya daddy” is to go to the Financial Times and take solace from reading that you’re not alone: “Fidget spinner craze turns the toy industry on its head,” it reports.

Today’s slow news day is brought to you by … the countdown to Ramadan. If you, like us, are blindingly unprepared for the Holy Month, we suggest taking it day by day. Make today about sorting out what you’re doing on the charity front this year, then head over to Ahram Online and have a read through their epic Everything you need to know about Ramadan 2017 TV and plan your post-iftar food coma viewing.

What We’re Tracking This Week

CIT Minister at the House for budget talks: The House of Representatives’ Communications Committee will be meeting with CIT Minister Yasser El Kadi this week to discuss the FY2017-18 budget, Al Borsa says.

Serbian and Bulgarian business delegations are expected to visit Cairo “in the coming period,” Canadian-Egyptian Business Council chairman Moataz Raslan said, Al Ahram reports.

On The Horizon

Preparations are underway to hold an Egyptian-German Business Forum in the first half of June in Berlin, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said on Saturday, Al Borsa says.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The airwaves had little of interest to offer on what was the slowest news day in 2017 to-date.

Amr Adib had a chat with Trade Minister Tarek Kabil about factories that closed down after the 2011 uprising (watch, runtime 3:07). Kabil also spoke to Adib about domestic consumption patterns of late and explained that ready-made clothes imports were down 75% in 1Q2017. Egypt is also apparently been doing well on the clothing export front and is largest exporter of denim to the US of A, according to Kabil (watch, runtime 5:05).

Adib also followed up the disappearance of former Interior Minister Habib El Adly. Our favorite boisterous host said that lawyer Farid El Deeb, who defends El Adly and ousted president Hosni Mubarak, confirmed that El Adly was not on the run or overseas, but maintained that he had no knowledge of his whereabouts. El Adly is believed to have fled after being handed a seven-year prison sentence last week (watch, runtime 15:05).

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi kept the evening’s reporting focused on the state’s land reclamation campaign (watch, runtime 3:27) and spoke to Orascom Development Chairman Samih Sawiris about land he had purchased in Aswan years ago that he has been unable to develop since it was forcibly taken over by locals in 2011 (watch, runtime 5:45).

Over Al Hayah Al Youm, Qalaa Holding’s Egyptian Refining Company, whose new Mostorod plan is set to start operations 2018, was the star of the night with its own introductory report, featuring Qalaa Chairman and founder Ahmed Heikal (watch, runtime 1:47).

On Masaa DMC, Eman El Hosary discussed news of imminent congestion in Downtown Cairo now that the state is closing down a stretch of 26 July street for a year to work on a new line for the Cairo Metro (watch, runtime 3:03).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The Donald makes more headlines than most: Dozens of world leaders and business executives began their descent on the Saudi capital over the weekend to attend the Arab-Islamic-American Summit set to kick-off today, but none were in the spotlight in the same way as US President Donald Trump, whosevisit was hailed as the “beginning of a new era” in Saudi-US relations.

Trump and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a series of agreements on Saturday, including a USD 110 bn arms agreement, according to an official statement from the White House “This package of defense equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian related threats.” The agreement also extends an additional USD 350 bn in arms to KSA over the next decade, according to the Independent. The New York Times does an excellent job here breaking down the agreement.

King Salman and the US President also signed a “joint strategic vision statement” that promises “close collaboration to counter violent extremism, disrupt the financing of terrorism, and advance defense cooperation,” according to the White House. Trump also talked counterterrorism with Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef at Al Yamamah palace on Saturday, according to the Saudi news agency (watch The Donald join the traditional welcome dance performed in his honor, runtime 1:58). The leaders were also both present as Saudi and US business executives inked agreements north of USD 280 bn.

Big Business at the trough: US companies signed USD 50 bn in agreements with Saudi Aramco, while GE closed contracts worth USD 15 bn in fields including power, healthcare, oil and gas, and mining.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi arrived in Riyadh on Saturday, where he first talked cooperation with the presidents of Burkina Faso and Tajikistan, Ahram Online reported. El Sisi will be giving a speech today about Egypt’s counterterrorism strategy and is expected to hold one-on-ones with several of the leaders in attendance.

The Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov has a long look at how Cairo and Riyadh patched up their differences this spring ahead of the gathering. The lede is priceless: “In private, Egyptian officials like to complain about arrogant and uncouth Saudis. In Riyadh, there is just as much eye-rolling about the supposedly unreliable and incompetent Egyptians. Periodically, this tension erupts into open spats. Yet these quarrels only go so far: no matter the mutual frustration, the Arab world’s most populous country and its economic powerhouse simply can’t afford not to get along with each other.” Still up in the air: The fate of Smurf Islands (as we prefer to think of Tiran and Sanafir) and “Saudi requests for a greater Egyptian role in the Yemen war.”

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr was also in Riyadh this weekend for the Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB) 42nd annual meeting. Nasr and IDB President Bandar Hajjar discussed the bank developing a new cooperation strategy to provide Egypt with USD 3 bn in financing over the coming three years, according to a ministry statement. Nasr also signed an MoU with the Islamic Corporation forthe Development of the Private Sector (ICD-PS) to provide an undisclosed amount of funding for infrastructure investments in Egypt, the ministry said (pdf), in addition to a USD 10 mn funding agreement with Islamic Development Bank Chairman Bandar Hajjar to combat avian influenza. Nasr also met Saudi Arabia’s Economy and Planning Minister, Adel Mohamed Fakieh, to discuss economic cooperation, Al Mal reports.

Tourist arrivals in Egypt rose 51% year-on-year in 1Q2017 while the number of nights spent jumped 107% y-o-y, Tourism Development Agency head Hisham El Demery said, Youm7 reports. Arab tourism was up 38% during the first three months of the year, and tourist arrivals from Europe increased 60%, El Demery said. He attributed the rise in tourism inflows to the launch of promotional campaigns in 11 countries, as well as the Tourism Ministry taking advantage of visits from various celebrities to improve foreigners’ perception of Egypt.

In news from the tourism sector, Thomas Cook says it is seeing a recovering in “holiday bookings for Turkey and Egypt,” Reuters reports. The tour operator echoed similar concerns raised by TUI, saying competition at home had slowed growth. “Unlike TUI, Thomas Cook was confident of a recovery in its Turkish and Egyptian markets, with [CEO Peter Fankhauser] saying bookings to Egypt had more than doubled, and that the recovery there and in Turkey was helping make up for flattening demand for the Spanish islands.” Thomas Cook has recently canceled planned trips to Sharm El Sheikh for next winter and summer 2018, replacing them instead with additional trips to Hurghada and Marsa Alam.

Pharma producer Gilead Sciences is looking to produce a new hepatitis C treatment in Egypt jointly with a local manufacturer, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil says. According to Al Masry Al Youm, Kabil says Gilead wants to use Egypt as a gateway market to African nations. The medication still awaits FDA approval, he added; Gilead Senior Director Graeme Robertson says the proposed treatment is administered for two months and has a 98% success rate. Robertson added that Egypt is the only country in Africa that has the required infrastructure to produce the treatment.

Global commodities trader Cargill is looking to expand its Egypt operations with freshinvestment in its operations in Borg El Arab, Al Borsa quoted Trade Minister Tarek Kabil saying on Saturday. The company is currently in negotiations to obtain the necessary approvals to start the project.

Dubai-based Rimco EGT Investment increased its ownership of SODIC to 7.44% from 2.89%, according to a bourse disclosure. The company bought 15.6 mn shares at an average price of EGP 14.78 per share. Rimco had recently increased its stakes in Talaat Moustafa Group and in EFG Hermes.

Interest payments are a “considerable drag on government finances,” but BMI seesborrowing costs easing as Ismail government slashes deficit. BMI sees the reform program driving down borrowing costs, but isn’t certain that the Ismail government will achieve its deficit reduction targets, saying growth of 3.6% in FY2017-18 will result in a budget deficit equivalent to 9.9% of GDP against projections of 4.6% growth and a deficit of 9.1% in the budget document. BMI’s June 2017 Africa Monitor. Either way, it writes, this “would indicate the start of a fiscal readjustment in Egypt which will reduce its budget deficit, minimise the climb in debt levels, and lower its cost of borrowing on international capital markets.” Subsidy cuts are key to cutting the deficit, BMI writes, noting that subsidies counted for 17% of all state spending in 2015-16. BMI has also picked up on the notion that interest rates in their current band are choking the state treasury: “At 35.0% of spending in H1, interest payments present a considerable drag on government finances (by contrast, capital expenditure spending was just 7% in 2015/16).”

The IMF’s Executive Board is expected review before mid-June its staff-levelagreement with Egypt on the next USD 1.25 bn tranche of Egypt’s USD 12 bn extended fund facility, Finance Ministry officials tell Al Borsa. IMF Egypt Mission Chief Chris Jarvis had said last week that the board would meet sometime in the coming few weeks to review and vote on the staff-level agreement to disburse the second tranche of Egypt’s USD 12 bn extended fund facility, but the Fund has yet to officially disclose the time and date. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy expects the amount to be disbursed by the end of June.

Task force to look into slush funds: The House of Representatives’ Economics Committee formed a joint task force with the Finance Ministry that will begin looking into the special revenue funds, Al Mal said on Saturday. MPs are hoping to allocate 80% of the funds’ total assets — around EGP 30 bn, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy previously said — towards narrowing the budget deficit, Rep. Ahmed Farghal told the newspaper. The Finance Ministry had said last week that it would be working with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to compel all ministries and government agencies to compile reports on special funds under their control to present to the House for review. House representatives have been pushing for legislation to better monitor slush funds and connect them to state coffers.

Among the international news stories worth knowing about this morning:

Reformer Hassan Rouhani has won re-election as Iran’s president in a landslidevictory and sent a quick message to conservatives that he would accelerate the country’s opening to the outside world: “Today, Iran is standing taller than at any time before and is ready to expand its relations with the world based on mutual respect and national interests. Today, the world knows that Iranians have chosen the path of interaction with the world away from extremism and violence.” Rouhani “reinvented himself as a bold champion of reform during the campaign,” Reuters reports.

Earnings at Europe’s biggest companies grew faster than those of their UScompetitors in 1Q2017. “Europe’s largest companies are on track to record their strongest quarter of profit growth in almost seven years, benefiting from something the continent hasn’t seen since before the global economic crisis: a willingness among consumers—and other companies—to spend again. … Earnings at Europe’s biggest companies leapt ahead 23% in the first quarter, analysis shows, versus comparable 14% rise in U.S.,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

CLARIFICATION- Abraaj managing partner Mustafa Abdel Wadood has been nominated to take a seat on the board of Orascom Construction, but has not yet taken his seat. Abdel Wadood’s appointment to the board is pending shareholder approval at the company’s annual general meeting on May 23.

Egypt in the News

It’s another beautifully slow news day as the foreign press obsesses with the rest of us over scandal in Washington and US President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh, his first trip abroad as president.

The Associated Press’ “Food cart shut down? Turn to Egypt’s president on live TV” is getting wide pickup internationally. The piece uses President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s high-profile appearances at the new youth conferences to look at the state of affairs in our nation, writing: “Egypt’s general-turned-president has deftly maneuvered his way to being a leader through whom nearly everything is funneled, sidestepping state institutions that are largely weak anyway. The parliament is dutifully loyal, his Cabinet waits on his every word, and the media are almost completely without dissenting voices. At the same time, he has put himself out before the public in a way no Egyptian leader has before.

A Polish woman who died in mysterious circumstances at Red Sea resort may have been killed, the lead Polish investigator said, according to The Independent. There are claims in the Polish media that her death was related to human trafficking and organized crime. “Egypt’s attorney general has declared his readiness to cooperate fully with the Polish prosecutor’s office, including the questioning of witnesses in Egypt,” a spokesperson for Poland’s Justice Ministry said.

Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins has said the four-year trial in Egypt of Ibrahim Halawa needs an urgent resolution, according to The Irish Independent. Higgins raised the concerns in a meeting with Pope Tawadros in Dublin in a meeting attended by Egypt’s ambassador to Ireland.

Still holding your breath for the return of Russian Tourists? Don’t. From state news agency TASS: “Russia’s government will make a decision to resume air service with Egypt only after experts confirm that the country’s airports have reached an appropriate security level, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told TASS. ‘This is a question for our experts. If our aviation security services do not confirm that everything is fine, we won’t be able to make a decision,’ he said.”

On Deadline

Being able to fully manufacture a car in Egypt would signal a great leap for thecountry’s economy, but it seems to be a mirage that we just can’t reach, AMAY’s Abbas El Tarabily says. Without directly mentioning the automotive directive, El Tarabily points to importers and car assemblers as a “mafia” that is stalling Egypt in its path towards building a true auto manufacturing industry. The first step in that direction would be to boost the car part industry, the columnist writes, and pins his hopes on the Military Production Ministry to lead the way.

Trump in Riyadh vs. Obama in Cairo: US President Donald Trump choosing to address the Arab world for the first time from Riyadh speaks volumes about the shift in the regional balance of power and the difference between his policies and those of Barack Obama, Amr El Shobaky writes for Al Masry Al Youm. Whereas Obama chose to appeal to the general populace in his Cairo University speech, Trump is clearly more leader-oriented as he maintains a business mindset that pays little attention to those not in power, El Shobaky says. Trump choosing KSA as the country from which he will set the tone for the Arab world is also indicative of the shifting regional power balance from Cairo to Riyadh that is largely the result of Egypt losing much of its economic and soft power post-2011.

Worth Reading

Five secrets to exercising regularly. Ramadan is always the time of year at least one of us tries to get back into the swing of being healthy after a long winter’s hibernation (read: overeating). The guarantee of leaving the office at the same time every day makes it easier to exercise before iftar, and exercise somehow makes us less likely to overeat at night. The Wall Street Journal has a great wrap up that explains “People who exercise regularly tend to share some common approaches to fitness, research shows—adopting some of them can help you.” The TL;DR for non-subscribers:

  • They work out at the same time most days;
  • They have a streamlined pre-exercise routine with visual cues (ie: they lay their gear out in advance);
  • They’re more flexible than infrequent exercisers about how long or vigorously they exercise;
  • An increasing number of active people are widening their definition of exercise (HIIT counts, but so do pilates — and a brisk walk is better than nothing);
  • They’re more likely to exercise for pleasure than for weight loss or other long-term health goals.

Worth Watching

Mesmerizing music, slow panning, a black and white view of a shimmering Earth — it’s bn’aire SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk’s post to Instagram of a video showcasing the Falcon 9 rocket launch last week. The launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, put the Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite into orbit, according to

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Getting British tourists back to Sharm El Sheikh is a priority for the UK government, but the road back will be a long one, London’s Ambassador to Cairo John Casson said on Thursday, according to Al Mal. The UK was among countries that suspended flights to Sharm El Sheikh after a Russian plane crashed almost immediately after take-off in 2015.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail attended the World Economic Forum on the Middle Eastand North Africa in Jordan yesterday, during which he discussed his government’s reform program and the steps taken to boost investments, Al Shorouk reports. Ismail and Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr met with the CEO of Dana Gas on the sidelines of the conference to discuss “increasing investment in the oil and gas industry,” according to a Cabinet statement. (Dana is presently restructuring its debt because of back dues owed to it by Egypt.) Ismail and Nasr discussed investment opportunities with a group of foreign investors in the oil and gas, construction, and tourism industries, Al Shorouk says. The prime minister also sat down for talks with his Jordanian counterpart and with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades.

Nasr, meanwhile, spoke about Egypt’s commitment to entrepreneurship and SMEs, according to a ministry statement. You can check out the WEF’s video page for the forum here.

Egypt’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy met with Khalifa Haftar, his Libyan counterpart, in Benghazi, the Libya Herald reports. No details were revealed about the meeting. It comes a day after the third anniversary of the so-called “Operation Dignity” which Haftar says targeted extremists in Benghazi. In related news, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry condemned a terrorist attack in Libya that killed tens on Thursday.

The Saudi government approved four MoUs with Egypt on civil defense, agriculture, maritime transportation, and the avoidance of double taxation, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Kattan said in a statement.

The Trade and Industry Ministry is in talks with the World Bank for USD 200 mn in funding for labor-intensive projects, Minister Tarek Kabil announced, Al Borsa reports. The four-year agreement would help create 90k direct job opportunities and 130k indirect opportunities, according to the minister.

Egypt will be joining the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Better Work Programstarting June, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said in a statement on Friday. The ILO delegation that visited Egypt last week had mostly positive things to say about the country, according to Al Borsa. The program’s Global Operations Manager Conor Boyle promised to stress Egypt’s commitment to reform and to Better Work in his report to the ILO in Geneva.

House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, where Abdel Aal is leading an Egyptian parliamentary delegation, Daily News Egypt reports.


EGP 8 bn needed to refurbish water pipeline network

The Holding Company for Water and Wastewater needs EGP 8 bn to refurbish its national water distribution network, Chairman Mamdouh Raslan tells Al Mal. The upgrade program would aim to reduce the volume of water lost in the system by up to 30%, he adds, noting that the company is buying equipment to detect pipeline leakages quicker. Raslan adds that the company has already spent the entirety of its FY 2016-17 EGP 1 bn budget allocation.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Gov’t bought 2 mn tonnes of wheat from local farmers

The government has bought 2 mn tonnes of wheat from local farmers since the beginning of the local wheat harvesting season in mid-April, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy said, according to Reuters. The plan to import wheat is also moving forward, he says, “the import plan has to continue throughout the year and should not halt just because we are procuring local wheat.” Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes that the US knocked France out of the mix as it won on Wednesday the first government wheat tender in two years.


Amut Ecotech establishes waste recycling plant in Minya

Italy’s Amut Ecotech installed a waste recycling facility in Minya that will begin operations next month, reports. The plant will separate 300 tonnes of waste per day, moving dry waste to be treated to serve as fuel or to be sold, with organic waste being processed to make compost for agriculture. Amut Ecotech’s plant is a pilot project funded by the Italian Egyptian Debt for Development Swap Programme and could be expanded to other cities.

Misr Aluminum to issue global tender for new EGP 10 bn factory before year’s end

State-controlled Misr Aluminum Company will issue a global tender before the end of this year for a new EGP 10 bn factory, Public Enterprises Minister Ashraf El Sharkawy told the press on Saturday, Al Borsa says.

Military Production Ministry to produce power transmission equipment, power meters with China’s Dongfang

The Military Production Ministry signed an agreement with China’s Dongfang Electric on Friday that will see both sides cooperate on manufacturing power transmission equipment and smart card-operated electricity meters, Al Mal reported.

Banking + Finance

Rooya Group signs USD 2.25 bn loan agreement with AAIB, NBE

Rooya Group signed a one-year USD 2.25 bn syndicated loan agreement with the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) and the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to fund projects in Ain Sokhna and the North Coast, among others, Al Borsa reports. AAIB contributed USD 1.85 bn of the loan, while NBE contributed the remaining USD 400 mn.

Al Watany Bank of Egypt signs USD 300 mn loan agreement with SUMED

Al Watany Bank of Egypt announced on Thursday it has signed a USD 300 mn loan agreement with the Arab Petroleum Pipelines Company (SUMED) to fund the first phase of the company’s expansion in Ain Sokhna, Al Mal reports. The loan will be disbursed over two years, after which SUMED will have six years to repay the bank. Reuters also has the story.

Other Business News of Note

Hussein Salem acquitted in natural gas export to Israel case

A Cairo court acquitted former shareholder in East Mediterranean Gas Company Hussein Salem of charges of squandering public funds by exporting underpriced gas to Israel, Al Borsa reports.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Tunis village pottery workshops close to protest government’s land reclamation

Pottery workshops in Fayoum’s Tunis Village are closing down in solidarity with villagers who claim the government has unjustly seized their property as part of its nationwide efforts to reclaim state land, Ahram Online reports. Village residents claim they legally purchased the lands they live on and that the government has either delayed or refused granting permits.

On Your Way Out

“Marriott Cell” to be made into a movie? Says former Al Jazeera English Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy: “He’s working to get his lawyer, Amal Clooney, and actor-husband George Clooney involved, saying an ‘award-winning Hollywood director’ has been recruited for the film. ‘[It focuses on] the personal, untold stories between my colleagues and I in the cell and the two strong women that helped get me out of prison — Amal Clooney and Marwa, my wife,’ Fahmy told Global News.

The stretch of 26 July Street between Talaat Harb and Ramsis in Downtown Cairo will be closed to all traffic for a year, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The street is closed for work on Cairo Metro Line 3 and is expected to reopen by 17 May 2018.

US declares ABM leader a terrorist: The US State Department issued a statement on Friday announcing it has designated Ansar Bayt Al Maqdis leader Muhammad al-Isawi and senior Hezbollah leader Hashem Safieddine as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

The markets yesterday

Share This Section

Powered by
Pharos Holding -

EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0394 | Sell 18.1424
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.05 | Sell 18.15
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Thursday): 12,952 (-0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 875.6 mn (40% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +4.9%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session down 0.9%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.0%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Heliopolis Housing up 2.1%, Eastern Co. up 1.1%, and Egyptian Iron & Steel up 0.4%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were: Cairo Oils & Soap down 3.3%, Porto Group down 3.0%, and Amer Group down 3.0%. The market turnover was EGP 875.6 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +32.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -4.3 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -28.5 mn

Retail: 58.5% of total trades | 61.3% of buyers | 55.6% of sellers
Institutions: 41.5% of total trades | 38.7% of buyers | 44.4% of sellers

Foreign: 23.4% of total | 25.2% of buyers | 21.5% of sellers
Regional: 8.1% of total | 7.9% of buyers | 8.3% of sellers
Domestic: 68.5% of total | 66.9% of buyers | 70.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 50.33 (+1.99%)
Brent: USD 53.61 (+2.09%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.26 MMBtu, (+2.3%, June 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,253.60 / troy ounce (+0.06%)

TASI: 6,938.10 (-0.13%) (YTD: -3.78%)
ADX: 4,581.30 (-0.27%) (YTD: +0.77%)
DFM: 3,378.02 (-0.50%) (YTD: -4.33%)
KSE Weighted Index: 403.64 (-0.37%) (YTD: +6.20%)
QE: 10,103.35 (-0.41%) (YTD: -3.19%)
MSM: 5,415.07 (-0.15%) (YTD: -6.36%)
BB: 1,308.76 (-0.08%) (YTD: +7.24%)

Share This Section


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).

07-09 June (Wednesday-Friday): 19th Annual Africa Energy Forum, Copenhagen, Denmark.

26-28 June (Monday-Wednesday): Eid Al-Fitr (TBC).

30 June (Friday): 30 June, national holiday.

15-19 July (Saturday-Wednesday): SSIGE’s GeoMEast 2017 International Congress and Exhibition, Sharm El Sheikh.

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day, national holiday.

03-05 August (Thursday-Saturday): Watrex Expo Middle East, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Center.

26 August (Saturday): 27th Egyptian-Jordanian Joint Higher Committee meeting, Amman Jordan. (TBC).

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.

18-19 September (Monday-Tuesday): Euromoney Egypt conference, venue TBD.

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).

03-05 October (Tuesday-Thursday): J.P. Morgan’s Credit and Equities Emerging Markets Conference, London, UK.

18-19 October (Wednesday-Thursday): Middle East Info Security Summit, Sofitel El Gezirah, Cairo.

06 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

18-20 October (Wednesday-Friday): AfriLabs annual gathering with the theme “Smart Cities,” The French University, Cairo. Register here.

01 December (Friday): Prophet’s Birthday, national holiday.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Solar-Tec, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Electrix, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

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.

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.