Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Ministry of Investment launches pro-business investment promotion ads

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We have a domestic investment promotion campaign. The Ministry of Investment’s new national ad campaign kicked off last night, and we’re impressed with the first two copies we’ve seen. The core message of the campaign, which is being run for the ministry by our friends at Tarek Nour Group’s DDB: Investment by private-sector businesses creates jobs and opportunities all the way up the value chain, from cotton to readymade garments at retail, from brickmakers to finished residential communities.

It’s fundamentally a bright day when the government starts talking not just to investorsbehind closed doors (the members of the cabinet economic team have become polished and very much on-message) but to the public at large about why investment is a good thing. Better still, it sends the right signal to the domestic business community, who will have to lead the way by committing to growth and expansion if we expect foreign strategic investors to follow suit. You can watch the “cotton” copy here (runtime: 0:45) or the “bricks” copy here (runtime: 0:47)

2016 was another year of relatively weak growth for global energy consumption. That’s the primary takeaway from BP’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy, which treat as the most-quoted global study of energy consumption across the world. While worldwide energy consumption grew 1% last year (on par with 0.9% in 2015 and 1% in 2014 — and far off the ten-year average of 1.8%), consumption in Egypt rocketed up 4.7% last year against a ten-year average of 3.4% for Omm El Donia. In total, we accounted for 0.7% of the world’s energy consumption. The landing page for the review is here, and there are about a bn data points to play with in the linked XLSX datasheet and in the report itself (pdf).

The UAE’s ambassador to DC gives Qatar a solid kick in this op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. You had us from your lede, Mr. Al Otaiba: “It is a striking and dangerous contradiction: Qatar invests bns of USD in the U.S. and Europe and then recycles the profits to support Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and groups linked to al Qaeda.” (paywall)

Asian wealth set to outpace Western Europe’s for the first time: Asia has climbed another step in dominance in the global economy, as private wealth in the Asia-Pacific region is set to grow more than 9.5% to USD 38.4 tn in 2017, outpacing wealth growth in Western Europe which rose 3.2% to USD 40.5 tn, according to the Boston Consulting Group. BCG chalks that up to uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Asian wealth is expected to climb to USD 42.3 tn by the end of 2017. Investors from Asia-Pacific were the biggest source of global offshore wealth last year with USD 2.9 tn, followed by USD 2.6 tn from Western Europe, according to Bloomberg.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Back in October 2015, we wrote about the Slack-killer that Goldman Sachs and Google were promoting to the global finance and legal industries: Goldman Sachs CIO Marty Chavez — a 20-year veteran of the firm who literally believes that he heard God tell him to return to GS while he was cleaning a toilet in a monastery — talks with Re/Code’s Kara Swisher how software is eating finance, discussing “Goldman’s strategy for obtaining software, favoring open source options whenever possible, and putting the firm’s army of 11,000 engineers to work building it when it’s not.” The two also discussed Symphony, an ultra-secure Slack competitor created by Goldman and others as a reaction to revelations Bloomberg reporters spied on people’s use of Bloomberg’s messenger program. Google just took a stake in Symphony — which specifically targets both buy- and sell-side institutions as well as enterprises and individuals with security needs — in a round that valued the company at USD 650 mn. Watch the Chavez interview (runtime: 33:36), learn more about Symphony (no charge for individuals, institutions have to pony up) or get the low-down on its fundraising (from Business Insider or the WSJ).

The Update: Symphony, still backed by Goldman and BlackRock and now valued at north of USD 1 bn after a funding round that closed last month, has “teamed up with news and data provider Thomson Reuters in its biggest push yet to oust Bloomberg as the dominant chat network in global markets,” the Financial Times reports in a front-page story this morning. “The 200,000 licensed users of Symphony’s messaging network will this year be able to share charts, news and data from Thomson Reuters’ terminals in [a development] the company hopes will make the platform stickier for traders.”

The company that owns the IP of the guy who inspired Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi has filed for bankruptcy protection, the Wall Street Journal reports. There’s more from MarketWatch and Reuters, and the company has gone so far as to issue a press release saying it has secured USD 2 mn from an “independent third-party private investment firm” to finance its working capital needs and keep the lights on for the time being.

So, when do we eat? Maghrib prayers are at 6:57pm CLT in Cairo, and the cutoff time for sohour is 3:08am.

Oh, and make sure you check out this morning’s Worth Watching (below) to see side-by-side the Israeli national airline’s advertisement from which EgyptAir’s agency appears to have, uhm, “taken inspiration”.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Amr Adib was back on the Tiran and Sanafir island handover debate on last night’s Kol Youm (watch, runtime: 1:37).

The “cornerstone of this debate” is a presidential decree from 1990 that defines Egypt’s maritime borders with Saudi Arabia and lays no claim to the two islands, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Omar Marwan said. Other documents claiming otherwise are not official, he added (watch, runtime 16:16).

Adib then aired footage of the protest against the agreement outside the Press Syndicate yesterday, which included former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabahy and Khaled Ali in the crowd (watch, runtime: 5:16).

Speed Round

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There’s no question that electricity prices will rise in July, an unnamed senior Electricity Ministry official told Al Shorouk on Tuesday, dismissing persistent rumors the price hike would be delayed. Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said last month that the hike was inevitable but will be modest. The source speculated that prices are likely to rise by 20-30% for each consumption bracket — except for the three lowest tiers, which will see only very small increases. As we noted yesterday, some in the government appear to be pushing to delay the hikes.

This comes as the state looks to bolster its coffers with some EGP 7 bn from an increase in the price of some government services in FY 2017-18, Reuters reports. Rep. Yasser Omar says the House of Representatives agreed to raise the fees paid for 27 different services, including vehicle registration, gun registration, passport issuance, and expat residence visas. The fees increases will also include a one-time EGP 50 fee for every mobile phone line purchased and EGP 10 on every monthly mobile phone bill. Omar says the increase in fees was reduced from an initial plan that was expected to generate EGP 8 bn.

The government taketh, then spend(eth): The Ismail government could be announcing a number of new measures soon to strengthen the social safety net as it pursues further economic reforms and subsidy cuts, sources also tell Al Shorouk. The new spending — which will complement the EGP 46 bn package the government approved last month — will reportedly include a 50% increase in food subsidy card allowances, additional assistance to beneficiaries of the Takaful and Karama cash subsidy programs, and three new social welfare initiatives targeting the poorest in Upper Egypt, the sources add. The EGP 46 bn welfare package approved by Cabinet in May included a 15% increase to pensions and earmarked an additional EGP 2.25 bn to Takaful and Karama.

New regulations mean the head of the EGX will be limited to two four-year terms: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed off in official decree yesterday on changes to how the EGX’s senior management team is appointed, according to Ahram Gate. Under the amendments, the prime minister will be responsible for appointing the chairman and number two at the EGX for a four-year term that could be renewed only once. During their tenure, both officials will sit on the board of directors, which will also include as members a central bank representative, three elected executives from securities firms, two others from EGX-listed firms, an official from one of the custodian banks, and two independent experts that will be nominated by the PM.

[Editor’s note: this entry was corrected to show that the decree specified that the EGX Chairman’s four-year term could be renewed only once, giving the chairmanship an effective two-term limit]

Meanwhile, EFSA has handed down new regulations to facilitate trading on the EGX for overseas clients: The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) issued new regulations on Tuesday that will allow foreigners and Egyptians living abroad to hire representatives to open trading accounts with brokerage firm on their behalf, Al Mal says. Representatives will be able to buy and sell stocks by proxy under the single condition that the client, rather than the brokerage firm, directly finance the transaction (read: no margin trading for you, Skippy). Under the new regulations, representatives can also deposit and cash checks, verify client data, and sign off on account statements. Clients will have to renew their representatives’ power of attorney every five years.

Speaking of EFSA, the regulator has for some time now been drafting a new Insurance Act that could potentially encompass car insurance and private insurance funds as well, EFSA chief Sherif Samy told the press on Tuesday. The bill will also aim to turn state insurance funds into autonomous bodies under the supervision of the Finance Ministry and EFSA. It could be a while before we see this piece of legislation move forward, Samy notes. The draft has outlasted “three presidents and prime ministers and four investment ministers” and still not come to final form. Until then, the EFSA and Investment Ministry plan to issue temporary amendments to the current Insurance Act’s executive regulations to complement others issued last year.

Background: The EFSA had announced plans last year to reshape the laws governing the insurance industry that would outline new requirements for professionals working in the field, set corporate governance requirements, and make EFSA the sole regulator of the industry by phasing out the Insurance Supervisory Authority (ISA).

Income tax changes wending their way through the House: The House Planning and Budgeting Committee approved yesterday raising the maximum sum a private citizen can earn without paying income tax to EGP 7,200 per year from EGP 6,500, Ahram Gate reports. The committee signed off on new tax brackets including:

  • EGP 7,200 and EGP 30,000 per year: Taxed at 10%
  • EGP 30,001 and EGP 45,000 per year: Taxed at 15%
  • EGP 45,001 and EGP 200k: Taxed at 20%,
  • Above EGP 200,001 per year: Taxed at 22.5%.

What’s next? Cabinet approved the restructuring last month. The changes still require approval from a floor vote in the House and will then have to be signed-off by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and published in the Official Gazette before coming into effect.

Back to the days of the ergot ban?A court ordered yesterday the suspension of the inspection system put in place last year for agricultural commodities including wheat, Reuters reports. The move opens the door to the return of the “regot wars” that curtailed Egypt’s access to the global wheat market last year. Last November, the government had tasked the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) to be “the sole state body authorized to inspect wheat at shipping and arrival ports.” The court ordered the responsibility of inspections to be transferred back to the Agriculture Ministry’s quarantine body — the architect of Egypt’s ergot ban. “The lawyers said it was unclear whether suspension of the system would restore Egypt’s controversial ban on the common grain fungus ergot,” Reuters notes. State grain buyer GASC had said it intends to follow the international standard of allowing up to 0.05% ergot in wheat shipments. Traders said they expect the old quarantine inspectors to be back, but agree with GASC that the international level is expected to be maintained.

Willkommen — the Germans are coming: Siemens is looking at new opportunities in Egypt, CEO Joe Kaeser told Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and Suez Canal Economic Zone Chairman Mohab Mamish in Berlin, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Siemens is apparently looking at a training center in the SCZone and at rail and maritime transport projects there. Nasr held sit-downs with company officials from Mercedes-Benz, DEA, and Knauf.

Keep your eyes on Giesecke & Devrient and Plasser & Theurer. The CEOs of both companies met separately yesterday with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to a statement from Ittihadiya (pdf). The statement is short on details, but if the head of state is meeting one-on-one with CEOs who reassure him that they’re interested in opportunities in Egypt, that’s signal to “watch this space.” Giesecke & Devrient provides securities solutions and smartcard systems (covering everything from banknote paper to national IDs, passports and subsidy cards), while Austria’s Plasser & Theurer is a railway track maintenance specialist.

The President also met with the head of the German parliament’s majority bloc Volker Kauder (pdf) and Bishop Damian (pdf) of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Germany.

House Legislative Committee signs off on Smurf Island agreement: The House of Representatives’ Legislative Committee voted yesterday in favor of the agreement that would hand the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir over to Saudi Arabia, Al Ahram reports. The pact, which passed with a 35-8 vote, does not violate the constitution, House speaker Ali Abdel Aal said, noting also that there is no legal reason to take it to a national referendum.

The House’s Defense and National Security Committee will begin discussing the agreement today before the it is scheduled for a plenary session vote, committee chair Kamal Amer tells Al Shorouk. The vote came one day after a fiery session on Monday that saw members of the House’s majority and opposition blocs come close to blows as they debated the viability of a House vote on the agreement in light of having been struck down by an Administrative Court verdict in January.

Tensions escalate in response: Angered by the news, dozens of protesters reportedly clashed with police forces outside the Press Syndicate yesterday, according to The Associated Press, which cited police officials saying that an unknown number of arrests had been made. Reports in the local press were conflicting, with AMAY quoting an interior ministry official denying arrests and Al Shorouk quoting another saying that detainees were released.

Abdel Aal’s instinct not to take it to a referendum is on point as apparently only 11% of Egyptians believe that Tiran and Sanafir are Saudi, according to a poll conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera). 47% believe the islands are firmly Egyptian and the remainder say they do not know. “The results reflect an apparent shift in public opinion in the past year, with more people now viewing the islands as sovereign Egyptian territory,” the paper notes. The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,164 citizens nationwide, aged 18 and above, on 11-12 June.

The World Bank will not be disbursing the second tranche of a USD 75 mn loan it had pledged to the Health Ministry in January 2016, Deputy Health Minister Sayed El Shahed told the press on Tuesday, without providing any reasoning, Al Borsa reports. The WB had already sent out the first USD 40 mn tranche. The loan was meant to help develop medical services at some 1,300 clinics in five governorates.

Dana Gas debt-restructuring takes another twist: Dana Gas plans to restructure its USD 700 mn of sukuks after its board received instructions that, in their present form, Dana Gas sukuks are not Shari’a compliant and is therefore unlawful under UAE regulations, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The company proposes to halve the current profit rates on the sukuks in the new compliant ones it plans to replace them with. Delayed payments by Iraqi Kurdistan and Egypt had driven the company to restructure.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is out: Travis Kalanick told staff he plans to take a leave of absence and has not specified when he plans to return, Bloomberg reports. A management committee will be set up to run the company in his place.

Sessions denies involvement with Russia: US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions denied during a Senate hearing yesterday that he was party to an alleged conspiracy between now-President Donald Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 US presidential elections, the Financial Times reports. However, Sessions’ strategy throughout the hearing was largely based on “stonewalling,” as he refused to disclose several pieces of information the senators requested, including details on conversations he had with Trump. Vox and the New York Times have more.

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Image of the Day

European asylum seekers lived in El Shatt refugee camp in the desert near the SuezCanal for 18 months during the Second World War, according to a photo essay by the UK’s Metro. The photo essay shows glimpses of life in El Shatt, which was established to host tens of thousands of those who fled Yugoslavia before Nazi Germany’s invasion. “More than 30,000 people in total lived at El Shatt. During their time there, there were 300 marriages, and 650 births” (Photo credit: MediaDrumWorld).

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning is the House ofRepresentative’s Legislative Committee voting to approve the Tiran and Sanafir handover agreement. AP’s coverage of the recent reported clashes between protesters outside the Press Syndicate and the police was picked up extensively. Others such as Al Jazeera and the Times of Israel are noting how the protests last year over the announcement of the agreement sparked the worst bout of protests since President Abdel Fattah El Sisi assumed office.

The website ban came in at a very close second, with the Associated Press noting the latest update that the number of banned sites has increased to 64.The newswire also notes the blocking of the websites, which has now expanded to include VPN software designed to circumvent it, has intensified as the government looks to push the Tiran and Sanafir handover agreement through the legislature. Engadget’s Mariella Moon is running with the recycled trope that the move’s intention is to secure the 2018 presidential election for President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

This comes as Amnesty International says Egyptian authorities “must immediately stop arbitrarily blocking news websites.” Out of the list of banned websites, Amnesty International says it could only identify one that was linked to groups that use or advocate violence.

The standoff between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE is lining the pockets of DC lobbyists, The Hill reports. “Qatar has five K Street firms on retainer … Some of Qatar’s well-heeled neighbors, however, have even larger influence war chests, with upwards of 30 firms combined at their beck and call.” The report notes that Qatar hired the firm of former US Attorney General John Ashcroft “to assist in ‘evaluating, verifying, and as necessary, strengthening the client’s [AML] and counterterrorism financial compliance programs and providing legal advice and recommendations to enhance and improve such efforts.’” One former consultant to Qatar says the problems began as Qatar tried “to position themselves for the last decade as the Switzerland of the Middle East … They want to be a place where disputes can get resolved … The unintended consequence of that is that they’ve gotten into bed with a lot of [redacted] up people.”

The United States’ continued arms sales to Egypt and other countries in the Middle East turns a blind eye to “dark records of serious human rights abuses,” Evan Hill writes for The Atlantic, citing a report from the Government Accountability Office.

A bill currently being discussed at the House of Representatives to ban Egyptian parents from giving their children Western names is being widely picked up by the international press, with Newsweek, The Independent, and The New York Post taking note. The proposed law would see parents fined or imprisoned for using foreign names, which MPs allege would change Egyptian society. Morons.

Worth Watching

EgyptAir or its agency have ripped off an ad from Israel’s El Al: It is no surprise that many in the Egyptian media and ad industries take inspiration (for lack of a better word) from abroad. But EgyptAir’s media ad guys took it to a whole new level, jumping on the Israeli’s El Al’s media campaign as if they were founding members of the Shou Ming Cheats Facebook group.

Our national flag carrier’s ad for its 85th anniversary (runtime: 1:02) is a conceptual (and, in places, frame-for-frame) rip-off of an El Al spot on its North America route (runtime: 1:00). When we say “nearly,” we mean that what little originality came into play consisted of a racist African stereotype and a good-looking pilot surrounded by female attendants wearing a shirt he must have borrowed from his 12 year old son.

Has no one at EgyptAir’s agency figured out that the internet exists?

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt marginally eased travel restrictions on Qatar and will allow airlines and aircraft that are not registered in Egypt or Qatar to use its airspace to fly to and from Qatar, the civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday, according to Reuters. This follows a series of similar decisions by the UAE and Bahrain to set up a hotline to handle humanitarian issues resulting from the blockade which came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for easing the blockade. This appears not have been enough for US ambassador to the Qatar Dana Shell Smith, who reportedly has resigned over US President Donald Trump’s criticism of Qatar, according to the Hill.

This comes as LNG traders were “relieved” and had their concerns “eased” following deliveries of Qatari LNG into Egypt and the transiting of several Qatari vessels through the Suez Canal, Platts reports. This came after initial concerns that followed Qatar’s decision to divert two LNG cargoes through the Cape of Good Hope instead of going through the Suez Canal, sparking concerns that Egypt is restricting access to the waterway, but market experts said the decision was likely Qatar’s rather than Egypt’s.

Yet somehow, the GCC’s Disneyland is still trying to flex whatever atrophied muscles it has, with its Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani defiantly stating that Al Jazeera is off the table in any negotiations to end the rift. Speaking at a press conference in Paris, Al Thani said that the channel was an “internal matter,” according to Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, the channel may be getting the boot outside the Arab world, with Israel considering shutting down it the channel, the Associated Press reports.

Meanwhile, Egypt has reportedly offered Hamas consistent electricity supplies to the Gaza strip and easier access through the Rafah crossing in exchange for security demands, according to Al Sharq Al Awsat. Egypt’s demands include the extradition of 17 people convicted of terrorism charges, protecting the border between Sinai and Gaza, and security cooperation. A source told the paper that the Hamas delegation, led by Yahya Sinwar, had agreed to cooperate on security matters. Haaretz also has the story. Egypt had reportedly shut down power lines to Gaza earlier in the week for maintenance.

Energy

Egypt to reduce imports of LNG by 30% starting from September -source

Egypt will reduce its monthly imports of LNG by 30% starting from September, Reuters’ Arabic service reports, citing an EGAS official. The official says Egypt is importing 10 LNG cargoes each month in June and July and this amount will be reduced to seven in September. The imports will be reduced further still to five each month once production from the Zohr supergiant field begins. Sources had said in May that Egypt was in talks to reduce is planned imports of LNG in 2018 to 30 cargoes instead of 70.

Production from West Nile Delta development phase two expected ahead of schedule

The Petroleum Ministry is committed to start production from phase two of BP’s West Nile Delta (WND) concession ahead of the 2019 scheduled date, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. BP wants to bring the development’s Fayoum and Giza fields on stream end of 2018, with a daily production of 400 mcf, Regional President for North Africa Hesham Mekawi said. Production at Raven field should begin in 2019 at 350 mcf/d, he added. BP’s Taurus and Libra fields in the WND’s phase one had come onstream last month, eight months ahead of schedule.

AfDB plans to allocate USD 40 mn to Shapoorji FiT projects

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is looking to allocate another c.USD 40 mn in funding to two solar feed-in tariff (FiT) projects by India’s Shapoorji Pallonji Group, sources tell Al Borsa. Shapoorji has already signed agreements with AfDB, the IMF, and the Islamic Bank to finance its USD 85 mn 50 MW power station. The AfDB is also considering financing Alcazar’s 50 MW solar power plant in Benban with a USD 18 mn package, PV Magazine reports. The project is being built by Alcazar subsidiary Delta for Renewable Energy.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Steel rebars prices up by 17% following import tariffs

Steel rebars prices increased 17% from last month after the Trade and Industry Ministry imposed tariffs on imported rebars from China, Turkey, and Ukraine, Reuters reports. The tariff is set to remain in place for four months. Egyptian rebars prices rose to EGP 10,500-10,600 per tonne from EGP 9,000 last month, head of building materials at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Ahmed El-Zainy tells Reuters. All production inputs for steel are imported and their price doubled since the EGP float.

Egypt’s late table grapes season threatens Italian producers

Italian fruit producers are worried about the impact of Egypt’s good grape harvest. Italy’s Agrimessina is concerned that Egypt’s late table grapes season will overlap with the time Italy supplies to European markets this summer, Fresh Fruit Portal reports. Egypt’s harvest this year is also larger compared to last year.

Egypt purchases 300k tonnes of Russian, Romanian, Ukrainian wheat

The General Authority for Supply Commodities purchased 300k tonnes of Russian, Romanian, and Ukrainian wheat in a purchase tender on Tuesday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The wheat is scheduled for delivery between 15 and 25 July. The lowest offer GASC received was USD 192.74 per tonne, traders tell the newspaper. GASC paid an average price of USD 205.51, according to Black Sea Grain.

Middle Egypt Flour Mills to invest EGP 44 mn next year

Middle Egypt Flour Mills is planning to invest EGP 44 mn in 2017-2018 to establish a new flour mill, a silo, and a plastic factory, as well as upgrading some of its existing silos, Al Mal reports.

Cultivated land for summer crops increases to 2.02 mn feddans

The cultivated area of summer crops in Egypt increased to 2.02 mn feddans, the Agriculture Ministry said, according to Al Mal.

Manufacturing

LaFarge subsidiary to build EGP 250 mn alternative fuel factory

LaFarge Group subsidiary Geocycle is planning to build a EGP 250 mn alternative fuel factory in Suez, Al Borsa reports.

Health + Education

Education Ministry considers increasing land allocation for 200 schools PPP project

The Education Ministry is considering increasing the amount of land allocated to establish 200 schools under a public-private partnership framework in 18 governorates, Al Borsa reports. Some of the companies that qualified for the project objected to the ministry potentially offering less than the 51 plots previously agreed upon, unnamed government sources say. The ministry will now study offering more than 51 plots in the tender, which is expected to be launched this month. The final contracts are set to be signed in August or September. Al Madaen Holding, Carillion, a consortium led by the UK’s Bridge Capital, and the Orascom Construction and Sheraton Heliopolis Schools consortium are among the 42 companies that have qualified for the project.

Tourism

ODH to increase hotel rooms by 500 by next summer season

Orascom Development Holding (ODH) aims to increase its international hotel capacity by 500 rooms to reach a total of 8,500 by the summer 2018, CEO Khaled Bichara said, according to Reuters. The company will add 120-150 rooms in Oman and is looking to establish two new hotels in Montenegro and in Switzerland, according to CEO Khaled Bichara. The company will also be expanding in Morocco and the UK in the next two years, he added.

Italian tour operators to organize 50 weekly flights to Sharm El Sheikh next

Italian tour operators are planning to run 50 flights each week to Sharm El Sheikh next month, the head of the South Sinai Investors Association tells Al Shorouk. Italian tourism increased 60% year-on-year during the first four months of 2017, and is expected to continue rising during the summer season, according to the head of the Tourism Development Authority. The TDA had launched a 3-week promotional campaign in Italy last month.

AUC hands over 5,000 artifacts from 1964 dig to gov’t

The American University in Cairo handed over to the Antiquities Ministry some 5,000 historical artifacts a university excavation team unearthed in Fustat in 1964, Ahram Online reports. The collection will be transported the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.

Telecoms + ICT

TE signs domestic roaming agreement with Etisalat

Telecom Egypt announced it has signed a domestic roaming agreement with Etisalat Misr to offer 2G and 3G using the mobile company’s infrastructure. Orange signed a similar agreement with TE in April and Vodafone is still reportedly in talks with fixed-line monopoly to do the same. The three mobile companies are set to meet with the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority today to discuss the redistribution of 3G frequencies across the nation.

Automotive + Transportation

Bombardier to conduct studies for Nasr City-New Administrative Capital monorail

Canada’s Bombardier will conduct feasibility studies on a monorail line connecting Nasr City to the New Administrative Capital, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

Careem to launch services in Palestine

Ride-hailing app Careem is launching its services in Ramallah tomorrow, and will expand to other cities in Palestine “in the near future,” according to an emailed statement (pdf).

Seven investors to sign new contract for Sokhna Logistic Car City after others backed of original agreement

Seven Investors in the Ain Sokhna Automotive Logistics City are days away from signing a new contract after a number of companies backed out of the original agreement, Al Mal reported on Tuesday. China’s TEDA Holding had inked agreements with a number of investors early this year to establish a EGP 300 mn auto manufacturing and shipping hub in the Suez Gulf’s freezone to serve as a base for car imports, exports and storage.

National Security

Egypt to acquire Ka-52K helicopters, to be deployed on Mistral carriers

Russia’s Rostec Corporation will be supplying Egypt with Ka-52K shipboard helicopters, but a contract has not been signed yet, TASS reports. “The Ka-52K is designed for patrol missions, fire support missions during amphibious assaults and anti-amphibious assault defense at the frontline and in tactical depth.” The Ka-52K models, set to be deployed on the Mistral-class carriers, are different from the conventional Ka-52 Alligators, of which Egypt agreed to acquire 46 of in 2015.

On Your Way Out

Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr’s El Shaab figurines are among the sculptures on display at the Salsali Private Museum in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue. Nasr’s sculptures were created in 2012 and, “though diminutive in size, Nasr’s sculptures are highly emotive, representing ­different religions, ethnicities and ­generations and, therefore, ­offering a cross section of Egypt’s population,” Anna Seaman writes in The National. The sculptures are small and placed on a shelf, Seaman describes, this leaves “their ­power is somewhat diminished – a possible parallel with the ­aftermath of the Tahrir Square protesters in 2011.”

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 18.0424 | Sell 18.1421
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 18.05 | Sell 18.15
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.95 | Sell 18.05

EGX30 (Tuesday): 13,531 (+0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 1.1 bn (39% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +9.6%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session up 0.3%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.5%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Domty up 8.3%, Emaar Misr up 4.3%, and Madinet Nasr Housing up 3.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: Porto Group down 4.7%, Telecom Egypt down 1.1%, and Credit Agricole down 1.1%. The market turnover was EGP 1.1 bn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +1.1 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +4.6 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -5.7 mn

Retail: 57.3% of total trades | 61.1% of buyers | 53.6% of sellers
Institutions: 42.7% of total trades | 38.9% of buyers | 46.4% of sellers

Foreign: 21.1% of total | 21.1% of buyers | 21.0% of sellers
Regional: 13.4% of total | 13.6% of buyers | 13.2% of sellers
Domestic: 65.5% of total | 65.3% of buyers | 65.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 45.94 (-1.12%)
Brent: USD 48.26 (-0.94%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.97 MMBtu, (+0.13%, July 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,269.40 / troy ounce (+0.06%)

TASI: 6,820.60 (-0.03%) (YTD: -5.41%)
ADX: 4,537.60 (+0.58%) (YTD: -0.19%)
DFM: 3,441.85 (+0.43%) (YTD: -2.52%)
KSE Weighted Index: 398.10 (-0.27%) (YTD: +4.74%)
QE: 9,095.45 (-0.43%) (YTD: -12.85%)
MSM: 5,313.71 (-0.01%) (YTD: -8.11%)
BB: 1,327.48 (+0.39%) (YTD: +8.77%)

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Calendar

26 May-23 June (Friday-Friday): Window for firms to submit expressions of interest to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for consulting on Egypt’s oil and gas sector reform, London, UK.

22 June (Thursday): Nile Summit scheduled to be held in Uganda.

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

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

06 July (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

13-15 July (Thursday-Saturday): AGRENA’s 19th Annual Poultry, Livestock, and Fish show, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

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.

17 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

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).

25-27 September (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Downstream Summit and Exhibition, Kempinski Royal Maxim Palace, Cairo.

28 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

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.

11-12 October (Wednesday-Thursday): 2030 Mega Projects Conference, Nefertiti Hall, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

11-13 October (Wednesday-Friday): Middle East and Africa Rail Show, Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo.

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

16 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

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.

28 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

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