Monday, 24 July 2017

Leak suggests banks face term limits for bosses, 5% tithe to industry fund


What We’re Tracking Today

We enter August a week from tomorrow, with all of the earnings season insanity that entails. It’s then a quick slide into the Eid Al Adha long weekend (starting Thursday, 31 August — TBD) and then planning for 2018. Anyone else feeling this year went by awfully quickly? If you, like at least one of us, are already contemplating 2018 in terms of health / waistline resolutions that you hope might pay dividends during next year’s Sahel season, you’ll want to go read Gary Taubes’ “Are You a Carboholic? Why Cutting Carbs Is So Tough” for the New York Times. It’s the latest in his crusade to prove to us all that Big Sugar is behind global health problems ranging from obesity to diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Egypt’s economy is expected to grow by 4% this fiscal year before accelerating to 4.3% in FY 2018-19, a Reuters poll of 15 economists showed. The expectation for FY2017-18’s is in line with the government’s forecast, but respondents’ estimate of 3.5% for the year that just ended is a bit lower than the government’s projection of 3.8-4.0%. The poll also sees median annual core inflation dropping to 12.2% in FY 2018-19 from the projected 17.2% during the current year. Interest rates are also set to fall, economists believe, seeing the overnight lending rate drop to 16.5% by the end of this fiscal year from 19.75% currently, and falling further to 13.50% by the end of FY 2018-19.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry heads to Brussels today for tomorrow’s EU-Egypt Association Council meeting — the first such event since 2010. Amnesty International is telling the EU not to turn a blind eye to the human rights situation by focusing solely on regional security during the meeting.

The second round of elections for the EGX’s board of directors kicks off today, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The first round was held in June.

PSA- Zamalek residents should expect Ismail Mohamed Street and Brazil Street to be shut down for preliminary work on the Cairo Metro (face it, folks, it’s coming), according to Egypt Independent. Perhaps more alarming is the Cairo Traffic Administration’s announcement that the Autostrad will be closed from Gabalein to the 15th of May area from this morning and for a period of 30 days, reports Al Masry El Youm.

More “do as I say, not as I do” from the Mad Turk: That Turkish fellow is cross with Germany for its alleged interference in his domestic affairs. This comes as he traveled to KSA and Kuwait yesterday to try to meddle in their affairs under the guise of mediating a resolution to the woes presently faced by his pals in Qatar. (The Financial Times, meanwhile, counts the cost to business of the boycott.) But the best thing you can read on Turkey this morning? That would be the New York Times’ piece on the more than 950 businesses worth a combined USD 11 bn that Erdogan’s government has seized in its yearlong political crackdown. Read “Turkey Sees Foes at Work in Gold Mines, Cafes and ‘Smurf Village’.”

Finally, two pieces of note from the FT: Vanguard is closing in on BlackRock as the world’slargest asset manager (thanks in no small part to inflows into ETFs) and the salmon-colored newspaper’s inimitable Lucy Kellaway has penned her (kind of) final column as she prepares to leave the paper and go teach at an inner London school.

On The Horizon

The House of Representatives’ Health Committee will meet in August to discuss a possible second round of med price increases for 2017, according to Al Borsa. MPs will review Health Ministry report on pricing that has yet to be made public and that is believed to recommend raising the prices of some 1,320 meds out of 1,400 studied. The Health Ministry had promised industry it would consider a second hike in med prices in August after the rise it permitted in January. Health Minister Ahmed Rady had said earlier this month that prices will not rise again this year.

Egypt’s freetrade agreement with Mercosur countries will come into effect in a month. This comes after Argentina notified the group that it has ratified the pact, Argentina’s Production Ministry said, Reuters reports. The agreement covers food, cars, auto parts, and industrial supplies. It is set to eliminate tariffs on 60% of Argentina’s exports, in addition to reducing tariffs for other products over 10 years. It will also lift fees on Argentina’s imports of Egyptian beef, pears, apples, cars, and auto parts.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Last Night’s Talk Shows is on summer hiatus until this coming Sunday. Enjoy the break from the talking heads — we certainly have.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Purported amendments to the banking and central banking acts have leaked: Al Mal has published its take on what it says are leaks of the most important planks of the Central Bank of Egypt’s proposed amendments to the banking and central banking acts. It says there are five major surprises in the proposed amendments:

  • Imposing term limits for bank executives and giving the CBE new powers to appoint representatives to bank boards of directors, while also setting new criteria for the selection of senior central bank staff to make the institution “apolitical”;
  • Requiring banks to pass on 5% of their net income to a sector development fund, alongside other fees payable to the central bank, some of which are rising tenfold;
  • Expanding its sway over non-bank financial services by saying it has “opened licensing and registration to new institutions” such as providers of e-payment services;
  • Increasing the minimum capital requirements for CBE-compliant financial institutions, setting a minimum capital of EGP 1.5 bn for banks;
  • Accepting that we are no longer in the 1980s by recognizing electronic documents and no longer requiring banks to preserve documents on paper through antiquated means like microfilm.

Banking industry rejects what it sees as the more ‘controversial’ clauses of CBE Act: The Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) wants to scrap the proposed term limits outlined in article 109, which they claim would see a number of current CEOs and managing directors removed. That’s the key takeaway from a rundown on the FEB’s views on the law published in Al Mal. Term limits, they argue, would infringe on the rights of bank boards of directors and general assemblies. Other banking sources telling Al Shorouk that the article simply adds another layer of review to the appointment of bank bosses, but would not impose term limits. There is no official copy of the amendments for us to verify whether the article would restore term limits for banking sector heads as was reported last week.

Bankers are also concerned that the proposed amendments would no longer require the House of Representatives to sign off the appointment of a CBE governor. Others have also objected to clauses that place the CBE under the jurisdictions of the presidency, saying that the move would make the CBE no longer an independent authority as it currently is.

Amendments to the Banking Act would make establishing an FX bureau harder, raising the minimum capital requirements for starting an FX bureau to EGP 20 mn, up from a current EGP 5 mn, according to Al Mal.

IFC pledges USD 660 mn to major solar power project in Egypt: The International Finance Corporation’s executive board signed off last Thursday on a USD 660 mn funding agreement to help finance the USD 730 mn solar power complex in Benban, Aswan, an Investment and International Cooperation Ministry statement said on Thursday (pdf). The funding will go to six consortiums made up of local and international firms developing 11 solar array fields producing a total 500 MW of power. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other international organizations had pledged close to USD 2 bn in financing for Benban’s solar projects.

On a related note, Egypt netted USD 7.8 bn in foreign direct investment in the first seven months of 2017, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said on Thursday, according to AMAY.

M&A WATCH- Al Ahly for Development and Investment (ADI) inked an MoU with Sigma Capital on Thursday to kickstart due diligence and the preparation of a fair value report ahead of a planned merger, according to a bourse filing (pdf). Last month, ADI’s board approved merger talks with Sigma Capital and set a deadline for 30 September to complete talks on the proposed transaction.

In other news from the finance industry, EFG Hermes has moved into Kenya. Subsidiary EFG Hermes Kenya announced it obtained a license to provide brokerage services on the Kenyan exchange, according to a bourse statement. The investment bank says the move comes as part of its expansion in frontier markets.

IPO WATCH- Rooya Real Estate Investment Company is actively looking for an investment bank to lead its upcoming initial public offering, CEO Hisham Shoukry said on Sunday, according to Al Shorouk. Pioneers Holding, which currently owns 60% of Rooya, is looking to list half of its shares in the company on the EGX by October. Rooya expects to file the necessary paperwork for its IPO within days, according to Shoukry.

MOVES- The government confirmed the appointment of Mohsen Adel as deputy chairman of the Egyptian Exchange. News of the appointment was leaked on Wednesday.

MOVES- The Ministry of Electricity appointed Dr. Mohamed El Khayat as new executive chairman of the New and Renewable Energy Authority,according to Al Borsa. The confirmation of his appointment should take place within the next few days.

A number of manufacturers have signaled that they are pressing ahead with expansion plans despite high costs of capital after successive interest rate hikes. Packaging manufacturer HiPack, for example, plans to invest EGP 3.5 bn in new production lines over an unspecified period, HiPack’s export director Ihab El Shoury tells Al Shorouk. The company is looking to double exports, which El Shoury says is worth the capex outlay despite high current costs of capital after successive interest rate hikes.

Cheesemaker Obour Land will be pressing ahead with its new juice and dairy factories, CEO Ayman Hamed also tells the newspaper. Hamed dismissed news of delays as “rumors,” saying the company plans to bring the two new plants online soon and will launch five new production lines in 2017. The company is confident on the growth outlook for its market, he said.

Not everyone is investing in Egypt, though: Dairy producer Domty is waiting on feasibility studies for a manufacturing facility it’s considering establishing in Ethiopia, according to Vice Chairman Mohamed El Damaty. Domty was one of several companies to delay planned investments due to the slump in market conditions and rising costs, particularly after the government’s latest decision to hike fuel prices. Misr Hotels Company and Arafa Holdings had also announced they would be postponing plans.

Tax Authority signs off on new income tax breaks: Tax Authority boss Emad Samy signed off on income tax breaks on Thursday, Al Mal reports. The House of Representatives had approved income tax cuts last month ranging from 5-80% for those earning under EGP 200k a year and exempting those earning anything below minimum wage. The breaks came as part of the government’s efforts to widen the social safety net and soften the impact of economic and fiscal reform measures.

Remember last year’s exposé of corruption in the wheat subsidy smart card system by Reuters’ Eric Knecht? On Thursday, the Illicit Gains Authority referred “two employees from the Smart Cards Applications Company to criminal court on charges of graft allegedly worth EGP 60 mn,” Ahram Online reports. The employees allegedly work for one of three companies tasked with printing food subsidy cards and are accused of “fraudulently creating one mn cards by duplicating existing cards, activating cancelled cards, and issuing cards to those who were not eligible.” Knecht’s excellent report had mentioned industry sources saying “the smart card system could be hacked, allowing some bakers to falsify receipts and request far more subsidised flour than they officially sold… that triggered a wave of fraud higher up the supply chain.” He said employees of the company producing the cards had the ability to hack the system and “reset the card allowing more spending. So instead of spending once or twice a month you can spend 1,000 times.”

The Ismail government approved on Thursday amendments to the law regulating the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), granting the nation’s top anti-corruption watchdog complete technical, financial, and administrative autonomy, according to a Cabinet statement. The amendments stipulate that the ACA is now affiliated with the presidency, rather than the prime minister, and the head of the ACA will be appointed by presidential decree. The amendments also widen the scope of the authority’s responsibilities pertaining to investigating incidents of illicit gains and FX-related crimes.

Other key decisions during Thursday’s cabinet meeting included:

  • Allocating a portion of the Social Housing Fund’s accumulated interest to compensate contractors building affordable housing in the Red Sea governorate for losses incurred from the EGP float;
  • Signed off on decisions and recommendations from Cabinet’s Investment Dispute Resolution Committee;
  • Ratified a bundle of decisions from Cabinet’s engineering committee to develop social housing projects nationwide.

Egypt’s poverty line is expected to rise to EGP 700-800 during FY2017-18, up from EGP 482 amid the impact of the government’s ongoing economic reform program, Cairo University Professor of Statistics Heba El Laithy tells Youm7. El Laithy, who helps state statistics agency CAPMAS carry out its income and expenditures survey, says the number of Egyptians living in poverty will likely rise to 35%, from 28% currently.

Moody’s affirmed Egypt’s B3 rating with a stable outlook, saying the IMF’s review of the country’s economic reform program is credit positive in a report released on Thursday (paywall). “Reforms are showing positive results, particularly the foreign exchange rate liberalisation in November 2016, which helped reduce balance-of-payment pressures from large current-account deficits and support the sovereign’s external liquidity position,” the report reads. Moody’s says the state’s budget deficit will shrink to 3% of GDP by the end of 2020, with exports expected to rise over the coming period. The agency also expects the government’s fiscal deficit to narrow gradually to 9.5% of GDP by the end of the current fiscal year, down from 11% during the last fiscal year, and forecasts the debt to GDP ratio to reach 86.5%, down from 95%.

Housing Ministry to issue immediate 10% downpayments on compensation to contractors: Contractors being compensated for losses incurred on government contracts after the EGP float receive 10% downpayments until the committee tasked with repricing their contracts can complete its work, Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly decided on Thursday, according to Al Mal. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had earlier this month signed the Contractors’ Compensation Act into law. Some 29k contractors stand to have repriced their contracts by 15 August, House of Representatives Housing Committee chair Alaa Wali tells Al Shorouk.

EARNINGS WATCH- The National Bank of Kuwait – Egypt reported a 78.4% year-on-year jump in net profit during 1H2017, which came in at EGP 727 mn, according to a regulatory filing to the EGX.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued a decree on Thursday amending the country’s anti-terrorism laws in a bid to “dispel charges it supports terrorism,” Reuters reports. The move earned Doha some praise from the UAE, whose minister of state for foreign affairs said it is a “positive step,” but maintained that Qatar’s policies must change before the Arab quartet can begin direct talks to end the regional rift, Bloomberg reports. The UAE also unblocked BeIN channels from being aired, according to CNN Money. The US and the UK each praised Qatar for its “commitment to combat terrorism,” and called for an end to the blockade of Qatar.

New York food cart chain The Halal Guys has been named the number-one fastest growing restaurant concept by Restaurant Business on its 2017 Future 50 list. The Halal Guys first started in 1990 “by three like-minded men from Egypt who came to America in search of a better life. When the founders noticed many Muslim cab drivers in New York City were looking for a place to buy Halal food in Manhattan, they created their first food cart that quickly grew into a leading destination for American Halal fare. In 2013, The Halal Guys was ranked the most popular food truck reviewed on Foursquare and in 2014 was the third most reviewed restaurant on Yelp in the United States.” They now have 350 restaurants in development worldwide.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning pickups of wire coverage of a shootout that saw security forces kill eight suspected Hasm militants over the weekend. Security forces said that the group was found in a training camp in a southern desert region. Eight others were arrested in Giza.

The stabbing of two German tourists in Hurghada could not have happened at a worse time, as tourism in Egypt is just beginning to recover, German tourism portal FVW says. “The terrorist attack threatens a new blow to the country’s struggling tourism industry and economy.” German tourists are expected to continue flying into the country during winter though thanks to low package prices, the piece says. We had noted that German tour operator FTI said the Hurghada attack will not be affecting its plans to increase flights to Egypt. The company increased weekly connections to Egypt to 142 from 68.

Sawari Ventures, Flat6Labs, and Greek Campus founder Ahmed El Alfi’s career isbeing profiled in a glowing report by Entrepreneur Middle East. The piece pays particular attention on his charting of the VC environment during the calamitous period of the Arab Spring. El Alfi explains that two important changes, both presently occurring, will enable the startup scene in the MENA region to evolve into a more mature entrepreneurial ecosystem. “Firstly, recognition by the traditional business community that startups can become legitimate players in the marketplace in the MENA region,” he says. That same shift in perception is taking place among talented people, since you now see senior and highly-qualified people leave big corporate jobs to join startups, he added.

The clashes in the El Warraq neighborhood highlights the disconnect between the government’s urban development policy and slum dwellers rights, writes Ruth Michaelson for the Guardian.

Egypt’s Cool Runnings: Egyptian Special Olympics athletes trained for the 2017 Winter Games on sand, Mohamed Zaki writes for Reuters. “The four-member snowshoe team of two men and two women with learning disabilities had never seen snow before arriving in Austria for the tournament in March, but they were prepared: winning gold in the relay as well as individual medals. They trained for two months by strapping on snowshoes and running across the sandy beaches of Alexandria.” Zaki says the team now has its eyes on the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.

Also worth noting in brief:

  • Amnesty international called for an independent inquiry into the death of 43-year-old Gamal Aweida in Egyptian police custody.
  • Al Monitor’s Ahmed Aleem says the Egyptian government’s success in its initial public offering of state-owned companies will depend on the mechanism, but “cannot be described as economic reform but rather as financial reform.”
  • A visit to the US in June by a delegation of Egyptian parliamentarians bodes well forEgyptian-US relations, Sasha Toperich writes for HuffPost.
  • “Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have sown the wind. Now they will reap the whirlwind.Their attack on Qatar further destabilized the Middle East, unsettling several of Washington’s closest allies… [Qatar] has little incentive to yield, while [Saudi Arabia and the UAE] face humiliation if they abandon their claims,” Forbes contributor Doug Bandow suggests.
  • The Irish press is noting the death of Irish freediver Stephen Keenan in Dahab while attempting to rescue another diver, calling him a hero.
  • Although the stigma has faded away, belly dancers have not yet reclaimed their status of refined artistry as featured in old Egyptian movies, Lamiaa Elkholy writes for Al Arabiya English.

On Deadline

Egypt has a chance to poach German tourists from Turkey as tensions mount between Ankara and Berlin. The latest development: Germany warning its citizens against traveling to Turkey, Emad El Din Hussein writes in Al Shorouk. With the right strategy, Egypt can benefit from the situation, particularly since Germany did not take any punitive measures against Egypt following the stabbings in Hurghada last week, Hussein says.

Worth Reading

Profiling “history-making” Lobna Helal: Forbes Middle East profiled deputy central bank governor Lobna Helal, who they picked as the number two most powerful Arab businesswoman. Samuel Wendel says “Helal is no stranger to making history—or navigating turmoil… When presented with the opportunity of returning to the CBE in 2015—and taking on the immense responsibilities that came with it—she gladly left behind her comfortable private sector job.” None of the challenges that Helal faced before may be as daunting as the monetary reforms now being spearheaded by the central bank, Wendel writes.

Helal started-off with the aim of becoming a diplomat, but her “fall back” move into banking came due to family considerations moving on between banks until she joined the CBE in 2004 to head the banking sector reform unit. Helal played an active role in banking reform during the tenure of Governor Farouk El Okdah, overseeing a “consolidation program that reduced the number of banks in Egypt from 57 to 39. She coordinated the settlement of non-performing loans that state-owned enterprises had with state-owned banks… Helal says the overall reforms initiated by the CBE during those years were critical in strengthening the banking sector ahead of an impending era of turmoil.” For Helal, “nothing compares to doing something that can impact the whole nation.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The Foreign Ministry is not happy about the US Department of State’s travel warningon Egypt, and asked the embassy in Washington to relay that message clear to DC, the ministry said in a statement. The statement said it expected the US to show “more solidarity given the circumstances” and says the warning omits important details about the attacks it references (including the Hurghada stabbings), painting an inaccurate picture about the state of security in Egypt and contradicting earlier statements about how heavily guarded Egyptian touristic sites and public places are.

Egypt, Sweden, and France have all called upon the UN Security Council to address the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence in Jerusalem, Reuters reports. Eight Palestinians have reportedly been killed in a spat of violence over Israel’s recent restrictions on access to Al Aqsa Mosque. Arab League officials are also urging Israel to calm the situation.

This comes as Egypt may open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza by late August as part of a three-way agreement between Hamas, Fatah, and Egypt, exiled Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan tells the Associated Press. Hamas will also set up a USD 100 mn power plant in Egypt, funded by the UAE, to supply the Gaza Strip with electricity. Egyptian officials stressed the agreements Egypt has reached with Hamas are solely humanitarian and not a political substitution for reconciliatory efforts between rival factions Hamas and Fatah, the head of Islamic Jihad’s media office Daoud Shihab told the Palestine News Network.

Egypt talks joint projects with Belarus delegation: A delegation of Belarusian businessmen and government officials visiting Cairo over the weekend discussed establishing joint projects in agricultural production and agricultural equipment manufacturing, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The two countries are also currently in talks to launch water treatment projects with Belarusian technology, according to Belarus’ Deputy Agriculture Minister Leonid Adamovich.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has apparently provided Egypt with AED 4 bn (USD 1.1 bn) in grants and concessionary loans over 64 development projects since beginning development work there, said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, according to the UAE’s news agency WAM. The funded projects spanned over diverse sectors, most notably transport, housing, agriculture and irrigation, energy, industry and mining, education and healthcare.


Is the Oil Ministry planning further reductions to number of homes to be supplied with gas?

The Oil Ministry’s resources can only cover connecting 500K homes with natural gas, said Deputy Oil Minister Mohamed Radwan, according to Youm7. He blames a lack of funding by the government for this predicament. Earlier this month, the ministry said it was lowering its target for number of homes it plans to connect to the natural gas grid in FY2017-18 to 600K from 1 mn. Radwan’s statement could imply further cuts to that target.

Hassan Allam snags contract to develop utilities at Benban solar energy plants

Construction firm Hassan Allam won a contract to manage utilities and services for solar energy projects in Benban, Aswan, according to Al Borsa. The firm was chosen by the solar power companies developing plants in Benban under the feed-in tariff program..

Basic Materials + Commodities

Agriculture Ministry to begin spot tests for pesticide contamination

The Agriculture Ministry tasked a committee with periodically testing agriculture products for pesticide levels to make sure they remain within the acceptable range, AMAY reported on Sunday. The committee will conduct its first round of tests this week in eight governorates, including Cairo, Alexandria, Giza, and Qalyubia, as a first phase, and will include in its reports recommendations on how to improve the quality of products and eliminate with contaminants. The ministry will also be working on an updated system for the treatment of sewage water, which is often repurposed for irrigation.

Egypt looks to export fruit to Australia, South Korea, New Zealand

The Agricultural Export Council is looking to export new crops to Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand, including grapes, pomegranate, and oranges, Council member Mostafa Al Nagari says, according to Fruitnet. Egypt began looking eastward after Egyptian grapes and oranges were granted entry into China. Egypt is also in talks with China to export new agricultural crops including dates, pomegranate, and onions.

Centamin paid EMRA USD 11 mn of Sukari gold mine profits in June -Egypt GM

Centamin paid the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) USD 11 mn of what it owes it in profits from the Sukari gold mine in June, General Manager for Egypt Youssef El Raghy tells Youm7. Government officials had previously said that Egypt’s profit share from the Sukari gold mine in 2017 is expected to reach USD 70-80 mn. EMRA receives weekly shipments from the mine worth USD 2-2.5 mn.


El Araby breaks ground on EGP 2.4 bn manufacturing facility

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil launched construction on El Araby Group’s EGP 2.4 bn household appliances factory. The facility in Beni Suef will manufacture a wide range of appliances, including refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners, Al Shorouk reports.

Samir & Aly to establish USD 5 mn project to manufacture, pens, pencil, and erasers

Samir & Aly Stationery Houses are studying a USD 5 mn project to manufacture pencils, pens, and pencil erasers, in cooperation with an unnamed foreign company, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil says, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Output will be sold domestically but also exported. The plant is expected to produce erasers domestically for the first time. Preliminary studies for the project were completed but the plant’s location is yet to be determined. The project could break ground before year’s end and begin production by the end of next year, Kabil says.

Real Estate + Housing

Heliopolis Housing launching new housing project at New Heliopolis

Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development says it is launching a new housing project on 100 feddans at New Heliopolis, Reuters reports. The project will take five years and be developed over three phases at a cost of EGP 2 bn and an expected revenue of EGP 4 bn. Heliopolis Housing says it is implementing a strategy change “to develop land and construct residential, commercial projects instead of direct sale of land” and could partner with other real estate investment companies in bid projects.

Banking + Finance

Bank Audi considers exiting Arabeya Online Brokerage

Bank Audi is considering exiting its investment in Egypt’s Arabeya Online Brokerage, sources close to the matter tell Al Borsa. The bank conducted studies to identify the firm’s’ strengths and weaknesses and resolve any issues ahead of valuation studies. Audi Bank owns 100% of Arabeya through the Sardar Group.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Minister of Investment and International Cooperation meets with Gulf businessmen

Al-Rajhi’s Zadna intends to increase its investment in Egypt’s agricultural sector to EGP 2 bn over the next five years, as discussed in a meeting between Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and Abdul Wahab Al-Rajhi, chairman of Al-Rajhi Holding Group. As part of a bid to shore-up investment from key Gulf allies, Nasr also met with Moataz Al-Alfi, who was wearing his hats as both chairman of the Egypt Kuwait Business Council and of EK Holding. Ministry statement here.

El Warraq residents issue a set of demands for government

Residents of the dispute South Cairo island of El Warraq are asking authorities to launch an official investigation into the death of a fellow resident during clashes with security forces last week, according to Al Mal. One person had been killed last week in a standoff with security forces as they attempted to clear state-owned land on the island from squatters and illegal settlements. Residents are also asking the government to release the nine residents detained during the clashes, stop attempting to clear violations until the land ownership status can be rectified, and expediting legal processes for land ownership. The island had reportedly been slated for a tourism project that involves developing the islands along the Nile.

28 sentenced to death over 2015 killing of Hisham Barakat

A CairoCriminal Court sentenced 28 to death Saturday for the assassination of prosecutor general Hisham Barakat in 2015,according to Reuters. 15 other were given 25 years in jail each.

National Security

Documents show German submarine sale to Egypt required Israeli approval

Israel’s contractual approval of Germany’s sale of submarines to Egypt was required in order for ThyssenKrupp to complete the agreement with Egypt, document obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth showed. This is causing a controversy in Israel as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had denied responsibility for “approving” the sale and said it was not Israel’s decision. As mentioned in our issue on Thursday, Israeli defense officials had objected to the agreement. Israel is particularly concerned about the most recent sale of the submarines because they “were equal in capabilities to those sold to Israel.”

Egypt inaugurates new base in Matrouh

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated a new military base in Matrouh Governorate named after Egypt’s first president Mohamed Neguib on Revolution Day, the Associated Press reports.

On Your Way Out

The number of patents awarded by the Egyptian Patents Office in 2016 decreased by 4.7% year-on-year to 450, Al Masry Al Youm reports citing CAPMAS. 83.8% of the patents awarded were to foreigners, with US citizens topping the list with 105 patents. Patent filings increased by 4.2% y-o-y in 2016 to 2,197. The Egyptian Trademarks Office awarded 3.5% fewer trademarks in 2016, registering 5,294 during the year. Requests for trademarks dropped by 10.5% y-o-y in 2016 to 10,789. It’s no wonder considering some of the Nobel prize worthy stuff to come out of our geniuses (runtime: 0:41).

Al-Azhar is setting up religious edict booths in the Cairo Metro as a measure to combat extremist ideology, the Associated Press reports.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.8335 | Sell 17.9341
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.85 | Sell 17.95
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.80 | Sell 17.90

EGX30 (Thursday): 13,715 (+0.1%)
Turnover: EGP 741 mn
EGX 30 year-to-date: +11.1%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 0.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 0.6%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Domty up 3.1%, Madinet Nasr Housing up 1.2%, and Qalaa Holdings up 1.0%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were: Amer Group down 2.9%, Ezz Steel down 2.6%, and Porto Group down 2.4%. The market turnover was EGP 741 mn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -30.2 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -28.0 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +58.2 mn

Retail: 61.6% of total trades | 66.8% of buyers | 56.4% of sellers
Institutions: 38.4% of total trades | 33.2% of buyers | 43.6% of sellers

Foreign: 24.6% of total | 22.6% of buyers | 26.7% of sellers
Regional: 9.0% of total | 7.1% of buyers | 10.8% of sellers
Domestic: 66.4% of total | 70.3% of buyers | 62.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 45.73 (-0.09%)
Brent: USD 48.03 (-0.06%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.94 MMBtu, (-1.04%, August 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,262.60 / troy ounce (+0.13%)TASI: 7,263.60 (+0.03%) (YTD: +0.74%)
ADX: 4,534.79 (-0.39%) (YTD: -0.25%)
DFM: 3,569.41 (+0.64%) (YTD: +1.86%)
KSE Weighted Index: 408.48 (+0.19%) (YTD: +7.47%)
QE: 9,499.75 (-0.45%) (YTD: -8.98%)
MSM: 4,999.37 (-0.87%) (YTD: -13.55%)
BB: 1,323.06 (+0.20%) (YTD: +8.41%)

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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).

13 September (Wednesday): EIB MED Conference: Boosting investments in the Mediterranean Region, Cairo.

13-16 September (Wednesday-Saturday): Cairo Fashion & Tex exhibition, Cairo International Conference Center

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.

23-25 September (Saturday-Monday): Invest In Africa Conference and Exhibitors Summit, Gala Theater Complex, 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.

17-21 February 2018 (Wednesday-Saturday): Women For Success – Women SME’s "World of Possibilities" Conference, Cairo/Luxor.

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.