Thursday, 3 August 2017

Water prices just went up 50%
Plus: House is looking at why internet service is so bad

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Egypt began its month-long term chairmanship of the UN Security Council yesterday with a resolution on weapons proliferation that’s geared to keep small arms out of the hands of terrorists, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. Egypt’s resolution passed unanimously, and the UN’s statement on the subject can be found here.

Also on the Security Council’s agenda is a resolution on the consequences of imposing state sanctions, with Russia’s permanent representative to the UN saying his country is the victim of “illegitimate” sanctions, TASS reports. The resolution came as The Donald signed into law a bill imposing sweeping sanctions on Russia — even as he condemned the measure as “seriously flawed” and “unconstitutional.” NPR and the Financial Times, among many others, have the story.

(And speaking of Mr Trump: The US president also endorsed a proposal yesterday that would slash immigration by half and give priority to education and skills, not family, when deciding who gets admitted.)

The Supply Ministry will hold a press conference today to recap its reform of the bread subsidy system. The new mechanism came into effect this week and — so far — we’ve seen neither 1977-style bread riots nor the end of the world as we know it. No wonder we feel fine. (Our apologies to Michael Stipe & Co., but it’s Thursday and we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Something that scares the [redacted] out of us, and two of us are molecular biologists / biochemists by training, if not by trade: In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos, via the New York Times. The PBS Newshour looks at the ethical questions the announcement raises (read excerpts or listen to the full piece, runtime: 6:02)

China’s Didi Chuxing has signed a partnership agreement with Uber and Careem rival Taxify that will see it expand into global markets. The agreement sees Didi take a minority stake in Taxify, a taxi aggregator out of Estonia. The firm operates across Africa; Egypt is one of their markets.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg (our archetype for a 21st century cartoon corporate villain) embarrassed himself with a livestream on Facebook. The Financial Times has a wonderful recap.

Hang in there, Cairo. It’ll only be so hot for another couple of days. Temperatures in Cairo will continue to spike over the next two days and begin to drop again on Saturday in time for everyone’s return from Sahel, Al Shorouk reports. Look for the mercury to be back in the 40s by the second half of next week, according to our favourite weather app.

On The Horizon

The Ismail government’s investment map should go to the House Economics Committee next week, according to committee chair Amr Ghallab. An alleged draft of the map, which includes c. 600 projects in a wide range of sectors and locations, was leaked last month. The committee, which is currently reviewing the Investment Act’s executive regulations, wants to see the investment map updated annually, rather than on a triennial basis, Ahram Gate reports.

The House of Representatives’ Manpower Committee will resume discussion of the proposed overhaul of the Labour Act in September, according to Al Borsa. MPs have already discussed the vast majority of the bill’s clauses, but postponed a final vote to their upcoming session. The debate will bring business leaders in to opine on different aspects of the law. Articles expected to be discussed will include child labour, equality, and the minimum wage.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

With television power couple Lamees Al Hadidi and Amr Adib off the airwaves last night, the talking heads served us a random assortment of … not much.

Interim EGX head Mohsen Adel told Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer that his focus during his (temporary) tenure will be on ramping up IPO activity and roping in more foreign investors, following Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr’s directives.

Over on Masaa’ DMC, host Osama Kamal zeroed in on the recently established SupremeAnti-Terrorism Council. Security expert and council member Khaled Okasha gave Kamal a rundown of the council’s mandate, telling him that it will coordinate between the various entities working to combat terrorism and extremist thought (watch, runtime 4:23).

Agriculture Minister Abdel Moneim El Banna to go on about an EGP 400 mn livestockproject. Breeders will have access to subsidized financing under the trial program (watch, runtime: 8:16).

Finally, a video making the rounds on social media purportedly showing train drivers smoking illicit substances while on duty took center stage on Mehwar TV’s 90 Minutes. The deputy chair of the House Transport Committee used the video to take a potshot (pun only semi-intended — it’s been one of those weeks) at Egyptian National Railways (watch, runtime 9:13).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail signed off yesterday on raising water prices by as much as 50%. Consumers across all consumption tiers will be paying more under the new regime, which goes into effect retroactive to Tuesday, 1 August. The new prices for residential use ranged from EGP 0.45 to EGP 2.15 per cubic meter depending on consumption, according to the price breakdown published on the Official Gazette. Sewage fees, which are set as a percentage of water prices, have increased to 63% of the water price (up from 57%). Prices for business range from EGP 2.00 to EGP 6.95, depending on industry and consumption levels. Sewage fees for businesses have increased to 92% of the water price. The price hike comes nearly a month after the government cut subsidies for both fuel and electricity.

Egypt may see FDI inflows exceeding its USD 10 bn target for this year, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr told Bloomberg. Nasr says she was approached by investors from Saudi Arabia, Singapore, China, and the UAE, all of whom are reportedly interested in opportunities here. “Egypt sure has an edge,” Nasr says, as after the EGP devaluation, “the cost of labor — blue or white collar — is lower than elsewhere.” The drive to attract investment will be helped with new investment act, which Nasr says, cuts red tape and is a “significant signal from the highest political level that, yes, Egypt is open for business.” Nasr also says she does not believe that the high-interest rate environment is hampering business.

Kenya Railways has terminated Rift Valley Railways (RVR)’s 25-year contract to run the Kenya-Uganda railway, Business Daily reports. RVR is controlled by investment company Qalaa Holdings. Kenya’s High Court ruled that “the concession agreement dated January 23, 2006 be and is hereby terminated today July 31,2017” following a dispute over the failure of RVR to pay concession fees and missing cargo haulage targets. “RVR will hand back operations, employees and assets…within 30 days…The two parties will now form a joint takeover committee to oversee smooth transfer of assets and operations to Kenya Railways,” the paper reports. Qalaa Holdings confirmed the news, but issued a statement saying the entire investment in RVR is already amortized and that losing the concession will have no impact on the company’s consolidated financial results (watch, runtime 00:51). The company’s shares rallied in trading on Tuesday and Wednesday as investors welcomed the news, with one trader telling us the verdict was “expected” and eliminates uncertainty on the stock.

Abou Hashima rezones his USD 5.5 bn steel plant to fall in the SCZone: Egyptian Steel Chairman and CEO Ahmed Abou Hashima signed an agreement with Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Chairman Mohab Mamish which would see his USD 5.5 bn steel plant rezoned within the SCZone. The plant will open in December, said Abou Hashima, according to Ahram Gate. The agreement was one of six signed by the Ismail cabinet and Mamish. Other companies now set to enjoy the privileges of membership include El Sokhna Refinery & Petrochemicals, the Egyptian Chinese Joint Venture Company for Investment, National Port Said Steel, and Raya Manufacturing and Logistics, according to a statement from cabinet.

MOVES- Investment Minister Sahar Nasr confirmed that deputy EGX chairman Mohsen Adel will take the reins of the bourse in the interim until Prime Minister Sherif Ismail appoints a replacement for outgoing Chairman Mohamed Omran. Omran’s tenure ends legally on 6 August. Nasr told Ahram Gate she presented cabinet with the names of “more than one nominee” to head the exchange, but refused to provide more details or comment on the status of the selection process.

MOVES- Cab-hailing service Careem announced the appointment of Zach Finkelstein as vice president of corporate development. Finkelstein, a co-founder of Silicon Valley-based Lumia Capital, will lead Careem’s investment agenda across the broader MENATP region; he’ll also be handling investor relations.

Egypt, Ukraine face European Commission dumping probe: The European Commission (EC) has begun investigating a complaint claiming that producers in Egypt and Ukraine are dumping ferro-silicon into EU territory. The complaint was lodged by EU-based producers Ferropem, Ferroatlántica SL, OFZ and Huta Laziska SA. The EC says “in the absence of reliable data on domestic prices for Egypt, the allegation of dumping is based on a comparison of a constructed normal value (manufacturing costs, selling, general and administrative costs — SG&A — and profit) provided by a consultancy firm with the export price (at ex-works level) of the product under investigation when sold for export to the Union… The prima facie evidence provided by the complainant show that the volume and the prices of the imported product under investigation have had, among other consequences, a negative impact on the level of prices charged by the Union industry and on its profitability.”

To our collective delight, the House ICT Committee looks like it’s about to probe the lousy state of internet service in Egypt: The committee will apparently ask ICT Minister Yasser El Kady to testify about the state of internet services in Egypt. Deputy Chair Ahmed Badawy tells Al Mal that the committee also wants to summon representatives from internet service providers to explain why service is so shoddy. The news has forced us to question our usual feelings about MPs — and pray that they address the elephant in the room: TE Data’s practices and those of its monopolist parent company.

Egypt-heavy driller Apache is warning investors that its 2Q numbers are going to come in lower than forecast, Madison reports. The oil and gas exploration firm is predicting it will report lower numbers today and investors will be looking at their Alpine High exploration in Texas, which has been a point of focus lately. Moreover, “a seismic 3D project that should improve the company’s production in Egypt hasn’t wrapped up yet.” Any slip could see the stock come to attractive levels, as it has underperformed lately; the company is cash rich after offloading Canadian assets, the outlet notes.

The proposed Universal Healthcare Act will cost state coffers EGP 130 bn to implement in FY2017-18 if it should pass, according to government actuarial studies, Al Borsa reported on Wednesday. The bill is by to come up for cabinet review by the end of August and should be before the House when MPs reconvene this fall. We had previously noted that the act will be implemented first in canal governorates Suez, Ismailia, and Port Said.

Will Egyptians finally have the right to call their lawyers when arrested? The House of Representatives’ Legislative Committee began yesterday its review of the government’s proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act that aim to modernize Egypt’s legal proceedings framework, according to AMAY. The amendments would prevent security forces from investigating individuals or making arrests without a court order backed by probable cause. It would also safeguard suspects’ rights to a phone call, a lawyer, and fair treatment at the hands of investigators. The amendments would also allow the state to seek non-judicial settlement with individuals charged with misdemeanors that carry prison terms of less than one year. Also proposed: a witness protection program and clauses on the treatment of witnesses. After attacks that targeted Coptic Christians in Cairo last Spring, MPs had been pushing to pass amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act that would expedite court proceedings in terrorism cases. Their demands raised questions about the protection of due process that make the Ismail government’s proposals particularly interesting.

The Ismail government approved in principle yesterday amendments to the Auctions and Tenders Act that would decentralize tender procedures and streamline the selection process for winning bids, according to a Cabinet statement. The amendments, which we took note of in June, will promote two-stage tenders to give the government more options when choosing contractors and suppliers, while also curbing spending by placing restrictions on the amount bodies can pay out in a tender. The amendments will now be sent over to the House of Representatives for passage.

Cabinet also signed off on a EUR 290 mn facility from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to help finance the Egyptian National Railway’s purchase of 100 new locomotives. Other key decisions include:

  • Granting preliminary approval to set up the Upper Egypt Development Authority to follow up on investments and projects;
  • Sanctioning the establishment of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone Authority;
  • Approving amendments to the Environment Law’s executive regulations.

Elsewhere in the region: The GCC is becoming a hotbed for arms trade and transfer. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have started using waters between Kuwait and Iran to transfer arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen, Jonathan Saul writes in a Reuters exclusive. “Parts of missiles, launchers and drugs are smuggled into Yemen via Kuwaiti waters … The route sometimes is used for transferring cash as well,” an Iranian official says. Kuwait denies Saul’s suggestion and says its “waters were under the total control of the Kuwaiti navy and coast guard and there were no reports of suspicious movements at sea.”

…In related news, Qatar has concluded a EUR 5 bn agreement to buy seven warships from Italy, Qatar’s foreign ministry says, according to Reuters. The announcement included no further details and did not name the companies involved. The likely supplier is Fincantieri, Business Insider suggests.

Permanent residency in Qatar for expats? Separately, the Qatari government approved yesterday an “unprecedented” draft law that will grant some expats permanent residency cards if they fulfill certain criteria, Bloomberg says. “Under the law, those eligible for the card include children of Qatari women married to foreigners, those who have special talents “needed by the state,” and others who have extended notable services to the country.” The law’s executive regulations will be issued “later,” Bloomberg says, explaining that the bill passed after Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “instructed officials to expedite measures to lure investments and to reduce the economy’s reliance on energy” after the Saudi-led boycott.

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Worth Reading

See how the other half of America lives: The Wall Street Journal is running a brilliant series it’s calling “One Nation, Divisible” looking at the urban-rural divide in the United States and boldly declaring that Rural America is the New Inner City.” Other entries so far look at the inability of rural Americans to move to cities as well as why huge swathes of the nation are “stuck in the dial-up internet age.” As the piece notes: “A Wall Street Journal analysis shows that since the 1990s, sparsely populated counties have replaced large cities as America’s most troubled areas by key measures of socioeconomic well-being—a decline that’s accelerating.” The series aptly chronicles the roots of the popular anger that brought you Donald Trump and the notion the US justice department needs to sue universities for discriminating against white people.

The Macro Picture

Are investors shunning “democratic nations” in favour of “strongmen” who know how to deliver business-friendly results? Countries that practice “strongman” politics appear to have seen their equities and debt markets garner more interest from investors than those traditionally considered more democratic; or so Karin Strohecker and Marc Jones say in a disappointingly facile analytical piece for Reuters. They argue that high-fliers such as China, Egypt, Turkey, and more recently Poland (which elected a nationalist government) illustrate this trend. "Providing governments are responsible fiscally they can get away with a lot of undemocratic measures," said Renaissance Capital global chief economist Charles Robertson. What, then, of Zimbabwe and Venezuela?

Global gas market may be the one place where the little guy wins: As the natural gas glut continues, smaller players — whether companies or countries — are becoming increasingly dominant. Small buyers including Pakistan, Egypt and Jordan are making up an increasing share of the global market, with expectations that they will account for 30% of demand by 2030, up from 19% last year, writes Naureen S Malik for Bloomberg. Global gas is now a buyer’s market as prices have plunged 46% over the past three years. This has led to larger scale projects, such as Petroliam Nasional’s USD 27 bn facility in Canada, to be shelved, while smaller scale projects are seen as more cost effective. These trends look set to continue, with Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicting that the supply glut will continue until 2026.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning is news that the country might exceed its USD 10 bn FDI target for the year. Other outlets are piggybacking on the news, first broken by Bloomberg after a chat with Investment Minister Sahar Nasr.

A number of Eritreans are “trapped” in Cairo after Egypt cracked down on illegal migration to Europe, Eric Reidy writes for News Deeply. Since 2014, Eritreans looking for a route to Europe have started going through Egypt instead of Libya for safety concerns. With Egypt cracking down on illegal migration, “Eritreans who came to Egypt with no intention of staying are now stuck, and the community has more than doubled in size since the beginning of 2016… In many ways, their treatment in Egypt is better than in Sudan or Libya. But refugees here do not have the right to work and the Eritreans speak of regular verbal and physical harassment in the streets and in their homes.”

Egypt’s disabled citizens are woefully lacking in services, according to an AFP piece picked up by Al-Monitor, which argues that the nation’s 14 mn people with disabilities are under-served by the state and civil society. “Most of them are staying at home, deprived of any services,” says Eglal Chenouda, director of the SETI Center — a division of Catholic charity Caritas. A new law mandating more government services for the disabled is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives next year.

On Deadline

The jump in Egypt’s foreign reserves to record highs is all well and good, but what does it mean for the average citizen? That’s Emad El Din Hussein’s question in a column penned for Al Shorouk. First, he says, we must understand whether the increase reflects a healthy domestic economy or just an aggregation of facilities that will need to be paid back. The second question to be posed pertains to the jump in Egypt’s foreign debt and how it will affect the country’s economic future, particularly as we consider our ability to repay. Lastly, Hussein wonders how the health of our FX reserves will reflect on the average citizen’s life and whether it will play any role in improving living standards.

Worth Watching

We’ve all heard of potential oil and waters wars, but could sand be included in that list? Sand — a crucial component of cement and concrete — is vital for the construction industry. But as human populations continue to migrate to cities and consumption reaching 40 bn tonnes annually, we now have to contend with another increasing depleting and essential resource. The Economist breaks down why this depletion is accelerating and how the need for newer materials might offset a global environmental disaster (watch, runtime: 2:28).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrives in Khartoum for talks amid tense relations: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Khartoum yesterday for meetings with his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour despite the flaring tensions between both countries over border and trade-related issues, according to the Associated Press. The officials are expected to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral ties, even though Cairo and Khartoum’s souring relations took a turn for the worst recently after the Sudanese government imposed a ban on some Egyptian agricultural imports and began to renew its claim over the border territory of Halayeb and Shalateen. Egypt did not help the situation when security forces arrested and began deportation proceedings for 100 undocumented Sudanese nationals they claim had been illegally living and working in Shalateen. The Egyptian government is also planning a number of development projects in the disputed border city, including an EGP 1.1 bn housing project that Arab Contractors will be executing, Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdallah said on Wednesday, according to Al Shorouk. Details from the meetings had not yet been released at press time, but we’ll be watching out for any new developments.

Egypt and Algeria reached a security cooperation agreement that will see their respective interior ministries coordinate anti-terrorism efforts and share information, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday. Both countries will form a joint committee to look into reforming the Arab League, Shoukry added following a meeting with his Algerian counterpart Abdelkader Messahel.

Libya’s sovereignty was high on Messahel’s meetings with Shoukry and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, who stressed the need for both countries to continue coordinating on developing political solutions that can preserve national institutions, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and French President Emmanuel Macron will be exchanging visits this year with the former initiating in the fall, according to Al Shorouk. Macron’s visit should come before the end of the year, according to French Ambassador Stephane Romatet. The two presidents have recently spoken about resolutions to the conflict in Libya.

Russia is pushing for Egypt to sponsor a “de-escalation agreement” between rival factions in Syria’s Homs, driving Turkey out of the picture, Asharq Al-Awsat reports. Ankara is not taking the suggestion well, and 11 factions, including Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiya and Jaish al-Izza also “expressed their reservations on the issue… [and] insisted that Turkey sponsor the agreement.” The agreement would see the establishment of a de-escalation zone in Homs’ countryside and bar the government from launching airstrikes in rebel-controlled areas, among other measures.

The Investment Ministry will set an industrial freezone next to the planned investment area in Kafr El Sheikh in order to attract new projects to the governorate, Minister Sahar Nasr announced. Nasr pointed out that the pre-planned coastal investment area will be developed at a cost of EGP 200 bn over 10k feddans, next to Siemens’ Burullus power station, and could create up to 250k new jobs.

The six Kazakh students detained in Egypt have been released, reports Kazinform. The Egyptian Homeland Security service confirmed that the students will be deported to their homeland.

Energy

Zohr 80% complete, set to turn Egypt to energy exports -Descalzi

The development of Eni’s super-giant gas field Zohr is 80% complete, CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. Descalzi says the speed at which Zohr is being developed is a record in the oil industry and that the potential of the gas produced from there is set to “satisfy almost all of the total domestic gas demand for the coming decades [and] also allow Egypt to return to being a net energy exporter.” Descalzi had confirmed in news we covered yesterday that first gas from the field is still set to be reached before year-end.

Ukrainian gas producer signs EUR 47 mn drilling contract in Egypt, Iraq

Ukraine’s UkrGasVydobuvannya signed a EUR 47 mn contract with Croatia-based Crosco to drill 12 natural gas wells in Egypt and Iraq. Drilling is set to start in 3Q2017 and Crosco plans to drill four wells annually. The state-owned UkrGasVydobuvannya is the largest Ukrainian gas producer, whereas Crosco is an integrated drilling and well services contractor and part of Croatian oil and gas company INA.

Siemens signs EGP 300 mn agreement with National Port Said Steel for power transmission station

Siemens signed a EGP 300 mn agreement with National Port Said Steel to construct a power transmission station, Al Borsa reports. Work on the station is scheduled to kick off within a week and conclude by the end of November.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Agricultural exports down USD 90 mn y-o-y in 10 months

Egypt’s agricultural exports fell by USD 90 mn y-o-y to register USD 2 bn in the 10-month period from September 2016 to June 2017, Al Mal reports. The head of the agricultural exports council says the drop is caused by the restrictions on Egyptian produce imports imposed by some countries as well as price competition from other producers. Oranges and potatoes were among the top exports, one source tells the newspaper.

Resuming exports of Irish cattle to Egypt getting closer

The likelihood of resuming exports of Irish cattle to Egypt increased after Ireland’s Department of Agriculture successfully negotiated a veterinary certificate for fattening cattle for live export, Conor Finnerty writes for Agriland. The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has reportedly been pushing that the certificate on live cattle to Egypt be extended to cover fattening, but quarantine remains to be an issue. The IFA says quarantine continues to involve excessive time and costs. Ireland has been cleared to export cattle since February 2016.

ECA finds evidence of collusion in poultry market

Collusive behavior in the market for poultry is reducing supply and increasing prices, the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) says. The ECA probed the market from January 2015 to December 2016 and found sufficient evidence of collusion amongst large distributors. The reason behind that was reportedly to fix prices 14% below the cost of production to drive smaller producers out of the market. The ever-practical, sensible people at the ECA say the incident is another example of why Egypt needs a commodities and livestock exchange that would help improve price transparency.

Health + Education

Egypt’s pharma sales jump 26.8% in 1H2017

Egypt’s pharma industry saw a collective 26.8% y-o-y growth in sales revenue in 1H2017 to EGP 23.1 bn, according to data from industry research firm Quintiles IMS picked up by Al Borsa. Novartis the industry chart with revenues of EGP 1.8 bn, followed by GlaxoSmithKline at EGP 1.4 bn. France’s Sanofi’s sales grew to EGP 1.2 bn in the first half of the year.

Gov’t in talks with University of Liverpool to open campus in new capital

The Administrative Capital for Urban Development Company (ACUDC) is in talks with the University of Liverpool to open a campus in the new administrative capital, said Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar. The university’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Patrick Hackett discussed opening a science and technology research facility at the new capital with ACUDC’s CEO Ayman Ismail. Also on the agenda at the meeting was expanding the number of scholarships offered to Egyptian students by the university, according to Al Borsa.

Real Estate + Housing

El Mostakbal, Sabbour announce partnership in EGP 35 bn project

El Mostakbal for Urban Development and Al Ahly Sabbour announced a partnership to develop a mixed use community in Mostakbal City over 2.4 mn sqm. The project — which is expected to reel in about EGP 35 bn in revenues — will be developed over four phases, the first of which will launch in 1H2018. Al Ahly Sabbour says it is able to focus on developing such a large-scale project as the partnership with El Mostakbal alleviates the financial burden of land acquisition.

Tourism

No cancellations from Czech tourists despite Hurghada knife attack -agents

Czech travel agencies have reported no cancellations to planned trips to Egypt, despite the most recent knife attack in Hurghada, Prague Daily Monitor reports. “Just after the event clients started calling to be informed how the situation looks in the country, but we have not registered any cancellations of the planned trips,” a travel agent says. Stanislav Zima, spokesman for the Exim Tours travel agency, confirmed the reports, saying “we cannot see any reduced interest in Egypt or Turkey.”

Telecommunications

NTRA sets regulations for TE’s mobile distributors

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has reportedly finished laying out licensing terms and regulations for the distributors of Telecom Egypt’s (TE) new mobile services, which are expected to launch in a few weeks’ time, according to Al Borsa. The terms stipulate that TE must review and sign off on new line contracts before they’re made official and that distributors must be supervised at all times by a TE representative who would be present during working hours.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Suez Canal revenues down m-o-m

Suez Canal revenues have dropped to USD 427.2 mn in June from USD 439.8 mn in May, Reuters reports.

On Your Way Out

Egypt’s (self-anointed) Indiana Jones, Mr. Zahi Hawass, received an award at Italy’sMagna Graecia Film Festival for “his devotion to archaeology,” Ahram Online reports. Dressed to the nines in a maroon blazer, Hawass took the opportunity to call on Egypt and Italy to overcome their differences and “work hard to be able to reestablish a strong relationship.” This from the man who refused to even listen to another Egyptologist presenting a theory he disagrees with.

German automakers are going to upgrade 5.3 mn diesel cars to reduce their carbonemissions, according to the FT. The plan to upgrade comes after the industry was battered in terms of reputation after the VW scandal, “where the company admitted 11 mn cars worldwide had been fitted with “defeat devices” which cheated pollution controls tests,” with talk of banning diesel cars in some German cities coming out.

The markets yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.7901 | Sell 17.8901
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.81 | Sell 17.91
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.77 | Sell 17.87

EGX30 (Wednesday): 13,405 (+0.1%)
Turnover: EGP 700 mn
EGX 30 year-to-date: +8.6%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended almost flat. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Qalaa Holdings up 3.8%, Domty up 2.4%, and ACC up 2.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: AMOC down 1.8%, Pioneers Holding down 1.3%, and Egyptian Iron and Steel down 1.2%. The market turnover was EGP 700 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +72.60 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +5.40 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -78.0 mn

Retail: 67.3% of total trades | 65.1% of buyers | 69.5% of sellers
Institutions: 32.7% of total trades | 34.9% of buyers | 30.5% of sellers

Foreign: 21.1% of total | 26.3% of buyers | 15.9% of sellers
Regional: 7.0% of total | 7.4% of buyers | 6.6% of sellers
Domestic: 71.9% of total | 66.3% of buyers | 77.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 49.51 (-0.16%)
Brent: USD 52.24 (-0.23%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.82 MMBtu, (+0.18%, September 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,269.50 / troy ounce (-0.70%)TASI: 7,080.87 (-0.40%) (YTD: -1.80%)
ADX: 4,608.29 (+1.02%) (YTD: +1.36%)
DFM: 3,660.94 (+0.32%) (YTD: +3.68%)
KSE Weighted Index: 413.12 (-0.15%) (YTD: +8.69%)
QE: 9,360.59 (+0.56%) (YTD: -10.31%)
MSM: 5,074.39 (+0.51%) (YTD: -12.25%)
BB: 1,326.16 (-0.14%) (YTD: +8.66%)

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Calendar

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.

31 August-04 September (Thursday-Monday): Eid Al-Adha, national holiday (TBC) as specified by the Astronomical and Geophysics Institute. The Thursday is the waqfat Arafat, with the first day of the Eid on Friday, 1 September.

September — The House of Representatives is due to begin discussion of the proposed bankruptcy bill.

06-09 September (Wednesday-Saturday): 2017 China-Arab States Expo (Egypt is the Guest of Honor), Ningxia, China.

13 September (Wednesday): EIB MED Conference: Boosting investments in the Mediterranean Region, Cairo.
Conference & Exhibition, Intercontinental Citystars Hotel, Cairo.

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

20-23 September (Wednesday-Saturday): 2017 Automech Formula car expo, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

22 September (Friday): Islamic New Year, national holiday (TBC).

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.

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

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

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.

23-27 October (Monday-Friday): 29th Business and Professional Women International Congress themed “Making a Difference through Leadership and Action,” Mena House Hotel, Cairo. Register here.

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

26-29 November (Sunday-Wednesday): 21st Cairo ICT, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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.

7-9 December (Thursday-Saturday): Africa 2017 “Business for Africa, Egypt and the World” Conference, Sharm El Sheikh.

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 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; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.