Monday, 7 August 2017

We have a new EGX boss and a new IMF mission head — and it’s Sherif Samy’s last day at EFSA.

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

On a quiet summer morning, we have three big pieces of news on personalities who will shape our regulatory and macro environments:

New head of EGX announced overnight: Mohamed Farid Saleh was appointed chairman of the EGX late yesterday in a decree issued by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. He replaces Mohamed Omran, whose term wrapped last week. Farid returns to government service from the private-sector economic think tank Dcode, where he was chairman and CEO since 2012. He’s been an adjunct at AUC and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport and a consultant to the world bank. He was previously vice-chairman of the EGX (July 2010 through October 2011), during which time he worked on weighting of indices as well as the development of a derivatives market. He was earlier a staffer at the Investment Minister during the time of Mahmoud Mohieldin, where served from 2004-2010 and was head of the capital markets unit. You can check out his AUC bio here and his Linkedin page here. Reuters has the news.

Sherif Samy’s last day at EFSA is today: Sherif Samy’s tenure as chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) officially ends today. Ahram Gate notes that Samy’s deputy, Reda Abdel Moati, will lead EFSA in the interim until President Abdel Fattah El Sisi appoints a full-time chairman. The appointment requires parliamentary approval. Samy’s parting gift? Amendments to tighten up listing regulations that could threaten the status of some 30 listed companies (we have more in the Speed Round).

We have a new IMF mission director for Egypt: IMF Egypt Mission Chief Chris Jarvis’ three-year term in the country has ended, according to Al Ahram. Jarvis has passed the torch onto former Portugal Mission Chief Subir Lall, who has previously served as mission chief for Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, and the Netherlands. The Brown and Delhi grad’s Linkedin page lists him as mission chief for Egypt and assistant director (Middle East and Central Asia Department) from July at the end of a nearly four-year term in Portugal.

Is your kid Blighty-bound this fall? You may want to look into this: The government has reportedly signed agreements with a number of UK universities to cut the tuition fees for Egyptian students, according to Xinhua. An agreement with Imperial College London will reduce fees for Egyptian engineering students by half, the paper notes. Another agreement with University College London has been renewed to reduce tuition fees for Egyptians by a quarter and another with University of Aberdeen cuts it by 10%.

New additions to our TBR pile this morning:

  • Saudi Crown Prince and U.A.E. Heir Forge Pivotal Ties: A desert camping trip helped cement a friendship seen as central to a shift in Saudi policies. (Wall Street Journal)
  • U.S. troops train in Eastern Europe to echoes of the Cold War: “The United States Army is scrambling to relearn Cold War-era skills to confront potential threats from Russia here in Eastern Europe.” (New York Times)
  • The men who trade [Daeshbag] loot: The middlemen who buy and sell antiquities looted by Islamic State from Syria and Iraq explain how the smuggling supply chain works. (Wall Street Journal)
  • How to eat breakfast like a fitness expert. (Esquire, which we’re finally considering forgiving for firing the amazing David Granger)

(TBR = “to-be-read” pile. Our storage medium of choice for articles: Pocket, though Safari’s Reading List function has gotten fairly powerful)

What We’re Tracking This Week

The Ismail cabinet’s economic group will be discussing the final form of theInvestment Act’s executive regulations this Wednesday, according to statements from Investment Minister Sahar Nasr last week. Discussion of the regs in the economics committee of the House of Representatives concluded yesterday, according to committee chair Amr Ghallab, who told the press that MPs will prepare a memo with their remarks on the document, although the government is not obliged to address them. Among the committee’s issues are reservations on the definition of special economic zones and clauses that could allow the law to be applied retroactively to businesses or investments that started before it was enacted, according to MP Medhat El Sherif.

Also this week, the Ismail government’s investment map should go to the House Economics Committee, 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.

Vodafone’s talks with the NTRA about repricing haven’t yet amounted to much, reports Al Mal. Sources told Al Mal that the meeting was brief, didn’t result in anything and that no future meetings were scheduled with Vodafone. We noted yesterday that all three mobile network operators will be meeting the NTRA this week to lobby for approval of new tariffs that take into account rising expenses stemming from everything from the float to the phase-out of energy subsidies.

On The Horizon

The government will sign for a USD 60 mn tranche of funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) next week as part of a USD 500 mn pledge to finance private sector development projects, said Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr (pdf). The announcement came during the signing of a USD 1.9 mn agreement with the Electricity Ministry for the EBRD to provide consulting services to the ministry.

The Electricity Ministry also signed for EGP 2 mn in funding to de-mine 11k feddans in Matrouh governorate at the site of the mythical Dabaa nuclear plant, as per instructions from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Speaking of Dabaa (or our version of the Yeti): The Egyptian Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) will apparently begin reviewing the Dabaa contracts next month, government sources tell Al Borsa. The council will form a special committee to look into the documents. We’ve been hearing that the Maglis has had these contracts since early last month.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Sunday night’s shows were so vapid, we’re one platitude or poorly-constructed question away from openly praying for the return of Lamees Al Hadidi and Amr Adib.

Ten TV’s Amr Abdel Hamid spoke to Federation of Egyptian Builders member Daker Abdellah, who claims more than 2,800 of his 30k federation member companies have closed their doors since the float of the EGP. The government, he added, has been slow in paying out compensation to contractors under newly-enacted legislation (watch, runtime 3:45).

Meanwhile on Masaa DMC, host Eman El Hosary zeroed in on the Pharmacists Syndicatestrike in a bid to force the Health Ministry to re-price certain products (watch, runtime 11:31).

Over on Yahduth fi Misr, Sherif Amer was busy covering President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s commemoration of national science day. Deputy Higher Education Minister Essam Khamis told Amer that the state budget allocates EGP 17.5 bn to scientific research in FY2017-18 and that his ministry is close to launching new incubator programs for innovative tech projects.

On Mehwar TV, Moataz Demerdash spent a large chunk of last night’s 90 Minutes reporting on the Cairo University journalism professor implicated in a [redacted] harassment case. A video of the professor, who’s currently being investigated by prosecutors, allegedly trying to blackmail his way into the act has gone viral (watch, runtime 9:00).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

INVESTMENT WATCH- Globally prominent Saudi businessman Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company will be investing more than USD 800 mn in projects alongside Egypt’s Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) under an agreement inked with Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr on Sunday, a statement said. The funds will be used in part to finance TMG’s ongoing expansion of the Four Seasons Resort in Sharm El Sheikh, where costs have reportedly ballooned to EGP 7 bn from an estimated EGP 1.8 bn back in 2016. The expansion, which should be completed sometime next year, would add up to 800 new rooms to the resort, making it the largest Four Seasons resort in the Middle East with 1,400 rooms, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Kingdom Holding is also earmarking funds for TMG’s construction of a new hotel in Alamein and a Four Seasons in Madinaty, which are currently in the works.

IPO WATCH- NI Capital, the government’s investment bank and shot-caller on the new privatization drive, is reportedly leaning towards selecting international law firm White & Case to be its legal adviser on the program to list state-owned companies, government sources tell Al Borsa. White & Case would be contractually barred from bidding for mandates to advise on individual listings.

Separately, PricewaterhouseCoopers was selected as state energy company Enppi’s auditor ahead of its IPO. NI Capital has apparently yet to decide on how much of the company to list. Talks on that front are ongoing with appointed lead managers and bookrunners CI Capital, Jefferies and Emirates NBD Capital. The state had been saying that it would list up to 24% of the company since last month.

Meanwhile, the listing of up to 49% of Banque du Caire on the EGX may be further away than originally expected, Al Borsa claims, citing unnamed government officials. The bank has reportedly asked the EGX, which approved its initial public offering in February, for a six-month extension on its listing deadline that expires today, according to the newspaper. The process is pending a shakeup in the boards of directors of public banks, the sources explain, noting that Banque du Caire’s new leadership will be key to promoting the offer that was originally planned for 1H2017. EFG Hermes and HSBC are managing the issuance, while Baker McKenzie are legal advisors.

Thirty companies could be delisted from the EGX if they do not meet new listing regulations handed down by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) which we noted last week. Under the new amendments, companies do not have at least 5% of their shares in freefloat could face delisting and will be notified within a month of their status, outgoing EFSA chairman Sherif Samy told Reuters’ Ehab Farouk. The 30 companies include Orange Egypt, QNB, the National Cement Company, Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling Company, the International Company For Leasing (Incolease), and Bank ABC.

Yields on three-and nine-month treasury bills fell again in yesterday’s auction, continuing the drop from Thursday’s auction. Reuters notes that yields on the 91-day bill dropped to 19.131% from 20.767% and yields on the 273-day bills were down to 18.878% from 20.570%. “We are witnessing an influx of foreign inflows which is easing liquidity and reducing borrowing costs for the government,” said CI Capital senior economist Hany Farahat.

Food and beverages companies might stand to benefit most from the coming of Investment Act: In the current economic climate and with the coming of the Investment Act, the food and beverage sector will be of most interest to foreign investors, writes Matt Smith for Thomson Reuters’ Islamic finance portal Salaam. This comes despite falling sales revenues from food companies such as Juhayna and Edita. “The biggest issue is falling volume sales because the consumer has been hurt, but companies, in general, know this is short-term pain for a longer-term gain of a recovery in consumption power in Egypt,” says Renaissance Capital analyst Mohamed Zein. Others, including CI Capital Asset Management’s Noaman Khalid, think it is time to make a move on the sector: “Asset prices are cheaper and you’ll be established in the country to benefit as the first mover when there is a recovery in the wages of the population and consumption increases,” he says.

Expect continued strong M&A activity in the sector: Current conditions might offer foreign investors an opportunity to acquire more established companies. “It could be one of the best times for M&A because during periods of severe cost inflation some smaller players are forced to exit the market,” says Zein. Furthermore, acquisition by other local companies was unlikely given that most food companies are family-run firms, according to Sigma Capital’s Kamila Bolbol. The fragmented nature of the food sector is already making it appealing. Kellogg Company acquired Egyptian cereal company, Mass Food Group back in 2015, and the state-owned National Company for Maize Products has a host of private-sector suitors right now.

Can the president cure Egypt’s economic ailments before voters decide they have hadenough of austerity? By adopting economic measures that “that none of his predecessors dared execute,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is making “a risky bet on the healing power of economic pain,” writes The Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov (paywall). “As savings erode and consumer buying-power shrinks, Mr. Sisi [expects] that the expected payoff — new jobs, foreign investment and growth — will arrive before the economic pain risks another social explosion in Egypt.” Complaints are loud from voices in the streets, Trofimov says, but fear of chaos, such as that gripping neighbors like Syria and Iraq, is making El Sisi’s economic reform efforts “more palatable” and thus likely to succeed.

Gov’t looks set to begin preparations for the 2018 Presidential Elections: The Egyptian government and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) are set to begin preparing for Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections, due to take place in May 2018, Ahram Online reports. The Ismail cabinet had held a meeting a few weeks ago to discuss the procedures to prepare for the elections. Preparations are set to commence as soon President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratifies the NEC Act which was passed by the House of Representatives in June. No one has yet to announce a presidential bid.

Terrorism pushed tourists away from Omm El Donia. Can European xenophobia bring them back? Chronic overcrowding in some of Europe’s beloved tourism hotspots is fuelling an angry backlash, according to Reuters. From Barcelona to Rome, the backlash has ranged from graffiti telling tourists to “Get Out” to more overt acts of physical intimidation, such as protests and rather violent Project Mayhem-style pranks. Naturally, municipal governments in Italy, the Vatican, Spain, and Croatia have begun to take notice and are considering policies that would restrict activities by tourists (dubbed everything from invaders to terrorists by locals) and limit their presence in a number of historic landmarks. This despite visitors to Spain jumping 12% in 1H2017, hotel stays up 4.8% in Italy, and a 10.5% m-o-m jump in July in Croatia.

It’s their loss, as the tourism increases came on the back of a decline in arrivals in Mediterranean destinations such as Egypt and Tunisia in the past two years as terrorism spiked. With tourism figures steadily making a comeback in Egypt and the security situation stable, Europe’s loss could be our gain. Time for a new tourism promotion campaign, ladies and gentlemen?

Gov’t begins promoting investments for the West Egypt Development Project: A USD 2.5 bn amusement park complex is apparently among the projects up for grabs by investors in Matrouh governorate, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said. The projects will be part of the West Egypt Development Project, which will include an investment zone, a resort complex in addition to urban development projects, said Nasr in a tour of Matrouh over the weekend. Nasr sat down with Porto Group Chairman Mansour Amer and Emaar Properties CEO Mohamed El Dahan to discuss potential investments in the resort complex, according to Daily News Egypt. The West Egypt Development Project comes as part of a strategy called for by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi last month to develop the Western Desert regions of Egypt.

Nasr also announced that a USD 60 mn agreement will be signed this year with the International Fund for Agricultural Development to finance a rainwater collection in Marsa Matrouh for agricultural use.

Did President Abdel Fattah El Sisi broker a truce between Hamas and rival Fatah? President Abdel Fattah El Sisi apparently pushed for a new truce between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, according to reports which initially emerged in London-based Al Hayat. The proposal was presented to Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the latter’s visit last month. The agreement would see Hamas dissolve a committee which has subsumed roles by the PA in exchange for Abbas alleviating harsh measures taken in Gaza such as slashing the city’s power supply. A Hamas official confirmed to Ma’an news agency that the agreement had indeed been pitched by El Sisi and that Hamas had accepted the proposal. The official said, however, that Abbas had initially accepted the agreement only to renege on it after the trip and propose his own alternative. The story is receiving widespread coverage in the Israeli press.

Dahlan’s alliance with Hamas could have interesting implications for the region: The return of 55 year-old “Gulf-backed enforcer” Mohamed Dahlan to the forefront of the Palestinian political game in a partnership with Hamas is interesting for a number of reasons, Bloomberg writes in a profile. “The unlikely alliance could have broader implications for regional politics, from the showdown with Qatar in the Persian Gulf, to Egypt’s and Israel’s war on Islamic militants, to the future of the Palestinian Authority amid new questions surrounding the health of its 82-year-old leader,” the writers note.

In other “regional news” this morning: Israel wants to boot Al Jazeera out of the country and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani says his country is committed to the nuclear pact. Rouhani’s remarks came as he was sworn in for a second term on Saturday.

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The Macro Picture

This summer’s “season of bans” has led to a lag in air traffic demand in the Middle East: Middle Eastern flight carriers saw demand a 2.5% y-o-y increase in traffic in June, far below the 7.5% increase in international passenger demand in all world regions, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week. Traffic had declined m-o-m from May, which recorded a 3.7% increase. This comes as capacity rose 3.1% in June, while load factor slipped down 0.4%. The decline in demand was for North American routes, a natural consequence of both the laptop ban and President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. While the report did not comment on the impact of the air blockade imposed by “the Arab Quartet” on Qatar in June, undoubtedly it would have contributed to the slide as it did prevent Qatar Airways — the region’s second largest carrier — from making flights to the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Qatar National Bank is looking for financing as the ongoing diplomatic crisis could tighten liquidity up, Bloomberg reports. The bank has been speaking to internationals about a private placement, bond issuance or a loan in Q4. The crisis has put foreign reserves in banks at lower levels due to Gulf lenders refusing to carry over holdings.

In other business news out of Qatar, Investment Holding Group (IHG) will crack on with their listing despite the crisis, Reuters reports. The group had their IPO back in January offering 60% of the firm at a value of about USD 138 mn. IHG do have operations in Egypt and KSA but claim it isn’t enough to create a problem. The Qatari market expects other IPOs to take place this year.

Egypt in the News

The appointment of new EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid Saleh is topping coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning, with Reuters noting that he “helped to launch the first weighted index on EGX during his time as vice chairman from July 2010 to October 2011.”

Finally, some understanding in the foreign press on why the Qatar Smackdown had to happen: After a slew of partisan US media rhetoric on why the Qatar blockade had been a poor decision, Newsweek gets it right with a look at Qatar’s presence in Libya — and how its destabilizing influence there has wreaked havoc on the region. Writer Jonathan Schanzer reminds those pointing the finger of blame for terrorism funding on all sides that Qatar has been sending massive amounts of weapons and cash to Islamist militants battling the Western-backed government in Libya, and violating a UN arms embargo. Its allies include Islamist militia commanders such as Abdelhakim Belhadj, once the head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and an acquaintance of Ben Laden. With Libya being an all too important front in the global war on terror, these activities should be enough to warrant such a backlash.

No love lost between Qataris and Americans? Newsweek’s piece comes as a poll conducted by YouGov and Arab News found that only 27% of Americans see Qatar as a friend or ally. 31% of Americans consider Qatar to be unfriendly toward the US or an enemy, while 43 percent either do not know or are unsure about how to classify the relationship with Doha.

Other international headlines worth noting in brief this morning include:

  • Imprisoned ex-Ikhwan leader Mahdi Akef’s health issues are growing more severe by the day, notes the Anadolu News Agency.
  • The African Independent is looking at the plight of Eritrean children being trafficked in Egypt.

On Deadline

As expected, the complaint letters are coming in over the increase in water prices last week, with the usual theme of “now the government has gone too far.” This latest iteration, from Al Masry Al Youm’s Abdel Nasser Salama, reminds us how important water is to humans (thanks, Salama). He does argue, however, that implementing this cut would open the door for overpricing to the poor, who have seen their water prices rise the least. Most buildings do not have any means to measure water consumption, says Salama, adding that this might mean an automatic hike over the mandated rate.

Worth Watching

Narcos is back on the small screen on 1 September: TV’s fall season lineup (otherwise known as the post-Game of Thrones drought) is looking better as Netflix unveiled the trailer (watch, runtime: 2:24) for season 3 of Narcos a few days ago. Netflix’s most popular series continues with the story of the Cali Cartel, who waited out Pablo Escobar’s war against the Colombian state. And while the group brought a little corporate flare to narco-trafficking, from the trailer, it looks like we’ll be getting the same dose of thrilling and suspenseful violence we enjoyed in the past two seasons. Agent Pena appears to make a return sans the chatty (and utterly forgettable) white partner-narrator.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The EU and other development partners allocated EUR 300 mn to water and sanitation projects in Upper Egypt, chairman of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater Mamdouh Raslan said on Sunday, according to Al Masry Al Youm.The EU is one of several partners on a national project that aims to provide Upper Egypt governorates with access to clean drinking water by 2037.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Agriculture Ministry forms committee to ensure safety codes of fish exports

The Agriculture Ministry has formed a committee to inspect fisheries and ensure safety of fish exports after Saudi Arabia banned imports of Egyptian fish last week. The committee will be enforcing new quality control measures laid out by Saudi authorities to resume importing farmed fish from Egypt, said Deputy Agriculture Minister Mona Mehrez. Apparently these conditions include granting the General Organization For Veterinary Services full authority to inspect and certify fish exports, she added. While the ministry appears to be proactive in attempting to resolve the issue, other statements indicate that officials are angry about the UN FAO report warning of a tilapia lake virus outbreak among Egyptian farmed fish. Khaled Hosny, head of the General Authority for Fish Resources Development, lashed out at UN FAO, saying that Egypt should have been consulted before the report was issued, Al Shorouk reports.

High-profile Irish cattle exporters keen to secure contracts to Egypt

A number of “high-profile” Irish exporters are keen on securing contracts to supply bull weanlings to Egypt, Agriland reports. The requirements and contract details will be announced soon, but Agriland says the terms include requiring cattle to spend 21 days in quarantine prior to shipping and only exporting animals less than 12-months old and weighing under 225 kg at the beginning of the quarantine period. The paper says the quantity will be dictated by price offers from Egypt, noting that it saw the Irish cattle prices in 2016 were “too expensive” for Egyptian buyers.

Farmers complain of lack of alternatives after gov’t ban on growing water-intensive crops

Egyptian farmers are left with no alternatives now that the government has banned the planting of water-intensive crops beyond specified land plots, Mohamed Barghash, a former head of the farmers union tells Al-Monitor. The farmers will either “go to jail or face hunger,” Barghash says, noting that some farmers are “forced to grow rice to counter the salinization of the soil, especially in areas near the Mediterranean.” He says the government should guide farmers to alternative crops. An Irrigation Ministry official countered by noting “Egypt no longer has the luxury of growing crops with high water needs, given the scarcity of our water resources. It is not just about rice; other crops will soon be cut also.”

Cross-governorate cotton transport banned to preserve purity

The Agriculture Ministry issued a ban on transporting cotton across governorates in a bid to preserve the purity of cotton strains, Minister Abdel Moneim El Banna said, according to Ahram Gate. A list of certified cotton types in every scutcher will be issued to prevent inter-textile relations. The Ministry targets doubling the area cultivated with cotton to 500k feddans next season, up from 220k currently.

Health Ministry to inaugurate syringe factory

The Health Ministry will be inaugurating a new self-destructing syringe factory next week, according to Al Borsa. The factory was built in collaboration with the Military Production Ministry and will begin producing an initial 50 mn syringes a year and work up to a capacity of 600 mn. We would love to see a Mission Impossible-esque style of self-destructing syringes.

Real Estate + Housing

Social housing delivery delayed due to tardy compensation of contractors

Deliveries on social housing has been delayed as some contractors have halted development for not being compensated yet under the Contractors’ Compensation Act, Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly said, according to AMAY. The law, which came into effect last month, would see the state compensate contractors for losses incurred as a result of the EGP float. Contractors had been warning that delays in paying them back would stop construction. Apparently, last month’s decision by the ministry to issue an immediate 10% downpayment on the reparations didn’t go over well.

Tourism

Citadel in Quseir to open to tourists

The Ministry of Antiquities and the Tourism Promotion Authority agreed to open an Ottoman-era fort in El Quseir to tourists, according to Xinhua. The fort was built in the Red Sea town in 1799 under Sultan Selim’s rule. If you decide to venture out, don’t linger. This fort is maybe worth a quick peek (and perhaps a laugh) on the way down to Marsa Alam for the real tourist attractions: nature and underwater adventures.

Telecoms + ICT

Etisalat Misr ready to let TE offer local roaming using its infrastructure

Etisalat Misr is ready to begin allowing Telecom Egypt (TE) to piggyback off its infrastructure to offer local roaming services, Etisalat’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Khaled Hegazy said, according to Al Shorouk. TE had signed an agreement with Etisalat in June to use the latter’s infrastructure to offer 2G, 3G, and 4G services. Etisalat is also ready to offer 4G services as soon as the frequencies are geographically distributed among the three mobile network operators, Hegazy added. Etisalat injected EGP 40 bn in to upgrading its infrastructure ahead of offering 4G services, according to Hegazy.

Banking + Finance

HSBC removes all limits on foreign purchases using debit cards

HSBC Egypt announced removing all caps on foreign currency purchases abroad using debit cards as of 3 August. The bank also said its cash withdrawal limit has been increased to USD 1,000 per month.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Labor Minister signs five raise agreements with private players including Nestle, Coca Cola, and Pepsi

Labor Minister Mohamed Saafan signed five agreements yesterday that will see the likes of Pepsi, Coca Cola, and Nestle pay their employees a 10% hardship raise of EGP 165-330 a month, Al Shorouk reports. The raise, which had been proposed last month under a non-binding initiative between the government and the private sector, will be applied retroactively to July salaries to match the raise that was meant to be paid to state bureaucrats as of last month. Speaking of which, delays in deploying the raise for public sector workers reportedly caused 5,000 workers at the Misr Spinning and Weaving Company in Mahalla to go on strike yesterday, according to Al Mal.

National Press Authority to issue regulations on local coverage of terror incidents

The National Press Authority (NPA) is planning to issue new regulations to “guide” the coverage of terrorism stories by local news outlets, NPA head Karam Gabr told the press on Sunday, according to Daily News Egypt. The move is meant to curb the media’s role as the “main intermediate that terrorist groups use to promote their criminal ideology,” according to Gabr. The guidelines will contain restrictions on the publication of photos tied to terror incidents and might include provisions on the use of social media. The NPA is also working on a “national media charter,” Gabr said.

El Sisi signs off on state’s FY2017-18 economic and social development plan

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified the government’s social and economic development plan for FY2017-18 on Sunday, according to Al Shorouk. The strategy — which is now out in the Official Gazette — sees real GDP growth reaching 4.6% for the year, buoyed by an increase in overall resources and investments in nonfinancial assets.

Suez Canal revenues between January and July up to USD 2.9 bn

Suez Canal revenues reached USD 2.9 bn between January and July of 2017, the Suez Canal Authority said on Sunday, according to Reuters. By the newswire’s calculations, July’s revenues came in at USD 446.3 mn, up from USD 427.2 mn in June.

Immigration Ministry following up on murder in Ohio

The Ismail government is following up with authorities in the US after an Egyptian was reportedly murdered in Ohio, Al Mal reports. Hisham Kamel was killed in a carjacking attempt. The family has elected to bury him stateside.

National Security

Egypt to receive second German submarine in two days

The Egyptian navy is receiving its second Type 209/1400 submarine from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in two days’ time, sources told Al Masry Al Youm. The first vessel was received in April and is part of a four-submarine agreement signed in 2011. A crew had already received training on how to operate the submarine and the vessel is expected to take a 22-day trip to Egypt from Germany. The specs of the submarine can be viewed here.

Egyptian-Kuwaiti military training kicks off in Egypt

The Egyptian and Kuwaiti air forces kicked off the “Al-Yarmouk 3” military exercises on Sunday, the Armed Forces said in a statement.

On Your Way Out

In a sign that the apocalypse is perhaps only days away, pop “star” Tamer Hosni is reportedly getting his hands and feet printed outside the iconic Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles this week. Hosni will be the first Arab ever to set his prints next to those of greats such as Eddie Murphy, Meryl Streep, and Clark Gable. Hosni is also set to grace LA with a performance and a screening of his newest film. Better schedule those for after the setting of the prints lest the minds of the powers that be swayed.

Egyptian-German documentary Dream Away will be part of the Final Cut workshop at the Venice Film Festival, according to Ahram Online.

Mortada Mansour is once again the subject of a lawsuit, with the FC Zamalek boss under fire from the Press Syndicate, Al Mal reports. The suit was filed after Mansour, not known for his subtlety, allegedly barred reporters and members of the FC on multiple occasions from entering the club without any real reason.

The Markets Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.74 | Sell 17.84
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.75 | Sell 17.85
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.75 | Sell 17.85

EGX30 (Sunday): 13,558 (+1.1%)
Turnover: EGP 680 mn (27% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +9.8%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 closed up 1.1% yesterday. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended up 1.1%. The EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals, up 5.5%; Heliopolis Housing, up 3.3%; and Amer Group, up 3.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Eastern, down 1.5%; Egyptian Financial and Industrial, down 1.5%; and Domty, down 1.4%. The market turnover was EGP 680 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP + 39 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP – 18.5 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP – 20.5 mn

Retail: 72% of total trades | 65.6% of buyers | 78.4% of sellers
Institutions: 28% of total trades | 34.4% of buyers | 21.6% of sellers

Foreign: 8.5% of total | 11.4% of buyers | 5.6% of sellers
Regional: 8.1% of total | 6.7% of buyers | 9.5% of sellers
Domestic: 83.4% of total | 81.9% of buyers | 84.9% of sellers

WTI: USD 49.58 (+1.12%)
Brent: USD 52.42 (+0.79%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.77 MMBtu, (-0.93%, Sept 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,264.6 / troy ounce (-0.77%)

TASI: 7,094.28 (+0.12%) (YTD: -1.61%)
ADX: 4,585.51 (-0.23%) (YTD: +0.86%)
DFM: 3,665.94 (-0.25%) (YTD: +3.83%)
KSE Weighted Index: 413.08 (+0.09%) (YTD: +8.68%)
QE: 9,345.37 (-0.56%) (YTD: -10.46%)
MSM: 5,022.43 (-0.69%) (YTD: -13.15%)
BB: 1,319.97 (-0.2%) (YTD: +8.15%)

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Calendar

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 September (Wednesday): The Emirates NBD Egypt PMI report for August released.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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

07-09 December (Thursday-Saturday): The Africa 2017 forum: “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.

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