Wednesday, 16 August 2017

On a quiet late-summer morning: Goldman loves Egypt — and the former head of the EGX could be the next regulator of the financial industry

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Will former EGX boss Mohamed Omran be the next head of EFSA? That’s what unnamed sources are telling Al Ahram’s breaking news website, which says the former stock exchange boss may now cross the street to become the nation’s top non-bank financial regulator at the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority. Deputy Justice Minister Khaled El Nashar is reportedly set to be named Omran’s deputy. Both nominations will go to the House of Representatives for approval, the website reports. Reda Abdel Moati has been serving as acting chairman of EFSA since Sherif Samy’s tenure ended earlier this month. As does every such story by our friends in the domestic press, this one promises the official announcement will be made “soon.”

Getting us excited this morning is a very bullish report on Egypt from Goldman Sachs that a good friend of Enterprise passed on to us yesterday. The firm’s thoughts are going long on the EGP, shorter-term T-bills, and USD-denominated debt. GS sees the fiscal picture in Egypt is “improving” and the drive for structural reform continuing with little signs of fatigue as the IMF-sponsored reform program was mostly “front-loaded,” with the relatively difficult measures already completed. Goldman notes “good news” that boosted investor confidence, including a quick rebound in foreign inflows, growing international reserves, successful eurobond issuance, strong FDI flows, and improved FX liquidity situation. The report also suggests that Egyptian debt is trading at least one notch above what its current rating would correspond to.

The Ismail cabinet will review the Investment Act’s executive regulations — which we expect it would approve — and at the Factoring and Leasing Act at its weekly meeting today.

Members of the House of Representatives’ majority Support Egypt Coalition will be holding an “urgent meeting” with Transport Minister Hisham Arafat today to discuss the development of the national railway network, bloc leader MP Mohamed Elsewedy tells Al Shorouk. Arafat had said earlier this week that upgrades were ongoing, with the aid of foreign partners like Thales, and that they would cost c. EGP 45 bn to complete. In their upcoming session, House representatives also plan on introducing new legislation that would allow the private sector to directly build, manage, and maintenance of railway infrastructure, which is not allowed under current laws, House Transport Committee deputy Wahid Qarqar also tells the newspaper.

The End Times I: We’ve been saying this for more than two years now, but it’s not the prospect of the Trump presidency or solar eclipses (see below) that should have you worried about economic Armageddon, it’s the ticking time bomb that is unsustainable Chinese debt — including often -undocumented rural debt used by local chieftains to gin-up growth figures to the satisfaction of central officials. Enter the IMF, which warned in a tough country report yesterday that, “International experience suggests that China’s current credit trajectory is dangerous with increasing risks of a disruptive adjustment.” ‘Disruptive adjustment’ is IMFspeak for “Holy [redacted], it’s gonna be bad on a global scale.” As the Financial Times succinctly put it: “China’s economy will grow faster than expected over the next three years because of the government’s reluctance to rein in ‘dangerous’ levels of debt.” Check out a six-chart summary or the full report itself (pdf, look for the link under “electronic access”).

The End Times II: When they’re not losing it over their president likening left-wing demonstrators to neo-nazis, some Americans are preparing to go nuts over a rare solar eclipse this coming Monday, 21 August that has amateur astronomers and scientists alike excited, others predicting the end of the world and scam artists out in full force. But don’t worry about the eclipse, the UK’s Daily Star reassures us — the End Times are really signalled by the “Great Pyramid [of Giza, which] reveals EXACT DATE of end of world…and it’s NEXT MONTH.” Something about a giant planet named “Nibiru” crashing into earth sometime in October after becoming visible on 23 September. And we think our domestic press is nutty? Would that some other nations were judged in toto by the stuff their yellow press runs…

Did someone out there catch our Monday morning rant about cleaning up the streets? About 44.8% of Egyptian households toss their garbage out in the street, according to a report by state statistics agency CAPMAS cited by Al Masry Al Youm. 55.2% of Egyptians use garbage collectors and cleaning companies. The situation is better in cities, where 76.9% of trash is disposed of safely, while only 36.9% of garbage in rural areas is disposed of properly. We don’t know how CAPMAS collected the data on how households handle garbage disposal — we assume through a poll, which would mean that 44.8% of Egyptians admitted to disposing their trash in the street. We dread imagining what the real number is. H/t Sam W.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Economists polled by Reuters believe that the central bank is likely to leave interest rates unchanged when its monetary policy committee meets on Thursday. "High interest rates are acting to dissuade the private sector from investing and, therefore, economic growth will not be optimised, as few new jobs are, so far, being created," said Pharos Holding COO Angus Blair. EFG Hermes, meanwhile, believes that interest rates should drop fall 200 bps by December, said EFG Hermes head of research Ahmed Shams. The investment bank had lowered Egypt’s GDP growth projections for FY2017-18 by 10 bps to 3.7% on account of the interest rate hikes earlier this year, he said in an interview with Al Shorouk.

On The Horizon

We are getting tantalizingly close to the Eid Al-Adha holiday. Thursday, 31 August is the waqfat Arafat, with the first day of the Eid falling on Friday. Plan to be back at your desk / factory / home office on Tuesday, 5 September.

The nation’s mobile network operators will roll out 4G services in two weeks’ time, according to the latest statements from CIT Minister Yasser El Kady.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was another night of miscellany on the airwaves, featuring lots of self-love from the government on unemployment rates and the ‘profits’ of state-owned enterprises as well as more on rail upgrades — and sugar, of all things.

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat is still in the hot seat, and the need to attract fresh private-sector investment for the nation’s railways is a key talking point. He told Al Nahar Al Youm’s Khaled Salah that legislation is needed to allow private sector participation in upgrades to railway infrastructure, which is necessary because the state doesn’t have the resources to do it all on its own (watch, runtime 16:22).

On Masaa DMC, Osama Kamal spoke to Manpower Minister Mohamed Saafan about the unemployment rate easing to 11.98% in 2Q2017 from 12% in the first quarter, marking the first time since 2011 unemployment has fallen below 12%. Saafan unsurprisingly credits national projects and the ability to ministries to work together for the improvement in the unemployment gauge — and promises that soon-to-launch training programs will somehow create more jobs in 2017 (watch, runtime 6:46).

The magical profitability of SOCs: Kamal also interviewed Public Enterprises Minister Ashraf El Sharkawy, who said that ministry-affiliated companies reeled in about EGP 6 bn in profits in FY2016-17, compared to losses of EGP 323 mn the year before (watch, runtime 6:36). No less than 73 loss-making companies turned profitable over the last fiscal year, the minister said, promising the inexorable march of progress would continue under a new plan to restructure the sector (watch, runtime 4:47).

Gov’t importing sugar again: Over on TEN TV, Amr Abdel Hamid and Supply Ministry Spokesperson Mamdouh Ramadan chatted about a newly-contracted 850k tonnes of imported sugar meant to prevent any potential market shortages. Ramadan said that Egypt produces 2.2 mn tonnes of sugar a year and consumes about 3.2 mn tonnes (watch, runtime 3:38).

And on Yahduth fi Misr, Sherif Amer was reduced to speaking with a housing ministry spokesperson about the great welcome accorded to Sakan Masr — marking the 9,123,987th time this year that one talk show or another has aired a soft feature on a state-backed affordable-housing project. Talking point received, folks.

Could someone — anyone — from the private sector please come back from Sahel and book a talk show appearance? Please?

Speed Round

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Tourism receipts almost tripled and remittances rose in the last three months of FY2016-17, “marking another step in [Egypt’s] economic recovery,” Mirette Magdy writes for Bloomberg. “The data is further evidence of a gradual improvement in Egypt’s external finances,” she writes. Arqaam Capital senior economist Reham Eldesoki agrees, saying the “main foreign-currency earners are finally bouncing back, closing in on levels similar to those prevalent before the 2015-2016 crisis.”

Egypt holds a 13% share of the African continent’s international tourist arrivals so far in 2017, a study by the London-based FowardKeys finds. South Africa came in first with 18%, while Morocco was third with 11%. International arrivals are up 24.8% y-o-y YTD, according to the report, which says that “Egypt and Tunisia are the destinations leading the recovery” of Africa’s tourism industry this year.

The unemployment rate dropped to 11.98% in 2Q2017 from 12.5% a year earlier, according to a CAPMAS report. The number of Egyptians counted as unemployed dropped by 64k y-o-y to 3.496 mn with the labour force growing by 651k y-o-y to 29.183 mn. It’s the first time since 2011 that the unemployment rate has fallen below 12%, Reuters notes, adding that the improvement fell slightly short of government projections of a 11.7-11.8% rate by the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year. Arqaam’s Reham Eldesoki again does color commentary, telling the wire service, “It’s a positive trend that unemployment is going down, especially because most of the unemployed are youth, and this means that we’re not too far from reaching a single-digit rate."

Nasr talks future cooperation with EBRD officials in London: Investment Minister Sahar Nasr met top officials at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London on Tuesday, according to a statement on the ministry’s website. Discussions centered around potential cooperation on upcoming projects, such as Kitchener drainage project in Kafr Sheikh. EBRD currently finances projects in Egypt worth roughly EUR 2.6 bn in the fields of energy, transport, and SMEs, the statement says. Egypt will be hosting an investment forum with EBRD in November that “would give an overview of investment opportunities and the new Investment Law and its executive regulations.” Nasr also invited the EBRD officials to attend the Africa forum in Sharm El Sheikh this December.

“The economic reform program is taking off and we can see that in a lot of the indicators,” Nasr told CNBC in an interview yesterday (watch, runtime 2:44). She said that the combination of fiscal, legislative, and structural reform measures — such as the EGP float, the Investment and Companies Acts, the slashing of red tape, and ongoing infrastructure development — have helped improve the business climate, which has in turn encouraged investors to return. “If we look at numbers, already foreign direct investment is picking up. We’ve reached USD 8.7 bn, which is a 26% increase,” the minister said.

China’s AVIC lands Salam City-New Capital electric rail contract: The National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) signed an agreement yesterday giving China’s AVIC a significant chunk of a new electric rail line linking Salam City with Tenth of Ramadan and the new administrative capital, according to a cabinet statement. AVIC will deliver the rail line’s communication and signaling system has been tapped to manufacture and supply 20 locomotives. A consortium of Egyptian construction firms, including Petrojet, Arab Contractors, and Orascom Construction, have reportedly landed the USD 500 mn infrastructure works contract for the project. Work on the line is set to start in two or three months’ time, with the China Export-Import Bank providing as much as USD 739 mn in financing for AVIC’s piece of the project. The total budget for the rail line, which should take two years to build, is USD 1.25 bn, NAT head Tarek Gamal El Din said.

EARNINGS WATCH- EFG Hermes reported a net profit after tax and minority interest from continued operations of EGP 395 mn in 2Q2017, up 718% y-o-y. EFG Hermes said its operating revenues increased by 252% to cross the EGP 1 bn in 2Q2017. “Our strategy to diversify our lines of business has started to create significant value for our shareholders as our non-bank financial operations continued their stellar growth trajectory, with revenues from the platform more than doubling year-on-year in the second quarter … Meanwhile, our frontier markets and structured products businesses began contributing to our brokerage revenues during the second quarter,” CEO Karim Awad commented.

Beltone Financial reported a 123% y-o-y increase in net profit after taxes and minority interest in 1H2017 to EGP 9.3 mn. Operating revenue was up 486% y-o-y in 1H2017 to EGP 326.2 mn.

Domty reported a 42% y-o-y plunge in net income to EGP 12 mn in 2Q2017 in the latest sign of tough times for consumer names in Egypt. Net sales rose 17.1% y-o-y to EGP 487.1 mn in 2Q2017 compared to the same period last year. “The third quarter of 2017 represents an important measure of sales volume in the absence of significant events affecting the volume of sales. Accordingly, the expenses will be restructured according to the sales volume in the third quarter,” Domty Vice Chairman Mohamed Damaty says, suggesting that cost cutting may be in order after the third quarter if the market doesn’t pick up.

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding reported a consolidated net profit of EGP 359.3 mn in 1H2017, up from EGP 8 mn the same period last year. The company also reported consolidated operating revenues (pdf) of EGP 751 mn in 1H2017. OTMT’s board approved spending USD 10 mn on developing and managing the Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids in partnership with Prisme International, Reuters reports.

Orascom Development Egypt (previously Orascom Hotels and Development) recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of EGP 85.6 mn in 2Q2017 from a net loss of EGP 9.3 mn in 2Q2016. The company’s revenues increased to EGP 599.9 mn in 2Q2017 from EGP 334.1 mn a year earlier.

Telecom Egypt reported a 22% y-o-y increase in consolidated net profit after tax in 2Q2017 to EGP 1.27 bn, according to an EGX filing (pdf). Consolidated revenues recorded EGP 4.64 bn in 2Q2017, a 41% y-o-y increase.

German carrier Air Berlin has filed for insolvency “after its main shareholder Etihad declared it would not be providing further financial support,BBC reports. The airline, Germany’s second-largest carrier, reported a record loss of EUR 782 mn in 2016. Air Berlin flights will continue using a EUR 150 mn loan from the German government. Lufthansa is now reportedly in talks to buy part of the Air Berlin Group. Air Berlin flies to Egyptian holiday destinations including Hurghada and Marsa Alam.

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Image of the Day

Archaeologists have discovered three 2,000+ year-old tombs in Minya, according to a statement from the Antiquities Ministry. Sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes, and clay fragments from between the 27th Dynasty and the Greco-Roman period, were found at the Al-Kamin Al-Sahrawi site, pictured above. The story is topping international media coverage of Egypt this morning (see Egypt in the News, below.)

Egypt in the News

Heading into this morning, the discovery of three Ptolemaic-era tombs in Minya swept news about Italy’s ambassador returning to Egypt after over a year of absence out of the top spot, having been picked up by BBC, Newsweek, Xinhua, and the American Institute of Archaeology.

The return of the Italian ambassador as the diplomatic rift over the brutal murder of Giulio Regeni also got heavy play in the foreign press. Declan Walsh has a long, well-sourced piece on “the strange twists in the case of Giulio Regeni’s disappearance in Cairo” for the New York Times. Along with the specifics of Regeni’s case, Walsh bring to the fore one of our nation’s more significant problems: The recurring failure of policymakers to address, respond to, and resolve one-off crises quickly, effectively, and unequivocally.

Italy’s decision to return the ambassador was taken out of consideration for larger regional issues, such as peace in Libya and stemming the flow of migration, says Xinhua, citing Italian lawmakers. “It was painful decision to make [but] the Libya issue does not allow us not to talk to Egypt," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Pier Ferdinando Casini explained to RAI public broadcaster in an interview.

Other international stories worth noting this morning include:

On Deadline

Changing presidential terms risks engendering a lack of faith in Egypt’s institutions: Opinion writers are continuing to voice opposition to any move that would amend the constitution to allow the president to serve a longer term in office. Ziad Bahaa El Din chalks up the entire situation as a general lack of respect for the constitution. While he does acknowledge that all articles in the constitution can be amended, he makes the case for why this option shouldn’t not be toyed with carelessly. For one, it signifies a lack of faith in Egypt’s institutions and their ability to function outside the direction of a single person. He writes in Al Shorouk that the move would shake people’s belief that Egypt is a nation of laws.

Worth Watching

Do we all perceive colour the same way? The answer is yes, according to Vox (watch, runtime 6:35). More or less. A scientist duo sets out to definitively prove that no matter our race, color, culture, language or the society to which we ‘belong,’ human beings tend to perceive and classify colors (or different groups of colors) in the same order. “They called it the World Color Survey … they conducted the same labeling tests on over 2,600 native speakers of 110 unwritten languages from non-industrialized societies. They found that with some tweaks, the color hierarchy still checked out.”

And why does it this even matter? “It tells us that despite our many differences … there is something universal about how humans try to make sense of the world.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Israel will reopen its embassy in Cairo “soon,” according to reports covered by the Jerusalem Post. “The Foreign Ministry would not confirm the reports, saying it does not discuss security arrangements at Israeli embassies.” An Israeli security team was in Cairo nearly a month ago to review security arrangements, and a foreign ministry team followed suit earlier this week. Israel pulled its ambassador and diplomatic staff from Cairo in December.

Egypt will build a meat processing plant in Tanzania, President John Magufulisaid following his meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, without disclosing additional details, according to Xinhua. Egypt is also interested in investing in education, health, security, water, and agriculture in Tanzania. Both countries agreed to cooperate in promoting tourism through their respective national airlines. President Magufuli said the talks on the use of the Nile River waters should equally benefit all 10 member states of the Nile Basin countries, including Egypt. Tanzania had signed the Cooperation Framework Agreement of the Nile Basin Initiative, which Egypt and Sudan have refused to sign.

…President El Sisi arrived in Rwanda on Tuesday — the second leg of his Africa tour which will also include Gabon and Chad, Ahram Online reports. El Sisi met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame to discuss ways to boost cooperation between both countries in various fields, including trade, infrastructure development, energy, agriculture, ICT, and tourism, according to an Ittihadiya statement picked up by Youm7. The two leaders, who also held a joint press conference, discussed counterterrorism efforts and Kagame’s reform plans for the African Union. El Sisi extended Kagame a formal invitation to the Africa 2017 forum in Sharm El Sheikh in December.

The Social Solidarity Ministry signed a three-year cooperation protocol with the UNODC to develop social care institutions, Xinhua reports. The protocol “targets improving re-qualification programs to reach to all the children in social care institutions … seeks to focus on psychosocial-social, economic-legal aspects as well as improving the capabilities of the employees in those institutions,” Minister Ghada Wali says.

Iraqi shia cleric, politician and militia leader Muqtada Al Sadr is heading to Egyptafter receiving an official invitation, according to Iraqi News. A date has not yet been set for the meeting. This comes after Al Sadr visited the UAE, which is apparently maneuvering to use him as a bulwark against Iranian influence in Iraq, Bloomberg reports. He had also recently paid a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Egypt, India support each other’s candidates in key UN positions: Cairo will support India’s Dalveer Bhandari for another nine-year term as judge of the International Court of Justice, while New Delhi will back Moushira Khattab as UNESCO Director-General, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) ordered the arrest of Libyan commander Mahmoud Al Werfalli on Tuesday, the AP reports. The commander, who operates under Libya’s Egypt-backed military leader Khalifa Haftar, is said to be implicated in the “killing of 33 captives in "cold blood" earlier this year.” Al Werfalli has previously been accused of extreme acts.

Energy

NBE, Banque Misr arranging EGP 3 bn loan for General Petroleum Company

The National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr are arranging a EGP 3 bn facility for the General Petroleum Company (GPC) to finance exploration and drilling operations, as well as debt restructuring, Al Mal reports. NBE and Banque Misr are in talks with a number of banks including the Egyptian Arab Land Bank, Credit Agricole, Emirates NBD, the Egyptian Gulf Bank, and Union National Bank, sources say. Contracts should be signed in the coming weeks. The GPC plans to invest EGP 1.9 bn in FY2017-18, including EGP 1.8 bn on oil and gas exploration and drilling. The company targets producing 53 mn bbl/d of crude, 29.5 mcf/d of gas, and 360k bbl/d of condensates this fiscal year. Separately, GPC launched an oil and gas tender on Monday for exploration and production agreements in its Eastern Desert concessions.

Rockhopper says operations in Egypt are “stable”

Rockhopper says its operations in Egypt remain stable, producing around 3,300 boepd in 1H2017. “We are pleased with the overall progress in Egypt and, in particular, with the continuing reduction in our receivables balance,” CEO Sam Moody says. As for Rockhopper’s drilling activities on two wells at Abu Sennan, Al Jahraa-9 and Al Jahraa SE-2X, Moody says that “while it is disappointing that the Al Jahraa-9 well was water wet, the deep oil shows are an encouraging indication of the additional potential at these deeper levels in other areas of the concession…with the Al Jahraa SE-2X well having now been completed as a producer, we believe that a well-constructed water flood programme would have the potential to significantly enhance recovery factors achievable at the Al Jahraa field.”

Apache subsidiaries pump out 120 mn barrels of oil

Apache and EGPC JVs Khalda and Qarun Petroleum Companies together pumped out 120 mn barrels of oil in the last fiscal year, according to Al Shorouk. Khalda spent USD 502 mn and churned out 107 mn barrels, while Qarun spent USD 137 mn for an output of 13 mn barrels.

Basic Materials + Commodities

KIMA in talks with banks to acquire additional financing for KIMA 2 in Aswan

The Egyptian Chemical Industries Holding Company (KIMA) is in talks with the banks financing its KIMA 2 fertilizer production facility in Aswan to acquire additional funding, Chairman Yasser El Naggar tells Al Masry Al Youm. The banks in question — National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire, Arab African Bank, and Blom Bank — have already arranged USD 180 mn for the project, around 51.5% of its total cost. The company is hoping to have banks cover 63% of project expenses and expects to hear back before the end of August, El Naggar said. Sources tell the newspaper that KIMA might be getting up to USD 220 mn. KIMA is also expecting an additional EGP 800 mn facility from the banks in local currency.

Agriculture Ministry signs agreement with Korea-Arab Society on agriculture city

The Agriculture Ministry and the Korea-Arab Society (KAS) — an intergovernmental NGO — signed a cooperation agreement which would see the latter help conduct a feasibility study on a USD 10 bn agriculture city in Ismailia, Al Mal reports. The bevy of projects in the city includes farms, fish farms, a water desalinations project, and solar power plants. The ministry is also hoping to attract investments for the project from South Korean companies.

Egypt has enough sugar reserves to last until January

Egypt has enough sugar reserves to cover demand until January, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy announced, according to Al Mal. The Supply Ministry is importing 850k tonnes of sugar for local consumption to be delivered by October. This comes during high season for sugar refineries, which run from July until November every year.

GASC issues tender for wheat delivery in September

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) issued a tender on Tuesday to purchase an unspecified amount of wheat for September delivery, Al Masry Al Youm reports.Results of the tender should come in tomorrow afternoon.

Automotive + Transportation

Bus sales decline 51.2% in 1H2017

Bus sales dropped 51.2% y-o-y in 1H2017, compared to the same period last year,Al Mal reports, citing data from the Automotive Information Council (AMIC). Unit sales dropped to 6.1k from 11.8k in 1H2016. The decline was largely the cause of a 57% y-o-y drop in the microbus category. Suzuki led in bus sales, with Toyota coming in second. Auto sales across all categories have seen a slump with AMIC expecting a 50% decline this year compared to last.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles adds Abu Ghaly as an Alfa Romeo dealer

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is certifying Abu Ghaly Motors to sell its Alfa Romeo brand, reports Daily News Egypt. The process is in its final stages and would make Abu Ghaly the second dealership in Egypt after Nile Engineering to operate as a retailer for the brand.

Legislation + Policy

No more courtroom drama

The Supreme Judicial Council ruled Monday that cameras will no longer be allowed in courts, Middle East Monitor reported. The ruling is meant to protect “the prestige of the judiciary and to stand in the way of what it may suffer.”

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egypt requests extradition of Ikhwan fugitive

The Egyptian embassy in Berlin reportedly filed a formal request for the extradition of alleged Ikhwani fugitive Abdel Rahman Ezz on Tuesday, Youm7 reports. Ezz, who had fled Egypt to Qatar, was not arrested but only detained, then released by the Interpol. It seems Egyptian authorities jumped the gun in assuming he was arrested.

Supreme Judicial Council files reports against three news websites

The Supreme Judicial Council accused three news websites of reporting false news, Daily News Egypt reports. Al Mesryoon, Al Omah and El Iqtisadi are said to have published false information on judges’ salaries. Al Mesryoon is one of the websites that have been blocked in Egypt.

National Security

Two policemen killed in Al Arish -security officials

Two policemen were killed in independent attacks on security forces in North Sinai’s Al Arish on Tuesday, security officials tell Reuters. The attackers have not yet been identified, but authorities suspect Islamic militants. This latest incident brings the total number of police victims in the last five days up to at least 12, notes the Associated Press.

On Your Way Out

Egyptian startup PayMob is trying to promote financial inclusion in Egypt, Pamella De Leon writes for Entrepreneur Middle East. PayMob is an Egypt-based “electronics payments solutions provider converting cash payments to electronic, using existing payment channels such as credit card, mobile wallet and cash.” CTO and co-founder Mostafa Menessy says that the only thing “missing now are campaigns to spread awareness. It is very challenging to change what people have been used to doing for hundreds of years, i.e. paying in cash for goods or services.”

…One service that could benefit from increased access to financial inclusion is Jordanian Arabic-language ebook store Yaqut, which is featured in the Financial Times. Founder Ammar Mardawi says that despite Yaqut’s traction, it is finding monetization challenging. “Yaqut runs a freemium model, where most of the content is free with charges for some of the higher end items, but this, Mr Mardawi says, is not working. In part, the problem is that customers in countries such as Egypt often simply do not have the means to make electronic payments.”

Digital grocery delivery platforms are becoming the rage among startup types in Egypt, driven by a surge in e-commerce solutions, Radwa Rashad writes for Wamda. At least six grocery ecommerce platforms and apps exist, including Knock Mart, Dakakyn, Goodsmart, and Fakahany. Goodsmart, which secured USD 750k in funding from Algebra Ventures, delivers groceries in Sheikh Zayed. “Clients order and pay online, then items are sourced, packaged, and delivered to the client’s address, where they are placed in a previously installed box,” writes Rashad. Fakahany’s business model, akin to that of Amazonfresh, tries to ensure efficient storage and delivery with an eye to ensuring the quality of fruit and veggie deliveries.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.72 | Sell 17.82
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.72 | Sell 17.82
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.73 | Sell 17.83

EGX30 (TUESDAY): 13,102 (-0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 782 mn (15% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +6.1%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session down 0.3%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed down 0.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals up 3.3%; Oriental Weavers up 2.3%; and AMOC up 1.2%. Today’s worst performing stocks were: Pioneers Holding down 3.3%; Amer Group down 3.1%; and Qalaa Holdings down 2.7%. The market turnover was EGP 782 mn, and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -6.0 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +22.9 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -16.9 mn

Retail: 66.2% of total trades | 64.6% of buyers | 67.7% of sellers
Institutions: 33.8% of total trades | 35.4% of buyers | 32.3% of sellers

Foreign: 15.2% of total | 14.9% of buyers | 15.6% of sellers
Regional: 7.4% of total | 8.9% of buyers | 6.0% of sellers
Domestic: 77.4% of total | 76.2% of buyers | 78.4% of sellers

WTI: USD 47.56 (+0.13%)
Brent: USD 50.89 (+0.32%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.93 MMBtu, (-1.05%, September 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,278.2 / troy ounce (-0.95%)TASI: 7,103.24 (-0.31%) (YTD: -1.49%)
ADX: 4,471.11 (-0.21%) (YTD: -1.66%)
DFM: 3,579.56 (-0.18%) (YTD: +1.38%)
KSE Weighted Index: 424.53 (-0.06%) (YTD: +11.69%)
QE: 9,134.36 (-0.62%) (YTD: -12.48%)
MSM: 4,938.53 (-0.78%) (YTD: -14.6%)
BB: 1,311.8 (-0.55%) (YTD: +7.49%)

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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.

13-15 September (Wednesday-Friday) Financial Inclusion Conference in Sharm El Sheikh.

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

19 September (Tuesday): Deadline for applications for funding under the Newton Institutional Links programme.

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).

22-24 September (Friday-Sunday): CairoComix Festival, AUC Tahrir Campus, Cairo.

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.

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.

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