Monday, 21 August 2017

Shell sees Egypt as a regional gas hub
Plus: How much has the price of your favourite car risen since last August?


What We’re Tracking Today

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will meet his Russian counterpart today. On the agenda for the sit-down with Sergei Lavrov: Resumption of direct flights to Egypt, a Russian industrial zone in Egypt, the Dabaa nuclear power plant and the ongoing crises in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Shoukry is expected to visit Estonia and Lithuania following meetings in Moscow, according to Ahram Online. Russia’s Sputnik also has the story. Bilateral trade will be the focus of further meetings in Moscow before the end of this year, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said. On the agenda: The industrial zone, other Russian investment in Egypt and Egypt’s potential admission to the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union. Talks on the latter date back to 2015. Egypt’s exports to Russia rose 26% in the first half of this year to USD 360 mn after Moscow lifted a ban on Egyptian agricultural products.

A World Bank delegation is in Egypt until Thursday to discuss the handover of the third and final USD 1 bn tranche of its USD 3 bn loan, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry. Another WB delegation will visit next month to follow up on the USD 500 mn Upper Egypt Development program.

Are we in a new age of corporate activism? Forget about half-hearted (at best) “commitments” to CSR in some corners of the world, some US CEOs are taking full-on stands on social issues. Start with Emily Steel’s piece “For Murdoch Empire, Perhaps a Decisive Point in Relationship to Trump,” which covers an email to friends and associates by 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch that outlined a “striking repudiation of President Trump and a pledge to donate USD 1 mn to the Anti-Defamation League.” (The full text of the Fox News owner’s email is here.) Then tap the Gray Lady’s Business Day section to read David Gelles’ piece “The Moral Voice of Corporate America,” which argues that “a surprising group of Americans is testing its moral voice more forcefully than ever: C.E.O.s.” Gelles argues they are part of a “broad recasting of the voice of business in the nation’s political and social dialogue, a transformation that has gained momentum in recent years as the country has engaged in fraught debates over everything from climate change to health care.”

The counterpart is also in the New York Times, in the same section: “The Benefits of Standing by the President” argues that Blackstone boss Stephen Schwarzman played off his ties to the Trump administration to get the inside track on a mandate to manage a USD 20 bn Saudi fund.

Parts of North America will be privy to a 160-second total solar eclipse today, according to NASA, which will be treating us earthlings to “a wealth of images captured before, during, and after the eclipse by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons, and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.” The eclipse is expected to reel in mns of USD to “groups ranging from doughnut shops in rural Oregon to corporate behemoths like Walmart,” as it is “projected to draw more spectators than any other in US history,” says the FT (paywall).

The hype is such that not only is the New York Times running “The Great American Eclipse Is Almost Here. This Is Your Complete Guide” as a front-page feature, it’s also plugging a very carb-heavy set of “Solar Eclipse Recipes.” Meanwhile, Al Masry Al Youm rounds up the top (online) spots for us here in Omm El Donia, and elsewhere in the world, to watch the magic unfold.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Did the treasury beat its tax collection target? The Finance Ministry will announce its tax haul for FY2016-17 “within days,” AMAY reports.

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is expected to announce the launch of commercial 4G service this week, after completing service network quality checks.

Pitching Singapore, Vietnam on port infrastructure, auto sector and readymade garments: Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, Suez Canal Authority head Mohab Mamish, and Transport Minister Hisham Arafat are heading to Singapore and Vietnam on Tuesday with a roadshow to lure investment in the nation’s ports and other sectors, Al Mal reports. The trio will attend the Egypt-Singapore Business Forum on Thursday, where companies from the two countries are expected to discuss what’s on offer in the infrastructure, automotive, and readymade garments sectors. They’ll then head to Vietnam next week.

On The Horizon

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met with the ministers of health and finance yesterday to review the latest draft of the Universal Healthcare Act, according to Al Mal. Cabinet is expected to begin discussing the act at the end of August, with plans to take it to the House of Representatives in September.

The Council of State (Maglis Al Dawla) is scheduled to begin its review of the executive regulations to the Investment Act in September, Al Borsa reports. The council will form a committee comprised of economic experts, Investment Ministry consultants, and members of the council’s legislation division, judicial sources tell the newspaper. The Ismail government signed off on the regulations last week.

Over 160 companies from 30 countries will participate in Sharm Travel Market tourism show in Sharm El Sheikh on 15-18 September, Xinhua reports. The event’s Facebook page is here.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

You need to wake up right now, not take a soporific, so we’ll confine our remarks on last night’s talk shows to this: At least two talking heads discussed affordable housing projects for the 9,235th and 9,236th times this year. Another noted that the Mahalla workers have stopped their strike — and reassured us all the union will keep its watchful eye on the government. Two more weeks and we’re out of the wasteland known as “talk shows in late summer.”

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Shell to help make Egypt a regional energy hub? Royal Dutch Shell is in talks to buy natural gas from Israel’s Leviathan field and Cyprus’ Aphrodite field and pump it to the Idku liquefaction plant in Egypt, sources told Bloomberg. “Talks are at an early stage and some of Aphrodite’s gas could be sold locally,” but “combining output from the fields … could potentially improve the economics of the projects.” Bloomberg points out the economic potential by noting that “Israeli and Cypriot gas finds, together with the giant Zohr field off Egypt and reservoirs off Lebanon, could create a center of gas production right on Europe’s doorstep.” The gas from Leviathan could be pumped to Egypt directly or via Jordan, the report adds.

As we’ve said before: Egypt has a multi-year, multi-bn USD advantage over anyone else looking to ship gas out of this neck of the woods, making Omm El Donia a natural regional petroleum hub. Throw in plans for a fuel bunkering facility at the mouth of the Suez Canal — it would be the only one on this side of the eastern Med — and things start to get even more interesting.

Separately, Shell shipped its first crude cargo from Libya in five years after lifting 600k bbl from Zueitina port, Reuters reports. The shipment is Shell’s first out of Libya in five years, two source said. Bloomberg also has the story.

And speaking of Israeli gas, a group led by Isramco Negev and Modiin Energy is giving up on its license to develop a 8.9 tcf Daniel gas field on the Mediterranean coast, citing a lack of interest from investors, says Reuters. The news could feed nicely into Egypt’s bid to become a regional export hub.

IPO WATCH- The central bank is considering delaying both the sale of United Bank of Egypt and the floating of 20% of Banque du Caire’s shares on the EGX, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The central bank had originally said it is planning on listing BdC on the EGX and selling UBE to a strategic investor this year, but new reports suggest that assessments are still underway. A source had said in July that the CBE would postpone UBE’s sale to next year. UBE Chairman Ashraf El Kady says the timing of the sale is dependent on when restructuring will be completed. He added that UBE’s shares sale will take place after completing the IPO of BdC as well as that of Arab African International Bank, which is also thought to be eyeing an EGX listing.

The Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC) may get the nod to list on the EGX. Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy said FIHC is being restructured and then the possibility of it listing its shares will be studied, Reuters reports. “The ministry is currently implementing a massive project to develop and automate all 43 companies under (FIHC),” El Moselhy says.

Italy’s Danieli signed an MoU for a new steel factory in Ain Al Sokhna: Suez Canal Authority Chief Mohab Mamish signed an MoU with Italy’s Danieli that will see the latter build a 1.2 MTPA steel plant in the Ain Sokhna economic zone for the Suez Canal Iron and Steel Company, Al Mal reported on Thursday. (Apologies, folks — we missed this one in our weekend sweep of the news.) The authority will provide infrastructure for the plant, which Danieli will be managing for its first three years in operation. The construction timeline is yet unclear, but work is expected to take place over two phases. Legal and bureaucratic procedures for the project should be final by year’s end, Mamish said though, giving no further detail on the project’s investment cost or sources of funding.

M&A WATCH- EFSA rejects Reacap’s FV report: The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) rejected Fincorp’s fair value assessment for Naeem subsidiary Reacap in connection with its merger with Wadi Degla, claiming it falls short of Egyptian benchmarks and standards, according to an EGX filing. EFSA is still reviewing the fair value report on Wadi Degla. The bourse had halted trading on Reacap last week pending shareholders’ approval on the merger, which would create a EGP 3.5 bn entity, of which Wadi Degla will hold 74%, with Reacap controlling the balance. Earlier reports had said the transaction should be final by the end of the year.

EARNINGS WATCH- Egyptian Resorts Company (ERC) reported a consolidatednet profit (pdf) of EGP 61 mn in 1H2017, up from a net loss of EGP 37 mn in 1H2016. Net revenues in 1H2017 were EGP 150 mn, up from EGP 16 mn in the same period last year on the back of land sales. “[ERC] capitalized on ramped up marketing efforts and increased visibility during the months leading to summer,” the company said. “Revenue growth for [the] six-month period was also driven by higher proceeds from services rendered and utilities as the warmer weather attracted Sahl Hasheesh’s seasonal inhabitants and holiday-goers.” The company plans to expand its offerings across the real estate value chain and diversify its product offering in the coming period.

How much has the price of your favourite car gone up since last August? Car prices jumped 14-171% y-o-y in August, with Skoda seeing the biggest increase in prices and Opel the least, according to Al Mal’s calculations. The story includes brand-by-brand breakdowns of how prices have moved on specific models in the past year. The Automotive Information Council (AMIC) had previously predicted that the embattled sector would see a 50% y-o-y slump in sales on the back of rising costs, particularly due to fuel price hikes, while some industry leaders, including GB Auto CEO Raouf Ghabbour, are more optimistic about the sector’s potential for rebound this year.

RadioShack, Mobile Shop hit by Ikhwan-committee asset freeze: The Ikhwan asset-freeze committee ordered frozen the assets of some 19 companies just days after it seized the assets of a number of media and publishing companies owned by alleged members of the Ikhwan. The companies include Mobile Shop, Computer Shop, and RadioShack—Delta RS, according to Al Shorouk.

MP behind move to extend presidential term to six years backpedals — a bit: Rep. Ismail Nasr Eldeen, who proposed extending presidential terms in office by two years, says his amendments would apply to the next presidential term, not to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s current term in office, according to the Associated Press. “The proposed amendment will apply to the next president,” he says. It is not clear if his proposal is intended at affecting the duration of the term if El Sisi competes in and wins the elections scheduled for next year. Any constitutional amendment must be approved in a nationwide referendum.

The Finance Ministry is looking to extend the Tax Dispute Resolution Act’s year-long mandate beyond its September expiry date and until all cases are settled, an unnamed ministry official tells Al Shorouk. The law, which passed the House last September, removed tax dispute cases from the courts and handed them over to newly-established committees to settle amicably. The Tax Authority had said last month that the committees had resolved EGP 2 bn in disputes since September — around 3,000 cases out of a total 8,000 on their plates. The Finance Ministry will submit an official proposal to the House when MPs reconvene for their fall legislative season.

REGIONAL– Not the type of attention you want in the international press: Hikma is indeed London-listed, but the Jordan-based maker of meds is one of the quietest global success stories to have emerged from our corner of the world. Now, the company is under fire after a Financial Times investigation found that it had “sharply increased the price of a string of medicines in the US — including a … treatment that has risen 430 per cent — in the latest instance of ‘gouging’.” Reuters has picked up the FT’s piece, making sure it goes global. Couple this with the newspaper’s earlier commentary on below-expectation results in 1H2017 and it’s simple enough to paint this as a case of corporate avarice.

Qatari Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al Thani has emerged as a diplomatic star in the Qatari crisis, according to Bloomberg. The sheikh has held private meetings with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that resulted in the opening of borders to Qatari pilgrims — and has been hailed by the Saudi side as the sober voice in the palace in Doha. For those looking for political intrigue: Analysts see a palace coup as unlikely, but if one were to come to pass, Abdullah bin Ali would probably be in the same time zone.

The UAE’s ambassador to the US — the eloquent and very sharp Youssef Otaiba — allegedly ridiculed Saudi Arabia in a number of emails that have since been leaked by hacking group GlobalLeaks, The Independent reports. Otaiba reportedly sent an email to his wife mocking KSA’s decision to ban red roses on Valentine’s Day and allegedly sent another message saying, “That whole country is [redacted] coo coo!” Otaiba also suggests that the Emirates see Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman as a reformer with whom they can work. The UAE embassy has confirmed that the address from which the emails purportedly originated match Otaiba’s.


Enterprise is available without charge — just visit our English or Arabic subscription page, depending on which edition you would like to receive. We give you just about everything you need to know about Egypt, in your inbox Sunday through Thursday before 7am CLT (8am for Arabic), and all we ask for is your name, email address and where you hang your hat during business hours.

The Macro Picture

The strange rise of coal in the Middle East: The use of coal has proliferated of late in the Middle East — a strange prospect considering coal’s unpopularity globally, the region’s oil and gas resources and the commitments by some states to curb carbon emissions, writes Robin Mills for the National. The UAE’s energy strategy is to generate 11.2 GW of electricity from coal, having it make up 12% of the total national electricity generation by 2050. Egypt is planning a number of large-scale coal-fired power plants with Chinese and UAE investors, including a 1.32 GW plant in the Gulf of Suez. Similar moves are being done by Jordan, Oman and Iran. The increase can be attributed to volatility in gas and oil prices, leaving coal as a cheap and price-stable commodity. Despite commitments, renewable energy development has not been progressing as well in places such as Egypt. Regulatory hurdles and restrictions on private sector gas development regionally has also stemmed the region’s reliance on it.

Image of the Day

Mercedes has unveiled a new electric car concept based around the ultra-luxury brand Maybach, Bloomberg reported. Don’t get too excited, though: They are only building one and plan on keeping it a concept just to feature what the company thinks the electric powered future looks like. The thing is 20 feet long and packs 750 ponies under the hood.

Egypt in the News

A flattering report on CNBC finds all our asset classes looking more and more attractive. The article lauds the emergence of Egypt’s new investment law, which it says will pave the way for foreign investors. The article runs through what we all know and pray for: that the float and the higher interest rates that came with it have allowed liquidity to flow freely and that the less-costly EGP is creating a sweet spot for those looking to export. While there are still some questions around the currency, holding rates steady will be taken by many as a sign of confidence and that the bull run the EGX30 has had will ripple out into other asset classes and the investment environment as a whole. Thanks for the love CNBC, late as it may be.

Oh, and the average yields on Egypt’s three- and nine-month treasury bills fell yesterday, Reuters reports.

Also worth a skim on a very slow news morning for Omm El Donia:

  • Egypt, Lebanon and Iran are among the top countries in the world in which folks seek out surgical procedures designed to have a positive impact on one’s appearance , says the Sunday Times (paywall).
  • Tribes in Sinai are taking up arms to help the Egyptian Army fight terror groups, George Mikhail writes for Al-Monitor, which is rather late to the story.
  • Egyptians are enrolling their infant children in swimming classes to help improve their sleep and flexibility, Mohamed Zaki writes for Reuters.
  • Former Cairo resident Noor Naina Zafar recounts the details of her visit to Cairo and Alexandria seven years after she left Egypt in a piece for Pakistan’s The News on Sunday.
  • Prickly pears, a summer fruit only sold by street vendors, remain affordable amidst soaring prices, and are thus called “the fruit of the poor,” writes Ramadan Al Sherbini for Gulf News.

On Deadline

Italy is sorted — Russia should be next: The return of Italy’s ambassador to Cairo is a sign of Egypt’s deftness in handling the tensions over the Giulio Regeni case, but also serves as a reminder that Russia has yet to lift its flight ban, Abdel Mohsen Salama writes in a column penned for Al Ahram. Salama points out that Egyptian authorities have been equally cooperative — if not more so — with the Russians, and have complied with all of Moscow’s security requests, but that these efforts have yet to bear any fruit.

Worth Watching

Ever wonder why your eyeglasses cost nearly as much as an iPhone? It all comes down to a good old-fashioned monopoly on the eyeglass market for both spectacles and shades. Luxottica controls almost 80% of the eyeglass market in the US, owning almost all major brands and eyeglass stores. The company announced a USD 46 bn merger with Essilor International back in January. The combined entity would hold a near 27% market share of the global market, with Johnson & Johnson coming in at a far second at a mere 3.9%.

Luxottica’s monopoly has allowed it to dictate terms to and bully its competitors, a new documentary claims. It dropped Oakley from its stores when the latter challenged it on pricing, then took over the company when its share price dropped. Oh, and they also own the second-largest insurance company in America. It is unclear why antitrust regulators have let it go. But by maintaining the illusion of variously branded glasses and stores, the company has managed to create the illusion of a variety of choices. We’re not ashamed to say we learned this from the latest episode of College Humor’s Adam Ruins, which breaks down the whole the story (watch, runtime: 4:17).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed jumpstarting Palestinian-Israeli peace talks with his Jordanian and Palestinian counterparts in Cairo, Jordan News Agency Petra reports. A US delegation headed by nepotism beneficiary in-chief Jared Kushner will arrive in a few days for talks with the Foreign Ministers on resuming the peace process. “These consultations come in continuation of the first round which took place in Amman in the framework of the joint action to bring an end to the Israeli occupation, establish an independent Palestinian state and realize of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians,” Shoukry said.

At a joint press conference, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki welcomed Egypt’s closer ties with Hamas, calling on the Islamist group to bring an end to the rift between the Palestinian factions. He said the move demonstrates Egypt fulfilling its role as regional mediator, Reuters reports.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in Cairo yesterday to discuss regional cooperation on matters including economy, security, and anti-terrorism efforts, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Xinhua also has the story.

Egypt is taking part in the Damascus International Fair, the deputy head of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Ali Shoukry tells Xinhua. The Assad government had been touting the international trade fair — the first such trade event since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011 — as a resumption of business in the war-torn nation.

Egyptian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy left to Tokyo on Sunday to meet with Japanese army officials, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The meetings will revolve around cooperation and boosting military relations.


ENR planning to establish four new cargo rail shipping lines

The Egyptian National Railways is planning to establish four new cargo rail shipping lines at an estimated total cost of EGP 4.2 bn, an unnamed official tells Al Mal. The first 34 km line, which is expected to cost EGP 700 mn, will connect Sadat City in Menoufiya with El Manashy village in Giza. While the project is slotted for the current fiscal year, implementation has been on hold for several years due to land ownership disputes, according to the source. Other lines will connect El Manashy to Six October City, the Rubiki Industrial Zone and El Tebeen in Helwan, and Bilbeis in Sharqiya with Tenth of Ramadan City. It’s unclear yet how the project will be funded.

Phosphate Misr willing to pay for Abu Tartur

The state-owned Phosphate Misr said it would foot the potential USD 350 mn bill to revive the 700 km Abu Tartur-Safaga railway line, Al Mal reports. The company would be granted certain concessions if it decides to fund the renovations, according to Transport Ministry aide Amr Shaat, who did not get into details. The Ismail cabinet had met last week to discuss different options for the line, which is capable of transporting up to 2.5 mn tonnes of phosphate a year.

Basic Materials + Commodities

GASC issues tender for soy oil, sunflower oil

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said it is seeking soy oil and sunflower oil in a tender, Reuters reports. GASC is looking to purchase at least 10,000 tonnes of sunflower oil by 1-15 October and 30,000 tonnes of soy oil by 15-30 October. GASC is also seeking EGP-denominated offers for at least 10,000 tonnes of soy oil for 15-30 October delivery.


Banks stop funding 50% of Upper Egypt factories for lacking permits

50% of factories in Upper Egypt have stopped production after banks reportedly refused them financing, Assiut Investors Association head Ali Hamza says, according to Al Shorouk. Banks are insisting that factories need to first obtain the required licenses to qualify for loans, Hamza says, explaining that the amount of red tape and cost of fees has made licensing difficult lately. The situation, however, should see some improvement now that the Industrial Permits Act and its executive regulations — which cut the time for licensing down to 30 days and eliminate much of the bureaucracy — are out.

Arafa Holding establishes JV with Italy’s Gherardi to export ready-made garments

Arafa Holding established a joint venture with Italian garment-maker Gherardi at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre yesterday, according to an EGX filing. The company named Italian Shirts DMCC will manufacture ready-made garments in Egypt and export its output to Europe. Arafa Holding will hold a 40% stake, Gherardi 50%, and an unnamed “strategic investor” will hold the remaining 10%.

Real Estate + Housing

SODIC spent EGP 804 mn of its 2014 capital increase as of 1H2017

SODIC has spent EGP 804 mn in proceeds from its 2014 EGP 992.9 mn capital increase as of 1H2017, according to an EGX filing. Among the noteworthy expenditures are the EGP 400 mn invested in its Villette project in 2014 and EGP 191 mn spent to acquire the Tobrouk Building Company and purchase a 172k sqm land plot in 2015. In 2016, SODIC spent EGP 100 mn on the New Heliopolis project, in partnership with Heliopolis Company for Housing & Development. SODIC also allocated EGP 10 mn to engineering works at New Heliopolis in 2017 and expects to launch phase one in October.

Hyde Park signs with five local construction firms

Hyde Park Properties for development signed a EGP 1.5 bn agreement with five local constructions companies yesterday for its new project in New Cairo, Amwal El Ghad reports. The five firms are Hassan Allam, Misr Engineering Development Company, Modern Construction Company, Hirmas, and Concrete Plus for Engineering and Construction. The firm has launched a EGP 12.5 bn project on the North Coast.

Telecoms + ICT

Egypt’s ICT, outsourcing sector receiving top praises from global industry reports

Egypt’s ICT and outsourcing industry has been receiving plenty of praise from international trade and consulting houses, according to a report published by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA). Egypt’s ICT exports rose to USD 1.78 bn at the end of FY2016-17, driven by the 50% drop in the cost of IT services following the EGP float, making it one of the top countries to provide outsourcing services to the EU and MENA regions, ITIDA said, citing a Gartner report. France’s Capgemini Consulting says Egyptian software sales are expected to increase to USD 304.2 mn by 2020, up from USD 182.5 mn in 2016. Also, Egypt’s business process outsourcing market is expected to grow 14% in 2017. Egypt’s outsourcing industry grew an average 7.5% annually from 2014 to 2016, according to Oxford Business Group. The report says Egyptian talents make Egypt the best outsourcing destination in the region. The Outsourcing Destination Guide Egypt says outsourcing workforce is expected to reach 161,000 by 2020.

Lenovo, Sky for Trade & Distribution sign Motorola distribution agreement

Lenovo signed an agreement with Sky for Trade & Distribution that will see the latter operate as an official retailer for Motorola phones in Egypt, Al Mal reports.

Automotive + Transportation

CMA CGM adds West Port Said Port to Asia-Europe shipping line

The CMA CGM Group agreed with the Port Said Container and Cargo Handling Company to add the West Port Said Port to its Asia-Europe service, Al Mal reports. The port hosted the first call from CMA CGM’s service in July. CMA CGM is looking to operate an annual 310 trips to West Port Said and 250 trips to East Port Said.

ICAO conference set to start in Sharm

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is hosting an aviation security-centric conference in Sharm El Sheikh on 22-24 August, Al Masry Al Youm reports. With around 400 officials expected in attendance, the conference signals how far the government has moved from the chatter about inept airport security. ICAO President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu himself praised Egypt’s airport security protocols when during a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Xinhua reports.

Banking + Finance

Banque Misr in negotiations for loan

Banque Misr has entered into talks with international lenders for a USD 500-700 mn facility, according to Al Borsa. The bank had previously stated it was interested sourcing liquidity from foreign sources.

Legislation + Policy

Planning Ministry drafts a…Planning Act?

The Planning Ministry has finished drafting a Unified Planning Act, Deputy Minister Nihal El Megharbel said on Sunday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The bill, which should be going to the House of Representatives before the end of the year, sets a framework for the state to regulate the planning and execution of national projects based on their merit and overall goals and purpose, as well as costs and sources of funding. Why we need a law to do what feasibility studies were created for is beyond us.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Misr Spinning and Weaving reaches agreement to end strike

Misr Spinning and Weaving reached a temporary settlement with striking workers to end a 15 day sit-in, according to Al Borsa. Strikes across factories in the area have cost over EGP 60 mn. The Textile Workers Union is going to sit down for further talks to come to a more comprehensive solution.

National Security

Egypt, Sudan defense ministers discuss regional security

Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi discussed regional security and cooperation with his Sudanese counterpart Awad Ouf in Cairo on Sunday, Daily News Egypt reports.


Qatari architect designs World Cup stadium to resemble traditional Arabian cap

A Qatari architect has designed the stadium that will host the 2022 World Cup quarter final match to look like a traditional Arabian cap, known as a “gahfiya,” Reuters reports. The design, as imagined in the graphic illustration above, is a “symbolic design” that is meant to serve as a tribute to Arab unity, according to Qatar’s 2022 committee chief, Hassan al-Thawadi. The release of the illustration comes as al-Thawadi downplayed the effect the Arab quartet’s boycott of Qatar has had on preparations for the World Cup, saying they have been “inconvenienced but not delayed,” according to AFP.

On Your Way Out

The trends in terrorist attacks in Egypt over the past two quarters represents a shift in Daesh’s overall strategy towards Egypt as the wave of attacks targeting Copts continued, according to TIMEP’s Egypt’s Security Watch for 1Q2017. Reports of attacks in North Sinai fell in the first quarter of this year, and so did incidents on mainland Egypt, with only three having been recorded. The report is available in full here (pdf).

Facebook wants to know even more about you if you’re a female business owner / founder. Women who have founded, cofounded, or own a business — and are interested in using Facebook and Instagram to grow it — meet the criteria to join Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness initiative, Archana Menon writes for Wamda. The initiative launched in MENA in February and provides free workshops available in the UAE and Egypt.

Is it the End Times for the white taxi? White taxi drivers are complaining that their livelihoods have been severely impacted by both the economic reform agenda and the arrival of ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Careem. Business Monthly’s Henry Johnson looks at how those factors and the appalling customer service of white taxis — which had thrived thanks to both their low cost and inefficient, overcrowded and uncomfortable public transportation — had crippled the once-iconic sector.

The original Nutty Professor dead at age 91: UScomedian Jerry Lewis passed away on Sunday at the age of 91 in his Las Vegas home. Lewis first rose to fame “shortly after World War II with a nightclub act in which the rakish, imperturbable Dean Martin crooned,” the New York Times says. He then went on to launch his solo career and began acting, writing, directing, and producing many of his own films, such as The Nutty Professor and his rendition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The Market Yesterday

Share This Section

Powered by
Pharos Holding -

EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.7124 | Sell 17.8124
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.72 | Sell 17.82
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.72 | Sell 17.82

EGX30 (Sunday): 13,206 (-0.7%)
Turnover: EGP 387 mn (57% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +5.5%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session down 0.7%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.6%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Qalaa Holdings up 0.9%, SODIC up 0.3%, and Arab Cotton Ginning up 0.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: ACC down 4.2%, Domty down 3.3%, and Amer Group down 3.2%. The market turnover was EGP 387 mn, and regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +5.9 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -8.4 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +2.5 mn

Retail: 72.2% of total trades | 71.3% of buyers | 73.2% of sellers
Institutions: 27.8% of total trades | 28.7% of buyers | 26.8% of sellers

Foreign: 6.0% of total | 6.9% of buyers | 5.4% of sellers
Regional: 11.0% of total | 9.9% of buyers | 12.0% of sellers
Domestic: 83.0% of total | 83.2% of buyers | 82.6% of sellers


When Will the CBE Start Monetary Easing? An Earlier Than Previously Expected Scenario: Pharos Holding sees the CBE starting to curb interest rates earlier than previously expected (at the end of 2017). Leading indicators suggest that the absorption growth rate is decelerating significantly in 1Q2017-18. Furthermore, inflation appears to have already peaked following the fiscal reforms in July, with an expectation that inflation rates will ease in the coming months. The inflation rate in August will be crucial to determining whether the CBE will move to ease interest rates ahead of the firm’s earlier expectations. You can view the full report here.


WTI: USD 48.52 (+0.02%)
Brent: USD 52.63 (-0.17%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.90 MMBtu, (+0.35%, September 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,289.00 / troy ounce (-0.20%)TASI: 7,209.24 (+0.42%) (YTD: -0.02%)
ADX: 4,492.63 (0.00%) (YTD: -1.18%)
DFM: 3,615.39 (+0.39%) (YTD: +2.39%)
KSE Weighted Index: 425.22 (+0.09%) (YTD: +11.87%)
QE: 9,133.93 (+0.30%) (YTD: -12.48%)
MSM: 4,913.19 (+0.49%) (YTD: -15.04%)
BB: 1,312.34 (+1.03%) (YTD: +7.53%)

Share This Section


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.

08-09 September (Friday-Saturday): Educate Me’s Conference for Egyptian Education (Mo’allem), AUC, Cairo

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.

15-18 September (Friday-Monday): Sharm Travel Market, venue TBD, 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.

06-07 November (Monday-Tuesday): Crisis Communications Conference, Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel, Cairo.

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.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.