Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Everything you need to know about the House’s fall session, but were afraid to ask. Plus: We’re off until 5 September. Happy Eid!

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We’re heading into a five-day weekend. ‘Nuff said. We hope each and every one of you has a happy Eid full of family and friends, a safe and blessed Hajj, a relaxing Labor Day weekend, or otherwise simply enjoy a beautiful weekend. We’re off the coming five days and will be back at the appointed hour on the morning of Tuesday, 5 September.

Will you have any vacation days left after bridging this week or next week? If so Bloomberg suggests Egypt as one of six “inspirational trips perfect for tight now.” Making the list as well are: Miami, Cape Town, Finland, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Alternatively, the business information service is also getting clicks for a piece on substitute destinations to help you sidestep the tourist hordes, offering Colmar, France as a substitute for Venice, Easter Island as a swap for Macchu Picchu and Tel Aviv instead of Dubrovnik, among others. Our only comment: Having fallen in love with Dubrovnik (and the entire Dalmatian coast) eons ago, it’s hard to imagine anything replacing that particular city.

Don’t forget to catch Egypt vs. Uganda tomorrow at 8pm CLT in the third round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Our friends at King Fut say that some 60,000 spectators will be in the stands in Kampala. Goalie Essam El Hadary, Arsenal’s Mohamed El Neny, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah have reportedly made the Pharaohs’ final roster. Ugandan team captain Denis Onyango had warned the Pharaohs to expect some serious “fireworks.”

On The Horizon

LEGISLATION WATCH- September is almost upon us, and with it will come the antics of our esteemed members of the House of Representatives as they contemplate — and seek to impose their unique stamp on — the Ismail government’s very busy legislative agenda. Here’s what you need to know:

Date note set yet: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has yet to decide when the fall session will begin.

Amendments to the Central Bank and Banking Act: Proposed amendments stirred controversy when details emerged last month, particularly including over term limits for managing directors, CBE representation on bank boards, and a proposal that banks kick in 5% of their bottom lines annually for an industry development fund. The CBE is in talks with the Federation of Egyptian Banks to iron out these controversies, where we hear that progress is being made.

The Bankruptcy Act: This long-awaited piece of legislation is expected to improve Egypt’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business report by introducing for the first time measures that would give struggling companies a window in which to reorganize. The bill would effectively decriminalize bankruptcy and could make it possible for companies to request time to re-structure under US “chapter 11” style bankruptcy protection. This bill is expected to be among the first key pieces of legislation that House will look at in the fall session.

M&A to be subject to prior approval from competition authority? The Egyptian Competition Authority is pushing for the introduction of legislation within the coming two months that would require its stamp of approval on M&A transactions. At its initial phase, M&A larger than EGP 100 mn will require the ECA’s approval, but ECA chief Mona El Garf hinted that the bill may be amended at some point in the future to include smaller transactions.

The Universal Healthcare Act: Probably one of the most important social legislation this year, the Universal Healthcare aims to completely revamp healthcare in the country by ensuring quality of service in all public hospitals and making them available to the every Egyptian. Implementing the Act is expected to cost the state EGP 130 bn this current fiscal year. Employers and workers will both be paying into the national health insurance fund. The Ismail cabinet is expected to review the law today with an eye towards shepherding it through the House in September.

Other bills to keep your eye on:

  • The Automotive Directive: The law, which has been stalled due to an outcry from auto importers, may be put up to a vote by November. It would give assemblers incentives to go further up the value chain into manufacturing, giving them a measure of protection against what they say are unfair benefits enjoyed by Turkish, EU and Moroccan imports.
  • Legislation to set prices for private sector healthcare: The latest hair-brained scheme from the Health Ministry to cap prices for private healthcare is in the midst of “national dialogue,” which we hope turns into a national filibuster.
  • Privatizing railway? House to introduce new legislation that would allow the private sector to directly build, manage, and conduct maintenance of railway infrastructure. The Transport Ministry finished drafting similar legislation.
  • Uber, Careem and other ride-sharing apps could face regulation under a bill now before the House that would also require servers be based in Egypt — and that access be granted to relevant government bodies.

And don’t forget about the executive regulations — that’s where the rubber meets the road. The executive regs of the Investment Act are yet to receive final signoff (they’re now with the State Council for review after being blessed by the Ismail cabinet), and a first draft of the regs on the natural gas industry deregulation act has yet to be made public.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Government companies are great — profitable and responsible corporate citizens who don’t need to be privatized. So claimed the ministry of public enterprises last night. So call off the sales of ENPPI and BdC, y’all, okay?

Privatization? We don’t need no stinking privatization: Public Enterprises Minister Ashraf El Sharkawi tried to convince Al Nahar TV’s Akher Al Nahar that the privatization of public-sector companies is unnecessary, since nine of them have posted EGP 4.409 bn in profits so far this year. The minister said the holding companies also raked in EGP 1.7 bn in profits last year, up from EGP 323 mn in losses (watch, runtime 54:32).

Over on Hona Al Asema, the name of the game was misleading medicine ads on television. MP Ayman Aboul Ela went on a rant about unregistered pharma companies not facing any hurdles in advertising their products on television and distributing them on the interwebs. Doctors’ Syndicate board member Khaled Samir said a law to regulate medical ads is long overdue — and that regulatory authorities are responsible in the meantime for keeping companies in check (watch, runtime 39: 49).

Speed Round

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INVESTMENT WATCH- The European Investment Bank (EIB) committed USD 15 mn to the Ezdehar Egypt Mid-Cap fund, Ezdehar’s inaugural fund, Al Masry Al Youm reports. EIB’s contribution raises the fund’s total capital raised to USD 85 mn. Ezdehar tells us its investor base includes the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the CDC Group, the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), and other Egyptian businessmen and women. The Ezdehar Egypt Mid-Cap fund is a generalist fund eyeing growing Egyptian companies and family enterprises. It typically seeks to invest a minimum of USD 5 mn per transaction and to work closely with management teams in supporting scaling up their operations. Managing Director Emad Barsoum tells us Ezdehar is “building on Egypt’s large market and strong fundamentals, as well as the opportunity the mid-cap segment presents in terms of development and return on investment. Having the backing of leading global financial institutions and experienced Egyptian businessmen and women is a vote of confidence for the team and the Egyptian economy as a whole.”

INVESTMENT WATCH- State-owned Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (AMOC) is considering spending USD 500 mn on a fuel oil refining project, chairman Amr Mostafa tells Al Mal. Technical studies are being drafted and are expected to be completed before year-end. The company is also issuing a tender for the development of a USD 50 mn fuel oil production unit in September. The unit should be completed end of 2019 and will be funded by a capital increase and USD-denominated export receipts. Separately, Mostafa expects trading in the company’s global depository receipts (GDRs) to begin within two months. Al Ahly Capital is converting 39.5% of its shares in AMOC — the equivalent of 10% of the company — to GDRs on the London Stock Exchange.

Apex International, Royal Dutch Shell sign USD 81 mn in exploration agreements: The Oil Ministry signed three oil and gas exploration agreements for 16 new fields in the Western Desert worth at least USD 81.4 mn with Royal Dutch Shell and Apex International Energy, according to Reuters. The ministry said Shell will invest USD 35.5 mn in its project, while our friends at Apex will invest USD 45.9 mn on two projects. Apex announced it has signed two concession agreements for 1.7 mn acres encompassing the West Badr el Din and South East Meleiha concessions, located in the prolific Abu Gharadig Basin in the Western Desert. Apex was awarded the two blocks as part of EGPC’s 2016 bid round. The company says it will invest a minimum of USD 27.4 mn during the first exploration phase to perform “detailed geological studies, acquire and process 3D seismic and drill exploratory wells.”

IFC pledges USD 100 mn to oil and gas projects in Egypt: The International Finance Corporation has pledged USD 100 mn to oil and gas projects being carried out by major global firms in Egypt, an Investment and International Cooperation Ministry statement says (pdf). This comes as the World Bank Group’s executive board agreed to help fund projects worth a combined USD 500 mn in Egypt’s oil and gas sector, the statement says, without providing additional detail. The IFC had announced last month it would be allocating USD 635 mn to the establishment of up to 11 solar power plants with a combined production capacity of 500 MW.

Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, David Govrin, returned to Cairo yesterday, sources told Reuters and the Associated Press. The sources say Govrin and eight embassy staffers are back in Cairo to resume their roles permanently. Govrin, who had been quietly removed from Egypt in late 2016 “due to security concerns,” made a one-day trip to Cairo last week, also accompanied by a delegation of eight embassy staff members. Israeli news outlets (here, here, and here) are taking note of the story citing media reports, as the Israeli government is yet to issue an official confirmation.

El Sisi heading to China: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is expected to sign several cooperation agreements with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during his trip to China next week, Beijing’s ambassador to Cairo Song Aiguo said yesterday, Al Borsa reports. The ambassador did not disclose the details of the agreements, but said instead that El Sisi will be giving a speech at the 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, which will run from 3-5 September (Sunday through Tuesday). Chinese investors, many of whom are already in talks with Egypt over projects at the new administrative capital and the Ain Sokhna area, will welcome the speech, the ambassador said.

El Sisi also sat down for an interview yesterday with Chinese reporters ahead of his visit, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The questions were largely focused on economic cooperation with BRICS countries and Egypt’s strategy to learn from developing countries’ experiences to boost economic growth at home.

The president will then head to Hanoi, where he’ll be meeting with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and Communist Party General Secretary and Prime Minister Nguyen Phu Trong, becoming the first Egyptian president to visit the South East Asian nation, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Meanwhile, the Investment Ministry signed an MoU with the Export–Import Bank of China that will see the latter help fund national projects for the coming three years, according to a statement from the ministry. Minister Sahar Nasr discussed cooperation on the electricity sector and electrical rail projects with the bank’s Vice President. We had said this week that the Transport Ministry was struggling to arrange the USD 500 mn it needed to fund the USD 1.25 bn electrical railway project, for which the China Export-Import Bank had reportedly pledged USD 739 mn.

In other Investment Ministry news, Nasr and Suez Canal Authority boss Mohab Mamish told Singapore’s Strait Times in an interview that Egypt and Singapore are in talks to set up an industrial park in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) as they look toward further cooperation.

Is The Donald signaling World War III? US President Donald Trump declared yesterday that “all options are on the table” when deciding how to respond to North Korea firing a surprise ballistic missile over Japan yesterday as US and South Korean troops held military drills below. “The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” he said in a statement. Asked what he plans to do, the Donald told reporters, “‘We’ll see, we’ll see,’" according to Bloomberg. Egypt expressed “worry” after North Korea fired the missiles, Ahram Online reports.

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The Macro Picture

The MENA region loses an annual USD 21 bn because of poor management of water resources and sanitation, according to a World Bank report issued at the World Water Week conference in Stockholm, Reuters’ Inna Lazareva reports. Poor management of water resources is costing the region about 1% of its annual GDP.

Water productivity — in other words, how much return you get for every drop of water used — in the Middle East in general is the lowest on average in the world,” says Anders Jägerskog, a co-author of the report. Water subsidies are problematic, as the region’s population pays the lowest water tariffs in the world, and states spend the highest proportion of GDP on public water subsidies, says Jägerskog. Furthermore, over half of wastewater goes back to the environment untreated. Along with better management, desalination and recycling could help. The report says governments could save as much as USD 10 bn every year if better irrigation and water storage and delivery systems are implemented. Agricultural production could also increase by up to 8%. This would benefit Egypt, Syria and Iran the most, as they have the largest tracts of irrigated land regionally.

Egypt in the News

Competition for Egypt’s regional gas hub plans? The most viable option for Israeli natural gas exports is the Southern Gas Corridor, Cyril Widdershoven, a partner at Dutch risk consultancy Verocy and SVP MEA-Risk, told Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency. The Southern Gas Corridor is the network of pipelines and infrastructure developments aimed at connecting Azerbaijan all the way to Italy through Georgia and Turkey. Widdershoven says that, while the option for Israel to export gas to Egypt is attractive, the security situation in Sinai is a “major stumble block.”

The withholding of some US financial aid to Egypt “amounts to a ‘very light slap on the wrist’ that is expected to have ‘no effect at all’ on Egyptian human-rights practices,” Carnegie Endowment scholar Sarah Yerkes tells JPost. She adds: “The Sisi regime knows they’re a big country, an important country in the region, that they have an important role to play in the peace process which is a priority for the administration. It’s clear they need Egypt on their side if they want to get anywhere with the Israeli-Palestinian process.” Yerkes does not see the US taking any further steps against Egypt. She says cutting the aid was a not a “moral” move from the US, but rather a signs of displeasure with Egypt for not sticking to reported assurances made by Egyptian officials “that they would make changes to the law before it was signed,” coupled with a signal to Cairo to distance itself from North Korea.

Journalist Abdulla Rashad “disappeared” on his way home from work and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is concerned, calling on authorities to “disclose whether they have him in custody and why.” CPJ says Rashad is a crime reporter, working for Al Bawaba, and was last seen leaving the news website’s office on 17 August.

Also worth noting in brief this morning:

  • Last month’s stabbing attack in Hurghada has not scared off German tourists, and bookings have “held up well” since, despite a minor drop directly after the incident, according to German tourism portal FVW.
  • The comrades at Socialist Worker magazine say that the 14-day strike by textile workers in Mahalla was an impressive display of workers’ organization and resilience in the face of the regime.
  • MP Samir Aliwa was interviewed by Sputnik on the importance of Russian-Egyptian military drills ahead of the joint Defenders of Friendship-2017 counterterrorism exercises.
  • “Traffic accidents are common in Egypt” due to “poorly maintained” roads, says Echo of India — of all things — in a story about a bus-truck collision yesterday that killed 14 and injured 42 on the Cairo-Beni Suef highway.
  • An Ancient Egyptian exhibition at Milan’s Museum of Culture will showcase Pharaoh Amenhotep II from 13 September to 7 January, says ANSAMed.

On Deadline

The corruption case involving Alexandria’s deputy governor serves as a sobering reminder of how rampant graft is across state bodies and positions, Al Masry Al Youm’s Mohamed Amin says. The case also revives the question of how officials are selected for such top positions, and why they are not subjected to more stringent screening to ensure they are qualified — or won’t rip off the state. Meanwhile, Amr El Shobaky takes to the pages of the same newspaper to remind readers that, while the Administrative Control Authority is doing some top-notch work, the laws currently in place bar it from investigating certain bodies that are cesspools of corruption. He says that, as long as these unnamed institutions remain above the law, they will continue to promote the corruption mentality that has permeated Egyptian culture.

Worth Reading

Requests for social media user data by African governments accelerated between2013 and 2016, according to the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), a group focused on internet policy on the continent. Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Sudan, and Kenya have all consistently requested user information from Google, Facebook, and Twitter, according to a report put out by CIPESA (pdf). Egypt was one of the top four African nations who have requested user data from Facebook, alongside Nigeria, Tunisia, and Botswana. Egypt was also among the top five African countries requesting data from Google.

On a related note, Uber is reportedly pulling a feature from its app that allows the company to track riders for up to five minutes after ending the trip, the company’s chief security officer Joe Sullivan tells Reuters. While the newswire speculates that the move comes as part of the company’s strategy to reshape its tattered reputation which led to the downfall of CEO Travis Kalanick, Sullivan insists that the move is just part of his team’s work to beef up customer security. There had been allegations that Uber’s “God View” was used to track a journalist who has been critical to the company. The move to tighten customer privacy comes amid allegations that Egypt has been asking Uber and its biggest local rival Careem to provide it with user data. Sharing of this data may be mandatory for the company, as the New York Times had reported that the new Ride Hailing Apps Act would oblige these companies to provide the government with user data.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Romania and Egypt signed three agreements yesterday, including one on tourism promotion and another to scrap visa requirements for diplomats, the Associated Press reports. The agreements were signed during Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Bucharest, where he discussed migrant flow and counter terrorism, with his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu. This follows the announcement that Egypt and Germany signed an agreement Monday to slow illegal migrant flow. The two foreign ministers also tackled cooperation in energy, oil, IT, and agriculture. Shoukry’s visit is the first of its kind in seven years.

Egypt and Somalia signed an agreement that will see them cooperate on an agricultural and livestock project, reports All Africa. The agreement came during a meeting between Agriculture Minister Abdelmoneim Al Banna and his Somali counterpart Said Hussein. Egyptian experts will be heading to Somalia soon to inspect the 200 feddans allocated to the project. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had discussed cooperation with Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in Cairo last week.

Egypt’s non-oil imports fell 29% y-o-y to USD 24 bn in 1H2017 from USD 33.9 bn last year, according to a General Organization for Import and Export Control report picked up by Al Shorouk. The first quarter saw a drop of 25% and the second 34% y-o-y. Imports from Arab nations saw the most significant drop of 44%, while Russian imports only slid down 2% y-o-y. China remains our biggest source of imports, despite a 30% decline compared to 1H2016.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi assured Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that Ibrahim Halawa will be allowed to return to Ireland once his case comes to a close, the Irish Times reports, in a slightly different account of the conversation between the two than the one covered by the Egyptian media. The Irish Times’ editorial board also expressed its frustration over the repeated delays in the trial.

Congo-Brazzaville’s president extended an official invitation to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to attend the third African Union summit on Libya, which will kick off in the Congolese capital on 9 September, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Energy

Electricity Ministry launches tender for 250 MW solar park

The Electricity Ministry launched a tender for a 250 MW solar power park in the Gulf of Suez on Monday, Amwal Al Ghad reports. The tender has garnered interest from six firms, whose offers are being looked at by the New and Renewable Energy Authority, authority Mohamed El Khayat said. No word has yet emerged over which firms were chosen.

Oil Ministry pushes more fuel in market ahead of Eid, school season

The Oil Ministry will be pushing 20% more fuel into the market ahead of Eid Al Adha and back-to-school season in September Al Masry Al Youm said on Tuesday. Roadside gas stations and airports will be receiving larger fuel rations than others. The ministry also plans to supply government warehouses with a daily 1 mn butane gas cylinders during September to keep up with increasing demand.

Basic Materials + Commodities

GASC purchases 295k tonnes of Russian, Romanian wheat

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) purchased 295k tonnes of wheat yesterday, of which 235k tonnes came from Russia and 60k tonnes from Ukraine, Reuters reports. The lowest offer GASC received in the tender was USD 186.05 per tonne free-on-board (FOB) for 60k tonnes of Russian wheat, traders tell the newswire. The Ukrainian wheat was purchased at USD 187.00 per tonne FOB. “The price spread is now huge in the GASC offers, with Russia dominating,” according to a Europe-based trader. The tender comes as public prosecutor is set to decide on whether the 63k tonnes of Romanian wheat found to contain poppy seeds should be rejected after the Eid Al Adha holiday.

Supply Ministry to issue twice-monthly rice tenders

The Supply Ministry is planning to issue twice-monthly rice tenders as of next month to cover the needs of subsidy card holders, which surpass 70k tonnes per month, Minister Ali El Moselhy told reporters yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

South Valley Cement spent EGP 160.3 mn on second production line license

South Valley Cement spent EGP 160.3 mn to obtain a manufacturing license for its second production line, which it was awarded in an auction last year, the company said in an EGX filing. The company also completed two cement millsand plans to begin trial operations before year-end. We had noted earlier this week that Saudi Arabian investors Abdulrahman Sharbatly and Fahd El Shobokshy were planning to invest USD 150 mn in the production line.

Tourism

Cairo could be a top spa destination

Cairo has potential to become “a top spa destination,” Ehab Malek writes for Travel Daily News. He says the city’s old hammams have “an ancient appeal with an authentic atmosphere which can be utilized as a tourist spa and surely it will find a huge demand after conducting adequate marketing campaign and hiring a famous experienced spa brands to operate each location.” The challenge is that most of the ancient hammams in Cairo are dilapidated and in need of renovations. Hearing the word “spa” only makes us think of this scene from one of the funniest shows on TV.

Cairo hotel occupancy rates up 4% y-o-y in 2Q2017 -Colliers International

Occupancy rates in Cairo hotels rose 4% y-o-y in 2Q2017, according to a Colliers International report picked up by TradeArabia. The majority of hotels opening in the city are in the five-star category, including Steigenberger El Tahrir, Westin Cairo Golf Resort, and the recently revamped Sheraton in Dokki. Sharm El Sheikh occupancy rates are also on an upward trajectory as demand increases both domestically and from Arab countries. The report expects occupancy in Hurghada and Alexandria to also see a rise over the coming period, “but much slower compared to Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh.”

Ukrainian tourist numbers expected to rise 30% -El Demieri

Tourism Promotion Authority boss Hisham El Demieri is expecting a 30% increase in the number of Ukrainian tourists over the winter season, the official said on Sunday as he concluded a trip through Kiev and Warsaw, where he had met with tour operators to discuss boosting tourism to Egypt. Al Shorouk has the story.

Emaar’s Vida unveiled in Sidi Abdel Rahman

Emaar Hospitality Group has added a third hotel to its Egypt portfolio, with the 120-room Vida Marassi Marina hotel on the North Coast, Trade Arabia reports. The Emaar Hospitality Group had announced in April that it was planning to unveil six new hotels as part of its regional and international expansion plan.

Automotive + Transportation

Transport Ministry to issue global tender for electric signaling system on Tanta-Damietta railway

The Transport Ministry is planning to issue a global tender to set up an electric signaling system on the 170 km Tanta-Damietta railway, General Manager of Strategy and Investment Projects at the Egyptian National Railways, Mohamed Mahmoud, tells Al Mal. The project is expected to cost USD 170 mn, at a rate of USD 1 mn per km, and will be funded through a loan the ENR arranged with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Mahmoud said he expects the project to take three years to implement.

Banking + Finance

Credit card payments at the post office

The National Postal Authority, Banque Misr, and Visa signed an MoU that will allow Banque Misr to extend some services through post offices around the country, according to an ICT Ministry statement. The agreement, a step forward in the way of financial inclusion, will see Banque Misr add more ATMs to post office branches as well as offer services such as cash transfers and credit card payments in order to reach a wider segment of the population and encourage the transition away from cash.

Other Business News of Note

Ekuity Holding looking to develop two properties

Kuwait’s Ekuity Holding is looking to put out a tender for the renovation of the Hilton properties in Zamalek as well as the Ambassador in Dokki, according to Al Mal. The properties, which belong to another Kuwaiti government affiliate, the Zamalek Tourism Investment Company, haven’t been renovated since 2007. Ekuity Holding plans to invest USD 120 mn in the coming months and is close to completing the acquisition of a stake in a real estate development firm and a food and beverages venture.

Egypt Politics + Economics

MP backtracks even further

House Rep. Ismail Nasr Eldeen is now retreating further from his proposal to extend the presidential term to six years from four, saying that constitutional amendments will not be discussed in the House this year, according to Al Shorouk. The rep had pledged to take the matter to the House once it reconvenes in the fall and had stated that his proposed amendments would not apply to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s current term.

On Your Way Out

The Women of Tech Track, a new women-only program at tech school AlMakinah,was launched to challenge the gender imbalances in the industry, writes Menna A. Farouk for Al-Monitor. The program provides classes on front-end web development, data visualization, and digital marketing.

USAID-funded citizen service centers launch in Beheira: Newly refurbished citizen service centers — essentially a one-stop shop for government services — were inaugurated in Abu Hummos, Kafr El Dawar, and Damanhour in Beheira, according to a US embassy press release. The project is funded by USAID. “Nine Citizen Service Centers in Beheira are now modernized so that citizens will be able to transact their business through an efficient, web-enabled system,” said USAID Mission Director Sherry Carlin.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.63 | Sell 17.73
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.63 | Sell 17.73
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.64 | Sell 17.74

EGX30 (Tuesday): 13,195 (+1.4%)
Turnover: EGP 706 mn (20% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +6.9%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 closed Tuesday’s session up 1.4%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed up 1.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Qalaa Holdings up 4.3%; Amer Group up 3.5%; and Emaar Misr up 2.9%. Today’s worst performing stocks were: Oriental Weavers down 0.9%; Egyptian Financial and Industrial down 0.2%; and Eastern Co closed flat. The market turnover was EGP 706 mn, and regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +7.2 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -12.8 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +5.6 mn

Retail: 62.5% of total trades | 57.7% of buyers | 67.3% of sellers
Institutions: 37.5% of total trades | 42.3% of buyers | 32.7% of sellers

Foreign: 22.1% of total | 22.6% of buyers | 21.6% of sellers
Regional: 11.6% of total | 10.7% of buyers | 12.5% of sellers
Domestic: 66.3% of total | 66.7% of buyers | 65.9% of sellers


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PHAROS VIEW

Monéscope 2Q2017 — An Emerging Gradual Economic Recovery: In its latest report, Pharos Holding takes us through some of the metrics and signs that our economy is improving. Real GDP growth rate rose to 4.9% in 4QFY2016-17 from 4.3% in 3QFY2016-17 in no small measure as a result of the EGP float. This improvement is expected to continue to 1Q2017-18 on the back of interest in the energy sector and improved tourism receipts. The unemployment rate stabilized at 11.98% in 4Q2016-17, while aggregate system deposits expanded by 6.1% in 2Q2017. Meanwhile, net Interest income jumped from 4.0% as of 4Q2016 to record 4.6% as of 1Q2017. On the flipside, the EGX underperformed, with small cap companies being the best performers. You can view the full reports here (pdf).

***


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Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.96 MMBtu, (+1.23%, September 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,313.80 / troy ounce (-0.39%)TASI: 7,258.64 (-0.04%) (YTD: +0.67%)
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Calendar

31 August-04 September (Thursday-Monday): Eid Al-Adha, national holiday 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.

15-16 October (Sunday-Monday): The Marketing Kingdom Cairo 3 conference, Dusit Thani Lakeview Hotel, 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; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.