Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A growing economy and lots of fresh investment — welcome to September

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen. Sahel season is ending — and summer with it — and it’s back to the grind for you and for the kiddies, with most private schools in Egypt heading back in between this morning and Sunday, 10 September. Traffic will get worse over the coming days, but D-Day is Saturday, 23 September, when public schools go back.

You have about 15 days and 17 hours left until our next three-day weekend, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 21 September. Plan from now to enjoy it: Armed Forces Day (6 October) falls on a Friday this year, so the next holiday thereafter is Thursday, 30 November for the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday.

It’s going to be a busy fall for business as we all try to figure out how to budget for next year. We’re increasingly convinced 2018 will be more challenging than many presently expect. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the Ismail government’s very ambitious fall regulatory and legislative agendas, which will kick into high gear when the House reconvenes (most likely later this month, it seems). If you missed it last Thursday: We have a roundup of key legislation and pending regulatory changes here.

FDI rises 27.5% in FY2016-17, GDP growth confirmed at 4.9% in fourth quarter of the state fiscal year that just ended: The Finance Ministry had some good news right before Eid as it announced in a report that foreign direct investment rose 27.5% y-o-y in FY2016-17. The ministry confirmed that the economy grew 4.9% in the final quarter of the last fiscal year (the three months ending this past 30 June), compared to 2.3% in the same period last year. Trade deficit figures also improved, dropping to 46% during the year. The news won us some nice ink from Reuters, but before we get all smug, you may want to take note that Canada’s economy grew an insane 4.5% in the quarter ending in June.

Separately, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy announced that foreign interest in Egyptian debt remained strong in August, growing to reach USD 16 bn, up from USD 14.2 bn a month before.

Speaking of El Garhy, sources have confirmed to Youm7 that the minister and Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk will be attending the IMF and World Bank’s fall meetings in mid-October. They’re expected to discuss progress on the government’s economic reform agenda.

EgyptAir and the Civil Aviation Ministry claimed that the ban on electronic devices on flights to the UK was lifted as of last Friday. EgyptAir’s statement is vague and cites an “informed resources” in the airline itself. The UK ban differs slightly from the US one which has already been lifted.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will become the first Egyptian president to visit Vietnam when he heads to Hanoi tomorrow. El Sisi flies after a stop in China for the 2017 BRICS Summit, where he’s set to deliver a second speech today that will focus on investment opportunities for BRICS countries in Egypt. The president is also expected to sit down with senior execs from a number of Chinese companies. We have more in the Speed Round, below.

But all we can obsess over this morning is the nutter in Pyongyang dancing ever closer to nuclear Armageddon in his showdown with the Trump administration. More on this, too, in Speed Round.

STRATEGY WATCH- Norges Bank, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund at USD 990 bn, “has unveiled radical proposals to transform its bond investment by turning its back on corporate debt and fixed income in currencies other than USD, EUR and GBP,” the Financial Times reports. Its new approach would largely exclude “bonds denominated in yen or emerging market currencies, as well as long-dated issues such as 100-year instruments.” Norges still seems to like equities, though, noting in a public letter that “In the long term, the gains from broad international diversification are considerable for equities but moderate for bonds.”

What’s on everybody’s mind today, however, is Egypt’s last ditch attempt to finally make it to the World Cup. After this past Thursday’s devastating 1-0 loss to Uganda during the third round qualifiers, we are praying for a victory tonight. Not least since this may be Egypt’s last chance to qualify, and especially as the national treasure that is goalkeeper Essam El Hadary will not be playing due to injury. We have a home field advantage we should press, with Ahram Online reporting that the government will allow up to 70,000 fans to attend the match in Borg Al Arab. Kickoff will be at 8:00 pm CLT.

Are you (or your kid) going college this week? Whether it’s for the first first time or a return for senior year, it can be alienating as [redacted]. The New York Times’ Frank Bruni has an excellent column reminding us all that iMessage and WhatsApp with friends and family from “back home” is no substitute for making real friends at university.

What We’re Tracking This Week

The Emirates NBD PMI reading for August will be released tomorrow. You’ll be able to find it here.

On The Horizon

The CBE should have a new draft of the Central Bank and Banking Act ready in a few weeks’ time, now that it has received notes and suggestions from the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB), unnamed officials tell Youm7. The FEB had prepared a report with its reservations on proposed amendments to the act, which had stirred controversy when they first surfaced in July. These included clauses setting term limits for bank managing directors, insisting on CBE representation on bank boards, and suggesting that banks kick in 5% of their bottom lines annually for an industry development fund. The FEB’s report has yet to filter out to the press. The non-entity that is Al Wafd Party, which rejected the amendments, said it was establishing a work group to look into the current draft and suggest its own set of revisions to the central bank. Tarek Amer and bankers nationwide are surely waiting with bated breath.

Apple has confirmed its fall event for Tuesday, 12 September at 7:00pm CLT at the Steve Jobs Theater. Look for new iPhones and a new Apple Watch, among other toys. You can livestream the event here.

Italian ambassador to Egypt Giampaolo Cantini will take up his post in Cairo again on September 14, Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano told the Italian House and Senate Foreign Commissions yesterday, Italian news agency Adnkronos reports. Cantini will resume his position on the same day Egypt’s new ambassador to Rome, Hisham Badr, begins his post. “Egypt is an inalienable partner to Italy and Italy is an indispensable partner for Egypt,” Alfano said.

A delegation headed by the UK trade envoy Sir Jeffrey Donaldson will be visiting Egypt this month, British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The delegation will include British companies looking to invest in infrastructure, particularly in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, the New Capital, and New Alamein, according to Casson.

It’s an election month in Germany. Voters head to the polls on 24 September. Incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel came out on top in the only televised debate with center-left Social Democrat challenger Martin Schulz. The New York Times, Guardian and Reuters have coverage.

It’s also monetary policy month: The US Federal Reserve’s FOMC will review policy rates on 19-20 September, while the Central Bank of Egypt’s MPC will follow suit on 28 September.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The denizens of the night (theirs, not ours) had the day off yesterday in continued observance of the Eid, so you may relax: You missed nothing on last night’s talk shows.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Did Egypt and Russia just finalize the Dabaa agreement? Egypt and Russia have reportedly finalized their agreement over the USD 30 bn Dabaa nuclear power plant, the Associated Press said on Sunday, citing Russian media reports. The news surfaced after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Xiamen, China, yesterday on the sidelines of the 2017 BRICS Summit. The Russian president welcomed El Sisi’s invitation to attend a ceremony in Egypt to mark the beginning of the plant’s construction once the contracts — which are currently being reviewed by the Egyptian Council of State — are signed, according to an Ittihadiya statement (pdf). Discussions between the two leaders centered around bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest, including the resumption of air travel between Cairo and Moscow, which Putin said he hopes would happen soon.

Soon may not be soon enough: Russian aviation security experts “positively assessed” security at a Cairo airport terminal, Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said on Monday, according to TASS. The minister, however, declined to comment on when air travel would resume, as has been his custom lately.

El Sisi gave a speech (pdf) to BRICS leaders in which he invited investors from their countries to “benefit from the network of trade agreements between Egypt and many partner countries in the Arab region, Africa, and Europe,” and capitalize on the “preferential advantages” made possible by reforms and improvements in the country’s economic and investment climate. El Sisi said that Egypt’s current journey resembles that of other countries including India, pointing specifically to subsidy cuts, high inflation rates, and the strengthening of the social safety net.

El Sisi is attend the signing of three MoUs that will see China invest c. USD 11.2 bn in projects for the administrative capital, AMAY reports. Those agreement reportedly include a funding agreement for the new electric rail linking Salam City with the new capital (for which the China Export-Import Bank is providing USD 739) and a USD 300 mn grant to support the launch of a satellite. Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker signed an agreement which will see China help Egypt boost the capabilities of its national electrical grid. He is also expected to meet with Chinese investors today.

More flights from China in the cards? Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed said that negotiations are underway to put on three additional flights a week between Cairo and Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, as well as to increase air traffic from China to the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts. Meanwhile, the central tourism authority in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region also signed an MoU with the Egyptian Tourism Authority yesterday that will see both sides cooperate to boost tourism. The agreement with the small northern region came after Tourism Promotion Authority chief Hisham El Demery’s participation in an annual Egypt-China tourism expo in Beijing, in the hopes of attracting more Chinese visitors, Al Borsa says.

Next up on El Sisi’s Asia tour is Hanoi from 6-9 September,where he’ll be meeting with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and other officials.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Global food producer Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is looking to invest more in Egypt and could open its own facilities here, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry. Egypt’s selling point for ADM includes the introduction of new legislation, such as the Investment Act and Industrial Permits Act, company officials told Minister Sahar Nasr during a meeting in Cairo. The statement provides no additional detail. We had noted back in July that ADM is one of several private sector suitors that had entered the race to acquire the National Company for Maize Products.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Local paper and stationery manufacturer Mintra will be establishing a new plant to produce sports shoes with an initial investment of close to USD 50 mn, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said on Friday, Ahram Gate reports. The new facility in Tenth of Ramadan City is expected to begin production by mid-2018, and the company is currently in talks to acquire the necessary equipment. The company will reportedly target domestic and export markets. Egypt presently imports about 85% of all shoes sold nationally, the newspaper says.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Panasonic opened its first TV manufacturing plant in Egypt, Trade Arabia reports. The company is planning to produce over 16k LED television sets this year in partnership with the Arab Company for Electrical Equipment. “The Egyptian market is one of the most promising markets in the North Africa region. It is also well-positioned, both geographically and logistically, to serve the whole [MENA] region,” Daizo Ito, managing executive officer for Panasonic Corporation, said.

INVESTMENT WATCH- This news comes as General Electric oilfield services subsidiary Baker Hughes is looking to increase its investments in Egypt’s oil and gas sector, GE President and CEO North East Africa Ayman Khattab told Oil Minister Tarek El Molla on Thursday, according to Al Mal.

Inching closer towards commodities exchange, sukuks and short-selling: The Cabinet recently approved the introduction of new capital markets and financial instruments, which include a commodities exchange, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said during a meeting with newly-appointed EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid, according to a statement. Nasr is planning to meet with members of the Egyptian Capital Markets Association on next Monday to discuss the launch of new instruments, such as sukuk, allowing short-selling on the EGX, and a secondary bond market, Al Mal says. The House is expected to receive amendments to the Capital Markets Act in October.

EFG Hermes topped the EGX’s brokerage league table for August with a 12.6% market share, according to Youm7. CI Capital came in second with a market share of 11.2%, followed by Pharos Holding (5.5%), Pioneer Holdings (5.2%) and Beltone Financial (4.7%).

In other news from the world of finance: Mubasher has landed a mandate to do a fair value report, according to Al Borsa. The news comes after the company said it was seeking a license of offer financial advisory services. Mubasher will do a FV report on Egypt Gas, which was required to commission the report in August after the stock went on a tear, breaking the regulatory threshold of 50% up / down in three months or less. Mubasher closed August as the eighth-largest brokerage in Egypt by market share.

MOVES- The Export Development Bank of Egypt appointed Ahmed Galal Abdallah as Deputy Chairman, according to a bourse disclosure. Abdallah has been appointed to a three-year term.

In bid to diversify sources of wheat, Trade Ministry extends 13.5% moisture limit of 13.5% for another nine months: The Trade and Industry Ministry approved allowing shipments of wheat with moisture levels of up to 13.5% for an additional nine months in a bid to promote competition among different origins at its state tenders, Reuters reports. The higher moisture content is expected to give French wheat a higher chance of competing on state tenders as it has in the past been difficult of French exporters to meet the 13% mark. The move is expected to help Egypt diversify its source away from the Black Sea and Russian exporters. The extension on the moisture limit hike, which state grain buyer the General Authority for Supply Commodities had raised back in February, will begin on 3 October.

Separately, the ministry also extended tariffs on exports of raw and scrap copper and aluminum for another year, according to Al Borsa. Export duties on copper stand at EGP 20,000 per ton while duties on aluminum stand at EGP 7,000.

The Ismail cabinet is expected to approve granting governors greater leeway in evicting those illegally occupying state lands, official sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. It is unclear what these new measures, which will be part of the executive regulations of a law governing the issue of illegally settled land, will entail. We have been on the lookout since July for legislation which would permit those who have had state land seized from them to buy back the property. We anticipate the executive regulations might also include those provisions as well.

Fairfax liking Africa these days: Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings is willing to pump USD 386 mn into Afrisam Group Pty to better position the cement producer to merge with rival PPC, according to Bloomberg. The merger has been talked of for a long time now, but looks to heat up again with Fairfax’s offer to clear Afrisam’s default-threatening debt for an equity stake. Fairfax a substantial stake in Egypt’s CIB and has been making a splash in Africa recently with its purchase of a 42% stake in Atlas. The firm has a fund worth USD 500 mn committed to Africa and is known for its contrarian views.

The Doomsday Clock inches closer to 12: North Korea’s test of what ot claims is a hydrogen bomb on Sunday sparked fresh outrage from the US Government, which delivered its most scathing diplomatic attack through its UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who said that the rogue state was “begging for war.” The US plans to circulate a harsher UN resolution before the security council and will call a vote next Monday, Reuters reports. The tests were also significant in that they engendered almost unanimous condemnation from global leaders, including long time ally and political patron China. The country urged the DPRK to stop “wrong” actions that worsen the situation, adding that it would fully enforce UN resolutions on the country.

Egypt was among the countries which condemned the tests. Egypt is greatly concerned about Pyongyang’s failure to commit to UN Security Council resolutions, read the Foreign Ministry statement. It has been widely speculated that the US had withheld aid from Egypt over the past few weeks in an attempt to push it to break its civilian and military ties with the DPRK.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Libya Monday to push for peace, Reuters reports. Le Drian is trying to build on an accord signed by Libya’s two major sides, Prime Minister Fayez al-Seraj and Egyptian ally Khalifa Haftar, and suss out support for it from other factions. The push comes as part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to stabilize the country and stem the migrant crisis.

The IMF has cut its growth forecast for Qatar last week as a result of the trade embargo by GCC states and Egypt. Non-oil growth is projected to moderate to 4.6% in 2017 from 5.6% in 2016 “due to the ongoing fiscal consolidation and trade diversion,” the IMF said. Nonetheless, it also said that the Qatari economy is adjusting to the shock associated with the rift.

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Image of the Day

Egyptian graphic designer teaches Arabic with Lego blocks: Egyptian graphic designer Ghada Wali came up with a project to help teach foreigners and young students the language with an unexpectedly simple tool — Lego blocks, Quartz’s Abdi Latif Dahir says. With Let’s Play, Wali created a “full Arabic abstract display typeface through playfully building each letter using colored lego blocks.” The pocket book of letters included explanations and pronunciations of each letter, along with their Latin equivalent, and a dictionary of 400 words.

Egypt in the News

It appears the foreign press is just as interested in our prospects of reaching the World Cup as we are, with the story topping coverage of Egypt in this very slow morning.

Meanwhile,the Associated Press suggests that the border dispute between Egypt and Sudan over Halayeb and Shalateen could hurt Egypt’s chances in Nile Basin talks. With Ethiopia pressing ahead with its plans to build a grand dam that could affect Egypt’s water supply — not to mention tensions escalating between Cairo and Khartoum — Egypt may find itself waging a lonely battle once push comes to shove.

Conventional wisdom appears to favor the Oil Ministry’s narrative that Egypt is emerging as a major energy hub, writes Haley Zaremba for Oil Price. Beyond the Zohr gas field being on track for production at the end of the year, investments in the sector made up half of foreign direct investments to Egypt. Zaremba points to last week’s agreements signed with APEX and Shell as a further sign of the resurgence of the sector.

The Health Ministry is working on educating Egyptians in rural areas on family planning and birth control, Nadine Awadalla writes for Reuters. Awadalla says the plan, named Operation Lifeline aims to save the Egyptian government as much as USD 200 bn by 2030, if implemented successfully. 6,000 family planning clinics are in place to provide women with free check-ups and subsidized contraceptives.

Other stories worth noting in brief this morning include:

  • Extrajudicial killings in Egypt have been on the rise since US President Donald Trump’s Middle East tour in May, The Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan writes.
  • Police in some areas of Upper Egypt are allegedly blocking Christians from praying in churches, citing permit requirements and security concerns, Ashraf Ramelah writes for Canada Free Press.

On Deadline

Egypt’s pundits ask: Has Egypt done enough to earn a spot among the BRICS? To earn a spot, Egypt needs to buckle down and formulate a comprehensive economic vision with specific goals that all state institutions can work on implementing, Alaa El Hadidi writes for Al Shorouk. It’s not enough that the size of Egypt’s economy is relatively close to that of South Africa, particularly as we compete with other countries such as Mexico, Guinea, and Thailand, El Hadidi says. On the flipside, Al Ahram’s Mohamed Hegazy argues that the government’s aggressive economic reform program should be enough to secure a place in the group. Hegazy also points to improvements in Egypt’s investment climate and mega projects, as well as the government’s commitment to development and equitable growth.

Worth Watching

Tulip Fever: a historical look at bubbles or a horrible period drama? We haven’t seen a good finance movie out — especially one on financial bubbles — since The Big Short. So we were excited to hear of the release of Tulip Fever, which is set in Amsterdam at the height of “Tulip-mania” in the seventeenth century — one of the world’s first documented bubbles, and one in which possession of a single tulip bulb could get you house. Unlike The Big Short, the film leans more towards the artistic side of things. It juxtaposes the financial mania with a love story that sees the protagonists hoping to escape together by investing in tulips. The movie attempts to draw comparison between the “irrational exuberance” during a bubble and that of love, writes Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joe Weisenthal. We’re willing to set aside the scathing critical reviews (the film holds a measly 10% on Rotten Tomatoes) in the hopes that the movie may skew more towards the finance side and less on the romantic. We’ll let you know how it goes when we see it (watch trailer, runtime: 2:14).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil will be visiting the European Commission in Brussels soon to discuss ways to boost cooperation, he said yesterday, according to Ahram Gate. The date for the visit has yet to be set. Last we heard, Kabil had postponed a visit to Brussels, during which he was expected to discuss the EU’s concerns over the proposed automotive directive — which they said violates freetrade agreements by offering too many incentives to local car manufacturers — as well as the Exporters Registry Act. Kabil says that Egyptian exports to the EU increased by 16.5% y-o-y to reach USD 3.027 bn in 1H2017 from USD 2.6 bn a year before.

A delegation of Egyptian businessmen are also planning a trip to Brussels in 4Q2017 to promote Egyptian exports, Youm7 reports.This comes as

Egypt is delaying the results of the investigation into the knife attack that led to the death of one Czech and two German tourists in Hurghada “for fear of putting off tourists,” Czech ambassador to Egypt Veronika Kuchynová -Šmigolová said. “The ambassador said that while the Egyptian side was extremely helpful and cooperative the likely conclusion that it had been a terrorist attack was not in their best interests. An official conclusion into the affair may take time, the ambassador said. Negotiations are also underway regarding compensation for the families of the victims,” according to Radio Prague.

Energy

Production from Burullus gas fields increased to 526 mcf/d in the past year

Production from Shell’s Burullus concession increased to 526 mcf/d and over 6,000 bbl of condensates last year, Chairman of Shell JVs Rashpetco and Burullus Hisham Al Attar said, according to a statement from the Oil Ministry. Al Attar says that design and manufacturing works have been contracted on the West Delta Deep Marine Phase 9b project, but a contractor is yet to be picked. Rashpetco is set to drill two new exploration wells in 1Q2018, he adds, without specifying their location.

Infrastructure

EGP 11 bn third phase of national roads project to kick off soon

The third phase of the government’s national roads project is set to start imminently now that the concerned authorities have finalized their plans, Transport Minister HIsham Arafat said on Sunday, Al Mal reports. The plan involves renovating six highways for a total EGP 11 bn, the minister said. Those include roads linking Cairo to Asyut and others connecting Red Sea governorates with Upper Egypt.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Spain sees Egypt as a threat to its citrus exports

Spain is worried that Egyptian plans to cultivate desert land will lead to a sharp rise in citrus exports and threaten Spain’s dominance as a supplier over the next few years, Maura Maxwell writes for Eurofruit. An umbrella group for Spain’s private citrus producers, called the Citrus Management Committee, says Egyptian exports have increased by 66% in the last five year and growth is set to accelerate. “Unlike counterseasonal suppliers to the EU like South Africa, Egypt’s harvest coincides with Spanish production, with the bulk of its volume being shipped to the EU between January and April.” Already, Egypt has overtaken Turkey and Morocco in terms of sales volume to the EU, the report notes. “Egypt has also benefited from the Russian veto on European agricultural products by filling the gap left by the absence of Spanish oranges on that market,” the committee added.

Real Estate + Housing

Mortgage Finance Fund to doll out EGP 10 bn this year

The Mortgage Finance Fund is looking to doll out EGP 10 bn this year, reports Al Borsa. The plan comes as part of CBE’s initiative to boost lending to middle and low income homeowners over the coming years, says Mai Abdel Hamid, CEO of the Social Housing Fund which had been merged with the Mortgage Finance Fund earlier this year. The initiative is looking to loan out another EGP 10 bn in 2018. Mortgage rates coming set by the fund are 7% for low income loans and 8% for middle income for up to EGP 500k. The liquidity for the fund comes from World Bank loans and some local banks, including CIB.

CIB to provide EGP 270 mn medium-term facility to SODIC

SODIC signed an agreement with CIB for a EGP 270 mn medium-term facility on Wednesday, according to an EGX filing. The loan will fund the company’s October Plaza in west Cairo. The project’s first phase was launched in February.

Tourism

Hotel occupancy rates soar over Eid break

Hotel occupancy rates in Ain Sokhna, Marsa Matrouh, the North Coast, Alexandria, Sharm El Sheikh, and Hurghada soared over the Eid break, Al Shorouk reports, citing data from the Tourism Ministry. According to the ministry, most hotels in Ain Sokhna, Marsa Matrouh, and the North Coast filled 100% of their rooms. Hotels in Alexandria, Sharm El Sheikh, and Hurghada reported occupancy rates of 90%, while hotels in Greater Cairo were 98% booked over the holiday, mostly by Arab tourists, industry sources tell the newspaper. Meanwhile, Luxor and Aswan lagged behind, where hotels’ occupancy rates hovered at 15-20% over the holiday.

Telecoms + ICT

GTH and VEON sell Pakistani tower business subsidiary

Global Telecom Holding and VEON announced that their Pakistani subsidiary, Jazz, has signed an agreement for the sale of its tower business, Deodar, for approximately USD 940 mn, subject to adjustments. The transaction will be on a cash and debt-free basis for a total equivalent of USD 940 mn in Pakistani rupees. “At completion of the sale, Deodar will enter into a master services agreement (MSA) with Jazz, whereby it will continue to provide tower services to Jazz … Proceeds from the transaction will be utilized for Jazz’s general corporate purposes, the funding of recently awarded spectrum and repayment of a proportion of Jazz’s outstanding debt,” VEON notes.

TE to pay remaining EGP 1.8 bn for 4G license in three yearly installments

Telecom Egypt will be paying the remaining EGP 1.8 bn for its 4G license in installments every August for the next three years, sources tell Al Mal. Half of the payment will be made in USD with the first of which tallying up to EGP 235 mn and USD 26 mn. TE already paid EGP 5.2 bn out of a total EGP 7.08 bn for the license. TE should be launching its mobile network services these coming days and has already kicked off its billboard campaign. The operator has already received its frequencies and will offer mobile services through local roaming in Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh, and Hurghada.

Legislation + Policy

Premerger notification legal requirements in Egypt could threaten reporting risks -White & Case

The legal amendments that could require premerger notification in Egypt “could expose certain transactions around the world to reporting risks in Egypt,” according to a note from White & Case. “Parties contemplating transactions that involve an Egyptian component should monitor the progress of these draft amendments as they make their way through the legislative process,” the note reads. The concerns follow the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA)’s plan to amend Competition Law (Law No. 3/2005), which, as currently drafted, has broad features of the proposed notification requirements that “are consistent with many regulatory regimes around the world. The notification would require standard information about the parties and the transaction, as well as a filing fee.” The ECA would be allowed to evaluate the transaction over inspection phases and the process could be mandatory for any merger, acquisition, joint venture, or “economic concentration.”

Egypt Politics + Economics

MPs looking to criminalize fraudulently receiving subsidies

The House of Representatives will look into drafting legislation to criminalize subsidy fraud during its third session once it receives the updated database of subsidy recipients from the Military Production Ministry, Budget Committee member Yasser Omar said, Al Borsa reports. According to committee members, the laws that currently govern the subsidy system do not penalize moochers. Godspeed, Budget Committee members.

Gov’t suspends Al Bawaba for publishing story on El Adly

Egyptian daily Al Bawaba had its Sunday edition suspended by authorities after they attempted to run a story on the disappearance of former Interior Minister Habib El Adly, according to the Egypt Independent. The paper has said it will pursue legal action in what it considers an infringement on its constitutional right. Adly allegedly wasn’t present at his sentencing after he was found guilty of corruption and hasn’t been seen since.

National Security

Egypt places names of more than 350 people on terrorism list

Egypt added more than 350 names to its terror rolls, including prominent Ikhwan figures, effectively placing them on a watch list, banning them from travel, and granting concerned authorities the right to freeze their assets, the Associated Press reports. The list includes financier Hassan Malek, the report notes. The decision is subject to appeal within 60 days of publication in the Official Gazette.

Sports

Nour El Sherbini, Ramy Ashour win China Squash Open

Ramy Ashour and Nour El Sherbini won the men’s and women’s 2017 China Squash Open titles, respectively, King Fut reports. Ashour and El Sherbini snagged the championship titles after beating fellow Egyptian champions Ali Farag and Nouran Gohar in an all-Egyptian final round on Sunday. El Sherbini became the third Egyptian woman to win the championship, and Ashour is the second Egyptian man to take home the trophy.

On Your Way Out

UNDP partners with ICT Ministry, Microsoft to launch IoT for persons with disabilities competition: The UNDP has partnered up with the ICT Ministry, Microsoft Egypt, and its crowd-solving partner Yomken.com to launch “The Internet of Things for Persons with Disabilities” competition, which “targets young aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators, between the ages of 19 and 29 years old,” to devise solutions to “one of the following themes: Accessibility to public spaces & transportation, education, employment and health and early intervention” using IoT. After undergoing training and rounds of competition, the last three out of 10 teams will be given a chance to showcase their work at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6096 | Sell 17.7096
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.63 | Sell 17.73

EGX30 (Wednesday): 13,416 (+1.7%)
Turnover: EGP 879 mn (xx% BELOW / ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +8.7%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The Egyptian benchmark index ended last Wednesday’s session up 1.7%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Global Telecom up 9.3%, Egyptian Iron and Steel up 3.6%, and ACC up 2.1%. Wednesday’s worst performing stocks were: Arab Cotton Ginning down 1.1%, Elsewedy Electric down 0.7%, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank down 0.6%. The market turnover was EGP 879 mn, and regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +24.3 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -33.8 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +9.5 mn

Retail: 62.7% of total trades | 59.9% of buyers | 65.4% of sellers
Institutions: 37.3% of total trades | 40.1% of buyers | 34.6% of sellers

Foreign: 22.7% of total | 24.1% of buyers | 21.3% of sellers
Regional: 10.4% of total | 8.5% of buyers | 12.3% of sellers
Domestic: 66.9% of total | 67.4% of buyers | 66.4% of sellers

WTI: USD 47.41 (+0.25%)
Brent: USD 52.34 (-0.78%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.02 MMBtu, (-1.63%, October 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,338.10 / troy ounce (+0.58%)

TASI: 7,258.64 (-0.04%) (YTD: +0.67%)
ADX: 4,481.28 (+0.29%) (YTD: -1.43%)
DFM: 3,635.00 (-0.07%) (YTD: +2.95%)
KSE Weighted Index: 430.57 (-0.41%) (YTD: +13.28%)
QE: 8,800.56 (-0.66%) (YTD: -15.68%)
MSM: 5,052.55 (+0.11%) (YTD: -12.63%)
BB: 1,302.46 (+0.28%) (YTD: +6.72%)

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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

11 September (Monday): Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is scheduled to visit Cairo to participate in the Arab-Japanese dialogue session at the Arab League, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

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.

17 October (Tuesday): The Narrative PR Summit, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, 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.

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