Monday, 25 September 2017

We’re three years old today — and feeling rather chuffed about it


What We’re Tracking Today

We’re three years old this morning, and we’re feeling a little chuffed about that. On this day in 2014, we sent out the first issue of Enterprise to just under 50 friends and family, and the rest is history. In the time since, we’ve written roughly 6,171,000 words about business, finance and the economy Egypt — nearly double that if you add in our Arabic edition.As we mark the passing of another year, we offer our deepest thanks to Pharos Holding, CIB and SODIC, whose generosity makes Enterprise possible, and to each and every one of the more than 30k readers in Egypt and 184 other countries who start their business days with us. You’re the reason we stay up all night or wake at an ungodly hour every day. We have lots more in store for the years ahead and, as always, welcome your feedback, comments, ideas and criticism on — we read every single email we receive.

We can think of no better morning than our birthday morning to acknowledge the success of some of our favourite people. The Middle East Investor Relations Association handed out its IR awards while we were all taking a long weekend. The plaques are based on Extel’s survey of buy- and sell-side analysts — in other words, the folks who consume what comes out of IR programs. We were over the moon to hear that CIB CEO Hussein Abaza was acknowledged as “Best IR by CEO” for the Middle East as a whole. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting in the room while Hussein wrangles investors, you know he sets the gold standard for IR storytelling — and that’s before you throw in the wit and self-deprecating humor. Meanwhile, Heba Makhlouf’s program at SODIC was acknowledged as “Leading Corporate for IR — Egypt” and CIB’s Yasmine Hemeda was named “Best IR Professional — Egypt.” The full list of winners has yet to be posted to MEIRA’s website, but a little birdie sent us this photo of the list, and you can check out the nominees here in full (pdf).

The deadline for the management shakeup at public-sector banks expired last night. Nothing was announced by dispatch time, but Youm7 reports it was told industry sources that the changes would be announced by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. The newspaper’s rundown of the personnel changes in the offing:

  • CBE Deputy Governor Tarek Fayed will go to Banque du Caire as chairman, replacing Mounir El-Zahed;
  • Hisham Okasha (National Bank of Egypt) and Mohamed El Etreby (Banque Misr) will remain in place;
  • Sahar El Damaty could take the post of vice-chairman at Banque Misr, replacing Ahmed Abu El Ezz.
  • Hany Seif El Nasr looks set to continue as chair of the Arab Investment Bank, while Maged Fahmy will continue to run the Industrial Development and Workers Bank of Egypt.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is visiting the UAE today, Al Ahram reports, suggesting that a sit-down with UAE Defense Minister Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed on regional affairs is in the offing. Expect the Qatar Smackdown to feature on their agenda.

We’re keeping our ear to the ground for news from the UK trade delegation that’s in town this week. Media reports have suggested the mostly-new-to-Egypt companies along for the ride are interested in infrastructure, health, transport and labor-intensive industries.

The United States has a new travel ban this morning after an earlier version expired last night. Sudanese nationals are now off the list, but US President Donald Trump signed off last night on a proclamation adding North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to the list alongside Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, Reuters reports. “Iraqi citizens will not be subject to travel prohibitions but will face enhanced scrutiny or vetting,” the wire service added.

Activist investors mounting a bid for your kid? Activist investors from Quonset Point Capital (QPC) are mounting an activist campaign to takeover “Brande,” a three year-old. That’s the premise of illustrator Zoe Piel’s hilariously on-point parody activist proxy fight pitch deck (pdf). QPC has a full plan to unlock Branden’s potential and specializes in “improving underperforming children.” It seeks to “maximize shareholder value through strategic engagement with parents,” and while it is sympathetic to parents, it is “prepared to
nominate replacements when necessary” as “parental deficiencies” are “resulting in destruction of shareholder value.” QPC qualified nominees for the board include: Keith Webster, Jr, who spearheaded sharp reduction of daughter’s Breyer horse collection; Brenda Beppo, who successfully averted major tantrums in multiple ShopRites; and Mark W. Dealy, who is not mad, just disappointed. The plan to improve Branden’s efficiency includes shifting to ice cream cake to curb birthday party expenses and replacing the usual four bedtime stories with just two. H/t Matt Levine’s Money Stuff.

The soundtrack for this morning’s edition was provided by The Black Clouds’ release “After All.” It’s proof that uptempo, grungy riffs are still being made — and produced by Jack Endino, who helped create the signature sounds of early Soundgarden, Green River, Nirvana, TAD, Screaming Trees, L7… the list is seemingly endless. Check out this playlist on Apple Music for more of Endino’s work behind the board.

What We’re Tracking This Week

The central bank’s monetary policy committee will meet on Thursday to decide on interest rates. It’s the MPC’s first meeting since the announcement earlier this month that the core inflation rate dropped to 34.86% in August, from 35.26% in July and comes after the US Federal Reserve’s FOMC left the federal funds rate on hold last week — and signaled it would start shrinking its USD 4.5 tn balance sheet. CBE Governor Tarek Amer last week suggested that we may have reached peak inflation in August, but don’t hold your breath for a rate cut until year’s end.

The Council of State expects to conclude its review of the Dabaa nuclear power plant’s four contracts this week. Russian officials said they expect the contracts to be signed in two months’ time, but that the date depends on President Vladimir Putin’s schedule. The contracts are believed to be the unofficial prerequisite for the resumption of flights between Cairo and Moscow.

Entirely coincidentally, of course, the Egyptian Tourism Ministry has launched a new campaign in Russia, according to AMAY.

4G services are expected to officially roll out at a ceremony this Thursday, presided over by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.

On The Horizon

Cabinet is expected to send draft cybercrimes bill to the House of Representatives for discussion in November, House Communications Committee member Ahmed Badawy said, Al Borsa reports. The legislation will look to make online surveillance easier in a bid to crack down on “crimes related to the Internet and social media.”

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

With public schools back in session, education was the key topic on the airwaves last night.

But before we dive into that, Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi discussed the guidelines issued by the Industrial Development Authority on applying for licenses under Industrial Permits Act. IDA Deputy Chairman Emad Raafat phoned in to tell Lamees that while the act does cut the wait-time to receive approval for permits to as little as seven days, instead of 600, this does not include the time required for investors to actually acquire a plot of land. He noted that acquiring land is a separate process governed by public tenders.

Domty Vice Chairman Mohamed Damaty also phoned in to laud the new legislation in principle, but said that investors have yet to test whether or not these changes will make a difference on the ground (watch, runtime 7:30).

It was back to school for Kol Youm’s Amr Adib, who launched a donation drive for public school students whose families are unable to afford school uniforms. The drive came after news reports emerged that a group of students were dismissed from a school in Asmarat for not wearing the uniform (watch, runtime 9:35). Education Minister Tarek Shawki phoned in to reassure Adib that the incident would not be repeated. Shawki also made the point that schools have been warned against dismissing students whose parents are unable to pay tuition fees on time (watch, runtime 3:15).

Over on Yahduth fi Masr, Sherif Amer looked at the launch of Japanese-curriculum schools in Egypt. (We have more on that in Education, below). For the rest of the episode, Amer hosted Egyptian scientist Farouk El Baz for a talk about education reform. El Baz praised Minister Tarek Shawki’s efforts to that end. Separately, the scientist also said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will not pose a threat to Egypt’s water, but the sticking point is how much time will be required to fill the dam’s reservoirs.

Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary that there is no intention to set up fatwa kiosks at public universities like those that popped up in metro stations last month, maintaining that universities are not an appropriate venue to seek or receive fatwas (watch, runtime 7:06).

We’re looking for bright, talented analysts and writers to join our team to work on the current Enterprise Morning Edition and new products we have in the pipeline. You’re likely an equities / macro / research analyst, IR professional or journalist, but we’re less interested in your formal education than we are in amazing writing and storytelling skills, intellectual curiosity, fluency with numbers and passion for business / finance / economics / politics. Bilingual candidates preferred (English-Arabic). A sense of humor is a must, as is healthy skepticism. We prefer Egyptian nationals, but can sponsor work permits for particularly talented foreign applicants. Want to get the conversation started? Send a great cover letter and an updated CV to Emails and cover letters opening with “Dears” will be summarily deleted.

Want to work on the other side of the fence? Inktank, the emerging markets investor relations firm and our parent company, is also hiring. We’re looking for investor relations analysts and associates with backgrounds in banking, journalism, and equity or macro research. Email with cover letter and CV to apply. Learn more here.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

SODIC in talks over 300 feddans in North Coast, will spend EGP 750 mn to grow land bank in 2H2017: Our friends at real estate developer SODIC announced they are in talks to acquire 300 feddans of land on the North Coast to co-develop with existing landowners, according to an EGX disclosure. SODIC signed a non-binding MoU with the land’s owners and is moving forward with its due diligence process, which it expects to conclude before the end of the year, CEO Magued Sherif told Al Shorouk in an interview. The company has earmarked EGP 750 mn for new land purchases in 2H2017, Sherif added, explaining that SODIC’s strong liquidity position supports its plans to grow its 5 mn sqm land bank. The company is in talks with another North Coast partner for a 285 feddan plot and is assessing potential land acquisitions in east and west Cairo.

INVESTMENT WATCH- BPE Partners looks for fresh investments in finance, energy, and food manufacturing: Investment firm BPE Partners is looking for new candidates in non-banking financial services, energy, and food manufacturing, founding partner Alaa Saba tells Al Mal in an interview. The firm is planning to invest EGP 200 mn in the first phase of planned expansions for its SME finance and leasing outfit Ibtikar for Investment Finance, which include the acquisition of an existing e-payments company, Saba says, refusing to disclose additional detail.

The Group’s Al-Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment is pressing forward to conservation and renovation work at historic properties it owns in Downtown Cairo that it plans to rent out for commercial purposes. The first phase of renovations, which should be complete in about six to nine months, is being financed using a EGP 150 mn loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, according to Saba.

BPE is also looking to buy a stake as high as 30% in four local solar power companies and will be joining a consortium of investors to acquire a controlling stake of 70% in a food manufacturing business, Saba says, without naming the companies. The firm will continue investing from its own balance sheet, which it is looking to expand with the proceeds from its upcoming IPO. BPE Partners is planning list 25-30% of its shares this year in an offering managed by EFG Hermes and Sigma Capital, with Zaki Hashem & Partners acting as legal counsel. Grant Thornton is preparing the fair value assessment.

IPO WATCH- The cabinet committee overseeing a program to IPO state-owned companies discussed “taking the necessary steps” to move ahead with the planned listing of petroleum services outfit Enppi during its first meeting yesterday, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said, Ahram Gate reports. Nasr and the ministers of finance, oil, and public enterprises sit on the committee, which was reconstituted last week and also includes cabinet’s secretary for legislative affairs. Enppi is set to be the first state-owned company to list on the EGX under the government’s IPO program, and the state is looking to raise USD 213-267 mn from the sale of a 24% stake. CI Capital, Emirates NBD and Jeffries are running the Enppi transaction, we reported back in July.

Carillion is reportedly considering withdrawing from an Education Ministry tender to build 200 schools under a PPP framework because of “increased risk” in the project, sources from within the company tell Al Borsa. The sources also claim the Education Ministry has plans to establish its own schools with lower tuition fees next to those that will be built by the private sector, which would negatively affect the private-sector institutions. Carillion had been shortlisted for the project back in May, alongside Orascom Construction, Al Madaen Holding, BPE Partners, and a consortium led by the UK’s Bridge Capital. BPE Partners also decided to back out of the project last month after feasibility studies showed that the project would not be in line with the company’s strategy.

To be fair to the Education Ministry: There may be more at play in the Carillion news. The Financial Times reported yesterday that the company is in a “fight for its survival” and may sell overseas arms. The company is “in talks with a host of Middle Eastern construction companies to sell a chunk of its overseas business as it embarks on a radical cost-cutting and disposal plan.”

Can this agreement for an Alex Port multipurpose facility finally be allowed to rest in peace? It now appears that this zombie project from the Egyptian Economic Development Conference, which has been killed and resurrected more times than a video game boss, may be allowed to die. Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat tells Al Borsa that it was unlikely his ministry will resume talks with China Harbour to build the multi-purpose facility in Alex Port after the company refused to cut the project’s price tag. The ministry is now considering opening the project for bidding in a new tender, said Arafat. Last we heard, cabinet was yet to issue a final ruling on the agreement in light of new talks. We’ve had a eulogy to an agreement prepared since 2015.

The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce’s Investment Committee is drafting legislation to govern the still-immature franchise industry in Egypt, committee member Ayman El Negouly said, Youm7 reports. The committee is outlining the first-of-its-kind legislation now and could present it to the House of Representatives in its upcoming season, El Negouly said. The law is meant to be part of a bundle of legislation complementary to the recently passed Investment Act to improve business and investment conditions. The state-run Social Fund for Development funds Franchise Egypt to promote the market in Egypt and attract international franchises.

New Egyptian ambassador takes post in Rome: Egypt’s ambassador to Italy, Hesham Badr, presented his credentials to Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Rome last Thursday, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Diplomatic relations between the two countries, which have been strained since the Regeni murder in 2016, have been returning to their former cordiality with Italy recently sending over a new ambassador earlier this month.

MOVES- The Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) approved yesterday appointing Tarek Shibl as one of the court’s deputy justices, succeeding Hamdan Fahmy, Al Mal reports. Shibl was previously the president of the court’s Commissioners Authority. This comes as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed into law yesterday a decree promoting 24 judges at the Court of Cassation to become deputies to the Chief Justice, Al Shorouk reports. The decision will also see a shuffle of Appellate Court heads and the promotion of some judges from the Appellate Court to become judges at the Court of Cassation. The decree was published in the Official Gazette.

Among the international stories we’re flagging for you this morning:

The controversial referendum for Kurdistan’s independence is taking place today, despite pressure from the international community to delay. This one could make things rather messy in the neighborhood, so watch this space.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is on for a fourth term “despite a sharp fall in support for her conservative Christian Democrat-led alliance,” says the FT (paywall). Merkel said she hoped for more support but put on a “brave face” after the results were announced. The far-right AfD made an “historic breakthrough” the Guardian reported, “winning 13.5% of the vote and … becoming the first overtly nationalist party to sit in the Bundestag in 60 years.”


Battle Royale of the auto sector — importers and local assemblers duke it out in the press over economy and Automotive Directive: Tensions between auto importers and local assemblers were evident at this year’s Automech Formula, with both corners taking to the pages of Al Borsa to debate their visions for the future of the industry and the economy.

In the red corner and standing for the assemblers was GB Auto Chairman Raouf Ghabbour, who said that delays in passing the Automotive Directive had not hurt the automotive sector, but rather it delayed its development and growth. He warned, however, that scrapping the bill — which has stalled in parliament thanks to a concerted lobbying effort by importers — may lead to downsizing at auto factories and even some of them closing down, allowing the industry to be addicted to imported vehicles. He expressed confidence that the government was adamant about passing the act, which 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.

Ghabbour defended the central bank’s decision to raise interest rate hikes, saying the move was a necessary reaction to counter the inflation resulting from the EGP float. In an extensive interview with Al Borsa on the economy, Ghabbour said that the lifting of subsidies also necessitated the interest rate hikes, saying he believes that the CBE’s monetary policy is in place for the “greater good” of the economy even though the float of the EGP has cost his company some USD 100 mn. He expects that the CBE will ease interest rates towards the end of 2017 or early 2018 as inflation gradually eases. With characteristic wit, Ghabbour shot down any suggestion that the private sector is owed compensation from the state as a result of changing exchange rate and monetary policies (you hear that, contractors?).

As for future plans by GB Auto, Ghabbour announced that the company plans to invest EGP 800 mn in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, adding that negotiations on that investment with the government are ongoing. He said that the company’s strategy for the most part to adapt to the economic challenges had been to expand its financing and after-sales services divisions.

The Importers hit back: Ghabbour’s sentiment on the state of the sector naturally drew some opposition from pure importers, whose statements to the press at Automech Formula did little to disguise their disdain for the government’s monetary and export-focused trade policies. In a separate interview with the newspaper, Karim Naggar, head of Kayan Egypt — SEAT’s licensed distributor in Egypt — disparagingly called the CBE’s monetary policies confusing for the sector. “Austerity measures” including the interest rate hikes have led to liquidity drying up in the nation, causing a 50% decline in auto sales and making it impossible to keep replacement parts in stock. Taking the short-term view, he also criticized trade policies, saying that curbing imports would deny the government much-needed customs revenues.

Naggar did not mince words in his objections to the Automotive Directive, saying that without setting quality control standards, Egyptian auto exports would not be able to compete. The proposed bill would not enforce such measures, he said, calling it a “protectionist” piece of legislation. His major gripe, however, lies in the “damage this would have to Egypt’s trade agreements with its largest trading partner, Europe.”

As for future plans by Kayan, Naggar revealed that the company is in talks with Bavarian Auto Group and the Egyptian German Automotive company to partner an auto parts factory, with an eye towards exporting drum brakes and car wiring to Volkswagen.


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.

Image of the Day

Stones for the Pyramids were ferried from Upper Egypt? A recently discovered papyrus roll sheds light on how the massive stones used to build the Pyramids of Giza may have been transported from the south, reports The Sun. The papyrus indicates that the rocks were ferried down the Nile and that a network of purpose-built canals were used to bring them right to the base of the pyramids. The discovery was made by archaeologist Mark Lehner, who outlined his case on a documentary for the UK’s Channel 4.

Our ancient world also gets a shout out from CNN this morning in a claustrophobic account of the latest tomb discovered in Luxor and the insights it provides to ancient Egyptian life.

Egypt in the News

Teachers and volunteers are using a mixture of patience and kindness to educate refugee children from nearly a dozen African countries in Egypt, Edward Yeranian writes for Voice of America. International organizations like the UNHCR, church groups and other local NGOs also contribute in the struggle to educate the children. Egyptian government schools are not always able to accept the children as they are already overcrowded and a large number of the would-be students do not speak Arabic. Maadi’s African Hope School is among those featured in the piece, which includes a three-minute-long embedded video.

Also worth noting in brief today:

  • Wendy Ide describes “In the Last Days of the City” as part documentary, part fiction, in her review of the film for The Guardian. “It’s a work of gentle, swelling sadness that mourns a spirit of artistic and creative freedom quashed and it has become something of a cause celebre,” she writes.
  • The Gouna Film Festival currently underway “promises to be an annual rendezvous for film professionals and film lovers from Egypt, the Arabic countries, and from all over the world,” according to Euronews.
  • The Giza village of Haraniya is becoming an “unusual” tourist attraction for producing some of the world’s finest handmade carpets, rugs and tableaus, Amr Emam writes for Middle East Online.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has agreed to invest USD 150 mn in agricultural projects in Egypt in partnership with the private sector, Trade Arabia reports citing a government source. “The investments aim at developing the country’s nutrition sector, introducing the newest technologies in manufacturing, as well as providing new job opportunities for the youth.” IFC recently pledged USD 100 mn for oil and gas projects in Egypt.

This comes as the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development agreed to invest in the state-run Egypt Ventures, according to Al Borsa.

Egypt signs MoU with UNDP to establish investment fund for developmentprojects: Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed an MoU with the UNDP yesterday that will see the establishment of a new investment fund that will be specifically geared towards supporting development projects, according to a ministry statement. The agreement was signed during a UNDP conference in Cairo on sustainable development.


Dana Gas and BP to drill in the Delta next month

Dana Gas and BP hope to begin drilling exploration wells next month in the Delta concessions next month,according EGAS sources tell Al Shorouk. The source added that Dana Gas has yet to release new funds to begin operations in the Delta, and is awaiting approval from the board to release the funds before starting drilling.

Vallourec signs agreement to provide Bapetco with tubular solutions for Western Desert fields

French tubular solutions provider Vallourec announced signing a contract with Shell JV Bapetco to supply tubular solutions for 60 to 70 gas wells of an onshore project in the Western Desert of Egypt. “Our local presence, through Vallourec’s Egyptian office, has in recent years been key to understanding our customers’ expectations. We are proud to have won this new contract in a market as competitive as Egypt,” Didier Hornet, SVP of Vallourec’s Development and Innovation Department, said. The contract’s value has not been disclosed.

Electricity minister Shaker in China, expect to sign MoU on grid development

China wants another piece of Egypt’s power sector: Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker is expected to sign an MoU on development of the domestic power sector development and global interconnection with China’s Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, Al Mal reports. Shaker is in Beijing until 28 September to attend GEIDCO’s 2017 forum and meet with executives from China’s State Grid Company, which is currently working on a number of projects in Egypt.


Siemens in talks for potential tech projects at New Administrative Capital

Siemens in in talks with the Egyptian government over potential tech projects at the new administrative capital, Siemens Egypt Chairperson and Managing Director Emad Ghaly tells Daily News Egypt. These include “Building technology, electricity distribution technology, or smart grid solutions,” he said.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Worldfish finds Egyptian fish are clear of Tilapia Lake Virus

Non-profit research firm Worldfish have apparently cleared Egyptian Tilapia fish of Tilapia Lake Virus, Agriculture Minister Abdel Moneim El Bana said,according to Al Shorouk. The delegation from Worldfish which submitted the report, said they found no trace of the virus in their studies. Saudi Arabia banned live fish imports in August after a UN FAO stoked fears of an outbreak.

Health + Education

Sabaa announces signing EGP 135 mn hep C treatment agreement with national insurance

Pharma producer Sabaa International Company announced it signed an agreement with the national health insurance and the Liver Institute to supply 450k packets of its hepatitis C treatment Sofoheb, according to an EGX disclosure. The agreement is worth EGP 135 mn approximately and lasts until mid-2018. Sabaa expects the agreement to contribute at least EGP 12 mn to its income.

First Japanese-style school to open to students in October

The first five of 100 new Japanese-style schools that will be built in Egypt will open to students by October, an Education Ministry spokesperson tells Ahram Online. The schools, which are being established under an MoU with Japan, will teach Egypt’s national curriculum using the Japanese Tokkatsu educational framework to students in kindergarten through to the third grade. Registration for the new schools will open for five days beginning 26 September, he adds. Japan had pledged USD 170 mn in loans to help Egypt build facilities to implement Japanese-style education.

Real Estate + Housing

Emaar and El Nasr land dispute being mediated by ministers

There is a reported dispute between Emaar Properties and state-run El Nasr Housing Development over the delays in the former’s construction timetable of Uptown Cairo. Lawyers from El Nasr are seeking to nullify the contract signed between the two to recover the disputed area saying that the company has only 20% of the project, pushing the deadline further. The dispute is now being actively mediated by the government in hopes of ending it amicably, with Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and Public Business Minister Ashraf El Sharkawy holding meetings to resolve the issue, sources told Al Borsa.

New El Alamein set to be inaugurated end of October

The Housing Ministry plans to officially inaugurate the city of New El Alamein at the end October in a ceremony attended by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly said, according to AMAY. The Minister indicated that parts of the tourist walkway will be ready before the inauguration and that other sites in the projects are well on their way. The city will have 1,920 homes.

Barons Court to build new four-star hotel in Alex West for EGP 250-300 mn

Real estate developer Barons Court is planning to build a new hotel at flagship development Alex West with investments ranging from EGP 250-300 mn, Managing Director Hisham Akram says, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The company is looking for partners to build its 250-room facility, which it hopes to have up and running by 2021, under international company management.


Ancient Memphis Walking Circuit project completed

The US Embassy and the Antiquities Ministry celebrated the completion of the Ancient Memphis Walking Circuit in Mit Rahina, according to an embassy statement. “The walking circuit connects eight archaeological sites in the center of Egypt’s first capital city of the Pharaonic period.” Ahram Gate says funding for the project was valued at EGP 9.2 mn and came from USAID. “This project is an investment in both the past and the future … The United States is committed to continuing our partnership with the Ministry of Antiquities to conserve Egypt’s cultural heritage and increase tourism,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Goldberger said.

India launches tourism promotion campaign in Egypt

The Indian Embassy launched a tourism promotion campaign targeting Egyptian travelers, with an aim also to connect tour operators of both the countries, according to India Today. “As a part of the campaign, 12 buses of transport authority will showcase various tourist destinations in India, including culture, festivals, monuments, landscape, wildlife, people and food.”

Automotive + Transportation

Transport minister pitches British trade envoy on railway, maritime investments

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat pitched British trade envoy Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and his accompanying trade delegation on railway and port infrastructure projects, Arafat told reporters after the meeting yesterday, Al Shorouk reports.

Banking + Finance

United Bank of Egypt looking to settle EGP 500 mn in overdue loans

The United Bank of Egypt is looking to settle EGP 500 mn in overdue debts with its clients in 4Q2017, Chairman Ashraf El Kady told Al Mal. The settlements would decrease the bank’s bad loan portfolio to EGP 1.5 bn from EGP 2 bn.

Other Business News of Note

USTDA signs grant agreement with Elsewedy for waste lube oil re-refining

US Trade and Development Agency Thomas R. Hardy signed an agreement for a grant with Elsewedy Electric. The grant aims “to evaluate the technical, regulatory and financial viability of a waste lube oil collection and re-refining network in Egypt” during his two-day visit to Egypt. Hardy also met with leaders and members of AmCham, the US Embassy says. The value of the grant was not disclosed.

Legislation + Policy

After years of grandstanding socialism, Parliament plans to strike at labor union freedoms

It would appear that the House of Representatives may plan to torpedo the Manpower Ministry’s Labor Unions Act (which regulates the formation and activities of workers unions). Their gripe? The act allows for greater freedom to form workers unions, said House Manpower Committee member Maysaa Atwa, Al Mal reports. Egypt’s institutions cannot afford more than one worker’s union federation, said Atwa, who adamantly declared that the committee plans to shoot down the bill. After years of grand proclamations for pro-Nasserist and socialist policies, it is interesting to see the sum total of their empty grandstanding.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egypt court hands down sentences in 2015 soccer riot

An Egyptian court handed down two life sentences yesterday to men involved in a deadly soccer riot in 2015 that left at least 20 dead, the Associated Press reports. Dozens others received sentences ranging from two to ten years, while two others were acquitted.

On Your Way Out

ON THIS DAY- Three years ago today, we published the fist issue of Enterprise, sending it to about 50 friends and family members. This time last year Enterprise readers were reading about the three mobile network operators opting against bidding for 4G spectra. Internationally, the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division escorted nine black students into an all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. Will Smith turns 48 today and legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died on this day in 1980.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.62 | Sell 17.72
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.61 | Sell 17.71
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.63 | Sell 17.73

EGX30 (Sunday): 13,607 (-0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 719 mn (17% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +10.2%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX ended Sunday’s session down 0.6%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank up 7.0%; Arab Cotton Ginning up 3.2%; and Kima up 2.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: Amer Group down 2.9%; Egyptian Resorts down 2.4%; and Porto Group down 2.2%. The market turnover was EGP 719 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +13.1 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +29.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -42.2 mn

Retail: 81.5% of total trades | 82.8% of buyers | 80.1% of sellers
Institutions: 18.5% of total trades | 17.2% of buyers | 19.9% of sellers

Foreign: 7.4% of total | 8.3% of buyers | 6.5% of sellers
Regional: 8.2% of total | 10.2% of buyers | 6.2% of sellers
Domestic: 84.4% of total | 81.4% of buyers | 87.3% of sellers


The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee may slash key interest rates by 50 bps at its upcoming meeting on 30 September, Pharos Research suggest in their latest report. “This is mainly supported by the favorable aforementioned inflation outlook, in addition to waning demand-side pressure risks.” What further supports this view is the uptick in real absorption growth rate in the first quarter of FY2017-18 and the improvement in GDP growth for FY2016-17. Tap or click here to view the full report (pdf).


WTI: USD 50.66 (+0.22%)
Brent: USD 56.86 (+0.76%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.96 MMBtu (+0.44%, October 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,297.50 / troy ounce (+0.21%)

TASI: 7,326.32 (+0.09%) (YTD: +1.61%)
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23-25 September (Saturday-Monday): Invest In Africa Conference and Exhibitors Summit, Gala Theater Complex, Cairo.

25-27 September (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Downstream Summit and Exhibition, Kempinski Royal Maxim Palace, Cairo.

26 September (Tuesday): Egypt’s Internal Trade Reinvented event with Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy, AmCham, Cairo.

28 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

September — The House of Representatives is due to begin discussion of the proposed bankruptcy bill.

30 September-01 October (Saturday-Sunday): Techne Summit, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria.

03 October (Tuesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI reading released.

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 “Future of Cities: Innovation, Spaces and Collaboration,” 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.

19-21 November (Sunday-Tuesday): 11th Annual INJAZ Young Entrepreneurs Competition, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo.

26-29 November (Sunday-Wednesday): 21st Cairo ICT, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

01 December (Friday): Prophet’s Birthday, national holiday.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Solar-Tec, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

03-05 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Electrix, Cairo International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

07-09 December (Thursday-Saturday): The Africa 2017 forum: “Business for Africa, Egypt and the World” Conference, Sharm El Sheikh.

08-10 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

28 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee to review policy rates.

17-21 February 2018 (Wednesday-Saturday): Women For Success – Women SME’s "World of Possibilities" Conference, Cairo/Luxor.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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