Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Enjoy the three-day weekend. We’ll be back on Sunday.

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

The EGX ended yesterday a six-day bull run that saw it hit an all-time high of 14,100 points on Monday. The EGX30 slipped 0.5% to close at 13,931 yesterday, according to Reuters.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded yesterday to Rainer Weiss jointly with Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne for their “decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” Gravitational waves were observed for the very first time in September 2015, but their existence was predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago. The award’s press release says “gravitational waves are direct testimony to disruptions in spacetime itself. This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds. A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message.” The Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be announced today. Literature will follow tomorrow, the peace prize on Friday, and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel on Monday.

PSA- You need to change your Yahoo password — now. The company confirmed yesterday that all 3 bn user accounts were compromised in a 2013 cyberattack. Yahoo admitted to the attack last year, but said “only” 1 bn accounts had been hit. So if you’re still relying on Yahoo for email, you know what to do. We’d also suggest you go invest in a subscription to a password saver and use unique, hard-to-crack passwords for every website you visit. We like 1Password and LastPass — we’ve used the former in our personal lives and liked it, but were won over to LastPass because it works well to share passwords as a team. Both have apps for iOS and Android and each has awesome little browser extensions that mean, effectively, you’ll only ever again have to remember a single password to access the service.

ENJOY YOUR LONG WEEKEND- If you work in banking, finance or the government, tomorrow is a holiday in Egypt in observance of Armed Forces Day. We’ve received reports that some schools are businesses will still open their doors. The central bank and the cabinet confirmed holidays for the financial sector and government earlier this week. Armed Forces Day traditionally falls on 6 October, which this year is a Friday.

Our inner geek demands we read a white paper from ING this weekend, the gist of which is that 3D printing is going to wipe out nearly one quarter of global trade by 2060. Among the companies hardest hit will be those making consumer products, car parts and industrial machinery. 3D printing will be great for politicos in mature countries that want to “bring manufacturing jobs back home,” but what does it mean for emerging manufacturers like Egypt? Give the paper a read (pdf) — and let us know what you think on editorial@enterprise.press

On The Horizon

An IMF delegation will be arriving at the end of the month to conduct the second review of the economic reform program, said Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk, according to Al Mal.

The IMF and World Bank fall meetings will kick off on 9-15 October in Washington, DC. A large delegation of Egyptian government officials and senior members of the private sector are set to attend.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Egypt’s bid to drive reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah was the only real story of note on the airwaves last night as talk show hosts limped into a three-day weekend.

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees El Hadidy spoke to Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. The faction leader told the host that issues, such as Gaza’s power supply and travel restrictions, will be ironed out in a meeting with rival faction Fatah in Cairo next week (watch, runtime 34:43).

On Kol Youm, Amr Adib sat down with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to talk about the path forward to ratify the reconciliation (watch, runtime 2:15). We have more on the topic in the Speed Round, below.

Back on the homefront, Health Committee chair Mohamed El Ammary told Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer that the Universal Healthcare Act — a top priority for his committee — will be financed through budget reserves if passed during the current legislative term. 25-30 Coalition member Ahmed Tantawy also told Amer that a local development law is in the pipeline.

Over on Masaa DMC, African Development Bank Vice President Khaled Sherif told host Osama Kamal that he is set to meet Prime Minister Sherif Ismail today to wrap up discussions over the final USD 500 mn tranche of the bank’s loan that will be disbursed in January. Sherif also briefed Kamal on the various bank-funded projects in Egypt (watch, runtime 6:34).

Kamal also spoke with Immigration Minister Nabila Makram about a campaign that’s in the works to enlist the help of expats in Egypt to promote tourism (watch, runtime 15:37).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Here’s the plan on the next eurobond issuance: The government is planning to issue USD-denominated eurobonds between January and February 2018, followed by a EUR-denominated issue later, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said, according to Reuters. El Garhy says the USD-denominated issue will be worth EUR 3-4 bn and the EUR-denominated bond around EUR 1-1.5 bn. “We’re studying whether there could be a chance for something in November, but I think it would be between January and February. We may begin with the USD-denominated eurobond followed by the EUR one,” El Garhy says. Bloomberg’s Ahmed Feteha and Mirette Magdy confirmed that El Garhy’s plan for the issuances was leaning away from the holiday season in December.

The timing for EM bond issuances remains optimal as Abu Dhabi raised USD 10 bn in bonds on Tuesday, pushing MENA bond sales this year to a record USD 89 bn, according to Bloomberg. The emirate sold USD 3 bn of five-year notes, USD 4 bn of the 10-year tranche and USD 3 bn of the 30-year offering, people familiar with the matter said. The transaction raised total demand from investors of around USD 30 bn, they said.

Separately, El Garhy also announced yesterday that tax revenues increased 31.8% y-o-y to record EGP 464.4 bn in the fiscal year that ended in Egypt, up from EGP 352.3 bn in FY 2015-16. Total government revenues also increased by 34% y-o-y to record EGP 659.2 bn FY 2016-17, up from EGP 491.5 bn a year earlier. Interest rate hikes will dive the government’s borrowing costs up to EGP 410 bn in FY 2017-18 from the targeted EGP 380 bn, he added.

Meanwhile, the government is targeting export revenues of USD 23 bn by the end of the year, said Shereen El Shorbagy, head of the Trade and Industry Ministry’s Export Development Authority. Exports from 9M2017 had already reached USD 14 bn, or 60% of the target, she tells Al Borsa. The ministry hopes to raise the annual export target by 10% in 2018 to USD 25.3 bn.

Companies in Egypt are strongly optimistic about their growth prospects, according to September’s reading of the Emirates NBD PMI compiled by Markit. The index overall slipped to 47.4, a three-month low, because of reductions in new orders and output and accelerated job losses. A potentially worrying sign is that new export orders declined for the first time since March, which panelists said was partly driven by political and economic uncertainty in neighbouring countries. “Improving export demand had been the one bright spot in the PMI surveys over the last few months, but unfortunately this seems to have reversed in September, with new export orders declining for the first time in six months. Both output and total new orders fell at a faster rate in September as domestic demand remained weak. However, businesses were more upbeat about the outlook for the coming year, with expectations for as a more stable currency and lower inflation,” Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, Khatija Haque, commented.

CBE raises required reserve on local currency deposits to 14%: The central bank will raise the required reserve ratio on local currency deposits for domestic banks to 14% from 10% as of 10 October, a statement picked up by Reuters says. The bank said it was an “appropriate” time to bring the ratio back to its pre-2012 levels “in light of Egyptian banks’ strong financial indicators and improving performance and profitability.” The CBE had cut reserve requirements to 10% “in order to provide banks with more cash to lend to the government and businesses,” the wire notes.

These are the people who will be moving the Ismail government’s business agenda through the House of Representatives this fall: The House of Representatives elected the chairs of some 25 standing committees yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. Rep. Amr Ghallab from the pro-government Support Egypt Coalition — the largest political bloc in parliament — held onto the leadership of the key House Economic Committee, Al Ahram reports. This makes him the House’s point man on everything from the Bankruptcy and Capital Markets Acts to the Central Bank and Banking Act, and the committee will also likely have a voice in the drafting of government bills on universal healthcare and other pieces of interest to business.

Among the other committee chairs elected yesterday and of interest to the business community, culled from a thorough rundown by Ahram Online:

  • Budget and planning — Hussein Eissa (Support Egypt), professor of commerce and former president of Ain Shams University.
  • Industry — Ahmed Samir (Support Egypt), industrial engineer
  • Energy and environment — Mohamed Rashwan (may be subject to re-vote after business leader Talaat El Sewedy filed an appeal against the result of the vote)
  • Tourism and civil aviation — Sahar Talaat Mostafa (Support Egypt), the Alexandria business figure.
  • Healthcare — Mohamed El-Amari (Support Egypt), professor of surgery
  • Transport and communications — Hesham Abdel-Wahed (Future of the Homeland)
  • Agriculture — Hesham El-Shiini (Free Egyptians)
  • Housing and public utilities — Moataz Mahmoud (independent)
  • Labour — Gibali El-Maraghi, head of the General Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions
  • Telecoms and IT — Nidal El Said (Future of the Homeland)
  • Media, culture and antiquities — Osama Heikal (Support Egypt), former information minister and head of Media Production City.

Hot tickets: The economic, transport, local administration, energy and environment, and telecoms committee chairmanships were particularly contested, the media reports.

Do overs: Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal also agreed to hold fresh elections for the African affairs, energy and environment, and defense and national security committees on Sunday, after the results of the first elections were appealed, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

M&A WATCH- BPE Partners and MTI acquire Bee: BPE Partners and MM Group for Industry and International Trade (MTI) have together acquired 60% of TBE Egypt for Payment Solutions and Services (Bee) for EGP 156 mn along with the company announced in a statement on Tuesday. The transaction was executed through Ebtikar for Financial Investment, a 50-50 joint venture between BPE Partners and MTI. Bee provides bill payment solutions through a secure network and has more than 35,000 outlets across Egypt. “We envision a great expansion plan for Bee as it ventures into more services and adds more clients,” said Aladdin Saba, chairman and CEO of Ebtikar and co-founder of BPE Partners. The transaction will go forward through the purchase of Bee’s shares, extending a convertible shareholders loan to the company, and a capital increase, MTI said in a statement.

M&A WATCH- The Sawiris family’s Gemini Holding has sold microfinance player Reefy to CI Capita. CI Capital reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in microfinance provider Reefy from Gemini Egypt Holding for Financial Investments, CI Capital said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The company did not disclose details on the size of the transaction. CI Capital aims to integrate Reefy onto its platform of non-banking financial services, which includes Corplease, the statement added. Beltone Financial, the Sawiris-owned investment bank, had previously kicked the tires at Reefy. CI Capital’s acquisition will now await regulatory approval from the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority.

Orascom Construction added USD 750 mn to its project backlog in 3Q2017 in the Middle East, mainly Egypt, and the United States, the company said in a statement issued yesterday (pdf). USD 550 mn of the total is in projects related to infrastructure and select buildings work in Egypt, while the rest is comprised mostly of commercial and federal infrastructure work for Weitz and Contrack Watts in the US. “We had indicated that we are pursuing an active bidding pipeline in MENA and USA, and remain confident that we will continue to sign more projects that fit our criteria,” CEO Osama Bishai says.

SODIC’s strategy rests on building communities in urban areas recently slated for development, helping further the development goals of the government, CEO Magued Sherif told Al Mal in an interview. To that end, the company is targeting the acquisition of some 650 feddans before the end of the year, including 300 feddans of land on the North Coast to co-develop with existing landowners. The company is also eyeing new land in Sheikh Zayed, Sherif tells the newspaper. We had previously noted that SODIC has earmarked EGP 750 mn for new land purchases in 2H2017. Sherif noted that SODIC’s strong liquidity position supports its plan to grow its 5 mn sqm land bank. EGP 1.5 bn of the EGP 3.3 bn it has in reserves have been spent so far, he said.

Is the Russian Industrial Zone back on? Cairo expects to sign an agreement with Moscow on the Russian Industrial Zone before the year is out, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said on Tuesday. Kabil’s statements following a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Georgy Kalamanov. Early last month, Russian Trade Minister Denis Manturov surprised us all with the announcement that Moscow had postponed the signing of the agreement to establish an industrial zone in Port Said until early 2018 pending further review and amendments. Recently, Kalamanov said that his government has finished drafting the “executive work plan” for the project, according to a ministry statement picked up by Reuters. The USD 190 mn project is hoped to bring in around USD 7 bn in investments, said Kabil.

The National Payments Council will authorize a payment card framework with a national trademark that would give holders, mostly the unbanked, access to financial services, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The decision is originally part of a central bank initiative to enhance financial inclusion and came during the council’s second meeting yesterday, where members decided as well to continue offering discounts on mobile payment fees until June 2018

The Ismail government is adamant that ticket prices on the Cairo Metro will rise as soon as an in-progress overhaul of the mass transport system is completed in a year or two, Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat said at a forum on the logistics sector held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt. He said that doubling the price of Metro ticket prices earlier in the year did not dissuade users, and that the number of commuters had in fact jumped 10% since, Al Shorouk reports.

Speaking on the role of the private sector in the national railway overhaul plan, Arafat said both the Safaga-Abou Tartour and the Aswan-Luxor-Hurghada lines were both being put up for the private sector to develop, according to Al Borsa. The ministry also plans to open more ports to private sector developments under the EPC+Finance, public-private partnership, and build-operate-transfer frameworks.

The Council of State signed off yesterday on amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act, which among other things seeks to expedite the prosecution of terror cases judicial sources tell Youm7. The bill — which is also expected to safeguard suspects’ rights to a phone call, a lawyer, and fair treatment — is being sent back to the Ismail Cabinet for review and, once approved, will go to the House of Representatives.

As we noted yesterday, the Ismail Cabinet also received the Universal Healthcare Act, which the Council of State sent back with a single reservation regarding the gradual rollout of the law across governorates, which that would violate constitutional clauses the equality of all citizens. The Health Ministry had planned to roll the new system out in phases with the goal of achieving nationwide application by 2030, starting with canal governorates. The act is expected to improve the public’s access to quality healthcare by expanding coverage to bread earners and their families. It could also carry the seeds of price control and stricter regulation of the non-pharma end of the healthcare industry.

First signs of trouble in Palestinian reconciliation emerge as cabinet holds first meeting in Gaza: The Egypt-mediated Palestinian reconciliation ran into its first hurdle yesterday when Hamas rejected Fatah’s call to dismantle its military arm, the Associated Press reports. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told Amr Adib in an interview that the group would not lay down its arms “as long as there is occupation” (watch, runtime 23:04). This came as Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah held the first cabinet meeting in Gaza yesterday “in another symbolic step toward reconciliation.”

Egypt will soon host both factions in Cairo for talks, according to an Ittihadiya statement. General Intelligence boss Khaled Fawzi — President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s special envoy to the reconciliation talks — also arrived in Gaza yesterday to meet with the unity government, after having sat down with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Wafa News Agency reports.

King Salman’s visit to Russia legitimizes Putin as a force in the region: King Salman will become the first Saudi Arabian monarch to visit Russia and the latest of Middle East rulers to attempt to strengthen diplomatic ties with Vladimir Putin, Bloomberg reports. Topping his agenda for the trip later this week was attempting to isolate Saudi’s regional rivals Iran — a close ally of Russia’s. The move represents a paradigm shift in regional politics in a region where the US was the sole arbitrator. “Putin has succeeded in making Russia a factor in the Middle East. That’s why you see a constant stream of Middle Eastern visitors going to Moscow,” says said Dennis Ross, the US’ former chief Mideast peace negotiator. Energy and other economic agreements appear to be in the offing. Saudi Arabia is considering investing in Russia’s largest oil drilling contractor, Eurasia Drilling Co., and Novatek PJSC’s proposed Arctic LNG 2, according to officials with knowledge of talks. While discussions are at an early stage, some framework accords could be signed during King Salman’s trip, one of the officials said.

A blast outside Manama injured five Bahraini policemen on Monday, according to Reuters. The policemen were protecting a Shiite procession celebrating the ‘Ashura festival, and local investigators are treating the attack as a terrorist act.

The European Commission plans to slam Amazon today with overdue tax bills “worth several hundred mn EUR,” according to the Financial Times (paywall). The move follows a nearly three-year long investigation alleging “that the US online retailer benefited from a sweetheart tax deal that granted it almost a decade of illegal state support from Luxembourg, the hub of its EU operations.” It also comes as part of a wider EU crackdown on multinational corporations for tax evasion, being the Commission’s fourth case in around half a dozen tax probes it has launched since 2013.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen defended her position in voting to release AIG from its status as a company “too big to fail,” saying that the insurer is a changed business from the one that needed a USD 185 bn taxpayer bailout,according to the FT (paywall). Yellen said that while AIG needed the regulation after the financial crisis, it no longer poses a systemic threat. Yellen’s vote strikes a deregulatory tone that the Trump administration will favour and we can’t help but think that with her seat up for grabs in 2018 this might be an effort to curry favour before a decision is made.

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Image of the Day

Finally, a themed restaurant we can get behind: Zeit Zeitoun in East Cairo brings the joy of Syrian home-cooking in a way very few Syrian cuisine joints could. The restaurant employs eleven Syrian widows and divorcees who have fled the ongoing civil war there, Al Monitor reports. “Meals are prepared in the early morning to receive from two to 10 orders per day 48 hours in advance, with prices starting at EGP 400 for 10 meals. The social entrepreneurship project is the brainchild of Tamara Rifai, a Syrian human rights lawyer and former regional director for media affairs and human rights advocacy in the Middle East and North Africa for Human Rights Watch. Rifai herself had fled Damascus when the war broke out.

After dealing with Hannibal Lecter eateries and prison-themed burger joints, we can happily say this is one joint worth supporting with your lunch order.

Egypt in the News

Pickups of Egypt’s denial that it purchased weapons from North Korea topped coverage of the country in the foreign press this morning. Al Jazeera’s Farah Najjar writes that the allegations and concerns over human rights would not really cause the US to halt aid to Egypt.

The aftermath of the rainbow flag raising at a concert in Cairo is still making news internationally. Egypt is launching the “largest crackdown” on the LGBTQ community in more than a decade, Bethan McKernan writes for The Independent. “The clampdown is the most severe state attack on LGBTQ rights since 2001, when police arrested 52 men in a raid on a floating disco called the Queen Boat,” McKernan notes. BBC News shares the sentiment, saying the crackdown is escalating. Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns director says “the authorities must urgently halt this ruthless crackdown and release all those arrested immediately and unconditionally.” Mashrou’ Leila, the band that was playing at the concert along with two other Egyptian acts, said on its Facebook page that it was “heartbroken” and urged the world to stand up to LGBTQ rights. The band noted that “Human rights are not privileges to be given and taken away. Human rights just are.”

Controversial university professor Mona Prince says she is running for President and that her bid aims to “[break] the image of the president as an all-knowing, god-like type,” Ruth Michaelson writes for The Guardian. Michaelson notes that candidates, potentially including Anwar El Sadat, are not aiming for victory, and that simply being on the ballot would be a victory for them. “The competition with Sisi is not necessarily about [succeeding], it’s about creating debate,” says El Sadat. Prince is aiming for something different, telling Michaelson, “Some people call me crazy, but we need a little bit of craziness in our lives … We need this hint of craziness in a president. Someone daring.” Candidates running for President require a petition of at least 30,000 signatures from 15 governorates to get on the ballot.

Also worth a skim this morning:

  • Egypt is still lobbying the African Union to back Moushira Khattab in her bid to become the Director General of UNESCO, Vanguard reports.
  • Franciscan friars in Egypt have begun celebrations for the 800th anniversary of St. Francis’s visit to Egypt in 1219, ANSAmed reports.
  • Two dozen Nubians face court hearings after protesting for their right to return to their homeland around Lake Nasser, according to Al-Monitor.
  • Xinhua makes a great case for the usage of tuk-tuks in “classy” Red Sea resort towns such as El Gouna.

On Deadline

The House of Representatives must be monitored more closely and held accountable for its actions, particularly as it readies itself to discuss several critical pieces of legislation during its third session, Ziad Bahaa El Din writes for Al Shorouk. Bahaa El Din notes that people’s expectations from the House are rather low as a result of the performance over the past two years, but stresses that constituents should not allow their elected representatives to continue down the same path of embarrassments and incompetence.

Worth Reading

Should governments take steps to control the flow of fake news? If history has taught us anything, it’s that we probably shouldn’t, Flemming Rose and Jacob Mchangama argue for the Washington Post. With calls around the world for punitive measures against outlets that proliferate fake news, prior attempts to control the flow of news and information only proved to empower governments to control the narrative in their favor and stifled freedom of expression. The authors acknowledge the dangers of false news, especially in the digital age of information. They argue, however, that instead of trying to control what is and isn’t out there, it would be wiser to devise ways to teach the public how to become more selective and critical in their consumption of information.

Worth Watching

An Aussie who works in finance is looking to solo paddle the entire length of the Nile in a kayak, starting out in Rwanda and ending the 6,853 km journey off at our Egyptian Mediterranean shores. Sarah Davis, an accomplished kayaker, will be braving wild animals and, potentially, the war-torn banks of South Sudan as of this January (watch, runtime 3:02).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will deliver the third and last USD 500 mn tranche, of its loan to Egypt in January, Reuters notes. AfDB has already delivered USD 1 bn of the USD 1.5 bn loan.

Energy

NREA reaches agreement with Vestas over EUR 230 mn wind farm

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas reached an agreement with the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) to construct a EUR 230 mn, 250 MW wind farm, a source from Vestas tells Al Borsa. The windfarm would be the first project in the company’s plan to install 2.2 GW in generation capacity with total investments reaching USD 4.4 bn. The project will be financed through HSBC, EKF Denmark, Euler Hermes, CDP Banco Standard, Save Danida Denmark, and the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

Kuwait Energy acquires approval to complete sale of 25% stake in Abu Sennan concession to Global Connect Ltd.

Kuwait Energy obtained the necessary approvals to complete the sale of 25% of its stake in the Abu Sennan concession to Global Connect Ltd, the company announced in a statement to Reuters yesterday. The two sides had signed a Farm Out Agreement in December last year but had been waiting for the EGPC and Oil Ministry to sign off on the transaction, the value of which remains undisclosed. The agreement reduces Kuwait Energy’s share to 25%, but the firm will continue to manage the concession. Dover Investment holds 28% and Rockhopper Exploration hold 22%.

Infrastructure

SCA signs EUR 300 mn agreement with Royal IHC to purchases two dredgers

Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chief Mohab Mamish signed yesterday a EUR 300 mn agreement with Dutch Royal IHC to purchase two dredgers for the Suez Canal fleet, Al Mal reports. The new dredgers will allow the authority to expand its base of operations to all ports in Egypt, Mamish said, which could help the authority earn as much as USD 60 mn a year, according to Director of the SCA’s dredging department, Mohamed Eldesouky.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Savola Group at odds with local sugar producers over protectionist duties

Saudi Arabia’s Savola Group has found itself at odds with local sugar producers over whether the government should implement a 20% anti-dumping duty on imports of raw sugar. Local sugar producers and beet farmers, including El Nobaria for Sugar Refining head Hassan Kamel, say that the government had promised them it would enact protectionist duties and maintain a moratorium on imports of refined white sugar. These producers now allege that Savola, which is opposed to the 20% tariff, was promised at its meeting with Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil and Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy that the tithe would not be put in place, according to Al Mal.

!_StoryHed! GASC sees “jump” in wheat tender offers

State grain buyer GASC received offers from 11 suppliers for its wheat tender yesterday, Reuters reports. The 11 offers are a “jump” from GASC’s previous tenders “when suppliers stayed away amid a simmering trade row over tough inspections.” This comes as GASC purchased 180k tonnes of Russian wheat, to be delivered between 5-15 November, Al Mal reports. GASC paid a little over USD 213 per tonne, which “shows a reduction in the premium the country is being forced to pay” following the problems with the poppy seed-containing Romanian and French shipments, according to AgriMoney. Russia’s relatively low prices “meant that they retained a large discount to offers from France and Romania.”

Agriculture Ministry is in talks with Australia, Canada and China to export new produce

The Agricultural Export Council and Agriculture Ministry have begun negotiations with Australia, Canada and China to export new products in the near future, Fresh Plaza reports. Egypt wants to export grapes to Australia and Canada, following success in exporting them to China. The ministry also wants to export onions, pomegranates, and dates into China.

Real Estate + Housing

Gov’t begins demolishing houses in Maspero

The Housing Ministry and the Cairo Governorate will demolish the first building in the Maspero area next week as part of the plan to “develop” the area, Al Masry Al Youm reports. 936 families residing in the area were compensated and any petitions by the residents will be looked into thoroughly, Minister Moustafa Madbouli says. The ministry failed to reach a similar compensation scheme with shop owners in the area, but Madbouli says their shops will not be demolished until a fair agreement is reached.

Tourism

Tourism Minister heads to Vatican to attend blessing of the Holy Family Trail

Tourism Minister Yehia Rashed is heading to the Vatican on Wednesday to meet Pope Francis and attend the Pontiff’s blessing of launching the Holy Family Trail in Egypt,according to AMAY. The Holy Family Trail tracks Joseph, Mary and Jesus’ exodus from Bethlehem to Egypt to escape King Herod and adds to our repertoire of religious tourism.

Automotive + Transportation

EBA halts production of Zemix microbus

Egyptian British Automotive (EBA) has decided to halt assembly of one of its microbus models,a source close to the company tells Al Mal. The company was only able to produce 50 units of the 14-seater vehicles in the last nine months due to rising costs, which are making it hard to continue production.

Banking + Finance

EETC receives EGP 3 bn of EGP 37.4 bn loan to upgrade national power grid

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company has received EGP 3 bn from the EGP 37.4 bn loan it signed for with a local banking consortium in July to upgrade the national grid, unnamed ministry officials tell Al Borsa. The amount will be used to pay contractors and suppliers, including Elsewedy Electric, China’s State Grid, and Saudi’s NCC, who are expected to complete their work in three years. We had said in August that the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr are set to provide EGP 12.2 bn each, while Qatar National Bank will chip in EGP 8 bn. The Arab African International Bank will contribute EGP 3 bn, while CIB will provide EGP 2 bn.

Other Business News of Note

Suez Canal revenues up 2.2%

Suez Canal revenues increased by 2.2% y-o-y during 9M2017, Suez Canal Authority chief Mohab Mamish told the press yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. Mamish also added that traffic through the canal is up 2.5% y-o-y. The exact figures were not disclosed.

Sports

Egyptian Premier League renamed

The Egyptian Premier League picked up a new sponsor in Telecom Egypt and will now be known as the Telecom Egypt League. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, if you will allow us the pun. Al Masry Al Youm has the story here.

On Your Way Out

US rock legend Tom Petty died yesterday just after we hit “send” on Monday’s edition at the age of 66 following a cardiac arrest, Reuters reports. The man gave us such great riff-laden tracks such as American Girl and Free Fallin’.

ON THIS DAY- On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, to space. Sputnik 1 was the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth’s atmosphere. Over a century earlier, the Orient Express departed on its first official journey from Paris to Istanbul in 1883. More recently, WikiLeaks was launched on this day in 2006. This time last year, Enterprise readers were reading about how we were edging closer to the brink of devaluation and about Naguib Sawiris going to war with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, after it raised questions about OTMT’s shareholder structure and blocked the acquisition of CI Capital. A year before that, we were taking note of our pal Erdogan saying he is not very interested in reconciling with Egypt.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6012 | Sell 17.7012
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70

EGX30 (Tuesday): 13,931 (-0.5%)
Turnover: EGP 1.2 bn (32% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +12.8%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session down 0.5%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Telecom Egypt up 4.3%, Eastern Co up 3.7%, and Kima up 3.4%. Today’s worst performing stocks were: EFG Hermes down 4.8%, Pioneers Holding down 2.4%, and Porto Group down 2.0%. The market turnover was EGP 1.2 bn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -77.4 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -14.8 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +92.2 mn

Retail: 61.5% of total trades | 61.4% of buyers | 61.6% of sellers
Institutions: 38.5% of total trades | 38.6% of buyers | 38.4% of sellers

Foreign: 18.8% of total | 15.6% of buyers | 22.0% of sellers
Regional: 6.5% of total | 5.8% of buyers | 7.0% of sellers
Domestic: 74.7% of total | 78.6% of buyers | 71.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 50.42 (-0.32%)
Brent: USD 55.71 (-0.73%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.90 MMBtu, (-0.72%, November 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,274.60 / troy ounce (-0.09%)TASI: 7,244.38 (+0.28%) (YTD: +0.47%)
ADX: 4,441.13 (+0.31%) (YTD: -2.31%)
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Calendar

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. © 2018 Enterprise Ventures LLC.