Wednesday, 25 October 2017

China notches big infrastructure wins in Egypt
Plus: MbS’ robot utopia and Edita’s new packaged donuts

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi wraps up his three-day visit to Paris today. El Sisi is expected to sign a number of MoUs with French President Emmanuel Macron that should see both countries cooperate in a number of areas, including renewable energy, transport, and culture. We have a full rundown on yesterday’s meetings in Speed Round, below. The highlight: No castigation on the human rights front.

Is China reaping the rewards from having included Egypt in its One Belt, One Road initiative? It’s hard not to come to that conclusion with reports in Chinese media that BYD and Sinohydro have won massive infrastructure contracts at the same time as a three-day Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Cairo. We have more in Speed Round, below.

The IMF delegation conducting a second review of the Sisi administration’s economic reform program arrived in Cairo yesterday, government sources tell Youm7. The delegation, which will be here until 7 November, will begin its visit by meeting with a technical team from the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Egypt, followed by the Cabinet economic group and officials handling trade and industry, investment, petroleum, and social welfare issues, Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk said yesterday. The visit aims to unlock the next tranche of the IMF’s USD 12 bn extended fund facility for Egypt. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy and CBE Governor Tarek Amer met earlier this month with IMF Chief Christine Lagarde, who “praised” Egypt’s reforms. El Garhy had previously said the government has completed 80% its work on the reform program.

Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit kicks off today in New York City, with some of the biggest names in global finance and business taking part. The only speaker from MENA at the gathering is our friend Hisham Ezz Al Arab, chairman and MD at CIB. Hisham will speak on “Banking in the Future” in what looks set to be a solo on-stage interview. He joins at the summit bold-faced names including CEOs and CIOs from BlackRock, Samsung, JP Morgan, the National Hockey League, Accenture and Aetna, among others. The conference starts at 8:00 am EDT (2:00 pm CLT) and will be live streamed. Hisham’s session takes place in the Midday Movers Show starting sometime around 5:45pm CLT.

Our friends at Al Masry Al Youm have brought their website back online after reportedly fighting off a hacking attack that began late Monday. AMAY staff confirmed the hacking in a statement yesterday that noted they had had to take the site down after fake news content was posted during the attack. A second statement later in the day said hackers continued to post the same stories to its website and social media pages throughout the attack, prompting them to take the site offline.

Washington, be warned: Egyptian MPs are inbound. The House of Representatives will be on break until 6 November while Speaker Ali Abdel Aal leads a delegation to Washington, DC, for meetings with members of Congress on 27 October. Before adjourning though, the House did refer four international agreements to their respective committees for approval.

IMF boss Christine Lagarde is warning of a “dark future” in as little as 50 years in which we’re “toasted and roasted” if the world fails to tackle climate change and inequality. Lagarde made the remarks at a gathering in Riyadh.

The UAE’s “Little Sparta” side is back in the spotlight this morning with the Financial Times’ “Big Read” taking a look at how our allies in the GCC are flexing both foreign policy and military muscles against a background of “the rise of Iran’s influence” and “frustration over US engagement.” The UAE, the FT writes, is “intervening in its neighbours’ affairs in pursuit of its own national security goals.” Because neither the US nor the UK have ever done that, right? We’re flagging this piece as “worth reading” if you have an FT subscription.

Speaking of Amreeka: DC politics are looking particularly interesting this morning. The rift in the Republican party between backers of The Donald and what the oldsters among us would once have considered “mainstream Republicans” is seen widening after a prominent GOP senator said he wouldn’t seek re-election. Jeff Flake said he was “unwilling to follow the lead of a president whose behavior in office is ‘not normal’ and ‘dangerous to a democracy.’ The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have great coverage. While you’re on the NYT, go read John McCain’s op-ed on why America must back the Kurds in Iraq. Also sure to get ink this morning: The US Senate struck down a measure that would have made it possible for consumers to launch class-action suits against US financial institutions including banks and credit card companies.

What We’re Tracking This Week

The executive regulations to the Investment Act will be issued “within two days,” Amr Adib claims Prime Minister Sherif Ismail told him in a private phone call. The host made the remarks on last night’s Kol Youm (watch, runtime 1:09).

A delegation from the World Trade Organization is in town to discuss a draft of its trade policy review of Egypt. The five-day visit will set the tone for Egypt’s main review meeting on 20-22 February 2018, which will take into account trade, economic, and investment policies, according to Daily News Egypt.

Friday is looking a lot list Xmas day to us:

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Our daily roundup of Last Night’s Talk Shows is on hiatus for the rest of the week, but will return on Sunday, 29 October.

One thing we could not miss out on sharing with you all: On last night’s Kol Youm, Amr Adib’s suggested imposing a tax on anyone earning more than EGP 1 mn a year, with the proceeds earmarked for a special compensation fund for the victims of terror attacks, particularly from the military and police (watch, runtime 2:51).

Cabinet recently signed off on the establishment of a special compensation fund that will be set up once necessary approvals are in place, Cabinet spokesperson Ashraf Sultan told Adib (watch, runtime 3:31).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Saudi Arabia plans 26k sqm economic zone with Egypt and Jordan, models it on Westworld as MbS plans to Out-Dubai Dubai: Saudi Arabia is constructing a 26,000 sq km new economic zone, called Neom, in which it sees that robots might one day outnumber humans. The USD 500 bn creation will run along 486 km of the Red Sea coast and border Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. “A map published on the project’s website shows that the new economic zone would include the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir,” The Financial Times reports (paywall). The official statement from the Saudi Press Agency says Neom would be developed to be “independent of the kingdom’s existing governmental framework, excluding sovereignty.” The WSJ also has coverage.

“Neom will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years and we will use this opportunity to build a new way of life with excellent economic prospects,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said. “The Neom project will focus on nine different investment sectors including energy, water, biotech and robotics … robots might outnumber people in the city.” Klaus-Christian Kleinfeld, former Chairman and CEO Arconic and Alcoa, is the CEO of the Neom Project. The Washington Times calls Neom “a mecca for robots” in its coverage.

“The plan will likely be met with the same mixture of optimism and doubt that has greeted [bin Salman’s] previous headline-grabbing announcements. His supporters can be expected to cheer what they see as a bold drive to transform the kingdom, while others will point to past failed attempts to overhaul the Saudi economy that also included industrial cities in the desert,” Bloomberg’s Glen Carey and Alaa Shahine commented. Reuters says “Saudi Arabia will need huge financial and technical resources to build NEOM on the scale it envisages. Past experience suggests this may be difficult.”

Neom is billing itself as “the world’s most ambitious project: an entirely new land, purpose-built for a new way of living.” You can check out the official Neom website here.

Saudi Arabia has “poor form when it comes to implementing mega-projects,” Capital Economics warns in a note published yesterday (pdf). The report cites other projects that came to naught, such as the King Abdullah Economic City, as it asks whether Saudi is repeating past mistakes.

Big infrastructure wins for Chinese companies in Egypt. Two Chinese contractors claim to have won contracts to build megaprojects in Egypt. BYD will build a monorail transit system in Alexandria, Global Times reports. The project, for which BYD says it has inked an agreement with the “government of Alexandria,” will include the construction of a 128 km track, BYD said without revealing the cost and other details of the project. The company notes that its SkyRail monorail costs only one-fifth as much and takes only one-third as much time to construct compared to subways.

China’s Sinohydro Corp to build USD 1.99 bn refinery in Ain Sokhna: Sinohydro Corp, a subsidiary of state-owned Power Construction Corp of China (PowerChina), is also getting in on the infrastructure game. The company has reportedly signed a USD 1.99 bn contract for a refinery project with Sokhna Refinery and Petrochemicals Co (SRPC), Global Times reports. The project is set to have a planned processing capacity of 155k bpd at the initial stage. PowerChina is responsible for the design, procurement and construction of relevant facilities. Under the agreement with SRPC, the project is expected to be completed within 44 months.

The announcements coincide with the Belt and Road Initiative Forum kicking off in Cairo yesterday. The three-day trade fair brings together representatives from 27 major Chinese firms working in Egypt’s auto, construction, and garment-making industries, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Xinhua also has the story.

Private sector to get in on railways in 2018 under proposed legislation: Amendments to the Railway Act that would open up the sector to private companies are expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives next month, said Transport Minister Hisham Arafat. He expects the legislation, which the Council of State will complete reviewing this month, to be passed in time to allow the private sector to get into the rail game in 2018, Al Borsa reports. The amendments will allow businesses to build and operate railway lines and to bid for upgrade projects. Thanks to the perpetual fear of the dreaded “P” word guaranteed by our not-so-recessive Socialist genes, the law at this time will not allow private companies to own railway assets.

Among the first projects to be opened to the private sector is the USD 7 bn Ain Sokhna-Alamein railway line, said Arafat. The line’s development will include five stations, connecting Ain Sokhna, the new administrative capital, 6 October City, Alexandria and Alamein. The 482 km line will carry both cargo and passengers, the minister added.

Egypt’s largest snackfood maker launches packaged donuts as it commissions second line at new factory: Edita Food Industries announced the commissioning (pdf) of the second line at its new E08 factory in Sixth of October’s Polaris Al-Zamil district. The first product off the line will be a TODO-branded donut. Edita says the E08 facility is set to house around 11 new lines. The new TODO Donut is the first mass-produced packaged donut in Egypt. Edita is billing the product as the latest in a string of “new and differentiated product launches … that aim to provide consumers with unique value propositions and create new demand in Egypt’s fast-growing snack food market. TODO is Edita’s in-house developed brand.” Edita first introduced packaged croissants with Molto in 1997. The company also pioneered the rusks category with Bake Rolls and, more recently, introduced the country’s first packaged brownies under its TODO line.

USD 27.3 bn to be invested in gas fields next year: Some 230 new wells will be drilled at a cost of USD 2 bn in 2018, while approximately USD 27.3 bn will be invested in the Zohr, North Alexandria, and Nooros fields, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. El Molla also forecasts signing 83 new exploration agreements worth a total of USD 15.5 bn, in addition to USD 3.8 bn worth of new petroleum refining projects. Natural gas projects are expected to increase 50% in 2018, with that rate accelerating to 100% by 2020, El Molla said. The minister also announced that the second edition of the Egypt Petroleum Show will kick off on 12 February 2018 to showcase short- and long-term plans in the oil and gas sector.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s first meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron apparently went very well, with both leaders alluding to stronger security and economic ties in the offing. Key highlights of their meeting in Paris included:

Macron comes to El Sisi’s defense on human rights: Despite pressure from rights groups to address Egypt’s human rights violations, Macron came to El Sisi’s defense on the issue, telling reporters that Egypt’s current security context must be taken into account when considering the human rights question. He went one step further to label the issue a “sovereign affair” in which France and other Western countries shouldn’t meddle.

More defense cooperation: Terrorism and security cooperation were at the head of the talks. Macron pledged to increase support for Egypt defense, but shied away from specifics. This came as Reuters reported that French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed to Europe 1 radio channel that the two leaders would be discussing the sale of 12 additional Rafale aircraft to Egypt, as Le Tribune had hinted on Monday.

Expect announcements on economic agreements worth some EUR 400 mn, primarily on land and maritime transport as well as the Cairo Metro, El Sisi said. Tourism was also discussed, with El Sisi announcing that 2019 will a year of “joint tourism cooperation.” The Suez Canal was also a part of the talks, as both countries plan to hold celebrations marking its 150th anniversary, according to Macron.

A French business delegation will be in Egypt soon, Macron said, adding that the French Development Agency will continue to the support the economic reform program. Earlier in the day, El Sisi had sat down with top executives from 40 major French companies who are all reportedly eager to invest in Egypt, Egypt’s French Chambers of Commerce head Hossam Benham said, according to Ahram Gate.

Other items on the agenda included Macron declaring support for an “inclusive political solution in Syria,” which could signal a shift away from demanding Bashar Al Assad’s removal. He also said he supports the UN’s roadmap for Libya.

You can catch the full press conference here (runtime: 25:52).

Regional politics were also the order of the day during the president’s meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The officials agreed to step up cooperation on counterterrorism and stemming illegal immigration to Europe.

El Sisi also met with French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe yesterday, telling him that Egypt is primarily interested in France’s expertise in energy, transport, education, and training. French investments in Egypt currently stand at around EUR 4 bn, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

The meeting between both leaders follows a sit down between El Sisi and Naval Group Chairman and CEO Hervé Guillou, where discussions focused on enhancing Egypt’s naval arsenal. Guillou said his group was keen on discussing future cooperation with Egypt, according to a statement from Ittihadiya (pdf).

El Sisi also talked modernizing Egypt’s railways with Guillaume Pepy, chairman of French state-owned railway company SNCF. Egyptian National Railways expects to sign an agreement soon with SNCF on training, technical support, railway security and safety, as well as maintaining and constructing new lines. The meeting comes as Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, who accompanied El Sisi, sat down with a number of French companies to entice them to take part in revamping the railway network, Al Mal reports.

Reuters and BBC respond to SIS criticism: “We take seriously our obligation to report the news fairly and accurately, and were careful here to report both the Interior Ministry’s account of the situation as well as information we received independently from other sources,” a Reuters spokesperson said, commenting on the State Information Service’s protest of the newswire’s coverage of the Wahat terrorist attack. SIS accused Reuters and the BBC of “inaccurate coverage” and said they had made “grave professional mistakes” by relying on unidentified security sources. The argument centers around Reuters relying on “three security sources” telling it as many as 52 members of the police service were killed in the attack, when the official narrative is that the death toll is 16. The BBC “was told that 53 officers and conscripts had been killed.” SIS further challenged the two news agencies by submitting requests to both Reuters and BBC offices in Cairo to produce the names of those killed as proof that the casualty figures they reported are correct, according to Al Shorouk.

French oil and gas major Total is in talks to buy Engie’s LNG assets, predicting that gas markets will grow in the future, CEO Patrick Pouyanne tells Bloomberg TV on Tuesday (runtime: 8:55). “I can confirm we’ve discussed with Engie, like other companies, and we’ll see if we can find an agreement. If not, we have other ideas, other opportunities, to develop the LNG business,” he added. Engie had stated on Monday that it is considering a sale of parts of its LNG business as a glut of the fuel on global markets wipes out profitability. Engie imports LNG to Egypt.

China’s Xi Jinping granted powers parallel to Chairman Mao’s: China’s Communist Party granted President Xi Jinping new sweeping powers “unmatched in recent decades” and equal in measure to those held by Chairman Mao Zedong, the FT reports (paywall). The party enshrined Xi’s socialist ideology in their constitution, a “historic decision [bolstering] President Xi’s political position as China’s most powerful leader in decades, [making] it harder for rivals to challenge him and his policies,” Chris Buckley writes for the New York Times. Clearly no one’s told Xi that Chairman Mao could never “make it with anyone anyhow” (watch, runtime 3:27).

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The Macro Picture

EM currencies have been dropping in REER terms, when compared to the USD, despite rising in spot terms: Emerging market currencies measured solely against the USD in nominal, non-inflation adjusted terms have gone the way of the EM bull market this year and have grown 5.4%. However, when measured in terms of a country’s real effective exchange rate (REER) and factoring in inflation, EM currencies have actually fallen 0.5% this year, based on a GDP-weighted basket of 37 currencies, writes Steve Johnson for the Financial Times. “On the surface, they have done well indeed — against the USD a simple average of the 20 most liquid EM currencies is up 5.2% in spot terms. However, against the EUR this group has lost 6.2%. In trade-weighted terms EM FX has gone absolutely nowhere,” says Bhanu Baweja, EM strategist at UBS. Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Kuwait have all seen their currencies slide in REER terms.

But this isn’t the case across all EMs: The EGP is among the few currencies which have seen gains in REER terms since 2016. The strongest gains came from the Ukrainian hryvnia, while the Mexican peso and Czech koruna have also strengthened.

Egypt in the News

Egypt is back on the international press’ radar after an unusually quiet week. The homecoming of Irish-Egyptian national Ibrahim Halawa topped coverage of Egypt in international headlines this morning. Halawa arrived in Dublin yesterday, accompanied by his sister Nosayba and Irish Ambassador to Egypt Seán O’Regan, following his release from prison after four years of waiting for a verdict in a mass trial, reported The Irish Times. Reuters, RTE, BBC, and other Irish and UK news agencies also have the story.

Coming in at a close second was President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. Coverage of the Paris meeting focused heavily on the human rights angle, with “burgeoning military ties” and counterterrorism also making appearances. Bloomberg, ANSAMED, AFP, Xinhua, and the Kuwait News Agency all have coverage.

News of the arrest of 12 suspected Hasm terrorists in Fayoum was also making the rounds. Police reportedly seized 13 weapons and two explosive devices, according the Associated Press. Xinhua also has the story.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is seeking to “drive a wedge between the US and Egypt,” Herbert London writes for The Washington Times. London says it is apparent that Russia is now a supporter of Egypt and its government and Cairo has strengthened its ties to Moscow and that this followed the backdrop of strained ties with the Obama administration. “Russia is eager to pounce, producing diplomatic and military carrots that undermine U.S.-Egyptian ties,” he says. He adds: “Russian ambitions are transparent. But it is incumbent on the U.S. State Department to convey the real motives of the Russians and Iranians to Egyptian and Sunni leaders that was so well expressed at the Riyadh meeting by Mr. Trump. Moreover, the Trump administration should extend itself in offering arms to the Egyptian military fighting the war against al Qaeda and ISIS in the Sinai and use its diplomatic influence to admonish the Egyptians about Russian influence in the Middle East.”

Egyptian modernist piece expected to fetch USD 110k-150k in London auction: An Egyptian modernist piece going on auction in London out of Christie’s Dubai chapter is expected to fetch between USD 110k-150k, The National says. Mahmoud Said’s 1932 réplique of ‘La fille aux yeux verts’ (The girl with the green eyes) is going on auction for the second time since 2007, when Egypt’s government stopped the painting’s sale due to controversy over its ownership. Said’s most expensive painting went for USD 2.5 mn in 2010.

Also worth a skim this morning:

  • UK Ambassador to Cairo John Casson talked Egypt up to a visiting delegation from the London Stock Exchange to explore ways to support the economy, The National says.
  • Netizen Report profiles the case against blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, asking if he will “ever see justice.”
  • Analysts call rumors of a joint Egypt-Israeli military drill unlikely, Ahmed Fouad writes for Al Monitor
  • 5,600 displaced Daeshbags “have already joined” terror groups in Egypt and neighboring countries, a research report picked up by the AP claims.
  • Egypt’s LGBTQ crackdown continued to make headlines with new stories on Devex and HuffPost Canada.

On Deadline

The issue with political parties in Egypt is not that we don’t have any on paper, but that they’re “inactive,” Sameh Fawzy writes in a column for Al Shorouk. Fawzy points out that there are 104 registered political parties in the country, but that even a knowledgeable citizen would likely be unable to list more than a handful that have become household names.

Worth Watching

An Egyptian family helped rescue a Syrian man from his alleged kidnappers yesterday following a high-speed car chase through the streets of Nasr City, Egypt Independent says. Yara Alaa Al Din caught the chase on video as her father tailed a suspicious car as it made its way through Nasr City screaming out “thief.” The family figured something was wrong when they heard muffled cries for help coming from the vehicle. Yara’s mother was riding shotgun the whole time, holding Yara’s baby. Watch the whole thing here (runtime 4:01).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The “most important foreign confrontation in the world” right now is the Arab isolation of Qatar, US President Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon says, according to Bloomberg. “What’s happening in Qatar is every bit as important as what’s happening in North Korea,” Bannon said, noting that he believes Qatar must be held accountable for funding the Ikhwan. He added that Trump’s speech on Middle East policy was a milestone. “I don’t think it was just by happenstance that two weeks after the summit that we saw the blockade” on Qatar, he said.

… Separately, Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah cautioned that the Qatar rift “could see more complications” even as he continues mediation efforts, the Associated Press reports.

The Arab Civil Aviation Commission’s security committee will be convening in Khartoum over the next three days, according to Ahram Gate. The committee is expected to pass a number of resolutions on joint Arab action on aviation security.

Energy

BP expects net production from Nile Delta concessions to jump six-fold by 2020

BP expects net production from Egypt’s Nile Delta to increase six-fold to more than 300 mn bbl/d by 2020, up from 50 mn bbl/d in 2016, Vice President for African Exploration Jasper Peijs said on Tuesday. He said the increase would be underpinned by three major projects, including Atoll phase one and Zohr, Reuters reports.

NREA issues maintenance tenders worth USD 164 mn

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has issued maintenance tenders worth USD 164 mn for the Zafarana wind farm,Chairman Mohamed Al Khayat tells Ahram Gate.

Infrastructure

El Molla meets with delegation from Port of Rotterdam Authority

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla met with a delegation from the Port of Rotterdam Authority to discuss cooperation on local port development,according to a ministry statement. The minister said he was eager for the authority to lend its expertise in adding oil and gas infrastructure to ports and in turning the Damietta Port into a logistical hub.

Suez Canal Authority postpones unified port fees announcement for an unknown amount of time -sources

The Suez Canal Authority has reportedly decided to postpone the announcement of unified fees for national ports to allow facilities across the country more time to prepare for new regulations, sources tell Al Borsa. The new fees, which were approved in August and should have come into effect in October, are meant to reduce competition between domestic ports. It’s unclear when the new fees will be announced.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Romania wants to increase its wheat exports to Egypt, ambassador tells El Moselhy

Romania is looking to increase its wheat exports to Egypt, Romania’s ambassador in Cairo Mihai Ştefan Stuparu told Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy yesterday, Al Mal reports. Stuparu also said his country wants to accredit inspection certificates issued by international companies Egypt relies on for wheat shipments checks.

Real Estate + Housing

Better Home breaks ground on Midtown Solo development

Property developer Better Home has broken ground on the Midtown Solo development in the new administrative capital, said the company’s GM Ashraf Adel, according to Al Borsa. The project will see the development of 283 villas and 30k sqm mall, he added.

Tourism

Rooster PR hired to launch promotion campaign on Hurghada to UK holidaymakers

The Tourism Ministry hired UK-based PR firm Rooster PR to run a tourism campaign for Hurghada targeting UK holidaymakers, according to a statement on PR Week. “Rooster’s role is to effectively communicate the reality of the situation on the ground from a tourism perspective. Egypt is vast, with a rich and varied tourism offering that is ready to be enjoyed by UK holidaymakers,” said the firm’s managing director James Brooke. He noted that the agency, which had done work for Egypt in 2013 and 2015, would stay within the parameters set by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Foreign Travel Advice service. The UK has a ban on flights to Sharm El Sheikh.

TPA begins disbursing charter flights incentive program payments

The Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) has begun disbursing payments to foreign charter airlines under the incentives program, Al Borsa reports. The payments, which will cover the November 2015-October 2016 period, will be made in installments. Some 87 companies have submitted their paperwork for payments under the program which offers payouts and fee exemptions to flights with 50-80% seat occupancy rates that bring in regular tours from the EU to a number of Egyptian airports. The Tourism Ministry had agreed earlier this month to extend the program, which expires at the end of October, for an additional year.

Emirates NBD to host Kluivert pyramids visit to promote Barca partnership

Emirates NBD Egypt is flying Dutch football star Patrick Kluivert to Egypt for a visit to the Giza Pyramids in a bid to promote tourism,Daily News Egypt reports. The trip comes under the bank’s partnership with Barcelona football club.

Automotive + Transportation

Ferry between Ain Al Sokhna, Hurghada and Aqaba set to launch

DP World Sokhna is gearing up to launch a passenger ferry between Ain Sokhna, Hurghada, and Aqaba in the next few days, Hurghada Port boss Haitham Shalaby tells Al Borsa. The ferry will operate biweekly.

Banking + Finance

EDB says still in talks with Afreximbank over joint cooperation framework, no credit facility agreement signed

The Export Development Bank (EDB) is in talks with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to establish a joint cooperation framework that would support Egyptian exporters looking to break into African markets, a bourse disclosure says (pdf). The release followed statements from EDB Chairman Mervat Sultan saying the bank was pending central bank approval on a USD 500 mn credit facility agreement with Afreximbank. EDB confirmed that no agreements have been signed as negotiations are still in process.

Other Business News of Note

Investment Ministry looks at opening textiles freezone in Minya

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr discussed possibly launching a 306 feddan freezone in Minya with a number of textiles manufacturers on Tuesday, according to a ministry statement. The ultimate goal would be to turn this prospective freezone into a textiles hub, Textile Export Council head Mohamed Kassem said. Talks are ongoing with potential Chinese investors interested in the area.

Legislation + Policy

House signs off on Youth and Sporting Authorities Law, refers basket of legislation to parliamentary committees for review

The House of Representatives approved yesterday the proposed Youth and Sporting Authorities Law, but postponed the final vote on the legislation due to lack of quorum, Al Ahram reports. The bill regulates sporting authorities and student organizations, and includes articles that ban the latter from engaging in politics. Speaker Ali Abdel Aal also referred yesterday a basket of legislation to the relevant House committees for review, including amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act, amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, and a draft law on public surveillance and CCTV regulation.

Sports

CAF says Egypt has not formally announced its withdrawal from 2018 African Nations Championship

Egypt has yet to formally notify the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that it is withdrawing from the 2018 African Nations Championship, a CAF spokesperson tells BBC Sport. Egyptian Football Association Executive Director Tharwat Sweilam had announced earlier this week that “an official reply” had been sent to CAF notifying the organization that Egypt would not participate in the tournament due to scheduling conflicts with the Egyptian Premier League.

On Your Way Out

Hilton will be supplying renewable energy firm Tagaddod with cooking oil from 15 of itshotels in Egypt under a new agreement signed this week, Al Mal reports. The agreement will see Hilton supply the Flat6Labs-sponsored firm with 1,564 kgs of cooking oil a month that will then be converted into biofuel and sold to waste management firms in Europe.

The US Embassy in Cairo announced launching a series of job fairs across Egypt under a program called “Shaghlna.” The program’s upcoming fairs will be in Aswan, Cairo, and Alexandria. “These fairs are part of our continued support for Egyptian economic growth and job creation, and demonstrate our commitment to the continued economic development of Egypt,” Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Goldberger says.

ON THIS DAY- On this day in 1881, Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet, and playwright Pablo Picasso was born. In 1936, the Rome-Berlin axis between Germany and Italy was established. China crossed the Yalu entered the Korean War on the side of North Korea against South Korea and the United Nations on this day in 1950. In 1983, the US military invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada, seized the country’s two airports, and took Cuban and Soviet prisoners. 21 years earlier, the Cuban missile crisis was brewing with US Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson famously demanding USSR UN rep Zorin answer regarding Cuban missile bases saying “I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over.” Earlier in history, King Henry VIII of England dismissed Thomas Cardinal Wolsey on this day in 1529 for his failure to legitimize Henry’s affair with Anne Boleyn and one day later designated Sir Thomas More as lord chancellor in his place. Morgan Freeman helped launch the This is Egypt campaign two years ago and last year, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail was promising Egypt will close an agreement with IMF for funding in two months.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.5988 | Sell 17.6987
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.58 | Sell 17.68
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70

EGX30 (Tuesday): 13,928 (+0.4%)
Turnover: EGP 1.2 bn (29% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +12.8%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session up 0.4%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed up 0.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Egyptian Resorts up 4.3%; AMOC up 2.8%; and Egyptian Financial and Industrial up 2.7%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: Amer Group down 2.8%; Porto Group down 2.3%; and TMG Holding down 1.8%. The market turnover was EGP1.2 bn, and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -3.6 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +13.3 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -9.8 mn

Retail: 75.7% of total trades | 76.2% of buyers | 75.1% of sellers
Institutions: 24.3% of total trades | 23.8% of buyers | 24.9% of sellers

Foreign: 8.3% of total | 8.2% of buyers | 8.5% of sellers
Regional: 10.2% of total | 10.7% of buyers | 9.6% of sellers
Domestic: 81.5% of total | 81.1% of buyers | 81.9% of sellers

WTI: USD 52.53 (+1.21%)
Brent: USD 58.48 (+1.93%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.99 MMBtu, (-0.01%, November 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,277.8 / troy ounce (-0.24%)

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Calendar

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.

06-09 November (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes’ 7th Annual London Conference on 6-9 November, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

14 November (Tuesday): SEMED Business Forum: Investing for Sustainable Growth, Conrad 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.

01-03 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, Downtown Cairo.

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

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

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

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

12-14 February 2018 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show 2018 (EGYPS), New Cairo Exhibition Center.

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

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

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.