Thursday, 26 October 2017

EgyptAir announces new Cairo-New York screening and security procedures

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

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Expect a little more hassle on those flights to JFK from Cairo: EgyptAir announced it is “tightening security on its flights to New York following a request by US security authorities” starting today. Those measures include “more detailed searches of passengers and their luggage, and include interviews. The strict procedures will extend to unauthorized agricultural or veterinary products. The statement did not say if the change was linked to any new specific concerns or threats,” the Associated Press said.

An IMF mission is in town for a second review of the government’s economic reform program. The delegation, which will be here until 7 November, visited the Finance Ministry yesterday, where they met with Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk, a top ministry official tells AMAY. The official refused to disclose any details from the meeting, saying that a joint statement will be issued at the end of the visit with all the need-to-knows. The delegation will meet Vice Minister of Finance Amr El Monayer on Monday. On the agenda are also sit-downs with the Cabinet economic group and officials handling trade and industry, investment, petroleum, and social welfare issues, Kouchouk had said.

A delegation from the World Trade Organization should be wrapping its five-day visit to Cairo to discuss a draft of the trade group’s policy review of Egypt.

WEATHER- It looks like it is going to rain today in Cairo, even though temperatures are still expected to break north of 30°C.

Don’t let the weather get you down — tomorrow is still looking an awful lot like Christmas:

The new Assassin’s Creed: Origins is out tomorrow. It’s set in Ancient Egypt. Check out the first 20 minutes of the game here, starting off in the Siwa Oasis in 49 BC.

All episodes of season two of Stranger Things drop on Netflix. We’re re-watching season one with family in anticipation. If you’re planning to watch season two and don’t want to re-watch, the New York Times has got you covered with a guide: ‘Stranger Things’ Returns Friday. Here’s What to Remember.

It’s iPhone day: The iPhone 8 and 8 plus will officially launch in Egypt, and the iPhone X becomes available for pre-order in many markets. MacRumors has a piece on “How to pre-order the iPhone X as quickly as possible with the Apple Store app.” Not going to pre-order today? The iSheep among you will still want to read Bloomberg’s “Inside Apple’s struggle to get the iPhone X to market on time.” The piece reports that Apple “let suppliers reduce accuracy of the phone’s Face ID system to speed up production,” a claim the tech company loudly denies.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

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Speed Round

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We now officially have an Investment Act: The Ismail cabinet had a busy day on Wednesday, approving or discussing at least three major pieces of legislation. Topping the list are the long-awaited executive regulations of the Investment Act, according to an announcement by cabinet media advisor Osama Abdel Aziz picked up by Reuters. The approval of the regs, which have been with the cabinet since June, will make the Investment Act official. They outline the state’s investment-promotion framework for everything from manufacturing to healthcare. The regulations also clarify which companies or investments are eligible for incentives, in addition to setting up the rules for establishing private freezones.

You can check out the expected highlights of the regs here. They become official once published in the Official Gazette, so look for a copy of to be available for download on the interwebs anywhere between today and Sunday.

Cabinet also approved yesterday the Universal Healthcare Act and sent the bill to the House of Representatives for debate, read an official statement from the cabinet. The approval comes after the ministers discussed the technical and actuarial studies on the legislation, according to the statement. Vice Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait called the approval of the Act a victory in statements to the press following the meeting. Health Minister Ahmed Rady also told reporters that implementing universal healthcare fully will cost the state around EGP 4k per citizen per year. He expects the plan to be rolled out in 2018 and gradually cover all of Egypt by 2032.

We haven’t had the advantage of an education based on this “common core” nonsense, but a bit of mental math suggests that the cost to the state will ring in at something just shy of EGP 400 bn a year based on EGP 4k a head and just under 100 mn Egyptians resident in Egypt.

Absent yesterday was any discussion of Cabinet’s previously-announced plans to rollout price caps for private-sector healthcare providers. Health minister Rady had said in September that a bill imposing caps on private hospitals and clinics based on a still undefined tier system would also be introduced in the House this session and would pass before the Universal Healthcare Act would be rolled out. Naturally, private sector healthcare providers are not happy with the prospect. Imposing such a bill will make the sector less competitive and eat into the government’s plan to raise efficiency and quality of hospitals, the head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ healthcare division Alaa Abdel Maguid tells Al Borsa. He added that if the government persists in implementing the plan, it should factor in the differentials in pricing of land and access to facilities and talent among different governorates. We had noted last month that a number of industry players expect such a move to stifle growth in the sector and derail a potential M&A boom in 2018.

Cabinet also discussed the Housing Ministry’s recent amendments to the Unified Building Codes, said minister Moustafa Madbouly, according to AMAY. The bill — which focus on facilitating licensing, tightening safety codes, and better enforcement — is currently being circulated among the relevant ministries, Madbouly added.

Also approved during yesterday’s meeting: Amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act and an agreement between Egypt and Romania to scrap visa requirements for diplomats. The visa agreement was signed during Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Bucharest in August.

CIB Chairman and Managing Director Hisham Ezz Al Arab discussed the rise of fintech in Egypt during his appearance at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit, which took place yesterday in New York City. In a one-on-one interview headlined “Banking in the Future,” Ezz Al Arab talked to the audience about how Egypt’s goal of transitioning to a cashless society with a 100% banking penetration rate is being aided by the collaborative efforts of banks, fintech players, mobile operators, and the like. With a current penetration rate of c. 25%, “virtual banking” has a lot of room to expand in an emerging market like Egypt, he said, explaining that the government is taking serious steps towards financial inclusion with the creation of the National Payments Council and the CBE’s Financial Inclusion Unit.

“Fintechs in Africa are filling a gap rather than disrupting a model,” Ezz Al Arab added, explaining that CIB, for example, hosts Fawry’s e-payment services on its ATMs and cash management application CIB Wallet. Another example is CIB’s recent agreement with ride-hailing app Careem to streamline their cash flow management using software that covers everything from customer payments to drivers’ expenses and payments. Microfinance firms also use CIB Wallet to connect with a wider segment of clients, Ezz Al Arab added.

CIB is one of the few banks in the region that utilizes tech and “Big Data” to develop the banking sector and enhance overall customer experience, he also said. He explained that CIB uses data analytics for almost everything, from determining branches’ working hours to predicting customers’ individual needs.

When asked about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Ezz Al Arab only said that “blockchain technology … will change the face of the world” as it develops over the coming years. As for security and user protection concerns, there’s always a certain amount of “manageable risk” when it comes to the digital world, he added.

Hisham was the only participant from MENA at the global summit, which also included CEOs and CIOs from BlackRock, Samsung, JP Morgan, the National Hockey League, Accenture and Aetna, among others. You can watch the full event here (runtime 8:01:36) or scroll forward to 5:30:45 to catch Hisham’s interview.

IPO WATCH- Al Ahly for Real Estate Development Sabbour is planning to list shares on the EGX within a year, company managing director Ahmed Sabbour tells Al Borsa. The company is currently deciding between three potential global coordinators for the transaction, he added, stopping short of naming names. Al Ahly Sabbour is also in the market for a legal counsel on the transaction, he said. Sabbour told the newspaper that the company, in which the National Bank of Egypt holds a 40% ownership stake, is restructuring ahead of the IPO.

Chinese companies continue to tally wins in Egypt: The New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development (NACCUD) plans to ratify China Fortune Land Development Company’s (CFLD) agreement to develop 14k feddans in phase one of the new capital on 1 November, NACCUD’s chairman Ahmed Zaki announced on Wednesday. While he did not mention any price tag for the agreement, we had noted back in July that CFLD planned to spend USD 4 bn developing parts of the new city over the next five years, a figure it plans to increase to USD 13.5 bn over the next ten years. Zaki did note that CFLD would seek out a USD 2.5 bn from the Chinese government to fund the investment, according to Al Mal. The news comes after announcements earlier this week of other big infrastructure wins for Chinese outfits.

Separately, Zaki also noted that the UAE’s Emaar Properties has applied to develop 1,500 feddans. The two sides are in talks about pricing. NACCUD also plans to launch a tender on the same day for consultancies looking to design and install smart city systems and data collection systems in the new capital, government sources tell Al Borsa.

French companies get contracts to help plan upgrade of Egyptian rail and light rail systems: Among the highlights for business on the third and final day of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to Paris: Transport Minister Hisham Arafat signed an agreement with French state-owned railway company SNCF which would see it cooperate with Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to study developing a line connecting the new administrative capital with Egypt’s railway network and to study modernizing railway cargo transport. The agreement would also see SNCF provide technical assistance and training. Arafat also signed an agreement with light rail and metro operator RATP that would see it develop a plan on how to best operate the Cairo Metro 3 Line and provide maintenance for the Cairo Metro Line 1. The two governments also signed an agreement to study developing a transportation system for the city of Mansoura. Al Masry Al Youm has the details.

President El Sisi also witnessed the signing of 16 other agreements, the newspaper reports. Four of these were for loans from the French Development Agency that will, in sum, fund energy and healthcare projects nationwide as well as a sewage treatment plant in Alexandria and provide budget support for Egypt’s social safety net. French development finance institution Proparco will also provide funding for the development of six solar power plants in Benban. Two of these would be jointly developed by Électricité de France and Elsewedy Electric. Voltalia will be developing two other solar plants, while renewable energy group EREN will be building another two.

The signings followed a meeting with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and a dozen business leaders yesterday, the Associated Press reports. (Al Borsa puts the number of companies that met with El Sisi at 30). The president also met the head of the French National Assembly, François de Rugy, as well as Senate President Gérard Larcher to discuss parliamentary cooperation between Egypt and France.

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil also met yesterday with the Movement of French Enterprises (MEDEF) to discuss Egypt’s business climate following economic reforms. Kabil also participated in a meeting of the French-Egyptian Business Council that centered on talks to increase economic cooperation and investments between the two countries.

The minister also signed a cooperation agreement on promoting entrepreneurship with the Deputy Director General of the French Treasury, Thomas Courbe, Al Shorouk reports.

Gov’t to issue streamlined guide on wheat imports: The government will issue a streamlined guide on wheat imports within two weeks that will detail all specifications, procedures, and regulations for traders selling to Egypt, Supply Minister Ali Moselhy told Reuters. The guide will not include new regulations, but will combine all relevant rules and specifications, publishing them in one place to avoid uncertainties. Moselhy says the guide is compiled by a committee that includes the Agriculture Ministry. Reuters says “wheat shipments to Egypt have been disrupted in recent months after inspectors were stripped of travel benefits related to inspecting cargoes abroad” and Moselhy commented: “we cannot bury our head in the sand. What happened is an abuse of power at an inconvenient time…This led to a misunderstanding between suppliers and the government.”

EARNINGS WATCH- Etisalat Misr reported net profit of EGP 1.8 bn up for 9M2017, up from EGP 1.3 bn for the same period last year, according to a filing to the Abu Dhabi Exchange. Revenues for the quarter rose 13% y-o-y to EGP 8.3 bn during the period. Variances from last year are largely due to the EGP float while growth for the quarter came on the back of new pricing for scratch cards.

Still more about the Saudi robot utopia known as NEOM: Klaus Kleinfeld, the former CEO of Siemens and US engineering firm Arconic, tapped by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to head NEOM, comes with some baggage. Kleinfeld arrives at Saudi Westworld after a controversial exit from Arconic over a fight with activist investor Elliott Management Corp., and Siemens, leaving in the wake of a bribery probe, Bloomberg reports.

A likely hiccup to the city: Building a bridge across the Red Sea connecting Egypt with NEOM might require signoff from Israel, Jonathan Ferziger writes for Bloomberg. “Israel’s 1979 peace treaty with Egypt guarantees it access to the Red Sea’s Straits of Tiran, which the planned bridge and causeway would cross. That makes Israel’s involvement in the project crucial, says Yoram Meital, chairman of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies & Diplomacy at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.” Meital says “there couldn’t be anything close to this unless Israel and the Saudis had the opportunity to discuss in detail their relations and this bridge … There have to have been back channels.”

You can get more on Neom from our coverage yesterday, including a link to the project’s website.

Or you can tap or click here to learn instead about Sophia, the first robot to receive Saudi citizenship. We’re really not making this up, folks. There’s a video.

Meanwhile, Saudi energy company ACWA Power plans to invest USD 4 bn in renewable energy projects in 2018 in Egypt, Dubai, Jordan and Morocco, company chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. The company hopes to finance 80% of the plan with from debt and the rest from equity, Abunayyan added. ACWA Power is also expected to list shares through an IPO in either 3Q2018 or 4Q2018, he said in the interview. ACWA Power is an active participants in Egypt’s feed-in tariff program in Benban, with its most recent project being the development of three solar plants with China’s CHINT Solar and Egypt’s Al Tawakol Electrical with funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

On the topic of Saudi investments in Egypt, remember that SAR 60 bn investment fund Saudi pledged to invest in Egypt during King Salman’s state visit in 2016? Well apparently Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, who is in Riyadh, has begun talks to revive the fund, sources tell Al Mal.

In other bombastic Saudi announcements, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the country’s main sovereign wealth fund, wants to nearly double in size to USD 400 bn by 2020 as part of the kingdom’s efforts to boost private-sector growth, according to Reuters. PIF is expected to receive proceeds from the planned Aramco.

Also making news this morning:

  • Carlyle co-founders David Rubenstein and William Conway are handing over theday-to-day running of the firm they helped found over to a “younger generation.” The firm is the first of the big global PE outfits to do so. CNBC and the NYT’s DealBook have more.
  • NYSE and LSE can kiss a piece of Aramco goodbye. “The head of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange has said the Tadawul is pushing to be the “exclusive” venue for the initial public offering of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, raising questions about the status of any international listing for what has been billed as the biggest IPO in history,” the Financial Times reports.
  • Reuters is trying to make it look as if Qatar cooperating with the US on terrorism sanctions could somehow be a sign of easing tensions between the Statelet and its GCC allies

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Image of the Day

Tokyo Motor Show wows with futuristic designs: The Tokyo Motor Show has been winning praise and acclaim from auto aficionados for the sleek, smart, and electric designs and concept vehicles on display. “The Tokyo Motor Show has been forced to reinvent itself as a venue for Japan’s automakers to tout the latest technologies, as rival auto shows in China garner ever more of the spotlight,” Kevin Buckland writes Bloomberg. Personally, we are head over heels for the Toyota Concept-i Series pictured above. Think a MacBook Pro on wheels.

Egypt in the News

On another quiet day for Egypt in the foreign press, the top story remains light pickup of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s state trip to France and his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. Coverage was mixed between incredulity over human rights taking a back burner and updates on the third day of the visit.

Other international news worth noting in brief:

  • An Egyptian doctor will be the first Arab to receive an Israeli honor for helping a Jewish family in Berlin during the Second World War,according to the Times of Israel.
  • “The pressure on the media in Egypt is worse than it was under former dictator Hosni Mubarak,” Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression David Kaye said in a press conference at the UN, according to ANSAmed.
  • Saudi Arabia’s NEOM city project is getting much praise from entrepreneurs from Egypt and Jordan in this piece from the National.
  • Daesh and its offshoots in Egypt are resorting to robbery to bankroll their operations after the blows they received in Iraq and Syria, Al Monitor claims.

On Deadline

Macron’s comments highlighted Egypt’s problematic human rights record: French President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to “lecture” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi about Egypt’s human rights situation was a welcome sentiment, but it also served as a reminder that Egypt’s rights record is becoming a problem, Abdullah El Sennawy says in a column penned for Al Shorouk. However, the importance of human rights is not lost on El Sisi, who has a more holistic approach to the matter, including in his vision access to services such as education, says Al Masry Al Youm’s Soliman Gouda.

Worth Watching

CNN Travel takes virtual travelers on a 60-second tour of Cairo in this nifty little video, complete with pointers on where to go and what to do. From the banks of the Nile, to the dense structural canopy that is Old Cairo, to the mazes of Khan El Khalili, and the steps of the Giza Plateau, this video has it all (watch, runtime 1:00).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The US government will resume refugee admissions, but “will impose new security measures on 11 nations” that could include Egypt, Ted Hesson writes for Politico. “The order initiates a new 90-day review period for the administration to conduct an ‘in-depth threat assessment’ of the 11 countries, according to a senior administration official. The administration did not disclose the 11 countries, but based on statements from senior administration officials they appear to be: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen… During the 90-day review period, refugee admissions from the 11 nations will be permitted on a case-by-case basis if the person’s entry is in the national interest and ‘poses no threat to the security or welfare of the United States,’ the official said.”

Qatar and the Ikhwan have been getting some flak from US congressional leaderson Wednesday. The Chair of the US House Committee on Homeland Security Mike McCaul reportedly called the Ikhwan a terrorist group which forms real threats to Egypt as well as the region, according to Egypt Today. “Qatar has relations that could incite violence, chaos and instability in the region, indicating that Qatar has to change its policy towards the Middle East to remain an ally to the US,” said McCaul at a conference entitled “Countering Violent Extremism: Qatar, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood;” held by Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. Ed Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee called on the government to fight the extremist ideology of the Ikhwan, saying they exploit democratic institutions to achieve their goals.

Belarus to cooperate with Egypt on CIT, furniture manufacturing: CIT Minister Yasser El Kady met with Belarus’ Ambassador to Egypt Sergei Rachkov to discuss possible supply of IT equipment and joint high-tech productions creation, as well as exchange of experience in the field of digital economy development, the Belarusian Foreign Affairs Ministry said. This comes as the Chairman of the Belarusian timber, woodworking, pulp, and paper industry concern Bellesbumprom Yuri Nazarov said that Belarusian companies are willing to open up shop at the Damietta Furniture City, according to BelTA. “We will suggest training specialists for Egypt’s furniture industry in our educational institutions. Moreover, we can supply Egypt with raw materials for furniture manufacturing,” he added ahead of a meeting with the furniture manufacturing division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.

Energy

20 solar power companies submit financial close documents on FiT phase two projects

20 solar power companies have submitted their preliminary documents for financial close on their projects in Benban to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), government sources tell Al Borsa. Others are reportedly “scrambling” to complete their paperwork by today, the deadline set by the Electricity Ministry for funding under phase two of the feed-in tariff (FiT) program. Electricity Ministry sources tell the newspaper that 10 other companies withdrew from implementing projects under FiT phase two because they were unable to secure funding in time.

Infrastructure

New Sinai tunnels drilling done by December

Drilling work on the tunnels that will connect Sinai with Port Said will be complete by December, Arab Contractors’ Sinai Director Mubarak Mansour told the press yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The second phase of drilling will commence immediately after, he added. The tunnels will run under the Suez Canal.

Red Sea Ports Authority to sign agreements to develop Safaga, Nuweiba, Sharm El Sheikh ports

The Red Sea Ports Authority will sign agreements soon to construct a multi-purpose hall at the Safaga Port and a multi-purpose station at the Nuweiba Port, in addition to working on developing the Sharm El Sheikh Port, authority President Hisham Abu Senna announced yesterday. The Sharm El Sheikh project will include a terminal for tourists ships, a marina for yachts, and business and entertainment centers, Al Shorouk reports. Abu Senna did not disclose the cost or timeline of these projects.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Agriculture Ministry to kickstart development of 100k greenhouses project next month

The Agriculture Ministry plans to launch development of the 100k greenhouses project next month, Deputy Agriculture Minister Safwat El Haddad tells Al Mal. 500 feddans have already been allocated in El Farafra to 500 greenhouses for the pilot phase of the megaproject, with an eye towards harvesting crops from it next March, he added.

Global yarn, fabric production rates are increasing, Egypt leading down global average

A “strong decrease” in Egypt’s yarn stocks has driven down the world average, despite an overall increase of yarn and fabric production globally, according to Knitting Industry. Global fabric production in 2Q2017 increased by almost 9% q-o-q and Egypt saw a 16% q-o-q increase in fabric orders during the quarter. Estimates see global yarn and fabric production remaining stable for 3Q2017 and rising in 4Q2017.

Manufacturing

Sino-Egypt Minkai looking to set up CNY 5 bn textile industrial complex

Egyptian-Chinese company Sino-Egypt Minkai is looking to set up a 2 mn sqm textile industrial complex at an investment value of CNY 5 bn (approximately USD 753 mn), a delegation from the company told Industrial Development Authority (IDA) head Ahmed Abdel Razek yesterday. The first phase of the complex would be established within three years, with the Chinese partners covering 60% of the investment value, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Abdel Razek discussed other potential projects with a number of other Chinese textile manufacturers.

LG looking to invest USD 60 mn in new production line

LG Electronics Egypt is planning to add a new production line to its 10 Ramadan City plant at an initial investment cost of USD 60 mn,company sources tell Al Borsa. The new air conditioning line will produce units mostly for export, which should allow the company to meet rising costs, especially with the slowdown in the domestic market.

Real Estate + Housing

Hill signs agreement with ECETA to provide IFM

Hill International announced signing an MoU with Egyptian Facilities Manager ECETA to provide project management, construction consulting services, and integrated facilities management (IFM). “The MOU will enhance the quality of service provided by the companies through the exchange of knowledge, experience and personnel. ECETA and Hill have agreed to partner for one year, and will commence their alliance on a project-by-project basis.” The agreement will help the company develop its presence in Egypt, given the demand for IFM services with the number of grand-scale mega-projects being implemented, Hill’s Senior Vice President and Regional Manager Waleed Abdel Fattah says.

Tourism

Sokhna receives first cruise ship since 2011

DP World Sokhna announced it received its first regular cruise ship since 2011 at the Sokhna port. The company says it expects to receive weekly cruise ships bringing tourists to Egypt.

TPA talks marketing with Italian tour operators

Tourism Promotion Authority head Hisham El Demery met with Italian tour operators in Milan yesterday to discuss ways to push collaborative marketing efforts, Youm7 reports. The TPA recently launched a promotional campaign in Italy in collaboration with football club AS Roma and Egyptian-Italian player Stephan El Shaarawy.

Automotive + Transportation

Discussions to reopen Port Tawfiq-Jeddah shipping line

The joint Egyptian-Saudi maritime transport committee began deliberations on the possible reopening the ferry route connecting Jeddah with Port Tawfik in Suez during a meeting yesterday,according to Al Mal. The Egyptian side will prepare an MoU with the governing regulations to present to the Saudis before a decision is made.

Banking + Finance

Foreigners eat up EGP 46.5 bn in T-Bills

Foreign holdings in Egyptian debt rose by EGP 46.5 bn in August to a total of EGP 277.3 bn since the EGP float last November,according to Al Borsa, which cites central bank data. Foreigners had snapped up EGP 61.5 bn of T-Bills in July, so demand has slowed down on a m-o-m basis.

EFG Hermes and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait sign cooperation agreement

EFG Hermes Leasing signed an MoU with Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait-Egypt (ABK) that will see both collaborate on SME financing and support, Al Borsa reports. The agreement is part of efforts to diversify ABK’s means of involvement in SME financing.

Other Business News of Note

OTMT buys City Stars out of Giza Plateau sound and light development project

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) bought out City Stars Properties’ share in the Sound and Light Cinema Company’s (SLCC) development project at the Giza plateau, SLCC Chairman Nagwa El Shazli said yesterday. OTMT will help develop and run the sound and light show, in partnership with Prism Entertainment, under an agreement that will see it invest USD 10 mn over a 20-year period, she adds. The project will be managed by a joint stock company of which OTMT will hold a majority stake of 70%, according to Al Mal. It’s unclear why the Saudi-owned City Stars Properties — which had entered into an agreement with Prism in 2015 to spend USD 50 mn improving SLCC facilities and services at the Giza Plateau — decided to quit the project.

Legislation + Policy

Justice Ministry prepares draft law criminalizing underage marriage

The Justice Ministry is working on a draft law that would criminalize underage marriage by considering it a form of [redacted] trafficking, Al Ahram reports. The law would impose prison sentences and fines on all those found guilty of facilitating an underage marriage, including the legal officiant (ma’zoun) or lawyer responsible for filing the paperwork and the children’s parents. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and House Human Rights Committee head Margaret Azer had each announced back in August they were drafting similar legislation.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Court of Cassation sentences six policemen to prison for beating worker to death

The Court of Cassation sentenced yesterday six members of the police force to prison for beating to death a worker in a Luxor police station, the Associated Press reports. The court sentenced police officer Samir Hani to seven years in prison and five other policemen to three years each. Yesterday’s ruling, “a rare decision against a force largely seen as operating with impunity,” is final, after the court rejected previous appeals, the newswire notes.

France to return eight artefacts to Egypt

France is expected to return today eight 3,000-year-old artefacts to Egypt that had been held at French customs since 2010, the European and Foreign Affairs Ministry announced yesterday, Al Shorouk reports.

On Your Way Out

Egypt will head the World Federation of Exchanges’ Emerging Market Working Group for the next two years, the EGX announced. The Group is responsible for improving the performance of emerging markets exchanges and looking into ways to increase their liquidity and attract more funds.

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Fats Domino passed away on Tuesday at the age of 89 in his Louisiana home, according to the NYT. One of the earliest faces of rock ‘n’ roll, the New Orleans native and blues master amassed 23 Gold Records throughout his career of writing and singing “songs that carry a good beat and tell a real story that people could feel was their story, too,” he once told the LA Times. In his memory, we leave you with a whole lotta lovin’ (runtime 1:38).

ON THIS DAY- On this day in 1954, former President Gamal Abdel Nasser survived an assassination attempt by a member of the Ikhwan while giving a speech in Alexandria. Not so lucky was South Korean President Park Chung Hee, who in 1979, was assassinated by who Encyclopedia Britannica describes as “his lifelong friend Kim Jae Kyu, the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, who was sentenced to death for his actions.” England’s Football Association was formed on this day in 1863, standardizing football and agreeing to its common rules, and splitting with rugby. Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty on this day in 1994, ending 46 years of war. Winston Churchill became the UK’s Prime Minister for the second time after The Conservative Party won the general election in 1951. US Senator, first lady, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was born on this day in 1947, sharing a birthday with former French President François Mitterrand who was born in 1916. This time last year, the CBE was moving to shield banks from an impending devaluation and interest rate hike and a year earlier, Enterprise readers were reading about Hany El Messeiry resigning as Governor of Alexandria following flash floods.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.5987 | Sell 17.6985
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.58 | Sell 17.68
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70

EGX30 (Wednesday): 13,901 (-0.2%)
Turnover: EGP 989 mn (6% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +12.6%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session down 0.2%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Amer Group up 2.9%, Qalaa Holdings up 2.3%, and Eastern Co up 1.6%. Yesterday worst performing stocks were: Porto Group down 2.4%, and Cairo Oils & Soap and Domty were both down 2.1%. The market turnover was EGP 989 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +27.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -5.2 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -22.6 mn

Retail: 77.9% of total trades | 74.1% of buyers | 81.7% of sellers
Institutions: 22.1% of total trades | 25.9% of buyers | 18.3% of sellers

Foreign: 8.0% of total | 9.5% of buyers | 6.6% of sellers
Regional: 9.9% of total | 9.6% of buyers | 10.2% of sellers
Domestic: 82.1% of total | 80.9% of buyers | 83.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 52.18 (-0.55%)
Brent: USD 58.37 (+0.07%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.92 MMBtu, (-1.85%, November 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,279.00 / troy ounce (+0.05%)
TASI: 6,905.82 (+0.30%) (YTD: -4.22%)
ADX: 4,499.39 (+0.07%) (YTD: -1.03%)
DFM: 3,665.36 (+0.66%) (YTD: +3.81%)
KSE Weighted Index: 428.53 (-0.20%) (YTD: +12.74%)
QE: 8,124.73 (+0.18%) (YTD: -22.15%)
MSM: 4,998.71 (-0.68%) (YTD: -13.56%)
BB: 1,278.46 (+0.15%) (YTD: +4.75%)

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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.

31 October (Tuesday): The State of Ransomware Threat in Egypt & Insights into the Middle East Cyber Underground press briefing by Trend Micro, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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). 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. © 2016 Enterprise Ventures LLC.