Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween, ladies and gents

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Trend Micro will be holding a press briefing on The State of the Ransomware Threat in Egypt and will give insights into the Middle East cyber underground today at the Nile Ritz Carlton in Cairo at 11:00 am. Country Manager Noura Hassan and Sales Engineer Manager Ibrahim Youssef will be available for questions. The results of our exclusive survey of Enterprise readers with Trend Micro appears at the bottom of this section.

The Trade and Industry Ministry will be launching its industrial investment map at a press conference today, Ahram Gate reports. The map will include over 4,000 projects ready for investment across various governorate in the country, Industrial Development Authority chairperson Ahmed Abdel Razek had previously said. The Investment Ministry’s investment map of some 600 projects will reportedly be ready by December and be out for bid by January.

Wired is out with the first mini-review of the iPhone X that we’ve seen. We’ve yet to digest it, but Steven Levy (who was among the very first to put his hands on the first-ever iPhone) seems pleased, writing that at a minimum, “Those who shell out the cash for this device will enjoy their screen and battery life today. But the real payoff of the iPhone X might come when we figure out what it can do tomorrow.” That payoff is in augmented reality and in the device simply melting away, he writes: “It’s a step towards fading the actual physical manifestation of technology into a mist where it’s just there —a phone that’s ‘all screen,’ one that turns on simply by seeing you, one that removes the mechanics of buttons and charging cables.” Read Levy’s The First Impression of the iPhone X here.

Clocks “fell back” an hour in the UK on Sunday night, so London is now two hours behind Cairo. Clocks will fall back one hour in most of North America this coming Sunday, meaning New York and Toronto will be seven hours behind us this coming Monday.

New expat friends: In a fit of sanity, cabinet did away with daylight savings time here a few years back after we had “sprung forward” (for spring), fallen back (for Ramadan), sprung forward again (post-Ramadan) and then fallen back a final time (for fall).

Oh, and Happy Halloween, y’all. If you’ve finished season two of Stranger Things, go check out The Duffer Brothers’ deep dive behind the scenes with cast and crew in the seven-episode Beyond Stranger Things.

What We’re Tracking This Week

US President Donald Trump is expected to announce his choice for chair of the Federal Reserve board on Thursday, a White House official said on Monday, according to Bloomberg. The president is leaning toward picking Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell, according to three people familiar with the matter. Other candidates on his shortlist include current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Stanford University economist John Taylor, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times have taken the same line.

On The Horizon

Around 3,000 people from around the world will descend on Sharm El Sheikh on 4-10 November to attend President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s World Youth Forum, Ahram Gate reports. Various foreign dignitaries, including heads of state and governments, are expected in attendance to discuss the political, economic, and cultural challenges facing today’s youth.

EFG Hermes will hold its 7th Annual London Conference on 6-9 November. The conference will see C-suite execs from top listed companies in MENA as well as frontier markets (among them Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) meet face-to-face with top global investors with mandates to invest in emerging and frontier markets. The event will take place at Emirates Arsenal Stadium in London.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

After blessing us with an econ-heavy night on Sunday, the airwaves were mostly insipid last night.

The deputy health minister in charge of health insurance, Ali Hegazy, told Hona AlAsema’s Lamees Al Hadidi that the pricing scheme currently in the works for the Universal Healthcare Act will be applied across Egypt, rather than set varying prices for the different governorates, and will account for all healthcare service providers. The new pricing scheme should be announced by mid-November, according to Hegazy (watch, runtime 3:25).

Health Minister Ahmed Rady had said yesterday that the pricing scheme would be ready next week in preparation for the act’s rollout in early 2018. Rady also met yesterday with ministry officials to prepare the rollout strategy, which includes ensuring hospitals are well-equipped and supplied for implementation, Ahram Gate reports.

Lamees also had a chat with the head of the Central Authority for Organization and Administration, Mohamed Gameel, who said that 344 civil servants will be dismissed from their positions after being named on terror watchlists. The majority of the employees hold positions at universities, according to Gameel (watch, runtime 4:51).

Lamees also had yet another update on how many residents of the Maspero Triangle have agreed to accept financial compensation to leave their homes (watch, runtime 8:04).

Only bureaucrats who work closely with their respective ministers will face reassignment to the new administrative capital, Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer claims to have been told by unnamed sources.

Over on Kol Youm, Education Minister Tarek Shawki told Amr Adib that the Egyptian-Japanese schools are expected to open their doors during the second semester of the current school year, and that eight campuses have already been completed (watch, runtime 2:36). Tuition fees for the schools will hover around EGP 4,000 per year, Shawki said, adding that the Egyptian government is responsible for paying teachers’ and workers’ salaries, in addition to covering the cost of constructing and operating the schools (watch, runtime 3:12).

Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary was squarely focused on discussing the social housing program’s pricing and rate of completion with Mortgage Finance Fund head Mai Abdel Hamid (watch, runtime 4:33) and (watch, runtime 6:30).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Companies will now have to IPO shares within one month of receiving approval to do so from the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), the authority said in a statement on Monday after amending listing regulations. Under new regulations, companies wishing to list new shares must first apply for approval from EFSA and submit fair value reports and details of the IPO. The amendments include an internal deadline for EFSA to process listing requests within 15 days of receiving the application. The move is meant to expedite listing procedures while ensuring transparency for investors, read the statement.

IPO WATCH- Ibnsina Pharma has submitted paperwork to the bourse to begin procedures for its initial public offering, according to a disclosure. The company is looking to offer 25% of its shares on the EGX before the end of 4Q2017, Al Mal says. Ibnsina had tapped Beltone Financial back in July to manage the listing. The nation’s fastest-growing pharma distributor is raising capital to fund planned expansions, Ibnsina said in its intention to float in September.

M&A WATCH- Saudi Arabia’s Elaj Group has reportedly acquired 74% of clinical laboratory group Cairo Labs, sources told Al Mal. The sources said the group paid EGP 36 mn for the stake from shareholder Mohsen Abulghar. Elaj is looking to enter the Egyptian market and increase its footprint in the medical services area.

The International Financial Corporation (IFC) is planning to invest USD 1.5 bn in Egypt in FY2018-19, the IFC’s Vice President of New Business Dimitris Tsitsiragos tells Al Borsa. Renewable energy — for which the institution pledged a USD 653 mn debt package to this week — will continue to top the IFC’s priorities, but funding will also be used to assist oil and gas imports and to build natural gas infrastructure, including installations. Tsitsiragos added that the IFC is currently considering funding two projects in logistics and fuel imports, but stopped short of offering other details. The IFC-financed projects (including renewable energy) are worth a combined USD 1.5 bn, of which USD 500 mn is geared towards SME financing, he tells the newspaper. See our Spotlight on renewable energy, below, for more on the IFC’s investments in Egypt.

EM specialist Renaissance Capital opens office in Egypt, hires Younis from CI Capital as country boss: Emerging markets investment bank Renaissance Capital is planning an expansion of its M&A and IPO pipeline in Egypt after officially opening Renaissance Capital Egypt SAE last week, the company said yesterday. “The firm is already working with several companies planning to raise debt in USD, with one expected to sell notes in the next three months,” said our friend Ahmed Badr, MENA CEO at Renaissance Capital. “RenCap has been mandated to work on an IPO set for pricing in 3Q2018. The firm is also in conversation with Egyptian companies targeting M&A opportunities outside the country, mostly in eastern Africa,” he added. RenCap Egypt is applying for an investment banking license, which it hopes to receive in the next four to six weeks. RenCap doesn’t intend to apply for a brokerage license, a market that’s already saturated, said Badr.

MOVES- To that end, RenCap has hired former CI Capital banker Mohamed Younis as the new CEO of investment banking operations in Egypt. He will report to will report to Badr, who will be chairman of the board, and to RenCap’s global head of investment banking James Friel. Abdalla ElEbiary, chairman of the Egyptian Private Equity Association, and Amr Helal, head of corporate private equity at Capstone Group and formerly of the Abraaj Group, will serve as non-executive members of the bank’s board. “The firm is in discussions to hire four investment bankers and potentially four analysts for its Egyptian team. Mohamed Zein, RenCap’s Dubai-based head of consumer research, will relocate to Cairo, where he will keep the same position,” Bloomberg quotes Badr as having said.

Subsidy cuts, interest rates, commodity prices will impact the CBE’s inflation targets – Badr: Speaking to Bloomberg TV in an interview on Monday, Badr said that further subsidy cuts will be the biggest determining factor on whether inflation will drop below the CBE’s target of under 30% this year. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether the CBE will move interest rates in November or January. If they do, we can expect a flurry of investments in companies that could not pass the cost of inflation to consumers, said Badr. Another factor to watch out for is the increase in commodity prices, which is likely to impact a net-importer such as Egypt. “This is why I am not as bullish,” said Badr.

On the bull market in Egypt’s fixed income, Badr expects the rally to continue so long as interest rates stay high — Egypt is the most attractive emerging market in terms of the “hot money.” Other factors to look for include the EGP staying cheap, which Badr expects to continue to at least mid-2018, and other global market factors. Other sectors which seem attractive include the consumer market, which has proven resilient, and tobacco, says Badr.

You can catch the Bloomberg show here(scroll forward to 1:28:30 for Badr’s interview)

The Bankruptcy Act is currently with the House of Representatives’ Legislative Committee and will be sent to the House Economics Committee once it is done reviewing the legislation soon, Economic Committee member Medhat El Sherif tells Al Borsa. The Economic Committee, which is currently hosting Consumer Protection Agency boss Atef Yacoub to discuss the Consumer Protection Act, will bring in business associations to discuss the Bankruptcy Act, he added. Meanwhile, the House Manpower Committee has begun reviewing the Labor Unions Act, according to Al Shorouk.

Additional fees on freezones under the Investment Act regs earned the ire of freezoneinvestors the day they came into effect: The executive regulations to the new Investment Act came into effect yesterday after they were published in the Official Gazette (pdf). The ink had not yet dried when a new controversy erupted over taxes and fees the regs impose on freezones. The Private Freezones Investors Association is saying that the regs impose a 1% tax on goods exported from freezones, a 2% fee on all goods sold in Egypt from freezones, and a 1% fee on the operating costs of industrial projects in a freezone. The association views these additional fees as violating article two of the Investment Act, which guarantees the sanctity of tax incentives listed in the law, the association’s head Moatasem Rashed tells Al Borsa. There have even been suggestions that the organization could mount a legal challenge on the issue. Government sources tell the newspaper that General Authority for Freezones and Investment (GAFI) is willing to hash it out and has hinted that amendments to the regs could be in the works.

US State Department report critical of Egypt’s treatment of religious minorities makes the rounds again: The US State Department leveled criticism at the way Coptic Christians were being treated in Egypt in its International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 (pdf). The report, out since late summer, has been making the rounds on social and religious-interest media in the past couple of days since US Vice President Mike Pence said he would be in Egypt this December, in part to push for more protection for the Middle East’s Christian communities. The report not only points to the attacks Christians have faced in Egypt at the hands of Daesh, but also notes violence against them from the wider community, including an attack on the families of two Coptic priests in Minya. It also notes that the government still refuses to recognize religions including Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and the Baha’is, despite the Egyptian constitution guaranteeing the freedom to exercise any religion.

MOVES- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi appointed Bassem Rady as the news spokesperson for Ittihadiya yesterday, according to a statement picked up by Ahram Online. Rady, a former consul to Turkey, replaces Alaa Youssef, who will now be heading Egypt’s permanent mission to the UN in Geneva.

Administrative Court commissioner recommends Cyprus-Egypt demarcation agreement be subject to House approval, referendum: A Cairo Administrative Court’s commissioner’s authority recommended that the border demarcation agreement with Cyprus be approved by the House of Representatives and put to a referendum before being passed, citing Article 151 of the constitution, Ahram Online reports. The report comes as part of a lawsuit filed in the Administrative Court in 2016 calling for scrapping the agreement until it receives a sign-off from parliament and the general public. The commissioner’s report is not binding. Egypt and Cyprus had signed a maritime border demarcation agreement with Cyprus in 2013, which would help divvy up hydrocarbon resources along an Exclusive Economic Zone.

Egypt’s ranking dropped to 57 from 55 on Brand Finance 2017 Nation Brands Report. The country’s Nation Brand lost 10% of its value, dropping to USD 88 bn from USD 98 bn last year, with Greece and Sri Lanka trailing behind. The report, which compares 100 countries using some random mix of financial, economic, and social indicators, puts the US, China, and Germany in the top three, with Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, and Cyprus in the bottom three.

Three of The Donald’s campaign aides and associates charged in Russia probe: Federal investigators leveled charges against three of US President Donald Trump’s former aides and associates yesterday as part of a probe into Russia’s alleged involvement in his election campaign last year. Campaign manager Paul Manafort, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and onetime business partner Rick Gates are being charged “with crimes including money laundering, lying to the FBI, and conspiracy,” Bloomberg reports. Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty yesterday, but Papadopoulos is said to have been singing like a stool pigeon since July.

Spanish forces asserted control of Catalan government and police offices yesterday with little resistance, the FT reports (paywall). Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont, who was sacked last week, “did not have to be forcibly removed from office, as some had feared,” but “traveled to the Belgian capital Brussels ahead of news that he could face rebellion charges.”

Spotlight

The latest on Egypt’s burgeoning renewable energy sector

Egypt’s renewable energy sector under the second feed-in tariff program has been on a tear in the past couple of weeks. Herewith, a roundup of recent developments, including news yesterday and overnight (background here, here and here, for those so inclined):

International institutional interest in solar helps 30 companies close on power plants: The International Finance Corporation has been among a number of leading international finance institutions to dish out some of the c.USD 1.8 bn pledged to the Benban solar complex, helping companies in the project reach financial close. The UK government announced it would be taking part in the IFC’s debt package through the state-owned CDC Group, which is investing USD 97 mn in the complex. Meanwhile, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) infrastructure fund for Africa, Africa50, signed financing documentation with Scatec Solar and Norfund for developing 400 MW in solar plants in Benban by contributing equity and leveraging total funding of around USD 450 mn, African Review reports.

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is also providing USD 210 mn to fund 11 solar power plants in Benban, according to Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil, in addition to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s USD 500 mn framework for renewable energy in Egypt. Senior debt will be provided by EBRD, FMO, the Green Climate Fund, the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the private sector. By Al Mal’s count, 30 solar power projects have reached financial close as of Monday morning and submitted their documents to the Electricity Ministry.

Other renewable energy projects in the works: The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) will sign a power purchase agreement today with a consortium made up of Toyota, Orascom, and GD France, who are co-developing a USD 250 mn wind power station in the Gulf of Suez, said Lamiaa Youssef, the Electricity Holding Company chief officer on the feed-in tariff (FiT) program. The parties have already concluded negotiations, agreeing that the EETC would purchase power from the 250 MW project at USD 0.038 per kWh for 25 years under the FiT, she told Al Borsa. The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) is also looking at offers from Vestas, Siemens, Enercon, and Ray Power for another 250 MW station in the Gulf of Suez, NREA boss Mohamed El Khayat said, adding that two solar power projects will be tendered in Hurghada and Kom Ombo before the end of December.

What’s next for Egypt’s renewables sector? Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker reminded everyone that the FiT for all subsequent solar and wind projects will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The ministry will begin issuing tenders in 1Q2018, he said, and a committee is currently drawing up a list of renewable energy projects that will be offered.

Speaking on other power projects, Shaker said that the ministry plans to sign the contracts to connect the Egyptian and Saudi electricity grids soon. He also repeated that the Dabaa contracts will be signed before the year is out (inshallah).

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Image of the Day

A Scottish crew aboard a survey vessel in Egyptian waters captured rare, up-close footage of a waterspout. Although less destructive than its terranean cousin, the crew was lucky the tornado-like waterspout passed complacently by about 40 meters away from their ship after tracking toward them for 20 minutes, the Daily Mail says.

Egypt in the News

You know it’s a slow news day for Egypt in the international press when the top news story is that scientists have dated a biblical event that could possibly be the oldest datable solar eclipse recorded, according to a paper published in Astronomy & Geophysics. “A puzzling event in The Bible that mentions both the Moon and the Sun can be interpreted as describing a solar eclipse. We have dated it to 30 October 1207 BC, making it possibly the oldest datable solar eclipse recorded. This enables us to refine the dates of certain Egyptian pharaohs, including Ramses the Great. It also suggests that the expressions currently used for calculating changes in the Earth’s rate of rotation can be reliably extended back 500 years, from 700 BC to 1200 BC.”

Living in a state of emergency became Egyptians’ new normal, Nathan J. Brown and Mai El-Sadany write for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. The piece discusses the merits of imposing the state of emergency nationwide most recently. They say that “by significantly expanding the powers of a judicial tool meant only to serve ‘emergency’ purposes, Egyptian authorities … limit the influence of the ordinary court system, instead focusing their efforts on creating a parallel judicial process that is guaranteed to dole out verdicts in the security state’s favor. With the state of emergency allowing authorities a number of other powers that complement these developments, including the interception of personal communications, the censorship of public speech, and the sidestepping of due process, the state of emergency in Egypt is the new normal — or rather, the old normal brought not merely back to life, but up to date.”

Russia is using its oil and gas producer Rosneft as a foreign policy tool, “spreading its influence around the world and challenging the interests of the United States,” Clifford Krauss writes for The New York Times. “The company, which Russia has long relied on to finance its government and social programs, has been pushing deeply into politically sensitive countries like Cuba, China, Egypt and Vietnam, as well as tumultuous places where American interests are at stake.” Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, says Rosneft is “trying to create opportunities that can be extremely valuable in geopolitical ways … They really give the Russian government unbelievable leverage on questions of importance to the United States.”

Egypt has returned to its traditional role as interlocutor of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with its Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, writes Uri Savir for Al Monitor. The reconciliation agreement is believed by senior Egyptian diplomats who spoke to the outlet to be part of a wider Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative grounded in a two-state solution being spearheaded by Egypt and endorsed by the US. The initiative would see the Arab League declare its willingness to engage with Israel on the basis of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and recognize the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza as a single territory. The US would then convene a peace conference. “A senior Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity vehemently rejected all components of such a plan,” says Savir.

Continued attacks by Daesh offshoots in Sinai may have resulted in a “tactical cooperation” between Egyptian and Israeli security forces on the shared border, Yaakov Lappin writes for The Algemeiner. “We both want to defend the border. We both understand that we are targets for terrorism. Hence we coordinate,” an Israeli security source says.

An Egyptian lawyer who made a case for rape and harassment on satellite TV was caught on Euronews’ radar yesterday. A creature who goes by the name of Nabih Al Wahsh told hosts on Al Asema channel earlier in October that it was a “national” and “patriotic” duty to harass and rape women who dress revealingly. The National Council for Women is reportedly pursuing legal action against Al Wahsh and the channel that hosted him. You can view the full clip for yourselves here (runtime 2:08) or don’t grace the attention-seeking [redacted] with your clicks.
Also worth noting in brief:

  • The rainbow flag saga was back in international headlinesthis morning after prosecutors extended the detention of one the concert arrestees
  • Some 20 Chinese Uyghur students in Egypt remain unaccounted after security forces allegedly began arresting and deporting them en masse earlier this year, Radio Free Asia reports.
  • Egyptian actor Amr Waked was sentenced to three months in prison for “damaging a car parked outside his Cairo home,” a charge he denied, the AP reports.
  • An American woman spent as much as EGP 60k to airlift 14 stray dogs and a street cat to New York to save them from animal abuse in Cairo, according to the Associated Press.

Worth Watching

The fate of Jewish heritage after the last few Jews in Egypt pass away is “something I’d rather not think about,” says 65-year-old Magda Haroun, one of nine Jews currently still residing in Egypt. Haroun bluntly says that the country’s Jewish community has no chance of making a comeback as she and the other Jews in Egypt — all of whom are women — are too old to have children, and Jews currently in other countries are unlikely to move here. She hopes the synagogues and artefacts the community leaves behind will be taken care of. “We’re still in the constitution, so I hope our heritage is taken care of. It’s the most important thing,” she says (watch, runtime 9:06).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The EU’s 2017-2022 framework for financial and technical cooperation with Egypt will focus on youth and women empowerment, the European Commission announced in a release. The framework, which EU Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn signed on Sunday, will see Egypt receive EUR 432-528 mn of assistance over the next three years. 40% of the total assistance budget will be directed towards economic modernization, energy sustainability, and environment; another 40% will be used for social development and protection projects; 10% will be allocated to governance and enhancing stability and democracy, with the remaining 10% going towards capacity development and civil society. The framework is based on the 2017-2020 partnership priorities agreement the two sides had signed back in July.

Hahn also met yesterday with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to further discuss the support framework in terms of the economic reform agenda and investment climate, a ministry statement says. Combatting terrorism and curbing illegal migration also featured in the talks. Hahn also discussed increasing trade cooperation with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Payment and settlements system agreement with COMESA central banks comes into effect: The regional payment and settlements system agreement between COMESA central banks has come into effect, CBE Foreign Trade Director Yousri Abdel Rahman said yesterday, Al Mal reports. The agreement aims to encourage export/import activities by providing “a single gateway for central banks within the region to effect payment in a multicurrency environment,” according to COMESA.

AIIB looking to fund infrastructure projects in industrial zones: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is looking to sign an agreement with the Industrial Development Authority to offer funding for infrastructure projects in industrial zones, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said yesterday, following a meeting with a bank official, according to Al Mal.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Brazilian meat importers halt contracts

Importers of Brazilian meat have had their contracts on hold since the start of October due to an increase in global prices and decrease in local ones,according to Al Borsa. Brazilian meat rose by as much as USD 150 per tonne during October.

Tourism

New Ras Al Hikma City in the works

The government is looking to build a New Ras Al Hikma City on the North Coast,sources tell Al Borsa. The 150 mn sqm city will be centered on tourism and is intended to complement the new Al Alamein City. Planned projects include resorts and an international marina to serve the city, they add.

Automotive + Transportation

Bombardier to submit studies, designs for Cairo Metro’s Line 6 early next year

Canada’s Bombardier is expected to present the results of the feasibility studies and its design plans for the Cairo Metro Line 6 in January 2018, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said, Al Borsa reports. Bombardier will also present a financial offer for the project early next year, according to Arafat. The National Tunnels Authority had signed an MoU with Bombardier to conduct feasibility studies in July. The agreement also covered the supply of locomotives and equipment necessary for operations and maintenance. The line will have 24 stops and should be operational by 2022.

Banking + Finance

NBE in talks to renew, increase borrowing from international institutions to USD 600 mn

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) is in talks with a consortium of international financiers to renew and increase a loan to it to USD 600 mn, sources told Al Mal. The consortium, which is led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, had extended NBE a USD 390 mn loan three years ago that matures in May 2018. NBE is seeking the loan to improve its USD liquidity and a third of it will be used for domestic credit and SME financing, sources said.

Legislation + Policy

House committees discuss media regulation bill, strategy to curb terrorism

The House of Representatives’ media, legislative, and budgeting committees began yesterday discussing the draft media regulation bill, approving four of the legislation’s five articles, Ahram Gate reports. Meanwhile, the House Defense Committee is gearing up to discuss ways to curb terrorism through security, media, economic, and legislative measures alongside representatives from the Interior Ministry and the country’s media councils, according to committee head Kamal Amer.

Egypt Politics + Economics

55% of Egyptians satisfied with state of affairs of the country

55% of Egyptians are satisfied with the economic, political, and social state of affairs in the country, according to the latest poll from the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera). The poll examined people’s reactions to 29 different variables including the prices of goods, income levels, availability of fuel and power, social justice, and freedom of speech. Those under the age of 50 appear to be the most dissatisfied, with 49% of youth displeased with the current state of affairs.

National Security

Gunfire from Sinai hits Israeli soldiers across the border

The Israeli military says people opened fired on an “IDF force that was engaged in operational activity near the security fence along the Egyptian border,” according to Arutz Sheva. The paper says there were no injuries among the soldiers, but a military vehicle sustained light damage. Israel’s military says it believes the incident is spillover gunfire from Egypt.

On Your Way Out

ON THIS DAY- On this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany — a manifesto that turned a protest about an indulgence scandal into the Protestant Reformation. In his theses, “Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment — called “indulgences” — for the forgiveness of sins.” In 1992, Pope John Paul II admitted Galileo was right, rectifying the Catholic Church’s wrong persecution of the Italian astronomer and physicist for proving the Earth moves around the Sun, more than 350 years after condemning him. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stepped down after 22 years in office on this day in 2003. In 2011, the UN announced that the world’s population passed 7 bn. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead on this day in 1984 and magician and escape artist Harry Houdini died in 1926. Two years ago Metrojet flight 9268 crashed in Sinai, killing everyone on board. This time last year, the exchange rate hit what we called “an absurd” rate of EGP 18.00 per USD 1.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6041 | Sell 17.7040
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.58 | Sell 17.68
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70

EGX30 (Monday): 14,197 (+1.2%)
Turnover: EGP 1.5 bn (59% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +15.0%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session up 1.2%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.5%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Egyptian Iron & Steel up 5.2%; Elsewedy Electric up 4.5%; and Orascom Telecom Media & Technology up 3.8%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were: Eastern Co down 1.0%; Cairo Oils & Soap down 0.5%; and ACC down 0.2%. The market turnover was EGP 1.5 bn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +92.5 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +65.6 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -158.1 mn

Retail: 74.5% of total trades | 73.6% of buyers | 75.3% of sellers
Institutions: 25.5% of total trades | 26.4% of buyers | 24.7% of sellers

Foreign: 11.0% of total | 14.2% of buyers | 7.8% of sellers
Regional: 9.4% of total | 11.7% of buyers | 7.2% of sellers
Domestic: 79.6% of total | 74.1% of buyers | 85.0% of sellers


***
PHAROS VIEW

Financial Conditions Index — A marginal rebound in September: The Pharos Financial Conditions Index (FCI) rose slightly in September as the yield curve slope dipped further into negative territory. Real broad money supply growth stabilized in September, partly due to the annual inflation rate’s marginal deceleration to 31.6% in September from 31.9% in August. The real effective exchange rate appreciated by 2.0% in September, while the overnight interbank spread was nearly unchanged as the average daily overnight interbank interest rate recorded 0.3% below the mid-corridor policy interest rate in September. This was offset however by a decline in yields for the second consecutive month. However, the 10-year yield decline was larger than the drop in the 3-month yield. Such a pace led the slope of the yield curve to record -4.0% in September (versus -2.5% in August), reflecting a tighter liquidity. You can read the full report here (pdf).

***


WTI: USD 54.11 (-0.07%)
Brent: USD 60.9 (+0.76%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.98 MMBtu, (+0.54%, December 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,276.8 / troy ounce (-0.07%)TASI: 6,945.28 (-0.16%) (YTD: -3.68%)
ADX: 4,456.65 (-0.14%) (YTD: -1.97%)
DFM: 3,629.86 (-0.27%) (YTD: +2.8%)
KSE Weighted Index: 423.62 (-0.76%) (YTD: +11.45%)
QE: 8,196.54 (+0.76%) (YTD: -21.46%)
MSM: 4,982.3 (+0.32%) (YTD: -13.84%)
BB: 1,276.48 (-0.02%) (YTD: +4.59%)

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Calendar

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.

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.

03-06 December (Sunday-Wednesday): 21st Cairo ICT, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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.

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