Sunday, 5 November 2017

Alwaleed bin Talal arrested in sweeping Saudi corruption probe.
Plus: Dice IPO 3x oversubscribed. Cement market challenges. Vodafone eyes remittances.


What We’re Tracking Today

The World Youth Forum gets underway today in Sharm El Sheikh, bringing together 70 official delegations and more than 3,000 youth, Ahram Gate reports, citing sources at Ittihadiya. International figures and leaders, including Emir of Sharjah Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, began arriving at Sharm El Sheikh yesterday ahead of the six-day affair. American actress Helen Hunt is expected to speak at the opening session tomorrow, according to Ahram Gate.

House speaker Ali Abdel Aal and his merry band of parliamentarians are back from making America safe for democracy, meaning the House of Representatives reconvenes from recess tomorrow. That means gridlock on Kasr Al Aini tomorrow morning and lots of newsflow this week on business-relevant topics.

Alwaleed reportedly arrested in sweeping Saudi corruption dragnet: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is one of at least 11 Saudi princes, four current cabinet ministers and as many as two dozen former cabinet ministers said to have been arrested overnight in Saudi Arabia as part of a new campaign against corruption. The arrests were first announced on Al-Arabiya, the Saudi TV network frequently used to send messages for the crown (watch Mohamed bin Salman discuss the shuffle, runtime: 0:59). “The move appeared to consolidate the power of King Salman’s son, who was appointed the head of a new anti-corruption committee hours before the arrests,” speculates David Kirkpatrick in coverage for the New York Times. Alwaleed is a bn’aire investor with significant stakes in major KSA and global companies including Citi, Apple, Twitter, Time Warner and many others. Also sacked: Adel Fakieh, the economy minister who had been playing a high-profile role in Mohamed bin Salman’s reform drive. The story is front-page news in many global outlets. Check out the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times as well as coverage from Reuters and Bloomberg.

Also big for Saudi today: Houthi rebels apparently launched a missile attack on King Khalid International Airport near Riyadh, Bloomberg reports. Themissile was destroyed by air defense systems without any damage north of the city.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday while attending the Sharm forum, the Jerusalem Post reports, citing a Palestinian diplomatic source. The two presidents will discuss progress on the Palestinian reconciliation agreement ahead of another planned meeting between Egyptian and Palestinian officials later this month to iron out “remaining obstacles to reconciliation, including Hamas’s control of weapons.”

Clocks will “fall back” one hour across most of the United States and Canada later this morning (CLT), giving our readers in North America an extra hour’s sleep. New York and Toronto will be seven hours behind us.

Is your kid college-bound? We heartily recommend reading this piece on “six myths about choosing a college major” from the New York Times. Apparently: STEM doesn’t always deliver, the choice of majors may not matter as much as the choice of college, liberal arts majors aren’t unemployable, and more.

We’re loving this suggestion from a Japanese ad agency that non-smokers deserve more days off than do smokers. Yes, nothing is as righteous as a reformed smoker, but still, it boils down to this: “About one-third of the people at the company, Piala, were smokers and stepped away from their desks during the day for cigarette breaks. Despite the time the smokers were away from work, everyone left the office for the night at the same time.” (Read)

Finally, Happy Birthday to JWJFIII and Abdalla S. It pleases us that two of our favorite people on this planet share a birthday.

What We’re Tracking This Week

EFG Hermes’ 7th Annual London Conference kicks off tomorrow and runs through Thursday. The conference will bring C-suite execs from top listed companies in MENA as well as frontier markets (among them Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) 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.

Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali will hold a press conference on tomorrow at which he will announce his intention to run in next year’s presidential elections, political sources told the AP. The first hearing on the 2012 candidate’s appeal of his conviction for violating public decency is due to be held this coming Wednesday. The conviction could bar him from running.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

On a relatively uneventful evening on the airwaves, the nation’s talking heads were most preoccupied with the World Youth Forum that kicks off in Sharm El Sheikh today.

Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary, who was reporting live from Sharm, talked to South Sinai governor Khaled Fouda about the month-long preparations ahead of the conference (watch, runtime 4:15).

The forum was also in the spotlight on Hona Al Asema, where a reporter told host Lamees Al Hadidi that 49 official delegations from different countries, including 19 youth ministers, had arrived at Sharm El Sheikh as of last night to participate in the forum (watch, runtime 8:46).

Lamees also took the time to mention that Mubarak-era Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid has officially resumed his post at the helm of his company, Rachid Mashreq Group, for the first time since he resigned in 2004 to join cabinet. Lamees thanked Rachid, former Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin, and former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali for helping Egypt achieve unprecedented growth and putting the country on the global investment map during their time in cabinet (watch, runtime 3:09). We second that.

Over on Kol Youm, Amr Adib could hardly contain his excitement over human rights lawyer Khaled Ali’s expected announcement that he will run for the presidency in next year’s elections. Having spent the past several months virtually begging anyone to announce their candidacy, Adib cautioned against attacking Ali for throwing his name in the hat, reminding everyone that we are 100 days away from the start of election proceedings and still have no official candidates (watch, runtime 5:07).

Adib took on the role of regional political commentator, saying that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad El Hariri’s resignation will have repercussions for Egypt and the region as a whole. The host suggested that El Hariri likely stepped down because he found himself unable to rule effectively (watch, runtime 7:11).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The EGP float caused the government to spend over EGP 100 bn more than it planned in FY2016-17, three sources told Reuters. The increased spending was needed to cover additional cost of importing fuel and wheat. Higher borrowing costs were also a factor, and the government will now seek parliamentary approval for the overspend, the sources aid.

On a positive note, Egypt’s banking sector had drawn in USD 56 bn from depositors since the EGP float, CBE Deputy Governor Gamal Negm said, according to AMAY. Last week, to mark the “float-a-versary,” CBE governor Tarek Amer had said inflows have risen to USD 80 bn since last November. Foreign investment in Egyptian securities has increased to USD 18.8 bn in October since the EGP float last November, a Finance Ministry official told Reuters on Thursday. Meanwhile, remittances from expatriates rose 24.4% y-o-y to USD 1.17 bn for the month of September,according to Reuters. August had seen a rise of 40% y-o-y which brought the total since the float to USD 16.3 bn, a rise of 17.3% for the same period a year before.

Proof a floating currency works: “Egypt’s transition from a struggling economy to one of Africa’s revival stories in 12 straight months is adding to evidence that a free-floating currency works,” writes Bloomberg’s Srinivasan Sivabalan. “Economic expansion has accelerated to the fastest pace in seven years, non-oil exports and tourism are growing at double-digit rates and stocks trade near record highs. All without the central bank having to spend a fortune defending the currency,” he added.

Egypt has paid off the final USD 200 mn installment of a USD 1 bn loan obtained from Turkey in 2012 during former President Mohamed Morsi’s tenure, Reuters reports. The government also paid Libya a USD 250 mn installment for its USD 1.5 bn loan, leaving USD 500 mn remaining and that would be paid in 2018, Central Bank Sub-governor Rami Aboul Naga said. The payments were made last Wednesday, the newswire notes, citing MENA.

IPO WATCH- Dice Sport and Casual Wear announced yesterday (pdf) that its institutional offering was 3.1x oversubscribed, generating EGP 2 bn in demand. Ordinary shares on the EGX have been priced at EGP 22.60 following the successful conclusion of the book-building process. At the offer price, the company’s market cap stands at EGP 1.2 bn. According to the release, the offering will include 33.046 mn ordinary shares, including 28.089 mn shares for the institutional offering and 4.956 mn for the Egyptian retail offering. Subscription to the domestic offering will close on 7 November. EFG Hermes is sole global coordinator and bookrunner for the offering and Matouk Bassiouny is local counsel.

M&A WATCH- SPE Capital, formerly Swicorp Private Equity, announced that during its investment period in Orchidia, the company’s revenues have increased more than four-fold, according to an emailed statement. On Thursday, the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund (EAEF)’s investment manager Lorax Capital Partners announced it will subscribe in an upcoming capital increase along with Orchidia founder Ossama Abbass and will also be acquiring Orchidia shares held by SPE Capital as well as a stake owned by other minority shareholders. Mehdi Charfi, Partner at SPE said, “We are no less proud of the significant value created to our investors as we return three times the amount invested in USD, in an environment that has proven to be difficult and volatile.” SPE says Arqaam Capital acted as sole sell-side financial advisor on the transaction and Matouk Bassiouny acted as legal counsel. Matouk Bassiouny says its role also included “advising on and assisting in the negotiation of the share purchase agreement and the complimentary transaction documents.”

Germany’s KfW is currently financing EUR 1.8 bn-worth of projects in Egypt, the bank’s country director Burkhard Hinz told the press on Friday, the state news agency reports. The development-centered institution focuses on three main areas in Egypt, he added, listing infrastructure projects (including water, solid waste management, and renewable energy), vocational training programs, and support for primary education. Hinz said that the bank has provided Egypt with a total EUR 5.5 bn since it began operating here in the 1960s, helping fund the development of 900 primary schools, as well as various irrigation and water projects. The bank is currently eyeing new projects in Upper Egypt.

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil met on Thursday with the IMF delegationvisiting the country to conduct its second review of the economic reform program, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Discussions centered around the ministry’s industrial and trade development strategies, with Kabil pointing to declining imports, better economic growth, and lower unemployment. The delegation, whose review should unlock another tranche of Egypt’s USD 12 bn extended fund facility, is expected to wrap up its visit by the end of this week, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy had previously said. We’re expecting a statement to come out, recapping the results of the visit.

The government has reportedly issued the streamlined guide on wheat imports Supply Minister Ali Moselhy had promised, according to Reuters. The guide reportedly includes instructions to ports to accept wheat shipment containing poppy seeds that are not cultivated for opium. The French Embassy in Egypt had suggested that blocking a French wheat shipment to Egypt could have been over confusion of the type of poppy flower. Bloomberg reports that red poppies, unlike their pink relatives, cannot be cultivated for opium.

EARNINGS WATCH- ‘Tis the season, folks, although we expect many companies will report their 3Q earnings only after coming home from the EFG Hermes London conference. Among those now out:

  • Real estate developer Palm Hills Developments reported an increase of 15.5% y-o-y in net profit after tax for 9M2017, which came in at EGP 467 bn, compared to EGP 404.3 bn last year. New sales for the period grew by 44% y-o-y to EGP 8.1 bn.
  • Real estate developer TMG reported nine month profits of EGP 1.058 bn on Thursday, a 72% rise from last year’s profit EGP 616.39 mn, according to an EGX disclosure. Revenues came in at EGP 5.6 bn for the first nine months, up from EGP 3.9 bn in the same period last year.

The EGX launched an interactive map of listed companies on Thursday, the bourse announced. The map allows outlines the listed companies’ head offices and branches across Egypt and displays basic information about them. Bourse Chairman Mohamed Farid said the map is part of the government’s drive to have a complete investment map available outlining investment opportunities in Egypt and is also a tool that improves transparency.

Fifty-five former Barclays outlets in Egypt were rebranded to Attijariwafa Bank Egypt as of 3 November,the Moroccan lender announced in a statement (pdf). Attijariwafa had bought Barclays Egypt’s operations last year in a USD 400-500 mn transaction. The bank plans to commence a five-year strategy that should see it grow to capture a greater share of Egypt’s banking sector, which also serves its larger goals for regional and international expansion.

Could the controversial NGO Act be watered down? A number of statements from members of the House of Representatives imply that the NGO Act, which has been criticized by US Congressional leaders including John McCain, could be watered down. The message was carried by House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal himself during visit by a House delegation last week to Washington, DC, to address concerns there over Egypt’s human rights record. House Social Solidarity Committee chair Abdel Hady El Kassaby tells Al Shorouk, that despite what Abdel Aal said, no articles which impact national security would be amended. Deputy chair Mohamed Abu Hamed made sure to point out that Abdel Aal’s statement does not constitute an outright promise.

Egypt ranked 134 out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2017. Iceland, Norway and Finland occupied the top three while Yemen, Pakistan and Syria held the bottom three positions. Egypt ranked tenth amongst the 17 MENA nations who saw progress as a group but remained the worst performing region. The report stated that this was the worst year in terms improvement for the gender gap globally since its inception in 2006.

US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will nominate Fed Governor Jerome Powell to replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen. “Mr. Powell will bring to the Federal Reserve a unique background of Government service and business experience,” read the White House statement announcing the nomination, which had been widely anticipated last week. Powell, a lawyer by training and investment banker by trade, will be the first non-economist to serve as Fed boss since G. William Miller in the late 1970s. Despite this, many have seen him as the candidate of continuity who will carry post-financial crisis reforms, according to the Financial Times.

IPO WATCH- Emaar plans to raise USD 1.5 bn from listing its real-estate development unit, Emaar Development LLC’s shares, Bloomberg reports, citing the price range document sent to the DFM. Emaar Development set a price range of AED 5.7-6.9 per share as the IPO opened on Thursday with 10% of the shares available to retail investors and 90% to institutions. Emaar is selling 20% of the unit overall. EFG Hermes is among a long list of joint global coordinators for the transaction, while Rothschild is financial adviser.

Hamas officially handed over control of the Gaza Strip’s border crossings to the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, Reuters reports. The handover “marked the most concrete implementation” to date of the reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt last month, the newswire says.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri resigned yesterday, according to Reuters. Hariri claimed there was a plot to assassinate him and pointed the finger at Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.


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Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning are reports of EU countries expressing concern over the arrest of the Egyptian human rights lawyer investigating the Regeni murder. Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and Canada saying they were “deeply concerned” at the ongoing detention of human rights lawyer Ibrahim Metwaly Hegaz, Reuters reports. “We are concerned at the detention conditions that Ibrahim Metwaly Hegazy is reportedly enduring, and continue to call for transparency on prison conditions in Egypt,” a joint statement published on the British government website said late on Friday.

Meanwhile, Italian prosecutors have sent a formal petition to the British authorities last week asking to question Giulio Regeni’s Cambridge University tutor, Professor Maha Mahfouz Abdel Rahman, ANSA reports. “The move regards alleged ambiguity and omissions by the woman in relation to the probe into the torture and murder of [Regeni],” the report noted.

Big in the UK press this morning: Depending on which report you believe, a British woman faces the death penalty or 25 years in prison for allegedly smuggling into Egypt some 300 tabs of a popular opioid pain reliever she says her Egyptian husband needed. The story broke on tabloid news website The Sun, but is receiving wide coverage in the UK press, with pickups on BBC, The Independent, and The Guardian.

There is a “void” inside the Great Pyramid: Scientists announced that an imaging method using cosmic rays has detected a “large and enigmatic internal structure” inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, Reuters reports. “Researchers announced the discovery on Thursday but said they did not know the purpose, contents or precise dimensions of what they are calling a ‘void’ or ‘cavity’ inside the pyramid.” Mehdi Tayoubi, one of the leaders of the study published in the journal Nature, says: “What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, that it was not expected by, as far as I know, any kind of theory.” National Geographic and the Associated Press also covered the story. The suggestion now floating is that the chamber is unlikely to hold treasure, but may be a feature to lessen the weight of the massive structure.

A new terror group with alleged ties to Al Qaeda known as Ansar al Islam has claimed responsibility for last month’s deadly Wahat attack, which killed at least 16 policemen, Reuters reported on Friday. While they provided no evidence for their involvement, the group issued a statement declaring the incident as “the start of a holy war against the Egyptian state.” The AP also has the story. This came as another attack on security personnel in North Sinai injured one policeman this weekend. Military forces in the Sinai were also able to foil an attempted attack on a checkpoint on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

Egyptian authorities continue to fall into their predecessors’ pitfalls, attempting “to address the symptoms of terrorism rather than its causes,” Nancy Okail and Amr Kotb write for The Washington Post. States can also use “official Islam” to counter radical thought, another piece in The Washington Post suggests, citing Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has called for changing the religious rhetoric, appearing alongside Al Azhar’s Grand Imam in an attempt to “nationalize religion and personalize official Islam.”

Remember the lovejacker? The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) blocked Cypriot authorities from extraditing Seif Eddin Mustafa to Egypt until their investigators could examine the case, the Associated Press reports. Mustafa — who had hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight in March 2016 using a fake suicide belt and diverted it to Cyprus — had been cleared for extradition by the Cypriot Supreme Court but the verdict was stayed so the ECHR “could rule on whether doing so would violate one of its articles prohibiting the return of individuals to countries where they may face torture or inhuman treatment.” Egypt’s extradition request was accepted in October 2016.

Also worth a quick skim this morning:

  • What Russia’s state media is peddling: The move by Hamas to relinquish control over Gaza’s border crossings to the Palestinian Authority following an agreement brokered by Egypt might not have any significant meaning for de-escalating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, activist Miko Peled tells Sputnik.
  • President Abdel Fattah El Sisi pledged to help Somalia eradicate Al Shabab in his conversation with their president last week, according to Africa News.
  • President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with an Evangelical delegation last week is being well received by the politically powerful denomination, according to The Washington Post. The Evangelical community is politically supportive of Israel and the visit also got attention in the Israeli media.
  • The National Council for Women “filed a complaint to the top prosecutor seeking legal action against a lawyer who called for the raping of women who wear ripped jeans,” member Nada Draz confirmed to the AP last Thursday.
  • Irish-Egyptian national Ibrahim Halawa denied he was ever a member of the Ikhwan, saying in a radio interview with the Irish national broadcaster that he “would differ with them a lot on so many points,” according to the BBC.
  • Nigeria is investigating reports Nigerians were victims of the organ trade in Egypt, among other countries, The Punch reports.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

French Development Agency to give Egypt EUR 31 mn for healthcare development: The Health Ministry signed an MoU with the French Development Agency that will see the latter fund the development of 709 medical facilities ahead of the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Act, Minister Ahmed Rady said on Thursday, Al Borsa reports. The new healthcare system, which is currently with the House of Representatives for review, is expected to rollout in early 2018. An announcement on the pricing scheme should be coming this week, Rady had previously said.

This comes as the US government has agreed to give Egypt a USD 30 mn grant to support the government’s entrepreneurship fund and youth training programs, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr announced on Thursday, Al Shorouk reports. Nasr’s statement came on the sidelines of the Business Council for International Understanding’s Competitiveness and Investment Forum, which saw in attendance executives from 40 major US corporations who are in Egypt to explore potential investment, a statement said.

Six US pharma companies are already looking to expand their existing investments in Egypt, top executives from Abbott, Pfizer, MSD, Sanofi, Gilead Sciences and PhRMA told Nasr at a Thursday Gilead Senior Director Graeme Robertson suggested Egypt could be used as an export hub. The executives are set to meet with Health Minister Ahmed Radi soon to further discuss their plans, according to Nasr. Other companies, including General Electric and snackmaker Mars are already working on expansions, she added.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain on Saturday at a forum in Sir Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi, according to an official statement. The meeting discussed the latest developments with Qatar as well as other regional security issues. Shoukry also met with the Algerian foreign minister and UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salama to discuss the situation in Libya. Capping off his meetings was a discussion with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano about bilateral relations between Egypt and Italy.


Ismail cabinet reconsiders setting up FiT system for waste-to-energy projects

The Ismail cabinet reportedly approved hiring a consultant to revisit the feasibility study on a feed-in tariff rate for waste-to-energy projects, government sources tell Al Borsa. The government is reportedly leaning towards setting a three-tier FiT system: the first would be fuel derived from burning such things as rice straws with a FiT rate of EGP 1.21 per KW; the second tier would be from biogas, with an FiT rate of EGP 1.45 per KW; and refuse derived fuel (RDF) with a rate of EGP 1.60 per KW. The move appears to be an about face by the Electricity Ministry, as minister Mohamed Shaker had said back in July that the government was scrapping plans to impose an FiT rate on waste-to-energy products. He announced that the ministry would will set the fees on a case-by-case basis, after initially settling on a rate of EGP 1.45 per KW. No reason was given behind the change of heart, but we speculate that the flood of investments in the solar FiT program may have swayed opinions. The government hopes to tender waste-to-energy to the private sector in 1Q2018, said New and Renewable Energy Authority head Mohamed El Khayat.

Infinity Solar to be the first to launch operations in Benban solar complex

Infinity Solar is scheduled to launch operations and connect 50 MW of power produced at its Benban solar power plant to the national grid within days, the company’s financial division manager Mohamed Shehata tells Al Borsa. The company will begin with trial operations, and is expected to officially connect the plant to the grid by the end of the month, according to president of XD-EGEMAC, which operates transmission stations in Aswan, Medhat Ramadan. The launch will make Infinity the first company to complete a solar power plant under the feed-in tariff program, which has attracted upwards of USD 1.8 bn in foreign funding.

ExxonMobil delegation in Egypt to discuss possible projects

A delegation from ExxonMobil reportedly arrived in Egypt to discuss possible oil and gas projects within the next 5-7 years, an Oil Ministry source says, Youm7 reports. The delegation met with officials from the EGPC, EGAS, and the Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum Holding Company. The company is reportedly particularly interested in exploration projects in the western Mediterranean.


New Administrative Capital Company to issue USD 300 mn ICT tender

The New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development has issued a tender for communications infrastructure worth USD 300 mn, according to AMAY.

Agriculture + Commodities

Market conditions remain challenging in Egypt, Titan Cement says

Market conditions in Egypt remained challenging in 9M2017 and demand for building materials in 2017 is estimated at 8% below 2016’s, cement producer Titan Group said in reporting its 3Q2017 results, CemNet reports. The company recorded a net profit after minority interests and the provision for taxes of EUR 33.1 mn in 9M2017, down from EUR 121.9 mn a year earlier. Titan says 3Q2017 results reflected two exceptional events, the negative impact of hurricane Irma in the US and the implementation of an organizational restructuring program in Egypt and drove net profit to drop to EUR 19.2 mn from EUR 112.7 mn in 3Q2016.

Government to purchase local wheat at global prices

Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy confirmed that the government will begin purchasing wheat from local farmers at global market prices as of the beginning of the upcoming harvest season, which runs from mid-April until July, Reuters reports. The price at which wheat will be purchased will be announced by mid-March, according to the ministry. Agriculture Minister Abdel Moneim El Banna had said last month that wheat purchases would be pegged to global prices.

Health + Education

Egypt one of nine countries keeping pledge to eradicate hepatitis

Egypt is one of only nine countries keeping their pledge to eradicate hepatitis by 2030, out of a total of 194, according to the second World Hepatitis Summit in Brazil. “Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, The Netherlands, Australia, Qatar and Brazil are the only countries taking steps to overcome the disease,” the AFP reports.

Telecoms + ICT

Vodafone seeking approval to transfer Egyptians’ remittances

Vodafone Egypt is seeking regulatory approval to have customers use its Vodafone Cash services to send remittances to Egypt, Al Mal reports. The company says it has 4 mn users of the service and is looking to expand it to include services like payroll. Al Mal also notes that the central bank has allowed mobile network operators to increase the daily limit to withdraw phone cash to EGP 3,000 a day instead of EGP 1,000 and raised the monthly limit to EGP 10,000 from EGP 5,000.

TE renews international calls agreement with Vodafone

Telecom Egypt (TE) announced renewing the long-term agreement with Vodafone Egypt to provide international call conveyance services. The agreement is valid from September and goes on until the end of 2022. “The agreement is expected to represent a total value for Telecom Egypt of approximately EGP 12 bn throughout the agreement term. The renewed agreement extends the terms of the bilateral commercial commitments between both companies for more than 5 years, to ensure Telecom Egypt’s leadership position in the international calls conveyance services to and from the Egyptian market.”

Automotive + Transportation

Hill to provide project management, technical assistance for Cairo Metro Line 3

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has appointed Hill International to provide project management services and technical assistance for the latest phase of the Cairo Metro Line 3 project, The Construction Index reports. The six-year contract has an estimated value of approximately USD 4.4 mn. Line 3 connects Attaba in east-central Cairo with Abbasia and Heliopolis to the northeast.

Legislation + Policy

Further amendments to the Bankruptcy Act signals delays in passing the law

The government appears to want to make amendments to the Bankruptcy Act “during the current House session,” officials from the Justice Ministry tell AMAY. The source did not state what these amendments would be. We anticipate that the move would further delay passing the long-awaited act — a key economic legislation could make it possible for companies to request time to re-structure under US “chapter 11” style bankruptcy protection. The bill had been with Parliament since the last session, and is currently being reviewed by the House Legislative Committee before being passed on to the Economic Committee.

Egypt Politics + Economics

GAFI plans to set up public freezones across the country

The General Authority for Freezones and Investment (GAFI) plans to set up a public freezone in every governorate in the country, an Investment Ministry statement said on Friday. The move is part of a strategy to use the zones as a way of improving the overall investment climate and boost exports, according to Minister Sahar Nasr.

TV presenter receives three-year sentence for “inciting immorality” on air

TV presenter Doaa Salah was sentenced to three years in prison for “inciting immorality” on her show on An-Nahar network, the Associated Press reports. “Salah’s comments were made in July, when she counselled women to enter bogus, for-cash marriages to get pregnant and then quickly divorce, or to seek artificial insemination using anonymous donors.” Salah plans to appeal the verdict and was allowed to go home after paying a EGP 10,000 bail.

Morsi’s nephew receives final ruling on prison term

The Court of Cassation upheld a five-year sentence against Saeed Mohamed Morsi, nephew of ousted Ikhwani president Mohamed Morsi, on charges of committing acts of violence, according to Xinhua.

National Security

Egypt and Greece conclude joint naval exercises

Egyptian and Greek naval forces concluded the joint “Medusa 5” exercises on Saturday, according to an official Armed Forces statement.


Farida Osman named Best African Female Athlete

Swimmer Farida Osman was named Best African Female Athlete at the Association Of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards 2017 in Prague on Thursday, according to the Egypt Independent. Osman was the first Egyptian to ever win a medal at the World Aquatics Championships back in July, breaking her own African record.

Al Ahly loses Champions League Final

Al Ahly lost the second leg of their African Champions League Final to Wydad Casablanca last night, according to the BBC. With a 1-1 draw in the first leg at home Al Ahly was battling to score from the get go but their Moroccan rivals got the second half goal to go up 2-1 on aggregate score.

On Your Way Out

ON THIS DAY- On this day in 1605, the failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics, known as the Gunpowder Plot, took place. The day is now celebrated with fireworks as Guy Fawkes Day. The conflict of WWI widened on this day in 1914 when France and Britain declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Anglo-French forces began their initial assault on Port Said and Port Fouad during the Tripartite Aggression on this day in 1956. On this day in 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented third term as president of the US. India launched its first interplanetary spacecraft, the Mars Orbiter Mission, which was unmanned on this day in 2013. Also, George Foreman became the oldest heavyweight boxing champ when he defeated 26-year-old Michael Moorer on this day in 1994. This time two years ago we were reporting on the UK suspending flights to Sharm El Sheikh in the wake of the Metrojet flight crash.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.5974 | Sell 17.6968
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.58 | Sell 17.68
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70

EGX30 (Thursday): 14,319 (+0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 1.6 bn (66% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: 16.0%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 0.3%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Egyptian Iron & Steel up 5.9%, SODIC up 3.6%, and Egyptian Resorts up 3.3%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were: Palm Hills down 2.2%, Arab Cotton Ginning down 2.0%, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank down 1.9%. The market turnover was EGP 1.6 bn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -76.4 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -2.1 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +78.5 mn

Retail: 69.2% of total trades | 67.2% of buyers | 71.1% of sellers
Institutions: 30.8% of total trades | 32.8% of buyers | 28.9% of sellers

Foreign: 11.5% of total | 9.1% of buyers | 14.0% of sellers
Regional: 16.4% of total | 16.3% of buyers | 16.5% of sellers
Domestic: 72.1% of total | 74.6% of buyers | 69.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 55.64 (+2.02%)
Brent: USD 62.07 (+2.39%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.98 MMBtu (+1.67%, December 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,269.20 / troy ounce (-0.70%)TASI: 6,956.51 (+0.12%) (YTD: -3.52%)
ADX: 4,465.15 (-0.45%) (YTD: -1.79%)
DFM: 3,622.24 (-0.34%) (YTD: +2.59%)
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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.

19 December (Tuesday): Village Capital’s Financial Health Competition: Middle East and Egypt (applications close 3 November)

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 HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; 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; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.