Monday, 20 November 2017

Leases for retail shops, health and education centers are subject to VAT

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

A random thought before we get underway this morning: It is an honor to write each and every one of you. Thank you all for reading.

On to the news: Foreign policy and international headlines dominated the conversation on Egypt yesterday and look set to do the same today.

First up, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Cyprus today for a two-day trilateral summit with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The Nicosia summit is the fifth such gathering since November 2014. Talks will be econ-heavy and likely dominated by policy on natural gas along the exclusive economic zone, an extension of the Zohr gas field. El Sisi and Anastasiades will inaugurate the Egyptian Cypriot Business Forum and El Sisi is set to address the Cypriot parliament, according to a statement from Ittihadiya. Egypt and Cyprus are expected to sign three MoUs on joint security cooperation, and in healthcare and IT cooperation, said Egypt’s ambassador to Cyprus May Taha, according to Al Ahram.

The question on everybody’s mind is whether former (depending on who you ask — and where) Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri will be making a stop in Cairo this week before returning to Lebanon on Wednesday to address the confusion caused by his sudden resignation from Riyadh two weeks ago. A leader in Al Hariri’s Future Movement had told Reuters on Sunday that Al Hariri would visit Egypt on Monday. Al Hariri’s office followed up by announcing that he will be here on Tuesday to meet with El Sisi. Ittihadiya spokesperson Bassam Rady called in to Al Hayat Al Youm last night to deny that Al Hariri was coming on Monday (though he did not refute the Tuesday’s visit), saying that Al Hariri is welcome in Egypt. Al Hariri’s statement comes a day after President El Sisi spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron (who is currently hosting Al Hariri in Paris) on the Lebanon crisis, according to a statement from the Élysée palace. The chatter on Al Hariri stopping by for coffee came as Cairo was host yesterday to an Arab League meeting at which Saudi and its regional allies pushed to further isolate Iran and Hezbollah, Reuters reports.

Political overhang on your capital raise? Welcome to our post-2011 world, Dwellers of the GCC: Bloomberg’s Ruth David and Dinesh Nair take the view that Emaar Properties struggled to complete its USD 1.3 bn IPO as a result of the Lebanon fiasco and the Saudi USD 100 bn anti-corruption campaign, which nabbed investor Alwaleed Bin Talal among other royals and officials. “The shock-waves wiped almost USD 19 bn of value from exchanges across the six-member GCC countries last week,” they said. We noted yesterday complaints by foreign investors afraid to do business in Saudi in the wake of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s corruption crackdown.

Pharos Holding is participating in and sponsoring the African Securities Exchanges Association’s annual general meeting at the Nile Ritz-Carlton hotel. ASEA is the Kenya-based industry association for exchanges across Africa, representing over 32 exchanges. “Pharos is ready to advise companies and the exchanges to optimise their market positioning to attract capital and help in the continued goal to create long term, sustainable economic growth,” COO Angus Blair says.

A delegation from the UK Civil Aviation Authority will review security procedures for passengers and cargo on a flight from Cairo to London today, according to Youm7. The inspection will include passenger transfer through the terminal and how food is transferred onto the plane. Although most of the scrutiny has been on Sharm El Sheikh given the travel ban from the UK and Russia, the government has implemented reforms to security across the country’s airports and reports emerged earlier this month that the UK might consider lifting its ban in February.

We love Seattle. We love Amazon. And even from Cairo, there’s something to be learned on the economic and urban development front from the New York Times’ 5 Lessons Seattle Can Teach Other Cities About Amazon as the online retailing giant looks for a US home for its second headquarters.

Bloomberg is getting in on the holiday gift giving extravaganza with its 48 Most Luxurious Gifts for the Holidays, broken down into price point starting at under USD 100 and ranging as high as USD 5k and above.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Lobby group to meet with House amid fantasy of lower gas prices: A delegation from the Union of Egyptian Investors Association (UEIA) will meet with the House of Representatives’ Industry Committee on Tuesday to discuss rising natural gas bills they claim some factories can’t cope with. The House had hinted recently it might be considering new gas prices for industry. Good luck with that.

On The Horizon

Our friends at AmCham will be holding a conference on the role of the private sector in achieving development goals on 4 December. Attending the event will be Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Planning Minister Hala Saeed, who will be joined by the UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed.

An Egyptian-Turkish economic conference will run from 26 November to 1 November in Istanbul, according to Al Shorouk. We’re so disinterested in post-purge Turkey that we can’t even muster the sarcasm.

The Investment Ministry’s investment map of some 600 projects will officially be unveiled at the Business for Africa and the World Forum that will be held in Sharm El Sheikh on 7-9 December.

Egypt plans to launch its first electronic visa in December at the Cairo ICT expo running from 3-6 December.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

As with the local press, the conversation on the airwaves was dominated by regional issues and foreign affairs, particularly Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Ittihadiya Spokesperson Bassam Rady made the rounds on some of the talk shows to say that it has not yet been confirmed whether Saad Al Hariri will be in Cairo this week to meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. “The possibility of the visit is still under discussion,” Rady told Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer. He did confirm that Monday is definitely not feasible as El Sisi will be in Cyprus for the tripartite summit there. “El Hariri is welcome at any time,” he said. Rady made similar statements to Al Hayat Al Youm (watch, runtime: 6:52).

As for President El Sisi’s Cyprus trip, Rady told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary that this would be the first time El Sisi will address the Cypriot parliament (watch, runtime: 5:34).

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib also spoke to Rady on an issue close to the hearts of cave-dwelling news miners like ourselves: the need for a cohesive way to relay messages from the government to the public. Adib called for a monthly press conference at which El Sisi would address members of the foreign press corps to “dispel misinformation” on Egypt, with Rady politely nodding before Adib moved on to the next talking head (watch, runtime: 5:36).

Is Adib begging for the job of press secretary? Adib then grilled the head of the State Information Service Diaa Rashwan on the same topic, to which Rashwan responded that the SIS was planning to hold these types of briefings at some later date (watch, runtime: 3:49).

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi spoke with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir on the regional fronts Saudi is engaged in and the USD 100 bn anti-corruption probe. Al Jubeir rejected any claim that the Great Saudi Purge was a power grab, stating that Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman had announced that the campaign would be launched six months before the arrests were made. “Businessmen caught up in the probe have two options: either standing for trial or return the alleged illicit funds,” Al-Jubeir said.

On Qatar blockade, Al Jubair said that the Arab quartet will not resort to a military solution to the standoff as Qatar was too insignificant a state for that. He said that the issue had been given more importance that it should (you can watch full interview here, runtime: 30:48).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

VAT applies to leases for retail outlets, education and health centers: The Finance Ministry imposed yesterday the value-added tax (VAT) on leases of retail space from malls, hotels, resorts, sporting clubs, and factories, as well as spaces leased out for use as educational or health centers, Al Mal reports. The controversial move, which had gained the ire of the real estate sector the Federation of Egyptian Industries, came as these groups have alleged that the move violates the VAT Act, which exempts rentals from the 14% tax.

Peugeot Citroen reportedly ending its 41-year partnership with CDCM; Mansour Group said to be closing in for the rebound : The Peugeot-Citroen arm of Groupe PSA has reportedly decided not to renew its distribution agreement with Cairo For Development and Cars Manufacturing (CDCM), its licensed distributor of Peugeot vehicles in Egypt for the last 41 years, Al Borsa reports. The move had apparently caught CDCM and its parent company, Arabia Investments, Development and Financial Investment Holding Company (AIND), off guard. AIND’s head of investor relations Hisham Ismail tells the newspaper that they are still trying to contact the French car manufacturer as to why it had terminated the contract, adding that the move had indeed been a surprise. Ismail added that AIND “will take legal action to preserve its rights and protect the interests of shareholders.” Other sources at CDCM, speaking anonymously, said the company had just placed orders for more cars.

This comes as Mansour Group representatives had apparently been in talks to become the licensed Peugeot Citroen distributor after parent company Groupe PSA acquired Opel back in March, Mansour officials tell the newspaper. Mansour reportedly faced competition from Al Futtaim, Ezz Al Arab, MTI Group, and others. Sources added that Peugeot Citroen is expected to make an announcement of its decision before the end of the year.

Attacking the proposed Automotive Directive from another angle: The story comes amid complaints by some in the automotive sector that Egypt’s trade liberalization pact with the European Union, which gradually eliminated customs on car imports, has not led to a decrease in prices. (Shocking in a post-float environment, right?) Sticker prices on EU imports have shot up by as much as EGP 100K for some brands, said industry expert Raafat Masrooga, member of the Automotive Marketing Information Council, according to Al Mal. The solution, he says? Don’t grow domestic industry by granting local manufacturers incentives to move up the value chain to manufacturing. Nope. The genius believes the Finance Ministry should simply eliminate customs and tariffs on all car imports. All that’s missing from the story is the bright shiny sticker announcing it was paid for by the nation’s CBU importers.

M&A WATCH- Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) will give up its bid for the National Company for Maize Products (NCMP) now that the deadline for it to submit a counter offer has expired, Salah Tawfik, CEO of ADM’s Egypt subsidiary Medsofts, tells Al Mal. The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) had rejected at least two bids from ADM to acquire the NCMP, choosing instead to accept Cairo Three A’s offer of EGP 51 per share. NCMP shareholders Misr Capital Investments and National Bank of Egypt said they will accept Cairo Three A’s offer, prompting ADM to ask its legal counsel, Shahid Law, to file a formal inquiry into the rejection, which the FRA did not justify.

Renaissance Capital has a pipeline of investment banking transactions in Cairo, Ksenia Galouchko writes for Bloomberg. “A lot of the global investment banks are de-risking their portfolios, they’re scaling back in Africa and none of them are entering Egypt … Egypt is a very interesting market for us,” RenCap’s global head of investment banking James Friel says. The investment bank, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, is taking a long-term bet on Egypt as Friel explains “we have taken a long-term view on the Egyptian market and remain firmly convinced that this is a positive move for the firm.” RenCap got its license in Egypt earlier this year; its new Cairo — headed by CI Capital veteran Mohamed Younes as country boss — will focus on investment banking, financing, and research.

El Sewedy Electric in talks to build six wind power stations: El Sewedy Electric is in talks with French utility company EDF to co-establish a service center for electrical power stations, CEO Ahmed El Sewedy tells Al Mal. The company is also in talks with Egypt’s Electricity Ministry to acquire land on a right-to-use-basis for 25 years to build six wind-powered stations with a combined capacity of 100 MW under an IPP framework. El Sewedy and EDF are part of a consortium bidding for the management and maintenance contract for the three Siemens combined-cycle power plant at the new capital, Burullus and Beni Suef, which should take place next month. Siemens, Germany’s STEAG GmbH, an Orascom-ADERA Energy consortium are among the other suitors. El Sewedy is also gearing up to start an ambitious expansion plan that sees it establishing three new industrial zones in Egypt and six logistical warehouses in different African countries over the next five years.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The House of Representatives’ Health Committee has given its approval to the Universal Healthcare Act — the government’s EGP 600 bn plan to expand quality government-sponsored healthcare coverage nationwide, Health Minister Ahmed Rady announced on Sunday, according to Al Shorouk. The bill, a key piece of social welfare policy for the Ismail cabinet, passed with minimal opposition, with most MPs objecting to the 15-year timeline to fully implement the act nationwide. Rady told the committee at a hearing yesterday that actuarial studies for the bill had projected that implementing the plan on a shorter timeline would lead to financial ruin. We assume that the bill will soon reach a plenary session of the House for a vote.

Financing and implications for business: As we noted last week, the bill, which will be managed by three regulators, would impose premiums for employers of 4% of each employee’s monthly salary, while employees will pay premiums of only 1% of their salary into the system. It will be partly funded through these premiums as well as fees imposed on private sector healthcare operators and a 10% sin tax on tobacco sales. The government has also been talking about rolling into the bill a mechanism of imposing price caps on private healthcare providers; prices are expected to be set early next year.

Absentee MPs delay voting on key legislation, again: Unconcerned that there is a country to be governed, absentee MPs have caused votes on notable bills in plenary sessions of the House to be delayed — the most important of these being the Youth Institutions Act, which bans political activity in public youth clubs; the ban on drones; and most importantly, the controversial Labor Unions Act, Al Ahram reports. The latter once again received condemnation from the Egyptian Federation of Independent Unions, which claims the law constricts collective bargaining activity, according to Al Mal.

What our illustrious representatives did manage to do, however, was to sign off on a EUR 290 mn loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) meant to fund the purchase of 100 new locomotives for the Egyptian National Railway, Al Masry Al Youm reports. A number of MPs objected to the loan agreement, pointing out that it doesn’t specify an interest rate. Some MPs also caviled that fleet upgrades were taking priority over infrastructure development (‘cause apparently fleets aren’t key components of infrastructure in their little world).

The CBE has reportedly approved raising caps on cash withdrawals and deposits via mobile cash transfer services, Vodafone Egypt Sales Director Karim Shehata announced in a press conference on Sunday, according to Al Mal. The daily transaction limit was raised to EGP 10,000 from EGP 5,000, while the monthly limit was raised to EGP 50,000, according to Egypt Today. The move, part of the CBE’s drive to increase mobile banking and electronic payments systems, will help expand services such as Vodafone Cash, whose clients now number 3 mn users, said Shehata. The announcement came at the signing of an agreement between Vodafone Cash and the Bank of Alexandria to facilitate online payments through the service. So far as we can tell, the Central Bank of Egypt has yet to confirm the news.

Is the World Bank telling us to get a sovereign wealth fund of our own? World Bank Group Senior Vice President Mahmoud Mohieldin reportedly suggested that it “was imperative” for Egypt to benefit from the revenues of the Zohr gasfield by establishing a sovereign wealth fund, Al Ahram reports. Mohieldin’s comments came at an AmCham talk held yesterday. Last we heard on the Ismail cabinet’s plans to form such a fund was in November of last year, with the economic group approving the drafting of a law to establish a EGP 5 bn sovereign fund dubbed Amlak. Ashraf Al Araby, the planning minister at the time, had even narrowed down the sectors the fund would be investing in, including industry, agriculture, mining, and tourism. Al Araby had been the sole voice behind the move, and we haven’t heard peep about it since he was replaced in the last cabinet shuffle.

EARNINGS WATCH- Cleopatra Hospitals Group’s net profit rose 45% y-o-y to EGP 32 mn in 3Q2017, the company said in its earnings release issued overnight (pdf). Revenues came in 38% higher y-o-y at EGP 293.2 mn, “driven by both higher patient volumes and improved pricing.” Cleopatra Hospital was the largest contributor to Group revenues for the quarter with 43% of the total, followed by Cairo Specialised Hospital with 22%, Nile Badrawi with 18%, and Al Shorouk with 17%. “The quarter just ended saw us extract higher value from services across the board while staying true to our commitment to focus on patient safety and quality of outcomes,” Group CEO Ahmed Ezzeldin said.

Acquisitions in the offing: “In parallel, we continue to make headway in our expansion strategy; several platform additions to expand our network are soon to reach financial close or are in advanced due diligence stages,” Ezzeldin added.

DP World says small businesses will be “at the heart of its new industrial and residential zone in Egypt’s Sokhna,” according to The National. The port operator signed an agreement at the World Youth Forum earlier this month with the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) to develop the 95k sqm Sokhna World Zone, which will offer incentives to businesses in a wide range of fields, including auto parts, textile, and medical equipment. The zone, which will also house up to 500k citizens, will be developed under a joint venture that will be 51% owned by the SCZone, with DP World holding the balance.

Kuwait Economic Development fund to contribute EGP 1 bn to Sinai development projects: Investment Minister Sahar Nasr signed two agreements worth EGP 1 bn (KWD 17.5 mn) with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development yesterday to support development projects in North Sinai, a ministry statement says. Under the first agreement, KWD 12.5 mn will be allocated to establishing and developing infrastructure for drinking water in El Arish under the government’s development strategy for the Sinai Peninsula. The second agreement will see KWD 5 mn allocated to the reclamation of 400 feddans in North Sinai for agriculture and farming. The new agreements are part of the Kuwaiti fund’s financing framework for development projects in the Sinai, which will see it provide some USD 900 mn in funding over the course of three years.

Nasr also discussed cooperation with Romania’s Business, Trade, and Entrepreneurship Minister Ilan Laufer yesterday. The two officials agreed to bring into effect four MoUs that had been signed during Nasr’s visits to Romania in July on collaboration agriculture-focused investments and SME development. Egypt and Romania had also inked agreements in August on tourism promotion and scrapping visa requirements for diplomats.

Egypt apparently has the 40th best international image in the world, beating out all other Arab countries in the latest survey by the Nation Brands Index. The survey measures how people view a country across six categories: governance, people, tourism, culture and heritage, investment and immigration, and exports.

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe refused to resign on Sunday, but “instead delivered a meandering speech on state television that made clear the 93-year-old leader has no plans to leave power,” the Washington Post reports. Earlier in the day, Mugabe’s own ZANU-PF had dismissed him from the party, warning him to resign by noon on Monday or face impeachment. Mugabe, who is currently under house arrest, said however that matters would be settled in next month’s party congress, prompting questions over whether “he is showing signs of senility” or “displaying the same shrewd, stubborn ability to defy his critics that has kept him afloat for decades.”

Mugabe’s story reminds the Council of Foreign Relations’ Elliott Abrams of Hosni Mubarak. But while Mubarak tried to pass the torch to his son, Mugabe’s downfall came as he tried to position his wife as his successor.

Other international stories of note:

Germany heading for new elections? We won’t say Angela Merkel is one of our peeps, but Germany has been a reliable partner for Egypt on the security and economy fronts like, so color us interested that her bid to form a new government has failed, opening the door to new elections if she can’t cobble together a coalition. Bloomberg has the story.

We’re still trying to get our heads around the notion that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund could sell off USD 35 bn in oil and natural gas stocks, giving a boost to the folks fighting climate change.

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The Macro Picture

The disconnect between EM GDP growth and stock market performance can’t last forever, can it? That’s the contention of the Brookings Institution’s Eswar Prasad and Karim Foda (the latter spent a term doing research at the CBE about a decade ago) that gets plenty of ink this morning in the Wall Street Journal. The two found that “Over the past decade, emerging-market economies have nearly doubled in size, growing at an annualized rate of 6.6%, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. The MSCI Emerging Market stock index has climbed at an annualized rate of just 0.6% over that same decade.” What does this mean? There are four scenarios, only one of which we love: “Developed economies could accelerate much more than anyone expects, helping to justify their buoyant markets. Or developed markets could come down, better aligning with their growth. Emerging markets could also slow more than anyone currently expects, so their stock valuations look more justified. Or emerging-market stocks could boom, better aligning with their generally robust growth.” Read: Developed economies’ stock gains pale beside emerging markets’ GDP boom.

Conventional wisdom has it that rate hikes in the US are bad for EM. And Goldman Sachs apparently sees the Fed hiking rates four times next year, against an expectation of three rate increases in the wider community of rate-watchers, Reuters reports.

Are we nearing a market top, globally? While you’re reading the Journal, check out How to spot a market top, which marshals its inner Business Insider to argue, “the issue isn’t whether the market will crash, it is how much money investors will make, or lose, in the coming years. With cash sloshing around the global financial system, prices can go higher, but investors who buy at those prices shouldn’t expect their returns to match those earned in the past few years.”

Image of the Day

Egyptian Surrealism from the 1930s and 1940s is on display at the Tate Liverpool, reports The Guardian with a review (scroll halfway down the article), which name-checks the cosmopolitan group’s manifesto titled “Long Live Degenerate Art” and carries images of key works. “Egyptian surrealism is a thing apart. It turns the country’s long coastline into a theatre of wild events; mocks the absurdity of cat gods; shows women as brave rebels rather than the passively [redacted] objects of Parisian surrealism. The photographers … got to the heart of Egypt’s double life as a culture simultaneously ancient and modern.” You can also check out the Tate Liverpool’s site for the exhibition here.

Egypt in the News

It was a blessedly quiet morning for Egypt in the foreign press, with the Rafah border crossing being handed over to Palestinian Authority administration for the first time in a decade contending closely for the top spot with news of an Egyptian pop singer who was arrested for forgetting to put pants on (and, uhm, eating a banana) in her latest music video.

Also making the rounds this morning:

  • The Egyptian Museum turned 115 over the weekend since becoming the first purpose-built public museum in the Middle East and Africa. To celebrate the occasion Cairobserver published excerpts from Revival of the Egyptian Museum Initiative, initially published by Germany’s embassy in Cairo.
  • Saudi Arabia is set to open driving schools for women in March, with an all-female team of driving instructors from Egypt and Jordan, Gulf News says.
  • The “enormity” of late president Anwar Sadat’s 1977 address to the Knesset “cannot be overstated” as it “effectively removed an existential threat” to Israel’s borders, The Media Line says.
  • The UN voted in favor of the Olympic Truce Resolution prohibiting LGBTQ-based discrimination despite Egypt and Russia’s attempts to block it, NewNowNext says.
  • Egypt’s Coptic heritage is in danger because of lack of funding and poor marketing to tourism, George Mikhail writes for Al Monitor.

On Deadline

Despite efforts to diversify water sources, “Egypt can’t afford to lose a single drop of its 55 bcf of Nile water,” Abdel Moneim Said writes for Al Masry Al Youm. The government is aware that relying exclusively on the Nile — with or without the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam — is not a sustainable plan, which is why it is taking measures to diversify its sources, by commissioning more desalination and water treatment plants. But it needs the combination of both to cover its needs, especially in the long-run, and since water is already fast becoming a scarce resource due to booming population growth levels. If need be, the case must be presented to the UN security council.

Worth Watching

The world’s largest pyramid resides in Puebla Mexico and not Egypt, Business Insider reports. The 2,300 year old structure was constructed out of clay and resembles a hill because the mud has allowed flora to grow all over it. Missed by history for thousands of years, it was rediscovered in 1910. While not quite as tall as our Great Pyramid of Giza it is roughly double in volume due to its enormous base. The identity of the builders remains a mystery but experts believe it to have been an important place of worship after finding more than 400 human remains. (watch, runtime 2:10)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Has Egypt begun drumming up international pressure on Ethiopia? Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the ramifications of Ethiopia and Sudan rejecting the independent impact studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call on Sunday, according to a statement from the ministry. While the statement did not delve into details, government officials had implied that Egypt would attempt to push for international pressure on Ethiopia following the rejection of the study.

The call also touched on the US decision to shut down the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in DC if the Palestinian Authority continued to try and bring Israel before the International Criminal Court. The Palestinians had responded by stating they would break diplomatic ties if the US followed through. Shoukry had urged calm on the matter. The call also looked at Iran’s interventions in the region and the Lebanon crisis, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said.

Real Estate + Housing

KVRD begins work on sidewalk project

KVRD Real Estate has begun work on their EGP 500 mn project in New Cairo ‘Sidewalk,’according to AMAY. The 20k sqm project comprises of 19 shops and 28 offices spaces. The company plans on finishing the project in one phase and to start selling within a year. KVRD also has a 15k sqm office project in New Cairo named Polaris but details on it remain scarce.

Tourism

Occupancy rates in Luxor reach 70%

Hotel occupancy rates in Luxor have been on an upswing this winter season, reaching 60-70%,head of the Tourism Promotion Authority in Upper Egypt Mohamed Osman told AMAY. He added that rates of USD 85 per night are being spent compared to USD 45 per night last year as well as longer durations of stay. Asian markets have contributed to the rise with tourism from India, China and Japan increasing and 25 flights from across the globe landing daily. He also noted that the hot air balloon, which had been banned since a Korean tourist died a while back, was back in operation.

Moods to start flights between Casablanca and Sharm El Sheikh

Moods Travel will launch a new direct flight route between Casablanca and Sharm El Sheikh in May 2018,General Manager Atef Ismail told Al Shorouk. The company has been granted all the necessary approvals for 12 flights over the summer months set to bring in 2,200 Moroccan tourists. He noted that Moroccans will be granted visas to Egypt only 24 hours after applying.

Automotive + Transportation

Military Productions Ministry want in on supplying railways with 1,300 cars

The Military Productions Ministry wants to get in on the international tender to supply 1,300 railway cars, Minister Mohamed Al Assar said, according to Al Borsa. The ministry has been in talks with the Transport Ministry on ways it can contribute to building and supplying railway cars and locomotives, he added. The Transport Ministry had issued a global tender for international companies to supply 1,300 railway cars for the National Railway Authority’s fleet, and is expected to announce the results next month. The ministry is currently deliberating between three rival bids from Italy, China, and a Hungarian-Russian consortium, Minister Hisham Arafat had said last week. In other railway news, the Transport Ministry is reportedly in talks with the World Bank Group for another loan to develop Egypt’s railway systems, ministry sources tell Al Shorouk. Last week, Arafat signed a USD 150 mn agreement with Thales Spain to supply an automated railway signaling system with funding from the WBG.

Other Business News of Note

Knock Mart to invest EGP 25 mn in new branches next year

Knock Mart is investing EGP 25 mn next year to open 20 new stores across the country, CEO Ahmed Taher told Al Mal. The increase brings their cumulative investments to EGP 65 mn and a total of 40 stores in operation, he added. Knock Mart recently signed an agreement with Jumia to offer fresh produce online and has submitted a bid to acquire the Dina Farms supermarket chain.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Activist awaits trial for protesting against Tiran and Sanafir agreement with Saudi

Activist Mahinour El Masry has been taken into custody and awaits trial “on charges of participating in an illegal protest against the government’s transfer of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia,” the AP says. Four other activists are being tried alongside El Masry.

On Your Way Out

Disney to screen new film Coco at first ever Arab World film festival: The Walt Disney Company is set to screen its new 3D-animated feature Coco at its first ever film festival in the Arab world, which takes place in Tunisia from 24-26 November, Egypt Today says. Other classics, including Cinderella, Bambi, and Aladdin, will also be screened. Disney had recently succumbed to public pressure to return to using the Egyptian dialect in dubbing its animated films in Arabic. Watch the trailer for Coco here (runtime 2:12)

ON THIS DAY- On this day in 1945, the Nuremberg trial of Nazis began, charging twenty Nazi leaders of war crimes. Extremist insurgents attempted the Grand Mosque seizure in Saudi Arabia on this day in 1979, calling for the overthrow of the House of Saud and declaring that the Mahdi had arrived in the form of one of their leaders. The Treaty of Paris of 1815 was signed in 1815 following the defeat and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte after France’s defeat in the Battle of Waterloo. More than 1,000 families of British servicemen began moving out of the Suez Canal Zone in 1951 as tensions between the British and Egyptians have been running high in the area. On this day in 1910, Francisco Madero launched a failed revolt that nonetheless sparked the Mexican Revolution by inspiring hope in such leaders as Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, who then mobilized their ragged armies. Tanks were used effectively in warfare for the first time as the British deployed them in the Battle of Camrai in 1917. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was born on this day in 1957 and US Vice President Joe Biden in 1942. On this day in 1910, Russian author Leo Tolstoy died of heart failure and in 1975 Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died in Madrid. This time last year, banks began refinancing non-essential imports through the interbank market. In 2014, rumors that a Disneyland was being built in Egypt.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.59 | Sell 17.69
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.57 | Sell 17.67
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.59 | Sell 17.69

EGX30 (Sunday): 13,742 (-0.8%)
Turnover: EGP 681 mn (31% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +11.3%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session down 0.8%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed down 0.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Global Telecom up 1.4%; AMOC up 1.1%; and Cairo Oils and Soap up 0.7%. Today’s worst performing stocks were: SODIC down 4.2%; Egyptian Resorts down 4.1%; and Egyptian Iron and Steel down 3.3%. The market turnover was EGP 681 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -57.3 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +31.3 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +26.0 mn

Retail: 73.8% of total trades | 75.6% of buyers | 72.0% of sellers
Institutions: 26.2% of total trades | 24.4% of buyers | 28.0% of sellers

Foreign: 10.7% of total | 6.5% of buyers | 14.9% of sellers
Regional: 10.7% of total | 13.0% of buyers | 8.4% of sellers
Domestic: 78.6% of total | 80.5% of buyers | 76.7% of sellers

WTI: USD 56.55 (+2.56%)
Brent: USD 62.72 (+2.22%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.10 MMBtu, (+1.44%, DEC 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,296.5 / troy ounce (+1.43%)

TASI: 6,872.16 (-0.6%) (YTD: -4.69%)
ADX: 4,279.31 (-1.12%) (YTD: -5.87%)
DFM: 3,423.12 (-1.07%) (YTD: -3.05%)
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Calendar

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.

05 December (Tuesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI reading for November to be announced.

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). 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.