Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Our EGP 2 tn informal economy
How much are you paying in extra taxes because they’re cheating?

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Long weekend next week? We may be looking at a short work week next week after Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree declaring Thursday, 30 November a holiday for the public sector to mark the occasion of The Prophet’s Birthday. The Prophet’s Birthday actually falls on Friday, 1 December. Enterprise will be off on Thursday, 30 November, but there’s no word yet on whether the central bank is declaring it a bank holiday or not.

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US of A. The non-Americans among us keep toying with the idea of wrapping ourselves in the ‘Murican flag for the day to cadge an extra day off.

The Union of Egyptian Investors Association is expected to meet with the House Industry Committee today to discuss natural gas prices. The rising cost of energy is squeezing manufacturers, the lobby group says. The House had floated the idea of repricing natural gas for industry, but don’t expect government to backslide on phasing out subsidies for business.

A trilateral summit with Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece is set to kick off today in Nicosia. We expect energy to feature prominently in the talks, especially after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting yesterday with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, where discussions of a natural gas pipeline between the two countries reportedly began. We have more in the Speed Round, below.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri may be in Cairo today before returning to Lebanon on Wednesday to address the confusion caused by his sudden resignation while in Riyadh. (Confused yet?) We have yet to see confirmation of the visit from Ittihadiya. El Hariri, who resigned in alleged protest of Iran’s meddling in his country, comes to Egypt following an emergency Arab League meeting to discuss “ways to combat Iranian interference,” notes The National.

Delegations from 13 Palestinian faction are on their way to Egypt for talks today “aimed at healing [the] inter-Palestinian rift,” the Anadolu Agency reports, citing anonymous security sources in Gaza. Hamas and Fatah are among the factions attending the talks in a bid to resolve “outstanding issues” hindering their recent Egypt-brokered unity agreement.

Talk about a youth bulge … or what will drive our economic growth: 40% of all Egyptians are under the age of 18, CAPMAS revealed, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Still a concern is the fact that only 86.4% of females and 80.6% of males are enrolled in secondary education. One issue that could raise some sociological problems down the line is the gender mismatch in the youth demographic: The under-18 population is unevenly split with 51.7% males and 48.3% females.

Is Credit Suisse the next front in MbS’ battle with Qatar? That’s the contention of the Financial Times, which notes that the Saudi leadership is “intrigued by recent shareholder developments at Credit Suisse,” where activist hedge fund RBR has acquired a small stake and is advocating for a three-way breakup of the firm. One of two people who briefed the FT said “the Saudis were toying with investing between USD 500 mn and USD 1 bn in Credit Suisse — enough to buy a 2.4 per cent stake. If they pressed ahead, it would make for a fascinating dynamic at the top of Credit Suisse’s shareholder register … [where] Qatar Holding is one of the bank’s current top shareholders.” You can read more about RBR’s bid in our exclusive interview with the firm’s founder, Rudi Bohli: Meet the man who would break up Credit Suisse — and the Mideast angle that will see him in Cairo in early 2018.

Royal purse supporting share prices in Saudi? And speaking of Qatar, the always on-point Simon Kitchen, head of strategy at EFG Hermes, gets name-checked in the Wall Street Journal as suggesting that “anecdotal evidence and precedent suggest government money has supported buying from local mutual funds” — likely explaining why the Tadawul continues to chug along: “MSCI’s index for Saudi stocks has fallen just 0.3% in the last month. But the MSCI’s index of stocks listed in the other five members of the Gulf Cooperation Council—Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman—is down 4.9%,” the Journal writes.

Charlie Rose is latest to fall in wave of US [redacted] harassment scandals. PBS announced it is dropping his interview show and another US network is taking him off its morning program following allegations Rose “made crude [redacted] advances toward multiple women who worked on his show over a dozen years.” The high-profile interviewer is well-known to many in the Egyptian business community for his post-2011 interest in Egypt.

Are the Dems finally getting serious about the 2020 race for the White House? While you’re reading the Times, go get up to speed on Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles mayor who is said to be mulling a bid for the presidency as a Democratic challenger to The Donald. Saying the “classic rules of American politics are dying if not dead,” Garcetti, 46, said there is “definitely an impatient next generation ready to move.” Veteran NYT politics reporter Adam Nagourney turns in a sharp profile of the man who would be the first mayor ever to sit in the Oval Office.

It’s time to take your ticker seriously. No, that’s not some malapropism talking about your share price — we’re talking about your heart. New guidelines in Amreeka now define high blood pressure as anything 130/80 mmHg or above. The old threshold was 140/90. In a nation as marred by high blood pressure (and diabetes) as ours is, that’s something we all need to watch. If you’re not monitoring your BP, start. You can buy a simple electronic device at the pharmacy. One of our favourite people in the world also recently reminded us that most pharmacies will also take your BP for you the old fashioned way (cuff and stethoscope). Monitor morning and night for a week or two and then go visit the doc to discuss the results. The New York Times has background on the new guidelines here, read its guide to How to Lower Your Blood Pressure and then its 7 Habits for a Healthy Heart.

On The Horizon

AmCham is hosting 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 December in Istanbul.

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.

A high-level parliamentary delegation will consult with the European Parliament in Strasbourg mid-December, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the House of Representatives Tarek Radwan said. The statements were picked up by Al Mal from his meeting with EU ambassador Ivan Surkos on Monday.

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

New tech zones: December should also see the ICT Ministry inaugurating two new technology zones, one each in Sadat City and Beni Suef, where the first locally assembled smartphone will be unveiled, according to Youm7. The two technological zones will be home to accreditation centers and testing laboratories for both domestic and imported electronic equipment.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was a night of dreariness on the airwaves as talking heads struggled to entertain themselves with the (non-)issues of the day.

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib offered what may be the most useful segment of the night, calling for interest rates to be cut and saying they are among the highest in the world. His view is that high interest rates have encouraged people to save their money in banks rather than invest it. Our data shows the exact opposite — that folks are pulling funds out to cope with cash flow squeezes — but his basic demand is right.

Adib also went on a diatribe about the informal economy, citing Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s figure from yesterday that the informal economy was about EGP 1.8 tn in size. He urged the government to adopt more creative and lenient policies to bring SMEs into the formal economy, going as far as saying that the government offer to not look into the source of a business’ funds if the business agrees to come into the Holy Light of the Banking Sector (watch, runtime: 7:49).

Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin also discussed the informal economy. Ismail cabinet spokesperson Ashraf Sultan phoned in to list to host Tamer Amin the initiatives the government has adopted to encourage financial inclusion. Sultan also noted a meeting Ismail had with steel manufacturers to discuss policies that would benefit the sector. Repricing gas undoubtedly came up (watch, runtime: 6:52).

Amin also delved into the issue of our absentee MPs with House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Soliman Wahdan who admitted that the issue has become a habit among representatives, while offering no solutions such as mandating detentions and writing lines on a blackboard (watch, runtime: 6:36).

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi spoke MP Anissa Hassouna who said that she will submit a draft law allowing women to be appointed in judicial roles in the Egyptian Council of State (Maglis El Dawla).The council has been barring the appointment of women for some time now in violation of the constitution, she claims (watch, runtime: 6:13).

Lamees also spoke with Antiquities Minister Khaled El Anany on stolen artefacts. El Anany denied that some 33,000 artefacts had been looted from the ministry’s coffers (watch, runtime: 9:17).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Government lodges appeals administrative court ruling banning ergot in wheat imports: The Egyptian government has filed an appeal against last week’s administrative court ruling that stayed a Cabinet decision to allow wheat shipments containing 0.05% of ergot — the international standard — to enter the country, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy tells Bloomberg in an interview. “We are the biggest importer of wheat in the world and must be in line with international standards,” the minister said. “We respect the administrative court, but this ruling will not change in any way our working mechanism.”

The General Authority for Supply Commodities’ wheat tender last Thursday drew an uncharacteristically low number of bids, as global traders refused to take part due to concerns over the possible return of a zero-tolerance policy for ergot and the general “lack of clarity over grain standards.” Romanian and French wheat shipments containing poppy seeds had also faced trouble entering the country. The court is expected to deliberate on the government’s objection this week, El Moselhy said.

In the meantime, the ministries of supply and agriculture are working to issue a new detailed policy on wheat imports in 7-10 days’ time, he added. “The guidelines will state explicitly who carries out inspections, the method used to take samples and which accredited laboratories can test the samples,” in addition to detailing testing procedures and when and how to involve prosecution. Also under the guidelines, “inspections can potentially be carried out by export authorities in a source country without the need for Egypt to send its own inspectors to check on shipments before they arrive.”

The move may rattle the cage for quarantine inspectors, but El Moselhy said he was not backing down. Grain traders had accused quarantine officers of intentionally blocking the entry of wheat shipments as a way to pressure the government into reinstating a policy that allows them to travel abroad and inspect cargoes before shipment.

Egypt and Cyprus agreed to begin talks in December on a natural gas pipelineconnecting the two countries, Xinhua reports, citing Cypriot state radio. The new connection will use an existing pipeline connecting “depleted Egyptian gas fields to liquefaction plants at Idku and Damietta.” Egypt will also be inking an agreement with Greece, Cyprus, and Italy in early December over an EU-sponsored gas pipeline connecting eastern Mediterranean fields to Italy via Cyprus and Greece, according to the radio report. “These gas discoveries can contribute to the European continent’s search for alternative energy sources, taking advantage of the position of Egypt and Cyprus,” President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart President Nicos Anastasiades in Cyprus yesterday, the Associated Press reports.

The Electricity Ministry is also conducting a feasibility study on linking the electricity grids of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, chairman of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) Gaber El Desouki said on Monday. He added that the project (in the same vein as the Egypt-Saudi electricity grid interconnection project) would become part of a larger power linkage project between Europe and Africa, the local press reports.

Cooperation on energy will be at the heart of relations with Cyprus, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Thanks to their strategic geographic location, Egypt and Cyprus “could have an active and vital role in the region’s energy policy,” El Sisi said during a joint press conference.

For his part, Anastasiades said his country will promote closer relations between Egypt and the EU, calling Egypt an "absolutely necessary strategic partner" for the 28-member bloc on issues like energy, migration and combating extremism.

In a closed-door meeting ahead of the conference, El Sisi and Anastasiades signed two MoUs on cooperation on health and information technology. The leaders also discussed cooperation on economic and cultural issues, as well as security under a joint framework signed in 2015.

The Medical Syndicate came out against the Universal Healthcare Act yesterday, Al Mal reports. Their objections appear to be over fears of the dreaded and evil “privatization of healthcare” — which Nasserist groupthink lingo for contracting out to the private sector. The syndicate also objects to making subscription to the healthcare plan mandatory and clearly outlining who is eligible for exemptions under the program.

Our friends at Matouk Bassiouny law firm announced yesterday (pdf) the kickoff of their regional expansion plan with the opening of new branches in Dubai and Khartoum. The firm partnered up with Amal Advocates and Legal Consultants in the UAE, with head of corporate and partner Omar Bassiouny as point of contact. In Sudan, partner and head of finance and projects Mahmoud Bassiouny will be running point, with AIH Law Firm as local partner.

CIB’s USD 100 mn subordinated loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is credit positive for CIB, ratings agency Moody’s says. The loan qualifies as Tier-2 capital and will increase the bank’s total capital and protect its total regulatory capital ratio against the risk of further weakening of the EGP. “The subordinated loan also will diversify CIB’s funding sources and increase the [USD] funds available to the bank to service its clients.” Moody’s adds that “although the bank did not announce the pricing for the subordinated loan, we do not expect that its cost will materially negatively affect CIB’s funding cost or its high net interest margin of 4.94% as of September 2017.”

CIB plans to implement blockchain technology within the bank over the coming three years, said CEO of Retail Banking Ahmed Issa on Monday, according to Al Mal. Speaking at the African Securities Exchange Association’s meeting in Cairo, Issa said the move towards blockchain — a digital record which underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum — will demand the bank revamp its infrastructure. Adopting the blockchain strategy comes as the country looks to expand online banking, Issa added. CIB Chairman Hisham Ezz Al Arab had extolled the importance of blockchain technology last month at the Yahoo Finance All Market Summit, saying that “blockchain technology … will change the face of the world” as it develops over the coming years. For more on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been used in the corporate world other than as a payment method, you can check out this explainer we noted last summer. Also worth reading: A Complete Beginner’s Guide To Blockchain by a Forbes (ugh) contributor and IBM’s Blockchain basics: Introduction to distributed ledgers.

MOVES: Omar Iqtidar has been named head of Citigroup’s mergers and acquisitions practice for central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), according to Reuters. Iqtidar succeeds Cisco Abularach, who received a new appointment earlier this year, and will relocate to London from Dubai after being posted there since 2008.

Egyptian oranges “demand a high price in China,” according to Fresh Plaza. China’s Egyptian orange purchases have been on a steady uptrend since imports began in 2014, due to factors such as improved packaging quality. By October 2017, China had imported more than 100k tonnes of oranges from Egypt.

Egypt, Togo, and Ivory Coast have been leading progress on African human development for the last five years, according to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s 2017 Index of African Governance. Egypt also performs well on the index in terms of “sustainable economic opportunity” as it has “more than tripled its annual pace of improvement” over the last five years when compared to the last decade. The country, however, underperforms in the category of safety and rule of law, coming in at 33 of 54. You can view the full report here (pdf). The Financial Times (paywall) and Devex also note the story.

Egypt also ranked 139 of 163 on Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index (GPI), up from 142 a year before. The index uses data on militarization, society and security, and domestic and international conflict to rate countries. You can browse through the different countries and indicators on this interactive map here.

IPO WATCH- Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) plans to IPO as much as 20% of its fuel-distribution unit ADNOC for Distribution in the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange on 13 December, Bloomberg reports. The pricing range for the book-build will be announced on 26 November. ADNOC is looking for a valuation of between USD 10-14 bn. “We should see very good demand for this IPO, as the company is closely correlated to the energy industry and you don’t have the chance of buying such a share in the region that easily,” said Issam Kassabieh, equities analyst at Menacorp Financial Services in Dubai. “It is a good play and different than Emaar Development, from the real estate market, that has several names traded already.’’ EFG Hermes reportedly joins Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as joint bookrunners for the offering, while Citigroup, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC and Merrill Lynch International will be coordinating the IPO. The IPO of ADNOC and Emaar come at a trying time for GCC stocks in the wake of the Saudi anti-corruption campaign.

And speaking of Saudi’s anti-corruption campaign, it appears to have hobbled Kingdom Holding’s USD 1.3 bn loan to fund new investments, according to an exclusive from Reuters. Banks have suspended transactions with the company after its owner Alwaleed Bin Talal was arrested as part of the campaign on charges of money laundering, bribery and extorting officials. The move could jeopardize potential investments the company had hoped to make in Egypt including a potential USD 800 mn partnership with Talaat Moustafa Group on the development of hotels in Al Alamein and Sharm El Sheikh.

Mnangagwa elected as Zimbabwe ruling party leader, positioned to take over as president: Emmerson Mnangagwa, who also goes by the sobriquet “Crocodile,” has been elected leader of Zimbabwe’s ruling political party ZANU-PF “and positioned to take over as the country’s president,” the Associated Press reports. The party sacked longtime Zimbabwean ruler Robert Mugabe after military forces took him into custody earlier this week. “[Mnangagwa] engineered a remarkable comeback using skills he no doubt learned from his longtime mentor, President Robert Mugabe,” the newswire notes.

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Image of the Day

Mexican and Egyptian archaeologists working to restore ancient Egyptian temples: Restoration teams from Mexico are working with Egyptian specialists to preserve national heritage in Luxor as part of a mission aided by specialists in conservation, archeology, architecture, documentation, and photography. This picture shows Egyptian restoration inspector Fatma Khairee and Mexican restorer Luis Armando Canada working together on a Mural at the Thebes Tomb 39. This tomb was a burial complex in honor to Pumire, a High Priest of Amun who worked under the Queen Hatshepsut and Thutmose III command during Dynasty XVIII. The collaboration involves the first Mexican restoration mission in Egypt, which began in 2005, led by Gabriela Arrache, Director of the Mexican Society of Egyptology. H/t Adrian R.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning: An apology to the government of Egypt issued by the family of Laura Plummer, the British citizen currently awaiting trial for bringing illegal meds into Egypt, Ruth Michaelson writes for The Guardian. “We realise Laura has unintentionally done wrong in the eyes of the Egyptian authorities. A totally innocent action that has resulted in her being held in custody by the police in Hurghada.” her family says. Plummer awaits trial on 25 December.

Other stories worth noting in brief this morning:

  • African countries need about USD 2.5 tn “to achieve their sustainable development plans,” according to remarks by Investment Minister Sahar Nasr quoted by the Journal du Cameroun.
  • Russia’s arms sales to the Middle East are soaring, with Egypt, Morocco, Saudi, the UAE, and Tunisia all expressing interest, RT reports. Egypt is expecting to receive 50 Mig-29 fighters from Russia by 2020.
  • Former President Mohamed Morsi had a medical check up on Sunday, according to the Middle East Monitor.

On Deadline

Egypt needs to take additional steps to narrow the gap between the positive and negative impact of the EGP float and other economic reform policies, Ziad Bahaa El Din writes for Al Shorouk. While there’s no denying that reform measures were both necessary and inevitable, the real measure of their success is how they reflect on the populace. Bahaa El Din argues that laws and policies are not enough to effect real change. Widening the social safety net, for instance, is not only achieved through pension programs and income tax cuts, but by an improvement in public services such as health, education, transport, and the like.

Worth Watching

Young Egyptians are embracing trends including hipster hairstyles, piercings and tattoos, the BBC reports. Even the prospect of social backlash at non-traditional looks isn’t keeping the young away from pursuing hipster looks with a few piercing and tattoo parlours already established around town. It is all fair game with body piercings, dreadlocks and some downright bizarre haircuts. You can just smell the avocado toasties cooking — or at least the one dude in the video with his hair on fire… (watch, runtime: 1:41)

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

More tensions with Sudan in the offing, as its refusal to accept GERD impactstudy has more to do with politics: It would appear that Sudan’s refusal to ratify the impact studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could be the result of it conflating the issue with other unrelated political problems with Egypt. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour went on RT Arabic to say that Egypt has for the past years been eating into Sudan’s share of the Nile in violation of a 1959 treaty. “It’s time for Egypt to pay what it owes Sudan, and time for Sudan to get its full share of the water,” he said. Following his statements on the Nile, Ghandour went on to state that Sudan will not stop pressing its claim of the disputed region of Halayeb. Sudan had proposed that Egypt sign a similar sovereignty handover treaty with Egypt as it did with Saudi Arabia over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir or accept international arbitration, something which the Egyptians have refused, Ghandour added.

A lame excuse? Sudan’s Irrigation and Electricity Minister Mutaz Musa had said on Sunday that his country and Ethiopia’s refusal to accept the independent impact report came down to them disputing the “baseline data” of the report (whatever that means), Sudan Tribune reports.

We’re seeing a much less combative tone from Qatar, whose Foreign MinisterMohamed Al Thani who said that Egypt’s safety and security is in Qatar’s interest. He then went on to say that his country wasn’t to blame for the deteriorating relations between them, Sputnik Arabic reports. His talk was probably meant as a little PR as he made those statements at the Nixon Center in DC. This came as Qatar called for Egypt and its GCC allies boycotting it to allow their citizens to attend the 2022 World Cup, Reuters reports. “We separate politics from sports,” Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, told reporters in Doha.

Israel and Egypt are now “blaming each other for bureaucratic snafus” preventing the release of Ahmad Suwarka to Egypt, Haaretz reports. Suwaraka was arrested in 2009 and charged with colluding with Hamas on planning to attack Israeli targets but he completed his sentence in September 2016. “Suwarka remains in Nafha Prison because of the Infiltration Law, which enables Israel to keep him behind bars until Egypt can provide a laissez-passer.”

Trade and flight agreements discussed at the Egyptian Romanian Business Forum: Pico Group is looking into expansion prospects in Romania, Romania Insider reports. Our friend Tawfik Diab, who led Pico’s oil arm into Romania, met with Romania’s Business Environment Minister Ilan Laufer during the latter’s visit to Egypt for the Egyptian Romanian Business and Investment Forum yesterday. Details of the proposed expansion were not announced. Also coming from the Forum, Romania and Egypt will be holding talks in February on resuming direct flights between both countries, Head of The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bucharest Sorin Dumitru said. Romanian embassy officials expressed their desire for Cairo-Bucharest flights back in August if demand for them is high enough. Four MoUs are expected to be signed during the forum on cooperation for air travel, research and other sectors, Youm7 reports.

The forum was preceded by a meeting between Prime Minister Sherif Ismail Laufer yesterday to discuss cooperation on SME development, according to the a cabinet statement.

Financial Regulatory Authority boss Mohamed Omran was named African capital markets’ ‘Man of the Year’ yesterday at the African exchanges conference taking place in Cairo.

Energy

EEHC finalizes EGP 626 mn pump supply contract with Germany’s KSB for West Cairo, Asyut power stations

The Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) finalized contracts worth EGP 626 mn with Germany’s KSB yesterday for the supply of pumps for the West Cairo and Asyut power stations, Al Masry Al Youm reports. We had said in September that KSB would be awarded a c. EGP 330 mn contract for the 650 MW West Cairo power plant, which is expected to come online in 2019 with over EGP 6 bn in funding secured through Arab financing institutions, such as the Kuwait and Saudi development funds. In related news, EHC boss Gaber El Dessouki signed an MoU with the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation for collaboration on sustainable energy planning and regional power interconnection projects. El Dessouki also met with executives from Sweden’s ABB Group yesterday to discuss further cooperation on renewable energy projects. Also yesterday, the EEHC issued a list of power projects that made it into its 2022-2027 plan, which aims to generate around 13,340 MW of power through projects worth USD 20 bn, Daily News Egypt reports. Among those is the coal-fired power plant in Hamrawein, which the UAE’s Al Nowais will be establishing, another in Oyoun Mousa, a combined-cycle power station in Qena, as well as another in Luxor. The Electricity Ministry had decided to put a number of projects on hold, seeing as the country is already producing a surplus.

Electricity Ministry signs contracts with GKC to develop USD 225 mn waste-to-energy plant

South Korea’s Global Knowledge Company (GKC) will sign today contracts to develop a USD 225 mn waste-to-energy power plant in Beheira under a build–operate–transfer framework, Al Borsa reports. The signing reportedly comes after two years of regulatory haggling to get the project off the ground over licensing. The newspaper claims that the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) had intervened to grant GKC a license to operate in Egypt after the company reportedly threatened to back out of two projects worth a combined USD 450 mn. Company reps have been holding meetings with the ACA and the Environments Ministry to resolve the issue over the past month, said the company’s CEO for the MENA region Ehab Tahoun.

Tourism

International Law preventing Egypt from recovering the Rosetta Stone

International Law is preventing Egypt from recovering certain artefacts like the Rosetta Stone, Antiquities Minister Khaled El Nany told parliament on Monday.

Automotive + Transportation

EgyptAir to lease 15 Airbus A320neo aircrafts via AerCap

EgyptAir announced yesterday that it will be leasing 15 new Airbus A320neo aircraft from Dublin-based AerCap, Al Mal reports. Last week, the national flag carrier had announced it would leasing six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from AerCap under a plan to upgrade its fleet, which will be delivered in 2019.

Auto spare parts imports drop to USD 380 mn for first nine months of the year

Automotive spare parts imports in 9M2017 declined to USD 380 mn from USD 670 mn last year, deputy head of the Spare Parts Division of the Cairo Chambers of Commerce Shalaby Ghaleb said. The slump is part of the broader slowdown in the auto industries as both importers and consumers grapple with rising costs. Ghaleb added that the price increases have led to increased sales of counterfeit parts, a concern he has raised before.

Banking + Finance

FEB approves changes to the guidelines on banking fees

The Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) approved changes to banking guidelines on processing fees for transactions, according to a statement from the FEB picked up by Al Masry Al Youm. While the statement did not specify what these changes were, it did stress that the rules are binding among member banks.

Other Business News of Note

Investment Ministry forms investor services unit, to expedite licensing

Investment Minister Nasr issued a decree establishing a unit in her ministry to follow up and help troubleshoot issues investors may have, Al Mal reports. The investor services unit would also handle complaints foreign and local investors may have. The ministry also signed a cooperation protocol with the Supply Ministry to link the databases of the Commercial Registry with those of the General Authority for Freezones and Investment in order to facilitate and expedite licensing approvals, Al Shorouk reports.

Shaya eyes new admin capital mall

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr sat down with the head of Kuwaiti franchise conglomerate Mohamed Al Shaya to discuss the possibility of building a mall in the new administrative capital on Monday,according to a ministry statement. The Avenues Mall would potentially be attached to a hotel or medical complex. Nasr also spoke to head of Sokhna Refinery and Petrochemicals Company Essam Saqr about increasing their investments in the Ain Sokhna area. SRPC recently secured funding of USD 1.4 bn from European and Chinese lenders for its refinery project in Ain Sokhna.

National Security

Israeli soldier injured as patrol near Egyptian border comes under fire

An Israeli soldier was lightly injured when an army vehicle traveling along the border with Egypt came under fire yesterday, according to Times of Israel. “The IDF suspects that the gunfire was ‘spillover’ from internal fighting between Egyptian forces and a Sinai-based Islamic State affiliate, but was investigating whether it may have been a deliberate attack, the army said.”

Sports

Salah breaks Robbie Fowler’s goal scoring record in Liverpool

National treasure Mohamed Salah continued to garner international headlines by breaking a Liverpool goal scoring record held by Robbie Fowler during Saturday’s Premier League game with Southampton. Salah scored nine goals in his first 12 Premier League appearances, a new record at the club, according to Goal.com. Salah is carrying the hopes of Egypt at the World Cup, Mohamed Quoted writes for the BBC. “Salah is the man behind our qualification to the World Cup … When we qualified in 1990, it was more of a team effort. This time, Salah was the leader of the whole campaign,” Hazem Emam, who won the 1998 Nations Cup and 87 caps for Egypt, tells BBC Sport.

On Your Way Out

Why can’t we make frivolous lawsuits a crime in this country? As if arresting a singer for playing inappropriately with bananas and suing Sherine for a joke wasn’t enough, Ahmed El Fishawy, the lead actor of critically acclaimed film “Sheikh Jackson,” has been summoned by prosecutors on charges of contempt of religion following another lawsuit by an overzealous lawyer,The Egypt Independent reports. What’s next, lawsuits for wearing white shoes after labor day?

ON THIS DAY- On this day in 1995, the Dayton Accord, a peace settlement for war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina was brokered in the US. The agreement was signed by the presidents of Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia on 14 December 1995. “Under the agreement Bosnia will remain a single state, but most power will be devolved to two new territories – a Muslim-Croat federation and a Bosnian-Serb republic,” BBC reported at the time. In 1979, a mob in Islamabad burned the US Embassy in Pakistan to the ground. On this day in 1783, the first manned hot-air balloon flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, marquis d’Arlandes, traveling from the Château de la Muette across the Bois de Boulogne on the edge of Paris in a balloon made by Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier. Thomas Edison announced the invention of the phonograph as a device for recording and replaying sound in 1877. French philosopher and author Voltaire was born on this day in 1694. More recently, Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte was born in 1898. This time last year we were reporting on news that the government could be planning to axe two mn bureaucrats by 2020.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6 | Sell 17.7
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.59 | Sell 17.69
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.6 | Sell 17.7

EGX30 (Monday): 13,681 (-0.5%)
Turnover: EGP 880 mn (11% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +10.8%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.5%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed up 0.5%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were: Oriental Weavers up 2.9%; Egyptian Financial & Industrial up 1.4%; and CIB up 0.5%. Today’s worst performing stocks were: Egyptian Iron & Steel down 4.3%; Telecom Egypt down 4.1%; and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank down 3.6%. The market turnover was EGP 880 mn, and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -65.4 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +79.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -13.7 mn

Retail: 59.5% of total trades | 63.2% of buyers | 55.8% of sellers
Institutions: 40.5% of total trades | 36.8% of buyers | 44.2% of sellers

Foreign: 22.1% of total | 18.4% of buyers | 25.8% of sellers
Regional: 9.9% of total | 14.4% of buyers | 5.4% of sellers
Domestic: 68.0% of total | 67.2% of buyers | 68.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 56.09 (-0.81%)
Brent: USD 62.11 (-0.97%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.03 MMBtu, (-2.16%, DEC 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,276.2 / troy ounce (-1.57%)TASI: 6,804.23 (-0.99%) (YTD: -5.63%)
ADX: 4,288.86 (+0.22%) (YTD: -5.66%)
DFM: 3,416.72 (-0.19%) (YTD: -3.23%)
KSE Weighted Index: 399.43 (-0.36%) (YTD: +5.09%)
QE: 7,808.18 (-0.25%) (YTD: -25.19%)
MSM: 5,085.24 (-0.24%) (YTD: -12.06%)
BB: 1,266.02 (-0.48%) (YTD: +3.73%)

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

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