Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The market is shrugging off Egypt’s deadliest-ever terror attack


What We’re Tracking Today

This four-day work week is fast approaching an end. Both the public and private sectors will be off on Thursday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which officially falls on Friday 1 December.

The French-Egyptian Sustainable City Week wraps up today, after five days of sessions and conferences that brought together French Ambassador Stéphane Romatet, former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker, along with a number of CEOs of French and Egyptian companies.

Forgive us, but we’ll be screaming at our TV / iPad / laptop screens for the next several days. Egypt remains the top-seeded team (how often do you get to read that, ladies and gents?) after the first day of action at the 2017 World Squash Federation men’s world team championships in Marseille, France. The tourney, which kicked off yesterday, runs through Sunday, 3 December, and we’re cheering for the national team to go all the way as 24 nations compete for the title last won by the English in 2013. England is the number two seed this time around. Egypt was in fine form yesterday as the team put down Pakistan in “a confrontation between two of the giant nations of world squash,” Squash Info reports. “Egypt the No.1 seeds [were] looking to gain revenge for their surprise defeat to England in the 2013 final and win the title for a fourth time.”

Karim Abdel Gawad, Ali Farag and Marwan El Shorbagy each won their Monday matches 3-0, setting up matches today at 4:30pm CLT against Group A’s Switzerland ahead of the round of 16. We’re chuffed that our friends at CIB are the exclusive sponsors of the Egyptian national team. Check out the full tournament schedule, flip through the organizer’s gallery of match shots from yesterday, watch a 30-second teaser video for the championship or simply visit the tournament website. Pictured above: Marwan El Shorbagy, Ramy Ashour, Ali Farag, and Karim Abdel Gawad in Marseille.

Elsewhere on the interwebs this morning:

Nominee for Fed boss to stress continuity: “Jay Powell will set the stage for further increases in interest rates while stressing the need to respond flexibly to unexpected events” when he faces his confirmation hearing in the US Senate today, the Financial Times reports. The Wall Street Journal also has a deep dive.

Bitcoin is barreling toward USD 10k “after gaining more than a fifth in value over the past three days alone,” Reuters says. The digital currency is up 10x in value since the start of the year.

Bill Gates has called detained Saudi bn’aire Alwaleed bin Talal an “important partner,” Bloomberg notes.

The chief of Swiss private bank Julius Baer has unexpectedly stepped down to take the helm at Pictet, CNBC writes.

Maybe then the staff will stop stealing our iPhone charger? A new battery technology being developed by Samsung promises mobile device batteries that could charge 5x faster and have 45% more capacity. Zdnet and the FT have more.

No salt for you: If most Americans should cut back on salt for the sake of their health, then what about us here in Egypt?

Our inner Fenian is going berserk that we’re even mentioning this, but Prince Harry has proposed to Suits star Meghan Markle. Stunning monarchists everywhere, the world did not come to an end.

** COME WORK WITH US: We’re looking for bright, talented analysts and writers to join our team at both Enterprise and at Inktank Financial, our parent company. Enterprise staff work on the product you’re reading right now, while Inktank analysts work provide investor relations, C-suite support and financial communications and marketing advisory to leading companies in Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain.

You’re likely an equities / macro / research analyst, IR professional or journalist, but we’re less interested in your formal education than we are in amazing storytelling skills, intellectual curiosity, fluency with numbers and passion for business / finance / economics / politics. Bilingual candidates preferred (English-Arabic). A sense of humor is a must, as is healthy skepticism. We prefer Egyptian nationals, but can sponsor work permits for particularly talented foreign applicants. Want to get the conversation started? Send a great cover letter and an updated CV to patrick@inktankcommunications.com. Emails and cover letters opening with “Dears” will be summarily deleted.

What We’re Tracking This Week

What Women Want magazine is hosting a Women’s Entrepreneurship Day event tomorrow “celebrating, empowering and supporting women in business.” The event runs 9am-5pm on Wednesday, 29 November at the Steigenberger Hotel in Tahrir Square and features speakers including designer Azza Fahmy and cosmetics entrepreneur Mona Al Erian, who owns the natural body care products line Nefertari.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will be in Cote d’Ivoire for the 5th African Union-EU Summit on 29-30 November. Shoukry will be leading a youth delegation to the capital Abidjan, where leaders will gather to discuss EU-Africa relations with a focus on “investing in youth for a sustainable future.” You can view the full agenda here.

On The Horizon

The RiseUp Summit kicks off this Friday, 1 December. The three-day event will include more than 150 speakers, 150 exhibiting start-ups, 50 pitches, and some 60 workshops, including “101s” and “deep dives.” Tap here for the full agenda or go straight to the workshops page.

Our friends at Flat6Labs are holding their ninth demo day on Saturday, 2 December in conjunction with RiseUp. Contact Flat6Labs for more.

Our friends at AmCham are hosting a conference on the Private Sector’s Role in Implementing Sustainable Development Goals on 4-5 December. Keynote speakers include Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and Planning Minister Hala El Said. You can view the agenda here or tap here to register.

The countdown to production at the Zohr field has begun: The supergiant Zohr natural gas field is expected to begin operations in three weeks’ time, an Oil Ministry official tells Youm7. The project will initially feed 350 bcf/d of gas into the grid and grow gradually to 1.2 bcf/d as more wells are connected before the end of 1H2018.

Ethiopia’s prime minister is expected to visit Egypt and deliver a speech at the House of Representatives next month, House African Affairs Committee head Sayed Feleifel announced yesterday, Ahram Gate reports. Feleifel’s announcement came after the committee met with Ethiopia’s ambassador in Cairo, who stressed that his country is keen on resuming negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to ensure Egypt is not harmed by the project. This follows days of political posturing between Sudan and Ethiopia on one side and Egypt on the other over the results of impact study on the dam, which were rejected by Sudan and Ethiopia. The latter said it would continue to build the dam, while Sudan accused Egypt of eating into its share of Nile water for years.

Meanwhile, Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Atty will bring the issue before the next meeting of the African Ministers’ Council on Water next month, Al Borsa reports.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The government’s efforts to compensate victims of last Friday’s terror attack and the planned development of North Sinai’s Bir El Abd area continued to top talking heads’ agendas last night.

Acting Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told Kol Youm’s Amr Adib that the government plans to break ground on short-term development projects in the Sinai Peninsula as a whole within days. The Housing Ministry and Tahya Misr Fund will cooperate to develop four new cities in North Sinai, including a new Bir El Abd city, Madbouly said. He added that the government is trying to work fast to implement the North Sinai development strategy President Abdel Fattah El Sisi called for after Friday’s attack (watch, runtime: 34:19).

Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry also talked to Adib about his interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, during which he discussed the details of the attack on El Rawda, Egypt’s security measures in Sinai, the war in Yemen, and criticisms by the ministry of the foreign press. Shoukry responded to disparaging reports on the efficacy of Egypt’s security forces in light of the attack, saying that they do their utmost to protect civilians, but that “no country can protect its citizens all the time,” as attacks in Europe and the US have demonstrated. He urged for greater cooperation with the international community to help close any gaps in intelligence.

Shoukry reassured Amanpour that Egypt is working towards a political solution to the conflict in Yemen and has urged regional countries to take into account humanitarian issues.

The interview also discussed ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid’s tweet calling CNN’s coverage of the events “deplorable”for focusing on reporters access to the Sinai and not the event. When pressed on granting journalists access to the embattled region, Shoukry responded that it had been necessary as Sinai was an active warzone and Daesh would focus on attacking foreigners.

You can catch the full interview with Amanpour here (watch, runtime: 9:10), or sit through the highlights Shoukry relayed to Adib here (watch, runtime: 4:38).

Over on Hona Al Asema, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali told Lamees Al Hadidi that the government will disburse EGP 1,500 per month to each family of the attack’s victims. The compensation payments do not have an expiry date and may continue to be issued to later generations of these families. According to Wali, around one quarter of the 1,200 men in El Rawda village were killed in Friday’s attack (watch, runtime: 12:19).

Lamees also talked about the UK embassy’s StartEgypt initiative with Ambassador John Casson, International Finance Corporation country manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen Walid Labadi, and Flat6Labs’ Chief Investment Officer, Dina El Shenoufy. Casson told Lamees that his embassy is providing EGP 50 mn for the initiative, and aims to attract north of EGP 100 mn in private sector investment. The IFC is working with the British embassy and Flat6 to choose startups that are a good match for the initiative, Labadi told Lamees. El Shenoufy also said that the program will not directly finance the projects, but will offer technical training and other business support services through a six-month incubation program. “This would include providing workshops and roadshows to help budding entrepreneurs” (watch, runtime: 27:19).

Over on Al Hayah Al Youm, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Soliman Wahdan lambasted Israeli Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel for suggesting that Egypt create a settlement for Palestinians in Sinai. He described the proposal as a foreign plot, telling host Tamer Amin that all Arab countries must take a united stance against it.

Last week, Gamliel said that a Palestinian state could only be established in the Sinai Peninsula. Cairo was outraged by Gamliel’s surprising statement and demanded a clarification. Senior Israeli officials reassured Egypt that Gamliel’s statement does not reflect Israel’s position, Jerusalem Online reports.

Wahdan also told Amin that a Bedouin leader in Sinai claimed that the perpetrators of the El Rawda attack were neither Egyptian nor Arab (watch, runtime: 5:11).

Speed Round

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The deadliest terrorist attack on Egypt in its modern day history will not driveinvestors out of the market, Renaissance Capital’s MENA CEO Ahmed Badr tells Bloomberg in an interview. While some foreign investors may shy away from new exposure to Egypt for the time being, “I don’t think we’re really going to see money coming out of Egypt significantly on the back of this [attack],” he said. “Egypt is the strongest reform story we have in the region at the moment and it’s actually starting to deliver results,” Badr added, pointing to strong results across the board in the earnings season just ended. The EGX rose 0.8% on Sunday and closed the day flat yesterday, seemingly unaffected by Friday’s terrorist attack on a North Sinai mosque that left more than 300 dead in its wake. Market activity, however, was largely driven by local investors, who “at this point have basically accepted that northern Sinai is going to remain unstable,” Badr said. “Thick skin might be one way of putting it but investors have accepted the fact that this is more of an isolated territory…and it shouldn’t have an effect on the fundamentals of the market.”

Total turnover on the EGX rebounded yesterday to EGP 1.5 bn, or about 50% above the trailing 90-day average, after posting an anemic EGP 833 mn on Sunday.

Badr’s sentiments were shared by several economists who spoke to veteran journalist Patrick Werr for Reuters. They take the view that the attack may only strengthen the notion that the country needs continued IMF support as agreed a year ago and the economy is likely to quickly shake off any negative repercussions. Tourists and investors seem unlikely to be deterred by the attack, said Arqaam Capital’s Reham El Desoki. “It’s so far away from South Sinai. There have already been other terrorist attacks in northern Sinai and they haven’t impacted European tourism or any other sort of tourism,” she added. A spokesman for Thomas Cook said that there had been no noticeable impact from the attack on demand for holidays in Egypt and that sales to Egypt on Monday were trending ahead of last year’s sales.

“The Sinai incident will likely underpin the IMF board view that Egypt needs continued support still further,” Pharos Holdings COO Angus Blair said, adding that the IMF board meeting is certain to approve the next USD 2 bn disbursement of the USD 12 bn IMF Extended Fund Facility in December. One of the key issues the board must consider instead will be whether Egypt implements a planned increase in energy prices early next year or next summer, said El Desoki.

Could the attack help lift a freeze on military aid from the US? “The 24 November attack on an Egyptian mosque in northern Sinai that killed at least 305 men, women and children is an example of why the United States must remain involved in the Middle East,” Department of Defense spokesperson Rob Manning said on Monday. “The United States must help partner nations build their own defense and police capacity to ensure [Daesh], Al Qaeda and like-minded groups cannot plan and carry out attacks,” he said. While the statement from the Pentagon does not mention the over USD 200 mn in military and other aid the US froze earlier this year (ostensibly on human rights grounds), it could at the very least open the conversation on unfreezing the aid.

The statements is one of a series by Egypt’s close allies promising further assistance following the attack. Most recently, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed regional cooperation on counter-terrorism with UAE Defense Minister Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed on Monday, Ahram Online reports. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince had vowed on Sunday to intensify efforts to fight terrorism by the KSA-led Sunni Muslim military alliance, while Israeli officials noted that the cabinet will decide on how to “lend Egypt a hand” in the fight in Sinai. Officials from across the globe, including Pyongyang, continued to convey their condolences to President El Sisi.

Here at home, the House of Representatives’ defense and constitution committees are preparing a bill to ensure the families of terror attack victims receive compensation through a special fund, Al Mal reports. MPs discussed the fallout from Friday’s attack and the government’s response actions during an emergency plenary session yesterday. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal called on MPs to visit North Sinai and perform Friday prayers at the mosque that was attacked.

In related news, police foiled two separate attempted attacks on security checkpoints in the North Sinai’s city of Arish late Monday, killing three terrorists.

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr signed an MoU with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) yesterday that will see both sides cooperate on the development of a sustainable national strategy to attract more foreign investment to Egypt. The agreement was inked on the sidelines of the first day of the IFC’s two-day roundtable in Cairo focused on developing Egypt’s capital markets by strengthening corporate governance. Nasr name-checked projects including a guide for foreign investors, a corporate governance code, and the development of a transparency report. “Improving transparency and regulatory reform is vital to attract more investment into Egypt and spur economic growth,” IFC MENA Regional Director Mouayed Makhlouf said. “We hope this gathering will help further develop regulatory standards and enforcement practices, as well as technical solutions to allow for better disclosure by companies listed on the Egyptian Exchange.” The event is being co-hosted by Govern, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and EGID. The IFC had announced last month it was planning to invest USD 1.5 bn in Egypt in FY2018-19, with renewable energy projects topping its priorities.

CDCM pursues legal action against Peugeot: Arabia Investments, Development and Financial Investment Holding Company (AIND) announced yesterday that subsidiary Cairo For Development and Cars Manufacturing (CDCM) has formally started legal proceedings against Peugeot Citroen for unexpectedly ending their 41 year-old partnership. The group hired attorney Ashraf Yehia, an international arbitration expert, to take on the case. Last week, CDCM said it was trying to contact Peugeot to understand why it had terminated the contract, vowing to take legal action to protects its stakeholders’ rights and interests. This comes one day after the Peugeot-Citroen arm of Groupe PSA reportedly chose a consortium of Mansour Group and Dubai-based Scope Investment to be its licensed distributor of Peugeot vehicles in Egypt. The French car maker is expected to make a formal announcement within the month, as the Mansour Group is reportedly looking to begin trading in the brand by early 2018.

LEGISLATION WATCH- House gives preliminary nod to amendments to law governing nuclear power authority amid disagreement over clauses on autonomy and tax breaks: The House of Representatives’ general assembly gave a preliminary nod yesterday to amendments to the law governing the Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA), postponing the final vote to a later session to make changes to clauses offering tax and customs breaks, Al Masry Al Youm reports. A number of House of representatives objected to the degree of autonomy the NPPA would be granted under the amended law. The amendments, which the Ismail Cabinet approved in September, place the authority within the Electricity Ministry’s domain, but give it full oversight and regulatory power over the nuclear power sector, in addition to its own independent budget.

MPs also disagreed over a controversial clause that exempts nuclear power plants from taxes and customs, including those on imported equipment and raw materials, as well as other duties related to project development and operations.

Foreign employees and workers are also exempt from paying taxes under the law, which sets tight restrictions on foreign hires. Their rights to repatriate profits are also enshrined in the legislation.

As for regulations governing the work of NPPA employees, the Electricity Ministry will issue new policies within six months of the newly amended law coming into effect. The old policies will remain in place in the meantime.

In related news, the Council of State appears to have concluded its review of a law regulating the nuclear industry and sent it over to the Ismail Cabinet for deliberation, Al Shorouk says. This comes as we wait for President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to set a date for Egypt to sign the contracts for the USD 30 bn Dabaa nuclear power plant with Russia’s Rosatom. The event should bring President Vladimir Putin to Egypt and may herald the return of direct air travel between Moscow and Cairo.

Polish tourists accounted for more than 121,000 of the 4.3 mn visitors Egypt welcomed in 2017, Polish Tourism Chamber head Paul Niewiadomski announced yesterday, Egypt Independent reports. That makes it the sixth-largest tourism market for Egypt, Niewiadomski said at the Polish Chamber of Tourism’s annual conference in Marsa Alam. Tourism Promotion Authority head Hisham El Demery had announced in August that Ukrainian and Polish tourist arrivals jumped 120% y-o-y in 1H2017, but had not provided the number of visitors from either country.

“Tourists appear to be coming back to Egypt’s plethora of attractions” after several years, Public Radio International’s Salma Islam says. While the tourism industry has yet to recover to pre-2011 levels, Egypt is “on course to welcome 8 mn tourists by year’s end,” according to the UN World Tourism Organization. The uptick in tourist activity — which can be seen in several cities across the country including Luxor — comes as the Tourism Ministry has been promoting alternative Red Sea destinations, offering incentives to tour operators, and flying in celebrities such as Lionel Messi for publicity. Islam also notes that many countries “traditionally deemed safe, like France, Germany and the UK, have also seen an increased number of terror attacks on their soil over the past two years.” This may have helped reduce tourists’ concerns about Egypt’s safety situation.

MOVES- Deutsche Bank has named Ahmed Shehab its new head of trade finance for financial institutions in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Reuters reports. Shehab will be based in Egypt.

EFG Hermes, Sawiris Foundation commit north of EGP 50 mn to rebuild two Luxor villages: EFG Hermes signed an agreement with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development yesterday, under which it plans to launch a EGP 53 mn comprehensive development plan for two Luxor villages, according to a press statement. Both densely populated villages suffer from high unemployment rate, poor infrastructure, and limited access to healthcare services.

Hamas is refusing to disarm and has instead “vowed to expand its military activities against Israel into the West Bank, The Associated Press reports. The group’s demilitarization was one of the main demands Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party made in the Egypt-mediated reconciliation agreement. However, a senior Hamas official says the group’s weapon arsenal is “not [up] for debate or talk.” The issue “threatens to derail” Egypt’s reconciliation efforts as disagreements between Fatah and Hamas continue to intensify, the newswire says. Following Hamas’ statement, an Egyptian security delegation arrived in Gaza yesterday to “bridge the gaps” between Hamas and Fatah in the reconciliation and power handover agreement, Xinhua reports.

Kenya mulls return to int’l bond market with USD 2 bn eurobond issuance in 1Q2018: The Kenyan government has tapped a number banks for pitches on the structure of a potential USD 2 bn eurobond offering in 1Q2018, sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg. “Kenya’s return to international capital markets would mark its first sale of foreign debt since a debut Eurobond in 2014,” the news website says, noting that proceeds from the sale would be used to plug Kenya’s budget deficit.

Israeli courts banned Uber from operating private car services in the country, Bloomberg reports. Uber’s standard platform has always been banned in Israel, which has laws barring drivers without a taxi license from accepting charges. The Uber workaround in their UberNight and UberDay services in Israel was essentially a reimbursement scheme where charges were defined under fuel and maintenance.


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Image of the Day

The Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels (EGOTH) and 40 heirs to the Aziza Fahmy Palace in Alexandria have settled their 54 year old dispute, Chairman of EGOTH Mervat Hataba told Youm7. The stunning Aziza Fahmy Palace is an architectural gem, and EGOTH plans to renovate it the area into a hotel and commercial area with investments of EGP 1 bn. The conflict over the property revolves around ownership claims by the heirs after expropriation in 1963. Talks over the 15k sqm historical property ended amicably after mediation by the Armed Forces. The drama isn’t over for the palace just yet though: The International Company for Investment and Development has claims to the land and property from a sale it says dates back to 1987, according to Al Mal. The case is with the court of appeals and claims EGOTH’s ownership is illegitimate.

Egypt in the News

The aftermath of the attack that left more than 300 dead in North Sinai on Friday continued to dominate coverage of Egypt in the foreign press. A number of outlets continued to cover the accounts of survivors and eyewitnesses on the onslaught, including Bloomberg, Sputnik, and Xinhua.

US outlets’ take on the attack continued to come through the lens of that country’s polarized politics. Left-leaning outlets including MSNBC ran with criticism by Democratic congressman and member of the House Homeland Security Committee Filemon Vela Jr, who called US President Donald Trump “an idiot” for his tweet linking the attacks in Egypt to his border wall with Mexico. Others, such as the Washington Post and the New Yorker join the Guardian, CNN, and New York Times in criticizing what they say is El Sisi’s authoritarian rule, which they blame for intensifying violence. They highlight Trump’s support for El Sisi as encouraging those policies.

On the flipside, former White House advisor and El Sisi fan Sebastian Gorka took to the pages of Breitbart to say that the attack underlines the importance of supporting Muslim allies including El Sisi in Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan — and the value of Egypt in particular as an ally against Islamist extremism.

A sign of normalization with Turkey? Turkish state-owned outlet Anadolu is positing that the goodwill shown by the Turkish government, which had flags in Ankara flown at half-staff in support of Egypt, will do much to help both countries reconcile differences. "Turkey’s mourning declaration is a clear indication that it wants to normalize relations with Egypt,” said Professor Kemal Inat, director of Middle Eastern Institute’s at Sakarya University. “I believe Cairo’s attitude towards Turkey’s support will be positive,” he added. Don’t hold your breath as long as that nutter continues to run your country, sir.

Some analysts are switching focus, saying the attacks could drive security assistance and cooperation with Egypt. “Egypt gets condolences but needs global cooperation,” Linda S. Heard writes in a piece for Gulf News. “Countries pledging to stand shoulder to shoulder with Cairo to eradicate terrorism should show their seriousness by branding the [Ikhwan] terrorists,” she says.

“Is the fantasy of a Middle East peace accord about to come true?” By brokering a truce between rival Palestinian ruling factions Fatah and Hamas, Egypt is helping prep for broader peace talks with the Israeli side, this time, “without internal discord,” Herb London writes for Fox News. The two factions are also recognizing “for the first time in their collective past” that there is a need to recognize the Jewish state of Israel, London adds.

Worth Watching

A 4,000-year-old wooden sculpture of an Ancient Egyptian noblewoman is going on offer at Christie’s 6 December. The 71 cm tall sculpture is remarkably preserved due to desert drought and dates back to the third millennium BC, known as the Age of the Pyramids. The elite of that period commissioned works such as this representing themselves, which would then be placed in their tombs as receptacles of the soul. An antiquities specialist at Christie’s in London describes the piece, which she says inspired modern expressionist art when it was owned by Dutch artist Johannes Anton ‘John’ Rädecker. (watch, runtime: 2:12)


Electricity Ministry sets maximum FiT rate for waste-to-energy projects

The Electricity Ministry has decided to set EGP 1.35 per kWh as the maximum feed-in tariff (FiT) rate for waste-to-energy (WtE) projects, unidentified government sources tell Al Borsa. This is the same rate the ministry charges energy intensive electricity projects in order to balance the books on WtE projects, the source added. The state budget will cover any potential future increases in the tariff. Reports had emerged earlier this month that the Ismail Cabinet was looking to set a three-tier tariff system, with the highest rate set at EGP 1.60 per kWh.

El Sewedy Electric, Marubeni reach preliminary funding agreement for 500 MW wind power plant

El Sewedy Electric and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation have reached a preliminary agreement with Japanese financial institutions to fund their EUR 500 mn, 500 MW wind power plant, sources from El Sewedy tell Al Borsa. However, the companies will formally enter funding negotiations once they are allocated land for the project. The consortium is currently in talks with the New and Renewable Energy Authority to decide on the location of the plant, which will be developed over two phases. It remains unclear when the two sides expect to reach a decision. El Sewedy and Marubeni had signed an MoU for the project with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company back in March.

EEHC receives three offers for USD 8 bn Hamrawein power plant

The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) received on Sunday offers from three consortia — General Electric-Harbin Electric, Mitsubishi-Hitachi, and Shanghai Electric-Dong Fang for the USD 8 bn, 6 GW Hamrawein “clean coal” plant, Al Borsa reports. The EEHC will work with Belgian consultancy firm Tractebel to assess the offers and select a winning consortium for the project. EEHC sources had previously said this process could take as long as 10 months.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam open to Egyptian agricultural exports

The Agriculture Ministry announced that Egypt will begin exporting potatoes, garlic and citrus fruits to Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam,according to Youm7. The announcement follows efforts by the ministry to improve quality controls which meet international standards set by foreign food safety authorities. The opening of the Vietnamese market to exports of citrus was announced earlier this month.

Egyptian onion shipments pass Kuwaiti health inspections

Egyptian onion shipments to Kuwait have passed health inspections and were deemed safe for consumption, Kuwait’s Public Authority for Food and Nutrition confirmed, Al Mal reports. The Kuwaiti Trade and Industry Ministry had announced last week the lifting of a ban imposed on Egyptian agricultural imports, including onions, due to concerns over pesticide residues, but will run periodical tests.


Citymax Hotel opens in Aswan

Emirati Landmark Group is managing its first hotel outside the UAE in Aswan under its Citymax Hotels brand,according to Travel and Tourism News Middle East. The 79 room 4 star property is owned by Egypt Holland for Touristic Investments and sits on the Nile in Aswan. The size of the contract was not mentioned.

Automotive + Transportation

Six global consultancy firms bid for design contract for extension of Cairo Metro’s Line 2

The National Authority for Tunnels has received bids from six global consultancy firms on a contract for the design plans and studies for the extension of the Cairo Metro’s Line 2, a top Transport Ministry official tells Al Mal. The National Authority for Tunnels will meet on 20 December to review the offers from Egis Rail, Systra, Setec, Artelia, Khatib & Alami, and Dar Al-Handasah, the official adds. The contract is valued at EGP 20 mn, which have been allocated for the project in the state budget for FY2017-18.

Egypt Politics + Economics

House Health Committee trying to set the minimum wage as the basis to pay into the Universal Healthcare Act

The House of Representatives’ Health Committee is trying to set the minimum wage as the baseline salary to pay into the Universal Healthcare Act. the committee tasked the ministries of finance, social solidarity and CAPMAS to determine which citizens will be exempt from paying premiums into the Universal Healthcare Act based on the national minimum wage and annual inflation rates, and will be adjusted on a triennial basis, Youm7 reports. Vice Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait had said earlier this month that the state will cover pay the equivalent of 5% of the standard minimum wage for each person who cannot afford to pay premiums on their monthly salary. Employees are expected to pay 1% of their salary into the system to cover the scheme’s costs. Maait said yesterday that the Finance Ministry expects somewhere between 30 and 35% of citizens will be unable to pay for healthcare coverage.

On Your Way Out

Miss Egypt Farah Sedky caught the attention of tweeters around the world with a notable eye roll during the Miss Universe pageant on Sunday, according to Hollywood Life. The moment came during her walk down the stage during the swimsuit segment of the show and Twitter users are loving it. Here’s to a moment of classic Egyptian sass (watch, runtime 0:02).

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6606 | Sell 17.7600
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.66 | Sell 17.76
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.65 | Sell 17.75

EGX30 (Monday): 14,220 (0.0%)
Turnover: EGP 1.5 bn (50% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +15.2%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 closed Monday’s session flat. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Ezz Steel up 5.4%; Kima up 2.8%; and SODIC up 1.3%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Porto Group down 5.4%; Egyptian Resorts down 2.1%; and Elsewedy Electric down 1.2%. The market turnover was EGP 1.5 bn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -44.5 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +19.3 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +25.2 mn

Retail: 63.2% of total trades | 62.3% of buyers | 64.1% of sellers
Institutions: 36.8% of total trades | 37.7% of buyers | 35.9% of sellers

Foreign: 20.7% of total | 19.2% of buyers | 22.2% of sellers
Regional: 9.5% of total | 10.2% of buyers | 8.9% of sellers
Domestic: 69.8% of total | 70.6% of buyers | 68.9% of sellers


Financial Conditions Index — Further Tightening in October: Pharos Holdings’ Financial Conditions Index (FCI) continued to tighten in October on higher required reserve ratio and EGP appreciation in REER terms. Furthermore, the overnight interbank spread was nearly unchanged, recording 0.24% below the mid-corridor policy interest rate in October. The slope of the yield curve recorded -3.3% in October from -4.0% in September, reflecting less tight conditions. Finally, a negative money overhang, which is another measure of excess money supply, emerged in 2QFY2017-18, reflecting the current tight monetary stance. This is a prerequisite for the inflation rate to decelerate going forward. You can catch the full report here.


WTI: USD 58.19 (-1.29%)
Brent: USD 63.87 (+0.02%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.94 MMBtu, (+4.59%, December 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,299.2 / troy ounce (+0.57%)

TASI: 6,639.21 (+0.08%) (YTD: -3.76%)
ADX: 4,274.73 (-0.18%) (YTD: -5.97%)
DFM: 3,444.56 (-0.13%) (YTD: -2.44%)
KSE Weighted Index: 396.49 (-0.6%) (YTD: +4.31%)
QE: 7,767.7 (+0.12%) (YTD: -25.57%)
MSM: 5,108.47 (-0.05%) (YTD: -11.66%)
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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): The fourth e-payment and Innovative Financial Inclusion Expo & Forum (PAFIX), Egypt Expo Center, New Cairo.

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.

29-30 January (Monday-Tuesday): Seamless North Africa, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo

12-14 February 2018 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show 2018 (EGYPS), New Cairo Exhibition Center.

19-20 February 2018 (Monday-Tuesday): The Banking Tech North Africa, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo

17-21 February 2018 (Saturday-Wednesday): Women For Success – Women SME’s "World of Possibilities" Conference, Cairo/Luxor.

29 April – 1 March 2018 (Thursday-Sunday): Cityscape Egypt, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo

4-6 May 2018 (Friday-Sunday): International Conference on Network Technology (ICNT 2018), VENUE TBD, Cairo

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.

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