Monday, 4 December 2017

From 30 potential IPOs of state companies to Shafik’s circus, it’s another busy news day

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Monday is off to a relatively quiet start on the interwebs, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of complacency — a rash of conferences in Egypt and the customary end-of-year news storm in global markets see us expecting a busy news cycle through some time around 20 December.

First up: Our friends at AmCham are hosting a conference today on the private sector andsustainable development. Keynote speakers include Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and Planning Minister Hala El Said. You can view the agenda here or tap here to register.

Also taking place today: Solar-Tec, Electrix, Cairo ICT, the financial inclusion expo PAFIX and, of course, the PR run-up to the unfortunately named (but influential) Business for Africa and the World, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Sharm El Sheikh under the auspices of the presidency. The gathering is part of Egypt’s drive to both export and re-engage (politically) with Africa. The Investment Ministry is expected to unveil the 600 projects on its investment map at the forum

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy will inaugurate today the World Customs Organization’s Policy Committee meeting in Luxor, Al Shorouk reports. The session marks the first time a country from the MENA region hosts the meeting, the newspaper notes. Delegations from 30 countries flocked to Luxor yesterday for preparatory meetings, Ahram Gate reports. The session wraps up on Wednesday.

Egypt snagged the top spot at the 2017 Men’s Squash World Team Championship in Marseille, defeating England 2-0 in the final face off, KingFut reports. Karim Abdel Gawad and Ali Farag won the last two games against opponents Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, continuing what has been a great week for the national team, who are exclusively sponsored by our good friends at CIB. The victory is getting wide attention in the domestic press and the global sports press alike and comes as Egyptian men dominated the PSA men’s world rankings for December — and as Nour El Sherbini extended to 20 months in a row her streak as world’s top-ranked woman player.

Other stories of which you will want to be aware this morning:

Meet “Mr. MiFID”: Bloomberg Markets has a long feature interview with the head of the European Securities and Markets Authority that focuses squarely on MiFID II. The rules, which come into effect on 3 January and cover everything from execution costs to a requirement that research be paid for, “should mean lower fees for Europeans and ‘big opportunities’ for asset managers,” especially those offering less expensive products. Read Mr. MiFID on Finance’s Low-Fee Future.

MbS’ anti-corruption drive in Riyadh is spooking the Swiss, where the Financial Times reports that “banks have begun reporting suspicious account activity among some of their Saudi Arabian clients to the Swiss Money Laundering Reporting Office … [reflecting the banks’] nervousness about being found in breach of rules governing money laundering and corruption.”

“Finland is flourishing after 100 years of independence,” declares the Wall Street Journal, writing that, “Finns have turned one of the poorest corners of Europe into one of the richest, most equal, most contented countries in the world.” Here’s how. And please don’t get us started.

Also in the Journal this morning: 50 Rare Finds (its guide to “unicorn” holiday gifts, with an emphasis on the hand made) and in the wake of [redacted] harassment scandals across the United States, a question: Is Office Romance Still Allowed?

Book we’re looking forward to reading while crossing the Atlantic later this month: Let Trump be Trump, co-written by two former campaign staffers, who the Washington Post tell us summarize Trump’s presidential bid as being fuelled by “Big Macs, screaming fits and constant rivalries.” The president’s go-to dinner order at McDonald’s: “two Big Macs, two Fillet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted.” Yes, it probably counts as hate-reading. Or at least the reading equivalent of a traffic accident from which you just can’t turn away.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Tomorrow is PMI day: The Emirates NBD / Markit purchasing managers’ index for Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will be out on Tuesday morning at about 6:15am. Look for it here when it’s released.

The third edition of the Cairo Art Fair kicks off on Friday, 8 December at the Arts-Mart Gallery, where over 1,000 artworks from more than 100 well-established and up-and-coming Egyptian artists will be on display. The fair’s third installation will showcase a “pivotal new body of work by some of Egypt’s most popular artists,” including Mohamed El Sharkawy, Gamal Meleka, Lina Mowafy, and Aida Khalil to name a few, the gallery announced (pdf).

On The Horizon

The Central Bank of Egypt will review interest rates at a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee on 28 December. Keep an eye on monthly inflation figures due out any time in the coming few days: In annual terms, core inflation fell to 30.53% in October from 33.26% in September, but that wasn’t enough for the central bank to cut interest rates as monthly inflation was up on the back of increases in the price of school tuition fees and mobile phone scratch cards. We see declining month-on-month inflation and continued improvement in annual inflation figures as triggers for the central bank to declare that victory is imminent in its battle against inflation. It is anyone’s guess whether that translates into (a) a clear signal in the post-MPC statement that a rate cut is in the cards or (b) the announcement of 200 bps cut to account for the “temporary” rate hike back in July to target inflation. The CBE has set an “inflation target of 13% (+/- 3%) [for] 2018 Q4 and single digits thereafter.”

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The latest chapter in the drama that is former prime minister Ahmed Shafik’s rocky return to Egyptian politics again dominated the airwaves last night. The unveiling of the first Egyptian smart phone and a potential hike in the cost of medicine came in close seconds.

Shafik appeared on Dream TV’s Al Ashera Masa’an to dispel rumors of his kidnapping. The presidential hopeful says he was greeted by airport officials and taken to an upscale hotel since his house had been closed for years. He told host Wael El Ebrashy that he was not deported from the UAE, but that his Emirati hosts had been gracious over the past five years.

Shafik then gave what was possibly the worst apology ever for a video in which heclaimed he was barred from leaving the UAE. Instead of ‘fessing up, Shafik said the video had been inadvertently leaked from his cell phone to Al Jazeera and that he had only recorded it “as a backup option if things didn’t go as planned.” He also told the host that he returned to Egypt to get a sense of whether or not it’s wise to join the 2018 race (watch, runtime: 24:05).

Shafik’s daughter May also alleged to Hona Al Assema’s Lamees Al Hadidi that the formerprime minister was initially planning on announcing his intention to run for president from France, but Emirati officials “politely escorted” him to a plane heading to Cairo when the Al Jazeera video aired (watch, runtime: 3:24).

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib noted that Shafik’s main hurdle now will be collecting enoughsignatures to support his nomination, particularly considering the recent schisms within his political party (watch, runtime: 2:58).

Separately, Adib sat down with SICO Egypt Chairman Mohamed El Sayed Salem to talkabout the first assembled-in-Egypt smartphone, which SICO produced. A base model runs EGP 200 and 4G-compatible handsets start at EGP 1k, Salem said. The company is also eyeing exporting the phone to African and Gulf countries. SICO Egypt has invested EGP 400 mn in its Assiut factory, but plans on raising that figure to EGP 1 bn, Salem added (watch, runtime: 20:55).

Back on Hona Al Assema, Lamees discussed potential hikes of medicine prices. House Health Committee member Abdel Aziz Hamouda claimed that Health Minister Ahmed Rady reached an agreement with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to increase the prices of active ingredients by 15%, which would translate into a 40% jump in the final product price (watch, runtime: 4:12).

Over on Yahduth fi Masr, Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) head MP MohamedElsewedy told host Sherif Amer said that the House of Representatives is looking into setting up a medical safety authority that would be tasked with ending monopolistic practices in the pharma industry. Elsewedy said the would-be agency could reshape the industry and help keep struggling factories afloat.

House isn’t clamoring for a cabinet shuffle: Elsewedy — who also heads up parliament’s majority bloc, the Support Egypt Coalition — also denied MPs are demand a Cabinet shuffle.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

IPO WATCH- NI Capital expects the government to potentially list around 30 state-owned companies on the stock exchange as part of the state IPO program in the coming two years, NI Capital CEO Ashraf El Ghazaly said on Sunday. While the final number of listings is not set yet, El Ghazaly says some 10-12 companies will be large caps that would have an impact on the EGX, according to Al Borsa. First in line is state energy firm Enppi, whose listing date is expected to be sometime next year. This will be followed by Banque du Caire, which is expected to IPO in 1H2018.

IPO WATCH- Real estate developer Misr Italia Properties is planning to offer 20-30% of its shares on the EGX in 3Q2018, CEO Mohamed El Assal said again yesterday, Al Mal reports. El Assal did not disclose the size of the transaction or his intended use of proceeds. Misr Italia had announced back in April that it plans to list 20-25% of its shares “sometime in May” to raise EGP 1.5 bn, but did not move ahead with the listing as planned. El Assal said that the company had postponed the transaction on valuation concerns. Beltone Financial is quarterbacking the transaction.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Algebra Ventures will continue to invest in Egyptian startups in the new year with a target of having deployed a total of USD 15 mn between inception and the end of 2018, founding partner Ziad Mokhtar tells Al Mal. Mokhtar adds that the company will continue to invest through 2020, after which its focus will turn to driving growth at portfolio companies and then the exit cycle. Mokhtar had told Al Masry Al Youm last week that the venture capital firm is looking into providing seed funding for some 20 companies in 2018 and 2019.

Egypt will begin exporting excess electricity to regional countries in 2018, said Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker. The move would be part of a wider strategy to turn Egypt into a regional energy hub for electricity and natural gas. Surplus electricity from Egypt’s power plants, especially once the three Siemens combined cycle plants become fully operational, would be exported to a number of countries, including Jordan, Libya, and Saudi Arabia, as well as some African countries, said Shaker, according to Daily News Egypt. Companies vying for the Saudi-Egyptian electricity grid interconnection project submitted their bids back in October. Talks between Jordan and Egypt to expand their interconnection project had also taken place a few months ago. The Electricity Ministry is also conducting a feasibility study on linking the electricity grids of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece — a project announced last month during President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s summit with his Greek and Cypriot counterparts in Nicosia.

M&A WATCH- TE submits offer to acquire MENA cable from OTMT? Telecom Egypt has reportedly submitted an offer to acquire MENA Submarine Cable Systems (MENA) from Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT), unnamed government officials tell Al Borsa. TE is looking to link MENA’s cables with its own TE North cable, which connects Egypt to France. Last we heard, OTMT was selling 100% of MENA to Network i2i, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel. The source claims, however, that OTMT’s December 2016 agreement with the Indian company fell through due to obstacles in obtaining necessary security clearances. OTMT’s decision to sell its stake in MENA, which was reportedly valued at USD 90 mn, had been part of its strategy to boost profitability by divesting non-core businesses.

From the Department of Legislative Insanity: Pending legislation may require ride-hailing apps to ensure taxis make up half of their fleets. A number of details have emerged on the Ride-hailing Apps Act that some in the industry claim will significantly disrupt operations. Among the most “disruptive” of these articles are provisions that would require ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Careem to ensure that half of their fleet be made up of white taxis. This ludicrous intrusion, which defeats the purpose of ride-sharing by turning the operators into part-time cab companies, would be tricky to implement considering the standards required by ride-hailing companies are definitely not the mainstay of the average cab driver. It would also be tough to implement as the law places a six-month deadline for companies to comply with its regulations. Careem has seen the writing on the wall and begun hiring taxi drivers for its fleet about a year ago. The regulations would also bar companies from sub-contracting or hiring car rental services for their fleets.

Other elements of the law which appear to favor cab drivers is a licensing pricing scheme that charges drivers fees of 125% higher than those of cabbies. A number of Uber drivers speaking to Al Borsa said that the fees, which could reach up to EGP 1,125 per driver, will discourage many from continuing to drive for ride-hailing apps. Ride-sharing drivers will also be required to obtain a special license plate. The law would also allow up to three drivers to operate a single car.

As for data requirements, company servers that house user and driver data must be stored in Egypt, the newspaper says. This appears to confirm a New York Times report in June, which also alleges that law requires companies share that data with authorities.

In other ride-sharing news, Careem announced that it plans to raise its investments in Egypt to USD 75 mn over the coming three years as part of an expansion plan in the country, said Careem Egypt CEO Ramy Kato tells Al Borsa. The expansion will see 100k drivers working for the company by 1Q2018 as it expands to new governorates. The company will also launch shipping and cargo transport services, Kato added.

Swvl raising funding, eyes international expansion: Meanwhile, bus transport service platform Swvl plans to launch services in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan in 2018, said company founder Moustafa Kandil. He tells Al Mal that the company, which currently only operates in Cairo and Alexandria, is also looking to other emerging markets and is raising another round of funding. Back in July, Careem had invested USD 500K for a minority stake in Swvl.

Gov’t promises to repeal port fee hikes brought back shipping alliance to EastPort Said: It appears that the Transport Ministry won back an alliance of five shipping lines that had ceased East Port Said operations earlier this year by promising to repeal a decision to raise port fees by as much 100%, said Yang Ming Marine Transport’s Egypt shipping agent Mohamed Moselhy. He added that the alliance — made up of Yang Ming, Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and the NYK Group — had also been drawn back by other incentives such as a 50% break on Suez Canal port fees. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat had met with these shipping during a roadshow in Germany and London last week. Arafat tells Al Shorouk that the five lines will be back in East Port Said in three months’ time.

Egypt launches e-visas at Cairo ICT: The Sisi administration officially launched electronic visa services at the Cairo ICT Expo on Sunday, Ahram Online reports. Visa applicants from 41 countries, including the US, Canada, France and the UK, will be able to apply for travel authorization online and will receive a visa electronically. Foreigners can apply through the system at https://www.egyptvisa.com/.

Does this mean the end of visas on arrival? It’s not clear. The official visa site (above) is particularly vague on this point, noting that places that you “can apply for an Egypt eVisa” and then elsewhere explaining that you “must.” It specifically mentions short-duration visas on arrival at ports of entry including “Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba.” The site also notes that the eVisa has been mandatory since May 2017, when industry pushback is believed to have been a factor in the delayed rollout of the system. Tourism industry players believe the e-visa will be less attractive to tourists than the current visa-on-arrival system.

Also at Cairo ICT: ICT Minister Yasser El Kady announced that the government is also working on a national strategy for e-commerce, according to Egypt Today. The strategy would be developed in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), El Kady added without revealing too many details.

President El Sisi inaugurated new technological zones in Beni Suef, Menoufiya and Assiut, the first in a number of tech zones slated for development in the coming few years. Egypt will also sign an agreement with the UN to co-establish a regional technological innovation center that would focus in its first stages on devising solutions for challenges facing sectors such as health, education, industry, and agriculture, El Sisi also said.

The local press also can’t seem to get enough of “the first locally assembled smartphone,” the Nile X, which is being manufactured by SICO Technology. 45% of the components of the phone were sourced in Egypt, said El Kady, which probably means the phone is 40% cover.

CORRECTION- We had erroneously stated in yesterday’s coverage of Egyptian adventurer Omar Samra and his teammate Omar Nour’s challenge to row across the Atlantic, that the challenge was part of a competition. We’d like to clarify that no competition is being held, making Samra and Nour even more daring. Their 40-day odyssey will take place on 12 December. We’ll have updates from the voyage and wish the gentlemen the very best of luck.

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Image of the Day

Ground control to Major Abbass: Egyptian art collective El Side Effect have struck gold with their Kawkab Tani (another planet) project, which meshes the down-to-earth Egyptian with the out-of-this-world space odyssey. Taking inspiration from the 1988 Medhat Salah song of the same name, the group has managed to tap into the esoteric in the typically mundane facets of daily Egyptian life. You’ll find microbuses with supernovas in them, or donkey carts whizzing past a nebula as comfortably as the starship USS Enterprise. Quartz has run a fascinating piece on the project, which you can check out here.

Egypt in the News

The political circus that is former prime minister Ahmed Shafik’s return to Cairo continues to get heavy play in the foreign press and remains the lead story on Egypt this morning.

Shafik’s daughters wreaked havoc yesterday, claiming he had been “kidnapped” by Egyptian authorities upon his arrival in Cairo. UAE authorities had confirmed earlier in the day that he had left the country, but Egyptian officials did not confirm his arrival in Cairo, according to Reuters. Cairo Airport officials confirmed he was escorted out of the airport by security to an unknown location, according to the AP’s Hamza Hendawi. Shafik’s family lost contact with him for 24 hours, during which time he was denied access to his lawyer, Amira Shafik told Bloomberg. The presidential hopeful’s lawyer, Dina Adly, later announced she had met with Shafik at a hotel in Cairo, but did not confirm he was free to leave the hotel or the country, Reuters says.

Shafik re-emerged by the end of the day to clear the air and reassure everyone that he had not been kidnapped, as we noted in Last Night’s Talk Shows, above. Reuters and the Financial Times both have coverage.

Egypt made the front page of the New York Times’ web edition this morning with the story of Esraa, a young woman who “rebelled against her religion, and now [is] on the run.” The daughter of a conservative family that belonged to the Ikhwan, Esraa decided to remove her veil in 2014 and move out of home to live with a group of friends, despite the social stigma. “Her every act was one of rebellion. Living in a coed space with friends. Showing her affection for a man who was not her husband. Smoking cigarettes in public. Investigating human rights abuses in secret.” But what made Esraa so important all of a sudden? “Esraa attended a concert for a Lebanese rock band whose lead singer is openly gay. It was in Cairo, she was with her friends, the music was thumping, she was dancing, a friend lifted her up on his shoulders, and before she knew it, she had a rainbow flag in her hand.” You can watch the full documentary on Esraa here (runtime, 20:34)

Mubarak acquiesced to US demands to resettle Palestinians in Egypt back in the ‘80s? The BBC claimed on Wednesday to have obtained confidential documents allegedly proving that ex-president Hosni Mubarak had agreed to a US demand asking that he resettle Lebanon’s Palestinian diaspora in Egypt on the condition that the move come as part of a “comprehensive framework for a solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Mubarak’s statements were reportedly made during a visit to London in the early 1980s, where he had met with then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and late US president Ronald Reagan. This came days after Israeli Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel suggested that Egypt create a settlement for Palestinians in the Sinai, ruffling some feathers in Egypt’s government and parliament.

Also worth a read: Egypt is taking “giant steps towards energy independence,” with the Zohr gas field coming online this month, Oxford Business Group says in a piece carried by Oil Price.

On Deadline

Egypt’s economic development plan requires a reshuffle of the government’s priorities to speed things along, Sameh El Alaily writes in a column penned for Al Shorouk. El Alaily says tackling unemployment should be the country’s top priority, noting that a large portion of the population is unqualified to meet the job market’s needs. The state must also buckle down and resolve the increasingly problematic phenomenon of urban overcrowding, which he notes has also given rise to other problems such as traffic. El Alaily’s train of thought comes full circle as he calls for increased employment opportunities outside the country’s central cities to lure the population out of these overcrowded areas.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

FEI to meet with Belarusian investors to discuss wood imports: The Federation of Egyptian Industries’ (FEI) wood and furniture division is meeting today with a delegation of six Belarusian companies to discuss importing wood at cheaper prices, Al Borsa reports. The discussions come as part of the division’s strategy to reduce furniture production costs, according to the division’s deputy head Abdel Halim El Eraky.

Energy

Israeli energy executives were in Cairo to discuss natural gas exports from Israel

A delegation of Israeli energy executives was reportedly in Cairo last week to hold discussions with companies looking to export natural gas from Israel, a source close to the matter tells Al Shorouk. A number of local companies are looking to buy Israeli gas to sell in the local market, they add. Last week, Bloomberg cited sources claiming that Oil Minister Tarek El Molla had displayed no objections to importing natural gas from Israel, provided that the issue over a USD 2 bn fine that a Swiss court has ordered Egyptian gas companies to pay to Israel’s electricity company is resolved.

El Molla discusses energy cooperation with EU, Belgian officials

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla arrived yesterday in Belgium to discuss energy cooperation with a number of European Commission and European Investment Bank officials, Egypt’s ambassador in Brussels Khaled El Bakly tells Al Masry Al Youm. El Molla is also scheduled to meet with representatives from Belgian companies keen on cooperating with Egypt in the energy sector.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Hero eyeing European export market

Hero Middle East & Africa is looking to begin exporting its products to Europe as part of a strategy to increase its overall export volume, Managing Director Mahmoud Bazan said, according to Al Shorouk. The company is currently conducting feasibility studies on expanding its export market to Europe, which should be completed sometime next year. Successfully entering the European market would boost the company’s operating rate to more than 25%, according to Bazan.

Egyptian cotton exports drop 38.4% y-o-y in 4Q2016-17 export season -CAPMAS

Egypt’s cotton exports dropped 38.4% y-o-y during the fourth quarter of the 2016-17 export season to 86,200 qintars (4,310 tonnes), down from 140,000 qintars (7,000 tonnes) during the same period last year, according to a CAPMAS report picked up by Al Mal. The drop is a result of a low harvest rate, the report adds. India was the top importer of Egyptian cotton during the period, accounting for a 41.5% share between June and August 2017.

Manufacturing

Bailout fund for idle factories to begin disbursing financing to first three factories in a month

The EGP 150 mn bailout fund for idle SME factories will begin financing the first three factories on its roster in a month’s time, once studies on them are complete, Union Capital CEO Hany Tawfik tells Al Borsa. State-owned Ayady, the Tahya Misr Fund, the National Investment Bank, and BPE Partners had co-established Union Capital, which manages the fund, back in March. Financing packages will range between EGP 5-10 mn and their value will be determined based on careful studies and calculations conducted on a case-by-case basis, said Tawfik, who had previously stated that the fund would prioritize factories where operations were suspended due to liquidity shortage or others that are labor intensive. Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil was due before the House of Representatives’ Industry Committee yesterday to address concerns MPs raised over delays in allocating financing for the factories.

LG Egypt targeting USD 250 mn in exports by year’s end

LG Egypt is looking to boost its exports to USD 250 mn by the end of this year, CEO Don Kwack tells Al Mal. The company has already achieved approximately 95% of its targeted export value, following a 45% y-o-y increase in its exports during 1H2017, according to Kwack. LG exports c. 70% of output from its 10 Ramadan City plant are earmarked for exports.

Health + Education

House amendment to Healthcare Act mandates gov’t rely on private sector pharmacies

The House of Representatives’ Health Committee amended clauses of the Universal Healthcare Act that would require government healthcare regulators to buy meds from private sector pharmacies instead of opening their own — effectively shielding private pharmacies from government competition in the health insurance plan. The committee’s deputy chair Ayman Abul Ela said that having the market for pharmacies is saturated as it is, and government competition would hurt already well-established companies, Al Mal reports.

Real Estate + Housing

Abu Soma Development Company to establish two new hotels in Soma Bay

The Abu Soma Development Company is working on constructing two new hotels in Soma Bay at a combined investment value of EGP 950 mn, CEO Ibrahim El Messiry said, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

Telecoms + ICT

Vodafone looking for more frequencies next year as it plans to up investments 10%

Vodafone Egypt filed an official request to the national telecom regulator asking for more frequencies for its mobile network in 2018, the company’s head of government affairs Ayman Essam said, Al Borsa reports. This comes as the company plans to increase its investments in Egypt by 10% over the coming three years to meet rising demand in the market and to spend on building up infrastructure, Essam said. ICT Minister Yasser El Kady said yesterday that the government was willing to make new frequencies available to mobile network operators. El Kady added that they will have to pay for them in USD, according to the newspaper. Separately, Essam said that Vodafone Egypt is willing to resume talks with Telecom Egypt over domestic roaming after they were suspended some months back.

Automotive + Transportation

Auto industry anticipates resurging sales next year after CBE lifts imports restrictions

Six auto companies plan on spending a combined EGP 1.5 bn in 2018 on new production lines, showrooms, and after sales centers in anticipation of a resurgent auto market next year, Al Mal reports. These include Bavaria Bavarian Auto, Honda Egypt, Al Amal, and Kayan Egypt.

EgyptAir to receive last of nine Boeing airplanes

EgyptAir will receive the ninth and final Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation aircraft under its USD 864 mn agreement with the company, Al Shorouk reports. The aircraft should be added to the fleet by week’s end. EgyptAir and Boeing had signed the supply agreement in July last year, and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise had announced it would finance eight of the nine planes. Separately, EgyptAir expects to receive the first C-Series plane from its USD 1.1 bn agreement with Canada’s Bombardier in March 2018, an unnamed EgyptAir source says. The remaining 11 planes will be shipped to Egypt over two years at a rate of one plane every two months.

Banking + Finance

Banque Misr closing in on USD 500 mn facility from EIB, eyes a further USD 500-600 mn

Banque Misr plans to sign for a USD 500 mn loan from the European Investment Bank during the Business for Africa and the World Forum in Sharm El Sheikh which kicks off this Thursday, Vice President Akef El Maghraby tells Al Mal. El Maghraby added that the bank is also looking to take on board a further USD 500-700 mn “in the coming period.”

Sphinx Private Equity looks to acquire four manufacturing companies

Sphinx Private Equity Management is looking into acquiring majority stakes in four unnamed manufacturing companies through a new USD 90 mn fund, chairman Marianne Ghaly tells Al Mal. The move follows the sale of 56% of recently-listed Dice Sportswear for EGP 650 mn, Ghaly added.

United Bank planning to invest more than EGP 1 bn in agriculture, renewable energy, fertilizers, and real estate

The United Bank of Egypt is planning to invest more than EGP 1 bn in the coming period in four major sectors, including renewable energy, agriculture, fertilizer production, and real estate development, Chairman Ashraf El Kady said yesterday, Al Mal reports. The bank is also planning to expand its activities in the Islamic banking sector, he added, explaining that United has received financial assistance from international lenders and the central bank to improve its positioning. The bank had announced in September that it was planning to settle EGP 500 mn in overdue loans, two months after the CBE said it would delay plans to divest its 99.9% stake in the bank to allow the lender the time to improve its returns and attract a better offer.

Legislation + Policy

Cabinet refers amendment on Criminal Procedures Act to House

The Ismail Cabinet referred amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act to the House of Representatives for approval on Saturday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Omar Marwan announced yesterday, Ahram Gate reports. The amendments, which the Cabinet had approved in October, introduce new avenues of mediation outside the court system, including for murder cases. Other issues addressed include witness protection and the regulation of no-fly and airport arrival watchlists.

Medical Liabilities Act bans abortions except in life-threatening pregnancies and congenital defects

The Medical Liabilities Act, which is currently being discussed by the House of Representatives’ Health Committee, permits abortions only in cases where pregnancies are life threatening or if or if the fetus has a disorder that makes it "incompatible with life" — raising in our minds the spectre of state-sanctioned eugenics. Abortions will be illegal under all other circumstances, which presumably includes rape cases. Women must receive written permission and a detailed report from doctors before undergoing the procedure, Egypt Today reports. Other features of the law include holding doctors liable for errors made due to “ignorance, negligence or lack of care,” bans euthanasia and assisted dying, and banning cloning (Egypt’s underground cloning scene must be shivering).

Sports

Egypt’s weightlifting team makes historic gains at the World Federation championships

Egypt’s national weightlifting team has done us proud once again at the International World Federation Championships taking place in Anaheim, California. Mohamed Ihab won three gold medals in the men’s 77 kg — making him the first Egyptian to snag gold at the competition since 1951, according to Egypt Independent. Yesterday, Sara Samir, Egypt’s first female Olympic medalist, clinched the gold at the competition, Ahram Online reports.

On Your Way Out

The UNHCR and UNICEF launched last week their winter assistance program in Egypt, which will see them disburse unconditional cash assistance to 129,000 vulnerable refugees throughout December, according to an emailed release (pdf). The cash payments are “accompanied by [an] awareness raising campaign via social media, which provides practical advice on winterization measures to taken on a household level.” The grants are meant to help vulnerable refugees — around 12% of whom are children under 18 — access winter blankets and warm clothes.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6500 | Sell 17.7500
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.66 | Sell 17.76
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.62 | Sell 17.72

EGX30 (Sunday): 14,714 (+0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 928 mn (9% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +19.2%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session up 0.9%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Egyptian Iron & Steel up 7.0%, Amer Group up 5.9%, and Ezz Steel up 4.1%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Domty down 2.1%, Egyptian Financial & Industrial down 0.8%, and Palm Hills down 0.7%. The market turnover was EGP 928 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +12.5 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +16.7 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -29.3 mn

Retail: 78.7% of total trades | 75.8% of buyers | 81.5% of sellers
Institutions: 21.3% of total trades | 24.2% of buyers | 18.5% of sellers

Foreign: 9.0% of total | 9.7% of buyers | 8.4% of sellers
Regional: 12.7% of total | 13.6% of buyers | 11.8% of sellers
Domestic: 78.3% of total | 76.7% of buyers | 79.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 58.27 (-0.15%)
Brent: USD 63.64 (-0.14%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.09 MMBtu, (+1.08%, January 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,277.00 / troy ounce (-0.41%)

TASI: 7,089.33 (+1.22%) (YTD: -1.68%)
ADX: 4,283.07 (-0.28%) (YTD: -5.79%)
DFM: 3,420.97 (+0.02%) (YTD: -3.11%)
KSE Weighted Index: 400.13 (+0.34%) (YTD: +5.27%)
QE: 7,756.55 (+0.55%) (YTD: -25.68%)
MSM: 5,109.62 (+0.06%) (YTD: -11.64%)
BB: 1,280.21 (-0.27%) (YTD: +4.90%)

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Calendar

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). 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.