Tuesday, 5 December 2017

On another foggy morning: Exxon Mobil eyes Egypt. FX reserves are stable. IDH, Man Cap have invested in Nigeria. Ibnsina Pharma has priced its IPO.

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

It’s PMI day: The Emirates NBD / Markit purchasing managers’ index for Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will be out this morning at about 6:15am — or 10-15 minutes after we typically hit “send” on the day’s issue. Look for it here when it’s released.

Also today: It’s the last day of Solar-Tec and Electrix and the next-to-last day of both Cairo ICT and the PAFIX financial inclusion expo.

PSA- The Traffic Police are advising that motorists exercise caution amid heavy fog expected this morning. Major arteries into and out of Cairo and elsewhere to the north were already closed as of 5am CLT today on a third straight morning of heavy fog. With idiots driving against traffic on service roads and the prospect of gridlock on major arteries waiting for roads to reopen, you’ll want to check the highway reports before heading out. The folks at Youm7 have more.

International news stories likely to dominate chatter today include: Britain’s failure to seal an agreement to start post-Brexit trade talks with the European Union after politics in Northern Ireland reared its head (see coverage in the Financial Times or the NYT). Across the pond, the US Supreme Court is allowing the third version of Trump’s travel ban to go into effect while it is litigated in lower courts. The ban affects individuals from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, Reuters reports. Also included are citizens of North Korea and some groups of people from Venezuela.

Food for thought this morning:

A USD 1 tn emerging markets debt overhang in 2018? “A USD 1 tn wave of fixed-income debt is set to mature in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the coming year, posing a significant challenge for investors searching for returns, according to new research.” (Financial Times)

How do you put a price on investment research? In our continuing obsession with MiFID II, we re-up this great piece from the summer, and the prices vary wildly: Danske Bank said it wasn’t going to charge, Barclays thinks you should shell out USD 455k per year for its “gold” equities research. Goldman Sachs is a comparative steal at USD 40k per year for a 10-seat license, but that covers only “basic research.” (Bloomberg)

France has persuaded Saudi Arabia to help bankroll counter-terror operations in West Africa. Sounds like a recipe for success to us. (Bloomberg)

The undead return to work: In fairness, they’re being called the “unretired” and they’re among the 25% of retirees who return to work, most of them within five years of retiring. (Financial Times)

Should 6-Year-Olds Be on Social Media? That’s the question the WSJ asks after Facebook launched Messenger Kids. Gizmodo asks the better question: “Why the [redacted] should we trust Facebook to moderate its new kids app?” Enterprise’s house answer to each question: “[Redacted] no” and “You [redacted] can’t.” (Wall Street Journal)

And in our TBR pile: That’s “To Be Read” for the incognoscenti: How the Index Card Cataloged the World. (The Atlantic)

When friends to good because they have themselves done well: Our friends at SODIC have signed a EGP 1 mn agreement with Greater Cairo Water Company to connect 1,000 underprivileged homes to the fresh water network in Ezzbet Khair Allah, the company said in a statement (pdf). The project, which is fully funded by SODIC, will also include the installation of a fire-fighting network as well as vocational training in the construction and installation of water and wastewater connections. The project will also employ youth in the collection of water tariffs and create water consumption awareness programs in the schools of Ezzbet Khairallah. “At SODIC, our CSR initiatives focusing on education and rehabilitation, impact the lives of over 7,000 families every year,” said SODIC chief Magued Sherif. “The first phase of the fresh water project in Ezzbet Khair Allah will benefit more than 1,000 families.”

What We’re Tracking This Week

Business for Africa, Egypt and the Worldkicks in Sharm El Sheikh on Thursday; a veritable cast of thousands is expected to attend. The event, held under the auspices of the presidency, is part of Egypt’s drive to export to (and re-engage with) Africa.

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

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is expected to visit Egypt and deliver a speech at the House of Representatives sometime this month. Egypt and Ethiopia are locked in a war of words over use of Nile water. Whatever Desalegn has to say could fall on deaf ears, with 19 MPs having already signed a letter saying they would not attend his speech, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

We hope he doesn’t take it personally, as not attending sessions is a mainstay of our representatives. And Desalegn may not fare better with those in attendance: House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal was recently forced to turn on cell phone scramblers to stop MPs from answering phones during sessions, Al Shorouk reports.

MPs’ attendance records have apparently gotten so bad that Abdel Aal had to specifically ask them to (pretty please) attend today’s plenary session to vote on pending legislation, Ahram Gate reports. Among the bills that have been stalled due to lack of quorum: The contentious Labor Unions Act, the Youth Institutions Act — which bans political activity in public youth clubs — and the ban on drones.

IMF to sign off on Egypt loan tranche in third week of December: Finance Minister Amr El Garhy expects the IMF to sign off on disbursing Egypt’s USD 2 bn loan tranche in the third of week of December, the minister said yesterday, according to Al Borsa. Egypt has already received two tranches worth a combined USD 4 bn out of its USD 12 bn extended fund facility from the IMF.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Regional politics, led by the death of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh at the hands of Houthi rebels, dominated the airwaves during an otherwise dull night.

Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin spoke to the Yemeni Embassy in Cairo’s media advisor, Baleegh El Mekhlafy, who said that Yemenis are distraught over Saleh’s assassination yesterday (we have the full story in Speed Round, below). El Mekhlafy stressed that the General People’s Congress — the Arab nationalist political party currently ruling Yemen — must unite to continue fighting the Houthi uprising (watch, runtime: 3:59).

Over on Masaa DMC, Yemeni Tourism Minister Mohamed AbdelMajeed told Eman El Hosary that Saleh’s assassination proves that Yemen’s Houthi rebels are Iran’s puppets and Hezbollah’s offshoots (watch, runtime: 3:54).

Meanwhile, Kol Youm’s Amr Adib concerned himself with the awkwardness that will dominate the GCC Summit in Kuwait today, where the leaders of Bahrain, KSA, and the UAE will be in the same room with Qatar’s Tamim bin Hamad. Adib said Qatar signaled that it plans to abide by six of the Arab Quartet’s 13 demands, but will fight to keep Al Jazeera open (watch, runtime: 7:49).

Adib also had a chat with B-Tech Chairman Mahmoud Khattab about the company’s annual charity initiative to provide soon-to-be-married couples with electronic appliances they cannot afford and help furnish houses in a number of governorates (watch, runtime: 5:11).

Egyptian Federation for Reconstruction member Mohamed Abdel Raouf also phoned in to give Adib an earful about the rising costs of construction and installation of basic services such as electricity and plumbing (watch, runtime: 1:54).

TEN TV’s Amr Abdel Hamid spoke to a senior official at the Supreme Council for Universities about the state of university-affiliated hospitals, who said the facilities’ cumulative budget hovers around EGP 2.4 bn, of which EGP 1.3 bn comes out of state coffers (watch, runtime: 2:17). MPs have apparently been making a ruckus about university hospitals not providing quality services, which Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar explained is a result of inadequate funding, according to Al Shorouk.

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi, meanwhile, spent her entire episode paying tribute to Egyptian actress and singer Shadia, who passed away last week (watch, runtime: 1:48:09).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Exxon Mobil knocking on Egypt’s door: Government officials and industry sources said Exxon Mobil is looking to invest in Egypt’s offshore oil and gas fields, Reuters reports. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla says company officials already met with him to discuss upstream operations. “We have been discussing with them, visiting them. They’ve visited us… We are exploring all opportunities for having more and further upstreamers in Egypt … I would be happy to have them with us,” he says. A source says Exxon conducted a portfolio profitability reassessment in Egypt following the discovery of Zohr and is looking for “tier-one assets” with significant potential. The company is reportedly also looking at assets in the Red Sea, where the government is expected to tender some exploration blocks.

Egypt’s FX reserves were essentially stable at USD 36.723 bn at the end of November from USD 36.703 bn at the end of October, the central bank said on Monday. With reserves at a comfortable level, the CBE has begun unwinding FX crisis-era measures to restrict outflows, including repealing caps on USD deposits and withdrawals last week.

The CBE also paid back USD 2 bn to the African Export-Import Bank on Monday as part of a USD 3.2 bn loan, state news agency MENA reported on Monday. The central bank plans to repay the remaining USD 1.2 bn by the end of this month, according to Reuters. These repayments will part of some USD 14 bn in foreign debt obligations the government plans to service during this fiscal year.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Two Egyptian powerhouses have joined with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to acquire a medical diagnostics business in Nigeria. Integrated Diagnostics Holdings (IDH) and Mansour Group investment arm Man Capital announced they are investing (pdf) in Eagle Eye Echo-Scan Services Limited, a leading medical diagnostics business based in Nigeria, through their joint venture, Dynasty Group. Dynasty is 51% owned by IDH, and will partner with IFC to invest in Echo-Scan. “The transaction will see Dynasty acquire a majority stake in Echo-Scan and assume management control of the company, while both Dynasty and the IFC will invest USD 25 mn to expand Echo-Scan’s nationwide service offering, footprint, and quality standards,” IDH CEO Dr. Hend El Sherbini said. “We are exceptionally pleased to be adding Nigeria … I can think of no better partner with whom to do this than Man Capital, which matches our more than four decades of operating experience in the industry with similarly long experience working on the ground in West Africa. Nigeria’s healthcare industry shares multiple similarities with Egypt’s in the 1980s and 1990s in terms of structure, pace of development and the emerging disease profile of patients.” Dynasty Group was advised on the transaction by Stanbic Nigeria, UUBO Nigeria, KPMG Nigeria and Hogan Lovells.

IPO WATCH- Ibnsina Pharma prices IPO at EGP 5.80 per share, says institutional offering is more than 17x oversubscribed: Ibnsina Pharma announced this morning that it has concluded the book-building process and pricing of its institutional offering of c. 229 mn shares as part of its IPO on the Egyptian Exchange. The company priced at EGP 5.80 per share amid heavy demand from more than 500 institutions and HNWIs, which saw that component of the offering 17x oversubscribed. Ibnsina accordingly expects to have a market capitalization of EGP 3.9 bn at the start of trading on Tuesday, 12 December. Ibnsina, Egypt’s fastest-growing and second-largest distributor of pharmaceutical products, will close its retail offering in Egypt this coming Thursday. It is offering 269,381,625 ordinary shares (including both a primary and a secondary offering), split as c. 85% to institutional investors and c. 15% to retail investors. Beltone Investment Banking is sole global coordinator and bookrunner for the transaction, while Matouk Bassiouny is acting as counsel to the issuer. Inktank Financial is investor relations advisor. Read the full announcement here (pdf).

IPO WATCH- Our friends at Pharos Holdings will be quarterbacking two IPOs in 1Q2018 worth EGP 1 bn a piece, said Sherif Abel Aal, who heads investment banking at the firm. Abdel Aal tells Al Borsa that one of the unnamed companies will be a financial services firm, hinting at the possibility that it was a fintech company. Pharos recently acted as the sell-side advisor on Cairo Three A’s acquisition of National Company for Maize Products, and has been tapped to prepare the fair value report for Global Telecom shares for a mandatory tender offer presented by GT shareholder Fion.

REGULATION WATCH- The EGX will allow margin trading on ETFs in February 2018, said EGX head Mohamed Farid on Monday, according to Ahram Gate. The move would be part of a string of new products and instruments the bourse is planning on launching soon, including derivatives and short-selling. We noted last month that the EGX has completed technical tests of a platform which would allow short-selling on the bourse.

LEGISLATION WATCH- It would appear that the new Customs Act has not died on the vine, as the Finance Ministry plans to complete a draft bill in three months’ time, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said, Ahram Gate reports. The act, which will impose “strict punishments” on customs evaders while reducing clearance times and fees for importers, had been “almost complete” since September 2016.

M&A WATCH- TE denies it offered to acquire MENA cable from OTMT: Telecom Egypt has denied submitting an offer to acquire MENA Submarine Cable Systems (MENA) from Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) in a bourse filing on Monday (pdf). We had noted reports from Al Borsa yesterday citing government sources saying that OTMT’s December 2016 agreement to sell 100% of MENA to Network i2i, a subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel, had fallen through due to obstacles in obtaining necessary security clearances. The newspaper claimed that TE was looking to swoop in to link MENA’s cables with its own TE North cable, which connects Egypt to France.

We need to be paying attention to this: UN officials are voicing alarm over the spread of HIV in Egypt, with new infection rates growing by up to 40% a year, according to some figures. "There is a 25-30% increase in incidents every year… It’s is alarming to us because the growth of the epidemic and the discontinuation of interest from donors in funding," Ahmed Khamis, of the UN AIDS agency, told The Associated Press. "Most recently, we’ve been seeing people of a much younger age group infected with the virus. There is a higher risk now for adolescents and youths than in the past," Khamis added. UNAIDS says there are over 11,000 cases, while the Health Ministry estimates the figure to be around 7,000. While he admitted that data is hard to come by and that his observations come from on the ground work, rising infections are not in dispute.

Yemen’s longtime strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed in an attack in Sanaa on Monday. Iran-backed Houthi fighters seized control of much of the capital and blew up Saleh’s house, while coalition jets bombed their own positions yesterday, Reuters reports. The move comes a few days after Saleh switched sides in the conflict, shifting his allegiance to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition from the Houthis. Saleh had said on Saturday that he was ready for a “new page” in ties with the coalition and called the Houthis a “coup militia”. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed condolences for his death, and decried the escalation of violence in Yemen in a statement on Monday. Saleh had ruled a unified Yemen since 1990 and was removed from power in 2012 after a Saudi-backed agreement following Arab Spring uprisings there in 2011.

Things are not looking good for our unstable neighbor to the west, as the African Unionlaunched a “rescue operation” to evacuate up to 700k migrants from Libya. The decision, which was taken with the blessing of EU and African leaders, comes amid allegations that migrants have been suffering abuse in Libya and the release of a video reportedly showing slave auctions of migrants in Tripoli, Bloomberg reports.

BRIEFLY NOTED- NI Capital got in touch with us yesterday to clarify news reported in the domestic press about potential listings of state-owned companies. NI Capital says the number of state-owned companies eligible for IPO being considered is 30, but the final number will depend on internal readiness and investor perception of growth prospects in each of their sectors.

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Image of the Day

Business Insider revisits this photo from 2010 to reflect on just how much the Middle East has changed in the years following the Arab Spring. Taken at the 2010 Afro-Arab summit in Sirte, “each man had been in power for decades and [they] were viewed as autocratic strongmen.” Seven years later, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia’s Zin El Abidine ben Ali, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh have all been forcibly removed from their posts. If you feel like venturing further down memory lane, go over to The New York Times’ “Five Strongmen, and the Fate of the Arab Spring” for more photos that also add Saddam Hussein to the mix.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning is Ahmed Shafik’s interview Dream TV’s Al Ashera Masa’an to dispel rumors that he had been kidnapped — and his sudden change of heart on the elections. Reuters also spoke to Shafik yesterday, who told their reporters that he was “fine” when they approached him at a Marriott hotel in Cairo, “where he was accompanied by men in civilian clothes who refused to let him talk and quickly sent the reporter away.” Bloomberg also has coverage.

Blame game in the European press over Regeni’s murder: The Guardian picked up on La Repubblica’s scathing critique of what the Italian newspaper claimed was Cambridge professor Maha Abdelrahman’s partial responsibility for the fate grad student Giulio Regeni, whom she advised prior to his murder. The Guardian instead lays the blame squarely at Egypt’s feet.

Other stories worth noting in brief include:

  • The Arab League has expressed its full support for Egypt in the fight against terrorism during an emergency meeting yesterday, Kuwait News Agency says.
  • The Egyptian government’s alleged crackdown on dissent has expanded to cover libraries and books, writes Farid Y Farid in an asinine piece for The Atlantic.
  • More than 100 British holidaymakers are suing UK travel firm First Choice claiming that their holidays at the Jaz Aquaviva hotel in Hurghada were ruined by serious stomach upsets, according to The Sun, a bastion of serious journalism if ever there was one.

On Deadline

Attracting foreign direct investment is not just about maximizing incentives for investors, Mohamed Abdel Shafie Eissa writes for Al Shorouk. He argues that there are four ingredients in any bid to attract FDI: economic conditions, including the availability of labor and raw materials; the overall environment and ease of doing business; political alliances between countries; and investors’ current and previous experiences. Eissa says these factors must be shaped in our interest before the state resorts to handing out incentives such as tax breaks.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt, Jordan, Turkey lobby State Department against moving US embassy to Jerusalem: As the possibility of US President Donald Trump moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv (effectively recognizing the city as Israel’s capital) looks ever more likely, the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt have waged a lobbying campaign to dissuade Washington from making the decision, Ynet News says. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call of the decision’s ramifications and how negatively it would affect efforts to renew the peace process. "The legal status of Jerusalem and its religious and historical status require caution in dealing with this sensitive issue, which has to do with the national identity of the Palestinian people and the status of Jerusalem among the Arab and Muslim peoples," Shoukry said in a Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday. Turkey hopped on the bandwagon alongside Jordan and Egypt. The Washington Post also has the story.

Surprisingly quiet among regional countries on the issue is Saudi Arabia, which has seen its anti-Iran agenda aligned with Israel. Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman has reportedly been holding talks with his US counterpart Jared Kushner (by marriage but not birth) over the latter’s Middle East peace plan. Experts say a move by Washington would likely not result in much, considering closer, albeit behind-the-scenes, ties between Sunni Arab states and Israel, according to the AP. Trump is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday, said nepotism beneficiary-in-chief Kushner, Bloomberg reports. The State Department has warned embassies of potential unrest and anti-American protests this week related to an announcement, according to US officials.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed increasing military, trade, and transportation cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call yesterday, Ittihadiya said in a statement. The phone call comes after the two countries signed an agreement to use each other’s airspace and air bases for warplanes, which El Sisi had reportedly approved last month. Regional developments, including the situation in Palestine and Libya, also came up during the call.

Separately, El Sisi also spoke to South African President Jacob Zuma about improving ties.

France nominates Egypt for Syria contact group, rest of Big Five refuse: France nominated Egypt as one of the countries to bring into the contact group on Syria in the future, but the UN Security Council’s permanent five members “did not see eye to eye on this matter,” France’s ambassador to Russia tells TASS. Paris also suggested adding Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. French President Emmanuel Macron had initiated the group back in July and agreed with US President Donald Trump to initially limit its membership to the Security Council’s permanent five members — the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China.

Energy

Electricity Ministry to finalize establishment of nuclear power authority in January

The Electricity Ministry is planning to finalize the establishment of the nuclear power industry regulator in January, a ministry source said, Al Mal reports. The ministry will appoint the authority’s members and leaders by that time to allow the body to begin supervising the Dabaa nuclear power plant, according to the source. While the authority will enlist foreign experts, it will be headed entirely by Egyptians. According to the source, the presidency has yet to notify the ministry of the expected signing date for the Dabaa contracts.

Renewable energy companies plan expansion and CAPEX growth in 2018

A number of renewable energy companies have announced plans to increase their investments in 2018 and expand regionally, Al Mal reports. Desert Technologies appears to be spending the most out of the three who spoke to the newspaper. The company plans to spend EGP 1.8 bn in 2018 on three new projects, said the company’s head of project management Mohamed El Dely. The company is also exploring expanding in the GCC and Africa, he added. Africa Solar Energy Services plans to quadruple its business in Egypt next year to EGP 500 mn, said its CEO Ahmed Hamdy. The company is also planning an Africa expansion. Meanwhile, Cairo Solar plans to grow its business sixfold to EGP 75 mn, according to board member Hatem Tawfik.

IMC, UNDP to establish grid-connected photovoltaic power system

The Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) is establishing a photovoltaic power system that will be connected to the national power grid, Al Ahram reports. The project, which the IMC will develop in cooperation with the UNDP, entails installing solar panels on the roofs of public buildings, private homes, and small and medium factories, according to Egypt Today.

Infrastructure

EBRD to fund USD 300 mn desalination plant in Ain Sokhna

Suez Canal Authority head Mohab Mamish reached an agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) last week to fund a USD 300 mn desalination plant in Ain Sokhna, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The amount will be used to cover feasibility studies and the costs for the construction of the plant. Mamish reached an agreement with the EBRD during a trip to Germany and the UK last week, according to the newspaper.

Manufacturing

LG Egypt studying assembly of cell phones

LG Egypt is conducting feasibility studies on a new domestic production line for cell phones, CEO Don Kwak tells Al Masry Al Youm. Market circumstances and overall economic stability will be important determining factors for the project, Kwak said, without adding further detail on the timeline for the studies or the project’s size or value.

Health + Education

Speed Medical to open labs in five African countries

Lab and diagnostic testing company Speed Medical plans to open shop in five African countries over the coming five years with investments of up to EGP 125 mn, said company head Mahmoud Lashin. The company is planning new labs in Sudan, Libya, Morocco, Kenya and Uganda, he tells Al Borsa.

Egypt to try and bring Finnish educational framework home

Education Minister Tarek Shawki is visiting Helsinki in 1Q2018 to meet with his Finnish counterpart and discuss bringing the Finnish educational framework to Egypt, Al Mal reports. Egypt is also working on bringing schools online that follow Japanese teaching and learning modules, but the Education Ministry had postponed the launch of the first facility from its scheduled date last October, saying that more construction was still necessary.

Real Estate + Housing

Giza General Contracting approves establishing EGP 50 mn real estate investment unit

The board of Giza General Contracting and Real Estate Investment Company approved establishing a EGP 50 mn real estate investment arm on Monday, the company said in a bourse disclosure.

Tourism

Archaeologists find 27 statues of Ancient Egyptian goddess Sekhmet in Luxor

A group of Egyptian and European archaeologists unearthed 27 statues of the Ancient Egyptian lioness goddess Sekhmet while excavating King Amenhotep III’s funerary temple in Luxor’s Kom El Hetan, Ahram Online reports.

Telecoms + ICT

Orange Egypt’s EGM approves capital increase to EGP 16.4 bn

Orange Egypt’s general assembly approved a capital increase yesterday to EGP 16.4 bn from EGP 1 bn through the issuance of new shares, according to a bourse filing (pdf). The company’s board had signed off on the move early last month.

Other Business News of Note

Cabinet looks into establishing public freezone in Minya

The Cabinet economic group discussed yesterday a proposal to establish a public freezone in Minya, according to a statement. The freezone would house spinning and weaving, pharma, and tech projects, among others. No further details were provided on the proposal.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Local elections might not be coming for another three-to-five years

It’s looking like local elections will not be happening anytime soon, as the Local Administration Act — which sets up locally elected councils — will take 3-5 years to be implemented, according to Mohamed Elsewedy, who heads the House’s majority Support Egypt coalition. The law is currently with Maglis El Dawla (Council of State) and will be with the House of Representatives following the review, he tells Al Mal. The government had initially stated that these local elections would take place following the 2018 presidential ballot.

Prosecutor General refers three policemen to criminal court over EGP 2 bn currency smuggling ring

The Prosecutor General referred eight individuals, including three policemen, to criminal court over charges of running a currency smuggling ring, according to Ahram Online. Two fugitives, including the owner of a currency exchange company and a businessman, smuggled EGP 2 bn-worth of foreign cash into the country over time by bribing the three policemen at the airport, the State Security’s investigation revealed.

Sports

Egypt will likely “go farther than any African team” in World Cup

Egypt is “well equipped to go farther than any African team” at the 2018 World Cup thanks to the draw placing it in a preferable group-stage pool, Complete Sports’ Sam Lee says. Uruguay’s national team is not as strong as it once was, Saudi Arabia is “not expected to ruffle any feathers,” and Russia is at a disadvantage because it doesn’t have many players in European teams. In contrast, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah “is having a super season at Liverpool; he’s one of the best players in the Premier League at the moment, so you expect him to do great things for the national team at the World Cup.”

On Your Way Out

Sustainable business models can add USD 600 bn to MENA economies: The Better Business, Better World MENA report from the Business & Sustainable Development Commission shows there is a compelling economic incentive for business and government to accelerate and embrace sustainable strategies. The MENA region can unlock more than USD 600 bn by 2030 through a shift towards sustainable business models, the report suggests. The report was released at the AmCham and UNDP regional conference in Cairo “The Private Sector’s Role in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.” The full document can be downloaded here (pdf).

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6594 | Sell 17.7594
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.67 | Sell 17.77
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.64 | Sell 17.74

EGX30 (Monday): 14,572 (-1.0%)
Turnover: EGP 1.0 bn (2% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +18.0%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 1.0%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Egyptian Resorts up 3.4%, Pioneers Holding up 2.2%, and Oriental Weavers up 0.8%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Emaar Misr down 3.9%, Egyptian Iron & Steel down 3.2%, and Kima down 2.3%. The market turnover was EGP 1 bn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -83.7 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -0.7 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +84.4 mn

Retail: 65.9% of total trades | 69.3% of buyers | 62.4% of sellers
Institutions: 34.1% of total trades | 30.7% of buyers | 37.6% of sellers

Foreign: 21.9% of total | 17.9% of buyers | 26.0% of sellers
Regional: 8.2% of total | 8.2% of buyers | 8.3% of sellers
Domestic: 69.8% of total | 73.9% of buyers | 65.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 57.44 (-1.58%)
Brent: USD 62.44 (-2.02%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.98 MMBtu, (-2.74%, January 2017 contract)
Gold: USD 1,279.40 / troy ounce (-0.23%)TASI: 7,103.08 (+0.19%) (YTD: -1.49%)
ADX: 4,326.81 (+1.02%) (YTD: -4.83%)
DFM: 3,431.81 (+0.32%) (YTD: -2.81%)
KSE Weighted Index: 399.47 (-0.16%) (YTD: +5.10%)
QE: 7,930.38 (+2.24%) (YTD: -24.01%)
MSM: 5,109.62 (+0.06%) (YTD: -11.64%)
BB: 1,274.13 (-0.47%) (YTD: +4.40%)

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Calendar

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.