Thursday, 14 December 2017

A nice note on which to start the weekend: EBRD to invest EUR 1 bn here in 2018.


What We’re Tracking Today

AUC will graduate its Fall 2017 cycle from the AUC Venture Lab FinTech Accelerator today at the New Cairo Campus. The program is sponsored by our friends at CIB. AUC and CIB partnered last year to open the AUC Venture Lab Fintech program to help support startups in the sector.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail will be discharged from hospital in Germany within the next few days, acting PM Mostafa Madbouly said yesterday, Ahram Gate reports. Ismail will remain in Germany to continue his recovery and return to Egypt “soon,” Madbouly said.

** Take our end-of-year survey — get a bag of Enterprise-branded coffee and cool mugs from which to drink it:It’s that time of the year again — we want you to help us gauge how well business went during the year. What are the biggest challenges you faced during the year? Where will the exchange rate stabilise? Do you expect big raises in 2018? Are you hiring? Help us find out. You’ll get the chance to become one of 25 people who’ll get our end of year giveaway package consisting of Enterprise swag and our first-ever Enterprise-branded batch of coffee, which we’ve put together with good friends in the coffee business. (More on that in a later issue.) The survey runs through sometime next week, and we’ll have the results when we’re all back from the Christmas-New Year’s-Christmas break.

With the MiFID II requirement that research be paid for set to come into effect with the new year, most high-profile asset managers are going to absorb the cost of research rather than pass it on to clients. Of nearly 80 managers listed by the Financial Times, only Amundi, Carmignac, Deka and Fidelity International are down as planning to pass the cost on to clients starting 3 January. Goldman, HSBC, Deutsche, Franklin Templeton, Investec and more than 70 others will be absorbing the costs themselves. Read this along with Mifid II impact on investment banking ‘exaggerated’ from last week.

Nobody is extending a helping hand to Kingdom Holding the way founder Alwaleed bin Talal rode to the rescue of Citi in the early days of the global financial crisis a decade ago, the Financial Times notes. The “Warren Buffet of Arabia” remains in detention in Saudi’s so-called graft probe, and “in his hour of need, nobody has publicly come to his aid as bns of USD have been wiped off his fortune and the investment firm he founded, Kingdom Holding Company, has been plunged into uncertainty. KHC has lost almost a fifth of its value since Prince Alwaleed’s detention, falling to USD 8.5 bn.”

Trade in the era of Trump: The Wall Street Journal’s “From German faucets to Italian chocolate, trade barriers are rising again in Europe” is rather timely after the WTO’s Buenos Aires ministerial meeting this week ended with little progress on anything of substance.

Learn when to shut your mouth — and better still, to listen to others. Talkaholics Sink Partnerships, Presentations—and Careers is one of our favourite pieces to run in the Wall Street Journal in years. The takeaway, of which we will remind ourselves daily: “Long-winded executives think they’re personable, but loquaciousness can turn off colleagues and potential clients.”

It’s been months since one of us has had pizza, but even discounting our longing for warm, cheesy-carby goodness, it’s hard not to smile when reading It’s Official: Naples Pizza Is One of Civilization’s Glories. Even without words, the glimpses of perfect pies in the accompanying photos would be satisfying.

May we suggest some enterprising young Egyptian out there mount a similar campaign to earn international recognition for hawawshi? For it is, verily, the True Breakfast of Champions.

And speaking of delicious carbs: We love Ovio’s Christmas cookies. The pizza-less one among us is plotting whether he gets to have one before year-end travel, or afterward. Want to bake your own instead? Start with Five cookie recipes that could be your new holiday standbys from Canada’s Globe and Mail.

We’re not getting older, we’re getting wiser. At least that’s what we hope after reading Things I’ll do differently when I’m old in the New York Times. Anyone else notice how the goalposts for what you consider “old” keep getting pushed back with every year?

Still on the fence about going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi this weekend? The reviews of reviews are coming together to help you make up your mind.

On The Horizon

US Vice President Mike Pence is expected to arrive in Egypt next week amid ongoing (if relatively muted) opposition from regional governments to President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Pence is expected to meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, but Egypt’s most prominent and senior religious figures, including Pope Tawadros II and the head of Al Azhar, have said they would decline to sit with him over the Jerusalem decision. Pence had said that, among other things, he will push for greater protection for the Middle East’s Christian population.

The IMF may disburse the third USD 2 bn tranche of Egypt’s USD 12 bn Extended Fund Facility as late as January, according to a report in the domestic press. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy had previously said that the disbursal is expected before the end of December. The IMF’s Executive Board will meet on 20 December to review progress on Egypt’s economic reform program ahead of voting to disburse the third tranche.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was another humdrum evening on the airwaves, particularly with talk show power couple Lamees Al Hadidi and Amr Adib both taking the night off.

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin that the exact date for bringing the Zohr gas field online is not yet set and depends entirely on the outcome of tests currently being conducted on the pipelines and processing plants. Production could begin in as little as 24 hours, he noted (watch, runtime: 7:16).

El Molla also gave Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal a call to discuss figures and plans that we have heard a mn times over, including initial output from Zohr (350 mcf/d) and projected output (1 bcf/d by June 2018), as well as the fact that “Egypt is on its way to achieving natural gas self-sufficiency” by the end of next year. He added that BP’s North Alexandria concession has saved the country around USD 60 mn worth of LNG shipments per month (watch, runtime: 14:19).

Speaking of self-sufficiency: Egypt will reach that milestone for fish production by 2022, General Authority for Fish Resources Development Spokesperson Mohamed Shaaban told Tamer Amin. Shaaban said that domestic fish farms helped keep fish prices relatively stable while poultry and meat prices skyrocketed (watch, runtime: 3:20).

Over on Yahduth fi Masr, Sherif Amer and Mostafa El Fekki sat down for their customary Wednesday evening chat, the topic of which was US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. El Fekki claimed that the UK is saving diplomatic face by refraining from supporting Trump’s decision, but is moving behind the scenes to push small eastern European countries to do that on its behalf. He also called on the Arab League to send a delegation of Arab foreign ministers to enter negotiations with the US administration on the issue.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

INVESTMENT WATCH- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could invest as much as EUR 1 bn in Egypt next year, the bank’s Managing Director for Equity Hassan El Khatib said, according to Al Borsa. The EBRD invested EUR 1.2 bn this year in development and solar energy projects as well as financing to domestic banks. EBRD currently provides funds some 66 projects and has assets under management of around EUR 919 mn, said El Khatib. The bank will be looking to invest in a number of private equity funds next year, and is currently studying possible investment targets.

El Khatib noted that the EBRD has sold down half of its 20.8% stake in Ibnsina Pharma, which made its debut on the EGX this past Tuesday. He says the bank plans to retain its current 10.4% stake in the company for another two years. As we noted yesterday, Ibnsina’s shares jumped 16% in their first day of trading.

Aviation Minister in Moscow to sign security agreement ahead of restoration of direct flights to Egypt: Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy is reportedly heading a delegation to Moscow today to sign an aviation security protocol with his Russian counterpart, Maksim Sokolov, that should pave the way for the restoration of direct flights to Cairo from Moscow, according to Ahram Gate. Flights between the two capitals should resume by February, after a more than two-year suspension following the downing of a Metrojet flight after it took off from Sharm El Sheikh. Under the agreement, Russian security personnel will be allowed to oversee security procedures carried out on all Moscow-bound flights as well as Russian flights bound for Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, sources tell the newspaper, adding that negotiations are still ongoing to finalize terms. Trips to the Red Sea cities should resume once flights to Cairo are restored. Russian President Vladimir Putin had said this week that Russia was ready to put the airplanes back in the skies.

Egypt and Greece were “the clear winners” of the German travel market in 2017, German Travel Association President Norbert Fiebig said, according to tourism portal FVW. “Tour operator sales for holidays in Egypt increased by 55% this year, although on the basis of a weak previous year,” and winter bookings are showing that “Egypt is continuing its recovery,” Fiebig said. No details were provided on the most popular destination within Egypt for German travelers, but FVW has reported bookings to Hurghada and Marsa Alam increasing consistently in August, September, and October. Meanwhile, Morocco, Cyprus, and Tunisia also saw high growth rates this year, after having lost out on the German market last year along with Egypt. However, Turkey — an important tourism destination for Germans — “suffered a double-digit drop” in bookings this year.

Sarwa Capital announced that Sarwa Securitization has closed an EGP 1.15 bn issue of securitization bonds. The bonds are backed by the portfolios of Contact Auto Credit and its affiliate companies. “The bonds consist of three tranches with tenors of 1, 3 and 5 years and received high ratings of ‘AA+,’ ‘AA,’ and ‘A’ respectively by Middle East Ratings and Investors Service (Meris). Sarwa Promoting & Underwriting acted as Lead Manager and Financial Advisor on the transaction. The issue was fully underwritten and arranged by Banque Misr and CIB with Banque Misr acting as Bookrunner,” the statement noted. Sarwa says a new issue of over EGP 500 mn is expected soon.

In other news from our friends at Sarwa, the firm’s insurance subsidiary Contact opened an office in Assiut to provide residents there with a range of financial products, including insurance, leasing, auto and real estate financing, the company said in a statement on Wednesday (pdf).

MOVES- Mona El Garf to step down as ECA boss, to return to teaching: Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) boss Mona El Garf, who we have long considered one of the nation’s most competent civil servants, revealed to Youm7 that she resigned from her position in November and will return to teaching once a new ECA board is formed. She remains in office as a caretaker in the interim. El Garf has been at the helm for the last four years, leading the ECA through high profile cases including one against Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou for his broadcast rights agreement with Lagardère Sports. El Garf had also pursued Qatar’s beIN Sports on charges of anti-competitiveness.

MOVES- It’s partnership season at the nation’s leading law firms. Sharkawy and Sarhan has made commercial and competition litigator Mohamed Abdelgawad a partner at the firm. He will lead the firm’s corporate and commercial department. Shalakany Law Office welcomed as partners banking and project finance lawyer Mariam Fahmy and disputes resolution attorney Adam El Shalakany.

EARNINGS WATCH- GlaxoSmithKline’s local subsidiary reported 1H2016 standalone net profits of EGP 101.679 mn, compared to a net loss of EGP 31.658 mn recorded during the same period last year, according to a bourse statement.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The House Economics Committee has apparently signed off on amendments to the Companies Act that will change how sole proprietorships are established and governed, Ahram Gate reports. The changes govern how legal persons set up businesses in their own names and set out the framework for transforming them from a sole proprietorship into a joint stock company. The newspaper provides no other details and does not get into amendments expected to governance requirements under the act, which reportedly include anti-whistleblower measures.

Taxing online ads sold by Facebook, Google? Rep. Mostafa Bakry is planning to draft legislation that would compel social media platforms to pay taxes on advertising they sell in Egypt. Bakry tells Youm7 that his proposed bill — which primarily takes aim at Facebook and Twitter, as well as Google — would level the playing field between print and electronic media, since the former is subject to stamp tax and income tax in Egypt. The MP apparently found inspiration in a similar measure discussed by European Union states earlier this year. Our take: Make Google, Facebook and others charge VAT here on ad sales and abolish the stamp tax on advertising.

The US Federal Reserve decided yesterday to hike short-term interest rates for the third time in 2017, raising them by a quarter point as expected. The Fed has said to watch out for “more increases to follow in 2018 as Janet Yellen prepares to hand over the chair amid robust hiring and surging financial markets,” notes The Financial Times (paywall). “The Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labour market conditions will remain strong,” it said in a statement. “In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation.” Bloomberg is tipped three rate hikes in the new year.

The World Bank will not offer fund oil and gas investments after 2019, and will instead allocate 28% of its lending portfolio to climate action by 2020, The National reports. “The move follows similar initiatives by large financial institutions … The global sentiment towards oil and gas investment is increasingly turning negative with large funds continuing to move away from fossil fuels.” The shift in the WB’s spending will likely hit energy-poor countries the hardest, analysts say, but the bank said it would make exceptions for projects that do not violate commitments made under the Paris climate accord.

Saudi Aramco has invited banks to bid to become coordinators and bookrunners on its IPO, people familiar with the matter said, according to Bloomberg. The company sent out the request for proposals to banks over the past few days and aims to appoint a group of advisors by early next year, the sources added. The company did not disclose to the selected banks where it plans to list the shares, expected to be 5% of the company. The move would indicate that the company is favoring an international sale, after it had been reported that it was considering an offer of a direct sale to a Chinese consortium. The US and Japan have apparently been stepping up their lobbying efforts to dissuade the Saudi government from taking the China offer, the Wall Street Journal reports. The US is reportedly concerned that a Chinese stake in Aramco would create a close bond between Beijing and Riyadh.


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Egypt in the News

The international community has “failed” to pressure Egypt to improve press freedom conditions, The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says on an otherwise fairly quiet day for Egypt in the foreign press. CPJ labelled Egypt as one of the “worst” jailers of journalists, placing it in third place on a list that is led by Turkey and China. Egypt is home to 20 of a total 262 jailed journalists worldwide.

Foreign Policy picks up the refrain in its latest piece on Egypt, the author of which writes that, “Cairo is cracking down on organizations that shed light on its abuses” in the name of war on terror,” citing the repeated closures of the Al Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture.

The founder of Egypt’s PR firm defends company from LGBTQ controversy: The founder and executive chairman of PR firm APCO Worldwide is defending its relationship with Egypt following an article from the Intercept critical of the arrangement and questioning of the company’s commitment to LGBTQ rights, according to PR Weekly. Margery Kraus contends the agency’s work has nothing to do with Egypt’s LGBTQ crackdown, saying that “the work we’re doing [for Egypt] is of a general nature. It’s in our foreign agents filing and has nothing to do with this particular issue,” she said. “What [the writer is] doing is trying to say that maybe we should’ve done something about this issue, but Egypt is a sovereign government. When we work with a client like that, you try to engage with them and you try help shape them, but … we never whitewash anything.”

LGBTQ community’s wannabe savior: On a related note, the co-founder of dating app Hornet with a case of white-savioritis takes to the pages of Newsweek to tell the world that he won’t be following in the footsteps of other apps and closing, saying that the Egyptian LGBTQ have asked him not to (nice plug). The self-serving Sean Howell says Hornet is working with local NGOs, lawyers, foreign ministries and international press outlets to apply pressure to the Egyptian government to establish a safe environment for the LGBTQ community in Egypt.

The Nicaraguan government has appointed Muammar Gaddafi’s nephew as its ambassador to Egypt and Kuwait. Mohamed Lashtar, who was said to have maintained good ties with the late Libyan leader, has held several posts in the Nicaraguan government, serving as President Daniel Ortega’s private secretary and alternate deputy to the Central American Parliament, according to The Havana Times.

Other international news worth noting in brief, include:

  • The first locally assembled smartphone, SICO’s Nile X, will hit shelves tomorrow, according to Quartz Africa. Tailored for the local market, the phone will retail for roughly USD 112 (just shy of EGP 2,000).
  • 9-14% of cancer cases in Egypt, Mongolia, Kuwait, and Vanuatu have been linked to high BMI and diabetes, Reuters reports.
  • Sudan-born fashion model Fatima Ali will publish a book on her experiences with racism and discrimination in Egypt, which she has been detailing for the past four years, Al Monitor reports.

On Deadline

Proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act are unconstitutional and dangerous that could further stifle the exercise of freedoms, Ashraf El Barbary says in a column penned for Al Shorouk. El Barbary points specifically to a proposed amendment that would impose a media ban on all court hearings without the permission of the presiding judge as a measure that would only serve to tighten the noose around freedom and access to information in Egypt. What is most dangerous, he says, is the fact that the amendment will likely pass the House of Representatives with minimal resistance, since the body has happily rubber stamped many other equally repressive and unconstitutional measures such as the NGOs Law and the Tiran and Sanafir handover agreement.

Worth Watching

Do you hate ‘thought leaders’ and TED talks as much as we do? Pat Kelly from Canada’s CBC narrates his own satirical TED-type talk that nails every annoying nuance afflicting every of “inspirational” talk out there. His laconic performance is comedy of the highest order and annihilates all the unsubstantial, millennial, attention-seeking catch-phrases that litter those types of speeches. See for yourselves (watch, runtime 4:15).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The Africa 2017 forum, which concluded earlier in the week in Sharm El Sheikh, carried President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s “clear message” to “bring Africa closer together.” Egypt is looking to play a key role in driving regional integration in Africa. The forum put forward five recommendations: pumping new investments in Africa to boost economic growth and development, establishing joint projects particularly in infrastructure to support investment and trade among African states, enhancing the role of the African private sector, executing programs that encourage entrepreneurship, and empowering women in all fields of economic activity.

A delegation from Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, arrived in Cairo yesterday for talks with MPs and House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, Ahram Online reports. The Duma delegation, headed by Defense Committee Chairman Vladimir Shamanov, will be in town for several days. Abdel Aal also met with the President of Japan’s House of Councilors Chuichi Date for cooperation talks.

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil is exploring the potential of a barter agreement with Argentina, according to a ministry statement. The agreement would see Egypt exchange locally-made Hep C medication, which retails at a significant discount to other global brands, for a variety of goods of equivalent value from the South American nation.

Palestine will be seeking full UN membership status after the US effectively recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday at an emergency Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting, Reuters reports. Abbas “did not elaborate on how the Palestinians intended to become a full member state.” The OIC called on countries to recognize Palestinian statehood, the newswire says. The move is likely meant to rally international support for Palestine’s UN membership campaign.


Lekela Power signs PPA with EETC for 250 MW Gulf of Suez wind farm

Lekela Power has signed a power purchasing agreement with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company for its USD 400 mn, 250 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, Al Shorouk reports. Lekela is expecting to reach financial close on the project sometime next year.

Electricity Ministry discusses grid interconnectivity project with Libya

Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker discussed cooperating on developing our western neighbor’s electricity infrastructure with the head of Libya’s General Electric Company Ali Sayes, Al Mal reports. Shaker reportedly stressed the need to have a grid interconnectivity project with Libya up and running. Any such project would undoubtedly be part of a wider strategy announced by Shaker earlier this month for Egypt to begin exporting electricity by 2018. The Libya Herald also has the story.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Saudi delegation coming to Egypt to inspect quality of agriculture goods

A delegation of Saudi agriculture quarantine and trade officials is expected to arrive in Cairo on a fact-finding mission ahead of determining whether to lift a ban on Egyptian strawberries and peppers, said Abdel Hamid El Demerdash, head of the Agriculture Export Council. He tells Al Mal that the officials will be visiting Egyptian farms and are particularly concerned with the quality of irrigation water being used. Saudi Arabia had been one of several regional countries to impose bans on Egyptian agriculture goods citing quality and safety issues. The UAE and Kuwait have both lifted their bans earlier this year.

US wheat prices drop low enough to compete in Egypt -Reuters

Prices Egypt paid recently for Russian and Romanian wheat shows that US wheat prices are now low enough to compete here, according to Reuters. Egypt last bought US wheat in May and this was its first purchase in more than two years. “U.S. wheat prices have tumbled 60 percent since reaching a four-year high in 2012 as large harvests around the world have reduced export demand. Global wheat inventories are at record-high levels, due in part to heavy production from Russia.” The drop in prices has attracted Algeria, the world’s third-largest wheat importer, which made its biggest U.S. wheat purchase in nine months on Tuesday, the newswire says.


Factory bailout fund to start work next week

The government’s EGP 150 mn bailout fund will start financing the first phase of idle factories next week,Chairman of Tahya Misr Fund Mohamed Ashmawy said. The phase will include 3-5 projects in the poultry and plastics segments. Tahya Misr had partnered up with Ayady, the National Investment Bank, and BPE Partners in March to co-establish the company Union Capital to run the bailout fund that should provide idle factories with financing packages ranging from EGP 5-10 mn each.

Health + Education

Health Ministry commissions 4 local pharma companies to produce penicillin

The Health Ministry has commissioned four local pharma companies — Nile Pharma, Holdipharma, October, and Medical Union — to produce penicillin, which will help to reduce the country’s reliance on imports and avoid future shortages, ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed tells Al Shorouk. The country’s stock of penicillin will be sufficient to cover five months of consumption by the end of December, Megahed says. The Health Ministry had accused state-owned ACDIMA of causing a penicillin shortage in the local market.

Eight technological universities to open in 2018

Eight technology-focused universities will be set up across the country next year, Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar announced on Tuesday. Three of the schools have been announced so far — one each in New Cairo, Menoufiya and Beni Suef. The universities will focus on curriculums that serve industries including construction, fisheries and health sciences and come as part of a broader government initiative to diversify and expand higher education.

Telecoms + ICT

Indian smartphone manufacturer Lava enters Egyptian market

Indian smartphone manufacturer Lava has begun selling lower-cost mobile phones and smartphones in the Egyptian market, Al Mal reports. Lava has begun selling its products in Qalyubia as a first stage and will expand its activities to the country’s remaining governorates, sources from the company tell the newspaper.

Automotive + Transportation

El Nasr Automotive revives talks with foreign partners to restart operations

Zombie car company El Nasr Automotive has revived negotiations with potential foreign partners to restart the defunct national car manufacturer’s operations, the Public Enterprises Ministry announced yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. No further details were provided (as is pretty standard for news of this beast.) This would be the company’s second attempt at these negotiations, after they stalled earlier this year. El Nasr had entered talks with Chinese companies last year to secure USD 20 mn in funding the Nasser-era darling needed to get off life support.

Other Business News of Note

Orascom Construction considers two infrastructure projects in Kenya

Orascom Construction Industries is considering developing two infrastructure projects in Kenya, Al Borsa reports. The company is studying developing a 150 km road and a 500 MW power plant, said the company’s Concessions Director, Khaled El Degwy. The company will complete its study and make a determination on whether to bid on the projects in February 2018.

Sawiris says he is considering investing in gov’t venture capitalist firm Egypt Ventures

Naguib Sawiris said he is considering investing in the Investment Ministry’s EGP 451 mn venture capital firm Egypt Ventures, Al Borsa reports. “I really like the idea and I would like to participate, but it would need to be studied,” Sawiris is reported to have said following a meeting with Egypt Ventures Chairman Shehab Marzaban. Sawiris said he plans to meet with company executives to discuss the possible investment at some point.

Gulf Capital invested USD 22 mn in Egypt in 4Q2017

Gulf Capital invested USD 22 mn in 4Q2017 in an Egyptian company that provides liquid petroleum gas storage services to the government, a statement carried by Al Borsa said yesterday. The UAE-based private equity firm had announced in November that it was planning to invest USD 110 mn in Egypt over the coming two years, particularly in marine industries, logistics, and infrastructure.

UK to provide Egypt with bomb detectors for airports

The Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation has signed an agreement with the UK Department for Transport to supply 12 bomb detection devices, Ahram Online reports. The devices will be used at Cairo Airport as well as airports nationwide.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Security forces arrests members of Shafik’s party – sources

Security forces are said to have arrested three members of Ahmed Shafik’s Egyptian National Movement party, weeks after the 2012 presidential candidate and former air force commander announced his intention to run again in 2018, Reuters reports. The men were charged with spreading false information harmful to national security, two security sources familiar with the incident said. There was no official statement or comment from the Interior Ministry. Shafik is expected to make a final decision on whether he will run for president after having backtracked from his initial announcement a few days later.

Military court reduces sentences of 30 civilians

A military court in Assiut reduced the prison sentences of 30 civilians to 10 years from 25, a local legal source told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday. The case goes back to events that followed June 2013 when 33 were charged with membership in an illegal political group, inciting violence and destruction of property. Three of those charged were later acquitted.

On Your Way Out

Popular US television show Suits is getting an Egyptian remake after TVision CEO Tarek Genainy purchased the rights from NBCUniversal International, according to PopSugar. Suits follows a team of high powered lawyers in New York, and the Egyptian version will carry that idea to a Cairo setting. The remake, set to start shooting in June, will be more an adaptation than a reflection of the original as producers say they intend to make a “more authentic” Arabic-language show. Scripts are in progress, but casting has yet to move forward.

Google search trends in 2017 shows we care more about kids’ education than football: Google has published its search trends for 2017, and it looks like the results of the elementary school examinations are what we cared about the most this year. Coming in at second place, were the results of the World Cup draw, followed by searches for the “Salsal Al Dam” tv show. Global results appear to reflect search trends in the US, with Hurricane Irma topping searches. The Apple 8 and Apple X phones came in at second and third place, while Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey, who were recently outed and lost their jobs as a result of the [redacted] harassment scandal, followed.

Tap here to see the results filtered for what we in Egypt searched the mostor head here to see the full global rankings.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.76 | Sell 17.86
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.77 | Sell 17.87
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.69 | Sell 17.79

EGX30 (Wednesday): 14,651 (+0.4%)
Turnover: EGP 1.1 bn (5% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +18.7%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.4% up. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed up 0.6%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Domty up 5.2%; Heliopolis Housing up 3.9%; and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank up 2.3%. Today’s worst performing stocks were Emaar Misr down 1.6%; Palm Hills down 1.5%; and Kima down 1.4%. The market turnover was EGP 1.1 bn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +23.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -21.5 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -2.4 mn

Retail: 63.4% of total trades | 62.0% of buyers | 64.8% of sellers
Institutions: 36.6% of total trades | 38.0% of buyers | 35.2% of sellers

Foreign: 17.7% of total | 18.8% of buyers | 16.5% of sellers
Regional: 16.2% of total | 15.2% of buyers | 17.2% of sellers
Domestic: 66.2% of total | 66.1% of buyers | 66.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 56.67 (-0.82%)
Brent: USD 62.47 (-1.37%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.70 MMBtu, (+0.78%, JAN 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,257.8 / troy ounce (+1.3%)

TASI: 7,094.11 (-0.41%) (YTD: -1.61%)
ADX: 4,384.36 (+0.06%) (YTD: -3.56%)
DFM: 3,404.09 (-1.44%) (YTD: -3.59%)
KSE Weighted Index: 396.33 (+0.56%) (YTD: +4.27%)
QE: 8,206.87 (+2.16%) (YTD: -21.37%)
MSM: 5,066.49 (+0.32%) (YTD: -12.39%)
BB: 1,264.12 (-0.00%) (YTD: +3.58%)

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15 December (Friday): The Law Magazine’s Law Talks event, Zamalek palace, Cairo.

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.

28-31 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

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