Tuesday, 2 January 2018

At least 11 dead in Friday’s terror attack on Helwan Coptic church


What We’re Tracking Today

2018 is off to a shaky start. A terror attack on a Coptic Orthodox church in Helwan on Friday left at least 11 people dead in its wake. Daesh claimed responsibility for the act, as investigators discovered the assailant’s identity and links to previous terror attacks (We have full coverage in the Speed Round, below).

Security presence has been bolstered around churches ahead of Coptic Christmas celebration on Sunday 7 January, which Manpower Minister Mohamed Saafan has confirmed will be a holiday for both the public and private sectors.

The EGX is not expected to suffer as a result of the attack, traders tell Al Borsa. They expect the Egyptian Exchange to continue on its strong streak this year, having closed at 21.7% at the end of trading on Thursday.

Last week, the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee left key interest rates unchanged, as market observers had predicted. Full coverage in the Speed Round, below.

The House Economics Committee is scheduled to hold a final vote on the Consumer Protection Act today, Ahram Gate reports. Consumer Protection Agency head Atef Yacoub is expected to attend today’s debate of the bill. The committee had approved last month the proposed text for article 30, which would require vendors to print a receipt for consumers who pay for purchased goods in installments that clearly indicate the price of the goods, the interest rate being imposed, and the value of the down payment.

We will be announcing the results of our end-of-year survey next week. Be on the lookout.

Suffering from slow internet? You’re’ not alone. Egypt and some neighboring countries are facing a problem, Telecom Egypt says in a statement. They reassure customers that they are working on resolving the issue as fast possible within the next few days.

PSA- Residents of various Giza neighborhoods can expect water to be out for 24 hours starting 8:00pm tonight, Al Mal reports.

On The Horizon

Pence still planning a visit to Egypt and Israel in January? US Vice President Mike Pence’s office said yesterday that the official was still planning on visiting Israel and stopping in Egypt in January, The Associated Press reports. Pence was expected to fly into the region last month, but his visit was delayed amidst the “region-wide uproar over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” Israel’s Foreign Ministry told the newswire yesterday, however, that the visit was not on its January agenda.

The Trade and Industry Ministry announced plans to launch an SME development program during 1Q2018. The strategy will aim to increase the sector’s contribution to national GDP and support the creation of youth employment opportunities.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

With Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi, Kol Youm’s Amr Adib, and Masaa DMC all taking a break last night, the airwaves were somewhat bland on the first evening of 2018.

The Supply Ministry’s price-printing policy is now the law of the land across the country, spokesperson Mamdouh Ramadan told Al Nahar TV’s Moataz El Demerdash (we have more in Speed Round, below). Ramadan stressed that the policy is not unique to Egypt and is applied in several other countries to protect all members of the supply chain. He also said that the ministry itself is not responsible for following up on the implementation of the policy, and that the burden falls on the shoulders of the Consumer Protection Agency and consumers themselves (watch, runtime: 4:31).

Terror attacks in Egypt dropped 65% in 2017 compared to the year prior, Supreme Anti-Terrorism Council member Khaled Okasha told Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer. Okasha attributed the decline to the Interior Ministry’s preemptive raids on terror hideouts, which allowed security forces to arrest a number of militants. The ministry is currently working on understanding the developments in terrorists’ tactics and their modes of operation, he said.

Egypt’s natural gas production will surpass the country’s consumption rate and create a surplus by 2H2018, head of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce’s petroleum materials division Hossam Arafat said in a phone-in to Ten TV’s Ra’y Aam. The increase in production will be of particular significance to the petrochemicals industry, and will ensure that power plants and personal vehicles alike are able to operate, Arafat said. He also noted that Egypt will no longer need to spend foreign currency on natural gas imports (watch, runtime: 2:12).

Everyone can now pre-order one of SICO Technology’s locally-made smartphones through a hotline, company Chairman Mohamed Salem told Ten TV. SICO is expecting demand on its smartphone to be high once the product hits the shelves later this month, Salem said (we have more in Telecoms + ICT, below) (watch, runtime: 1:30).

Speed Round

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At least 11 people were killed when a gunmen attacked the Coptic Orthodox Mar Mina church and a shop in Helwan before being shot on Friday. “The gunman killed at least nine people, including a policeman, at the church,” Reuters reports. “The Coptic Church said the gunman first shot at a Christian-owned shop 4 km away, killing two people.” Five others were wounded, “including two women who [the Health Ministry] said were in a serious condition.” Witnesses from the scene told The Associated Press that it was bystanders who helped contain the situation. “One man in particular — a 53-year-old resident who pounced on the gunman as he was reloading his automatic rifle — likely saved dozens of lives.” (Tap here for more survivor accounts from The AP and here for videos of the attack)

As Daesh claimed the attack, authorities were able to identify the gunman, whom investigators said was linked to several terrorist attacks since last year. Friday’s attack came a day after a roadside bomb killed six people in Sinai, including a senior military officer. Additional security forces have reportedly been deployed to guard churches around the country ahead of 7 January’s Coptic Christmas celebrations. The Interior Ministry said it has already managed to dismantle a terrorist cell that had attacks planned for New Year’s eve, killing three suspected terrorists in the process.

US President Donald Trump spoke with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi “to offer condolences to the people of Egypt” and “condemned the attack and reiterated that the United States will continue to stand with Egypt in the face of terrorism,” according to a White House statement. The Vatican’s Pope Francis has also expressed his support and condolences.

The attack requires a broad response from “an empowered civil society,” Ha Hellyer says in a piece for The National. “After attacks such as these, the instinct is to focus solely on security solutions. Security solutions are, of course, important – the attackers are violent extremists – but there are wider issues that ought to be addressed.

The story is receiving widespread international coverage, with pickups on Bloomberg, CNN, Al Arabiya, and Asharq Al Awsat. The Associated Press also has a review of recent attacks on Coptic Christians.

CBE keeps rates unchanged in its last meeting of 2017: The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept the overnight deposit rate at 18.75%, the overnight lending rate at 19.75%, and the rate of its main operation and discount rate unchanged at 19.25% in its meeting last Thursday. Keeping the rates unchanged came in line with expectations. The MPC says that while the drop in inflation accelerated in November due to favorable base effects, “inflation was affected during this period by continuous supply shocks related to fiscal consolidation measures, leading regulated price adjustments to account on average for 44% of monthly headline inflation, in addition to indirect effects on core CPI items.”

Leading indicators also point to continued improvement in economic activity, despite weaker momentum in non-hydrocarbon sectors. The MPC added that it decided that current policy rates remain appropriate and its baseline inflation outlook remains consistent with its targets. The MPC also provided forward guidance saying it will “only reconsider its stance conditional upon data confirming the moderation of underlying inflationary pressures.”

“The timing of interest rate cuts will be determined by: managing consumer expectations to be able to reach CBE inflation targets by 2018 year-end, oil prices and their impact on inflation through subsidy cuts, domestic demand growth as a result of the witnessed pick-up in economic activity, and monetary policy in advanced economies,” Pharos’ head of research Radwa El Swaify told Reuters.

CI Capital Asset Management’s Khaled Darwish sees the CBE cutting rates in 2018. “that will likely prompt more investors to opt for stocks over bonds. Healthcare, infrastructure and consumer shares have the most attractive valuations” he tells Bloomberg.

… Separately, the central bank also announced on Thursday that it is extending its initiative to support the tourism sector until December 2018. The initiative, which was started in February 2016, allows banks to show more leniency in collecting loans from the sector and also be more relaxed in collecting personal loans from people who work in the tourism industry.

The central bank also repaid over USD 2 bn in debt in December, Al Masry Al Youm reports. USD 1.2 bn was repaid to AfreximBank and USD 920 mn to other international bodies. This month, the central bank will be repaying USD 700 mn to the Paris Club debtors.

The paper also reported that the central bank has received the USD 2 bn loan tranche from the IMF on Thursday. The amount represents the third instalment of Egypt’s extended fund facility from the organization.

Debts owed to international oil companies in Egypt should be paid off entirely within two years if work on new fields continues at a reasonable pace and fuel subsidies continue to be reduced, former Oil Minister Osama Kamal says, according to Al Mal. He says about 80% of fuel subsidies do not reach those who are most in need and that the state should redirect spending there towards health and education.

HSBC, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi will be managing Egypt’s upcoming USD 4 bn eurobond issuance, the Finance Ministry announced, according to Bloomberg. Al Tamimi & Co. and Dechert LLP have been chosen as legal advisers. Al Tamimi’s Head of Banking & Finance, Hossam Gramon, and Head of Corporate Commercial, Mohamed Gabr, will lead the firm’s team, according to a statement (pdf). The sale is scheduled for this month but a “final date for the sale has not been set, and the government may not carry out a lengthy roadshow like it did in previous sales,” Minister Amr El Garhy told Bloomberg.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Dubai-based private equity player TVM Capital Healthcare Partners launched a USD 250 mn fund to invest in markets including the GCC, Egypt, Turkey, India, and Singapore, Reuters reports. TVM will make make its investments over the next two years, with the first transaction scheduled to close in 2H2018. “The new fund will aim to deploy the capital, which it plans to raise from global and regional investors, through 10 to 12 investments in areas including cancer, mental health, metabolic diseases, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and laboratories,” the fund’s operating partner said.

Hassan Allam Properties (HAP) announced partnering with El Mostakbal for Urban Development to co-develop a 250-feddan mixed-use project in Mostakbal City. The project entails investment of EGP 18 bn an is located in the Eastern extension of New Cairo. The new development is planned for mixed-use and is expected to offer retail, commercial space, office parks, and sports facilities alongside the residential development.

The Agriculture Ministry issued new regulations yesterday tightening inspection procedures for guava and pomegranate exports, less than a week after Saudi Arabia issued a temporary ban on imports of Egyptian guavas over concerns of above-average levels of residual pesticides. Under the new directives — which aim to ensure the quality of goods exported from Egypt — the central quarantine administration in Cairo and South Valley became the sole authority responsible for processing and managing inspections and export approvals for both crops, tasking affiliated committees with testing the cargo for pesticide residues first before transport, and then again once it reaches a pre-approved packaging station.

Inspectors are allowed to reject an entire shipment if a single sample proves to be contaminated, the regulations instruct. The ministry has been working to tighten quality assurance measures on agricultural exports — particularly those to the GCC — after a number of countries, including Saudi, Kuwait, and the UAE, decided to suspend imports of some Egyptian crops, such as strawberries and peppers. The ministry had also said in July that it would apply Global Good Agricultural Practices standards on guava exports as of this season. The Agricultural Exports Council announced last week that they were close to sealing an agreement with one of two European labs that would work in conjunction with local inspectors to test samples of produce before its exported. Tap or click here to view the regulations in full, courtesy of Al Mal.

Exports were seemingly unaffected by the consecutive bans on Egyptian agricultural products, as Egypt’s trade deficit narrowed by 26% y-o-y during 11M2017, compared to 13% y-o-y in the same period in 2016, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said yesterday, according to Reuters. Imports for the 11-month period dropped to record a total USD 51 bn, compared to USD 61 bn in 11M2016. Meanwhile, exports for the full year 2017 are expected to grow by 10% y-o-y to a total USD 22.4 bn, up from USD 20.4 bn, led mainly by the petrochemicals and fertilizers industry, ready-made garments, electronics, textiles, and food production, Kabil said.

The Trade and Industry Ministry’s strategy to boost exports during 2018 is already in motion, Kabil also said. The minister explained that the five-point strategy will seek to boost exports by enforcing stricter quality control measures and developing inspection procedures and capabilities, in addition to offering a wide range cash and non-cash incentives, such as credit facilities and reduced-interest borrowing under specialized funding initiatives, as well as insurance plans to hedge exporters against risk. The strategy also involves discounting shipping fees by as much 50% to specific locations, including Russia, the Americas, and various African countries, as well as supporting and subsidizing exporters who achieve certain targets. The ministry will also focus on growing Egypt’s network of logistical centers, which will allow products to enter new and previously untapped markets, in addition to aiding local businesses in promoting and marketing their products overseas.

The Supply Ministry’s price-printing policy officially came into effect yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The decree requires grocers to clearly list prices either on the product’s packaging or on the shelves inside their respective stores. It also aims to control price gouging by forcing vendors to sell goods within a certain price range set by the manufacturer and print the original price on the sale receipt. Several vendors have yet to comply with the directive, and claim that they need some time to implement it, according to Al Shorouk. Minister Ali El Moselhy had previously said grocers will be granted a grace period until 1 February. The policy had been met with outcry from food manufacturers, who objected to an initial proposal that would have forced them to print prices on packaging, arguing that it would add more pressure on the industry by adding to their costs and disrupting the production process with the additional step.

The Ismail Cabinet approved on Thursday the Planning Ministry’s Unified Planning Act and sent it to the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) for review. The bill sets a framework for the state to regulate the planning and execution of national projects based on their merit, costs, and sources of funding. The ministers also signed off on amendments to the Agriculture Law to impose harsher penalties on farmers who grow certain crops in areas where their cultivation is banned. Violators will now face no more than six months’ imprisonment and a fine ranging from EGP 3,000-20,000. Cabinet also approved legislative amendments that give the oil minister authority to sign oil exploration and production agreements with the Egyptian General Petroleum Company and the Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum Holding Company.

EARNINGS WATCH- Qalaa Holdings reported consolidated net revenues of EGP 2.469 bn in 3Q2017, growing 38% y-o-y from EGP 1.76 bn “on the back of strong growth from energy subsidiaries TAQA Arabia and Tawazon, as well as solid performances at ASEC Holding and ASCOM,” according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). Qalaa’s net loss after minority interest widened to EGP 311.7 mn, from EGP 214.5 mn in 3Q2016, as a result of higher interest expenses and FX losses. The company is working towards improving profitability through “a growth strategy across our subsidiaries, positioning them for further capitalization on current market dynamics and unlocking their full potential,” said Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “While our bottom-line continues to witness pullback from high interest expenses mostly related to USD-denominated debt booked at the holding level, the effect is short-term, and we anticipate a return to profitability once the Egyptian Refining Company comes online, now 95.7% complete,” said Co-Founder and Managing Director Hisham El Khazindar.

Protests against economic conditions and corruption in Iran carried into a fifth day yesterday, with the violence escalating as protesters attacked police stations, according to Reuters. Around 13 people were reported dead “in the worst wave of unrest since crowds took to the streets in 2009 to condemn the re-election of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” President Hassan Rouhani has called for calm. US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unsurprisingly came out in support of the anti-government protests.


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Egypt in the News

The attack on a Coptic church and Christian-owned shop in Helwan on Friday topped coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning. At least 11 were reported dead. The full story is up top in the Speed Round.

Egypt is moving closer to becoming a regional gas hub, Patrick Werr writes for Reuters. It is set to inaugurate a new wharf for natural gas and petroleum product tankers on the Gulf of Suez that is being built by SUMED. Werr says the “wharf will have three berths to receive natural gas and petroleum products carriers.” SUMED is also investing USD 415 mn to expand its facilities and is building nine 300k cubic meter petroleum storage tanks and loading and offloading facilities that are due to be completed by 2018’s end. “A slew of announcements of new gas production and the expansion of its infrastructure” have helped advance Egypt’s energy hub plans, Werr adds.

The prison sentence British tourist Laura Plummer received for smuggling illegal meds in highlights the need for stronger ties between Britain and Egypt, Con Coughlin writes for The National. “Western policymakers are making a grave miscalculation if they believe they can ignore the concerns of such an important and pivotal country as Egypt… countries like Britain need to do more to strengthen relations with Cairo, and not allow disputes over disputed court cases, such as the one involving the unfortunate Miss Plummer, to get in the way of this vital strategic partnership.”

Iran’s current economic situation “looks eerily similar to Egypt’s in the run-up to the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak,” David Rosenberg writes for Haaretz (paywall). Iran is currently suffering from high unemployment rates and economic growth figures that seem healthy but do not translate to improved living conditions for the majority of the population, which was also the case in Egypt pre-2011. Tehran’s economic growth is also benefiting corrupt cronies the most, Rosenberg says. “None of this necessarily means Iran will go the way Egypt did seven years ago. All the economic ingredients you need to bake the cake of revolution are there, but that doesn’t mean they will come together this time. Yet, unless fundamentals change — and it doesn’t look like they will — there will be another time, and another, and eventually, the cake will come together.”

Also worth a quick skim this morning:

On Deadline

The persistence of terror attacks in Egypt this past year suggests that the government doesn’t fully understand terrorism’s true causes, Ziad Bahaa El Din writes for Al Shorouk. Bahaa El Din points out that each attack is a cue for the same refrain of reforming religious discourse and passing security-related legislation, neither of which has proven effective in ending terrorism. This suggests that a more thorough study of the phenomenon’s root causes is necessary to formulate a more effective strategy and vision to combat it correctly.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt’s relations with Sudan have hit “a new low” over Sudan’s moves to expand ties with Turkey, The Associated Press says. “While the government has publicly remained silent, the media seized on a visit [last] week to Sudan by Turkey’ president, a meeting between the chiefs of staff of Sudan, Turkey and Qatar and renewed efforts by Khartoum to revive a border dispute with Egypt.”

The World Bank has preliminarily agreed to participate in tripartite negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Al Masry Al Youm reports, citing unidentified sources. The bank’s participation in the talks, which Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had proposed during a visit to Addis Ababa last month, would be in a technical capacity to solve disagreements between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the construction of the dam. Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu had not commented on Shoukry’s proposal. The World Bank is expected to reach a final decision on its participation before Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn visits Cairo this month, according to the sources.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was in the UAE for meetings with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Thursday, according to an official statement. Discussions focused on regional issues and bilateral ties.


Oil Ministry to issue oil and gas exploration tenders for Red Sea concessions soon

The Oil Ministry is preparing to sign 12 new oil agreements with a combined investment value of at least USD 433 mn, Minister Tarek El Molla said yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The ministry is also gearing up to issue the first international tenders for oil and gas exploration along Egypt’s Red Sea border with Saudi Arabia. The tenders are contingent on geological scans in the area, which industry sources had previously said should be complete sometime in 1H2018.

El Sewedy signs EGP 570 mn contract for works on Assiut power plant

A subsidiary of El Sewedy Electric signed an EGP 570 mn agreement with Upper Egypt Electricity Production Company for works on the 650 MW Assiut Power Plant, according to a bourse disclosure. The contract includes mechanical work on the plant and will be completed over 29 months. The agreement is one of three electrical and mechanical works contracts the EEHC signed for projects in Assiut and west Cairo, according to Daily News Egypt. The contracts include a EGP 98 mn agreement with Hilal Construction Company to design, manufacture, and supply tanks, in addition to a EGP 454.2 mn agreement with a Posco Daewoo Corp-Hyundai Electric consortium for a keys yard.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Parliament, government agree to set EGP 800 as minimum price for sugarcane

Government officials and House representatives agreed yesterday to increase the price of sugarcane purchased from farmers to EGP 800 per tonne, from EGP 650 previously, Al Mal reports. The House Agriculture Committee had been pushing for the government to raise sugarcane prices to EGP 1,000 per tonne.


Procedures for Suez petrochem complex initiated

The government has initiated procedures for the establishment of a petrochemical complex in Suez, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said in a press statement carried by Ahram Gate. The USD 10.5 bn complex was announced back in July and comes as part the national strategy to turn Egypt into a petrochemical hub by boosting investments in refineries to meet domestic and regional demand. El Molla also added that the Natural Gas Act, due to be enacted in February, will support refinery projects being established in the future, such as Qalaa Holdings subsidiary Egyptian Refining Company’s Mostorod refinery, which is expected to begin production this year. The refinery was initially set to begin production by the end of 2017, but the timeline was pushed to 2Q2018 following construction delays.

Telecoms + ICT

TE says revenue growth could reach low double digit growth in 2018

Telecom Egypt (TE) announced that its board of directors approved its budget for 2018. TE expects total revenue growth to come in “the range of high single digit to low double digit,” EBITDA to be in the “mid to high twenties,” and CAPEX to sales ratio to be 30%.

SICO phones on sale second half of January

SICO plans to have their Egyptian-made smartphones in store shelves in the second half of January 2018, company President Mohamed Salem tells Al Shorouk. The company’s flagship device the Nile X was supposed to go on sale mid-December but the date was pushed after a large-scale theft of batteries occurred during a shipment.

Automotive + Transportation

EgyptAir converts LoI for Bombardier C Series to firm order

EgyptAir has converted a letter of intent (LoI) to a firm agreement for the sale and purchase of 12 CS300 aircraft along with purchase rights for an additional 12 CS300 aircraft from Bombardier, the company announced. The LoI was announced in November at the 2017 Dubai Air Show. “Based on the list price of the CS300 airliner, the firm-order contract would be valued at approximately USD 1.1 bn. Should EgyptAir exercise the 12 purchase rights for CS300 aircraft, the contract value would increase to nearly USD 2.2 bn,” Bombardier says._

GE to start work on upgrading old locomotives in a month

General Electric will start work on refurbishing 81 old locomotives in a month, a source at the Egyptian National Railway (ENR) tells Al Borsa. The upgrades come as part of a broader USD 575 mn agreement, under which GE will supply Egypt with 100 new locomotives. ENR is receiving a EUR 290 mn loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to help finance railway upgrades.

Transport Ministry in talks with World Bank, EBRD for USD 160 mn loan

The Transport Ministry is in talks with the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a USD 150-160 mn facilitated loan to finance the Mansoura-Damietta freight line, Minister Hisham Arafat told the press on Sunday, Al Mal reports. The negotiations will likely wrap up within five months’ time, Arafat said. The 150 km line is expected to take around three years to construct, according to an unnamed source from the Egyptian National Railway.

Clarksons looking to establish bunkering facility in Egypt

Clarksons Shipping Agency (Clarksons) are looking to establish a new bunkering facility in Egypt, according to Ship & Bunker. The proposed facility is set to come with an estimated investment of USD 200 mn and would most likely be located in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. Negotiations are underway with what was described as “two international companies.”

Banking + Finance

FRA approves issuance of EGP 1.1 bn securitization bonds

The Financial Regulatory Authority approved the issuance of around EGP 1.1 bn in securitization bonds by the Egyptian Securitization Company. The bonds are backed by the portfolio of Corporate Leasing Company (Corplease). CIB acted as the subscriber and custodian of the transaction with AAIB, Suez Canal Bank, and Banque Misr as the consortium of manager, promoters, and guarantors. Zaki Hashem & Partners were the legal advisors to Corplease and the Egyptian Securitization Company and Ernst & Young acted as the transaction’s auditor.

Consortium of international financing institutions arranging USD 662 mn facility for EGPC

A consortium of international financing institutions is arranging a USD 662 mn short-term credit facility for the Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC), unnamed sources tell Al Mal. The EGPC will use the facility to cover the costs of supplying Egypt’s petroleum consumption. The consortium is led by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation and includes Islami Bangladesh Bank, Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, and Dubai Islamic Bank.

Finance Ministry to keep customs rate at EGP 16

The Finance Ministry will keep the exchange rate for customs stable at EGP 16 per USD 1 for January 2018, the ministry announced in a statement on Sunday. The rate has remained unchanged since September, reflecting a stability in the FX rate, Reuters notes.

Other Business News of Note

ACA signs cooperation MoU with FBI

The Administrative Control Authority signed an MoU to facilitate cooperation with the US FBI. “The MOU between the two agencies, both responsible for investigating government corruption, was signed during a visit to Cairo by a delegation of senior agents from the FBI,” the US Embassy said in a statement. “Over the last three years, the FBI and ACA have increased cooperation on anti-corruption investigations and training… The two agencies conducted joint training in 2016 at the ACA’s training center in Nasser City and an executive delegation of the ACA visited FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC in August 2017.”

Egypt Politics + Economics

El Sisi signs ratifies Youth Institution Act

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed off on the Youth Institution Act yesterday, after the House of Representatives voted to pass it, the state-run MENA reports. The law, which has been published in the Official Gazette, bans political activity at public youth clubs.

Morsi sentenced to three years in jail

Former President Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to three years in jail over insulting judiciary, Xinhua reports. “The defendants were accused of insulting the judiciary system, offending some judges and inciting hatred against them, the judge read. Morsi is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence.”

Mahienour El Massry receives two year prison sentence

An Alexandria court sentenced activist Mahienour El Massry to two years in prison for illegally protesting the government’s decision to transfer sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, judicial sources told Reuters. Four others were tried in absentia and given four-year prison terms on the same charges. El Massry was arrested in November and can still appeal the decision.


Salah wins ESPN poll for player of the year

Mohamed Salah picked up yet another accolade on Monday after garnering the most votes in ESPN’s poll for 2017 Player of the Year, according to the ESPN website. Salah’s tally for the poll came in at 70% and adds to his recent awards as English Premier League player of the Month and BBC Footballer of the Year. The Egyptian player’s award-winning form continued over the weekend after he netted two goals for Liverpool on Saturday, getting them out of trouble against Leicester.

On Your Way Out

Former Ahram CEO and veteran journalist Ibrahim Nafea passed away yesterday. Nafea, 84 at the time of his death, had been battling cancer, Ahram Online reports. “Nafea started his career as a reporter at Reuters news agency. He then worked as an editor at Egyptian Radio and an economy editor at the state-owned Al-Gomhoreya daily before joining Al-Ahram.” He headed the daily publication’s economy section before rising to deputy editor-in-chief, and editor-in-chief, and finally heading the institution.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.68 | Sell 17.78
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.66 | Sell 17.76
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.67 | Sell 17.77

EGX30 (Sunday): 15,019 (+0.01%)
Turnover: EGP 486 mn
EGX 30 year-to-date: +21.7%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session up 0.01%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed down 0.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals up 3.1%; Egyptian Financial & Industrial up 2.5%; and Eastern Co. up 2.3%. Sunday’s worst performing stocks were Egyptian Iron & Steel down 1.4%; Elsewedy Electric down 1.4%; and Madinet Nasr Housing down 1.3%. The market turnover was EGP 486 mn and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -7.4 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +12.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -4.7 mn

Retail: 73.4% of total trades | 78.0% of buyers | 68.7% of sellers
Institutions: 26.6% of total trades | 22.0% of buyers | 31.3% of sellers

Foreign: 4.4% of total | 3.7% of buyers | 5.1% of sellers
Regional: 10.8% of total | 11.9% of buyers | 9.7% of sellers
Domestic: 84.8% of total | 84.4% of buyers | 85.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 60.42 (+0.97%)
Brent: USD 66.87 (+1.07%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.95 MMBtu, (+1.34%, February 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,309.3 / troy ounce (+0.93%)

TASI: 7,194.15 (-0.45%) (YTD: -0.45%)
ADX: 4,398.44 (+0.66%) (YTD: 0.00%)
DFM: 3,370.07 (+0.73%) (YTD: 0.00%)
KSE Weighted Index: 401.42 (+0.18%) (YTD: 0.00%)
QE: 8,523.38 (-0.03%) (YTD: 0.00%)
MSM: 5,082.23 (-0.33%) (YTD: -0.33%)
BB: 1,331.71 (+1.97%) (YTD: 0.00%)

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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.

05-07 March (Monday-Wednesday): EFG Hermes’ One on One Conference 2018, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, UAE.

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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