Monday, 12 February 2018

Investment ministry FDI campaign stars business leaders

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Market watchers will be timezone hopping today for signs that we’ve found the bottom in the ongoing stock rout. Asian markets are mixed this morning and oil has firmed up, with Brent rising about 0.7% to USD 63.20 a barrel. A sweep across points east just before dispatch time shows Japanese, Indian, New Zealand and Australian shares largely down, and China, South Korea and Hong Kong up. With USD 5 tn wiped out from stock markets from New York to Hong Kong last week, traders are wondering “When will it finally stop,” Bloomberg tells us in an excellent scene-setter for the week.

The front page of CNBC sums it all up rather nicely, if in less sophisticated terms: Dow futures point to a triple-digit open today in the United States after shares pulled out of correction territory Friday. The IMF’s Christine Lagarde is making all the right noises, saying what’s going on is “a welcome correction” (and, by implication, that those losing their minds right now are drama queens). And while a top analyst at Invesco warns that “the market’s wild ride could last weeks — with another jolt coming right behind it,” the counterpoint is that the “bull market looks safe for now, as fewer than half of all corrections deepen into full-blown bears.”

Egyptian investors, meanwhile, held the collective breath yesterday waiting to see which way global markets would move today. The EGX30 was down 0.62% in very light trading (total market turnover was about 45% below the trailing 90-day average).

And the hedgies have joined the Jim Cramers of the world in proclaiming that volatility is now the order of the game. Bob Prince, the co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, “has warned that global markets are entering a new era of volatility as the world adjusts to higher interest rates after a decade of ultra-loose monetary policy,” the Financial Times writes.

Hard currency continues to flow into Egypt: Remittances from expats increased 29.3% y-o-y in December 2017 to USD 2.6 bn, up from USD 2.0 bn in December 2016, the central bank announced in a statement on Sunday (pdf). Overall, remittances since the EGP float until December 2017 grew to USD 29.1 bn. That comes as tourist arrivals were up 43.9% y-o-y in December, according to a CAPMAS release picked up by Al Mal. 33.8% of all arrivals had been from Western Europe, 25.6% from Eastern Europe, 20.4% from the Middle East, and 7.1% from Africa.

Looking for a brief refresher on the economic and budget indicators in 1H2017-18? You can check out the Finance Ministry’s mid-year 2017-18 report (pdf), which came out over the weekend. Highlights of the report, most of which we’ve covered before, include:

  • The budget deficit declined to 4.4% of GDP in 1H2017-18, down from 5% during the same period last year;
  • Primary budget deficit also fell to 0.3% of GDP, the lowest primary budget deficit recorded in the past 10 years;
  • State revenues climbed 38% y-o-y;
  • Fuel subsidy costs are up 34% y-o-y;
  • Spending on food subsidies are up 65% y-o-y;
  • Spending on the social welfare programs Takaful and Karama is up a combined 141% y-o-y.

One new take away: The Finance Ministry is acknowledging the cost of higher oil prices, adjusting its view on Brent crude in the budget to USD 57.50 per barrel.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today, Youm7 reports. Tillerson, who landed last night, is also set to meet with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. Look for security issues and human rights to be on the agenda. Egypt is the first leg of Middle East tour that will take Tillerson next to Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

A UK business delegation of over 50 companies led by British Trade Envoy Jeffrey Donaldson arrived in Cairo yesterday for a five-day visit, the British Embassy said. The visit, the largest from a British trade delegation in nearly two decades, includes existing investors in Egypt, such as Bombardier, Fujitsu, Mott MacDonald, and GSK, as well as others looking to invest here for the first time. Donaldson is set to meet with the ministers of Trade and Industry, Investment, Health, Education, and Transport.

The House of Representatives will be taking a recess during the presidential elections next month, Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal announced yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. MPs will reconvene immediately afterward.

You know there’s an undercurrent of angst in finance when Bloomberg’s inimitable Matt Levine wonders—only half jokingly—“are banks worthless?” Using a couple of studies as his starting point, Levine writes: “‘Do Banks Have an Edge?’ No, is their answer. You’d be better off just passively buying Treasuries than buying the complicated mix of stuff that banks actually own. … And you’d be better off borrowing in the market than relying on the deposits that are supposed to give banks their funding advantage.” First, the ETFs came for the traders. Now, the forces of statistics are coming for bankers (in aggregate, not in specific). A definite must-read.

Oh, speaking of ETFs: The market for exchange-traded funds “smashed” through the USD 5 tn barrier for the first time in January, the Financial Times notes.

And in miscellany this morning:

  • The flu is causing 1 in 10 deaths in America—and rising—leaving public health experts saying they “can’t predict how much longer the severe season will last … everything we are looking at is bad news.” (Bloomberg)
  • The fitness industry is booming, prompting a certain salmon-colored newspaper to indulge its inner Buzzfeed as it asks “has the gym become the new pub” as “millennial become increasingly preoccupied with their physical and mental wellbeing.” (Financial Times)
  • The guys from the podcast Pod Save America are going to get their own show on HBO. Worth noting if only because they have the best-named media company in history: Crooked Media. (TechCrunch)
  • The kids from Stranger Things will be back with eight episodes in season three, it seems—one less than season two, but on par with the show’s debut. (TVLine)

Finally: Got Netflix? George Clooney is the latest guest on David Letterman’s new monthly showMy Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” now in a six-episode first season. The host’s first guest was former US President Barack Obama.

PSA- You may want to stay in this evening—it may rain. Emphasis on the “may” because our favorite weather app has, of late, been as accurate as the national weather service—which places its predictive power on par with the toss of a coin. But still: The rain originally forecast is now showing up hitting this evening. Expect 2-4 mm in the capital city starting around 6pm, according to Google and the Weather Network.

What We’re Tracking This Week

It’s interest rate week, and the folks on the sell side aren’t so certain we’ll see a rate cut: The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday to review rates.

Our friends at Pharos think the MPC is most likely to maintain rates, but if a cut does come, it will be limited to 200 bps at most. Check out this morning’s Pharos View for their house position, or tap here to read the full report (pdf).

Meanwhile, Arqaam Capital writes in a Sunday research note (pdf) note that it is more than likely the central bank will cut rates at its March meeting, as it forecasts declining annual inflation will reach 14.8% in February, bringing inflation within the CBE’s 10-16% target range.

We’re still playing armchair economists here and suggesting that a rate cut is possible on Thursday. It is the only opportunity to declare victory in the “war on inflation” ahead of the presidential poll: Voters are due to turn out on 26-28 March, while the March MPC meeting falls on the 29th.

On The Horizon

The London Business School is holding its annual Middle East Conference on 2 March. Speakers this year will include Qalaa Holdings Chairman Ahmed Heikal and founding partner of Zulficar & Partners Mona Zulficar.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The ongoing anti-terrorism military operation in Sinai was still the most popular topic on the airwaves last night.

Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi deviated from that path to promote the new season of her startup competition Hona Al Shabab, which kicks off on Wednesday with sponsorship from our friends at CIB. Lamees hosted Amr El Ganainy, CIB’s CEO for institutional banking, who noted that the bank’s deep-rooted interest in financial inclusion and fintech was the motivation behind its sponsorship (watch, runtime 3:06).

Separately, El Ganainy touched on CI Capital’s intended IPO, the timing of which he said has yet to be determined. He also discussed CIB’s intention to continue expanding its banking activities following the sale of part of its stake in CI Capital (watch, runtime 1:58).

Telecom Egypt CEO Ahmed El Beheiry also came on to talk about the competition, which the fixed-line monopoly is sponsoring along with CIB. El Beheiry also said that TE is willing to help turn any ICT projects on the show into a real business (watch, runtime 16:05).

Lamees also brought on the judges of Hona Al Shabab to outline their assessment criteria. Endeavor Egypt Chairman Ayman Ismail said he wants to focus on companies’ growth trajectories (watch, runtime 1:43), Marketing Mix Founder Randa Abdo said she will assess the contestants’ competitive edge, their “marketing mix,” and their ability to cope with failure (watch, runtime 0:58), while our friend Khaled Ismail, the noted angel investor, will have an eye on the attainability of contestants’ goals (watch, runtime 2:22).

ICT Minister Yasser El Kady phoned in to note that the top three contestants will be eligible for a one-year stint at one of the ministry’s creative centers (watch, runtime 4:15).

The host also had a brief chat with Center for Strategic and Political Studies head Saad El Zant about US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Egypt, which El Zant expects will see talks on the Palestinian issue (watch, runtime 5:44). Lamees also prophesied that Tillerson will discuss US-Egyptian military cooperation and Egypt’s human rights record (watch, runtime 1:38).

Pivoting to the developments in Sinai, security analyst Gen. Samir Farag pointed out to Lamees that the operations saw the inaugural use of Egypt’s Mistral ships, which were deployed to protect the Zohr field and other areas of the country’s maritime territory (watch, runtime 4:31). Gen. Mohamed El Ghobary told Lamees that the operation does not have an expiry date and that it will eventually bring an end to overt terrorist operations (watch, runtime 3:09).

Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary got insider details on the situation in the peninsula from head of Sinai’s tribal leaders Abdallah Gahama, who reaffirmed that there is a heavy security presence as the military presses ahead in its efforts to weed out the militant insurgency (watch, runtime 4:41).

North Sinai MP Jazy Saad spoke to Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer about the importance of the military campaign in restoring peace to the restive region, and expressed his hopes that it would begin to bear fruit in one month’s time (watch, runtime 10:00).

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib set up shop in Dubai to report on the World Government Summit, but still grabbed the opportunity to commend the Armed Forces for sending a strong message with the Sinai operation (watch, runtime 3:05).

Over on Al Hayah Al Youm, Tamer Amin hosted Al Wafd Party member Yasser Koura and Conference Party Secretary General Hamed El Shenawy to discuss their parties’ efforts to mobilize voters for the upcoming presidential elections through a campaign dubbed “Egypt First.” Koura and El Shenawy both said their parties are supporting President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s re-election bid (watch, runtime 18:12).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The Investment Ministry has launched a global campaign to attract foreign direct investment, and it stars business leaders. The campaign includes reassuring messages to overseas investors from leading business figures including L’Oreal Egypt’s Managing Director Benoit Julia (watch, runtime 0:45) and TCI Sanmar Chemicals Chairman P S Jayaraman (watch, runtime 0:45). OTMT Chairman Naguib Sawiris had also released a video last week. The videos will air on international news networks and major satellite channels, such as Fox News and CNN, according to Youm7.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Privatization of railways gets preliminary nod from Parliament: The House of Representatives gave its preliminary sign-off on amendments to the Railway Act on Sunday that would open up the sector to private companies, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The amendments will allow businesses to build and operate railway lines and to bid for upgrade projects. As we noted last year, the law at this time will not allow private companies to own railway assets. The law would also establish a new railways regulator to govern private sector involvement in sector projects.

Also yesterday, the House voted in favor of extending the mandate of the Tax Dispute Resolution Act for another two years, according to a statement from the Finance Ministry. MPs had also signed off on amendments to the law that establish committees to settle real estate tax disputes. The ministry also stated that it will be restructuring current tax dispute committees and will form new ones to handle cases involving the stamp and value-added tax. Since its inception in 2016, the law has resolved around 7,000 tax disputes and contributed EGP 15.6 bn to state coffers, the ministry added.

The House also gave preliminary approval yesterday to amendments to the Eminent Domain Act, which grant the president of the republic the right to seize privately-owned land under eminent domain and offer compensation, which must include a 20% premium on the value of the land, Al Mal reports. A final vote on the law, which also grants governors the right to seize land temporarily under the statute, was postponed due to lack of quorum. The law appears to be part of a series of acts that primarily aim to curb informal settlements and building violations, MPs tell the newspaper.

Also on the docket is the Unified Building Code, another tool to curb the spread of informal housing, which members of the Housing Committee finished reviewing yesterday, the newspaper adds. The legislation — which is currently pending the Council of State’s sign-off to go to a plenary session — focuses on facilitating the process of issuing building permits by cutting down the time for obtaining a license to 30 days and allowing some engineering consultancy offices to issue them. It also tightens safety codes and ensures that the law is better enforced through a new supreme council for urban planning and development that will be mandated with setting nationwide policy.

The Unified Building Code will be issued alongside another law that specifically tackles building code violations, Housing Committee member Khaled Abdel Aziz Fahmy said. The law would have a temporary mandate of around eight months, during which authorities will tally and resolve disputes over building code violations that satisfy six conditions, such as meeting certain criteria for architectural integrity, he explained.

In other legislative news, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued a decree on Sunday that grants the Trade and Industry Minister the right to set extensions and deadlines for importers to comply with amendments to the Imports Registry Act, Al Borsa reports.

Finally: Amendments to the Companies Act executive regulations came into effect yesterday, after being published in the Official Gazette, Youm7 says. The Investment Ministry had issued the changes on Friday. Key features include banning companies from holding onto treasury stocks for over a year and limiting share buybacks to 10% of a company’s shares.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Al Marasem to invest EGP 29 bn in two real estate projects over 5-7 years: Bin Laden Group subsidiary Al Marasem International for Development is planning to invest EGP 29 bn in two new real estate projects in Egypt over the next five to seven years, CEO Tarek Helmy said, Ahram Gate reports. The two projects, Fifth Square and Capital Gate, have an investment value of EGP 16.5 bn and EGP 12.5 bn, respectively, and are both located in New Cairo. The company will rely on a combination of self-financing, loans, and sales revenues to fund the projects, according to Helmy. Al Marasem had signed a EGP 900 mn loan agreement with a banking consortium in August to help finance Fifth Square.

INVESTMENT WATCH- German energy group DEA plans to invest nearly USD 500 mn in developing its oilfields in Egypt over the next three years, CEO Maria Moraeus Hanssen told journalists in Cairo on Saturday. “We intend to pump around USD 500 mn over the next three years in Egypt to develop the West Delta, Desouk and the Gulf of Suez fields,” she added, according to Reuters. DEA is a partner of BP in the West Nile Delta gas fields.

MOVES- Shuaa Capital has appointed Ahmed Shehata to head the technical analysis team at its soon-to-launch Egypt office, Al Borsa reports. Shehata had been head of the Egyptian Society of Technical Analysts since 2015.

You can now pay your electric bill at the post office or through e-payment platforms: The Electricity Ministry announced yesterday that it has made bill payment and smart-meter recharge services available through 150k points of sale nationwide, including post office branches, and e-payment platforms such as e-Finance and others including Tamam, Aman, Masary, and Bee. The service will be available through 34 banks operating in Egypt, the chairman of e-Finance tells Al Borsa.

EARNINGS WATCH- Dana Gas saw net profits of USD 83 mn in FY2017, up from a net loss of USD 88 mn in FY2016, largely on the back of payments from Egypt and the Kurdistan Regional Government, according to Reuters. Dana, which has struggled to collect receivables from Kurdistan and Egypt over the past four years, collected USD 466 mn from the KRG and USD 164 mn from Egypt last year.

The Supreme Council for Media Regulation suspended Arabic SNL as of yesterday based on recommendations from two of its committees, according to Al Shorouk. The committees said the show uses too many [redacted] references that are not appropriate for viewers.

Turkey is flexing its muscles to intimidate East Med gas development: In an escalation of Turkey’s bid to disrupt gas development in Cyprus’ Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ), which it deems illegal, the Turkish military has blocked since Friday a drill rig contracted by Eni from approaching an area to explore for natural gas, the Cypriot Government said on Sunday. “From our side, our actions reflect the necessity of avoiding anything which could escalate [the situation], without of course overlooking the violation of international law perpetrated by Turkey,” Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades told journalists in Nicosia. Anastasiades added that Cyprus was taking the “necessary” steps over the matter, Reuters reports. Turkey had intensified its objections to the EEZ (signed between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece) over the past week, with its Foreign Minister announcing that it raised objections with the UN. The move coincided with reports that Eni and Total were on cusp of making a giant gas discovery, with both announcing that they discovered an extensive strain of natural gas southwest of Cyprus.

A Russian passenger plane crashed after it reportedly exploded shortly after takeoff from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport yesterday, killing all 65 passengers and six crew members on board, Reuters reports.

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Egypt in the News

The Armed Forces’ sweeping anti-terror operation in North Sinai continues to dominate coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning, followed by US State Secretary Rex Tillerson’s arrival in Cairo yesterday to kick off his Middle East tour, an undertaking that was already “daunting” before the collision between Israel and Iran at the Syrian border, notes the New York Times.

Cairo is one of 11 major cities that are likely to run out of drinking water, says the BBC. Statistics from the UN show that the city could face “critical shortages” by 2025 due to water pollution. “WHO figures show that Egypt ranks high among lower middle-income countries in terms of the number of deaths related to water pollution.”

Mada Masr is a rare example of hard-hitting investigative journalism in Egypt at a time when space for dissent has dramatically shrunk, writes Heba Saleh for the Financial Times. “We are investigators of the truth and this sometimes puts us in the position of opposition to power by default,” says Lina Atalla, editor-in-chief. “Critical voices have been largely banished from the airwaves and security agencies have even bought up private organizations, including satellite channels. But Mada Masr has defiantly continued to produce hard-hitting news, garnering a reputation for solid reporting and daring investigations,” Saleh says.

Experts believe they have solved the mystery of the ‘Screaming Mummy,’ according to The Sun. The mummy, which was buried with other royals and covered in sheepskin, was deprived of a proper burial but later pitied by someone.

Other stories worth noting in brief:

  • Al Jazeera English takes a look at Washington’s “weak” stance on the Egyptian presidential elections and El Sisi’s domestic policies.
  • Turkey’s agreement with Sudan to redevelop the Red Sea Suakin island for military use has triggered a diplomatic spat between Egypt and Sudan, Michael Mackenzie writes for Ahval.
  • Overcrowded classes continue to be one of the greatest challenges to Egypt’s education system, Arab News writes.
  • Russian bellydancer arrested, released on bail: The arrest of Russian bellydancer Ekaterina Andreeva for inciting debauchery with her “provocative” dress was also covered in the foreign press, including The Daily Mail and The Jerusalem Post.
  • Sharjah’s Air Arabia’s route expansion from regional hubs including Egypt helped boost the charter airline’s performance in 2017, The National reports.
  • Unlike his predecessors, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s power is derived “not from a single-party system of governance but from the armed forces,” Hilal Khashan writes for Stratfor Worldview.
  • Former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh criticizes the state of Egypt’s politics and elections in an interview with Al Jazeera.
  • Arab Spring activists tell Vice News that Egypt is no closer to democracy today than it was seven years ago.
  • The graffiti from January 2011 is being wiped out gradually, Karim Assaad writes for Al Monitor.

On Deadlines

If the military carries out national projects, private companies should manage them, Abbas El Tarabily says in a column penned for Al Masry Al Youm. El Tarabily concedes that relying on the Armed Forces to build roads, bridges and “national projects” comes naturally in Egypt due to the institution’s reliability, but urges the state to consider enlisting private companies’ help in management. He argues that this division of labor is the optimal path to ensure these projects don’t meet the same fate of mismanaged public companies that are now drowning in losses.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

A delegation of Italian businessmen will visit Egypt next month for meetings with state officials to discuss potential investments, Al Borsa reports. Investors are interested in various sectors, including energy, oil and gas, and railway.

Energy

El Molla in talks with Italy’s Tecnimont to increase Egypt investments

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla has met with Italian engineering and construction firm Maire Tecnimont’s Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato and CEO Pierroberto Folgiero to discuss cooperation on new petrochemical projects, Al Mal reports. The talks also covered expanding projects in Sidi Kerir and Suez.

ACWA Power to finalize Dairut 2.4 GW plant agreement “soon”

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power may soon finalize a power purchase agreement with Egyptian authorities for the Dairut gas-fired 2.4 GW plant, CEO Paddy Padmanathan said, Reuters reports. The project has experienced delays as the Electricity Ministry remains undetermined on the location. Padmanathan also noted that nearly USD 14 bn in power plant project MoUs the companies have signed have been put on hold.

Manufacturing

Dice to invest USD 3 mn in new equipment to boost production

Dice Sport and Casual Wear has borrowed USD 3 mn from QNB Alahli to finance expansion plans, Dice CFO and board member Victor Fakhry tells Al Mal. The company intends to purchase equipment for a new production line at its printing factory and add capacities to its Kafr El Dawar plant in order to boost revenues. Dice has already signed purchase agreements for EUR 2 mn-worth of printing equipment from the EU, he added. Fakhry had said last month that Dice is planning to open 48 new branches in 2018 in a bid to double its market share to 20%. It also recently reached an agreement with Levi’s that will see it export children’s wear to the US this year.

Real Estate + Housing

Appellate court rejects appeal by Golden Pyramids Plaza against arbitration case with OCI

A Court of Appeals rejected another appeal filed by Golden Pyramids Plaza against a court of arbitration ruling from March 2015, which ordered Golden Pyramids to pay Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and Consolidated Contractors International EGP 260.8 mn and USD 43.4 mn plus interest, Golden Pyramids said in a bourse filing on Sunday (pdf). The company’s appeals had been rejected numerous times, including back in July 2017.

Tourism

Rotana Group to operate new hotel in Fifth Settlement “soon”

The UAE’s Rotana Hotel Management Corporation will operate a new hotel in New Cairo’s Fifth Settlement in the coming period, Chairman Nasser Al Nowais tells Al Borsa. The Emirati businessman did not name the hotel or its owner, but said it was under construction and will take one to three years to complete.

Gemalto supplying CAI with passport scanners

French digital security firm Gemalto will supply Cairo International Airport with passport scanners that are meant to help expedite passport control procedures, according to Al Borsa. Details on the value of the agreement were not disclosed.

Automotive + Transportation

Kabil inaugurates Egypt’s first electric vehicle charging station

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil has inaugurated Egypt’s first electric vehicle charging station, Al Mal reports. The station is the first of 65 phase-one charging points to be built by Revolta Egypt in seven governorates including Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez. The company is planning to import electric vehicles and install supporting infrastructure with initial investments of EGP 100 mn, according to CEO Mohamed Badawy. Revolta signed an agreement with Schneider Electric to co-develop the charging stations and necessary infrastructure, according to the newspaper. The Egyptian company plans to begin importing electric automotives from Tesla and Hyundai to become the country’s first electric car supplier.

Banking + Finance

Naeem Holding considers investing in healthcare and education

Naeem Holding is considering investing in Egypt’s healthcare and education sectors and will announce a major investment decision by the end of February, Chairman Hussein Shobokshi tells Al Borsa. The Saudi businessman did not disclose details about the upcoming project, but said the company was also studying opportunities to invest in real estate.

US court rejects jury verdict against Arab Bank in terrorism case

A US court has rejected a 2014 jury verdict that found the Jordan-based Arab Bank liable for Hamas-linked suicide bombings that killed and wounded Americans in Israel, Reuters reports.

Other Business News of Note

First contracts awarded for Saudi Arabia’s USD 500 bn Neom city

The Saudi government has begun awarding contracts for the massive USD 500 bn Neom city (aka Tomorrowland, aka DesertWorld). It’s commencing the development not with anything to accommodate the thousands of robot inhabitants, but with five Saudi royal palaces (typical Saudi), sources tell Reuters. Saudi Binladin Group, the country’s largest construction firm, was reportedly commissioned to build one of the palaces.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Economic Courts begin establishing bankruptcy courts

The Cairo Economic Court is in the process of establishing special bankruptcy courts to mediate and arbitrate bankruptcy cases, as is mandated by the Bankruptcy Act, unnamed judicial sources tell Al Borsa. The legislation, which was approved by parliament last month, will decriminalize bankruptcy by abolishing prison sentences and introduce mechanisms to help settle commercial disputes outside the courtroom.

Moussa Moustafa to announce electoral program on Thursday

Presidential candidate Moussa Moustafa told Al Shorouk that he will announce his electoral program on Thursday, which will be largely focused on economic development.

Court sentences 33 Ikhwan members and supporters to prison over 2014 violence

A Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 33 alleged Ikhwan members and supporters to prison yesterday over the killing of Al Dostour journalist Mayada Ashraf and two others during anti-government protests in 2014, judicial sources tell Reuters’ Arabic service. 17 received lifetime sentences.

On Your Way Out

Practice with the least important pitches first: Successful entrepreneurs must convince prospective investors, employees, and customers to take a chance on their business. Five founders and CEOs gave advice at Goldman Sachs’ annual Private Internet Company Conference on crafting a successful pitch. Make sure you strike the right balance between numbers and performance but also vision for the future, Steph Korey, Co-Founder and CEO of Away suggests. “Know who you’re pitching…research them…make your story relevant to them,” the founder of Darby Smart advises. “You’re going to learn a lot along the way with what investors ask you and how they react to your deck,” says ThirdLove’s co-fonder Heidi Zak, who believes entrepreneurs should practice with the least important pitches first (runtime 02:36).

This 11-year-old Aswan marathon runner is our tear-jerker moment of the week: 11-year-old Aswan street vendor Marwa Hassan won over hearts all over the nation after grabbing first place in The TriFactory’s children’s marathon for the Aswan Heart Center, Al Arabiya reports. Marwa did not have the EGP 200 fee required to participate, or any running shoes or attire, but the organizers allowed her to participate. She ran barefoot and finished first. The Armed Forces’ Talaea El Geish Sporting Club has announced it would sponsor the young Olympian.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6185 | Sell 17.7185
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.58 | Sell 17.68
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.58 | Sell 17.68

EGX30 (Sunday): 14,828 (-0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 619 mn (45% BELOW the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -1.3%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session down 0.6%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed down 0.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were GB Auto up 5.0%; ACC up 1.1%; and Egyptian Resorts up 0.7%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Egyptian Iron and Steel down 5.5%; Kima down 3.6%; and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology down 2.9%. The market turnover was EGP 619 mn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -4.1 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -20.9 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +25 mn

Retail: 52.7% of total trades | 52.6% of buyers | 52.8% of sellers
Institutions: 47.3% of total trades | 47.4% of buyers | 47.2% of sellers

Foreign: 9.3% of total | 9.0% of buyers | 9.5% of sellers
Regional: 7.2% of total | 5.9% of buyers | 8.5% of sellers
Domestic: 83.5% of total | 85.1% of buyers | 82.0% of sellers


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PHAROS VIEW

MPC to maintain rates, but if cuts do come, they’ll be limited to 2% at most: While The inflation deceleration lends itself well to projections of a coming interest rate cut, there is no pressure on the CBE, however, for these to be imminent due to the RGDP growth projections, the less tightness in monetary policy, and the drop of government’s finance cost. Even if the CBE did cut the interest, it won’t be significant since IMF has declared that the priority in the short run for Egypt is to curb inflation. There are three potential risks to determine the timing of policy rate cut: the recent international oil price, the higher real absorption or domestic demand growth, and the projected pace of the monetary policy normalization in advanced economies. Hence, Pharos believes that there are high chances of maintaining rates in the upcoming meeting, or if we witness a cut, it will be limited to c.1.0%-2.0%. You can read the full report here (pdf).

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WTI: USD 59.2 (-3.19%)
Brent: USD 62.79 (-3.12%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.58 MMBtu, (-4.19%, March 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,315.7 / troy ounce (-0.25%)

TASI: 7,327.15 (-1.03%) (YTD: +1.4%)
ADX: 4,584.41 (-0.33%) (YTD: +4.23%)
DFM: 3,320.58 (-0.15%) (YTD: -1.47%)
KSE Weighted Index: 408.87 (-0.35%) (YTD: +1.86%)
QE: 9,044.82 (+1.7%) (YTD: +6.12%)
MSM: 4,994.02 (-0.25%) (YTD: -2.06%)
BB: 1,333.56 (+0.04%) (YTD: +0.14%)

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Calendar

10-12 February 2018 (Saturday-Monday): Third Africa STI Forum, 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 March (Monday): Egypt’s PMI reading for February released.

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

08 April (Sunday): Easter Sunday, national holiday.

09 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim, national holiday.

24-25 April (Tuesday-Wednesday): Renaissance Capital’s 3rd Annual Egypt Investor Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.

25 April (Wednesday): Sinai Liberation Day, national holiday.

01 May (Tuesday): Labor Day, national holiday.

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

15 May (Tuesday): Expected date for the start of Ramadan (TBC).

15-17 June (Friday-Sunday): Eid Al Fitr (TBC), national holiday. (Look for possible Monday off given the first day falls on a Friday.)

21-25 August (Tuesday-Saturday): Eid Al Adha (TBC), national holiday

11 September (Tuesday): Islamic New Year (TBC), national holiday.

06 October (Saturday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

20 November (Tuesday): Prophet’s Birthday (TBC), national holiday.

22 November (Thursday): US Thanksgiving.

25 December (Tuesday): Western Christmas.

01 January 2019 (Tuesday): New Year’s Day, national holiday.

07 January 2019 (Monday): Coptic Christmas

25 January 2019 (Friday): Police Day, national holiday.

25 April 2019 (Thursday): Sinai Liberation day, national holiday.

28 April 2019 (Sunday): Easter Sunday, national holiday.

29 April 2019 (Monday): Easter Monday, national holiday.

01 May 2019 (Wednesday): Labor Day, national holiday.

06 May 2019 (Monday): First day of Ramadan (TBC)

05-06 June 2019 (Wednesday-Thursday): Eid El Fitr (TBC)

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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