Monday, 19 February 2018

New garbage collection fees are coming


What We’re Tracking Today

It’s a relatively quiet morning in Cairo on which we’re grateful for many things, not least of which is the fact that we get to write to all of you every morning. Thank you all, readers and sponsors alike, for making it possible to do what we do each day.

Sweden’s Trade Minister Ann Linde is in Egypt until tomorrow, according to an embassy statement. Linde will discuss economic and political developments in Egypt as well as strengthening trade ties, women’s rights and women’s participation in the economy and society at large with government officials and representatives of civil society.

Pride Capital will hold its first fintech workshop today covering insurance tech and how technology can deliver affordable, convenient health insurance. The event will be held today at the Greek Campus on Tahrir. Register here.

The Ismail government is setting new garbage collection fees for homes that will range between EGP 2-40 per residential unit per month, up from EGP 1-10 monthly today, Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy tells Al Mal. Offices, stores and factories will pay EGP 30-200 per month, up from EGP 10-30, he added. The fees will be determined based on the real estate’s size and location.

But you don’t pay your existing garbage fee? Touché. The story also suggests the environment and electricity ministries are “in talks” to “find a way” to collect the garbage feel. Read: Add it to your electricity bill, with the two parties likely arguing over long the Electricity Ministry will get to hold the cash before handing it over to Environment Ministry.

The proposed fee hikes will be provided for under a new sanitation law that will apparently give incentives to investors entering the waste management space, including making land available at subsidized rates to set up recycling businesses. The law would also apparently leave room to enshrine “attractive prices” for refuse-derived fuel, Al Mal reports.

All of this comes as the Electricity Ministry is preparing the market to expect fee hikes, possibly ahead of an expected July subsidy cut, which makes us suspect the hit to consumers and businesses alike on that last front will be sharp. Customer service fees on electricity bills are set to rise 14-37% depending on the consumption bracket, ministry sources tell Al Borsa. The increase in fees comes on the back of upgrades the ministry has been carrying out to strengthen the grid and improve nationwide power distribution, which have so far cost around EGP 40 bn, they add. The highest tier of consumers (over 650 KW a month) will be the ones to feel the rise in service fees the most. The Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Agency (Egyptera) has been working since last month on the FY2018-19 fee structure for electricity.

China has threatened retaliation against the US after the Commerce Department put it on a list of 12 countries including Egypt on which it recommends the Trump administration slap import tariffs of at least 53% on steel and aluminum, The Financial Times reports. Consensus among the sell-side research folks this morning seems to be that the downside for Egypt is relatively contained. Our friends at EFG Hermes note that the primary hit could be to “drive tonnage from major export-oriented markets (such as China) into the global market.” That said, Egypt has already imposed anti-dumping duties on steel from China, Turkey and Ukraine.

Egyptians dominate Forbes’ list of the nine richest persons in Africa, according to the magazines’ Middle East edition. The top nine list, part of Forbes’ broader listing of 23 African bn’aires, unsurprisingly includes members of the Sawiris and Mansour families, with the remaining three spots belonging to Moroccan and Algerian business leaders. Nassef Sawiris is first on the list with a net worth of USD 6.8 bn, Algerian Issad Rebrab in second at USD 4 bn, with Naguib Sawiris rounding out the top three, also at c. USD 4 bn.

OSN lives to fight another day? Subscribers to the pay-TV service in MENA will gain access to Netflix content. Netflix has signed its first Middle East partnership agreement with satellite entertainment network OSN, the streaming service announced in a press release yesterday. OSN customers will soon be able to access Netflix’s content library via a new OSN Box to be launched by the end of 2Q2018. They will also have the option of paying for their Netflix subscription via one consolidated OSN bill.

PSA- We’re helping grow women’s sports in Egypt. Cairo Rugby Football Club’s women’s team is looking for new players to join its ranks. Cairo Rugby is Egypt’s oldest rugby team and is made up of a diverse group of volunteering women and men from all over the world. The women’s team now welcomes players of all ages —no prior experience is necessary. Besides being tough as nails, this group of women is also really fun, welcoming, and laid back. You can join Cairo Rugby for training sessions on Sundays at 8:30pm and Tuesdays at 7:00pm at the Club 7 (7SC) fields in Maadi. Interested players who just want to try out the sport can also register here for the team’s special open training session on Thursday.

What We’re Tracking This Week

The third annual Capital Markets Summit gets underway tomorrow. The theme for this year’s conference is “the role of reforms in restoring growth and the vision of the capital market 2030,” and will feature a discussion of the state IPO program and the impact of the government’s reform program. Speakers include EGX boss Mohamed Farid, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, and former Financial Regulatory Authority head Sherif Samy.

The T-20 is holding a fireside chat on blockchain. The gathering takes place on Tuesday, 20 February at 7:30pm and is open to T20 members and select invitees from the larger business community. Enterprise readers may register here to request an invite.

On The Horizon

Our friends at EFG Hermes are hosting their 14th annual One on One Conference in Dubai on Monday, 5 March. The three-day event is the largest investor conference globally focused on frontier and emerging markets and will bring together some 175 companies for discussions on what a year of shifting benchmarks — including oil production cuts and the prospect of US interest rate hikes — mean for emerging frontier markets.

Egypt’s Emirates NBI PMI reading for February will be announced on Monday, 5 March.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was another night of miscellany, with the nation’s talking heads discussing everything from EGX trading volumes to regional politics and family planning.

EGX boss Mohamed Farid expects the state’s IPO program to launch in April or May, he told Lamees Al Hadidi during an appearance on Hona El Asema. Farid did not dive into specifics, but told the host that paperwork and procedures were still in progress.

Farid also recounted improvements in trading momentum, telling Lamees that daily trading volumes have increased significantly since the EGP floated in late to 2016 to average around EGP 1.2 bn, from EGP 500 mn before. The bourse’s record-high was a daily average of EGP 2.2 bn back in 2007-08, he added (watch, runtime: 36:45)

Lamees also spoke to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid about reports that Sudan had expelled members of the Ikhwan from the country. Abu Zeid said Sudanese officials had confirmed more than once that they were taking “these kinds of measures,” but added that he could not confirm or deny any new details or developments (watch, runtime: 1:35)

The delay in talks with Ethiopia over the Grand Renaissance Dam is definitely not in Egypt’s best interest, but is entirely understandable,given the circumstances of Hailemariam Desalegn’s resignation as prime minister, Abu Zeid also said (watch, runtime: 3:38).

Abou Zeid also spoke with Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 9:04)

On Kol Youm, Amr Adib zeroed in on proposed legislation to set up an insurance scheme for private sector workers with Cairo University professor Sami Abdel Aziz, who told him that only 15.6 mn out of 104 mn Egyptians have insurance (watch, runtime: 5:00). Egyptian Agriculture Bank Chairman Al Sayed Kouseir told Adib he hopes that insurance scheme will extend to the mns of farmers that deal with the bank (watch, runtime: 7:47). (We have more on the story in Speed Round, below.)

Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin spoke to Ittihadiya spokesperson Bassam Rady about the insurance scheme, which is being studied at the request of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Rady said El Sisi was in meetings with CBE Governor Tarek Amer and PM Sherif Ismail to further discuss the issue (watch, runtime: 7:34).

Amin also hosted Public Enterprises Minister Khaled Badawy to talk more about the state of government-owned companies (watch, runtime: 45:52).

Back on Hona al-Assema, Lamees spoke to Deputy Health Minister Tarek Tawfik about the population boom after reading that we added 500k people to our headcount in just 100 days. Tawfik said the ministry has launched nationwide family planning campaigns to help curb population growth, adding that a new “program” would be launched soon, without elaborating further (watch, runtime: 3:07).

Where are the planes from Moscow? Adib urged the Egyptian government to explain the reason behind the delay in the resumption of air travel between Moscow and Cairo (Watch, runtime 3:43). Adib also followed up on the arrest of former top-auditor Hesham Genena, who psychologists said was not be suffering of PTSD, after all (watch, runtime: 8:00).

Meanwhile on Yahduth fi Masr, Sherif Amer sat down with former Jamaa Islamiyah leader Nageh Ibrahim, who praised the military’s anti-terror campaign in North Sinai (watch, runtime: 3:10).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The Ismail government is planning a USD 3-4 bn eurobond issuance in FY2018-19, the new fiscal year starting in July, said Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk. In an interview with Al Arabiya on Sunday, Kouchouk that they will focus more on Asian investors in their upcoming roadshows. Kouchouk had told us in an exclusive that last week’s USD 4 bn eurobond sale saw new appetite from Asian investors.

Speaking of the EUR 1-1.5 bn issuance in April, Kouchouk noted that the investment banks that will manage the issuance have not yet been selected. Advisers last time around were HSBC, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi led the issuance. Al Tamimi & Co. and Dechert were legal advisors to the government, while Linklater and Zaki Hashem & Partners were counsel to the bankers.

Government turning again to domestic borrowing after interest rate cut? Asked about the impact of last Thursday’s 100 bps interest rate cut, Kouchouk said that the move would allow the government to shift focus back on domestic borrowing. “We will be increasing our issuances of EGP-denominated bonds, as long-term borrowing costs in Egypt get cheaper,” he added. As we noted last week, Capital Economics had projected that monetary easing would help increase the private sector’s access to credit, after it had been crowded out by government borrowing from domestic banks. The firm said it was possible that the government’s reliance on eurobonds and international markets would help channel credit towards the private sector.

You can catch the full interview with Kouchouk here (watch, runtime: 8:32).

Meanwhile, investors and business leaders continue to welcome the 100 bps interest rate cut, calling it a “positive development,” particularly for industry, according to Al Shorouk. Look for improved appetite for capital expenditures, it says, while real estate is also expected to benefit as more people redirect liquidity from banks and towards the sector for its higher returns, says Al Ahly for Real Estate Chairman Hussein Sabbour (who has no dog in that fight, naturally).

Economists expect a lull in monetary easing over the summer as subsidy cuts kick in, look to 300-400 bps in total rate cuts this year: Arqaam Capital expects another 100 bps cut at the CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting in March. Rates are expected to hold steady through to August ahead of planned subsidy cuts due around the beginning of FY2018-19. The investment bank sees interest rates falling by another 200 bps after August. The lower interest rates, coupled with the subsidy cuts, should see the fiscal deficit improve sharply over the coming two years and the primary balance on track to recording a small surplus in FY2017-18, the firm said in a research note on Sunday (pdf).

CI Capital is also anticipating another rate cut of 100 bps followed by a hold until the inflationary impact of the summer subsidy cuts. CI Capital Asset Management economist Noaman Khaled tells Al Arabiya in an interview (watch, runtime: 6:42) that interest rates should decline further by 4Q2018 for a total cut of 300 bps in 2018. He described last Thursday’s cuts as one of the most important economic events in Egypt of the last three years.

“I was actually expecting a bigger cut than 100 bps,” Lighthouse Research Founder and Chief Economist Jean-Paul Pigat told Bloomberg TV. “That seems like a lot in the context of emerging markets, but remember … rates were raised 700 bps from the time of the devaluation up until last week … this is the first step of a very long journey to go,” he added. Pigat says the cut is encouraging, but it is still “half the surprise hike we saw in July 2017…after everyone thought the rate tightening cycle was over…We’ve got a long time to go before we’re anywhere near normalization in monetary policy.”

Sisi administration continues push for private-sector worker welfare and insurance scheme: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ordered that legislation be written to set up a welfare and insurance scheme for private-sector workers. The president made the remarks at a meeting on Sunday with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and CBE Governor Tarek Amer, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Details on the proposed plan, which were first announced last week as election season gears up, continue to be scant. The closest thing to an explanation we’ve heard came from Misr Insurance Holding Company Chairman Mohamed Youssef. He said that banks are working on launching EGP 500 CDs with yields of 16% that will act as life insurance policies and pay EGP 10-50k in cases of natural death and up to EGP 200k in the event of an accident. Each individual will be allowed to buy up to five certificates, he said.

Eni looks to swap 10% of Zohr for stakes in other projects: Eni is looking into possibly selling another 10% stake in Zohr, Eni’s CFO Massimo Mondazzi told Reuters Arabic on Friday. He added that the company was also exploring using this upcoming sale to swap stakes in the field with other projects, he added. Eni holds a 60% stake in Zohr, with Rosneft controlling 30%, and BP 10%.

As for Turkey’s navy blocking Eni’s rigs off the coast with Cyprus, Mondazzi said that the situation was out of the company’s hands. He did state, however that there are other areas which the company will explore in Cyprus’ offshore fields. Turkey had escalated its bullying of Cyprus last week after its tantrums over the Economic Exclusion Zone agreement between Cyprus, Egypt and Greece failed to gather meaningful attention.

Did an Egyptian court really order EGPC and EGAS to pay EMG founder USD 1.03 bn in damages? Israeli newspaper Globes is claiming that a Cairo court ordered state energy companies EGPC and EGAS to pay Israeli businessman Josef Maiman, who co-founded East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) with Hussein Salim, USD 1.03 bn in damages after EMG was forced to halt shipments of gas to Israeli Electric back in 2013. The liquidator for Ampal-American Israel Corporation, the Israeli company which owned a 12% stake in EMG, said: “We now expect other arbitration institutions (ICSID and UNCITRAL) that previously decided in favor of EMG to issue rulings on compensation.” The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had ruled in March 2017 that Egypt’s revocation of the tax exemption status of the EMG project until 2025 — afforded to it under the private free zones system — to be tantamount to expropriation and in breach of the bilateral investment treaty. Globes made sure to note that Maiman had filed the litigation in Egyptian court as a Polish citizen.

Barriers to gas imports from Israel: The reported ruling comes amid a dispute between Cairo and Tel Aviv over a USD 1.76 bn International Chamber of Commerce arbitration award won by Israeli Electric against EGAS, EGPC and EMG. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has said there will be no discussion of importing Israeli gas for liquefaction and export from Egypt until outstanding litigation is settled.

EGAS reduces fines, offers more flexible payment terms on natural gas supply contracts as incentives to manufacturers: EGAS wants to play nice with manufacturers. The state gas monopoly has approved amendments to its natural gas supply contracts for factories that mean to encourage more manufacturers to grow and set up shop, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil said yesterday, Al Ahram reports. In addition to eliminating a 2.5% surcharge on manufacturers’ overdue bills to EGAS, the amendments would reduce the fines manufacturers across multiple consumption brackets (above and below the 20,000 cbm/d marker) have to pay for using more than their annual contracted amount of natural gas. The amendments — which Kabil says aims primarily to incentivize SMEs to set up shop — also offer more flexible payment terms, setting a lower insurance fee that requires producers to pay a deposit covering 30 rather than 60 days of consumption; and allowing businesses to pay for installation and connection fees in instalments over a 24-month period, up from 18 months before, provided they make a downpayment of 25% of the total.

The changes will affect new and old new contracts. Lower fines could help appease angry manufacturers, who have been railing about rising natural gas prices after the EGP float, claiming natural gas supply has been interrupted at a number of factories that fell behind on bill payments due to mounting financial pressure. Manufacturers have been pushing for the government to lower gas prices, but officials strongly hinted last year that a move in that direction is unlikely.

Qatar National Bank is looking to reduce its stake in its Egyptian unit QNB-Al Ahli to 95% from 97.125% currently, according to a company statement. QNB has hired CI Capital to advise on the stake sale. The sale is intended so that QNB-Al Ahli can get in line with EGX regulations, which require shares in free float to not be less than 5%. A QNB spokesman said the bank had no current plans to further reduce its stake following the sale of the 2.125% stake, Reuters reports.

EARNINGS WATCH- Our friends at Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH) reported double-digit revenue growth in FY2017. The company posted net income of USD 138.2 mn, up from USD 69.8 mn in FY2016, on revenues of USD 413.7 mn, up from USD 351.2 mn the previous year, it said in a statement on Sunday (pdf). The year was “one of portfolio restructuring and investment streamlining with the aim of unlocking new value for shareholders,” Chairman Moataz Al-Alfi said. Management is optimistic going forward, saying the year ahead should see the company “carry out our expansion plans at operating businesses to build on this growth momentum, as well as continue investing in new ventures poised to substantially contribute to profitability,” the company added.

Could a missing US component be sabotaging France’s Rafale sales to Egypt? Talks over a potential sale of an additional 12 Rafale planes from France have floundered over the US refusing to export a key component of the Scalp missiles which come with the plane, France’s La Tribune reported on Friday. While Paris had greenlit exports of the Scalp missile, the US had blocked the sale, ostensibly over violations of the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the newspaper claims, citing unnamed sources. Egypt’s talks over the Rafale purchases with manufacturers Dassault Aviation and MBDA are believed to have been concluded during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Cairo last year. “Either MBDA changes this component, or France and the US must come to a new understanding,” the newspaper added. Egyptian authorities are reportedly not too impressed, and have been demanding the Scalp missiles before an agreement on the Rafale planes is executed. Armed Forces spokesperson Tamer El Refai told Egypt Independent on Sunday that the issue of the missing American component of the Scalp cruise missile is considered a French “internal affair.”

It’s about damn time: The Ismail government is planning to reduce the amount of land used for the cultivation of water-intensive crops including sugarcane, banana and rice, Agriculture Ministry sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry spokesman Hossam El Emam had said last month that the government had decided to cut down the maximum area for cultivating rice to 724k feddans, from 1.076 mn feddans last year. The ministry is also planning to promote the cultivation of other crops that consume less water and remain profitable for farmers, as well as develop irrigation methods to reduce water consumption.

Ride sharing app Careem has acquired online restaurant platform RoundMenu and says it will start trials of food delivery service through it this month, according to Reuters. “Careem will begin testing a delivery capability for RoundMenu customers on a small scale later this month,” Careem told Reuters. “RoundMenu has a presence in 18 cities across nine Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, according to its website.”


Enterprise is available without charge — just visit our English or Arabic subscription page, depending on which edition you would like to receive. We give you just about everything you need to know about Egypt, in your inbox Sunday through Thursday before 7am CLT (8am for Arabic), and all we ask for is your name, email address and where you hang your hat during business hours.

Egypt in the News

All is quiet for Egypt on the international news front this morning, with nothing really happening to warrant any ink spillage from our comrades across the pond.

Some, including America’s Associated Press and China’s Xinhua, are taking note of the delay in talks between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (We have more in Diplomacy + Foreign Trade).

Beyond that: The The Times of Oman would have us know that Egypt has signed an MoU with the Sultanate on cooperation on higher education between 2018-2020. While Egyptian tech startup stakeholders tell Disrupt Africa that the size of our market, the availability of young talent, and a high tolerance for failure are among the main factors that make the country’s tech ecosystem better than others.

On Deadline

The state has failed to outline a program to develop the nation’s media industry, columnist Yasser Abdel Aziz writes for El Watan in a piece that looks at what he says is a failure of new regulatory bodies created under the 2014 constitution.

Worth Watching

Foreigners and Egyptians alike have taken to video blogging Egypt’s best destinations and experiences. Among them is Jordan, a young American woman who documented her time traveling solo to Dahab, Aswan, and the Siwa Oasis, among other Egyptian destinations (watch, runtime: 11:43). Egyptian Streets is running a series of these vlog posts, which hope to show that “there is more to this country than the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Foreign Ministry accepts postponing GERD meeting, stresses need for urgent action: The Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that it has agreed to postpone the trilateral meeting with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which had been set for 24-25 February. Sudan delayed the meeting at Ethiopia’s request after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s sudden resignation. Abu Zeid said the ministry “understands the circumstances that may have pushed Ethiopia to request postponing the meeting” but was still looking “forward to the adherence of the timeframe determined by the leaders to settle the existing technical disputes.”

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil has decided to extend anti-dumping duties on dry ballpoint pens imported from India for an additional year, effective 21 February, according to an emailed ministry statement (pdf). The ministry had initially imposed the duties for a five-year period in 2013.


EGAS to buy three LNG cargoes from Engie in 2Q2018

EGAS is buying three LNG cargoes from Engie in 2Q2018, sources told Reuters. “Trade sources told Reuters last month that Egypt was looking to import five cargoes of LNG at competitive pricing. Two trade sources said the purchases were arranged through bilateral [agreements] and not via a standard tender process.”


Damietta Port Authority re-issues tender for cargo terminal

The Damietta Port Authority has re-issued its tender for a 140k sqm cargo terminal for container ships, Al Mal reports. The authority previously tendered the project twice, but companies were reluctant to participate due to the tender stipulating that all cargo be moved from the terminal via river transport, among other stipulations, sources close to the matter say.

NUCA expands greywater reuse into 10 new cities

The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) signed an MoU with Misr El Kheir and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology to establish new greywater treatment units in 10 new cities for irrigation purposes, the head of NUCA’s Central Unit for Sustainable Cities and Renewable Energy Gamal Talaat tells Al Shorouk. Recycling greywater (used bath water for you and me) is considered a popular policy in water-poor countries.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Food industries sector should grow 8-10% this year – FEI

The food industries sector is expected to see growth of 8-10% in 2018 after a challenging 2017, head of the food industries division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries Ashraf El Gazayerli told Al Borsa. This increase will come on the back of higher exports and lower inflation — one of the biggest drivers of industry losses in 2017, which ranged from 30-50%, he said. Food producers appear to be moving in line with that vision, with plans already in motion to boost exports in 2018 and beyond. Halwani Bros Egypt is looking to increase its exports by 20% y-o-y in 2018 by expanding its markets presence in existing markets in Europe and North Africa, according to CEO Tarek Madkour. While Beyti Food Industries says it’s planning to double its juice and dairy product exports for the year by tapping into new markets in North America and Europe, as well as expanding in Chad, Nigeria, and Libya.


MB signs production agreement with French Hager

Egypt’s MB Group signed an agreement with Hager Group under which they will locally produce a range of the French group’s low-voltage electrical panels, according to Youm7. The agreement allows MB to retail Hager’s products at premium of 60%, which would be split evenly between both companies.

Real Estate + Housing

TMG negotiating with the government for 5,000 feddans in New Cairo

Talaat Moustafa Group Holding is in negotiations with the New and Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) to acquire 5,000 feddans of land it plans to use for expansions in New Cairo, a source familiar with the matter tells Al Mal. NUCA is currently willing to give the company as much as 1,000 feddans, but the company has been driving a hard bargain, offering to develop the area in partnership with the state. NUCA has set the price at EGP 4,000 per sqm.


Russian airline Sirius Aero receives permission for Cairo-Moscow flights

Reports have emerged that Russian airline Sirius Aero has received permission to establish a flight route between Moscow and Cairo, according to Russian aviation outlet ATO.Ru (Russian). Air Leisure is also looking into offering direct flights between Moscow and Luxor once air travel between Russia and Egypt officially resumes, Chairman Mohamed Mounir tells Al Mal. The air carrier has yet to settle on the number of weekly flights it will offer, or when it will launch the new route. Russia and Egypt had signed a security protocol in December allowing the resumption of direct flights between Moscow and Cairo, but Russian Deputy Prime Minister said last week that charter flights to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada is not possible yet. Other destinations in Egypt, including Luxor, are not banned by Russia.

Automotive + Transportation

West and Mid Delta Bus Co. to purchase 50 buses for EGP 135 mn in FY2018-19

The West and Middle Delta Bus Company is planning to purchase 50 new buses for its fleet for EGP 135 mn in FY2018-19, a statement picked by Al Mal says. The move is part of the company’s plan to invest EGP 143.5 mn in the next fiscal year.

Banking + Finance

Beltone tapped to manage Egyptian Sports Fund

Beltone Financial has been tapped to manage a EGP 5 mn fund launched by Banque Misr, whose proceeds will be used by the Youth Ministry to develop sports facilities and stadiums and youth programs, the government said in a press release on Sunday (pdf). Beltone hopes to raise EGP 250 mn in subscriptions to the fund, with an eye to increasing that to EGP 1 bn over three phases in the coming 18 months.

Egypt Post and Ahli United Bank sign MoU to facilitate remittances

Egypt Post has signed an MoU with the Ahli United Bank to facilitate the transfer of remittances by Egyptians abroad through to its 4,000 nationwide branch network, Egypt Post head Essam El Sagheer tells Al Shorouk. The agreement also allows Egypt Post to offer some e-payment solutions to SMEs that are bank clients.

Naeem Holdings receives FRA approval for dual listing on Dubai Financial Markets

Naeem Holdings has received approval from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) for the company’s dual listing on the Dubai Financial Markets, the company said in a regulatory filing on Sunday (pdf).

Other Business News of Note

Maspero restructure plan aims to settle EGP 32.8 debt over three years, privatize subsidiaries

The government’s plan to restructure the state-owned Television and Radio Union (Maspero) aims to pay off EGP 32.8 in debt over the next three years, Planning Minister Hala El Said said yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The National Investment Bank, Maspero’s largest creditor, will manage debt settlement processes, which involve taking over some the union’s assets. The restructuring process might also see the privatization of some of Maspero’s subsidiaries, in addition to creating a fund for end-of-service payments, Al Mal reports.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Court jails 65 Ikhwan members up to 10 years over incitement

The Zagazig criminal court has sentenced 44 Ikhwan members to 10 years in prison and 21 others to two years over charges of incitement against the military and state institutions, The Associated Press reports. Eight others were acquitted.


Egypt signs up for Lagos squash tournament

Egyptians are dominating the list of squash players that have signed up for the 2018 Lagos International Squash Classics, according to the Eagle Online. Players from the France, Switzerland Germany, Portugal, the US, Iraq, Pakistan, and India are also participating. The victor from the March event takes USD 20,000 home.

On Your Way Out

A video out of Upper Egypt shows a woman exacting instant justice on a man after he harrasses her (watch, runtime 1:35). The woman chases her attacker and the pair exchange blows until passersby intervene. The man is said to have received three years for his actions, Arab News says.

Business Today will be announcing its bt100 award winners today. The event honors 50 companies and 50 figures that influenced Egypt’s economy the most in 2017, according to an emailed statement (pdf). The event will be held under the auspices of our friends at CIB and GB Auto, alongside several other banks and companies.

The Luxor International Visual Arts Forum began yesterday and will run until 25 February, according to AMAY. The forum features artists from nine different countries displaying their work in its various forms, including photography, filmmaking, sculpting, and performing arts.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6319 | Sell 17.7319
Buy 17.59 | Sell 17.69
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.60 | Sell 17.70

EGX30 (Sunday): 15,046 (+0.5%)
Turnover: EGP 1.4 bn (24% ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +0.2%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session up 0.5%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed up 0.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were SODIC up 5.5%; Heliopolis Housing up 3.9%; and Madinet Nasr Housing up 3.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Egypt Aluminum down 1.9%; Telecom Egypt down 1.8%; and Eastern Co down 1.5%. The market turnover was EGP 1.4 bn, and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -27.7 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +75.7 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -48.1 mn

Retail: 63.4% of total trades | 59.3% of buyers | 67.6% of sellers
Institutions: 36.6% of total trades | 40.7% of buyers | 32.4% of sellers

Foreign: 12.8% of total | 11.8% of buyers | 13.8% of sellers
Regional: 19.6% of total | 22.2% of buyers | 16.9% of sellers
Domestic: 67.6% of total | 66.0% of buyers | 69.3% of sellers


Drop in Pharos FCI in January reflects loosening monetary policy: The Pharos Financial Conditions Index (FCI) took a further drop in January, driven by the increase in real broad money supply, increasing by 20.9% y-o-y for the month and reflecting the loosening in domestic liquidity. The FCI drop was also driven by the depreciation of real effective exchange rate for the EGP_ in January to 75.70 from 76.22 in December. The slope of the yield curve, however, is still inverted, indicating more tight conditions in the short term. Moreover, it slightly widened from 3.04% in December to 3.28% in January. You can read the full report here (pdf).


WTI: USD 61.68 (+0.55%)
Brent: USD 64.84 (+0.79%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.56 MMBtu, (-0.85%, March 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,356.2 / troy ounce (+0.07%)

TASI: 7,508.44 (-0.03%) (YTD: +3.9%)
ADX: 4,582.48 (+0.11%) (YTD: +4.18%)
DFM: 3,292.05 (-1.15%) (YTD: -2.32%)
KSE Weighted Index: 407.55 (-0.76%) (YTD: +1.53%)
QE: 9,079.43 (+0.57%) (YTD: +6.52%)
MSM: 5,014.41 (-0.04%) (YTD: -1.66%)
BB: 1,332.51 (-0.54%) (YTD: +0.06%)

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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.

20 February (Tuesday): The Third Annual Capital Markets Summit, InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, Cairo.

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.

07-11 March (Wednesday-Sunday): ITB Berlin Convention, Berlin, Germany.

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.

02-03 May (Wednesday-Thursday): Cisco Connect Egypt 2018, Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cairo.

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)

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