Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Tons of investment + M&A news.

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We have plenty of news for you folks this morning, particularly on the M&A and investment front, where transactions announced, in the pipeline and contemplated are keeping our friends at the nation’s law firms very busy indeed. We have the details in this morning’s Speed Round, below:

But first: The Finance Ministry will announce the timeline for the state IPO program next week, said Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk at an Amcham gathering ahead of the group’s annual Doorknock mission the Washington, DC, next month. The ministry hopes the program will grow the capital market’s contribution to the economy to 50-60% of GDP, from a current 20-21%, he added, according to a ministry statement. Planning Minister Hala El Saeed had said on Sunday that the National Investment Bank sent the Finance Ministry a list of 13 subsidiaries that it is looking to enroll in the state’s IPO program. State energy firm Enppi was set to kick off the IPO program late last year, but then transaction has been postponed to the end of 2018.

The ministry has completed its proposed tax framework for SMEs, which would help bring them into the formal economy, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told the AmCham meeting. The minister offered no further detail of the plan.

El Garhy also noted that the ministry is projecting 20% y-o-y growth in tax revenues in FY2017-18.

“Egypt investors now bold enough to look for USD themselves”: That’s the good-news headline atop a Bloomberg piece by Ahmed Feteha noting that “Foreign holders of Egypt’s local debt have been using the open currency market more frequently to get USD. Not only is it a sign they’re more comfortable getting cash out of the country, but it also means the days of a stagnant EGP may be numbered…It’s a marked shift for a country where a crippling USD shortage had made it near impossible for foreign investors to repatriate profits.” Investors are turning to the open market because (a) greenbacks are available and (b) the central bank raised the price of using its repatriation scheme when it slapped on a one percent entrance fee late last year.

Ratings agency S&P sees MENA sovereign borrowing dropping by as much as 6% in 2018, after decreasing 30% last year “chiefly because fiscal consolidation measures in all GCC countries and higher oil prices will likely reduce GCC sovereigns’ funding needs.” Egypt remains the largest borrower in MENA, with its share of the region’s gross commercial long-term debt at 26%, which makes it MENA’s largest borrower with USD 46.4 bn in debt, followed by Iraq with USD 35 bn, and Saudi Arabia with USD 31 bn. S&P sees that “Egypt [will] account for 19% of the total commercial debt we expect the region’s sovereigns will issue by the end of 2018…We calculate that Egypt will face the highest debt-rollover ratio (including short-term debt) in the region, reaching 41% of GDP, followed by Iraq (32%) and Lebanon (24%),” S&P says in a report picked up by Saudi Gazette. The GCC’s total sovereign debt is expected to come in at USD 68 bn by the end of 2018.

Banks in the region have been “rising to the top of the list for Middle East stock investors and analysts,” Filipe Pacheco writes for Bloomberg. Despite the drop in Egypt’s key interest rates, banks are expected to maintain “high profit levels … because banks should see stronger fees and commissions generated by increased lending,” says CI Capital’s head of financials, Monsef Morsy, who expects 2018 and 2019 to witness a “pickup in loan volumes in working financing to the corporate segment.”

Mars inaugurates factory expansion today: Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil and Investment Minister Sahar Nasr will inaugurate Mars’ EGP 750 mn factory expansion today, according to Youm7.

Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer is in Abu Dhabi today, where he’s to be a panelist in a discussion of “regional regulatory convergence” at the emirate’s Global Financial Markets Forum, which runs today and tomorrow, according to the event’s agenda.

Mark Mobius is going to be investing in EM companies that could do well on ESG: The veteran emerging markets investor, who left Franklin Templeton in January after a 30-year run, says he is setting up a European fund management outfit that will “focus on companies in emerging markets that have the potential to show improvements in environmental, social and governance metrics,” the Financial Times notes in passing.

New Fed chairman Jay Powell makes his public debut today with inaugural testimony at the House Financial Services Committee. He’ll follow that up with remarks to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Stating the obvious, the FT quotes an analyst noting that: “The backdrop ahead of chair Powell’s first major appearance is one of equity markets making an attempt at coming full circle from the massive volatility event earlier this month.” Wall Street got a bounce yesterday ahead of the remarks. The WSJ has a solid look at what to expect, as does the Washington Post, depending on where you prefer to get your background.

China will abolish constitutional limits on presidential terms, “effectively allowing President Xi Jinping to lead China indefinitely,” the New York Times reports, calling it “the latest and arguably most significant sign of the world’s decisive tilt toward authoritarian governance, often built on the highly personalized exercise of power.” The Times has more here.

Apple will introduce three new phones this fall, and one of them will have a “giant” screen in a device the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus, Bloomberg wonderkind Mark Gurman reports, with an assist from Debby Wu. In other Apple news, the company’s shares got a boost yesterday when Warren Buffett said his Berkshire Hathaway had “bought more Apple shares than any other stock over the past year,” CNBC reports.

Our friend Ian Gray is retiring. The former Vodafone Egypt boss, who had effectively been called back from retirement to run the company’s joint venture in Qatar, will retire after a March 19 shareholder meeting. That comes as Vodafone Europe agreed to sell its stake in the JV to an arm of the Qatari government for EUR 301 mn, Bloomberg says. Reuters also has the story.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Meet me there: Hind El Hafez, our friend and the noted jewelry designer and artist, is helping organized the Cairo Artists Collective’s group exhibition “Meet Me There,” running through Friday, 2 March 2018 in Zamalek. The event features her latest collection of contemporary art jewelry and has as its special guest Spain’s Estela Saez Vilanova. Want to attend? Pop an email over to info@cairoartistscollective.com for the details.

Government to announce winners of PPP schools tender this week: The Ismail government plans to announce this week the winners of its tender for the development and management of 200 schools under public-private partnership contracts.

On The Horizon

The 2018 international Sustainable Industrial Areas (SIA) International Conference is taking place in Egypt this year on Tuesday, 6 March at the Nile Ritz Carlton. The SIA conferences, which have taken place in China, Indonesia, India, Turkey, Mexico and Morocco, aim to bring principles of sustainability and emissions reduction goals to industrial areas as well as discussing means of making them economically viable. This year’s iteration looks at investment promotion, SME development and the creation of meaningful job opportunities as a means to sustainably grow Egypt’s industrial areas. The gathering is being held under the auspices of the Trade and Industry Ministry in partnership between the East Port Said Development Company.

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.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Finance Minister Amr El Garhy’s interview with Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hossary was the only topic of real interest on the airwaves last night.

Egypt should receive the fourth tranche of its USD 12 bn extended fund facility from the IMF by the end of the current fiscal year in June, El Garhy said (watch, runtime: 3:48).

The minister discussed Egypt’s rising debt levels and the blow the tourism industry received in 2011 (watch, runtime: 7:31), as he spoke to El Hossary about challenges facing the economy, among them the population boom. He also outlined how the government is strengthening the social safety net and emphasized that the state sees inflation falling to 13% before the end of 2018 (watch, runtime: 5:45).

The government is also considering increasing public sector wages and pensions in the fiscal year starting July, El Garhy said, adding that the Ismail government has earmarked EGP 240 bn for employee salaries in FY2017-18 (watch, runtime: 3:25). He dismissed rumors that the government is planning to downsize and lay off staff.

El Garhy also discussed the drive behind the financial inclusion initiative, which aims to bring more individuals and businesses into the formal economy and banking system (watch, runtime: 5:16).

Endowments Ministry cashing in? EFG Hermes, Beltone, and CI Capital have been tapped to help the Religious Endowments Ministry restructure its asset portfolio, whichinitial findings have valued at EGP 800 bn, Endowments Authority head Ahmed Abdel Hafez told Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi. The figure could round off to EGP 1 tn once the survey is complete in two-months’ time, he said, explaining that the authority is hoping to turn its holdings profitable, earning around EGP 1 bn this year, and EGP 3 bn in three-years’ time (watch, runtime: 20:50). Abdel Hafez also told Lamees that the ministry owns land and real estate overseas in Greece that is being managed by sovereign officials (watch, runtime: 14:26).

Meanwhile, Egyptian Council of Churches secretary general Rev. Refaat Fathy welcomed the Ismail Cabinet’s decision to grant licenses to 53 churches, telling Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin that the executive regs to the Church Construction Act should be issued soon (watch, runtime: 4:13). Lamees pointed out that those would be the first churches to receive licenses since the act was issued in 2016 (watch, runtime: 33:29).

Bashing the BBC’s documentary on human rights in Egypt was still a top priority for Kol Youm’s Amr Adib, who interviewed a woman he said was Zubaida — the young woman whose mother claimed on the film had been forcibly disappeared — in a bid to discredit Orla Guerin’s controversial report. Zubaida said she had been living with her husband and had not seen her mother, who herself is a supporter of the Ikhwan, in over a year (watch, runtime: 1:05).

Sherif Amer was the only talk show host to discuss the anticipated return of Sudan’s ambassador to Egypt (watch, runtime: 00:48). While on Hona Al Asema, Lamees dedicated substantial airtime to the inauguration of a new anti-terror military command center east of Suez (watch, runtime: 33:29).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

We have a long run of investment and M&A news to get things moving this morning.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Half of the “ABCD” commodity giants are in bed together in Egypt as Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) partners with Cargill to run the latter’s soy crushing facility in Borg El Arab, the companies said in a joint press release on Monday. The pair will set up a joint venture that would own and operate the inventively named National Vegetable Oil Company soy crush facility along with related commercial and functional activities, including a separate Switzerland-based merchandising operation that would supply soybeans to the crush plant.

“Egypt is an important market where demand for high-quality soybean meal and oil is outpacing the rest of the world,” said John Grossmann, ADM’s president for EMEA oilseeds crush. The agreement, which is not yet complete, is subject to regulatory review, said the statement.

Sound smart: Cargill had announced back in 2015 that it was investing USD 100 mn to double crushing capacity at the facility to 6,000 tonnes and construct an additional 42,000-tonne storage facility. The company said last September that it was investing USD 150 mn “over the coming period” without naming the project. The companies hope to formally launch the joint venture in mid-2018.

Plenty of media coverage: The story is receiving widespread international coverage, including from Reuters and the Financial Times.

Advisors: Matouk Bassiouny served as local legal counsel to Cargill on the agreement, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was international counsel to the company.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Our friends at Egyptian Kuwait Holdings (EKH) could invest USD 110 mn this year in developing five natural gas wells in North Sinai, the company said in a bourse statement (pdf). Four of the wells the company is studying this year will be in the Camus gas field, and one in the Tao field, the company added. The investment will be through subsidiary NSCO Investments Limited, in which EKH acquired a 99.99% stake last week. The company announced that NSCO had completed development of two wells in the Tao field recently.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Is this Evergrow / EcoPhos in an EGP 8 bn fertilizers JV? Two unnamed Egyptian and Belgian companies have formed a JV to establish a new EGP 8 bn fertilizer factory, Al Mal reports, citing unnamed sources. Under the agreement, the Egyptian partner would hold a 51% stake in the JV, while the Belgian side will be responsible for providing 50% of the financing. The remaining 50% will be funded through domestic borrowing. The facility, which will tap into phosphate reserves at Abu Tartur, is expected to produce 500k tonnes of fertilizer once it is fully operational in seven years’ time. According to the sources, the facility will export 100% of its output.

Our take: The sources refused to disclose the names of the investors, but the details of the project found awfully close to those of the phosphate production complex Evergrow had announced it would build with two foreign partners. Evergrow was in talks with a consortium made up of Borealis and EcoPhos — the latter of which is Belgian — to take the project forward.

M&A WATCH- A consortium made up of Ebtikar for Financial Investment Company, our friends at TCV and Acquire has submitted an offer to acquire 100% of Orascom Development Egypt’s (ODE) stake in Tamweel Group, according to a statement (pdf) from MM Group for Industry and International Trading (MTI), which holds a 50% stake in Ebtikar. The consortium is said to be offering EGP 300 mn, “10% of which is variable depending on the performance of Tamweel in 2018,” read the release. The sale of Tamweel, which operates leasing, mortgage finance, factoring and insurance brokerage units, was part of ODE’s sale of non-core assets to reduce its debt burden by EGP 1 bn. The transaction is awaiting board approvals on both sides and will need sign-off from the Financial Regulatory Authority.

Advisors: Zaki Hashem & Partners advised Ebtikar and TCV on the transaction, while Taha, Moussa & Sabahi Law Firm represented Acquire.

In other ODE news: A new development at Makadi? As for ODE’s plans at Makadi, the company appears to be considering developing another residential project in the area after announcing on Sunday a sale of Makadi Gardens, IR Director Sara El Gawahergy tells Al Borsa. The project could be potentially worth EGP 200 mn in sales, she added. She also stated that the company was considering taking on another hotel in Gouna.

M&A WATCH- The Saudi-Egyptian Industrial Investment Company (SEII) is earmarking USD 50 mn to fund acquisitions over the next two years, CEO Ahmed Ata tells Al Mal. The company is currently in talks to acquire majority stakes in two companies in the food and textiles sectors and expects to complete the transactions during 1H2018, according to Ata.

M&A WATCH- Nahw Development (completely new to us, folks) has completed a mandatory tender to acquire the remaining 49% stake in Cairo Development Investment Company (CDICO), which it launched last month, Al Borsa reports.Nahw bought13.59 mn shares at EGP 4.61 per share, pricing the transaction at EGP 57.5 mn. CDICO had appointed Osool to advise on the transaction and conduct a fair value assessment.

Israel denies it is making concessions on the int’l gas arbitration award against Egypt—have the two sides agreed just to gloss over it? Senior Israeli officials have denied that last week’s pact to export USD 15 bn worth of natural gas to Egypt included an agreement to squash a USD 1.76 bn international arbitration from a pre-revolution contract to sell natural gas o Israel, Haaretz reports. “Israel hasn’t given up on the debt and the matter did not come up for discussion during talks on the Leviathan export deal to Egypt that was signed [last] week,” Israel’s Ministry of Energy said. Israel Electric Corporation, the beneficiary of the 2015 arbitration award, also denied that such a concession was made. “The company is not aware of any concessions on the debt. There won’t be any backing down on the debt. The company continues to seek to collect it,” IEC said in a statement. As we noted on Sunday, the Prime Minister Sherif Ismail seemed to suggest that the agreement, which would see Alaa Arafa’s Dolphinus Holding import gas from Israel’s Delek and Noble, part of a compromise to withdraw the USD 1.76 bn international arbitration ruling against EGAS, EGPC and East Mediterranean Gas (EMG). Ismail had made dropping the arbitration award a condition to allowing imports of gas from Israel’s Leviathan field.

Maybe the arbitration isn’t really that important to Israel? A senior Israeli government source, who asked not to be identified, told Haaretz’s TheMarker that he didn’t expect Egypt would agree to pay the debt and that Egypt’s failure to pay the compensation wouldn’t affect electricity rates in Israel since IEC had already written off the debt as unrecoverable and had incorporated it into rates over the last six years. That, coupled with the fanfare from the announcement of the agreement, would hint that formal settlement of the issue may not be as essential as both governments are letting on.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Council of State reviewing Healthcare Act regs before they’re sent to Cabinet: The Health Ministry has sent the executive regulations to the Universal Healthcare Act to the Council of State (Maglis Al Dawla) for review before they are sent to the Ismail Cabinet to be issued, Alaa Ghanam, a member of the ministry’s healthcare act committee, tells Youm7. Cabinet was due to receive the regs before the end of last week, according to previous statements by Health Minister Ahmed Rady, who also said that “national dialogue” sessions would be held next month to discuss the pricing of medical services offered under act.

Three new regulators in the making: The committee will be meeting in mid-March to establish the three new authorities that will oversee the new healthcare system once implementation starts in July, beginning with Canal cities. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had signed the Universal Healthcare Act into law in January. Tap or click here for a refresher.

Housing Ministry rolls out ambitious EGP 32 bn Sinai development strategy: The Housing Ministry has completed mapping out a EGP 32 bn development strategy for Sinai, Al Mal reports. The strategy relies heavily on new incentives to attract investors to do business in the peninsula, which the ministry hopes would spur urbanization and population growth. The strategy includes establishing a new economic center in North Sinai and converting the governorate’s capital city to a freezone. The ministry also plans to establish a commercial port on the Mediterranean, and several specialized industrial zones that would capitalize on Sinai’s resources, including its mineral wealth.

The strategy sees tourism as playing a key role in the peninsula’s development, and focuses specifically on promoting religious tourism to The Holy Family Trail and recreational tourism to beach resorts by improving infrastructure and constructing new hotels. A new airport would also be constructed in North Sinai to facilitate tourist arrivals to the area. Incentives to drive population growth include constructing housing projects; establishing new schools, research centers and hospitals. Arab News also has the story.

Nearly 750k Ukrainian tourists visited Egypt in 2017, a 90% y-o-y jump, Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) head Hisham El Demery told the press yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. In response to the surging demand, Ukraine International Airlines announced they would operate four weekly flights between Cairo and Kievas of 6 April, Al Shorouk reports. The surge, along with a 66.5% y-o-y rise in group travel to Egypt in 2017, comes as the country’s ailing tourism sector continues to recover.

Sound smart: Ask your friends in the tourism industry how many of those Ukrainian tourists were actually Russians coming in through the back door in the absence of direct flights to Egypt from Mother Russia.

Russia plays the blame game on delay in resumption of direct flights: The resumption of civilian air traffic to Egypt from Russia has been delayed because air carriers have not reached an agreement on their ground handling, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said on Monday, according to Reuters which cites RIA news agency. EgyptAir Chairman Safwat Musallam had said that flights between the carrier and Russian airline Aeroflot had been postponed until April to ensure significant demand. It had been hoped that flights with Russia would begin about two weeks ago. Sokolov also said that Russia and Egypt could restart talks on resuming flights with Red Sea destinations such as Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada in the spring after Moscow-Cairo flights had been restarted.

That’s not stopping them from crowing about the Dabaa nuclear power plant. Rosatom, the Russian company building the USD 30 bn plant, has put out yet another press release telling us how great the plant will be for the economy.

EARNINGS WATCH- Edita Food Industries reported a 346.8% y-o-y surge in its bottom line to EGP 212.0 mn in 2017, up from EGP 47.4 mn in 2016, the company said in a statement yesterday (pdf). The jump in net profits comes as the company’s revenues for the year rose 21.6% y-o-y to surpass the EGP 3 bn mark in 2016. “The results speak for themselves, with double-digit revenue growth and healthy margins despite operating in an extremely inflationary environment characterized by diminishing consumer purchasing power,” Edita chief Hani Berzi said. After launching several new products last year and inaugurating its state-of-the-art E08 factory with new production lines, the company plans to focus during the coming period “on driving up volumes while also maintaining an emphasis on margin and cost-cutting initiatives.” Read Edita’s full earnings release here (pdf).

Madinet Nasr Housing and Development posted a net profit after tax of EGP 933.1 mn in FY2017, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). Top line for the year was 20.5% higher y-o-y at EGP 2.43 bn, rising on the back of a 48.9% y-o-y growth in presales to EGP 5.1 bn. The company pushed forward with the third phase of its Taj City project in 4Q2017, which has boasted “consistent generation of solid sales.” Meanwhile, Sarai reeled in EGP 4.2 bn in contracted sales throughout the year. “During a year of economic reforms and uncertainty in Egypt, MNHD has continued to record exceptional year-on-year growth in both our top-line and bottom-line, surpassing our budget and underlining our ability to achieve significant gains and execute successful launches regardless of the surrounding climate,” CEO Ahmed El Hitamy said.

Palm Hills Development reported a 26% y-o-y rise in net profit after tax and minority interest to EGP 806 mn in FY2017 from EGP 640 mn in FY2016, the company said in a statement (pdf). The increase came “despite the negative impact of higher finance cost y-o-y.” Revenues grew 17% y-o-y to EGP 6.604 bn, up from EGP 5.361 bn during the previous year. New sales for the year also rose 24% y-o-y to EGP 10.539 bn, surpassing the company’s target for the year.

Emaar Misr for Development reported a 37% y-o-y jump in net profit to EGP 2.3 bn in 2017, compared to EGP 1.68 bn the previous year, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). The developer’s total revenues jumped to EGP 4.5 bn from EGP 4 bn in 2016.

MOVES- Shehab Mazhar has stepped down as Palm Hills Developments’ (PHD) the company’s board of directors after a 20-year run with the company, which he co-founded, according to an emailed company statement (pdf). Mazhar will continue to provide service to PHD through his private office, Shehab Mazhar Architects.

Egypt was home to 221,675 registered refugees as of 22 January 2018, according to UNHCR statistics (pdf). Syrians represent around 57% of that number (127,414), while Sudanese asylum-seekers makeup around 16% (26,195). Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees makeup 7% and 6% of the total, respectively, while South Sudanese represent 5%. Other nationalities include Iraqi and Somalis.

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Image of the Day

The UAE is already working to prepare people for life on Mars by building a USD 137.8 mn city in the desert emulating the planet’s environment, Al Bawaba reports. Robots will likely be sent to Mars to build underground bases before humans’ arrival on the planet — which Danish architect Bjarke Ingles says won’t happen for another century anyways. It’s a good thing the GCC (in the form of Saudi Arabia) has begun granting robots citizenships before their own migrant workers.

Egypt in the News

On an otherwise slow news day for Egypt, Human Rights Watch says the country is trying to “silence critical voices” with arrests ahead of next month’s presidential elections. The National Press Authority has slammed HRW’s statement as “unprofessional and politically motivated” and said that there is no connection between the presidential poll and the arrests of Hisham Genena, Sami Anan and others, Al Shorouk reports.

Also worth a quick skim:

On Deadline

Individual projects in Upper Egypt are not enough to achieve real and sustainable development, Ziad Bahaa El Din writes for Al Shorouk. He urges the state to adopt a more holistic approach to economic and social development in the country’s poorest governorates. Egypt, he says, must upgrade the collapsing public services, complete work on basic infrastructure and facilities, and boost training and job creation to address youth unemployment.

Worth Watching

A jungle trail in Brazil became submerged in crystal clear water after heavy rainfall overflowed a river, according to KSL. The video offers a unique perspective as the trail and the surrounding forest appear to be perfectly preserved and eerily still underwater (watch, runtime: 00:33).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt and Sudan have agreed to stop the “negative escalation” in their dispute over Egypt’s Halayeb triangle and preserve their relations, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim El Ghandour said on Saturday, Sudan Tribune reports. Despite the “brotherly” tone, El Ghandour maintained that Sudan’s stance on the issue is unwavering and that the two countries must resolve their dispute through negotiations or international arbitration. Egypt has rejected the latter option, and has instead suggested transforming the triangle into an integrated Sudanese-Egyptian area. Sudan had renewed its complaint to the UN Security Council regarding the Halayeb dispute last month one week after it withdrew its ambassador to Egypt. Ghandour said that ambassador Abdel Mahmoud Halim would return to Cairo “within days.”

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed Egypt’s efforts in mediating the Palestinian reconciliation and international efforts to revive the peace process with officials at the EU headquarters in Brussels, according to a ministry statement.

Energy

Gov’t expected to sign contracts for USD 50 mn solar plant with Eni in April

The Electricity Ministry is planning to sign contracts with Eni for a USD 50 mn solar power plant in Abu Rudeis in April, ministry sources tell Al Borsa. Contracts for the project, which Eni announced back in 2016 (pdf) and is part of its renewable energy development strategy, were expected to have been completed by December last year. Eni had called on contractors to bid on construction of the 50 MW PV plant and has already begun receiving offers from 23 companies, including Orascom Construction and Elsewedy Electric, the sources added. Eni had said that the project would be implemented along with state-owned Petrobel.

EEHC signs DCS supply agreement for West Cairo, Walidiya power stations

The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) signed yesterday two agreements to supply distributed control systems (DCS) for the Walidiya and West Cairo power station projects, Al Masry Al Youm reports. These include a USD 1.2 mn contract with Honeywell for the West Cairo station and a separate c. USD 1.5 mn agreement with Yokogawa Global for the Walidiya station, EEHC head Gaber El Desouky said. The contracts will see the two companies design, manufacture, supply, and monitor the installment of the systems in their respective stations, according to El Desouky. The companies will also be responsible for training personnel on how to use the systems.

Supreme Council of Energy agrees to increase gas share for Port Said factories

The Supreme Energy Council has approved a request from some Port Said factories to increase their natural gas supplies from the state, Al Shorouk reports.

Tourism

Admin Court to issue ruling today on Tourism Ministry’s SAR 2-3k umrah fee

The Administrative Court is expected to issue a verdict today on the Tourism Ministry’s recent decision to impose a fine of SAR 2-3k on travelers who have performed the umrah in recent years, according to Al Shorouk. Tour operators had threatened to take legal action against the decision, claiming it would harm demand. The ministry had included the fee in a set of regulations it issued for this year’s umrah season, which also set a cap of 500k visas for Egyptians.

Automotive + Transportation

CDCM looking to replace Peugeot with a Chinese car

Cairo for Development and Cars Manufacturing (CDCM) is looking to replace the loss of Peugeot with a Chinese brand, an unnamed shareholder in parent company Arabia Investments, Development and Financial Investment Holding Company told Al Mal on Sunday. The company is mulling between Bisu Auto or GAC Motors as their next international brand, the source added. As for CDCM’s lawsuit against Peugeot Citroen for ending their 41 year-old partnership abruptly late last year and moving to Mansour Group, the source said that the first hearing will take place in May. The company is asking for damages of EUR 150 mn.

Banking + Finance

CBE allows leasing firms to act as guarantors for loans under SMEs initiative

The CBE has reportedly approved having leasing companies act as guarantors for the loans SMEs take out under the central bank’s EGP 200 bn SME lending initiative, unidentified sources tell Al Mal.

Other Business News of Note

El Nasr Transformers & Electrical Products EGM agrees to delist

El Nasr Transformers & Electrical Products has decided to delist from the EGX, the company said in a statement to the EGX (pdf).

Egypt Politics + Economics

Aboul Fotouh remanded for another 15 days

The State Security Prosecutor decided yesterday to continue holding former Islamist presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh for another 15 days, pending further investigation into charges of contacts with the Ikhwan and spreading false news, according to AMAY.

Government approves licenses for 53 churches nationwide

The Ismail Cabinet signed off yesterday on a decision allowing 53 unlicensed churches to legalize their status within a four-month window, according to a statement carried by Ahram Online.

53 local NGOs, 15 int’l bodies to monitor presidential election

The National Elections Commission (NEC) has cleared 53 local NGOs and 15 international organizations to observe and monitor the upcoming presidential election, Spokesperson Mahmoud Lasheen tells Egypt Today. The list include the African Union, Arab League, Arab Parliament, and COMESA.

National Security

Army chief urges Sisi to extend Operation Sinai beyond February deadline

Egypt’s military Chief of Staff Mohamed Farid has urged President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to extend Operation Sinai 2018 beyond its initial three-month time-frame to allow the Armed Forces more time to clear the area completely from terrorist threats, Ahram Online reports.

On Your Way Out

American actor and director Danny Glover visited Aswan’s Philae Temple and the Magdy Yacoub Foundation as the Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF) concluded, Egypt Today reports. The Hollywood star received an honorary award at the festival, which ran from 20-26 February. Ahram Gate has an exclusive interview.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.62 | Sell 17.72
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.62 | Sell 17.72
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.57 | Sell 17.67

EGX30 (Monday): 15,454 (-0.1%)
Turnover: EGP 1.4 bn (24% ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +2.9%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent closed down 1.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank up 4.1%; Elsewedy Electric up 3.4%; and Egyptian Iron & Steel up 3.2%. Today’s worst performing stocks were GB Auto down 2.7%; EFG Hermes down 2.7%; and Orascom Telecom Media & Technology down 1.5%. The market turnover was EGP 1.4 bn, and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -16.7 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +37.8 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -21.1 mn

Retail: 52.3% of total trades | 48.6% of buyers | 56.0% of sellers
Institutions: 47.7% of total trades | 51.4% of buyers | 44.0% of sellers

Foreign: 26.3% of total | 25.8% of buyers | 26.9% of sellers
Regional: 11.8% of total | 13.0% of buyers | 10.5% of sellers
Domestic: 61.9% of total | 61.2% of buyers | 62.6% of sellers

WTI: USD 63.94 (+0.39%)
Brent: USD 67.51 (+0.3%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.64 MMBtu, (+0.53%, MAR 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,335.1 / troy ounce (+0.36%)

TASI: 7,471.9 (-0.29%) (YTD: +3.4%)
ADX: 4,593.3 (+0.25%) (YTD: +4.43%)
DFM: 3,306.53 (-0.0%) (YTD: -1.89%)
KSE Weighted Index: 410.14 (+0.39%) (YTD: +2.17%)
QE: 8,992.64 (-0.96%) (YTD: +5.51%)
MSM: 4,985.28 (+0.55%) (YTD: -2.24%)
BB: 1,370.71 (+0.67%) (YTD: +2.93%)

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Calendar

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.

06-07 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Sustainable Industrial Areas International Conference 2018, The Nile Ritz Carlton hotel, Cairo.

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

11-17 March (Sunday-Saturday): AmCham’s 40th Doorknock mission, Washington D.C., USA.

28-31 March 2018 (Thursday-Sunday): Cityscape Egypt, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo.

02-03 April (Monday-Tuesday): Pharos Holding’s investor conference: In Search for Egypt Alpha, 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).

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. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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