Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Is Renault looking to assemble cars in Egypt?


What We’re Tracking Today

US President Donald Trump ousted US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — and Tillerson only found out through Twitter, the New York Times reports. Tillerson told reporters that “the president had called him from Air Force One just after noon — more than three hours after Mr. Trump had tweeted the news of his firing to his 49 mn followers — to inform him personally of the dismissal.” The president pointed out differences in opinion over key areas of foreign policy, including the US’ nuclear agreement with Iran, as the impetus for his decision to cut Tillerson. Trump has tapped Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo to become SecState and appointed Gina Haspel — who allegedly had a “leading role” in operating a notorious CIA torture site — as the first woman to head the CIA.

That makes an Ikhwan-hater the new Secretary of State: As a lawmaker, Pompeo co-sponsored a bill to ban the Ikhwan, despite opposition from Muslim activist groups, according to the Washington Post. Egypt had lent its diplomatic weight to the legislation, so expect Pompeo’s appointment to be welcomed here in Cairo.

Are you really surprised members of our House of Representatives are taking advantage of the presidential election to push for a cabinet shuffle? “It is almost certain that the Ismail Cabinet will submit its resignation following the election,” said the noted gadfly Rep. Moustafa Bakry. Other MPs appear to think that while changes to the cabinet lineup are coming, it will not include the so-called sovereign ministries (Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defense, and Finance), Al Shorouk reports. Most appear united in wanting to evaluate the current Ismail cabinet.

Speaking of the election, citizens living abroad can start voting at Egyptian embassies across the world on Friday, Ahram Gate reports.

Sources close to the potential IPO of Aramco are increasingly pessimistic that the oil giant will see an international listing, according to Reuters. “I would guess it is about even that there will be no international IPO,” said a high-level source familiar with the preparations.

Ten years ago today, Bear Stearns was bailed out and forced into a “hasty weekend shotgun marriage to JPMorgan Chase,” the Wall Street Journal writes in a long take: “Key players have spent the last decade arguing about what was done, defending past decisions and wondering how such a crisis would play out today.”

Television is looking very interesting heading into the last weeks of the month, with Enterprise favourites including Bns, the Americans (the last season), Silicon Valley and Suits (the last season for the Mike and Rachel characters) all returning to a screen near you. And April is looking awesome, too: Westworld will be back on HBO on 22 April in the US, while The Handmaid’s Tale returns three days later. Business Insider has a list of shows it thinks are worth watching through May.

Oh, and Pearl Jam has released a new single to support an upcoming album, their first since Lightning Bolt in 2013.

What We’re Tracking This Week

The newly appointed board of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) will be ratified in the coming days by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, sources tell Youm7. Once ratified, the board will begin work on issues including setting the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Act, completing the Insurance Act, and drafting legislation that would grant FRA new autonomy.

Cabinet is expected to discuss the executive regulations to the controversial NGO law “within days.” Parliament had signed off on the bill back in 2016. The act has since come under fire from Republican Senators and the US Congress’ human rights commission.

On The Horizon

The Arts-Mart Gallery is bringing together visual and performing arts through its second ‘Orchestra In Art’ event, The Three Egyptian Tenors. The show features a full orchestra performing amidst a specially curated exhibition of Egyptian contemporary art. World-renowned conductor Nader Abassi and award-winning Egyptian tenors Hany Abdelzaher, Ragaa Eldin, and Amr Medhat will perform their Italian opera masterpieces at the Arts-Mart Gallery on Friday.

Naeem Holdings’ shares will officially begin trading on the Dubai Financial Market on 25 March. The company had received approval from the Financial Regulatory Authority for its dual listing last month.

The Game Sports Industry Conference — Egypt’s first-ever platform dedicated to the sports industry — kicks off in Cairo on 11 April. The conference, which will bring together industry professionals, leaders, and enthusiasts, will feature discussions on innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in the sports industry, leveraging sports as a marketing channel, and the digital transformation in sports, among others. You can register for the event here.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Expect nothing but election-talk over the next few weeks as the “get out and vote” campaign nears the crescendo. Issues of media censorship also featured on a boisterous night last night.

But first, on the economy: Egypt’s bourse hit a record high, with the benchmark EGX30 crossing the 17,000 mark and turnover hitting EGP 2.5 bn. Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal spoke with an analyst who said the performance came amid continued high foreign interest (watch, runtime: 5:29).

The launch of the operations at the Benban solar farm got attention from Kol Youm’s Amr Adib, who called for more investment in the sector (watch, runtime: 10:14). Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin joined in the celebration, saying the event was yet another demonstration of how Egypt is back on its feet (watch, runtime: 3:16).

Censorship of the media was the hottest topic on the airwaves last night. Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi focused a chunk of her episode on the Prosecutor General’s snitch-A-thon for fake news. She sensibly criticized the hotline, saying that it would open the floodgates to partisan attacks on the media. She also said she feared the move would also lead to a backlog of frivolous cases at the Prosecutor General’s office. Lamees is also worried the act would turn Egypt to a society of snitches (watch, runtime: 6:36).

Studies in spinelessness, part I: The former head of the Cairo Court of Appeals Abdel Sattar Imam defended the decision, citing national security reasons (watch, runtime: 6:25). Press Syndicate head Abdel Mohsen Salama said he would be in touch with the Prosecutor General soon to get a better understanding of the decision (watch, runtime: 2:14). So much for advocating for your industry, dude. Over on Masaa DMC, Kamal said that attacking the decision was unfair, especially considering how countries such as France and Germany have similar measures to rein-in fake news (watch, runtime: 2:50). Since he stopped short of citing the laws in question, we may be putting in a call to the hotline on Kamal himself.

Studies in spinelessness, part II: Kamal also looked at the Cyber Crimes Act, currently with parliament’s ICT Committee, which would grant the government the right to block websites. The committee’s head Nidal Al Saeed called in to defend the bill, saying that it lays down the rights and duties of the service provider and the end use and ensures that websites that disseminate hatred and misleading news would be closed (watch, runtime: 11:29). We have more on the bill in the Speed Round.

The talking heads are frantically raising the buggles and calling for high turnout at the polls. Masaa DMC’s Kamal recited President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s achievements over the past four years (watch, runtime: 7:32). Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin said that the turnout would reflect how Egyptians feel about the economic reforms, and they should come out in droves. He notes National Election Commision figures that over 59 mn people would be eligible to vote (watch, runtime: 5:22). Hona Al Asema’s Lamees acknowledged that there is no real competition in the elections and the results are a foregone conclusion (watch, runtime: 26:14).


SMART PEOPLE WANTED. We’re hiring at both Enterprise and at our parent company, Inktank. We’re looking for critical thinkers who have outstanding English-language writing skills. Don’t apply if you are not (at an absolute minimum) unafraid of numbers. Among the many posts we have open right now:

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Creative director at Inktank, with additional duties to Enterprise, where you’ll lead the development of outstanding, visually compelling investor communications, ATL and BTL material for some of the most challenging clients in Egypt and the wider region.

We’re also in the market for IR analysts and associates, senior developers, and art directors.

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Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Is Renault looking to open an assembly line in Egypt? A delegation from French multinational Groupe Renault is in Egypt to meet with its local distributor, Egyptian International Motors (EIM), to explore the possibility of assembling cars in Egypt, Al Mal reports.

Car importers trying to adapt to the coming of the Automotive Directive? Sources at EIM tell the newspaper the move, which is still being studied by Renault, comes as EIM plans to transform from being a pure importer to a local assembler — a sign that the company sees the writing on the wall with the coming of the Automotive Directive this year. The news comes as Kia Motors and its local distributor signed contracts for a EGP 4.2 bn assembly facility on Monday.

And there are now 292 days left until existing auto assembly plants shut down on 1 January 2019 when customs on European Union assembled cars fall to zero. The protections for domestic industry proposed by the automotive directive could position Egypt to emerge as the region’s assembly and export hub. Failing to pass it would be an effective acknowledgement that we care more about German jobs and businesses than we do about companies and workers in Egypt. As we said yesterday: This is a debate worth having, and one on which the government should lead.

Meanwhile, Egypt was ranked the world’s 39th largest auto producer for a second year in a row in the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers’ 2017 global production statistics report. Overall output grew 1.13% y-o-y, with the increase largely attributed to a bump in heavy truck output to 26,670 from 25,300 in 2016. Passenger car production to fell 9,970 vehicles from 10,930.

Egypt’s non-oil industrial output jumped 47.6% y-o-y in 2Q2017 to EGP 135.5 bn, up from EGP 91.8 bn in 2Q2016, according to a CAPMAS release. Food products accounted for 24.6% of overall output, while steel production accounted for 15.9%.

First solar facility in USD 2.8 bn Benban park is inaugurated: Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker inaugurated yesterday Infinity Solar and Ib Vogt GmbH’s 50 MW solar power plant in Benban, Aswan, Ahram Gate reports. The inauguration of the plant, which began feeding the national grid in December, makes Infinity and Ib Vogt the first to complete a solar power plant under the feed-in tariff program — and marks the beginning of the largest solar power park in the Middle East. The plant features solar panels and sun trackers “that allow the panels to move toward the solar position throughout the day,” Ib Vogt project manager Amine El Edghiri tells Bloomberg. Upon completion next year, the USD 2.8 bn Benban park is expected to generate around 1.8 GW of solar power.

Who would have thought this was possible during the imbroglio that was the first phase of the feed-in tariff debate? As a business community, we are too often so focused on future opportunities and daily friction that we fail to celebrate victories. Benban was an audacious idea on the drawing board a few short years ago, and pundits whined at the time that Egypt would never get its act together to harness the power of the sun. Today, it is starting to come online thanks to the leadership of the private sector and a boatload of de-risking by development finance institutions and international lenders. This is worth an extra cup of celebratory (perhaps, even, fortified?) coffee this morning.

Should you hold your breath? Russian airline Aeroflot said in a statement yesterday it will resume flights from Moscow to Cairo on 11 April. The airline will run three flights a week, which will then increase to daily flights from 12 June to 2 July to accommodate the World Cup. Ticket sales began yesterday. “A significant increase in security measures was required to reinstate flights between the two countries. This requirement has been met on the Egyptian side,” the company noted. Sources had told Sputnik on Monday that Cairo International Airport authorities had acquiesced to Russian demands that Russian security personnel be present. Aeroflot’s dates widely differ from those by EgyptAir and Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport which said flights would begin in March.

Spanish hotels plan to cut prices to keep tourists from returning to Egypt: Hotels in Spain’s Mallorca and Ibiza are planning to slash their prices this summer to remain an attractive holiday destination for Brits and Germans, which are “being lured away by Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey,” according to The Sun. “Worries about safety in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey over the last four years meant the Balearics didn’t have to rely on offers for the summer months of June, July and August.” Summer bookings to Turkey and Tunisia are up nearly 100% y-o-y, while Egypt’s bookings are up 61%.

The three countries are also becoming popular destinations among Dutch tourists once again, despite Dutch travel warnings against Tunisia and Egypt, according to NLTimes.

Egypt’s private sector needs to create at least 700k jobs every year if the country is to meet the needs of its “rapidly growing and young population and improve living standards,” the IMF’s Egypt Mission Chief, Subir Lall, said yesterday. “Job creation at this scale has to be led by the private sector, and in particular it is new companies and small and medium enterprises that have been successful in creating jobs on this scale across both advanced and emerging and developing economies,” he told the media delegation accompanying AmCham on its Doorknock mission to Washington, DC. While it’s no easy feat, Lall said that the “experience of countries over the past several decades has shown that this is achievable with a sustained reform effort.”

Fostering entrepreneurship is key to progress. Egypt has already come a long way since the government began taking measures almost two years ago to correct “past macroeconomic imbalances” and the economy now stands “on a sound foundation which can be built upon to broaden the scope of reforms,” Lall said. He stressed the importance of pressing ahead with reforms that are carefully crafted to create the sort of environment that can sustain small enterprises and help them grow into larger ventures, which would drive job creation and ultimately help improve living standards.

The 700k jobs figure Lall quotes is probably low: The riskiest legacy of the Arab Spring may be the “baby boom” that ensued in Egypt, Mark Champion and Tarek El Tablawy write in a remarkably on point piece for Bloomberg. “Higher birth rates may prove the most lasting of many unforeseen consequences of Egypt’s Arab Spring … The country added about 11 mn people—the population of Greece—in a span of just seven years, as fertility surged to 3.5 children per woman rather than continuing its gradual decline to the government’s target of 2.1.” The recent baby boom guarantees rising numbers of job seekers for at least a generation to come, they write. Deputy Health Minister Tarek Tawfik says the increased birth rate is “scary,” noting that there were 10.3 mn Egyptians under the age of four in 2016, up from 8.8 mn in 2008.

The issue began before the revolution in 2011, Tawfik says. He attributes the trigger for a the rise in birth rates to 2005, when USAID began winding down generous funding for family planning programs in Egypt. “The decades-long decline in the fertility rate stalled at a low of 3.0 children per woman, in 2008,” Champion and El Tablawy note. They say that Egypt now “risks moving further into the category of youth-heavy nations that are less likely to democratize and more prone to authoritarian rule and political violence,” citing research on the topic.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The House of Representatives’ Economics Committee has completed its review of the Leasing Act and plans to bring it to a plenary discussion following the presidential elections this month, Al Mal reports. The legislation, which sets up a regulatory framework for factoring and leasing, had been amended by the Financial Regulatory Authority as part of its drive to improve access to finance for small businesses. Key features of the law, the most recent draft of which was published by the newspaper, include:

  • Allowing SME financing companies and finance-focused NGOs to offer leasing services to small and medium enterprises;
  • Setting a minimum capital requirement for factoring and leasing companies of EGP 10 mn;
  • Sanctioning operating leasing services, which allows for the temporary leasing of assets without transfer of ownership rights;
  • Leasing contracts must be registered with the Financial Regulatory Authority.

Meanwhile, Parliament’s Housing Committee has agreed to set the fee for building owners and developers to settle building code violations at 10% of the property’s market price, Al Mal reports. The fee is proposed in a draft law that would specifically focus on settling building code violations. The law would have a temporary mandate of around three months, Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly said previously. Certain conditions need to be met before a settlement can be reached, including meeting building safety regulations. It not clear why the committee had decided to look into the act, after it had previously voted not to pass it until the Unified Building Codes had been enacted, saying the two pieces of legislation are closely linked. The reconciliation drive is expected to earn state coffers c. EGP 72 bn from around 1.8 mn buildings that are in violation of existing codes.

In other legislative news, the House ICT Committee approved yesterday a clause of the Cyber Crimes Act regulating website bans, Ahram Gate reports. The clause grants the Prosecutor General the authority to ban websites that publish any content deemed criminal or posing a threat to the country’s national and economic security. The committee also approved setting fines of up to EGP 200k for cyber crimes after the contentious debate, according to Al Mal. The committee decided to postpone its final vote on other clauses requiring service providers to cooperate with security entities to combat cyber crimes, Al Shorouk reports.

Kuwait earmarks EGP 5 bn to Sinai development projects: Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed yesterday five agreements worth a combined EGP 5 bn (KWD 86.1 mn) with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to support development projects in Sinai, according to a ministry statement. The loans include funding for a tunnel in Sharm El Sheikh, road infrastructure in the governorate, and an allocation to help finance new locomotives for Egyptian National Railways. KFAED is also providing a grant to support Egypt’s economic reform program and a separate grant to fund feasibility studies on palm tree cultivation and date cultivation.

Egypt’s Dolphinus Holding’s USD 15 bn agreement to import gas from Israel could have unlocked the East Mediterranean gas field for oil and gas majors who have long eyed the fields, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). “ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and others are planning to invest in exports and exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Their prospects were buoyed by a landmark contract last month between U.S., Israeli and Egyptian firms that breathed new life into the regional market.” Eni, which discovered Zohr, is trying to get in on Lebanon, while ExxonMobil is looking to be the latest entrant. As we noted on Monday, Shell is reportedly nearing a USD 25 bn agreement to bring gas from Israel and Cyprus to its liquefaction plants in Egypt. This comes despite political hurdles that have traditionally kept these companies away from the region, with Turkey’s harassment of Cyprus and Lebanon-Israel disputes over areas being the latest of these. The piece somehow draws the connection between these discoveries and US diplomatic efforts to help bring regional powers, especially Israel and Egypt, together.

Meanwhile, debate continues in the industry on how to price natural gas. Exporters favor pegging prices to crude oil, while buyers are opting for different formulas used by the US and Australia, which are emerging as top exporters, Bloomberg reports. Prices have to be linked to crude oil to keep expected revenue predictable, with some USD 8 tn of investment in gas infrastructure needed by 2040, according to Yury Sentyurin, the new head of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, an industry group representing gas sellers. “Consumers should understand the peculiarities which producers face. Security of investment and supply can only be on the basis of long-term contracts closely connected to oil prices so we could plan further investments into crucial infrastructure,” he added.

Elsewedy Electric signed yesterday an EPC contract worth EGP 1.23 bn to construct a 500 KV substation in the new administrative capital, according to a statement to the EGX (pdf). The substation will be delivered by December 2018 on a turnkey basis. Yesterday’s agreement comes one day after a subsidiary of Elsewedy signed a separate EGP 2.12 bn contract with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company for the Borg El Arab-Marsa Matrouh power transmission lines.

Egypt was ranked as the 42nd best country in the world in US News and World report’s 2018 ranking of 80 nations. Egypt’s rank was largely dependant on its economic improvement rather than its social and political standing in the report. It’s best overall score was in the “Movers” category, which measures economic growth, ranking 7th worldwide. Yet, somehow, its “Open for Business” ranking was 73rd globally, with the country getting low scores for government transparency and tax practices. Egypt ranked 56th globally on the “Entrepreneurship” front. The report was created in partnership with global marketing communications company Y&R’s brand strategy firm, BAV Group, and the Wharton School. Its survey asked more than 21,000 people from four regions to associate 80 countries with specific characteristics.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survived a roadside bomb attack seen as “an apparent assassination attempt” in Gaza yesterday, Bloomberg reports. Fatah immediately blamed rival faction Hamas for the attack, prompting Hamas to issue a statement denying involvement.


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Image of the Day

An Egyptian barber is offering his customers images of sports and entertainment idols on the backs of their heads, Reuters reports. Self-taught Walid Makram uses chalk to draw faces of celebrities on the hair before cutting it.

Egypt in the News

It’s another morning of slim pickings in the foreign press, with no single issue dominating the conversation on Egypt.

Security forces are still struggling to contain the insurgency in Sinai despite “widespread public support,” Reuters says. The newswire points to last December’s attempted attack against Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar and Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi as “a reminder that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, expected to easily win re-election this month, is still engaged in a major military campaign to deliver the security he has promised to Egyptians.” Nevertheless, El Sisi’s supporters argue that the security situation is currently better than it was in the immediate wake of the 2011 revolution.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s pet project, NEOM, is seen by Egypt as “a new space for more cooperation, for creating more Egyptian employment,” Ben Gurion University Egypt specialist Yoram Meital tells JPost. Brandon Friedman says the project aims to “create a more integrated relationship among Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia” but that “some of the sectors planned for the mega-project coincide with areas of Israeli expertise: energy and water, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and technological and digital sciences.” There is potentially a role for Israeli economic integration too, Friedman suggests, “depending on how the project evolves and how Saudi relations with Israel evolve.”

Watch the World Cup on an Israeli channel with Arabic commentary: Israel’s Broadcasting Authority has obtained the rights to broadcast the 2018 World Cup with Arabic-speaking commentators, Telecompaper reports. The matches will be available to viewers in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, West Bank free of charge on the Israeli channel over satellite. The news comes as Egypt has announced its full schedule for World Cup warmup matches, which will include friendlies with Belgium, Colombia, Kuwait, Portugal, and Greece, the Associated Press reports.

Egypt could be having its own #MeToo moment, Mona Eltahawy writes for the New York Times. Eltahawy cites a couple of high-profile cases in which men accused of [redacted] misconduct were forced to step down as well as the case, caught on video, of a woman who fought back against a man who groped her in the street.

Also worth noting in brief:

  • Rat out the press: “Egyptian authorities have published a list of telephone numbers for citizens to use to bring attention to any media reports they perceive as undermining the country’s security or hurting public interest,” the Associated Press reports.
  • No Sinai land swap: The idea of a land swap in Sinai as part of a regional peace plan “is not an acceptable one for the Egyptian leadership,” Professor Tarek Fahmy tells the Washington Times.
  • There are growing calls in Egypt to dissolve Islamist parties over alleged links to terrorism, Ramadan Al Sherbini writes for Gulf News.
  • Coptic community divided on US protection bill? A US bill calling on Egypt to ensure equal rights and safety for Coptic Christians has prompted “deep disagreement” among Egyptian Copts residing in the US, according to MEMRI.
  • Female artists being targeted? Artistic freedom advocate Freemuse expresses concern over the increasing number of women artists being imprisoned and prosecuted in Egypt.
  • Bahraini journalist Sawsan Al Shaer says she can’t find a reason for why some people are upset by Saudi-Egyptian rapprochement in a piece for Al Arabiya.
  • Egyptian-Austrian knife attacker in Vienna had radical Islamist sympathies, Austria’s Interior Ministry has announced, according to Reuters.
  • 80-year-old Egyptian bodybuilder Sobhi Mohammed “amazes younger gym mates,” Global Times reports.

On Deadline

The nation’s columnists don’t think the government should launch its own Facebook-like social media network. Ahram Gate’s Amina Khairy says it could mean trouble for Egypt, while Al Masry Al Youm’s Abdel Nasser Salama argues that it would bring Egypt back to a “police state” climate. El Watan’s Mahmoud Khalil agrees, arguing that the whole purpose of the proposed network is to monitor and restrain the freedom of Egyptian users.

Worth Reading

Religious fundamentalism is a result of a functional impairment in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, a study published in the journal Neuropsychologia has found, Raw Story reports. According to the findings, damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness, which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.

Worth Watching

Want to teach your kid environmentalism, diving, self reliance and keep them quiet all at once? A father and son team have come up with the coolest science project ever: an underwater farm they named Nemo’s Garden off the coast of Noli, Italy. The pair set up the project back in 2013 after their crops were suffering from changing climate patterns, according to Business Insider. The farm uses the near constant temperature of the sea to create an underwater greenhouse. Nemo’s Garden is connected to a control tower on the shore that monitors each biosphere and provides power.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are scheduled to hold a trilateral meeting over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on 4-5 April, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The meeting will bring together the three countries’ irrigation and foreign ministers and intelligence chiefs. Egypt had agreed last month to postpone the meeting, which had been set for 24-25 February, after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s sudden resignation. Talks over the dam had reached a stalemate after Ethiopia and Sudan both refused to acknowledge the results of environmental impact studies showing the dam would severely cut into Egypt’s Nile water supply. The three then agreed in January to reach a solution on the issue within one month.

Elsewhere on the Africa re-engagement tour: Egypt is seeking Kenya’s support for the chairmanship of the African Union after Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame’s term expires next year, Kenya’s KBC reports. The message was delivered to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who is on an official visit.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met yesterday with Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Al Mulki to discuss bilateral cooperation and efforts to reconstruct Iraq, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Al Mulki also sat down with Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi to talk regional security issues and security cooperation between Egypt and Jordan, an Armed Forces statement says.

Egypt and Jordan will set up a joint consultative council bringing together investors from various sectors, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Jordanian Industry, Trade and Supply Minister Yarub Qudah said following their meeting yesterday, Al Mal reports. The ministers also agreed to hold an investment forum in Jordan in the near future. Qudah also met with Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil to discuss establishing a joint logistics center to support Iraqi reconstruction projects, according to a ministry statement.


Nooros field’s 13th well comes online, adding 90 mcf/d of production

The 13th well of the Nooros gas field has come online, bringing an additional 90 mcf/d to the national grid. This would bring the field’s total production to 1.15 bcf/d, according to a report by Eni and EGPC JV Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel), Al Masry Al Youm reports. The field’s 14th well is underway, which is expected to raise total production capacity to 1.2 bcf/d.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Cotton exports contracts see 58% increase this season

Contracts for cotton exports have seen a 58% y-o-y increase to 49.2k tonnes from 31k tonnes this season, Cotton Exporters Association chief Nabil El Santrissi tells Al Borsa.

Health + Education

Vacsera to establish USD 16 bn syringes factory with Abu Dhabi Medical Devices

A subsidiary of state-owned vaccine manufacturer Vacsera has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Medical Devices Company and Maadi Company for Engineering Industries to establish a USD 16 bn disposable syringes factory, Al Borsa reports. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 18-24 months and the factory is expected to produce 100 mn syringes per annum, Health Minister Ahmed Rady says.

Real Estate + Housing

TMG Holding invests EGP 35 bn in new capital project

Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) Holding has invested EGP 35 bn in its 500 feddan project in the new administrative capital, the company said in a statement to the EGX (pdf). TMG’s subsidiary, the Arab Company for Projects and Urban Development, had purchased the land for EGP 4.4 bn in April 2017. Separately, TMG has completed the designs for its EGP 6 bn Four Seasons hotel in Madinaty New Cairo and expects to break ground on the project within three months.


Hilton signs management contract for El Gouna’s Mangroovy resort

Hilton has signed a contract with Mangroovy for Real Estate & Tourism Investment to manage a new hotel in El Gouna’s Mangroovy resort, according to an emailed statement (pdf). Construction of the 179-room hotel — DoubleTree by Hilton Mangroovy — will begin later this year. Hilton Worldwide has plans to add 1,000 hotel rooms in Egypt throughout the year and targets expanding in the country with seven new hotels by 2021.

National Security

Egyptian, French navies launch joint exercise in Red Sea

Egypt and France are conducting a joint naval drill in the Red Sea, according to an Egyptian navy statement. The drill involves Egyptian and French Mistral helicopter carriers, frigates and missile corvettes. This comes less than three weeks after the two countries concluded the Cleopatra 2018 joint naval exercise in the Red Sea.

On Your Way Out

Urbantech hub KMT House opened its doors in Maadi, Cairo, Disrupt Africa reports. KMT House is a coworking space dedicated solely to urbantech in Africa and the Middle East, described as a “hub for innovators who experiment with everything from technology and mapping to urban data and culture. It aims to inspire a new generation of city makers to make more liveable, smarter cities.”

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.56 | Sell 17.66
Buy 17.54 | Sell 17.64
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.55 | Sell 17.65

EGX30 (Tuesday): 16,989 (+1.5%)
Turnover: EGP 2.5 bn (116% ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +13.1%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session up 1.5%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Elsewedy Electric up 9.3%, Orascom Construction up 3.8%, and Abu Qir Fertilizers up 3.5%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks Emaar Misr down 3.3%, Egyptian Aluminum down 2.3%, and Ezz Steel 1.4%. The market turnover was EGP 2.5 bn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +59.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -33.3 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -26.6 mn

Retail: 51.8% of total trades | 51.2% of buyers | 52.3% of sellers
Institutions: 48.2% of total trades | 48.8% of buyers | 47.7% of sellers

Foreign: 27.0% of total | 28.2% of buyers | 25.9% of sellers
Regional: 12.8% of total | 12.1% of buyers | 13.4% of sellers
Domestic: 60.2% of total | 59.7% of buyers | 60.7% of sellers

WTI: USD 60.88 (+0.28%)
Brent: USD 64.64 (-0.48%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.79 MMBtu, (+0.07%, April 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,326.80 / troy ounce (-0.02%)

TASI: 7,778.05 (-0.04%) (YTD: +7.64%)
ADX: 4,537.65 (+0.08%) (YTD: +3.16%)
DFM: 3,166.43 (+0.03%) (YTD: -6.04%)
KSE Weighted Index: 409.76 (+0.06%) (YTD: +2.08%)
QE: 8,801.75 (+1.60%) (YTD: +3.27%)
MSM: 4,899.79 (+0.50%) (YTD: -3.91%)
BB: 1,361.10 (+0.58%) (YTD: +2.21%)

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12-16 March (Monday-Friday): AmCham’s 40th Doorknock mission, Washington D.C., USA.

23 March (Friday): Orchestra In Art gala concert “The Three Egyptian Tenors,” Arts-Mart Gallery, 9:00pm.

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.

11 April (Wednesday): The Game Sports Industry Conference, Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cairo.

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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