Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Purchasing managers’ index drops unexpectedly in March


What We’re Tracking Today

US stocks stabilized yesterday after a day of heavy selling on Monday led by a slump in tech stocks that had also hit Europe and Asia. Nasdaq was 1% higher at market closing time yesterday, “while the broader S&P 500 ended up 1.3%,” which is just above its 200-day moving average, says the Financial Times. “The downwards pressure had lingered in Europe earlier in the day, where the Stoxx index tracking the tech sector closed down by 0.8%, although that was off its widest losses for the session. Its declines remained broad, with only four of its 27 constituents making gains.” Analysts expect fear of an imminent trade war between the US and China to continue affecting global market activity.

Asian markets are mixed this morning. Shares in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong are largely in the red, while Shanghai and Shenzhen are in positive territory.

That trade war? Chances are, it just got real: The Trump administration last night imposed “25 percent tariffs on some 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products to try to force changes in Beijing’s intellectual property practices,” Reuters reports. The list includes USD 50 bn-worth of imports “and represents the most aggressive US trade response to China’s actions since President Richard Nixon normalized diplomatic relations in the 1970s,” the Financial Times says.

The roadshow for Egypt’s upcoming eurobond issuance kicks-off today. The government has hired Banca IMI, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank to act as joint bookrunners for the EUR 1-1.5 bn issuance that is reportedly set to take place in three-weeks’ time on the Luxembourg stock exchange. “Subject to market conditions, the country will proceed with the planned debt sale after the meetings, offering notes with maturities of eight and/or 12 years,” according to a document acquired by Reuters. Sources had said last week that the eurobonds would have tenures of seven, 12, 15, and 30 years, and that officials would make a final decision on whether to take the offering north of EUR 2 bn based on feedback from investor meetings. Zaki Hashem & Partners and Linklater are legal advisors to the investment banks, while Al Tamimi & Co. and Dechert were chosen as legal advisors to the government for the transaction, which will be Egypt’s first-ever EUR-denominated bond sale. The government concluded a USD 4 bn eurobond sale in February.

An IMF delegation is in town to review Egypt’s tax laws and follow up on efforts to reform them, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. The House of Representatives is expected to discuss amendments to the Income Tax Code that would push the deadline for submitting supplementary documentation to tax returns in a plenary session this month, once it reconvenes after Easter break. El Garhy hinted that more amendments to the rules and administration of taxes are on their way.

With the EGX having outperformed regional stock markets this year, there’s an expectation that the rally is set to continue following the elections. The crux of the issue is whether the government will continue with the reform agenda. Naeem Holding Director of Research Allen Sandeep believes that the government will press forth with the reform agenda and so too shall the Egypt rally. He also tells Bloomberg TV that continuing with the reform agenda will help keep FX reserves at an upward trajectory, even if that is at a slower pace (watch, runtime: 3:17).

Did Saudi just recognize Israel? Israelis “have the right to have their own land” alongside the Palestinians, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview with the Atlantic. When asked if Iran was pushing Israel and Saudi closer together, he said: “Of course there are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan.” The statement marks the first public acknowledgement of the existence of Israel by a Saudi official ever. It may be one of the few statements by regional to publically attest to an inherent right for Israel to exist and not just a reality, said former US peace negotiator Dennis Ross. MbS’ statement comes as he is on a grand schmoozing tour of the US to encourage investors and improve Saudi’s image abroad.

The EGX will close on Sunday and Monday next week for a four-day weekend in observance of Easter and Sham El Nessim. Expect banks to be closed, too. We hope you’re looking forward to a four-day weekend as much as we are. Enterprise will be off next Sunday and Monday in observance of the holidays.

On The Horizon

The Game Sports Industry Conference— Egypt’s first-ever platform dedicated to the sports industry — kicks off in Cairo on Wednesday 11 April.

An Egyptian-Portuguese Business Forum is set to take place in the first half of this month, Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil announced, following up on a round of talks held this past October.

French President Emmanuel Macron will reportedly visit Egypt in early May for talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on bilateral relations and regional issues, according to Foreign Ministry sources.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The talking heads seem to have forgotten how to discuss anything other than the presidential election, as is evidenced by the lack of any other noteworthy topics on last night’s talk shows.

MPs see the likelihood of a cabinet shuffle increasing by the day. Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi said there are expectations that 9-10 ministers will get the boot (watch, runtime: 1:26). House spokesman Salah Hasaballah told Lamees that several ministers (who he refused to name) have proven themselves unqualified to retain their positions.

One name Hasaballah had no problem calling out is Local Development Minister Abu Bakr El Gendy, who is currently in hot water after an exchange of words with an MP earlier this week (watch, runtime: 4:45). Deputy speaker Soliman Wahdan echoed Hasaballah, saying that at least four cabinet positions should see a shakeup and that El Gendy should be the first to go (watch, runtime: 6:25).

Speaking of flaps that have been blown out of proportion, Al Masry Al Youm has issued a formal apology for publishing a story insinuating that the state bought votes in the election, Press Syndicate head Abdel Mohsen Salama told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin. The syndicate is also working to mediate a resolution between the daily newspaper and the Supreme Media Council to reduce or altogether cancel the EGP 150,000 fine slapped on AMAY. Separately, Salama said that the syndicate plans to set up a EGP 20 mn training center for journalists (watch, runtime: 37:50).

The next four years under President Abdel Fattah El Sisi should see the government focus on industrial development, which is the key to creating job openings and high levels of economic growth, Holding Company for Spinning and Weaving head Ahmed Mostafa said on Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 4:09). Free Egyptians Party head Essam Khalil, meanwhile, said he hopes to see more effort exerted to develop the available labor force (watch, runtime: 6:11).

State banks have sold around EGP 520 mn-worth of the “Secure” CDs that are issued to workers to serve as life insurance policies, Labor Minister Mohamed Saafan told Amin on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch full interview on: 43:10).

On a separate note, a theatrical troupe remains in military detention over their involvement in a play seen as insulting the Armed Forces, Lamees Al Hadidi noted (watch, runtime: 5:00). The play, entitled Soliman Khater, is about a police conscript who killed seven Israeli tourists in 1985. Writer Fatma Naoot told Lamees that the Censorship Authority did not review the play before its performance and that writers and intellectuals are demanding the troupe’s release (watch, runtime: 2:32).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Egypt’s headline purchasing managers’ index reading dipped to 49.2 in March from 49.7 a month earlier, according to the monthly report compiled by Markit. The drop was driven by downward movements in sub-components such as new orders and employment, with sentiment dipping to an eight-month low as well. The upside is that the data signaled easing inflationary pressures across the non-oil private sector as both input prices and output charges increasing at softer rates. Input costs, in particular, also dropped to a 30-month low. New export orders were up for the third month running as well, with demand from Middle Eastern countries picking up. Improvement in the Egyptian economy is still expected to be felt this year, Emirates NBD MENA Economist Daniel Richards says. Richards notes that “the latest PMI data implies that [the improvement] is taking longer than the authorities might have hoped. Nevertheless, the index has consistently threatened to turn expansionary over recent readings, which is a vast improvement on the months just prior to the economic reforms.”

IPO WATCH- CI Capital expects to raise USD 100 mn through its anticipated IPO: CI Capital is expecting to raise c. USD 100 mn (EGP 1.8 bn) from its IPO, which is scheduled to take place in 2Q2018, sources close to the matter tell Al Mal. The company had previously said that it intends to re-inject up to EGP 1.0 bn in proceeds from the transaction into the firm through a follow-on capital increase, suggesting some shareholders are cashing out as much as EGP 800 mn. CI Capital had announced last month its intention to sell 246.9 mn ordinary shares, or 43.6% of the company, on the EGX. The company is looking at allocating 10% of the shares to a retail offering and the remaining 90% to a private placement offering, the sources say.

Advisors: Jefferies International Limited and CI Capital Investment Banking are acting as joint global coordinators and bookrunners on the IPO. Norton Rose Fulbright was tapped as international counsel to the issuer, while White & Case is the underwriters’ counsel. Matouk Bassiouny will serve as local counsel and HC Brokerage and Pharos Securities Brokerage are acting as placements agents.

Saudi Arabia has lifted its ban on Egyptian guava imports, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) announced yesterday. That said, shipments will be limited to SFDA-approved exporters in Egypt. The decision comes after Egyptian authorities complied with Saudi food safety regulations concerning exported goods, according to the statement. Saudi Arabia had banned imports of Egyptian strawberries, Guava, and peppers over concerns of residual pesticides, prompting several other GCC countries to follow suit. The Agriculture Ministry has since moved to impose stricter regulations on agricultural exports to the GCC. Lifting of the ban on strawberry and pepper exports is expected to take place in November.

M&A WATCH- Veon withdraws EGP 15 bn bid for Global Telecom: Amsterdam-based Veon Holdings withdrew a mandatory offer to purchase the 42.3% of Global Telecom Holding (GTH) that it doesn’t already own, according to regulatory filing from GTH (pdf). Veon, which owns 57.7% of GTH, said it withdrew the offer and had no intention to make another after apparently failing to receive approval for the transaction from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), the statement added. Veon had offered to buy the nearly 2 bn shares at EGP 7.90 per share back in November, pricing the transaction at nearly EGP 15.5 bn. GTH shares fell 14.7% yesterday, dragging the EGX30 to close down 1.1%.

TE says it is still seeking an EGP 13 bn facility. Telecom Egypt (TE) denied reports that a syndicate of banks including the National Bank of Egypt, CIB, QNB Al Ahli Bank, Banque Misr, and Credit Agricole have pulled the plug on an EGP 13 bn facility it signed last July with NBE, Reuters’ Arabic service reports. “Procedures for the loan are going well and in normal course,” TE said in response to the newswire’s report earlier in the day.

What’s the background? Sources in the banking industry had told Reuters that the loan had been effectively “suspended” after the Central Bank of Egypt asked the lending banks to “re-do the credit assessment in light of the company’s new budget and performance outlook after it received the license to operate 4G services.” The CBE also raised flags about TE’s cash flows, the story suggests. TE signed the loan agreement with the National Bank of Egypt back in July in bid to upgrade its infrastructure and mobile internet services since launching its own mobile network.

MOVES- Vodafone Egypt’s CFO has crossed the street to Orange. Marwa El Ayouti (LinkedIn) has joined Orange Egypt as chief financial officer, according to a company release (pdf). El Ayouti had served with Vodafone Egypt since 2000, rising to become CFO, a post she held for nearly seven years. She also served as Vodafone Group’s Financial Controller for Asia, Pacific and Middle East for a two-year stint. Forbes Middle East named El Ayouti as one of the top 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen in 2017.

LEGISLATION WATCH- New Railway Act now in effect: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed into law yesterday amendments to the Railway Act that would allow private sector participation in developing, managing, and operating railway projects, Youm7 reports. The House of Representatives had signed off on the act early last month. The Transport Ministry is reportedly already moving to decide which railway assets it will tender to private sector management and plans to establish companies for each railway line that will be run by private players, sources had said.

Also yesterday, El Sisi ratified penal code amendments that set the death penalty as punishment for use of explosives in terror attacks, according to the state-run MENA. Both laws were published in the Official Gazette.

In other legislative news, the House’s Planning and Budgeting Committee began yesterday its discussion of the Unified Planning Act, according to Al Mal . The bill would set a framework for the state to regulate the planning and execution of national projects based on their merit, costs, and sources of funding. The draft law is meant to lay the groundwork for the decentralization of local administration and means to complement the Local Administration Act, said Planning Minister Hala El Said, who sat in on yesterday’s session.

The government has compiled a list of 100 Egyptian companies it will qualify to work on the USD 30 bn Dabaa nuclear power plant as subcontractors to Rosatom, according to government sources. The nominees cover a range of jobs, including electricity, construction, and consultancy. All of the usual private- and public-sector suspects are name-checked in the story. Egyptian companies are expected to take on 20% of the construction work (USD 4 bn-worth). The Electricity Ministry had prepared in February a list of 10 contractors to recommend for work on the plant. Construction work is expected to begin in 2020, but is contingent on Rosatom receiving the necessary regulatory approval.

** 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:

Senior investor relations advisors at Inktank, who will advise and personally create products for public and pre-IPO companies in Egypt and the GCC, ranging from board reports to earnings releases, strategy documents and disclosure programs. Background in investment banking, journalism or a law a significant plus, as is the ability to read (but not necessarily write) Arabic.

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

Enterprise is looking for editors to help launch new products. You have at least five years of experience in journalism and a minimum of two of those should have been spent in an editor’s slot. Strong knowledge of Egypt and / or the GCC, a demonstrated interest in business / finance and a desire to both lead a team and personally create product are musts. Video, audio or investigative journalism experience big pluses.

Enterprise is also looking for a seasoned reporter to join our team and lead the creation of unique editorial work of interest to our readers. You’re motivated, have a demonstrated interest in business and finance, a way with people and outstanding editorial judgment. You’ll be expected to pitch stories and take assignments, develop leads into full-blown stories, and should be fluently bilingual. Audio and video skills are a plus.

What’s Inktank? We are the leading investor relations and financial communications firm in Africa and the Middle East. Our 30-plus person team of former investment bankers, commercial bankers, journalists, lawyers, developers and designers serve publicly traded and pre-IPO clients on the Egyptian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, among other markets. We provide strategic counsel on investor and communications strategies to CEOs and c-suite officers, help CIOs and investor relations professionals make their business cases, ensure management gets its message across to both boards of directors and shareholders, and raise both corporate and executive visibility in local and global markets.

What’s Enterprise? Our team of professionals has written more than 10 mn words of analysis on Egypt since we first start publishing in September 2014, covering our nation’s financial, economic and business news. Before 6:30am CLT every weekday, key decision makers including senior government officials, investment and commercial bankers, c-suite executives, business owners, fund managers and the teams they lead trust us for actionable business intelligence about the community in which they work. Our goal is simple: In a world awash in ambiguity, we deliver insight into trend lines, not headlines, providing facts and context about their industries, their country and the global context in which they operate.

WANT TO APPLY? Send a cover letter in the body of your email and attach a recent CV and any other material you want share. Drop your email to — we promise you that a real, live human being checks that account at least once a day.


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.

Image of the Day

A 3,000-year-old drawing found in North Sinai may change what the world knows about the history of Judaism, Haaretz reports. The possible depiction of King Yoash of the kingdom of Judah was unearthed at the Kuntillet Ajrud archaeological site near the Israeli border and could be “the only contemporary visual description we have of a king from biblical times,” writes Nir Hasson. The controversial picture shows a crowned couple holding hands with the blessing "Yahweh and his Asherah" written above them. “Could the couple on the pithos be a rendering of God and his wife Asherah, the only one ever found?”

Egypt in the News

The presidential election is still getting significant attention from the international press, with particular attention given to “the surprise runner up — the invalid votes.” The Washington Post says the unusually large number of invalid ballots suggests “a possible protest vote against El Sisi or the election itself.”

The beat-down continues: In another article, the newspaper says El Sisi’s landslide victory “deepened his grip” on Egypt, “making him arguably the country’s most autocratic leader since it became a republic in 1953.” The Washington Institute also says that “the president now has all the time he needs to continue restocking the political system with handpicked youths while snuffing out the opposition for good.”

Egypt is coming out on top in the regional scramble for effective control of East Med gas: Egypt, Israel, and Cyprus’ recent gas findings and agreements have played out in Egypt’s favor and left Turkey out in the cold, Deutsche Welle says. Tension between Turkey and its neighbors in the region have made “the option of an Egyptian gas hub increasingly appealing,” especially with Egypt holding cards like the Zohr gas field, existing LNG liquefaction terminals, and a USD 15 bn gas import agreement with Israel in its hands. With Cyprus, Israel, and Greece also moving along with plans to construct a gas pipeline to Europe, a network of agreements appears to be solidifying “already existing relationships” between the four countries and further isolating Ankara.

Other stories worth noting this morning:

  • Bahrain’s debt default risk is higher than Egypt and Argentina’s, signaling that while the country’s new major oil discovery maybe its largest ever, it is likely not enough to spur a reversal in its “financial fortunes,” according to Bloomberg.
  • “Practicing journalism can be hazardous to your health” in countries such as Egypt, India, China, Russia, and Iran, Jason Rezaian writes for the Washington Post.
  • A Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan is an “unforgettable experience” that worth a steep price tag of more than USD 8k per person, Francis Tapon writes for Forbes.
  • British citizen Laura Plummer has been cleared of smuggling illegal meds into Egypt but is still guilty of their possession, The Sun reports.

On Deadline

Egypt has not succeeded at encouraging its citizens to invest their funds and talent at home, Abdel Nasser Salama says in a column penned for Al Masry Al Youm. Instead, the country has witnessed significant brain drain and a propensity among business figures to take their funds elsewhere, where policies are more encouraging.

Worth Reading

African economies are “lagging behind” in the renewable energy domain due largely to a lack funding needed for infrastructure development, Steve Johnson writes for the Financial Times (paywall). Emerging markets as a whole are still miles behind the developed world where green energy is concerned, but Africa in particular suffers from a specific problem: “Even if energy companies are able to enter into long-term agreements with utility companies to supply renewable power, there can still be uncertainty as to whether the latter will ultimately be able to afford to pay the agreed tariffs throughout the life of the contract,” according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Heymi Bahar.

Africa could become the world’s top producer of wind and solar power by 2040: Although wind and solar power accounted for only 1% of the continent’s power generation in 2016, Bahr believes that “significant progress [is] possible because the demand for increased power across Africa is so great, and the continent’s latitude means solar, alongside wind, could be the cheapest way of meeting this demand.” Research from the IEA shows that Africa will continue to trail behind other developed and emerging economies by 2040 unless it adopts a sustainable development scenario, which could also work to mitigate the effects of global warming. Under that scenario, “wind and solar would need to account for 44% of Africa’s production by 2040, the highest proportion of any region in the world.”

Worth Watching

It’s becoming increasingly clear that entrepreneurship is the light in the end of the tunnel for many refugees. The UN estimates that the 3,000 informal shops and businesses at the Zaatari camp in Jordan generate USD 13 mn a month, according to The Economist. Some of these businesses are so successful they’re exporting their work outside the camp, as in the case of Hassan, who employs seven people in his Syrian sweets shop, with four outlets across the camp, and a fifth one underway. Qaseem’s bike shop is also a thriving business that customizes donated bikes. The business models in Zaatari challenges the handout culture normally found in refugee camps, the report says.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is heading to Khartoum today to attend the two-day round of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to a ministry statement. Shoukry will be joined by Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty and Meetings and intelligence officials who will also meet with their counterparts from Sudan and Ethiopia. Dam negotiations had reached a gridlock last year, but the three countries agreed in January to continue looking for a solution. Sudan in particular has been more vocal on improved ties with Egypt. Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir said on Monday that the relationship reached a breakthrough, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

This comes as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and newly-elected Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali reaffirmed their commitment to continued cooperation during a phone call yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

The Khartoum meeting is also a chance to engage with the Nile Basin initiative: It is no coincidence that the meetings are taking place concurrently with the annual summit of the Eastern states of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). Egypt, which is will not officially join those meetings, will likely use the trip to push its policy of re-engaging with NBI states. Egypt had suspended its membership in the NBI in 2000 to protest plans by upstream countries to renegotiate a 1959 water-sharing agreement.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received yesterday an Iraqi parliament delegation led by Speaker Salim Al Jabouri, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The two discussed cooperation, regional issues, and Egypt’s support for Iraq’s reconstruction and security efforts.

The White House has postponed a planned summit with GCC leaders to September from this spring. The delay is likely “a nod to the fact that Washington has made little progress so far in ending the bitter standoff between Qatar and other Gulf nations,” unnamed US officials tell Reuters. Egypt had joined the boycott against Qatar last year.


NOMP signs MoU with UAE’s ATD to increase efficiency of power stations

The National Organization for Military Production (NOMP) signed an MoU with Abu Dhabi-based energy tech group Advanced Technology Development (ATD) to maintain and upgrade power stations in Egypt, Minister Mohamed El Assar said yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. The agreement will see ATD work on increasing fuel efficiency and the local-manufacturing of spare parts needed for station upgrades.


Ukrainian company considers investing in grain transport, storage projects at Damietta Port

Ukrainian grain trader Nebulon is studying the possibility of investing in grain storage and transport projects in Damietta, Al Mal reports. A company delegation met with Damietta Port Authority head Ayman Saleh, who accompanied them as they inspected the grain handling stations the port plans to tender. The Damietta Port has been undergoing major upgrades, with the government breaking ground on an EGP 1.3 bn multipurpose platform just last week.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Supply Ministry reduces prices on subsidized commodities ahead of Ramadan

The Supply Ministry has decided to reduce the prices of some subsidized commodities, including sugar, dates, flour, lentils, and fava beans ahead of Ramadan, Food Industries Holding Company head Alaa Fahmy said. The price reductions will be in effect from 10-13 May.


Philips begins producing LED products in Egypt, plans to turn Egypt into a regional export hub

Philips Lighting has begun manufacturing LED products on a trial basis in Egypt and is planning to begin exporting output by 2Q2018, Vice President Tamer Aboul Ghar told reporters yesterday, Reuters’ Arabic service reports. The company plans to eventually turn Egypt into a regional export hub for Africa, according to the VP. Philips is currently relying on local partners to manufacture its products, Aboul Ghar said, without providing further details on the partners or the size of Philips’ investment in this step. Philips expects exports to account for half of its sales revenues within the next five years.

Chinese business delegation looks into establishing fodder factory in Luxor

A Chinese business delegation met yesterday with Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr to discuss plans to establish a fodder factory in the governorate, Ahram Gate reports. The project’s expected investment value was not disclosed. The delegation also looked into potential investments in agriculture, renewable energy, and tourism projects.

Telecoms + ICT

ICT Minister unveils new strategy to turn Egypt into regional data hub

ICT Minister Yasser El Kady has revealed a new national strategy to turn Egypt into a "global data center hub,” according to the State Information Service (SIS). El Kady said yesterday that the strategy aims to attract more investments and data centers to Egypt. State-owned monopoly Telecom Egypt said last week that it was looking to make data centers account for 25% of its revenues within five years’ time. Chief Business Officer Muhammad Sameh told reporters this was the “natural course” of development for the telecom company. The thought of that final notion truly frightens us.

ICT Minister and Belarusian counterpart sign MoU for education cooperation

ICT Minister Yasser El Kady and his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Bobkov signed yesterday an MoU for cooperation on ICT education and research, Youm 7 reports. Discussions with Bobkov, who is on a two-day visit to Egypt, also extended to cooperation on cyber security, outsourcing services, manufacturing electronics, and tech entrepreneurship.

Automotive + Transportation

National Railway Authority temporarily suspends train journeys to complete maintenance

The National Railway Authority has temporarily suspended 40 train journeys to expedite the completion of maintenance and development work on Egypt’s railway lines, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said yesterday, Ahram Gate reports. The authority expects to complete upgrading railway crossings by 2022, authority head Sayed Salem said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Meanwhile, the ministry is planning to announce the winning bid to supply 1,300 locomotives by the end of the month, Al Mal reports.

Alex transport authority to receive first electric bus in May for trial run

The transport authority in Alexandria will be receiving the first of 15 electric buses from China’s BYD in May to run trial operations before adding the rest of the batch to its fleet, Al Mal reports.

Other Business News of Note

First idle factory to receive EGP 10 mn in funding soon

Misr Capital Ventures is preparing to begin funding the first idle factory on its list, board member and former CEO Hany Tawfik said yesterday, Youm7 reports. The company will provide the factory with EGP 10 mn in financing necessary for it to restart operations once due diligence is complete, Tawfik added, without providing a timeframe.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Finance Ministry receives EGP 3.144 bn worth of tax returns

The Finance Ministry has received EGP 3.144 bn worth of tax returns from individuals this season, up from EGP 3.116 bn last year, Minister Amr El Garhy told Al Masry Al Youm. The deadline for companies to file their returns is 30 April.

On Your Way Out

A little something to brighten up your mornings: Trump and Mueller in a remake of Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me.’ We present to you Shaggy, as US President Donald Trump, and late night show host James Corden, as ex-FBI boss Robert Mueller, in a remake of the 2000s’ pop hit ‘It Wasn’t Me.’ For those of you who don’t know, Mueller is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. We’ll say nothing more (watch here, runtime: 2:53).

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6058 | Sell 17.7058
Buy 17.61 | Sell 17.71
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.55 | Sell 17.65

EGX30 (Tuesday): 17,493 (-1.1%)
Turnover: EGP 2.3 bn (99% ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +16.5%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session down 1.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were TMG Holding up 6.7%, Kima up 3.3%, and Arab Cotton Ginning up 3.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks Global Telecom down 14.7%, Qalaa Holdings down 4.5%, and AMOC down 4.3%. The market turnover was EGP 2.3 bn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +85.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -60.5 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -25.3 mn

Retail: 68.1% of total trades | 72.4% of buyers | 63.8% of sellers
Institutions: 31.9% of total trades | 27.6% of buyers | 36.2% of sellers

Foreign: 11.8% of total | 13.6% of buyers | 9.9% of sellers
Regional: 12.0% of total | 10.7% of buyers | 13.3% of sellers
Domestic: 76.2% of total | 75.7% of buyers | 76.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 63.28 (-0.36%)
Brent: USD 67.88 (-0.35%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.71 MMBtu, (+0.48%, May 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,336.20 / troy ounce (-0.08%)

TASI: 7,799.77 (+0.21%) (YTD: +7.94%)
ADX: 4,585.21 (+0.08%) (YTD: +4.25%)
DFM: 3,100.39 (-0.21%) (YTD: -8.00%)
KSE Weighted Index: 415.78 (+1.52%) (YTD: +3.58%)
QE: 8,721.75 (-0.08%) (YTD: +2.33%)
MSM: 4,775.27 (+0.53%) (YTD: -6.35%)
BB: 1,290.58 (-0.31%) (YTD: -3.09%)

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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.

17-18 April (Tuesday-Wednesday): Creative Industry Summit, Four Seasons Nile Plaza 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.

03 May (Thursday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI reading for April released.

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

07 May (Monday): International Data Corporation’s CIO Summit, The Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 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.

04-05 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Euromoney Egypt Conference 2018, Cairo.

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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