Thursday, 12 April 2018

SODIC, MNHD talks to begin today


What We’re Tracking Today

A potential merger of our friends SODIC and Madinet Nasr Housing and Development continued to dominate business news, with SODIC confirming that it is entering into talks that could see the two businesses combined in one form or another. SODIC CEO Magued Sherif spoke with us yesterday about the potential transaction, which is already moving a market hungry for M&A news: The EGX rose 1.4% yesterday, with SODIC shares jumping 8.9% to a 10-year closing high and Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development gaining 12.6% to close the session on a record high.

Someone’s issuing fake Egyptian e-visas? The Interior Ministry warned yesterday that a US company by the name of Gcl Internet Services has been cyber-posing as the Egyptian government and issuing electronic visas for Egypt at double the price through a fake website of its creation. The ministry stressed that the website is the only official online channel for entry visas into the country, according to an emailed statement.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will be meeting his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa today, Ahram Gate reports. The two presidents are expected to discuss ways to boost cooperation across the board, according to the State Information Service. De Sousa is in town to attend the Egyptian-Portuguese Business Forum, which kicks off today. The forum will focus on attracting fresh Portuguese investments in Egypt’s steel, garments, and chemicals manufacturing industries, Egyptian-Portuguese Business Council member Mahmoud Sarg, tells Ahram Gate.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings about data misuse on Tuesday and Wednesday are topping international business headlines. The 33-year-old resisted US senators’ efforts to commit him to regulation, Reuters reports. His testimony seems to have impressed investors, with shares in Facebook posting their “biggest daily gain in nearly two years, closing up 4.5%.” Zuckerberg also said he was one of around 87 mn Facebook users whose data was compromised in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. WSJ, the Guardian, the New York Times, CNN, and CNBC also have coverage.

Now onto the biggest international story of the day: US President Donald Trump vowed to launch missiles at Syrian targets in response to a suspected chemical attack in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” Trump tweeted. He also warned Russia against backing Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

The UK could also join the potential fight. Sources tell the BBC that Prime Minister Theresa May is ready for military intervention in Syria, “without first seeking parliamentary consent.”

Pressured by the warnings, global stock markets took a dip yesterday. The MSCI’s global stock index was down 0.16% when markets closed yesterday, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.23%, while Nasdaq rose by a marginal 0.12%, buoyed mostly by gains in Facebook and Netflix stocks, Reuters said, attributing the drop to “alarm about a possible Russian-US conflict over Syria.” Global equity markets had only just begun to recover on Tuesday, after China’s President Xi Jinping calmed growing fears about a trade war with the US with promises of lower trade fares (Read here why IMF boss Christine Lagarde thinks “a trade war could rip apart global economy, courtesy of the FT).

This comes as US consumer prices for March dropped by 0.1%, the Labor Department announced yesterday (pdf). Prices were pressured by a drop in gasoline prices, but underlying inflation continued to firm amid rising prices for healthcare and rental accommodation,” Reuters notes. “‘US inflation is warming rather than heating up,’” said BMO Capital Markets senior economist Sal Guatieri. “‘Still, the upward trend could suffice to nudge the Fed three more times this year.’”

In other news from Amreeka, US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan announced yesterday that he would be stepping down at the start of 2019, at a time when Republicans are struggling to maintain control over the legislative body, according to Reuters. Ryan said he would not be running in the upcoming congressional elections, which has “dismayed some Republicans already concerned about their prospects with US voters in November.” An unnamed member of the party told the newswire that Ryan’s decision would “set off an intramural war among Republicans on who is going to be the next speaker. It will take the eye off the ball of keeping a majority in the House.”

On The Horizon

Renaissance Capital will hold its third annual Egypt Investors Conference in Cape Town on 24-25 April. The event will see senior management from leading Egyptian companies meet one-on-one with South Africa-based investors.

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 had a selection of topics to keep them busy last night, most notable of which was the Ismail Cabinet greenlighting the establishment of a EGP 200 bn sovereign wealth fund. We have chapter and verse in Speed Round, below.

But first: Argineering won EGP 100,000 in the CIB-sponsored Hona Al Shabab startup competition on Hona Al Asema. Couponat and Star Marine landed in second and third place, respectively.

Now onto the new sovereign wealth fund: The fund is meant to put untapped assets to use, Cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan said. He noted that the state has around 100 sizeable assets and a plethora of smaller assets that are either mismanaged or not capitalized on at all. The new fund may play a role in setting up new companies, upping existing companies’ capital, or investing in listed securities, Sultan told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin (watch, runtime: 4:21).

Although farmers maybe disgruntled, the wheat purchasing price set by the government is fair and suitable, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told Amin. The price was determined according to a formula that draws on the average USD exchange rate and takes into consideration the expense of subsidizing bread, which is expected to cost state coffers EGP 16 bn from local wheat alone, the minister said (watch, runtime: 7:10).

The drop in global wheat prices justifies the price announced by the government, Farmers’ Syndicate head Hussein Abu Saddam nodded in agreement. Abu Saddam suggested that reducing the price of agricultural supplies such as fertilizers could help offset disappointment and encourage upset farmers to continue cultivating wheat. Around 3.2 mn feddans of wheat were planted this season, he told Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer (watch, runtime: 3:44).

Meanwhile, Vice Minister of Finance for Capital Market Operations Khaled Abdelrahman spent his evening giving Amin an economics crash course on Al Hayah Al Youm. He dove into all there is to know about bonds and explained what the recent EUR 2 bn eurobond issuance means for Egypt, telling Amin that the choice to go with a EUR-denominated issuance was based on Egypt’s strong trade relations with Europe (watch, runtime: 14:01).

Over on Masaa DMC, scientist Farouk El Baz called on the government to be transparent in laying out its plans for the next four years and clearly articulate the country’s problems to the citizenry (watch, runtime: 4:56).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

SODIC’s board welcomes overture from MNHD; common shareholders could fast-track an agreement: Upmarket real estate developer SODIC said yesterday (pdf) that it welcomes discussions with Madinet Nasr Housing and Development about “potential strategic alternatives for the two entities by way of merger or acquisition” and specifically noted the “potential synergies and benefits that could accrue to each party” if the two businesses were to be combined.

SODIC boss sees synergies, opportunity to create value: “We’re definitely excited about an opportunity to create value for shareholders of both companies if the transaction were to go through in the appropriate way,” SODIC CEO Magued Sherif told us yesterday. “Obviously, things are preliminary, but SODIC would bring to the table an outstanding brand, deep industry expertise, a very diverse land bank, and a strong management team. And MNHD has very clear expertise and a large land bank in strategic areas on the east of Cairo. So marrying the two could makes sense provided we have the right mechanism and the right transaction dynamics to create value for all shareholders.” SODIC’s board of directors, Sherif said, will meet early next week to discuss the transaction.

Transaction could be fast-tracked by common shareholders? Although both companies have publicly (and privately) cautioned that it’s entirely possible there will be no agreement, we believe common shareholders could move the transaction toward a relatively rapid close. Olayan Financing and the Abanamay family are among the largest shareholders at SODIC, where each has board representation; they are also shareholders at MNHD. Olayan and the Abanamays are high-profile, long-term Gulf-based investors in Egypt. Both SODIC and MNHD declined to comment on overlaps in their shareholding structures, pointing us instead to public records.

15.3 mn sqm of undeveloped land in a merged company? One thing analysts will want to do is the math on the contribution of each company to a merged land bank. MNHD would bring 7.3 mn sqm of raw land to the transaction, all of it in East Cairo. SODIC has a more diverse land bank (spanning both sides of Cairo and the North Coast) and would could contribute something in the vicinity of 8 mn sqm, not the 5.8 mn sqm it reports in its land bank today: Among other transactions now in the works, the company was announced last month as the highest bidder for a 500-acre revenue-share pact with NUCA. Sherif declined to discuss those transactions yesterday, saying only, “We have a diverse and very attractive national land bank, and it is certainly growing as we work toward close on the acquisition of another 500 feddans in Sheikh Zayed.”

Want more background? You can check out MNHD’s investor presentation here (pdf) and download SODIC’s here (pdf).

A quick disclaimer: SODIC is one of three valued anchor sponsors of Enterprise whose financial support allow you to receive this briefing without charge each morning. Moreover, SODIC, MNHD and some shareholders of MNHD are friends and clients of our parent company, Inktank Communications.

MOST EPIC CABINET WATCH EVER- Ismail Cabinet signs off on a EGP 200 bn Egypt sovereign wealth fund: The Ismail Cabinet on Wednesday signed off on legislation establishing an Egyptian sovereign wealth fund, charged with investing state funds locally and abroad across all vehicles and assets, according to a statement from the Ismail Cabinet. The fund will have an authorized capital of EGP 200 bn and a paid in capital of EGP 5 bn, Planning Minister Hala El Saeed said in a press conference following the Cabinet meeting, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The board of directors will be made up of representatives from Egypt’s various ministries including the finance and planning ministries, she added. The fund will also manage some of the state’s under-utilized assets as well as various assets belonging to state-owned companies. “We will be working with our regional partners to help establish a governing framework for the fund,” El Saeed said, without really delving on the nature of such a partnership.

Background: Sources had said last month that the Justice Ministry was finalizing the text of the proposed bill and had hired international consultants to advise on setting up the fund’s goals and strategies. Public Enterprises Minister Khaled Badawi had also stated last month, at the EFG Hermes One-on-One in Dubai, that a sovereign wealth fund was in the works, but implied that was more of a long term plan.

Thanaweya Amma as we know it, is done in September: The Ismail Cabinet, which had a busy meeting yesterday, also approved the implementation of reforms to the state’s primary education and Thanaweya Amma systems as of September this year. While the statement did little to elaborate on what these changes entail, beyond “advancing through training and technology,” Education Minister Tarek Shawki had said that the new system would part from traditional exams and scoring systems with a new GPA-based framework with coursework and electronically-graded multiple choice exams. The curriculum is also getting a facelift and will reduce the importance of rote memorization. Primary education reforms include doing away with awarding primary-level education certificates to students after the sixth grade.

World Bank support for Takaful, Karama extended for three years: Also on the social front, the Cabinet approved the terms of extending a USD 500 mn World Bank program to fund the Takaful and Karama programs for another three years.

Cabinet finally approves the OC / Engie / Toyota Tsusho Gulf of Suez wind farm: The meeting also looked at some pressing business matters, including signing off on the contracts that would see a consortium of Orascom Construction, Engie, and Toyota Tsusho Corporation develop wind farms in the Gulf of Suez. The statement was scarce on details, saying only that the government okayed the project’s price tag.

Other decisions taken by the Cabinet yesterday include:

  • Setting a price of EGP 600 per ardib for buying domestic wheat this harvest season. Naturally, wheat farmers are not happy with the price and are threatening to grow other crops instead next year, Reuters Arabic reports. The government plans to import 6 mn tonnes of wheat this fiscal year, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy said yesterday, according to the newswire.
  • Approving USD 258.5 mn in funding from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for development and infrastructure projects in North Sinai.
  • Approving the building of an offshore floating platform to receive liquefied propylene and propane gas, which will be run by the he Egyptian Propylene and Polypropylene Company.
  • Approving the EUR 205.6 mn EU Cross-Border Cooperation in the Mediterranean program for 2014-2020.

INVESTMENT WATCH- ADIA to invest USD 2 bn in Egypt’s electricity, oil, and infrastructure in 2H2018: The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is planning to invest USD 2 bn in Egypt’s electricity, oil, and infrastructure sectors in 2H2018, the head of the Arab Union for Direct Investment (AUDI) Mohamed Sameh tells Ahram Gate. Investments from the GCC, and particularly from the UAE, will double in the coming period, “especially if the government speeds up its IPO program,” he adds. This comes as Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan concludes his two-day visit to Cairo, where he talked regional developments and anti-terror cooperation with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Egypt will be issuing USD 6-7 bn in USD-denominated eurobonds in FY2018-19, said Finance Minister Amr El Garhy on Wednesday, Reuters reports. El Garhy reportedly said the issuance might take place at the end of 2018 or early 2019, according to Al Mal. Assistant Finance Minister for Capital Market Operations Khaled Abdel Rahman had said on Tuesday that Egypt will not be issuing any more eurobonds this year after Monday’s successful USD 2.46 bn EUR-denominated issuance of eight- and twelve-year notes at yields of 4.75% and 5.63%, respectively. El Garhy noted that inflows in Egypt’s foreign-denominated bonds had to date surpassed USD 20 bn, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

Bringing about financial inclusion will rest on the successful deployment of fintech, our friend CIB Chairman Hisham Ezz Al Arab reaffirmed. “We believe that the integration of current technology is the key to reach the young, unbanked population who comprise the vast majority of the gray economy,” he tells Global Finance Magazine in an interview. Tackling the gray economy is something the banking sector has recognized and it is fully aligned with the government on its financial inclusion goals, he added.

CIB is leading the way: As the largest private sector bank in Egypt, CIB is leading the way to developing digital solutions to the problem of the informal economy by investing in digital platforms, versus traditional channels, says Ezz Al Arab. “With 110% mobile penetration rate in Egypt, and only 10% of the population with access to financial services, CIB sees a huge growth opportunity in secure and cost-effective financial services delivered via mobile phone,” he added. This has led to the launch of many significant products such as the Smart Wallet, Internet Banking, CIB Mobile Banking App, among others.

Bankruptcy Act is another notch in the belt of economic reform: As for the wider economy, Ezz Al Arab ran through some of the major highlights of the economic reform program, including the EGP float, subsidy cuts and the implementation of the VAT. He reserved particular praise for the Bankruptcy Act. “The new law will remove many obstacles that used to dissuade investors, as it provides more simplified post-bankruptcy procedures, eliminates investors’ need to resort to court, and abolishes the threat of imprisonment in the case of bankruptcy.”

As for his views on where the best economic opportunities? While the good opportunities do span all sectors, the consumer goods, pharma and healthcare, and the real estate sectors are being driven by a rapidly growing population. “Egypt is an enormous market that needs infrastructure, energy, transportation and water-desalination projects and more,” he added.

The UK’s Legal 500 directory, which identifies and recommends the world’s top law firms and lawyers, released its 2017 rankings of Egypt’s top firms. The ranking is based on feedback from firm clients and on the law firms’ performance in different areas of practice. Many of our friends have made the list as “Tier 1” firms, with Zaki Hashem & Partners holding the highest number across the categories of including:

Banking and Finance:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)
  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Shalakany Law Office
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law
  • Zulficar & Partners Law Firm

Commercial, Corporate, and M&A:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)
  • Ibrachy Legal Consultancy
  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Nour & Selim in association with Al Tamimi & Company
  • Shahid Law Firm
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law
  • Zulficar & Partners Law Firm

Dispute Resolution:

  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Shahid Law Firm
  • Youssef & Partners Attorneys
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law
  • Zulficar & Partners Law Firm
  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)


  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)
  • Shahid Law Firm
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law


  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)
  • Matouk Bassiouny
  • Shahid Law Firm
  • Shalakany Law Office
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law

Intellectual Property:

  • NAL & Partners

Projects and Infrastructure:

  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)
  • Shahid Law Firm
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law


  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Eldib Advocates


  • Al Kamel Law Office
  • Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)
  • Shalakany Law Office
  • Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law

Glory, hallelujah. The Russians are finally back. Tourist traffic to Egypt is expected to rise now that flights between Moscow and Cairo are officially back on after a more than two-year halt. Russian carrier Aeroflot touched down safely shortly after midnight last night at Cairo International Airport with 120 passengers on board, Al Shorouk reports. EgyptAir’s first flight to Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport will take off at 9:35 am CLT.

There’s still no word on when Russia will resume flights to other destinations in Egypt, but the two countries are continuing to cooperate on making that happen, Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday, TASS reports.

This comes as nearly 2.2 mn tourists visited Egypt in 1Q2018, a 23% y-o-y increase compared to the same period last year, according to CAPMAS figures carried by Youm 7. Germany remains our top inbound market since 2017, followed by Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The House of Representatives’ general assembly is expected to discuss the Criminal Procedures Act by month’s end. The bill is likely come into effect by October, Constitutional and Legislative Committee head Bahaa Abu Shoka tells Youm7. The committee has completed its review of the bill and referred it back to the House’s general assembly for a final discussion and vote. The draft law would introduce new avenues of mediation outside the court system, including for murder cases; enforce new regulations for pretrial detention; regulate no-fly and airport arrival watch lists; and address witness protection, among other issues.

Our friends at Carbon Holdings announced yesterday (pdf) that they will be sponsoring world squash champions Nour El Tayeb and Ali Farag — the married couple who “made sporting history” last year when they both won the US Open Squash Championship on the same day. “At Carbon Holdings, we believe that supporting and nurturing local talent such as the remarkable husband and wife team, Ali Farag and Nour El Tayeb, is of the utmost importance. These dedicated and talented athletes should be given the support and encouragement that they need continue excelling on the global arena and we are more than happy to do our part in helping them achieve their goals,” said Carbon Holdings Chairman and CEO Basil El-Baz.

*** 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. We offer a great, casual work environment, the opportunity to work with smart people who care about what they do, and plenty of intellectual challenge. You’ll do your best work here, whatever your profession is. Check out the open positions, from creative director to reporter, from Enterprise editor to senior investor relations advisor at Inktank. Share


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Image of the Day

Ancient Egypt’s #MeToo moment: An ancient Egyptian papyrus could be one of the earliest known records of powerful men losing their jobs over gender violence and assault, Quartz Africa reports. Paneb lost his job as one of the most accomplished artisans of his time due to his corruption and treatment of women, according to the millenia-old papyrus. Dating back to around 1,200 BC, the papyrus records a complaint accusing Paneb of “stripping a woman named Yeyemwaw, throwing her against a wall and violating her.” The scrolls, which has been in the possession of the British Museum since the early 19th century, is being reassessed in light of the recent #MeToo campaign.

Egypt in the News

It was a blessedly quiet morning for Egypt on the international news front, with the Intercept’s hatchet job on the Ride-hailing Apps Act topping coverage of Omm El Donia. Allison McManus writes that that “while the new law appears to be an acceptable compromise between Uber and the country’s embittered taxi drivers, it may have severe consequences for the privacy and safety of citizens.” Her outdated piece centers clause that force ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem to store user data in Egypt and make them available to the government. She makes no mention of the House of Representatives amending the articles to have the companies share data on a case by case basis. Expect to read the usual hyperboles on grandstanding on Egypt and human rights.

Also this morning: It’s looking like Egypt is poised to be the Middle East’s fastest growing economy this year, Global Finance Magazine says. The banking sector “is in a relatively robust and resilient position” to support the ongoing economic recovery, according Arab African International Bank CEO Hassan Abdallah. With the government taking serious steps towards reforming the economy — by reducing energy subsidies, floating the EGP, and introducing legislative amendments — and the discovery of new natural gas resources opening up new avenues, “Egypt’s economy will accelerate as inflation falls back, interest rates are cut, and the pace of fiscal consolidation slows,” Capital Economics’ Jason Tuvey said.

On Deadline

Political suppression is not all that bad if it’s in the economy’s best interest: Egypt’s economic well-being will continue to take precedence over that of political life under President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Gamal Abdel Gawad writes for state-owned Al Ahram. While an active political scene is not discouraged per se, Abdel Gawad holds that we should accept that politics will likely take the back burner to keep the economy at the top of the state’s priorities.

Worth Reading

Ancient Egyptians have taught us to plan ahead of imminent climate change, Tel Aviv University’s professor Israel Finkelstein tells the New York Times. According to Finkelstein’s study, ancient Egyptian leaders ordered increased grain production and crossbred local cattle in an early effort to ward off climate disaster caused by drought. However, their efforts only managed to extend the life of the Egyptian empire about half a century longer, before the ultimate collapse of the empire and the Late Bronze Age. Despite their failure, ancient Egyptians offered a valuable lesson that modern civilizations have yet to learn. “Present-day humanity may have the resources and tools to cope with climate change, but action is often stifled by those who have a vested interest in denying the reality of human-caused climate change,” says historian John F. Haldon of Princeton University.

Worth Watching

“The motherhood penalty” is real, and it’s at the core of why women get paid less than men. According to The Economist, women do not get paid less for the same jobs, but rather are typically placed into jobs that are not as high-paying as those predominantly occupied by men. Women are generally shut out of executive positions and dominate professions such as teaching and nursing — but their biggest hurdle is motherhood. The majority of women resort to scaling back working hours, and typically see their salaries cut by 4% if they return to work after having a child. The same rule does not hold up for men. This systemic flaw in the job market, which essentially penalizes women for their biological reproductive abilities, persists despite women earning more degrees than men, and becoming increasingly ambitious and outspoken (watch, runtime: 02:04).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

It seems an underwater pipeline will be the way to move gas from Cyprus’ Aphrodite field to Egypt’s gas facilities, according to statements by Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides. Nicosia and Cairo are considering the construction of an underwater pipeline for the transfer of natural gas from the Cypriot Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) to Egypt’s LNG liquefaction facilities, he told AMAY in an interview yesterday.

That’s if Turkey doesn’t get in the way. Responding to a question as to how Nicosia will face a possible drilling by Turkey in Cypriot waters in the EEZ, Christodoulides said the Cypriot government is working to prevent such an act, which, in practice, will jeopardize any attempt to resolve the Cyprus problem. He added that the matter was discussed with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday. Christodoulides met with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Prime Minister Sherif Ismail yesterday to discuss gas and other avenues of cooperation ahead of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades visit to Cairo early next month.

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr signed an MoU yesterday with Jordanian counterpart Muhannad Shehadeh to set up an investment cooperation council, according to a ministry statement (pdf). The new council will bring together investors and businessmen from both countries for regular meetings with the aim of increasing mutual cooperation. Xinhua also has the story.

Egypt Post signs agreement to boost e-commerce with Africa: Egypt Post signed yesterday an agreement to boost e-commerce with the Africa through a logistics center at Cairo International Airport. The agreement, which Egypt signed along with several other African countries at a Pan African Postal Union meeting, will route customers’ online orders from the US, UK, and China through Egypt to cut down on shipping costs.


NREA to select winning offer for 26 MW Kom Ombo solar plant next month

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) is expected to announce next month the winner of the bid to construct the EUR 40 mn 26 MW solar power plant in Kom Ombo, NREA sources tell Al Mal. Five companies, including an unnamed Egyptian firm, Spain’s TSK Group, Nari Solar Energy Technology, Sterling and Wilson, TBEA, and Shanghai Electric all qualified for the project. Sources had previously claimed the last three companies were disqualified from the tender for failing to submit their paperwork on time. Work on the project should begin before June’s end.

EETC to issue global tender for three transformer stations

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) is planning to issue a global tender for three 500 kV gas-insulated transformer stations in Minya, Marsa Matrouh, and Alexandria before the end of April, an EETC source tells Al Mal. The stations will be funded through loans from Arab development funds, the source said, without disclosing the expected investment values.


Alex Port-led consortium establishes EGP 500 mn holding company for multipurpose platform

The Alexandria Port Authority, Suez Canal Authority, and Land Maritime Transport Holding Company signed yesterday an agreement to establish a EGP 500 mn holding company to construct, manage, and operate a multipurpose platform at the Alex Port, Al Mal reports. The new company will also be given 30-year usufruct rights to the platform. The consortium had reached an agreement last month to build the USD 450-500 mn facility, which was originally meant to be constructed by China Harbour until talks reached an impasse due to pricing.


El Sisi to inaugurate Armed Forces’ USD 1.12 bn cement factory in Beni Suef

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will inaugurate tomorrow a USD 1.12 bn cement production facility in Beni Suef constructed by the Armed Forces, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The factory will have a total production output of 13 mn tonnes of cement per annum through its six production lines, making it the region’s largest cement factory. The plant’s inauguration comes as the local cement market is already in a state of oversupply, which has pushed several companies to bump up their exports.

Health + Education

Gov’t sets prices for public health services in Port Said under the Universal Healthcare Act

The Health Ministry has completed pricing some 3,600 services and products for public hospitals and facilities in Port Said under the new healthcare regime set out by the Universal Healthcare Act, ministry officials said on Wednesday. The move presages the implementation of the new system, which will be piloted in Port Said at the start of the next fiscal year. It is likely that these prices will be used as the base point for setting fees for private healthcare under the new system. The executive regulations of the law, which should be issued in the coming few months, will set out prices for private healthcare under the Universal Healthcare Act, which will be determined by new government regulators.

Real Estate + Housing

NUCA reduces penalties on delayed payments for land plots, real estate units

The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) agreed to reduce penalties imposed on individuals and developers for falling behind on payments for land plots, homes, and commercial units purchased through the authority, Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced yesterday. Individuals who have completed all necessary payments will be exempted from all penalties, while those who are still paying instalments will see their fines reduced at varying degrees based on the amount paid thus far, Youm7 reports


EgyptAir adds three weekly flights from Kuwait to Cairo and Sohag

EgyptAir is adding three weekly flights from Kuwait to Cairo and Sohag as of 20 April, Regional Manager Fathy Nazih has announced, according to Al Shorouk. The flights will be subject to further increase depending on demand, he added.

On Your Way Out

The General Authority for Freetrade and Investment (GAFI) received the Best Investment Promotion Agency award at the Annual Investment Meeting Awards held in Dubai, Khaleej Times reports. The awards celebrate agencies’ efficiency in “branding and attracting investment that helps…countries to develop their economies fast and create jobs.”

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.6300 | Sell 17.7300
Buy 17.63 | Sell 17.73
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.57 | Sell 17.67

EGX30 (Wednesday): 17,944 (+1.44%)
Turnover: EGP 3.6 bn (208% ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +19.5%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 1.4%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Madinet Nasr Housing up 12.6%, SODIC up 8.9%, and Palm Hills up 6.1%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Amer Group down 4.9%, Kima down 4.9%, and Egyptian Iron & Steel down 2.9%. The market turnover was EGP 3.6 bn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +70.6 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +90.9 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -161.5 mn

Retail: 43.2% of total trades | 41.9% of buyers | 44.6% of sellers
Institutions: 56.8% of total trades | 58.1% of buyers | 55.4% of sellers

Foreign: 45.6% of total | 46.6% of buyers | 44.6% of sellers
Regional: 10.4% of total | 11.6% of buyers | 9.2% of sellers
Domestic: 44.0% of total | 41.8% of buyers | 46.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 67.13 (+0.46%)
Brent: USD 72.28 (+0.31%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.67 MMBtu, (-0.19%, May 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,353.90 / troy ounce (-0.45%)

TASI: 7,802.74 (-1.87%) (YTD: +7.98%)
ADX: 4,689.74 (-0.47%) (YTD: +6.62%)
DFM: 3,132.97 (+1.40%) (YTD: -7.04%)
KSE Weighted Index: 415.78 (+1.52%) (YTD: +3.58%)
QE: 9,015.15 (+0.09%) (YTD: +5.77%)
MSM: 4,789.63 (+0.05%) (YTD: -6.07%)
BB: 1,288.82 (+0.07%) (YTD: -3.22%)

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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).

17 May (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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

28 June (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

16 August (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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.

27 September (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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

15 November (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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

22 November (Thursday): US Thanksgiving.

25 December (Tuesday): Western Christmas.

27 December (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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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