Monday, 30 April 2018

No term limits for bank MDs, Amer says

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Up next on the government’s legislative agenda: Changes to the Banking Act and executive regulations for the Capital Markets Act. The board of the Central Bank of Egypt is expected to review the latest draft of the Banking Act today, according to statements yesterday by CBE Governor Tarek Amer. We have more on that in the Speed Round.

Second, the final draft of the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Act will be ready this week, said Financial Regulator Authority (FRA) Vice Chairman Khaled El Nashar, according to Al Mal. He gave no further detail on the forthcoming changes, but we’re looking for frameworks that will regulate the launch of new financial instruments under the amended Capital Markets Act, which passed back in February. Procedures for the issuance of sukuks will almost certainly be laid out in the executive regulations. Less clear is whether the FRA will introduce rules on short-selling or short-term bonds.

Shares of CI Capital make their EGX debut this morning, opening at EGP 7.70. Jefferies and CI Capital were joint global coordinators and bookrunners. Norton Rose Fulbright was international counsel to the issuer, while White & Case was counsel to the underwriters. Matouk Bassiouny was local counsel; Pharos Securities Brokerage and HC Brokerage acted as placements agents.

Will we see a gas pipeline agreement with Cyprus this week? Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his Greek counterpart, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, will arrive today in Egypt, ostensibly for the “Nostos The Return” initiative, which brings together second and third generation immigrants from each others’ countries, according to the Cyprus Mail. But in light of all the energy cooperation talks we’ve seen these past few weeks (or months, if you count the USD 15 bn Israel gas import agreement) we should expect to hear some progress on a pipeline connecting Cyprus’ Aphrodite field to Egypt’s LNG facilities as Egypt continues to emerge as the clear East Med natural gas export hub for Europe. The Cyprus Mail also has a timeline of how the Oil Ministry has worked since 2013 to position Egypt as the regional hub.

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said as much in a talk on Sunday with the American Chambers of Commerce. Egypt aims to sign an agreement with Cyprus to connect the island’s Aphrodite gas field with Egypt, El Molla said, according to Reuters. “We intend to have a bid round in this area shortly,” he added. The other kicker: Cypriot Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis is expected in Cairo during the trip.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is visiting Cairo today, Ahram Gate reports. Mogherini is in town for a meeting of the Libya Quartet being hosted by the Arab League. Members of the quartet include the EU, the UN, the Arab League, and the African Union. Mogherini is expected to sign a number of cooperation agreements with Egypt while in town.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin’s visit to Cairo continues today as the Ukraine is planning joint projects worth USD 280 mn, according to statements byUkrainian Minister of Economic Development Stepan Kubiv, UNIAN news agency reports.

KUDOS- Cairo American College entered two teams in this year’s Injaz Egypt entrepreneur competition. The first team, called More and led by CEO Hashem Abdou, produced what they billed as a stylish and innovative personalized laptop case with white board built in. (If you’ve been to our offices, you know we’re suckers for white boards and tech gadgets, so color us interested…) More took the grand prize as “Company of the Year” and will represent Egypt at the Injaz regional competition in Kuwait next fall. The second team, called Nomad and led by CEO Riad Khawam, took home the prize for best marketing campaign.

Among the global headlines worth your attention this morning:

The World Bank has a new chief economist, and she’s an EM specialist from Yale whose work has focused largely on the effects of trade liberalization on developing economies. Pinelopi Goldberg is a Greek and US national. The Financial Times is applauding her appointment, her Yale Economics home page is still up here if you’d like to read her bio, her CV and an outline of recent research is here, or you can check out the World Bank’s press release announcing her appointment.

Heba Saleh has got Mo Salah on the brain. One of our favorite journalists writing about one of our favorite footballers. What could be better? Read: Mo Salah brings hope and pride back to weary Egyptians. (See also our coverage today of the resolution of Salah’s dispute with the Egyptian Football Association in Last Night’s Talk Shows, below.)

US wants Quartet to drop Qatar blockade: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Saudi officials in blunt terms that it’s time to drop the blockade of Qatar, the New York Times reports. The former CIA director made the demand while in the midst of a swing through the Mideast that some have positioned as a bid to further ringfence Iran.

US mobile network operator T-Mobile has agreed to buy rival Sprint in a USD 26 bn transaction. Think of it as “Vodafone Egypt buys Orange Egypt” and you’ll understand why it’s all over the front pages of US newspapers this morning. See Reuters and the Wall Street Journal for more.

Saudi Aramco has appointed its first female director. We’d scoff, but it’s not like we here in Omm El Donia are doing vastly better, CIB aside.

Food for thought: Cold shipping is in hot demand as the world craves more fresh food, the Wall Street Journal reports. The paper writes that demand to ship food across the oceans in reefers that keep it fresh for more than a month is twice as high as it is for other products.

PSA #1: Get your umbrellas ready? Parts of the nation’s Mediterranean coast could see thunderstorms this week, and the national weather service has extended the warning to Cairo, Sinai and the Delta. Our favorite weather app suggests Cairo faces a chance of rain Thursday through Sunday. Look for a high today of 38°C in Cairo and 31°C in Alexandria. Cabinet says it is on alert through Thursday as it aims to head off flooding if there is rain, it said in a statement.

PSA #2: It’s a short work week. Tomorrow is a day off in observance of Labor Day. Banks and the stock exchange will be closed. We’ll be off, too, and back in your inboxes on Wednesday.

On The Horizon

RIZ talks kick-off ahead of May contract signing: Russia’s Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Georgy Kalamanov met with Suez Canal Economic Zone deputy head Abdel Qader Darwish in Cairo yesterday to begin the final round of talks on a Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in East Port Said, according to an SCZone statement picked up by Al Shorouk. Kalamanov said last week that the contracts would be signed at the end of May. This could happen at the Egyptian-Russian Economic Committee summit, scheduled for the second half of May, which both countries’ trade and industry ministers are expected to meet.

AmCham HR Day: If you’re in the throes of HR challenges, take heart: You’re not alone. Our friends at AmCham will be holding its fifth annual HR Day on Monday, 7 May. The event will discuss new ways of attracting talent, developing culture, implementing leadership practices and diversity and inclusion, in addition to raising questions on the value of a company’s culture. You can register for the event here.

The Egyptian embassy in London will be hosting a “Made in Egypt” event on Tuesday, 8 May. The private viewing, reception and gala, held in partnership with the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce (EBCC), will exhibit the work of a selected number of Egypt’s talented furniture, jewelry and accessory designers who represent the country’s unique cultural heritage. The event is sponsored by our friends at CIB, SODIC, Edita, and EgyptAir as well as Palm Hills, Ramsco, and Mr. and Mrs. Samih Sawiris.

Uber / Careem appeal this Saturday: The Supreme Administrative Court is scheduled to hear on Saturday 5 May an appeal by Uber and Careem of a lower court decision that ordered the two companies to suspend operations. The Administrative Court has scheduled a separate hearing for 15 May. The two companies continue to operate under a Court of Urgent Matters ruling that stayed the initial suspension.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Tenders and Auctions Act will go to a plenary session vote in May, House Planning Committee deputy, Yasser Omar, tells Al Mal. The committee has concluded its review of the bill, which was originally scheduled to be issued this month, he said. Amendments to the Income Tax Code that would push the deadline for submitting supplementary documentation to tax returns are also up for discussion.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The nation’s talking heads had only a couple things on their collective mind last night: Mo Salah’s dispute over image rights with mobile operator WE and the crazy weather spell that’s expected to last through the week.

On the Mo Salah bit, the issue is this: He has an exclusive sponsorship agreement with Vodafone. That hasn’t stopped state-owned mobile network WE from using his image—reportedly without his permission.

The dispute between Salah and Egypt’s Football Association (FA) over rights of use to his images for World Cup marketing will be resolved, Sports Minister Khaled Abdel Aziz promised in a tweet last night. He told Kol Youm’s Amr Adib that talks were ongoing with Salah’s manager to understand the issue and their demands, which they are willing to fulfill (watch, runtime: 9:13). Salah also confirmed on Twitter the issue was close to resolution, but had hours earlier tweeted that he was “insulted” by how state-owned mobile operator WE used his picture without first seeking rights, nearly costing him EGP 100 mn in penalties payable to his sponsor Vodafone.

Liverpool also expressed its disdain in a release, saying that Salah was in hot water with Vodafone after the FA “put his picture on their plane next to a different phone sponsor than the one he has a contract with.” Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi (watch here, runtime: 2:09, here, runtime: 4:51, and here, runtime: 3:46), Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 7:14), Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr (watch here, runtime: 4:56 and here, runtime: 2:58), and Adib all joined Liverpool in defending Salah’s position (watch, runtime: 20:00).

National weather service preparing law to punish those who traffic in “fake” weather news? The head of Egypt’s Meteorological Authority (EMA) Ahmed Abdel Aal was all over the airwaves last night to discuss a draft law being prepared that would make EMA the sole authority on weather forecasts in Egypt. The bill aims to penalize those who make unsanctioned weather predictions or spread false news about the weather. THERE ARE LITERALLY NO [REDACTED] WORDS.

Cairo and the northern coasts can expect light rains, but Upper Egypt and the Red Sea coast should prepare for some showers, Abdel Aal reminded the hosts on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 2:29), Al Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 10:28), and Yahduth fi Misr (watch, runtime: 3:33). Cabinet Spokesperson Ashraf Sultan told Lamees (watch, runtime: 5:19) and Abu Bakr (watch, runtime: 4:36) that the state was working on reinforcing infrastructure to handle weather changes. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail reportedly accepted the resignation of the head of the Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) in relation to last week’s flash floods, sources tell Youm 7.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

LEGISLATION WATCH- The amended Banking Act will not set term limits for bank managing directors, CBE Governor Tarek Amer reportedly said yesterday. “We will keep an eye on things in a different way,” he told Al Shorouk, without elaborating. The pending law — the latest draft of which the central bank’s board is expected to review today, according to Amer — had stirred up controversy last year when an early draft appeared to show that the CBE would be given wider powers to set term limits and impose a 5% tithe on the profits of each bank. Everything in the law, which aims to set a better corporate governance framework for the banking system, has been kept under tight wraps apart from statements from Amer calling for an overhaul to banking sector regulations. He reportedly repeated those calls on Sunday when he spoke at the conference of the Union of Arab Banks You can see past coverage here and here and here.

IPO WATCH- Banque du Caire will IPO on the Egyptian Exchange by the end of 2018 or early 2019, according to CBE Governor Tarek Amer. Banque du Caire was widely expected to be the first company to list under the state’s privatization program, which officials said will see shares from 4-6 companies (out of a total 23) offered on the EGX before the end of 2018. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy had previously said that the committee overseeing the program is still deciding which state-owned companies would IPO or offer additional shares on the EGX in 2018, noting that those “more ready” than others would receive priority, and that September or October should see the first transactions. Oil outfit Enppi is now expected to pilot the program. Eastern Company could also be among the first few already-listed companies to sell additional shares.

IPO WATCH- Will CIRA relist on the EGX in 4Q2018? Cairo Investment and Real Estate Development (CIRA), has reportedly begun taking steps to relist on the EGX, with a preliminary date set for 4Q2018, sources said. The company, which holds majority stakes in 24 K-12 schools, is reportedly looking to sell up to 30% of its shares. Dubai-based private equity giant Abraaj had exited its c.30% stake in the company last week to minimize its footprint in the wake of turbulence at an unrelated healthcare fund, selling the shares back to the family of Hassan El Kalla.

Who’s advising? CIRA, which had delisted back in 2015 after selling to Abraaj, is said to be in advanced talks to sign EFG Hermes as adviser on the listing. It also appears that the company is at least considering an international offering, with reports that it hired White & Case as legal advisers on that tranche of the offering. El Tamimi & Co. Law Firm has also reportedly been tapped to act as local legal adviser, while Zulficar & Partners will allegedly act as legal counsel to the underwriter.

Trade and Industry Ministry paves way for Automotive Directive and sets 46% domestic component requirement: Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil issued a directive mandating that 46% of the components of a domestically-assembled car be sourced locally, according to a statement from the ministry on Sunday. The decision also mandates that 28% of a car has to be assembled in Egypt for it to qualify as a “built in Egypt” car. This portion will be reduced by 1% every year following implementation of the decision. Kabil said that the current 45% local content requirement is too little to drive the development of a local manufacturing industry. The decision goes into effect next year.

The move is a significant step toward the issuance of the Automotive Directive, which would offer assemblers incentives to move up the value chain into manufacturing. Kabil said the directive is being looked at by the ministry, the House of Representatives’ Industry Committee and members of the private sector. Kabil did not say when the Automotive Directive, which stalled on its first attempt in the House thanks to heavy lobbying by car importers, will be ready or issued. It has been with an unnamed German consultancy since last year.

The ministry also plans to establish a database to keep tabs on the implementation of the local content changes and measure which local assemblers abide the decisions and are thus eligible for incentives, said Kabil. The committee will also set quality control standards and ensure that these are identical to those in European brand cars. The database will be set up by a committee headed by the Assistant Trade and Industry Minister and will include the head of the Industrial Development Authority.

There are 245 days left until 1 January 2019. That’s when customs on vehicles imported from the European Union are set to fall to zero. That’s when local assemblers close their doors and put thousands of skilled workers out on the street, absent the protections and incentives in the Automotive Directive.

Is the Electricity Ministry looking to force industry to go green with quota for renewable energy? It looks like we’re moving from generating renewable energy to mandating its consumption locally: The Electricity Ministry is reportedly looking to force factories to source a minimum percentage of their power needs from renewable energy, ministry sources tell Al Mal. The ministry is planning to implement the quota sometime in mid-2019, the sources said. Industry can apparently expect to have to source 6-8% of its energy from renewable sources under the plan.

Reaction from both industry and the renewables sector has been positive, the newspaper reports.

Ministry setting rules for how private sector sells renewable energy to consumers: This comes as the ministry looks to establish a domestic market privately generated renewable energy buy establishing guidelines on how private renewable companies distribute and charge homeowners and consumers for electricity. As we noted yesterday, the Egyptian Electricity Utility and Consumer Protection Agency (Egyptera) has reportedly been holding high-level meetings to discuss the pricing scheme for power produced and sold under an independent power producer (IPP) framework. Under the framework, private companies are allowed to directly sell power to consumers while paying the state a fee to use the national grid for transmission. Eni is reportedly one of five companies that have approached the Electricity Ministry with offers to build solar power stations under the framework.

M&A WATCH- Telecom Egypt is reportedly close to tapping EFG Hermes as an adviser on an acquisition of MENA Submarine Cable Systems from the Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT), sources tell Al Mal. Neither TE or OTMT have publically acknowledged a transaction is in the works. However, TE had announced late last month that it is trying to arrange financing for a potential investment opportunity in submarine cables, in part by reducing its proposed dividends to shareholders. This coincided with a statement from OTMT saying that it is still planning to sell MENA Submarine Cable Systems for USD 90 mn, even though it had denied earlier reports that it was approached by TE. Sources tell the newspaper that acquisition is to ensure that the state has full control of the cable.

Is Naguib Sawiris really bowing out of the telecoms game? That’s what the Egyptian businessmen reportedly said at a conference yesterday. Naguib said he plans to exit whatever investments he still had left in the telecoms sector to concentrate on real estate, agriculture and financial services, noting that there are “serious discussions to sell his investments in cabling projects in Egypt.”

EXCLUSIVE- Emaar offers EGP 100 mn to settle dispute with El Nasr Housing: The Public Enterprises Ministry will study an offer from Emaar Misr to pay EGP 100 mn to settle an outstanding dispute with the state-owned El Nasr Housing and Reconstruction over Emaar’s Uptown Cairo project, sources told us this week. El Nasr, which filed for arbitration in Cairo last July, is demanding Emaar pay EGP 1 bn and return 3 mn sqm of land in Mokattam it says Emaar has failed to develop since they acquired it in a 2005 agreement. El Nasr is also looking to retrieve 215k sqm it says are technically outside Uptown Cairo’s borders. The head of the Housing Company for Construction and Development, Mahmoud Hegazy, has been tasked with negotiating settlement terms with Emaar.

Emaar not at fault? Sources tell us that Emaar is not at fault for the delay in its development timeline, as the company has yet to receive the necessary licenses for the project, a fact the Public Enterprises Ministry has acknowledged.

EARNINGS WATCH- Separately, Emaar Misr reported yesterday a consolidated net profit of EGP 503.3 mn in 1Q2018, up from EGP 437.9 mn in 1Q2017, according to a regulatory filing (pdf).

EXCLUSIVE-Egypt Care to launch first phase of EGP 15 bn new capital medical city in 3Q2018: Egypt Care intends to launch the first phase of its medical city at the new administrative capital in 3Q2018, according to Chairman Hassan Al Qalla. Construction has already started, Al Qalla told Enterprise, adding that his company had tapped HKS Architects from the United States to design infrastructure for the EGP 15 bn Capital Med City. The project, which will be run by a JV between Egypt Care and a number of foreign investors, is being funded by a mix of bank debt and the shareholders’ own resources, Al Qalla said, and will take 5-7 years to complete over four phases of construction.

Egypt Care and its partners are planning to list their JV on the EGX within two years’ of its establishment, Al Qalla also said, explaining that an IPO would help finance development. Once fully operational, Med Capital will be home to as many as 2,000 hospital beds, a public hospital, clinics, a trauma center, 11 specialized medical centers, and a hotel.

Kuwait has agreed “in principle” to roll over some USD 4 bn in deposits it made in 2013, state news agency MENA reports, quoting CBE Governor Tarek Amer. We understand in parallel that the state is working to extend two other deposits by GCC countries, with now being repayable in September of this year and the other delayed to April 2020.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) is raising some USD 600 mn in a club loan from a group of lenders, banking sources told Reuters on Sunday. A three-year debt facility and will likely be provided by international banks and some UAE lenders with NBE coordinating the fundraising, the sources added. While the purpose of the loan was not stated, the newswire is assuming the loan will be used to bolster foreign currency liquidity. NBE had borrowed USD 300 mn from the African Export Import Bank last year and raised a USD 390 mn in a three-year syndicated loan arranged by HSBC, Citi, Arab Banking Corp, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Chartered and Union National Bank.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund to be given financial and legal independence: Egypt’s new sovereign wealth fund and any subsidiary under it would not be subject to local business laws, according to Al Mal’s reading of a draft of the law establishing the fund. Other aspects of the law include making the fund an independent body with its own budget, presumably separate from that of a state budget.

Nasr in talks with World Bank on USD 1 bn loan to develop Sinai: Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr is talks with the World Bank for a USD 1 bn loan to develop Sinai, the minister is reported to have said, according to Al Mal. She gave no further detail on the talks. Sinai development shot up to the top of the Ismail cabinet priorities, when the Prime Minister pledged earlier this month EGP 275 bn for Sinai development over four years. Nasr had signed a USD 100 mn loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to complete the financing of five water desalination plants in South Sinai, while the Ismail Cabinet signed off on USD 258.5 mn in funding from KFAED for North Sinai.

Egypt is gearing up to launch a round of tenders for oil and gas exploration in waters west of the Nile Delta and through to the border with Libya, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said at an AmCham event yesterday, Ahram Gate reports. The minister did not get into specifics on the timeline or size of the tenders. El Molla, however, reiterated what he said earlier this month that the ministry would issue tenders for 10-11 oil and gas exploration blocks, as well as other drilling tenders in the Red Sea by the end of 2018.

MOVES- Orascom Construction’s board of directors nominated Johan Beerlandt as non-executive independent Director, the company announced. Beerlandt is the Chairman of BESIX Group and former CEO from 2004 to 2017.

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Image of the Day

Andrew Magdy is a sand artist. Not only does he use sand to draw layered and detailed portraits, but the Egyptian-born artist holds live performances where he tells his audiences stories using images made out of dust. The former lawyer and self-taught artist tells Egypt Today that live drawing with sand is as complicated, challenging, and fulfilling as presenting legal cases and arguments in the courtroom.

Egypt in the News

It’s a slow news day for Egypt in the international press, with stories including a small, quickly-contained fire (AP) at the site of the new Egyptian Museum and the “comeback of curly hair in Egypt” (BBC) dueling for attention.

Elsewhere:

Egypt is attracting the renewed interest of Irish exporters as Africa’s second-largest economy, the Independent reports. Ireland’s trading relationship with Egypt developed in the 1970s and 1980s with the export of cattle and beef, but much of this trade collapsed in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Today, the devaluation of the Egyptian Pound and a steadily recovering economy have restored Irish interest.

There’s “plenty of good eating, dozing and Egypt’s magnificent past to enjoy” aboard a dahabiya Nile cruise, Ed Cumming reviews for The Guardian. “There was hardly any Wi-Fi, nor much else to do bar read and talk. Four nights of nothing, like this, felt indulgent in a world of rushed weekend mini-breaks and frantic guidebook-chasing. The journey was the whole point. In the few moments we weren’t eating, we lay on loungers and watched as the 10ft reeds and palm trees and wide fields of watermelons slid past. Calls to prayer drifted from unseen minarets on both sides of the river. In time the image of the landscape, that strip of lush green between water and desert, bores into you,” Cumming writes.

Oil giant BP is expected to see a surge in profits on the back of projects in Egypt, North Sea, and Azerbaijan, City A.M reports.

Worth Watching

The site of the world’s worst nuclear accident is now home to a solar power plant, BBC reports. Marking the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Ukraine’s Evgeniy Variagin has built a small solar power plant alongside the old reactor, which exploded in April 1986, causing what is now considered the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history. “We want to bring back this territory to the people,” says Variagin, noting that tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the area and a 30-km exclusion zone was set up around it. The project will use some of Chernobyl’s old power grid and will be controlled remotely from Germany. The plant is small scale, “but Ukraine has ambitious plans for a much larger 1.2 GW Chernobyl solar plant,” according to the report. (Watch, runtime: 02:52).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Sisi, Le Drian meet for Libya-focused talks: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Cairo sat down yesterday for a meeting that was largely focused on the issue in Libya, which saw them agree that the war-torn country should hold elections by year’s end, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Syria and Palestine also came up during Le Drian’s visit, which also saw him meet with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. While there’s been little talk of business or investment, Le Drian did visit the construction site of the Cairo Metro’s Line 3, which is being developed by French companies Vinci, Alstom, Thales, ETF, and SYSTRA. Le Drian also visited the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Sudan and Ethiopia have yet to respond to Egypt’s request to hold another round of GERD negotiations on 15 May, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the press yesterday, Reuters reports. Shoukry stressed the need to “accelerate the pace of negotiations” over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which have remained frozen since officials failed to work around their issues at a meeting in Khartoum earlier this month. The three countries agreed in January to continue looking for a solution to the gridlock they reached last year after disagreeing over the results of environmental impact studies proving the dam would severely cut into Egypt’s water supply.

Japan is interested in cooperating with Egypt’s Export Development Authority (EDA) to increase trade between the two countries, the Chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Hiroyuki Ishige said yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Ishige, who met with President Abdel Fattah EL Sisi and Trade Minister Tarek Kabil, also told Prime Minister Sherif Ismail that Japan is interested in SME investment in Egypt.

Energy

OC, Elsewedy, Masdar, ACWA compete for EGP 3.5 bn solar park in West Nile

It appears that 15 high profile renewable energy companies will be bidding on a tender next week to build and operate a EGP 3.5 bn 200 MW-capacity solar farm in the West Nile area, Electricity Ministry sources tell Al Mal. Leading the pack are a consortium made up of Elsewedy Electric and EDF, Orascom Construction, Scatec Solar, Masdar and ACWA Power. On a related note, the ministry appears to have postponed a tender to develop a EUR 200 mn wind farm in the West Nile area to the end of May from March. Sources say there are 13 companies that will be contending for the contract.

Energy companies that bid for wind projects fail to reach financial close by deadline

None of the companies that bid for EGP 2 bn-worth of wind power projects under phase two of the feed-in tariff program have managed to reach financial close in time, a source from the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) tells Al Mal. The deadline expired last Thursday, according to the source, who said that investors had 18 months to sort their funding. The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company notified NREA last week that it would begin withdrawing land plots allocated for wind power projects from investors who have failed to deliver any progress, which include ACWA Power, Infinity, Elsewedy, and Alfanar, who had received 10 sq km each in the Gulf of Suez for wind projects.

BP’s additional seismic mapping of Atoll gas field to be completed in 4Q2018

BP intends to conclude in 4Q2018 additional seismic scans it has been conducting at its Atoll gas field to locate additional reserves, a source tells Youm 7, adding that initial data brings “good news”. BP Group CEO Bob Dudley had announced in February that his company would invest USD 1 bn this year as production from Atoll gas field began seven months ahead of schedule.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Private sector role in wheat storage remains limited this season

The private sector’s role in wheat storage will continue to be limited to emergencies only this season, a Supply Ministry source tells Al Shorouk. Private silos will only be used if a governorate’s silos are maxed out, and even then, government employees will take over management of the private silos, the source adds. The government had taken the same measures during last year’s wheat harvest season.

PMI raises Merit cigarette prices to EGP 37 from EGP 34

Philip Morris International (PMI) has raised the price of its cigarette brand Merit to EGP 37 from EGP 34 per pack, Youm 7 reports. The company’s other brands, Marlboro, L&M, and Next remain unaffected by the price increase.

Health + Education

El Nozha looking to open EGP 220 mn hospital in Fifth Settlement

El Nozha International Hospital is looking to open a new EGP 220 mn hospital in the Fifth Settlement district of New Cairo, according to Al Mal. The hospital reportedly completed payment of the land and is looking to hire consultants to design the 90-bed facility. The hospital is expected to open in 2020, and would bring the company’s total size to 230 beds. Cleopatra Hospitals had announced back in January its plans to acquire El Nozha, but subsequent reports had indicated that El Nozha’s board was bucking the acquisition offer.

Real Estate + Housing

OCI sues Golden Pyramids Plaza and AAIB in bankruptcy court

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has kicked up a notch its ongoing legal battle with Golden Pyramids Plaza, suing the company and the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) in an Economic Court. AAIB appears to have been roped into the wrangling since it apparently acted as financial guarantor for Golden Pyramids. OCI and Consolidated Contractors International c. EGP 305 mn in damages awarded by 2015 arbitration ruling. According to the bourse filing issued by Golden Pyramids (pdf), the latest court battle will take place in bankruptcy court, which will hold its first hearing on the matter today.

Banking + Finance

NBE to explore commercial application of blockchain tech as part of R3 consortium

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has joined the R3 Blockchain Consortium, which aims “to explore commercial applications of blockchain technology,” according to BTC Manager, which describes the move as a “bid to encourage cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption in Egypt.” NBE staff will be trained to work with R3’s custom-developed software Corda.

Sports

Egypt secures spot in Buenos Aires’ Youth Olympics Futsal after defeating Angola

Egypt qualified for the Youth Olympics Futsal tournament scheduled for 7-18 October in Buenos Aires after defeating Angola 3-2 in Cairo yesterday, according to the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Egypt joins Iran, Iraq, Costa Rica, Cuba, Brazil, Solomon Islands, Russia, Italy, and Argentina for the final tournament.

On Your Way Out

Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek ordered an investigation into the fire that broke out at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) construction site yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. There were no injuries and no damage to any artefacts, Orascom Construction confirmed in a statement, saying the fire only affected scaffolding. The cause of the incident remains unclear, but sources told Al Masry Al Youm that it may have been caused by welding sparks. The issue received some attention on the airwaves last night (watch here, runtime: 7:53, here, runtime: 5:16, and here, runtime: 2:35).

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.63 | Sell 17.73
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.61 | Sell 17.71
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.57 | Sell 17.67

EGX30 (Sunday): 18,304 (-0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 1.1 bn (4% BELOW the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +21.9%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session down 0.3%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Telecom Egypt up 5.1%, Orascom Telecom Media & Technology up 4.7%, and TMG Holding up 2.8%. Today’s worst performing stocks were Kima down 2.2%, SODIC down 2.0%, and Egyptian Iron & Steel down 1.6%. The market turnover was EGP 1.1 bn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -42.7 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -6.9 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +49.6 mn

Retail: 81.2% of total trades | 83.1% of buyers | 79.3% of sellers
Institutions: 18.8% of total trades | 16.9% of buyers | 20.7% of sellers

Foreign: 9.4% of total | 7.4% of buyers | 11.4% of sellers
Regional: 18.3% of total | 17.9% of buyers | 18.6% of sellers
Domestic: 72.3% of total | 74.6% of buyers | 70.0% of sellers


***
PHAROS VIEW

xx

***


WTI: USD 67.98 (-0.18%)
Brent: USD 74.35 (-0.39%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.77 MMBtu, (-0.11%, June 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,325.10 / troy ounce (+0.13%)

TASI: 8,224.94 (-0.29%) (YTD: +13.82%)
ADX: 4,685.44 (-0.25%) (YTD: +6.53%)
DFM: 3,048.46 (+0.19%) (YTD: -9.54%)
KSE Premier Market: 4,774.69 (-0.74%)
QE: 9,140.19 (+0.57%) (YTD: -7.24%)
MSM: 4,734.42 (+0.25%) (YTD: -7.16%)
BB: 1,262.78 (-0.02%) (YTD: -5.18%)

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Calendar

30 April (Monday): High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission Federica Mogherini visits Cairo.

30 April (Monday): Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos visit Egypt.

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.

05-06 May (Saturday-Sunday): Inclusive Growth and Job Creation Conference, venue TBD, Cairo.

07 May (Monday): American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) will be holding its fifth annual HR Day at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Plaza Ballroom.

08 May (Tuesday): The Egyptian embassy in London will be hosting a “Made in Egypt” gala exhibit event.

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

07-08 May (Monday-Tuesday): Fourth annual Egypt CSR Forum, InterContinental Semiramis Hotel, Cairo.

17 May (Thursday): Expected date for the start of Ramadan.

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.

24-25 September (Monday-Tuesday): Egypt Water Desalination Forum, venue TBD.

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

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

23-24 October (Tuesday-Wednesday): Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference 2018, Fairmont Towers Heliopolis, Cairo.

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

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

22 November (Thursday): US Thanksgiving.

25-28 November (Sunday-Wednesday): 22nd Cairo ICT, Cairo Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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).

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. © 2020 Enterprise Ventures LLC.