Thursday, 10 May 2018

EGX the fifth best bourse in the world?

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

EGX is the fifth best stock market in the world in 2018, says Country Economy: The EGX is the fifth best performing stock market in the world after rising 16.25% YTD in May 2018, according to data compiled by Country Economy. Topping there list was Venezuela’s IBC Caracas which soared 1304.26%, followed by Ukraine’s PFTS index (the main index), GSE Ghana and Ukraine’s “UX” Index.On the regional side, the Egyptian stock exchange was the best performer among Arab bourses, and second in Africa only to GSE.

Inflation numbers are expected to come out today. This month is all the more significant as the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet on 17 May to set interest rates.

The CBE’s MPC meeting comes at a time when central banks across emerging markets look to contain the impact of a rising USD and the prospect of a rate hike by the Fed. Some have already started taking action, with Argentina’s raising interest rates three times, Russia putting the brakes on further monetary easing and Indonesia burning reserves to prop up its currency. Bloomberg has the list of upcoming decision dates by central bankers.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell downplayed the impact a rate increase by the US central bank will have on emerging markets in a speech on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports. Powell said the role of U.S. monetary policy “is often exaggerated” as a force contributing to financial conditions in other economies. He conceded that spillovers do occur because of the USD’s role as a widely-used reserve currency. “There is good reason to think that the normalization of monetary policy in advanced economies should continue to prove manageable for EMEs,” Powell said.

The IIF totally disagrees, saying capital inflows to EMs will shrink: A surging USD is likely to hit foreign investment into emerging markets this year, cutting its capital inflow forecast for this year by USD 43 bn to USD 1.22 tn, the DC-based Institute of International Finance said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. capital inflows as a share of GDP will fall to 3.7% from 4.2% in 2017, it added. “Prospects for non-resident capital inflows to emerging markets this year have deteriorated…Rising U.S. bond yields and a stronger dollar have prompted a ‘sudden stop’ in portfolio flows since mid-April,” the IIF said in a report.

Will Emaar resolve its dispute with the Public Enterprises Ministry today? The general assembly of the Public Enterprises Ministry’s El Nasr Housing and Reconstruction has reportedly authorized Mahmoud Hegazi, the CEO of parent company the Holding Company for Construction and Development, to reach a settlement with Emaar over the Uptown Cairo project today, sources tell Youm7. 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. Sources told us last week that Emaar is offering EGP 100 mn to settle the dispute, despite the ministry acknowledging that it was not at fault for delays in moving ahead with the project.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to meet his Dutch counterpart Stephanus Abraham Blok today in Cairo, Youm 7 reports. There were no details from the paper or the ministry on the agenda.

Eva Pharma CEO Riad Armanious was the only Egyptian named in the World Economic Forum’s 100 global leaders under 40 2018 list. The annual list selects 100 of “the world’s most promising artists, business leaders, public servants, technologists and social entrepreneurs” based on their “ground-breaking work, creative approaches to problems and ability to build bridges across cultures and between business, government and civil society.”

The US and Saudi Arabia are attempting to play down the impact of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear pact. The US administration is already in talks with various oil majors who “would be willing to increase oil supply to offset this,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said yesterday, according to Bloomberg. Saudi Arabia also said it would work with OPEC to “mitigate” the impact of the move. In a statement carried by Bloomberg, Saudi officials said that “any supply shortages” would be tended to, without specify whether that means that the kingdom plans to boost oil output.

Meanwhile, the Europeans said they would approach the US about an exemption from sanctions they now face after the US backed out of the agreement, accusing Trump of “no longer [wanting] to cooperate with other parts of the world,” according to the FT.

PSA- Bad weather ahead: Hot dusty winds could turn into a sandstorm today, the national weather service warns. Cairo, Sinai, and Upper Egypt will see the worst of it. Look for a high of 39°C in the capital city.

We urge you to enjoy this last weekend before Ramadan (within reason), sandstorms notwithstanding. The Holy Month is expected to come on Wednesday or Thursday next week. For food and exercise tips, as well as the Ramadan viewing program, please check last week’s special edition of Your Wealth. Ramadan Kareem.

On The Horizon

EETC to issue tender for electricity grid interconnection with Sudan “within days”: The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) will issue a local and global tender for power lines and transformers for the electricity grid interconnection project with Sudan “within days,” sources had said.

Contracts to connect our electric grid to Saudi Arabia’s could be signed by the end of June, sources say.

Our friends at Flat6Labs are holding their Cairo Spring demo day on Monday, 14 May. “The cycle brings a promising lineup of startups that work within software products in education, fintech, health & safety, consumer e-commerce, design, and media,” the invite says. The event kicks off at 6:30pm CLT at the Semiramis InterContinental in downtown Cairo.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The airwaves provided us with little by way of newsworthy coverage last night, with the notable exception being MPs haggling in parliament to raise the FY2018-19 budget allocation for health.

MPs of the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee have turned raising health spending into the crusade of the week (after last week’s “debt crisis”). Committee members are attempting to healthcare spending to EGP 61 bn, from a budgeted EGP 57 bn, MP Ayman Abul Ela told Al Hayah Al Youm. He says that even with this increase, healthcare spending amounts to only 4.3% of GDP, down from 4.7% in FY2017-18. After polishing off his soap box, Abul Ela said that healthcare spending should be increased by EGP 20 bn, channeling his inner Kanye West and proclaiming the government does not prioritize healthcare (watch, runtime: 8:30).

EXCLUSIVE COMEBACK- Vice Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait responded in an exclusive interview with Enterprise that it was all good and well to add spending numbers on paper, but without ways to balance it out through revenues, that’s all they will be.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Also from the House, MPs approved amendments to the Traffic Act governing fines on highways. MP Hisham Abdel Wahed told Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal that the act is hoped to help fund maintenance on roads, which cost EGP 110 bn during this fiscal year (watch, runtime: 10:32).

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla made the rounds on the airwaves to detail the exploration agreement signed with Eni for the Mediterranean coast off of Sinai, the details of which are covered in the Speed Round. He revealed on Yahduth fi Masr that exploration by the company that brought you Zohr will on the 730k sqm Nour field will begin as soon as the House signs off on the agreement, which he expects will take place in the next 2-3 months (watch, runtime: 2:07).

Meanwhile, Kol Youm’s Amr Adib has signed on as the official Chairman of the Eni fan club, spending some time on his episode fawning over the company and its achievements (watch, runtime: 1:44).

The Ismail cabinet approved the Egypt National Railways’ purchase of four train engines from Austria’s Plasser & Theurer under a funding agreement from the Austrian government. Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat told Yahduth fi Masr that the funding was worth EUR 8 mn to develop the worn-out railway sector.

Startup Argineering won the final round of the weekly CIB-sponsored competition Hona Al Shabab, walking away with EGP 1 mn in funding. Coming in second place was ShopX, which received EGP 300,000, whole third place winner Harmonica was awarded EGP 200,000 (video of the contest was not yet shared by Hona Al Asema).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EBRD ups forecast for Egypt economic growth in FY2017-18 by to 5.3%: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) expects Egypt’s economy to grow by 5.3% in FY2017-18, up 0.8 bps from a previous estimate of 4.5%. Economic growth is expected to accelerate further in FY2018-19 to 5.5%, “supported by the continued boost in confidence, recovery in tourism, increase in foreign direct investment, improved competitiveness, continued strengthening of exports, the start of natural gas production from the Zohr field, the implementation of business environment reforms and prudent macroeconomic policies,” the EBRD said in its updated Regional Prospects Report for 2018 (pdf).

There are risks that threaten to change the current outlook. Among those are increases to global oil prices, a slowdown in the pace of reforms, a rise in inflation levels as the state moves to cut subsidies further in July, in addition to geopolitical and security concerns. The report says, however, that “authorities’ strong commitment and ownership of the economic reform programme” is helping to mitigate the risk.

Predictions for growth in Egypt led the EBRD to revise its estimates for the wider SEMED region. The EBRD sees average GDP for the region growing by 4.4% this year, up from an estimated 4.0% in the November 2017 edition of the report, “owing to a stronger performance in the first half of the fiscal year in Egypt and positive developments in the rest of the region.”

EXCLUSIVE- Vice Minister of Finance reassures private sector of a role in new healthcare system: Vice Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait attempted to reassure private sector healthcare providers and insurance companies that the Universal Healthcare Act guarantees a role for the private sector in the new system under Article 10 of the law. In an interview with Enterprise, Maait encouraged private healthcare providers to join in the new system. He noted, however, that prices for insurance policies would be determined by the new healthcare regulators.

Maait statements comes despite the lack of clarity on the role of the private sector in leaked copies of the executive regulations of the act, which were issued by the Ismail Cabinet on Tuesday. Maait said he had not seen the recent draft of the regulations as these were the purview of the Health Ministry. Past media reports had run statements attributed to Maait claiming that the regs would outline a framework for the private sector.

Maait also confirmed that the new taxes mandated by the act would come into effect in the next fiscal year, which will begin in July. These will include a sin tax on tobacco and fees on issuing licenses. He did not mention the nationwide tax on businesses or the healthcare sector tax which were also mandated by the law.

As for the government covering those unable to pay premiums into the national health insurance scheme, Maait said that actuarial studies indicated that the government will pay for 35% of those who will be insured by the system.

INVESTMENT WATCH- The IFC confirms it plans to invest another USD 1.5 bn in Egypt’s private sector this year. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) officially confirmed in a statement that it has allocated USD 1.5 bn in new funding for the private sector in FY2018-19. The local press had been noting the figure late last year, but this is the first we’ve heard coming from the IFC itself.

Egypt’s Vinavil to receive USD 15 mn multi-currency loan from IFC to help boost production: The statement came following the announcement by the IFC yesterday that it will be providing Vinavil Egypt Chemicals with a USD 15 mn (around EGP 266.6 mn) loan to help the company move forward with plans to double its output and grow into an exporter of specialty construction chemicals. The IFC will be disbursing the amount mostly in EGP — “a first for the organization”—  in order to address the company’s “need for flexible borrowing in both EGP and USD.” IFC MENA DIrector Mohannad Makhlouf said this “ensures the currency is more accessible to local companies, which can help boost crucial industries like manufacturing and construction,” which are vital to job creation.

INVESTMENT WATCH- China’s GCL Group to establish USD 2 bn solar panel factory with Military Production Authority: The Military Production Authority signed yesterday an MoU with China’s GCL Group to establish a USD 2 bn solar panel factory, according to a Military Production Ministry statement. The facility will produce solar panels with a projected generation capacity of 5 GW per annum. Panels will be manufactured using local silica sand. The statement is otherwise scant on details on the project, and does not clarify whether the two sides have reached an agreement on the location or timeline of implementation for the project.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Alta Semper plans to invest USD 200 mn in health, consumer sectors in Africa, including Egypt: London-based private equity firm Alta Semper is planning to invest USD 200 mn in the health and consumer sectors in Egypt and the rest of Africa over the next two years, Cairo office director Ahmed Rady tells Al Mal. It remains unclear whether the firm has its eye on any specific investments in Egypt at the moment. Alta Semper’s first investment in Egypt was back in 2016, when it partnered with CI Capital Partners to acquire a stake in healthcare products outfit Macro Pharma. The firm opened on Tuesday a new office in Cairo to serve Egypt and the region.

OC achieves power-to-grid connection for first of the Siemens power plants: Orascom Construction (OC) has completed power-to-grid on all modules of the 4.8 MW Burullus combined cycle power plant — the first of the three Siemens power plants to reach this stage, the company announced in a statement on Wednesday (pdf). “I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary effort of our team. We are very proud to overcome several challenges and deliver this project under these circumstances,” OC CEO Osama Bishai said. The three fully commissioned Siemens power plants were expected to be launched this month, according to local media reports last month.

Car industry research firm Focus2Move questions auto rebound in Egypt: Sales of passenger cars and other light vehicles in Egypt are supposedly down 6.7% y-o-y in 1Q2018, according to international car industry research firm Focus2Move. The report contradicts the latest findings by the Automotive Information Council (AMIC), which said earlier this month that total auto sales had in fact been up 32.3% in 1Q2018, with passenger car sales rising 24% y-o-y. The firm does note that sales were up 0.4% in March. Focus2Move attributes its figures to a continued decline in the market as a result of inflation in cars.

The report remains optimistic about a rebound this year: Despite the continued slump in vehicle sales, the report projects that by the market will rebound by the end of the year. “Growth should accelerate in FY2018. Investment should expand at a rapid pace, aided by an improved regulatory environment — thanks in large part to several recent measures, such as the new investment, bankruptcy and industrial licensing laws.” It makes no mention of the recent steps to roll out of the Automotive Directive.

The breakdown of the market leaders was on par with that of the AMIC report, with Nissan topping passenger car sales with a 19.5% market share, followed by Hyundai, Chevrolet, Renault and Toyota.

Egyptians love Chinese cars: Egyptian consumers are among those most likely to purchase Chinese branded cars, according to a Nielsen research report picked up Gasgoo. Over one quarter of consumers in Mexico, America, Chile, Egypt, and the remainder of Africa consider purchasing Chinese cars. Africa is also considered to be the export market with the greatest potential for China’s automotive industry. Vehicles exported to the Belt and Road Initiative countries, of which Egypt is a member, reached 641,000, growing 23.8% y-o-y, and accounting for 60.2% of the gross vehicle export, the report said

Hotels in Egypt need to gear up for the influx in tourist arrivals that the country should see as of this year, Hilton’s VP of Operations for Egypt and North Africa, Mohab Ghali, tells Hotels News ME in an interview. The company is expecting tourists to return to Egypt in droves, especially now that direct flights between Cairo and Moscow have resumed, which requires a specific focus on “investing in the infrastructure in terms of hotel renovations and the quality of the products and services that we offer in general in the country, especially improving the skills of employees,” Ghali said. Hilton is expanding its presence in Egypt with a number of new hotels planned for Cairo, Gouna, Ain Sokhna, Port Said, and Damietta.

German tour operator DER Touristik expects rise in “winter sun” bookings to Egypt, Tunisia: German tour operator DER Touristik has increased the number of hotels and flight connections available in Egypt and Tunisia as it expects a rise in “winter sun” bookings to the two countries, according to tourism portal FVW. The operator has also raised booking prices for Egypt holidays by 1%. Germans topped the list of tourist arrivals in Egypt in 2017 with 1.23 mn tourists.

The Ismail Cabinet approved a USD 105 mn exploration agreement with Eni and the Egypt’s Tharwa to search for oil and gas in the Mediterranean off the coast of north Sinai, according to a cabinet statement. Under the agreement, Eni and Tharwa drill two wells over two stages in the coming six years, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla told reporters on Wednesday. Separately, Eni has reportedly begun drilling the second exploratory well in its South Meleiha concession in the Western Desert’s Faghur Basin, Youm7 reports. Eni had announced last week making an oil discovery from another well in the Faghur Basin, which is expected to deliver 2,300 bop/d of light oil.

Other actions and decisions taken by the cabinet at its weekly Wednesday meeting include:

  • Approving a USD 5.1 mn grant with USAID to help bolster trade.
  • Approving a EGP 30 mn funding agreement with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for the second phase of the national archives.
  • Leasing out an agricultural waste recycling center in Kharga for a three-year period.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Amendments to the House of Representatives Act will likely be “extensive,” House Legislative Committee secretary Ehab El Tamhawy tells Al Shorouk. In its current form, the law — which will set election guidelines and govern the establishment of coalition and party formations — is tailored to the assembly that was voted in after the passing of the 2014 constitution, according to El Tamhawy. The committee will therefore include amendments to several articles to enshrine minority representation quotas and the distribution of seats between party-affiliated and independent MPs, which Support Egypt Coalition MP Hisham Emara had previously said would be set at 75% and 25%, respectively. El Tamhawy did not disclose further details on the nature of the amendments.

EARNINGS WATCH- B Investments reports solid financial performance in FY2017: BPE Holding for Financial Investments reported a solid financial performance in FY2017, with consolidated net profits after tax for the year growing 152% y-o-y to EGP 133.2 mn. Consolidated revenues grew 58% y-o-y to EGP 171.6 mn, the company said in an earnings release on Wednesday (pdf).

Name change to B Investments sanctioned by OGM: The firm also announced that its ordinary general assembly officially approved changing the name of the company to B Investments.

EARNINGS WATCH- Beltone Financial reported a consolidated net profit of EGP 760,220 in 1Q2018, up from a consolidated net loss of EGP 8.049 mn during the same period last year, according to an EGX disclosure.

Would you go for a Netflix rival if it only cost you EGP 1? Netflix rival Iflix has launched an exclusive partnership with Vodafone Egypt to offer Vodafone users unlimited access to a vast library of TV shows and movies for just EGP 1 per day, the firm said in a press release.

The company opened a new regional HQ in Cairo to focus on its top priority MENA markets of Egypt, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. “We are thrilled to set up our new regional head office here and partner with Vodafone Egypt, […] to make our service available to tens of mns of customers across the country,” said MENA CEO John Saad. The video streaming website is available to over 1 bn consumers across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

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The Macro Picture

MENA tourism could grow to a USD 350 bn industry by 2027, mainly driven by the leisure and religious tourism sectors, according to MENA Research Partners (MPR). In 2017 alone, leisure tourism generated nearly USD 115 bn to the region, with Dubai being ranked as the sixth most visited city in the world. The region also has high demand for religious tourism, with mns of pilgrims flocking to Saudi Arabia each year for Hajj and Umrah. The growing numbers can also be attributed to the rise of online booking for tickets and tours.

The Middle East is also becoming the fastest growing market for medical and business tourism. “Increasing healthcare costs in Western countries are the primary drivers of this growth,” says Hobeika, adding that the UAE attracts most medical tourism due to its large network of international hospitals. Egypt and Lebanon are also on the rise as destinations for medical tourism destinations due to advanced medical markets and affordable pricing.

The GCC has been the biggest beneficiary of the “terror slump”. “The geopolitical situation in the Middle East since 2012 has reshaped the flow of the industry. Tourism within the MENA region, especially from Egypt and Lebanon, is now redirected toward UAE, Oman and Jordan,” says MPR CEO Anthony Hobeika. Despite the political turmoil, Hobeika expects the industry to have an “impressive rebound.

Egypt in the News

In an otherwise slow news day in the foreign press, wecouldn’t help but wish it was winter when we read this Conde Nast Traveler piece on the Nile cruise. Other coverage of Egypt in the foreign press include:

  • Egyptian comedian Shady Abu Zaid has been detained for 15 days following his arrest on Sunday, says rights lawyer Azza Soliman, according to the Associated Press.

Worth Reading

Shell could have helped slow down or reverse climate change 30 years ago, but slept on the report: European oil and gas company Shell conducted research as early as the 1980s that confirmed climate change would become a serious phenomenon, but decided to bury the evidence and continue drilling for oil, according to IFL Science. The company also reportedly threw its weight behind disseminating false information to cast a shadow of doubt on climate science. Had Shell chosen the alternative route of supporting action against climate change, “we’d be well on the way” to solving global warming now, according to an environmental scientist.

However, Shell is not the first or only company guilty of these actions: We noted reports back in 2016 of how ExxonMobil may be the first to see a Big Tobacco-style showdown over climate change. Exxon has allegedly been aware of climate change aware for almost 40 years.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Cairo and Khartoum agreed to exempt Egyptian and Sudanese citizens from paying additional fees to use the land border ports the two countries share, Ashket-Qostol and Arqin, according to the State Information Service. The two sides also agreed, during talks between investment officials in Khartoum yesterday, to work together to resolve any operational obstacles at the crossings in order to facilitate the movement of cargo and passengers. The move aims to pave the way for further cooperation on investment between Egypt and Sudan, Investment Ministry Undersecretary Fathi Abdel-Azim told Egypt Today, adding that investors will be invited to attend a press conference at the Qostol crossing soon to explore existing opportunities.

Could this mean that Sudan is close to lifting its ban on Egyptian imports? Sudanese officials had reportedly said last month that the government in Khartoum was planning lift its blanket ban on imports of some 19 Egyptian agricultural goods before the start of Ramadan. The ban, which was imposed in May last year, was largely seen as a consequence of souring ties between Egypt and Sudan over the Halayeb and Shalatin border dispute, as well as disagreements over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) new mega dam. While both issues are yet to be resolved, the two sides are working to mend their relations through both diplomatic and economic channels.

Speaking of GERD, Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Moataz Moussa said yesterday that he regretted Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s recent remarks blaming the failure of the dam talks on Sudan and Ethiopia, according to Sudan Tribune.

The Agriculture Ministry issued a decree yesterday banning imports of all South African agricultural and products due to an outbreak of listeria, a deadly bacteria, in South Africa, Al Shorouk reports. The measure is preemptive until the World Health Organization issues a final verdict on the safety of South Africa’s exports. Egypt imports grapes, cherries, pears, pineapples, coconuts, and meat products from South Africa.

A team of Egyptian and British investigators is launching a joint probe into the murder of Egyptian-Italian student Mariam Moustafa in Nottingham back in March, MENA reports. Italy’s prosecutors had also opened an investigation into Mariam’s death, which was believed to be racially motivated.

Energy

SDX begins drilling new exploration well at South Disouq

SDX Energy announced on Tuesday a gas discovery at its Kelvin-1X exploration well at South Disouq. “The well is anticipated to take up to 30 days to drill and if successful, will be completed, flow tested and connected to the infrastructure being developed at the SD-1X discovery location,” the company said, adding that Kelvin-1X is the second out of four wells at South Disouq it plans to explore in 2018.

Sherif Ismail discusses oil and gas cooperation with ADNOC chief

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met yesterday with the head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan Jaber, according to a Cabinet statement. The two discussed oil and gas cooperation, as well as increasing Emirati investments in Egypt’s oil refining, petrochemicals, and LNG sectors.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Aton Resources, Sandstorm sign USD 2.1 mn financing package to fund Egypt operations

Gold miners Aton Resources and Sandstorm Gold Ltd. have signed a USD 2.1 mn financing packaged to fund more exploration and development work at Aton’s Abu Marawat concession in Egypt, according to Junior Mining Network. The proceeds of the private placement will help “advance and unlock the value of the Abu Marawat concession,” says Aton CEO Mark Campbell.

Manufacturing

Oriental Weavers targets exports worth USD 400 mn this year

Oriental Weavers is targeting exports worth USD 400 mn and plans to push exports to reach 70% of total sales in 2018, Investor Relations Manager Ingy El Diwany said. The company also plans to invest around EUR 15-20 mn this year to reach its production targets, according to El Diwani. Oriental Weavers had announced in December it plans to spend EGP 120 mn on new production lines, machinery, and equipment this year, including adding 8-10 weaving looms by end-2018.

Real Estate + Housing

Egypt Property Show closes with USD 110 mn in sales

Egypt Property Show saw USD 110 mn in sales in this year’s edition, up more than 100% y-o-y from last year, according to a press release. The exhibition, which was held in Dubai last year, brought together some of Egypt’s biggest real estate developers, including SODIC, Palm Hills, and Madinet Nasr Housing and Development. The event will be held in the US and UK in September, followed by a closing exhibition in Kuwait this December.

Tourism

EgyptAir considers resumption of Libya flights this year

EgyptAir may resume flights to and from Libya this year following a four-year hiatus, company sources tell Youm 7. After ensuring the security situation is stable and airports are secured in Libya, EgyptAir would operate four flights to Tripoli and three flights to Benghazi per week, the sources say, adding that a delegation from Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority visited Benghazi last year to discuss the resumption of flights with Cairo.

Banking + Finance

FRA grants Raya Holding’s Aman micro financing license

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has granted Raya Holding’s SME financing subsidiary Aman the license to launch micro financing activities, the company said in a statement (pdf). Raya had announced in January that Aman would launch operations in 2H2018 as soon as it receives FRA’s license. The financial services arm, which aims to offer financing and e-payment solutions for SMEs, is set launch with 55 branches nationwide in the first two years, with plans to expand to 150 branches in the coming five years.

AAIB, KfW’s SANAD fund launch JV microfinance startup SANDAH

The Arab African International Bank (AAIB) and German development bank KfW’s SANAD fund launched their JV microfinance startup, SANDAH, CEO Bassel Rahmy tells Reuters’ Arabic service. SANDAH has a paid-in capital of EGP 115 mn. The new company is 70% owned by AAIB, with the remaining 30% under SANAD’s control.

Other Business News of Note

French yeast manufacturer Lesaffre inaugurates 39th baking center in Egypt

French yeast manufacturer Lesaffre inaugurated its 39th baking center in Egypt last Thursday, according to Food Navigator. The new center “will perform day-to-day activities such as bread making, training, product and process development and commercial presentation of its products,” as well as act as a coordinator between Lesaffre’s activities in the region, Asia, and France.

On Your Way Out

An interesting approach to e-waste recycling: The General Authority for Freezones and Investors (GAFI) has granted e-waste recycling startup Dr WEEE a license to launch operations, Al Shorouk reports. The company, which offers to collect e-waste from homes, processes “electronic waste deemed as unrecoverable and normally disposed off in landfill or burnt.”

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.69 | Sell 17.79
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.7 | Sell 17.8
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.66 | Sell 17.76

EGX30 (Wednesday): 17,460 (-2.0%)
Turnover: EGP 1.9 bn (63% ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +16.3%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session down 2.0%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Global Telecom up 5.3% and AMOC up 1.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were GB Auto down 7.9%, Porto Group down 5.3%, and Ezz Steel down 4.8%. The market turnover was EGP 1.9 bn, and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -20.7 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +71.9 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -51.3 mn

Retail: 55.8% of total trades | 46.7% of buyers | 64.9% of sellers
Institutions: 44.2% of total trades | 53.3% of buyers | 35.1% of sellers

Foreign: 12.7% of total | 12.2% of buyers | 13.3% of sellers
Regional: 10.4% of total | 12.3% of buyers | 8.5% of sellers
Domestic: 76.9% of total | 75.5% of buyers | 78.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 71.24 (+0.14%)
Brent: USD 77.21 (+3.15%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.73 MMBtu, (-0.15%, June 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,313.10 / troy ounce (+0.01%)

TASI: 7,878.29 (-1.68%) (YTD: +9.02%)
ADX: 4,486.65 (+0.16%) (YTD: +2.01%)
DFM: 2,889.70 (-2.01%) (YTD: -14.25%)
KSE Premier Market: 4,789.63 (+0.08%)
QE: 8,824.26 (-0.52%) (YTD: +3.53%)
MSM: 4,676.49 (-0.32%) (YTD: -8.29%)
BB: 1,271.05 (-0.17%) (YTD: -4.56%)

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Calendar

14 May (Monday): Flat6Labs’ Cairo Spring Demo Day, InterContinental Semiramis, 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).

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