Monday, 21 May 2018

EFG, GEMS launch K-12 investment fund

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

This fifth day of Ramadan is shaping up to be somewhat quiet at home and abroad.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announced it has set up an information page for Egyptian fans heading to Russia for the 2018 World Cup, which kicks off in less than a month on 14 June with a match between Saudi Arabia and host country Russia. Egypt’s first match will see the national team face off against Uruguay on Friday, 15 June at 2:00pm CLT.

For private equity, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times:

Worst of times: Abraaj, the embattled Dubai-based emerging markets private equity giant, faces new allegations that it misused funds committed to pools other than the healthcare fund now under the microscope. “Two separate examinations into the alleged misuse of money … found potential irregularities in its USD 1 bn health-care fund as well as its other vehicles,” Bloomberg reports, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.” Both a Deloitte audit commissioned by Abraaj and a separate investigation ordered by four high-profile investors found “potential discrepancies in the accounting at some of the other pools.” Abraaj’s leadership team “has been focused on executing on the re-organization of the business, engaging with all investors, and driving value in Abraaj’s portfolio companies across its operating markets,” was the reply from the firm’s spokesperson. Abraaj investors are asking founder Arif Naqvi to “scale back his involvement” in the firm, despite a reorganization that reduces his role and spins off the company’s asset management division. Tom Barrack’s Colony NorthStar (which bills itself as a global real estate and investment management firm) is said it be in the pole position to take a controlling stake in the fund management unit.

Is there a fundraising slowdown in PE as a result? “Abraaj’s woes have already sent shock waves through the ranks of local dealmakers, contributing to bringing private equity deals and fundraising in the region to a halt,” the business information service says, citing interviews with “about a dozen” finance execs.

The best of times: New private equity funds in Europe have raised a combined USD 8 bn, the Financial Times reports, and are “turning away large amounts of capital amid a continued boom for the sector.”

US-China trade war averted … for now: “We are putting the trade war on hold. Right now, we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday, according to Reuters. The move follows positive developments that China may have agreed to raise its imports of US goods by USD 200 bn largely through tariff reductions. Talks are still ongoing.

GE is reportedly close to inking an agreement that would see it merge its transportation unit with railways manufacturer Wabtec, according to Reuters. The combined entity would be valued at around USD 20 bn. The agreement could be announced as early as this week, sources said. The move comes as GE looks to cut costs USD 2 bn this year by divesting stakes in units.

Your Ramadan rundown for today:

Bank hours run 09:30 am to 01:30 pm for customers and from 09:00 am to 02:00 pm for employees, CBE announced.

The EGX is running shorter trading hours. The trading session will kicks off at 10:00 am, but closes at 1:30 pm. Tap or click here for the full schedule.

It’s going to be hot all week: The heatwave continues through Thursday, with forecasts for a daytime high of 41°C today, rising to 43°C Tuesday and Wednesday. Respite comes on Saturday, when you can expect a more reasonable 33°C.

So, when do we eat? For those of us, Maghrib is at 6:45 pm CLT today. You’ll have until 3:17 am tomorrow to finish your sohour.

Today’s recommended Ramadan reading:

“Everything I once was had been liquefied.” Food writer Michael Pollan, author of the very solid The Omnivore’s Dilemma, has investigated “the potential of psychedelic drugs — and embarked on some colourful first-hand research.” The new book is How to Change Your Mind: What the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression and transcendence. You’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s an advertisement for the Merry Pranksters in all of their LSD-fueled, acid test glory. Heck, if that’s the first thing that come to mind, it’s probably all the more reason to read the book. (Amazon | Financial Times)

And because even the youngsters among us are feeling our age on this fifth morning of Ramadan:

For the olds, #1: Drowning at Midlife? Start swimming. “My 9-year-old son had just been given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D. My father-in-law was dying. I was constantly worried my 82-year-old mother was going to fall. And the bills and kids’ homework assignments, not to mention the deadlines for my own work projects, were on a rinse-repeat cycle.” Feel the walls closing in? Read this short, sweet piece in the New York Times, which led us to Barbara Bradley Hagerty’s so-far excellent book Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife.

For the olds, #2: The 1996 Details interview with Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, published online for the first time to mark the one-year anniversary of his death.

For the olds, #3: Unboxing a vintage 1984 Macintosh. If you’re a gadgets geek (particularly a gadgets geek of a certain age), this Imgur user’s USD 200 acquisition is the best thing since sliced bread.

For the olds, #4: The Last Days of Time Incin the New York Times is a must-read for media nerds (like us) wanting to track back through history and understand how “the pre-eminent media organization of the 20th century ended up on the scrap heap,” bought out and now being sold off piece-by-piece by the people from Iowa who publish such grand titles as Better Homes and Gardens.

Bonus: If you have a sense of humor and aren’t turned off by profanity, journalism nerds and politics junkies alike will appreciate the New Yorker’s Additions to the Five Journalistic “W”s, a re-run from last January.

What We’re Tracking This Week

Russian industrial zone contracts will be signed on Wednesday? Egypt and Russia will sign contracts for a 5.23 mn sqm Russian Industrial Zone on Wednesday, 23 May, during a joint committee meeting, according to a Russian trade ministry statement (Russian) issued on Friday.

A delegation from Russia’s Rosatom Overseas is expected in Cairo next month to look into the possibility of upgrading the experimental nuclear reactor in Inshas in Sharqiya.

On The Horizon

The IMF should issue its progress report on Egypt’s economic reform program in two weeks’ time, Deputy Chief of Media Relations Alistair Thomson has said.

Want to sell stuff to the rest of Africa? If hawking more of your wares in Africa is on your list of things to do, pencil in the Afreximbank-backed Intra-African Trade Fair, set to run in Cairo from 11-18 December. Lots of detail on the conference’s website here.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Nothing to see here, ladies and gentlemen. Literally. The talking heads are on hiatus for the month of Ramadan. We’re intensely grateful for the break, but we’ll still keep one eye on the airwaves just in case anything should appear that you need to know

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

INVESTMENT WATCH- EFG, GEMS to partner up on new K-12 education platform in Egypt; could invest USD 300 mn over the next five years: EFG Hermes announced yesterday (pdf) that it’s partnering up with GEMS Education to invest in the K-12 education industry in Egypt. The project, a 50/50 joint venture, will see EFG Hermes “establish an investment vehicle managed by its private equity division” to help fund the project alongside GEMS, offering investors “unique access to Egypt — MENA’s largest education market with over 20 mn enrolled students,” said EFG Hermes Head of Asset Management and Private Equity Karim Moussa. The JV could invest as much as USD 300 mn in Egyptian education opportunities over the next five years, Moussa told the National, a UAE daily.

What is GEMS? Dubai-based GEMS says it has 51 schools in three countries; its revenues stood at USD 926 mn for the 12 months ending August 2017 (its last full fiscal year), up 17% on the previous year, according to a regulatory filing (pdf).

Sizing the market: About 10% of Egypt’s c. 20 mn students are enrolled in private schools, Moussa told the National, and some 600k new students each year enroll in the education system, whether at public, private or international schools.

Gov’t to launch phase two of the 200 PPP schools program: The EFG-GEMS partnership comes as the Education Ministry plans to issue tenders for phase two of the government’s program to develop 200 schools under a public-private partnership framework, head of the ministry’s PPP unit Amany El Far tells Al Mal. The second phase is set to include the development of the Nile international schools, she adds. Nile international schools are a series of government owned institutions that aim to offer international school education at affordable prices. Seven companies have already been tapped to take part in phase one of the program, including El Gazeera, the Middle East Education Services Group, and CIRA (the last of which has said it hopes to list on the EGX sometime in 4Q2018.)

M&A WATCH- MNHD, SODIC advisers meet for talks on potential merger: Advisers on the potential merger of leading real estate players SODIC and MNHD met last Thursday to discuss how to combine the two businesses, according to a regulatory filing (pdf) from SODIC. SODIC had appointed CI Capital and White & Case as its advisors, while MNHD tapped EFG Hermes and Zaki Hashem & Partners to advise it on the potential transaction. Talks between both companies began last month to explore the potential upside from their combined assets, resources, and experience.

M&A WATCH- NBE, Banque Misr to buy 4% of Arab Contractors subsidiary for EGP 2.5 bn: Arab Contractors will sell 4% of its share in Mostakbal Urban Developments to the state-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr in a EGP 2.5 bn transaction, Arab Contractors Chairman Mohsen Salah said yesterday. The contracts for the agreement, which will see each bank receive a 2% share, should be signed and sealed before the end of May, he said, adding that the transaction gives Arab Contractors the right to buy back the shares within two years. Arab Contractors will use proceeds from the sale to expand its existing investments, bolster its working capital, and pay back bank loans.

Edita is planning to export to Saudi Arabia and the UAE this year, Investor Relations Director Menna Shams El Din tells Al Mal. The company will also begin exporting packaged snacks to Morocco after Ramadan, she adds. Edita is building a new factory in Morocco under a partnership with Dislog Group, which should begin operating by 3Q2019. The company hopes to finance the USD 10 mn facility through a loan, said Shams El Din. The company plans to spend EGP 180 mn in its Egypt operations this year, she added.

Kuwait Energy looks to spin-off Egyptian assets: Kuwait Energy has hired investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to advise on possibly divesting its stakes in Egypt and Iraq, sources close to the matter tell Reuters. Plans include spinning off Egypt assets that include interests in four oil and gas fields, including the Abu Sennan concession. Kuwait Energy had reduced its stake in that field to 25% last year. In Iraq, the company is looking to sell part or all of its Block 9 field. The move comes as the company is looking for liquidity to pay back shareholders and creditors. Talks for a possible merger with the UK’s SOCO International earlier this year had reportedly had fallen apart. The firm, which lost its CEO and saw a credit downgrade last year, owes USD 290 mn due next year, and should start repayments of a convertible loan of around USD 150 mn this year to an entity controlled by private equity group Abraaj.

Emaar Misr’s dispute with El Nasr over Uptown Cairo land isn’t over: State-owned El Nasr Housing and Reconstruction reportedly plans to proceed with the arbitration suit it filed last July against Emaar Misr, which alleges that the latter owes it EGP 1 bn and 3 mn sqm of land in Mokattam. This comes despite reports over the last month that a resolution was in the offing. Sources told us last month that Emaar had presented an EGP 100 mn settlement offer. This was followed by statements attributed by Al Masry Al Youm to an El Nasr board member that the had company approved the settlement offer. El Nasr accuses Emaar of failing to develop land it acquired back in 2005. The Public Enterprises Ministry had acknowledged that Emaar was not to blame for the delays. Nonetheless, El Nasr apparently also wants to sue state officials, accusing them of siding with Emaar. Look for El Nasr to next sue the arbitrators if that doesn’t go its way…

EXCLUSIVE- Egypt and Sudan will sign contracts to connect their electricity grid in two weeks’ time. The next milestone on our march toward becoming a regional energy hub will see Egypt and Sudan sign in two weeks’ time contracts to connect their electricity grids, Electricity Holding Company head Gaber El Desouky tells Enterprise. The holding company has no plans to seek external financing for the USD 60-70 mn project, El Desouky added. The project looks to be on the fast track: Desouky said to expect development work to begin within three months of a tender. As many as eight local and global players have been invited to participate in the prospective tender, among them ABB, General Electric, Elsewedy, Schneider, Siemens, and State Grid Corporation of China. Earlier reports in the domestic press had suggested the Sudan interconnection project would cost as much as USD 500 mn and that the state was seeking international financing to push it along.

El Desouky also confirmed that contracts to connect Egypt’s grid to Saudi Arabia’s will be signed at the end of June. These agreements, which come as part of the state’s drive to position Egypt as a regional energy hub, come with a view to ultimately allowing the increasingly deregulated industry to buy and sell power regionally. Talks with Cyprus and Greece on a USD 4 bn interconnection project will kick start within the coming month when a Cypriot delegation visits.

Don’t celebrate quite yet: as is the case whenever we start cozying up to our southern neighbor Sudan, we face a hurdle: They don’t like our TV. Khartoum has summoned Egypt’s ambassador to deliver an official complaint over a TV show involving Egyptian terrorists living in the country, according to a Sudanese Foreign Ministry statement. The Ramadan series Abu Omar El Masry is “insulting to Egyptians living in Sudan and destroys the confidence and relations between the people of the two countries,” the ministry said, urging Egypt to “stop attempts at disturbing the interests of the two countries.” ON E channel, which airs the show, denied the charges in a statement picked up by Al Shorouk. The Supreme Media Council also rejected the notion that it was offensive to Sudan.

The Egypt-Sudan-mosalsal story tops coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning; wire reports from the AFP and the Associated Press are getting particularly wide play.

Gov’t pushing through stalled large-scale power projects including the Hamrawein power plant? The government began yesterday studying offers from three consortia for the 6 GW Hamrawein “clean coal” power plant, according to a Cabinet statement. A Shanghai Electric-Dong Fang-Hassan Allam consortium reportedly priced the development at USD 4.4 bn, making it the lowest offer received. GE is offering to build it for USD 5.2 bn, and the Orascom Construction-Elsewedy Electric-Mistubishi Hitachi offered USD 6.19 bn. GE and the Orascom Construction consortium each brought down the cost of their offers from USD 5.8 bn and USD 7 bn, respectively, after the Electricity Ministry had reportedly requested that the bidders re-price. The winning consortium will be announced next week, says Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker.

Meanwhile, Siemens wants you to know that negotiations with the Electricity Ministry over the establishment of 2 GW-worth of wind farms in the Gulf of Suez have not stopped, according to statements by its Egypt CEO Emad Ghaly picked up by Al Shorouk. He denied any rumors to the contrary. The company has already received 10 land plots in the area for the projects, but talks over the the feed-in tariff (FiT) have been on-and-off since last year, with Siemens refusing to lower its tariff and insisting it should be raised instead. We had reported in January that negotiations were stalled due to disagreements over FiT.

Another step toward the Automotive Directive? Trade Minister Tarek Kabil issued yesterday a decree forming a committee in charge of implementing higher local content requirements for domestic assemblers and manufacturers. The committee will draft the executive regulations to the ministry’s directive from last month that requires 46% of the components of domestically-assembled cars to be sourced locally. It will also oversee the creation of a comprehensive database of automotive manufacturers and component producers in Egypt. Assemblers have welcomed the changes to local contact rules as a “significant step” toward the Automotive Directive, which would offer assemblers incentives to move up the value chain into manufacturing. Members of the committee include representatives from the Industrial Development Authority, the auto components and engineering industries divisions of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, and the Trade and Industry Ministry.

BUDGET WATCH- Spendthrift MPs want an additional EGP 90 bn in spending for the next budget: Parliamentary committees have recommended a total of EGP 90 bn in new spending under the FY2018-19 budget, Rep. Samir El Batikhy tells Al Shorouk. Health and education get the lion’s share of the new earmarks, with parliament’s education committee looking to see spending on education increased by EGP 60 bn. The health committee is recommending an additional EGP 20 bn, while the rest is being requested for the ministries of agriculture, irrigation and manpower. As we noted yesterday, the House Budget and Planning Committee has recommended that spending on health, education, railways, and the State Information Service be increased in the FY2018-19 budget by EGP 58.2 bn. Look for much haggling between MPs and the Ismail cabinet in the days to come. Next year’s budget sees total government spending increase to EGP 1.4 tn, up from EGP 1.2 tn this year.

LEGISLATION WATCH- House Legislative Committee nixes mediation clauses from Economic Courts Act: The House of Representatives’ Constitutional and Legislative Committee removed clauses related to the mediation of disputes from the Economic Courts Act, Rep. Khaled Hanafy tells Al Mal. Members of the committee, who should begin reviewing the act once they’ve completed discussions over the FY2018-19 budget, agreed that mediating and settling disputes should not be within economic courts’ jurisdiction and require separate legislation. The act would allow economic courts to handle consumer protection-related cases and look to expedite the dispute resolution process. It would also grant economic courts jurisdiction over criminal violations of the Capital Markets Act. The Council of State had raised objections to what it saw as a lack of input from ministries and government agencies impacted by the law, including the CBE, Financial Regulatory Authority, and Finance Ministry.

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Image of the Day

Colonel Amr Sanders gets called out for Al Wataniya chicken ads: TV preacher Amr Khaled has come under fire over the last few days for appearing in an advertisement for Al Wataniya chicken and claiming that specific brand of poultry is an important part of one’s religious experience, according to the National. Online criticism included the expected calls for his TV show to be canceled, but none stood out as much as one tweet putting Khaled’s face on the KFC logo.

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Egypt in the News

It’s slim pickings in the foreign press this morning, with the most outlets noting Sudan’s latest tantrum over a television show. Gaza continued to feature prominently, with the most notable piece coming from former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. The US and Egypt should work to de-escalate the current crisis in Gaza, he writes in an op-ed for the Washington Post. “Cairo should pressure Hamas to end the border clashes, and Washington should encourage Israel to provide maximum space for peaceful Palestinian protest.” Furthermore, the US must reinstate aid flow to Gaza aided by Egypt, Israel and Palestinian Authority, he adds.

Other stories worth noting in brief this morning:

  • Tourists are finally returning to Egypt as security and economy begin to improve, the FT’s very on-point Heba Saleh writes.
  • This weekend’s royal wedding in the UK honored Coptic Christians by including an Egyptian archbishop “as one of the religious officials who oversaw the ceremony,” according to the National.
  • Dismantling the welfare state: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is “[dismantling] the welfare state” established under Gamal Abdel Nasser, highlighting a significant difference between the two leaders despite their similarities, Dina Shehata writes for the Cairo Review.
  • Authorities are cracking down on animal-drawn carts in Cairo and providing cart owners with motor vehicles to use in their stead; some cart owners are resisting the switch, Al Monitor says.

Worth Watching

A rare video on the third anniversary of Nasser’s revolution has surfaced on the interwebz. The 1955 film shows footage of the Free Officers takeover that toppled King Farouk in 1952 and the celebrations in the years that followed (watch, runtime: 00:29).

Energy

Africa Energy secures Saudi funding for solar-powered irrigation projects

Africa Energy has secured funding from Saudi investors to establish solar-powered irrigation projects in remote villages in Egypt, Chairman Ahmed Hamdy tells Al Shorouk. The 10-500 KW solar power stations, which are estimated to cost EGP 200k-10 mn, will sell power to landowners in installments once completed. The projects will be carried out in Qena, Siwa, Farafra, Dakhla, and Kharga. The company is also looking to invest in solar-powered irrigation projects in Ghana and South Sudan, according to Hamdy.

Infrastructure

Five consortiums qualify for second bidding round for 6 October City dry port

The General Authority For Ports & Dry Land will launch “within days” the second bidding round for the Six October dry port project, which will be limited to the five consortiums that qualified in the first round, Al Mal reports. Biding companies are: a consortium made up of Elsewedy Group, Germany’s Schenker, and Cairo 3A; another made up of Groupe PSA, Hassan Allam Construction, and Concorde Engineering and Contracting; a third comprising the Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport, the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and DP World; a Samcrete-IGL consortium; and GE Transport. The winner is expected to begin work on the USD 100 mn project in 4Q2018 under a 30-year contract. Mather Group had been tapped as financial consultant, with Sarie – Eldin & Partners and Allen & Overy will as legal counsel, and Randall Environmental as technical advisor.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Trade Ministry signs agreement to manage branding of authentic Egyptian cotton

The Trade Ministry signed yesterday a three-year cooperation agreement with the Egyptian Cotton Exporters Association and the Cotton Egypt Association to manage the branding rights and promotion of Egyptian cotton, according to a ministry statement. Under the agreement, the three entities will form a committee mandated with making sure international textile companies that use authentic Egyptian cotton when branding their products as such. A separate committee will also be tasked with forming an annual marketing strategy for the Egyptian cotton. The agreement is the latest in a series of moves to ensure proper use if the “Egyptian cotton” label since the the Welspun India scandal.

Fancy Foods plans to launch 3 new production lines

Fancy Foods is looking to establish three new production lines in an effort to capitalize on available export opportunities, Chairman Alaa El Bahey tells Al Shorouk, without disclosing timeline or investment value. The company will focus on exports to Europe.

Manufacturing

IDA sets higher fees for services to complaints from investors

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) upped the fees it charges investors and manufacturers for issuing licenses and other services. Depending on the size of the project, fees for amending industrial registries jumped to EGP 3,800-37,770, while fees for issuing temporary licenses was increased to EGP 4,700-23,450. Investors’ associations sent a formal complaint to the Ismail Cabinet objecting to the new fees, which they said came as a surprise and should have been put up for discussion first. The fees are also too high and would add significantly to the prices of final products, according to House Rep. Mohamed El Morshedy, who heads the Obour Investors Association. You can view the full list of fees here, courtesy of Youm7.

Health + Education

Health Ministry steps up quality inspections ahead of Universal Healthcare Act

The Health Ministry shut down 59 health facilities in Dakahlia for failing to meet health and technical standards as part of its ongoing inspection campaign on these facilities, the ministry announced yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The shutdowns come ahead of the launch of the Universal Healthcare Act this year, which will create new healthcare regulators to ensure quality control at hospitals. Separately, the ministry had shut down the Heliopolis hospital earlier this month over what it said were “life threatening” violations. It has since reversed the decision, according to Al Mal.

SIAC wins tender to develop New Alamein University

SIAC Construction has won a tender to develop the New Alamein University, Business Development head Ahmed Azmy tells Al Masry Al Youm. The first phase of the project should be complete in September 2019. No details on investment cost were disclosed.

Real Estate + Housing

New Administrative Capital plans to tender land under PPP framework

The New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development is planning to launch tenders for the establishment of mixed-use residential and commercial projects at the new capital under a PPP framework, an unnamed company official tells Al Shorouk. The company has reportedly already received offers and proposals from several investors.

Telecoms + ICT

Speed Tech to distribute Indian, Chinese, and Algerian smartphones in Egypt

Speed Tech Co. signed three distribution agreements with MicroMax India, Algeria’s Condor Electronics, and China’s Gionee to sell their smartphones in Egypt, Al Shorouk reports.

Automotive + Transportation

Gov’t to select winning offer for 1,300 locomotive supply contracts by month’s end

The government will select the winning bid to supply the Egyptian National Railways with 1,300 railway cars for around EGP 19-20 bn by the end of the month, Minister Hisham Arafat tells Al Ahram. The ministry has narrowed down the competition to two offers from a Chinese company and a Russian-Hungarian consortium. The agreement stipulates that the locomotives meet a 40% domestic component requirement by cooperating with a state-owned entity specialized in heavy industry, such as SEMAF or one of the Military Production Ministry’s factories, according to the minister. On a related note, the National Railway Authority (NRA) received an offer from the US-based transport company RailRunner to supply seven locomotives for cargo transport, authority head Sayed Salem tells Al Mal. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat had met with a delegation from the US company back in February to discuss cooperation on rail transport.

Cairo Metro signs agreement with Fawry to sell metro tickets

The Cairo Metro signed yesterday a contract with e-payments platform Fawry for the latter to sell metro tickets, Cairo Metro announced. The move is meant to reduce congestion at metro stations’ ticket windows, according to the statement, which has reportedly increased since the Transport Ministry implemented a new pricing system earlier this month. Tickets are now available at Fawry Plus branches in Greater Cairo.

Banking + Finance

FRA launches insurance database

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) launched yesterday its comprehensive electronic database for the insurance industry, which will include information on both providers and customers, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The move, which comes with the support of industry lobby group the Egyptian Insurance Federation, is meant to keep insurance prices fair and transparent while helping curb market manipulation, FRA officials reportedly said. We’ve yet to see any explanation as to who will have access to the database. By our guess this could be an “iScore for the insurance industry” or maybe a monthly league table as the FRA presently does with the leasing industry.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Gov’t eyes bringing down unemployment to 8.5% by 2022

The government is targeting bringing down unemployment rates to reach 8.5% by FY2021-2022, according to information from the Planning Ministry picked up by Youm7. The ministry also expects unemployment to drop to 10.4% during the upcoming fiscal year. Unemployment had dropped to 10.6% in 1Q2018, down from 11.3% in the comparable period last year, according to CAPMAS statistics released last week.

Sports

Egypt’s Nour El Sherbiny wins British Open championship

Egyptian squash champion Nour El Sherbiny won yesterday the Allam British Open women’s championship after beating compatriot Raneem El Welily 3-0 in the final match, according to PSA World Tour. Yesterday’s win marks the second time for El Sherbiny to walk away with the British Open title, after becoming the first Egyptian woman to do so in 2016. World number one Mohamed El Shorbagy, meanwhile, lost the final match to Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez after a “gladiatorial, 102-minute battle.”

On Your Way Out

Ten Egyptian startups graduated from Flat6Labs’ tenth cycle following the demo day held last week, Entrepreneur reports. “The current set of entrepreneurs hail from across Egypt and are working on online and digital solutions across industries ranging from fintech, medicine, training and development, to transportation, insurance and retail.” The graduating startups include savings planner 7aweshly, training and development platform Arza2, pharmacy locator Chefaa, automotive ecommerce platform Tombeely, and grocery delivery platform Weelo.

Historian Bernard Lewis passed away on Saturday at 101, his lifelong partner Buntzie Churchill confirmed, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. Lewis, “a preeminent scholar of Middle Eastern history whose work profoundly shaped Western views of the region,” is credited with having used the term “clash of civilizations” in his 1990 essay, the Roots of Muslim Rage. Samuel Huntington went on to popularize the concept in his book of the same name.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.85 | Sell 17.95
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.84 | Sell 17.94
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.77 | Sell 17.87

EGX30 (Sunday): 16,782 (-0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 613 mn (47% BELOW the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +11.7%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session down 0.6%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 2.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Eastern Co up 2.7%, AMOC up 1.7%, and Pioneers Holding up 1.3%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Emaar Misr down 2.9%, Heliopolis Housing down 2.3%, and CIB down 2.2%. The market turnover was EGP 613 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +32.5 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -2.5 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -30.0 mn

Retail: 65.9% of total trades | 68.2% of buyers | 63.6% of sellers
Institutions: 34.1% of total trades | 31.8% of buyers | 36.4% of sellers

Foreign: 13.4% of total | 16.0% of buyers | 10.7% of sellers
Regional: 9.8% of total | 9.6% of buyers | 10.0% of sellers
Domestic: 76.8% of total | 74.4% of buyers | 79.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 71.86 (+0.81%)
Brent: USD 79.13 (+0.79%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.83 MMBtu, (-0.49%, June 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,289.10 / troy ounce (-0.17%)

TASI: 8,018.06 (+0.02%) (YTD: +10.96%)
ADX: 4,425.86 (-0.13%) (YTD: +0.62%)
DFM: 2,918.74 (+0.21%) (YTD: -13.39%)
KSE Premier Market: 4,771.06 (+0.11%)
QE: 8,856.90 (-0.39%) (YTD: +3.91%)
MSM: 4,590.16 (-0.60%) (YTD: -9.98%)
BB: 1,267.26 (-0.43%) (YTD: -4.84%)

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Calendar

14 June (Thursday): 2018 World Cup kickoff match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, Moscow, Russia.

15 June (Friday): Egypt’s first 2018 World Cup match against Uruguay, Yekaterinburg, Russia.

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

19 June (Tuesday): Egypt plays against Russia at 2018 World Cup, St. Petersburg, Russia.

25 June (Monday): Egypt plays against Saudi Arabia at 2018 World Cup, Volgograd, Russia.

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.

7-18 December (Friday-Tuesday):

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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