Monday, 28 May 2018

New Customs Act to whitelist importers, clamp down on tour agency car rental racket


What We’re Tracking Today

The Ramadan news slowdown is real, ladies and gentlemen. We’re determined to enjoy it while it lasts.

YouTube is still accessible from Egypt this morning despite a Supreme Administrative Court ruling that it must be shuttered for a month over a years-old video a lower court had decided was insulting to the Prophet Mohammed. We presume this unfolds as did ergot (see this morning’s Speed Round, below) and Tiran and Sanafir: The sport isn’t in what the government will do (it’s not going to turn off YouTube), but in how it maneuvers its way around an administrative judiciary that policy makers and business leaders alike often find impenetrable.

Parking law to be finalized today: The House Local Administration Committee will finalize its discussion of a draft law to regulate public parking and the work of a “sayess” (parking attendant) during a meeting today, Ahram Gate reports.

Elsewhere this morning:

Oil at USD 50 is more likely than oil at USD 100, writes Nick Butler for the Financial Times, arguing that the market is set to settle as “the hype and speculation that led to the [run up to USD 80] is replaced by a cold return to fundamentals. … There is no shortage of supply and no imbalance of supply and demand. Any shortfalls in production from places such as Venezuela have been easily covered by production from elsewhere, not least the US where output continues to grow month by month thanks to the continuing shale revolution.” Don’t fret: You can always plow your net worth into real gold instead of black gold…

The US-North Korea summit may still be on as American officials enter North Korea for preparatory talks, Reuters and the New York Times report. The summit was originally scheduled for 12 June.

Abbas, Bush in hospital: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was in hospital for an eighth day yesterday, reportedly seeking treatment for a lung infection, while former US President George W. Bush was admitted to hospital in Maine the same day, complaining of fatigue and low blood pressure.

Keep an eye on Saudi dairy producer Almarai, which is planning a five-year, USD 2.8 bn capex program that’s designed to increase efficiency and expand its geographic footprint. Almarai had reportedly tried back in 2016 to acquire Qalaa Holdings’ Dina Farms dairy and fresh milk operation. Almarai owns and operates the Beyti brand in Egypt as part of a joint venture with PepsiCo.

Bahrain sees “no glimmer of hope” that the Qatar “crisis” will end anytime soon, the country’s foreign minister said yesterday.

Nigerians will see real income per capita fall every year through at least 2023, according to an IMF forecast picked up by the Financial Times. Crazier still: The country is projected to be the third-largest in the world by 2050, behind only India and China.

Food for thought: Are raises a thing of the past in the US? “Very few Americans have enjoyed steadily rising pay beyond inflation over the last couple of decade … Now, executives of big U.S. companies suggest that the days of most people getting a pay raise are over, and that they also plan to reduce their work forces further,” Axios writes.

And speaking of Amreeka: Hurricane season is underway as the first named storm of the 2018 season is due to make landfall today. Hurricane season usually runs June through November.

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 kicks off at 10:00 am, but closes at 1:30 pm. Tap or click here for the full schedule.

We’re looking at reasonably good weather for the rest of the week, with the mercury set to hover between 32°C and 34°C all the way through Friday. A spell of warmer weather is on the horizon starting Saturday, according to the long-range forecast on our favorite weather app.

So, when do we eat? For those of us observing, Maghrib is at 6:49 pm CLT today. You’ll have until 3:12 am tomorrow to finish your sohour.

Tired of lesan asfour soup and sambousek? Struggling for inspiration? Try sheet-pan chicken with potatoes, arugula and garlic yoghurt. Go ahead and defy the recipe — use Greek yoghurt (or mayo, if you prefer). It’s simple and amazing.

In our TBR pile for that hour before iftar:

Murdering, [redacted]-crazed, substance-abusing puppets have not pleased the creators of Sesame Street, who have filed a lawsuit against STX Entertainment over how the latter is promoting The Happytime Murders. The summertime comedy stars Melissa McCarthy and a cast of raunchy, [redacted]-hungry, violent puppets. At issue: The marketing line “No sesame. All street.”

The production company boss’ best line: “You know in your hearts, when Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy go home at night and there are no cameras around and no children, it’s filthy.” Better still: The director is the son of the late Jim Henson, whose DNA runs deep through this thing, due in theatres on 17 August 2018.

(If you’re particularly literal about fasting, you’ll want to save this for after iftar):

You can catch the (definitely R-rated) trailer here (watch, runtime: 2:37). Make sure the kiddies or your underage siblings aren’t within earshot. If the 1980s oeuvre of Mr. Eddie Murphy — or the slapstick comedies of that era —make you laugh, this movie is for you. (You’ll need to tap / click to confirm you’re over the age of 18 to watch they trailer, but it’s worth it. We’re still laughing heading into dispatch time.)

Not your cup of tea? Plan your summer movie watching with the New York Times’ rundown of 2018 summer movies.

Food for thought: Born in the 1980s? Be thankful it was here and not in the United States. While people born in the 1960s and 1970s are “not doing too great in terms of wealth,” it’s worse for “older millennials” born in the US between 1980 and 1989, Esquire writes. Why? Blame the housing market: “When the housing bubble burst, older generations of home owners were hit hard, but as real estate regains value post-Great Recession, they’ve been able to make up for some of those losses. But many of these ’80s kids went into the recession, and its aftermath up to 2016, without owning homes. Their debt instead comes in the form of student loans, auto loans, and credit card debt, all assets that have not ‘appreciated rapidly during the last few years—such as stocks and real estate,’ the Fed explains.” By contrast, the 1980s onward have largely been decades of wealth formation for Egypt’s upper middle class, and with our national mania for investing in real estate…

What We’re Tracking This Week

Our friends at AmCham are holding their annual general meeting and iftar tomorrow. Their guest speaker will be Education Minister Tarek Shawki, who will speak about the government’s “national strategy for education transformation in Egypt.” If our own little company’s iftar wasn’t scheduled for the same night, we’d attend: We don’t know Tarek Shawki, but the man is brave to push for sweeping education reform, and none of us in the business community (ourselves included) are doing enough to support him. Hats off to AmCham for inviting him to speak. Members and their guests and register here to attend the iftar and AGM.

On The Horizon

Do you have an idea for a tech-enabled business idea that could make agriculture in Egypt more efficient? The World Bank may have seed funding, access to mentorship, and an accelerator / incubator program for you through its “DigitalAG4Egypt” program. The deadline for submissions is 1 July. Tap or click here for more information.

Upcoming milestones to watch on our march toward becoming a regional energy hub:

  • We could sign the contracts for our USD 60-70 mn grid connection project with Sudan in two weeks’ time, Egyptian Electricity Head Gaber El Desouky had told us. Eight local and global players have been invited to participate in the prospective tender to develop the project;
  • Talks with Cyprus and Greece on a USD 4 bn interconnection project will kickstart within the coming month when a Cypriot delegation visits;
  • Contracts for an interconnection with Saudi Arabia could be signed by the end of June, sources say.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The talking heads are still on their Ramadan hiatus. Our talkshow coverage will be back after Eid.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- Preferential “white list,” clampdown on tour agency car rentals, new penalties and more in Customs Act: The latest draft of the Customs Act will include a host of measures that facilitate the flow of goods through Egypt’s ports while also introducing new tariffs for the tourism sector and penalties for violators, sources tell Enterprise. We’ve also received confirmation that a number of recently announced changes to the act are in place, including slashing customs duties on capital goods to 2% from a current 5% and expanding temporary exemptions for production inputs and packaging equipment. Highlights of law, which is currently with the Finance Ministry for review, include:

  • Sometimes, common sense wins: The Customs Authority will establish a “white list” of importers who will benefit from expedited clearance of goods. Companies on the list will be able to clear their goods without initially undergoing full procedures. An inspection of their warehouses and their documentation will be conducted later. Importers “in good standing” who have been abiding by the rules will be eligible for entry on the list.
  • No more gaming the system: The amendments propose a new tariff structure for vehicles imported by tour operators, hotels and resorts. Tariffs on cars and vans imported by industry players will double to 10% for vehicles with a price tag of under EGP 500k. Cars over that level will pay 10% for EGP 500k of the price tag, while the remainder of the value will be subject to a levy of 40-135% based on engine size. Tour buses will continue to be taxed at their current level of 5%.
  • A limit will also be imposed on the number of vehicles a tourism operator can import. The Tourism Ministry will determine the allocation for company based on its size.
  • In other words: Say goodbye to the racket of importing vehicles nearly customs-free and then renting them out as personal automobiles with discrete stickers applied.
  • The amendments will see the introduction of installment payments on import duties.
  • Penalties will be amended. Smuggling of banned goods could see prison sentences of up to five years. Customs evaders can choose between time in prison or paying fines of double the import bill.
  • Signing off on temporary exemptions will be the sole purview of the Customs Authority. Prior to the amendments, various ministries could issue temporary exemptions.
  • We’ve heard this before: The Customs Authority will establish a single platform for importers to obtain and submit all their documents. The authority will also establish a importer services department.

Funeral of the now-dead zero tolerance policy on ergot in imported wheat will be attended by absolutely no one: The Higher Administrative Court has struck down on Saturday the defunct zero tolerance policy on ergot contamination in wheat imports. The decisions allows the current policy of accepting imports with 0.05% ergot contamination to continue unencumbered, according to Al Shorouk. The ruling strikes down a court decision from last November that attempted legal voodoo to revive the policy by invalidating a government decree allowing imports of wheat with 0.05% ergot — the global standard. The government filed an appeal with the Higher Administrative Court. The flip flop over ergot, which began in 2016, had caused widespread headaches for industry players, with traders having been reluctant to participate in tenders by the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC). Let’s hope the ruling puts the whole issue to bed once and for all.

MOVES- Shakeup at the board of Misr Insurance ahead of EGX Listing: Public Enterprises Minister Khaled Badawy issued a decree ordering the shakeup of the board of directors of Misr Insurance Holding Company on Sunday, Ahram Gate reports. This move, which reduced the number of board seats to seven from a previous nine, saw the appointment of Tamer El Batesh as acting chairman of Misr Insurance. El Batesh was managing director at the Egyptian Gulf Holding for Financial Investments, a subsidiary of EG Bank. Banque Misr Vice Chairman Akef El Maghraby and Banque du Caire’s head of risk, Hala Al Qassar, are among the new board appointees. The shakeup comes ahead of an EGX Listing as part of the state privatization program. Misr Insurance’s extraordinary general meeting approved last week plans to list the company.

Egpt drawing down European financing for Cairo Metro’s third line: Egypt has received EUR 300 mn of some EUR 900 mn in loans extended by the French Development Agency (AFD) and European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance the construction of the Cairo Metro Line 3, sources close to the matter tell Al Mal. The EIB, which provided EUR 200 mn of the amount, is expected to expend EUR 600 mn in loans to the project. The AFD, which has reportedly paid out EUR 100 mn, is expected to contribute another EUR 200 mn to the project, while the Egyptian government will cover the remaining EUR 100 mn. Developers — Orascom Construction and the JV comprised of VINCI, Bouygues, and Arab Contractors — broke ground on phase III of the project last week.

It looks like Mo Salah could still make it to the World Cup: Egypt’s national team doctor is “optimistic” that Mohamed Salah will be able to play at the World Cup next month based, according to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA). Salah has a sprained shoulder, Liverpool’s medical team told the EFA, which should heal in time for the championship in Moscow. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi phoned the national star yesterday to follow up on his injury and extend his well wishes, according to an Ittihadiya statement. There remains no official statement from the Liverpool FC doctors on Salah’s condition. Liverpool Manager Jürgen Klopp had said on Saturday evening that Salah’s injury was “really serious,” much to the dismay of mns who are banking on Salah to lead the Pharaohs at the World Cup. “Despite the odds, I’m confident that I’ll be in Russia to make you all proud,” the Egyptian national team star said in a tweet yesterday.

Real Madrid’s Sergio “Kalb” (or “Ibn Gazma” or…) Ramos, the most despised man in Egypt yesterday, wished Salah a “prompt recovery” in a tweet just hours after injuring the Liverpool striker in a Saturday game. “Sometimes football shows you its good side and other times the bad. Above all, we are fellow pros,” he said. Ramos’ half-hearted apology fell on deaf ears: An online petition demanding that FIFA and UEFA penalize the Spanish player has already collected some 260k signatures after the “devastating” moment of watching Salah walk off the field in tears on Saturday. The outpouring of support for Salah is a “rare moment of unity” for Egyptians, many of whom took to social media to exact their own form of revenge on Ramos, Hamza Hendawi writes for the Associated Press.

Bahrain to lift ban on Egyptian guava imports: Egypt’s Agriculture Ministry announced yesterday that Bahraini authorities have agreed to lift the ban on Egyptian guava imports as of the upcoming 2018-19 season. The decision came after Egpt addressed quality and safety complaints related to pesticide contamination. Saudi Arabia had last month also agreed to a lift a ban on Egyptian guavas as well as strawberries and peppers. Saudi Arabia will also begin implementing new regulations on Egyptian imports as of 13 July, which mandate that every shipment entering the kingdom carry a certified lab report proving it meets quality standards and is free of specific contaminants.

Orascom Construction to contribute EGP 15 mn to EFG Hermes and Sawiris foundations’ Upper Egypt development project: Orascom Construction will be joining the EFG Hermes Foundation and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development in supporting social and economic development in Upper Egypt’s Naga’ El Fawal and El Deir villages with a EGP 15 mn contribution to the initiative. The amount brings the total contributed to the project up to EGP 70 mn, according to a joint release (pdf).


Enterprise is available without charge — just visit our English or Arabic subscription page, depending on which edition you would like to receive. We give you just about everything you need to know about Egypt, in your inbox Sunday through Thursday before 7am CLT (8am for Arabic), and all we ask for is your name, email address and where you hang your hat during business hours.

Image of the Day

A record of pre-Daesh monuments in Syria: Photos captured by architectural photographer Peter Aaron during a 2009 family vacation to Syria now serve as a reminder of the country’s not-so-distant past, John Gendall writes for the New Yorker. Ancient sites and monuments — such as the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel in Palmyra, the Monastery of Mar Sarkis (St. Sergius) in Maalula, and the bustling markets of Aleppo and Damascus — have either been completely destroyed or severely damaged in the conflict. Aaron’s images are part of the Venice Architecture Biennale running from 26 May until 25 November.


SMART PEOPLE WANTED. We’re hiring at both Enterprise and at our parent company, Inktank. We’re looking for critical thinkers who have outstanding English-language writing skills. Don’t apply if you are not (at an absolute minimum) unafraid of numbers. We offer a great, casual work environment, the opportunity to work with smart people who care about what they do, and plenty of intellectual challenge. You’ll do your best work here, whatever your profession is. Check out the open positions, from creative director to reporter, from Enterprise editor to senior investor relations advisor at Inktank.


Worth Reading

Apparently, the first known cyber attack went down in France almost 200 years ago and aimed to subvert the bond market, according to the Economists’ 1843 Magazine. The forefather of the WannaCry ransomware virus last year and the 1 bn account hack of Yahoo took place in 1834 and hit France’s national data network, the first of its kind in the world when it launched back in the 1790s. It was a mechanical telegraph system that relayed messages across a network of towers, each containing a system of wooden levers to transcribe a code for a letter or number. This would be picked up by telescope from the adjacent towers, was transcribed, then passed along. The network was reserved for government use, but two bankers, François and Joseph Blanc, devised a way to subvert it to their own ends.

The Blanc brothers wanted to tap into the network to have access to information when trading in the Bordeaux bond market. With mail taking several days to arrive from Paris and other forms of communication like carrier pigeons being unreliable, hacking the telegraph system was the most assured way for the traders to beat the market on information. “They bribed the telegraph operator in the city of Tours to introduce deliberate errors into routine government messages being sent over the network.” The scam was uncovered a full two years later, when the crooked operator fell ill and snitched to a friend. The Blancs were put on trial but weren’t convicted — there was no law at the time against misuse of a data network.

Worth Watching

Go inside Downtown Cairo’s La Viennoise building, now the city’s coolest office space: It took a small village of architects and urban designers with a keen eye for historic architecture and modern design to turn a shell into one of Cairo’s coolest and most desirable offices. The brains behind the passion project, a venture of Al Ismaelia Real Estate Development’s, talk in this short about the journey that brought to life the iconic Downtown building that now houses the headquarters of our friends at Sarwa Capital (watch, runtime: 3:26). If you had been thinking about a securitized debt issuance, now might be the time to ask Hazem Moussa and his gang to invite you over for coffee… Translation: Enterprise has serious office envy.

Egypt in the News

On a slow day for Egypt in the international press, the top story was once again the arrest of activists as Hazem Abdel Azim was detained yesterday on charges that include “disseminating false news and belonging to an outlawed group,” the Associated Press reports. The AP positioned the arrest as the “latest in a new wave of arrests since presidential elections earlier this year.“ Reuters also picked up the story, citing security sources saying Abdel Azim — an outspoken critic of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi since he quit his presidential campaign in 2014 — was arrested from his home.

On Deadline

Egypt’s public universities need to start charging tuition fees; private universities should subsidize state system: Egypt’s higher education system needs to be overhauled to provide better-quality education that caters to the needs of the country’s job market, Hatem Abdelmoneim Ahmed writes for Ahram Gate. For that to happen, public universities must be allowed to trim enrolment figures and start charging tuition. What’s more, Ahmed argues, a portion of the tuition fees collected by private universities should be tithed and directed toward financing public education. He also urges the government to meet the constitutionally-mandated minimum spending requirement on education in the state budget.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt is one of 19 countries taking part in a Paris conference tomorrow that will bring Libya’s rival factions together to agree on a political roadmap, Reuters reports. “Once we have this roadmap we will have outlined the commitments from all sides and the next steps,” a French presidential advisor told reporters. The UAE, Qatar, Turkey, and Italy are also joining the meeting. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had agreed in Cairo last month that the war-torn country should hold elections by year’s end.

This comes as French President Emmanuel Macron praised El Sisi for his efforts to restore stability in Libya during a phone call yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The two presidents also discussed the latest regional developments and agreed to push for concerted international effort to reach a practical settlement in Syria.

Tourism Minister calls on Germany to lift travel ban to Taba: Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat met yesterday with a German parliamentary delegation to discuss lifting Germany’s travel ban on Taba, Al Mal reports. The minister gave the delegation a briefing on the improvements being made to Egypt’s tourism sector, including upgrading hotels and other infrastructure, aimed at attracting more tourists this year. Germans topped the list of tourist arrivals in Egypt last year.

Separately, the Tourism Promotion Authority has officially launched its promotional campaign in the GCC, which will run throughout the duration of Ramadan, according to Al Shorouk. The campaign includes airing the JWT-produced “This is Egypt” promotional videos on several GCC television channels, in addition to an online campaign.

The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that its embassy in Syria was able to secure the release of seven Egyptians from refugee camps where thousands of civilians had fled from the fighting. Preparations are underway to fly them home.


Apex to start exploration drilling on Western Desert concessions in 4Q2018

Apex International Energy plans to begin exploration drilling on the West Badr El Din and South East Meleiha concessions in the Western Desert in 4Q2018, the company said in a press release. Apex held a seismic exploration tender at the concessions, awarding some USD 15 mn in exploration contracts to Weir, Vallourec Oil, Soconord, BGP International Egypt and Tenaris Global Services. “This work is part of the bid commitment Apex made to invest a minimum of USD 27.4 mn during the first exploration phase to perform detailed geological studies, acquire and process 3D seismic, and drill six exploratory wells,” the firm said. Apex had won the exploration rights for the West Badr El Din concession last year.

Nooros’ 14th well pumps additional 180 mcf/d into national grid as it comes online

The 14th well at the Nooros gas field has come online, pumping an additional 180 mcf/d into the national grid, the Oil Ministry announced yesterday. The Nedoco field, which was completed in record timing of under two months, brings total production from Nooros to 1.2 bcf/d.

Afrises wins USD 25 mn contract for Ghana solar power plant

Egyptian solar power company Afrises was awarded a USD 25 mn contract to build a solar power plant in the Ghanaian capital Accra, CEO Ahmed Hamdy tells Al Mal. The company expects to sign the contracts for the 25 MW project by July. Afrises will use Chinese photovoltaic cells, Egyptian cables, and transformers provided by ABB for the project, which may take up to a year to be completed. Afrises is already working to supply and install solar power systems in Uganda.

Sterling and Wilson to complete 4 solar power plants in Benban by 1Q2019

India’s Sterling and Wilson is planning to complete four solar power plants at the Benban complex in 1Q2019, an unnamed company source said yesterday. The projects are being built under phase two of the feed-in-tariff (FiT) program.


Cabinet approves establishing 3 new cities

The Ismail Cabinet’s Planning and Urbanization Committee gave its preliminarily approval yesterday to a plan to establish new cities in North Sinai, Beni Suef, and Minya, according to a statement. Among the planned new cities is the New Bir Al Abd City, which Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly had announced last November following a deadly terrorist attack on the Al Rawda Mosque in North Sinai’s Bir Al Abd. The plans will be put up for discussion at the next cabinet meeting, the statement says.


Egypt reaches 40 mn Internet users in FY2017-18

The total number of Internet users in Egypt hit over 40 mn in FY2017-18, according to data from the ICT Ministry picked up by Youm7. The number includes users who access the Internet via WiFi or through mobile data. High-speed Internet subscribers are concentrated in the Greater Cairo area, which holds 40% of these users, followed by Delta governorates and Upper Egypt. The total number of SIM cards in circluation declined marginally to 100.24 mn as of February 2018.

Atco Pharma plans to build new EGP 70 mn factory at SCZone

Atco Pharma is planning to build a EGP 70 mn factory at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), Al Shorouk reports. The new factory’s output will mostly be exported, according to a company official. Atco Pharma is currently awaiting necessary regulatory approval to launch its new facility.

Telecoms + ICT

TE to use USD 90 mn of USD 200 mn facility from Afreximbank to finance MENA Cables acquisition

Telecom Egypt (TE) is reportedly planning to use USD 90 mn of a USD 200 mn short-term loan agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank) to finance its acquisition of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) subsidiary MENA Cables, a banking source tells Al Shorouk. The state-owned landline monopoly signed the loan agreement last week to “finance working capital and investments in Telecom Egypt’s infrastructure,” according to the company. TE subsidiary Egyptian International Submarine Cables Company (EISCC) had executed a sale and purchase agreement for the USD 90 mn acquisition of MENA Cables last week, expecting the transaction to close in c. 60 days as conditions precedent are satisfied.

Yasser El Kady meets with Foxconn Technology delegation

ICT Minister Yasser El Kady met yesterday with executives from electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn Group to discuss the development of Egypt’s ICT sector and the potential for future cooperation with the company on a number of projects, according to a ministry statement. The delegation will be in town for one week to meet with several other ministers and officials, the statement says.

Banking + Finance

NBE receives USD 200 mn tranche of USD 300 mn Afreximbank loan

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has received a USD 200 mn tranche of its USD 300 mn facility from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), an unnamed bank official tells Al Shorouk. The two banks had signed a USD 300 mn three-year financing agreement in April 2017 that would be used to support an SME funding initiative launched in 2016. The NBE has been looking to bolster its foreign currency liquidity and is seeking a number of loans from international lenders, according to the source, who points to a USD 600 mn loan club facility from Gulf-based banks and another USD 500 mn loan from the European Investment Bank, which the NBE is currently in talks for. We reported yesterday that the NBE is providing the EGPC with USD 250 mn loan as part of a larger USD 850 mn facility that will be used to pay international oil companies.

HC Securities currently advising on four M&As in the local market

HC Securities and Investment is currently advising on four acquisitions in the local market worth a total EGP 2 bn, Investment Banking head Mahmoud Selim tells Al Masry Al Youm. Selim stopped short of naming the companies involved, saying only that two international firms were interested in acquiring shares in Egyptian businesses, and that the transactions would be in the sectors of health, pharma, financial services, as well as packaging and distribution,

NBK-Egypt to arrange EGP 3 bn facility for EGAS

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)-Egypt won a tender to arrange a EGP 3 bn loan for EGAS, as it looks to connect more homes to the natural gas grid, unnamed sources tell Al Mal. NBK-Egypt is already in talks with a number of local banks over the amount.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Support Egypt will not become a political party –Elsewedy

The Support Egypt Coalition — the largest electoral political bloc in the House of Representatives — will not turn into a political party, said the coalition’s leader Mohamed Elsewedy, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Elsewedy added that the group would remain a political bloc comprised of members of difference parties. He noted that coalition members from the Nation’s Future Party (NFP) remain on board. NFP was said to have become the largest single political party in the House following a series of defections from the Free Egyptians Party and Al Wafd.

Zamalek’s Ultras White Knights announces it is disbanding

Zamalek football club fan group Ultras White Knights announced yesterday their permanent disbanding by burning the group’s banner in front of the Cairo Stadium, Al Shorouk reports. Ultras Ahlawy — the comparable group for Al Ahly football club — had also announced its dissolution earlier this month in similar fashion. Both groups have been charged by security authorities over the years with inciting violence, most notably for the 2012 Port Said massacre, which left 72 Al Ahly fans killed.

On Your Way Out

Mohamed Safwat becomes first Egyptian in 22 years to play a Grand Slam: 27-year-old tennis player Mohamed Safwat enjoyed a short-lived Grand Slam debut after earning a last-minute spot in the French Open on Sunday, only to lose his first match against Belgium’s Grigor Dimitrov, Reuters reports. “With little time to collect his thoughts on becoming the first Egyptian man to make it into the main draw of a major in 22 years, Safwat appeared to be suffering from a serious bout of stage fright,” the newswire says. Safwat had lost in the final round of the qualifiers to Argentina’s Guido Andreozzi, but Serbia’s Viktor Troicki pulled out of the tournament after sustaining a back injury, earning Safwat the title of the “lucky loser,” the Associated Press reports.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.86 | Sell 17.96

EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.86 | Sell 17.96

EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.79 | Sell 17.89

EGX30 (Sunday): 16,648 (+0.1%)
Turnover: EGP 458 mn (60% BELOW the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +10.8%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session Up 0.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.6%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Eastern Co up 5.1%, Emaar Misr up 4.4% and Kima up 2.7%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Juhayna down 2.6%, Amoc down 2.0%, and Abu Qir Fertilizers down 1.9%. The market turnover was EGP 458 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +54.6 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -8.4 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -46.2 mn

Retail: 59.5% of total trades | 59.8% of buyers | 59.1% of sellers
Institutions: 40.5% of total trades | 40.2% of buyers | 40.9% of sellers

Foreign: 18.2% of total | 24.1% of buyers | 12.2% of sellers
Regional: 6.1% of total | 5.2% of buyers | 7.0% of sellers
Domestic: 75.7% of total | 70.7% of buyers | 80.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 67.13 (-1.10%)
Brent: USD 75.75 (-0.90%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.93 MMBtu, (-0.17%, June 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,303.60 / troy ounce (-0.41%)

TASI: 7,972.05 (-0.82%) (YTD: +10.32%)
ADX: 4,536.82 (-1.40%) (YTD: +3.15%)
DFM: 2,932.09 (-0.76%) (YTD: -13.00%)
KSE Premier Market: 4,683.57 (-0.09%)
QE: 8,992.81 (-0.62%) (YTD: +5.51%)
MSM: 4,566.98 (+0.06%) (YTD: -10.44%)
BB: 1,263.18 (+0.00%) (YTD: -5.15%)

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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.

1 July (Sunday): Application deadline for the DigitalAG4Egypt Challenge.

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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