Tuesday, 3 July 2018

IMF + World Bank ❤️ Egypt


What We’re Tracking Today

It’s PMI Day: The Emirates NBD Egypt purchasing managers’ index reading for June comes out this morning shortly after we hit “send” on today’s briefing. You’ll find it here once it lands. May’s reading had dropped to 49.2 from 50.1 the previous month.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly will present his cabinet’s policy program to the House of Representatives today, Al Mal reports. The program will then be the subject of debate at a plenary session of the House on 9 July, state-owned Ahram Gate reports.

Madbouly finally gives us a set law on 19 public holidays: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued a decree yesterday listing the 19 public holidays of Egypt throughout the year, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The list of holidays was published on the Official Gazette.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will launch a joint development fund today, Sudan’s Minister of State Osama Faisal had said on Sunday. The three countries had agreed in January to set up a joint investment fund to finance infrastructure projects as part of talks to resolve a deadlock on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa have been warming following both outreach from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the UAE’s decision in mid-June to extend Ethiopia a USD 3 bn package of aid and investments.

Is Shafik Gabr behind Volkswagen’s latest problems in the US of A? That’s the claim by Bloomberg, which notes that Volkswagen’s US attorneys sent a letter to Congress saying lawmakers’ interest in VW’s cheating on emissions testing (background here) overseas is “the result of a campaign by a non-US national to try to pressure the company into paying him an unreasonable amount to settle a commercial dispute in Egypt.” One of the two lawmakers to receive the letter was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Republican of California), a longtime friend of Egypt. Gabr’s Artoc, which had the rights to VW in Egypt until late 2017, has paid some USD 80k to two firms to provide “strategic advice on commercial dispute between Artoc and VW corporation related to automobile dealership in Egypt.” Gabr, who has long cultivated ties to senior US lawmakers, was also the pre-revolution partner of Emaar in thel launch of Emaar Misr; the two parted ways in 2007. You can catch the Bloomberg story here or read the congressional filings of Gabr’s two lobbyists here and here.

In miscellany this morning:

  • Can you really go learn to become an entrepreneur in grad school? The Financial Times thinks so — and is out with its (very US-centric) top MBA programs for Entrepreneurs 2018. At the head of the class: Stanford, Babson and Dartmouth in the US, followed by Lancaster and City University in the UK. (Financial Times)
  • HFT is getting ridiculous, dude: High-frequency trading could get a boost from new technology that can track time down to the 100 billionth of a second. Is this really what finance was meant to do? (New York Times)
  • Shut your Face(book): Facebook has filed for a patent on a technology that can remotely activate the microphone on your phone to record and analyse the sound around you — without your knowledge. (Guardian)

For top executives, time management is like conjugal relations: You’re supposed to “figure it out for yourself … with equivalently dire initial consequences,” the Financial Times’ Andrew Hill writes. And yet it’s all quite simple when you boil it down: “The conclusions of recent research always smack of common sense. Schedule shorter meetings. Stay off email (electronic communications account for nearly a quarter of chief executives’ work time). Meet your team members and customers in person. Exercise. Stay off email. Get a good night’s sleep. Schedule time for spontaneous encounters, paradoxical though that sounds. Stay. Off. Email.” Read: The madness of executives’ obsessive time management.

Lost Boys found: Are we the only ones in Egypt paying as much attention to the fate of a Thai boys’ football team lost in a cave as we are to the World Cup? Rescuers, including British divers, found the boys (aged 11-16) and their 25-year-old coach yesterday. The next challenge: Finding a way to get them to safety through flooded passages — without scuba training. (Globe & Mail | Reuters)

What We’re Tracking This Week

As many as 15 of the nation’s 27 governors could be hanging up their suits in a shuffle that had been expected last week. The short list is reportedly with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Keep your eyes peeled for signs the World Bank is chipping in more money for rail and river transport. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat is believed to be in talks with a visiting World Bank delegation to land funding for the more environmentally friendly modes of freight transport.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was a mixed bag on the airwaves last night. Topping the economic programing was talk of amendments to how real estate is taxed, though we see the investigation into the Egyptian Football Association as topping the ratings.

FinMin preemptively calms any possible outbreak of hysteria on real estate levy: With the House approving in principle amendments to the Income Tax Act that would impose a 2.5% levy on the quick sale value of real estate assets, the Finance Ministry took to the airwaves to dispel misconceptions on the law. Finance Ministry adviser Fathy Shaaban told Hona Al Asema this is not a new levy and it has already been in place since 1978, noting that the amendments only seek to enforce payment of the tax (watch, runtime: 10:22). We have more on the amendments in the Speed Round below.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s planned address to the House of Representatives today took up time on the airwaves. MP Mohamed Badrawy told Masaa DMC’s Eman Al Hosary that a House committee will be formed to review the plan within 10 days. Badrawy added that the House will request that the government provide a detailed plan on how it will implement its social welfare provisions every three months (watch, runtime: 3:47). Cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan told Yahdoth fi Masr that the government aims to focus on education, health and social services (watch, runtime: 3:13). Al Hayah fi Masr’s Kamal Mady sat with MP Soliman Wahdan who expects parliament to grant the new Madbouly cabinet a vote confidence and approve the plan (watch, runtime: 4:44).

Will social housing be marketed to non-Egyptians? Madbouly appears to have met with private sector developers to pitch them on taking part in low- and middle-income housing projects. Perhaps on if the most interesting aspects of the meeting was the suggestion that developers could sell social housing to non-Egyptian residents, Al Ahly for Real Estate Development chairman Hussein Sabbour tells Hona Al Asema in a call in. If implemented, foreigners would be able to acquire homes at a cost of around USD 400k and receive a five-year residence permit. He said such move his will generate foreign currency and dismissed the notion that it would raise real estate prices for Egyptians (watch, runtime: 13:53).

The debate on raising med prices is back and has taken center stage on the airwaves (or: What’s a bit of hyperbole among friends). Masaa DMC’s Eman Al Hosary said that some 10k pharmacies are facing the threat of closure due to their low profit margin. Pharmacists syndicate member George Attallah said that 50% of Egypt’s pharmacies, particularly those in rural areas, make less than EGP 1,000 in sales daily with a profit margin of only EGP 150-200 (watch, runtime: 7:36). Atallah is calling on the government to once again raise prices to help bolster their profit margins, which he notes are set by the government. Rep. Magdy Morshed said parliament should form a committee to set a pricing policy (watch, runtime: 5:38).

It’s happening, folks: The EFA is being investigated by everyone from the Central Auditing Organisation to the Youth and Sports Ministry for allegations of misuse of funds for the World Cup. Rep. Farag Amer told Hona Al Asema’s Dina Zahra that parliament will use all the powers at its disposal to uncover the reasons behind the failure of the FA over the years, but admitted that any committee from House will lack teeth to make meaningful changes to the federation (watch, runtime: 5:39).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

IMF praises subsidy reforms, calls for more monetary tightening in third review: Egypt has passed the IMF’s third review of the economic reform agenda with flying colors. The institution singled out recent fuel subsidy cuts for particular praise: “The continued fuel subsidy reform contributes to reducing the budget deficit and makes available more resources for social programs to support the most vulnerable,” the IMF said in a statement yesterday. The IMF said Egypt’s reform program has helped accelerate growth, cut inflation and unemployment, and narrow external and fiscal deficits. The positive review will unlock the next USD 2 bn disbursement of the USD 12 bn extended fund facility. Egypt expects to receive the transder this week, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said over the weekend.

The IMF warned that the CBE needs to continue tightening monetary policy in the wake of the latest subsidy cuts. “The Central Bank of Egypt should maintain its restrictive stance to contain second‑round effects of fuel and electricity price increases, with future policy changes guided by inflation expectations and demand pressures,” IMF First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair David Lipton said yesterday.

Global Emerging Markets Zombie Apocalypse is the biggest threat to Egypt’s reform drive, IMF says: Remember the days when domestic foot-dragging was the biggest problem we faced? No more: Political risk has been supplanted by the turbulent global economy as the biggest risk to the continued implementations of reforms, the IMF says. It sees outflows of global capital from emerging markets as particularly concerning. The good news is that Egypt is well equipped to adapt. “The healthy level of foreign reserves and flexible exchange rate leaves Egypt well positioned to manage any acceleration in outflows, but this reinforces the importance of a sound macroeconomic framework and consistent policy implementation,” said Lipton.

The IMF now sees Egypt’s economy growing at a 5.5% clip by the end of FY2018-19, up from a projected 5.2% in FY2017-18. The IMF also expects inflation to reach 13.1% by the end of the fiscal year, and average out at 14.4%.

World Bank loves our progress as well: World Bank Executive Director Merza Hasan met with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly yesterday. Hasan praised progress on the economic reform front, saying, “Egypt’s reform program is a success story” as demonstrated by improving economic indicators, according to a cabinet statement.

WB also wants to help us reach our goal of becoming an energy hub: Hasan also met with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla, expressing support for Egypt’s strategy to transform into a global energy hub, according to an Oil Ministry statement. The pair discussed developments in ongoing World Bank-funded oil and gas projects in Egypt and prospects for further cooperation.

EARNINGS WATCH- Qalaa Holdings revenues rise 48%, losses narrow 54% y-o-y in 1Q2018: Qalaa Holdings’ revenues rose 48% y-o-y in 1Q2018 to EGP 3.1 bn “due to stellar performance of its key segments, broad-based economic recovery, and a favorable regulatory environment,” the company said in a regulatory filing (pdf). The company’s losses during the period narrowed by 54% y-o-y to EGP 186.7 mn, coming in part from lower losses from discontinued operations (down 89% y-o-y) as a result of the sale of Designopolis Mall. “Qalaa is off to a strong start in 2018 with all key metrics delivering solid double-digit growth while our bottom-line losses have narrowed significantly in the first quarter of the year,” said Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal.

Looking ahead: Operations at the nearly USD 4 bn Egyptian Refining Company are set to start in 2019 and Qalaa is looking to “explore options to increase [its] ownership in this mega project that will further solidify our position as a leading energy and infrastructure company,” said Heikal. The company is also “particularly bullish on growth prospects for our mining and transportation platforms,” said Co-Founder and Managing Director Hisham El Khazindar.

Carbon Holdings could break ground on its USD 10.9 bn Tahrir Petrochemicals Corporation (TPC) by year’s end, CEO Basil El Baz is quoted in the domestic press as having said. The company issued a statement yesterday (pdf) with a full rundown on a Saturday evening ceremony that saw it sign some 48 key project documents on a world-scale petrochemicals facility that will deliver some USD 8 bn in projected annual exports and produce raw materials that will “make it possible for Egyptian manufacturers to make and export products including plastics and packaging, paints and solvents, adhesives, floor coverings, and more,” El Baz said.

Key economic benefits to Egypt include the creation of 20k direct jobs and 15k indirect jobs during the construction phase. TPC will buy some USD 1.5 bn worth of goods and services in Egypt during construction and will employ more than 3k skilled workers in the heartland of the nation’s oil and gas industry when operational. El Baz estimates that the company could create more than 200k jobs in downstream sectors when domestic industry starts using its products to manufacture other goods.

TPC’s financing will include a USD 5.4 bn debt package for which the company and Carbon Holdings are in advanced talks with institutions including UK Export Finance, Germany’s Euler Hermes, and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Who’s working on it? Key EPC contracts are now in place with our friends at Hassan Allam as well as Linde, Bechtel, Archirodon, Maire Tecnimont and Consolidated Contractors Group, among others.

What’s the timeline? Look for TPC to reach financial close in the third quarter of this year. Principal construction will take about four years from the initial drawdown of funds.

IPO WATCH- Egyptian electronics manufacturer SICO is planning to list shares on the EGX within three years, CEO Mohamed Salem tells Reuters’ Arabic service, without providing any further details on the potential share sale. The company had denied reports back in February that it was eyeing an IPO, but Salem tells the newswire that the step is “necessary.” SICO also plans to capture a 17% market share, up from a current 2.7%, and double its capex and production output, he said. The company launched the first Egyptian-assembled tablet last week, around four months after it began selling its locally assembled smartphone, Nile X. SICO’s expansion plans will also see the company exporting 60% of its output by focusing on Gulf and African markets. Nile X is currently sold in the UAE and will debut in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman over the coming few months.

EXCLUSIVE- Futures contracts could debut on the EGX in early 2019: We could be seeing trading in futures contracts on the EGX in 2019, EGX sources told Enterprise. The bourse is will begin working on setting up the infrastructure and operating mechanisms for these contracts next year. The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce is backing the measure, which would create a marketplace for oil, gas, wheat and fertilizers futures. EGX head Mohamed Farid is currently in Sweden to speak with top executives at Nasdaq and other exchanges on mechanisms to bring about futures exchanges. Regulations on futures were introduced as part of amendments to the Capital Markets Act.

What about sukuks? Asked when we might see sukuks on the EGX, our source was non-committal, saying the introduction of shariah-compliant debt products would require signoff from the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Egypt. Sukuks would require new legislation be issued, we were told, despite provisions authorizing them in the amended Capital Markets Act. The EGX is also looking at what it can do to accelerate the growth of a market for corporate bonds.

Gov’t to meet next week to set final lineup of the state privatization program: The Finance Ministry-led committee tapped to pull together the state privatization program will meet next week to decide on the final lineup of companies that will go out in the first wave of the program, minister Mohamed Maait tells Al Shorouk. We noted yesterday that Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik ordered state holding companies to expedite procedures to ready their companies for the program, setting a deadline of three weeks to complete their report on which companies are ready.

Eni denies that it has made a massive gas discovery in Egypt: Eni denied much-hyped reports that it made a massive discovery at the Noor gas field off the coast of North Sinai, Reuters reports. “There are prospects and new (geological) structures in Egypt but we still haven’t discovered anything,” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi told reporters on Monday. News reports last week had suggested that Eni could unlock as much as 90 tcf of natural gas reserves from the Noor field, a figure that would make it about 3x the size of the supergiant Zohr gas field. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla had downplayed the reports, stating that seismic studies had not yet been completed.

The warnings have done little to dampen the hype, with trade publication Petroleum Economist noting yesterday that Eni is hoping for a “second bonanza” when it came to Noor. “Eni is hoping that a good proportion of that so-far elusive gas will be in the Noor field off North Sinai. The Egyptian cabinet in March approved exploration plans, and Eni is to start preliminary drilling this summer. Only then will it become clear whether rumours that Noor holds even larger gas deposits than Zohr are true or false.”

In other Eni news, Descalzi pledged that the company will make a binding commitment to becoming carbon neutral, according to Reuters.

Egypt to pay USD 200-500 mn in arrears to oil companies by the end of September: EGPC plans on paying USD 200-500 mn in arrears to oil producers by the end of September, EGPC sources say. EGPC is in talks with the government to arrange the financing, according to the sources. The Finance Ministry had reportedly agreed back in May to issue letters of assurance for two loans to the EGPC worth a combined USD 850 mn to repay IOCs. Sources had also previously said that a USD 200 mn payment would be made to IOCs in June. Egypt’s total arrears had been brought down to USD 2.1 bn as of February.

Will smaller players get any of it? Our friends in the industry noted that while the state’s backlog of payments to the industry is declining, that’s because large players including the global majors have been paid out at the expense of smaller local and regional fish.

EGX-listed companies rush to declare “we have no ties to Abraaj”: In a string of some 73 disclosures last week, companies rushed to meet an EGX requirement that they disclose any business or investment ties to embattled private equity firm Abraaj in the wake of the company’s collapse and liquidation, Youm7 reports. Yesterday saw six companies issuing disclosures declaring that they have no ties with Abraaj, Al Mal reports.

Meanwhile, the Abraaj saga continues as six firms are said to be bidding to run Abraaj’s USD 1 bn healthcare fund — the same fund which drew accusations of misuse of funds that led to the firm’s collapse. Colony Capital, TPG and Cerberus Capital Management were among the firms vying to manage the fund, sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters. “Deloitte, the provisional liquidators of Abraaj, and investors in its healthcare funds are weighing these inquiries, which could pave the way for the healthcare fund to separate from the rest of Abraaj,” they added.

Two notes of relevance here: First, Colony didn’t pick up the healthcare fund when it recently entered an agreement to acquire other key Abraaj funds. Second, Egypt’s Cleopatra Hospitals group is not controlled by the embattled healthcare fund, but rather a separate North Africa fund that will belong to Colony, provided the transaction goes through.)

And so the vultures circle: UAE-based education- and healthcare-focused private equity outfit Amanat Holdings is eyeing opportunities in Egypt, the GCC, and India as part of a plan to “capitalize on the collapse of Dubai-based Abraaj Group,” Managing Director Shamsheer Vayalil told Bloomberg in an interview. The company is “well poised to lead the healthcare and education space in the region and abroad in the incumbent era,” he said, adding that Amanat is looking for a “couple more” agreements in either sectors as it pursues regional expansion plans with Abraaj on the verge of collapse. You can check out Amanat’s corporate presentation here (pdf).

Background: Abraaj has agreed to sell key funds and its principal stakes in them to Colony Capital after a scandal on misuse of funds. “Most private equity [transactions] and fundraising in the region [came] to a halt” after the news was made public, Bloomberg notes. The company’s chairman, Sean Cleary, resigned last week.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) have formally launched their joint venture, SoyVen, which will own and operate Cargill’s soy crushing facility in Borg El Arab, Cargill announced yesterday. “The joint venture consists of ADM and Cargill each holding a 50% interest, with the management team reporting to a board of directors appointed by the two parent companies. The joint venture’s assets do not include Cargill’s grain business and port terminal in Dekheila, or the ADM-Medsofts joint venture at the Port of Alexandria.” Cargill and ADM had reached the agreement to launch the JV back in February. The firm had said back in 2015 that it would invest USD 100 mn.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Proposed law will regulate e-commerce: As we suggested last month would be the case, the Madbouly government is moving to regulate e-commerce, with the ICT Ministry currently drafting a law for the sector, said MP Mohamed Hegazi, chair of the House ICT Committee, according to AMAY. Hegazi, who spoke during a conference on internet user data privacy, gave no meaningful detail on the law, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard of it. House Industry Committee member Ali El Kayal presented a draft law on the subject to the House of Representatives last December. We assume this is the very same act, with the ministry tweaking some aspects of it. It was noted in the local press back then that the law was primarily concerned with establishing a tax framework for the industry. Government sources told us last month that the Finance Ministry was looking to impose a VAT on e-commerce.

Online retailer are lining up to influence the drafting of the rules. Some of the largest e-commerce platforms operating in Egypt, among them Jumia and Amazon subsidiary Souq.com have (at least publicly) expressed support for the tax grab.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Parliament signs off on amendments to Customs Act: The House of Representatives approved yesterday amendments to the Customs Act, El Watan reports. The amendments would slash customs duties on capital goods and expand temporary exemptions for production inputs and packaging equipment, in addition to introducing provisions that aim to curb customs evasion.

A massive overhaul of the Customs Act still to come: Parliament’s sign-off came as the Finance Ministry finalized a new, long-planned draft Customs Act, which will be presented to the House at the start of the next legislative session, Minister Mohamed Maait said, according to Youm7. The amendments that just passed the House only affect two articles of the law, Maait said. From what we’re seeing, these amendments were only fillers before the wider law comes into effect. Sources had told us previously that the new legislation also includes a host of measures that would facilitate the flow of goods through Egypt’s ports, including establishing a “white list” of importers who will benefit from expedited clearance of goods.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Tenders and Auctions Act gets renamed as Public Contracts Act, gets preliminary nod from House GA: Parliament preliminarily approved the Tenders and Auctions Act during a plenary session yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. Discussion of the law quickly hit a snag, however, after the general assembly decided to rename the bill to become the Public Contracts Act, Youm7 reports. The change required the general assembly to send the legislation back to the Planning and Budgeting Committee to be reworded accordingly before returning to the general assembly for a final debate and vote, according to the newspaper.

Amendments to the tax code on affecting real estate also got initial approval yesterday, Youm7 reports. The amendments would impose a 2.5% levy on the disposition or quick sale value of real estate assets — whether in the form of a building or unoccupied land. Under the new stipulations, property owners would not have access to basic services such as power and water until they are able to present proof that they have paid the necessary taxes.

Meanwhile, the final vote on the second part of the Press and Media Act has been pushed to October, when the House convenes for its next legislative session, Ahram Gate reports. The legislation will likely breeze through the vote, House Culture and Media Committee member Nader Mostafa said yesterday. Parliament had sent the legislation back to Maglis El Dawla last month after deciding to split the act into three separate bills that would each regulate work at different types of media organizations.

Finally, three pieces of law with implications for the war on terror got preliminary approval yesterday, Al Mal reports, including amendments to the recently passed Anti-Terrorism Act that toughen penalties for harboring suspected terrorists. An article of the Tourism and Hotel Facilities Act requiring hotels to provide up-to-date information on their guests also got an update.

The third piece? You will almost certainly need a GPS tracker installed on your 4×4 if you want to license it after the House gave an initial nod to amendments to the Traffic Act. Other amendments to the traffic law will include new rules for licensing and fines, according to Rep. Khaled Hanafi, who said the act will come up for a vote this fall. The GPS requirement was first proposed by the Ismail cabinet back in February.

MOVES- Mohamed Abdel Kader has been appointed as Citigroup’s Egypt country officer, Reuters reports. Abdel Kader “has been serving as country treasurer since 2008” and will retain his position as head of markets for Egypt, according to the newswire.

MOVES- Gen. Mohsen Abdel-Naby has been appointed as Director of the Office of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, effectively becoming the president’s chief of staff. Abdel-Naby replaces Gen. Abbas Kamel, who was recently appointed head of the General Intelligence Service


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Image of the Day

The first group of Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins to be hosted in Egypt made their debut appearance at Six of October City’s Mall of Egypt on 1 July, according to Ski Egypt’s Facebook page. The ten Arctic penguins are trained are trained to meet visitors, it said

Egypt in the News

A very quiet day for Egypt in the international press sees human rights stories take center stage. First, a coalition of rights groups are slamming France for “participating in the bloody Egyptian repression of the past five years” by supplying the country with weapons, Euronews reports. The objections come as Defense Minister Mohamed Zaky made his way to Paris yesterday for cooperation talks with several French officials, according to an Armed Forces statement. You can check out the group’s press release here (pdf). Meanwhile, Amnesty International called on the House of Representatives to reject and amend the “draconian” cybercrimes and media acts. You can read Amnesty’s statement here. Also getting some pickup are a piece on the “economy and repression” five years after Morsi and more archaeological discoveries.

Worth Reading

A group of Finnish scientists are working on a lightweight vest that would effectively act as an AC on the go, according to the Economist. A team from Finland’s VTT Technical Research Center that specializes in microfluidics — “the art of building devices that handle tiny amounts of liquid” — is currently in the process of creating a prototype of a vest that circulates chilled water. The scientists found that the material is most effective when it makes direct skin contact, so the vest will be manufactured to be clipped underneath clothing. “The electronics needed to power and control it would be shrunk into a small package contained on the back of the vest. This could be operated manually or … by a wireless link to a smartphone. Moreover, what can cool down can also, if run in reverse, warm up.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

New EIB funding for Egypt’s private sector, water and wastewater projects in the pipeline: The European Investment Bank (EIB) is looking to sign new funding agreements to support Egypt’s water and wastewater projects and private sector by the end of the year, EIB’s North African and Middle East Director Flavia Palanza tells Al Mal. The bank is committed to offering the funding necessary to help the Egyptian government implement policies that will spur economic growth and to help the country reach its economic targets by funneling investments into priority sectors and projects, Palanza tells the newspaper. She did not disclose details on the expected size of upcoming investments for Egypt, but said that the bank has recently approved a EUR 1.8 bn investment package for Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, and Morocco. EIB has provided Egypt with some EUR 8.7 bn of funding since the beginning of their cooperation, including EUR 982 mn directed towards supporting the country’s private sector since 2016 and EUR 420 mn to support entrepreneurship.

Egypt, Poland sign banking, trade cooperation agreements, discuss potential Polish investment zone: The National Bank of Egypt and the Export Development Bank of Egypt signed yesterday a cooperation agreement with Polish development bank BGK that will see the three banks finance joint projects, according to a Trade Ministry statement. Egyptian and Polish officials also discussed the possibility of establishing a Polish industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, but details on these talks remain scant. The two sides also announced inaugurating a new Polish trade office in Cairo and agreed to look into setting up an Egyptian-Polish business council, according to the statement.

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr signed an economic cooperation agreement with Bangladesh yesterday, according to a ministry statement. The agreement will see both countries cooperate on promoting investments.


SCZone, Elsewedy expected to sign contracts for 10 mn sqm in Ain Sokhna

The Suez Canal Economic Zone is “putting the final touches” on contracts with Elsewedy to develop 10 mn sqm in Ain Sokhna, and expects to ink the final agreement within two weeks’ time, Al Mal reports. No details were provided on the expected value of the contracts.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Agri Ministry imposes additional regulations on Egyptian grape exports

The Agriculture Ministry has imposed new regulations on exports of Egyptian grapes which requires packaging companies segregate cargo by their farm of origin, according to unnamed sources from the Agricultural Quarantine Authority.

Telecoms + ICT

MNOs brace for slump in sale of new lines after increase in regulatory fees

Mobile network operators are bracing a slump in the sale of new lines after the government’s recent decision to hike regulatory fees for new mobile lines to EGP 70 from EGP 20, industry sources tell Al Mal. The piece includes the usual hyperbole, this time taking the form of unspecified claims that the fee hike will result in EGP 2 bn in “losses” to the industry. Orange Egypt VP Ashraf Halim had previously said that MNOs are already hurting from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s decision forcing MNOs to sell new phone lines only through their own distribution channels rather than third parties as part of a bid to ensure there is full KYC data on each line.

National Security

Egypt to impose curfew on parts of Arish, Rafah

Egypt will impose a curfew on parts of Arish and Rafah in Northern Sina, according to Al Shorouk. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had also ordered yesterday the reopening of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza following a three-day closure during the fifth anniversary of the June 30 revolution, according to Ahram Online.

On Your Way Out

Mo Salah has signed a new long-term contract at Liverpool, according to the Red’s official website, which gave no details of the length of Salah’s contract or of his financial package. The contract will keep him with Liverpool until 2023. The news came as Salah hinted he may continue his career with the nation team, according to Business Standard. The tweet was Salah’s “first public indication of his disagreement” with the Egyptian Football Association over the team’s use of Chechnya as a base during their World Cup campaign, according to the Associated Press. The EFA, meanwhile, has received a warning from FIFA for its failure to make Salah available to media after Egypt’s last match of the World Cup against Saudi Arabia

Speaking of Mo Salah: Alexandria-based artist Ahmed El Sabrouti released a series of eye-catching digital portraits of the national football team players in a style heavily influenced by traditional Coptic techniques, according to the National.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.83 | Sell 17.93
Buy 17.84 | Sell 17.94
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.78 | Sell 17.88

EGX30 (Monday): 16,363 (+0.1%)
Turnover: EGP 746 mn (26% ABOVE the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +8.9%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session up 0.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 0.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Amer Group up 3.2%, Egyptian Resorts up 2.6%, and Elsewedy Electric up 2.5%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Eastern Co down 2.6%, Heliopolis Housing down 2.4%, and Egypt Aluminum down 1.7%. The market turnover was EGP 746 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -58.3 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +13.5 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +44.8 mn

Retail: 60.4% of total trades | 62.0% of buyers | 58.9% of sellers
Institutions: 39.6% of total trades | 38.0% of buyers | 41.1% of sellers

Foreign: 26.4% of total | 22.5% of buyers | 30.3% of sellers
Regional: 3.5% of total | 4.4% of buyers | 2.6% of sellers
Domestic: 70.1% of total | 73.1% of buyers | 67.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 74.11 (+0.23%)
Brent: USD 77.60 (+0.39%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.86 MMBtu, (-0.03%, August 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,243.10 / troy ounce (+0.11%)

TASI: 8,274.98 (-0.78%) (YTD: +14.51%)
ADX: 4,577.04 (-0.95%) (YTD: +4.06%)
DFM: 2,829.16 (-1.23%) (YTD: -16.05%)
KSE Premier Market: 4,926.34 (+0.23%)
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MSM: 4,556.02 (+4.81%) (YTD: -10.65%)
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03 July (Tuesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI reading for June released.

16 July (Monday): Cairo Court of Appeals to issue ruling on EGP 5.6 bn antitrust case against pharma companies including Ibnsina.

23 July (Monday): Revolution Day, national holiday.

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

21-25 August (Tuesday-Saturday): Eid Al Adha (TBC), national holiday.

28-29 August (Tuesday-Wednesday): CI Capital’s 5th Annual Egypt Equities Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.

04-05 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Euromoney Egypt Conference 2018, Cairo.

10-13 September (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes’ 8th Annual London Conference, Emirates Arsenal Stadium, London.

11 September (Tuesday): Islamic New Year (TBC), national holiday.

20-23 September (Thursday-Sunday): 2018 Automech Formula car expo, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

22 September (Saturday): New academic year begins for public schools, universities.

24-25 September (Monday-Tuesday): Arqaam Capital MENA Investors Conference 2018, Four Seasons Resorts, Dubai.

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.

03-05 December (Monday-Wednesday): First Egypt Defense Expo, Egyptian International Exhibition Center, 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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