Thursday, 5 July 2018

Gas import licences coming in 2018


What We’re Tracking Today

Egypt has received the fourth tranche of its USD 12 bn Extended Fund Facility from the IMF, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait confirmed in an interview with Youm7. Sources had said this week that Egypt received the USD 2 bn tranche last Friday, bringing the total amount received by Egypt up to USD 8 bn.

We’re pretty excited at the prospect of the Finance Ministry revealing the long awaited timeline for the state privatization program sometime next week, sources had told us. Minister Mohamed Maait himself stated that the committee tasked with setting up the program will hold a meeting next week to kick start the process. Eastern Tobacco is still the frontrunner with a 4% share sale expected to take place in 1Q2018-19, followed by state energy firm Enppi in September or October.

Meanwhile, we’re still looking for news of a shuffle of the nation’s 27 governors that was expected last week. Also on our radar is news that a visiting World Bank delegation might send signals on the WBG’s interest in chipping in additional financing for rail and river transport.

21 more companies from the EGX denied their affiliation with the UAE-based Abraaj Group in disclosures to the bourse yesterday, Al Mal reports. The latest group includes QNB – Egypt, Juhayna, Suez Canal Bank, Ibn Sina Pharma, the National Company for Maize Products, Delta Insurance, and Misr National Steel, among a host of others. Around 73 companies had rushed to meet an EGX requirement last week that they disclose any business or investment ties to embattled private equity firm Abraaj in the wake of the company’s collapse and liquidation.

Egypt is expected to ink today six MoUs with Hungary that will see the two countries cooperate in transport, agriculture, and communication, among other fields, according to unnamed government sources. The agreements will be signed on the sidelines of the third joint Egyptian-Hungarian Business Council.

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook updated for July 2018 is out on Monday 16 July. The report will be available for download here.

After the Saudi MSCI inclusion, GCC tipped for inclusion in JPM EM index: Another emerging markets coup is in the offing, as JP Morgan has begun consultations to include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar to its emerging markets government bonds index. “If JPM was to go ahead with the inclusion, this could prove to be a major boost to the region, supporting their debt issuance,” said Abhishek Kumar, head of EM debt at State Street Global Advisors tells the FT. He estimates that the move could lead to passive inflows of at least USD 45 bn, the equivalent to about 30% of the value of GCC sovereign bonds. “It may possibly lower their funding cost and may ultimately lead to higher regional growth,” he added. JPMorgan’s EM bond indices had excluded all GCC countries but Oman due to their gross national income per capita exceeding the ceiling of USD 18,769.

Not definitive yet: A spokesman for the bank declined to comment to Reuters on the likelihood of them getting the green light in the next update of the index, which normally gets announced around September. The JP Morgan’s “indices work to strict rules of eligibility and this rumored scenario with GCC countries (gaining inclusion) may never come to pass,” they added.

Global PMI readings show signs of global slowdown: Cutting through the optimism are reports that global trade is already in the midst of a slow down, undercutting the strong global export growth witnessed in 2017. Surveys of purchasing managers in manufacturing this week indicate dwindling international demand growth, as economic growth in major regions like the eurozone and China taper off. The new-exports portion of JP Morgan’s Global Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.5 in June, its weakest in nearly two years. “The figure remains above 50, indicating export orders are still rising, but it has grown weaker every month since hitting its most recent peak at 54.2 in January,” notes the Wall Street Journal. The orders data suggests that last year’s 4.8% rise in global merchandise trade is unlikely to be repeated. All this comes ahead of new US tariffs on Chinese imports come into place on Friday.

As the Trump administration injects toxicity into the global economy with its trade war, we can be thankful that it is continuing to rack up pressure on OPEC to reduce oil prices. OPEC is “doing little to help” reduce gasoline costs, US President Donald Trump tweeted. “If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little [USDs]. This must be a two way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!"

On The Horizon

The House of Representatives is expected to present its report on the Madbouly Cabinet’s policy program in 10 days’ time, a number of representatives tell Al Shorouk. Discussions on the committee-level have already started, they said, adding that initial feedback seems to be positive. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly had unveiled the four-year program before the House general assembly on Tuesday.

The House of Representatives’ general assembly is in recess until Sunday 15 July, Youm7 reports. It’s still not clear when legislators will go on summer break before returning for the fall legislative season due to kick off in October.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Legislation establishing the EGP 200 bn sovereign wealth fund led the discussion on the airwaves last night after the Council of State signed off on the law. We have the full story in Speed Round, below.

The House of Representatives’ Economic Committee will begin its review of the legislation as soon as the Council of State ships it over, MP Medhat El Sherif told Lama Gebril, who filled in for Lamees Al Hadidi on Hona Al Asema. El Sherif explained to the host that sovereign wealth funds are used to manage states’ budgetary surplus, which is directed towards investment both at home and abroad. He noted that there is a range of untapped assets under the state’s ownership, and that this umbrella will only increase when government buildings relocate to the new administrative capital (watch, runtime: 5:12).

The EGP 200 bn fund has drawn interest from the UAE and Oman, both of whom have signaled their intention to invest a portion of their finances in the fund, finance industry insider Osama Mourad told Gebril. Mourad also stressed that the fund would not nullify the Public Enterprises Ministry and said that state assets will likely be divided among the two entities (watch, runtime: 8:00).

The government is also working in the meantime to rein in Egypt’s debt levels, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait reiterated in a call-in to Yahduth fi Masr. While the public debt to GDP ratio had peaked at 108% in FY2016-17, it was brought down to below 98% by the end of FY2017-18 as the country’s debt was contained and GDP grew, Maait said. He reminded host Sherif Amer of the government’s target of pushing the figure to below 80% by FY2020-2021, stressing that we will refrain from taking on new debts unless absolutely necessary (watch, runtime: 10:00).

Egypt is checking off the technical and legislative requirements on the to-do list for becoming a regional energy hub, Oil Ministry spokesman Hamdy Abdel Aziz told Al Hayah fi Masr after the natural gas market regulatory authority agreed yesterday to begin issuing licenses (full story in Speed Round). The ministry has also devised a strategy to increase domestic production of natural gas, which would rely on issuing international tenders and encouraging foreign investment in the sector, according to Abdel Aziz (watch, runtime: 5:43).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Media Council decided to issue a gag order on the investigation into the 57357 children’s hospital, council head Makram Mohamed Ahmed told Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal. Ahmed justified the move as necessary to preserve the hospital’s reputation throughout the process of investigating allegations of graft (watch, runtime: 12:58).

Elsewhere on the airwaves last night: Some 2.6 mn Egyptians are born each year, National Population Council Rapporteur Atef Al Shetani told Al Hayah fi Masr’s Nahawand Serry to drive home the point that population growth must be contained (watch, runtime: 14:37).

Speed Round

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Chinese lenders make USD 3.1 bn in funding available for Carbon Holdings’ USD 10.9 bn petrochem complex: A group of unnamed Chinese lenders have made USD 3.1 bn in backup funding available for Carbon Holdings’ Tahrir Petrochemicals Corporation (TPC), Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) deputy head Mahfouz Taha tells Al Mal. According to Taha, TPC will be able to dip into these reserves if other funding is delayed or falls through. The USD 10.9 bn petrochemicals facility is being financed by a USD 5.4 bn debt package through institutions such as UK Export Finance, Germany’s Euler Hermes, and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

TPC is expected to reach financial close in 3Q2018. Principal construction, which should begin before year’s end, should take about four years from the initial drawdown of funds, with trial operations set to start within 38 months of the start of construction. The world-scale petrochemicals facility is expected to deliver USD 8 bn in projected annual exports and produce raw materials that can be used in a variety of industries.

FT singles out TPC as an example on where FDI should be going: Egypt should be focused on “prosaic industrial investment” that can open up more avenues for job creation, the FT says in an opinion piece. Egypt has been on the right track, with measures and developments that have helped sustain its performance throughout the current EM sell-off, such as fuel subsidy cuts, cooling inflation rates, rebounding tourism, and high interests that “have attracted hot money into local currency bonds.” Going forward, however, the country needs to focus attracting investments to key industries to ensure a more sustainable and organic type of growth. The publication sees projects such as Carbon Holdings’ Tahrir Petrochemicals Complex as “the kind of key intermediate industry that has helped drive economic growth in Asian “tigers” such as Korea and Taiwan.”

Natgas market deregulation gets in full swing as regulator to officially begin issuing import permits: The board of directors of the new natural gas market regulator approved that it begin issuing and revoking licenses for private sector natural gas industry players, according to an Oil Ministry statement. The regulator — established under the Natural Gas Act, which deregulated the market and opened it up to the private sector — will begin its work “in the coming period,” according to the statement. Natural gas companies are currently gathering the necessary paperwork to submit their requests for a license to distribute natural gas, ministry sources said, Al Shorouk reports.

So, when are we going to see the first import permit issued? We will likely see the first private sector import licenses issued by the end of 2018, sources added. Previous reports had said that the board would issue the first LNG import license to the private sector by the end of February, but we have yet to see any progress on that front. While it remains unclear which company will make the first draw, it is a safe assumption that it will likely go to Alaa Arafa’s Dolphinus Holdings, which had signed a USD 15 bn natural gas import agreement with Israel earlier this year. We had heard last year that EGAS gave BB Energy, Fleet Energy, and Qalaa Holdings’ TAQA Arabia preliminary approval on natural gas import licenses, which would need to be ratified by the new regulator.

Fitch’s BMI Research sees monetary easing cycle continuing this year: Fitch Group’s BMI Research expects the CBE to resume the monetary easing in the next two quarters, as it looks to boost private sector growth, the firm said in its North Africa report. The easing will take place gradually, as the CBE must also weigh the inflationary impact of last month’s subsidy cuts to fuel, electricity and water. BMI Research forecasts that inflation growth will average 15.2% y-o-y in 2018 and 12.1% in 2019. The central bank must also take care not to drive away foreign portfolio inflows lured by the attractive interest rates. As such, the firm expects the CBE to cut interest rates by a further 200 bps in 2018 and another 300 bps in 2019.

BMI also sees Egypt’s successful macro fundamentals story as underpinning continued portfolio inflows in the short term. “Strengthening confidence in the Egyptian economy and still attractive real interest rates are likely to drive a modest appreciation of the pound in the near term,” the firm said. “Beyond 2018, monetary easing is likely to fuel a very gradual depreciation as less attractive real interest rates in an environment of monetary policy normalisation across developed markets weigh on the exchange rate,” the report added.

Inflation and oil prices are our biggest risk factors: The biggest risks to these gains are any larger than expected inflation numbers resulting from the subsidy cuts, in addition to rising oil prices, the report noted.

BMI projects that Egypt’s real GDP growth for 2018 will come in at 4.8%, far lower than the government, IMF and World Bank’s expectations. It even forecasts that GDP growth will slip in 2019 and 2020 to 4.7% and 4.3% respectively.

On the regional level, we’re not the only ones straining under the weight of higher oil prices, which have raised the risk profile of North African nations. Morocco and Tunisia appear to hold the biggest economic and political risks in the region. The report sees Brent crude prices averaging USD 73/bbl in 2018, rising to USD 77/bbl in 2019.

On the flipside, Capital Economics is warning that Egypt may go the way of Argentina. The reason? Egypt’s large foreign currency debt, which Capital estimates to be at around 30% of GDP at the end of 2017, up from less than 15% of GDP in 2015. “Large foreign currency debt burdens have been at the heart of the problems that have afflicted a number of emerging markets in recent years, most recently in Argentina. One of the main reasons why a build-up of sovereign foreign currency may be a source of concern is that it leaves the government exposed to swings in the exchange rate,” notes the report. “If the EGP weakens, that pushes up the local currency cost of servicing hard currency debt,” says Capital Economics.

That said, the risks of turning into another Argentina through a destabilising fall in the currency appears to be low, especially following the EGP float in 2016, notes the report. Furthermore, the government has the IMF Extended Fund Facility to keep it grounded in its fiscal consolidation measures.

Any slip-ups in the reform agenda could risk a slide of Argentina proportions: “Any signs that progress on fiscal consolidation is stalling and that the shift towards more orthodox policymaking is going into reverse would cause investors to take flight and put renewed pressure on the pound,” the report noted. It added that Egypt’s FX debt-to-GDP ratio, coupled with its already precarious fiscal situation puts it on a very slippery slope should that risk come to pass.

(We are unable to link to either report for copyright reasons)

EXCLUSIVE- FinMin wants to start selling gov’t bonds on the EGX this fiscal year: The Finance Ministry has begun taking steps towards selling government bonds on the EGX, and has begun coordinating with the central bank to get the ball rolling on that, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told us in an exclusive interview. A legislative pipeline is being readied to help establish a market for government bonds on the bourse, with an eye towards getting passed in the current legislative cycle, he added. Expects bond sales on the EGX to begin in the current fiscal year, but did not give any indication as to when. The government firmly intends to only sell long-term bonds as part of its plan to rely on long-term debt. It will not be selling short-term treasuries on the stock market.

Maait sets the record straight on Egypt tapping the global sukuk market in FY2018-19: Thanks to a very busy legislative cycle, Egypt will not be issuing Islamic Sharia-compliant bonds in USD or EUR in the current fiscal year, Maait tells us. There currently is no legislative framework in place that will make that possible, and due to an already stacked legislative cycle, Maait does not see it happening this year. Maait is setting the record straight following news reports last week which stated that Egypt would indeed be issuing sukuks in FY2018-19.

Ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem are not in talks over a potential merger or acquisition, Careem spokesperson Maha Aboul Enein told Al Mal yesterday. Bloomberg had reported late on Tuesday night that the ride-sharing companies were discussing a potential consolidation that could either see them merge their operations or see Uber fully acquire it Middle Eastern rival. Aboul Enein dismissed the news as a “rumor,” claiming that Careem is trying to build its own leading platform in the Arab World and working to expand into new markets and bolster its presence in existing ones. We had heard that Careem was close to closing a new funding round meant to “bolster its position as Uber’s largest competitor in a fast-growing market.”

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Council of State’s legislative division signed off yesterday on draft legislation that would establish Egypt’s first sovereign wealth fund, Al Shorouk reports. The law is expected to govern the structure and functions of the fund, which will have authorized capital of EGP 200 bn and initial paid-in capital of EGP 5 bn. Planning Minister Hala El Saeed hopes the law will pass during the current legislative term. A reading of a draft in April had claimed that the law would give the fund financial and legal independence. El Saeed had said last month that the fund would launch at the end the year, with a roadshow to draw in private investment set to take off in 1H2019. The private sector will be allowed to buy stakes of over 50% in sub-funds and affiliated companies, she had also said.

In other legislative news, a draft Data Protection Act is expected to be presented to the House of Representatives in October, after the start of the new legislative session. The 51-article bill is currently being drafted and finalized by the Justice Ministry before it’s presented to the Madbouly Cabinet, said Mohamed Hegazy, the head of the ICT Ministry’s legislative committee. Under the law, only companies with permits to share user data will be allowed to do so, with the condition being that they obtain users’ prior approval, according to Hegazy. He tells Al Mal that the bill is “compatible with the principles of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation” on data privacy and treatment, as well as user accountability.

The law will also allows users the right to take legal action against data breaches and misuse of private information, he adds. It will also set fines of up to EGP 5 mn for violations as well as prison sentences of up to three months, based on the severity of the crime. The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) will be the sole authority responsible for implementing the new law. We had first heard of legislation for data protection in November last year.

Public Contracts Act sets conditions for awarding direct order contracts: Also IN legislation, the Public Contracts Act (previously known as the Tenders and Auctions Act) reportedly sets seven conditions under which the government would be allowed to bypass the tendering process and award contracts via direct order. For example, if only one company is truly qualified to take on the project or if the project too time-sensitive to wait for a tender. You can view the full list here courtesy of Al Shorouk. The act — which decentralizes tendering procedures and streamlines the selection process for winning bids — received a preliminary nod from the House of Representatives on Monday and is expected to come to a plenary session vote soon.

EU lifts additional inspection requirement for Egyptian strawberries: The EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner has agreed to remove Egyptian strawberries from its list of high-risk crops and cancel its requirement for additional inspections, Agriculture Export Council head Abdel Hamid El Demerdash said, Youm7 reports. The commissioner had noted in March that Egyptian strawberries and peppers had improved in quality and begun meeting European food safety regulations in 2H2017. Imports of Egypt’s strawberries were banned by several countries — including Saudi Arabia — over high levels of residual pesticides. The Agriculture Ministry has since moved to impose more stringent inspection measures on agricultural product exports.

Top appeals court overturns decision placing Morsi, Aboutrika on terror list: The Court of Cassation overturned yesterday a ruling placing ousted president Mohamed Morsi, retired football star Mohamed Aboutrika, and hundreds more on the terror list. The court also sent the case back to a lower court for a retrial. The defendants had initially been placed on the watchlist for their alleged connections to the Ikhwan. Aboutrika’s legal status remains unchanged and he is still on the terror list from a separate criminal court ruling from April, lawyer Mohamed Osman said, Ahram Online reports. The story is topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning, with Bloomberg, Sputnik and Xinhua among those taking note.


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Image of the Day

We should be looking at the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule, but look at all the unoccupied Egyptian desert it’s flying over: The SpaceX Dragon, a robotic cargo ship carrying nearly 3 tonnes of supplies and science gear, was photographed over Egypt’s Nile Delta as it made its way to the International Space Station. But seeing as we’re packed like sardines in a can into such a small area of the country, we’re just in awe of all that sand.

Egypt in the News

From the Dep. of Slow News Days: Egypt displays several artifacts recovered from smugglers in Italy at the Egyptian Museum, according to the Associated Press. The artifacts include five burial masks, 11 vessels, 151 small statutes and over 20,000 coins from different eras, Sabah Abdel-Razek, the museum’s general director said. Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Egypt, South Africa, and Algeria generated the highest amount of e-waste in 2017, according to a UN report picked up by the Guardian, which urges African nations to adopt policies against electronic waste.
  • Egyptian Salafi television presenters are using football to try and promote Islam, according to Al Arabiya.
  • Sharp increases in living costs may be pushing Egypt’s poor “to the brink” of revolution, Farid Farid writes for DW.
  • Egypt’s military demolished a tunnel dug in Rafah, leaving eight Palestinian workers trapped, Haaretz reports.

On Deadline

We just can’t stomach any more opinion writers who steal government policies and regurgitate them as policy suggestions. Today’s example, is a piece by Alaa Ghanem for Al Shorouk that suggests a road map to implement the Universal Healthcare Act must not get bogged down due to the lack of a clear roadmap. Ghanem’s entire policy — from upgrading hospitals and the training doctors to developing an insurance scheme — barely differs from that of the government. We guess plagiarizing the government could be considered a form of flattery.

Worth Watching

Geriatric Mutant Ninja Turtles? A group of elderly women in a Nairobi village rife with danger have turned to kickboxing to keep themselves safe, National Geographic says. Among the dangers elderly women face in Korogocho: A high prevalence of [redacted] assault, particularly as a result of the prevailing belief that older women are easier targets due to their frailty. Canadian director Brent Foster, who documented the women’s experiences in a short film entitled “Enough: The Empowered Women of Korogocho,” says the women eventually took up kickboxing as a form of self-defense to help protect themselves against these attacks (watch, runtime: 7:47).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Shoukry discusses lifting German flight restrictions, illegal migration with German ministers in Berlin: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met yesterday with German Transport Minister Andreas Schweier to discuss lifting restrictions on German airlines flying over Sinai, according to a ministry statement. The two ministers also talked potential cooperation between the two countries in airport management and operation. Shoukry, who is in Berlin for a three-day trip, also met with his German counterpart Heiko Maas to discuss efforts to battle illegal migration and terrorism. Germany is one of several EU countries that have been resettling refugees in Egypt.

Sahar Nasr talks potential funding for Sinai, health, education with WB’s Merza Hasan: Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr met on Tuesday with World Bank Executive Director Merza Hasan to discuss potential funding packages to support Egypt’s development efforts in Sinai, according to a ministry statement (pdf). Hasan and Nasr also talked about potential cooperation in health and education projects, according to the statement. The bank’s executive board had approved on Thursday a USD 530 mn funding package to improve Egypt’s health care system, which Hasan said is a testament to the bank’s support of the government’s reforms.

A senior delegation from Hamas could be visiting Cairo as early as next week for another round of reconciliation talks mediated by Egyptian intelligence officials, according to Asharq Al-Awsat. Fatah officials are reportedly already in Cairo.

Engineering Industries Export Council inks EUR 1 mn agreement with EU to promote Egyptian products abroad: The Engineering Industries Export Council signed a EUR 1 mn agreement with the EU earlier this year to help promote Egyptian exports, council head Amr Abu Frekha said, Al Mal reports.


Alexandria governor meets with Korea’s JST to discuss solid waste management

Alexandria Governor Mohamed Sultan met yesterday with South Korean company JST to discuss the possibility of the company handling solid waste recycling for the governorate, Al Mal reports. No further details on the potential agreement were disclosed.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Eastern Company raises local cigarette prices by EGP 3.25 per pack

The Eastern Tobacco Company hiked prices of four of its local cigarette products by EGP 2.00-3.25 per pack, according to a company statement picked up by the local press. The company leaned on the recent hike in fuel prices to justify the increases.

Cotton exports expected to rise 37% as crop quality improves

Cotton exports are expected to rise 37% y-o-y during the 2017-18 season to reach about 52,000 tonnes due to crop quality improvement, Cotton Exporters Association Head Nabil Al Santaricy tells Reuters’ Nadine Awadalla. Traders see exports rising an estimated 40-45% y-o-y the following year with an overall yield of 120k tonnes, he adds. The cotton season ends in August.

Automotive + Transportation

EAMCO to assemble electric cars locally in partnership with Dongfeng Motor Co.

The state-owned Egyptian Automotive Manufacturing Company (EAMCO) signed an agreement with the local agent for China’s Dongfeng Motor Co, Drshl Industries, that will see them cooperate on the assembly of electric cars, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The project, which will rely on Chinese manufacturing technology, is expected to produce 200 vehicles a year as a first stage and gradually increase output to 10,000 electric cars and 4,000 chargers by the fifth year. The assembly line is expected to source at least 70% of its raw materials locally also by the fifth year. Operations are expected to start in August using some of EAMCO’s existing production lines. The value of the agreement was not disclosed. We had reported back in November last year that a Chinese manufacturer was interested in investing USD 30 mn in producing electric cars in Egypt and had intended to source at least 40% of raw materials locally to benefit from incentives offered under the new Investment Act.

Real Estate + Housing

PHD signs agreement with El Badr to develop two commercial areas for EGP 7 bn

Palm Hills Development signed a partnership agreement with El Badr for Investments & Commercial Spaces and its executive arm to develop two commercial areas in PHD projects for EGP 7 bn, El Badr Chairman Mamdouh Badr El Din tells Al Mal. The projects, one in each of the company’s developments in east and west Cairo, will be 60% owned by PHD and 40% owned by El Badr and its subsidiary.


Nile cruise bookings on the rise following a slump in tourist arrivals

Demand for Nile cruises is improving as Germans are flying to Egypt “in strong numbers” this year, tour operators tell tourism portal FVW. “Egypt is consolidating last year’s strong comeback on the German market thanks to a mix of attractive prices for high-quality hotels and better consumer confidence in the destination.” FTI, TUI, Thomas Cook are reporting high double-digit growth rates for Red Sea beach holidays in destinations such as Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Sharm El-Sheikh. Nevertheless, they are also adding new offers to lure customers back to the Nile, where weak visitor figures had affected local tourism over the past few years. Germans topped the list of tourist arrivals in 2017 with 1.23 mn tourists.

Telecoms + ICT

Etisalat Misr, Telecom Egypt sign LoI on mobile interconnection rates, amended national roaming agreement

Etisalat Misr and Telecom Egypt have signed an amended national roaming agreement and a letter of intent on mobile interconnection rates between the two operators, according to a joint statement released yesterday (pdf). The LoI would be TE’s first mobile interconnection agreement since announcing the launch of its mobile network, WE. The amended roaming agreement, which expires in December 2022, “provides better financial and service quality terms” for the state-owned landline monopoly. TE had signed an agreement with Etisalat last June to use the latter’s infrastructure to offer 2G, 3G, and 4G services.

Delegation from Poland’s Asseco in town for IT investment talks

A delegation from Polish group Asseco is in Cairo this week to discuss available investment opportunitieswith members of the Egyptian Business Council for International Cooperation, Youm7 reports. The group is reportedly interested in investing in IT investments.

Banking + Finance

Income tax breaks to cost the state EGP 4 bn this year -Maait

New income tax cuts that come into effect this month are expected to cost state coffers around EGP 4 bn a year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The House of Representatives had signed off on new income tax breaks early last month as part of efforts to shore up social safety measures ahead of an expected spike in inflation, brought on by higher energy prices. The House had also approved increases to state bureaucrats’ to wages and pensions that will cost the state around EGP 60 bn in FY2018-19.

NBE rated country’s top bank in 1H2018, continent’s top in syndicated loans

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) was rated as the country’s top bank in 1H2018 in a Bloomberg Terminal report picked up by Youm7. The NBE also received the top spot in the syndicated loans category on both the country and continent levels, having arranged EGP 58.5 bn-worth of loans for the latter. We were unable to view the report to verify these figures.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Government likely to move to new administrative capital in 2H2019

The new administrative capital will be ready to receive cabinet ministers as of the second half of 2019, New Capital Company for Urban Development spokesperson Khaled El Hosseini tells Al Masry Al Youm. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Tuesday, while presenting his policy program to the House of Representatives, that his government would oversee the transition of government offices to the new capital.


EFA sets unrealistic standards for selecting Hector Cuper’s successor

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) is “looking for a coach with a track record of winning titles” to replace Hector Cuper as the national football team coach, says. Apparently, having prior experience coaching African teams is “not enough” to land the job and the association is looking for a “decorated” coach, EFA head Hany Abu Rida said. Reports had emerged last month that the EFA had initiated talks with Moroccan coach Herve Renard for the position.

On Your Way Out

Cambridge University is hosting a new exhibition showcasing previously unpublished work by the photographer who documented “the decade-long Tutankhamun excavation,” Harry Burton. “He took more than 3,400 photographs of the treasures uncovered by Egyptologist Howard Carter,” according to BBC.

Egyptian winger Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan is hoping to join Turkish football club Galatasaray this summer despite reports suggesting a possible move to Inter Milan, Ahram Online reports. "Many European clubs opened talks with me, not only Inter Milan, but now I am focusing with my club Kasimpasa," he said.

The Market Yesterday

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

EGX30 (Wednesday): 16,310 (-0.7%)
Turnover: EGP 711 mn (29% BELOW the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +8.6%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session down 0.7%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Qalaa Holdings up 0.3%, ACC up 0.3%, and Abu Qir Fertilizers up 0.1%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Amer Group down 3.1%, Elsewedy Electric down 2.0%, and Egyptian Iron & Steel down 1.9%. The market turnover was EGP 711 mn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -8.1 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -34.5 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +42.6 mn

Retail: 75.5% of total trades | 76.5% of buyers | 74.5% of sellers
Institutions: 24.5% of total trades | 23.5% of buyers | 25.5% of sellers

Foreign: 7.8% of total | 7.3% of buyers | 8.4% of sellers
Regional: 7.0% of total | 4.6% of buyers | 9.5% of sellers
Domestic: 85.1% of total | 88.1% of buyers | 82.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 74.01 (-0.18%)
Brent: USD 78.00 (-0.31%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.84 MMBtu, (-1.11%, August 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,257.10 / troy ounce (+0.29%)

TASI: 8,247.39 (+0.14%) (YTD: +14.13%)
ADX: 4,593.90 (+0.53%) (YTD: +4.44%)
DFM: 2,861.16 (+0.80%) (YTD: -15.10%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,131.60 (+2.61%)
QE: 9,230.60 (+0.46%) (YTD: +8.30%)
MSM: 4,522.88 (-0.29%) (YTD: -11.30%)
BB: 1,322.45 (+0.90%) (YTD: -0.70%)

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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).

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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