Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Egypt requests USD 2 bn in World Bank funding, Customs boss arrested


What We’re Tracking Today

** A (not so) quick programming note: We’ve combined our What We’re Tracking This Week and On the Horizon sections into a single section we’re calling “Up Next.” The newly renamed section appears starting today after Speed Round, with the idea being that we’ll streamline your morning read a bit. Here’s the read order of the top half of Enterprise going forward, with a hint as to our logic:

  • What We’re Tracking Today: A top-down view on the national, regional and global business and financial developments that will set the tone for your day here in Egypt. It’s about “what’s ongoing” and “what’s going to happen” more than “what happened yesterday.”
  • Last Night’s Talk Shows: Egyptian talk shows shape the nation’s news and policymakers’ agendas in a particularly twisted and direct way. It is one part political theater, one part live politics in the raw. Plenty of it is relevant to business — that’s what we focus on. (Digressing from our digression: Have any of you, like us, ever stepped back and wondered what it says about journalism in Egypt — or our political culture, or whatever —that we debate rice crop policies in prime time on national television?)
  • Speed Round: Our marquee news section. Think of it as a modern take on a print newspaper’s front page, including a mix of our own reporting and analysis; pickups of the most important regulatory statements, releases and reports of the day; and verified chatter in the domestic and international press.
  • Up Next: Items ranging from court rulings to expected political visits, planned hearings at the House of Representatives, et cetera, that will matter to your corporate and risk calendars in the days, weeks and months ahead. Items here migrate over time to our full calendar, which appears on our website at the bottom of each day’s issue.
  • Egypt in the News: What the international press is saying about us, for good or for ill.
  • On Deadline: What the nation’s columnists have to say that’s relevant to business (if anything at all).

The privatization program was at the top of the agenda when the Madbouly cabinet’s economic group met yesterday, a cabinet statement suggests, as ministers talked through the timeline for the program for this year through to 2020. We are expecting an announcement in the coming weeks ahead of the fall equity raising season. Look for Eastern Tobacco to pilot the program with a 4% stake sale.

Yields on 10-year government treasuries reached yesterday their highest level since July 2017, according to Al Mal. CBE data shows that 10-year T-bills have reached 17.859%, up 140 bps from last year. Yields on five-year treasuries also spiked 140 bps y-o-y.

Have we reached peak yield? EFG Hermes lead economist Mohamed Abu Basha sees the higher bond yields at CBE auctions as a symptom of “hot money” investors pulling out as the CBE began monetary easing and lowering interest rates this year. Abu Basha doesn’t see yields dropping anytime soon, saying he doesn’t see the CBE resuming its monetary easing in the short term as it waits for the blip caused by the most recent round of subsidy cuts to pass.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has canceled a planned trip to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and France as his government grapples with the aftermath of widespread flooding, Reuters reports. The trip was meant to kick off tomorrow.

Waiting for the governator: There’s still no word on when the reshuffle of provincial governors may take place. That’s the bottom line in an Al Masry Al Youm report that suggests leading jurists may be among the candidates for higher office. The shuffle had been expected at the end of June.

Egypt was Africa’s third largest market for “corporate transactions” in 1H2018 according to Africa-focused research firm Stratlink, Kenya’s Business Daily reports. Egypt reportedly USD 1.42 bn worth of M&As, IPOs and other equity-related transactions in the first half of the year, tying with Morocco for third place. At the head of the pack: South Africa and Nigeria.

Can we just agree it’s going to be a “challenging” fall for emerging markets and get over the Zombie Apocalypse stuff? Bloomberg TV was awash in talk yesterday about how the EM meltdown is “on pause” because the world didn’t immediately end after the US and China slapped each other with trade sanctions. And the carry trade, it says, is “making a comeback.” Even if Bloomberg’s index shows that EM currencies are in their longest losing run since 2015, the broadcaster tells us, UBS’s head of global emerging market strategy, Geoff Dennis, thinks we’re probably hitting the bottom for EM (listen, runtime: 5:43).

So, is there a frame out there that might help me understand what’s going on? Enter Mohamed El Erian like Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Writing for the Financial Times, he says the outlook “suggests further USD appreciation, continued outperformance of US stocks and occasional spikes in volatility. It is a world in which companies with solid balance sheets, limited financial mismatches and agile business models should be in demand as long-term investors find opportunity in solid names temporarily and unduly depressed. It is also an environment in which active managers are better placed to outshine passive investing approaches.” There’s plenty here for EM investors to consider. Read: The journey for financial markets is wilder than it looks.

Your British counterparty is going to be talking today about the prospects of Theresa May losing her gig as prime minister after both her Brexit negotiator and foreign minister Boris Johnson resigned. Top negotiator David Davis was somewhat classy on the way out, but Boris was last heard mumbling that May’s ‘soft’ Brexit plan would see the UK “truly headed for the status of a colony” (no joke). You can read his resignation letter in full here or catch more in the Financial Times or Reuters, as you prefer. Sterling is sliding in the wake of the news, so if there’s any justice in the world, you may be able to find a way to snap up a few GBP at a slight discount if you’re hoarding them to pay school fees this fall.

Your American counterparty is going to be talking today about prospects of a conservative lock on the US Supreme Court that could guarantee a generation of rulings that roll-back rights protections for women, minorities and LGBTQ people. That’s right, folks: The Donald just made nominated his second appointment to the US Supreme Court. The New York Times has a good take here (the great Maggie Haberman shares the byline, but we’ll be waiting for more from supreme court reporter Adam Liptak later today), while Politico has chapter and verse on nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

World Cup tonight: Even if one of us wasn’t an inveterate Francophile, having done K-12 in French, we’d be cheering France tonight as it faces off against Belgium at 8:00pm CLT in the first World Cup semifinal. Next up: Croatia face England tomorrow at 8:00pm. The third-place match is Saturday at 4:00pm, with the final set for Sunday at 5:00pm.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Two topics reigned supreme on the airwaves last night: Eni’s new discovery, and the arrest of Customs Authority head Gamal Abdel Azim. We delve into the nuances of both in the Speed Round below.

Abdel Azim’s arrest gripped the nation yesterday, a fact reflected in the sheer number of talking heads discussing it. Perhaps the most interesting of all was a call-in by El Watan business journalist Mahmoud El Gamal on Masaa DMC to offer up some context. He noted that Abdel Azim, who was arrested a mere two months after being appointed to office, was a career bureaucrat at the authority and had no prior blemish on his record. Nonetheless, the appointment came as a surprise, as his predecessor Magdy Abdel Aziz, had been held in high regard. He added that the investigation is ongoing, but that as of now, Abdel Azim appears to be the only person implicated in the scandal (watch, runtime: 5:02).

Praise for the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) and its investigation was the talking point of the night. Former ACA deputy head Mohamed Abu Hussein called on Al Hayah fi Masr to say extoll the wider social, political and economic benefits of having a strong anti-corruption watchdog in place, while also urging harsher penalties (watch, runtime: 7:36).

Another day, another Eni discovery (we say that in the most positive way): Oil Ministry spokesman Hamdy Abdel Aziz made the rounds of the airwaves to provide details on Eni’s latest discovery in its South Meleiha concession in the Western Desert. He tells Hona Al Asema’s Dina Zahra that the new find lay close to an earlier well, with reserves of around 5,000 bbl/d. Abdel Aziz noted to Yahduth fi Masr that that the discovery was the result of the deployment of new technologies to explore in the Western Desert that allow for deeper drilling (watch, runtime: 6:24).

Former Oil Minister Osama Kamal hailed the new discovery, but pointed out that it’s relatively small. He noted in a call-in to Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary that only 15% of Egypt’s total area has been explored for oil (watch, runtime: 3:03).

He then gave a detailed accounting of Egypt’s fuel demand, saying that the country relies on imports of crude and condensates for 30% of its needs. Egypt’s production of both stands at a combined 650k bbl/d (watch, runtime: 6:56).

Hona Al Asema still has rice on the brain, following President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s decision to allow imports of rice. Agriculture Export Council head Mostafa Al Nagari called in to say that the House of Representatives had signed off on an Agriculture Ministry plan to limit rice growing to 725k feddans, which was the main driver behind the decision. He said the government’s rice strategy will see it buying from both farmers and from importers. Al Nagari believes Egypt should import about 400-500k tonnes of rice over the next year. He urged authorities to diversify their global rice sources and not rely on a single country (watch, runtime: 4:55).

We think importing rice is smart — exporting the water-hungry crop is basically exporting water, which as we’ve noted before is a fundamentally bad idea in a nation as resource-strapped as we are.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- Egypt requests USD 2 bn in funding from the World Bank: The Madbouly government has put in a request for a USD 2 bn facility from the World Bank to help “support Egypt’s economic reform measures,” a senior government official tells us. The source declined to provide further details, but said the request was formally made yesterday during a meeting between a visiting delegation from the global lender and the Madbouly Cabinet. Egypt had last borrowed USD 3 bn from the World Bank to support policy reforms, the third disbursement of which had arrived late last year.

Background and expectations: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has requested USD 500 mn in funding for social housing development, according to a cabinet statement. Madbouly has also requested help coming up with a strategy to incorporate the private sector into social housing projects. Meanwhile, news reports earlier this month claimed that Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat had resumed talks with a World Bank delegation for additional funding for railway and river transport projects. The World Bank is already providing Egypt with more than USD 500 mn in separate loans for railway development projects. Egypt has borrowed USD 500 mn from the World Bank for social housing development, the cabinet statement noted. Most recently, the World Bank had pledged USD 530 mn in funding to support Egypt’s healthcare system. Notably, the cabinet statement also noted that Madbouly discussed with ministers his government’s plan for the development of Sinai.

Gov’t doesn’t need WB, Afrexim funding to plug current budget shortfall: News of the USD 2 bn funding request — which could take the form of one or more facilities — comes as Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk said Egypt is unlikely to seek new loans from the World Bank and African Export-Import Bank to support the budget in the current fiscal year, according to Al Mal reports. Around USD 4 bn in loan disbursements from the IMF combined with USD 4-6 bn raised from eurobond sales in FY2018-19 should be sufficient to help the government close the financing gap for the year, according to Kouchouk. Ex-finance minister Amr El Garhy had previously said that Egypt was planning to issue USD 6-7 bn-worth of eurobonds in FY2018-19.

And speaking of the World Bank: The institution has appointed Egypt’s Hafez Ghanem as its new vice president for Africa, according to a World Bank statement. Ghanem, who previously worked as World Bank’s VP for MENA, succeeds Makhtar Diop.

Customs Authority head arrested on charges of graft: Customs Authority head Gamal Abdel Azim was arrested yesterday charges of accepting bribes worth EGP 1 mn in exchange for facilitating the clearance of goods from customs, Al Shorouk reports, citing a statement from the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), the nation’s top anti-corruption investigator.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait is expected to name a replacement as early as today. Sources tell Al Mal that former Customs Authority head Magdy Abdel Aziz is the likely candidate to replace Abdel Azim.

New anti-corruption legislation in the offing? House of Representatives Economic Committee member Medhat Sherif has reportedly introduced a new draft anti-corruption law, which is currently being discussed by MPs, according to Ahram Gate. Sherif noted that the Madbouly Cabinet’s platform contains policy points on combating corruption.

Background and international play: The story is getting attention in the international press, with Reuters and the Associated Press among those noting that Egypt has mounted an anti-corruption campaign over the past few months that has seen a number of officials arrested. The ACA took down the head of the Food Industries Holding Company and several Supply Ministry officials in May and the Menoufia governor in January, all on graft charges.

EXCLUSIVE- FinMin, Investment Ministry to outline new regs for private freezones: A committee of officials from the ministries of finance and investment has begun meetings to formulate new regulations governing private freezones, government sources tell Enterprise. The move seems geared to tackle concerns raised by investors in private freezones that were not addressed in the new Investment Act or its executive regulations. Among the gripes raised by some 50 companies working in the freezones is a dispute on taxation: They’re apparently not happy with new fees set by the government, which they say go beyond the 2% tax levied by the law.

Some in business not happy about Customs Act, either? The Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA) and several export councils have complained that proposed amendments to the Customs Act will adversely affect business, according to Al Ahram. Among the contentious amendments are a new stipulation requiring importers to submit a letter of guarantee from an accredited bank covering the cost of customs duties and taxes, in addition to imposing higher penalties for customs evaders and smugglers. The Finance Ministry has just finalized the proposed amendments to the law, which would also include establishing a “white list” of importers who would benefit from expedited clearance of goods.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The draft Public Contracts Act is expected to be presented to the House of Representatives’ general assembly before the end of the current legislative season, according to the head of the Federation of Builders and Contractors Hassan Abdel Aziz. Any amendments to the bill, which received a preliminary nod from the House last week, will then be sent to the Council of State for review, he tells Al Masry Al Youm. The bill, previously known as the Tenders and Auctions Act, aims to decentralize and streamline tender procedures. It is currently being reworded by the House Budget committee to reflect the title change, according to Abdel Aziz, who says he expects the law to pass the House this fall.

Is CFLD finally going to sign its new capital development contracts? The China Fortune Land Development Company is ironing out the final details of its contract to develop 15k feddans in phase one of the new administrative capital, Zaki Hashem & Partners Managing Partner Yasser Hashem tells Al Masry Al Youm. ZH&P is representing CFLD. Hashem did not provide details on talks to develop additional land, nor did he comment on why it has taken until now to sign contracts backed by a memorandum of understanding signed back in 2016. CFLD had reportedly sent its final proposal for the development project to the Egyptian government in March, at which time officials said they were “taking their time” to study the offer thoroughly.

The project value and financing are still not public: Hashem says CFLD will invest anywhere between USD 10 and 20 bn over 30 years, with the first phase of the project set to cost USD 2 bn. The company had said last year it would invest USD 4 bn in the project over the coming four years, while a recent copy of the developer’s proposal shows CFLD committing to bringing in FDI worth USD 2 bn in the first five years. The scope of the project was supposed to see the company invest USD 20 bn over 10 years, but all we’ve heard from the press for a year is USD 13.4 bn over 10 years.

Eni announces light oil discovery from South Meleiha concession: Eni announced yesterday (pdf) that it has made a light oil discovery at its second exploratory well in its South Meleiha concession in the Western Desert’s Faghur Basin. The asset has already begun production at 5,130 bopd. “The discovery on B-1X confirms the high exploration and production potential of deep geological sequences of the Faghur Basin,” the company said, adding that it plans to soon begin “the drilling of other exploratory prospects located nearby … to consolidate what can result as a new productive area of Eni in Egypt.” Output is expected to be shipped to El Hamra terminal using existing infrastructure once the Oil Ministry signs off on the project’s development plan. Eni had announced in May making an oil discovery at another well in the Faghur Basin that delivers 2,300 bopd of light oil.

Remittances from Egyptians living abroad rose 48.2% y-o-y 10M2017-18 to USD 26 bn, the central bank announced yesterday, according to a statement from the CBE (pdf). Remittances advanced 41.2% y-o-y in April to USD 2.3 bn.

Remittances could slow down in the coming months, a new study cited by Al Arabiya suggests. The research projects that Egyptian expats will be lured away from the local banking system by promises of higher yields in GCC banks, where interest rates are likely to go up in tandem with US rates. The US Federal Reserve had hinted last month, when it hiked rates by 0.25 bps, that we can expect two more increases in 2018 as “the overall outlook for growth [in America] seems favorable.”

Egypt rejects French claims that flight 2016 EgyptAir plane crashed due to fire: Egypt’s top prosecutor has rejected French investigators’ claims that EgyptAir flight MS804, which crashed in 2016 on route to Cairo from Paris, killing all 66 passengers, was likely caused by a fire in the cockpit, the Associated Press reports. Egyptian investigators are still looking into the incident, Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said in a statement yesterday, which dismissed the claims in the report as “baseless,” reinforcing earlier findings by Egyptian authorities that “traces of explosives were found on the remains of passengers and parts of the plane.” France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analysis agency (BEA) had said last Friday that black boxes had recorded the pilots talking about a fire on board.

Well that didn’t take long: Turkish sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan waited a good two seconds after his election before appointing his son-in-law to head the treasury and Finance Ministry, the FT reports. We wonder what’s next in his plan to re-establish the Ottoman empire — perhaps eunuchs conscripted from refugee camps?

Other random things you should know this morning:

  • Striking oil workers in Norway could drive up the price of Brent crude, having already sent the benchmark price up to nearly USD 78.50 / bbl yesterday. (Reuters)
  • The number of expat workers in KSA was down 6% in the first three months of this year to 10.2 mn as business slowed and the government hiked fees to employ foreign workers. (Bloomberg)
  • Sound familiar? Rolling power outages are a feature of the landscape in the nation’s capital as electricity use soars after temps spike above 40°C. It’s not Cairo, you’re not stuck in a time machine: It’s Tehran. (Bloomberg)
  • The dark side to M&A: Lashups between companies with divergent corporate norms and cultures can be really bad news for investors. (Financial Times)


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.

Up Next

Items that should be on your corporate and risk calendars:

A high-ranking Hamas delegation will reportedly be in Cairo on Wednesday to resume talks with Egyptian officials about “reconciliation” with rival faction Fatah, sources close to the matter told Al Bawaba News.

The House of Representatives is expected to receive on Thursday a committee report on the Madbouly government’s policy program ahead of a general assembly vote on Sunday, when MPs are back from their weeklong recess.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will unveil an unspecified new education program this month, according to Cairo University President Mohamed El Khosht. It is unclear whether the program is K-12 or post-secondary.

Appeals Court to rule on Ibnsina antitrust case on 16 July: The Cairo Court of Appeals is expected to rule on 16 July on Ibnsina Pharma’s appeal of antitrust sanctions imposed in a case brought by the Egyptian Competition Authority.

An IMF delegation will visit Egypt in November to conduct its fourth review on economic progress before disbursing the next loan tranche, Finance Minister Maait told Al Shorouk on Friday.

Image of the Day

Experiencing Nefertiti’s tomb in virtual reality to save the real thing from damage: A documentary streaming service has recorded the inside of the tomb built for Queen Nefertari in Luxor’s Valley of the Queens to help preserve the actual tomb, according to Live Science. The tomb, “whose paintings are so beautiful that it has been compared to Italy’s Sistine Chapel,” has already suffered damage due to bacteria and fungi, which researchers have found can be exacerbated by people entering the tomb. It is currently only open to small groups of visitors, with each visitor charged a EGP 1,000 entry fee, according to Egypt’s self-anointed Indiana Jones, Zahi Hawass.

Egypt in the News

It’s a fundamentally quiet morning for Egypt in the international press, with thin coverage largely confined the arrest of the head of the Customs Authority on graft charges. We’re also seeing residual pickups of wire copy on the sentence handed to a Lebanese tourist for “defaming” Egypt in a profane Facebook video and of Egypt’s denial that a cockpit fire brought down an EgyptAir flight to Cairo from Paris two years ago.

Other stories worth a glance this morning:

  • A group of scholars protested the arrest of University of Washington PhDstudent Waleed Salem in a letter penned to Egyptian authorities, according to Inside Higher Ed. Salem had been conducting research on the Egyptian judiciary.
  • The Sun caught wind of the Egyptian Football Association’s efforts to dispel rumors that footballer Mo Salah is quitting the national team, while Fair Observer’s Solava Ibrahim looks into the inspirational effect Salah has had on Egyptian youth.
  • China’s contributions to the construction of the new administrative capital are the focal point of a piece from Chinese newswire Xinhua.
  • Egyptian court ordered the release of editor of Ikhwan-friendly website Masr Al Arabia, Adel Sabry, who was arrested for allegedly operating without a permit, the Associated Press reports.
  • Tatweer Misr and George Washington University are collaborating on establishing a university dedicated to entrepreneurship, according to a Forbes contributor site.

On Deadline

Finally, someone who understands the economy gets a say among oped writers: HC Securities & Investment Chairman Hussein Choucri penned a piece on structural reforms for AMAY, breaking the monotony of the witchdoctor, pseudo-economist blathering we usually find among opinion writers. Choucri outlines five conditions for successful administrative and legislative reform. These include setting clear and measurable goals, choosing the right leadership at the helm of government agencies and empowering them, and providing them with the financial resources they need to implement their plan.

Shield law: Last, but not least, Choucri addresses a common concern raised by the business community about policymakers: They need to be shielded from the pitchfork-wielding masses, echoing Ahmed Heikal’s post-Revolution theme that while the corrupt should go down, there should be a shield law in place that protects honest public servants from third-party lawsuits for honest decisions made while in full possession of the facts.

Worth Reading

Water is more precious than oil in the Middle East where it constitutes a maincomponent of the political landscape, John Dizard writes in a piece for the Financial Times. Dizard looks at water shortages in Iran and Iraq due to reduced flow from Turkey as a model for the existing power struggle over water in the Middle East to explain just how far reaching the impact of those can be, particularly in countries where the water conservation culture is so nascent and agricultural practices remain, to a large extent, fairly primitive. He explains that Turkey’s plans to fill a new dam reservoir ahead of schedule and build as many as 22 dams along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers has been used as a tool to pressure its neighbors to either be “less tolerant of Kurdish nationalists or find water elsewhere, somehow.” In Iran, where drought affects around 97% of the country, farmers demonstrated against a lack of water; and in Iraq “water levels in Baghdad fell so low in early June that residents could wade across the Tigris, which runs through the capital.”

Will Egypt meet a similar fate? Dizard points to the fact that Ethiopia managed to capitalize on the ensuing chaos from the Arab Spring to begin building its own “long-planned” dam upstream from Egypt, noting that now “it will be hard to stop.” The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a point of contention in relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa, as well as Khartoum, who have only recently started taking steps to resolve their dispute, which stems from Egypt’s concerns that the GERD will have a negative impact on our share of the Nile Water. The government has been taking preemptive measures, as Ethiopia inches closer to filling the dam’s reservoir, by issuing new water rationing policies and trying to diversify its sources of water by building new water desalination plants and digging for more ground water.

Worth Watching

Wireless downloads existed long before WiFi ever did. In the early 1980’s the hosts of British radio show Datarama figured out an easy way (at the time) for fellow programmers like themselves to share their homemade video games with the masses.

The process was simple: “converting digital data into analog tones, recording them onto a cassette, and broadcasting the sounds over the radio,” according to a video by Machinima (watch, runtime: 1:41). “The listeners would then record the broadcast with a tape recorder allowing them to insert the tape into a cassette tape drive attached to their personal computer,” which then allowed them to turn the data back into digital form. The process, which also picked up in Serbia and the Netherlands, was not just exclusive to games, but programmers could also load “all kinds of applications, including encyclopedias and calculators.”


EETC to issue global tender for Sudan interconnection project for a third time in August

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) will reportedly reissue the global tender for the power interconnection project with Sudan in August, in hopes of attracting better financial and technical offers, company sources tell Al Mal. The EETC — which had issued the same tender once before but failed to generate enough interest — only received three offers for the project in the most recent bidding round from Elsewedy Electric, Orascom Construction, and India’s Larsen & Toubro, according to the sources. The Indian offer was the best, but the EETC found that the company lacks the experience necessary to take on the USD 60-70 mn project, they added. Sources said last month that Larsen & Toubro had won the contract and was to set sign final agreements in September. They had noted then as well that Sweden’s NCC was among the potential suitors.

Electricity, military production ministers meet with China’s State Grid for talks on power grid projects

Egypt’s electricity and production ministers met yesterday with a delegation from the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) to discuss cooperating in manufacturing power transmission cables and towers, Al Shorouk reports. The Electricity Ministry had signed last year a USD 250 mn contract with SGCC to help develop a 1,210 km electricity distribution network as part of the second phase of upgrading the power grid.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Centamin’s production from Sukari gold mine drops 7% y-o-y in 1H2018

Preliminary gold production from the Sukari gold mine dropped 7% y-o-y in 1H2018 to 217.1k ounces, Centamin announced yesterday (pdf). Production from the mine during 2Q2018 also dropped 25% y-o-y to 92.8k ounces, “reflecting the lower open pit grades as mining progresses through the transitional zone and below forecast underground grades.” The lower-than-expected production levels resulted in the company revising its output target from Sukari in 2018 to 505-515k ounces, down from 580k ounces previously.

KIMA in talks with India’s International Cooperation Agency for EUR 20 mn loan for Aswan fertilizer facility

The Egyptian Chemical Industry Company (KIMA) is in talks with India’s International Cooperation Agency for a EUR 20 mn loan to add a new production unit to the second phase of its fertilizer production facility in Aswan, Al Mal reports. KIMA expects construction of the facility to be complete by the end of the year, according to Sayed Hamdan.

GASC issues tender for unspecified amount of wheat for August delivery

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) issued a global tender yesterday for an unspecified amount of wheat with a delivery date of 21-31 August, Vice Chairman Ahmed Yousuf tells Reuters’ Arabic service.

Telecoms + ICT

Telecom Egypt, Orange sign 3 agreements for international telecom, transmission, and mobile termination services

Telecom Egypt (TE) and Orange Egypt have renewed yesterday their international telecom services agreement for another four years, TE said in a statement. The two companies also inked a new transmission services agreement for 3.5 years ending by December 2021. TE and Orange also signed a binding letter of agreement for mobile termination rates, setting the framework for interconnection rates.

Automotive + Transportation

Infinity Solar signs MoU with Wataneya Company for Roads to set up electric vehicle charging stations

Infinity Solar subsidiary Infinity-E has signed an MoU with Armed Forces-affiliated Wataneya Company for Roads to set up electric vehicle charging stations at Wataneya gas stations, according to Hany Zahran, founding partner of Zahran Law Office, which is Infinity’s legal advisor. The two sides are still in talks over the details of the cooperation, Zahran tells Al Mal, without mentioning when they expect to sign the final contracts. Meanwhile, Dershal — the local distributor of Dongfeng cars — has teamed up with e-payments firm Fawry to set up an online payment option for individuals using one of the electric charging stations Dershal is setting up, Dershal Chairman Hassan El Desouky tells Al Mal. The payment platform will be launched at the end of the month.

Uber Egypt to compensate drivers following new 12-hour work limit

Uber Egypt has decided to compensate its drivers for longer distances and wait times following growing complaints over the company’s new policy that limits their time driving for the company to 12 hours a day, Al Mal reports.

On Your Way Out

Egypt was ranked as among the 25 most powerful countries in the world, according to rankings published by US News and World Report. Egypt made it at number 25 on the power rank behind Singapore, Spain and Pakistan. The survey ranks the countries based on its economical influence, political influence, strong international alliances and strong military alliances. This was one of a series of metrics looked at by the survey’s Best Countries list, where Egypt ranked 42 out of 80. Factors such as cultural influence, economy and entrepreneurship.

TechCrunch will be bringing its Startup Battlefield to the Middle East this year by holding the first competition for entrepreneurs based in the region, the magazine said in a press release. The event is scheduled to arrive in Cairo on 17 July to meet with early stage founders, investors, and angels working in the country.

A rare whale shark, affectionately named “Bahloul” was spotted near the Red Sea Giftun Island yesterday, according to the director of the Red Sea Natural Reserves Ahmed Ghaleb, Egypt Independent reports. Bahloul was seen in Hurghada and Marsa Alam two days earlier, Ghaleb said, adding the whale shark likely came in from the Indian Ocean through Bab El Mandeb to the Red Sea.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.83 | Sell 17.93
Buy 17.85 | Sell 17.95
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.78 | Sell 17.88

EGX30 (Monday): 15,786 (-0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 1.8 bn (80% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +5.1%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX ended Monday’s session down 0.3%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 0.5%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Emaar Misr up 2.9%, SODIC up 2.9%, and TMG Holding up 2.3%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Global Telecom down 10.0%, Porto Group down 3.9%, and Amer Group down 3.3%. The market turnover was EGP 1.8 bn, and local investors were the sole net sellers

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +793.6 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +38.6 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -832.2 mn

Retail: 29.9% of total trades | 29.2% of buyers | 30.5% of sellers
Institutions: 70.1% of total trades | 70.8% of buyers | 69.5% of sellers

Foreign: 32.3% of total | 54.4% of buyers | 10.3% of sellers
Regional: 5.5% of total | 6.6% of buyers | 4.4% of sellers
Domestic: 62.2% of total | 39.1% of buyers | 85.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 74.10 (+0.34%)
Brent: USD 78.32 (+0.32%)
Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.83 MMBtu, (+0.14%, August 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,259.50/ troy ounce (-0.01%)TASI: 8,326.59 (+1.27%) (YTD: +15.23%)
ADX: 4,616.96 (+0.03%) (YTD: +4.97%)
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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.

26-28 July (Thursday-Saturday): Green Banking: The Road to Sustainable Development, Baron Palace, Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada.

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.

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).

10-13 October 2019 (Tuesday-Sunday) Big Industrial Week Arabia 2019, Egypt International Exhibition Center

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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