Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Real estate tax on oil and gas sector coming

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

It’s interest rate week in a number of major economies: The Bank of Japan signaled yesterday it will maintain “extremely low” interest rates for an extended period, continuing its crisis-era stimulus out of step with other major economies. The US Federal Reserve meets on rates today (it’s expected to leave rates on hold, but the outlook is still for another two rate hikes before year’s end), and the Bank of England convenes tomorrow to ponder the same question.

Egypt’s M2 money supply grew at a rate of 18.49% y-o-y in June to EGP 3.45 tn (USD 193.39 bn), central bank data showed on Tuesday, according to Reuters. M2 was growing at a 39.42% clip at this time last year.

Here’s something to fortify your EM apocalypse bunker: The US and China are reportedly trying to restart talks aimed at averting a full-blown trade war, two people familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg. Representatives of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are having private conversations as they look for ways to re-engage in negotiations, according to the sources. The news will likely be music to every EM investor’s ear, as the trade war had been one of the primary drivers behind the EM selloff.

Here’s something to dash that hope: While global oil prices — that other driver of the selloff — have seen a 6.5% drop in July to below USD 75/bbl, it’s lowest since 2016, analysts are warning that starting from November, Iran’s crude exports will be cut thanks to the Trump administration’s reimposition of sanctions, according to the FT.

Nonetheless, analysts see the tide turning for EM equities: Analysts believe the EM zombie apocalypse has created promising prospects for investors who are willing to take the risk, says the Financial Times’ Adam Samson. “Investors should be ‘very selective when picking EM bonds,’” one analyst says, suggesting “avoiding local government bonds in ‘countries that could be subject to further currency depreciation like Turkey and Brazil as their central banks could continue their hiking cycle.’”

The collapse of Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj is an indicator of just how weak governance standards are in the Middle East, Simeon Kerr and Andrew England write for the Financial Times. Abraaj’s collapse in the face of allegations about misuse of funds points to a broader problem “in a region where the private sector is dominated by powerful merchant families and wealthy individuals…[and]…businesses are averse to listing on stock markets, which would require them to open their books and provide greater transparency.” That is that the lack of a real framework for governance “can deter international investors” as it leaves them “open to the risk of weak management and, in extreme cases, fraud.”

It’s been making the rounds for a few days now, but we finally got around to reading How Goop’s haters made Gwyneth Paltrow’s company worth USD 250 mn: The business started as a newsletter that Paltrow wrote at her kitchen table, telling readers where to get the material things she had. “Why mass-market a lifestyle that lives in definitional opposition to the mass market? Goop’s ethic was this: that having beautiful things sometimes costs money; finding beautiful things was sometimes a result of an immense privilege; but a lack of that privilege didn’t mean you shouldn’t have those things. Besides, just because some people cannot afford it doesn’t mean that no one can and that no one should want it. If this bothered anyone, well, the newsletter content was free, and so were the recipes for turkey ragù and banana-nut muffins.”

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The Supply Ministry’s rice imports strategy and the addition of new commodity subsidy recipients were the most widely discussed topics on the airwaves last night. The most noteworthy segment, however, was Hona Al Asema’s interview with UKTrade Envoy Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.

New UK investments coming: British investors are keen to expand their involvement in the education sector in the region and Egypt in particular, Donaldson said. Businessmen from the UK are currently looking into a major investment in a new university hospital in Egypt, and a leading British company recently signed a GBP 180 mn investment agreement with the Education Ministry to make its digital technology more widely available to Egyptian students (watch, runtime: 4:45).

Donaldson also hailed President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s decision to announce 2019 as the Year of Education, which he said is in line with British investment priorities (watch, runtime: 23:19).

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly had met yesterday with a UK trade delegation, headed Donaldson, to discuss economic cooperation in education, healthcare, and infrastructure, according to a cabinet statement.

Gov’t issues regulations on barley rice imports: Concerns that barley rice could carry diseases and pests that would harm locally cultivated crops have pushed the government to issue regulations on its import. Head of the Agricultural Export Council’s rice committee Mostafa El Naggari phoned in to Masaa DMC to stress the importance of adhering to these regulations once the council puts them in place, and also highlighted the importance of relying on importing barley rice and white rice together to fulfill Egypt’s needs (watch, runtime: 2:35). Agricultural Quarantine Authority (AQA) head Ahmed El Attar echoed El Naggari, saying that two Egyptian research institutes have warned against the risk barley rice poses due to it being a potential carrier for diseases (watch, runtime: 16:56). The issue was also addressed on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 5:57).

This comes as a group of unnamed private companies have received a 38k tonne rice shipment from China, marking the first time for Cairo to import rice from Beijing, head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ rice division Ragab Shehata said yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. The government had decided in June to allow rice imports, following previous measures to clamp down on the cultivation of the water-intensive crop. Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy had also said his ministry would select specific countries from which rice can be sourced and set a cap on the amount of rice Egypt will import, and would announce these rules within three months.

The Supply Ministry has designed a program to streamline the process of registering new subsidy beneficiaries, ministry spokesman Ahmed Kamal said on Al Hayah fi Masr. Kamal noted that all new additions to subsidy rolls will come into effect as of November (watch, runtime: 5:18). The minister’s IT advisor Amr Madkour also broke down the procedures to register on Masaa DMC, and warned that providing incorrect data could result in penalties (watch, runtime: 8:01).

The Press and Media Act is perfectly constitutional and its final form was more than satisfactory, Rep. Osama Heikal said on Hona Al Asema. Heikal’s only concern with the law is that it will need to be amended within a few years to remain up to date with media developments (watch, runtime: 30:04).

Support Egypt Coalition head Mohamed Elsewedy also discussed other laws parliament passed during the most recent legislative session, as well as the Madbouly Cabinet’s policy program with Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal (watch, runtime: 4:40). On a separate note, Elsewedy dismissed allegations that parliament wastes its resources, saying that House reps. receive salaries no higher than EGP 27,000 (watch, runtime: 6:25).

Media reports that doctors at Qasr Al Aini hospital stole a deceased patient’s corneas also got some airtime last night. House Rep. Magdy Morshed claimed that the move was legal, since corneas are considered a tissue and not an organ, meaning the hospital did not need to take permission to extract them (watch, runtime: 3:43). Law professor Mahmoud Kobeish begs to differ, telling Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim that the incident is a crime punishable by law (watch, runtime: 5:47).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- FinMin to impose a real estate tax on oil and gas developments: The Finance Ministry is planning to impose a real estate tax on oil and gas assets, according to documents seen by Enterprise. The move appears to have been in the works for some time and according to the documents, the Finance Ministry, the EGPC and oil and gas companies have been holding meetings on how this real estate tax would be imposed. It is not yet clear whether an agreement had been reached with foreign and local energy companies with regards to the tax. Nonetheless, the ministry had drafted a framework and formula for how the new tax would work and sent it to the Oil Ministry for approval and sign off.

How will the new tax work? The real estate tax rate for the oil and gas sector has been set at 10% of the tax base (the value which will be taxed). The Finance Ministry has developed a formula to calculate the tax base, which will include assigning a value for the oil and gas fields based on the book value of the field’s land and facilities, the period of time since the development of the field, and the average inflation rate over the past 10 years. A value for the rate of depreciation of the asset will be set and deducted from the value of the assets. The lifespan of the development, will also be factored into the tax base. Companies leasing a field can claim a tax deduction of 32% of the value of the field. (We’re still unpacking the nuances of this very complicated tax formula and we’ll have more for you on this once we do)

How big of a burden will this be for oil and gas companies? Oil and gas companies already have the largest corporate tax rate of any sector in the country, with a rate of 40.55% of their profits, compared 22.5% for all other sectors. Provisions in every concession agreement determine the rate at which companies pay a capital gains tax. Companies are exempt from paying taxes on dividends and VAT. EY has an excellent primer and explainer on the tax framework for the sector, which you can check out here.

Part of a wider plan to expand real estate taxation: The move to part of a set of sweeping new tax reforms the Finance Ministry is planning, which include expanding real estate tax revenues. The ministry is planning to undertake this year a massive survey and appraisal of the country’s real estate assets, which by law is conducted once every five years, according to Al Mal. the appraisal will determine the value of residential, commercial, and industrial properties to better calculate the the tax base. Sources tell the newspaper that the ministry is considering delaying the application of the resulting new taxes for another year.

Furthermore, sources had told us in June that Madbouly government is gearing up for a major overhaul of how real estate taxes are calculated, is working on a new formula that would set “clear and simplified” guidelines for the tax assessment of industrial properties, hotels, ports and airports. The government is on track to collect as much as EGP 5.3 bn from real estate taxes in the next fiscal year, up from EGP 3.5 bn this year.

IPO WATCH- Hassan Allam could IPO by 4Q2018, debunks news on size of offering and valuation: Hassan Allam Holding, one of the region’s leading contractors, has yet to decide on the size of the an initial public offering of its shares, a senior company executive told Enterprise yesterday, saying figures published by Al Mal on Monday were inaccurate. The company’s valuation is significantly higher than that implied by Al Mal, the exec said, and the percentage of shares on offer is yet to be determined, but will be lower than that which the newspaper suggested. Sources had told the newspaper that Hassan Allam should receive the Financial Regulatory Authority’s preliminary sign-off on the transaction within weeks, hinting that major shareholders would be relinquishing some of their holdings in the company and that a capital increase was also in the offing.

Background: Hassan Allam had declined to comment on news of a potential IPO back in May. We had reported at the time that the company tapped EFG Hermes and Renaissance Capital as joint global coordinators and bookrunners and Arqaam Capital as bookrunner. Grant Thornton has reportedly been hired as independent financial advisor, while Cairo-based law firm Matouk Bassiouny is said to have been appointed local counsel to the issuer.

Holding Co for Construction and Development approves 32.25% stake sale in HHD: The general assembly of the Holding Company for Construction and Development has approved the sale of a 32.25% stake in subsidiary Heliopolis Housing and Development (HHD) on the EGX as part of the state privatization program, according to a statement from the Public Enterprises Ministry (pdf). HHD is part of the first wave of companies that will pilot the program, and is expected to sell the additional shares in the bourse in October. HHD has decided to go with the state-owned NI Capital to manage the sale.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman are currently the top investment destinations for the Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Group as it continues to pursue expansion plans in the region, CEO Alain Bejjani tells Bloomberg in an interview (watch, runtime: 5:42 or read here). The company’s regional expansion plans is focused on high-demand market such as Egypt, where it’s currently working on building 100 new Carrefour stores in industrial zones across the country, with the first set to be established in Ismailia.

MAF is also building a USD 13.6 bn mixed-use development in Muscat in partnership with the Omani government and trying to capitalize on the introduction of movie theatres in Saudi Arabia with some 600 cinemas and a number of new malls planned, according to Bejjani. The company has also been expanding its presence in Kenya and eyeing more business in neighboring East African countries, he adds.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Egyptian-Saudi JV Edge Holding is planning to invest EGP 25 bn in Egypt over the next three years, Vice Chairman for Commercial Nader Badr  tells Mubasher in an interview. The company is looking to develop the projects at the new administrative capital, New Alamein, and Ain Sokhna, he said. Edge Holding was established this year by a mutual fund between Al-Borouj Egypt and Al Mashariq KSA.

EARNINGS WATCH- Credit Agricole Egypt reported a 15.91% y-o-y increase in net profit after tax to EGP 1.1 bn in 1H2018, compared to EGP 941.7 mn in the same period last year, according to a filing to the EGX (pdf).

FRA to legislate for short-term bonds this quarter? The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) is reportedly planning to allow for the issuance of short-term bond (bonds with durations of less than one year) during the current financial quarter, sources with knowledge of the matter told Amwal Al Ghad. Officials are currently in talks with a number of international institutions — including investment banks, credit rating agencies, and legal advisors — for their insights on legislation the FRA is drafting to set the framework and governing rules for short-term bonds, which were the only major financial instrument that didn’t make it into the new Capital Markets Act. The act had allowed for short-selling, sukuk, and commodities and futures exchanges. Representatives from organizations, including the EBRD, had attended a workshop on the topic in Cairo last month.

Gov’t will not need an overdraft for FY2018-19 to cover new subsidy beneficiaries: The government will not seek an overdraft for the FY2018-19 state budget to accommodate new additions to subsidy rolls, Supply Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Kamal said yesterday, Al Shorouk reports. Instead, the government is focusing on weeding out moochers and other beneficiaries who are “undeserving” of subsidy allocations, which would allow the ministry to redirect these resources to the approved newborns. The Madbouly Cabinet’s social justice committee will announce within one month’s time the criteria for removing beneficiaries from the ministry’s subsidy rolls, Kamal said. Earlier this month, a government source had told us that the cabinet was considering a budget overdraft to cover the expenses.

Background: The government had issued new regulations last year to govern new entrants, which cap the number of family members per card to four and introduce a EGP 1,500 monthly income threshold for eligibility for full-time workers, as well as a EGP 1,200 monthly ceiling for pension earners. The ministry announced it would open the door for more citizens to register for ration cards and for already-registered families to add newborns to their data as of today. Minister Ali El Moselhy had said on Monday that the government expects to add 3-4 mn new subsidy benefactors during the registration period, which closes on 31 October. Commodity subsidy spending in the FY2018-19 budget is up 36.6% y-o-y to EGP 86.18 bn.

MOVES- Madbouly appoints Mohsen Adel Helmy as GAFI’s CEO: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has appointed Mohsen Adel Helmy as CEO of the General Authority for Freezones and Investments, succeeding Mona Zobaa, according to a Cabinet statement. Helmy was most recently vice chairman of the EGX, according to an Investment Ministry statement. Zobaa, who was officially named managing director last August, announced in January she would step down from her position, but has remained in place since then. Madbouly had also reshuffled GAFI’s board of directors on Monday.

Battle over Aphrodite field concession agreement threatens timeline on exports to Egypt: The Cypriot government is reportedly leaning towards rejecting a proposal from the consortium holding the license for the Aphrodite gas field amending the revenue-sharing agreement with the Cypriot state, Cyprus Mail reports. Under the proposal recently floated by the consortium of Noble, Shell and Delek, the overall long-term revenues to the state would decline by EUR 2.3 bn, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis told the nation’s MPs, the newspaper says.

The government will continue talks with the consortium, however, as any rejection would risk delaying plans to export gas from the field to Egypt’s liquefaction plants — a key component to Egypt’s strategy to become the gas export hub for the East Mediterranean basin. “Such a course of action would delay development of Aphrodite by eight to 10 years, thereby excluding the possibility of exporting the gas to Egypt, which is fast becoming energy self-sufficient,” Lakkotrypis says.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Local Administration Act will be a top priority for the House of Representatives during its fourth legislative session, which is set to begin in October, House Spokesman Salah Hassaballah said at a presser yesterday, Ahram Online reports. The legislation is pending national dialogue before being put to a vote in parliament, said Hassaballah. Also on parliament’s roster for the upcoming legislative session: The Criminal Procedures Act — which would introduce new avenues of mediation outside the court system and enforce new regulations for pretrial detention, among other issues — and amendments to the rent control law, which could allow landlords to marginally raise rents currently regulated by rent control provisions.

PSA- Novartis confirms its Valsartan-containing meds in Egypt are safe for consumption: Novartis Pharma said yesterday that none of its Valsartan-containing meds in Egypt were recalled from the market. The pharma producer explained that blood pressure medication containing impure Valsartan, which is being recalled by order of the Health Ministry, was manufactured by a Chinese company that is not affiliated in any way with Novartis. “Novartis Pharma manufactures Valsartan API in its own manufacturing sites and does not rely on any external manufacturers,” the company said in a press release (pdf).

Like a boss, Mo Salah turned down Real Madrid offer to replace Ronaldo: Real Madrid reportedly approached national football star Mohamed Salah this summer in an attempt to poach him from Liverpool as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the Express. Salah, who scored a total of 44 goals across all competitions last year, declined the offer and signed last month a new long-term contract that should keep him with Liverpool until 2023.

Why do not deserve a decent coach — the EFA apparently thinks we’re too good for Thierry Henry: Back home, French football veteran Thierry Henry is reportedly among the Egyptian Football Association’s shortlisted candidates for a new national football team coach, according to The Sun. Henry, who helped lead Belgium to land in third place at the World Cup, was apparently so interested in the gig that he agreed to a major pay cut, Youm7 reports. The EFA still has him as its third option, because apparently we can afford to be picky. Mexican manager Javier Aguirre remains the EFA’s top choice, followed by Spaniard Quique Sanchez Flores.

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Up Next

The Federation of Egyptian Industries’ (FEI) tax committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the FEI’s divisions’ remarks on the Finance Ministry’s new Customs Act.

The CBE will be hosting the 41st annual meeting of the Association of African central banks (AACB) at Sharm El Sheikh from 5 to 9 August.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly is set to select the board of directors for Egypt’s EGP 200 bn sovereign wealth fund “within days.”

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry should be landing in Washington next week to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over developments in the Middle East and US-Egypt relations.

Image of the Day

15-year-old gymnast Malak El Naghy stirred controversy with a photoshoot she did on Cairo’s streets. The social media community was apparently so harsh in its reaction to pictures El Naghy posted of herself in various complicated gymnastics poses and positions in various locations around the city — accusing her of immodesty and eventually forcing the athlete to take the photos off the internet, according to Al Arabiya.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning are wire pickups of the a three-year military court sentence handed down to poet Galal El Beheiri over a collection of poems seen as insulting to security forces and for disseminating false news. He was arrested in March over “a collection of poems entitled ‘The Best Women on Earth,’ a play on a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad that Egypt was the birthplace of ‘the best soldiers on earth.’” The verdict can be appealed, the Associated Press reports. .

Other headlines worth a look this morning:

  • The UAE is “especially keen” on strengthening economic ties with Egypt, particularly on food security, Future Food Security Minister Mariam Al Mehairi said, according to FoodNavigator-Asia.
  • Four Ikhwan members were sentenced to life in prison yesterday over the Kerdasa church incident of 2013, Xinhua reports.
  • The Giza Pyramids can potentially (and under certain conditions) focus electromagnetic energy in their chambers and under their bases, according to an academic study cited by Devdiscourse.
  • Renewable energy growth in Africa will be led by Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa, according to a study picked up by Energy Digital.

On Deadline

The government can’t coercively contain population growth, so awareness campaigns are our best bet: Egypt can’t mimic India’s mass sterilization program or China’s one-child policy to contain population growth because of the religious and ethical implications, but we still need to get our population boom under control, Sahar El Gaara writes for Al Masry Al Youm. El Gaara calls on the state and the media to instead launch aggressive awareness campaigns and impose strict child labor laws that will discourage citizens from seeing children as a source of income.

Worth Reading

Trading can be one of the best career options for women because results, not gender, are what determine success, Nurhayati Mohd Noor writes for the Financial Times. Noor acquiesces that the profession is decidedly dominated by males and that they tend to look for employees with character traits that are typically attributed to men, but points out that there is no single trait that will determine success. “What matters is results and, in trading, the results are immediate and measurable. Women can rise quickly inside trading firms because once you show that you can generate profits, your pay will probably be equalised with that of your male colleagues.”

Please, Ft, quit while you’re ahead: While Noor encourages women to let their skills speak for themselves, Sarah Cooper suggests that women have to hide any talents they have with tasks that are stereotypically assigned to women to avoid getting stuck with these tasks at the expense of their actual professional responsibilities. Cooper argues that gender discrimination in task assignments is unacceptable, but we take issue with the argument that women need to hide their skills and capabilities (whatever they may be) to circumvent a manager’s sexism, rather than speak out against said sexism.

Perhaps the most infuriatingly demeaning part of Cooper’s piece, however, is the suggestion that women are intrinsically programmed to perform these tasks and that they must exercise restraint to “[suppress] every instinct you have ever had” to “nourish, feed, or clean up after your co-workers, or yourself.”

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Fatah has “positively responded” to Egypt’s new proposal for reconciliation with rival faction Hamas, according to Haaretz. There are still some pending issues that both sides have yet to agree on, but a Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo yesterday to resume negotiations. Senior Fatah officials were reportedly already in town.

Israel backs expanding QIZ products: Israeli trade officials expressed their support for including leather-made goods, shoes, and food products as part of the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) agreement between Egypt, the US, and Israel, sources told Amwal Al Ghad. The statements came at a meeting last week in Cairo with US and Egyptian trade officials. Most of Egypt’s exports through the QIZ agreement are textiles and ready-made clothes. Both the US and Egypt have been looking to add new products to the agreement.

Energy

NREA to sign contracts with Spain’s TSK for 26 MW Kom Ombo solar plant next week

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) will sign the contracts with Spain’s TSK Group for the development of a 26 MW solar power plant in Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt next week, NREA head Mohamed El Khayat said. TSK Group edged out China’s Nari Solar Energy Technology to win the tender for the plant. El Khayat did not disclose the expected investment value or timeline for the development of the plant, which will be financed by the French Development Agency.

Real Estate + Housing

Master Group to launch new capital residential project by the end of August

Real estate developer Master Group is launching a EGP 6 bn mixed-use residential development at the new capital by the end of August, Managing Director Mohamed Lasheen tells Amwal Al Ghad. The project will be built over an area of 63 feddans.

Alsedek Real Estate to launch two EGP 550 mn projects in early 2019

Alsedek Real Estate is launching in early 2019 two new residential developments in Cairo worth a combined EGP 550 mn, Zawya reports. The projects will be located in 6 October and east Cairo.

Tourism

SWISS to launch a new direct flight from Geneva to Hurghada, EasyJet from Milan to return to Red Sea

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) will be adding new direct flights between Geneva-Hurghada to their service as of October, FTN News reports. The move is another sign that tourism is returning to Egypt and comes as EasyJet flights from Milan to Red Sea destinations are set to resume after a three-year hiatus following the Metrojet incident of 2015, when a Russian plane crashed after taking off from Sharm El Sheikh, according to Egypt Independent.

Banking + Finance

EIB, NBE in talks over second tranche of financing agreement to support Egypt’s SMEs

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) is in talks with the European Investment Bank (EIB) over the second tranche of a USD 500-750 mn financing package to support Egypt’s SMEs, an unidentified source tells Al Mal. The two banks had signed the contracts for the first EUR 375 mn tranche of the loan last month.

Other Business News of Note

FEI expresses reservations about CBE’s EGP 16.8 bn debt relief program

The Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) has expressed some reservations about the CBE’s EGP 16.8 bn debt relief program, Al Mal reports. Their chief concerns have to do with implementing the debt relief program. There are no guarantees in the initiative that businesses that will benefit from it will invest in growing their companies, members of the FEI’s investment policy committee said. A businessman can get the relief, then up and sell their debt-free business right away. Other reservations include the lack of a system to monitor compliance with the terms of the initiative, they noted. The program, which was launched the CBE in June, will help around 3,500 business with assets less than EGP 10 mn, as well as some 337k individual borrowers, who have taken out loans from nine state bank Under the program, businesses targeted by the initiative will see a total of EGP 12 bn in relief, while individual borrowers will see some EGP 4.8 bn.

Law

Baker & Mckenzie Int’l members Helmy, Hamza & Partners secure win for El Motaheda Co. case against glucose maker

Baker & Mckenzie International announced last week that Egyptian affiliates Helmy, Hamza & Partners successfully secured a winning verdict for El Motaheda Co. for Trade in its case against a “major” Egyptian glucose producer, whose identity was not revealed. El Motaheda had pursued legal action against the glucose manufacturer for losses incurred between 2008-12 as the result of unfair price increases, which had been born of collusion between three of the country’s major glucose makers, the law firm said in a release. All three producers had reached a settlement agreement with the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) after they were investigated and found to be in violation. The Economic Court’s verdict, however, came in spite of the settlement, making “the case the first successful private damages case following an ECA cartel settlement decision,” according to the firm.

National Security

Police kill five Hasm militants during raid shoot-out

Security forces killed yesterday five Hasm militants in a shoot-out during a raid on their hideout in El Obour City, according to an Interior Ministry statement. Police also arrested another five militants in the raid.

On Your Way Out

USAID MBA scholarship program graduates 37 women: The US Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the graduation of 37 women from all over Egypt who received USAID scholarships to earn MBA degrees at premier universities in the United States, according to a statement from the US embassy (pdf). “These graduates join hundreds of USAID scholarship recipients who are making a difference in Egypt,” said USAID Egypt Mission Director Sherry F. Carlin. “The U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative is a multi-year investment in Egypt’s future, but the impact can last a lifetime,” she added.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.82 | Sell 17.92
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.83 | Sell 17.93
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.78 | Sell 17.88

EGX30 (Tuesday): 15,580 (+1.9%)
Turnover: EGP 815 mn (9% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +3.7%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session up 1.9%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 2.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were SODIC up 5.2%, TMG Holding up 5.1%, and Porto Group up 4.6%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Kima down 2.1%, Eastern Co down 1.3%, and Abu Qir Fertilizers down 0.3%. The market turnover was EGP 815 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +45.2 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +9.9 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -55.0 mn

Retail: 51.0% of total trades | 46.1% of buyers | 55.8% of sellers
Institutions: 49.0% of total trades | 53.9% of buyers | 44.2% of sellers

Foreign: 33.1% of total | 35.9% of buyers | 30.4% of sellers
Regional: 8.8% of total | 9.4% of buyers | 8.2% of sellers
Domestic: 58.1% of total | 54.7% of buyers | 61.4% of sellers

WTI: USD 68.41 (-0.51%)
Brent: USD 73.95 (-0.35%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.78 MMBtu, (-0.07%, September 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,232.40 / troy ounce (-0.10%)

TASI: 8,294.83 (-0.17%) (YTD: +14.79%)
ADX: 4,859.45 (+0.27%) (YTD: +10.48%)
DFM: 2,955.95 (-0.32%) (YTD: -12.29%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,296.99 (-1.25%)
QE: 9,825.11 (+1.80%) (YTD: +15.27%)
MSM: 4,336.55 (+0.37%) (YTD: -14.96%)
BB: 1,358.35 (-0.89%) (YTD: +2.00%)

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Calendar

05 August (Sunday): Egypt’s PMI reading for July released.

05-09 August (Sunday-Thursday): CBE hosts 41st annual meeting of the Association of African central banks, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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.

18 September (Tuesday): Cairo Economic Court to issue ruling on EGP 5.6 bn antitrust case against pharma companies including Ibnsina.

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.

26 September (Wednesday): E-Commerce Summit, Nile-Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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).

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

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