Monday, 13 August 2018

PMI says private sector recovering

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to keep interest rates on hold when it meets this Thursday. Despite a slowdown in inflation levels to 13.5% in July, compared to 14.4% in June, HC Securities Chief Economist Sara Saada says the CBE is expected to maintain overnight deposit and lending rates unchanged at 16.75% and 17.75% at its upcoming meeting to allow the economy more time to fully absorb the shock of price hikes that came about as the result of increases to the costs of energy. “We expect monthly inflation to start normalizing in August to c. 1% on the phasing out of first and second round effects of fuel, electricity, and tax reforms, resulting in nearly stable yearly inflation in August.” Inflation levels are seen “normalizing” by the fourth quarter of the year, “after which we may witness further monetary policy easing, if exogenous factors including international oil prices, exchange rate, and emerging market yields are favorable.”

Our friends at Pharos Holdings also hold the view that the CBE will maintain interest rates. The bank sees annual headline inflation rising to an average 13.2% in 1Q2018-19, up from an average 12.8% in the fourth quarter of FY2017-18, before it begins to ease after September, “once the fiscal consolidation impact is fully absorbed by the economy and has fully reflected on the prices of goods and services, in addition to the end of back-to-school season.” We have a detailed breakdown on the report in our The Market Yesterday section below or you can view the full report here (pdf).

Real estate taxes are again in the news after the Tax Authority issued a booklet outlining the conditions for exemption from the tax, Ahram Online reports. Property worth less than EGP 2 mn will be eligible for exemption from paying a real estate tax. Homes whose net annual income from rent is less than EGP 24,000 will also be eligible for exemption. Those found guilty of evading taxes will pay a EGP 1,000-5,000 fine on top of the tax. The booklet was issued as the ministry postponed the deadline for paying real estate taxes to 15 October from 15 August.

Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi is meeting President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Cairo today, Yemen’s media minister said, Youm7 reports. Hadi will also meet with several other Egyptian officials during his two-day visit, including Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal.

Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar is set to sign an agreement with China’s ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo today, according to an emailed Investment Ministry statement (pdf). The details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The biggest story of the day for emerging markets continues to be the Turkish lira’s slow and agonizing death alone in the psych ward with no one visiting or sending flowers. We go in-depth on how the crisis could prove beneficial for Egypt and the impact on EMs further below in the Speed Round. But first, a look at the latest updates on the crisis.

A placebo effect appeared to take shape on Sunday, with the lira firming up to TRY 6.86 to the USD after falling to an all-time low of TRY 7.24, Reuters report.

The placebo: Turkey’s Finance Minister said that the government will announce a series of comprehensive economic policies to counter the downslide that would impact everything from banks to SMEs.

Why it won’t work #1: The minister echoed none other than his his father-in-law President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s nationalist rhetoric that this was economic war, which will only serve to dig themselves even further in the mess.

Why it won’t work #2: Erratic economic and monetary policies by the Erdogan government have played as much of a hand in this as the political mess leading to the US tariffs, with the TRY being among the weakest currencies at the heart of the EM zombie apocalypse. Furthermore, the Erdogan administration seems paralyzed by the politics and has stood by and watched their economy meltdown. As investors urge the central bank to take action, policy makers fear that any rise in interest rates would be offset by another round of US sanctions, Bloomberg notes.

KSA fund looking to enter Tesla buyout: In other global business news, the Saudi Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund is exploring how it can be involved in the potential transaction, according to people with knowledge of the fund’s plans tell Bloomberg. The fund recently built a stake just shy of 5% in Tesla. The move comes as Tesla founder Elon Musk moves forward plans to take the company private despite concerns by the board, skepticism by short sellers, and lawsuits from investors.

Expect Mo Salah to feature heavily in the local and foreign press lately as the Premier League kicks off this week. The Liverpool striker started the season strong, scoring the first goal in Liverpool’s 4-0 victory of West Ham.

(Some of us here are very unhappy about the 2-0 defeat of Arsenal by Man City, but it could have been worse).

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s inauguration of a new irrigation dam at Assiut yesterday was the main topic of discussion on the airwaves last night.

The irrigation dam, one of the largest water projects on the nile, will benefit farmers across 20% of Egypt’s agricultural land in Giza, Fayoum, Beni Sueif, Assiut, and Minya, Irrigation Ministry Spokesperson Hossam El Imam told Al Hayah fi Masr (watch, runtime: 5:12). El Imam also phoned into Yahduth fi Masr for a chat with Sherif Amer about how the dam project ties into the ministry’s wider water conservation efforts (watch, runtime: 3:41 and runtime: 1:40).

The dam includes a EUR 69 mn hydropower station, which will generate clean energy equivalent to 50,000 tonnes of fuel per year, Electricity Ministry Spokesperson Ayman Hamza told Hona Al Asema’s Lama Gebril. This reduction of fuel consumption will save the country EGP 130 mn and will also cut down on our CO₂ emissions by 125,000 tonnes (watch, runtime: 5:00). Chinese state-owned company Sinohydro will cooperate in building the station, which will take around seven years to complete, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said yesterday, according to Ahram Online. Gebril also got into the details of the barrage with Irrigation Ministry deputy head Khaled Tobar (watch, runtime: 25: 12). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary also spent some time on the topic (watch, runtime: 9:28).

El Sisi also inaugurated yesterday the EGP 72 mn Sohag Museum, Supreme Antiquities Council Secretary General Mostafa Waziri told Hona Al Asema. The 8,700 sqm museum houses some 950 artifacts. Construction of the museum had kicked off again in 2016 after being suspended for several years, Waziri noted (watch, runtime: 3:55). Waziri also chatted about the museum on Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 6:19), Al Hayah fi Masr (watch, runtime: 5:03), and Yahduth fi Masr (watch, runtime: 2:44).

Security experts and members of the Coptic Church continued to praise tight security measures for managing to foil Saturday’s attempted suicide bombing at the Lady Virgin Church in Qaliubiyah. The impenetrable security forced the bomber to detonate far away from the church, preventing any casualties, former Interior Minister official Osama El Tawil said on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 7:42). The church’s Archpriest Abdel Messih Bassit church said that prayers and celebrations of the Virgin Mary’s birthday had continued unaffected after the thwarted attack (watch, runtime: 9:15).

The annual increase in private schools was the headline of a roundtable discussion hosted by Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary, with House Rep. Hany Abaza, private schools representative Ahmed El Khatib, and head of an association for parents of students in private schools Mohamed Salah weighing in on the matter (watch, runtime: 4:30).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Headline PMI reaches eight-month high in July at 50.3: Business conditions in Egypt’s non-oil private sector improved last month, with the headline Emirates NBD PMI compiled by Markit (pdf) rising above the 50.0 mark that separates contraction from growth. The gauge rose to an eight-month high of 50.3 in July from 49.4 in June, thanks to a “greater volume of new business amid stronger demand from both domestic and foreign sources,” according to the report, which adds that “improvements in inbound tourism supported the upturn in new domestic orders, while a new global economic environment underpinned the expansion in new exports.”

Signs point to private sector recovery: Despite existing challenges, the outlook for the the current fiscal year remains positive, with expectations seeing GDP growth rising, said the report. In July, raw material shortages and higher costs — following the increase in fuel and power prices — weighed down business activity. However, indicators such as liquidity, output, staffing levels, and purchasing activity fell at a much “softer pace than in the previous month,” pointing to the start of private sector recovery, “supported by gradual monetary policy normalization, improved political stability, and a rebound in the tourism sector.”

EXCLUSIVE- Carry traders are back on. So is the Turkey crisis proving to be positive for Egypt? Egypt’s government is taking a very positive outlook on the Turkish economic fiasco which is currently wreaking havoc on emerging markets. Foreign investments in Egypt’s debt rose last week thanks largely to the Turkish crisis, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Enterprise in an exclusive. This comes after foreign holdings in Egypt’s debt dropped by around USD 3-4 bn during the emerging markets selloff, and yields at government bond sales rose to new highs to lure investors in. Maait did not tell us the extent of the growth in portfolio investments, but said that the turbulence in Turkey has driven these investors to us.

They were lured by our high yields, said Maait, who added that these remained attractive despite Argentinian bond yields rising significantly. This line of thinking will undoubtedly play into the CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting this month, especially as the Finance Ministry increases its coordination with the central bank.

Even on the foreign trade front, the government is looking to capitalize on the Turkey mess, according to statements by Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar. The government is currently looking at maximizing exports to Turkey, which is going through a liquidity crisis, he tells Amwal Al Ghad without elaborating on any specific policy.

The wider EM impact: So far the most visible collateral damage from the crisis has been other EM currencies, with the TRY dragging the ruble, the Argentine peso, and the South African rand. Egypt and GCC stocks fell across the board again on Sunday. Despite Sunday’s sell off, “MENA (Middle East and North Africa) equities remain under-represented in global portfolios (and are thus less exposed to global EM (emerging market) outflows),” Sanat Sachar, equity research analyst at Al Mal Capital tells Reuters.

Analysts opinions on the extent of emerging contagion from the crisis differs widely. "We are going to see earnings drop in the back of this for those banks that are exposed to the Turkish story and we are also seeing the contagion and spillover effects of these huge moves in Turkey which are getting worse," according to Jordan Rochester, a currency strategist at Nomura International. Paul McNamara, a London-based money manager at GAM UK, disagrees, telling Bloomberg that "this can be contained to just Turkey because there aren’t really any other emerging markets which have the exact toxic blend that Turkey has."

Egypt’s first futures exchange could be launched before the end of the year, Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) Vice Chairman Khaled El Nashar tells Al Mal. Trading at first will be limited to listed securities, El Nashar said, without elaborating. The FRA is also considering introducing regulations for licensing brokerage firms as market makers, which would allow them to both buy and sell securities from their own inventory at prices which they have a measure of control over. The introduction of new financial instruments, which was made possible by the new Capital Markets Act and its executive regulations, means to boost the EGX’s trading volumes, according to El Nashar.

Background: The Capital Markets Act includes provisions on the establishment of futures and commodities exchanges, as well as the introduction of sukuk, green bonds, and margin trading. We had heard earlier this month that the EGX and Oil Ministries were meeting to decide on the framework for a natural gas exchange. We had also heard in May that Financial Regulatory Authority boss Mohamed Omran had tasked a committee with drafting the rules and regulations that would govern futures exchanges, which are part of a four-year strategy to develop Egypt’s non-banking financial sector. New regulations to govern short-selling are also in the works and expected to be complete by 3Q2018.

Gov’t selects firm to sign fuel hedging contract: The ministries of finance and oil have settled on the firm which will sign fuel hedging contracts with the government, a government source told Enterprise. The source refused to reveal the winner of a tender issued by the Oil Ministry to select an institution to provide Egypt with fuel hedging solutions to prevent higher oil prices from further straining the state budget, which assumes an average price of USD 67/bbl. The winning firm had offered to help Egypt hedge against oil futures rising above USD 73/bbl, the source added, saying that oil prices are expected to stand at USD 70/bbl by the end of 2018. The contracts are currently being reviewed by a legal adviser appointed by the government and will be signed following the next OPEC meeting, the source added. We had heard that seven offers were already on the table and under review from international banks bidding on the tender.

Changes to import/export regulations and industry coming? The Trade and Industry Ministry will look to amending Egypt’s import/export strategy “to serve the development of domestic manufacturing,” Minister Amr Nassar said at a presser on Monday, Amwal Al Ghad reports. The ministry is currently developing a new foreign trade strategy that seeks to maximize the value of our industry, he added without revealing what these changes might be. Nassar had said last month that the government is currently looking to ban exports of raw materials in order to maximize their use in the value chains here at home. Raw materials which have not undergone any type of processing will not be exported

Is crowding out the private sector the go-to gov’t strategy for developing industry? The ministry will increase its reliance on Armed Forces factories to manufacture products needed here without having to import them, Nassar said, according to a ministry statement. His statements suggest a policy of restricting imports on those goods which can be produced by the Armed Forces.

LEGISLATION WATCH- We’ve heard this one before — gov’t to have automotive directive ready by the fall: The Trade and Industry Ministry is planning to have the automotive directive drafted and ready before the House of Representatives reconvenes for the fall legislative session in October, Nassar said at a presser on Monday, according to Amwal Al Ghad. The legislation had been “almost ready” since 2016.

Clues that major changes to the act are coming: The legislation is currently under review, said Nassar in a ministry statement. While he did not delve into specifics, there were some clues that confirm that major changes to the policy are taking place. First, Nassar assured that the legislation that will come out of the review process would adhere to past agreements signed with foreign partners. The EU, and Germany in particular, have not been fans of the original automotive directive, as it would have developed a local manufacturing base nationwide which would compete with EU imports. Customs on EU imports are set to fall to zero at the end of the year. Nassar also confirmed for the first time that the review of the act is currently being conducted by a committee made up of the ministries of trade, finance and investment.

Other clues coming out of the press seem to indicate that the ministry has fired the consultancy hired by former Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil to review the act. In its stead, the ministry appears to be conducting a survey of the entire auto industry in Egypt, Amwal Al Ghad reports.

Background: A senior government source revealed to us last month that a committee made up of the three ministries was planning to scrap the automotive directive, which sets a nationwide system of incentives and tariffs for manufacturing and exports for the auto industry, in favor of a Moroccan-style incentives system and special economic zones. This was corroborated by two other well-placed sources. While Nassar denied that the automotive directive was scrapped, he did confirm that the entire policy was under review.

IPO WATCH- Nabq Sinai plans to list and sell shares only to Egyptians: Nabq Sinai for Hotels is planning to float 30% of the company on the Egyptian Exchange before the end of the year,Chairman Hossam Attia tells Al Mal. The company, which expects to submit its fair value study to the Financial Regulatory Authority and hire a manager for the transaction within the week, will be selling shares exclusively to Egyptians, according to Attia, who explains that as a Sinai-based company, Nabq’s request for an IPO was rejected repeatedly since 2008 due to legal restrictions on foreign ownership of Sinai assets. The company, however, won a court case in 2015 and received a verdict that allows Sinai-based companies to list on the EGX under the condition that they sell shares only to Egyptians. The government had issued a decision back in 2002 barring the sale of shares in listed companies based in Sinai to foreigners. Proceeds from the IPO will be used to finance a EGP 300 mn touristic project in Ain Sokhna, Attia adds.

EARNINGS WATCH- Arabia Investments & Development Holding (AIND) reported a net profit after tax of EGP 41.1 mn in 1H2018, compared to a net loss of EGP 21 mn in the same period last year, marking the largest half-year results in five years, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf).

Egypt seeks USD 2 bn in funding for education reform: The government is apparently holding talks with international development partners for USD 2 bn in new facilities to fund its drive to reform K-12 education in Egypt, according to World Bank documents seen by El Masdar. The documents appear to say that the EU, the German international development agency (GIZ), and the German development bank (KfW) have all expressed interest in participating in funding the education reforms. The World Bank had signed a USD 500 mn loan agreement with the government to fund the education reforms.

MIGA gearing up to issue USD 300-400 mn-worth of assurances for Egypt projects: Meanwhile, The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is preparing to issue new financial guarentees worth USD 300-400 mn for various projects in Egypt, WBG’s Alternate Executive Director Ragui El-Etreby tells Al Mal. MIGA, which had provided USD 102.6 mn in assurances for six solar power plants in Egypt back in January, had said last week that the agency intends to expand its financing for private sector projects in Egypt over the next three years.

MOVES- El Sisi taps former Air Defense commander to head AOI: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi tapped yesterday Abdel Moniem El Toras as the new chairman of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI), according to an Ittihadiya statement. El Toras, who succeeds Abdel Aziz Seifeldin, was previously commander of the Egyptian Air Defense Forces.

Court drops final lawsuit against Ahmed Ezz on money laundering charges: The Cairo Criminal Court issued yesterday a decision dismissing the final corruption lawsuit raised against steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz for corruption, as per his reconciliation agreement with the government, Al Mal reports. Ezz and three other defendants in the lawsuit had reached a EGP 1.7 bn settlement with the government over the case in March.

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Up Next

Dar Al Ifta announced the first day of Eid Al Adha will be Tuesday, 21 August, with Waqfat Arafat taking place on Monday. Expect most people to also take next Sunday off to bridge into a full nine-day vacation.

Governors shuffle coming after Eid break: A shuffle of the nation’s 27 governors will likely be announced after the Eid Al Adha break, an unnamed source from the Local Development Ministry tells Al Shorouk. The announcement of the shuffle has been postponed several times since reports of its imminence first broke in June, but sources had said earlier this week that as many as 12 governors could be hanging up their suits. Leading jurists were reportedly among the candidates for higher office in Giza and Upper Egypt.

The Egyptian Federation of Investors Associations (EFIA) is meeting with Finance Minister Mohamed Maait this week to discuss the latest draft of the Customs Act.

Orange Egypt’s board of directors is meeting on 27 August to look into the company’s proposal for a voluntary delisting.

A delegation of 60 unnamed US companies is scheduled to visit Egypt in October to explore potential investments across a variety of sectors. A Japanese trade delegation is also due to visit the new capital and Suez Canal by the end 2018.

Egypt is set to host the 57th ACI & 43rd ICA World Congress from 25-27 October in Cairo to discuss the latest developments in global banking. The conference will be held under the auspices of CBE Governor Tarek Amer.

Egypt in the News

Monk’s arrest over bishop’s murders tops foreign headlines on Egypt: The arrest of ex-monk Ash’eyaa El Makary for the murder of Bishop Epiphanius at the St. Macarius monastery in Wadi El Natroun is making top headlines on Egypt in the int’l press on what is otherwise a blessedly slow news day. The Guardian and Irish Times are among the many outlets that picked up the story yesterday.

Coming in at a close second is wire pickups of the Interior Ministry’s arrest of seven people responsible for the failed attack on a Qalyubiyah church on Saturday. The suicide bomber was identified as 29-year-old Omar Mohamed Mostafa, but he has not been linked to any terrorist group, according to Reuters. The six other detainees, who include two women, were reportedly found with explosives and ammunition in their possession upon their arrest, Ahram Online reports.

Meanwhile, The Economist joins in on the choir of commentary on Into the Hands of the Soldiers, former NYT bureau chief David Kirkpatrick’s recently-released book on Egypt.

On Deadline

Columnists are still grumbling about the real estate tax: The Finance Ministry’s target of collecting EGP 5 bn from the real estate tax does not warrant the amount of trouble the government is putting people through to pay the levy, Mahmoud Khalil writes for El Watan. By Khalil’s calculations, reaching the EGP 5 bn mark would only require that each real estate owner pay EGP 100, which is far less than what most are actually paying. He also lashes out at the government for imposing several new taxes while citizens are struggling to get by, and calls for a clampdown on evaders of already-existing taxes instead.

Worth Reading

MENA region weather could soon go from uncomfortable to unlivable: If the successive heat waves we’ve been experiencing this summer in Egypt didn’t tip you off, experts are calling it: Climate change is well on its way to making the Middle East and North Africa “unlivable,” according to NBC News. Egypt is struggling with a rise in extreme weather events and higher humidity levels, which meteorologists say are “highly significant” trends that could culminate in “one of the biggest disasters on the globe.” Climate change is also beginning to eat away at our sources of livelihood — “In the fertile Nile Delta, rising sea levels and a rising water table are already cutting into Egypt’s precious 4 percent of arable farmland.”

Meanwhile, in the Gulf, temperatures between 60 and 70°C will be “the new normal” by mid-century, a global energy and climate policy expert says. This rise in temperatures is, of course, a much more pressing and imminent danger than higher sea levels for the Persian Gulf. A research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has determined that the Gulf’s high-humidity climate, which reduces the human body’s ability to cool off by sweating, paired with rising temperatures will soon cause “even the fittest” human bodies to overheat and begin to fail if serious action is not taken. In the meantime, countries in the region are rushing to rely more on green energy as demand for electricity will largely be driven by a need to power air conditioning systems.

Worth Watching

Attention foodies, fans of cooking shows, and fans of Dragons’ Den. “Mn Pound Menu” — one of the best cooking shows we’ve seen in quite some time — is now out on Netflix. The concept of the BBC 2-produced show blends the sensory culinary delight that comes with watching a good cooking show and the drama that comes with intense cooking competitions like Masterchef, with the business side thrown in there in the vein of Dragons’ Den.

The format: The show starts investors and restaurateurs gathering to pick restaurant concepts pitched by up and coming cooks. These cooks will then be given a pop-up restaurant to run for three days in a bid to impress the investors. After sampling the food, discussing the business plan and financials, and seeing the entrepreneurs manage a full day’s restaurant work, investors interested will make an offer at the end of the episode. You can view the trailer here (watch, runtime: 0:30).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt and Tunisia agreed on Sunday to establish a joint investment cooperation council, according to an Investment Ministry statement. The agreement came during a meeting in Cairo yesterday between Tunisian Trade Minister Omar Bahi, his Egyptian counterpart Amr Nassar, and Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, where the two sides also highlighted the need to boost economic cooperation across the board and activate several existing MoUs in fields including agriculture.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Aton has until February next year to submit feasibility studies for West Hamama Concession

Egypt’s Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) gave Canada’s Aton Resources until the end of February 2019 to submit a feasibility report on gold exploration activities at the West Hamama concession, sources with knowledge of the matter tell Youm7. Aton, which is trying to acquire a 20-year exploitation license, had announced last week that EMRA accepted its declaration of commerciality for the project, which could open the door for Aton to become the second major gold producer in Egypt after Centamin.

Manufacturing

E&M to establish EGP 500 mn LED bulb-manufacturing complex

The International Arabic Company for Electric Industries (E&M) announced plans to construct a EGP 500 mn factory complex in Badr City to manufacture LED lights. The complex, which will be built over 43,000 sqm, will start operating sometime next year, company Director Ahmed Ibrahim tells Al Shorouk.

Health + Education

FinMin’s PPPCU to tender construction of Ain Shams University’s commerce faculty

The Finance Ministry’s Public-Private Partnership Central Unit (PPPCU) is planning to launch a tender to the private sector soon for the construction of the faculty of commerce at a new Ain Shams University-affiliated campus in Obour City under a PPP framework, unit head Atter Hannoura tells Al Mal. The faculty is one of nine schools that are set be established at the new campus, according to Hannoura, who said that the project’s booklet of conditions should be issued after the upcoming Eid Al Adha break. The government is also developing 200 schools in partnership with the private sector.

Banking + Finance

Russian-Hungarian consortium offers to finance 1,300 railway car purchase

A Russian-Hungarian banking consortium has offered to provide the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) with a loan to finance the purchase of 1,300 railway cars from Russia’s Transmashholding, Al Masdar reports. The loan would carry an interest rate of 1.8%. ENR had announced last week that Transmashholding has been awarded the contract to supply the cars, for which Egypt will pay around EGP 17 bn.

Ethydco in talks with local banks to finance EGP 1.8-2 bn polybutadiene plant

The Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (Ethydco) is reportedly in talks with local banks to arrange a EGP 1.8-2 bn loan needed for a polybutadiene factory it’s looking to establish at its Alexandria industrial complex, unnamed sources tell Al Mal. The company, which is shopping for a facility with a 5-7-year tenor, is holding discussions with CIB, as well as the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Banque du Caire, they add, noting that a tranche of the loan will be provided in foreign currency. Ethydco is among the 23 state-owned companies which will IPO or list additional shares on the EGX.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Mohammed Badie and four others sentenced to life in prison

A Cairo court sentenced yesterday ex-Ikhwan head Mohammed Badie and four others to life in prison on charges related to the killing of seven people in 2013, according to the Associated Press. Four others also received 10-15-year sentences on the same charges. The verdict, which can be appealed, is the latest life sentence to be handed down to Badie, who was also charged with “inciting violence and planning attacks against the state.” Separately, three defendants in another case were sentenced yesterday to death for forming and running the Ansar Al Sharia terrorist group, Ahram Online reports.

Sports

Powerlifters Sherif Osman and Fatma Omar secure two gold medals for Egypt at Algiers 2018 World Para Powerlifting African Championships

Sherif Osman and Fatma Omar will bring two gold medals home from their victories at the Algiers 2018 World Para Powerlifting African Championships yesterday, according to the tournament’s official website. Osman, who also won gold in the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics, significantly outperformed the competition — clearing the bar at 206kg. Fatma Omar lifted 135kg to secure Egypt’s second gold medal.

On Your Way Out

To commemorate the inauguration of the Sohag National Museum yesterday, the Antiquities Ministry released a short promotional documentary that showcases the new facility, which displays a collection of 945 artifacts from different eras unearthed from sites near the Upper Egyptian city (watch, runtime: 1:39)

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.83 | Sell 17.93
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.83 | Sell 17.93
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.78 | Sell 17.98

EGX30 (Sunday): 15,924 (-1.2%)
Turnover: EGP 428 mn (51% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +4.8%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session down 1.2%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.5%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were IbnSina Pharma up 1.0%, AMOC up 0.2%, and Edita flat. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Palm Hills down 6.2%, Orascom Construction down 3.5%, and EFG Hermes down 3.4%. The market turnover was EGP 428 mn, and regional investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -10.0 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +25.5 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -15.5 mn

Retail: 76.5% of total trades | 79.3% of buyers | 73.7% of sellers
Institutions: 23.5% of total trades | 20.7% of buyers | 26.3% of sellers

Foreign: 5.4% of total | 4.3% of buyers | 6.6% of sellers
Regional: 6.2% of total | 9.2% of buyers | 3.2% of sellers
Domestic: 88.4% of total | 86.6% of buyers | 90.2% of sellers


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PHAROS VIEW

MPC to maintain rates at next meeting until conditions stabilize: Although inflation levels cooled in July compared to June, the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is still likely to keep key interest rates on hold when it meets this Thursday to allow the market more time to adjust to the sudden hike in prices. Pharos sees annual headline inflation rising to an average 13.2% in 1Q2018-19, up from an average 12.8% in the fourth quarter of FY2017-18, before it begins to ease after September, “once the fiscal consolidation impact is fully absorbed by the economy and has fully reflected on the prices of goods and services, in addition to the end of back-to-school season.” Inflation levels cooled in July after surging in June following a government decision to slash subsidies further and hike the costs of fuel and power. You can view the full report here (pdf).

***


WTI: USD 67.59 (-0.06%)
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Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.92 MMBtu, (-0.85%, September 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,216.00 / troy ounce (-0.25%)

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Calendar

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 September (Tuesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI reading for August due.

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 October (Tuesday): First Conference on Sukuk (Sharia-compliant bonds), Cairo

23-24 October (Tuesday-Wednesday): Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference 2018, Fairmont Towers Heliopolis, Cairo.

25-27 October (Thursday-Saturday): 57th ACI World Congress & 43rd ICA Annual Conference 2018, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, 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.

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. © 2018 Enterprise Ventures LLC.