Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Competition watchdog warns Uber, Careem against merger


What We’re Tracking Today

Well, that was nice while it lasted: The nation’s news coma ends with a bang today amid reports of possible curbs on foreign borrowing by the state, a USD 2 bn arbitration order in favour of a gas company that could help debottleneck exports, the competition authority bluntly warning Uber and Careem against a merger, and the possible return of M&A activity to the banking sector. And that’s just for starters.


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It’s PMI day: The Emirates NBD purchasing managers’ August 2018 index for Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia covering will be released today. You’ll find it here once it lands at around 6:15am CLT

It’s the start of fall conference season as Euromoney getting underway today. The EFG Hermes London conference, the fall’s top gathering of frontier and emerging markets fund managers, starts next Monday.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi concludes his Asian tour in Uzbekistan today, Ittihadiya said in a statement. El Sisi is expected to ink tourism and education agreements, according to Azer News. It’s the first visit by an Egyptian president to the former Soviet republic.

The emerging markets selloff isn’t over yet — but presents opportunities for investors who are willing to ride-out the storm. The global business press is trying to sort out what the EM Zombie Apocalypse means, where it might spread, when it might end and what a winning strategy might be for investors.

The only piece you need to read is by Mohamed El-Erian for the Financial Times. An advisor to Allianz, thinker and the noted author of The Only Game in Town, El Erian argues that the selloff is largely the result of a “technical and liquidity phenomenon” that tends to have a temporary impact, “provided the general contamination to economic fundamentals is contained.” With that in mind, the drop in EM asset and currency prices presents investors with an opportunity “to gain exposure not just to extreme overshoots but also to other fundamentally stronger names selling at bargain-floor prices.”

Investors should consider two things in deciding whether (and when) to ramp up their exposure to EM assets, El Erian cautions. First, that several “crossover” investors and funds are probably still be waiting for opportunity windows of favorable conditions to exit their respective markets. Meaning that, “rallies in prices may be short-lived, keeping several fundamentally driven long-term buyers on the sidelines until this phenomenon abates.” Second, that the exit of of some long-term EM investors can amplify the impact of crossover outflows, which could lead local currency funds to take on some “structural damage.”

The latest developments in EM: Turkey’s central bank is signaling that it may have to raise interest rates to curb inflation that now stands at nearly 18%, and Argentina “unveiled a sweeping new austerity programme to win over international investors and bailout lenders, admitting the country faced an ‘emergency’ in the wake of market panic after the” collapse of its currency.

What are others saying? The Wall Street Journal wades into the topic with a predictably facile front-page (web edition) story declaring that “emerging markets look increasingly chaotic, with plummeting currencies, messy politics and the biggest-ever IMF bailout capturing headlines.” The Journal asks and answers its own question in the headline: Buy Turkey and Argentina? Emerging markets aren’t bargains they seem. Bloomberg opinion, meanwhile, thinks we’re looking at a “textbook emerging-market crisis,” warning that while Turkey and Argentina “look like outliers, the rot could spread fast.”

Time for only one piece other than El-Erian’s? Read Bloomberg, there the angle is clear from the nut graf: “The textbook recipe for an emerging-market crisis requires a large dose of debt and an associated domestic credit bubble, including misallocation of capital into uneconomic trophy projects or financial speculation. Then add: a weak banking sector, budget deficits, current-account gaps, substantial short-term foreign-currency debt and inadequate forex reserves. Season with narrowly based industrial structures, reliance on commodity exports, institutional weaknesses, corruption and poor political and economic leadership.”

Trump wants to do away with quarterly earnings releases, moving to a London Stock Exchange-like six-month reporting cycle that would see companies required to release only 1H and FY figures. The move, he argues, would be an antidote to the short-termism of markets. We make a living, in part, by helping public companies communicate with their shareholders (and privately-held institutions report internally, to boards and to PE investors). We’re also very pleased that we don’t have to call a referendum every three months on our own financial and operational performance. So we get both sides of the equation. But former US treasury secretary Larry Summers thinks Trump’s suggestion is a really bad idea, writing for the Financial Times a move to require less information of companies won’t meet its goal, but will favour better-connected investors, particularly institutions.

Elsewhere this morning:

Abu Dhabi is looking to create the fifth-largest lender in the GCC with assets of USD 110 bn in a merger of three banks driven in part by the need for consolidation in a sector with 50 banks serving a population of 9 mn (against 28 lenders serving 33 mn people in KSA).

What’s up with oil? CNBC is covering all of its bases, looking at how China’s slowing demand for oil is bad for the Mideast, quoting Oman’s oil minister as saying oil won’t break north of USD 80 / bbl, and talking with an analyst who is fairly certain prices will surge above USD 90 / bbl.

Look for plenty of teeth-gnashing and grandstanding in Amreeka today as the US Senate begins confirmation hearings on conservative Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who the New York Times argues has a once-in-a-generation ability to swing the court to conservatives.

Need a break from all of the EM gloom and sundry politics? Go hit up the same WSJ about which we sneer above for a nice package of 16 stories headlined A lifestyle guide for overachievers. Among the highlights:

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

We start this morning’s talk shows roundup with the question: Where in the world is Lamees El Hadidi? She’s been gone for so long we thinking of turning that question into a board game. As for the lesser half? Well, he took to twitter to call for cell phones to be banned at schools for kids of a certain age. Good to see Amr Adib keeping busy.

The China-Africa Cooperation Forum continued to dominate coverage on the airwaves for the third straight day, with nothing new or interesting being said by the many pundits who could not find people with whom to play chess with in the park.

The government will buying locally produced rice this harvest season at a price of EGP 4,400-4,700 per tonne, Al Shorouk reports. It’s not yet clear how much the Egyptian government is seeking to purchase. The harvest season runs between 15 September and 15 November. Agriculture Export Council head Mostafa Al Nagari told Hona Al Asema that the price will see very few takers among farmers as it is lower than the market price of EGP 4,850-5300 (watch, runtime: 9:14).

The Trump administration’s steel tariffs have led to a reduction of steel prices locally, claims Mohamed Hanafi, the head of the metal industries division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce. He told Hona Al Asema that the tariffs had boosted production and supply leading to a decline in prices across the board. Local production had grown to 12 mn tonnes annually while consumption reached 7.5 mn tonnes per annum.

Furthermore, he claims that Egypt’s real estate market is stagnant, which has led to a decline in demand on building material including steel (watch, runtime: 1:50:00).

A social media campaign calling for boycotting vegetables and fruits in protest of high prices is gaining steam, claims Mahmoud Al Askalani, the head of an NGO that routinely protests anything whose price has gone up. He tells Yahduth fi Masr that despite acknowledging that a rough summer and pesticides have indeed impacted cultivation, the prices remain unreasonably high (watch, runtime: 3:14). A little scurvy is a small sacrifice for a few EGP saved, we say.

Autumn has hit Sinai pretty hard, with heavy rains pummelling the site of St. Catherine and causing some flooding in the area, Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary said. Irrigation Ministry spokesman Youssry Khafagy said the ministry has taken strict safety measures in the St. Catherine region over the years in preparation. He said the ministry had set up an early warning system as well as dam, barriers and artificial lakes nationwide. Egypt will still need to spend EGP 9 bn to bring anti-flooding measures up to speed, Khafagy said (watch, runtime: 8:57).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- FinMin looks to pull the brakes on foreign borrowing: The Finance Ministry could set a limit on fresh international borrowing this year in a bid to curb Egypt’s rising foreign debt and bring public debt down to 91% of GDP, a ministry source told Enterprise on Monday. The curb could include a limit on new borrowing from international financial institutions, and details of the limitations are likely to be unveiled in October, when the ministry presents its debt control strategy — a crucial component of the Finance Ministry’s comprehensive fiscal policy hinted at by Finance Minister Mohamed Maait over the weekend.

Soaring yields are also driving the decision: Yields climbed to a record high at the ministry’s treasury sale on Sunday, the source added without providing additional detail. At play: The global macro climate, particularly the impact on EM of the debt meltdown in Argentina. With that in mind, the new debt control policy could see treasury issuances limited to longer-duration bonds, the source said. The Finance Ministry’s website shows that it canceled a sale of treasuries on Monday, but the CBE’s website showed that EGP 3.5 bn in T-bills were sold.

The World Bank has offered a USD 500 mn loan to support Egypt’s cash-subsidy programs: The news of potential limits on fresh debt comes as the World Bank has offered Egypt a USD 500 mn loan to support its Takaful and Karama cash-subsidy programs, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali tells Al Mal. According to the minister, the World Bank’s review of the programs and their impact on registered families earlier this year earned the government significant praise, pushing the bank to offer a facility to further support the programs. Wali did not disclose further details on the negotiations over the financial package or when she expects the agreements will be signed. A senior government official had told us back in July that the Madbouly government put in a request for a USD 2 bn facility from the bank to help “support Egypt’s economic reform measures.”

Arbitrator orders Egypt to pay USD 2 bn in settlements to UGS over cut of natural gas supply to Damietta plant: The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ordered Egypt to pay USD 2 bn in settlements yesterday to Spanish-Italian JV Union Fenosa Gas (UGS) over a natural gas dispute, the Financial Times reports. The amount is likely to be settled “in the form of renewed gas supplies to [the liquefaction plant in] Damietta, rather than in cash,” sources close to the matter said. UGS — a joint venture between Spain’s Naturgy and Italy’s Eni — had filed the case against Egypt some years ago, complaining that the government had cut off flows to its Damietta liquefaction plant, of which it owns 80%. UGS had filed previous complaints about the interruptions with the International Court of Arbitration and International Chamber of Commerce, demanding USD 270 mn plus interest for the state’s failure to comply with supply contracts. The EGPC and EGAS together own 20% of the Damietta LNG plant.

The move could “accelerate the resumption of the country’s LNG exports,” the salmon-colored paper notes. Egypt is trying to clear obstacles preventing it from establishing itself as a regional hub for energy exports in the East Mediterranean, which includes the resolution of pending legal disputes. The government is in the process of finalizing an agreement to connect Cyprus’ Aphrodite with Egyptian liquefaction facilities, where gas would be processed and re-exported back to Europe. Expectations are for gas to be flowing from Cyprus to Egypt by 2022. Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings had also signed in February a USD 15 bn agreement to import gas from Israel’s Tamara and Leviathan fields as early as next year.

Competition watchdog gives Uber, Careem get blunt, public warning against merger: The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) took the relatively unusual step yesterday of publicly warning Uber and Careem against a merger. Couched in the verbiage of the agency, the ECA noted in a statement to the press (pdf) that it has probed rumors contending the two ride-sharing companies were in merger talks. The authority notes that while Careem and Uber told investigators they hadn’t agreed to merge, “the Authority is however aware that this in itself does not mean the absence of current negotiations between both entities.”

The ECA has already come to the conclusion that any merger could be anti-competitive and publicly reminded the two companies that any merger or acquisition would accordingly require its review before being executed. The competition watchdog specifically pointed to a decision by its sister agency in Singapore that threatens to unwind a merger between Uber and rival Grab.

Background: Bloomberg broke the merger talks in July, prompting both companies to issue denials. Careem had said at the time that it was close to closing a new funding round meant to “bolster its position as Uber’s largest competitor in a fast-growing market.”

In other industry news: The executive regulations for the new Ride-Hailing Apps Act will not be issued before January 2019, says Rep. Mohamed Abdallah, a member of the House Transport Committee. He said the delay in issuing the regs — which were due out this month — owes to the number of parties and stakeholders involved in the drafting process, which include the ministries of transport, investment, ICT, and defense, alongside executives from Uber and Careem. The regulations will outline licensing requirements and fees for ride-hailing companies under the Ride-Hailing Apps Act, which was signed into law in June, a month after it passed the House of Representatives.

M&A WATCH- Emirates NBD in the market to acquire a bank in Egypt: Emirates NBD Egypt is looking to acquire a bank in Egypt as it aims to become a top-five private-sector player in the Arab world’s most populous country, CEO Mohamed Berro said a meeting with the press on Monday, Al Mal reports. Berro gave no indication on which banks it is eying. From what we can see, it is only state-owned banks or shares in them that are up for grabs, including United Bank, Egypt’s stake in Arab African International Bank, and the IPO of Banque du Caire. Emirates NBD had bid on Barclays Bank Egypt, which was snatched up by Morocco’s Attijariwafa.

Further afield, the bank may look forward to stiff competition in the GCC as reports reveal merger talks are taking place between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank PJSC and Al Hilal. The combined entity would make it the fifth biggest bank in the GCC, according to Bloomberg, which ranks Emirates NBD as the third largest bank regionally.

IPO WATCH- Sarwa Capital looks to raise USD 120-125 mn from IPO: Top consumer and structured finance player Sarwa Capital is looking at a USD 300 mn valuation as it looks to raise USD 120-125 mn from a sale of 40% of the company, our friend CEO Hazem Moussa told Bloomberg TV on Monday. While the fair value process is ongoing, Moussa said the company is targeting a share price of between EGP 7-8. The valuation is not off base considering the interest shown in the company’s ongoing roadshow in the GCC and South Africa, he said. Major institutional investors are looking to acquire “a substantial stake” in the company, with offers coming in at a range of 3-5% of the company, said Moussa.

The money raised will be used to boost the equity base overall, which will open up the company’s capacity across the board, he added. This will particularly bolster its securitization bond issuance business, which is dominated by the company as it holds a market share of 79%.

The funds will also be used to expand its lines of business to include an insurance company.

Growing pains? Not so much. Moussa’s sees little risk that its growth would negatively impact its credit business’ impressive 0.3% default rate. Sarwa has been growing 50% annually over the past five years, he noted, and credit know-how is the core of the business, with Sarwa spending the first couple of years developing it so that default rates would not balloon as it grew.

Use of proceeds? Moussa says the company will use the proceeds from the transaction to shore up its equity base, expand into insurance, and “roll out products that increase penetration rates in finance and insurance.” You can catch the full interview here (watch, runtime: 4:57).

Advisers: Beltone Investment Banking is acting as sole global coordinator and bookrunner for the transaction, which is expected to take place sometime in late 3Q2018 or early 4Q2018. Matouk Bassiouny has been tapped as legal counsel.

IPO WATCH- Redcon eyes 2Q2019 IPO to finance future expansion plans: Redcon Construction is considering floating a portion of its shares in the EGX in an initial public offering in the second quarter of 2019, Managing Director Tarek El Gammal said, Al Mal reports. The company is hoping to raise capital to finance future expansion plans, which could see Redcon venturing into the world of industrial construction as a way of diversifying its revenue sources, according to El Gammal. No details on the size of the offering or expected proceeds were provided.

INVESTMENT WATCH- B Investments planning to invest EGP 250 mn next year: Private equity firm B Investments is planning to invest EGP 250 mn next year in sectors including food production, education, energy, and non-banking financial services, founding partner Alaa Sabaa tells Al Mal. The transactions will be self-financed, according to Sabaa, who said that the company has around EGP 600 mn in liquid cash. Among the projects is a new private university, he added, offering no further details. Sabaa had previously said that B Investments was in the process of acquiring a controlling stake in an non-listed food and beverage company and also looking into buying a solar power plant in the Benban solar park. B Investment’s joint venture with Ebtikar for Financial Investment recently acquired Orascom Development Egypt’s full 87% stake in micro-financing group Tamweel in May in a EGP 360 mn transaction. It also bought a 33.7% stake in e-payments firm Masary for EGP 130 mn.

E-commerce players will be girding for a regulatory showdown with the House when MPs return from summer recess next month. Rep. Ahmed Badawi says the House Communications Committee is going to look into whether companies selling health, food and cosmetics products, among others, will need to submit to additional regulatory scrutiny before being allowed to hawk their wares online. The provision, first reported by Youm7, will be advanced as part of a draft bill that lawmakers have already will include clauses on taxation of e-commerce businesses as well as new provisions to protect consumers from online scams and false advertising.

INVESTMENT WATCH- More from China as CSCEC signs USD 9.6 bn in new agreements: China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) signed USD 9.6 bn in new agreements with Egypt in the latest round of contracts signed during the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Beijing, according to Reuters’ Arabic Service. CSCEC, which is already handling a chunk of the construction on the new capital, signed a USD 3.5 bn contract for an unspecified development. We believe this is the USD 3.5 bn contract to build the second phase of the new capital’s business district. The company also inked a USD 6.1 bn agreement to build a refinery at the Suez Canal Economic Zone. Initial estimates had put the refinery’s total cost at USD 7.1 bn.

Hamrawein power plant contract signed: It has now also been confirmed that a consortium that includes our friends Hassan Allam Construction signed the EPC contracts for the USD 4.4 bn Hamrawein “clean coal” power plant, Xinhua reports. The consortium is led by Shanghai Electric and Dongfang Electric.

Activist group ponders just how clean the plant is: Despite assurances from Dongfang Electric chairman Zou Lei on how “clean” the plant will be, critics of China’s environment record are questioning whether such a project jives with China’s green commitment. “These mega projects highlight a growing gap between China’s vision of South-South climate cooperation, which prioritises clean energy projects, and its actual investments across the African continent, which still include coal and hydropower projects that pose serious environmental risks,” writes Lili Pike in China Dialogue.

Wait — there’s more roz on the bowl: China’s President Xi Jinping pledged USD 60 bn in fresh loans to African countries at the forum and wrote off some debt owed by poorer African nations, Reuters reports. This will include USD 15 bn of aid, interest-free loans and concessional loans, a credit line of USD 20 bn, a USD 10 bn special fund for China-Africa development, and a USD 5 bn special fund for imports from Africa, according to the newswire. “Chinese companies will be encouraged to invest no less than USD 10 bn in the continent in the next three years,” he said. He also cast off accusations that the funding is part of a “debt trap” conspiracy. Xi had pledged a USD 20 bn package to the Arab World back in July, with Egypt having been engaged in talks to secure USD 1.2 bn of that funding.

The caveat of this latest pledge: The funding would not be given to “vanity projects,” Xi said at the forum.

El-Sisi’s Africa engagement drive continues on conference sidelines: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in Beijing on the sidelines of the forum, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The two discussed across-the-board cooperation and developments in South Sudan peace process.

MOVES- Rixos Hospitality Egypt named Erkan Yildirim (Linkedin) as managing director and member of the board of directors, according to a company press release picked up by Zawya. Yildirim was most recently Rixos’s senior vice president of operations for EMEA and Far East.

Mohamed Salah made it to FIFA’s list of top three contenders for the Best Men’s Player award in 2018, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, according to FIFA’s official website. The winner will be selected on Monday 24 September at FIFA’s award ceremony in London. On a side note, this is the first time in 12 years that Lionel Messi failed to make it to the finalists list.

And it is not surprising that this is among the biggest news in the local press and the airwaves. Sports critic Khaled Talaat has made the rounds on the the talk shows, telling hosts that Salah has reached new highs by beating out legends Messi and Brazil’s Neymar. He tells Massaa DMC, however, that Ronaldo and Modric may have a higher chances of winning the award than Salah (watch, runtime: 8:10). The religion of Mo Salah is also going strong in Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 33:39).

Brazil’s national museum hit by massive fire: Brazil’s 200-year-old national museum went up in flames Sunday night, destroying much of its 20 mn-item collection, according to Bloomberg. Funding cuts and inadequate maintenance were blamed for the fire, which destroyed items including, “Egyptian mummies, dinosaur replicas and one of the oldest human skeletons found in the Americas.” Around 700 Egyptian artefacts including statues, masks and tombs were destroyed in the blaze, according to a Foreign Ministry statement picked up byAl Masry Al Youm.

Naturally, the fire has gotten a lot of attention in the local media. Antiquities Ministry official Mostafa Al Waziri told Hona Al Asema that these artefacts were acquired before Egypt clamped down on the sale of antiquities in the 1980’s. He added that the ministry offered to help Brazil with the restoration (watch, runtime: 5:04).


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Up Next

War Games: Egyptian and US military personnel will running Bright Star wargames for the second year in a row from 8-20 September.

Indian business delegation: A delegation of more than two dozen Indian business leaders and government officials will be in Egypt from 8 to 12 September for trade and investment talks.

Government to receive report on shorter work weeks before the end of September: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly expects to receive by the end of the month a state study on the impact of shortening civil servants’ work week to four days.

Orange Egypt shareholders will vote on 25 September to delist the company’s shares from the EGX.

The Central Bank of Egypt meets on Friday, 27 September to review interest rates.

Image of the Day

Egypt’s annual date harvest has begun. Xinhua took note of the start of the start of the season as Egypt looks to grow exports of the fruit to China.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning are more pickups of the Neolithic village found in the Delta and believed to predate the Pharaonic period.

Coming in at a close second are pickups of wire copy on the death of UK tourist Janice Bowles’ last week when her banana boat flipped over in Hurghada. The coverage intensified after her daughter Annmarie Cox put out a tribute to her mother, according to Sky News.

Keep it all in context: The latest development in the Hurghada holiday-gate scandal comes amid a solid recovery in tourism numbers that, along with the increased attractiveness of Turkey and Tunisia, helped drive a decline in the number of visitors to Spain in July for the first time in five years, according to Reuters. The key is to address concerns in the UK market before a black eye from a one-off event becomes a lasting scar.

Egypt is also being used as a talking point for civil liberties stories in other countries. Disdain for the media in countries around the world, including Egypt, is one of the legacies of US President Donald Trump, writes Jackson Diehl in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. The piece is part of a series of articles on press freedom coming out after a seven year sentence imposed on Reuters journalists in Myanmar for revealing the latest Rohingya Muslim massacres. Egypt is also in hot water (along with other Muslim-majority countries) for not speaking up on behalf of Uighur Muslims allegedly placed in concentration camps in China.

On Deadline

A case of self-sabotage at the state privatization program? Conventional wisdom would have it that it a share sale would not be well served by antagonizing potential investors. That appears not to have come across to the Public Enterprises Ministry, as the head of the Holding Company For Metallurgical Industries, Medhat Nafei, penned an oped in Al Shorouk critical of what he calls “flaky investors.” Nafei, whose company owns Egyptalum, one of the 24 companies that will issue shares as part of the privatization program, goes into a long diatribe against “brokers” who are not serious about committing to the share sales and other investors who are fearful of getting into business with the state. We expected this from regular opinion writers, but from the head of a company about to issue shares? Welcome to the free market, Public Enterprises Ministry.

Worth Watching

China’s Shenzhen is the world’s first “quieter” megacity thanks to the city’s increased reliance on electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg (runtime: 1:26). The majority of Shenzhen’s vehicles — from personal vehicles to buses and taxis to dump trucks — are electric, which reduces both the noise and air pollution that are emblematic of large metropolises. Behind the charge away from combustion engines and towards electric vehicles is Chinese auto manufacturer BYD, which envisions a fully electric China by 2030.


NREA to tender 250 MW Gulf of Suez wind farm mid-September

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) is planning to launch a tender to develop a 250 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez by mid-month, according to Amwal Al Ghad. Siemens, Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, and German wind energy solutions Senvion are reportedly the only three companies competing for the EUR 260 mn project, funded by Germany’s KfW bank, European Investment Bank, the French Agency for Development, and the EU. The tender was reportedly set to take place in July.


Countryside contracts Go Green to construct water treatment plant in AlMagrah

The state’s Egyptian Countryside Development Company (ECDC) signed a contract with agriculture investor Go Green to establish a water desalination plant near the Western Desert’s Al Magrah Lake, according to a company statement picked up by Amwal Al Ghad. The plant, on which construction has already kicked off, is set to treat 700k cbm of water a year (200 cbm a day). The project is part of ECDC’s work on the Sisi administration’s initiative to reclaim 1.5 mn feddans of desert land for agricultural use. The story provides no further details on the contract.


Sinoma-CDI contracts Siemens to provide industrial systems for Beni Suef cement factory

Sinoma-CDI has contracted Siemens to provide industrial systems and gas analytics solutions for its EUR 1.2 bn Beni Suef cement factory, Al Masry Al Youm reports. No details were provided.

Automotive + Transportation

National Railway Authority to tender 400 thousand sqm in six months’ time

In what could be a faint signal that Egyptian National Railways is finally looking to make good on its plan to divest non-performing assets, the railway authority is reportedly planning to tender 400k sqm of land across a number of unspecified locations, according to local media reports. Land parcels could be offered within the coming six months.


Egypt U20 women’s volleyball team make it to world championship and win Africa

The U20 women’s national volleyball team has secured a berth in the 2019 Mexico Volleyball U20 World Championship after beating Rwanda 3-0 on Sunday, KT press reports. The win gives the U20 team the African championship title for the eighth time in a row.

On Your Way Out

Grey’s Anatomy star is guest of honor at this year’s Gouna film festival: US actor Patrick Dempsey, known for his role as neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd on the show Grey’s Anatomy, will be the guest of honor in this year’s edition of El Gouna Film Festival, says Egypt Independent. The festival will be held from 20-28 September and Dempsey is expected to attend a screening of his upcoming miniseries the Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (watch the trailer here, runtime: 0:30).

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.85 | Sell 17.94
Buy 17.86 | Sell 17.96
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.78 | Sell 17.88

EGX30 (Monday): 15,822 (-0.2%)
Turnover: EGP 781 mn (6% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +5.3%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The Egyptian benchmark index ended Monday’s session down 0.2%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Pioneers Holding up 6.3%, Elsewedy Electric up 2.6% and Heliopolis Housing up 1.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Egypt Aluminum down 2.9%, Palm Hills down 2.9%, and Qalaa Holdings down 2.6%. The market turnover was EGP 781 mn, and regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long| EGP +6.9 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -18.1 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +11.2 mn

Retail: 60.7% of total trades | 58.0% of buyers | 63.3% of sellers
Institutions: 39.3% of total trades | 42.0% of buyers | 36.7% of sellers

Foreign: 17.4% of total | 17.8% of buyers | 16.9% of sellers
Regional: 8.5% of total | 7.4% of buyers | 9.7% of sellers
Domestic: 74.1% of total | 74.8% of buyers | 73.4% of sellers

WTI: USD 70.07 (+0.39%)
Brent: USD 78.15 (+0.66%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.87 MMBtu, (-1.71%, October 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,206.60/ troy ounce (-0.01%)

TASI: 7,942.43 (+0.35%) (YTD: +9.91%)
ADX: 4,937.69 (-0.05%) (YTD: +12.26%)
DFM: 2,829.58 (-0.43%) (YTD: -16.04%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,224.86 (-0.93%)
QE: 9,799.83 (-0.65%) (YTD: +14.98%)
MSM: 4,427.65 (-0.18%) (YTD: -13.34%)
BB: 1,334.53 (-0.17%) (YTD: +1.14%)

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04 September (Tuesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI for August released.

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.

17-19 September (Monday-Wednesday): INTERCEM Cairo to Cape Town cement industry conference, Dusit-Thani LakeView, Cairo.

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.

October: The Madbouly cabinet has until the end of the month to come up with a plan for “the development and restructuring” of public companies” under a directive from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

03 October (Wednesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI for September released.

06 October (Saturday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

12-14 October (Friday-Sunday): 2018 annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Bali, Indonesia.

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.

24-25 October (Wednesday- Thursday) 9th Arab-German Energy Forum, Cairo, Egypt

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

05 November (Monday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI for October released.

05-07 November (Monday- Wednesday) World Travel Market London exhibition, London, England, UK

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.

04 December (Tuesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI for November released.

08-09 December (Saturday-Sunday): Business for Africa and the World: The Africa 2018 Forum, Maritim Jolie Ville International Congress Center, Sharm El Sheikh

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.

23 January 2019 (Wednesday) 50th Cairo International Book Fair.

25 January 2019 (Friday): Police Day, national holiday.

20-22 April 2019 (Friday-Sunday): Spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC.

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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