Wednesday, 5 September 2018

How wide is fall IPO window?

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

** We’re trying something new this morning: Longtime readers know that you can no longer tap or click the headline in our tl;dr above in the email edition and zip down to the story in question. This used to work in email (and still does in our web edition) — then the nice people at Google and Apple phased out support for the only technical way to make that work in email.

So, starting today, we’re numbering our tl;dr stories in the body of the email. Today’s number one story (managing public debt) is identified in tl;dr as “1.” and in the body of today’s briefing as ** #1 in green. Similarly, the state privatization program kickoff story is ** #2.

Oh, and tl;dr? It stands for too long, didn’t read.

IMF thinks Egypt can withstand global macro stress: The impact of external macro forces including the Trump administration’s still-brewing trade war, will not be as acute in nations with resilient economies including Egypt, said IMF Senior Resident Representative Reza Baqir on Tuesday. He implied that unlike other emerging markets, Egypt’s economic growth is underpinned by the fundamentals and not an over reliance on debt, he added, according to Al Mal. Baqir statements came during the opening day of the Euromoney conference, where discussion of Egypt’s public debt featured heavily. We have more on the government’s statements from the conference, which wraps up today, in Speed Round, below.

Egypt and Uzbekistan will be discussing the creation of a joint horticultural and logistics hub in the Central Asian during a business forum taking place in Tashkent this morning, the Uzbek Foreign Trade Ministry said. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi arrived in the former Soviet republic on Monday for a two-day visit that will include sit-downs with his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as well as with a number of business leaders, an Ittihadiya statement said. El Sisi is expected to ink cooperation agreements on tourism, education and pharma during the visit.

Fear of emerging market contagion rising? South Africa is now officially back in recession. Indonesia’s is currency heading the way of the TRY and ARS. Fitch is downgrading its growth outlook on Turkey (warning of “significant and widespread downside risk). It’s against that backdrop that both the FT and Bloomberg (here and here) are declaring that the risk of an emerging market contagion are “too big to ignore.” The latest: MSCI’s index of EM currencies “dropped for a fifth time in six days [to its] lowest close in more than a year,” dragged down by the ARS, TRY, ZAR, MXN and IDR. South Africa’s economy had been contracting at a 2.6% annual pace during the 1Q2018, with its output falling at a 0.7% annualised rate in the second quarter, all contributing to its slide back into recession for the first time since 2009, according to the FT.

Meanwhile, the USD extended its run to a fourth day as US President Donald Trump threatened to step up the trade war with China with an announcement of tariffs on as much as USD 200 bn in additional Chinese products as soon as Thursday, Bloomberg reports. “There’s not much to make me think the USD should be going up, but there’s plenty to make me nervous about other currencies,” global strategist at Societe Generale Kit Juckes said. “The USD is very strong and lacking rate support, but other currencies are worse.”

The spotlight now turns on EM central banks, who “have embarked on their first “sustained” monetary tightening cycle since 2011,” William Jackson, senior emerging market economist at Capital Economics, tells the FT. Emerging markets, he added, “are now hitting some capacity constraints and seeing rising domestic inflation pressures. After a period of very low interest rates, central banks are responding by tightening conditions, similar to what is happening in the US and UK.” The Central Bank of Egypt meets on Friday, 27 September to review interest rates.

** #4 Food for thought #1- Welcome to Egypt’s new Catch 22: Fund managers — carry trade types in particular — are pulling out of emerging markets, spooked by the risks about which we drone on every morning in this space. This suggests that the central bank is going to (at a minimum) leave interest rates on hold to keep hot money from fleeing Egypt — raising the cost of borrowing for the state. (And also making borrowing that much less attractive to the private sector.) Toss in the risk of a strengthening USD and depreciating local currency (as Turkey, South Africa and other major EM are seeing) and you start to get a sense of why Finance Minister Mohamed Maait is making management of the public debt his top fiscal priority, as we report in Speed Round, below.

Food for thought #2- Is the fall IPO window narrowing? Emerging consensus among members of the community with whom we’ve spoken in recent days is that issuers with equity offerings set to close in September and early October can probably expect to execute. But the choppiness we’re seeing in emerging markets leaves the outlook cloudy for anyone looking to close an IPO or public market stake sale after Halloween. Keep this in mind as you read our coverage this morning in Speed Round, below, of which state companies are looking to top equity markets this fall and winter.

That didn’t take long: Amazon has caught up with Apple and became the second company to hit a market cap of USD 1 tn, according to Bloomberg. The story is front page news across the western press, from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times. Refreshingly, the NYT is bucking the trend, writing that it is too early to declare that Amazon is killing physical retail. Read Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon) Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores.

Welcome to Crazytown: Watergate reporter and Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward’s latest book is out next week, but the New York Times has already obtained a copy. Titled Fear, it’s apparently a bombshell for The Donald, claiming that his defense secretary likened his understanding of issues to that of a fifth or sixth grader, that he’s called his attorney general “mentally retarded” and a “traitor,” and that staff have hidden papers from him to ensure he can’t make rash decisions, among other anecdotes. The Times writes that the “highly anticipated book … depicts the Trump White House as a byzantine, treacherous, often out-of-control operation — ‘crazytown,’ in the words of the chief of staff, John F. Kelly — hostage to the whims of an impulsive, ill-informed and undisciplined president.” Read the Times preview here or pre-order the book on Amazon.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

No single topic dominated airtime last night, though the economy did feature prominently on the airwaves, including a discussion on Hona Al Asema with EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha on the improvement in the PMI. We have the full coverage in the Speed Round below. (China also features prominently, but again, nothing new to report)

Is the so-called crowding out of the private sector behind a drop in the price of building materials prices? Falling prices of building materials made an appearance again on the airwaves. Ahmed El Zeiny, head of the building materials division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, thinks that the drop has something to do with the government crowding out the private sector in the construction industry. He tells Yahduth fi Masr that most major development projects are carried out by the state, which can source its own building materials. This has led to a decline in demand for them from the private sector.

Food for thought #3- A better question is whether a slowdown in new housing starts has had anything to do with collapsing prices.

He also claims that stricter enforcement of zoning and building codes has also contributed to a decline in demand, as it becomes tougher to build (watch, runtime: 1:14).

The Madbouly Cabinet’s plan to fix up the textiles industry received coverage on Al Hayah fi Masr. The plan calls for the cultivation of more short and medium staple cotton in Upper Egypt to meet factory needs, Agriculture Ministry spokesman Hamed Abdeldayem said. He noted that long staple cotton is usually exported (watch, runtime: 6:55).

Also on the economy, Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal sat down with Semaf chairman Abdel Rahman Hussein to discuss the factory’s output in light of the railway revamp underway (watch, runtime: 29:18). Kamal also spoke with MP Mohamed Al Morshedy and deputy of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce Fathy Morsi to talk about trade ties between Egypt and Turkey. Morshedy voiced rejection of the free trade agreement with Turkey saying it lacks parity (watch, runtime: 5:47).

The Armed Forces is looking to get in on the e-ticketing business: The ministers of military production and youth and sports met yesterday to discuss developing an e-ticketing platform to sell Egyptian Premier League tickets, Youth and Sports Ministry spokesman Mohamed Fawzy told Hona Al Asema. Fawzy noted that the plan would help the state monitor and, if need be, regulate attendance at stadiums, which have been open to spectators since the beginning of the month. The move would help bring in substantial revenues for the stadiums, said Fawzy (watch, runtime: 6:01).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

** #1 Managing the public debt is now at the top of the Madbouly Cabinet’s fiscal priority list. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait confirmed his ministry plans to set a limit on foreign borrowing, including from major foreign institutions. While he did not reveal specifics, Maait stressed at the opening day of a Euromoney conference in Cairo yesterday that debt control is now one of the top fiscal policies of the government’s agenda. “On debt strategy, there is no one single solution. We are working on creating a package to eventually reach our targets,” Maait said, according to Reuters. “One of the ways is to put a limit on what you’re going to borrow, internally or externally. You want to grow, you want to finance the growth, so either you have enough funds for your growth or you’re going to have to borrow. … We will send the government within weeks a plan to manage the public debt, including putting a cap on external borrowing,” he said.

FinMin confirms canceled T-bill auction: Maait’s statement comes as the ministry confirmed in a statement yesterday (pdf) that it canceled a sale of EGP 3.5 bn worth of three- and seven-year T-bills on Monday. The yields demanded at the sale were “not within the logical limits,” the ministry said, indicating that the impact of an escalating emerging market sell-off is also a key driver for the decision.

Background: Maait first suggested this past weekend that he might cap new borrowing when he suggested that the government was working on a comprehensive fiscal strategy. Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk suggested that the strategy would include the ministry being brought in on all loan negotiations that require a government guarantee. Ministry sources told us that the strategy would also see the tenor of government bond issuances limited to medium-to-long term issuances. There had even been talk of cancelling foreign currency-denominated bond issuances this year.

Ittihadiya following debt control discussion: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will meet with members of the Madbouly cabinet this month to discuss its strategy to contain public debt, Maait said yesterday in an interview with Extra News (watch, runtime: 31:22). Maait explained that public debt had risen extensively to help bolster the economic reform agenda.

AfDB to disburse third USD 500 mn tranche of loan: Speaking of foreign borrowing, Egypt can expect receipt within days of a third and final USD 500 mn tranche of a USD 1.5 bn loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the bank’s country manager for Egyopt, Malinne Blomberg, said yesterday on the sidelines of the Euromoney conference, state-run Al Ahram reports. Investment Minister Sahar Nasr had finished the paperwork for the final tranche back in January.

Separately, The SMEs Development Authority will sign loan agreements worth a combined EUR 80 mn with the French Development Agency (AFD) and German bank KfW, according to authority boss Nevine Gamea. AFD will provide EUR 50 mn, while KfW supplies the balance. No further details on the loans were provided, but Gamea said that the authority was also in talks with the World Bank over financing for new projects. She had previously said the authority was hoping to receive as much as USD 300 mn from the World Bank.

** #2 The state privatization program is on track to kick off in October, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told the press yesterday, Al Mal reports. Two already-listed companies will sell additional shares on the EGX next month, Maait added, with three others set to follow before the end of the year. The government is hoping to raise as much as EGP 25 bn from the five stake sales, with net proceeds to state coffers on the order of EGP 10 bn, according to Maait.

Phase two of the program is also on track, with five other state-owned companies scheduled to tap equity markets starting in 1Q2019, Maait also said. He stopped short of naming the companies in question, adding that the final list is still under study and that market conditions would dictate the decision. Sources had previously told us that Banque du Caire would be among the first to IPO and had plans to float up to 30%. Bank Chairman Tarek Fayed said yesterday, however, that the size of the offering and specific date have yet to be set.

Background: We had reported on Monday that state-owned investment bank NI Capital would select next month the manager for the listing of additional shares from Eastern Company and Alexandria Minerals and Oils Company, which are expected to pilot the privatization program alongside Heliopolis Housing, according to the timeline previously announced by Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik. EFG Hermes, Pharos, and HSBC are among those being considered to quarterback the transactions. Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling and Abu Qir Fertilizers are also expected to float additional shares in the first phase of the privatization program.

** #3 Business conditions improve again in August –PMI: Business conditions continued to improve in August, with the headline Emirates NBD PMI compiled by Markit rising to its highest level since September 2015. The index rose to 50.5 in August, up from 50.3 in July, as a result of “new orders rising for the second consecutive month” from both domestic and international markets, according to the report. August also saw output stabilizing, “ending a three-month period of contraction.” Staffing levels also rose, sending employment growth rates up to their highest levels since 2011.

Looking ahead with cautious optimism: Positive sentiment is at its weakest levels since 2016, as growth in August was softer than in July, with inflation levels still high largely as the result of higher purchase costs. The PMI in July had crossed the 50.0 mark that separates contraction from growth, rising from 49.4 in June. The market remains widely optimistic about the 12 months ahead, but is also aware of that a slowdown is a possibility in light of high prices. Read the full report here (pdf).

Worst of inflation behind us? The improvement in the PMI suggests that the private sector is moving toward sustainable recovery and that it was able to absorb the inflation from the latest round of subsidy cuts, EFG Hermes economist Mohamed Abu Basha told Hona Al Asema. With the economy now proven able to absorb inflation, Abu Basha says the central bank could look at an interest rate cut this year (watch, runtime: 7:53).

** #5 M&A WATCH- SODIC-MNHD merger could be finalized this year, says B Investments’ Alaa Sabaa: The potential merger between leading real estate players SODIC and Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (MNHD) could be finalized before the year is out, B Investments founding partner Alaa Sabaa tells Al Mal. Talks over the potential merger — which began back in April — are still ongoing, he noted. MNHD CEO Ahmed El Hitamy had said in June that the transaction could take the form of a share swap, which would be the least costly and easiest option. Both MNHD and SODIC have publicly stated that the talks will not necessarily result in an agreement. B Investments holds a 27% stake in MNHD.

Meanwhile, B Investments is working on closing two acquisitions in the food and education sectors, Sabaa tells the newspaper. He had said earlier this week that his firm is planning to invest EGP 250 mn next year in the food production, energy, education, and non-banking financial services sectors. He had previously said the firm is looking to purchase a solar power plant in the Benban solar park. B Investments’ Ebtikar had acquired in May Orascom Development Egypt’s full stake in micro-financing group Tamweel in a EGP 360 mn transaction.

** #6 Qalaa Holdings is in talks to increase its stake in the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) through a capital increase, Managing Director Hisham El Khazindar said yesterday. The refinery is now 98% complete and is expected to be a major driver of revenue expansion starting next year. El Khazindar told Al Mal that trial operations at the USD 4 bn refinery are set to start in November and the plant should be fully operational by 2019. Qalaa Chairman Ahmed Heikal had previously said that the company was planning to list as much as 30% of the Arab Refining Company — the largest shareholder in the refinery — on the EGX before the end of 2019, right after the initial public offering of TAQA Arabia some time in 3Q2019. Proceeds are expected to help the company significantly reduce its debt.

Qalaa could begin importing gas in 2019: Speaking of TAQA, Qalaa is eyeing further expansion in the natural gas market in 2019, El Khazindar adds, saying gas imports could be on the product menu. TAQA is also expected to have connected at least 1 mn housing units to the natural gas grid by the end of the year.

Qalaa expects to return to profitability next year as it completes its divestment program, with the immediate plan being to sell its holdings in Algerian cement maker Zahana and African railway operator Rift Valley Railways (RVR), El Khazindar said.

** #7 M&A WATCH- Five PE firms are kicking the tires of Spinney’s, the Abraaj-owned retailer: Abraaj Group-owned Spinney’s Egypt is reviewing offers from five unnamed private equity funds hoping to acquire stake in the company from Egyptian shareholders looking to exit their investments, CEO Mohanad Adly tells Al Mal. Talks are still in very early stages, Adly said, offering no further details. We had heard that global private equity firm Actis had made an offer to acquire most of Abraaj Group’s emerging market funds, as the company undergoes a court ordered restructuring and liquidation after it was implicated in a case of misallocated funds. Abu Dhabi Financial Group and a consortium formed by Kuwait’s Agility and New York-based Centerbridge Partners are also in the running.

A potential transaction will not impact the company’s strategy or slow down its expansion plans, Adly said, noting that Abraaj’s legal issues have not affected business. Spinney’s intends to open four new branches in the coming months, with the first in Shorouk City set to launch in November. The other three branches should open in 1H2019. No details on investment value were provided.

INVESTMENT WATCH- EKH breaks ground on EGP 2.1 bn fiberboard factory in Beni Suef: Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH) has begun constructing a EGP 2.1 bn medium-density fiberboard (MDF) factory in Beni Suef, the company said in a statement to the EGX (pdf). The 30,000 sqm factory will be constructed over two phases, with the first phase expected to be operational by 1H2020. The factory’s first phase will have a production capacity of 150k cubic meters per annum.

Pharos Holdings is looking to expand into fintech into 2019, eyes financial leasing: Our friends at Pharos Holding expect to launch a microfinance arm in 1Q2019 in, Managing Director Alaa Afifi said yesterday, saying the firm expects to hold a majority stake in the venture. The launch is part of the firm’s expansion plans, which may also see it venture into financial leasing, according to Afifi. No further details were provided.

Pharos has a transaction pipeline worth north of EGP 7 bn and is in talks with seven private sector companies to potentially run their initial public offerings, he added, without elaborating. The firm has also made a bid to manage the sale of additional stake from state-owned companies on the EGX under the government’s privatization program. The firm expects to soon close its first M&A mandate in Dubai, he said, less than a year after Pharos opened its UAE office.

** #8 INVESTMENT WATCH- Cairo Angels has invested in co-working hub AlMaqarr, which will allow the company “to expand to new locations, enhance its operations, and provide more products and services to its fast growing base of customers,” according to a press release (pdf). The value of the transaction — which was part of an angel round and represents Cairo Angels’ third investment this year — was not disclosed. “We are very pleased to have closed the AlMaqarr [transaction] and we are excited to start working with such a stellar team to take this company to the next level,” said our friend Aly El Shalakany, chairman of Cairo Angels. “Adequate infrastructural support for entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers, creatives and SMEs remains a problem and AlMaqarr offers a cost-effective and compelling solution that addresses this area.”

REGULATION WATCH- Short-selling is coming at the end of September, Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) deputy head Khaled El Nashar said yesterday, Al Mal reports. Negotiations are ongoing with various stakeholders to finetune the rules that will govern shorts, which El Nashar had previously said would be “strict,” ensuring that only brokerages with the balance sheet strength to offer short selling would be allowed to do so. The FRA committee drafting the regulations had completed its work last month ahead of the introduction of shorts in 3Q2018. In addition to placing limits on the number of shares a short-seller can borrow for a short position, the regulations also force borrowers to pay a cash security deposit equivalent to 50% of their borrowed stocks, officials had previously said.

Background: Short-selling was made possible through amendments to the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Act, which were approved in May and also opened the door to the issuance of sukuk and commodities and futures exchanges, as well as short-term bonds.

Gov’t hints at willingness to settle on Union Fenosa arbitration ruling: It is the general policy of the government, and the Oil Ministry specifically, to seek a settlement in international arbitration cases, an Oil Ministry source told Al Mal. His statements are the first we’ve heard since news broke that 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) for the government cutting off supplies to UGS’ Damietta liquefaction plant. The source noted that the ministry is carefully studying the ruling before issuing an official statement on the matter, but added that the ministry was intending to resupply the plant and other liquefaction plants as its regional energy hub strategy gains steam. Supplies of natural gas will be restored by 2019, the source noted.

Did the gov’t sign fuel hedging contracts with JP Morgan and Citi? The Egyptian government reportedly signed fuel hedging contracts with two international banks,a senior official told Reuters’ Arabic service yesterday. Other sources speaking to the local press say that the firms were JP Morgan and Citibank. While the source said that the effective date of the agreement has not yet been set, others speaking to Al Mal suggest it will come into effect during the FY2019-20 fiscal year. An official from the Finance Ministry had told us earlier this week that the contracts need not necessarily be signed at all if fuel prices stabilize. This is all very secondhand and speculative at the moment, so watch this space.

Background: We had heard from sources last month that the ministries of oil and finance had selected the firm that will provide hedges to the government and that the contracts would be finalized after the next OPEC meeting. The move aims 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. Seven offers from international banks bidding on the contract were reportedly on the table and under review. We reported on Monday that the Finance Ministry was also pursuing a similar arrangement to hedge against fluctuations in the global prices of wheat and other key commodities.

MOVES- Former FRA boss, BP’s regional boss join Orange Egypt BoD: Orange Egypt appointed former Financial Regulatory Authority head Sherif Samy and BP North Africa President Hesham Mekawi as independent board members, according to Youm7. Both appointments were made last July, according to Orange’s website.

Police apprehend alleged terrorist near US embassy: Police arrested yesterday a 24-year-old man (pdf) carrying what investigators believe was a homemade bomb that caught fire in the vicinity of the US embassy in Cairo. The man was allegedly intending to “commit an act of aggression.” There was no damage and no casualties reported. The US embassy went back to business-as-usual once the police cleared the scene.

The story is topping coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning, with pickups by Bloomberg, the Express, and the Associated Press.

Egypt’s installation at the London Design Biennale 2018 took home the top prize for “most outstanding overall contribution,” according to arts news outlet It’s Nice That. This was Egypt’s first appearance at the biennale, which is currently running its second edition. Our friends at Pharos are among the sponsors of Egypt’s pavillion.

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Up Next

The government will appoint the board of directors for Egypt’s EGP 200 bn sovereign wealth fund within the coming few months, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said yesterday, Al Mal reports. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly was expected to announce the formation of the board some time in July, the minister had previously said. Legislation establishing the fund was signed into law last month. The government has entered into an agreement with a consortium of firms including Sarie-Eldin & Partners, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Baker McKenzie to advise on drafting the regulations for the fund, which is expected to launch before the end of 2018.

The EFG Hermes London conference, the fall’s top gathering of frontier and emerging markets fund managers, starts on Monday.

War Games: Egyptian and US military personnel will be 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.

The president of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Roberto Fico, is set to visit Cairo this month, Ahram Online reports.

Image of the Day

Colonel Sanders visited the Pyramids back in the 1970s, according to Egyptian Streets, which has posted a rare photo of the man whose spice mix has us repeatedly eating stuff our digestive systems were never exactly designed to handle. Harland Sanders died in late 1980 at the age of 90.

Egypt in the News

** #9 Egypt’s water shortage, soil degradation, and pollution have created a “crisis” for farmers in the Nile Delta, Heba Saleh writes for the Financial Times. In some villages previously known for having some of the country’s most fertile land, fresh water irrigation channels have run dry, forcing farmers to use untreated drainage water, which ends up undermining cultivation levels. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) promises to worsen conditions, but analysts say that Egypt’s water woes will not dissipate even if we reach a preferable agreement over the timeline of the dam’s reservoir filling. Agriculture Minister Mohamed Abdel Aati “has warned that if Egypt does not find ways to adapt to environmental change then ‘mns of people in the Nile Delta are vulnerable to being resettled, and bns of USD of investment are at high risk.’”

Chinese-funded renewable energy projects in Africa set the stage for “blossoming” relations: China’s expanding investments in Africa’s renewable energy sector has set the scene for a “blossoming” of Sino-African relations, says Chinese outlet ECNS. The continent’s climate, paired with its rapid development and growth in supply, create an opportune window for China to further expand its diplomacy in the continent through investing in key projects. Among these projects is in Egypt’s Benban solar power park, where Chinese clean energy company TBEA is constructing four solar plants in what is the company’s inaugural venture in Africa. China’s investment in Africa’s renewables scene is far more successful than its investment in the continent’s infrastructure, which the Financial Times previously argued has actually undermined economic growth and development in the continent due to the high price tags and low quality.

On Deadline

Why are we letting ‘utes run governorates? We’ve spent decades making fun of the definition of “youth” in Egyptian politics, where anyone a day south of 65 is a ‘ute. And now that the president has appointed (relatively) young governors, Mohamed Amin helpfully writes for Al Masry Al Youm that these “young” governors really should have done some time as local officials before being given governorates to run that they could have “in-field experience” to leaven out their “theoretical background” in local affairs. And, of course, they’re going to need lots of briefings about local issues… You get the point.

Worth Reading

** #10 No matter what phone you use, Google tracks and stores your location — even when you explicitly tell it not to, an investigative report published by the Associated Press has found. You can turn off ‘location history’ or ‘location services’ on your phone, but Google is still tracking you all day long through its weather apps, maps and your search history. Search for “chocolate chip cookies” and the tech giant will “pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account.”

Want to make it stop? Click here and let Wired walk you through how to disable it from deep inside a Google account page you probably didn’t even know you had.

Energy

NREA’s pipeline of EUR 500 mn in new projects will produce 520 MW

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has projects worth EUR 500 mn in its pipeline in the coming period period with combined production capacity of 520 MW, NREA head Mohamed El Khayat tells Al Mal. The projects set to be carried out include Building a 120 MW at Gabal El Zeit wind farm in cooperation with the Spanish government and a 50 MW solar power plant project in Kom Ombo, funded by The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. NREA is also planning to launch a global tender to establish a company to manage wind farm projects by the end of this year, El Khayat said.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Domty launches baked goods production line, plans to add new juice line in November

Domty has launched its EGP 50 mn baked goods production line and plans to add several new lines if the first line finds market success, Vice Chairman Mohamed El Damaty tells Al Mal. The dairy producer is also planning to add a new juice production line to its existing factory, which already houses four lines. El Damaty did not disclose the expected investment value of the lines Domty plans to add. Domty currently exports around 8% of its total production output, and is currently working on establishing a presence in African markets, El Damaty said.

Supply Ministry bans trade of rice in border provinces without prior approval

The Supply Ministry is banning the trade of white rice in border provinces across Egypt without a specific approval from the ministry, state-run Al Ahram reports.

GASC issues tender for unspecified amount of wheat for 21-30 October delivery

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) issued an international tender yesterday for an unspecified amount of wheat, for delivery in 21-30 October, Vice Chairman Ahmed Yousuf tells Reuters’ Arabic service.

Telecoms + ICT

Etisalat to build 70 new solar power cellular towers before year’s end

Etisalat Egypt aims to complete and operate 70 new solar powered cellular phone towers by the end of this year, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Khaled Higazi said, according to Al Mal. The company currently operates 100 solar-operated towers which “cost six times more to develop than regular ones but are part of Etisalat’s strategy to increase its use of clean energy.” No details were mentioned about the investment cost or source of financing, but Etisalat had announced earlier this week a decision to increase investment in network infrastructure upgrades to EGP 3.5 bn this year.

Automotive + Transportation

Financial offers for Alamein-Ain Sokhna electric rail due in October

Companies interested in the new Alamein-Ain Sokhna electric rail project will be asked to submit their financial offers in October, once the Transport Ministry completes its review of their technical bids, Deputy Minister Amr Shaath tells Amwal Al Ghad. The offers came from nine international consortiums, which include among their ranks at least five or six local companies, such as Orascom Construction, Samcrete Egypt, and El Sewedy. The electric rail line is part of a government plan to develop Egypt’s railway network.

Banking + Finance

FRA looks to expand scope of investor protection fund

The Financial Regulatory Authority’s (FRA) Capital Markets Committee is looking into a proposal to widen the scope of the Egyptian Investor Protection Fund’s (EIPF) cover stock market losses resulting from fraud, FRA Deputy Chairman Khaled El Nashar tells Youm7. The fund’s expanded scope would also cover appointing an independent financial advisor for companies facing mandatory or voluntary delisting, or conducting fair value assessments.

Other Business News of Note

OTMT plans to launch logistics, financial services, food business

OTMT is planning to launch a logistics project that would include operating 2,000 trucks to transport goods in its first phase, CEO Tamer El Mahdi tells Al Mal. El Mahdi did not disclose details on the investment value of the project, which is set to be implemented in 2H2019. OTMT is also looking to invest in the food and beverages industry by setting up its own factory or acquiring one or several companies in the sector, and is also eyeing breaking into the real estate development industry with new projects in touristic areas. The new investments come as the company looks to diversify its ventures outside of its traditional focus on the telecoms sector, according to El Mahdi.

Turkish footwear brand Inci arrives to Egypt

Turkish footwear and accessories brand Inci recently set up shop in Egypt, according to Insite OOH. The brand kicked off a marketing campaign this week and opened two stores at City Stars and Mall of Egypt.

Egypt Politics + Economics

New rules for cash subsidy programs to roll out by year’s end

The Social Solidarity Ministry is working on bringing some new rules for beneficiaries of its cash subsidy programs Takaful and Karama before the year is up, Minister Ghada Wali tells Al Mal in an interview. Beneficiaries of the programs will have to meet stipulations on a number of things, including children’s healthcare and education, or risk losing up to 30% of their monthly stipend, according to Wali, who added that the amount would be returned if conditions are met. No further details were provided.

On Your Way Out

Former Spain and Real Madrid right defender Michel Salgadois now the assistant manager of the national football team, the Egyptian Football Association recently announced. News came as the national team arrived in Alexandria to prepare for Sunday’s African Cup qualifier match against Niger.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.85 | Sell 17.95
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.86 | Sell 17.96
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.78 | Sell 17.88

EGX30 (Tuesday): 15,923 (+0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 799 mn (3% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +6.0%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session up 0.6%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended flat. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Pioneers Holding up 6.5%, TMG up 4.9%, and Palm Hills up 3.6%. Yesterday’’s worst performing stocks were QNB Alahli down 2.5%, Qalaa Holding down 1.5% and Global Telecom down 1.1%. The market turnover was EGP 799 mn, and regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +20.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -40.5 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +19.7mn

Retail: 52.0% of total trades | 50.5% of buyers | 53.4% of sellers
Institutions: 48.0% of total trades | 49.5% of buyers | 46.6% of sellers

Foreign: 28.7% of total | 30.0% of buyers | 27.4% of sellers
Regional: 8.3% of total | 5.8% of buyers | 10.9% of sellers
Domestic: 63.0% of total | 64.2% of buyers | 61.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 69.56 (-0.44%)
Brent: USD 78.08 (-0.12%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.82 MMBtu, (-0.21%, October 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,198.60/ troy ounce (-0.04%)

TASI: 7,968.24 (+0.32%) (YTD: +10.27%)
ADX: 4,983.98 (+0.94%) (YTD: +13.31%)
DFM: 2,837.17 (+0.27%) (YTD: -15.81%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,278.52 (+1.03%)
QE: 9,820.18 (+0.21%) (YTD: +15.21%)
MSM: 4,429.19 (+0.03%) (YTD: -13.34%)
BB: 1,338.49 (+0.30%) (YTD: +1.14%)

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Calendar

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.

25 September (Tuesday): Orange Egypt shareholders to vote on delisting the company’s shares from the EGX.

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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