Thursday, 13 September 2018

New tariffs don’t violate WTO


What We’re Tracking Today

Shoukry in Asmara: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is in Asmara, Eritrea, today in a visit to boost bilateral relations, FM spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement yesterday. The visit comes the same week that Ethiopia and Eritrea re-opened their border for the first time in 20 years after the United Arab Emirates brokered rapprochement between the two sides in a development widely seen as positive for Egypt.

EIB grants to be inked today: Investment Minister Sahar Nasr is expected to sign agreements today on two grants from the European Investment Bank, according to a ministry statement (pdf) that provided no further details.

**#8 Sign of the times: “Private equity investors shun bulk of emerging world,” declares the Financial Times. Funds focused on the Mideast, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union together accounted for a mere 11.6% of EM-focused PE funds raised in the first six months of this year, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. More than 88% of EM-focused money raised flowed into Asia. And with the worst of the fallout from Abraaj likely yet to come, you can forget about serious fundraising for Mideast PE (at a minimum) for some time to come.

Egypt: “We’re hiring a manager for our new wealth fund.”

Turkey: “Hold my beer.” (From Bloomberg: “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund and got rid of the entire management staff that had presided over two years of inaction.”)

Oil is hurtling toward USD 80 as a “once in a lifetime” hurricane barrels toward the eastern seaboard of the United States. But Hurricane Florence is only one of the factors contributing to jitters in oil markets this fall: Look at US sanctions on Iran taking effect in November, a slowdown in shale production in America, uncertainty in demand growth, and the bets that hedgies are taking. Meanwhile, OPEC itself is freaked out about “trade tensions, monetary tightening by central banks and the financial problems of some emerging nations that ‘constitute challenges to the current global economic growth trend.’” Dive deeper with the Financial Times and Bloomberg.

Crypto is tanking, with Bloomberg declaring that the Great Crypto Crash of 2018 is now worse than the dotcom crash of nearly two decades ago as a key crypto index has now fallen 80% from its January peak. The crypto tourists are fleeing, the Wall Street Journal adds, and while those who piled in looking for a 100x return “are in for a rude awakening,” we’ve only scratched the surface of what cryptocurrencies could do to the economy.

**#9 Success secret of the last man standing on Wall Street: JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon will be the last pre-financial crisis CEO of a major Wall Street bank when Lloyd Blankfein exits Goldman Sachs later this month in favour of his favourite DJ. One of the most interesting object lessons for leaders of service business in an interview with the Financial Times to mark the 10-year anniversary of the crisis: Rivals and boosters alike agree that Dimon’s success is in no small part thanks to his ability to makes clients feel good about how highly their business is prized.” Read JPMorgan: defying attempts to end ‘too big to fail.’

Can the EM “contagion” spread to developed economies? Voices that seem to think so are getting louder, according to Bloomberg. For starters, an extended downturn in EM asset prices could weigh on the prices of counterpart assets in more mature economies, says ING chief Asia economist Rob Carnell. “Developed markets are living on borrowed time to some extent.” JPMorgan says that Asia’s fate — which largely hinges on the threat of a trade war between the US and China — will be a huge determining factor in whether the current crisis in emerging markets seeps into the developed world. The supply chain disruption that a trade war could cause would leave Asia and other mature economies “relatively more vulnerable.”

Elsewhere in EM: Bargain hunters are picking over Argentina and Turkey. The Financial Times shines the spotlight on Argentina with a solid piece on pockets that may hold opportunities amid signs of “nascent stability” (and the ever-present threat of recession). Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal cautions that “bargain hunters in Turkey, Argentina struggle with inflation … Turkish companies [are trying] to keep a lid on prices while in Buenos Aires there is strong demand for higher wages.” It will sound very familiar indeed to all of us who lived through Egypt’s currency crunch, inflation crisis, interest rate hikes and the time it has taken for wages (and corporate earnings) to start catching up. Ditto the Catch-22 Turkey faces if it hikes interest rates on Thursday: It’s a chance to stabilize the TYR, but will also guarantee higher borrowing costs for the state and bad news for corporate earnings and investment.

Are you an EM newb? Start with this quick, bullet-pointed primer on some of the top emerging markets, courtesy the FT.

Apple unveiled three new iPhones and a new watch at its fall product event last night. All of its new toys are getting solid reviews so far, but it’s disappointing (at least for those of us with broken ‘R’ keys on our MacBooks) that the world’s most valuable company launched neither the long-rumored new MacBook nor iPad upgrades. The Apple Watch Series 4 was perhaps the coolest gadget of the night, offering heart monitoring and fall detectionyou can even do your own ECG on the watch and then email it off to your cardiologist. Apple’s product page for the Watch is here and you can watch last night’s keynote presentation in full here (runtime: 1:46:49).

Okay, but what about the phones? We’re not big fans of the naming system, but you have the choice this year between the iPhone XS (with a 5.8” display), the iPhone XS Max (6.5”) and an “in-betweener” dubbed the iPhone XR (6.1” screen). The first two have the same OLED screens as last year’s iPhone X, while the XR uses the LED technology found in the iPhone 8 and earlier iterations of the brand. All three phones have the latest A12 processor, lots of storage, FaceID (bye-bye, fingerprint sensor) and more. Apple’s product page for the iPhone XS is here and you can check out the iPhone XR here.

When is it coming to Egypt? God knows. Apple’s Egypt page still advertises the iPhone X and iPhone 8 as “new” this morning, and local authorized resellers are also yet to update their pages.

iPhone XS vs. XS Max vs. XR…vs. X vs. 8 vs. 7: What’s the Difference? The WSJ has your back — and thinks that the inbetweener (the iPhone XR) probably offers the best value for money if you don’t want to go with the Godzilla sized iPhone XS Max. Everything from the XS Max to the 7 remains part of Apple’s product lineup this year.

Apple’s product launch leads the front pages of the international business press: FT | WSJ | NYT | Reuters | Bloomberg | CNBC | Business Insider | Axios.

True Apple nerds will want to just head over to the homepage of iMore.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Our daily roundup of what the talking heads are blathering on about returns on Sunday.

In the meantime: Still no Lamees.

Speed Round

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**#1 New import tariffs have taken effect: Customs authorities at ports and airports across the country began yesterday to implement a decision signed off overnight Tuesday by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to raise import tariffs everything from clothing to electronics and pet food, according to the Finance Ministry. The story is dominating headlines in the domestic press today.

More than 2k capital goods and raw materials will see duties rise out of a total of 5,791 items reviewed, Customs Authority chief El Sayed Negm noted, according to Reuters. The decision sets a 20% tariff on all imports by hotels and tourism businesses and raises duties on items including clothing, electronics, and pet food to 40%. Some categories of goods, including juices, saw duties jump to 60% from 20%. You’re also going to pay extra for having something repaired abroad: Send something out for maintenance or to have it fixed and you’ll be hit with a 10% levy.

Staple goods unaffected: The Finance Ministry was quick to note that staple goods are not impacted by the new duties — and that the decree reduced or eliminated tariffs other goods, including meds for chronic diseases and production inputs used by companies that assemble products domestically. The tariff changes also favour “greener” modes of transportation: Vehicles powered by natural gas will see duties fall 35%, while electric vehicles will be exempt from import duties.

The tariffs favour domestic manufacturers and will curb imports. “The amendments come as part of an effort to encourage local industry and urge citizens to forgo non-essential goods. They will help improve the state’s revenues,” said Radwa El Swaify, head of research at Pharos Securities Brokerage.

No WTO violation: The new tariffs are not in violation of any of Egypt’s trade agreements and were drafted with World Trade Organization policies and standards in mind, Finance Ministry customs affairs adviser Magdy Abdel Aziz tells Al Masry Al Youm. Moreover, the measures are in line with changes to the Harmonized System Code — a global standardized system of classifying traded goods to determine their customs duties — which underwent its regular five-year review by the World Customs Organization in 2017, according to Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.

Why now? The threat of outflows of hot money amid the EM Zombie Apocalypse has policymakers looking at ways to curb demand for FX, likely including leaving interest rates on hold (whereas earlier this year, the expectation was for further rate cuts). Add in a recent charge that the central bank is quietly guiding the exchange rate, and the rationale for the tariffs looks clear to us.

**#2 Higher yields on government bonds could be a plus, says RenCap’s Ahmed Badr: The higher demanded at government bond auctions could be read as a positive, our friend Renaissance Capital MENA CEO Ahmed Badr told Bloomberg TV in an interview on Tuesday. Allaying fears from the Finance Ministry, which cancelled two bond auctions over the past month on “unreasonably” higher than expected yields, Badr points out that if yields remain high this would bring portfolio investors back.

Will core inflation rising impact the CBE’s decision later in the month? Badr gives a strong call that it would not, with the central bank expected to maintain interest rates. Higher inflation was expected considering the impact of a strengthening USD on a net importing country and the subsidy cuts. It is actually advantageous for the CBE to keep interest rates marginally higher.

As for trade calls, Renaissance Capital likes infrastructure plays on the back of the interest given to it by the government, with companies such as Orascom Construction being undervalued. Badr also likes Qalaa Holdings for the expected turnaround in its finances that will take place when Egyptian Refining Company goes live. Bloomberg has posted only part of the interview, which you can catch here (watch, runtime: 3:02).

**#3 Is China calling in the currency-swap favor? The Chinese government is in talks with Egypt to base a number of key transactions between the two countries on the CNY. These include some of the high-profile loans for key projects signed during President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s trip to Beijing earlier this month, Chinese ambassador to Cairo Song Aiguo said. The funding would be under the framework of the USD 2.65 bn currency swap with China, which Egypt signed in 2016 as part of the USD 5.7 bn funding required to secure a USD 12 bn extended fund facility from the IMF, he added. China is also currently discussing the possibility of allowing to ships to pay Suez Canal transit fees in CNY while allowing tourists visiting Egypt to use the Chinese currency. CBE Governor Tarek Amer had said last month that Egypt and China plan to renew the currency swap agreement.

**#4 EXCLUSIVE- JWT is off Egypt’s tourism account next week: The government does not intend to renew its contract with JWT to promote tourism in Egypt, which set to expire on Monday, 17 September, a government source told Enterprise. The Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) will instead sign a contract with Egyptian Media Group subsidiary Synergy. Unlike JWT, Synergy does not have operations outside Egypt, but will instead sub-contract work to in-market agencies, the source added. The source did not give an explanation as to why the JWT contract was not renewed.

We broke up with them, says JWT: A top source from JWT told us that the global agency itself was not interested in renewing the contract. The source did not explain the move, except to say that the TPA was undergoing a restructuring and as a result is heading in another direction.

No love lost: JWT and the Tourism Ministry have been embroiled in a public spat over payment allegedly owed to JWT over the past year. High-profile JWT boss Hany Shoukry had said last year that the company hadn’t been paid in full for work completed.

For what it’s worth, we rather liked the #thisisEgypt campaign. (As did Lamees, readers may recall. Maybe she’ll be back on air in time to talk about whatever Synergy does…)

**#5 M&A WATCH- CIRA to acquire additional 24% stake in Al Saeed Education Services: Leading private sector education provider Cairo Investment and Real Estate Development (CIRA) announced yesterday that it intends to acquire an additional 24% stake in its subsidiary Al Saeed Education Services for EGP 10 mn, according to a filing to the EGX (pdf). The company will buy the shares from shareholder Al Saeed Investments in two transactions worth EGP 5 mn each, bringing its total holding of Al Saeed to 99% from 75%. CIRA, which announced its intention to go public late last month, is expected to begin trading on the EGX as of 1 October. The company expects to price its shares at EGP 5.45-6.30.

**#6 INVESTMENT WATCH- Egyptian, regional investors launch EGP 200 mn international school: UAE-based education services outfit Africa Crest Education (ACE) has signed the final contracts with Capital Group Properties to begin building a EGP 200 mn branch of the international school Cadmus within its integrated development Alburouj. For the project, ACE, which will own 35% of the school, will be partnering up with SABIS educational group (which will own 30%), as well as Redcon Construction Chairman Tarek El Gamal and Egyptian International Consulting Group (EICG) Chairman Mostafa El Shibini, who will split the remaining stake between them, El Shibini tells Al Mal in an interview.

What about funding? The main shareholders will provide EGP 100 mn for the project and talks are currently ongoing with Egyptian and Emirati banks to secure another EGP 100 mn through a medium-term loan, according to El Shibini, who expects funding to be in place before the end of the year. The school, on which construction has already started, is set to open with the start of the 2019 academic year and targets the mid-income segment.

Looking ahead, Africa Crest plans to establish five similar schools across Egypt over the next few years, either through new developments or the acquisition of existing facilities. Dubai Investments PJSC had pledged USD 20 mn in new investments to ACE earlier this year for the development of SABIS-operated schools in African countries, including Egypt. SABIS, which is one of the founders of ACE, runs the Choueifat schools in the region.

CABINET WATCH- The Madbouly Cabinet discussed the Finance Ministry’s proposed debt control strategy at its weekly meeting yesterday, according to a Cabinet statement. The statement did not delve into specifics on the plan or announce a timeline for it except to say that it is currently being finalized and will be out soon. The meeting also looked into preparations for the FY2018-19 school year, which will see the rollout of the new K-12 education system and the reform of the Thanaweya Amma graduation exam system. Healthcare strategy, particularly cutting down wait times for government operating rooms and a Hepatitis C survey, was also on the agenda.

Factories to get a national ID number? Following the meeting, the Supply Ministry’s Internal Trade Development Authority signed an agreement with the Tax Authority to begin implementing a national ID system for all factories and businesses, according to a cabinet statement. While there was little by way of explanation on that this entails, we know that this system had been in the works for some time, and a facility’s national ID would include more information than is present in the business’ license or its commercial registry. Decisions taken during the meeting include:

  • Approving amendments to the role and responsibility of the Vice Ministers of Finance, the statement read without elaborating.
  • Mandating the Nuclear Materials Authority and the Egyptian Black Sand Company to explore for black sand deposits in Egypt.

Ocean Alliance moves ports on better fees: Ocean Alliance has launched a new service through the West Port Said Port, Suez Canal Authority boss Mohab Mamish said yesterday, Al Mal reports. The new service line will see the group — which includes CMA CGM Group, APL, Evergreen, and China’s COSCO Shipping — launch 10 new ships that are set to make 55 annual voyages. The move comes less than a month after the international shipping alliance ceased operations at East Port Said to protest high fees. An alliance of Yang Ming, Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and the NYK Group retreated from East Port Said last year for the same reason, after the government hiked fees by c. 100%. Officials had promised to try and repeal the hike.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi also ordered at a meeting with Mameesh that Egypt’s port authorities revisit port fees to make them more competitive, according to an Ittihadiya statement. He also called for a plan to upgrade port facilities in East Port Said.

MOVES- Citi chief Middle East economist Farouk Soussa (Linkedin) has jumped ship to Goldman Sachs, where he is now MENA economist. Soussa joined Citi in 2010 from Standard & Poor’s.

**#7 Did state news agency MENA’s website get hacked by Turkey? A Turkish group reportedly hacked the website of Egypt’s state news agency MENA on Tuesday in protest of death sentences handed down to 75 people over the 2013 Rabaa Adawiya sit-in, Anadolu Agency reports. The hackers reportedly posted on MENA’s landing page a picture of a man who was shot during the sit-in. The Turkish newswire claims that MENA Editor-in-Chief Ali Hasan confirmed the hack to local news website Masrawy, but that the article has since been taken down from Masrawy’s website.

CORRECTION- In our piece yesterday about overhead transmission lines at MNHD’s Taj City, we incorrectly reported that the lines were being installed by a military-run company. The lines are in fact being buried outside Taj City’s parameter and the work will take 4-6 months to complete. We apologize for the error and have corrected the story on our website here.

** WE’RE HIRING: We’re looking for smart, talented, and seasoned journalists and editors to join our team at Enterprise, which produces the newsletter you’re reading right now. We’re looking for people who can work on this product and help us launch exciting new stuff. Applicants should have serious English-language writing chops, a strong interest — and preferably some professional experience — in business journalism, and solid analytical skills. The ideal candidate for us is a native-level-writer of English with the ability to read and understand Arabic. We offer the chance to work in a unique and casual work environment that promises to be intellectually challenging and rewarding. If you’re interested, please submit your CV along with 2-3 writing samples and a solid cover letter telling us a bit about who you are and why you’re a good fit for our team. Please direct your applications to


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Up Next

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait will be at AmCham on Tuesday, 18 September for a lunch. The minister will speak about “Egypt’s financial reform agenda.” Members and their guests can register here.

The E-Commerce Summit in Egypt takes place on Wednesday, 26 September.

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

The Egyptian-Sudanese ministerial committee will meet at the end of this month ahead of a presidential summit set to be held in Khartoum in October.

The Egypt-Romania business council will meet in Bucharest from 7-11 October, according to Al Mal.

Egypt in the News

E-coli a factor in death of British couple on holiday in Hurghada: Holiday-gate may be entering its denoument after Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek said that an e-coli infection helped precipitate a heart attack that killed John Cooper, 69, according to a statement from the Tourism Ministry. His wife, Susan, a Thomas Cook employee, was also infected and is believed to have died of gastroenteritis.

The news tops coverage of Egypt in the international press, with this Reuters story getting heavy pickup. The story has been picked up by the AP and BBC, which will give it legs well into our weekend. The UK tabloid press reports that the couple’s family doesn’t believe the official report. Tour operator Thomas Cook responded shortly after that it did not see Egypt’s full report and will need some time to review the final results, Reuters reports. The company had announced earlier this week that poor hygiene standards were the likely cause of a rise in illness amongst its guests at the hotel.

Elsewhere: Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury. Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek, of Mr. Robot fame, never worked as hard for a role as he did to play Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic of the iconic 1970s and 1980s rock band Queen, he tells the New York Times in an interview. You can catch the trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody here (watch, runtime: 2:38). The film is set to be released on 24 October in the UK and 2 November in the US.

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • The UN has placed Egypt on a list of 38 countries it said have “shameful” human rights records, Reuters says.
  • The Trump administration’s refugee policies is hitting refugees in Egypt and 10 other countries “particularly hard,” according to a Reuters’ special report, as these countries “had been identified as potential threats as far back as the early 2000s.”
  • Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy tells the National he wants to steer the course of Egyptian cinema with more human stories.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

France called on Egyptian authorities to overturn mass death sentences issued in a trial this week over the 2013 Rabaa Al Adawiya sit-in, Reuters reports. The move is rare public criticism by Paris over its strong regional ally, the newswire notes. The United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet denounced yesterday Egypt’s decision saying they “represent a gross and irreversible miscarriage of justice.”

Qatar asks to hold talks with Saudi-led bloc over alleged “human rights violations”: Qatar has asked the four countries that make up the boycott bloc to hold talks over what it says are “human rights violations committed in the framework of the Gulf crisis,” Bloomberg said, citing a Qatar News Agency report. It was not immediately clear what these violations are, but the country said that the diplomatic and economic embargo initiated by Egypt, Saudi, Bahrain, and the UAE just over a year ago has impacted “a large number of individuals and families.” The four countries had severed ties with Qatar last year, accusing the statelet of funding terrorism.

Qatar’s request prompted head of US Central Command Joseph Votel to call on Gulf countries to “put differences aside and unite against Iranian efforts to destabilise the region,” according to The National.

The Indian Cabinet ratified yesterday an agricultural cooperation agreement with Egypt, Devdiscourse reports. The MoU covers cooperation on irrigation technology, as well as agricultural waste management, among other things. A joint working group will also be established as part of the agreement to focus mainly on boosting trade and bilateral cooperation.

Trade Minister Amr Nassar met with a delegation from the African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank) to discuss enhancing cooperation in various fields including infrastructure, energy, health and oil, according to a ministry statement. The ministry hopes that through the bank’s funding it will be able to establish joint industrial projects with the private sector at home and in African nations.


Wells from phase 9B of BG’s West Delta Deep Marine Concession to come online in October

The first two wells from Phase 9B of BG’s West Delta Deep Marine Concession is expected to come online next month, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said yesterday, Al Mal reports. Capacity is expected to gradually increase over the next year as more wells are drilled and connected, El Molla said.

KarmSolar to raise EGP 500 mn for expansion plans, contracts Attijari as advisor

KarmSolar is looking to raise EGP 500 mn of equity to finance the completion of its pipeline private solar power stations, according to an emailed statement (pdf). The energy company has contracted Attijari Finances to act as its global advisor and coordinator for the fundraising process. Under the agreement, “the investment bank will assist KarmSolar in the due diligence, valuation, marketing material preparation, and the identification and selection of equity partners.”

Basic Materials + Commodities

Wheat import prices begin to ease up for GASC

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) purchased 235k tonnes of Russian wheat in an international tender yesterday, according to Reuters’ Arabic service. The lowest offer received in a tender for 55,000 tonnes of wheat was USD 222.70 per tonne FOB from trading firm Daewoo, traders tell Reuters. The shipment is due between 25 October and 4 November. GASC last purchased wheat at an average price of USD 241.31 per tonne.

Cotton exporters extend export season for 30 days

The Cotton Exporters Association approved a 30-day extension to the 2017-2018 cotton export season, association head Nabil Al Santaricy said. The season usually runs from December-August, but exporters still have 7,000 tonnes of remaining shipments to fulfil. Cotton exports during the season registered a 55,000 tonnes with 44.7% growth y-o-y.


EgyptAir to begin operating flights to Hong Kong this Monday

EgyptAir will launch two weekly flights between Hong Kong and Cairo as of 17 September, the state news agency reports. Bangkok will likely serve as the transit station for the route.

Automotive + Transportation

Cairo Metro travel card prices for cancer patients, unchanged for students

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat approved yesterday a decision to lower Cairo Metro travel card prices for cancer patients, according to a ministry statement. Arafat also confirmed in another statement that the government’s decision on Monday to halt discounts on metro ticket fares will not extend to students, and that the price of three-month student metro passes will remain unchanged. Cancer patients will have to pay a symbolic fee ranging from EGP 22-27 for different subscription plans and students EGP 38-41.

Banking + Finance

Goldentex wool in talks for EUR 3 mn loan to upgrade production lines

Goldentex wool is in talks with several unnamed banks for a EUR 3 mn loan to finance upgrades on its existing production lines and purchase new lines as part of its three-year investment plans, CFO Ahmed Amer said. The company expects to finalize the negotiation before the end of September, according to Amer.

Legislation + Policy

GAFI outlines procedures for companies to fall under its purview from FRA

The General Authority for Freezones and Investment (GAFI) issued a directive outlining procedures for companies to fall under its jurisdiction from that of the the Financial Regulatory Authority’s (FRA), Al Mal reports. These procedures include obtaining approval from the company’s general assembly with FRA sign off, and an approval from GAFI. We noted last month that regulations were being drafted to split the jurisdiction over private sector holding companies’ between GAFI and the FRA. Under these guidelines, the FRA’s jurisdiction would extend only to holding companies with half or more of their assets invested in the non-banking financial sector, with GAFI assuming regulatory responsibility over the rest.

E-payments act to grant incentives to those looking to pay for gov’t services electronically

The CBE-drafted e-payments act will grant incentives to those willing to pay for government service fees electronically, said CBE Sub-Governor for Payment Systems and Business Technology Ayman Hussein in an interview with Al Ahram, which lacked in details. These incentives will include discounts on fees, and even possible rebates. He noted that the Finance Ministry would still need to sign off on the package of incentives.

Egypt Politics + Economics

New law sends confiscated Ikhwan assets to state treasury

The government committee tasked with managing the Ikhwan’s seized assets will be transferring confiscated funds to the state treasury under legislation issued earlier this year, according to Ahram Online. The decision applies to 1,589 Brotherhood members and supporters, 118 companies, 1,133 NGOs, 104 schools, 69 hospitals and 33 websites and satellite channels, the report said. The committee had said in July it seized assets belonging to 2,100 alleged members of the Ikhwan.

ICT, Immigration ministries sign agreement to facilitate remittances

The ICT and the Immigration ministries signed yesterday an agreement to facilitate inward bound remittances from expats, according to a cabinet statement. Under the new agreement, expats will be able to make cash transfers for families to pick them up in Egyptian post offices throughout all governorates. A text message with the location of the nearest post office will also be sent to the receiver when the money has been transferred.


Egypt to face Swaziland on 12 October for AFCON qualifier game

Egypt’s national football team will take on Swaziland on 12 October for their second qualifier game for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said in a statement. The match will be played in Cairo’s Al Salam stadium, as the EFA hopes for a larger turnout, says Al Bawaba.

On Your Way Out

Critically acclaimed Egyptian film Yomeddine was selected by Egypt as its submission to the 91st Academy Awards in the Foreign Language category, according to the movie’s twitter account. The movie was previously selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival where it had won the François Chalais Prize. You can catch the trailer for the film here (watch, runtime

Egyptian olympic swimmer Farida Osman set a new record in the 13th CANA African swimming championships, which kicked off on Monday in Algiers, according to Swimming World Magazine. Osman completed a 50m butterfly swim in 26.16 seconds. In other sports record news, Mohamed Salah also topped Forbes’ list of the “Top 10 Arab Football Players Worldwide 2017,” reports Al Bawaba.

Did EgyptAir briefly force closure of Belgrade runway? Serbia’s Belgrade airport was temporarily closed after at least two tires on an EgyptAir jet allegedly burst after what could have been a hard landing, blocking the airport’s only runway for several hours, the Associated Press reports. Airport officials said that “thousands of passengers were stranded” as flights were diverted. EgyptAir is investigating the incident, in which it said nobody was injured.

The Market Yesterday

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

EGX30 (Wednesday): 15,488 (-0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 872 mn (9% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +3.1%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session down 0.9%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Abu Qir Fertilizers up 2.9%, Egypt Kuwait Holding up 1.7%, and Egyptian Iron and Steel up 1.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Porto Group down 6.6%, Palm Hills down 3.9% and Telecom Egypt down 3.2%. The market turnover was EGP 872 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +46.2 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -29.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -17.1 mn

Retail: 46.2% of total trades | 45.7% of buyers | 46.7% of sellers
Institutions: 53.8% of total trades | 54.3% of buyers | 53.3% of sellers

Foreign: 32.7% of total | 35.4% of buyers | 30.1% of sellers
Regional: 6.5% of total | 4.8% of buyers | 8.2% of sellers
Domestic: 60.8% of total | 59.8% of buyers | 61.8% of sellers


MPC seen maintaining rates at next meeting despite expected drop in monthly inflation rates: The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is likely to maintain key interest rates unchanged when it meets on 27 September, despite an anticipated drop in inflation rates after September. Pharos sees monthly inflation dropping to 1% this month and 0.7% in October, as the market fully absorbs the impact of price hikes that followed subsidy cuts and increases to the costs of fuel, power, and transportation. Nevertheless, pressure created by external factors — such as the emerging market selloff and conditions in Turkey and Argentina — is also likely to push the bank to maintain its tight fiscal policy. Read the full report here (pdf).


WTI: USD 70.19 (-0.26%)
Brent: USD 79.74 (+0.86%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.82 MMBtu, (-0.35%, October 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,211.90/ troy ounce (+0.08%)

TASI: 7,635.38 (-0.75%) (YTD: +5.66%)
ADX: 4,934.44 (-1.17%) (YTD: +12.19%)
DFM: 2,809.87 (-0.82%) (YTD: -16.62%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,329.67 (-0.14%)
QE: 9,990.17 (+0.60%) (YTD: +17.21%)
MSM: 4,530.55 (+0.99%) (YTD: -11.15%)
BB: 1,340.51 (-0.16%) (YTD: +0.66%)

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10-13 September (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes’ 8th Annual London Conference, Emirates Arsenal Stadium, London.

16 September (Sunday): Creative Industry Summit 2018, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo.

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

18-21 September (Tuesday-Friday): The Big 5 Construct Egypt, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

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.

23-24 September (Sunday-Monday): Arab Security Conference on cyber security, Nile-Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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.

12 December (Wednesday): Banking and Finance Congress 2018, Cairo, venue TBD.

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.

22-25 January 2019 (Tuesday-Friday): World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

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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