Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Good news for fall IPOs: Love could be in the air again for EMs

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Conference season is really picking up, with three gatherings of note taking place this morning:

  • The E-Commerce Summit in Egypt bills itself as the first gathering of its kind of the emerging industry, which faces the prospect of new regulation during the fall sitting of the House of Representatives;
  • Gearheads will want to make their way to the 2018 Automech Formula car expo, which runs through Sunday at the Cairo International Convention Center;
  • The Egyptian Factoring Association (EFA) will host a workshop on factoring as a tool for financing SMEs at the Nile Ritz-Carlton. (Brochure here in pdf).

(And speaking of factoring, the Financial Regulatory Authority’s guidelines for obtaining leasing and factoring licenses were published in the Official Gazette yesterday, Al Masdar reports.)

At least 40 people have applied to run Egypt’s new sovereign wealth fund, Planning Minister Hala El Said told the local press on Tuesday ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for applications. The post was advertised in the print edition of the Financial Times, among other places. You can see the advert here.

**#1 Sell-side sentiment on emerging markets could be turning a corner after a very rough seven months for EM investors, issuers and policymakers. This could be very good news for Egyptian companies looking to take IPOs to market this fall.

Goldman Sachs sees the EM Zombie Apocalypse easing as a cooling US economy, strong EM macro fundamentals and “overblown” contagion fears make developing market opportunities more attractive after the sell-off.

The argument: Yes, the US Federal Reserve is going to hike interest rates this year — most likely twice. But in an update to its 2018 Outlook (pdf) Goldman Sachs Asset Management thinks that’s it: US growth is going to cool at the same time and “converge somewhat with the rest of the world. We think this convergence creates the potential for a comeback in emerging markets … We prefer equities over credit and credit over rates.”

Economic fundamentals in most EM countries remain stable, Goldman notes, and “market fears of trade tensions and EM contagion are likely to prove overdone. More generally, we would also expect the USD strength to start to fade.”

Morgan Stanley is also singing a new tune on emerging markets, having set aside its “bearish call” on EM fixed income and currencies after a near two-week rally in EM assets, according to Bloomberg. “EM assets rallied strongly last week and we think this marks the beginning of a period of stability and range-bound markets,” Morgan Stanley strategists wrote in a note dated Monday. “We think this remains a difficult world for EM, but we’ve likely adjusted enough for now.”

EM are the cheapest they’ve been in 10-15 years, Bloomberg notes Standard Chartered’s head of FX and credit research as saying, and Scandinavian EM specialist Tundra Fonder is now a buyer.

In other emerging market news, Kuwait has gained inclusion in the FTSE Russell emerging markets index, Reuters reports.

If only oil was shaping up in our favor, too: After peaking north of USD 82 on Monday — and with some pundits now tipping Brent to break USD 100 / bbl, as we reported yesterday — US President Donald Trump did nothing to calm the market yesterday when he declared that OPEC is “ripping off the rest of the world.” After drawing audible snickers from world leaders with a boast at the UN General Assembly about his accomplishments in the past year, Trump declared that OPEC is “ripping off the rest of the world” by keeping oil prices high. “We defend many of these nations for nothing and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices, not good. We want them to stop raising prices, we want them to start lowering prices,” he said. The Financial Times has more.

Trump sounded an awful lot like a generic regional “political expert” making his first-ever appearance on an Egyptian talk show as he repeatedly emphasized sovereignty in his speech in New York. “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination. I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereign rights in return.” Read Trump’s full speech here.

Also from Planet Diplomacy: Western powers are looking to mend fences with Saudi Arabia. Germany is trying to heal a year-long rift and Canada is said to have extended an olive branch in a month-long dispute, hoping to “potentially avoid a prolonged standoff affecting Canadian firms and Saudi students.”

BROKEN LINK- One of our most popular links yesterday was broken — sincere apologies to everyone who was inconvenienced. Tap here to read the Wall Street Journal’s Your Browser Is the Most Important App You Have—Make Sure You Use the Right One.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s speech at the UN General Assembly was the talk of the town last night as pundits scrambled to analyze the president’s remarks.

Domestic politics has played less in El Sisi’s speeches at the UNGA as conditions have improved with passing years, State Information Services head Diaa Rashwan said on Masaa DMC. The situation in Palestine and African issues, meanwhile, are gaining more prominence. Former assistant foreign minister Gamal Bayoumi and Ahram Center researcher Atef Al Saadawy also gave their two cents on yesterday’s address (watch, runtime: 3:54 and runtime: 7:08). Egypt’s stability today has given us the space to look outward and dedicate more time to regional issues, former assistant foreign minister Ali Hefny said, echoing Rashwan’s thoughts (watch, runtime: 3:29).

The speech was “balanced” and appropriately reflected Egypt’s stance on several important issues, political science professor Tarek Fahmy said on Yahduth fi Masr (watch, runtime: 3:59). Political science professor Noha Bakr also had a chat with Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim about various speeches delivered at the assembly yesterday (watch, runtime: 13:31).

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly met yesterday with lawmakers ahead of the House of Representatives reconvenes for its fall legislative season next week. The PM talked with MPs about economic reforms and various constituencies’ demands, according to House deputy head Al Sayed Mahmoud El Sherif (watch, runtime: 3:16). Madbouly also told MPs that his government is planning to announce in a few weeks several incentives for industrial sectors, according to Amwal Al Ghad. The prime minister did not provide further details.

Separately, Madbouly is set to inaugurate projects in Qena and Sohag today and tomorrow, Hona Al Asema’s field reporter said (watch, runtime: 8:06). House Rep. Mostafa Salem has his fingers crossed that Madbouly’s visit to Sohag will nudge along projects that will create jobs for the governorate’s citizens (watch, runtime: 5:05).

Speed Round

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**#2 We’ll call off bond sales anytime yields get out of hand –Maait: The Finance Ministry will continue to cancel auctions of domestic bonds so long as yields remain high, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Tuesday. Calling off bond auctions is a crucial tool in Egypt’s bid to keep its debt service obligations in check going forward, Maait is quoted by the domestic press as having said. His remarks came after the Finance Ministry called off its fourth treasury bond auction in as many weeks on Monday. Would-be buyers were asking for yields as high as 20% on five- and 10-year treasury bonds, a trader said.

Egypt is looking to make it easier for foreign investors to get into bonds and will do a non-deal roadshow in Asia to drum up interest,Maait told Bloomberg in a separate interview. Maait has opened talks with Belgium’s Euroclear to facilitate the settlement of domestic debt for overseas investors, who can currently only access the debt market through a handful of local banks with licenses to operate as primary dealers. “Euroclear settles transactions in international and domestic securities in dozens of countries. Enlisting its services would make it easier for foreigners,” Bloomberg quotes the minister as saying.

Testing appetite in Asia: Officials will head to Asia as early as the week after next to test appetite for potential JPY- and CNY-denominated bonds (called “samurai” and “panda” bonds in the trade), Reuters’ Arabic service quotes Maait as having said. Stops will include Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia and possibly Japan. Maait’s tip on the Asian roadshow comes less than two weeks after he suggested the government could look east for liquidity as yields on domestic debt got out of hand. The ministry is now looking for bankers to lead the Asian roadshow.

El Sisi to unveil debt reduction strategy in two weeks’ time: Speaking of debt, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is set to announce within two weeks a four-year strategy to reduce Egypt’s debt to 70% of GDP, Maait said at a meeting with members of the French Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Al Mal reports. Maait had said earlier this month that his ministry is drafting a comprehensive debt control strategy that is set to be the cornerstone of the government’s fiscal policy agenda. The strategy would set limits on both internal and external borrowing in a bid to bring down overall public debt levels. The country’s foreign debt levels at the end of FY2017-18 stood at USD 92.64 bn.

**#3 FinMin shelves fuel hedging plan, shrugging off rising oil prices: The Finance Ministry has officially decided to shelve a plan to hedge against rising oil prices, Minister Mohamed Maait said yesterday. Officials had suggested earlier this month that the program might be shelved if oil prices were to stabilize, and Maait’s remarks come after Brent crude hit a four-year high this week on the back of OPEC’s latest decision against further output increases. Maait agreed that the spike in oil prices will have an impact on the state budget, but shrugged off the need for the fuel hedging program, saying the ministry is “managing the crisis.” A senior government official told us over the weekend that the Finance Ministry is expected to amend targets for Egypt’s FY2018-19 budget deficit to 8.6% of GDP from 8.4% of GDP, partially due to rising oil prices. The government had reportedly signed this month fuel hedging contracts with two international banks, widely believed to be JP Morgan and Citibank.

Real estate tax on mobile network towers isn’t new, but that doesn’t mean the state treasury doesn’t want to collect it: The real estate tax on sites used for mobile network towers is not new has already been in place since the issuance of the Real Estate Tax Law, Vodafone Egypt’s External Affairs and Legal Director Ayman Essam tells Al Mal. Essam told the newspaper that the is levied on the owner of the site used for the towers, but Vodafone has been paying the tax on behalf of site owners. A government source told us earlier this week that the treasury is looking to step up its collection of the taxes payable on sites used for mobile network towers and billboards, with the levy set at 10% of their rent value. According to the source, the tax will be payable retroactively until 2013. We noted specifically at the time that this is stepping up tax collection, not a new tax.

**#4 IPO WATCH- Retail tranche of CIRA IPO closes 18.9x oversubscribed: Appetite for the retail offering of private sector education outfit CIRA’s IPO was strong, with the EGX announcing that the offering of 14.5 mn shares, for which the subscription period ended yesterday, was 18.9x oversubscribed. Trading on the company’s shares is due to begin on 1 October. The institutional component of the IPO was 10.36x oversubscribed amid high international demand. CIRA is offering some 207 mn shares (c. 38% of the company) and had priced its IPO at EGP 6.00 per share, above the midpoint of the EGP 5.45 to EGP 6.30 per share range on which it had previously guided.

Advisers: EFG Hermes is sole global coordinator and bookrunner for the transaction. Al Tamimi & Co. is acting as the issuer’s local counsel, while Zulficar & Partners is domestic counsel to the underwriter. White & Case is international counsel to the issuer, while Gide Loyrette Nouel is doing duty for the global coordinator and bookrunner. Inktank Communications is serving as investor relations advisor to CIRA.

**#5 M&A WATCH- Saudi’s Elaj to complete acquisition of majority stake in TechnoScan in November: Saudi Arabia’s Elaj Group expects to complete its acquisition of a 75% stake in medical diagnostic imaging chain TechnoScan by November, CEO Walid El Sayed says. Elaj is in the “final stages” of talks with Gulf Capital to purchase its stake in TechnoScan, and the final agreement is pending a few minor procedures. Elaj has been on an acquisition spree in Egypt over the past several months. The Saudi group acquired the Alexandria International Hospital and Ibn Sina Specialized Hospital, and picked up a majority stake in Cairo Clinic Children’s Hospital, as well as stakes in clinical laboratory group Cairo Labs and the International Eye Hospital. Elaj is also reportedly looking to purchase a hotel in Cairo to turn it into a full-service specialized hospital.

ERC launches EGP 200 mn residential development in Sahl Hasheesh: Our friends at Egyptian Resorts Company (ERC) have launched a new residential project in the Red Sea resort town of Sahl Hasheesh. The Bay Village project — which will cost around EGP 200 mn to construct — will target local and foreign buyers in the second-home market, ERC said in a press release (pdf). The EGX-listed company expects to generate around EGP 390 mn from the sale of 185 residential units spread across nine building blocks constructed over 11,000 sqm. “The project further diversifies ERC’s product offering and establishes ERC as not just a master developer but also a leading real estate developer in the country,” said CEO Wael El Hatow. Construction on Bay Village should be complete by 2023.

Alex Port to issue “within days” tenders for advisors on USD 450 mn multipurpose platform: The Alexandria Port Authority (APA) will issue “within days” a number of global tenders for a consultant, developer, and operator for its USD 450 multipurpose platform, APA boss Medhat Attiya tells Al Mal. The JV between APA and the Suez Canal Economic Authority and Land and Maritime Transport Holding Company will be overseeing work on the facility and other projects in neighboring platforms around the Alex Port, according to Attiya. The new company will also focus a large portion of its efforts on increasing capacity for container and cargo handling to 1.25 mn tonnes a year.

Background: The JV was formed to oversee the building of the platform, previously a zombie project from the 2015 Egypt Economic Development Conference, after negotiations with China Harbour, which was originally meant to take on the project, reached a dead end.

**#6 Railway to buy 1,300 cars from Transmashholding under EGP 22 bn contract: The Egyptian National Railways (ENR) will buy 1,300 railcars from Russia’s Transmashholding under a final contract signed yesterday, according to a Cabinet statement. The Russian company will set up shop in Egypt maintain the rolling stock and train maintenance laborers for 15 years. The two sides are currently in talks over the details of a separate maintenance agreement. Cabinet had approved in August ENR’s agreement with Transmashholding. The agreement is set to be financed through a loan by a Russian-Hungarian banking consortium. Egypt will pay a total of EGP 22 bn to buy the cars and will receive the first batch within 14 months and the last car within 40 months from the start of manufacturing.

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat was all over the airwaves last night to discuss the agreement, which he told Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 5:33 and runtime: 5:29) as a core element of the ministry’s aim to complete a significant overhaul of the railways by the end of 2020. Arafat also phoned into Yahduth fi Masr to talk about the agreement and its fine print (watch, runtime: 5:59).

Complaints from Egypt and other buyers have prompted Russia to slow grain exports as it steps up quality control inspections, Reuters reports. Russian watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor had announced earlier this month that it would institute new and tougher checks on wheat exports after a rise in complaints in the past three months about dropping quality standards. The authority said that shipments bound for Egypt, Ecuador, Vietnam, Sudan, Venezuela and Israel would require 5-10 days of inspection, but noted that the measures were not aimed at limiting exports, despite protests from traders that the measures are disrupting delivery schedule and overall sales. With the rouble trading at a six-week high, “exports are naturally declining,” said Russian Grain Union head Arkady Zlochevsky. “The toughening of checks, which can be interpreted as an informal and unofficial export limitation, is adding to this process.”

Russian grain exports could slow further in the weeks to come “as harvesting dwindles, stockpiles close to Russia’s main sea ports gradually decline, competition between exporters for high-quality crops rises and the storm season approaches,” analysts told the newswire.

Egypt’s main wheat buyer took 415k tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender last week. Egypt’s wheat imports are expected to total 12.3 mn tonnes at the end of FY2018-19, the USDA projects.

El Sisi addresses the UNGA: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi delivered yesterday his address to the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, in which he focused largely on the needs of developing regions that struggle with instability and an imperative to “revive” the UN’s role moderate an international order that balances between countries’ interests and responsibilities.

The president opened by pointing to the prevalence of the disintegration of nation states as a result of strife and sectarian conflict, saying that the Arab world is “one of the most vulnerable” regions to this phenomenon, which has bred terrorism and extremism. In that vein, El Sisi reiterated his calls for the restoration of state institutions in Syria and Yemen as part of political resolutions to their ongoing civil wars, and repeated Egypt’s firm stance against external intervention in these countries’ affairs.

El Sisi delved into human rights issues, the handling of which he said is “mismanaged” and politicized by the international community. Egypt’s vision of human rights rests on a broader foundation that sees the importance of giving all citizens an equal footing on the social, economic, and cultural fronts. He went on to say that Egypt has successfully taken “major strides” in promoting human rights, particularly through the empowerment of women and youth.

You can watch the full speech in Arabic or dubbed in English (runtime: 18:28).

Meetings on the sidelines: El Sisi met yesterday with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during the General Assembly meetings, according to an Ittihadiya statement. El Sisi also sat down with Jordan’s King Abdullah II to discuss bilateral ties and the two-state solution for Palestine based on the 1967 borders, on which they see eye-to-eye.

In other news from the US, Politico has obtained a copy of the State Department memo that justified the release of USD 195 mn in aid to Egypt that former SecState Rex Tillerson had ordered frozen. “Far from assuring lawmakers that Egypt is making progress on human rights, the ‘memorandum of justification’ laying out the decision amounts to a searing indictment of how Egypt’s government treats its citizens — describing extrajudicial killings, unfair trials, censorship and a generally repressive atmosphere,” the political news service reports. A State Department spokesperson told Politico that while Washington has “serious concerns about the human rights situation in Egypt … strengthened security cooperation with Egypt is important to U.S. national security.” You can read Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s memo here (pdf).

**#7 The widely celebrated Egyptian writer, public intellectual and economics professor Galal Amin passed away yesterday, Al Mal reports. Amin, who was 83, was an outspoken commentator known for his critique of Egypt’s economic and cultural dependency on western countries. Galal published eight books over the course of a rich career, with his most widely acclaimed — Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? — diving into the political, economic, and social history of Egypt from 1950 to 1995.

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Egypt in the News

Discovery of “massive” ancient building tops headlines on Egypt: Leading coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning is an AP report about the discovery of a “massive” ancient building just 20 km outside of Cairo in what was once Ancient Memphis. Supreme Antiquities Council boss Mostafa Waziri said that “the building likely a part of the residential block in the area.” ABC News, the New York Times and Washington Post all picked up the wire report. The Independent also covered the story.

This comes as we hear that the Aswan Dam is apparently behind rising groundwater levels that are threatening to erode the temple of Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt and other sites along the banks of the Nile, Declan Walsh writes for the New York Times. The construction of the High Dam in 1971 allowed Egyptians to expand their cultivable land out to the desert landscape where many ancient temples had been built and preserved over the years. “Today the temples are hemmed in by lush fields, farmhouses and a country of nearly 100 mn people.” Climate change and untreated sewage from informal housing have also exacerbated the problem. “Water has penetrated the sandstone foundations, combining with salt and heat to scrub some hieroglyphs from the temple walls.”

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Egypt’s exports of Arabian horses are starting to recover after a slump caused by a series of bans over disease-related concerns, Al Monitor says.
  • Security forces raided Al-Mesryoon newspaper’s headquarters yesterday, arresting staff members and confiscating office files and equipment, RT Arabic reported. Press freedom advocacy group Reporters Without Borders called the incident the “latest government step to eliminate all criticism in the media.”
  • Egypt banned Salafist sheikh Mohamed Raslan from giving sermons after remarks that went off the reservation at Friday prayers, reports Middle East Eye.

On Deadline

Education problems run deeper than you think, your excellency: The Education Minister’s vision for education seems poised to overlook the more deep-rooted challenges, Amr El Shobaki writes for Al Masry Al Youm. A bottom-up approach to reform is needed, and it necessitates prioritizing human capital, not the physical capital of “tablets and walls.” The first few days of school are showing that reform will quickly lose momentum so long as petty issues are highlighted and more urgent failures dismissed.

Worth Watching

Hurghada’s sand museum brings alive historic figures and superheroes: An outdoor museum in the Red Sea city of Hurghada features sand sculptures of local and international historic figures, as well as comic book superheroes and Disney characters. The sculptures — made entirely from sand and water and coated with a fixative — could take up to a month to complete, depending on their size and level of detail. They also have to be renovated constantly to protect them from the elements and some have been even rebuilt entirely after an intense spell of rain (Watch here, runtime: 1:20).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty left to Addis Ababa yesterday for talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD),  according to a ministry statement. Abdel Aty will meet with his counterparts from Sudan and Ethiopia to resume tripartite negotiations over the USD 4 bn hydroelectric project. The talks will be aimed at “narrowing misunderstandings and gaps” over the dam and work through pending issues, Ethiopia’s irrigation minister said, according to Xinhua. Tensions rose between the three neighbors last year, before they agreed to arrive at “joint vision” for the dam’s construction, which would see Ethiopia catering its timeline of filling the dam to Egypt’s needs in exchange for economic cooperation. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had reported “positive” results from talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last month.

The Hamas-Israel truce talks Egypt is brokering have not fallen through, but progress is slow, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said yesterday, according to the Times of Israel. Egypt has been working on two separate truces over the past several months: One between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, and the other between Hamas and Israel that would see the latter easing border restrictions on Gaza. Heated Palestinian border protests last week have seemingly prompted renewed talks with Israel, and led to an altogether new proposal for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation which could see control of the Gaza strip handed over to Fatah’s Palestinian Authority.

Egypt and Ireland consider direct flights, talk investment: A direct flight route between Egypt and Ireland was among the issues that an Egyptian parliamentary delegation discussed with Irish President Michael D. Higgins yesterday, Al Mal reports. The delegation, which was led by House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, also discussed ways to boost economic cooperation.

Energy

EETC allows Infinity Solar to build 2 wind-powered stations under IPP framework

Infinity Solar will build two wind-powered stations with a combined capacity of 100 MW under an Independent Power Producer (IPP) framework agreed by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co (EETC), an official said. The company is currently in negotiations with potential clients it could sell power to after the two stations are completed. Details on the cost and timeline of the project were not provided.

Zohr production output expected to reach 2.7 bcf/d target by July 2019

The Oil Ministry and Italy’s Eni agreed to expedite their timeline for the development of the Zohr gas field, aiming to bring the field’s production to 2.7 bcf/d by July 2019, rather than end-2019, a source from the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company told the local press. Production had broken the 2 bcf/d mark in recent weeks.

Bulgaria wants in on Egypt’s natural gas exports

Bulgaria sees Egypt as a promising potential source market for natural gas, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said during a meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday, Egypt Today reports. According to the prime minister, Bulgaria also wants in on Egypt’s natural gas cooperation agreement with Greece and Cyprus, which will see the construction of an underwater natural gas pipeline connecting Cyprus’ Aphrodite field with liquefaction facilities in Egypt.

NREA to issue tender for 2500 MW wind farms soon

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) is looking to issue a tender soon for local and foreign companies to develop wind farms with a combined generation capacity of 2500 MW, an NREA source said, according to Amwal Al Ghad. The source did not specify the exact timeline of the tender, but added that NREA is currently deliberating on the locations, which will likely be around the Red Sea.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Egypt Japan Steel Works could sell 50% stake

Privately-owned Egypt Japan Steel Works says it has four offers from institutions and funds looking to buy up as much as 50% of the company, Chairman Mokhtar Soltan tells Al Mal. The transaction, which would be executed in the form of a capital increase, should take place before the end of the year. The company means to raise capital to remedy liquidity shortages that are hampering ongoing expansion plans, especially in light of hikes in the prices of power and fuel.

Manufacturing

SIDPEC obtains license to use petrochem technology developed by WR Grace

Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (SIDPEC) obtained a license to use a petrochemical production technology developed by American chemical company WR Grace for its new USD 1.2 bn polypropylene factory in Alexandria, according to petrochemical market information provider ICIS. No further details were provided. SIDPEC announced its construction of the new facility back in June.

Belarus’ Bobruisk Agromash wins ECARD supply contract

The Egyptian Company for Agriculture and Rural Development (ECARD) will buy USD 400k-worth of agricultural machinery from Agromash, Belarus’ BelTA reports. The news comes after the Belarusian manufacturer opened talks last month with Helwan Machinery and Equipment to explore a JV to produce agricultural equipment in Egypt.

Automotive + Transportation

BDP International opens fourth branch in Egypt, in Port Said

US-based logistics services provider BDP International inaugurated a new office in Port Said, marking their fourth branch in Egypt, according to the American Journal of Transportation. The company presently operates two branches in Cairo and another in Alexandria.

Legislation + Policy

EBA prepares remarks on Customs Act to present to House of Representatives

The Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA) is laying out its remarks and concerns on the Finance Ministry’s draft of a new Customs Act, Youm7 reports. The EBA plans to present these remarks to the House of Representatives once it convenes for its fourth legislative session next month. A primary concern the EBA has is that the draft law would give the Customs Authority too much power, which may breed more corruption and create issues for investors. The Egyptian Federation of Investors Associations (EFIA) and Federation of Egyptian Industries had also expressed concerns that penalties for customs evasions laid out in the legislation are too severe.

On Your Way Out

American actor Owen Wilson arrived in Egypt for the closing of the Gouna Film Festival. He didn’t jet off to the Red Sea until he’d had some fun in Cairo first, though, going on

a tour of the city guided by Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat herself. Twitter has it all.

81-year-old American comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced yesterday to 3-10 years in prison for [redacted] assault, reports CNN. Andrea Constand had filed a lawsuit against Cosby accusing him of drugging and assaulting her back in 2004. Following Constand’s suit, over 60 other women came forward with similar claims. Cosby denied both the allegations and the charges, but the final verdict placed him on an offenders list and he will undergo psychological counseling during his prison time. He began his stand-up comedy career in the 1960s and starred in dozens of films and TV productions.

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): 14,359 (+1.1%)
Turnover: EGP 639 mn (15% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -4.4%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 index ended Tuesday’s session up 1.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.0%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Egyptian Iron and Steel up 8.0%, Egyptian Resorts up 5.7%, and SODIC up 4.3%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were EFG Hermes down 1.6%, Orascom Construction down 1.6%, and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals down 1.3%. The market turnover was EGP 639 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -17.8 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +15.7 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +2.1 mn

Retail: 52.7% of total trades | 54.8% of buyers | 50.5% of sellers
Institutions: 47.3% of total trades | 45.2% of buyers | 49.5% of sellers

Foreign: 24.1% of total | 22.7% of buyers | 25.5% of sellers
Regional: 7.6% of total | 8.9% of buyers | 6.4% of sellers
Domestic: 68.3% of total | 68.4% of buyers | 68.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 71.92 (-0.50%)
Brent: USD 81.45 (-0.51%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.08 MMBtu, (-0.16%, Oct 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,205.60/ troy ounce (+0.04%)

TASI: 7,905.27 (+1.76%) (YTD: +9.40%)
ADX: 4,891.79 (+0.06%) (YTD: +11.22%)
DFM: 2,754.04 (+0.03%) (YTD: -18.28%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,339.96 (+1.09%)
QE: 9,713.42 (-0.19%) (YTD: +13.96%)
MSM: 4,485.43 (+0.72%) (YTD: -12.04%)
BB: 1,355.34 (-0.06%) (YTD: +1.77%)

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Calendar

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

26-27 September (Wednesday-Thursday) The Egyptian Factoring Association (EFA) will host a workshop on “Factoring as a tool for financing SME’s,” The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo 1113 Corniche El Nil, Cairo.

26-30 September (Wednesday-Sunday): 2018 Automech Formula car expo, Cairo International Convention Center, Nasr City, 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.

03-06 November (Saturday-Tuesday): World Youth Forum 2018, Maritim Jolie Ville Golf Course, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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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