Sunday, 11 November 2018

Inflation accelerates in October

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

It’s interest rate week in Egypt as the central bank’s monetary policy committee prepares to meet on Thursday to review rates.

It’s also global entrepreneurship week, a favorite around these parts: As longtime readers know, our origin story includes a stint during which we were working to launch a print magazine about entrepreneurship — which we had planned to debut in February 2011. We’ll be running entrepreneur-focused Worth Readings and Worth Watchings all week.

Other highlights of what looks set to be a busy week:

  • The Egypt M&A and Private Equity Forum will take place on Wednesday;
  • EBRD is holding a conference on opportunities for consultancies in digitalization, running Wednesday and Thursday at the Marriott Mena House Hotel. Among the topics: “How digitally mature are your clients? And what can you do differently to compete in a digital world? But what if there’s more to Big Data than just volume? And what about digital security, company culture or infrastructure limitations? What even is a smart contract?”
  • The state could announce this week how it will dispose of up to 10 mn sqm of “unused” state land. Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik had suggested he would announce by mid-month the date for the first auction under the program;
  • The Criminal Procedures Act could make it to the floor of the House if the Constitutional and Legislative Committee finalizes its review this week as expected;
  • A UN Biodiversity Conference gets underway in Sharm on Thursday and runs through 29 November with plenty of high-profile attendees.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The guns fell silent at 11am on 11 November 1918. World leaders have gathered in France today for the occasion. Start with the New York Times’ archive of photos “unpublished for 100 years” marking the “joy of war’s end.” The story is front and center in the Wall Street Journal, while Bloomberg Opinion looks at how the strategic, technological and medical breakthroughs” of the war live on. Meanwhile, it was in the Middle East that the British during the First World War “invented the military technologies and techniques that inspired the tactics of WWII,” Slate explains.

Brent crude is now in bear market territory, closing below USD 70 / bbl on Friday, a 20% drop from the four-year highs it hit just a month ago, the Financial Times reports. The close came as “OPEC and its allies gathered in Abu Dhabi amid signs that they’ll consider cutting production next year,” Bloomberg adds.

Speaking of oil: Apache founder Raymond Plank has died at age 96. Plank started the company in 1954 with two friends and built “the Houston-based company into a global energy company and financial innovator,” says Reuters. Plank was a Second World War bomber pilot and Yale grad with a penchant for colorful language. Apache is a leading independent oil company in Egypt, where it produces about 153k barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Admit ignorance, part I: What the hell happened to Brazil? Read this if you, like us, are ready to confess you’ve paid so little attention to what’s happened in Brazil in the past couple of years that all you know is voters there recently “chose [as president] someone who appears to be an actual fascist.” That’s Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman’s starting point for an explanation of how “a nation that had been on an upward trajectory, that seemed to have shaken off the legacy of instability, suffered a terrible recession and is experiencing a very slow recovery.” (Read)

Admit ignorance, part II: What’s going on in Palestine? We’re also admitting this morning that it took a piece in the New York Times to break down for us how, exactly, it is that Egypt, Israel and Qatar are working in the same direction to stabilize Gaza in a series of moves that are driving the Palestinian Authority bonkers.

We’re not alone: Israeli businesses are as desperate for tech talent as we are — so much so that they’re now hiring Palestinians in the West Bank, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Nights as bland as last night make us yearn for the days when Lamees Al Hadidi ruled the airwaves. There is no other way of putting it.

Ration card holders with incorrect or incomplete personal information on file will be purged from welfare rolls this month, Social Solidarity Minister Ali El Moselhy warned on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 5:53). The minister also said that those who have traveled abroad without notifying the ministry to suspend their subsidy allocations will be fined upon their return to Egypt (watch, runtime: 3:38). El Moselhy explained the broad strokes of the country’s subsidy system to host Reham Ibrahim, and stressed that efficient distribution is the key to its success (watch, runtime: 3:36).

Canceled concert raises questions about “mahraganat” and “maintaining public decorum”: A dispute between mahraganat (electroshaabi) singers Hammo Bika and Magdy Shatta that began on social media made its way to Masaa DMC after Bika’s planned Friday concert in Alexandria was reportedly canceled by authorities for “distorting the public’s taste.” Musicians Syndicate head Hany Shaker said the singer is not allowed to host concerts because he is not a syndicate member — and also took a moment to lambast mahraganat music. Film critic Tarek El Shennawy got in on the action, saying that public taste cannot and should not be regulated (watch, runtime: 13:45).

Al Ahly FC’s loss to Tunisia’s Esperance had El Hekaya’s Amr Adib channeling his inner Abla Kamel. The host said Al Ahly’s loss was deserved, since the Egyptian team’s performance was not up to par (watch, runtime: 3:11). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hossary also hosted a roundtable discussion on the match with the former national team coach Diaa El Sayed and sports critic Ihab El Khatib (watch, runtime: 4:40).

An Egyptian woman living in Kuwait was allegedly assaulted by Kuwaiti nationals, leading to her hospitalization. Kuwaiti authorities are currently investigating the case, Masaa DMC reports (watch, runtime: 8:25).

Speed Round

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Inflation accelerates again in October: Annual headline inflation rose to 17.5% in October, up from 16% the previous month, CAPMAS data showed (pdf). The state statistics agency attributed the rise to increases in vegetable prices and school fees. Monthly headline inflation also rose last month, coming in at 2.8% against 2.5% in September.

Accelerating inflation means no rate cuts in the near future: The central bank’s monetary policy committee is set to meet this Thursday, 15 November to review interest rates. Analysts had said last month that the central bank is unlikely to cut interest rates, particularly in light of the emerging markets sell-off, rising global oil prices, and impending fuel subsidy cuts here at home. The Institute of International Finance also predicted that monetary easing will not resume before 2019, when it expects headline inflation to decline to below 10%. The CBE had previously said that it expects inflation to come in at c.13% in 4Q2018 before dropping to the single digits over the course of next year “after the temporary effect of fiscal supply shock dissipates.”

Has the EU rejected Egypt’s proposal to delay 0% customs duties on car imports? Egypt will cut tariffs on European cars to zero starting from January 1, 2019, under a trade agreement between Egypt and the European Union, EU Ambassador to Egypt Ivan Surkos reportedly said on Thursday, according to Youm7. The government apparently confirmed at a meeting of European-Egyptian Partnership Committee that tariffs would fall to zero, Surkos said.

Background: The report doesn’t make clear whether the EU rejected a Trade and Industry Ministry proposal — revealed to us by government officials — to delay 0% customs on EU cars for another 1-2 years, or whether the ministry decided to pull the proposal. Sources had told us that there is a strong possibility that the EU would accept the request.

The Finance Ministry hasn’t yet been officially notified that customs are to fall to zero on 1 January, Magdy Abdel Aziz, an advisor to the finance minister on customs affairs, said on Masaa DMC yesterday. The notice may not arrive until one week before the decision comes into effect, he noted (watch, runtime: 13:28). Abdel Aziz neither confirmed nor denied the Youm7 report.

Where do things stand with the automotive directive? The idea of delaying the customs cut came after it was revealed that the government was overhauling the stalled automotive directive law — legislation that would give incentives to local assemblers to move up the value chain to manufacturing in return for tax breaks that would give them an ongoing price edge against EU, Turkish and Moroccan-made imports. Sources had told us that the government was reworking the incentives system in the law from a general, nationwide system to a program of auto freezones.

Is Ghana going to get an automotive directive before us? Ghana pledged to draw up a policy that will govern a future automotive sector as it looks to attract some of the biggest names in the global industry, Bloomberg reports. “The auto policy will be in place before the end of the year,” Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen said last Tuesday. The pledge was part of an agreement with Nissan Motors to build an assembly and manufacturing plant in Ghana, which has signed agreements with Volkswagen AG and China’s Sinotruk International in the last three months. A number of auto companies had said they would consider opening plants in Egypt should the automotive directive be approved. The Ghana auto industry policy is one of several on the continent, which has helped turn Africa into an auto manufacturing hub, as noted by the Wall Street Journal.

Egypt reform story still in “fairly early” stage, says Exotix Partners’ Malik: Egypt’s reform story is still in a fairly early stage as the country looks to capitalize on the strong start of the reform process, said Hasnain Malik, global head of equity research at emerging markets-focused investment bank Exotix Partners. We have a couple of years to go before these reforms — particularly legislative changes — become primary drivers for the performance of Egyptian equities, said Malik. Right now, the Egypt story is all about interest rates, which Malik believes will remain high given ongoing turbulence in global emerging markets. Interest rates have the firm gravitating towards financial stocks, including CIB.

Have we weathered the EM storm? We may have seen the worst of both a much stronger USD and higher oil prices, said Malik. More importantly, however, the market has correctly distinguished over the course of the summer between those few emerging markets that do have extreme external vulnerability — and the bulk of emerging and frontier markets that don’t, he tells Bloomberg TV (watch, runtime: 3:48).

EXCLUSIVE- EGP-denominated int’l bond issuance isn’t happening during the next two fiscal years: The Madbouly Cabinet is not planning to issue EGP-denominated bonds on the international market during the current or next fiscal year, a top government official tells Enterprise. A Bloomberg report from last month had claimed that an EGP-denominated bond issuance on the international market was in the cards to encourage overseas inflows and curb the cost of borrowing. Sources had said at the time that investors would purchase the bonds in USD but the principal and interest would be payable in EGP, “which means the buyer bears the risk of any fluctuation in the exchange rate.” An EGP-denominated issuance could happen at a later, more suitable time, our source said. The Finance Ministry is looking to diversify its funding with an eye to capping borrowing over the next four years at USD 20 bn.

FinMin to seek this month a manager for its upcoming eurobond issuance: The Finance Ministry will hold sometime this month a tender to select the investment bank that will manage a sale of USD 4-7 bn worth of JPY-, RMB-, and USD-denominated eurobonds it plans to issue early next year, according to the source, who did not disclose when the winning bid would be announced. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has previously suggested the offering could go to market sometime in 1Q2019.

S&P Global Ratings has affirmed Egypt’s sovereign credit rating at B and its outlook at stable on the back of a “more competitive exchange rate, improving macro fundamentals and rising domestic gas production,” the ratings agency said in a statement on Friday. S&P expects fiscal challenges to remain under control and sees government debt gradually declining. “The stable outlook balances our expectation that Egypt’s current account deficits will now stay as a smaller percentage of GDP and that growth prospects will remain strong, against risks of fiscal slippages and an increase in the high stock of relatively short-dated government debt issued at high interest rates,” the firm said. S&P said it could raise the rating to positive if the country’s economic growth exceeded its expectations or if Egypt somehow works out a way to reduce its financing needs or government debt.

Egypt’s rating could risk a downwards revision if the plans to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio are “derailed by fiscal slippages, higher borrowing costs, more pronounced currency depreciation than expected, or if foreign exchange reserve levels were to fall significantly.” A deterioration in the security environment and, by extension, investments and tourism, would also result in negative pressure on Egypt’s rating, it said.

Tourism Ministry to launch private equity fund, introduce legislation to overhaul sector: The government is looking into establishing a private equity fund to upgrade Egypt’s hotels and resorts and make new investments in the sector, Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat told Bloomberg TV in an interview out Thursday. The move would be part of a comprehensive sector strategy, called “E-Trip” that would include new legislation for the industry that would be introduced to the House of Representatives. The sector reform strategy would also include administrative reforms, and one of its most high-profile planks will include the 2020 launch of the USD 1 bn Grand Egyptian Museum.

Expect more details by the end of the month. That’s when Al Mashat plans to make a statement to the House on the future of the sector.

Expect tourism arrivals to be (nearly) back to 2010 figures by year’s end: The number of tourists arriving to Egypt jumped 40% in 9M2018 from a year earlier, Al Mashat said. “We expect that by the end of 2018 we will not be at the levels that we’ve seen in 2010, but we are approaching that,” she added. “The rebound is quite steep and we’re trying to put the industry on a competitive base compared to our peers.” She noted that 8 mn tourists visited Egypt in 2017. Egypt is looking to diversify its inbound markets by targeting holidaymakers from Asia and Latin America.

You can watch the full interview here (runtime: 5:04).

Thomas Cook says demand for Egypt is rising: Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser reportedly told Al Mashat that demand for Egypt is rising among Thomas Cook’s global customer base. Al Mashat met Fankhauser to discuss working together on future campaigns with an eye toward the Chinese and Eastern European markets. The two met on the sidelines of the World Travel Market (WTM) in London. Al Mashat also discussed aspects of the ministry’s destination branding strategy in Egypt and its charter flights incentives, according to Al Shorouk. The minister had also met with a number of UK members of parliament, travel company executives and other dignitaries at the WTM, the newspaper notes.

“Few” investor complaints to FRA were those who “lost” on Sarwa IPO says Beltone’s El Sahrawy: Beltone Financial Investment Banking head Sobhy El Sahrawy said he was unaware how many investors complained to the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) about alleged irregularities in the Sarwa Capital IPO, but said it was unlikely there were more than four investors, whom he described as “having lost on the transaction.” He reiterated that there were no irregularities by Beltone during the IPO, saying that the FRA’s six-month suspension of IPO activity came as a shock. He told Reuters last week that the investment banking arm currently has 10 mandates for IPOs and M&As signed. The FRA had put in place the suspension over what it alleges as “irregularities” during the Sarwa IPO. Sources had said later that the FRA investigation had been prompted by investor complaints and not the 11% dip in price of Sarwa’s shares during its first day of training.

Proposed amendments to Mineral Resources Act get praise from industry: Canada’s Aton Resources has praised the Madbouly government’s approval of long-awaited amendments to the Mineral Resources Act that could be passed by year’s end, it said in a statement. Aton believes the effect that these changes will have on investment in exploration and mining will be significant: “The scrapping of the [production sharing agreement], for a transparent tax, rent and royalty system, along with getting rid of the requirement for a 50:50 joint venture with EMRA, should be of great interest to exploration companies all around the world,” said Aton President and CEO Mark Campbell. The Madbouly cabinet announced the decision on Wednesday, without providing details on the amendments.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Oil Ministry expects USD 10 bn in new oil and gas investment during current fiscal year. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said on Saturday that his ministry expects some USD 10 bn in new investment in the sector in 2018-19. The figure includes both funding for both exploration and production activities. The minister said high appetite among international oil companies (IOCs) for Egyptian opportunities underscores their confidence in Egypt’s improved investment climate. The minister expects IOCs to bid in an upcoming sale of exploration blocks in the Red Sea region, saying it would be the first time blocks would be on offer in that region.

Government reaches settlement in dispute arising from 2011 unwinding of privatization sale: Al Kholoud for Touristic and Real Estate Development has reached a EGP 600 mn settlement agreement with the government in its 2013 arbitration case against the Egyptian Petrochemical Holding Company and Metallurgical Holding Company. Al Kholoud had filed a case against the two state-owned companies following a dispute caused by the Council of State’s decision in 2011 to reverse several privatization transactions from the 1990s, including one that included the sale of the companies’ steam boilers facility (Al Maragel Al Bokhareya) in 1994. The Madbouly Cabinet signed off on the settlement agreement last week.

Advisers: Youssef & Partners’ arbitration team acted as legal counsel for Al Kholoud and brokered the settlement agreement. The State Lawsuits Authority represented the Egyptian government in the case.

MOVES- Omar Sherif (LinkedIn) has been named partner at Shalakany Law Office, the firm announced (pdf). Sherif, who has been with Shalakany for nine years, is a corporate law specialist with a focus on capital markets and mergers and acquisitions.

Egypt to purchase frigates from Germany in USD 1.14 bn transaction: Egypt has signed a c.USD 1.14 bn order for two Meko 200 frigates with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems , German newspaper Handelsblatt cited sources as saying, according to Reuters. The two sides are still working out equipment details and financing.

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What we’re tracking this week and beyond

The government will auction off EUR 675 mn in one-year treasury bills tomorrow, the central bank said, according to Reuters. The auction will be settled on 13 November with a minimum bid of 100k face value.

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration-sponsored Sharm El Sheikh VII conference will take place between 9-10 December in Egypt Hall, SOHO Square, Sharm El Sheikh.

Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the news is the discovery by archaeologists of a rare collection of mummified scarab beetles, cat statues, and a pristine Fifth Dynasty tomb with an unusually intact facade and door, according to Reuters. The discoveries were among seven tombs unearthed over the past six months on the edge of the King Userkaf pyramid complex in Saqqara, south of Cairo. The tombs were in a buried ridge that has been only partially uncovered, which could point to more discoveries in the future.

Brazil may be reconsidering the relocation of its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem after Egypt cancelled a scheduled visit from Brazilian diplomats last week — and as the South American nation ponders losing its position as a major meat exporter to the Middle East,according to Reuters. Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro said his final decision on the move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is still undecided. The decision is expected to be a major concern to other Islamic nations, to whom Brazil exports to over USD 5 bn of halal meat per year.

On Deadline

Foreign direct investment is the key to getting Egypt out of its debt trap, Mahmoud Al-Alayli writes for Al Masry Al Youm. Tapping global debt markets was inevitable as the government implemented austerity measures and economic reforms, but now attracting FDI should be the way we look to end the vicious cycle of borrowing. FDI will not come through government conventions or exhibitions, but by making Egypt genuinely investor-friendly. This is not impossible, Al-Alayli writes, but requires laws and policies that fully embrace free market principles to allow industries to thrive.

Worth Reading

The costs of entrepreneurship without a safety net: There is a serious lack of cultural awareness of the risks associated with starting a business without having the safety net afforded by traditional employment, argues Cal Halvorsen in an op-ed in Fast Company. According to data from the US Small Business Administration (pdf), only about half of all firms survive to their fifth birthdays. Those that do stay in business, entrepreneurs often lack health insurance, according to the US Treasury Department (pdf). Only 8% of entrepreneurs contribute to a retirement plan in a single year. “Those who have higher levels of assets, spouses who have steady jobs, or families with a modicum of wealth are in a better place to start a business. If their ventures fail, they have something to fall back on,” says Halvorsen.

The risks are especially high for older entrepreneurs: The risks of a failed business is especially acute for entrepreneurs near the age of retirement. For retirees who move back into the labor force through entrepreneurship, their non-pension wealth often declines, according to a paper from the RAND Corporation (pdf). Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurs earn less on average than those employed by someone else, according to a study published in the Journal of Political Economy. “With less time to make up for losses, the risks associated with entrepreneurship inherently increase with age.”

How does one go about setting a social safety net for entrepreneurs? On the national policy side, Halvorsen argues for widening access to universal healthcare and social insurance programs. A 2011 study found that single women with no access to health insurance coverage were 10% less likely to be self-employed, while another found that expanding food stamp eligibility in the US helped increase business ownership 16% for newly eligible households. Halvorsen also cites legislation in the US that would have created a way for entrepreneurs to collectively pay into an employment benefits fund for them. Perhaps our great grandchildren can have the same policy debate here in Egypt.

Worth Watching

Going to university doesn’t necessarily translate into a bigger paycheck or a greater certainty of employment, according to the Economist. In fact, you might be missing out on making USD 60,000 while pursuing a standard four-year degree. The educational bar has consistently been rising, making degrees a standard requirement for jobs that once had completely different educational standards: In the 1970s, only 16% of registered nurses in the US had bachelor degrees. Despite rising to 60% in 2015, the new figure did not yield a higher wage for all. The trend also holds for the majority of other fields of employment: “Over the past 50 years, nearly half have seen wages fall in real terms.”

Uncertain future: With the advent of artificial intelligence, automation, big data and fintech, the job market will witness be disrupted, while the rise of short, work-focused courses in fast growing fields, such as IT, will provide long term training for employees, without the need for paying so much on university tuition fees (watch, runtime: 3:01).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt has inked a port cooperation protocol with Ukraine, one of its top suppliers of wheat, the Maritime Executive reports, saying the two sides signed in Kyiv on 2 November a memorandum of understanding between the ports of Alexandria and Damietta and the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority. The MoU will see the formation of a working group to look at how to drive integration along a key route for grain shipments to Egypt.

Egypt’s new ambassador to Sudan Hossam Eissa arrived in Khartoum on Saturday to assume his duties. Eissa’s post begins as Egypt and Sudan have been working to de-escalate tensions between the two countries over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which have yet to reach a breakthrough, and trade.

Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel, Khaled Azmi, was “greeted effusively in Arabic” by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, the Jerusalem Post notes, explaining that Azmi presented his credentials to Israel’s head of state.

The situation in Libya featured heavily in a call between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, according to an Ittihadiya statement. El Sisi reiterated Egypt’s view that a political resolution is the only way forward for Libya.

GAFI VP meets China Development Bank to discuss increasing Chinese investments: General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Executive Vice President Mohamed Abdel Wahab met on Friday with the regional director of the China Development Bank (CDB) to discuss a potential agreement to increase Chinese investments in Egypt, as reported by Al Mal. The two met during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, and discussed increasing cooperation between Cairo and Beijing. Last week, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly met with several Chinese companies during the CIIE.

Energy

EGPC considering USD 750 mn loan from abroad

The Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC) is considering borrowing USD 750 mn from abroad, Amwal Al Ghad reports. EGPC had tapped HSBC in July to arrange a USD 1 bn syndicated loan, which would partially be used to pre-pay EGPC cargo deliveries. No agreement was reached on the facility.

Infrastructure

Egypt’s SCZone signs agreement with Sesco trans to operate piers in canal

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) has signed an agreement with port operator Sesco Trans to operate new piers in the canal zone area, SCZone Chairman Mohab Mamish said, without revealing details of the agreement. The SCZone is also in talks with shipping lines CMA and PSA to operate in the port of east Port Said.

Cairo Metro Line 3 management temporarily assigned to Egyptian Company for Metro Maintenance

The Transport Ministry has reportedly decided to temporarily assign the management contract of Cairo Metro Line 3 to the Egyptian Company for Metro Maintenance and Operation. Negotiations with France’s RATP over the management contract had halted, which prompted the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) to make its temporary decision. If negotiations with RATP are not completed by the time the second phase of the third metro line is inaugurated next year, NAT will review other foreign bids for the contracts.

Health + Education

Second batch of educational tablets received by Education Ministry

Samsung has delivered the second batch of its educational tablets to the Education Ministry, Al Ahram reports. The company delivered last month the first batch of 250k tablets to the ministry, out of a total 1 mn tablets for USD 240 mn.

Tourism

Romania preliminarily approves resuming flights to Egypt’s Red Sea destinations

Romania has agreed in principle to resume direct flights to and from Red Sea destinations following a four-year hiatus, Egyptian-Romanian Business Council vice chairman Amina Fahmy said, according to Youm7. The issue was a point of discussion with tourism companies at the Egyptian-Romanian Business Council meetings in Bucharest last month. Egypt was hoping for direct flights between Cairo and Bucharest to resume this month, after they were halted following the downing of the Russian airliner over Sinai in 2015.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Madbouly issues decree to form SME Development Authority’s BoD

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly issued a decision on Saturday outlining the regulations for the establishment of the SME Development Authority’s board of directors. The board will be mandated with developing and approving the authority’s policies, and will also cooperate and coordinate with independent regulatory bodies, such as the CBE and the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), to ensure their effective implementation.

House Rep. withdraws draft law on niqab ban in Egypt after wide criticism

House Rep. Ghada Agamy has withdrawn a draft law to ban the niqab in the public sector workplace after the proposal was widely rejected within the House, according to Masrawy. Agamy pulled back from her decision on Thursday, saying she did not want to “create a rift in society.” She had proposed the idea last month after Algeria introduced a similar ban, saying that Egypt’s current security situation necessitates “decisive action.”

Egypt convicts 65 on terror charges, allegiance to Daesh

An Egyptian court handed down on Thursday prison sentences to 65 people on charges of establishing a terrorist group and declaring allegiance to Daesh, Youm7 reports. The court handed down life sentences to 18 of the defendants, while 41 were sentenced to 15 years in prison and another six to five years each. The prosecutors said the group set up cells in six provinces and received training on firearms and explosives. The sentences can be appealed.

National Security

Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan to establish joint border protection force !_StoryTags_! Sudan, security, defense, GERD, border protection

Sudan is planning to establish separate joint border protection forces with each of Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia, Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf said, according to Sudan Tribune. Egypt and Sudan reached a military cooperation agreement in August to work together on border security and anti-terrorism operations.

Sports

Egypt’s Hedaya Malak wins silver in Croatia Open 2018

Egyptian taekwondo player Hedaya Malak clinched a silver medal on Saturday in the 76 kg women’s category during the 24th Croatia Open 2018 in Zagreb, according to Youm7.

Egypt’s Pharaohs on a winning streak during Arab Men’s Basketball Championships

Egypt’s national basketball team was on a winning streak at the 23rd Arab Men’s Basketball Championship over the weekend. The Pharaohs beat Algeria 69-62 at the opening match last Thursday, Egypt Today reports, went on to to win their Friday match against the UAE 82-69, and finally beat Bahrain last night 61-55. The championship runs from November 7th to the 17th at the Cairo International Stadium and is followed by the African qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

On Your Way Out

Egyptian public policy center wins USD 100k Atlas Network award: Atlas Network has selected the Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS) as this year’s winner of its USD 100k Templeton Freedom Award for its “Better Budget for a Better Egypt” initiative. Atlas Network said the initiative “helped bring about the country’s 25-point jump in the Open Budget Survey, fostered greater civic engagement, and occurred amidst the Egyptian government’s decision to cut all energy subsidies after 2019.”

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 (Thursday): 13,733 (+0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 959 mn (32% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -8.6%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 0.9% CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.7% EGX30’s top performing constituents were Arab Cotton Ginning up 5.2%, and Ezz Steel up 3.6% and Egyptian Iron & Steel up 2.6%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were AMOC down 2.3%, Qalaa Holdings down 2.0% and EGF Hermes down 1.0%. The market turnover was EGP 959 mn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -8.7 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -20.9 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +29.7 mn

Retail: 73.0% of total trades | 71.8% of buyers | 74.2% of sellers
Institutions: 27.0% of total trades | 28.2% of buyers | 25.8% of sellers

Foreign: 11.1% of total | 10.7% of buyers | 11.6% of sellers
Regional: 7.2% of total | 6.1% of buyers | 8.3% of sellers
Domestic: 81.7% of total | 83.2% of buyers | 80.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 60.19 (-0.79%)
Brent: USD 70.18 (-0.67%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.72 MMBtu, (+4.97%, December 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,208.60 / troy ounce (-1.35%)

TASI: 7,743.39 (-0.63%) (YTD: +7.16%)
ADX: 5,028.75 (+0.25%) (YTD: +14.33%)
DFM: 2,825.86 (-0.12%) (YTD: -16.15%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,299.28 (+0.12%)
QE: 10,368.17 (+1.13%) (YTD: +21.64%)
MSM: 4,491.34 (+1.02%) (YTD: -11.92%)
BB: 1,313.21 (-0.23%) (YTD: -1.39%)

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Calendar

13-29 November (Tuesday-Thursday): UN Biodiversity Conference, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

14 November (Wednesday): Egypt M&A and Private Equity Forum, Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

14-15 November (Wednesday-Thursday) Digitalisation: opportunities for innovation in consultancy, Marriott Mena House Hotel, Cairo, Egypt

15 November (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.15 November (Thursday)

15 November (Thursday):  The T20 Invest in Healthcare Conference 2018, Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

17-19 November (Saturday-Monday): ElectricX-Energizing The Industry, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

20 November (Tuesday): Prophet’s Birthday (TBC), national holiday.

22 November (Thursday): US Thanksgiving.

End of November: A delegation from the Egypt-Greece Business Council will visit Athens at the end of November to promote investment, the council’s chairman, Hani Berzi, said.

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.

09-10 December (Sunday-Monday): Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration’s Sharm El Sheikh VII conference, Egypt Hall, SOHO Square, Sharm El Sheikh

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

13-15 December (Thursday-Saturday): Forum on “ The Role of Digital Financial Communication and Solutions in Enhancing Financial Inclusion,” Sharm El Sheikh, 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.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2018 Enterprise Ventures LLC.