Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Mubadala buys 20% interest in Nour offshore concession


What We’re Tracking Today

An EBRD report due out today will give Egypt a lower policymaking score this year than it did last year, according to Reuters, which claims EBRD will put Egypt in the same basket as Jordan, Latvia and Estonia. The EBRD’s annual “transition” report “scores the progress of countries in six areas from competitiveness and resilience to the way they are governed.” This year’s report is due out at around 6pm CLT. The Work in Transition section is now online (pdf), and the full 2017 edition is online here.

You may want to brace yourself for a some volatility today if you’re trading as negative sentiment in the United States and Asia looks set to spill over into regional and European markets. Wall Street shares skidded yesterday after fears we may have reached Peak iPhone set up a selloff in tech shares that began with Apple. Concerns at GE (which may need to sell off assets) and Goldman Sachs (which is being roiled by its apparent role in the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia) also hurt the market, and the edginess spilled over to Asia this morning. The FT and Bloomberg are essential reading on the state of play.

Oil is sliding downward again and the USD is at a 16-month high, Reuters notes. Brent has now slid below USD 70 and The Donald is adding to the volatility by putting pressure on OPEC not to raise prices through production cuts. In the US, oil is now in its longest losing streak on record, the WSJ reports, though “on record” is a relative thing — apparently New York Mercantile Exchange data on US light, sweet crude prices goes back only to 1983.

Our friends at AmCham have invited ten US-based social media influencers and bloggers to tour Cairo, Luxor and El Gouna for seven days until Sunday, according to a press release (pdf). The visit is part of an annual activity organized by AmCham’s Travel and Tourism Committee, alongside the Tourism Ministry, to promote tourism here.

(Speaking of influencers, you know what’s apparently a thing now? “Nanoinfluencers.” As in “1k followers” nano.)

The Middle East Solar Industry Association’s two-day Solar Energy Trade Mission wraps up today at the Marriott in Zamalek.

Online banking customers are a third more profitable than traditional bank-based clients, according to the CEO of Singapore’s DBS, that nation’s largest bank. That’s one of the best takeaways from the latest installment in the FT’s ongoing “Transform” report. Read: Five ways banks are responding to the fintech threat.

If you’re a banker, you will also want to read a handful of other stories in the package:

In miscellany this morning:

Natural gas will overtake coal as the world’s second-largest energy source by 2030, according to the IEA’s for-pay-only World Energy Outlook 2018 report. Not bad news if you, like us, are sitting on plenty of the stuff. (Axios | Reuters)

Shameless plug for which we take no financial remuneration #1: Bad Blood has been named the FT Business Book of the Year. The book, which we’ve plugged before, is John Carreyrou’s “riveting account of the rise and scandalous fall of Theranos, the blood-testing company.” Read the news here or check it out here on Amazon.

Shameless plug for which we take no financial remuneration #2: You know it is end-of-year when Ovio is just days away from releasing this year’s batch of Christmas cookies. They’re due out next week, and the resident 11-year-old (among others) is excited.

Speaking of year end: How will your bonus stack up? The expectation on Wall Street is that bonuses are going to tick up for everyone this year — for everyone except M&A types, that is. According to Bloomberg, M&A advisors could see 5% less bonus comp, while others could see their bonuses rise:

  • Equities and sales trading: 15-20%
  • Private equity: 5-10%
  • Investment banking underwriting: 5-10%
  • Commercial, retail and HNW bankers: 0-5%

Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee passes away at 95. The man behind Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and countless other superheroes died yesterday at a hospital in Los Angeles, the Washington Post reports. Stan Lee was a legend whose career helped transform pop culture through comics and film. Set in realistic settings, Mr. Lee’s “full-color, morally complex heroes helped foster the revival” of the comic books genre and gave birth to industry giant Marvel. Particularly worth reading: The New York Times obituary of Mr. Lee.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s attendance of a two-day peace conference on Libya in Italy was the main topic of interest on the airwaves last night. We have the full story in Diplomacy + Foreign Trade, below.

The president will be pushing for a political solution to Libya’s civil war that would unite rival factions, Ittihadiya spokesman Bassam Rady told Masaa DMC. Rady also stressed no political resolution will be possible without the active involvement of the Egypt-backed Libyan military (watch, runtime: 2:41). El Hekaya’s Amr Adib prayed out loud for the conference to be fruitful, saying that Libya’s stability has a direct impact on Egypt’s (watch, runtime: 4:57).

Libyan factions are keen on reaching a political situation, but meddling by regional and foreign powers with “agendas” has been stalling progress, Libyan political analyst Abdel Hakim Matouk said (watch, runtime: 4:10).

Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik broke down the forthcoming amendments to the Public Enterprises Act for Hona Al Asema. Among the most significant bits of the law seeing a change are clauses pertaining to proportional representation for shareholders in public sector companies and new stipulations that would require state-owned companies to release bi-annual earnings reports to promote transparency. Under the new amendments, a company that loses its entire capital would either be liquidated or merged with another company that is faring better, according to Tawfik. The Madbouly cabinet’s economic group discussed the amendments during a meeting yesterday, according to an official statement. The changes will make their way through the full Cabinet, Council of State, and House of Representatives before coming into effect (watch, runtime: 8:55).

House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal lambasted the level of corruption in the country’s municipalities, saying during yesterday’s parliamentary session that governors have been uncooperative and unresponsive to MP requests, according to parliament spokesman Salah Hasaballah. Local Development Ministry spokesman Khaled Qassem phoned in to note that the minister himself met yesterday with MPs and discussed their questions and concerns (watch, runtime: 9:46). Hasaballah, in turn, said that ministers have been cooperative with parliament and are “keen” on responding to MPs’ briefing requests (watch, runtime: 1:06).

Easing penalties and restrictions imposed on NGOs should be key features of an amended NGOs Act, National Council of Human Rights member Hafez Abu Saeda and General Federation of NGOs Chairman Talaat Abdel Kawi said on Al Hayah Al Youm. Abu Saeda also suggested that the clauses on foreign funding should be relaxed and that, as long as the funds are monitored, they should not be banned altogether (watch, runtime: 1:42).

Mo Salah is a class act, part 937: The sculptor behind the bizarre Mo Salah statue unveiled at the World Youth Forum was apparently contacted by the footballer himself to applaud her work, she told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 1:45).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

M&A WATCH- UAE’s Mubadala buys 20% interest in Egypt’s Nour concession: The UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum has agreed to buy a 20% participating interest in Egypt’s Nour offshore concessionin North Sinai from Italy’s Eni, Reuters reports. The value of the investment was not disclosed. Eni holds an 85% stake in the concession while Tharwa Petroleum Company holds the remaining 15%. The acquisition is pending government approval, Mubadala said. Mubadala bought a 10% stake in the Shorouk concession, which holds the Zohr gas field, from Eni in a USD 934 mn transaction in June.

INVESTMENT WATCH- BP repeats nearly USD 2 bn investment pledge as Egypt budget rises: BP will invest USD 1.8 bn in Egypt next year as part of plans to expand its operations in the Middle East, CEO Bob Dudley told The National in Abu Dhabi, reiterating past pledges. “We’ve spent in the last two years USD 6.8 bn in Egypt and it will be about USD 1.8 bn next year,” Dudley said. Dudley stressed the company’s commitment to the region."We have had to step back a bit because of the BHP [acquisition] but we’ve been increasing our budgets in Oman, in Egypt,” where the company is involved in both upstream and trading activity.

INVESTMENT WATCH- EAEF to invest USD 3 mn in primary care clinic chain Dawi: The Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF) announced yesterday (pdf) that it will invest as much as USD 3 mn in primary care clinic chain Dawi Clinics and the training of its medical staff. The EAEF zeroed in on Dawi’s approach, which introduces “a new standard in outpatient care” as key to the improvement of healthcare in Egypt. EAEF “shares our vision to support the development of the Egyptian healthcare sector,” says our friend Magda Habib, CEO at Dawi, who said the outfit looks to offer “affordable, value-based healthcare for the entire country.” Funding from the EAEF will allow Dawi to “grow our chain of clinics, as well as continue to innovate our medical services,” she added.

Dawi positions itself as an answer to our complaint that we live in a land in which a “general practitioner” or “family physician” is as rare as a leprechaun riding a unicorn. Longtime readers know how bullish we are on the future of the healthcare industry, and Dawi is a player to watch.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Careem’s USD 100 mn bus service in Egypt scheduled for pilot run. Careem has invested USD 100 mn developing a bus service in Egypt, the company’s Director of Category Management Hadeer Shalaby tells Youm7, with a pilot run scheduled before the end of 2018. The ride-hailing app has previously signaled its plans to roll-out bus-hailing services in Egypt, as it combines both its technology (Careem had acquired similar Indian bus shuttle service app Commut back in September) and its experience in the Egyptian transport sector for the new service.

IPO WATCH- CIRA will eventually look to IPO its Badr City medical complex: Private-sector education provider Cairo Investment and Real Estate Development (CIRA) is hoping to eventually list its medical complex in Badr City, CEO Mohamed El Kalla said. El Kalla did not state when CIRA plans to spin-off the complex, which will operate 18 large hospitals, or when it plans to list the subsidiary. Construction will kick off in about two years.

New acquisitions coming: El Kalla said the company is also considering a number of acquisitions as part of its expansion plans and said CIRA will invest EGP 1.1 bn over coming 3-5 years, including EGP 550 mn earmarked to build eight new faculties to Badr University, EGP 300 mn to build new schools and another EGP 300 mn on building a new branch for the university. In addition to proceeds from its recent IPO, the company will use a combination of bank finance and proceeds from its exit of real estate investment to help fund its growth.

House backs legislation to tax social media ads: MPs will support the Finance Ministry’s drive to collect taxes on domestic purchases of social media advertising, said House spokesperson Salah Hassaballah, according to Al Mal. The move will require some change to legislation, the story suggests, and comes after we reported in October that the finance ministry was finding it difficult to get tech giants including Facebook and Google to take action on the issue.

Background: A ministry source told Enterprise in September that the ministry was studying how to require that ad agencies and social media companies charge and remit a 14% VAT on sales of social media adverts. Taxing non-resident tech giants for their local activities is a global issue. We’re not the part of the “raise-taxes” set, but it doesn’t seem fair that global giants are exempt from charging taxes on their wares when local players don’t enjoy the same advantages. The move comes after the Finance Ministry told us last month that it was requiring e-commerce platforms including Souq, Jumia, and OLX to charge VAT on all transactions that would be subject to VAT if sold offline

EARNINGS WATCH- GB Auto reported a consolidated net profit of EGP 240.4 mn in 3Q2018, reversing losses of EGP 138.9 mn in the same quarter last year, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). “I am particularly pleased with our Group’s performance during the quarter were our assessment of the market’s recovery has proven to be accurate,” said GB Auto CEO Raouf Ghabbour. “We are witnessing a period of shifting market dynamics with demand trends realigning to the new norm and price points. In parallel, our Group is actively working to improve sales mix at our Auto and Auto-Related segment as we seek to fully capitalize on the uptrend and extract higher value from a growing market. … Total volumes sold across the market reflected strong demand, and at our Egypt Passenger Car business volumes are increasingly shifting to higher-margin units.” One of every three cars sold in Egypt in 3Q2018 was a GB Auto vehicle; the company’s market share year-to-date stands at just shy of 30%.

Orascom Development Egypt (ODE) reported a net profit after tax of EGP 89.4 mn in 3Q2018, down from EGP 92.4 in 3Q2017, company said in its earnings release (pdf). Total revenues for 3Q2018 stood at EGP 868.1 mn, up from EGP 628.6 mnin the same period of last year.

Egypt sees foreign direct investment at USD 11.2 bn in 2022, with inflows into renewable energy opportunities contributing c. 12% of that total, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said, according to Al Mal. Egypt fell short of its annual USD 10 bn target in each of 2016 and 2017, but still remained the most attractive destination for FDI in Africa in the first half of this calendar year, with the total inflow up 24% compared to 1H2017, according to UNCTAD. State figures show FDI stood at USD 7.7 bn in the state’s 2017-18 fiscal year, down from USD 7.9 bn the previous year.

Egypt sold EUR 695.1 mn worth of EUR-denominated one-year treasury bills yesterday, central bank data shows. Yields on the bills averaged 1.75%, up from 1.6% at a similar auction in August, according to Reuters.

** 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 jobs@enterprisemea.com.


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Up Next

Amendments to Real Estate Registry Act coming: The Madbouly Cabinet is planning to introduce a bill to the House of Representatives amending the Real Estate Registry Act this week after the Egyptian Council of State completes its review, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Omar Marwan said. He did not reveal details of the amendments.

The UN Biodiversity Conference headlined “investing in biodiversity for people and the planet” will run Thursday, 13 November through to Thursday, 29 November in Sharm El Sheikh.

The Egypt M&A and Private Equity Forum will take place on Wednesday, 14 November at the Nile Ritz Carlton in Cairo.

EBRD’s conference on opportunities for consultancies in digitalization will run through 14-15 November at the Marriott Mena House Hotel.

The government will announce by mid-November the date of its first auction of ‘unused’ state land, Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik has said. As many as 10 mn sqm of state-owned land in 10 governorates will be up for sale to developers.

The Macro Picture

Why Africa is missing out on the passive investment train: Passive investing investing tools including exchange-traded funds and index funds together comprise a USD 4.9 tn industry this year thanks largely to lower management fees, limited research required, and the inability of active managers to consistently beat indices. But Africa hasn’t cashed-in on the growth because African equities are hard to reach, with global investors having minimal exposure through passive investment vehicles. The London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group attempts to look at why in a report released over the weekend (pdf).

High transaction costs and lack of liquidity among top hurdles for lack of passive investing: African markets classified as frontier suffer from very high transaction costs, which are proving to be among the top barriers for passive inflows. These, coupled with lower liquidity, has created a vicious cycle of market withdrawals. Together with infrequent new listings, the result is that markets are attract few new inflows, which in turn starves trading — causing foreign investors to stay out and prompting valuations to drop, according to the report. Other barriers to passive inflows identified by the report include a lack of understanding among African stakeholders around the benefits of a country classification upgrade and limited research coverage of African equities.

How can African policymakers overcome these barriers? Governments must make an active push towards a classification upgrade by engaging with indices and funds, the report suggests. It also calls for regulatory changes that should bring down transaction costs, including reducing stamp duties and capital gains taxes.

LSE series on African capital markets: The report is part of a series of five reports on African capital markets, which you can check out on the landing page here. These are topics that in many ways hit close to home, as the various economic ministries and policymakers look at adopting similar or related policies. They are:

  • Developing offshore local currency bond markets in Africa: The report (pdf) looks at how raising debt finance from larger offshore capital pools in local currencies is an attractive solution which mitigates an issuer’s currency risks associated with borrowing in hard currencies. Egypt had considered such a move, but decided against such an issuance in the current fiscal year.
  • Developing the green bond market in Africa: Africa will require the continent to take advantage of green capital raising tools and sources of funding, especially as studies such suggest that the continent will be more severely affected by climate change than any other, according to the report (pdf). The government is looking to issue green bonds once the regulations for them are set.
  • The challenges and opportunities of SME financing in Africa: The report (pdf) looks at how SMEs — which account for around 90% of Africa’s businesses and nearly 80% of the continent’s employment — can benefit from increased training and capacity building, a public register of companies, and supportive government policy.
  • Trends in corporate information dissemination in Africa: This one is for all the investor relations managers out there, as the report (pdf) delves into the state of investor relations communications in Africa and how the timely dissemination of company news plays a central role in the efficient functioning of financial markets.

Egypt in the News

It’s another blessedly slow news day for Egypt in the foreign press, which still has nothing noteworthy to say about us.

Worth Reading

Are millennials less entrepreneurial? In the era of Facebook, Twitter, Snap and the slew of unicorns founded by (or attractive to) millennials, we were quite surprised when we came across this piece by the FT which suggests that in fact, millenials are less entrepreneurial than their counterparts from Generation X and older. Fewer than 4% of 30-year-olds in the US reported they were in full-time self-employment compared with 5.4% of Generation X and 6.7% of Baby Boomers (defined as those born between 1944 and 1962) at the same age, according to a 2014 study by the US Small Business Administration (pdf).

They also fail more often, apparently: That’s not to say that millennials don’t have the youthful independence of previous generations — entrepreneurs aged between 20 and 35 had on average already set up twice as many businesses as those over 50, according to a 2015 report from BNP Paribas. It’s just that they fail more. “The younger generation of founders is far less likely to be successful compared with their older peers: the peak age for a founder is 45 with those in their 20s least likely to create a high-growth firm,” according to a study by US Census Bureau (pdf). In the UK, official data reflects the number of failed businesses.

You can blame the global financial crisis: The FT suggests that art of the downturn in the number of startups run by millenials might be due to an attitude averse to risk that likely took hold during the global financial crisis. US Census Bureau statistics show that startup creation dropped sharply since 2008 and has yet to recover to pre-crisis levels. “Millennials do suffer from a lack of confidence,” said Ana Bakshi, who heads the new Oxford Foundry project, a hub program at Oxford university.

There’s hope in future generations: But there is a change in attitude that is being reflected in younger millennials: 15% of incoming students reported an interest in becoming entrepreneurs in October 2016; according to a study from Oxford university careers service. Almost a year later, the figure had risen to 19%. “There’s a marked increase — a significant difference between age groups,” says Robert Osborne of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, a think-tank in London. “Before people may have started companies in their late 20s but were not getting to scale until their late 30s. In the past 18 months we’ve had lots of young millennials — around 20 to 25,” said Emma-Jane Packe, managing director of the Supper Club, a networking group for scale-up businesses. That could be because younger entrepreneurs are scaling up their businesses quicker.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Palermo, Italy, for a two-day conference to discuss a UN-backed Libya stabilization plan, Ittihadiya said in a statement. Gen. Haftar Khalifa, the Egypt- and UAE-backed military commander who controls eastern Libya, also arrived in Palermo yesterday to attend the gathering, according to Reuters. This marks Haftar’s first official meeting with the Tripoli-based rival Prime Minister Fayez Al Sarraj since a Paris-hosted summit last May, in which the two agreed to hold national elections on December 10 administered by the UN. Last week, UN Envoy Ghassan Salame officially abandoned the planned elections in favour of this summit, which he said will center around the questions of economic reform and security.

Egypt chaired the coordinative meeting of the foreign affairs and environment ministries of The Group of 77 and China, which took place in Cairo last Friday and Saturday, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. The ministeries discussed their respective country’s position and role in combating climate change. This came ahead of the Conference of the Parties 24 (COP 24) meeting, which is scheduled between 2-14 December in Poland, and will be laying down a course of action for developing countries who are parties in the Paris Agreement. The G77 group handed over its chairmanship to Egypt last January.


Egypt-Saudi interconnection operational by 2020, not next 2022

“The USD 1.6 bn Egypt-Saudi power grid will be operational in 2020,” head of the studies and design sector at the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) Lamya Youssef said, according to Al Mal. The project, on which talks resumed after a halt period, was slated for inauguration in 2020, with trial runs set for next year, but was reportedly pushed to 2022 after Saudi’s USD 500 bn Neom City mega project derailed the plans. The contracts were also expected to be inked last summer, in time for the selection of the winning tender bid.

Rockhoppers begins Jahraa 6 oil production in Egypt’s Abu Sennan concession

UK’s Rockhopper Exploration began production from its Jahraa 6 oil well in the Western Desert’s Abu Sennan concession, bringing the concession to 3,800 bopd, the company said in a statement (pdf). Rockhopper has a 22% interest in the concession and is owed arrears of USD c. 1.9 mn from the EGPC, the company was sure to note. The company said last year its operations in Egypt are stable and is continuing to see reductions in its arrears.


FinMin to launch 6 October dry port PPP tender by early 2019

The Finance Ministry will launch the public-private partnership (PPP) tender for the c. USD 110 mn 6 October dry port by early next year, head of the ministry’s PPP unit Ater Hanoura told Amwal Al Ghad. The project is comprised of cargo zones, customs clearance offices, and multipurpose storage facilities and will be linked to Egypt’s key seaports to expand international shipping. The tender was supposed to have launched this quarter after the government announced the three qualified bidders, and the results were expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Egypt to begin exporting fruits and vegetables to Japan

Egypt will begin exporting fruits and vegetables to Japan after quarantine officials from both countries reached an agreement on quality and safety standards, Agriculture Minister Ezzedin Abou Steit said, according to the State Information Service. Crops set for export include potatoes, garlic, watermelons and dates. Agriculture officials have been targeting new export markets lately and are eyeing countries in East Asia as potential export markets for products include dates, grapes, and pomegranates.


Tourism Ministry considering three mechanisms in establishing private equity fund to upgrade hotels

The Tourism Ministry is considering three scenarios for the upgrade of Egypt’s hotels and resorts through its planned private equity fund, unnamed sources told Al Mal. The scenarios include the fund fully acquiring hotels and developing a plan to increase revenues; partially acquiring hotel shares and using dividends to pay off its debts; and hiring an international management company to take the lead on the process. The move would be part of a comprehensive sector strategy, called “E-Trip,” that would include new legislation for the industry, which is set to be officially proposed to the House of Representatives at the end of the month.

Banking + Finance

SMEs authority in talks with WB for USD 200 mn loan to fund Egypt SMEs

The SME Development Authority is in talks with the World Bank for a USD 200 mn loan to finance new projects, authority head Nevine Gamea tells Amwal Al Ghad. The authority is expecting to reach a final agreement by year-end. We had noted last month that the government had approached the bank for a USD 200 mn loan focused on youth- and women-led SMEs. The authority is also in talks with Germany’s state-owned development bank KfW to provide a USD 100 mn loan to fund SMEs in the country, the authority’s planning head Tarek Shash said, according to Masrawy. The loan is expected to be disbursed in 2019.

Beltone’s Auerbach Graysonnamed “Best Performing Broker in Africa”

Beltone Financial’s New York-based brokerage subsidiary Auerbach Grayson & Company has been named “Best Performing Broker in Africa” for Africa Investor’s 2018 Index Series Awards at NASDAQ Marketsite for the fifth time, it said in a press release (pdf). Auerbach Grayson & Company opened its first international office in London in June as part of its global expansion drive.

Other Business News of Note

Carbon Holdings’ USD 11 bn petrochemicals projects gets spotlight in the African Investment Forum

Carbon Holdings showcased its USD 11 bn Tahrir Petrochemicals Complex (TPC) at the African Investment Forum in Johannesburg last week, it said in a statement. “The Africa Investment Forum represents an important opportunity for us to exhibit our proposed circa USD 11 bn TPC polyolefins plant as an example of a megaproject that is not only potentially transformational for Egypt alone but for the whole of Africa,” said Carbon Holdings Chairman and CEO Basil El Baz.

Modus Capital plans to fund 10 ICT startups in the next 12 months

New York-based Modus Capital intends to fund 10 ICT startups in the coming year, Modus’ founder and CEO Kareem Elsirafy told Al Mal. Having recently launched in Egypt, the entrepreneurial venture capital firm is planning to expand in the second quarter of 2019 to Dubai. Modus is currently in the process of reaching agreements with three startups working in the fields of social media, health IT and smart software solutions, each of which will receive USD 100-250k in funding in exchange for non-controlling stakes.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Former Menoufia governor sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribery

A criminal court sentenced yesterday former Menoufia Governor Hisham Abdel Basset to 10 years in prison and handed him a EGP 15 mn fine for accepting bribes worth USD 1.5 mn, according to the Associated Press. Abdel Basset has been charged with accepting bribes in return for awarding construction and IT contracts to Egyptian businessman Essam Ahmed Fathi, who was cleared of all charges. The verdict can be appealed.

Retired Egyptian footballer Aboutrika sentenced to one year in prison for tax evasion

A misdemeanor court sentenced retired footballer Mohamed Aboutrika in absentia to one year in prison for tax evasion, Al Ahram reports. The court found Aboutrika guilty of failing to pay EGP 710,000 in taxes for advertising deals in 2008 and 2009.

On Your Way Out

The US embassy in Cairo is hosting workshops for entrepreneurs to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week, the embassy announced in a statement. The events, which will feature discussions on business development, branding, e-commerce, and other issues pertaining to entrepreneurs, will be held in Cairo, Alexandria and Upper Egypt, at Cairo’s Maadi Public Library’s American Corner, the Greek Campus, the American Center at the US Embassy in Cairo, Alexandria’s Jesuit Cultural Center.

Google celebrated yesterday Egyptian actress Hind Rostom 87th birthday with a Google Doodle sketch. Rostom passed away in 2011, aged 79, after having been an A-lister for 30 years all the way through retirement in 1979. Her rich career and elegant physical appearance earned her the designation “First Lady of Egyptian Cinema,” and the nickname “Marilyn Monroe of the east.”

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.86 | Sell 17.9556+EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 17.86 | Sell 17.96
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.78 | Sell 17.88

EGX30 (Monday): 13,678 (+0.8%)
Turnover: EGP 1.7 bn (130% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -8.9%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session up 0.8%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 0.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Global Telecom up 3.5%, and Juhayna up 3.2%, and Elsewedy Electric up 3.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Qalaa Holdings down 1.6%, TMG Holding down 1.2% and Ibnsina Pharma down 0.8%. The market turnover was EGP 1.7 bn, and regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +22.3 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -125.6 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +103.2 mn

Retail: 51.2% of total trades | 35.0% of buyers | 67.5% of sellers
Institutions: 48.8% of total trades | 65.0% of buyers | 32.5% of sellers


Pharos View — Domestic inflation dynamics and EM monetary tightening support maintaining rates: Pharos Holdings sees domestic inflation rate dynamics and EM monetary conditions support maintaining rates in the upcoming MPC meeting on 15 November. The high yields in other EMs are putting more pressure on Egypt to maintain policy rates. Egypt after-tax yield is 15.78%, which is still competitive among other emerging market yields due to Egypt’s moderate risk levels, as reflected by the CDS rates. This comes as foreign ownership of domestic short term debt has declined 7.8% m-o-m at the end of September 2018 to be USD 13.1 bn, down from USD 14.2 bnin August 2018. On the inflation front, we expect the monthly inflation rate to decelerate, specifically to 1.5% in November 2018 and 1% in December 2018. This is mainly driven by vegetables price normalization when the new harvest season starts. We expect inflation to decelerate again to be 17.1% y-o-y in 3Q2018-19. You can view the full report here (pdf).


WTI: USD 58.98 (-1.59%)
Brent: USD 70.12 (-0.09%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.93 MMBtu, (+3.83%, December 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,201.7 / troy ounce (-0.15%)

TASI: 7,774.99 (+0.83%) (YTD: +7.59%)
ADX: 4,954.23 (-0.96%) (YTD: +12.64%)
DFM: 2,802.88 (-0.53%) (YTD: -16.83%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,289.97 (-0.2%)
QE: 10,415.00 (+0.24%) (YTD: +22.19%)
MSM: 4,479.62 (-0.53%) (YTD: -12.15%)
BB: 1,308.36 (-0.32%) (YTD: -1.75%)

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12-13 November (Monday-Tuesday) Mesia Solar Trade Mission, Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino, 16 Saray El Gezira Street, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

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.

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