Tuesday, 27 November 2018

EGX30 down for fifth straight day as bank shares reel after proposed tax changes

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

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The EGX30 posted its fifth straight day of losses on Monday as a global equities selloff overlapped with news that Egyptian banks could see their effective tax rate rise sharply under a proposed change to how banks are required to account for income from investments in treasuries. We have chapter and verse in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

House to discuss privatization program today: The House of Representatives’ economic committee will meet with Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik today to discuss the government’s privatization program, MPs told local news outlets. Egypt postponed last month the first stake sale under the program as turbulence in global markets sapped investor appetite for emerging market offerings.

The House is also expected to discuss this week the 1 January deadline to cut import duties on EU-assembled cars to 0% and will look at proposed amendments to the Real Estate Registry Act.

MbS has arrived in town as part of his first regional trip after the Khashoggi affair, state news agency MENA reported. (Stuck in traffic yesterday longer than usual? Now you know why.) President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received the Saudi crown prince at Cairo airport on Monday, according to a presidential statement. The two are scheduled to hold talks today. The Saudi embassy in Cairo created the hashtag #TheCrownPrinceIsInHisSecondCountry to mark the occasion. Reuters also has the story, which dominated both the airwaves (see Last Night’s Talk Shows, below) and the print press (see On the Front Pages, below). MbS is next off to Tunisia and is then scheduled to make an appearance at the G20 summit in Argentina this coming Friday and Saturday. Egypt is not a G20 member and, to the best of our knowledge, is not an invited guest at Buenos Aires gathering.

Central bank Governor Tarek Amer will be speaking tonight at AUC’s School of Business on “Egypt’s Medium Term Economic Outlook: Challenges and Opportunities.” The event will take place at the New Cairo campus in Shafik Gabr Hall from 6-7 pm.

Egypt wants to see mining account for 2% of GDP within five years, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla is quoted as having said on the sidelines of the 15th Arab International Mineral Resources Conference, which kicked off on yesterday and is set to run through Wednesday. Egypt has been working on a new mineral resources act that meets international norms; the draft has been praised by industry leaders.

Okay, but can we not export them? President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s launch on Sunday of an initiative to train at least 10k Egyptians and Africans as software developers is getting attention in the domestic press. The news came at the Cairo ICT expo, which continues this morning and ends tomorrow.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is heading to Serbia for a two-day visit, according to a ministry statement.

Further afield this morning:

Ukraine imposed martial law for a 30-day period yesterday in parts of the country “vulnerable to an attack from Russia,” newswires report. The country is a top-three provider of both wheat and tourists to Egypt.

“Algeria can ill-afford more stagnation and drift,” writes the Financial Times’ editorial board amid speculation that Abdelaziz Bouteflika — “already something of a relic from post-independence years when he became president in 1999 … [most recently seen] in a wheelchair, staring vacantly, looking decidedly frail” — will seek a fifth five-year term in elections due to take place in January.

Also worth a read this morning in the salmon-colored paper: The Middle Eastern families whose daughters are inheriting more looks at how wealth advisors and lawyers are “revising the rules” of inheritance under Islamic jurisprudence in ways that see the use of offshore vehicles and trustees to ensure, for example that “a daughter could inherit the whole business and a son with a [redacted] problem might only receive a limited allowance.”

The FT’s primer on inheritance under shariah: “When a man dies, assets in his name are divided according to formulas based upon the number, relation and gender of their heirs. One eighth goes to the surviving wife. The rest of the estate, including all homes and the family business, is divided among the children. Sons each receive double what daughters do. If there are no sons, the daughters take two-thirds of what remains after the wife’s distribution and what is left then goes to the closest male relative, regardless of how close a family member he is.” The inheritance piece appears in the FT’s latest Wealth package.

Notable in the same series: Can asset managers really spot the end of a bull run?

Automaker GM is shutting down seven plants worldwide, including five in the US and Canada, by next year in a bid to slash USD 6 bn in expenses. The company is cutting back on the production of passenger cars to focus on battery-powered vehicles and larger SUVs. The move comes as GM braces for a “downturn in its home market and the impact of the global trade war.” (FT | Reuters)

In miscellany this AM:

More than USD 1 tn has flowed out of UK-focused equity funds since Brexit and a survey this month by asset manager Schroders of 400 asset managers found that 35% of participants’ clients “had either moved assets out of the UK this year or were considering doing so, up from 21% in the previous year’s survey.” (FT)

Dead-cat bounce for bitcoin? Bitcoin lost more than 12% on Sunday before rebounding 15% yesterday from a 14-month low as the cryptocurrency is buffeted in a “broad-based selloff in digital currencies as sentiment sours.” Does that mean crypto is on the way out? Nope. But there’s a shakeout taking place: An estimated 600-800k bitcoin miners have shut down since mid-November amid declines in price and hashrate, Coindesk adds.

The world, built by China looks at some 600 major and mega projects that Beijing has financed in the past decade through grants, loans and investment. The quick, graphical overview shows how China’s infrastructure ambitions go significantly beyond even the Road and Belt program about which we hear so much. (NYT)

Is the Montreal bagel (the only bagel that may claim to be a real bagel) in its last days? That’s the premise for a long meditation that uses the bagel as a way into a wider discussion of gentrification, the “end of the industrial city in North America,” and the intersection of public health and one’s taste buds. A must-read even for non-Canucks, though if you prostrate yourself to St. Viateur Bagels, it’s a particularly satisfying read. (Globe & Mail)

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s arrival in Egypt was, by a wide margin, the most popular topic of discussion on the airwaves last night. There was, however, no mention of the havoc MbS’ visit wreaked on Cairo traffic yesterday.

MbS choosing to visit Egypt directly after the UAE sends a message that these are the region’s leading countries, Saudi-Egyptian Business Council Chairman Abdullah bin Mahfooz told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and the crown prince are expected to discuss economic and political cooperation between Cairo and Riyadh, as well as the developments in Iraq, Libya, and Yemen (watch, runtime: 3:41).

Color and “analysis”: Journalist Emad El Din Adib rang up El Hekaya host (and his brother) Amr Adib to offer commentary on the trip and the aftermath of the Jamal Khashoggi murder (watch, runtime: 10:35). Political analyst Moataz Abdel Fattah did the same on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 3:52). Al Hayah Al Youm, meanwhile, couldn’t ignore the Saudi embassy in Cairo’s decision to create a hashtag about bin Salman’s visit (watch, runtime: 1:21).

The government’s plans to offer several of its services online as of next year was the main talking point for Deputy CIT Minister Khaled El Attar, who told Al Hayah Al Youm that the digital transition will help cut down on bribery by eliminating the need to rely on bureaucrats for these services (watch, runtime: 2:09).

The Education Ministry has decided to do a trial run of end-of-term examinations for secondary students to give students a feel for how exams will be formatted and administered under the new education system, Minister Tarek Shawki said on Hona Al Asema. Shawki noted that the decision is meant to ease concerns from parents that students are not equipped to acclimate to the new system (watch, runtime: 8:04).

Expanding Egypt’s public transport and mass transit networks are the key to resolving the country’s traffic congestion woes, roads and transport professor Osama Akeil said on Masaa DMC. According to Akeil, commuters in Cairo collectively make 25 mn trips within the city on a daily basis (watch, runtime: 6:18).

Another perfunctory attempt from the Agriculture Ministry to end the controversy over reported exports of stray dogs and cats did not fly with Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary, animal rights activist Mona Khalil, or House Rep Mohamed Abu Hamed. The ministry issued a statement yesterday saying that 726 of these domesticated animals exited the country this year with their owners. El Hosary, Khalil, and Abu Hamed each stressed that the statement addresses a statistic that is irrelevant to the issue of whether stray animals are being sold or traded (watch, runtime: 13:43).

Speed Round

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The EGX30 posted its fifth straight day of losses yesterday as shares struggled to recover from a 3.8% drop on Sunday (the benchmark index’s sharpest decline since February 2016). Foreign investors led the selloff on moderate volumes that fell just shy of the trailing 90-day average as the EGX30 lost 0.8% by the close of session. Leading financial stocks continued to suffer as a result of last week’s Madbouly Cabinet decision to impose a new tax treatment for banks that would separately tax their earnings from government debt. The decline was also less pronounced following reports that the Federation of Egyptian Banks is working on a compromise with the government on the new standards, which could see the sector’s taxes increase by EGP 10 bn. A meeting is expected to take place at the end of the week. Both sides had agreed that the new standards would not be applied retroactively, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told the domestic press. Here’s how select bank shares closed yesterday:

  • ADIB: -5.0%
  • CIB: -1.7%
  • Al Baraka: -0.7%
  • Crédit Agricole: 0.0%
  • Faisal Islamic Bank: -1.9%
  • Suez Canal Bank: -3.1%
  • HDBK: -2.4%
  • NBK: flat
  • QNB: -2.0%

The EGX30 is now down just over 13% year-to-date.

M&A WATCH- Regulator green-lights Orascom’s bid for large minority stake in Sarwa: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has approved Orascom Investment Holding’s (OIH) offer to purchase a non-controlling stake in structured- and consumer-finance player Sarwa Capital, it said in a disclosure to the EGX (pdf). OIH, controlled by celebrity investor Naguib Sawiris, will make a tender for Sarwa shares from 28 November until 11 December, Beltone Financial said, according to Amwal Al Ghad.

Background: OIH said last month that it aims to acquire at least 25% of Sarwa, which OIH subsidiary Beltone Financial took public earlier this fall. Sarwa shares tanked in their EGX debut, and the FRA has since suspended Beltone’s investment banking arm for six months and opened an investigation in what it says are investor complaints of irregularities in the listing. OIH is seeking at least a 25% stake in Sarwa, offering EGP 7.36 per share for c. 216 mn shares and saying it would pay EGP 6.62 per share if it received offers for 144-216 mn shares. OIH said the offer is in line with OIH’s strategy to expand in the consumer finance sector.

On a related note: The FRA postponed to 10 December a hearing originally scheduled for yesterday on Beltone’s appeal of its six-month suspension, Al Mal reported. Beltone has consistently denied any irregularities in the transaction.

EFG Hermes aims to have non-bank financial services deliver 50% of profits by 2021: EFG Hermes aims for non-banking financial services to account for 30% of its total profit by year-end and 50% by the end of 2021, CEO Karim Awad told Reuters. The investment bank is looking to get into the insurance and mortgage finance businesses, but has yet to obtain regulatory approval, Awad said. Non-bank financial services contributed 20% of the group’s 3Q2018 net profits, up from 12% in the same quarter last year, the CEO said. Awad also EFG is looking to enter one more Asian or African market within the coming year, but said Morocco isn’t currently in the firm’s plans. EFG has recently opened outposts in frontier markets including Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh and has previously disclosed it is seeking an investment banking license in Nigeria.

M&A WATCH- Edita to acquire minority partner’s stake in candymaking subsidiary in EGP 60 mn transaction: Edita is buying out Confindal Ltd’s 22.27% stake subsidiary Edita Confectionary Co. in a transaction worth EGP 60 mn, Chairman Hani Berzi told Al Mal. Edita, which already owns 77.7% of its candymaking arm, is nearing a final agreement on the sale, which Berzi said will give Edita full control over expansion decisions going forward. Edita aims to launch a new production line for the subsidiary in the beginning of 2019 and sees great potential in the confectionary sector, Berzi said. Edita will not tap banks for financing for the transaction.

EXCLUSIVE- Car assemblers safe as FinMin looks to close knock-down loophole: The Finance Ministry has instructed customs officials to charge the same duties on knocked-down imports they do on finished products in the same categories, Finance Ministry adviser and former Customs Authority head Magdy Abdel Aziz told Enterprise. The move is meant to close a loophole under which Abdel Aziz says importers bring in knocked-down goods — essentially kits of fully manufactured components that are assembled here in Egypt with zero value addition — to take advantage of lower import tariffs. The decision will protect local manufacturers, he added, suggesting the move appears is a shift in regulatory policy and will not require the House to pass new legislation.

Auto assemblers need not worry: Auto assemblers can rest assured that completely knocked-down (CKD) imports will not be subject to the policy, Abdel Aziz said. Assemblers who augment their CKD kits with locally-manufactured components are exempt from the policy as they “contribute to an important value-added industry,” he added.

Food for thought #1: The topic of duties on CKD raises a few interesting questions for policymakers. As customs duties on EU cars fall to 0% in January (the same time at which levies on Turkish auto imports will fall to 4% from 8%) and with no automotive directive in place, cutting or eliminating tariffs on CKD could provide lifeline to auto assemblers. As it stands, local assemblers pay 7-9% in custom tariffs on CKD kits.

Food for thought #2: Policymakers could also help local assemblers compete with EU cars by giving incentives to consumers: Car buyers in Egypt have to pay registration fee of up to 2% on locally-assembled cars. Cutting or eliminating these fees could help spur sales of locally assembled vehicles.

Speaking of customs legislation, proposed changes to the Customs Act are back to the Finance Ministry for review after others at the cabinet table offered comments for consideration, a senior ministry source told Enterprise. Expect news on an amended draft of the legislation within about two weeks, we’re told.

Is 5G coming to Egypt in 2020? The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) could start selling 5G spectra to Egypt’s four mobile network operators as early as 2020, NTRA acting head Mostafa Abdel Wahed said at the Cairo ICT expo on Sunday, Al Masry Al Youm reported. Abdel Wahed did not disclose further details on the planned offering of the service, including the expected cost of 5G licenses. Orange Egypt CEO Yasser Shaker, Telecom Egypt CEO Ahmed El Beheiry, Etisalat Misr CEO Hazem Metwally, and Vodafone Egypt’s External Affairs and Legal Director Ayman Essam each said that Egypt has yet to fully make use of its 4G spectrum.

MNO service quality to be assessed, monitored by global company: This comes as the government is set to sign soon a contract with an unnamed global company to evaluate the quality of services offered by the country’s four MNOs and conduct regular performance assessments, Minister Amr Talaat told Masrawy on Sunday. The quality reviews are due to start next year, he said.

State-owned telecom operator inks infrastructure upgrade agreement: State-owned telecoms operator We (aka: the Company Formerly Known as Telecom Egypt) signed yesterday an MoU with Ericsson to upgrade We’s infrastructure and run tests ahead of rolling out 5G services, Al Shorouk reports. Ericsson Egypt’s then-CEO, Helene Henriksson, had said last year that the company was offering consulting services to Egypt’s MNOs as they prepare for a future upgrade to 5G services.

EXCLUSIVE- EIB inks EUR 250 mn loan to Banque Misr to support SMEs: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 250 mn financing agreement with Banque Misr to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), an EIB source told Enterprise. This is the second tranche of a EUR 500 mn loan approved by the EIB’s board of directors last year.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The House of Representatives gave preliminary approval yesterday to legislation regulating the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and referred the bill to the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) for review before it goes to a final vote, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The legislation, if passed, would set regulations for the composition of the federation’s executive committee and each division’s board of directors.

The central bank sold EGP 1.25 bn-worth of treasury bonds on Monday, Finance Ministry data shows. Yields on the three-year T-bonds worth EGP 750 mn averaged 18.14%, while yields on seven-year T-bonds worth EGP 500 mn averaged 18%. Egypt had issued last week USD 2.57 bn-worth of treasury bonds in two tranches: A USD 860 mn series with a 2026 maturity at 7.12% and a USD 1.76 bn series maturing in 2028 at 7.62%.

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Up Next

AUC’s Business Forward Anniversary event takes place on Monday, 3 December at the New Cairo Campus’ Moataz Al Alfi hall in celebration of the knowledge portal’s launch one year ago. The event, headlined The DNA of Egypt’s Economy: A Look forward, is a series of talks by a lineup of guest speakers that includes Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat, AmCham President Tarek Tawfik, and Qalaa Holdings Managing Director Hisham ElKhazindar. You can register to attend the event here.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be in Cairo on Tuesday, 4 December for “an important announcement,” according to an emailed statement. This will be Khosrowshahi’s (bio) first visit to Egypt as Uber CEO.

Pitch for a spot in Fintech Cairo: Pharos’ Pride Capital has launched Fintech Cairo in partnership with global seed program organizer Startup Bootcamp, along with Pride Capital has launched. The six-month accelerator program will select 10 companies from a pool of applicants. Our friends at Pharos Holding, along with Bank of Alexandria and the German development agency GiZ, are proud supporters and sponsors of the program. You can submit applications here. The deadline for submissions is the 31 December.

Image of the Day

UNHCR Egypt organized a football tournament that saw refugees play with Egyptians this past Friday at the Olympic Centre in Maadi. Players were drawn from Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Egypt. The game, put on with Terre des hommes, aimed to break down barriers between members of the capital city’s large refugee community and Egyptian citizens, UNHCR Egypt said.

Egypt in the News

Egypt’s new human rights committee gets heavy coverage in the foreign press: The Associated Press’ report on the Madbouly Cabinet’s recent approval to set up a permanent Human Rights Committee received widespread coverage in the foreign press. The report says the “new high-powered human rights watchdog agency” will focus on protecting the state, not Egyptians, “from violations.” The committee will focus on responding to allegations of violations and creating a vision and strategy to improve Egypt’s rights record, the piece suggests.

Other news worth noting:

  • The family of a South African journalist who died in Egypt is demanding answers following contradicting reports from Egyptian authorities over her death earlier this year, Times Live reports.
  • Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat gave Arab News a rundown of Egypt’s tourism sector in an interview, covering points she recently made to Bloomberg.
  • An Egyptian initiative called “The Four Biscuits” has been launched with the aim to tackle prejudice against Down syndrome, according to The National.

On the Front Pages

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s two-day visit to Cairo dominates the front pages of the three main state-run dailies this morning, alongside coverage of the Arab International Conference for Mineral Resources (Al Ahram | Al Akhbar | Al Gomhuria).

Other noteworthy headlines on today’s front pages:

  • The Electricity Ministry is doubling down on addressing complaints over high power bills (Al Gomhuria)
  • Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker reiterates that electricity prices will not go up until next June (Al Akhbar)
  • Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir talked national security and regional threats (Al Ahram)

Worth Reading

Is smarter urban planning the only way to save us from “el soyass”? Street chaos is what gave rise to the dreaded informal parking attendants we fondly refer to as “soyass,” said sociology professor Samia Khedr in a recent interview with Al Ahram Weekly. Better urban planning should, therefore, lie at the heart of any attempt by the government if it wishes to ameliorate, let alone solve, the “sayess” phenomenon.

Chaos thrives in the absence of order: A comprehensive solution should prevent things like unlawful claims to vacant land used by soyass as street garages and granting building licenses in residential neighborhoods for developers who fail to accommodate for parking. We should not strive to get rid of the soyass, but create an environment that eliminates the need for any, she added.

What is currently being done about the problem? The House of Representatives’ Local Administration Committee passed in April a draft law to regulate the “sayess” that would require them to obtain a license scouting as much as EGP 1,000 and would entitle them to charge customers a set, regulated parking rate per hour. Attendants would be required to be literate, above the age of 21, and hold a valid driver’s license, among other stipulations, to be granted a license.

New to Egypt or have never driven here before? OpenDemocracy has put together an interesting primer on these harpies of the streets.

Worth Watching

Have the first genetically edited babies just been born? A Chinese researcher claims he genetically edited twin babies that were born this month using the gene editing tool CRISPR-cas9, according to an AP report that’s breaking the internet (and for good reason, too). He Jiankui said the goal behind the experiment, which included altering the genes of seven embryos, was to implant resistance to future HIV infection by disabling a gene called CCR5. His claim has yet to be confirmed, but in YouTube videos, Jiankui says the twin girls are healthy. “I feel a strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” Jiankui told AP. “Society will decide what to do next.”

Backlash: Since Jiankui’s announcement, scientists around the world have come out to condemn his experiment. Gene editing is banned in the US, except for lab research, and dismissed as unethical in other places around the world amid fears it could be passed onto future generations or have a negative impact on other genes. It has previously been used to treat deadly diseases in adults, but had so far not been used on embryos. “If true, this experiment is monstrous,” Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, told Reuters.

Is this all just Dr Strangelove Part 1? China’s Southern University of Science and Technology, where Jiankui works as an associate professor, said it did not know about the experiment and that it will launch an investigation into the case. The university said Jiankui had been on leave without pay since February, describing his work as "serious violation of academic ethics and standards” (watch, runtime: 2:51).

Infrastructure

El Sisi to inaugurate East Port Said Port by early 2019

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is set to inaugurate the East Port Said Port by the start of 2019, Suez Canal Authority boss Mohab Mamish said, according to Al Mal. The authority had hired an unnamed international consultancy to develop the port, Mamish said. We had noted earlier that East Port Said port’s new USD 1.8 bn platforms are slated for completion by end-November.

Port development study being prepared by Transport Ministry and SCA

The Transport Ministry and Suez Canal Authority are expected to present a preliminary development strategy for Egypt’s ports by June 2019, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said yesterday, according to Al Mal. The strategy will span ten years.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Delta Sugar ups beet planting area this year

Delta Sugar agreed with farmers to plant an additional 20k feddans of beet this year to push the total cultivation area to 114k feddans, Chairman Ahmed Abul Yazeed said in a statement cited by Reuters. Land allocated for sugar beet is already planted “with incentives to those who had planted early,” Abul Yazeed adds. The company is targeting increasing its production capacity to 19k tonnes of sugar per day from 14.5k tonnes in 2017.

Egypt to begin exporting fruits and vegetables to China next month

Egypt will begin exporting several food products to China next month after Deputy Agriculture Minister Mona Mehrez signed an MoU with Vice Minister of China Customs Hu Wei yesterday, Al Mal reports. Crops earmarked for export include beets, dates, mangoes, grapes, strawberries, onion, potatoes, and pomegranates, as well as honey. Agriculture officials have been targeting new export markets lately and are eyeing countries in East Asia as potential export markets.

Wheat rises again after Egypt’s purchase of US cargo

The General Authority for Supply Commodities’ (GASC) latest wheat purchase from US suppliers pushed Chicago wheat futures up for a second session “on hopes of higher demand for U.S. cargoes,” Reuters reports. Wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 0.6% on Monday “on hopes of higher demand for U.S. cargoes.” Egypt’s purchase of US cargo for the first time since May 2017 had led to a 1.5% gain last month.

Tourism

Founder of Siwa hotel Adrère Amellal urges gov’t to reconsider travel warnings

Mounir Neamatalla, founder of the Adrère Amellal ecolodge hotel in Siwa Oasis, is hoping governments could reconsider their warnings against visiting Egypt’s Western Desert, writes the Financial Times’ Heba Saleh. Neamatalla has recently invited a group of distinguished diplomats from France, Sweden, Belgium, Singapore and South Korea for a stay to prove it’s a safe destination. The UK and the US strongly advise their citizens not to visit the Western Desert, which is a short drive away from civil war-torn Libya.

Automotive + Transportation

Five companies competing to establish traffic control system for Egypt’s highways

Five unnamed local and international companies submitted bids in a tender to establish a traffic control and regulation system for Egypt’s highways, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said, according to Al Mal. The first phase of the project is expected to cover 20 highways including the Ring Road and Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road. Offers will be evaluated in 2019.

Egypt Politics + Economics

House rep. wants to raise police wages and pensions

House Rep. Khaled Abdel Gawad has submitted a proposal to increase policemen’s salaries and pensions, which he said is necessary to compensate for the high-risk nature of their work, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Parliament had signed off in June on a 15% increase in military and police pensions as of the beginning of FY2018-19.

On Your Way Out

The total number of road accidents in Egypt dropped 24.2% y-o-y in 1H2018 to 4,426, down from 5,826 in 1H2017,according to a CAPMAS report. The daily average number of incidents declined to 24.6 collisions per day, compared to an average of 32.4 during the same period last year. Fatalities from road accidents also dropped 19.1% to 1,560 deaths, down from 1,929. Our personal experiences on the road tell us Egyptians have not collectively become better drivers, so we’re not entirely sure of the reasons behind these unexpectedly positive statistics.

Egypt is getting a ‘virtual museum’: NGO Nature Conservation Egypt is setting up a museum equipped with VR technology to educate visitors about the Wadi Degla protectorate, BirdLife said. The Wadi Degla Virtual Museum will give a virtual walk-through of the park’s ecosystem, history, and forms of life. It is funded by the Global Environmental Facility’s Small Grants Programme (SGP).

The Market Yesterday

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

EGX30 (Monday): 13,049 (-0.8%)
Turnover: EGP 794 mn (2% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -13.1%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.8%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were TMG Holding up 1.8%, and Global Telecom up 1.4%, and Telecom Egypt up 1.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Abu Qir Fertilizers down 3.6%, Eastern Co. down 3.2% and Arab Cotton Ginning down 3.1%. The market turnover was EGP 794 mn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -73.1 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -16.8 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +89.9 mn

Retail: 50.5% of total trades | 54.4% of buyers | 46.6% of sellers
Institutions: 49.5% of total trades | 45.6% of buyers | 53.4% of sellers

WTI: USD 51.63 (+2.4%)
Brent: USD 60.35 (+2.64%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 4.25 MMBtu, (-1.39%, December 2018 contract)
Gold: USD 1,222.4 / troy ounce (-0.07%)

TASI: 7,528.90 (+0.22%) (YTD: +4.19%)
ADX: 4,971.43 (+0.50%) (YTD: +13.03%)
DFM: 2,727.41 (-0.44%) (YTD: -19.07%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,293.65 (+0.49%)
QE: 10,356.62 (+1.02%) (YTD: +21.51%)
MSM: 4,393.06 (-0.73%) (YTD: +13.85%)
BB: 1,326.85 (+0.28%) (YTD: -0.36%)

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Calendar

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, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

26 November (Monday): The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) will look into an appeal by Beltone Financial against the FRA’s six-month suspension of Beltone’s investment banking arm, sources said, according to Al Mal.

26-28 November (Monday-Wednesday): 15th Arab International Mineral Resources Conference, Al Manara International Conference Center, Cairo, Egypt.

03 December (Monday) Consumer Finance Landscape-New Law in the Making, Fairmont Hotel Nile City, Magenta ballroom, Cairo, Egypt

03-05 December (Monday-Wednesday): First Egypt Defense Expo “EDEX 2018”, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City Cairo.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be in Cairo on Tuesday, 4 December for “an important announcement.

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

10 December (Monday): The Financial Regulatory Authority will hear a grievance appeal by Beltone against a six-month suspension handed to its investment banking arm over “irregularities” the authority says it found in Sarwa’s IPO, Al Mal reported.

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.

14-16 December (Friday-Sunday): AutoTech 2018, Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Nasr City, Cairo.

19 December (Wednesday): Cairo Economic Court to rule on an appeal by pharma companies

25 December (Tuesday): Western Christmas.

27 December (Thursday): CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

January 2019: Flat6Labs will launch their 12th startup accelerator cycle.

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.

28-29 January 2019 (Wednesday-Thursday): Banking Technology North Africa, Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

7 February 2019 (Thursday): Egypt Building Materials Summit, Venue TBD, Cairo, Egypt

11-13 February 2019 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egyptian International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

19-20 February 2019 (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Solar Show MENA 2019, Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

26-28 February 2019 (Tuesday-Thursday): 22nd International Conference on Petroleum Mineral Resources and Development, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.

27-30 March 2019 (Wednesday-Saturday): Cityscape Egypt 2019, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City Cairo.

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).

June 2019: International Forum for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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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