Tuesday, 4 December 2018

CIT minister looks to develop business-critical tech talent, turn Egypt Post into services and banking hub


What We’re Tracking Today

The central bank’s parallel FX repatriation mechanism ends today for new portfolio investments. “The decision applies on any fresh foreign currency portfolio investments wishing to enter the local currency Egyptian T-Bills, T-Bonds market and the stocks listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange,” the CBE said in a statement (pdf) last week. Anyone who came into the country under the system prior to today will still be able to exit via the mechanism.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is in town for an “important announcement,” the global leader in the ride-hailing space has said. We’ll have more tomorrow.

Also in town: An Irish business delegation in town led by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen. The 12 companies are here today and tomorrow to explore potential investments (pdf).

Egypt’s first defense expo continues today and wraps up tomorrow. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated the EDEX 2018 yesterday (see statements from the presidency or the armed forces). El Sisi and Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki have jointly or separately met with senior defense officials from Cyprus, Greece and France, among other countries.

The US has the largest presence at EDEX, with some 40 companies present (pdf) participating, including senior execs from corporate headquarters, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Caterpillar, and AM General.

Egypt Automotive summit kicks off: Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar and Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik will inaugurate today the fifth annual Egypt Automotive summit, local news reported. Electric vehicles are a theme at the summit, which says it will focus on the nation’s strategy for the automotive industry and aim to attract investment to the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

Qatar has pulled out of OPEC ahead of the cartel’s Thursday meeting to talk about production levels. The Gulf state will nevertheless attend this week’s meeting, Reuters reports. The impact of the pullout could be more political than anything else: Qatar, a top natural gas producer, accounted for only 2% of OPEC’s total oil output, Bloomberg notes. The move is a “swipe at the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia,” Reuters adds. The move came as the province of Alberta, the key oil producer in Canada (the world’s fifth-largest oil producer), ordered production cuts for the first time since the 1980s.

Oil prices jumped more than 3% yesterday amid the news from Qatar and Alberta and as traders welcomed (or over-reacted to, depending on how you squint) a “trade armistice” between the US and China.

Global stocks also rallied yesterday, but bond investors aren’t convinced that the “trade armistice” between China and the US will pay a peace dividend, the Wall Street Journal argues.

Proof that repetition is key to getting your message out there: Egypt is looking good to this HSBC managing director writing in the FT. Christian Déséglise singles out Egypt — with our IMF-backed reform program, debt stabilization program, the float of the EGP, et cetera — as one of the “attractive entry points” for investors who want to take advantage of attractive pricing across key emerging markets right now. On broader trends driving growth in EM, Déséglise, who is also co-director of the unfortunately named BricLab at Columbia University, hits the nail on the head when he singles out formation of wealth in the middle class and investment in renewables as well as low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure. Read: Sell-off shunts some emerging markets into bargain territory

Did Abraaj ruin it for us all? That’s the thrust of a Financial Times piece out yesterday that argues the meltdown of what was once the crown jewel of Mideast capitalism will “give pause to those seeking emerging market exposure via private equity.” One thing we flatly disagree with is the lede: It is not “investing” in EM private equity that is “about” to become tougher. It is that raising funds for EM private equity will become about as easy as selling sand to us / ice to the Innu — take your pick of culturally insensitive metaphor.

Must-read this morning: A worthy critique of how we broke capitalism. Many moons ago, we were heard remarking that the primary social duties of a company of any size were to (a) pay a livable wage and (b) pay their taxes — and that, by extension, all of the noise relating to ESG and CSR is just that: noise. A sideshow. Our position isn’t new: The October 1944 edition of Fortune magazine carried an article by a corporate boss, endorsed by a major business lobby group, that declared among other things that the secret to post-war success for America would be:

  • Accepting that rising wages were the order of the day, as were labor rights
  • Accepting “necessary an appropriate government regulation”
  • Not earning profits “at the expense of the welfare of the community.”

We’re not going full socialist on you: The best way to grow a business was to leave the communities in which you did business better than you found them. Not through corporate giving programs, but by paying your staff well and helping them to help you grow. That was the central theme in (US) business throughout the 1950s and 1960s, when businesses and the economy grew — and income inequality declined.

What changed? Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist David Leonhardt argues that it was US companies deciding in the 1970s to “maximize shareholder value” as they faced global competition and as memories of the Second World War and the Great Depression faded.

Read: American capitalism isn’t working. Substitute “Egyptian” for “American” and tweak some of the time references, and the argument (if not the prescription) holds here at home.

Does the idea that you can do good by looking after your people and paying your taxes make you feel hollow on the inside? No worries. The Financial Times’ latest special report is on impact investing. The crux of it: “The global action community for impact investors wants China’s elite to start investing for good social and environmental outcomes, accountants are the new activists on the green scene, Investment products that promote gender equality are becoming more popular, and we list the top 20 global social impact bonds.”

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The talking heads were largely occupied last night with the inauguration of EDEX 2018 and an investigation clearing the 57357 children’s cancer hospital of corruption. Scriptwriter Wahid Hamed had alleged earlier this year that the hospital’s funds have been mismanaged and that donations meant to finance pro-bono medical care were spent elsewhere.

A committee found no evidence the cancer hospital’s management engaged in any form of financial wrongdoing, including using donations for personal investments in the stock market, Social Solidarity Ministry spokesman Mohamed El Okaby told Al Hayah Al Youm. The committee’s investigation also looked into other issues at the hospital, such as allegations that patients were removed from their rooms to shoot a television series and that the hospital ran unlicensed clinical trials on patients. Investigators concluded all allegations were baseless (watch, runtime 10:13). El Okaby said much of the same on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime 7:30) and Masaa DMC also took note of the developments (watch, runtime 2:50).

Hamed still doesn’t buy it —and accused the committee of a cover-up. He also told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib that the committee has failed to address all of his concerns, and that he is willing to issue a public apology if he is definitively proved wrong (watch, runtime 5:46).

The Egyptian defense expo is going to “put Egypt on the map” for its defense industry, Military Production Minister Mohamed El Assar said in a phone-in to El Hekaya. El Assar also recapped some of the products introduced at the event (watch, runtime 5:41). The minister is set to meet today with several defense officials and diplomats, according to ministry spokesman Mohamed Bakr (watch, runtime 4:15).

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • Fully manufactured products only account for 4% of Egypt’s imports, member of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce’s importers division, Ahmed Shiha, said (watch, runtime 4:59);
  • Hona Al Asema’s Lama Gebril discussed a new technology that genetically maps cancer cells with oncologist Hisham Al Ghazali (watch, runtime 4:40);
  • Masaa DMC looked into a harassment incident at 6 October residential compound (watch, runtime 4:54).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- CIT minister looks to develop business-critical tech talent, turn Egypt Post into services and banking hub: We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Communications and Information Technology Minister Amr Talaat for a quick chat on how he is helping pull the economy into the 21st century. Immediate bonus for business: Building the coder / developer / programmer talent we all need is at the top of his priority list. Edited excerpts:

Building the developers of tomorrow: Our top mandate as a ministry is the Egyptian human development program — a key platform of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s second term in office. The ministry’s role in the initiative is extensive and will span a number of programs — some will be in collaboration with other agencies and others will be executed by the ministry alone. Our primary focus is to build and scale up technology talent in Egypt. The specialized skills we are targeting will be geared for both the domestic and the international labor markets, with an eye towards expanding the services that Egypt exports as well as attracting investment to the domestic market. The initiative will look at the human resources aspect as well as introducing a cultural shift through education and expanding the use of e-governance platforms.

Training centers for data science, AI, game creation: On the human resources side, we’re planning to expand the use of tech hubs and parks. The ministry is currently working on developing eight technology hubs at Egypt’s universities that will provide training in skills highly coveted by the labor market, including blockchain, AI, data science, cyber security — even gaming. The program will run in collaboration with the state’s Information Technology Institute and the National Telecommunications Institute, which will also provide training to university students through their digital platform. The government is also pressing forth with the technology parks that have begun being developed over the past three years, as well as encouraging the development of incubators.

The ministry is certainly keeping an eye on exports as we look to build up capacity. We’re looking to export the skills we’re developing by encouraging freelance platforms that hire Egyptians, continuing to incentivize outsourcing, and through “excellence centers” that major international IT corporations would open here. The key here is to wisely manage the “value space” for exports across the board, by both focusing on enhancing skills on the upper echelon of the space, such as machine learning and blockchain, while also encouraging segments that we do well, such as outsourcing.

As part of the state’s digital transformation program, Egypt Post is now being redefined to become the primary service provider for government and financial services, where people can pay and receive crucial government documents as well as seek micro financing. Furthermore, the ministry is also working with various ministries and bodies to roll out digitized government services. We are working with the Health Ministry on rolling out the new healthcare scheme under the Universal Healthcare Act. It is also working with the Education Ministry to ensure public schools are connected online. So far, more than 2,600 secondary schools were connected with fiber optics before the start of the current academic year. We are also working on a single platform for Egypt’s cultural heritage in collaboration with the Culture Ministry.

This brings us to our key role in the CBE-led mobile payments strategy and the rollout of the state debit card Meeza. The CIT Ministry is taking the lead on building up the infrastructure for Meeza, which will at some point in the future be used by citizens to access all key government services, from healthcare to subsidies. We are working on creating a single unified database for Egypt, which will underpin the new Meeza card, and making sure that each card it tied to a single bank or postal account. This will commence when the new health insurance program begins being rolled out in Port Said next year. We plan on creating 20 mn accounts in just 2 years. This will be a big boost to the cause of financial inclusion while ensuring an efficient subsidies system.

We are working to improve the quality of the broadband and telecom services through two strategies: ongoing development and upgrading of Egypt’s network infrastructure, and improving transparency. On the latter point, the ministry will hire an independent company to monitor the service quality. The company will then put out a public report to inform the state and private citizens on where the quality of service stands and where we need to improve.

I do not see a need in the market for a fifth mobile network operator. This is in line with other nations, where the telecoms industry on the whole is not over-saturated with players.

FinMin looks to raise average borrowing tenor to 3.5 years: The Finance Ministry is looking to extend the average tenor of the state’s debt to 3.5 years from a current average of two or fewer by the end of FY2018-19, Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk said, according to Reuters’ Arabic service. The ministry is targeting increasing the figure to five years in the medium term. “The goal of raising the time-to-maturity of the debt [Egypt’s] is to avoid having to borrow on a monthly basis to settle loan payments,” Kouchouk added.

Background: Egypt’s emerging debt control strategy, which has been in the works since August, is focusing largely on increasing the country’s reliance on long-term debt instruments to alleviate the burden of repayment. The strategy hopes to bring down Egypt’s total public debt to 72-75% of GDP by 2021-22. The ministry will be looking to diversify public borrowing through new instruments (including green bonds and sovereign sukuks), new currencies, and new sources of funding besides treasury bill issuances.

FACT OF THE MORNING- We love e-commerce. Jumia’s Black Friday sales grew 280% this year compared to 2017, helping drive 180% sales growth at the platform this year, CEO Hesham Safwat told Enterprise. Top sellers this year included mobile phones, home appliances, beauty and baby products and fast-moving consumer goods, he added. Amazon-owned Souq did not reply to requests for an interview for this story.

Careem Bus began operations in Cairo yesterday. The bus service is accessible through the Careem Bus app and covers routesstretching across Downtown Cairo, Maadi, Six October and the Fifth Settlement. Fares are fixed at 60-70% less than a regular Careem ride, Menabytes reports. Careem launched the service after market research found 40% of the Egyptian population is inadequately served by transportation options, according to Hadeer Shalaby, Careem Bus’ director. The ride-sharing company ultimately aims to have 2,000 buses on its platform.

INVESTMENT WATCH- German pharma player Bayer plans to double its investment in Egypt in the next five years to EUR 140 mn by introducing new cardiac, oncological and women’s health products, Bayer Managing Director for Egypt Hatem Safei told Al Mal. Safei claims that at 54%, Bayer’s top line in Egypt grew the fastest in the Egyptian industry this year.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Al-Futtaim Real Estate aims to grow its total investment in Egypt by as much as 25% during 2019, Managing Director Ashraf Ezzeldin tells Al Mal. The company will begin work next year on the Aura, Oriana Villas and Festival Three residential projects, which are expected to be complete within three years. Al Futtaim has no plans to expand into new areas in the coming period, Ezzeldin said, citing the impact of high land prices.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Acumen Holding will is looking to raise an EGP 100 mn education- and health-focused private equity fund in 2Q2019, Chairperson Rana Adawi tells Al Mal. Acumen will be raising funds from limited partners in the local and Gulf markets, but will be the primary contributor of capital as general partner, Adawi said. Other industry-specific funds could be in the works if the education and health offering pans out, she suggested. The firm is also looking to hike AUM at its asset management business by 50% to EGP 2 bn.

M&A WATCH- EFG Hermes has four M&A in its pipeline for execution in 1H2019 and will expand its debt capital markets activities in the new year, Co-Head of Investment Banking Mostafa Gad tells Reuters. Gad suggested that one of the M&A transactions is in the Saudi healthcare sector.

EFG is working on two equity raisings “in the coming months” in the F&B and manufacturing sectors, Gad added. Meanwhile the IPO of construction company Hassan Allam and the sale of another stake of state-owned Eastern Tobacco both remain on hold until market conditions improve, he added. The government had decided in October to suspend the sale of an additional 4.5% stake in the Eastern Tobacco Company indefinitely, after its price plunged 11.5% in one week amid the emerging markets zombie apocalypse.

EFG is also looking to expand its “activity in arranging and restructuring debt in 2019 and … will expand securitisation starting with our own financial leasing portfolio and the market in general,” Gad said.

REGULATION WATCH- Aiming to create a market for corporate paper in Egypt, FRA sets framework for short-term bonds, debt instruments: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has defined the framework and regulations governing short-term debt instruments, including bonds, sukuks, and other securities with maturities of less than two years, FRA boss Mohamed Omran said, according to Youm7. The regulations specify the approved issuers and buyers, and allow the bonds to be made public through the EGX.

Who can now issue bonds? Joint-stock and limited liability companies, other companies licensed by the FRA, commercial banks, qualified global financial institutions (such as the EBRD and IFC) and even SMEs are allowed to issue bonds. Banks, insurance companies and funds, qualified private investors and funds, pension funds, and companies with FRA approval can purchase them.

The framework: The issuer must present financial statements going back at least two financial years back and audited by an FRA-listed auditor. They must also possess a bond credit rating of at least BBB- (or an equivalent) and must appoint a FRA-approved lead manager who should ensure buyers are in good financial standing. Qualified buyers must be solvent and, in the case of individual investors, at least three years of investing, banking or finance experience.

Background: Amendments to the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Act, which were approved in May, opened the door to the issuance of short-term bonds, along with short-selling, sukuk, and commodities and futures exchanges. The FRA had said earlier, however, that it was planning to introduce a separate regulatory framework for short-term bonds.

REGULATION WATCH- The EGX is looking to roll out short-selling as early as 1Q2019, EGX boss Mohamed Farid is quoted as saying by Youm7. Separately, regulations allowing brokerage firms to act as market makers will be announced in a few days, Farid added. Both tools are part of a four-year strategy to develop Egypt’s non-banking financial sector.

Background: Shorting will allow clients to borrow shares from their brokers for a small fee, then sell them right away, hoping that the price of the security will drop before buying it back. Regulations on shorts are expected this month. Only select brokerages will be allowed to short selling, and the rules will impose limits on the number of shares a short-seller can borrow for position. They will also specify a cash deposit worth 50% of the securities they’re borrowing.

EMRA to hand over concessions from 2017 gold tender after Mineral Resources Act is amended: The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority is holding off on handing over the five concessions awarded in its 2017 gold exploration tender until after the amendments to the Mineral Resources Act are finalized and passed, an EMRA source tells Amwal Al Ghad. The winners of the tender were UK’s Veritas Mining Limited, Ghassan Spain Investment, Egypt’s East Gas Company, and Resolute Egypt, who will collectively invest USD 41.3 mn.

Background: The government has sent the amendments to the act to the House of Representatives for review, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said last month. El Molla reiterated that the amendments — the details of which remain unclear — were made primarily to draw investments in the flagging mining sector, which has been hobbled by an outdated economic framework better suited to the oil and gas industry. Wood Mackenzie has been contracted by an affiliate of the Oil Ministry to lay out an appropriate development strategy for the sector. The firm identified four key challenges facing Egypt’s mining sector, and its suggestions have largely been incorporated in the proposed amendments to the Mineral Resources Act.

REGULATION WATCH- EOS to introduce a new standard for “sustainable procurement” in Egypt: The Trade Ministry’s Organization for Standardization and Quality (EOS) is set to introduce a new standard for businesses that want to move toward “sustainable procurement,” EOS head Ashraf Afifi said, according to Ahram Gate. “Sustainable procurement,” involves considering the environmental, economic, and social impact of B2B goods and services purchase decisions. EOS is currently working on drafting the guidelines, which will be akin to those specified by ISO 20400.

** 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

Sir Suma is back in town: EBRD boss Sir Suma Chakrabarti launch the institution’s “Economic Inclusion Policy Dialogue in Egypt” on Thursday, 6 December. Sir Suma and EU ambassador Ivan Surkos are expected to sign MoU with Trade Minister Amr Nassar and Education Minister Tarek Shawki at the event.

Startup-fest RiseUp kicks off on Friday and will run until Sunday at the Greek Campus in downtown Cairo. Click here for the full speaker lineup or click here for the conference agenda. But before RiseUp gets the ball rolling on its summit, they’ll be launching today the Egypt Startup Manifesto. The protocol highlights solutions to obstacles Egyptian entrepreneurs might face, including what it says are “arbitrary government policies” and a deficiency of tech talent and internet access, project head Alia Abdel Aziz told Ventureburn.

African business leaders will meet in Egypt at the Africa 2018 Forum from 8-9 December in Sharm El Sheikh. You can check out the event’s website here.

Food Africa Expo takes place as Egypt looks forward to a record citrus season. The gathering takes place 8-11 December at the Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Pitch for a spot in Fintech Cairo: Global seed program organizer Startup Bootcamp and Pride Capital have launched Fintech Cairo. 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 31 December.

Egypt in the News

Actress Rania Youssef’s dress debacle still seems to be making waves in the foreign press, particularly after the Egyptian actors union decided to impose a dress code on women’s attire in upcoming film festivals, according to Gulf News. The suit against Youssef was dropped after the actress apologized, Huffington Post reported.

EDEX also garnered some ink in foreign outlets: Egypt is hoping to “project a message to the world that the country is secure and stable” through the expo, according to the AP. The US Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Dorothy Shea said the US wants to “share our hard-won lessons from the battlefield and help our Egyptian Colleagues take advantage of that and make sure that their acquisitions of equipment are appropriate and really benefit them to the maximum,” according to the newswire. The Washington Post also picked up the story.

The provision of Hepatitis C tests at no cost has attracted mns of Egyptians as the government tries to eradicate the disease, Reuters reports. Egypt, which has the highest rate of Hepatitis C in the world, is carrying out a campaign to detect and treat the disease in a bid to eliminate it by 2022.

On The Front Pages

The Egyptian Defense Expo is dominating the front pages of Egypt’s three main state-owned dailies this morning (Al Ahram | Al Akhbar | Al Gomhuria). President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting yesterday with French Defense Minister Florence Parly also made it to the front page of Al Ahram and Al Gomhuria, while all three papers included coverage of the ongoing protests in Paris.

Worth Reading

The world’s booming middle class population is a potential diamond mine for asset management firms, Chris Flood writes in special report for the Financial Times. One need only look at the likes of Google and Amazon to realize the investment industry is lagging behind in catering to a global client base — particularly the middle classes in EMs.

With recent studies revealing more than half of the world’s population is now middle class, the demand for financial products will continue to surge. Assets under management in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa are expected to increase to USD 38.5 tn in 2025 from some USD 16.1 tn in 2016, according to a PwC report. The growth will be owed to not only an increasing number of bn’aires around the world, but also a growing number of state-owned sovereign wealth funds and private pensions systems. China — which is on the cusp of replacing the EU as home to the world’s second largest investor fund industry — is the market with the largest growth prospects in the coming decade.

While the investment banking industry would naturally grow as the world’s population gets wealthier, growth will favor companies which mobilize against the legal, regulatory, and, above all, cultural challenges. “Historically, there has been a lack of an investment culture in many emerging markets,” PwC partner Olwyn said. Firms will need to be adaptable and tech-savvy to process mns of small value transactions and cater to the mostly young demographics.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt rejects Italy’s request to name Egyptian security forces members allegedly involved in Regeni murder: Egypt’s public prosecutor has refused Italy’s request to include the names of two Egyptian policemen on the suspect registry in Italy for their suspected involvement in the murder of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni, according to a statement by the State Information Service (SIS) (pdf). Egypt had rejected a similar request made in December 2017 on the grounds that the Egyptian legal system does not recognize a “suspect registry” and that the evidence presented against these policemen was insufficient to make any charges stick, according to Ahram Online. Egypt, meanwhile, has called into question the legality of Regeni’s activities in Egypt, since he entered the country on a tourist visa but was conducting research, which would require a student visa, according to SIS.


Electricity minister talks cooperation with new AFD country director

Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker met yesterday with the French Development Agency’s (AFD) new Country Director, Fabio Grazi, to discuss enhancing future cooperation, Al Mal reports. Grazi expressed AFD’s willingness to expand its support for Egypt’s renewable energy sector, particularly wind and solar power projects.

Banking + Finance

Egypt’s CBE extends loan grace period for Sinai tourism investors by one year

CBE Governor Tarek Amer has granted a one-year extension to the grace period for outstanding loans South Sinai tourism investors have received from state-owned banks, according to Ahram Gate. The CBE will also offer EGP 50 mn-worth of loans at reduced interest rates of 5-10% to the investors, who have been burdened in recent years from both a slowdown in tourism activity and a lack of maintenance funds.

Other Business News of Note

GAFI Board approves regulations for internal workings at investment zones

The General Authority for Freezones and Investments’ (GAFI) board approved yesterday regulations governing investment zones, Al Shorouk reports. These regulations include rules outlining the formation of boards and ensuring that the work of executive officers is in accordance with the Investment Act.

Vezeeta eyes expansion in Saudi market early next year

Online medical bookings platform Vezeeta plans to expand its services in Saudi Arabia early next year, CEO Amir Barsoum said. The decision comes after Vezeeta secured USD 12 mn in a series ‘C’ fundraising round led by Saudi Telecom’s venture capital arm, STV, which Barsoum said will be used for expanding Vezeeta’s services in the region as well as launching a number of new products. Vezeeta also plans to offer its services in an unspecified African country in the next six months.

Legislation + Policy

House Health Committee approves bill on medical accountability

The House of Representatives’ Health Committee has approved a draft law on medical accountability and referred it to parliament’s general assembly for a final vote, local news reported. The committee’s review of the law took into account recommendations from the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla), said committee head Sami El Mashad. If passed, the bill would see the establishment of a higher committee mandated with probing complaints and other issues with healthcare providers, and ensuring patients receive insurance. The Health Syndicate has apparently not been privy to the final copy of the bill, syndicate head Ehab El Taher said.

On Your Way Out

Independent publisher under fire for “insulting” Egyptian passport? The Supreme Media Council has reportedly asked the General Authority for Freezones and Investments (GAFI) to suspend Mo4 Network, which owns ElFasla, CairoScene and CairoZoom, for a range of alleged offenses including “insulting the Egyptian passport,” Al Shorouk reported. The media council reportedly received complaints that Mo4’s websites were not properly licensed after complaints about content by members of the Journalists’ Syndicate.

The Market Yesterday

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

EGX30 (Monday): 12,934 (-1.6%)
Turnover: EGP 997 mn (25% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -13.9%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 1.6%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 1.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Telecom Egypt up 2.6%, and Egypt Kuwait Holding up 1.0%, and AMOC up 0.6%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Global Telecom down 7.8%, Elsewedy Electric down 5.0% and Arab Cotton Ginning down 4.0%. The market turnover was EGP 997 mn, and regional investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +94.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -169.7 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +75.0 mn

Retail: 53.3% of total trades | 57.9% of buyers | 48.7% of sellers
Institutions: 46.7% of total trades | 42.1% of buyers | 51.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 53.23 (+0.53%)
Brent: USD 61.69 (+3.75%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 4.38 MMBtu, (+0.97%, January 2019 contract)
Gold: USD 1,236.7 / troy ounce (-0.23%)

TASI: 7,916.79 (+0.91%) (YTD: +9.55%)
ADX: 4,770.08 (-2.27%) (YTD: +8.45%)
DFM: 2,668.66 (-0.6%) (YTD: -20.81%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,327.05 (+0.17%)
QE: 10,451.33 (+1.30%) (YTD: +22.62%)
MSM: 4,450.19 (+0.73%) (YTD: -12.73%)
BB: 1,325.93 (-0.46%) (YTD: -0.43%)

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

04 December (Tuesday): The Central Bank of Egypt will terminate the foreign exchange repatriation mechanism, according to a CBE statement (pdf).

04 December (Tuesday): Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will be in Cairo for “an important announcement, according to an emailed statement (pdf).

04 December (Tuesday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI for November released.

04 December (Tuesday): Fifth annual Egypt Automotive summit kicks off, local news reported.

04-05 December (Tuesday-Wednesday) Irish Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen will be in town heading a delegation of 12 companies to explore investment prospects, according to an Irish Embassy in Cairo statement (pdf).

07-09 December (Friday-Sunday): RiseUp Summit, The Greek Campus, Downtown Cairo (location).

08-09 December (Saturday-Sunday): Business for Africa and the World: The Africa 2018 Forum, Maritim Jolie Ville International Congress Center, Sharm El Sheikh.

08-10 December (Saturday-Monday): Fourth Food Africa 2018 expo, Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Nasr City, Cairo.

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.

18-19 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce leaders are scheduled to meet with their Saudi counterparts in Aswan to launch a collaboration project to support SME development in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, head Ahmed El Wakeel said.

19 December (Wednesday): Cairo Economic Court to rule into 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.

10-13 January 2019 (Thursday): International Property Show (IPS), Egypt International Exhibition Center

19 January 2019 (Saturday) Cairo Criminal Court scheduled hearing of Gamal and Alaa Mubarak’s stock market manipulation case

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.

26 January 2019 (Saturday): Supreme Administration Court’s Uber / Careem appeal date, Egypt.

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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