Sunday, 10 February 2019

The Great Real Estate Tax Debate of 2018 is about to roll forward into 2019


What We’re Tracking Today

It’s interest rate week, and it is anyone’s guess whether the central bank will give us chocolate on Valentine’s Day or a bag of mulched roses. We should get our first clue later today, when we expect the release of inflation figures for January. The central bank’s monetary policy committee is set to meet on Thursday.

May we casually note that central bankers the world over are putting the brakes on interest rate hikes, according to the Financial Times?

Egypt assumes the presidency of the African Union today, with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Addis Ababa for a summit of heads of state. We have more in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

The window to settle with the taxman in return for a 50% break on late fees has now closed, according to a Finance Ministry statement (pdf).

Cairo’s first conference on international banking and finance disputes wraps up today. The two-day gathering was organized by the Cairo Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration to discuss the increased use of international arbitration in banking, project finance, PPPs, and Islamic finance disputes. Guest speakers at the conference include Zulficar & Partners founding partners Mona Zulficar and Mohamed Abdel Wahab, while the keynote address will be delivered by CBE Sub-Governor Mohamed Abou Moussa.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was again singing Egypt’s praises during a meeting with Finance Minister Mohamed Maait in Dubai on Friday, the ministry said in a statement (pdf). Egypt plans to increase spending on health and education to allow citizens to reap the fruit of the reforms, according to the ministry.

Lagarde thinks Arab oil exporters haven’t recovered from price shocks. The IMF boss said at a conference in Dubai that despite the reforms on the spending and revenue sides, fiscal deficits of oil-exporting Arab countries are slowly declining and public debt is quickly growing, Reuters reported. Lagarde also cautioned against “white elephant projects,” with Reuters drawing a line between that and the planned Saudi robot utopia known a Neom.

Eat the Rich: America is having something of a socialist moment, with high-profile Democrats arguing for everything from higher taxes on the wealthy to taxes on dynastic heirs and even a straight-up wealth tax, the New York Times reports, suggesting in a fantastic rundown that we may have entered a new era in which left-leaning policy proposals have legs. NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo takes it a step further, suggesting it may be time to abolish bn’aires. Expect the idea of a wealth tax to get a lot of attention in the US press the next couple of days — it’s a signature idea of Elizabeth Warren, who launched yesterday her 2020 presidential campaign. History, CNBC argues, may be on the side of the reformers.

In miscellany worth knowing about this morning:

Want to add to your TBR pile? Let the Financial Times feed your sickness with its list of 15 books everyone needs to read this year. (TBR, for the uninitiated, is To Be Read.)

Just don’t expect the FT to talk about what’s trendy outside of books. Five or so years after vinyl made its comeback, the salmon-colored paper’s editorial board is just now taking notice.

Did you miss any of our 2019 Enterprise CEO Poll interviews? Links to all of last week’s interviews are below:

MUST READ- Why girls beat boys at school and lose to them in the office, an opinion piece in the New York Times, which suggests that “we need to ask: What if school is a confidence factory for our sons, but only a competence factory for our daughters?” Doesn’t matter whether you’re a parent or an educator, you need to read this.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s arrival in Addis Ababa yesterday to assume Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union was the talk of the town on last night’s talk shows.

Corruption and intra-group conflicts within the AU will be among Egypt’s top challenges during its one-year tenure at the helm of the organization, Rep. Hatem Bashat told Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim (watch, runtime: 05:04). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary also gave a quick rundown of El Sisi’s agenda for the two-day summit (watch, runtime: 01:10).

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Finance Minister Mohamed Maait’s sit-down in Dubai (which we note in What We’re Tracking Today, above) also came up on Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 04:11).

Two electricity bill collectors have allegedly managed to steal EGP 19 mn from “high-consumption” payers, which had El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (metaphorically) tearing out his hair (watch, runtime: 04:46).

Adib’s blood pressure returned to healthy levels as he looked at the progress on the new administrative capital (watch, runtime: 05:20).

The Education Ministry plans to hire teachers for the current academic year (yes, the one that began five months ago) within three weeks, Deputy Minister Mohamed Omar said on Hona Al Asema. The ministry has received around 220k applications through a hiring competition it recently launched (watch, runtime: 11:25).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- The Great Real Estate Tax Debate of 2018 is about to roll forward into 2019. Readers may recall the loud, sweeping debate late last summer over how to fairly tax both commercial and personal real estate. At one point, the story was a fixture of the night time talk shows — and we even had dueling bills: one advanced by the Madbouly government and another (going under the pseudonym “The Returns Act”) that was being drafted by members of the House of Representatives.

What were people debating? Everything. The mechanism of collection. Who would get the lowest rate. Whether second and third residential properties would be taxed. The mechanism for property assessments. You name it. We have background on the debate late last summer and on the House’s counter proposal. Among the keys, as we noted in our primer on the House’s 2018-19 legislative season: Nobody last summer was talking about taxing occupied primary family dwellings. That may be about to change.

The Finance Ministry is preparing to restart the discussion, a senior government official told us at the end of last week. The ministry is studying changes to the formulas it uses to calculate real estate taxes paid by factories, hotels and the oil and gas industry. Also possible: Scrapping an exemption for private homes worth less than EGP 2 mn, a proposal that, if it goes forward, is likely to spur debate in public and in the House. The new bill would likely leave in place a tax on billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising.

The new legislation would replace the current real estate tax law, which has been amended piecemeal (see, for example, stories on how the tax would apply to the oil and gas and tourism industries). Those changes, a government source had previously told us, were meant as a stop-gap measures until the ministry finalized the new law.

Preferential treatment for factories, hotels, oil and gas sector: Properties in the oil and gas sector, factories, and hotels would be subjected to a new, in-the-works formula according to the land value of these properties. The new calculation should reduce the real estate taxes these properties are required to pay.

What’s next? A ministry committee is working on the bill, which could go to the House of Representatives before the end of the current legislative season, our source said.

PepsiCo Egypt begins exporting to North Africa: PepsiCo Egypt has started exporting locally-made products into North Africa has its eye on 13 more African countries, PepsiCo Vice President for Public Affairs Krista Pilot told Trade Minister Amr Nassar, according to a ministry statement (pdf). This comes as PepsiCo Egypt is planning to invest USD 515 mn over the next four years to develop its beverage production lines, CEO Mohamed Shelbaya told us last October.

M&A WATCH- Telecom Egypt has no plans to sell its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt in the medium term,a company official told Youm7. Beltone Financial wrote in a research note in January that it expected the state-owned landline monopoly — which launched the country’s fourth mobile network, We, in September 2017 — to offload its stakes “after securing solid ground in the mobile market” of over 7% this year. The investment bank wrote that divesting from Vodafone Egypt will prevent it from duplicating its investments in the mobile sector, increase its liquidity and improve dividend payouts to shareholders. Sources close to the matter had suggested in October 2017 that the government was looking to put to rest the conflict of interest between Telecom Egypt and Vodafone Egypt before the end of that year. Then-ICT Minister Yasser El Kadi later denied these reports.

M&A WATCH- EK Holding moves ahead with bid for Emisal Salts: Investment firm EK Holding has submitted a tender offer for a majority stake in salt producer Emisal Salts, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). No details were provided on the value of the bid, which is still subject to due diligence. We had noted on Thursday that the National Bank of Egypt, the largest shareholder in Emisal, will lead the sale process on behalf of other state-owned shareholders.

Ibnsina Pharma poised to “capitalize on rising demand” -EFG Hermes: Leading frontier and emerging markets investment bank EFG Hermes has initiated coverage on IbnsinaPharma, which it characterizes as “well-positioned to capture Egypt’s rising … demand and continue outperforming the market.” EFG Hermes has a “Buy” on Ibnsina with a target price of EGP 14.00 / share (and room to run to EGP 15.40 depending on the disposition of an antitrust suit the distributor phases). EFG Notes that Ibnsina is Egypt’s fastest growing distributor of pharmagoods and sees its prospects bolstered by an expected 17% five-year compound annual growth rate for the sector as it recovers from shortages following the float of the EGP. The rollout of the Universal Healthcare Act, which could insurance coverage to 100 percent of the population by 2032, would also increase healthcare spending significantly — raising the five-year CAGR to 25 percent. Ibnsina has grown its market share from 9.9% in 2009 to 20.2% in late 2018.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Addis Ababa to kick off Egypt’s presidency of the African Union and chair a summit of AU heads of state, according to a statement from Ittihadiya. Infrastructure and interconnection projects, the CFTA trade agreement, development financing and climate change will be high on the summit’s agenda.

El Sisi will meet Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed today in Addis for their first three-way sit-down since the reformist Abiy became PM last April. Look for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which could threaten Egypt’s water supply, to be high on the agenda. Domestic media reports (here | here) suggest El Sisi will also meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi.

Background: Egypt’s membership in the AU was suspended in 2013 after the military backed a popular uprising against Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Cairo’s membership was unfrozen the following summer. Egypt contributes about 12% of the AU’s annual budget; other top backers include South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria. Egypt’s presidency of the AU is earning some digital ink from AFP, while Amnesty International issued a statement calling on the AU to hold Egypt responsible for respecting human rights during its chairmanship.

Sudan lifts ban on Egyptian products: The Sudanese government announced it has officially lifted its ban on imports of Egyptian agricultural and animal products, according to Sudan Tribune. The ban, which had been in place since September 2016, came amid tensions between the two countries and as Egypt faced a scare amid reports of strawberry exports that had been contaminated with Hepatitis A. Khartoum then decided to ban imports of other goods in March 2017, which was then expanded to a blanket ban in May of the same year as ties between Egypt and Sudan went south.

Printers are angling for alternatives to delayed export subsidies. Owners of printing presses are waiting for the payment of back-due export subsidies like everyone else. With the government signaling that it may be open to non-cash mechanisms of compensation, industry veteran Nadim Elias, the head of the Print Export Council, tells Al Shorouk newspaper that printers are interested in playing ball. Among this proposals: Being able to write off export subsidies against taxes owed, access to subsidized finance, or swapping subsidies owed for land that could be used to expand.

Gov’t reportedly ends USD 2 mn agreement with US lobbying firm: The government has reportedly terminated a USD 2 mn annual contract with US lobbying firm Glover Park Group, according to Al-Monitor. No reason was given for the termination, but Al-Monitor notes the split took place shortly after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi gave an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes in which he discussed terrorism, political prisoners, cooperation with Israel and the Ikhwan. The group is said to have been working with Egypt since 2013.

New fund for state-owned enterprises: The Madbouly Cabinet approved last week setting up a fund to finance the overhaul of state-owned companies. The fund, which will be spearheaded by the Public Enterprises Minister, aims to help state-owned companies reduce their debt levels, implement governance frameworks and clear “financial bottlenecks.” Reuters notes that the move has the backing of the IMF. It also comes as Cabinet is due to review the final draft of proposed amendments to the Public Enterprises Act that could open the door to the listing on the EGX of state holding companies, according to Al Mal.

BANKING WATCH- The China Development Bank is offering USD 3.7 bn in financing to the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company for the construction of the 6 GW Hamrawein ‘clean coal’ power plant, unnamed sources told the domestic press. Construction of the plant was awarded to a consortium of Chinese companies and Hassan Allam Holding at a total cost of USD 4.4 bn last year. The remainder of the financing for the project is expected to come from local banks, according to the sources. The Egyptian government was said in October to have been seeking better terms from CDB on the financing package.

Zohr output increases to 2.1 bcf/d: Output at Zohr natural gas field has increased to 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), the Oil Ministry said in a statement. The field’s last production milestone came in September last year when output reached 2 bcf/d. Estimates given by field operator Eni and the ministry in October suggest that production could rise to 2.7 bcf/d by July — six months ahead of schedule.

Capital investment to slow in FY2019-20: Eni and its partner companies EGAS and Petrobel will invest a further USD 1.2 bn in FY2019-20 to “intensify development activities in the Zohr area,” the statement said, a notable decrease from the USD 3.2 bn spent in the current fiscal year. Eni said back in October that it expects its total investments in the project to hit USD 16 bn by July.


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Up Next

The Egypt Petroleum Show gets underway tomorrow at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center. The three-day exhibition includes companies from 13 exhibiting countries.

Egypt will issue USD 1 bn worth of one-year USD-denominated T-bills tomorrow, Reuters reports.

The IMF will present on Tuesday a report titled Financial Inclusion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise in the Middle East and Central Asia at a seminar taking place at the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir campus, according to a statement.

The Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to decide on interest rates on Thursday, 14 February.

Suez Canal Authority boss Mohab Mamish will be in Moscow on 17 February to move forward an agreement on a USD 7 bn Russian Industrial Zone, Al Mal reports.

A Russian delegation will visit Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada airports in the second half of February to run a final security sweep ahead of a decision on whether to allow the resumption of direct flights, AMAY reports.

Antitrust ruling: The Cairo Economic Court is due to deliver a decision on an appeal by pharmadistributors of an antitrust fine on 19 February.

FinMin to present debt control strategy to El Sisi in March: The Finance Ministry will present the final, reviewed version of its comprehensive public debt control strategy to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in March, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said.

Execs from 50 Japanese companies will be in Cairo in March to discuss potential investment opportunities, Youm7 reports.

The Macro Picture

“Wall of money” destined for emerging markets- IIF: A “wall of money” is heading for emerging market assets after the US Federal Reserve eased concerns over an imminent rise in interest rates, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a new report published on Thursday. The global industry body says a “sharp spike” of EM inflows could be seen in the days since the Fed announced that it would keep rate-hikes on hold. Following a tumultuous 2018, emerging markets enjoyed their best month of inflows in a year in January with investors ploughing USD 51.1 bn into EM stocks and bonds.

EM inflows are no longer being driven by specific economies but are occurring broadly, according to the report. “Up until recently, it had been the case that China was driving much of the pick-up [in EM flows], but the picture has broadened out in recent weeks, especially where equities are concerned,” the IIF writes.

Trade concerns may yet spoil the party… Concerns over stalling US-China trade talks and a global growth slowdown brought the six-week EM rally to a halt at the tail-end of last week, Bloomberg writes. The MSCI EM index finished last week down 1.4% after US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address increased doubts about whether an agreement with China will be reached before March 1 — after which the US is expected to further ratchet up tariffs. These twin threats could also precipitate a “swift reversal” in the fortunes of EM currencies, the WSJ says.

… so consider hedging against EM risk, say major banks: Investors should move to hedge against EM risk, three major banks have said, according to Bloomberg. Societe Generale, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have all flagged the continued risks in EMs in spite of the current bullishness. “EM’s structural weaknesses will reemerge from the dark sooner rather than later,” Bank of America strategist David Hauner said in a note to clients. “We strongly advise looking for well-priced hedges.”

Egypt in the News

The government’s “Two is Enough” population control program is the focal point of an in-depth piece by the Financial Times’ Heba Saleh. The program essentially aims to reduce the fertility rate from 3.5 children per woman to 2.4 by 2030 — meaning eight mn fewer births — as Egypt’s population is due to surge past a whopping 100 mn by 2020. The family planning program, supported by the US and other international donors, comes as experts warn of the strain that limited water availability and reduced food security will put on our economy and infrastructure, especially within the context of climate change.

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Preserving the traces of Egypt’s lost Jews is the headline running atop an ideas essay in the Wall Street Journal that focuses on Magda Haroun, who “likes to say she will be the last Jew left in Egypt,” as she tries to preserve the remnants of Egyptian Jewish culture.
  • The Museum of Scotland maintains that a pyramid stone in their possession was not taken illegally after the Egyptian government demanded to see documentation for proof, according to the Guardian.
  • A gathering of Egyptologists and other experts celebrated the successful campaign to save the Abu Simbel Temple and other Egyptian artifacts that were at risk of submersion during construction of the High Aswan Dam, reports The Associated Press.
  • Turkey is investigating the deportation of an Egyptian back to Cairo — where he may face the death penalty. Several outlets have picked up the story, including the Stockholm Center for Freedom, Middle East Monitor, and the Miami Herald.
  • Egypt’s execution of three members of the Ikhwan has prompted condemnation from Human Rights Watch. The Associated Press reports that the three were convicted last year for the killing of a judge’s son in Mansoura in 2014.
  • Organ trafficking in Egypt is a bigger problem than the numbers suggest, and is a regular form of payment for migrants looking for illegal passage to Europe, per a piece from The Guardian.
  • Art cafes are flourishing in Cairo as traditional cafes take a backseat due torestrictive measures meant to curb shisha smoking, reports The Arab Weekly.
  • The Arab Weekly raises questions about the incentives for Egypt’s security institutions to build mosques.
  • The work of Egyptian artist Fathi Hassan, currently on display at Lawrie Shabibi in Dubai, is compelling and deserves more attention, argues a review in The National.
  • And a rare feel-good snippet from the UNHCR shows the Somali man who sought refuge in Cairo and has developed a passion for running.

On The Front Pages

Egypt’s assumption of the African Union chairmanship is emblazoned across the front pages of the country’s three main state-owned dailies (Al Ahram | Al Akhbar | Al Gomhuria). Al Gomhuria also takes note of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s words of praise for Egypt’s economic reform program during a meeting with Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.

Worth Watching

Could you beat a robot at Jenga? A robot created by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have used AI to create a robot that can probably beat a human at Jenga, according to CNN (watch, runtime: 0:53). The robot has been designed to both see and feel the individual blocks that make up a Jenga tower, but unlike many automatized AI devices, this robot can actually respond to real-time information to learn which blocks to remove as it plays.

What kind of robot is this, anyway? Researchers condensed what the robot needed to learn to master the game, allowing it to learn more efficiently. So it processes feedback, using a camera and force-sensing wrist cuff, in a way that enables it to make judgments.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The EU has provided Egypt with six grants worth a combined EUR 18 mn to finance development projects as part of the first phase of the EU’s cross border cooperation program, according to an Investment Ministry statement. The projects are intended to enable cooperation in a variety of fields, including textiles, tourism, and new and renewable energy.

The African Union has voted to host the African Space Agency’s headquarters in Egypt, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.


Shell Egypt eyes Red Sea exploration tender

Shell Egypt is eyeing the Red Sea exploration and production tenders Egypt is expected to launch during 1Q2019, Government and External Relations Manager Moataz Darwish tells Al Masry Al Youm. The tenders are expected to be issued within the coming weeks, following the completion of the seismic mapping of the area. The Oil Ministry was expected to launch tenders for 10 oil and gas offshore blocks in the Red Sea last year.

Romania eyes Egypt’s renewables sector, Molla hopes to bring in US investments

Romania is eyeing investing in solar and wind energy projects in Egypt, Romania’s Secretary of State for Global Affairs Monica Gheorghita told Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker in a meeting on Thursday, according to Al Mal. In related news, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla discussed increasing US investments in the sector with US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Goldberger amid efforts to develop Egypt into a regional energy hub, according to a ministry statement.

Basic Materials + Commodities

GASC buys 300k tonnes of wheat

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) purchased 300,000 tonnes of wheat on Friday due for shipment between March 21-31, Reuters reports. The purchase includes 120,000 tonnes of US soft red wheat, 120,000 tonnes of French wheat and 60,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat. GASC’s second purchase of European wheat in a fortnight helped Euronext wheat futures to recover from two-month lows.

Egyptian agricultural exports face challenges

Water shortages and competitive pressures from other exporters are the main challenges facing Egyptian agricultural exports, Agricultural Export Council head Abdel Hamid El Demerdash said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. International bans due to quality issues and pesticide use have also caused considerable headwind, cutting agri exports in half, El Demerdash noted.


Egypt signs MoU with Korea’s JST to set up waste-to-energy facility

The National Organization for Military Production has signed an MoU with Korean waste-to-energy (WtE) company JST to set up a WtE facility in Egypt, according to a Military Production Ministry statement. The plan is to generate refuse-derived fuel (RFD) which will then be used to power the ministry’s cement factories.

Real Estate + Housing

Alassema Real Estate to invest EGP 350 mn in new capital medical project

Alassema Real Estate is planning to invest EGP 350 mn in its Medical Capital Center project in the new administrative capital, Chairman Mostafa Mansour said.


Radisson to acquire six new hotels in Egypt

Radisson Hotel Group has signed an agreement to acquire six new hotels across Egypt, the company announced on Friday. The international company will add hotels in Heliopolis, New Cairo, Golf City, Ain Sokhna, and Hurghada to its portfolio, making it one of the largest hoteliers operating in Egypt. The properties will open at varying times between 3Q2019 and 4Q2021, the company said.

Egypt bookings growing at Thomas Cook

British tour operator Thomas Cook’s revenues from rising bookings Egypt, Turkey and other North African destinations managed to offset weaker demand in Spain between October and December, the Financial Times reported. Egypt and Turkey in particular are gaining popularity among the travel agent’s clients.

Automotive + Transportation

Egypt’s Arafat discusses with Siemens USD 153 mn railway signaling project

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat sat down with a delegation of executives from Siemens, headed by CEO Michael Peter, to discuss the latest developments in the company’s USD 153 mn railway signaling project, according to a ministry statement. The project involves building an electronic interlocking system (EIS) to automate signaling along the Banha-Port Said and Zagazig-Abou Kebeer railway lines. The statement makes no mention of the project’s current status.

Careem launches bus service in Alexandria

Ride-hailing company Careem has launched its bus service in Alexandria as part of its plan to launch the service across six governorates this year, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The company has invested USD 100 mn in developing the service.

Suez Canal Authority considering up to 60% discounts for ships

The Suez Canal Authority is considering offering 30-60% discounts on fees in six ports in an attempt to draw more business to the ports, spokeswoman Hend Fathy tells Al Shorouk. The authority has been reducing fees in several of its ports to attract more traffic after a previous decision to raise fees caused major shipping lines to withdraw from East Port Said Port.

Banking + Finance

Al Marasem in talks with banks for EGP 1.6 bn Islamic finance

Al Marasem International for Development is in talks with several banks to get an EGP 1.6 bn Islamic loan to finance the construction of its “Fifth Square” project in New Cairo, banking sources tell Al Shorouk. The developer is also seeking a separate EGP 960 mn financing package to fund its construction works in the new administrative capital. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt is advising and arranging the financing.

Legislation + Policy

Egypt to refer NGOs Act amendments to Cabinet by March

The Social Solidarity-led committee drafting amendments to the NGOs Act will present a report to the ministry in less than a week, Minister Ghada Waly said, according to Al Mal. The committee involved several local and international NGOs. It will nominate sub-committee to draft a final version of the amendments to send to Cabinet by no later than March, we had noted last month. The contentious NGOs Act has been widely criticized for choking civil society.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.55 | Sell 17.65
Buy 17.56 | Sell 17.66
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.55 | Sell 17.65

EGX30 (Thursday): 14,767 (+0.2%)
Turnover: EGP 1.2 bn (38% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +13.3%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 0.2%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 0.7%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Juhayna up 4.1%, Palm Hills up 1.6%, and Madinet Nasr Housing up 1.6%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were Ezz Steel down 3.4%, Telecom Egypt down 2.0% and Egyptian Resorts down 1.4%. The market turnover was EGP 1.2 bn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +69.8 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +21.7 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -91.5 mn

Retail: 62.8% of total trades | 64.0% of buyers | 61.5% of sellers
Institutions: 37.2% of total trades | 36.0% of buyers | 38.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 52.72 (+0.15%)
Brent: USD 62.10 (+0.76%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.58 MMBtu, (+1.25%, Mar 2019)
Gold: USD 1,318.50 / troy ounce (+0.33%)

TASI: 8,612.84 (-0.24%) (YTD: +10.04%)
ADX: 5,112.15 (-0.60%) (YTD: +4.01%)
DFM: 2,542.67 (-0.56%) (YTD: +0.51%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,439.52 (-0.01%)
QE: 10,505.19 (-1.67%) (YTD: +2.0%)
MSM: 4,151.97 (-0.21%) (YTD: -3.97%)
BB: 1,418.10 (+0.66%) (YTD: +6.05%)

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11-13 February (Monday-Wednesday): Renaissance Capital Egypt Investor Trip, Cairo.

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

14 February (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee meets to review interest rate.

19 February (Tuesday): Cairo Economic Court to deliver decision on pharma distributors appeal, Egypt.

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

23 February (Saturday): The Supreme Administrative Court will rule in an appeal by Uber and its competitor Careem against a lower court ruling ordering the suspension of their operations.

24-25 February (Sunday-Monday): EU-Arab League summit, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

26-28 February (Tuesday-Thursday): 22nd International Conference on Petroleum Mineral

Resources and Development, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.

03-06 March (Sunday-Wednesday): EFG Hermes One-on-One Conference, Dubai.

10 March (Sunday): CIB to hold EGM meeting to look into planned capital increase.

March (date TBD): Traders Fair, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo, Egypt.

17 March (Sunday): A court will look into a lawsuit by a subsidiary of Arabian Investments, Development and Financial Investment Holding Co. (AIND) against Peugeot Citroen, seeking EUR 150 mn in damages.

17-18 March (Sunday-Monday): OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting, Baku (Bloomberg)

18-19 March (Monday-Tuesday): US Federal Open Market Committee holds two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

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

28 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee meets to review interest rate.

April: The African Tripartite Trade Area (TFTA) agreement is set to take effect in April after a majority from the participating governments ratified it, COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe according to Al Shorouk.

April: The EUR 250 mn first phase of Egypt’s national waste management program kicks off.

17-18 April (Wednesday-Thursday): OPEC+ meeting, Vienna (Bloomberg)

20-22 April (Friday-Sunday): Spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC.

25 April (Thursday): Sinai Liberation day, national holiday.

28 April (Sunday): Easter Sunday, national holiday.

29 April (Monday): Easter Monday, national holiday.

30 April-1 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee holds two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

01 May (Wednesday): Labor Day, national holiday.

06 May (Monday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

23 May (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee meets to review interest rate.

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

05-06 June (Wednesday-Thursday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

18-19 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee holds two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

30 June (Sunday): June 2013 protests, national holiday.

11 July (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee meets to review interest rate.

23 July (Tuesday): 23 July revolution, national holiday.

30-31 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee holds two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

7-11 August (Wednesday-Sunday) Eid El Adha (TBC).

22 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee meets to review interest rate.

29 August (Thursday): Islamic New Year (TBC), national holiday.

17-18 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee holds two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

26 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee meets to review interest rate.

6 October (Sunday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

10-13 October (Tuesday-Sunday): Big Industrial Week Arabia 2019, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

29-30 October (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee holds two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

9 November (Saturday): Prophet Mohammed’s birthday, national holiday.

December: Egypt will host for the first time the Pack Process trade expo for the Middle East and African region.

10-11 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee holds two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

26 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee meets to review interest rate.

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