Monday, 4 March 2019

Privatization Program Mark II coming September

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Greetings from Dubai, where a couple of us are attending the 2019 EFG Hermes One on One conference. It’s day two of the largest investor conference in frontier emerging markets, with top execs from some 186 companies hailing from 26 countries in town to meet with investors representing 260 institutions and family offices with aggregate assets under management of USD 11 tn. You can learn more about the conference in EFG Hermes’ press release here (pdf) or by reading Group CEO Karim Awad’s opening remarks (pdf). EFG Hermes also published a macro/sector analysis video to accompany the conference which you can watch here (watch, runtime: 9:50).

Yesterday’s highlight was the 2019 Pulse, the largest real-time poll of companies and top execs in frontier emerging markets. Highlights worth knowing:

  • Investors are very bullish on emerging market equities. Even though EM equities are up 10% since the start of the year, 68% of respondents see them going up by at least another 15% or more.
  • This is probably because of tempered expectations of rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, with 32% of respondents seeing no change in rates until the year-end and 45% seeing the potential rate increases capped at 125 bps.
  • Investors will take their gains from the Saudi market and move them elsewhere in EM. A quarter plan to park their gains in Egypt and a fifth in the UAE.
  • Expect (roughly) FX stability in Egypt: Investors with eyes on Egypt don’t foresee a big change in the FX rate, expecting the EGP to hover around 18 per USD 1, with low and relatively evenly-split risks between the up and downsides.
  • Respondents favor Egypt and Saudi Arabia in MENA and Vietnam and Pakistan in FEM ex MENA: 65% of respondents said their MENA investments would be in Egypt or KSA. Outside of MENA, Nigeria and Argentina trailed Vietnam and Pakistan.
  • Passive funds are seen taking over: Almost half of the respondents believe that the percentage of EM AUM in passive funds is set to go over 50% from 30% currently. Over a third see them growing to 40%.
  • Business operators and investors see risk factors arising from political uncertainty, 41% of the respondents said. 24% were more concerned over changing regulations and a similar percentage over poor consumer confidence.
  • Don’t expect the Central Bank of Egypt to go for a huge rate cut before the end of 2020. 37% see CBE rates being cut by 2% or less, and 29% cap the cuts at 3%.
  • Where to park your money? CIB in Egypt, 27% of the respondents voted, followed by 20% giving the nod to Emaar in the UAE.

You can check out the full poll results here (pdf).

Stuff worth knowing, Part II: Yesterday’s opening session featured two packed panel discussions. During the first, top execs from Asian microfinance giant ASA International, Mastercard MENA and EFG Hermes looked at the world “beyond banks,” asking how non-bank financial institutions are opening up traditional markets and whether they’re a threat to traditional banks. Then, senior players from Pepsi International and Jumia tackled “The New Consumer” — joined for her on-stage debut by our always-on-point friend Nada Amin, vice-president consumer and retail at EFG Hermes.

A full rundown on both panels is here (pdf) for your reading pleasure.

Coolest fact of the morning: “Ethiopia has appointed a commission to explore opening up a stock exchange,” says our friend Mohamed Ebeid, co-CEO of the investment bank at EFG Hermes. As we’ve said before: More than 100 mn people and more than a passing interest in our share of Nile water. This makes Ethiopia a very, very interesting market indeed.

The gathering continues Tuesday and Wednesday. We look forward to seeing many of our readers here, so don’t be shy if you see us wandering the halls.


Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly is expected to deliver a speech in front of the House of Representatives on the Ramses train crash sometime next week, said House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, Ahram Online reports.

Egypt’s leading business awards ceremony bt100 takes place today: The ceremony organized by Egyptian Media Group is expected to draw more than 800 business leaders and several notable Cabinet members including Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, and Planning Minister Hala El Said, reports Youm7.

First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Jurgen Rigterink is paying us a visit from 4-7 March. During his visit, Rigterink will meet with senior Egyptian government officials and open the EBRD’s “Women in Green Energy” event, which aims to promote increasing the role of women in Egypt’s renewable energy sector.


Trump isn’t happy with how strong the USD is: The Donald complained on Saturday that the USD is too strong, taking a not-so-veiled swipe at US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for hiking interest rates, which he blamed for the strength of the currency, Bloomberg reports. “I want a strong USD but I want a USD that does great for our country, not a USD that’s so strong that it makes it prohibitive for us to do business with other nations and take their business.”

OPEC’s crude production continued to fall in February, a Bloomberg survey showed. Output from the 14 OPEC members fell by 560,000 bbl/d in February to 30.5 mn bbl/d, as OPEC maintained their production cuts, and output continued to fall in Iran and Venezuela.

Are the US and China about to kiss and make up? The US and China may finally be on the cusp of a trade agreement, avoiding another USD 200 bn of tariffs on Chinese goods, sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

And peace may be about to break out in Libya: Libya’s rival leaders, Egypt-backed military commander General Khalifa Haftar and Tripoli-based Prime Minister Fayez Al Sarraj, signed an agreement last week to hold national elections, according to the Associated Press.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The airwaves were awash with miscellany last night, with no single topic or story capturing the collective focus of the nation’s talking heads.

President Abdel El Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with GEIDCO Chairman Liu Zhenya was the focus for Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 01:13). During the meeting, El Sisi stressed the importance of strengthening ties with African countries in the field of infrastructure development. El Sisi also met yesterday with the Kenyan foreign minister to discuss boosting bilateral relations in trade and investment.

Assal also discussed the Agriculture Ministry’s discovery of a new avian influenza virus called the H5N2 — as if we didn’t have enough problems already (watch, runtime: 02:43). The ministry said vaccines are available and urged farmers to make sure their poultry products are not infected before putting them on sale. The ministry plans to run examinations and compensate affected farmers (watch, runtime: 06:27).

Those removed from the government’s subsidies program will continue to have access to subsidized bread, adviser to the Supply Minister Amr Madkour assured Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim (watch, runtime: 13:39).

Ibrahim also phoned Housing Minister Spokesman Hany Younes and quizzed him about Egypt’s plans to increase the proportion of populated areas from 7% to 14% by 2052 (watch, runtime: 10:17).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- Next wave in state privatization program will be IPOs, set to begin in September: The next wave of state-owned companies selling shares as part of the state privatization program will be new listings, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik told Enterprise yesterday. The state plans to begin listing four or five companies in September, at a rate of about one IPO per month. The government will announce an updated list of the companies on the roster within a week or two as it chooses from eight shortlisted companies. Tawfik said that the priority is for companies in the industrial, mining, and E&P sectors beside Enppi. He added that it isn’t confirmed yet if Banque du Caire will be part of the second phase.

For now, secondary offerings will keep rolling until Ramadan: After closing the public offering portion of Eastern Tobacco on Tuesday, the government plans to sell shares in Alexandria Containers & Cargo Handling, followed by Abou Kir Fertilizers and Heliopolis Housing, and then pause for the slow Ramadan and summer season. The second phase in September may involve another secondary offering, according to Tawfik. The government plans to offer about 20% of Alexandria Containers and is expected to raise up to EGP 8 bn in sale proceeds, Tawfik told Al Mal. His statement comes after the sudden announcement on Friday kicking off the privatization program with the sale of an additional 4.5% stake in Eastern Company.

Eastern Tobacco institutional offering ropes in foreign investors: Eastern Tobacco’s institutional offering of a 4.275% stake (equivalent to 96,187,500 shares) was 1.8x oversubscribed, with shares offered at EGP 17 apiece. 94% of the subscribers in the private placement were non-Egyptians, 70% of them were foreigners and 30% Arabs, according to Al Mal. A total of 829,849 shares were covered on Sunday, bringing total coverage on the first day of the public offering to about 16%, according to a separate report from the newspaper.

The FRA is taking no chances this time: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has asked EFG Hermes, which advised on the transaction, to hand the bookbuilding order log before announcing the subscription rate and the final price, Al Mal reported. The authority also asked EFG to double-check the financial capability of clients and their ability to pay for the stocks requested, and also excluded orders that were given without a price. The move follows last year’s mishap with the IPO of structured- and consumer-finance firm Sarwa Capital that led to the FRA suspending Beltone Financial’s investment banking arm. The suspension was lifted last month following a EGP 16 mn settlement.

Shares in Eastern Company rose 4.4% to EGP 17.4 / share yesterday. The stock rose earlier in the session as much as 5.9% to its highest level in three months, Bloomberg reported. The news information service says that the share sale helped extend The EGX30’s New Year rally — the bourse’s best since 2014.

Total car sales were up 10.8% y-o-y in January to 11,467 vehicles, compared to 10,347 in January 2018, according to figures from the Automotive Information Council (AMIC). Passenger car, bus and truck sales increased 17%, 12.1% and 3.1% y-o-y, respectively, during the month.  Locally-assembled vehicles, however, registered a 12.5% y-o-y decline. Chevrolet was the best-selling brand across all segments, while Hyundai remained the market leader in the passenger cars segment. The automotive industry has been rebounding since January 2018 following a slump that was exacerbated by the EGP devaluation in 2016. However, this month’s total increase in sales volume wasn’t as pronounced in recent months, including in October, September, and December (when a low base effect certainly helped). January 2019 was the first recorded month since the decision to slash to 0% import tariffs on EU-made cars, which would explain the sharp 44.5% y-o-y increase in car imports.

EFG Hermes is looking at one or two new markets this year in South East Asia to add to the 12 countries the firm is operating in, CEO Karim Awad told Bloomberg interviewers in Dubaion the sidelines of the EFG One on One conference. “The investment won’t be big and will involve building market share from the ground up,” he said. Frontier unit CEO Ali Khalpey previously said the investment bank is eyeing expansion into Vietnam, alongside its focus on consolidating its share in recently entered African markets. EFG Hermes announced last year that it had bought Nigerian brokerage and research firm Primera Africa Securities Ltd. The firm also obtained a stock brokering license in Kenya, and plans to use Nigeria as a regional hub for its African plans.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Egypt Ventures announces series A investment in AvidBeam Technologies: Cairo-based VC fund Egypt Ventures has announced that it is investing in AvidBeam Technologies during the tech company’s series A round of investment, Menabytes reports. “We are thrilled to work alongside Egyptian founders who have built deep tech that is globally competitive,” Heba Ali, managing partner of Egypt Ventures, told the website, without revealing the size of the fund’s investment. AvidBeam provides real-time text and video analytics to businesses, enabling them to gather security and corporate intelligence. Its platform has a wide range of applications in the retail, automotive and security sectors.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Eight Chinese companies plan leather factories in Egypt: Eight Chinese companies agreed to build 15 leather factories in Rubeky Leather City manufacturing complex, local press reported. Jiading Changcheng Leather Co. expressed interest in operating a leather factory and will begin production within three months of receiving the licenses and the facility, according to a Trade & Industry Ministry statement (pdf).

Sarwa Capital acquires licenses for life and non-life insurance products: Consumer- and structured-finance player Sarwa Capital Holding has acquired licenses from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) to begin offering life and non-life insurance policies, the company announced in a statement (pdf). The company will provide insurance through two separate entities: Sarwa Insurance Company will offer property and liability insurance, and Sarwa Life Insurance Company will provide life and health insurance, as well as long-term savings products. The two new companies were incorporated in 2018 following preliminary approval from the FRA and the General Authority for Freezones and Investment (GAFI). Each entity will have initial capital of around EGP 100 mn.

BEEF WATCH- Emaar vs. El Nasr beef looks set to wrap up for good: Emaar Misr and El Nasr Housing will sign next week the final contracts to resolve their two-year-old dispute over a land plot and delays in Emaar’s Uptown Cairo project, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik said, according to Al Mal. The two reached an agreement last year whereby the former will pay EGP 100 mn to settle. The agreement also involves Emaar completing the project, and either returning 5% of the project land or buying it at market value.

Background: State-owned El Nasr brought an arbitration case against Emaar in June 2017 alleging that the UAE-based company failed to develop 3 mn sqm of land allotted to it in 2005. El Nasr also claimed there are 215k sqm unlawfully within Uptown’s borders. Emaar’s offer of EGP 100 mn in settlement was then met with acceptance since El Nasr’s arbitration case was said to be “baseless.”

Online fashion store Namshi is coming to town: Dubai’s Emaar Malls’ recently acquired e-commerce fashion platform Namshi is eyeing expanding into Egypt, CEO Hosam Arab told Wamda. The GCC-based giant — with its collection of well-known brands such as Nike, Calvin Klein, Adidasm and Forever 21 — is hoping 10% of Egyptians buy their clothes from the platform, Arab said.

MOVES- Our friends at Carbon Holdings have tapped Hala El-Mohandes (LinkedIn) as deputy CEO of project and export finance, according to an emailed statement (pdf). El-Mohandes “will lead on securing appropriate, sustainable funding streams for Carbon Holdings as it works to fulfill its strategy to become one of the world’s leading integrated petrochemical producers.” Prior to joining Carbon, El-Mohandes spent 27 years at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, where she served as vice president of the project finance division. She also has 16 years of commercial banking experience under her belt, having served at CIB, the National Bank of Egypt, and the National Bank of Washington.

EARNINGS WATCH- Global Telecom Holding returned to profit in 4Q2018, reporting a net profit of USD 98 mn compared to a loss of USD 136 mn during the comparable period a year earlier, the company said in a statement on its website (pdf). Revenues fell 3% year-on-year to USD 702 mn. The return to profit was mainly due to lower financial expenses and lower FX losses on the back of the revaluation of interest over the put option liability coupled with the depreciation of the currency in Pakistan and lower income tax due to the cancellation of Deodar and related tax adjustments. Total customer base grew by 4.3% year-on-year to 103.9 mn.

On a full-year basis, the company recorded a net loss of USD 249.7 mn in FY2018 compared to a net loss of USD 79.1 mn in FY2017, according to a disclosure to the EGX. GTH’s board has called for an extraordinary general assembly on 27 March to decide on the continuation of the company’s activity despite annual losses exceeding 50% of the value of shareholders’ equity, it said in a filing to the bourse (pdf). Shareholders will also vote during the meeting on the proposed EGP 11.2 bn capital increase, the same increase which saw the FRA ban majority shareholder Veon from voting on. Veon has filed for regulatory approval to take GTH private.

Emaar Misr reported a consolidated net profit of EGP 3.4 bn in FY2018, up 48% y-o-y from EGP 2.3 bn in FY2017, according to its earnings release (pdf). Revenues for the year stood at EGP 6.3 bn, up from EGP 4.5 bn the previous year.

MM Group For Industry And International Trade reported a net profit after tax of EGP 275.5 mn in FY2018, down from EGP 339.3 mn in FY2017, according to a bourse filing (pdf). The drop came despite an increase in topline sales for the year to EGP 7.6 bn, from EGP 6.1 bn in 2017.

Oriental Weavers’ 2018 net income fell to EGP 503.7 mn from EGP 683.3 mn in 2017, the company said in a filing to the bourse (pdf). Revenues came at EGP 10.4 bn in 2018 vs EGP 10.2 bn. The board decisions are available here (pdf).

Topline tax for zone investors to apply only to new projects: The Investment Ministry’s dispute resolution unit has decided to exempt already existing freezone companies from the fees and levies imposed on their toplines in 2017, Baker McKenzie’s Mohamed Ghannam said. ِِِA 2% fee on all goods sold in Egypt out of the zones, a 1% tax on goods exported from zones and 1% fee on the operating costs of industrial projects in the zones — all stipulated by the 2017 Investment Act — will now only apply to newly set up projects.

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Up Next

EBRD to present report on new labor market trends: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Janet Heckman will chair a panel discussion on Tuesday to present the findings of a report on the impact of modern trends on the labor markets of Egypt and developing nations, according to a press release.

Egypt and a UAE company will sign an operation and management agreement in the field of tire manufacturing “within days,” Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik said, according to Al Mal. The minister did not disclose the name of the UAE company, but said the move comes amid efforts to attract foreign investment, and boost manufacturing and trade.

A consortium of Russian companies is expected to visit Egypt this month to explore investment and operational logistics in the Russian Industrial Zone area of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, reports the local press.

Tourism forum ITB Berlin is kicking off on Wednesday, according to the convention’s website. Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat is taking part in the sessions of the first day.

The gov’t will begin rolling out its debt control strategy this month. The four-year strategy aims to bring down Egypt’s public debt to 80-85% of GDP by the end of FY2021-22.

An Egyptian ministerial delegation will visit France this month to discuss boosting bilateral trade, local press reported.

The Egypt-Sudan electricity grid connection project is on track, and is set to begin its first-phase trials next month, according to The North Africa Post.

A delegation of 50 Japanese companies is expected in Egypt early next month to sign several investment agreements and explore areas of cooperation for the development of technical industries, reports Egypt Today.

The Macro Picture

Enabling women’s participation in Egypt’s economy is an “urgent priority on the national agenda,” the World Bank has said. The international lender says in a report on female economic empowerment that sustained economic growth necessitates an inclusive labor market, and with a female labor participation rate at 23.1%, women remain “an untapped resource” in Egypt’s economy. Much of the blame is placed on discrimination in the labor market — particularly in the private sector — while interviewees also cited family obligations, harassment on public transportation, and not knowing how to find a job as reasons discouraging them from looking for work.

Limited progress: The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Gender Gap Index shows that Egypt made progress on gender parity in several aspects such as education and health compared to the 2017 index. However, it still slipped one place overall in the index to 135 out of 149 countries, driven by declines in the economic participation and political empowerment rankings. Declining economic participation has been an ongoing trend over the past decade, with the proportion of women either in work or actively looking for work falling from 27% in 2006 to 23.1% in 2016.

Advice to the powers that be: While the World Bank commends the government’s commitment to economic reform, increased job openings will not necessarily lead to more women entering the labor market. It therefore recommends that Egypt build on newly-passed legislation to clamp down further on workplace discrimination, focus education on combating the perception of masculine and feminine jobs, and promote the business case for increasing female financial inclusion.

Egypt in the News

Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb’s statement on polygamy being “an injustice for women and children” is making headlines in the international press this morning. Speaking during his weekly TV program, Al Tayeb said that the widespread acceptance and legality of the practice in the Arab world is based on a “lack of understand of the Quran.” His comments stirred heated local and international debate, with some arguing that polygamy is good for women and Al Azhar issuing a separate statement clarifying that Al Tayeb wasn’t suggesting banning it. The Associated Press, BBC and WaPo all picked up the story.

Other headlines worth noting in brief:

  • Egypt has allowed a group of 800 Palestinians from Gaza to travel to Saudi Arabia for the umrah pilgrimage for the first time in five years, reports the Associated Press.
  • El Sisi’s government is unlikely to tolerate threats to its rule, Zvi Bar'el writes for Haaretz, pointing to a recent tweet by actor Amr Waked which criticized the death penalty.
  • Nobel laureate and former Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei has criticized the government for refusing prison visits to ex-president Mohamed Morsi, Anadolu Agency reports.
  • Egypt has completed the restoration of the Kom El-Shuqafa catacombs in Alexandria at a total cost of USD 5.7 mn, reports Reuters. The project aims to protect the ancient site from groundwater leaks.

On The Front Pages

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with Vatican Representative Leonardo Sandri during which he reaffirmed the country’s commitment to respecting freedom of belief, adopting moderate Islam, and fighting violence and terrorism is topping the front pages of all three state-owned newspapers this morning (Al Ahram | Al Gomhuria | Al Akhbar).

Worth Reading

Football supporters will be the revolutionary vanguard, said Karl Marx never:

While football fans in Western countries have never been known for their revolutionary spirit, ultras in the Middle East are renowned for their political participation and have often been the driving force behind popular protest. In the past decade, football culture has helped to mobilize crowds from Egypt and Tunisia to Turkey and Yemen. And following crackdowns on them in recent years, the groups may not be dead and buried just yet, James Dorsey writes in Modern Diplomacy.

Football is the opiate of the masses: Supporters of Al Ahly (Ultras Ahlawy) and Zamalek (Ultras White Knights) were some of the most active participants in Egypt’s unrest this decade, becoming involved in the 2011 revolution, the anti-Morsi demonstrations and protests post-2014. But in 2018 both groups decided to unilaterally shut down their organizations citing safety concerns, and asked to negotiate with the government over releasing detained fans. “The ultras are despite and don’t see a bright future. They hope for a reconciliation to get their fellow members out of prison,” a local journalist said.

Ultras of the world unite: But sources close to ultras groups have revealed that the ultras may not stay dormant for long. “This is a new generation. It’s a generation that can’t be controlled. When the opportunity arises, they will do something bigger than we ever did,” a founding member of one of Egypt’s ultras groups said. “Things will eventually burst. When and where nobody knows. But the writing is on the wall,” another source said.

Manufacturing

Damietta Furniture City’s manufacturing complex to be completed in 2022

The Damietta Furniture City Company will complete and being operating its 331-feddan furniture manufacturing complex by 2022, company CEO El Moataz Bahaa El Din said. The project is a 20-minute drive from downtown Damietta, and will include 150 furniture factories, some 1500 smaller workshops, exposition halls, banks, hotels and other facilities.

Real Estate + Housing

ODE sales in O West project

Orascom Development Egypt (ODE) began sales in its EGP 3.3 bn “O West” development, its first home project located west of Cairo, the company said in a bourse filing (pdf).

Tourism

Egypt opens 170 km Red Sea Mountain Trail

The opening of the new long-distance Red Sea Mountain Trail is raising hopes for the emergence of a different kind of tourism in the mountainous area outside Hurghada, according to Lonely Planet Travel News. The 170 km trail, which comprises a network of trading routes used by Bedouins for centuries for trading and hunting, takes about 10 days to complete. The idea is for Bedouin guides to accompany hikers on the journey, providing direction, history and food. This community tourism project is owned by the local Maaza tribe and looks to help establish indigenous Bedouins as leaders in the local tourism industry.

Telecoms + ICT

Network International launches new mobile payment platform in Cairo

Payment solutions provider Network International launched its new Android-powered platform N-Genius in Cairo on Sunday.It is designed to offer credit card and mobile wallet users a variety of payment options, including mobile payment solutions, all major credit cards and the national debit card, according to the company’s press release.

Egypt aims to grow CIT exports by 12% annually

Egypt aims to increase CIT exports by 12% annually over the next three years to reach USD 4.5 bn by 2021, Communications and Information Technology Minister Amr Talaat said. Egypt’s CIT exports currently stand at USD 3.2 bn per year, accounting for 4% of GDP. The country aims to have the figure reach 5% through the coming two years, Talaat said.

Banking + Finance

DP in talks with Egypt banks for USD 500 mn Ain Sokhna port expansion

UAE’s DP World is in talks with banks in Egypt to arrange a USD 500 mn loan to finance its Ain Sokhna port expansion project, banking sources told Al Shorouk. Some of the banks are based in GCC countries but all have branches in Egypt. The loan will cover the company’s total investments in the project (EGP 8.9 bn or USD 500 mn). The expansion will bring the port’s annual capacity to 1 mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

Seven banks agree to lend Al Marasem EGP 1.6 bn for New Cairo project

Seven banks have agreed to provide a EGP 1.6 bn Islamic loan to Al Marasem International for Development to finance the construction of its “Fifth Square” project in New Cairo, sources told Hapi Journal. The loan will be extended over a six or seven-year period, and the company is expected to reach financial close within weeks, the sources said. ADIB Capital acted as adviser on the agreement, the sources said, adding that Banque Misr was among the banks involved.

Other Business News of Note

Only minority shareholders can vote on Amer Group delisting: FRA

Amer Group’s minority shareholders will be the only ones allowed to vote on the Board of Director’s plan to delist the company’s shares from the EGX, the Financial Regulatory Authority said in a bourse filing. Thursday’s trades on Amer Group and Porto Group were canceled following the announcement.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Hisham Genena’s prison sentence upheld by military court:

An appeal made by former anti-corruption chief Hisham Genena against a five-year prison sentence was rejected on Sunday by an Egyptian military court, Reuters reports. Genena, an opposition figure who had supported the brief 2018 presidential bid of former military chief of staff Sami Anan against President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, was arrested in February 2018 after threatening to release “sensitive” documents. He was subsequently charged with spreading false news harmful to the military and sentenced to five years in prison. Genena’s daughter has declared Sunday’s verdict, which is subject to further appeal, as being upheld “for political reasons.”

Sports

Egypt’s Farag and El Sherbini crowned 2018-19 squash world champions

Egypt’s Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini were crowned squash world champions at the PSA World Championships yesterday after defeating compatriots Tarek Momen and Nour El Tayeb in the final, PSA World Tour reports. The winners take home over USD 70k each.

On Your Way Out

Ahead of Zero Discrimination Day young adults banded together in Egypt to address HIV-related stigma and discrimination, reports UNAIDS. The campaign hopes to educate participants on how HIV affects young individuals in Egypt, and touts itself as being about “social justice, equality, the empowerment of women and promoting healthy gender norms,” said Ahmed Khamis, UNAIDS’ country manager for Egypt.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.47 | Sell 17.57
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.47 | Sell 17.57
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.46 | Sell 17.56

EGX30 (Sunday): 14,820 (+0.1%)
Turnover: EGP 703 mn (23% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +13.7%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session up 0.1%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Eastern Co up 4.4%, Emaar Misr up 4.4%, and Qalaa Holdings up 3.1%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Egypt Kuwait Holding down 3.4%, GB Auto down 2.9% and Sarwa Capital Holding down 2.8%. The market turnover was EGP 703 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +47.3 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +25.4 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -72.7 mn

Retail: 72.2% of total trades | 74.6% of buyers | 69.8% of sellers
Institutions: 27.8% of total trades | 25.4% of buyers | 30.2% of sellers

WTI: USD 56.14 (+0.61%)
Brent: USD 65.37 (+0.46%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.85 MMBtu, (-0.38%, Apr 2019)
Gold: USD 1,296.90 / troy ounce (-0.18%)

TASI: 8,534.27 (+0.49%) (YTD: +9.04%)
ADX: 5,120.41 (-0.34%) (YTD: +4.18%)
DFM: 2,642.34 (+0.25%) (YTD: +4.45%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,525.44 (+0.79%)
QE: 10,111.62 (-0.24%) (YTD: -1.82%)
MSM: 4,137.91 (-0.16%) (YTD: -4.30%)
BB: 1,417.49 (+0.34%) (YTD: +6.00%)

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Calendar

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

05 March (Tuesday): The EBRD will release its Transition Report 2018-19, “Work in Transition,” with a workshop led by Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region Janet Heckman, Salon Vert Meeting Room, Cairo Marriott Zamalek.

8 March (Friday): SHE CAN women’s entrepreneurship event, Greek Campus, Cairo.

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

10-12 March: Delegation of Japanese business visitors

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.

19 March (Tuesday): Portfolio Egypt Conference for non-banking financial services, venue TBD, Cairo, Egypt.

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 rates.

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 250k first phase of Egypt’s national waste management program kicks off.

2-5 April: APPO Cape VII petroleum and energy conference, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

4-6 April: LafargeHolcim Forum for sustainable Construction

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 rates.

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

04-05 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Global Entrepreneurship Summit, The Hague, the Netherlands

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 rates.

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.

9-11 December (Monday-Wednesday): Food Africa 2019 Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

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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