Thursday, 21 March 2019

Rejoice, for the weekend is (nearly) upon us

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

First: A very happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms, whether our literal mothers (we love you) or the many, many moms who read us each morning. We would be nothing without all of you.

Second: May we be forgiven for saying we are very happy indeed there are only a few hours left until the start of the weekend?

To work:

There were no surprises as the US Federal Reserve left interest rates on hold yesterday. Marginally surprising was that the majority of central bank officials hinted that rates could remain unchanged throughout 2019 on the back of fear that a hike could spark an economic slowdown. “It may be some time before the outlook for jobs and inflation calls clearly for a change in policy,” Fed Chairman Jay Powell said.

In a separate announcement, Powell said that the bank would slow monthly redemptions of treasurys on its portfolio to USD 15 bn from USD 30 bn starting from May, and stop the unwinding completely in October. The Fed will continue to allow USD 20 bn worth of mortgage-backed securities to mature every month for the foreseeable future. The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times have more, as does Reuters.


The UNIDO Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit kicks off today in the capital city: “Connect Cairo: Industry 4.0: Boosting employment, innovation and competitiveness in Egyptian manufacturing” is taking place today at the American University in Cairo’s New Cairo campus. Tap or click here for more.

Another company is officially woke (sort of): Bloomberg is out with piece explaining how Dow Chemical — the company that brought us napalm and plastic in our oceans — is becoming a corporate leader in workplace equality. The company achieved a perfect rating on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for preventing discrimination and advocating for LGBT rights. It also only the second major publicly-traded company to have a gay CEO, Jim Fitterling (pictured above). Still though, Agent Orange isn’t woke.

FACTOID OF THE MORNING: USD 4.2 tn. That’s the value of the global ‘self-care’ (please don’t get us started) and wellness industry, ranging from Goop to Sanctuary, a new astrology-as-a-service app targeting millennials, Bloomberg reports. Wait, it gets worse: The burgeoning “mystical and psychic services market” was worth more than USD 2 bn last year. Our crystal ball says: There’s one born every minute…

We goofed yesterday: Apple’s entertainment-focused event is next week (25 March). Not sure how we got our wires crossed on that one. Wishful thinking? The iPhone maker did, however, unveil new AirPods yesterday with a new wireless charging case.

The trailer for season three of Stranger Things is out (watch, runtime: 2:49). The resident 11-year-old approves.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was a quiet night on the airwaves. The World Bank has announced Egypt’s 1.8 GW Benban solar power park as its most successful project the world over for this year, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr highlighted (watch, runtime: 00:31). This is the first time Egypt has won the nod. We have more on the massive solar park in this morning’s Worth Reading, below.

Fix state-owned enterprises: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi urged Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik at a meeting yesterday to push ahead with efforts to improve the condition of public sector companies, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal said (watch, runtime: 01:18). El Sisi said the initiative comes amid plans to safeguard public funds and support the economy.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Egypt is the fourth most-vulnerable market to any sign of EM distress: Bloomberg’s most recent emerging markets vulnerability scorecard ranked Egypt as the fourth economy most at risk of in the event the US raises interest rates. Since the index was last released in November, Argentina has overtaken Turkey as the most vulnerable EM, while Egypt and South Africa retained their fourth and third positions, respectively.

Where have we gotten better? Foreign currency reserves saw the most pronounced sign of improvement. A measure for our current account balance also improved marginally.

Where is there still room for improvement? Egypt is still the lowest-scoring country on the list in government effectiveness, which measures the ability of the state to deal with external shocks. We missed last quarter’s inflation target by a wider margin than in the third quarter of 2018. Alongside that, our short-term external debt position worsened by 1.7 bps.

The CBE is embracing fintech: The Central Bank of Egypt is planning to set up an EGP 1 bn fund to back fintech startups, CBE sub-governor for payment systems and business technology Ayman Hussein said earlier this week. The fund is part of the CBE’s strategy to promote fintech, which will also see a fintech unit and a digital research lab established in the central bank. The strategy aims to position Egypt as a regional hub for fintech. Wamda also has the story.

EXCLUSIVE- Gov’t to collect taxes from new banking tax treatment quarterly, not monthly? The government will likely collect taxes from banks on their holdings of government debt under the recently-passed new treatment on a quarterly, rather than monthly, basis, a senior government official tells Enterprise. The new treatment, which was introduced through amendments to the Income Tax Act, requires that banks and companies separately account for income derived from their holdings of government debt and could see their effective tax rate rise. According to our source, reducing the frequency of tax collection is meant to minimize the burden on banks. The first round of tax payments under the new treatment is scheduled for next month.

Separately, the government is working with the CBE to encourage greater activity on the EGX’s secondary bond market and allow bonds to be traded in the EGX. The move is meant to raise the taxes flowing into state coffers by EGP 15-20 bn, our source tells us.

The Cabinet economic group met yesterday to review a preliminary draft of the FY2019-20 state budget, according to a Cabinet statement. The budget forecasts GDP growing at a 6% clip next year, according to Planning Minister Hala El Said. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait had said the day before that GDP growth would come in at 6.1%. Maait also said the government is eyeing a 7.2% budget deficit in the upcoming fiscal year. Next year’s budget projects unemployment falling to 9.1%, according to El Said. The rate stood at 10% in 2Q and 3Q2018.

Sudan grumbling about Halayeb oil exploration blocks: Oil and gas blocks in the Red Sea’s Halayeb offered by Egypt for sale through a tender on March 10 represent a direct intrusion into Sudanese territory, Saad al-Deen Hussein al-Bishri, minister of state at Khartoum's oil ministry, told Sudan’s state news agency on Wednesday. Reuters reports that al-Bishri termed the offering “an illegal operation that carries legal consequences.” Sudan has been making a claim to Halayeb since the 1950s. Egypt rejected a 2016 demand by Khartoum it open talks or seek seek international arbitration on the land, and Sudan complained last year that Halayeb residents voted in Egypt’s March presidential elections.

EARNINGS WATCH- Raya Holding reported a net profit of EGP 89.1 mn in 2018, down from EGP 103.2 last year, according to its earnings release (pdf). Revenues for the year were up to EGP 7.9 bn from EGP 6.7 bn in 2017.

The company also announced it has set up non-banking financial services and securitization arms under its trademark name Aman, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). Aman for Non-banking Financial Services was set up with issued capital of EGP 100 mn and Aman for Securitization with capital of EGP 5 mn. Raya is the parent company of three Aman-named companies — Aman for Financial Services, Aman for E – Payments and Aman for Microfinance.

This all comes as it’s about to go private: A mandatory tender offer (MTO) by Raya’s chairman and founder Medhat Khalil to take the company private is underway. The Financial Regulatory Authority ordered Khalil last year to submit the MTO, or alternatively sell down his stake, arguing that he and related parties controlled a combined 42%, a level that calls for an MTO under securities regulations.

And named new IR managers: Raya made its head of investment and finance Ahmed Hassan and its CFO Hossam Hussein responsible for investor relations, the company said in a separate bourse filing (pdf).

Cairo is the 12th most “forgetful” city in the world, and Egyptian Uber customers were the most forgetful on 31 January, the ride-hailing company says in its annual Lost & Found index (pdf). Cairo’s spot in the index makes its population slightly less prone to forgetting personal belongings in their Ubers than commuters in Pakistan’s Karachi, Lahore, and Hyderabad (13th, 14th, and 15th, respectively). The world’s most forgetful cities are concentrated in the Arab world, with Qassim in Saudi Arabia taking the cake.

What are we forgetting? While the majority of riders forget run-of-the-mill items such as wallets, keys, and phones, we are itching to know who out there forgot a jar of homemade pickles and a shisha.

It may be a relatively slow news day here at home, but there’s plenty happening in regional politics this morning:

  • Is the FLN about to bail on Bouteflika? Key allies of ailing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika are beginning to distance themselves as protesters continue to demand his resignation, Bloomberg reports.
  • The US wants us all to bury the hatchet with Qatar… US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed the US’ attempts to mediate a truce in the dispute between Qatar and the Arab states during a visit to Kuwait, Reuters reported.
  • …but ain’t nobody listening: Qatar has denounced the UAE’s work-in-progress nuclear plant as a “threat” to regional security and is demanding international ‘action,’ according to a letter seen by Reuters.
  • Is peace brewing in Libya? UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame announced yesterday a reconciliation meeting between Egypt-backed LNA commander Gen. Khalifa Haftar and Tripoli-based rival Fayez al Sarraj will be held on 14-16 April, Reuters reports.

Worth Watching

Imagine sharing some Mandolin with your khawaga friends: The internet serves up all kinds of weird and wonderful content, but for the heartwarming experience of watching people swap childhood snacks from different cultures, look no further than this video from Buzzfeed Tasty. Chipsy, Bimbo, El Shamadan – this video is basically a bunch of Americans discovering the glory of Egyptian snack food and Egyptians getting the short end of the snack-stick.

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Image of the Day

Google celebrated the 112th birthday of pioneering Egyptian poet Gamila El Alaily with a Google Doodle yesterday. The only female member of the elite Apollo Society, El Alaily’s volumes of poetry, essays in literary magazine Apollo, and monthly columns covering everything from ethics to women’s role in society made her a groundbreaking literary and feminist figure in the Arab world.

Egypt in the News

Still topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press is author Alaa Al Aswany being sued by military prosecutors for insulting the president, armed forces and judiciary. The story is being picked up by the BBC, AP, and L’Orient Le Jour.

Otherwise, it really is slim pickings this morning:

  • Egypt’s multi-bn dollar military buildup is designed to serve as a deterrent to potential adversaries, writes The National.
  • Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia should agree on a framework for resource sharing as construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam continues to foment tensions, the International Crisis Group said in a report on the issue.
  • Egypt-Hamas relations: Egyptian talks with Hamas prompted the release of four Hamas members who had been held since August 2015 after entering through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, according to Al Monitor. Egyptian intervention over Hamas’s crackdown on protests in Gaza over new taxes and price hikes helped to ease the situation, reports Al Sharq Al Awsat.
  • McDonald’s portions in Egypt are even bigger than those in the US, but for the discerning traveler, finding a McFalafel may not be as easy as you think. Nothing but hard-hitting news from Insider.
  • Meditate: This profile of Bawabat, a space for meditation and stress-relief some 60 km outside of Cairo, features in TRT World.

On The Front Pages

El Sisi urges Cabinet to develop the public sector: A meeting between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik yesterday where the president stressed the importance of developing the public sector topped the front pages of all three state-owned newspapers this morning (Al Ahram | Al Gomhuria | Al Akhbar). El Sisi also urged his government to step up efforts to implement the new healthcare system, Al Akhbar highlighted.

Worth Reading

Egypt’s 1.8 GW Benban solar power park will soon become “a source of renewal as vital as the [Nile] river,” says the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Construction of the 37 sqkm park, in which the EBRD has invested USD 500 mn, could mark the beginning of an industrial-scale shift towards renewable energy. The park also has more far-reaching positive effects, including supplying 600 mn people in Africa with power, creating jobs locally, and diversifying energy supplies at a time when concern about the impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is high.

But for all this optimism, market penetration is relatively low: Egypt set a goal to produce 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2022, within the framework of its 2030 strategy. Aside from hydroelectric power which produces 5% of the nation’s electricity, renewable sources only provide 1-2%. “For now, Egypt’s main barrier to hitting even that first target is the need for more investment and building,” the EBRD states. According to Cairo-based EBRD banker Ahmed Mortada, Egypt essentially has to build “five more Benbans in five years,” which is not impossible but requires some serious structural changes. The key to attracting more investment is to lower costs: cheaper batteries and introducing a framework for more competitive bidding could be solutions.

This comes as the World Bank announced Benban as its pick for an annual award that recognizes top projects it has been involved in, according to an Investment Ministry statement (pdf). The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation has so far extended USD 653 mn in funding for Benban.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Madbouly talks cyber security with Russian telecoms minister: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly discussed with Russia’s Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media Konstantin Noskov cooperation in the telecoms sector, the Cabinet said in a statement. The two sides expressed willingness to cooperate in cyber security and e-government fields.

Talks with Latvia: Chairman of the Egyptian Business Council for International Cooperation Motaz Raslan met with Latvian Ambassador Iveta Šulca on Sunday to discuss ways of increasing business links between the two countries, according to an embassy statement. The Latvian embassy later stressed the mutual desire for multi-sector cooperation, adding that several Egyptian companies and members of the council intend to travel to Latvia this summer.

Energy

Egyptian Electricity Holding Co. puts plants with 5k MWs out of commission

The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company has put old power plants with a combined production capacity of 5,000 MW out of commission due to their inefficiency and poor condition, the local press reported. The plants were consuming high levels fuel compared to other combined cycle plants as a result of their conditions.

Fluence-Hassan Allam JV awarded Egypt water desalination plant contract

The International Company for Water Services and Infrastructure, a joint venture between Fluence Corporation and Hassan Allam, was awarded a USD 74 mn contract to design and build a water desalination plant in New Mansoura City, according to a Fluence statement (pdf). The plant will have an initial capacity of 40,000 cbm/day and a future capacity of 80,000 cbm/day

India’s Exim Bank to provide USD 30.4 mn financing to Benban solar energy projects

India’s Export-Import Bank is planning to provide financing worth USD 30.4 mn for three solar energy projects in Benban complex in Aswan, Al Ahram reports. The three projects will have a production capacity of 50 MW each.

Infrastructure

Carrefour to open major logistics center in Egypt

The Internal Trade Development Authority has agreed with supermarket chain Carrefour to establish a major logistics center in Egypt, as part of Carrefour’s plan to open 100 branches in Egypt, reports Al Masry Al Youm. The authority is looking to set up the complex on an area of 25 feddans in either Obour or Badr cities, chosen for their proximity to major highways.

New joint venture company planning infrastructure projects in Suez Canal economic zone until 2030, to boost investment

A “huge amount” of infrastructure work is taking place within the new Suez Canal Economic Zone to attract new investment, Zawya reports. The General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone aims to build new water treatment and desalination plants to provide 250,000 cubic metres (m3) of water per day. The first plant will treat around 20,000 m3 of water per day, and will be completed by 2022 while a larger 130k m3 per day plant is planned for later in the decade. In addition, the authority plans to add an extra 300MW of electricity-generating capacity by 2025.

Manufacturing

Egypt not looking to reduce gas prices for steel factories at present

Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar has said that it would currently be difficult to reduce gas prices for steel factories to USD 5 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) from USD 7, the domestic press reported. Nassar said the government is still studying the factories’ request for a price cut, but that it was difficult to implement it at this point.

Health + Education

Egyptian universities drop in QS global rankings

Several Egyptian universities’ rankings dropped in the 2019 QS World University rankings with AUC coming in at 420, down from 395 in 2018. This decline came despite mentions in the 2018 rankings for featuring in the “top 200 for architecture/built environment, as well as the top 250 for modern languages and business and management studies, and the top 300 for arts and humanities.” Cairo University was ranked in the 521-530 bracket (down from 481-490), while Ain Shams University remained in the 701-750 bracket.

Tourism

Emirates to add four flights to Cairo route

Dubai-based air carrier Emirates will be adding four flights to Cairo per week as passenger demand grows for the route, the carrier said in a statement. The new flights, scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, will bring the total number of Emirates-operated flights between Cairo and Dubai to 25 per week. Average occupancy on the route is 90%, the company said.

Automotive + Transportation

Egypt to build metro lines in Qalyubia, Dakahlia and Assiut

Egypt aims to set up metro lines in three governorates outside of Cairo to curb congestion and improve the country’s transportation system, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said, according to Al Ahram. Under the initiative, Qalyubia governorate is expected to have an 8.7 km metro extension completed over one year with a cost of nearly EGP 8 bn. No time frame or cost were mentioned for either Dakahlia or Assiut.

France’s Sestra prepares 3 proposals to set up high-speed tram lines in Mansoura

France’s Sestra has prepared three proposals to establish high-speed tram lines in Mansoura governorate, the domestic press reported. The first proposal includes building three lines consisting of 52 stations stretching at a total of 25 km, the second includes building 4 lines featuring 55 stations over 28.9 km and the third includes building 4 lines with 61 stations over a distance of 31.9 km.

Banking + Finance

Egypt’s banks to roll out Meeza debit cards in April to bank account holders

Local banks will begin rolling out state-backed “Meeza” debit cards in April to bank account holders, according to Al Mal. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is currently in the final stages of licensing the banks, with a target to roll out 2 mn cards in the coming period. The CBE is also planning to make available “Meeza” credit cards at a later stage. Top executives from the National Bank of Egypt and Banque du Caire were quoted in the press earlier this year as saying their banks already began issuing the cards.

Other Business News of Note

Gov’t agrees to spend EGP 6 bn next year on export incentive program

The government has agreed to spend EGP 6 bn, up from EGP 4 bn previously, in the coming fiscal year to fund its new export incentive program, export councils told Masrawy. The program will be implemented for a year as a trial with periodic meetings between the prime minister and export councils to review progress and evaluate exporters’ performance.

Samih Sawiris awarded in Oman for tourism development

Orascom Development Holding Chairman Samih Sawiris has received an honorary award from Oman for his role over the past 10 years as chairman for Muriya, a Oman-based tourism development company, Al Mal reported. Sawiris was named “Best Foreign Investor” in Oman’s tourism industry at an awards ceremony.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egypt to launch campaign to save water on World Water Day

Egypt will launch a campaign to raise awareness on rationalizing water consumption from 22 to 28 March across 24 villages and in collaboration with the irrigation, education, social solidarity ministries, among others, chairman of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater Mamdouh Raslan said. Water companies across the country are taking part in the campaign, which kicks off on World Water Day.

My Morning Routine

Sandra Farid, founding partner of Acumen Consulting: My Morning Routine looks each week at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. This week: Meet Sandra Farid, founding partner of Acumen Consulting, an SME-focused management consulting and economic advisory firm.

I’m Sandra Farid. I’m a 31-year-old Alexandria native. I grew up playing basketball professionally at Alexandria Sporting Club, and I attended the German school in Alexandria, but I moved to Cairo to attend AUC, where I graduated with a double bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics. I earned my master’s degree in Germany on the economics of the Arab world directly thereafter. I’m passionate about different things, so in addition to being an athlete and an entrepreneur, I play different musical instruments and perform from time to time. I also write and, recently, I started acting. My first appearance was last Ramadan, in the series Eugenie Nights, where I played the role of a conservative Jewish girl called Sarah.

I’m the founding partner of Acumen Consulting, a boutique consulting company specialized in providing policy and economic advisory services as well as management consulting for SMEs and training for start-ups. Our company just entered its fourth year. My day job includes everything from meeting clients, producing reports and deliverables, writing proposals, and mentoring the employees, to watering the plants and securing our coffee needs. We intentionally don’t have an office boy, but we have an office dishwasher and a strict clean desk policy. We want to enforce a collaborative, responsible culture that is present in both the small and the big things. I also enjoy taking care of the small things (whether it’s art selection or something as minute as making sure the automatic air fresheners are working) at the office. I don't do these things because I have to, but because I actually enjoy it.

I don't really have a morning routine as such. I usually open my eyes around 6:30 am and the first thing I do is skim through Enterprise as soon as it arrives in my inbox. Then I read in bed or watch videos or doze off again until 8:30 am if I don't have an 8 am meeting. I don’t eat or drink right away, but usually have my first snack around 11 am. I hate routine in all its shapes and forms. I don't have fixed timings for anything, nor do I have something specific that I eat or drink every day. Not even my sleeping times and hours are fixed.

The nature of consulting entails having many meetings with the clients both before and during the execution of projects. So on any given day, I’m either meeting a client at our office, meeting at the client's office, teaching at an incubator, or I’m at the office doing back-end work and strategizing. I spend a minimum of an hour, and usually more, of my day strategizing and planning ahead, thinking of new service lines and approaches, exploring new tools and new business ventures. These are often the happiest hours of my day, when I can zoom out of the operational details and think ahead, focusing on the big picture.

The best film I’ve seen recently is Netflix’s Bird Box. I’m not usually a big fan of Netflix productions, but to me, this movie was so full of raw emotion and showed the relationship between love and fear in the context of motherhood as I’d never seen on screen before. It was intense and cruel, yet utterly beautiful.

Recently I also read the five books of Brené Brown, an American professor who is mostly known for her research about the power of vulnerability. I’ve used her material to develop a curriculum that I teach to entrepreneurs about the power of vulnerability in running a business, while being sensitive to the target market and its needs. Being a woman in business, I always used the “Iron Woman” approach out of necessity. Now I’ve discovered that being who I am in all its forms — strong, vulnerable, confused, and tired — makes me more credible, and it makes my client and employee relationships more real and alive.

The origin story of Acumen Consulting actually stems from when I was five years old. I dreamed of starting my own thing even at that age. I showed entrepreneurial traits since my early childhood, and I derive meaning and value from helping to solve problems and making people's lives better. Inji Borai, my business partner, and I were both working at competing consulting companies before starting Acumen Consulting. At some point in time I really felt ready÷ to start my own thing, and I had known Inji since university. Since then, I hadn’t come across anybody I would trust technically and personally to this extent. There is no one else I could have done this with. We chose to call it Acumen Consulting because during our brainstorming, we listed our personal features and qualities that people attribute to us, and we felt that the word “Acumen” embodies attributes like wit, speed, and being well-equipped, which we believe we have and are the main requirements for business consulting.

Most of the time, when I say I have a consulting company, people come back with questions about what that actually means. There is a general notion that consulting depends on a gut feeling or an ability to tell good stories, which we think is a total myth. We use scientific tools and methods, we crunch numbers, and we do a lot of benchmarking before we come up with our consulting protocol. It is also hard to explain our policy advisory practice. We write strategies for the government, and for quasi-governmental institutions, such as the chambers of commerce and export councils. We also work on implementing policy agreements between the government and international development partners, and this line of business is usually the hardest to explain.

The business of consulting is really, genuinely, fun. Every client is different. Although many may have similar problems, each client is a case of their own and each requires a tailored solution. So every day looks different, and for every client we need to find the approach that best suits him or her. I get bored easily, which is why I can hardly imagine myself working in another industry with monotonous work dynamics and routines.

Digital disruption in SMEs will definitely change the way SME consulting is done, as many local SMEs still operate in an almost manual way. Documenting the results of consulting engagements is something that is lacking in the market. A consulting company rarely goes back to a client to actually test and document whether the approach recommended was actually implemented and whether or not it brought about tangible results. Documenting impact will help in creating more evidence-based literature, and would also encourage more businesses to seek consulting services they may benefit from.

In my down time, I enjoy sports, music, acting and going out with friends. I also read a lot. I read the news, novels, poetry, and articles and papers on economics. I also enjoy babysitting my friends’ kids, which helps me to unwind and makes me genuinely happy.

The best piece of business advice I’ve ever been given? In everything that you do at work and in life, you need to set the right intention. This is what sets the tone for what lies ahead.

I have a pretty solid memory. I use Google calendar to keep track of my meetings and deliverables, but other than that I rarely write anything down. My life appears messy appearance if my room, desk, kitchen, or car are your indicators. But my head is very compartmentalized and organized. I need a lot of organizational assistance with everything in my life, with the exception of work.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 17.24 | Sell 17.34
EGP / USD at CIB:
Buy 17.23 | Sell 17.33
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 17.25 | Sell 17.35

EGX30 (Wednesday): 14,724 (+0.54%)
Turnover: EGP 718 mn (24% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +12.95%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.54%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended up 1.8%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were CIB, Egypt Kuwait Holding up 1.5%, and Qalaa Holdings up 1.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Orasom Investment Holding down 1.5%, Arabia Investments down 1.3% and Egyptian Iron & Steel down 1.2%. The market turnover was EGP 718 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net short | EGP -20.2 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP +7.4 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP +12.8 mn

Retail: 48.7% of total trades | 50.7% of buyers | 46.7% of sellers
Institutions: 51.3% of total trades | 49.3% of buyers | 53.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 59.83 (+1.36%)
Brent: USD 68.50 (+1.32%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.83 MMBtu, (+0.39%, April 2019 contract)
Gold: USD 1,313.70 / troy ounce (-0.23%)

TASI: 8,640.52 (-0.21%) (YTD: +10.40%)
ADX: 5,098.32 (+0.37%) (YTD: +3.73%)
DFM: 2,643.70 (+0.09%) (YTD: +4.50%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,816.96 (+1.17%)
QE: 9,976.80 (+0.20%) (YTD: -3.13%)
MSM: 4,162.23 (+0.14%) (YTD: -3.74%)
BB: 1,423.46 (+0.22%) (YTD: +6.45%)

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Calendar

20-22 March (Wednesday-Friday): Egypt International Green Building Conference, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

20-22 March (Wednesday-Friday): Watrex, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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 will meet to review interest rates.

28-30 March (Thursday-Saturday): International Conference on Advanced Machine Learning Technologies and Applications, Venue TBD, Cairo, Egypt.

30 March (Saturday): Traders Fair, Nile Ritz Carlton, Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.

30-31 March (Saturday-Sunday): International Conference on Architecture Engineering and Technologies, Grand Nile Tower Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

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 said.

April: A World Bank delegation will be in town to review current investment legislation, economic policies and administrative reforms as part of the preparations for next year’s Ease of Doing Business Report. Egypt jumped eight spots to rank 120th out of 190 countries in the 2019 Doing Business report.

April: Russian companies will receive the first 1 square-km plot in the 5.2 square-km Russian Industrial Zone within the Suez Canal Economic Zone

April: The EUR 250k first phase of Egypt’s national waste management program will kick off.

1-3 April (Monday-Wednesday): Infra Africa & Middle East Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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

4 April: Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI for March released.

4-6 April: LafargeHolcim Forum for sustainable Construction, American University in Cairo.

10 April: Egyptian Retail Summit (ERS 2019), Nile Ritz Carlton, Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.

9-11 April (Tuesday-Thursday): International Conference on Aerospace Sciences & Aviation Technology, Military Technical College, Cairo.

9-12 April (Tuesday-Friday): International Conference on Network Technology, The British University in Egypt, Cairo.

9-12 April (Tuesday-Friday): International Conference on Software and Information Engineering, The British University in Egypt, Cairo.

16-17 April (Tuesday-Wednesday): North Africa Iron and Steel Conference, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo.

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

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

21 April (Sunday): RT Imaging Summit & Expo-EMEA, InterContinental City Stars, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.

21-22 April (Sunday-Monday): Egypt CSR Summit, InterContinental City Stars, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.

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 will hold its 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 will meet to review interest rates.

1H2019 (date TBD): Investment Minister Sahar Nasr will head a delegation of businessmen into Mexico City to explore cooperation avenues with the Latin American country.

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).

11-12 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Offshore Congress MENA, InterContinental Semiramis, Cairo.

16-17 June (Sunday-Monday): Mega Projects Conference, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

16-18 June (Sunday-Tuesday): Middle East & Africa Rail Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

17-18 June (Monday-Tuesday): Seamless North Africa, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.

17-19 June (Monday-Wednesday): Cairo Technology Week, Hilton Heliopolis, Cairo.

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

23 June (Sunday): Cairo Arbitration Court hearing for Amer Group vs. Antaradous for Touristic Development

28-29 June (Friday-Saturday): G20 Global Economic Summit, Osaka, Japan.

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

11 July (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee will meet to review interest rates.

19-21 July (Friday-Sunday): LED Middle East Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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

30-31 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its 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 will meet to review interest rates.

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

2-4 September (Monday-Wednesday): The Big 5 Construct Egypt, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

8-11 September (Sunday-Wednesday): Sahara Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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

26 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee will meet to review interest rates.

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

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

23-24 October (Wednesday-Thursday): Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference, Hilton Heliopolis, Cairo.

23 October-1 November (Wednesday-Friday): CIB PSA Women’s World Championship, Great Pyramid of Giza, Cairo.

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

3-5 November (Sunday-Tuesday): Electrix 2019, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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

10-14 November (Sunday-Thursday): GeoMEast International Congress and Exhibition, Marriott, Cairo.

14-17 November (Thursday-Sunday): Machtech Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

14-17 November (Thursday-Sunday): Transpotech Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

14-17 November (Thursday-Sunday): Airtech Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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

3-6 December (Tuesday-Friday): Cairo WoodShow, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

9-11 December (Monday-Wednesday): Pacprocess Middle East Africa, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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

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

26 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee will meet to review interest rates.

9-12 January (Tuesday-Sunday): PLASTEX, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

11-13 February (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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