Monday, 10 June 2019

Veon will reportedly settle GTH’s tax dispute in Egypt

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Inflation figures for May are due out today: The central bank and state statistics agency CAPMAS are expected to release today inflation figures for May, and the hope is that inflation will continue to cool despite what is typically a bump during Ramadan. Annual headline inflation cooled unexpectedly in April to 13% from 14.2% the month before. Analysts will be keeping as close eye on the May figures, the last ones due out before the next round of energy subsidy cuts come into effect at the end of this month or early next.

It’s also PMI day today: The purchasing managers’ indexes for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are due out this morning at 6:15am CLT. April’s reading of Egypt’s PMI saw non-oil business activity expand for the first time in eight months. Output entered positive territory for the first time in 18 months, but was largely driven by domestic orders. You can catch the PMI here when it’s released.

It’s budget day in the House: The House of Representatives’ Planning and Budgeting Committee will meet today to review a near-final draft of the state’s fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, according to Youm7. Hearings could continue well into the weekend as MPs look to send a near-final draft of the budget to the House secretariat by Sunday, potentially clearing the way for a vote by the House general assembly before the end of the month.

Budget planners in the House and at the Finance Ministry should keep their eyes on Friday. That’s when the International Energy Agency will publish its first forecast for oil prices in 2020. The good news for the managers of Egypt’s budget, who need to ramp up spending every time a barrel of oil gets more expensive: “A first look at forecasts from consultants and traders for supply and demand balances show persistent surpluses, not the deficit that was expected to underpin rising prices.” Bloomberg has more.

Another one for the diary: Pharos is holding its annual investor conference in Hurghada this month, the company said in a statement (pdf). The two-day event will bring together investors, IPO prospects and more than 40 listed companies under one roof for meetings with institutional investors. The gathering is set to run 19-20 June.

Kicking the robots in the teeth: Just days after Cboe Global Markets became the latest US stock exchange operator to embrace “speed bumps” designed to undermine high-frequency traders comes news that human stock-pickers have outperformed machine-driven ‘quant’ funds in recent weeks. “Over half of all US mutual funds that invest in big American companies managed to beat the broader stock market in May for the second month in a row,” Robin Wigglesworth writes for the Financial Times, “nurturing hopes that rockier markets may help human investors launch a comeback.”

In miscellany this morning:

For photo nerds: We rediscovered our favourite black and white film in this excellent (not recent) piece — and then stayed around for hours to read through the exceptionally well-written, thought-provoking Leicaphilia blog. Read: The Tri-X Factor. You don’t need to be a Leica geek to enjoy the mix of great imagery and thoughtful pieces on the art and technique of photography and its place in our culture.

For Egyptians living in the diaspora: Read Go Home to Your ‘Dying’ Hometown, and substitute your neighborhood of Cairo / Alexandria / wherever for “small, rural-American town.” We promise you it will make you think.


For the olds: Why mid-life could be the best time to change careers. Ignore the Canada-centric angle at the top and keep reading. The best line is from a ‘mid-life coach’ who started her new business in … mid-life: “Assuming a long, healthy life, mid-life is the only time when we will have experience and possibility in equal measure.” Think of it this way: Mid-life is half-time, not the end-of-time.

Just don’t rush into making “author” your new career, warns the Financial Times: It’s a tough racket as advances dwindle, making “TV adaptations and literary events into potential revenue streams.” Want to dive deeper? There’s no better (or more sarcastic) place than Joe Konrath’s Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. Best-selling mystery / horror / thriller writer Konrath is again publishing the best advice in the business after an extended hiatus from the blog.

Speaking of Canada: The Raptors lead the Golden State Warriors 3-1 heading into tonight’s decisive game five in Toronto. Celebrate by reading in the New York Times about how Canada has become a basketball factory.

iSheep had plenty to graze on at WWDC 2019 last week: The biggest tech company in the game unveiled a raft of new software updates — as well as a headline-making hardware launch — during its annual developers’ conference last week. The key takeaways:

  • The new Mac Pro may look like the world’s most data-intensive kitchen utensil, but it packs some serious processing power: a fully upgraded machine contains a 28-core, 3.1 GHz processor and more RAM than you know what to do with. Fully loaded, the machine aimed at Hollywood and others with crazy computing needs will max out somewhere in the USD 35k neighborhood.
  • iPads will become an even more viable alternative to laptops for many people with the new iPadOS. MacStories, whose Frederico Vittici is an icon for those who aspire to an iPad-only “lifestyle,” walks you through what to expect of iPadOS and iOS 13.
  • 9to5Mac has the full list of announcements during the keynote address.
  • Bonus podcast for the uber Apple junkie: Check out this sit-down between Daring Fireball’s John Gruber and Apple’s Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait’s speech at the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Japan caught the attention of the nation’s talking heads last night.

Maait highlighted economic and fiscal sector reforms during the speech, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal reported (watch, runtime: 2:45). He provided the usual rundown of macroeconomic targets recently announced by the government, including the goal to grow the economy at a 6% clip in the coming fiscal year and reduce the budget deficit to 7.2% of GDP.

The key takeaway from the speech: Maait told the summit that the Sisi administration is engaging in a two-pronged strategy to stimulate economic growth: increasing government spending on healthcare and education (most notably though Egypt’s expected nationwide insurance scheme under the Universal Healthcare Act) and raising levels of public investment to create jobs.

Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim, meanwhile, weighed in on a recent report by FocusEconomics on Egypt’s economic outlook (watch, runtime: 12:03). We published a snapshot of the report’s findings in yesterday’s issue.

Ibrahim phoned Heliopolis Housing and Development (HHD) Managing Director Sahar Al Damati for her two cents. The report’s findings, which forecasts economic growth of 5.5% in both FY2019-2020 and FY2020-2021, are conservative, Al Damati claimed, suggesting that the figure will be closer to 6%. She justified this statement by citing higher FX reserves, falling public debt levels, a narrowing trade deficit, a primary budget surplus, and the ongoing major national projects.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EXCLUSIVE- Veon looks set to pay up to EGP 2.2 bn to settle Global Telecom Holding’s tax dispute in Egypt: Telecom group Veon has agreed in principle to pay as much as EGP 2.2 bn to end a tax dispute between Egypt’s Tax Authority and Veon subsidiary Global Telecom Holding (GTH). A final agreement could come as early as mid-month, two senior government officials told Enterprise. The settlement will be paid in two installments, one after the signing and another after Veon’s MTO for the 42.3% of GTH that it doesn’t already own. The said Veon will make the payment in USD. Veon recently took over negotiations on behalf of GTH and was advised in the talks by Shalakany Law Firm.

Background: The Egyptian Tax Authority ordered a seizure of EGP 990 mn in funds from GTH’s local bank accounts in 2018 over a 2016 tax dispute. Some market observers have claimed the ongoing dispute — which has embroiled both retail investors and a handful of “activist” institutional investors — has obstructed Veon’s efforts to take over its unit and led it to withdraw an earlier MTO. The status of GTH is widely seen as an ‘overhang’ on the stock exchange, settlement of which could release new liquidity into the market as smaller shareholders agree to sell to Veon.

On a related note: GTH’s board postponed the general assembly that was planned for yesterday to vote on a rights issue for a capital increase that was supposed to take place in lieu of the withdrawn MTO till 27 August, the company said in a bourse filing (pdf).

 

Corrected on 10 June 2019

Sarie Eldin & Partners acting as advisers to Veon was corrected to Shalakany Law Firm.

LEGISLATION WATCH- House pushes ahead with proposal on capital gains tax reform: The House of Representatives’ Planning and Budget Committee is planning to move forward with its plans to unify capital gains tax, despite the Tax Authority having already shot the idea down, the committee’s deputy chair Yasser Omar told the local press. Omar had proposed back in January that both listed and non-listed companies face a 10% tax on capital gains.

Where do we stand today? Right now, anyone making a gain on the sale of shares in a privately held company is taxed at 22.5%. The CGT on gains made trading in shares of EGX-listed companies stands at 10% on the books, but has been “suspended” until May 2020. The committee’s proposal would mean that anyone selling shares in non-listed companies would see their effective CGT rate slashed by more than half.

Yes, but… Tax Authority head Abdel Azim Hussein told us back in January that the ministry would not endorse the House’s proposal.

Progress may be in hand, after EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid told us the Finance Ministry and EGX are working on potential scenarios for the implementation of a capital gains tax on stock market transactions when the levy comes back into effect next year. The amendments could mean the tax would be calculated differently for resident and non-resident investors and could combine stamp duty and capital gains taxes. This comes despite reports in the local press citing unnamed government sources that suggested earlier in May that the government would not be bringing back “anytime soon” the capital gains tax on stock market trades despite deciding to keep the stamp tax on EGX trades unchanged at 0.150%.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Maker of Flo bottled water looks to invest EGP 3 bn in Egypt by the end of 2022: The Egyptian-Saudi Company for Natural Water and Food Industries (ESC), the distributors of Flo-branded water, is planning to invest EGP 3 bn in Egypt by the end of 2022, Chairman Mahmoud Daoud told the local press. The company is planning to expand its food manufacturing infrastructure, having earmarked c. EGP 500 mn to set up a port storage facility to support exports, another EGP 500 mn for an agriculture facility, and an undisclosed amount for a logistics center in Helwan, Daoud said, adding that construction is expected to begin in 2022. ESC is also in the process establishing a holding company under which to group its local subsidiaries.

M&A WATCH- A bidding war for Emisal Salts? A consortium made up of Kuwait’s Al Madar Finance and Investment and the Saudi-Egyptian Industrial Investment (SEII) is looking to acquire Emisal Salts, potentially triggering a bidding war with Egypt Kuwait Holding. The consortium has offered EGP 700 mn as a starting bid, in a challenge to EK Holding which offered an undisclosed amount for Emisal back in February. The company said in its 1Q2019 earnings release (pdf) that it has “conducted full due diligence on Emisal Salts” and that the company’s board has approved an offer.

Why Emisal? It’s a great import-substitution play. The company has a natural competitive advantage (the natural ‘infrastructure’ takes forever to build) and produces raw materials for everything from table salt to detergent and high-grade salts used in the food and pharmaceuticals industries. You can learn more about the company on its website.

The new bidders are asking the National Bank of Egypt for permission to start due diligence. NBE is leading the sale process on behalf of other state-owned shareholders.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Raya’s manufacturing arm seeking licence to assemble electric cars: Raya Auto, a subsidiary of Medhat Khalil’s Raya Holding, has begun talks with the Trade and Industry Ministry to obtain a licence to assemble electric cars, sources close to the matter told Al Mal. Raya is moving forward with plans to assemble light electric vehicles with initial investments of EGP 110 mn, Chairman Medhat Khalil said. The company has already introduced an electric motorcycle that retails for EGP 23,000 and in talks with Chinese and Indian companies to assemble vans in Egypt. The move comes as Khalil is embroiled in a dispute with the Financial Regulatory Authority over an EGP 11 mn fine.

STARTUP WATCH- Swvl says it will expand into Nigeria in July: Egyptian transportation startup Swvl has announced that it is expanding into Nigeria, with initial plans to launch 50 buses in Lagos by mid-July, MENAbytes reports. The mass transit app listed the role of Country General Manager for Nigeria last week, calling for an experienced leader “to continue the growth of Swvl in Lagos and in other Nigerian cities.” Swvl entred Kenya earlier this year, but reports it would move from there into neighboring Uganda remain unconfirmed. Swvl has for some time set its sights on expansion beyond MENA, with CEO Mostafa Kandil say last year that he planned to launch in Manila in 1Q2019 and then expand throughout Southeast Asia to reach seven megacities by the end of 2019.

Competing with the homegrown apps: Swvl will face both direct and indirect competition in Nigeria, with several homegrown and international ride-hailing apps appearing in the local market during recent years. Kandil, however, appears sanguine in the face of competition, announcing earlier this year that the company had seen a fourfold growth in signups since the launch of Uber Bus in Cairo, and pointing out that in emerging markets “one single player is not enough to build the network.”

LEGISLATION WATCH- House gives preliminary nod pension hikes for civil servants: The House of Representatives approved “in principle” a draft law that would see minimum monthly pensions for civil servants rise to EGP 900 and payouts by 15%, Youm7 reports. The increases are expected to take effect on 1 July. The Madbouly Cabinet approved the proposed legislation in April shortly after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced decisions to increase pensions and wages for state employees.

Civil servants could receive periodic raises of at least EGP 75 a month after the House Manpower Committee provisionally signed off on a separate draft bill, according to Al Shorouk. The bill, if enacted, would give state employees subject to the Civil Service Act a periodic raise of 7% and a monthly bonus of EGP 150 starting 1 July. Employees that do not fall under the act’s umbrella would be eligible for a 10% raise.

What’s next? Both bills are now pending a final general assembly vote; if passed, they would then go to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for signature before being made law.

** WE’RE HIRING: We’re looking for smart, talented journalists and analysts to join our team and help us make both the product you’re reading now and some exciting new stuff. We’re particularly interested people with writing plus either audio or video skills.

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The Macro Picture

EXPLAINER FOR NON-FINANCE GEEKS- The thin grey line between frontier and emerging markets: In a recent explainer on frontier markets, Bloomberg makes a point of calling them the “smaller siblings” of emerging markets, a very popular — albeit simplistic — comparison. The reality is a little more nuanced considering the lines between the two are much more blurred as far as asset managers are concerned — particularly when you subtract the big economies from the list of emerging markets. We feel it is worth diving into these nuances at a time when frontier markets are increasingly being hailed as potential alternatives to emerging markets amid turbulence sparked by the ongoing US-China trade war — the theory being that frontier markets and smaller EM are less susceptible to being hit by fallout from the trade fight.

What’s the difference between FM and EM? Let’s start with the basic criteria. MSCI defines (pdf) frontier markets based on several criteria, including having “at least some” openness to foreign ownership, “at least partial” easing of capital flows, at least two companies worth USD 800 mn each, and a high degree of competition. On the flipside, an EM’s openness to foreign ownership needs to be “significant”, with a significant ease of capital flows and a high competitive landscape. An EM needs to have at least three companies with a market cap of around USD 1.6 bn.

Egypt is an emerging market on the “leading” benchmark: Some 29 countries are currently classified as frontier markets by the benchmark MSCI (pdf) with stocks with a combined market value of USD 715 bn, compared to the now 26 MSCI EM stocks (pdf) which are valued at around USD 20 tn.

But this isn’t an exact science: MSCI is just one arbiter of what constitutes a frontier or emerging markets. The IMF classifies 23 countries as emerging markets, Dow Jones classifies 22 countries, and FTSE Russell only classifies 19. Only Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey are classified by all three as emerging markets. Notice how Egypt is not on the list?

How does this grey area affect us? This variance in classification has allowed some asset managers to consider some EMs to be interchangeable with FMs, with Egypt being a prime example. This basically pits EMs that are not BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India,and China) against frontier markets in the fight for global capital.

According to the MSCI, FMs have been outperforming EMs this year, with the former seeing returns of 9.6% YtD (pdf), compared with returns of 4.1% YtD for EMs (pdf). Some investors are concluding that, given the impact of the EM Zombie Apocalypse last year and the effects of recent global market volatility, now is the time to cast the net further afield. This gets more bleak for EMs when we see returns beyond the BRICs, which were a measly 1.6% YtD (pdf).

What does the future hold for the EM vs FM rivalry? Several countries currently classified as EMs have been identified as likely to number the world’s strongest economies by 2030, including Egypt. Likewise, the frontier market class is shrinking, as an increasing number graduate to EM status. Argentina is due to be promoted to an EM this month, and Kuwait (which currently accounts for a quarter of the MSCI Frontier Markets Index) may be promoted in June. Saudi Arabia skipped the FM index altogether and was promoted directly to EM status in May. In the short-term, this is causing aggregate FM value to decrease. Furthermore, as the asset class shrinks, investments are likely to move towards EMs.

Image of the Day

Thank you, CoinTelegraph for summarizing Egypt’s tumultuous history with crypto in a single beautiful image: We really love well-done infographics here at Enterprise, especially ones that manage to break down a complicated economic story into something easy to digest. CoinTelegraph gives us just that with a timeline of Egypt’s rather tumultuous history with cryptocurrency.

The accompanying article does an excellent job summarizing the government’s attitude towards crypto. From being highly suspicious — with the CBE and the EGX issuing warnings against transacting in it and even a fatwa being issued by Al Azhar — to actively moving to regulate the industry.

The conclusion: Just like ride-hailing, cryptocurrency is slowly moving out of the shadows, especially with recent reports that the industry would be regulated under the Banking Act. It fairly paints Egypt’s regulators as being cautious when it comes to disruptive technology on the one hand, while on the other hand not falling into the trap of Luddism.

Egypt in the News

The eyes of the foreign press are firmly trained elsewhere this morning, with only two noteworthy pieces to speak of. First, Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass told ABC News that a 3,000 year-old sculpture of Tutankhamun’s head due to be sold by Christie’s next month was looted from Luxor’s Karnak Temple. The bust is expected to fetch around GBP 4 mn in the auction, but Hawass — the former Antiquities Minister — is demanding that the artifact is returned to Egypt.

Please do not let The Donald’s beef with China affect Afcon: Huawei’s plans to showcase 5G in Egypt for the African Cup of Nations is part of a concerted effort to lock in African market share amid ongoing tensions between China and the US, AFP reports.

On The Front Pages

The House’s preliminary approval of pension increases for civil servants topped the front pages of all three government dailies this morning (Al Ahram | Al Akhbar | Al Gomhuria). We have the full story in Speed Round, above.

Worth Reading

Smartphone brains in a Nokia-style body: Could this bring 1 bn people online? That’s what San Diego-based KaiOS Technologies is banking on, partnering with phone makers and operators to roll out affordable feature phones with smartphone power across Africa, Shira Ovide writes for Bloomberg. Internet penetration in Africa is staggeringly low at under 25%, with the over 800 mn people currently offline representing a huge untapped market. But both the high cost of smartphones and poor infrastructure (such as slow internet speed and lack of reliable electricity) remain significant barriers to access.

KaiOS is pares everything right down to the essentials: A KaiOS phone has relatively low memory (about one-quarter that of the cheapest Android smartphone) its processor costs around USD 3 (unlike the USD 50 of high-end smartphones), and instead of an expensive, battery-consuming touchscreen, it has an inexpensive plastic keypad. But it packs a punch, with functionalities that include 3G, 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth technology, Google Assistant voice navigation, its own app store (KaiStore) and pre-installed apps and services such as Facebook and YouTube. And there’s no need to worry about daily recharging, as it can apparently run for five days on a single charge.

KaiOS supporters are poised for phone sales to skyrocket: The company has stated that over 80 mn phones have been shipped to more than 100 countries so far. It attracted an investment of USD 22 mn from Google last year, with the tech giant also contributing to a fresh USD 50 mn funding round announced on May 22.

Egypt will be among the first countries to benefit: Egypt’s SICO is one of six partner companies in Africa launching phones that will run the KaiOS operating system, starting 2Q2019. At 48.7%, internet penetration in Egypt is relatively low compared to the rest of the region (it is a reported 68% in Tunisia, 80% in Jordan and 91% Lebanon), so clearly SICO has a healthy market here. The company has also announced it is targeting expansion in new African markets. SICO, which produces the first Egyptian-made mobile phone and is aiming to manufacture 1.2 mn phones this year, had previously announced it was planning to enter into joint-manufacturing agreements with foreign companies, without specifying what the agreements were.

Worth Watching

Electronically yours: This may have seemed a perfectly acceptable ending to an email back in 1984. It was the pre-world wide web era; only early adopters owned computers and they had to enlist the help of cumbersome hardware, a box-shaped external modem, and telephones with rotary dials to make use of an exciting new feature of sending an email (or an “interactive videotex” as it was known back then). This 35 year-old British TV program features a tech-savvy couple Julian and Pat Green explaining the process step-by-step as it happened all those years ago (watch, runtime: 6:34).

Energy

Eni, BP to export natural gas from Egypt’s Idku LNG facility

The Oil Ministry will allow Eni and BP to export a portion of their Zohr and North Alexandria gas production via the Idku LNG plant in line with the terms of their development contracts, an industry source told the local press. The ministry made the decision after the companies succeeded in meeting local demand and achieving a surplus, the source said.

Sports

Public Enterprises Ministry to offer Ghazl El Mahalla football club to private sector investors

The Public Enterprises Ministry is planning to open state-affiliated football club Ghazl El Mahalla to private sector investment, minister Hisham Tawfik told Al Mal. The club could be operated through a JV in which the government would hold no more than a 24% stake, with the remaining 76% owned by private sector investors. Tawfik suggested that private investment could allow the club to follow in the path of Pyramids FC, which was bought by Saudi investor Turki Al Sheikh last year.

On Your Way Out

Dahab makes National Geographic’s best MENA beach list: Dahab is first on National Geographic’s list of the best beaches in the MENA region, alongside Dubai’s Kite Beach, Oludeniz in Turkey and Tyre in Lebanon.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 16.71 | Sell 16.81

EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 16.69 | Sell 16.79
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 16.73 | Sell 16.83

EGX30 (Sunday): 13,912 (+0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 348 mn (55% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +6.72%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session up/down 0.9%. CIB, the index heaviest constituent ended down 0.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Oriental Weavers up 4.7%, Kima up 4.0%, and Heliopolis Housing up 3.6%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were CIRA down 2.6% and Egyptian Resorts down 0.5%. The market turnover was EGP 348 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -16.3 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +6.1 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +10.2 mn

Retail: 65.6% of total trades | 71.0% of buyers | 60.2% of sellers
Institutions: 34.4% of total trades | 29.0% of buyers | 39.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 54.45 (+0.85%)
Brent: USD 63.79 (+0.79%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.34 / MMBtu, (-0.09%, July 2019 contract)
Gold: USD 1,341.30 / troy ounce (-0.36%)

TASI: 8,699.22 (+2.15%) (YTD: +11.15%)
ADX: 4,956.25 (-0.95%) (YTD: +0.84%)
DFM: 2,650.95 (+1.17%) (YTD: +4.79%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,372.00 (+1.52%)
QE: 10,295.78 (-0.23%) (YTD: -0.03%)
MSM: 3,954.74 (+0.33%) (YTD: -8.53%)
BB: 1,446.01 (+0.79%) (YTD: +8.13%)

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Calendar

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).

June: Egypt will host the first economic forum for Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) countries to promote trade and investment in the 43 member states.

June: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to attend US-Africa Business summit in Mozambique.

June: The Egyptian Businessmen’s Association will host a delegation of 20 Saudi real estate companies to explore investment prospects.

10 June (Monday): Egypt’s Emirates NBD PMI for May released.

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

12-13 June (Wednesday-Thursday): The African Anti-Corruption Forum (AACF), Sharm El Sheikh

15 June (Saturday): An administrative court will look into an appeal by steel manufacturers to cancel the recently-imposed duties on imported steel rebars and pellets.

16 June (Sunday): Builders of Egypt Conference, Al Masah Hotel, 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 June (Tuesday): IDC CIO Summit, Marriott Hotel Zamalek, Cairo.

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

19-20 June (Wednesday-Thursday): Pharos Holding Annual Investor Conference, El Gouna, Egypt.

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

25-26 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): US-backed conference on the ‘economic dimension’ of Trump’s Mideast peace plan, Manama, Bahrain.

25-26 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): OPEC conference, OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting, Vienna, Austria.

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

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

July: Customs officials from Egypt and the US will sit down to discuss “procedural and administrative matters” as part of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA).

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 anniversary, national holiday.

28 July-02 August (Sunday-Friday): Fab15 Conference and Graduation Ceremony, TU Berlin, El Gouna, Egypt.

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

03-04 August (Saturday-Sunday): Fab15 Festival, Tours, and Conference Closing, GrEEk Campus, Cairo.

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.

September: Cairo will host an Egypt-Hungary business forum, according to a Trade Ministry statement (pdf)

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

03-04 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum Middle East, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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

9-12 September (Monday-Thursday): The 9th Annual EFG Hermes London Conference, Arsenal Emirates Stadium, London.

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

21 September (Saturday): Cairo’s streets get really, really crowded as students at the nation’s public schools go back to class.

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.

28 October-22 November (Monday-Friday): World Radiocommunication Conference 2019, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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.

November: Suez Canal Conference for Investment, organized in cooperation with the European Union

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 2020 (Tuesday-Sunday): PLASTEX, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

25 January 2020 (Saturday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day, national holiday.

25 January 2020 (Saturday): Midterm break for public schools and universities. Also known as: Two weeks of good commute.

8 February (Saturday): Midterm break ends. Traffic in Cairo stinks once more.

11-13 February 2020 (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

25-26 March (Wednesday-Thursday): Mega Projects Conference, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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