Thursday, 12 September 2019

The House of Representatives has been summoned


What We’re Tracking Today

Reactions to Tuesday’s unexpected inflation figures continue to roll in: August’s inflation figures could give the central bank room to cut rates by 150 bps between now and the end of the year Anita Yadav, vice chair of the Gulf Bond and Sukuk Association, told Bloomberg TV yesterday (watch, runtime: 5:41). And if it goes ahead with further cuts, there is little risk of substantial outflows from Egyptian debt as real interest rates “are still very, very attractive” compared to other emerging markets, she said.

On that note, foreign holdings of Egyptian treasuries totaled USD 19.3 bn in July, up from USD 18.9 bn in June, according to a Finance Ministry presentation (pdf) we ran on Wednesday. Foreign holdings of T-bills alone, dipped slightly to USD 16.67 bn in July, down from USD 16.79 bn in June, Central Bank of Egypt figures showed yesterday (pdf).

Prepare for more congestion than usual in downtown Cairo as of 1 October, when the House of Representatives is set to reconvene for its next legislative session under a decree President Abdel El Sisi issued yesterday, according to Ahram Online. This will be the last legislative session for the House before new parliamentary elections are held at the end of 2020.

Parliament’s committee heads will remain more or less the same during the new session, an unnamed source from the pro-government Support Egypt coalition, the largest political bloc in parliament, tells Al Shorouk. According to the source, only a “negligible number” of changes will be made when the House holds its annual internal elections.

It’s the final day of EFG Hermes’ annual investor conference in London today at the Arsenal Emirates Stadium. The event provides a forum for investors, company executives, and fund managers from Egypt and other frontier and emerging markets to network and discuss investment options with London-based investors.

The Sahara agricultural expo also enters its final day at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

The latest edition of the National Youth Conference will kick off on Saturday at Al Manara conference center in New Cairo. The one-day event will feature the usual the “Ask the President” Q&A session.

Other events coming up this month:

Hong Kong exchange wants to buy the LSE: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) said in a statement yesterday that it intends to make a GBP 31.6 bn takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The proposal, which comes as political turbulence rattles Hong Kong and the UK, would see the creation of a global trading company capable of competing with rivals in the US. The proposal is contingent on the LSE dropping attempts to acquire Refinitiv, HKEX said. The LSE announced in July that it was in talks to buy the market data firm for USD 27 bn.

The LSE replied that it would consider the offer, but that it would continue its efforts to acquire Refinitiv.

Aramco picks banks to quarterback its IPO: Sources told Bloomberg that the company has picked Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley to work on listing the world’s most valuable company. A number of as yet unknown Middle Eastern banks have also been brought on board. The Financial Times got word earlier this week that the company could, for the time being, shelve plans for a foreign listing in favor of offering a 1% stake on the Tadawul.

Expect eurozone stimulus today: The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to introduce stimulus measures when it meets today, particularly with Germany’s economy on the brink of recession, Reuters says. The bank has a variety of tools at its disposal, including monetary easing and restarting bond purchases, but a rate cut could be insufficient while qualitative easing is expected to face pushback for being too radical. The ECB had held off on introducing stimulus measures when it last met in July.

JPMorgan Chase is preparing for the (kind of unlikely) possibility of interest rates falling to zero (or lower), with CEO Jamie Dimon discussing what fees and charges it could introduce if interest rates go to zero at an industry conference on Tuesday, according to CNBC. The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark rate in July by 25 bps to 2.25%, its first rate cut in more than a decade. The market is anticipating another 25 bps cut when the Monetary Policy Committee meets later this month.

The Donald tweeted his support for negative interest rates, taking it upon himself to call Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve “boneheads.”

EM stocks are badly undervalued as negative-yielding debt continues to grow: Around 30% of emerging market stocks are currently trading below their book value, “the most distressed valuation for a decade and the lowest level ever outside a US recession,” Steve Johnson writes in the FT, citing Goldman Sachs research. With the ECB and the Fed destined to continue to pour fuel on the bond rally fire, only a meaningful US-China trade agreement will rebalance the market and resuscitate EM stocks, he says.

Bond funds are snapping up negative-yielding Japanese debt: Investors around the world are using foreign exchange rates to turn loss-making negative-yielding Japanese debt into investments that generate better returns than US treasuries. USD-based investors are able to use the forward currency markets to turn the -0.25% yield on Japanese 10-year bonds into the equivalent of a 2.22% yield in USD. Katherine Greifeld breaks down the forward currency investment strategy in this Bloomberg article.

China lifts tariffs on some US goods: China has suspended import tariffs on 16 types of US goods in a move that is less of a goodwill gesture and more out of necessity, the FT says. Included on the list are goods that China does not produce domestically and finds it hard to source from other countries, such as cancer drugs, chemicals and lubricant oils. No big ticket US exports have been exempted, meaning that it is likely to do much to resolve the conflict.

This comes as US companies accelerate pulling investments from China: American companies are rushing to remove investments from the country as the effects of the increasing tariffs intensify, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (ACCS) said in a survey on Wednesday, according to CNBC.

Turkey is planning to launch a national credit rating firm after complaints from its cry-baby alleging “unfair treatment at the hands of Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings”(Bloomberg).

Arab foreign ministers have condemned as “a new Israeli aggression” Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex parts of the West Bank if he wins a closely contested election for another term as Israel’s prime minister next week, Reuters reports. The Arab League “regards these statements as undermining the chances of any progress in the peace process and will torpedo all its foundations," it said in a statement after a meeting in Cairo.

Apple is launching Apple TV Plus on 1 November, a television streaming service that will compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, according to the Associated Press. Apple TV Plus is priced at USD 5 a month, almost a third of Netflix’s USD 13 a month price tag.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Last night was a mixed bag of nuts on a rather humdrum night on the airwaves. Banking system statistics, healthcare, and national projects were among the topics keeping the country’s talking heads occupied.

Deposits by Egyptians in local banks reached EGP 4 tn for the first time, the Central Bank of Egypt’s latest statistical monthly bulletin showed. Egyptians are resorting to certificates of deposit as a source of a steady income they could rely on “in times of economic slowdown,” says Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr (watch, runtime: 2:14).

Presidential initiative to eliminate surgical procedure waiting lists: The “100 mn healthy lives,” an initiative the president announced in July 2018, has so far seen close to 233k surgeries conducted, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr said (watch, runtime: 5:46). The initiative will continue for the next 3-5 years until the universal healthcare program can pick up the slack.

CIT Ministry to begin work on new capital telecom network: Abu Bakr also highlighted news that state-owned Telecom Egypt will start working on the new capital’s EGP 40 bn telecommunications network as part of the first development phase of the city (watch, runtime: 1:54). We have this story in the Telecoms + ICT section, below.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

EBRD and SFSD team up to develop Egyptian SMEs: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) are partnering up to support the development and expansion of SMEs in Egypt, focusing on those of young people and women, according to an EBRD statement (pdf).

Training programs for youth, business development services for women: Training programs will be provided to improve the entrepreneurial skills of women and young entrepreneurs who have start-ups. Women entrepreneurs will also be given exclusive access to non-financial business development services, including coaching and mentoring support and the ability to use the yet-to-be-launched Women in Business online networking platform.

EBRD to also help NGOs with similar goals: The bank will also lend a hand to NGOs who work with women entrepreneurs, providing them with diagnostic skills workshops to better identify the needs of small businesses and their areas of improvement. This part of the program will use their automated management tool, Business Lens.

In other EBRD news, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir discussed new investment prospects for the bank in the sector in a meeting yesterday with a delegation from the bank’s board of directors, according to an official statement. The meeting also reviewed ongoing projects in the sector the EBRD is financing, including the 6 October-new capital monorail.

In other news from international financiers: Egypt, World Bank sign USD 500 mn facility to extend social safety net: Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and World Bank director in Egypt Marina Weis have signed an agreement to extend a program to support Egypt’s social safety net for three years, the ministry said in a statement. The bank will provide an additional USD 500 mn facility on top of the initial USD 400 mn loan granted in 2015 to support the Takaful and Karama cash subsidy programs. The new proceeds will be used to expand the programs by offering employment and “economic empowerment” to members of the enrolled families. The bank approved the extension last July.

The UAE’s Dana Gas has received offers from companies interested in buying its USD 500 mn Egypt portfolio, the company’s head of investor relations Mohammed Mubaideen told Mubasher. The company could potentially sell all of its assets in Egypt, depending on the offers it receives, Mubaideen said, adding that the deadline to receive offers is mid-November. The energy company currently produces 34k boe/d. Mubaideen said the Egyptian government has repaid the company USD 81 mn during the first half of the year and brought its arrears down to USD 117 mn. He reiterated that the reason behind the company’s exit is to focus on potentially more lucrative operations in Iraq.

Background: The Emirati company said in July it had hired financial advisors to study the possibility of selling down its Egypt asset portfolio. Unnamed sources told Reuters that the company hired investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. (TPH) to advise it on the sale. The company had previously said it would abandon its Merak-1 well in the North Arish concession after failing to find commercial hydrocarbons, but that it plans to invest in drilling in the El Matareya concession in the Nile Delta.

Actis takes over two more Abraaj buyout funds: Actis has reached an agreement to take over the management of two more buyout funds raised by defunct private equity giant Abraaj, according to the Wall Street Journal. A document written by Abraaj’s liquidators shows that the firm was removed from managing Abraaj Africa Fund II and Abraaj South East Asia Fund II in late July and was replaced by Actis. This has seen the Actis acquire a portfolio of companies in Africa and Southeast Asia — including logistics company Ninja Van, which operates in countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu — one the fund’s liquidators — have tried to sell parts of its management arm to clear some of its USD 1 bn debt pile. Abraaj managed more than USD 14 bn across more than 40 funds at the peak of its powers, making it the largest EM private equity firm in the world.

Background: Actis acquired USD 2.6 bn of assets in July when it took over Abraaj’s Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV) and Africa fund III (AAF III), bringing the total value of its asset portfolio to USD 12 bn. Abraaj collapsed last year when investors in its USD 1 bn health-care fund claimed that the firm had mismanaged some of their money. Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi and other senior executives now face criminal charges including racketeering and fraud from US prosecutors. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) issued a USD 315 mn fine last month for “serious wrongdoing” and misuse of investor funds.


Corrected on 12 September 2019 

Abraaj Africa Fund II holds no stake in Cleopatra Hospital Group. The Actis-managed Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV) holds an indirect stake in Cleopatra Hospitals through Care Healthcare. The Abraaj North Africa Fund II (ANAF II), currently managed by RMBV, also holds an indirect stake in  Cleopatra Hospital Group through Care Healthcare.

CABINET WATCH- Egypt is officially getting a waste management regulation authority: The Madbouly Cabinet approved in its weekly meeting yesterday draft legislation to set up an independent authority to regulate waste management, according to a statement. The authority would be in charge of monitoring and developing all aspects related to waste management as well as attracting investment in the sector to achieve sustainable development. The authority would be expected to create a national strategy for waste management in collaboration with other relevant entities as well as the regulations and guidelines for all contracts. It would also be expected to provide technical consultation and issue licenses. The legislation applies to all types of waste, including agricultural and industrial waste, as well as dangerous waste.

The cabinet dedicated a large portion of its meeting to discuss museums this week: It approved draft legislation that counts the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) as an “independent” public economic authority that’s under the supervision of the Antiquities Ministry. The authority will have a board of trustees headed by the president that will be in charge of issuing all the policies, plans and strategies related to the GEM. The authority will have the right to establish shareholding companies alone or jointly with others. The cabinet approved a draft legislation to establish a similar authority for the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

Also approved during yesterday’s meeting:

  • Amendments to the Police Authority Act related to social insurance and pensions;
  • A presidential decree on an MoU with Brunei related to economic and technical cooperation that was signed on 5 August;
  • A presidential decree to establish a university under the name Global in the New Administrative Capital that will host a branch of the UK’s University of Hertfordshire.

CORRECTION- We incorrectly said in yesterday’s issue that Sarwa Capital is issuing EGP 2 bn of securitized bonds backed by real estate developer Palm Hills. The correct figure is EGP 1 bn. The entry has been corrected on our website.

CORRECTION- Transport Ministry denies 6 October dry port contract award news: The Transport Ministry denied yesterday a report we picked up from the local press alleging that it had awarded a consortium of Hassan Allam and Samcrete the contract to build the 6 October dry port. According to the statement, “the project’s technical offers are still under review.” The story has been updated on our website.


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Egypt in the News

Topping coverage of Egypt in the foreign press this morning is eleven senior members of the Ikhwan being sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday on charges of spying for Hamas, according to a judicial source. The group includes supreme guide Mohamed Badie and his deputy Khairat Al Shater, both of whom were given life sentences. Five others were handed jail terms ranging from seven to 10 years, while six members were acquitted, AFP reports.

Still getting international attention: Vice picks up the story of the former Egyptian military contractor who’s posting daily online video updates accusing the government of corruption.

And human rights are of course getting a look-in: Security forces on Tuesday detained the son of journalist Magdi Shandi,when Shandi himself was not home during a raid of his house, says the Committee to Protect Journalists, who are calling for his release. This came on the same day that Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the UN told the UN Human Rights Council that Egypt has stepped up its efforts to improve its human rights situation.

Other stories getting traction in the foreign press:

  • Saving ancient Cairo: Architects fighting to preserve and restore old buildings in Islamic Cairo have the odds stacked against them as they face bureaucracy, corruption and laws that do little to protect Egypt’s architectural heritage, Reuters reports.
  • There are now 196 countries in the world (sort of): An “unclaimed” territory between Egypt and Sudan’s borders has been “declared” Kingdom of Yellow Mountain, a “new nation” by its supposed prime minister, American-Lebanese Nadera Awad Nasif speaking on behalf of an unnamed monarch, according to the National.
  • Textile fragments from Medieval Egypt: The Wall Street Journal has a piece on curators of Medieval Egyptian tapestries woven between the fourth and 10th centuries, revealing a “a wide array of influences in the region.”

Worth Reading

Brazilian scientists use tech to demonstrate economic benefits of conservation: A group of scientists, activists, and businesspeople in Brazil hopes to use technology to combat the widespread deforestation that has been increasing since hardline president Jair Bolsonaro was elected last year, according to the Financial Times. AI researchers, big data experts, and biochemists believe that by harnessing new technological advances, including satellites and genomic sequencing, they can show that there are both economic and environmental benefits to conserving and reforesting land like the Amazon rainforest, where deforestation is up 222% from this time last year.

Their argument rests on two premises: Using resources (such as land) more effectively brings economic benefits, and — because of the Amazon’s biodiversity — it is more profitable as the foundation of a USD multi-tn bio-economy than as the source of illegal timber. One of the more radical ideas is mapping and sequencing the genomic codes of the Amazon’s wildlife, which could open up vast possibilities for industry. “We have thus far only sequenced 0.28% of complex life on the planet,” says biochemist Juan Carlos Castilla-Rubio. “But knowledge of that 0.28% was the basis for multiple industries — pharma, chemicals, materials, fuels — and has resulted in annual sales of at least USD 4 tn.”

Worth Watching

Around the world in 20 days: It might be the oldest form of flight, but until March 1999 no one had ever made a non-stop round-the-world flight in a balloon. All this changed when pilots Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard set off from Switzerland on a 20-day adventure, in a pressurized capsule specially designed to withstand the elements (watch, runtime: 04:07). Their travels saw them rise to altitudes so high they lost their heating system, spend five days over the Pacific “barely moving” and without a working communications system, and finally catch a wind current that sent them speeding off at an exhilarating 170 miles per hour, before using the last of their fuel to land in the Egyptian desert.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Arab League considers bringing Syria in from the cold: Members of the Arab League discussed Syria’s potentially imminent return to the organization during a meeting this week, Foreign Ministry Sameh Shoukry told reporters, according to local press. Members are waiting for tensions to subside in Syria to further study the best time for its reentry. Syria was suspended from the organization in 2011 due to Bashar Al Assad’s attempts to suppress anti-government protests.

Qatar has not shown willingness to comply with Arab Quartet demands -Shoukry: Qatar must accede to demands made by the Arab Quartet if it wants to normalize relations, but has shown no “real interest” in doing so, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Asharq Al Awsat. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt put forth a list of 13 demands in 2017 to reinstate diplomatic relations with Doha.

Egypt, Cyprus step up defense ties: Egypt and Cyprus are sharing information to enhance security as they conduct their offshore search for natural gas, Cypriot Defense Minister Savvas Angelides said yesterday, according to the Associated Press.


NUCA signs MoU for waste-to-energy project in west Cairo

The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) has signed an MoU with Besix and Orascom Construction for a waste-to-energy project to supply cement factories in west Cairo, according to a Housing Ministry statement. The two companies will fund all the necessary studies while the authority would be in charge of supplying them with the raw material needed for the project.

El Molla talks investment in Egypt with Emirati oil company heads

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla met yesterday with Emirati Minister of State and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan Al Jaber to talk investing in Egypt’s oil and gas sector, according to a ministry statement. El Molla also discussed the ongoing cooperation in airplane refueling in Egyptian airports with Emirates National Oil Company CEO and cooperation in human resources and training with Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi.

First well from Baltim South West field linked to Egypt’s national grid

Italy’s Eni has linked the first well in its Baltim South West natural gas field to the national grid, an EGAS source said. The well has a production capacity of 50 mcf/d and is the first of six wells, which will bring the field’s total production to 500 mcf/d once developed during the current fiscal year.


Two European companies to build USD 750 mn Damietta logistics zone

The Damietta Port Authority signed an MoU yesterday with European companies Eurogate Terminals and Contship Italia to establish the largest logistics zone in the MENA region with EUR 750 mn in investments, the ministry said in a statement. The center will include a container station, a railway, a dry port and distribution zone, and will be completed by the end of 2022.

Real Estate + Housing

Palm Hills inks agreement with JBI to manage Sixth of October project

Real estate developer Palm Hills has signed an agreement with Julius Burger International (JBI) to manage phase 1A of its Badya project in 6 October, the company said in an EGX disclosure (pdf). “JBI will handle all project management activities including the administration and monitoring of all contractors’ activities,” among other responsibilities, the company said. The real estate developer has already broken ground on the project and is in talks with foreign banks to acquire between EGP 1.5-2 bn in financing for the first phase, CEO Yassin Mansour said. The project will include homes, an international school, a park and a sports club. Handovers are expected to begin in 2022.

Telecoms + ICT

Telecom Egypt to begin working on EGP 40 bn new capital IT network

Telecom Egypt (TE) will begin working on a EGP 40 bn (c. USD 2.4 bn) project to develop a telecommunications network in the new administrative capital, cabinet said in a statement. TE will build and operate the city’s tech and digital security infrastructure under an agreement signed between the state-owned landline monopoly and the New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development (NACCUD).

Seven technological parks to be launched in universities in 2019

Seven technological parks are due to be launched this year at different universities in Egypt at a total cost of EGP 1 bn, CIT Minister Amr Talaat told the local press. The opening of the parks is intended to align with the beginning of the new academic year, and the ministry will play a key role in financing them, Talaat said at the Euromoney Egypt conference earlier this week.


Shalakany acts as lead counsel in Global Telecom-Tax Authority dispute

Shalakany Law Firm acted as lead counsel for Veon in the final closing of the USD 136 mn tax settlement with the Egyptian Tax Authority, according to a statement (pdf). The firm also represented Veon in GTH’s delisting from the EGX, it said.

My Morning Routine

Mahamad El Tanahy, founder and managing director of Mindsalike and Bright Creations: 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. Speaking to us this week is Mahamad El Tanahy (LinkedIn), founder and managing director of Mindsalike and Bright Creations.

I’m Mahamad El Tanahy, founder and MD of Mindsalike and Bright Creations. I’ve been married for five years to an amazing woman, Karine Kamel, and we have two beautiful daughters, Talina and Sienna.

If I were to define myself as an individual, I’d say I’m an entrepreneur who’s always looking for new things, brainstorming new ideas and building new tech-enabled businesses.

In terms of how I spend my working days,I run two businesses, am on the board of several companies, and I’m an angel investor.

For 10 years, my focus was almost exclusively on Bright Creations, the first business I started. Bright Creations is a leading tech development house in Egypt, with a sales office in the UAE. We help companies, be they startups or multinationals, develop innovative digital products for their users. We’ve built a range of products, including an online food ordering service, a car marketplace, travel, chat and mall apps, and data visualization platforms. I take the lead in new business development, and also lead and manage a team of project managers, designers and an engineering team.

Mindsalike started as a fun concept three years ago. I felt that, as the CEO of a business, I had few chances to regularly meet with other like-minded CEOs, unless we were at a very formal event. So I created Mindsalike, a network of vetted entrepreneurs and investors, who are regularly invited to after-work events where they can discuss their ideas and challenges and have a bit of fun, in an informal setting (suits and ties discouraged). The idea has really taken off and evolved, so we now have 1,300 members in Cairo, Alexandria and Dubai. I’ve started spending a lot more time on it, as I enjoy the impact we’re having. My priority now for Mindsalike is to build an even larger and stronger community of entrepreneurs and investors, and work on our strategy and operations.

I’ve become a very early riser since having children. I’m up at 5:30-6:00am and, depending on my kids and the day’s plan, I either work for an hour while the world is sleeping, or I head for a 30-minute run. I used to be obsessed with reading the news in the morning — Enterprise, BBC, and Bloomberg — but recently found it best to leave that until lunch-time, as the very early morning is a great time to focus. My wife and I spend the next hour with our kids, often dealing with a lot of “no, no, no” from my three-year-old daughter. When we’ve finally convinced her that we’re her loving parents, who would prefer she not go to nursery barefoot wearing her pajamas, it’s time for nursery drop-off and a one-hour drive to work.

I don’t think any day is ever the same as any other. The drive to work is usually my time to catch up on calls, and I’ve also recently started listening to new podcasts to expand my knowledge in particular areas. I’m currently listening to a great podcast about Artificial Intelligence. The narrator is an absolute genius, and I have no idea how he manages to explain complex mathematical equations in a podcast. Work begins with a quick meeting to catch up with the team, and then I check my emails. We’re always working on tight deadlines, so the days usually fly by, with all hands on deck and lots of internal and external meetings.

I like reading books that challenge the status quo or offer me a new perspective. I found Sapiens a great book for reexamining history through a different lens. Right now, I’m reading The Internet of Money, which looks at the larger impact of bitcoin. It’s such a hot topic, given the fintech explosion. I get into lots of conversations about blockchain, and bitcoin often gets bad press, especially from anyone in banking or finance. But the way society is reacting today to the idea of a digital currency pretty much mirrors reactions to copper-coin money when it was first introduced, and later to bank notes. I don’t necessarily advocate cryptocurrency, but it’s clear that it will catalyze massive social change, and we’re in the thick of all that right now.

Mindsalike grew out of a regular meet-up with a friend, Con O’Donnell, during which we’d brainstorm and discuss ideas, looking at strategy, numbers and all the crazy challenges we encountered as business founders. I loved it. It was just a great informal setting, where we could bounce ideas off each other. I decided to open the meetings up to other friends who were also entrepreneurs, and make them more of an event. We thought a lot about what name to give to what we were doing, and finally my friend Peter Matta blurted out “Mindsalike,” and something just clicked.

For the first event, I invited friends who were business owners to a venue in downtown Cairo, and the feedback was great. Word spread quickly, we started seeing interest from sponsors, and things just grew from there. We originally managed the membership through a Facebook group, but have recently moved to a website, to streamline things.

Mindsalike’s niche is that we’re building a strong community of smart, hard-working, successful (or soon-to-be successful) entrepreneurs and investors, in a fun and exciting way. By vetting members before they join, we can be sure that everyone in the network can connect with one another on a personal basis, as well as through work. The advantage of this compared to a larger event that’s open to everyone is that we’re bringing people together based on their track record, their brains, and their impact.

So we’re giving members a platform to brainstorm and get advice on work,fundraise quickly or find new investments, build new relationships, and reconnect with people they might have lost touch with. We’ve also found it’s a great avenue for partners and sponsors to build ongoing relationships with members of our community. The feedback we’ve received has been exceptional and I believe that’s why we keep on growing.

I am repeatedly asked about two things: The first is why we don’t include talks and presentations at the event. We’ve thought about it, but at the moment we’re focused on keeping things informal, to allow people to get engrossed in their one-on-one conversations, and really build relationships. The second thing people ask is what’s in it for me, and the answer is I really am passionate about connecting people. I love seeing the concrete impact Mindsalike is having on this community. 45% of our members have come away from an event with at least one new agreement — an investment, a new client, vendor, or partner. Those are incredible takeaways from an informal event meetup. We’re now building new things, for members to be able to take this to the next level.

I spend most of my free time with my family, and I also like to go out and meet new people. I love kite surfing but don’t get to do it as much as I’d like. Learning about new technology is another major interest, and I spend quite a bit of time researching new industries and testing out new tech. I take courses whenever possible, online and abroad, and recently did a course at MIT on deep tech which was quite an eye-opener.

My dad gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received: The more problems you have, the more successful you are. It has got me through some tough moments.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 16.38 | Sell 16.50

EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 16.37 | Sell 16.47
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 16.39 | Sell 16.49

EGX30 (Wednesday): 15,015 (+0.4%)
Turnover: EGP 733 mn (19% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +15.2%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.4%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended up 0.4%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Juhayna up 7.4%, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank up 3.4%, and CIRA up 3.1%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals down 2.3%, AMOC down 2.2% and Egyptian Resorts down 2.0%. The market turnover was EGP 733 mn, and local investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +11.0 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +31.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -42.1 mn

Retail: 53.8% of total trades | 49.0% of buyers | 58.7% of sellers
Institutions: 46.2% of total trades | 51.0% of buyers | 41.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 55.90 (+0.27%)
Brent: USD 60.81 (-2.52%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.55 MMBtu, (-0.24%, Oct 2019 contract)
Gold: USD 1,504.40 / troy ounce (+0.08%)

TASI: 7,855.30 (-1.38%) (YTD: +0.37%)
ADX: 5,106.50 (+0.21%) (YTD: +3.89%)
DFM: 2,885.00 (+14.04%) (YTD: -0.25%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,260.90 (-2.54%)
QE: 10,466.49 (+0.88%) (YTD: +1.63%)
MSM: 4,017.25 (+0.48%) (YTD: -7.09%)
BB: 1,540.91 (-0.51%) (YTD: +15.23%)

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

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

9-12 September (Monday-Thursday): Sahara Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

9-12 September (Monday-Thursday): World Energy Congress, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.

14 September (Saturday): 8th National Youth Conference, Al Manara International Conference Center, New Cairo, according to a statement

15 September (Sunday): Elections to the board of the Financial Regulatory Authority’s Capital Markets Federation will be held, according to Al Mal.

17 September (Tuesday): E-Commerce Summit 2019, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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

18 September (Wednesday): Egyptian Private Equity Association’s venture capital event (pdf) at the Conrad Hotel, Cairo.

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

22 September (Sunday): The Justice Ministry’s dispute resolution committee will look into a case filed by Raya Holding’s Chairman Medhat Khalil against the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

23-25 September (Monday-Wednesday): Engineering Export Council of Egypt’s Home Appliance and Tableware Show (HATS), Kempinski Royal Maxim, Cairo

24 September (Tuesday): A roundtable discussion titled “investing in renewable energy and sustainable development” organized by Media Avenue, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

26 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

28-30 September (Saturday-Monday): Techne Summit, Alexandria.

28 September (Saturday): Smart Vision Egyptian Women’s Forum, venue TBA.

October: A forum will be organized by Russia’s Rosatom and the Nuclear Power Plants Authority to introduce local suppliers and contractors to the Dabaa nuclear plant.

5-6 October (Saturday-Sunday): Annual International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA) conference. Cairo Marriott Hotel.

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.

22 October (Tuesday): Innovative Finance: A New Vision to Support Investment forum, venue TBD, 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.

24 October (Thursday): Russia-Africa Summit to take place in Sochi, co-chaired by Vladimir Putin and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

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

28 October-31 October (Monday-Thursday): A Cairo court will rule on the stock manipulation case, in which Gamal and Alaa Mubarak are involved, along with seven other defendants.

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

29-30 October (Tuesday-Wednesday): South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) Conference, Juba, South Sudan.

31 October-2 November (Thursday-Saturday): Angel Oasis 2019, organized by the Middle East Angel Investment Network (MAIN), El Gouna, Egypt.

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

7-9 November (Thursday-Saturday): Vested Summit, Sahl Hasheesh, Red Sea.

7-9 November (Thursday-Saturday): BiznEx Egypt 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.

11-13 November (Monday-Wednesday): Africa Investment Forum, Gauteng, South Africa.

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.

22-23 November (Friday-Saturday): Invest in Africa 2019 conference, New Administrative Capital.

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.

December: Indian automotive delegation to visit Egypt.

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.

14-17 December (Saturday-Tuesday): World Youth Forum 2019, Sharm El Sheikh.

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

January 2020: 2019 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards, Albatros Citadel Resort, Hurghada, Egypt.

January 2020: UK-Africa Investment summit, London, United Kingdom.

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 2020 (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 2020 (Wednesday-Thursday): Mega Projects Conference, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

5-7 May 2020 (Tuesday-Thursday): AFSIC – Investing in Africa, London, United Kingdom.

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