Sunday, 15 September 2019

Lots and lots of energy news


What We’re Tracking Today

It’s another accidental energy issue today, as energy-related headlines dominated the news at the end of last week and over the weekend. US Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette was in town last Thursday to launch the US-Egypt Strategic Energy Dialogue with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and the head of the Electricity Holding Company Gaber El Dessouky. Brouillette unveiled details of the initiative, and discussed regional energy issues and Egypt’s role in the East Mediterranean with a handful of reporters, including Enterprise. We have details of the announcement and the roundtable discussion in this morning’s Speed Round below.

Brouillette’s stop follows his participation in the Abu Dhabi World Energy Congress, where a number of Egypt-related announcements were made. These include details on the sale of Dana Gas’ Egypt assets revealed by CEO Patrick Allman-Ward, which we dissect in the Speed Round. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla met up with Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi at the conference, where he reiterated the company’s desire to expand its investment in Egypt, the Oil Ministry said in a statement. The pair discussed Eni kicking the tires on exploration, marketing and distribution projects in Egypt. El Molla also met with representatives from ADNOC, who are interested in getting into selling car lubricants in Egypt, and representatives from Emirates National Oil Company to discuss supply airplane fuel. He also met with Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch to talk progress on establishing a database to market Egypt’s energy resources.

Look for energy to continue to dominate headlines as the Red Sea oil and gas exploration tender ends today, with bids from major oil producers expected to be announced later. Shell, ExxonMobil, Statoil, Dragon Oil, Russian Rosneft and Total have all reportedly bidding for 10 oil and gas exploration blocks off the Red Sea coast under a new production sharing contract, which were tendered back in March by the South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope), sources told Egypt Today on Thursday.

That doesn’t mean interest rates have taken a backseat as reactions toEgypt’s annual headline inflation rate falling to 7.5% — its lowest level since January 2013 — continue to raise optimism that the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will cut rates when it meets on Thursday, 27 September. Beltone Financial is banking that low inflation figures will leave room for another 50-100 bps cut in interest rates. “We reiterate our view that muted inflationary pressures coupled with the solid macro stance will allow for continued easing cycle this time,” the firm said in a research note last week. The CBE last month cut rates by 150 bps, bringing the overnight deposit and lending rates to 14.25% and 15.25%, respectively.

ECB rate cut raises hopes of global monetary easing: We expect the European Central Bank’s (ECB) move last Thursday to cut interest rates by 10 bps to -0.50% will raise hopes further that the CBE will have room to cut rates. The ECB also announced a stimulus package which will see it buy EUR 20 bn of debt per month as long as needed, starting in November. The announcement has strengthened projections that the US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will cut interest rates when it meets this Tuesday and Wednesday, 17-18 September. With the US-China trade war escalating, equity investors are hoping for support from the Fed and are wondering “how much further the Fed will go” this time, says Reuters. Turkey’s central bank cut rates before the weekend beyond what was projected, while other central banks, including the Bank of Japan signaling rate cuts, according to Reuters.

The trend is already helping emerging markets: The ECB’s announcement appears to have given investors the boost of confidence needed to invest in emerging markets assets, with Bloomberg reporting that EM currencies have posted their longest streak of gains since January, while emerging market ETFs have seen inflows for the second straight week last week. The MSCI Emerging Markets equities index, fell 5% during August.

Beyond a monetary easing reprieve, emerging markets are also getting a helping hand from an ebb in US-China trade tensions. Donald Trump is reportedly considering removing or reducing some tariffs on Chinese imports, in a bid to ease tensions with Beijing, the Financial Times reports. Sources stated that US officials were seriously considering dialing back the most recent tariffs, effective 1 September, that hit USD 112 bn of additional products, as well as delaying further planned tariffs.

China, meanwhile, made its own goodwill gesture last week by saying it would cancel additional tariffs on imports of soya beans and pork that it intends to purchase from the US.

That may be little solace to the hedge funds who suffered last month from an EM sell-off,which was exacerbated by renewed trade tensions between the US and China. Among the losers highlighted by the FT: Robert Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management, which lost 7.6% in August, and London-based emerging markets specialist Pharo Management, whose Gaia fund lost 5.5% this year.

LSE rejects Hong Kong exchange takeover bid: The London Stock Exchange rejected on Friday a potential acquisition offer by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) last week, stating that the latter’s offer of GBP 31.6 bn was “unattractive.” In a letter to HKEX, the LSE dished some share, stating that it preferred to work with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and questioning the “sustainability of HKEX’s position as a strategic gateway in the longer term.” The LSE also said that it is committed to buying financial-information and terminal company Refinitiv Holdings. Shares in the LSE rose 2% on Friday following the announcement of the letter, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

Houthi drones hit two Saudi Aramco oil processing plants yesterday,resulting in a temporary suspension of operations, the Saudi Press Agency said in a statement. The attacks resulted in the interruption of an estimated 5.7 mn barrels of crude oil, 50% of the company’s production, and reduced the supply of ethane and natural gas liquids by some 50%. One of the targeted facilities, the Abqaiq was often described by Aramco as “the world’s largest,” according to the Associated Press.

Other global headlines worth noting in brief:

  • India’s onion exporters say high prices benefiting rivals, including Egypt: Indian onion exporters are complaining that a USD 850 minimum export price per kg of onion will work to the advantage of rivals, including Egypt, Reuters reports.
  • WeWork has picked Nasdaq over the New York Stock Exchange for its approaching initial public offering, reports Bloomberg. The IPO roadshow is set to kick off as early as next week, and Softbank Group plans to buy at least USD 750 mn in shares for the communal workspace company’s IPO, reports the WSJ.

Egyptian adventurer to swim 900 km to raise plastic waste awareness: Omar El Galla aims to make history as the first person to swim the 900 km length of Egypt’s Red Sea coastline from Suez to Shalateen. He believes the feat would take around 90 days if he swims around 12-13 km daily, according to Egyptian Streets. Partnering up with environmental initiative ‘if,’ the objective of his 90-day adventure is to raise awareness about the plastic waste crisis polluting the oceans and harming marine life everywhere. Omar El Galla first came to prominence by cycling a total of 6,500 km around Egypt in 65 days.

PSA- Cairo is finally cooling off: Daytime temperatures in the capital are expected to peak at 33°C throughout the week and hover around 23°C at night time, our favorite weather app tells us. It seems our summer days are numbered, with precisely eight days to go until the end-of-summer equinox.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The National Youth Conference was (expectedly) the topic du jour on the airwaves last night. Participants in the one-day event included members of the Presidential Leadership Program (PLP), university students, young politicians, young technicians working in national projects, and young physicians and businessmen.

You can watch Masaa DMC’s coverage of the conference here (runtime: 28:02).

“Ask the President” was the highlight of the conference: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi answered several questions about regional terrorism threats and the progress of the education reform program during the “Ask the President” session. Egypt has some 23 mn students, more than 50k schools, and about 1.3 mn teachers, El Sisi said, stressing that reforming education is not an easy task (watch, runtime: 5:36). We have more of El Sisi’s most important statements in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Egypt’s position as regional gas export hub for East Med gets US support: US Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette met with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla on Thursday in Cairo to discuss moving forward with the US-Egypt Strategic Energy Dialogue — a bilateral cooperation initiative aimed at strengthening Egypt’s energy production, storage and distribution capacity. The project, which came out of an MoU signed during US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s visit in July, seeks to capitalize on Egypt’s position as the regional gas export hub for the East Mediterranean Gas Forum countries and hopes to attract new energy investments, said Brouillette. Following the meeting, Brouillette held a roundtable with a select few news outlets, including Enterprise, to discuss the initiative and Egypt’s role in the region’s energy. The Wall Street Journal also had the story.

Dialogue to help encourage US private investment in Egypt’s energy sector: The US-Egypt Strategic Energy Dialogue aims to “facilitate closer government and private sector cooperation on energy between the United States and Egypt,” according to an official statement. “We’re going to be working through this dialogue, to not only attract US investment here in the region, but also to do technology transfer and sharing from our national laboratories of the Department of Energy,” Brouillette said. The dialogue will see the two countries “cooperate on a number of shared areas of interest across the energy sector, including but not limited to enhancing energy trade, clean coal technology, carbon capture utilization and storage, bio-economy, energy efficiency and renewable energy, green building technologies, smart grids, and energy capacity building.” The two sides will get together to set the framework for the dialogue “very soon” but have yet to set a date, Brouillette said, hoping to be back in the region within 2-3 months to continue talks.

Brouillette said that the launch of strategic energy dialogue demonstrates US support for Egypt’s plan to become an energy hub as well as the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF). “We do see this forum as a key component to not only energy security in the region, but overall security in the region,” the official said.

East Med Gas Forum is important to global energy competition (wink, wink, Russia): In response to questions on whether the East Med Gas Forum will hurt Russian influence as a natural gas exporter, Brouillette said: “We want competition in the marketplace. We’ve talked to the Europeans, we’ve talked to others who are interested in buying natural gas not only from the US but from other parts of the world.” He added that the move would also benefit consumers who would in turn benefit from better pricing.

Challenges getting gas to Egypt, including security, remain but are “solvable”: The security situation in North Sinai has disrupted plans for Egypt to begin importing natural gas from Israel as part of a USD 15 bn agreement signed last year, Brouillette told reporters, including Enterprise. Infrastructure plans of a pipeline to connect the two countries have been delayed by security threats in the region where Egypt is fighting Daesh. Israel should’ve begun exporting natural gas to Egypt in March based on two binding agreements that would’ve seen the latter receive supply from its neighbor via Dolphinus Holding. “I do think the security issues factor into this,” Brouillette said, adding however that he thinks those security challenges are “solvable.” Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said last week that Egypt expects to begin receiving natural gas from Israel by the end of the year.

US to lend a helping hand in getting Turkey off the back of the East Med Gas Forum: The US has been in talks with both the Turkish and Cypriot governments and have shown Turkey that they were “not supportive of the efforts that they have ongoing,” Brouillette said, adding that his country is working on reaching a resolution. He is of course referencing the two years of bullying and threats made by Turkey that any agreement to extract gas from Cyprus must include Turkish Cyprus.

What could Egypt be doing to attract more US investments? “I think they’re doing a lot of what they need to be doing,” said Brouillette. “They’ve stabilized the market to some degree internally, they’ve indicated a willingness to do more development, which is also important. That indication usually attracts investment.” Brouillette said investors, especially multinationals, want “certainty” and reliable contracts, something Egypt has already been able to provide. Egypt has attracted USD 30 bn in investments in its energy sector, which contributes 25% of the country’s GDP, El Molla said in a statement.

We had to ask a Trump administration official if we can hope for US support in renewable energy: “There are several US companies that are interested in investing in [Benban], we want to put them in contact with the right folks here in Egypt,” Brouillette told reporters. The US is keen to work with the Egyptian government on technology transfer of battery storage. “We think that’s an important part of [Egypt’s energy] diversity and security here in the region.”

Dana Gas considers multiple scenarios for sale of Egypt assets, will decide in November: Dana Gas is considering offloading remaining arrears owed to it by the Egyptian state on to whoever ends up buying its Egyptian assets, CEO Patrick Allman-Ward told the UAE’s Al-Ittihad newspaper on Wednesday. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, Allman-Ward also confirmed that the company is receiving offers from companies interested in buying its assets in Egypt and expects to make a decision on the sale after bidding closes by mid-November. Allman-Ward reportedly said that the company was looking to complete the sale in one transaction, but is also considering only a partial sale, according to the National. Which course of action the company takes will depend on the offers presented, he added. Allman-Ward reaffirmed the reason behind the exit (or partial exit) was to focus its resources on its assets in Kurdistan.

What could be up for grabs? The company has 14 development leases under three concessions in the Nile Delta region and a 26.4% stake in a gas liquids extraction plant in the Gulf of Suez. Last week, the company’s head of investor relations Mohammed Mubaideen said that the company’s Egyptian assets were producing at a rate of 34k bbl/d. He added that 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.

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.

Shorts are expected to begin in November: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) is expected to give the green light to begin short-selling on the EGX in November, FRA deputy head Khaled El Nashar said on Thursday following a meeting with FRA’s consultation council, and the heads of the EGX and Misr for Central Clearing, Depository, and Registry (MCDR). MCDR boss Mohamed Abdel Salam is expected to make an announcement detailing where things stand on launching short-selling in October during the 25th anniversary of the clearing house’s founding, El Nashar said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Abdel Salam is also expected to announce trial runs with brokerages who have acquired short-selling licenses to gauge their readiness for the launch. Shuaa Securities, Arqaam, EFG Hermes, CI Capital, the Arab African International Securities, Prime Holdings, HC Securities, Cairo Capital Securities, and Premiere Securities have all recently acquired the license. EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid had said that short-selling would begin before the year was out, following expectations that they would launch in 3Q2019.

OC-Siemens consortium to rebuild 1.6 GW power plant complex in Iraq’s Baiji: A consortium comprising Orascom Construction (OC) and Siemens has signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to rebuild two gas-powered energy plants in the war-torn city of Baiji, north of Baghdad, OC said in a press release (pdf). The plants are expected to be inaugurated within 28 months after financial close, adding over 1.6 GW to the Iraqi electricity grid. The agreement would see the consortium executing the project on an engineering, procurement, construction, plus finance (EPC + finance) basis, according to the release. The agreement is worth up to USD 1.3 bn, according to an Iraqi government statement cited by the local press.

OC was previously was previously the EPC contractor for the original Baiji 2 plant, which was destroyed along with Baiji 1 when Daesh swept across a third of the country in 2014. Rebuilding the plants is part of a USD 14 bn “roadmap agreement” the Iraqi government and Siemens signed earlier this year to salvage the ailing sector by adding 11 GW of electricity to an import-reliant national grid.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Regional investors eyeing 1.5 mn feddan project: The Egyptian Countryside Development Company (ECDC) has received three offers from regional investors to develop land as part of the 1.5 mn feddan project, Chairman Ater Hanoura told Al Mal. Saudi Arabian company Dallah Al-Baraka is seeking 25k feddans in Al Maghrah for poultry and olive farming. Meetings with the Saudi company will be taking place in the next couple of days to decide on exact plans. Hanoura said the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID) has also made an offer and is expected to ask for at least 50k feddans in west Minya while a consortium of Egyptian businessmen in Oman has made an offer for 5k feddans and to set up an agricultural company. The ECDC has also allocated 19k feddans in west Minya to an Indian cotton and textile company, Hanoura said without naming the company.

Qalaa declares all units at ERC are a go: The Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) has successfully begun hydrocracker operations, Qalaa Holdings said in a bourse filing on Thursday (pdf). With that, all the plant’s units are now operational, the firm said of its flagship project, which has drawn in USD 4.4 bn in investments. Qalaa, which holds a 13.14% stake in ERC, is banking on ERC to boost the company's profitability and expected it to start generating income in July. Chairman Ahmed Heikal said in May that he expects the refinery to generate EGP 50-55 bn in revenues next year. ERC had inked last month agreements with Suez Cement and Arabian Cement to supply 500k tonnes of petroleum coke each year.

Gov’t calls on Port Said’s private healthcare insurers, providers to sign up for universal healthcare scheme: The Universal Health Insurance Authority (UHIA) will begin in a few days receiving requests from Port Said’s private healthcare providers to sign up to provide services under the new healthcare system, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. Applicants will have to meet certain quality standards set by a newly-formed healthcare regulator responsible for enforcing quality control at hospitals under the scheme and receive certification from said regulator. Requests, along with the required documents, should be emailed to the UHIA.

Background: Finance Ministry officials said in July that the government will contract out healthcare services under the new scheme set by the Universal Healthcare Act to private sector hospitals. Those hospitals will have to abide by a pricing scheme recently set up by the government. The new scheme will be applied across hospitals that have signed up to provide services under the Universal Healthcare Act, including non-profits, university hospitals, and non-Health Ministry affiliated hospitals. Egypt began rolling out the program in Port Said in July. More governorates will be added gradually over the course of the next 11-13 years. EGP 2.1 bn are planned to be spent to deploy the services this fiscal year.

El Sisi slams accusations of military, gov’t corruption: Accusations that the government and military have been misusing and squandering public funds are “sheer lies and defamation,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said yesterday, addressing allegations leveled against the state by businessman Mohamed Ali, the Associated Press reported. Ali had claimed in a series of videos posted online that the government “wasted money” on projects such as presidential palaces and hotels. Speaking at the National Youth Conference in Cairo, the president said that the projects being carried out under his rule are not for his personal benefit, and are being built for the country, according to Reuters.

Terrorism is still a concern for Egypt and the region, and is a challenge the military continues to work on eradicating, El Sisi said at the conference, according to Al Shorouk. The president also touched on issues he regularly brings up at similar conferences, including the importance of improving people’s physical health through exercise, government efforts to improve education and teachers’ salaries, and advocating for moderate Islam, the newspaper says.

Separately, El Sisi said that Egypt will hold local and municipal elections by the end of this year or early next year, according to Masrawy. Government-appointed officials have been running local affairs since a court dissolved municipal councils in 2011. According to the president, the House of Representatives will review and vote on the Local Administration Act, which aims to decentralize local councils and organize district elections, during the upcoming legislative session, which begins on 1 October. The law has faced delays at nearly every step of the way.

CORRECTION- Actis takeover of Abraaj Africa Fund II has no connection with Cleopatra: Private equity firm Actis’ takeover of Abraaj Africa Fund II and Abraaj South East Asia Fund II last week will not impact the shareholder structure of Cleopatra Hospitals Group, as neither fund holds a stake in the company. “Cleopatra Hospitals Group’s management would like to clarify that there has been no change in ownership, company directors or officers following the recent media speculations regarding Actis reaching an agreement to take over the management of two more buyout funds from the Abraaj Group,” Cleopatra Chairman Ahmed Badreldin told Enterprise in an exclusive statement. “The two funds under speculation have no direct or indirect investments in Cleopatra Hospitals Group,” he added. His statement follows a news story we ran on Thursday, incorrectly stating that Cleopatra was somehow impacted by last week’s takeover. The story has since been corrected on our website.

The current ownership structure: The Actis-managed Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV) and Abraaj North Africa Fund II (ANAF II) — currently managed by RMBV — both hold a 37.9% indirect stake in Cleopatra Hospital Group, Badreldin, who is on the management team of RMBV, tells us. APEF IV has a 42.5% indirect interest in Care Healthcare, while ANAF II has a 30% indirect interest in Care, he added. Three of ANAF II’s investors — the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), German Investment Corporation (DEG), and PROPARCO — together hold a combined 27.5% indirect stake in Care separate from the fund.

Could Cairo Int’l Airport be getting a Terminal 4? The Cairo Airport Company is carrying out studies to establish a fourth passenger terminal at Cairo International Airport in an effort to reduce traffic in the other three terminals, said company chairman Ahmed Fawzi, according to a statement by the Civil Aviation Ministry. Cairo International Airport is nearing 75% of its capacity, which necessitates looking at a possible expansion, he added. The move comes as the ministry has been focusing over the last two years to bolster its airport capacity just as tourism has been rebounding. Trial operations at the new administrative capital’s Capital International Airport began in July, while Sphinx International Airport in Giza had begun its soft launch last year.

MOVES- El Sisi appoints Hamada El Sawi as new Prosecutor General: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued a decree appointing counselor Hamada El Sawi as the country's new Prosecutor General, succeeding Nabil Sadek whose term ends on September 19, according to a State Information Service statement. Sawy, a long-serving judge and senior prosecutor, was assigned to the technical office of the Cairo Appeals Court in 2015. He also held positions such as head of the Justice Ministry’s National Center for Judicial Studies and the chief appellant in the Institute for Criminal Research and Training. He was in charge of the investigation of the 2016 St. Peter Church bombings and was the judge leading a corruption investigation into state newspaper Al Ahram's advertising policies, according to Egypt Today. Sadek held the post for four years following the assassination of his predecessor, Hesham Barakat, who was killed in a car bombing in June 2015. Reuters also has the story.

This is the first time El Sisi has appointed a Prosecutor General directly since the constitution was amended in April. El Sisi was granted the power to choose the prosecutor general from a pool of senior candidates pre-selected by the judiciary following the constitutional amendments that were passed in April. The amendments also give the president the right to choose heads of courts, judicial bodies, and the Supreme Constitutional Court, from some nominees.

MOVES- El Sisi appoints Mohamed Hossam El Din as Chief Justice of Council of State: President El Sisi issued another decree appointing Mohamed Hossam El Din as new Chief Justice of the Council of Statesucceeding Ahmed Abo Al Azm, whose two-year term ends next week after reaching the age of retirement, according to Ahram Online. Hossam El Din had previously chaired the council's State Commissioners Authority.


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Egypt in the News

Receiving wide coverage in the foreign press over the weekend: Trump was reported to have called President Abdel Fattah El Sisi his “favorite dictator,” in a quip during last month’s state visit, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Legal system under spotlight by teenage girl: The case of the Egyptian teenager who stabbed to death a micro-bus driver who allegedly attempted to “[redacted] assault her at knife point” in July has brought to life a debate on the country’s judicial system often blaming harassment victims, says the Associated Press. If judges rule in the 15-year-old’s favor, this would challenge what is seen as a “deep-seated misogynistic culture.”

Other headlines to keep on your radar this morning:

  • Ancient Egypt and ancient Nubia were “frenemies,” says the co-curator of a new exhibition, “Ancient Nubia Now,” due to run in Boston from 13 October to 20 January 2020. The exhibition will show 400 objects from roughly 2400 to 300 B.C. and will explore the complex Egypt-Nubia relationship, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Egypt’s recent support to Lebanon in the wake of clashes between Hezbollah and the Israeli army is the latest iteration of diplomatic and political assistance that has spanned decades, says this piece in Al Monitor.
  • Over 240 refugees have been resettled in Germany from Egypt under an International Organization for Migration (IOM) initiative with support from the Egyptian and German governments, an IOM report picked up by ReliefWeb states.
  • A Gharbeya-based masseur uses the “fiery towel” technique to provide relief for aching limbs, whereby customers lies under layers of towels, one of which is soaked in alcohol, and set alight for about a minute, this Reuters video shows (watch, runtime: 01:11).

Worth Watching

Are Facebook and Google on the verge of breaking up? Probably not, but we could still be nearing a turning point: As state attorney generals in New York and Texas lead investigations into potential anti-competitive practices by our favorite tech giants, the FT’s Kiran Stacey asks how worried the companies should be (watch, runtime: 01:43). His conclusions? While break ups are probably not imminent, investigations such as these can not only take on a momentum of their own but are also key to setting an important legal precedent. If the attorney generals are successful in arguing that the market dominance of Facebook and Google harms consumers by increasing advertising fees or raiding their data, it will be a vital piece of ammunition for anyone seeking to do battle with Big Tech in the future.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt expresses unease at prolonged GERD negotiations: Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Hamdi Sanad Loza, expressed unease at the drawn-out negotiations about the Grand Ethopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in a meeting with the ambassadors of the European countries accredited to Cairo on Thursday, according to an official statement. Loza said that Egypt offered Ethiopia a fair proposal and stressed the importance of “imposing a unilateral vision without regard for the interests of others or without giving consideration to avoiding the damages that will afflict the two downstream states, particularly Egypt.” The statement comes as Sudan and Ethiopia’s irrigation ministers are due in Cairo today to discuss plans to fill the dam, according to Sudan’s state news agency SUNA.

Egypt and Belgium signed an MoU on Thursday in which EGP 16 mn was allocated for the renovation of Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry. Meanwhile, Alexandria University’s Center of Excellence for Water ― part of a five year, USD 90 mn USAID initiative ― opened last week. The center will link researchers from Egypt and the US with members of the private sector, to find solutions to water challenges that include supply, irrigation and waste, according to a US embassy statement.

Egypt is hosting the Pan-African Forum on Migration (PAFoM), which started yesterday, bringing together over 40 countries and aiming to enhance the dialogue between states to strengthen the governance of migration, Ahram Online reports. The forum is organized by the African Union Commission, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the International Organization for Migration. Egypt has been trying to deepen cooperation with the EU on migration for some time with a Turkey-style agreement that would see Egypt stepping up its policing of Mediterranean coastal waters while the EU would up its investments and diplomatic accolades.


Civil Aviation Ministry requests manufacturing Airbus planes or parts

The Civil Aviation Ministry discussed the possibility of establishing an Airbus factory in Egypt with the CEO of the Airbus Canada partnership, Philippe Balducci, and Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Airbus Middle East, Fouad Attar, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The talks took place on the sidelines of a celebration of EgyptAir’s receipt of an Airbus A220-300. Another possibility discussed was manufacturing parts of Airbus aircrafts in coordination with Egyptian factories in the public and private sectors. Balducci and Attar promised to discuss the suggestions with the company’s leaders.

Telecoms + ICT

Careem users in Egypt can top up mobile phone credit using Careem Pay feature

Careem has introduced a new mobile wallet feature, Careem Pay, which allows users in Egypt, the UAE, and Pakistan to top up their mobile phone credit, the company told MENAbytes last week. The feature is available on all leading mobile networks in the three countries, with Android users already able to access it through an app. It will soon be available for iOS users as well, the company said. This is Careem’s first third-party payment feature, although last year it launched a service that allowed users to make transfers of Careem credit (the “currency” used in Careem Pay) between one another.


10,000 fans allowed to attend Egypt Super Cup

10,000 fans will be allowed into the Egypt Super Cup between Al Ahly and Zamalek next Friday at Borg El Arab Stadium, according to KingFut. After the success of the African Cup, the Egyptian Football Association is slowly reintegrating fans into the stadiums, with 5,000 fans allowed to attend for each team.

On Your Way Out

Egypt’s PeopleToPeople campaign has been named “the best promotional movie in the Middle East” by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The announcement came at the latest meeting of UNWTO’s General Assembly, which took place in St Petersburg between 9 and 13 September. PeopleToPeople, curated by global travel brand Beautiful Destinations, was released last month and is intended to showcase Egypt’s citizens as “welcoming, proud, and eager to show their country.” Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat, who attended the UNWTO meeting, unveiled more details of the ministry’s global tourism campaign, which includes partnerships with international media companies like Beautiful Destinations, CNN, Discovery, and Expedia.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 16.35 | Sell 16.48

EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 16.35 | Sell 16.45
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 16.37 | Sell 16.47

EGX30 (Thursday): 15,110 (+0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 839 mn (36% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +15.9%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 0.6%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended up 1.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Eastern Company up 3.1%, Egypt Kuwait Holding up 2.0%, and KIMA up 2.0%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were Egyptian Resorts down 1.7%, Orascom Construction

down 1.4% and Ibnsina Pharma down 1.3%. The market turnover was EGP 839 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +58.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -1.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -57.8 mn

Retail: 55.0% of total trades | 51.1% of buyers | 58.9% of sellers
Institutions: 45.0% of total trades | 48.9% of buyers | 41.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 54.85 (-0.44%)
Brent: USD 60.22 (-0.26%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.61 MMBtu, (+1.55%, Oct 2019 contract)
Gold: USD 1,499.50 / troy ounce (-0.52%)

TASI: 7,831.80 (-0.30%) (YTD: +0.06%)
ADX: 5,096.09 (-0.20%) (YTD: +3.68%)
DFM: 2,888.39 (+0.12%) (YTD: +14.18%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,251.04 (-0.16%)
QE: 10,461.65 (-0.05%) (YTD: +1.58%)
MSM: 4,020.16 (+0.07%) (YTD: -7.02%)
BB: 1,546.63 (+0.37%) (YTD: +15.66%)

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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.

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.

27 September (Friday): The Justice Ministry’s dispute resolution committee will hear a case filed by Raya Holding against the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

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.

8-22 November: Egypt will host Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations 2019.

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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