Monday, 16 September 2019

CIB is bringing the world’s biggest squash event to the Pyramids


What We’re Tracking Today

It was your standard Sunday yesterday, folks,with the news slowing down to a snail’s pace in both the local and international press.

We expect the next two weeks of business and economic news to be dominated by interest rates, especially following the European Central Bank’s rate cut and stimulus package last week. Escalating trade tensions over the past few months between the US and China, and US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s change of direction this year is driving people to think that the Fed will likely cut rates on Wednesday, 18 September. Markets are pricing in a near 90% probability that the Fed will cut rates by 25 bps from its current overnight lending rate of 2.25% to 2.00%, according to data from the CME Group’s FedWatch tool cited by Reuters. There is a roughly 65% probability that the Fed makes at least one more quarter-point cut by the end of the year, according to FedWatch.

This bodes well for a rate cut by the CBE on 26 September: This global monetary easing, which appears to be adopted by other countries (Turkey and possibly Japan), in addition to inflation falling to a six-year low of 7.5% in August has expectations that the CBE Monetary Policy Committee will move to cut rates when it meets on Thursday, 26 September. The arguments among analysts appear almost solely to do with the extent of the cut, with ranges between 50-150 bps. Look to our interest rate poll next week to find out what the tally is.

Speaking of central banks, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly kicked off on Sunday a meeting of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Agencies Governors, where the more than 200 Arab bankers, central bank governors, ministers, economic experts, and officials of the Arab Monetary Fund attending plan to discuss monetary, financial, and economic developments, their repercussions on Arab countries, issues of central bank governance, and central bank cryptocurrencies. Madbouly spoke on Egypt’s growth and the challenges it faces. We break down what was said in this morning’s Speed Round below.

Meanwhile, the Investment Ministry launched the official websitefor the “Investment for Africa” 2019 conference. Last year’s iteration brought stakeholders — governments, the private sector, civil society, and international financial institutions — to discuss opening up the continent further for trade and investment.

Britain’s Middle East minister arrives in Egypt: The UK’s Minister for the Middle East and North Africa and Minister of State for International Development, Andrew Murrison, has arrived in Egypt for a series of meetings, the British Embassy said in a statement. Dr. Murrison is due to meet Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, other senior Egyptian government representatives, and Pope Tawadros II.

The fall conference season continues here. Events coming up this month:

CIB unveils details of world’s biggest squash event at Giza Pyramids: Our good friends at CIB announced at a presser yesterday the details of the world’s largest squash championships, CIB PSA Women’s World Championship and CIB Egyptian Squash Open Men’s Platinum, which will take place simultaneously at the Giza Pyramids from 24 October-1 November, according to an emailed statement (pdf). The championships, which will bring together 64 women competitors and 48 men, will be held under the auspices of the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Egyptian Tourism Authority.

In a historical first, the championship prize money for women will be more than double that of the male competitors, which CIB Chairman Hisham Ezz El Arab said at the presser is a testament to the bank’s support of women’s empowerment. The women’s champion will be awarded USD 430k, while the men’s champion will be awarded USD 185k. “Egypt is in the golden age of squash; it dominates the international rankings for women, men and juniors. Through many initiatives, including our partnership with Karim Darwish Academy, CIB has developed a comprehensive extended plan with the objective of creating a new generation of young champions,” said CIB CEO Hussein Abaza, who was once himself a squash champion. You can catch Ezz El Arab’s statements here (runtime: 02:47) and Abaza’s statements here (runtime: 03:06).

Get your bunkers ready, because last weekend’s drone attacks on Aramco has the global press screaming energy crisis. The attacks interrupted 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%, which, according to Reuters, have disrupted more than 5% of global oil supply.

Egypt has strongly condemned Saturday’s drone attack on Saudi Aramco's oil refineries in Abqaiq and Khurais, expressing solidarity with Saudi Arabia in a Foreign Ministry statement.

Saudi says all’s good: Officials in Saudi Arabia have indicated that levels of production will return to normal by Monday, seeking to alleviate concerns as analysts anticipated that extensive damage could drive oil prices up by USD 5-10 a barrel. The kingdom’s benchmark stock index tumbled by as much as 3.1% on Sunday.

US points finger of blame at Iran; Tehran denies accusations: Tehran denied yesterday accusations by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Iran instigated the attack, reports the New York Times. Iran, Saudi’s regional rival, is known to support the Yemeni Houthis, who claimed responsibility for the attack.

Thankfully, we are hedging our bets: Since the 2018 production cuts, Egypt has learned its lesson and is adopting a policy of fuel hedging contracts in anticipation of future shockwaves. The government has already signed contracts with international banks, with reports indicating that crude oil prices will be set at USD 64-68 per bbl. Government officials told us last month that the government is mulling signing more fuel hedging contracts. A Bloomberg analysis last year showed that every USD 1 increase above a benchmark price used by the state in annual budgeting added EGP 4 bn (USD 222 mn) to annual spending. This year’s budget uses a benchmark price of USD 68/bbl.

There has been speculation that the US and Europe could release emergency stockpiles to ensure market supply, while Saudi Arabia itself should be able to keep customers supplied for several weeks. Mns of reserve barrels are held in the kingdom itself, and in three strategic locations, one of which is Egypt’s Sidi Kerir. The attack, widely seen as the biggest on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, is also casting a shadow over Aramco’s planned IPO.

Elections in Tunisia and Israel are also receiving widespread coverage by Middle East watchers. 24 presidential candidates are running in Tunisia, and four are seen as the favorites: Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, TV mogul Nabil Karoui, lawyer Abdelfattah Mourou, and Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidim, Bloomberg writes. Results are due on 17 September, and a second round will be held in November if no candidate gets more than 50% of the ballots. Meanwhile, to the east, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “visibly frantic” as he is about to head to national elections tomorrow, says the Associated Press.

As Arab central bankers discuss crypto, 26 other central banks are looking to quiz representatives of Facebook’s planned Libra cryptocurrency project today, the Financial Times reports. The meeting is being chaired by the European Central Bank’s board member Benoît Coeuré, who has said the bar for regulatory approval will be very high for Libra to operate in the EU. Some regulators have expressed concerns that Libra will undermine the “monetary sovereignty” of governments, but others have stressed that its advent is a wake-up call for both governments and central banks to find ways to make consumer payments faster and cheaper.

Looking for more disruption in finance? Climate change and artificial intelligence may render the asset management landscape “unrecognizable” by the end of the next decade, analysis from consultancy Create-Research suggests. 45 chief investment officers, portfolio managers and strategists from 16 countries were interviewed about their views on how AI and climate change would influence asset allocation decisions, the FT reports. The scale of both issues, and the uncertainty they generate, mean they will be the defining challenges for generations of investors and asset managers, according to one firm’s head of distribution.

The global food supply scare is so bad, we’re creating edible protein from microbes: A global drive to boost agriculture is seeing startups use high-tech fermentation to change micro-organisms — including bacteria, algae, and fungi — into edible proteins,the Financial Times reports. Global investment into crop microbial startups has skyrocketed, having risen nearly 40% from 2017 to 2018 to USD 511 mn, compared to under USD 100 mn in 2015, and investors including Bill Gates, SoftBank, and Danone are banking on microbials revolutionizing food and agriculture as they once did medicine.

Put down the vape: New York is about to be the second US state after Michigan to ban flavored e-cigarettes after health officials linked vaping to fatal lung illnesses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday, according to Reuters. Howard Zucker, the state’s health commissioner, will formally institute the decision this week. The ban would come as six people, out of 400 reported patient cases, died of illnesses potentially related to vaping.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

No particular theme or topic dominated the airwaves last night. Yesterday’s meeting of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Agencies Governors, the launch of a website for the Africa investment conference, and plans for a new program to convert mini-bus engines to dual fuel were among the highlights.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly’s review of economic reform during the meeting earned some airtime on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 2:32). We have chapter and verse in this morning’s Speed Round, below. The show hosts also took note of the launch of the official website for the “Investment for Africa” 2019 conference (watch, runtime: 5:02).

No Russians, no problem: “There are 193 countries in the world,” and Egypt has the ability to attract tourists from different places with different interests, Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat told Al Hekaya’s Amr Adib in a chat over the phone about the return of Russian charter flights (watch, runtime: 8:14). Al Mashat, who was in Russia after attending the latest meeting of the World Tourism Organization General Assembly in St Petersburg, also spoke to Adib about the progress of tourism reform and Egypt’s PeopleToPeople campaign snagging the “best promotional movie in the Middle East” award.

Gov’t planning launch of national project to convert mini bus engines to dual fuel: Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary, meanwhile, picked up on yesterday's government meeting to look into the national project to equip mini- and micro-buses with dual fuel engines (watch, runtime: 1:11). The project involves a plan to convert 142k minibuses and replace 88k outdated ones, as well as build 351 natural gas stations. The fuel conversion part is expected to be complete within three years.

The plan to replace the outdated buses, meanwhile, will involve manufacturing new ones domestically. The Arab Organization for Industrialization has already approached 11 global auto companies, including Toyota, as it looks for a partner on the project. AOI is planning to have the first natgas-powered bus replace its outdated diesel fuel-powered counterpart by June 2020, AOI head Abdel Moneim Al Terras told the press.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Egypt expects its economy to grow by around 8% by 2022, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said, according to a cabinet statement. “We aim to increase economic growth gradually, to reach around 8% by 2022, while promoting the role of private investment as a driver of this growth amid efforts to improve the business environment,” Madbouly said at the kickoff of a meeting of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Agencies Governors in Cairo on Sunday. The government is targeting GDP growth of 6% in FY2019-2020, which began in July, up from 5.6% in the previous fiscal year. Reuters also had the story.

Egypt’s biggest obstacle to growth? A challenging macro climate, particularly as it pertains to emerging markets, Madbouly said in his opening remarks. Madbouly called out debt-ridden emerging markets as being a particular threat to investing in emerging markets as a whole. His speech places part of the blame for this macro climate on trade tensions between the US and China.

How does Egypt plan to adapt to this climate? Staying the course of reform, Madbouly said, specifying Egypt’s efforts to improve the business climate through regulatory framework, and pushing government investments in a more sustainable direction through Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund. He also praised the central bank’s handing monetary policy as being instrumental in helping Egypt meet its growth targets.

The meeting separately saw the discussion of a plan by the Arab Monetary Fund to set up a regional organization specialized in debt clearance. The officials also discussed global and regional economic developments, central bank governance, the advent of digital currencies, banking regulations, and financial inclusion and innovation. You can read the final meeting statement here, if you are so inclined.

IPO WATCH – Pharma company looking to make EGX debut this year: One private pharma company worth more than USD 61 mn is planning to offer shares on the stock market by year’s end, Sayed Abdel Fadeel, head of the Financial Regulatory Authority’s corporate finance department, told Reuters without naming the company. EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid said that the stock exchange is working with two companies on the procedures of listing and selling shares on the EGX, but that the timing of the transactions is contingent on market conditions and how fast the companies finish preparations.

FRA is reassuring everyone that the state will sell shares under the privatization program this year: The government expects to sell shares in two state companies on the EGX by year’s end, Abdel Fadeel said. What Abdel Fadeel didn’t do was specify whether these were share sales or IPOs, and so we are no closer to discerning the timeline for the state privatization program.

What we know of the program: What we know of the state privatization program is that Alexandria Containers and Cargo Handling Company (ACCH), Abu Qir Fertilizers, and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (Sidpec) are looking for stake sales in the vein of Eastern Tobacco’s 4.5% stake sale in March. State e-payments platform e-Finance and Banque du Caire are looking for initial public offerings.

What we don’t know: The timing of how all this will play out. Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik had told us that IPOs have been postponed to early 2020. Earlier this month, however, e-Finance Chairman and Managing Director Ibrahim Sarhan said that the IPO would take place this year, contradicting statements he made weeks prior that the IPO was not a certainty.

M&A WATCH- CBE to sign off soon on NBG sale to Bank Audi? The Central Bank of Egypt is set to approve Bank Audi’s planned acquisition of the National Bank of Greece’s (NBG) operations in Egypt, an unnamed CBE source tells Masrawy. According to the source, the CBE is finalizing certain procedures before it can give the green light for the sale, but did not disclose when the approval is expected to come through. Bank Audi announced back in May that it would acquire NBG’s Egypt arm, including a book “mostly of Egyptian-risk loans, deposits and securities (total assets of c. EUR 110 mn), a branch network of 17 branches and c. 250 employees.” NBG decided to exit the market last year as part of a wider plan to reduce its overseas presence under an EU-supervised restructuring.

LEGISLATION WATCH- Insurance Act to make its way to Cabinet this week: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) will hand over the final draft of the new Insurance Act, which will grant the authority more oversight over the insurance industry, to the Madbouly Cabinet for approval this week, FRA deputy head Reda Abdel Moaty told reporters, according to Reuters’ Arabic service. The draft will be presented to the authority’s board of directors for a final sign-off today. Once cabinet approves the draft, it will then be handed over to the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) for legal review before its introduction to the House of Representatives sometime after the House returns on 1 October from its annual summer hiatus.

Background: According to draft details which leaked earlier this year, the Insurance Act would, if passed, raise the minimum requirement for the issued and paid-in capital of life and property insurance companies by 150% to EGP 150 mn and double the ceiling for life insurance payouts to EGP 80k. The Insurance Federation of Egypt was said to have voiced concerns at the time that the capital requirements are unnecessarily high and said it would urge they be reduced. However, following several rounds of consultations later in the year, it was reported that the authority has largely kept the requirements unchanged. Reports also emerged in July that the final draft will be granting the watchdog considerable power to regulate the industry.

DISPUTE WATCH- Gov’t arbitrates 10-year-old dispute worth EGP 2 bn with MNOs: The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has managed to settle disputes between mobile network operators (MNOs) that have gone on for 10 years, the CIT Ministry said in a statement last week. Orange, Vodafone, and Etisalat have apparently been engaging in a costly legal battle (which the ministry says had cost USD 2 bn) over the rates they charge customers for mobile calls between different networks, since 2009. “Such disputes have had a negative impact on the stability and clarity of relations between operators in the Egyptian ICT sector,” the ministry said. Enterprise has reached out to the government and mobile operators to get insights and the specifics of the settlement, but they were not available to comment.

The government will begin implementing today the promised EGP 6 bn new export subsidy framework after holding several meetings with the export councils, reports Al Mal. Exporters have been awaiting clarity on how the government is planning to implement the new program, which will see some EGP 2.4 bn (40%) of the EGP 6 bn disbursed as cash subsidies, EGP 1.8 bn (30%) through tax and payment discounts, and the remaining EGP 1.8 bn (30%) spend by the Export Subsidy Fund to “build up Egypt’s export capacities.” We have a rundown here on the new framework, which the government announced in July.

Gov’t also says it’s on track to make good on overdue payments: The Finance Ministry is currently in the process of giving exporters EGP 800 mn-worth of tax breaks to settle overdue arrears under the old program, and said EGP 2 bn will be settled soon through the four new ways announced in July, alongside tax breaks. This report came after Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said last week the ministry has already disbursed EGP 1.4 bn over the past few weeks. The Egyptian Businessmen’s Association estimated last year that the government could owe exporters EGP 9 bn. Others in the field have put the figure even higher.

Takaful and Karama will receive first payment of USD 500 mn World Bank loan next fiscal year: The Social Solidarity Ministry will start receiving payments from the USD 500 mn World Bank loan for the Takaful and Karama social welfare programs in three tranches over three years, starting from FY2020-2021, according to Al Mal. The first worth USD 200 mn will arrive in FY2020-21, the second and third tranches, worth USD 150 mn and USD 150 mn respectively, will be doled out in the subsequent fiscal years. The loan agreement was signed last Wednesday between Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and World Bank director in Egypt Marina Weis.


Enterprise is available without charge — just visit our English or Arabic subscription page, depending on which edition you would like to receive. We give you just about everything you need to know about Egypt, in your inbox Sunday through Thursday before 7am CLT (8am for Arabic), and all we ask for is your name, email address and where you hang your hat during business hours.

The Macro Picture

Africa is a global leader in mobile money payments: The region has become the global leader in mobile money innovation, adoption, and usage in the last ten years, according to the IMF, with almost 10% of GDP in transactions generated through mobile payments, compared to 7% of GDP in Asia and less than 2% of GDP in other regions. Kenya’s mobile money transfer service M’Pesa is a leader in the field, with close to 30 mn users in East Africa and beyond, and has recently secured agreements with Western Union and PayPal. Zimbabwe is another example of a success story, having made a rapid shift towards digital transactions as a result of 2017’s massive currency shortage. Electronic payments in Zimbabwe went from comprising a mere 20% of all transactions before 2017 to comprising 80% ever since — an indication of how rapidly change can take place.

A concerted move towards more digital payments is needed to boost African economies, offering a score of benefits including increased security and reduced costs, and opening the door to broader financial inclusion. A still-widespread reliance on cash means unnecessary costs are still incurred. Mastercard estimates that some 95% of retail transactions on the continent are cash-based, and that the printing, distribution and handling costs of cash place as much as a 1.5% burden on the national GDP. Meanwhile, some 57% of people in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to formal financial tools, and currency conversion between countries costs Africa an estimated USD 5 bn a year, hampering trade prospects.

Organizations are committed to investing in the digital economy: In 2018, the World Bank launched the Digital Economy for Africa (DE4A) initiative, seeking to drive increased access to digital financial and government services, markets, and information. In June this year, the African Development Bank launched the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) which will use some USD 100 mn in grants and USD 300 mn in debt from the bank’s ordinary capital resources to provide increased electronic financial services to 320 mn more people by 2030. Investment in African fintech firms developing tailored solutions — such as catering for slower internet speed — is also increasing.

Challenges still abound: A lack of broadband infrastructure means that only an estimated 22% of the continent has reliable access to the internet, a prerequisite for building the digital economy. And integrating regional frameworks for payment systems, cross-border data flows, data privacy, cyber security and consumer protection is also essential to increase access to formal financial services.

Egypt in the News

It is a blessedly quiet morning for Egypt in the foreign press, with very little being said about our fair nation.

A couple of headlines to skim:

  • An alleged takfiri leader who fled to Sudan after being sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2013 for killings and violence against police officers is now being extradited to Egypt, Asharq Al-Awsat reports.
  • Egypt has everything you could possibly want for an adventure holiday, writes the Scottish Sun. Who knew? Well all of us, actually, but anything that gives our beleaguered tourist industry a boost gets a thumbs up from us.

Worth Watching

In a world where even the merits of a college degree are being questioned, business schools are turning to online education. As universities report a notable reduction in applications to MBA programs, some, like Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, are taking major steps to meet the evolving needs of prospective students (watch, runtime: 06:13). Questrom has just launched a USD 24k online MBA program designed to cater to seasoned professionals. It’s one of several new products developed by the university in response to an increasingly complex market.

And if all else fails, turn your business school to Second City: Meanwhile, a Belgium-based professor is harnessing the skills developed in improvisation workshops to teach students how to respond to real-life business situations — including crises — as they occur. The last fifty years of business school education has been very functional, he says, but the students of today’s world need to learn techniques for managing ambiguity (watch, runtime: 03:07).

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) resumed yesterday after having stopped for more than a year, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters, according to AMAY. Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Hamdi Sanad Loza, had expressed unease at the drawn-out negotiations over the weekend. Criticism of GERD had also intensified over the weekend, when President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said at the Youth Conference that GERD would not have been built were it not for “the mistakes” of the 2011 uprising, according to Ahram Online.

Egypt may very literally have beef with Brazil: The Agriculture Ministry issued a decision to limit the acceptance of halal meat certificates from Latin America to only the Egyptian Islamic Company (IS EG), causing diplomatic tension with Brazil, one of our major meat exporters who would be forced to export less Brazilian beef, according to the local press. The ministry’s decision was based on concerns it has raised over the prevalence of mistakes at other centers in issuing the halal certificate during the last period, sources said. The Brazilian agriculture minister is currently visiting Cairo with a delegation of businessmen and representatives of the Federation of Islamic Institutions and held three meetings with Egyptian officials to inquire about the reasons for the decision, and to negotiate a reversal.

USAID signed a USD 16.5 mn grant today to support Egypt’s basic education and agriculture sectors, according to an Investment and International Cooperation Ministry statement. USD 13 mn of the grant will be allocated to the third phase of the Basic Education Agreement for the Education Ministry to solve issues in the education sector and further train teachers. The other USD 3.5 mn is meant to increase the incomes and employment opportunities of agribusinesses Upper Egypt and the Delta region.


EETC settles EGP 1.9 bn cost-sharing bill increase with Benban solar companies

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) has reached an agreement with the Benban Solar Energy Developer Association that will see the developers pay the EGP 1.9 bn increase in the cost-sharing bill for projects in the Benban solar park, EETC Chairman Sabah Mashali tells Al Mal. The companies working on the solar projects had previously refused to pay the sum, which is a result of increased building material costs, but the banks financing these projects had said they would be on board to extend additional financing to cover the cost increases.


NBE issues EGP 1.75 bn letters of guarantees for monorail projects

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) issued six letters of guarantee worth EUR 64.9 mn (EGP 1.75 bn) to a consortium made up of Bombardier Transportation, Orascom Construction, and Arab Contractors for the 54 km monorail project, according to Al Shorouk. The credit facilities will be issued in two tranches, the first worth EUR 37.647 mn for the new administrative capital segment of the monorail, and the second worth EUR 27.211 mn for the 6th of October portion. The consortium signed a contract last month with the National Authority for Tunnels in Cairo worth more than USD 4.5 bn to work on two planned monorail lines. The government is currently seeking an additional USD 2.5 bn loan from European institutions.

Real Estate + Housing

SECON to invest EGP 5 bn in Egypt’s real estate over coming 3 years

The Saudi Egyptian Company for Development (SECON), formerly known as the Saudi Egyptian Construction Company, aims to expand its investment in Egypt’s real estate market to EGP 9 bn within three years, up from EGP 4 bn currently, CEO Mohamed El-Taher told Al Shorouk. The company, which aims to become one of the top five players in the market over the coming three years, is in talks with the New Urban Communities Authority for 200 feddans in Sheikh Zayed or New Cairo for projects, El-Taher said without elaborating further.

Sodic in talks with local banks for EGP 1 bn for east, west Cairo projects

Premier real estate developer Sodic is in talks with Banque Misr and other local banks to acquire a 3-5 year, EGP 1 bn facility for its projects in east and west Cairo, sources told Al Mal. The facility will be used to cover part of development costs estimated to be around EGP 8.8 bn. Sodic had said last week that it plans to invest EGP 34 bn in four New Zayed projects over the next 10 years.


Tourism Ministry threatens to withdraw land allocations over unpaid overdue fees

The General Authority for Tourism Development has warned a number of tourism companies that it would withdraw their allocated land plots for failing to pay off their overdue fees and other payments owed to the authority, Al Shorouk reported. The authority has withdrawn 4.4 mn square meters from companies over the past two years for failing to pay what they owe.

Automotive + Transportation

Egypt in talks with int’l financiers to fund railway electromechanical works

The Transport Ministry is in talks with international financiers to fund railway signaling system upgrades for the Giza-Beni Suef and the Luxor-Aswan lines, Minister Kamel El Wazir said, according to Al Mal. France’s Alstom is reportedly bidding to develop the Giza-Beni Suef line. The government is planning to spend EGP 56 bn in five years to upgrade signaling systems across the country, EGP 17 bn of which will be acquired from foreign lenders.

Other Business News of Note

Africa News Agency to open office in Egypt as part of expansion efforts

South Africa-based syndicated news outlet Africa News Agency (ANA) is planning to expand its operations by setting up offices in Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya, it said in a statement last week picked up by South Africa’s Business Report. The company, which was launched in 2015, has said it will expand to other countries on the continent in due course.

National Security

Egyptian, US Special Forces carry out counterrorism drills

Egyptian and American Special Forces carried out joint counterterrorism exercises in Egypt yesterday, the Armed Forces said in a statement. The exercises included neutralizing explosive devices and training on counterterrorism operations in open and residential areas.

On Your Way Out

Egypt is premiering its first-ever animated film, The Knight and the Prince, at the Gouna Film Festival this week, according to Egypt Today. The film has been 20 years in the making, according to producer Abbas Bin El-Abbas. And we’re apparently also producing our first 3D sci-fi movie, 2050 Hell Siege, featuring robots and a host of other AI-related elements you would expect to see in a maiden sci-fi film experiment.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 16.32 | Sell 16.44

EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 16.32 | Sell 16.42
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 16.35 | Sell 16.45

EGX30 (Sunday): 15,023 (-0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 467 mn (24% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +15.3%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session down 0.6%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 0.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Orascom Development up 1.7%, Orascom Construction up 1.2%, and Pioneers Holding up 1.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were ADIB down 5.3%, SODIC down 3.1% and Juhayna down 2.3%. The market turnover was EGP 467 mn, and domestic investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +3.5 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP +17.1 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -20.5 mn

Retail: 61.9% of total trades | 67.5% of buyers | 56.3% of sellers
Institutions: 38.1% of total trades | 32.5% of buyers | 43.7% 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: 7,749.46 (-1.05%) (YTD: -0.99%)
ADX: 5,073.86 (-0.44%) (YTD: +3.23%)
DFM: 2,869.84 (-0.64%) (YTD: +13.44%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,234.50 (-0.26%)
QE: 10,394.90 (-0.64%) (YTD: +0.93%)
MSM: 4,021.14 (+0.02%) (YTD: -7.00%)
BB: 1,535.55 (-0.72%) (YTD: +14.83%)

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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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