Sunday, 24 November 2019

Investment for Africa 2019 nets agreements worth USD 3 bn.
Plus: EduMin softens (slightly) its stance on foreign ownership limits


What We’re Tracking Today

The capital city’s rumor mill is still in overdrive above a potential cabinet shuffle even though there were no developments over the weekend. The latest speculation out of the domestic press is that Ain Shams University professor Mahmoud El Meteiny could take health from Hala Zayed, while Damietta Governor Manal Awad could take Yasmine Fouad’s position as environment minister, an unnamed government source tells Masrawy.

Media councils getting a shakeup too? The ministerial changes could be preceded by a shuffle in the leadership of the country’s three media regulators — the Supreme Media Council, National Media Authority, and National Press Council, according to Masrawy’s source. Talk of a shuffle began last week when the high-profile head of the state-owned Akhbar Al-Yom news outlet first raised the topic on the nation’s talk shows.

Either way, Ghada Waly is leaving cabinet: The long-serving minister of social solidarity has been named the next executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UN Secretary‑General António Guterres said in a statement on Thursday. She will also be the next director-general of the United Nations Office in Vienna, the National notes. Waly has been a fixture at the cabinet table since 2014.

Private markets are “larger than ever” as companies stay private for longer: Once upon a time, conventional wisdom was that companies grew to a certain size in private hands before making their debut on a stock exchange, selling shares to (hopefully) get a higher valuation and raise the money they needed to grow.

But more companies are staying private for much longer because … it’s become really easy to raise private capital. Investors have been piling into private market investments as companies are tending to stay private for longer and are increasingly opting for so-called “private IPO” fundraising rounds — and when they do go public, some are executing direct listings instead of IPOs, Goldman Sachs said in a briefing last week. In the last decade, USD 3 tn has flowed into private equity and venture capital funds across the globe, and private funds are on track to raise over USD 100 bn for >10k transactions for the second year in a row.

Other key takeaways from the Goldman report: VC and PE funds now have competition for transactions from sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, corporate / captive VC funds (to say nothing of traditional investors in public quities). Transactions are getting larger (43% of transaction value this year is accounted for by c. 200 of them worth more than USD 100 mn apiece) and companies are raising late-stage rounds more frequently.


Saudi Aramco’s IPO continues to get media attention globally even after bankers scrapped the international component of the transaction. Only Saudi individuals and institutions are buying, and even religious leaders in the kingdom are pushing investors to bid heavily for shares, the Financial Times reports. Some SAR 14 bn (nearly USD 4 bn) in retail orders had been received by Thursday, according to Al Arabiya, bringing the total order book from retail and institutional investors to SAR 73 bn. The Wall Street Journal has a deep dive into Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s determination to bring the IPO to life — and alleges that doubts expressed by former energy minister Khalid Al Falih saw him swept to the side.

Other headlines of note in our region and in the global economy:

  • Lebanon’s USD bonds started to rebound late last week after yields skyrocketed during weeks of anti-government protests, Reuters reports.
  • Speaking of bonds: Local-currency EM bonds are on a roll, having“staged a formidable rally” since December 2015. EM local currency government bonds’ annual returns have hit 7.2% in USD terms, while similar duration US government bonds returned 2.2%. EM sovereign and corporate USD-denominated bonds are also rising compared to their US counterparts, according to the Financial Times.
  • The international press was fixated over the weekend on Bibi’s official indictment for fraud, bribery, and breach of trust by Israel’s attorney general on Thursday, the Guardian reports.
  • Weather forecasters were dealt a major blow in their months-long turf war with 5G operators at the World Radiocommunication Conference held in Egypt, according to The Verge. Delegates at the conference voted in to give 5G operators more freedom of operation in a specific frequency that is necessary for weather forecasting accuracy.


Tesla revealed its (almost) unbreakable Cybertruck: The live demonstration of the futuristic-looking electric pickup truck, which was touted as being “literally bulletproof,” saw vehicle stand up to sledgehammer blows — but its shatter-proof windows were cracked when hit with a metal ball while CEO Elon Musk was on stage, according to CNN. The base model of the Cybertruck is priced at nearly USD 40k and is scheduled to go into production in late 2021. The Verge has more.


*** Listen to the first episode of Making It, our new podcast: After a ten-year run leading a high-end retailer of imported food in Egypt, Jalal Abu Gazaleh nearly fell off a cliff when the devaluation of the EGP saw prices skyrocket, inflation go through the roof — and an effective ban on imports put in place. In this week’s episode, Jalal talks with us about how he built the business from a one-desk meat importer into a retail powerhouse and an early pioneer of e-commerce — and saved his business by becoming a food manufacturer. Listen here on our website or try Apple Podcast | Google Podcast.

You can also listen on Spotify if you are listening outside of MENA. The local edition of the streamer doesn’t presently offer podcasts.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The second day of the Investment for Africa Forum, which wrapped up in the new administrative capital yesterday, dominated the nation’s airwaves last night. We have chapter and verse on the forum in this morning’s Speed Round below.

What got the heads talking? President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s remarks during the forum and his sideline meetings piqued the most interest. El Sisi mentioned that the government has spent EGP 4 tn on infrastructure since 2012 and called in a speech yesterdays for African leaders to clamp down on corruption, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr took note (watch part of the speech, runtime: 6:41). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary, meanwhile, reviewed the second day’s proceedings (watch, runtime: 3:33). Egyptian companies have invested USD 10.2 bn in African countries, three times more than the USD 3.4 bn invested in Egypt by African companies, El Hosary said.

El Sisi’s sideline meetings: El Sisi discussed Siemens’s work in Egypt in a meeting with the German company’s CEO, Joe Kaeser. The president also separately sat down with EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti, Abu Bakr reports (watch, runtime: 2:37).

Mummified animals discovered in Sakkara: Abu Bakr gave us the details of the recent archaeological discovery of hundreds of mummified animals and statues at the Sakkara necropolis (watch, runtime: 2:50). Supreme Council of Antiquities Secretary-General Mostafa Waziri said that among the trove was “the largest stone scarab in the world.” The find received plenty of digital ink in the foreign press this morning, which we noted in this morning’s Egypt in the News section, below.

Egypt’s Tiba-1 satellite launch delayed: France-based Arianespace has delayed the launch of Egypt’s first communication satellite, Tiba-1, due to technical issues, Abu Bakr reported (watch, runtime: 4:46). Tiba-1 was set to launch on Friday, but was delayed for 24 hours after the technician in charge of calibrating the power supply required more time, Egyptian Space Agency head Mohamed El Qousy told Abu Bakr. Another attempt was scheduled for yesterday.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Everything you need to know about Investment for Africa 2019, including agreements worth a combined USD 3 bn: Eleven agreements worth more than USD 3 bn were signed during the two-day Investment for Africa Forum, which wrapped up yesterday in the new administrative capital, according to a long readout from cabinet.

Egypt and America’s DFC ink USD 430 mn investment accord with Noble: One of the agreements will see the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) fund a USD 430 mn plan by Noble to invest in the East Mediterranean Gas Company’s (EMG) subsea pipeline connecting Arish to Israel’s Ashkelon. A separate agreement, also financed by the DFC, involves Noble and Dolphinus jointly manufacturing petroleum products. Reuters took note of the story.

What will be happening to the pipeline? There were few specifics on what the pipeline investment entails. Noble, Israel’s Delek Drilling, and Egypt’s East Gas recently acquired a 39% stake in EMG, paving the way for the transportation of 85.3 bn cubic meters of gas into Egypt under a landmark agreement signed in 2018 with Dolphinus.

More than USD 250 mn in funding for energy sector from EBRD: Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Suma Chakrabarti signed a USD 201 mn agreement to upgrade Egypt’s national electricity grid. A separate agreement signed by both officials will see EBRD provide a USD 50 mn loan to the Suez Oil Processing Company for a new asphalt production line. Lekela Egypt also formally announced during the forum that it has started construction on the 250 MW wind plant in West Bakr in the Gulf of Suez, which is expected to raise Egypt’s wind energy capacity by 18% once completed in 2021.

ITFC signs off on USD 100 loan for Afreximbank: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation will provide the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) with a USD 100 mn tranche of a USD 500 mn loan to facilitate import and export transactions between Egypt and African countries, according to the statement.

Egypt signed several other agreements on the sidelines, including:

  • Kuwaiti loan for Sinai development: The Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development will provide a USD 83 mn (KD 25 mn) loan to fund works on a highway linking North and South Sinai;
  • USD 50 mn facility from EIB for community-led SMEs: A USD 50 mn facility for the European Investment Bank (EIB) that is part of USD 99 mn program for SMEs development. The EIB is expected to sign another EUR 500 mn SMEs financing agreement agreement with Banque Misr later today;
  • USD 43 mn in Chinese grants: The Chinese government will provide USD 43 mn in grants for education, healthcare, and human resource development; and
  • Two separate economic cooperation MoUs with Angola and Djibouti that will see us involved in more joint projects and increase the frequency of business delegation visits to and from the two African nations.

More from the forum, Africa suffers USD 450 bn investment gap: African countries need USD 500 bn of investment annually to achieve their development goals but currently only receive USD 50 bn, UN Assistant Secretary-General Mourad Wahba said during the forum, according to Al Mal. The countries receive cash inflows of USD 60 mn that could be translated into development projects, but underdeveloped financial systems in many countries are unable to absorb such quantities of money, Wahba added.

Connecting all 55 African countries via road would need at least USD 200-250 bn and would take 10 years, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said during his speech. Regional integration through trade and infrastructure projects was a key theme of the president’s opening speech, which also stressed private sector participation and job creation. Ahram Online has a rundown of several other key points from the speech. The president also called on international companies and financiers to see Africa as a promising investment prospect, “not charity work,” Masrawy quoted him as saying.

REGULATION WATCH- Education Ministry makes concessions on school foreign ownership limits after investor pushback: The Education Ministry will consider raising its 20% cap on foreign ownership of schools on a case-by-case basis but will not reverse its decision under pressure from investors, Education Minister Tarek Shawki said on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum.

What is this about? There was speculation last week that the ministry could move to raise the 20% foreign ownership cap on private and international schools or abolish it altogether in response to investor concerns. Some foreign investors have told us they have suspended plans to invest in the sector. The cap applies to all foreigners, including dual-passport holders, funds, entities, and authorities. Investors are also now required to get prior approval before offloading stakes. Private school owners have urged the ministry to rethink its plans, fearing that the restrictions will stifle foreign investment in the sector.

Shawki defends the cap on economic, security grounds: Shawki said that it is important that schools remain in Egyptian hands for security and economic considerations.“It’s important to know what’s being taught, and what’s being told to children, and who manages those schools,” he said.

CIRA’s El Kalla welcomes the response: Mohamed El Kalla, CEO of publicly traded education provider CIRA, said having a clear and transparent system would enable the government to identify trustworthy investors and raise the cap accordingly. Investors have been in talks with the ministry in recent weeks to negotiate a way to prevent the decision from hurting existing foreign and dual-passport holding investors, especially in listed companies, El Kalla added.

More background? We took a deep dive into the story in the first issue of Blackboard, our education weekly, earlier this month. You can read the full article here.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Attracting FDI into the automotive sector remains a challenge, El Sisi says: The government hasn’t been able to attract the foreign direct investment needed to spur growth in the automotive industry, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said during the Investment for Africa Forum, which wrapped up yesterday in the new capital, according to Masrawy. “We have been working for years and have not succeeded in convincing global companies to invest in automotive manufacturing [despite] saying we will make everything available,” El Sisi said.

House is yet to discuss customs incentives: El Sisi’s administration has recently been working on a package of customs incentives to spur domestic automotive manufacturing and assembly that were expected to be implemented last month through amendments to the Customs Act. The government opened talks with a number of foreign automotive companies — including India’s Tata and Japan’s Nissan — after announcing the incentives program.

Volkswagen Group is the latest company to express interest in local assembly: Executives earlier this month told Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly that the company is interested in manufacturing natural gas-powered vehicles and assembling Skodas in Egypt. Other brands from VW’s portfolio — which includes Audi, Seat, and Man Se — may follow suit, the delegation said.

Egypt’s tourist arrivals to hit pre-revolution levels next month: The number of tourist arrivals in Egypt should reach the same levels they were back in 2010 by the end of next month, Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat said during a Bloomberg TV interview on Thursday in Beijing (watch, runtime: 5:55). Al Mashat noted that tourism revenues had already recovered to previous record levels in FY2018-2019, reaching USD 12.5 bn, but arrival numbers continued to lag. This mismatch indicated that tourists who now visit Egypt tend to stay for longer durations, according to the minister.

Tourism in Egypt is an ideal example for how the private sector can lead an industry with the support of the government, with some 98% of the industry being operated by private companies, Al Mashat said. She noted that the strong presence of the private sector in Egypt’s tourism industry is made possible by the government creating the correct legislative environment and providing the necessary infrastructure. The minister pointed to Egypt’s Tourism Reform Program, her ministry’s long-term policy framework that aims to take a preemptive — rather than reactive — position on developing the Egyptian tourism industry as a key part of the structural reforms enacted under the IMF-backed reform program.

Meanwhile, the inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the 170 km Red Sea Mountain Trail are expected to attract more tourists next year, Al Mashat said. This comes as part of Egypt’s efforts to give travelers options that go beyond “cultural heritage or sun and sea,” and promote different destinations around the country.

PRIVATIZATION WATCH- HHD approves prospectus, draft contracts for 10% stake + management rights: Heliopolis Housing and Development (HHD) has approved in an extraordinary general assembly yesterday draft contracts for handing management rights to a private sector investor, as well as a prospectus for a 10% stake sale to the same investor, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik said. The company is expecting to issue the prospectus within days, and will continue to receive bids until finalizing the sale and management contract by January, he said.

Background: HHD invited private equity firms and private real estate developers in October to bid for a 10% stake with management rights after backing away in April from a secondary stake sale of as much as 32.25%. Plans were then resurrected in July to offer a 25% stake in 4Q2019, before Tawfik told us that the transaction was unlikely to close this year.

Who’s in the running? Eight companies were initially reported to have been interested in HHD, including SODIC, EFG Hermes, BPE, Emaar Misr, and Orascom Development.

DEBT WATCH- Sarwa, Banque Misr conclude EGP 4 bn NUCA securitized bond issuance: Sarwa Capital and Banque Misr have concluded an EGP 4 bn securitized bond issuance on behalf of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), Sarwa announced in a statement (pdf). Suzan Hamdy, head of capital markets at Banque Misr, described the transaction as a “key milestone” for Egypt’s fixed income market, while Ayman Elsawy, chairman of Sarwa Promotion & Underwriting, said it “reflects the rising investor confidence in the Egyptian government and its plans towards sustainable economic growth.” The bond received an AA- rating by the Middle East Ratings and Investors’ Service. EBRD was a “major participant in this bond issuance,” the statement noted, quoting EBRD boss Sir Suma Chakrabarti as saying the transaction will deepen the local-currency debt market and “have a strong demonstration effect on other international and local investors.”

Advisors: Sarwa and Banque Misr acted as lead managers, arrangers and co-underwriters for the issuance, while our friends at ALC acted as legal advisor.

Gov’t expands customs clearance “green channel” to include SMEs: The government has decided to expand its “green channel” system for whitelisted importers to enjoy expedited customs clearance to include small and medium-sized enterprises, according to a Finance Ministry statement. The move is meant to improve SMEs’ production capabilities, the statement says, noting that SMEs comprise a large chunk of the national economy. It remains unclear whether all SMEs will be included in the green channel system.

Background: The system, which the ministry began implementing last Wednesday, will allow 75 whitelisted companies to have their goods pass through Egypt’s ports without their shipping containers undergoing inspection. The move is meant to cut down on customs clearance fees, which would also drive down the costs of imported goods on the market, and raise Egypt’s ranking in the World Bank’s Cross Border Trade Index. The government has been working on a draft Customs Act that is designed to expedite customs clearance and provide customs breaks to incentivize local manufacturing.

REGULATION WATCH- EGX issues new regs on book-building process for IPOs, secondary stake sales: The Egyptian bourse has issued new regulations allowing companies to amend the timeline for receiving orders during the book-building phase of an IPO or stake sale until two business days before the end of the originally announced period, according to an EGX statement (pdf). The regulations require the issuer to notify the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and central clearing house MCDR with the reasons for the changes. The issuer is required to clearly state the intended beginning and end of the book-building process, and record them through the EGX’s OPR platform.

The new regulations also entail greater oversight of the reported orders on an IPO or secondary offering and will also see the EGX announce the share price and order activity during an issuer’s book-building period. The bourse will also automatically scrap orders in the retail investors that overlap with orders from the same party in the private placement portion of the issuance,and will inform MCDR of the total number of approved orders to ensure demand corresponds to the money entering the issuer’s account. If MCDR finds a discrepancy, it will notify the brokerage managing the stake sale, which is then responsible for explaining the discrepancy and amend the reported orders accordingly.

Background: The new regulations appear to be another measure being taken by the EGX and FRA to amend the framework in place for the book-building process of stake sales after the regulator claimed last fall that Beltone Financial’s investment banking arm used a flawed pricing and book-building process for Sarwa Capital’s IPO.

Gov’t to decide fate of Egyptian Iron and Steel: The government will soon hold talks with the House of Representatives, company employees, and media professionals about whether to liquidate state-owned Egyptian Iron and Steel, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik said on the sidelines of the Investment for Africa Forum. Tawfik provided no further details. The company — one of the largest in its sector and an EGX-listed company — saw its losses rise 44% y-o-y to EGP 1.3 bn in 3Q2019 last fiscal year. Despite this, the company’s general assembly voted against liquidating the company’s assets when it met earlier this month.

Tawfik’s turnaround plan: When he was sworn in as minister last year, Tawfik unveiled a rescue plan for loss-making state firms which at the time had racked up some EGP 7.5 bn in net losses. The plan saw the ministry undertake feasibility studies to determine each company’s financial viability. Companies that were found incapable of turning a profit were to be shut down.

CABINET WATCH- Ministers approve disbursal of EGP 500 mn in overdue export subsidies: The Madbouly Cabinet signed off on disbursing EGP 500 mn in overdue subsidies owed to Egyptian exporters that have committed to expanding their investments, according to an official statement. Exporters are owed bns of overdue subsidies under promises made by the Export Subsidy Fund since 2012. The government began settling these payments under the new framework in September, under which it promised to speed up the payments for larger companies that commit to new investments. Cabinet also approved proposed measures to settle overdue subsidies for Egyptian exporters through 30 June 2019 under the EGP 6 bn export subsidy framework.

Also approved during the weekly meeting:

  • The Egyptian Railways Authority’s USD 466.3 mn agreement with Progress Rail Locomotive to supply and upgrade locomotives;
  • Egypt’s USD 1.2 bn loan agreement with China’s Exim Bank for the new capital light railway;
  • A ministerial decision establishing a National Artificial Intelligence Council mandated with creating a roadmap for the development of AI in Egypt;
  • Agreements between the CIT Ministry and Microsoft, ESRI, VMware, and Teradata for digital infrastructure projects in Port Said.

EARNINGS WATCH- Orascom Construction profits rose 10.7% y-o-y in 3Q2019 to USD 32.2 mn, compared to USD 29.1 mn a year earlier, the company said in its earnings release (pdf). On a nine-month basis, however, net income “was negatively impacted by higher net financing costs in Egypt” in 1H2019, dropping 16% to USD 93.7 mn. The company managed to reduce its net financing costs at the end of 2Q and throughout 3Q2019, according to the release. Revenues increased 8.3% y-o-y to USD 789.6 mn in 3Q2019, while consolidated EBITDA in 9M2019 rose 16.9% y-o-y.

OC’s consolidated backlog excluding Besix increased 25.2% y-o-y to USD 5.3 bn as of 30 September 2019. Consolidated new awards soared 158% to USD 1.3 bn in 3Q2019. Including the group’s 50% share in Besix, pro forma backlog as of 30 September 2019 rose 26.2% y-o-y to USD 7.7 bn. Pro forma new awards rose 116.8% y-o-y to USD 1.6 bn during 3Q2019. “These new contracts are comprised of quality, well-funded projects across several exciting sectors including transportation, water and data centers in Egypt and the United States as we also pursue further opportunities in new and existing markets,” said CEO Osama Bishai.

Did we just make progress on GERD? Egypt and Sudan agree to Ethiopia’s proposed timetable for dam filling: Egypt and Sudan have reportedly accepted Ethiopia’s proposal to start filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) reservoir in June 2020, when there will be high rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands, according to a report in Ethiopian news outlet Ezega picked up by Ahram Online. According to the latest agreement reached by the three countries in the recent meetings of irrigation ministers, GERD is set to hold 4.9 bcm of water by mid-2020, which would allow Ethiopia to launch preliminary power-generating activities late next year. If rainfall is sufficient, Ethiopia will fill the reservoir of the dam within four years, although the filling period may be extended to up to seven years if rainfall is low, a member of Ethiopia’s negotiating team has said.

What happens from here?The meeting in Addis Ababa focused on technical discussions to resolve issues of how GERD will be filled and operated, and what should happen during periods of drought. It constitutes the first of four pre-arranged talks, the second of which will be held in Cairo on 2-3 December, and a further two meetings to be held in Washington on 9 December 2019 and 13 January 2020.


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.

Image of the Day

The Egypt-Ethiopia-Sudan water conflict is just one in a long line of struggles over the world’s most precious resource: As this chart from the Water Conflict Chronology database shows, water has played a role in human conflicts throughout recorded history, and, as it becomes ever more scarce, water-related disputes are starting to become increasingly common. The database, maintained since the 1980s by a California-based think-tank, shows three distinct ways that water can be part of conflict: It could be a weapon (a vehicle of poisoning or flooding, causing mass casualties or injuries), a casualty (with water systems being the target of attacks), or the trigger of violence. Unsurprisingly, most of the water-related disputes documented in Egypt involve water as a trigger or root cause of conflict. And a separate study shows that the Nile is one of five rivers in the world most likely to be at the heart of cross-border water disputes, the Economist reports.

Egypt in the News

A major archaeological discovery in Sakkara has top billing in the international press this morning: A trove of hundreds of mummified animals — including lions, birds, cats and crocodiles — was uncovered by the Antiquities Ministry yesterday: Associated PressAgence France-PresseDeutsche Presse-AgenturBBCRTThe GuardianFox News.

The arrest of Shady Zalat, an editor at Mada Masr, is also getting significant attention: Zalat was detained at his house on Saturday morning and is reportedly being held at Giza police station: Associated PressAgence France-PresseWashington PostDeutsche Welle.

Amnesty International published two statements on Egypt over the weekend: One alleges that the daughter of senior Ikhwan leader Khairat El Shater is “critically ill” and being denied medical treatment in prison, while the other suggests that appointing Egypt to co-lead the the review of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy could have “catastrophic consequences.”


Eni to bring third Baltim South West well online by the end of the year

Eni will link the third well in its Baltim South West field to the national grid by the end of the year, a source in the oil sector told the local press. This will raise gas output by another 100 mcf/d to 290 mcf/d, and increase condensate production by 650 bbl/d to 1950 bbl/d. The three remaining wells are expected to come online by the end of 2Q2020, bringing total gas production to 500 mcf/d. Eni, which holds a 50% stake with EGPC through its IEOC joint venture, estimated the field to hold 1 tcf of natural gas when it was discovered in 2016. BP holds the remaining 50% stake.

Canal distribution co. to launch three tenders for distribution supplies

State-owned Canal for Electricity Distribution has issued three tenders for local companies for transformers, cables, and distributors, according to Al Mal.


Raya Trade to launch washing machine production line in 1Q2020

Raya Holding subsidiary Raya Trade is launching a washing machine production line at an unnamed local company’s factor in 1Q2020, Al Mal reports. The production line will see machines manufactured under the Samsung trademark in accordance with a EUR 4 mn agreement, and will source 60% of its components locally.

Real Estate + Housing

NUCA, Almanar partner on Greenland compound in Sixth of October

The New Urban Communities Authority has signed a partnership agreement with Almanar Urban Development to build a EGP 1.3 bn residential compound in Sixth of October’s Ganoub El Ahyaa area, according to a cabinet statement.

Housing Ministry to prepare list of projects for sovereign wealth fund Tharaa

The Housing Ministry is preparing a list of projects it wants to work on with Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund, Tharaa, minister Asem El Gazar told the press without providing details. Tharaa, which launched earlier this month, will be taking over the management of several state-owned assets to maximize their ROI.


Grand Egyptian Museum open for management tender bids until December

Companies bidding for the tender to manage the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) will need to submit their final bids by 15 December, GEM’s general supervisor and army general, Atef Moftah said, according to Al Mal. The winning bid will then be announced within two-and-a-half months, Moftah said. Five consortiums made up of Egyptian, British, Italian, French, and American companies have placed bids, and a UAE-based company has applied on its own.

Banking + Finance

Cairo 3A looking for EGP 1 bn loan from Egyptian banks

Cairo 3A Poultry is in talks with local banks for a EGP 1 bn loan to finance its expansion plans once it finalizes the EGP 500 mn acquisition of Pyramid Poultry, sources close to the matter tell Al Mal. The banks include CIB, the Arab African International Bank, and an unnamed state-owned bank.

EFG Hermes to arrange EGP 1.5 bn in debt agreements next year

EFG Hermes plans to arrange debt issuances and agreements worth EGP 1-1.5 bn in 2020, co-head of investment banking Mostafa Gad said, according to Al Mal. The agreements will include debt restructuring, Gad said, without providing further details. He also noted that EFG is quarterbacking the sale of two private companies on the EGX next year.

CIB becomes first bank in Egypt to join Swift GPI initiative

CIB is the first bank in Egypt to join the Swift GPI initiative to facilitate traceable international payments, according to Al Mal. GPI Tracker and other GPI solutions are expected to be a key part of tech development in Egypt’s banking sector by allowing banks to track payments instantaneously and settle operations in the supply sector on the same day, said Executive VP of Operations Mohammed Faraj.


Egypt wins U-23 African Nations Cup

Egypt’s national football team won on Friday the U-23 African Cup of Nations, after defeating Côte d’Ivoire 2-1 in the final, according to King Fut. Karim El-Eraky and Ramadan Sobhi each scored a goal. Egypt had earlier secured a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, after winning in the semi-final against South Africa.

On Your Way Out

Egyptian adventurer plans 900 km Red Sea triathlon to raise awareness about plastic waste: Egyptian adventurer Omar El Galla is embarking on a 900 km triathlon journey (swimming, running, and biking) along the Red Sea coast to highlight the areas most affected by pollution. His initiative is meant to raise awareness about plastic waste in Egypt, reports Arab News.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 16.05 | Sell 16.17
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 16.05 | Sell 16.15
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 16.05 | Sell 16.15

EGX30 (Thursday): 14,095 (-0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 619 mn (14% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +8.1%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session down 0.9%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 2.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals up 2.1%, TMG Holding up 1.0%, and Eastern Company up 0.9%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were CIB down 2.1%, Credit Agricole down 2.1% and Kima down 1.6%. The market turnover was EGP 619 mn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net short | EGP -14.7 mn
Regional: Net short | EGP -13.3 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP +28.0 mn

Retail: 56.9% of total trades | 55.4% of buyers | 58.4% of sellers
Institutions: 43.1% of total trades | 44.6% of buyers | 41.6% of sellers

WTI: USD 57.77 (-1.4%)
Brent: USD 63.39 (-0.9%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.67 MMBtu, (+3.8%, December 2019 contract)
Gold: USD 1,470.50 / troy ounce (+0.0%)

TASI: 8,062 (+0.1%) (YTD: +3.0%)
ADX: 5,041 (-1.0%) (YTD: +2.6%)
DFM: 2,684 (-0.7%) (YTD: +6.1%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,313 (+0.0%)
QE: 10,267 (-0.7%) (YTD: -0.3%)
MSM: 4,082 (-0.1%) (YTD: -5.6%)
BB: 1,505 (-0.3%) (YTD: +12.6%)

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

November: British Egyptian Business Association’s Annual door knock mission, United Kingdom.

November: ITIDA to announce the winning bid in a tender to manage three new innovation centers.

20-29 November (Wednesday-Friday): Cairo International Film Festival, Cairo Opera House, Egypt, Cairo, Egypt.

24 November (Sunday): Arabia Investments lawsuit against French Peugeot (after being postponed).

25 November (Monday): Global Trade Matters international dialogue on climate neutrality, Marriott, Cairo.

25-28 November (Monday-Thursday): Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) for North Africa, Aswan.

December: Belarus Industry Minister Pavel Utiupin will visit Egypt to discuss means of cooperation in the SCZone and plan for the seventh Egypt-Belarus Trade Meeting.

December: A Chinese automotive company delegation will visit Egypt to sign an agreement with El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company

December: Indian automotive delegation to visit Egypt

1-6 December: Vietnamese trade delegation visits Egypt.

1-4 December (Sunday-Wednesday): E-payment and Innovative Financial Inclusion Expo and Forum (PAFIX), Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

2-3 December (Monday-Tuesday): The irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia the second round of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations in Washington, DC.

3 December (Tuesday): Emirates NBD / Markit PMI for Egypt released.

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

4 December (Wednesday): Subscription to the Aramco IPO will begin (expected).

5-7 December (Thursday-Saturday): RiseUp Summit, American University in Cairo, New Cairo Campus

8 December (Sunday): Pitch by the Pyramids, Giza Pyramids

8-9 December (Sunday-Monday): The 6 th CEOs THOUGHTS 2019.

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 December (Tuesday): Egypt Automotive summit, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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

11 December (Wednesday): First day of trading on the Aramco IPO (expected)

12-14 December (Thursday-Saturday): 16 Egyptian real estate development companies will showcase their products at IPS Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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

17-21 December (Tuesday-Saturday): 2019 Automech Formula car expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

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.

February 2020: An Italian business delegation will visit Egypt to discuss investments in the Port Said industrial zone.

February 2020: A delegation of Swiss businesses will visit Egypt to discuss investment.

February 2020: Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar will visit Minsk, Belarus.

1 February 2020 (Saturday): The administrative court will look into an appeal by Adeptio AD Investments against a Financial Regulatory Authority to submit a mandatory tender offer (MTO) for Americana Egypt.

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.

March 2020: The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) will visit Egypt to assess the progress of actions taken to combat money laundering and terrorist sponsoring activities.

4-5 March 2020 (Wednesday-Thursday): Women Economic Forum, Cairo.

25-26 March 2020 (Wednesday-Thursday): Mega Projects Conference, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

23 April 2020 (Thursday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

23-26 May 2020 (Saturday-Tuesday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

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

30 June 2020 (Sunday): June 2013 protests anniversary, national holiday.

November 2020: Egypt will host simultaneously the International Capital Market Association’s emerging market, and Africa and Middle East meetings.

30 July 2020-3 August 2020 (Thursday-Monday): Eid El Adha (TBC), national holiday.

19-20 August 2020 (Wednesday-Thursday): Islamic New Year (TBC), national holiday.

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