Tuesday, 17 December 2019

EGP rallies to near three-year high.
Plus: GAFI wants more data from all companies with foreign shareholders

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

It’s another reasonably quiet morning, raising our suspicions that we’re approaching the end-of-year news slowdown, but two stories stand out:

  • The EGP is at a (near) three-year high against the USD. Good news, when you consider that we’re a nation that imports inflation. Bad news, when you consider that we’d like to export a lot more, from manufacturing to tourism.
  • GAFI is now requiring all companies with a foreign shareholder to report extra data every quarter, including key financial figures. We covered the story last month, and a primer from law firm Baker McKenzie out overnight will have people talking about it again today.

We have more on both stories in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Driving the news agenda this morning:

In Egypt: The World Youth Forum will hold its closing ceremony in Sharm El Sheikh this evening, after delegates have gathered to present the conference’s recommendations.

Globally: The talking heads are wondering whether we may be seeing signs it is not the end times for the global economy. The weak spot? Europe: Our largest trade and investment partner. Go read Global economy shows signs of regained footing in the Wall Street Journal.


*** Tell us what you think will happen in 2020 and maybe we’ll send you an Enterprise mug and our very own coffee: Every year we ask you, our readers, to weigh in on what you expect for the year ahead: Are you investing? Do you plan to hire new staff in 2020? How do you think the EGP will perform? What’s your take on interest rates? Tell us, and we’ll share the results with the entire community in early January to help you shape your view of the year. The survey is quick, we promise.

You can take the Enterprise Reader Poll here.

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Egyptian-born British-American economist Dame Minouche Shafik is reportedly the frontrunner to lead the Bank of England (BoE) as of February 2020, succeeding current governor Mark Carney, Reuters reports, picking up where the Financial Times left off last week. If selected, she would become the first woman to take the helm of the bank in its 325-year history. Shafik, who is currently the director of the London School of Economics, previously served as deputy managing director at the IMF and also served as BoE deputy governor for three years.

We had the chance to have a chat with Dame Minouche back in March after her lecture at the American University in Cairo. Read it here.

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Investors return to EM assets as uncertainties dissipate: Emerging market shares may be in for a “risk rally” during the final week of December despite concerns over the state of US-China trade, according to Bloomberg. Equities and currencies saw their biggest gains since June after the US and China agreed a preliminary trade pact, the Federal Reserve signalled it will keep rates on hold through 2020, and Boris Johnson won a parliamentary majority in the UK election.

But skepticism persists about how the world’s two largest economies will tackle the biggest sources of disagreement. “This is only a short-term solution,” said Luciano Jannelli, head of investment strategy at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. “If you look at the lack of progress on the issue of China’s industrial policy — its subsidizing of specific business lines — the big issues have not been tackled yet.”

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Global stocks were high yesterday on the back of the US-China de-escalation, with the US’ S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all closing yesterday “at the highest levels ever,” the Wall Street Journal says. Europe’s Stoxx Europe 600 index was also up yesterday, hitting a new record high for the first time in four years, according to the journal.

The outlook for the global economy isn’t suddenly rosy, though: Even with the cloud of uncertainty from the US and China, as well as Brexit, largely clearing, investors are still hesitant to give the all-clear for the global economy. Analysts point to US government bond yields remaining historically low despite rising slightly. “Since yields tend to rise and fall with the economic outlook, the fact that they are so low is signaling that any pickup in economic activity ‘is likely to remain muted,’ said Christopher Sullivan, chief investment officer at United Nations Federal Credit Union.


The Turkish lira took its biggest tumble in two months yesterday after President Recep Erdogan threatened to close two NATO bases if the US decides to impose sanctions on Ankara over its purchase of a Russian missile system, Bloomberg reports. Yesterday’s drop was the largest emerging market currency decline as Erdogan’s threats made markets uneasy, the business information service notes.

Meanwhile, Ankara also deployed military drones to northern Cyprus as tensions continue to rise in the Mediterranean over its recent maritime border demarcation agreement with Libya, according to the Guardian.


In other international news:

  • Progress in Saudi-Qatar talks: Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has told CNN that there has been “some progress” in talks with Saudi Arabia.
  • Lebanon protests turn violent: Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters demonstrating against resigned Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who pundits expect will be back in office, the Associated Press reports.

*** Facing a lot of time in the car today on your way to work or to / from meetings? Let our new podcast keep you company.

What’s a podcast? Think of it like a radio show on demand. You tap a link — and listen to folks tell you a story. Our show is about building a great business in Egypt. But if you’re talking business podcasts, we also like Built to Sell Radio and Guy Raz’s How I Built This.

You don’t need anything special to listen to listen — it’s already on your phone / iPad / computer. You already have an app on your iOS or Android phone or iPad. Look for “Podcasts” on Apple devices or “Google Podcasts” on Android. On your computer, just point your browser at our podcast page and you can play the episode of your choice from there on our podcast player.

Want to catch up on Making It? Our first four guests are below, and you can catch this week’s episode (runtime 29:27) on our website | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast.

Want to catch up on season one? Already in this first season, we’ve heard from:

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The World Youth Forum continued to be the talking heads’ primary focus on its penultimate day, while the EGP breaking the 16 / USD 1 barrier also earned some airtime. We have both stories in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Talking point of the day: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi confirming that state agencies will start moving to the new administrative capital in mid-2020 was of particular interest to several of our nation’s talk show hosts, including Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 5:33), Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime:1:49), and Min Masr’s Amr Khalil (watch, runtime: 4:04). All three hosts also took note of the president saying that the transition will rely on modern tech as part of Egypt’s focus on technological development and digitization.

World Bank’s Mohieldin talks regional economic performance and outlook, future of tech: World Bank Group Senior Vice President Mahmoud Mohieldin sat down for a chat with Lamees on the status and outlook of Egypt and the region’s economy. Mohieldin noted that, while Egypt is outperforming its regional peers by a wide margin, the Arab region as a whole is underperforming when looking at key metrics such as GDP growth, unemployment and poverty rates, inflation, and distribution of wealth. The key to improving this position, he said, is to pursue sustainable development in basic services such as education, which also allows citizens to provide social and economic value. Mohieldin also told Lamees that, with the advent of new technologies, governments and citizens alike would be well advised to invest in digital literacy, as new classes of wealth and poverty will be formed based on those who are best prepared for the fast development of technology (watch, runtime: 41:32).

Lamees also talked about the appreciation of the EGP against the USD, which we cover in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Speed Round

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EGP rallies to near three-year high: The EGP rose to its highest level since February 2017 against the USD, breaking the EGP 16 barrier to reach EGP 15.97 yesterday, central bank data shows. The EGP has risen 10.1% against the USD since the beginning of the year, according to Al Shorouk.

USD inflows into government debt instruments have been the key drivers of the rally, unnamed investment bankers tell the newspaper. Foreign holdings of Egyptian treasuries rose to USD 15.29 bn at the end of September. According to the analysts, higher tourism revenues coupled with expat remittances are also playing a role in driving up USD inflows in Egypt. Tourism revenues rose to USD 12.5 bn in FY2018-2019, Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat said last month, while Egyptian expats are expected to send home some USD 26.4 bn in remittances this year, according to World Bank data.

And speaking of FX inflows into government debt: Foreign investors piled into some USD 490 mn-worth of Egyptian treasuries yesterday, unnamed banking sources told MENA. The sources attributed the strong inflows to improved investor sentiment on the back of the US and China’s preliminary trade agreement last week.

The EGP’s appreciation is more attributable to global factors than internal conditions in Egypt, veteran economist Hany Tawfik told Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi in a phone-in last night. Tawfik noted that the EGP has not appreciated against most other foreign currencies, which indicates that we’re actually seeing a depreciation of the USD rather than a true appreciation of the local currency. The economist also noted that Egypt’s balance of payments recorded a deficit of some USD 100 mn, meaning there is “little justification” for Egypt’s currency to be strengthening (watch, runtime: 7:21).

EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha was of a different mind, telling Lamees’ lesser half that, in addition to the US-China preliminary trade agreement, an influx of foreign capital into Egyptian debt instruments yesterday was an important reason for the FX rate improvement. There is also generally low demand for USD in Egypt these days, which is helping to keep the exchange rate in check, Abu Basha said on El Hekaya with Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 10:25).

An apparent detente in the trade war between Washington and Beijing has also been a boon for emerging market stock and bond ETFs, which saw around USD 1.15 bn in inflows last week, an eightfold increase from the week prior, according to Bloomberg. “Flows were led by the three biggest emerging-market equities ETFs rather than country-specific funds, signaling investor optimism on the asset class,” the news information service says.

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If your company has a foreign investor in its shareholder base, GAFI wants extra data from you every quarter: The Investment Ministry issued last month amendments to the Investment Act that will require public and private entities alike to submit quarterly report to the General Authority for Freezones and Investment (GAFI) with their data including key financial indicators. The amendments are now applicable to all companies with any form of foreign investment, rather than being limited to those set up under the new Investment Act, Baker McKenzie explains in a primer on the amendments.

What have the amendments changed? “Before imposing the new reporting requirements, all companies were required to submit the financial statements to GAFI on an annual basis. Furthermore, all key corporate resolutions / actions should be submitted to GAFI for ratification. The key change introduced is that companies are now required to extract the data and complete the templates provided by GAFI and they are required to do so more frequently, i.e., on a quarterly basis.” The templates are available in Arabic and in English.

What do the changes mean for your business? If the amendments apply to your business, you are now required to submit quarterly reports to GAFI with the required data, in addition to notifying GAFI within 30 days of any changes to your capital, shareholder structure, or board of directors. Noncompliance can earn you a EGP 50k penalty and might result in GAFI refusing to provide or delaying its services, including issuing licenses, until the forms are complete and submitted.

M&A WATCH- That Endeavour-Centamin merger may not be off the table after all: Endeavour Mining and gold miner Centamin, the London-listed operator of Egypt’s Sukari gold mine, have agreed to conduct reciprocal due diligence, less than two weeks after Centamin rejected the Canadian company’s merger proposal. Endeavour said in a statement (pdf) following a meeting between Endeavour CEO Sébastien de Montessus and Centamin Chairman Josef El-Raghy on Saturday that the agreement would be a “critical precursor” to deciding whether a merger could go ahead, and would allow the companies to “further understand each other’s assets.”

This is Endeavour’s second attempt at luring the Centamin board: Centamin’s board earlier this month rejected an all-share merger bid from Endeavour to exchange 0.0846 of its shares for every Centamin share, valuing the latter’s share capital at around USD 1.9 bn. Centamin would have received a 47.1% stake in the new company while Endeavour would have been the majority shareholder. Centamin said that the proposal would disproportionately benefit Endeavour and that it did not reflect the value of the company, whose six-month average value on the LSE is 1.8x that of Endeavour’s on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Endeavour’s offer isn’t the only thing standing in the way of a merger: Sources told Al Mal yesterday that the different financial positions of the two companies may present another obstacle to any proposed merger. Centamin currently has a net cash flow of around USD 300 mn, but Endeavour is highly leveraged in comparison, holding debts and financial obligations of almost USD 730 mn.

Endeavour will need to “dig deep” to find a way to make its offer appealing to Centamin, the initial version of which “hardly glistens,” the Financial Times’ influential Lex column writes. The company can’t offer more shares, which would cost its shareholders majority ownership of the merged entity, and its lack of liquidity means using cash to sweeten the proposal is also out of the question. Endeavour essentially needs to show more for itself than bn’aire Naguib Sawiris’ network of connections in Egypt “and a couple of smaller gold assets in west Africa.”

Endeavour has given Centamin its proposed due diligence timetable, and emphasized the need to agree on “the scope and timetable” for the exercise. Centamin is yet to publicly respond to the statement.

There has been a mixed response from analysts, with some seeing Endeavour’s new agreement as a promising sign and others remaining skeptical about whether the companies are seeing eye-to-eye. Berenberg analysts quoted by the Financial Times described the agreement as “encouraging” while Peel Hunt suggested that they were “completely on the same page.”

The clock is ticking: According to UK merger rules, Endeavour needs to bring an offer to the table by no later than 31 December. But given the time that had already passed since Centamin rejected the previous offer, the company is bidding to have the deadline extended so that due diligence can be conducted.

Israel green-lights gas exports to Egypt: Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz yesterday gave the all-clear for Israel to begin exporting natural gas to Egypt, paving the way for the first gas shipments to arrive next month, according to the Jerusalem Post. Steinitz called the USD 19.5 bn gas agreement “the most significant economic cooperation between Israel and Egypt since the [Camp David] peace agreement” after signing off on several antitrust regulatory procedures. The agreement will see Israel export 85.3 bn cubic meters (bcm) over the next 15 years, with 60 bcm coming from the Leviathan gas field and 25.3 bcm from the Tamar field.

Seven-year gas dispute finally over as Israel accepts USD 500 mn settlement: The Israeli Electricity Authority (IEA) has accepted a USD 500 mn settlement from Egyptian gas companies for halting natural gas shipments in 2012, according to Jewish Press. The payments will be made by the Egyptian Natural Gas company (EGAS) and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) payable within the next eight-and-a-half years. The IEA will drop all other claims resulting from the 2015 arbitration. Egypt was originally ordered by the International Chamber of Commerce to pay the Israel Electric Corporation USD 1.76 bn, but later negotiated it down to USD 500 mn after making a reduced settlement a key condition for accepting a gas agreement with Israel.

National Bank of Oman plans Egypt exit by the end of 1Q2020: The National Bank of Oman’s board of directors has decided to close its last branch in Egypt by the end of next March, the bank said in a disclosure filed at the Muscat Securities Market (pdf). The exit is still subject to regulatory approval, the statement said. The bank has been trying to exit the Egyptian market since 2012 but hasn’t been successful in selling its asset portfolio, forcing it to liquidate the business instead, according to Hapi Journal.

DISPUTE WATCH- GAFI intervenes in OctoberPharma shareholder dispute: The General Authority for Freezones and Investment (GAFI) has prohibited HoldiPharma Chairman Ahmed Hegazy from serving on the board of OctoberPharma due to a potential conflict of interest, according to a GAFI letter obtained by Al Mal. Acdima, which owns a 30% stake in October, had nominated Hegazy to represent the company on the board. The move was met with opposition from Emirati, Saudi, and Egyptian investors, who collectively own a 55% stake in the company, and called on the government to intervene. Concerns were raised that Hegazy’s position at HoldiPharma might constitute a conflict of interest with his potential appointment in October. GAFI has invited Acdima to nominate a new representative to the board.

Pharma companies are claiming they are collectively owed some EGP 500 in export subsidies from the government, Medical Industries Export Council head Maged George tells the local press. (Pardon the lack of space between the first two words of this story, but otherwise the algorithms that govern whether or not we’re delivered to you will take umbrage.) According to Maged, the new export subsidies payment framework has only allocated EGP 120 mn to companies in the industry, which will not cover the arrears these companies say the government has piled up. The council is set to meet with the government sometime this month to discuss the payment program, presumably to angle for a bigger slice of the disbursements.

Background: Exporters are owed bns of overdue subsidies under the old subsidies framework. Settlements of the overdue payments have reportedly been moving forward since last September, in tandem with the launch of a new EGP 6 bn framework the Madbouly government had approved in June. The executive regulations for the new program were out earlier this month and prompted backlash from industry, which had objections to the mechanism through which the annual allocations would be paid out. Exporters are also concerned about how the fund plans to settle away bns in back due subsidies.

EFG’s new mortgage financing arm Bedaya is eyeing EGP 500 mn in sales next year, EFG Finance CEO Walid Hassouna told Hapi Journal. The new arm, which is set to launch before the year is out, is a cooperation between EFG, Talaat Moustafa Group, and GB Capital, and will be led by Tarek Abou Gendia. Hassouna said that the company has hired a management team and set up two headquarters in east Cairo and Sheikh Zayed.

EBRD to support SMEs with USD 150 mn loan: The National Bank of Egypt will be receiving a USD 150 mn loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to onlend to SMEs, the EBRD said in a statement. The proceeds will allow NBE to open a USD 100 mn credit line to help Egyptian SMEs participate in energy efficiency and climate projects, which we noted last week, and a USD 50 mn line to launch two new training program within SMEs: the Youth in Business and the Skills in Business programs.

Corrected on 9 February 2020

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that SMEs engaged in green projects will benefit from the full USD 150 mn loan. Green SMEs will only have access to USD 100 mn. The remainder will be channeled into the two new EBRD programs noted above.

El Sisi talks GERD tension, regional issues at World Youth Forum: Egypt is not looking to engage in a military confrontation and would rather direct its resources on development projects, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said at the World Youth Forum yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The statement comes in reference to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s previous warning that he could take military action against Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). El Sisi’s remarks come just days ahead of the next round of trilateral talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the dam, which is scheduled to take place in Khartoum this weekend. Separately, the president slammed foreign intervention in regional politics, pointing to the conflicts in Libya and Syria, and took the time to reiterate Egypt’s support for the National Libyan Army.

El Sisi meets UNIDO director-general, IAEA boss, Palestine’s Abbas: El Sisi discussed developing Egypt’s industrial sector and attracting international finance with Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization Li Yong on the sidelines of the forum yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The president also met with International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi to talk about the Dabaa nuclear power plant, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for political discussions.

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Egypt in the News

It’s yet another eerily quiet morning for Egypt in the foreign press. Move along, ladies and gents.

Worth Listening

Many of you know the story of Azza Fahmy, the female jeweler who made a huge mark on a male-dominated industry, but this is a new tale to be told. We talked to Fatma Ghali, the managing director of Azza Fahmy and the jewelry guru’s daughter, about what it takes to inherit a business and take it global. While Fatma always thought she’d take on the design side of things, she naturally fell into the business role and has since expanded the brand outside of Egypt to the US and Europe. Marketing jewelry with an Arab/African twist outside of the region isn’t always an easy task, but under Fatma’s leadership the Azza Fahmy brand has been embraced by consumers far beyond the borders of Om El Donia.

** Listen to this week’s Making It episode (runtime 29:27) on our website | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

USAID to provide additional USD 6 mn for North Sinai development: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will support the government with an additional USD 6 mn under a second phase of a development program in North Sinai, . An agreement signed yesterday between Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and USAID Egypt Mission Director Sherry Carlin brings the total value of the grant received under the program to USD 56 mn. The additional funds will be spent improving access to drinking water in El Rawda village.

Egypt, UAE sign agreement to increase non-oil exports: Egypt’s Export Credit Guarantee Company has signed an MoU with the UAE’s Etihad Credit Insurance to increase non-oil exports between the two countries, the National reported. The agreement will see the two countries cooperate on a number of issues including insurance, reinsurance, and improving SME access.

Energy

Russia’s Rosatom to re-launch Dabaa site protection tender early next year

Russia’s Rosatom is planning to re-launch a tender to protect the Dabaa nuclear power plant site from groundwater by the end of January or early February, according to Al Mal. Rosatom canceled earlier this month the original tender for local companies due to overpriced bids. Arab Contractors, Orascom Construction and France’s Soletanche Bachy, Petrojet and UAE's APCC, Hassan Allam and Germany’s Bauer, and two other unnamed consortiums all submitted bids.

Egypt aims to increase gas production to 8 bcf/d by FY2020-2021

Egypt aims to increase gas production to 8 bcf/d by FY2020-2021, up from 7 bcf/day currently, an oil industry source told the local press. Output is projected to rise to 7.5 bcf/d by the end of the current fiscal year in June, raising surplus production to 1.5 bcf/d from 1.3 bcf/d currently. All of the surplus gas is currently being exported to Jordan and through the Idku LNG plant, the source said.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Confectionery Covertina eyes 33% growth in exports end of 2020

The Eastern Company for Manufacturing of Sweets & Chocolate (Covertina) aims to grow its exports by 33% by the end of next year, export manager Karim Fikry told the local press. The company is currently exporting 17% of its output to African and Middle Eastern countries and plans to enter Morocco, Tunisia, and Latin America next year. Fikry said that the company also plans to add more products to its soon.

Egyptian cheesemaker Obourland plans to raise exports to USD 5 mn in 3 years

Dairy producer Obourland aims to bring its exports to USD 5 mn in three years, the company said in a statement (pdf). The company said its planned export increase will be supported largely by its juice products, but did not specify which export markets it is targeting.

Agriculture Ministry to double Egypt’s soybean cultivation areas

The Agriculture Ministry aims to more than double the area used for soybean cultivation from 37k feddans to 80k feddans during the current winter season, sources in the Agriculture Ministry told the local press. This would increase production to around 130k tonnes from 59k tonnes last year, substantially reducing the country’s reliance on imports.

Real Estate + Housing

Al Futtaim to begin work on EGP 2 bn Cairo Festival City mall expansion

Al Futtaim Group has started work on the new EGP 2 bn phase of the Cairo Festival City mall, according to the local press. The company expects to complete by 1Q2022 the ‘Festival Avenue’ expansion, which will feature 80 retail stores and 15 food and beverage outlets.

Tourism

Mini sphinx unearthed in Egypt’s Minya

An archaeological team has discovered a small sphinx in the Tuna El Gabal area in Minya, . The limestone sphinx head was found in a previously unearthed cemeteries housing several mummies.

Sabbour and Marriott ink agreement to establish 350-room hotel in New Cairo !_StoryTags_! Sabbour, 1-Ninety, Marriott, Egypt, New Cairo, W Hotel

Landmark Sabbour and Marriott International signed an agreement to establish a W Brand hotel in the EGP 28 bn 1-Ninety compound in New Cairo, according to the local press. The 350-room hotel will be delivered by 2024.

Automotive + Transportation

Ghabbour Auto, El Ghalban to establish car distribution company

Ghabbour Auto and El Ghalban Auto Market have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture to distribute imported cars in the local market, Al Mal reported. The value of the agreement and the expected timeline of the company’s launch were not disclosed.

Banking + Finance

Innoventures launches EGP 100 mn tech startup investment fund

Innoventures has established a EGP 100 mn investment fund to invest in local tech startups, partner Rafik Dalala told Al Mal. The fund has raised EGP 12 mn so far, with EGP 4 mn coming from the Information Technology Industry Development Agency. The company plans to launch another USD 50 mn fund in Mauritius, Dalala said.

Evergrow to receive USD 150 mn loan to restructure debts

Egyptian fertilizer manufacturer Evergrow has reached an agreement with four local banks for a USD 150 mn loan to restructure its debts, banking sources told Al Shorouk. The company borrowed USD 200 mn from the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, and the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) to set up a fertilizer factory in 2017, but has only repaid USD 50 mn due to delays in delivering natural gas to the facility. NBE, AAIB, and Mashreq Bank are among the institutions that have agreed to provide the new USD 150 mn loan, the sources said.

Other Business News of Note

National Postal Authority signs e-commerce agreement with DHL Express

The National Postal Authority has signed an agreement with DHL Express to cooperate on e-commerce services in Africa, according to the local press. The two companies agreed to provide freight and re-export services at the Cairo International Airport with the aim of establishing Egypt as a distribution hub for Africa.

Sameem Capital files legal complaint with Egypt’s FRA against Prime Holding

Sameem Capital has lodged a legal complaint with the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) against Prime Holding over Prime’s most recent board meeting, according to the local press. Sameem is alleging the meeting violated the company’s bylaws, although it remains unclear in what way. The company is asking the FRA to refrain from ratifying the outcomes of the board meeting. Sameem, which previously raised its stake in Prime Holdings to 27%, had filed a lawsuit last year to disband Prime’s board of directors and be represented on the newly formed board on the ground that the original board was not managing the company effectively.

Legislation + Policy

El Sisi ratifies penal code amendments on state-owned land violations

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified government-proposed legislative amendments to the penal code that imposes harsher penalties for the illegal use of state-owned land, Al Shorouk reports. The amendments had received approval from the House of Representatives in October.

Law

Shahid Law Firm successfully defends CAF in Largardère Sports arbitration case

Shahid Law Firm defended the Confederation of African Football (CAF) against emergency arbitration proceedings launched by Largardère Sports over the cancelation of its USD 1 bn commercial contract, the firm said on social media. Largardère Sports was ordered to pay EUR 60k towards CAF’s legal costs after the International Chamber of Commerce ruled that the federation had not acted unlawfully by terminating the contract. Largardère has vowed to continue efforts to get compensation from CAF, claiming in a statement (pdf) yesterday that the case was not within the arbitrator’s remit and that his decision “does not in any way predetermine the outcome of any future arbitration.”

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.97 | Sell 16.10
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.98 | Sell 16.08
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 16.00 | Sell 16.10

EGX30 (Monday): 13,434 (-0.2%)
Turnover: EGP 423 mn (42% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +2.8%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.2%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 0.5%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Cleopatra Hospitals up 6.9%, Ibnsina Pharma up 4.2%, and Orascom Development Egypt up 3.0%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Egyptian Resorts down 3.1%, SODIC down 3.0% and Elsewedy Electric down 1.6%. The market turnover was EGP 423 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +5.9 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -0.4 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -5.5 mn

Retail: 41.8% of total trades | 40.7% of buyers | 42.9% of sellers
Institutions: 58.2% of total trades | 59.3% of buyers | 57.1% of sellers

WTI: USD 60.22 (+0.25%)
Brent: USD 65.36 (+0.21%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.35 MMBtu (+2.48%, January 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,480.40 / troy ounce (-0.05%)

TASI: 8,138.99 (+1.11%) (YTD: +3.99%)
ADX: 5,038.75 (+0.18%) (YTD: +2.52%)
DFM: 2,736.55 (+0.34%) (YTD: +8.17%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,814.96 (-0.2%)
QE: 10,222.18 (-0.40%) (YTD: -0.75%)
MSM: 3,950.89 (-1.53%) (YTD: -8.62%)
BB: 1,583.65 (+1.04%) (YTD: +18.42%)

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Calendar

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.

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.

21-22 December (Saturday-Sunday): The irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia will hold the third round of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations in Khartoum, Sudan.

23 December (Monday): The Cairo Economic Court decided to adjourn the lawsuit filed by Americana Egypt minority against the independent financial advisor to Monday 23 December.

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.

5 January (Sunday): Postponed lawsuit hearing against Peugeot Automobile filed by Cairo for Development and Cars Manufacturing.

9-12 January 2020 (Tuesday-Sunday): PLASTEX, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

13 January 2020 (Monday): The irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia will hold the fourth and final round of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations in Washington, DC.

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.

4 February (Tuesday): Court hearing for PTT Energy Resources’ USD 1 bn lawsuit against Egyptian government

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.

1 March 2020: A conference on “logistics and its impact on the movement of goods and industry,” venue TBD, Alexandria.

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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