Thursday, 23 January 2020

Breaking down the new mining act

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

For those of you hoping for a three-day holiday this weekend, we hate to be the bringer of bad news. A cabinet statement on social media yesterday confirmed that Saturday will be a public holiday to mark Police Day / the 25 January Revolution and made no mention of markets being closed on Sunday. We’re heading to work on Sunday, ladies and gents.

GERD talks wrap up in Khartoum today: Technical and legal teams from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will today finish two days of meetings designed to lay the groundwork for a final agreement on the filling and operating timetable for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam at talks in Washington on 28-29 January.

Renaissance Capital’s annual North Africa Investors Conference (pdf) wraps in Marrakech today. Chairman Christophe Charlier told the conference yesterday that North African countries are now ready to fully industrialize, and described Egypt as a growth market bolstered by strong demographics and the government’s supportive reform program, according to the local press.

Shoukry in Algeria for Libya talks: The foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Chad, Mali and Niger are in Algiers today to begin a new round of discussions on the situation in Libya, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday. An unnamed source told Reuters that Algeria is looking to build “consensus to secure the maximum chance for a peace [agreement]”. This comes only days after the conference in Berlin made progress towards a more comprehensive truce, with world powers pledging to stop shipping arms into the country under the threat of UN sanctions.

Stuff you can go to this week and next:

  • This year’s Cairo International Book Fair kicked off yesterday and runs through to Tuesday, 4 February at the New Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.
  • AmCham will host US Ambassador Jonathan Cohen for its monthly luncheon on Tuesday, 28 January. Cohen will discuss prospects for commercial ties between Egypt and the US. Members can register for the event here.
  • CI Capital’s annual three-day MENA Investors Conference gets underway on Tuesday, 28 January at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza.
  • The British Embassy and IFC’s StartEgypt Forum 2020 will pit 45 startups against each other in a pitch competition on Wednesday, 29 January at the Greek Campus.

PSA- There’s rain in the forecast again: The Egyptian Meteorological Authority is forecasting rain over the coming four days, with daytime highs of around 15°C. Our favourite weather app sees suggests we’re looking at a lower chance of rain and will have cold nights this weekend, with overnight lows of 6°C on Friday and 7°C on Saturday.

enterprise

DAVOS WATCH- The global elite will continue to ponder how to very slowly make the world a better place today as the World Economic Forum enters its penultimate day in Davos, Switzerland. Scanning the global press this morning, you could be forgiven for thinking the forum had morphed into TrumpFest 2020, with the US president stealing headlines on everything from climate and trade to Boeing and Iraq.

Saying that, Trump was involved in what deservedly is becoming one of the biggest stories of the summit: Digital Tax: In the space of two days the Trump administration has made up with France and threatened the UK with tariffs over attempts to impose a “digital tax” on US multinational tech companies. “If people… arbitrarily put taxes on our digital companies, we will consider arbitrarily putting taxes on car companies,” US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at the forum yesterday, after the UK chancellor declared he would press ahead with the tax.

This is all part of what Foreign Affairs is describing as a “looming tax war”: For almost 100 years the international community has for the most part agreed on how multinationals should be taxed. But the growing cleavage between nations on how to ensure today’s tech giants pay their fair share in tax threatens to upend this, Itai Grinberg writes. Negotiations are underway at the OECD to try and find an agreement between 135 countries on a new international consensus. If these fall through, the international tax system and the liberal order of things risks collapse, he writes.

Meanwhile: We’re not doing too great on the latest Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Egypt fell one place to rank 97 out of 132 countries in the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index released at the forum yesterday. Weighing down our ranking in particular was our score in the ‘attract’ category, which measures the degree of economic and social openness. Cairo, meanwhile, came second from bottom out of 155 cities, scoring poorly in all of the index’s five categories. You can dive deeper into the country rankings here and the city rankings here.

Al Mashat pitches Egypt investment to global execs: International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat discussed plans to expand Uber’s presence in Egypt with the ride-hailing company’s Vice President Perry Dimitry and Uber’s VP for public policy Justin Kentz, according to a cabinet statement. The Uber duo said that Egypt was the company’s top market in Africa. The minister also discussed private sector funding with Citibank vice chairman for banking and capital markets, Jay Collins, and sustainable development with deputy head of the WEF’s Center for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs, Mirek Dusek.

Qalaa Holdings signed up to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C at the forum yesterday, the company said in a statement (pdf). The campaign, unveiled by the UN at its climate conference in Madrid last year, is trying to persuade business leaders to commit to reducing emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C.

In other non-Trump news coming out of Switzerland:

  • Al Nowais to invest USD 500 mn in renewable energy: The Emirati energy giant plans to set up a fund to boost investments in renewable energy in the Middle East and Africa, Hussain Al Nowais said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, according to Bloomberg.
  • The UK’s Prince Charles unveiled a ‘Sustainable Markets Initiative’ that aims to increase cooperation between the public and private sectors to cut carbon emissions, The Hill reported.
  • BP isn’t a fan of some of the climate proposals coming out of the US Democratic Party: CEO Bob Dudley called Senator Bernie Sanders’ plan to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources “completely unrealistic” in an interview with CNBC.
  • Get more creative about planning your futures, OECD tells teens: Career ambitions of teenagers are not changing in line with technological shifts, increasing the chances that their choice of job will be made obsolete by the machines, the OECD warns in a new report.

enterprise

India’s stagflation is spreading to other EMs: India is witnessing its sixth consecutive quarter of slowing economic growth, despite inflation speeding up for five quarters in a row, Bloomberg reports. Other emerging economies, most of whom are in Asia, seem to be sharing what the site describes as a “stagflationary path” — an economic condition characterised by high inflation and low growth — thanks to the effects of the US-China trade war.

But Egypt is among the economies bucking the trend: Inflation is down 6.5% between 2019 and 2020 and GDP is up 0.2%.

In international business miscellany:

  • Boeing could be borrowing north of USD 10 bn to bolster its finances as it continues to feel the effects of the 737 Max crisis, CNBC reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The company suspended production of the passenger jet last year after two fatal crashes.
  • Mitsubishi’s subsidiary in Germany raided over potential fraud: The German authorities raided the German subsidiary of the Japanese Mitsubishi Motors, on allegations that it is using software to cheat emissions tests on some diesel-powered vehicles sold in Germany, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Netflix is downplaying its US subscriber growth slowdown as it battles in “streaming wars” with competitors Disney and Apple, which launched rival services in November, the Financial Times reports. The streaming giant added only 420,000 domestic subscribers in 4Q2019 compared to the 1.5 mn it added in the same period a year ago.

Lebanon to decide on March Eurobond default next week: The new Lebanese government will decide next week whether it will repay its USD 1.2 bn Eurobond when it matures on 9 March, the country’s Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni said yesterday. This came a day after caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab formed a new government, ending almost three months of political gridlock. Bondholders are increasingly concerned that the government could fail to repay the 9 March bond, with investors pricing in a sovereign default at some point in the future.

China has ordered a soft quarantine of Wuhan in an attempt to contain the coronavirus after the death toll yesterday rose to 17, the BBC reports. Public transport in and out of the city is temporarily suspended during a week when mns of people are expected to travel for the New Year holiday. There have been 500 confirmed cases, but some experts have warned that as many as 4k in Wuhan may have contracted the virus.

House Democrats begin to lay out their case against The Donald: Lead House impeachment manager Adam Schiff yesterday accused President Trump of corruption “to cheat” his way to a second presidential term, the New York Times says.

The prince and the post: The UN has called for further probes into claims that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman hacked Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos’ phone in attempt to influence the paper’s coverage, the Wall Street Journal reports.

enterprise

Forget about stocks, art is your next investment: Our guest on today’s episode of Making It is the founder of Egypt’s largest contemporary art gallery housing over 9k artworks. She explains the ins and outs of how to value a piece of art and how investment is gaining popularity. Her main goal (aside from making a profit of course) is democratizing the art scene to cater to artists and audiences from all backgrounds. Look for the episode in your podcast feed and inbox early this afternoon — just in time for your drive home.

Meanwhile, you can listen our previous episode with Edita’s CEO Hani Berzi (runtime: 36:11) on: Our website | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

It was a slow night on the airwaves yesterday: Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer phoned cabinet spokesman Nader Saad who said that the cabinet made a “revolutionary decision” to approve the amendment to exempt the industrial manufacturers from paying property taxes on unused land (watch, runtime: 7:02). We have more on this in this morning’s Speed Round below.

Apparently we’re teaching the UK a thing or two about education: Min Masr’s Amr Khalil interviewed Education Minister Tarek Shawky, who said that he met the UK education minister three times to review Egypt’s system of electronic examinations, with the UK reportedly looking to learn a thing or two from our experience. Shawky said many countries had a positive impression about education development in Egypt (watch, runtime: 40:44).

The week wouldn’t be complete without more GERD coverage: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal highlighted President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki to discuss the progress of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) talks. El Sisi directed them to keep working to safeguard Egypt's water rights for the benefit of present and future generations (watch, runtime: 5:24). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary phoned Irrigation Ministry spokesman Mohamed Elsebay, who said that Egypt is keen on a sustainable and fair agreement for all parties, to guarantee the the rights of all countries (watch, runtime: 5:26). Min Masr’s Reham Ibrahim also had the story (watch, runtime: 3:00).

It’s Cairo Book Fair season: Assal covered the opening of the 51st Cairo International Book Fair, whose slogan this year is ‘Egypt Africa … The Culture of Diversity’ (watch, runtime: 1:51). Yahduth Fi Misr (watch, runtime: 3:06) and Min Masr (watch, runtime: 1:35) also had coverage.

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Here’s how much miners, quarriers will be paying under the new tax + rent + royalty model: Private mine and quarry operators will pay out royalties of up to 10%, income tax of 22.5%, and EGP 25k a year per square km in concession rent under the amended Mineral Resources Act, a government source told Al Mal. The source gave the newspaper a rundown on the new rates, a week after Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly issued the bill’s executive regulations. The new model will not be applied retroactively, and will only be valid for new concession agreements with investors.

The royalty rates will be applied to 10 types of minerals to compensate for extraction, and will vary depending on the material. According to the source those rates are as follows:

  • Gold: 5%;
  • Mica and Zinc: 6%;
  • Feldspar: 6-8%;
  • Magnesium, albite, and copper: 8%;
  • Iron and potassium: 9%
  • Phosphate: 10%

Industry players have lauded the legislation for making the sector more attractive to investors, in particular welcoming the move away from the production sharing model common in the oil and gas sector, which saw profits split between the investor and the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (see: here, here, here, and here).

But we’ll have to wait and see if it bears fruit: Al Mal’s source expects investment in the sector to pick up as a result of the changes, which the government hopes will raise the sector’s contribution to GDP to EGP 7 bn by the end of the decade. B’naire investor Naguib Sawiris said last September he is considering investing in Egypt’s gold and copper mining industry as a result of the changes and could do so after reviewing the details of the now-released executive regulations.

Background: The amended act was ratified by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi last August. Besides introducing the new model, it stipulated that royalty payments cap at 20%, and introduced a minimum of 5%. It also outlined the responsibilities of a newly-established committee that will advise on the royalty rate for each raw material separately, as well as a new authority that will take the power to issue and control licenses away from governorates.

enterprise

Egyptian banking system “stable” on high liquidity, strong growth -Moody's: The Egyptian banking system will remain stable over the next 12-18 months amid high liquidity rates and strong economic growth that will raise demand for credit, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report yesterday. Lower interest rates and state funding initiatives for the industrial, tourism and mortgage sectors will improve fuel credit growth of 12-15%, boosting profitability in the sector. "The economy is growing robustly – we project real GDP growth of 5.8% in 2020 – supported by declining interest rates. Banks retain good access to stable, deposit-based funding and are very liquid, especially in local currency," Senior VP Constantinos Kypreos said.

It’s not entirely plain sailing: Profits will be held back by an increase in real tax rate, a double-digit rise in costs, and margin-pressure that comes with lower interest rates, Moody’s said. Long-standing issues relating to bureaucracy, geopolitical volatility and security will continue over the period.

Fawry to make its UAE debut this quarter: Egyptian e-payments company Fawry is planning to launch in the UAE during 1Q2020 alongside the Dubai Islamic Bank, Managing Director Mohamed Okasha said, according to Al Mal. The company held a trial run in the UAE with the bank last summer in preparation for its rollout of bill payment and banker's acceptance services.

The company also plans to expand into Saudi Arabia and Kuwait this year, with a bank transfer service for Egyptians living in GCC in cooperation with National Bank of Egypt, Bank of Alexandria, Banque du Caire, and ADIB. Fawry, which completed its IPO on the EGX last year, reported strong profit growth of 47.7% in the first nine months of 2019.

CABINET WATCH- Cabinet approves partial property tax exemption for factories: The Madbouly Cabinet approved draft amendments to the Real Estate Tax Act that exempts idle land from property tax, according to a cabinet statement. The amendments also grant the cabinet the power to exempt land used by strategic industries and sectors. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait last week reiterated his plans to exempt factories from paying the tax after saying in September that manufacturers will be getting “preferential treatment” in property tax. It is believed that the Finance Ministry is working on a new formula for calculating property tax that would reduce the tax burden for the oil and gas sector, factories, and hotels.

The cabinet also approved during its weekly meeting:

  • The establishment of a service fund affiliated with the Public Enterprises Ministry to finance the restructuring of state-owned companies.
  • A USD 50 mn loan from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development to improve energy use efficiency in the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company.
  • A EUR 226 mn financing agreement between the Egyptian National Railways and Export Development Canada to buy 100 new train locomotives.
  • A USD 159k grant from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics in preparing statistics.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Al Alamia, Saudi consortium to invest EGP 2.5 bn in new retail chain: Al Alamia for Import & Export is in final negotiations to partner with an undisclosed Saudi Arabian company to launch a retail chain with an investment cost of as much as EGP 2.5 bn, Chairman of the Board of Directors Ahmad Shiha told Al Mal. He said the stores will sell furniture, household items and cosmetic accessories. Al Alamia, which owns Mercato Mall in Nasr City, signed a cooperation contract with Spinneys earlier this month to open a branch in the mall this April, at an investment cost of EGP 40 mn.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Alfa Market is planning to invest EGP 80 mn in the second half of 2020 to open two new branches in Greater Cairo, Al Mal reported, quoting one of its new shareholders, Mamdouh El Amin. El Amin and two other unnamed local investors recently acquired Alfa Market for an undisclosed amount. The retail chain had some EGP 150 mn in outstanding debt to suppliers and open credit lines at the time of acquisition, El Amin said. The company’s new management is working on a turnaround strategy for the company, which used to be a household name, he said.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Madbouly Cabinet will begin discussing the Public Enterprises Act amendments next week, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik said, told Al Mal. If passed, the 26-article bill would remove listed companies in which the government owns a 75% stake from the legislation, and bring them within the scope of the Companies Act. It would also give general assemblies more power to oversee company boards, and remove boards that deliver poor results at any time during their terms, among other stipulations.

Expanding the purview of general assemblies was apparently met with some early disagreement, Tawfik noted. Those objections have weak grounds as it’s necessary to be able to “change incompetent management,” the minister said in response. Tawfik didn’t specify who spoke against this provision.

What happens next? If cabinet approves the proposed changes, they will then head to the State Council (Maglis El Dawla) for review before entering the House of Representatives for a final vote.

LEGISLATION WATCH- FinMin releases draft Budget Act: The Finance Ministry has released the draft Unified Budget Act (pdf) and an explanatory presentation on the legislation (pdf) ahead of putting it up for public consultations and cabinet discussion. The new act merges legislation governing the annual fiscal budget and government accountability into an updated bill that accounts for modern budget preparation processes and erases overlap between different pieces of legislation.

What the bill entails: If approved, the legislation would require the government to present an annual medium-term budgetary and fiscal strategy to the House of Representatives. The same policy strategy would also be a requirement for each new incoming government. The act would also alter how the state budget allocates funding by imposing a top-down structure that would require the government to set spending limits for each ministry, which would then divvy up the funding for the bodies and organizations under its purview. The legislation would also enshrine the implementation of program and performance budgeting. Increased oversight and transparency in government spending is also a key component of the proposed act to curb graft and the misuse of public funds, according to the ministry.

Edita Industries has launched its Molto Sandwich product with a retail price of EGP 4 per pack, according to a press release from the company (pdf). Molto Sandwiches are available in sweet and savory flavors, and form part of the company’s R&D strategy to enter new areas of the bakery market. Edita’s Molto brand holds a 62.5% share of the packaged croissant market in Egypt.

Online agriculture platform FreshSource has become Otlob’s first fresh food supplier, it announced in a statement (pdf). Established in 2019, FreshSource is a B2B platform that connects small farmers with some of Egypt’s biggest businesses.

DEBT WATCH- United Bank closes securitized bond issuance for MNHD: The United Bank has closed a EGP 305 mn securitized bond issuance for Madinet Nasr Housing (MNHD), according to Al Mal. The company will use the proceeds to support its urban expansion plan and improve its financial position in the market. The United Bank issued the letter for guarantee for the company and will become the transaction’s custodian.

MOVES- Walid El Saadany leaves Otlob: Online food delivery company Otlob has appointed Sofiène Marzouki (LinkedIn) as interim CEO after Walid El Saadany (LinkedIn) resigned. El Saadany told Al Mal that he will serve as a strategic advisor to Delivery Hero, which owns Otlob, until the end of 2020. Marzouki has been the senior director of Delivery Hero’s Talabat since October 2019.

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Egypt in the News

The foreign press hasn’t got much to say about Egypt this morning: The one article of note is brought to us by the Guardian, which reports that the Cairo International Book Fair has banned the imprisoned publisher Khaled Lotfy’s company from the event due to “security concerns.” Lotfy was handed a five-year jail term last year for “spreading rumors and revealing military secrets” after he published a biography of Egyptian official Ashraf Marwan, who allegedly spied for Israel.

Energy

Rockhopper Egypt producing 3k bbl/d at new Abu Sennan well ahead of United acquisition

Rockhopper is “consistently” producing 3k bbl/d at its new well ASH-2 well in its Abu Sennan concession in the Western Desert, United Oil & Gas said in a filing to the London Stock Exchange. United Oil, which will soon acquire Rockhopper Egypt’s 22% non-operating stake in the field as part of its USD 16 mn purchase of its Egypt portfolio, said the results confirm the asset’s “considerable upside potential.” A deed of acquisition, signed by Rockhopper on 9 January, is currently with the EGPC pending final approval, the filing notes.

Alcazar to bid for 450 MW solar, wind plants

Dubai’s Alcazar Energy is bidding for two renewable energy tenders — one wind plant and one solar plant — in the West Nile region with a combined capacity of 450 MW, unnamed sources told the local press. This comes a few days after unnamed sources said the company was looking to offload its Egypt assets and is currently in talks with banks. The company completed last year four solar power plants in Aswan’s Benban park with a combined production capacity of 200 MW, and was previously reported to be eyeing USD 500 mn-worth of wind projects in Egypt.

Health + Education

10 Italian universities propose European university complex in the new capital

The Higher Education Ministry is studying an offer from 10 Italian universities to build a European university complex in the new administrative capital, which could open within two years if approved, minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said, according to Al Mal. A German university is already being constructed in the new capital.

Tourism

Orascom Investment’s pyramids renovation project to open by 4Q2020

Orascom Investment Holding has reportedly completed its EGP 500 mn Pyramids renovation project, which will be fully operational by 4Q2020, according to Al Mal. Orascom’s contracting responsibilities for the project issued by the Antiquities Ministry include the operation of the visitor center, the provision of guiding material and organizing events at the archaeological site. The project was originally slated to open in the first quarter of this year.

Telecoms + ICT

Honeywell, Etisalat to develop city management system for Egypt’s new capital

The New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development (NACCUD) signed a contract with US-based Honeywell and Etisalat Misr to develop a city management system for the new capital, according to Construction Week Online. Honeywell will provide ‘Internet of Things’ software and hardware or a city operations center platform that “will include data analytics, a city-wide management dashboard, a smart city services citizen engagement portal, and mobile application capabilities.” The value of the agreement was not disclosed. NACCUD has been signing several agreements to outfit the new capital with smart technology, including a USD 135 mn contract (pdf) with Orange Egypt to establish, operate and manage the city’s data center.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Court orders Interior Ministry inquiry into the whereabouts of disappeared former MP

A Cairo administrative court formally ordered the Interior Ministry launch an inquiry Tuesday into the precise location of missing former House Rep. Mostafa El-Naggar, reports AFP. Naggar has reportedly been missing since September 2018 and his family alleges he is in state custody. The State Information Service previously denied this claim along with any knowledge of his whereabouts.

Cairo court jails former Italian honorary consul for smuggling artefacts from Egypt

A Cairo criminal court sentenced Ladislav Otakar Skakal, Italy’s former honorary consul in Luxor, to 15 years in jail in absentia for attempting to smuggle artefacts out of Egypt, AFP reports. The prosecution alleges he was assisted by Raouf Ghali, the brother of Mubarak-era finance minister Youssef Boutrous Ghali, and a verdict is expected in his case next month. Egypt has requested that Interpol issue a red notice for Skakal.

Sports

Egypt to face Gabon, Libya, and Angola in its trek to World Cup 2022

Egypt drew matches with Gabon, Libya, and Angola in FIFA’s draw for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The first games will take place in October.

My Morning Routine

Ahmed Ata, general manager of Saudi Egyptian Industrial Investment: My Morning Routine looks each week at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Ahmed Ata (LinkedIn), general manager at Saudi Egyptian Industrial Investment.

My name is Ahmed Ata, I am the general manager of Saudi Egyptian Industrial Investment (SEII), an investment management and private equity firm with a focus on in industrial and greenfield projects. I have worked in asset management for the past 20 years.

Mornings are my favorite time of the day. I enjoy the natural light and having some time to myself. I wake up around 6:30am to the noise of my lovely and exuberant daughters getting ready for school. I start the day with a cup of tea, checking my emails and WhatsApp and reading the paper. Then I go to the club for some morning exercise, usually walking or running.

I used to be a dedicated runner, participating in competitive runs of about 20km. This was around 10 years ago, however, and I haven’t done a long run for a while. I do still enjoy competing with my younger friends on a regular basis, and go for at least one run of 5-10km every week.

My daily commute is the best time to read Enterprise, along with a selection of other online news sources. I live an hour’s drive from where I work, so I like to make the most of the time spent commuting.

The rest of the day is usually spent working with our investment team on forming strategies, following up on implementation, monitoring performance, looking for new openings, and planning exits.

When it comes to reading I am really fond of history and biographies. Lately I read three books by historian Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 lessons for the 21st Century.

SEII was established in 1975 by the Egyptian and Saudi governments, and each holds a 50% stake. The company invests in Egypt and has complete financial and executive independence. We invest in promising industrial companies in the growth phase, and greenfield projects with plans either to export or fill an import gap in the Egyptian market.

I’m very proud of the work we do at SEII, and some exits and investments in particular really stand out: In 2017, SEII increased its stake in October Pharma to 27% from 21% for USD 1.5 mn. In 2018, we sold our share in Alex Carbon Black for USD 18 mn, and snapped up 38% of FarcoMake for medical supplies for USD 2 mn. And in September 2019, SEII purchased 10% from Arab Cotton Ginning at USD 2.5 mn.

We currently have two exciting investment prospects in energy and pharma, which are expected to close within 1Q2020.

Holidays are for adventure, rather than relaxation. My wife and I dream of traveling the world, so we visit a different country every year and spend our time exploring as much as possible. My favorite country so far is the UK: I love London and see it as being the capital of the world. There’s so much diversity and heritage: You can find anything there, from beautiful gardens and palaces to culture and excellent food.

Calendars, highlighters and sticky notes are my three best friends when it comes to staying organized. I also make sure that I set reminders on my phone for all meetings and deadlines so that I don’t forget anything. I also have a great team that helps me stay on track the entire time.

If I could choose anyone to sit down with for coffee and a chat, it would be Ahmed Zewail and Mohamed El Erian. They have both had such a profound impact on the world and are inspirational to me personally. When I was younger, I admired scientists more than any other group, and Zewail winning his Nobel Prize is one of the most vivid memories of my youth.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.73 | Sell 15.86
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.73 | Sell 15.83
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.76 | Sell 15.86

EGX30 (Wednesday): 13,752 (+0.8%)
Turnover: EGP 445 mn (32% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -1.5%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.8%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended up 1.1%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were KIMA up 3.2%, Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals up 2.4%, and AMOC up 2.1%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Orascom Development Egypt down 1.8%, SODIC down 0.4% and Eastern Company down 0.1%. The market turnover was EGP 445 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net long | EGP +78.7 mn
Regional: Net short | EGP -58.0 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP -20.7 mn

Retail: 52.5% of total trades | 47.0% of buyers | 58.0% of sellers
Institutions: 47.5% of total trades | 53.0% of buyers | 42.0% of sellers

WTI: USD 56.08 (-3.9%)
Brent: USD 62.71 (-2.9%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 1.91 MMBtu, (+0.9%, February 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,558.50 / troy ounce (+0.0%)

TASI: 8,428 (-0.2%) (YTD: +0.5%)
ADX: 5,234 (+1.0%) (YTD: +3.1%)
DFM: 2,848 (-0.2%) (YTD: +3.0%)
KSE Premier Market: 7,093 (-0.2%)
QE: 10,680 (-0.1%) (YTD: +2.5%)
MSM: 4,056 (-0.1%) (YTD: +1.9%)
BB: 1,651 (+0.5%) (YTD: +2.6%)

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Calendar

January: 1,000 artifacts to be displayed when Hurghada Museum opens.

21-24 January (Tuesday-Friday): World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

22-23 January (Wednesday-Thursday): Renaissance Capital’s North Africa Investors Conference, Marrakech, Morocco.

23 January- 4 February: Cairo International Book Fair 2020, New Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center, Egypt

25 January (Saturday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day, national holiday.

25 January (Saturday): Midterm break for public schools and universities. Also known as: Two weeks of good commute.

27 January (Monday): Cairo Economic Court will look into minority shareholder’s lawsuit against Fincorp Investment Holding as Adeptio AD Investments’ financial advisor for its mandatory tender offer (MTO) for Americana Egypt.

27-29 January (Monday-Wednesday): African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s North African Fund Manager Masterclass, Sheraton Cairo Hotel, Galaa Square, Cairo.

28 January (Tuesday): AmCham to host US Ambassador Jonathan Cohen for monthly luncheon.

28-30 January (Tuesday-Thursday): CI Capital’s annual MENA Investors Conference, Four Seasons Nile Plaza, Cairo.

28-29 January (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

28-29 January (Tuesday-Wednesday): Egypt and Ethiopia to meet again in Washington, DC, for mediation on GERD.

29 January (Wednesday): StartEgypt Forum 2020, the Greek Campus, Downtown, Cairo

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

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

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

1 February (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.

3-5 February: The Arab-African International Forum, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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

8 February (Saturday): Midterm break ends. Traffic in Cairo stinks once more.

9-10 February (Sunday-Monday): The the 33rd ordinary African Union (AU) Summit where Egypt will hand over the African Union presidency to South Africa

11-13 February (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

14-16 February (Friday-Sunday): A Euro-Mediterranean Organization for Economic and Development Cooperation delegation will visit Egypt to discuss cooperating in the field of organic cotton and home textiles

23 February (Sunday): Court session for Arabia Investments Holdings’ lawsuit against Peugeot. It was previously postponed to 24 November 2019 and then to 5 January 2020, and now 23 February.

23 February (Sunday): Court session for Amer Group, Porto Group compensation claim against Antaradous

20 February (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

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

3 March (Tuesday): Business Today’s bt100 awards ceremony, Cairo.

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

7 March (Saturday): International Conference for Investment organized by Suez Canal Economic Authority, Al Galala City, Egypt

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

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

7 April (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

12 April (Sunday): Easter Sunday.

20 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim, national holiday.

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

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

25 April (Saturday): Sinai Liberation Day, national holiday.

28-29 April (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

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

14 May (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

9-10 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

17-20 June (Wednesday-Saturday): 2019 Automech Formula car expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

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

25 June (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

28-29 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

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

13 August (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

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

15-16 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

24 September (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

6 October (Tuesday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

29 October (Thursday): Prophet Mohamed’s birthday (TBC), national holiday.

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

4-5 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

5 November (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

12 November (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

15-16 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

17 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

24 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

25 December (Friday): Western Christmas.

1 January 2021 (Friday): New Year’s Day, national holiday.

7 January 2021 (Thursday): Coptic Christmas, national holiday.

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