Sunday, 9 February 2020

A slow news weekend gives way to a very busy week


What We’re Tracking Today

A slow news weekend has given way to a very busy week in which regulators (kicking the tires on at least three M&A) and legislators (talking terrorism, taxes, social insurance and pensions) are set to be the top newsmakers.

Is a GERD agreement by the end of February within reach? Officials from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are due to review a final agreement when they meet in Washington, DC, this Wednesday and Thursday (12-13 February) ahead of what could be an end-of-month signing, according to media reports. Ethiopia’s water minister says that US-led mediation in DC in recent days has “solved the main disputes,” Asharq Al-Awsat reports.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Addis Ababa today for an African Union summit, an Ittihadiya statement said yesterday. El Sisi will hand over the chairmanship of the AU to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the gathering's heads of states assembly, which runs today through tomorrow. El Sisi spoke to the AU’s peace and security council (which was discussing Libya) and addressed the African Peer Review Mechanism agency (see transcripts of the speeches here and here in Arabic). El Sisi also met with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Ethiopian capital yesterday.

German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Muller is in Egypt to discuss water and renewable energy issues, the German Embassy in Cairo said in a statement on Thursday. The minister visited the Benban solar facility and the Aswan High Dam over the weekend.

MPs are still lobbying for lower energy prices for industry: The House Industry Committee will meet today with Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker to push for lower electricity prices to factories after calls by the Egyptian Federation of Investors Associations, parliamentary sources said. The government formed a committee last year to meet every six months to revise the price at which the government sells natural gas and electricity to factories. The committee last met in October, when it lowered natgas prices by up to 25% for three types of factories.

MPs will mull expanding anti-terror legislation to cover media outlets when they meet today in general assembly, state-owned Ahram Online reports. Amendments to a 2015 law on how the state defines and lists terror organizations could see “television channels (audio, visual or print), as well as radio stations, social media accounts which are established by individuals, companies, institutions, gangs, cells or others regardless of their legal or real form” included on the list of terrorist entities.

The executive regulations for the Social Security and Pensions Act will be unveiled in a few days, head of the Social Security Fund Sami Abdel Hadi said at the end of last week. Hadi said that under the regulations people will begin receiving their pensions via Meeza cards rather than their current pension cards. Read our breakdown of how the country’s new pension fund will work here.

FEDCOC, ECMA stamp tax meeting pushed to Wednesday: The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce’s securities division and the Egyptian Capital Markets Association (ECMA) have postponed until Wednesday a meeting between key stakeholders to discuss reforming capital gains tax and stamp tax on EGX transactions. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held today.

The government is working on a new plan to control population growth: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly on Thursday told ministers to come up with a new strategy to curb Egypt’s accelerating population growth as the number of Egyptians in the country surpasses 100 mn this month. The Social Solidarity Ministry had launched in 2018 the EGP 100 mn “Two is Enough” family planning program, which was designed to curtail the country’s birth rate.

Events taking place this week:

  • The three-day Egypt Petroleum Show gets underway at the International Exhibition Center tomorrow. Look for a flurry of announcements and a heavy presence from global players, including US companies.
  • Global venture capital group Kauffman Fellows is in town for a three-day visit from Thursday, 13 February.

Inflation figures for January are out tomorrow: Price growth advanced to 7.1% at the end of 2019 as the favorable base effect that had seen inflation fall to its lowest level in years in 4Q2019 receded.

The Central Bank of Egypt meets a week from Thursday to consider interest rates.

The coronavirus continues to dominate the news cycle as its death toll hit 813, surpassing the number of lives claimed by SARS, according to Bloomberg. In the past two days alone, the virus claimed its first American victim, 41 people contracted the virus onboard a cruise ship near Japan, five British citizens tested positive in the French Alps, and 1.8k passengers of a quarantined ship off the coast of Hong Kong are being examined. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is coming in for criticism over its handling of the crisis after a doctor who was censored by the authorities for blowing the whistle on the outbreak died from the virus.

Egypt is still coronavirus-free, as of dispatch time this morning, but:

  • Public school officials are getting training on how to handle infectious diseases as schools go back into session after winter break, Ahram Online notes. The Education Ministry opted not to extend the midyear break.
  • Ship crew quarantined: Egyptian authorities quarantined a crew inbound from Shanghai at Damietta Port, according to the local press.
  • GB Auto has seen limited impact on its supply chain from a shutdown of production lines in China, saying in a statement (pdf) that issues have so far been limited to a 7-10 day delay on Chery knock-down kits. Hyundai said last week that it was idling all of its plants in South Korea because of component shortages from Chinese suppliers, the WSJ reports.
  • China wants to import surgical masks from Egypt, Mubasher reported.

You can follow the spread of the coronavirus here on the Financial Times’ tracker page.


Georgieva administers a changing of the guard at our financial overlords: IMF deputy managing directors David Lipton and Carla Grasso will leave the fund at the end of February as new head Kristalina Georgieva seeks to “flatten” the fund’s management structure, the Wall Street Journal reports. Lipton’s departure after nine years could allow the Trump administration to gain greater influence inside the IMF, as the US “informally nominates” the IMF’s second-in-command, the journal notes.

BlackRock making good on climate pledge? Asset management giant BlackRock has slashed its holdings in coal miner Peabody Energy by more than 60% during 2019, holding a 5% stake in the company as of 31 December 2019, down from 14% at the end of January 2019, reports Bloomberg. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink last month announced that he would take climate risk into consideration when making investment decisions.

For the first time ever, women account for a third of FTSE 100 board seats, but a significant discrepancy remains between large organizations and smaller companies listed in the FTSE 250, the Financial Times reports. While the number of women holding board positions in FTSE 100 companies has now soared from 12.5% less than a decade ago, the Hampton-Alexander review — which set the 33% target — says that further work is still needed at the individual company level, with the average across the FTSE 250 standing at 29.5%.

Democrats in New Hampshire will head to the polls on Tuesday to select a party candidate to face off against Donald Trump in the US presidential elections this fall. Progressive senator Bernie Sanders is in the lead so far in the polls (pdf), followed by former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who narrowly defeated Sanders in the Iowa Caucus. NPR has a quick rundown of the key takeaways from the most recent debate on Friday.

Has Sudan pulled the brakes on normalizing relations with Israel? Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok appears to have repudiated an announcement made last week by the country’s military ruler Abdel Fattah Al Burhan that the country would work towards normalizing ties with Israel, writing on social media that all foreign policy decisions must be made by the country’s cabinet.

PSA- Account for a longer than usual commute this morning, with public schools officially back in session as of yesterday.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

Egypt’s role in Africa is back on the radar as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Addis Ababa for the African Union (AU) summit. Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal, among others, took note of El Sisi’s arrival in the Ethiopian capital, where he is expected to hand over the AU’s chairmanship to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (watch, runtime: 2:21). We recap in What We’re Tracking Today, above.

Egypt was voted to sit on the AU Peace and Security Council by an “overwhelming” majority, reports Assal (watch, runtime: 2:15). We will remain on the 15-member council through to 2022. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez tweeted the news on Friday.

Our role in Africa will remain intact even after handing over the AU presidency, AU commissioner for infrastructure and energy Amany Abou Zeid told Assal in a phone-in (watch, runtime: 9:09). The AU is set up in such a way that any preceding chair is required to continue working alongside the current one, Abou Zeid added.

We have still managed to keep the coronavirus at bay: Meanwhile on El Hekaya, Amr Adib phoned Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed, who confirmed that Egypt does not have any coronavirus infections, and said the government “doesn’t have the luxury to hide” as they send a daily report over to the World Health Organization (watch, runtime: 4:37).

Speed Round

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LEGISLATION WATCH- MPs want to raise taxes on anyone earning more than EGP 1 mn a year: A draft law put forth last week by Rep. Khaled Shaaban to amend Article 8 of the Income Tax Act could see the introduction of a new top tax rate of 26% on people earning more than EGP 1 mn a year, the local press reports. The amendments were submitted as the House of Representatives discussed changes proposed initially by Rep. Mervat Alexan almost a year ago to raise the tax exemption threshold.

Alexan’s initial proposal has gone through several revisions, with the House Planning and Budget Committee approving last month a modified bill that would double the tax exemption threshold to EGP 14k, and raise the upper limit for the lower tax brackets. Under these changes, a 10% tax would be applied to annual salaries between EGP 14-40k (instead of EGP 8-30k currently) and a 15% tax on people earning EGP 40-60k (EGP 30-45k currently).

How does Shaaban’s draft law change things? The new proposal would retain the higher EGP 14k exemption threshold but make more significant changes to the upper limit on each tax bracket, and bring in a 26% rate of tax for those earning more than EGP 1 mn a year. This would change the tax code as follows:

  • Those earning between EGP 14-50k would be taxed 10%;
  • Those earning between EGP 50-100k would be taxed 15%;
  • Those earning between EGP 100-250k would be taxed 20%;
  • Those earning between EGP 250k–1 mn would be taxed at 22.5%;
  • Those earning more than EGP 1 mn would be taxed at 26%.

Forgive us, but this all seems a little redundant given the Finance Ministry is currently cooking up a new tax code. The new law, which is supposed to be entering the public consultation phase this month, would raise the income tax exemption threshold to EGP 24k, close tax loopholes for foreign companies, and introduce new rules on the resolution of tax disputes.


M&A WATCH- ECA probing Cairo 3A’s bid to acquire majority stake in Starch and Glucose Company: The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) has asked for details on a bid by commodities and poultry trader Cairo 3A to acquire a major stake in the Egyptian Starch and Glucose Company’s (ESGC) before greenlighting the transaction, the local press reports, citing government sources. The acquisition would give Cairo 3A a larger share of the market, but would not surpass ECA limits, the sources added. A meeting will be held with company and ECA executives to weigh the potential negative effects on competition, sources close to the transaction said.

The news comes as the ECA continues to lobby for the legal authority to probe any M&A worth more than EGP 100 mn. The authority most recently said on Thursday that it objected to a proposed (and as-yet undisclosed) merger of Alameda Healthcare and Cleopatra Hospitals Group.

Background: Cairo 3A is moving ahead to acquire the entirety of Egyptian International Tourism Projects Company’s (Americana Egypt) 23.2% stake, Americana Egypt’s parent company Americana Group’s 41% stake, and Cairo Poultry’s 27.3% share. The company offered to buy the combined 45.8 mn shares for EGP 8.99-10.18 apiece, valuing the 91.5% stake at EGP 450-510 mn. All three major shareholders’ boards of directors accepted the offers shortly after Cairo 3A submitted it last week. Cairo 3A said it will conduct due diligence, which will be completed by 9 April, then make a mandatory tender offer by 12 April.

EBRD commits fresh capital to climate finance in Egypt: The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and QNB Alahli have agreed a USD 82 mn financial package to fund green and SME-led projects in Egypt, the EBRD said in a statement. The package consists of a USD 17 mn loan provided through the Green Economy Financing Facility for Egypt, two loans worth USD 54 mn (including USD 13.5 mn co-financed by the Green Climate Fund), and a USD 11.3 mn loan designated for small businesses. QNB will lend the funds to local companies investing in climate change mitigation, renewable energy, and sustainable land management. The EU, the EBRD’s SEMED Multi-Donor Account, and the Green Climate Fund will contribute USD 12.1 mn towards the package.

EBRD offered the National Bank of Egypt a USD 100 mn green facility back in December designed to finance green SME projects including “high-performing technologies that improve the use of energy, water and land resources,” citing examples including “thermal insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and water-efficient irrigation system.”

LEGISLATION WATCH- FinMin mulls VAT exemptions for 74 raw materials used by med makers: The Finance Ministry decided at the end of last month to exempt from VAT 74 raw materials used in the manufacturing of pharma products as part of its draft amendments to the VAT Act, according to documents seen by Al Mal.

Would this be enough? A Tax Authority official said last week that the government could move to exempt some pharma production inputs from VAT, after manufacturers called for a wider exemption from the tax on their products. In 2016, they were granted exemptions on active ingredients used in their products, but are now arguing that the exemption does not cover other production inputs.

We should be getting more clarity on the VAT amendments later this month: The ministry has kept fairly silent about its plans thus far revealing only that paper manufacturers may be in line for a tax exemption and that the changes would try to ensure that more registered corporate income tax payers file VAT returns and pay their taxes.

Raya Holding is joining the rush into non-bank financial services and aims to set up three subsidiaries in 1H2020, including a microinsurance company, a financial and micro-leasing arm, and a third company for securitization, CFO Hossam Hussein told Mubasher.

The company is going to find it hard to get regulatory approval as long as CEO Medhat Khalil’s dispute with the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) remains unresolved. The regulator blocked the company’s attempt to establish Aman Securitization Company until Khalil paid an EGP 110 mn fine stemming from a dispute with the FRA — a verdict he has since appealed.

Raya is also issuing EGP 600 mn of securitized bonds in April, Hussein said. CIB, the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Banque du Caire will handle the transaction, he suggested. The FRA in November signed off on a four-tranche, EGP 497.5 mn securitized bond issuance for its Raya Electronics, Aman Financial Services, and Aman Microfinance subsidiaries. Raya had issued its first securitized bond offering worth EGP 500 mn for the same three subsidiaries at the end of October 2019.

DEBT WATCH- CIAF board postpones Egypt’s first corporate sukuk issuance: Aircraft leasing company CIAF Leasing’s board of directors decided to postpone its planned sukuk issuance due to concerns over the terms of the issuance, the local press reports, citing sources in the know. Board members reportedly raised objections over the inclusion of a required dividend distribution following the issuance and a separate stipulation that would have barred any changeup in the company’s board structure until the bonds mature.

Background: The USD 50 mn Islamic bond issuance, which was set to be Egypt’s first corporate sukuk offering, was originally expected to go to market by the end of December. The company said at the time it would divide the issuance into a USD 7 mn tranche sold locally and a USD 43 mn tranche sold locally and to foreign investors. The first tranche will carry a tenor of three years, while the second will carry a tenor of 5-8 years.

BUDGET WATCH- The government will double its spending on health in the upcoming fiscal year, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in a meeting with the health and planning ministers last week, without providing a specific figure, according to a cabinet statement. The government allocated EGP 73 bn to the Health Ministry in the FY2019-2020 budget (pdf), suggesting that next year’s spending could rise to as much as EGP 146 bn.

The proposal includes the establishment of 122 hospitals, 35 medical centers, 17 psychiatric hospitals, and eight “same-day” outpatient surgeries, as well as an allocation of EGP 5 bn for emergency services, intensive care, and nurseries.

Education spending could also get a boost next fiscal year: Earmarks for education and research will rise 33% in the FY2020-2021 budget under an investment plan reviewed by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly last month. The exact spending figure has yet to be disclosed, but our calculations indicate that the education allocation for next fiscal year would be set at EGP 176 bn with the proposed increase. The government had allocated EGP 132 bn to education in the FY2019-2020 budget. The constitution mandates a spending quota of 10% of GDP for health and education.

Foreign reserves remained essentially flat at USD 45.45 bn In January, up from USD 45.42 bn in December, according to CBE figures released on Thursday.

Gov’t settles export subsidies with 32 companies in exchange for new investment: Agreements signed by the trade and finance ministers yesterday will see overdue export subsidies owed to 32 foreign and local companies settled over five years, the ministries said in a joint statement (pdf). The long list of companies — which will receive their arrears in exchange for expansions and investments — includes LG Electronics, food manufacturer Hero, Nile Linen Group, Nile Holding Co. For Development and Investment, textiles manufacturer El Tayseer, and EGX-listed Dice Sport and Casual Wear.

The Trade Ministry announced last week signing 31 settlement agreements, but didn’t disclose the settlement amounts. The new statement, which appears to have just added one company, also made no mention of how much each will be paid.

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 government had approved in June. The government has so far paid out EGP 790 mn in overdue subsidies to 75 companies, and agreements have been signed with 67 other large companies that will see EGP 6 bn paid out over the coming five years as long as they commit to new investments.

STARTUP WATCH: Fuel delivery app Cafu is coming to Egypt: Dubai-based fuel delivery app Cafu will soon enter the Egyptian market, the company said on Linkedin last week, without providing further details. The company shared pictures of its new billboards Cairo, suggesting that it will soon launch its services in the Egyptian capital. The Cafu app enables drivers to order fuel deliveries directly to their location. Users can either pay per delivery or purchase a monthly subscription for unlimited refills. The service, founded in 2018 by Rashid Al Ghurair, is currently available in Dubai, Sharjah, and Amman.


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The Macro Picture

African countries could be transformed by the digital economy — but only they invest in infrastructure: Africa must tackle significant deficits in its digital infrastructure to capitalize on the strong economic prospects that a digital transformation would afford, Vice President of the World Bank for Africa Hafez Ghanem writes, in an excerpt from the Foresight Africa 2020-2030 report (pdf) republished as a Brookings blog post. GDP growth in the continent could increase by 2% per year if the African Union’s goal of universal and affordable internet coverage is reached, and fast internet could increase the probability of employment to 13.2% from 6.9%, he says, citing World Bank data. But internet penetration within the continent is very low, standing at an average of 39.6% compared to the global average of 62.7%. And, on average, countries in Africa spend 1.1% of GDP on digital investment, while developed economies spend an average of 3.2%. At the same time, the continent has seen the world’s highest rate of increase in internet use and connectivity, with internet users increasing from 4.5 mn to 523 mn in two decades.

The private sector needs to be supported to play a key role in the process: The AU, supported by the World Bank, has recently launched the Digital Moonshot initiative, which aims to accelerate the rate of internet use on the continent. Key to its success is ensuring that policies and institutions are in place to encourage private sector investment — which should cover half its estimated USD 80-100 bn cost over 10 years, Ghanem writes. The initiative has five key elements: Investing in digital infrastructure, with an emphasis on private sector investment; investing in a digitally capable workforce; investing in digital platforms, developed by both the public and private sectors; developing digital financial services to spur financial inclusion; and encouraging digital entrepreneurship and innovation.

Egypt is on its way to harnessing this potential: As one of the most populous and influential countries in Africa, Egypt has an important role to play in realizing the Digital Moonshot vision, Makhtar Diop, World Bank vice president for infrastructure, said last year in an interview with Business Today. According to World Bank statistics, internet usage in Egypt in 2018 was significantly higher than African average, with 47% of population online. As of last year, the IT sector accounted for 3.1% of GDP, with the government aiming to double this to about 6% by 2025. And a USD 1 bn loan approved by the World Bank in December 2018 is designed to support Egypt in building digital infrastructure and platforms, particularly through creating innovative public-private partnerships and encouraging collaboration between digital technology and other sectors, such as transport and energy.

Egypt in the News

It’s a relatively quiet morning for Egypt in the foreign press, with no single story leading the conversation.

Among the headlines to keep on your radar:

  • Activist Ramy Sayed was released last week after spending four years in prison, with his pardon part of the customary prisoner release that marks Police Day, AP reports.
  • FGM doctor released: Authorities have released on bail a doctor arrested for performing an operation on a 12-year-old girl that led to her death last month, CGTN Africa reports.
  • Western politicians turn a blind eye to human rights concerns in Egypt in favor of “myopic” support based on short-term interests of keeping African refugees from its shores, writes the Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung’s Rainer Hermann in an op-ed for Deutsche Welle.
  • An expert believes he has found a rare example of the ancient Egyptian board game Senet, which is among the first to show its depiction of the soul’s journey to paradise, the Daily Mail reports. Senet, which is similar to Ludo, was very popular from its emergence 5k years ago until about 2.5k years later.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt, EIB outline five areas for cooperation until 2030: The European Investment Bank will focus its funding of project in Egypt on transport, education, healthcare, energy, and the environment (water and wastewater treatment and climate change adaptation), the Investment Ministry and the EIB said in a joint statement. The statement, which outlines key areas of cooperation to help the country achieve its 2030 Vision, came following a meeting between International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat and a visiting EIB delegation headed by department for lending in EU neighboring countries director Flavia Palanza.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Egypt extends 13.5% wheat moisture limit for until April 2020

The government will continue allowing shipments of wheat with moisture levels of up to 13.5% until April 2021 to continue promoting competition among different origins in state tenders, the Trade Ministry said in a statement (pdf). The decree, which was first issued in February 2017, was previously extended twice (in 2017 and again in 2018). Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality (EOS) sets the wheat moisture limit at no more than 15.5%, with the UN FAO’s Codex Alimentarius setting the maximum at 14.5%.


Bombardier wants to set up a monorail component factory in Egypt’s SCZone

Canada’s Bombardier is interested in building a monorail components plant in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said, according to Mubasher. The factory would manufacture all railway and metro components to cover the needs of the Egyptian market and export to African countries. Bombardier is expected to begin manufacturing the main components for the two monorails linking the Sixth of October City to Giza and Nasr City to the new administrative capital in 1Q2020, and start assembly in June 2020. Egypt had signed a 30-year contract with Bombardier, Orascom Construction, and Arab Contractors last year that will see the consortium construct, operate, and maintain the lines.

Banking + Finance

Concrete Plus Engineering signs EGP 1.8 bn syndicated loan agreement

Concrete Plus Engineering signed a EGP 1.8 bn syndicated loan agreement with the National Bank of Egypt and Qatar National Bank for the first phase of a EGP 5.9 bn luxury residential project in New Alamein, reports Al Mal.

Other Business News of Note

Egypt’s Prime’s Group to set up 40 branded restaurants by 2023

Prime Hospitality is planning to open some 40 branches of different restaurant chains it owns over three years at a cost of up to EGP 500 mn, said Tamer Wagih, chairman of the company's parent, Prime Group, according to the local press. Up to 15 branches of sports-themed restaurant LaLiga Lounge, which Prime Hospitality recently obtained franchise rights for, are expected to be opened as part of the three-year expansion plan.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Egyptian court sentences Mohamed Ali to three years on tax evasion charges

A court has sentenced army contractor-turned-political dissident Mohamed Ali to three years in prison on charges of tax evasion, and ordered him to pay a fine of EGP 711k and an equal amount in due taxes, reports Masrawy. Ali was referred to a criminal court in December after an investigation concluded he had avoided paying VAT by misrepresenting tax records. He is currently in self-imposed exile in Spain.

National Security

Egyptian navy close to purchasing Italian warships

Egypt’s navy is “very close” to a EUR 2.4 bn purchase of a pair of European Multi-Purpose Frigate (FREMM) warships from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, French newspaper La Tribune reported. The vessels may be purchased for an estimated cost of EUR 1.2 bn, with Italian state bank CDP due to issue an export financing loan of up to EUR 500 mn to support the purchase.

On Your Way Out

German artist Simon Weckert dragged a wagon filled with 99 smartphones that were all transmitting live traffic data and created "virtual traffic jams" on the streets of Berlin, reports Android Authority, citing a Google statement. The smartphones apparently fooled Google Maps, making the app register high user concentration. And because they were stacked in a cart, Google Maps was dazed into thinking the traffic was slow-moving. Google reacted quite positively, saying that “whether via car or cart or camel, we love seeing creative uses of Google Maps as it helps us make maps work better over time.” Weckert posted a video showing how he did it.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.72 | Sell 15.82
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.71 | Sell 15.81
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.72 | Sell 15.82

EGX30 (Thursday): 14,106 (+0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 819 mn (31% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: +1.0%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session up 0.9%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended up 0.5%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Porto Group up 3.7%, Eastern Company up 3.5%, and Heliopolis Housing up 2.7%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were Cleopatra Hospitals down 5.2%, KIMA down 1.4% and Orascom Development Egypt down 0.9%. The market turnover was EGP 819 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Long | EGP +66.3 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -10.5 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -55.8 mn

Retail: 53.5% of total trades | 52.4% of buyers | 54.7% of sellers
Institutions: 46.5% of total trades | 47.6% of buyers | 45.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 50.32 (-1.24%)
Brent: USD 54.47 (-0.84%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 1.86 MMBtu, (-0.21%, March 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,573.40 / troy ounce (+0.22%)

TASI: 8,053.09 (-0.51%) (YTD: -4.01%)
ADX: 5,087.21 (+0.13%) (YTD: +0.23%)
DFM: 2,769.58 (-0.08%) (YTD: +0.17%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,983.71 (+0.29%)
QE: 10,204.62 (-0.90%) (YTD: -2.12%)
MSM: 4,128.89 (+0.09%) (YTD: +3.71%)
BB: 1,656.04 (+0.06%) (YTD: +2.85%)

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

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

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.

12-13 February (Wednesday-Thursday) (TBC): Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to meet in Washington, DC, to review final GERD agreement.

13-15 February (Thursday-Saturday): Kauffman Fellows visit 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

19-21 February (Wednesday-Friday): Egyptian Chamber of Leather Industry will participate in the Lineapelle Milano International Trade Fair, Milan, Italy

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: South Korean business delegation to visit Egypt.

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.

2-5 March (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes’ 16th annual One on One conference, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.

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

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

5-8 March (Wednesday-Saturday): 25 Egyptian companies will participate in a forum on investment in startups in Saudi’s King Abdullah Economic City.

6-8 March: Arab Banking Forum, for heads of risk management in Arab banks, organized by the Union of Arab Banks,with the Central Bank of Egypt and the Federation of Egyptian Banks.

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.

26 March (Thursday): Court session for Amer Group, Porto Group lawsuit against Antaradous.

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).

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.

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

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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