Thursday, 13 February 2020

Could the CBE ease off rate cuts to support the carry trade?

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We have a passel of M&A news to accompany the top story of the day: The suggestion that the CBE may ease off on interest rate cuts this year to bolster the carry trade in a challenging global environment.

It’s the final day of the Egypt Petroleum Show, which made its mark on an already busy news cycle yesterday. The three-day event saw several agreements signed yesterday, including a contract between ECHEM and an English consortium to set up a USD 8.5 bn petrochem facility. We have the full story in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Will Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan finally seal a GERD agreement today? Officials are set to wrap up this evening another round of US-sponsored talks in Washington, DC. The three countries are ostensibly close to shaking hands on a timetable for filling and operating the dam, having committed in January to finally putting pen to paper at the end of this month.

Cabinet will likely discuss amendments to the Public Enterprises Act today, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik said yesterday, according to Al Mal

Global VC group Kauffman Fellows kicks off its three-day visit to the capital today with an evening at the pyramids; the event will be co-hosted by EFG Hermes, Swvl, Marakez, and Vezeeta. Our near-neighbors Elves will host a BBQ tomorrow for the visitors and local startups, while AmCham will co-host a breakfast on Saturday.

The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates a week from today.

The Oil Ministry is going to Canada: The ministry will hold a session at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention on 1 March to discuss its legislative agenda to attract foreign companies to the Egyptian mining sector.


Big Global Story of the day #1- The number of coronavirus cases has surged after a change in reporting methodology in China saw Hubei province alone reporting 15k new cases yesterday. 242 people died yesterday alone.

Closer to home: Africa has no cases, the UAE now has eight, and London reported its first yesterday. You can track the latest on the rolling coverage blogs rolled out by the Financial Times and the New York Times.

Business groups are taking note: Mobile World Congress has been canceled. The event, which draws 100k people annually to Barcelona, is the global telecom industry’s premier annual event (Reuters | CNBC).

Egypt’s trade and supply chain could be hit hard if the coronavirus outbreak continues, local trade representatives tell Zawya. Agricultural goods — which account for some 20% of our exports to China — have been hit by cancelations and delays recently on concerns from Chinese importers about port closures, while tourism and business visits have been negatively impacted by the outbreak, representatives say.


Big Global Story of the day #2- Bernie Sanders won the Democratic Party’s New Hampshire presidential primary, narrowly beating Pete Buttigieg, and that has centrists in the Democratic party in a freakout. The vote highlights the generational divide and competing visions for America’s future within the party, Reuters argues. Amy Klobuchar landed in third place, which the newswire suggests split a vote that initially favored Buttigieg. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden trailed behind in fourth and fifth place.

enterprise

Egypt is once again marking its territory as an emerging-market darling, this time in an editorial by the Financial Times, which argues that investors need to look outside the developed world for better returns in an era of potential deglobalization. Today’s EM investor can’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach, but needs to look for less obvious, undervalued markets (such as Egypt) in search of returns. This is in stark contrast to the dominant narrative of the last two decades, in which many EM investors saw exposure to China and India as sufficient given their fast-growing economies and populations.

There are still reasons to be optimistic about EMs, with financial conditions being supportive of investment. Monetary policy is just right, and low inflation in particular will offer strong prospects for poorer countries. Better still: EM valuations are lower than those in developed markets, so there are gems to be scooped up.

The FT’s message to our readers, whether you’re in business or government: “Countries [need] a specific story about why they, in particular, will do well out of the new world order.” Communications is everything in the scramble for global capital.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meetings earned plenty of airtime last night. International praise of Egypt’s economic reform progress was another topic that made it to the airwaves.

El Sisi discussed cooperation in education and healthcare in a meeting with a delegation from the French Senate in Cairo yesterday. He also touched on efforts combat religious extremism in Egypt, promote mutual understanding and acceptance, and women empowerment in politics. Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 2:36) and Min Masr reported on the meeting (watch, runtime: 1:47).

The EGP is expected to continue its rally in 2020 after “record” appreciation in 2019, according to a Bloomberg piece Al Hayah Al Youm's Lobna Assal proudly took note of(watch, runtime: 7:41). Scroll down to this morning’s Speed Round for a more comprehensive take on the story.

The talking heads are still reminding us on the daily that Egypt is safe so far from El Corona. Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer phoned Health Ministry undersecretary in Beheira Yousry Bayoumi, who denied social media posts alleging that a Chinese resident working in a textiles factory has been diagnosed with the virus after walking into Kafr El Dawar Hospital (watch, runtime: 3:38).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

CBE to ease off rate cuts this year in a bid to support strong carry trade -EFG Hermes: The Central Bank of Egypt is likely to slow its easing cycle this year as it looks to maintain the strength of the carry trade and support the EGP, according to a research note from EFG Hermes picked up by Bloomberg. Tumbling inflation in 2H2019 allowed the central bank to cut interest rates by 450 bps last year, but EFG analysts Mohamed Abu Basha and Mostafa El Bakly think we’ll be lucky to see a quarter of that in 2020, writing that bank officials will look “to continue providing decent real rates for carry traders, who are important to maintain a healthy outlook for the EGP.”

Policymakers could look at other options to stimulate borrowing: The CBE could turn to open-market operations to inject liquidity into the banking system, allowing it encourage lending and investment while scaling back its easing cycle. In light of this the investment bank is only giving a 50% chance of a cut when the CBE meets next week. Shuaa, meanwhile, says in a separate note (pdf) that the time is ripe for the CBE to begin cutting down its reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for bank deposits, which would allow commercial banks to increase money supply in the market. The prospect of scaling back banks’ RRR was floated as a possibility by several economists back in October.

The EGP surge against the greenback has accelerated since the turn of the year, rising from EGP 16.00/USD to EGP 15.66 — a level not seen since 17 November 2016, two weeks after the government floated the currency. The currency has risen around 13% against the USD since the beginning of 2019.

This has been driven by a surge in foreign inflows into local-currency bonds, which have risen 3.7% against the USD this year, around four times the average return in emerging markets, according to Bloomberg Barclays EM indices.

Expect the EGP to 15.00 by year’s end -DB: Deutsche Bank has forecast the EGP to fall to 15.50 against the USD by the end of 1H2020 and 15.00 by the end of the year in a report picked up by the local press.

enterprise

The volume of oil and gas news stepped up a gear yesterday amid a flurry of activity on the second day of the Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS). The key takeaways and announcements:

ECHEM signs agreement with previously unknown English consortium for USD 8.5 bn Alamein petrochem facility: The Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) signed an agreement with a consortium of BSW Group and Shard Capital to develop a refinery and petrochemical complex in New Alamein worth some USD 8.5 bn, the local press reports. The facility will produce 1.5 mn tonnes of petrochemical products and another 1 mn tonnes of petroleum products, including kerosene and mazut, per year.

Neptune Energy also signed with Egypt a USD 35 mn oil and gas exploration agreement that will see the company drill three exploration wells in the North West El Amal concession in the Gulf of Suez, according to an official statement (pdf).

Chevron signs agreements with EGPC, AMOC: US oil major Chevron signed an agreement with the Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (AMOC) to cooperate on manufacturing and selling petroleum products, in addition to a separate contract with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to improve efficiency of refineries and ports, Cabinet said.

Italy’s Edison has started drilling an exploratory well in deepwater acreage in Egypt not far from other “giant gas fields in the East Mediterranean,” Energean CEO Mathios Rigas said on the sidelines of the event. Energean is acquiring Edison’s Egypt assets.The well is located in the North Thekah offshore concession, which is close to the Zohr, Aphrodite, Tamar, and Leviathan fields. Drilling should continue for 40-60 days, and results should show sometime in the next four to six weeks, Rigas added. Reuters also took note of the story.

Other activity at the conference yesterday:

  • The Oil Ministry agreed with the United States Trade and Development Agency to cooperate on developing energy infrastructure and increasing involvement of the private sector.
  • Bechtel inked agreements with Petrojet and Enppi on project management, engineering design services, and construction.
  • BP signed an agreement with EGPC to cooperate with Egyptian companies on bunkering services.

El Molla welcomed the US’ request to join the East Mediterranean Gas Forum as a permanent observer. The news emerged from a meeting with US Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen, who accompanied senior energy officials from the state and energy departments to meet El Molla. The US had formally asked to be a permanent observer to the forum while France made an official request to join as a member last month.

El Molla held meetings with a number of international companies on the sidelines of the conference — including Bechtel, Total, Apache, Italy’s Tecnimont, Austrian firm OMV. and Norwegian Equinor Energy Ventures.

In non-EGYPS oil and gas news:

  • The UAE’s Adnoc Distribution is “very actively looking at” opening gas stations in Egypt, COO Mohamed Al Hashemi told Bloomberg.
  • Israel is looking for partners to build a floating LNG platform in the east Mediterranean and potentially explore for oil and gas in ultra-deep waters, Reuters reports

M&A WATCH- Dana Gas to make decision on Egypt asset sale by end of March: Dana Gas received “numerous” bids for its Egypt assets in 2H2019 and is currently finalizing the technical and commercial evaluation ahead of making a final decision by the end of March, the company said in its annual earnings release (pdf). Investors have bid for the company’s onshore and offshore assets, CEO Patrick Allman-Ward said on an earnings call without disclosing how many bids the company has received or from which companies.

The clock is ticking for Dana, which plans to use the proceeds from the sale to cover USD 397 mn in outstanding sukuk due at the end of October. The company is in negotiations with banks to refinance its sukuk if an agreement is not concluded in time.

What is up for sale: Dana has allowed companies to bid for its 14 development leases separately from its exploration contracts. The leases cover three concessions in the Nile Delta region and a 26.4% stake in a gas liquids extraction plant in the Gulf of Suez.

Allman-Ward said the “the company was disappointed by the Egyptian government failing to make overdue payments by the end of 2019.” Egypt still owes the company USD 111 mn, part of which is in the process of being paid. Allman-Ward said in September that the company could offload the outstanding arrears to the eventual buyer of its Egypt portfolio, but nothing has since been said on the matter.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from the email edition to directly quote Reuters’ paraphrasing of Allman-Ward at the start of the third paragraph. 

M&A WATCH- Shell Egypt has not yet closed the door to offers for its Western Sahara assets, which the company is currently looking to offload, Chairman Khaled Kassem tells Reuters. Kassem did not disclose which companies have expressed interest so far. Our sources tell us that companies were required to submit their indicative proposals on Monday, and Shell will then create a short-list of potential buyers to advance to the next stage of the process. Shell is looking to close the sale, which could net as much as USD 1 bn for the company, by the end of the year.

The company announced in October 2019 that it will begin divesting from its onshore assets and instead focus on growing offshore exploration operations and its Cypriot gas liquefaction project — which would see it importing natural gas from Cyprus and liquefying it at Idku. In the meantime, Shell is focused on West Delta exploration and has plans to start drilling the Rashid concession in the Mediterranean, Kassem tells Reuters.

M&A WATCH- Competition watchdog probing whether TE would break monopoly law by invoking its right of first refusal on Vodafone Group’s stake in Vodafone Egypt : The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) is looking into the legality of Telecom Egypt (TE) exercising its right of first refusal to purchase the 55% stake of Vodafone Egypt that the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is looking to acquire, the ECA said in a statement cited by Al Shorouk. The ECA will study the implications under the Antitrust Act and its executive regulations. Under its shareholder agreement with Vodafone Group, TE holds a right of first refusal that allows it to claim the stake for itself.

TE has reportedly tapped a consortium of EFG Hermes and Citibank to advise on its options, Al Mal reports, citing sources close to the matter. EFG and Citi were in the running against a CI Capital-HSBC consortium. The state landline monopoly said last week it’s looking to hire an advisor after the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) said that STC would be required to submit a mandatory tender offer for its 44.8% stake.

M&A WATCH- Competition watchdog’s bid to block Cleopatra-Alameda merger highlights its lack of effective oversight powers: The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) lacks the legal tools it would need to effectively act as an anti-monopoly and fair competition regulator, the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) said. This gap in the ECA’s powers is evident in its bid to block a possible merger between healthcare providers Cleopatra and Alameda, which reportedly saw the authority resort to the Health Ministry to intervene on its behalf. According to ECES, this move serves as a reminder that the ECA doesn’t have the legal mandate to really stop M&As from happening, and currently has to either get a sovereign entity (in this case, the Health Ministry) to do its bidding, or impose fines after the fact.

Enter Competition Act amendments: The ECA has been looking to push through amendments to the Competition Act that would grant it sweeping new powers, including sign-off powers on M&As worth more than EGP 100 mn. As it currently stands, Article 19 of the law requires mergers and acquisitions of a certain size be notified to the ECA within 30 days from the date on which the transaction comes to effect, meaning the authority is effectively toothless in the face of M&As it doesn’t like.

M&A WATCH- Raya may approve bid for 31% stake in its transport arm: Raya Holding is likely to approve the EGP 133 mn offer from Paradigm Logistics to acquire a 31% stake in its Ostool Shipping Company, Al Mal reports, citing unnamed sources. Unnamed sources said that the company will condition the sale on retaining its management rights. Raya will now appoint an independent financial advisor.

Background: Raya announced on Tuesday that it received a non-binding offer from the British Virgin Islands-based company for the stake in Ostool. Raya currently holds a 62.3% stake in the company, which was founded in 2010 by Raya Corp and Qalaa Holdings and provides a range of transportation and logistics services.

M&A WATCH- HC Securities and Investment will acquire an undisclosed stake in an unnamed service company for USD 25 mn in 1H2020, CEO Hussein Shoukry told Reuters. Shoukry did not provide any further details and was not specific about what industry or segment the service company might be in.

The Egyptian investment bank will also act as the financial advisor on three regional acquisitions worth a combined USD 300 mn during the first half of the year, he said. The first transaction will see an Emirati investor buy a Saudi education company, the second is for a European investor’s acquisition of one Jordanian and one Egyptian company, and the third project is for a Saudi investor buying a UAE-based food company.

PRIVATIZATION WATCH- State-owned Banque du Caire (BdC) shares could start trading on the EGX by the middle of April, the local press reports, citing unnamed industry sources. The bank, which is reportedly set to sell a 45% stake to investors, go ahead with a classical offering to both institutional and local retail investors, the sources said. BdC is kicking off a second roadshow for the offering in the US this month, after reporting “significant” demand during a recent roadshow in the Gulf and the UK to drum up support among foreign investors ahead of the sale. BdC’s IPO would be the first under the state privatization program announced in 2018.

Securities division at FEDCOC to present ‘comprehensive’ proposal for EGX taxes to house in month and a half: The securities division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce has invited capital market representatives for a meeting within 45 days with the House Economic Committee to discuss tax on stock market transactions, according to a local press report. The division agreed to prepare a comprehensive study which contains a clear proposal for taxes on the EGX that balances the costs incurred by investors and the amount of tax being collected. The House meeting would come as the Finance Ministry is close to wrapping up draft amendments that will determine whether the capital gains tax, which was shelved for three years in 2017 in favor of a provisional stamp tax, will be making a comeback.

The proposal will likely echo one floated by the Egyptian Capital Markets Association (ECMA) in December, which would see a 0.1% withholding tax imposed on transactions involving resident investors, but cap what can be collected from a single investor at 10% of their realized profits in a given year.

REGULATION WATCH- Companies will be required to pay taxes electronically starting mid-March, head of the Tax Authority’s research department Ragab Mahrous said, according to Masrawy. A recent amendment to the Income Tax Act made it mandatory for companies to file their taxes online starting from January 2020, as part of the state’s drive toward a cashless economy.

Taxpayers should be filing their returns electronically during this tax season, which kicked off on 1 January and ends late March for limited liability companies and late April for joint stock companies, says Ragab. The authority would then collect different types of taxes electronically, including income tax and the 0.25% tithe on revenues to support the new healthcare system, according to Ragab.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Orange to invest EGP 4 bn this year in upscaling network: Orange Egypt are planning to invest EGP 4 bn this year in network improvements, the company said in a press release carried by Masrawy. This would bring the total investments of the company in the past 20 years (including from back in the time when it was Mobinil) to EGP 60 bn. The mobile network operator recently signed a USD 135 mn contract with the New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development (NACCUD) to establish, operate, and manage the new capital’s data center.

Edita Industries has expanded its cake segment with the launch of Twinkies Zig Zag and coffee-flavored HoHos with a retail price of EGP 2 per pack, according to a press release from the company (pdf). The company’s cakes segment, which includes Twinkies, HoHos, Tiger Tail, and Todo products, “continues to be the largest contributor of revenues” for the leading snackfoods maker, the statement says.

Egypt to begin trial runs for shift to cash subsidies in Cairo, Port Said, El Wadi El Gedeed: The Supply Ministry will implement on a trial basis the proposed switch to handing out cash to subsidy recipients from the current system of in-kind subsidies using ration cards in Cairo, Port Said, and El Wadi El Gedeed, Minister Ali El Moselhy said. The trial will end in July, and the new system will be officially rolled out nationwide in FY2020-2021. The rationale behind switching to cash subsidies is to pay beneficiaries directly rather than subsidizing suppliers. The move could help streamline the system both in terms of state finances and fair access to the mns who rely on subsidies.

NBE signs blockchain protocol agreement with Ripple for remittances: The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) currency exchange network Ripple signed an agreement that will see the state-owned bank using the company’s blockchain technology for remittance payments made through NBE, reports Al Mal. The agreement is meant to expedite the process of Egyptian expats sending home remittances through improved liquidity management and access to real-time financial records.

CABINET WATCH- Cabinet approves framework of int’l arbitration advisory committee: The Madbouly Cabinet approved yesterday the operating framework for a recently-formed government advisory committee on international arbitration, which would study, review, and make recommendations on the cases referred to it, according to a statement. The committee will be headed by the deputy justice minister for arbitration, and will include members from different ministries and government bodies. The committee will also have the capacity to tap independent experts for further consultations.

Cabinet also signed off on amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act that would expand the definition of “money” to include oil, natural resources, securities, and cryptocurrency, among others. The amendments would also impose a seven-year prison sentence and hefty fines on those found guilty of laundering any form of “money.” This appears to be part of a wider clampdown on terrorist financing, which saw the House of Representatives greenlight proposed amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act that expand the definition of terrorist financing, earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Hala Zayed presented a proposal for a new family planning strategy after Egypt saw the birth of its 100 mnth child on Tuesday. The statement was scant on the details of the proposal, which appears to focus on increasing women’s employment and entrepreneurship and raising awareness on family planning across the country.

EARNINGS WATCH- Credit Agricole Egypt made a net profit of EGP 2.4 bn in 2019, up 7.3% from the previous year, according to the bank’s annual earnings statement (pdf).

MOVES- The bank has appointed Franck Senebier (LinkedIn) as COO following Phillipe Enjalbal’s resignation from the position, according to a bourse disclosure (pdf). Senebier’s appointment is pending final CBE approval.

CORRECTION- Yesterday we incorrectly stated that the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) on Tuesday signed an agreement with Bechtel to establish a USD 6.7 bn petrochemicals complex in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. The US construction giant actually signed the agreement with the state-owned Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM). The article has since been updated on our website.

** WE’RE HIRING: We’re looking for smart and talented people to join our team at Enterprise, which produces the newsletter you’re reading right now and Making It, our very first podcast. We offer the chance to work in a unique and casual work environment that promises to be intellectually challenging and rewarding. Enterprise is currently in the market for a senior editorial leader, a seasoned reporter, and a podcast producer. Candidates for all three positions must be fluently bilingual.

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Egypt in the News

The international press is fascinated that there are 100 mn of us: The conversation on Egypt in the foreign press is still largely being led by the population swelling to 100 mn people this week.

Other headlines to skim:

  • Egypt’s proposed new cash subsidies system is alarming poorer citizens, who fear it will send product prices soaring and reduce availability, Al Monitor reports.
  • Nubian citizens are still hoping to return to their ancestral land near Egypt’s border with Sudan, even after thousands received financial compensation in January for successive displacements, Al Monitor reports.
  • Labor activist Kamal Khalil has been granted conditional release after being detained for about five months on charges of disseminating false news and joining an outlawed group, AP reports.
  • Charcoal workers in Egypt labor in poor conditions to produce the coal used for the nation’s love of shisha and BBQs, AFP shows with an image gallery of workers in a charcoal factory in Sharkia.

Infrastructure

Elsewedy Electric-Schenker-3A to kick off 6 October dry port project in February

Construction of the Sixth of October dry port is slated to begin at the end of the month after contracts were handed in late January to a consortium of Elsewedy Electric, Schenker Egypt, and 3A International, reports Egypt Today. Work on the first 100 feddans of the 400-feddan project should be completed by the end of 2021 at an initial cost of USD 176 mn.

Tourism

Germany’s TUI plans to increase arrivals to Egypt by 25% this year

TUI is planning to increase bookings to Egypt 20-25% y-o-y in 2020, the local press reports, citing a source close to the company. Increased demand for Red Sea destinations and Sharm El Sheik is prompting the German travel operator to devote more plane capacity, the source said. Germany was the top tourism source market for Egypt with 2.5 mn visitors in 2019, according to a recent report by Colliers International.

Automotive + Transportation

Gov’t in talks with GB Auto to manufacture tuk-tuk alternatives

The Public Enterprises Ministry is in talks with GB Auto to manufacture alternatives to tuk-tuks, which the government is bidding to phase out, Al Mal reports, citing a ministry official. The company could produce the three-wheelers with state-owned El Nasr Automotive, according to the source.

Banking + Finance

Odin investments in talks to acquire stake in a local financial leasing firm

Odin Investments is in talks to acquire a stake in an unnamed local financial leasing firm, the company said, according to Al Mal.

My Morning Routine

Hanaa Helmy, CEO of the EFG Hermes Foundation and head of the CSR department at EFG Hermes: 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 Hanaa Helmy, CEO of the EFG Hermes Foundation and head of the CSR department at EFG Hermes, a leading investment bank present throughout MENA.

My name is Hanaa Helmy, and I’m the CEO of the EFG Hermes Foundation and the head of the CSR department at EFG Hermes.

I’m without a doubt a morning person. I get up before my alarm goes off, and I never hit the snooze button. My day starts with upbeat music — often Frank Sinatra or Motown classics — ten minutes of stretching, and exchanging morning greetings with my family, who live all across the world, and with whom I’m very close.

I first started reading Enterprise years ago because of its talk show coverage. Now it’s my first stop for catching up on pressing local and global news during my morning commute, and really sets me up for the day.

My two roles involve wearing radically different hats. The foundation focuses on sustainable, comprehensive community development, often working with partner NGOs and contractors, as well as directly with beneficiaries. A lot of our projects focus on high quality education, income generation, infrastructure, and human development. CSR is a very different ballgame: We work to promote the Sustainable Development Goals internally and to build the company’s capacity to adopt good ESG measures — as we are the first financial services corporation to become a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) in Egypt — to remain globally competitive.

This contrast is one of the things I love about my work. On any given day, I could be traveling to a village in Luxor to speak to a man who has very little access to water or sanitation, and a few hours later I’m meeting with a minister. I’ve just returned from a fundraising trip to Kuwait, and am constantly in touch with our partners, as well as overseeing all our project implementation.

Our community development work depends on trust building, and is always done with a long-term vision. We might be demolishing and rebuilding houses, or refurbishing health units, and this takes between six months and three years. During that time, we work with the community to understand what resources they have and what they need, to know their rights and support themselves economically. It’s wonderful when you start to see positive changes, including when people feel empowered to complain if you do something they don’t agree with. This shows they are becoming very engaged, as citizens.

CSR isn’t about how a company spends its money so much as how it makes its money. The approach needs to be sustainable and ethical, and it involves looking at every business line in the firm and asking whether it takes environmental, social, and governance factors into account when making investment decisions. The company doesn’t operate simply to make more money and give a percentage of the profits to philanthropic initiatives. That’s not sustainable, and it isn’t good for business. So a big part of what we do in the CSR department is ensure that all the employees are heading in the same direction.

One of the ways I recharge is by reading a lot. I recently read Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, which is all about practicing mindfulness amid the unpredictability and chaos of everyday life. This takes a lot of practice and a good sense of humor.

I make an effort to create a climate of psychological safety for my team, so they can always come in and express what’s on their minds. I believe that growth comes through openness, allowing people to be creative and make mistakes. You can’t be on your toes day in and day out.

One of the milestones I’m most proud of involves a training program we did for staff at a pre-school in Luxor. This is an inclusive school, with children who have special educational needs learning alongside typically developing children. We offered an early childhood training program for women in the community, and now there are 30 teachers and teacher aides working with 75 children at this school — 20 of whom have special educational needs. Thanks to the program, we’ve provided essential human and professional skills that these women will use throughout their lives, and when raising their own children. We now have another 190 applicants requesting to be trained in the program.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.66 | Sell 15.76
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.66 | Sell 15.76
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.68 | Sell 15.78

EGX30 (Wednesday): 13,485 (-1.2%)
Turnover: EGP 427 mn (29% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -0.8%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session down 1.2%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 1.3%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Orascom Construction up 1.5%, GB Auto up 0.9%, and Egypt Kuwait Holding up 0.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals down 5.3%, Heliopolis Housing down 2.6% and AMOC down 2.6%. The market turnover was EGP 427 mn, and domestic investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -11.3 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -15.5 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +26.7 mn

Retail: 63.9% of total trades | 68.4% of buyers | 59.3% of sellers
Institutions: 36.1% of total trades | 31.6% of buyers | 40.7% of sellers

WTI: USD 51.41 (+0.47%)
Brent: USD 55.94 (+0.27%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 1.84 MMBtu, (-0.05%, March 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,574.10 / troy ounce (+0.16%)

TASI: 7,915.36 (+0.25%) (YTD: -5.65%)
ADX: 5,065.69 (-0.15%) (YTD: -0.20%)
DFM: 2,729.92 (-0.45%) (YTD: -1.26%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,909.98 (-0.19%)
QE: 9,953.37 (-1.42%) (YTD: -4.53%)
MSM: 4,108.12 (+0.06%) (YTD: +3.19%)
BB: 1,661.73 (-0.07%) (YTD: +3.20%)

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Calendar

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.

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

12-13 February (Wednesday-Thursday): 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.

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

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

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 (Sunday): Egyptian Mining Day, Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention, Toronto, Canada.

1 March (Sunday): 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.

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.

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.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2020 Enterprise Ventures LLC.