Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Cabinet to discuss today the reopening of Egyptian airspace

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

We could have more clarity today on when Egyptian airspace will reopen to commercial flights. The timetable features prominently on the agenda of today’s cabinet meeting, Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar said overnight. Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad had earlier suggested flights could be in the air at the end of this month or early in July. We have the rundown in Last Night’s Talk Shows, below.

We may also have some clarity today on when restaurants, clubs, cinemas and houses of worship could start reopening, Saad said.

Otherwise, it’s an unusual news day here and around the world. News of business and just about everything else has been squeezed off the agenda by covid-19 here at home (and around the world) and by nationwide protests in America against systemic distrimination and violence by police targeting minorities.

It’s PMI day: The latest gauge on how well the economy is performing in Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia is due out at 6:15am — just around the time (give or take) this morning’s edition hits your inbox. Tap or click here to read.

Key news triggers coming up in the weeks ahead:

  • The House general assembly reconvenes on Sunday, 7 June for what should be its final sitting before summer recess.
  • Foreign reserves figures for May should be out early next week.
  • Inflation data for May will land on Wednesday, 10 June.
  • The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 25 June.
  • Founding members of the EastMed Gas Forum will meet this month to ink the Cairo-based energy organization’s charter.

Need a distraction from worries about covid-19 in Egypt and the horrific images from the United States playing out on your screens? Perhaps the greatest (tech) business rivalry in history was Apple vs. Microsoft — with even us iSheep admitting the latter has become a very interesting company under CEO Satya Nadella. The Wall Street Journal has a really good piece that zooms in on Teams (see what we did there?), looking at the tech giant’s increasingly sharp-elbowed rivalry with Zoom and Slack in a “battle for your work computer” that Microsoft sees as “critical to its future.


COVID-19 IN EGYPT-

The Health Ministry confirmed 47 new deaths yesterday (vs 46 on Tuesday) from covid-19, bringing the country’s total death toll to 1,052. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 27,536 confirmed cases of covid-19, after the ministry reported 1,152 new infections yesterday (vs 1,399 on Tuesday), making the second day in a row the total case count has declined. We now have a total of 7,642 confirmed cases that have since tested negative for the virus after being hospitalized or isolated, of whom 6,827 have fully recovered.

There are currently 35k regular beds and 5,800 ICU beds earmarked for covid-19 patients at 376 state-run hospitals nationwide, according to a Health Ministry statement. The statement does not say how many of these beds are currently occupied or how many are available for new patients. There are also 5,013 medical centers and 1k mobile medical caravans to distribute meds and personal protective equipment and follow up on patients quarantining at home.

Two mn cloth masks will be made available to the public in the next 10 days and will be sold at EGP 5 apiece, sources from the textile industry told Masrawy. This comes after low-income Egyptians complained that the required masks were becoming a financial burden.

Rising occupancy rates at hotels aren’t just thanks to a rebound in domestic tourism: Most hotels in downtown Cairo and Al Haram that are open for business are serving as quarantine facilities for citizens who returned to Egypt over the Eid El Fitr holiday, Al Mal reports, citing officials from tourism companies. Tour operators are continuing to pre-book rooms in hotels that have received their safety certificates, or are expected to receive them soon, in anticipation of over 20k returnees in the coming weeks.

Hotel occupancy rates during Eid stood at 25% in Alexandria, 13% in the Red Sea governorate, 9% in Greater Cairo, 8% in South Sinai, 8% in Ain Sokhna and 4% in Marsa Matrouh, Assistant Tourism Minister for tourism facilities monitoring Abdel Fattah El Assi said. Hotels that meet the necessary safety requirements will now be able to operate at a 50% occupancy rate, the Tourism Ministry said on Sunday.

At least 1.4k citizens are coming back from Lebanon between today and Friday on repatriation flights being run by EgyptAir and Air Cairo, Al Mal.

DONATIONS-

AAIB has contributed EGP 5.5 mn to Ahl Masr’s 150-bed quarantine facility in New Cairo, according to Youm7.

enterpriseSomabay is naturally shifting its mindset to adapt to a new course of direction, paving the way for what’s yet to come. A new perspective is just over the horizon.

ON THE GLOBAL FRONT-

Anthony Fauci is sounding notes of caution on a possible coronavirus vaccine. Fauci, the US health advisor and perhaps the most trusted name globally on the coronavirus, told the editor of a top medical journal that immunity from the vaccine may be “short lived.” Fauci is, however, cautiously optimistic that there could be a viable vaccine ready to go (in the US, at least) by early 2021, says CNBC.

China was more reticent on covid-19 transparency than the WHO has been letting on: Despite publicly praising Beijing for its transparency during China’s coronavirus epidemic in January, the World Health Organization experienced “considerable frustration” and “significant delays” as Chinese officials refused to hand over crucial information related to the outbreak, the Associated Press reports, citing dozens of interviews and internal documents.

From the global reopening:

  • Greece has opened all hotels, swimming pools, golf courses, and open-air cinemas, and will be fully open to international flights on 1 July, according to the Associated Press.
  • Tunisia will open air, land and maritime borders on 27 June, Sky News Arabia reports.

GLOBAL MACRO-

Over 200 world leaders, economists and business leaders have signed a letter urging the G20 to provide USD 2.5 tn to developing countries hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic, the Associated Press reports. Former UK PM Gordon Brown wrote in the Guardian that failure to do so would spell a “potential death sentence” for some 420 mn of the world’s poorest people. Other signatories include past and present leaders, Nobel prize laureates, and heads of civil society groups.

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GCC countries will face their “worst economic crisis in history” as they grapple with both the lockdown and the shock from plummeting oil prices, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a report. Regional economic growth is expected to contract by 4.4% this year even as authorities rush to cut interest rates and inject bns of USD of liquidity into their financial systems. The IIF projects the aggregate fiscal deficit to quadruple to 10.3% of GDP by the end of the year, despite significant cuts in state spending and tax rises.

Economists expect the European Central Bank (ECB) to ramp up its EUR 750 bn emergency bond-buying program when it meets on Thursday, the Financial Times reports. The bank has already spent more than EUR 210 bn since it launched its pandemic emergency purchase program in March, raising the prospect that it could run out of ammunition before eurozone economies have recovered from recession.

EGYPT BEYOND COVID-

House to soon kick off final discussion of FY2020-2021 budget: The House Planning and Budgeting committee will soon hold its last meeting to finalize its report on the draft FY2020-2021 budget, before handing it over to the general assembly for a final vote later this month, committee deputy chair Yasser Omar said, according to Youm7. A document (pdf) released by the Finance Ministry yesterday shows that nothing has changed since we last reported on key budget figures in April. The ministry said last month that it would tweak assumptions, but is waiting for more clarity on the crisis.

GAFI to get wider powers over economic zones under proposed legislative amendments: The government is looking to amend the executive regulations governing the country’s special economic zones, specifically the Suez Canal Economic Zone, that would expand the General Authority for Freezones and Investments (GAFI) powers over these zones, according to a statement. The amendments are meant to streamline procedures and cut back on bureaucratic redundancies that are holding back fresh investments in the zones, the statement says.

Egyptian startups have the chance to compete for a piece of a USD 1.5 mn pool from the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes program, which is kicking off its second edition according to an emailed statement (pdf). The program is open for entrepreneurs from all 54 countries in Africa and is accepting applications until 22 June.

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AND THE REST OF THE WORLD-

America is bracing for yet another night of violence after peaceful protests across the country yesterday saw large crowds again marching against racial inequality and police brutality. Social media continues to bristle with scenes of police violence against both protesters and the press. King Cheeto, meanwhile, demanded in an all-caps bark on Twitter that New York call up the national guard to contain the civil unrest roiling its streets. Some 20k guard members have deployed to 29 states, the Associated Press reports. The Financial Times has an explainer on the legal viability of deploying the military to clamp down on the protests.

Fully 64% of Americans are sympathetic with the protesters and more than 55% disapprove of how The Orange One has handled the crisis, according to a new poll by Reuters.

Zuk, meanwhile, isn’t doing so well amid a brewing rebelling of his own as some employees of Facebook continue to protest or resign over how the social network has handled a post from King Cheeto that most reasonable human beings (including the people at rival Twitter) saw as a call for more police violence against protesters. Business Insider has the recap.

Israel is readying its military for an illegal annexation of the West Bank that could see the IDF seize around 30% of the territory under plans drawn up by PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s newly-formed coalition government, the Times of Israel reports.

Libya’s warring factions have agreed to restart ceasefire talks after weeks of fighting near Tripoli, according to a statement issued yesterday by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.

French container shipping group CMA CGM is looking to hit carbon neutrality by 2050 and have 10% of the company’s activities powered through alternative fuels by 2023, according to Reuters. The group is following Maersk’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

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*** It’s Hardhat day — your weekly briefing of all things infrastructure in Egypt: Enterprise’s industry vertical focuses each Wednesday on infrastructure, covering everything from energy, water, transportation, urban development and even social infrastructure such as health and education.

In today’s issue: Part three of our series on how the renewable energy sector is faring amid covid-19 looks at the oversupply of renewable energy — an issue that had been building up prior to the outbreak of the pandemic but is now exacerbated.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

On an otherwise quiet night on the airwaves, the potential resumption of international flights into and out of Egypt was the main theme of last night’s talk shows.

The Madbouly Cabinet will decide today when international flights will resume, which Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar told Sada El Balad’s Ahmed Moussa he expects will happen “within a few weeks,” but is contingent on other countries also reopening their airports (watch, runtime: 10:57).

It’s unlikely that airplanes will be required to have empty seats between passengers, but officials will introduce other safety precautions such as requiring passengers and crew members to wear gloves and masks onboard all flights, as well as providing self-check-in services at the airport, Manar said.

Private carriers have sustained EGP mns in lost revenue, while state-owned carriers’ losses are in the bns, Manar said. The minister suggested that airlines will slash ticket prices once air travel resumes to help spur sales.

Speed Round

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GASC purchases 120k tonnes of Ukranian wheat in third int’l tender of local harvest season: State grain buyer GASC, the world’s largest grain buyer, has purchased 120k tonnes of wheat from Ukraine in its third global wheat tender during the 2020-21 local harvest season, including 60k tonnes at USD 210 per tonne — the lowest price offered, according to Reuters. The tender, which was issued on Monday, requested shipment between July 10-25, but the wheat may not be available until August, sources told S&P Global.

Black Sea harvest delays: Ukraine would likely struggle to meet the tender’s shipment period as the 2020-21 harvest season in the Black Sea region, from which Egypt imports most of its wheat, got off to a late start this year following a spat of dry weather, the reports said. The US Department of Agriculture has forecast a decline in Ukraine wheat production for the season, and European crop monitor MARS has done the same for Romainian production, while Russian output volumes have proven hard to predict, S&P Global notes. Monday’s tender saw Russia’s largest grain trader RIF also offering 55k tonnes of Russian wheat at USD 220 in its first participation in a GASC wheat tender, among over a dozen other offers.

Why is this big news? It’s all about ensuring we have a secure food supply in case covid-19 disrupts the global supply chain: Egypt is looking to import 800k tonnes of wheat, while expecting to harvest 3.6 mn tonnes locally to secure its reserves of basic commodities amid the global pandemic. Together they would give the country enough of the grain to cover 7-8 months of consumption. Earlier in the pandemic, major exporters Russia and Romania imposed export bans to secure their own supplies, but the latter lifted its ban under pressure from the European Commission. Russia expects to follow suit next month.

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Bab El Azab to be transformed into tourist area under agreement between sovereign fund, antiquities council: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) has signed an agreement with the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) to kick off plans to develop the Bab El Azab landmark in Old Cairo into a tourist area in partnership with private investors, cabinet said yesterday. The agreement gives the SFE the greenlight to shop for private partners that would participate in the project either as investors or service providers, with the SCA retaining managerial control over the site. “The fund will team up with experienced private investors to develop the Bab Al-Azab site. We will equip the buildings in the area to offer visitors and tourists a rich cultural experience that accentuates the Citadel’s historic value,” SFE CEO Ayman Soliman said, according to a statement (pdf). Attracting private sector partners has been a key mandate of the SFE since it launched last year.

Samih Sawiris is among those likely to weigh in: The bn’aire told Hapi Journal before the covid-19 outbreak took hold in Egypt that he was planning to ink an agreement with the SFE by 4 February, but we haven’t heard of any developments since then. At the time, the project was said to involve building a museum with interactive technologies, craft schools, theaters, and other facilities near the historic site. Soliman suggested last year that Sawiris could invest as much as EGP 2 bn in developing the area, and there’s a chance other investors will join in, including Al Ismaelia For Real Estate Investment — which is already on board to handle execution. Reuters also has the story.

NUCA to reduce late fees on homes, commercial property in new cities to encourage property owners to pay their arrears: The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) will cut late fees owed on residential and commercial property in new cities for the next two months to spur property owners to pay off their arrears, the Housing Ministry said in a statement yesterday. Starting 4 June, owners of homes, offices, shops, as well as residential and industrial plots, will see their late fees reduced by slashed entirely if they pay all of their arrears within the next two months; reduced by 70% if they cover 75%; 45% if they pay 50%; and 20% if they pay 25%.

What are the conditions? NUCA VP for Commercial and Real Estate Affairs Mohamed Anwar said that the waivers apply to occupants who did not evacuate their homes following nonpayment. The occupier must be the owner with no other properties in the same city, construction must meet all legal requirements, and applicants will need to drop any legal claims against the authority. The exemptions do not apply retroactively.

SMEs will be able to join a whitelist of importers eligible for expedited customs clearance, according to a Finance Ministry decision waiving a requirement that allowed only companies with higher revenues to apply for the scheme. Smaller importers will need to prove they are able meet contractual obligations to qualify for preferential customs treatment. They will be logged into the whitelist after “coordination with the Food Safety Authority and the General Organization For Export and Import Control,” the ministry said. This comes under the green path system which was put in place in November to reduce time and cost of customs releases, and at a time when Egypt is relaxing import controls to avoid shortages in essential commodities and goods during the covid-19 pandemic.

Background: The government has been trying to make it easier to do business by streamlining the lengthy clearance process. Among its flagship projects are the green path system and the new Customs Act currently making its way through the House of Representatives.

Suez Canal net tonnage falls, vessel numbers unchanged in May: Cargo shipped through the Suez Canal fell by nearly 10% y-o-y in May (to 94.8 tonnes from 104.9 tonnes in May 2019) as global trade tanked due to the covid-19 pandemic, Suez Canal Authority head Osama Rabie said. Despite the decline in revenue-generating net tonnage, only one fewer vessel passed through the waterway, which Rabie attributed to “flexible marketing and pricing policies.” The authority last month slashed fees for container ships passing through the canal by up to 75% in a bid to keep traffic flowing.

The fall in tonnage put a 12% y-o-y dent in the canal’s revenues during the month, Rabie told Al Arabiya (watch, runtime 5:58). The SCA charges shippers based on net tonnage and vessel size, according to its website. Revenues increased by 3.2% y-o-y in 1Q2020 to USD 1.43 bn, SCA spokesman George Safwat told Amwal Al Ghad in April. Receipts during the first quarter showed an 8.5% growth in net tonnage. Other than Suez Canal receipts — which stands to drop in the second quarter due to the global economic slowdown — the covid-19 pandemic is also putting pressure on other key sources of foreign currency including tourism, foreign portfolio investment, and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.

Our guests this week manage one of the most high-profile venture capital firms in Egypt with a portfolio that includes tech and tech-enabled businesses in e-commerce, transportation, fintech and more. Learn about the landscape of private investment and what makes a startup attractive to VCs in our next episode of Making It dropping tomorrow.

Until then, you can catch up on season two episodes with:

Catch all of seasons 1 and 2 on our website | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast | Omny. We’re also available on Spotify, but only for non-MENA accounts. Subscribe to Making It on your podcatcher of choice here.

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Egypt in the News

Mohamed Soltan’s federal lawsuit against former caretaker PM Hazem El Beblawi is getting more attention in the foreign press as both the Guardian and the Associated Press have the story.

Meanwhile, New York Times Cairo bureau chief Declan Walsh looks at similarities between the events of 25 January 2011 in Egypt and the nationwide protests unfolding in the United States.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Israel will decide next Sunday whether to confirm the appointment of Amira Oron as its new ambassador to Egypt, a post that has been vacant since 2018, Haaretz reports. Oron was selected as Tel Aviv’s ambassador to Egypt in 2018, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later tapped Communications Minister Ayoub Kara for the post. Kara withdrew his candidacy following strong opposition from Israeli diplomats soon thereafter. Oron was previously in charge of the Egypt desk at Israel’s Foreign Ministry and served as an ambassador to Turkey.

Egypt was the world’s third-largest exporter of dried onions in 2019 in terms of value, exporting around 13.6 tonnes worth USD 30.6 mn, according to data from the International Trade Center (pdf). India ranked first in terms of volume and value with 68.9 tonnes worth USD 118 mn, followed by the US with 26 tonnes worth USD 79.4 mn.

The Agriculture Ministry is hoping to increase commodity exports to five foreign markets: The Agriculture Ministry has opened talks with the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Canada and the US to start exporting grapes, potatoes, citrus, tomatoes and onions, Agricultural Quarantine Authority head Ahmed Al Attar told Al Mal. Egypt could also begin exporting pomegranates to European countries by early July, says the local press.

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The Madbouly government has set limits on renewable energy generation in Egypt as overcapacity is exacerbated by covid-19.

This story is part three of our series on how the renewable energy sector is faring amid covid-19. Part one looked at the impact of the lockdown, while part two examined what the collapse of oil prices means.

The collapse of oil prices and the covid-19 lockdown will have a transient impact on the renewable sector — the real issue today is overcapacity, a challenge that had been building in the sector before the pandemic. That oversupply issue will likely be more pronounced as electricity export projects are temporarily put on ice and as demand for energy slumps until the economy fully recovers from the hit of covid.

The calculus is simple: The state and industry built electricity generation infrastructure faster than policymakers accounted for. Supply got ahead of demand before covid-19 became a factor, sapping demand from industry and putting export sales on ice for the time being. Egypt has perhaps 58 GW of generation capacity (estimates vary, but they’re all in that ballpark) and Electricity Ministry spokesperson Ayman Hamza tells us that peak summer demand is in the range of 30-32 GW. (See our sidebar The Backstory, below, for more on the background.)

The phasing out of subsidies is having the impact everyone expected — as is covid, and that’s adding to the oversupply. “We’ve been noticing a drop in demand since we started cutting electricity subsidies,” a senior Electricity Ministry official tells us. Now, consumer and industrial consumption has fallen by as much as 2 GW thanks to the impact of covid-19 and measures in place to curb the spread of the virus that causes the disease.

The solutions? As covid wanes, domestic demand will return as the economy recovers and the export of electricity could be back on the agenda. But the real game changer is unchanged: Policymakers are going to have to start winding down parts of Egypt’s fossil fuel-generation infrastructure if we want to hit the state’s goal of having renewables account for at least 20% of the country’s energy mix.

The government is taking steps to limit renewable energy generation to not exacerbate the oversupply issue. On 20 May, the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (Egyptera) began imposing caps on how much solar energy private-sector players can generate via amendments (pdf) to Egypt’s net metering system — a pay as you go billing system for renewable energy producers. The cap starts at 20 MW for most independent producers and does not apply to projects in the marquee Benban solar park, Electricity Ministry spokesperson Ayman Hamza told Enterprise. The changes regulate net metering, which impacts smaller scale projects and not those with the scope of Benban, he added.

The amendments also see producers being paid less for energy — and paying new fees: The decision also lowered the price the state pays producers for excess feed by pegging it to the most recent purchase price agreement signed between the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and any solar player. That figure probably stands at around EGP 0.4/KWh based on the reported terms of a contract with ACWA power for its 200 MW Kom Ombo plant back in October 2019. The old net metering system set a price of EGP 0.7134/ KWh, a source with knowledge on the matter tells Enterprise. There’s also a new “balancing fee” which was introduced to account for the cost of balancing renewable electricity on the national grid, and companies in Benban have had to adapt to rising costs, as a result of the EETC raising the cost-sharing bill. Whether it’s cost-sharing, ancillary fees or wheeling fees (what you pay to use the grid), utilities businesses need one thing: Regulatory stability.

You can expect investment in renewables to slow down substantially for the next 18-24 months, the CEO of a prominent renewable energy company told us, adding, “This mainly hits solar companies looking to invest in large-scale projects.” The limitations and fees mean new stations are going to be small in the interim — effectively capped at 20-60 MW

The government has put new tenders and commissions for large facilities on hold until there’s a clearer picture of how supply-demand dynamics will play out, an Electricity Ministry source tells us, and two major projects not yet at the building phase are temporarily on hold. Hamza, the ministry spokesman, confirmed that tenders and commissions have slowed down. That, combined with the changes to pricing and fees, suggests that only projects under 50 MW are likely to go forward in the interim, a top exec at a renewable energy company told us. We’re essentially in a situation in which any plant a private sector producer builds puts it in direct competition with the EETC, pushing unused capacity onto its P&L.

So is this the end for Egypt’s renewable energy renaissance? Not at all, according to a top industry leader who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying, “The drive will pick up again in around 18 months.” As the economy and the population continue to grow, demand for electricity will rise with it. Long term, the recovery will give most investors and governments space to think about where to invest in the future of energy — and green growth will be the new normal.

And remember: We’re still positioning Egypt as the premier energy hub in the Eastern Mediterranean. This applies as much to electricity as it does higher-profile natural gas. Work on Egypt’s 3 GW electricity interconnection project with Saudi Arabia has been postponed until we emerge from the pandemic, an Electricity Ministry official told Youm7 last month, but it’s still in the cards. Sudan is also an export market: A trial link between the two grids was finished in April, but is still on pause for the moment thanks to — you guessed it — covid-19.

But in the long term, winding down our dirty energy capacity won’t just be good for the environment — it will be a boon for the renewables industry. The fastest way to drive growth in renewables is to decommission part of our fossil fuel-generation capacity, says Hafez El Salmawy, professor of energy engineering at Zagazig University. “To introduce renewable energy, you have to phase out part of the existing mix. And there are traditional power providers that would like to slow down the move to renewable energy because they want to use their resources and make use of existing facilities.”

Keep your eyes peeled for a mid-July announcement to see what policy the government has in store for renewables, a Electricity Ministry official told us. The government will decide next month on new energy targets as it quantifies current and upcoming energy needs. This will help determine the timeline and pipeline for renewable energy projects going forward, the official added.


The Backstory: What got us here. In a bid to stamp out the rolling blackouts that plagued the country in 2011-2013 after decades of underinvestment in generation capacity, the government initially prioritized fossil-fuel generation, with the landmark project being three combined cycle plants of 4.8 GW each developed by Siemens and partners including Orascom Construction. These projects were built in record time, and by the time renewable energy projects began rolling out, Egypt had largely satisfied its immediate needs. Opinions vary on the current make-up of renewable energy in our energy mix: Government officials we’ve spoken with say we’re at 16%, while other reports say we’re in the single digits (cf: Fitch Solutions’ Egypt Power 2020 report, which puts the figure at 3.4%). On the flip side, electricity produced from natural gas is estimated to account for 70-75% of our energy mix, according to World Bank data from 2015, and Fitch Solutions data from 2020.

Your top infrastructure stories of the week:

  • Enara, Total to supply electricity for 1.5 mn-feddan project: A consortium of Enara Group and French energy giant Total has been awarded a contract with the government to produce and distribute renewable energy to El Moghrah and west Minya, which are part of a 1.5-mn feddan national project.
  • Large-scale pier for the Dabaa plant: The Nuclear Power Plants Authority is planning to set up a large pier in Dabaa in partnership with Rosatom to dock ships carrying supplies for the nuclear power plant being built by the Russian company.
  • Ring road development: The government is spending EGP 7.3 bn in development and maintenance for the ring road around Cairo.
  • Stantec to lead Fayoum wastewater project: The Egyptian Holding Company for Water and Wastewater has tapped Canadian design and consulting services firm Stantec to lead a EUR 456 mn project to upgrade sewage and wastewater systems in Fayoum.
  • Edison drills gas well in East Med: Italy’s Edison has completed drilling a 5670.5 meter gas well at its North Theqa concession in the East Mediterranean.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.92 | Sell 16.02
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.93 | Sell 16.03
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.91 | Sell 16.01

EGX30 (Tuesday): 10,339 (+1.1%)
Turnover: EGP 818 mn (14% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -25.9%

THE MARKET ON TUESDAY: The EGX30 ended Tuesday’s session up 1.1%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended up 0.9%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Qalaa Holdings up 6.2%, Egyptian Resorts up 4.8%, and GB Auto up 3.9%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Cleopatra Holding down 1.9%, Ibnsina Pharma down 1.9% and Juhayna down 0.5%. The market turnover was EGP 818 mn, and domestic investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -76.8 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -1.1 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +77.9 mn

Retail: 60.7% of total trades | 62.0% of buyers | 59.5% of sellers
Institutions: 39.3% of total trades | 38.0% of buyers | 40.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 37.82 (+2.74%)
Brent: USD 40.39 (+2.07%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 1.78 MMBtu, (+0.39%, July 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,732.60 / troy ounce (+0.39%)

TASI: 7,285.23 (-0.05%) (YTD: -13.16%)
ADX: 4,277.38 (+2.56%) (YTD: -15.73%)
DFM: 1,984.46 (+0.54%) (YTD: -28.23%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,461.84 (+0.43%)
QE: 9,067.28 (+0.53%) (YTD: -13.03%)
MSM: 3,540.19 (+0.15%) (YTD: -11.08%)
BB: 1,269.71 (-0.01%) (YTD: -21.14%)

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Calendar

7 June (Sunday): House of Representatives' general assembly is due to reconvene for its last sitting before summer recess.

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

13 June (Saturday): Earliest date on which suspension of international flights to / from Egypt expires.

13 June (Saturday): Earliest date by which restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, museums and archaeological sites will reopen.

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

30 June (Tuesday): Anniversary of the June 2013 protests, national holiday.

12 July (Sunday): North Cairo Court will hold a court session for the international arbitration case filed by Syrian Antrados against Porto Group for USD 176 mn after being pushed back from an initial 17 May court date.

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.

24 September- 2 October (Thursday-Friday): El Gouna Film Festival, El Gouna, Egypt.

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.