Sunday, 14 June 2020

Egypt could gradually reopen airspace to international flights next month — look for more clarity today

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

The brevity of this morning’s issue reflects a news day cut short by continuing concern about the spread in Egypt of covid-19. Indeed, it is the shortest issue we remember having published outside of Ramadan in at least three years.

We have the rundown on what’s open and what’s closed through the end of the month in this morning’s Speed Round, and Information Minister Osama Heikal said last night that we should have more clarity on the government’s plan to reopen airspace after a presser today (see Last Night’s Talk Shows, below).

(Random note: A jet flew over the capital city this morning as we wrote those words. The sound made even the non-travelers among us all very happy.)

We set a new single-day record yesterday for deaths and infections, capping a three-day run of covid news in which the Madbouly government suggested some flights may resume in July. Meanwhile, curfew is now an hour shorter, running 8pm-4am.

Look for covid and the House of Representatives to dominate the news agenda here at home this week. Lawmakers are due to debate the nation’s draft FY2020-2021 budget and the bill that will establish the Senate as a reconstituted upper house of parliament.

Up for a final vote this week: The draft Central Depository Act, amendments to the Railway Act, the Infectious Diseases Act, and the Police Authority Act, as well as a bill regulating parking lots.

We’re heading to the polls once more this year to elect members to the Senate and the House of Representatives, most likely in November or December after the latter convenes again for its final session. That said, Ahram Online and Cairo 24 suggest we may be voting for the Senate in August, citing what they said was a report by state-owned Akhbar Al Youm. No other media outlets have picked up the news and we weren’t able to track down the piece in Akhbar, so take that with a grain of salt for the moment.

On the global front: We suspect we’ll be seeing plenty of hand-wringing this week about whether financial markets are in tune with economic reality. US shares suffered on Thursday their worst one-day slump in three months, with the Dow off nearly 7% and the S&P down just about 6%. Oil also took it on the chin as “at least for a day, reality triumphed over hope on Wall Street.” Equities clawed back a bit of ground on Friday, but still finished in the red for the week.

From the Department of the Obvious: “The idea that Covid is fully behind us, or that a V-shaped recovery is in front of us, were put on hold” on Thursday, one analyst told the New York Times.

What next? Concerns on both sides of the Atlantic. Check out Bad things happen when finance front-runs the economy, by the always-on-point Mohamed El-Erian and The real economic catastrophe hasn’t hit yet. Just wait for August in BuzzFeed, by former business and opinion editor Tom Gara.

News triggers coming up this month:

  • 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;
  • The IMF’s executive board is expected to approve this month a USD 5.2 bn standby agreement with Egypt.

PSA- Enterprise is taking a mental health day on Thursday. Our parent company is giving everyone on both sides of the house a day off to recharge their batteries, and Enterprise is taking its day on Thursday. Wish we could say we invented it, but we have shamelessly stolen the idea from the good people at Axios — we encourage your company to do the same. We’ll be back in your inboxes the following Sunday at the appointed hour.


*** How much do you love (or hate) e-learning? The Madbouly government signaled this week that e-learning could be on the menu again this fall — by itself or as part of a hybrid approach. Tell us how e-learning is working out in your household in a poll for our weekly Blackboard focus on education. As is our custom, we’ll draw the names of three respondents who will receive an Enterprise mug and a bag of our favorite coffee from our friends at 30 North. Tap or click here to take the survey. It’s quick and painless, we promise.


COVID-19 IN EGYPT-

Officials reported last night record-high figures for deaths and new confirmed infections in a single day. The Health Ministry confirmed 62 new deaths from covid-19 yesterday, bringing the country’s total death toll to 1,484. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 42,980 confirmed cases of covid-19, after the ministry reported 1,677 new infections yesterday (and 1,577 new cases on Friday). We now have a total of 12,919 confirmed cases that have since tested negative for the virus after being hospitalized or isolated, of whom 11,529 have fully recovered.

Two more doctors pass away from covid-19: Deputy Director of the National Heart Institute Yousry Kamel and gynecologist Adel Abdul Azim passed away over the weekend from covid-19. We reported last week that some 50 physicians have died of the illness, leading the Medical Syndicate to call on the Health Ministry to up its efforts to protect medical workers.

Housing Minister Assem El Gazzar is self-isolating for two weeks after coming into contact with someone infected with the virus, according to Masrawy.

Sports activities and events will be resumed in August and training camps for athletes will be allowed to restart in July on the condition that sports clubs and youth centers sterilize their facilities, Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi told OnTime Sports (watch, runtime: 31:52).

A total of 232 hotels in 13 governorates are now permitted to operate at reduced capacity after another 14 received health and safety certificates over the weekend, the local press reports.

Emirates will operate four flights between Dubai and Cairo next week to return Egyptians stranded in the UAE, the airline said in a statement (pdf). The flights will run on 14, 18, 19 and 21 June.

Sudan has partially reopened its land border for trade with Egypt, after closing in March to stem the spread of covid-19, according to Sudan’s state news agency SUNA.

DONATIONS-

Orascom Construction has funded and built a new emergency reception unit for the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department at Kasr El Eini hospital, the company announced in a statement (pdf) on Thursday. The unit is capable of serving at least 100-120 patients per day.

South Korea has provided Egypt with USD 200k to assist the country’s emergency response to covid-19, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on the sidelines of a meeting discussing foreign investment with South Korea’s ambassador to Egypt, Yoon Yeocheol, according to a ministry statement.

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ON THE GLOBAL FRONT-

Saudi Arabia could cancel hajj for the first time since the modern kingdom was founded in 1932, the Financial Times reports. Hajj is due to take place between 29 July and 4 August, but a recent surge in the infection rate has authorities concerned about the health and safety of the estimated 2 mn pilgrims due to travel. CNBC has also picked up the story.

The European Investment Bank green-lit on Thursday a EUR 7.5 bn funding package to support member countries’ responses to covid-19 and finance private sector investment, the lender said in a statement. The bank has allocated EUR 1.9 bn to Egypt and six other non-European countries to “strengthen the public healthcare response” to the pandemic, EUR 3.2 bn for health, business support and elderly care, and EUR 1.5 bn for investment in clean transport projects.

Beijing in partial lockdown after 45 people tested positive for covid-19 at the capital city’s largest vegetable market: Police have entirely shut down the neighboring areas while some 10k people employed at the market are being tested for the virus, the Guardian and Bloomberg report.

AND THE REST OF THE WORLD-

Lebanon is facing ongoing mass protests after last week’s sudden currency collapse that saw the pound fall 50% against the greenback to LBP 6k on the parallel market in just four days, the Financial Times reports. Protesters blocked roads across the country on Friday as Prime Minister Hassan Diab called an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss measures for lowering the exchange rate, which the government aims to bring back to LBP 3.2k.

Abraaj founder’s alleged misappropriation could be far more extensive than thought: Liquidators overseeing the insolvency of defunct private equity firm Abraaj have estimated that founder and CEO Arif Naqvi misappropriated USD 385 mn from clients, more than 1.5x what US prosecutors had estimated last year, reports Bloomberg. Naqvi was arrested in 2019 on fraud charges brought by a US court and is currently under house arrest in the UK facing a possible extradition. He denies any wrongdoing.

Saudi Arabia will “come out on top” in the battle for market share of the global oil market, JPMorgan said in a report picked up by Arab News. Falling output from the US shale industry and non-OPEC producers will help the kingdom increase its market share to 15% by 2025 from 11.6% currently — its highest level in four decades, the investment bank said.

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On the value of investing in your staff: Hire prospective employees from diverse professional backgrounds — and cultivate the specific skills needed for your sector, SAP Egypt Managing Director Hoda Mansour told us on this week’s episode of Making It.

At a time when digital presence could act as a lifeline to businesses, Mansour provides a unique perspective from under the hood, and showcases the potential and impact of technological services on how we approach business and industry.

Tap or click here to listen to the episode on: Apple Podcast | Google Podcast | Our website | Omny. We’re also available on Spotify, but only for non-MENA accounts. Subscribe to Making It on your podcatcher of choice here.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The most recent deadlock in the tripartite talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was the main topic of discussion on last night’s talk shows. We have the full story in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Irrigation Ministry spokesman Mohamed El Sebai recapped the main points of contention between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the dam, telling Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi that Ethiopia is trying to reverse years of negotiations to get the upper hand. El Sebai noted that the three countries will meet again tomorrow, but signaled that Addis Ababa has not shown a great degree of flexibility in this round of talks, suggesting that we’re heading towards another standstill (watch, runtime: 15:00). El Sebai had a similar chat with Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime 11:24 and runtime: 9:10).

We’re going to get more clarity on the government’s plans to resume air travel today, when the civil aviation and tourism ministers will hold a press conference to announce the procedures that will be in place to reopen their industries, Information Minister Osama Heikal told Lamees. Heikal also filled Lamees in on the government’s plans for the next two weeks, including the lockdown measures that will remain in place (which we have in detail in Speed Round, below) (watch, runtime: 19:31).

Tourism is unlikely to spring back to life immediately, but there are positive signs that the industry won’t be battered for long, head of the Arab Guides Union’s eco-tourism committee Tarek Sarhan said on TenTV. According to Sarhan, tourist bookings have mostly been pushed to October, rather than being canceled altogether, suggesting that demand is simply delayed and not lost (watch, runtime 21:13). We’re not holding our breath, but we hope Sarhan is right.

Belgian charter flight coming to the Red Sea this month? A flight carrying Belgian tourists will arrive in the Red Sea on 26 June, governor Amr Hanafi told Al Tase’a Masa’an’s Wael El-Ibrashy. It is entirely unclear how the governorate will allow a charter flight to land ahead of the 1 July date set by the Madbouly Cabinet for the potential resumption of international air travel (watch, runtime: 12:16).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

Egypt could gradually reopen airspace to international flights next month, starting with coastal tourism destinations: Egypt could begin allowing international flights to and from three tourist governorates — Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh — as of 1 July, depending on which governorates have the lowest numbers of covid-19 cases, Cabinet said on Thursday. The resumption is not a certainty, and will only be confirmed at the end of June. Look for charter flights to go first before regularly commercial routes resume, we suspect.

Houses of worship may partially reopen next month, too, as the Madbouly government’s covid-19 crisis management committee will weigh whether to allow the faithful to go back to mosques and churches in governorates and select areas with low rates of infection.

The nighttime curfew is now one hour shorter, running 8pm-4am as of today, according to a separate Cabinet statement. Factory workers and trucks carrying petroleum products or commercial goods will continue to be exempt from the curfew. No public transport will run during curfew hours.

Other measures in place until the end of June:

  • Citizen-facing government services that have yet to resume will continue to be suspended;
  • Grocery stores, bakeries, and pharmacies will continue to operate around the clock, with the exception of those inside malls, which will be allowed to operate between 6am and 6pm;
  • Restaurants and cafes will remain closed until the end of the month, as will entertainment venues and public parks and beaches. Food outlets can still offer takeaway services outside of curfew hours, and deliver around the clock;
  • On-site learning at schools and universities will remain suspended until the end of the month (at which point the academic year will be over);
  • Thanaweya Amma exams will be held on 21 June with precautionary measures as was previously announced;
  • Sporting clubs will remain closed, but are allowed to accept applications and payments for new memberships and the renewal of existing memberships.

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LEGISLATION WATCH- House committee approves USD 2.8 bn covid-19 IMF funding: The House Economic Committee approved Egypt’s agreement with the IMF for a USD 2.77 bn rapid financing instrument (RFI) on Thursday, Masrawy reports. The IMF disbursed the funding last month, a day after it was approved. The RFI will help support the country’s balance of payments and provide for additional spending on health and social protections as the country grapples with the fallout from covid-19.

Additional IMF funding in the pipeline: The IMF reached a staff-level agreement earlier this month for an additional USD 5.2 bn in standby funding (SBA). The executive board is expected to issue a final decision on the SBA in the coming weeks.

The Trade and Industry Ministry is considering raising tariffs on imports of steel and iron billets, an unnamed government official told Al Shorouk. Ministry officials will meet this week with representatives from integrated and rolling mill factories to discuss policies to protect domestic industry during the pandemic, according to the official.

Background: The ministry postponed in April cutting import tariffs imposed on steel rebar and iron billets for a six-month period. The ministry had imposed a 25% duty on steel rebar and a 16% duty on iron billets for three years, which were to be gradually reduced over three years, but the first round of the plan was called off earlier this month to keep larger factories afloat amid the pandemic. Small-scale rolling mills are still threatening to halt production, challenging protectionist duties in place on iron billets, a key input they import. The ministry also launched an investigation in April into potential dumping of imported aluminum products in the domestic market, after state-owned Egypt Aluminium began reported losses citing the practice.

The Export Subsidy Fund doled out nearly EGP 3 bn in overdue export subsidies in April and May, bringing the total amount paid out in FY2019-2020 to EGP 5.2 bn, cabinet said in a statement.

A further EGP 1 bn will be disbursed this month to help exporters with liquidity through the covid-19 crisis and prevent layoffs, the statement reads, without specifying if the payments were made in cash. Payments of bns in overdue subsidies under an old framework have been moving forward since last September. Exporters are eligible for up to 40% in cash and can receive the remainder through either writing off taxes or customs or receiving industrial land at a discount. This arrangement was set in place in tandem with the launch of a new EGP 6 bn framework, which similarly promised a mixed model for payments.

Exporters want a return to an all-cash payout system: Industry lobbyists are looking to push for a return to the old framework that provided subsidies in cash as of FY2020-2021, Al Shorouk reports. A proposal will be handed to Trade Minister Nevine Gamea within 10 days, furniture export council head Ehab Diryas was quoted as saying. The new framework was supposed to be paying out fresh incentives this fiscal year, but has yet to do so, largely because of old subsidy promises that need to be settled. Investors have been complaining for months about bureaucratic hurdles, and a lack of clarity on how the government intends to apply the program in the first place.

M&A WATCH- Pioneers completes five-way MTO: Pioneers Holding’s non-cash mandatory tender offers to increase its share to 90% in five of its EGX-listed subsidiaries wrapped up during Thursday’s trading session, the company said in a regulatory filing (pdf). Al Mal was out with news on Thursday from the exchange listing the share subscription rates for each of the target companies, which include two real estate developers, two contracting arms, and one electric cables manufacturer.

Banque Misr to offer low-interest loans to IT companies under CBE initiative: Banque Misr (BM) and the Communications and Information Technology Ministry’s ITIDA have signed a protocol that will see the state-owned bank offer low-interest loans to tech companies under the Central Bank of Egypt’s SMEs lending initiative, the ministry said in a statement. Banque Misr will issue loans with a subsidized 5% interest rate to companies registered in ITIDA’s database from its quota of the CBE-backed program. The bank will prioritize startups and smaller companies.

Background: Banks are required under a CBE initiative first launched in 2015 to dedicate a portion of their loan portfolios to lend SMEs at a subsidized 5% interest rate.

Excise taxes can now be remitted online via a newly-launched platform, Tax Authority head Reda Abdel Kader said. These duties are a type of sin tax typically imposed on cigarettes, ethanolic beverages, coffee, and other products at the point of production. They’re also known as “schedule” or “table” taxes as they’re paid on goods on a list or “table” maintained by authorities.

GERD talks appear to be headed for breakdown as Egypt cites lack of “political will” from Ethiopia; Addis Ababa again raises spectre of war: Tripartite talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) are failing to make headway as Egypt and Sudan rejected Ethiopia’s new proposal on filling and operating the dam, which would effectively undo previous agreements reached between the two countries, according to an Egyptian Irrigation Ministry statement.

The strongly-worded statement accuses Addis Ababa of “continued intransigence” and a “lack in political will to reach a fair agreement,” particularly as our upstream neighbor signaled it could move forward with filling the reservoir next month in the absence of an agreement.

Addis Ababa’s latest proposal would essentially give Ethiopia sole discretion over how to use Nile water to fill the dam’s reservoir and generate electricity, which contravenes the declaration of principles signed by all three countries in 2015, Irrigation Ministry spokesman Mohamed El Sebai said, according to Al Mal. The proposal also fails to provide a course of action to both downstream countries for drought and low-rain seasons, which has been a key point of contention in previous iterations of the negotiations.

Addis Ababa is rattling its war saber again: Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it will continue to pursue diplomatic negotiations in good faith, emphasizing technical negotiations as the only avenue for a solution. The country’s deputy army chief later said Ethiopia would not negotiate its sovereignty over the dam, adding that “Egyptians know too well how we conduct war whenever it comes,” according to the Associated Press. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last October that his country could “mobilize mns” to fight if Egypt took military action against the dam.

The three countries will continue the negotiations tomorrow to review a “reconciliatory agreement” Sudan has been mandated with drafting to reflect the points raised during the meetings, according to a statement from Sudan’s Irrigation Ministry. Tomorrow’s meeting will also include an “assessment” of the process and decide on the next steps, the statement says. Khartoum had said that last week’s talks had an “atmosphere of heated debate” but maintained its commitment to reaching a quick and mutually beneficial agreement for all three countries.

EARNINGS WATCH- Beltone Financial reported a net loss of EGP 8.4 mn during the first three months of 2020, compared with a EGP 23.2 mn loss in 1Q2019, it said in a statement on the EGX.

Prime Holding also made a loss during the quarter, reporting a net loss of EGP 17.4 mn in 1Q2020 after turning a EGP 2.4 mn profit in the same period last year, according to an EGX filing.

Al Tawfeek Leasing’s profit rose 1.6% to EGP 19.1 mn during 1Q2020, up from EGP 18.8 mn in the equivalent period last year, according to a statement on the EGX.

MOVES- AT Lease has appointed Hadeel Saleh Abdullah Kamel as its new chairperson following the resignation of Abdel Aziz Abdo, who has been appointed as the new chairman of Al Baraka Bank Egypt, according to a company statement (pdf). Kamel has served on the board of AT Lease, as well as those of Ismailia Development and Real Estate,, Dallah Investment and Ismailia Misr Poultry.

MOVES- Ahmed Samir has been appointed chairman of Consumer Protection Agency by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, reports Masrawy. Sami, who will continue to serve as the agency’s executive director, succeeds Rady Abdel Moaty as chairman.

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Image of the Day

This is what Cairo’s night sky would look like if it wasn’t for the light pollution: Under Lucky Stars has created an interactive photo gallery demonstrating what the skies above 27 global cities would look like if it wasn’t for the light pollution.

Egypt in the News

Our record 1,677 new covid-19 cases reported on Saturday, the single highest daily increase since the outbreak began, leads coverage of Egypt on an otherwise very quiet news morning. Meanwhile, security forces have reportedly raided the homes of two uncles of US-based Islamist activist Mohamed Sultan, who who recently filed a lawsuit in the US against former Egyptian prime minister Hazem El Beblawi. Both Reuters and AP have picked up the story. And transgender man Noor Hisham Selim — the son of actor Hisham Selim — is on the interview circuit.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

The US has come out in favor of a Libyan ceasefire brokered by the UN over a plan put forward by Egypt to end the conflict, Reuters reports. Egypt’s ceasefire proposal, unveiled by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi at a presser earlier this month, would see all “foreign mercenaries” disarm and leave the country, paving the way for UN-sponsored talks and the creation of an elected presidential council. But last week the US appeared to reject Egypt’s proposal, with the State Department’s top Middle East diplomat voicing support for a UN-led process. “We think there are parts of [Egypt’s] initiative that are helpful. … That said, we think that the UN-led process and the Berlin process are really … the most productive frameworks … to make progress on a ceasefire,” David Schenker, US assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, told reporters.

Energy

Egypt and Sudan to increase capacity for electricity interlink to 600MW

Egypt is planning to increase the capacity of its electricity interlink with Sudan to 600 MW, doubling its previous 300 MW capacity, as part of a third phase for the electricity line, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said, according to Al Mal. The ministry is also looking into raising the power transmission voltage to 500 KV from 220 KV currently. The electricity interconnection project came online this April after many delays.

Infrastructure

Egypt’s SCCT to invest USD 60 mn to expand East Port Said container terminal

Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) is planning to spend USD 60 mn starting July to add capacity to the East Port Said Port container terminal, CEO Lars Christensen said, according to Hapi Journal. The company, which is majority-owned by Maersk subsidiary APM Terminals, will invest in new port cranes that will allow two vessels to dock simultaneously.

Health + Education

Egypt jumps four places in SCImago university research rankings

Egypt ranks 32 out of 231 in Spain-based SCImago Journal Rank’s (SJR) 2019 list of countries with the highest number of published and cited scientific papers. Egyptian universities published 25,314 research papers, of which 18,998 were cited.

Other Business News of Note

EBRD to launch app targeting MENA’s women business leaders

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will launch an application to connect and showcase products from businesswomen in the MENA region in mid-July, EBRD’s SME Financing and Development Program Director Reem El Saady told Al Mal. The application is meant to support women business owners to grow their businesses and network.

Sports

Agreement for CAF headquarters to remain in Cairo is finalized

The House of Representatives signed off on an agreement between Egypt and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to keep CAF’s headquarters Cairo, according to a CAF statement. The agreement is valid for ten years and will be renewed automatically. The agreement recognizes CAF as an international NGO, granting it privileges similar to those enjoyed by diplomatic missions, the statement says.

On Your Way Out

NASA has tapped Nile University’s NilePreneurs to participate in its project to construct alternative covid-19 ventilators, Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally (Vital), along with some 331 selected participants globally to manufacture the medical device to help scale its application and use in the fight against covid-19, according to a NilePreneurs statement

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 16.13 | Sell 16.23
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 16.13 | Sell 16.23
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 16.11 | Sell 16.21

EGX30 (Thursday): 10,832 (-0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 804 mn (7% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -22.4%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session down 0.9%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 0.9%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Dice up 2.0%, Juhayna up 1.3%, and KIMA up 0.8%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were AMOC down 4.8%, Pioneers Holding down 3.2% and Egypt Kuwait Holding down 2.6%. The market turnover was EGP 804 mn, and domestic investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -43.4 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -16.3 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +59.8 mn

Retail: 66.4% of total trades | 65.6% of buyers | 67.2% of sellers
Institutions: 33.6% of total trades | 34.4% of buyers | 32.8% of sellers

WTI: USD 36.26 (-0.22%)
Brent: USD 38.73 (+0.47%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 1.73 MMBtu, (-4.52%, July 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,737.30 / troy ounce (-0.14%)

TASI: 7,309.80 (-0.25%) (YTD: -12.87%)
ADX: 4,294.88 (-0.84%) (YTD: -15.38%)
DFM: 2,103.25 (-1.02%) (YTD: -23.93%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,521.76 (-1.89%)
QE: 9,233.35 (+0.51%) (YTD: -11.44%)
MSM: 3,513.67 (-0.32%) (YTD: -11.74%)
BB: 1,280.38 (-0.17%) (YTD: -20.84%)

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Calendar

17 June (Wednesday): The Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism and Arab Tourism Organization meet to discuss recommendaitons on covid-19 relief packages.

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.

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