Tuesday, 14 July 2020

AAIB takes 12.25% of PHD + IMF lowers its MENA growth forecast

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

It’s a busy but unremarkable morning for news here in Omm El Donia, with no single story dominating the front pages as corporate Egypt looks ahead to two long weekends starting next week and MPs pine for summer vacation. (It doesn’t hurt that lots of you nice people out there appear to be WFH from … Sahel and Sokhna and, even in this heat, Gouna. Good on you. We’ll hold down the concrete jungle in your absence.)

It’s set to be an action-packed week in the House next week with several pieces of major legislation up for a final vote in the general assembly. The Banking Act, amendments to the Public Enterprises Act, temporary legislation to apply the 1% ‘corona tax’ on salaries, the new Customs Act, the Unified Tax Act, and the temporary tax settlement legislation are among the bills up for a final vote, according to Al Mal.

Feeling like easing into the workday? Start with It’s 2022. What does life look like? by David Leonhardt for the New York Times. It’s an NYC-centric piece, but the questions he asks / predictions he makes have global resonance.

Thinking about how to make remote work … work until fall? Or year’s end? Go read this interview with Matt Mullenweg, whose company built WordPress, the software that runs an ungodly chunk of the interwebs: An evangelist for remote work sees the rest of the world catch on.

Do you hate your day job? Or have you just outgrown it? Find inspiration here: Career Reboot: How an architect ended up directing at Nickelodeon. Job switching isn’t just for 30-year-olds: Maybe you need to take a midlife gap year to sort things out? Because it really never is too late to start a brilliant career.

Setting out as an entrepreneur is fundamentally an act of optimism — and nowhere is that clearer than news yesterday that GAFI registered 15% more companies in June 2020 than in the same month last year, the agency said in a statement (pdf).


COVID-19 IN EGYPT-

The Health Ministry confirmed 77 new deaths from covid-19 yesterday, bringing the country’s total death toll to 3,935. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 83,001 confirmed cases of covid-19, after the ministry reported 931 new infections yesterday. We now have a total of 24,975 cases who have fully recovered.

How much do the Ruskies want a beach vacation (including in Egypt)? Enough to go through a 14-hour detour through Belarus, which gives them a loophole through the Russian government’s ban on foreign travel, Bloomberg reports. Belarus’ restrictions are far more relaxed than are Russia’s, pushing droves of Russians to drive 715 km from Moscow to Minsk, where they can then fly out to any destination. Egypt and Turkey have proved particularly popular for package holiday bookings, with one Minsk-based tour operator saying that all flights to the two countries out of Belarus “are booked solid beyond mid-July.” Charter flights have been allowed to land in the Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh since 1 July.

Wizz Air will operate three flights per week starting between Alexandria and Milan from 17 September, said Seif Bahgat, CEO of New Star Aviation Services, the local agent for the airline.

Some more emergency covid-19 funding might be heading our way from Europe: The National Bank of Egypt is seeking an EUR 800 mn loan from the European Investment Bank for on-lending to SMEs and midcaps, to provide them with support during the covid-19 crisis, according to the bank’s website.

ON THE GLOBAL FRONT-

Sunday was the worst day of the global crisis yet: More than 230k fresh cases of covid-19 were reported globally on Sunday, surpassing the previous record of 228k cases set last Friday, according to the World Health Organization. Global cases have now surpassed 13 mn, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s corona tracker.

California has performed a screeching U-turn on its reopening plans as new cases and deaths continue to surge. The governor yesterday ordered bars and indoor operations of restaurants and theaters to close just a few weeks after they had begun reopening their doors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Unsurprisingly, the WHO is hardly a ray of sunshine right now: “Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said at a briefing yesterday. “If the basics are not followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go — it is going to get worse and worse and worse.”

BAD NEWS? Recovered covid-19 patients may start to lose virus immunity in a matter of months making them susceptible to infection once again, a new King’s College study suggests, according to the Guardian.

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AND THE REST OF THE WORLD-

The Fed’s blowing bubbles to save the US from corona calamity: The Federal Reserve’s injection of USD 3 tn into the markets is fuelling speculative bubbles in stocks, bonds and IPO valuations, Reuters reports.

Coinbase could become first US crypto IPO: Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is preparing to go public in the US, in the process becoming the first US crypto firm to IPO, Reuters reports, citing three sources familiar with the matter. The listing could come as soon as this year, the sources said, adding that the company has not yet told regulators of its intention to go public.

Bankers have taken nearly USD 6 bn out of Lebanon, circumventing capital controls put in place by the government last year to protect the financial system, Alain Bifani, former head of the Finance Ministry, told the Financial Times.

UAE will launch a spacecraft named Hope Probe to Mars tomorrow that will travel 60 mn kms across space to arrive at its destination next year, the National reports.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The big news of the night: More details of the Madbouly government’s plans to encourage consumer spending. The breakdown of GERD negotiations the schools “expenses crisis” also got attention from the nation’s talking heads.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait had a busy post-work schedule last night, stopping by Al Kahera Alaan (watch, runtime: 23:42) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 36:43) for extended interviews to offer new details on the government’s new measures to boost consumption and awaken the country from its demand slump.

What did we learn?

  • The government will spend EGP 10-12 bn subsidizing discounts on goods for ration card holders. This, he said, would stimulate EGP 100 bn worth of consumer spending.
  • Discounts of around 15-25% will be offered on a range of goods, from manufacturers directly as well as at various points along commercial supply chains. Which goods will be eligible for discounts remains unclear.
  • The initiative will run for three months and will be launched within three to four weeks.
  • There were no new details on how the Finance Ministry’s proposed EGP 2 bn holding fund will operate.

GERD talks end without agreement: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was also doing the rounds last night, discussing the breakdown in talks over the future of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 7:01) and Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 6:21). Shoukry said that the UN Security Council is monitoring the talks, hinting that it may step in to arbitrate. Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 9:21) and Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 21:04) both spoke with Alaa Al Zawahiri, a member of Egypt’s technical team, who said that the teams will now present their final reports to the African Union, which in turn is expected to propose solutions for the crisis. Adib also spoke with Irrigation Ministry spokesman Mohamed El Sebaei to discuss the matter (watch, runtime: 5:21). We have more on this in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

CPA intervenes on private schools, undisclosed prices: El Hadidi spoke with Ahmed Samir Farag, the acting head of the Consumer Protection Agency, to discuss what they termed the “expenses crisis” at private schools, in which some schools are charging fees many parents consider exorbitant. He said that he had reached out to the Education Ministry to address the issue, as it falls under their jurisdiction. Farag also noted that the agency last week announced that it will fine companies that don’t publicly disclose the prices of their products (watch, runtime: 10:12).

Egyptians abroad: El Hosary spoke with Immigration Minister Nabila Makram Ebeid who discussed repatriating Egyptian students still stranded abroad, as well as the mechanism for Egyptians abroad to vote in the upcoming Senate elections (watch, runtime: 20:13).

Speed Round

Speed Round is presented in association with

The IMF slashed its 2020 GDP forecast for the MENA region, penciling in a 5.7% contraction for the year in its July update of its regional economic outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia. The fund had expected a 3.3% contraction for the region in April but has revised its projection downward due to the continued uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic and the prospects for recovery, particularly in light of the continued pressure on oil prices.

Before we go further: The forecast doesn’t break out country-level projections, and IMF Egypt boss Uma Ramakrishnan said last week in an interview that the institution sees Egypt’s economy growing at a 2% clip through the end of 2021. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, meanwhile, gave us a positive score in May, and saw the economy doing better than that of any other country in the region this year.

Regional oil importers, which include Egypt, could contract by a collective 1.1%. This is because any benefits of lower crude prices will be offset by global trade obstacles, lower revenues from tourism and expat remittances, and tighter global financial conditions, the fund said.

Oil exporters, meanwhile, are expected to see their economies shrink by 7.3%, driven by fluctuations in oil prices and pandemic lockdowns. Energy producers in the region stand to lose USD 270 bn in oil revenue compared to last year, according to the lender. The foregone revenue is chalked up to economic giant Saudi Arabia taking a battering from the pandemic, the Washington Post notes.

Brent crude is currently in the region of USD 43 / bbl after production cuts by OPEC and its allies helped drive prices upward from record lows in March. Even following the record cuts, which started taking effect, the oil market is facing a general glut as growing covid-19 cases worldwide "dampen global demand". Oil traded at closer to USD 60 a barrel before the pandemic took hold.

Globally, the situation isn’t much better. The IMF said last month in its most recent update to its the World Economic Outlook that the world is entering into a deeper recession than previously thought. The fund revised downwards its global economic growth expectations to -4.9% from an earlier -3%.

enterprise

Egypt’s share of domestic M&A in MENA rises as regional transaction volume tumbles to three-year low: Egypt was the third-largest target nation for domestic M&A in MENA in 1H2020 in terms of value, with our share of regional transactions rising to 8% from 1% during the same period in 2019, according to Refinitiv’s latest MENA Investment Banking Review. Across the region, financials took up the lion’s share of M&A at 41%, rising above energy and power, which came in second at 25%. MENA M&A volumes dropped to a three-year low during the first half of the year, falling 9% y-o-y.

Egypt also saw one of the region’s two sole equity capital markets (ECM) issuances, when Emerald Real Estate Investment raised USD 13.1 mn. Saudi Arabia’s led the ECM league table with the USD 699.7 mn IPO of Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group in March. Total ECM proceeds across the region dropped 58% y-o-y. Egypt recorded debt capital market(DCM) transactions in the first half of the year worth USD 5 bn, with the government’s eurobond issuance in May accounting for the region’s fourth-largest DCM transaction.

Egypt accounted for just 7% of total investment banking fees paid in 1H2020 (up one percentage point from last year), while KSA accounted for 39% and the UAE 29%.

Our friends at EFG Hermes in the top spot of the MENA ECM league table in 1H2020 along with Riyadh Bank Ltd and Jadwa Investment Co. EFG, Riyadh, and Jadwa each claimed a 27% stake in the market on the back of their work on the Sulaiman Al Habib IPO. The three also tied for top place on the league table for top IB fee earners thanks to the transaction. Saudi’s Falcom Financial Services came in fourth with a 9% share of the market. ECM fees dropped 62% y-o-y during the first half of 2020, according to the report.

Standard Chartered was the top DCM bookrunner in 1H2020, while Morgan Stanley was the top M&A advisor in the region.

M&A WATCH- AAIB takes 12.25% stake in Palm Hills Developments, appearing to buy out the Emirates’ Union Properties. Arab African International Bank (AAIB) has purchased a 12.25% stake in Palm Hills Developments (PHD) for EGP 544.2 mn, according to a disclosure (pdf) to the EGX. Although the filing doesn’t specify which shareholder the bank acquired the stake from, UPP Capital Investment is the only investor with comparable holdings (pdf) in the Egyptian real estate developer. The seller handed off its 381.9 mn shares in PHD at an average price of EGP 1.43 each, on par with the stock’s closing price yesterday. Arab African International Securities acted as the broker in the transaction.

Background: UPP Capital is a subsidiary of Emirati real estate company Union Properties. Union’s website makes no mention of a recent transaction and the company has not made a disclosure to the Dubai Financial Market as of dispatch time this morning. Union is the developer of MotorCity, Dubai Autodrome, Green Community and Uptown MotorCity, among other destinations.

OCI NV, Adnoc could shutter Egypt fertilizer plants due to gas prices: High gas prices in Egypt could force OCI NV and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to close all of their fertilizer plants in the country, the companies warned yesterday, according to Youm7. The companies, which last year merged to create the region’s largest fertilizer producer, said that they would first reduce production in response to the country’s high gas prices, which they said were inflicting heavy losses on their operations. The factories will eventually have to close entirely if gas prices remain high, the group said, without clarifying whether any closures would be permanent. Industrial firms currently pay USD 4.5 per mmBtu for gas in Egypt, more than 2.5x the international price paid by foreign competitors.

The worst of the year is over for corporate earnings; recovery will begin in 2H2020 -Pharos: Corporate earnings in Egypt are expected to see a “relative recovery” in corporate earnings during the back half of the year, even if full-year earnings come under pressure because of the hit to 2Q2020 results, Pharos Holding said in a research note yesterday. The improvement in corporate earnings is also expected to spur EGX performance and help drive up stock prices, according to the research note. EFG Hermes had also said earlier this month that, despite an anticipated 22% fall in 1Q2020 earnings, Egypt’s corporates would overall have a better quarter than most of their MENA peers.

Telecom, tech, consumer staples, and pharma companies have weathered the storm the best, proving to be “the most resilient to the current shock,” Pharos says. Banks are seeing a bit of a slowdown in the growth of their balance sheets, but are generally also doing well thanks to the “sustainability of operating income flow.” On the flipside, the industrial and real estate sectors were the worse hit in 2Q2020, according to the note.

DEBT WATCH- State-owned NI Capital’s microfinance arm Tamweely Microfinance is planning to securitize up to 20% of its loans portfolio before the year is out, CEO Amr AbouElazm said, according to Al Mal. The company, which is aiming to diversify its funding sources and is currently in talks to secure EGP 200 mn from local banks, has a portfolio worth EGP 1 bn in micro-loans.

GERD talks fail to break impasse: The latest round of talks to resolve the dispute surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has ended without a breakthrough. Alternative proposals were presented by the legal and technical teams of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia during the 11 days of African Union-sponsored talks, but the key sticking points, including the dam’s operation during periods of drought and the filling timeline, remained unresolved, a cabinet statement said. The countries’ irrigation ministers will submit their final reports today to the team from South Africa, the current president of the AU, ahead of a limited presidential AU summit in a week’s time.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said it was “regrettable” that the talks ended without an agreement, given Egypt’s receptive approach to Ethiopia’s requirements and its political will to reach a resolution, in an interview with El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 7:01). While stopping short of saying he would raise the issue with the organization directly, he said that the United Nations Security Council was following the talks and is well placed to arbitrate on disputes that involve international security and stability.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed may have to proceed with filling the dam’s reservoir if he is to maintain political support at home during a crucial election year, Bloomberg noted. While reports had circulated that Ethiopia had already started filling the reservoir, the country’s foreign minister, Gedu Andargachew, dismissed them as rumors, telling Al Ain that Ethiopia “did not declare that matter.”

The news is getting attention in the foreign press: Associated Press | Bloomberg | The National.

Mobile calling and data plans in Egypt are less affordable than in wealthier Arab countries when measured in terms of gross national income per capita (GNI pc), according to an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report (pdf). The report looks at mobile bundles that cover voice calls and data services, bundles that only cover voice calls, and fixed-broadband packages across 180 countries.

Egypt ranks 48th globally in terms of affordability of high-consumption mobile data and voice baskets, which include a monthly allowance of 330 minutes of voice calls, 70 SMS messages, and 1.5 GB of data. The baskets can be purchased in Egypt at an average rate of USD 3.22 — around 1.4% of GNI pc. That makes Egypt more expensive in GNI pc terms than Qatar (the third-most affordable globally), Kuwait (#21), the UAE(#32), Saudi Arabia (#41) and Bahrain (#43). The most affordable basket is available in Macau, China (0.2% of GNI pc) and the least affordable basket is sold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (112.2% of GNI pc).

High-consumption packages are more affordable in Egypt than in Oman (#57), Morocco (#77), Algeria (#78), Jordan (#101), Libya (#104), Lebanon (#129), Iraq (#134), Palestine (#136), and Yemen (#168) in terms of affordability for this category.

We’re slightly more competitive when it comes to low-consumption baskets (which include a monthly allowance of 280 voice call minutes, 20 SMS messages, and 500 MB of data), ranking #42 globally. These baskets are sold at an average of USD 2.01 (0.9% of GNI pc). Luxembourg has the most affordable basket in this category, but the breakdown among Arab countries varies from the high-consumption baskets. Qatar is the Arab country with the most affordable basket, followed by the UAE (#12), Tunisia (#23), Kuwait (#27), and Oman (#36). Egypt again provides a more affordable service in this category than many other Arab peers, including Bahrain (#50), Saudi Arabia (#52), Morocco (#69), Algeria (#98), Lebanon (#100), Libya (#104), Jordan (#110), Palestine (#133), and Yemen (#162).

Fixed-broadband packages are considerably less affordable in Egypt, averaging at 3.0% of GNI pc or USD 7.06 per month. Mobile-voice baskets are the most affordable ICT services available in the country at 0.4% of GNI for an entry-level basket, according to the report.

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Egypt in the News

It’s a busy but mixed day for Egypt in the international press this morning. Coverage of Egypt’s “#MeToo moment” from the Associated Press is getting wide pickup, and US Democratic presidential candidate-in-waiting Joe Biden took a swipe at Egypt on Twitter after the release and repatriation of Egyptian-American Mohamed student and activist Mohamed Amashah, whose story got some ink from CNN.

A spate of stories looks at covid in Egypt, including Reuters writing of the impact of a permanent ban on late-night dining and shopping (building on measures imposed during the lockdown) and the AP talking about Cairenes delivering home-cooked meals to people with covid-19 — a sign there is some good left out there. Sudanese migrants in Egypt are struggling as perhaps a quarter of them have lost jobs and nearly half have had working hours cut thanks to the pandemic, Reuters reports, while the AP notes that journalist Mohamed Monir has died of covid after being released from pretrial detention at age 65. Monir was arrested after appearing on Islamist mouthpiece Al-Jazeera.

Meanwhile, The National notes that “alternative formulas” have fallen flat in GERD talks.

Antiquities in the spotlight: Two mummies found in Taposiris Magna Temple near Alexandria may be the final clues needed to find Cleopatra’s tomb, reports the Guardian, while Art News picks up on a BBC News Arabic investigation suggesting that the Tutankhamun exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery may have violated Egyptian antiquities laws.

Worth Listening

Enterprise After Hours, Episode 1: Rania Al Mashat: We sat down with International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat to discuss her career from her days at the Central Bank of Egypt, to her crisis management years at the Tourism Ministry, through to her current stint at the International Cooperation Ministry. With each new position, Al Mashat had a hand in managing turbulent and economically uncertain episodes in Egypt’s history between 2005 and the present day. Al Mashat highlights how covid-19 has played into’s Egypt’s 2030 vision and subsequently fast-tracked projects in health, transportation, and supporting SMEs to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic.

Tap or click here to listen to the episode on our website | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Anghami | Omny. We’re also available on Spotify, but only for non-MENA accounts.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Libya’s House of Representatives said it welcomes the intervention of Egypt’s armed forces to repel what it described as a Turkish invasion and safeguard the country’s national security and stability, in a statement on Monday. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Greece, and Cyprus have joined Egypt in calling on the UN not to recognize an MoU between Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) delineating maritime borders, according to the sate-owned MENA news agency.

We have new ambassadors: Moataz Zahran will head Egypt’s mission to Washington, DC, Alaa Youssef is bound for Paris and Mohamed Idris will be Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Mobtada reports, noting that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has signed off on the appointments. Zahran previously served as Egypt's ambassador to Canada, Youssef was a presidential spokesman from 2014 to 2017 before serving as Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN’s at its European headquarters in Geneva, while Idris previously served as Egypt's ambassador for Ethiopia.

El Sisi has accepted the credentials of new ambassadors from Russia (Georgiy Borisenko), Equatorial Guinea (José Esono Micha Akeng), Senegal (Ely Sy Beye), Tanzania (Anselm Shigongo Bahati), Bahrain (Hisham bin Mohammed Al-Jowder), and Latvia (Ilmārs Breidaks).

Infrastructure

Egypt to invest more than EGP 45 bn to build 47 seawater desalination plants before 2025

Egypt will invest more than EGP 45 bn to construct 47 seawater desalination plants over the next five years in a project that aims to strengthen water supply in underserved areas such as Sinai, the Red Sea, and Matrouh by producing 2.44 mn cbm of water per day, according to Mubasher.

Damietta Port’s second container terminal to be completed by Jan 2021

State-owned Damietta Container & Cargo Handling Company (DCHC) is set to complete the construction of Damietta Port’s second container terminal by January 2021 after renovation works were postponed due to covid-19, DCHC Chairman Alaa Ibrahim told Youm7. The port expansion will cost a total USD 500 mn and will lead to a 20-25% increase in the terminal’s capacity to reach 1.8 mn containers per year, he said. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will provide a USD 300 mn loan to finance the project which was approved by the Planning Ministry back in May.

Basic Materials + Commodities

Al Canal Sugar contracts El Deiab to reclaim 100k feddans in Egypt’s West Minya

Al Canal Sugar has contracted El Deiab for Land Reclamation to reclaim 100k feddans in West Minya as the first phase of its plans to reclaim 181k feddans, according to a statement (pdf). The company did not disclose the value of the agreement. Al Canal is setting up a USD 1 bn sugar beet processing facility in West Minya, which will reach its full capacity of 900k tonnes in 2022, according to the statement.

Egypt’s current wheat current reserves to meet 5-6 months of consumption

Current wheat reserves will support domestic consumption for the next five to six months, Supply Minister Wael Abbas told Reuters. Local farmers have so far contributed 3.5 mn tons of the staple, he said, adding that the supply season will be extended for an unspecified period past it's mid-July end date to allow farmers to provide what remains of their stocks.

Health + Education

Egypt’s Ibnsina Pharma launches phone app to allow pharmacists to place orders

Ibnsina Pharma has launched an app that will allow pharmacists to place and track orders, the company said in a regulatory filing (pdf). The app is available at no charge for Android users on the Google Play app store.

Real Estate + Housing

Karim Zein, Mohamed Seada acquire 20% of Coldwell Banker Egypt

Karim Zein and Mohamed Seada acquired a combined 20% stake in Coldwell Banker Egypt from former CEOs Mohamed Banany and Khaled Bahig, both of whom have stepped down, according to Hapi Journal. Zein and Seada also bought out businessman Youssef El Far. Zein has now become the firm's CEO and managing director, while Seada will serve as deputy CEO for developing strategies and supporting tools.

Ora Developers to participate in Maspero redevelopment -Sawiris

Ora Developers is looking to participate in the redevelopment of the Maspero Triangle in downtown Cairo, Chairman Naguib Sawiris told the local press. The company is waiting for the go-ahead from the Housing Ministry and the local authorities, which met last week to discuss development plans for the area. The New Urban Communities Authority was previously reported to have contracted Orascom Construction, Hassan Allam, Arab Contractors and Redcon develop residential towers in the area.

Automotive + Transportation

Uber launched luxury service Uber Black for trips starting at Cairo Airport

Uber is launching a new service, Uber Black, that offers transportation with top-rated drivers in upscale cars for trips starting at Cairo International Airport, according to a press release (pdf). The ride-hailing company is partnering with Abou Ghaly Motors for the service.

Hyundai delivers second batch of metro railcars

The second batch of railcars manufactured by Hyundai Rotem for Metro Line 3 has arrived in the country, according to a cabinet statement. The arrival of the rail cars comes as part of a EGP 6.36 bn agreement with the South Korean company to supply 32 rail cars for the line, and provide maintenance services for an eight-year period.

Banking + Finance

National Bank of Egypt arranges EUR 540 mn loan for Spinning and Weaving holding co.

The National Bank of Egypt has arranged a EUR 540 mn loan for state-owned Holding Company for Spinning and Weaving from two unnamed Italian and Swiss banks, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik tells Al Mal. Italy’s export credit agency SACE, Switzerland’s Export Risk Insurance SERV, and the Egyptian Finance Ministry will all guarantee the loan. The funding will be used to import new machinery.

NBE, Banque Misr among top 20 MENA banks for syndicated loans -Bloomberg

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr made Bloomberg’s 1H2020 league table for syndicated facilities in MENA, according to Hapi Journal. NBE ranked fourth on the list, having led 12 syndicated loans worth USD 2.095 bn during the first six months of the year, while Banque Misr came in sixth position, managing 11 transactions worth a combined USD 2.07 bn.

Other Business News of Note

FinMin purchasing new equipment to streamline customs clearance

The Finance Ministry is adding new equipment and laser scanners at entry points as part efforts to streamline customs procedures, minister Mohamed Maait said. The plan will see customs officials introduce pre-registration to cut red tape, which would reduce the time needed for clearance.

Legislation + Policy

El Sisi ratifies amendments to Egypt’s Central Depository Act

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has signed into law recently approved changes to the Central Depository Act, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette. The changes allow joint venture companies to obtain licenses from the Financial Regulatory Authority to provide clearing and depository services and permit the formation of new non-bank financial institutions to clear and settle securities.

MP proposes zero interest loans to small farmers

The government should provide interest-free loans to small farmers to support the agriculture sector through the covid-19 pandemic, an MP has proposed, according to Al Mal. MP Mahmoud Adel Shaalan, who is also a member of the House Agriculture Committee, called on Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and several cabinet ministers to do more to support the sector, which is under pressure from weak sales and high fuel prices.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.90 | Sell 16.00
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.89 | Sell 15.99
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.92 | Sell 16.02

EGX30 (Monday): 11,008 (-0.6%)
Turnover: EGP 1.9 bn (114% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -21.2%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.6%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 1.0%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Qalaa Holdings up 4.3%, AMOC up 3.8%, and Palm Hills up 2.4%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Egypt Kuwait Holding down 2.0%, Telecom Egypt down 1.8% and Sodic down 1.7%. The market turnover was EGP 1.9 bn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net short | EGP -84.4 mn
Regional: Net short | EGP -501.5 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP +585.9 mn

Retail: 48.8% of total trades | 48.9% of buyers | 48.7% of sellers
Institutions: 51.2% of total trades | 51.1% of buyers | 51.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 39.63 (-2.27%)
Brent: USD 42.28 (-2.22%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 1.73MMBtu, (-4.21%, August 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,806.20 / troy ounce (+0.24%)

TASI: 7,412 (-0.26%) (YTD: -11.65%)
ADX: 4,307 (-0.21%) (YTD: -15.15%)
DFM: 2,067 (-0.87%) (YTD: -25.21%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,661 (+0.44%)
QE: 9,297 (-0.42%) (YTD: -10.82%)
MSM: 3,497 (-0.18%) (YTD: -12.15%)
BB: 1,315 (+0.13%) (YTD: -18.32%)

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Calendar

14 July (Tuesday): Egyptian Private Equity Association webinar on the post-corona economy.

20-21 July (Sunday-Monday): Creative Industry Summit virtual edition.

23 July (Thursday): 23 July revolution anniversary, national holiday.

26 July (Sunday): Postponed court session for the lawsuit against Amer Group and Porto Group filed by Syria’s Antaradous for Touristic Development

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.

5 August (Wednesday): IHS Markit PMI for Egypt released.

11-12 August (Tuesday-Wednesday): Senate elections take place.

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

13-15 August (Thursday-Saturday): RiseUp from Home digital event. Pre-registration available here.

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

8-9 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Run-off Senate elections.

12 September (Saturday): Court session for Egyptian Resorts Company lawsuit against The Tourism Development Authority

15 September (Tuesday): 2019-2020 academic year ends for Egyptian universities.

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.

8 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Armed Forces Day.

23-31 October (Friday-Saturday): El Gouna Film Festival, El Gouna, Egypt.

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.

25 January 2021 (Monday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

28 January 2021 (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

4 February 2021 (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

18 March 2021 (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

12 April 2021 (Monday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

25 April 2021 (Sunday): Sinai Liberation Day.

29 April 2021 (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day.

29 April 2021 (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

3 May (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

6 May (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sham El Nessim.

12-15 May (Wednesday-Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

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

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

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