Sunday, 6 September 2020

Private sector recovery stalled in August –PMI

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the first full week of September, where the big question is suddenly: Is market sentiment turning negative after US stocks slumped on Thursday, setting off a wave of selling that swept developed markets from the US to Europe and Asia on Friday?

The US selloff on Thursday was led by the same tech stocks that led the ‘post-covid’ rally, the Wall Street Journal reports. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped nearly 5% while the S&P 500 lost 3.5%. Apple was the biggest loser of the session, seeing its market cap fall by USD 180 bn — the biggest single-day loss for a US-listed company ever. Another wave of selling on Friday saw the Nasdaq close down 3.3% for the week — its worst single-week performance since March, the Financial Times notes. European shares closed the day down 1.1% on Friday, CNBC says.

Finger on the scale? SoftBank has played a huge role in the pandemic-defying equity rally: Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank has ploughed bns of USD into US equity derivatives, fuelling the boom in tech stocks over the past few months, the Financial Times reports. One US hedge fund manager described the trades as “some of the biggest I’ve seen in 20 years of doing this … the flow is huge.”

No dotcom meltdown 2.0? “We continue to think that tech stocks will fare less well than most other sectors as the economic recovery continues, we don’t expect that a collapse in tech stocks will drag the entire market down for an extended period in the way that it did in 2000-02,” said Capital Economics’ Jonas Goltermann.

The open question: What does the selloff mean for the many tech IPOs now in the hopper, including Asana, Palantir, Snowflake, Ant Financial and (quite likely) Airbnb?

We’ll see today how the EGX responds and European shares will follow suit tomorrow, but we’ll have to wait until Tuesday to see what’s in story for US equities: The NYSE and Nasdaq are both closed tomorrow in observance of the US Labor Day holiday. Futures point to a dip at the opening bell.

US benchmark crude futures also tumbled on Friday, dropping almost 4% to see oil post its worst week since June and close below USD 40 / bbl for the first time in a month, Bloomberg reports. Saudi oil giant Aramco has cut prices of October shipments to Asia and the US, indicating that the world’s biggest producer is expecting demand to fall back in the coming weeks.


SAT and SAT Subject Tests have been canceled indefinitely in Egypt due to “persistent test security incidents,” nonprofit organization College Board — which develops and administers the SATs — announced in a recent email. The exams will be canceled immediately through June 2021 at least, covering the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. The decision follows repeated breaches despite additional security measures, leading to numerous cancellations of SAT tests and results, College Board said. The SATs are required examinations for students applying for undergraduate university admission and scholarships, particularly in the US.

CORRECTION- September 8, 2020

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that the announcement about SAT cancellations came from nonprofit organization ETS. 

Education Minister Tarek Shawky confirmed the news during an interview with Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa last night, during which he revealed that the exams were cancelled after the questions were leaked (watch, runtime: 25:22). The ministry has approved the ACT test for American diploma students, which can be taken instead of the SAT, he said, adding that the ACT is an electronic test which reduces the chances of it being leaked online (watch, runtime: 25:22).

Another blow to 2020 high school graduates: How will this impact the 2020 cohort of university applicants remains to be seen. 2020 IGCSE applicants have already seen exam cancellations followed by an international tussle over grading, with the value of their grades called into question, we reported last week. Students, along with parents and teachers, have expressed concern that these grades might jeopardize their university prospects.

Education will be a hot button issue this week as we should hear on Tuesday what the coming school year will look like for private national and public K-12 schools, Shawky said in a statement last week. The announcement is expected to cover safety requirements, how tuition will be handled, private tutoring, and use of online platforms.


We’re heading back to the polls this week: The remaining seats in the newly-constituted Senate will be decided in run-off elections taking place on 8-9 September. The first-round of voting last month saw 174 representatives elected to the 300-seat upper chamber. The presidency will appoint 100 of the remaining seats, leaving 26 to be decided by this week’s runoff.

Other key news triggers coming up this month:

  • Foreign reserves figures should out today or tomorrow;
  • Inflation data for August will be out on or around Thursday, 10 September;
  • Interest rate day falls on Thursday, 24 September when the central bank meets to discuss policy rates.

Flights to Cairo from Russia will resume “soonafter Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed agreements with Egypt to bring air travel back from the pandemic pause, Russian news outlet Sputnik’s Arabic service reported. Three direct weekly Russian flights should be added to Cairo Airport’s inbound schedule. Tourist flights between Cairo and Moscow resumed in April 2018 following a halt of over two years following the 2015 Metrojet crash. Charter flights to Red Sea destinations are yet to make a comeback.

Conferences taking place this month:

PSA- The capital city is going to see warm weather continue through Tuesday, with daytime highs of 36-37°C and overnight lows around 25°C, according to the Egyptian Meteorological Authority reports. South and central Sinai will also likely continue to see sporadic heavy showers.

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The Health Ministry reported 130 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 157 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 99,712 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 16 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 5,511. We now have a total of 77,208 confirmed cases that have fully recovered.

The recent spike is not necessarily a sign of a second wave: The week of 22-28 August saw a spike in cases, with 1,137 new cases reported, compared to the 844 cases reported the previous week. While this did not necessarily signal the start of a second wave, it serves as a reminder that citizens must remain vigilant, Health Minister Hala Zayed said.

Quarantine centers are now 84% empty, 84% of ventilators lie idle, but intensive care units for covid-19 are operating at 48% capacity, Zayed said in a covid-19 update during a cabinet meeting on Thursday. Data gathered on 8,203 patients confirmed that the virus impacted the respiratory system more than the digestive system. The sample also showed that those aged 60-69 were most likely to die from the disease, while only 1% of infected children under 10 ended in a fatality.

Uber has seen demand for ride-hailing reach 65% of its pre-covid level, Egypt general manager Ahmed Khalil said in an interview with Masrawy. He said he didn’t expect any further recovery in the short term and that the company is assessing the services it will provide in the coming period before making any decisions about raising prices.

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Initial trials of Russia’s Sputnik-V covid-19 vaccine show a “strong immune response,” with all of the 76 participants developing antibodies while showing no negative side effects, according to results published on Friday in the medical journal the Lancet. Phase 3 trials are still needed to ensure there aren’t any long-term safety concerns and issues with the effectiveness of the vaccine over time. Some 3k people have been recruited for the large-scale testing phase with the initial results expected to be published in October or November this year. Russia became the first country in the world to approve a vaccine against covid-19 for civilian use on 11 August, without finishing phase 3 trials.

Egypt has been in talks to locally manufacture the Russian vaccine while our homegrown vaccine is currently in a third phase of testing. Reuters, the New York Times and the Financial Times also have the story.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking to allocate 20% of the supply of any initial covid vaccine to Africa. The WHO is gunning for 230 mn doses of a covid-19 vaccine to be allocated to Africa’s frontline health workers and most vulnerable through COVAX, a global initiative working to distribute 2 bn doses by the end of 2021, Reuters reports.


US ELECTION WATCH- Donald Trump faces an angry backlash across the pond after an exclusive from The Atlantic — the headline says it all: Trump: Americans who died in war are ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’. The Trump camp has denied the story. Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Joe Biden has added former rival Pete Buttigieg and former Obama administration officials to his transition team, Reuters reports.

Dubai’s USD 2 bn sukuk issuance last week was 5x oversubscribed, the UAE’s WAM news Agency reports. The move follows a number of regional debt offerings that have garnered demand from yield-hungry international investors, including Abu Dhabi’s USD 5 bn issuance last month, and Egypt’s USD 2 bn financing package that was 1.75x oversubscribed. Look for more Egypt covid debt-related news in the Speed Round below.

The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize ties could be given legal “peace treaty” status, akin to the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt, the Times of Israel reports, citing a report by Israeli news site Walla, which notes that the UAE has agreed to the request. The two countries are set to sign a detailed agreement in a White House ceremony in the coming weeks.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

SATs exams, SFE in the spotlight on the airwaves last night: Head of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt Ayman Soliman dropped into El Hekaya while Education Minister Tarek Shawky discussed the cancellation of the SATs exams with Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa. We have the details in this morning’s Speed Round and What We’re Tracking Today.

Salah Diab arrest update: Moussa also gave an update on the arrest of Pico Group and Masry Al Youm founder Salah Diab, who faces charges of illegal appropriation of state land. Moussa noted that Diab’s detention has been extended for another 15 days and that he faces tax evasion charges to the tune of EGP 11.1 bn, the largest figure ever recorded (watch, runtime: 9:33).

How Sudan’s flooding benefits Egypt: El Hekaya’s Amr Adib also spoke with Irrigation Ministry spokesperson Mohamed El Sibai, who said that water management at the Aswan High Dam could allow Egypt to benefit from floods in Sudan that raise water levels in Lake Nasser. He also touched on the last round of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam talks, lamenting the lack of progress on the same sticking points of the dam’s filling and operation schedule (watch, runtime: 2:35), (watch, runtime: 1:08), (watch, runtime: 1:25).

Speed Round

The recovery of Egypt’s non-oil private sector stalled in August despite growth in output and demand, according to IHS Markit PMI figures (pdf). The index had reached a one-year high of 49.6 in July as business conditions rebounded following the covid-19 lockdown but fell back fractionally to 49.4 last month amid continued job losses, IHS Markit said. A reading above 50.0 indicates expansion and below, contraction.

Output, demand rise for the second month running: Output and new orders rose for the second consecutive month in August, albeit at a slightly weaker rate than July. Some businesses told the survey that demand has yet to return to pre-covid levels and that sales continue to underperform. “This suggests that many firms are still finding business conditions though, despite the relaxation of many covid-19 related restrictions,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.

But tourism was a bright spot: Tourism and hospitality also seem to have picked up more steam in August, with foreign customer demand rising at its quickest pace in nearly three years, in part due to the reopening of tourist sites which increased visitor numbers to Egypt.

Employment drops for 10th consecutive month: August saw a “solid” drop in employment as companies cut jobs due to low workloads, dragging the headline index down. This was the 10th straight month of job losses. “Consumer demand remains weak, with new business picking up at only tentative rates in both July and August. As a result, employment levels were not sustained,” said Owen.

Output prices rose for the first time in 10 months, as input costs continued to rise. Higher price tags for medical equipment and disinfectants were drivers of the overall rise in input prices. Despite this, inflation slowed slightly from July but remained “solid.” Wage costs grew at their quickest rate in six month, but only “mildly.”

The amount of outstanding work increased for the fourth successive month, driven by job cuts, import delays and liquidity problems at some companies.

Sentiment takes a hit: Sentiment on output over the coming 12 month was down “considerably” from July’s 29-month high, hitting its lowest level since May. This caused firms to further reduce purchases, Owen said. A higher proportion of companies, however, still see things improving, hoping that the worst of the pandemic is now over.

Egypt’s economy grew 3.5% in FY2019-2020, falling short of the 3.8% preliminary figure announced in July, Planning Minister Hala El Said said during Thursday’s weekly cabinet meeting. The figure is also in line with government forecasts in June, but was far from the 5.8% pre-covid target. Growth would’ve fallen short of 2% if the government hadn’t intervened to support the economy, El Said added.

Surprise, surprise: The slowdown in growth was concentrated in the final quarter (April-June 2020) as the country’s tourism and manufacturing sectors came under pressure amid the partial lockdown of the economy. Still, many sectors grew in that timeframe, including logistics, real estate, agriculture, healthcare, education, and oil refining, El Said said.

Unemployment on a downward trend? El Said said that the unemployment rate began to drop towards the end of the quarter as the economy began to gradually reopen, but didn’t provide a figure. Figures released last month showed unemployment rising to its highest levels in almost two years in the three months ending June 2020, hitting 9.6% compared to 7.5% a year earlier.

DEBT WATCH- NBE signs EUR 800 mn agreement with EIB for SME financing: The National Bank of Egypt has signed a EUR 800 mn financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to fund SMEs that have been impacted by covid-19, International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat announced, according to a cabinet statement. The EIB funding comes as part of a larger EUR 1.9 bn financing package agreed to earlier this year that has seen the bank designate EUR 1.1 bn in loans towards public transportation infrastructure and the remaining EUR 800 mn in finance to help SMEs weather the impact of covid-19.

INVESTMENT WATCH- SFE to invest EGP 30 bn in desalination build-up: The Sovereign Wealth Fund of Egypt (SFE) has been charged with funneling EGP 30 bn in investments towards the first phase of the government’s EGP 134.2 bn plan to build desalination plants across the country, Planning Ministry statement quotes SFE CEO Ayman Soliman as saying. The SFE will back the plants through its new infrastructure sub-fund announced last week. The first phase will see 47 desalination plants with an output 1.4 mn cf/d built by 2025 at a total cost of EGP 45 bn. All six phases of the plan aim to generate 6.4 mn cbm/d of water.

SFE given more assets for Khedival Cairo project: The SFE’s joint redevelopment of Old Cairo with the private sector — dubbed the Khedival Cairo project — got a further boost after the inclusion of the Mogamma El Tahrir building, the downtown Interior Ministry headquarters, and the former HQ of the now-defunct National Democratic Party by presidential decree.

The fund is currently studying turning the Mogamma or part of it into a hotel, Soliman told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib last night (watch, runtime: 12:34). This is the second time the state has transferred assets to the SFE, after EGP 17.5 bn worth of monuments and buildings were placed under the fund’s care last year, including a conference hall in Nasr City and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

INVESTMENT WATCH- LG Egypt to invest USD 50 mn in manufacturing over the coming three years: LG Egypt is planning to invest some USD 10 mn this year to boost its household appliance manufacturing capabilities in addition to committing USD 40 mn over the next three years to add new product lines and spare part manufacturing to its existing Tenth of Ramadan facilities, said General Authority for Investment and Freezones (GAFI) head Mohamed Abdel Wahab during a meeting with LG Egypt’s managing director Billy Kim last week. LG Egypt is looking to up its production capabilities to manufacture television screens, refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens as well as positioning its Egypt unit towards becoming a spare parts production hub for the Middle East and North Africa.

EGX names seven companies on its D-list: The EGX has placed seven companies on its naughty list of stocks that could face delisting over non-compliance with listing and disclosure rules, the EGX said in a statement on Thursday. Egyptian Starch & Glucose and Modern Waterproofing (Bitumode) were both listed as they failed to delist after a majority stake acquisition. The National Egyptian Drilling & Petroleum Services Company, El Kahera El Watania Investment (KWIN), and Osool ESB have been put on the list for falling short the minimum requirement of free-floating shares, while Incolease was named due to falling below the minimum shareholders requirements. Rowad Misr Tourism Investment was put on the list for both reasons, along with losing the minimum requirement for the number of listed shares (the EGX listing rules (pdf) stipulate that listed companies must have at least 300 shareholders, 5 mn shares, and 5% free floating shares). The exchange introduced the D-list last month for companies who fail to comply with the regs.

The Export Subsidy Fund will dole out EGP 400 mn in export subsidies this month after inking 35 new agreements with exporters to disburse EGP 2 bn in subsidy arrears, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a statement yesterday. This brings the total number of agreements signed with exporters since December to 153, which will be paid EGP 12 bn over five equal installments.

Another 12 companies will receive their second installments today, totalling EGP 253 mn, Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea said in a separate statement. The first installments, amounting to EGP 291 mn, were paid out in December, she said. The fund paid out EGP 1.14 bn in subsidies during July and August, she added. The government has earmarked some EGP 7 bn in its FY2020-2021 budget to pay off arrears it has owed exporters since 2012. The fund paid out EGP 6 bn in overdue subsidies to 1,667 companies during FY2019-2020.

Background: 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. The government has said it is committed to doling out at least 30% of the arrears it owes to exporters this year, with each company receiving at least EGP 5 mn.

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Egyptian-Chinese consortium wins Ain Sokhna-Alamein high-speed rail contract: An Egyptian-Chinese consortium has won a tender for the design, finance and operate a high-speed train linking Ain Sokhna and New Alamein, Al Mal reports, citing an unnamed source. The consortium includes Samcrete, Arab Organization for Industrialization, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, and China Railway Construction Corporation.

Background: The 534-km line will accommodate both cargo and passenger trains and will pass through the new capital, Sixth of October City and Alexandria, making the line the longest in the Middle East. The USD 9 bn project would be Egypt’s first high-speed train linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, with journeys taking just three hours. The Transport Ministry had also considered extending the line by an additional 350 km connecting Ain Sokhna to Hurghada.

CABINET WATCH- Gov’t extends timeline to privatize electricity sector by two years: The Madbouly Cabinet has extended by two years the timeline of the state’s transition from sole player in the electricity market to a regulator, while separating power generation from transmission and distribution, according to a cabinet statement on Thursday. The original 2015 bill had given the state’s electricity companies eight years to complete the transition to market regulator by 2023. This will now be extended to 2025.

Step #1: Lots of work for consultants and lawyers. The only specific changes named in the statements are instructions for the Egypitan Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) to untangle joint assets and subsidiaries among themselves, so that the EETC can be restructured as the market regulator, Electricity Ministry spokesman Ayman Hamza told Enterprise. For example, EEHC had obtained loans in the past before the EETC became an independent company, so these loans will have to be restructured to be paid by the EETC instead of EEHC. Both companies would then have to prepare studies on the sector’s project pipeline in generation and transmission, including the timeline for implementing the grid interconnection projects with our neighbors. The EETC had been made an independent authority ahead of its designation as the market regulator.

A host of changes are coming to the electricity sector as part of the long-term vision of privatizing it, as we noted in the most recent Hardhat. This involves getting the ball rolling on our export of electricity and reworking the pipeline of electricity projects to relieve the electricity capacity glut that is hindering private sector expansion. New contracting frameworks will be implemented and tenders will be offered to the private sector across the entire value chain of electricity.

In other cabinet news: Ministers approved draft legislation to establish a new agency for administering repatriated funds that would be chaired by the finance minister. The new agency would be the sole administrator of all funds repatriated to the state, including funds seized per court rulings.

If you were hoping diesel cars would be included in the EU customs trade agreement, forget about it: Imports of diesel and semi-diesel-powered 1500-1600cc passenger cars from the European Union are not part of the zero-customs trade agreement we signed with the EU, which saw customs on EU imports fall gradually to zero as of last year. Gomaa Madany, head of customs treatment and clearance at the Trade and Industry Ministry, made the clarification in a letter picked up by Al Mal.

Greece wants Turkey to end EastMed power play for dialogue to begin: Greece is demanding Turkey agree to certain “preconditions” for talks between both countries over a divide in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday, according to Reuters. The PM’s comments come as Athens is insisting that Turkey remove its navy from contested waters.

Turkey demands “no threats,” issues its own: Turkey had agreed to talks with Greece but “without threats” or provisions, and said the Greek government had refused an offer by EU High Representative Josep Borrell to attend a meeting with Turkey, according to the Reuters report. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Greece on Saturday to enter talks over the disputed territory or face the consequences, the Associated Press reports. “They’re either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences,” Erdogan said. “They are going to understand that Turkey has the political, economic and military power to tear up the immoral maps and documents imposed,” Erdogan added, referring to Greek and Cypriot offshore economic zones.

Turkey’s recent escalation follows Greece’s ratification of the maritime demarcation agreement with Egypt. The EU could discuss sanctions on Turkey at its next summit on 24 September should efforts to reach a diplomatic solution fail.

Russia entering the fray? The Russian military will begin naval drills in the region on Tuesday, with live-fire exercises between 8-22 and 17-25 September, the Turkish navy said, according to Bloomberg. “We do have strong economic and defense ties with Turkey but our policy is to avoid backing either side,” Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said. Russia’s appearance in the region follows another display by global superpower France, which has recently deployed a warship and fighter jets to support Greece and Cyprus in the dispute.

MOVES- Chairman of the Egyptian Resorts Company (ERC) Hussein Mohamed Abu Seada stepped down from his position at the company on Wednesday, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). Abu Seada will continue to hold the position in the interim until the board of directors selects a new chairman to replace him.

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Egypt in the News

Rights issues continue to dominate the conversation on Egypt in the international press this morning, led by a Wall Street Journal piece that covers the Fairmont [redacted] assault incident. and a Reuters piece on the #MeToo movement in Egypt. Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for the release of Youm7 editors Hany Greisha and El-Sayed Shehta.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Topping diplomatic coverage this morning: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi welcomed the EU’s top diplomat to Cairo and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held talks with his UAE, Bahrain counterparts.

Top EU diplomat visits Egypt, discusses everything from EastMed to Libya to water politics: The political settlement in Libya and de-escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean were the two main topics President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed in a meeting with Josep Borrell, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs, who was in Cairo over the weekend. They also discussed a political settlement in Libya and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute, Ittihadiya said in a statement.

EastMed also on the agenda in Egypt-UAE meeting: Shoukry discussed the escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean with Emirati FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayhan on Friday, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

Shoukry also discussed the situations in Libya and Palestine with his Bahraini counterpart in Cairo yesterday, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Medical diplomacy: Egypt has sent a “large quantity” of medical supplies and sanitizing products to Iraq, to help the country in its battle with the pandemic, an Armed Forces statement said on Saturday. Egypt is also sending USD 4 mn of medical aid to some 30 African countries to help with their battle against covid-19, a Foreign Ministry statement said, without providing additional details.

Real Estate + Housing

City Edge seeks EGP 1.2 bn loan to develop Etapa Square

City Edge Developments is looking to borrow a combined EGP 1.2 bn from the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr to develop its Etapa Square project in Sheikh Zayed, which is expected to cost EGP 4 bn in total, CEO Mohamed Makkawy told Al Shorouk, without providing additional details.

Tourism

Hilton to open in Ain Sokhna in 2024

Misr Italia Properties will deliver the first phase of the EGP 2.4 bn Kai Sokhna real estate project this November, which will house the first Hilton hotel in Ain Sokhna, according to a Hilton press release (pdf). The 200-room Hilton Ain Sokhna hotel is set to open in 2024.

Egypt Politics + Economics

Mohamed El Sayed removed from State Council following corruption allegations

State Council (Maglis Al Dawla) member Mr. Justice Mohamed El Sayed has been removed from his post by President Abdel Fatah El Sisi following a disciplinary hearing in June that looking into allegations of corruption, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

Sports

Egypt to face Sweden, Czech Republic in 2021 World Handball Championship group stage

Egypt will face Sweden, the Czech Republic and an as-yet undetermined team from South and Central America in the group stage of the 2021 World Handball Championships, Masrawy reports. Egypt will host the tournament, which runs 13-31 January.

On Your Way Out

Looks like someone at the EFA is going to be looking for a new job: The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) discovered that several trophies were stolen from its storage room as the EFA was renovating its headquarters to include a museum at the entrance, according to a statement. It has since opened an investigation and believes the trophies could have been stolen in 2013 when angry fans looted and set fire to the headquarters. One of the trophies missing is an original African Cup of Nations that Egypt was permanently awarded after three consecutive triumphs in 2006, 2008 and 2010, according to BBC. Kingfut and Goal have also picked up the story.

Former agriculture minister Youssef Waly passed away on Saturday morning, aged 89, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Waly served as agriculture minister from 1984-2004 and was deputy prime minister and deputy chairman of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.76 | Sell 15.86
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.77 | Sell 15.87
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.78 | Sell 15.88

EGX30 (Thursday): 11,180 (-0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 1.1 bn (1% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -19.92%

THE MARKET ON THURSDAY: The EGX30 ended Thursday’s session down 0.3%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 0.03%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were CIRA up 2.3%, Kima up 1.0%, and Ezz Steel up 0.6%. Thursday’s worst performing stocks were Juhayna down 2.0%, Telecom Egypt down 2.0% and Orascom Development down 1.5%. The market turnover was EGP 1.1 bn, and local investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net short | EGP -40.3 mn
Regional: Net short | EGP -21.0 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP +61.3 mn

Retail: 76.0% of total trades | 78.5% of buyers | 73.5% of sellers
Institutions: 24.0% of total trades | 21.5% of buyers | 26.5% of sellers

WTI: USD 39.77 (-3.87%)
Brent: USD 42.66 (-3.20%)

Natural Gas (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.59 MMBtu, (+4.06%, October 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,934 / troy ounce (-0.18%)

TASI: 8,045 (+0.40%) (YTD: -4.10%)
ADX: 4,552 (+0.11%) (YTD: -10.32%)
DFM: 2,282 (+1.02%) (YTD: -17.44%)
KSE Premier Market: 5,865 (-0.16%)
QE: 9,836 (+0.25%) (YTD: -5.65%)
MSM: 3,746 (-0.61%) (YTD: -5.90%)
BB: 1,410 (+0.85%) (YTD: -12.42%)

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Calendar

September: The Egyptian Federation for Securities will hold elections for its board of directors after they were postponed in March due to the lockdown.

September: The General Authority for Investment (GAFI) will host a virtual meeting with the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and some 120 German companies to discuss investment prospects in Egypt.

3 September (Thursday): Details on the establishment of Egypt’s commodity exchange to be announced.

5-9 September (Saturday-Wednesday): China International Fair for Trade-In Services (CIFTIS), Beijing National Convention Center, China. Registration can be found here.

8 September (Tuesday): The Education Ministry will announce what the school year will look like for both private and public schools.

8 September (Tuesday): Online Egyptian-Bahraini Businessmen Association meeting to discuss mutual trade and investment opportunities.

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

9 September-25 October: KLM to run passenger flights to Cairo for the first time since 2017.

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

14 September (Monday): Postponed EU-China summit in Leipzig to be held as a video conference, focus on trade.

14-15 September (Monday-Tuesday): The Chemical Industries Export Council will organize a virtual conference to discuss export options for Egyptian chemical exporters in Kenya and Uganda.

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

Mid-September: Proposed time slot for UAE-Israel normalization agreement signing ceremony which will be held in Washington, US.

15-16 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

16 September (Wednesday): The last day for the final results of the senate elections to be announced.

20 September (Sunday): A Cairo administrative court is due to issue a ruling in a third-party lawsuit demanding the government block YouTube in Egypt for carrying an allegedly sacreligious video. The case is an infamous 2012-vintage lawsuit still wending its way through the courts.

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

24 September (Thursday): The European Union will discuss imposing sanctions on Turkey to limit the country’s ability to expand its search for oil and gas in contested eastern Mediterranean waters.

27 September (Sunday): Former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali to be retried on charges he squandered public funds in a case related to the printing of coupons for butane canisters.

End of September: Last chance to settle building code violations for illegal buildings.

Late October or November: Voters head to the polls to elect a new House of Representatives. Election dates still TBD.

1 October (Thursday): House of Representatives reconvenes for its sixth and final legislative session before elections for the house later in October or November.

4 October (Sunday): Senate convenes for its first session.

6 October (Tuesday): Armed Forces Day.

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

17 October (Saturday): 2020-2021 academic year begins for K-12 students at state schools and students in public universities.

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.

2 November: Former Civil Aviation Minister Ahmed Shafik faces retrial at Cairo Court of Appeals in so-called Aviation Ministry corruption case.

4-5 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Open Market Committee will hold its two-day policy meeting to review the interest rate.

4-7 November (Wednesday-Saturday): Cityscape Egypt Expo, International Exhibition Center, Cairo

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

15 November (Sunday): Egyptian Tax Authority’s online intro seminar on new electronic invoice system for first tranche of companies transitioning to e-filing program.

1 December (Tuesday): The IMF will conduct a first review of targets set under the USD 5.2 bn standby loan approved in June (proposed date).

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.

13-31 January (Wednesday-Sunday): Egypt will host the 2021 Men’s Handball World Championship at the Giza Pyramids

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

26-28 January (Tuesday-Thursday): Future Investment Initiative, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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 2021 (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

6 May 2021 (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sham El Nessim.

12-15 May 2021 (Wednesday-Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

1 June 2021 (Tuesday): The IMF will conduct a second review of targets set under the USD 5.2 bn standby loan approved in June 2020 (proposed date).

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

26-29 June 2021 (Saturday-Tuesday): The Big 5 Construct Egypt, Cairo International Convention Center

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

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