Monday, 12 October 2020

Beltone SME looks to raise EGP 1 bn fund by end of 2021


What We’re Tracking Today

Mondays are typically the quietest news day of the week, and today is no exception. So a pro tip for those of you out there with news to break: Liven up our Mondays by feeding us a big, juicy news tip on a Thursday or Sunday, please? Pretty please?

Food for thought as this covid thing continues: “Work can feel tough for everyone right now, but the right thoughtful gestures from the boss can give employees the boost they need,” the Wall Street Journal suggests. Whether you’re a boss working from home, on some kind of hybrid system or just dealing with the covid-in-fall blues, this one is worth reading.

The IMF and World Bank’s (virtual) annual meetings kick off later today and run until Sunday 18 October. The meetings, headlined “supporting a resilient recovery,” will also focus on human capital, digital development, and poverty. Look for a coordinated response to covid-19 to be on the agenda.

World Bank boss David Malpass praised Egypt’s effort to mitigate economic fallout from covid-19, including our EGP 100 bn stimulus package, during an introductory event ahead of the meetings, reports Ahram Online.

The meetings come as the global economy’s recovery from the covid-19 shock is both frail and uneven, with emerging economies faring significantly worse than advanced economies, according to the latest Brookings-FT Tiger index. Economic data from around the world is now weaker than it has been at any previous recession since the index started tracking global economic recovery, says the Financial Times. This “precarious outlook” will likely be the predominant theme of the annual meetings.

Keep an eye out for the October update of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook, which is due to be released in full tomorrow.

On a related note: Look for corporate earnings in major western markets to be in the tank as we kick off 3Q earnings season. The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal are putting lipstick on the proverbial pig as they cheer projected earnings declines that are just slightly better than originally forecast.

And it could get worse as we gird for the return of the Zombie apocalypse in a new guise: Axios quite presciently warns that market watches should be prepared for a wave of US bankruptcies and insolvencies when the Trump administration and the Federal Reserve withdraw their covid measures. Zombie firms kept on life support by emergency fiscal and monetary policies are going to come under plenty of pressure.

TRIAL BALLOON- Egyptian citizens may be required to show proof of health insurance when applying for a passport after Financial Regulatory Authority Deputy Chairman Reda Abdel Moaty floated the idea at the Regional Forum for Medical Insurance and Healthcare that kicked off yesterday, according to Hapi Journal. Insurance would have to be proven valid for the entire period a passport is valid, under Abdel Moaty’s proposal.

The foreign ministers of Jordan and Iraq will be in town tomorrow for talks with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on unspecified agreements signed in Amman last August, Iraqi state news agency Assabah reported. The Iraqi delegation will also be sitting down with Egyptian officials to organize a meeting of Egypt and Iraq’s prime ministers in Baghdad soon.

Meanwhile, rival Libyan factions are due to wrap tomorrow political consultations here in Cairo on charting a “constitutional path” towards a political settlement and presidential and parliamentary elections in the civil war-torn country, according to a local press report and a report by the State Information Service. The talks pave the way for UN-led efforts to launch a Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, which will feature virtual meetings starting 26 October, and face-to-face talks next month in Tunisia.

Three direct Alexandria-Dubai flights are now on national flag carrier EgyptAir’s weekly flight schedule, Dubai’s airport said in a statement carried by Mubasher.

The Health Ministry reported 129 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 125 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 104,516 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 11 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 6,052. We now have a total of 97,688 confirmed cases that have fully recovered.

The virus that causes covid-19 can live for weeks on banknotes, glass, and other common surfaces, according to research by the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness picked up by Bloomberg. The virus remains infectious on these surfaces for 28 days, compared to 17 days for the virus that causes the regular flu. The research also found that warm temperatures kill the virus faster — just in time for the winter season.

Inhaled covid-19 vaccines may prove superior to injections: Researchers in the US, UK, and Hong Kong are developing inhaled vaccines as a potentially more effective covid-19 treatment than conventional jabs, according to Bloomberg. The theory is that by targeting the nose and mouth, inhaled vaccines stand a better chance of preventing infection than injections, which scientists still aren’t sure can protect people from the virus.


The year’s biggest banking M&A just happened in KSA: Saudi’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) agreed to buy out rival Samba Financial Group for USD 15 bn, according to Bloomberg. NCB will now be the Gulf’s third-largest lender with more than USD 220 bn in assets and a market capitalization of USD 46 bn.

iSheep will be looking forward to the unveiling of as many as four new iPhones at Apple’s virtual “Hi, Speed” event tomorrow, which you can stream live here. Expect it to be the “most significant iPhone event in years,” CNBC says. Meanwhile, Nikon and Fujifilm are unveiling mirrorless cameras this week: Nikon’s much-awaited ZG II and Z7 II cameras should make their debut on Wednesday and Fujifilm’s X-S10 midrange mirrorless camera — which was leaked over the weekend — will also be unveiled this week.

And for the squash geeks among you: The CIB Egyptian Squash Open, which kicked off on Saturday, runs until next Saturday at the New Giza Sporting Club and the Pyramids of Giza. It’s the first “platinum” level tournament since the PSA World Tour returned after a six-month break thanks to covid-19. Check out coverage on The Squash Site as well as the Egyptian Squash Federation’s site.


Elsewhere in racket sports: Rafael Nadal won his 20th Grand Slam men’s singles title yesterday, beating Serbian rival Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros, reports Reuters. The Spanish star — widely hailed as the king of clay courts — is now tied with Roger Federer for major tennis titles after handing a resounding defeat to Djokovic at the French Open.

Also from planet sports: The LA Lakers beat the Miami Heat yesterday to clinch the 2020 NBA Championship title — their 17th championship to date and their first NBA title since 2010. Yesterday’s win ties the Lakers with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA titles in the league’s history. LeBron James was also named the NBA Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career.


*** It’s Blackboard day: We have our weekly look at the business of education in Egypt, from pre-K through the highest reaches of higher ed. Blackboard appears every Monday in Enterprise in the place of our traditional industry news roundups.

In today’s issue: We look at the regulations and resources that Egypt needs for its push towards fully-online degrees to be successful.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The country’s ballooning population and its effect on development led the conversation on the airwaves last night after Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly addressed the topic at a cultural symposium. The rate of population growth has far outpaced the rate of urban development over the past 70 years, Madbouly noted. While Egypt’s population has increased 400% between 1950 and 2020 (from 19 mn to 101 mn), the country’s inhabited area has barely doubled over the same period, which has led to soaring density in settled areas, the prime minister said (watch, runtime: 1:28).

The disparity between population growth and urban development rates is a result of a lack of strategy to handle the shifting demographics for years, which has in turn increased the strain on the country’s economic resources to keep up with the current situation, Deputy Health Minister Tarek Tawfik told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal. Tawfik stressed that government investments in infrastructure must be increased to keep up with population growth levels (watch, runtime: 19:49).

Also from the symposium: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi spoke about the government’s efforts to raise citizens’ standard of living, and warned viewers that Egypt has “enemies” who are trying to destabilize the country by sowing dissatisfaction among its people (watch, runtime: 4:49). Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Mousa took note of the president’s speech (watch, runtime: 2:03).

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails were also a major talking point on the airwaves last night after current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this week he would release them to the public just weeks ahead of the presidential election. Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi noted that the move is a political maneuver to boost US President Donald Trump’s ratings (watch, runtime: 6:15). El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 14:14), and Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 4:23) also took note of the saga.

Elsewhere, authorities decided to demolish an Andalusian lighthouse in Alexandria’s Agami to make way for a five-lane bridge as a means of reducing congestion, Alexandria Governor Mohamed El Sherif told Lamees. Although the decision was met with criticism, the lighthouse is not a heritage site or cultural monument, having been built just two decades ago, El Sherif stressed (watch, runtime: 5:49).

Speed Round

Beltone SME will launch a EGP 1 bn investment fund by the end of 2021, Beltone Financial Holding CEO Ibrahim Karam told Al Mal. The fund will spend the next year lining up commitments from investors and has already logged interest from both local and international institutions, Karam said. Beltone SME, set up in April, offers a revenue-based financing scheme for SMEs. It is currently working on financing 3-4 SMEs operating in the agricultural and industrial sectors, and aims to increase its capital to EGP 100 mn in the coming year.

Beltone SME is one of three non-banking financial services arms for which the parent company received licenses this year. These include its consumer finance arm Bel Cash, which is targeting a EGP 400 mn portfolio, and a financial leasing company eyeing a first-year portfolio of EGP 600 mn. Beltone expects non-banking financial services to contribute 30-40% of its revenue over the next three years. Beltone has been in search of new revenue streams after making losses for the past 2.5 years.

Check out our interview with Beltone SME co-founder and CEO Yehia Ashour as part of our Work From Home Routine series here.

M&A WATCH- El Saidy Tobacco has acquired Americana Egypt subsidiary International Tobacco, Prime Holding — which managed the transaction and acted as Americana’s financial advisor — said in a press release (pdf). El Saidy Tobacco’s CEO Hamada El Far said the acquisition of International and its ElHennawi Tobacco brand represented “a strong addition” to the company’s portfolio. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. El Saidy, which employs some 2.5k workers, set up shop in Mansoura 15 years ago and has a second factory in Menofia.


M&A WATCH- Six buyers are reportedly bidding for a stake in Makkasa Sport, the owner of Misr Lel Makkasa Sporting Club, the local press reports. Makkasa Sport Chairman Amr Mostafa Kamel, whose resignation last week is still under consideration, has made an offer through his company I Friends Sport to buy 100% of the company for EGP 100 mn and take on its EGP 80 mn in debt. Other bidders reportedly include an unnamed Emirati-British company and an unnamed Kuwaiti investor, each of which are believed to be making bids in the EGP 50 mn range. At least two other Egyptian groups are also said to be in the running, the report claims.

Sale within a month? Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry (MCDR), which owns 71% of the company, could make a decision on the sale within a month

Background: We had previously reported that both Turki Al Shikh (the Saudi investor and former owner of Egyptian club Pyramids FC) state-owned Estadat were also in the running to acquire part or all of MCDR’s stake in Makkasa Sport. MCDR subsidiary the International Project Management Company owns 14% of Makkasa Sport, while real estate developer Cairo Capital, Al Ahli for Development and Investment and a number of individual shareholders own the remaining 15%. MCDR abandoned its plans to IPO Makkasa Sport earlier this year in a bid to focus its strategy.

Speed Medical, Prime Speed to invest EGP 150 mn opening new branches through labs joint venture: Lab and diagnostic testing company Speed Medical (SPMD) and Prime Speed Medical Services — in which SPMD holds a 30% stake — are setting up a new lab outfit, Masr Labs Company for Medical Services, SPMD said in an EGX filing (pdf). The joint venture will invest EGP 150 mn to open 100 branches over the coming year, with an eye to increase its total branch count to 200 by 2022. Prime Speed and SPMD will each hold a 30% stake in the company while the remaining 40% will be placed with outside investors. SPMD is also planning to spend EGP 200 mn to increase its branch count to 200 by the end of 2022.

REGULATION WATCH- Insurance companies will now be required to hold 1% of assets in reserve after the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) yesterday introduced new capital requirements designed to protect insurers against risks associated with applying the new Egyptian Accounting Standards (EAS), the regulator said in a statement yesterday. Due to come into force between January and July 2021 (depending on the company’s fiscal year), the EAS 47 standard will require insurers to set aside more capital as loan loss provisions, a move that could potentially put pressure on companies’ balance sheets. To guard against this, the FRA has instructed insurers to hold reserves equivalent to 1% of assets and net profit reported in FY2019-2020. Insurers are expected to put aside EGP 1.2 bn in reserves as a result of the changes.

New capital requirements coming for other NBFS? The regulator is looking at ways to manage the risks associated with the EAS for other non-banking financial services activities, the statement said without providing further details.

In other insurance news: State-owned Misr Insurance is in the final stretch of setting up a new financial leasing and factoring arm as it looks to expand into other non-banking financial services, Misr Insurance chairman Basil El Hini told Hapi Journal.

Annual core inflation rose to 3.3% in September from 0.8% in August, while monthly core inflation rose to 0.1% from -2.3% the previous month, the Central Bank of Egypt said yesterday (pdf). Core inflation strips out volatile items such as food and fuel. We reported in more detail yesterday the headline figures released by Capmas over the weekend.

STARTUP WATCH- Egyptian delivery startup Dreevo has secured a six-figure USD pre-seed investment from EF Logistics, allowing it to launch operations yesterday in 22 of Egypt’s 27 governorates, the company announced in a statement. The startup will use the funds to expand its services in Egypt and enter new regional markets. Dreevo provides delivery services for e-commerce businesses through its app and website.

EARNINGS WATCH- Egypt Aluminum recorded EGP 1.67 bn of losses in FY2019-20, a year after turning a EGP 571 mn profit, the company said in an EGX filing, citing increased production costs, the appreciation of the EGP, and the global price on the London Metal Exchange. This comes a few days after the US imposed a 10.42% tariff on Egyptian aluminum imports after finding that exporters were engaging in dumping.

QNB AlAhli’s net profits fell 20% y-o-y in 3Q2020 to EGP 1.8 bn, according to the company’s financial statement (pdf). The bank recently said that covid-19 has “overshadow[ed]” its operations this year, pushing down its profits.

Zooba is as Egyptian as you can get: When Chris Khalifa founded Zooba, his goal was to bring global recognition to Egyptian street food without compromising its authenticity. First he had to overcome local suspicions that associated street food with poor hygiene, but today that vision pays off with seven branches across Cairo, a franchise agreement in the GCC, and a new restaurant in the heart of New York.

You already have a podcast player on your iPhone, or you can listen to the episode through our website (no download required). We’re also on Google Podcast | Anghami | Omny. Making It is on Spotify, but only for non-MENA accounts.

CLARIFICATION- Our story yesterday on Badia Impact Fund II landing a commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) could have been read as suggesting Badia has a mandate to invest in Israel. It does not. Israel is included in the EIB’s footprint (what it calls the “southern neighbourhood”), but Israel is not part of Badia’s mandate. We have since updated the story on our website.

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Egypt in the News

It’s a rather quiet morning for Egypt in the foreign press. Al Monitor writes that Ethiopia banning flights above GERD might further exacerbate tensions with Egypt, while the National takes note of social media commentary on the recent discovery of 59 sarcophagi, which the more superstitious among us believe could hold a curse.

Worth Watching

Wall Street is doubling down on China’s USD 47 tn financial market despite ongoing rhetoric to cut ties with Beijing: While the US and China are butting heads over technology and trade, Wall Street kingpins JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are going long on Beijing, buying up office space and expanding their headcounts. Tempted by the largest untapped pool of capital in the world, the US financial institutions have become increasingly bullish on China since the signing of the phase one trade accord in January, which allowed foreign firms to manage funds for any investor and hold a majority stake in Chinese companies, explains WSJ Finance Jin Yang (watch, runtime: 05:16).

It’s not all smooth sailing: US firms have to compete with well-established Chinese firms, the top eight of whom have a 40% share in the domestic securities market. US firms also have to comply with restrictions such as a new cybersecurity law which requires foreign firms to keep clients data inside China, leaving them susceptible to Chinese government security checks as well as forcing them to balance a different set of data protection and ethics for clients at home versus in China. Then there’s the risk of following HSBC into the political crosshairs.


Egypt’s covid-19 shift to online learning is spurring a push towards online degrees. But more regulation and resources are needed for it to work. 2020’s widespread move to online and blended learning showed that Egyptian universities have the core infrastructure to launch online degrees, and is pushing the Higher Education Ministry to finalize regulation to allow this, education leaders tell Enterprise. Benefits include increasing open access to education, critical thinking among students, and university internationalization efforts, they say. But new assessment methods, clear regulation, and substantial resource mobilization are also required.

As of now, the Egyptian E-Learning University is the only Egyptian university offering online degrees in a limited range of subjects. EELU offers online undergraduate degrees in information technology and business administration and masters’ degrees in e-learning technology education and software engineering, according to its website. Hundreds of students have studied there since it was founded in 2008 as a private university, before being nationalized in 2018. Its courses are accredited by the Higher Education Ministry.

The lack of gov’t accreditation for online degrees beyond EELU has been one barrier to widespread implementation: Online degrees are part of AUC’s long-term strategic vision, but part of the hesitancy in implementing them is they’re not currently recognized in Egypt, says Aziza Ellozy, associate provost for transformative learning and teaching. “It would certainly be a big motivating factor to launch online programs in Egypt if they were accredited by the Egyptian government,” she adds.

But with covid-19 forcing learning online, launching online degrees is now a more urgent priority: The British University in Egypt (BUE) had to fully shift classes to online platforms during the pandemic, which proved the model could work, says Mohamed Eid, director of BUE’s Internationalization Office. “We’re very happy with what we achieved, and this meant we could start really considering online education as one way of delivering our degrees.”

Now the Higher Education Ministry is finalizing online degree regulations, with accreditation guidelines expected soon: The ministry is working to allow universities beyond EELU to offer online degrees, says Mohamed El Shinnawi, an advisor to the Higher Education Minister. In early June, it issued a regulatory amendment allowing universities to provide online assessment. Now, a committee is looking at how to regulate online undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Egyptian and international institutions and may issue guidelines for running accredited online degrees in the coming months, Shinnawi says. The committee is examining university profiles and rankings, the types of degree being offered, and their number of credit hours. Regulations will be wide-ranging, including what kind of platforms could be used, the means of delivery, caliber of teaching, and disciplines that can be studied, says Eid. They also have to cover things like technical challenges that could be faced in an online exam, says Shinnawi.

Having credible degrees from respected institutions is crucial: Online degrees can promote open education and access to knowledge, but some have more academic merit than others, says Shinnawi. “Not every online degree is credible, and if you just accredit all of them, it will be a mess.” An institution’s ranking and profile matters. “If the degree comes from Harvard or Oxford or NYU, these are very trustworthy bodies. But online degrees also come from places with less robust track records. We have to look carefully to see which degrees we really want to accredit for our students.”

Updating infrastructure is also important: Online degrees would depend on reliable internet access and robust infrastructure, so updating and upgrading systems is also a priority, says Shinnawi.

Private universities like AUC and the Universities of Canada in Egypt have started running online non-degree programs: AUC offers online non-degree programs in areas including sustainable development, journalism, and professional education for K-12 teachers, says Ellozy. UofCanada plans to launch some 8-10 professional development online non-degree programs in areas ranging from artificial intelligence to fashion design in 2021, says Hadia Abdel Aziz, associate dean of the Faculty of Business. Its parent university in Canada will primarily be responsible for course content and delivery, she says.

Online graduate degrees could be next: AUC doesn’t have plans to launch online undergraduate degrees yet, but graduate study is another story because the objectives for skill acquisition are different. “My guess is that we’ll start implementing online degrees at the graduate level in the next 2-4 years,” says Ellozy.

Advocates of online degrees hope they’ll enhance access and international reach: Running online degrees could allow BUE to reach more people in multiple locations and widen its international exposure, says Eid. Online degrees could increase access to quality education within Egypt among diverse groups, including students living in remote locations, students whose long commutes make in-person study difficult, or students with limited financial resources, says Abdel Aziz.

We can already see online learning increasing international exposure: The Higher Education Ministry has already embedded online learning into some of the new degrees it’s offering in partnership with international universities, says Shinnawi. “We call these international classes, rather than online classes, because the students could be interacting with professors based anywhere — in Louisville, in Arizona, in Birmingham in the UK,” he adds.

But is there a demand for online degrees among Egyptian students? Not really, say sources — though they expect this to change. The demand for online degrees in Egypt is still low, says Shinnawi. But diversifying the means of degree delivery is important to meet the growing demand for higher education, say Shinnawi and Eid. And once online degrees are established, they will prove popular because of the choice and flexibility they offer, Eid predicts.

Fairly assessing students is arguably the biggest challenge, because online and in-person assessment are so different, say multiple sources. Online tests also add extra pressure to overcome issues of tech infrastructure, cheating or plagiarism.

So online degrees will require a strategic shift towards assessment focused on evaluation and problem-solving, say Ellozy and Eid. Online quizzes, research projects, open-book exams with highly analytical questions, and presentations can all be used as creative alternatives to traditional in-person assessment, says Ellozy. But for online degrees to be effective, assessment based on how students use ideas, present alternative points of view, and defend opinions will become much more important than memorizing information, say Ellozy and Eid.

Cost also remains a big unknown: Online degrees could be very cost-effective, as the financial investment in getting them up and running is unlikely to exceed the cost of a regular degree, says Eid. But neither Ellozy nor Abdel Aziz are confident that costs will be less. Universities will need to invest in IT infrastructure, and if teaching staff need to give more time to individual students, there will be an increased demand on human resources, says Abdel Aziz.

There’s work to do before online degrees can be widely launched in Egypt, but if they prioritize quality and enhance accessibility they could be transformative. Egyptian students would benefit from increased access to information, exposure to multiple viewpoints through global connectivity, and the development of their critical faculties from new kinds of assessment — which well designed online degrees could offer, say multiple sources. They could be a highly interesting additional way to provide quality education, and are worth carefully researching and investing in, says Eid.

Your top education stories of the week:

  • Public schools opened their doors to students yesterday, while public universities are set to follow this coming Saturday, according to Youm7. Students will attend classes in shifts to limit crowding on campus.
  • Around 40% of public school students will be exempted from paying tuition while the rest can pay through installments, the Education Ministry said, according to Youm7.
  • The demand for stationery and school supplies dropped 30% this back to school season despite retailers offering discounts, head of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce’s Office Equipment Division Mostafa Khaled said, according to the local press.
  • The Education Ministry announced the winners of the Young Inventor and Enlightened Minds competitions where school students submitted technology projects such as a fire extinguishing robot and an environmentally friendly car filter, reports AMAY.
  • The EGX is working on a new financial literacy program geared towards enhancing university students’ knowledge of practical concepts in business and economics, Al Shorouk reports.

The Market Yesterday

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EGP / USD CBE market average: Buy 15.65 | Sell 15.75
EGP / USD at CIB: Buy 15.64 | Sell 15.74
EGP / USD at NBE: Buy 15.66 | Sell 15.76

EGX30 (Sunday): 11,360 (+0.3%)
Turnover: EGP 1.6 bn (42% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -18.6%

THE MARKET ON SUNDAY: The EGX30 ended Sunday’s session up 0.3%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 0.6%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Madinet Nasr Housing up 9.0%, Kima up 5.2%, and GB Auto up 4.9%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Orascom Construction down 1.8%, Ezz Steel down 1.4% and Eastern Company down 1.4%. The market turnover was EGP 1.6 bn, and foreign investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -7.5 mn
Regional: Net Long | EGP +136.2 mn
Domestic: Net Short | EGP -128.7 mn

Retail: 81.7% of total trades | 84.1% of buyers | 79.3% of sellers
Institutions: 18.3% of total trades | 15.9% of buyers | 20.7% of sellers

WTI: USD 40.60 (-1.42%)
Brent: USD 42.85 (-1.13%)

Natural Gas: (Nymex, futures prices) USD 2.74MMBtu, (+4.34%, November 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,926.20 / troy ounce (+1.64%)

TASI: 8,513.26 (+1.20%) (YTD: +1.48%)
ADX: 4,492.63 (-0.44%) (YTD: -11.49%)
DFM: 2,223.57 (+0.42%) (YTD: -19.58%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,433.73 (+0.96%)
QE: 10,001.15 (-0.31%) (YTD: -4.07%)
MSM: 3,590.79 (-0.37%) (YTD: -9.81%)
BB: 1,472.61 (+0.97%) (YTD: -8.54%)

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October: Trade and Industry Ministry allocates SMEs seven industrial complexes.

10-15 October (Saturday-Thursday): Turathna 2020 exhibition for traditional handicrafts, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

11-12 October (Sunday-Monday): Regional Forum for Medical Insurance and Healthcare, Cairo, Egypt.

12 October (Monday): The Egyptian Iron and Steel company general assembly would discuss demerging its mining and quarrying unit and restructure the company’s board of directors

12-18 October (Monday-Sunday): 2020 Virtual Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.

10-17 October (Saturday-Saturday): CIB Egyptian Squash Open, New Giza Sporting Club / Pyramids of Giza.

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

18 October (Sunday): A court will hold a postponed hearing to look into an unpaid claims lawsuit by Syria’s Antradous against Mansour Amer’s Amer Group and Porto Group.

18-22 October (Sunday-Thursday): The annual Cairo Water Week event — which will be semi- virtual this year — will be held under the slogan “Water Security for Peace and Development in Arid Regions”

21-23 October (Wednesday-Friday): Polls open to international voters for first round of Parliamentary elections in Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, Matrouh.

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

24-25 October (Saturday – Sunday) Polls open for first round of Parliamentary elections in Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, Matrouh.

29 October (Thursday): Prophet Mohamed’s birthday (TBC), national holiday.

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

November: Egypt will host simultaneously the International Capital Market Association’s emerging market, and Africa and Middle East meetings.

November: An Egyptian-Russian ministerial committee will meet to discuss trade and investment in Moscow.

2 November: Former Civil Aviation Minister Ahmed Shafik faces retrial at Cairo Court of Appeals in the 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.

4-6 November (Wednesday-Friday): Polls open to international voters for first round of Parliamentary elections in Cairo, Qalyubia, Menofia, Gharbia, Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai and South Sinai.

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

7-8 November (Saturday-Sunday): Polls open for first round of Parliamentary elections in Cairo, Qalyubia, Menofia, Gharbia, Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai and South Sinai.

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.

19-28 November (Thursday-Sunday): Cairo International Film Festival, Cairo Opera House, Egypt.

23-24 November (Monday-Tuesday): Reruns for Parliamentary elections in Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, Matrouh.

30 November (Monday): Final results will be announced for Parliamentary elections held in Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, Matrouh.

December: The 110th regular session of the Egyptian-Iraqi Joint Higher Committee will be held under the chairmanship of the prime ministers of the two countries.

December: IMF delegation visits Egypt in first of two reviews ahead of disbursement of second tranche of USD 5.2 bn SBA.

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).

5 December (Saturday): A court will hold a postponed hearing to look into an appeal by Syria’s Anataradous against an arbitration ruling in favor of Amer Group and Amer Syria.

7-8 December (Monday-Tuesday): Reruns for Parliamentary elections in Cairo, Qalyubia, Menofia, Gharbia, Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai and South Sinai.

9-10 December (Wednesday-Thursday): BiznEx, the international business expo in Egypt, venue TBD.

14 December (Monday): Final results will be announced for Parliamentary elections held in Cairo, Qalyubia, Menofia, Gharbia, Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai and South Sinai.

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.

25-29 January 2021 (Monday-Friday): The World Economic Forum’s “Davos Dialogues” will take place virtually.

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.

6-18 February (Saturday-Thursday): Mid-year school break.

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).

18-21 May 2021 (Tuesday-Friday): The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting will be held under the theme of “The Great Reset” in Lucerne-Bürgenstock, Switzerland

31 May-2 June 2021 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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.

24 June 2021 (Thursday): End of the 2020-2021 academic year.

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.

30 July-3 August 2021 (Thursday-Monday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday (TBC).

1 October 2021-31 March 2022 (Friday-Thursday): Postponed Expo 2020 Dubai.

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