Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Welcome to the slowest Tuesday we’ve had in a while

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Good morning, ladies and gents, and welcome to one of the calmest Tuesday mornings we’ve had in a long time. We’re not complaining — just hoping the news cycle continues to be this kind until the three-day weekend is upon us. The nation will be off on Thursday in observance of the Prophet’s Birthday.

Some good news to start the day: Deaths in Egypt from road accidents fell 44% y-o-y last fiscal year, Planning Minister Hala El Said said this week, attributing the drop to state investments in road infrastructure. Some EGP 26 bn in government investments were earmarked for road upgrades in 2019, up from EGP 14 bn in 2018.

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are resuming African Union-mediated negotiations on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) today after stalling for the umpteenth time in August, South African president and current head of the AU Cyril Ramaphosa said yesterday. Representatives from the three countries’ irrigation and foreign ministries will attend the first virtual meeting today, according to Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry. The new phase of talks comes a few days after Ethiopia slammed US President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Egypt may resort to military force if an agreement is not reached.


The Health Ministry reported 167 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 143 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 106,707 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 12 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 6,211. We now have a total of 98,961 confirmed cases that have fully recovered.

Egypt is ready for a possible second wave of infections, said presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tag Eldin at an AmCham event yesterday. Tag Eldin said the experience gained over past months and a better supply of ventilators and specialized hospitals makes Egypt better equipped to cope with a resurgence of the virus. He added that Egypt would receive “an appropriate share” of covid-19 vaccines, whether from the UK, Russia, or China, and that the medicine would be made available at a nominal price for developing countries through the support of NGOs and the World Health Organization.

The potential for Egypt to become a hub for global vaccine-makers is getting ink in the Wall Street Journal, which highlights plans by Chinese, Russian and Western pharma companies to use the country as a base to distribute vaccines to the rest of the continent. Egypt is currently conducting trials for Chinese state-owned Sinopharm’s vaccine, while Russia has signed an agreement with a private Egyptian company to distribute 25 mn doses of its Sputnik V vaccine. Egypt has also been in talks to import mns of doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which was shown to trigger an immune response in adults in recent tests, raising hopes for a potential vaccine by year’s end, according to CNBC.

The Chinese vaccine is still months away from being ready, though, as the clinical trials are still ongoing, Tag Eldin told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi yesterday. The advisor also stressed that, although the daily infection toll remains low, its continued fluctuation means we’re not out of the woods yet (watch, runtime: 6:46).

Travelers heading from Egypt to Dubai are now required to submit two PCR tests to enter the emirate, one taken up to 96 hours before departure and another upon arrival, Emirates Airline said in a statement yesterday. The change in travel rules also now allows tourists traveling from the UK and Germany to either take a PCR test within the 96-hour window or opt to take the test on arrival in Dubai.

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China isn’t fully on board with the G20’s debt relief program, and it’s straining the coffers of its African borrowers, the Financial Times says. Although China has been the biggest contributor to the initiative, suspending USD 1.9 bn of the total USD 5.3 bn suspended by G20 countries, some of the country’s biggest creditors are not yet on board, something the paper suggests is responsible for Zambia’s imminent default.

It’s one rule for China and another for the Western bondholders, at least as far as the Times is concerned, which doesn’t seem to see a problem with the intransigence of private investors. Bondholders, the largest creditors to sub-Saharan governments, have been equally happy to push Zambia into default, making it difficult to reduce Africa’s debt problem only to Beijing’s so-called “debt-trap diplomacy.”

From the region:

  • Real estate investment trust Al Mal Capital is set to give the Dubai bourse its first IPO in three years in January when it lists shares worth USD 136.1 mn, Bloomberg reports. The company would be the first REIT to join the Dubai Financial Market.
  • Chevron is pivoting away from US shale towards natural gas in the Middle East in the hope that warming ties between Israel and the Gulf will usher in a new era of stability in the region that will allow it to fully exploit its resources, Reuters reports. Chevron, which purchased a 40% stake in Israel’s Leviathan gas field for USD 11.8 bn earlier this year, is looking to make new agreements with Egypt, Israel and Qatar, while cutting spending on American shale.
  • A UAE-based Israeli entrepreneur is looking to purchase Israeli carrier Israir for USD 25 mn, following the normalization agreement between the Emirates and Israel, Bloomberg reports.

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Muslim boycott of French products grows amid cartoon backlash: Support for an Islamic boycott of French products is growing in the region after French President Emmanuel Macron publicly backed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, the Guardian reports. The hashtag #BoycottFrenchProducts has been circulating in Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Turkey’s Erdogan added his voice to those calling for a boycott of French goods, aggravating the country’s already strained relationship with the EU and sending the lira and the country’s benchmark index to new lows.

China will slap sanctions on US arms firms selling weapons to Taiwan, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday, Reuters reports.


US ELECTION WATCH- WE’RE ONE WEEK OUT: Biden is maintaining a healthy lead in national polls as campaigning enters the final week. Although the former VP’s lead has slipped since the middle of October, recent national polls still put him anywhere between 7 and 10 points ahead of Trump. The race is a little closer in the key battleground states, with Biden holding a narrow 1.5 point lead in Florida and enjoying a 5.3 point lead in Pennsylvania.

RBG has officially been replaced: The Senate confirmed overnight Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett as chief justice, expanding the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to 6-3, the Wall Street Journal reports. Only one Republican senator, Susan Collins, voted against Barrett’s confirmation.

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The anticipated resumption of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam talks today led the conversation on last night’s talk shows. Egypt is committed to the negotiation process to reach a fair, balanced, and sustainable agreement that helps all three countries involved secure their interests, Irrigation Ministry spokesperson Mohamed El Sebai told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 8:06). El Sebai also had a similar conversation with Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 9:18) and Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 6:30).

We now know the schools who are in trouble for not repaying last year’s bus fees: The New Capital English School, Egypt Integrated Schools, and the British Columbia Canadian International School are the three international schools that have been referred to the Financial and Commercial Affairs Prosecution for failing to abide by a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) decision obliging schools to refund 25% of last year’s bus fees, Al Mal reports. The schools could face fines ranging between EGP 20k and EGP 1 mn, CPA boss Ahmed Samir Farag reminded Assal (watch, runtime: 3:53).

Update on the new capital: China State Construction Engineering Company (CSCEC) has finished the first 49 floors of the new capital skyscraper that is set to be Africa’s tallest structure once complete, Deputy Housing Minister Khaled Abbas told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib. There are another 30 floors to be constructed to bring the building to its full 385-meter height (watch, runtime: 7:14). Meanwhile, the Housing Ministry has wrapped up talks with a “leading hotel brand” to operate a seven-star hotel in the new capital, Abbas said, without disclosing the brand (watch, runtime: 7:14).

Speed Round

INVESTMENT WATCH- Liquid Telecom to invest in Egypt data centers: African communications company Liquid Telecom is looking to grow its data center arm in Egypt as part of a continent-wide expansion plan, the company said in a statement picked up by Bloomberg. The company, Africa’s largest high-speed internet provider, has raised USD 307 mn through a rights issue, which included an extra USD 40 mn from the UK government’s development arm CDC Group. The company did not disclose how much of the funding would be earmarked for Egypt, but said it was part of a group of four countries that would receive investment.

This comes almost two years after the company announced a three-year USD 400 mn investment plan to develop its data center infrastructure in Egypt. Working with state-owned landline monopoly Telecom Egypt, the company said it would spend USD 50 mn on data centers and cloud services before putting the remaining USD 350 mn into “broadband and financial inclusion initiatives.”

Egypt is at the center of the company’s plans to connect east and west Africa: The CEO of parent company Econet Global said in 2018 that it was looking to link Cairo to Senegalese capital Dakar via cables running through Sudan, Chad and Nigeria. The South Africa-based firm, which has laid more than 70k km of fiber cables across the continent, said it aimed to link the two capitals during Egypt’s term heading the African Union, which finished in February this year. The company has not provided updates on how the project is progressing.

INVESTMENT WATCH- Azimut’s inaugural Egypt bond fund sees huge investor demand: Azimut’s new Egypt-focused fixed-income fund AZ-Savings was 6x oversubscribed in the nine-day private placement that ended on 21 October, Al Mal reports, citing a company statement. The Italy-based asset manager secured EGP 295.3 mn from over 100 investors, prompting Azimut to raise the fund’s ceiling to EGP 500 mn before the end of the subscription period. The fund’s initial investment target was not disclosed. This is the first mutual fund to be launched in Egypt after the Financial Regulatory Authority changed regulations back in 2018 to allow asset managers with over EGP 50 mn in capital to launch and manage their own funds.

Background: Azimut had tapped state-owned Banque du Caire and Ahli United Bank Kuwait to sell the investment certificates and contracted brokerage firms Mubasher, Naeem, Global Invest Securities, and Misr Capital to sell shares in the fund. Azimut earlier this year launched a Luxembourg-headquartered fund to invest in Egyptian equities, which was looking to secure USD 50 mn in AUM “as a first stage,” Abul Saad said at the time.

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PRIVATE EQUITY WATCH- Egyptian PE outfit Lorax Capital has appointed financial services provider Apex Group as fund administrator to its new LCP II fund, Private Equity Wire reports. Apex will provide fund administration and corporate services to the fund, including investor reporting, accounting, and compliance services. Lorax has secured USD 142 mn for the new SME-focused fund, including USD 25 mn from the International Finance Corporation, USD 50 mn from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and USD 11 mn from Proparco. The fund is targeting a USD 250 mn final close.

Leading private sector education outfit CIRA has opened the doors of its new Regent British School in New Mansoura, Chairman Hassan El Kalla tells Al Mal. Some 60 students enrolled for the school’s first academic year, which started earlier this month with other public and national schools across the country, El Kalla said. Construction of the school had temporarily fallen behind schedule as a result of the pandemic, but CIRA was able to gather resources and speed up the process to meet its goal of opening in time for the new academic year, CEO Mohamed El Kalla previously told us. CIRA owns some 20 private schools including the “Futures” and “Mavericks” brands. Its flagship Badr University, was established in 2012 and offers degrees in at least eight academic disciplines.

All public sector salaries will be paid out through Meeza cards within a year, replacing the government-issued cards currently in use, head of the Finance Ministry’s e-payments unit Samar Adel said in a workshop, according to a cabinet statement. The cards will allow users to withdraw cash through ATMs, make purchases online, and pay government fees through its e-payments portal. The government also plans to expand mobile payments through electronic wallets and QR codes.

Background: The government began trialling the use of Meeza cards to pay out state wages in August this year, and has plans to roll out 5 mn cards by June 2021. Since the government began rolling out the cards in 2019, it has distributed some 18k point-of-sale machines to government entities and made it mandatory for government payments over EGP 500 to be paid electronically starting May 2020.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The executive regulations of the SMEs Act should get the House of Representatives’ final approval at the end of November, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea said, according to Al Shorouk. The recently-ratified law includes tax and non-tax incentives to support SMEs to join the formal economy. Those include tax discounts at a rate of 1% of the total growth in sales a single SME manages to achieve in a given year, Gamea said yesterday. Once out, the regs will help bring the parallel, informal economy into the light to contribute to formal GDP growth, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said last week.

In other legislation news, a planned bill to set up a new body to draw up a nationwide health strategy was the topic of discussion in a meeting yesterday between senior officials including Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Health Minister Hala Zayed, according to a cabinet statement. The so-called national council, which will report directly to the president, will coordinate with all parties related to the healthcare sector, including the ministry, hospitals, law enforcement, and the private sector, the statement said without going into details.

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Enterprise Explains

Enterprise Explains: The Basel Accords. With the US-China rivalry over tech and trade fuelling speculation of a coming east-west economic decoupling, comments made this week by China’s richest man may well signal a new flashpoint as the Chinese dragon continues its rise: global financial regulations. Speaking ahead of what is expected to be the world’s largest-ever IPO in China, Ant Financial’s bn’aire founder Jack Ma took a shot at the Basel Accords, describing them as an “old people’s club” and an irrelevance for Chinese development. One of the cornerstones of the Western-created international financial system, the Basel rules have for more than 30 years laid down the law for how banks across the world are supposed to manage risk. But what exactly are the accords, and why do we need three of them?

To put it simply: Basel I, II, and III were designed to create an international regulatory framework to manage credit risk and market risk. They aim to ensure that financial institutions have enough capital on account to meet financial obligations and absorb unexpected losses.

Basel I: Introducing international capital requirements. The product of over a decade of discussions at the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision, Basel I came into effect in 1988. A response to the interdependence of financial markets, it introduced new rules on how much capital international banks had to hold in their reserves to prevent insolvency and a systemic crisis in the global banking system. Basel I introduced a system of risk-weighting where assets were split into five risk categories: 0% for risk-free assets like cash and treasury bonds; 10% for central bank debt from countries with recently high inflation levels; 20% for loans to other banks or securities with the highest credit rating; 50% for residential mortgages; 100% for corporate debt. International banks were required to hold 8% of their risk-weighted assets as cash reserves.

Basel II: Deregulation. Blamed by many for being on the major causes of the 2007/08 financial crisis, Basel II removed one of the linchpins of Basel I: the external rating of risk. Unhappy with the new restrictions and helped by influential bodies like the International Institute for Finance, banks lobbied for self-regulation; that is, to decide for themselves how risky their assets were and thus how much cash they should hold in reserve. The implications of this policy change were made all too evident only a few years later, when it became clear in 2007 that banks had massively downplayed their levels of balance- and off-balance sheet risk, and had far too little capital in reserve.

Basel III: A corrective. Developed in response to the near-collapse of the global banking system, Basel III raised capital requirements and added new safeguards. These include new requirements to increase reserves during periods of credit expansion and relax them during periods of reduced lending.

So why is Jack Ma criticizing Basel? By focusing on risk control over development, the accords enforce a set of antiquated rules that do not apply to the Chinese model of development, Ma argues. Calling for an end to the dominance of ‘To Big To Fail,’ Ma wants to move towards a more decentralized system able to channel capital to different corners of the economy, and towards a data-driven means of rating credit. Instead of a system that prioritizes large corporates and state-owned organizations, Ma says this approach would improve SMEs’ access to funding and accelerate financial inclusion.

Want more?

  • The basics: Investopedia has breakdowns of the accords here, here and here.
  • For the academically minded: This Oxford Uni research paper (pdf) explains the failings of Basel II.
  • Is Basel III rigorous enough? Wharton professor Richard Herring gives his views (watch, runtime: 25:19).

Egypt in the News

In the foreign press this morning: The Washington Post’s editorial board slammed The Donald’s suggestion that Egypt could “blow up” the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, while NBC News picked up on a recent Human Rights Watch report on LGBTQ+ groups in Egypt. Reuters took note of 36-year-old Faiza Heidar, the former coach of Egypt’s national women’s football team, who just became the first woman to manage a professional men’s club.

Worth Listening

Does your business sell your time and experience? Then you face similar challenges as every other service provider. In this episode of Making It, we discuss talent and creating corporate structures in service industry businesses with Bahaa Alieldean, a practising lawyer and managing partner at ALC Alieldean, Weshahi & Partners.

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 Podcasts | Anghami | Omny. Making It is on Spotify, but only for non-MENA accounts.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Egypt and South Sudan will set up a joint committee to explore cooperation in infrastructure and water management projects, which will meet before the end of the year, according to a cabinet statement. The agreement came during South Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Manawa Peter Gatkuoth’s visit to Cairo.

Energy

Idku liquefaction plant to export first gas shipment in 3 months

The Idku gas liquefaction plant is preparing to export its first natural gas shipment in three months, energy intelligence firm Kpler said, according to Reuters. The Cape Ann tanker arrived at Idku Port yesterday from Norway in order to transport the shipment, according to MarineTraffic. Egyptian gas exports have dried up since March after the collapse of global gas prices, with just one tanker leaving the facility in July.

Manufacturing

Loss-making Egyptian Iron and Steel could be coming under military control

The Military Production Ministry may be about to take over Egypt Iron and Steel after industry insiders submitted a report claiming the decision to separate its mining operations could be dangerous to the company’s financial stability, Masrawy reports. The troubled company earlier this month said it would spin off its most valuable business into a separate company ahead of a potential listing on the EGX. The report advises that the military’s National Service Products Organization or the Military Production Ministry take over the company instead to exempt it from taxation and provide it with funding.

Health + Education

Egypt to tolerate unlicensed nurseries temporarily under presidential directive

Unlicensed nursery schools could soon be given temporary licenses to operate under orders from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, given the importance of their services, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Temporarily-cleared nurseries will vow to get licenses at a point in the future, the statement says. As many as 10k nurseries operate without a license in Egypt, while 14k nurseries operate with a legal status, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea said.

Automotive + Transportation

Spain’s CAF, Mitsubishi interested in project to upgrade 23 old metro cars

Spanish railway supplier CAF is interested in teaming up with Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi to overhaul 23 railcars operating on Cairo Metro Line 1, and could secure financing for the project, Spain’s ambassador to Cairo Ramón Gil Casares told Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir. The Transport Ministry has been planning to launch a tender this year to award a renovation contract. The European Investment Bank said in May it could finance direct up to EUR 1.13 bn towards the plan over the next five years.

Banking + Finance

Egyptian Airports Co. seeks EGP 2.5 bn loan to develop Hurghada, Giza airports

The Civil Aviation Ministry’s Egyptian Airports Company is in talks with a number of local banks for an EGP 2.5 bn loan for the development of Saint Catherine International Airport in Sinai and Sphinx airport in Giza, Al Mal reports, citing sources close to the talks. The company has received the terms and conditions booklets from several banks, and is expected to conclude negotiations within the coming month. The Finance Ministry would act as guarantor for the loan, which would likely carry a 10-year repayment term including a two-year grace period.

Other Business News of Note

UAE’s Bee’ah to provide waste management services in Egypt’s new capital

Emirati waste management company Bee’ah was awarded a 15-year contract to provide its services at the new administrative capital, New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development (NACCUD) spokesman Khaled El Husseiny said, according to Al Shorouk. Bee’ah will begin work at the beginning of March 2021.

Egypt to review land allocation mechanism after finding violations

Industrial investors will temporarily be barred from bidding for new land awards as the government reviews its land allocation mechanism, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea said yesterday, according to Al Shorouk. The review comes as the mechanism currently in place has run into practical “complications,” including some taking advantage of the system by acquiring land and setting it aside for its value to appreciate without committing to projects.

The Market Yesterday

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

EGX30 (Monday): 10,512 (-0.9%)
Turnover: EGP 954 mn (15% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -24.7%

THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 ended Monday’s session down 0.9%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended down 2.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were Oriental Weavers up 4.4%, Ibnsina Pharma up 2.8%, and Pioneers Holding up 2.2%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were EFG Hermes down 2.4%, CIB down 2.2% and Cleopatra Hospitals down 1.2%. The market turnover was EGP 954 mn, and domestic investors were the sole net buyers.

Foreigners: Net Short | EGP -221.0 mn
Regional: Net Short | EGP -4.2 mn
Domestic: Net Long | EGP +225.2 mn

Retail: 59.0% of total trades | 63.2% of buyers | 54.7% of sellers
Institutions: 41.0% of total trades | 36.8% of buyers | 45.3% of sellers

WTI: USD 38.53 (-3.31%)
Brent: USD 40.42 (-3.23%)

Natural Gas: (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.03 MMBtu (+1.99%, November 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,905.00 / troy ounce (-0.01%)

TASI: 8,155.31 (+0.01%) (YTD: -2.79%)
ADX: 4,624.85 (+1.24%) (YTD: -8.88%)
DFM: 2,166.51 (-0.50%) (YTD: -21.64%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,036.63 (-1.97%)
QE: 9,807.53 (-0.01%) (YTD: -5.93%)
MSM: 3,563.92 (-0.01%) (YTD: -10.48%)
BB: 1,434.95 (-0.02%) (YTD: -10.88%)

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Calendar

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

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.

7-9 November (Saturday-Monday): Techne Summit 2020, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria.

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

13-15 November (Friday-Sunday): A conference on banking in the time of covid by the Union of Arab Banks, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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.

22-25 November (Sunday-Wednesday): Cairo ICT 2020, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Nasr City, Cairo.

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 (date TBC): Egypt Economic Summit, Cairo, Egypt, venue TBD.

December: Fifth round of Egypt-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks.

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.

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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