Thursday, 5 November 2020

The US election is still too close to call — and we just got our second covid warning of the week

TL;DR

What We’re Tracking Today

Well, friends, we made it through another week together. It’s a quiet news day in Cairo as we join the rest of the world in waiting to see who will emerge victorious from the most contentious US election in generations.

WHERE THINGS STAND NOW: After picking up Michigan and Wisconscin overnight, Biden has four paths to win the six additional electoral college votes he needs to win, while Trump has just one to pick up 56 votes. The race for control of the Senate also remains undecided at 48 seats to each of the Dems and the GOP, and the Democrats remain 14 seats short of retaining the House. And Agent Orange’s campaign is dropping lawsuits left, right and center.

Things are looking increasingly good for Biden this morning as results tricled in overnight from undecided states. The Red Mirage was in full effect in Michigan and Wisconsin — two Rust Belt states that were leaning towards Trump during the early vote count but were later won by Biden after the absentee ballots were added to the tally. Georgia and Pennsylvania, two other states in which Trump took a strong early lead, are slowly tilting towards the Biden camp, putting Trump’s hopes of reelection in jeopardy.

The Trump Campaign became increasingly litigious as his leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia narrowed — and as Wisconsin and Michigan flipped. The campaign has announced legal action in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia claiming that poll watchers were denied access to facilities where votes were being tallied and is demanding a recount in Wisconsin. Rudy Giuliani has also threatened a “national lawsuit” in a bizarre press briefing in Philadelphia.

This came just hours after he preemptively declared victory in a speech from the White House, despite the results still showing the two candidates neck and neck, the BBC reports.

In a short speech in front of his supporters Biden stopped short of declaring victory but said that he believes he will be the winner after the vote count is over.

Demonstrators began taking to the streets in cities across the country: Biden supporters held rallies in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia in protest at Trump’s attempts to stop the vote count, while Republican voters gathered in Detroit in response to Trump’s allegations of election fraud.

Where does the race currently stand? According to the AP’s tally, Biden currently leads Trump in the electoral college vote 264 to 214, leaving him only needing one or two states to pass the all-important 270 mark. Nevada, with its six electoral votes, would not be enough on its own should Trump pull off an unexpected win in Arizona, but winning any of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia will make him president-elect. To win reelection, Trump will need to hold onto his leads in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia, and flip Nevada where Biden currently has a slender 8k lead.

The outlier: The race for Arizona, which was called for Biden by the AP hours ago, may not be over after all. Biden is seeing his lead shrink in the conservative state as absentee ballots continue to roll in, and is now up by just 75k votes with 86% reported. NBC and other organizations still see the race as too close to call.

So, when can we expect a final result? Right now it is unclear when the remaining states will declare due to the sheer volume of mail-in ballots. We could be waiting until tonight or even tomorrow before a winner is eventually declared.

Congressional races aren’t breaking the Dems’ way: Despite looking like they’re on course to take back the White House, Democrats are unlikely to do the same with the Senate and face the prospect of a smaller majority in the House, CNN says. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the night as “challenging” as seven Democratic House representatives lost their seats and gained only two seats in the Senate. With the Senate currently neck and neck at 48-48, it still remains possible that the Democrats could eke out a tiny majority, while in the race for the House, Republicans are trailing 190 to 205.

Investors don’t seem phased at all by the state of affairs, with stock markets surging yesterday on what Reuters says are hopes for gridlock in Washington. Asian markets are up in early trading this morning and futures point to European markets and Wall Street following suit later today. Seemingly ignoring the slimmer chances of a sizable stimulus bill with a Republican Senate, the newswire says that political dysfunction is now being seen positively in that legislators will be unable to make any major policy changes.

But major policy changes are exactly what the country needs, says El Erian: A divided electorate and a split Congress will present huge challenges for the country in solving the current health and economic crises, markets sage Mohamed El Erian writes for the Financial Times. The results of the election mean that the country may be “both unwilling and unable to embark on the decisive measures needed,” he writes. In the short term, varying state policies toward battling covid-19 will likely fail at appropriately curbing the virus, while in the long term continued reliance by the Federal Reserve on ineffectual monetary policy tools may distort markets and do little to stimulate spending, creating a slump that could reverberate across the global economy.

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Over in our neighbourhood, people would rather that both of them lost the election. The majority of people in the Middle East don’t want to see Trump or Biden make it into office, according to a survey conducted by Arab News and polling firm YouGov in which 49% of respondents chose neither candidate when asked who would be better for the Arab region.


The Cityscape real estate exhibition kicked off yesterday and runs through this Saturday at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center in New Cairo. The exhibition was slated for March, but was pushed back due to the pandemic.

Netflix’s first made-in-Egypt original series debuts today. Paranormal is based on the best-selling books of Ahmed Khaled Tawfek. It stars Ahmed Amin and Razane Jammal and is already in our queue to watch this weekend. You can check out the trailer and teasers here on the official website.

Voting continues today and tomorrow for Egyptians abroad in the second phase of House elections. Casting their ballots are folks registered in Cairo, Dakalia, Qalyubia, Menofia, Gharbia, Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai and South Sinai. Expats have until Friday to vote.

Polls open for voters here at home on Saturday and Sunday, 7-8 November.

Other news triggers to keep your eye on:

  • Inflation data for October will be released next Tuesday, 10 November;
  • The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review rates a week from today.

The Health Ministry reported 207 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 197 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 108,329 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 13 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 6,318. We now have a total of 99,874 confirmed cases that have fully recovered.

We got our second warning this week about covid-19: Infections could double and deaths could increase threefold if people flout safety protocols compared to the expected figures if people do wear masks, according to a cabinet statement. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly warned earlier this week that some covid-19 restrictions could come back into effect if case numbers soar as citizens appear to have decided to ignore the pandemic’s existence.

Kids, you’re staying in school — at least for now: Schools and universities will not close in mid-November in anticipation of the second wave of the pandemic, the education and higher education ministries said, pouring cold water on rumors spreading across social media. Schools and universities will continue to operate as they are now with precautionary measures in place, the statement said.

EasyJet has suspended flights to and from Egypt in response to new lockdown restrictions in the UK, which has banned non-business travel overseas. According to the airline’s website, from next Tuesday the airline will not operate any flights to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada until 5 December when the travel restrictions are expected to be lifted. The carrier began operating a weekly flight to Sharm in the middle of October following a four-year hiatus, and was expected to increase them in November. Trips to Hurghada finally resumed in September following the disruption caused by covid-19.

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Ant Group’s planned USD 37 bn IPO was suspended to protect the stability of capital markets, the Chinese government said on Wednesday, according to the Financial Times. The record-breaking IPO was more than 870 times oversubscribed two days before it was set to debut. Analysts say new draft regulations introduced Monday are aimed at bringing Ant, which issues 10% of China’s non-mortgage consumer loans, under stricter government control.

Saudi Arabia is reforming its “kafala” sponsorship system. The Human Resources and Social Development Ministry’s Labor Reform Initiative will allow private sector migrant workers to change jobs without the permission of their employers — but only when their contracts end — and enable them leave and re-enter the country without their employers’ approval, the ministry said in a statement.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority is ramping up its oversight of firms after private equity outfit Abraaj collapsed following misuse of investor funds in 2018 and Al Masah Capital was liquidated this year after allegedly misleading investors about fees, Bloomberg reports. Peter Smith, managing director of the DFSA, said the regulator is “placing great scrutiny on the way in which firms structure themselves,” but stopped short of naming specific regulatory changes.

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala took the lead in a USD 700 mn investment round for a SoftBank-backed tech startup Reef Technology, the fund announced on Twitter.

Other international stories that should be on your radar:

  • The headline in the NYT says it all: Having made peace abroad, Ethiopia’s leader goes to war at home, launching yesterday “a sweeping military operation against one of his own regions.”
  • The nutter in Ankara has slapped fines on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Tik-Tok for failing to name a local representative, Bloomberg writes.
  • The US has officially bailed on the Paris Agreement, making good on Trump’s 2017 announcement of his intention to pull the country out of the 2015 climate pact that he said would hold back the US economy, Reuters reports. The US is the only country to have withdrawn from the agreement, though Joe Biden had promised to rejoin if elected.

Prospective MBA students are staying away from US universities amid pandemic travel restrictions, online-only classes, and harsher immigration policies, says the Wall Street Journal. The number of overseas students enrolling in international MBA courses offered by European and Canadian universities, has meanwhile surged, jumping 55% in the Imperial College Business School in London. By way of comparison, international representation at Wharton School’s two-year MBA program fell to 19% for the class of 2022 from 30% for the class of 2021.

enterprise

It’s Making It Day: Our latest episode of the third season of our podcast on building a great business in Egypt is out today.

Hisham Shawki and Nancy Zayed, co-founders of MagicCube: To call this episode’s guests tech veterans would be a massive understatement. The two earned their stripes building the tech industry in Egypt — and then went on to shape how we live today with stints at Apple, Netscape and Palm.

Bonus: They’re married in real life — and share their favourite Steve Jobs stories.

As good as hardware, but with less hassle: Until recently, the fintech industry relied on hardware-based security. Zayed and Shawki built the first software-based replacement for traditional payment terminals, and through their new product i-Accept, hope to target the USD 48 bn POS hardware market. By cutting these costs down for acquiring banks, MagicCube tech can enable a bigger segment to access the banking system, a strategy that has attracted investments from global players like Visa and CIB’s venture capital arm CVentures.

There has to be another way: Zayed and Shawki highlight the importance of questioning the boundaries of what’s technologically possible, creating a culture of constant learning and improvement, and building a team that is comfortable calling you out on a bad idea.

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

Enterprise+: Last Night’s Talk Shows

The US election continued to dominate the airwaves last night. Al Hayah Al Youm’s Mohamed Sherdy highlighted Trump’s accusations of electoral fraud (watch, runtime: 1:58) while Al Masry Al Youm Chairman Abd El Moneim Saied told Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer that Joe Biden is an establishment guy with nearly 50 years of experience who stands a chance at pulling America out of its “current crisis” in just months (watch, runtime: 1:58). Then there was some highly questionable analysis, with journalist Akram Alfy telling Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi that Florida could decide the winner (watch, runtime: 46: 24).

Moussa gave us his two cents on the breakdown of the GERD talks yesterday, claiming that Ethiopia was stalling until the result of the US election become clear (watch, runtime: 1:26). We have more on this in this morning’s Diplo + Foreign Trade, below.

Education Ministry blocks tuition fee hikes: Sherdy covered the Education Ministry’s decision to stop the annual increase in tuition fees charged by private and international schools during the 2020/2021 academic year due to the increasing economic hardship caused by the pandemic (watch, runtime: 3:32). Sherdy noted that the Madbouly government has poured cold water on rumors that it was considering closing schools and universities in the event of a second wave (watch, runtime: 1:55). Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan also had the story (watch, runtime: 1:00 and 1:44).

The EDA heads wants to reassure us over a potential second wave of covid-19: Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan phoned Ali Al Ghamrawi, the spokesperson of the Egyptian Drug Authority, who said the country will not suffer shortages of medicine in the event of a rise in covid-19 cases. The authority keeps tabs on the supply of medicines, allowing it to act in case of a shortage, he said (watch, runtime: 7:30).

Speed Round

CABINET WATCH- We’re one step closer to our first-ever sovereign sukuk issuance after the Madbouly Cabinet yesterday approved a bill authorizing sukuk sales. The executive regulations for the bill are expected to be issued within three months of it being ratified by the president. Reuters took note of the bill winning cabinet signoff

The government will take the securities to market as soon as the bill is ratified, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a statement following the meeting. The size of the country’s inaugural sale is still unclear.

The bill defines the different types of sukuk, which includes the basic ijara and mudaraba, which set up a partnership between the government and a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that manages state-owned assets; istisna sukuk, whose proceeds are specifically allocated to industrial and infrastructure projects; and murabaha sukuk that involve a sale of an asset or commodities under spot contracts. The Finance Ministry would be able to issue both EGP- and foreign currency-denominated securities.

The bill also governs how the debt is securitized and traded, as well as the rights and responsibilities of sukuk holders and SPVs that execute and manage sukuk sales. Other elements involve establishing a regulatory oversight committee, clarifying how disputes between the government and sukuk holders would be handled, and setting up an association to protect the rights of investors, the statement said without going into further details.

The anticipated sukuk issuance comes as part of a plan to diversify its sources of funding and lengthen the average maturity of its debt. Green bonds are also part of the plan: Egypt became the first country in the region to sell the climate-friendly securities when it completed a USD 750 mn issuance in September.

Also from the cabinet meeting:

Three bills that authorize the Oil Ministry to sign oil exploration contracts earned cabinet signoff. IEOC, Eni’s joint venture with the EGPC, and Russian firm Lukoil will explore and develop the Meleiha concession in the Western Desert, while a second contract will see EGPC collaborate with BP in the Gulf of Suez. The third agreement brings together state-owned South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) and Enpedco, a company majority-owned by the military’s National Service Projects Organization, to explore a region in the Eastern Desert.

An agreement between the National Authority for Tunnels and Chinese consortium AVIC-CREC was approved, allowing the companies to begin implementation of phase two and three of the electric train project. Phase one of the project stretches a 70-km line between Al-Salam City, the New Administrative Capital, and Tenth of Ramadan City, and is expected to be completed in two years and serve some 350k passengers per day.

Vodafone Egypt, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat have snapped up nearly USD 1.2 bn worth of new cellular frequencies. Vodafone Egypt bought two 20-MHz bands for USD 540 mn while TE bought two 10-MHz bands for USD 305 mn in an auction run in September by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), the regulator said in a statement. The NTRA also confirmed reports that it had accepted last month a bid by Etisalat Misr for 20 MHz of bandwidth, saying yesterday that it had sold the Emirati company two 10-MHz bands for USD 325 mn.

Mobile network operators have been demanding access to more bandwidth since 2017, when the NTRA first launched Egypt’s 4G network. The NTRA sold 5-15 MHz of spectrum for USD 1.1 bn and EGP 10 bn in the initial auction, which saw TE receive 15 MHz, Orange and Etisalat both purchasing 10 MHz, and Vodafone getting 5 MHz.

The news comes as the market waits to see whether Vodafone is going to be sold to Saudi’s STC or if Telecom Egypt will exercise its first right of refusal to snap up Big Red.

Net foreign assets in Egypt’s banking sector surged by 32% m-o-m in September, as foreigners continue to return to government treasuries after selling out of global emerging markets in the early weeks of the pandemic. Central bank data picked up by Al Mal shows assets rose to USD 14.03 bn at the end of the month, up from USD 10.65 bn in August — it’s highest monthly increase since February 2019. Net foreign assets dropped by as much as 45% on a monthly basis in March, prompted by investors pulling a record USD 83 bn from EMs during the month.

The surge in net foreign assets was driven primarily by foreign investors buying up EGP treasuries, Pharos head of research Radwa El Swaify told Enterprise. Foreign holdings of Egyptian debt more than doubled to USD 21.1 bn between May and mid-October, signaling increased appetite for risky EM assets and improving confidence in the Egyptian economy.

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Saudi Arabia could be about to invest in Egypt alongside the Sovereign Fund of Egypt: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is considering investing in Egyptian projects alongside the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Saudi State Minister Issam bin Saad said during talks with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and SFE head Ayman Soliman, according to a cabinet statement.The Public Investment Fund is currently studying a number of proposals put forward by the SFE, the statement said, without mentioning any specifics. The long-dormant Saudi-Egypt investment fund first proposed back in 2016 was also discussed during the meeting. Plans to create a joint SAR 60 bn fund have been gathering dust over the past four years, and an agreement to finally activate the vehicle in 2018 has so far come to nothing.

M&A WATCH- State-owned sports management company Estadat Holding has denied news it has purchased an Egyptian football club, without naming the club in question. Reports earlier this week claimed that the company had purchased Misr Clearing’s 71% stake in Misr Lel Makkasa SC owner Makkasa Sport after beating out two other offers.

EARNINGS WATCH- Madinet Nasr Housing & Development’s (MNHD) net profit was flat during 9M2020, falling marginally to EGP 629 mn from EGP 631 mn in the same period last year, the company said in a regulatory filing (pdf). Revenues climbed 22% to EGP 1.76 bn from EGP 1.44 bn last year.

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Egypt in the News

The eyes of the foreign press are firmly trained across the Atlantic this morning.

The Guardian and the Financial Times are giving high praise to a new feature film set in, and titled, Luxor. Helmed by the British director Zeina Durra, the film tells the story of a British aid worker facing past traumas while revisiting Luxor, a city she used to live in 20 years ago. It is set for digital release on 6 November.

Amnesty International issued a statement calling for the release of Sudanese refugees and migrants detained after protesting the alleged killing of a 12-year-old Sudanese child by an Egyptian man.

Worth Reading

Sweden is going cashless — whether their central bank is ready or not: In a country where even children’s pocket money is digital, the hidden risks of going completely cashless are at the forefront of lawmakers’ minds. Digital networks failing or cyberattacks could lead to serious problems in the country’s monetary system, meaning that enough physical cash must be printed as a failsafe, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves told Bloomberg. The pandemic has only quickened the move to digital transactions and Sweden’s central bank is now studying ways to stay relevant while ensuring citizens have access to real money.

This might necessitate a new definition of legal tender and require banks and businesses “to maintain some form of a minimum capacity” to handle physical banknotes, Ingves said. The country has been forced to fast track the development and introduction of an electronic currency, the e-krona, amid the changing habits.

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade

Topping diplomatic coverage this morning: GERD negotiators can’t even agree on how to continue negotiations. The Egyptian, Ethiopian and Sudanese irrigation ministers were unable to reach an agreement on how to proceed with negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam following a week of talks, the three countries announced in separate statements here, here and here. The talks “failed to make any tangible progress … in agreeing on the role to be played by African Union experts in the negotiations, as well as the mechanism for negotiations and their timeline,” the Sudanese Irrigation Ministry said. According to the statement, Sudan and Ethiopia agreed to grant AU experts a bigger role going forward, but Egypt vetoed the suggestion, preferring that the talks continue in their current format.

Each country will now submit a report detailing their position to the AU chairperson and South African International Cooperation Ministry, which will advise on how the AU-brokered talks should proceed. After being on hold since August, negotiations resumed last month, days after Ethiopia slammed US President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Egypt may resort to military force if an agreement is not reached.

Egypt and Palestine may look to formally demarcate their maritime borders in the coming months as the Palestinian Authority puts together a team of experts to negotiate the issue, Al Monitor reports, citing an unnamed official at the Palestinian Foreign Ministry. Palestine demarcating its maritime borders is becoming a more pressing need as Israel “continues to steal Palestinian natural resources,” the source says. Palestine is one of the founding members of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, signing its charter back in September alongside Egypt, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and Greece.

In other diplomatic news worth highlighting:

  • The Egyptian Chinese Joint Investment Company is looking for small and medium-sized manufacturers who might want a piece of a 600k sqm manufacturing zone it is setting up in Ain Sokhna after signing a MOU with the Suez Canal Authority, the local press reports.
  • Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed regional issues in a phone call Wednesday, Emirates News Agency reports, without giving any details.

Telecoms + ICT

Telecom Egypt to provide St. Helena island with first fibre optic internet cable

Telecom Egypt will provide the first submarine fibre optic cable connection to the British overseas territory of St. Helena, providing 6k inhabitants of the island with high speed internet by 2022, Developing Telecoms reports.

Real Estate + Housing

Land in first phase of Egypt’s new administrative capital to be sold by 2022

The New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development (NACCUD) is planning to sell the remaining 25% of land in the first phase of the new capital to developers by 2022, company spokesperson Khaled Al Husseini told Al Shorouk. NACCUD has so far concluded 196 contracts for schools, universities, sports clubs, banks, multi-purpose developments, and company headquarters. The company is expected to begin delivering facilities by 2023.

Al Ahly Sabbour breaks ground on new capital mixed-use project

Real estate developer Al Ahly Sabbour broke ground last month on a 200-300 feddan mixed-use project it’s developing in the new administrative capital in partnership with an unnamed party, CEO Ahmed Sabbour told the press. The company is planning to finish the project within five years..

Banking + Finance

Banque Misr could provide EGP 6.6 bn in sharia compliant loans to seven real estate developers

Banque Misr could provide EGP 6.6 bn in sharia-compliant loans to seven real estate developers, Al Shorouk reports, citing unnamed banking sources. The loans include EGP 1 bn for Badr El Din Real Estate Investment to develop residential housing in New Cairo, Sheikh Zayed and the North Coast, and another EGP 400 mn facility for an unnamed Amer Group subsidiary.

My WFH Routine

Hayat Khattab, president of the Egyptian Paralympic Committee: Each week, my Morning / WFH Routine looks at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Hayat Khattab, president of the Egyptian Paralympic Committee.

My name is Hayat Khattab, and I’m the president of the Egyptian Paralympic Committee, the head of ParaVolley Africa, and a board member of the World ParaVolley Organization. I’m also a part-time instructor at AUC’s school of continuing education and an assistant professor at Misr International University (MIU), where I teach business management and business administration.

The Egyptian Paralympic Committee consists of three subcommittees that oversee competition, which can broadly be categorized into powerlifting, athletics, and swimming. Our paralympic federations draw from athletes with intellectual disabilities, visual impairments, and cerebral palsy. Athletes also compete in badminton, table tennis, triathlons, cycling, archery, taekwondo, and wheelchair tennis. We’re in charge of getting teams ready to head to both regional and international competitions. Right now our focus is on keeping our 60-athlete delegation fit and motivated for the delayed Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games.

Together with my board we set the strategy for Egypt’s delegation: While each localized federation designs their own strategy they have to consult with us before they’re ready to travel for competitions. We supervise athlete selection, training and oversee finances associated with these competitive sporting events.

Our finances are covered by a grant from the government and four sponsors who really help us support players and give them the chance to advance in their sport. Managing the budget has been challenging this year after the Tokyo 2020 games were pushed back. Now we’re suddenly faced with an extra year on our calendars that was unaccounted for when we reached funding agreements with our partners. The lockdown period was very difficult for everyone, so we felt that it wasn’t the right time to be asking for more financial support. With things more or less going back to normal, there’s more room to discuss increasing our budget over the coming period.

(Want to support the awesome people at the Paralympic Committee? Drop us an email on editorial@enterprise.press and we’ll put you in touch — and shower you with love in a future issue of Enterprise.)

Our offices are fully operational right now. In April, our entire committee was WFH but by May we had put a rotation system in place to reduce the amount of in person contact at our office. During the lockdown period I was remotely keeping up with our international partners through online meetings and constantly following up on the covid situation.

Athletes and coaches were asked to stay at home up until mid-September: Coaches were quickly asked to move fitness courses online while our medical committee was keeping up with the athletes on how to take extra precautions. By September we started phasing back in-person training after testing all our athletes, trainers and support staff at the stadium. We only had one case turn up positive, who stayed home for two weeks until they got better and showed a negative test.

I wake up at dawn to say my prayers and go back to sleep for a few more hours before I get up at 9:30 am to start my day. After getting some errands done around the house I head to the Paralympic Committee office at the Cairo Stadium starting 1:00 pm where I stay until about 5:00 pm. I usually have an essential board meeting every week with our eight member board of directors and another with my executive director where we set goals for the upcoming week. I check more emails from home at around 6:00 pm where I’m also following up with some revisions of my students’ work and communicating with them on any issues they may be having with their end of year projects these days.

My weekends are usually spent with family. I have two daughters and five grandkids who I enjoy spending my time with when I’m not working. I occasionally like to drop in on some Saturday training at the Cairo Stadium to check in on the athletes. Otherwise, I’ve been watching this very interesting series on Netflix called The Blacklist which I'm enjoying very much. I’m also reading Le Roman d’Heliopolis, a book written by Amelie d’Arschot — Baron Empain’s granddaughter.

Being a woman leading a board of men is a great challenge. Society still doesn't accept this idea very much, but I’ve been using the emotional intelligence I teach my students about to overcome this challenge and have them really come to terms with my leadership.

I hope more media attention is given in the future to paralympic games, beyond the results of the Tokyo 2021. This period has been a challenge for everyone but I’m very proud of the athletes for getting through it in good spirits and following safety protocols.

The Market Yesterday

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

EGX30 (Wednesday): 10,557 (+0.4%)
Turnover: EGP 810 mn (28% below the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -24.4%

THE MARKET ON WEDNESDAY: The EGX30 ended Wednesday’s session up 0.4%. CIB, the index’s heaviest constituent, ended up 0.2%. EGX30’s top performing constituents were GB Auto up 4.6%, Telecom Egypt up 2.4%, and Beltone Financial Holding up 2.1%. Yesterday’s worst performing stocks were Credit Agricole down 1.9%, Export Development Bank down 1.6% and Egypt Kuwait Holding down 0.7%. The market turnover was EGP 810 mn, and foreign investors were the sole net sellers.

Foreigners: Net short | EGP -73.3 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP +5.2 mn
Domestic: Net long | EGP +68.0 mn

Retail: 74.1% of total trades | 73.9% of buyers | 74.3% of sellers
Institutions: 25.9% of total trades | 26.1% of buyers | 25.7% of sellers

WTI: USD 38.86 (-0.74%)
Brent: USD 41.23 (+3.83%)

Natural Gas: (Nymex, futures prices) USD 3.08 MMBtu, (+0.93%, December 2020 contract)
Gold: USD 1,906.20 / troy ounce (+0.53%)

TASI: 8,088 (+1.13%) (YTD: -3.58%)
ADX: 4,689 (+0.87%) (YTD: -7.60%)
DFM: 2,153 (+0.65%) (YTD: -22.11%)
KSE Premier Market: 6,034 (-0.13%)
QE: 9,726 (+0.27%) (YTD: -6.70%)
MSM: 3,535 (-0.06%) (YTD: -11.18%)
BB: 1,441 (+0.33%) (YTD: -10.50%)

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Calendar

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.

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, Dakalia, 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, Dakalia, 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.

7-9 November (Saturday-Monday): Egyptian marketing firm IMFND is holding their virtual Digital Commerce Connect Summit

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

12 November (Thursday): The African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) is organizing an online conference titled “State of African Private Equity & Venture Capital: Regional Perspectives.” You can sign up here.

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.

16 November (Monday): Postponed trial of alleged abuser Ahmed Bassam Zaki, after he failed to attend the previous court date

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

21 November (Saturday): Deadline to install electronic vehicle stickers

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

23-24 November (Monday-Tuesday): Runoffs 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 December: Former Civil Aviation Minister Ahmed Shafik faces trial over embezzlement allegations.

7-8 December (Monday-Tuesday): Runoffs 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 December (Tuesday): House of Representatives reconvenes from recess.

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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