Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Roll up yer sleeves: Vaccination signups could start as early as next week

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends: We have two big pieces of news to push you over that midweek hump, including word that we may be able to register as early as next week for our covid-19 vaccinations and a surprise USD 3.75 bn state eurobond offering yesterday. We have chapter and verse on both stories in this morning’s news well, below.

THE BIG BUSINESS STORY GLOBALLY: US stocks closed at fresh records yesterday as investors hoped that a new round of stimulus will give a boost to the flagging economy, shrugging off recent Reddit-induced volatility in the process, the WSJ notes. (Reddit, meanwhile, has seen its valuation double to USD 6 bn after recently raising USD 250 mn in late-stage funding.)

CATCH UP QUICK The top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

  • State-owned banks may be eyeing private-sector investment banks. Banque Misr is looking to raise its 24.7% stake in CI Capital by an undisclosed amount. The EGX-listed investment bank’s shares jumped 9% on the news. And HC Securities told us they had not received an acquisition offer from Banque du Caire. HC later issued a statement (pdf) confirming there’s no offer to speak of. It’s not the first time the state has gone fishing in private waters: Look no further than the acquisition of Pharos by NBE’s Ahly Capital and of Arabeya Online by NI Capital.
  • Fawry has plans to make as many as two acquisitions this year — more than a half-dozen startups are on the list of potential targets, CEO Ashraf Sabry said. Fawry shares climbed 2.2% on the news yesterday.
  • Shares of GB Auto are up 140% from their EM-selloff low last March. We asked analysts what’s driving the recovery in our daily market report, Go With the Flow.

EnterprisePM also includes a roundup of where to spend your time and money each evening and is delivered to your inbox around 3:45pm CLT Sunday-Thursday.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

It’s the second and final day of reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah at the Arab League. We have more on the first day of the Egypt-backed meeting in Diplomacy, below.

Proposed amendments to the Traffic Act are on the House of Representatives’ docket today. The result could be new fees on private, diplomatic, and public-sector vehicles depending on engine size to help finance the new smart transport system.

Former US President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial officially begins at the Senate today despite a last-ditch effort by his lawyers to avert a trial. Trump’s lawyers tried to argue yesterday that impeaching a former president is unconstitutional — an argument that will apparently be “a central theme of their defense,” according to the Wall Street Journal. House Democrats serving as impeachment managers promptly rejected the attempt to throw out the trial. The Financial Times and the New York Times also have the story.

COMING SOON- The government is preparing to submit its back-to-school plan to the covid-19 crisis management committee ahead of the end of public schools’ mid-year break on 20 February.

PSA #1- Now might be a good time to kick your smoking habit to the curb, as Philip Morris International raised prices yesterday of its Marlboro, Merit, and L&M-branded cigarettes. Al Mal has the new price list.

PSA #2- Today is the last day for students in Egypt looking to get into private domestic universities to upload their educational certificates on the Higher Education Ministry’s online university application system.

What could possibly go wrong? US asset manager VanEck is launching a “social sentiment” exchange traded fund that will invest in stocks that are talked up on social media, the Financial Times writes, as the GameStonk debacle brings “an old idea that failed” back into the limelight.

Not Elon’s love of BTC, of course… Tesla has invested USD 1.5 bn in bitcoin and plans to start accepting it as payment, it announced in an SEC filing yesterday. The carmaker said it was buying into the digital currency to help “diversify and maximize” its returns. (At least it didn’t go with dogecoin, right?) BTC leapt to a new all-time high above USD 42k following the announcement. CNBC and Bloomberg have more. Meanwhile, Coindesk has picked up on an RBC report that suggests Apple should launch its own crypto exchange.

SMART POLICY- We need to harden our infrastructure against hacks, starting with making sure tech people have the resources they need to patch and upgrade existing systems. Egypt has spent bns in recent years building infrastructure — roads, bridges, tunnels, desalination facilities, water treatment plants, electricity generation capacity, you name it — sufficient to (a) catch up with decades of under-investment and (b) support the future growth of the economy and our population. But what happens when a contractor uses cheap digital infrastructure in something critical like, say, a water plant? You find a hacker messing with the level of chemicals in your water supply, that’s what happens. The latest cautionary tale is out of Florida, of course.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Inflation figures for January will be released tomorrow.

The International Conference on Global Business, Economics, Finance and Social Sciences gets underway today at Ramses Hilton Cairo.

Egypt is hosting an arm of the World Conference on Science Engineering and Technology, which runs from tomorrow through Thursday at Luxor’s Hotel Pavillon Winter.

The Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization will be hosting a MENA x CEO panel on venture capital and entrepreneurism in the region. The gathering headlined “Investor Perspectives from New York to North Africa” takes place on 17 February. Lots of friends are among the panelists, including Global Ventures Managing Director Amal Enan, HOF Capital Managing Partner Onsi Sawiris, AAF Management General Partner and CFO Omar Darwazah and AUC Entrepreneurship Professor Ayman Ismail. Tap or click here to register.

Property owners in violation of the building code have until the end of March to settle with the state, which has granted the fifth extension since originally setting an end-of-August deadline. The government has collected some EGP 17 bn in reconciliation fees so far, Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy told the House Local Administration Committee yesterday, according to Al Mal.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.


CONDOLENCES- Mohamed Mostafa Sheta, chairman and managing director of Alexandria Mineral Oils Co (AMOC), has passed away, the company said yesterday (pdf). Starting his career in 1999, Sheta worked in Egypt’s oil sector for more than two decades, including a 12-year spell at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation where he worked until his appointment at AMOC in November 2020.

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COVID WATCH

Roll up, roll up

Mark your calendars: Covid-19 vaccine registration could kick off next week here in Omm El Donia, Al Masry Al Youm reports, citing unnamed government sources who say that the ministry is waiting until it has more doses on hand before allowing people to sign up. The elderly and people with chronic conditions will be first in line for the jab after some 410k+ medical workers have been vaccinated.

How to sign up: Eligible people will be able to add their names to the waiting list through a website set up by the Health Ministry or by visiting their nearest ministry-affiliated hospital.

VACCINE WATCH- Egypt has so far received several shipments from China’s Sinopharm (here and here) and 50k from AstraZeneca. We should have another 300k coming from Sinopharm “soon”, while vaccine alliance Gavi said it will distribute 25 mn doses among the 22 countries in the World Health Organization’s EastMed region by the end of March.

In the long term: AstraZeneca has agreed to eventually supply Egypt with 20 mn doses of the vaccine, while Sinopharm will provide another 40 mn doses. Gavi will ship another 40 mn doses, and we appear to be in talks with Russia for the right to manufacture the nearly 92% effective Sputnik V here at Vacsera’s facilities. The Health Ministry said at the end of January that we could expect a domestic manufacturing agreement “within weeks.”

The Health Ministry reported 567 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 534 the day before. The ministry also reported 48 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 9,699. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 170,207 confirmed cases of covid-19.

South Africa pulls the plug on the Astra vax: South Africa has paused the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine after data showed that it provides “minimal protection” against infections caused by its local virus variant, CNBC reports. The country has received 1 mn doses of the vaccine and planned to soon begin handing out doses to its health workers, but will now wait for further scientific advice before proceeding.

Where did the virus come from? A “wet” market? A lab in Wuhan? Don’t expect answers from a World Health Organization mission to Wuhan that should be wrapping up soon — its lack of access and inability to really carry out its investigation means it is little more than a “charade,” a top scientist tells the Financial Times.

DEBT WATCH

Egypt sells USD 3.75 bn of eurobonds in first int’l debt sale of 2021

Egypt sold USD 3.75 bn in USD-denominated eurobonds yesterday at “significantly lower” yields than recent issuances, Reuters reports, citing a document from one of the banks working on the debt sale. Press reports had emerged last year suggesting that Egypt was planning a USD 3-4 bn EUR- or USD-denominated eurobond sale in 1Q2021, which Finance Minister Mohamed Maait denied at the time, saying the ministry was not actively working towards an issuance.

The sale saw Egypt receive some USD 15 bn in orders, making the issuance around 4x oversubscribed. The bulk of the demand was for long-term notes, the document shows, according to Reuters. The proceeds will be used to partially cover a USD 8 bn financing gap for FY2020-2021, Bloomberg reports, citing EFG Hermes. The state budget, approved by the House of Representatives, gives the Finance Ministry the license to borrow up to USD 7 bn through debt instruments in the international market.

About the issuance: The three-tranche issuance included USD 750 mn in five-year bonds at a yield of 3.875%, USD 1.5 bn in 10-year bonds at 5.875%, and another USD 1.5 bn in 40-year bonds at 7.5%. The initial price guidance was higher for all three tranches, showing that “the risk premium has dropped considerably,” Naeem Brokerage’s Allen Sandeep told the newswire.

Timing is right: “It’s a good time for the issuance, considering the drop in yields over the past few months and the positive outlook for emerging markets this year,” EFG’s Mohamed Abu Basha told Bloomberg. Speaking ahead of the sale, he expected the issuance would be met with strong demand.

This was the first eurobond sale in the current fiscal year, and the second time Egypt has sold 40-year bonds, which were last featured in the USD 2 bn eurobond sale in 2019. The 40-year notes are part of Egypt’s plan to diversify its sources of funding and ease fiscal pressure by shifting to longer-term debt.

Egypt has had a good run: The government took a record USD 5 bn eurobond issuance to market last May, which was 4.4x oversubscribed, and made its first sovereign green bond issuance worth USD 750 mn last September, attracting more than USD 3.7 bn of orders for the climate friendly securities.

Advisors: Citigroup, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Standard Chartered arranged and managed the sale.

FINANCE

Raya’s new fund could be the first mainstream alternative to securitization

Raya Holding is planning to set up a fund that will invest in the portfolios of non-banking financial services (NBFS) companies, Al Mal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The company will partner with an unnamed asset manager to set up the fund, the targeted value of which was not disclosed.

Think of it as securitization through a different door: The fund will raise money from investors to invest in the portfolios of non-bank lenders. The NBFS lender gets the net present value of a portfolio of loans now, and the fund collects the regular payments and takes both the upside and the risk. The sources didn’t specify whether the fund would be open to both retail and institutional buyers.

The fund’s first investment could see it take part of subsidiary Aman Holding’s portfolio, a move that would see Raya scrap plans to take EGP 600 mn in securitized bonds to the market later this year.

Background: The Financial Regulatory Authority last summer allowed a new type of fund specialized in what finance nerds call “movable assets.” Those funds provide liquidity to businesses by using assets such as accounts receivables, inventories, and machinery as collateral. Unlike securitization, this doesn’t require issuing bonds or the setup of a special purpose vehicle.

BANKING

Marked safe from covid: Banque du Caire’s loan book

State-owned Banque du Caire (BdC) hasn’t seen a large rise in defaults despite covid-19, according to figures given by Chairman Tarek Fayed in an interview with the local press this week. The proportion of the bank’s non-performing loans in its total credit portfolio increased only marginally to 3.5% in 2020, up from 3.3% a year earlier.

This comes despite expectations in some quarters that banks would see a wave of defaults on the back of the pandemic. Many banks were forced to ramp up their loan loss provisions last year out of caution and some — including BdC — are preparing to do the same this year in anticipation of a rise in defaults.

No cause for alarm yet: The Egyptian banking system is expected to remain stable despite bank bottom lines being “under pressure” from higher loan losses and declining interest income. The sector has ample liquidity on hand to defend against a rise in defaults.

Also from Fayed:

BdC wants to raise its retail and microfinance loan portfolio to EGP 46 bn by the end of this year, Fayed said, noting that the loan book stood at EGP 18 bn by the end of 3Q 2020. The bank’s microfinance loan portfolio alone has almost tripled in size to EGP 6.2 bn over the past three years, while its syndicated loans stand at EGP 19.8 bn.

Still no news on the IPO: BdC’s plan to float 20-30% of its shares on the EGX will remain on ice while uncertainty over the trajectory of the pandemic continues to linger, he said. The listing was scheduled for last spring but postponed indefinitely due to unfavorable market conditions caused by the pandemic.

The bank’s effective tax rate climbed to 34% by the end of September from 25% in 2019, Fayed said. This was thanks to amendments to the Income Tax Act ratified in 2019 that changed how banks and corporations account for income from investments in government debt.

M&A WATCH

GSK only has eyes for Hikma

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has rejected separate takeover bids from Rameda and Acdima for its Egypt arm, focusing instead on talks with Hikma Pharma, according to regulatory filings (here and here — pdfs). GSK said the decision is meant to minimize disruption to the business and save time and resources that would have been spent on due diligence and negotiations with Acdima and Rameda. GSK is considering selling its shares as part of a comprehensive agreement that would also include operations outside the listed entity and its business in Tunisia, the filing says.

Having multiple suitors has done good things for GSK’s shares on the EGX, which are up 141% year-to-date on the back of the interest in its sale. The shares were trading at EGP 40.50 at market close yesterday.

Background: The bidding war for the majority stake in GSK’s Egypt commercialization and manufacturing business kicked off last week, when Acdima and Rameda announced within a day of each other that they’re interested in a transaction. The two companies’ announcements came a week after GSK announced that it was in negotiations with LSE-listed Hikma Pharma for the same 91.2% stake in its pharma and manufacturing business in Egypt and its Tunisia business. A timeline for the acquisition and the potential value of the purchase have yet to be disclosed.

LEGISLATION WATCH

Senate bylaws heading to vote in the House

The Senate’s bylaws will be up for discussion by the House of Representatives’ general assembly after receiving approval from the Constitutional Affairs Committee yesterday, Masrawy reports. The bylaws, which received approval from the upper chamber of parliament last November, seek to curb the senate’s powers of oversight and limit its ability to hold cabinet accountable. The amended bylaws would also do away with a clause allowing the prime minister to convene parliament’s lower chamber — and leave in place a controversial clause requiring senate members obtain approval from the senate president before travelling abroad. Also unchanged: A clause that exempts senators stipends from taxes.

Also getting committee-level approval: The law governing the purview of the Central Agency for Organization and Administration (CAOA), for which the House Legislative Committee gave its final approval, Youm7 reports. The amendments outline the agency’s role, allowing it to make recommendations concerning draft legislation, to approve bylaws concerning state employees, and to set a plan for the division of labor and expertise among government entities. CAOA, which is affiliated with the Planning Ministry, is responsible for working on administrative reforms, developing the quality of civil services, and ensuring government bodies are fulfilling their mandates.

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DIPLOMACY

Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks kick off

Egypt-backed reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah kicked off yesterday at the two-day emergency Arab League meeting on the Israel-Palestine peace process. Speaking at the meeting, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed the importance of reaching an agreement between the factions to pave the way for successful elections in Palestine in mid-2021. The planned elections would be the first time Palestinians would head to the ballot box in 15 years, Reuters notes.

Egypt has been one of the cheerleaders for reconciliation: President Abdel Fattah el Sisi has been recently in talks to fast-track the Israel-Palestine peace process, with the first stone put in place back in 2017 when Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for the first time.

And our ties with Iraq remain a major theme in diplomacy this week, with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly reiterating that joint projects between Egypt and Iraq are a top priority during a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein on the sidelines of the Arab League meeting yesterday. Egypt and Iraq had signed 15 MoUs last November covering water, transport, construction, environmental, and other projects, and establishing an “oil-for-reconstruction” mechanism that could see Egyptian companies work on development projects in Iraq in return for importing Iraqi oil. International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat met with Iraqi officials last week to iron out exactly how the oil-for-reconstruction agreement would work.

MOVES

Our friend Amani Abou Zeid has been re-elected as the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, giving her a second four-year term in the position, according to Ahram Gate. Abou Zeid, who is also a board member at CIB, earned votes from 50 out of the 55 member states in the AU, the bank noted in a statement.

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Al Ahly and Bayern Munich's match in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup got an enthusiastic cheer from all the familiar pundits last night, despite Al Ahly’s 2-0 loss. Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 2:15) and El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 0:39) praised the team’s performance, while Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa gave a play-by-play rundown of the match (watch, runtime 16:39).

Also getting lots of coverage: The emergency Arab League meeting between Palestine’s Fatah and Hamas. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry phoned into Ala Mas’ouleety to explain the importance of the meeting in showing a united front from Arab states on the Palestinian issue, particularly with a new administration in the White House, and highlighted Egypt’s role in advancing the reconciliation (watch, runtime: 4:53) Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 2:02) also took note.

The government’s planned investments, including mega projects such as the repurposing of the Mogamaa and railway development, were the main topic of discussion for Planning Minister Hala El Said with Lobna Assal on Al Hayah Al Youm. El Said delivered her policy address to MPs yesterday (watch, runtime: 17:38).

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • Ezbet El Haggana residents are happy with the government’s planned development of the neighborhood, despite the need to remove a row of buildings for roadworks, MP Mohamed El Sallab said. The development includes building sewage networks, schools and a hospital in the area, MP Amr El Sonbaty said (Lamees El Hadidi on Kelma Akhira | watch, runtime: 4:46 and watch, runtime: 4:10).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s a mostly quiet morning for Egypt in the international press. Among the stragglers: Reuters looks at how Sharm El Sheikh is beefing up security by installing a 36 km wall around the tourist city, which officials say will help protect the city and revitalize tourism, while the New Statesman is out with yet another piece on the Arab Spring 10 years on.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) is building five skyscrapers in New Alamein under a contract signed yesterday with the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), according to a cabinet statement. NUCA will arrange financing for the buildings, which include a 250-meter 68-storey high-rise and four other, 200 meter-high tower blocks. CSCEC, the world’s largest construction outfit by revenue, will also build a mixed-use complex in the southern region of the new city and is separately working on the new capital’s business district.

Other things we’re keeping an eye on this morning:

  • EGX-listed snackfood maker Edita has launched (pdf) HoHos Extreme, a super-sized HoHos chocolate cake.
  • Pharma player EIPICO could establish a new USD 35 mn factory with Kazakhstan’s RTA Group and receive advanced manufacturing technology, after the two firms inked an MoU at the Egyptian-Kazakh Business Forum earlier this week, according to a bourse disclosure (pdf).
  • Telecom Egypt has contracted IBM to develop its infrastructure based on hybrid cloud technology.

PLANET FINANCE

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Is the oil market in a “post-vaccine euphoria”? That’s what trading houses Vitol and Gunvor Group are signaling after oil rallied above the USD 60 / bbl mark for the first time in a year yesterday, according to Bloomberg. The expectation of a price pullback comes as fuel demand has yet to mount a real recovery, and technical indicators signal that crude is now in “overbought territory.”

TikTok wants to take on Facebook? TikTok is planning an “aggressive” e-commerce push in the US, the Financial Times reports, highlighting the app’s new products such as a tool that gives commission on any sales of products popular users share links to as well as “live-streamed” shopping, while allowing brands to show their catalogs.

Wait, what happened to the TikTok ban? Not much, after a federal judge ruled in November that the Trump administration’s attempt to ban the app was likely unlawful. It remains unclear whether the Biden administration will maintain the aggression after 18 February, when the government will be able to place new restrictions on the Chinese social media giant.

Down

EGX30

11,523

-0.7% (YTD: +6.2%)

Down

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.60

Sell 15.70

Down

USD at CIB

Buy 15.59

Sell 15.69

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

8,809

+1.4% (YTD: +1.4%)

Down

ADX

5,656

-0.3% (YTD: +12.1%)

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DFM

2,643

-0.9% (YTD: +6.1%)

Up

S&P 500

3,916

+0.7% (YTD: +4.3%)

Up

FTSE 100

6,524

+0.5% (YTD: +1.0%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 60.82

+0.4%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.92

+1.2%

Up

Gold

USD 1,837.20

+0.2%

Up

BTC

USD 45,990.29

+19.2%

The EGX30 fell 0.7% yesterday on turnover of EGP 2.14 bn (34.1% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 6.2% YTD.

In the green: CI Capital Holding (+9.4%), Orascom Investment Holding (+7.6%) and EFG Hermes (+1.9%).

In the red: Orascom Development Egypt (-2.7%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (-2.4%) and Pioneers Holding (-2.3%).

Asian shares are in the green this morning and we’re looking at a mixed open for major European exchanges and on Wall Street, where futures at dispatch time suggest the Nasdaq is opening down a hair and both the Dow and S&P will just barely break into the green at the opening bell.

AROUND THE WORLD

Egypt may not be the only country to look past Russia for its wheat purchases as Moscow’s plan to restrict grain exports could hit sales, Reuters quotes traders and analysts as saying. Russia, the world’s largest wheat supplier, will begin taxing grain exports on 15 February to boost local supplies and tackle rising domestic prices. The move sent prices to multi-year highs and prompted Egypt’s grain buyer GASC to call off a tender and look to source wheat from elsewhere.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption case could be put on hold until after the Knesset elections on 23 March, the Times of Israel reports. The premier pleaded not guilty in the first hearing yesterday. The elections are the 937th in Israel in the last couple of years…

CALENDAR

February: France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, is set to visit Egypt.

6-8 February (Saturday- Monday) Students will be able to upload their educational certificates on the Higher Education Ministry’s electronic university admissions site.

6-20 February (Saturday-Saturday): Mid-year school break (public schools — enjoy the break from bumper-to-bumper traffic).

7-28 February (Sunday-Sunday): The Finance Ministry will receive applications from companies wishing to take part in the second phase of its program for the immediate payout of export subsidy arrears to exporters, minus a 15% fee.

8 February (Monday): Egypt leads an emergency Arab League minister-level meeting on the Israel-Palestine peace process.

8 February (Monday): AUC will hold a webinar titled ‘The Rise of Citizen Capitalism’ featuring Michael O'Leary, the managing director of Engine No. 1, and Warren Valdmanis, a partner at Two Sigma.

9 February (Tuesday): International Conference on Global Business, Economics, Finance and Social Sciences, Ramses Hilton, Cairo, Egypt.

10-11 February (Wednesday-Thursday): Egypt will host an arm of the World Conference on Science Engineering and Technology, Hotel Pavillon Winter, Luxor, Egypt.

12 February (Friday): Deadline to reach a settlement with the Tax Authority on overdue income, value-added, or real estate taxes without all the late fees. Late taxpayers are still eligible for a 50% exemption on interest fees and late penalties until 12 February under a bill passed last year, Tax Authority boss Reda Abdel Kader said.

12-15 February (Friday-Monday): Students will be able to apply for placement at private universities on the Higher Education Ministry’s electronic university admissions site

17 February (Wednesday): MENA x CEO MENA Entrepreneurship & VC Panel: Investor Perspectives from New York to North Africa will be hosted by the Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization.

20 February (Saturday): Final results of applications for private university places will be announced on the Higher Education Ministry’s electronic university admissions site

22-24 February (Monday-Wednesday): Second Arab Land Conference on land management, efficient land use, among other topics.

22 February- 5 March (Monday-Friday) Egypt will host the World Shooting Championship in 6 October’s Shooting Club, with 31 countries set to participate

26 February (Thursday): The Afro Future Summit will take place virtually.

28 February (Sunday) Deadline for businesses, sole traders, and those generating income from sources other than their day job to file wage tax returns through the electronic filing system.

March: Potential visit to Cairo by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

1-5 March (Monday-Friday): Aswan Forum for Peace and Development will take place virtually.

4-6 March (Thursday-Saturday): Cairo Fashion & Tex trade show, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt

8 March (Monday): The IDC Future of Work Egypt conference will be held virtually featuring experts from Egypt and Jordan.

9-11 March (Tuesday-Thursday): EduGate 2021 – Enter The Future conference, Kempinski Royal Maxim Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

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

1-3 April (Thursday-Saturday): HVAC-R Egypt Expo.

8-10 April (Thursday-Saturday): The TriFactory’s Endurance Festival at Somabay.

13 April (Monday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

25 April (Sunday): Sinai Liberation Day.

29 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC),

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

1 May (Saturday): Labor Day (national holiday).

2 May (Sunday): Easter Sunday.

3 May (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

13-15 May (Thursday-Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25-28 May (Tuesday-Friday): The World Economic Forum annual meeting, Singapore.

31 May-2 June (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt,

1 June (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).

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

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

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

30 June (Wednesday): 30 June Revolution Day.

1 July: (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 30 June Revolution.

30 June- 15 July: National Book Fair.

1 July (Thursday): Large taxpayers that have not yet signed on on to the e-invoicing platform will suffer a host of penalties, including removal from large taxpayer classification, losing access to government services and business, and losing subsidies.

19 July (Monday): Arafat Day (national holiday).

20-23 July (Tuesday-Friday): Eid Al Adha (national holiday)

23 July (Friday): Revolution Day (national holiday).

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

9 August (Monday): Islamic New Year.

12 August (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Islamic New Year.

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

30 September-2 October (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Projects 2021 expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

1 October (Friday): Expo 2020 Dubai opens.

6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.

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

18 October (Monday): Prophet’s Birthday.

21 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Prophet’s Birthday.

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

13-17 December: United Nations Convention against Corruption, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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

27 June – 3 July 2022 (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

Note to readers: Some national holidays may appear twice above. Since 2020, Egypt has observed most mid-week holidays on Thursdays regardless of the day on which they fall and may also move those days to Sundays. We distinguish below between the actual holiday and its observance.

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