Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Consider yourself warned of an impending third wave

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends, and happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you. It’s a pleasantly calm news morning here at home.

THE BIG STORY this morning: With 27 days left until Ramadan, the government is warning us all to be careful lest we trigger a third wave of covid-19. The message was all over the airwaves last night, as we note in Last Night’s Talk Shows.

THE BIG STORY INTERNATIONALLY: Russia tried to meddle in the US’ 2020 presidential elections to boost Donald Trump’s chances of landing a second term by pushing disinformation campaigns against then-candidate Joe Biden, according to a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The report also indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin at least signed off on the efforts, and that Beijing had also been mulling — but ultimately decided against — a separate manipulation campaign. The story is on the front pages of the Financial Times, Reuters, the New York Times, and the Washington Post this morning.

*** CATCH UP QUICK from Tuesday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

Top-tier universities in the United States are seeing an “unprecedented” uptick in applications, including from Egyptian students, after standardized testing requirements were scrapped as part of the admissions process, the Wall Street Journal reports. The change in admissions requirements, coupled with universities’ wider scope of outreach by relying on online meetings with prospective students, means universities like Harvard and Princeton are expecting to see their student body demographics shifting somewhat in the upcoming academic year.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

It’s interest rate week here and abroad: The US Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day meeting today, though observers say it is unlikely to hike rates this week, Reuters reports. Brazil will also review rates today. The Central Bank of Egypt meets tomorrow, with all 12 analysts we spoke with for our regular poll expecting rates to be left on hold. Turkey’s central bank will also review rates tomorrow (a hike is likely), as will Britain and Norway, while Russia follows suit on Friday.

Remember how we told you that we may all need vaccine passports to travel? The world is taking a step in that direction today when the European Union is slated to unveil a “digital green certificate,” the Financial Times reports. Some member states are at odds over the proposal, but the Telegraph writes that the vaccine passport could be a reality by June if the European Parliament signs off on it in time.

And it’s not just Europe that’s looking at the passports: Canada may adopt them, too. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that while passports probably shouldn’t be used to control access to flights or events domestically, it’s a different question for people arriving from overseas: “Internationally, the idea of vaccine credentials I think that's something very much worth looking at,” CTV quotes him as saying.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Talking sustainable manufacturing with BEBA: The British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) will host a virtual conference on how Egyptian and UK firms can work together on sustainable manufacturing projects in Africa in the post-Brexit environment on Tuesday, 23 March. Check out the agenda here (pdf).

The second edition of the Egypt Retail Summit takes place at the Nile Ritz Carlton hotel next Tuesday 23 March, bringing together retail brands in Egypt and the region.

BEBA is holding a webinar on digital banking and fintech on Wednesday, 7 April, it announced yesterday. Register here.

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

enterprise

*** It’s Hardhat day — your weekly briefing of all things infrastructure in Egypt: Enterprise’s industry vertical focuses each Wednesday on infrastructure, covering everything from energy, water, transportation, urban development and as well as social infrastructure such as health and education.

In today’s issue: We talk to Sameh Shenouda, the new executive director and CIO of the Africa Finance Corporation, about infrastructure investment in Egypt and Africa.

enterprise

Call us to book a heartfelt coastal celebration full of pampering and love at Somabay.

COVID WATCH

Consider yourself warned of an impending third wave

A third wave of covid-19 hitting Egypt is not certain, but remains a likely scenario, particularly as more signs emerge of pandemic fatigue and people no longer adhering to precautionary measures, presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tag Eldin told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Mousa last night (watch, runtime: 6:42).

The talking heads are warning viewers of an impending jump in cases: Moussa warned that Ramadan (which is now less than a month away) is expected to drive up the daily case count. He pointed to several European countries, including Italy, that are currently experiencing a third wave to indicate that Egypt could face the same scenario if we aren’t careful (watch, runtime: 5:50). Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan, meanwhile, suggested that the rise that was expected to begin in Ramadan has already started, pointing out that the official figures are not a complete reflection of the actual number of cases, but are still on an upwards trajectory (watch, runtime: 7:27).

We should get our hands on a second, 300k-dose shipment of Sinopharm vaccines from China tomorrow, Al Ahram reports, citing an unnamed Health Ministry source. The news comes after late-night talk show queen Lamees El Hadidi said on Sunday that she had learned that the shipment had already arrived and that a sample was being tested.

The shipment will mean we’ve received a total of 700k doses. We’re also expecting our first shipment of 6 mn doses of the AstraZeneca jab from the World Health Organization's Gavi / Covax program at the end of March. The shipment will be the first batch from an 8.6 mn dose order we’re supposed to receive from Gavi this quarter, out of a total 40 mn doses Egypt has signed on to receive in 2021. There’s still no word on when we may receive a shipment of Sputnik or on whether local manufacturing of that vaccine is an option.

The Health Ministry reported 640 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 631 the day before. The ministry also reported 44 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 11,384. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 192,195 confirmed cases of covid-19.

The benefits of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab “outweigh the risks of the side effects,” European Medicines Agency said at a virtual presser (watch, runtime: 53:12). The European regulator remains “firmly convinced” of its position after a dozen European countries suspended the use of the covid-19 vaccine following reports of rare blood clots in a handful of recipients who received the shots, but there remains “no indication” that the jab is the culprit. The agency is still reviewing the data and will give more updates as they emerge.

The latest countries to join the growing list of countries temporarily suspending the jab: Venezuela and Sweden.

Russia will triple production of its Sputnik V vaccine at Chinese-owned Gland Pharma in India to help meet its target to provide jabs to a tenth of the global population, Bloomberg reports. India is currently the world’s leading vaccine-manufacturing hub, already producing shots for Astrazeneca and a local affiliate as well as a potential Johnson & Johnson agreement in the works.

Sputnik V and two other Russian jabs have proven effective against mutant strains of the virus in trials, Reuters reports, citing an unnamed source at Moscow’s consumer regulator. The news comes after a more contagious covid-19 strain first discovered in South Africa was also detected in Russia. The more transmissible variant, which the WHO says is found in 58 countries, has been raising concerns about vaccine effectiveness and possible reinfections.

Moderna is testing the safety and efficacy of its vaccine on children between six months to 12 years old, kicking off a mid-to-late-stage study on 6.8k kids in the US and Canada, it said in a statement yesterday. Children are still not eligible for vaccination worldwide.

ENERGY

How much will car owners pay to transition to natgas?

Here’s how much swapping your car for a natgas vehicle will set you back: Passenger car owners looking to swap old vehicles for new ones running on cleaner energy will have their pick of seven models eligible for state financial support, according to a list (pdf) published on the government’s natgas transition plan website. The cars include models by Hyundai, Chevrolet, Nissan, Lada, and BYD, with prices starting at EGP 146k for a Lada Granta bought straight off the lot and ranging as high as EGP 279k for a Nissan Sentra. The same models are also available for purchase with 7- and 10-year payment plans.

And here’s how you could fund it: Buyers will be eligible for subsidized loans funded by the central bank, the Trade and Industry Ministry, and MSME Development Agency, which will hand out a combined EGP 16.2 bn to vehicle owners through participating banks. Borrowers will pay a 3% rate of interest over a 7-10 year repayment period. The Finance Ministry is also providing financial incentives to people to participate in the scheme: Car owners can get up to EGP 22k off the cost of a new vehicle, taxi owners EGP 45k and microbus owners EGP 65k.

Background: The first phase of Sisi administration’s plan to convert or replace 1.8 mn cars to run on dual-fuel engines kicked off earlier this month, with car owners in seven governorates now eligible to sign up. This phase is expected to see 250k old passenger cars, microbuses, and taxis taken off the road and outfitted with new engines by the end of 2023. The entire three-stage program is expected to cost EGP 320 bn at its completion, with the government previously estimating the cost of each vehicle conversion at EGP 8k-12k.

OTHER ENERGY NEWS-

The government will continue to subsidize butane gas cylinders over the next fiscal year, keeping their end user price at EGP 65 apiece, almost half the EGP 120 production cost, El Watan reports, citing an Oil Ministry source. The government lifted subsidies on most other petroleum products in 2019 as part of the IMF-sanctioned economic reform program, though the butane still used by mns to fire up their stovetops and fuel used for bakeries and electricity plants remains heavily subsidized. The state has for years now funded projects to bring regulated natural gas lines to homes nationwide, providing a subsidy to contractors owned by EK Holding and TAQA Arabia, among others, to connect homes to the national grid.

INVESTMENT WATCH

Coca Cola, Porto Group, and BTech have big plans this year

Coca-Cola Egypt is planning to invest EGP 1 bn in Egypt this year to expand its production capacity, including setting up a new production line, General Manager Moataz Abdel Rahman told the press yesterday, according to Masrawy. The beverages company will also expand its distribution network by growing its delivery fleet and adding new points of sale, including providing traders with refrigerators. The investment is part of the company’s plan to invest EGP 5 bn between 2020 and 2025, which CEO Ahmed Elafifi announced last year.

OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS-

Porto Group will spend some EGP 20 bn at three new residential projects, Golf Porto Cairo, Porto Assiut and Porto Agadir, as part of the company’s restructuring plan launched last November, Chairman Gamal Fathalla said at a press conference, according to Hapi Journal. The EGP 4.5 bn Porto Assiut development will be completed over six years, with the first phase slated for completion within three years, he added.

Porto Group plans spending of EGP 1.3 bn on its pipeline of projects this year, Vice Chairman Ayman Bin Mokhtar Khalifa said at the same event, without specifying where the funds would be allocated.

MEANWHILE: White goods retailer BTech is investing EGP 521 mn this year, CEO Mahmoud Khattab said, at the inauguration of BTech’s latest branch in Port Said, according to Masrawy. The new location brings BTech’s total branch count across the country to 99.

DIPLOMACY + REGIONAL AFFAIRS

Ethiopia wants to keep it in the family

Ethiopia is ready to return to the negotiating table with Egypt and Sudan — just not with international mediators. Addis Ababa “believes in resolving African problems by Africans,” and wants the African Union to continue with its sponsorship of the stalled talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dina Mufti said yesterday, according to the Ethiopian News agency. Mufti’s statement comes in response to Sudan’s formal request — which he says Ethiopia wasn’t officially informed of — to bring in the EU, US, UN, and African Union to help mediate an agreement on the dam’s filing and operation.

The proposal came as talks have been floundering since last year after Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan were unable to reach a binding agreement on the GERD. The Associated Press also took note of Mufti’s statement.

ELSEWHERE IN THE REGION-

Palestinian factions vowed to ensure the success of the planned presidential and legislative elections and respect their outcomes, with Fatah and Hamas signing yesterday a “code of honor” to that effect during a meeting in Cairo yesterday, Palestinian news agency Wafa reports. The rival factions had agreed to hold the country’s first elections in 15 years simultaneously across the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem following a two-day emergency Arab League meeting in February on the Israel-Palestine peace process. The factions also agreed to set up the new Palestinian National Council.

enterprise

EARNINGS WATCH

Orascom Development Egypt net income falls more than 20% in 2020

Orascom Development Egypt’s (ODE) net income fell more than 20% during 2020, according to the company’s annual earnings release (pdf). Profits fell to EGP 532.2 mn, from EGP 678.6 mn in 2019, despite revenues rising 6% to EGP 5.4 bn. Real estate revenues, mostly generated by new O West construction projects, grew by nearly EGP 1 bn during the year, offsetting the plunge in hotel revenues, which fell 66% to EGP 506 mn due to the collapse in tourism caused by the pandemic.

MOVES

Ashraf El Kholy appointed CEO of HoldiPharma

Ashraf El Kholy (LinkedIn) has been appointed as the CEO of state-owned HoldiPharma, Youm7 reports. El Kholy served as the vice president and corporate affairs and communication director at Pfizer Egypt between 2013 and 2019, and Bayer’s Egypt manager during 2007-2013. The company has also appointed Ahmed Hegazy as chairman and Hisham Atwa as a new board member, while the Finance Ministry is yet to appoint another member.

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Three main topics were vying for the talking heads’ attention last night: The Central Bank of Egypt’s new mortgage finance initiative, increases in the national minimum wage, and the latest round of talks between Palestinian factions in Cairo. We have the full story on the Palestine meeting in the news well above, and Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer (watch, runtime: 1:42), Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan (watch, runtime: 1:26), and Al Hayah Al Youm’s Mohamed Sherdy (watch, runtime: 2:07) all took note.

The eligibility requirements for the mortgage lending initiative are similar to the CBE’s last EGP 20 bn initiative, CBE Deputy Governor Gamal Negm told Sherif Amer. The criteria for low-income earners includes a maximum monthly income of EGP 4k for individuals or EGP 6k for families, and the home that will be purchased through the mortgage cannot be worth more than EGP 350k, Negm said (watch, runtime: 3:17). Middle-income earners whose monthly income does not exceed EGP 10k for individuals and EGP 16k for families will be eligible for a mortgage to buy a home worth no more than EGP 1 mn, according to Negm (watch, runtime: 3:05). Al Hayah Al Youm’s Sherdy also hosted a roundtable discussion on the initiative with economic expert Mohamed Negm and head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ Real Estate Division Osama Saad El Din (watch, runtime: 40:17).

More talk of a bump to the private sector minimum wage: Lobby groups are looking to get the private sector a minimum wage that is at least equivalent to — if not higher than — the EGP 2.4k mandated for the public sector, Egyptian Trade Union Federation Chairman Gebali El Maraghi told Amer (watch, runtime: 3:24).

Banque Misr’s acquisition of CI Capital means that three state-owned banks now have financial services outfits through which they can put their deposits to work, Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi said (watch, runtime: 5:36). As we noted yesterday, the CI acquisition follows the National Bank of Egypt’s Ahly Capital acquiring Pharos in 2019 and NI Capital acquiring Bank Audi’s Arabeya Online brokerage late last year.

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • The real estate tax filing deadline could, be pushed but you should stick to the current deadline in case the Finance Ministry decides not to grant another grace period, head of the Tax Authority’s research department Ragab Mahrous said. (Lamees El Hadidi on Kelma Akhira | watch, runtime: 0:42)

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

There is exactly nothing on Egypt in the foreign press this morning. Rejoice and move along, ladies and gents.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Egyptian farmers could collectively save up to EGP 14 bn in fuel costs by using solar-powered irrigation systems, which the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will help finance by on-lending through Alexbank, the international lender said in a statement. The statement does not disclose how much funding the IFC will provide.

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

  • EGX-listed dairy products maker Domty and Dutch food manufacturer FrieslandCampina International Holding are setting up a joint venture to manufacture, sell, and export dairy-based products.
  • The National Bank of Egypt will provide Gastec with e-payment services using its PoS systems, under an agreement signed between the two parties yesterday.

PLANET FINANCE

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Saudi Arabia’s oil sector is facing its biggest slump in a decade, keeping the kingdom in recession in 4Q2020. Activity in the Saudi oil sector fell 8.5% during the quarter, a contraction that Bloomberg says is the biggest since at least 2011. The fall in output is largely due to the OPEC+ mandated production cuts, which have seen Saudi Arabia hold back 5 mn barrels of daily output. Saudi’s economy contracted 3.9% y-o-y compared to the same period in 2019, according to official figures (pdf) released yesterday. This was the sixth consecutive quarter of falling output, though the figure was an improvement from the 4.6% contraction seen in 3Q2020.

Oil turbulence has nothing on Vitol, whose bottom line hit a record USD 3 bn last year, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the oil trader’s financials. The company’s performance shows how — despite a year of sluggish growth — trading houses enjoyed a “bonanza” thanks to a month-long oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia that was followed by output cuts from OPEC+, the business information service says.

Down

EGX30

11,190

-0.3% (YTD: +3.2%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

9,660

+0.2% (YTD: +11.2%)

Up

ADX

5,749

+0.7% (YTD: +14.0%)

Up

DFM

2,621

+0.1% (YTD: +5.2%)

Down

S&P 500

3,963

-0.2% (YTD: +5.5%)

Up

FTSE 100

6,804

+0.8% (YTD: +5.3%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 68.28

-0.2%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.56

-0.2%

Up

Gold

USD 1,732.80

+0.1%

Up

BTC

USD 56,175.85

+3.3%

The EGX30 fell 0.3% yesterday on turnover of EGP 805 mn (45.5% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is up 3.2% YTD.

In the green: GB Auto (+2.5%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (+2.0%) and Orascom Development (+1.9%).

In the red: Ezz Steel (-4.1%), Orascom Financial (-3.8%) and Edita (-3.5%).

Major Asian indices are almost uniformly in the red this morning, with only the Nikkei edging ever so slightly into the green. Futures point to a mixed open in Europe (London and Frankfurt down, Paris up) and they also suggest the Nasdaq, Dow and S&P will open in the red this afternoon, as will shares in Toronto.

AROUND THE WORLD

Greece and Turkey have begun another round of talks to settle their long-running dispute over maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, Reuters reports. Tensions escalated sharply last year when Turkey began exploring for gas in waters claimed by Greece, and both sides declared overlapping exclusive economic zones, bringing the countries to the closest point of war in decades.

The hitch: Neither side can agree on what to discuss. Athens wants to only tackle the exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean, but Ankara wants to also set out the air space of the two states.

Iran has released footage of its underground “missile city” — a military base armed with cruise and ballistic weapons — amid growing tensions between Tehran and Washington.

hardhat

Enterprise talks to Sameh Shenouda, executive director and CIO of the Africa Finance Corporation: The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is a financial institution with a focus on infrastructure. Owned by African governments and banks, it manages a USD 7.3 bn portfolio in 35 countries across the continent. And while Egypt hasn’t received much in the way of AFC investment as it still hasn’t become a member, this might be changing.

We recently sat down with Sameh Shenouda, who was made the AFC’s executive director and CIO last month. We talk about why the AFC is interested in Egypt, where the infrastructure investment prospects are, and why the continent doesn’t need any more freetrade agreements.

Edited excerpts from our conversation:

We are very keen to invest in Egypt. To date, the AFC has doled out USD 100 mn in debt to the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and USD 25 mn in a private sector petrochemicals player. While the country is still not a member or a shareholder in the AFC, we're already in talks with the government to bring Egypt on board.

An AFC board seat would up Egypt's access to markets, sovereign products and competitive pricing. It will receive a higher headroom allocation in terms of investment, preferred access to AFC’s sovereign products and competitive pricing for funding. And since Africa is an important market for Egypt, the connections we have with 35 countries on the continent will open up these markets for both the private sector and the government. The aim is to support the government in achieving its development objectives, specifically when it comes to privatization efforts to drive FDI into Egypt and the development of critical sectors.

The next big wave of infrastructure development in Egypt is in its railways, where projects are already being awarded and executed. One of the projects we've been discussing with a few ministries is a potential proposal to participate in large transport projects, such as the monorail or high-speed train.

We see potential in renewable energy, transport, logistics, and oil and gas. Power solutions are critical to help the country achieve the right energy mix. The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) intends to develop solar and wind energy projects with a combined capacity of 3,170 MW. The Egyptian government’s renewable energy plan for 2015-2023 includes 3.2 GW of government projects, including 1.25 GW under Build-Own-Operate concessions and 920 MW as IPPs. Areas such as warehousing, logistics, ports and other critical sub-sectors of transport and logistics will help drive in-country, inter- and intra- African trade. We will target key infrastructure assets by leveraging public-private partnerships (PPPs), prioritizing higher value-added activities, and supporting strategic state-owned entities (SOEs).

Despite Egypt’s oversupply of power, there is always a need for more renewable energy projects. The question is: how much of that power is clean? We need to differentiate between the quality of the power. In order to achieve ambitious targets for renewable energy use, environmentally-friendly power plants need to be built, and old polluting ones shut down. At this point, there is a need for renewable energy. The AFC is keen to invest in sectors that are in high demand in Egypt, including renewable and conventional power, transport, logistics, technology, warehousing, and oil and gas midstream infrastructure. We expect to invest in one or two projects this year in the renewable and transport sectors, and maybe a third one in oil and gas midstream.

Why Egypt? A solid investment climate and attractive demographics. The investment environment in the continent’s second largest economy is one of the best in Africa: We see strong macroeconomic and fiscal structures, and a government and private sector that are hungry for growth, in addition to the large-scale prospects that a 100 mn people-strong market provides. These are all very good ingredients for any investor looking to enter a new market.

Africa-wide, Egypt is one of the top countries in terms of infrastructure, incoming FDI, ease of doing business, and allowing the private sector to participate. To us, privatization is a key creator of openings for the private sector to invest. Our role as a development financing institution is to help catalyze investments by making projects bankable.

But restrictions and lack of clear-cut separation between the state and operator largely exist in core infrastructure sectors, such as ports and transport. SOEs continue to dominate the infrastructure space. For the country to grow, you need to continuously build the infrastructure to support that trajectory.

Take water use and resource management as an example of the importance of relying on the private sector. To permanently and sustainably build water treatment and desalination plants, projects should be handled by the private sector. Only 40% of Egypt’s water is recycled and reused. Rising populations and rapid economic development in the Nile Basin, as well as growing industrial and agricultural activity in Egypt are putting pressure on already limited available water resources.

The need and the government support for resource preservation are there, along with a strong commercial rationale to support the sector and strong sponsors in the space. These are all important parts of telling a compelling story for intervention. For that to come to fruition, the government needs to open up the sector to private businesses, like it did in the solar energy sector, which is now booming.

Generally, the main issue standing in the way of investment in Africa is bureaucracy and the lack of basic infrastructure. For instance, if you build a power plant, sometimes the transmission lines are not good enough to transport the power to households, factories, hospitals etc. Governments need to look at the full infrastructure chain, with the AFC’s help, and develop them. Once this happens, countries can be transformed.

The AFC invests in infrastructure to make Africa as a continent more competitive and help enforce cross-country trade agreements. Among Latin America, Asia and Europe, Africa ranks lowest in access to infrastructure, in terms of roads, ICT, power and water, according to the African Development Bank. To solve that, Africa needs a holistic solution that treats infrastructure as a complete value chain, instead of a series of unrelated projects. In some African countries, 60% of all perishable goods never reach the market, because they perish, which is why the AFC is very keen on transport logistics. Fast movement of goods enhances monetization. Moreover, the continent is very rich in raw material, but the mines are located inland. Transporting any commodities 700 km to the nearest port is a nightmare, raising its cost so much that it is no longer competitive.

Trade agreements aren’t enough on their own — they need to be enforced. With the COMESA, AFTA and African Continental FreeTrade Area (AfCFTA), the frameworks are there, but the countries need to work together to fulfill those agreements’ potential. What usually stands in the way firstly is politics, followed by political will. Having an agreement between two governments does not mean that the project will happen. The gap lies in converting a freetrade agreement or any type of political agreement into a real, bankable project, that can attract investors. It takes organizations like the AFC to bring governments together and show them how these cross-country projects can feed into the development of participating countries.

Your top infrastructure stories for the week:

  • M&A: Egytrans conditionally accepted an offer submitted by Hassan Allam Utilities Holding to acquire a 65% controlling stake in the company through a reverse merger.
  • Logistics: Construction work on a new EGP 2 bn logistics zone in Dakahlia kicked off earlier this week.
  • Energy: The eight-year Damietta LNG plant ownership dispute is now officially over after final settlement agreements were signed last week.
  • Construction: All 3.16 mn building code violations across the country are on track to be settled with the government by the end-of-March deadline.
  • Waste management: The Arab Industrialization Organization and Environment Ministry’s EGP 23 mn intermediate waste management station in Giza was inaugurated this week.

CALENDAR

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

11-20 March (Thursday-Saturday): Photopia’s Cairo Photo Week 2021 will take place with this year’s theme being Depth OFF Field.

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

23 March (Tuesday): The second edition of the Egypt Retail Summit takes place at the Nile Ritz Carlton hotel.

23 March (Tuesday): The British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) virtual conference on sustainable manufacturing in Africa.

25-27 March (Thursday-Saturday): The Real Gate real estate exhibition, Egyptian International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

29-30 March (Monday-Tuesday): Arab Federation of Exchanges Annual Conference 2021.

31 March (Wednesday): Deadline to visit the moroor and get an RFID sticker affixed to your car’s windshield — or run afoul of the Traffic Police.

31 March (Wednesday): Income tax deadline for individuals. Real estate tax deadline.

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

7 April (Wednesday): British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) webinar on digital banking and fintech.

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.

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).

7 June-9 June (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

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.

1-12 November (Monday-Friday): 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Glasgow, United Kingdom.

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.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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