Sunday, 28 March 2021

EnterpriseAM — Between the Ever Given, a train crash and a building collapse, it was not a good weekend

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends. We have a busy news day to start the week as March (and with it the first quarter) rush to a close.

THE BIG STORY AT HOME is probably the fact that there are so many big stories running the news cycle. The Suez Canal / Ever Given saga is still ongoing (but with hope of imminent resolution), while two separate tragedies — Friday’s train crash in Sohag and yesterday’s building collapse in Gesr El Suez — led to the death and injury of dozens. We have the details on all three stories in the news well, below.

The train crash led Iraq to postpone a planned tripartite summit with Egypt and Jordan that was due to be held in Baghdad at the end of this month, Iraqi PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said on Friday. The meeting — a new date for which has yet to be announced — was set to bring together Al Kadhimi, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, and Jordan’s King Abdullah, along with the three countries’ foreign ministers to discuss joint cooperation.

And it looks like Gavi / Covax is signalling that our 5 mn dose of AstraZeneca’s jab could be delayed along with orders placed by plenty of other emerging markets.

*** CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from Thursday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

  • PE outfit Ezdehar is looking at a first close for its second fund, worth USD 120 mn, at the end of May.
  • Real estate player Edge Holding Urban Development is looking to list on the EGX in 2022.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Former cabinet minister Ghada Waly speaks at AmCham today at 3pm. Now the executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Waly will talk about tackling corruption in African countries and women’s rights. Tap or click here to register for the event (Zoom event, not in person).

Egypt is playing against Comoros tomorrow at 6pm CLT in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers to determine who tops Group G. The Pharaohs ended its Thursday match against Kenya with a 1-1 draw. Afcon will take place in January and February next year in Cameroon.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Head to Sharm for a startup gathering: Investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers are gathering in Sharm El Sheikh for the Startup Festival today and tomorrow. More than 80 startups will participate in the exhibition, which will feature panel discussions and workshops.

The Arab Federation of Exchanges Annual Conference 2021 is taking place virtually tomorrow and Tuesday. The conference will discuss ESGs for economic growth and capital markets as well as fintech and innovation.

Bok, prijatelji: The Egyptian-Croatian Business Forum meets on Wednesday, 31 March, for the first time since 2010. On the table: Giving a nudge to both trade and investment, a FEDCOC statement says. The forum will take place while Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman is in town next week. Grlić-Radman and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry are expected to attend.

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

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Organized to the highest of international endurance sports standards, you don’t want to miss this year’s event taking place at Somabay on 8-10 April.

SUEZ CANAL

A light at the end of the canal?

The good news: The Ever Given is starting to budge. Tug boats managed to move the giant vessel 29 meters yesterday, capitalizing on dredgers’ work to clear the sand and mud from the container ship’s propellers and create maneuvering space, Bloomberg reports, citing Inchcape Shipping Services. The ship’s rudder has been freed, as has its propeller, and there is “some movement at the bow of the ship,” Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source.

Don’t expect news of it being “unstuck” before late afternoon: Dredgers will keep up their work until 4pm today, followed by a resumption of refloating operations, according to Bloomberg. SMIT Salvage has confirmed two additional tugs are due to arrive today, the vessel’s technical manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said. Tug boats have a better chance of freeing the ship today as tides grow higher, British Royal Navy veteran Tom Sharpe told Reuters separately. But the boat’s hull could rupture if tugboats pull too hard, since the Ever Given is aground both front and rear, Sharpe added.

The bad news: There are more ships (and costs) piling up: There are now 321 vessels waiting to move through the Canal and it is costing Egypt some USD 14 mn in foregone daily revenues, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie said at a presser (watch, runtime: 60:17).

What happened over the weekend: Work to dislodge the ship on Friday was unsuccessful, after the SCA said earlier in the day it had removed at least 17k cbm of sand around the vessel’s bow. Dutch marine response firm SMIT Salvage, which is working to refloat the ship, said a trifecta of heavier tugboats, dredging, and the spring high tide could dislodge it by the start of this week.

How much longer is this going to take? Rabie declined to give a timeline at the presser, pointing to the changing conditions and delicate balance between speeding up the process and maintaining the vessel’s integrity. Former SCA boss and presidential advisor on canal projects Mohab Mamish, on the other hand, suggested to Salat Al Tahrir’s Azza Mostafa there is a high level of confidence the vessel will be un-stuck by the end of the week (watch, runtime: 7:29).

The ship owner is considering transferring cargo: Shoei Kisen could look at offloading some containers to make the vessel lighter, and Mamish told the media floating cranes could be used to aid with this process, Reuters reports. Shoei Kisen, which apologized over the weekend, and could face USD mns-worth of ins. claims.

Part of the problem is a lack of correct equipment: The process of dislodging the ship has proven “extremely difficult,” the Japanese owner of the ship said in a statement Thursday. This is because the SCA doesn’t have the necessary equipment to reach a depth of 52 meters readily available and may need to seek assistance from foreign countries if it had to resort to such a plan, Rabie told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 15:35). The challenge with offloading the containers: There are no cranes in sight big enough to handle offloading, meaning one or more would have to be brought in on a barge.

The US is offering a helping hand and would be able to send over “equipment and capacity that most countries don’t have,” US President Joe Biden said on Friday. The SCA was said to have welcomed Biden’s statement, which came after a US official said the navy was awaiting approval from local Egyptian authorities to send over a team of American dredging experts.

…and Turkey says it wants to help: Turkey, which has been pushing to repair its strained relations with Egypt in past months, has offered to dispatch its Nene Hatun salvage vessel, Turkish Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said.

Nearly two dozen ships have already changed course: The Ever Greet, the stranded vessel’s sister ship, has joined LNG tankers as well as CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company ships in taking the long way around the Cape of Good Hope.

For some large tankers, there may be relief in the form of the Sumed pipeline, with the economics permitting some of them to use the pipeline to ship oil from Ain Sokhna to Alexandria, sources told Reuters.

How’s all of this hitting commodities and retail?

  • We’re approaching the danger zone for manufacturers and retailers who rely on just-in-time logistics;
  • Oil prices rallied on Friday, but part of that is on the back of new attacks by Houthi forces targeting Saudi Aramco’s facilities over the weekend, as well as expectations that major OPEC+ producers will continue to curb output;
  • 10 LNG deliveries to Europe could be delayed, though it’s low season, so demand is easing.

Now, to figure out what went wrong: Bad weather wasn’t the main culprit behind the ship's grounding, and the SCA will formally investigate the accident to rule out human error or a technical malfunction after the Canal reopens, Rabie said during the press conference. International media are speculating about everything from human error to the wind conditions and whether the vessel was speeding (lots of theories here, here and here).

The great jam is still front and center everywhere you look: Reuters | the Associated Press | the Guardian | BBC | the Financial Times | the Wall Street Journal.

Our talking heads were also all over the story, with everyone from Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 3:01) to El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 13:14) taking stock of the latest updates.

TRANSPORT

At least 19 killed, 185 injured in Sohag train crash

At least 19 people were killed and 185 were injured after two trains collided on Friday in Sohag, Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a statement. Initial reports suggested the death toll was at 32, but the ministry revised the figure to 19 after, Zayed told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 6:42). The National Railways Authority said that “unknown individuals” had pulled the emergency brakes on one of the trains, causing it to stop and be rear-ended by the other. Rail traffic started moving again yesterday in southern Egypt, one day after the accident, the railways authority said in a statement.

The rail network has seen "decades of neglect and no development or maintenance to a very dangerous extent,” Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in a statement (watch, runtime: 00:56). The government has been investing bns in modernizing the network but still has much work to do, Madbouly said, warning that similar accidents could happen until the government completes the railway overhaul plan.

The state has earmarked investments worth EGP 225 bn to revamp Egypt’s 10k-kilometer rail network, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said at a presser yesterday in response to the accident. El Wazir focused on the planned work on the country’s existing rail network, which includes railway signaling modernization.

The Prosecutor General’s Office is investigating and the House Transport Committee has formed a subcommittee to carry out its own probe. The group will review a detailed report today before passing it to the House speaker later in the day, Mahmoud El Dabaa, head of the subcommittee, told Al Mal yesterday.. The prime minister has doubled the financial compensation to EGP 100k for the families of the deceased and EGP 20k-40k for those injured, while those with permanent disabilities will be paid a fixed pension.

El Sisi has vowed a “deterrent penalty” for whoever caused the collision, and to end the “pattern of such disasters," according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Calls for political accountability: While the House of Representatives has the authority to withdraw confidence in El Wazir over the collision, this move would require proof that the transport minister committed gross negligence that directly led to this incident, House Transport Committee Chairman Rep. Alaa Abed told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi. Abed appeared to pour cold water on Lamees’ calls to take a hard line with the authorities responsible — rather than going after individual employees, such as the train conductor — saying that the overhaul of the country’s ailing railways need years to fix and that the government is moving faster than was initially expected (watch, runtime: 6:30).

The Senate appears to be taking a less lenient approach, with Sen. Akmal Nagaty telling Salet Al Tahrir’s Azza Mostafa that railway development has been a priority for the Sisi administration and has received plenty of funding, making it difficult to understand why these incidents still happen (watch, runtime: 4:22). Deputy head of the Mostaqbal Watan Party Hossam El Kholy isn’t convinced that removing the minister will actually do any good (watch, runtime: 6:28), but El Wazir is “ready to step down” if lawmakers determine he is responsible and that his departure would benefit the country, he told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 15:45).

A troubled history: With infrastructure that has suffered years of underinvestment, Egypt is no stranger to rail accidents. A crash at Cairo’s main Ramses station killed over 31 people and injured over 40 just two years ago. Then-transport minister Hisham Arafat stepped down after the crash and El Wazir was appointed as his replacement. Almost 11k railroad accidents occurred between 2008 and 2017, and at 1,793 accidents, 2017 had the highest annual total in at least 15 years, according to government data cited by the New York Times.

The train crash is getting widespread coverage in the international press this morning: Bloomberg | Reuters | Washington Post | Al Arabiya.

IN OTHER TRANSPORT NEWS- Tenders for new signaling systems get second wind: A tender for modernizing the signaling system and track upgrade works along the Cairo-Beni Suef segment of Egypt’s rail network will be issued next month, which was previously postponed until international financing was secured, Al Shorouk reports, citing an unnamed Transport Ministry official. The tender, which was modified to include additional 15 kilometers of railway, is being re-offered after the World Bank has recently approved providing a USD 440 mn loan to finance the project, the source said.

The Transport Ministry will look into Mitsubishi’s second offer to supply 23 trains for Cairo Metro Line 4, after the Japanese conglomerate’s initial bid was earlier dismissed for being too high, Al Shorouk, citing an unnamed Transport Ministry source. The value of the new offer was not disclosed. The bid would be part-financed by a USD 1.2 bn loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, which is being used to construct the line.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The weekend had more tragedy in store

A multi-storey residential building collapsed in Cairo early yesterday, leaving at least 23 people dead and injuring 25 others, reports Al Bawabh. Civil defense and ambulance personnel are still searching for victims in the rubble of the building in Gesr El Suez, Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel Aal said after arriving at the scene. Police cordoned off the area and a technical committee was formed to determine the cause of the collapse. The Prosecutor general’s office is also investigating the accident. The collapse is so far thought to have been caused by the foundation crumbling under four floors being added illegally, Youm7 reports, citing unnamed Cairo Governorate sources.

The talking heads took note of the latest developments on the story, including the conclusion that illegal construction and building code violations caused the collapse: Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 7:53) | Hadith Al Kahera’s Khairy Ramadan and Karima Awad (watch, runtime: 3:57) | Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 2:58).

The story is also getting plenty of digital ink in the foreign press this morning: The Associated Press | Voice of America | Reuters | Xinhua | Arab News | Sydney Morning Herald.

IPO WATCH

Taaleem appears to bump up guidance on price range for IPO

Taaleem Management Services will sell its shares at up to EGP 6.20 apiece in an initial public offering on the EGX after receiving Financial Regulatory Authority approval (pdf) on Thursday, the company said in a statement to the EGX (pdf). The company will offer up to 49% of its shares — equivalent to some 357.8 mn shares — which would give it a market cap of c. EGP 4.4 bn, or a bit more than half the size of CIRA, which currently has a market cap of c. EGP 7.5 bn, according to market data.

The company’s bankers had previously said they would price the transaction in the EGP 5.48-6.02 per share range.

The company is looking to place the majority of its shares with institutions, who will get about 46.6 ppt of the 49% of the company on offer, while c. 2.4 ppt of the offering will be placed with retail investors.

Taaleem looks like it could pull the trigger by Wednesday, with shareholder and sale manager CI Capital saying in the disclosure that it has an agreement with an unnamed investor for the purchase of USD 30 mn-worth of shares if the IPO goes through before 31 March. That’s about a fifth of the shares on offer through private placement, by our math.

Advisors: CI Capital is the bookrunner. MHR & Partners in association with White & Case are the counsel for CI Capital, while Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy are domestic counsel to Taaleem. PwC acts as an auditor for the transaction, and BDO is the independent financial advisor.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story in EnterpriseAM said that Taalem would price its IPO at EGP 6.20 per share. The statement from FRA instead says that the IPO will be priced at up to EGP 6.20.

REAL ESTATE

Emaar Misr to establish EGP 37.8 bn residential project in Sheikh Zayed

Emaar Misr will spend EGP 37.8 bn developing a 500-feddan residential project dubbed “Belle Vie” in Sheikh Zayed after signing a land allocation agreement with the New Urban Communities Authority, the company said in an EGX disclosure (pdf). Emaar had received the authority’s approval for the project in late 2019, following the settlement of a dispute concerning its EGP 11.5 bn Cairo Gate development on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road. Emaar received approval for the project’s blueprint last year.

IN OTHER REAL ESTATE NEWS- Amer Group broke ground on a EGP 2.5-3 bn mixed-use project Minya, head of real estate Hosny Omar said on the sidelines of a Thursday presser, according to Hapi Journal. The new development, which will be built over three phases, will comprise 2.5k residential units as well as commercial and entertainment facilities.

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MOVES

Ihab Ahmed Mabrouk has been appointed chairman and managing director of Alexandria Mineral Oil Company (AMOC) by Oil Minister Tarek El Molla, the company said in an EGX filing (pdf). Mabrouk succeeds Mohamed Moustafa Sheta, who has chaired the company since last November.

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

With a morbidly eventful several days, the talking heads had plenty of ground to cover yesterday. We have all the details on the three stories driving the conversation — the Suez Canal blockage, the Sohag train accident, and the collapse of a Cairo building — in the news well below. And we’ll leave you with Amr Adib’s commentary on our recent streak of bad news (watch, runtime: 1:28).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

With the Suez Canal jam and Sohag train accident taking up plenty of attention, there isn’t much else about Egypt in the foreign press. Among the headlines to skim briefly:

  • Nawal El Saadawi is eulogized as a “key influence on feminists in the global south.” (Financial Times)
  • Human rights: Aly Mahdy, an asylum seeker who fled Egypt to the US in 2019, is calling for the release of his family members, who were detained after he called for protests to mark the anniversary of the 2011 revolution on social media. (The Washington Post)
  • Egypt’s largest annual flora exhibition (Ma3rad El Zohoor) is helping floral businesses weather the impact of the covid-induced slump in sales. (Xinhua)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Malware attacks in Egypt jumped 21% y-o-y in 2020, according to the latest statistics released by the Kaspersky Security Network picked up by the local press. The country also recorded an 8% rise in threats targeting cryptocurrency mining, despite these attacks falling 24% globally. However, the country has seen "the largest decline in banking trojans" in the region after attacks fell 16% against a global increase by 29%, Maher Yamout, a senior security researcher in Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team, said. In addition, ransomware infections dropped 27% due to greater awareness, the report added.

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

  • Smartphone sales in Egypt grew 10.6% y-o-y to 11.9 mn units in 2020 as “strong demand” from people working and studying remotely offset consumer purchase power drops during the pandemic, market researcher IDC said in a recent report.
  • Egypt is angling for an unspecified amount of funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to conduct feasibility studies on the Damietta Dry Port.
  • Lufthansa operated yesterday the first flight from Frankfurt to Hurghada after an almost one-year hiatus, with a weekly flight planned on this route. Polish charter airline Enter Air also operated the first two flights to Sharm El Sheikh since border closures in March 2020.

COVID WATCH

The next big batch of vaccines may be delayed

Egypt may not be getting its 5 mn doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine through the Gavi / Covax scheme this month. The global program designed to get vaccines in the hands of emerging markets suffered a setback when vaccine producer Serum Institute of India (SII) temporarily suspended all exports of the jab as India’s own case tally soars, according to a UNICEF statement. The suspension means that some countries waiting for jabs under the scheme will see their shipments delayed in March and April.

As one door closes, could another open? A handful of wealthy countries — including the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia — have purchased or manufactured enough vaccine doses to cover their populations several times over. The US, for example, is currently hoarding tens of mns of doses of the AstraZeneca jab, which has yet to earn regulatory clearance in the US but could be shipped to other countries that have cleared the vaccine and are running short on supplies. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are also under pressure: Each has contracted a pipeline of jabs sufficient to cover their populations many times over.

The Health Ministry reported 683 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 670 the day before. The ministry also reported 41 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 11,845. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 199,364 confirmed cases of covid-19.

A new super-mutant covid-19 strain has been discovered in Tanzania that has more mutations than any known variant, according to a report submitted to the WHO by an African scientific institute. Three people who traveled to Angola from the east African country were found to have picked up the variant, prompting scientists to call for “urgent investigation.”

The EU is at a "breaking point" as the third wave runs rampant throughout the bloc and places hospitals under severe strain as the case tally soars amid a slow vaccine rollout, with several countries such as Poland hitting all-time highs for infections, the Financial Times reports.

PLANET FINANCE

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US stocks hit record high… Vaccine optimism continued to drive a US equities boom last week with the S&P 500 climbing 1.7% to a fresh all-time high, Bloomberg reports. The market saw the biggest single-day gain in three weeks, helped by the US Federal Reserve’s ending of covid-19 dividend restrictions on banks, imposed last year to protect capital reserves.

…as emerging markets enter a correction: Emerging market stocks are suffering a retreat from all-time highs earlier this year amid rising US bond yields and a stronger USD, Bloomberg reports. The MSCI EM Index fell for the fifth consecutive day Thursday, continuing its longest losing run in six months and putting the gauge more than 10% below its peak in February. This marks a reversal of the EM stock surge, which saw investors pour money into riskier EM markets last year.

The hard times look set to continue: “Higher US yields and a firmer USD alongside investors either moving to safer shores or taking profits on past gains are clearly hurting EM equities,” said Mitul Kotecha, chief EM Asia & Europe strategist at TD Securities. “It’s hard to see a reversal in the short term, with pressure likely to be maintained for now.”

Other market news worth knowing:

  • The SEC may be pulling the brakes on the SPAC frenzy amid heightened risk concerns, demanding information from a number of Wall Street banks about their underwriting activities in the SPAC market and how they’re managing risk. (Reuters)
  • WeWork is finally going public through a merger with blank-check company BowX Acquisition, allowing the coworking space provider to conclude an IPO almost two years after its failed first attempt, it said in a statement on Friday.
  • Goldman Sachs has liquidated USD 10.5 bn-worth of stocks in block trades as part of a selling spree that erased USD 35 bn from major companies’ stock values, Bloomberg reports. The guessing game now: Figuring out who was selling.

Up

EGX30

10,870

+1.6% (YTD: +0.2%)

Down

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.69

Sell 15.79

Down

USD at CIB

Buy 15.69

Sell 15.79

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Down

Tadawul

9,418

-0.5% (YTD: +8.4%)

Down

ADX

5,727

-0.3% (YTD: +13.5%)

Down

DFM

2,496

-0.8% (YTD: +0.1%)

Up

S&P 500

3,975

+1.7% (YTD: +5.8%)

Up

FTSE 100

6,741

+1.0% (YTD: +4.3%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 64.57

+4.2%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.56

-0.5%

Up

Gold

USD 1,734.70

+0.4%

Up

BTC

USD 55,990.89

+2.1%

The EGX30 rose 1.6% on Thursday on turnover of EGP 819 mn (44.6% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net buyers. The index is up 0.2% YTD.

In the green: Eastern Co. (+7.7%), Fawry (+2.9%) and Heliopolis Housing (+2.6%).

In the red: AMOC (-2.6%), Sidi Kerir (-2.2%) and Export Development Bank (-1.1%).

AROUND THE WORLD

The head of Libya’s new interim government made overtures to both Egypt and Turkey last week, paying visits to Cairo and Ankara to hold talks with the governments that had been on opposing sides in the country’s recent civil war. Mohamed Al Menfi, who was elected the head of Libya’s Presidential Council earlier this month, met with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Thursday before flying to the Turkish capital the following day. El Sisi pledged his “full and utter” support for the new council and the country’s institutions as it gears up for parliamentary and presidential elections in December, and reiterated Egypt’s commitment to restoring stability in the country. Egypt last month announced the planned reopening of its embassy in Tripoli, pointing to a more conciliatory position to factions in Western Libya, following a ceasefire between the UN-backed western government and General Khalifa Haftar’s eastern forces last October.

Menfi’s courting of both Egypt and Turkey comes amid signs that tensions between the regional rivals may be easing. The Turkish government has in recent weeks intimated that it wants to restore diplomatic relations with Egypt and reach an understanding on maritime borders in the Mediterranean. Officials earlier this month asked Turkish media to dial down their criticisms of the Egyptian government, a move that was warmly welcomed by Information Minister Osma Heikal.

Egypt keeps the US in the loop on GERD as Cairo, Khartoum hope for int’l mediation: Efforts to relaunch talks to reach a binding agreement on filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam were at the top of the agenda for Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Hamdy Loza and US Special Envoy for Sudan Donald Booth, who met yesterday in Cairo, according to a statement. After months of floundering talks, Sudan made a formal request for international mediation. Ethiopia strongly opposed the proposal, on the grounds that it would undermine the AU’s efforts to resolve the impasse. Ethiopia said last week it will continue with plans to fill the dam’s reservoir in the upcoming rainy season, starting next August, with or without an agreement.

FURTHER AFIELD: US rivals China and Iran are getting cozier, signing a 25-year strategic cooperation pact yesterday, Iranian state media IRNA reports. No details of the agreement were formally announced, but the New York Times reports that China will invest some USD 400 bn in Iran in exchange for oil as part of the pact and the two countries will also step up military cooperation with joint training. The agreement could undermine the US’ leverage over Iran ahead of expected negotiations and lessen the US influence in the Middle East, pundits suggest.

ON YOUR WAY OUT

Armageddon averted

We guess we should be thankful for this? An asteroid dubbed Apophis won’t hit the Earth for at least another 100 years, NASA scientists said, after studying the asteroid and its orbit’s worrying proximity to Earth since 2004, the Guardian reports. Scientists had initially worried that Apophis would pass dangerously close to Earth in 2029, 2036, and 2068, but were able to refine the asteroid’s orbit after it passed within 17 mn km of Earth earlier this month, leading to its removal from the list of hazardous asteroids, and leaving Earth safe … for now.

CALENDAR

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

28 March (Sunday): Executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Ghada Waly will address AmCham in a talk on tackling corruption in African countries and reinforcing women’s rights. You can register for the event here.

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

29-30 March (Monday-Tuesday): Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport Startup Festival, Sharm El Sheikh.

30 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 filing deadline.

31 March (Wednesday): The Egyptian-Croation Business Forum will convene.

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

6 April (Tuesday): French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Egypt working breakfast with Sovereign Fund of Egypt CEO Ayman Soliman.

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): Coptic 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).

7-9 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.

17-20 June (Thursday-Sunday) : The International Exhibition of Materials and Technologies for Finishing and Construction (Turnkey Expo), Cairo International Conference Center.

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.

30 June- 15 July: National Book Fair.

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

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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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