Thursday, 15 April 2021

Carrefour to invest EGP 400 mn opening new locations this year

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Happy Thursday, everyone. We hope you’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend after we get through today.

It’s a moderately heavy morning for news as we approach the end of the week, with news of investment from Carrefour, the latest on the nation’s fast-growing non-bank financial services sector, and the potential for rapprochement with Turkey. We have the details on all of this and more in this morning’s news well, below.

***CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

  • Coming in from the cold? Turkey and Egypt could soon hold direct talks to restore diplomatic ties.
  • M&A Watch: EFG Hermes and the SFE are closer to acquiring a controlling stake in the currently state-owned Arab Investment Bank after EFG’s board approved the move.
  • Infrastructure finance for Luxor: Egypt will receive at least EUR 108 mn from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to install wastewater utilities in rural Luxor, after Cabinet approved the finance in its weekly meeting yesterday.

** So, when do we eat? We’ll break today’s fast at 6:22pm. You’ll have until 3:57am to finish gulping down your coffee (or sohour, if you prefer).

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

We were supposed to be getting more information yesterday on the new construction licenses + building code. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said earlier this month that his government would hold a presser before 15 April to explain the new system for the granting of construction licenses. The system is set to kick off a pilot phase on 1 May, before fully rolling out at the start of the fiscal year on 1 July.

“Summer hourscome into effect for retail stores and restaurants on Saturday. This means retail shops can close at 11 pm (instead of 10 pm during the winter), while cafes and restaurants can stay open until 1 am (instead of midnight currently). We have more details on the winter vs. summer hours here.


YOUR MORNING MUST READ- A single day’s delay of vaccination puts more lives at risk than vaccines (clots or not) ever could, argues Financial Times contributor and Undercover Economist author Tim Hartford in a thought-provoking piece on why we should embrace vaccines despite possible risks. The chance of developing a fatal blood clot — which has not been conclusively proven to be linked to any vaccine — is maybe one in 1 mn, meaning 67 people would die if the UK vaccinated its entire population of around 67 mn, Hartford argues.

And while even one vaccine-related death seems like one too many, look at the death toll from the virus itself: At no point was the UK’s covid-19 death toll below 67 during the winter wave between October and March, meaning that covid is killing more people in a single day than vaccine-related complications might throughout the entire campaign. Though we can logically understand this, issues with trust, control, and the media saturation with the blood clots data is likely to keep some people from getting a jab, despite statistics encouraging otherwise.

The EU is turning to BioNTech/Pfizer… Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to deliver 50 mn doses of their vaccine to the EU earlier than expected, moving forward their initial delivery target to 2Q2021 instead of 4Q2021, according to a European Commission statement. The announcement means the EU will be receiving a total 250 mn doses of the vaccine between April and June.

…as doubts over AstraZeneca continueDenmark has become the first European nation to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine completely due to the possible links between the vaccine and blood clotting. Several European governments have restricted the use of the vaccine to over-60s due to fears that younger people may be more susceptible to adverse reactions. Norway may follow suit today when it announces its decision on whether to continue with AstraZeneca.

…and Johnson & Johnson remains unresolved: US health experts have held off on making new recommendations on the J&J covid vaccine, which was suspended earlier this week due to potential links to blood clotting, according to NBC News. Many said they required more information to rule on the safety of the vaccine, the rollout of which will remain frozen while the investigation continues.

On the flipside, the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine may provide wider protection for over-80s than Pfizer/BioNTech, according to the results of a University of Birmingham-led study comparing the two. Those who had received the AstraZeneca shot had a stronger antibody response, and the AstraZeneca jab prompted a T-cell response in 31% of elderly participants, compared to only 12% of those who had received the Pfizer shot.

MARKET WATCH-

What a difference a year makes: Oil demand is expected to grow in 2021 to 96.7 mn bbl/d despite major oil consumers such as Brazil and India still grappling with surging covid-19 cases, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest Oil Market Report. The IEA said its optimistic (for producers, not so much for our warming planet) outlook is based on the accelerating global economic recovery, but warned that the deteriorating health situation in some of the world’s biggest consuming countries means that the oil recovery “remains fragile.”

Do you remember negative oil prices? It is almost a year to the day that global oil markets were staring into the abyss after a historic day of trading sent US crude prices negative for the first time in history. The initial wave of lockdowns caused one of the worst demand shocks in living memory, which combined with an oversupply crisis due to a Saudi-Russia price war to force global benchmarks to endure one of their worst periods in history.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

iSheep, take note: Apple is running a virtual event on Tuesday, 20 April at which pundits think it will unveil AirTags and a new iPad Pro with an improved display and faster processor, among other goodies. The headline: Spring Loaded. The event will stream at 7pm CLT on Apple’s website and on YouTube.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso could visit Egypt later this month, Al Masry Al Youm reported this weekend following a meeting with Egypt’s ambassador to the UK Tarek Adel. This would be her first official visit to Egypt since she was appointed to head the bank in November.

The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to discuss interest rates on Thursday, 29 April.

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

enterprise

INVESTMENT WATCH

Carrefour to invest EGP 400 mn opening new locations this year

Carrefour Egypt is planning to invest EGP 400 mn to set up 20 new branches this year, backed by projections of a rapid recovery in consumer demand, Carrefour Egypt Director Jean-Luc Graziato tells Al Mal. Three of these branches will open in the coming weeks, he said. The expansion could potentially include two or three Upper Egypt locations and an unspecified number of stores on the north coast splitn between Alexandria and Sahel.

At least four of the hypermarket chain’s new branches will be opened in partnership with Omar Effendi as part of an agreement earlier this year that will see Carrefour open mini branches inside 14 of the Egyptian retailer’s outlets.

Carrefour is tapping more into e-commerce: The company plans to double down on expanding home deliveries and launch its own online fresh food delivery portal, Carrefour eFood, in the coming year.

The Majid Al Futtaim-owned retailer could also be going full Amazon in the near future:

The company is looking to expand its Scan and Go offering, which allows users contactless payment by directly scanning items they intend to purchase at a designated station that charges their linked accounts, to more locations in 2021. The technology is currently available for use at Carrefour’s City Center Maadi, Cairo Festival City Mall, Madinaty and Al Shorouk branches.

COVID WATCH

More vaccination centers + covid cases rise again

We now have 193 vaccination centers operating nationwide, Health Minister Hala Zayed told Cabinet in its weekly meeting yesterday. The government is also preparing to establish a center in the national exhibitions center, which should be able to vaccinate up to 10k people a day, the minister said.

That’s still below the ministry’s most recent target: Zayed had said we would have 350 operational vaccination centers by the end of this week, after previously saying 339 facilities would be up and running on 5 April.

The Health Ministry reported 831 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 823 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 212,961 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 44 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 12,570.

More than 30 mn shots have been administered in 21 EastMed countries as the covid-19 virus continues to spread, with 364k infections and 4.4k deaths across the region last week alone, said WHO East Med regional director Ahmed Al Mandhari at a virtual presser yesterday. “Although progress has been made with starting vaccination around the world, there remains a shocking imbalance in the distribution of vaccines. This is especially true in our region,” said Al Mandhari. Last week's infection numbers mark a 22% week-on-week rise in the number of new covid-19 cases across the region, with deaths also rising 17%.

And the WHO wants Muslims observing Ramadan to stay vigilant: “We are especially worried that the current situation may worsen during Ramadan if people don’t follow and adhere to the proven social measures that work,” said Al Mandhari, adding that taking care of our and others’ health is in line with the basic tenents of Islam.

ALSO FROM THE CONFERENCE- The WHO will have its final say on the authorization of China’s Sinopharm vaccine before the end of April, with a delegation set to fly to China soon to assess its manufacturing eligibility, WHO's director of program management Rana Hajjeh said.

Calls for the US to waive IP rights on covid vaccines are increasing: Some 175 former global leaders and Nobel prizewinners are calling on the Biden administration to push companies to waive the intellectual property rights for vaccines in order to speed up the rollout in developing countries, the Financial Times reports.

SUEZ CANAL

The Ever Given is good to go — once its owners settle their dues

The Ever Given container ship is fit to depart the Suez Canal once an agreement has been reached between the Suez Canal Authority and the ship’s owner, the German technical management company Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) said in a statement after making a “thorough inspection” of the vessel.

Plenty of disappointment to go around: “The SCA’s decision to arrest the vessel is extremely disappointing,” BSM CEO Ian Beveridge said, asking for “a swift resolution to this matter that will allow the vessel and crew to depart the Suez Canal.” This comes one day after the ship owners also announced their disappointment with the seizure of the ship.

This may take a while: Negotiations to reach a financial settlement “may take some time,” the SCA said yesterday, according to Reuters. The authority is demanding the owner’s insurer pay USD 916 mn to compensate it for the six-day blockage of the canal. The ship’s protection and indemnity insurer UK Club on Tuesday called the figure “extraordinarily large” and said it had made a “generous” offer to the SCA the day before the latter obtained a court order allowing it to seize the vessel. Two SCA sources told Reuters that the owner had offered USD 100 mn, almost 11% of the SCA’s claim. Chairman Osama Rabie earlier told state TV that “they don’t want to pay anything” for the incident.

One step at a time? The Ever Given’s charterer Evergreen Line is reviewing the Egyptian court order and “studying the possibility of the vessel and the cargo on board being treated separately,” according to a separate statement (pdf). When the vessel is eventually released, it will depart from the Great Bitter Lake — where it is currently anchored for inspection— to Port Said, where it will be examined again before leaving for Rotterdam, BSM said.

ALSO FROM THE CANAL-

An unnamed Chinese shipbuilding company will manufacture five tug boats for the Suez Canal Authority under a contract set to be signed soon.

NBFS

Torrid growth continues in factoring, microfinance

GB Auto’s NBFS arm Drive had the largest share of Egypt’s factoring market in February after more than doubling lending during the month, according to official figures. The Financial Regulatory Authority’s monthly report (pdf) on the NBFS sector shows that Drive increased its market share to almost 22% in February after loaning out EGP 254 mn, up from EGP 115 mn in January (pdf). Egypt Factors had the second-largest share of the market at 17.7% and QNB Factoring was in third with 16%. Drive had a 13% market share in January, behind EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions, Egypt Factors and QNB Factoring. Drive Managing Director Ahmed Osama said last month that the company is aiming to raise its share of the overall non-bank lending market — which also includes its auto finance and forthcoming consumer finance activities — to 25% by the end of 2021.

Factoring market on the up: Monthly lending in the sector grew more 40% y-o-y to EGP 1.17 bn, from EGP 830.1 mn in February 2020 — outpacing the 30% growth rate it posted in January. Total lending in the sector now stands at EGP 6.93 bn.

Microfinance market posts its seventh consecutive month of growth: The value of micro loans rose to EGP 20.2 bn in February, up 14% from EGP 17.7 bn from the same month in 2020, according to the report. This continues a trend that has seen the value of micro loans rise for seven consecutive months, up 16% from less than EGP 17.4 bn last August.

DIPLOMACY

Not yet a bromance

New era of Egypt-Turkey ties coming soon? Egypt may not hold talks with Turkey if Ankara doesn’t meet several conditions Cairo has set to restore diplomatic ties, unnamed sources suggested to Al Arabiya. Until then, there’s no date set for the two sides to meet face-to-face despite recent signals out of Turkey.

A Turkish overture: Al Arabia’s report came the same day that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu declared a “new era with Egypt” and suggested that officials from both sides would meet to discuss reinstating diplomatic missions.

What are the conditions? Egypt still wants Turkey to hand over some Ikhwan figures it claims were involved in terrorist operations, not just expel them, sources noted. The Egyptian government is also seeking to prevent the naturalization of Ikhwan members residing in Turkey to be able to criminally prosecute them, Al Arabiya reported (watch, runtime 0:58). Cairo has also asked Turkey to clamp down on Ikhwan media publishing and broadcasting from Turkey, a step Ankara appears to have taken in recent weeks.

Words into actions: Ankara last month instructed media to tone down criticism of Egypt, while Çavuşoğlu has also suggested that the government is willing to sign a maritime pact with Egypt, in a move that could potentially put an end to disputes over offshore drilling and fishing rights in the EastMed.

But more will be necessary: Cairo informed Turkey that expressing goodwill alone is not enough, and that it is necessary to implement the Egyptian recommendations without delay, Al Arabiya’s sources said.

enterprise

KUDOS

KUDOS- Art D’Égypte’s founder Nadine Abdel Ghaffar was awarded last week the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by French Ambassador to Egypt Stéphane Romatet for her contributions to the art scene in Egypt, according to a statement.

Eastern Company CEO Hany Aman (LinkedIn) was recognized with a Leaders 2020 award after the state-owned tobacco company reported the highest sales and revenue figures in its history. Eastern Company’s net income grew 10% y-o-y in 2020, despite the pandemic-induced global disruption in supply chains and business performance.

Business process outsourcing provider Raya Contact Center was selected to join the 2021 Global Outsourcing 100 list, by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.

Amazon is helping provide 1 mn meals to families in need in Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan this Ramadan, according to a statement (pdf). Amazon’s contributions include “products, services, and monetary donations, including grocery supplies and packing materials.”

People with visual and hearing disabilities will be able to access a range of mobile apps designed for them at no charge after the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority ordered mobile network operators to allow users to download the apps without deducting from monthly internet packages, the local press reports. The apps include Be My Eyes, TapTapSee and Cash Reader for the visually imparied, as well as sign language chatbot Wasel.

Visually impaired customers at the Agricultural Bank of Egypt can also access key services in braille, which the bank is providing in partnership with Al Nour Wal Amal Association, El Watan reports. Many documents will be available in braille at the Agricultural Bank’s main branches across the country.

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

The Ramadan talk show slowdown was in full effect last night: The news junkies among us who just can’t stomach mosalsalat were stuck with Ahmed Moussa whinging about the inordinate length of Ramadan ad breaks (has he never switched on a TV during iftar before?)

Still, we’re not complaining about the Supreme Media Council’s move yesterday, which asked TV channels to abide by time limits set for commercials in Ramadan to prevent the airwaves from becoming non-stop ad fests. Moussa covered the directive (watch, runtime 2:29) and spent part of his show last night railing against the advertisers for interrupting his favourite series — including season two of Al Ikhtiyar as well as Al Qahera Kabul and Hagma Mortad (watch, runtime 9:41).

Moussa also had coverage of the derailment of two cars from a train that resulted in 10 injuries in Sharqia’s Minya Al Qamh (watch, runtime 0:43).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Leading coverage in the foreign press this morning: At least 20 people have died and three injured in a road accident in Assiut Governorate yesterday. A bus travelling from Cairo overturned and collided with a truck, causing both vehicles to burst into flames. (AP | Reuters | Xinhua | Sky News | Africa News)

In a special country report on Egypt in its April edition, Forbes Middle East ran interviews with Orascom Construction CEO Osama Bishai, Youssef & Partners CEO and founder Karim A. Youssef and Telecom Egypt CEO Adel Hamed.

Also making headlines:

  • Human rights: Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s relations with Washginton could become tense should the Biden administration listen follow through on its rhetoric of democracy and human rights promotion. (Wall Street Journal)
  • More human rights: Patrick Zaki, an Egyptian grad student at Bologna University who has been detained here since February 2020 on charges of circulating fake news and calling for protests, has been granted Italian citizenship by the country’s Senate. (ANSA)
  • Egypt’s #MeToo: Victims of physical and verbal harassment are taking to social media to name and shame the perpetrators, with the help of online feminist initiatives. (Open Democracy)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

The UNDP yesterday launched its Development Impact Accelerator Lab in Egypt, which aims to support individual and institutional innovators working to address the UN’s sustainable development goals, according to a cabinet statement. The lab joins a network of 90 other accelerators across the world that partner with governments, private sector players and civil society groups

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

  • Banque Misr has signed an agreement with Saudi SME fintech player Geidea to provide payment and e-commerce services to its clients, Hapi Journal reported.
  • The transmission capacity of wireless networks between Egypt and Sudan will be improved under a MoU signed yesterday between Telecom Egypt and Sudatel Telecom Group.
  • Journalist Sulafa Magdy and her husband photojournalist Hossam El Sayyad were released by authorities on Monday pending investigation, after they had been held in 2019 in a pre-trial detention on charges of joining a terrorist group and reporting fake news.

PLANET FINANCE

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Coinbase shares closed at USD 328.28 on their debut on the Nasdaq yesterday, 31% higher than their USD 250 reference price, CNBC reports. This gave the cryptocurrency exchange — the first crypto firm to go public in the US — a market cap of USD 85.8 bn at the end of its first day. Shares opened at USD 381 and traded as high as USD 429.54 early on before falling back later in the session. The direct listing has been heralded as a watershed moment for a previously niche asset class that is rapidly growing in stature among mainstream investors.

European tax havens are expected to put up a fight against the US-proposed global minimum corporate tax rate. While many larger EU countries have welcomed the proposed 21% minimum corporate tax rate put forward earlier this month, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus are among a coalition European countries that are expected to try and water down the plans, the Financial Times reports. Despite agreeing in principle on the need to reel in corporate tax avoidance, Ireland has said smaller countries “need to be able to use tax policy as a legitimate lever to compensate for advantages of scale, resources and location enjoyed by larger countries.”

US banks are having a field day after first quarter earnings blow past performance expectations thanks to SPACs: JPMorgan Chase has seen 1Q2021 earnings soar 400% above expectations to USD 14.3 bn, supported by the release of USD 5 bn in covid-19 related loan loss provisions it had set aside when the pandemic hit, according to Reuters. Goldman Sachs enjoyed a similarly lucrative quarter that saw revenues more than double to USD 17.7 bn due to large volumes of SPAC-based public offerings.

Toshiba CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani has stepped down after his board objected to what it felt was a low-ball acquisition offer from CVC Partners, where he previously worked, Reuters reports. News of the USD 20 bn buyout and a rival offer from private equity firm KKR has since sent Toshiba’s shares surging 6% higher than its pre-offer price.

Down EGX30 10,116 -1.9% (YTD: -6.7%)
None USD (CBE) Buy 15.63 Sell 15.73
None USD at CIB Buy 15.64 Sell 15.74
None Interest rates CBE 8.25% deposit 9.25% lending
Up Tadawul 9,847 +0.1% (YTD: +13.3%)
Up ADX 6,039 +0.3% (YTD: +19.7%)
Up DFM 2,569 +0.2% (YTD: +3.1%)
Down S&P 500 4,124 -0.4% (YTD: +9.8%)
Up FTSE 100 6,939 +0.7% (YTD: +7.4%)
Up Brent crude USD 68.58 +4.6%
Down Natural gas (Nymex) USD 2.62 -0.1%
None Gold USD 1,736.60 -%
Down BTC USD 63,193 -0.4% (as of midnight)

The EGX30 fell 1.9% yesterday on turnover of EGP 975 mn (28.4% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 6.7% YTD.

In the green: Fawry (+5.3%).

In the red: MM Group (-7.9%), AMOC (-7.7%) and ElSewedy Electric (-6.9%).

Asian shares are mixed this morning, with stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong in the red while the Nikkei and Kospi are clinging (barely) to the green. Futures suggest a mixed open for European stocks. Wall Street is set to open in the green, while Bay Street will likely start in the red.

AROUND THE WORLD

Iran warns US of nuclear talks failure: Iran’s foreign minister has warned that the recent attack on its Natanz nuclear facility has initiated a “dangerous spiral” and warned that there’s “not much time” for the US to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement and remove its Trump-era sanctions. The warning comes ahead of talks to be held this week between Iran, the US, China, Russia and three European countries in Vienna today. Earlier this week, Tehran said it would enrich uranium to 60%, risking pushing the talks into crisis.

Iran has been accused by Israeli officials of attacking an Israeli-owned ship in the Arabian Gulf on Tuesday, raising temperatures further ahead of the talks, Reuters reports. They said the attack was a retaliation for the sabotage of Tehran’s Natanz nuclear facility, which the Iranian government blamed on Israel.

MY MORNING ROUTINE

Claudius Boller, managing director of Spotify Middle East and Africa: Each week, my Morning / WFH Routine looks at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Claudius Boller, managing director of Spotify Middle East and Africa (LinkedIn). Edited excerpts from our conversation:

My name is Claudius Boller, and I’m a proud father of two kids and the managing director of Spotify Middle East and Africa. Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming subscription service founded in 2008, with 345 mn active monthly users globally and 155 mn paying subscribers. I’ve been in the region for over 14 years now and have loved how vibrant it is. I joined Spotify about four years ago after working at a major record label.

My job is exciting and my role is constantly evolving: We first launched in the region in South Africa and followed that with 13 new markets across the Middle East and North Africa in 2018 where there’s a rapidly growing young population. Our mission at Spotify is to become the number one audio platform for music discovery.

We consider ourselves a global brand but we’re 100% localized. Although I’m currently based in Dubai, I used to travel around the region — where we have a multitude of local partners — very frequently over the years. Since the pandemic hit and things went online, travel has been put on hold. It took a few weeks to adjust to the lack of in person contact but as a global company, the majority of our meetings were already virtual, so the transition was pretty easy. We do miss our office though, which is a great collaborative space for our team and for creatives to come in for visits.

Today, Spotify has a Work From Anywhere (WFA) model, which allows us to work from wherever we do our best thinking. Employees have the chance to choose a work mode — whether they’d prefer to be mostly at home or in the office — as well as their geographic location. We believe that work is not a place that you go to but something you do, which is a philosophy I think will contribute to a longer term transformation in the way we work.

I’m usually woken up at 8 am by my daughter jumping on the bed or by my smart speaker playing a Spotify playlist. I check in with my family first thing in the morning then go for a quick run and some exercise — which has been helping me sleep way better at night. I start my work day by checking in with my team and then I read the news, I have just started reading EnterprisePM and I find it very informative. I like outlets that provide an overview of what’s going on in the region.

I like to plan my days a week in advance but there’s always something new and exciting happening at Spotify so we’re quick to jump on new things. Otherwise, most of our work is guided by a five-year strategy, so I tend to check in on how we’re working towards those goals. Sometimes I take a break in the middle of the day for a few hours to focus on family and our newest born child, who’s almost three months old, which means I shift my schedule to work later in the evening.

WFH has helped a lot with staying on top of parental responsibilities but Spotify has always been very accommodating of both paternal and maternal leave for parents. I always encourage my team to block time in their calendars to focus on their personal needs. The key here is communication so everyone knows exactly when to expect each other online.

We saw a lot of people discovering new genres through our platform during the pandemic, particularly genres for winding down, getting better sleep and meditation. We see a lot of children’s songs picking up too as families spend more time together at home.

I listen to a new playlist everyday to help me switch off, and by doing so I discover new music on a daily basis. Otherwise I go for a swim with the kids or go on a walk. I try to go surfing from time to time when the morning waves permit. My time has been very family oriented this past year.

For books I’d definitely recommend Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, especially now. I’ve been following the Netflix show Drive to Survive with my wife, which is about Formula I. Watching this season shot during the pandemic is especially interesting because you can see the challenges of managers trying to keep their teams together while traveling the world to compete at empty race tracks.

The best piece of advice I’ve been given was from my wife, who said be authentic and be human. This is how we connect.

ON YOUR WAY OUT

Hala wallah and konnichiwa, moon: Japan will send a UAE rover to the moon in 2022, as part of the UAE’s push to diversify its economy through technological development, Reuters reports. The rover — which will be built by the Mohammed bin Rashid space center — will be carried to the moon through Japanese company iSpace using a Falcon 9 rocket made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and will remain on the moon after collecting and sending data. The UAE’s national space program was launched in 2017, and deployed the Arab world’s first interplanetary probe into Mars’ orbit in February.

CALENDAR

April: The government’s fuel pricing committee is scheduled to meet for its quarterly review of prices.

April: EBRD president Odile Renaud-Basso expected to visit Egypt.

25 April (Sunday): Sinai Liberation Day.

29 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC — the holiday could be observed on a Sunday or a Thursday).

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.

12-15 September (Sunday-Wednesday): Sahara Expo: the 33rd International Agricultural Exhibition for Africa and the Middle East.

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.

30 September-8 October (Thursday-Friday): The 54th session of the Cairo International Fair, Cairo International Conference 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.

12-14 October (Tuesday-Thursday) Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt

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.

1-3 November (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Energy exhibition on power and renewable energy, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt

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

29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo

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.

May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

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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