Sunday, 18 April 2021

More AstraZeneca / Sinopharm shots inbound

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to the last full work week of Ramadan. As things stand:

  • Next week will be a day short in celebration of Sinai Liberation Day (likely to be observed on Sunday, 25 April)
  • We then tumble into a four-day weekend on the occasion of Coptic Easter and Sham El Nessim. The former is a bank holiday, so banks and the stock market will be off for four days. (Labour Day falls on Saturday, 1 May, so expect government offices to be closed.)
  • And then it’s the last week of Ramadan, with the Eid El Fitr holiday starting on Wednesday, 12 May.

BUT, BUT, BUT… Yes, we know — holidays are supposed to be celebrated on Thursdays, under a cabinet decree. But the decision gives ministers wiggle room to observe holidays on Sundays. The idea is that mid-week holidays are tacked onto weekends, which we think is eminently sensible.

IT’S A BIG WEEK FOR: Our climate, as 40 world leaders gather in the United States for the Leaders Summit on Climate Change (official website), which runs next Thursday and Friday. The Biden administration has invited attendees ranging from the leaders of Canada and China to the EU, Gabon, Germany, Italy, Jamaica and Japan. From our corner of the world: Our ex in Ankara, Sheikh Khalifabin Zayed Al Nahyan from the UAE, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, and Bibi next door are all due to attend. Egypt is not invited despite being particularly vulnerable to climate change.

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

** So, when do we eat? On this sixth day of Ramadan, we’ll break fast at 6:24pm. You’ll have until 3:53am to eat / hydrate / caffeinate before the call to fajr prayers.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Proposed overhaul to Thanaweya Amma up for discussion in the Senate: The Senate will meet Monday to discuss legal amendments that would see students study for their Thanaweya Amma exams for three years instead of one. The changes would also see the exams taken electronically, rather than on paper, while students would be able to pay up to EGP 5k per subject to retake tests. The Senate Education Committee has already come out against the changes, citing concerns over the integrity of electronic exams and suggesting that pay-to-play exams may contravene the constitutional right to education.

Committee-level budget discussions to start in days: The House Planning and Budgeting Committee will start discussing the FY2021-2022 budget in the coming days, Al Shorouk reports.

MARKET WATCH-

Wall Street had a good week: The Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed on Friday at fresh record highs, buoyed by “a strong start to earnings season” and positive signs of economic growth, coupled with a drop in US bond yields, according to the Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs reported soaring earnings in 1Q2021 last week, thanks to the boom in SPAC-based public offerings. Yields on 10-year US treasuries registered their steepest one-week decline since last June, ending the week at 1.571% from 1.664%, suggesting the market is “finally starting to believe” the US Federal Reserve will not hike interest rates to guard against an uptick in inflation, analysts said.

The EGX30 had a less stellar week — the benchmark is now down 6.5% for the year-to-day despite rallying a bit on Thursday to close up 0.3% on the anemic turnover we have come to expect from Ramadan.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

New goodies for iSheep? 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 new products. The headline: Spring Loaded. The event will stream at 7pm CLT on Apple’s website and on YouTube.

GERD summit? Sudan has invited Egypt and Ethiopia’s prime ministers to hold a three-way summit this week to renew negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Cairo and Addis Ababa have yet to RSVP.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso could visit Egypt sometime this month, Al Masry Al Youm reported last week 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 review rates on Thursday, 29 April. We’ll have our customary poll of economists and analysts on the expected outcome from the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee next Sunday, 25 April.

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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COVID WATCH

More vaccines incoming

Egypt is set to get its hands on as many as 4.5 mn doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab through the Gavi / Covax scheme by the end of May, Health Minister Hala Zayed said during a meeting with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly on Thursday. This comes as part of a 5 mn-dose batch that Covax promised to deliver to Egypt after the first 854k-dose batch of vaccines from the program was received on 1 April. Egypt placed a 40 mn-shot order through Covax, which it’s expecting to receive in multiple batches throughout the year.

More Sinopharm vaccines are also on the way: Another 500k-dose batch of China’s Sinopharm vaccine is set to land in Egypt “soon,” as part of the 20 mn doses Egypt has purchased, Zayed said, without disclosing a specific timeline. We have so far received 680k doses of Sinopharm, which has claimed a 79% efficacy rate.

Inching closer to Sinovac manufacturing? Procedures are “underway” to begin manufacturing China’s Sinovac vaccine in Egypt through state-owned Vacsera, along with Pharco’s BioGeneric Pharma and Eva Pharma, the minister said, without providing further details. Egypt plans to manufacture 80 mn doses each year of the Chinese vaccine. Director of the China Centers for Disease Control Gao Fu said last week that both Sinopharm and Sinovac “don't have high protection rates” before backtracking to say that comments were “taken out of context.”

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called on the international community to ensure that vaccines are distributed fairly around the world in a statement during a virtual meeting with the United Nations Economic and Social Council on Thursday. Part of the reason that developing countries are struggling to inoculate their populations is because vaccine production is monopolized by high-income countries, he said, urging manufacturers to allow more low- and middle-income countries to produce the shots. Egypt is one of 180 countries to have joined the UN Political Declaration on Equitable Global Access to Covid-19 Vaccines, which aims to help developing countries access vaccines at reasonable prices.

The Health Ministry reported 845 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 841 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 215,484 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 41 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 12,694.

COVID ACROSS THE WORLD-

Global covid-19 deaths have crossed the 3 mn mark, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

To put that in context: That’s equal to the population of Kiev, capital of Ukraine; Caracas, Venezuela; or Lisbon, Portugal, according to the AP.

Deaths, cases are increasing across the world: The death toll has accelerated in recent months, rising at around 12k per day on average. And global daily cases are now running at more than 700k a day. Brazil has accounted for one-quarter of overall fatalities in recent weeks, while India has been suffering through a new wave of the virus since February.

Precarious supply situation: Almost 60 countries may not get further covid-19 shots until June, according to one estimate cited by the AP. Covax has so far supplied 40 mn doses to more than 100 low and middle-income countries — covering just 0.25% the world’s population.

INVESTMENT WATCH

Egypt “very resilient” market for MAF

Egypt, UAE and Saudi expected to lead post-covid recovery for MAF: Egypt proved to be a “very resilient” market for Majid Al Futtaim, which has seen its fastest recovery from last year’s pandemic business slump in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, CEO Alain Bejjani told the Associated Press. The Dubai-based real estate developer and retail giant’s rebound in Saudi and the UAE comes as these countries make solid progress on their vaccination programs, the newswire notes. Bejjani did not mention specific investment plans for Egypt this year, but Carrefour Egypt Director Jean-Luc Graziato had said last week the MAF-owned retailer is planning to invest EGP 400 mn to set up 20 new branches in Egypt this year.

IN OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS-

The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) has denied news that it plans to sell the Mogamma El Tahrir to private investors, according to a cabinet statement. The fund fully owns the building, which will be transformed into a mixed-use development that includes a hotel as well as commercial, administrative and cultural spaces. The fund plans to contract with a private sector player as part of the transformation.

The partnership model: The SFE will contribute to the technical studies and surveying work, while the partner will finance the development. The fund has issued the conditions booklet for the project to foreign and local investors and developers, and an agreement may be reached by 3Q2021. The statement does not make clear whether the private sector partner will be involved on an equity, revenue or profit sharing basis. One or more private companies could be brought in to run parts of the facility on a model similar to the hotel industry, where a property owner brings in a global brand as an operator.

Eni could ramp up spending on its exploration and production activities in Egypt, CEO Claudio Desclazi said during a meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

SUEZ CANAL

OK, time for Plan B?

Thousands of containers on board the Ever Given could be offloaded and delivered through other ships as Evergreen Marine, which chartered the Ever Given, comes under mounting pressure to get the goods to their destinations in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the matter. The Taiwanese firm is now considering this option after the Ever Given was seized last week by the Suez Canal Authority as it looks to reach a compensation agreement with the ship’s owner. Evergreen could deploy empty ships to carry cargo or load boxes onto other container ships, although the prospect of ship-to-ship offloading presents its own set of challenges.

Evergreen has not yet reached a final decision on the fate of containers on standby until a financial settlement for the six-day blockage of the canal is reached. “The possibility of the vessel and the cargo on board being treated separately,” however, is on the table, the shipping company said on Wednesday.

And the crew? Two can leave. The rest must stay. Two crew members were allowed on Thursday to leave the vessel and return to India due to “urgent personal circumstances,” Rabie said in a statement. The SCA stressed its cooperation with the shipping agency to make sure that all crew’s needs are met.

The SCA is doing what it can to get the process moving, but negotiations could take time, SCA Chairman Osama Rabie said in a statement over the weekend. The authority wants the impounded vessel to depart from the Great Bitter Lake — where it is currently anchored for inspection — as soon as possible and is being “highly cooperative” with both shipowner Shoei Kisen and the ship's insurer to reach an agreement that satisfies all parties involved, according to Rabie. The SCA is demanding the owner’s insurer to pay USD 916 mn in compensation for damages to the canal’s embankment and blockage of marine traffic for almost a week, which cost around USD 90 mn in foregone revenues.

The results of the investigation still aren’t out — but that’s not stopping the leaks to the press: The SCA’s investigation into the Ever Given’s grounding showed that the main cause was a technical failure and an error made by the ship’s captain, unnamed sources at the authority told El Watan, without disclosing further information. The dust storm forced the vessel off course, but it wasn’t the “main reason” for the incident, the sources said, claiming that the investigation proved the SCA guide bears no responsibility.

The hold-up in shipments due to the Ever Given's seizure is proving particularly harmful to Chinese shipping companies, according to Caixin Global. When the ship wedged sideways across the canal last month, it was carrying at least USD 3.5 bn-worth of goods, more than three-quarters of which belongs to Chinese firms, the Beijing-based news agency said, citing figures from freight logistics platform Yunquna.

And won’t someone please think of the British gardeners? A twin demand / supply shock in the UK garden gnome market is apparently serious enough to merit a full article in the Guardian, which claims that the Suez blockage and a surge in market demand is threatening to leave the UK gnome-less. “We’re facing a perfect storm,” the Garden Centre Association’s chief executive said.

ECONOMY

Egypt ranks third in US News’ Best Countries’ economic resilience category

Egypt ranks third in Best Countries’ economic resilience category: Egypt landed in third place in the “Best Movers” sub-category of US News’ “Best Countries” annual ranking. The Best Movers sub-ranking measures economies’ resilience and momentum. The category is designed to be “predictive of a country’s future growth in terms of per capita purchasing power and parity gross domestic product.” The UAE took the top spot in this category for the second year running, while India landed in second place. Singapore and China are ranked fourth and fifth.

In the overall ranking, Egypt was named the 33rd best country in the world, moving up three spots from last year’s edition. The ranking now covers 78 countries. The report measures the global perception of a country across a number of categories through conducting interviews with more than 25k participants across 36 countries. Egypt ranks 8th in the heritage category, but falls behind in quality of life (#51), social purpose (#54), and open for business (#66).

At the top of the list: Canada.

At the bottom of the list: Iraq.

STARTUP WATCH

Kemitt secures undisclosed six-figure funding from Saudi Angel investors

Egypt-based e-commerce startup Kemitt has secured an undisclosed six-figure investment in a seed funding round from Saudi Angels, it said in a press release. Kemitt plans to use the funds to expand its team and further develop its technology, with an eye to expand into new markets, starting with Saudi Arabia, the statement said. Kemitt acts as an online marketplace connecting product and furniture designers with customers, while the company itself “handles all the manufacturing, overhead, and last-mile logistics.” Kemitt offers a range of online payment options and financing plans, creating a digital end-to-end home shopping experience.

FINANCE

Al Ahly takes lion’s share of Egypt’s mortgage finance market

Al Ahly Mortgage Finance accounted for 34.4% of the country’s mortgage finance market in January and February 2021, with EGP 229.8 mn of funding doled out during the first two months of the year, according to a Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) report (pdf). Tamweel Group came in second place with a 15.1% market share and EGP 132.8 mn of funding, while Taamir Mortgage accounted for 12.1% of the market in 2M2021 with a funding portfolio of EGP 106.1 mn. Rounding out the top five: Amlak Finance (9.2%) and Contact (6.7%).

WHO’S IN THE MARKET FOR DEBT?

Banque Misr has granted Finlease a EGP 200 mn medium-term facility to help the leasing company finance its leases and expand its operations, Al Mal reports. The loan carries a tenor of 3-7 years.

A EUR 1.9 bn syndicated loan from a group of banks led by JPMorgan Chase to fund the National Authority for Tunnels’ projects earned approval from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

OTHER FINANCE NEWS- Mubasher Capital Holding for Financial Investments can now market and underwrite initial public offerings, under a new license granted by the Financial Regulatory Authority, local press reported. The company has been registered as a custodian in February.

DIPLOMACY

GERD could be in the Security Council’s hands soon

Khartoum vows to take GERD to UN Security Council if all else fails: Sudan will take the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute to the UN Security Council if negotiations with Ethiopia and Egypt don’t make headway, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tells France24. Hamdok urged the three countries’ prime ministers to accept his invitation to meet in an attempt to resolve the impasse, after ministerial talks failed to yield a breakthrough. Last week, Hamdok suggested holding the prime minister-level summit within 10 days.

Egypt already has the same plan: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said on multiple occasions that Egypt could take up the matter with the UN Security Council, but appears to have taken a step in that direction after speaking with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about the talks and penning letters to each of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council last week.

What can the Security Council do, again? If the GERD issue is brought to the Security Council, the 15-member UN committee can issue a resolution that is considered binding, but is not tantamount to international law. The resolution would have to get backing from at least nine members, and not be vetoed by one of the five permanent members — the US, UK, France, China, and Russia. While Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are currently not members of the council, they would be permitted to join the council’s discussions on the matter but would not vote on a resolution. Egypt and Sudan could, theoretically speaking, be given the green light from the council to take action (including military action) if the council agreed that Ethiopia poses a threat to international peace and security, as per Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

Meanwhile, we’re still drumming up more international support: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed the GERD issue with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh on Thursday, according to an Ittihadiya statement that is otherwise scant on details. Shoukry also appealed on Thursday to his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, to back Egypt’s position on the impasse at the African Union (AU), according to a ministry statement.

Background: The latest round of talks in Kinshasa earlier this month ended in yet another stalemate, as the three countries failed to agree in a path forward for new talks. Ethiopia rejected a Sudanese proposal to bring in new international mediators, insisting instead that the negotiations continue to be sponsored by the AU. Ethiopia turned down Egyptian proposals to allow observers to participate in the talks to resolve outstanding legal and technical issues of contention. Addis Ababa has said it will move ahead with the second filling of the dam’s reservoir once the rainy season begins in a few months, regardless of whether or not it has reached an agreement on the dam’s filling and operation with Cairo and Khartoum.

ALSO IN DIPLOMACY:

Egypt has become the 34th member of the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) — a few days after Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed defense ties with Russia during Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Cairo last week.

EARNINGS WATCH

Taaleem net income up 17% in 1H FY2020-2021

Higher education outfit Taaleem reported EGP 129.6 mn in net income during 1H FY2020-2021, rising 17.5% y-o-y from the year before, according to the company’s first earnings release (pdf) as a publicly traded company. Taaleem's revenues also rose 17.1% y-o-y during the six-month period to EGP 317.1 mn, breaking a record high registered a year ago. The company’s top-line growth was underpinned by “double-digit growth in student intake” at its Nahda University in Beni Suef (NUB), which CEO Mohamed El Rashidi says “reflects strong and increasing demand for admission to the university, and particularly the faculty of medicine launched in the previous year.” The company’s financial year runs September-August.

Looking ahead, Taaleem’s priorities for the rest of 2021 include setting up its second institution, Badya University in Palm Hills Developments’ West Cairo Badya development, with student intake slated for September 2022. Taaleem is also expanding NUB and expects to begin construction on its new teaching hospital before the end of the current academic year.

Taaleem became the EGX’s first IPO of 2021 earlier this month: Taaleem’s debut on the bourse on 7 April saw its shares pop 6% on the first day of trading after seeing strong demand from retail and institutional investors alike.

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ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Season two of Al Ikhtiyar was top of the talk shows’ agenda last night: The fifth episode, which dramatized the dispersal of the 2013 Rabaa sit-in, received coverage on El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 2:00) and Ala Mas'ouleety (watch, runtime: 5:00), while the entirety of Kelma Akhira was dedicated to analysing the episode (watch, runtime: 1:20:40).

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • Some EGP 4 bn worth of compensation has been allocated to residents facing eviction due to the expansion of the Ring Road, Transportation Minister Kamel El Wazir said (Ala Mas'ouleety | watch, runtime: 2:01 I 3:09)
  • Veteran Egyptian journalist and former head of the Supreme Media Council Makram Mohamed Ahmed has died at the age of 86 after a battle with illness. (Ala Mas'ouleety | watch, runtime: 5:37)

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

No single story is dominating coverage on Egypt in the foreign press this morning. Among the stories receiving attention are:

  • Women’s rights: The draft Personal Status Act is under scrutiny for undermining Egyptian women’s rights and essentially treating divorced women as minors. (Financial Times)
  • The NGO law: The new NGOs Act is also facing criticism for “stifling” independent rights organizations’ work. (Human Rights Watch)
  • Mosalsalat: Egyptian Ramadan drama series are a must-watch for many diaspora communities. (The Guardian)
  • GEM: The Grand Egyptian Museum, designed by Ireland’s Heneghan Peng Architects, is considered a world heritage asset and an architectural design masterpiece for sitting on the edge of the Giza Plateau. (ArchDaily)
  • Regional politics: Turkey may have calculated that replacing its hostile behavior toward Egypt with strategic competition will strengthen Ankara’s presence in the Gulf region, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean. (The Arab Weekly)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Things we’re keeping an eye on this morning:

  • A full-fledged medical city will be set up in the area surrounding Ain Shams University Hospitals as part of an overhaul of the area ordered by El Sisi.
  • The Egyptian Air Force has tapped Airbus to provide integrated and performance-based services for its C295 fleet for five years.
  • The Armed Forces took receipt of its second Italian Fremm Bergamini frigate on Thursday.

PLANET FINANCE

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US banks’ earnings season is still going strong: Bank of America reported stronger-than-expected earnings in 1Q2021, with its net income doubling during the three-month period to reach USD 8.1 bn, according to the multinational investment bank's financials (pdf). Bank of America’s performance comes as it released USD 2.7 bn in loan-loss reserves over the quarter, which was also marked by a boom in global trading — driven in part by a Reddit-fueled trading frenzy in meme stocks like GameStop — that also boosted investment banking gains.

Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, rounded out an all-time great first quarter (pdf), thanks to its institutional securities business growing 66% y-o-y. While its investment banking revenue more than doubled y-o-y to USD 2.6 bn in 1Q2021, Morgan Stanley lost a total of USD 911 mn in the collapse of Archegos Capital Management, marking the only major US bank to be nursing losses from the family office's debacle, the Financial Times reports.

A consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners is getting a 49% stake in Aramco OIl Pipelines by issuing USD 10.5 bn in long-tenor bonds to replace “staple financing” backing the stake acquisition, Reuters reports. EIG plans to cover the full amount in two or three bond issuances, with the first slated for 1Q2022.

Is Jack Ma being pushed out of Ant Group? Fintech giant Ant Group is considering ending its relationship with founder Jack Ma following meetings with Chinese regulators, Reuters reports, citing three anonymous sources. Ma may be asked to cede control of the company and divest his stake seemingly at the behest of the Chinese central bank and the country’s financial regulator, which have discussed his exit with the company and with Ma himself, the newswire says. The claims come as the Chinese government takes an increasingly hard line against the country’s most powerful tech companies. Ant Financial’s would-be record IPO was called off at the last minute by regulators last year, while Alibaba — Ma’s ecommerce company — was handed a USD 2.8 bn fine earlier this month for supposedly anticompetitive practices.

Up

EGX30

10,143

+0.3% (YTD: -6.5%)

Up

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.62

Sell 15.72

Up

USD at CIB

Buy 15.62

Sell 15.72

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

9,987

+1.4% (YTD: +14.9%)

Up

ADX

6,131

+1.5% (YTD: +21.5%)

Up

DFM

2,633

+2.5% (YTD: +5.7%)

Up

S&P 500

4,185

+0.4% (YTD: +11.4%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,019

+0.5% (YTD: +8.7%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 66.77

-0.3%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.68

+0.8%

Up

Gold

USD 1,780.20

+0.8%

Down

BTC

USD 61,117

-1.6% (as of midnight)

The EGX30 rose 0.3% on Thursday on turnover of EGP 899 mn (33.9% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 6.5% YTD.

In the green: Eastern Co. (+2.9%), CIB (+1.7%) and Export Development Bank (+1.4%).

In the red: TMG Holding (-3.0%), AMOC (-2.8%) and MM Group (-2.7%).

AROUND THE WORLD

Turkey-Greece love-in doesn’t go to plan: Reconciliation talks between Turkey and Greece in Ankara didn’t get off to a great start on Thursday as a press conference between the two countries’ foreign ministers degenerated into an argument over sovereignty and regional interests (watch, runtime: 2:25). The talks between the feuding neighbours initially seemed positive, with the two ministers agreeing to strengthen economic cooperation and continue talks in Geneva later this month. But things soon took a turn for the worst as the ministers fired shots over Greece’s minority Turkish population, disputed territory in the EastMed, and Turkey’s recent conversion of the Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Bloomberg reports.

Iran sounds optimism on nuclear talks: Talks in Vienna aimed at saving the Iran nuclear pact made progress last week, with Iran claiming that it is working on a “new understanding” with the US and global powers, Bloomberg reports. The Islamic Republic is working on a new draft text for restoring the 2015 agreement ahead of a resumption of talks today, the country’s lead negotiator said, cautioning that major disagreements remain. An apparent cyberattack on an Iranian nuclear facility last week threatened to collapse the talks, which aim to get the US to reenter the accord and Iran to get back into compliance.

Moscow and Washington in tit-for-tat sanctions: The Biden administration has banned US financial institutions from holding ruble-denominated bonds and expelled 10 Russian diplomats to punish Moscow for allegedly being behind the SolarWinds hack and interfering in US elections, the State Department said Thursday. Russia has responded in kind, saying Friday that as many as 10 US diplomats would be forced to leave the US Embassy in Moscow.

ON YOUR WAY OUT

Moon + Mars over Egypt last night: The Moon and Mars shared the same right ascension yesterday, with the pair being visible from the sunset until 11pm, the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics said yesterday. During the conjunction, the Red Planet was covered by the dark side of the Moon before it reappeared from behind the illuminated part of the crescent. The pair were close enough to fit within the view of a telescope, and were also visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars. In the Sky has more details.

CALENDAR

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

April: EBRD president Odile Renaud-Basso is 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).

16-19 May (Sunday-Wednesday): The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is taking place in Dubai. ATM is an international travel and tourism event to promote the Middle East as a tourist destination.

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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