Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Sinovac jab cleared for emergency use in Egypt

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, dear readers — we’re halfway through Ramadan already. The news is mercifully light this morning as we look forward to kicking back on a long weekend.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly will announce the government’s reform agenda for the coming fiscal year later today, Planning Minister Hala El Said said yesterday. The FY 2021-2022 sustainable development plan will include a number of structural reforms, she said, without disclosing further details. Structural reforms to support private sector growth, particularly regarding state involvement in the economy, have been a key demand of the IMF, and are linked to Egypt’s current USD 5.2 bn loan programme.

El Said has already given a preview of what we can expect from the plan: The minister said earlier this month the program will aim to increase the private sector’s role in the economy, without providing further information. Also on the agenda: levelling up growth sectors, increasing funding for green projects, upping spending on infrastructure in impoverished areas, and raising investment in HR and vocation training.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait is addressing AmCham’s Pre-Annual General Meeting today to discuss Egypt’s economic reform beyond the pandemic. The event will be held virtually at 2pm CLT. Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend. Register here.

The US Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day policy meeting today against a backdrop of a rapidly recovering economy and an accelerating vaccine rollout. All the same, don’t expect any immediate unwinding of the central bank’s crisis measures.

Here at home, the Central Bank of Egypt will meet tomorrow to review interest rates. The committee typically meets on Thursdays, but moved the meeting up as Thursday will be a national holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day. Our poll of 14 economists and analysts suggests the committee will keep rates where they are. A similar Reuters poll out yesterday showed 19 of 20 analysts predicting a hold.

We still don’t know what the holiday schedule is for next week as officials have yet to make clear whether Sunday (Coptic Easter) is a bank holiday. They have also not indicated when we will observe Sham El Nessim, which falls on Monday.

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

** So, when do we eat? We get to sit down for iftar at 6:29pm this evening, and will have until 3:42am to wrap up our sohour.

MARKET WATCH-

Food prices are surging: Crop prices climbed to highs not seen since 2013 last week, causing analysts to warn that the prices of some of the world’s most important food commodities are in a bubble, Bloomberg reports. The Bloomberg Agriculture Spot Index, which tracks prices of key commodities such as wheat, corn and soy, rose the most in nine years as poor weather in major producing countries and huge Chinese demand heaped pressure on supply. The US may have to step in and ration demand, Jacqueline Holland, an analyst at Farm Futures, told the business news information service. “Farmers are either running out of crops to sell or waiting for the market to go even higher,” she said.

In detail: Wheat prices climbed to USD 7.395 per bushel, the highest level since February 2013, while corn closed the week at USD 6.575 a bushel, the highest since May 2013. Soybean oil futures, which have tripled since last April, are now at levels not seen since the global financial crisis in 2008.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

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

enterprise

*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s weekly Going Green vertical focuses each Tuesday on Egypt’s burgeoning green economy.

In today’s issue: Egypt’s air pollution isn’t only a health hazard — it brings major economic costs, estimated at EGP 47 bn a year by the World Bank. And it’s set to get worse, driven by population growth, urbanization and industry reliance. So what’s being done to tackle the problem? The recently-greenlit USD 200 mn World Bank loan is one significant initiative. We look at how government-led programs, supported by development finance institutions and the private sector, are either directly targeting emissions reduction or seeing it as a major byproduct of their activities.

enterprise

COVID WATCH

Sinovac given emergency approval + health minister to face questions in parliament over handling of latest outbreak

Sinovac cleared for use in Egypt: Health regulators have granted approval to China’s Sinovac vaccine for emergency use, the authority said in a statement last night. This is the fourth covid vaccine approved by the EDA following Sinopharm, Oxford / AstraZeneca, and Russia’s Sputnik V.

Sinovac’s efficacy rate is … fine: Sinovac has an efficacy rate of 50.4% in preventing infections — well below the 92% efficacy rate boasted by Sputnik V, the 79% reported by Sinopharm, and 76% by AstraZeneca. Reuters also covered the story.

Egypt is preparing to start local production of the vaccine: Egypt plans to manufacture 40-60 mn doses of the Chinese vaccine each year after state-owned vaccine maker Vacsera signed an agreement with the company last week. An initial batch of 5 mn doses will be produced over the next two months. And local pharma company Minapharm will produce some 40 mn doses of Sputnik each year, with production scheduled to start in November.

State-owned Vacsera will be able to produce up to 100 mn doses a year following the opening of its new plant in Sixth of October City, El Watan quoted Health Minister Hala Zayed during a presser. The new facility will have a production capacity of 40-60 mn doses.

Zayed is being called to parliament to explain the situation in Sohag: The House Health Committee has summoned the health minister to deliver a statement in light of the deteriorating situation in Sohag, Youm7 reports. Committee chair Ashraf Hatim said the minister will face questions on the rising volume of cases nationwide, which he described as a “real problem,” while other committee members voiced concerns about a lack of supplies in hospitals in Sohag.

And the Doctors’ Syndicate isn’t happy as the death toll mounts: Sixty-one medical professionals have died from covid-19 since the beginning of April, roughly double the monthly figure seen in past months, the Doctors Syndicate said in a statement yesterday. This brings the total to almost 500. The syndicate criticized the health minister’s statement this week which only mentioned the 115 doctors working in isolation hospitals that have died, rather than the total figure. It also urged the ministry to either provide vaccines to all doctors or ensure that they are provided with equipment to protect them from the virus.

Cases + deaths rose again yesterday: The Health Ministry reported 991 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 953 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 223,514 confirmed cases of covid-19. Cases have now risen continuously for more than three weeks, and are up more than 40% from the end of last month. The ministry also reported 58 new deaths, the highest daily figure since mid-February. The country’s total death toll is now 13,107.

Our covid resilience is improving, according to Bloomberg: Egypt is now ranked 38 on Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience ranking after rising 10 spots in April, up from the 47th spot in January. The improvement in our resilience enduring covid-19 comes as the country’s vaccine rollout picks up steam, with 680k doses of the Sinopharm vaccine and the first 854k-dose batch of Oxford / AstraZeneca jabs from the Gavi / Covax program landing in Egypt. Some 5 mn doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine will also be locally produced within two months at the factories of state-owned Vacsera, before bringing the total to 40-60 mn per year. Bloomberg’s ranking is “a measure of the best places to be in the coronavirus era” by looking at a country’s metrics such as monthly cases and fatality rates, percentage of the population covered by vaccine supply agreements, the strength of its healthcare system, and GDP growth forecasts.

At the top: Singapore, New Zealand and Australia are still leading the ranking.

At the bottom: Poland and Brazil are the lowest-ranked countries on the list.

COVID AROUND THE WORLD-

The US is going to stop hoarding vaccines: The US will send up to 60 mn doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries as “they become available,” Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden, said in a tweet yesterday. The US is on course to acquire 300 mn excess doses by July, leading to growing calls for it to share its stockpile with countries still in the throes of the pandemic.

EU sues Astrazeneca over missed deliveries: The EU is suing AstraZeneca for allegedly failing to deliver the contracted number of doses, the BBC reports. The EU Commission signed up to purchase 300 mn doses last August, but the company only shipped 30 mn of an agreed 80 mn in the first quarter and is on course to provide only 70 mn of 180 mn doses this quarter. AstraZeneca said earlier this year that production problems meant it would have to reduce its supplies, and said yesterday that the lawsuit was "without merit."

ECONOMY

Egypt’s inclusion in JPMorgan's bond index could be less lucrative

Inclusion in the JPMorgan bond index may not be quite as lucrative as first thought: Egypt could see inflows worth USD 1.4-2.2 bn in the local currency bond market if JPMorgan reincludes it in its emerging-market government bond index, research analysts at the investment bank have said, according to Reuters.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait this month said Egypt could expect USD 4.4 bn in inflows after being included in the index, while an economist at South African financial services company RMB Holdings put the figure at USD 4.8 bn.

Expect it to be closer to USD 1.4 bn: "With investors already holding relatively large [overweight] positions in local assets, particularly in Egypt, we expect inflows are likely to be closer to the lower end of this range,” the analysts said.

What we know so far: The US bank said this month it had put Egypt on its ‘index watch positive’ list, meaning that it is looking at including the country’s local-currency bonds on its popular index of sovereign EM bonds. Fourteen Egyptian bonds are up for consideration in the index, which would have a weight of almost 1.78%, the analysts said. The bank will make a decision within the next six months.

This wouldn’t be the first time Egypt has been a part of the index, having been kicked off in the wake of the economic turmoil that followed the 25 January Revolution in 2011.

Waiting for Euroclear? Egyptian bonds could be cleared through the Belgium-based clearinghouse Euroclear between September and November this year, making it easier for foreign investors to invest in EGP bonds.

Don’t know what Euroclear is? Check out our explainer here.

SUEZ CANAL

Potential compromise to end Ever Given dispute?

The Suez Canal Authority seems to be signalling it wants to strike an agreement to set the Ever Given free. The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) will offer “great” considerations to the owner of the Ever Given mega container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March to ensure talks to negotiate an agreement on compensation are successful, SCA Chairman Osama Rabie said, according to a cabinet statement. The authority is “eager” to reach an agreement that is fair to all parties involved, Rabie added.

The SCA seized the ship earlier this month and demanded USD 916 mn in compensation from its Japanese owner, Shoei Kisen. The compensation covers a “salvage bonus” and damages to the canal’s embankment and its global reputation. Shoei Kisen has, however, appealed the ship’s seizure and the ins. company UK Club alleged the SCA’s claim is “extraordinarily large” and unsubstantiated. The authority is also coming under pressure to release the ship’s crew members.

DIPLOMACY

Turkish mission in Egypt next week?

Egypt-Turkey ties could be mended soon as a Turkish diplomatic mission is scheduled to visit Egypt next week as Ankara pushes to reestablish ties with Cairo after nearly a decade of animosity, Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin told Reuters. The planned visit comes as the two countries’ intelligence chiefs and foreign ministers have been in touch in Ankara’s efforts to turn over a new leaf with Egypt, Kalin said. Normalizing relations with Egypt would also serve a regional benefit, including “the security situation in Libya because we fully understand that Egypt has a long border with Libya and that may sometimes pose a security threat for Egypt,” he said.

Background: Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu declared earlier this month “a new era with Egypt” and suggested that officials from both sides would meet to discuss reinstating diplomatic missions and look for a way to turn the page on years of strained ties between the two countries. Turkey last month instructed the media to tone down criticism of Egypt, while Çavuşoğlu has also suggested signing a maritime pact with Egypt. In Turkey’s latest bid to patch things up, Ankara proposed last week the establishment of a “parliamentary friendship group” that would bring together MPs from both countries who want to boost ties between their parliaments. This came despite Egypt’s previous statement that it would not hold bilateral talks unless Ankara meets several conditions, including handing over some Ikhwan figures and barring members who fled to Turkey from naturalizing.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

There was lots of news on the airwaves (by the standards of Ramadan) last night, with the transport minister’s parliamentary statement, Turkey’s diplomatic overtures, and covid-19 all getting attention.

Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir’s appearance in parliament got full coverage on Kelma Akhira: Lamees El Hadidi’s Kelma Akhira dedicated a large part of her show to covering El Wazir’s parliamentary statement yesterday. The minister has been under fire recently following several deadly train crashes, and was summoned before MPs yesterday to present his plans to fix the chronic problems with the country’s rail network. El Wazir said that the ministry will start work on 27 new projects in July that will cost the government some EGP 132 bn. This is part of a 10-year, EGP 225 bn plan to upgrade the country’s rail network that is due to finish in 2024. He also said that half of the nation’s railcars are not in working order, which he blamed on negligence and “extremist elements” in the Railways Authority.

His statement got mixed reviews: MP Atef Maghawry told El Hadidi that the minister’s statement was “satisfactory” and agreed with El Wazir on the existence of subversive elements, describing the railway sector as the "cemetery" of former transport ministers (watch, runtime 6:57). But El Hadidi questioned if the ministry will be able to improve rail safety by the end of the development plan in 2024, and demanded more information on the minister’s claims that crashes have been caused by extremist railway employees (watch, runtime 9:19).

Tougher penalties or stronger protections for rail workers? MP Amr Darwish said that tougher penalties should be imposed on railway employees linked to extremist groups or substance abuse (watch, runtime 5:40). But El Hadidi said that any change made to the Civil Service Act should be clear and objective to avoid its misuse against people having different views or opinions and thus preserve employees’ rights (watch, runtime: 2:02). Railway workers who are found guilty of criminal behaviour will be referred to the emergency state security courts and face tougher penalties, according to a recent decision by the prime minister (watch, runtime 2:02).

The Egypt-Turkey love-in got coverage: News of the Turkish diplomatic mission’s visit to Egypt in early May was covered by El Hekaya’s Amr Adib, who questioned whether the presidential summit suggested by Ankara will really happen (watch, runtime: 6:22). The upcoming meetings aren’t certain to be successful but the indicators are “almost good,” he said. Ala Mas’ouleety also had coverage (watch, runtime: 4:29)

The daily covid-19 bulletin: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s vaccination yesterday and the Egyptian Drug Authority’s decision to grant approval to the Chinese Sinovac vaccine got play on Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 1:44) and El Hekaya (watch, runtime 5:29). More on this in this morning’s Covid Watch, above.

And finally: The execution of nine men over the 2013 police killings received attention by Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime:1:53) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:31).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Leading the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning: Egyptian authorities yesterday executed nine people found guilty of the Kerdasa police killings in 2013, the Associated Press reports. The attack left 15 people dead, including 11 police officers. The nine men were among the 20 defendants who were handed death sentences in 2017. Amnesty International has a statement out.

Also making headlines:

  • Doubts over new FGM penalties: Activists have expressed scepticism that the government will be able to enforce the new penalties imposed for committing female genital mutilation. (Reuters)
  • Eid in Ayia Napa: Vaccinated Egyptians can travel to Cyprus starting 10 May without providing a negative covid-19 test or going through a quarantine. (Arab News)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Elsewedy Electric subsidiary signs EGP 870 mn agreement for Delta regional control center: A consortium of Elsewedy Electric’s unit, Elsewedy Electric for Trading and Distribution, and Japan’s Hitachi ABB has won an EGP 870 mn turnkey EPC contract to build the Delta regional control center with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, according to a press release (pdf). The project will be completed over two years and covers construction works and the design, supply and installation of the SCADA system.

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

  • Thirty-one Egyptian universities were named in Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings, with Cairo University being ranked among the world’s top 100 universities for the first time.
  • EgyptAir plans to add another flight between Cairo and Moscow to its flight schedule, taking its total weekly flights to six.
  • Al Marasem International is looking to obtain EGP 3.3 bn in Islamic financing from a banking syndicate led by Banque Misr and Banque du Caire under a mudaraba contract to fund its developments in the new administrative capital’s R5 district, Hapi Journal reports, citing unnamed sources. The final contract should be signed “within days,” according to the sources.
  • Misr Ins Group. plans to set up a new company specializing in medical ins, Chairman Basel El Hiny said yesterday.
  • Unauthorized filming of criminal trial sessions could be criminalized under a draft bill approved by the House’s Legislative Committee yesterday, Youm7 reports. Those who photograph or make audio/video recordings of the sessions without a permission would face fines ranging from EGP 100k-300k.

PLANET FINANCE

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The slow vaccine rollout in the developing world is holding back emerging-market stocks: The gap between developed and emerging markets is widening as the covid-19 pandemic continues to rage in the global south. As stocks in advanced economies go from strength to strength, EM equity funds had their worst week in more than three months last week, with investors pulling USD 1.3 bn on fears that vaccine shortages will hold back economic growth, according to Bloomberg. Equity funds in India, which has been especially hard hit by the latest wave of the virus, witnessed their largest outflows in more than a year.

It’s not just the pandemic that’s hitting investor sentiment: “Not only do we have a much slower vaccination program across emerging markets, but worries over debt loads, external vulnerabilities, fiscal prudence, inflation and currency stability will hamper a much stronger recovery post-pandemic,” said Mohammed Elmi, a portfolio manager at Federated Hermes.

Tearing up the rulebook: Conventional wisdom says that emerging markets offer investors an easy path to solid returns during global expansion, but this time it is the developed economies experiencing the strongest growth. JPMorgan said last week that the US economy will outperform EM at an “unprecedented” rate this quarter due to the weak vaccine rollout. This disparity is being reflected in developed v emerging stocks: the MSCI emerging-market index has risen less than 5% in 2021, half that of the MSCI’s gauge of developed market stocks.

Down

EGX30

10,526

-0.7% (YTD: -2.95%)

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USD (CBE)

Buy 15.63

Sell 15.73

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USD at CIB

Buy 15.63

Sell 15.73

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Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

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Tadawul

10,231

+0.9% (YTD: +17.7%)

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ADX

6,146

+0.5% (YTD: +21.8%)

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DFM

2,646

+0.7% (YTD: +6.2%)

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S&P 500

4,187

+0.2% (YTD: +11.5%)

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FTSE 100

6,963

+0.4% (YTD: +7.8%)

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Brent crude

USD 65.69

-0.6%

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Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 2.79

+2.2%

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Gold

USD 1,781.40

+0.2%

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BTC

USD 53,460

+13.1% (as of midnight)

The EGX30 fell 0.7% yesterday on turnover of EGP 985 mn (23.5% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net sellers. The index is down 3.0% YTD.

In the green: Qalaa Holdings (+2.0%), Eastern Co. (+1.6%) and ElSewedy Electric (+1.1%).

In the red: Oriental Weavers (-16.2%), Telecom Egypt (-6.1%) and MM Group (-3.4%).

AROUND THE WORLD

Egypt and Croatia talk GERD: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the latest updates on the GERD with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić-Radman, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Shoukry also expressed Egypt's interest in strengthening economic and trade relations ties. The meeting came less than a month since Grlić-Radman visited Cairo for the relaunch of the Egyptian-Croatian Business Forum.

Egypt also wants Canada on side over the GERD: Egypt’s ambassador to Canada briefed the chair of the Canadian parliament’s foreign affairs committee Sven Spengemann on the state of the play in the GERD talks.

greenEconomy

How are we addressing our air pollution problems? Air pollution costs Egypt an estimated EGP 47 bn a year in healthcare costs, annual labor income losses and reduced productivity from chronic illness, the World Bank estimates. With population growth, increasing urbanization and the growth of industry, Egypt’s pollution problems are on track to get worse. The economic argument for curbing air pollution is clear.

Just how bad is it? Egypt produced 310 mn tonnes of greenhouse gas in 2016, almost 10% of MENA’s 3.3 bn tonnes. Our emissions grew 140% between 1990 and 2016 ― more than three times faster than the global average. The biggest culprits? Energy (71.4% of 2016 emissions); agriculture (10.2%); manufacturing (9.7%); and waste handling and management (8.6%).

So what’s being done? In part 2 of our series on Egypt’s air pollution woes, we find that multiple government-led programs, supported by development finance institutions and the private sector, either target emissions reduction directly or as a major byproduct of other activities.

A USD 200 mn World Bank-funded program is the major emissions reduction effort: The recently-greenlit USD 200 mn World Bank loan aims to modernize air quality monitoring systems, establish safe landfills in 10th of Ramadan City, safely eliminate dumps in Abu Zaabal, set up charging stations for electric vehicles, and support other green initiatives. Reducing waste burning is particularly important, adviser to the environment minister Ali Abu Senna tells Enterprise. Under the new Waste Management Act, all traditional landfills must be closed within two years, and the 10th Ramadan complex will be a much healthier alternative, Abu Senna adds.

Spot inspections of industrial facilities continued: In 2020, the ministry’s Environmental Inspection and Compliance department carried out 4,457 inspections of industrial facilities not yet connected to the monitoring network, according to the report: 797 in Greater Cairo and 3360 in other governorates. If facilities don’t adhere to environmental regulations — including self-monitoring, efforts to reduce pollution at its source, and effective waste management — they can lawfully be closed after several warnings. Public data on how many of these inspections resulted in closures is not available.

The Environment Ministry hopes to grow its factories emissions monitoring network: The Environment Ministry launched the National Network for Monitoring Industrial Emissions, which measures daily air pollution rates of factories that sign on to join it. The number of factories officially linked to the network increased to 76 facilities in 2020, with 352 monitoring points — up from 60 facilities in 2018 and 69 in 2019, an environment ministry report shows (pdf). Continuing to expand the network of factories is a ministry priority, Abu Senna says.

New incentives to reduce plastic usage — and emissions — will be put to the cabinet in a few months: A joint ministerial committee is mulling incentives like fee reductions and tax exemptions to support companies making non-plastic packaging, Abu Senna says. This will make pricing more competitive, up consumer demand, and encourage the entry of more players, he believes. The raft of incentives will be ready to put to the cabinet in a few months. Additional punitive fees on plastic production are also under discussion by the finance and supply ministries, he adds. Recent research by University of California academics calculates that across their lifecycle, plastics account for 3.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions — almost double that of the aviation sector.

Not to mention a raft of high-priority initiatives that will make our air cleaner: On the transportation side of things, this would include our multi-year plan to convert or replace 1.8 mn cars to run on natural gas within a decade, at a total expected cost of EGP 320 bn. EGP 141 bn is going into revamping the railway system by 2022. A planned 90-km electric rail line should open in October. The USD 4.5 bn monorail project is underway and the EGP 32 bn Cairo Metro Line 3 was inaugurated last year. Egypt is also getting in heavy in the electric vehicle race, with El Nasr Automotive set to begin EV assembly in July, aiming at 53k EVs annually at full capacity. Domestically produced electric buses may arrive before year-end. On the renewable energy front, this would include multiple wind farm construction partnerships being planned at a cost of USD 1.5 bn.

Covid accelerated the rollout of plans, ministers says: “We have already started plans to reduce air pollution in Egypt. But coronavirus is giving us [a chance] to accelerate these plans, expand them and think about other solutions,” Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad told Reuters in May 2020.

One thing’s clear: Winding down industry in lockdown isn’t the answer. “We have to continue production at factories and other industrial institutions while applying high environmental standards. That is the right message we have to deliver,” Fouad told the newswire.

Much is already aligned with global best practice: A 2019 UN report (pdf) recommends 25 solutions to improve air quality in Asia. Some of these recommendations — like improving public transport and waste management — are already a major part of Egypt’s approach. It also recommends EV promotion.

But is there more to learn from other economies, and adapt to Egypt? Potentially, yes. MENA could learn from emerging economies that have proactively adopted clean energy technologies and enforced environmental policy reform, to decrease pollution without hindering economic growth, argues energy and environment analyst Mahmoud Abouelnaga. We explore this in more detail next week.

Your top climate stories for the week:

  • EBRD funding for green projects: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will participate in a USD 114 mn financing package for the Kom Ombo solar plant, and signed an MoU to include 6th of October City in its EUR 2.5 bn Green Cities program.
  • Water treatment investments: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt could offer up water treatment projects to investors, according to Planning Minister and fund chairperson Hala El Said.
  • Hydroelectric assets to be transferred to a new renewable energy body: The Hydro Power Plant Authority is one step closer to being scrapped after the House Energy and Environment Committee approved a bill that would put a new Renewable Energy Development Agency in control of Egypt’s hydroelectric assets.

CALENDAR

26-28 April (Monday-Wednesday): Non Edadiya / Thanaweya Amma students sit end-of-year exams.

27 April (Tuesday): Finance Minister Mohamed Maait will address AmCham’s Pre-Annual General Meeting to discuss Egypt’s economic reform beyond the pandemic.

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

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

29 April (Thursday): Start of school summer holiday for students not sitting Edadiya / Thanaweya Amma exams.

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

2 May (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday (holiday for Coptic Christians, still unclear whether it will be a banking holiday).

3 May (Monday): Sham El Nessim (date of the national holiday still TBC).

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

16-19 May (Sunday-Wednesday): The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) takes place in Dubai.

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.

July + August: Thanaweya Amma exams take place.

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.

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