Sunday, 13 June 2021

CBE to leave rates on hold when it meets on Thursday –Enterprise poll

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning friends, and happy Sunday to you all. We have just three weeks left until the “true” kickoff of Sahel season. We’re looking forward to some sun, sand and salt water as much as all of you are, but … wow, do we have a lot to get done in the next three weeks.

THE BIG NEWS this week: The Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee set to meet on Thursday, 17 June to review rates.

All 11 analysts and economists we spoke with are calling another hold as inflation hit its highest level all year in May as the global commodities boom began to hit the domestic economy. We have a full rundown in the news well, below.

Otherwise, it’s a moderately busy news day — there’s enough to keep us on our toes here at home, but it’s not overwhelming. Abroad, the G7 own the headlines in the global business press.


WHERE DID WE LEAVE OFF LAST WEEK? Catch up quick with the top stories from Thursday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

  • Inflation rises in May: Annual urban inflation accelerated to 4.8% in May from 4.1% in April, thanks to a spike in commodity prices and an unfavorable base effect.
  • Ebtikar sets 4Q2021 IPO deadline: The e-payments company narrowed the deadline for its planned EGX debut to 4Q2021 after having originally eyed a larger window within 2H2021.
  • State banks get funding from global lenders: Banque du Caire signed a USD 200 mn financing agreement with the African Export-Import Bank to fund its expansion plans in Africa, while National Bank of Egypt and European Investment Bank signed a USD 100 mn green SME financing agreement.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- G7 nations are set to announce a raft of plans as the summit of Western world leaders concludes today. Expect more details on a program to help low-income countries cope with climate change, an infrastructure investment plan to counter China’s road and belt programs, and further details on the ambitious plan to tax multinationals before the three-day summit wraps up today. Among the biggest announcements so far:

  • The developing world may be getting a huge get out of jail card: The US and other G7 nations are considering unlocking USD 100 bn from the IMF’s reserves to help low- and middle-income countries survive the pandemic. The global effort would address health needs including vaccinations as well as help enable greener, more robust economic recoveries, the White House said in a fact sheet. (Reuters)
  • Industrial policy is no longer a dirty word in the West: The G7 will call today for huge infrastructure investment in green energy and infrastructure to act as a counterweight to China’s tn-USD Belt and Road Initiative. Called “Build Back Better for the World” and billed as a sort of “green Marshall Plan,” the initiative would see countries pour hundreds of bns of USD into low-carbon projects around the world — and contain China’s growing influence in the process. (AP | FT).
  • And neither is deficit spending: The Biden administration’s “carry on spending” plan has found support among other G7 leaders, who came together yesterday to reject austerity and called for more spending to combat inequality (FT).

Leaders had also been expected to announce plans for a “covid passport” to make international travel easier, but there was no word by dispatch time that the documents would be included in the final communique.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- Foreign pilgrims will not be allowed to go on Hajj for a second straight year as a result of the pandemic and the emergence of highly-transmissible covid-19 variants, Saudi state news agency SPA reports. Authorities will allow only 60k Saudi citizens and residents aged 18-65 who have received at least one shot of a covid-19 vaccine to attend in an effort to prevent its covid epidemic from spreading. This is the second year of restrictions after the emergence of the virus last year saw the Saudi government allow only 1k people to make the trip.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- How much will it cost to go zero-G with Jeff? USD 28 mn, apparently. The story is everywhere this morning, from Bloomberg and the FT to Reuters and the Guardian.

MUST-READ FOR FINANCE NERDS- Has private equity conquered the US tax system? The New York Times is out with a front-page takedown of the US private equity industry, which it says skirts the tax system using borderline illegal tax avoidance strategies thanks to the lack of audits. Using an army of lobbyists, a [redacted] load of “campaign contributions” and — perhaps most importantly — vast networks of partnerships — industry bigwigs have convinced and confused politicians and an under-resourced IRS, preventing proper scrutiny of their financial affairs, the Times claims.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

The first forum of the heads of African investment promotion agencies continues in Sharm El Sheikh today. Ministers, heads of investment agencies from 34 African countries and representatives of major financial institutions are in attendance, according to a cabinet statement. The forum runs until tomorrow.

From the conference so far:

  • Egypt will soon sign a contract to build a six-km suspension bridge over Lake Nasser to Sudan that will connect the two countries via rail and improve bilateral and regional trade, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said at the conference.
  • The General Authority For Investment and Freezones signed two MoUs with Sudan and South Sudan to increase bilateral investment.

The Egypt Green Economy Forum (pdf) kicks off tomorrow.

The Arab League will meet in Doha on Tuesday for “emergency” GERD talks at the request of Egypt and Sudan, Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki told state-run news agency MENA yesterday. The meeting comes after Cairo and Khartoum both called last week for the international community to push Ethiopia to restart negotiations over GERD as time runs out before Addis Ababa resumes filling the dam.

It’s probably not a coincidence that this is happening just after Washington’s man in East Africa, Jeffery Feltman, departed the region, having spent a week holding talks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kenya about the GERD dispute.

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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Take a serene walk and dip your toes in the silky water as you get to know Somabay’s local equine citizens.

POLL

ENTERPRISE POLL- CBE to leave rates on hold at upcoming meeting

ENTERPRISE POLL- The CBE expected to leave rates on hold: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will likely leave interest rates on hold when its Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday, according to an Enterprise poll. All 11 analysts and economists we surveyed expect the central bank to stick to its cautious approach and hold off on making cuts for most of 2021 amid signs that rising commodity prices abroad are beginning to translate into inflationary pressures at home.

Where rates currently stand: The overnight deposit rate is at 8.25% and the lending rate 9.25%, while the main operation and discount rates are at 8.75%. The central bank slashed rates by 400 bps last year, including an emergency 300-bps cut in March to protect the economy from the fallout from covid-19, as well as two 50-bps cuts in September and November. It has since maintained rates for four consecutive meetings including its most recent in April.

Inflation set to rise: “We expect the CBE to maintain rates at least until October 2021 […] since inflation will start edging up gradually […] until September,” Pharos Holding’s Radwa El Swaify said. Higher inflation for the remainder of 2021 will be driven primarily by an unfavorable base effect, rallying global commodity and raw material prices, and a spike in the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer, she added.

Annual urban inflation accelerated to 4.8% in May, due to a spike in food prices and rising global commodities prices. While the figure is still short of the central bank’s 7% (± 2%) target range, analysts see the upward trend continuing as we head further into the year, with EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha penciling in a headline rate of 5.5-6% come December and HC Securities’ Monette Doss an average 6.8% throughout the rest of 2021.

We’re not the only ones bracing for heightened inflation: “The agitated global inflation outlook drove some EMs to tighten their monetary policy already, and officials have signaled that more rate hikes should be expected down the road,” says Prime Holding’s Mona Bedeir. While inflation rates are still relatively low, fears of a global spike still persist, Abou Basha says.

Egyptian rate watchers are largely on the same page: “Given the rising food prices on a monthly basis after the drop over the past two months that coincides with the significant rise in international commodities prices as well as the rise in oil prices, we expect maintained interest rates in the upcoming meeting,” Beltone’s director of macro and strategy Alia Mamdouh said. CI Capital senior economist Sara Saada, independent analyst Hany Aboul Fotouh, Suez Canal Bank’s Mohamed Abdel Aal, and Mubasher’s Hesham El Shebeini were all of the same mind.

The carry trade is more important than ever as global rates creep up: “The need to maintain the lucrative carry trade … particularly with the rise in global rates that is posing a risk to inflows into emerging markets, backs our view [that policy rates will remain unchanged,” Mamdouh said. Foreign investment in EGP bonds recovered from last year’s covid-induced sell-off, eclipsing their pre-covid peak in February to hit USD 28.5 bn in February.

This was seen earlier this year when foreign holdings dropped off in March, likely due to rising US yields and monetary tightening in other emerging markets.

When can we expect a rate cut? Perhaps toward the end of the year. Since inflation will remain within the CBE’s target range and is seen picking up to an average 6.7% in 2H2021, this should allow the central bank to keep the real policy rate positive, giving it scope for a small rate cut by the end of the year provided global conditions improve, Bedeir said. El Swaify also expects a cut to be possible only in 4Q2021. The MPC will also likely want to monitor the effect of planned public sector wage and pension hikes that come into effect in July on inflation, Sigma Capital’s Abu Bakr Imam told us.

And next year could see the easing cycle continue: Inflation is likely to fall below the CBE’s target range by the end of the year, and to remain subdued going forward, prompting further easing to an overnight deposit rate of 6.75% by the end of 2022, Capital Economics’ James Swanson wrote in a research note.

COVID WATCH

The first vial of Made-in-Egypt Sinovac coming this week

Egypt is expected to produce its first vial of locally manufactured Sinovac vaccine this week, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in a statement. Health Minister Hala Zayed said earlier that Vacsera will have produced its first batch of the Chinese vaccine by 15 June, with the vaccines expected to be ready for dispatch to clinics in August.

The Health Ministry reported 711 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 733 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 272,491 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 35 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 15,582.

Travellers entering Japan from Egypt will be required to quarantine for six days in a government designated facility as of Monday, 14 June, as the Japanese government introduces a string of border control changes to contain the country’s epidemic ahead of the summer Olympics next month, according to a statement Friday. After obtaining negative covid-19 test results on the third and sixth days, individuals will then be required to observe an eight-day self-isolation period after entering the country.

The G7’s pledge to provide 1 bn vaccines for poorer nations by the end of 2022 does not go far enough, some campaigners have said, with the group of wealthy western nations having already collectively acquired more than 2.5 bn excess vaccines, the Financial Times reports. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also added his voice, saying the G7 needed to adopt “a global vaccination plan” with “the priorities of a war economy” to get vaccines to those who need them most as soon as possible.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) believes a global agreement to accelerate the supply of jabs to developing countries is in reach despite there not much progress over proposals to temporarily waive IP rights on vaccines, boss Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said yesterday, according to Reuters. She said she would like to see progress on an IP waiver by next month. While the US backs the waiver, European countries, Canada and Switzerland still oppose it.

BioNTech is coming to Africa … by 2025: BioNTech will establish vaccine production facilities in Africa in the next four years in collaboration with the EU, CEO Ugur Sahin told the Financial Times. The decision comes as the pharma company aims to expand into Africa — which imports 99% of its vaccines — and provide mRNA jabs for diseases beyond covid-19. The potential BioNTech facilities will produce treatments at rates suitable for middle and low-income countries, Sahin said.

IPO WATCH

A deadline for companies that haven’t pulled the trigger on their IPOs

BdC is one of at least four companies that now face a year-end deadline to go public. The news comes after the Financial Regulatory Authority decided (pdf) to again extend deadlines for companies to complete their IPOs. Failing to pull the trigger on their IPOs by 31 December would likely mean they would have to start the approval cycle from scratch.

Banque du Caire is the most high-profile example of a company that got the green light to IPO and then shelved plans after listing its shares. In an Egyptian IPO, a company with regulatory approval to go ahead with a first-ever offering of equity is generally required to list its shares before the offering is priced and trading is allowed to begin. Weeks can pass between the time shares are listed and the start of trading, and more than one IPO has been shelved in that interval thanks to changes in market conditions.

Who’s affected? Though the FRA statement did not name names, Reuters says sources at the EGX told it the decision covers Banque du Caire (BdC), Sky Light Touristic Development, New Castle Sports Investment and City Trade Securities and Brokerage, all of whom have yet to offer shares for sale, and all of whom have previously gotten extensions.

The new date is an extension of previous deadlines: The FRA had granted BdC and the three other companies a six-month grace period ending on 31 March 2020, to complete their IPOs, before extending the deadline to December 2020 at the height of the covid market turmoil in March of last year. This was then extended for another six months until 30 June this year.

The four companies must also submit a timeline for their planned IPOs by 30 September, the FRA statement said.

This is a deadline in the loosest sense of the word: The deadline could be extended further if the listed companies don’t manage to meet the set date due to market conditions or other barriers, a source close to the matter told us.

BdC has not yet decided on the size, time or pricing of its offering, the source told us, adding that these details would be decided by market conditions closer to the date.

BdC, Egypt’s third largest state-owned bank, was aiming to raise some USD 500 mn through its IPO, which was expected to be the country’s biggest sale of state assets since 2006. The bank had planned to list on the EGX back in 2017. That offering was postponed, and the bank later was aiming to offer 20-30% of its shares on the exchange in April 2020, but postponed its IPO to the end of 2021 due to the market instability that followed the pandemic.

TOURISM

The tourism recovery continues

Two mn tourists visited Egypt during the first five months of this year, averaging 400k people per month, Tourism Minister Khaled El Enany said during a seminar last week, according to the local press.

This is almost 40% of the monthly figures we were getting before the pandemic: Egypt received just over 13 mn tourists in 2019, equating to almost 1.1 mn per month, generating USD 13 bn.

Egypt is targeting 8 mn visitors and USD 8 bn in revenues by the end of the year, and believes it could return to pre-covid numbers as early as fall 2022.

Ramping up efforts to lure in more tourists: The ministry has said it will invest USD 90 mn in a new three-year international tourism promotion campaign, which is reportedly expected to launch this fall, in a bid to ramp up post-covid business. The potential return of direct flights from Russia to Red Sea resorts this month could also help us reach the more ambitious targets.

IN OTHER TOURISM NEWS-

European carriers adding Sharm, Hurghada routes: European budget carrier Wizz Air operated yesterday its first weekly flight from Milan to Sharm El Sheikh — the same day Hurghada International Airport received its first charter flight through Air Armenia from Armenia.

INVESTMENT WATCH

UAE-based StarLink sets up Africa headquarters in Egypt

Cyber and cloud distributor StarLink has established its Africa headquarters in Egypt, the company announced in a statement on Wednesday. It plans to generate USD 50 mn in revenues in Egypt this year and USD 100 mn across the rest of the continent, it said. “Egypt today is one of our fastest growing markets, and we see huge potential, especially since the spend in cybersecurity and cloud adoption has increased dramatically,” said StarLink CEO Nidal Othman.

DIPLOMACY

Egypt takes the GERD dispute to the Security Council (again)

Egypt has appealed to the UN Security Council for the second time to step in and help prevent Ethiopia from continuing to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) next month, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said yesterday. In a letter handed to the council by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Egypt reiterated that Ethiopia’s “intransigence” is preventing the countries from reaching a binding agreement and said the government “totally rejects” Addis Ababa’s intentions to unilaterally resume filling the dam’s reservoir over the next two months.

This isn’t the first time Egypt has resorted to the UN, last year launching an unsuccessful bid to get the council to vote on a resolution that would have put pressure on the three countries to reach an agreement.

But what can the council do? 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.

The Saudis are talking to both sides: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman in Sharm El Sheikh over the weekend at the same time

that Saudi Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed Abdul Aziz Kattan was in Addis Ababa talking with Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed.

IN OTHER DIPLO NEWS-

Turkey and Egypt are giving conflicting signals about whether they will soon reappoint ambassadors. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at the weekend that the two countries will soon exchange ambassadors for the first time since 2013, something an Egyptian diplomatic source denied, claiming that talks to normalize bilateral relations still haven’t led anywhere, Al Arabiya reports. Egypt and Turkey concluded their first direct talks in years in May without a breakthrough, but Turkey has invited an Egyptian delegation to Ankara to continue negotiations.

The Egyptian Red Crescent and the International Organization for Migration dispatched 60 tonnes of medical and food to Gaza on Thursday, the cabinet said in a statement. The convoy includes medical equipment, food, and covid-19 preventive equipment. A 52-container shipment of humanitarian aid from Egypt arrived in Gaza last month, while the Tahya Misr fund announced plans to launch a 100-container convoy to the strip.

Egypt and France conducted joint drills Thursday at an Egyptian air base, the Armed Forces said.

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ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

The GERD impasse was the talk of the town on the nation’s airwaves last night: Every angle, nay every blade of grass, was covered by the talking heads last night: Foreign Ministery Sameh Shoukry’s letter to the UN Security Council (more on that in this morning’s Diplo section, above), Tuesday’s emergency Arab League meeting, and the latest on the negotiations were all covered. Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 10:46), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 14:50) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:06) were among those that had coverage.

Shoukry dropped into Ala Mas’ouleety to give his take on the situation: Egypt has the backing of the EU and the UN Security Council, as well as the UN Environment Program (UNEP), who are all now evaluating Cairo and Khartoum’s efforts to reach a binding agreement with Ethiopia, Shoukry said in an extended interview on Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 01:01:40). The international community worried about the stalled GERD talks and Addis Ababa’s determination to go ahead with its plans to fill the dam in the coming weeks, he said.

Warnings of conflict: Egypt has been ramping up its diplomatic relations with neighboring African and Gulf countries and will not jump straight into war with Ethiopia, though President Abdel Fattah El Sisi would only opt for this scenario unless all other options have been exhausted, pundit Emad Eldin Adib told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 7:06). International support for Egypt’s position on the GERD sets two scenarios should tensions between the three countries continue: either Ethiopia backs down and re-enters negotiations or Egypt launches military action to prevent Ethiopia from filling the dam, an option Adib said would buy time for broader negotiations (watch, runtime: 6:38).

Also getting attention on the airwaves: El Sisi’s meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman in Sharm El Sheikh at the weekend, during which the two leaders discussed several regional and international issues (*cough* GERD *cough*). Hadeeth Al Kahira said last night (watch, runtime: 1:17) that discussions between El Sisi and MbS are likely to have contributed in some way in the arrangement of the Arab League’s emergency meeting on Tuesday, while Adib told Kelma Akhira that Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s relations should play a key role in resolving the dispute (watch, runtime: 17:35).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s a mixed bag this morning in the foreign press: The Guardian details the list of varied cargo still stuck aboard the Ever Given, while The Africa Report is out with a piece on how our upcoming sovereign Sukuk issuance could help plug our budget deficit. The Times of Israel was big on Egypt this weekend, with one piece on how Egypt’s contributions to Gaza reconstruction could further its regional influence, and another claiming Israel has asked Egypt to halt the flow of construction materials to the Gaza strip. Xinhua profiles Cairo’s iconic puppet and marionette theatre.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Pharos Energy finds oil in two reservoirs at Egyptian well: Pharos Energy announced an oil discovery with potential of 4.3 mn barrels in its Abu Rawash Lower “G” reservoir, and a smaller 430k barrel deposit in its Upper Bahariya reservoir, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The discoveries reconfirm the potential of the El Fayoum concession — in which the company has a 100% working interest — for further exploration. The concession consists of 10 oil fields over an area of over 1.8k sq km.

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

  • Egypt will achieve self-sufficiency in sugar next year, with current production covering 85% of domestic needs, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhi said last week (watch, runtime 52:26)
  • Egypt has managed to grow 15 feddans of drought-resistant rice for the first time as part of a pilot project in New Valley governorate to cut back on water usage in rice cultivation.
  • Egypt could launch two remote sensing satellites — called Nexsat 1 and Misrsat 2 — next year.

PLANET FINANCE

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SUPERCYCLE WATCH- Global prices of metals from copper to steel are likely to soar further as China cuts production to hit its ambitious carbon emissions targets, according to the Financial Times. China, which produces 56% of the world’s steel, plans to cut 236 mn tonnes of steel capacity in its 2021-2025 five-year plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. China will have to balance its commitment to cut production with its goals to grow the economy, and prevent upward inflationary pressure. Meanwhile, steel prices in the US hit an all-time high this month due to higher housing demand.

There’s progress in US- China trade talks (even as Washington accuses Beijing of genocide): The US and China have agreed to push forward trade links during the first call between the countries’ commerce ministers under the Biden administration on Thursday, Bloomberg reports. The two sides “agreed to promote the healthy development of pragmatic cooperation in trade and investment”, while “[exchanging] views frankly and pragmatically on relevant issues and mutual concerns,” the Chinese government said.

Wall Street is continuing to warm to China: US investment management group BlackRock will become the first asset manager to tap the Chinese market — worth some USD 19 tn — after Chinese regulators approved on Friday its bid for a wholly-owned onshore mutual fund business, the Financial Times reports. The announcement comes weeks after BlackRock received a license to set up a wealth management venture with China Construction Bank, and reflects recent steps taken by the country to open up its financial markets.

Banks with significant exposure to crypto assets will face the toughest bank capital requirements, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision said in a report on Thursday. The global regulatory body — part of the Bank of International Settlements — suggested crypto volatility should be mitigated with stricter capital requirements to reflect the higher risks. The committee is proposing a 1,250% risk weight be applied to a bank’s exposure to BTC and certain other cryptos, meaning that for every USD held in crypto, a USD should be held in capital. State Street and Citigroup are among the banks that have hinted at providing crypto services to clients. The story is all over the global business press: Financial Times | Bloomberg | Reuters.

Down

EGX30

9,977

-0.6% (YTD: -8.0%)

Up

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.60

Sell 15.70

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.60

Sell 15.70

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

10,796

+0.1% (YTD: +24.3%)

Up

ADX

6,716

+0.1% (YTD: +33.1%)

Up

DFM

2,842

+0.4% (YTD: +14.1%)

Up

S&P 500

4,247

+0.2% (YTD: +13.1%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,134

+0.7% (YTD: +10.4%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 72.69

+0.2%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.30

+4.7%

Down

Gold

USD 1,879.60

-0.9%

Down

BTC

USD 35,927

-2.8% (as of midnight)

The EGX30 fell 0.6% at Thursday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.33 bn (2.5% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 8.0% YTD.

In the green: Pioneers Holding (+3.8%), MM Group (+3.5%) and Ibnsina Pharma (+3.3%).

In the red: CI Capital (-2.8%), Sidi Kerir Petrochem (-2.4%) and Emaar Misr (-1.8%).

ON YOUR WAY OUT

Man lives after almost becoming whale food: Michael Packard, 56, says he escaped relatively unscathed on Friday after a humpback whale scooped him up and then spat him back out while he was diving off the coast of Cape Cod, a local newspaper reported before the story was picked by the global press. Packard was in about 45 feet of water when he “just felt this truck hit me and everything just went dark … I was in his closed mouth for about 30 to 40 seconds before he rose to the surface and spit me out,” he said. Packard was then pulled out of the water by his crew. “I am very bruised up but have no broken bones,” he told the newspaper, adding that he'll be back in the water as soon as he heals.

CALENDAR

11-14 June (Friday-Monday): Egypt is hosting the first forum of the heads of African investment promotion agencies from under the theme Integration for Growth.

14 June (Monday): Egypt hosts the third edition of the Green Economy Forum (pdf).

15 June (Tuesday): Arab League meets to discuss the GERD in Doha.

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.

20 June (Sunday): Ismailia Economic Court to hold hearing on Ever Given compensation case.

20 June (Sunday): Deadline for Enpact + Tui + GIZ tourism recovery program (pdf).

22-27 June (Tuesday-Sunday): The CIB PSA World Tour Finals for 2020-2021 will take place in Cairo.

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. The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards will also be taking place at the event on 27 June.

30 June (Wednesday): The IMF will complete a second review of targets set under the USD 5.2 bn standby loan approved in June 2020 (proposed date).

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 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.

1 July (Thursday): Businesses importing goods at seaports will need to file shipping documents and cargo data digitally to the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system.

15 June (Saturday): EGX-listed will have to complete filing their financial disclosures for the period ended 31 March.

19 July (Monday): Arafat Day (national holiday).

20-23 July (Tuesday-Friday): Eid Al Adha (national holiday).

23 July (Friday): Revolution Day (national holiday).

2-4 August (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt is hosting the Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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 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.

14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.

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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