Sunday, 20 June 2021

With one eye on inflation, CBE leaves interest rates unchanged for a fifth meeting

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a new workweek — and to the last day of spring. Summer officially starts tomorrow, and that has us grateful that we’ve had an exceptionally wonderful run of spring weather (and great air quality), with low humidity and moderate temps. Fingers crossed summer is equally kind to us.

THINGS WE DON’T APPRECIATE ENOUGH #1- The amazing breadth of world-class travel destinations here in Egypt. As many of us gnash our teeth about the prospect of another summer spent entirely here at home, we were reminded by none other than the Financial Times that folks from around the world have our fair country on their bucket list. The latest reminder: Somabay is one of the best places in the world to learn to wing-foil, a brand new water sport that’s a cross between windsurfing and snowboarding. The salmon-colored paper gives a tip of the hat to Breakers Diving and Surfing Lodge and the Kempinski.

THINGS WE DON’T APPRECIATE ENOUGH #2- We’re kind of down on Big Oil here at Enterprise World Headquarters (climate change and all…), but we still need to purchase petrol every so often if we want to keep our wheels rolling. It’s in that context that we think Total deserves a tip of the hat for the number of women it now employs in front-line roles at filling stations, jobs that were previously 100% the purview of men.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Are we going to get a resolution on the Ever Given today? The Ismailia Economic Court will hold today a hearing in the USD 550 mn Ever Given compensation case filed by the Suez Canal Authority against the container ship’s owners for its six-day blockage of the canal in March. The court had postponed the hearing last month for the second time to allow settlement talks between the two sides to continue.

The SCA and Shoei Kisen’s ins. company have been at loggerheads over who should be held responsible for the incident and how much compensation should be paid out to Egypt. The authority has slashed its demands from USD 916 mn to USD 550 mn, but the ins. companies are reportedly only willing to only pay out USD 150 mn. The Ever Given’s ins. company, UK Club, is now hopeful about a positive resolution in the case, saying last week that it “is currently engaged in serious and constructive negotiations with the SCA regarding the authority’s claim arising from the grounding of the Ever Given.”

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is in town today for a two-day visit during which he’s set to meet President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Al Shorouk reports. This is his first visit to North Africa since he became Malaysia’s foreign minister in March 2020. President Abdal Fattah El Sisi discussed economic ties and investment with Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on a conference call three days ago, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Ethiopia has “temporarily” scrapped visas on arrival and e-visas for passengers of all nationalities. The ban came into effect on Friday, EgyptAir said in a statement.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK?

Expect the first of some 40 mn doses of China’s Sinovac jab to roll off the production line at Vacsera as early as this week. Health Minister Hala Zayed said last week that the first bottles would be ready to go “within days” and would be subject to quality testing ahead of a rollout as early as August. As many as 3 mn doses could be made this year.

M&A WATCH- It seems that Vodafone Egypt could be close to wrapping up due diligence on Bee + Masary, after sources told Al Shorouk that the company would finish “within days.” The telecoms giant signed an MoU with NBFS player Ebtikar in February that could see it acquire 20% stakes in fintech firms Bee and Masary. Ebtikar, which confirmed to us earlier this month it is gearing up for an IPO as early as 4Q2021, holds a 72% stake in Masary and owns 60% of Bee. Ebtikar is owned by BPE and MTI.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

Putting the Iran nuclear pact back together may be that much harder after conservative hardliner Ebrahim Raissi won Iran’s presidential election on Friday. Raissi, who heads Iran’s judiciary and is a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, won with 62% of the vote and is expected to take a more hostile stance towards relations with the West and the 2015 accord than his moderate predecessor Hassan Rouhani. The story is making front-page headlines across the global press, including in Bloomberg, the FT, BBC, CNN and the Wall Street Journal.

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

  • Good news for the global commodities boom: An expected good wheat harvest in the Northern hemisphere and a drop in oil prices are expected to drive down the surge in commodities, after Egypt’s domestic inflation hit a 2021 high in May.
  • Egypt gears up to put electric vehicles on the road: Renewables leader Infinity will set up 6k EV charing points over the next three years, while El Nasr plans to roll out its first batch of locally assembled models of China’s E70 EV cars by July / August 2022.
  • E-Finance FV gets the regulatory sign off: State-owned e-payments firm e-Finance received approval from the Madbouly government’s IPO committee for the fair value of its shares, paving the way for the company’s expected IPO this year.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

It’s the final day for entrepreneurs to apply for the six-month Tourism Recovery Program launched by Enpact and the TUI Care Foundation and supported by GIZ, according to a press release (pdf). The grants are worth EUR 9k each. You can apply here.

The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) is organizing a virtual education week from 5-6 July with three seminars planned. The first, taking place at 10am on 5 July, will discuss skills-based learning while the future of investment in education will be the topic on the table at 12:30pm the same day. On 6 July, a talk on the digitalization of education in Egypt will be held at 12pm.

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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ECONOMY

CBE holds interest rates for fifth consecutive meeting

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left interest rates unchanged for a fifth consecutive meeting on Thursday as it looks to preempt a possible rise in inflation on the back of spiraling global commodity prices. Overnight deposit and lending rates remain at 8.25% and 9.25% respectively, while the main operation and discount rates were kept unchanged at 8.75%, the bank said in a statement (pdf) following the meeting.

The move was forecast by all 11 analysts and economists we polled prior to the meeting, who cited local inflationary pressures driven by rising commodity prices abroad.

The CBE said the hold is “consistent with” achieving its inflation target of 7% (±2 ) on average by 4Q2022 and price stability in the medium term, the statement read. Egypt's “leading indicators point towards a sustained momentum of recovery across the board,” with global economic conditions “expected to remain accommodative and supportive of economic activity over the medium term,” the CBE added.

Domestic inflation accelerated at its fastest rate this year in May, with the annual headline rate rising to 4.8% due to a jump in food costs and an unfavorable base effect. This comes after an unexpected decline to 4.1% in April, with rates holding steady at 4.5% in March from February.

The central bank expects inflation to pick up in the coming months: “Inflation readings are expected to continue to be affected by unfavorable base effects in the near term,” the bank said.

The cause: Surging energy and food prices? Global oil prices recently hit highs not seen since October 2018, and a persistent combination of tight supply and rising demand is leading a growing number of analysts to forecast USD 100/bbl oil. Meanwhile, food prices accelerated at their fastest rate in more than a decade in May, something to policymakers here pay careful attention given we’re the world’s largest importer of wheat. This comes as droughts in South America tighten the global supply of grains including corn and sugar, which will increase the cost of livestock. But farmers from the US to Russia are said to be expecting a good Northern Hemisphere harvest, which could balance out the impact somewhat.

Let’s not get too carried away, though: Few are forecasting average inflation to rise above the central bank’s target rate — or even into the upper bound. Capital Economics sees annual inflation peaking at 6% in September, EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha sees 5.5-6.0% inflation in December, and HC Securities’ Monette Doss has forecast an average 6.8% through the rest of the year.

The hold means that Egypt continues to have the world’s highest real interest rate and maintain its position as the most lucrative carry trade for foreign investors — a core objective of the central bank as it looks to preserve a key source of hard currency. EGP-denominated bonds have risen 5% so far this year, making Egypt the best emerging-market performer after Argentina and South Africa, according to Bloomberg Barclays indexes. Total foreign holdings of Egyptian debt stood at between USD 28-29 bn at the end of May, a strong recovery after declining during the emerging markets sell-off back in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic.

Serious inflation kicking off in other emerging markets may force other countries to raise rates and the global trend towards monetary tightening has left the central bank “no room for any cuts for the time being,” Israa Ahmed, an economist at Pharos, told us. Brazil and Russia are now hiking interest rates in response to inflation, which has risen to multi-year highs on the back of the global commodities boom.

And emerging markets are keeping a close eye on developments across the Atlantic: The Federal Reserve’s indication last week that it could move to raise interest rates and scale back its stimulus program earlier than expected could put pressure on flows into emerging market debt. Higher yields stateside and a stronger greenback are generally negative for emerging markets, which can see an unwinding of carry trade positions and capital outflows.

Looking ahead: Capital Economics thinks there might be room in 4Q2021 for a rate cut, provided inflation remains below the central bank’s target range, while Abu Basha tells Bloomberg that he isn’t expecting any changes until 2022 given the “alarming” risk of inflation and rate hikes in other emerging markets.

The story is getting attention in the foreign press: Bloomberg | Reuters.

M&A WATCH

The bidding war for ANFI continues…

Compass Capital has reportedly thrown its hat in the ring for a 90% stake in ANFI: Private equity firm Compass Capital is reportedly looking to join the rush to acquire Alexandria National Company for Financial Investments’ (ANFI), Al Mal reports, citing unnamed sources. The company is looking to submit a bid to acquire 90% of ANFI, the sources said, without disclosing an offer price. A representative of Compass Capital refused to comment on the report when we asked.

Who else is bidding? We’ve almost lost count at this point: ANFI is being courted by a number of investors, the latest being Tycoon Holding, which wants to acquire a 90% stake for EGP 5.60 per share, valuing the company at a little over EGP 29.2 mn. The move came shortly after Hong Kong’s Zeta Investments lodged a bid for the same stake for EGP 5.48 per share. Kayan Sustainable Development, Zaldi Capital, and a group of investors including Egyptian businessman Ahmed El Saba and Saudi Arabia’s Mostafa El Humeidan have also expressed an interest in buying a stake in the company. Gulf lender ADIB is the selling party.

TRADE

More industries qualify for export subsidies under new program

We now have more details on the state’s new export subsidy program: Exporters in the automotive, ceramics, pharma, electronics, and chemicals industries can now enrol in the export subsidy program for the first time, under a decision approved by the Export Subsidy Fund on Friday, the Trade Ministry announced. The program will come into effect for three years as of July for most eligible industries, while the automotive sector subsidy program will run for seven years. Further incentives include:

  • A 50% boost in subsidies for exports headed to the African market and subsidize up to 80% of shipping fees;
  • A 50% bump up from the basic rate for Upper Egypt, border governorates, the Rubiki industrial zone and Damietta furniture city;
  • An additional 2% subsidy rate for exports bearing an Egyptian brand;
  • Projects established in the Suez Canal Economic Zone will be eligible for the program.

This comes as the central bank prepares to launch a new export credit risk guarantee company in the coming weeks, which will protect Egyptian businesses exporting to other parts of Africa.

Increasing exports front and center in new structural reform program: The government has recently been talking up its ambitions to revive Egypt’s non-oil exports, which despite the EGP float in 2016 have remained anemic. The recent unveiling of a new round of structural reforms contained pledges to ramp up exports in manufacturing, telecoms and IT, and agriculture, and the cabinet has moved to reinstate an export council which will be charged with setting national policy and increasing the country’s exports.

Background: The new export subsidy program received the green light from the Cabinet last week, and will replace a 2019 EGP 6 bn export subsidy program that saw pushback from exporters due to a lack of clarity in its executive regulations and for what were seen as lackluster promises to reimburse exports via cash and non-cash incentives, rather than just cash.

STARTUP WATCH

Oman’s eMushrif acquires Egyptian startup Tareeqi + EM career platform Localized closes seed round

Egyptian transport tracking startup Tareeqi has been acquired by Oman-based eMushrif for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement picked up by Wamda.

This is the latest MENA acquisition by eMushrif, a transport startup that employs “internet of things” technology to track transport, and the first in North Africa. The Omani company is aiming to be the region’s foremost company using IoT tech in the transport sector, and raised USD 2.3 mn series A funding in December.

Tareeqi’s app allows users to track buses from schools, universities, and other institutions to increase safety and reliability in transport and was founded by Al Farouk Saleh and Mohamed Monier in 2018.

ALSO FROM PLANET STARTUP- Emerging markets careers network Localized has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from tech investors in the education and recruitment sectors, the company said in a statement (pdf). Investors included Trend Forward Capital, One Planet VC, Mexico’s Angel Ventures, and angel investor Esther Dyson. Headquartered in Washington, DC, Localized’s team operates from Cairo, Ramallah, Amman, Prague, Lagos, San Francisco and Dubai. Its platform connects students from EMs to industry experts and employers. The statement made no mention of how the company plans to deploy the funds.

COVID WATCH

Covid cases continue to fall, suggesting end of third wave

Covid cases continued to decline over the weekend: The Health Ministry reported 566 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 589 on Friday and 591 on Thursday. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 276,756 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 38 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 15,829.

Daily cases have now fallen 53% from their most recent peak during the Eid El Fitr holiday in mid-May.

China’s Sinopharm jab is now being tested on children in the UAE: The UAE is running a trial of the vaccine on 900 children aged 3-17 in which some members of the Abu Dhabi ruling family are participating, Reuters writes. The move comes “in preparation to vaccinate children in the near future,” the Abu Dhabi Media Office said. The country is already manufacturing the Sinopharm vaccine under a JV with Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42. The vaccine is presently in wide use in Egypt alongside the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab; Egypt will be making a vaccine from China’s Sinovac, with first doses expected to roll off the line at Vacsera any day now.

CureVac may not be hitting the shelves soon after “sobering” efficacy rates: The German mRNA covid vaccine fell short on efficacy, coming in with a 47% rate in its clinical trials, the Associated Press reports. Final results — due within weeks — will determine whether the company, in partnership with Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline, will seek regulatory approval. The outcome may have been affected by more than two dozen variants found across 10 countries during the trial phase, the company said. The company’s previously announced plans to produce an “all in one” shot to address multiple variants in one go may take a hit as a consequence. CureVac’s shares plunged 50% on Thursday, according to the Financial Times.

The EU has lifted its travel ban on US citizens, adding the country to a so-called “white list” from which non-essential travel is allowed without requiring a quarantine, Bloomberg reports. The move, which should take effect within days, is expected to boost transatlantic airlines, with the EU pushing the Biden administration to reciprocate by lifting bans on European travellers to the US.

EARNINGS WATCH

Banque du Caire’s (BdC) net income rose 20% y-o-y in 1Q2021 to EGP 1 bn, up from EGP 838 mn during the same period last year, according to financial statements seen by Hapi Journal. This was driven by a 5% rise in revenues, which hit EGP 2.5 bn during the three-month period, from EGP 2.4 bn in 1Q2020.

MOVES

Egypt Kuwait Holding has appointed Mohamed Mashour as managing director of the company’s microfinance business, according to Hapi Journal. Sources tell the newspaper that Mashour started in his role in mid-June. Mashour was previously the chairman and CEO of CI Capital’s microfinance subsidiary Reefy, and has 30 years of experience in banking, including stints at CIB, Banque du Caire, and the Arab African International Bank.

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ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was politics as far as our eyes could see and our ears could hear last night: Most of the nation’s talking heads had coverage of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s joint presser with his Libyan counterpart Najla Mangoush, who was in town yesterday on the heels of intelligence chief Abbas Kamel’s visit to Tripoli and Benghazi on Thursday. Among those who took note: Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 4:23 | 2:35) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 3:51).

El Nasr Auto’s plans to produce Chinese EVs was still on the agenda, with managing director Hany El Kholy confirming to Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal that the state-owned company is moving ahead with plans to roll out 3k electric vehicle charging stations over the next 16 months (watch, runtime: 28:23). A full charge at a station — sufficient for a driving range of 400 km — will cost EGP 160, making EVs more affordable to run than gas-​powered cars, El Kholy said. Ala Mas’ouleety had yet more coverage of El Nasr’s presser last week, when it announced it was importing EVs from China ahead to begin testing them on Egyptian roads next month (watch, runtime: 7:03).

Renewables leader Infinity is working with the company on the rollout of the charging stations, starting with some 2k charging points at 1k stations in Greater Cairo, Alexandria, and parts of Qalyubia.

Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar dropped into El Hekaya to explain the ministry’s recent move to allow undergraduate students to graduate earlier from public universities and local institutes. Under the old rules, students were required to finish four years of undergraduate study, even if they completed the requisite number of credit hours sooner. But under amendments to the executive regulations of Egypt’s Universities Organizing Act, students can now graduate earlier if they complete the credit hours after at least three years of study (watch, runtime: 10:48). The ministry is also looking to introduce double majors and minor programs at public universities nationwide in order to expand specialist study areas and maximize students’ college education to better prepare them for the world of work, Abdel Ghaffar said.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Human rights led the conversation on Egypt in the international press over the weekend: An Op Ed in Foreign Policy claims the Biden administration is turning a blind eye to Egypt’s human rights violations thanks to Egypt’s key role as a regional peace broker, a sentiment echoed by another piece in the Christian Science Monitor. Meanwhile, the Washington Post has an opinion piece written by former Islamist detainee Mohamed Soltan calling for Biden to get tougher on Egypt, and Human Rights Watch urges Egyptian authorities to commute death sentences against 12 Ikhwan members upheld last week for their involvement in the 2013 Rabaa sit-in.

Also getting attention:

  • US cautions on climate: US Special Climate envoy John Kerry tells Quartz that he warned Egypt against investing too heavily in oil and gas during talks in Cairo last week.
  • Testimony of a woman photographed without consent by an employee of Cairo International Airport has gone viral, reigniting the public debate on harassment and resulting in the employee’s dismissal and sentencing to three years in prison. (BBC)
  • Souvenir makers are struggling amidst the pandemic, but creating new locally made items to sell to tourists when they come back. (AFP)
  • MENA divas: Umm Kulthum, Fayrouz, Sabah and others are the focus of the “Divas” exhibition in Paris, hosted by the Institut du Monde Arabe to spotlight some of the most famous Arab singers between the 1920s and 1970s. (NYT)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Egypt, Iraq sign IT agreement in the government’s latest push for “infrastructure diplomacy”: Egypt’s ICT Ministry signed an MoU with its Iraqi counterpart that aims to open the door for more digital infrastructure investments by companies in both countries, the cabinet said in a statement Thursday. The MoU is expected to cover cooperation in several areas including mobile and landline network coverage, e-signatures, training, legislation and policy, and joint R&D projects. The move is in line with Egypt’s efforts to encourage private sector companies to help rebuild vital infrastructure in conflict-ridden countries such as Iraq. You can learn more about Egypt’s infrastructure diplomacy in our Hardhat feature here.

Two firsts in international travel: The first direct Air Canada flight from Montreal to Cairo took off last Friday, with the airline planning to run a schedule of three weekly flights to Egypt’s capital, according to a statement. And the first EgyptAir flight from Prague landed on Friday at Hurghada International Airport, Ahram Gate reports. The national flag carrier plans to operate two weekly flights from the Czech capital to Hurghada.

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

  • French international market Rungis and the Supply Ministry will establish a EUR 100 mn logistics zone for agricultural goods in Alexandria’s Borg El Arab.
  • A new, joint stock company to manage wholesale markets is under consideration by the government, and could be opened to private sector participation.

PLANET FINANCE

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US stocks sustained their worst weekly losses since February Friday, after the Fed's signal that it may hike interest rates sooner than they had previously anticipated in a bid to control inflation, according to the Financial Times. The benchmark S&P 500 fell 1.3%, taking its losses for the week to 1.9%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.9% to end the week down 0.3%.

Noises made by the Fed following last week’s meeting have been interpreted as the opening salvo of a “transition phase,” where policymakers will slowly start to roll back the ultra-loose policy and set expectations for rate hikes and an end to its USD 120 bn per month bond-buying programme, analysts tell the salmon-colored paper.

And expect bumps along the way: “The big picture here is that this is the beginning of the transition phase from really accommodative monetary policy to what is going to be less accommodative monetary policy,” said one fund manager. “We are going to start with tapering and then there are going to be some rate hikes, and I think the market is going to have trouble adjusting to that. It is going to lead to a little more volatility.”

Saudi Aramco has sold a near-majority stake in its oil pipeline operations arm for USD 12.4 bn to a consortium of international investors led by US-based EIG Global Energy Partners, EIG said in a statement Friday. Aramco will retain a 51% stake and and operational control of the unit.

The UK is anticipated to bounce back to its pre-covid output levels one year ahead of schedule, the Financial Times reports. The Confederation of British Industry predicts that the GDP will grow by 8.2%, and a further 6.2% in 2022, twice as fast as previously expected. Roughly 70% of the growth in 2022 will be driven by consumer spending, which is seen as “the linchpin of the recovery.”

Down

EGX30

9,866

-0.2% (YTD: -9.0%)

None

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

None

Tadawul

10,853

-% (YTD: +24.9%)

Down

ADX

6,646

-0.8% (YTD: +31.7%)

Up

DFM

2,862

+0.8% (YTD: +14.9%)

Down

S&P 500

4,166

-1.3% (YTD: +10.9%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,017

-1.9% (YTD: +8.6%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 73.51

+0.6%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.22

-1.2%

Down

Gold

USD 1,769.00

-0.33%

Up

BTC

USD 36,010

+1.2% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 0.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.40 bn (9.1% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 9.0% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+6.0%), Cleopatra Hospital (+4.5%), and AMOC (+3.1).

In the red: GB Auto (-1.8%), Heliopolis Housing (-1.7%) and Pioneers Holding (-1.7%).

AROUND THE WORLD

IN DIPLOMACY: The dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) “is very concerning” to the US, and Washington will continue working towards a solution that Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia find acceptable, US Centcom chief Kenneth McKenzie said during an interview with Nile News (watch, runtime: 12:07) at the weekend. “We recognize the unique importance of the Nile to Egypt not only culturally but also for water supply and for the general economy overall,” McKenzie said as he visited Cairo last week to discuss US-Egypt military ties with Defence Minister Mohamed Zaki.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed the need for to relaunch direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in a call with the new Israeli FM Yair Lapid Friday, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The phone call came amid renewed tensions in Gaza and Jerusalem late last week as far-right Israelis and Palestinians clashed in the streets of the disputed city and the Israeli air force launched fresh airstrikes on targets in the enclave.

A busy two days of diplomacy in Libya: Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel was in Libya on Thursday for talks with Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and eastern general Khalifa Haftar, Al Arabiya reports. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also received in Cairo his Libyan counterpart Najla Mangoush on Friday to discuss bilateral relations, and preparations for national elections later this year. The two FMs also held a joint press conference later that day, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Hafez tweeted.

Mending fences? The uneasy relationship between Dbeibeh — who since February has served as the country’s interim prime minister ahead of elections later this year — and Haftar — Tripoli’s main rival in the country’s recent civil war — were hinted at in April, after the PM had to cancel a visit to the eastern city of Benghazi when his security team were sent back from the airport.

Also worth noting:

  • The Biden administration is trimming its military presence in the Middle East, withdrawing eight missile batteries, some fighter jet squadrons, and hundreds of troops as it repositions forces to serve as deterrents to China and Russia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Qatar thinks the 2022 World Cup will contribute some USD 20 bn to its economy, roughly 11% of the country’s 2019 GDP, officials told Bloomberg.

ON YOUR WAY OUT

World's third-largest diamond unearthed in Botswana: Mining firm Debswana has announced the discovery of the 1,098-carat stone — found on 1 June in Jwaneng mine's South Kimberlite pipe, which was presented to the country’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, on Wednesday, the Botswana government announced. The country believes the rare stone is the largest found by the company since diamonds were first discovered in Botswana more than five decades ago.

CALENDAR

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: The Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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.

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. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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