Sunday, 4 July 2021

It’s official: CIB is issuing Egypt’s first corporate green bonds



Welcome back to another full work week, ladies and gentlemen. And if you haven’t yet melted in the last few days, we hope you enjoyed the long weekend.

You will have two more full work weeks before the Eid break, which should take place on the week of the 18 July.

We also want to wish our readers in the US a happy 4 July holiday. And it is quite an eventful one for the US, with a number of key events shaping the news across the Atlantic.

Most important of which has to be the end of the US’ longest war, as American troops emptied their main military bases in Afghanistan on Friday, bringing an end to the US’ involvement in the 20-year war, Reuters reports. Far from a joyous event, the narrative in the press is one of ‘mission failed’ as the Taliban look set to fill the void left by allied troops. Everyone from the Associated Press and Reuters to the Financial Times had the story on Friday.

He’s looking for WMDs in heaven now: One of the architects of that war and the war in Iraq, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld passed away last Tuesday. His legacy and responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq, his endorsement and legal justifications for torture, as well as his reign as among the most powerful secretaries of defense is leading coverage in the global press. And of course, he was the man that gave us this gem of a line when called out on Iraq not having WMDs: “the absence of evidence, is not evidence of absence.”

THE BIG STORY OF THE DAY- CIB kicked off Egypt’s first corporate green bond issuance, which we’ve been waiting for since 3Q2020. The issuance, which saw the IFC invest USD 100 mn, was larger than the initially announced USD 65 mn.

Egypt also signed up to join the world’ first global corporate tax framework, which was developed by the OECD. The agreement could see us get additional tax revenues from tech companies for income generated here in Egypt.

Expect GERD to dominate the conversation all week long: The UN Security Council is expected to meet sometime this week to discuss the deadlock between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. An exact date has yet to be set, but Sudanese sources report that it will take place on Thursday.

We have more on all three stories in the news well, below.

THE BIGGEST STORY ABROAD- Large ransomware attack hits hundreds of US companies: REvil, a Russia-linked ransomware cartel, has been accused of carrying out ransomware attacks on at least 20 managed-service providers, affecting more than 1k SMEs, according to Bloomberg. The story is getting coverage everywhere from the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal to the BBC and the Associated Press.

GREEN ECONOMY- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will not invest in upstream oil and gas projects from the end of 2022 as part of its drive to meet the Paris climate goals, the lender said in a statement on Thursday.

It’s not quitting all fossil fuel projects though: EBRD Managing Director Harry Boyd-Carpenter told Reuters that it will still finance midstream and downstream projects, and didn’t specify whether its new policy towards upstream assets will apply to new or existing investment.

***CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from Wednesday’s edition of EnterpriseAM:

  • Egypt received its third and final tranche of its USD 5.2 bn standby loan from the IMF. The disbursal of the USD 1.6 bn tranche completes the 12-month program, which was signed off on last June to support our public finances and economy through the pandemic.
  • Current account widens in 3Q: Our current account deficit more than doubled to USD 5.7 bn in 3Q2020-2021, from USD 2.8 bn in the same period last year.
  • Foreign inflows into Egyptian treasury bills continued to gain steam last month, rising to USD 22.3 bn at the end of May from USD 20.9 bn (EGP 327 bn) in April.


Not a moment too soon: Reports have emerged that the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has inked a USD 540 mn compensation agreement with the owners of the Ever Given ship days before the Ismailia Economic Court was supposed to hold hearings on the compensation case today. So far, the agreement hasn’t been made official, with no official statements from the owners, the ins. companies, or the SCA as of dispatch time. We dive deeper in today’s Dispute Watch.

An Egyptian business delegation is in Iraq today: Headed by Trade Minister Nevine Gamea, the delegation will hold talks with Iraqi business representatives in Baghdad today to discuss business ties, particularly in the commercial and agricultural sectors, the Trade Ministry said in a statement yesterday. This comes less than a week after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi became the first Egyptian head of state to visit Iraq in 30 years, discussing (among other things) economic ties with Iraqi president Barham Salih and prime minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi.

ON THE LEGISLATIVE FRONT- The Unified Budget Act seems to be back on the agenda after being in legislative limbo for the better part of nine months, with Masrawy reporting yesterday that the Senate will today discuss the bill. The new act — approved by the cabinet back in October — brings together several pieces of legislation governing the annual state budget and government accounting into a single bill. The legislation would impose new requirements for the government to ensure fiscal discipline, including spending limits for each ministry, as well as new mechanisms to monitor budgeting performance.

In the words of the great Bone Thugs-N-Harmony: “Wake up, wake up. It’s the first of the month.” Among the handful of dates you should keep your eyes on:

  • PMI: June’s purchasing managers’ index for Egypt is due to be released on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be out a day earlier.
  • Foreign reserves figures for June will be out early next week.
  • June inflation data will be released next week.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will not meet this month to review rates. It’s next meeting will take place on 5 August.

ATTENTION LARGE TAXPAYERS- The deadline for large taxpayers that have not yet signed on to the Finance Ministry’s e-invoicing platform lapsed as of Thursday, 1 July. Those who haven’t yet signed on can expect a host of penalties, including removal from large taxpayer classification, losing access to government services and business, and losing subsidies.

And if you haven’t filed your 1Q2021 earnings, your 15-day extension also lapsed on Thursday. The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) had given 17 EGX-listed companies another extension to file their 1Q2021 earnings after the two previous extensions (one in May and one in June) lapsed. Companies that haven’t filed their earnings could risk inclusion in the D-List of non-compliant companies.

Egypt has launched an e-visa portal for inbound tourists, the Tourism Ministry said on Thursday. The portal allows travelers to apply and pay for tourist visas online, and is available to citizens from 74 countries in eight languages. Tap/click here to apply for the visa and here for all instructions.


OPEC+ will resume negotiations to increase global oil supply tomorrow after two days of talks failed to produce an agreement last week, Bloomberg reports. Most oil producers agreed to a proposal that would add 400k barrels per day each month from the beginning of August, but the UAE has reportedly refused to sign on and is pushing for more favorable terms.

The sticking point? The UAE — which signalled it could leave the cartel last year due to the supply cuts put in place in response to the pandemic — appears to be the only member holding out for better terms, and is arguing that the baseline used to calculate its quota is unfair. Abu Dhabi wants to be able to significantly ramp up production and benefit from the bns of USD it has invested in increasing capacity.

What’s at stake? Not reaching an agreement on production quotas will likely pour more fuel on the market, which has run hot in recent weeks thanks to surging demand and tightening supply. Prices have surpassed USD 76/bbl for the first time since October 2018, and some market analysts are forecasting USD 100 oil for the first time in seven years.

And the worst case scenario? A disintegration of the loose OPEC+ alliance and potentially a repeat of last year’s Russo-Saudi oil price war, Bloomberg suggests.

It certainly won’t help us get over the hurdle of inflation: The clash at OPEC+ comes as Dutch central bank president Klaas Knot warned that central bankers are underestimating how bad inflation can get, according to Bloomberg. While the European Central Bank does maintain that global inflation is temporary, Knot warns that this may not necessarily be the case, saying: “We should not overestimate our capacity to determine in advance what is temporary inflation and what is not…There are other scenarios conceivable than our base case of persistently low inflation. Inflation is not dead.”


The aforementioned oil price and inflation concerns will undoubtedly factor into the government’s fuel pricing committee, which is currently meeting to decide on 3Q prices. The meetings, which kicked off last Thursday, should produce a decision by 10 July, but could be extended further into the month, an official tells Al Mal.

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


Celebrate Eid with a relaxing holiday and make the most out of your break with a diverse and well-earned trip.


It’s official: CIB confirmed to be our first corporate green bond issuer

FRA signs off on CIB’s USD 100 mn corporate green bond issuance: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) signed off on Egypt’s first corporate green bond issuance last Wednesday, which, as expected, is being piloted by our friends at CIB, the FRA said in a statement. Subscription for the issuance opened on Wednesday, which will see the sale of USD 100 mn in noncallable, five-year, fixed-rate bonds, CIB said in a statement.

Who’s buying? The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will subscribe to the full issuance, CIB said.

This is a larger offering than what was previously expected: CIB was originally planning to take an initial USD 65 mn tranche to market last October, Heba Abdellatif, head of debt capital markets at CIB, told us last year. The IFC was said to be on board to snap up the entire issuance, and raise its investment to USD 100 mn in a subsequent tranche. It now appears that the CIB has upped that initial offering to USD 100 mn.

Where’s the money going? “Proceeds will be used to fund a portfolio of green loans extended by CIB to its corporate as well as medium- and small-enterprise clients in addition to funding CIB’s green building capital expenditure for up to 20% of the proceeds,” the bank said.

This isn’t our first rodeo with green bonds: The Finance Ministry took the country’s maiden USD 750 mn sovereign green bonds to market last September. The issuance was almost 5x oversubscribed, attracting some USD 3.7 bn worth of orders. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said last month that a second issuance is in the cards during the coming fiscal year, which starts on 1 July, but that the matter was not yet settled.

Advisors: CIB is acting as lead manager of the issuance, Zulficar Law Office is providing legal advice, and Deloitte is the auditor.


Egypt on board with minimum global corporate tax rate

Egypt joins 129 other countries in OECD global corporate tax plan: Egypt has signed on to a plan by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to introduce a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15%, according to a statement by Finance Minister Mohamed Maait. So far, 130 countries (pdf) accounting for more than 90% of global GDP have signed on to the pledge, which is hoped to curtail tax havens and crack down on tax dodging by large multinationals, the OECD announced on Thursday. This is expected to generate around USD 150 bn in additional global tax revenues each year, it said.

Who are the holdouts? Just nine of the 139 countries that have agreed to work with the OECD to tackle base erosion and profit shifting refused to sign on to the proposal. Ireland, Estonia and Hungary — three low-tax jurisdictions in Europe — joined Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka, and two Caribbean tax havens, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, to oppose the measures. Ireland’s finance minister said that the government is “absolutely committed” to changing corporate tax rules, but cannot support a 15% tax rate. Ireland’s corporate tax rate is currently 12.5%.

Looks like state coffers here might get bigger: This is a two-pillar plan that aims to reallocate some of the tax revenues on income generated by multinationals outside their home countries to countries where they make their money “regardless of whether firms have a physical presence there.” “Taxing rights on more than USD 100 bn of profit are expected to be reallocated to market jurisdictions each year,” reads the statement.

Tech companies in the crosshairs: The statement overtly names “digital companies”, who have been the subject of many tax inquiries in several EU and US jurisdictions, as the sector that will primarily feel the changes. “The framework updates key elements of the century-old international tax system, which is no longer fit for purpose in a globalised and digitalised 21st century economy,” the statement says.

Yes, but there’s always a loophole: The UK’s financial services industry won’t have to play ball after UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak convinced other OECD countries to grant the City of London an exemption from the rules, the Financial Times reports. It is unknown how this will affect the UK’s network of tax havens, all of which have signed on to the framework.

Timeline: This is a preliminary agreement, with the OECD planning to finalize the remaining elements of the framework, including the implementation plan, in October. It hopes to begin implementing the framework in 2023.

An agreement long in the making: While the plan to set a global minimum corporate tax rate gained momentum with the election of the Biden administration, the framework has been on the table for the OECD for years apparently, according to the OECD statement.

READ MORE- France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who has been a big proponent of the agreement, sat down with us last month to tell us how Egypt stands to benefit from the agreement and how he feels 15% doesn’t go far enough. You can read the full interview here.


Is the Ever Given dispute finally resolved?

The owner of the Ever Given has reportedly agreed to pay USD 540 mn in compensation to Egypt for the blockage of the Suez Canal just a few days before a legal showdown in an Egyptian court. Sources tell Al Arabiya that Shoei Kisen and the ship’s ins. companies including UK P&I Club have reached a preliminary agreement with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to settle the dispute, which has rumbled on for three months as the two sides traded accusations over who was to blame for the incident, which blocked the vital trade artery for six days in March. We reached out to officials from the SCA for comment, but they did not respond as of dispatch time.

The two sides appear to have met in the middle: The SCA was originally looking for a USD 916 mn payout, a demand dismissed by UK P&I Club and the other ins. companies, who were reportedly only willing to pay out USD 150 mn.

Throw in a tugboat for good measure: The agreement reportedly provides the SCA with a new state-of-the-art tugboat. It is unclear who will provide the SCA with the tugboat, or whether this is part of the USD 540 mn compensation. The agreement also stipulates that the SCA doesn’t file a complaint against Ever Given’s owners Shoei Kisen in the future.

And that’s the end of the matter, apparently: The ship — which has remained in the Bitter Lake since being seized by the SCA in April — could now be released, with the SCA reportedly agreeing to allow the vessel to move unimpeded.

The SCA is reportedly happy with the agreement: The SCA’s legal committee had reviewed all the terms and approved them, the sources said, adding that the cabinet had also given the green light to the agreement.

We should get some clarity today: News of the agreement comes as the Ismailia Economic Court is due to resume hearings on compensation today.


First Made-in-Egypt Sinovac shots roll off the production lines + Africa’s epidemic is getting worse

The first batch of Made-in-Egypt Sinovac-Vacsera vaccine has been produced: Egypt’s Vacsera manufactured the first 650k doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine last week, Zayed told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib in a phone interview on Friday (watch, runtime 29:50).

This is more than a quarter of what the ministry is calling the first phase: Vacsera will produce 2.25 mn doses during the first phase of production, Zayed said during an event on Wednesday (watch: runtime 2:37).

Some 10 mn doses will be produced by the end of July before the production lines are cranked up to deliver around 15 mn a month starting from August, Zayed said. This will allow the government to deliver 80 mn doses by the end of the year.

This is double the tally Zayed gave last month: The minister said two weeks ago that the state-owned vaccine-maker could produce 40 mn doses by the end of the year.

Coming to a clinic near you in August: Vacsera has said that the first batch of vaccines will be made available in August after they have undergone testing and analysis.

First J&J vax shipment coming this month: Egypt will receive the first doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine this month, Zayed added, without saying how many would be delivered. The vaccine will be mainly administered for outbound travellers, she added. Egypt is set to receive 25 mn doses of J&J, as part of the 300 mn doses provided to Africa by the African Union.

As will the remaining doses from Gavi / Covax: Some 1.9 mn doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine will be sent through the Gavi / Covax program later this month.

Daily covid cases lowest since October: The Health Ministry reported 181 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 198 from Friday and the lowest daily tally since 31 October. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 281,903 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 27 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,242.

Citizens who received the first dose of AstraZeneca could receive a different vaccine for the second dose, as Egypt is currently studying mixing covid-19 vaccine to boost immunity, the minister highlighted.

Turkey tightened entry rules on passengers travelling from Egypt and several other countries as of 1 July, Reuters reports. Egyptians now need to show a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival.


Africa is on course to soon suffer its worst week of cases since the pandemic began as the Delta variant spreads across the continent, Bloomberg reports, quoting the World Health Organization’s Africa director. The continent reported 202k new infections in the past week, with cases doubling every three weeks — an increase that Matshidiso Moeti described as “like nothing we’ve seen before.”

At least 14 African nations are seeing an upturn of the virus, with 12 detecting “variants of concern” including nine with the Delta variant, she said. Africa’s disease prevention body warned last week that healthcare systems across the continent are being overwhelmed as the more transmissive variants continue to spread among countries that are struggling to access vaccines.


Trade Ministry pauses import ban following complaints

The Trade and Industry Ministry u-turned on its import ban on some electronic components on Wednesday, following criticism from businesses who were unable to obtain supplies, Masrawy reports. On 20 June the ministry announced that it would ban imports of a range of goods — including spare parts for mobile phones and some home appliances — for all businesses except licensed factories which require them for production. But following complaints from business owners, the ministry last week said it would press pause and consult with the Federation of Egyptian Chamber of Commerce.

The ministry postponed the ban for six months following a meeting with FEDCOC officials, chamber President Ibrahim El Araby told Akhbar El Yom.

It’s not just electronic components that were on the list: Home and office furniture, watches, clothes and textiles, kitchen utensils, toys, and a range of food and cosmetic goods were also subject to the import ban.


Is the UN Security Council planning to be useful some time this century?

The UN Security Council has woken up to a potential water war brewing in Africa just long enough to hit the snooze button. The council will “likely meet” this week to discuss the ongoing Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis with Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in attendance, French UN Ambassador and council president Nicolas de Riviere told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.

But hold your horses, this is the UN Security Council after all: The move, which was prompted by calls from Egypt and Sudan and opposed by Ethiopia, will likely not amount to much, said Riviere. There was little the Security Council could do other than bring the parties together to express their concerns and then encourage them to return to negotiations to reach a solution, he said. "I don't think the council can do much more than that," he told reporters.

So when will this latest waste of time happen? The council meeting will take place on Thursday, 8 July, the Sudanese government said in a press statement cited by the Sudanese state news agency SUNA.

Nothing is official yet, though: The scheduled meeting doesn’t appear to have yet made it on the council’s schedule (pdf) for July, nor was it mentioned during its monthly presser on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry sounded more optimistic on the airwaves last night, telling Al Kahera Wal Nas that the “unprecedented” Security Council meeting could force a change in the negotiations that will get all three countries back around the table (watch, runtime 16:49). Through this, the fifteen-member council should be able to contain any possibility of conflict between the three nations, he said in a separate interview with Masaa DMC (watch, runtime 10:45).

Full-court press by Egypt and Sudan ahead of the meeting: The reports come as Egypt and Sudan look to wrangle support for the council to help halt plans by Ethiopia to unilaterally begin the second filling of the dam this summer. Both countries are lobbying to get a majority of nine votes for the approval of their draft resolution, Ambassador Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz, permanent observer for the Arab League at the UN, told Lamees El Hadidi’s Kelma Akhira last night (watch, runtime 19:11). Egypt is trying to get the US, Russia, China and the A3+1 group (Kenya, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) on board ahead of the meeting.

What’s in the proposed resolution? It entails calling the three countries to resume negotiations and draft a binding agreement on filling and operating the dam within six months, Abdelaziz said in a separate phone interview with Ala Mas'ouleety's Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime 9:13). The resolution would also protect Ethiopia’s right to generate electricity and prevent damage to the other downstream countries’s water security.

A UN committee will convene on Tuesday to discuss the draft resolution elements, submitted earlier by Tunisia on the behalf of Egypt and Sudan, Abdelaziz added.


Another EFG brokerage chart-topping month

EFG Hermes topped the EGX’s brokerage league table in June with a market share of 17.7%, according to the EGX’s June brokerage firm rankings (pdf). Rounding out the top five: CI Capital (14.6%) Beltone (5.5%) Pioneers (4.7%) and Mubasher (4.3%).


The Central Bank of Egypt has launched an investor relations portal, where key macroeconomic data pertinent to capital market investors will be presented. The portal also has a communications channel where investors can reach the CBE as well as a calendar for key events and conference calls.



The opening of Egypt’s new naval base dominated the nation’s airwaves last night: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated the Mediterranean base in Gargoub on the northwest coast, alongside Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Libyan interim president Mohamed Al Menfi. The 10 mn sqm July 3 base aims to increase Egypt’s naval presence in the East Mediterranean and protect Egypt’s northern and western borders.

Everyone was talking about it last night: Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime 3:22 I 2:20), El Hekaya (watch, runtime 23:40), Al Kahera Wal Nas (watch, runtime 4:44), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime 2:15 I 15:32), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime 5:52) and Ala Mas'ouleety (watch, runtime 15:32).

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was back on the airwaves last night to talk GERD, phoning-in to Al Kahera Wal Nas (watch, runtime 16:49) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime 10:45) to talk about what he expects from the UN Security Council. We have more on this in the news well, above.


Dominating the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning: Egypt’s brand spanking new naval base, which was inaugurated by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday, alongside Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Libya’s interim president Mohamed Al Menfi. (Reuters | AP | AFP | Xinhua | The National)

The other top story over the weekend: Mohamed Salah likely being left out of Egypt’s national squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

Also making headlines:

  • Politics: Egypt is using humanitarian aid Gaza to curry diplomatic favor abroad, says the Economist.
  • Tourism: Replicas of ancient Egyptian artifacts are being manufactured in a factory in Obour city ahead of an expected pick-up in tourism. (The Guardian)
  • Women rights: Gehad Hamdy, founder of Speak Up, says that, although combating the harassment of women is a daily "ongoing fight," there is a noticeable improvement in how society views the issue. (Global Voices)
  • Regional diplomacy: Economic cooperation is at the center of the growing relationship between Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, which could be a prelude to a wider “New Levant” alliance to aid the reconstruction of Syria and rehabilitation of Lebanon. (Brookings)
  • Illegal immigration: At least 43 migrants including Egyptians drowned and 84 were rescued after a boat sank off the coast of Tunisia as they attempted to cross from Libya to Italy. (Reuters)


Something else we’re keeping our eye on this morning: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has ratified a EUR 3.05 mn grant from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance the development of Cairo Metro Line 1, according to the Official Gazette (pdf). The cabinet greenlit the loan in November, which comes two years after the EBRD lent us EUR 205 mn to finance renovation works on Cairo Metro Line 1.


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PE breaks records in 1H2021: Private equity firms have sealed more than USD 500 bn worth of agreements in the first six months of 2021, making it the busiest six-month period on record for the industry, the Financial Times reports. Almost 6.3k buyouts worth USD 513 bn have been signed since January, while overall corporate transactions have hit a record USD 1.5 tn in 2Q2021 alone, according to Refinitiv data. “The level of deal activity is truly extraordinary, and beyond any of our expectations [last year],” said a Credit Suisse official.

In other financial news worth noting this morning:

  • Kuwait Investment Authority a top 3 SWF? The KIA’s Future Generations Fund, has hit a record of some USD 700 bn, likely making it one of the three biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world. (Bloomberg)
  • EFG getting involved in the SPAC game: FIM Partners — a Dubai-based EM asset manager backed by EFG Hermes — is looking to raise USD 200 mn when it lists its Frontier Investment Corp blank-check company on the Nasdaq this week. The company is looking to acquire a tech company from the Middle East, south Asia or south-east Asia. (FT)




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The EGX30 rose 1.3% on Thursday on turnover of EGP 1.3 bn (4.3% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 5.4% YTD.

In the green: Cleopatra Hospital (+3.1%), Ezz Steel (+3.1%) and Orascom Financial Holding (+2.8%).

In the red: Ibnsina Pharma (-1.8%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (-1.2%) and Orascom Development (-1.1%).


Libya election plans in disarray: Five days of UN-backed talks to put in place a framework for holding Libyan presidential and parliamentary elections failed to find an agreement, throwing the political roadmap agreed earlier this year into uncertainty, the Associated Press reports. The 75 delegates comprising the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum were unable to agree on a constitutional basis for holding the elections, which are supposed to be held in December, finally ending the years of civil war and instability endured by the country.

Painting an even more chaotic picture, a report in the Guardian characterizes the meetings with allegations of bribery, “bitter and ill-tempered” exchanges, and “intolerable personal abuse.” UN officials were also accused of breaching their mandate by reportedly discussing with some delegates the possibility of cancelling the elections outright.

Also worth knowing this morning:

  • Sudan secures USD 2.5 bn IMF loan, USD 50 bn debt relief: The IMF has approved a USD 2.5 bn extended credit facility as well as USD 50 bn in debt relief for Sudan, according to statements by the international lender (here and here). The move aims to help settle some of Sudan's USD 60 bn foreign debt, a “substantial portion” of which it hopes to clear by the end of this month, according to Bloomberg.
  • Tensions are flaring in Gaza + the West Bank again: The Israeli military launched airstrikes on targets in Gaza on Friday and Saturday after incendiary balloons were flown across the border into Israel, Reuters reports. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who they said was carrying an expllosive device.


1-10 July (Thursday-Saturday): The government’s fuel pricing committee will meet to announce 3Q prices.

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

8 July (Thursday): The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the GERD crisis with Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Mid-July: Legislative session expected to end.

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

21 July (Wednesday): Clean Energy Business Council’s webinar Women entrepreneurs in clean energy (3pm)

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

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

23 July-11 August (Friday-Wednesday): Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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.

3-5 September (Friday-Sunday): The World Karate Federation will hold the third competition of the 2021 Karate 1-Premier League in Cairo.

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

15 September (Wednesday): The CFO Leadership & Strategy Summit is taking place in Egypt.

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.

30 September: Closing of 2021’s first oil and gas tender in the Gulf of Suez, Western Desert, and the Mediterranean.

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

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.

24-28 October (Sunday-Thursday) Cairo Water Week, Cairo, Egypt.

27-28 October (Wednesday-Thursday) Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference, Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, Cairo, Egypt.

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

30 October – 4 November (Saturday-Thursday): The first edition of Race The Legends, Egypt.

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

November: Egypt will host another round of talks to reach a potential Egyptian-Eurasian trade agreement, which can significantly contribute to increasing the volume of Egyptian exports to the Russia-led bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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

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

12-14 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Food Africa Cairo trade exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

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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