Sunday, 1 August 2021

CBE seen leaving rates on hold when it meets on Thursday –Enterprise Poll

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to a new month — and to interest rate week.

All 12 analysts we surveyed in our Enterprise Poll expect the central bank to leave rates on hold when its monetary policy committee meets this coming Thursday, with inflation and rising global commodity prices weighing heavily in their decision. We have chapter and verse in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

What does August have in store for us? Among the news triggers to keep an eye on in the coming couple of weeks:

  • PMI: July’s purchasing managers’ index will be out on Tuesday, 3 August.
  • Foreign reserves: July’s foreign reserves figure should land next week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for July will be out on Tuesday, 10 August.

Wait, there’s more: 2Q earnings season is about to start in earnest — and the countdown to “back to school” has just begun. Much to the chagrin of the resident 14-year-old, Cairo American College is first back on Tuesday, 17 August. NCBIS follows suit on Sunday, 29 August and returning students at BISC are due back in class on 30 August.

Schools regulated by the Ministry of Education are due back in session on 9 October and the 2021-2022 academic year runs through 16 June 2022, according to a cabinet statement.

WE HAVE ONE DAY OFF this month: Thursday, 12 August is a national holiday in observance of Islamic New Year.


BIG STORY ABROAD- We’ve cancelled covid (particularly in Sahel), but the rest of the world is singing the Delta Blues. Canada is warning that the country may be in the early days of a fourth wave of the coronavirus thanks to the very transmissible Delta strain, the country’s CBC reports. The Wall Street Journal says Delta is driving more Americans to get vaccinated, while the New York Times takes a deep dive into “who are the unvaccinated in America” amid rising backlash from the jabbed against the unjabbed. CNBC notes that the World Health Organization is still trying to figure out how much more dangerous Delta is than previous variants, and the Economist writes that “the pandemic has exacerbated existing political discontent,” saying the problem is “worse in middle-income countries.”

MORNING MUST-READ- No, it’s not a reboot of Hot Tub Time Machine. Seif al-Islam El-Qaddafi is still alive — and apparently weighing a bid for Libya’s presidency, according to his first interview in a decade with a foreign journalist. Read Qaddafi’s son is alive. And he wants to take Libya back in the New York Times.


Egypt has put itself forward to host the UN Climate Change Conference in 2022, Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said in an interview with MENA news agency. A final decision will be made during the upcoming conference to be held in Scotland from 31 October to 12 November.

The Central Bank of Egypt last week approved new interoperability rules designed to make it easier for the public to deposit and withdraw money with any payment card or mobile wallet, regardless of the network operator or the bank, according to a statement (pdf). The move comes as part of the state’s efforts to maximize the use of infrastructure for payment service providers and boost e-payments. Also: CBE Governor Tarek Amer was in for a sit-down with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to a statement from Ittihadiya.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- EgyptAir charter flights from Madrid to Luxor began operating yesterday, with two flights to operate every Saturday as of the second week of August, reports, according to a Civil Aviation Ministry statement. The news comes as the national flag carrier expands service to Canada with its codeshare partner, allowing travelers to book directly into Halifax, Ottaway, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver via EgyptAir’s website.

THE LATEST FROM THE TOKYO OLYMPICS-

Egypt’s men’s handball team triumphed over Bahrain in the early hours of today in the final matchday of the group stage games. The team has secured a place in the quarter-finals after beating Sweden 27-22 in Group B. Egypt, alongside Denmark, Sweden and Bahrain, are the top four from Group B that made it through to the next round.

Also from last night: Egypt’s men’s foil fencing team lost to France, while our women’s table tennis team lost to Romania in a round of 16. In wrestling, three Egyptian athletes lost to their Russian counterparts in the men’s Greco-Roman 60 kg, women’s freestyle 76 kg, and men’s Greco-Roman 130 kg categories.

Coming up: Egypt’s men’s table tennis team is set to face off against China at 12:30. The two countries have met before on the individual table tennis court, and China’s team includes athletes who snagged gold and silver in the men’s individual competition on Thursday.

AS IT STANDS-

Country 🏅 🥈 🥉 Total
1 China 22 13 12 47
2 US 19 20 13 52
3 Japan 17 5 8 30
4 Australia 12 3 14 29
5 ROC (Russia) 11 15 11 37
67 Egypt 0 0 2 2

WHY IS THIS TABLE CONTROVERSIAL? Because there are two competing ways of keeping track of who’s on top. Many newspapers (particularly in the United States) track who has the most medals overall. But the official Olympic medal table ranks countries by the total number of gold medals they have won, taking silver and bronze into account only to break ties.

** Check out today’s edition of EnterprisePM for your rundown of how Egypt is doing and who plays next.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Egypt will host the Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center on 2-4 August.

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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We can’t wait to see the endurance sports community back at Somabay, taking on the Supersprint, Sprint, Olympic, Youth, & Kids Races. Early-bird registration for the Somabay Endurance Festival is now open.

ECONOMY

ENTERPRISE POLL- CBE to leave rates on hold

ENTERPRISE POLL- The Central Bank of Egypt will likely leave interest rates on hold when it meets this Thursday as it looks to keep inflationary pressures in check, according to an Enterprise poll. All 12 analysts and economists we surveyed expect the central bank to err on the side of caution for the sixth consecutive meeting and continue to keep a close eye on rising global commodity prices, which have been translating into higher energy and raw material costs at home.

Where rates currently stand: The overnight deposit rate is at 8.25%, the lending rate at 9.25% and 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 five consecutive meetings, including its most recent in June.

Inflation is still on the minds of policymakers: The CBE still has “an incentive” to keep rates steady, especially as global inflation remains heightened and as we’re expecting local price pressures following the latest round of fuel price hikes, EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha said. Policymakers need to pre-empt heightened food prices stoked by rising international commodity prices, Beltone’s director of macro and strategy Alia Mamdouh told us. Others, including Pharos head of research Radwa El Swaify, CI Capital senior economist Sara Saada, and Naeem Brokerage’s Allen Sandeep, also cited continued inflationary pressure as the reason for the low likelihood of policy action this month.

Inflation has been on the upswing across the world in recent months as supply bottlenecks and ultra-loose monetary policy fuel rallies in raw materials and consumer goods. In the US and Germany prices are accelerating at their quickest pace in over a decade.

Egypt has remained insulated so far: Inflation in Egypt has barely moved from 4.3% in January, with the headline urban rate inching up only 60 bps to 4.9% last month, remaining below the lower-bound of the central bank’s 7% (±2%) target range. The rate was effectively unchanged in June, rising just 10 bps from the previous month due to a favorable base effect and a slower rise of monthly food prices.

The Egypt carry trade could face some competition: Emerging-market central banks including Brazil and Russia have reversed their easing cycles and begun aggressively hiking interest rates to curb rising prices, and last week’s US Federal Reserve meeting say chairman Jay Powell suggest that the central bank is moving closer to taking a decision about when to start scaling back stimulus. That news comes after the Fed signalled last month it may have to raise rates “sooner and faster” than it had previously signalled.

Better safe than sorry: While this leaves room for a cut, analysts agree that the CBE is better off cautious to give it room to maneuver. Suez Canal Bank’s Mohamed Abdel Aal and HC Securities Monette Doss are among those penciling in a gradual increase in the headline rate throughout the remainder of 2021, with Abdel Aal expecting an average of 5-6% by the end of the year and Doss seeing a rate of 5.6% in July.

Keep those portfolio flows coming: Policymakers will also want to maintain Egypt’s position as one of the world’s most lucrative carry trades. Egypt currently has one of the highest real interest rates in the world, which has helped portfolio flows rebound following the covid-induced emerging-market sell-off last year, to reach record highs earlier this year.

Analysts are split on whether we’ll see any cuts later this year: “We see a window for a rate cut toward the end of the year as tourism kicks off strongly offering a key alternative to current debt inflows,” Arqaam Capital analyst Noaman Khalid told us. Prime Holdings’ Mona Bedeir and Renaissance Capital, meanwhile, think the CBE will hold off on making further cuts for the rest of the year.

Consensus has been largely unchanged in the past few months, with almost all market watchers agreeing that the CBE’s easing cycle is on pause until the end of 2021, and will only resume in full force throughout 2022, when inflation is likely to remain anchored below the CBE’s target range and remain subdued going forward.

ECONOMY

Moody’s still likes Egypt, sees economy growing 5.5% this year

Moody’s has affirmed Egypt’s credit rating at B2 with a stable outlook that balances the country’s “significant shock exposure” with our track record of successfully weathering volatility, the ratings agency said in its latest review of Egypt’s credit rating on Thursday.

The rationale: The country’s “volatile financing conditions,” due to “very weak” debt affordability and rising gross borrowing requirements, are balanced out by “improving shock resilience” backed by the state’s economic and fiscal reforms, the ratings agency said. Also working in our favor are Egypt's broad funding base, growth of FX reserves and narrowing budget deficit, which provide a shield against future capital outflows, boost export competitiveness and increase state revenues.

FX liquidity is likely to remain a buffer: FX reserves are expected to “remain sufficient to fully cover annual external debt service requirements accruing over the next three years,” Moody’s said. The IMF earlier expected foreign reserves to continue to rise and hit USD 44.1 bn by the end of the current fiscal year, before surpassing pre-pandemic levels in FY2022-2023.

Moody’s expects the Egyptian economy to grow at a 5.5% clip during the current fiscal year, slightly higher than the 5.4% targeted by the government and the IMF’s forecast (pdf) for 5.2% growth.

And debt-to-GDP is expected to fall further: The country's public debt is expected to fall to 84% of GDP in FY2023-2024. Public debt already dropped to 90.6% of GDP in FY2020-2021 and the government expects this trend to continue during the current fiscal year, with debt falling to 89.5% of GDP by the end of June 2022.

The recovery of FX reserves means that Egypt now has a better buffer against large capital outflows, but it remains exposed to liquidity and external financing shocks. Egypt has one of the weakest debt positions in the world when measured by interest / revenue and interest / GDP, while its susceptibility to funding shocks is made worse by its high gross borrowing needs, which now amount to some 35% of GDP. Egypt’s large banking sector mitigates funding risks though, thanks to the Finance Ministry’s shift to longer tenor debt, which has lengthened from 1.3 years before June 2017 to 3.45 years as of June 2021.

INVESTMENT WATCH

A bigger, better RIZ

Russia is getting one super-sized RIZ: Egypt and Russia agreed last Thursday to expand the scope of the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) within the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), according to a statement. The two sides inked an agreement that will hand Russian companies an additional 5 mn square meters distributed between East Port Said and Ain Sokhna. The pact came after two days of meetings in Moscow.

A new Russian company will be established by the end of the year to manage the RIZ, ahead of the zone’s completion in the next five months. The SCZone team in Moscow met with Russian firms in the transport, pharma, and fertilizer industries interested in setting up shop here.

A Russian delegation will visit RIZ next month. Russian companies that have expressed interest in setting up shop in SCZone will visit RIZ by September.

Egypt is now offering better terms: An agreement signed last week will allow Russian companies to sell up to 100% of their locally-made products in the Egyptian market.

ALSO FROM THE SCZONE-

Chinese home appliances giant Midea Group, a Fortune Global 500 company, will establish a USD 25 mn factory in China’s TEDA industrial zone, and on Friday laid the foundation stone for the facility, the SCZone said in a statement. The factory will produce 1.5 mn washing machines each year for export to the Middle East, Africa, the EU and the US, with the facility slated for completion at the end of 2022.

TOURISM

Russia completes Egypt covid checks

A Russian delegation has finished carrying out health checks in airports and hotels in Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada ahead of a resumption of Russian flights to Red Sea resort towns on 9 August, a source in Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry told Russian news agency Tass on Friday. The source cited a decrease in the number of covid-19 cases as proof of the efficacy of preventative measures promoted by the government.

The assessment may determine whether Russia increases flights in the coming months: The country’s covid crisis center said last month that authorities could decide to increase the number of weekly flights after the epidemiological team has visited. The delegation will submit its report “in the near future,” according to Tass.

Why has Russia been keeping us on our toes? The delegation wants to make sure of the situation in Egypt before direct flights between Russia and Red Sea resorts resume. Direct flights between Russia and Red Sea destinations have been suspended since the 2015 Metrojet crash, and Moscow has been extra cautious about their resumption, initially for security reasons, but more recently because of the pandemic.

COVID WATCH

We’re finally getting QR-coded vaccine certificates

Would-be travellers rejoice: Vaccinated individuals will now be able to get official, QR-code bearing vaccination certificates at 126 dedicated centers nationwide, the Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed announced over the weekend. Certificates will cost EGP 100 for Egyptian citizens, and USD 10 for non-Egyptians. Hit the link for the list of centers.

The ministry is also working on an Egypt Health Passport app that will allow individuals to display their vaccination status on their mobile phones.

There’s still no word from the ministry on when it will start offering vaccines that comply with entry requirements of a traveler’s destination. A ministry official had suggested last week that international vaccination centers would be opening to ensure travelers have access to the jabs they need to qualify for admission to their destination countries without suffering through quarantine.

MEANWHILE- Ten mn doses of made-in-Egypt Sinovac should be available in 500 vaccination centers nationwide by mid-August, Health Minister Hala Zayed said over the weekend. The health minister had previously said that state vaccine-maker Vacsera would produce 10 mn doses by the end of July, and aims to deliver around 15 mn vaccines a month starting August onwards. The company said in early July that it had manufactured the first 1 mn doses of the vaccine, and was targeting 80 mn by the end of the year.

The Health Ministry reported 47 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 45 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 284,262 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 6 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,524.

CUSTOMS

New customs system will be easier to navigate when it launches in October

Importers and their agents will be able to defer paying 70% of taxes and fees to clear cargo at shipping ports till after the cargo arrives, under new amendments (pdf) to the Advanced Cargo Information (ACI) system — also known as Nafeza — set to come into effect in October. Importers will be required to pay 30% of dues in advance before cargo arrives at Egyptian ports and will be entitled to a refund in the event that their shipment is banned from entry or disposed of. The new rules were approved last week by Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.

The Nafeza digital customs system is being rolled out by the Finance Ministry to speed up customs procedures and improve border security. Through Nafeza, businesses importing goods at ports will file shipping documents and cargo data digitally and ahead of arrival via the ACI, which is a World Customs Organization (WCO) protocol that runs on blockchain technology. The government had originally set a 1 July deadline for registration on the new system, which was then postponed in response to calls from the business community, who said they needed more time to prepare.

Want a breakdown of all you need to know on how to prepare for the new ACI system? We have this in-depth explainer here.

The amendments are the latest in a series of government attempts to reduce trade red-tape: The Customs Authority said earlier this year that it would establish a new unit dedicated to investigating complaints from exporters about customs procedures, while the cabinet decided to bring back the long-dormant export council to drive policymaking aimed at increasing exports.

INFRASTRUCTURE

More EBRD money for Abu Qir railway conversion

An extra EUR 250 mn for Abu Qir metro, courtesy of EBRD: The project to convert Alexandria’s Abu Qir railway into an underground metro will be getting an additional EUR 250 mn from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, after the bank approved a formal loan request submitted by the government last year. The loan will go towards upgrading the electrification of the metro line, installing signalling and control systems, and purchasing rolling stock.

Europe is now covering the bill for more than two-thirds of the project’s EUR 1.6 bn sticker price. The EUR 250 mn in EBRD financing is in addition to EUR 750 mn from the European Investment Bank; the remaining financing for the project will come from the French Development Agency and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

EBRD has been upping its infrastructure investment in Egypt: Last week saw the bank agree to provide USD 29.6 mn to finance half of the development of the Sixth of October Dry Port. A EUR 3.05 mn grant from EBRD for the financing of Cairo Metro Line 1 was greenlit by Ittihadiya earlier this year, with the bank having provided EUR 205 mn for the line’s renovation two years prior.

STARTUP WATCH

Egyptian startups raise 26% of MENA funding in 1H2021

Egyptian startups landed some USD 194 mn in venture capital finance in the first half of this year and accounted for 26% of all transactions inked across MENA in the same time period, ITIDA CEO Amr Mahfouz said last week in a statement (pdf). Mahfouz said in public comments that the USD 194 mn figure was a 30% year-on-year increase from 2020.

The biggest funding rounds in 1H2021: Trella closed a USD 42 mn funding round co-led by Maersk Growth in June, followed by payment gateway Paymob, which completed a USD 18.5 mn series A round in April. Digital banking app Telda landed USD 5 mn in pre-seed funding in May. Egyptian fintech startup Dayra closed a USD 3 mn pre-seed funding round in March, logistics startup Flextock raised USD 3.25 mn in pre-seed investment in May and agri-fintech startup Mozare3 raised a seven-figure investment in a pre-series A round.

Egypt lured in more international investors than any other MENA country in 2020: International VCs represented 32% of all investors supporting Egyptian startups in 2020, compared to 21% in the UAE and 18% in KSA, according to a report (pdf) by Magnitt. There were 69 VCs actively investing in Egypt as of 2020, up from 31 in 2017.

CABINET WATCH

New urban development fund greenlit by cabinet

The Madbouly cabinet approved a draft bill last Thursday to launch a new fund to develop urban areas, it said in a statement. The fund will work alongside existing agencies such as the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) and the General Authority for Urban Planning to develop areas chosen by the board of trustees in partnership with the private sector and real estate developers, as well as remove buildings in unsafe areas. It will report directly to the prime minister. The statement does not mention how much money the fund will be allocated.

Major French financing agreement approved: The EUR 3.8 bn in French financing agreed in June was approved by the cabinet last week. The money will be used to fund a variety of transport projects including Cairo Metro Line 1 and the Abu Qir metro conversion project, as well as a number of wastewater and energy projects.

DIPLOMACY

Qatar now has an ambassador in Cairo

Qatar has named a new ambassador to Egypt as the two countries continue to improve bilateral ties. The office of Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced on Thursday that Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi will serve as the country’s new ambassador to Cairo, a month after Egypt followed Riyadh in naming a new ambassador to Doha for the first time since joining the blockade of the island state in 2017. The UAE and Bahrain are yet to follow suit.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE all severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017 and blockaded the country over its alleged support for terrorism and interference abroad. The rift now seems to have ended after the countries agreed to normalize relations earlier this year. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has since met with his Qatari counterpart in Cairo and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for an official visit to Doha. The story got coverage in Reuters.

IN OTHER DIPLO NEWS-

Ethiopia said the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was carried out in line with the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed with Egypt and Sudan: Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen drove this point home during a meeting with his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra in Addis Ababa, Sputnik news reports. Ethiopia also called on Algeria to play a role in correcting misconceptions by the Arab League over GERD. Ethiopia has completed the second filling of GERD despite warnings from Egypt and Sudan.

Lamamra was also in Cairo yesterday for an official visit to discuss bilateral ties, and met with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (watch, runtime 9:25) after wrapping up his visits to Ethiopia then to Sudan. Algeria’s potential involvement in GERD negotiations was also on the airwaves, with Sada El Balad’s Ahmed Moussa referring to unconfirmed reports of Algeria’s mediation (watch, runtime 2:57).

Egypt, France pledge to support Tunisia: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian said their countries support Tunisian in its efforts to achieve stability and resolve its economic crisis, Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement. During a phone call on Thursday the two ministers agreed to support Tunisia’s institutions and emphasized the importance of respecting the democratic will of the people. Shoukry also discussed the importance of reaching a fair agreement with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and ensuring that a Lebanese government capable of undertaking economic reforms can soon be formed.

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was a quiet evening on the airwaves last night, what with Amr Adib and Lamees El Hadidi being on summer holiday. Otherwise, Egypt’s football team exiting the Olympics after their loss to Brazil yesterday got airtime, with Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal praising the team’s performance despite their loss (watch, runtime 2:07) while Sada El Balad’s Ahmed Moussa criticized Egypt’s team captain Shawky Gharib, saying the team could have tried harder (watch, runtime 4:07).

The tumult in Tunisia is still a favorite topic among pundits, with Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal saying Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has “opened fire” on Islamists, but that nobody had been arrested and his actions are all legitimate under the Tunisian constitution (watch, runtime 9:01). Meanwhile, Sada El Balad’s Ahmed Moussa called the Nahda party “a gang of criminals” and babbled on about his contention that he was among the early supporters of President Saied and a secular government in Tunisia (watch, runtime 6:39). Because, you know, they needed his approval to go down that path.

And GERD also gets a nod: Former irrigation minister Mohamed Nasr El Din Allam told Moussa that Ethiopia was exaggerating the amount of water it had stored in the dam’s second filling for political reasons — and that according to Egyptian estimates, Ethiopia had only managed to store 7.5 bn cubic meters, rather than the 13.5 bn it had claimed, (watch, runtime 6:31).

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EGYPT IN THE NEWS

A similarly quiet weekend in the foreign press. Among the few stories of note:

  • Heatwave ruins mango crops: Farmers in Ismailiya have been struggling to grow their mango crops because of an extreme heat wave. You can thank global warming. (Reuters)
  • GERD: Egypt is making overtures to Senegal to get its support on the Grand Ethiopean Renaissance Dam crisis before the west African nation assumes the presidency of the African Union next year. (Al Monitor)
  • Theatre: UK playwright Ben Okri found inspiration in Ancient Egyptian poem The Tale of Sinuhe for his new play tackling immigration. (Financial Times)

PLANET FINANCE

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The price of US crude rose for the fourth month in a row in July as demand continued to rise while supply remained tight, according to Bloomberg. WTI futures closed out the week up 2.6%, reaching USD 73.95 per barrel. Notably, demand has remained strong despite worries over the spread of the delta covid variant. One analyst told the business news information service that US crude will soon reach USD 80/bbl, saying that it’s going to “mostly grind higher.”

A survey has Brent treading water: The price of Brent will hover around USD 70/bbl for the rest of the year, averaging USD 68.76 for the next five months, according to a Reuters poll of 38 analysts.

Highest output since April 2020 following OPEC+ pact: OPEC oil production hit its highest level since April 2020 in July following the supply agreement with its Russia-led allies, according to Reuters. OPEC+ last month reached an agreement to add another 400k bbls/d of supply to the global market, helping to soften the recent rally which has seen the price of Brent surge 45% since the start of the year. This helped the cartel to pump 26.72 mn bbls/d, 610k bbls more than forecast in June and the highest monthly figure for 15 months.

And Saudi Arabia is set to reap the rewards: The kingdom’s net foreign assets rose 2% in June after slumping to a 10 year low due to declining oil income, Bloomberg reports. The increase of USD 9.1 bn last month is expected to be further buoyed by recovering oil prices.


As Europe exits recession…: The eurozone clawed its way out of recession in 2Q2021, reporting growth of 2%, according to official data (pdf) released Friday. This is faster than expected by a Reuters poll of economists which forecast 1.5% growth during the three-month period. The bloc had slumped back into a mild contraction during the previous two quarters after reporting explosive growth of 12.4% in 3Q2020.

…China is slowing: Manufacturing activity in China grew at its slowest pace since February 2020 in July, as higher prices of raw materials, bad weather and equipment maintenance knocked business confidence, according to Reuters.

…And seeing its stocks tank: Investors in Chinese stocks lost some USD 1 tn over the past week after a ban by Chinese authorities on profits by tutoring companies triggered a sharp sell-off amid concerns that no industry is safe from Beijing’s regulatory meddling, Bloomberg reports. The Golden Dragon China index has lost 19% over three trading days last week, while the MSCI China Index declined 5.6%, the most since March 2020.

Down

EGX30

10,742

-0.3% (YTD: -0.9%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

11,012

+0.7% (YTD: +26.7%)

Up

ADX

7,318

+1.0% (YTD: +45.1%)

Up

DFM

2,765

+0.5% (YTD: +11.0%)

Down

S&P 500

4,395

-0.5% (YTD: +17.0%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,032

-0.7% (YTD: +8.9%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 75.41

+0.4%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.91

-3.6%

Down

Gold

USD 1,817.20

-1.0%

Up

BTC

USD 41,797

+0.39% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 0.3% during Thursday’s session on turnover of EGP 2.1 bn (41.1% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 0.9% YTD.

In the green: Alexandria Mineral Oils (+1.7%), MM Group (+1.5%) and Egypt Kuwaiti Holding (+0.8%).

In the red: Fawry (-2.7%), Orascom Financial Holding (-2.0%) and GB Auto (-1.8%).

AROUND THE WORLD

Israel blames Iran for Gulf tanker attack: An Israeli oil tanker was attacked by drones off Oman on Thursday, killing two crew members from Romania and the UK. Israel blamed Iran for the incident and called on world powers to mount a strong response. Bloomberg and Reuters have more.

Tunisia’s political crisis has cast a shadow over its Islamist movement: Moderate Islamist party Ennahda has played a central political role in post-revolution Tunisia, but President Kais Saeid’s decision to fire the prime minister and suspend parliament has party officials worried of an impending crackdown and a polarization of politics against Islamists, Reuters reports.

CALENDAR

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.

9 August (Monday): Russian flights to Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada resume.

12 August (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Islamic New Year.

September: Delegation of Russian companies to visit Russian Industrial Zone.

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.

21-22 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets 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.

October: New legislative session begins.

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.

1 October (Friday): State-owned companies and government service bodies selling goods and services to customers 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.

6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.

7 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Armed Forces Day.

11-17 October (Monday-Sunday): IMF + World Bank Annual Meetings.

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.

31 October – 12 November (Sunday-Friday): The 26th UN Climate Change Conference, Glasgow, UK.

November: The French-Egyptian Business Forum is set to take place in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

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.

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

2-3 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

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.

14-19 December (Tuesday-Sunday): The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater.

14-15 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

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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