Monday, 2 August 2021

Securitization market continues to heat up, with signs pointing to a very busy fall

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a fairly typical August news day. This is the month when newsflow lurches from achingly slow to really brisk … and back again, all in the same day.

Today’s news is… brisk without being too taxing for those of you settling into your month in Sahel, with the big story of the day being (1) the continued strength of the domestic debt market and (2) a reassuring sign that Philip Morris is among the international players interested in a new tobacco license. It’s good news for the investment environment, if not particularly great from a healthcare point of view. It’s critical that the government deliver clarity on the license terms to avoid the type of mixed messaging that muddled the last attempt to take a license to market.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD? There are three, actually, all of them vying for your attention this morning. The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal are giving plenty of attention to the specter of inflation, which the WSJ suggests investors are starting to price in. Both the Journal and Reuters are getting edgy about lockdowns and a prospective fourth wave, with the latter quoting Anthony Fauci as saying Amreeka isn’t locking down again despite a surge in the Delta variant at same time as Australia sends troops into the streets of Sydney to enforce a snap lockdown. China’s “capitalist smackdown” is getting prominent play in both Bloomberg and CNBC.

Also getting ink: Jack Dorsey’s Square has agreed to buy Afterpay, home to a popular buy now, pay later product (think: EFG Hermes’ valU) in a USD 29 bn all-stock transaction. The news is everywhere from CNBC to the WSJ.

ALSO WORTH KNOWING- Is Agent Orange planning a 2024 re-election campaign? Former US president Donald Trump has a USD 102 mn war chest of “political cash he can wield as the GOP eyes retaking majorities in Congress next year,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Trump — who raised more money than any other Republican — would not be able to use all of the funds for a reelection bid and has not yet said whether he plans to run.

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

  • Big changes are coming to the EGX in September in hopes of raising trading volumes: The way the bourse calculates closing prices will change and the limit on intraday movements in share prices will be raised from 10% to 20%.
  • Swvl SPAC gets USD 10 mn capital injection: Kuwaiti telecom provider Zain will invest USD 10 mn into the company’s newly-announced merger with US-based SPAC Queen’s Gambit.
  • EFG at the top. Again: The investment bank has topped the brokerage league table for the fourth consecutive month with a market share of 36.6%.

HAPPENING TODAY- The Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition kicks off today at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event will run until 4 August.

MORNING MUST READ-

Non-traditional venture investors are crowding out venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, with non-VC funds contributing to a record high of 42% of tech startup transactions in 2Q — and more than three-quarters of all invested capital, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing figures from research firm Pitchbook Data. Hedge, mutual, pension and sovereign wealth funds are investing heavily in US tech startups — to the tune of USD 150 bn in 1H2021, more than full year funding in every year prior to 2020. While providing more leverage for company founders, all that money has sent valuations sky-high, with at least 136 companies having achieved valuations of USD 1 bn or more from April-June.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

It’s interest rate week: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet this week to review interest rates. All 12 analysts we surveyed expect the central bank to leave rates on hold, with inflation and rising global commodity prices weighing heavily on their decision.

Other 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.

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

TOKYO 2020 AS IT STANDS-

Country

🏅

🥈

🥉

Total

1

China

24

14

13

51

2

US

20

24

16

60

3

Japan

17

5

9

31

4

Australia

14

3

14

31

5

ROC (Russia)

12

19

13

44

70

Egypt

0

0

2

2

enterprise

*** It’s Blackboard day: We have our weekly look at the business of education in Egypt, from pre-K through the highest reaches of higher ed. Blackboard appears every Monday in Enterprise in place of our traditional industry news roundups.

In today’s issue: While Egypt’s demand for K-12 private school education is rapidly growing, development remains heavily Cairo-focused. But why are so few school operators trying to meet demand in governorates beyond Cairo and Alex? Lower earning power, high land costs, and challenges in accurately assessing demand in the governorates make expansion a tricky financial balancing act — one that not many operators are willing to take a chance on.

enterprise

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.

DEBT WATCH

Securitization market continues to heat up

Egypt’s securitization market shows no sign of sliding into summer vacation. After a slow start to the year, upmarket developer SODIC, Palm Hills Development, Premium International and Arabia Investments Holding subsidiary Rawaj have all closed issuances of asset-backed securities this year.

And the pipeline looks deep: SODIC, EFG Hermes, Contact Financial Holding, Edge Holding and Raya’s Aman have been reported as having plans to securitize parts of their portfolios.

That’s just one corner of the debt market: None of this takes into account the growing interest in the country’s sukuk market or the potential securitization of off-balance sheet cashflows.

The latest to join the fray: NUCA’s Al Taamir for Securitization, which is in talks with Al Oula to manage a EGP 650 mn securitized bond issuance on behalf of the leasing company, Al Taamir Chairman Mazen Hassan told Enterprise yesterday. The transaction isn’t a sure thing — it still needs approval of Al Oula’s board, he said. Hassan denied a report in the domestic press that quoted him saying Al Taamir is in talks with eight companies to manage sales worth EGP 5.5 bn. Al Taamir is negotiating with only three companies — Al Oula, Palm Hills and Mountain View — while declining to give us a total value.

There’s no word on when the Palm Hills issuance will take place: Originally slated for 1Q2021, the EGP 650 mn issuance will be triggered by Palm Hills when it hits an unspecified milestone, Hassan said, declining to give an estimated timeframe.

Al Taamir is also in talks with Mountain View, Hassan earlier told the local press (pdf). He declined to disclose the value of the transaction when we asked yesterday. The domestic press had quoted Hassan as saying that Al Taamir was also in talks with City Edge, Misr Italia, Redcon Construction, and Hyde Park Developments, which Hassan denied yesterday.

About Al Taamir: Al Taamir is a special purpose vehicle set up by the New Urban Communities Authority in 2008 to help securitize its portfolio of land sale contracts and raise finance for the establishment of new cities.

REGULATION WATCH

What can you send “to the moon”

The EGX has changed up its list of shares eligible for same-day trading, margin trading and short-selling as part of its biannual rebalancing, the bourse said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The number of companies on the EGX’s category ‘A’ list (pdf) — which permits same-day trading and margin trading with up to 100% collateral — has risen to 143 from 129. There are now 33 companies on the ‘B’ list (pdf) — which allows same-day trading and margin trading with up to 80% collateral — down from 38 previously. Meanwhile, the EGX increased the list of securities eligible for short selling to 63 (pdf) from 53. The changes are effective as of today’s trading session.

But Enterprise, what’s short selling? Or margin trading? We’ve got you covered. Hit the links.

REMINDER- Six companies were added to the benchmark EGX30 index yesterday as part of the rebalancing while seven rotated out.

Who’s in: CIRA, Misr Fertilizers (Mopco), Speed Medical, Raya Holding, Rameda Pharma, and Egyptian Resorts Company

Who’s out: CI Capital, Orascom Financial Holding, Orascom Investment Holding, Emaar Misr, Export Development Bank of Egypt, SODIC and Edita.

INVESTMENT WATCH

Good news for FDI watchers

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is among several tobacco companies with local operations that are said to be interested in bidding for a license to set up Egypt’s second tobacco company, Federation of Egyptian Industries’ (FEI) cigarettes division Head Ibrahim Embaby told Al Mal. The period during which companies could submit bids in the tender elapsed on 1 August.

BACKGROUND- This is the second iteration of the tender after the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) had pulled it earlier this year after it was criticized for its unfavorable terms.

Tobacco companies are still lobbying for changes to the terms — and an extension of the deadline: JTI-Nakhla Tobacco, British American Tobacco Egypt and Al Mansour International Distribution Company — who were among the companies invited to bid back in March — did not take part in the bidding round, as they still have reservations about the amended terms of the licence, according to Embaby. The three companies reportedly communicated their concerns to the Madbouly cabinet on 30 June and have been lobbying for a deadline extension.

The terms of the offer were revised after several tobacco players complained to the FEI, the IDA and the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) that the license would provide preferential treatment to current tobacco monopoly Eastern Company. The new terms slash the number of cigarettes the new company will have to produce to 1 bn each year, down from 15 bn in the original tender, but still stipulate that state-owned Eastern Tobacco should own 24% of the new entity. The government has also agreed to issue more licenses following the tender, scrapping a rule that would have prevented new licenses in the following decade

COVID WATCH

Signs the gov’t is serious about getting you the jab you need to travel

Mix-and-matching vaccines is safe, advisor to the health minister Noha Assem told Men Masr, stressing that it’s safe to receive multiple vaccinations, or combinations of vaccines, even if you have already received two doses of, say, Sinopharm (watch, runtime: 20:34). Doing so may ensure you get the best protection against variants of the virus, Assem said. The Egyptian government is working on securing stocks of vaccines citizens and residents will need if they want to travel without quarantine, Assem said, noting that many countries only accept certain vaccines.

You could face a 12-day delay in getting the second dose of your covid-19 vaccine amid a surge in citizens registering for shots at the nation’s 450 vaccination centers, Aysam Salah, at top advisor to the health minister, told Ten TV (watch, runtime: 60:36). This comes as part of the Health Ministry’s strategy on the distribution of jabs, according to Salah.

The Health Ministry reported 49 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 47 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 284,311 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 4 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,528.

A new surge in covid-19 cases in the US could be in sight as the super-contagious Delta variant spreads and precautions relax, with infection rates already rising to those last seen in February, writes the Washington Post. The seven-day average of cases in the US has surged by about 60% in the past week alone, with cases this month expected to hit between 140-300k a day.

Capitalizing on need, covid vaccine producers are hiking EU prices: Pfizer has increased its covid vaccine prices in Europe by more than a quarter, while Moderna prices are up by more than a tenth in new supply contracts signed with the EU, according to the Financial Times.

LEGISLATION WATCH

Sisi signs off on changes to civil service act

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has ratified amendments to the Civil Service Act allowing the permanent dismissal of civil servants with proven links to the Ikhwan or any other terrorist organization, Youm7 reports. The amendments were introduced on the heels of several rail incidents, which Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir back in April claimed were due to “extremist elements” in the Railways Authority. The new law was published in the Official Gazette last Wednesday (pdf) after it received final approval from the House on 12 July.

TAX

EDA services now subject to VAT

Services offered by the Egyptian Drug Authority will now be subject to a 14% VAT under a decision issued by the Egyptian Tax Authority, the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) announced in a statement (pdf). The EDA will for the first time collect and remit value-added taxes on services such as licensing medicinal and dietary supplement products, running chemical and active ingredient tests, and the supervision of drug production. The levy came into effect as of 1 August.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Al Baraka Bank wants in on Egypt’s sukuk and factoring markets, with plans to launch two separate companies to issue corporate sukuk and grow its leasing and factoring portfolio through its investment arm, Al Baraka Financial Investments, in which it holds a 98% stake, Al Baraka Bank Egypt’s CEO Ashraf Ghamrawy told Hapi Journal. The bank is then looking to set up specialized investment funds, Ghamrawy says, stressing that the approval of the Sovereign Sukuk Act is set to open new horizons for growth for Islamic finance in Egypt.

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

  • Egypt will roll out a new digital platform for yacht tourism that will offer a single window for clearance and registration, designed to simplify procedures and grow the industry.
  • Luxor received its first charter flights from France and Spain, carrying 178 tourists from Paris and 114 from Madrid.
  • E-payment giant Fawry is on course to purchase (pdf) state-owned Banque Misr’s 15% stake in its subsidiary, Fawry Plus Banking Services, for EGP 1.15 per share in a transaction worth c. EGP 16.2 mn, with the proposed purchase to be put to the company’s board.
  • An Egyptian court has handed life sentences to 24 Ikhwan leaders on charges of killing police officers in two different cases.

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was a slow night, as is often the case in August when the talking heads pine for sand and surf. Among the few business-relevant stories on the airwaves:

Everyone is still talking about the upheaval in Tunisia, with Sada El Balad’s Ahmed Moussa covering reports of a plot to assassinate Tunisian President Kais Saied, who has suspended parliament and sacked the prime minister (watch, runtime: 2:18 | 7:57).

Speaking of Tunisia: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra pledged full support for Tunisia’s “transition to democracy and economic stability” under President Kais Saied. The two made the remarks during a meeting in Cairo yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Elsewhere, there were more GERD talks on the heels of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s sitdown with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra. Cairo University political science professor Tarek Fahmy told Ten TV Algeria could pour oil on troubled waters between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to resolve the GERD impasse (watch, runtime: 6:27). Algeria’s possible intervention on GERD also got attention from CBC Egypt’s Men Masr (watch, runtime: 6:35).

New EGP 10 and 20 polymer banknotes set to be released in November were also on display by Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime 5:56), though central bank sources have said that these notes are prototypes and do not reflect the final design.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s another slow day in the international press. Among the few stories that caught our attention:

  • Hundreds of artisans showcased their handicrafts during an exhibition in New Alamein city, which kicked off on 28 July. (Xinhua)
  • Foreign Policy is running a story on Egyptian bestselling author Alaa el Aswany’s novel The Republic of False Truths, newly translated into English, in which he narrates the chronicles of fictional characters living through the Arab Spring.

PLANET FINANCE

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EFG Hermes - https://efghermes.com/

Chinese stocks are recovering as investors look past rout: Exchange-traded funds focused on Chinese stocks saw USD 975 mn in net inflows last week — more than all other emerging nations monitored by Bloomberg combined — despite a meltdown at the start of the week triggered by regulatory concerns, according to Bloomberg.

US tightens China listing rules: US securities regulators will not allow Chinese companies to IPO unless they disclose more information about their legal structures and risk profiles, the Financial Times reports. The move comes in response to Beijing’s crackdown on overseas listings, which could give the government more power over Chinese private companies. China’s regulator has said it wants to talk with its American counterpart to find a compromise.

But last week’s wobble in Chinese bonds and equities only proves that the country is still key to global financial markets, according to a Financial Times opinion column. Despite talk of “economic decoupling” from China by successive US administrations, rising FDI inflows to the country and foreign investment in its equity stocks and government bonds indicate that the relationship between US and Chinese finance remains mutually beneficial. Still, there’s plenty of room for retaliation on both sides.

Up

EGX30

10,810

+0.6% (YTD: -0.3%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.74

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

11,067

+0.49% (YTD: 27.4%)

Up

ADX

7,393

+1.02% (YTD: 46.5%)

Up

DFM

2,781

+0.6% (YTD: +35.6%)

Down

S&P 500

4,395

-0.5% (YTD: 18.8%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,032

-0.7% (YTD: 7.0%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 74.20

-1.5%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.87

+1.4%

Down

Gold

USD 1,813.18

-0.2%

Down

BTC

USD 39,666

-4.9% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.6% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.91 bn (34.7% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 0.3% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+6.1%), Rameda (+5.6%) and Ibnsina Pharma (+3.1%).

In the red: Egyptian Resorts Company (-3.5%), Cleopatra Hospitals (-1.9%) and Speed Medical (-1.8%).

Asian markets are mixed today, with the Nikkei handily in the green while shares in Shanghai, Seoul’s Kospi and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index were all in the red at dispatch time. Futures Wall Street will open in the green today, while Bay Street will be in the red at the opening bell.

AROUND THE WORLD

Iran will confirm its new president on 3 August: Ebrahim Raisi is set to assume the Islamic republic’s presidency, which will be announced in a televised ceremony next Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. The swearing-in ceremony will follow two days later, in which Raisi will also reveal his new cabinet. The new president has said he will continue negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, though observers have raised concerns that the change in leadership may set negotiations back.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi talked bilateral relations with Czech FM Jakub Kulhánek during a meeting in Cairo yesterday, an Ittihadiya statement said. The meeting, which was also attended by FM Sameh Shoukry, saw the two leaders discuss potential investment and cooperation as well as efforts towards tackling terrorism and illegal immigration.

blackboard

Few schools are really interested in going out into the governorates: Egypt’s demand for private K-12 education is soaring, with enrollment in private sector schools has almost doubled in the last five years, according to Colliers’ 2020 Egypt K-12 market report (pdf).

But the development of schools is still heavily Cairo-focused: Of the anticipated 2.1 mn new seats needed in private sector schools in Egypt by 2030, almost 1 mn will be in Greater Cairo, Colliers estimates. We explore why, despite the demand for private schools across the country, most school operators haven’t been attempting to bridge that gap.

Brass tacks? Income levels outside of Cairo don’t make it worth the hassle: Building a school requires significant capital. Beyond Cairo, the market for families who could spend EGP 60k a year on their children’s education is clearly much smaller, says AIS Director Kapono Ciotti. “Private schools obviously have tiers of pricing, with the highest being around EGP 150-220k per year. I don’t see a lot of attractive options under EGP 60k per year.”

You can see that in the lower tuition offered by private schools outside of Cairo and Alexandria: CIRA and its subsidiary Eduhive strategically target expansion in the governorates, representatives tell Enterprise. Their different school brands target particular price points and locations, says Eduhive CEO Karim Mostafa. Tier A schools like BCCIS that cost some USD 8-12k per year are being developed in and around Cairo, while Regent British school — which costs in the range of USD 4-8k — is being used for expansion in other governorates, he says.

Just setting tuition is a challenge, as gauging demand is expensive: CIRA and Eduhive spend EGP hundreds of thousands every year on market research to assess demand for private school education in the governorates, says Mostafa. Their in-house research department conducts field visits to schools in different governorates, analyzes spending in key areas like real estate and cars, tracks the subscription fees of private clubs, and collects data from social media, CAPMAS, and the Education Ministry, he says. “We need to do this, because there’s no market research agency in Egypt working on it.”

Then there’s the cost of land: “Land prices are among our biggest expansion obstacles, because even areas with poor communities can have high land prices,” says CIRA CEO Mohamed El Kalla. An area with high demand for private school education is likely to be heavily populated, which immediately means high land value, he says. “Then you need to be sure your target customers have a specific income level because high land costs immediately mean high CAPEX. At least 40% of the CAPEX goes into the land.”

And the process of accessing it: Many different partnerships are needed to access land, says El Kalla, including buying it from the government or the private sector, and entering into partnership agreements or joint ventures. “Each time, it’s done on a case-by-case basis — which could be with individuals, with the government or with institutions. It’s a very hard part of doing the business.”

Ultimately, land acquisition is the most challenging cost-benefit calculation for school expansion in the governorates, says El Kalla. “The biggest problem is finding affordable land to create schools that serve the middle class. When you build on expensive pieces of land, you end up serving a very niche market.”

What about the costs of building the schools and hiring teachers? CIRA is investing over EGP 450 mn in its two high-end schools in O West compound, says Mostafa. And it might take 4-7 years for a school to start breaking even — longer, with an economic hit like the devaluation, according to several sources. Personnel expenses — the cost of recruiting and paying teachers and support staff — count for about 50% of costs, estimates Ciotti.

And then you need to brand yourself right: Branding is very important because a good brand instills trust, says El Kalla. Eduhive spends approximately EGP 500k-600k per year on marketing in the governorates, Mostafa estimates. This mainly consists of targeted advertisements on Facebook and other social media, and face-to-face meetings in social clubs. Mostafa and Eduhive teaching staff periodically set up booths in social clubs to meet parents, hand out brochures, and answer questions. Occasionally, Eduhive posts billboards in public areas, he adds.

So where are private schools expanding if not in the governorates? Many private sector players are eyeing expansion in the new capital. AIS is actively looking to expand, but feels its target demographic is most likely in Cairo — perhaps in the New Capital, says Ciotti. CAC is studying expansion possibilities in the new capital and Cairo’s eastern suburbs, says Head of School Jared Harris. The British International College of Cairo is completing an EGP 450 mn new branch in the new capital, says CEO Ahmed Samir.

Unsurprisingly, much expansion goes hand-in-hand with real estate development: Schools enhance the convenience of compound life and help build communities, so developers are increasingly willing to sell land to high-end schools without making a profit if their brands will likely increase compound sales, says Mostafa. “Schools in east and west Cairo, and the new capital, will make money and have very good enrollments — it’s a no-brainer.”

Some, however, see the end of the era of migration to the capital to be nigh: CIRA wants to meet demand for private school education among the Egyptian middle class outside Cairo, says El Kalla. “We believe the era of migrating to the capital is almost over. That’s why we’re taking the lead going to his market and really trying to serve these people.”

So CIRA and Eduhive are bucking the trend of Cairo-focused expansion, making the governorates a key strategic priority, El Kalla and Mostafa tell Enterprise. A branch of the Regent British school opened in New Mansoura in October 2020. Along with opening two new Cairo-based schools this September, and potentially two next September, Eduhive is aiming to launch schools in new locations — including in the Delta and in Alexandria — possibly in 2023 or 2024, says Mostafa. CIRA is building a new international school in New Sohag and a language school in New Rashid, sources recently confirmed.


Your top education stories for the week:

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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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