Tuesday, 3 August 2021

New indices to track government bonds are coming to a stock exchange near you

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people, and happy hump day. There’s plenty to think about as we push over the top and into the back half of the week.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD this morning is one with plenty of implications for Egypt: Widening global concern about the delta variant of covid-19, as we discuss in this morning’s Covid Watch, below. The latest developments see worries about what delta is doing to Asia’s economic recovery, the IMF allocating another USD 650 bn in special drawing rights to help shore up emerging economies slammed by covid, and more US cities and companies bringing back masks to stop the advance of the more transmissible variant.

Oh, and the fourth wave could be upon us by September, the Health Ministry is warning, as schools reopen, holidaymakers return from Sahel and points abroad, and office workers return. We have the rundown in Last Night’s Talk Shows, below.

Vaccine update: That 12-day delay in your scheduled appointment with the Health Ministry for a second vaccine does? It is very real, in our experience. One of us showed up yesterday to get our second jab and was very politely asked to return on Friday, 13 August (no omens there, right?) instead. Health Ministry officials are working to bring in stocks of new, made-in-Egypt Sinovac by mid-month and are waiting for a cornucopia of other vaccines to arrive in the coming weeks and months.

Have a kid you want to protect against covid? The UAE has just approved Sinopharm for use in children aged three and up.

We also have news of more complaining from the global giants who may want to sell the nation cancer sticks cigarettes. While Philip Morris is interested in bidding for a new licence to distribute tobacco products, three competitors are complaining that they need more time and more protection before bringing their exceptionally healthy, not-at-all-destructive to human health products to the market. We have the story in Speed Round, below.

HAPPENING TODAY- The Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition continues at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event runs until tomorrow.

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

  • More bond inflows? Egyptian bonds could receive USD 3-4 bn of foreign inflows during 2H2021, Alia Mamdouh, Beltone financial’s chief economist, told Bloomberg.
  • New fund coming in 4Q2021: The National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and Suez Canal Bank have announced the launch of a new EGP 1 bn fund managed by the US-based firm Avanz Capital to invest in the healthcare, education and fintech sectors, among others.
  • Mubasher Capital plans spate of new funds: The company has announced it’s rolling out 10 funds from 2022-2025 in hopes of raising EGP 250-500mn for each one, though the plan is still pending for approval by the Financial Regulatory Authority.

MORNING MUST READS- We have a handful for you this morning, depending on “where your head’s at”:

Corporate America is atitter as a racy succession battle heats up for control of the US publisher of Harry Potter. The longtime head of Scholastic died while on a walk in Martha’s Vineyard (think of it as the “Sahel of New York” if you want to be Cairo-centric). “He didn’t give control of the USD 1.2 bn publisher to either of his two sons, or his siblings, or his ex-wife, with whom he had rekindled a friendship during the pandemic. Instead, control went to Iole Lucchese, Scholastic’s chief strategy officer. She also inherited all his personal possessions.” Lucchese was not just Robinson’s self-described “partner and closest friend” — she was also his longtime romantic partner. Read: A CEO’s sudden death, an office romance and a surprise will in the WSJ.

Drugmakers are desperate to sell you a pill to ward off Alzheimer’s disease. But what if sleep and diet are really the key — meaning a great many people could ward off the disease by getting enough sleep and cutting carbs out of their lives? Business nerds will want to read Fortune magazine’s The quest for rest: Sleep could be the key to fighting Alzheimer’s—and a huge business opportunity. Science nerds will want to start here in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta with Is Alzheimer's disease a Type 3 Diabetes? A critical appraisal.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Goldman Sachs is boosting pay for juniors by as much as 30% and will start first-year analysts at USD 110k per year (base salary, before potential bonuses). Goldman has a reputation for being tight-fisted with juniors and, as our IB nerds know, is competing for talented people who are probably more interested in crunching numbers at a startup than playing with PowerPoint all night at the whim of an MD or because of “feedback” from legal counsel. The story is front page everywhere from the Financial Times to the Wall Street Journal.

TOKYO 2020 AS IT STANDS-

Country

🏅

🥈

🥉

Total

1

China

29

17

16

62

2

US

22

25

17

64

3

Japan

17

6

10

33

4

Australia

14

4

15

33

5

ROC (Russia)

12

21

17

50

73

Egypt

0

0

2

2

enterprise

*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: We examine the government’s E-Tadweer initiative, an app that was recently launched to incentivize people to recycle defunct electronics and reduce e-waste.

CORRECTION-This section was corrected on Tuesday, 3 August to reflect the fact that the the IMF is allocating an additional USD 650 bn in SDRs, not USD 650 mn as we had initially written. h/t Ahmed Th.

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.

MARKET WATCH

New indices to track government bonds coming to a stock exchange near you

The EGX is rolling out a new index for publicly-traded government treasuries that will be up and running later today, according to a statement (pdf). Four more sub-indices tracking sovereign debt instruments with varying tenors are expected to follow suit, a move the exchange says paves the way for different types of investors to put their money in index-tracking bond funds and other products linked to those gauges. The 1000-point indices will include more actively traded and liquid government bonds, with each constituent weighted based on its market capitalization. They will be reviewed (or “rebalanced”) once every month.

Why is this good news? The simple availability of the indices has the potential to unlock bns of inflows from passive funds that track them.

Sound familiar? Egypt has been working to get its sovereign bonds back on the JPMorgan emerging-market government bond index, and the global investment bank said in April that it’s expected to make a decision in October. Reinclusion on the index, from which our bonds were removed in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution, is another potential boost for passive inflows.

Background: The new indices the EGX is rolling out come as the exchange just recently put the final touches on a platform to facilitate the trading of government bonds. The platform is expected to provide traders with more detailed information on prices, bids, and orders, and will open up requests for quotations (RFQs), which allow licensed primary-dealers of sovereign debt to ask for quotes from sellers when buying, and use quotation screens to set prices when selling.

ALSO FROM THE EGX- Fawry will go ahead with purchase of CIB’s entire stake in Fawry Plus: The e-commerce giant’s board has agreed to snap up CIB’s 15% stake in Fawry Plus Banking Services for EGP 1.15 apiece, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf), making the transaction worth a total of EGP 16.2 mn. Fawry is also on course to purchase state-owned Banque Misr’s 15% stake in its subsidiary at the same price. The two proposed purchases — each worth c. EGP 16.2 mn — are still pending regulatory and shareholder approvals.

MANUFACTURING

Smoke drama

Here’s why tobacco companies are still unhappy with the recently-amended terms of the license to set up Egypt’s second tobacco company: JTI-Nakhla Tobacco, British American Tobacco Egypt and Al Mansour International Distribution Company filed two separate letters — copies of which were obtained by Masrawy — to the Madbouly cabinet, calling for the extension of a 1 August deadline for the tender and outlining other grievances. The companies claim the terms of the licence — which had already been amended after initial objections — would create an e-cigarette monopoly and prevent sustainable growth for the tobacco industry.

(Please, God, don’t get us started on the notion that the tobacco industry’s growth could or should be sustainable…)

Tobacco giant Philip Morris was the only company to take part in the bidding round for the new license, with the deadline to submit technical studies passing on 1 August, in the second iteration of a tender that was pulled earlier this year after attracting criticism for allegedly unfair terms.

In letters dated 29 June and 29 July, the companies lay out their lingering reservations, which read as standard corporate / tobacco industry whining:

#1- The single license now on offer should only cover traditional tobacco products: The three companies — who were among the companies invited to bid back in March — argue that the inclusion of the right to distribute e-cigarettes and “heated tobacco” products in the license would create a monopoly and put other cigarette companies at a disadvantage. “Instead of helping create favorable market conditions, the offering of just one license would result in adverse ripple effects on the local tobacco industry as well as the economy as a whole, while also setting up a new monopoly over e-cigarettes and heated tobacco,” the companies wrote. They are calling for the exclusion of non-cigarette tobacco products from the license on offer.

#2- The new terms do not clarify whether a new company can really go head-to-head with existing monopoly Eastern Co.: The IDA’s original conditions, had sought to protect Eastern’s market share by preventing the new company from producing cigarettes at the same price point as the monopoly’s mass-market Cleopatra brand, which accounts for 98% of Eastern’s revenues.

#3- A rain check, please. Tobacco players are also lobbying for a four-month extension on the deadline for bids to allow time for technical and feasibility studies — and also wait for possible changes to the tender’s terms. They are asking for a deadline extension until 1 December.

Refresher: The revised 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 also agreed to issue more licenses following the tender, scrapping a rule that would have prevented new licenses in the following decade.

INFRASTRUCTURE

We have a trio of infrastructure stories worth knowing about on this fine Tuesday morning:

Hassan Allam Construction has been awarded a contract for a wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 30k cubic meters per day in Maghagha, Minya, the company said in a statement. Under the contract, HAC will carry out the engineering, procurement and construction of the project, which will have expandable capacity of up to 60k cbm/d. In March, HAC was among a consortium of companies awarded the contract to construct the El Hamam agricultural wastewater plant, which it claims is the largest such plant in the world, with a capacity of 6 mn cbm/d.

First 20 turbines wired up to grid at Lekela’s West Bakr Wind Farm: Renewable power generation company Lekela Power has installed the first 20 wind turbines in its 250 MW capacity West Bakr project near Ras Ghareb in the Gulf of Suez, it said in an emailed statement. Construction began on the USD 350 mn project in late 2019, its first turbine went live last December, and the farm is expected to become fully operational by the end of this year. Part of the government’s Build, Own Operate (BOO) scheme, West Bakr is targeting production of over 1000 GWh every year for 20 years, which the company says will see the wind farm singlehandedly increase Egypt’s wind capacity by 18%.

DP World Sokhna will serve the Egyptian conglomerate Intro Group’s livestock facility in Ain Sokhna port upon its restarting under a multi-year agreement, according to a press release (pdf). The agreement will see DP World Sokhna receive ships carrying cattle and then transport International Meat Capital livestock to the facility. The first phase, scheduled to start this month, is targeting 37k heads of livestock a year, with an eye to reach an annual rate of 90k by the second stage.

AUTOMOTIVE

Auto industry reboot: part II

Passenger car sales grew 70% in June 2021, with over 19k cars sold during the month, up from 11.2k in June 2020, according to figures from the Automotive Market Information Council (AMIC) picked up by Hapi Journal. On a monthly basis sales were up from 15.2k cars sold in May.

Keeping things in perspective: The annual growth figures aren’t quite as impressive as they seem due to a low base effect. This time last year, auto sales had hit the skids as the government’s lockdown measures caused a sharp drop in consumer demand.

Total auto sales, which includes busses and trucks, also soared 59% y-o-y to 26.2k vehicles in June. Total sales grew m-o-m from 21k vehicles in May.

The pandemic wasn’t too kind to the auto industry: Sales fell as much as 26% at the height of the lockdown in April as dealerships were shuttered and consumers deferred purchases. Despite that, AMIC figures for FY2020 showed that, overall, sales rose in 2020 — even as the pandemic forced a partial lockdown on the economy.

Disclaimer: AMIC is an industry association which only reports data submitted by its member car dealerships.

MOVES

Mohamed Wasfy appointed head of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Egypt

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has appointed Mohamed Wasfy (Linkedin) as its new country manager for Egypt, the company said in a statement (pdf). Wasfy has 20 years of experience working in tech companies such as Intercom Enterprise, Oracle, and IBM, and served as the channels manager and acting managing director of HPE Egypt before being appointed to his new role.

Mamdouh Tawfik Draz (bio) has stepped down from his role as managing director and executive director of Alexandria Containers and Cargo Holding Company, the company said in a disclosure (pdf) to the EGX. Mohamed Ashraff Khalil will be the acting managing director until further notice.

EARNINGS WATCH

Earnings watch: Edita, Etisalat Misr

Edita’s bottom line surged over twenty five-fold y-o-y in 2Q2021 to EGP 83 mn from EGP 3.1 mn in the previous year, driven by “strong top line growth,” new product launches and recovering consumption, the company said in an earnings release (pdf). The snackfood maker’s top line grew almost 50% y-o-y to register EGP 1.15 bn from April-June on the back of increased revenues from its cakes, wafers and bakery segments.

On a six-month basis, Edita’s top line surpassed pre-pandemic levels recorded in 1H2019, reaching EGP 2.3 bn in 1H2021, up 33.7% compared to last year. “Signaling a solid recovery,” net income also demonstrated “impressive growth with expanding margins,” growing 142.7% y-o-y to EGP 163.7 mn in 1H2021.

Looking ahead, Edita’s first production line in Morocco is expected to be up and running later this year, marking “a key step in delivering on the company’s regional growth strategy,” according to the release. A new bakery production line — set to give the company a 20% boost in production capacity — will also be introduced by the end of 1Q2022. On the financing front, Edita secured EGP 90 mn in medium-term funding in March through the CBE’s low-interest financing initiative to bankroll its capital expenditure plans in Egypt.

Etisalat Misr reported revenues of AED 1.23 bn (c. EGP 5.27 bn) in 2Q2021, recording a 25% y-o-y increase in EGP terms, according to the company’s financial results (pdf). Top line growth was mainly driven by a bump in mobile data traffic, alongside growth in the company’s wholesale business. Etisalat’s Egyptian arm reported a “marginal increase” in capex as it “focused on network coverage and capacity. Egypt accounted for c. 9% of Etisalat’s total group revenues of AED 13.2 bn.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was a good night for business-relevant coverage on the airwaves, with the highlight being Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik’s sitdown with Sada El Balad’s Ahmed Moussa to recap the country’s efforts to strengthen the Egyptian textile industry, state-owned El Nasr Auto’s plans to produce Chinese EVs, updates on the Egyptian Iron and Steel mining spinoff, and the latest on the development of historical landmarks and buildings through private and public players. You can watch the full interview here (watch, runtime: 60:24).

Also last night: The CBE’s plans to issue new polymer banknotes were on the agenda for CBE sub-Governor Khaled Farouk, who phoned into Ala Mas’oleety to assure citizens that paper money will still be valid following the issuance of the new EGP 10 and 20 notes (watch, runtime: 6:00). Farouk also reiterated that these polymer notes are prototypes and do not reflect the final design. The news also got attention from Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 8:18).

There was still time for covid: Advisor to the health minister Noha Assem told Al Hayah TV’s Lobna Assal that we could enter the fourth wave of the pandemic as early as September amid the reopening of schools, the return of holidaymakers, as well as a prospective return of employees to work from office (watch, runtime: 7:22). Adhering to mask use and not reopening workplaces too hastily will be essential as we enter the fourth wave in late fall, Assem said.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Another mixed bag on Egypt in the international press today. Among the headlines of note:

  • Water security: Egypt will soon need to import more water than is supplied by the Nile amid a growing population and the impacts of climate change, with a new MIT study suggesting the country could face extreme water scarcity within the decade. (Phys.org)
  • Human rights: An Egyptian researcher claims that Egyptians studying abroad are increasingly at risk of being detained when returning home. (Open Democracy)
  • Ancient Egypt: Fruit baskets and ceramic artifacts dating back to the fourth century BC have been found in the legendary sunken port-city of Heracleion. (The Guardian)
  • Egyptian public universities will prepare lists of employees with Ikhwan affiliations who could face dismissal under recently approved amendments to the civil service act (Al Monitor)

COVID WATCH

Germany to jab 12-17 yr olds + Delta dominates worldwide

The Health Ministry reported 51 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 49 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 284,362 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 7 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,535.

The spread of the Delta variant is still causing concern around the world: China is seeing its most widespread covid-19 outbreak since the emergence of the virus in late 2019, with more than 300 confirmed cases across 14 of the country’s 32 provinces. Meanwhile, Iran recorded its highest covid-19 death count since April yesterday, with the country experiencing its biggest surge in new cases since the start of the pandemic, as Morocco announced it will amend the hours of its current night curfew to start two hours earlier at 20:00 GMT amid a tightening of curbs across the country. Australia’s third largest city of Brisbane is also under lockdown till Sunday, with the state registering 13 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, representing its biggest daily increase in a year.

The US has administered at least one vaccine dose to 70% of its population, hitting president Joe Biden’s target about one month later than planned, CNBC reports. But lower rates in local communities could still create pockets of infection that threaten the overall recovery, and FDA officials have said that a vaccination rate of at least 80% of the population is necessary before the US can achieve some form of so-called herd immunity. Several US cities and companies are reinstituting requirements to wear masks indoors, even for those fully vaccinated, in efforts to contain a new spike in covid-19 cases ahead of the fall season.

Germany will begin administering vaccines to 12-17 year olds as vaccination uptake in the general population slows, Bloomberg reports. Germany has administered at least one shot to some 62% of its population, and plans to also offer a booster shot to the elderly or otherwise vulnerable as of September.

PLANET FINANCE

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PE, watch out: Hedge funds are starting to eye up unlisted companies: Third Point, Marshall Wace, and BlueCrest Capital are among the hedge funds that want to invest in unlisted companies usually snapped up by private equity firms, the Financial Times reports.

GLOBAL EARNINGS WATCH- HSBC’s net income more than doubled to USD 8.4 bn in 1H2021, thanks to the global economic rebound, it said in its earnings statement (pdf). Pre-tax income, meanwhile, rose by USD 6.5 bn to USD 10.8 bn, beating out analysts’ estimate that forecast USD 9.5 bn, and allowing it to make its second dividend payout since covid hit last year.

GLOBAL M&A- Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is buying IHS Markit’s energy and renewables information service business, as well as other related assets, in a USD 1.15 bn transaction, the Wall Street Journal reports. The acquisition is expected to close sometime during the fourth quarter of the year, at which time S&P Global will have acquired IHS Markit itself. S&P agreed late last year to buy IHS Markit for a whopping USD 44 bn, in a transaction that would create what the Financial Times referred to as a “data and information powerhouse.”

Eurozone manufacturing PMI falls in July, but beats flash estimate: The composite index for the bloc fell to 62.8 in July from a record high of 63.4 in June, but came in slightly higher than a preliminary reading of 62.6, according to the IHS Markit PMI survey (pdf). This comes as “manufacturers and their suppliers are struggling to raise production fast enough to meet demand, driving prices ever higher,” an IHS economist said. European factories — especially in Germany and Austria — have been adding new workers at a rate not seen in two years to meet a growth in new orders.

The story got coverage in the global press: Bloomberg | Reuters.

Up

EGX30

10,821

+0.1% (YTD: -0.2%)

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

11,157

+0.81% (YTD: 28.4%)

Up

ADX

7,404

+0.15% (YTD: 46.8%)

Up

DFM

2,790

+0.31% (YTD: 12%)

Down

S&P 500

4,387

-0.18% (YTD: 16.8%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,082

+0.7% (YTD: 9.6%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 72.89

-3.3%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.97

+0.94%

Down

Gold

USD 1,816

-0.34%

Down

BTC

USD 39,390

-2.4% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.1% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 2.37 bn (47.2% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 0.2% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+6.3%), MM Group (+4.9%) and AMOC (+4.4%).

In the red: Speed Medical (-4.5%), Egyptian for Tourism Resorts (-2.7%) and Mopco (-1.3%).

AROUND THE WORLD

The US Senate is hunkering down to consider and vote on the first phase of President Joe Biden’s USD 1 tn bipartisan infrastructure bill, with a final vote to be held in a matter of days, the Associated Press reports. This bill calls for USD 550 bn of new spending to upgrade roads, bridges, waterworks, broadband and the electric grid. Senators will also vote on a budget blueprint that will be a precursor to a USD 3.5 tn social, health, and environmental bill to be considered later this year.

Also worth knowing this morning:

  • Tunisian president Kais Saied has relieved the finance, environment and ICT ministers of their positions as part of his sweeping purge of Islamists from the government, Reuters reports.
  • An Israeli court has proposed a compromise between settlers and Palestinians facing eviction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, whereby Palestinian residents can remain in their homes and retain “protected status” provided that they pay an annual fee to a settler organization, the Guardian reports.
greenEconomy

Government and industry are working together to make sure your old iPhones and laptops are safely recycled: The ICT and environment ministries launched this year “E-Tadweer,” an initiative to promote the safe recycling of outdated electronic items in collaboration with the private sector. A Google Play and App Store app launched almost a month ago allows people to hand in defunct electronics at drop-off points in exchange for vouchers they can use to purchase new devices at partner stores. Authorities began a media campaign in June to promote the app, as well as explain its key components and how it can be used to recycle electronics.

How E-Tadweer works: Regular folk can sign up to the app and upload pictures of electronics they’re no longer using or outdated gadgets that no longer have a market. They can then head to the drop-off points specified by the app and hand over the devices. Users receive e-vouchers provided by the corporate partners, who are currently Vodafone and Raya.

E-recycling in numbers: Egypt produces an estimated 90k tonnes of e-waste a year, 58% of which comes from the private sector, 23% from households, and 19% from the public sector, according to figures recently provided by Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad, and statements to Enterprise by Tarek El Araby, who heads the Waste Management Regulatory Authority (WMRA). The ICT and telecoms industry, alone, accounts for 66-73 tonnes of that figure, with other sectors comprising the remainder, El Araby told Enterprise.

Why is this important? Electronic waste contains harmful chemicals such as mercury and lead that can end up in our soil and water if the devices are not correctly disposed of. Unused electronics are also wasted rare earth mineral deposits, with many electronic devices relying on these metals — demand for which has risen in parallel with increasing consumption of electronic goods — to power their systems. Recycling e-waste would allow us to extract and reuse some of these metals, decreasing our dependence on mining going forward.

The ministry is courting more private investment for electronic waste recycling: The Environment Ministry is looking for ways to make so-called e-recycling the norm, as well as avenues to encourage private sector participation. Senior government and industry officials we spoke to last week told us that e-recycling would get a major shot in the arm by opening up to private investors, but the challenges that had traditionally faced private sector participation in the waste management sector at large remain.

Vodafone Egypt is playing a key role in the initiative. The telecoms major designated several of its branches as drop-off points, provides technical support for the app, and is on board with marketing efforts, Vodafone Egypt CEO Mohamed Abdallah said in a recent statement.

Raya joins Vodafone: The electronics retailer is also making its stores available as drop-off points and is handing out 5% discount vouchers redeemable at RayaShop, Raya Holdings Chairman Medhat Khalil said. So far, Raya has collected some 300 electronic devices from app users, and it says E-Tadweer has received upward of 17k handover requests, Khalil added.

More backers: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility, and multinational accounting firm Russell Bedford (through local member firm Sherif Dabbous), are also among the initiative’s key backers.

One step at a time: Phase one, which is currently underway, allows users to hand over smaller-sized electronic devices including mobile phones, laptops, chargers, cameras, video games, Playstation consoles, and small PC monitors. At later stages, the initiative will allow larger devices such as washing machines, refrigerators, and television sets to be dropped off.

Plenty of room for investment: The numbers make for attractive potential returns for investors, who would get plenty of ground to cover, El Araby tells us. Most of Egypt’s electronic waste, nearly 98%, is snapped up by informal garbage collectors, according to El Araby. Only 2% makes it through to formal waste management channels, El Araby notes.

Incentives on the way: Authorities will unveil a number of incentives for private waste management companies to invest in e-recycling, WMRA’s deputy head, Yasser Mahgoub, meanwhile, says. While nothing is clear yet, Mahgoub hinted that the incentives will extend to other areas beyond e-recycling and will vary depending on sector. They are being drafted in cooperation with the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), he says.

Manufacturers are also set to play a role. The ministry signed an MoU with the FEI to look into ways to bring existing electronics manufacturers on board with the initiative, with plans to give factories incentives to set up recycling facilities to safely dispose of defunct electronics, Fouad recently said.

But there’s still a long way to go: There are currently only seven recycling facilities in Egypt for e-waste, with only 5-10% of the volume of recycled e-waste being handled by the private sector, Mahgoub said. More private sector players are expected to come on board, but they’re waiting for clarity on a waste management legislative framework currently being finalized. Government authorities and legislators are currently holding regular meetings to put the final touches on the framework with private sector players to put in place a mechanism suitable for their needs, he added. Those players include Pepsico, Nestle, and Coca-Cola — which are discussing working incentives for recycling packaging materials into the legislation, as well as leading electronics manufacturers including Toshiba and LG — who will also be handed a mechanism expected to be supportive of better e-waste recycling, Magoub says.

BACKGROUND- Egypt embarked on a mission at the start of the 2000s to better manage waste and move away from open air incineration and unsanitary landfilling. One of the key pillars of this plan is a larger private sector role, especially as the government is finding it increasingly difficult to handle all waste management processes centrally. Those efforts, however, continue to be undermined. This is due to several reasons including the fact that the private sector still can’t find a way around structural problems such as the lack of a nationwide collection infrastructure, and that the country still lacks a clear legislative framework for waste management. The government said back in 2019 it plans to reach an 80% rate in municipal waste recycling by 2026.

DIG DEEPER- We took a closer look at challenges facing private sector participation in waste management in Hardhat last year, and have been keeping a close eye on the recently-ratified Waste Management Act, for which the executive regulations are still in limbo.


Your top climate 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.

7-8 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Euromoney Conferences will host the GlobalCapital Sustainable and Responsible Capital Markets Forum 2021, featuring Vice Minister of Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk.

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.

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