Thursday, 5 August 2021

J&J vaccines should arrive next week — but you’re not going to be able to get one if you’ve already been jabbed

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends, and welcome to another busy news morning as this first week of August starts drawing to a close. We hope those of you stuck with us here in the capital are managing to stay cool. And for those of you enjoying the much cooler weather in Sahel? We will not give you the evil eye. We will not give you the evil eye. We will not—

Anyway… It’s interest rate day today: The Central Bank of Egypt meets today to review interest rates. Analysts we talked to last week see the CBE playing it safe and leaving rates unchanged.

The reasoning: The potential for a pick-up in inflation in the coming months and a need to maintain Egypt’s world-beating real rates, analysts told us.

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 BIG STORY ABROAD? Two are actually two stories vying for your attention:

Is someone trying to take Robinhood “to the moon”? No-fee brokerage app Robinhood extended its rally to a second day, with retail investors “flocking” to the shares of the app that they used earlier this year to spark a “furious rally” in meme stocks including GameStop and AMC. After a disappointing IPO, Robinhood’s shares are now up more than 100% for the week. The story is front page everywhere from the Financial Times to Bloomberg and CNBC.

A close second: US corporates are split on whether to demand their employees get vaccinated — but Washginton is pretty sure it wants you to be jabbed before you step on ‘Murican soil. Tyson and Walmart are the latest major American corporations to say they will require all of their staff to take a covid-19 vaccine, joining Microsoft, Google and Facebook. General Electric, Caterpillar and three big US auto makers are not requiring their staff be jabbed, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, Reuters has an exclusive claiming the Biden administration is developing a plan that will “require nearly all foreign visitors to the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of eventually lifting travel restrictions that bar much of the world from entering the United States.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Fund manager Vanguard will offer its employees USD 1k to get vaccinated. Employees who are vaccinated by October are eligible for the incentive, the investment giant said in a statement to CNBC.

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

UPDATE- HB Fuller will invest some USD 20 mn in the regional production hub we reported on yesterday (link above) and is expected to double the company’s production capacity, a company representative told us yesterday. The company plans to begin operations at the plant, located in the CPC Industrial Park in Sixth of October City’s industrial zone, by the end of 2022.

TODAY AT THE OLYMPICS-

10:00am: Egypt’s handball team will play against France in the semifinal, in the biggest game of the day and maybe the Olympics altogether (for Egypt, at least).

A ton of karate events are also taking place today, with the Egyptian athletes having good chances of gaining medals. The times of the matches are still TBD:

Ali El Sawy has four matches tomorrow in the men’s kumite 67kg against Japan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan in a Pool A elimination round.

Meanwhile, Radwa Sayed is up in the women’s kumite 55kg, playing against Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Japan, and Austria in Pool B.

TOKYO 2020 AS IT STANDS-

Country 🏅 🥈 🥉 Total
1 China 32 23 16 71
2 US 27 33 23 83
3 Japan 21 7 12 40
4 UK 15 18 16 49
5 Australia 15 4 17 36
76 Egypt 0 0 3 3

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

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.

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

COVID WATCH

J&J vaccines should arrive next week — but you’re not going to be able to get one if you’ve already been jabbed

Egypt will next week receive its first shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as the final 1.9 mn doses of Oxford / AstraZeneca allocated under the Gavi / Covax program, after Health Minister Hala Zayed yesterday received the shipment documents, according to a health ministry statement. The shipments have been delayed several times, and were most recently due to arrive in July, with the J&J batch coming through the African Union.

We’re also still waiting on the 250k doses of AstraZeneca, gifted to us by Slovenia, which were expected to be shipped as early as late last month.

Our first 2 mn-dose shipment of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine is also expected to land here at home later this month, the Health Ministry’s spokesperson Khaled Megahed said in the statement. We were originally also set to receive the shots in mid-July, but the shipment has been delayed for unknown reasons.

So does this mean you can soon go get the jab you “need” to travel? Probably not. No program is in place right now to allow people who have already been jabbed to request a second course of a vaccine they may need to travel without quarantining, Mohamed Al Nadi — a member of the government’s covid-19 committee — tells us. Instead, those incoming J&J and Pfizer jabs will be made available to the general public and are not reserved for people who need them to travel.

So how can you get J&J or Pfizer when they arrive? For the moment, you have to be unvaccinated and registered to get a jab. When your turn comes, take proof that you’re traveling (including your plane tickets and visa, if applicable) with you and ask if you can get the vaccine you need, Al Nadi said. If stock is available, you’re in luck. If not…

Can I mix and match jabs some day? Probably. Health Ministry advisor Noha Assem said earlier this week that she believes mixing and matching vaccines is safe, adding that it’s okay to receive multiple vaccinations, or combinations of vaccines, even if you have already received two doses of, say, Sinopharm. Doing so may ensure you get the best protection against variants of the virus, she added. Assem also said that the government was working to secure stocks of vaccines citizens and residents will need if they want to travel without quarantine. You can listen to Assem’s full remarks here.

But what about the international vaccine centers? So far, five centers in Cairo have been designated to provide QR-coded vaccination certificates to make it easier to travel. The government plans to have some 126 centers across the country issuing QR coded proof of vaccine status and is working on an app. These centers are not — for the moment — going to be providing jabs to travelers.

ON THE HOMEMADE JAB FRONT- One mn doses of made-in-Egypt Sinovac will be distributed to vaccination centers nationwide in the coming two weeks, according to Megahed. The ministry wants to make 10 mn doses of the vaccine available at 500 centers by mid-August under state vaccine-maker Vacsera’s plans to deliver around 15 mn vaccines a month starting August onwards.

The Health Ministry reported 57 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 53 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 284,472 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 10 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,550.

ELSEWHERE- The World Health Organization doesn’t want wealthy countries to give booster shots just yet. The organization is calling on countries to put on hold plans to give boosters to already-vaccinated people, saying wealthy nations should wait until more people worldwide have gotten their first doses. France, Germany and Israel have started administering booster doses, with the US and UK reportedly considering plans to do so in the medium-term — all while other countries are struggling to get enough vaccines to give folks their first doses.

Globally, more than 200 mn people have been infected by covid-19 as of yesterday, according to a Reuters tally.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION

CBE orders banks to take it easy on small account holders

SMART POLICY- Banks will have much less leeway to close dormant accounts under new policies from the CBE. Egyptian banks must notify customers with inactive accounts three months before taking action to freeze those accounts, a new Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decision mandates, according to a press release (pdf). The CBE is giving everyone a six-month grace period to get their ducks in a row.

When is your account considered dormant? A current account will be classified as dormant if no financial transactions, including withdrawals, deposits, money transfer and online purchases, have been carried out by the customer on it for up to a year, after which the bank can begin charging your checking account a monthly inactivity fee (typically called a “maintenance” fee). A savings account, on the other hand, will have up to two years before it’s owner is charged.

Don’t expect to pay too much to reactivate your account: Banks should not charge customers any fees if they wish to reactivate — or to close their accounts, the CBE wrote. The CBE is also directing banks to reduce fees for dormant accounts to “the lowest possible figure,” particularly for accounts with low credit scores and those opened via “simplified” customer verification and identification tools such as e-signatures. Zero-balance checking accounts will not be charged any fees for being dormant.

To reactivate your dormant bank account, you’ll need to visit your home branch and provide a written request for reactivation. But if you have an active account at the same bank, you can do so through your bank’s hotline, internet banking app or other electronic communication channel.

In case you don’t want to reactivate, the bank will continue depositing cheques or drafts drawn on the account regardless. Another plus: You’ll still earn interest on your credit balances, with the flexibility to reactivate or unfreeze your savings at any time.

MARKET WATCH

Speed Medical to list on DFM in 4Q2021

Speed Medical to list on DFM in 4Q2021: The diagnostics labs operator expects to list on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) in 4Q2021, Chairman Mahmoud Lasheen told us yesterday, confirming his earlier statements to Al Mal. Speed Medical (SPMD) plans to complete regulatory requirements in Egypt and Dubai within the next few weeks, he added. The board had already approved the plan in May, in a move that would make Speed Medical the country’s latest dual-listed company following LSE-listed Integrated Diagnostics Holding’s EGX debut earlier this year. SPMD was the first to make the jump to the EGX late last year from the small-cap Nilex when it completed an EGP 222 mn capital increase.

The company is also planning investments of EGP 400 mn in 2022: Diagnostics and healthcare firm Speed Medical plans to invest EGP 400 mn next year, Lasheen noted. The company had earlier announced plans to invest EGP 330 mn in expansions and acquisitions during 2020-2022.

Where’s the money going? The company will invest EGP 90 mn in adding 60 new branches to Speed Lab’s network, and will spend another EGP 140 mn on establishing an additional 90 branches of Misr Labs, which SPMD acquired last year. EGP 70 mn will go towards growing Al Safwa Hospital’s capacity to 150 beds from its current 67, while another EGP 70 mn will be spent on raising the capacity of the hospital’s other facility in Obour City to 140 beds from a current 65. The company will also launch a new polyclinic in New Cairo with investments worth EGP 5 mn.

SPMD is also looking to grow further in the consumer finance space, with Lasheen saying its lending arm Speed Finance could be offered through CareSquare, an online directory of medical professionals, if Speed Medical manages to snap up a 25% stake in DG Well, the software company that owns CareSquare, Lasheen said. That would give Speed Medical 50% of Speed Finance, which will launch with EGP 25 mn in capital, with 40% planned to be offered to investors and 10% to be owned by DG Well.

REGULATION WATCH

FRA to issue tailor-made actuarial tables

Inching closer to a tailor-made life ins. industry: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has finished drafting Egypt’s first actuarial life tables in a move that is expected to help ensure a fair valuation of life ins. policies in line with the country’s mortality rates, FRA boss Mohamed Omran told CNBC Arabia yesterday.

When will Egypt’s first actuarial table go live? “As soon as possible,” Omran said, stressing that the final draft is still up for public discussions by stakeholders. Hesham Ramadan, a top deputy to the FRA chairman, told us technical considerations could push implementation until the upcoming fiscal year.

Wait, what’s an actuarial table? Think of it as a spreadsheet that an underwriter can use to estimate the probability that you’ll croak before your next birthday based on things including your current age and gender.

Why are made-in-Egypt tables important? The tables used in the Egyptian market are based on life expectancies in the UK in the 1970s, actuarial science expert Wael Abdel Hady tells us. The new tables should standardize projections on life expectancy across the market. Today, Ins. companies consider several data sets when pricing their policies: Their own death tables, those across the market as outlined in the FRA’s annual statistical publication, and those issued by CAPMAS and the National Population Council. The new tables should bring about a fairer pricing of policies for clients, Abdel Hady said.

Preliminary data from the tables suggests that actual death rates are 10-20% lower than those applied by Egyptian policy providers, Ramadan told us, noting that trends in our death rates differ greatly from those in the west.

Which ins. products will be affected? There are two main types of life ins. policies on offer in Egypt, mixed policies and term life policies, which are most likely to be affected by the new standards. A third type known as an investment policy is the most popular at the moment and is the least likely to be affected, since the portion of the paid installments covering death or incapacitation amounts to only 7% of the installment.

The new system should have a positive impact on pricing, Ins. Federation of Egypt Head Alaa El Zoheiry told us. Current tables use data that assumes death at a much younger age than 60, El Zoheiry said. The new tables should also help policy providers get a better handle on what to expect in terms of potential claims, but this will differ from one company to the next depending on the kind of policies on offer and their duration and scope, Ramadan said.

Private ins. funds will be getting their own actuarial tables next, the FRA’s Ramadan told us, without specifying when that is likely to take place.

MOVES

Mercedes-Benz Egypt gets a new CEO: Gerd Bitterlich (LinkedIn) has been appointed CEO of Mercedes-Benz Egypt effective 1 July 2021, the company announced in a statement (pdf) yesterday. Bitterlich comes to Egypt after serving as the VP and CFO of Mercedes-Benz Korea for four years. Bitterlich succeeds Thomas Zorn (LinkedIn), who had served as CEO and president of the German auto company’s Egypt arm for over five years and is now working at the head office heading up the tender management division.

Mark Campbell (LinkedIn) has been appointed the non-executive chairman and general manager of Akh Gold, a subsidiary of the Naguib Sawiris-backed company Altus Strategies, the company said in a statement. Before joining Akh, Campbell headed up Aton Resources, serving as the company’s president and CEO.

KUDOS

The good people at Etisalat Egypt partnered with Bassita and its VeryNile initiative to clean up a stretch of the river Nile in the Greater Cairo Area’s Qursaya. Our friends Hazem Metwally (CEO at Etisalat, pictured above) and Khaled Hegazy (chief corporate affairs officer) joined more than 20 staffers from the mobile network operator and VeryNile for a cleanup day. They shipped the non-organic waste to a recycling center where women on the island of Qursaya turn it into reusable products, generating revenue through a marketplace provided by VeryNile. You can check out Hazem’s thoughts on the day here.

Our friends at ALC Alieldean Weshahi & Partners are featured authors of the Egypt sections of Chambers’ 2021 Doing Business guide. Bahaa Alieldean covers Opportunity for practitioners and investors alike in Egypt’s compelling debt capital market (thank you, sir, for the shout-out to Enterprise), while Amr Namek covers law and practice.

And last, but not least: Hats off to Karim Youssef at Youssef & Partners Attorneys and Mohamed Abdelwahab at Zulficar & Partners, who are the only two Egyptian attorneys to make the Who’s who legal global thought leaders: Arbitration 2021. Hit the links for interviews with each of them.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was a fairly slow news day on the airwaves. The expected resumption of Russian flights to Hurghada International Airport on 9 August for the first time since the 2015 Metrojet crash in Sinai was in the limelight on most talk shows. Sada El Balad’s Ahmed Moussa confirmed the flight date in a phone-in with Red Sea Governor Amr Hanafy, who said five regular flights will be permitted to run on a weekly basis between Moscow and Egypt’s Red Sea resort towns, (watch, runtime: 12:44). A Russian delegation has finished carrying out health checks in airports and hotels in Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada ahead of the resumption of Russian flights, Hanafy said, confirming that all tourism workers in Egypt are now fully inoculated against covid-19.

The first cruise ship terminal between Saudi Arabia and Egypt came online after the Safaga port received yesterday the first cruise ship from the country, which started sailing late last month from Jeddah to Egypt and Jordan. Hanafy lauded the introduction of the new passenger terminal for cruise vessels between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, suggesting that it could further the two countries’ ambitions to boost tourist receipts.

Also getting some airtime: Memory of the 2020 Beirut explosion: On the first anniversary of the massive blast that rocked the Port of Beirut last year, thousands of citizens marched to the waterfront to demand accountability for the senior officials who many see as responsible for the explosion, which left more than 200 people dead and 4k others injured. Among those who had coverage: Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:25) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 3:50).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s a relatively quiet morning in the foreign press: The Washington Post is once again pointing to US President Joe Biden’s stance on Egypt as a test for his commitment to democracy. Egypt’s new polymer banknotes have come under fire, the Times of London reports, with some social media users claiming the design of the EGP 20 note contains a rainbow watermark — an LGBTQ-positive message — while the CBE says the security feature is meant to discourage counterfeiters and designs are only preliminary.

Also making headlines:

  • Suez Canal Economic Zone (SC Zone) aiming to draw more foreign investors: Egypt is hoping to attract 250 industrial parks to the SC Zone, according to the head of the Egyptian Forum for Economic and Strategic Studies. (Xinhua)
  • Spotlight on Egyptian playwright Sara Shaarawi: Niqabi Ninja — Shaarawi’s play exposing [redacted] violence in Egypt during the 2011 uprising — will be performed at the Edinburgh International Festival this month. (The Scotsman)
  • Egyptian researcher makes a scientific breakthrough: A Tanta Uni professor has discovered new bacterial strains in termites that could potentially be used to produce biofuels. (Gulf Today)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

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

  • All financial intermediaries, including brokers, financial advisors, underwriters and the like, acting as go-betweens between SMEs and lenders will need to sign on to a state registry under a bill (pdf) approved by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) yesterday.
  • 3k citizens so far have received new natgas-run cars to replace their old ones, with 1.7k additional cars to be delivered in August.
  • Raya’s Aman Holding and cashback app Lucky have signed a cooperation agreement to provide installment services over six to 24 months to Lucky’s 5 mn users, according to an emailed statement (pdf).
  • Vodafone Egypt has signed (pdf) an MoU with Microsoft to connect entrepreneurs, startups and freelancers with SMEs through its digital platform, Begin, in efforts to develop young people’s digital skills and employability.
  • Japan will increase its grant to Abu Al Reesh Hospital to USD 19 mn, which will be put towards building outpatient clinics.

PLANET FINANCE

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Saudi Aramco raised September oil prices for buyers in Asia and the US, in a show of confidence for a continued recovery in demand despite a surge in coronavirus cases in key oil importers, Bloomberg reports. The national oil company raised the price of its oil grades for Asia — its key market as the recipient of 60% of Saudi oil — by 20 to 60 cents per barrel on August prices, and by 10 to 20 cents a barrel for shipments to the US.

The price hike could be risky as the delta variant starts to impact the oil markets, with the price of both global Brent and US crude falling sharply to two-week lows on Wednesday. That said, Brent is still up around 40% since the start of the year—and many analysts don’t consider the recent covid outbreaks to be more than a short-term blow, according to Bloomberg.

The Saudi and Russia-led OPEC+ group in July agreed to gradually increase production until the end of 2022, after tight supply led to a hike in prices. Output from OPEC countries hit its highest level in over a year in July following the pact, helping to soften the recent rally that had seen the price of Brent surge more than 50% year-to-date.

Siemens Energy sales drop. Gamesa to blame. Siemens Energy has slashed its earnings outlook after the company made a net loss in its third quarter, the company said in its earnings release (pdf). Overall orders fell 37% during the quarter after its wind arm Siemens Gamesa saw orders plunge 72% due to “volatility” in the offshore market.

Why should Egyptians care? Gamesa is a major player in Egypt’s wind energy sector, and is involved in the Ras Ghareb, West Bakr and Gabal El Zeit projects in the Gulf of Suez.

NON-M&A WATCH- The British government could be about to block Nvidia’s USD 40 bn takeover of the UK’s leading chipmaker Arm on national security grounds, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Down

EGX30

10,719

-0.1% (YTD: -1.2%)

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

Down

Tadawul

11,162

-0.41% (YTD: 28.5%)

Down

ADX

7,405

-0.38% (YTD: 46.8%)

Up

DFM

2,813

+0.63% (YTD: 12.9%)

Down

S&P 500

4,402

-0.46% (YTD: 17.2%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,123

+0.26% (YTD: 10.27%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 70.53

+0.21%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 4.1

+0.22%

Down

Gold

USD 1,813

-0.06%

Up

BTC

USD 39,833

+4.2% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell less than 0.1% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.75 bn (27.2% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is down 1.2% YTD.

In the green: Pioneers Holding (+5.3%), Speed Medical (+4.3%) and MM Group (+2.9%).

In the red: CIRA (-2.2%), Fawry (-2.2%) and Cleopatra Hospital (-2.0%).

AROUND THE WORLD

IN DIPLOMACY: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry touched on several regional issues with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio during a phone call yesterday, including the political turmoil in Tunisia as well as Libya’s election plans, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. Shoukry reiterated Egypt’s support for Tunisian President Kais Saied’s democratic transition, and affirmed Egypt’s support for Libyan presidential and parliamentary elections in December. Shoukry met yesterday in Tunisia with Saied, and passed along a letter from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi pledging his full support for Tunisia’s “transition to stability and growth.”

Shoukry also spoke to Greek FM Nikos Dendias, offering condolences and his country’s readiness in assisting Greece in its fight against the ongoing wildfires that have engulfed southern Europe over the last two days, as the region faces its worst heatwave in decades, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

REGIONALLY- Lebanon and Israel exchanged fire yesterday for the second time in two weeks, with unidentified attackers in Lebanon launching three missiles on Israel yesterday, and Israel striking back with artillery fire. According to the Washington Post, there have been no casualties so far. Sirens went off on both borders, warning of another possible attack. Israel says it believes that Palestenians in Lebanon initiated the attack, rather than Hezbollah. The story is getting attention from the international press: Reuters | The New York Times.

MY MORNING ROUTINE

Dara Hassanein, co-founder of Rebel Cairo: Each week, My Morning Routine looks at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Dara Hassanein, co-founder of fashion brand Rebel Cairo.

Edited excerpts from our conversation:

My name is Dara Hassanein. Although I’m now firmly in the world of fashion, in my former life I was a professional synchronized swimmer and participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics. After the Games I decided to take a break from my athletic career and focus on design. Having graduated from graphic design from the German University in Cairo (GUC), I was able to start my own brand, Rebel Cairo, and this now what I spend most of my time working on.

I had a very naive idea of what it meant to run a business when I started Rebel in 2019. At the start I was thinking only of the creative part and assumed that this would be the main foundation upon which the brand evolves. I soon realized though that there are so many other things that go into creating a successful brand. In my case, I was working in fashion and felt that that would mainly be my job. But I soon realized the number of responsibilities I would have to take on.

My checklist determines what my day-to-day activities look like: Between answering emails, replying to texts, engaging with people online, and working on the creative direction of my collection, I am able to sketch out a daily routine. I often have a mn things running through my head so when I wake up I create a checklist of things I need to get done. It sounds primitive I know, but for someone like me, who has to manage multiple tasks at a time and gets easily distracted, a checklist is a life-saver.

I worked with the Alchemy Design Studio and Okhtein and I was really inspired by the people who work there. I was lucky to have been mentored by two young girl bosses who were very inspiring and empowering.

I'm currently collaborating with the Olympics artistic swimming team, which is competing at Tokyo 2020. I designed their sportswear and this is something that I really liked, and I’m also working with them to create a film about their journey and shed light on the many misconceptions athletes face in Egypt, which will be out this week. The swimming team defied so many limitations to make it to the Olympics. I want this to be an integral part of my brand, supporting moves like this that involve the true meaning of Rebel.

I love the art of storytelling — especially when it’s translated on fabrics. If I'm creating a concept for the collection, I would be able to translate this story on the fabric and then to the packaging, photoshoot, and captions.

I would love for my routine to be much healthier. I am not 100% happy with how I manage my work-life balance. It would be very tricky for anyone to start a business and be very passionate about it during these times. You constantly find yourself overworking. Boundaries are very blurred especially when you WFH and it's your own business, and you absolutely love it.

I switch off by exercising, moving my body and walking in open spaces. When I'm moving, I feel that I get rid of any negative energy. As a former athlete, it's something that's become my new normal. I also like going to events or art exhibitions with my friends.

I feel that the fashion industry in Egypt could really up its game: The lack of materials and production in Egypt are some of the limitations that fashion designers experience. For instance, if you're looking for a sustainable kind of fabric, the Egyptian market can be quite limited, especially when you're looking to produce them in big batches.This is a limitation for someone like myself who owns a brand. People want something that is natural, comfortable, and sustainable, and all of this limits your options even more.

I just watched a documentary called Lift Like a Girl (3ash ya Captain) and highly recommend it. I held my tears several times because the message was very inspiring to me. The documentary is an embodiment of how anyone can achieve anything if they put their minds to it. I also follow an author called The Holistic Psychologist on Instagram and just read her book How to do the Work. It’s good at helping you get in touch with your inner self and tuning in to overcome any limitations.

Just keep swimming: That’s the best piece of advice that I always tell myself. My dad used to say it to me when I used to play sports, but I still apply it to everything in my life now. The Samuel Becktt quote “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” is also means a lot to me because it tells you that failure is not the end of the road.

CALENDAR

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

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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