Sunday, 8 August 2021

Central bank leaves interest rates on hold for sixth consecutive meeting

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people. You may rejoice: We officially have a four-day work week this week after the cabinet confirmed that the public sector will take the day off on Thursday, 12 August, to mark the Islamic New Year. The central bank and EGX are yet to make announcements.

PSA #1- The weeklong heatwave may(?) be receding, but you’re still going to want to escape the heat in the capital city this coming weekend. The Egyptian Meteorological Authority said in a statement that it expects the mercury to be in the 37-39°C range this week. But our favourite weather app sees daytime highs in the 40-42°C band through the end of next week.

PSA #2- Four of Cairo Metro Line 3 stations will be closed from today through Wednesday due to construction work on the Mostorod axis, the Transport Ministry announced in a statement. Qobaa, Omar Ibn Al Khattab, Hikestep, and Adly Mansour stations will all be closed.

Former housing minister Hasaballah El Kafrawy passed away at the age of 91 on Thursday after a long illness, the cabinet announced in a statement. He was housing minister from 1977 through 1993 during the tenures of former presidents Anwar El Sadat and Hosni Mubarak and served as the governor of Damietta for a year in 1976.

Iconic Egyptian actress Dalal Abdel Aziz passed away of complications from covid-19, her son-in-law, the media personality Ramy Radwan, announced yesterday. Abdel Aziz starred in over 100 shows and dozens of popular films. Her death comes less than three months after that of her husband, famed actor Samir Ghanem, who passed away in late May after fighting covid. They are survived by their daughters, actresses Donia and Amy Samir Ghanem.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

Russian flights return to the Red Sea tomorrow: Hurghada International Airport is due to receive tomorrow its first flight from Moscow in six years as Russia’s flight ban finally comes to an end, Youm7 reports. The flight will bring 500 Russian tourists to the Red Sea resort — and be the first of five weekly flights that will run between Hurghada and the Russian capital. Another five flights will run between Sharm El Sheikh and Moscow as of this week.

Expect more information soon: Russia’s air transport regulator on Friday handed permits to eight Russian airlines allowing them to resume regular flights to Hurghada and Sharm.

EV road tests start this week: Uber will start road-testing DongFeng E70 electric cars in Egypt this week, Masrawy reports. State-owned El Nasr Automotive has imported 13 of the vehicles from China, which will be tested by Uber drivers over the next three months.

El Nasr plans to begin locally assembling the E70 in a partnership with DongFeng next year and hopes to have the first 100 ready by July-August 2022. The government will invest EGP 450 mn to roll out the infrastructure required to make EVs viable on Egyptian roads. Industry leader Infinity, which is working with the state on the project, is aiming to install 3k stations across the country over the next three years.

Vaccinated non-residents of Saudi Arabia can starting tomorrow apply for a Umrah pilgrimage visa as Saudi Arabia gears up for the gradual resumption of the year-round pilgrimage after more than a year and a half-long ban thanks to covid-19, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

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

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- No single story has captured the imagination of the western business press as we start our workweek, but the Financial Times and CNBC are both leading with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway posting a jump in second-quarter profits as many of the “sprawling conglomerate’s” investments and business units benefitted from an improving economy. Also worth a glance: ARK Innovation’s Cathie “Mama Cathie” Wood gets profiled in the Journal as the first “guru of the meme stock generation.” Please don’t get us started.

MORNING MUST-READ- Yes, Apple is going to scan your iCloud library for kiddie [redacted]. And no, you probably don’t have anything to worry about right now. The Financial Times has reasonable coverage, but where you really want to head is to John Gruber’s Daring Fireball, for the most balanced (and factually accurate) take we’ve read so far.

IT’S THE FINAL DAY OF THE TOKYO OLYMPICS, and you can catch the closing ceremony of the Olympics at 1 pm CLT on beIN Sports.

It was Egypt’s most successful Olympics ever, Ahram Online reports, saying our six-medal finish beat the five pieces of hardware Egyptian athletes brought home in each of 1936, 1948 and 2004.

Feryal Ashraf made history Saturday as the first Egyptian woman ever to win an Olympic gold, defeating Azerbaijan’s Iryna Zaretska in the women’s karate “kumite” >61kg category — and snagging Egypt its only gold of the 2020 games and our first since 2004. Ashraf is also the only Arab woman to win an Olympic gold medal this year, and the first Arab athlete of any gender to win an olympic gold in Karate. This is the first year Karate is being included as an olympic sport, at the request of Japan, and it is unlikely to continue to be a part of the competition going forward. Ashraf’s victory is getting attention from the foreign press: Reuters | BBC | Kuna | Xinhua.

Ahmed Elgendy also staged a historic silver medal win, becoming the first African to win an Olympic medal in the modern pentathlon. Saturday’s wins bring Egypt’s medal count up to six.

Also in Karate, Giana Farouk claimed Egypt’s fourth bronze medal of the games, winning in the women’s kumite 61 kg on Friday after losing to China’s Yin Xiaoyan in the semi-final.

Giana Farouk will be Egypt’s flag bearer at the closing ceremony today, having been selected days ago, before Feryal Ashraf or Ahmed Elgendy’s victories.

Egypt lost out on a bronze medal in the men’s handball event after narrowly losing 33–31 to Spain in the third place play-off. This came after the team suffered a 27-23 loss to France in the semi-final on Thursday. France won gold after defeating Denmark 25-23.

Equestrian: Egypt came 11th in the team jumping qualifier, with an impressive performance that left them just one spot short of earning a place in the finals.

AS IT STANDS-

Country

🏅

🥈

🥉

Total

1

China

38

31

18

87

2

US

37

39

33

108

3

Japan

27

13

17

56

4

UK

21

21

22

64

5

ROC

20

27

23

69

53

Egypt

1

1

4

6

enterprise

ECONOMY

CBE leaves interest rates on hold for sixth consecutive meeting

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left interest rates unchanged for a sixth consecutive meeting on Thursday as policymakers look to preempt rising inflation and maintain Egypt’s high real interest rate. Overnight deposit and lending rates were kept unchanged at 8.25% and 9.25%, respectively, while the main operation and discount rates remained at 8.75%, the central bank said in a statement (pdf) after the meeting.

The hold was forecast by all 12 analysts and economists we surveyed before the meeting, who said that the central bank would leave rates unchanged to keep inflationary pressure in check amid rising global commodity prices. It will also ensure Egypt’s carry trade remains one of the most attractive in the world, helping bolster our stock of foreign currency.

The decision is “consistent with” its inflation target of 7% (±2%) on average by 4Q2022 and stability of local prices in the medium term, the statement added.

Egypt’s economy is still supported by “the positive contributions of trade, construction, and communications, as well as natural gas extractions,” with leading indicators showing “a sustained improvement across most sectors,” the central bank said. Meanwhile, global economic conditions are likely to continue to be “accommodative and supportive of economic activity over the medium term,” yet this is subject to “the efficacy of vaccines and the ability of countries to contain the spread of the virus, in light of the emergence of newer variants.”

Local prices have been muted so far despite a surge in global commodity prices: Annual headline inflation rose only slightly to 4.9% in June from 4.8% the previous month due to an unfavorable base effect and an uptick in domestic food prices. The headline rate has remained below the lower bound of the CBE’s target rate throughout 2021, rising only 60 bps since January.

But inflationary pressures are on the horizon: The summer will see a rise in inflation, which Pharos’ head of research Radwa El Swaify believes will average 5.5-6.5% in July and August. Price growth will likely be driven by higher electricity and cigarette prices which came in on 1 July, as well as the higher costs of fuel, she tells us. Higher global commodity prices are also likely to put its toll on local inflation, she adds.

Then there’s the base effect: “Annual inflation readings are expected to continue to be affected by unfavorable base effects in the near term,” the central bank said. Inflation came in at 4.2% in July 2020 and 3.4% in August.

Egypt has one of the highest real interest rates in the world, which has helped the country to see a rebound in portfolio flows since May 2020. Foreign holdings hit a record high in February less than a year after investors trimmed their holdings of Egyptian bonds during a covid-inspired sell-off from global emerging markets.

Many other emerging markets are aggressively tightening in response to rising inflation: Russia, Mexico and Chile have all raised interest rates, while on Thursday Brazil went ahead with a 100-bps rate hike, its biggest since 2003.

This shouldn’t affect Egypt just yet: Egypt is still offering attractive value due to its low risk and high return compared to other emerging markets, especially Brazil, El Swaify says.

Foreign holdings steady: Foreign investment in Egyptian government debt currently stands at USD 28 bn, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Al Arabiya in a televised interview on Thursday. This is little changed from May, when the minister said total holdings amounted to USD 28-29 bn, and February when inflows hit a record USD 28.5 bn.

And the gov’t is predicting more inflows later this year: The government is expecting USD 3-4 bn in additional foreign inflows during the second half of 2021. JPMorgan is expected to re-include Egypt in its emerging-market sovereign bond index later this year, while Euroclear could begin clearing EGP-denominated debt, making it easier for foreign investors to enter the local debt market.

Looking forward: Analysts are divided on whether the CBE will deliver cuts this year, with Arqaam Capital analyst Noaman Khalid seeing a “window for a rate cut toward the end of the year as tourism kicks off strongly offering a key alternative to current debt inflows. However, Prime Holdings’ Mona Bedeir and Renaissance Capital expect the CBE to pause making further cuts for the rest of the year. For 2022, most market watchers widely expect the CBE to resume its easing cycle if inflation remains below the CBE’s target range.

COVID WATCH

J&J jabs land today

Egypt’s first Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipment is arriving today, presidential health advisor Mohamed Tag Eldin said on DMC (watch, runtime: 14:26).

How many shots are we getting? The ministry hasn’t specified how many doses of the vaccine will be included in the first shipment.

And where are they coming from? Again, the ministry hasn’t provided any details on this since announcing last Wednesday that they would arrive this week. The African Union is providing us with 25 mn doses of the single-shot vaccine while the government reportedly placed an order directly with the company earlier this year for 4 mn doses, though these are not expected to arrive until the fourth quarter.

Remember though: These shots are not exclusively for travelers. Though the ministry suggested just last month that J&J jabs would be allocated specifically to people wanting to travel, a member of the government’s covid-19 committee told us last week that they will be distributed to the general public and not reserved for travellers.

We’re also due to receive the final 1.9 mn doses of Oxford / AstraZeneca allocated under the Gavi / Covax program this week. Both 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.

Egypt yesterday received a 175k jab shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, samples of which were sent to the Egyptian Drug Authority’s (EDA) labs for analysis ahead of their distribution to vaccination centers nationwide, unnamed senior health officials told Youm7. Egypt had received its first 210k batch of Sputnik in June under an agreement with Russia to deliver 10 mn jabs.

GOOD NEWS FOR TRAVELERS- Unvaccinated travelers should be able to receive their first shots within 72 hours of registering for a jab, state vaccine-maker Vacsera’s boss Moustafa Mohamady told Al Masry Al Youm. If you’re planning non-essential international travel to any country mandating vaccination for entry and haven’t had your first dose, you can fast-track your turn for a covid-19 vaccination appointment by ticking the “traveller” box when registering online through the Health Ministry’s website.

You should be given a vaccine appointment date within three days of registering at one of the 126 dedicated centers nationwide, where vaccinated individuals can also issue official, QR-code bearing vaccination certificates for EGP 100 for Egyptian citizens, and USD 10 for non-Egyptians. The ministry is also working on an Egypt Health Passport app that will allow individuals to display their vaccination status on their mobile phones.

The Health Ministry reported 61 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 57 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 284,641 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 4 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,566.

We’ve seen the case count rise steadily for the past 12 days now: According to our in-house covid tracker, the number of new reported covid-19 infections has been inching up since 27 July, with the exception of a brief drop on 5 August.

It just got even more expensive for UK tourists to visit Egypt: The UK government has hiked quarantine fees for people entering the country from “red list” countries in a bid to deter travelers to countries where the UK government believes there is a high risk of infection From 12 August, it will now cost a single adult coming from Egypt and other countries on the UK’s “red list” GBP 2,285 to stay in quarantine in a government mandated hotel for 10 days, up from GBP 1,750 previously. The fee for additional adults will more than double to GBP 1,430.

EDUCATION

SFE to launch education sub-fund

The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) will soon launch a new sub-fund to invest in the education industry, CEO Ayman Soliman told Youm7. The fund plans to finance the construction of hundreds of schools across the country targeted at middle-class families, he said, stopping short of giving a target value for the fund.

The SFE made its first commitment in the sector in March, committing EGP 250 mn to the EFG Hermes Education Fund. It also agreed last month to invest in a new education investment platform dubbed Lighthouse Education, which plans to channel EGP 1.75 bn into 10-12 private K-12 education schools.

There’s more where that came from: Soliman said the fund will soon announce four new partnerships in the education field that will help build the schools, as well as new universities.

This will be the SFE’s fifth sub-fund: The SFE already has four sub-funds covering healthcare, financial services, tourism and real estate, and infrastructure.

REGULATION WATCH

Inching closer to a new customs system

The final draft of the exec regs of the Customs Act’s is now in the hands of the State Council (Maglis El Dawla) for review and approval after they were redrafted to incorporate proposed amendments and requests from the last round of public consultations in April, Minister Mohamed Maait said in a statement yesterday. The new regs detail how the Customs Authority’s new Advance Cargo Information (ACI) pre-registration system (also known as Nafeza) will work. They also outline instructions for businesses importing goods at ports on accessing and using the platform to file and pay all types of shipping dues, as well as filing shipping documents and cargo data digitally ahead of arrival.

The final draft also includes breaks for tourists and Egyptians returning from abroad, who will now be allowed to bring in EGP 10k worth of goods from abroad without customs duties, up from a previous limit of EGP 1.5k, according to the statement yesterday.

BACKGROUND- The recently-approved law, which aims to expedite customs clearance, expand the powers of customs clearance agents, and ratchet up penalties for customs evasion, has been met with pushback from exporters, shipping agencies and customs brokers since it came into effect late last year. Their grumblings led the Finance Ministry to make minor concessions to the exec regs twice in February and November, including on ins. Requirements.

We have a bulleted rundown on the new Customs Act here if you need to get up to speed.

Key highlights: The new draft would allow importers to pay customs in chunks over six-12 months, depending on how established their business is, and would cut inspection fees for larger containers to EGP 800 from EGP 1k for exports, and to EGP 200 from EGP 400 for imports. Shippers would also be allowed to move goods out of Egypt without submitting waybills on the spot and could instead hand over the documentation 48 hours after the goods leave the country. Importers will be required to pay 30% of dues in advance through the Nafeza digital customs system before cargo arrives at Egyptian ports and will be entitled to a refund in the event that their shipment is banned from entry or disposed of. You can read the regulations in full here (pdf).

Nafeza will officially come online on 1 October — a deadline by which anyone who has not registered on the digital platform won’t be allowed to release imported goods out of customs at seaports. Authorities have been piloting the new ACI system — a World Customs Organization (WCO) protocol that runs on blockchain technology, designed to speed up customs procedures and improve border security — since April, and had originally planned to make it compulsory at all seaports in July, before making it mandatory at other ports of entry at a later stage. Here’s a breakdown of all you need to know on how to prepare for the new ACI system.

DEBT WATCH

Tamweel eyes debt market

A banking syndicate led by CIB is gearing up to take to market securitized bonds worth EGP 1.1 bn for Tamweel Holdings, Al Shorouk reports, citing unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the transaction. The mortgage and consumer finance company is mulling two issuances of securitized bonds for its real estate and financial leasing arms, each of which is worth EGP 550 mn, the sources said, without specifying an estimated timeframe for the issuances.

Tamweel is owned by Ebtikar, which had transferred the former company's shares to a new parent company earlier this year as part of plans to spin off businesses unrelated to e-payments ahead of its planned IPO in 4Q2021.

OTHER DEBT NEWS- Real estate company Qatari Diar’s subsidiary East Gate developments has obtained regulatory approval to borrow EGP 12 bn from an unnamed Egyptian state-owned bank, sources in the know told Al Shorouk. East Gate will use the facility to finance its East Cairo real estate project CityGate.The company has completed payment of some EGP 530 mn to the government for the land and can now use it as collateral for the loan, the sources said.

Qatari Diar recently resumed work on its CityGate project after the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) approved its license to continue work on the project earlier this year following a four-year dispute over the developer allegedly changing the terms of the contract by selling stakes in the project to other shareholders without permission from the regulator. NUCA had demanded an EGP 1.3 bn fees and fines. The case was overturned when the administrative court ruled that mergers or acquisitions between real estate joint stock companies have no legal bearing on these companies’ legal status.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was another quiet summer evening on the airwaves last night: The talking heads focused on two stories reflecting an emotional rollercoaster of a day for Egyptians — starting with Egypt’s historic Olympic gold win in Karate by Feryal Ashraf and Ahmed Elgendy’s silver win in the modern pentathlon (watch, runtime 32:39 | 2:30 | 3:53). Talkshows also took stock of the death of prolific and much-loved actress Dalal Abdel Aziz, who died of complications from covid-19 (watch, runtime 2:07 | 2:24). We have more on both stories above in this morning’s What We’re Tracking Today.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

The Washington Post editorial board has called on the Biden administration to partially withhold US military aid to Egypt on human rights grounds. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will decide in the next few weeks whether to suspend USD 300 mn of the USD 1.3 bn in military aid annually given to Egypt. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal interviewed novelist Alaa Al Aswany on his new book, The Republic of False Truths, set during and in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution.

Egypt’s record on human rights came under scrutiny in the foreign press over the weekend, as Amnesty International called on Egypt’s public prosecutor to investigate potential extrajudicial executions by the Egyptian armed forces. Amnesty’s statement came in response to a graphic video released by the military spokesperson last week, announcing the killing of 89 terrorists during operations in North Sinai. Amnesty’s statement was picked up by the Associated Press.

Also making headlines:

  • Bread price hike met reax: Some of the country’s poorest are responding with worry to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s announcement that the price of subsidized loaves will rise for the first time in 44 years. (Reuters)
  • Remains of ancient warship, Greek cemetery found in sunken city off the coast of Alexandria: Divers made the rare discoveries as part of an Egyptian-French archaeological mission in the underwater city of Thônis-Heracleion, once Egypt’s largest Mediterranean port, which was rediscovered in 2001. (Reuters)
  • An Egypt-based designer is bringing back the ancient Egyptian batik art — a form of hand-made painting in which the fabric is printed with wax before being dyed. (AFP)

PLANET FINANCE

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Fed could hike rates in early 2023: The Federal Reserve could move to raise interest rates from historic lows by early 2023 should the economy maintain current momentum, the central bank’s vice chair Richard Clarida said last week, according to the Wall Street Journal. Last September, the central bank pledged to maintain ultra-low interest rates until the economy reaches near maximum employment and inflation “moderately exceeds” 2% for “some time,” two targets Clarida expects to be met by the end of 2022.

We could soon see more diverse boards for Nasdaq-listed companies after the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission gave the all-clear for the exchange operator’s plan to include gender, race and orientation in its listing rules. Under the proposal, Nasdaq would require its companies to have at least one or two “diverse” board members, including one woman and one member of an “underrepresented” minority group, or explain in writing why they do not. A company that does not want to meet diversity objectives nor explain why “may transfer its listing to a competing listing exchange,” though the proposal also provides flexibility and time for businesses to explain themselves, the SEC says. The Financial Times and Bloomberg also have the story.

Aramco may have to hike its USD 75 bn dividend — already the highest in the world — to keep up with competitors, Bank of America Analysts said in a research note seen by Bloomberg, ahead of the expected release of the oil giant’s 2Q2021 earnings today. Shell, BP, and others recently upped their dividends to lure back wary investors to the fossil fuel industry. But Aramco has struggled to meet its investor obligations, and took to debt markets earlier this to raise USD 6 bn in order to fund dividend payouts. However, surging oil prices as demand rebounds from the covid slump could give the company better cash flow in the current quarter.

Huawei witnessed its biggest ever revenue drop off the back of US tech sanctions with the company’s earnings plummeting by 29% y-o-y, the Financial Times reports. A decline in smartphone sales was largely the culprit, with revenues in that line of business falling by 47% as US sanctions against local companies supplying parts to Huawei limited the supply of key items.

None EGX30 10,723 -% (YTD: -1.1%)
Up USD (CBE) Buy 15.64 Sell 15.77
None USD at CIB Buy 15.65 Sell 15.75
None Interest rates CBE 8.25% deposit 9.25% lending
Up Tadawul 11,209 +0.4% (YTD: +29.0%)
Up ADX 7,419 +0.2% (YTD: +47.1%)
Up DFM 2,820 +0.3% (YTD: +13.2%)
Up S&P 500 4,436 +0.2% (YTD: +18.1%)
None FTSE 100 7,122 -% (YTD: +10.3%)
Down Brent crude USD 70.70 -0.8%
None Natural gas (Nymex) USD 4.14 -%
Down Gold USD 1,763.10 -2.5%
Up BTC USD 43,139.95 +3.39% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose less than 0.1% during Thursday’s trading session on turnover of EGP 1.6 bn (21.9% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 1.1% YTD.

In the green: Cleopatra Hospital (+2.9%), Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (+2.4%) and Qalaa Holdings (+2.3%).

In the red: Ezz Steel (-2.6%), Eastern Company (-1.9%) and Rameda Pharma (-1.0%).

IN DIPLOMACY

Sudan is in talks to buy 1 GW of electricity from Ethiopia, Sudan’s energy and oil minister told official news agency SUNA. He added that an Ethiopian delegation was in Khartoum last month to discuss the construction of a new power line, and that Sudanese representatives will soon visit Ethiopia in return.

Both Egypt and Ethiopia have been supplying electricity to Sudan for some time, Jaden Ali Obeid said, adding that Ethiopia currently supplies its neighbor with 200 MW, or 10% of Sudan’s daily electricity needs.

A possible electricity agreement between the two countries comes as they continue to butt heads over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Ethiopian hydropower mega-project that downstream countries Egypt and Sudan say will rob them of their fair share of Nile water. Sudan and Egypt are still refusing to come back to the negotiating table until international mediators are included, while Addis Ababa has said it will only endorse the process led by African Union mediators.

It is unclear whether this 1 GW of electricity will be produced by the GERD, which is expected to produce 6.4 GW when fully operational in the coming years.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed last night to Bahrain, carrying a letter to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi calling for further improved bilateral relations and coordination between the two countries on regional developments, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi talked military cooperation with Iraq’s Defence Minister Jumaah Saadoon, who passed along a letter to El Sisi from Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi commending the two countries’ bilateral ties, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Last year, the two countries signed 15 MoUs covering everything from oil and water resources to construction, transportation and environmental protection, as well as an “oil-for-reconstruction” agreement.

AROUND THE WORLD

Hezbollah and Israel traded rocket fire over the weekend in what the Associated Press is calling a “significant escalation” in tensions. The Shia militant group fired a volley of rockets towards Israel on Friday, and Israeli artillery hit back. No casualties have been reported.

Summer wildfires have burned 10 mn acres of land in Russia's Siberian region of Yakutia, with 175 fires still burning as southern Europe faces its worst heatwave in decades, the Wall Street Journal reported. The wildfires have produced a record amount of carbon emissions in Russia, forcing the evacuation of dozens of villages on one of the coldest spots on earth. The massive fires are also engulfing wide expanses of Greece, France, Spain, Ukraine, Cyprus, Croatia, Sweden, Israel, Romania, Switzerland and Western Canada, with still more weeks of the fire expected.

CALENDAR

23 July-8 August (Friday-Sunday): Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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.

26-28 August (Thursday-Saturday): Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

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.

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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