Sunday, 22 August 2021

No carrots, no sticks: How Egyptian companies are approaching covid vaccination

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a busy news day as we kick off this last full workweek of August. Still in Sahel? Enjoy every minute of it, folks. It’s sticky and hot here in the capital city.

THE BIG STORY here at home this morning: Mandatory vaccination. The government is making jabs mandatory for students aged 18 above as well as all teachers and staff prior to the fall start of the new school year. But our survey of nine bold-name corporates found none of them have either carrots or sticks in place to help ensure their people are jabbed. We have more on both stories in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Afghanistan, where the FT warns that the brother of the late anti-Taliban leader Ahmed Shah Massoud is warning of an uprising against the Taliban if there’s no peace agreement — and the US is mulling whether to order commercial airlines to help in evacuation efforts.

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

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY- Cairo and Dublin are two of six cities that have joined Bloomberg’s Partnership for Healthy Cities, a now 70-city strong network that hopes to “implement programs and policies that protect the health and safety of mns of people.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Covid has “scuttled” the IPO roadshow, the Financial Times writes, stating what’s been obvious for at least 12 months as it claims that bankers and investors are “not mourning” the “demise of physical roadshows” and instead “appear to be warming to the new way of doing things.” Until, that is, some MD somewhere convinces a client that there’s an edge to be had in a real roadshow, pulls off a big transaction, and then everyone else gets FOMO…

Don’t know what an IPO roadshow looks like? The story is actually a pretty good primer.

MORNING MUST READ- Elon Musk (who’s having … issues … with self-driving cars) wants to make humanoid robots to help us with mundane daily tasks. What could possibly go wrong? Elon is still worried that AI is going to kill us, so he’s building a robot that most of us (maybe not granny?) could beat up or outrun if it runs amok. Nice to meet you, future robot overlord.

Perhaps this is the right moment to introduce you all to the Murderbot Diaries series? Seriously. If you’re even remotely interested in the notion of the “singularity” (a word that never appears once in the humourous, thought-provoking series), check it out.

MARKET WATCH- Last week was the worst since June for global markets, as the delta variant sparked worries over growth just as the US prepares to reduce stimulus and tighten policy. The FTSE All-World index ended the week 1.8% in the red, as new regulations in China and fresh lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand combined with fears that the Federal Reserve will soon move to wind down its monetary stimulus.

Stocks in many developed markets rallied on Friday as investors bought the dip — the S&P 500, Nasdaq, Euro Stoxx 600 and FTSE 100 all gained ground on the final trading day of the week. It was another story in Asian markets, where China’s ongoing battle with Big Tech helped drive the Hang Seng Tech index down. MSCI’s Asia Pacific index was also down.

Here at home: The EGX30 dipped 2% over the week, with Saudi’s Tadawul index following suit, losing 1.3%.

Commodities slipped as investors rotated to safe-haven assets like the greenback, which rose 1% over the week against a basket of currencies.

Oil tumbled: The stronger USD and fears of a new demand crunch due to rising global covid cases caused Brent to fall 7.7% to USD 66.45 per barrel during the week to its lowest level since May. Both Brent and US crude have now fallen for six consecutive sessions, the longest losing streak since February 2020.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will begin on Tuesday 24 August and run through 5 September, with Egypt sending a 49-athlete-strong team to the games.

MEED will hold a webinar named Energy Transition in the Middle East, at 12pm CLT on Tuesday 24 August.

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

enterprise

Dive into nature, where raw beauty reigns supreme. Wake up to breathtaking sunrises and enjoy a serene beach experience amongst family and friends at the Soma Coves beach. This is where you can fully immerse yourself into a picturesque vacation, any time of the year.

VACCINE SURVEY

How different companies approach their employees’ vaccination

No carrots, no sticks: How Egyptian companies are approaching covid vaccination. Egyptian companies have so far shied away from mandating their staff be vaccinated against covid-19, according to an Enterprise survey. None of the nine organizations surveyed said they had plans to oblige their staff to register for the vaccine, and while several said they have implemented awareness-raising campaigns targeting their teams, none are offering stronger incentives to get jabbed.

The state, on the other hand, had been gradually mandating vaccines for employees of different sectors: The health ministry led a drive last April to get all tourism workers vaccinated, and aims to get all education sector staff and students jabbed before the start of the school year. Public sector and industrial workers, particularly those working in the extractive industries, for major companies, and at industrial zones, are reportedly next in line for the state-backed vaccination drive.

The private sector does seem to be accelerating efforts to get staff immunized against the virus with some companies close to getting their entire workforce vaccinated, the poll shows.

Vaccines are slowly becoming more accessible: Almost nine months into the government’s vaccination campaign, jabs are becoming easier to acquire. Vacsera is ramping up production of home-made Sinovac (more on that in this morning’s Covid Watch, below), while some 2.8 mn shots have been delivered this month. Several mn Pfizer and Sinovac doses are also expected to arrive in the country soon.

This has allowed some companies to vaccinate almost all of their staff: Edita Food Industries, for instance, has managed to get almost 100% of its employees vaccinated, the company’s IR director, Menna Shams El Din, tells us. Through coordination with the Health Ministry, the company has carried out vaccinations at its headquarters, and aside from a few people who declined due to health reasons, everyone at the company volunteered to take the jab, she says. Telecom Egypt is also working with the ministry and is on its way to vaccinating all its employees, while El Araby Group has finished vaccinating around 40k employees. “We’ve been working to provide the vaccine because human capital is the most important element in the production process. Without it, everything else is a lost cause,” the company’s vice president Ibrahim El Araby tells Enterprise.

Others are finding it a slower process: GB Auto has currently vaccinated around 40% of its employees, according to the company’s head of HR, George Sedky, who tells us that how long it takes for the company to get all of its staff vaccinated will depend on when it receives the shots from the ministry.

And some just won’t talk about it: Uber declined to participate in our poll after initially welcoming the idea. In the US, the California-based ride-hailing company has made vaccination compulsory for its office staff, but has declined to do the same for drivers, instead encouraging them to take precautionary measures such as wearing masks.

Some companies are launching campaigns to persuade staff members to get vaccinated: Egypt’s largest private-sector bank, CIB, is inviting its employees to sign up to get jabbed and wants to raise awareness of its importance, IR head Sherif Khalil tells us. Siemens Mobility has also organized a campaign to persuade everyone who hasn’t registered with the ministry.

We are yet to find a company that has made it mandatory for staff to be jabbed. None of the companies we spoke to have taken the decision to make vaccines mandatory for all employees. Firms including Beltone, Siemens, and CIB all stressed that being vaccinated remains voluntary and that they currently have no plans to oblige people to take the vaccine.

Most are not making it a condition for new employees to be jabbed before they join: Juhayna, Edita and CIB all told us that being vaccinated isn’t a condition to being hired.

Many companies are staying away from both carrot and stick: TE isn’t forcing anyone to be vaccinated and is not offering any incentives or meting out penalties for those who don’t want to take the jab, the company’s IR director Sarah Shabeyek tells us.

What about us? Along with our parent company Inktank, we at Enterprise are going with the carrot approach. Each staff member gets an EGP 1k bonus when they get their first jab — and every staff member will get an additional EGP 1k bonus when everyone at the entire company has had two jabs. We see vaccination as one of the keys to returning to the office three days a week in September.

WHAT’S HAPPENING ABROAD? More and more companies are demanding staff be jabbed. Canada’s five largest banks have made it mandatory for all in-person staff to be jabbed, and Canadian government employees must roll up their sleeves. The road to vaccination is … considerably more fraught in other countries, including America.

Vaccination rates across the country remain low: As of earlier this month, around 6 mn Egyptians had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

But getting companies on board will be crucial if the government is going to hit its vaccination targets: Under new targets announced last week, the ministry is aiming to hand out at least one dose of a vaccine to more than a third of the population in under three months. This would mean that around 35 mn people would receive a dose in just 88 days.

Does your company have a vaccine policy? Let us know at editorial@enterprise.press.

COVID WATCH

No anti-vaxxers at schools and unis

Covid-19 vaccination is now mandatory for all 18+ year-old students, educators and staff at Egyptian schools, Cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad confirmed in a phone-in to Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 11:29) last night. Students who are aged 18 and above at public and private-sector schools and universities, as well as unvaccinated employees in the education sector, must as soon as possible receive a covid-19 vaccine, which will be offered to them at no charge, Saad said. Saad did not specify what consequences those who fail to get vaccinated may face.

18+ year-old students won’t need to register with the ministry and will receive their vaccines through their schools, Mohamed Abdel Fattah, head of the Health Ministry’s Central Administration for Preventive Affairs told Salet Al Tahrir (watch, runtime 16:02).

Minors under the age of 18 are still not eligible to get jabbed just yet, Saad stressed.

Unvaccinated travellers can now expedite their vaccination requests: If you’ve already registered to get jabbed but want to be placed on the fast-track list due to last-minute travel arrangements, you can now make a transfer request through the Health Ministry’s website, according to a new set of instructions released by the ministry at the weekend and published by Masrawy. Click the “travel transfer” tab to update your application status, and you should receive an SMS confirming an appointment within 72 hours.

Unvaccinated travellers who have signed up for, but have not yet received a jab can head to their designated vaccine center (there are 126 of them dedicated to travellers nationwide) to get an appointment. The second dose of the vaccine must be administered at the same center where the first dose was received, and booster shots will not be made available, the ministry wrote.

What if I missed the appointment for my first dose? You have 48 hours from the time you receive your confirmation message to schedule another appointment by calling the ministry’s covid-19 hotline on 15335 to reactivate your request. If you missed your second dose appointment you’ll have a six-day grace period to get a new one — as long as you don’t contract covid in the interim.

You can also accelerate your second dose if you’re travelling: You can get in touch with the covid information center for your governorate and use your proof of travel plans to expedite an appointment for a second dose. AstraZeneca requires an eight-week interval between its first and second doses, the ministry said.

New vaccination centers should help absorb the extra demand: The government has increased its vaccination centers to 657 from the current 580 that are administering shots nationwide. This is in addition to ramping up the centers that are dedicated to issuing official vaccination certificates for those wishing to travel to 145 from a current 126.

The Health Ministry reported 173 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 164 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 286,168 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 9 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,663.

Infections have now been on the rise for 25 days straight, save for a one-off drop on 5 August, according to our in-house covid tracker.

Clinics to receive 5 mn doses of home-made Sinovac in early September: Some 5 mn jabs of the Egypt-made Sinovac will be sent to clinics around the country by the beginning of September, advisor to the health minister Noha Assem told CBC Extra (watch, runtime 9:17). The first 1 mn shots of the vaccine were said to be sent to vaccination centers on 14 August. State-owned vaccine maker Vacsera has so far manufactured some 10 mn shots of the Chinese vaccine, and aims to manufacture 15 mn each month starting August.

ECONOMY

Egypt is aiming for 6% inflation in FY2021-2022

The government is targeting a 6% inflation rate in FY2021-2022, down from 13.3% in 2018-2019, under its medium-term fiscal plans, Planning Minister Hala El Said said in a statement. The headline rate is currently approaching the lower band of the CBE’s target range, after inflation inched up to 5.4% last month from 4.9% in June — its highest since the start of the year and the first time since January 2020 that inflation has risen into the CBE’s target range, which currently stands at 7% (±2%) on average by 4Q2022.

Egyptian rate watchers are largely on the same page: A Reuters survey of analysts and economists project annual urban consumer price inflation to average 6% in FY2021-2022, slightly below the 6.4% expected in the newswire’s last poll three months ago. The IMF (pdf), meanwhile, expects inflation to average 6.6% during 2021-2022, before ticking up to 6.9% the year after.

Inflationary pressures have been largely muted since the start of 2021, shrugging off the global commodities boom, which took a while to filter through here at home. The cycle began to catch up in May, leading to a spike in food prices and a 70 basis points increase in the annual rate. Before that, inflation unexpectedly slowed to 4.1% in April, after having held steady at 4.5% in March from February, dropping last January to its lowest level since September 2020.

Egypt wants to reduce the unemployment rate to 7.3% by the end of FY2021-2022, down from the 9.6% recorded in the preceding year. The government looks set to achieve that target, with the unemployment rate coming in at 7.3% in 2Q2021. Though rates improved just 0.1 percentage points from the preceding quarter, this is still a huge improvement from 2Q2020, when the partial lockdown of the economy saw unemployment rise to a two-year high of 9.6%.

SMART POLICY- The government is looking to bring down the population growth rate to 2% by the end of FY2021-2022 from the 2.56% recorded in 2017, El Said said. The government already has a long-term plan in place designed to better-manage population growth. More than 20 mn families should have been onboarded to the government’s family planning program with over 2.8 mn new participants by mid-2021, while the EGP 100 mn Two is Enough family planning program will also be expanded.

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE

More EBRD finance for the Cairo Metro?

Egypt could receive an EUR 250 mn loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance upgrades at Cairo Metro Line 2, according to the bank’s website. The finance, which would be used to upgrade existing rolling stock and purchase new locomotives, is still being reviewed by the bank and a decision is expected at the end of October.

The loan is part of a larger package that is expected to reach almost EUR 554 mn, the remainder of which will be financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Egyptian government.

The EBRD is already involved in Line 1: The multilateral lender provided EUR 205 mn to finance work on Line 1 back in 2018, and followed this up this year with a EUR 3 mn grant. The EBRD is also lending the government EUR 250 mn to part finance the project to convert Alexandria’s Abu Qir railway into an underground metro.

IN OTHER DEVELOPMENT NEWS-

Egypt, World Bank discuss development projects: The World Bank’s MENA director for sustainable development was in Cairo last week for talks with International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat to discuss a number of projects being funded by the bank to the tune of USD 5.4 bn, the ministry said in a statement.

TRANSPORT

Gov’t to take 300 old microbuses off the road each month

The government plans to deliver some 300 natgas-powered microbuses each month starting August as part of the state’s plan to replace old vehicles with new models that have dual-fuel engines, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a statement. The first dual-fuel microbus is now on the road after being delivered to its owner under the natgas transition scheme.

The government aims to put 15k microbuses with new dual-fuel engines on the road during the first year of its multi-year natgas transition program. The ministry is providing microbus owners with support of 25% of the new vehicle’s total value — at a maximum of EGP 65k — to help them cover the down payment. The remainder is being paid over seven to 10 years in installments subsidized rates under a financing program backed by the Central Bank of Egypt. In early June, the ministry recently expanded the scheme to include owners of 20+ year-old microbuses in the first phase starting last July.

How many are eligible for the initiative? So far, some 31k of the applicants met the program’s conditions, according to the initiative’s executive director Amgad Mounir. The figure is a slight increase from the 30k eligible people who were contacted in April by the ministry, out of around 68k who applied to the scheme at the time.

The latest on other natgas vehicles: The government has delivered so far 4.12k vehicles including passenger cars and taxis since April, with EGP 92.8 mn in incentives having been paid out, the statement read. This is more than double the 1.7k dual-fuel passenger cars delivered as at late June, with EGP 46.5 mn worth of paid incentives. In FY2021-2022, the government plans to extend additional incentives worth EGP 2 bn to encourage car owners to take part in the state’s natgas transition plan.

It’s an open question whether the government can sustain that rate of replacement thanks to an ongoing global chip shortage that is cutting into supply of new vehicles.

A refresher on the transition scheme: The government began this year rolling out a plan that aims to have 450k cars outfitted with dual-fuel engines by 2024. The scheme is also expected to be extended to tuk-tuks. In parallel, the government is working to boost the country’s natgas refueling infrastructure and plans to have 1k natural gas filling stations set up nationwide by the end of this year.

IN OTHER TRANSPORT NEWS- Egypt has begun road-testing nine of the 13 Chinese-made DongFeng E70 electric vehicles that state-owned El Nasr Automotive had imported in June from China, ahead of the launch of an assembled-in-Egypt E70 in 2H2022, the Public Enterprises Ministry said in a statement yesterday. The tests, which will be handled in cooperation with Uber over the next three to four months, will include nine of the 13 DongFeng E70 electric cars. The government is preparing to begin locally assembling the first 100 EVs through El Nasr next year, with the first El Nasr-Dongfeng EV poised to be ready to hit the road by September 2022, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik previously said. Industry leader Infinity is working in parallel to build national charging infrastructure.

NON-BANK LENDING

2021 is turning out alright for Egypt’s debt market

EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions took the lion’s share of Egypt’s leasing market in June, after more than doubling lending m-o-m, according to the Financial Regulatory Authority’s monthly report (pdf) on the non-banking financial services (NBFS) sector. EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions’ market share stood at 21.8% in June after loaning out EGP 2.2 bn, up from EGP 1.1 bn in May (pdf). BM Lease had the second-largest share of the market at 16.8%, followed by CI Capital’s Corplease with 11.9%. Monthly lending in the sector grew 151.3% y-o-y to EGP 10.7 bn in June, up from EGP 4.3 bn a year ago. Total lending in the sector now stands at EGP 10.1 bn.

On a six month basis, financial leasing companies loaned a combined EGP 35.6 bn in 1H2021, up c. 39% y-o-y. Corplease took the biggest chunk of transactions, with a market share of 16.6%, followed by BM Lease (15.1%) and EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions (10.7%).

The factoring market is also on the up: The value of invoices factored in the Egyptian market rose to EGP 2.2 bn in June, up almost 169% from EGP 831 mn from the same month in 2020, according to the report. GB Auto’s NBFS arm Drive had the largest share of Egypt’s factoring market after increasing its market share to almost 24% in June, loaning out a total of EGP 536 mn, coming ahead of Egypt Factors (15.3%) and EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions (14.9%).

But Enterprise, what exactly is factoring? We’ve got you covered here.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Most of the talking heads were focused yesterday on the nation’s medium-term fiscal targets, which were announced over the weekend by the Planning Ministry. Egypt is looking to bring overall inflation to 6% by the end of 2021-2022, to keep unemployment flat at 7.3% until the end of the year, and to cap population growth at 2%, down from the 2.56% recorded in 2017. We have full coverage in the news well, above. Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 11:29) also took note.

Elsewhere: The nation’s banks are calling on clients to not disclose any banking sign-in details with anyone, with Federation of Egyptian Banks chairman (and Banque Misr boss) Mohamed Eletreby phoning into Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 24:18) last night to warn against a recent rising trend of text message fraud. Some fraudsters have been using text messages to trick users into divulging sensitive information, including PINs and passwords, Eletreby said, stressing that the state-owned bank has so far detected 13 incidents of fraud.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

You may now breathe: The Ever Given returned to the Suez Canal at the weekend and managed to avoid sending the global trading system into anaphylactic shock. The massive ship — which famously blocked the canal for six days in March — managed to transit the waterway on Friday without hitting anything, the Suez Canal Authority said in a statement. (Reuters | BBC | The Guardian | The National)

Also making headlines:

  • Desalination is getting more attention, this time in the Financial Times, which mentions the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s plan to channel USD 2.5 bn into new facilities.
  • Egyptian cinema in the news: Souad — Egyptian director Ayten Amin’s latest film — explores the lives of teenage girls online through the portrayal of two sisters enthralled in virtual love stories. The movie was selected for screening at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, which was cancelled due to the pandemic, and instead premiered at the Tribeca film festival in New York in June. (The Guardian)
  • Building collapse leaves five dead: Authorities are investigating the reasons behind the collapse of a five-storey building in Damanhour city Friday, which left an additional two residents injured. exposition. (Xinhua | Gulf News)
  • A disability friendly beach in Alexandria: The construction of a concrete ramp at Alexandria's al-Mandara beach has allowed wheelchair users to access the shoreline.
  • The Palestine-Israel conflict: Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel’s latest visit to Jersulem is a significant leap in Egypt’s efforts to reach a permanent ceasefire between Palestine and Israel, especially after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was invited to Cairo, politicians say. (Xinhua)

PLANET FINANCE

Powered by
EFG Hermes - https://efghermes.com/

Wary of Beijing’s tech smackdown, some EM investors are trying to avoid China: Equity investors who prefer emerging markets yet fear Beijing's escalating regulatory crackdown are putting their money in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks emerging market equities excluding China, Bloomberg reports. The USD 1.2 bn iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ex-China ETF has lured USD 304.8 m of new investments so far this month — the highest monthly inflow since its founding four years ago. The fund’s “sales pitch is easy: Buy emerging markets, without the risk from China,” one money manager said.

Chinese-focused funds are heading in the opposite direction: The MSCI gauge of Chinese stocks, as well as the iShares MSCI China ETF that tracks it, hit their lowest levels in almost 14 months amid worries that China would tighten its tech and education regulations, erasing almost a third of its value since February. The USD 4.7 bn KraneShares CSI China Internet Fund is also on course to see its first weekly outflow since early July, after declining 58% from its record high in February to reach its lowest level since the covid market crash last year.

First Toyota, now VW: German automaker Volkswagen may have to cut its production by 40% due to the covid-induced chip shortage. “We currently expect supply of chips in the third quarter to be very volatile and tight … We can't rule out further changes to production,” the automotive giant told Reuters. VW’s statement came shortly after Toyota announced that it would have to cut production by 40% in September due to the semiconductor supply crunch.

Is USD 50k next for BTC as it hits multi-month highs? BTC has risen from a daily low of USD 40k to a high of almost USD 49.3k, hitting its highest level since mid-May, Bloomberg reports. The cryptocurrency’s price volatility has kept traders and investors on the edge of their seats as they expect BTC to breach the USD 50k mark thanks in no small part to institutional adoption and high-profile endorsements in the past year.

Down

EGX30

10,809

-0.9% (YTD: -0.3%)

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

11,201

-1.3% (YTD: +28.9%)

Down

ADX

7,620

-1.0% (YTD: +51.0%)

Down

DFM

2,838

-0.8% (YTD: +13.9%)

Up

S&P 500

4,441

+0.8% (YTD: +18.3%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,087

+0.4% (YTD: +9.7%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 65.18

-1.9%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.85

+0.6%

Up

Gold

USD 1,784.00

+0.1%

Up

BTC

USD 49,366.19

+0.42% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 0.9% at Thursday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.9 bn (27.6% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 0.3% YTD as of Thursday’s close.

In the green: Palm Hills (+1.9%), CIRA (+1.1%), and GB Auto (+0.7%).

In the red: Fawry (-5.0%), Speed Medical (-2.6%), and Raya (-2.5%).

DIPLOMACY

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan over the phone on Thursday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The Afghan army and its western-backed government collapsed last week after the Taliban took control of most of the country, including its capital Kabul.

The CEO of German shipbuilder Lürssen was in Cairo on Thursday for talks with El Sisi. A statement from Ittihadiya gave few details, saying only that the meeting was held to follow up on existing cooperation between the two sides. Lürssen inked a EUR 130 mn arms agreement with Egypt last year under which it will supply nine patrol boats and a coastal defense ship.

Albania has refused to extradite an Egyptian man facing the death sentence in Egypt after authorities here refused to confirm that he would not be executed, according to the Associated Press. Mohamed Rageh was sentenced to death by an Egyptian court in 2019 after being found guilty of murdering teenager Mahmoud El Banna. Shortly after, Egyptian authorities issued an international warrant for his arrest and he was detained by Albanian authorities in May.

AROUND THE WORLD

Turkey and Russia agreed to coordinate relations with the new Afghan government in the coming period, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan expressing hope for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan during a phone call yesterday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Erdoğan’s office said in a statement. Erdoğan said dialogue with the Taliban should be kept “open” and he welcomed the Taliban’s “moderate” tone, though he stressed that, “actions, rather than its words, would ensure the shaping of the period ahead.” The Taliban’s victory is good news for Russia in Central Asia, with even the British now saying that Russia and China are needed as “moderating influences” on the Taliban. Moscow has been engaging with the Taliban for years.

CALENDAR

24 August (Tuesday): MEED will hold a webinar named Energy Transition in the Middle East.

24 August-5 September (Tuesday- Sunday) Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

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

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

1-3 September (Wednesday-Friday): Digi Sign Africa, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

2 September (Thursday): The new EGX mechanism for calculating closing share prices will come into effect.

3-5 September (Friday-Sunday): The World Karate Federation will hold the third competition of the 2021 Karate 1-Premier League in Cairo.

5-7 September (Sunday-Tuesday): The Arab Security Conference, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, Egypt.

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.

7-9 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Egy Health Expo, Al Manara International Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

9 September (Thursday): DevOpsDays Cairo 2021 is being organized by ITIDA and the Software Engineering Competence Center in cooperation with DXC Technology, IBM Egypt and Orange Labs.

12 September (Sunday): International schools begin 2021-2022 academic year

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.

22-25 September (Wednesday-Saturday): Cityscape Egypt, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

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.

October: Romanian President Klaus Iohannis could visit Egypt in mid this month to discuss ways to boost tourism cooperation between the two countries.

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.

9 October (Saturday): Public schools begin 2021-2022 academic year

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.

7-8 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): North Africa Trade Finance Summit.

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.

16 June 2022 (Thursday): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools

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.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of Commercial International Bank (tax ID: 204-891-949), the largest private-sector bank in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; and Act Financial (tax ID: 493-924-612), the leading activist investor in Egypt; and Abu Auf (tax ID: 584-628-846), the leading health foodmaker in Egypt and the region.