Wednesday, 25 August 2021

We just took another step towards our green hydrogen ambitions

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to almost-THURSDAY — and a busy news day filled with everything from the latest step in our drive to become a regional energy hub to the coming of Nafeza and backlash against new parking regulations.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- [redacted] just got real with the delta variant, which officials confirmed earlier this week has made its appearance in Egypt. The variant is threatening exporting industries in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand, the Wall Street Journal writes — countries that had largely managed to contain the impact of covid-19 for the first 14 months of the pandemic, but which are now being hammered. Fortune is also on the Vietnam story. Japan, meanwhile, is about to tighten covid restrictions as the variant spreads there, Reuters writes.

The latest from Afghanistan: US President Joe Biden says he’s sticking by his 31 August deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan (that’s next week) as the United States prepares to accept some 50k refugees. US planners are preparing in case the White House decides troops should stay longer. The Taliban, meanwhile, is blocking Afghans from heading to Kabul’s main airport to seek flights out.

Other stories worth knowing about this morning:

  • Goldman Sachs will require staff to be vaccinated against covid-19. Clients who want to pop by the office to have a cup of coffee while they plan world domination will also need to be jabbed. (Financial Times)
  • Private equity outfit TPG wants to go public and has hired bankers to help it follow the lead of Blackstone, KKR and Apollo. (Financial Times)
  • How hot are hedge funds these days? So hot that hedgies are going to turn away your money, writes Nishant Kumar in this really solid feature for Bloomberg.
  • Tunisia’s parliament is suspended indefinitely, President Kais Saied said yesterday. (AFP)
  • Algeria and Morocco are no longer on speaking terms as Algiers cut off diplomatic relations with Rabat, ostensibly over Morocco’s cozying-up to Israel. (Bloomberg)

ALSO- Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts is dead at age 80. Rolling Stone magazine has the story.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY- Foreign residents of Saudi Arabia can now take a direct flight to the kingdom after officials lifted yesterday a ban on direct entry from Egypt and 19 other destinations, according to a cabinet statement. Tourists and non-resident travellers are still not allowed into KSA, except to perform Umrah — which Saudi authorities had greenlit earlier this month for 2 mn vaccinated pilgrims.

The catch: Egyptian expats and other foreign residents travelling directly to Saudi Arabia from Egypt — with a valid residency permit — must have received a full course of a Saudi-approved jab before having returned home. Vaccinated travellers could also be asked to quarantine at home for one-week after entering the country, after which they should present a negative PCR covid-19 test, the statement said.

What vaccines does KSA recognize? The list includes Oxford / AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech, J&J, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

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

The Tokyo Paralympic Games hosted its opening ceremony yesterday, with the refugee team leading the procession of athletes and a lone volunteer flagbearer standing in for the Afghanistan team. The games also witnessed the launch of the Wethe15 movement, which aims to end discrimination against persons with disability — who represent 15% of the global population — in sport, the arts, and other fields. The Guardian had coverage as well as a photo gallery of the colorful and dynamic opening ceremony, which received coverage far and wide: The New York Times | BBC | Reuters.

Egypt sent 49 athletes to the games, which will run from today through 5 September. Egypt’s paralympic squad will be participating in events ranging from weightlifting, swimming, and table tennis, to volleyball, Taekwondo, wheelchair fencing, badminton, and for the first time ever, Goalball. We’re eyeing at least eight medals in powerlifting and are rooting for more in other sports.

Seven Egyptian athletes are in action today: Aya Ayman came in thirteenth in the Women’s 50m Freestyle at at 3:20am, while Zeyad Kahil took eleventh place in the Men’s 200m Freestyle at 4:00am, meaning neither athlete will make it to the finals. Ebrahim Hamadtou and Ayman Kamal will both play table tennis at the same time (but not against each other) at 6:00am, while Sameh Eid, Faiza Mahmoud and Sayed Mohamed will also play table tennis at 9:40am, 11:00am, and 12:20pm, respectively.

enterprise

*** It’s Hardhat day — your weekly briefing of all things infrastructure in Egypt: Enterprise’s industry vertical focuses each Wednesday on infrastructure, covering everything from energy, water, transportation, and urban development as well as social infrastructure such as health and education.

In today’s issue: Mowasalat Misr has been a key player in Egypt’s mass transport since its foundation in 2016. With major investments under its belt and a planned IPO in the pipeline, we sat down with vice chairman and GM of development Mohsen Sabra to discuss how the company plans to execute the multiple transit projects it has on its plate, as well as a potential high profile merger that could go through before the end of the year.

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.

ENERGY

We just took another step towards our green hydrogen ambitions

Siemens Energy and state-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) signed yesterday an MoU to jointly build up the green hydrogen industry in Egypt, potentially growing and further diversifying our exports of renewable energy, according to a cabinet statement. Siemens is already studying a pilot project to produce green hydrogen in Egypt as an alternative source of power (with an eye to eventually exporting) under a letter of intent signed earlier this year between the two parties, which had proposed the generation of green hydrogen from renewable electricity sources with an output of more than 100 MW, the statement said.

Siemens Energy is no stranger to high-profile energy projects in Egypt. It played a key role in getting the world’s three largest combined-cycle power plants off the ground a few years back, putting an end to the rolling blackouts that roiled the nation. And it is involved in everything from the new administrative capital’s national electricity control center and an upcoming 500 MW wind power plant.

The pilot project comes as part of the government’s wider green hydrogen ambitions: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued a directive last month to create a green hydrogen strategy, with an eye towards launching an initial phase of projects that could be worth USD 3-4 bn, according to previous statements by the Electricity Ministry. Eni is also producing feasibility studies on green and blue hydrogen production, while Belgium’s DEME Group will also work with Egypt on exploring green hydrogen under an MoU with the oil and electricity ministries and the Egyptian navy. South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem and Italian energy company Snam have also discussed the subject with government officials.

But Enterprise, what’s green hydrogen? We’ve got you covered with this explainer in yesterday’s edition.

The green hydrogen push is part of a broader drive to position Egypt as the region’s premier energy hub: The state’s drive began when it brought Siemens on board to help end rolling blackouts that plagued the nation thanks to decades of under-investment in power generation infrastructure. In the period since, Egypt has sped up natural gas drilling, as well as exports over the past years, with plans to further grow the sector to be helped by the Damietta LNG plant coming online in February after eight years of being idled, and an agreement earlier this year to build a pipeline connecting Israel’s offshore Leviathan gas field to Egypt’s liquefaction plants to help Israel ramp up Europe exports. Egypt led the creation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) last year, established to create a “regional gas market” and act as a market platform for natgas producers. On the renewables front, Egypt has seen its solar energy production rise 306% y-o-y to 3.6k GWh in FY2019-2020 thanks to contributions from Aswan’s Benban solar power park, which came online in December 2019. And we’re looking to export our excess electricity to our neighbours, with plans to increase the capacity of an existing electricity link to Jordan in order to feed into Syria and Iraq, as have plans to invest in the EuroAfrica electricity link which will connect Egypt’s electricity grid to mainland Europe via Cyprus.

ECONOMY

Egypt gets almost USD 2.8 bn of IMF’s record SDR allocation

Egypt will receive a foreign currency boost equivalent to c. USD 2.8 bn through the IMF’s new SDR allocation, which came into effect on 23 August: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the disbursal of almost USD 650 bn in new special drawing rights (SDRs) — the largest allocation in its history — to all 190 member countries, in a “significant shot in the arm” to emerging and low-income nations to support the global recovery from the pandemic, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a press release.

The latest allocation brings the total value of SDRs Egypt had received so far from the IMF to some USD 4 bn. The country had received as much as USD 1.1 bn in SDRs — allocated in proportion to members’ existing quotas in the fund, with Egypt’s amounting to 0.43% — in August 2009 as part of a general allocation of USD 250 bn geared towards providing liquidity to the global economic system. The IMF’s latest largest-ever distribution of monetary reserves — which Barclays had previously said would particularly benefit Egypt — will provide additional liquidity for global economies, supplement their FX reserves, and reduce their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt, Georgieva said.

The IMF thinks our economy has been “resilient” in the face of the pandemic: “The Egyptian economy has performed better than expected despite the pandemic. Containment measures, supported by the authorities’ effective crisis management, and strong implementation of their policy program helped mitigate the effects of the crisis,” the IMF wrote in its review of the IMF’s USD 5.2 bn standby loan in November 2020. The fund had bumped up its outlook for Egypt’s growth to 2.8% from 2% following the completion of its first review of the program in January. Fiscal policy for the upcoming fiscal year “appropriately targets a gradual consolidation to balance needed support for the economic recovery while safeguarding fiscal sustainability.”

“What are SDRs?” we hear you ask. SDRs act as a kind of international reserve currency or asset designed to act as a supplement to IMF member countries’ reserves. They were created in 1969 to create an alternative to gold and USD as the only two global reserve assets. While not currencies in themselves, SDRs are held by the fund’s member countries as a way to hedge against their reliance on costly debt to build up stocks of foreign reserves.

Okay, but if an SDR isn’t a currency itself, how do we “spend” it? Think of it as taking pressure off the “real” currency in our bank account — we can use SDRs to pay down debt, for example, leaving USD / EUR / etc to continue circulating in our economy. As the IMF’s explainer page suggests: “Countries can exchange their SDRs for hard currencies with other IMF members. This has historically been done on a voluntary basis, with countries in a stronger financial position agreeing to help others when needed. They can also use their SDRs in a range of operations with other countries or to settle financial obligations to the Fund.”

CUSTOMS

Nafeza arrives on 1 October, like it or not

The Finance Ministry has no plans to respond to calls from some in the business community to postpone the roll out of the ACI system on 1 October — a deadline by which anyone who has not signed up for the Customs Authority’s new one-stop platform, Nafeza, will not be allowed to clear imported goods out of customs at seaports, Minister Mohamed Maait said during a roundtable yesterday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Authorities have been piloting the new Advanced Cargo Information (ACI) pre-registration system 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. Calls from business groups had led the Finance Ministry to push the 1 July deadline to October to give businesses more time to adapt.

But the business community says it’s still not ready: Importers and exporters are lobbying for a multi-month extension of the 1 October deadline for registering on the new ACI system — a World Customs Organization protocol that runs on blockchain technology — saying they still need time to go through with the “complex” and “lengthy” registration process. A large number of importers said they faced challenges in completing the three-step process to pre-register a shipment through the system.

FinMin, however, says traffic on the ACI system is picking up: As many as 2.5k importers and customs agents have registered about 18k customs transactions for shipments via the ACI since its pilot launch in April, Maait said. Nafeza now has nearly 7.7k activated accounts, and CargoX now has about 26k exporters registered, he added.

REMEMBER- The four steps to register with Nafeza are: Create an account on the Nafeza digital platform, register your e-signature either through Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry (MCDR) or Egypt Trust, and file a request through Nafeza to obtain a shipment identification number within 48 hours, which will be valid for three months. After receiving the ID, you must then register on the CargoX Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) and submit the required documents.

Maait has rolled out a series of financial incentives to encourage companies to register during the ACI’s pilot phase, the latest of which is a 50% discount on registration fees for those who sign up this month, in addition to 30% off for anyone registering during the first half, and 20% off during the second half of September. Those that register during the pilot phase, which ends on 1 October, will see their import and export operations fast tracked at every logistical hub, allowing for faster clearing and checking of cargo.

The minister has also taken steps to lower risk and financial pressure on participating importers, who will be allowed to defer payment of 70% of taxes and fees to clear cargo at shipping ports until after the cargo arrives at Egyptian ports — and will be entitled to a refund on what they’ve paid in the event that their shipment is banned from entry or disposed of, under new rules approved earlier this month by the ministry.

Want a breakdown of all you need to know on how to prepare for the new ACI system? We have this in-depth explainer here.

BANKING

BdC first Egyptian bank to snag CBE-regulated e-signature license

BdC acquires the Egyptian banking sector’s first CBE-regulated e-signature license: State-owned Banque du Caire (BdC) was granted the first license to qualify electronic signatures of clients in the Egyptian banking sector by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Chairman Tarek Fayed announced yesterday, Hapi Journal reported. This will make BdC the first bank in Egypt certified to exchange digitally signed banking forms, as well as documents related to cashflow management, foreign trade operations and securities.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Newly-applied street parking bill gets social backlash

A newly-implemented bill regulating street parking is getting backlash on social media after it came into effect in Cairo, Giza this month. The law’s executive regulations, passed earlier this year, and designed to “restore traffic discipline” — have been met with criticism on social media following their implementation this month across six neighborhoods in Cairo, and in Dokki in Giza. The backlash forced the Local Development Minister to respond, saying in a statement yesterday that any flaws in the pilot application of the regs, as well as legislative stipulations to regulate the job of a ‘sayes’ (street parking attendants), would be rectified.

Where is the law in effect? Abdeen, Downtown Cairo, and Sayeda Zeinab, as well as some areas of Dokki in Giza. It will roll out to other areas and governorates at a later stage

What’s the fuss about? Critics say that the law stipulates monthly parking fees of up to EGP 300 for the right to park on residential streets on which they reside — a condition that has been criticized by some who argue they should not be charged to park on their own roads. While non-compliance penalties also apply, the new parking fees were deemed expensive by others, who argued that the law would add to the cost of living in Egypt, which has already been on the rise.

The gov’t say there’s nothing to be worried about, it’s just a pilot trial: The new list (pdf) of parking fees are preliminary and are still subject to revision — the government is testing the waters and assessing whether or not some regulations need to reworked, Local Development Ministry spokesperson Khaled Kassem told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 5:48) last night.

And there’s no one-size-fits-all solution: Under the bill, committees in governorates will be set up to organize street parking, determine ticket pricing based on the income levels in each area, as well as choose the streets where parking is allowed, and the car count, Kassem explained, noting that a company dedicated to hiring parking attendants would also be established. You can read the regulations in full here (pdf).

MOVES

Al Baraka Bank Egypt is in talks with Banque du Caire vice chairman Hazem Hegazy (LinkedIn) to become the bank’s new vice chairman and CEO to replace Ashraf El Ghamrawy (bio), who will step down on 1 October, according to an EGX statement (pdf). Sami Abdul Gawad will also leave his position as vice CEO of the bank on 22 September.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Covid-19 is still getting attention from the nation’s talking heads: Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan spoke to anti covid-19 committee member, Mohamed El Nady to discuss the latest covid-19 government policies announced by Health Minister Hala Zayed earlier this week. While the Egyptian government has made the vaccination of public sector employees, as well as all 18+ year-old students, educators and staff at Egyptian schools and universities, obligatory, it remains unclear what the consequences those unvaccinated by the start of October could face, El Nady said. Students could possibly see themselves banned from campus if they remain unjabbed, while unvaccinated employees could be obligated to present a negative PCR result to their employers every two weeks, for example, El Nady said.

Also on the airwaves last night: The Egyptian cinema and media industry, which now face additional operational fees of up to EGP 100k per day when shooting a movie scene or an ad in a Cairo street, under a decision issued by the governorate this week. The decision was met with criticism from industry members, who already pay hundreds of thousands in taxes and other expenditures to the government for filming their productions, Egyptian producer Magdy El Hawary told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 7:27). The Egyptian Cinema Industry Chamber will hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the new decision and its impact on the industry, Akhbar El Yom reports.

Zamalek taking home their thirteenth Egyptian Premier League title also got airtime after the club beat Entag El Harby 2-0. Zamalek club head Hussein Labib told Sada El Balad that the players had undergone an intense boot camp to up their physical abilities before the league games began (watch, runtime 5:13).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

The two main headlines from the foreign press this morning: The Economist takes a critical look at Egypt’s foreign policy, urban development and military involvement in the economy, while Reuters profiles Egypt’s first all-women Islamic choir in Egypt, which is challenging gender taboos typically see only men reciting the Quran or Islamic hymns in public.

COVID WATCH

Cases continue their slow inch upwards

The Health Ministry reported 194 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 189 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 286,735 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 7 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,683.

PLANET FINANCE

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

Developed nations lagging behind on green goals may soon find themselves in a pool of sovereign debt: Recent research has shown that countries that perform poorly on transitioning to a low-carbon economy are prone to suffering from increased sovereign borrowing costs, liquidity crunches and a lack of reserves to finance economic recovery amid climate shocks or natural disasters, Bloomberg reports. These economies could be in line for a 26 basis-point rise in yields for every 1 percentage point increase in carbon emissions, the study showed, indicating that countries with lower carbon emissions incur lower risk premiums on sovereign debt.

Up

EGX30

10950.24

+0.61% (YTD: +0.97%)

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

Up

Tadawul

11,141.03

+0.7% (YTD: +28.21%)

Down

ADX

7,681.53

-0.03% (YTD: +52.25%)

Up

DFM

2,904.10

+0.6% (YTD: +16.54%)

Up

S&P 500

4,486.23

+0.2% (YTD: +19.44%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,125.78

+0.2% (YTD: +10.30%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 70.80

-0.4%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.88

-0.5%

Down

Gold

USD 1,796.20

-0.7%

Down

BTC

USD 48,103.35

-2.04% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.6% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 2.57 bn (45.5% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is up 1% YTD.

In the green: Egyptian Resorts Company (+10.0%), Ibnsina Pharma (+5.1%) and Pioneers Holding (+4.1%).

In the red: Orascom Development Egypt (-2.0%), AMOC (-1.7%) and Medinet Nasr Housing (-1.7%).

Asian shares are mixed this morning, with leading indexes in Japan and Shanghai up while shares in Hong Kong and Korea are in the red. Shares in Europe and on Wall Street also look set to open in the red today, if futures are any indication, while Bay Street is still clinging to the green.

DIPLOMACY

Defence minister in Moscow for talks: An Egyptian military delegation led by Defence Minister Mohamed Zaki held talks with Russian defence officials in Moscow yesterday during which the two sides pledged to strengthen military ties.

Renewed tensions in the Gaza strip could soon ease courtesy of Egypt’s pressure on Hamas: Talks between Egypt and Hamas have resulted in the latter agreeing to stop launching incendiary balloons from Gaza into Israel, who had launched yesterday airstrikes against Gaza in response, writes the Jerusalem Post, citing a report by Israeli broadcaster Kan. The latest escalation of tensions follows weekend border clashes in which dozens were injured, pushingEgypt to indefinitely close its Rafah border crossing with Gaza for security reasons, in a move that an unnamed Egyptian official said was meant to apply pressure to Hamas over a lack of progress in indirect talks with Israel.

Egypt, Pakistan are mulling establishing a joint business council: Egyptian ambassador to Pakistan Tarek Dahroug and Pakistan's federal finance minister Shaukat Tarin agreed in a phone call yesterday to study the prospect of setting up a Pakistan-Egypt Business Council, as part of plans to increase cooperation between the two countries, according to a press release. They also discussed ways to improve trade ties, with initial focus on rice and cotton.

hardhat

Where Mowasalat Misr fits in Egypt’s mass transit plans: Since its formation, Mowasalat Misr has been a key player in Egypt’s mass transportation. From connecting the New Administrative Capital with the rest of Cairo through a fleet of buses, to participating in the upcoming BRT rapid mass transit system for the Ring Road, to providing mass transportation options to new urban centers under development, Mowasalat Misr has its hand in it all.

The company has also made a number of major capex and investment announcements. These include plans to invest EPG 3 bn in Egypt by 2021. Sources told us back in 2018 that the company — formed when Abu Dhabi-based Emirates National Group (ENG) acquired 70% of Misr Bus back in 2016 — was eyeing an IPO for 2019 or 2020. Naturally, covid-19 and general market turbulence have since hampered the timelines of these plans.

One thing that isn’t on pause is a potential merger with transit company High Jet, which could go through before the end of the year.

Today, we speak with vice chairman and GM of development Mohsen Sabra, who discussed what came of these plans, and how the company plans to execute on all these major transit projects.

Below are edited transcripts of our conversation:

Could we be seeing a High Jet acquisition before year’s end? Mowasalat Misr’s ambitions extend as far as a bid to purchase High Jet’s 60-bus fleet running trips throughout 14 cities across the country, through an acquisition. The agreement has so far reached its final stages and is expected to wrap up before the end of this year, according to Sabra, who did not disclose figures on the size of the transaction. He tells us that the company has yet to decide on advisers for the transaction.

What about the fate of Mowasalat Misr’s IPO? “We have not eliminated going for a listing,” Sabra said. “We’re currently studying the move, and should these studies favor the move, we may move forward with it soon.” Company sources had told us back in 2018 that Mowasalat Misr plans to list shares in the EGX either in 4Q2019 or early 2020. Sabra did not elaborate on why the IPO was postponed, saying that the decision needed to be studied further.

Mowasalat Misr has so far spent EGP 1.5 bn of its EGP 3 bn investment target. The company is looking to deploy the remainder of its funds by expanding its public transit networks, which saw some delays due to the outbreak of covid-19, Sabra says. As for when the rest of the EGP 3 bn will be deployed, Sabra noted that this will depend on the number of projects and new contracts signed. “The company is constantly seeking to grow its operations geographically, but the covid-19 pandemic has slowed that momentum slightly.”

Mowasalat Misr’s road to New Alamein — a regional transit plan: Mowasalat Masr has agreed to form a new company in partnership with Super Jet and the Administrative Capital for Urban Development to manage and operate internal transit at the New Administrative Capital in a project worth EGP 1-1.2 bn, Sabra said. The consortium will be operating some 20 natural gas-powered buses in the initial rollout of the new system, which will later be revised once the group gets a better reading on ridership in the new city, Sabra added.

Mowasalat Misr is one of nine transit groups offering services to the New Administrative Capital which also includes Star Line, Al-Masria, Ajyad, Al Ostaz and FM. The nine companies have been awarded with contracts to manage and operate transit lines connecting the New Administrative Capital to almost 90 locations in the Greater Cairo Region, Sabra said.

Speaking of Mowasalat’s plans to convert to natgas fuel fleets: The company will not purchase any new vehicles that aren’t either dual-fuel or electric, Sabra tells us. As for replacing their current diesel fleet, Sabra says it is ineffective from an engineering standpoint. It would be better to phase out these vehicles as they reach the end of their utility.

Separately, the company is expecting to invest some EGP 1 bn to execute its agreement with NUCA to provide services in six new planned cities, Sabra tells us. The figure is expected to be doled out over the course of Mowasalat Misr’s 15-year long agreement with New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) to provide internal transit services in New Cairo, Al Shorouk, Al Obour, 10th of Ramadan, 6th of October and Sheikh Zayed.

Mowasalat will also focus on resort towns: Operating internal transit systems in the country’s touristic cities, like New Alamein, will snap up more of the company’s attention in the near term, according to Sabra.

Intra-governorate bus lines could be coming soon: Mowasalat’s regional transportation services are reportedly in the final stages of implementation, according to Sabra, who said that the company is proceeding cautiously as they take into account safety measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 and its variants.

Mowasalat Masr is also bidding on the Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport’s tender to operate its public transit affiliates. Mowasalat Masr, along with 40 other companies, taking part in a tender that would award a private company the rights to operate and manage a new public transit affiliate of the state-owned Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport, according to Sabra. The Holding Company for Land and Maritime Transport is expected to begin reviewing technical proposals for the tender on 31 August, according to a statement from the Public Enterprises Ministry.

The company is also looking to utilize e-payments in its operations: At least 45% of Mowasalat Misr riders use the company’s smart card, according to Sabra, who called the system “a wonderful experience by all standards.” The group’s “My Transport” smart card, first launched in 2018, allows users to pay for bus and metro rides using the same card which can be topped up at any of Fawry’s e-payment machines.


Your top infrastructure stories for the week:

  • Electricity export: Egypt is looking to increase the capacity of its existing electricity link to Jordan 2 GW from the current 450 MW, with the new capacity expected to feed into Syria and Iraq.
  • Outsourcing: ITIDA and Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Group’s tech unit will jointly build a tech outsourcing service center in Egypt that will employ more than 600 specialists in finance, human resources, marketing and CIT.
  • Cairo Metro finance: Egypt could receive an EUR 250 mn loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to finance upgrades at Cairo Metro Line 2, with a decision expected at the end of October.
  • Desalination plants: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt is lining up USD 2.5 bn in private-sector investment for desalination plants as Egypt tries to tackle looming water scarcity.

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

27 August (Friday): 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 September (Sunday): Paralympics closing ceremony, Tokyo

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.

11-12 September (Saturday-Sunday): International Conferences on Economics and Social Sciences, Cairo

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.

13-21 September (Monday-Tuesday): 76th session of the general assembly, New York

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.

18 September (Saturday): Expiration of United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL

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.

16-17 November 2021 (Tuesday-Wednesday): Africa finch summit, Cairo

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.

22-24 April 2022: World Bank-IMF spring meeting, Washington D.C.

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. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of 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; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.