Thursday, 26 August 2021

Foreign investor launches takeover bid for agrifoods player Galina

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends. Just a few more meetings / deadlines / whatever and we can all slide into the weekend. We hope this week has been good to you. Anyone else having trouble getting their heads around the fact that we’re heading into the second-to-last weekend of summer? That September starts next week?

We have a pleasantly light issue for you this morning, with some nice news of foreign investor interest in the nation’s agrifoods sector and word that would-be (Egyptian) travelers may start getting booster shots soon. We have more on both stories in this morning’s news well, below.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD remains Afghanistan, where evacuation flights continue with less than a week to go before the 31 August deadline for US troops to withdraw. The new twist in the narrative: The Taliban have “changed” and have “learned” from their time out of power. Sure.

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

  • MaxAB makes first move outside Egypt: MaxAB has acquired Moroccan ecommerce and logistics platform WaystoCap for an undisclosed amount following a fresh USD 15 mn capital injection from its investors.
  • Credit Suisse upbeat on Egypt, warns of fourth wave: Egypt is starting to see “genuine” economic growth and t-bills remain attractive, though a fourth wave of covid-19 will pose a risk given Egypt’s high morbidity rate, Credit Suisse head of MENA research Fahd Iqbal told Bloomberg.
  • SODIC reports strong earnings: SODIC’s net income after minority interest almost tripled y-o-y in 2Q2021 on sales doubling to EGP 1.9 bn.

Tory Burch ❤️ Egypt: Apparently, we’re at that (brief?) stage between waves three and four of the pandemic where folks (with the right passports and vaccination status) can talk about where they like to travel. Three cheers, then, for iconic designer Tory Burch, who tips Luxor as where she goes to feel inspired, telling the Financial Times: “Winston Churchill had a room at The Sofitel, Luxor, and it’s also where Agatha Christie was inspired to write Death on the Nile. It’s what I imagine the 1920s in Egypt would have been like – full of romance and nostalgia.” You can read more about how Burch weathered the pandemic here in the Wall Street Journal.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- Junior bankers surf the work / life trend all the way to a mandatory two-week vacation — and one workless weekend a month: Citigroup is forcing two-week holidays on all its junior staff in Europe, the Middle East and Africa before the end of September, Bloomberg reports. The bank is also promising its youngest staffers (drum roll please) … a work-free weekend. One work-free weekend a month, to be precise, to run from 5pm Friday until 9am Monday. It’s the latest in a series of moves by big banks under pressure from young employees, who have apparently been questioning their life choices after working 100-hour weeks from home without the camaraderie of an office environment.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- We’re back to talking about whether we’re nearing the end of the bull run for US equities, with the latest sign being news that top-rated T Rowe Price fund manager David Giroux “has substantially backed away from a ‘rich’ US equity market, reflecting nerves among some investors about the lofty valuations that have become entrenched since markets rebounded forcefully from the pandemic lows of last year.” The news comes as the S&P hit a new all-time high this week.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #3- OnlyFans is going to still allow, uhm, “racy content” (we can’t use the common word because the algos that decide whether we get into your inbox will ban us) saying it’s worked out some kind of agreement with its bankers that will see them continue processing payments.

MARKET WATCH- It’s Jackson Hole week: The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual gathering of central bankers and policy makers at Jackson Hole will take place on tomorrow. US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak tomorrow evening our time, with analysts expecting him to remain vague on the timing of a potential tapering of the Fed’s bond buying program. This is the second year in a row that the gathering will take place online.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

HAPPENING TODAY- Egypt will open today its Rafah border crossing with Gaza in one direction to allow the return of stranded Palestinians back into Gaza, the Hamas-backed interior ministry said in a statement yesterday, citing a report by Egyptian authorities. The Rafah crossing is set to be open in both directions starting Sunday, the statement said. Egypt had closed its Rafah border crossing with Gaza indefinitely on Monday for security reasons after an escalation in fighting between Hamas and Israel Saturday. Reuters also has the story.

Egypt is looking to spark a conversation about what’s next in development, sustainable finance and the road to recovery for developing economies: The International Cooperation Ministry will hold the first iteration of its new International Cooperation Forum on 8-9 September. The two-day event will focus on fostering partnerships in development finance and sustainable development, according to a statement (pdf) yesterday. Attendees will include officials from institutions including the UN, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the African Development Bank and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. On the other side, participants will include ministers and policy makers from African, Asian and Latin American countries as well as financial institutions and the private sector.

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

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M&A WATCH

Foreign investor launches takeover bid for Galina

An unnamed foreign investor has launched a takeover bid for Galina Holding, submitting a bid for 100% of the company, CEO Abdelwahed Soliman told us yesterday. Soliman didn’t disclose the identity of the potential buyer or the value (or structure) of the bid, but said that the company has set an EGP 6.50 per share asking price, valuing it at around EGP 780 mn.

A second option: A January IPO. Galina is also continuing to work toward potential IPO on the EGX, which would see the company list a 49% stake as early as January 2022, Soliman said.

A slight change of plan: As recently as January, the agrifoods player was planning to sell the 49% stake in a private placement, raising an estimated EGP 600 mn, Soliman told us at the time. The sale would then have been followed by an IPO that would have seen the company float at least 10% on the EGX. Investors from the UK, US and Germany were among the potential suitors, he said.

Galina has so far received two “serious” offers: one for a 30% stake, which the company turned down, and the bid that it’s now considering, Soliman told us yesterday.

An IPO has been a long time coming: The holding company has been aiming to list one of its subsidiaries on the EGX since 2018, when it announced its plan to offer 25-40% of its frozen foods unit on the EGX. The company has said it would use the proceeds to finance its expansion plans in fruit and vegetable concentrates and meat alternatives.

ADVISORS: Galina has appointed Mazars Mostafa Shawki to value the company and is in talks with a number of bankers to manage the potential listing. It is also in talks with prospective legal counsel. The company had previously appointed Renaissance Capital to quarterback the private placement.

DIPLOMACY

GERD hasn’t hurt Sudan’s water supply just yet

Sudan says GERD filling had no impact on water supply, but preparing for the unknown was expensive and caused indirect socioeconomic damage: The second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) reservoir, which Addis Ababa concluded late last month, “made no negative impact” on the annual seasonal flooding this year, but instead had a “major socioeconomic impact” in the absence of an agreement with Ethiopia on the filling and operation of the dam, Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasir Abbas tweeted yesterday. Reuters also has the story.

What kind of damage are we talking? Ethiopia’s move to unilaterally fill the dam without reaching a binding agreement with Egypt and Sudan forced Khartoum to undertake “costly” crisis-management measures in case of destructive floods or water shortages, similar to last year when Ethiopia’s unilateral filling of GERD directly contributed to the severe Blue Nile flooding that caused mass devastation in Sudan.

On the bright side: Sudan was for the first time able to use its own dams to ease the intensity of the annual heavy floods — which have historically devastated communities across Sudan. Flooding in July saw an “unexpected” amount of water flowing from the White Nile — one of the river’s main tributaries, resulting in more flooding than country had faced over the past century. This year’s floods saw a record daily flow of 120-130 mn cubic metres per day, compared with previous summer seasons that varied between 70 and 80 mn cubic metres daily, he explained.

Still no word on the impact on Egypt: We haven’t heard anything from domestic policymakers on whether or not the GERD’s second filling had a direct impact on Egypt’s water supply. But the prospect of a water shortage has Egypt prioritising water resources projects, from the rehabilitation and lining of canals to seawater desalination plants, which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had said would help offset the effect of the dam on Egypt’s water supply.

And GERD talks are still in limbo: Four days of talks in April between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Kinshasa once again reached a dead-end after the three countries were unable to agree on how to proceed with negotiations. Egypt and Sudan spent much of last month lobbying the UN Security Council and global powers to take a more aggressive position towards Ethiopia and pressure it to return to the negotiating table with different mediators, but the council declined to condemn its decision to unilaterally fill the dam and called on all three countries to continue the current African Union-led process.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Cairo walks back plan to hike permits to film on city streets

Cairo officials are walking back their decision to hike fees for movie, TV and advertising producers who want to film on city streets just days after ordering additional fees of up to EGP 100k per day. The move (which isn’t necessarily bad policy) predictably earned backlash from media industry stakeholders who have rather large megaphones at their disposal.

The governorate will, instead, enact a new set of regulations to regulate how it charges producers for filming permits and will probably see a sliding scale of fees based on intent: One price for TV commercials, another for still-ads or cinema / TV productions. The decision had previously imposed a fee of as much as EGP 15k per hour — and EGP 100k a day — for filming on a Cairo street.

The decision had attracted the ire of industry members: The new fees would have strapped producers who are already kicking taxes and other fees into government coffers, producer Magdy El Hawary said on Tuesday, while Actors Syndicate head Ashraf Zaki told Extra News (watch, runtime: 4:13) yesterday that the fees should be proportional to the spend of each production. The Egyptian Cinema Industry Chamber held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the new decision and its impact on the industry, Akhbar El Yom reported.

COVID WATCH

Previously vaccinated would-be travellers are inching closer to those precious boosters

The Health Ministry has received the first list of requests from previously vaccinated Egyptians who want to get a second jab for the purpose of working or studying abroad, according to a statement yesterday. Those seeking cross-border healthcare are also eligible to apply for the booster. The Emigration Ministry will send subsequent lists of applicants as it reviews applications.

So, when can you get your second shot? We have no idea. The statement gave no further information on how long the process would take or when would-be travellers can expect to be called to get their boosters once they sign up — but said applications are still accepted here, and will be passed on to the Health Ministry after revision.

THE CAVEAT- The booster shots are only available for Egyptian nationals who need to work or study abroad, as well as those travelling for medical care, and are not currently available to those who need to travel for other reasons. The application form requires that Egyptians submit a scan of their passport in addition to a copy of their foreign residency permit, student visa, or foreign passport. Foreign residents are not currently allowed to apply a booster from what we’ve so far been able to deduce.

You can now get jabbed with Made-in-Egypt Sinovac shots: The first 1 mn doses of the home-made Sinovac shots are now available in vaccination centers nationwide, Health Minister Hala Zayed announced in a statement yesterday. The ministry had earlier planned to make 10 mn doses of the vaccine available at vaccination centers by mid-August. State-owned vaccine maker Vacsera has so far made 15 mn doses of the vaccine, and will ramp up capacity to produce 15-18.5 mn each month, Zayed said this week.

More vaccines are also incoming: Some 5.2 mn doses of Pfizer and Moderna are set to arrive next month, along with a second 700k dose batch of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine that was scheduled to arrive “in the coming period.”

And perhaps we’ll have even more by year’s end, when Vacsera’s largest vaccine plant will be up and running, helping Egypt reach vaccine self-sufficiency, Vacsera head Heba Waly told Sada El Balad TV (watch, runtime: 9:01) last night. Vacsera is also in talks with an unnamed North African country over the potential establishment of a Vacsera regional head office, Waly said, without going into details.

And the number of vaccination centers is also picking up: 800 centers will be operational by the end of August, the health minister said earlier this week. The number of operational centers has been climbing at a rapid pace this month and currently stands at 657 facilities nationwide. The government this week ramped up the number of vaccination centers dedicated to those wishing to travel — where individuals can also obtain QR code-bearing vaccination certificates — to 145 from 126.

The Health Ministry reported 203 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 194 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 286,938 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 8 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,691.

The number of daily infections has jumped by more than 100 in the past 10 days. Daily cases have been on the rise for almost exactly a month now, inching upwards from 31 infections on 27 July, according to our in-house covid tracker.

IN GLOBAL COVID NEWS- Africa has been cheated when it comes to vaccine access, the president of African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina told CNBC, criticizing the timing, quantities, and prices of the shots. Only 2.5% of the continent has been fully vaccinated so far, according to Our World Data. This is far behind vaccination rates in Asia (25.3%), South America (27.1%), North America (41%), and Europe (46%).

Vaccines may offer waning protection against covid within as little as six months. A real-world UK study that includes data on positive covid PCR test results between May and July among more than half a mn people vaccinated with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs showed that the effectiveness of the jab decreased from 88% after month one to 74% five to six months later, CNBC reports.

Covid-19 hospitalisation rates for children in the US are at their highest level on record, with CDC data showing an average of 303 daily hospitalizations last week, CNBC reports. Experts say they fear the opening of schools will see children — who are not old enough to receive vaccines — become a conduit for the spread of the Delta variant and a surge in cases nationwide.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION

New regs aim to make mobile, card payments easier

The Central Bank of Egypt has issued regulations (pdf) for the new interoperability system designed to boost financial inclusion and increase access to financial services. The system will allow the public to use all payment cards and mobile wallets to withdraw, deposit and transfer EGP, regardless of the network operator or the bank. Banks will need to comply with the rules within the 12 months.

Background: The CBE approved the rules last month in a bid to maximize the use of infrastructure for payment service providers and boost e-payments.

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ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

The summer talk show slowdown was in full effect last night, with most of the nation’s talking heads transitioning to “vacation mode” for the second-to-last weekend of the season. Other than the governorate backtracking on its plan to charge street filming fees, the big news of the night was talk of the discovery of a new genus of ancestors of amphibian four-legged whales that used to live in Egyptian waters some 43 mn years ago. The discovery of the fossils was led by an Egyptian research team, who unearthed the protocetidae remains from the Fayoum Depression in Egypt's Western Desert, aiming to help trace the transition of whales from land to sea. Among those who took note: Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 6:24). Reuters also has the story.

Also on the airwaves last night: Egypt’s Dourine Assaad, who was elected mayor of Canada’s Brossard municipality in 2017, becoming the first Canadian female of Egyptian heritage to be elected mayor in the North American country. Assaad discussed her electoral success in a phone interview with Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 22:25) last night.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s a soft news kinda day in the foreign press: Ayten Amin’s social drama Souad is getting glowing reviews from the Financial Times ahead of its release in UK cinemas later this week, while Luxor’s renovation of the Karnak Temple and other tourist attractions as part of a facelift before its national day in November is getting attention from Xinhua. The National, meanwhile, profiles Egyptian tennis player Mayar Sherif, who became the first Egyptian woman to make it to a Women's Tennis Association final earlier this month.

Even the regional politics news is upbeat, with Turkey saying it expects “positive developments” soon in its relationship with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Cotton production in Egypt is expected to increase by more than 30% y-o-y to reach 280k bales in the 2021-2022 marketing year — which runs from July to June — according to a report by the US agriculture department’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The targets have been revised up from an earlier April forecast by FAS that predicted 16% annual growth to reach 250k bales in the current marketing year.

The growth would come on the back of a projected 20% y-o-y increase in harvested area to 85k hectares, as higher demand in 2021 incentivized farmers to keep planting through June after the end of the traditional season. But despite the jump, production still isn’t expected to rebound to the 305k bales it recorded in the 2019/20 market year.

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

  • Private cars registered in Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be able to be driven in both countries, under an agreement signed between Cairo and Riyadh.
  • German-Swiss construction firm Liebherr will provide 12 electric RTG cranes for Alexandria Port under a EGP 350 mn contract signed with the Transport Ministry.
  • Egypt’s Arab Contractors has been awarded a new EUR 110 mn (c. EGP 2 bn) contract for an intercity road project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to be funded by the European Development Fund.
  • Chinese telecom giant Huawei will provide Egypt’s Arab Organization for Industrialization with 40 microcontroller development boards to familiarize its software engineers with the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence technologies, under an MoU signed yesterday between the two sides.

PLANET FINANCE

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SPACs are under legal attack: SPACs are facing several class-action lawsuits in federal courts, the Wall Street Journal reports. There have been 19 lawsuits filed against SPACs so far this year, compared to five filed in all of 2020, according to an ins. brokerage. These include suits questioning legality of some high-profile SPACs including bn’aire Bill Ackman’s USD 4 bn Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, Go Acquisition Corp and E.Merge Technology Acquisition Corp. Other cases were brought against SPACs with shares suffering heavy losses, such as electric truck maker Nikola Corp.

Want to know more about SPACs? Check out our explainer on the topic.

Samsung is about to do some serious spending: The South Korean conglomerate will invest USD 205 bn in its semiconductor, biopharma and telecoms units over the next three years, media outlets quoted a Samsung statement saying. The investment will be led by Samsung Electronics and Samsung Biologics and is expected to create 40k new jobs by 2023.

The company is also going to be doing some serious explaining after a passenger’s Galaxy A21 burst into flames as a cross-country US flight ended. The device was apparently burned beyond recognition. Daring Fireball has more.

Distressed debt funds are seeing their strongest run in over a decade on the back of wide ranging economic stimulus that has buoyed markets and accelerated the recovery, the Financial Times reports. The funds — which typically buy the stock of companies that are about to go bust or take on their debt at a steep discount with the aim of riding and profiting off a recovery — had made returns of 11.45% for the year at the end of July, their tenth consecutive month of gains.

The UK’s financial regulator says it can’t keep a watchful eye on Binance’s operations in the UK despite the “significant risk” inherent in the crypto exchange’s products, the Financial Times reports, citing an 11-page memo (pdf) by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Binance has allegedly not responded to the FCA’s queries in order to enable it to oversee the HQ-less group. The crypto exchange had faced a barrage of scrutiny this summer as regulators in the UK, Canada, Cayman Islands and Thailand all took action or undertook investigations into the crypto exchange’s products, which allow consumers to take supercharged bets. Binance said it remains in conversation with the FCA about its regulatory standing.

Up

EGX30

11064.43

+1.04% (YTD: +2%)

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USD (CBE)

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75

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USD at CIB

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75

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Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

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Tadawul

11,156.63

+0.1% (YTD: +28.39%)

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ADX

7,665.15

-0.21% (YTD: +51.93%)

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DFM

2,902.65

-0.05% (YTD: +16.48%)

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S&P 500

4,497.81

+0.3% (YTD: +19.75%)

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FTSE 100

7,150.12

+0.34% (YTD: +10.67%)

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Brent crude

USD 72.34

+1.82%

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Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.91

+0.46%

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Gold

USD 1,793.40

-0.83%

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BTC

USD 48,914.54

+1.62% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 1.04% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 2.3 bn (38.2% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is up 2% YTD.

In the green: Pioneers Holding (+8%), AMOC (+8%) and Egyptian for Tourism Resorts (+6.7%).

In the red: Egypt Kuwait Holding (-1.1%), Cleopatra Hospitals (-0.7%), and Raya Holding (-0.4%).

It’s looking kind of grim out there this morning, boys and girls: It’s red as far as the eye can see in Asia (though not Apocalyptically so). Shares in Wall Street and much of Europe also look set to come under pressure at the opening bell later today.

AROUND THE WORLD

Iraq wants to mediate the Saudi-Iran conflict with regional summit: Iraq has invited Iran and its long-term foes in the Gulf to a summit in Baghdad in a bid to ease tensions, Reuters reports. Egypt and Jordan have also been invited to the Baghdad meeting along with Turkey and French President Emmanuel Macron, with Kuwait being the only Gulf state to confirm its participation.

When it comes to China, Wall Street wants one thing… An influential group of Wall Street insiders and Chinese officials formed during the tensions between the US and China in 2018 will meet before the end of the year, Bloomberg reports. The US financial industry has become increasingly involved in what it sees as a huge and largely untapped market, and has sought direct ties to the Chinese government as it gradually opens its financial sector to foreign firms.

…and Washington wants another: Tensions between the two countries have escalated again in recent days, with the US vice president yesterday accusing China of bullying its Southeast Asian neighbors, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry responding by slamming the US for meddling in regional affairs.

An oil spill is blackening Syria’s coast after a leak at an oil refinery in the northern port of Latakia, state news agency SANA reports. The spill has spread out over some 25.5 sqkm, the Associated Press reported yesterday evening.

Iran’s newly installed conservative foreign minister will lead negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Bloomberg reports. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian will resume nuclear talks after a two-month hiatus as Iran held elections and formed their new government in order to lift U.S. sanctions reimposed by the Trump administration.

CALENDAR

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.

8-9 September (Wednesday-Thursday): Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (ICF), Cairo

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.

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 fintech 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.

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