Sunday, 5 September 2021

EnterpriseAM — New restrictions are on the table as fears over fourth wave, delta spread grow

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to the first full week of September. How is it already the fifth of the month? We’ve always loved the back-to-school, plan-for-the-new-year vibe of the ninth month of the year — and we love it doubly because we’re going back to the office three days a week starting today.

We hope all of you had a fantastic last weekend of summer, that the kids’ transition back to school this week and next is smooth, and that 2022 planning and budgeting is kind to you all.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

It’s PMI day: August’s purchasing managers’ indexes for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be released here at 6:15am CLT — shortly after we hit “send” this morning. Activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector has mostly been in contraction since covid hit, only expanding for two months in September and October last year. After rising close to the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction in June, the gauge deteriorated again in July as output and new orders fell.

EgyptAir will resume direct flights to Kuwait today, the national flag carrier announced in a statement Friday. This comes two weeks after Kuwait eased covid travel rules with Egypt and allowed direct commercial flights to resume between the two countries. EgyptAir will run two weekly flights.

Travelling to Abu Dhabi? Vaccinated travellers will no longer need to quarantine on arrival, but everyone (jabbed and non-jabbed) will need to show a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure, the Manpower Ministry said yesterday.

We really want to make sure Russian holiday-makers are happy: The Tourism Ministry has launched a hotline dedicated to answering Russian tourists’ questions about vacationing in Egypt, the Egyptian embassy in Moscow announced. The launch follows the return of Russian tourists to Egyptian resorts last month.

SMART POLICY- The Central Bank of Egypt has issued a directive (pdf) to local banks to up their resilience, giving banks 90 days from the end of FY2021-2022 to submit their plans to improve their ability to withstand economic shocks.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- It’s a mixed bag in the pages of the foreign press this morning:

  • Afghanistan is still getting attention, with Reuters reporting on clashes between the Taliban and opposition fighters.
  • The New York Times and the Washington Post are both covering the aftermath of last week’s Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Wall Street Journal is running an exclusive report that Boeing’s delivery of its new 787 Dreamliners will be delayed for another two months.

The 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States is this coming Saturday, and the anniversary coverage has already begun: The Wall Street Journal has a three-story package on the front page, including a feature on “the children of 9/11,” a profile of a couple who “lost their fathers on September 11” but who have now “found each other,” and a discussion of “what 9/11 taught us about trauma and resilience.” Reuters and AP both have a look at Joe Biden’s plans to visit all three attack sites this week.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT-

  • For the techies: September is shaping up to be a busy month for new devices.
  • Egypt beat Angola 1-0 in the first game of the World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday night. The Pharaohs play Gabon in the second game of the international break tonight.
  • Pandemic realism on TV gets mixed reviews: A string of TV shows have incorporated covid-19 into storylines, a decision that has generated mixed responses from audiences eager for escapism from the pandemic.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

It’s Labor Day weekend in the United States and Canada, so markets will be closed tomorrow, including the New York and Toronto stock exchanges and the Nasdaq.

Key news triggers remaining in the first two weeks of September:

  • Foreign reserves: The central bank will release foreign reserves figures for August sometime this week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for August will drop this week.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 September.

International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) CEO Hani Sonbol will visit Cairo in the coming days to discuss financing Egyptian development projects, the cabinet said in a statement. Egypt is waiting on the disbursal of around USD 1.1 bn in financing from the corporation which was signed in January

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

enterprise

COVID WATCH

New restrictions are on the table as fears over fourth wave, delta spread grow

We may see precautionary measures stepped up once again: Officials are leaning towards reinstating some preventative measures to combat the fourth wave of the virus, an unnamed government source told Al Shorouk on Friday. The source said that Health Minister Hala Zayed presented a report to the cabinet in recent days on the climbing case numbers and spread of the delta variant in many governorates. Zayed also highlighted an increase in cases among under-16s, who are not yet eligible for vaccination. She said that cases had increased in government hospitals, adding that those infected with the delta variant had shown more severe symptoms and potentially faced a greater risk of death.

New daily cases have been rising consistently for the past month, reaching 331 yesterday, up from 318 the day before and as little as 31 at the end of July. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 289,684 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 10 new deaths overnight, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,776.

Ministers are leaning toward implementing extra precautionary measures in public places, on transportation, and in government buildings, according to the source. In response to Zayed’s report, cabinet directed the Interior Ministry to launch a street campaign to report those who fail to wear masks on public transport.

Back-to-school dates could be affected, as could entertainment venues: The source added that the committee could change back-to-school dates and bring in new measures for entertainment venues and other places where people gather in numbers.

Expect more news on this front before the end of the month: The Education Ministry is keen for schools to go back to in-person learning this year, with further details on precautionary measures in schools expected to be announced in the last week of September, before public schools begin their academic year. Egypt had been steadily loosening restrictions over the early summer in line with a decline in case numbers. The coronavirus crisis committee is also expected to take a number of decisions in the coming days to attempt to get a grip on the virus, among which will be the stepped up enforcement of fines first introduced in January against those who fail to wear masks in public transportation, the source said.

Some Cairo churches have reinstated covid measures: Some east Cairo churches have suspended public activities for two weeks, according to Al Shorouk. Other archdioceses have revived precautionary measures capping capacity at masses at 25% or 50% and shortening them to no longer than 15 minutes, as well as limiting weddings and funerals to 40 people.

ENERGY

El Sisi ratifies EastMed Gas Forum

The final step to setting up the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) and its Cairo HQ was cleared on Thursday after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified its founding charter, per the Official Gazette (pdf). The regional organization officially came into being in March, after its founding members signed the charter in September last year.

About the forum: Headquartered in Cairo, the forum will focus on developing collaboration policies and strategies in the sector, technical and commercial exchange, infrastructure development, and financing facilitation for project exploration. The founders will exchange information and seismic data on potential gas finds, and negotiate ownership of fields that straddle maritime borders.

Any EastMed country is allowed to join, as long as it supports the objectives of the forum. Member countries also need to either produce or consume natgas, and membership is dependent on a unanimous vote of founding members Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine. The US, the EU and the World Bank are all observers, while France has joined as a member.

Private and public sector companies will also be included as members of an advisory committee. These can include international or national oil companies, as well as any company involved in the natgas production and selling process.


Focus on natgas as Cypriot prez visits Egypt: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades agreed to accelerate work on the planned pipeline connecting Cyprus’ Aphrodite natural gas field to Egypt during a joint summit yesterday, Ittihadiya said in a statement. The pipeline will allow Cyprus to export its gas to Europe via Egypt’s liquefaction facilities, and is currently expected to be operational in 2024 or 2025. The two sides also discussed defense and security ties, trade and investment, and cooperation on environmental issues.

Cyprus and Egypt set up a new committee that will work on improving bilateral relations and cooperating on regional issues. The committee yesterday affirmed that Cyprus’ sovereign water rights and maritime borders should be respected, referring to recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean over Turkey’s drilling for gas. El Sisi added that any dispute should be solved according to international law and maritime demarcation agreements. El-Sisi’s comments come days after he ratified Egypt’s membership in the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, in which Cyprus is also a founding member.

The two leaders are set to meet again in October and December at two planned tripartite summits with Greece, Ahram reported citing Cypriot media.


Egyptian gas could help Lebanon keep its lights on: Syria has agreed to allow Lebanon to import Egyptian natural gas through its territory, responding to a request from the country’s caretaker government which is desperately trying to secure energy supplies and ease chronic fuel shortages, Reuters reports. A delegation of Lebanese officials visited Damascus for the first time in years yesterday to make the request as their country endures one of the worst economic crises in recent history.

The plan: Syria would revive a 2009 agreement that allows Egyptian natural gas to be pumped via a pipeline running from Jordan through Syria to the north of Lebanon, according to the AP.

It’s not clear how much of an immediate solution this is to Lebanon’s problems: Egypt has not pumped gas to Syria since 2010 due to attacks and fuel shortages. The infrastructure has also been damaged during Syria’s civil war.

STARTUP WATCH

Kashat lands funding from Launch Africa in private bridge round

Fintech startup Kashat has successfully closed a private bridge round for an undisclosed sum, a senior company executive told Enterprise. The round saw participation from pan-African fund Launch Africa, which typically invests up to USD 300k per transaction. Cairo Angels also took part in the round; the Cairo Angels previously made their largest ever investment in Kashat in a private seed-extension round that closed last December. This latest round “backs Kashat’s mission to positively affect financial inclusion in Egypt, and the Arabic speaking world at large, by providing accessible, productive, financial services,” the senior exec said.

Kashat — which launched last year — provides nano financial services in the form of small productive facilities between EGP 100 and EGP 1.5k to the unbanked and under banked, with a repayment period of up to 61 days. Kashat is Egypt’s first FRA-regulated nano-finance player, and has integrated with leading e-payment platform Fawry, as well as Vodafone Cash and Aman.

IN OTHER FINTECH NEWS-

Al Ahly Momken will provide electronic payment services to Egyptian fintech lending start-up El Gameya under a partnership agreement, according to a joint press release. El Gameya is an online platform that allows individuals to join collaborative lending associations or “money circles” — known in the region as a gameya — to access peer-to-peer, zero-interest lending. Momken CEO Samir Abu Hashem said Momken currently facilitates access to money circles for around 40k merchants.

REAL ESTATE

SODIC acquires new Zayed plot for EGP 1.24 bn

Upmarket real estate developer SODIC will purchase a 123-acre plot in Sheikh Zayed City for EGP 1.24 bn, the company said in a statement (pdf) Thursday, after the Sheikh Zayed City Development Authority accepted an offer of EGP 2,385 per sqm, payable over six years. The new plot, which is adjacent to its “The Estates” project and will serve as an extension, is expected to add circa EGP 10 bn of gross contracted sales to the project’s pipeline over the next six years, the firm said.

The acquisition adds 518k sqm to SODIC’s land bank, which now amounts to some 5.6 mn sqm. “The addition will enable us to add more amenities and features to the project, creating value for existing as well as new homeowners,” said Managing Director Magued Sherif.

The move comes a few weeks after the Housing Ministry proposed moving the company’s 500-acre New Zayed plot to a new location. The new, 440-acre plot pending approval from NUCA’s board of directors is smaller but enjoys “a higher efficiency that should allow for an increase in sellable BUA without compromising the project’s features,” SODIC said last month.

The company tripled its net income in 2Q2021 and recorded a sharp rise in gross contracted sales, which almost doubled to EGP 1.9 bn from the same period last year. More than half of sales were in the company’s The Estates and Karmell developments in west Cairo.

IPO WATCH

ACWA Power announces Tadawul IPO

Saudi renewable energy giant ACWA Power announced its intention to IPO on the Saudi stock exchange in a statement (pdf) Thursday. The kingdom’s capital market regulator in June gave it the go-ahead to list 81.2 mn shares on the exchange, equivalent to an 11.1% stake.

ACWA is hoping to raise more than USD 1 bn from the IPO, unnamed sources told Bloomberg, who said that it could value the company at over USD 10 bn. The company has obtained all necessary regulatory approvals, and expects trading to begin after the final allocation of the offer shares, according to the statement.

The offering: Institutional investors will be able to bid for all of the shares during book building, but up to 10% of the offering could be reserved for individuals should there be sufficient demand.

The timetable: Book-building will start on 15 September and run through to 27 September, when the final pricing will be announced, according to ACWA’s website. Subscription for individual investors will run from 29 September to 1 October. The final share allocation will take place on 4 October before the shares make their debut on the exchange on 6 October. A price range will be published the day before institutional subscription starts on 14 September.

ACWA has a significant presence in Egypt’s renewables market, owning the 200 MW Kom Ombo solar facility and minority stakes in three plants in Benban. It also has an upcoming project with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company to convert a 2.25 GW combined cycle electricity plant in Luxor to run only on renewable sources. The company has also expressed interest in Egypt’s potentially very significant investment in desalination.

Advisors: Four firms will jointly act as the financial advisors: Citigroup Saudi Arabia, JP Morgan Saudi Arabia, Natixis Saudi Arabia Investment Company and Riyad Capital. Our friends at EFG Hermes KSA are bookrunners along with Emirates NBD Capital and FAB Capital.

DEBT WATCH

Construction firm bags EGP 12 bn loan to finance Abu Qir port development

Construction outfit Gharably Integrated Engineering Company (GIECO) is set to receive a huge loan to develop the Abu Qir port, it said in a statement (pdf) last week. A syndicate of local state-owned and private sector banks have agreed to lend the company EGP 12.3 bn in what National Bank of Egypt Chairman Hisham Okasha says is the largest joint loan of 2021 and the largest financing for a contracting operation in recent years. The money will partly finance the expansion of the northern and southern sides of the port as well as the development of the new city of Abu Qir, which is expected to cost a total of EGP 19.06 bn.

Participating institutions include: National Bank of Egypt, which provided EGP 3.25 bn, Banque Misr, which contributed EGP 3 bn, CIB with EGP 1 bn, as well as the NBK Egypt (EGP 1 bn), Banque du Caire (EGP 750 mn), Credit Agricole Egypt (EGP 750 mn), Export Development Bank (EGP 700 mn), Bank of Alexandria (EGP 500 mn), Suez Canal Bank (EGP 500 mn), the United Bank of Egypt (EGP 500 mn) and Arab Investment Bank (EGP 300 mn).

Background: GIECO had in January signed an EGP 3.8 bn syndicated loan agreement to upgrade the port.

EDUCATION

CIRA, Orcas to launch online tutoring platform

Get ready for a new online tutoring experience: EGX-listed education outfit CIRA has teamed up with ed-tech startup Orcas on a joint venture to co-develop an online social learning platform that will provide after-hours support to students, according to a statement (pdf). The tutoring model will make use of Orcas’ online platform, as well as CIRA’s 21 schools and network of teachers.

An alternative tutoring model: The hybrid tutoring model will offer an alternative to traditional tutoring classes, which the government has sought to regulate. The new platform will provide approved courses under a predetermined governmental scheme, will facilitate both theoretical and practical learning, and will accommodate varying financial abilities. “These hybrid learning hubs in partnership with CIRA schools are the first of their kind and are going to revolutionize how students learn today,” said Orcas CEO Hossam Taher.

For a massive industry: While the size of the private tutoring industry is difficult to quantify, industry participants estimate that annual payments for primary and secondary students reached some USD 2.2 bn in 2016-17.

EARNINGS WATCH

Integrated Diagnostics Holdings’ (IDH) 2Q2021 net income more than quadrupled y-o-y to EGP 326.6 mn ion 2Q2021, from EGP 72 mn in the same time last year, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). This significant growth came on the back of a surge in revenues, which more than doubled to EGP 1.2 bn from EGP 450 mn in 2Q2020, as the company said the market continues to recover from the impact of covid-19.

Covid tests underpin revenue growth: IDH’s top-line growth during the quarter was driven by a near-6x increase in covid test revenues, which hit EGP 569 mn from EGP 83 mn in 2Q2020. Conventional tests also experienced growth, rising more than 60% to EGP 595 mn.

Egypt is still by far the company’s largest market: Revenues in Egypt rose 166% to more than EGP 1 bn on the back of a huge rise in covid tests, which brought in EGP 504 mn during the quarter, up from EGP 67 mn last year. In comparison, revenues in Jordan almost doubled to EGP 324 mn and rose 68% to EGP 25 mn in Nigeria. IDH also attributed its Egypt growth to the growing popularity of its house call service, revenue growth at Al Borg Scan’s and its Wayak app.

Looking ahead: The company plans to launch at least three new Al Borg Scan branches in Egypt over the coming year, and expects to stay in the black thanks to its expanding operations. It is also looking to sign strategic agreements with international airlines to provide carriers to perform PCR tests for passengers. IDH companies include Al Borg and Al Mokhtabar in Egypt as well as subsidiaries in Jordan, Sudan, and Nigeria.

The LSE listed IDH debuted its shares on the EGX in May in a technical listing that sought to make the company’s equity more accessible to domestic and regional investors.

MOVES

Khaled Hassan Soufi was appointed chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Standards & Quality (EOS), which falls under the Trade and Industry Ministry, according to a statement.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Diplomacy dominated the airwaves on last night’s talk shows, following President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s bilateral talks with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades to strengthen relations between the two countries in various fields. The two also discussed coordinating on regional issues, chief among them the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, developments in the Libyan crisis, ways to revive negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 1:41), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 4:40|10:23), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 5:45) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 27:42) all took an interest in the topic.

In the same vein, the talk shows also picked up on efforts to revive the Arab Gas Pipeline project. Agreements were signed on the project back in 2000, but it was never completed due to several terrorist attacks in recent years. Syria also agreed to a Lebanese request to transport Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity across Syrian land. Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 27:42) and El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 1:18 | 2:47 | 3:17) had the story.

Meanwhile, Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi broadcast an excerpt of her interview with Health Minister Hala Zayed on the most important issues in the healthcare sector (watch, runtime: 2:52). The rest of the interview will be broadcast over two subsequent episodes.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Human rights is getting attention in the foreign press this morning: Amnesty International urged Egyptian authorities to follow in the footsteps of a judge who earlier this week dropped an investigation into six NGO workers accused in the foreign funding of civil society case, and dismiss charges for the rest of the accused. Meanwhile, Foreign Policy writes that Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the former Islamist leader turned ‘centrist’ presidential candidate, is allegedly suffering poor medical conditions in Tora Prison.

The new capital will be “smart” compared to Elmahrousa, according to Reuters, which reports that the government has so far signed USD 640 mn of tech and communications contracts, which could rise to as much as USD 900 mn. Making the city smart includes using smart cards and apps to unlock doors and make payments, surfing the web on public WiFi beamed from lampposts, as well as a network of at least 6k cameras to monitor activity on every street.

Also making headlines:

  • Egypt’s Benban Solar Park: The facility gets a mention in a piece that argues that North African governments should offer more incentives and support to consumers to adopt renewable energy. (AFP)
  • Egypt is a top importer of Russian grain, according to the Financial Times, which writes that Moscow is trying to up its “wheat diplomacy” game and increase its agricultural exports’ value by 50% by 2024.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Sharm El Sheikh yesterday received the first direct flight from Switzerland in more than five years after a flight ban triggered by the 2015 crash of a Russian plane in Sinai. Swiss Air will run one flight a week to the coastal resort from Geneva on Saturdays. The move comes on the heels of Russia’s resumption of direct flights to Egypt in August.

Elaraby Group has signed a partnership agreement with Sudanese firm Elbarbary to establish an electronics factory in Sudan.

PLANET FINANCE

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UAE sovereign fund Mubadala has bought a 22% stake in Israeli natural gas field Tamar for USD 1 bn in what Bloomberg says is the biggest commercial agreement yet since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations last year.

US stocks are booming: The average share price on the S&P 500 is up 24% this year to USD 209, off the back of gains by heavyweights such as Google parent company Alphabet, Bloomberg reports. The fact that fewer companies are splitting their stocks — with only three splits this year compared to an average of nine over the decade preceding 2019 — is also contributing to soaring valuations.

Up

EGX30

11,301

+0.2% (YTD: +4.2%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.65

Sell 15.75

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

11,319

+0.1% (YTD: +30.3%)

Up

ADX

7,652

+0.1% (YTD: +51.7%)

Down

DFM

2,912

-0.1% (YTD: +16.9%)

None

S&P 500

4,535

-% (YTD: +20.8%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,138

-0.4% (YTD: +10.5%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 72.61

-0.6%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 4.71

+1.5%

Up

Gold

USD 1,833.70

+1.2%

Up

BTC

USD 50,216

+0.1% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.2% at Thursday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.86 bn (20% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is up 4.2% YTD.

In the green: Pioneers Holding (+5.1%), GB Auto (+3.4%) and MM Group (+2.2%).

In the red: Fawry (-2.3%), Speed Medical (-1.0%), and Orascom Development Egypt (-1.0%).

DIPLOMACY

Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a Palestinian state based on June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital during a trilateral summit in Cairo on Thursday. In a joint statement following the meeting, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II condemned Israeli settlement activity and the displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank, which they said “undermine the two-state solution.”

CALENDAR

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

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): The updated date for EGX listed companies to institute the new mechanism for calculating closing share prices. The deadline was previously 2 September.

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 — must be held by the first Thursday of October.

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 (Tuesday-Wednesday): Africa fintech summit, Cairo.

26 November-5 December (Friday-Sunday): The 43rd Cairo International Film Festival.

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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.