Monday, 11 October 2021

EnterpriseAM — From inflation to a better growth outlook and pushback on the CGT, it’s a busy morning in Egypt

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome a busy Monday morning on which we have plenty to digest as inflation hits a 20-month high, the World Bank bumps up our post-covid growth forecast, and opposition to a tax on the gains of domestic EGX investors seems to be gaining steam.

And before we get started: A very Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian readers. We’re thankful this morning for all of you — the readers who choose to start their mornings with us each workday. Thank you, one and all, for making it possible for us to do what we do.

There are signs of growing pushback against the capital gains tax on EGX gains: Al Ahly Financial Investments Management’s managing director and chief investment officer, Adel Kamel Al-Wali, is the latest to speak out against the 10% capital gains tax. The forthcoming tax is the biggest problem facing Egyptian fund managers, Al-Wali told Al Mal, calling on the Madbouly government to again consider scrapping it.

Background: Al-Wali’s comments come after figures from the securities industry and a group of 20 MPs voiced their concerns about the timing of introducing the capital gains tax, asking for it to be (once again) postponed, replaced with another levy, or scrapped entirely to protect a still-recovering EGX. A related drive could put the tax on the agenda of the House Planning and Budget Committee.

The worry is that the new tax will further depress the (already sluggish) bourse: Investors will be encouraged to buy equities as long as taxes remain low, Al Wali said, pointing to low trading volumes as well as the EGX’s poor performance compared to regional peers. On the plus side, he noted that the EGX’s sluggish performance means stocks across all sectors are undervalued, making them attractive to investors. The EGX30 is currently down 1.7% YTD.

What’s the CGT? The 10% tithe would hit the net realized portfolio gains each tax year of domestic investors on the EGX. Foreign investors would be exempt. After years of delays, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has said the tax will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The global business press is setting up three big stories that look set to dominate headlines this week. They are:

#1- The IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings get underway in Washington, DC, later today — and it’s make-or-break time for IMF boss Kristlina Georgieva. She stands accused of pushing staff to fudge data to make China look better in the IMF’s once-flagship Doing Business report. The US and Japan want her out, the Financial Times reports, while France, Germany, Italy and the UK are more supportive, effectively splitting the 24-member executive board of the organization in two.

Also this week: G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will meet in DC during the IMF / World Bank fall meetings.

#2- The brewing global energy crisis is deepening — and has created new room for maneuver for some countries — including Russia, which is sending not-so-subtle signals to the rest of Europe that the EU could avoid a long cold winter … if only it would bring Russia in from the cold. The news comes as energy-intensive manufacturers in the UK have warned they could have to shut down production if they don’t get help with energy prices. Industries feeling the pinch include producers of steel, glass, ceramics and paper. Closer to home, Lebanon has restored power supply to much of the country after earlier running out of fuel — and India’s coal ministry says the country has “ample coal stocks to meet demand from the power industry.

#3- It’s also a big week for market confidence in developed economies as investors fret over the risk that inflation isn’t just rising, but here to stay for a while. Third quarter earnings season kicks off in the US of A this week, and market sentiment will be significantly shaped by “what companies reveal about the impact of any supply-chain problems, labor shortages and the continuing pandemic,” the Wall Street Journal writes.


** IN CASE YOU MISSED IT- Stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

  • Inflation continues to be the big worry abroad as continued supply chain disruptions are driving policy makers and analysts to conclude that inflation is set to continue.
  • Reducing cows’ farts and burps to save the planet: Farmers and biotech companies are coming up with ways to cut down on methane emissions from cows — one of the planet’s biggest emitters.
  • Let’s take this offline: Per My Last Email by Stephanie K. Wright translates all the passive-aggressive phrases commonly used in corporate emails and raises questions about the most prevalent means of communication in the business world.

CORRECTION- We picked up a report by Al Shorouk yesterday claiming that real estate developer Mountain View is in talks with Banque Misr and AAIB for an EGP 5 bn facility. We have been informed by a representative of Mountain View that AAIB is not part of the talks. The story has been corrected on our website.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Conference season ratchets up this month, with a number of exhibitions and business events here and throughout the region taking place this week, including:

  • The Turathna Exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, and will run until Friday, 15 October.
  • The two-day Mediterranean Offshore Conference will take place in Alexandria tomorrow.
  • Further down the road: The Middle East Angel Investment Network is hosting its Angel Oasis in El Gouna on 27-29 October, with separate pricing for in-person and virtual attendance.

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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*** It’s Blackboard day: We have our weekly look at the business of education in Egypt, from pre-K through the highest reaches of higher ed. Blackboard appears every Monday in Enterprise in the place of our traditional industry news roundups.

In today’s issue: Egypt’s universities are showing strong improvements this year, according to some of the most respected global ranking systems. They’re among the fastest-rising higher education institutions in the world out of all those tracked and ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE), well represented in both the THE World University Rankings and the newly-inaugurated THE Arab University Rankings. This year’s QS World University Rankings also includes more Egyptian unis — along with, notably, a stronger performance from private universities. We take a look at what’s driving the improved rankings across the board.

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ECONOMY

Inflation hits 20-month high in September

Annual urban inflation continued its upward trend in September, hitting a 20-month high on the back of increasing food, healthcare and education costs, according to Capmas figures released yesterday. Headline urban inflation jumped to 6.6% last month, up from 5.7% in August. This is the highest annual inflation rate since January 2020, when it recorded 7.2%. On a monthly basis, headline inflation rose by 1.1% following August’s 0.1% rise.

Annual core inflation inched up 0.3 percentage points to record 4.8% in September compared to 4.5% in August, Central Bank of Egypt data (pdf) shows. Meanwhile, monthly core inflation recorded 0.4% last month, compared to a 0.3% drop in August and 0.1% in September 2020. The overall rate in both urban and rural areas rose to 8% in September from 6.4% in August, according to Capmas figures (pdf). Reuters also has the story.

Food and education prices were the main drivers: Food and beverages prices rose 13.1%, mainly driven by the prices of vegetables, which jumped 38.1%. Oils and fats prices saw the second-biggest price increase in the food and drink category at 18.3%. Prices in the education sector recorded a 29.8% annual increase, recreational and cultural activities saw a 6.5% rise, and housing and utilities prices rose 3.9%, which is attributed to the 9.1% increase in energy costs.

Nothing to worry about? (For now?): Despite reaching an almost two-year high, inflation remains within the CBE’s target range, which is currently set at 7% (+/-2%). The question is for how long, as the government’s fuel pricing committee raised fuel prices for the third time this year by EGP 0.25 on Friday.

Inflation is on cabinet’s radar: The Madbouly cabinet met yesterday to discuss rising commodity prices due to fuel price hikes, agreeing to mitigate the impact of the crisis on Egyptian markets, although exactly how they plan to do that was not announced. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly stressed that cabinet was working to ensure there would be no shortage of commodities in Egyptian markets in a statement released by the cabinet on Facebook.

Analysts are not concerned: The inflation rise itself isn’t something we should worry about, Esraa Ahmed, Pharos Holding economist told us. “The concern stems from global pressures and growing fears of global inflation and the Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary conditions with the rise in inflation in major markets, especially with developments in commodity markets, especially energy,” she added. The US Federal Reserve has signaled it may start tapering its stimulus program as early as next month.

…and not expecting rates to change anytime soon: “We expect the CBE to maintain interest rates at the upcoming Monetary Policy Committee meeting on 28 October. The need to maintain the lucrative carry trade [options] in the fixed income market, particularly with the rise in global rates that is posing a risk to inflows into emerging markets, backs our view,” Beltone Financial said in a report (pdf). During its last meeting, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left interest rates on hold for a seventh consecutive meeting. The inflation hike comes only a few days after.

ECONOMY

World Bank upgrades Egypt’s post-covid GDP growth outlook

Egypt’s economy is expected to grow 5.0% in FY2021-2022, up from the 3.3% in FY2020-2021, according to the World Bank’s October 2021 MENA economic update (pdf). The World Bank’s forecast marks an upward revision from its April economic update, when it said Egypt’s GDP would grow at a 4.5% clip during the current fiscal year.

Egypt’s economic recovery is seen “dominating” oil importing countries’ performance this calendar year, with overall real GDP growth among oil importing countries expected to come in at 4.3% by the end of 2021.

Public sector expected to account for greater share of growth: Despite being on track to record stronger GDP growth levels than it did pre-Covid, Egypt “remains constrained by anemic private sector dynamism,” the report says, pointing to a 14% y-o-y increase in public investments in 1Q2021 compared to a 43% drop in nominal private investments during the same three months.

The wider MENA region is in for a “tenuous and uneven recovery” this calendar year, with GDP now expected to grow 2.8% y-o-y in 2021, after contracting 3.8% in 2020, according to the report. The pandemic has caused the region to sustain some USD 200 bn in GDP losses, compared to “where the region’s GDP would have been if the pandemic had not hit.”

The region’s GDP per capita is expected to inch up by a mere 1.1% — a rebound from the 5.4% contraction registered in 2020 and an upward revision from the 0.6% the World Bank had penciled in back in April. The World Bank’s forecast indicates GDP per capita growth will still be 4.3% lower than it was in 2019.

One of the main culprits of this sluggish recovery in the region: Stressed public healthcare systems that were caught off guard by and unable to cope with a pandemic. Many governments in the region had also overestimated their health systems’ preparedness to cope with health emergencies, which the report suggests is partially due to “the region’s young population [creating] the statistical illusion of a healthy population.” As of 2019, Egypt’s government expenditure on healthcare as a percentage of GDP was among the lowest in the region, with only 1.42% of overall government spending earmarked for the sector.

But the key to stronger healthcare systems isn’t necessarily increased spending — it’s an increase in efficient spending. A lack of efficient spending generally leads to an increase in out-of-pocket spending on health services, which drains household incomes and “shifts purchasing power away from large population pools that demand upstream health measures, like prevention and disease surveillance, to those in need of downstream, often costlier, individual services.”

The WB is not happy with our expenditure on preventative care: Despite the rollout of Egypt’s universal healthcare system — which was first introduced on a pilot basis in Port Said in 2019 — Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan exhibit lower rates of government expenditure on preventive health care compared to their income peers, the World Bank says. In Egypt’s 2021-2022 sustainable development plan released earlier this year, the government said it plans to aggressively ramp up its investments in healthcare infrastructure to EGP 4.7 bn, up 205% y-o-y.

IPO WATCH

Misr Life to IPO on the EGX by 2H2022

Misr Ins. Holding (MIH) is looking to list 25% of its subsidiary Misr Life Ins. on the EGX during the second half of 2022, MIH Chairman Basel El Hini told us, confirming statements first picked up by Al Mal. El Hini had previously said that the IPO will take place by the end of this year or early next year, but naturally cautioned that the date of the IPO would depend on market conditions.

All aboard the state privatization program: El Hini’s statements come as state-owned fintech platform and payments infrastructure provider e-Finance opened retail subscriptions for its long-awaited IPO. We’re also anticipating IPOs from the likes of Banque du Caire and Ghazl El Mahalla. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said that up to five state companies will be offering shares on the EGX during the current fiscal year, which ends in June 2022.

Advisors: MIH has appointed NI Capital as its financial advisor, but is yet to select an investment bank to manage the offering.

FUNDS WATCH

Azimut Egypt wants USD 1 bn AUM here by 2024

Azimut Egypt is looking to launch three new funds and hit USD 1 bn in AUM by 2024, Azimut Egypt CEO Ahmed Abou El-Saad told Enterprise. The first of the three funds, a fixed income fund, is expected to launch by the end of this month. Azimut currently has EGP 9 bn worth of assets under management in Egypt, El-Saad said, 6 bn of which are for institutional investors as well as regional and European sovereign wealth funds.

Two more funds will follow by 1Q2022, El-Saad said, with one of the funds specializing in investing in Sharia-compliant debt instruments and equities. would not reveal what the funds would be investing in.

Azimut is still new to Egypt: Earlier this year, Azimut’s third Egypt-focused equity fund, ​AZ-Opp, raised EGP 71 mn during its initial subscription period. Azimut’s first two Egypt-focused funds, equity fund AZ Equity-Egypt and fixed income fund AZ-Savings, have both grown considerably since their launch in 2020, with AZ Equity-Egypt — which currently specializes in Egyptian stocks — reaching EGP 265 mn since its launch in March 2020.

INVESTMENT WATCH

Nile Misr Healthcare to allocate 30% of its capital to three African countries

Nile Misr Healthcare to allocate 30% of its capital to three African countries: Misr Capital and Elevate Private Equity’s USD 380 mn healthcare investment platform, launched in April, will invest 30% of its capital in Ghana, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire, the fund’s CEO Tarek Moharram told us, adding that the African expansion comes alongside a very strong presence in Cairo.

Egyptian investments are still in the works: Nile Misr has a number of Egyptian investments lined up but they’re all still under negotiation, Moharram told us, adding that the fund is in line to acquire a major radiology center among other opportunities.

About Nile Misr Healthcare: Misr Capital and Elevate Private Equity launched the fund in April, billing it as the biggest specialized fund of its kind in Egypt and Africa. Shortly after its launch, Moharram said the fund was doing due diligence on six potential investment targets including a major Egyptian diagnostic company. He added that Nile Misr Healthcare’s long-term ambition is to bring a number of its portfolio companies under the umbrella of a holding company, which would then be floated on the EGX.

COVID WATCH

The Health Ministry reported 837 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 831 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 312,413 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 37 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 17,695.

The Oil Ministry is getting serious about the state vaccination mandate: Unjabbed ministry employees will not be allowed to go to work unvaccinated starting 24 November, minister Tarek El Molla said in a statement. Employees must receive a jab at a ministry-run health center by then if they wish to access ministry premises, El Molla said.

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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

The airwaves were quiet last night. Lamees El Hadidi gave us her on-point macroeconomic two-cents, devoting a lengthy segment to explaining persisting global inflation and the worldwide fuel shortage (watch, runtime: 1:40 and runtime: 4:07). An explosion of demand for essential commodities is weighing on the global economy, translating into a gradual rise in inflation m-o-m here at home, with the September headline figure reported by Capmas yesterday hitting a 20-month high. You can watch the highlight of her report last night here (runtime: 3:09).

Lamees spoke to Arqam Capital’s Noaman Khalid, who echoed the global sentiment that the world is running the risk of persistent inflation that may linger for months to come (watch, runtime: 2:37 and runtime: 1:39).

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said the same to Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa, noting that supply and demand are currently unbalanced, and that this will “necessarily impact prices in Egypt” (watch, runtime: 21:00). The price increase has so far been across the board, affecting everything from basic commodities to energy to freight charges, Maait said.

The start of the academic year, meanwhile, continued to be a popular topic as the talking heads follow the first few days of business-as-usual at schools and universities since covid. El Hekaya’s Amr Adib took note of the throngs of school parents waiting outside schools to pick up their children (watch, runtime: 7:23).

The mysterious disappearance of what is being dubbed the “Sahel Bridge microbus” also got attention from the talking heads, with some saying the missing bus may have fallen off of a bridge in Embaba. Accounts of the incident were mixed, and the bus was yet to be found as of midnight. Adib and Moussa were both following the story (watch, runtime: 1:28 and runtime: 1:29).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

What type of morning is it you ask? A quiet one. The sole story of note in the international press is Egypt and the US ramping up mediation efforts with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in a bid to form a coalition government and begin the reconstruction process of the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Egyptian workers abroad will be able to get state-backed ins. policies here at home starting 2022 under a decision (pdf) by the Financial Regulatory Authority. The decision places a state body that had been responsible for ins. against traveling abroad in charge of tallying up expat workers and ins. them against injuries.

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

  • Fawry is partnering with Uber to allow Uber customers to recharge their Uber wallets via Fawry.
  • Pioneers Holdings — which will soon be rechristened Aspire Capital following the completion of a company demerger — plans to establish a microfinance arm dubbed Kheir, as well as a real estate finance company.
  • Natural gas sales made by state-owned EGAS increased 5% in FY2020-2021 to 2.34 tcf from 2.23 tcf last fiscal year.
  • The Civil Aviation Financial Holding Company (CIAF Holding) has launched its first EGP 100 mn investment fund. Subscription to the fund, dubbed “Tharwety Development Fund,” will be through Misr Capital and Misr Capital Fixed Income Brokerage.

PLANET FINANCE

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UAE gets first woman market regulator: Maryam Butti Al Suwaidi was appointed chief executive of the UAE’s market regulator — the Securities and Commodities Authority — in what is a significant step for the representation of women in finance in the Gulf, Bloomberg reports. The UAE market regulator is leading by example, having announced earlier this year that it would require all listed companies to include at least one female member on their boards, in a bid to boost gender diversity.

ACWA Power shares will start trading on the Tadawul this morning: Trading on Saudi Arabia’s first USD 1 bn IPO since Aramco will begin today, according to a Tadawul bourse statement. The company is selling an 11% stake at USD 14.9 per share, in what is the kingdom’s biggest IPO since Aramco’s mammoth debut last year, Bloomberg reports.

Noon is set to spend USD 2 bn on Gulf domination: The Dubai-based e-commerce platform expects to draw up to USD 2 bn in financing from investors including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF over the next three to four years, with an eye on growing its share of the Gulf e-commerce market, company founder Mohamed Alabbar tells Bloomberg. The inflows will go towards upgrading infrastructure and speeding up deliveries, Alabbar said, adding that the company is looking to expand into new countries in the region. The company declined to comment when we pressed it on whether some of the investment would be channeled into Egypt.

EM policymakers have their hands tied in the face of soaring demand and slowing growth: Emerging economies will have a harder time regulating growth and inflation than their advanced counterparts amid a slowdown in global post-covid recovery, the Financial Times reports. In EMs, “governments and central banks cannot easily boost demand without running into even more difficult inflationary pressures,” the FT writes. The Brookings-FT Tracking Index for the Global Economic Recovery (Tiger) showed declining growth in both advanced economies and EMs since March, with supply bottlenecks and a resurgence of the delta variant keeping growth muted.

Up

EGX30

10662.96

+1.2% (YTD: -1.7%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Down

Tadawul

11,566.02

-0.2% (YTD: 33.1%)

Up

ADX

7,730.02

+0.3% (YTD: 53.2%)

Up

DFM

2,773.53

+0.04% (YTD: 11.3%)

Down

S&P 500

4,391.34

-0.2% (YTD: 16.9%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,095.55

+0.3% (YTD: 9.8%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 82.39

+0.5%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 5.57

-2%

Down

Gold

USD 1,757.40

-0.1%

Down

BTC

USD 54,666.56

-0.3% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 1.2% yesterday on turnover of EGP 939 mn (39.3% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 1.7% YTD.

In the green: Egyptian Kuwait Holding-EGP (+5.6%), AMOC (+2.8%) and Mopco (+2.8%).

In the red: Rameda (-2.4%), GB Auto (-2.0%) and Orascom Development Egypt (-1.4%).

Asian markets are largely in the green this morning, while futures at dispatch time suggest European and US markets will come under selling pressure at the opening bell. Futures suggest the Dow, S&P, Nasdaq, DAX, CAC and FTSE will all open in the red later today. US crude and yields on 10-year US treasuries are both advancing in the pre-market.

DIPLOMACY

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed the latest on GERD during a meeting with South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir, who was in Cairo yesterday. The two also discussed rehabilitating several Egyptian-built electricity power plants in South Sudan, as well as working on promoting more joint projects between both countries, Ittihadiya said in a statement.

Kiir told El Sisi that “Ethiopia would have [re]started … GERD negotiations in October but has delayed it till now due to the war in the Tigray region,” Ahram Online reports.

More on the diplo front: El Sisi separately discussed cooperation in a sit down yesterday with Park Byeong-seug, the speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, while Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly talked across-the-board cooperation with his Yemeni counterpart, Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed.

AROUND THE WORLD

War of words between Taiwan and China escalates: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen signaled in a speech on Sunday that the country was not going to be forced into reunification with China. Taiwan has come under growing political and military pressure from China, as Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan. In a speech on Sunday, Tsai said that the small nation intends to bolster its national defense to ensure that it isn’t forced into a way of life that is neither liberal nor democratic. Tensions in the region have escalated since last month, when Australia, the UK and the US announced an enhanced trilateral security partnership (AUKUS), which will give Australia at least eight nuclear powered submarines powered by U.S. technology.

Also worth knowing this morning:

  • Iraqis headed to the polls yesterday to vote for a new parliament.
  • Iran plans to offer oil for investment and goods, in a plan that could rest on the reinstating of the 2015 nuclear agreement.
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Egyptian universities are going from strength to strength in the top international rankings systems: Egyptian universities are rising rapidly in international rankings systems, with Egypt giving a strong overall performance compared to regional peers this year in two of the three major global rankings systems. And Egypt’s private universities are also making strides in this year’s QS rankings system.

The three global rankings systems that really count are the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWO or the Shanghai Ranking). There is close to a consensus on this, both from sources we’ve previously spoken to, and online.

The Times Higher Education reports substantial gains for Egyptian universities over the last four years: Egypt’s universities are among the fastest-rising higher education institutions in the world out of all those tracked and ranked by the THE, the most recent THE World University Rankings show.

Just how much improvement are we talking about? The average score for Egyptian institutions is almost 11 points higher in the 2022 THE rankings, published in early September, than it was in the 2018 edition, THE rankings editor Ellie Bothwell notes. 35 Egyptian universities make the cut in the 2022 THE rankings, up from 21 in 2021.

Aswan University tops the 2022 list of Egyptian universities, in the 410-500 range, followed by Kafrelsheikh University (501-600), and Mansoura University (also 501-600). In 2021, the top Egyptian universities were Aswan (410-500), Mansoura (401-500), and Suez Canal University (501-600).

The improvement is driven by increased citations and more industry income (institutional income from industry players paying for research, Bothwell adds. Citations and research collectively comprise 60% of the THE ranking, we reported previously. Industry income seeks to measure how often universities help industry players with innovations, inventions and consultancy. It helps to assess how much businesses are willing to pay for research and a university’s ability to attract funding in the commercial marketplace, the THE rankings methodology notes.

Being more collaborative and international in our research process also makes a difference: Collaboration with international research partners, along “decades of policy-driven growth in scientific research and an increase in funding,” have spurred Egypt’s rapid improvement in THE rankings, says Manar Sabry, an expert on higher education in MENA cited by the THE. “Collaborative publications receive more citations and are of better quality, thus having a greater chance of being published in high impact journals,” she added. As we know, internationalization is a key part of Egypt’s overall higher education strategy.

Egypt’s also well represented in the newly-inaugurated THE Arab University Rankings: The Times Higher Education Arab University Rankings 2021, launched in July this year, ranks 125 universities across 14 countries in MENA. Egypt is the most represented country in the rankings, with 31 universities featured, followed by KSA, with 22. Zewail City of Science and Technology is ranked number 10, Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) is number 11, and Mansoura University is number 13. The methodology of THE Arab University Rankings is similar to the World University Rankings, but with more weight given to teaching, research, and international outlook, and less weight placed on citations.

And we were one of only two African countries to feature in the top 100 of the THE Impact Rankings 2021. The THE Impact Rankings — which assess university commitment to sustainability at an institutional, local, national, regional and global level — ranked Egypt’s Aswan University number 95 out of about 1,100 universities around the world. Aswan University was one of only two African universities to make it onto the top 100 global institutions for their work on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This third edition of the Impact Rankings was published in April.

QS now includes more Egyptian unis: The QS World University Rankings 2022, released in June, also noted strong gains from Egypt’s universities. 13 Egyptian universities are included among the total of roughly 1.3k universities from all over the world ranked by QS this year, up from 9 last year.

Private universities have also made a showing: BUE appeared in the QS rankings for the first time this year, coming in at 1001-1200. It joined GUC (1201+) as the only other private university from Africa to be included in this year’s rankings, notes a University World News article.

Private universities don’t generally top Egypt’s university representation in global ranking systems, we’ve noted previously — often because these systems are heavily weighted towards research output (where state institutions are ahead) rather than teaching quality and overall student experience.

But Egypt’s top performers did slip in the rankings in 2022. AUC fell to 445 from 411 and Cairo University to 571-580 from 561-570. Ain Shams remained steady at 801-1000. The 2022 rankings were based on a more extensive range of indicators than previous years, notes QS communications manager Serena Ricci — including the relationship between universities and graduate employability, and a university’s overall impact on global research.

Two Egyptian university business schools got a shoutout on the QS Global MBA Rankings 2022: The AUC School of Business tied for first position among QS-ranked business schools at universities in Africa, along with the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. AUC was ranked in the category of 111-120, out of some 286 global institutions featured in this year’s rankings. The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) was also listed as a top business school in Africa, placed in the category of 251+.

And particular Egyptian MBA programs also get a nod: The QS Business Masters Rankings 2022 evaluated five specialized master’s degrees usually offered at business schools globally. Among these, AASTMT’s master’s in management was included in the group of 151+ out of 159, and the AUC School of Business master’s in finance program featured in the 121-130 category, out of 179.

Your top education stories for the week:

  • Public schools and universities started their 2021-2022 academic year yesterday.
  • Around 70% of school staff have now been vaccinated, according to Health Minister Hala Zayed, who said that 95% of ministry workers and teaching staff in universities have received their vaccinations, along with 35% of university students.
  • Under-18s will begin to be vaccinated “very soon,” starting with high school students, who will likely be offered Pfizer doses.

CALENDAR

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

9-15 October (Saturday-Friday): Turathna Exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

11-17 October (Monday-Sunday): IMF + World Bank Annual Meetings.

12-14 October (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

13 October (Wednesday): Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, Washington DC.

Mid-October: The Egyptian Banking Institute, the Financial Services Institute, and I-Score will begin airing in mid-October the Digital Credit Scoring Webinar Series, a line-up of webinars on the banking sector and banking regulations.

18 October (Monday): E-Finance begins trading on EGX.

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.

28 October (Thursday): Second tranche of overdue subsidy payouts will be handed to eligible exporters.

30 October – 4 November (Saturday-Thursday): The first edition of Race The Legends, Egypt.

30-31 October (Saturday-Sunday): G20 Leaders’ Summit, Rome, Italy.

31 October (Saturday): World Cities Day, Luxor, 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.

15-21 November (Monday-Sunday): Intra-African Trade Fair 2021, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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, Egypt International Exhibition Centre.

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

8-10 December (Wednesday-Thursday): Global Forum for Higher Education and Scientific Research (GFHS), Cairo, Egypt.

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.

15 December (Wednesday): Deadline for joint stock companies and investment companies in Cairo to join e-invoicing platform.

16 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

19 February 2022 (Saturday): Public universities begin the second term of the 2021-2022 academic year.

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.

2H2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

**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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