Monday, 25 October 2021

e-Finance could IPO two subsidiaries, looks to aggressive expansion plan –CEO

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends — we hope you’re caffeinated and looking forward to a great day.

AUC will install Ahmed Dallal as its new president today in a ceremony you can watch online here starting 3pm CLT. Good for AUC for choosing Dallal, a polymath and accomplished academic leader with wide regional experience. He becomes the first Arab president of the storied university. But this is also a reminder to us all that no Egyptian has ever held that role. It beggars the imagination that in more than 100 years, no Egyptian (by heritage or citizenship) has ever had the credentials to be named AUC’s leader. Food for thought for AUC’s board when Dallal retires or moves on after what we hope will be a very successful run leading an important national institution.

SMART POLICY- A more accessible Cairo on the horizon: Officials are working on converting Cairo’s main streets to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities, starting with 28 streets right here in the People’s Democratic Republic of Maadi (which happens to be home to Enterprise World Headquarters), according to a Local Development Ministry statement. The statement did not detail whether the improvements would focus on accommodating persons with physical disabilities — such as widening sidewalks and installing ramps to make them more wheelchair friendly — or whether they might include other measures, such as tactile markings for the visually impaired.

MORE GOOD NEWS- Mo Salah became the highest-scoring African player in the Premier League’s history, after overtaking Didier Drogba with a goal against Manchester United last night that was the opening salvo for a hat-trick (watch, runtime: 1:29). The Egyptian king now has 107 goals to his name in the UK’s top flight, three ahead of Drogba.

MEANWHILE- The government would really like us (as in all 100 mn of us) to offer up names for the new administrative capital. Feeling creative? Throw in a suggested logo and slogan. You have until 18 November to make your submission at a purpose-built website.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD this morning? It’s a mixed bag. The Financial Times’ big read is a look at how “tensions” are rising over Saudi Arabia’s flexing of its economic muscles to strong-arm international companies into basing their regional HQs in the kingdom. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, suggests that ESG be damned, the surge in energy stocks is “testing investors who long avoided shares of fossil-fuel producers but are now missing out on the year’s top trade.”

The latest sign that the China Evergrande story is fizzling out: The embattled property developer has both made good on a debt payment (however late) and reportedly resumed work on projects in southern China, Reuters notes.

Could Evergrande kill the supercycle? Growing financial problems in China’s real estate market could put paid to speculation of a new global commodities supercycle, some emerging-market analysts tell the FT. Talk of a new supercycle has been a running theme for much of this year as metal prices surged to record highs, but an end to China’s construction boom, which has long driven growth in commodity-exporting countries, could put an end to the bull run, spelling trouble for exporters like Brazil and South Africa. “This points to a reversal in the bullish commodity price outlook that has favoured some emerging markets,” said one EM economist.

CLOSER TO HOME- Something is going on in Sudan, where four ministers have been arrested by “unidentified Sudanese military forces,” Reuters reports in a very short piece that cites as its source Alhadath TV.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Our fellow iSheep are going to be waiting a while for their new toys. While iPhone 13 pre-orders are now open at most Apple resellers in Cairo, shipping times for new MacBook Pros and Apple Watches on the other side of the Atlantic are now slipping into late-November through mid-December. Look for reviews starting this week as pre-orders ship.

MARKET WATCH- The TRY keeps tumbling: The currency took yet another hit after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he wants to kick out the ambassadors of 10 nations including the US, Canada, France, and Germany, according to Bloomberg. The TRY had already been battered by Erdogan once again sacking central bank officials, and took another blow after the central bank cut rates by 200 bps — instead of the anticipated 100 bps — last Thursday, in keeping with Erdogan’s “unorthodox” monetary policy views.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Women entrepreneurs have until 6 November to apply to a new accelerator program launched by NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa offering up to EGP 200k in grants, mentorship, and other business support. Founders and social enterprise leaders working in ICT, creative industries, or on projects that support gender equality are eligible to apply. The program, Rabeha, was launched in partnership with UN Women Egypt, the Egyptian National Council for Women, Global Affairs Canada, and other partners. You can apply here.

It’s another busy week for conferences, exhibitions, and other business events in Egypt:

  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) will hold a seminar on financing water infrastructure (pdf) tomorrow at the Nile Ritz Carlton.
  • A webinar on sustainable transport featuring keynote speeches by EU ambassador to Egypt Christian Berger and Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik will take place tomorrow at 10am. Register here.
  • The two-day Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, 27 and 28 October.
  • The Middle East Angel Investment Network’s Angel’s Oasis retreat runs from Wednesday to Friday in El Gouna, with separate pricing for in-person and virtual attendance.
  • Grassroots community leaders aged 25-38 have until this Wednesday to apply for the US State Department-backed Community Solutions Program. Applications can be submitted here.

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

enterprise

** 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: A recently-published World Bank paper is calling for global post-secondary education reform, proposing a policy framework focused on five principles — diversifying education systems; investment in new technologies, equity in access and financing; efficiency in using resources; and resilience in service delivery — to boost overall systemic resilience. We look at what Egypt’s been doing in each of these key areas.

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IPO WATCH

e-Finance could list two subsidiaries following IPO -chairman

Seems e-Finance has caught the listing bug: State-owned fintech firm e-Finance could follow up last week’s blockbuster IPO on the EGX with several fresh listings, according Al Mal, which quotes Chairman Ibrahim Sarhan as having said the company is considering selling shares in two of its subsidiaries, Khales and e-Cards. The company is preparing to split its digital payments subsidiary Khales into two companies, e-Hub and e-Retail, to qualify it for listing on the exchange, Al Mal quotes Sarhan as having added. Enterprise was unable to reach the company for comment by our deadline for dispatch. Al Mal also quotes Sarhan as saying the company could consider a dual listing at some point in the future.

The story comes a week after e-Finance raised EGP 5.8 bn (c.USD 370 mn) in its IPO on the EGX, making it the biggest listing in Egypt since Emaar Misr went public in 2015. The sale saw heavy demand from institutional and retail investors, potentially providing new momentum for further listings in the coming months.

The records for largest IPOs in Egypt are held by Telecom Egypt, which raised the equivalent of nearly USD 900 mn in 2005 and property developer TMG, which raked in nearly USD 850 mn when IPOed in 2007.)

A digital bank on the horizon? The company plans to apply for a digital banking license once the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issues the executive regulations of the Banking Act, Sarhan said, describing a move into digital banking as one of the company’s biggest ambitions. Local press reports claimed that the central bank would have the framework in place by the end of 2021.

And more detail on post-IPO expansion plans: Existing relationships in Libya, Iraq and Sudan will give e-Finance hints as to which markets to target in a planned expansion into Arab and African countries over the next 18 months, Sarhan said. The company is also planning to run e-ticketing and automated gates for 32 Egyptian tourism destinations through its e-Aswaq platform, while we should expect an announcement on new smart solutions projects for e-Cards at November’s Cairo ICT conference, according to Sarhan.

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE

Egypt could get EUR 1 bn for development from EU by 2027

Egypt could receive up to EUR 1 bn from the EU over the next six years to help drive “long-term socio-economic development and recovery,” EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said yesterday at Cairo Water Week, according to prepared remarks (pdf). The plan, which comes as part of the EU’s wider EUR 7 bn deployment of funds to the southern Mediterranean, sets water security as one of its top priorities. The EU will work with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to “support Egypt’s efforts to combat climate change, protect the environment and ensure sustainable food systems,” according to a press release (pdf).

The EU is one of the largest providers of development finance to Egypt, Varhelyi noted. Over the past 14 years, the EU and European financial institutions have contributed a total of EUR 3 bn to water projects in Egypt, with the EU alone contributing EUR 550 mn in grants. These funds have gone largely towards labor-intensive infrastructure projects to create jobs and contribute to poverty reduction.

Varhelyi also talked cooperation with El Sisi + Shoukry: The EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities for 2021-2027, cooperation against extremism and terrorism, and covid-19 vaccination efforts were among the topics Varhelyi discussed in a sit-down with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met separately with the commissioner to talk strategic cooperation, with the minister highlighting the need for the EU’s support in tackling Egypt’s widening trade balance deficit, and encouraging European investors to tap into Egypt’s “unique investment climate.” Health Minister Hala Zayed also met with Varhelyi to discuss vaccine manufacturing in Egypt.

ENERGY

Egypt on track to achieve self-sufficiency in fuel products by 2023 –El Molla

Egypt is on track to reach its target of fuel self-sufficiency by 2023 as large-scale upgrades to oil refineries and new facilities expected to cost USD 7 bn come online, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said in an interview yesterday with Bloomberg (read or watch, runtime: 4:45). Together, those projects are expected to add an annual production capacity of 6.2 mn tonnes of refined products, including gasoline and diesel, El Molla said on the sidelines of the Saudi Green Initiative conference in Riyadh. The plans come as part of the government’s newfound policy of refining crude locally instead of importing refined products, the minister added, noting that Egypt is “not a big oil producer, but … [is] doing great in refined products.”

(You can thank, in good measure, Ahmed Heikal’s Egyptian Refining Company for the improved local availability of refined product in recent times.)

A parallel plan involves capitalizing on the recent pick-up in LNG exports, with an eye to negotiate more long-term sales agreements to reduce the country’s reliance on the spot market, El Molla said. Some 60% of LNG exports are currently made through long-term contracts and 40% on a spot basis, he added.

Egypt’s strategy to become a regional energy hub is also pertinent due to Europe’s ongoing energy crisis and the global shortage of natural gas. The resulting “big spike [in natgas prices] is exceptional and not sustainable,” El-Molla said, but added that “all neighbors are looking at Egypt as a gas hub and as an outlet for their gas.”

A new pipeline in the works: Egypt is considering connecting its gas grid to Israel through a new USD 200 mn onshore pipeline through North Sinai, Israel’s energy minister announced last week. The pipeline could be operational within two years and is expected to boost exports by 3-5 bn cubic meters (bcm) annually, and could eventually boost supplies to Europe.

Egypt became a net exporter of natural gas and LNG in 2018 after the discovery of the supergiant Zohr gas field — the Mediterranean’s largest — allowed us to pull the plug on imports. LNG exports also picked up steam after we brought the Damietta liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant online earlier in the year following an eight-year hiatus. The revival of the plant was expected to boost Egyptian natgas supplies to Europe, at least 30 LNG shipments have made their way out of the revived plant and the Idku facility since then.

DEBT WATCH

Telecom Egypt secures USD 500 mn loan from international banks

Telecom Egypt has signed a USD 500 mn medium-term loan agreement with a syndicate of 11 international banks, the company announced in a statement (pdf) dated Thursday but posted on EGX screens yesterday. The state-owned firm will use the financing to restructure its short-term USD overdrafts into longer-term loans and to fund capital expenditure, according to the statement. TE did not disclose the tenor of the loan but anonymous sources said earlier this month that it would be repayable over six years.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and Mashreq Bank led the 11-strong syndicate of banks financing the loan as joint coordinators, underwriters, lead arrangers and bookrunners.

This is the first time the company has tapped international debt markets since 2018, when it signed a similar five-year, USD 500 mn loan with a 13-bank syndicate, also led by FAB and Mashreq Bank.

INVESTMENT WATCH

AAAID to invest USD 220 mn in Egypt’s agriculture sector

The Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID) could invest USD 220 mn in Egypt’s agriculture sector, according to Hapi Journal. The finance will be directed primarily towards small farmers, authority head Mohammed Bin Obaid Al Mazrooei said during a presser, without providing further information.

What’s the AAAID? The AAAID is a Sudan-based financial institution that aims to improve food security in the Arab world. Some 21 Arab countries are shareholders in the authority, with Sudan contributing two-thirds of its capital.

This investment would amount to a fifth of the institution’s 2019 capital, which according to its website amounted to USD 1.1 bn. Enterprise was unable to verify the report.

OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS- Saudi garment and textile company Alaseel is looking at Egypt as part of its ambitious regional expansion plan, CEO Ahmed bin Saleh Al Sultan told CNBC Arabiya. The company’s board recently approved a capital increase to SAR 400 mn (USD 106 mn) as it plans to boost the brand’s presence, primarily in Arab countries, Al Sultan added.

COVID WATCH

Pre-registering for a covid-19 vaccine in Egypt could soon be a thing of the past, Youm7 reports, citing a Health Ministry source. The ministry will reportedly do away with the online registration process and instead allow citizens to show up to a vaccination center and wait for their turn. The decision comes as Egypt continues to scale up its vaccination capacity, the source says. According to our last count, we have a total of 850 vaccination clinics established so far, with plans to bring the number up to 2k.

The Egypt Health Passport app is ready for launch, the same source told the newspaper. The app will act as a digital vaccine passport, with a traffic-light system to indicate vaccination status: Red for those who haven’t been jabbed, yellow for those who’ve received one dose, and green for the fully vaccinated. The passport will be viable for use in airports and could soon be needed for access to any large gathering such as football matches, as we’ve reported previously.

The Health Ministry wouldn’t confirm the news last night when El Hekaya’s Amr Adib rang up Health Ministry ICT advisor Aysam Salah El Din, who had had no definitive answer beyond noting that growing vaccine availability is increasingly making it possible for authorities to allow walk-ins for everyone (watch, runtime: 1:12).

The Health Ministry reported 886 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 881 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 324,619 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 43 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 18,285.

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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Coverage of Cairo Water Week was in the limelight on the airwaves last night. Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal took note of highlights from El Sisi’s speech during the event, in which the president gave a rundown of Egypt’s USD 50 bn water-saving plan and the country’s 2030 vision (watch, runtime: 7:33). Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Mousa weighed in on GERD (watch, runtime: 4:32), while Kelma Akhira’s Lamis El Hadidy ran a report recapping the launch of the event (watch, runtime: 2:42).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Feathers continues to make the rounds, with the Times and AFP noting Egyptian celebrities walking out of the film’s screening at El Gouna Film Festival last week to protest the film’s depiction of poverty in Egypt.

Also making headlines: Everything from classroom and teacher shortages (Haaretz) to prison writings of detained and imprisoned activists (France24) by way of a story that somehow manages to combine stolen antiquities and Kim Kardashian West (The Cut).

ALSO: A preserved mummy from the Old Kingdom suggests mummification techniques date 1k years earlier than we thought, which might require a revision of “all books about mummification and the history of the Old Kingdom.” (The Guardian)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Bestselling snack is getting (slightly) more expensive: Edita Food Industries raised the price of Molto by EGP 1 (pdf), and is now selling two ranges of the packaged croissants at EGP 3 and EGP 4, in a bid to improve its bottom line following the global boom in commodity prices. Their EGP 5 croissants were left unchanged.

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

  • ADIB Egypt gets green light for consumer finance arm: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank in Egypt has obtained regulatory approval to launch its consumer finance arm, ADI-Consumer Finance, according to a statement.
  • Egypt-Cyprus double taxation treaty ratified: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has ratified the 2019 agreement between Egypt and Cyprus to eliminate double taxation, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette.
  • Oaks Hotels will debut its brand in Egypt with a 400-room hotel in the new administrative capital by 2025.
  • The tourism and higher education ministries signed an MoU yesterday that will give international students access to the same discounted ticket prices as local students when visiting antiquity sights.
  • Misr Life Ins. signed an agreement with the Agricultural Bank of Egypt to provide its services through the bank’s branches in rural areas.

PLANET FINANCE

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Trading of Fertiglobe’s shares is due to begin tomorrow on the ADX, after the fertilizer producer raised some USD 795 mn in an IPO last week with an offering of a 13.8% stake at AED 2.55 apiece, according to its prospectus. The listing was 22x oversubscribed and made the company third largest by market cap on the ADX, valuing its shares at USD 5.8 bn.

VC firm STV hopes to raise at least USD 1 bn for its second Middle East-based tech fund, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources close to the company. Talks are ongoing between the the outfit founded by ex-Google exec Abdulrahman Tarabzouni — who has also backed Vezeeta and Careem — and potential investors, including regional sovereign funds and international pension funds and endowments, the sources said.

A modest 0.5 percentage point rise in bond yields could see bondholders lose as much as USD 2.6 tn, Bloomberg reports, warning that the threat would impact funds across all asset classes. A half-point increase in yields would see the Bloomberg US Treasury index to lose over USD 350 bn, while the Bloomberg Global Aggregate Index would lose around USD 2.6 tn. The concern comes after yields on 10-year US treasuries rose on speculation the US Federal Reserve would raise the cost of borrowing next year.

Nigeria’s central bank has introduced its digital currency, eNaira, making the African country the latest to launch a digital counterpart to its fiat currency in a bid to shore up its payments system.

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THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.5% yesterday on turnover of EGP 1.40 bn (8.1% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is up 3.1% YTD.

In the green: Abou Kir Fertilizers (+10.5%), Orascom Development Egypt (+10.0%) and Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (+4.0%).

In the red: Fawry (-6.3%), Pioneers Properties (-2.8%) and Gadwa Industrial Development (-2.6%).

Outside of Japan (where the Nikkei is down), Asian benchmarks are just barely clinging to the green at the start of the trading week. Futures at dispatch time suggest European shares will also open (weakly) in the green later this morning, while Wall Street looks set to face selling pressure at the opening bell.

DIPLOMACY

Ethiopia’s attitude toward the GERD crisis could have a destabilizing effect on the whole region, Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs Sherif Eissa said yesterday at Cairo Water Week, according to Al Shorouk. The Nile Basin country had previously built three dams on its part of the Omo River, threatening a drought at the connected Lake Turkana in Kenya. Its “usual practices” have also involved projects over Somalia’s Jubba River that severely impacted water levels, Eissa said.

IN OTHER DIPLOMACY NEWS- Egypt, Russia joint military drills kick off: Egyptian forces are taking part alongside their Russian counterparts in the customary Protectors of Friendship military drills, which wrap up on Friday, the Armed Forces said in a statement.

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Is Egypt meeting the World Bank’s prescriptions on making post-secondary education better? The World Bank recently published a paper (pdf) pushing for tertiary education (post-secondary education, including higher ed, vocational training, and technical colleges) reform. The covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated global challenges faced by countries looking to improve their post-secondary education, and showing the need to invest strategically in post-secondary education — for economic growth and to better prepare for the next systemic shock — the paper argues.

For Egypt, the issues highlighted by the paper are becoming more critical, thanks to our booming population — set to balloon to 192 mn by 2052 from an estimated 102 mn. Egypt’s post-secondary education enrollment stood at 35.1% in 2017, just below the 2017 MENA average of 41.1%.

Is Egypt’s post-secondary education up to WB standards? The paper sets out a policy framework, focused on five principles, to boost systemic resilience. Today, we look at what Egypt’s doing in the five areas it identifies as key.

1- Diversifying education systems: In tandem with supporting university programs (public and private) policymakers should be looking at strengthening education in areas including technical and vocational education, the report says.

Egypt’s already making technical education a priority: The government plans to launch six new technical colleges in FY2021-2022, while CIRA’s launching its private sector technical college in September 2023. As of June 2021, 36 private universities and tech institutions offered apprenticeship programs, up from 18 in 2014. And a local accreditation authority for technical learning, vocational schools and training programs was set up last year.

2- Investment in new technologies: Covid-19 hastened the global adoption of new tech, but unequal access contributes to widening equity gaps for post-secondary students, the report notes.

This was already in the pipeline prior to covid: Pre-pandemic, the government was already trying to promote online learning, launching the Egyptian Knowledge Bank (EKB) in 2014 to provide access to academic resources. When covid hit, the Higher Education Ministry was very forward-leaning in moving to online learning, USAID said.

Covid boosted Egypt’s use of online learning platforms, though its reliability was often questioned. Egypt’s educational institutions upped their investment in online learning platforms following March closures, which university students told us were reasonably effective when it came to content delivery and assignment setting. They did complain, however, that they aren’t sufficiently interactive and make it difficult to check understanding with professors. Tech unreliability was frequently cited as an impediment to learning, with some students saying online platforms could be too complicated or subject to disturbances. They did however like the flexibility of online learning and were generally in favor of online exams.

And may have helped accessibility: Some programs — like university career centers — actually expanded their reach during the pandemic. And education providers were driven to look more closely at offering fully-online degrees.

3- Equity in access and financing: Tackling inequality in post-secondary education means addressing issues including socioeconomic, gender and disability divisions, levels of enrollment, and differences in labor market success, the report tells us.

Egypt’s improving enrollment rates and geographic access: Some 3 mn students are currently enrolled in Egypt’s higher education institutions, up 30.4% from 2.3 mn in 2014. Increasingly, universities are opening in multiple governorates, bucking the trend of Cairo-focused expansion.

Scholarship programs are becoming more widespread: USAID provided scholarships to some 4k Egyptians in 40 years, it estimates. Its dual program with AUC funds scholarships at several Egyptian universities, targeting students from low-income backgrounds, and aiming for a 50-50 male-female ratio, and more inclusion of people with disabilities.

But we still face labor market divisions and skills mismatch: Though almost equal numbers of Egyptian women and men graduate with STEM degrees, many fewer women pursue STEM careers. People with disabilities face exclusion throughout Egypt’s education system, reflected in low workplace participation.

4- Efficiency in using resources: The report emphasizes the importance of not only having resources, but using them effectively. This could involve providing more targeted financing, better quality assurance and human resource management, the report tells us.

Egypt’s been upping its education spending: The government was set to invest EGP 424 bn (c.USD 26 bn) in education and scientific research in FY2020-2021, and reportedly spent EGP 90 bn on higher education alone, we reported. The FY2021-2022 budget will see total spending on education alone reach EGP 388.1 bn, an increase from previous years.

And working to pool and distribute its resources: Egypt’s allocating more resources to outlying governorates, with new private and non-profit universities opening across the country. The government reportedly plans to build 14 private non-profit universities in different locations within two years. And the push to get new technical colleges and vocational schools off the ground has had private sector buy-in.

5- Resilience in service delivery: Covid-19 has shown the post-secondary education system needs strengthening to better withstand shocks, the paper argues. This includes building better infrastructure for distance and blended learning, enhancing funding sustainability, and providing more teacher training.

Egypt’s ICT infrastructure withstood the crisis reasonably well: Public and private sectors boosted capacity during the 2020 lockdown, and the government’s 2012 EGP 37 bn transition plan to connect c.34 mn homes to fiber optic cables is currently 90% complete. Egypt’s internet penetration and speed grew in 2020, as did overall use of smart devices.

But we’re not yet there with funding sustainability: Funding for higher education institutions — even AUC — is challenging. With tuition fees also rising, and loans a challenge, overall higher education financing appears increasingly less sustainable. It’s hard to quantify the impact of this on systemic resilience — especially in notoriously weak areas, like teacher training — but it’s unlikely to be good.


Your top education stories for the week:

  • CIRA, Al Ahly Capital to launch EGP 2 bn education investment company: Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development (CIRA) and Al Ahly Capital Holding (the investment arm of state-owned NBE) have agreed to launch a new company to invest in middle-income education providers.
  • SFE education sub-fund coming soon: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) is planning to launch two new sub-funds, with one focused on education and the other on manufacturing and distribution chains.
  • The House of Representatives approved the agreement signed between Egypt and the French Development Agency (AFD) in June to re-establish a new campus for the French University in Egypt. The agreement, which was approved by the cabinet in July, consists of a EUR 12 mn loan and a EUR 2 mn grant from the AFD.

CALENDAR

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.

23-28 October (Saturday-Thursday): A high-level delegation of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will visit Egypt to meet with government officials and travel to IFAD-supported projects in the country.

24-28 October (Sunday-Thursday): Cairo Water Week, Cairo, Egypt.

26 October (Tuesday): EIB seminar (pdf) on water project financing in Egypt. Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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.

1-12 November (Monday-Friday): 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Glasgow, United Kingdom.

2-3 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

6 November (Saturday): Deadline to apply to Nahdet El Mahrousa’s Rabeha, a women entrepreneurship accelerator program.

7-10 November (Sunday-Wednesday): Cairo ICT 2021, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo.

8 November (Monday): Egypt CSR Forum, International Citystars, Cairo.

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

16-17 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Africa fintech summit, Cairo.

25-27 November (Thursday-Saturday): RiseUp Summit, Cairo, Egypt.

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.

7 January 2022 (Friday): Coptic Christmas.

27 January 2022 (Tuesday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

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.

2 April 2022 (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

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

24 April 2022 (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday (holiday for Coptic Christians).

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day.

May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

2 May 2022 (Monday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

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.

30 June 2022 (Thursday): June 30 Revolution Day, national holiday.

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

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

6 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

18-20 October 2022 (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

**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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