Sunday, 14 November 2021

AM — Politicians failed us all on climate in Glasgow, but they’ll get another chance in Egypt next year

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends. We’re finding it a bit difficult to be chipper this morning after politicians the world over failed us all — the best they could do in Glasgow at COP26 was to agree that we need to be more ambitious about climate change. The saving grace: After two weeks of torrid newsflow, things are a bit quiet this morning. Expect things to pick up later today — we’re more than a month away from the end-of-year news slowdown.

Global leaders are patting themselves on the backs this morning having reached an agreement at COP26 that looks to merely be rearranging the chairs on the Titanic at a slightly faster pace. Although we do now have a global agreement for phasing outphasing down” coal use, the conference doesn’t seem to have achieved any of its key goals: agreeing to cut emissions in half by the end of the decade, finalizing a financial package to help the developing world transition away from fossil fuels, and crucially, agreeing a roadmap that would limit warming to 1.5°C .

Politicos failed us — and the planet. Full stop. Amid the talk of “increased ambition” and “accelerated action,” it is the headline of the final statement that is most revealing: “COP26 keeps 1.5°C Alive.” We still have a chance at averting a global climate catastrophe, but right now we’re trying to get away with doing the bare minimum. “We did not achieve [our] goals at this conference … We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

The story is everywhere in the foreign press this morning — and we have more in this morning’s news well, below: AP | Reuters | NYT | Washington Post | CNBC | FT | Bloomberg | WSJ | BBC.

Are you a CEO, C-suite officer or senior exec? Today would be a good day to ask what you can do to help cut your company or firm’s environmental footprint — whether that’s allowing folks to keep working from home two days a week or having a policy on A/C and light use. Any one of these four primers is a good place to start if this is your first time thinking this through (here | here | here | here).

MEANWHILE- The next round of strategic talks with the US could be hosted in Egypt in 2023, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters in Washington last week, according to Al Ahram. Shoukry commended the Biden administration for resuming the talks — which did not take place while Agent Orange was in office — so early in his presidency. Shoukry’s comments followed the conclusion of the two-day US-Egypt strategic dialogue, the first such meeting between the two countries in six years.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Egypt made it to the World Cup qualifying play-off after clawing their way back to a draw in their penultimate group stage game against Angola over the weekend. The Pharaohs staged a dramatic comeback in Luanda after Angola took a shock 2-0 lead in the first half before Mohamed Elneny pulled one back in the dying minutes of the first half. Akram Tawfik equalized for the visitors in the 58th minute, ensuring that Egypt will qualify top of Group F, making them the fifth team to make the play-offs after Morocco, Senegal, and Mali. The play-offs will take place in March.

We’ll know the details of our very own, Egyptian-made covid jab any minute now. Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar will hold a presser later today to discuss the details of the our locally made Covi Vax going to the clinical trials stage, Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:15).

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

We’re getting a royal visit this week: British royal family members Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be in Cairo on Thursday and Friday (18-19 November). It’s the heir to the British crown’s first visit here since 2006 — and the first overseas jaunt by a member of the royal family since the pandemic hit. Charles will meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Al Azhar’s Grand Imam, Ahmed El Tayyeb, among other government officials. Expect climate change to be high on the prince’s agenda given his personal interest in the topic and Egypt’s selection as host of COP 27 next year.

Follow Charles and Camilla during their visit: You can check out the prince’s Clarence House website or Twitter feed or check in on UK Ambassador to Egypt Gareth Bayley’s Twitter.

All unvaccinated public sector workers won’t be allowed into their workplaces from tomorrow. If you still haven’t been jabbed, you’ll be required to take a PCR test every week in order to get access to your place of work. University students will also be unable to access campuses without proof of vaccination.

From tomorrow, car dealers will have to comply with new consumer protection rules requiring price stickers to be displayed on vehicles. Companies that could be fined up to EGP 2 mn if they don’t comply with the rules.

The two-day Africa Fintech summit kicks off this Tuesday, 16 November. The summit looks at innovation in the fintech ecosystem, venture capital and other forms of investing, and will also discuss the rise of healthtech.

The International Finance Corporation is hosting an invite-only forum in Cairo on Wednesday with a focus on sustainable finance in Africa. Egyptian speakers include Central Bank of Egypt First Sub-Governor May Abulnaga, the Financial Regulatory Authority’s Sina Hbous and CIB’s Dalia Abdel Kader.

Comesa summit next week in Sharm: Egypt will host the 2021 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) summit on 23 November in Sharm El Sheikh.

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

MARKET WATCH-

Prepare for volatility in the US bond market, which is already displaying withdrawal symptoms as the Federal Reserve prepares to begin unwinding its huge bond-buying programme, Bloomberg says. Unexpectedly high inflation data on Wednesday led to the worst 30-year bond auction in a decade and the yield on two-year treasuries experiencing its biggest upward move since March 2020. Now, a measure of liquidity in the treasury market is suggesting that trading conditions are at their most turbulent since the market seized during the initial wave of covid.

enterprise

CLIMATE

As COP26 winds down, we’re officially named as next year’s climate summit hosts

Egypt has officially been selected as host of the COP27 climate summit, which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh in November 2022, according to a statement from the Environment Ministry. The decision was announced at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which concluded yesterday. We had first gotten wind of Egypt’s candidacy in September, after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced that Egypt would bid to host COP27 and we were selected as the sole nominee in October.

COP27 will bring focus to Africa: The conference must be hosted by an African country in 2022, based on a regional rotation system. Next year’s summit is seen as a chance for African nations to drive home their main message: that poorer countries, who are facing the sharp end of the consequences of climate change despite being least responsible for the situation we’re all in now, need a serious helping hand if they are to adapt, mitigate risk, and meet ambitious net-zero goals. COP26 already saw tensions arise on this front after developed nations fell short of their pledge to provide USD 100 bn in aid annually to aid developing countries’ green transition.

Our potential as a mediator between African and developed states on climate aid was touched on in a meeting between Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad and US Climate Envoy John Kerry in Glasgow, where Kerry congratulated Egypt on hosting next year’s conference, according to a ministry statement.

Another sign that Egypt is fast becoming Africa’s de-facto spokesperson on climate: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on the phone with El Sisi as COP negotiations came down to the wire on Friday morning, according to a UK government statement. The pair discussed the progress of negotiations and agreed that “a final push was needed in the talks to drive progress across adaptation, mitigation and finance,” with Johnson also acknowledging Egypt’s role as a ‘“positive force for climate action in the region.”

Multilateral climate finance loomed large for us as COP26 wrapped up: International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat headed a high-level dialogue on climate finance in the final week of COP26, with the aim of kickstarting talks on an international framework to remove barriers to private-sector participation, according to a ministry statement. The meeting was attended by representatives of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, HSBC, and CIB, among others.

And the private sector is a key partner: Al Mashat and Planning Minister Hala El Said both met separately with Stephen Moss, HSBC’s CEO for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, to discuss green finance, according to ministry statements. At the top of the agenda were blended financing for green projects and encouraging private-sector commitment to ESG standards. Al Mashat also met with representatives of the AfDB to discuss support for local projects on adaptation. The ministry is currently working on a new five-year strategy for cooperation with the AfDB, the statement added.

What have we signed on to? Egypt is a signatory of the Paris Agreement and the updated COP26 pledge. But we haven’t submitted any binding targets setting out specific emissions reductions, known as Nationally Determined Contributions in UN-speak. That said, the government is aiming to increase our renewable energy capacity to cover 42% of electricity needs by 2030, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla announced at COP26, shortening the timeline for our clean energy transition by five years. The Environment Ministry also launched its 2050 climate strategy on the sidelines of the conference, though it was light on policy specifics and targets. And we did sign on to several agreements, along with at least 22 other countries, to phase out the use of coal. Despite our high profile EV plans, Egypt did not sign on to a new COP26 agreement between 24 governments and leading car manufacturers committing them to selling only zero-emission new vehicles by 2040 “or earlier.”

And what will be our role moving forward? We should get a more concrete idea of what hosting COP27 will entail in terms of responsibilities come the spring, when a legally-binding document known as the Host Country Agreement (HCA) is set to be released, according to a 2020 UN guide for COP hosts (pdf). The HCA sets out the preparations and arrangements required from the host country for the conference, including budgets and staffing plans. Meanwhile, a clause included in the draft COP26 pledge that could have seen Egypt play a key role as COP27 host in deciding whether emissions reductions would be reviewed on an annual basis has been scrapped in the final version, according to Reuters.

DEBT WATCH

More green finance for SMEs, courtesy of the EBRD

Banque Misr in line for more EBRD climate financing: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could soon sign off on a USD 100 mn facility to state-owned Banque Misr to finance local SMEs working on green projects, according to the lender’s website. The state-owned bank will on-lend the money to small businesses in manufacturing as well as the retail, transport and agricultural sectors that use “climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies,” it says. The EBRD is scheduled to give its final approval for the unsecured financing on 15 December. The institution has been committing more financing to green projects in Egypt and elsewhere in the developing world under its recently-announced Green Cities Compact scheme.

The EBRD has been particularly active in SME lending for green projects, with its green economy financing facility (GEFF), which has been up and running in Egypt since 2017 and has channeled some EUR 140 mn to green investments by private companies through local banks. An EUR 150 mn extension, financing business in agriculture, construction and manufacturing, was announced in November 2020. The EBRD greenlit a USD 25 mn loan to the National Bank of Kuwait Egypt in April, a USD 50 mn loan to QNB AlAhli in June, and had said it was considering a USD 22 mn loan for green projects to Ahli United Bank Egypt.


OTHER DEBT NEWS- Tatweer Misr will borrow EGP 3.5 bn to finance its Monte Galala and Bloomfields projects, CEO Ahmed Shalaby said, according to Amwal Al Ghad. Shalaby told CNBC Arabia last week that the company will borrow that amount in January.

EDITOR’S NOTE- This story was corrected on 14 November to remove the National Bank of Egypt and AAIB as the two banks providing Tatweer with the loan. 

REAL ESTATE + MINING

Ora plans USD 1 bn Africa expansion + Sawiris pivots to battery metals

Naguib Sawiris’ Ora Developers is planning to invest at least USD 1 bn over the next five years to increase its footprint in Africa, the Egyptian bn’aire told the National on the sidelines of a real estate expo in Dubai last week. This includes building a seven-star hotel in Senegal and developing resorts in several countries across the continent, including Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan, he said. Ora is also eyeing Pakistan, with a residential project in Islamabad already in the works and a high-rise project in Karachi on its radar.

Sawiris trims gold exposure, eyes battery metals: The celebrity bn’aire is looking to invest in battery metals and reduce his exposure to gold, he told several media outlets during the conference. Sawiris’ La Mancha gold fund will offload its controlling stake in Canadian miner Golden Star Resources and reinvest the proceeds into metals used to make batteries — raw materials that investors expect to experience a boom in the coming years as the global auto industry transitions away from fossil fuels to electric vehicles. “The new funds and the cash coming from the sale will be reinvested,” Sawiris said in an interview with Reuters Thursday. “We’re trying a bit to diversify into other metals near gold. We're looking at nickel and zinc and titanium and lithium — battery materials.”

Golden Star said on 1 November that it had reached an agreement with the Chinese firm to sell the company for USD 470 mn. La Mancha holds a 33.4% stake in the company, which according to our calculation should net it almost USD 160 mn when the transaction closes in January.

Sawiris has been quite the gold bug in recent years, announcing in early 2020 that he had invested half of his capital into gold and earlier this year setting up his USD 1.4 bn gold fund. “I am just trying to hedge my gold position a bit,” Sawiris separately told Bloomberg. “I have an extremely high exposure to gold.”

La Mancha’s Altus Strategies should soon acquire licenses for another five gold exploration concessions in the Eastern Desert, Sawiris told Reuters. The company acquired four exploration licenses earlier this year in the first government bid round under new, more investor-friendly terms, and bid for another five in a second round held this year.

Also from Sawiris:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint: Sawiris’ mining companies will transition to using only solar power and is considering investing in a renewable energy fund, he told the National, without disclosing further details.
  • Sawiris isn’t fazed by political turmoil in Sudan: “We are not frightened by the political risks or the turmoil there, and we are very keen to come in,” he told the newswire. Sudan is one of Africa’s biggest gold producers and is working to open up its gold trade, Reuters notes.
  • BTC who? Sawiris has no intention of entering the crypto market, despite some saying gold has lost out to BTC. “I’m still very bullish [on gold] and it is a safe haven. People now are comparing BTC with gold; it’s a wrong comparison,” he told the National. Crypto is too volatile and too much of a “speculative” investment, especially since regulations for crypto are still taking shape.
  • Possible exit from Euronews? The Sawiris family’s Media Globe Networks is planning to divest its 88% stake in Euronews between now and the beginning of 2022, the b’naire told the National.

COVID WATCH

14 mn Egyptians are now fully vaccinated -Abdel Ghaffar

A quarter of the population has now had at least one dose of a covid vaccine, according to figures shared by Higher Education Minister and Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar in an interview on El Hekaya last night (watch, runtime: 21:20). Some 26.8 mn have received their first dose while 14 mn people are now fully vaccinated against the virus, the minister said.

Another 14 mn vaccines should arrive in the country before the month is out — and it’s a cocktail of all our favorite vaccines. Around 9.6 mn of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 2.3 mn AstraZeneca jabs, and 1.5 mn Pfizer doses will reach our shores over the coming 2.5 weeks, Abdel Ghaffar said.

Members of the public can now get jabbed while waiting for the metro, with interchange stations and stations being outfitted with covid-19 vaccination kiosks, the Cairo Metro said on Thursday. Two kiosks where anyone can register for and take covid-19 vaccines have already been installed at Sadat Station, with plans to set up several more.

The Health Ministry’s vaccination passport app could become available without charge, Abdel Ghaffar told Amr Adib. He explained that until then, physical vaccination certificates are still accredited so people are not obliged to download the app and pay the fee. Many users have complained in reviews on the Google Play and Apple’s App Store about the need to pay a fee to access their vaccination data.

The ministry has another app in the works for people coming to Egypt: Arrive in Egypt will soon be available for those coming to Egypt from abroad. The application will use either an uploaded vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test and convert it into an QR code to facilitate visitors’ movement into the country.

The Health Ministry reported 929 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 909 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 343,026 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 69 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 19,435.

COMMODITIES

Gov’t to pay 13% more for local wheat next year

Local wheat prices to rise 13% for gov’t next year: The government will pay 13% more per ardib of locally grown wheat in 2022 according to the purchase prices that have been set by the supply, agriculture and finance ministries before planting for the new season begins. A joint statement from the ministries on Thursday said that the government would pay EGP 800-820 per ardib next year, up from EGP 705-725 this year.

Global wheat prices have spiralled this year, reaching new 10-year high as a combination of poor weather, surging fertilizer prices and export tariffs squeeze supply. Egypt — the world’s biggest importer of wheat — is facing a steeper import bill as its international tenders deliver the steepest prices in at least five years. The government is preparing to start reducing bread subsidies to soften the impact on the state budget, and is looking to prevent further damage with hedging contracts.

EARNINGS WATCH

CIB’s net income surged 62% y-o-y to EGP 3.81 bn in 3Q2021 as net interest income of EGP 6.5 bn contributing to 7% year-on-year growth in revenues to EGP 7.14 bn, the bank said in its quarterly financials (pdf) and earnings release (pdf). The nation’s largest private-sector bank saw continued momentum in loan growth, with local currency loans seeing a record growth of 26% over 2020. CIB recorded a capital adequacy ratio of 32.1% by the end of the quarter, above the minimum regulatory requirement.

Commenting on the results, management said the bank “hit a new record in the third quarter of 2021, with remarkable bottom line growth compared to last year.” CIB’s performance was buoyed by resilient solvency and balance sheet fundamentals. Management also noted that “CIB’s prudent risk management and healthy coverage” meant the bank successfully managed “a significant slowdown in provision accumulations” after banking bottom lines in Egypt were affected as many lenders set aside provisions to protect against bad loans. Loan growth and moderated provisions helped the bank mitigate against expected and unexpected losses, and maintain its prime market position, management noted.

Looking forward: “Management remains positive about CIB’s capability to sustain its leading market position, drawing largely on its unique coverage and its adaptable balance sheet structure, which would allow for stable navigation through unforeseen market dynamics,” the earnings release said.


The Housing and Development Bank’s net income inched up to EGP 1.43 bn in the first nine months of 2021, up 0.7% from the same period last year, according to a bourse filing (pdf). The bank’s interest income jumped 18% y-o-y to EGP 5.1 bn during the period.

MOVES

The Finance Ministry has appointed Ramy Youssef (LinkedIn) as its new assistant minister of finance for tax policy and reforms, according to a ministry statement. Youssef was previously the head of the tax policy unit and takes on this new role as the ministry continues its digital overhaul of the Egyptian tax system.

Mohamed El Mikawi (LinkedIn) has been appointed non-executive chairman of Amer Group, succeeding founder Mansour Amer, who stepped down from his position over the weekend, according to Youm7. Mikawi joins the firm after almost two years serving as the CEO of real estate developer City Edge.

enterprise

ENTERPRISE+: LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Last night’s talk shows took us to Paris to recap the conference on Libya: Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan (watch, runtime: 10:09) was live from the French capital giving us the inside scoop on the conference and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meetings and talks with French officials during his trip to Paris. Radwan explained that all those taking part in the conference agreed on the necessity to withdraw foreign forces from Libya. Radwan told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 8:53) that there is hope in achieving the outcomes of the Paris conference. Al Hayah Al Youm also covered the story (watch, runtime: 2:45).

The Night of the Scorpions in Aswan received widespread coverage last night:

More than 500 people in Aswan have been injured by scorpions after heavy rains swept through the town, carrying the poisonous arachnids into the streets. A statement from the Health Ministry said earlier that three people had died from scorpion stings, which Aswan Governor Ashraf Attiya denied in an interview with Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi last night (watch, runtime: 6:58). The story also received coverage from Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 11:40), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 7:33), El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 5:22) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 34:34).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Aswan’s Night of the Scorpions is getting attention in the foreign press this morning: Three people have died and more than 500 were injured in Aswan after torrential rains brought scorpions into the streets of the city on Friday, the Health Ministry said yesterday (a report the governor of Aswan denied on talk shows last night, above). Medical centers received additional doses of anti-venom and authorities are recommending people stay home. (BBC | Sky News | CNN | Asharq | Al Arabiya)

Also turning heads overseas:

  • The Biden administration is not being as harsh as expected on Egypt’s human rights record, although it did withhold military aid. (Washington Post)
  • Jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah’s latest book, You Have Not Yet Been Defeated, continues to garner interest for its “heartbreaking, hopeful” message. (The Guardian)
  • Cairo’s modern architecture in the spotlight in NYC: An exhibition organized by Egypt-born Mohamed El Shahed at New York’s Center for Architecture depicts 20 demolished, existing, and future architectural projects in Cairo as a survey of modern architecture in the city. (ArchDaily)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

The Arabian Gulf Investments Company has acquired undisclosed stakes in three Egyptian companies, including mobile payments company EasyCash, according to a company statement. The company, which also acquired shares in the Egyptian Company for Embedded Systems and Industry and Health Technology for Advanced Technology and Public Health, is eyeing more Egyptian investments in the real estate, services and logistics, said Chairman Khalifa Saif Al Muhairbi.

Also worth noting:

  • Universal health ins. is coming to Suez: The government will begin trialling the universal health ins. system in Suez Governorate early next year. The system, which is already up and running in Port Said, Ismailia and South Sinai, will be gradually rolled out across the country over the next 10 years.
  • Hola, Luxor: EgyptAir began operating a weekly flight between Luxor and Madrid yesterday.
  • Cabinet isn’t happy with state bodies’ unilateral contract-making: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly directed state institutions not to sign contracts with financial implications without his approval and a review from the Central Agency For Organization and Administration and the Finance Ministry, according to a circular to state agencies. The directive came after several unnamed state bodies reportedly signed contracts without the cabinet's approval.

PLANET FINANCE

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More spin-offs in big corporate-verse: Johnson & Johnson and Toshiba are the latest to announce a bid to streamline operations, with both companies saying on Friday they plan to split into smaller, more focused firms, according to the Washington Post and Reuters.

For J&J: One branch will be home to its core pharma operations and its medical device business, which includes the lucrative vaccine manufacturing branch. Another will focus on the business of household brands including Tylenol, Listerine and Band-Aid.

For Toshiba: The move will see three new entities formed to house each of the Japanese giant’s energy and infrastructure divisions, hard disk drives and semiconductor, and flash-memory chips divisions. The latest high-profile splits are signalling that investors are increasingly coming to value smaller, more focussed businesses over conglomerates.

The trend is gathering steam: Last week General Electric said it would break up into three separate entities by early 2024. The massive organization will spin off its healthcare division in early 2023, before merging its renewables, power equipment and digital businesses to be spun off in early 2024, while keeping the remaining company, GE Aviation, focussed on the engine-manufacturing arm.

Also worth noting in the financial press:

  • Dubai toll system to IPO on the DFM: Dubai is looking to list its automated road toll system that operates without toll booths or barriers — Salik — on the Dubai Financial Market as part of a move to diversify listed government companies, Finance Minister Maktoum Bin Mohammed said on Twitter yesterday.
  • Musk sells USD bns of Tesla stock: Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to be doing as he promised, and has sold USD 6.9 bn worth of his shares in the company over the past week, Reuters reports, citing a regulatory filing. The bn’aire last week said he would sell 10% of his shares if his Twitter followers voted for him to do so. Having sold 6.36 mn shares last week, he needs to offload another 10 mn to keep his promise.

Up

EGX30

11573.14

+0.8% (YTD: +6.7%)

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

Up

Tadawul

11,899

+0.4% (YTD: +36.9%)

Up

ADX

8,286

+0.7% (YTD: +64.2%)

Up

DFM

3,141

+1.1% (YTD: +26.0%)

Up

S&P 500

4,683

+0.7% (YTD: +24.7%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,348

-0.5% (YTD: +13.7%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 82.17

-0.8%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 4.79

-7%

Up

Gold

USD 1,869

+3.0%

Up

BTC

USD 64,255

+0.3% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.8% at Thursday’s close on turnover of EGP 894.7 mn (39.9% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net buyers. The index is up 6.7% YTD.

In the green: Medinet Nasr Housing (+11.6%), Heliopolis Housing (+5.6%) and Aspire Capital (+5.1%).

In the red: Speed Medical (-2.6%), GB Auto (-1.5%) and Abou Kir Fertilizers (-0.7%).

DIPLOMACY

Global powers threatened to impose sanctions on anyone that attempts to disrupt plans to hold elections in Libya at an international conference in Paris last week. The meeting, attended by 27 countries — among them France, Libya, Egypt, Germany and Italy — was called to agree a roadmap for national elections to take place in the war-torn country next month, and came as the nation’s interim government struggles to agree on a electoral process amid growing factional disputes.

El Sisi calls for action on foreign mercenaries: In a speech at the meeting, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi renewed calls for all foreign fighters to be withdrawn from Libya and urged world powers to condemn nations that continue to deploy troops inside the country. A UN-sponsored agreement last month is attempting to gradually withdraw foreign fighters, and ahead of the meeting, forces in the east of the country agreed to repatriate 300 troops from their territory, according to Reuters.

Also from the summit: El Sisi held talks with French President Emmanual Macron and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire ahead of the meeting, discussing bilateral ties and French investment in the Egyptian economy. He also reiterated Egypt’s support for Tunisia’s new government during a meeting with the country’s new prime minister, Najla Bouden, who was installed by President Kais Saied in September after dissolving parliament and suspending most of the constitution.


Egypt and Tanzania hold talks on the GERD: El Sisi and Tanzanian president Samia Hassan agreed to “increase coordination” between the two countries over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

Back to the negotiating table? Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry hinted last week at a possible resumption of negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over GERD. “There are ongoing meetings with the African Union to push for a return to negotiations,” Shoukry said.

El Sisi commended the construction of the Julius Nyerere Dam in Tanzania, currently being built by ElSewedy Electric and Arab Contractors under a USD 2.9bn contract. “This project is an example of Egypt’s support for the rights of Nile Basin countries to make the best use of their water resources in a way that does not impact other countries negatively,” President Sisi said.

AROUND THE WORLD

Protests against the military’s assumption of power in Sudan continue: Sudanese security forces attacked protesters with live ammunition and tear gas yesterday, killing at least five and injuring a number of people, according to activists cited by the Associated Press.

ON YOUR WAY OUT

You can now complain about your telecom company without having to pick up the phone with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority’s new app, My NTRA, according to a press release (pdf). The app also allows users to switch or cancel their mobile service plans, check the numbers registered under their name, and run speed tests to check the quality of their mobile internet. The app also features an interactive map showing customers an area-by-area breakdown of service quality.

CALENDAR

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.

15 November (Monday): Unvaccinated public sector workers won’t be allowed into their workplaces unless they show a negative PCR test each week.

15 November (Monday): Car dealerships must comply with new consumer protection rules requiring price stickers to be displayed on vehicles.

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

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

17 November (Wednesday): The International Finance Corporation hosts the Sustainable Finance Forum.

18-19 November (Thursday-Friday): British royal family members Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit Cairo.

23 November (Tuesday): Comesa summit, Sharm El Sheikh.

25 November (Thursday): Rameda Pharma’s annual general meeting (pdf), at which it will decide on the sale of a 5% stake in the company from an individual shareholder to an unnamed institutional investor.

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.

30 November (Tuesday): Launch of open call by KfW for green project proposals in Egypt as part of their Investing for Employment facility (pdf).

End of November: El Nasr Automotive expects to have found a replacement for Dongfeng as its partner for its local EV assembly plans.

1 December (Wednesday): Unvaccinated members of the public will be banned from government buildings from this date; unvaccinated students will be prevented from accessing university campuses.

1 December (Wednesday): Government departments will begin moving to offices in the new capital.

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.

11 February 2022 (Friday): Deadline for Anghami SPAC merger.

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.

28 February-3 March (Monday-Thursday) — EFF Hermes hosts its One on One in Dubai, UAE. It’s the larges frontier emerging markets investor conference globally.

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.

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.

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