Monday, 6 December 2021

AM — FRA doesn’t love stonks. Plus: Abu Qir and Ghazl El Mahalla FC are going ahead with offerings, Omicron or not.

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends. From how to learn to manage a hospital though to two nice investment stories, the latest on our transition to EVs, and the FRA’s newfound concern about stonks going to the moon, there’s something for everyone on this brisk-but-not-over-taxing morning.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The death of longtime US senator, three-time presidential candidate and Republican leader Bob Dole at age 98 is all over the foreign press this morning, with the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Politico, and Reuters all out with obituaries.

Is Russia about to invade Ukraine? That’s the contention of the Biden administration — and a worldview that the Financial Times claims that Nato and the European Union are now getting behind. The US apparently believes that Russia could invade as “early as 2022.”

For our fintech (and IB) bros: Meet the top investment banker in the US fintech arena, one Steve McLaughlin, who has been hammering away in the industry since 2002, when he left Goldman Sachs to create Financial Technology Partners, which is on track to make USD 600 mn today despite appearing to have built its website 20 years ago and just left it to sit ever since. The Wall Street Journal has a profile.

HAPPENING TODAY-

The Central Bank of Egypt will issue USD 1 bn of one-year USD-denominated treasury bills today in an auction that will wrap tomorrow, it said Thursday. Egypt has sold some USD 5.1 bn of USD-denominated debt so far in 2021 across five issuances.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is in Senegal for a two-day visit to attend the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security, which will focus on the African continent’s post-covid-19 future, according to a ministry statement.

HAPPENING TOMORROW-

Aldar / ADQ MTO subscription window wraps up tomorrow: SODIC shareholders have until the end of trading tomorrow to respond to the mandatory tender offer submitted by the UAE’s Aldar Properties and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ.

THIS WEEK-

Cairo plays host to a spate of year-end conferences:

MORNING MUST READ-

Cyberspace is the new frontier for the global arms race — and can be the gateway for serious global disasters, veteran cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth writes in This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends, which was named the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year for 2021. The book details how small and seemingly inconsequential holes in companies’ tech infrastructure can give hackers the space to get “a digital toe in the door” and do anything from steal personal data to launch attacks against national governments “We are in for some calamitous, cyber-induced event that will take us all down or we will be where we are now, which is death by a thousand cuts” unless significant changes are made, Perlroth says, according to the Financial Times.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

News triggers to keep your eye on:

  • Foreign reserves: November’s foreign reserves figures will be released this week.
  • Inflation: Inflation figures for November will be released this Thursday, 9 December. Data for inflation typically appears on the 10th of every month, but is moved up one day if that falls on a Friday.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will hold its final meeting for the year to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 December.

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: As new trends and digitization take hold in the healthcare industry, private sector hospitals and facilities find a growing need for dedicated managerial-level staff to chart new waters with an eye on the big picture for the industry. Healthcare management — a still nascent academic major in Egypt — attempts to prepare more healthcare professionals for that role. Today, we explore how far these programs have come in Egypt, where they are offered, and what their impact is on the sector as a whole.

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ECONOMY

Rising inflation weighs on private sector activity in November

Egypt’s non-oil business activity shrank “moderately” during November, with a closely followed gauge of business conditions unchanged from the month prior as supply chain bottlenecks and inflationary pressures continued to weigh on private sector firms. The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) (pdf) remained at 48.7 last month, marking the twelfth consecutive month it has been below the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

Inflationary pressures and global supply chain shortages were mostly to blame, with new business falling at the quickest pace in six months. Output fell for the third month in a row, as output price inflation rose at the second-fastest pace since mid-2018, providing a challenging outlook for future prices. Inflation has inched up in recent months, reaching a 20-month high in September, and although the headline rate fell back slightly in October food and fuel price growth remained elevated.

Higher costs, mixed demand signals: The cost of shipping, energy and raw materials continued to rise sharply, leading to more expensive end-products. Input cost inflation was at its second fastest in over three years. “Higher selling prices deterred client spending in the domestic economy,” said David Owen, IHS Markit economist. New order volumes fell at their fastest rate since May, but export volumes rose for the first time since August.

Vendor performance went into reverse for the first time since June due to global supply chain disruptions. Meanwhile, a slowdown in sales prompted companies to tone down their purchases, further depleting their stock inventories.

Employment fell back after rising steadily for the past four months. Decreased demand has led to reduced workloads, so employers are opting to cut expenses by keeping vacant job positions open. As a result, backlogs of work piled up at the fastest rate since November 2020.

Motive to decrease overheads: Salary costs are on the rise for the third month running, as companies raise wages to keep up with rising living expenses.

Expectations for future output are now at their lowest level in a year, with Egyptian firms expecting higher inflation to suppress improvement in activity over the upcoming year. Reuters also had the story.

ELSEWHERE IN THE REGION- Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector expanded at one of its quickest paces since the pandemic in November, and although the rate of expansion dipped slightly from the previous month, businesses continued to see “strong demand” and “modest” price increases, according to its PMI (pdf).

** ICYMI- We featured the brains behind Egypt’s PMI indicator — IHS Markit economist David Owen — in last week’s My Morning Routine column. Check it out here.

PRIVATIZATION WATCH

Omicron who?

The spread of the Omicron variant will not delay or otherwise affect Abu Qir Fertilizers’ plans to sell 10-15% of the company in a secondary offering this month, Emad El Din Mostafa, head of Chemical Industries Holding Company, told Enterprise yesterday. The virtual roadshow drumming up interest from potential institutional investors recently kicked off and the transaction is still on track to close in around two weeks’ time. Mostafa downplayed the impact of the variant-induced market jitters on Abu Qir’s planned stake sale, saying that investor sentiment remains intact and “whoever has appetite for the sale will still buy.”

No quotas set for institutional or retail portions: Any investor — whether institutional or retail — can place their bids for shares during the bookbuilding process, which will take place online, with no quotas reserved for either type of investor, Mostafa said. The offer price will be ±10% of the average share price during the 90 days prior to the sale, Mostafa previously told us.

Background: Abu Qir has pushed back the secondary stake sale several times since first announcing it in 2018, with the state’s privatization program suffering delays thanks largely to global market turmoil and then the pandemic.

Advisors: CI Capital and NI Capital are co-lead managers on the offering.

Ghazl El Mahalla FC’s micro-IPO is also two weeks away: State-owned football club Ghazl El Mahalla will make its EGX debut within two weeks, becoming the first publicly-traded Egyptian football club, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik told CNBC Arabia (watch, runtime: 1:44).

The club expects to raise EGP 135 mn from the sale, which will see it list up to two-thirds of its shares on the bourse. Bookrunner Prime Holding will allocate shares worth EGP 37 mn to institutional investors, while the remaining EGP 98 mn will be earmarked for retail investors.

Watch this space: Ghazl El Mahalla FC’s offering is tiny, but it could pave the way for football giant Al Ahly to list as much as 49% of the club.

e-Finance’s success on the EGX has re-energized the state privatization program. The state-owned digital payments firm concluded one of the EGX’s biggest IPOs in years in October, raising some USD 370 mn in a sale that saw heavy demand from foreign and local investors alike.

INVESTMENT WATCH

The UAE’s Chimera just bought a stake in Gemini. Plus: B Investments acquires take in Egyptian IVF Center

The UAE’s Chimera bought 25% of Sawiris’ Gemini Global Development in a USD 100 mn transaction? Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Chimera Investment completed an acquisition of a 25% stake in Sawiris family-owned  firm Gemini Global Development Egypt, multiple sources with first-hand knowledge of the transaction confirmed to Enterprise. Look for more information later today. Chimera is acquiring the shares via a USD 100 mn capital increase, which brings the total capital of Gemini Global Development Egypt — which owns 100% of Ora Developers Egypt — to USD 400 mn, according to Al Shorouk, which first reported on the story.

Who’s who: Chimera Capital (which owns Chimera Investments), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Group, is a significant backer of Nasdaq-bound transportation play Swvl and has just recently wrapped up the second close of its first-ever venture capital fund, which will see it invest in 12-15 startups across the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Chimera is run by CEO Seif Fikry (LinkedIn) an Egyptian veteran of the regional capital markets scene and founder of the region’s first UCITS-compliant exchange-traded fund. Royal Group has investments in some 60 entities with 20k employees spanning real estate to FMCG by way of healthcare and aviation. Gemini Global Development Egypt is a separate entity to Gemini Holdings, the Sawiris family’s private equity arm, invests in everything from real estate to private equity , sources at the company tell us.

IN OTHER M&A NEWS-

Arm of EGX-listed B Investments snaps up 51% of Egyptian IVF: B Healthcare Investments, B Investments’ newly-established specialized healthcare company, has acquired a 51% stake in the Egyptian IVF Center, according to a company statement (pdf). The transaction — the value of which was not disclosed — is pending regulatory approval, the statement notes. Private equity firm BPE Partners — which manages B Investments — had been eyeing the majority stake in Egyptian in-vitro fertilization sector since last year.

BACKGROUND- B Healthcare Investments is screening the market for other potential ventures, but started with Egyptian IVF Center, the first specialized facility to offer fertility treatment in Egypt. The transaction comes after investor relations and private equity veteran Sherif El Ghamrawi was named CEO of the company this past February.

 

CLARRIFICATION ON 6 DECEMBER

Abu Dhabi’s Chimera Investments had acquired a stake in the Sawriris-owned Gemini Global Development Egypt (which owns 100% of Ora Developers) and not Gemini Holdings as was noted in an Al Shorouk article last night, which we picked up this morning. The latter is a separate entity owned by the Sawiris family.

AUTOMOTIVE

We’re set to have a new EV partner within weeks

El Nasr’s EV speed dating pool is down to three Chinese partners: State-owned El Nasr Automotive will begin meeting today with three Chinese companies it has shortlisted as its potential partner on locally assembling electric vehicles, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik told CNBC Arabia (watch, runtime: 1:44). The ministry has also contracted a German consultant specialized in EV design, Tawfik said, according to Al Mal.

Learning from its Dongfeng mistakes: El Nasr has narrowed down the list from 13 proposals that originally also included European auto manufacturers and will begin the negotiations having already set its rules of engagement, the minister said. The company plans to settle on one of them to replace China’s Dongfeng and sign the contract by the end of the month. Plans for El Nasr Automotive to link up with Chinese auto giant Dongfeng to locally assemble EVs fell through last month when the state-owned firm exited talks after being unable to negotiate a lower price point for imported components.

What we know about the car: El Nasr will only assemble a single “reasonably priced” EV model, which will cater to the Egyptian consumers’ needs, Tawfik said. The government will invest at least EGP 450 mn to roll out the infrastructure required to make EVs viable on Egyptian roads. Industry leader Infinity is aiming to install 3k charging stations across the country over the next three years as it works with the government on the program.

The private sector also has plans to rollout EVs: Al Mansour Automotive and General Motors said they could team up to produce EVs in Egypt with plans to present a study to the government within 2-3 months.

REGULATION WATCH

FRA signals crackdown on meme stocks

Sending Egyptian stonks to the moon is about to get harder: Investors could face criminal charges for sharing share tips on social media under proposed amendments to the Capital Markets Act put forward by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) yesterday. Fines and prison sentences of between three and 10 years would be handed out to people found guilty of breaking the rules, the regulator said in a statement yesterday.

Preempting r/egxbets: The rules are designed to crack down on social media groups where people share advice and recommendations on stock trading, which FRA boss Mohamed Omran accused of being forums for market manipulation.

We’re not 100% sure right now where the line would be: The statement says that the rules would be aimed at people who share false or misleading information with the intent to manipulate retail investors while also declaring that anyone without a license is banned from making recommendations, factual or otherwise.

But the FRA makes clear that so-called meme stocks are motivating its thinking, making direct reference to the infamous Gamestop short squeeze this past January, which saw a group of small-time investors collaborate on Reddit to send the ailing retailer’s share price through the roof.

What’s next on the stonks changes? The FRA says the amendments are being sent on to the “relevant authorities” for review.

The FRA also introduced new rules for companies being liquidated: Listed companies undergoing liquidations can only be traded on Sundays and Wednesdays after the FRA amended trading regs. That has the effect of reversing yesterday’s activities in state-owned Egyptian Iron and Steel’s shares seeing as the company is being liquidated, the authority said in a bourse filing (pdf).

The liquidation of Egyptian Iron and Steel: Over the summer the company officially stopped operations as a prelude to its liquidation. The company has appointed accountant and former liquidation advisor for the state-owned Metallurgical Industries Holding Company Mostafa Hassan to wind up the company. The liquidation process is expected to take up to two years.

ALSO IN CAPITAL MARKETS- The EGX will launch four new sub-indices tracking sovereign debt instruments with varying tenors within a few weeks or months, EGX head Mohamed Farid told CNBC Arabia.

STARTUP WATCH

Filkhedma scores investment from The Cairo Angels

Home services marketplace Filkhedma raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh investment round from The Cairo Angels, Wamda reported. “This investment comes just ahead of a significant milestone for the business to be announced very soon,” the Cairo-based angel investment network noted, without providing further details on the milestone or what the investment will be used for.

About the startup: Filkhedma, a startup founded in 2014, connects customers to maintenance service providers, including tradesmen qualified in plumbing, electrical work, carpentry and air conditioner maintenance. This marks the startup’s fourth investment round to date, with earlier rounds raised from Algebra Ventures and Glint, and angel investor KiAngel.

MOVES

Juhayna has appointed Ahmed El Wakil as its independent non-executive chairman to replace Mohamed El Dogheim following the board of directors’ elections late last month, the company announced in an EGX disclosure (pdf). El Wakil was appointed to the company’s board of directors in January of this year, replacing former chairman and managing director Safwan Sabet following the chairman’s arrest on charges of allegedly joining and funding a terrorist organization in December.

Elsewedy Electric has a new IR director: Noha Agaiby (LinkedIn) has been appointed Elsewedy Electric’s director of investor relations, the company said in a bourse filing (pdf). Agaiby, who will also serve as board secretary, was previously director of IR at Global Telecom, Amer Group and Nile Sugar and held a number of corporate affairs, governance and IR positions at Mobinil (now Orange Egypt). She takes over from Tarek Yehia (LinkedIn), who has joined EK Holding.

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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

SMART POLICY- President Abdel Fattah’s announcement of new directives aimed at better inclusion of individuals with disabilities at an event yesterday was in the limelight on last night’s talk shows. The directives include accounting for the needs of people with disabilities in the infrastructure-focused Decent Life initiative, expanding training of teachers to equip them to teach special needs students, and setting up training programs for people with disabilities to enter the job market. The president also called on his government to set up a dedicated “Differently-Abled Fund” for special needs citizens and draft legislation to allow and regulate donations for the fund.

The president’s directives earned praise and coverage from Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 5:28), Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 6:57), Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 4:54), and El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 2:23).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s one of the quietest days in recent memory for Egypt in the foreign press. Rejoice and move along, ladies and gents, after perhaps skimming Punch’s lament that Egypt remains Africa’s top investment destination even as Nigeria drops out of First Rand Bank’s top 10 and meeting the Dominican former lawyer who The National says is leading the search for Cleopatra’s tomb.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

A couple of things we’re keeping an eye on this morning:

  • Contractors and construction companies will be required to provide ins. coverage for their seasonal workers next year as a law governing ins. in the sector comes into effect in July 2022.
  • Another archeological discovery: A Spanish archaeological mission from Barcelona University unearthed two tombs in Upper Egypt dating back to either the El Sawy era or the Saite period, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

COVID WATCH

Booster shots to roll in as of next Saturday: Anyone eligible for a booster shot will be able, as of this coming Saturday, to make an appointment through the Health Ministry’s website to receive the shot, acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib last night (watch, runtime: 14:42). At the outset, booster shots will only be available for senior citizens with chronic medical conditions and to medical staff.

Missed your appointment to get your second vaccine shot? No problem: Anyone who received their first shot of the vaccine and missed their appointment to get the second jab can, as of Thursday, visit the center where they received their first dose and get their second on the spot, Abdel Ghaffar said. As of now, a total of 31 mn individuals are either fully vaccinated or have received one dose of the jab, but around half have taken only one dose. The minister suggested that people are either unaware of the importance of completing the full vaccination or think they’ve missed their chance if they can’t make it on the predetermined day of the second dose.

We received another 600k doses of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca on Saturday and are on track to receive a total of 3.9 mn AstraZeneca jabs by the end of this month, interim health minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said yesterday.

The Health Ministry reported 902 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 892 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 363,162 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 45 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 20,727.

UK tightens travel rules: Starting tomorrow, all travelers heading to the UK will be required to take a PCR test 48 hours before their flight, regardless of their vaccine status, the government announced Saturday.

Russia’s Sputnik jab is now on Saudi Arabia’s list of approved vaccines for tourists entering the kingdom, according to a statement from the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

South Africa is looking at introducing a vaccine mandate as Omicron drives a surge in covid cases, Axios says. President Cyril Ramaphosa has ruled out a return to lockdown and instead said in a televised address that the government is holding “consultations” to make vaccination mandatory for “specific activities and locations.” With 41% of adults now vaccinated, South Africa has one of the highest vaccination rates in Africa but still lags far behind developed countries.

New Moderna vaccines for Omicron could be widely available by 2Q2022, Moderna President Stephen Hoge told ABC News. Although the vaccine itself could be ready and distributed to tens of mns of people by 1Q2022, a “big step change” where hundreds of mns of doses would be available to the public would be unlikely before the second quarter of the year, he said. Hoge’s comments come a week after the pharma giant’s CEO Stéphane Bancel predicted that we’ll be needing new variant-specific vaccines, which he had also suggested would take months to produce at scale.

PLANET FINANCE

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Saudi Arabia raises January oil prices for all crude grades in Asia and the US, even as Omicron continues to spread, reports Bloomberg. This follows a decision by OPEC+ on Thursday to boost output in January despite concerns that the spread of the new variant could hit energy demand. The group of oil producers pledged on Thursday to reconsider supply hikes should Omicron hit the global market.

Evergrande restructuring imminent as China looks to halt contagion: Evergrande will engage with creditors as part of its restructuring plan to manage its USD 300 bn in liabilities overseas and at home, the Chinese developer announced in an exchange filing (pdf) on Friday. Chinese authorities made statements immediately afterward indicating that the government will not bail out the company but rather manage contagion and restore trust among homeowners. Over the past month, Evergrande has been making good on its payments, even as other Chinese property developers default on theirs.

Up

EGX30

11,318

+0.7% (YTD: +5.1%)

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

11,143

+2.4% (YTD: +28.2%)

Up

ADX

8,773

+2.6% (YTD: +73.9%)

Up

DFM

3,090

+0.5% (YTD: +24.0%)

Down

S&P 500

4,538

-0.8% (YTD: +20.8%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,122

-0.1% (YTD: +10.2%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 66.26

-0.4%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 4.13

+1.9%

Up

Gold

USD 1,783.90

+1.2%

Up

BTC

USD 49,225.22

+0.8%

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.7% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.38 bn (3.1% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is up 5.1% YTD.

In the green: Heliopolis Housing (+10.4%), Rameda (+5.3%) and CIRA (+4.6%).

In the red: Eastern Company (-1.7%), Speed Medical (-1.1%) and Aspire Capital (-0.7%).

Asian markets are mixed this morning as tech stocks slip, with the Nikkei and Hang Seng down at the same time as shares in Shanghai and Seoul hold steady in the green. Futures suggest London and Frankfurt will both open in the green this morning, while shares in Paris will be under selling pressure at the opening bell. Look for Wall Street to start the trading week in the green this afternoon.

blackboard

Healthcare management education is beginning to show signs of life in Egypt: With the introduction of the government’s universal healthcare scheme and the advent of telehealth services in Egypt, the country’s healthcare industry has been growing and is widely expected to see a transformation in the next several years. And as demand for quality healthcare continues to grow and new trends take hold of the industry, private sector hospitals and facilities find a growing need not just for medical personnel, but also for managerial-level staff that will look at the big picture. These individuals essentially run a medical facility’s “backend,” which includes everything from ensuring a facility is operating within its budget to formulating new strategies to keep up with changes in the market and to tap into potential avenues for growth.

So, what’s the holdup? Becoming qualified to run a hospital or its backend as a hospital manager is far from straightforward, with virtually no unified, institutionalized structure or guidelines to follow for running a hospital in the country. Enter healthcare management education — a still nascent academic major in Egypt — which aims to prepare these aspiring hospital managers and personnel for running a successful hospital.

What exactly is healthcare management education? Programs dedicated to healthcare management are designed to teach aspiring healthcare professionals about healthcare strategy, information systems, finance, supply chain management and operations. They also aim to equip students with tools to address challenges facing managers in the healthcare industry, like how to cope with dynamic competition — especially in a highly fragmented industry such as Egypt’s, wherein the management, financing and provision of care is scattered between a laundry list of different players — and adopt new technologies in a rapidly changing sector.

How nascent is it? The American University in Cairo (AUC) has offered a healthcare management diploma for over a decade, but other colleges and educational institutions only followed suit in recent years. In 2015, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport and the Children Cancer’s Hospital 57357 introduced a specialized executive MBA in hospital management. ESLSCA Business School also offers a specialization in International Healthcare Management as one of its MBA offerings, and Future University of Egypt (FUE) will introduce its own specialization as of February, FUE President Obada Sarhan told Enterprise. The only undergraduate track for hospital management in Egypt is offered by Misr University for Science & Technology.

The price tag: The postgraduate diplomas range from one to two years in duration and cost between EGP 40-65k per year, depending on the university, the diploma’s accreditation status and how extensive it is. Many of the courses, including AUC’s and FUE’s, take place online, with AUC’s programs integrating 40 hours of field visits to hospitals. Both universities’ tracks are mostly taught by professors of practice, making the courses more practical and hands-on, with real-life examples and cases weaved into the curriculum.

Why are these programs suddenly catching on now? Transformation in the healthcare sector is imminent, especially in terms of digitization and the acceleration of information technology, according to Hesham Abdel Ghaffar, an instructor teaching one of AUC’s healthcare management courses. Telehealth, for one, has surged over the past years, and is expected to burgeon even more in the next few years. This calls for support and training on how to make this shift towards technological advances in healthcare, modern and cooperative medicine and AI, says Abdel Ghaffar. So the shift is incredibly important, especially when the state itself is taking it seriously, with the introduction of the universal health coverage scheme, he adds.

And there’s demand for the programs: There’s a lot of demand for these programs now in Egypt, and FUE’s new diploma is getting a lot of applicants already as the university begins to promote the new specialization ahead of its debut in the upcoming academic semester, Sarhan told us. Classes in AUC’s programs are also seeing waitlists every semester, according to Abdel Ghaffar, especially since the program went online due to covid-19, which made it more accessible both in Egypt and outside the country, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

MDs aren’t the only ones applying for these programs: People from a range of backgrounds can earn their diplomas in healthcare management, including business, economics, finance and pharmacy graduates, Sarhan said. Abdel Ghaffar is also beginning to see a much more diverse range of backgrounds among his students, although medicine graduates are still the majority.

But what difference do these courses really make? For a long time, it was very hard to find someone with a well-rounded skill set and background in management in the healthcare sector to hire for a managerial role at a hospital, explained Cleopatra Hospitals Group IR Director Hassan Fikry. Currently, most people gain experience on the job, and hospitals are upskilling workers themselves. Although managers have long risen to their roles without these diplomas or certificates, the programs are like a launch pad that can make the journey much easier and faster, he added.

Staffing prospects are looking better — and cheaper — with the availability of these programs: Now that there are offerings and a variety of courses offered at different price points, that really helps hospitals develop their staff, whether old or new, with less time and resources, Fikry told Enterprise. On one side of the equation, hospitals are starting to get entry-level candidates already armed with a healthcare management degree and ready to take on the positions. On the other side, mid-level professionals who are still in the learning process and who previously did not have access to learning the ins and outs of healthcare management can now pursue these degrees at any point in their career and be better equipped to climb the ranks. Altogether, the equation will yield more individuals in the industry with a deeper-rooted understanding of healthcare management, which will be a boon for the industry’s growth in the long run, Fikry said.


Your top education stories for the week:

  • China, Egypt to establish a smart agriculture lab: China and Egypt signed an MoU to build a smart agriculture lab in Egypt.
  • ITIDA and Visa joined forces to launch an educational digital platform at no charge to provide Egyptian fintech startups with tools to help them sustain their businesses and identify potential growth areas.
  • Scholarships for South Sinai students: King Salman International University’s board has agreed to give ten South Sinai students 50% scholarships.
  • Using scientific research for manufacturing: The Higher Education Ministry’s Electronics Research Institute signed a cooperation agreement with Siraj Lighting Company and the Industrial Modernization Centre to help develop longer-lasting LED light bulbs.

CALENDAR

24 November-7 December (Wednesday-Tuesday): Designated period for SODIC shareholders to subscribe to Aldar Properties and ADQ’s mandatory tender offer (pdf).

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

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

8-9 December (Wednesday-Thursday): The 14th General Conference of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (ICESCO) will be held in Egypt.

9 December (Thursday): Second vaccine shot appointments will be made available to those who previously missed their appointments.

9-10 December (Thursday-Friday): The US Summit for Democracy. Egypt is not among the invitees.

9-12 December (Thursday-Sunday): The 6th Edition of Cairo Woodshow, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

10 December (Friday): Capmas will release November inflation figures.

10 December (Friday): Silicon Waha’s Startup Factory program kicks off in Assiut Technology Zone.

11 December (Thursday): Booster shot appointments for those eligible will roll in on the Health Ministry’s website.

12 December (Sunday): Raya Holding’s Ordinary General Assembly meeting.

12 December (Sunday): Deadline to apply to the McKinsey Forward program for young professionals.

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 December (Tuesday): Inquiry session for the Industrial Development Authority’s licenses to manufacture steel products.

14 December (Tuesday): CDC event to announce the details of its 2022-2026 strategy period.

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.

15 December (Wednesday): Target date for snackmaker Edita to wrap up due diligence on its acquisition of the Ole brand owner Egyptian Belgian Company.

15 December (Wednesday): The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will give its final approval for a USD 100 mn facility to state-owned Banque Misr to finance local SMEs working on green projects.

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

End of December: El Nasr Automotive plans to sign contracts with a new partner to locally assemble EVs.

End of 4Q2021: EdVentures plans to have closed at least one more edtech investment round.

End of 4Q2021: Fawry plans to have launched its MyFawry card.

1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.

1H2022: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will roll out its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

1H2022: e-Finance’s digital healthcare service platform, eHealth, will launch its services.

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

1Q2022: Swvl acquisition of Viapool expected to close.

Second Half of January: Egypt will host the Egyptian-Bahraini Joint Committee.

The end of January: The Egyptian-Romanian business forum will take place with the aim of strengthening joint investment relations.

January 2022: Tenth of Ramadan dry port tender to be launched.

1 January 2022 (Saturday): Capital gains tax comes into effect on the EGX for local investors.

1-15 January 2022 (Saturday-Saturday): Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) Joint Committee.

4 January 2022 (Tuesday): OPEC+ ministerial meeting.

7 January 2022 (Friday): Coptic Christmas.

10-13 January 2022 (Monday-Thursday): World Youth Forum, Sharm El Sheikh.

15 January (Saturday): Target date for the finalization of snackfood giant Edita’s acquisition of the Egyptian Belgian Company, owner of the Ole brand.

17-19 January 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.

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

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

11-13 February (Friday-Sunday) FIBA Intercontinental Cup, Cairo.

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

15 February 2022 (Tuesday): The Industrial Development Authority’s deadline for receiving offers from companies for licenses to manufacture steel products.

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

March 2022: 4Q2021 earnings season.

March 2022: Deadline for the World Health Organization’s intergovernmental negotiating body to meet to discuss binding treaty on future pandemic cooperation.

March 2022: World Cup playoffs.

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

4 April 2022 (Monday): CDC Group will formally change its name to British International Investment.

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.

Late April – 15 May 2022: 1Q2022 earnings season

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.

July 2022: A law governing ins. for seasonal contractors will come into effect.

8 July 2022 (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July 2022 (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

30 July 2022 (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August 2022: 2Q2022 earnings season.

September 2022: Egypt will display its first naval exhibition with the title Naval Power.

6 October 2022 (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October 2022 (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

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

Late October – 14 November 2022: 3Q2022 earnings season.

**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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