Monday, 3 January 2022

AM — Export, Suez Canal revenues hit record highs in 2021

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a pleasantly brisk news day in which our economic record in 2021 leads is the big story. Expect corporate news to stage a comeback in a few days’ time — much of corporate Egypt seems to be dreaming of a three-day weekend before “really” getting back to work next week. At least if the autoreplies clogging our inboxes are anything to go by…

PSA #1- Today is your last chance to take our annual reader poll — and join us for breakfast. Every year, we ask our readers to weigh in on what you expect for the year ahead in our Enterprise Reader Poll. Take a few minutes to give us your take on the outlook for your business and industry, whether you’re planning fresh investments and new hires, and how your business fared in the year past. We’ll share the results with the entire community next week to help shape your view of the year — and will invite eight of you to break bread with us. Another dozen of you who complete the poll will also get special Enterprise mugs to enjoy your morning beverage of choice.

^^ The poll closes at midnight CLT tonight.

PSA #2- Banks and civil servants are getting this Thursday off, with a cabinet statement and the Central Bank of Egypt (pdf) announcing yesterday that 6 January will be off in observance of Coptic Christmas, which falls on Friday. We’re still waiting on confirmation from the EGX and the Manpower Ministry that the stock market will be closed and the private sector will be off on that day, but we’re optimistic.

PSA #3- Resident investors are no longer paying stamp tax on EGX transactions as of yesterday, when it was replaced by the 10% capital gains tax, the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) confirmed in a statement. The CGT will be imposed on net portfolio earnings at the end of the tax year after deducting brokerage fees.

enterprise

PSA #4- Your BlackBerry is probably going to die tomorrow — if you’re one of the three people reading Enterprise with an OG BB operating system on your vintage hardware. If you’re on BlackBerry 10 or earlier, don’t expect to be able to make calls, send an SMS or get on the interwebs as early as tomorrow morning. BlackBerry-branded handsets running Android will be just fine. The company has a press release out and you can get some of the back story from the Verge.

THE BIG STORIES ABROAD-

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has resigned, saying that he had been unable to fix the country’s widening political divide. He stepped down just a few weeks after signing a pact with the military to restore him to office following a coup in October. Hamdok headed the post-Bashir civilian-military administration that was supposed to lead the country to democratic elections this year, but was placed under house arrest by military leader Abdel Fattah Al Burhan in October during the army’s seizure of power. Hamdok’s pact with Burhan was widely rejected by protestors, who have continued to demonstrate against the return of military rule. The story is everywhere from Reuters and AP to France24, Bloomberg and the BBC.

It’s a relatively quiet morning in the international business press. The Financial Times has an interesting look at who’s up and who’s down in the corporate world thanks to the pandemic, while the Wall Street Journal jumps in its hot tub time machine to lead with the shocking revelation that “early-stage venture capitalists are now investing mns of USD in companies before they even have a coherent business plan” (shocking, we know) “while a growing number of VCs are saying that we are likely in a bubble.”

ALSO- Covid cases are continuing to surge in the US as the more virulent — though potentially less severe — omicron variant spreads, leading to disruptions in travel, retail and other sectors amid staff shortages. Almost 4k flights were cancelled worldwide and more than 8.8k were delayed on Sunday due to omicron and poor weather, according to stats from airline tracking site FlightAware.com picked up by Reuters — prolonging the holiday-season travel chaos seen last week.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Key news triggers to keep your eye on:

  • PMI: Purchasing managers’ index figures for December for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will be released tomorrow. Figures for the UAE will be released on Wednesday.
  • Foreign reserves: December’s foreign reserves figures will be announced before the week is out.
  • Inflation: Inflation figures for December will be released on Monday, 10 January.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will hold its first policy meeting of 2022 later this month. The CBE hasn’t yet published its meeting schedule for the year so we’re still waiting on an exact date.

OPEC+ is meeting this Tuesday, 4 January to decide whether to go ahead with plans to add another 400k barrels per day to the market in February. The cartel agreed in December to continue ramping up oil production despite concerns that omicron could dent demand. Pundits see it sticking to its planned monthly production increases at this week’s meeting.

The alliance of oil producers is remaining upbeat regarding the impact of omicron on the global oil market, according to a technical report seen by Reuters that predicts a “mild and short-lived” impact from the variant currently spreading around the world.

OPEC will discuss today who should be its next leader as Mohammad Barkindo of Nigeria prepares to wrap up his second and final term by mid-year. Barkindo has been the cartel’s secretary-general since August 2016.

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: We ask several of Egypt’s leading education players what 2022 may bring for the sector. They say strong demand for quality education will continue, with the private sector playing an increasingly important role in filling market gaps. But focus is likely to shift towards education provision for middle-income families, particularly as continued inflationary pressures keep hitting disposable incomes. High inflation and cost crunches will also be a key challenge for operators, and could potentially slow the ramp up of investments. But at both the K-12 and university levels, we should expect construction and geographical expansion to remain key sector trends, they add.

enterprise

TRADE

Egypt’s export revenues reach record levels in 2021 -Madbouly

Export revenues reached a record USD 31 bn in 2021, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said yesterday. Government efforts to support exporters with subsidies and pay off arrears helped to drive the increase in revenues, a cabinet statement cited Trade Minister Nevine Gamea as saying.

This is a significant increase on 2020, when proceeds from exports came in at USD 25 bn, according to official balance of payments data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Revenues during the first half of 2021 totalled USD 15.8 bn, according to CBE figures.

The volume of our agricultural exports rose 9.5% to a record 5.6 mn tons last year, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement yesterday. Citrus fruits were by far the most exported product by tonnage at 1.8 mn tons, followed by beets at 650k tons and potatoes at 614k.

SUEZ CANAL

Suez Canal revenues were the highest on record in ‘21

Suez Canal revenues were up 12.2% in 2021, hitting a record USD 6.3 bn, Suez Canal Authority (SCA) boss Osama Rabie said, according to a cabinet statement. The record-breaking revenues last year followed a modest 3% y-o-y dip in 2020 to USD 5.61 bn, the result of the pandemic slowdown.

Last year’s performance came on the back of an all-time high net tonnage passing through the waterway, which increased 8.5% y-o-y to 1.27 bn tons, beating the previous all-time high set in 2020. The number of transiting ships was up 10% y-o-y to record 20.7k vessels, despite the Ever Given crisis that blocked the canal for almost a week in March.

The SCA worked to boost traffic through the canal last year, extending a range of incentives and reductions introduced in 2020 to counter the global trade slowdown due to covid-19.

Reminder: One of the principal threats to the canal looks to have been spiked by the Israeli government. The proposed oil transport corridor between the UAE and Israel that could have undermined the Suez Canal’s status as a major trade artery appears to have been blocked by the Israeli government last week.

DEBT WATCH

Corplease closes EGP 2.4 bn securitized bond issuance

CI Capital’s leasing arm Corplease has closed a four-tranche EGP 2.4 bn securitized bond issuance, investment bank Misr Capital said in a statement (pdf). The four tranches were rated AA+, AA, AA- and BBB by MERIS.

Who took part? Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, National Bank of Egypt, CIB, AAIB, Attijariwafa Egypt, Ahli United Bank, ADCB and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait all got a piece of the issuance.

Advisors: Misr Capital was the lead manager, coordinator, and financial advisor. Misr Capital and Banque du Caire acted as promoters and arrangers for the issuance. Misr Capital, Banque du Caire, Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt, CIB and AAIB were co-underwriters. Law firm Zaki Hashem & Partners acted as counsel, while Grant Thornton was the auditor.

Corplease last tapped the debt markets at the beginning of 2021 with a EGP 2.7 bn issuance, which was the largest of its kind by a private sector company.

The pipeline of other transactions is growing: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) said late last month (pdf) it would approve 11 sales worth a combined EGP 11.5 bn before the end of 2021. The latest: The regulator has okayed Cairo Housing and Development making its first securitized bond issuance to the tune of EGP 146 mn, and its sister companies making an EGP 190 mn issuance, according to a regulatory filing (pdf). EFG Hermes is financial advisor, lead manager, promoter and underwriter for the program.

A total of 19 securitized bond issuances with a combined value of EGP 15.8 bn went to market last year by our count. Three of those issuances, together worth nearly EGP 1.75 bn, took place last week as the market saw a flurry of activity to close out 2021.

M&A WATCH

Ebtikar ups stake in Bee to 99.9% through share swap

Ebtikar ups stake in subsidiary Bee to 99.9% through share swap: Non-bank financial services player Ebtikar Financial Investments Holding has upped its stake in e-payments platform Bee to 99.9% from 60% via a share swap, its parent companies MM Group and B Investments said in EGX filings (here, pdf and here, pdf) last week.

The swap: Bee shareholders will acquire new shares issued by Ebtikar in return for handing over the 39.9% stake. This will see MM Group’s stake in Ebtikar diluted from 49.9% to 40.5% and B Investment’s holdings reduced from 20.3% to 16.5%.

The shareholders: The swap is based on an agreement (pdf) signed in February with Bee’s former owner Technobiz Equipment (TBE), which agreed to hand over a 20% stake in the company in return for equity in Ebtikar. The remaining 19.9% of the shares were swapped with a second unidentified investor.

Where’s Vodafone in all of this? Last February Vodafone Egypt signed a MoU with Ebtikar to acquire a 20% stake in Bee and its other e-payments company, Masary, but nothing has been heard about the transaction since the summer.

Ebtikar has plans to go public: Back in February, MM Group framed the Bee takeover as part of its plans to IPO Ebtikar on the EGX, writing in the statement that the transaction was a prelude to a listing. Ebtikar said in June it was planning to sell shares in 4Q2021 but has not recently spoken of the transaction. Shareholders have yet to say how much of the company they may offer in a sale.

IPO WATCH

CorporateStack eyes IPO in the next couple of years

Dubai-based tech startup CorporateStack plans to list on the EGX sometime in 2023 or 2024, Egypt General Manager Ahmed El-Haddad told Enterprise. The software company hasn’t decided on an exact timeline for the IPO or how much of the company it will offer for sale, but is currently working with consultants to lay out the roadmap to go public in two to three years, El-Haddad said.

Why opt for the EGX instead of, say, the DFM or ADX? The company decided to go public on Egypt’s bourse because it has six Egyptian shareholders, El-Haddad told us. The shareholding structure was the main reason behind choosing the EGX rather than a UAE-based stock exchange, he said.

It’s uncommon, but not unheard of: Saudi tech firm Brmaja said last year that it is also looking to raise EGP 400 mn by listing 20% of its shares on the EGX this coming March, as part of its plan to go through a series of acquisitions that will make Egypt its central hub.

What is CorporateStack? The tech firm develops software for SMEs and larger businesses to manage operations including HR, customer services, and asset and project management. The company recently established a partnership with Vodafone Egypt to provide e-invoicing solutions to SMEs through Vodafone’s V-HUB platform. CorporateStack was founded in Dubai in 2016 and entered the Egyptian market in October 2020.

What’s next? The software company hopes to raise EGP 80 mn ahead of going public, Haddad said, with plans to increase their employee headcount in Cairo and move to bigger premises. CorporateStack plans to expand to Saudi Arabia soon, as well as North America, where it is planning an initial investment of USD 1 mn in partnership with a major existing company, Haddad said in a roundtable held by the company last Monday.

AUTOMOTIVE

Car sales drop in November

Passenger car sales dipped in November, falling 3.9% y-o-y, according to industry figures released yesterday. Data from the Automotive Information Council (AMIC) showed that 19.7k units were sold during the month, down from 20.5k during November of 2020 and 19.3k units in October.

The chip shortage is making itself felt: November’s sales drop suggests that the global shortage in semiconductor chips has begun to more significantly impact car sales. Passenger car sales were essentially flat y-o-y in October after months of sustained y-o-y growth. November’s dip could herald worse to come, with many in the industry telling us they expect this year to bring a more serious supply crunch, including potential price hikes and local production cuts.

Buses bucked the falling sales trend: Over 3k buses were sold during the month, up 45.4% y-o-y and up 24.6% from October. Truck sales also rose 11.5% y-o-y to 3.9k, though sales were down slightly from October. The strong performance in bus and truck sales led total vehicle sales to rise 2.1% y-o-y to 26.7k units in November.

AMIC data is self-reported by member distributors, who include the majority of (but not all) industry participants.

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Leading the conversation on the airwaves last night: Pfizer’s covid pill is coming to Egypt. Egypt has agreed with Pfizer to purchase its Paxlovid oral anti-coronavirus med, interim health minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said in an interview on El Hekaya last night (watch, runtime: 2:45). Under the agreement, the US pharma giant will provide enough medication to treat 20k people, the minister said, adding that the pills will arrive in the “coming weeks.”

A handful of countries have approved the experimental antiviral med for use: A UK regulator last week approved it to treat mild to moderate covid symptoms in people aged 18 and above who are at risk of developing severe illness, following the US, which gave the go-ahead late last year for high-risk covid patients aged 12.

Egypt isn’t one of them: The Egyptian Meds. Authority is yet to approve Paxlovid for use in Egypt.

What is Paxlovid? It’s an experimental med created by Pfizer to treat mild-to-moderate covid-19. It consists of two separate pills — nirmatrelvir and ritonavir— that are taken twice daily for five days.

More than 21.6 mn Egyptians are now fully vaccinated against covid-19, while another 13.6 mn people have received their first dose, according to figures provided by Abdel Ghaffar (watch, runtime: 2:07).

The damage left by last week’s bad weather also got a lot of attention: Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 3:23), El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 6:45) and Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 1:17:16) all had coverage.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s a mixed bag in the foreign press this morning: The National writes that green energy advocates are calling on Egypt to do more to reduce carbon emissions. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities have released the daughter of exiled Ikhwani spiritual leader Youssef El Qaradawi, who had been held in pre-trial detention since 2017, according to AFP.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Egypt wants to host the Olympics: Egypt plans to submit an official bid to host the 2036 Summer Olympics, according to Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi, who told Sky News Arabia the government is working on a “comprehensive file” to submit to the International Olympic Committee.

This time for Africa: Sobhi added that he earlier this week met with and secured the support of the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa for Egypt to make the bid as a representative of the continent.

It’s early days in the bidding process and we don’t yet know which countries will emerge as serious competitors to host the games: India, Russia and the UK are among those to have registered interest in following Brisbane to host the 2036 games, but the host likely won’t be decided until sometime in the middle of the decade. Let’s aim to avoid another FIFA sifr?

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

  • Mountain View will co-develop Heliopolis Housing and Development’s (HHD) EGP 397 bn Heliopark in New Cairo, after HHD’s board of directors approved Mountain View’s partnership offer, according to a press release (pdf).
  • Elsewedy Electric's Egytech Cables signed an EGP 440 mn contract for the supply, installation and maintenance of 132 kV ground cables for the Kuwaiti El Mutlaa Residential city, according to a company release (pdf).
  • Some 27k Egyptian importers and 68k foreign companies have registered with Nafeza in the three months since its launch, according to Finance Minister Mohamed Maait.
  • Egypt Post has launched a digital AI-driven shipping service, Wassalha.
  • MPs are appealing the government’s decision to liquidate state-owned El Nasr for Coke and Chemicals: The House Industry Committee has asked the cabinet to rethink plans to liquidate the financially-stricken company, and will meet with Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik later this month to discuss alternatives.

COVID WATCH

The Health Ministry reported 801 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 783 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 387,159 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 29 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 21,797.

More Pfizer shots from the US: Egypt received an additional 1.5 mn Pfizer shots from the US, the US Embassy in Cairo said on Saturday. This pushes the total number of Pfizer vaccines we’ve gotten from the US to 16.5 mn by our count. The US has also given us 3.5 mn doses of Moderna and more than 1.3 mn of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

PLANET FINANCE

Powered by
EFG Hermes - https://efghermes.com/

Stocks are in for a choppy 2022: Few investors expect last year’s “everything rally” to be repeated in 2022, the Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, stocks are set to see a wobbly and uncertain year as the US Federal Reserve’s likely rate hikes combine with the rapidly spreading omicron variant to threaten economic growth. The narrowing spread in US treasury yields, slipping oil prices, and a recent stall in gains for the S&P 500 are among signs that investors’ optimism is waning.

Stagflation fears are back: Chief among investors’ worries is the possibility that if pandemic-induced supply chain problems and labor shortages continue to fuel inflation, governments may be forced to push ahead with rate hikes even as growth slows.

Record-breaking year for emerging-market IPOs can’t lift equities: 2021 saw emerging-market IPOs raise a record USD 230 bn – up 31% from 2020 – but EM equities still saw their worst annual performance since 2018 as risk appetite among foreign investors diminished, according to Bloomberg. Nearly 1.2k EM firms went public last year, with the IPO rush driven primarily by a spate of tech-related debuts in the first half of the year.

ALSO-

  • Dubai will increase spending by 5% to USD 16.3 bn in 2022 as it looks to bolster the emirate’s economic recovery from the pandemic, Bloomberg reports.
  • Food delivery app Delivery Hero is now the majority shareholder of Glovo, after signing an agreement to acquire an additional 39.4% stake in the Spanish company. The Talabat owner now also owns 43.8% of Glovo’s stakes on a non-diluted basis, it announced.

Down

EGX30

11,910

-0.3% (YTD: -0.3%)

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

11,332

+0.4% (YTD: +0.4%)

Up

ADX

8,488

+0.5% (YTD: 0.0%)

Up

DFM

3,196

+0.7% (YTD: 0.0%)

Down

S&P 500

4,766

-0.3% (YTD: 0.0%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,385

-0.3% (YTD: 0.0%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 77.78

-2.2%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.73

+4.8%

Up

Gold

USD 1,828.60

+0.8%

Down

BTC

USD 47,179

-0.7% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 0.3% yesterday on turnover of EGP 617 mn (52.6% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 0.3% YTD.

In the green: Cleopatra Hospital (+2.0%), Rameda (+1.7%) and AMOC (+1.1%).

In the red: Mopco (-4.3%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (-3.2%) and Orascom Development Egypt (-2.7%).

DIPLOMACY

Egyptian officials have urged Israel and Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip to end fresh hostilities that threaten to collapse the ceasefire that ended the war between the two sides in May, the Associated Press reports. The flare-up in tensions comes after Palestinian forces fired rockets into Mediterranean Sea off the Israeli coast, prompting Israel to carry out airstrikes in Gaza.

blackboard

Education: What’s to come in 2022? After a year that saw private education take off, the private sector is set to keep playing a major role in meeting continued strong demand for high-quality education. K-12 school and university construction and geographical expansion are among the key sector trends we should expect to see in 2022, particularly as it pertains to middle income families, whom the private sector has made a secondary priority to high income families, education leaders tell Enterprise. That said, operators will face the challenges of high inflation and cost crunches, insiders say.

The existing trend that’s not going anywhere: Demand for quality education — and the need for the private sector to fill market gaps. Strong demand for education will very clearly continue into 2022, driven by population, demographics, and the huge gap in the market, Lighthouse Education CEO Mohamed Elsherif tells Enterprise. With the government under pressure to spend in multiple areas, the size of the market gap to be filled by the private sector won’t just remain large, but will probably increase in 2022, he adds.

But what’s shifting is the target market, which will likely be primarily in the middle-income segment, Elsherif says. “The focus in 2022 will be on establishing affordable international schools, rather than high-end ones,” agrees Elsewedy Capital Holding CEO Haytham Sabry. As inflation is widely expected to continue accelerating this year, families’ disposable income will be under pressure. This pressure is already making itself seen, with notably higher enrollment levels at newly-opened schools with annual tuition fees of around EGP 80k, compared with those in the EGP 150-180k range, he adds. “The first kind might get 600 students in a year, while the second kind might get 150-200.”

The high inflation environment expected in 2022 is weighing on operators: The costs of constructing and operating schools will grow as a result of inflation gathering pace, says Elsherif. “For school operators and owners, there will be a tug-of-war in 2022 between trying to manage income margins and costs on the school purchase side, and families trying to fight inflation pressures and limit the costs of education,” he says. “This will be a big issue next year.”

“Building schools will be more expensive because material costs are much higher and land costs will be significant. The economics will be harder to manage, and this could impact the timeline, leading to a slower ramp up of investment in the schools.”

Still, we can expect large international schools to eye more expansion throughout Greater Cairo — and even beyond. “I think a lot of K-12 operators will expand from East Cairo to the West, like we did with BCCIS, and like EEP is doing,” says Eduhive CEO Karim Mostafa. “And operators in the West will move East.” Cairo-based operators are even starting to look beyond the capital, he notes. “I think we’ll start seeing a lot of interest in Alexandria, the Delta and even Upper Egypt.”

Universities, too, will see organic expansion, aligned with the establishment of new urban communities, BUE President Mohamed Loutfi tells Enterprise. This is natural because the role of a university is to serve its society — as an academic establishment, a research hub, and an institution to prepare students for employment and global citizenship, he adds.

And large-scale public-private platforms are expected to keep gathering momentum: The large-scale public-private investment platforms that proved so popular in 2021 will continue growing, several sector experts anticipate. We’ll see more partnerships under this model — if not in 2022, then in the coming years, says Mostafa. And the existing platforms will continue their organic growth and consolidation in 2022, with each platform opening new schools in new areas, says Sabry.

Meanwhile, a greater number of private universities entering Egypt’s higher education sphere will drive competition, says Loutfi. Competition among universities to attract the best students will be greater, and the universities themselves will have to focus more on providing education that’s well aligned with market needs, he adds.

What other trends could be brewing? IPOs, M&A, and more education management companies. Edtech is one key area expected to be ripe for consolidation in the coming years, Klivvr CEO Mohamed Aboulnaga recently told Enterprise. And in the coming years, we’ll see a real increase in M&As and IPOs, believes Mostafa. “There are education operators who are building up to IPO in three or four years.” Increasingly, school owners and operators are also showing interest in launching their own education management companies, he adds. “This makes it easier for some schools and operators to expand using different brands.”

The big picture: Investors see reasons for optimism, but sound a note of caution: The market gap, new cities under construction and tech developments that augment content delivery all represent strong education prospects, says Elsherif. Education is a very resilient sector, notes Mostafa. Both believe investor interest will remain high. But amid the substantial risk posed by inflation, investors are also very cautious, says Elsherif. And any sudden regulatory changes would heighten their concerns, he adds. “As investors, we always want to be able to plan.”


Your top education stories for the week:

  • Progress on PPP schools program: A total of 24 language schools have been set up under the first phase of the government’s PPP schools program and the second phase of 57 schools is currently in the bidding stage, PPP framework unit head Atter Hannoura told Hapi Journal.
  • Three edtech startups received unspecified equity investments from education-focused VC EdVentures and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT).
  • The nationwide teacher shortage isn’t a short-term thing: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly wants ministers to draw up a five-year plan to solve the national teacher shortage, cabinet said in a statement, without providing further details.

CALENDAR

Early 2022: Results to be announced for the second round of the state’s gold and precious metals auction.

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

1Q2022: Swvl acquisition of Viapool expected to close.

1Q2022: Waste collection startup Bekia plans to expand to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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

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

4 January (Tuesday): OPEC+ ministerial meeting.

6 January (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Coptic Christmas.

7 January (Friday): Coptic Christmas.

9 January – 6 February (Sunday-Sunday): 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon.

10-13 January (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.

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

Second half of January: Regulations for installing EV charging stations will be published.

16 January (Sunday): SODIC shareholders will vote on the company’s new board of directors at an extraordinary general meeting.

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

20 January (Thursday): Kadmar Shipping’s new line transporting agricultural crops between Alexandria and Russia begins its operations.

23 January (Sunday): Deadline for Macro Pharma to IPO on the EGX.

25 January (Tuesday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

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

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

January-February 2022: Construction work on the Abu Qir metro upgrade will begin.

February: Hassan Allam Construction’s new construction firm established with Russia’s Titan-2 to handle construction work on the Dabaa nuclear power plant begins its operations.

February: Ghazl El Mahalla shares will begin trading on the EGX this month.

Mid-February: End of grace period to comply with new minimum wage for firms who sent in exemption requests.

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

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

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

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

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

End of February: Lebanon to receive gas from Egypt via a pipeline crossing Jordan and Syria.

1H2022: Target date for IDH to close its acquisition of 50% of Islamabad Diagnostic Center.

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

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

1H2022: The government will respond to private companies’ bids to build desalination plants.

March: Rollout of the government financial management information system (GFMIS), a suite of electronic tools to automate the government’s financial management processes (pdf) that will replace the existing “closed” financial management system.

March: 4Q2021 earnings season.

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

March: World Cup playoffs.

31 March (Thursday): Deadline for submitting tax returns for individual taxpayers.

31 March (Thursday): Supply Ministry expected to take final decision on bread subsidies by this date.

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

3 April (Sunday): Bidding begins on the Industrial Development Authority’s license to manufacture tobacco products.

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

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

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

25 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

25 April (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day.

28 April (Thursday): National Holiday in observance of Sham El Nessim.

30 April (Saturday): Deadline for submitting corporate tax returns for companies whose financial year ends 31 December.

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2022 earnings season

May: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

1 May (Sunday): Labor Day.

5 May (Thursday): National Holiday in observance of Labor Day.

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

15-18 June: St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), St. Petersburg.

16 June (Thursday): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools.

27 June-3 July (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

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

End of 2Q2022: The Financial Regulatory Authority’s new Ins. Act should be approved.

End of 1H2022: Emirati industrial company M Glory Holding and the Military Production Ministry will begin the mass production of dual fuel pickup trucks that can run on natural gas.

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

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

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

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

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

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

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

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

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

Late October – 14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

End of 2022: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will complete the roll out of its ticketing and online booking portal across 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 above 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. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.