Monday, 31 January 2022

AM — Egypt is back in JPMorgan’s EM bond index



Good morning, friends, and welcome to the very last day of January. The Colonel always told us that time accelerates as we get older, but really? The end of January? Already?

We’re a little bit bleary-eyed this morning after trying to work (and study with the resident 14-year-old) while keeping tabs on Rafael Nadal beating Daniil Medvedev to bag a record 21st grand slam title with a come-from-behind victory in the Australian Open — and Canada cruise to a 2-0 victory over the United States in World Cup qualifying (uh, sorry, American friends — or not).

Oh, and the Pharaohs played last night. The national team managed to eek out a 2:1 victory in last night’s Afcon quarter-final against Morocco, a match that was described as everything from “scrappy” to “dismal.” The prognosis was less than hopeful after Morocco scored a penalty within the first seven minutes — but Mohamed Salah’s second-half equalizer carried us into extra time, where a great run by the Liverpool star set Mahmoud Trezeguet up to clinch goal #2. What was a less than edifying spectacle from the football side of things was more than made up for by endless drama, with both sides racking up plenty of fouls. But hey, we’re through — and will now face hosts Cameroon in Thursday’s semi-final.

Thursday’s kickoff: 7pm CLT.

PSA- We’re looking at cold weather all week long: The national weather service is predicting another cold week ahead, with Cairo seeing highs between 15-18°C and overnight lows in the single digits all week long. Strong winds will make it feel colder still, it said.


We’re officially back in JPMorgan’s EM bond index today: Egypt is rejoining JPMorgan’s Emerging Markets Bond Index (EMBI) today, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told CNBC Arabia (watch, runtime: 5:26), a move that could potentially bring bns of USD in new passive flows into EGP-denominated debt. Egyptian bonds will have an estimated weighting of 1.8% in the index, Maait said. Egypt will also become a constituent of JPMorgan’s green bond index with a weighting of 1.2%, he said.


Russia’s threatened invasion of Ukraine remains the focus of the international press this morning.

The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the crisis today — and the US is trying its best to pile on the pressure ahead of the talks, the Associated Press reports. US lawmakers yesterday promised Moscow will face “the mother of all sanctions” if it does invade its neighbor — and senators could pass legislation on the measures as soon as this week, according to Reuters and the Financial Times.

Potentially relevant to us here at home: The New York Times is warning that the sanctions could take a “wide toll,” noting that top US security officials have “been talking with executives from some of Wall Street’s largest banks, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, about the stability of the global financial system in the wake of potential sanctions.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian leaders remain unflappable in the face of Russian grandstanding, says the Washington Post.

ALSO- Egypt gets plenty of mention in “Does the EBRD still finance freedom?in the Financial Times, which notes that we’re one of the institution’s most important markets. The EBRD does tons of good here, investing in people, small businesses and infrastructure, but the FT’s Big Read for today suggests EBRD isn’t doing enough to push us on democracy issues.


CEOs, CFOs and investor relations officers aren’t wrong to feel that something is a bit off in how ESG reporting is done today. At the center of the problem: So many would-be advisors are so hungry for a piece of a pie that could be worth bns of USD in fees globally that they’re trying to wear multiple hats. They want to advise you on what you need to report on when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Come up with and abatement programs that make your business look more sustainable. Implement that program with you. Help you report to the constituencies who need to hear from you. And then audit and certify your progress on your “ESG journey” (depending on which of the 6.02×10^23 competing and confusing reporting standards you choose to follow).

In finance terms? It’s like your external auditor coming in and wanting to get a mandate that sees them re-factor your operations. Set up your finance and accounting systems. Build your financial statements. Help you move all the numbers move in the right direction. Choose whether to go with EAS or IFRS (or whatever). Communicate about numbers with those who matter. Oh, and be paid to audit and certify how well you’re doing in the process.

In other words: The folks who rate how we’ll you’re doing when it comes to ESG are also trying to sell you on services that will help you improve that rating — and it’s a conflict of interest. If you feel the burn (or care about doing better for both your people and our planet as you try to make a buck), you’ll want to read this story that got plenty of attention on the Wall Street Journal yesterday.


The US Federal Reserve could consider “supersize” interest rate increases of half a percentage point this year if inflation continues to run high, a Fed official told the Financial Times. Fed Atlanta head Raphael Bostic is calling for three quarter-point rate increases in 2022 — but said a more aggressive approach was also on the table if necessary. The Fed last week indicated that it will go ahead with its first rate hike in March.

Meanwhile in Europe: The Bank of England is set to announce further tightening for the second time in under two months in its meeting on Thursday, bringing its main rate up to 0.5% in a bid to curb inflation, which has reached a near-30-year high, Reuters reports. The European Central Bank, meanwhile, is continuing its asset purchases and will likely leave rates unchanged when it meets on the same day — marking a growing divergence among major economies in the transitory-vs-permanent debate raging over inflation, Bloomberg notes.

Permanent inflation could mean lower returns on stocks and bonds in the foreseeable future, Nicolai Tangen, who runs Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (the largest in the world), tells the Financial Times.

CLOSER TO HOME- The Central Bank of Egypt will also hold its first policy meeting of 2022 on Thursday, where it is widely expected to hold rates steady, according to our regular interest rate poll. All analysts we surveyed expect Egypt to maintain the current rates for a while longer, as they anticipate our rates continuing to attract portfolio inflows even amid Fed tightening and global inflationary pressures. “We have inflation readings looking tame so far, and the outlook for 2022 looks well within the CBE target,” Al Ahly Pharos’ Israa Ahmed told us. “The CBE succeeded to withstand similar pressures back in 2H2018 without rushing into rate hikes,” she added, noting that “raising interest rates is not a costfree decision. It has large implications particularly on the budget and public debt trajectory, let alone the private investment and the financial markets.”


January PMI figures for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are due out on Thursday.

The US Embassy in Cairo is now accepting applications for Cultural Property Agreement Implementation projects that would help Egypt protect its cultural property from looting, theft, and illicit trafficking. The guidelines state that concept notes should be sent in by this Thursday, 3 February, while shortlisted applicants will need to submit full applications by 4 May. Each project will receive USD 50-100k, with around USD 500k earmarked for the entire program.

OPEC+ will meet this Wednesday, 2 February: The cartel is expected to agree to another gradual oil production increase. Planned production increases by the cartel have so far failed to meet the recovery in demand as several member countries struggle to up their output. The tightening of the oil market has pushed prices to a seven-year high this month. Some analysts say Brent could breach the USD 100 / bbl mark this year unless supply is increased.

The Cairo International Book Fair continues today at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event runs through to 7 February.

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


*** 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: Education management companies — which either own and operate schools in their portfolio or operate schools owned by other investors — are currently booming in Egypt, leading education players tell us. Today, we outline Egypt’s education management landscape and how these companies are growing in both scale and number.



State privatization program to resume in March -Maait

Privatization program to resume in March -Maait: We can expect more state-owned companies to offer shares on the EGX in the coming weeks, according to Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, who told Bloomberg Asharq (watch, runtime: 3:26) yesterday that the state privatization program will resume in March. This comes a few days after Planning Minister Hala El Said said that the government plans to accelerate privatization by selling stakes in state-owned firms every month or two.

New momentum: The government’s privatization drive started to gain momentum late last year with the successful IPO of state fintech firm e-Finance and a secondary stake sale by Abu Qir Fertilizers. Before then, the program had only delivered one secondary offering in the three years since its announcement, due to poor global market conditions and the pandemic.

What is the pipeline looking like? While El Said declined to name which companies the government is planning on offering to investors, we know that state-owned Ghazl El Mahalla FC is set to offer a 67.5% stake in early February.

Further out: Heliopolis Housing and Development could finally go ahead with its secondary offering by the middle of 2022 in a revival of its plan to tap the EGX, while state fertilizer producer Mopco is also in the chute to tap the EGX before the end of the current fiscal year, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik said in November. Meanwhile, the hotly-anticipated IPO of Banque du Caire could also be back on after it was postponed due to the pandemic, Tawfik said. Misr Ins. Holding could also pull the trigger on the IPO of its Misr Life Ins. subsidiary, which it said in November would happen during the second half of this year.


We’re looking to join Euroclear during 2H2022 + Another round of green bonds

We likely won’t join Euroclear until 2H2022: Local Egyptian debt probably won’t be made “Euroclearable” until the second half of 2022 due to an unresolved “technical point” between the government and the Belgium-based clearinghouse, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told CNBC Arabia (watch, runtime: 5:26).

Why is Euroclear a big thing for us? Having local debt cleared in Europe will make EGP bonds more accessible to foreign investors, who can currently only access the market through a small number of local banks. Making it easier for foreign funds to invest should translate into greater inflows into Egyptian debt.

A long time coming: The government has been working to meet Euroclear’s conditions since signing the initial agreement back in 2019. The ministry was originally expecting a final agreement in 4Q2021, which was then pushed into early 2022 as talks dragged on.

The hitch? Possibly the withholding tax on government debt, according to Euroclear’s head of global capital markets, Sudip Chatterjee, who said last year that the way Egypt calculates the tax needs to be brought in line with international norms. Egypt has fulfilled the remainder of the clearinghouse’s requirements, Maait said, which included setting up a central securities depository in addition to a number of technical, logistical and administrative terms.

Green bonds, round 2: The Finance Ministry is looking to take to the green bond market for a second time with another USD 750 mn issuance, Maait told CNBC.

There’s no word on when the sale could go ahead: Maait said that consultations are still ongoing regarding the timing of the sale. Egypt debuted sovereign green bonds in the MENA region in 2020 with a USD 750 mn issuance.

Issuance of Samurai bonds + sukuk are also in the offing: Maait said last week that Egypt is planning on issuing USD 500 mn in JPY-denominated bonds during the first six months of 2022. We’re also expecting the country’s maiden sovereign sukuk sale to take place before the end of the fiscal year in June.


EU mounts WTO challenge to Egypt over import restrictions

EU v Egypt at the World Trade Organization: The European Union is challenging Egypt’s import registration rules at the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling them “arbitrary” and in violation of WTO rules, the EU Commission said in a statement on Wednesday. The EU says that exports to Egypt have fallen 40% since 2016, which it blames on the country’s compulsory import registration requirements.

The rules: The government in 2016 began requiring some foreign companies to register with Egyptian authorities before exporting goods to Egypt. Registration is currently required for 29 categories of goods, including agricultural and food products, cosmetics, toys, textiles, garments, household appliances, furniture, and ceramic tiles.

The rationale: Government officials said the move was designed to improve quality control of imported goods, while some observes had suggested at the time that it was intended to slow demand for foreign exchange.

The problem: The EU alleges that the registration process is arbitrary and can take years, and that authorities “have failed to process the applications of many EU companies,” despite appeals by the EU and the companies themselves. “These import restrictions are illegal under WTO rules and we regret that Egypt has not acted to remove these, despite our repeated requests and efforts to resolve this issue,” EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said.

Our response: “The Egyptian government is keen to strengthen its economic and trade relations with the EU,” a Trade Ministry source said in an official statement. Egypt remains committed to international trade rules, they added.

Digitization to the rescue? The authorities are working on combining the import registration system with the new digital customs system Nafeza, which would house all importers on a single platform and possibly resolve the issue with the EU, Khaled Nassef, technology advisor for Egyptian Company for E-commerce Technology (MTS), which set up the ACI system, told us.

WTO action has been six years in the making: The threat of a formal complaint at the WTO has existed ever since the rules were introduced. The trade body wrote to the government in 2016 asking for an explanation for why it had introduced rules that were negatively impacting its trading partners, and the EU urged the Trade Ministry to scrap them from the outset.

Coming next: Egypt and the EU have 60 days in which to resolve the issue via consultations. If they fail to find a solution, the EU can ask the WTO to set up a panel to rule on the matter, according to the European Commission statement.


Is it about to get easier to register your home?

Another step toward simpler property registration rules: The House of Representatives’ Legislative Committee yesterday gave the nod to amendments to the Real Estate Registry Act, Al Mal reports. The amendments aim to streamline registry procedures by significantly reducing the number of required documents, digitizing parts of the procedure, and putting a time ceiling on the entire process.

Though not without some contention: Some MPs expressed concern that unlike the old law, the newly amended bill does not specify that registration forms are filed with tax offices at no cost. They asked for any fee to be set out in the law and not left to be set in the executive regulations without legislators’ oversight.

A refresher: As things stand, registering real estate requires on-the-ground inspections by notaries, documentation of provenance, and other steps that usually take months and have in the past discouraged property owners from notarizing their deeds. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly decided to streamline the process in order to encourage more notarizations, and the cabinet approved the amendments in November.

What’s next for the bill: The bill will be up for further discussion at a House plenary session (the next is scheduled for Sunday, 6 February). If it gets the final nod, it will be sent to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to be signed into law.


Splendapp raises six-figure pre-seed round from Saudi angel investors

Egypt-based app-maker Splendapp has raised an undisclosed six-figure pre-seed round from a group of Saudi angel investors, Magnitt reported last week citing a company statement. The company will use the funding to expand into the GCC within the next six months, and invest in its product and team.

About Splendapp: Founded in 2020, the startup offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that allows users to easily develop their own iOS and android mobile apps without the need for expertise or technical assistance.

M&A Watch

ADIB Egypt to sell majority stake in subsidiary Cairo National Securities

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt’s board has agreed to sell a 50.9% stake in subsidiary Cairo National Securities, according to a bourse filing (pdf). The disclosure didn’t disclose the identity of the buyer or the value of the transaction.

ADIB Egypt will also go ahead with a EGP 2 bn capital increase that will double its issued capital to EGP 4 bn, by issuing 200 mn additional shares at a nominal value of EGP 10 per share. The bank will call shareholders to a general assembly meeting to approve the capital increase.



Egypt’s Afcon quarter-final victory over longtime rivals Morocco was virtually all the talking heads wanted to discuss last night. Praise was doled out for the Pharaohs' resilience in another unusually long game — in spite of an early penalty for the Moroccan team, and multiple injuries and substitutes throughout — on Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 6:18; 11:15), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 55:20), and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 57:04). Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 3:47), Al Qahera Wel Nas (watch, runtime: 2:44), and El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 2:11) also took note of the victory.


There’s little mention of Egypt in the international press this morning. Reuters picked up a story from state news agency MENA, which reported that death sentences have been handed down to ten unidentified members of the Ikhwan for planning attacks against the police.


A fifth consecutive record for daily covid case numbers was set yesterday, as the Health Ministry reported 2,210 new covid-19 infections, up from 2,018 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 423,688 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 38 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 22,604.

Expect case numbers to keep setting fresh highs for a few weeks: The current Omicron wave is expected to peak in mid-February before cooling off in early March, manager of Vascera allergy center Amgad El Haddad said on Saturday.

The vaccine tally: 25,928,356 people are now fully vaccinated against the virus, while some 11.3 mn people have received only their first shots and 618,761 people have received booster shots.

Tourism workers could be next in line for boosters: Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar directed that booster shots be administered to workers in the tourism sector in the near future, according to a ministry statement. The government has been rolling out vaccines for tourism workers since April last year, with all workers in the Red Sea fully vaccinated by May.

Fresh batch of AstraZeneca jabs: We received 115k AstraZeneca doses from Latvia on Saturday, according to a Health Ministry statement.

There’s a new variant on the block (kind of): The BA.2 variant is a subvariant or “close cousin” of Omicron — with a difference: it’s 1.5x more contagious, Reuters reports citing Danish health officials. The variant may account for around 82% of new covid cases in Denmark, 9% in the UK, and 8% in the US.

…and it has landed close to home: Algeria has recorded several BA.2 cases, the director of an Algerian biomedical research institute said in a radio interview, making the country the first in the Arab world to report cases of the new variant.

But don’t panic just yet: We knew the next variant would have to be more transmissible than omicron to overtake it as the dominant strain. The question is whether BA2 leads to more severe symptoms, and/or is more resistant to existing vaccines. So far, initial studies suggest that’s not the case, and the World Health Organization has not yet tagged BA.2 a variant of concern.


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Not a good time for IPOs? The prospect of interest rate hikes, slowing economic growth and geopolitical tensions have rattled stocks globally — and companies are pulling their listings as a result, Bloomberg reports. The total value of global IPOs since the start of the year has fallen 60% y-o-y, while at least nine IPOs have been called off in New York alone. And it’s just as bad for SPACs, with USD 4 bn worth of blank-check firms scrapping their listings in January. Investors are less game for big-ticket tech listings as they flock to cheaper stocks, shifting market sentiment significantly from the growth stock frenzy of 2021.

Unless you’re a Saudi company: Two KSA companies have priced their upcoming IPOs at the top end of their target range, signaling a continued boom in demand for share sales in the kingdom as its benchmark index flourishes, according to Bloomberg. Digital security firm Elm expects to raise USD 820 mn in its listing, while Scientific and Medical Equipment House could raise USD 83 mn. Elm’s IPO could see the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund rake in USD 5 bn in just three months, following its bn-USD listings of stakes in Saudi Telecom and the Tadawul itself, Bloomberg notes. And there’s more to come: Saudi’s listing pipeline is “deeper than ever,” bourse CEO Khalid al Hussan has said.

We don’t need new wells — but energy firms keep drilling: Oil supermajors are continuing to explore for hydrocarbons despite mounting pressure to transition to green energy, the Financial Times reports. Last May, the International Energy Agency said that no more exploration is required if we are to cut oil and gas consumption enough to reach net zero global emissions by 2050. Nonetheless, energy giants continue to drill — they just don’t advertise it like they used to, one energy consultant told the FT.

And we’re no exception: Countries with reserves of both oil and natural gas — including Egypt — are a popular choice for new drilling, the pink paper says, as energy execs wager that demand for gas will outlast that for oil. Egypt is preparing to launch a new oil and gas exploration bid round this year, after awarding seven companies licenses in its 2021 tender.




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The EGX30 fell 0.4% yesterday on turnover of EGP 446 mn (60.2% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 4.1% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+1.1%), AMOC (+0.8%) and Orascom Development Egypt (+0.8%).

In the red: TMG Holding (-3.2%), Pioneers Properties (-2.4%) and GB Auto (-2.3%).

Asian markets are mixed this morning, with shares down in Australia and Shanghai but up in Hong Kong and Tokyo. The market in Seoul is closed for Lunar New Year’s Eve. Futures suggest shares in much of Europe will open in the green on this first trading day of the week, with Paris’ CAC 40 being the sole outlier. Futures point to a (weak) open in the green on Wall Street later today.


Another landmark moment for UAE-Israel ties: Israeli President Isaac Herzog met de facto UAE ruler Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan yesterday in Abu Dhabi, marking the first visit to the country by an Israeli head of state, UAE state news agency WAM reported. The two held bilateral talks, where Herzog told Al Nahyan that more Arab countries should follow the Emirates’ lead and normalize relations, according to a statement from the president’s office. The meeting comes just a month after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made his landmark visit to the UAE, and a year after the two countries signed an agreement to normalize relations.


What is Egypt’s education management landscape, and how is it growing? The growth of dedicated education management companies is an accelerating trend within Egypt’s private sector education system, multiple education leaders have observed recently. Some believe it makes expansion easier for schools and operators. Today, in part one of this two-part series, we look at the education management companies active in Egypt, and how they’re growing.

What exactly is an education management company? Put simply, it’s an organization that manages schools, operationally and academically — often under a for-profit model. These companies might own and operate schools in their portfolio, or they could be school operators managing schools owned by other investors.

There are different kinds of education management companies operating in Egypt, notes Tammam Abushakra, advisor to the chairman of Esol Education, which owns and operates AIS, AIS West, and CES in Egypt, as well as seven schools in other countries. “There are entities like ours that began with an educator establishing one school which grew gradually and organically over time to become a multinational group of schools,” Abushakra tells Enterprise. Other companies begin as investment vehicles, with capital deployed to finance the acquisition of preexisting schools, or — less commonly — the establishment of new schools. These tend to be larger and grow more quickly, he adds.

Education management companies could be homegrown or foreign: “Some prominent education management companies have emerged within Egypt and some foreign companies are now active in Egypt,” says Abushakra.

Different companies could have different investment focuses: “Some education management companies with access to capital choose to invest in real estate, and others prefer to invest only in school operating companies that lease their campuses from real estate owners. There are also companies, or funds, that invest in school campuses but not in school operations,” Abushakra adds.

The number of education management companies in Egypt, and the variation in their nature and structure, has grown considerably in recent years — though it’s difficult to know precisely how many are active here, Abushakra says.

We do know of at least five others: Egypt’s two branches of the International School of Choueifat are operated by education management company SABIS. CIRA subsidiary Eduhive manages BCCIS, Regent British School, Saxony International School (SIS), and Swiss Ecole Lemania. The Dr. Nermien Ismail Language Schools (NIS) are operated by education management company Advanced Education for the Establishment, Management, and Ownership of Educational Facilities. BalancED Education Company owns the New Generation International School in Obour and Asten College in Taj City. And the Egypt Education Platform (EEP) manages the assets of the Egypt Education Fund, a 50/50 JV established in 2018 between EFG Hermes and GEMS Education to invest in Egypt’s K12 education sector. EEP currently has eight schools on its portfolio.

To clarify: EEP is the rebranded GEMS Education Egypt, the Egyptian management company that was set up to manage the four GEMS schools initially established in Egypt under the EFG-GEMS JV, notes EEP Director of Communications Amr Sherif. EEP has different streams, one of which is the GEMS Education Egypt stream, notes Sherif.

Egypt has roughly six new education management companies in the pipeline, estimates Eduhive CEO Karim Mostafa, without giving further details about the names or owners of these companies. Overall, the education management landscape in Egypt is still fairly new, but demand for these services is high, he adds.

The precise nature of education management partnership models can vary considerably, sources note. “It all depends on the structure of the agreement and the nature of the partnership,” says BalancED Education Managing Director Salma El Bakry. “We might have total ownership or might operate the school, without owning the asset.” Other options include JVs, property rentals or revenue-sharing agreements, she adds.

The most common model is probably one where an investor has land or a building, wants to set up a school, but doesn’t have the know-how, EEP CEO Ahmed Wahby tells Enterprise. “We then present what we believe is the right model to address this demand, creating a [mutually beneficial setup] for us and the investor.”

Some investors choose to fully outsource all logistical issues: Eduhive frequently works with investors that want fully-fledged school management solutions, says Mostafa. Then, the company has two roles: Pre-operation and operational.

This can mean tailoring a proposed business model, according to investor need: Eduhive’s pre-operation activities include extensive research, examining land allocation, curricula, and price points to create a business model that makes financial sense — which can then be taken to the investor, says Mostafa. Then, Eduhive oversees the design, construction, and licensing processes, to get the school up and running. “We work with consultants on design, hire and supervise building contractors, buy furniture, do all the marketing, teacher hiring and training,” he says.

But with management systems already in place, companies can also streamline services: EEP has multiple departments, including finance, accounting, procurement, HR, operations, and education. So any new schools joining the platform follow company policies, governance process and education provision, Wahby tells Enterprise. “It’s simple: We look for prospects relevant to our growth strategy, and our role is then to partner with those assets — whether by acquiring them, building new ones, or setting up management contracts. When they become part of our platform, we start offering them our management services.”

Dedicated superintendents might oversee the academics: Every principal at an Eduhive-managed school is responsible for curriculum delivery, and the company has a superintendent who works with the principals and schools to make sure all KPIs are met, says Mostafa.

How are these companies financed? It depends on the nature of their partnerships, sources note. Eduhive takes a fee — a fixed-rate percentage — based on the revenues and net income of the schools it manages, says Mostafa. “So it’s obviously in our best interest for investors to make a return,” he adds. For EEP, the mechanisms in place for revenue generation vary depending on its relationships with individual schools, says Wahby. “If we’re getting into a management contract, then we take a percentage. If we own the school — which in some cases, we do — then revenue generation is closely linked to the school’s profitability.”

Next week: We look at what’s driving the growth of education management companies in Egypt.

Your top education stories for the week:

  • CIRA reports 1Q2021-2022 financials: Higher startup and debt servicing costs squeezed CIRA’s bottom line last quarter, though rising enrollment rates boosted revenues.
  • Arizona State University is partnering with Galala University to create the first dual-degree program between a US university and an Egyptian public university.


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.

1Q2022: Rameda Pharma will begin selling its generic version of Merck’s oral antiviral covid-19 med.

1Q2022: Pharos Energy’s sale of 55% stake in El Fayum, Beni Suef concessions to IPR Energy Group subsidiary IPR Lake Qarun expected to close.

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

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

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.

1H2022: Egypt’s second corporate green bond issuance expected to be announced.

January: Sovereign Sukuk Act executive regulations expected to be finalized.

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

January: Three-month trial period of ACI for air freight to begin.

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

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.

25 January – 1 February (Tuesday-Tuesday): EGX will open over the counter transactions for the National Bank of Kuwait.

27 January-7 February (Thursday-Monday): Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center.

30-31 January (Sunday-Monday): Ins. Federation of Egypt medical ins. forum.

30 January (Sunday): Apparent deadline for the Egyptian government to meet human rights-related conditions to unlock USD 130 mn in frozen US aid.

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.

February: Suez canal transit fees set to increase 6%, exempting cruise ships and LNG carriers.

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

Mid-February: A Hungarian delegation will arrive in Egypt for talks over a potential investment in an industrial area in the SCZone.

2 February (Wednesday): OPEC+ will meet to decide on another 400k oil production increase a day for March.

3 February (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

3 February (Thursday): January PMI figures for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE will be released.

3 February (Thursday): Deadline to send in concept notes for Cultural Property Agreement Implementation projects to the US Embassy in Cairo.

4-20 February (Friday-Sunday): 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing.

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.

14-19 February (Monday- Saturday): An art exhibition created by marginalized children will be held at Townhouse Gallery. The event is organized by the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, AlexBank, Townhouse Gallery, Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, and Ubuntu Art Gallery.

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

15 February (Tuesday): Orange Ventures’ deadline to receive applications from seed-stage fintech startups.

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

19-21 February (Saturday-Monday): Nebu Expo for Gold and Jewelry 2022.

21 February (Monday): Hearing at Cairo Economic Court (pdf) on FRA lawsuits filed against Speed Medical.

26 February (Saturday): Speed Medical will elect a new board during ordinary general assembly (pdf).

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

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.

March: The government hopes to sign a final contract between El Nasr Automotive and a new partner for the local production of electric cars.

March: Target date for Saudi tech firm Brmaja to IPO on the EGX.

March: Egypt to host World Tourism Organization Middle East committee meeting.

9-18 March (Wednesday-Friday): The 55th edition of the Cairo International Fair.

15-16 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

24 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

26 March (Saturday): Egypt-EU World Trade Organization dispute settlement consultations end.

28-29 March (Monday-Tuesday): The Egypt International Mining Show (EIMS 2022) will take place virtually.

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

31 March (Thursday): Vodacom purchase of Vodafone Group’s stake in Vodafone Egypt expected to be completed by this date.

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.

3-4 May (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

4 May (Wednesday): 3 February (Thursday): Deadline to send in applications for Cultural Property Agreement Implementation projects to the US Embassy in Cairo.

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

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

19 May (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

14-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

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

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

23 June (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

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

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

1 July (Friday): FY 2022-2023 begins.

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

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

26-27 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

18 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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

20-21 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

22 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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.

November: Cairo Water Week 2022.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

3 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

21 November-18 December (Monday-Sunday): 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatar.

13-14 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

22 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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

January 2023: EGX-listed companies and non-bank lenders will submit ESG reports for the first time.

**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.

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