Monday, 7 February 2022

AM — Egypt Post’s investment arm acquires 20% of state sports management firm Estadat

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, nice people. We’re still licking our wounds after the national team’s loss in last night’s Afcon final, so let’s just get that out of the way up top, shall we?

The Pharaohs walked away with silver medals after losing in a penalty shootout that went 4-2 to Senegal, leaving much of the team in tears over the loss. The game was Egypt’s fourth in a row to go into extra time. Neither team managed to get anything in the back of the net during play after Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane missed an early penalty shot for Senegal. After defender Mohamed Abdelmonem and midfielder Mohanad Lasheen failed to land their spot-kicks, Mane netted his, bringing Senegal its first Afcon victory in history.

The Pharaohs will get a chance at redemption / revenge in the final round of African qualifiers for the World Cup in the last week of March, which will see Egypt face Senegal once again in a two-legged tie.

CORRECTION- We incorrectly stated in yesterday’s EnterpriseAM that the last time Egypt reached an Afcon final was in 2010. The Pharaohs of course made it through to the final in 2017, where they lost 2-1 to Cameroon. We have since updated the story on our website.

MARKET WATCH-

The latest FX reserves figures are out: Egypt’s net foreign reserves were stable at USD 40.98 bn in January against USD 40.93 bn in December, according to central bank data out yesterday.

The retail component of Macro Group’s IPO was 32x oversubscribed at the close of yesterday’s trading session. The subscription period closes at the end of tomorrow’s session, Al Borsa reports, citing Macro co-founder and chairman Ahmed El Nayeb. The company wrapped up its private placement to institutional investors, which was 1.8x oversubscribed, last Wednesday, and is expected to start trading shares “on or around” this Thursday under the stock ticker MCRO.CA.

Refresher: Shareholders are offering up to 45.8% of the company (c. 264.5 mn shares) for sale, with 95% (c. 251.3 mn shares) earmarked for institutional investors and 5% (c. 13.2 mn shares) are available in the retail offering.

HAPPENING TODAY-

Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh will meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi today for bilateral talks, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- You guessed it — it’s still Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron will try to get Russia to dial down tensions when he visits Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin today, before flying on to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian leaders on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the US is still insisting that Russia could invade Ukraine “any day,” a view that Russia says is alarmist —- one point on which it appears to be in agreement with Ukraine. The US and some NATO allies are pumping weapons into Ukraine via an air bridge just in case. The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Associated Press are, as usual, all carrying the latest developments.

Meanwhile, re: Europe’s looming energy crisis: The EU is putting contingency plans in place in the event that it loses gas supply from Russia amid a relationship breakdown over Ukraine, the Financial Times reports. That could mean intervening on prices and trying to secure fresh supplies from big producers — something US President Joe Biden has already been attempting, apparently without much success. Rolling blackouts and emergency rationing could be in Europe’s future if Moscow shut off supply to Europe entirely, according to some analysts.

INFLATION WATCH-

Food prices are getting out of control: Global food prices rose closer to record highs in February as supply chain disruptions, rising energy prices, poor weather and labor shortages push the world closer to a food crisis. Figures released Thursday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization showed that February food prices were only slightly below their all-time high set in February 2011. It isn’t “much of an exaggeration” to suggest that the world is heading for a global crisis, Maurice Obstfeld, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and former IMF chief economist, told the New York Times. High unemployment, slowing growth and weak post-covid public finances have produced “a perfect storm of adverse circumstances,” he said.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Inflation figures are due out this Thursday, 10 February. Annual urban inflation rose to 5.9% in December from 5.6% in November. Prices are expected to continue to rise in the short term due to an unfavorable base effect along with a global increase in consumer prices — but look set to stay within the central bank’s target range of 7% (±2%) by 4Q2022. The Central Bank of Egypt expects price stability in the medium term, it said last week following its monetary policy committee meeting. The government’s fuel pricing committee’s decision to raise fuel prices over the weekend is expected to have only a limited impact on inflation, analysts said.

The Finance Ministry is holding a public consultation on Thursday, 10 February at 5pm CLT to discuss the draft budget for next fiscal year, Al Mal quoted Finance Minister Mohamed Maait as saying. Eight groups representing a cross-section of society are set to weigh in on the FY2022-23 budget, while the ministry is also calling on business associations to participate in the dialogue. The draft bill will go to the House of Representatives for discussion and approval following the public consultations.

TOMORROW is your last day to apply- Women can now apply to join Fortune Global Women's Mentoring Program which will take place from 8-28 May 2022. The program aims to bring emerging women leaders from around the world to the US to meet and learn from the Fortune Most Powerful Women community, which includes executive women mentors from companies such as Accenture, Johnson & Johnson, and Aetna. The deadline to apply for the program is 8 February. You can begin your application by signing up here via our friends at the US Embassy in Egypt.

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: Education management companies are growing rapidly in Egypt, in both their number and scope, as we explored last week. Today, we look at the factors driving that growth. Key among the top benefits of education management companies is their ability to tap into know-how, access to capital, resources and high-caliber employees, which makes them well positioned to meet the growing demand for private and international education. And for a growing number of operators, they’re also highly cost-effective vehicles for geographic expansion.

enterprise

Discover natural treasures above and below the sea where turquoise waters reign supreme. Somabay: So magical, everyday.

M&A WATCH

Egypt Post enters the sports market

Egypt Post’s investment arm, Post for Investment (PFI), has acquired 20% of state-owned sports management company Estadat Holding, Estadat CEO Seif El Wazery said at a press conference on Thursday, according to Youm7. The partnership will see Egypt Post help raise Estadat’s capital as it looks to expand as part of a five-year business strategy.

The price tag: The value of the transaction was not disclosed, but El Waziri was quoted as saying Al Ahly Pharos and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ fair value assessment of Estadat valued the company at EGP 5 bn, implying the transaction was worth something in the EGP 1 bn range.

A new JV in the works? Estadat and PFI earlier this week signed an agreement to establish a new sports club management firm named City, Youm7 reported, without disclosing further details. The two companies als signed an agreement that will see PFI provide digital payments services to members of Estadat’s sports clubs, according to Al Shorouk.

About Estadat: A subsidiary of state-owned media giant United Media Services, Estadat owns the City Club chain of sports clubs, which has locations in over 15 municipalities nationwide. The company is also the majority shareholder of Presentation Sports, which owns the rights to Al Ahly TV.

About PFI: The Post’s private investment arm has appetite for industries including telecom, non-bank financial services, outdoor ads, and real estate, was mulling an IPO last year. It has stakes in bold-name businesses in the telecoms and microfinance industries, among others.

Advisors: Wize Financial Consultancy acted as financial advisor to Estadat, according to Al Shorouk. Al Ahly Pharos acted as buy-side advisor to PFI, Hapi Journal reports.

IPO WATCH

Redcon revives IPO plans

Redcon Construction is looking to make its EGX debut in 4Q2023 or 1Q2024, Vice Chairman Ahmed Abdallah told Enterprise, confirming a report by Hapi Journal. Redcon — the parent company to a group of 10 firms in several sectors including construction, real estate, aluminum, and facility management — had been eyeing an IPO in 2019, but has since gone quiet on the plan.

The details are scant so far: The exact stake and the timeline for the IPO will be determined by market conditions, Abdallah said. The size of the offering will depend on Redcon’s future expansion plans and the company’s view on how to finance that growth.

Keeping an eye on global inflation and market volatility: The company is monitoring the international economic situation and the repercussions of the US Federal Reserve’s upcoming interest rate hikes, Abdallah said. “We have to see stability in global markets, and see where global inflation stands. Once the market is ready, we will make our entry [to the bourse],” he told Enterprise.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Metito proposes plan to build Egypt’s first floating desalination plant

Water treatment company Metito wants to build floating desalination plants in Egypt, Al Borsa quoted Managing Director of Metito Africa Karim Madwar as saying. The Emirati company is currently in talks with the Housing Ministry and has submitted its proposal, he added.

There are no project specs as of yet: The plant’s capacity and its cost will be decided if Metito’s proposal is approved, Madwar said. The company plans to approach multilateral lenders including the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for funding, he added.

Metito has expertise in this area: Metito is designing and building three floating desalination plants for Saudi Arabia for around USD 202.6 mn.

And it has experience in Egypt: Metito has worked with Orascom Construction and Hassan Allam Construction on several local wastewater treatment and desalination plants, including the USD 130 mn East Port Said seawater desalination plant it delivered with OC last year. All three companies were last year awarded a contract to construct the El Hamam agricultural wastewater plant, which they claim is the largest of its kind in the world.

IN CONTEXT- This is part of the Sisi administration’s USD 50 bn water strategy: Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund issued tenders for private companies to build 17 solar-powered desalination plants in October, as part of a USD 2.5 bn plan to quadruple our desalination capacity in the next five years as the government focuses on water security.

INVESTMENT WATCH

Beyti + United Pharma announce investments to ramp up production

Dairy and juice producer Beyti plans to invest EGP 250 mn in Egypt this year to add new production lines, CEO Mark Wiley said yesterday in a statement carried by Mubasher. The investment will also be used to expand the company’s distribution network. Beyti invested EGP 204 mn in Egypt last year to launch new packaging and production lines, according to Wiley. Saudi dairy product producer Almarai owns and operates the Beyti brand in Egypt as part of a joint venture with PepsiCo.


Meds producer United Pharma will invest EGP 150 mn to upgrade machinery and add production lines at its 10th of Ramadan factory, increasing production capacity by 35%, Al Borsa quoted company head Abdallah Mahfouz as saying. The renovated factory is set to come online by the middle of this year.

About United Pharma: EFG Hermes’ Rx Healthcare Fund acquired some 80% of the company’s shares in an estimated EGP 360 mn transaction in 2019, and reportedly pumped EGP 100 mn into the company the following year to finance expansion plans.

Shipping squeeze hits the pharma industry: Industry players are set to meet “soon” with the head of the Egyptian Drug Authority to discuss rising input prices, Al Borsa quoted Mahfouz as saying. The price of some raw materials used in the pharma industry has more than doubled on the back of higher shipping costs, Mahfouz reportedly said, leading to higher prices for meds and shortages of some products.

EGX

You can now short, buy on margin and day trade these EGX stocks

The EGX has shuffled its list of securities eligible for same-day trading, margin trading and short selling as part of its twice-yearly rebalancing, it announced in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The number of companies on the EGX’s category ‘A’ list (pdf) — which permits same-day trading and margin trading with up to 100% collateral — has fallen to 138 from 143. There are now 44 companies on the ‘B’ list (pdf) — which allows same-day trading and margin trading with up to 80% collateral — up from 33 previously. Meanwhile, the EGX increased the list of securities eligible for short selling (pdf) to 66 from 63. The changes are effective as of today’s trading session.

Short who and margin what? If you’re feeling lost, click through for our explainers on short selling and margin trading.

Who’s in and out of the EGX30? Four companies were added to the benchmark index and four rotated out as part of the rebalancing last week.

In: E-Finance, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt, Orascom Construction, and the Housing and Development Bank.

Out: Speed Medical, Egyptian for Tourism, Aspire Capital and Gadwa for Industrial Development.

MOVES

Amer Group’s fourth CEO in a year: Hosny Hany (LinkedIn) has been appointed CEO and managing director of Amer Group, succeeding Saad Rabie Al-Khabiry, who resigned, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). Al-Khabiry held the position for five months, just outlasting his predecessor Riad Refaat, who was in the role for only four months, while Refaat’s predecessor Khaled Hassan lasted only a few weeks.

Benya Group CEO Ahmed Mekky (bio) was elected chairman of Fiber Connect Council MENA for two years, according to a statement (pdf).

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was all AFCON on the airwaves last night, with Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 8:44), El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 1:18; 3:03), and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 4:39) giving their takes on the loss, commending the Pharaohs’ efforts, and wishing the team luck in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against last night’s victors, Senegal. The talking heads also noted President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s message of appreciation in their coverage.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

When more is not merrier: Our growing population poses challenges to development efforts, Bloomberg writes. With a birth rate of 3.4 children per woman, Egypt’s 100 mn+ population could nearly double by 2050 if left unchecked. Attempts to fight poverty will have little effect if Egypt’s fertility rate doesn’t drop, the outlet reports, while efforts to tame birth rates continue to face difficulties due to what officials call citizens’ “cavalier approach to bearing children they can’t afford.”

On the human rights front: 175 European lawmakers called on the UN to establish “a human rights monitoring and reporting mechanism” on Egypt in an open letter published last week. The Associated Press and Deutsche Welle covered the story.

Also making headlines:

  • The Amin case: Former CBC owner Mohamed El Amin could face life in prison after the chief prosecutor referred him to trial for the alleged [redacted] assault of children at his orphanage. (Associated Press)
  • Tuk-tuk drivers are worried after the government in November imposed an import ban on tuk-tuk components as part of plans to green Egypt’s streets. (Reuters)
  • A tale of two dams: Kenyan outlet The East African contrasts the dam being built by Arab Contractors in Tanzania with the ongoing dispute over the GERD in Ethiopia.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

The Environment Ministry is working with the EGX on a proposal to set up a platform that would allow companies to buy and sell carbon credits, Al Mal quoted EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid as saying. The proposal will soon be presented to Cabinet and the National Council for Climate Change, Farid reportedly said. Carbon credits are tradable certificates designed give companies incentives to lower emissions.

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

  • National Investment Bank subsidiary NI Capital has launched a new fixed income fund.
  • Energya Cables was awarded an Electricity Ministry project to replace aerial electrical cables and electrical circuits with ground fiber optic cables along 6th of October’s main power line.

COVID WATCH

Yet another record daily rise: The Health Ministry reported 2,301 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 2,298 the day before, marking a second consecutive record for new cases in a day. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 439,651 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 59 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 22,936.

The vaccine tally: 27,256,215 people are now fully vaccinated against the virus, while some 10.8 mn people have received only their first shots and 647,271 people have received booster shots.

A homegrown antiviral pill in the works? An Egyptian pill incorporating Lactoferrin — a protein found in milk — to treat and prevent covid-19 is currently undergoing clinical trials and is showing promising results, the head of the team in charge of supervising clinical research for our local covid-19 jab, Osama Azmi, told Al Hadath Al Youm (watch, runtime: 3:55) last night. The results of the trials will be published and peer reviewed before the pill receives regulatory approvals.

Covi Vax could be ready by April: Egypt’s locally made covid-19 vaccine, Covi Vax, will be ready in two months’ time, Azmi said. The vaccine is still undergoing clinical trials, and is also showing very promising results, he added.

PLANET FINANCE

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Traders are now expecting five quarter-point US interest rate hikes this year, as investors bet that continued economic recovery will give the central bank the policy room it needs to tame rising inflation, the Financial Times reports. A stronger than expected jobs report last week saw US treasury yields jump, with the benchmark 10-year yield hitting its highest in two years. But expectations for inflation remained steady as the market bet that recent price hikes would subside in the medium-to-long term — signaling confidence in the US economy despite the withdrawal of stimulus, analysts say. “The Fed’s control over the economy has just increased,” said one global bonds manager.

It’s getting chilly in Cryptoland: Investors are pulling huge amounts out of cryptocurrency assets, the Financial Times reports, adding to fears of an imminent crypto winter. Digital asset vehicles lost around USD 61 mn per week in January — their fastest outflows in at least a year — as the price of BTC fell from highs of nearly USD 69k in November to under USD 40k by the end of last month. Average daily crypto trading volumes, meanwhile, are at their lowest since last summer. High-growth asset classes like crypto and tech stocks have the most to lose from Federal Reserve tightening amid risk-off sentiment from investors.

Speaking of growth-asset struggles: A number of hedge funds investing in tech and other high-growth companies saw their worst January in years amid the stock sell-off, as tech shares were battered by the Fed’s positioning for an aggressive cycle of interest rate hikes, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Up

EGX30

11,690

+0.4% (YTD: -2.2%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.67

Sell 15.77

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.67

Sell 15.77

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

12,205

+0.5% (YTD: +8.2%)

Up

ADX

8,733

+0.1% (YTD: +2.9%)

Up

DFM

3,171

+0.6% (YTD: -0.8%)

Up

S&P 500

4,501

+0.5% (YTD: -5.6%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,516

-0.2% (YTD: +1.8%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 93.27

+2.4%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 4.57

-6.5%

Up

Gold

USD 1,808

+0.2%

Down

BTC

USD 41,662

-0.1% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.4% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 625 mn (41.9% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 2.2% YTD.

In the green: Qalaa Holding (+9.5%), Medinet Nasr Housing (+4.6%) and Heliopolis Housing (+3.4%).

In the red: CIRA (-2.8%), Fawry (-1.5%) and Mopco (-1.1%).

There’s a whole lotta red spilling across Asia this morning, with Shanghai the lone major benchmark clinging to the green. Futures suggest a mixed open in Europe (London and Frankfurt up, Paris down) and that Wall Street will open in the red at the opening bell later today.

DIPLOMACY

Shoukry touts African solidarity for COP27: Egypt will be “speaking for Africa” at this year’s COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said, according to a ministry statement. Shoukry, who will lead the government’s efforts on COP27, made the comments during a meeting of a high-level African committee on climate change on the sidelines of a two-day African Union summit.

Affordable climate finance for the continent is set to be a key theme at COP27, with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat among those to have trailed the issue in recent months.

AROUND THE WORLD

Lebanon could see a 93% devaluation of its currency as part of a government plan seen by Reuters to tackle the country’s devastating economic and financial crisis. The plan includes converting around three-quarters of the country’s USD 104 bn in hard currency deposits into LBP, at rates that could wipe 75% off some of them. Depositors would be paid back within 15 years. A credible fiscal plan is required for the country to receive emergency assistance from the IMF, with which it began talks late last month.

Sudan has hiked fuel prices by around 15%, increasing economic hardship in a nation struggling with the loss of USD bns in foreign aid, which was suspended following October’s military coup, Bloomberg reports.

blackboard

What’s driving the growth of education management companies in Egypt? Within Egypt’s private education sector, we’re seeing a notable increase in companies dedicated to managing schools, as we reported last week. In this second part of our two-part series, we look at the factors driving this growth.

Egypt is fertile ground for education management companies to grow, a source from a major international school tells Enterprise. This is firstly because the model of running schools as forprofit businesses has been widely accepted within MENA for 30 years, which is not the case in the US, for example. Secondly, we’ve recently seen substantial and growing interest — particularly from UK schools — in launching education franchises in Egypt, which are best served with support from a local player that understands the local context and curricula, the source adds. “Combine those two things, and Egypt becomes a huge market for educational management, which you wouldn’t find in many other places.”

Driving this growth is the strong demand for private and international education, Advisor to the Chairman of Esol Education Tammam Abu Shakra, tells Enterprise. Esol establishes and manages schools in the Middle East, with brands including the American International School and Cairo English School, among others.

Know-how and access to capital give education management companies the edge: Experienced education management companies can better meet increasing demand for high-quality education than standalone schools or new entrants to the sector because their know-how, track record and reputation make them more capable of executing new projects, says Abushakra. “For the same reasons, they have greater access to capital and [growth prospects]. So, for example, they are more sought after by investors and real estate developers.”

Investors entering from other sectors are often ready to pay for expertise: Increasingly, investors from very different sectors — like agriculture or construction — want to get into education, but the industry requires specialized know-how that they often lack, says Eduhive CEO Karim Mostafa. An education operator working in Egypt needs to understand the regulation and jurisdiction bodies they’re governed by, along with the target markets and how to fully utilize resources, he says. “Having a service provider that can manage schools for them is rare” — and they’re willing to pay for one.

Another selling point is performance and efficiency: Management companies standardize certain school processes and operations, leading to greater efficiency and resource management, thereby reducing school costs, says Mostafa. Being run by a reputable education management company can also add a lot of sustainability to schools, says Egypt Education Platform (EEP) CEO Ahmed Wahby.

As well as providing their portfolio schools with access to high-caliber employees: “Particularly in the Egyptian market, many schools are owned by people who aren’t educators, so they don’t always know if they’re hiring the right caliber of people to run the place for them,” says Wahby. “Finding someone with the right know-how [to judge this] adds a lot of value to schools,” he adds. Mostafa agrees that the expertise and extensive networks of quality management companies helps schools reach high-caliber employees.

They can also be a vehicle for reaching more students and geographies: EEP was founded as a means of providing more variety in terms of the curricula offered and the income segments targeted, says Wahby. By having multiple streams — each with its own name and identity — the company can grow in multiple directions, rather than just one. “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and this way each stream has its own direction of growth,” Wahby says, adding that diversification “will enable us to grow even further, beyond Cairo” to cater to different geographies and demand pockets.

For operators, expansion through education management companies can be more cost-effective than simply owning multiple schools. After years of managing school franchises he owned, Mostafa founded Eduhive as a way to grow and attract more clients, he tells Enterprise. “If you look at ownership today, you’ll see land prices have become very expensive. For a family to own and manage 2-3 schools would require EGP 1-1.5 bn,” he notes. “So how do you grow in your sector? You partner to manage other ventures, where you’re not the sole owner — or you don’t even have to be an owner.”

School ownership involves sizable investments in land and CAPEX, agrees BalancED Education Managing Director Salma El Bakry. That’s why having a mixed portfolio of ownership and management can be an ideal balance, she adds.

But management companies themselves are asset-light and don’t require huge investment, notes Mostafa.

What’s more defensive than defensive? Education in general is a pretty defensive industry, and accordingly so is education management, notes Wahby. One popular education management model — out of several — is for an education management company to take a fixed-rate percentage of a school’s revenue, creating high earning potential, he says.

But not everyone’s fully on board with a rapid-growth approach, the off-the-record source notes. “I think the critique of some education management companies is that they buy schools, consolidate them, and then — like venture capital — just move onto the next project,” the source adds.

Though players are also quick to point out that each approach carries benefits and risks: Companies that grow organically might be more at risk from the macro climate than companies that begin life as investment vehicles, operate more schools and have more financing — but the slower-growing companies also tend to have longer relationships with the schools they manage, the source notes. Neither model is necessarily better or worse than the other, with each carrying their own set of pros and cons, the source adds.

The bottom line remains that management companies will only succeed if they’re providing quality. “You have to be confident you can offer quality to invest in this sector. Because if you can’t offer quality, you won’t last long,” says Wahby. The market need for an education vehicle not based on an owner’s name, that’s long-lasting, institutionalized and delivers a quality service is massive, he adds.


Your top education stories for the week:

  • Gov’t eyes establishing 340 tech schools: The Education Ministry is looking to found 340 applied technical and dual education schools in partnership with the private sector as part of its 2030 strategy, Al Borsa reported Deputy Minister for Technical Education Mohamed Megahed as saying.
  • EFG’ Hermes fintech platform valU has partnered (pdf) with AUC to offer financing plans for undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with installments to be paid through payment gateway Paymob.
  • Nawah lands second investment from Cairo Angels: Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund made a second undisclosed investment in scientific research startup Nawah Scientific.
  • Lighthouse to buy two schools this year: State-backed education investment platform Lighthouse Education is looking to put its first close of EGP 560 mn towards acquiring two schools in Cairo this year.

CALENDAR

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

22 February (Tuesday): The Egyptian National Railway is holding a forum to gauge public interest in its plans to delegate the management and operations of freight transport to the private sector.

22-24 February (Tuesday-Thursday): Investment Forum, General Authority For Investments (GAFI) Main Office, Nasr City.

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

27 February (Sunday): British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) green finance event with Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Semiramis Intercontinental, Cairo

28 February- 1 March (Monday-Tuesday): The Future of Data Centers Summit.

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.

March: The Salam – new administrative capital – 10th of Ramadan Light Rail Train (LRT) line will start operating.

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.

24 March (Thursday): Egypt will host Senegal in the first leg of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers' playoff.

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.

29 March (Tuesday): The second leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers' playoff between Egypt and Senegal.

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.

April: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

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.

14 April (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

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.

9 June (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy 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.

2H2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

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

July: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

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

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

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

21 July (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

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.

8 September (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

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

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

October: World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington, DC

October: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

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.

27 October (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

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.

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

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

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

15 December (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy 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.

January: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

**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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