Tuesday, 15 February 2022

AM — Importers will need letters of credit to buy goods under new central bank rules



Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to another really brisk newsday.

PSA- Drive safely this morning: We’re in for thick fog at times on the roads leading in and out of Cairo today, with more foggy mornings ahead as we wrap up the week, the national weather service forecasts. Keep an eye out for weekend weather updates: We could see “unstable” conditions including rainfall and a drop in temperatures across most parts of the country. Until then, though, we’re looking at daytime highs of 20°C and nighttime lows of 9-10°C.


Expect news from the oil and gas sector to ramp up today and tomorrow as the Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps) continues at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. Here’s the SparkNotes / Cliff Notes / Coles Notes (take your pick, based on geographical location and age…) from Day 1:

The Russia-Ukraine conflict was the elephant in the room at yesterday’s kick-off. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said Egyptian-Russian relations in the energy sector are “excellent,” and he hopes that “cooperation and the Russian presence will only intensify,” in comments to Russian state news agency Tass. BP CEO Bernard Looney said events in Russia would not impact the oil and gas giant’s operations in the country. Meanwhile, UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei pinned spiraling oil prices on “geopolitical tensions” rather than a fundamental supply / demand imbalance that would justify accelerated output increases from OPEC+.

Israel’s reception also made headlines: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi made a point of personally greeting Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar at the conference —- spurring Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet to tweet that the gesture “touched us all.” This is the first time Israel has been invited to the major regional gas conference, which has met four times before. The Times of Israel and The Algemeiner took note of the gesture.

Also worth noting: Apache is aiming to raise its output in Egypt to 15%, up from 10% currently, CEO and President John Christmann told Sky News Arabia, according to Reuters.

Steel license bidding today: Companies will place their final bids for six new steel manufacturing licenses from the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) today, according to Amwal Al Ghad, which also quoted sources as saying that 12 companies approached the IDA in November to get terms booklets for the licenses.

Probably: The deadline could be extended after the IDA came under pressure from a number of potential bidders to review the license prices, Amwal Al Ghad reports, citing unnamed industry insiders. Steel manufacturers called on the IDA to slash license prices in an inquiry session in December.

ALSO- It’s the final day of the Arab sustainable development week. Some 400 participants including the EU, World Bank and other institutions are chewing over how to tackle in a sustainable way the development challenges of the Arab world.

AND- Orange Ventures’ deadline to receive applications from seed-stage fintech startups for its seed challenge is also today.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Ukraine is remaining stoic in the face of a potential Russian invasion that Western officials continue to say could be imminent. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on Ukrainians to wave the country's flags from buildings and sing the national anthem to mark a “day of unity” tomorrow, Reuters reports. Some Western media had reported US intelligence claims that Russia would be ready to attack by tomorrow, a claim about which Zelenskiy is skeptical and which he has characterized as fear mongering.

The US, on the other hand, still thinks the threat is very real: The US has moved its embassy in Kyiv to Liviv, near the Polish border, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, citing a "dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces."

While Russia insists it wants to talk: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat said negotiations were “far from exhausted” during a series of televised meetings held by Putin in which he appeared to suggest that Russia is still aiming for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

And the markets don’t know what to think: US stocks took a nosedive before regaining some of their losses yesterday, with the S&P 500 sinking as much as 1.2% before ending the session down 0.4%, as contradicting news on Ukraine spurred volatility. European markets took the brunt of the losses, with the German and French bourses dropping by more than 2%, the Financial Times reports.

Oil prices surged on the news: International benchmark Brent crude settled up 2.2% at USD 96.48, after hitting an eight-year high during trading, Reuters reports. Oil is looking ever more likely to breach the USD 100-per-barrel mark — and if it does so by the end of February, that could add another half-percentage point to inflation across the US and Europe in the second half of the year, Bloomberg reports.

ACROSS THE POND- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the Emergency Act for the first time since the old “war measures act” was rebranded and redrafted a generation ago, Canada’s CBC reports. Trudeau’s government will use the powers in a limited manner to keep open border crossings closed by a motley crew of protesters out to picket pandemic restrictions (and spout QAnon and other nonsense). Officials are also expected to use the new, temporary powers to clear some streets in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, presently occupied by demonstrators.


A call for tech startups: The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and US-based VC firm Plug and Play have launched an incubator and accelerator program for digital transformation-focused startups in partnership with our friends at USAID. The newly launched “Smart Cities” innovation hub will select 20-30 Egypt-based companies for its inaugural three-month program, which starts in March. Startups can apply here before applications close on 28 February.

PSA- Your commute is about to get worse. Public universities begin the second term of their 2021-2022 academic year this Saturday, 19 February.

The Nebu Expo for Gold and Jewelry 2022 kicks off this Saturday, 19 February and wraps on Monday, 21 February.

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


*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: We break down the new electricity tariffs for electric vehicles announced by the government last week, and get the industry’s reaction.


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Importers, get your letters of credit ASAP

Importers are going to need letters of credit to buy goods starting March: Documentary collection from exporters will no longer be accepted by banks to facilitate the import of goods into Egypt from the beginning of March, according to a decision by the Central Bank of Egypt taken over the weekend. Copies of letters sent to banks, dated 12 February and circulating widely in the domestic press and on social media, show that the CBE has instructed banks to begin only accepting letters of credit to facilitate the purchase of imports.

Importers are not happy: In a joint letter (pdf) to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the heads of the Federation of Egyptian Chamber of Commerce (the unfortunately named FEDCOC), Federation of Egyptian Industries, and Egyptian Businessmen’s Association called for the move to be reversed. They said the decision would exacerbate existing supply chain issues and increase production costs, causing the price of goods to rise in the local market and damaging the competitiveness of Egyptian exports. The new rule also presents a “direct threat to citizens' health and safety,” they said, as it would delay urgent pharma shipments and increase the cost of medical supplies. The organizations added that the decision did not take into account SMEs who are unable to take out credit lines to cover the cost of shipments, and said an exemption granted to foreign companies was unfair.

The decision could see the price of goods rise 15-20%, said Metta Beshay, a member of FEDCOC’s importers division, in a statement to the press yesterday. The new rule would increase costs and cause confusion for importers, he said, noting that prices are already rising due to global inflation.

From where we sit, that seems exaggerated: The cost of a basic import letter of credit at CIB for a period of three months is 1.75% (pdf), while the fee for the existing system of inward documentary collection runs at 0.3-1.75% (pdf) depending on the nature of the process.

Exempt from the decision: Foreign companies and their subsidiaries do not have to abide by the new decision. Banks are also allowed to accept invoices for goods that had already been shipped before the decision was issued.

How did it work before the change in regulations? We’re simplifying here, but importers previously had the option of inward documentary collection. That’s a process through which importers and exporters exchange information (via their banks) about who’s buying what. The bank would take a fee for releasing money from an importer’s account against documents that included a commercial invoice, a certificate of origin, a bill of lading, et cetera. Documentary collection tends to start with the exporter’s bank sending over … documents.

What’s changed? Letters of credit (or just “L/C” in trade finance) are a bit more complicated — and offer more protection to the exporter. The importer’s bank will still ask for plenty of documentation to take on a transaction, but they’re also entering into a contract that requires them to pay the exporter if the importer defaults for whatever reason. Industry wisdom is that L/Cs make bogus invoices and dodgy practices a bit more difficult to pull off because banks dig deeper. L/Cs tend to start when the buyer’s bank provides the seller’s bank the assurance that the money will flow on receipt of the shipment.


SFE boss wants to see more ins. + pension fund investments in the EGX

More EGX investments by ins. + pension funds, please -SFE’s Ayman Soliman: Pushing ins. funds’ investments in EGX-listed stocks to 10% could “revive” the bourse, Hapi Journal quotes Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) CEO Ayman Soliman as saying, adding that pension funds could also increase their bourse investments.

More local activity would support the bourse + its IPO program: Soliman reportedly said now is the right time to make the move, which would bring added liquidity to the EGX from local investors, helping to guard it against external shocks. Local participation in the bourse helps maintain market valuations and prevents acquisitions of companies that trade at less than their fair market value, Soliman said, adding that increased local investments also attract foreign retail investors to our local market, helping to ensure coverage in big IPOs.

Soliman also wants to see more “postal investments” in the bourse, Hapi reports, without giving any further information. We expect the comment is a reflection of the fact that Egypt Post is sitting on bns of EGP worth of deposits by small account holders across the nation — a portion of which might be well invested in EGX-listed equities. Separately, Egypt Post announced plans last year to debut its private equity arm Post for Investment (PFI) on the EGX. PFI is a private equity firm that invests in industries including telecom, non-bank financial services, outdoor ads, and real estate. The company has stakes in bold-name businesses including Etisalat Misr, microfinance player Tamweely, and SME investment firm Ayady.

How do ins. and pension funds usually invest? Local ins. companies often focus their investments in debt (both sovereign and corporate). The social security and pensions law requires that public pension and social ins. funds invest no less than 75% of their capital in treasury bills and bonds, according to Youm7, with the remainder divided among a range of investment tools. The state ins. fund for public-sector workers invested a mere 1% of its total funds in the EGX in 2019, according to the fund’s then-head Mohamed Seoudi.


El Sisi signs fintech and unified budget acts into law

Fintech Bros, pay attention here: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has ratified the Fintech Act, which regulates robo-advisory, nano-finance, insurtech, and (tech-enabled) consumer finance, among other sectors. The law makes the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) the only entity in charge of licensing and regulating fintech companies. It also sets transparency and governance standards and protects consumer rights. The bill was also passed by the House in January, about a year and a half after it was first drafted by the FRA.

The president also signed off on the Unified Budget Act, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette (pdf). The law requires the government to be more transparent in how it plans public finances, forcing it to present an annual medium-term budgetary and fiscal strategy to the House of Representatives and set spending limits for each ministry. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in January, after the Finance Ministry first drafted the act in early 2020.


Brmaja’s IPO moves forward

Brmaja inches closer to planned IPO: Brmaja Innovation for IT, the Egypt subsidiary of Saudi tech firm Brmaja, has registered its shares with Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry (MCDR) ahead of its planned IPO, investment director Ahmed Said confirmed to Enterprise. The tech company is looking to list 20% of its shares on the bourse and expects to raise EGP 400 mn through the sale.

The timeline: Brmaja aims to list its shares on the EGX “as soon as possible,” according to a press release (pdf). El Said said the company is still on track to IPO in mid-March, confirming the timeline he gave us in November.

What’s next: The company still needs to apply to the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) for its approval on the IPO, Said told us. He declined to comment on further proceedings.

What about Brnaja’s plans to make Egypt its central hub? Brmaja’s Egypt subsidiary is currently executing plans to acquire the Saudi parent company in a reverse acquisition before the bourse listing, Said told us, without giving a target date for when he expects the process to be completed. The transaction, which Said first told us about last year, would raise the firm’s issued capital enough to qualify it for an IPO on the EGX, and is set to see all of Brmaja’s operations run out of its Cairo headquarters by the end of the first half of 2022.


Alameda signs MoU with British firm to expand robotic surgery

Alameda Healthcare will purchase four surgical robots from British medical robotics firm CMR Surgical, under an MoU signed between the two companies, according to a press release (pdf). The first of the surgical bots is set to be installed in March at Alameda’s As-Salam International Hospital in Maadi, while the remaining three will be delivered over the next four years. The value of the agreement was not disclosed.

Training included: CMR Surgical will train Alameda surgeons and nursing teams on how to use the technology for operations in departments including general surgery, oncosurgery, gynecology and urology. The two firms are also set to establish a robotic surgery training center under the agreement for the benefit of surgeons nationwide, as well as a “joint governance committee” to improve patient-centric care.

What’s so great about robotic surgery? CMR’s Versius robotic surgery system allows surgeons to perform complex procedures with “minimal incision and better precision,” according to the press release, meaning patients experience less pain and can be discharged from hospital faster.

Alameda’s on a spending spree: The healthcare provider plans to invest EGP 5 bn over the coming 3-5 years to expand its services in Egypt, it said in September.



All eyes were on the Egypt Petroleum Show last night: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s call to prioritize support for Africa’s green transition ahead of COP27 was the highlight of the Egypt Petroleum Show’s (Egyps) first day for the talking heads. Two Amanis were on the line to break down El Sisi’s speech: Amani Abou Zeid, the African Union’s commissioner for infrastructure, energy, ICT and tourism, phoned in to Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 17:16) to dissect the green energy angle; and Amani El Tawil, an African affairs expert at thinktank Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. spoke with Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 8:47) on the pan-African relations side of things. Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 3:25; 3:29), El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 3:24; 13:53), and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 7:05) also took note of El Sisi’s speech.

El Sisi talks investment + operations with BP, Apache bosses: Future investment plans in oil and gas exploration activities from were on the agenda during separate meetings El Sisi held with BP CEO Bernard Looney and Apache Corp CEO John Christmann. Ala Mas’ouleety took note of the sit-downs (watch, runtime: 0:04).

Public investments in infrastructure development projects in the past seven years has reached USD 400 bn, Al Kahera Wal Nas noted President Abdel Fattah El Sisi as saying at Egyps (watch, runtime: 3:31). The Decent Life initiative, which looks to improve living standards in rural areas, has a c.USD 40 bn price tag, El Sisi said. Planning Minister Hala El Said has previously put the project’s cost at USD 45-50 bn.


Regional diplomacy and human rights are topping coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning. Egypt is taking on a more public role as a “Mideast peacemaker” in the Gaza Strip, where billboards of President El Sisi have reportedly become a common sight, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has called for rights to top the agenda during President El Sisi’s visit to Brussels for this week’s EU-African Union summit.


Pan-African financial services outfit Old Mutual is bidding for Actis’ 60% stake in Lekela Power through its African Infrastructure Investment Managers unit, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The unit has tapped Goldman Sachs to advise on the offer, while Citigroup is advising Actis as it looks to exit the renewable energy firm it helped found in 2015. Unnamed Chinese and Middle Eastern investors are also interested in buying Actis’ stake in Lekela, as is the firm’s other investor, Mainstream Renewable Power, the sources told Bloomberg.

Lekela has a presence in Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, and Senegal and has been valued at more than USD 2 bn. The renewables company inaugurated its USD 350 mn, 250 MW wind farm in West Bakr last November, and said in 2020 that it would funnel most of its investments to Egypt in “the coming period.”

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

  • Fawry Microfinance has disbursed loans worth more than EGP 1 bn since its launch in 2018, according to a press release (pdf). The company’s loan portfolio grew 67% y-o-y in 2021 to reach EGP 437 mn, with a 98.5% collection rate by the end of the year, the release says.
  • Three companies land four bunkering services licenses: The Oil Ministry has awarded Coral Energy, Minerva Bunkering, and Peninsula four bunkering services licenses — two on the Red Sea and two on the Mediterranean — following a tender, Reuters quotes Oil Minister Tarek El Molla as saying.
  • More moves to localize industry: The Trade Ministry has prepared a list of 131 products for which it aims to provide local alternatives. Imports of the products were worth a total USD 14 bn in 2019.



Daily cases continue their gradual decline

The Health Ministry reported 2,129 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down fractionally from 2,131 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 457,081 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 60 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 23,409.

The vaccine tally: 29,159,423 people are now fully vaccinated against the virus, while some 9.5 mn people have received only their first shots and 779,947 people have received booster shots.


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Apollo to invest USD 1.4 bn in UAE’s Aldar: Asset manager Apollo Global Management will invest USD 1.4 bn in Aldar Properties in a transaction that will see Apollo acquire a direct minority stake in the real estate firm, Apollo said in a statement. The transaction likely marks one of the biggest FDI agreements ever made in Abu Dhabi’s private sector, and comes just a few weeks after Alpha Dhabi bought an additional 17% stake in Aldar in a USD 1.5 bn transaction.

A consortium of Aldar and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ are the co-owners of Egypt’s SODIC, having last year acquired 85.5% of the firm in an EGP 6.1 bn transaction.

Aramco’s USD 80 bn share transfer to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could tarnish its green credentials ahead of plans to issue green bonds for the first time, Bloomberg reports. Aramco shares now make up about 14% of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) after yesterday’s transfer. Ratings agency Moody’s only days ago commended the fund’s low exposure to the energy sector and environmental and social risks.

The UAE’s answer to Trella raises USD 96 mn series B: UAE-based trucking network startup Trukker has raised USD 96 mn in funding in a series B round led by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ and Saudi Technology Ventures, the firm said in a statement. Trukker raised USD 50 mn in venture debt from Mars Growth and Partners for Growth as part of the round. The company has operations in Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, among other countries.




-0.3% (YTD: -4.6%)



Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76



Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76


Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending




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S&P 500


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FTSE 100


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Brent crude

USD 96.48



Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 4.18




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USD 42,670

+0.8% (as of midnight)


The EGX30 fell 0.3% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 663 mn (36.5% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 4.6% YTD.Ftra

In the green: Fawry (+2.8%), EFG Hermes (+2.5%) and Qalaa Holdings (+2.2%).

In the red: Madinet Nasr Housing (-4.3%), Orascom Development Egypt (-4.1%) and MM Group (-2.9%).

Asian markets are largely (if lightly) in the red this morning, with Shanghai being the only leading benchmark to buck the trend. CNBC says the red reflects “investors being cautious” amid “Russia-Ukraine tensions.” Futures suggest a mixed open is in story for major European indexes, while Wall Street will likely open in the green later today.


More COP27 preparations: Foreign Minister and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry yesterday discussed strengthening international action against climate change with UN climate head Patricia Espinosa, as part of preparations for this year’s COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, the ministry spokesperson wrote in a tweet.


Turkey + UAE cozy up: Ankara and Abu Dhabi signed 13 cooperation agreements during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the UAE yesterday, Bloomberg reports. Erdogan and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan agreed to look into improving trade between the two countries and cooperating on defense industries. The meeting between the two leaders is the second in three months, after the UAE leader’s visit to Turkey in November, signaling an end to years of bitterness with Ankara over its alleged backing of Islamist groups.

Israel + Bahrain seem to have caught the Valentine’s Day bug, too. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet became the first Israeli leader to visit Bahrain yesterday, building on a diplomatic thaw that saw Israel forge a formal relationship with several Arab states including Bahrain in 2020, the New York Times reports.


We officially have EV charging tariffs: The Electricity Ministry has set the tariffs motorists will pay to charge EVs in Egypt as the government pushes ahead with plans to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles on the nation’s roads. Consumers will pay between EGP 1.69-3.75 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to recharge their vehicles, depending on the type and location of the station, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette (pdf) on Thursday.

The breakdown: The rates differ based on whether the charging station is public or at privately-owned commercial establishments, and on whether the stations uses alternative (AC) or direct current (DC):

  • Low voltage (up to 22kW) AC charging stations in no-rent zones (public space designated by the government for providers) will charge EGP 1.69 per kWh: EGP 0.477/kWh in service fees and EGP 1.213/kWh in distribution fees;
  • Low-voltage AC stations in zones where the provider has to rent or lease the land will see consumers pay EGP 1.89/kWh: a EGP 0.677 service fee and a EGP 1.213 distribution fee;
  • DC stations up to 50 kW will charge EGP 3.75/kWh: a EGP 2.537 service fee and a EGP 1.213 distribution fee.

SOUND SMART- What’s with the difference between AC and DC charging stations? Forgive us for using terms you haven’t heard since high school, but here goes: AC, or alternating current, is the stuff that is transmitted through the national grid and comes out of your wall socket. You already use it today to charge your phone / tablet / laptop and to power your home. You can charge a car by plugging in here, but it can be a slower process and needs to be converted into DC power to store in an EV’s batteries.

Why does this matter to me? It’s all about speed. DC chargers allow fast charging — they draw tons of power from the grid and can charge the batteries in an EV without converting the electricity from one form to another. DC charging stations are by definition fast charging stations. They require lots more power to operate and lots more infrastructure to build. In practice, this means people will pay more to quickly charge up their EV at, say, a mall parking lot or a roadside charging station (which are usually more expensive fast charging stations) than they will by plugging into the national grid and allowing the EV to more slowly charge overnight.

In practical terms: A DC “supercharger” can give a Tesla a 320km top-up in just 15 minutes or so. Depending on the type of AC station you’re hooked up to, it takes 10-12 hours (or more) to fully charge a Tesla.

Charging stations on privately-owned and commercial property will pay for the electricity consumed at the same rates the ministry had set for household consumers in 2020, according to the decision. Commercial buyers in the highest consumption tier (more than 1,000 kWh per month) pay a rate of EGP 1.60/kWh for electricity, while households in the highest bracket pay EGP 1.45/KWh.

Until next year: The tariffs came into immediate effect when the decision was published on Thursday and will remain unchanged for a year.

Laying the groundwork for EVs: The government is investing at least EGP 450 mn to roll out the infrastructure required to make EVs viable on Egyptian roads, and is working with Infinity to install 3k charging stations nationwide by 2024. The company has so far established 78 charging stations in major cities including Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh and El Alamein.

A milestone moment: “We are very excited that the tariff is finally announced. We expect that it will be an important milestone in the electrification of transport in Egypt,” Shams Abdel Ghaffar, managing director of Infinity’s EV Division, told Enterprise. “Although from a financial standpoint we don’t see it as lucrative, we believe it’s a good start knowing that an annual revision will take place to ensure it is viability.”

Do tariffs need to improve to attract more players? “If the tariff is not lucrative, not many players will have the appetite to venture into this business,” Abdel Ghaffar said.

The industry at large seems to agree: Eight Arab and international firms have submitted requests to set up electric charging stations around the country, Al Borsa reported, citing unidentified government officials. The sources didn’t name-drop any of the companies involved but we’re aware that the National Automotive Company (Natco) — the local production and distribution partner of Mercedes-Benz — has plans to establish its own stations and produce the equipment. The government will decide on the bids by the end of 1H2022, the people said.

More players entering the market indicates that the sector is gaining traction, Abdel Ghaffar said. In a market as big as Egypt, one or two players are not enough to achieve the needed coverage, he added.

The Egyptian EV market remains small but growth is expected in the coming years: Currently there are only around 1.5k EVs, but this is projected to rise to 40-50k by the middle of the decade.

Plans are afoot to begin assembling EVs in Egypt: State-owned El Nasr Automotive is holding talks with several international automotive companies to begin producing the vehicles locally, which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said last month could see the first car exit the production line sometime in 2023.

More private sector players entering the EV field: General Motors and Al Mansour are also in the running to jointly produce EVs — the two companies signed an MoU on the plan in December and are working to present a study to the government sometime within the next few months.

Your top climate stories for the week:

  • Alexandria inaugurated a solar energy-powered wholesale market, described by the Trade Ministry as a world first.
  • Smart electric bike company EGIKE plans to establish the country’s first factory for smart eco-friendly bikes, which the company currently manufactures at Military Production Ministry factories.
  • COP president UK is struggling to live by its promises: With the COP presidency still in hand, the UK is struggling to “walk the talk” when it comes to green promises.
  • The government will unveil its green stimulus package before the end of the fiscal year in June. The policy will provide targeted financial incentives to encourage sustainable and carbon emission-reducing projects.


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 a 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.

1H2022: The Transport Ministry to sign a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Ports to set up a transport route across the Nile to transport products from Al Canal’s Minya sugar factory.

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.

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.

13-15 February (Sunday-Tuesday): Arab Sustainable Development Week. Arab League headquarters, Nile Ritz Carlton.

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 (Monday): Applications close for the incubator and accelerator program run by Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), US-based VC firm Plug and Play, and USAID.

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 Tourirsm Organization Middle East committee meeting.

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

3 March (Thursday): Fawry’s extraordinary general assembly (pdf) to vote on EGP 800 mn capital increase.

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.

Mid-April: Trading on the Egyptian Commodity Exchange to start.

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.

September: Central Bank of Egypt’s Innovation and Financial Technology Center to launch incubator for 25 fintech startups.

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

20-21 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve Finterest 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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