Monday, 21 February 2022

AM — Misr Italia issues EGP 794 mn securitized bond + Raya could make an EGP 2 bn securitization this year



Good morning, friends, and welcome to a Monday on the move. We come bearing a truck / train / planeload of news, from fresh securitizations and loans to all things import / export.

The Central Bank of Egypt is paving the way for banks to help importers with the letters of credit they’ll need from tomorrow. Meanwhile, ACI trials for air freight are soon to take flight, the local manufacture of electric locomotives should be chugging along by the end of the year, and our first-ever exports of locally-made Sinovac jabs are on their way to the Gaza Strip as we push forward on ambitions to become a regional vaccine making-hub.

Slotting nicely into our “moving” theme: The House of Representatives will today discuss a bill that would regulate real estate brokers, as well as the so-called “old rent” law. We have more on all of these stories in today’s newswell, below.

We’re also happy to see an old neighbor move back: The Hyatt brand has officially returned to Cairo with the grand opening of the Hyatt Regency Cairo West hotel at Pyramids Heights yesterday. The 250-room hotel opened its doors last year in a soft launch, a little over two years after Hyatt signed a franchise agreement with ALDAU Development to set up the hotel overlooking the Giza Pyramids. The EBRD provided financing for the project with a USD 12 mn loan to ALDAU last year.

The luxury hotel brand exited Egypt some ten years ago — and its return today is a testament to our tourism industry’s impressive comeback in the years since. If nothing else, it’s a positive signal from a big investor that Egypt is the market to be in right now, and that it’s a market to have confidence in.


We should be signing agreements on everything from electricity to education with Jordan today at the Egyptian-Jordanian Joint Higher Committee meeting. An agreement will be signed on efforts to double the capacity of the electricity link between the two countries to 1 GW, according to an Electricity Ministry statement, while we’re also set to ink agreements on higher education, scientific research, and logistics. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly yesterday discussed bilateral ties and regional issues with Jordanian PM Bisher Al-Khasawneh ahead of today’s meeting,a cabinet statement read.

Facebook is going to need to up its game if it is to retain its position as the number one source of misinformation: You’ll be able to get the most alternative of alternative facts straight from Trump’s mouth to your brain as King Cheeto’s very own social media platform debuts on the App Store. In a series of online posts seen by Reuters, an executive involved in the rollout of Truth Social said the app will be available for download from today.

This will officially mark the end of The Donald’s internet blackout: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all banned the former US president from their platforms after his supporters stormed the US Capitol in January last year following the disputed 2020 election.

They just couldn’t help themselves: As well as the very Facebook-esque logo, screenshots show Truth Social to be an almost carbon-copy of Twitter. Add the obvious barbs aimed at its founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey, and Trumpworld is firmly positioning its new social venture as the anti-Twitter.


Macron gets Biden, Putin to meet for a last-ditch summit to avoid war in Ukraine: French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent diplomatic outreach to Russia appeared to pay dividends yesterday, as he managed to get the US and Russian presidents to agree in principle to sit down for talks over the Ukraine crisis. The two countries’ top diplomats are set to meet Thursday to work out the summit’s details, which are scant so far.

Settle in for a cliffhanger: France and the US have said the summit won’t take place if Ukraine is invaded, meaning Putin could put the brakes on any invasion plans until the meeting. But now we’re left dangling on the precipice — Russian troops in Belarus and on the border with Ukraine are going nowhere, while the US’ finger is still hovering over the big red “sanctions” button. The Financial Times, Reuters, the Associated Press, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal all have more.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is turning to data nerds to advise on its investments. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) has assembled a more than 50-strong crack-team of physicists, academics and data analysts to help it identify and capitalize on market trends, the Financial Times reports. One of the world’s largest wealth funds with some USD 700 bn under management, Adia has also historically been viewed as one of the most conservative. But as global financial markets become ever more connected and fast-moving, and new AI- and data-based approaches emerge to read the financial tea leaves, Adia is hoping its new “research and development lab and factory” will give it the edge on innovation.


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.

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: As public schools suffer a huge shortfall in teachers, Egypt’s need for more accessible educational training is clear. Part of the problem is that most private sector players don’t see a market for offering teacher training as a standalone service. We look at why appetite remains low — with one notable exception — and where some leaders in the field believe the private sector can play a more active role.


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Misr Italia issues EGP 794 mn securitized bond + Raya eyes EGP 2 bn securitization this year

Misr Italia Properties has closed its first EGP 794 mn issuance as part of an EGP 2.5 bn securitization program, according to a statement (pdf) yesterday from EFG Hermes, which advised on the transaction. The bond is backed by a receivables portfolio of around EGP 1 bn by two of the real estate developer’s subsidiaries, the statement said.

Who’s buying? The sale received “widespread interest” from investors, EFG investment banking co-head Mostafa Gad was quoted as saying in the release. Arab Investment Bank — which was acquired by EFG and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt last year — participated in the transaction along with CIB, Banque du Caire, the National Bank of Egypt, and Suez Canal Bank, EFG said.

The issuance will help Misr Italia ensure that its units are delivered to customers on time, said CEO and Managing Director Mohamed Hany El Assal. The real estate developer signed an EGP 750 leaseback agreement with EFG Hermes Corp Solutions in October to refinance its Garden 8 Mall in New Cairo.

ADVISORS: EFG acted as the sole financial advisor, transaction manager, book-runner, underwriter, and arranger on the issuance.

MEANWHILE- Raya Holding could issue securitized bonds worth a total of EGP 2 bn this year for several of its subsidiaries, Hapi Journal quotes CFO Hossam Hussein as saying in yesterday’s print edition. The company is currently in talks with several banks to manage the securitization process, Hussein said, declining to name them.

Raya aims to go ahead with the first issuance during 1Q2022, Hussein said, without providing details on the size of the transaction. The company is in the process of setting up a new special purpose vehicle, Aman Securitization, specifically for bond issuances, for which it is currently finalizing procedures with the Financial Regulatory Authority, he said. The proceeds from the sale will be channeled into Raya’s working capital, he added.

Raya subsidiary Aman issued EGP 585 mn worth of securitized bonds in August last year.


Banque Misr has obtained a USD 250 mn three-year loan led by a Gulf banking syndicate that includes Saudi National Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD and Qatar’s Khaleeji Commercial Bank, Al Arabiya reports, citing sources it says are familiar with the matter. The bank will use the funding for general financing purposes. Banque Misr last September obtained a separate USD 1 bn three-year syndicated loan from international banks to refinance its debt and expand its lending portfolio.

Advisors: Doha Bank and the National Bank of Egypt (UK) worked as managers for the transaction.

Electro Cable Egypt has signed an EGP 450 mn financing agreement with Housing and Development Bank to help the company meet increased demand for electrical infrastructure from government projects and initiatives, including the Decent Life initiative, the company announced in an EGX disclosure (pdf).


More moves from the central bank to ease in new import rules + Nafeza trials for air freight to start soon

CBE teams up with Credit Guarantee Company to help banks cover risk when issuing letters of credit to importers: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is launching an initiative with the Credit Guarantee Company (CGC) to help “cover the risks associated with issuing letters of credit from banks,” the CBE wrote in a letter seen by Enterprise and circulating widely in the local press. The move comes to encourage banks to issue new letters of credit (L/Cs) for importers who had previously facilitated their purchases through documentary collection.

The details: CGC will waive fees to guarantee the L/Cs for banks for six months from the initiative’s launch. The company is set to brief banks on the parameters of the initiative.

What new import rules? Starting tomorrow, banks will only accept L/Cs to facilitate the purchase of imports, and will no longer accept documentary collection. The central bank has announced exemptions and other measures to facilitate the move, which has drawn criticism from trade and industry organizations, who said it would drive up the price of goods in the local market and hurt the competitiveness of Egyptian exports.

ALSO IN TRADE- A trial to extend the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system to air freight will begin “soon,” according to a Finance Ministry statement. Once the trial period is complete, only shipments that are registered through the system will be allowed to enter the country through airports, according to the statement. A three-month trial of the system for air cargo had previously been tipped to begin in January for an April launch.

What’s ACI? It’s a key part of the Finance Ministry’s digital customs system known as Nafeza, which went live for maritime importers in October. For more on ACI and Nafeza, head to our latest in-depth look at the initiative here.


Interested in an acquisition in the non-bank sector? You’ll soon need approval to start due diligence

You will soon need to get regulatory approval before conducting due diligence on non-banking financial institutions, according to a decision (pdf) announced by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) yesterday. Anyone looking to invest in a non-bank lender will need the greenlight from the authority or its board before accessing the company’s internal documents and data, according to the new rule.

The requirement will come into effect when it’s published in the Official Gazette: The FRA said only that it will happen “soon,” when we asked them yesterday.

The regulator denied that there is a specific reason for the new rule, telling us that the FRA board continuously works on adding new regulations it believes would improve the process.

Two new dispute resolution committees for non-bank financial firms will be set up by the FRA to settle conflicts between companies and clients, the regulator also announced. The first committee will look into complaints within companies working in securities, while the second will handle issues across firms working in non-bank financing, including financial leasing and factoring, SME financing, and real estate financing.

The committees will decide on disputes referred to them by the FRA within one month, and will inform the concerned parties within 15 days of issuing their decision, according to the new regulations. Committee members will be appointed by FRA chief Mohamed Omran.

The FRA is giving the non-banking field lots of attention lately: Earlier this month, the regulator set out responsible lending principles for non-bank SME financing products, and made it easier for credit rating companies to get licenses, in moves meant to boost our non-banking financial sector.


Real estate brokers could face tighter regulation under new bill

The next time you move, it could be through a registered simsar — with set fees: The House of Representatives’ Economic Affairs Committee has given preliminary approval to amendments to the law regulating real estate brokerage, Al Mal reports. The changes would set up a registry for licensed brokers and regulate their fees, among other moves to professionalize the largely informal sector.

The changes: The proposed amendments would require brokerages to register their businesses electronically, and set rules for their activities, the fees they charge and how those fees are collected, Al Bawaba quoted Trade Minister Nevine Gamea as saying during the session. Brokers that violate the regulations could face penalties.

Next steps: The House will continue discussions of the bill in today’s plenary session, Youm7 reports. The amendments will need to get final approval from the House before making their way to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to be ratified into law.

Also on today’s docket: The so-called “old rent law,” according to Al Shorouk. The bill, which was signed off on by the House Housing Committee last month, would — if passed — allow landlords to evict government agencies, public and private companies, embassies, and other entities leasing properties under the old rent system within five years of its being signed into law.


Egypt is in talks with Libya to export locally made Sinovac jabs, Bloomberg quotes Heba Wali, head of state-owned jab-maker Vacsera, as saying in an interview, as plans to make Egypt into a vaccine export hub for the African continent move forward. Other African countries have also requested shipments of the jabs, Wali said, without naming them.

A Chinese delegation will visit at the end of February to discuss export plans with local authorities, Wali said, adding that exports to African countries could be made through the Gavi / Covax global donations program or via direct payments.

Our first overseas shipment of vaccines is heading to the Gaza Strip: Egypt and China are donating 500k Sinovac jabs to the Palestinian Authority, marking our first exports of the jab, according to a health ministry statement. China provided the raw materials for the doses, which were produced in Egypt by Vacsera.

Egypt has so far manufactured more than 30 mn Sinovac doses, according to the statement. We have capacity to make 100 mn doses this year, Bloomberg quoted Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdul Ghaffar as saying. Sinovac is supplying Vacsera with raw materials for 250 mn covid jabs in 2023.

And other jabs are in the pipeline for local production: The World Health Organization is giving us the tech to make our own Moderna-like mRNA vaccines, it announced earlier this week. Meanwhile, Abdel Ghaffar has also held talks with AstraZeneca’s Middle East and Africa head to discuss obtaining the company’s (non-mRNA) vaccine technology.

We received nearly 2.2 mn Pfizer jabs from the US yesterday, as part of Gavi / Covax, the health ministry announced in a statement.

From sending jabs abroad to getting them in arms at home: UNICEF and the Japanese embassy in Cairo yesterday signed a USD 3.5 mn MoU and grant agreement to help increase local vaccination rates, according to an International Cooperation Ministry statement. The funding will be used to establish new vaccination centers, install cooling systems in 500 existing centers, and train around 2k Health Ministry staff.

The Health Ministry reported 2,009 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 2,025 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 469,457 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 58 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 23,752.


NERIC eyes production of electric locomotives by end of 2022

NERIC to begin electric locomotive production by year-end: The National Egyptian Railway Industries Company (NERIC) will begin manufacturing electric locomotives at its East Port Said factory by the end of 2022, Samcrete Chief Business Development Officer Refky Kamel said, according to Hapi Journal’s print edition. NERIC is currently still building the factory, according to Kamel.

This is later than previously expected: Previous reports had suggested NERIC’s factory would come online and begin production by mid-2022.

Refresher: NERIC was set up in late 2020 as a JV between the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, the Suez Canal Economic Zone, the Transport Ministry, East Port Said Development, Hassan Allam, Samcrete, and Orascom Construction. The company was established as part of a state-led bid to localize the rail industry and specializes in producing and refurbishing locomotives. South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem has now reportedly joined the JV, Kamel said, without providing further details.

MEANWHILE- Spanish train manufacturer Talgo and the Transport Ministry are considering setting up a railway manufacturing facility, according to an Ittihadiya statement following President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s sit-down with Talgo Chairman Carlos Oriol. Talgo recently signed an MoU with Egyptian National Railways to supply Egypt with seven sleeper trains as part of the country’s railway overhaul, and is also supplying us with six new passenger trains.


Compass Capital-owned real estate developer Bonyan acquires 6 East Cairo office buildings

Compass Capital-owned real estate developer Bonyan for Development and Trade has acquired six office buildings in East Cairo to expand its portfolio of commercial real estate assets, Compass announced in a press release (pdf), without mentioning the value of the transaction or whom it acquired the units from.

The acquisition brings the value of Bonyan’s assets to EGP 5.5 bn, according to the release. The office buildings are already fully leased out to multinationals and large Egyptian companies.

More acquisitions planned: The developer intends to continue “acquiring other yielding commercial and logistics real estate assets” as it vies to become the leading real estate platform focused on rented commercial properties.

About the firm: Bonyan secured EGP 700 mn in Islamic financing from Banque Misr and BM Lease last year, which will be used to complete the company’s Walk of Cairo outdoor complex in Sheikh Zayed. Its portfolio is split between retail assets and office buildings in East and West Cairo.


Egypt had the fastest internet among African countries last month

Egypt climbed eight spots in Speedtest’s January Monthly Global Index of mobile internet speed. Median download speeds of 19.34 megabits per second (Mbps) put us 88th out of 140 countries.

We slipped two spots in fixed broadband speed, recording median speeds of 35.67 Mbps to rank 86th out of 179 countries in January. Despite the small drop in the ranking, Egypt has the highest broadband speed across Africa, a cabinet statement noted.

The demand for high-speed internet is on the rise: The number of Egyptians paying for high-speed home internet is on the up and up, rising 15% y-o-y to nearly 10 mn by November 2021, while mobile broadband subscribers increased by around 19% to 65.1 mn, according to Capmas (pdf). The government has been working on replacing our traditional copper based internet cables with a more exhaustive high-speed fiber optic network to increase internet speeds.



The number of Ukrainian visitors to Egypt has declined about 20-25% since the start of the year, Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee head Nora Ali told El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 3:26). Ali attributed the decline to seasonal lows and the local Omicron wave rather than increasing tensions in Ukraine — though she added that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would inevitably lead to further decreases. Ukrainian visitors account for around 30% of Egypt’s tourism market, Ali said.

Nafeza also got some airtime last night: Preparations to extend the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system to air freight are underway, with trials to begin “soon,” FinMin Advisor Mona Nasser told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 5:55). We have more on the story in this morning’s Trade section, above.

And GERD, of course: Ethiopia’s powering up of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) yesterday, and Egypt’s response that the milestone was a “further breach of obligations” under the 2015 Declaration of Principles, featured on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 1:31).


Saad El Din Group has restarted operations at the Spanish Egyptian Cement factory (Spegyco) after a three-year hiatus, the group’s media spokesperson told Enterprise, confirming reports from the local press. The factory had been taken offline due to the crippling supply glut dogging the industry, but production quotas introduced last year to ease the crisis factored into the group’s decision to bring it back online, CEO Mohamed Saad El Din was quoted as saying by Al Borsa. Saad El Din Group now holds an 85% stake in the factory, worth EGP 250 mn, after purchasing 72% from Shoura Group in 2019 and then 13% from an unnamed foreign partner last year.

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

  • US infrastructure giant Bechtel will evaluate one of Egyptalum’s factories for possible rehabilitation (pdf).
  • The Transport Ministry will next month sign an agreement with a consortium made up of COSCO, Hutchison Ports, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CMG to manage and operate the new multi-purpose stations in Dekheila port and Ain Sokhna port.
  • Insulation manufacturer ThermoNour will invest EGP 250 mn in a ceramic fiber factory, which it says is the first of its kind in Egypt, in the Ain Sokhna industrial zone.
  • Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held a meeting to review the final draft of Egypt’s national climate change strategy 2050, which the Environment Ministry launched in November.


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US companies have been leveraging high cash balances accrued during the pandemic to increase share buybacks, in a trend that looks set to continue throughout 2022, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. Total 2021 share buybacks could exceed USD 870 bn when the data is complete, topping 2018’s record USD 806 bn. Companies are using buybacks to support investor confidence through recent market volatility, driven in part by the prospect of rising interest rates and geopolitical tensions,

Big Oil is also following the trend, with the world’s seven largest oil companies set to return an estimated USD 38-41 bn to shareholders through buybacks this year, the Financial Times reports. These levels haven’t been seen since 2008, when share buybacks from oil giants exceeded USD 46 bn, driven by Exxon’s huge share repurchasing scheme. Oil and gas firms are seizing the chance for cheap buybacks following sector-wide underperformance during the pandemic, with most management teams feeling their shares have been undervalued, one analyst said.




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The EGX30 fell 1.4% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 501 mn (51.4% below the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 4.8% YTD.

In the red: Heliopolis Housing (-5.2%), Palm Hills Development (-5.1%) and Qalaa Holdings (-4.4%).


How involved is the private sector in training K-12 teachers? The short answer: not very. Government schools have been facing a substantial shortage of teachers, which the education minister has put at as many as 250k. The government intends to hire an additional 30k teachers every year for the next five years, a step that the sector has welcomed though some argue the target should be higher.

Training is one reason why filling the gap may not be straightforward: Egypt’s K-12 teachers generally face a host of challenges, including (pdf) low salaries and a lack of necessary qualifications. Teacher training is especially challenging, as the education system often values academic prestige over the practical skills that would help teachers become better educators. “We absolutely need more Egyptian teachers, but we can’t do this without proper training,” Elsewedy Capital Holding CEO Haytham Sabry tells Enterprise. “The key point is to teach the teachers how to convey knowledge to students,” he adds.

But most private sector players don’t really see a market for offering teacher training as a standalone service: The private sector has a market share of about 10% of Egypt’s total education market, and most private education operators active in the market already have their own teacher training mechanisms in place, for the teachers they employ, CIRA CEO Mohamed El Kalla tells Enterprise. “Historically, beyond the work with donors, the Education Ministry didn’t really offer chances for the private sector to train teachers for the public sector to then recruit from,” he adds.

CIRA is a case in point: As well as running its own in-house training programs for teachers already working inside CIRA-run institutions, CIRA subsidiary Edu Systems International offers training every year for at least a few hundred entry-level teachers — either fresh graduates or people looking to make a career change, says El Kalla. These programs are run without charge for the participants, usually last for three-four months and cover basic teaching concepts, including pedagogy and classroom management techniques, he adds. Most participants then enter CIRA schools as teaching assistants. “This is how we create our supply chain. Some program participants do end up going to work in other institutions. But given CIRA’s size, we absorb most of them.” CIRA doesn’t currently have much of an incentive for offering standalone teacher training services beyond this, he notes.

“There aren’t many private teacher training providers in the market,” agrees Salma El Bakry, Managing Director of BalancED Education — a major private sector operator that runs internationally-certified standalone teacher training programs. “We’re one of few.”

BalancED Education has trained over 17k teachers from 1024 governmental schools since 2014 — working mainly with the Education First (EF) foundation, El Bakry tells Enterprise. Program participants undergo 18 hours of training, spread over three days, BalancED Education Executive Manager Mahmoud Hamza tells Enterprise. The methodology focuses on active learning, differentiated instruction, assessment strategies, classroom management, and English proficiency. The long-term plan is for the program to be sustainable, under a training-of-trainers model, say El Bakry and Hamza.

And the scope of this training is set to keep expanding: “The plan for this year is to have a professional development program for kindergarten and early childhood teachers,” says Hamza.

Its training happens within a framework of national and international partnerships, but takes place under the Education Ministry’s purview: BalancED Education’s government school training programs are rolled-out in partnership with the Florida Atlantic University College of Education, says El Bakry. It partnered with the Vodafone Foundation to launch the Ta3limy digital platform, and with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Education First to train Applied Technology School teachers, she adds. And it’s partnering with Nahdet Misr, to train kindergarten to 4th grade teachers on the Education 2.0 Arabic curriculum, says Hamza.

And it’s financed through partnership: Training sessions are co-funded through the Education First foundation, BalancED Education, and the IACC — which is the main financial partner in most of these training programs, say El Bakry and Hamza. Banks and multinational corporations have also supported the programs, says El Bakry. Public sector participants attend training sessions at no cost, while any private sector participants attending training sessions will pay, she adds.

In general, teacher training in Egypt is seen as being primarily within the purview of academia, says El Kalla. An estimated 15 universities in Egypt offer Bachelor’s degrees in teaching, though their quality may vary considerably, while several universities also offer education-focused Master’s and PhD programs, he adds. AUC’s School of Continuing Education course offerings include a 30-hour standalone Teaching Essentials online course, and a 36-week Career Certificate in Math and Science Teacher Training course. Tuition fees for these courses range from EGP 1.2k-1.7k, and each also has an admission fee of EGP 75, and an English exam fee in the range of EGP 245-370.

But some leaders argue there’s scope for the private sector to play a much more active role in teacher training: Certified private sector-managed teacher training programs would ensure better quality, says El Kalla.

The training of private school teachers should be entirely private sector-led, Sabry argues. Programs could be run in fee-paying teacher training academies. Or they could be subsidized by the private sector, following a model similar to the El Sewedy Technical Education Academy — where 1k students every year embark on a three-year program that gives them on-the-job factory training by specialized German instructors, Sabry says. “We subsidize this, as CSR, and graduates of the program are then free to go and work anywhere,” he adds. Private sector organizations offering these services wouldn’t necessarily have to be profitmaking, because raising the quality of teachers ultimately benefits everyone, he notes.

So, what would it take to get us there? Private sector interest in being a service provider to the public sector in this field could be high if the chance was there, says El Kalla. “The Education Ministry needs to open public tenders for private sector institutions to provide teacher training, to help cover gaps in the market. If this happened, a lot of private enterprises would be interested in developing training programs, to get a part of a big contract.”

Might this actually happen? “I’ve heard of possible interest in this from the ministry, but I'm still waiting to see any contracts,” El Kalla says.

Your top education stories for the week:

  • EFG Hermes’ fintech firm ValU is in talks with e-payments startup Klickit to offer tuition financing.
  • E-learning framework for public universities: The Supreme Council of Universities and the Egyptian Knowledge Bank signed a cooperation agreement to create a “management system” for remote learning in public universities.
  • The Madbouly Cabinet issued a decision to establish a Private Universities Council.
  • A boost to our German language teaching: The Education Ministry has signed an MoU with the Goethe Institute to enhance cooperation on German language teaching.


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.

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.

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

20-21 February (Sunday-Monday): The Red Sea Maritime Transport and Logistics Conference (RSMTL), Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

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 Tourism Organization Middle East committee meeting.

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

March: The new multi-purpose station at Dekheila Port and the revamped Ain Sokhna Port 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.

25 March (Friday): Egypt will host Senegal in the first leg of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers’ playoff (TBC).

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.

28 March (Monday): The second leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers’ playoff between Egypt and Senegal (TBC).

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.

April: Ghazl El Mahalla shares will begin trading on the EGX.

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.

5-7 June (Sunday-Tuesday): Africa Health ExCon, Al Manara International Conference Center, Egypt International Exhibitions Center, and the St. Regis Almasa Hotel, New Administrative Capital.

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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