Monday, 13 June 2022

AM — Maait: Ukraine war could cost us another USD 10 bn in wheat + oil imports.

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another issue of the government and the private sector playing whack-a-mole with the impact of the Ukraine-Russia war.

THE BIG STORY TODAY- Finance Minister Mohamed Maait’s estimate of a USD 10 bn extra burden from rising wheat and oil prices on the country next fiscal year is leading the local news.

More UAE investment news: Elsewhere, First Abu Dhabi Bank completed the merger of Bank Audi Egypt and rebrands its local operations to FABMisr, while our friends at Chimera become the latest to make a play for a controlling stake in Beltone Financial.

Investment roadshow continues: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has invited South Korean companies to invest in our agriculture, industry, transportation, energy, and water sectors, according to a statement by the Finance Ministry. Maait laid out the government’s privatization strategy in a meeting with South Korean companies’ local representatives, saying that the government is ready to help remove obstacles for investors as part of efforts to lure USD 10 bn in foreign direct investment (FDI) annually.

Officials from our government have been meeting with foreign and Arab investors in the past few weeks under efforts to promote the country as an investment-friendly destination as the state doubles down on its privatization push.

Some good news from the senate: The Senate has approved the state’s draft 2022-2023 sustainable development plan (pdf). It should now be on its way to the House of Representatives for final approval, Al Borsa reports.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Latvian FM + business delegation in town for talks: Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs is accompanying a business delegation to Cairo, which kicked off its three-day visit yesterday. The trip is aiming to “strengthen political and trade relations … particularly in digital and logistics sectors,” Rinkēvičs wrote on social media Saturday. The minister held talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry yesterday, which focused on the war in Ukraine, its impact on the global economy, and illegal immigration, in additon to deepening cooperation in IT, education and tourism, according to an Ittihadiya readout of the meeting.

Information and cyber security conference Caisec gets underway today at the Kempinski in New Cairo. The two-day event brings together industry decision makers, CEOs and CIOs from leading local and international tech companies, as well as government figures, including six ministers. Attendees will discuss cybersecurity issues including securing digital banking services, building critical infrastructure systems, and the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

MARKET WATCH-

Efforts to unlock Ukrainian grain seem to be facing hurdles: Ukraine is exporting grain via two routes through Poland and Romania but bottlenecks are slowing down the process, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Dmytro Senik told Reuters yesterday. Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea ports has trapped some 30 mn tons of grain inside Ukraine, and forced Kyiv to turn to rail, road and river transport to get it out of the country. Senik did not disclose how much grain has been — or is set to be — transported through the two countries.

The problem: There’s no simple or cheap way for Ukraine to export grain over land. Shipments need to be transferred to different trains at the Polish border — where there are few loading or storage facilities — because the country’s Soviet-era railway network uses a different gauge to the rest of Europe. Taking the Romania route involves transporting shipments by rail to the Danube river where they are loaded onto barges and sent to the port of Constanta.

Things could get a bit easier in the coming weeks: Ukraine is currently talking to countries in the Baltic to add a third corridor, Senik said.

There’s little chance of a breakthrough in the Black Sea: Neither Ukraine nor Russia appear likely to sign on to a UN- and Turkey-backed plan to reopen the port of Odessa and ease the global food crisis. Wary of a potential attack on its final coastal stronghold, Ukraine is refusing to demine the port, while Moscow is demanding a relaxation of sanctions before it allows ships to exit the Black Sea.


There’s no one BIG STORY ABROAD this morning as the slow news day at home is mirrored in the pages of the international press. That said, everyone is paying attention to the passing of a bipartisan bill in the US meant to address gun violence by limiting access to some kinds of firearms. While modest in scope, the legislation is the first gun reform to get past US lawmakers in decades, despite years of calls for action on the back of successive school shootings. The impetus for this latest push was the murder of nineteen children and two adults at a Texas school last month. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters have more.

FROM THE DEPT. OF D’UH- WTO head warns of “bumpy and rocky” road as high-level meeting enters its second day: More than 100 trade ministers are discussing whether to ease food export restrictions and waive covid vaccine patents at the four-day ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a potentially significant moment for the escalating global food crisis, and for accelerating the rollout of vaccines in the developing world.

Just a few landmines? “The road will be bumpy and rocky. There may be a few landmines on the way,” the AP quotes WTO head Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as saying yesterday.

The sticking points: G7 countries are pushing for an end to food export restrictions, clashing with India, which wants to maintain its ban on wheat exports to protect its population from food shortages and rapidly rising prices. India, along with South Africa, has also been one of the main proponents of scrapping patents on covid vaccines, a proposal which has been rejected by most western governments which have sided with the pharma industry.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

It could be a big week for our gas export ambitions: Hopes are high that Egypt can ink an agreement to increase exports to the EU when EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen lands in Cairo for talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. According to a draft document seen by Bloomberg earlier this month, the EU is expected to sign an MoU with Egypt and Israel that will see more Israeli gas shipped to Egypt’s LNG facilities where it will be exported across the Mediterranean.

All eyes on the Fed: Further afield, the Federal Reserve will meet tomorrow and Wednesday to decide on interest rates amid US inflation accelerated to a fresh 40-year high in May. This has raised fears among traders that the Federal Reserve will turn even more hawkish when it meets this week.

The question now becomes by how much: will it be 50 bps or 75 bps? We have more on that in Planet Finance below.

Egypt is the guest of honor at this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which takes place on 15-18 June in the Russian city. Trade Minister Nevine Gamea will participate in several panels on Thursday, including a session on Egyptian-Russian relations where she’ll be joined by SCZone VP Waleid Gamaleldien, the head of the Egyptian Exporters Associated Mohamed Kassem, and Tourism Ministry undersecretary Ahmed Youssef.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

El Sisi, Amer attending Afreximbank annual meetings: The African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) annual meetings start Wednesday at the new capital’s St. Regis Almasa Hotel. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer, and Afreximbank President Benedict Oramah will give keynote speeches at the event, which will focus primarily on implementing the Africa freetrade agreement that came into force in 2021.

There’s a handful of conferences coming up:

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

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*** 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: After a trial year appears to have not gone over well with students and universities, the Higher Education Ministry’s Supreme Council for Private Universities has decided to overhaul its centralized admissions system for private and nonprofit universities. The system, which was launched last year, imposed a Tansik-style process (the same process used for public universities in Egypt) on private university admissions by allocating students to available seats based primarily on their grade points.

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COMMODITIES

And the toll from Europe’s mess keeps getting bigger

Egypt will need around USD 10 bn next fiscal year for wheat + oil: Egypt could face an extra USD 10.2 bn burden next fiscal year if wheat and oil prices remain at their current elevated levels, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told CNBC Arabia in an interview.

On wheat: Some USD 3 bn more would be needed for imported wheat in FY2022-23, split equally between public and private purchases, Maait said. Maait puts current prices at around USD 500 per ton — around double the upper range of what wheat had cost us on the international markets before the recent price squeeze, he says. Multiply the USD 250-per ton difference by around 12 mn tons we import in a year (split equally between public and private-sector purchases) for the USD 3 bn figure.

On oil: He estimates that additional oil import costs could come in at around USD 7.2 bn. It’s the same story as with wheat — prices have doubled on the USD 60/bbl price that the government had penciled in for this fiscal year. We import around 120 mn barrels of oil a year, making for an EGP 7.2 bn additional annual cost. Brent crude closed at USD 122 per barrel yesterday.

REMEMBER- The government has already estimated rising global wheat prices on the back of the war to cost it an additional EGP 15 bn this fiscal year, penciling in the cost at around USD 350 per ton. We should get clarity on when the budget for this fiscal year closes (we estimate sometime in the coming months).

The consequences: Rising wheat prices don’t only add an additional burden on the state budget, but pressure prices in the wider market and the local currency, Maait noted.

The figures are higher than those penciled in for the draft FY2022-2023 budget, which is currently making its way through the House of Representatives. The budget assumes an

an average price of USD 330 per ton of wheat (up from USD 255 this fiscal year), and USD 80 per barrel of oil — estimates that came in for criticism from some MPs as leading to unrealistically low allocations for state purchases in the budget. The allocations are tentative and could still be changed up until the budget is passed (most likely sometime before the new fiscal year begins in July.)

War in Ukraine has sent commodities prices rocketing — and we’re particularly vulnerable to the impacts: The world’s largest importer of wheat, we usually source north of 80% of our grain imports from Russia and Ukraine. We’re also a net oil importer, leaving us vulnerable to the price squeeze that began as a result of a demand-supply imbalance during the post-pandemic recovery and has been exacerbated by the war, which has seen Europe pledge to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels.

KUDOS to Maait and the gov’t for continuing their policy of speaking transparently about the effects of global economic headwinds here at home. As Maait noted, this crisis is not the result of “interior politics” but of market forces beyond our borders — and communicating clearly will be key to riding them out.

Meanwhile, the French are stepping up: Some 63k tonnes of French wheat has landed at Red Sea’s Safaga Port, Al Masry Al Youm reported. The shipment is part of the 350k tons of wheat from France, Russia, and Bulgaria that GASC bought in April, in its first successful tender since war broke out in Europe’s breadbasket. The French wheat is now being tested for quality, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

IN OTHER COMMODITIES NEWS-

The Oil Ministry plans to build a EGP 1.8 bn crude oil storage facility south of Cairo, which would receive crude from Ain Sokhna and transfer it to the Assiut oil refinery, according to a statement.

M&A WATCH

Bidding war over Beltone afoot?

UAE’s Chimera puts in an offer for Beltone: Our friends at Abu-Dhabi based investment firm Chimera Investments have submitted a non-binding offer to acquire a controlling stake in Beltone Financial, according to a statement (pdf) by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and disclosures by Chimera (pdf) and Beltone (pdf).

The breakdown: Chimera is bidding to acquire 51-90% of Beltone at an initial price of EGP 1.49 per share, valuing the firm at some EGP 690 mn by our math.

This is the second acquisition offer Beltone has fielded in as many weeks: An investor alliance led by WM Consultancy last week put in its own offer to acquire a 51-90% stake in Beltone at EGP 1.35 a piece.

Chimera has pitched its offer exactly 10% higher than WM’s bid, and at more than a 40% premium to Beltone’s share price before the news of WM’s offer broke.

Beltone’s shares fell 0.96% to EGP 1.138 yesterday. Shares are still up more than 9% since WM’s bid was announced at the start of last week.

What’s next: A final offer is pending regulatory approvals in Egypt and the UAE, according to the statements.

Beltone has already given the green light for the WM-led consortium to conduct due diligence, it said last week. The consortium will need approval from the FRA before it can start due diligence. WM Consultancy is led by former Beltone exec Wael Mahgary.

Who owns Beltone today? Orascom Financial Holding (OFH) currently owns 58% of Beltone, with the rest in freefloat, according to the company’s website. OFH has been lowering its stake in Beltone over the past couple of years, after holding a majority of 74.5% of the company in 2020.

This comes on the back of another loss making year for Beltone: The company’s net losses widened to EGP 169.8 mn in 2021, from EGP 132.4 mn the previous year, according to the firm’s financial statement. Revenues rose 27.1% y-o-y in 2021, recording EGP 351.7 mn.

Advisors: Chimera has tapped Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy as legal counsel to the Abu Dhabi-based fund, according to its statement.

BANKING

Welcome, FABMisr

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has completed the merger of Bank Audi Egypt and rebranded its Egypt operations as FABMisr, a year after it acquired 100% of the Lebanese bank’s local unit, the Emirati lender said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The bank has received all the regulatory approvals for the merger, including from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the General Authority for Investment & Freezones (GAFI), it said. The value of the transaction has not been made public.

A new big fish: FABMisr is expected to launch in 4Q, and will more than quadruple its branch count to 69 from a prior 17. This will make FABMisr one of the largest foreign banks in Egypt, with more than EGP 185 bn in assets.

Exodus: The Lebanese lender was forced to put its businesses in Egypt, Jordan and Iraq up for sale in 2020 due to the financial and economic crisis in its home country. Fellow Lebanese bank Blom also offloaded its Egypt unit last year, selling a 99.5% stake to Bahrain’s Bank ABC.

Advisors: FAB and UBS AG were buy-side financial advisors, while EFG Hermes was the sole sell-side financial advisor. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy were legal advisors to FAB on the transaction, while Dechert as well as Zulficar and Partners were counsel to Bank Audi. JPMorgan gave Bank Audi a fairness opinion, while Broadgate Advisors also offered advisory services to the bank.

CONSUMER FINANCE

Contact makes play for ’defensive’ sectors

Contact Financial Holding’s consumer financing arm is earmarking EGP 2 bn for tuition financing in 2H2022, Contact CEO and Managing Director Said Zater told Enterprise, confirming reports from Hapi. The company already has agreements with some schools and universities to offer fee payment plans, Zater said, adding that parents can also get financing for tuition fees through direct agreements with Contact.

Contact is also eyeing healthcare financing in 2H2022, Zater said — especially dental care. The company is currently in talks with several companies on financing medical equipment, and is set to finalize a factoring agreement with online dental marketplace Toothpick within days.

The company is also looking into agriculture financing, including for irrigation equipment, solar power plants on large farms, and seeds, Zater said.

This comes on the back of a strong first quarter for Contact Financial Holding: The company’s net income jumped 40% y-o-y to EGP 154 mn in 1Q2022. Net income from Contact’s financing business rose 46% y-o-y to EGP 141 mn. The company saw a near five-fold increase in new consumer finance, driven by growth in home interior, club membership, and education financing.

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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Leading the airwaves yesterday: Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit discussed the GERD crisis, as well as the war in Ukraine and its impact on the region, in a wide-ranging interview with Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 1:39:33)

Ethiopia wants to “suffocate downstream countries Egypt and Sudan'' by filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without having reached an agreement with Cairo and Khartoum, Aboul Gheit told Moussa (watch, runtime: 3:06). The way the UN Security Council has dealt with the Ethiopian dam crisis is “regrettable”, he added.

The council has repeatedly declined to weigh in on the dispute despite concerted lobbying by Egypt and Sudan for a stronger stance against Ethiopia.

The crisis in Ukraine is the driving force behind US President Joe Biden’s mooted visit to the region, Aboul Gheit says (watch, runtime: 6:00), as Western allies attempt to shore up energy supplies to Europe to replace Russian fossil fuels. Europe is currently reliant on Russia for some 40% of its natural gas. “Regions able to provide gas supplies [to Europe] are the Gulf, West Africa and Algeria or Latin America’s Venezuela,” according to Aboul Gheit.

MEANWHILE IN TOURISM-

  • State-owned hotels do allow women under 40 to stay alone, Assistant Tourism Minister Abdel Fattah Al Assi told Salet El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 11:48), in response to a debate on social media over hotels that allegedly have a policy of turning unaccompanied women away.
  • Unaccompanied children under the age of 16 must show ID to enter archaeological sites and museums on weekends and national holidays, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities Mostafa Waziri told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 7:58). The decision comes after a group of boys harassed two female tourists at the Giza Pyramids in May.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Hear that? It’s the sound of the foreign press with nothing to say about Egypt this morning. Take a breather and enjoy it while you can.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Alameda hospitals to get new equipment + operating systems in partnership with Medtronic: Alameda Healthcare has signed an MoU with the Egyptian arm of medtech firm Medtronic that will give Alameda hospitals access to Medtronic’s full portfolio of “cutting-edge medical devices, including newly launched and premium products,” according to a press release by Alameda (pdf). The agreement will also see Alameda’s four Cairo hospitals use Medtronic management software to boost their operational efficiency.

Focus on neurosurgery: Under the agreement, new Medtronic spinal surgery tech will be installed at Alameda’s As Salam International Hospital in Maadi, “contributing to [Alameda’s] growth and development as a center of excellence in the field of neurosurgery,” the release read.

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

  • UNHCR and the Health Ministry have opened mental health clinics and inpatient wards in Cairo and Alexandria. The UN refugee agency donated 100 new beds to Abbaseya hospital, and gave office and electronic equipment to outpatient clinics. (UNHCR)
  • President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has signed into law a bill regulating Hajj trips and setting up an online portal for the pilgrimage. (MENA)

PLANET FINANCE

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The Fed missed the boat on inflation, says El Erian: Allianz Chief Economist Mohamed El Erian told CBS’s “Face The Nation” that 40-year high inflation in the US could have been avoided had the Federal Reserve acted earlier. The Fed “mischaracterized what inflation is and it fell behind,” El Erian said. “And the lessons of history is, once you fall behind, you lose the ability of the first best response.”

More price hikes and another 50-bps cut to come? “We may well get to 9% at this rate,” El Erian said, days after US consumer prices rose to 8.6% last month, their highest rate since November 1981. “We should look at the Fed to increase by at least 50 basis points this coming week,” he said. Traders now see a 50% chance that the Fed will raise interest rates by an unusually large 75 bps when it meets on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

The US will likely fall into recession next year, according to nearly 70% of economists polled by the Financial Times. Nearly 40% of the 49 respondents expect the US economy to enter a recession in the first half of next year, while 30% predict it to happen in the second half.

What’s a recession, technically speaking? It’s a “significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months,” according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is tasked with declaring recessions in the US.

Also worth noting:

  • Record capital increase in KSA: Saudi Telecom is planning to raise capital by USD 8 bn through issuing bonus shares in what will be the largest capital increase by a Saudi company. Shares rose as much as 9.8% on the news. (Bloomberg)
  • TotalEnergies gets 25% stake in Qatari gas megaproject: The oil and gas major is the first international firm to acquire a stake in Qatar’s USD 30 bn LNG project, which is set to be the largest in the world. (Statement)
  • Around USD 40 bn has been wiped off US companies’ earnings in 1H 2022 due to FX effects after the USD rose to its highest level since 2002. (The Financial Times)

Down

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Buy 18.65

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11.25% deposit

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THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 1.4% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 529 mn (36.5% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 15.5% YTD.

In the green: Heliopolis Housing (+5.5%), Madinet Nasr Housing (+2.9%) and Ezz Steel (+1.1%).

In the red: Eastern Company (-4.0%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (-3.3%) and Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (-2.7%).

Asian markets are down across the board in early trading this morning and futures suggest both European indices and then Wall Street will open to a wall of red later on today.

DIPLOMACY

Rival Libyan lawmakers are back in Cairo for another round of UN-brokered talks, which will end on 19 June, according to the Associated Press. The most recent round of talks concluded in April without reaching an agreement on a way forward to national elections.

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Students applying to private universities in Egypt no longer have to face a Tansik-style admissions process…for now: A little over a year after its introduction, the Higher Education Ministry’s Supreme Council of Private Universities decided last week to change the centralized admissions platform that imposed a Tansik-style system for private and nonprofit universities, several sources confirmed to Enterprise. The decision to change the admissions process came after the council reassessed the platform and concluded that it was not best serving the needs of universities or students, our sources said.

Refresher: What’s this admissions platform we’re talking about? The Higher Education Ministry’s Supreme Council of Private Universities had launched the system in February of last year, following more than a year of planning that began in early 2020, in a bid to create an administrative and regulatory platform for the admissions process. The system was also designed to end the practice of universities opening up seats to students who have the ability to pay, but do not meet the academic requirements imposed on the rest of the student body.

How did it work (or didn’t rather): The original setup required students to apply to the platform, with the application including filling out their desired majors, their preferred university (or universities), and with their grades once they are released. The platform then assigned students to universities with high school grades being the key determinant, along with the number of places available at each faculty at each university, and the student’s preferences. Students with the highest grades got first dibs, followed by those with intermediate grades, and finally the students with the lowest grades.

You can read our full in-depth explainer on the system here.

The system was launched amid plenty of skepticism and concerns from students, parents, and universities alike. The platform’s design superseded choices from students and universities by determining admissions based solely on students’ final grades, which university operators were concerned would leave them short on student quotas or force them to miss out on candidates with other skills or criteria more important than academic performance. Students were also unhappy that they would be forced to wait a full academic year to reapply or transfer if they were assigned to a university they’re unhappy with.

The trial appears to have failed, leading the ministry to rework the system: “The experiment of imposing Tansik on private universities failed, so the Supreme Council of Private Universities is working to move back to a direct admissions system,” Nahda University President Hossam El Malahy told Enterprise. The experiment was meant to address issues with corruption and lack of transparency in certain universities, which the Higher Education Ministry still wants to address, but this system simply wasn’t the right fit, El Malahy said. “The Tansik system is no longer present in any country around the world — it’s not what is considered best practice in the world, but it’s just how Egypt has been used to handling public university admissions.”

So how does the admissions system work now? The system now more closely resembles the UK’s UCAS platform, which acts as an administrative centralized admissions system, without the additional regulatory element. Students applying to private and nonprofit universities will now apply to their university of choice through the university website and that university will be responsible for registering the student’s application on the portal, Supreme Council of Private Universities head Mohamed Helmy El Ghar told us. The portal will have a mirroring system wired into universities’ online application portals so that the Supreme Council will be able to see applications as they are submitted and keep track of how they are processed, which will help keep the process transparent, El Malahy explained.

Students’ applications will still be processed through the system’s online portal, but the universities themselves will make the admissions decisions rather than having students allocated based purely on their grades and the number of seats available. Applicants will be required to complete entrance exams or otherwise meet requirements as determined by each institution. Universities will determine how many seats are available per faculty and department in the upcoming term (as was the case previously) and will choose which students to admit.

The council hopes that the new setup will strike the balance between oversight and flexibility: “This is a move to a more liberal system and is part of the general shift away from centralization,” El Ghar said. The new setup will grant universities more flexibility in determining which students to accept but still gives the council oversight to ensure that universities are meeting their admissions quotas and that students are not accepted at random.

Also important to consider: The government really wants to keep Egyptian students in Egypt. “The Higher Education Ministry is trying out scenarios as quickly as possible to set up a good system that gives students the best chance at quality education and also helps to encourage Egyptian students to pursue an education domestically,” El Malahy said.

KUDOS to the council for taking constructive feedback and actually doing something with it: The decision to rework the system was based on feedback, but some want a wider discussion on how to best address the admissions process. The ministry should hold a dialogue session or workshop with as many stakeholders as possible to review the system and get a clear of idea where it did and did not work, Chinese University President Ashraf El Shehi told us. “It’s not necessarily that going back to an old system is best or that a complete change is best, but the decision makers need to listen to a broad range of experiences to better understand how to move forward.


Your top education stories for the week:

  • CIRA could issue our first future flow securitization by July: EGX-listed private sector education outfit CIRA could issue the first tranche of EGP 2 bn of future flow securitized bonds next month.
  • Education investments in the pipeline? The education and higher education ministries will come up with a list of state-owned schools and universities that could be offered to private investors.
  • New private university? Egyptian Modern Education Systems plans to (pdf) set up a private university in one of Egypt’s new cities and acquire a number of schools.
  • NU + CIB to design sustainable financing training program: Nile University and CIB are teaming up (pdf) to design the first academic program for sustainable financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • El Sewedy, Amity University to set up local tech university: El Sewedy Education and the Dubai branch of India’s Amity University have agreed (pdf) to establish El Sewedy University of Technology (SUT) in 10th of Ramadan City, a press release (pdf) by ElSewedy read. Admissions are set to open for the 2023-2024 academic year.

CALENDAR

OUR CALENDAR APPEARS in two sections:

  • Events with specific dates or months are right here up top
  • Events happening in a quarter or other range of time with no specific date / month appear at the bottom of the calendar.

JUNE

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

15-18 June (Wednesday- Saturday): Afreximbank annual meetings, St. Regis Almasa Hotel, new capital, Egypt.

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

16 June (Thursday): EU-Egypt Sustainable Food Value Chain conference, Grand Nile Tower Hotel, Cairo.

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

21-22 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, Cairo.

21-23 June (Tuesday-Thursday): Commonwealth Business Forum, Kigali, Rwanda.

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

25-27 June (Saturday-Monday): Big 5 Construct, Egypt International Exhibition Center.

26 June (Sunday): The deadline for private companies to pre-register ahead of bidding for the second phase of the PPP national project to establish and operate 1k language schools.

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

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

30 June (Thursday): Deadline for bids for National Democratic Party HQ redevelopment contract.

June: Egypt will launch a unified ticketing system for all means of transport at the Adly Mansour Interchange Station.

June: Egypt and Israel will sign an agreement with the EU to increase LNG exports.

JULY

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

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

July: Actis’ expected sale of its majority stake in Lekela to Infinity and Masdar’s Infinity Power.

First week of July: The national dialogue called for by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi kicks off.

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

1 July (Friday): Official rollout of e-receipt system 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.

AUGUST

August: Work to extend the capacity of the Egypt-Sudan electricity interconnection to 600 MW to be completed.

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

SEPTEMBER

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.

6-9 September (Tuesday-Friday): Gate Travel Expo 2022, El Kobba Palace, Cairo.

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

18 September (Sunday): Deadline for brokerage firms, asset managers and financial advisors to register with the Egyptian Securities Federation.

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

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

26–27 September (Monday-Tuesday): The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.

OCTOBER

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

1 October (Saturday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

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

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

10-16 October (Monday-Sunday): World Bank and IMF annual meetings chaired by CBE Governor Tarek Amer, Washington, DC.

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

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.

3-5 November (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Fashion Week.

4-6 November (Friday-Sunday): The Autotech auto exhibition kicks off at the Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

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.

DECEMBER

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

JANUARY 2023

January 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.

MAY 2023

22-26 May (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

2Q2022: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt will invest in two companies in the financial inclusion and non-banking financial services sectors.

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

End of 2Q2022: Door for bidding for the contract to redevelop the site of the former National Democratic Party HQ to close.

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.

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.

3Q2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

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

2023: Egypt will host the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in 2023.

**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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