Thursday, 16 June 2022

AM — Egypt, Israel + EU sign gas export agreement. Plus: Fed gets serious on inflation with 75-bps rate hike



What a way to close a very interesting week, ladies and gentlemen. With the Fed’s rate hike dominating global headlines, we saw our own gas hub ambitions soar with a landmark agreement.

We also have M&A news. A lot of them. Most significantly, UAE’s Aldar is reportedly interested in Madinat Nasr Housing and Development, while EFG Hermes’ Tanmeyah gave early investors in Fatura a nice surprise. We have more on them in the news well below. But first..

Egypt is firmly holding its gaze towards Africa: That’s the message we got from the African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) annual meetings, which kicked off in Cairo yesterday. Egypt is committed to increase its involvement with the bank and help grow its role in African trade, Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer said at the opening ceremony.

With that, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has invested USD 326.6 mn in Afreximbank’s capital increase, maintaining its position as the lender’s biggest non-sovereign shareholder, according to a statement (pdf) from the bank.

On a lighter note, your commutes are going to get better as public schools close for the summer today.

THE BIG STORY here at home- Our regional gas hub ambitions went to the stratosphere: Egypt, Israel and the EU have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ramp up LNG exports to Europe, as the continent looks to phase out its reliance on Russian gas. The agreement will see Israel send more gas via a pipeline to Egypt’s LNG facilities before exporting it on tankers to European shores. There were no details on how much gas we will be exporting to the continent. We have more details in the news well below.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Fed goes Rambo on inflation and announces biggest rate hike in 28 years: The Federal Reserve approved the largest rate hike since 1994 yesterday as it fought to regain the narrative amid soaring inflation and growing market turmoil. Policymakers raised the benchmark rate by 75 basis points to a target range of 1.5-1.75% and said they would continue unwinding the Fed’s USD 9 tn balance sheet, a show of force designed to regain the market’s faith that it’s serious about getting inflation under control. The central bank is “highly attentive” to inflation and will move “expeditiously” to tame prices, Fed chair Jay Powell said at the post-meeting presser (watch, runtime: 1:54:46).

Same again in July? Powell raised the prospect of a second 75-bps hike at its next meeting in July, telling reporters that either 50 bps or 75 bps “seems likely,” though qualifying he doesn’t expect moves of this size to be common.

US rates are going to be significantly higher than expected come the end of the year: Policymakers now see rates ending 2022 at 3.4% and 3.8% at the end of 2023, significantly higher than the 1.9% and 2.8% forecast in March.

Can the Fed avoid triggering a recession? “The probability of a soft landing is certainly not zero, but it’s not high, and it will be a much more difficult target to hit as we move through this year,” one analyst told the Financial Times.

The markets cheered the news, with US stocks and bonds rallying following days of losses.

The picture in Asia is mixed this morning with shares in China and South Korea rebounding, and exchanges elsewhere in the region in the red. Futures indicate that shares in Europe and the US will see further gains when they open later today.

How is all this likely to affect monetary policy here at home? We’ll be out with our customary rate poll next week ahead of the CBE policy meeting on Thursday.

The move is headline news everywhere this morning: Reuters | AP | Bloomberg | FT | WSJ | CNBC | NYT | Washington Post.


The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) continues today: Trade Minister Nevine Gamea and other Egyptian officials are attending the event, where Egypt has been made the guest of honor. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is due to address the gathering via video link, an aide to President Vladimir Putin told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Food policy watchers would probably not want to miss the EU-Egypt Sustainable Food Value Chain conference, which is taking place at Grand Nile Tower Hotel. The conference will focus on things such as the policies governing supply chains of bakeries with a particular focus on the impact on SMEs.


MPs to vote on the budget next week: The draft 2022-2023 budget and the development plan will head to the House of Representatives next week, House Budget and Planning Committee Chairman Fakhri El Fiqi said yesterday. From Sunday, MPs will have three days to discuss the budget, with a final vote potentially being held on Tuesday.

REMEMBER- Under the constitution, MPs have to pass the budget for the next fiscal year before 30 June.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will head to Luxembourg to discuss energy with his EU counterparts, according to Africa Intelligence.


The first workshop in the government’s public consultations on its ambitious state ownership policy document begins next Sunday, according to the online platform for the consultations. Every Sunday and Tuesday will see workshops on specific industries, starting with an agriculture-focused workshop next Sunday and a food industries-focused workshop on Tuesday. Each Thursday is reserved for workshops with the House of Representatives or the Senate, along with think tanks.

** We have a date for the Amcham AGM: Our friends over at Amcham will hold their annual general meeting on Monday 27 June at the St. Regis Cairo Hotel. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait will address the gathering.

There’s a handful of conferences coming up next week:

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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Egypt, Israel and the EU sign gas export agreement

A big day for our gas hub ambitions: Egypt and Israel will increase gas exports to the EU under an MoU (pdf) signed in Cairo yesterday that comes as the continent looks to phase out its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. The agreement will see Israel send more gas to Egypt’s LNG facilities before exporting it on tankers to European shores. “We want to diversify to trusted suppliers and Egypt is a trustworthy partner,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint press conference alongside President Abdel Fattah El Sisi (watch, runtime: 17:24). “This is a big step forward in the energy supply to Europe but also for Egypt to become a regional energy hub.”

A nine-year agreement: The MoU will run for three years and will be renewed automatically for another two three-year periods.

What else we know: The agreement will see the three sides work together on the “efficient utilization” of infrastructure to increase gas shipments to the EU, as well as reduce methane emissions and explore carbon capture projects. Brussels will “endeavor to encourage” European energy companies to increase investment in gas exploration and production in Egypt and Israel, and bid in tenders.

And what we don’t: The agreement doesn’t contain any commitments regarding export volumes or investment. A draft document picked up by Reuters last week suggested that the EU could help finance new energy infrastructure.

What they said: Speaking on Ala Mas’ouleety last night, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said it was an “important day” for Egypt’s sector, and that the agreement positions the country as a “key gas corridor” in the Eastern Mediterranean (watch, runtime: 4:12). EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar both described the pact as “historic.”

Here’s where additional EU financing could be crucial: Egypt is looking to build new LNG terminals and pipelines to increase capacity and export volumes, including a link to Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field which the countries are expected to start constructing later this year, and a potential direct pipeline to Greece.

How much we’re exporting currently: Egypt shipped 8.9 bcm of LNG in 2021 and 4.7 bcm in the first five months of this year, according to Refinitiv data picked up by Reuters.

The EU expects to increase exports this year: The Commission now expects to purchase 7 bcm from Egypt this year, up from 5 bcm, the Financial Times reports a spokesperson as saying.

But it wasn’t immediately clear how Egypt could increase shipments in the short term, given the lack of commitment to new infrastructure and the traditional lull in exports during the summer months. El Molla said recently that without additional investment it could take two or three years before it is able to increase exports.

Remember: The EU has pledged to ban most imports of Russian oil by the end of the year and says it will fully phase out use of Russian gas by the end of the decade. Russia currently provides some 40% of the EU’s annual gas consumption.

The signing coincided with a meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which brought together officials from the eight founding countries, as well as observers the EU, the US and the World Bank. The agreement will lead to further cooperation between members of the forum, which includes Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, France and Italy, El Molla said.


Eni is in talks to ramp up gas imports from Egypt to Italy and the rest of Europe, as Rome seeks more alternatives to Russian energy, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The new agreement would see Eni and Egypt add capacity for export to Italy — beyond the levels agreed in an earlier agreement — within the next two years.

This came as Gazprom reduced gas supply to Eni in what Germany yesterday called a “political” move. The Italian energy giant reported yesterday that flows had fallen by 15% and that the Russian company did not explain why. Tuesday’s disruption through the Nord Stream pipeline that supplies Germany also worsened yesterday after Gazprom said it would cut flows flows by 60%. The company blamed Siemens for malfunctions at one of its pumping stations but Berlin called it a “pretext” to “drive up prices.” European benchmark prices rose 22% to EUR 118 per MWh on the news. Bloomberg and the FT have more.

Egypt + Lebanon need to finalize gas pact terms: The US will assess if a plan to ship natural gas to Lebanon via the Arab Gas Pipeline would violate sanctions on Syria after terms are agreed between Cairo and Beirut, Reuters reported, citing an interview with US energy security envoy Amos Hochstein. “We’ve given pre-approval for the project and as soon as Egypt and Lebanon can agree on the terms, which hasn’t happened yet, then we can evaluate the project,” he said.

ALSO FROM THE MEETING- Egypt and the EU are partnering on hydrogen: “Egypt has the potential to become a leader in renewable energy production and export,” von der Leyen said, adding that the EU wants to explore ways to “put the infrastructure and technologies in place” to expand the renewables sector. The two sides are gearing up to launch a regional hydrogen partnership and sign agreements on green hydrogen and ammonia production during the COP27 summit in November.


More good news, maybe?

The UAE’s Aldar Properties is reportedly eyeing an acquisition of a majority stake in EGX-listed real estate developer Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (MNHD), Bloomberg reports, attributing the story to unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Madinet Nasr has yet to receive any formal offers on the matter, it said in a disclosure to the EGX (pdf) yesterday. Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik is reported to have confirmed the interest to Bloomberg but also stressed that there was no official offer. A representative from MNHD declined to comment when we reached out today and we have yet to receive any confirmation or comments on the story from the ministry.

Who owns what: State-owned institutions collectively own the largest stake in the company, with the Holding Company for Construction and Development holding 15.2%, the National Investment Bank owning 3.7% and Banque Misr holding 3.5%. BIG Investment Group is the largest single shareholder with a 19.9% stake, B Investments owns 7.5% and 20.4% is held by foreign institutions.

Aldar already has a footprint in Egypt, but it wants more: Aldar joined up with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ to acquire 85.5% of leading Egyptian real estate developer SODIC last year. The Emirati real estate giant had said that Egypt was a priority market for international expansion, “driven by a strong belief in the country’s potential and the macro-economic fundamentals driving the real estate sector” after completing the acquisition.

Aldar’s interest in Egypt extends beyond real estate: The developer plans to spend at least AED 5 bn (c. USD 1.4 bn) on acquiring retail and education assets in Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The market reaction: Madinet Nasr’s shares rose 7.3% following the news yesterday, closing at EGP 2.50 apiece.


EFG’s Tanmeyah acquires B2B marketplace Fatura

EFG Hermes’ microfinance arm Tanmeyah has acquired B2B e-commerce marketplace Fatura in a stock and cash transaction, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The acquisition will allow Tanmeyah access to Fatura’s growing network of merchants, which it would use to fill a large gap in the B2B credit market, Tanmeyah CEO Hossam AlNaggar told Enterprise. Meanwhile Fatura will be able to benefit from Tanmeyah’s broad client network and solid revenue streams, he added. AlNaggar declined to disclose the value or number of shares involved in the transaction.

No operational changes at Fatura: The founders of Fatura will still helm and manage the business, while becoming shareholders in Tanmeyah. Fatura’s shareholders will also receive a combination of cash and existing Tanmeyah treasury shares.

What they said: “Our new consolidated product and service offerings confirm our focus on supporting the Egyptian economy from the ground up as they will aid microenterprises in ordering inventory from wholesalers through a one-of-a-kind digital marketplace,” Tanmeyah CEO Hossam AlNaggar said. “We see a huge financing gap in the B2B segment and, by joining forces, we will be able to power digital lending and cover more sectors in Egypt.”

Tanmeyah’s acquisition sees the exit of several VCs: Cairo Angels, Disruptech, EFG-EV, Egypt Ventures and Khwarizmi Ventures all invested in Fatura during its two funding rounds in 2020 and 2021. The move represents one of the “biggest and quickest” exits by Cairo Angels, which was the first to buy a ticket in Fatura, our friends there tell us. The company raised USD 1 mn in its initial round, which was followed by a USD 3 mn pre-series A round in 2021.

About Fatura: Backed by EFG EV Fintech, Fatura’s marketplace was launched in 2019 to connect wholesalers and manufacturers with retailers in different industries, and mostly operates in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. It also provides buy now pay later services and has a footprint in 22 governorates.

About Tanmeyah: Established in 2009, Tanmeyah offers financing programs and support to microenterprise owners to help develop their businesses and facilitate access to finance. By the end of 1Q2022, Tanmeyah’s total number of clients had grown to reach 391k and its portfolio reached c.EGP 3.9 bn — its highest level since its inception.


Webhelp eyes further expansion in the Egyptian market

Outsourcing and consultancy firm Webhelp plans to more than triple its headcount in Egypt by the end of 2024, the Communications Ministry said in a statement yesterday following the opening of the company’s new EGP 250 mn headquarters in Cairo.

The company is gearing up for a hiring spree: The company currently employs 1.1k people in Egypt and plans to raise this to 1.6k by the end of this year and 3.6k by 2024.

Webhelp likes Egypt: “Egypt is one of the most attractive markets in the field of outsourcing services,” founder and CEO Oliver Duha said. The country was named the number one outsourcing destination in the Middle East and 15th in the world in a report last year due to its financial attractiveness and strong workforce.

The ministry’s development agency will ramp up training: ITIDA will make sure there’s a pool of qualified workers available for hire under a three-year agreement signed yesterday.

This is the second MoU between the two sides: Last year ITIDA and Webhelp signed an MoU, under which Webhelp pledged to invest EGP 200 mn in Egypt over three years to expand its business center in the country.

About Webhelp: The company offers a wide range of services from sales to service, content moderation to credit management. The outsourcing and consultancy company was founded in 2000 in France, the company currently operates in over 55 countries and it kicked off its Egypt operation two years ago.


Khazenly gets the bag along with regtech startup Valify

B2B logistics firm Khazenly has closed a USD 2.5 mn seed round led by Arzan Venture Capital and Shorooq Partners with participation from Camel Ventures, Averroes Ventures, and a number angel investors, the company said in a release (pdf).

About Khazenly: Founded last year by Mohamed Younes (LinkedIn), Osama Aljammali (LinkedIn), Mohamed Montasser (LinkedIn), and Ahmed Dewidar (LinkedIn), the company provides fulfillment and logistics solutions for e-commerce businesses and aims to provide merchants with a one-stop-shop to help them digitize their businesses, from first mile, storage, last mile and cash-on-delivery. “We see a pretty big gap in the market in terms of omnichannel fulfillment, whether it’s pure e-commerce, whether it's B2C or B2B,” CEO Younes tells Enterprise. For those wondering what omnichannel fulfillment is: It’s when customers get their products delivered or have stores to do their shopping. Khazenly offers its services via monthly subscription.

Khazenly will use the funding to grow its physical footprint with an eye to quadruple the company’s facilities, build more data-driven products, and expand its geographic reach. “We have a strong pipeline of contracts that require us to expand our space,” Younes said. “We are on the cusp of tremendous client growth in Egypt due to our constantly innovative solutions … We are very proud of our achievements to date, and are thrilled about the immediate future.”


Regtech startup Valify Solutions has closed a USD 1 mn seed round led by 4DX Ventures and Alsara Investment Group, Valify founders Omar Abdelwahed (LinkedIn) and Ibrahim Eid (LinkedIn) told Enterprise. A15, Tawasol Holding and angel investors also participated in the round. They too plan to use the funding to explore a regional expansion, Abdelwahed said.

A “digital identity gateway”: The startup specializes in digital identity infrastructure technology. The B2B2C company uses online ID verification technologies to offer its users a number of services, including digital user onboarding, identity verification, biometric authentication, document authentication, branch automation and AML (anti-money laundering) compliance. The startup helps its clients in the banking, telecom, e-commerce sectors digitize their onboarding process, Abdelwahed told us. The startup’s clientele includes Thndr, Aman, Agel and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait.

Looking ahead: “We are preparing for the floodgates to open, seeing as regulations are moving in the direction where identity verification online will be possible,” Abdelwahed told us, mentioning the Financial Regulatory Authority’s new fintech law and the Central Bank of Egypt’s KYC regulations framework which is expected to be in force by the end of the year.


No electricity price hike before 2023

Electricity prices for residential consumers will remain unchanged until at least the end of 2022, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said during a presser following cabinet’s weekly meeting (watch, runtime: 16:38). Madbouly’s statement follows an announcement by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi earlier this week that the government would not introduce hike prices at the beginning of the fiscal year on 1 July in a bid to ease the weight of inflation on the public.

Residential electricity bills were set to rise by as much as 21% on 1 July, as per the government’s six-year roadmap (pdf) to restructure electricity prices by 2025. Households in the highest consumption tiers — which as of last year have not received subsidies — would have seen prices rise by up to 6%.

Cabinet will reassess the situation in six months’ time and decide whether to continue to leave prices at current levels, Madbouly said yesterday.

The delay comes with a hefty price tag for the state: The six-month delay will cost the state some EGP 10 bn, Madbouly said. Electricity prices are costing the state EGP 16 bn a year, while EGP 4 bn is spent on electricity subsidies.


Spend more on education in FY 2022-2023, says Senate

The Senate wants the government to up its education spend in the coming fiscal year: The Senate Financial and Economic Affairs Committee has recommended the government allocate another EGP 2.5 bn to education in FY 2022-2023, Yasser Omar, deputy chair of the House Budget and Planning Committee, said yesterday. In its review of the budget and the socio-economic development plan, the committee recommended that another EGP 500 mn be allocated to the Education Ministry to give raises to elementary school teachers, and EGP 2.5 bn be given to the Higher Education Ministry to fund medical supplies for university hospitals, he said.

What the government is proposing: The draft budget would see healthcare spending rise 18% to EGP 128.1 bn, and the education allocation increase 12% to EGP 192.7 bn. Social protection programs will also receive more government support, with spending due to rise 4% to EGP 293.4 bn.

The Senate made further recommendations: The committee wants the government to keep foreign borrowing to a minimum, impose a cap on salaries and cut back on hiring foreign consultants. Debate over allocations to subsidies and social safety net programs dominated discussions, Omar said, without disclosing what the committee recommended.

REMINDER- The budget and the development plan will be discussed and voted on in the House next week.


More silos as food moves up the COP27 agenda

We’re about to get another 30k tons of wheat storage capacity: Italy is building six new field silos at a cost of EGP 367 mn under the two countries’ debt swap program, the Supply Ministry said in a statement yesterday. Each silo will be able to hold 5k tons. Two have already been completed and the other four are under construction, state-owned Egyptian Holding Company for Silos and Storage Chairman Sherif Bassily said.

Debt swap? The debt swap agreement allows Egypt to channel its debts into development projects instead of paying back the Italian government.

Getting ahead of the shock: The government’s push to invest in wheat silos in 2014, along with providing incentives to wheat farmers and pushing them to increase the cultivated area of wheat, helped the country improve its strategic reserves and better prepare itself for unexpected shocks, International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat said during an interview with France24 (watch, runtime: 12:07) said.

Expect food security to be a significant topic of discussion during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh this November, Al Mashat said. “There’s a lot of focus on this COP because it is happening at exactly the time where food security is coming in and food security requires investments in land, water use and these are two very important challenges for Africa,” she said, framing the problems of climate change and food insecurity as being interlinked. “We should not have a climate discussion, we should not have a development discussion, both of them are intertwined. This is a realization and a voice that we all have to have collectively.”


TE lands two awards for loan agreement: State-owned Telecom Egypt received the Best Syndicated Loan in North Africa award from EMEA Finance magazine and the Structured Finance Transaction of the Year award from GCF Media Group for its USD 500 mn syndicated loan last year, according to a press release.

Props to the Egyptian King, Mohamed Salah, who ranks #8 on the Sunday Times’ 2022 Giving List after recently giving away GBP 2.5 mn (c. 6% of his income) to charity. Salah celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday.



Energy dominated last night’s talk show coverage after Egypt, Israel and the EU signed an agreement to increase LNG exports to Europe. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla joined Ahmed Moussa on Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:12) while cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad was on with Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:35). Yahduth Fi Masr (watch, runtime: 3:08) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 11:03 ) also had coverage.

The six-month freeze on electricity prices also got the talking heads talking on Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:16), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 2:46), and Yahduth Fi Masr (watch, runtime: 2:46). The move is designed to alleviate burdens from citizens being caused by the spillover effects from the war in Ukraine, Saad told Moussa (watch, runtime: 34:12).

^^ We have more on both of these stories in this morning’s news well, above.


Dominating coverage on Egypt in the foreign press this morning: The gas export agreement signed by Egypt, the EU and Israel yesterday is getting coverage everywhere. (AP | Reuters | Bloomberg | FT | WSJ | Washington Post | Deutsche Welle)

Also making headlines:

  • Lightyear: Al Azhar has issued a statement criticizing Western media and entertainment for depicting LGBTQ+ characters and distributing the content among Muslim societies. (Al Monitor)
  • Egyptian football is in a mess following the shock loss to Ethiopia and the thrashing by South Korea over the past week: There has been confusion over whether or not Coach Ehab Galal was effectively fired after head of the Egyptian Football Association Gamal Allam said the association is looking into replacements live on Ala Mas’ouleety on Tuesday night. (The National)
  • UK celebs call for Alaa Abdel Fattah release: Several celebrities in the UK have urged British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to secure the release of imprisoned, dual-national activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. (The Independent)


Rameda has acquired a molecule used for treating epilepsy, the pharma company said in a disclosure to the EGX (pdf) yesterday. Known as Lacovimp, the molecule reduces the frequency and severity of partial seizures and was described by the company as “the fastest-growing product within the local market for its corresponding API” with a CAGR of 226% between 2019 and 2021. The product is sold for EGP 136-234 depending on the dosage, and is expected to generate EGP 24 mn in annual revenues for the company.

Real estate developers will be able to offer mortgage financing for customers on units still under construction, after the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) approved a mandate to help grow mortgage financing and expand its use, according to a press release (pdf).

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

  • Mitsubishi Power will supply hydrogen fuel conversion tech to Alexandria National Refining & Petrochemicals Company (ANRPC), enabling it to go 100% hydrogen by the end of 2023. The company’s refinery provides 30% of the country’s gasoline supply. (Statement)
  • Indian clean energy company Acme is looking at potential green investments in Egypt. (Statement)
  • Fawry has launched its Cash-in & Cash-out service in cooperation with the Egyptian Banks Company and Banque Misr. (Statement, pdf)
  • Aman for Microfinance launched its first investment fund “Aman Youm-B-Youm” with Prime Investments. (Statement, pdf)


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So much for demand destruction: The global energy crunch isn’t ending anytime soon if the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest outlook is anything to go by. Despite a growing chorus of voices warning of recession in some of the world’s largest economies, the energy think tank is forecasting global oil demand to surpass pre-pandemic levels next year as the Chinese economy bounces back from covid lockdowns. Supply will “struggle” to meet the step up in demand, which will rise 2% to 101.6 mn bbl/day, the IEA said in its latest monthly report.

Supply will also head in the wrong direction as embargoes and sanctions on Russian hydrocarbons and falling output in producers outside the Middle East cancel out supply growth elsewhere. “Global oil supply may struggle to keep pace with demand next year, as tighter sanctions force Russia to shut in more wells and a number of producers bump up against capacity constraints,” the IEA said.

No relief: Oil prices won’t be heading lower in 2023 should the IEA’s forecast come to pass. Prices have already surged to near-record highs this year in response to the war in Ukraine, and a widening in the supply-demand gap will only put more pressure on global benchmarks.

The silver lining: This isn’t a consensus view. OPEC sources said this week that demand growth could slow in 2023 as surging inflation weighs on the global economy.

Also worth noting:

  • Russia is raking in the oil money: Russian oil revenues jumped to around USD 20 bn last month, up 11% from April, as heightened oil prices offset falling export volumes. (Bloomberg)
  • Oman wants in the Gulf IPO boom: Oman is considering IPOing two units of state-owned energy firm OQ and a manufacturing company under a plan by the country’s investment authority to exit state assets. This could be the biggest listing in the country since 2010 if it goes ahead. (Bloomberg)




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The EGX30 fell 0.1% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 813 mn (3.2% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 16.6% YTD.

In the green: Madinet Nasr Housing (+7.3%), Qalaa Holdings (+4.2%) and Heliopolis Housing (+3.5%).

In the red: Cleopatra Hospitals (-4.8%), EFG Hermes (-2.2%) and Eastern Company (-2.0%).


A war of words between G7 + Russian ambassadors in Egypt: Russia’s representative in Egypt has dismissed allegations made by G7 ambassadors on Tuesday that Moscow is bombing wheat fields in Ukraine and single-handedly causing the food crisis.


  • Shoukry talks peace process with UN envoy: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the Israel-Palestine peace process with UN envoy Tor Wennesland during talks in Cairo. (Foreign Ministry)
  • Egypt + UAE to boost military ties: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and UAE army chief of staff General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi held talks to deepen military ties in Cairo yesterday. (Ittihadiya)
  • Al Khalifa call: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed “challenges in the region” with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa. (Ittihadiya)


Farah Ehsan, mobility, joint health, and corrective exercise specialist and yoga instructor: Each week, My Morning Routine looks at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Farah Ehsan (LinkedIn), creator of Flow by Farah

My name is Farah Ehsan, and I’m a self-employed mobility, joint health, and corrective exercise specialist and yoga instructor. I started my professional career in the VC and marketing fields. Before starting my coaching business, I worked with Falak Startups, Riseup, and international design agencies such as CBA design.

I’ve always been passionate about fitness and movement. I used to coach my clients in a gym prior to the pandemic. When covid hit and gyms were shuttered, I decided to take my business online to help clients stay in shape from the comfort of their homes. I’ve been providing online yoga, movement, and fitness programs ever since.

Online classes connected people in a time of isolation. When the lockdown came into effect, people felt secluded and felt a real need to connect with others. Having a platform that brought people together was very fulfilling for me. Online classes were awkward at first and it took consistency to improve the quality of the work. I invested in my setup: I bought lighting equipment, a wide screen TV that would enable me to see every single trainee of mine. With time, online classes became a staple of my business. Given the convenience and quality of virtual classes, there still is huge demand for remote classes even after the easing of restrictions.

Becoming a mother helped me understand the needs of a segment of my clients on a much deeper level. Being in the shoes of so many of my clients and going through the same physical changes and parental struggles they face, enabled me to understand their busy schedules, their exercise needs, and so much more. I decided to pursue a pregnancy and postpartum corrective exercises certification, for instance, to help mothers and would-be moms who want to stay fit and healthy.

My morning routine is extremely important to me. I wake up at 5:30am to take care of my 7-month-old baby. I then get some precious me time early on in the day before I kick off and engage with the rest of the world. I start off by having a cup of joe and do a 20-minute movement session that entails basic exercises which stimulate the whole body and get blood circulation going. That prepares me for the day ahead. Afterwards, I enjoy some quality time with my husband before we both get preoccupied with business.

To maintain a healthy work-life balance, I split my week into two categories: Giving days and receiving days. The nature of my work as an instructor entails a lot of caring and giving. But if you do not carve out time for your own education, development, and wellbeing, you won’t be able to help anyone. I give one day to my clients and one day to myself. On giving days, I train my clients, whether that be in a 1:1 format, Zoom, or group classes. I also record content for my website, prepare material for my social media platforms, and teach at events and brand activations. On receiving days, I focus on honing my craft and learning more about my field; I always take courses to expand my knowledge. This format re-energizes me for the next day of work and helps me stay focused.

Working from home also helped me attain a good balance. I was super burned out prior to the pandemic — I had no time to work on myself. Remote working enabled me to take a lot of courses and obtain numerous certifications.

The pros of being self-employed? Aside from the fact that I’m passionate about my business, I have control over my time and have the freedom to work seasonally. I never had that luxury when I was working 9-5 jobs. I truly believe that having more time on your hands helps boost productivity levels and helps get the creative juices flowing. This helps me come back to my business with fresh ideas that help better my clients’ lives.

One thing that I have to do everyday is to exercise and move my body. Short movement breaks are a constant for me. I perform them regularly, between training sessions and even when I’m studying. They are super efficient and keep me in good shape, both mentally and physically. My teaching revolves around these short corrective exercises. I believe moving often is the best way to stay healthy.

The last great books I read were Do Less by Kate Northrup and Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss. The former is a great read that delves into the struggles of working moms. On the other hand, I turn to Tribe of Mentors whenever I’m feeling lost, overwhelmed, or uninspired. The book is a page turner that’s structured in a way that caters to people on the go. Exploring the struggles of the world’s top performers, and learning how they overcame these failures, helped me overcome a tough period in my life. That’s one of the reasons behind my love for this book.


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.


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 (Monday): Amcham annual general meeting, St. Regis Cairo Hotel.

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

September: Estate Waves Egypt will launch its first real estate exhibition through metaverse technology in September.

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: 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: 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.


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


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.


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.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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