Thursday, 23 June 2022

AM — Less hot money, more FDI — and a potential four-year extended facility from the IMF, says Maait

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Happy Thursday, ladies and gentlemen. Thankfully, yesterday’s pacy newsflow has slowed a little as we roll on into the weekend — giving us a chance to unpack some of the big stories that came in this week.

THE BIG STORY here at home: We’re delving deeper into Finance Minister Mohamed Maait’s comments at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha. Maait is advocating for a switch in focus from hot money to FDI, and hints that we could be in line for a four-year facility from the IMF.

Legislation is a bit of a theme again today, too. We’re gauging the reaction of the real estate sector to new regulations that will bring developers under a more watchful eye.

It’s also interest rate day. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will hold its latest policy meeting today against the backdrop of rising inflation and an acceleration of the biggest global tightening cycle in decades. Coming on the back of worsening inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s huge 75-bps rate hike last week, emerging economies across the world will come under increasing pressure to act as liquidity tightens and borrowing costs rise. S&P Global just yesterday brought the problems into focus, publishing a list of countries in Europe and emerging markets ⁠— Egypt among them ⁠— which could face credit stress should rates rise by 300 bps.

But gauging what policymakers will do is proving harder this time around: A narrow majority of analysts we surveyed last week expect the CBE to keep things steady this month while it assesses the impact of recent rate hikes on inflation in June and July. The central bank has already raised rates by 300 bps since March in response to inflation and external pressures

A wider poll conducted by Reuters this week has the CBE raising interest rates. Its survey of 17 analysts forecasts a 50 bps increase in the benchmark rate to 11.75% and a 25 bps hike in the lending rate to 12.50%. “In a context of hawkish Fed policy and pressure on Egyptian external liquidity, a significant rise in CBE rate is needed for a recovery in portfolio inflows,” said Pascal Devaux, senior economist at BNP Paribas.

Are we saying goodbye to carry traders? Most crucial to the wider conversation on rates, is the government signaling that it will rely more on FDI and less on carry traders to boost FX reserves. The latest to stress this point was Finance Minister Mohamed Maait. We have more on his statements in our Economy section below.

FACT CHECK- Maait did not say at the forum that Egypt is facing a food crisis, as some local media outlets have reported, according to a Finance Ministry statement, which said the minister’s statements on the global food crisis had been taken out of context and stressed that our reserves of key commodities are sufficient to last for six months.


Yet more love from the KSA? The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) wants more cooperation with us on renewable energy and food security projects, fund head Sultan Abdulrahman Al-Marshad told International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat, according to a ministry statement. The SFD will visit Egypt in September to tour projects it is helping finance, he said.

SMART POLICY- Madbouly cabinet expands “golden licenses”: The Madbouly cabinet approved yesterday amendments to the Investment Act’s executive regulations that would expand access to “golden licenses” to limited liability companies, according to a statement. These licenses are meant to expedite approvals for projects — particularly for key sustainable development, energy, and infrastructure projects.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Upping exports: The private sector’s Egyptian Exporters Association (Expolink) will provide the government with a draft document on how to boost exports in the coming weeks, state run MENA agency reported. The state has an ambitious plan to raise exports to USD 100 bn a year by 2025, and the document would set out ways in which the government can improve the business climate to help companies export more.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD Even the Fed is being forced to say the R word: Federal Reserve chief Jay Powell has admitted that the US central bank’s stringent tightening policy could trigger a recession. “We are not trying to provoke and do not think we will need to provoke a recession, but we do think it’s absolutely essential” to curb decades-high inflation, Powell told Congress, adding that a recession was “certainly a possibility,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Has the window closed on a soft landing? Powell was tight-lipped on whether the Fed would be able to pull off the “soft landing” it had been hoping for — bringing inflation back to its 2% target without triggering an economic downturn. “The events of the last few months around the world have made it more difficult for us to achieve what we want,” he said. Powell’s testimony also got ink from The Financial Times and Reuters.

Analysts are falling over themselves to predict a recession. Deutsche Bank and Citigroup are the latest banks to forecast a high recession risk amid the hawkish global turn and war in Ukraine, Bloomberg reports. “At least I would say we have 50% likelihood of a recession globally,” Deutsche Bank’s CEO Christian Sewing said yesterday, while Citigroup analysts also calling it a 50/50 chance. “The experience of history indicates that disinflation often carries meaningful costs for growth ” they said in a note.

UP NEXT WEEK-

Get ready for a big Competition Act showdown: The House’s Economic Committee has spent the week discussing proposed amendments to the Competition Act that are proving controversial. Officials from the central bank, the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), the EGX, and the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) haven’t been able to iron out differences of opinion on the proposed amendments in two separate meetings this week, according to committee head Ahmed Samir. The committee will bring them back around the table for a final meeting this Sunday to try and force a consensus, he said.

The amendments, which have been up in the air since last year, would give greater powers to the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) to regulate mergers and acquisitions and prevent monopolistic practices in the market. They would give the ECA the power to approve or block M&As. The authority’s role is currently limited to raising red flags, but only after a transaction is concluded.

The sticking points: Officials can’t agree on how much notice businesses would have to give the ECA of M&A transactions, and the kind of fees it would impose on them, Samir said, without giving any further details.

What’s next: The committee is pushing for the House to pass the amendments before it adjourns for summer recess, Samir said.

Also happening next week: A group of Saudi real estate developers are set to visit Egypt next week to kick the tires on potential fresh investments here, particularly in new cities, Al Mal reports, citing Egyptian Businessmen Association Vice Chairman Fathallah Fawzi. Representatives will meet Housing Minister Assem El Gazzar and Public Enterprises Minister Hesham Tawfik, and will be touring New Alamein City and the western North Coast, as well as El Galala.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Big 5 Construct Egypt (pdf) construction industry exhibition runs from 25-27 June at the Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC) in Cairo.

Amcham AGM next week: 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.

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

***
WE’RE LOOKING FOR SMART, TALENTED PEOPLE to help us build some ve
ry cool new things. Today, we run two daily publications, five weekly industry verticals, and a monthly newsletter designed to make our readers feel just a bit smarter.

We have tons more in the pipeline — come help us build new publications. We offer the chance to work in a fast-paced newsroom on a broad range of topics and in a variety of formats. Our goal is simple: To create value for our growing community of >199k readers by telling stories that matter.

We’re looking for editors who want to run publications and teams, editors to help reporters craft stories and talented reporters. Egyptian and foreign nationals alike are welcome to apply. So are job-switchers: If you’re an equities analyst tired of the rat race, we’re a great place to come work.

Apply directly to jobs@enterprisemea.com and mention Patrick in your subject line.

Or hit this link for more information. It’s worth it — trust us.

***

enterprise

A sizzling summer awaits you by the bay as we’ve saved you the hassle of planning by bringing you a lineup of unmatched energy and fun packed vacation activities to last you all season long. It’s time to create magical memories with relaxed beach-side days and excitingly fresh nights. From pumping up the adrenaline with Footgolf and Go-Karting to turning up the music and heat at Sobar with Ladies’ nights, groovy beats and lots of dancing. From BBQ beach parties at S-cape to riding horses by the sea — there’s a little special something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you at the Bay.

ECONOMY

Prioritize FDI + exports over hot money, says Maait

FinMin wants to cut reliance on hot money: Egypt needs to focus less on attracting portfolio flows and more on foreign direct investment and export growth, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum this week, according to Bloomberg.

“The majority” of portfolio flows have left the country, Maait told Bloomberg TV earlier this week (watch, runtime: 10:02). “Now it’s the time for Egypt to concentrate more on the increase of exports and foreign direct investments rather than the carry trade.” Egypt has suffered three waves of outflows in the past four years, during the emerging-market crisis in 2018, the pandemic shock in 2020, and this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Maait said. “We have gotten used to [handling] with it.”

Maait isn’t the only minister to have flagged this in recent weeks: Planning Minister Hala El Said said last month that the government would look to prioritize FDI over hot money, which she said had put pressure on the exchange rate.

FDI is the new priority ⁠— and things are looking up after Gulf states pledged more than USD 22 bn in fresh investment and central bank deposits in a bid to support our economy through the global rough patch. We expect more where that came from as the government pushes ahead with plans to attract USD 40 bn in private investment by selling off state-owned assets over the next four years and increase exports to USD 100 bn a year within five years. This all comes after a disappointing 2021 for FDI, when inflows fell 12% despite much of the world rebounding from the covid shock the year before.

Fresh IMF assistance will likely come in the form of a new extended fund facility: Maait said talks with the IMF on a fresh loan program are now focused on a four-year extended fund facility (EFF). That’s the same kind of support the IMF gave us back in 2016 under a USD 12 bn, three-year program.

But don’t rule out other forms of support: Also still on the table is another SBA, or a policy coordination agreement (PCI), Maait said.

Background: We’ve been in talks with the Fund for several months on a new assistance program to help us mitigate the fiscal strain and balance of payments pressure caused by spillover effects from the war in Ukraine. PM Moustafa Madbouly said last month he hopes Egypt finalizes the program with the IMF “within two months”. CBE governor Tarek Amer has said we will only receive “limited” funding this time around due to already exceeding our quota.

ALSO FROM THE QATAR ECONOMIC FORUM-

Maait moves on a double taxation treaty with Qatar: Maait and his Qatari counterpart Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari signed an MoU agreeing to work on a treaty to prevent double taxation between their two countries, according to a Finance Ministry statement. Doha has pledged bns of USD along with the KSA and the UAE to help us overcome the repercussions of the global crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, as last decade’s rift between Qatar and some of its neighbors in the region fades into memory. Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea just this week invited Qatari companies to visit Egypt to discuss potential investments after reviving a joint business council suspended since 2014.

REAL ESTATE

What do real estate players think of the new regulations for the sector?

POLL- Real estate players react to the government’s new regulations: Real estate developers are facing new regulations designed to protect consumers and reduce market risk. Announced by the government on Monday, the rules impose new reporting and financial requirements on developers, with projects facing closer scrutiny by the Housing Ministry. We talked to several players in the industry this week to find out their reactions to the regulations.

A refresher: The rules introduce new conditions on when companies are able to sell units and require them to submit audited reports on their activities twice a year. Developers will also have to set aside up to 20% of the project’s capital to ensure they have the financial resources to finish it. Companies have one year to bring their practices in line with the new regs, sources at Federation of Egyptian Industries had told us.

Strong medicine for a better functioning market: “The rules will create some issues as developers transition into this new way of doing things, and could see some resistance in the short term, but in the long run, they will make for a healthier market,” Mohamed El Bostany, head of the New Cairo Developers Association and member of the House of Representatives’ Housing Committee, tells Enterprise.

Good for governance: “We believe it’s a positive step, especially for big developers, because it adds more discipline and governance to the market,” a spokesperson for Palm Hills Developments (PHD) tells us. Tarek Kamel, CEO of Orascom Development Holding’s (ODH) O West project called the regulations “a very good move indeed,” saying that “for the longest period of time, the industry was not well organized, and this allowed … some not very reliable developers to enter the market,” harming consumers and the wider industry.

The idea here is to protect consumers: The ministry will also take a more active role in settling complaints made by buyers, who will be able to appeal to the authorities to intervene, says Amin Massoud, a member of the housing committee. Problems with maintenance fees — a frequent source of disputes — will be resolved by the financial audits and the requirement to keep fees in separate bank accounts, he adds.

But there are concerns that red tape could slow the process: Developers will need to obtain approval from the Housing Ministry for each phase of construction and submit regular reports on their progress, potentially slowing the development process. “While [the regulations are] definitely a positive move for the industry, I don’t know how practical it will be for developers that tend to work quickly,” says Salah Katamish, board member at Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (MNHD). “It will boil down to how fast the authorities are to respond to these requests to keep developers on track with their schedules.”

“The new rules will act as an entry barrier for new, smaller entrants, which will be in big developers’ favor,” PHD tells us. Companies will have to deposit up to 20% of the value of the project in a bank account before they are able to start selling units, as well as set aside a further 5% to cover potential refunds. Katamish agrees, adding that they often only have enough money to cover an immediate installment or absolute necessities like land and construction.

They may not present a financial obstacle to larger developers: “Big developers will not have an issue with this because they have no problem securing funding from banks or otherwise, in addition to the fact that most of them have escrow accounts,” PHD says. “We expect banks to continue to support the sector.”

But this isn’t the consensus view: “The decision will affect the feasibility of projects and developers will have to rework the way they make financial decisions,” Katamish tells us. “It will take some time for each developer to figure out new ways of doing things before they find the right formula,” he says, explaining that companies may have to resort to new means of raising finance for their projects.

We might see fewer large-scale developments: “Developers might veer more towards smaller projects, or break megaprojects down into smaller phases,” Katamish says.

That is why the industry is relieved there is a one-year grace period, our poll takers told us.

What else does the industry need? Better financing models for developers and access to reputable mortgage finance for buyers, says ODH’s Kamel — as well as more local production of raw materials. “It would be of great value if we strengthen our performance as a country when it comes to real estate materials production locally,” he says. “This would ensure supply for developers, and probably at a more optimized cost.”

INVESTMENT WATCH

Alhokair subsidiary to build USD 450 mn solar plant in Egypt

Alhokair Group subsidiary FAS Energy is planning to invest some USD 450 mn (SAR 1.7 bn) to construct a 500 MW solar plant in Egypt in partnership with the Electricity Ministry and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), FAS Energy CEO Sabri Asfour told Enterprise. The firm is in final negotiations on the location of the plant, and hopes to sign the final contracts before the end of July, he said.

The company plans to start construction in August, with hopes of completing as much of the project as possible ahead of the COP27 summit in November, Asfour said, adding that the project should be completed by November 2023.

How will the plant be financed? The company has already secured a syndicated loan covering 80% (USD 360 mn) of the project’s costs from a group of Saudi banks, with the remaining 20% (USD 90 mn) set to be self-funded, Asfour said.

FAS Energy also has plans for green hydrogen: The energy player plans to invest in Egypt’s green hydrogen industry, and will be announcing details for a project sometime after the upcoming Eid vacation in July, Asfour added.

FAS Energy has been active in Egypt for a while: The Alhokair subsidiary has a 50 MW solar power plant at the Benban complex, and plans to set up a waste-to-energy facility in 10th of Ramadan City.

A Saudi investment spree: This comes just a day after Saudi companies signed 14 agreements to invest USD 7.7 bn in Egypt during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit. The agreements included a USD 1.5 bn wind farm project — set to be one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world — for which ACWA Power and Hassan Allam Holding signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

IN OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS-

Abu Qir Fertilizers is looking to build an industrial complex with investments of USD 1.2 bn, the EGX-listed company said in a statement (pdf). One of the factories will produce 1.2k tons of ammonia per day, the other will produce 1.8k tons of nitric acid a day and the third will produce 2.4k tons of granular ammonium nitrate daily. The company’s board gave its preliminary approval for the establishment of a company to manage the three factories, which will be financed with 70% debt and 30% equity, split between Abu Qir, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, and some other shareholders.

STARTUP WATCH

MNT–Halan acquires Talabeyah

This super app just became more super: MNT–Halan has acquired Cairo-based B2B e-commerce platform Talabeyah for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement (pdf).

About Talabeyah: Launched in January 2020 by Karim Nassef (LinkedIn), Amr Abbas (LinkedIn), and Khaled Hussein (LinkedIn), the company provides next-day delivery to small merchants and retailers, and helps them manage stock and inventory.

MNT-Halan: Last year Netherlands-based payments company MNT entered into a share swap agreement with Egyptian fintech / delivery / ride-hailing company Halan to create MNT-Halan, a company that offers a host of services, including e-payments, microfinance, delivery and ride-hailing services. The newly-merged company followed with a USD 120 mn funding round from a group of investors that included financial services-focused PE house Apis, the UK’s Development Partners International (DPI) and Lorax Capital Partners.

What they said: “The acquisition of Talabeyah is another step in our strategy of building a comprehensive digital ecosystem and is a perfect fit for our two companies … MNT-Halan will enable Talabeyah to scale nationwide,” MNT-Halan CEO Mounir Nakhla said.

Advisors: Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy, White & Case, Van Campen Liem, and Van Doorne were legal advisors on the transaction.

IN OTHER STARTUP NEWS-

Egyptian e-commerce startup Dresscode has launched in Saudi Arabia, founder Mohamed Abdeldayem told Enterprise. The company raised a USD 250k investment from existing investor Egypt Ventures last year, following its seed round in August 2020. It is also looking to enter Kenya in 4Q 2022, Abdeldayem said.

enterprise

MOVES

HSBC has appointed Dinesh Sharma (LinkedIn) as regional head of wealth and personal banking for EMEA, effective 1 September, according to a press release picked up by Zawya. Shama will join the bank from Citigroup, where he has served as CEO and managing director of its Middle East retail bank for more than eight years.

KUDOS

Rameda joins UN climate pact: Tenth of Ramadan for Pharma Industries and Diagnostic Reagents (Rameda) has joined the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the company said in a release (pdf).

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

The talking heads appeared to declare an unofficial early weekend last night, with no hard news in sight. Instead, coverage focused on forecasts for today’s central bank policy meeting, with Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 8:55) and Yahduth Fe Masr (watch, runtime: 5:02) both chiming in.

Higher rates take a toll: Every 100 bps rise in rates costs the public purse some EGP 50 bn, banking expert Sahar Al Damaty told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait on Tuesday put the cost at EGP 30 bn. Al Damaty added that she expects the central bank to keep rates unchanged because it already took “preemptive steps” by upping rates by 300 bps since March, chiming with a slim majority of the analysts we surveyed in our customary poll.

Still unpacking the MbS visit: Al Hayah Al Youm, which interviewed Senate member Emad El Din Hussein on the Saudi crown prince’s stop in Cairo (watch, runtime: 7:08). Hussein pointed out the key timing of the trip, coming less than a month before the Saudi-hosted regional summit with US President Joe Biden.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

There were a few mentions of Egypt in the international press this morning:

  • The murder of student Naira Ashraf Abdel Qader at the gates of Mansoura University by a male classmate is once again turning the spotlight on violence against women and girls. (Vice)
  • Authorities arrested three men for “singing and dancing in a mosque” to mahraganat in Cairo’s Al Marg district. (AFP)
  • The Pharaohs’ recent devastating defeat to Ethiopia has stoked tensions over the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. (Al Monitor)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Egypt and Greece will lay a new subsea data cable across the Mediterranean under an agreement signed by Telecom Egypt and Greek telecoms company Grid Telecom, TE said in a press release. The cable is set to up data traffic between Europe, Asia, and Africa, the release read, “creating a new reliable telecommunications corridor interconnecting the three continents.”

TE loves subsea cables: The state-owned telecoms firm is upping its 14 Mediterranean and Red Sea subsea cable systems to 18 by 2025.

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

  • The Egyptian African Arab Co. for Development (EGAAD) signed an agreement with UK investor Stronghold Global Finance to finance projects in Africa. (Statement, pdf)
  • Lebanese insurer Chedid Capital Holding has received a license to start operations in Egypt under local subsidiary Chedid Ins. Brokers Egypt. (Statement, pdf)
  • Euromed for Medical Industries plans to build an EGP 200 mn factory for medical supplies next year. (Al Mal)
  • Indonesian logistics firm J&T Express has launched in Egypt as part of its expansion in the MENA region, which saw it recently enter the UAE and Saudi Arabia. (Statement)
  • Saudi Jamjoom Pharma has completed construction of its EGP 1 bn pharma factory in El Obour. (Al Mal)

PLANET FINANCE

Powered by
EFG Hermes - https://efghermes.com/

A second shareholder in Capricorn Energy has come out against the proposed GBP 1.4 bn merger with rival producer Tullow Oil, the Financial Times reports, saying there was no benefit in the transaction for Capricorn and that it would slow the company’s transition away from fossil fuels. Hedge fund Kite Lake joins another Capricorn shareholder, LGIM, in opposing the transaction.

Why do we care? Capricorn has had a presence in Egypt ever since it acquired Shell’s oil and gas assets in the Western Desert with partner Cheiron last year under an agreement worth up to USD 926 mn. Those assets would form the second largest item on the newly merged company’s balance sheet, after Tullow’s flagship Ghanaian oil fields.

On the macro front, Biden wants a petrol tax holiday to ease surging prices: US President Joe Biden has called on Congress to pause federal gasoline and diesel taxes for 90 days under efforts to combat surging prices at the pump — though skeptics said the bill was unlikely to get past lawmakers or make much impact on people’s wallets. “I fully understand that the gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem. But it will provide families some immediate relief… as we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul,” Biden said. The average cost of a gallon of petrol is now hovering around an unprecedented USD 5, helping drive inflation already at 40-year highs. Biden’s call got coverage from the Associated Press, CNBC, BBC, CNN and others.

Other markets news worth noting include:

  • How low could BTC go? As low as USD 13k, one strategist warns, pointing to the digital currency’s tendency to plummet by up to 80% from its most recent peak. BTC is already down more than 50% YTD at around USD 20k. (CNBC)
  • Qatar plans to introduce short selling and securities lending and borrowing to its bourse under efforts to lure investors and boost market turnover, an official said. (Bloomberg)
  • Lebanese lenders are pushing back against the IMF rescue plan that could see USD 60 bn of their FX deposits at the central bank seized. (Financial Times)

Down

EGX30

9,613

-0.9% (YTD: -19.6%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 18.71

Sell 18.79

None

USD at CIB

Buy 18.73

Sell 18.79

None

Interest rates CBE

11.25% deposit

12.25% lending

Down

Tadawul

11,320

-2.9% (YTD: +0.3%)

Down

ADX

9,302

-1.8% (YTD: +9.6%)

Down

DFM

3,236

-0.9% (YTD: +1.3%)

Down

S&P 500

3,760

-0.1% (YTD: -21.1%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,089

-0.9% (YTD: -4.0%)

Down

Euro Stoxx 50

3,465

-0.8% (YTD: -19.4%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 109.61

-1.9%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 6.71

-2.2%

Down

Gold

USD 1,837.80

-0.0%

Down

BTC

USD 20,165

-1.9% (YTD: -56.5%)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 0.9% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 431 mn (48.3% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 19.6% YTD.

In the green: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt (+1.2%), Palm Hills Development (+0.7%) and GB Auto (+0.7%).

In the red: Madinet Nasr Housing (-3.2%), Heliopolis Housing (-2.4%) and e-Finance (-2.2%).

Asian markets are up in early trading this morning. It’s another picture entirely for the European markets and Wall Street, which both look set to open in the red later on today if futures are anything to go by.

AROUND THE WORLD

A Saudi-Turkish rapprochement: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in Turkey yesterday for his first visit in years, where he and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan hailed a “new era of cooperation” between the two countries. The visit marks the latest step in a thawing of tensions between the KSA and Turkey, with relations suffering a serious blow over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. Reuters, AP, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal all had coverage.

Turkey was the last stop for the crown prince on a three-day tour that also took in Jordan and Egypt. Saudi companies signed 14 investment agreements worth USD 7.7 bn in Egypt to coincide with the visit.

Third round of UN mediated talks on Libya in Cairo conclude with no agreement: Egypt hailed “significant progress” in the third round of UN mediated talks in Cairo between rival Libyan factions, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. But no concrete action was agreed on how to move past the political deadlock in the country, with UN Special Advisor on Libya Stephanie Williams calling on the two sides to “meet within ten days at an agreed upon location to bridge outstanding issues” in a statement.

MY MORNING ROUTINE

Karima El Hakim, country director at Plug and Play Tech Center: 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 Karima El Hakim (LinkedIn), country director of Plug and Play.

My name is Karima El Hakim, and I’m Plug and Play Tech Center’s country director for Egypt. I’ve been playing an enablement role in the Egyptian entrepreneurship scene since 2018; it’s a collaborative, inclusive community and I love being a part of it.

At Plug and Play, we have a standalone Smart Cities tech hub that we launched in partnership with the National Bank of Egypt, the CIT Ministry’s ITIDA, and USAID. The aim of our smart cities vertical, which was inaugurated earlier in June, is to rally a community of early- and growth-stage companies and connect them with world class mentors, avail unprecedented industry access to startups, and provide the Plug and Play Ventures arm with a solid pipeline for direct investment.

As a VC, Plug and Play also invests in early-stage startups. Part of our focus is on the acceleration and incubation of early and growth-stage startups. We also provide corporate innovation services that we offer to corporations and startups.

My daily routine is extremely important to me. I usually wake up between 5:30 and 5:45am. Robin Sharma’s The 5 AM Club is one of the most impactful books I ever read, and it inspired me to become an early bird. I carve out extra time early on in the day — before I kick off and engage with the rest of the world — to meditate. There is nothing glamorous about my morning meditation; people think that I sit on a yoga mat with a cup of kale juice, being all zen [laugh]. What actually happens is that I sit on a couch and simply use a meditation app called Calm to center my thoughts and connect to my breath. This short meditation really helps me stay focused throughout the day.

I dedicate the first hour of my day to personal growth. I consume a lot of audio content in the morning. I love using Curio, a narrated journalism app that provides snippets of articles from leading publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. This helps me stay up to date.

After I’m done with a short meditation and personal development routine, I head to the studio where I teach my morning B-URN classes. B-URN is a 45-minute full-body workout that combines strength, endurance, cardio, balance, core, and flexibility training not only in one session but in each and every move. It’s a long commute from my house to the studio, and I use that time to listen to audio books, and read local newspapers. My classes are quite dependent on routine, rhythm, and music. During my commute, I also work on the routine and the playlist of the upcoming classes.

I used to be very shy when I first started my fitness instruction journey. To overcome this initial insecurity, I used to intentionally wear funny socks and oddly colored leggings to my B-URN classes. That became a habit, though, even after I overcame my initial nervousness. My morning uniform remains embarrassing to this day; you wouldn’t want to be seen in public with me when I’m donning workout outfits [laughs.]

After I’m done with the instruction side of the morning, I head to the other side of town to go to the office. I utilize the one-hour commute to get into my inbox, make work calls, and start other work-related activities.

My current responsibilities have been partly geared toward our newly inaugurated Smart Cities Accelerator. I’ll be making sure our corporate partners get the exposure they need with the cohort startups, that mentors’ messages are conveyed correctly, and that everything is going seamlessly for the next three months. All these responsibilities are set in place to ensure that our entrepreneurs get top-tier mentorship, access to local and global markets and access to capital.

Personally, I will also be giving 1:1 sessions, and workshops, mainly on investment readiness, strategic partnership engagement and pitch polishing. I will be dedicating 6-8 hours a week for office hours during the cohort as well.

To relax and switch off from work, I enjoy doing absolutely nothing. I like to kick back, listen to an audio book or watch Netflix, and zone out completely.

What’s next for me? On a personal level, I recently became passionate about marine conservation in the Red Sea. I dedicate a chunk of my time to research about ways to help, and have been connecting with activists who work on green ocean initiatives in Egypt. Going forward, I want to leverage my professional connections to find tech startups that can help with marine conservation and green tourism in Egypt. On a professional level, my goal is to get in on initiatives to promote and raise awareness about the impact of climate-resilient tech startups in Egypt and Africa. I want to see these startups spotlighted before, during, and after COP27.

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

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: Eastern Company meets to decide on prices of its tobacco products amid rising production costs and scarcity of raw materials.

JULY

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

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

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

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.

August: Sharm El Sheikh will host the African Sumo Championship.

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

SEPTEMBER

September: Egypt will display its first naval exhibition, Naval Power.

September: Estate Waves Egypt real estate exhibition through metaverse technology.

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

September: The sixth session of the Egyptian-German Joint Economic Committee.

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.

6-18 November (Sunday-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: 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.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.