Monday, 8 August 2022

AM — Mohamed Farid is the new head of the FRA

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends. We’re going to start this morning’s edition with a brief report from:

THE DEPT. OF GOOD NEWS- We have a new head of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA). EGX boss Mohamed Farid has been appointed as acting chairman of the FRA for one year, the exchange announced yesterday. He succeeds Mohamed Omran, who stepped down after five years at the helm of the market regulator.

Why this matters: Farid is a business-friendly public servant who has shown a cool head and keen understanding of what the business community needs if it is going to invest. Whether selling foreign investors on Egyptian equities, streamlining regulation, introducing new instruments, or leading a drive to get more retail investors to participate in the market with long-term views, Farid has shown that he simply “gets it.” Appointed in August 2017 — he was Omran’s successor at the EGX, too — Farid has broad experience: He was vice-chairman of the EGX during the nasty period spanning July 2010 through October 2011, was a staffer in Mahmoud Mohieldin’s office during the golden era of the Ministry of Investment, was a consultant to the World Bank and taught at AUC and AAST. He also knows the stress of what it means to have to meet payroll every month: Farid founded and ran his own consultancy before returning to government service to lead the EGX.

Who’s going to run the EGX? Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly is expected to select a new head of the EGX to succeed Farid soon. The decision was published in the Official Gazette (pdf) yesterday.

** Need some distractions to get you through that horribly boring 11am meeting? We’ve got you covered:

FOOD FOR THOUGHT- Think inflation is bad here in Omm El Donia? Try 90%, the New York Times suggests, writing that “a tour through Argentina reveals that years of inflation can give rise to a truly bizarre economy.”

Near and dear to our hearts: The life of a person who wakes up really, really early.

“Extreme larks” get up naturally when some people have hardly gone to bed, the Atlantic writes. It’s nice to know we are not alone…

MARKET WATCH-

#1- The EGX extended its rally for a fourth day yesterday, building on the substantial gains on Thursday which saw the bourse have its best day since March. The benchmark EGX 30 gained another 0.8% during yesterday’s trading session to close at its highest level since the first week of June. It has now gained almost 17% since its recent low less than five weeks ago and is now down 15.3% year-to-date. Trading volumes were strong again yesterday, coming in at EGP 1.9 bn (or around 59% above the trailing 90-day average).

#2- Are oil prices finally starting to slip? Oil prices closed last week at their lowest level since Russia invaded Ukraine in February as recession fears build. Brent lost 11% during the week to close at USD 94.92 a barrel while US crude fell 8% to USD 89.01.

Don’t bet on it: Global supply remains tight and will likely get tighter this winter as the EU’s embargo on Russian seaborne oil comes into play on 5 December. Supply will come under further pressure if the G7 agrees to try and cap the price of Russian oil, which the group hopes to put into practice before the EU oil ban comes into effect. The price? Oil at USD 130 a barrel, according to Bank of America.

#3- More volatility in US equities in the cards as earnings estimates cut: Wall Street could be in a fresh spell of volatility as analysts cut corporate earnings expectations, according to the Wall Street Journal. The combination of falling 3Q earnings-per-share estimates and the rising valuations in recent weeks could be setting up the market for a fall, the piece argues.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

Dominating the global front pages this morning: The US Senate passed a sweeping USD 430 bn climate, tax and health bill in a major victory for the Biden administration. The news comes after days of heated debate between Democratic and Republican lawmakers. The bill is being dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act; it aims to raise taxes on large, profitable companies, allocate hundreds of bns of USD on programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions, and hopes to reduce the federal deficit over time, in turn bringing down inflation, which has reached 40-year highs this year. The Senate passed the bill with a 51-50 party line vote that saw Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking ballot. The bill will now head to the House on Friday, where it is expected to be passed by the Democratic majority. (AP | Reuters | NYT | Washington Post | Bloomberg | FT | WSJ)

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

We have two more rounds of public consultations on the government’s state ownership policy coming up this week:

  • Higher education players will voice their thoughts on the privatization strategy tomorrow, 9 August.
  • Experts and think tanks will hold another round of talks on Thursday, 11 August.

Remember: The government holds workshops every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday to see how its plans will affect specific industries. You can find more details on the schedule of the meetings here.

Inflation data for July should land on Wednesday, 10 August.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Ghazl El Mahalla IPO: The retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla’s mini-IPO will wrap next Sunday, 14 August.

MNHD shareholders have the final word on SODIC takeover bid: Madinet Nasr Housing and Development will hold a general assembly meeting on Tuesday, 16 August, to decide whether to allow SODIC to conduct due diligence ahead of a potential takeover.

Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to discuss interest rates next Thursday, 18 August.

National Dialogue: The board of trustees overseeing the National Dialogue will hold its next meeting on 27 August. On the agenda: Choosing the rapporteurs for all of the committees and subcommittees of the social, political and economic tracks, and preparing the agenda and topics of discussion for the dialogue.

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

MORNING MUST READ-

Missed this week’s Inside Industry? In our weekly vertical exploring all things industry and manufacturing, we looked at what the printing and packaging industry had to say about the state ownership policy document, the biggest issues facing the industry today, and what stakeholders see as viable solutions for these hurdles moving forward.

enterprise

*** 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: Previously, we’ve looked at the skills that private sector companies want to see in fresh graduates and heard from company representatives about how well they think local universities prepare fresh grads for the world of work. Today, we speak to representatives in a range of sectors about what they’d like to see higher education institutions do to prepare graduates to address labor market needs. Their answers span work that can be done within the universities, making work experience a mandatory part of degree programs, and amending some aspects of Egypt’s higher education framework.

enterprise

Live music at Somabay: 2CELLOS. World-renowned and wildly popular cellist duo, 2CELLOS, are bringing the magic of music to Somabay on 18 November, 2022. Get ready for an unforgettable night of captivating performances and electric energy.

M&A WATCH

Saudi wealth fund could acquire United Bank this year, appoints advisers on transaction

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could purchase United Bank from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) before the end of the year, according to Hapi Journal. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is close to wrapping up due diligence on the bank and the acquisition is expected to be finalized by December, the newspaper reports, citing sources it says have knowledge of the matter.

Who’s advising? The PIF has reportedly appointed our friends at EFG Hermes as financial advisors and US law firm Akin Gump as legal counsel for the transaction, Hapi claims. CI Capital is reportedly acting as United Bank’s advisor.

Background: The PIF first announced its interest in acquiring the bank in May. The CBE owns 99.9% of United Bank, which it created in 2006 through the merger of smaller entities near the end of its well-regarded cleanup of the banking sector nearly two decades ago.

Part of a wave of new Saudi investment: The PIF’s play for UB comes amid a backdrop of an influx of investment from our friends in the Gulf, part of a raft of support measures to help shore up Egypt’s fiscal position amid global volatility triggered by the war in Ukraine. The fund has said it could invest USD 10 bn in a range of Egyptian sectors and last week established a company dedicated to managing its investments in Egypt. Separately, Saudi companies recently signed a series of agreements that will see them invest USD 7.7 bn in Egypt.

M&A WATCH

Bidding war for Pachin?

Pachin has another potential suitor: EGX-listed Paint and Chemical Industries (Pachin) has received a non-binding offer from Universal Building Materials and Chemicals (Sipes) to acquire up 100% of its shares, it said in a disclosure (pdf) to the EGX yesterday.

The offer: Sipes has offered to purchase at least 60% of the majority state-owned company for between EGP 17.50 and EGP 18.50 per share, valuing the company at EGP 420-444 mn, according to our math. Sipes’ offer is an 8-14% premium to the EGP 16.20 at which Pachin’s shares closed yesterday.

About Sipes: The company is a regional paint distributor, with plants in Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt. Sipes produces home paint and industrial paint as well as wood coatings and automotive paints.

This is the second company to bid for Pachin in the past month: Pachin received an offer from Saybad Industrial Investment last month, which it rejected, saying that it undervalued the company. It’s unclear whether Saybad is prepared to up its offer.

Sipes improved on Saybad’s bid: Saybad priced Pachin’s shares at between EGP 16.00 and EGP 16.50, valuing the company at EGP 384-396 mn.

Part of the government’s privatization plans: The bids come as the state looks to reduce its involvement in or exit certain industries to make way for the private sector. Pachin is currently approximately 54% owned by state-owned companies and banks.

What’s next: Pachin’s board will meet to decide whether to allow Sipes to conduct due diligence.

ADVISORS- Catalyst Partners is acting as Pachin's financial advisor while Adsero-Raji Soliman & Associates is legal counsel. Sipes will settle on legal and financial advisors after Pachin’s board decides whether or not to allow Sipes to go ahead with the transaction.

ECONOMY

Foreign reserves dip for third consecutive month in July

Foreign reserves fall again in July: Foreign reserves slipped to USD 33.14 bn in July, down from USD 33.4 bn a month earlier, according to central bank figures released yesterday.

Foreign reserves have declined by almost 20% since March as the fallout from the war in Ukraine and rising interest rates force the central bank to intervene to cover portfolio outflows, finance imports and meet debt repayments. The market volatility led to USD 14.75 bn leaving the country during the first three months of the year.

COMMODITIES

Egypt to renegotiate canceled Ukraine wheat contracts

Egypt will sign new agreements with suppliers of Ukrainian wheat to replace contracts it canceled last month, Ukrainian media reported yesterday. State grains buyer GASC terminated contracts for 240k tons of stranded Ukrainian wheat after they remained stuck in the country for months due to Russia’s blockade of the country’s ports.

Out with the old, in with the new: “The contract was concluded, but the Ukrainian side could not fulfill it in a timely manner due to the blockade of the ports,” Mykhailo Nepran, the first vice president of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was quoted as telling a local TV channel. “It turned out that the agreement did not include a force majeure clause. Therefore, a completely civilized decision was made at the legislative level: to close the contract that cannot be fulfilled and open a new one, according to which the purchase will be made.”

The grain pact is making this possible: A Turkey- and UN-brokered agreement signed between Russia and Ukraine to resume grain exports through the Black Sea is starting to gain momentum, with another four ships departing the country yesterday. Kyiv hopes to have three to five vessels leaving the country every day within the next two weeks.

Egypt is a willing buyer: Egypt has reassured Ukraine’s ambassador to Egypt, Mykola Nahorny, that it understands Ukraine’s difficult situation and is ready to work together to arrange for future purchases, Nepran said.

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE

Another USD 10 mn in EBRD funding could be heading NBK Egypt’s way

More love from EBRD to NBK? The National Bank of Kuwait Egypt (NBK Egypt) could get another USD 10 mn senior unsecured loan from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for on-lending to youth-led MSMEs, according to the lender’s website.

What’s a senior loan? A senior bank loan is money lent to a business by a financial institution which is then repackaged and sold to other investors.

NBK Egypt is now in line for USD 50 mn in funding: The EBRD said last week that it is considering providing a USD 40 mn loan to the bank for on-lending to MSMEs.

This one’s for the youts: “The project will increase the availability of finance for youth-led businesses to improve their skill-sets, know-how and expand their business capabilities in the market,” the website reads. “The loan will support NBK in the development and refinement of products, services and/or delivery mechanisms that cater to the needs of young entrepreneurs.”

What’s next: EBRD could approve both loans on 7 September.

ALSO IN DEVELOPMENT FINANCE-

The EU is providing Egypt with a EUR 4 mn grant for the third phase of the EUR 145 mn Egyptian Pollution Abatement Program. (Statement)

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Egypt’s role mediating the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad yesterday dominated the airwaves last night, with coverage from Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 1:59), Salet El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 4:22), and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 8:00 | 4:32). We have more details in this morning’s Diplomacy section, below.

The Palestinian Authority “welcomes the ceasefire” and is thankful for Egypt’s efforts to bring an end to the violence in Gaza, PA spokesperson Ibrahim Melhem said on Salet El Tahrir. “Cairo was persistent and patient in its efforts to secure a ceasefire, and it refused to give up,” Mahmoud Al Habbash, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa.

Egypt played its traditional role as a mediator between Israel and Palestine, Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki told Moussa, emphasizing the importance of Arab nations’ support in addressing the occupation in Gaza.

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • Egypt currently suffers from a 54 bn cubic meter water deficit, with our demand for 114 bn cubic meters of water representing nearly double our current total capacity of 60 bn cubic meters, Water Ministry spokesperson Mohamed Ghanem said. (Ala Mas’ouleety | watch, runtime: 5:39)
  • President Abdel Fattah El Sisi directed the government to include green hydrogen in Egypt’s energy mix in a meeting with several cabinet members held to follow up on Egypt’s strategy for sustainable and renewable energy. (Ala Mas’ouleety | watch, runtime: 5:35)
  • Tuition fees for 12 new non-profit universities the government plans to establish will be more than 50% subsidized by the government, Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said. The minister didn’t disclose the fees. (Salet El Tahrir | watch, runtime: 3:01)

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Dominating the conversation on Egypt in the international press this morning: Egyptian mediators have managed to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. We have more in this morning’s Diplomacy section, below. (Associated Press | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | FT | WSJ | CNBC)

Also in the foreign press: No AC, no problem: An Egyptian architect is using traditional techniques to keep buildings cool without the need for air conditioning. (The National)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

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

  • Orascom Development Holding plans to launch two new phases of its O West project in Sixth of October in the coming months. (Hapi Journal)
  • EgyptAir will operate direct flights from Libya’s Tripoli to Sharm El Sheikh starting Tuesday, 9 August until 11 October. (Ahram Online)
  • Fertilizer company EverGrow will launch operations of the EGP 2.5 bn third phase of its fertilizer complex in Sadat City next month. (Amwal El Ghad)

PLANET FINANCE

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

Global food prices fall most since 2008 in July: Food prices fell for the fourth consecutive month in July as the costs of grains and vegetable oil dropped, according to UN data released Friday. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) index fell 8.6% to 140.9 points during the month, marking its biggest monthly fall since October 2008.

Yes, but… Food prices remain incredibly high by historical standards. July’s reading was the sixth highest since the FAO index began in 1990 and is 13% higher than a year earlier in July 2021.

Still, things are heading in the right direction: Prices have now fallen almost 12% from the record high set in March, and with global grain supply chains anticipated to improve following last month’s export agreement between Ukraine and Russia, the trend is likely to continue in the coming months.

Also worth noting:

  • Should 75 bps be the Fed’s status quo going forward? Fed Governor Michelle Bowman thinks the central bank should stick to raising interest rates by 75 bps going forward until inflation starts to decline in a “consistent, meaningful, and lasting way,” she said last week. Remember: It’s looking likely that at least one more large hike could be in the cards in September due to last week’s labor data. (Bloomberg)
  • Big Oil is showering shareholders with dividend payouts: Flush with liquidity from soaring oil prices, some oil and gas firms are paying out an entire year’s worth of dividends in a single day. ConocoPhillips and Canadian firm Tourmaline Oil are among the companies rewarding investors with special dividends, an industry development likened by one analyst to a “broken ATM spewing out cash.” (Bloomberg)

Up

EGX30

10,124

+0.8% (YTD: -15.3%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 19.07

Sell 19.18

None

USD at CIB

Buy 19.10

Sell 19.16

None

Interest rates CBE

11.25% deposit

12.25% lending

Down

Tadawul

12,217

-0.6% (YTD: +8.29%)

Up

ADX

9,916

+1.0% (YTD: +16.82%)

Down

DFM

3,317

-0.1% (YTD: +3.8%)

Down

S&P 500

4,145

-0.2% (YTD: -13.0%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,440

-0.1% (YTD: +0.8%)

Down

Euro Stoxx 50

3,725

-0.8% (YTD: -13.3%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 94.92

+0.9%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 8.06

-0.9%

Down

Gold

USD 1,791.20

-0.9%

Up

BTC

USD 23,286

+0.4% (YTD: -49.6%)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.8% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.86 bn (56% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 15.3% YTD.

In the green: Ibnsina Pharma (+6.4%), Heliopolis Housing (+4.9%) and Credit Agricole Egypt (+4.2%).

In the red: e-Finance (-5%), Juhayna (-4.2%) and CIRA (-3.7%).

Selling pressure looks like it is shaping up to be the theme of the day. The Hang Seng, ASX, Shanghai, and Seoul’s Kospi are all in the red at dispatch time, while the Nikkei is just barely clinging to the green. Of major European and North American markets, futures suggest only the FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX30 will be in the green at the opening bell.

DIPLOMACY

Egypt mediates truce between Israel + Gaza militants: Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire that started last night following three days of deadly violence that left 44 dead in Gaza, including two senior PIJ figures. The truce came into effect at 11.30pm and the two sides confirmed in statements to reporters that they had accepted the terms and thanked Egypt for its efforts to bring an end to the fighting, but warned that they would respond to any violations.

The ceasefire came after Egyptian officials spent hours making phone calls Sunday afternoon with both parties, security sources told state-owned Extra News. An Egyptian intelligence delegation was also reportedly in Israel yesterday in a push for a ceasefire.

Egypt had to make promises to PIJ: Egypt agreed to lobby Israel to release two PIJ members under the terms agreed for the ceasefire.

Cairo has been a crucial mediator between Israel and Palestine in recent years, successfully brokering a ceasefire to end 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas in May 2021.

The human toll: The fighting has left at least 44 Palestinians dead, including 15 children, and over 310 injured, Sky News Arabia reported. No Israeli casualties have been reported.

The ceasefire comes after an Israeli airstrike killed another PIJ figurehead: Israeli forces killed Khaled Mansour, who led the Islamic Jihad’s operations in the southern Gaza Strip, on Saturday, the Associated Press reports. This comes just a few days after Israel assassinated Tayseer Jabari, who led the group in the north of the strip, the act which sparked the new round of violence between the two sides.

AROUND THE WORLD

Kenyans go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new president. Sitting vice-president William Ruto is in the lead, polls show, with what he calls a “hustler nation” message tuned to the hopes and frustrations of the nation’s youth. Ruto has been in office for some nine years and is taking on five-time presidential candidate Raila Odinga. The New York Times serves up a “why Kenya matters to the west” story (God help us), BBC looks at how Kenya’s top election official looks to deliver a corruption-free vote, while Kenya’s The Star reports that outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta savaged his former vice president, telling voters “I want to urge you that do not be cheated by Ruto’s eloquence. I have worked with him and has found that he is a person who is untrustworthy and of bad temper, he is not thus fit to lead this nation.” Need to get up to speed? The BBC has decent scene-setters here and here.

US-China relations reach new low in wake of Pelosi Taiwan visit: China has ended dialogue with the US on key issues in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s high-profile and controversial visit to Taiwan last week, the country’s Foreign Ministry said Friday. Beijing has canceled communications with the US military, ended climate talks with Washington and suspended cooperation over cross-border crime, it said.

More on deepening Turkey-Russia ties: Five Turkish banks are adopting Russia’s MIR payments system — the country’s answer to Mastercard and Visa — in the wake of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s talks with President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday, Turkey’s state-run Andalou Agency quoted Erdogan as saying on Saturday. Payment in RUB will provide financial support to both Turkey and Russia, the president said. Turkey has also agreed to pay for some Russian gas in RUB.

blackboard

What would private sector firms like to see universities doing more of, to better equip fresh grads to enter the labor force? Last month, we looked into the skills that companies from a range of sectors look for in fresh graduates and how well they think local universities prepare them for the labor force. Today, we look at what these companies want to see higher education institutions doing to make their graduates more prepared for the modern labor force and better equipped to address labor needs.

Their answers fell under three broad categories: Work that can be done within the university itself — including reorienting curricula towards real-work skills acquisition — making work experience at companies outside the university a mandatory part of degree programs, and amending some aspects of Egypt’s higher education framework, sector representatives from law firms, startups, and companies in a range of industries told us.

For starters, university curricula should focus more on real-world skills application, says PepsiCo HR Senior Director Naniece Fahmy. This could include understanding how emerging industries or departments can be used to improve customer experience. When it comes to entering progressive industries or looking at modern ways of doing business, students need to understand how ideas translate into practical application, she notes. “When we talk about e-commerce, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, or consumer centricity, what does it mean?” At the moment, these things aren’t generally covered in textbooks or in the classroom, she adds.

This real-world application includes a better understanding of the business environment to put their knowledge to practical use: Rather than memorizing laws and applying them in a rigid way, irrespective of circumstance, law students need to be taught that their job as lawyers is to facilitate their clients’ businesses transactions, says Firas El Samad, managing partner at Zulficar and Partners. “Law is not about knowledge alone, but about applying the rules in a fair and just way to best serve the interest of your clients and protect them.”

It could mean setting projects for engineering students that tackle real-world problems: Engineering student projects and theses should be tailored towards existing gaps and needs in different companies and markets, says Yousef ElSammaa, chief strategy officer at Mother Being. This would offer students real exposure and enable them to test the viability of their projects at an early stage — and it would be more motivating than the projects they’re usually assigned, which tend not to have an immediate practical application, he adds.

Or pushing students to work on extracurricular activities that help them develop skills like financial literacy: University clubs and activities can help students develop skills including problem solving, planning, structuring, analysis, and budgeting, says Kamal El Soueni, co-founder and CEO of Rabbit Mobility. Fresh grads with this kind of experience are streaks ahead of their peers when it comes to understanding things like the financial aspects of business, he adds.

Overall, there needs to be more emphasis on cultivating soft skills, such as leadership and presentation skills, and help their students think about how organizations work, says Fahmy. Also critical is encouraging students to think ahead and use critical thinking to anticipate developments and how to prepare for them, says HSBC Egypt’s Head of HR Moustafa Raouf. “It’s a big shift away from just studying what you’re told to study. Preparation involves asking yourself, ‘how can I think differently?’, ‘what will happen if I do this?’, or ‘what am I expected to do in this situation?’,” Raouf adds.

Some also believe universities should include mandatory work experience at private sector companies as a graduation requirement: “This would help them master vital skills, including project management or how to manage pressure in the workplace,” says Wafik Beshara, VP of HR at CEMEX Egypt. “If construction or mechanical engineers worked with us for six months before graduating, they’d finish their degree programs with a basic knowledge of how corporations function.” Sakneen co-founder and CTO Hussein El Kheshen agrees: “I feel no one should graduate with less than a year of work experience,” he adds.

This is already in play overseas: Many European universities apply this model, notes Beshara. Mandatory work experience, or co-op, courses are also reasonably common in parts of the US, Canada and the UK, notes El Kheshen.

Here, more partnerships between private sector firms and universities would help get this off the ground, Fahmy and Raouf say. They would increase the options for real-time learning — through meaningful internships, for example — and offer more chances for universities and companies to align their expectations when it comes to the skills students need in the labor market, they note.

There’s also consensus that there should be a review of some aspects of Egypt’s higher education framework. This could mean giving the public university Tansik system a shake-up, suggests Shalakany Senior Partner Moataz El Mahdy. Not all the many students who study law in Egypt’s public university system do so through choice; instead, their study destination is determined by their grades in high school, according to the Tansik system. This puts enormous strain on public universities, and means students going through the public system often don’t get the individual attention they need. It should be reviewed, El Mahdy argues. “Law should be a top faculty, and not one that accepts such a large number of students,” he adds.

This change should also include looking at new assessment models: “I don’t want university grading to depend on an exam and that’s it. Universities need to find more effective ways to assess and differentiate between students,” Fahmy notes.

More sector-specific institutions could also give graduates a 360° perspective of particular industries: While some Egyptian universities — like Helwan — have strong hotel and tourism faculties, hospitality as a sector is much broader than this, and students entering this field should be comprehensively educated on it, argues Tarek Nour, TBS General Manager. “If you join the hotel or tourism section of a university, you might be taught certain things, like how to make beds or cook a chicken. But students need to be taught about everything related to the supply chain — including customer service, food manufacturing, procurement, warehousing, hygiene, and accounting systems,” Nour says.

Given Egypt’s reliance on the hospitality sector, this kind of training is essential, Nour argues. “I’d love to be the Dean of the first Egyptian university fully dedicated to food manufacturing and restaurant management,” he says. “Currently, we don’t have any university in Egypt specifically focused on this important field, which represents a big part of the economy.”


Your top education stories for the week:

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.

AUGUST

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.

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

9 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with higher education players.

11 August (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

14 August (Sunday): Retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla IPO ends.

14 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with finance and ins. players.

16 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with wood manufacturers.

16 August (Tuesday): MNHD’s general assembly meeting to decide whether to allow SODIC to go ahead with due diligence on its takeover bid.

18 August (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

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

23 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with chemical producers.

25 August (Thursday): Second Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Bangkok, Thailand.

25 August (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

25-27 August (Thursday-Saturday): Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

27 August (Saturday): The National Dialogue board of trustees holds its fifth meeting, which will set the agenda for the dialogue and choose rapporteurs for the involved committees.

28 August (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with mining and petroleum refining players.

30 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with minerals players.

31 August (Wednesday): Late tax payment deadline.

31 August (Wednesday): Deadline for qualifying companies to submit offers to manage and operate a soon-to-be-established state company for EV charging stations.

31 August (Wednesday): Submission deadline for fall 2022 cycle of EGBank’s Mint Incubator.

SEPTEMBER

September: Naval Power, Egypt’s first naval defense expo

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

September: Egyptian-German Joint Economic Committee.

September: A delegation from Germany’s Aldi will visit Egypt to look at potential investments.

September: Government to launch an international promotional campaign for Egyptian tourism.

September: Egypt will host the second edition of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (ICF).

1 September (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

1-2 September (Thursday-Friday): Third Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Santiago, Chile.

4 September (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with electricity players.

6 September (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with building and construction players.

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

7-9 September (Wednesday-Friday): African Finance Ministers to meet in Cairo to coordinate an African-led position during COP27.

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

8 September (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with experts and think tanks.

11 September (Sunday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with accommodation and food services players.

13 September (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with sports industry players.

11-13 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Environment and Development Forum (EDF), InterContinental City Stars, Cairo.

15 September (Thursday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with water and sewage utilities players.

15 September (Thursday): Fourth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Beirut, Lebanon.

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

20 September (Tuesday): Fifth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Geneva, Switzerland.

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.

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Africa Renewables Investment Summit (ARIS), Cape Town, South Africa.

OCTOBER

October: Air Sphinx, EgyptAir’s low-cost subsidiary to commence operations.

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

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

1 October (Saturday): 2022- 2023 academic year begins for public universities.

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.

16-19 October (Sunday-Wednesday): Cairo Water Week 2022, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

18-20 October (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria.

27 October (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

NOVEMBER

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): Autotech auto exhibition, Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

6-18 November (Sunday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

7 November (Monday): The inauguration of the first line of the high-speed rail.

7-13 November (Mon-Sun): The International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

21 November-18 December (Monday-Sunday): 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatar.

DECEMBER

13-14 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

13-15 December (Tuesday-Thursday): US-Africa Leaders Summit.

15 December (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

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

December: The Sixth of October dry port will begin operations.

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.

7 January (Saturday): Coptic Christmas.

25 January (Wednesday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

26 January (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

FEBRUARY 2023

11 February (Saturday): Second semester of 2022-2023 academic year begins for public universities.

13-15 February (Monday-Wednesday): The Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps), Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

MARCH 2023

March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

23 March (Wednesday) — First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.

APRIL 2023

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

22 April (Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.

MAY 2023

1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

4 May (Thursday) National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).

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

JUNE 2023

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.

JULY 2023

18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.

SEPTEMBER 2023

26 September (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

28 September (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

OCTOBER 2023

6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

2H 2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2H 2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

2H 2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q 2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

3Q 2022: Swvl to close acquisition of Urbvan Mobility.

4Q 2022: Infinity + Africa Finance Corporation to close acquisition of Lekela Power.

End of 2022: Decent Life first phase scheduled for completion.

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.

1Q 2023: Adnoc Distribution’s acquisition of 50% of TotalEnergies Egypt to close.

**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 HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; 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; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; 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.