Tuesday, 23 August 2022

AM — IMF talks in “final stages,” says Madbouly

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Happy hump day, wonderful people.

WATCH THIS SPACE- The search process for a new head of the EGX has been remarkably quiet. Vice-chairman Ahmed El Sheikh has been running the show since President Abdel Fattah El Sisi tapped longtime chairman Mohamed Farid to run the Financial Regulatory Authority earlier this month. There has been no meaningful chatter in the domestic press about who might take over and multiple sources we reached out to had no information or declined to comment. The chairman of the EGX is appointed by the prime minister.

FROM THE DEPT. OF GOOD NEWS- Global golf is coming to Egypt this fall: The Asian Tour has expanded its international series, adding stops in Egypt and Morocco in what is the tour’s first entry to North Africa, a statement by organizers read. Each event will have a generous purse of USD 1.5 mn on offer.

The first “International Series Egypt,” as it will be known, runs 10-13 November at Madinaty Golf Club, the statement said, describing the event as one that is “set to be the largest golf event ever staged in the country.” The golf nerds here among us are delighted — and even those of us with little interest in swatting a tiny white spheroid with a weighted stick think it is exactly the type of boost our tourism industry needs.

MORNING RECOMMENDATION- Westworld, season four. Season one was phenomenal. Two was very good. Three was … serviceable, at best? The fourth installment sees all major characters back as the show returns to form and lives up to season one’s promise. Catch the trailer here. You can stream all eight episodes on OSN+ or go check out iTunes if you need something to sink your teeth into in between episodes of House of Dragons.

MORNING KUDOS #1- Kashat celebrates a milestone: Our friends at Kashat, the region’s first nano-financial services provider, gave out loan #100k on Thursday, taking the company into six figures two years after its launch, the company said on its LinkedIn page.

MORNING KUDOS #2- Zamalek were named Egyptian Premier League champions for the second year running last night after second-placed Pyramids suffered a 1-0 defeat against Future. The White Knights take the title with three games to spare and marks their 14th league victory — a milestone they’ll likely celebrate on the field tonight when they face Ittihad at 8pm.

Zamalek are heading to Doha next month: The victory in the league means the team will have the honor of inaugurating Qatar’s Lusail stadium ahead of the World Cup in November in a game against Saudi league champions Al Hilal on 9 September.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Leaders of Egypt, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain and Iraq will meet today in New Alamein for a second and final day. Organizers released few details following an initial meeting of the leaders from the five countries yesterday, with Ittihadiya saying only that they discussed bilateral relations and cooperation.

Policymakers are positioning the gathering as a regional love-fest in stark contrast to the disarray in global politics, playing up cooperation on everything from the economy to defense and development. We have more on the tone in Last Night’s Talk Shows, below.

Remember: Four of the five countries involved are spearheading a new regional industrial partnership. Egypt, the UAE, Jordan and Bahrain are collaborating on a new regional industrial strategy that will see the four countries embark on joint industrial projects in strategic sectors to strengthen supply chains and increase production. It is unclear whether Iraq could be announced as the fifth member of the partnership during the summit, but keep your eyes peeled for updates later today or tomorrow morning.

ALSO IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS- A delegation of Turkish businessmen and manufacturers is due in town today to talk investment and cooperation, Al Mal reports. The delegation includes investors in sectors including agricultural equipment, automotive components, textiles and garments, food and beverage, consumer goods, and building materials.

AND- The Madbouly government will hold consultations with construction players on its privatization strategy today. The government is holding workshops and consultations with stakeholders from different industries every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday on its privatization plans. You can find more details on the schedule of the meetings here.

HAPPENING TOMORROW-

CBE Governor Hassan Abdalla will reportedly meet with senior bankers, his first such meeting since being appointed last week. Abdalla tapped to run the bank last Thursday after Tarek Amer stepped down unexpectedly the day before.

THIS WEEK AND THE NEXT-

B Investments has just under a week to respond to Adnoc’s bid for TotalEnergies Egypt: Private equity outfit B Investments has until next Monday, 29 August, to decide whether or not it wants to preempt Adnoc Distribution’s bid to acquire 50% of TotalEnergies Egypt. Adnoc agreed last month to buy the stake in a USD 203 mn transaction, which would see it acquire the entirety of B Investments’ c.15.4% stake in the fuel distributor and a 34.6% stake from Total Energies Marketing Afrique.

WATCH THIS SPACE- The SCZone will sign yet more MoUs on green fuel with international partners “within days,” a statement by the zone read. The SCZone has so far signed nine MoUs with international companies under efforts to turn the zone into a hub for green energy, the statement said, as part of a huge push ahead of COP27 in November. By our count, major global companies have signed some USD 18 bn worth of preliminary agreements for green ammonia and hydrogen projects in Ain Sokhna this year, as authorities look to capture growing global interest in the so-called transition fuels ahead of the summit.

Egypt warns nationals in Ukraine to take cover this week: The Egyptian embassy in Kyiv told Egyptians in Ukraine to exercise caution over the next week and take shelter if sirens are heard, it said in a statement yesterday. The warning comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia could “do something particularly cruel” as Ukraine celebrates its independence on Tuesday.

PSA– Your deadline to catch a 65% break off late payment fines for your taxes is coming up on 31 August. The waiver applies to late payment fees for customs tariffs, income, real estate, and sales taxes, VAT, and stamp duties among others. The remaining 35% of your due payments will need to be paid before next March.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

The global financial press is freaking out about global markets after Wall Street suffered its biggest single-day loss since mid-June yesterday. The benchmark S&P 500 index fell 2.1% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 2.5%, spelling the end of an impressive recent rally that has lifted stocks out of bear market territory.

Fear of Jackson Hole is driving the sell-off: Investors are anticipating Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to talk tough on inflation and double-down on aggressive interest rate hikes when he speaks at the annual gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole later this week. (Bloomberg | FT | WSJ | CNBC)

It’s a sea of red in Asia this morning as the selloff carries over into Tuesday. Stock futures currently have Wall Street opening marginally in the green later today while European shares will fall at the opening bell.

Also getting significant coverage: Ford became the latest company to announce mass lay-offs yesterday. The auto giant will cut 3k jobs this week in a major restructure as it looks to finance its bn-USD plan to transition to electric vehicles and compete with Tesla. (Wall Street Journal | Bloomberg | Reuters | TechCrunch)

HEADING INTO COP27…

Got a green project? A new government initiative could help it secure investor funding at COP27. The Planning Ministry yesterday launched its “smart green projects” initiative, which will map green projects nationwide, giving them a platform to raise investments at the November climate summit, according to a ministry statement. Eligible projects must use technological solutions to address environmental issues and will be chosen based on their feasibility, scalability and impact, with a separate category for projects that are women-led or promote women’s participation in the green economy, according to the initiative criteria.

An executive committee that includes Egypt climate czar Mahmoud Mohieldin will whittle the applicants down to a final list of 18 projects to be presented for funding at COP27. You can apply to make the cut here.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Next week’s National Dialogue board meeting has been postponed to the first week of September after several members fell ill, Cairo24 reports. Board member Negad El Borai confirmed the postponement on social media, but did not say what triggered it. Cairo24’s source claims the meeting could now be held on 3 September. The meeting was set to see the board’s members choose the rapporteurs for all of the committees and subcommittees of the social, political and economic tracks, and prepare the agenda and topics of discussion for the dialogue.

The Union of Arab Banks is organizing a forum on money laundering and terrorism financing in Sharm El Sheikh from 1-3 September. Participating institutions include the Central Bank of Egypt and the Federation of Egyptian Banks, among others.

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

enterprise

*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: With COP27 around the corner, Egypt is working with the UN to drum up investor interest in climate projects for developing nations — including for projects here at home. We take a look at the projects highlighted for climate finance so far as part of the pre-COP roadshow meant to attract funding where it's needed most.

enterprise

Solasi Wellbeing Festival at Somabay: Where wellbeing meets nature at this holistic yoga and healing festival set between mountains and sea. Solasi wellbeing festival is organized by Yes Yoga and Osana Family Wellness located in the beautiful Somabay. It is a place where yoga, movement, and holistic therapies meet play, relaxation, and music. Set in Somabay sunshine between the majestic mountains and the glittering sea, we are going to bring you sunrise yoga, sound healing, funky classes, morning runs, enlightening workshops, healing treatments, Tai Chi, meditation, kids’ treasure hunts, locally sourced food and lots of dancing. We have everything you need to run away with us for four days from 21-24 September at a magical destination. Book your one-day or three-day passes at solasifestival.com.

ECONOMY

IMF talks in “final stages,” says Madbouly

Egypt and the IMF are in the “final stages” of talks for a fresh facility to help shore up the economy, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in a cabinet statement yesterday. The statement didn’t provide any details about the talks.

Madbouly’s statement comes amid growing pressure on the EGP and less than a week after the resignation of Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer, a move that some in the capital city think will pave the way to a fresh devaluation of the EGP. Allowing a flexible exchange rate policy is likely to be one of the IMF’s key conditions for agreeing to a new loan, which is increasingly important to policymakers who are managing external funding pressures prompted largely (but not entirely) by fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Five months and counting: Egypt entered talks with the IMF in March as part of a bid to lock in financial support following the economic shocks caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, rising interest rates, and the global-risk off in financial markets. Neither side has publicly spoken about any details of the talks or how much money Egypt is negotiating for. Goldman Sachs estimated that we could need as much as USD 15 bn to fund our debt repayments and current account deficit over the next few years, a figure that Finance Minister Mohamed Maait subsequently said is too high and “totally inaccurate.”

Strings attached: In an indicator of the conditions it wants to attach to the program, the IMF has called on Egypt to take “decisive” steps on fiscal and structural reforms. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has publicly appealed to the Fund to allow Egypt some breathing room until the crisis abates. In addition to further currency devaluation, the central bank’s subsidized loan programs may be on the chopping block while bread subsidy reform may or may not still be up for negotiation, according to reports yesterday.

All subsidized loan programs need to go: The IMF wants the Central Bank of Egypt to “unify interest rates” and end its aggressive program of subsidized, low-interest loans for key sectors of the economy, Bloomberg Asharq reported yesterday, citing three government sources. The CBE has launched programs in recent years that allow commercial banks to provide low-cost finance to tourism operators, SMEs, housing, and most recently agriculture. The loans are funded by the central bank, distributed via state-owned banks, and guaranteed by the Finance Ministry.

The government is pushing back on scrapping subsidized loans: The Madbouly government has taken off the table the IMF’s proposal to halt the loans, a government source told Enterprise yesterday. The source defended the policy, saying the programs are designed to boost economic growth and will not impact the nation’s budget deficit.

Is the IMF easing off demands to reform bread subsidies? The IMF understands that “now is not the time to tamper with bread subsidies,” Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told Al Arabiya yesterday, saying that the fund is aware of the need to make sure “instability does not occur due to certain measures.” Plans to overhaul the longstanding bread subsidy system — which offers loaves at lower prices to more than 60 mn people — have been put on hold amid soaring food prices. The government will spend EGP 55 bn on bread subsidies this fiscal year, El Moselhy said previously.

IN OTHER ECONOMY NEWS-

Egypt GDP to grow 6.2% this year -AMF: The Egyptian economy will grow at a 6.2% clip in FY 2022-2023, up from 5.5% last year, according to the Arab Monetary Fund’s latest outlook (pdf). The figure is slightly higher than the 5.9% growth penciled in for Egypt this fiscal year in the IMF’s most recent forecast. The Arab fund expects growth to moderate to 5.5% in FY 2023-2024.

M&A WATCH

valU acquires PayNas

EFG Hermes’ consumer finance arm valU has acquired 100% of digital HR and payroll platform Paynas, valU said in a statement (pdf) yesterday, without disclosing the value of the transaction. The acquisition will see valU tap into Paynas's roster of micro and small-business clients, while Paynas will add valU’s buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) products to its offering, the statement read.

About Paynas: The fintech outfit’s cloud-based platform offers MSMEs employee management and payroll services including the Visa Paynas card and salary advances, as well as tools to monitor time management and attendance. The startup, which counts mass transit app Swvl and state-owned mobile and digital advertising firm E3lany among its clients, was a member of the inaugural 2019 class of EFG-EV Fintech, the accelerator run between EFG Hermes and the International Cooperation Ministry’s venture capital arm, Egypt Ventures.

This is valU’s second investment this year: The company entered the Saudi market earlier this year when it acquired a 35% stake in Fas Finance in June. Fas Finance is the consumer finance arm of Fas Labs, a joint venture owned by the Alhokair family which acquired a 4.99% stake in valU in the same month.

COMMODITIES

We’re getting more wheat storage + three new commercial zones

We’re adding 500k tons to our silo capacity: The Supply Ministry is building wheat silos in Toshka with the capacity to hold 500k tons of grain, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy told reporters yesterday, according to Al Borsa.

The first phase of the project will add 300k tons of capacity at a cost of almost USD 83 mn, according to the minister. The government will stump up EGP 860 mn (around USD 44.9 mn), while the World Bank will kick in finance worth USD 38 mn. The remainder will come in a second phase, the minister said, without specifying a timeline for the project’s implementation. The ministry chosen a contractor to build the facility, El Moselhy said, but didn’t name names.

The funding is likely part of the larger USD 500 mn financing package that the World Bank agreed earlier this year to boost Egypt’s food security. More than a fifth of the funding — USD 117.5 mn — has been allocated to raise silo capacity.

Raising storage capacity has been a key priority for the government as it tries to bulk up its reserves of food staples in response to the war in Ukraine which sent shockwaves through global food supply chains. Egypt currently has capacity to store 3.4 mn tons of grain and the Supply Ministry wants to up this by another 50% to 5 mn tons by the middle of the decade. In recent weeks, Denmark’s Cimbria has said it will build a complex in Port Said capable of storing 100k tons of wheat while Italy will work on six silos capable of storing a combined 30k tons.

SPEAKING OF WHEAT-

We’ve received 63k tons of Romanian wheat, the Red Sea Ports Authority said yesterday. Romania has been a major wheat supplier to Egypt this year. Egypt has been forced to diversify its wheat suppliers after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted exports from the two countries, which accounted for about 80% of our wheat supplies.

IN OTHER LOGISTICS NEWS-

The Supply Ministry has inked contracts with private sector players to build three new commercial trading and logistics centers worth EGP 2.4 bn — one each in Dakahlia, Suez and Kafr El Sheikh governorates, according to a statement. The ministry signed agreements with Sherif Younes’ US-based Vernbro Global Investment, local pharma wholesaler United Company of Pharmacists, and real estate developer Marakez. The new zones will create some 15k direct and indirect jobs, the ministry said.

enterprise

MOVES

Ahmed Zaki Abdeen will step down as chairman of the Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) at the beginning of September due to health reasons, he told Bloomberg Asharq. The board will appoint Deputy Housing Minister Khaled Abbas as his replacement, he said. The military-owned company is the owner and developer of the new capital. Abbas will take the helm at the company as it prepares to list its subsidiaries on the EGX, and potentially follow through with a blockbuster IPO.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has appointed Sherif Sedky (bio) to head the Egyptian Space Agency for one year effective 19 August, according to a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette. Sedky was formerly the executive president of Zewail City and has served as provost at AUC and University of Science and Technology.

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

The five-country regional summit taking place in New Alamein continued to take priority on the airwaves last night, with Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 6:54) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 2:01) both giving the event some airtime.

What the talking heads really wanted you to know: The coverage was full of talk of “unity,” “partnership” and “coordination” between the participating countries, a notable contrast in discourse from what’s going on in the global political order, which is facing its most serious schism since the Cold War as tensions between the US, Russia and China mount. Leading the charge into relentless optimism was deputy foreign minister Mohamed Hegazy, who described the summit as a “beacon of hope” for future Arab relations on Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:32). “I expect that ‘togetherness’ could be the headline [for Arab relations] for the foreseeable future, investing together, building together, celebrating together, and working on projects together,” he said.

The summit could deliver more investment from regional allies: “The two-day summit will advance Arab partnerships in the face of challenging global conditions,” former foreign minister Mohamed Orabi told Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 5:07). The location of the summit — New Alamein — also allows regional leaders to see firsthand the types of development taking place in Egypt, which can in itself help attract investments and economic cooperation, he said.

Egypt hasn’t given up getting the Security Council onto its side on GERD: “Egypt is working to involve the international community in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute through its appeal to the UN Security Council,” Hegazy told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 5:14). The country recently protested Ethiopia’s third filling of the dam in an appeal to the council, though various countries — including the UAE and the US — have been calling on Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to continue with the African Union-led negotiations.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s a slow morning in the pages of the international press: All of the attention is on the latest on the IMF talks (See: Bloomberg | Reuters) and the regional summit underway at New Alamein (Associated Press). More on both of these, above.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Big gas find in Cyprus could benefit Egypt + GB Auto to assemble Chinese trucks

Another big East Med gas find: Eni and TotalEnergies have made a “significant” gas discovery in a shared exploration block off the coast of Cyprus which the companies estimate to contain at least 2.5 tn cubic feet of gas, Eni said in a statement yesterday. “Preliminary estimates indicate about 2.5 tn cf of gas in place, with significant additional upside that will be investigated by a further exploration well in the area,” the Italian energy company said.

Some of that gas could one day be brought to Egypt for re-export to Europe: Egypt and Cyprus are planning to lay a pipeline connecting the Aphrodite field to Egypt’s LNG facilities where gas can be liquified and exported to Europe. Egypt is the only country with LNG facilities in the Eastern Mediterranean, making it a key partner for Europe which is trying to rapidly transition away from Russian fossil fuels. The EU signed an agreement with Egypt and Israel earlier this year laying the foundations for Israeli gas to be exported across the Mediterranean via Egypt.

MEANWHILE- Transport Vehicles Distribution (TVD) —a joint venture between GB Auto and El Ghalban Auto —will start assembling Chinese JMC trucks early next year at GB’s plants, GB Auto IR Manager Marina Kamal told Enterprise.

AND- Qalaa Holdings has denied reports that it sold a stake in its subsidiary Taqa Arabia, saying that a 14% rise in its EGX-listed shares over the past week was not driven by any “material events.” (Disclosure, pdf)

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

  • Real estate developer MNHD posted a record EGP 1.5 bn in sales in July, driven by the launch of two new phases of its Elect development at Taj City, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. More than half the units across both phases have now been sold. The statement comes after the company said in its 2Q earnings it had booked record sales — and after its board rebuffed an acquisition bid from SODIC.
  • Raya Customer Experience (Raya CX) signed a partnership agreement with Zain Saudi Arabia to provide customer services for the telecoms operator in KSA. (Statement, pdf)
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt (ADIB) and Dubai-based payments firm SimpliFi will launch a card-as-a-service offering for companies in Egypt. (Statement, pdf)

PLANET FINANCE

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

2021 was a record year for IPOs in the US. 2022 could turn out to be the worst: The US IPO market is heading for its worst year in decades as rising interest rates, soaring inflation and the war in Ukraine rock financial markets. Traditional IPOs have raised a meager USD 5.1 bn so far this year, compared with a historical average of USD 33 bn usually raised at this point of the year, according to Dealogic data cited by the Wall Street Journal.

A year is a long time in finance: This time last year, more than USD 100 bn had been raised by IPOs during a boom that saw investors rushing to put their money into companies with sky-high valuations that benefited from unprecedented pandemic-era stimulus.

IPO advisers expect the drought to continue through the end of the year, as companies delay plans to go public until the markets stabilize.

IPO WATCH CLOSER TO HOME- Emirati foreign exchange company Al Ansari Exchange has hired EFG-Hermes and Emirates NBD Bank to quarterback its planned IPO in Dubai, Bloomberg reports, citing sources it says have knowledge of the matter. The sources said that the firm could list in 1Q 2023, but that the timing is subject to change as preparations for the IPO are still underway. Representatives for all involved parties declined to comment on the matter.

Al Ansari is one of the largest money-exchange firms in the UAE, with more than 200 branches across the country. It also offers remittance transfers and corporate services such as payroll solutions, according to its website.


Energy chaos in Europe: European gas, electricity and coal prices all surged to record highs yesterday as the news that Russia plans to close the vital Nordstream 1 gas pipeline for three days at the end of the month further raised concerns about Europe’s dire energy situation, Bloomberg reports.

Putting this in perspective: European gas futures are currently more than 10x higher than they were this time last year.

ALSO WORTH NOTING-

  • Mega rate hike in Israel: Israel raised its policy rate to 2% in its biggest rate hike since 2011 as it looks to bring down inflation, which has hit its highest level since 2008. (Bloomberg)
  • Erdonomics is alive and kicking: Turkey has ruled out any future interest rate hikes in spite of inflation soaring to 80%, after surprising markets with a 100-bps rate cut last week. (Bloomberg)
  • Biden wants oil exporters to ramp up production. Oil exporters may soon do the opposite: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the OPEC+ alliance of oil exporters could cut production in order to address the “disconnect” between physical and paper barrels, which he said was causing “extreme” price volatility. (Bloomberg)

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10,246

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Buy 19.09

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Interest rates CBE

11.25% deposit

12.25% lending

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THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 0.9% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.54 bn (47.6% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 14.3% YTD.

In the green: Madinet Nasr Housing (+13.3%), Palm Hills Development (+3.7%) and Heliopolis Housing (+2.7%).

In the red: Credit Agricole Egypt (-3.3%), Rameda (-2.5%) and Ibnsina Pharma (-2.4%).

DIPLOMACY

Israel’s defense minister hopes Egypt tensions will “blow over”

Israeli defense minister acknowledges friction with Egypt, hopes it will “blow over”: “I definitely think there have been days of tensions” since the Egypt-brokered ceasefire in Gaza came into effect earlier this month, Haaretz quotes Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz as saying in a radio interview yesterday. “Relations between friends have ups and downs … without going into some specific incident or another, we will know how to stabilize the relations. We don’t need to take every crisis and turn it into the single most important thing. I hope it will blow over in the next few days.”

What’s the beef? Israeli media reported on Sunday that the head of Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet had traveled to Egypt to defuse anger in Cairo over Israel’s killing of three Palestinians in Nablus. The incident came a few days after the ceasefire came into effect when President Abdel Fattah El Sisi reportedly asked Israeli PM Yair Lapid to rein in the military’s activities in the West Bank. Haaretz described Egypt’s reaction to the killings as “furious” and led to spymaster Abbas Kamel canceling a planned trip to Israel.

AROUND THE WORLD

Iran accuses the US of stalling on nuclear pact as the West looks to meet this week to discuss it further: “The Americans are procrastinating” in indirect talks meant to revive the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson told a news conference yesterday, Reuters reports. The US has snapped back that Iran has been stretching talks out, Bloomberg adds.

Kenya's opposition leader heads to Supreme Court to overturn election result: Defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga is mounting a legal challenge against last week’s closely-fought election, which saw Deputy President William Ruto claim a narrow victory, Reuters reports.

greenEconomy

With COP27 around the corner, the climate finance roadshow has begun: Egypt and the UN earlier this month kicked off a series of five regional roundtables to help secure investment for climate projects in developing nations ahead of COP27. The roundtables bring international investors, government officials, and developers together to match available finance with ready-to-go projects, as well as showcase the best of sustainable projects already underway.

The sessions focus on sending climate funding where it’s most needed — to those developing nations that are tackling the worst effects of climate change with the fewest resources. The first of the five roundtables took place in Addis Ababa at the start of August and focused on climate finance to the African continent. Attendees whittled down some 140 African climate projects to an initial roster of 19 projects (pdf) — the details of which are laid out in a presentation from Boston Consulting Group that was carried by Climate Home News.

African nations need to raise a whole lot: The African Group of Negotiators (AGN) at COP27

“will not only call for the delivery of the USD 100 bn goal [in climate finance for developing nations] that should've been made by 2020, but for an increase of at least USD 150 bn per year until 2025” at COP27, AGN chair Ephraim Shitima said in Addis Ababa. From 2025 onward, the AGN is set to call for USD 1.3 tn annually in climate finance.

The second roundtable takes place in Bangkok this Thursday and focuses on funding for the Asia Pacific region. The final three sessions will take place in Santiago to discuss finance for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Beirut for funding to Western Asia, and in Geneva for projects in Europe.

The projects showcased at the roundtables will then make their way into a “compendium” of viable investment targets that will be released at COP27 on 9 November, which is the designated finance day for the summit, according to a statement by the UN’s climate champions.

Who’s looking to invest? Potential investors who have been invited to the roundtables include regional, national, and multilateral development banks, investment banks, international finance institutions, pension funds, and private philanthropic organizations, according to the initiative’s concept note (pdf). Among the private players at the table are members of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance.

We’re pitching for some USD 11.4 bn to finance four projects: Four local projects made the list reviewed in Addis Ababa, with a total investment cost of USD 17.4 bn — some 40% of the value of all 19 African projects combined. Some USD 6 bn of that, to finance the Cairo and Alexandria light rail (LRT) projects, has already been secured.

Project #1- The electricity and environment ministries are looking for USD 10 bn to decommission 17 “inefficient” fossil-fuel power plants and replace them with solar and wind power. The project is currently at the feasibility study stage, with no funding yet secured. It’s a long-term initiative that could begin this year and continue until 2035. The 7.5 GW of energy the plants currently produce would be more than replaced with 5.1 GW of wind power and 6.2 GW of solar power, which would be delivered “mainly by the private sector,” according to the pitch roster.

The impact: The project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7.7 mn tons of CO2-equivalent annually. That’s around the equivalent of the CO2 emissions created via powering 100k US homes by conventional means. The project would contribute to our new emissions targets, which seek to slash emissions from the energy sector to 33% of the business as usual (BAU) scenario — i.e. what they would be without any mitigation plans — by 2030.

Project #2- The LRT. We’re not seeking any more funding for the USD 6 bn project to build electric light rail transit in Cairo and Alexandria, which looks to have been included in the climate finance roadshow as a model initiative. More than half of the Transport Ministry-led project is funded by foreign funds (including a USD 1.2 bn loan from the Chinese Import-Export Bank), with the remainder coming from government and development partners. The first phase of the Cairo line was inaugurated in July. The project is expected to be completed by 2025.

The impact: The LRT is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 207.5k tons of CO2 equivalent per year (as much as taking 45k cars off the road) and save some USD 23 mn annually by mitigating expected costs of climate change, according to the pitch booklet. It is also expected to reduce the number of buses on the roads of our two biggest cities, bringing benefits for air quality.

Project #3- Climate-proofing our agricultural sector. The Agriculture Ministry is seeking USD 800 mn for “several activities” to build crop resilience in the Nile Valley and Delta. The measures include encouraging farmers “to adapt new genotypes and technologies and build resilience to unusual weather events.” The project spans some 3.6 mn feddans of agricultural land and aims to ensure 20% of farming communities in the area — 30 mn people — “are resilient and aware of adaptation options.” It’s currently at the feasibility stage and is set to run from next year through to 2030, according to the project roster.

On the food security front: The agricultural project aims to boost our annual wheat production to 12.2 mn tons (up from an estimated 9.8 mn tons this year), as well as upping the barley, maize, and sorghum harvest. The government redoubled its efforts to boost local production of staple foods after international wheat prices spiked on the back of the war in major producer Ukraine, which include offering more incentives to farmers and reclaiming huge swathes of desert areas for agriculture. While commodities prices have since cooled, persistent risks to global food security and the desire to reduce our reliance on exports mean that upping the local harvest is likely to remain a priority.

Project #4- Six new solar desalination plants. This USD 600 mn project would see the state build six desalination plants in four unnamed governorates within 5 years. The plants aim to slash reliance on freshwater needs as climate change reduces flow from the Nile. They are set to produce a combined 625k cubic meters of water a day and are currently at the feasibility stage, with no funding yet secured. Increasing investment in desalination is a pillar of the state’s climate adaptation strategy, which includes plans to add capacity of 6.4 mn cubic meters a day by 2050.


Your top green economy stories for the week:

  • Carbon credits from Benban? Twenty solar players operating at Benban have contracted with Swiss carbon trading consultancy First Climate to explore selling carbon credits, anonymous sources reportedly told Al Borsa.
  • European Investment Bank in Egypt to talk green finance: An EIB delegation was in town for five days last week to discuss the government’s NWFE program, which it will use to develop its pipeline of investable green projects.
  • The Climate Finance Accelerator is coming to Egypt: The UK government is backing a four-year technical assistance program designed to “develop a sustainable pipeline of bankable and investment-ready, low-carbon projects and identify suitable financing options.”

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

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

23 August (Tuesday): The government hosts public consultations on its state ownership policy document with firms in the construction sector.

23 August (Tuesday): Window to apply for government non-profit universities via the online tansik (enrollment) website opens.

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 firms in the water sector.

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

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

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

30 August (Tuesday): Deadline for companies to file 2Q financial statements.

30 August (Tuesday): Deadline to apply for government non-profit universities via the tansik (enrollment) website.

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

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.

31 August (Wednesday): Beltone convenes its general assembly to restructure the board following the change of ownership.

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): Credit hikes for ration card holders will come into effect.

1 September: Madbouly government set to introduce new social protection measures.

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.

1-3 September (Thursday-Saturday): The Union of Arab Banks is organizing a forum on money laundering and terrorism financing in Sharm El Sheikh.

3 September (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.

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

4 September (Sunday): Industrial Development Authority’s deadline for companies interested in providing various services in the industrial zones in Qena and Sohag to submit a written expression of interest.

5-8 September (Monday-Thursday): Gastech 2022, Milan, Italy.

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 (Sunday-Tuesday): Environment and Development Forum (EDF), InterContinental City Stars, Cairo.

14 September (Wednesday): Expedition Investments’ MTO for Domty expires.

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.

19-22 September (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes One on One Conference, Dubai.

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.

22 September (Thursday): Deadline to submit prequalification applications for companies interested in submitting a proposal for sea water desalination projects

25-27 September (Sunday-Tuesday) A delegation of executives at Egyptian real estate companies visit Saudi Arabia to present developers with investment opportunities in Egypt’s real estate sector.

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: House of Representatives reconvenes after summer recess

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): Start of 2022-2023 school year.

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, 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.

December: Egypt to expand Sudan electricity link capacity to 300 MW.

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.

1 January (Sunday): Residential electricity bills are set to rise as per the government’s six-year roadmap (pdf) to restructure electricity prices by 2025.

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.

4Q2022: Raya Holding subsidiary Aman and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia to launch their fintech company.

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.

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