Monday, 5 September 2022

AM — Abdalla, cabinet coordinating fiscal and monetary policy as IMF talks continue

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, nice people. The last weekend of summer is now behind us (almost-officially in the US and Canada, where today is the labor day holiday — and just-about-officially in Egypt, if the atmosphere in Sahel is any barometer) and it shows in a very light news day today.

THE BIG STORY HERE AT HOME- Hassan Abdalla and his team at the central bank continue to chart a way forward out of our current FX, inflation and other challenges.

Abdalla and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly were talking monetary and fiscal policy again yesterday at a meeting involving senior cabinet ministers and central bank officials, according to a cabinet statement. The sit-down covered the latest on talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an assistance package, the impact of rising inflation on businesses and consumers, and steps that Finance Minister Mohamed Maait’s team have recently taken to accelerate the release of goods piled up at Egyptian ports.

The Abdalla bounce in short-term EGP bonds continued yesterday: Yields on three-month treasuries fell for the second auction in a row yesterday, declining 20 bps to 15.85%, according to central bank data. Yields had inched down to 16.07% last week which some traders attributed to Hassan Abdalla’s appointment as CBE governor.

But yields on one-year bills continued to rise: Indications that policymakers could soon make a move on the EGP and hopes that an agreement with the IMF could be close haven’t had an impact on one-year yields, which have risen almost 60 bps since the beginning of August. The rate inched up to 16.91% from 16.88% in an auction yesterday.

SMART POLICY #1- Bank boards won’t be required to meet quite as often, according to a Central Bank of Egypt circular (pdf) out yesterday that said boards will now have to meet at least six times a year. Bank boards were previously required to hold at least eight meetings every year under a 2019 decree. This is smart: The nation’s banks are exceptionally well-regulated by the CBE (and have been for the better part of two decades). Eight meetings a year was just needless overhead for C-suite folks and non-exec directors alike.

SMART POLICY #2- The Saudi central bank has brought in a crypto chief to manage its digital assets program in an indicator that Riyadh is looking to compete with the UAE, which has positioned itself as a global hub for the crypto industry, Bloomberg reports.

Hassan Abdalla has a hell of a lot on his plate right now — and we’re hardly crypto fanboys here at Enterprise. But when he and the good people at the CBE come up for air, we’re going to be hoping they (cautiously) re-think the regulator’s approach to crypto, which in the Amer days was effectively this.


*** You have just a few more days to tell us how you’re feeling about your business and the wider economy. We’ll have the results for mid-month — just in time to give you a sense of what everyone else is thinking heading into budget season. Make your voice heard in our Fall Reader Survey. It won’t take more than a few minutes to complete.


HAPPENING TODAY-

It’s PMI day: S&P Global will publish August’s data measuring activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector. The private sector contracted for the 20th consecutive month in July as high inflation continued to weigh on output and demand. Look for the PMI here at about 6:15am CLT.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be in Cairo ahead of an Egyptian-Palestinian summit on Tuesday. The two sides will discuss the situation in Palestine and the possibility of releasing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody. Egypt played a key role in brokering last month’s ceasefire following clashes between Israel and Gaza militants.

OPEC+ meets to set output policy amid a wave of uncertainty in the markets that has resulted in the longest streak of monthly drops in crude prices since the pandemic, Bloomberg reports. Most analysts and traders surveyed by the business newswire expect the oil cartel to keep output steady. Brent crude futures are currently trading at around USD 93 a barrel — down nearly a quarter on their June peak.

The board overseeing the National Dialogue will hold its next meeting, choosing rapporteurs for all of the committees and subcommittees of the social, political and economic tracks. It will also work on topics of discussion for the dialogue.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

We’re expecting some sort of announcement from the government on how it plans to proceed with its privatization program, according to comments given to the media by Finance Minister Mohamed Maait last week. This came on the same day as the Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouy met with the heads of the EGX and the Financial Regulatory Authority to discuss plans to sell stakes in state-owned enterprises on the bourse.


THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

Europe’s energy shock is getting most of the attention in the global front pages this morning as energy traders predict a volatile start to the week following Gazprom’s shuttering of the Nordstream 1 gas pipeline last week. Reuters, Bloomberg, the New York Times, and the Financial Times are looking at how European leaders could respond to the deepening crisis as the effects of the sanctions war with Russia threaten to shutter heavy industry across the continent. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, is cheering the growth slowdown in China, suggesting that it will help to calm soaring inflation elsewhere in the world.

iSheep, rejoice: Expect the IPhone 14 Pro line to be the star of Apple’s annual event on Wednesday, with the upscale products poised to have significant upgrades, including a faster A16 chip, an always-on display screen, a whooping 48-megapixel rear wide-angle camera system, and a larger battery, according to Bloomberg. The iPhone 14 Pro will also see some modest design changes, including to its sensor notch. The event is set to see the unveiling of two standard iPhone 14 models, a high-end Apple Watch Pro and upgraded new Airpods Pro.

Wait, no Macs or iPads? Nope. Conventional wisdom is that we’ll have to wait until October, but that new machines with M2 chips will be on offer.

THE LONG VIEW-

The 2020s could be even more terrible than the 1970s: Comments made by historian Niall Ferguson over the weekend are getting attention in the global business press. Speaking to CNBC at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy, Ferguson warned that the current political and economic turbulence could be worse than the 1970s — a decade characterized by energy shocks, stagflation and political and civil unrest.

“The ingredients of the 1970s are already in place,” Ferguson said, drawing parallels between events over the past two years, the loose fiscal and monetary policies of the late 1960s, and the 1973 war. The difference, he said, is that the current war in Ukraine is lasting longer than the Arab-Israeli war, making the energy shock more severe. “Why shouldn’t it be as bad as the 1970s?” he said. “I’m going to go out on a limb: Let’s consider the possibility that the 2020s could actually be worse than the 1970s,” he said. The story got ink in CNBC and MarketWatch.

ICYMI-

Missed this week’s Inside Industry? In our weekly vertical exploring all things industry and manufacturing, we sat down with Arab Alloys CEO Medhat Nafei to discuss his company’s plans to set up a EGP 1 bn ferroalloys industrial complex in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

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 very cool new things. Today, we run two daily publications, one regional publication, 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

*** 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: We look at the growing investor interest in Egypt’s preschool sector.

enterprise

2CELLOS – LIVE AT SOMABAY: 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. Book your ticket here.

AUTOMOTIVE

El Nasr could sign final contracts to produce EVs next month

It only took 3+ years, but El Nasr Auto might finally be ready to finalize contracts for EV assembly: El Nasr Automotive expects to sign final contracts to produce electric vehicles with an unnamed Chinese company in mid-October, Al Borsa reported yesterday, citing an anonymous source at the company. The report came hours after Public Enterprise Minister Mahmoud Esmat held a meeting to review the status of the negotiations between El Nasr and a Chinese auto firm. The ministry was tight-lipped on the identity of the Chinese firm and when the contracts would be signed in its statement (pdf).

So who’s the Chinese company? It’s likely BAIC Group, which we were told in June had signed an MoU with El Nasr for the production of EVs. At the time production was expected to begin in the middle of 2023 with the aim of putting out the first EVs on the market by 4Q 2023.

FEV is reportedly bringing the blueprints: State-owned El Nasr is reviewing designs for electric sedans from German vehicle designer FEV ahead of signing the contracts, Al Borsa’s source said.

Finally, the endgame? El Nasr has been in talks with foreign companies to partner on an EV project for years. The company had entered negotiations with Chinese auto giant Dongfeng back in 2019 only to pull out more than two years later apparently because the two sides were unable to agree on prices for imported components. We had more in our weekly Going Green vertical on the renewables industry.

CUSTOMS

Manufacturers: Here’s how you qualify for customs breaks

The Finance Ministry has laid out the criteria for industry players looking to benefit from amended customs tariffs approved by the House of Representatives in June, according to a cabinet statement. Manufacturers will need to keep records on the volume and purpose of their imports so they can qualify for customs breaks on some production inputs, with the Customs Authority, the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), the Trade and Industry Ministry, and the Finance Ministry all playing a role in approving companies’ imports and tariffs depending on the sector in which they operate.

Refresher: The amendments impact 150 raw material imports used by automotive and industrial manufacturers, hotels, renewables players, and farmers, among other industries. They were put in place in a bid to lower imports of finished goods, boost local industry, and up exports.

^^ We broke down the customs breaks and how they’re being implemented in an Inside Industry vertical earlier this summer.

INVESTMENT WATCH

Bim to invest USD 25 mn to expand Egypt footprint

Supermarket chain Bim Egypt plans to invest USD 25 mn to open hundreds of new branches, Al Mal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The Turkish retailer reportedly wants to open as many as 200 branches during the first half of 2023. Bim first entered Egypt in 2013 and currently has 300 branches in the country.

IN OTHER RETAIL NEWS- Burgeoning supermarket chain Mahmoud El Far has opened a new store in Madinaty at a cost of EGP 200 mn, Masrawy reports. This is the company’s second branch in Egypt after opening its inaugural store in New Cairo last year.

MOVES

Abdelhalim Allam has been elected president of the Lawyers’ Syndicate after a landslide victory, Al Shorouk reported. Allam, who heads the syndicate’s branch in Alexandria, won the race with more than half of the 45.2k votes cast, results showed. Eighteen candidates have been vying for the position since March after President Ragai Attia passed away.

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

There was no specific topic dominating airwaves yesterday, with talking heads discussing the commodities front, a much-needed relief for importers and others.

Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy was on Al Kahera W El Nas’s Hadith El Qahera delivering a mix or reassurance and alarmism: “This is the worst global crisis since [I believe] the Second World War,” the minister said while moving to calm fears about food insecurity caused by the conflict. The country has enough wheat to last more than six months, partly due to the government securing more than 4 mn tons from local farmers, he said (watch, runtime: 8:12 | 5:43).

Amended custom tariffs will apply to both production inputs stuck at ports and others set to be imported, Customs Authority spokesperson Mohamed Ibrahim said on Salet El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 8:08). Businesses can also send equipment for maintenance abroad and have it shipped back without incurring any custom charges, on the condition that they declare that the goods are being exported temporarily for maintenance, he said. The decisions received praise from Mohamed El Masry, vice chairman of Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), who told Salet El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 9:58) that it would help resolve the crisis at ports.

Another way the government could get more foreign currency into the country: Convincing expats to send more remittances in exchange for customs breaks on vehicles, suggested Alaa Selim, the secretary-general of the General Union for Egyptians Abroad in Kuwait. In an interview with late night queen Lamees El Hadidy on Kelma Akhira, Selim said that Egyptians abroad could transfer USD 50-100k in remittances in return for a customs break on imported cars (watch, runtime: 3:01). Purchasing vehicles abroad and shipping them to Egypt has become a well-known practice by expats (especially in the Gulf) because of the high prices in the local market.

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • More tourists: El Hekaya’s Amr Adib called for revamping airports and providing better services to attract more tourists. (El Hekaya | watch, runtime: 32:27)
  • More wheat: Egypt plans to plant 4 mn feddans of wheat next season, Agriculture Minister El Sayed El Quseir said. (Salet El Tahrir | watch, runtime: 3:57)
  • A man accused of shooting dead a female student in Menofiya over rejecting his marriage proposal has committed suicide, the Interior Ministry said yesterday. (Salet El Tahrir | watch, runtime: 6:17 and Hadith El Qahera | watch, runtime: 3:03)
  • El Sisi meets Saudi FM: A meeting between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Cairo got a mention from Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 3:50) and Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 1:20).

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

No single story is dominating the conversation on Egypt internationally this morning. Here’s a selection of stories getting ink in one form or another:

  • Retailers and manufacturers have been struggling to stay afloat amid import restrictions and a USD shortage. (The National)
  • Solar power is a rich man’s game: Hefty upfront costs and bureaucracy are scaring citizens away from installing their own solar panels despite government encouragement. (Economist)
  • Slim pickings: The Qarun Lake’s deteriorating fish stock is putting fishermen’s livelihoods at risk and pollution may be to blame. (Reuters)
  • Sahel in the spotlight: The upscale summer spot is garnering media attention and spawned a wealth of memes highlighting the nation’s class divide. (The National)
  • No plans to demolish Taha Hussein’s grave: Authorities have denied planning to demolish the grave of famed Egyptian writer Taha Hussein to make way for a new road. (The National)
  • Third woman murdered in less than three months: A man has shot and killed a woman in Menoufia Governorate who turned down his marriage proposal. (Sky News Arabia)
  • Influencer Hadia Ghaleb’s burkini line is said to be changing attitudes on modest swimwear. (The National)

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

A bidding round for Borg El Arab dry port? A consortium led by Alpha Capital is reportedly among companies planning to submit an offer in October to establish, operate and manage the dry port at Borg El Arab at an investment cost of USD 180 mn, Amr Ismail, head of the General Authority for Land and Dry Ports, is cited as saying by Al Borsa. Korea’s CGN was reportedly being considered to manage the dry port back in 2020, though we’ve heard nothing on the project’s progress since.

EFG Hermes’ valU and PayTabs Egypt are working with chatbot startup Notchnco to build out WhatsApp shopping services on valU, according to a statement (pdf).

Our friends at Infinity and Hassan Allam Utilities as well as Intro Energy will inaugurate three solar plants with a combined generation capacity of 15 MW by the end of October in Sharm El Sheikh, according to Al Borsa.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has asked the government to reconsider indicative supply prices ahead of the harvest season and look into adding financial incentives to the procurement prices, a statement by Ittihadiya read. The directives come under the state’s plan to support local farmers, it said.

REMEMBER- The government said last week it will pay farmers an indicative price of EGP 1k per ardeb of wheat next season, a hike of nearly 15% from the EGP 865-885 per ardeb it paid this year. Farmers had urged the government earlier this year to raise prices to EGP 1k to help the industry cope with inflation and meet production targets.

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

  • It’s official: Eastern’s cigarettes just got pricier. Eastern Company has raised price points for the second time since March by EGP 1.5-2.5 per pack. (Regulatory filing, pdf).
  • Real estate developer GV Developments signed a MoU with French consulting and engineering firm EGIS for the development of Tarboul Industrial City. (Statement)
  • EgyptAir began operating direct daily flights on Saturday between Moscow and popular tourist destinations Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. (Masrawy)
  • A delegation of Danish companies discussed investment opportunities with officials at the Suez Canal Economic Zone. (Statement)

PLANET FINANCE

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

The global economy holds its breath for another batch of aggressive rate hikes: Major central banks are gearing up for a series of rate hikes this week as they continue to battle spiraling inflation, Bloomberg writes. Market watchers are anticipating rate hikes this week from the European Central Bank — which is widely expected to go for an uncharacteristically aggressive 75 bps hike — as well as in Canada, Australia, Chile, and at least five other countries. The US Federal Reserve will follow later this month, with most analysts forecasting a 50-basis-point increase or even another jumbo 75-bps hike.

Global food prices dipped for a fifth consecutive month in August, thanks in part to the UN-backed agreement to re-open Ukrainian ports, an improved production outlook for some grain growers, and an easing of export restrictions in some countries, according to fresh data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO food price index declined 2.7 points m-o-m to register 138.0 points in August — down from March's record high of 159.7 but still 10 points above where it was a year ago. Food prices have surged this year on the back of the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russia, which have curbed the supply of basic foods and fertilizers and caused prices to surge.

EM bond issuance was slightly less terrible in August: Emerging markets raised USD 3.1 bn in hard-currency sovereign bonds in August, rebounding from July when no new sales took place, according to Tellimer. This takes the total amount raised in the first eight months of the year to USD 61.5 bn, around half the amount in the same period in 2021. EM issuances have been hit this year as the fallout from the war in Ukraine and rising rates globally hit market sentiment.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- SPAC investors will be in line for some USD 75 bn in redemptions over the next six months as blank check firms reach their two-year expiry dates. (FT)

Up

EGX30

9,997

+0.6% (YTD: -16.3%)

Up

USD (CBE)

Buy 19.17

Sell 19.28

None

USD (CIB)

Buy 19.20

Sell 19.26

None

Interest rates CBE

11.25% deposit

12.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

12,194

+0.4% (YTD: +8.1%)

Up

ADX

9,755

+0.4% (YTD: +14.9%)

Down

DFM

3,394

-0.6% (YTD: +6.2%)

Down

S&P 500

3,924

-1.1% (YTD: -17.7%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,281

+1.9% (YTD: -1.4%)

Up

Euro Stoxx 50

3,544

+2.5% (YTD: -17.5%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 93.02

+0.7%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 8.79

-5.1%

Up

Gold

USD 1,722.60

+0.8%

Up

BTC

USD 19,853

+0.4% (YTD: -57.0%)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.6% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 920.6 mn (5.3% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 16.3% YTD.

In the green: Madinet Nasr Housing (+5.5%), Ezz Steel (+3.2%) and Eastern Company (+3.0%).

In the red: Rameda (-2.8%), Telecom Egypt (-1.0%) and CIB (-0.4%).

Asian markets are mixed this morning, with major indexes in Japan, Shanghai and Hong Kong in the red while Korea’s Kospi and Australia’s ASX are in the green. Futures suggest the Euro Stoxx 50, Frankfurt’s DAX 30, and the FTSE 100 will all open in the red later today, with just Paris’ CAC 40 bucking the trend. The New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange are closed today for the labor day holiday.

AROUND THE WORLD

The US just stepped up tech sanctions on China: The Biden administration has slapped a ban on US chip companies selling AI semiconductors to China as it steps up its tech war against Beijing. Nvidia and AMD both said last week that Washington is preventing them from exporting certain chips to companies in China in the latest in a series of recent moves by the Biden administration to stunt Chinese tech development. Bloomberg, Reuters and the Financial Times have more.

FROM THE DEPT OF “WTF?” Foreign passport holders in the West Bank are now legally required to tell Israeli authorities if they’re romantically involved with a Palestinian as a condition of entry. The new rule came into effect today. (Washington Post)

Also worth knowing this morning:

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cautions Greece not to “go too far” as territorial tensions escalate between the two NATO members. (Bloomberg)
  • A Turkish warship has docked in Israel for the first time in over a decade as bilateral relations continue to improve. (Reuters)
  • The UN has accused China of committing “serious human rights violations” against Uyghur Muslims and called alleged acts of torture constituted “crimes against humanity.” (OHCHR, pdf)
blackboard

There’s growing interest in pre-schools among Egypt’s private education outfits. More education management platforms have been acquiring and setting up nurseries due to large demand and strong growth prospects, according to sources in the industry Enterprise spoke with. This growth has been in the making for years, particularly as nurseries and preschools often act as (often expensive) gateway institutions for the country’s top private and international schools, as we’ve reported previously.

Where things currently stand: The pre-K landscape in Egypt is made up of mostly informal nurseries of varying standards, approaches, and fees — which can vary from around EGP 500 per month up to EGP 10k, according to the head of the Social Solidarity Ministry’s early childhood sector, Mohsen Mohamed. There are currently 16k nurseries in Egypt, 10k of which need to be granted licenses by “reconciling their conditions” — which means abiding by licensing requirements of following standard specs for the facility, such as the type of building, the degree of ventilation and the employees’ qualifications, Mohamed tells Enterprise.

But that’s not enough to keep up with demand — creating a new niche for private sector players: “If we have a shortage in K-12 schools, multiply this by three for pre-K,” says Mohamed El Kalla, CEO of EGX-listed education leader CIRA. The pre-school landscape is “pretty fragmented, with massive opportunity to offer a rigid, solid, sustainable, quality offering,” says Egypt Education Platform (EEP)’s Ahmed Wahby. The market is underserved when it comes to preschools that offer the right quality for the Egyptian consumer, he explains. “And it's a growing market by default, by virtue of the population growth,” he adds.

It's excellent timing to enter the market because competition for quality education is very minimal, says Dina Abdel Wahab, founder of early education startup Innovette for Education and an early childhood education pioneer. “There’s a lot of opportunity in Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa,” she says.

Considering the dearth of pre-K options, the greenfield approach is currently king: CIRA acquired last year a 51% stake in Innovvette, with plans to invest some EGP 50 mn to expand Innovette’s footprint as it looks to start 25 nurseries within five years. “We didn’t think the need in Egypt was for acquisitions, because the sector is already underserved,” El Kalla told Enterprise. CIRA’s approach is focused on “enriching the sector and adding more nurseries because the seats are currently very limited,” he said.

That was also the approach for EEP, which acquired a majority stake in Montessori preschool chains Trillium and Petals last year. “We believe we have to complement our portfolio not only with the schools, but also with preschools to ensure that we have a pipeline at any point of market entry,” he said. Getting in on the nursery sector also gives education management companies a chance to be part of the students’ enrollment cycle from beginning to end, Wahby told us.

But finding the right partner is key: CIRA and EEP both emphasized the importance of finding the right partner to collaborate with. “I really believe that pre-K specifically is all about the founder. It has to be a very hands-on person, because the liability is huge,” El Kalla says, adding that they found the qualities they were looking for in Innovette’s Abdel Wahab. For EEP, going into the preschool world was a combination of a strategic choice, the right brand and equity, and a great partner to work with, Wahby said. “The founder of Trillium and Petals, Sherin Ibrahim, is one of the most well-known people in the preschool industry in Egypt, so partnering with her was definitely the right decision,” he says.

Beyond the investment appeal, preschool education has social and economic impact. Quality pre-kindergarten produces a confident, outspoken generation who can think out of the box, points out Abdel Wahab. “The first years are key in character and brain development,” she points out. It can have a profoundly beneficial effect on the development of the country and its future, she adds. “I'm seeing demand across all segments and specifically in the current economic conditions where women need to enter the workplace,” says El Kalla. There’s a plethora of academic gains as well, he points out. It’s easier for children who went to preschool to access schools, and they tend to do better at school interviews, he points out.

Critically, the government is working to make it more appealing for private sector investments for the under four-year-old age group, which is a critical stage, said Mohamed. The government is looking to support companies that will set up nurseries of a large size, and will reportedly allocate EGP 50 mn as a loan portfolio for the establishment of licensed nurseries, according to Mohamed.

Part of this plan lies in creating a more regulated system: The government is looking to introduce a special generalized curriculum for all preschools, with the Education Ministry signing last year an agreement with Discovery Education to implement a curriculum that complies with international standards for a period of 4-6 years, Mohamed told us. The new curriculum will be introduced in all preschools, including international, private, and government-supported nurseries in 1H 2023, he explained. It includes international foundations to ensure that children receive behavioral foundations and are taught different languages ​​and skills, as well as foundations for preserving identity and promoting belonging, Mohamed added. The new system also includes raising the capabilities of preschool teachers so that they are eligible for accreditation, he said.

This regulation is sitting well with private sector players: “The problem lies in having a proper service provision, a specific level of standard and a corporate approach,” El Kalla says. This gap is exactly what the standardized system is looking to address, Mohamed explained.

Room for growth outside of Cairo: CIRA and Innovvette decided to set their eyes beyond the capital, and set up additional nurseries in Suez and Fayoum, in addition to other areas, and demand has been booming. “We are already at 70% capacity in Fayoum,” Abdel Wahab says. “My biggest return on investment may not come from Fayoum, but that is okay, because I have other branches bringing in returns.”


Your top education stories for the week:

  • Edtech startup Emonovo raised an undisclosed bridge round led by a number of regional and international angel investors and Flat6Labs.
  • The Higher Education Ministry has launched an initiative to boost teacher training with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Saleh A. Kamel Humanitarian Foundation. (Statement)
  • Parents stocked up on supplies at a Cairo back-to-school exhibition. (The National)

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.

SEPTEMBER

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).

5 September (Monday): The National Dialogue board of trustees holds a meeting to set the agenda for the dialogue and choose rapporteurs for the involved committees.

5 September (Monday): OPEC+ meets to decide on production levels for October.

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

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

7-9 September (Wednesday-Friday): Second edition of Egypt-ICF at Almasa Convention Center at the New Administrative Capital + African Finance Ministers meeting to coordinate an African-led position during COP27.

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

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): Deadline for B Investments to respond to Adnoc’s bid for TotalEnergies Egypt.

15 September (Thursday): Deadline to apply for the fifth phase of the export subsidy program.

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

15 September (Thursday): The deadline for receiving offers for the renovation of the historic Grand Continental Hotel.

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 potential investments 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.

28-29 September (Wednesday-Thursday): The sixth edition of Arab Pensions and Social Ins. Conference in Sharm El Sheikh.

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.

4-8 October (Tuesday-Saturday): The Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council of the Trade and Industry Ministry is organizing a trade mission to Kenya.

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.

15 October (Saturday): Cairo Metro will launch a global tender for maintenance work on the power stations and overhead catenary system of Line 1.

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.

24 January-6 February: The 54th Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center

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.

4Q 2022: Electricity Ministry to tender six solar projects in Aswan Governorate.

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.

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; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.