Thursday, 8 September 2022

AM — Chimera eyes GB Auto’s leasing arm + EBRD has USD 1.3 bn for clean energy project



Good morning, wonderful people, and happy Thursday. We hope you’re looking forward to the first weekend of the post-Sahel season. (Unless you’re headed north to get in one last visit to the beach and close up your place, in which case we wish you a safe drive). If the weather in the capital city this week has been anything to go by, we’re in for a glorious two days off.

The week is ending on an exceptionally busy note, with not one, but two, BIG STORIES HERE AT HOME:

BIG STORY #1- Climate, after EBRD said it could provide as much as USD 1.3 bn in funding for clean energy projects. EBRD boss Odile Renaud-Basso made the announcement in Cairo yesterday.

(Speaking of Renaud-Basso: She wasn’t in town to talk about ????????. When we said in yesterday’s EnterpriseAM that she was here to “talk turkey” on climate, we meant it in the colloquial sense — straightforward and clear talks — and not that she had anything to say about Turkey, the country.)

BIG STORY #2 cuts across lines: It’s about love from the UAE, our booming financial services industry, and yet another M&A as Seif Fikry’s Chimera eyes the acquisition of a big stake in GB Auto’s leasing arm.

^^ We have more on these stories and more in this morning’s news well and Last Night’s Talk Shows, below.

*** It’s your last day 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.

MORE PAIN for importers as customs exchange rate raised to record high: The Customs Authority has raised the USD customs exchange rate to EGP 19.31 from EGP 18.65 in June, effective today, it said early this morning.

EGP WATCH- This brings the customs USD in line with the official exchange rate, which saw the EGP slip to 19.31 against the greenback yesterday from 19.29. The currency has now fallen 22.4% since the devaluation in March.

The customs rate was fixed back in March: The government re-introduced the monthly customs exchange rate in March after the central bank allowed the EGP to fall 16% against the greenback. The rate was set at EGP 16.00 for imports of basic commodities and materials used for manufacturing.

The hike will put more pressure on importers already struggling with high inflation and import restrictions that require them to use costly letters of credit (L/Cs) to get goods into the country, industry figures told Al Masry Al Youm.

Economists remain divided on how they expect policymakers to move ahead with a devaluation. Per Reuters:

  • A sudden shock: “The advantage of a one-off is that there should, in principle, be no expectations that more is to come, and this helps anchor inflation expectations and limits the incentive to hoard foreign exchange,” says Farouk Soussa, MENA economist at Goldman Sachs.
  • Slowly, slowly: “A gradual pace of depreciation may be necessary to contain costly negative consequences from a weaker exchange rate to inflation, public debt and unanchored foreign exchange,” said Carla Slim of Standard Chartered Bank.

Foreign reserves remained flat m-o-m in August at USD 33.14 bn, according to central bank figures released yesterday. Reserves have fallen almost 20% since March as the fallout from the Ukraine war and rising interest rates forced the central bank to cover portfolio outflows, finance imports and meet debt repayments. Reserves have held steady since July.


The Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) enters its second day at the Almasa Convention Center in the new administrative capital. The three-day event is bringing together global policymakers, ministers, development partners and other participants ahead of COP27 to discuss climate action and green transition, food security, and others with a focus on Africa. Check the full agenda here (pdf). We have the full run-down of the first day of the event in this morning’s news well, below.

The four-day Gate travel expo 2022 continues today at El Qubba Palace.

GOOD NEWS TO KICK OFF THE WEEKEND- A handful of our stolen artifacts have returned to their rightful home. The Tourism Ministry has succeeded in repatriating some 16 stolen artifacts from the US, including six pieces that had been in the possession of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it said in a statement. The artifacts held by the Met were among haul worth over USD 13 mn that US investigators seized from the museum in September, triggering a wave of headlines in the global press.

AND BAD NEWS- Egypt has reported its first monkeypox case, a national who is resident in an unnamed European country, the Health Ministry announced in a statement. The patient is 42 years old and is in stable condition in hospital, the statement said.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Yesterday’s market moves are dominating the front pages of the global business press, with Bloomberg leading with falling oil prices (more on that in this morning’s Planet Finance), the Wall Street Journal cheering yesterday’s US stock market rally, and the Financial Times lamenting the tanking GBP.

A not so beautiful day in the neighborhood:

Apple drops new phones — and, surprisingly, no price hikes: The first of what pundits think will be two fall product events saw Apple launch its iPhone14 line, a high-end Apple Watch Ultra and upgraded new Airpods Pro. The new phone, which maintains the older version’s look, will see camera enhancements, a satellite-messaging feature on high-end versions, and a faster A16 processor.

Want to go deeper? Apple’s event page is here. You can check out the iPhone 14 here, go see whether Garmin should be worried about the Wach Ultra here and mull whether you want to replace your AirPods here.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Could the Russia-Ukraine grain agreement be at risk? Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wants to change the landmark agreement allowing Ukraine to export grain via the Black Sea to limit which countries can receive shipments, Reuters reports. Describing Western nations as “colonial powers,” Putin accused Ukraine of directing most exports to the EU instead of developing nations that are struggling with rising food insecurity, and suggested Moscow could try to push Kyiv to send the grain elsewhere.

The timing is important here: Coming at a time when the West is trying to build support around the world for its proposed cap on Russian oil, this was a message aimed at the developing world. Putin said that developing countries had been “deceived” by Western powers, who he accused of aggravating the food supply crisis. The message may play well with the folks in the African Union, whose leader has been critical about the impact of Western sanctions on the continent’s food supply.

Remember: The 22 July agreement — which reopened Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and allowed it to export grain for the first time since Russia invaded in February — is only valid for 120 days, meaning either side could try to change or torpedo the arrangement in November.


Consoleya and Cairo Angels will host a business meet-up on Monday, 12 September focusing on Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and how it compares with Egypt’s startup scene. Tarek Shahin (CI Capital’s chief investment officer), Biola Alabi Media CEO Biola Alabi, and Ibrahim Sagna (Afreximbank’s global head of advisory and capital markets) and take part in a panel discussion moderated by Aly El Shalakany, CEO of the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund.

Our monthly list of data points to keep your eye on:

Inflation figures: Inflation data for August from Capmas will land on Saturday, 10 September. Expect the Central Bank of Egypt to follow up on Sunday, 11 September with its inflation report.

Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday, 22 September to review interest rates.

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


The Somabay Endurance Festival, organized by The TriFactory, returns this month for the fourth time. Featuring four different races that combine swimming, cycling, and running, as well as the 1K Kids Race (ages 5-10) and the 10K Race, the Somabay Endurance Festival has got something for everyone. Taking place from 29 September though 1 October, spots are running out for Egypt’s favorite multi-sport event. To find out more and sign up, head to


Chimera to take stake in GB Lease? GB Auto subsidiary GB Capital is in talks with our friends at Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Chimera Investments to sell a 45% stake in its leasing arm, GB Lease, the EGX-listed automotive and finance player said yesterday in a regulatory filing (pdf). GB Auto’s IR head, Marina Kamal, declined to provide further details on the transaction when we spoke yesterday, noting that it still requires the green light from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA). The folks at Chimera declined to speak on the record yesterday.

Our friends at GB Capital have been mulling a partial selldown of its leasing business for over a year, during which time the company had received several non-binding offers from interested firms, Kamal said. Local media reports in March suggested that GB Auto was in talks to sell 100% of the company to First Abu Dhabi Bank; GB Auto said at the time (pdf) that it had not entered definitive agreements on a sale to any party.

GB Auto wants to keep a majority stake… The group has no intention of making a full exit from its leasing business given its profitability, but will use the proceeds from selling a minority stake to “deleverage the auto business and finance the further growth of GB Capital,” Kamal said. GB Lease’s revenues rose 6% y-o-y (+23% q-o-q) to EGP 152.1 mn in 2Q 2022, according to the company’s latest earnings release (pdf).

…but is looking forward to working with Chimera, which has deep pockets backed by prominent UAE investors: “We look forward to working with the team at Chimera to further grow GB Lease and maintain its leadership position in the Egyptian market — as well as unlocking value for the entire group,” Kamal said.

Chimera’s on an acquisition spree: The Abu Dhabi-based investment firm last month acquired a 56% stake in Beltone Financial for around EGP 384.8 mn. Orascom Financial Holding sold all of its 259.1 mn shares to Chimera at EGP 1.485 a piece.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Mohamed Farid’s first policy announcement after taking over FRA was a pledge to fast-track M&As, suggesting the former EGX boss is fully in tune with the business community on that front. Transactions of any form — let alone those involving a foreign investor — cannot be allowed to die because a regulator slow-walks them.

Chimera, a part of the Royal Group in Abu Dhabi, is run by CEO Seif Fikry (LinkedIn) an Egyptian veteran of the regional capital markets scene and founder of the region’s first UCITS-compliant exchange-traded fund.

Advisors: Arqaam Capital is acting as the sell-side advisors to GB Capital and Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy are the sell-side legal advisors, while Adsero-Ragy Soliman and Partners are buy-side counsel.

EDITOR’S NOTE- This story was updated on 8 September, 2022 to include Adsero-Ragy Soliman and Partners as buy-side legal advisors.


We have two other M&A stories for you this morning:

Up first: Credit Agricole will purchase a 4.8% stake in Credit Agricole Egypt today, taking its holdings in its local unit to around 65%, Bloomberg Asharq reports, citing unnamed sources. The French lender plans to purchase 60 mn shares of its EGX-listed subsidiary from local and international investment funds in a transaction that is set to be executed today, they said.

The details: The sources are valuing Credit Agricole Egypt’s shares at EGP 6.23-EGP 7.00 apiece, bringing the total value of the transaction at EGP 374-420 mn. Shares in the bank fell 1% to EGP 6.20 yesterday.

Who owns Credit Agricole Egypt? Credit Agricole currently owns 60.44% of its Egyptian business, with Rolaco E.G.P Investments owning 6.59% and the remaining 32.9% simply flagged as “others,” according to the bank’s website.

Advisors: Our friends at EFG Hermes are reportedly acting as financial advisor and lead manager of the transaction, the sources said.


Banque du Caire has acquired a 10% stake in Western Union’s local representative, International Business Associates Group (IBAG). The state-owned bank acquired the shares from Al Ahly Capital Holding — the National Bank of Egypt’s investment arm — and Banque Misr, IBAG said in a statement yesterday, without disclosing the value of the transaction. This trims Al Ahly Capital and Banque Misr’s holdings to 15% each, while Sarhank Group retains its majority 60% stake. The parties to the sale did not disclose the value of the transaction.


Gulf wealth funds look set to buy into Egyptalum

Gulf sovereign funds look set to invest USD 200 mn in Egyptalum’s overhaul: EGX-listed Egypt Aluminum (Egyptalum) will fund two-thirds of its USD 300 mn overhaul by offering fresh stakes through a capital increase, the company said in a regulatory filing (pdf). The disclosure doesn’t name the investors buying in, but comes a day after the head of Egyptalum’s state-owned parent company told CNBC Arabia (watch, runtime: 8:21) that unnamed Gulf sovereign funds were buying in.

We suspected this was coming: Then-public enterprises minister Hisham Tawfik in May said Egyptalum would sell a 20-25% stake to an unnamed “strategic investor” to fund its overhaul, before in July suggesting the Saudi wealth fund was in the frame to come on board. It’s still not clear who’s buying in or how big a stake they will take for USD 200 mn.

What overhaul? The USD 300 mn upgrade is designed in part to help Egyptalum maintain its 320k-ton annual production capacity. The company had previously said it would fund the costs not covered by the stake sale through a debt issuance.

Market reaction: Egyptalum’s shares closed up 7.57% yesterday at EGP 20.44. The company has 412.5 mn shares listed with a market cap of EGP 8.4 bn.

BACKGROUND- Arab sovereign funds have been piling into Egypt after GCC countries pledged more than USD 22 bn in direct investment to help the country weather global economic headwinds. With state IPOs on hold for now thanks to rocky markets, the Saudi and Abu Dhabi sovereign funds have supported the government’s pivot to strategic stake sales, snapping up holdings in EGX-listed, state-owned companies including Mopco, Abu Qir Fertilizers, Alexandria Containers, and E-Finance. There’s talk that the Qatari sovereign fund is poised to follow.


EBRD could commit USD 1.3 bn to Egypt clean energy projects

There was a whole lot of climate and green energy news coming out of Egypt yesterday as climate negotiators from around the world landed in Cairo for the opening day of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF). Officials from more than 20 African nations, global policymakers, international financial institutions and climate experts are gathering at the Almasa Convention Center in the new administrative capital to discuss climate action, the green transition, food security, and finance ahead of COP27 in November.

We have details below and a full report in this morning’s issue of Enterprise Climate if you want to go deeper.


Egypt could land funding worth up to USD 1.3 bn from the EBRD: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to provide as much as USD 1.3 bn in funding to support clean energy projects in Egypt, President Odile Renaud-Basso said yesterday. Renaud-Basso pledged to invest USD 1 bn in renewable energy projects and provide a further USD 200-300 mn to fund the energy pillar of the government’s Nexus on Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) program.

More in the pipeline? Renaud-Basso also discussed “further cooperation” on Egypt’s green projects with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to a statement from the office of president.

US climate envoy John Kerry gave the NWFE program the thumb’s up — and hinted at more funding. “This has the potential to attract bns in investments from donor governments, philanthropy, development finance institutions and the private sector — it’s exactly the kind of innovative thinking we need,” he said at the forum.

El Sisi called on rich nations to do more: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said that developed countries with higher emissions are more responsible for climate change and should provide more financial support to poorer nations. “Only 20 countries are responsible for about 80% of the effects of climate change. I think it is fair and objective that these nations that bear the largest responsibility significantly contribute to supporting developing countries,” the president said at the forum. “We need a comprehensive vision to support African nations in their effort to adjust to climate change.”

New Africa climate finance initiative launched: The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) launched a new initiative to attract investment into climate projects in Africa. Announced by GFANZ co-chairman and UN climate envoy Mark Carney at the forum yesterday, the Africa Network will work with African financial institutions, policymakers and regulators to improve access to climate finance on the continent.

Some very smart Egyptians on are board: Egypt’s climate czar Mahmoud Mohieldin will chair the network’s advisory board, while Financial Regulatory Authority chief Mohamed Farid will be vice chair. Our friend CIB CEO Hussein Abaza is on the board.

Kerry described the fight against climate change as “existential” and “about the very future of our civilization,” in an address to the gathering. He also struck a note of optimism, expressing hope that COP27 “can provide the energy we need to change the world," AFP quoted him as saying.


Some MPs aren’t happy that our new public enterprises minister is holding the line on liquidating loss-making companies: A handful of leftist MPs attacked the newly-appointed Public Enterprises Minister Mahmoud Esmat after the Metallurgical Industries Holding (MIH) general assembly decided earlier this week to push ahead with the liquidation of financially moribund El Nasr Coke and Chemicals.

Leading the pack: Rep. Mostafa Bakry, naturally, who maintained in a series of tweets (here and here) that El Nasr Coke is profitable and that the reason behind its liquidation is still a mystery. El Bakry previously claimed that the company reported EGP 114 mn in net income in the past year, although MIH has said its losses in FY 2021-2022 came in at EGP 339.3 mn. El Nasr has not published its financials on its website since 2011.

Other MPs joining the chorus: People’s Republican Party member Ihab Ramzi and Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party member Ihab Mansour, both of whom echoed Bakry’s claims that El Nasr Coke was not incurring losses and therefore should not have been liquidated. Ramzi also argued that the company’s production output “is of strategic importance to national security” and could be exported to foreign markets as a source of hard currency.

Some MPs had been hoping for a change in policy as Esmat took the reins of the ministry from Hisham Tawfik, who previously came under fire for his stance on privatization and liquidation as he worked to streamline the ministry’s portfolio.


Cabinet approves usufruct land rights + streamlines executive regulations for PPP Act

Investors could have an easier time bidding for PPP projects and paying for the right to use industrial land after the Madbouly Cabinet approved a series of draft decisions and amendments at its weekly meeting yesterday.


Among the proposed amendments to the executive regulations of the PPP Act:

#1- Consortiums would no longer be a necessity: Individual companies will be allowed to bid on projects and submit documents for pre-approval, cabinet said in a statement. This change would remove the need for private sector companies to bid as part of a consortium.

#2- The right to appeal: Investors who have their pre-approvals rejected would be given the right to appeal the decision.

#3- You don’t necessarily have to wait for the state — private sector firms could propose projects: Companies would be able to submit proposals to implement new projects, provided they handle the feasibility studies and the financing. The statement also says that projects must be “innovative” and “achieve the government’s economic or social interest.”

Why is this important? The amendments cut some of the time-consuming groundwork needed to land a PPP, including finding other companies to join the bid or waiting for the state to carry out feasibility studies and decide to offer the project. That last bit is key: If you believe in a project, you can now put it on the state’s radar all by your lonesome.

The state’s ambitious state ownership policy document notes the gov’t will sell down assets to private sector firms through PPPs — and industries including electric and gas utilities, pharma, and education have been pushing for more involvement through a more efficient and flexible PPP framework. It’s also good news on the IMF talks front, as mobilizing private sector investment in state-funded mega-projects is one aspect under the lamplight.

PPPs have so far been slow moving: Passed in 2010, the legislation sought to put in place a regulatory framework to attract more private investment into government projects. Last year a total of USD 5.23 bn was spent on infrastructure PPPs with Bombardier, Orascom and Arab Contractors accounting for the bulk of it through the Cairo monorail contract.


Cabinet approved a draft decision that sets the prices of industrial land offered to investors under the usufruct system, it said in a statement. Companies would pay an annual fee equal to 5% of the cost of the land for the first four years. A 7% annual increase would be tacked onto the fee in the fourth and fifth years. The fee would then be set at 10% of the cost of the land for the remainder of the arrangement. The statement refers to “a detailed breakdown of the prices” outlining the price structure for industrial land but does not provide further details.

Why is this important? It’s a step in the right direction as part of a package of measures cabinet plans to take, all with the aim of helping expand local manufacturing, something that industrial players have been pushing for. The government says pricing has been determined according to the cost of utilities, which it says reduces the cost for investors. This will help manufacturers direct investments towards production lines, machinery and equipment, instead of spending more of their capital in paying land fees, it says.

CLARIFICATION- This story was amended on 8 September, 2022 to correct the annual fee increase for industrial land under the usufruct system. The original story incorrectly stated that the fee would rise to 7% in the fourth and fifth years of the contract. 


Endure Capital reaches first close on fund + UAE’s Tabby lands in Egypt — and Egyptian-ish crypto unicorn

Endure Capital has hit first close on its USD 50 mn Endure 21 fund, raising an eight-figure sum, partner Mohamed Noweir (LinkedIn) told us. The fund, which will focus on early-stage startups across Africa, plans to reach second close before the end of the year and then a third close by June 2023, Noweir said.

The investment thesis: The fund will earmark half its capital for investments in 24 startups and half for follow-on investments. Endure will “follow a sector-agnostic approach” in choosing the companies it invests in, it said in a statement (pdf).

Endure has already deployed a chunk of the fund in Egypt, including in microfinance startup Cassbana, social commerce startup Brimore, and infrastructure management platform Pylon.

Limited partners in the fund include UK development finance institution British International Investment (BII), the Egyptian government’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), and founders of leading regional startups.

What they said: “Endure 21 is focused on smart infrastructure, which is building the connecting line between different communities,” Noweir said, giving Cassbana’s work to offer financial services to small retailers as an example. “We look for the best founders and we look into how the market is going to evolve within our local space.”

Endure has backed some of our most prominent startups: Launched in 2015, the VC has two global funds and the Africa-focused Endure 21. Its first fund backed local industry leaders including Careem, B2B commerce platform MaxAB, grocery delivery startup Breadfast, and stock trading app Thndr, and fintech startup NowPay. The VC’s first fund has seen a 43% internal rate of return and 4.3x multiple on its investments, which it says puts it in the top 25% of funds of its vintage.


Emirati buy-now-pay-later firm Tabby has entered in Egypt after raising USD 275 mn “from leading global and regional investors,” it said in a statement (pdf) Tuesday. The company did not provide further details on the investors.

Who’s leading it in Omm El Donia? Finance industry veteran Ahmed Khalil (LinkedIn) who left the industry back in 2015 to join Uber, where he led operations in Egypt and then MENA before being named GM for Egypt.

Tabby lined up a record USD 150 mn in debt financing from US-based firms earlier this summer, Reuters reports, noting that the sum was the “largest credit facility ever secured by a fintech in the Gulf region.”

About Tabby: Launched in 2019, Tabby offers zero-interest, zero-fee BNPL services. Egypt is the company’s fourth market after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The company says that more than 5k “global brands and small businesses, including H&M, Adidas, Ikea, Shein, and Bloomingdale’s” use its technology to “accelerate growth and gain loyal customers.”


Swiss crypto investment firm has raised USD 25 mn in a round led by hedge fund Marshall Wace, valuing the company at some USD 2 bn, according to a release picked up by Reuters. The company said the round had made it “Switzerland’s largest crypto unicorn,” even as VC funding globally dries up on the back of volatile markets and recession fears. Egyptian entrepreneur Hany Rashwan (LinkedIn) is’s co-founder and CEO.

Star investor Cathie Wood is an investor and has joined as an independent board member. Wood is CEO and CIO of Ark Investment Management, a superstar during the 2020 market downturn. The firm has struggled this year amid the risk off and yesterday appointed a chief futurist to focus on “the convergence between and among the five innovation platforms” that Ark targets, including “artificial intelligence, robotics, energy storage, gnomic sequencing and blockchain technology.”


The UK’s BII will invest USD 100 mn in Egyptian startups, some of which will be earmarked for green companies: British International Investment (BII, the UK’s development finance institution) plans to invest USD 100 mn in Egyptian startups between now and 2026, it said in a statement.

Climate startups could benefit, with BII saying it wants to develop a blueprint for climate adaptation and renewable energy in water infrastructure and unlock clean energy solutions, like solar, wind and green hydrogen.

BII is hosting a summit on “innovation for impact” in venture capital in Cairo this week, with themes including climate tech and food security. BII has already invested over USD 760 mn in Egypt, including in the Benban solar park.

CORRECTION- This story was amended on 8 September, 2022 to correct the timing of BII’s innovation for impact in VC summit.



Tons of climate talk on the airwaves after big EBRD announcement

Climate dominated the conversation on talk shows yesterday: The nation’s talking heads went all out on their coverage of the first day of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF), which is bringing together global policymakers, ministers, development partners and other participants ahead of COP27 to discuss climate action, the green transition, food security, and finance.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s speech unsurprisingly got plenty of attention on the airwaves: Masaa DMC and Al Hayah Al Youm broadcast segments of El Sisi’s statement, which he used to call on developed countries to step up their funding for poorer nations. Heavily-hit nations require USD 800 bn every year until 2050 to meet the challenges posed by climate change, he said. (watch, runtime: 5:36). Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa covered the meeting between El Sisi and EBRD chief Odile Renaud-Basso (watch, runtime: 3:31), while Al Hayah Al Youm featured clips of the speech made by US climate envoy John Kerry (watch, runtime: 2:18). We have the full rundown of the first day of the forum in this morning’s news well, above.

Monkeypox has landed: Egypt’s first detected monkeypox case got the talking heads talking, with coverage from Masa’a DMC (watch, runtime: 2:04) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:07), which featured an interview with Health Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar on the virus’s modes of transmission and its minimal outbreak in the MENA region.

The Chamber of Tourism Establishments and Restaurants wants the government to reconsider introducing winter closing hours to attract tourists and bolster revenues. (Salet El Tahrir | watch, runtime: 3:20)

Foreign Ministry explains Egypt’s Arab League walkout: Egypt withdrew from a session chaired by the foreign minister of the Tripoli-based government in Libya because it doesn’t consider the government legitimate, FM spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said. (Ala Mas’ouleety | watch, runtime: 13:17)

The Egyptian media regulator’s demands to Netflix and other streaming platforms to adhere to “social values” got a thumbs up from some of the talking heads, who accused the West of attempting to export homosexuality to the region. (Masa’a DMC | watch, runtime: 9:10)


Restaurants and venues banning entry of veiled women could have their licenses revoked, the Chamber of Tourism Establishments and Restaurants said in a statement yesterday.


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Investors are increasingly pricing in another huge rate-hike in the US this month: The futures markets is currently giving a 75% probability to the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by 75 bps for the third consecutive meeting on the back of Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish speech last month, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Nick Timiraos. Federal Reserve officials haven’t tried to dial back expectations for a large increase, and have continued pushing the idea that the central bank will act to curb inflation no matter what. The latest to do that was Fed Vice-Chair Lael Brainard, who said yesterday that “we are in this for as long as it takes to get inflation down,” according to the Financial Times.

Oil prices plunged to their lowest level since January yesterday on fears of a global recession. Brent crude suffered its worst day since June, falling 5.4% to USD 87.82 a barrel. US crude, meanwhile, fell 5.6% to USD 82.

Recession fears outweigh supply concerns: Falling prices indicate that investors’ attention is trained on the possibility of recessions in major economies — caused by rising interest rates and an historic energy shock in Europe — rather than on the potential for supply to tighten in the coming months. Key OPEC producers have signaled in recent weeks that they could begin to cut supply in response to falling prices and made an albeit small step in that direction earlier this week. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also threatened to curb supply if G7 nations try to impose a cap on Russian crude.


  • Crypto winter continues: BTC briefly slipped to its lowest level since December 2020 yesterday, reaching an intraday low of USD 18,561 as global economic turmoil and a strengthening greenback takes its toll on crypto markets.
  • British peso hits 37-year low: The GBP hit its lowest level against the greenback since 1985 yesterday after falling 0.64% to USD 1.145. (BBC)
  • Good news / bad news for Musk: A judge has given Elon Musk the right to use recent claims made by a whistleblower in his legal showdown with Twitter — but denied his motion to delay the trial to November. (WSJ)
  • E-cigarette maker Juul will pay at least USD 438.5 mn in a settlement over claims it marketed its vaping products to teenagers. (WSJ)




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The EGX30 fell 0.9% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.61 bn (44.4% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 14.4% YTD.

In the green: CIRA (+2.4%), Orascom Construction (+2.3%) and Qalaa Holdings (+2.0%).

In the red: Telecom Egypt (-3.8%), Ezz Steel (-3.6%) and e-Finance (-3.4%).

Asian markets are slightly in the green this morning — though futures contracts point to a mixed open in Europe and the US later today.


Nabil Mohamed, CPO and CTO of 4Sale: Each week, My Morning Routine looks at how a successful member of the community starts their day — and then throws in a couple of random business questions just for fun. Speaking to us this week is Nabil Mohamed (LinkedIn), CPO and CTO of 4Sale. Edited excerpts from our conversation:

My name is Nabil Mohamed. I’m the chief product and technology officer of 4Sale. I was originally hired as chief product officer in April but was recently tapped to also run the engineering division. It’s my first week doing both roles together.

I'm an engineer by training — I studied industrial engineering optimization at AUC. I graduated in 2010 but continue to apply my learnings today. Shortly after graduating, I worked at Vodafone, but it became apparent to me that telecom is a formulaic commodity with regulation and fixed costs. There's not a lot of room for creativity and innovation; you can't experiment, and I needed to be part of something innovative. I didn’t know what that was, so I wanted to be exposed to several industries in a very short time. That’s why I pursued my MBA.

I emerged from business school with the conviction that I needed to enter product management in tech. After a stint at Skype post-graduation (after Microsoft acquired it), I joined Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. Amazon was exactly what I was looking for: Lightning fast and very high standards. I eventually moved back to Egypt to become vice president of product at Instabug for two years. I ultimately decided to move towards higher responsibilities, which is why I decided to join 4Sale.

I’m at 4Sale as a company officer, which comes with flexibility — but expectations to execute at very high standards. 4Sale is one of the largest and most successful e-commerce companies in the Middle East, but it’s remarkably understated. The company was founded by Egyptian entrepreneur Tarek Sakr (LinkedIn) and the bulk of its technical, product, design and marketing operations are in Egypt, but it currently serves the Kuwaiti market, and that’s where it has fantastic name recognition.

4Sale is in the e-commerce classifieds industry. It connects buyers to sellers, without having a direct role in the actual transfer of goods — very much like eBay or Craigslist. Buyers can directly contact sellers through our platforms and we get a fee for listing.

We don't want to be just this kind of arm’s-length magazine forever. We also plan to expand geographically once we've hit the point of customer dependency and share of wallet that we want. We are focused on optimizing our product to a degree that makes it very easily scalable and undeniable in other markets. We have certain technical and design standards for how we want our app to be and how we want our marketplace to behave before we take that step. It’s not set in stone — our strategy shifts depending on what markets and our KPIs tell us.

So far, we are focused on three things: Getting closer to the transaction, having a beautiful app, and engaging customers. It’s very hard work making our app simple without getting rid of its nuance and beauty. I think that we still have a long way to go to perfect these things. These three things basically derive from our overall mission, which is to be the best e-commerce marketplace in the Middle East.

Inflation has affected how customers perceive price fairness, whether it’s an iPhone cable or a car, which has created some reluctance. However, that doesn’t translate to Kuwait in the same way that it has been manifesting itself in Egypt and other developed countries because Kuwait has been doing tremendously well economically, given recent events.

I’m the opposite of a morning person. I do my best work very late at night and it’s often in solitary hours where I digest information that I need from earlier that day, so I actually don't have a consistent morning routine. I wake up between 6-9am, depending on when my kids wake up and when I need to be at work. I go to work physically because I believe in the power of people coming together to create fantastic products.

The real productivity begins on the way to work, which is when I typically take morning meetings. I also listen to tons of audio during my commute — I use the iPhone’s dictation feature to read Enterprise and other publications. It has a bit of a robotic voice, but it does the trick. I also use Audible to listen to books on management, human nature, and history and biographies.

One of our values is to always be prepared — especially for meetings. I tell my team not to waste people’s time with a meeting when you haven't done your homework. To lead by example, I sometimes block off time to ensure I have an agenda and clear talking points for upcoming meetings to make the best use of everyone's time.

I’m very much a list guy. Crossing off something from my list is the single most satisfying activity of any day. My lunchtime is sacred: Nobody interrupts me and I typically watch something short. I used to integrate the gym into my day but it's just too time consuming. I figured I’ll achieve much of the same effect by eating healthy.

I'm typically task, not time-oriented: Whatever is on my to-do list will get done. I don’t slip on my deadlines or slip on things I was entrusted to do. Sometimes, that turns the day into this crazy workaholic. Other times, it's surprisingly well rounded and I have more ample time to watch a movie with my wife, or spend time with friends.

My wife and I love watching light, funny things so we love The Big Bang Theory, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Friends, and Seinfeld. Both of our jobs are demanding intellectually, so we don't go for shows that take a lot out of you.


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: 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).

5-8 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.

10 September (Saturday): National Dialogue board meeting to name 30 rapporteurs and assistant rapporteurs for 15 political, social and economic subcommittees.

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

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

12 September (Monday): Consoleya will host a Business Meet-up by Cairo Angels, which will focus on Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.

12-13 September (Monday-Tuesday): Cityscape holds its first pre-summit ahead of the main annual exhibition.

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.

15 September (Thursday): The first Gas Exporting Countries Forum Coordination Meeting in the Run-up to COP 27.

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

18 September (Sunday): Deadline to apply for investor funding under the Planning Ministry’s Smart Green Governorates initiative.

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: 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.


1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Arab League annual summit, Algiers, Algeria.

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.


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: 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.


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

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday) Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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.


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

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


6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.


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.

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