Monday, 12 September 2022

AM — EBRD to help Egypt wind down gas-fired power plants

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends. We have a brisk, newsy issue for you this morning.

THE BIG STORY HERE AT HOME remains the crisis at Capiter. The new parlor game: Trying to guess which high-profile startup is next.

The story hasn’t moved forward much since yesterday: Interim CEO Majid El Ghazouli told Al Hadath Al Youm (watch, runtime: 4:00) last night that the board of directors hasn’t taken a formal decision to liquidate the company. Dismissing the news of layoffs, he said Capiter is in the process of examining acquisition and investment offers by foreign investors who are still interested in the startup. Asked about the allegations of financial impropriety against the company’s founders, Mahmoud and Ahmed Nouh, he said simply that “the law will take its own course.”

Keep it all in context: Yes, more than a handful of startups are suffering as venture capital funding slows down. Some won’t make it. But that doesn’t mean that all of their founders are crooks. Business failure is a messy thing — and a topic we (as a community) are not used to discussing in public. It’s entirely possible for a business to fail without a founder absconding with funds. In fact, companies routinely fail despite the best efforts of execs and of the boards that are ostensibly in place to keep those execs on the straight and narrow.

EGP WATCH- The EGP continued yesterday its very slow crawl toward a new record low, slipping to EGP 19.39 from EGP 19.36 on Thursday. The currency has now fallen by 22.9% against the USD since the devaluation in March and is closing in on the 19.56 mark set in December 2016, when it overshot against the greenback following that fall’s sharp devaluation.

PSA- Apple’s iOS 16 is out today. You can download it by going to Settings > General > Software Update if you’re on an iPhone 8 or newer device. Among the new features worth checking out are customizable lock screens (you can have more than one — with widgets, if you like), a new notifications experience on your lockscreen, the ability to edit or un-send iMessages (with caveats), and Passkeys (a cross-platform technology that promises to do away with passwords). You can check out iOS 16’s full set of features here.

HAPPENING TODAY-

Our friend Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin will join the good folks at AmCham for a luncheon from 1-4pm CLT. Dr. Mahmoud will by speaking in his capacity as UN climate change high-level champion for Egypt. The special luncheon meeting at the Nile Ritz Carlton is open to AmCham members and their guests. Non-members can register to watch here.

Consoleya and Cairo Angels are hosting a business meet-up 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.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

Domty deadline day: Shareholders in cheesemaker Domty have until Wednesday to sell their shares to Expedition Investments, as part of its mandatory tender offer for 34% of the company. Expedition sweetened the deal by upping its offer price by 10% last week, which we cover in more detail in this morning’s news well, below.

B Investments is going to have to make up its mind over TotalEnergies Egypt by Thursday: The private equity player has the right to preempt a bid by Abu Dhabi energy giant Adnoc to acquire a 50% stake in the company, which expires on Thursday.

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

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

Ukraine builds on recent battlefield gains: Ukraine is continuing to push Russian troops back in Kharkiv province, the country’s army chief said yesterday.

And Moscow responds: Russia struck power stations and other civilian infrastructure in response to the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The latest from Ukraine is on all the front pages this morning: AP | Reuters | WSJ | Bloomberg | FT | NYT | Washington Post.

enterprise

The Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) wrapped on Friday. The three-day conference saw a slate of news on climate finance to the African continent: International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat launched a guidebook to

COP27 climate finance efforts, the EBRD pledged up to USD 1.3 bn for local clean energy projects, and officials proposed ways to address spiraling green borrowing costs. For the details on everything that happened in the final two days of the conference, catch this morning’s edition of Enterprise Climate.

ICYMI-

Missed this week’s Inside Industry? In our weekly vertical exploring all things industry and manufacturing, we looked at how industrial stocks have been performing on the EGX.

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 how education stocks have been performing on the EGX.

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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 www.thetrifactory.com/somabay.

CLIMATE

EBRD to help Egypt wind down gas-fired power plants

More details on EBRD clean energy funding: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide USD 300 mn in funding to Egypt to help it decommission 5 GW of gas-fired power plants from 2023, Heike Harmgart, the bank’s managing director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, told Reuters. The money will be spent on stabilizing the country’s electricity grid, adding battery storage, upgrading local supply chains for renewables, and retraining workers, she said.

This is part of the bank’s USD 1.3 bn funding pledge announced last week, which includes USD 1 bn in financing for renewable energy projects. This would account for roughly one tenth of the private funding Egypt needs to add 10 GW of renewables capacity by 2028, Harmgart said.

ALSO FROM THE EBRD-

Money for EVs in Egypt: The EBRD is also providing a EUR 10 mn loan to our friends at Abou Ghaly Motors to fund the purchase of 250 electric vehicles for its taxi fleet, it said in a separate statement. Around EUR 3 mn of that funding will come from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The company will use the money to electrify its London Cab fleet, which are used to provide taxi services as well as airport transfers in Cairo, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.

AND- Banque Misr green on-lending loan confirmed: The lender confirmed last week that it would go ahead with the USD 100 mn loan to Egyptian state bank Banque Misr approved in January. The financing will be on-lent to local SMEs looking to invest in climate mitigation and adaptation technologies and services, the bank said.

CAPITAL MARKETS

e-Finance to buy back 5% of its shares

e-Finance announces big share buyback program: EGX-listed fintech operator e-Finance will buy back 5% of its shares over the next nine months in a bid to support its share price and boost investor confidence, the company said in an EGX disclosure (pdf) posted on trading screens yesterday. The program could see the company purchase as many as 92.4 mn shares, costing it some EGP 1.46 bn at the current share price, according to our math.

e-Finance’s shares have slid this year even as it delivers solid operational results: The company’s share price has fallen 23.7% YTD, and has shed 14.2% over the past five weeks. The company’s net income doubled y-o-y to EGP 279.3 mn in 2Q 2022 while its revenues rose 59% in the same period.

Traders cheered the buyback program: Shares rose as much as 3.4% during trading yesterday, before paring some gains to close at EGP 15.41, up 2.8% for the day.

The rationale: “The company’s shares are currently trading at a level that does not reflect its real value, after the market suffered hits from the EGP devaluation and other global economic crises,” a company official told Enterprise.

e-Finance could use the buyback program to bring in another long-term shareholder: The company will likely resell the shares in a block transaction to an investor within a year of completing the buyback program to avoid any negative impact on its share price, the official said.

The move comes a month after the Saudi wealth fund became the company’s largest shareholder: The Public Investment Fund purchased last month a 25% stake in the state-owned company in an EGP 7.5 bn transaction, becoming its single-biggest shareholder. State-owned enterprises collectively own 49.1% of the company’s shares while the remainder are freefloat.

The EGX has seen tough times since the company made its EGP 5.8 bn market debut in November 2021: Inflationary pressure, rising interest rates in western economies, and a downturn in global markets have all contributed to a steep decline in the EGX 30 this year as investors have exited stage right in a risk-off. The benchmark index fell to its lowest level since November 2016 earlier this year, before paring losses in a recent rally. It is currently down 14.1% YTD.

e-Finance isn’t the only company to repurchase shares: Edita also last month announced plans to repurchase 5% of its shares in August and September to shore up its share price, which is now up 14% YTD and 19.7% since the buyback announcement.

M&A WATCH

The Public Investment what?

AMOC responds to PIF rumors: Alexandria Mineral Oil Company (AMOC) has not received any information on the Saudi sovereign wealth fund’s reported intention to acquire a minority stake in the company, it said in a disclosure (pdf) yesterday in response to reports in the local press. Al Shorouk reported on Saturday that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) is interested in acquiring stakes in several leading EGX-listed petrochemical companies, including AMOC, under its pledge earlier this year to invest USD 10 bn in the country.

Market reax: AMOC was up 1.67% to EGP 4.30 at market close.

The PIF has been linked to many companies — but the fund has been tight-lipped: Anonymously sourced press reports have also linked Egyptalum and Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) to the PIF in recent weeks though none have been publicly confirmed by the parties involved, with the target companies either being tight-lipped, unclear or disregarding the news altogether.

Two transactions we are sure about: Sources have told us in recent weeks that the PIF is interested in purchasing shares in Vodafone Egypt and is in talks with the central bank to take over United Bank.

The PIF has already made a handful of acquisitions: The fund acquired in August minority stakes in four EGX-listed companies for USD 1.3 bn through its newly established Egypt investment arm. The shares it took in e-Finance, Mopco, Abu Qir, and Alex Containers are the first of USD 10 bn pledged by the fund earlier this year as part of Saudi efforts to support Egypt’s external position, which has been rocked by soaring commodity prices as well as outflows from our debt market, and a weaker EGP. Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ led with similar moves, purchasing state-owned stakes in five companies for around USD 1.8 bn in April. There’s talk that the Qatari sovereign fund is poised to follow suit.

TOURISM

Egypt wants to triple its tourism revenues within three years

The government’s latest tourism targets are ambitious: The government wants to more than triple annual tourism revenues over the next three years, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in a televised statement yesterday (watch, runtime: 1:48). Speaking during a tour of the COP27 venue in Sharm El Sheikh, the prime minister said the government is aiming to increase revenues to USD 30 bn a year, up from almost USD 9 bn last year (and USD 11-12 bn currently, he said), as it tries to help the sector recover from years of disruption.

Tourism is gradually recovering from its annus horribilis: Tourism — a vital source of foreign currency for Egypt — brought in USD 8.9 bn in revenues in 2021, according to central bank figures. This is more than double that of 2020 when the covid-19 pandemic caused revenues to plunge almost 70%, but still well below the record high of USD 13 bn in 2019.

Crisis? What crisis? The ambitious target suggests that the government doesn’t see current (read: Russian-Ukrainian crisis) or future geopolitical crises having a huge impact on the sector. The Finance Ministry earlier this year came out with an optimistic forecast for the first half of 2022 that suggested the market would move quickly past the loss of Ukrainian and Russian visitors, which before the war accounted for more than 30% of all tourist arrivals. Recent balance of payments figures showed that revenues fell 21% q-o-q in 1Q 2022, with the central bank saying that the sector had been negatively impacted by the crisis.

The response: Egypt has been working overtime to attract visitors from other European markets to drive inbound traffic, with efforts also including luring tourists from little-tapped markets in Latin America and other markets, including the Gulf. In response to the war, the government launched an international promotional campaign — dubbed #FollowTheSun — in mid-March to better exploit profitable tourist markets in Europe and the US. It also widened the number of people eligible to obtain a visa on arrival or a pre-arrival electronic visa under efforts to back the key sector.

The private sector is key: Madbouly stressed the importance of the private sector and the necessity of an implementation plan that includes the sectors’ demands and targets to help achieve the USD 30 bn figure. He said he met earlier yesterday with several tourism investors, where he affirmed that the government would continue to support the sector like it had in the past years in light of multiple crises pressing the sector.

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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Preparations for November’s COP27 summit got attention across the airwaves last night after Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly paid a two-day visit to Sharm El Sheikh to inspect the venues.

Sharm will soon be COP-ready: Most of the preparations for the summit will be finished by the end of this month, cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 4:18). That includes the upgrades to the city’s airport, which will now be able to handle larger passenger volumes, Sharm Governor Khaled Fouda told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 18:49). Meanwhile, the 18 EV charging stations being installed by our friends at Infinity will be up and running by the end of September, company spokesperson Hesham El Gamal told Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 2:56).

Ticket prices for the Pyramids aren’t getting more expensive — yet: Entry prices for the Giza Pyramids Plateau will remain unchanged until next 1 May, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities Mostafa Waziri told Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 4:39). Ticket prices are currently set at EGP 200 for foreign visitors, and EGP 60 for nationals, with exemptions for some, he said.

On the subject of tourism: Madbouly’s ambitious tourism revenue targets got coverage, with Deputy Tourism Minister Ghada Shalaby phoning in to El Hekaya to discuss the announcement (watch, runtime: 7:53). More on this in this morning’s news well, above.

The National Dialogue remained one of the most talked about topics last night after the board finished appointing rapporteurs to the committees on Saturday. Al Hadath Al Youm (watch, runtime: 7:37), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 2:18) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 5:10) all had coverage.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

International journos are taking a day off Egypt: Check back tomorrow.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Belgium has returned two artifacts to Egypt that were smuggled illegally out of the country, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement yesterday. The two statues, one of a wooden ushabti and another from the Old Kingdom period, were seized by Belgian authorities in 2016 from a gallery after its owner failed to provide documentation on its provenance.

FinMin wants to expedite tax appeals: The Finance Ministry will establish “integrated” tax appeal committees responsible for settling disputes between the Tax Authority and medium and large taxpayers, according to a cabinet statement. The committees will expedite settlements related to income tax, VAT, stamp duties, and development fees.

El Sewedy on board for Toshka reclamation: El Sewedy Electric for Trading and Distribution has been awarded EGP 2.2 bn worth of contracts as part of the project to reclaim land for wheat farming in Toshka, it said in an EGX disclosure (pdf). The project includes the reclamation of 375k feddans and is set to be completed within a six-month period.

PLANET FINANCE

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

IMF backing is good for emerging markets (who’d a thunk it?): Recent IMF bailouts are helping to restore investor confidence in emerging-markets following a year of historic losses for the asset class, analysts tell Bloomberg. Egypt, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zambia and Chile have all either agreed new programs with the Fund or are close to agreeing terms, reversing the narrative from ‘default-adjacent’ to ‘turnaround’ and inspiring investors to cautiously return to local bonds.

“We’ve seen a rebound in emerging-market USD bonds as the IMF appears to be turning increasingly responsive to the difficulties faced by frontier emerging markets,” Aninda Mitra, head of Asia macro and investment strategy at BNY Mellon Investment Management in Singapore said. “This is helping some investors turn more neutral on emerging markets from a very bearish view.”

But the IMF’s got competition: Fresh data shows that China has made over USD 30 bn in discreet “emergency loans” in recent years to crisis-hit countries, leading the Financial Times to pronounce Beijing “a formidable competitor” of the IMF. Data by AidData, a research lab at US-based public research university William & Mary, named Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Argentina among the largest recipients of the Chinese aid, borrowing USD 32.8 bn between them since 2017.

Egypt has also taken funding from China: Egypt, along with Kenya, Venezuela, Ecuador, Angola, Laos, Suriname, Belarus, Mongolia and Ukraine, have taken emergency loans from the Chinese, AidData said, without disclosing details for any of those countries.

Unlike the IMF, there are no strings attached: “Beijing has tried to keep these countries afloat by providing emergency loan after emergency loan without asking its borrowers to restore economic policy discipline or pursue debt relief through a co-ordinated restructuring process with all major creditors,” said Bradley Parks, executive director of AidData.


Eyeing a bitter European winter, investors back out of equities: European stock funds have seen USD 83 bn in outflows over the past six months — some USD 3.4 bn of that during the last week alone, Bloomberg reports, citing market tracking data acquired by Deutsche Bank. This comes as the region struggles with its harshest energy crisis in decades after Moscow all but turned off the gas taps amid war in Ukraine, further pressuring European markets already struggling with rising inflation, a strengthening USD, and fears of a global recession.

Europe’s main index is down only 14% YTD, outperforming global counterparts — but big investors think it has a long way to fall. “We’ve expected a recession in Europe for months given the energy crunch, but we don’t think equities have fully priced this in,” Wie Li, BlackRock’s global chief investment strategist, tells the business newswire.

Up

EGX30

10,356

+0.9% (YTD: -13.3%)

Up

USD (CBE)

Buy 19.28

Sell 19.39

Up

USD at CIB

Buy 19.31

Sell 19.37

None

Interest rates CBE

11.25% deposit

12.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

11,940

+0.9% (YTD: +5.8%)

Up

ADX

9,796

+0.1% (YTD: +15.4%)

None

DFM

3,361

0.0% (YTD: +5.2%)

Up

S&P 500

4,067

+1.5% (YTD: -14.7%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,351

+1.2% (YTD: -0.5%)

Up

Euro Stoxx 50

3,570

+1.6% (YTD: -17.0%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 92.84

+4.1%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 8.00

+1.0%

Up

Gold

USD 1,728.90

+0.5%

Down

BTC

USD 21,517

-0.3% (YTD: -53.0%)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.9% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.18 bn (22.7% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 13.3% YTD.

In the green: Orascom Construction (+3.6%), Elsewedy Electric (+3.6%) and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+3.3%).

In the red: MOPCO (-2.3%), Juhayna (-2.1%) and Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding-EGP (-1.7%).

It’s green as far as the eye can see this morning, with major indexes in Asia all looking good. Futures suggest shares in Western Europe, the US and Canada will all start the trading week in the green at the opening bell.

DIPLOMACY

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called for an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as soon as possible during talks with UN envoy for the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh. (Foreign Ministry)

Egypt-India talks: Shoukry also discussed bilateral ties and India’s participation in the upcoming COP27 summit with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. (Foreign Ministry)

Defense Minister, Centcom chief meet: Defense Minister General Mohammed Zaki held talks with US Central Command General Michael Kurilla in Cairo. (Armed Forces)

AROUND THE WORLD

There’s good news and bad news on the global food crisis this morning:

The bad news first: Is Erdogan having second thoughts on the Ukraine grain pact he brokered? Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s criticism of the landmark grain agreement that Turkey brokered with the UN in July, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Erdogan said that Putin was “right” in saying that shipments of Ukrainian grain were mostly going to rich countries rather than poorer ones in greater need amid a global crisis in food supply.

Yes, but… As of 8 September, less than half of shipments have gone to high-income nations, according to UN data cited by the salmon-colored paper. Some 28% of shipments were sent to lower-middle income nations, including Egypt, India, Iran and Sudan, Turkey and China had received 21% and 7% respectively, and 44% went to richer countries.

Market reax: Wheat futures spiked to their highest level since 12 July on Wednesday on fears that Putin could undo the agreement and block exports of Ukrainian grains.

The good news: France and Romania will sign an agreement today to increase exports of Ukrainian wheat to developing countries in the Mediterranean, Reuters reported, citing statements by French Transport Minister Clement Beaune to France Inter radio. A draft agreement seen by the newswire sees France working to increase efficiency and capacity at several Romanian Black Sea ports, helping it to up its wheat exports.

Is Egypt on the list? The two countries have not named target countries though we think it’s likely Egypt will be one of the beneficiaries of the agreement. It’s in the area of interest, it’s a food insecure country, and it’s the world’s biggest importer of wheat. Ukraine is also one of Egypt’s most important suppliers and — together with Russia — accounted for about 80% of our wheat before the war.

blackboard

An uptick in performance by education shares suggests they may be living up to their reputation of being “defensive.” Investors typically consider the education industry — along with healthcare and consumer staples such as food and beverage — to be defensive: Businesses that provide goods and services that people must buy every day, regardless of how the economy is performing, meaning they may not promise the fastest or most significant price appreciation, but outperform in a downturn. When we last examined education shares last quarter, we found that they hadn’t held on to their reputation, falling more or less the same rate as the wider market.

Education shares have shown mixed performance this year, with a couple moving in tandem with the wider market — the benchmark EGX30 is down 13.3% year-to-date. The sector then has two outliers: One has massively underperformed against the market, while the other has bucked the trend to outperform the market and its peers.

We have less than a handful of education stocks in Egypt: Industry leader CIRA operates K-12 schools Mavericks and Futures, as well as Badr University, and leads the sector with a market cap of around EGP 6.8 bn. Then there’s CIRA subsidiary, Cairo for Educational Services (CAED), the Suez Canal Company for Technology Settling (SCTS), which owns and operates the Sixth of October University, and Taaleem Management Services, a higher education management company.

Let’s take a look at how these stocks performed since the beginning of the year: For the purpose of this analysis, we’ll look at education players’ stocks on a YTD basis and from the beginning of the third quarter of their academic year (which runs from March-May) until now. While most of the companies fell on a YTD basis, they have been outperforming the EGX30 when looking at the five-month period beginning in 2Q 2022, according to market data.

The EGX30’s YTD return is -13.3%, while its return since March is -1.2%.

Taaleem shares have fallen c.30% YTD and are flat 1 March (now changing hands at EGP 3.62 per share, TALM’s stock has whipsawed between EGP 4.08 and EGP 2.80 per share in the period since 1 March). SCTS — the sector’s second-worst performing stock on a year-to-date basis — is down 13.6% YTD and is up 3.7% since 1 March. CIRA shares are down just 11% YTD, but the leading private sector education player’s stocks have rallied nearly 9% since 1 March. The much more illiquid CAED once again bucked the trend, rising 17% YTD and 15.3% since 1 April to EGP 15.50.

How does this compare to their earnings?

  • CIRA’s bottom line fell 30% y-o-y to EGP 149.5 mn in 3Q 2021-2022 (which runs from March-May), despite revenues coming in slightly higher y-o-y at EGP 520.1 mn.
  • SCTS’ net income after minority interest plunged 52% y-o-y during the third quarter of the academic year to EGP 62.5 mn, while revenues inched up 3.9% y-o-y to EGP 298.7 mn, according to its financials (pdf).
  • CAED saw net income rise 5% y-o-y to EGP 10.8 mn on revenues of EGP 28.3 mn, up 13.3% y-o-y, its financials (pdf) show.
  • Taaleem reported (pdf) a 2% y-o-y drop in revenues during the quarter to EGP 263 mn, while net income in 3Q 2021-2022 rose 39% y-o-y to EGP 138 mn.

Unlike other sectors, there are hardly ever surprises with education earnings: “Regardless of EGP devaluation or macroeconomic conditions, education will continue and revenue streams are clear,” says Aly Adel, vice president of research at Beltone Financial. “As soon as the 1Q earnings are reported, investors have better visibility on the rest of the year’s performance,” Alaa Tolba, consumer sector head at CI Capital, told Enterprise. “It is only a matter of revenue recognition, as you now know the number of students, average tuition per student, and the budgeted costs for the year, with limited surprises,” she said.

Devaluation, for example, has a minimal effect on the education sector. While currency fluctuations could affect margins if some employees get paid in foreign currency, education institutes would be able to offset that with an increase in tuition, explains Adel.

Sector dynamics and regulatory changes have a bigger impact than do macroeconomics: The ongoing shift in academic calendar, normalizing from previous covid-19 delays, had resulted in fewer (or more) academic days recognized y-o-y per quarter, which in turn, disrupted quarterly earnings, explains Tolba. The centralized admissions platform that launched last year for private universities (which has since been scrapped) and a mismatch between Thanaweya Amma’s grade curve and faculties’ minimum requirements had resulted in fewer students being accepted to their colleges of choice. “These kinds of regulatory changes are external factors that could affect a company’s profitability, which could lead to a stock reacting negatively,” said Tolba.

Expansions are likely to help push companies — and their share performance — upward: The two high-profile listed companies, CIRA and Taaleem, both have expansion plans that will likely serve their stock performance in the medium and long-term, Tolba said. “We see value in both companies, capitalizing on the growth story within the sector,” she said, adding that there is huge demand in the country that is unmatched by the limited supply within the private space. “There’s a need for expansion,” she said.

Can education stocks keep their upward trend going? Share prices will likely continue their upward momentum, Adel expects, due to the improvement in general market sentiment, less economic uncertainty, and some foreign investors eyeing a return to the EGX. “All of this indicates that the momentum in the market can continue, and education can have the same uptrend,” he said.


Your top education stories for the week:

  • Scotland’s Queen Margaret University could be interested in opening a branch in the new capital.
  • The Higher Education Ministry and USAID are establishing a center for professional development and labor market studies.
  • The Education Ministry inked a cooperation protocol with the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport to train students and faculty of the Dabaa nuclear technical school.

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.

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.

13-15 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Hurghada will host the Regional Seminar on Airport Master Planning organized by ICAO.

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

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.

October: The CEO Women Conference

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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