Wednesday, 28 September 2022

AM — What Goldman is saying about an IMF deal



Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a super-busy Wednesday. Let’s jump straight in:

NOT HAPPENING TODAY- The Madbouly government’s economic conference, which was slated to take place before the end of the month but will now happen in October. That was according to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday, who was speaking at the inauguration of an investment zone in Mit Ghamr. We have more on this in this morning’s news well, below.

We’re also on the lookout for news that the state has formed a new council of economic advisors. Word on the street is that the council will see bold-name members of the business community provide meaningful advice to the Madbouly government as it and the central bank look to guide us through our current challenges.

ICYMI- Did you miss the results of our Enterprise Fall 2022 Reader Survey? Your expectations that 2022 would be a good year to do business in Egypt have been dampened by global and domestic conditions — but you’re still optimistic that next year will bring a change in fortunes. What’s your view on the M&A and IPO outlook? Do you think the government is in sync with the needs of business? Check out the full rundown of the survey results.

REALLY SMART POLICY- Around 3.5 mn homes in c. 5k Egyptian villages are set to get access to high-speed internet, courtesy of a project that comes as part of the Hayah Karima (Decent Life) initiative, Communications Minister Amr Talaat said yesterday. The multi-bn USD initiative aims to alleviate poverty in rural communities by upgrading infrastructure.

WATCH THIS SPACE- The Transport Ministry wants Mitsubishi to localize rail manufacturing: Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir met with representatives from Mitsubishi yesterday to discuss the possibility of manufacturing rolling stock and signaling systems in Egypt, the ministry said in a statement. The minister voiced ambitions to create an industrial base for manufacturing rolling stock for export as well as for the local market. Mitsubishi is currently gearing up to begin work on Cairo Metro Line 4. It will also provide 23 trains for the metro line, and renovate railcars for Cairo Metro Line 1 and 2.

Also in El Wazir’s sights: The minister wants Japan’s Nippon Signal — which is providing signaling systems for the first phase of Metro Line 4 — to produce its signaling equipment in Egypt, the statement read.


It’s the second day of HSBC’s webinar series on the energy transition: The series will look at the “latest climate analysis in relation to the global energy market and transition to net zero” in six different sessions covering energy security, what is required to ensure the success of COP27, financing and investment needs for the energy transition, and the scaling up of renewables in the region, among other topics. You can register for the series here.

A Spanish business delegation is in town for the Egypt-Spain Multilateral Partnership Forum, organized by the Spanish Institute for Export and Investment, according to a press release (pdf). The two-day conference includes seminars and panel discussions on trade and investment in transport, energy, and water with Egyptian ministers and representatives from government bodies, alongside officials from international financing institutions and Spanish Secretary of State for Trade Xiana Méndez Bértolo. The agenda for the conference is available here (pdf).

On the first day of the event: Industry and Trade and Industry Minister Ahmed Samir invited Spanish new and renewable energy companies to get involved in Egypt’s green hydrogen plans during a meeting with Mendes, according to a ministry statement.

The Arab Pensions and Social Ins. Conference kicks off today in Sharm El Sheikh, bringing together industry figures to exchange expertise on reforming and developing pension systems in the Arab region, according to a cabinet statement. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait will be among the attendees at the two-day gathering.

The UN World Food Program and the International Cooperation Ministry are hosting a two-day conference on food security at the St. Regis Cairo Hotel today and tomorrow, according to a press release (pdf). The conference will mainly focus on the digitization of the agricultural sector, financial inclusion and social protection.

PSA- Nominations for the “Africa grows green awards” are now open through 10 October. The initiative, launched by Egyptian NGO Istidama, aims to celebrate stakeholders involved in climate change action among COMESA member states, according to a statement (pdf). The awards also seek to develop climate entrepreneurship by connecting companies with VCs. For more information and to apply, you can visit the initiative’s website.


The turmoil in the UK is getting a lot of attention by the global business press this morning after UK Chancellor Kwasi “Kami-Kwasi” Kwarteng yesterday tried to reassure City investors over his fiscal policy following a historic sell-off in bonds and the GBP triggered by his plans to deficit-fund huge tax cuts. Also: The IMF yesterday called on the government to “reevaluate” its plans while house sales are “collapsing.” (Bloomberg | Financial Times | Wall Street Journal | Reuters | BBC)

Speaking of sell-offs: Things aren’t looking pretty in Asia this morning with equities across the region deep in the red and the CNY falling to its weakest level against the greenback since 2008. The Nikkei, Hang Seng and Kospi were all down more than 2% at the time of dispatch, picking up where the US markets left off in yesterday’s session, which saw equities fall deeper into bear territory. European and US shares are set to follow them later today, continuing the downward trend for global stocks triggered by growing concerns about the impact of rising interest rates on global growth.

Also: Novorossiya is about to get bigger: Russia is getting ready to annex large parts of eastern Ukraine, claiming that people have voted to join the country in a series of referendums that Western countries have denounced as a “sham.” Russian officials yesterday said that residents of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine, paving the way for Moscow to formally declare them part of its territory. (AP | Reuters | Bloomberg | FT | Washington Post | WSJ)


Money from Europe for COP27- The UN, EU, Denmark, Switzerland and the African Climate Foundation are helping Egypt out with the hosting of COP27 via a USD 6.2 mn project, the UN Development Programme said yesterday. The initiative will “assist Egypt in delivering on its commitments as the host of this year’s conference” by providing technical assistance and knowledge, it said.

There are 40 days left until COP kicks off with the two-day world leaders’ summit opening on 7 November. Thematic days then run 9-17 November, starting with finance day.


Kuwaiti investors are visiting next week: A delegation of Kuwaiti investors headed by the President of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce, Mohammed Jassim Al Saqer, is landing in Egypt on Saturday, Egypt's ambassador to Kuwait Osama Shaltout told reporters yesterday, Masrawy reported. The delegation will include 48 investors interested in investing in several sectors of the Egyptian economy including real estate and telecoms.

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


*** It’s Hardhat day — your weekly briefing of all things infrastructure in Egypt: Enterprise’s industry vertical focuses each Wednesday on infrastructure, covering everything from energy, water, transportation, and urban development, as well as social infrastructure such as health and education.

In today’s issue: We take a look at the EGP 12 bn project signed with Orascom Construction, Hassan Allam and Samcrete yesterday that will see the constructions of four warehouses for grain and other basic commodity storage.


Somabay Golf Open Tournament 6th – 8th of October: The Somabay Golf Open in Partnership with the Cascades Golf Resort Spa and Thalasso is just around the corner. This event has been a permanent fixture of the Egyptian Golf Calendar for over 20 years and is a great weekend of friendly competition that brings together players from across Egypt and the Region. The event features a practice round and two days of competition, a lavish welcome reception, and gala dinner. Room rates start from EGP 6,250 per person. For booking inquiries, contact +20 (0)100 340 0300 or


An IMF agreement could be sealed before the end of the month, according to Goldman

IMF program by the end of this month? EGP to 24? A mood of “cautious optimism”? These are some of the suggestions in a new report from Goldman Sachs, which recently sent a team to Egypt to talk to figures from the private- and public-sectors — including the Finance Ministry, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the Sovereign Fund of Egypt and local banks — about our current economic challenges. Here’s a snapshot of the report based on extracts that have appeared in the Arabic-language press, including Bloomberg Asharq:

On the IMF: Government officials told Goldman that they hope to finish talks with the IMF for a new program before the end of September — and that the size of the package could be between USD 3-5 bn. Still, the bank said there remains “a lot of uncertainty” about both the timing and the size of the facility and noted that a program of this size would fall significantly short of plugging the country’s financing gap, which it says is more than USD 15 bn over the next three years. Calibrate your expectations: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said last week that an agreement could still take another month or two to finalize.

The EGP: Most of the people Goldman spoke with expect the EGP to settle at 22-24 to the USD following a devaluation and linked this to an agreement with the IMF. But there was no consensus on whether this would occur gradually or suddenly. The currency has been on a gradual decline since Hassan Abdalla was appointed as CBE governor, weakening almost 2% to hover above record lows against the greenback.

Enterprise readers see the EGP settling at 22.12 to the greenback, with 22% of respondents to our reader poll saying they’re budgeting for 2023 with the EGP in the 22-23 band and the same number of participants say they figure it the greenback will be changing hands at EGP 23-24 next year.

That’s roughly in line with what analysts are saying: BNP Paribas forecast before last week’s CBE policy meeting that the currency would fall to 22-23 by the end of the year, while forward markets have priced in similar declines.

On Abdalla: Abdalla’s appointment to head the CBE was “widely welcomed” by people who spoke to Goldman. They expect the central bank to better coordinate policy with the government under his leadership.

We think there has been a sea change in relations between previous “antagonists” in public service. The past month has seen significant (but not untoward) policy coordination and regular meetings between Abdalla and his team, on the one hand, and senior cabinet officials including Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Finance Minister Mohamed Maait — ending months of steadily rising tensions during the term of Tarek Amer. Meanwhile, after a decade in which FRA and EGX have been singing from very different pieces of sheet music, we saw earlier this month FRA chief Mohamed Farid and EGX boss Rami El Dokkany not just working together, but appearing at a joint presser.

The economy: Officials consider the challenges facing the Egyptian economy to be under control and controllable, according to Goldman, which summed up the general mood among public- and private-sector figures as one of “cautious optimism.”


Import issues could be resolved within two months, El Sisi signals

El Sisi wants import woes fixed within two months: Import challenges facing manufacturers will be solved within two months, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said yesterday (watch, runtime 8:37). “The state is serious about solving the problems of investors, including the issue related to production inputs and their shortage in the markets during the past two or three months,” he said, speaking during the inauguration of several projects. The president said that he’d spoken to Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hassan Abdalla about resolving the crisis. “I imagine within a month or two, all the obstacles will be resolved.”

Importers are having a rough time right now: Many businesses are unable to source the foreign exchange they need to import production inputs — let alone to bring in finished goods. This has caused shortages of industrial and consumer goods, forcing manufacturers and assemblers in some sectors to slow or even suspend production and some to lose “tens of mns of USD” a day. The CBE last week eased restrictions to allow importers to use some of their FX balances to pay for imports, but they remain unable to use any FX that entered their accounts after 19 September. And the pace at which letters of credit are being issued? Still very slow.

The economic conference is coming next month: These issues will come up during the Madbouly government’s economic conference, which will take place next month, El Sisi said. The conference will give the business community a chance to voice their concerns to the government on the problems and obstacles they face, he said. The final draft of the state ownership document, trade policy, and industrialization will also be on the agenda for the conference, which was originally expected to happen at the end of this month.

All of this is geared towards increasing exports: The government is looking to increase exports to USD 100 bn a year by 2025, partially through a new focus on localizing manufacturing and increasing revenues from gas exports, which it hopes to double to USD 1 bn a month. Export revenues climbed 58% to USD 32.5 bn in 9M 2021-2022 from the same period the year prior.

On a related note: El Sisi wants private sector employers to set up more vocational schools to help train up the labor force, ensuring that employers have access to skilled laborers and that workers have the skills they need to land good jobs. The president also emphasized the important role of research and development facilities in identifying and developing solutions to pressing issues facing businessmen and industrials.


Wataniya, Safi to hit the EGX by year-end, Madbouly says

The Sovereign Fund of Egypt plans to take military-owned filling station Wataniya and bottled water company Safi public on the EGX before the end of 2022, according to a a cabinet statement. The two companies, which are owned by the military’s National Service Products Organization (NSPO), are currently being restructured ahead of their IPOs, the statement says. No details were provided on the size of the stakes the SFE plans to sell.

Let’s set some expectations, shall we? We don’t expect full-on IPOs this year for either company — it’s too late in the fall IPO window and market conditions are, at best, meh. Neither Safi nor Wataniya are in the market now, making it very difficult to see how we’d have an initial public offering of their shares. More likely, when you parse the cabinet statement, is that we’ll see the SFE push ahead with private stake sales — and that shares could be listed (but not offered to the public) as part of that sale.

Specifically: The SFE plans to drum up investor interest in the companies ahead of the IPOs, and is currently reviewing investor offers for strategic stake sales, according to the statement. The fund has pivoted to selling stakes to strategic investors and sovereign wealth funds this year in response to market turbulence and global economic volatility.

MUST-READ FOR CONTEXT- Stake sales on the private market are a great way to proceed if the Sisi administration’s goal is to maximize cash from the sale of assets, EFG Hermes investment banking boss Mostafa Gad told us last week. Having sold off a chunk of an asset in the private market, the state would then have the option of going ahead with an initial public offering down the road when market conditions are better and valuations are higher.

By order of the president: The ambition to float the companies this year was made clear in April when President Abdel Fattah El Sisi made the announcement as part of a speech laying out the government’s investment and privatization goals. Cabinet last mentioned the transactions back in July.

Background: The Madbouly government’s privatization plans had originally envisioned the selling of stakes in 10 state-owned companies and two military companies this year, but has since been scaled back in the face of market volatility. This is part of a wider plan to more than double the private sector’s role in the economy and raise USD 40 bn by 2026.


The Russkies are coming back to the Red Sea

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot is resuming regular flights from Moscow to Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada beginning from next week, with the first flight taking off on 1 October, according to the airline’s website. The resumption of flights comes after the carrier suspended air travel to and from Egypt in March “due to unfavorable conditions” in the wake of sanctions imposed on Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. Flights from Sochi to Cairo have been operating as usual since April by Rossiya Airlines.

We’re welcoming Russian tourists back to our Red Sea resorts with open arms: The Central Bank of Egypt is working to link the MIR payments system — Russia’s answer to MasterCard and Visa — with Egypt’s homegrown Meeza card network. MIR has become essential for Russians traveling overseas since US payments companies severed ties with Russian banks, and Egypt’s acceptance of the card would mean visitors can pay in RUB, use their cards, and access ATMs. Russian and Ukrainian tourists made up some 30-40% of all visitors to Egypt before the war broke out late February.

But our tourist numbers have been picking up even with the slowdown in Russian + Ukrainian arrivals: Tourist arrivals increased more than 85% y-o-y in 1H 2022 to reach 4.9 mn visitors, according to CAPMAS figures (pdf) released yesterday. 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.



Partnership led by Abu Dhabi’s Bloom Education to open EGP 1.5 bn school in New Giza

Emirati education provider Bloom Education is partnering with two local firms to establish a new international K-12 school in West Cairo’s New Giza, the company said in a statement Monday. Bloom Education, a subsidiary of the UAE’s Bloom Holding, said that more than EGP 1.5 bn will be invested in the project, which is expected to open for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Also working on the project: Bloom Education has signed a joint venture agreement with education management firm New Era Education and real estate developer New Giza, it said.

About Bloom Education: The education subsidiary operates nurseries and schools in the UAE, providing American, British and International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula to over 16k students across the country. This marks its first international expansion, according to its website. Bloom Holding, the parent company, operates in real estate, education and hospitality and is a unit of the very large scale Abu Dhabi-based investment outfit National Holding.


A long time coming

Tawasol-LimeVest consortium closes Alex Medical acquisition: Shareholders in Alexandria Medical Services agreed to sell more than 70% of the company to a consortium of Tawasol Holding and LimeVest, the EGX said yesterday. The subscription period for the consortium’s mandatory tender offer (MTO), in which it offered to buy 74% of the company for EGP 49.00 per share, ended yesterday with a total of 10.9 mn shares sold amounting to 70.2% of the total amount of shares.

The consortium now owns 96.2% of Alex Medical, with Tawasol already owning 26% of the company prior to the acquisition. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank owned a 51.5% stake in the company and had reportedly been interested in making an exit since last year. The shareholders agreed to sell despite the company’s board saying last week that the offer undervalued the company.

Alex Medical’s new owners could take the company national: “We intend to focus on the hospital’s operational optimization and upgrade the level of service. We see huge potential for the hospital to serve not just Alexandria but the entire country. This is our focus right now and we plan to work with management on that,” Sharif El Akhdar, managing partner at LimeVest, told us yesterday.

Advisors: Prime Holding were the brokers on the Tawasol-LimeVest offer and Zaki Hashem and Partners acted as the consortium’s counsel.


Trella locks in smart financing from Contact + Aman now offers Islamic and nano financing

B2B logistics marketplace Trella has inked an agreement with Contact Financial designed to give it and the carriers it works with the access to finance they need to grow, the companies announced (pdf) yesterday.

Driving business growth: Under the agreement, two Contact units will provide Trella’s carriers (both individuals and small businesses) with financing for new trucks. Contact Creditech, meanwhile, will finance carriers’ purchases on Trella Store, which sells carriers spares including tires, brakes and engine lubricants as well as maintenance services.

Trella itself will grow with Contact Factoring, which is offering the high-profile startup working capital finance. In tapping Contact, Trella has made a smart move, locking in its own working capital finance needs and while embedding finance in its platform to lock in the continued loyalty of carriers who are being squeezed by high inflation.

Trella closed one of Egypt’s largest-ever series A rounds last year, raising USD 42 mn in a round co-led by Maersk’s VC arm. The company said at the time that the money would be used to expand in the MENAP region and develop its platform.

Contact has pushed heavily into finance for the startup space, having recently inked agreements with Wasla, Carzami, Nawy, Sakneen and others.


Raya Holding subsidiary Aman Microfinance has launched Islamic financing and nano financing services after receiving licenses from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday.

A EGP 70 mn starter loan book: Aman has allocated EGP 60 mn to Islamic finance and EGP 10 mn to nano finance in an initial phase, the company said. It wants to lend EGP 45 mn of Islamic finance and EGP 4 mn of nano finance over the coming 12 months.

What it’s offering: Aman is offering Shara-compliant loans of between EGP 6k and EGP 5 mn with a repayment period ranging between 6-36 months. Its nano finance offering will see it lend up to EGP 3k per transaction. Aman has been after a nano financing license since 2020.

The first entrant in the sector is Kashat, which has now written 100k loans and is available nationwide.


Proptech startup Partment secures USD 1.5 mn in pre-seed round

Proptech startup Partment secured USD 1.5 mn in a pre-seed round led by Nclude Fintech Innovation Fund and Plus Venture Capital and with the participation of a group of angel investors, the startup said in a statement (pdf).

Partment helps people co-own second homes: Launched earlier this year by Nadim Nagui (LinkedIn), Ahmed El Raggal (LinkedIn) and Chinmaya Das (LinkedIn), Partment is an online platform that allows people to purchase shares in a second home with up to seven other people. The company allocates each owner a quota of days to use the property and handles the management and maintenance.

Where the money’s going: Partment will use the funding to develop the platform ahead of launching in Egypt.

What they said: “Partment is a new concept in Egypt, and we believe it will change how people buy and use real estate in the local and international market. We are very proud to be backed by leading investors who understand and support our vision,” Nagui said.

About Nclude: The fintech-focused fund, which launched earlier this year, last week reached a USD 105 mn second close. Among the fund’s investments so far are Khazna, Paymob, Lucky, and Mozare3.


Flat6Labs has appointed Yehia Houry (LinkedIn) as its chief programs officer, according to a press release (pdf). Houry has worked at the early-stage venture company since 2017, most recently as managing director of Flat6Labs in Tunisia, where he headed the launch and operation of the company. Prior to working at Flat6Labs, he served as program manager at Silatech, a Qatar-based initiative that seeks to create jobs and economic opportunities for young people in the Arab world.

Swedish telecom company Ericsson has appointed Hakan Cervell (LinkedIn) as vice president and head of customer unit in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it said (pdf) yesterday. Cervell is moving from South Korea, where he headed the customer unit. He has over 30 years of experience in ICT, across sales, product development and business development.

Heba Monir (LinkedIn) has joined HC Research as an economist and financial analyst, HC told Enterprise. Monir has primarily covered equities during her career, which included eight years at Prime Holding, two years at Ostoul Securities, and around five years at Arab African International Securities, the brokerage division of the Arab African International Bank.



El Sisi’s pledge to sort out the major problems plaguing investors in two months' time kept the talking heads busy for the night. “I predict that our import issues will be resolved within two months seeing as we are awaiting the IMF agreement, which will give us a clearer idea on the price of the EGP instead of its current instability,” said Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 3:39). “[The IMF agreement] will also inject some money [into Egypt] and help us attract hard currency into the country,” Lamees said. Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 4:24) and Al Hadath Al Youm (watch, runtime 1:54) also had coverage. We have the full story in this morning’s news well, above.

History’s even better when it’s available at no charge: Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 1:50) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 3:49) covered the long queues seen outside the Egyptian Museum yesterday thanks to the Tourism Ministry waiving entry fees to mark World Tourism Day.

Also on the airwaves last night:


Our economic challenges again lead the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning: Reuters looks at how FX shortages and import bottlenecks are impacting businesses across the economy while Bloomberg is covering the continued weakening of the EGP against the greenback, which fell close to a record low on Monday.

Also getting attention: On the 200th anniversary of the Rosetta Stone being decoded, there are renewed calls to return the artifact to Egypt. (The National)


New recycling tender + banks ❤️ government paper

The Local Development Ministry launched a tender for the construction of four solid waste recycling and treatment facilities in Daqahliyah and Kafr El Sheikh governorates, it said in a statement. The facilities will be able to process up to 600 tons of waste a day. This comes as part of the EBRD-funded project to clean the Kitchener Drain of pollution. Companies have one month to bid for the project.

Banks really want that government paper: The central bank received a record EGP 642 bn in bids from banks at its weekly deposit auction yesterday. Economic analyst Hany Geneina tells Bloomberg Asharq that the huge volumes were triggered by the central bank’s decision to hike the reserve ratio last week, a move which will restrict banks’ abilities to lend and curtail interest income. Banks submitted bids worth about EGP 50 bn for deposits at auctions in the first quarter of this year and the figure has steadily climbed since then after the interest rate hike that accompanied the March 2022 devaluation.

Egypt has submitted its candidacy for one of the 13 African seats on the board of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 2022-2026, the Communications Ministry said. Elections will take place during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference taking place in Bucharest, Romania, between 26 September and 14 October. Egypt sat on the ITU board for the 2018-2022 period.


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US stocks fell deeper into bear territory yesterday and bonds continued to sell off as Federal Reserve officials kept up the hawkish messaging on interest rates. In another choppy session, the S&P 500 closed 0.2% in the red to hit its lowest level since November 2020 while the Dow Jones fell 0.4%. The S&P is now sitting 24.3% below its peak in January while the Dow is down 21.2%. Yields on US 10-years edged closer to breaching the 4% handle — a level that hasn’t been since 2008 — as investors continued to exit treasuries. Bucking the trend was the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which notched slight gains to close 0.3% in the green.

Good for all of us: The USD took a breather from its relentless march upwards yesterday but remains at two-decade highs.

PIF taps banks for debut green bond sale: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), hired banks including BNP Paribas, Citigroup and JPMorgan, as global bookrunners for its maiden multi-tranche USD-denominated green bond sale, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. The bond could go to market as early as next week, Reuters reported separately.

^^ We have more coverage in this morning’s Enterprise Climate.

Abraj Energy Services has tapped our friends at EFG Hermes, along with the National Bank of Oman and Ahli Bank of Oman, to advise on its planned IPO on the Muscat Stock Exchange, Bloomberg reports, citing an emailed statement. The company’s MSX debut could raise as much as USD 500 mn and “may happen” in 1Q 2023, people with knowledge of the matter told the business information service. The Omani drilling company — a subsidiary of state-owned OQ — has not yet announced the size or timeline of the transaction.




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The EGX30 fell 0.1% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.07 bn (11.6% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 18.8% YTD.

In the green: Qalaa Holding (+4.6%), Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (+3.8%) and CIRA (+3.4%).

In the red: CIB (-1.6%), Cleopatra Hospitals (-1.0%) and Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (-1.0%).


MbS is now the Saudi prime minister: King Salman has appointed his son, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, to replace him as prime minister as part of a major shuffle of the Saudi government, state media reported yesterday.

Ministers of key portfolios remain in their positions: Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud remains foreign minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman will continue as energy minister, Mohammed Al Jadaan is staying on as finance minister, and Khalid Al Falih is still investment minister, according to the royal decree.

Replacing MBS at the Defense Ministry: Salman’s second son, Khalid.

FURTHER AFIELD- Edward Snowden is a Russki. President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to the US whistle-blower on Monday, nine years after he exposed the scale of secret surveillance operations by the National Security Agency. (Reuters)


OC + Hassan Allam + Samcrete sign EGP 4 bn contracts for basic commodities + food warehouses: The Supply Ministry signed yesterday EGP 4 bn in final contracts with our friends at Hassan Allam Utilities (HAU), Orascom Construction, and Samcrete for the construction of four warehouses for grain and other basic commodity storage, Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA) Chairman Ibrahim Ashmawy told Enterprise. This comes as part of a wider plan to build seven strategic warehouses around the country in a bid to boost grain storage capacity.

REMEMBER- Raising storage capacity has been a key priority for the government as it tries to bulk up its reserves of food staples in response to the war in Ukraine which sent shockwaves through global food supply chains. Our current storage capacity — with a total of 44 silos and other storage units, totaling a capacity of 5.4 mn tonnes — does not account for the additional wheat we procure during times of crisis and expected shortages. The system we currently have in place for storing grain involves toning down wheat imports around the harvest season to make space for increasing domestic supply. The government then restarts the import cycle once it dips into the local wheat reserves.

Details: The four warehouses will be located in Sharqia, Suez, Fayoum, and Luxor, and will each cost up to EGP 1 bn to build out, Ashmawy said, adding that they are set to boost strategic reserve capacity from six months to nine months. They are expected to be completed in 20-30 months, Ashmawy said, adding that it will take some time to install the equipment required for the warehouses to be automated.

Automated how? The warehouses will be linked electronically to each other to allow the contents of the warehouses to be tracked, HAU said in a press release (pdf). This automated tracking system is designed to ensure the commodities are being stored safely and cuts down on wastage. The system will also help streamline internal trade, the statement says. Automating the warehouses is meant to give the Supply Ministry real-time data on the exact quantities of available goods and limit corruption, Ashmawy told us.

This is the first public-private partnership (PPP) of this kind in the country, Ashmawy said. “The private sector will build, operate, manage and maintain the warehouses, which the government will simply buy,” he explained.

That’s why it took a while to set up: “This required new business models to be set up, reviews from legal entities, the cabinet, banks and the different partners involved,” Ashmawy explained.

The private-sector’s inclusion here is a very welcome development: “We believe in the Egyptian private sector’s role to help the nation achieve its economic goals, raise the growth rate, and create new jobs,” said Hassan Allam Holding CEO Amr Allam, who said HAU is building a portfolio of investments in the logistic sector “to establish an integrated logistics platform that covers the full value chain for storage and handling services in Egypt — and to further develop the industry and leverage a fast-growing market opportunity.”

We’re getting a lot more storage over the next few years: A second tender is set to be launched to build three more warehouses, Amwal Al Ghad had previously reported. The Supply Ministry is also building wheat silos in Toshka with the capacity to hold 500k tons of grain, while the Egyptian Holding Company for Silos and Storage also announced plans late last year to invest EGP 600 mn in building five silos over the next two years. Denmark’s Cimbria has also said it will build a complex in Port Said capable of storing 100k tons of wheat while Italy will work on six silos capable of storing a combined 30k tons.

Storage is critical as the government ramps up purchases of domestic wheat: We procured around 4.2 mn tons of wheat from local farmers during this year’s harvest. This is 20% higher than what was procured last year, but is still far from the ambitious 6 mn-ton target set after spiking food prices forced it to increase its reliance on local production.

The prospects for next year’s reserves are looking good so far: While the government has yet to announce updated purchase targets for next season, it did raise the “indicative price” of wheat to EGP 1k per ardeb, a hike of nearly 15% from the EGP 865-885 per ardeb it paid this year. Farmers had called on the government earlier this year to raise prices to EGP 1k to help the industry cope with inflation and meet production targets. On the imports front, the cooling down of commodity prices — including wheat — thanks in part to a UN-negotiated amnesty for grain cargoes amid Moscow’s blockade of Ukrainian ports, allow us to import wheat at more affordable prices than previously forecast for the year.

The World Bank is also doing its part to help us expand our storage capacity: The lender provided us with a USD 500 mn financing package earlier this year to boost Egypt’s food security. More than a fifth of the funding — USD 117.5 mn — has been allocated to raise silo capacity.

Also from Ashmawy: The Supply Ministry is in talks with Amazon, Jumia, Talabat and Noon to invest in new fulfillment centers in Egypt.

CORRECTION- An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the warehouses would cost a combined EGP 12 bn. Each of the warehouses is expected to cost EGP 1 bn, bringing the total cost to EGP 4 bn.

Your top infrastructure stories for the week:

  • Al Masry Sporting Club is planning to build a EGP 4 bn sports complex in Port Said with a 20k-capacity stadium, a 400-room hotel, and 800 residential and commercial units.
  • The Suez Canal Authority wants to expand the Ismailia marina to host 60 yachts from 12 currently under government plans to draw more foreign yachts to the country.
  • The Health Ministry inaugurated a vaccine storage and distribution complex at state-owned vaccine maker Vacsera’s Sixth of October facility.
  • Arab Contractors affiliate Nahdet Misr for Environmental Services will implement a new waste system in Alexandria Governorate.


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 50 fintech startups.

September: Meeting of the 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.

25-29 September (Sunday-Thursday) FranEgypt will hold its first virtual expo on franchises in the country.

27-28 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Egypt-Spain Multilateral Partnership Forum, Sofitel Gezira, Cairo, Egypt.

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

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): HSBC Energy Transition Webinar series.

27-29 September (Tuesday-Thursday): The 14th edition of Creative Industry Summit, Cairo Business Park, New Cairo.

27 September-27 October (Tuesday-Thursday): The Egyptian Museum the Manial Palace Museum host a book fair.

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

28-29 September (Thursday-Friday): The first edition of the World Food Security Conference in Cairo.

30 September (Friday): Winter opening hours for shops and restaurants begin.


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

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

1 October (Saturday): Start of 2022-2023 public school year.

1 October (Saturday): House of Representatives reconvenes after summer recess.

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 October (Monday): The CEO Women Conference.

10-14 October (Monday-Friday): Gitex Global, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE.

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.

17 October (Monday): Fifth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Geneva, Switzerland.

18 October (Tuesday): The Egyptian-Swedish business forum, Stockholm, Sweden.

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

27-30 October (Thursday-Sunday): Cairo ICT, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo.

30 October – 1 November (Sunday – Tuesday): Egypt Energy, Egypt International Exhibition Centre (EIEC) in New Cairo.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

Late October: First Abu Dhabi Bank to complete full integration with Bank Audi’s Egyptian operations after merger.


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.


3 December (Saturday): Dior Men’s pre-fall collection show in Giza.

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): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

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.

23-27 February (Thursday-Monday): The eighth annual Business Women of Egypt’s Women for Success conference.

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.

4Q 2022: Saudi Jamjoom Pharma to inaugurate its EGP 1 bn pharma factory in El Obour.

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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