Thursday, 13 October 2022

AM — Beni Suef power plant could head to the SFE’s pre-IPO fund before the end of 2022



Good morning, kind people, and happy Thursday. We’re stumbling bleary-eyed toward the finish line on another long week — and our reward is a bucketload of news. There’s something for everyone here, from the latest in state stake sales, to cabinet measures to ease FX shortages and imports of everything from cars to wheat — rounded off with a nice big chunk of VC funding for local fintech startups.

Sweater weather? Ok, perhaps not quite — but it’s going to be a little cooler over the weekend, with temperatures peaking at 27-29°C in the day and hitting as low as 21°C at night, the national weather service says. There’s also a chance of rain along northern coastal regions.

THE BIG STORY THIS MORNING here at home is … from Washington, DC, where Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said an assistance package from the IMF is in the “final confirmation” stage. Maait was speaking with reporters late yesterday on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings. Cabinet is hoping the long-awaited package could be announced before the gathering wraps up, Reuters and CNBC Arabia report.

Maait wasn’t giving much away: The finance minister is quoted as saying officials have reached an agreement on all aspects of the package, but he stopped short of giving details or confirming that the size and structure of the facility have been nailed down.

The gov’t is in favor of a more flexible FX rate for the EGP “if necessary,” Maait said, adding that the soaring USD has added pressure on currencies everywhere. His comments echo previous statements by Planning Minister Hala El Said. The EGP has continued to inch down against the greenback in recent days and weeks and has lost around a quarter of its value against the USD so far this year.

The IMF executive board has still not released its public meeting schedule. The body would have to approve any new assistance program for Egypt. Senior Egyptian officials and members of the banking community are all in DC for the meetings.

IT’S DAY FOUR of the gathering and all eyes in Egypt should be on IMF boss Kristalina Georgieva’s briefing and presser. Georgieva is giving a briefing on the group’s “global policy agenda” at 2pm CLT, with a 45-minute-long “open press conference” set to follow. We’re hoping Egypt comes up.

ALSO IN DC TODAY: Enterprise Climate is reporting this morning that there will be tons of climate talk, with attendees debating the role of multilateral development banks in the energy transition. Tap or click here for the full schedule.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Banque du Caire has raised interest rates on three-year USD certificates of deposit to 5.3% from 2.5%, following a similar move by its fellow state-owned lenders National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr. (Al Mal).

DISPATCH FROM THE UAE- Traffic in Dubai was insane yesterday as crowds — the size of which we haven’t seen since well before covid-19 — descended on the city for GITEX. Yesterday’s highlight: Our friends at Emirati tech and investment giant e& launched their foray into the metaverse with e& Universe. We’ll go deeper into e&’s transformation strategy and global ambitions next week in a Coffee With… Group CEO Hatem Dowidar. The weeklong tech extravaganza wraps up tomorrow.


It’s a big day for global macro news: US inflation figures are also out today. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg are expecting core inflation — which strips out volatile items like food and fuel – to return to the 40-year highs recorded in March. They’re predicting a slight deceleration in the headline figure to 8.1% y-o-y — still a rapid pace of inflation for any developed economy.

The US Fed will be watching closely — and everyone else will be watching the Fed. Another alarmingly high inflation figure will only amp up the pressure for the Fed to go for another rate hike during its November meeting. The US central bank raised interest rates by 75 bps for a third successive meeting last month.

The Fed remains inclined to go hard: The Fed’s latest meeting saw “participants emphasizing that the cost of taking too little action to bring down inflation likely outweighed the cost of taking too much action,” according to the newly released minutes, the Financial Times reports.

There’s no one BIG STORY ABROAD catching the attention of the international press this morning. The financial papers are focused on the US inflation figures out later today, the Fed’s likely response, and the noise coming out of DC as the World Bank and IMF meetings continue.

Some satisfaction for those of us who dislike fake news: Much of the ‘mainstream media’ is taking note this morning of the nearly USD 1 bn in damages that a US court has ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, after he called the tragedy a hoax. Reuters | WSJ | WaPo | AP


Take our EV survey: Are you an ex-petrolhead shopping around for your first electric vehicle? EV-curious and wondering what all the fuss is about? Or are you not ready to say goodbye to that sweet smell of benzene as you wait at the gas station?

We want to hear from you: We’re taking the pulse on how the nation feels about Egypt’s nascent EV transition. Take a few minutes to fill out our short survey. We’ll be back with the results in a couple of weeks.



OPEC slashed its outlook on world oil demand for 2022 and 2023, citing continued inflationary pressures, an extension of China’s covid-19 restrictions and slowing global economic growth, according to its monthly oil market report (pdf). The oil cartel now expects global oil demand to grow 2.7% this year (up some 2.6 mn barrels per day, down 460k bpd from its earlier forecast). “The world economy has entered into a time of heightened uncertainty and rising challenges, amid ongoing high inflation levels, monetary tightening by major central banks, high sovereign debt levels in many regions as well as ongoing supply issues,” it said.

The worsened outlook sheds light on OPEC’s decision last week to announce its biggest production cut since 2020 under efforts to support dropping oil prices, a move which was criticized by the US.

But what about next year? OPEC sees oil demand increasing by 2.3 mn bpd to 102 mn bpd, down 360k bpd on its previous forecast.

COUNTDOWN TO COP (24 days to go)-

Big-name finance bosses are skipping COP27, saying they have better things to do: Several top-level finance executives will be notably absent from COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh next month, including the CEOs of Blackrock, Citigroup, and Standard Chartered, Enterprise Climate notes this morning. The three executives all made appearances at COP26, with BlackRock and Citi among signatories of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, but this year the finance heavyweights will send delegations of lower-level representatives.

Why? Bloomberg says it’s because the three have “more immediate” crises to deal with (largely related to fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine), saying the news comes as the “credibility of some net-zero pledges is in doubt.”

More COP talk: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and UN climate chief Simon Steele talked all things COP 27 during a meeting yesterday, according to a statement.


Bread reform committee should get House approval on Sunday: The House should approve Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy’s proposal to form an ad hoc committee to look into possible changes to the country’s massive bread subsidy program during its session on Sunday, 16 October.

The EGX is looking to drum up interest in listed companies on a roadshow to Dubai and Abu Dhabi later this month, an EGX source told Enterprise. The bourse has tapped Al Ahly Pharos to help manage the roadshow, with EGX boss Rami El Dokany set to meet with as many as 100 regional and international financial institutions, the source said.

Fuel prices to rise this month? We’re expecting the government to hike fuel prices for the seventh consecutive quarter when the fuel pricing committee meets this month. Fuel prices have risen by as much as 28% over the past 18 months in response to heightened international oil prices, which surged earlier this year on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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


Oceanman African and Middle East championships at Somabay: Somabay will be hosting the first ever Oceanman African and Middle East Championships on 14-15 October, 2022. More than 750 participants between 7-70 years old from different countries will come together for the passion of open water swimming. Register now for all five races with different distances and qualifications. To find out more, visit


SFE gets the ball rolling on power plant stake sale

Beni Suef power plant the first to go to SFE’s pre-IPO fund? The Siemens-built, 4.8 GW combined-cycle power plant in Beni Suef has reportedly been tapped as the first of the three plants to be transferred to the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s (SFE) pre-IPO fund before the end of the year, Bloomberg Asharq reports, citing three government sources. The SFE will offer stakes in the plant to strategic investors “at a later time,” the sources say.

We knew at least one of the plants would be transferred to the fund: Planning Minister and SFE Chairperson Hala El Said said in late September that one of the three power plants would be among the first batch of state-owned assets that will be transferred to the SFE’s pre-IPO fund. El Said had said that assets worth USD 3 bn would be shipped over to the fund by mid-November.

What we don’t know is exactly how the stake sales will move forward: “The offering could be made to a sole strategic investor or to several investors through minority stakes,” one of the sources told Bloomberg Asharq. The source signaled that all options are open moving forward, with no specific timeline set for the stake sales.

This might take some time: The decision on when to pull the trigger on the stake sales is ultimately the SFE’s to make, one of the sources said, but suggested it won’t necessarily be a speedy process.

Who’s interested? SFE head Ayman Soliman said in April that the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) could invest in all three plants as part of Riyadh’s USD 10 bn investment pledge. The sovereign wealth fund acquired minority stakes in four EGX-listed companies worth USD 1.3 bn over the summer.

REFRESHER- The pre-IPO fund aims to prepare state-owned enterprises for listing on the EGX by offering an alternative to public share sales while market conditions remain volatile. The government has been planning to market companies to Gulf sovereign funds and investors in Europe and Asia during a roadshow this month. Shares held by the National Investment Bank worth up to USD 3 bn will be sold to strategic investors in the first phase, with a second similar sized phase coming later.

Background: Talks on a possible sale of stakes in the power plants go back to 2019 when the SFE was first established. The Beni Suef power plant is one of three three power plants with a combined generation capacity of 14.4 GW built by Siemens with partners Orascom Construction and Elsewedy Electric. The plants — one in each of Beni Suef, Burullus, and the new administrative capital — were inaugurated in July 2018. Each station was, at the time of commissioning, the world’s largest power plant.


External debt dips from all time high in 4Q FY 2021-22

Egypt’s external debt dropped 1.3% q-o-q to USD 155.7 bn during the fourth quarter of last fiscal year (from April-June 2022), down from an all-time high of USD 157.8 bn the preceding quarter, according to central bank figures.

Debt is still up on last year: The figure is up some 12.9% y-o-y from the same quarter in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Egypt’s external position is coming under significant pressure this year thanks to a perfect storm of surging commodity prices, rising interest rates, a red-hot greenback and turmoil in the financial markets. The EGP has lost around a quarter of its value against the USD this year, making it even more difficult to pay out our debts.

IMF support should be just around the corner: We’re waiting with baited breath for an imminent announcement on the expected emergency loan from the Fund, which will in part help us service our external debt. We could be getting anywhere from USD 3-5 bn if BNP Paribas estimates are to be believed.


UAE eyes establishing logistics hub at an Egyptian airport

The UAE reportedly wants to set up a logistics hub at one of our airports: A consortium that includes several unnamed Emirati companies is reportedly looking at establishing a large-scale logistics hub at an unspecified Egyptian airport, Al Mal reports, citing sources it says have knowledge of the matter. The potential logistics zone would serve air freight cargo. A ministry spokesperson did not answer inquiries from Enterprise before dispatch time this morning.

No concrete plan yet: Sources close to the Emirati side are cited as saying the plan is under consideration between high-level officials from the two countries. They expect to prepare and present an official offer in the coming period ahead of beginning feasibility studies. No final decision has been made on which airport would host the zone.

ON A RELATED NOTE- Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Abbas held talks with a UAE delegation regarding cooperation and boosting investments in air transport earlier this week, according to a statement.


Egyptian expats get new cars, FinMin gets FX + More buildings up for reconciliation

Egyptian expats are going to be able to import new cars on the cheap — in return for helping the state raise FX: Egyptians who are resident abroad will be able to import a new car and eventually get a full rebate on all customs fees and taxes — if they pay the dues upfront in FX, according to a cabinet statement. The cabinet decision will make it easier and cheaper for expats to import new cars while helping the state raise USDs amid an ongoing FX shortage.

A major tax break — with a twist: The car owner pays their vehicle import fees — including customs fees, VAT, and other taxes — upfront to the Finance Ministry in FX when they import the new car. They will then receive a full rebate on the dues in five years’ time in EGP, at the USD-EGP exchange rate at that time and without interest.

REMEMBER- It’s all but impossible to get your hands on a new car right now. The market has been hit by rules requiring importers to get letters of credit (L/Cs) that limited imports to a handful of essential goods, leaving new cars and car parts stranded at ports and pushing a number of global car manufacturers to suspend sales here.

So who’s eligible? Expats must hold a valid foreign residency permit and foreign bank account. Each expat can import one car for their personal use, which must be new or less than three years old if used.

There’s a time limit: Once the decision goes into effect, expats only have four months to pay their dues to the FinMin. They’ll then be given a year to import their car of choice.

How much money are we talking about? Customs fees can run as high as 135% of the value of a new car, depending on the country of origin. Add to that a 15% schedule tax and a 14% VAT. It’s a little lower for hybrid cars, which pay between 30-100% of their cost in customs, a 15-30% schedule tax and a 14% VAT. EVs are exempt from taxes and customs.

More details to come: After the decision is passed, FinMin and the central bank will share the required fees and accepted currencies according to vehicle type.

This won’t be the first time Egyptians working abroad help us secure hard currency: Remittances are a key source of FX inflows for Egypt, recording some USD 31.9 bn during the last fiscal year.


Owners of illegally built buildings could have another chance to legalize what they’ve built, after cabinet yesterday approved a draft law that widens the scope for property owners in violation of the building code to pay “reconciliation fees” to the government to legalize their buildings, according to a statement. The draft bill allows for more owners of illegal buildings to enter the reconciliation process, provided that their buildings are structurally sound and not built on land protected by the Nile Protection Law or the Antiquities Protection Law.

Exceptions — at a cost: The cabinet could allow reconciliation for buildings along the Nile or on land protected by the antiquities law if, for example, they are difficult to remove — but owners will pay triple the usual reconciliation fee, Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad said in an interview with Bel Warak W El Kalam (watch, runtime: 10:20).

Similar, but not the same: Separate amendments to the Unified Building Code designed to crack down on unlicensed construction — which would also widen the types of properties eligible for reconciliation — are currently making their way through the House. The House’s Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee also last week approved amendments to the Agriculture Act introducing harsher penalties for illegally building on agricultural land.

Gov’t officials have in recent months pledged to adopt a zero-tolerance stance towards new illegal construction, taking food subsidies away from those who build illegally and referring people who illegally build on the Nile to military prosecution. The reconciliation drive is expected to bring in c. EGP 72 bn to state coffers from around 1.8 mn buildings that are in violation of existing codes.

The cabinet also approved:

  • Extending foreign operators’ exemption from airport fees for another six months until the end of April 2023. The exemption was set to end this month.
  • A draft presidential decision to repurpose public land and properties in a number of governorates. The Finance Ministry will decide how to repurpose them.



Sidpec wants 100% of Ethydco

Sidpec wants Ethydco: EGX-listed Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (Sidpec) wants to fully acquire subsidiary Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (Ethydco) through a share swap, Chairman Mohamed Ibrahim told CNBC Arabia yesterday (watch, runtime: 9:45), adding that Sidpec expects to wrap up the acquisition in less than a year.

Sidpec’s board will discuss the acquisition during an extraordinary general assembly meeting on Thursday, 20 November, according to EGX disclosures (pdf), (pdf).

Sidpec already owns a 20% stake in Ethydco —- making it the company’s second-largest shareholder after the Petrochemicals Holding Company, which holds 21%, according to Ethydco’s website. Remaining shareholders include Gasco, Al Ahly Capital Holding, the National Investment Bank, Banque Misr and Nasser Social Bank.

The potential upsides: “If the acquisition goes through, it will give both companies the chance to boost their revenues and increase their production capacity,” Ibrahim said.

More M&A ahead: Sidpec has other local acquisitions in the pipeline after the Ethydco transaction, Ibrahim said.

Advisors- Sidpec has tapped NI Capital as advisor, according to a statement (pdf) to the bourse. Ibrahim said that neither side has yet appointed legal or financial advisors.


Telda bags USD 20 mn round + FlapKap lands its second round this year

It’s shaping up to be a big week for VC inflows to local startups: Yesterday it was pharma companies, today it’s local fintech firms snagging funding rounds from local and international investors. It’s encouraging news for Planet Startup as global economic woes see many local firms tightening their belts.

Digital banking app Telda raised USD 20 mn in a seed round led by long-time investor Global Founders Capital (GFC). Existing investor Silicon Valley-based VC firm Sequoia Capital also participated, as did newcomer Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly known as Square), Bloomberg reports.

Where the money’s going: The money will help the company step into new markets and expand its product offering.

This is a big raise — especially considering current fundraising conditions: VC funding both here and abroad has slowed to a trickle in recent months as tighter global monetary policy sees investors pull out of riskier assets and markets. Down rounds — when a company sells shares at a lower price than its previous funding round — are now the norm, while the implosion of local startup Capiter has some in the startup scene predicting that more young companies could soon fold.

What they said: “In Egypt dealing with money is still a complicated matter; making it easy and straightforward will have a large impact not just on the economy but also the society as a whole,” said co-founder Youssef Sholqamy.

About Telda: The company was founded last year by Swvl co-founder Ahmed Sabbah (LinkedIn) and former Uber senior engineer Sholqamy (LinkedIn). Shortly after its launch, the company secured USD 5 mn in a pre-seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from GFC and Class 5 Global. Telda started issuing its prepaid cards in partnership with Banque du Caire over the summer.

The news also got coverage from TechCrunch and Waya.


MEA fintech startup platform FlapKap raised USD 3.6 mn in a seed round, according to a press release (pdf). The round saw participation from follow-on investor A15 as well as Bolt by QED, Nclude, and Outliers. This is the company’s second round this year, after it raised USD 1.2 mn in a March round led by A15.

Where the money is going: FlapKap will sign on more e-commerce players in the region to its revenue-based financing plans. The company hopes to strengthen its presence in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt, according to the press release.

What FlapKap does: The company offers financing to e-commerce businesses that have been operational for at least six months and have limited access to traditional financing through banks or VCs. Merchants can get upfront financing to scale their inventory and digital marketing, which they pay back as a percentage of revenues. FlapKap also offers AI-based insights and financial data analytics.

Founders: CEO Ahmad Coucha (LinkedIn), co-founder of MENA digital agency Kijami, co-founded the company with Khaled Nassef (LinkedIn). Sherif Bichara (LinkedIn) and Adel Hodroj (LinkedIn) also serve on the founding team.


GASC will let private mills buy its wheat to help ease imports squeeze

GASC to sell wheat to struggling private sector: State grain buyer GASC will on Saturday start selling wheat to mills producing 72% extraction wheat flour, which is used to make unsubsidized bread, pasta, and other foods. The move will last for one month and comes to prevent a rise in flour prices, the Supply Ministry said in a statement, amid reports that private mills are struggling to get their wheat purchases out of ports amid the country’s FX shortage.

The price list: Mills can buy wheat at EGP 8.7k per ton. Pasta makers operating under GASC’s framework will be able to buy flour from the state grain buyer at EGP 10k a ton.

The Supply Ministry is working with the central bank to secure letters of credit for wheat importers and get their shipments released from ports, the statement reads, saying the move would help stabilize flour and bread prices in the short term.

Some 700k tons of wheat destined for private sector mills is stuck at ports, Reuters reports traders and Egypt’s chamber of cereals as saying. Importers are struggling to find the hard currency needed to get shipments released, says the newswire, leading some 80% of private mills to shut up shop.

REMEMBER- The government imposed price controls on unsubsidized bread in March as a temporary, three-month measure, after war in Ukraine sent global wheat markets spiraling. Wheat prices on the international markets have since cooled, but FX pressures, supply chain snarls, and global monetary tightening have meant food price inflation remains elevated.


12 Egyptians were named in the Forbes Middle East 30 Under 30 list, including entrepreneurs, creatives and athletes making their mark on the region. This year’s list features 35 individuals from 13 nationalities with the largest number of entries from Egypt, followed by six from Lebanon and three each from Oman and Saudi Arabia. The Egyptians who made the list:

KarmSolar was featured in one of Fortune’s 2022 Change The World list, coming in at number 41 on a list of 50 impactful companies including PayPal and Alibaba. The Egyptian solar company is the only energy company included in the ranking.



All eyes were on the outcomes of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting during last night’s talk shows. The cabinet passed a decision giving tax breaks to Egyptian expats importing new cars, and a draft law allowing more illegal buildings to go legit. We dive into both decisions in our Legislation Watch section, above.

Tax breaks on new car imports have long been in demand by Egyptian expats and former cabinet ministers tried to make it happen, Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:17 | 3:04 | 3:04).

The cabinet kept the window tight to protect car dealers: The initiative will only last four months and is limited to one car per person in efforts not to hurt local car sellers, Saad said. He also joined Masaa DMC to expand on the decision (watch, runtime: 12:05).

The pundits also took note of a draft bill passed by the cabinet that would allow for more illegal buildings to get their status reconciled. Applying for reconciliation will give owners the comfort of knowing their building is a legal entity and no one can kick them out of it, Rep. Ahmed El Seginy said on Ala Mas’ouletty (watch, runtime: 4:42).

New violations will not be tolerated: The government can use aerial photography to spot new illegal construction, El Seginy added.


The foreign press has a smattering of green stories on Egypt for us this morning: Sky News explains the geopolitical context of the COP27 summit. Reuters has a clip on a Cairo grocery store that grows its own produce using a hydroponic fridge from local startup Schaduf. (watch, runtime: 1:55).


EGAS + the ‘other’ PIF. Plus; News from BTECH, BNY Mellon and CIRA

EGAS is closing in on an agreement with the Palestine Investment Fund to develop the Gaza Marine offshore gas field, Bloomberg Asharq reports, citing sources it says have knowledge of the matter. EGAS signed an MoU on the project with the Palestine Investment Fund last year. Gas extraction is expected to begin within three years of signing the final agreement. The field, located 22 nautical miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip, contains an estimated stock of 1 tn cubic feet of gas, which could be pumped for 10 to 12 years. Reuters also had the story.

BTECH launches innovation hub: Electronics retail giant BTECH has launched b_labs, a tech innovation hub designed to create solutions and systems for the company, according to a statement (pdf). The company will look to attract “hundreds” of tech entrepreneurs to build solutions servicing BTECH’s different business verticals, with b_labs kicking off a training academy at a later stage, the statement says.

BNY Mellon says it has cut transfer times between China and Egypt to three hours from at least two days previously using its new Swift Go service. The bank was intermediary between QNB Al Ahly and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank on the transfer, it said in a statement, pdf.

CIRA has 32.2k students enrolled in its schools (up 5.6% y-o-y) and 16k students enrolled in its universities (up 14.3% y-o-y) for the academic year 2022/2023. (Statement, pdf)

ALSO- NGOs have another six months — until 11 April, 2023 — to legalize their status in the country, after the Social Solidarity Ministry extended the deadline. (Statement)


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Is a recession looming for the UK? The UK economy contracted unexpectedly by 0.3% in August as production rates fell spelling recessionary risks, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The drop was mainly driven by a dip of 1.8% in production fuelled by lower manufacturing rates. A Reuters poll of economists had expected the economy to remain unchanged in August, but figures are down from July when the economy grew by 0.1%.

SOUND SMART- What counts as a recession? The word is being bandied about an awful lot of late, especially after the IMF yesterday said it expects more than a third of global economies to contract this year or next. As a rule of thumb, a recession is two consecutive quarters of contraction.

Meanwhile, UK financial markets were once again plunged into turmoil yesterday after the Bank of England insisted it would not extend its emergency bond-buying program past Friday, the BBC reports. Reports earlier in the day suggested the BoE had privately told bankers it could extend the program. Government borrowing costs briefly hit their highest since 2008 on the news amid a major selloff in the bond markets. The UK is grappling with bond turmoil — including a gilt market crisis — and a weakening currency after investors were spooked by an ill-advised mini-budget including steep tax cuts from PM Liz Truss.

It could be a rough Monday: If the fire sale intensifies on Monday and “it all breaks loose,” the central bank may be forced to intervene in the markets once again, one analyst told the Beeb.


  • Arabian Drilling IPO subscription 61x oversubscribed: Saudi drilling firm Arabian Drilling attracted USD 43 bn in orders in its bookbuilding process, making the offering 61x oversubscribed. The company set the final share price for its IPO at SAR 100 (USD 26.6) per share, making the offering worth USD 712 mn. (Statement)




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The EGX30 fell 0.7% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 883.09 mn (9.8% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 18.0% YTD.

In the green: Alexandria Containers and Cargo Handling (+1.7%), EFG Hermes (+1.2%) and Eastern Company (+0.8%).

In the red: Elsewedy Electric (-6.0%), Fawry (-4.4%) and Credit Agricole Egypt (-3.3%).

Asian markets are in the red across the board in early trading for the second consecutive morning. Futures suggest European markets are also set to open down — as they have done for most of the week. The three major US benchmarks are again bucking the trend as of this morning and look likely to open in the green later on today.


Kathleen Kirsch, engineering officer and climate lead at USAID: 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 Kathleen Kirsch (LinkedIn), engineering officer and climate lead at USAID. Below are edited excerpts from our conversation:

My name is Kathleen Kirsch, or Kathy. I wear two hats for USAID Egypt. As an environmental engineer, I serve as an engineering officer and support a lot of work on our water and wastewater utilities team. I'm also the climate integration lead for the mission.

Not much is typical in my work day anymore, as we’re focused on supporting the efforts at COP27. In line with the release of our new agency climate strategy this past year, there have been a lot of pivots as we seek mainstream climate change integration in all our programs — from food security programming, to water and wastewater programming, our economic growth activities, and our education and health projects. USAID Egypt works across all of these big broad technical areas, but climate change impacts every single one of them.

The impacts of climate change are cross-cutting, so our response must also be. We're worried, like many people here in Egypt — a country that is highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change on things like water scarcity, drought, extreme heat, rising sea levels, and food insecurity.

The Notre Dame GAIN index has Egypt as the 83rd most vulnerable country and the 129th most ready country for climate change. So I think that we are looking to mainstream climate change integration because it’s so cross-cutting. As we look ahead to COP27, we're in more of a preparatory mode at this point. Our climate work was well underway before COP27 and will continue after as well.

In the morning, I like to wake up slowly so I feel fully awake when I run into work. I love to wake up, take a nice hot shower, eat breakfast, and slowly sip my coffee. I of course read the morning edition of Enterprise, and I love listening to NPR news and other podcasts over the course of the day. Some of my favorites are Slow Burn and This American Life. It kind of depends on if I'm in a relaxing mode or if I'm news-oriented and ready for work.

One constant in my day would probably be a cup of tea and writing a to-do list of some sort. I'll normally have a few lists going and I try to group according to the type of task or sector. There's nothing more fulfilling than crossing something off the list. I also keep one next to my bed because I find that you don't worry about forgetting anything you jotted down and it'll be there for you the next day.

I love to disconnect when I can. I'll often put my phone on airplane mode and listen to an audiobook on a long walk, so I don't get distracted and I can get some fresh air, exercise, and listen to something that pulls me somewhere else. I also love a good trivia night.

My favorite activity is scuba diving, which I've been so blessed to do a lot of while I've been here in Egypt. It's almost meditative — just the slow sounds of breathing and the quiet stillness of being under water. Often when you go out on a dive boat, you lose mobile phone reception, so it's this beautiful forced disconnection point.

There's this song Sunlight by Yuno that I've had on repeat recently. It's just an ode to joy. I've been binge-watching Borgen on Netflix. It’s an older show about the Danish parliament. The new season just came out, and it’s kind of political escapism. The best book I read recently was Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Honesty without compassion is cruelty.” Sometimes you can get so bogged down in the minutia of your day, you forget that it's the respect we give each other and how we treat each other that is most important. People will remember the relationship you had with them, not your to-do list being accomplished. Trying to remember to be kind to each other is easier said than done.



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

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

10-13 October (Monday-Thursday): The WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, WHO Regional Office, Cairo, Egypt.

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

23-25 ​​October (Sunday-Tuesday): Egypt economic conference, Cairo, Egypt.

24 October (Monday): Empowering Sustainable Trade Flows with Factoring conference, St. Regis Cairo.

26-28 October (Wednesday-Friday): Egypt celebrates 50 years of ties with the UAE.

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 Center (EIEC), 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.

9 November (Wednesday): Finance Ministry to host “Finance Day” at COP27.

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.

27 – 28 November (Thursday-Friday): The first edition of the Egypt Media Forum.


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: Egyptian Automotive Summit.

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.

30 January-1 February (Monday-Wednesday): CI Capital’s Annual MENA Investor Conference 2023, Cairo, Egypt.


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.

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