Tuesday, 18 October 2022

AM — A five-step recipe to boost exports + FDI — and make sure Egypt never has to ask the IMF for another cent

TL;DR

5 STEPS TO BUILDING A NEW EGYPTIAN ECONOMY

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to a very special issue of EnterpriseAM — it’s a single story, about a single topic, with a singular call to action.

Readers of a certain age know what “very special issue” means (particularly if you, as a kid, spent any time exposed to “afterschool specials” in the States or Canada): There’s a moral in this morning’s edition. We hope you’ll speak about it with those closest to you before — and while — you attend next week’s three-day Egypt economic conference.

We’re also hoping that some of you will want to help us turn this idea into action. How? For starters, by making a cup of coffee and then giving this morning’s issue a good read. Then, if you agree with us, talk about it non-stop … at next week’s Egypt economic conference. (See a theme emerging here?)

(Oh, and speaking of the conference: Cabinet has yet to make an official statement, but this is the conference website online, including what appears to be a fairly advanced version of an agenda. We understand right now that while cabinet and senior officials from the EGX, FRA and SFE are leading the sessions, other attendees will include heads of industry groups and chambers of commerce, academics, MPs, and select members of the diplomatic community. It’s unclear to us right now how many C-suite execs will be invited.)

SO, HERE’S THE PROBLEM: That IMF package (and devaluation) we’re all sitting here waiting for this week or next? They’re necessary to get us out of the pickle we’re in at the moment — but they’re not sufficient to ensure we won’t be doing this again in five years’ time.

AND THE SOLUTION: Egypt has a once-in-a-century chance to build an export-led economy that will make us a global hotspot for foreign direct investment (FDI). We’ve spoken with some of the smartest people we know in the private sector, and they all agree that it’s not only possible — the recipe is simple. The challenge? Staying laser-focused on execution over a multi-year period, and in doing so, make sure we never again have to ask the IMF for a single red cent.

WHAT WE WANT A PIECE OF: Multinational corporations are scrambling to re-engineer their supply chains all around the world — and we’re a natural partner in that process, says Helmy Ghazi, deputy CEO of HSBC in Egypt. “From energy to manufacturing, countries and major corporations need alternatives. They need to bring production closer to home. They need to lock in reliable energy supplies. And they need to do both things with partners they can count on,” he says.

By virtue of geography, culture, and foreign policy, Egypt is that partner. The question is how fast we can get serious about a handful of industries that experience in other countries can become magnets for FDI, that create meaningful employment, and that turn net importers like us into export powerhouses.

What’s more, we already have a huge base of multinationals here to help us make our business case to their headquarters. That’s to say nothing of the Egyptians working at multinationals across the globe. What out-of-the-box ideas could they bring to the table?

There’s a roadmap already in place: Look no further than what policymakers in India, Morocco and Vietnam have each done in the past decade.

It all revolves around business clusters: Big businesses around the world want a regulatory framework they can count on — and easy access to land, suppliers, energy, talent, and infrastructure. Clusters are geographical concentrations of businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions that create true ecosystems within priority industries — and that plug small and medium-sized businesses into the supply chains of larger entities that are themselves feeding into the global marketplace.

BONUS: By linking SMEs to companies and markets that are otherwise well out of their reach, this approach is also entirely in line with the Sisi administration’s SME development strategy.

Capturing a piece of those global supply chains could change our economic destiny, suggests Simon Kitchen, MD and head of strategy at EFG Hermes Research. “Look at the experience in Vietnam, where they have created single-industry economic zones,” he says. “You see people in low-income jobs suddenly having opportunities to get their heads above water. They save and have disposable income. They invest in education — their own and that of their kids. They buy consumer goods and start to participate in the formal financial system. Then service businesses build up around the zones to serve this emerging middle class. The multiplier is formidable. When you’re a nation of more than 100 mn people, it’s not about the 10k jobs in a given subsector — it’s about the multiplier effect. You want clusters close to centers of population so they can create opportunity for marginally employed people and kick off this virtuous cycle.”

We never should have taken notes on economic policy from … people who don’t get what an economy is all about: It’s time we stop worrying that we need to build everything from
“needles to missiles.” If our competitive advantage is in making needles — and if doing so will generate bns of USD in export sales — let that be our only focus. No nation can escape the need to import.

IN SHORT- Building a (focused) export-oriented economy that is a magnet for global strategic investors is key to making sure we don’t find ourselves five years down the road in the same place as we are today: Grappling with an economic crisis and going hat-in-hand to the IMF and our rich friends asking for help. Our challenge: Building a long-term industrial strategy that is rooted in a deep understanding of our absolute and competitive advantages — and that allows us to become an export powerhouse while pursuing import substitution where doing so makes sense.

So, what do we need to do? We think there are five steps:

  • Set an audacious long-term goal — say, USD 50 bn in inbound FDI annually by 2033;
  • Identify no more than five export-oriented industries in which we have clear absolute or competitive advantages. These are our future — full-stop;
  • Cut red tape. Don’t promise to “get serious” about it. Just do it. If we can digitize the tax man, we can make business formation, permitting, and licensing a simple online process for everyone, regardless of size or industry;
  • Build a dedicated investment promotion agency that will tell stories that resonate with C-suite leaders around the world. Only by marketing a bankable, investable story tailored to the unique needs of major global corporations will we attract the FDI and know-how to make this work;
  • Back these five industries no matter what. We exaggerate only slightly when we suggest that other industries effectively cease to matter — if our five horses come in, so, too, will every other sector of the economy.

Focus is the key. Five industries — max. Since 2011, we’ve taken a scattershot approach. We love tire makers. Wait, no, it’s all about import substitution. And maybe automakers (except … not really). The Russian Industrial Zone is perfect. Or maybe we like the Chinese more? Wait, let’s line up bns in investment in green hydrogen and ammonia — ignoring the fact that the US government just drilled a hole in our boat with its production subsidies.

Egypt landed about USD 6.6 bn in FDI in 2010 — and USD 8.9 bn in the 12 months ending June.

We exported goods and services worth USD 46.75 bn in 2010. Last year, that figure stood at USD 44.85 bn.

Folks, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. But if we get this right — and stick to it over a period of years? It will set the direction of travel for the entire country going forward.

^^ Let’s unpack that, shall we?

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#1- SET AN AUDACIOUS LONG-TERM GOAL

The examples are all around us: Apple is assembling iPhones in India. Vietnam is the primary global supplier of Nike and Adidas shoes, the biggest maker of Prada bags, and a major global call center destination. Morocco is a top producer of cars and aerospace components for Europe. Mexico exports more than 90% of its medical devices to the United States and Canada. Taiwan’s exported tech (most of it semiconductors) worth a record USD 446 bn last year — and India is looking to take a piece of that cake.

Their lesson to us: Building an export-led economy is possible — and it is not a multi-generation project. If you have a clear (short) list of priority industries and stick to it, you can integrate with global supply chains in years, not decades. “All of these success stories started with policymakers who took stock of their absolute and competitive advantages, set priorities, and then made sure that everything else that makes FDI possible — laws, incentives, business clusters, the skills of the labor market — is geared to those priority industries,” says Ghazi.

Take India: It doubled inbound FDI in less than eight years — to nearly USD 86 bn in 2021-2022. It should break the USD 100 bn mark this year. How? In collaboration with the private sector, the government identified 15 priority industries and went after them. They slashed red tape. And they created a clear system of export incentives for companies in those industries.

Like the UAE, India wasn’t afraid to dream big: It included a huge USD 10 bn program to build a semiconductor, design, and display ecosystem. That and the promise of the Make in India program were enough that Apple stayed the course on setting up an assembly operation there despite a long tangle with an Indian bureaucracy that could give us tips… The iPhone 14 is being assembled there — and pundits think 25% of all iPhones could come out of India by 2025. Corporate India is now lining up for a piece of the action.

Closer to home, Ghazi notes that “Morocco established itself as a major supplier of cars to Europe and now has a burgeoning electric vehicles industry.” How? It went all-out to land an agreement with Boeing that saw the company create a joint venture in Morocco to make wire bundles for aircraft. That one investment saw Boeing attract dozens of suppliers to industrial parks in Morocco — parks that now serve everyone from Boeing to Airbus and Embraer. From a standing start in the late 1990s, Morocco is now home to more than 140 companies that exported aerospace goods and services worth more than USD 2 bn in 2021 — and that employ more than 20k people.

(The key to unlocking that Boeing transaction? A Moroccan exec at Boeing in Seattle. Ask yourselves, friends: How many of you — or your friends, classmates, former coworkers, relatives — work at global multinationals? Egyptians are literally everywhere. We have the network to bring this plan to life.)

Our seemingly intractable bureaucracy and domestic challenges are no damn excuse… Egypt may have invented bureaucracy, but India raised it to a high art form. Vietnam has a command economy, but somehow leaves the door open for entrepreneurs. Morocco has no more natural competitive advantages than we do.

…and neither is the state of the world around us: From the supply chain snarls that accompanied covid-19 to fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and “Cold War II” between the US and China, a messy geopolitical backdrop is what’s creating room for us to make our play.

SO, ABOUT THAT GOAL? We attracted USD 8.9 bn in FDI in the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Let’s build a program that will let us get to USD 50 bn in the 12 months ending June 2033.


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#2- CHOOSE NO MORE THAN FIVE CHAMPIONS

Focus is key, Ghazi and Kitchen agree. We had a (much more) focused investment promotion program pre-2011, when Mahmoud Mohieldin was investment minister. It wasn’t perfect, but back then Egypt prioritized FDI in just a dozen sectors that included business process outsourcing, tech, petrochemicals and automotive, among others. (We know: We helped the good people at the ministry build the material they took on the road to promote the priority industries.) It doesn’t matter what industries were on that nearly two-decade-old list; it matters that the list was focused.

“Egypt’s approach has been too broad rather than focused on building clusters of companies in a limited number of sectors and has been going on in the absence of an ambitious FDI target. There have, in many ways, been too many industrial zones and too little focus,” says Kitchen. “There are plenty of opportunities for countries like Egypt to zero in on a handful of manufacturing industries and thereby bring in genuine FDI.”

“Egypt has both absolute and competitive advantages that will help us narrow down the list of industries we prioritize,” says Ghazi. “Nobody in the world has the mix of tourism attractions we do — from beaches and corals to monuments, adventure, and medical tourism. That’s an absolute advantage. On the competitive advantages side of the ledger, we have our location, energy surplus, and large, trainable, semi-skilled workforce. Everything we do should be geared toward supporting industries that benefit from these advantages.”

Look at what Turkey has done to bring in USD from its tourism assets: It can never compare to the historical + leisure or adventure + historical packages that we could offer, but has still formulated a strong product to which it drives attention with a great airport, outstanding shopping and food experiences, and a great transportation network. How? It made the conscious decision to turn tourism into a hallmark of its economy.

The result: Turkey is aiming to net some USD 37 bn in tourism receipts this year from 47 mn visitors (both off from the pre-pandemic peak). Our high water mark? It was USD 13 bn in revenues from 13.1 mn visitors in 2019.

How does that process start? “Tourism is an obvious export sector for Egypt. Outside that, we should begin by looking at the supply chains that we can reach thanks to our natural competitive advantages,” Ghazi says, “That starts with our geographic location. In many ways, we are literally at the center of the world — particularly if your ‘world’ is focused on selling into Europe, the Gulf, and Africa, with perhaps the US and parts of Asia within reach.”

Kitchen agrees, saying it’s not too late even to make automobiles a priority a decade after we ceded the playing field to the Moroccans. “Our proximity to the Gulf, to Southeastern Europe, and East Africa make vehicle assembly here absolutely possible. It’s not too late.”

In choosing those industries, we need to aim higher: “I live in Europe and regularly see Egyptian products in stores,” says Kitchen, “but unfortunately what I see are cut flowers and fresh fruit — basic goods. And it should really be electronics. And why not? It’s the same argument: You’re a natural, low-cost assembler and manufacturer right next to the GCC, to Southern Europe, right there in the corner of Africa.”

And we also need to look at services — not just goods, says Kitchen. “Services always seem to come second: We talk of ‘goods and services,’ not the other way round; in a classic current account table, goods come first, then services. But we really should get away from that — technology and ease of travel mean you can export a lot of services. You can name them as well as I can — tourism, yes, but also medical care, outsourcing, IT development, call centers, et cetera. There is often a bias towards exports of goods because you can see them — big auto plants, or fields of crops for export, or semiconductor factories. But services bring in the same money that goods do.”

Does all of this mean we hate, say, retail? Not at all. As BTECH CEO Mahmoud Khattab recently pointed out, retailers like his have created jobs this year — many manufacturers have been retrenching. But imagine how much more interesting the retail landscape would be if more products on shelves were made here (not all, just some). And if a steady inflow of USD from FDI and exports kept stores stocked with the latest from Apple and Mercedes — and BYD and Oppo. Imagine how much more money there would be to make in retail if more people had jobs that paid living wages? What if we were the Arab world’s largest consumer market not just by number of consumers (as we are today), but by the value of that market (as KSA is presently, by some measures)?


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#3- CREATE A WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT

There are two cornerstones here: Slash red tape and provide world-class infrastructure. Subsidies are nice, but they’re not a condition precedent to close an investment.

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report is dead, but we need to behave like we’re in a competition for the #1 spot. “Because we are,” Ghazi says, pointing to the success Morocco had with the “active and highly efficient” Agence Marocaine de Développement des Investissements. It put the country on the map with European carmakers and has since rebranded itself as the Moroccan Investment and Exports Agency. The name says it all.

“The agency focused on driving meaningful, visible reforms that reassured investors about their ability to integrate Morocco into their global production networks,” he says. (On that note: Egypt’s geographical advantage is even more pronounced than Morocco’s.)

Morocco planned and then built a world-scale automotive hub in Tangiers and surrounded it with industrial parks, roadways and railroads that now help it ship more than 300k cars last year worth more than USD 8 bn to markets including Spain, Portugal and France.

“The takeaways from Morocco are clear: Foreign investors are more concerned about the business climate, transport and logistics infrastructure, and access to skilled labor than they are with subsidies, tax breaks, or subsidized production inputs,” says Ghazi. Adds Kitchen: “What they want on the regulatory piece is stability over the long run.”

It’s the same story in India: 15 priority industries and 2-3% export incentives are nice. Nicer still: India made it easier to hire and fire people. It cut corporate taxes, and made it easier for businesses to bid for government contracts. The default answer from bureaucrats is now “Yes” unless they can present a clear, compelling answer to why it should be “No.” India is digitizing everything — we’re doing that here when it comes to the government collecting taxes and fees. But in India (and the UAE), meaningful government approvals and services are delivered online.

The key: Ask businesses in those five priority industries what they want. “Morocco did that with the automotive industry. Vietnam sat down with big players in tech and consumer electronics such as Samsung,” says Kitchen.

And it’s not just the government that needs to get with the program: The private sector does, too. Vietnam has been the primary supplier of Nike shoes since 2010, it’s the top supplier to Adidas, and its apparel manufacturing industry is the fastest-growing in the world, making it a top-five global producer of clothing. How did they get there? Factories are nimble and entrepreneurial: They’ll take on smaller orders just to land more business down the road.

And don’t forget about training: Morocco has institutes that train people for the aerospace and automotive industries, Ghazi notes. And the private sector can step in where the government doesn’t, says Kitchen: “One of the Vietnamese companies that we like in outsourcing has its own education program to feed staff into the industry and they get about half of their staff from their own university. We see others in Pakistan doing similar things as well as reaching out to the diaspora for globally experienced talent.”


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#4- BUILD A REAL INVESTMENT PROMOTION AGENCY

GAFI fulfills a critical function as a regulator — but regulation and promotion are very different skillsets. We need an investment promotion agency with a singular mission: Get big global companies to set up shop here in our (no more than) five priority industries. Look at the quality of the folks running India’s National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, better known as Invest India. They’ve got private-sector and industry-specific experience. They’re educated at the best schools at home and abroad. They’ve spent time at big names including EY, Google, Tata. They speak the language of the industries they’re promoting to foreign investors — and they’re plugged into the bureaucracy with the clout they need to get things done.

Telling the CEO of a global corporation, “We’re open to FDI,” and then talking about broad reforms or initiatives s/he doesn’t relate to is so vague as to make the meeting utterly meaningless. We need to show up in their offices with a clear, defined pitch: “This is what we’re doing in your industry to make Egypt a perfect logistics and manufacturing hub for your company. How can we help you make an informed decision?”

And it’s not like we lack the talent. Corporate teams at Egyptian banks are full of these people. Same with the investment banks — and at plenty of corporates across a wide range of industries. And they’ll serve if we give them the incentives they need: Look no further than the quality of the team that’s building the Sovereign Fund of Egypt.

In fact, Invest India is a great model. It was brought to life by Deepak Bagla, a former Citibank investment banker, who convinced young Indian professionals to come home — and take 30-70% pay cuts — to staff the company. There are 300 of them, and their average age is just 30.

Would a private-sector investment promotion agency work? If we want the best people to convince C-suite execs around the world to invest in and export from Egypt, we need to pay them appropriately. Sure, we could go the route pioneered by the Nazif cabinet and line up donor agencies to pay salaries for “consultants” who fulfill government roles. But maybe a more durable solution would be to create a private sector-owned and -run agency that is endowed by the private sector through donations that should be converted directly into tax credits.

A private-sector-backed agency is effectively what India did: The government owns 49% of the agency, with industry associations holding 51% — enough, under Indian law, that it is run as a private company. It doesn’t charge fees to its clients (the foreign investors it advises) and judges its success by the proportion of its investment pipeline that gets turned into real FDI on the ground. It knows what we all know: That hot money is not going to create meaningful jobs and sustainable economic growth.

IN PARALLEL: We need a regulator that is clearly empowered from the top to slash red tape regardless of which ministry “owns” any given approval.


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#5- BACK THOSE INDUSTRIES NO MATTER WHAT

We need to stay focused — for years, not months. We, as a nation, find things like that challenging. Unlike our cousins in the UAE, we have a tendency to lurch from idea to idea, expecting instant gratification — and too often losing interest when that doesn’t happen. As with all humans, our last great idea is sometimes from whoever was most recently in our office.

Instead, we need to be patient. Choose no more than five industries. Build the programs (and the agency) that will bring global players here. Move obstacles out of the way of business. And build.

Someone will inevitably appear on Amr Adib’s show half-way through year one, bellowing that his / her sector is “dying” because they’re not getting the same treatment as Industry “X” or “Y.” There is only one acceptable answer in that case: “Toz.” If the best and brightest in the country can agree that we have 2 / 3 / 5 priority industries — sectors that will drive economic growth, create jobs and bring in steady FX receipts through both FDI and exports? Well, friends, to borrow from my Papa: A rising tide floats all boats.

The tide won’t come in overnight, but it will turn — we’ve seen it in Morocco. In Vietnam. In Bangladesh. The key is to stay the course, Ghazi says. “Smart investors know not to check their portfolios daily, but quarterly or yearly. That’s the same tempo on which we should judge progress on an FDI and exports drive.”

PATIENCE IS GREAT, BUT WE ALSO NEED TO MOVE *FAST*

Every emerging market (and a whole bunch of have-less states / provinces / regions in the rich world) is positioning itself as the next great export hub. We have tons of advantages: A huge domestic market. Plentiful energy. Smart, trainable people. A phenomenal geographic location.

“But the simple fact of the matter is competition is fierce, and time is short,” says Ghazi. Blacksmith International, the supply chain and manufacturing consultants, don’t even list us on a survey of “top alternatives to manufacturing in China.” Who makes the list? Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Mexico.

THAT MAKES NEXT WEEK’S CONFERENCE KEY

When we gather next week, let’s not waste time talking about FX, L/C vs. documentary collection, import substitution, energy prices, the “evils” of a capital gains tax on EGX trades or any of the usual topics.

The Madbouly government is pulling in some of the best and brightest people in the country. It says it wants to listen. We think an export- and FDI-led growth strategy is key to ensuring we’re not again crying in our cups three or four years down the road.

Five steps. No more than five industries. Who’s in?

We’re looking for folks who share our views to help us keep the conversation going. Reply to this email or ping a note to patrick@enterprisemea.com — particularly if you’re a multinational or an Egyptian manufacturer.

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2CELLOS — LIVE AT SOMABAY on 18 November, 2022: Mark your calendars — world-renowned and wildly popular cellist duo, 2CELLOS will be performing at Somabay on 18 November, 2022. Having racked up a bn-plus audio streams, countless sold-out concerts, and mns of fans across the globe in their 10 years together as 2CELLOS, the Croatian duo of Luka Šulić and HAUSER will be visiting Egypt in their long-awaited 2022 Dedicated World Tour.

ECONOMY

Maait takes to the airwaves to talk IMF

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait hit the talk shows last night after a week in Washington attending the IMF / World Bank meetings. He joined Ala Mas’ouletty (watch, runtime: 15:04) and Hadrat El Mowaten (watch, runtime: 13:31) to talk all things IMF and economy.

The announcement on our assistance loan from the IMF will come “quickly,” Maait said. We were expecting a final agreement during the meetings in DC last week, where local officials, including Maait and CBE governor Hassan Abdalla, met with the IMF. The two sides ultimately only agreed to reach a staff-level agreement “very soon.”

Size doesn’t matter: More important than the size of the financing is the message the agreement will send to the world — that Egypt is working on economic reforms supported by the IMF, Maait told Ala Mas’ouleety. Regular readers will not be surprised to hear that Maait once again declined to disclose the expected size of the loan. Reuters has quoted sources as saying that the package is likely at the lower end of a USD 3-5 bn range.

Our take: What matters most is the commitment the IMF will surely demand on FX — namely that we will, finally, allow the currency to float. That’s what will unlock portfolio and foreign direct investment alike.

Social protection measures are ringfenced, Maait reiterated, adding that the IMF had no objections to government efforts to beef up the social safety net.

REMEMBER- Egypt entered talks with the IMF in March as part of a bid to lock in financial support following the economic shocks caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, rising interest rates, and the global-risk off in financial markets.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

EGP WATCH- Investors see 14% deval ahead of IMF agreement: Three-month non-deliverable forwards on the EGP — i.e., where investors think the currency could end up in three months’ time — slipped to EGP 22.90 against the greenback on Monday, Bloomberg reports. That suggests the EGP could have another 14% to fall against the USD.

The currency is currently changing hands at EGP 19.73 / USD, having lost around a quarter of its value this year – including March’s sudden devaluation.

Some market watchers are expecting a steeper decline in the coming days on the back of the imminent agreement with the IMF on an assistance package backed by a reform program. “I would expect the fast pace of weakening to start now,” said one London-based analyst. Pundits see the EGP settling somewhere between 22-24 to the USD — and Enterprise readers think the EGP will settle at 22.12 on average.

MEANWHILE- Hassan Allam Construction was awarded a contract to build an irrigation water transmission line in the new administrative capital, according to a statement by parent company Hassan Allam Holding. The 6.5 km-long concrete double pipeline will link a wastewater treatment plant to irrigation reservoirs in the city’s R8 residential district. “We are always proud of our contribution towards developing the water sector in Egypt and adding value to the country’s infrastructure,” said HA Holding.

AND- Orascom Construction locked in new projects worth USD 670 mn in 3Q 2022, bringing total new awards in the first nine months of the year to USD 3.1 bn, according to an EGX statement. New projects in the Middle East made up 70% of total new awards in the quarter while the rest was accounted for by US projects, the statement reads. OC’s consolidated backlog stood at USD 6.1 bn as of the end of September.

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

  • Schneider Electric launched three automated power distribution control centers worth a near EGP 1.8 bn in Greater Cairo. (Al Mal)
  • Telecom Egypt and US-based internet provider Lumen Technologies will collaborate to build Lumen’s first regional network node in Egypt. (Statement)
  • Teens may get their national ID cards a year earlier after the House’s Legislative Committee approved legislative amendments that would lower the age of issuance to 15 from 16.

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PLANET FINANCE

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

The US could emerge strongest out of market turmoil hitting major world economies, Bloomberg suggests, citing the latest MLIV Pulse survey. 69% of 452 respondents said that the US will best weather this year’s crises among developed markets, while a full 86% of respondents see US markets recovering first.

It’s not looking good for the UK + Europe: Nearly half the respondents think the UK will be first to fall into recession (and the survey was conducted before recent shenanigans by PM Liz Truss). Europe is also expected to fall faster and suffer longer than the US on the back of its energy crisis and the war in Ukraine.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Look out for a bombshell from Goldman Sachs: The Wall Street bank is set to announce plans to fold its key businesses into three divisions, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing anonymous sources. Goldman could announce the reorganization in parallel with the release of its earnings report today. The bank will combine its flagship investment banking and trading businesses into one unit, while merging asset and wealth management into another. A third division will be dedicated to transaction banking, the bank’s fintech portfolio, and other joint ventures. The bank’s consumer arm — known as Marcus —will be absorbed by the wealth unit.

Up

EGX30

10,148

+0.1% (YTD: -15.1%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 19.62

Sell 19.73

None

USD at CIB

Buy 19.65

Sell 19.71

None

Interest rates CBE

11.25% deposit

12.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

11,566

+1.4% (YTD: +2.5%)

Down

ADX

9,742

-0.4% (YTD: +14.8%)

Up

DFM

3,377

+0.0% (YTD: +5.7%)

Up

S&P 500

3,678

+2.7% (YTD: -22.8%)

Up

FTSE 100

6,920

+0.9% (YTD: -6.3%)

Up

Euro Stoxx 50

3,442

+1.8% (YTD: -19.9%)

Up

Brent crude

USD 91.76

+0.1%

Down

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 5.99

-7.2%

Up

Gold

USD 1,656.40

+0.5%

Up

BTC

USD 19,524

+0.1% (YTD: -57.8%)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 1.0% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.33 bn (26.4% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 15.1% YTD.

In the green: Telecom Egypt (+6.1%), e-Finance (+5.5%) and GB Auto (+4.6%).

In the red: CIB (-1.0%), CIRA (-0.8%) and Oriental Weavers (-0.7%).

CALENDAR

OCTOBER

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

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

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.

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.

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.

DECEMBER

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 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): 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.

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.

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.

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.

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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