Tuesday, 25 October 2022

AM — The Saudi PIF goes deeper into Egypt’s pharma sector with EIPICO stake buy



Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to another busy issue of EnterpriseAM, where the news agenda is still being driven by the government’s economic conference. The third and final day gets underway this morning; we have coverage of yesterday’s discussions as well as a rundown on what you can expect today.

ALSO: Today could see both a partial solar eclipse — and a sprinkle of rain (in Alex) and thunderstorms (in the capital city).

BUT FIRST- We’re intensely grateful for the torrent of email and messages still coming in about our five-step plan to build a new Egyptian economy based on exports and FDI. Folks much smarter than we are have been exceptionally positive about the idea — and we’ve been delighted by the thoughtfulness of those who have offered comments, ideas, and criticism. Please keep it coming — we’ll have more soon.

The queen of night-time talk loves the idea: Lamees El Hadidy (the smartest person on the airwaves when it comes to business and the economy) supports building an export- and FDI-driven economy. She told her viewers in a segment last night: “[Egypt is in] an important geographic location, an area with a huge market. We can slash red tape and build a new business climate. We need to move fast and choose five or six industries to focus on… It’s an easy recipe, even though it may be a tough one to cook. They’re saying it in the media, they’re saying it in Enterprise, everywhere. If other countries have done it, there’s no reason why we can’t.” (watch, runtime: 8:21).

And thank you to the wonderful Mohamed Abu Basha for reminding everyone of the importance of targeting specific industries in the pursuit of FDI: “Focusing on specific sectors and specific companies that already exist in Egypt, but aren’t incentivized to expand, is key,” EFG Hermes’ Abu Basha said during the conference, adding that now is the perfect moment to capture a piece of the global supply chain that is up for grabs amid a worldwide economic realignment.


Day 3 of the economic conference is all about industry: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, CBE governor Hassan Abdalla, and Trade and Industry Minister Samir Saleh will lead discussions on how to drive industrial investment, develop national industries, and address the financing gap for manufacturers, as well as solutions to recent import troubles.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly will then chair the closing session, where he will share the outcomes of the conference and is expected to make some economic policy announcements.

There may also be a chance we’ll see a new (and final?) draft today of the state ownership policy, which we had been told to expect at the gathering, but which has yet to land. More on that below.

It’s the biggest day of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum: Ministers from the 19 member countries will meet in Cairo today for the final day of the annual meetings of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

Davos in the Desert starts today: Saudi Arabia will host its annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) starting today, with more than 400 US delegates set to attend despite tensions between Riyadh and Washington over oil production, according to Reuters. This year’s edition will see major representation by top Wall Street executives as well as business leaders.

Riyadh wants a piece of the global supply chain that we’re chasing. As we noted yesterday in Enterprise Climate, the Saudi government has launched a new drive to attract bns of USD of supply chain investment as it tries to position itself as a future transport and logistics hub. Riyadh wants to draw an initial SAR 40 bn (USD 10.6 bn) from investors and will offer SAR 10 bn in incentives, state news agency SPA reported Sunday. The initiative will see it establish new special economic zones, it said.

PSA #1- Dust off your goggles for a partial solar eclipse in Cairo today: The moon will cover up more than a third of our view of the sun today at 12 noon CLT, peaking at 1:09pm CLT, according to the National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research. And remember: Be like this. Not like this.

PSA #2- Then again — storm clouds could cover the moon that covers the sun… Our favorite weather app says there’s a risk of thunderstorms in Cairo throughout the day today (particularly in the afternoon), while the national weather service is saying there’s a 40% chance that rain in the north of the country could spread to the capital by the evening.

PSA #3- There are new versions of macOS and iPadOS to download this morning, weeks after iOS 16 rolled out on iPhones.

What do they offer? The Ventura version of macOS includes Stage Manager (we don’t see many Mac users adopting it, tbh), but the continuity camera and FaceTime handoff features look cool. There are also new features in Mail and Reminders, a redesigned (and renamed) System Preferences and more. iPadOS 16.1 also offers Stage Manager, which brings (almost-real) windowing to iPads for the first time. It’s still not perfect, but that alone makes it worth the upgrade.

Should you download them? They cost nothing and you get Stage Manager on your iPad, so yeah, this is a no-brainer. Both have proven stable for us over the past several hours of pretty intense use and include new security features.

How do you get them?

  • On your Mac: Go to the Apple menu in the top left corner. Go to System Settings and then select Software Update.
  • On your iPad: Settings > General > Software Update.

Tip: You’ll need to turn on Stage Manager on your iPad: Settings > Home Screen & Multitasking and then toggle Stage Manager at the bottom.


Egypt and the UAE will host a three-day gathering starting tomorrow to mark 50 years of bilateral ties. Day one is an economic forum featuring ministers, senior officials and business leaders from the two countries.

An IMF delegation will land in Cairo in the first week of November to continue loan talks, Jihad Azour, the IMF’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said earlier this week.


Sunak will be the UK’s new prime minister: Former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak should be confirmed as the UK’s next prime minister today, after he won the race to lead the country’s Conservative Party. Sunak will be tasked with setting the government’s budget to rights, after former PM Liz Truss came close to crashing the pensions market with her ill-fated mini-budget. (AP | Reuters | Bloomberg | FT)

Financial markets cheered the news: UK bonds rallied yesterday on expectations of Sunak’s victory, with short-term yields falling the most since 1993, Bloomberg reports.

COUNTDOWN TO COP (12 days to go)-

Shaping up to be the #1 hot-button issue at COP27: Loss and damage money from developed to developing nations to compensate them for the impacts of climate change. The US is ok with talking about loss and damages, but less keen on actually paying for them, Enterprise Climate reports this morning.

ALSO- Coverage of COP is driving the conversation on Egypt in the international press as we note in this morning’s Egypt in the News column, below. The foreign media is continuing to highlight activists’ concerns about getting their voices heard at the summit. Scroll on for more.


Enroot Development is hosting a conference titled Empowering the South: Green Economies and Climate Resilience tomorrow at the Greek Campus. Speakers at the conference include former deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El Din, UN High-level Climate Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin, and International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat. You can register for the event here.

German development agency GIZ Egypt will host a festival for medicinal and aromatic plants at Fayoum’s Helnan Auberge hotel on Thursday and Friday, according to a statement. Over 70 exhibitors will be in attendance. Register for the event here.

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


*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: We sat down with Mohamed Hegazy, UN climate champion team member and director of urban transit research and consultancy firm Transport for Cairo (TfC).


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. Book your ticket now: https://www.ticketsmarche.com/tickets/buy-tickets-2-cellos.html. Call us 16390.


Plenty of privatization + industry talk on day 2 of the Egypt Economic Conference 2022

Day two of the Egypt Economic Conference 2022 saw discussions on all things privatization and industry, from the state ownership policy document, to financing avenues for the private sector, and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s role in boosting private sector involvement.


The state ownership policy document is “nearly final,” Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk said during a session at the conference yesterday. The government has amended about 30% of the document after receiving feedback from private sector representatives through public consultations, including adding and clarifying the position of the state towards some 68 sub-sectors in its privatization plans.

“Nearly” final? Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said last month that the government had finalized the document and would unveil it at the conference. Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said earlier this week that the final version of the document could be unveiled on the conference’s last day (that’s today) after being discussed at the event yesterday.

Refresher: The state ownership policy document details the government’s plan to more than double the private sector’s role in the economy to 65% over the next three years, and attract USD 40 bn in investment over the next four years. The document outlines the industries which the government plans to open up to private companies and the ringfenced strategic sectors which will continue to see heavy state involvement. The new privatization drive came following the economic crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine and during talks with the IMF for a new loan program.

State VC firm up for grabs? The International Cooperation Ministry is looking to exit its venture capital arm, Egypt Ventures, and plans to offer it to international financial institutions, International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat said yesterday, according to Bloomberg Asharq. The firm was established by the ministry, the Saudi Fund for Development, and NI Capital in 2017.


The government wants to work with the private sector to establish an industrial development strategy within three months, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said during yesterday’s session on the state ownership policy document. The strategy would cover the next decade, he said, without disclosing further details.

We need to do more to boost Egypt’s investment climate + credibility, experts say: “We do need to place specific timeframes for all applications for industrial projects across all sectors, regardless of whether or not they are eligible for the golden license, because that boosts credibility,” Planning Minister Hala El Said said.

Dr. Hala was responding to criticism from industry insiders on long approval processes, which they say can be off-putting to investors who are looking for a clear project execution timeline before they pour their money into a project.

Should the SFE and the MPE become one? Another suggestion from experts was to clarify or merge the roles of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt and the Public Enterprises Ministry to ensure policy continuity. Both own state assets and are involved in the company’s state privatization plans.


The state IPO program is alive and well, but the EGX has taken a hit: “There have been three years of exceptional circumstances that have hit the EGX hard,” Madbouly said, adding that this is why “we have to be careful when choosing the right moment for state IPOs.” The government, however, is taking this time to do its due diligence, and value state assets appropriately, he added. “We are preparing a list of more assets to put up for sale […] including greenfield projects for the SFE to own and exit,” he said.

That’s why we have the pre-IPO fund: “Our state IPO program has faced delays because of the global circumstances, which have meant that share prices on the EGX do not reflect their real value, which is why we’ve set up the pre-IPO fund to prepare for a better time for these listings,” El Said said. The pre-IPO fund is aimed at preparing state-owned enterprises for listing on the EGX.

But there is a way forward even in crappy market conditions: Follow Abu Dhabi’s lead.

But we’re still waiting on some names: Assets worth up to USD 3bn — including shares currently held by the National Investment Bank — should be transferred to the fund by early November, El Said said previously. A second similar sized phase will follow. One of three Siemens-built power plants has reportedly already been transferred to the fund ahead of a sale.


The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) is working on developing a competitive neutrality index through which it can measure the success of its strategy to promote and enforce competitive neutrality, ECA Chairman Mahmoud Momtaz said. This comes as part of the government’s efforts to encourage fair competition, which include a dedicated ministerial committee helmed by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly. Momtaz didn’t provide any details on how the index would work.

New regulators could make their entry, while the ECA could get sharper teeth: Amendments to boost the authority of the ECA are in “advanced stages” in parliament, Kouchouk said, adding that the government wants to establish more regulators that can help ensure fair competition, such as an intellectual property authority.

REMEMBER- Legal changes that would give the ECA the power to reject mergers and acquisitions were being discussed in the House last year, but were never put to a final vote in the general assembly.


The government wants to offer more incentives for foreign companies to outsource their digital ops to Egypt: The Communications Ministry plans to restructure incentives to foreign companies to get them to set up shop or export their digital operations here, Communications Minister Amr Talaat said in a session, without providing details on the planned incentives.

Residency for foreign property owners on the table? The government is looking into introducing a scheme that would grant foreigners long-term Egyptian residency permits if they invest in property here, Madbouly said. Conference participants had called for the introduction of a Turkey-style citizenship by investment scheme to help boost FX inflows.


New currency derivatives in the works: New currency derivatives are expected to be ready within months to allow investors to hedge against the risk of further currency depreciation, FRA chief Mohamed Farid said yesterday. The central bank could allow onshore non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) and options, Bloomberg previously reported, saying the move would bring more transparency to expectations of EGP movement and protect local companies against major fluctuations if the country moves towards greater currency flexibility.


A trader in every family: We need to change the culture around trading to encourage retail investors, EGX boss Rami El Dokany said, adding that digital onboarding and fintech has made it possible to attract new age brackets to the EGX. “We hope to see an EGX trader in every Egyptian household, especially among younger people,” he said.

The main issue the market is currently facing is a lack of liquidity which brings share prices down, El Dokany said. State-owned companies can boost liquidity by investing — especially ins. companies and social ins. funds, he added. “If these companies start funding a big part of daily trading on the EGX, prices will differ greatly,” he added.


Saudi wealth fund acquires minority stake in EIPICO

PIF now owns a slice of EIPICO: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is strengthening its position in Egypt’s pharma sector, acquiring a 4.7% stake in EGX-listed Egyptian Pharma Company (EIPICO), Al Mal reports, citing sources it says are in the know. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) reportedly purchased some 4.7 mn shares from Dubai-based asset manager Saray Capital for more than EGP 140 mn via its newly-established Egypt investment arm, the sources said. Representatives of EIPICO declined to comment on the transaction when we reached out yesterday.

This is the the PIF’s second acquisition in Egypt’s pharma space: The fund has been building a position in Rameda Pharma this year, acquiring more than 11% of the company in several transactions since March.

Who owns what: The Arab Company for Drug Industries and Medical Appliances (ACDIMA) holds 49.99% of EIPICO’s 99.17 mn shares, while minority shares are divided between the Medical Professions Union (5.18%), Africa Alpha Fund (5.09%), the PIF (4.7%). The remaining shares are freefloat.

They may not be done yet: The PIF plans to acquire a larger share of the company, Al Mal quotes its sources as saying.

Why buy? Shares are cheap: EIPICO shares have fallen almost 30% since the start of the year, underperforming the EGX30, which is down 13.6% year-to-date. This extends a long-term decline in the company’s share price — it has lost more than 75% of its value since the beginning of 2018.

And the fundamentals are holding up: An Al Ahly Pharos research note in May projected that EIPICO’s revenues would grow nearly 17% this year on the back of a rebound in the pharma market and price hikes made last year. Revenues rose 12% y-o-y to EGP 1.7 bn during the first half of the year (pdf), driving a 29% increase in its bottom line, which reached EGP 304.4 mn.

Spending spree: Since setting up the Saudi Egyptian Investment Company (SEIC) in August, the PIF has acquired sizeable stakes in e-Finance (25%), Misr Fertilizers Production Company (25%), Alex Containers (20%), Abu Qir (19.82%), and retailer BTECH (34%). It has also been linked to a number of other companies in the domestic press, including the Alexandria Mineral Oil Company, EgyptAlum, and Egyptian Media Production City. The investment drive is part of a USD 22 bn package of financial support being offered by Gulf allies to help Egypt’s economy through the economic crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine.


Military-owned Tolip Hotels and Resorts has submitted an initial offer to acquire the five-star Stella Di Mare Beach Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh for EGP 700 mn from tourism developer Remco’s subsidiary Scandinavian Company for Investments and Tourism Development, Remco said in a disclosure (pdf) to the bourse yesterday. The offer is being considered and will be presented to the board of directors, the company added.

Remco already has ties with the Stella brand: The EGX-listed developer built the Stella Di Mare 2 project in Ain El Sokhna in partnership with the Armed Forces.

Correction: 25 October 2022

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that this is the Public Investment Fund’s first acquisition in Egypt’s pharma sector.



River transport bill gets initial nod from parliament

We could see more private sector players taking to the nation’s rivers after the House gave preliminary approval to amendments modernizing a 1956 law regulating river transport. The amendments would put the River Transport Authority (RTA) in charge of all things inland navigation and draw up a development plan for the nation’s inland waterways with more private sector participation.

The amendments would charge the RTA with issuing navigation licenses for boats, and see it take over from the Irrigation Ministry to issue licenses for the establishment, operation and management of ports and docks. Licensing measures are set to be streamlined under the RTA, which would offer a one-stop shop through which private sector players can set up companies to manage, operate, and maintain boats, floating units, and cruise ships. Fees for river transport services and the use of river ports would be changed to reflect inflation.

This sector should be a magnet for private investors and a major source of income to the state treasury,” read a report by the House’s Transport Committee.

What’s next? The bill will be up for a final vote in a future session.


  • Today: The House will vote on amendments that would lower the age of national ID issuance to 15 from 16.
  • Tomorrow: Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar will answer MPs’ questions regarding the state of public hospitals, our new health ins. system, and our population growth, among other topics.
  • Also tomorrow: The House Education Committee will discuss the Education Minister’s decision to license private tutoring centers.



Day 2 of the economic conference + Wataniya / Safi to do stake sales (not IPOs) by year’s end

The economic conference took over the talk shows for the second night running. Day two of the conference was all about the state ownership policy and bringing the private sector into the fold. We have the full rundown in today’s Economy section, above.

A clarification on the Wataniya / Safi timeline: Military-owned filling station Wataniya and bottled water company Safi won’t make their EGX debuts this year but will see a private stake sale before year end, Sovereign Fund of Egypt CEO Ayman Soliman told Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 9:25). The market is motivated and awaiting the IPOs, but after such a long wait people have high expectations, he added.

“We are working to push the private sector into investing,” Soliman said. “We are an emerging market, we don't have an abundance of capital, and the private sector has many success stories and a lot of capability,” he added.

Economic reforms are all-inclusive: “One of the biggest components to any economic reform program locally or internationally is to have all market players involved in the reform process,” FRA chief Mohamed Farid told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 11:00).

More coverage: The state ownership policy will set out a clear vision for developing the private sector, Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk told Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 13:13). Ala Mas’ouleety briefed us on Sunday’s session by CBE officials promising a new currency index comparing the EGP to a basket of currencies (watch, runtime: 21:39). Meanwhile, CIB head Sherif Samy joined Hadret Al Mowaten to weigh in on the privatization policy (watch, runtime: 18:26).


It’s all COP27 all the time in the pages of the international press this morning. The topic du jour is (unsurprisingly) complaints from activists. The Guardian has grumbling about the reported cancellation of first-day, non-negotiating events as world leaders descend on Sharm. Reuters, meanwhile, has activists saying they won’t have the same freedom to protest and take part in event as they’ve had in past host countries.

Activists are also complaining about corporate sponsors of COP27, with the Associated Press picking up on the flack that Coca-Cola as been taking.

Take this with a grain of salt: We don’t like plastic pollution, but think that it’s important that corporate voices be heard at COP. What’s more: Can you imagine the [redacted] we’d all be taking if business didn’t step up to help cover the costs of COP?

The bottom line: What Coke (and Egypt) is dealing with now is exactly what Unilever (and the UK) dealt with last year. This story has legs, but it’s not the dominant narrative on COP. Activists are playing their part in the climate debate — and we need to let businesses play their role, too.

A pre-COP facelift: Volunteers have cleaned the seabed and beaches in Sharm El Sheikh, a few weeks before thousands of climate negotiators, politicians and NGOs descend on the seaside town for the climate summit. (Africa News)

More presidential pardons: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has pardoned lawyer and former MP Ziad El Eleimy. El Eleimy, a prominent opposition figure during the 2011 revolution, was sentenced to five years in prison in November for spreading misinformation. (Reuters | AP)

AND- Major international fashion brands are hosting shows in Egypt. (Al Monitor)


Leukemia meds could be produced locally in Egypt: Pharma giant Novartis signed a licensing agreement allowing local manufacturers in seven countries to make the oral medicine Nilotinib, which is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia, according to a statement by Medicines Patent Pool released last week. The list of countries also includes Morocco and Tunisia.

ALSO- Emirati payments firm Network International plans to establish a company in Egypt that will provide point-of-sale services to merchants. (Al Mal)

MEANWHILE- Abu Dhabi gov’t-backed entities eyeing a stake in GEMS: A consortium including Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ and Aldar Properties is looking to acquire a stake in global private school operator GEMS Education, unnamed sources reportedly told Bloomberg. Last month the business newswire reported that CVC Capital Partners and Sunny Varkey are looking to sell their stakes in GEMS in a transaction that would value the company at up to USD 6 bn.

Don’t get it twisted: GEMS Education is a global operator. Egypt Education Platform (EEP) is the rebranded GEMS Education Egypt, the Egyptian management company that was set up to manage the four GEMS schools initially established in Egypt under a joint venture between EFG Hermes and GEMS.

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

  • The environment and local development ministries inaugurated a EGP 165 mn solid waste recycling plant with a daily capacity of 640 tons in Dakahlia. (Statement)
  • Raya Holding for Financial Investments has become the sole owner of its subsidiary Haier Raya Electric following an EGP 47.7 mn acquisition of 10.3% of the company. (Disclosure, pdf)


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Investors dump Chinese shares following President Xi Jinping’s reelection: US-listed Chinese companies saw their shares slip during yesterday’s session as traders branded them “uninvestable,” CNBC reports. The Nasdaq index tracking Chinese firms, the Golden Dragon Index, saw a record one-day drop, closing down 14.4%, the FT writes. Foreign investors are worried that checks and balances on the Chinese president were weakened when he stacked the leadership with loyalists at this week’s party congress, giving rise to a greater risk of conflict with the US that could damage China’s economy.

PMIs flash recession in Europe + UK:

  • Business activity in the eurozone dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years in October, indicating that the region is entering a recession as prices rise and economic production falls, according to the S&P Global flash purchasing managers’ index (pdf).
  • Activity in the UK service sector fell at its fastest rate since January 2021, according to its PMI (pdf), confirming “the UK’s economic recessionary status in the last quarter of the year.”




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The EGX30 rose 0.6% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.2 bn (15.4% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net sellers. The index is down 13.6% YTD.

In the green: Eastern Company (+4.6%), Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling (+3.7%) and Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (+3.1%).

In the red: Rameda Pharma (-5.2%), Telecom Egypt (-2.9%) and GB Auto (-2.6%).

Shares in China are under selling pressure again this morning while the Nikkei, Kospi and ASX are all in the green. Futures suggest shares in Europe and on Wall Street will face selling pressure at the opening bell later today.


An interview with Mohamed Hegazy, UN climate champion team member and director of urban transit research and consultancy firm Transport for Cairo (TfC): As a strategic advisory consultancy, TfC has been using its knowledge creation, data, toolkits, and research as an activist consultancy to champion the cause of sustainable mobility in emerging cities for years.

We spoke with founder and director of the firm, Mohamed Hegazy (LinkedIn) about what it has in store for COP27 and his role in the UN climate champions team— a group working alongside Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin to advance the climate agenda at the summit and deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Below are edited excerpts of our conversation:

ENTERPRISE: Tell us what TfC has in store for COP27.

MOHAMED HEGAZY: At the conference we will hopefully present our next big project which will involve implementing 100 e-buses in Greater Cairo through the Environment Ministry air quality loan. We are part of the consortium awarded the project and will be implementing it over the next year.

Another project we will present is the Mobility Assessment, Public Transport Improvement Study (MAPTIS) — a study into public transport in the Greater Cairo area supported and financed by the World Bank for the benefit of the Transport Ministry. TfC supported the study by helping to model investments. It's the first study of the metropolitan area in 20 years, and there's a distinct climate angle incorporated into all recommendations.

We'll also present the Sixth of October Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) (pdf), a project carried out with the support of the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. We created the first city-level scenario in Egypt over the climate impacts of public transport interventions and identified the scenarios to reduce climate emissions by half by 2030 compared to the worst case scenarios.

E: What is a critical outcome you are hoping to achieve from COP27?

MH: We need to start reframing our understanding of transport and climate. We often talk about the improvements that the current investments in the transport sector will bring from a climate perspective but we don't talk about the system itself, how many cars we have, and how many more we will have in the future.

It's really about shaping the narrative of transportation. We need to expand the dialogue to how hard infrastructure — the roads and the railways — are used, including the buses and the informal services, prices, incentives, and the choices people make in terms of transport. The SUMP and MAPTIS were the first studies of their kind to include a full data set of informal transport in Cairo — microbuses, the cooperatives and so on — and they look at what is needed on a climate level, including a list of investable and bankable projects the government ought to be investing in and taking to development banks for financing.

E: Has TfC contributed anything to the conference?

MH: Transport and climate are often understood as infrastructure investments, which is very true, but interventions are also about sustainable development and about behavioral change. One of the things that have been shown to be most effective and most asked for in the passenger surveys is passenger information.

To support this, we contributed the services of our Passenger Information System (PIS) Maps Labs on a voluntary basis to design a Travel Guide for COP27, working heavily with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Governorate of South Sinai. Attendees of COP27 will be able to use these maps, including cycling maps and the routes for 140 e-buses, and see how they link with the walking infrastructure in Sharm el Sheikh. The guide will also include how to travel sustainably to Sharm for the conference. We hope this contribution will show and hopefully change how transport is perceived on the global climate stage as not just hard infrastructure, but also the soft targeted interventions that cause behavioral change.

Infrastructure investments can support sustainable mobility in all its forms — not just hard infrastructure but also soft intervention like passenger information systems. We hope our engagement at COP27 can show the value of this and convince the international community to invest in soft interventions that cost 1 USD today and yield 100 USD in return on investment tomorrow.

E: What is the best path forward to decarbonize transport in Egypt?

MH: I think that we need to invest in institutions and people, with an explicit mission of moving us sustainably towards the future. We really need to invest and focus our attention on the institutions that we have — like for instance the regulation of thousands of buses and the hundreds of thousands of informal microbuses that form the backbone of our transport system — and build the human capacities on the public side that engage with this huge, effective private sector.

We also need to invest in fare systems or targeted transport subsidies for users, because these soft interventions are the ones that are going to make or break the transition to a more sustainable mobility system and the adoption of new infrastructure like the monorails, the expansion of the metro, the Alexandria tramway, and the national electric rail system.

E: How does this tie in with your role within the UN climate champions team?

MH: I serve as co-lead on road transports within the initiative, which involves basically taking a “systems change” approach to everything that moves on land — between cities and within cities — and how we can decarbonize it to reach net zero by 2050, but also make it resilient and adapt to the changes that we are already witnessing today.

We focus on reframing the discussion of transport and climate to become inclusive geographically and technologically by focusing on emerging markets, particularly Africa. We focus on the entire transport system — not just roads and vehicles, but also the expansion of the public transport system and the behavioral change away from using cars.

We also focus on how we can exponentially expand the amount of finance that goes into improving transport in emerging markets by using innovative blended finance models. This finance is required to increase the share of electric cars, vans, buses and trucks on our roads.

The third thing we focus on is labor: How can we ensure the [green] transition that takes place is equitable and just? Because public transport, or even freight, is really more about the creation of jobs than it is about the movement of people and goods. When you come to decarbonize that, you want to make it resilient to change.

I am also advising the Foreign Ministry on the Sustainable Transport Initiative of the Egyptian COP27 Presidency. This initiative is about operationalizing some of the concepts that I just mentioned, but more importantly, facilitating the discussion on behalf of the transport community that we take into COP27. It is about building on COP26 and carrying the torch through to COP28 in Dubai, and helping facilitate a discussion in the transport community on how to decarbonize and make transport more resilient.

Your top green economy stories for the week:

  • Hassan Allam Holding could invest USD 50-150 mn in renewable energy and desalination plants in Morocco.
  • Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) could deploy USD 100 mn in green investments in Morocco, targeting electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations and solar plants.
  • General Motors and Al Mansour Automotive will provide 150 electric buses to run in Sharm El Sheikh during COP27.
  • MPs approved an automotive bill that will provide incentives for electric vehicle assembly.
  • Kharga has been named the Arab Environmental Capital for 2022.



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

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

23-25 ​​October (Sunday-Tuesday): Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Cairo.

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

26 October (Wednesday): Empowering the South: Green Economies and Climate Resilience conference, the Greek Campus, Cairo, Egypt.

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.


First week of November: IMF delegation to visit Egypt for negotiations on loan agreement.

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.

5-8 November (Sunday-Tuesday): Techne Summit for Investment and Entrepreneurship, Alexandria, Egypt

6-18 November (Sunday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

7 November (Monday): Middle East Green Initiative, 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.

11-12 November (Friday-Saturday): Saudi Green Initiative, Sharm El Sheikh.

7-13 November (Monday-Sunday): 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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