Thursday, 27 October 2022

AM — Madbouly gov’t unveils fresh social support measures as households battle inflation

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, friends, and welcome to a reasonably calm news day as we prepare to slide into the weekend.

And what a weekend it will be: Look for daytime highs of 29°C and an overnight low of 18°C both days. Skies will be clear with a few clouds — sounds like perfect fall weather to us.

THE BIG STORY here at home: The Madbouly government is getting serious about cushioning the poor and working poor from the impact of high inflation, announcing yesterday a series of additional “social protection” measures. We have more on this in this morning’s news well, below.


MORE ON OUR FIVE-STEP PLAN TO DRIVE EXPORT GROWTH AND LURE FDI– Thailand has <70% of our population, >10x our exports — and still it wants to grow. Thailand’s Board of Investment has approved a new five-year investment promotion strategy, the hallmarks of which are focus and innovation.

Focus: Thailand is doubling down on its three big target industries (automotive assembly and car parts manufacturing; electrical appliances and electronics; agriculture and food processing)…

Innovation: The investment promotion authority is also looking to drum up interest in “green and smart Industries, talent development, as well as creativity and innovation,” according to a statement. It’s also broadening its mandate to off more practical on-the-ground help to businesses that want to invest in Thailand.

Another lesson for us here in Egypt: By staying focused and offering tailored pitches to big-name companies, Thailand has own investment in the EV and EV parts industries from both BYD and Foxconn this year.

COUNTDOWN TO COP (10 days to go)-

Big powers try to set the tone ahead of COP: As the Sharm El Sheikh climate summit draws ever nearer, some of the world’s most influential voices on climate change are trying to set the agenda in the press.

US climate envoy John Kerry is insisting the US is not against compensating poorer countries for climate loss and damage, the Independent reports. There’s been a focus in recent days on developed countries’ attempts to wriggle out of discussing loss and damage in concrete financial terms in Sharm El Sheikh, as Enterprise Climate noted earlier this week. Kerry said putting liability for the impacts of climate change on wealthier nations would be a “problem for everybody” but that the US would not obstruct talks.

Egypt and UAE get tub-tubs from Kerry for their climate work: The two countries’ efforts towards the green energy transition show “bold leadership,” The National quotes Kerry as saying.

It’s now or never: The world needs to once again put climate change front and center or suffer the consequences, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told BBC. “There has been a tendency to put climate change on the back burner … If we are not able to reverse the present trend, we will be doomed,” he said. He also called on China and the US to put their differences aside and work together during COP, adding that “nobody has the right to sacrifice international action on climate change for any reason.”

REMINDER- KSA will send a message on climate mid-COP when it hosts its Saudi Green Initiative in Sharm. Saudi media began talking up the initiative yesterday.

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THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

No one story is driving the conversation in the international business press, though you can practically hear the scribes abroad salivating over the notion of a tech stock meltdown as one giant after another turns in lackluster earnings (or lackluster guidance). On that trend specifically, see:

Two big stories gathering steam:

  • Elon walked into Twitter HQ carrying a (literal) sink as he looks set to close his USD 44 bn acquisition of company in the coming days. (Wall Street Journal | Financial Times)
  • There are 12 days until voters in the United States head to the polls for midterm elections, and Dems are really starting to worry they’re going to lose the House and Senate. (Politico | Axios)

^^ The reports follow disappointing showings from both Microsoft and Google this week, as we noted yesterday.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- We all hate the metaverse. Microsoft is struggling with the metaverse — and top Apple exec Greg Joswiak says it “is a word I’ll never use.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- Ford and VW have shut down a self-driving vehicle group after six years of work, with a top exec saying that “creating an L4 robotaxi that can operate in a dense urban environment” is “harder than putting a man on the moon.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES(?) #3- The Bank of Canada is nearing the end of its monetary tightening cycle, with governor Tiff Macklem saying “we’re getting closer” after the BoC raised its key interest rate 50 bps to 3.75% — a smaller bump than economists expected. Would that the US Fed takes note.

HAPPENING TODAY-

Egypt and the UAE’s three-day gathering to mark 50 years of bilateral ties continues today. The event wraps tomorrow.

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

All eyes are on the ECB today: The European Central Bank is widely expected to go for its second consecutive jumbo-sized 75 bps rate hike when it meets today, as the eurozone continues to battle persistently high inflation, CNBC reports. This would mark its third — and likely not last — rate hike this year, with many economists predicting a follow-up hike of 50 bps in December, at which time the eurozone will likely have entered a recession.

MARKET WATCH-

US oil exports reach record highs — despite shortages at home. The US is exporting record amounts of oil, helping fill the supply gap left by Russia but leaving its East Coast struggling to meet demand, Bloomberg writes . Last week the US exported a record 11.4 mn barrels a day of crude and petroleum, up a daily 2 mn barrels from the week before, despite calls from President Joe Biden to limit exports in efforts to curb rising prices. Shippers can earn more exporting to global markets than restocking domestic supply, the business information service reports.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

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.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia will ink a number of green energy-centered agreements next month during Electricity and Renewable Energy Minister Mohamed Shaker’s visit to the KSA, according to a cabinet statement. Two of the agreements will be with ACWA Power, one regarding green hydrogen production in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the other for a 10 GW wind farm, the statement added.

Law firms Matouk Bassiouny and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will hold a webinar on 2 November that will spotlight COP27’s potential impact on businesses globally. Register for the webinar here.

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

enterprise

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.

ECONOMY

Gov’t announces raft of measures to help with cost of living post-economic conference

 

Gov’t unveils public-sector minimum wage rise + extends freeze on household electricity prices: The government is pushing ahead with a raft of fresh social protection measures that are set to cost the state some EGP 67 bn per year, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said yesterday, according to a statement. A continued freeze on household electricity prices into mid-2023 and a bump to the public-sector minimum wage were among the measures announced by Madbouly at a presser following the weekly cabinet meeting, a day after the state wrapped its three-day conference on the future of the Egyptian economy.

The news comes after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said at the conference that “salaries are unacceptable … and less than EGP 10k for any working man is unlivable” (watch, runtime: 3:37). Madbouly, speaking In his closing remarks at conference, said his government was working on a new package of social support measures set to come into effect starting in November.

What’s the government doing as household incomes are eroded by inflation? It’s a mixed bag that includes price freezes (electricity) and measures that could drive inflation higher (bonus payments and wage hikes for the public sector). Here’s the rundown:

#1- Electricity prices for residential consumers will remain unchanged through 30 June 2023, Madbouly said, extending for another six months the hold introduced over the summer on planned electricity price hikes. Residential electricity bills had been set to rise by as much as 21% last July, as per the government’s six-year roadmap (pdf) to restructure electricity prices by 2025. Households in the highest consumption tiers — which as of last year have not received subsidies — would have seen prices rise by up to 6%.

#2- The minimum wage for state employees is rising for the second time this year: Civil servants and employees at state-owned enterprises will see the minimum wage rise to EGP 3k per month starting next month in response to rising inflation. Over the summer, the minimum wage was hiked for public-sector employees — including people working at state-owned companies — from EGP 2.4k to EGP 2.7k. The private sector minimum wage requirement currently stands at EGP 2.4k.

#3- The state should distribute an EGP 300 bonus next month to employees in the public sector and at state-owned enterprises, and to pensioners, to help them navigate the rising cost of living. The move will need to go to a parliament vote, which the government will try to push through with an eye to disbursing the bonus in November, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in a separate statement.

#4- Ration card increases to continue until next summer: Each one-family ration card will continue to see an EGP 100-300 monthly increase in credit until 30 June, 2023. The scheme, which came into effect last month, was originally set to run till the new year but the state decided to keep it going for another six months. Earlier this year the government expanded the social safety net to include 1 mn more families, and upped ration card holders’ allowance as part of an EGP 11 bn package aimed at mitigating the impact of the economic crisis on the poorest.

#5- Fast tracking amendments to raise the income tax threshold: The government will work to speed up the implementation of a draft decision raising the personal income tax exemption threshold to EGP 2.5k per month from EGP 2k, Maait and Madbouly said yesterday.

#6- Something for the private sector: Companies facing financial difficulties and unable to pay their employees’ wages thanks to the global economic crisis will be eligible for compensation through the Manpower Ministry’s emergency fund until June 30, 2023.

Where’s the money coming from? The new measures will be funded from the emergency EGP 135 bn reserve already allocated to measures that help deal with global economic headwinds, Maait said, stressing that they would not impact fiscal targets set out in the annual budget.

PRIVATIZATION WATCH

SFE is marketing to strategics around the world, says there’s appetite for Safi and Wataniya

The government will launch a roadshow to market pre-IPO companies it is warehousing. The Sovereign Fund of Egypt will speak with strategic investors “in a number of cities around the world,” Bloomberg Asharq says, quoting Planning Minister Hala El Said and fund CEO Ayman Soliman. The government had been planning a roadshow to market companies to Gulf sovereign funds and investors in Europe and Asia.

Appetite for Safi and Wataniya: Arab sovereign funds want in on stakes being sold in military-owned filling station Wataniya and bottled water company Safi, Soliman reportedly said. The state signaled this week that it could sell stakes in the two companies before the end of this year. Both are also on deck to offer additional shares in initial public offerings at a future date.

ALSO- SFE to more than double its capital in five years: The Madbouly government wants to increase the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s capital to EGP 1 tn from a current EGP 400 bn within five years, according to El Said and Soliman.

Big on infrastructure: The fund will direct 70% of its investment portfolio towards the infrastructure sector, Soliman added.

REMEMBER- The pre-IPO fund aims to prepare state-owned enterprises for eventual listing on the EGX. It is offering stakes to strategics to get the process moving before eventually going ahead with IPOs when global market conditions are more favorable. The Madbouly government’s privatization plans had originally envisioned the selling of stakes in 10 state-owned companies and two military companies this year, but that has since been scaled back amid a global downturn. The sales are part of a wider plan by the Sisi administration to net USD 40 bn in investment from private investors over the coming four years.

enterprise

GREEN ECONOMY

Infinity units eye new wind and EV projects

Infinity Power eyes USD 300 mn wind farm: Infinity Power, a JV between local renewables player Infinity and UAE’s Masdar, has its sights set on developing a 200 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, head of wind energy at Infinity Egypt Omar Nagi told reporters at a workshop yesterday. The project could cost as much as USD 300 mn to build. Al Mal also has the story.

And EVs are also in the plan: Infinity EV is looking to invest EGP 80 mn (c.USD 4 mn) in EV charging stations in the coming year, Managing Director Shams Abdel Ghaffar told Enterprise Climate. The company is planning to up the number of its charging stations to 300 from 115 2024, and increase charging points to 1k from 440 in commercial and residential areas, as well as gas stations, he added. Infinity EV also has regional expansion plans including Jordan and two other countries, which Abdel Ghaffar did not name.

NOT-SO-GREEN ECONOMY

More oil + gas cooperation with Russia

Russia and Egypt want to boost cooperation on oil and gas production after Oil Minister Tarek El Molla sat down with Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov to explore investment in Egypt’s oil and gas sector, according to an Oil Ministry statement. Their sit-down came on the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which wrapped on Tuesday.

ALSO OF REGIONAL INTEREST- Israel has given Energean permission to begin production at the offshore Karish gas field on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The move comes as Israel and Lebanon are today expected to sign a maritime border agreement brokered by the United States that could pave the way for more gas exploration in territories once disputed between the two countries.

Odds are good that gas will eventually flow to Egypt for either domestic use or liquefaction and re-export.

LEGISLATION WATCH

House signs off on changes to agriculture and river transport acts

The House gave its final nod to bills on agricultural encroachment, river transport, unlicensed guns, and national ID cards yesterday.

#1- Tougher fines for land encroachment: People caught illegally building on agricultural land will face tougher fines after MPs approved an amendment to the Agriculture Law yesterday. Under the change, violators can be fined between EGP 500k and EGP 10 mn for encroachment as well as receive up to five years in prison. The current law allows fines of between EGP 100k and EGP 5 mn.

Contractors + engineers will be held liable: Any contractors and engineers implicated in land encroachment could be sent to prison for up to five years and receive fines ranging between EGP 100k and EGP 3 mn.

#2- River transport open to private investment: MPs approved amendments designed to attract more investment into the country’s inland waterways. The changes will open up the river transport sector to private investment and put the River Transport Authority (RTA) in charge of licensing river boats, Nile cruises and floating units. Requests for the establishment, operation and management of river ports and docks will now go through the RTA for approval.

#3- Getting a license to buy and sell guns could become harder: MPs approved two bills yesterday that will make it harder for people to obtain licenses to buy and sell guns. This comes in response to the spread of videos on social media with violent content featuring the use of unlicensed guns.

#4- ID cards will now be issued at 15 years old: The House approved yesterday an amendment to the Civil Status Law that requires citizens to get their national ID cards at 15 years old instead of 16 years old.

What’s next for the bills: All four pieces of legislation will now go to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s desk to be signed into law.

What’s next for the House and the Senate: The House will reconvene for plenary sessions on Sunday and Monday, while the Senate will hold sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both chambers will then take a break for the COP27 summit.

EARNINGS WATCH

SODIC net income up 19% in 3Q 2022

Real estate developer SODIC’s bottom line rose 19% y-o-y in 3Q 2022 to EGP 142 mn, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). Revenues for the quarter came in at EGP 1.92 bn, up 33% thanks to accelerating deliveries at its SODIC East and Villette developments.

It was a stellar quarter for SODIC: Our friends at the upmarket developer saw a big increase in third-quarter gross contracted sales in terms of both number and value of units sold. Gross contracted sales for the quarter more than tripled from a year ago, reaching EGP 5.1 bn, according to our math, up from EGP 1.63 bn in 3Q 2021. The company sold 717 units during the July-September period, compared to 196 a year ago. SODIC delivered 381 units during the quarter (317 in its East Cairo projects, 63 in its West Cairo projects, and only one in its North Coast projects).

And a record 9M: SODIC reported a record EGP 11.8 bn in gross contracted sales in the first nine months of the year. The company’s North Coast developments contributed 44% of total sales, while East Cairo accounted for 31% and West Cairo 25%.

REMEMBER- For real estate companies, sales ≠ revenues. Most book a sale when you sign a contract to buy a home, but only record (some or all of) the value of the unit they sold you when they (a) deliver the unit to you or (b) hit a percentage of completion on a project.

MOVES

Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) appointed Naguib Sawiris as its new executive chairman and Marwan Hussein as the company’s CEO effective 1 November, according to a disclosure to the bourse (pdf). Hussein has been serving as OIH’s CFO for a little over a year and previously worked in the company’s investor relations department.

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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

It was all about the gov’t’s new social protection package last night: The talking heads spent their night diving deeper into the latest package of social protection measures announced by the Madbouly government. The measures include raising the minimum wage for public sector employees to EGP 3k and keeping electricity prices on hold for an additional six months. We have the full story in today’s Economy section, above.

Where’s the private-sector minimum wage hike? The state was supposed to meet with private sector players this month to discuss raising its minimum wage from EGP 2.4k to EGP 2.7k per month, but the meeting has been postponed given how businesses have been struggling, National Council for Wages member Magdy El Badawy told Salat El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 6:00). “We hope over the coming period to apply similar measures [raising the minimum wage] to private sector employees,” he said.

The timing of these measures will help cushion the current price shock and any further price hikes in response to global economic conditions, Sen. Emad El Din Hussein told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 11:37).

Helping hand: “We know how difficult the global economic crisis has been on citizens and therefore the state took action and will continue to take action,” Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad told Salat El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 3:02 | 3:09). The news also got airtime from Al Tasea (watch, runtime: 8:20), Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:58), and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 3:08).

The state’s Ebdaa initiative has helped 1.5k factories go legit by helping them get their licenses or finish necessary paperwork. Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 7:25) had the story.

The Egypt-UAE golden jubilee: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Planning Minister Hala El Said helped kick off a three-day event celebrating 50 years of Egyptian-Emirati ties. Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 3:30) and Al Tasea (watch, runtime: 2:50) had the story.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Egypt in the News: Our FX bonds are on the up + the FT has a love letter for Egyptian tourism

FROM THE DEPT. OF GOOD NEWS: Egypt’s USD-denominated bonds have gained 5% this week, giving them a spot among the top three emerging market performers, Bloomberg reports. Investors are starting to dip their toes back into the country’s debt market amid anticipation that an agreement with the IMF for a new bailout package is nearing.

The Financial Times has a love letter to Egypt’s tourism industry. Headlined “Eternal Egypt — a journey out of time,” it says that the nation’s “ancient wonders still hold us spellbound, but its pulsing, intense present is just as intoxicating.” We’re also getting some tourism ink from Lonely Planet.

Also making headlines:

  • Domty boss Mohamed El Damaty tells Zawya that 2023 planning is a challenge amid economic turmoil.
  • MIT Technology Review and Germany’s DW both have stories on human rights.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Telecom Egypt inaugurated its Red2Med submarine cable which runs from Ras Ghareb’s Red Sea to Port Said’s Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, according to a statement. The cable is the “shortest, fastest and most secure way to transfer data between east and west,” said Telecom Egypt CEO Adel Hamed. Communications Minister Amr Talaat was also present at the inauguration ceremony.

REMEMBER: TE is crazy for subsea data cables. More than a dozen cables currently transmit data from Egypt to Europe, and Telecom Egypt plans to add some six more cables over three years, part of national plans to become a data hub between Asia, Europe, and Africa.

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

  • Beltone Financial paid USD 700k to settle a dispute with one of its US-based subsidiaries, it said yesterday, without disclosing further information. (Disclosure, pdf)
  • Alexbank, El Sewedy Education, and Italian social enterprise E4Impact inked an MoU to implement and develop an agricultural entrepreneurship program. (Hapi Journal)
  • Qalaa Holdings’ appeal has been successful against a court ruling over USD 8.4 mn in NSF checks, and the verdict overturned. (Disclosure, pdf)
  • Payment platform Arab Financial Services has launched its merchant payment services in Egypt. (Press release, pdf)
  • Cars imported by Egyptian expats under the new scheme to raise FX must be from the same country in which the expat resides. (Finance Ministry statement)
  • Egypt and the UAE discussed joint strategies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. (WAM)

PLANET FINANCE

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The global economy could be heading into a recession — but it might not be so bad: Economists polled by Reuters see the global economy growing at just a 2.3% clip next year as a recession becomes more certain amid spiraling inflation and volatility in global markets. Only six out of the 22 central banks polled expect to reach their inflation targets this year — raising concerns among economists that banks will continue to hike rates in a bid to tamp down on inflation. On the bright side, the poll showed the smallest gap between growth rates and unemployment in at least four decades, pointing to a common view among economists that the recession will not be too severe.

Wall Street has conflicting views on the outlook for EM equities: Morgan Stanley thinks emerging market equities have bottomed out and is forecasting an average 14% rise across global EM exchanges by next summer, the Financial Times reports. Goldman Sachs is more defensive, saying there’s no one “coherent” story across EMs. The benchmark MSCI index of EM stocks is down c.30% since early January, largely thanks to China’s economic downturn and the US Fed’s tightening cycle. A massive USD 2.1 tn has flown out of EM stocks this year, while bond funds have racked up USD 70 bn of outflows.

ALSO WORTH NOTING-

  • Gulf listings continue their hot streak: Saudi utility firm Marafiq has priced its IPO at the top end of the SAR 41-46 price range after receiving USD 53 bn in orders. (Bloomberg)
  • Saudi Aramco has launched a USD 1.5 bn sustainability fund, the largest fund of its kind in the world, CEO Amin Nasser said yesterday. (Enterprise Climate)
  • More companies bail on Russia: Mercedes-Benz and Zara owner Inditex are exiting the Russian market and plan to sell their subsidiaries to local investors. (Reuters | Bloomberg)

Up

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10,553

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USD (CBE)

Buy 19.69

Sell 19.77

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USD at CIB

Buy 19.69

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None

Interest rates CBE

11.25% deposit

12.25% lending

Down

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11,799

-1.5% (YTD: +4.6%)

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10,088

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Up

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THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 rose 0.8% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.25 bn (17.9% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net sellers. The index is down 11.7% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+6.5%), Elsewedy Electric (+4.3%) and Heliopolis Housing and Development (+4.0%).

In the red: Alexandria Containers and Cargo Handling (-4.0%), Orascom Construction (-2.1%) and Mopco (-1.1%).

Asian markets are up across the board in early trading this morning. Futures suggest the major European markets are set to open in the red, while things are looking brighter over on Wall Street, with the three major indices likely to open in the green later on today.

MY MORNING ROUTINE

Mohamed Shelbaya, PepsiCo Egypt CEO and chairman: 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 Mohamed Shelbaya, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Egypt (LinkedIn). Edited excerpts from our conversation:

My name is Mohamed Shelbaya. I’m an Egyptian, a family man, an ex-basketball player, a PepsiCo executive — and a guy that doesn't take life too seriously. I’ve been with Pepsi for 28 years now, and have had 12 or 15 different roles, though I've been CEO and chairman for six years.

A big part of my responsibility is taking care of the people because they are the ones who deliver the results. The second part is looking ahead. My job is to set our strategic priorities, make sure that we plan five years ahead, and that as we go into a year, we've planned for it well and made the right investments.

I like to wake up early at around 5am. For me, the best time to work is in those couple of hours in the morning. There's no disturbance, which is great for things that require me to make decisions. Then I go and work out at 7am for an hour, come back home, have my breakfast, and head to the office to start my meetings, which carry me into the evening.

The one thing I try to make a constant in my day is sports. It clears the mind, re-energizes the body and helps me de-stress. The days where I don't play sports, the stress gets to me. Given all the pressures and problems that come up every day, I found that I need to give my body and mind just enough time to de-stress and start the next day afresh.

When it comes to focusing and staying organized, I think that having the right team and having people onboard that are experts in their fields is crucial. That way, you get the right information that helps you focus and helps you make the right decision.

I like to relax at the end of day by watching TV. I like documentaries and comedies — usually something that doesn’t require a lot of attention and can help me relax. I also like to chat with friends that have nothing to do with work. I think laughter is the best way to unwind after a stressful day.

I recently watched a documentary that I really liked called the Redeem Team. I love sports and sports analogies, and I believe there’s a lot of lessons to be learned from sports — like the fact that it's not about the ability of the players, it's about creating the right culture for the team to succeed. That’s what we do in business. We succeed together as a team, or we lose together as a team.

Honestly, I don’t think I have a healthy work-life balance, and I think that a balance is impossible. What I've learned through the years is that it's about quality, not balance. So I try to switch off from work when I go on vacation with the family or if I go out for lunch or dinner. It’s about creating memories that last. You can attend all your kids’ games, but when you attend, you have to be all in. It's the worst thing to go and attend your kid’s game and you’re on the phone all the time. If you’re with your family, be here now. And if you’re at work, be here now.

I'm at a stage in my career where my priority is to give back. I've reached the top role here. It’s not about getting more and more roles now, it’s about what I can give back to my country, to the youth — what can I contribute? At this point of time, I find a lot of pleasure and value in giving back to the youth, passing on my experiences, sponsoring, and doing CSR work that helps the economy.

On a personal level, I hope to spend more time with my family, play more sports, and check things off my bucket list — like going to watch the Olympics and a game at the World Cup.

The best piece of advice I’ve received was from one of my earlier bosses: A career is a marathon, not a sprint. I was very impatient at the beginning to get promoted and grow, and my boss was always saying, “Build the foundation. Don't worry about who’s getting promoted ahead of you. You’re going to be stronger and at the end of the marathon, you’re going to be in the lead.”

CALENDAR

OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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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