Thursday, 3 November 2022

AM — Is the state readying logistics companies for EGX debuts in 2023?



Good morning, friends, and happy THURSDAY. It’s the last workday before the start of COP27. We wish all of our friends descending on Sharm nothing but the best and look forward to seeing you back in the capital city on 20 November…

PSA #1- Your weekend weather is looking fantastic. Look for a daytime high of 26°C in Cairo on both Friday and Saturday, with an overnight low of 14°C. Folks landing in Sharm can expect a high tomorrow of 29°C, with the mercury dipping to 22°C at night.

PSA #2- Clocks change in North America this weekend — New York, Boston and Toronto will be seven hours behind us when you wake up on Sunday morning. Keep that in mind as you schedule calls next week.

PSA #3- The November issue of our monthly Your Wealth won’t be out this weekend. We usually publish on the first Friday of each month, but we’re going to hold fire until Friday, 18 November — just two days before the kickoff of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which just happens to be the subject of this month’s issue.

THURSDAY KUDOS to TE investor relations boss Sarah Shabayek, who was named this year’s best investor relations professional in Egypt in the 2022 Middle East Investor Relations Association awards. The team at CIB got the nod for top corporate performer in Egypt. Also: A tip of the hat to our friends Sofia Elboury and Abhishek Kumat at FAB, who took home the gong for best corporate in MENA and in the UAE. Sofia was also named best IR professional in the UAE.


It’s PMI day: We’ll know how Egypt’s private sector fared in October a few moments after we hit send on this morning’s issue when S&P Global releases the latest purchasing managers’ index. A 22-month contraction in private sector activity didn’t show signs of abating in September as high inflation continued to weigh on demand and output. You’ll find the release here at 6:15am CLT.

Adipec 2022 continues in Abu Dhabi: It’s the final day of the oil and gas expo in Abu Dhabi.

The highlight of day three for Egypt: A meeting between Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and Adnoc representatives to discuss investment in the Egyptian petroleum sector, according to a statement from the Egyptian OIl Ministry.

PSA #3- You won’t be hearing anything out of the House of Representatives for the next two weeks: The House has adjourned for two weeks for the COP27 summit, which starts next week. MPs will return on 20 November, while senators are back a week earlier on 13 November.

Food producers are catching a break: Customs authorities have released some thousands of shipments the past 48 hours, Alaa Ezz, secretary-general of Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), said yesterday. The Supply Ministry said Monday that authorities would immediately begin to release goods held up at port because of FX shortages, and pledged to clear all inputs by the end of the week. Most of the goods released in the past two days have been production inputs for food manufacturers.

U-TURN WATCH- Licensing private tutoring centers is just an “idea”: Education Minister Reda Hegazi is walking back proposals to start licensing private tutoring centers following backlash, stressing that it was just an “idea” and not a decision. Hegazi’s statements sparked controversy, with many worried that licensing the private tutoring industry would replace schools as a main venue for education and teaching in the country. The industry continues to be part of the informal economy and isn’t governed by legislation — Hegazi’s idea to require them to get licenses (or at least incorporate as businesses) is one still worth considering.


Dominating the front pages of the global business press this morning: The Federal Reserve’s decision to hike interest rates by another 75 bps yesterday. We have more on that in this morning’s Planet Finance, below.

Good news on wheat: Russia has agreed to rejoin the agreement that allows Ukraine to safely export grain through the Black Sea, averting a fresh crisis in global food supplies. Moscow suspended its participation in the UN- and Turkey-brokered pact last week following a drone attack on its Black Sea fleet but yesterday backtracked on the decision, saying that Ukraine had provided assurances it would not use the safe corridor for military action. (Reuters | FT | Bloomberg | BBC)

Bad news on wheat: Egypt’s wheat contracts with Argentinian suppliers may now be in jeopardy as the country faces its weakest harvest in almost a decade due to a severe drought, according to Reuters. The government in the coming days is expected to allow exporters to delay shipments, potentially forcing Egypt to renegotiate contracts.

Tigray truce: Ethiopia and Tigray rebel forces yesterday agreed to lay down their weapons, raising hopes of a permanent end to the two-year civil war that has killed thousands and displaced mns. (Reuters)


COUNTDOWN TO COP (3 days to go)-

This morning’s Enterprise Climate has a rundown on what you need to know ahead of the kickoff of COP27 on Sunday

A message to world leaders ahead of COP: FM Sameh Shoukry urged world leaders and negotiators to take “meaningful and tangible steps” to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, days ahead of COP27 in Sharm, the Associated Press reported, citing a four-page letter by Shouky to participants. “We aim to restore the ‘grand bargain’ at the center of the Paris Agreement and our collective multilateral climate process,” he said. Shoukry said COP27 comes at a time of mounting challenges, including a failure by G20 nations to draft an agreement on climate and a lack of “concrete agreements” on climate finance at this year’s fall World Bank and IMF meetings.

ALSO- PM Rishi Sunak has decided to attend COP after all, he said on Twitter.

DATA POINT- Investment in clean energy across emerging markets is at less than a tenth of what’s needed as part of a drive to limit global warming to 1.5°C, a BloombergNEF report showed.


A delegation of Italian agricultural firms will visit Egypt in the second week of December to explore potential cooperation with local companies, Italian Ambassador to Cairo Michael Caron told Trade and Industry Minister Ahmed Samir in a meeting, according to a cabinet statement.

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

CORRECTION- We originally noted the time change in North American incorrectly. This story was updated on 6 November 2022 to reflect the fact that Toronto and New York will be seven (not five) hours behind us. 


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: Call us 16390.


Is the state readying logistics companies for EGX debuts in 2023?

More color on the state’s 2023 IPO pipeline: The Madbouly government plans to IPO as many as four state-owned maritime and land transport companies during 1Q 2023 as it looks to reboot its stalled privatization program, the domestic press reports, citing unnamed sources.

What’s up for grabs: The state plans to sell at least 25% of the companies to public investors, the sources said. The companies are currently being restructured to meet listing and IPO requirements, they added.

It’s still unclear whether port owner-operators themselves could be privatized. Transport Minister Kamal El Wazir said in May that the government was looking to merge seven ports into a holding company and possibly offer it on the EGX and / or to strategic investors. He made the remarks after the news of the state’s privatization strategy broke in spring. The minister appeared to walk this back at an event last week, saying, “Egypt does not sell its ports.”

Gulf investors are interested in the Suez Canal: Emirati port operators have shown significant appetite for Egypt’s Red Sea ports in recent months, with Abu Dhabi Ports taking over management of Ain Sokhna port and acquiring majority stakes in two local shipping companies. Qatar now looks to be getting in on the act and is studying investment in Damietta port.

REFRESHER- The government is looking at how and when to reboot its privatization program with recent listing changes and a new pre-IPO fund set up by the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) in September. The fund will offer stakes in state-owned companies to strategic investors and sovereign funds ahead of listing them on the bourse. The fund plans to market several state companies — including the military-owned firms Safi and Wataniya — to strategic investors ahead of IPOing them on the EGX. Neither Safi nor Wataniya will make their EGX debuts this year but will see a private stake sale before year end.

Roadshows are happening: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt is about to hit the road to market stakes in companies including bottled water maker Safi and filling station operator Wataniya. EGX boss Rami El Dokany is just back from the UAE leg of a roadshow that aims to drum up interest in public equities.

What about the private sector pipeline? Dokany said in September that the EGX is in “serious talks” with five or six private sector companies interested in listing, stressing that simplified listing procedures are helping drive interest. Petrochemical, energy, fuel, and fertilizer companies are among those interested, he suggested.

But, but, but… As always with reports of companies looking to IPO: It’s all about market conditions.


More renewables projects are being negotiated in Riyadh

The Electricity Ministry is in talks with six Saudi firms for more than USD 3 bn worth of renewable energy projects as Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker visits Riyadh, Bloomberg Asharq reports, citing four people at state-owned Egyptian electricity companies.

Who’s involved: The minister is holding talks with ACWA Power, Al Fanar, FAS Energy, and Al Babtain during his visit to the kingdom, the sources said. He is also reportedly meeting with Saudi financing institutions to help drum up investment for the projects.

Work on that blockbuster ACWA wind plant starts next year: Shaker’s visit coincided with the signing of an MoU between ACWA Power and state-owned Egyptian electricity companies to construct a huge 10-GW wind farm which, when completed, will be one of the largest in the world. One source told Asharq that the first phase of the project will have a capacity of 1.1 GW and cost up to USD 1.1 bn. Construction will begin at the beginning of next year and take two years to complete, they added.

Green hydrogen agreements imminent? Agreements for two green hydrogen projects could be signed during Shaker’s visit, one source told Bloomberg Asharq, adding that the framework agreements could be signed during COP27. Cabinet had already told us to expect one green hydrogen agreement to be signed with ACWA Power during Shaker’s visit, among other renewables projects.

Some of these companies already have a presence in Egypt’s renewables sector:

This all comes as part of the government’s drive to reach its ambitious renewable energy target: Egypt is aiming to produce 42% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, a target announced during last year’s COP26 summit. This is five years earlier than its previous target.


Gov’t wants USD 15 bn for nine food, water and energy projects under NWFE

The International Cooperation Ministry will seek blended finance for nine projects worth USD 15 bn in its Nexus on Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) program, the ministry said in a statement yesterday. The projects include a “massive energy project,” five projects in the field of agriculture and food security, and three in irrigation and water resources, the statement said. The projects aim to achieve the emissions targets in our recently announced nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

SOUND SMART- Blended finance — in this context — refers to a mix of financing from bilateral and multilateral lenders, the private sector, and the government. Drumming up blended and concessional financing for projects in developing nations will be a key theme at this year’s COP27 conference, where we expect to hear more announcements on funding for NWFE. The program is the government’s flagship initiative for getting climate finance to some of our most important green projects.

Some international finance institutions are already on board, and have announced a combined USD 2.3 bn of funding for the program:

  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is committing USD 200-300 mn to the energy track of the program. The money will help Egypt to decommission 5 GW of gas-fired power plants starting next year.
  • The African Development Bank (AfDB) will provide more than USD 1 bn to NWFE, Bloomberg Asharq reported yesterday. Samuel Kamara, the bank’s country director, told the news outlet that the money would be split between the water, food and energy tracks.
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is committing USD 200 mn to the food track, regional director Dina Saleh told Asharq.
  • Other organizations partnering with IFAD are providing another USD 775 mn though their identities are yet to be revealed.

More climate finance news triggers to look out for at COP:

  • The ministry will launch its Sharm El Sheikh Fair Finance guide during Finance Day (9 November). The guide proposes a framework for climate finance for emerging markets.
  • The government will announce a partnership with the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) that promotes investments in sustainable agriculture and rural communities.
  • There will also be an event with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to promote PPP development projects, and another with the EBRD to promote green hydrogen cooperation.
  • Expect more details on an initiative with IFAD focused on resilience and adaptation.


Paymob interest the UAE, TPay is streamlining + Mozare3 could team up with the IFC to help local farmers

Paymob enters the UAE: Fintech startup Paymob has expanded into the UAE and made the country its regional hub, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The company is looking to make a “sizable investment” in the UAE market over the next three years, the release reads.

New hub, new management: Paymob has appointed financial services professional Omar Haddad (LinkedIn) as its GCC general manager. Haddad will build a more than 150-strong team in the UAE, according to the statement.

What they said: “There are currently over 400k businesses in the UAE, 61% of which are microbusinesses and 38% are SMEs. We see a massive opportunity to serve this market segment and our goal over the next three years is to empower 15% of those merchants with the latest payment technologies to fuel their growth and further digitize the economy,” Paymob CEO and co-founder Islam Shawky said.

Paymob raised USD 50 mn in Egypt’s largest ever reported fintech series B round earlier this year, led by Kora Capital, PayPal’s venture capital arm PayPal Ventures, and Clay Point. The company had plans to use the capital to fund its regional expansion plans across the GCC and North Africa, to add new products, and expand its merchant base. Co-founder Alain El Hajj was our founder of the week earlier this year.


Mobile payments platform TPay Mobile is restructuring its business and trimming its headcount amid financing challenges, Al Mal reported Sunday, citing what it said was a source familiar with the matter. Company representatives did not respond to requests for comment when we reached out this week.

TPay said last week that it is “refreshing its strategy”: TPay alluded to a restructure last week, saying it would embark on a “reorganization” of the company that will have a “compact” management team. The statement made no mention of financial challenges and quoted CEO Gaston Aussems saying that TPay has a “solid business model and healthy cash flow.”

Has there been a management shuffle? The company didn’t say explicitly that the company will reduce headcount, though the managing partner at Helios Investment Partners ⁠— one of TPAY’s shareholders ⁠— indicates that new people have been brought into management. “We’re excited to see TPAY’s new leadership team deliver this vision and remain fully committed to the business,” Babatunde Soyoye is quoted as saying in the statement.

Founder Sahar Salama stepped down as CEO in July and is now serving as “group chairwoman,” a role her LinkedIn page notes is part time. Sahar appeared on our podcast Making It back in May 2020.

The global economic slowdown has caught up with the Egyptian startup scene, with VC funding across the board tightening amid fears of recession. Down rounds — when a company sells shares at a lower price than its previous funding round — are everywhere, while the implosion of local startup Capiter has some in the startup scene predicting that more young companies will face funding challenges, with reports of layoffs now becoming more common.


Agri-fintech startup Mozare3 inked an agreement for a “potential partnership” with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support local farmers “digitally and financially,” Mozare3 CEO Hussein Abou Bakr said in a LinkedIn post. “It would be a leap in knowledge transfer to benefit small farmers in Egypt from experiences and projects of IFC in other relevant countries,” he said.

About Mozare3: The agri-fintech platform manages the supply chain between corporations and Egyptian farmers including digital invoices and deliveries, and offers farmers embedded finance and agronomy support. Founded in 2020 by Abou Bakr (Founder of the Week) and Tamer El Raghy (LinkedIn), Mozare3 raised a seven-figure pre-series A round last year from Algebra Ventures and Disruptech.



Emirati tech company acquires Speed’s FMCG app

The Speed app has new Emirati owners: Emirati logistics and tech company X-ERA has acquired B2B e-commerce platform Speed for an undisclosed sum, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. X-ERA will revamp the Speed app to make it more user-friendly and introduce new features for businesses selling fast-moving consumer goods.

Speed: The one-stop-shop lets small and medium-sized grocery store owners order inventory for delivery within 24 hours. The app is affiliated with the wider Speed brand, which works in FMCG distribution, warehousing, logistics, packing and import.

About the new owners: Founded in 2020, X-ERA invests in digital retail supply chain and logistics solutions that help develop the informal market, according to the statement.

A rebrand and major expansion is in the works: X-ERA plans to rebrand the Speed app and wants to expand its current user base from 35k merchants to 100k by mid-2023, X-ERA CEO Mahmoud El Enani said in the statement.


Impact investor Catalyst Partners’ Catalyst Capital Egypt Fund is close to closing an acquisition deal — a company that has developed a platform for operating electric motorcycles named BluEV, the fund’s Managing Director Abdel Aziz Abdel Nabi told Enterprise. Abdel Nabi did not provide details on the stake or the size of the transaction, but said that the acquisition is being done in collaboration with the UN Development Program.


Startups to watch at COP27

Fifteen global green startups will pitch at COP27 as part of the government’s ClimaTech competition — but who are they? The International Cooperation Ministry has selected its 15-strong shortlist from the 422 startups that applied to the ClimaTech Run competition. The chosen firms will pitch their businesses to a judging panel composed of top UN officials as well as representatives of Afreximbank, Microsoft, and Google during the climate summit’s Youth Day, the ministry said yesterday. The startups present sustainable solutions in sectors including energy, agriculture, food security, transport, and urban development. Together they operate across 46 countries, with eight firms based on the African continent.

One of our own made the cut: Local agri-fintech startup Mozare3 is among the chosen firms.

The other 14 startups are:

What’s in it for them: The startups will be competing for USD 100k in funding for the top finisher, with the number-two company taking home USD 50k and a third USD 25k. The eight African startups also have a shot at a USD 50k award and a runner-up USD 25k award. Their participation in COP will also give them the chance to exchange expertise and gain support for expansion, International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat said.


Cutting red tape for tourism + cracking down on piracy

The House Tourism Committee yesterday approved in principle legislation to simplify licensing procedures for businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries. The government-drafted bill, which was approved by the Cabinet in September 2021, would set up ministerial committees charged with eliminating red tape for tourism companies and making it easier for them to obtain licenses. The aim: to attract more private investment into the sector.

The government wants to get tough on piracy: The House Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee began yesterday discussing new government-drafted amendments to the 2002 Intellectual Property Rights Law aimed at cracking down on rising book and audio-visual piracy. Rep Doha Assi, member of the House Culture Committee, said that Article 181 of the law will be amended to toughen penalties, without specifying how. The bill currently allows violators to be fined EGP 5k-10k and receive minimum one-month jail terms.

REMEMBER- The government announced in September that it will establish a National Intellectual Property Authority in the coming two years as part of a five-year IP strategy (pdf). The strategy provides a roadmap for putting into place an institutional framework for governing intellectual property rights and streamlining policymaking.


Macro Group earnings rise 19% y-o-y in the first nine months of 2022

Macro Group’s net income is up 19% in 9M 2022 when adjusted for IPO an ESOP expenses, the cosmeceuticals firm said in its earnings release (pdf) out yesterday. Revenues are up 25% year-to-date at EGP 520 mn. Revenue growth was underpinned more by price hikes — which rose by 19% on average — than higher sales volumes, which increased marginally during the nine-month period. The company launched 19 new products between January and September, including nine in the third quarter.

Looking ahead: “Going forward, we will continue to create value through innovative new launches, while capitalizing on the inherent advantage of our product portfolio over imported substitutes amid current market conditions,” Chairman Ahmed El Nayeb said.



It was a rather slow night on talk shows yesterday, with talking heads giving President El Sisi’s speech during the Arab League summit in Algeria priority. Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 2:45), Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 2:18) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 1:32) all covered this speech, which touched on regional security and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Meanwhile, in an interview on Yahduth Fi Masr Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki downplayed the absence of a third of the region’s leaders, arguing that the level of representation was actually “high” and was not an obstacle for the summit (watch, runtime: 7:27).


Human rights is continuing to drive the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning after imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah started a full hunger strike on Tuesday. A group of 15 Novel Laureates yesterday called on world leaders and diplomats to push for the release of prisoners and said Abdel Fattah was “at risk of death,” according to the Associated Press and the Guardian. Al Monitor reports that Democratic lawmakers are calling on President Joe Biden to put pressure on Cairo to pardon detainees, while the Washington Post’s editorial board demands that our rights record be talked about at COP27.

COP27 is a reminder to the world just how badly the climate crisis is affecting Egypt: Bloomberg has a Big Take about the disastrous effects rising temperatures and higher sea levels will have on Egypt while the Associated Press and AFP carry similar pieces. Meanwhile, AFP writes that Alexandria is at risk of “disappearing” within decades.

And a word about one of our sponsors: The Financial Times is continuing to focus on Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the event, writing yesterday that the soft drinks company has increased its use of new plastic by 3.5% since 2019, instead of expanding use of recycled material.

Also making headlines:

  • More on the state of the economy: Foreign Policy is the latest to do a deep dive on Egypt’s economy in light of the USD 3 bn loan we received from the IMF last week.
  • A balancing act: Egypt trying to carefully maintain a balance between its relationship with Western allies and Russia is getting a mention. (DW)


e-Finance to launch cloud computing platform this month

EGX-listed e-payments giant e-Finance will launch a cloud computing platform later this month and has inked a protocol with the government to build a digital platform for industrial investors, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday.

E-Finance’s target customers? They include “government institutions, banking and non-banking financial institutions, and private sector firms,” it said, noting it will unveil the platform at Cairo ICT, which is set to take place 27-30 November. A who’s who of global tech players are service providers to the platform, including Pure Storage, Dell, IBM, Cisco, VMware, Commvault, Fortinet, Paloalto, Citrix, F5, Redhat, and Huawei, it said.

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

  • Emirati lender First Abu Dhabi Bank has completed the merger of FAB Egypt and Bank Audi Egypt after acquiring the Lebanese lender in June. (Statement, pdf)
  • The Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority has given permission for construction to begin on the second reactor of the 4.8 GW Dabaa nuclear power plant. (Al Borsa)
  • China’s AVIC has received approval from the General Authority for Land and Dry Ports to build a EGP 5 bn logistics zone in Salloum, a city on the Libyan border. (Al Borsa)
  • Ora Developers Egypt awarded a EGP 2.5 bn contract to Orascom Construction to build the first phase of its mixed-use Silversands project on the North Coast. (Statement, pdf)


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US interest rates are now at their highest level since the beginning of 2008: As expected yesterday, the Federal Reserve delivered another huge interest rate hike, extending its most aggressive tightening cycle in decades and pushing rates to the highest level in almost 15 years. The central bank announced it had raised rates by 75 bps for the fourth consecutive meeting, taking the target range to 3.75-4% for the first time since the beginning of 2008.

Powell was no less hawkish: “We still have some ways to go, and incoming data since our last meeting suggest that the ultimate level of interest rates will be higher than previously expected,” Fed chair Jay Powell said (pdf) in his post-meeting presser, referring to last month’s poor inflation release.

But officials might decide against a fifth 75-bps hike next month: Powell suggested that the Fed could soon consider slowing the pace of rate increases. “That time is coming, and it may come as soon as the next meeting, or the one after that,” the Financial Times quoted him as saying.

The markets didn’t take this well: US stocks suffered their worst Fed day since the start of 2021, with the S&P 500 falling 2.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbling 3.4% in response to Powell’s hawkish press conference.

It’s a sea of red in Asia this morning as traders react to news from Washington. The Hang Seng is leading the way (-2.4%), while the ASX (-1.9%) and the Kospi (-0.6%) are seeing losses. European shares are on course to open lower later this morning while US futures contracts have Wall Street rebounding early in the session.

The story is on all the front pages this morning: Bloomberg | FT | Reuters | Associated Press | WSJ | NYT | CNBC.




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The EGX30 fell 1.7% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.27 bn (15.7% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 5.9% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+3.7%), Alexandria Containers and Cargo Handling (+2.6%) and Telecom Egypt (+1.2%).

In the red: Fawry (-4.5%), GB Auto (-4.3%) and Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (-4.1%).


Clémence Vidal De La Blache, country head at the French Development Agency: 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 French Development Agency country head Clémence Vidal De La Blache (LinkedIn). Edited excerpts from our conversation:

I’m Clémence Vidal De La Blache, and I'm the Egypt country head of the French Development Agency (AFD), the development arm of the French government. We're a bilateral development finance institution. We finance sustainable development projects in over 100 countries. We've been present in Egypt since 2008 and we have a mandate to support projects that pursue the sustainable development goals (SDGs), that are aligned with the Egyptian government’s development priorities, such as Vision 2030, and that contribute to our bilateral objectives like climate action.

I head a team of 20 people here, which is a relatively large office across our network. AFD has financed EUR 3.1 bn worth of investments in Egypt since 2008, and our portfolio has doubled over the past five years, which speaks to the developmental needs and the infrastructure finance needs in Egypt, but also speaks to the quality of the partners and projects here. I'm in charge of the strategic direction of AFD Egypt, and responsible for delivering the objectives that the Egyptian and French governments have set for us. Last June, we launched our new country strategy until 2025 with the Ministry of International Cooperation, which sets a very clear roadmap for us.

We have an objective of EUR 200-250 mn worth of development finance per year across four main priority investment areas: Clean energy and supporting Egypt's energy transition; Transport; Natural resources, such as water, sanitation and basic services; and sustainable finance. In addition to that, we also have a very important presence in social sectors such as health, social protection and education.

I'm also responsible for representing AFD to all of our clients, including the Egyptian government, public banks, public corporations, and the development community, such as UN agencies or the European Union, as well as contributing to the policy conversation surrounding the sectors and firms in which we are working. This includes French and Egyptian businesses, initiatives we fund, the French business community, and non-governmental organizations. One of the exciting aspects of this profession is the wide range of stakeholders.

I just arrived in September so I'm still building up a routine. I have my family here with me and a baby daughter who likes to wake up very early. So one of my joys is to start the day early and to spend quality time with her between 6-7.30am, just watching her explore the world. It's really thrilling to see her personality blossom. Then I like to walk to work, and to change routes every morning and explore the beautiful buildings on the island of Zamalek, and look for different coffee shops every day. I'm in the office by 8 am, and the workday begins. There’s usually a mix of internal and external meetings. Sundays, for example, are typically reserved for internal meetings and planning for the coming week's priorities. I read Enterprise, then a variety of Egyptian and international newspapers. And I read the New York Times religiously.

What I love about this job is that we're at the intersection of policy and action. We wear both hats, the financier and the technical partner. So that means we’re very actively involved in the design of the project, the policy and also the action. No two days are alike, and the ecosystem of stakeholders with whom we deal is incredibly diverse.

Professionally, I manage my agenda very carefully. Every Thursday evening, I review the next week's plan, and then every evening before I leave, I make sure I'm clear about the next day's schedule, and that it's matched with the priorities that evolve quite rapidly in the week. The one constant in my day is my quality morning time with my daughter, because I'm not always sure I can get home in time to put her to sleep.

I stay focused by drinking lots of coffee. More seriously, I aspire to run on a regular basis in order to stay focused and sharp. I usually try to do one race a year to have a training objective. That serves as a stress reliever and as a way for me to stay focused. This year, I have enrolled for a run at the pyramids in early December, which I’m excited for.

In terms of winding down, I love to discover the cities that I live in, especially such a fascinating city like Cairo. I'm a big history nerd, and a big fan of culture. It's one of the joys of the kind of work that I do where you're regularly posted abroad — the possibility of delving into new cultures. Over the past four or five weekends, I've managed to make some time for guided tours: to discover the pyramids in Giza, Islamic Cairo, and I went on a guided tour of El Moez Street which I loved. I really look forward to being able to explore that part of Cairo’s history and civilization. I also love to dive, and it’s something I’m really looking forward to doing while in Egypt. I’ve done over 100 dives, and am certified to go up to 60 meters. I find it deeply meditative and relaxing, and am itching to discover all the superb diving spots this country has to offer.

I just finished reading Cairo: The City Victorious, which is like a biography of Cairo by Max Rodenbeck. It's a wonderful introduction for an outsider to the long history of Cairo, from someone who's lived in the city for a very long time, and the writing is excellent. Really recommended. I also just bought David Sims’ book, Understanding Cairo. He is an economist and an urban planner, and it's an analysis of urban projects in Cairo.

I come with a perspective that I'm here for a limited time. I already knew from the day that I arrived that I only have four years here. So both professionally and personally it means that there's an intensity to the experience. It's something that I think about quite often. And Ireally have it as a driver. It means literally making the most of every day and every week. To make an impact on the portfolio, to explore new sectors of collaboration, to steer projects. There's a sense of urgency. And I mean that in the best way possible. Despite the fact that our projects take years to be financed and to be implemented. So it's finding that right balance of maintaining a strong sense of urgency and a call to action, while keeping your focus on the medium and long term.



1 November (Tuesday): Deadline for importers, exporters and customs brokers to join Nafeza.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Arab League annual summit, Algiers, Algeria.

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.

13 November (Sunday): Senate back in session.

15-16 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): G20 summit, Bali, Indonesia.

20 November (Sunday): House back in session.

21 November-18 December (Monday-Sunday): 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatar.

22 November- 23 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Fingerprint Summit will be held at the Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel.

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.


1 December (Thursday): Sphinx International Airport will begin operating international flights.

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

10-12 December (Saturday-Monday): The 2nd edition of the Nebu Expo for Gold and Jewelry kicks off.

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): 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.

End of November: SFE’s pre-IPO fund to kick off roadshow.

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.

1Q2023: Internal trade database to launch.

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