Monday, 7 November 2022

AM — COP27 leaders’ summit kicks off today as debate about loss and damage finance heats up



Good morning, friends, and welcome to day two of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The UN climate change summit is not the big story globally this morning — it’s largely been edged off the front pages by the US midterm elections (voters head to the polls tomorrow), the prospect of layoffs at Facebook parent company Meta, and the ongoing drama at Twitter, as we note below.

We expect COP to get more traction in the global business press later today when the world leaders’ summit kicks off. In the meantime, we have a rundown in the news well (below) of yesterday’s events and will continue wall-to-wall coverage in Enterprise Climate and this afternoon’s EnterprisePM.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will inaugurate the two-week conference around noon today alongside UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Simon Stiell. The session is expected to start soon after 12pm CLT and be attended by heads of state and government from across the globe, according to the agenda (pdf).

World leaders are set to line up at the microphone this afternoon: COP27 President Sameh Shoukry will open the first high-level session at 14:30, which will see heads of state give statements until 18.30. Among those speaking today— according to the list of speakers (pdf):

  • Arab leaders including UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid, and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune;
  • Several European leaders, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian PM Giorgia Meloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Dutch PM Mark Rutte;
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak;
  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is on his first visit to Egypt in four years;
  • Isaac Herzog, president of Israel.

Also today: Saudi Arabia’s Middle East Green Initiative gets underway in Sharm.

Are you at COP? You can now book one of 150 EVs to get around the conference, the Transport Ministry said yesterday. The EVs, supplied by the summit’s exclusive mobility principal partner General Motors and Al Mansour Automotive Group, can be booked through the COP27 Edrive app (App Store | Google Play).

More COP links and downloads:


We’re delighted to let you all know that the Enterprise Climate X Forum, our first industry-specific conference is taking place on Tuesday, 6 December. It’s a C-suite event for CEOs and top execs, investors, bankers and development finance folks.

You’re going to love the venue when we unveil it next week.

DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND? The first wave of invites is going out today. If you’re a C-suite exec, business owner, climate professional, DFI staff, investor or banker, please email us at to signal your interest, letting us know your name, title and where you work.

The Enterprise Climate X Forum takes place a bit after COP27 for two simple reasons:

  • To give us all time to catch our collective breath before we ask: Now what?
  • And to serve as a bridge to COP28, keeping the industry in the spotlight for the 11 months before the world heads to the UAE.

Make no mistake: Climate will be the world’s largest and most important industry for decades to come — and is the defining challenge of our generation. It cuts across every sector, from banking and finance to infrastructure, urban planning, real estate, FMCG and beyond. Enterprise Climate and the Enterprise Climate X Forum are the regional hub for news, views, discussion and debate about how we build this industry.

In panels, live interviews and networking sessions, the Enterprise Climate X Forum will give insiders and newcomers alike the chance to talk about how to build a climate-centered business — and how to make sure your business continues to have access to the funds it needs to grow. Expect it to be heavy on lessons learned in Egypt and other global growth markets — and lots of success stories.

Some of the biggest names in business and finance are on board — are you? The Enterprise Climate X Forum is taking place with the generous support of our friends, including:

  • Banking partners: HSBC | Mashreq | Attijariwafa Bank
  • Telecom partner: Etisalat by e&
  • Event partners: Hassan Allam Utilities | Infinity

Want to reach our audience? Ping a note to Moustafa Taalab, our head of commercial, here.

The UAE understands the value of focus in promoting exports and FDI — we need to do the same. UAE energy giant Adnoc has inked agreements worth AED 35 bn with companies including Siemens and Halliburton to localize the manufacturing of energy-related products, Enterprise Climate reports this morning. The agreements fall under the Make it in the Emirates initiative focusing on 11 different sectors to develop national industry. Anyone else see echoes of the Make In India strategy and its focus on 15 industries as the country set up to become a magnet for FDI and a global exports hub? If only there were a recipe that policymakers in Egypt could follow if we wanted to do the same…


COP27 is nowhere on the front pages of the western press this morning: Yesterday’s breakthrough to discuss loss and damage at the summit and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ speech is barely on the radar of the international media, with Bloomberg and CNBC the lone outlets to give the negotiations prominence on their front pages.

Of greater importance this morning:

SIGN OF THE TIMES- #1- Mass layoffs at Meta: Facebook parent Meta is set to begin mass layoffs this week, with thousands of employees expected to face the ax, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter. The planned move would be the first large-scale redundancies at the company since its launch in 2004, and could be the largest-ever at a major tech firm. The layoffs are expected to be smaller in percentage points than the ongoing layoffs at Twitter, which will slash headcount by as many as half of its workforce.

This comes during a tough year for the company that has seen its share price dive almost 75% amid unrest among investors about its spend on the metaverse and concerns about ad revenues.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- Money is increasingly hard to come by on Wall Street (yes, really): The rate of stock sales, bond offerings and mergers in the US hasn’t been this slow in more than a decade amid tightening financial conditions, according to the WSJ.


The Techne Summit continues at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, bringing together entrepreneurs and investors from various sectors in the Mediterranean region. The global multi-industry gathering runs until tomorrow as a hybrid event.

New int’l wheat tender: Grain suppliers have until today to respond to an international wheat tender from GASC. It’s unclear how many tons the state grains buyer is seeking. Shipping is set for 15-30 December and/or 1-15 January.

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


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.


COP27 kicks off with loss and damage financing formally on the agenda

Nations will discuss loss and damage financing for the first time at COP27: A “breakthrough” agreement allowing diplomats to officially debate for the first time who should pay for damage sustained by the countries most vulnerable to climate change was announced on the first day of COP27 yesterday.

High drama: The agreement was hashed out during two days of fraught preliminary talks which saw the opening plenary session delayed for hours, with negotiators unable to agree on whether to put it on the agenda.

The goal: Delegates are aiming to reach a conclusive decision on loss and damage “no later than 2024,” Egypt’s Foreign Minister and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry said in his opening speech (watch, runtime: 14:19), during which he emphasized the talks would be constructive and focused on “cooperation and facilitation” rather than “liability and compensation.”

Progress: The agreement “creates for the first time an institutionally stable space on the formal agenda of the COP and the Paris Agreement to discuss the pressing issue of funding arrangements needed to deal with existing gaps in responding to loss and damage,” Bloomberg reported Shoukry saying.

But it’ll be a tough two weeks ahead: Harjeet Singh, head of global political strategy at the nonprofit Climate Action Network International, described the weekend’s negotiations as “extremely challenging,” and others are voicing trepidation about the likelihood of an agreement over the next two weeks. “This is going to be a difficult COP,” one delegate told the Guardian.

A showdown has been brewing for some time: Wealthy nations have opposed official discussions on climate compensation for over a decade and at COP26 blocked a proposal for a dedicated loss and damage financing body, supporting instead a dialogue for funding discussions to take place over three years. With rich nations already being accused of “bullying” poorer countries during the weekend’s talks, expect the question of who pays for the climate crisis to be a major source of tension at this year’s summit.

Climate finance has been a key area of focus for policymakers in the run-up to the summit, with Egypt climate czar Mahmoud Mohieldin being particularly vocal in calling for compensation for climate change-driven damage and a funding shift away from debt, towards investment (here and here).


Another note hit hard and early yesterday: The need for action in the face of “climate chaos.” COP27 must spur urgent and credible climate action, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video message yesterday, terming the UN’s newly-released State of the Global Climate Report 2022 a “chronicle of climate chaos” (watch, runtime: 1:11). Guterres echoed the message of special representative for the COP27 presidency Wael Aboulmagd, who emphasized the importance of implementation to reporters over the weekend.

And the importance of moving beyond COP26 pledges: It’s time to start delivering on the Paris Agreement and other previously agreed climate pledges, Aboulmagd said. Last year’s summit in Glasgow saw several important pledges agreed on, including “phasing down” the use of coal, halting deforestation by 2030, slashing methane emissions by 30% by 2030, and submitting updated national plans with more ambitious targets.

Passing the torch: Yesterday saw outgoing COP President Alok Sharma hand the presidency to Shoukry, who chaired the opening plenary session.

Sharma also warned against delaying action: “Our shared long-term future does not lie in fossil fuels,” Sharma said in his address yesterday. While “every major report published this year underscores the point that progress has been made … there is so much more to be done in this critical decade,” Sharma added.


You can expect to hear lots more about climate finance and the need for implementation over the next two weeks. These were two major conference themes out of four flagged in EnterpriseAM’s pre-COP roundup yesterday. To that end:

DFIs ready to scale up mitigation and adaptation support: A group of leading development finance institutions have pledged to expand support to countries for mitigation and adaptation in the face of climate change.

Who’s on board: The African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank, and the World Bank will help countries and other clients include adaptation and mitigation into their overall economic planning, offering support in areas including policymaking, investment plans and securing funding sources, they said in a joint statement (pdf) yesterday. Boosting adaptation finance for low-income countries, island states, and vulnerable populations, and increasing concessional finance will be among their priorities, it added.

By the numbers: Last year, the lenders collectively channeled USD 51 bn in climate finance to low- and middle-income countries — split 65% for mitigation and 35% for adaptation, according to the EBRD. Some USD 31 bn went to high-income countries, with 95% earmarked for mitigation and 5% for adaptation. They mobilized a further USD 41 bn of private finance.

Other major COP27 themes to keep an eye on: A “just energy transition”: Individual countries need access to energy even as they work towards hitting their decarbonization targets, said Aboulmagd, noting that natural gas — the lowest-emission hydrocarbon — is increasingly viewed as a “transition fuel.” African public and private sector leaders have made the case for the continent to see a “just energy transition,” where countries can exploit their vast gas reserves. And prominent GCC voices — including Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser and UAE energy ministry official Yousef Al Ali — have argued that the speed of targeted divestment from fossil fuels isn’t viable, as existing renewables capacity can’t satisfy energy demand.

And Egypt’s exhortations to not be distracted by political squabbling: COP27 “has to be a watershed moment where the world rises above differences that exist outside of the realm of climate change to come together to address what is perhaps the most universally acknowledged threat to humanity,” Aboulmagd said.


Green zone inaugurated: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly inaugurated the summit’s green zone which hosts exhibitions and pavilions. Activities are set to kick off on 9 November and run through to Thursday 17 November. You can check out the agenda for the green zone here (pdf).

Agreement to regenerate Lake Bardawil: Belgian dredging specialists DEME Group, Alexandria Maritime Services (Alexmar), and the Suez Canal Authority signed an MoU to regenerate Lake Bardawil in North Sinai, cabinet said in a statement. DEME is part of a group of water specialists that have proposed dredging the area and desalinating the soil to restore the lake’s ecosystem, which is under threat from rising temperatures.


IFC could help finance 500 MW Al Nowais-Sumitomo wind farm

IFC money for 500 MW wind project? The International Finance Corporation (IFC) could provide USD 83 mn to an Emirati-Japanese consortium to part-fund their planned 500 MW wind farm in Ras Ghareb, according to the lender’s website. The financing is pending approval and would consist of a USD 75 mn loan and interest rate swaps worth around USD 8 mn, the disclosure says.

The players: The wind farm will be built by Amunet, a local special purpose vehicle that is 60% owned by Al Nowais subsidiary AMEA Power and 40% owned by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation. A consortium led by PowerChina Huadong Engineering will be the EPC contractor, while Chinese energy group Envision will serve as the turbine supplier.

The project: The IFC puts the total cost of the wind farm at USD 709 mn, 80% of which will be financed by debt and the remainder by equity. Further loans are expected from export credit agencies and commercial banks. The electricity produced will be sold to the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Construction is set to begin in March 2023 and finish two-and-a-half years later, the disclosure reads.

ICYMI: Our wind sector is seeing a lot of action. Saudi renewables player ACWA power last week revealed plans to build a 10-GW facility — what would be the second-largest wind farm in the world — while a consortium of Orascom Construction, Engie and Toyota Tsusho broke ground on a 500-MW farm in Ras Ghareb last week. ACWA and our friends at Hassan Allam, meanwhile, are working on a 1.1 GW farm.


We could soon be getting more than EUR 500 mn in fresh loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The lender is considering three new loans to Egypt, according to the bank’s website:

  • A EUR 307 mn loan to fund half of the cost of upgrades to Cairo Metro Line 2;
  • A EUR 150 mn “food resilience” loan to fund half the cost of a project to add silos and buy wheat to replenish strategic reserves;
  • A EUR 70 mn loan to state-owned Banque du Caire (BdC) for on-lending to underserved micro-entrepreneurs outside of Cairo and Alexandria.


EGX sets up company to manage carbon credit exchange

EGX teams up with Agricultural Bank, Enara Group to form carbon credit company: An Egyptian Exchange (EGX) subsidiary has signed an agreement with the Agricultural Bank of Egypt and Enara Group’s Libra Capital to establish Libra Carbon, the first Egyptian company to develop and issue carbon certificates, according to a joint statement.

Expect a regional carbon exchange to follow: The move is a first step towards developing a voluntary, Africa-wide carbon credit exchange to encourage and diversify investment in the continent’s green economy, EGX head Rami El Dokany said in the statement. Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad last week said Egypt would announce the exchange — which has been in the works since 2018 — at COP27.

How will it work? The company will serve as the building block for “an organized market for the trading of carbon certificates, which includes all the necessary components not only for trading but also for issuance,” said FRA chief Mohamed Farid. We’re still waiting for the details on how the company plans to value, issue, and allow the trading of carbon credits. We took a look at what a local carbon exchange could look like in our recent Going Green vertical.

There’s a growing market for carbon credits — but it needs standardizing: “The volume of transactions associated with carbon certificates is growing at 20x annually,” Bloomberg Asharq quotes COP climate czar Mahmoud Mohieldin, who attended the signing ceremony, as saying. But trading prices vary widely, with a certificate for one ton of carbon emissions selling for anything from USD 2 to USD 100 across the continent, he added. The regional exchange will look to standardize prices.


COP27 starts in Sharm El Sheikh with a mission to move beyond pledges

By Todd Wilcox

As mns of words will likely be written over the next two weeks to variously scrutinize and analyze, cheer and chide the discussions that take place at the UN COP27 climate conference, I want to be as clear as possible with mine ⁠— businesses and investors are at a critical juncture.

It is essential for business leaders to adopt a proactive approach to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles into their business planning, management and delivery, and to understand the ESG risks in their own operations and their supply chains.

Managing the transition to a net zero carbon economic model as part of this ESG commitment is becoming more pressing as climate change challenges become more pronounced.

Our clients recognize how important it is that they transition their business models.

A full 97% of capital markets issuers in the Middle East who responded to the HSBC 2021 Sustainable Finance and Investing Survey said they had increased the attention that they pay to ESG issues over the past year.

Some 45% of issuers said that they were already seeing the impact of climate change on their business or activities, and 78% of issuers said they were actively working on their net zero commitments.

This is positive news, but rest assured investors will be looking for more, especially with the goal of the Egyptian presidency of COP27 being to accelerate the global decarbonization drive, while also achieving a ‘just transition’ that factors in the needs and responsibilities of all countries and peoples.

A successful COP27 will result in an acceleration of climate policies ⁠— unlocking incentives for investment to reduce emissions as well as building resilience. This would drive more disclosure, more targeted regulation, and the integrity of corporate climate strategies.

The UN’s own estimate of the scale of investment required is daunting: USD 125 tn between now and 2050. Their analysis suggests that over 70% of this capital needs to come from the private sector, including the financial system. This is an immense and unprecedented challenge, which requires borderless solutions and action.

So what does this mean for you as businesses and investors?

According to the latest HSBC Navigator report, 38% of businesses working in Egypt are putting more than 10% of their operating profit towards becoming more sustainable.

We are seeing this happening on the ground as well through our conversation with our clients. I met with one of our clients in Alexandria earlier this year who manufactures textiles for European markets and I was impressed to witness firsthand how he is adjusting his operations to boost the sustainability of his business.

Meaningful change happens when government and the private sector ⁠— be it private finance or private industry ⁠— work together to agree solutions to the emerging challenges our planet is facing.

Transition risk is a reality for every business in the world. But it always has been ⁠— a business only succeeds if it can adapt fast to emerging challenges and trends in the marketplace. Climate change amplifies this transition risk because it is truly global, and requires globally-agreed and globally-accelerated solutions.

We have helped clients across Egypt navigate changing market conditions for many years. Now, as Egypt welcomes the world to Sharm El Sheikh, we all have an opportunity to help the world rise to the climate challenge and mobilize the transition to a global net zero economy.

Todd Wilcox is CEO and deputy chair of HSBC Egypt. We last interviewed him on 2 June 2022 here. HSBC’s column on Enterprise appears every second Monday.


We finally got our first future flow issuance, courtesy of CIRA

CIRA Education closes Egypt’s maiden EGP 800 mn future flow securitization issuance: EGX-listed education provider CIRA Education has closed its maiden EGP 800 mn future flow issuance as part of a larger EGP 2 bn future flow securitized bond program, the company said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The full program will take place over the course of three years.

Who bought into the offering? QNB Al Ahli, Banque du Caire, Ahli United Bank, and aiBank, which is majority controlled by our friends at EFG Hermes.

Once more for those in the back — what is future flow? Unlike traditional securitization, future flow allows the securitization of payments that aren’t yet on the company’s balance sheet, giving companies access to liquidity without needing a big portfolio of accounts receivables. Future income — whether from club memberships, phone bills, utility payments, tuition fees or rents — is packaged into securities and offered to investors in order to raise capital. Tap or click here to check out our full explainer, and catch our deep dive on what makes education a prime candidate for future flow securitization in our recent Blackboard vertical here.

DATA POINT- The year in securitization (so far): The issuance brings the total value of securitized bonds brought to market so far this year to some EGP 42.8 bn, according to data tracked by Enterprise. That dwarfs the EGP 15.8 bn taken to market during the whole of 2021.

About the issuance: The three-tranche issuance is backed by future tuition revenues, and consisted of seven-year securities sold at EGP 100 each. The issuance received an A rating from Middle East Rating Services (MERIS). The funds raised from this first issuance will be used to cover CIRA’s growth plans in the next three years, including expanding its university and K-12 offering, CEO Mohamed El Kalla previously told us.

What expansions? CIRA is looking to open three new schools at the beginning of the coming school year in September, an international school in Assiut in 2024. It’s also partnering with investment company Elsewedy Capital Holding to build and run a private university in New Damietta, and plans to launch Egypt’s first private sector technical college in September 2023.

Advisors: EFG Hermes is the financial advisor on the transaction, Zulficar & Partners is providing counsel, and PwC is the auditor. QNB AlAhli, Banque Misr, and Ahli United Bank, acted as underwriters, while Ahli United Bank also acted as custodian.

MORE FUTURE FLOWS COMING OUR WAY? The government is reportedly considering issuing future flows for utility firms in the water, electricity and gas sectors, Al Mal reports, citing sources it says are in the know. Contact Financial Holding is also in talks with the FRA to securitize future flows in 2H 2022 on behalf of “one of the largest corporate firms in Egypt,” CFO Ayman Elsawy told Enterprise earlier this year.

Correction: 7 November, 2022

A previous version of this story incorrectly said the Arab International Bank (AIB) acted as custodian on the transaction. The story was corrected to reflect that Ahli United Bank was custodian. 


Bond investors shrug at IMF rescue package

The markets aren’t convinced that the IMF program is a cure for Egypt’s woes: Egyptian bonds have sold off and the cost of insuring the country’s debt has risen in the days since the government agreed a USD 3 bn rescue package with the IMF as investors adopt a wait-and-see approach and rising US interest rates squeeze emerging-market assets. Policymakers hoped a move to a floating exchange rate and fresh backing from the IMF would restore market confidence in our external position, but instead Egypt’s bonds are nursing losses and five-year credit default swaps are trading deeper in distressed territory, Bloomberg writes.

Refresher: Egypt and the IMF announced a staff-level agreement for a USD 3 bn extended fund facility at the end of October after the central bank allowed the EGP to fall against the USD in what it said was a move to a “durably flexible” exchange rate. The agreement is expected to unlock another USD 5 bn in financing from other international lenders. Policymakers expect the IMF executive board to approve the facility at a December meeting.

Show don’t tell: “Egypt remains a ‘show me’ story,” an analyst at Columbia Threadneedle Investments told the outlet. “The IMF involvement is a nice policy anchor but does not by itself fix any of the external funding issues as program success is very much contingent on execution of the privatization and foreign-direct-investment agenda, of which investors remain skeptical given previous disappointments.” Bloomberg had earlier quoted Tellimer expressing similar concerns.

The program is at the low end of what was expected, disappointing some analysts who had estimated that the country could need as much as USD 15 bn to shore up its position. Deutsche Bank says Egypt needs USD 28 bn to cover debt repayments until the end of 2023 and requires another USD 20 bn for 2024, though it has just USD 33 bn in foreign reserves.

Goldman did warn that it could take a while to get investors on side: “The funding being made available in the program is unlikely, in our view, to immediately allay investor concerns regarding Egypt’s medium-term external financing outlook. We therefore do not expect market access to be restored in the immediate term,” Goldman Sachs MENA economist Farouk Soussa wrote in a note following the devaluation last month.


Exile on Wall Street?

Swvl gets a first warning from Nasdaq over its low share price: Cairo-born ride-hailing startup Swvl has received a notice from the Nasdaq saying that it has 180 days to raise its share price or run the risk of being delisted from the US exchange, the company said in a regulatory filing on Friday. This gives the company until 1 May 2023 to bring its share price above USD 1.00 a share for at least 10 consecutive days before it receives a notice of a potential delisting.

The problem: The ride-hailing startup has consistently traded below USD 1.00 per share since the third week of September and is currently changing hands at around USD 0.51 per share —down almost 95% from its USD 10.00 debut in April. According to Nasdaq delisting rules, the index sends a deficiency notice to any company whose share price remains below USD 1.00 for 30 consecutive business days. The listed firm then has 180 calendar days to get its share price back up above the minimum threshold or face delisting.

The game plan: Swvl is currently considering a reverse stock split — whereby it combines some of its shares to leave fewer, higher-priced shares in the market — and/or requesting an extension from the Nasdaq that would give it another 180 days to boost its share price, Swvl CFO Youssef Salem told Enterprise. “There’s a chance the share price recovers, so we still need to decide,” Salem said. The SEC filing notes that “Swvl’s continued listing on Nasdaq remains a key priority for the company.”

Swvl is banking on solid earnings to reverse its fortunes: Swvl plans to become cash-flow positive by next year as it looks to ride out global headwinds. “Being cash flow positive could correct the movement of the share price,” Salem said, echoing earlier statements given to Bloomberg Asharq by CEO Mostafa Kandil. Swvl is already turning a profit in 70% of its operating markets, Kandil was quoted as saying.

REMEMBER- It’s not just Swvl: More than three-quarters of US corporations that listed during the pandemic bull run are now trading below their offering price amid global market volatility, forcing many to reverse course and return to the private markets.


Senate committee give preliminary approval for FX incentive bill

Senate committee gives initial approval to FX-for-tax cuts industrial plan: The Senate Financial and Economic Affairs Committee yesterday gave preliminary approval to draft amendments that would grant income tax breaks to investors who use FX to finance at least half of the cost of their projects. Under the proposed amendments to the 2017 Investment Act, companies would receive a tax cut of up to 55% on income generated by projects funded by FX. The approval comes a few weeks after cabinet approved the plan, which aims to attract more hard currency into the country and shore up its external position.

What’s next: Once the amendments are given a final approval by the committee, it will be referred to the Senate to be discussed and voted on. It would then be debated and voted on in the House of Representatives, which received the bill last week.

REMEMBER- Both the Senate and the House are on recess for COP27. Senators return on 13 November while MPs will hold their next session on 20 November.


President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has signed into law amendments to the agriculture and civil status laws, and new firearms regulations, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette. Under the amendments:

  • People caught illegally building on agricultural land will face tougher fines, ranging between EGP 500k-10 mn and up to five years in prison;
  • The amendments to the Civil Status Law will see teenagers receive their national ID cards at the age of 15 instead of 16,
  • Getting a license to buy and sell guns will get harder under.



The opening day of the COP27 summit got all the attention from the nation’s talking heads, who have all decamped to Sharm El Sheikh to broadcast live from the conference:

#1- Passing of the torch from COP26 President Alok Sharma to Sameh Shoukry: Sada Al Balad (watch, runtime: 2:30), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:53), Al Hadath Al Youm (watch, runtime: 2:41) among others.

#2- Loss and damage: Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan (watch, runtime: 2:36) and Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi both dedicated time to discussing loss and damage. El Hadidi talked to the former CEO of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, Omar El Erini, about the subject (watch, runtime: 5:41).

#3- Movers and shakers: Radwan interviewed COP27 President and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (watch, runtime: 23:14) and COP26 High-Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping on all things climate change (watch, runtime: 18:11).

The main event last night wasn’t COP-related: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva sat down for a one-on-one with Lamees to discuss the new USD 3 bn program agreed with Egypt and the global economic crisis. The interview came hours after Georgieva met with President El Sisi on the opening day of the summit in Sharm El Sheikh yesterday.

In her own words: “I applauded Egypt’s commitment to strong policies to shield its economy from successive global shocks. Bold reforms will help secure a more inclusive & sustainable future for its people,” Georgieva wrote on social media after the meeting.

Moving towards a durably flexible exchange rate regime was a “smart move,” Georgieva told El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 2:03). “If you tried to protect the local currency, you’d be depleting your [foreign] reserves,” she said. Egypt was also smart for deciding early on to seek fresh assistance from the Washington-based lender, she said (watch, runtime: 2:40).

A concessional payment schedule: Georgieva emphasized the terms attached to the loan that won’t see Egypt begin repayments for another 10 years, and take another 10 years to pay off the principal and interest (watch, runtime: 1:15).

On the global economy: One-third of the global economy could be hit by recession next year, Georgieva said, estimating that the world will see USD 4 tn in lost output by 2026.


The eyes of the world are firmly fixed on Egypt as COP27 gets underway in Sharm El Sheikh: The foreign press’ coverage of the opening day of the COP27 summit is dominated by the breakthrough to get loss and damage on the agenda (Reuters | Bloomberg | New York Times | Sky News | The Guardian) while others are foregrounding the negotiations against the the global economic and geopolitical crises (Associated Press | Wall Street Journal).

Egypt’s human rights record is almost as big a talking point as the climate negotiations: Alaa Abdel Fattah is everywhere in the foreign press this morning a day after the BBC reported that the imprisoned political activist had begun refusing to drink water as part of his escalated hunger strike against his detention. The Guardian reported yesterday that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will raise his case during the summit, while the Associated Press picks statements made by the head of Amnesty International yesterday warning that Abdel Fattah could die in the coming days, a point that is echoed by former British ambassador to Cairo John Casson writing in the Sunday Times. Our rights record is getting front-page, above-the-scroll treatment in the Financial TImes as well.

Meanwhile- The German government criticized Egypt’s human rights record yesterday, according to AFP, cybersecurity experts tell the Guardian that the official COP27 app could be used to surveil conference delegates, and Reuters looks at how Egypt is looking to leverage the summit for international clout.


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Berkshire turns in mixed results + global food prices hold steady

Another mixed set of results for Berkshire Hathaway: The Warren Buffett-led conglomerate posted a USD 2.7 bn loss in 3Q 2022, compared to profits of USD 10.3 bn during the same period last year, according to its quarterly earnings (pdf), marking a second consecutive quarter of losses in the USD bns on the back of continued market volatility. The company has now lost USD 40.9 bn this year, compared to a USD 50.1 bn profit in 9M 2021.

Bottomline isn’t everything: The company saw its operating income jump 20% y-o-y to sit at USD 7.8 bn for the quarter. Buffett has repeatedly urged shareholders to look at the performance of the company’s underlying businesses rather than at Berkshire’s profitability, which is heavily influenced by market fluctuations due to its massive stock portfolio, the Wall Street Journal notes. The firm’s fortunes are seen as a bellwether for US business conditions.

De-FAANGed: A nosedive in the value of Meta shares could herald the end of the glory days for big tech firms Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet, once seen as safe-bet stocks despite high valuations, according to Bloomberg. The five stocks still make up over 13% of the S&P 500’s market value but have all suffered losses of 40% to 60% in the last year. Meta shares have fallen almost 75% this year, with almost 25% of the company’s value being wiped at the end of October due to disappointing earnings and concerns about the amount of spending on the metaverse.

Global food prices hold steady: The UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) index was virtually unchanged at 135.9 in October from 136.0 the month before, as a rise in cereals prices offset falling meat, dairy and oil prices.




-0.7% (YTD: -6.4%)



Buy 24.23

Sell 24.32



Buy 24.18

Sell 24.28


Interest rates CBE

13.25% deposit

14.25% lending




+0.7% (YTD: +2.1%)




+1.0% (YTD: +23.5%)




+0.6% (YTD: +4.8%)


S&P 500


+1.4% (YTD: -20.9%)


FTSE 100


+2.0% (YTD: -0.7%)


Euro Stoxx 50


+2.7% (YTD: -14.2%)


Brent crude

USD 98.57



Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 6.40




USD 1,676.60




USD 21,118

-1.0% (YTD: -53.1%)


The EGX30 fell 0.7% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 702.6 mn (35% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is down 6.4% YTD.

In the green: GB Auto (+5.5%), Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+1.9%) and Rameda Pharma (+1.1%).

In the red: QNB Al Ahly (-6.1%), Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (-4.2%) and Ezz Steel (-3.0%).



5-8 November (Saturday-Tuesday): Techne Summit, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 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.

10-13 November (Thursday-Sunday): Asian Tour — International Series Egypt, Madinaty, Egypt.

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.

1 December (Thursday): Contractors to break ground on Egypt-Saudi interconnection project.

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

5-8 December (Monday-Thursday): QS Reimagine Education Awards and Conference, multiple locations.

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

1 April (Saturday): Deadline for banks to establish sustainability unit.

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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