Thursday, 24 November 2022

AM — Is the Qatari sovereign fund closing in on a 20% stake in Vodafone Egypt?

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Is it really that time of year again, ladies and gents? We wish all of our American readers a Happy Thanksgiving today — as well as everyone else turning “American” for the day to get involved with the good food and the good vibes.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

The Egyptian Businessmen’s Association is meeting today to discuss how to keep that central bank money flowing: The industry body’s industrial, agricultural and tourism committees will hold an emergency meeting today to decide how to respond to the government’s decision this week to end the Central Bank of Egypt’s role in providing low-interest loans to key sectors of the economy. The EBA, which is also in talks with the Federation of Egyptian Industries and the Chambers of Commerce, plans to appeal to the president to water down the decision.

^^ We have more on this story in this morning’s news well, below.

Emigration Minister Soha Gendy is in Riyadh to open the Nile Property Expo, according to a ministry statement.

enterprise

It’s day five of the World Cup: Teams in groups G and H play their openers today (all times CLT):

  • Switzerland v Cameroon (12pm)
  • Uruguay v South Korea (3pm)
  • Portugal v Ghana (6pm)
  • Brazil v Serbia (9pm)

The big story out of Doha on day four: Japan did a Saudi Arabia yesterday, coming from behind to beat Germany. An impressive late comeback handed the Japanese a famous 2-1 victory against the four-time winners.

Could Germany be heading out of the competition after just 180 minutes? Yesterday’s loss means Germany will likely have to win their next game against Spain to have a chance of making it to the knockouts. But with the Germans looking toothless in front of goal and the Spanish thrashing Costa Rica 7-0 yesterday, the smart money is now on them making a shock exit from the competition in the group stage.

Germany’s pre-game protest is getting almost as much attention in the press as their shock defeat: Before kickoff, Germany’s players covered their mouths with their hands in a jab at Fifa’s decision to ban team captains from wearing the OneLove armband.

In yesterday’s other games:

  • Belgium snatched a 1-0 win against a lively Canadian team;
  • Morocco and Croatia played out a goalless draw.

GROUP E

P

W

D

L

GD

Points

🇪🇸 Spain

1

1

0

0

7

3

🇯🇵 Japan

1

1

0

0

1

3

🇩🇪 Germany

1

0

0

1

-1

0

🇨🇷 Costa Rica

1

0

0

1

-7

0

GROUP F

P

W

D

L

GD

Points

🇧🇪 Belgium

1

1

0

0

1

3

🇭🇷 Croatia

1

0

1

0

0

1

🇲🇦 Morocco

1

0

1

0

0

1

🇨🇦 Canada

1

0

0

1

-1

0


PSA #1- Egyptian companies and nonprofits can now apply for funding from KfW to undertake projects that will create jobs, the German development bank announced (pdf) yesterday. Projects will receive between EUR 1 mn and EUR 10 mn to deliver projects that “contribute to sustainable job creation in the private sector,” it said. Applicants have until Thursday 22 December to submit their concept notes.

PSA #2- Flat6Labs have partnered with SIAC and Dar El Handasah to launch ‘Makers’, a construction-tech focused innovation program to support startups operating in construction technology solutions, it said in a press release (pdf) yesterday. The program includes a pre-accelerator for early-stage businesses and an accelerator program for more advanced startups. Head here for more information and to apply for the program.

PSA #3- Rice race: Cabinet is reminding rice producers, sellers and distributors to notify the Supply Ministry directorates of their stockpiled rice and storage areas by the end of a one-week notice period on Sunday. Rice has been designated as a “strategic commodity” for at least three months under efforts to deter traders who try to exploit the opportunity to hoard rice amid a global shortage of commodities.

enterprise

THE BIG STORIES ABROAD-

Leading in the global business press this morning: The Fed just gave its clearest indication yet that it plans to ease rate hikes. A majority of Federal Reserve officials came out in support of slowing the pace of interest rate hikes at its policy meeting earlier this month, according to minutes released yesterday. (Reuters | Bloomberg | Financial Times | Wall Street Journal | CNBC)

There’s still room for disappointment, though: “A substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate,” the minutes read, meaning that a fifth straight 75-bps hike is by no means off the table when officials meet next month.

All will depend on November’s inflation data: US inflation has been on a downward trend in recent months, raising optimism in the markets that the central bank could soon start to take its foot off the gas.

The markets greeted the news with a cheer: US stocks extended gains on the news yesterday with the S&P 500 rising 0.6% to reach its highest level since mid-September, and the Nasdaq rising 1.0. The USD continued to fall back while bonds rose.

The rally is continuing in Asia: Shares across the region are in the green in early trading this morning, while markets in Europe are poised for gains later today. The US markets are closed today for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will close early tomorrow for Black Friday.

MEANWHILE- Russia sends Ukraine into darkness: A barrage of Russian airstrikes have knocked out most of Ukraine’s energy grid, cutting off power in many cities and sending much of the country into darkness. Yesterday’s strikes are the latest in a weeks-long Russian offensive targeting the war-torn country’s power infrastructure. The story’s getting ink from: AP | Reuters | BBC | NYT.

MARKET WATCH-

Europe can’t agree on Russia oil price cap: EU members aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on how to implement the proposed price cap on Russian crude, with negotiations on where to set the cap set to continue today or tomorrow. The EU Commission has proposed setting the cap at USD 65 a barrel, a price dismissed by the Baltics and Poland for being too high and rejected by others with large shipping industries — Greece, Cyprus and Malta — for being too high. “Poland say they can't go above $30 per barrel. Cyprus wants compensation. Greece wants more time. It is not going to happen tonight,” one diplomat told Reuters. The price cap on Russia’s seaborne crude is expected to come into force on 5 December. Bloomberg also covered the talks.

Oil prices plunged by over 3% yesterday on the back of a proposed Russian oil price cap and a build-up of US gasoline stocks, according to the newswire. Brent futures for January were down 3.3% to close at USD 85.41 per barrel, while US crude fell 3.7% to USD 77.94. US gasoline inventories were up by 3.1 mn barrels, exceeding analysts predictions of a 383k barrel build.

enterprise

The Enterprise Climate X Forum is fast approaching, and we’re incredibly excited to meet with some of you in Cairo at the Grand Egyptian Museum on Tuesday, 6 December 2022. We get underway with a networking breakfast at 8am CLT.

What’s on the table? CEOs, execs, bankers and development finance folks will mull over a variety of topics, including:

  • What’s this green hydrogen mumbo-jumbo you speak of?
  • How are leaders building green businesses — from scratch, or as retrofits to decades-old family enterprises?
  • How do we pay for it all?
  • What do you really think of the green economy?

With that in mind, we’ll be dropping little notices in stories and topics we intend to explore more of at the forum. Study up if you’re coming.

Some of the biggest names in business and finance are on board — are you? If you’re a C-suite exec, business owner, climate professional, DFI staff, investor or banker, please email us at climatexrsvp@enterprisemea.com to signal your interest, letting us know your name, title and where you work. You can learn more on our conference website here.

*** YOU MUST REGISTER TO ATTEND by clicking the link on your registration email. Attendance is by invitation only. You’ll need a special QR code to gain access to the GEM on event day.


CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The deadline to apply for the Chicago Booth Executive Program in El Gouna is Sunday, 27 November. The two-week program, which kicks off in March 2023, offers executives from Egyptian public and private sector the skills to help them “become a better leader for your organization and support Egypt’s growth in the years ahead.”

Payment and fintech conference Pafix will be held as part of Cairo ICT 2022 from 27-30 November at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre in New Cairo.

The US and Russia will hold nuclear talks in Cairo next week: Washington and Moscow will discuss resuming mutual nuclear inspections during week-long talks from Tuesday, 29 November through to 6 December, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, according to CNN.

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

enterprise

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M&A WATCH

Is the Qatari sovereign fund closing in on a 20% stake in Vodafone Egypt?

Are talks between TE and Qatar’s sovereign fund over Vodafone Egypt hotting up? The Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) talks with Telecom Egypt over the potential purchase of a 20% stake in Vodafone Egypt have “accelerated” and could close “very soon,” Bloomberg Asharq reports, citing two sources it says are in the know.

The Qataris are reportedly offering more than USD 1 bn for the 20% stake, according to the news outlet, valuing Vodafone Egypt at USD 5 bn at least. That’s more than South Africa’s Vodacom is paying for its ongoing acquisition of a 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt from Vodafone Plc, which values the company at around EUR 4.25 bn (USD 4.4 bn). That transaction is still waiting on approval from Egyptian regulators.

REFRESHER- QIA and the national telecoms provider have reportedly been in talks over the transaction since September, as the Qatari sovereign fund looks to invest as much as USD 2.5 bn to purchase state-held stakes in unlisted companies. The EGX-listed telecoms giant holds a 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt and the government owns 80% of TE.

QIA isn’t the only interested party: TE is in talks with three Arab sovereign funds to divest part of its stake in Vodafone Egypt, though the telecoms giant has yet to receive any official bids, a source close to the matter previously confirmed to Enterprise. We’ve previously reported that QIA, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Abu Dhabi’s ADQ are all in talks with the government over a piece of Vodafone Egypt. TE could come to an agreement with one of the Arab sovereign funds by the end of the year, our source said.

This could still take some time: QIA earlier this month deposited USD 1 bn with the Central Bank of Egypt as a stop-gap while it completes due diligence and finalizes agreements on potential stake buys.

POLICY

The CBE’s exit from the subsidized loan programs isn’t going down well with some industry figures

A decision by the government to end the central bank’s role in subsidizing loans has not been received well by some sections of the business community, with the Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA) and some MPs calling on ministers to rethink their plans.

Refresher: A decree issued by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly earlier this week will see the CBE stop providing funding for subsidized loans, and pass the responsibility to the housing, finance and tourism ministries. The central bank currently backs soft loans for key areas of the economy, including construction, industry, agriculture and tourism, as well as mortgages and some cars. It has allocated hundreds of bns of EGP to financing borrowers in these sectors with loans at an interest rate of 8%.

The IMF wants this to stop: In the weeks leading up to last month’s loan agreement with the IMF, reports in the press had suggested that ending subsidized loans was one of the conditions attached to fresh financing. Under its 2020 standby loan program, the central bank had pledged not to renew the programs past FY2021-2022 but still hasn’t pulled its support. The IMF argues that providing loans at below-market rates complicates monetary policy, but is willing to allow them to continue provided the costs are borne by the government and not the central bank.

Industry figures aren’t happy: “The export-led industrial and agricultural sectors will be the ones most negatively impacted by the decision,” said EBA chairman Ali Eissa. “This decision will push the export-led sectors out from competition on the world markets, cut industrial investments and compel most industrial businesses to lay off workers.”

The EBA appears to have sympathizers in the House: Rep. Mahmoud Essam, who sits on the House Industrial Committee, has called on the government to listen to the industrial committee’s concerns. “Many start-up industrial projects depend on subsidized loans and the halt of these will put them in a serious mess,” he said.

Cue an appeal to the president: The EBA’s industrial, agricultural and tourism committees will meet today to discuss their response to the decree, and will draft a memorandum that will be submitted to the Supreme Investment Council, which is chaired by President El Sisi. The industry body will propose setting up a fund at the Finance Ministry to help fund the loans, and phasing out the central bank’s involvement over the next five years, said Mageddin El Manzlawy, chairman of the EBA’s industrial committee. “Most of the loans are directed to buying raw materials and production inputs and a sudden halt of them will throw companies into a state of disarray,” he said.

They want others on board: The EBA is in talks with the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and the Chambers of Commerce to form a unified position. The FEI, led by businessman Mohamed El Sewedy, is yet to reveal his position on the issue.

ECONOMY

EGP most vulnerable EM currency, says Nomura

The EGP might not be out of the woods yet: Japanese bank Nomura thinks that Egypt is the most vulnerable emerging-market country to a currency crisis over the next 12 months, according to a report. Egypt is ranked highest of the 32 EM nations included on the bank’s Damocles Index, indicating a strong chance that the country will suffer an exchange-rate crisis in the coming months.

The sword: Nomura describes its Damocles Index as an “early warning model of EM exchange rate crises.” It uses eight indicators — focusing on FX reserves, debt levels, the exchange rate and capital inflows — to produce a score. Anything over 100 signifies a 64% chance that the will experience an exchange rate crisis in the following 12 months, the bank says.

Egypt is currently significantly higher than that: Nomura gave Egypt a score of 165 in the latest index, joining six other countries on the bank’s most-vulnerable list, among which are Romania (145), Sri Lanka (138),Turkey (138) and Pakistan (120). “Though the currencies of Egypt, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Pakistan have depreciated sharply in the last 12 months, Damocles indicates that they are not yet out of the woods due to their still-weak economic fundamentals including high inflation,” the bank wrote.

The EGP has already seen a significant drop in value this year: The EGP has fallen to a record low against the USD this year as tightening financial conditions and spillover effects from the war in Ukraine hit Egypt’s external position. The currency has been one of the world’s worst-performing currencies, tumbling 56% against the USD since March after the central bank twice devalued the currency. Since the central bank announced a floating exchange rate at the end of October, the currency has fallen 24.5% and has continued to gradually slide through November.

The float, together with the reassurance of a new IMF program, has begun to bring foreign currency back into the country — at least into the stock market, which has surged almost 20% since the central bank’s announcement last month. Data released in the coming months will give us an idea of the impact on the local bond market and the current account.

The Damocles Index doesn’t paint a good picture for EM: Most countries listed on the index saw their currency risks rise, with the aggregate score rising sharply to 2,234 from 1,744 in the previous update in May. “This is the highest aggregate score since July 1999 and is not too far from the peak of 2,692 during the height of the Asian crisis, an ominous warning sign of the growing broad-based risk in EM currencies,” the bank wrote.

CABINET WATCH

Cabinet approves plans for IP Authority

Ministers approved a draft bill that would establish the Egyptian Intellectual Property Authority, a public body to regulate and protect intellectual property rights in the country, cabinet said in a statement following its weekly meeting yesterday.

The authority is key to the government’s new five-year intellectual property strategy which was announced in September as part of broader efforts to improve business conditions, strengthen the private sector and boost innovation. The authority would be tasked with preparing and overseeing the implementation of the strategy, coordinating policy making, and raising awareness of IP rights among businesses and researchers. The authority is expected to launch in 2024.

Also approved at yesterday’s meeting:

#1- Tougher measures to curb building violations: Cabinet approved legal amendments that would allow authorities to disconnect electricity, water and gas connections to buildings illegally built on agricultural or state land.

#2- The mystery Forward Egypt company that is manufacturing footballs for the World Cup is getting its own freezone in Tenth of Ramadan city. The zone will have three factories for the manufacture of footballs, sports shoes, and sportswear with a capital of USD 10 mn and investment costs estimated at USD 22 mn. We’ve been unable to find any information about this company but according to the government it is the only factory approved by Adidas in the Middle East.

#3- More power for the EMA: Ministers approved a draft bill to restructure the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA) as a public body that manages and provides meteorological services and provides general policy in the field nationwide.

MOVES

Our friend Hisham Ezz Al Arab has resigned from his post as an advisor to CBE Governor Hassan Abdalla in the wake of his return to CIB’s board as non-executive director, he told Al Arabiya. Ezz Al Arab said he plans to help CIB implement the bank’s plans in the coming period. Asked about media reports suggesting he could return to the top job next year, he said he cannot talk about his future and stressed his focus on his duties as a board member.

Communications platform provider Cequens has hired five new executives as part of a five-year expansion plan, according to a company statement (pdf):

  • Ahmed Shabrawy (LinkedIn) was appointed chief research and innovation officer;
  • Hussein Malhas (LinkedIn) is the company’s new VP of growth and revenue operations;
  • Yara Milbes (LinkedIn) was appointed VP of global marketing;
  • Nermeen Sobhy (LinkedIn) is the new VP of carrier relations;
  • Muhammed Nauman (LinkedIn) was appointed VP of operations.

Hossam Seifeldin was appointed the Egypt CEO of French consulting firm Capgemini, according to a company statement (pdf). Seifeldin has years of experience in the tech sector, and worked at IBM for 27 years prior to joining the firm.

Amany El Wesal was appointed to head the Trade Ministry’s anti-dumping policy unit, sources at the ministry reportedly told Al Borsa. El Wesal, who heads the Export Development Fund, will replace Ibrahim El Seginy, who will maintain his position as assistant minister for economic affairs and the head of the trade remedies sector.

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Football continued to dominate proceedings on the airwaves last night — and expect this to continue all the way through to 18 December when the tournament ends.

Most of the talking heads focused on Germany’s shock defeat by Japan: Comparisons with Saudi Arabia’s stunning win against Argentina on Tuesday were made, and most of the hosts didn't try to hide their happiness at the German loss. Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:04) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 8:59) both recapped the game, while Masaa DMC dedicated airtime both to the Japanese fans cleaning seats after the game (watch, runtime: 9:28) and the German team’s pre-match silent protest against Fifa’s decision to ban the OneLove armbands. “I don’t understand why there’s an abnormal Western push for such a thing,” show host Ramy Radwan said, voicing opposition to LGBTQ rights (watch, runtime: 4:03).

MEANWHILE- Not many businesses have signed up to the government’s e-invoicing system: Only 150k companies have registered on the e-invoice system ahead of a 15 December deadline, Tax Authority Deputy Head Rasha Abd El Aal told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 11:25). Around 1 mn companies will be required to start issuing electronic invoices for B2B and B2C transactions via the government portal from the middle of next month.

What e-invoicing system? The government is working to digitize all B2B and B2C invoices, a move designed to give the government greater oversight over tax and reduce the size of the informal economy. The Tax Authority launched a pilot in late 2020 and has been gradually extending the system since then. All B2B and B2C invoices across the country are expected to be fully automated by December.

Almost 20k expats have registered on the government’s app to import cars to Egypt since it launched on 15 November, Tax Authority spokesperson Ali Galal told Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 9:09). Some 1.7k people have obtained a payment order, with total orders estimated at USD 25.8 mn, Galal said, adding that USD 1.3 mn has been already transferred to a set up bank account by the government.

ICYMI- The government is trying to draw more foreign currency into Egypt by incentivizing expats to import cars. Expats will receive rebates on all customs and import taxes within five years provided they pay them up from in hard currency. The scheme has a four-month window, with expats allowed to import cars within a year of obtaining necessary approvals on USD payments. The government had originally said the scheme will pave the way for 300k-500k cars being imported, drawing USD 2.5 bn in foreign currency in the process, yet officials have recently backtracked on the ambitious targets.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

On a slow morning in the foreign press, the EGX’s bull run is getting attention from Bloomberg, which notes that the benchmark EGX30 has soared 47% from its July low, helped by last month’s currency float and announcement of a USD 3 bn IMF bailout.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Among the other stories we’re paying attention to this morning:

TRANSPORT- The Transport Ministry is in talks with three unnamed French financial institutions for a concessional EUR 2 bn loan to fund development works for Cairo Metro Line 6, sources familiar with the matter reportedly told Al Mal. They said the financing represents half of the line’s total cost, with the remainder being funded by the state budget. The report comes less than a week after French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom signed a framework agreement on the sidelines of COP27 with the National Authority for Tunnels to design, build and maintain the line. The French firm didn’t disclose which other companies will work on the project or the value of the contract.

TECH- The 2Africa subsea cable being laid around Africa has made its first landing in Egypt at Ras Ghareb with another landing set to follow in Port Said, Meta and Telecom Egypt said in a joint press release (pdf) Tuesday. The subsea cable, which will be the longest in the world, is being laid by a consortium of global telecom companies, and will significantly upgrade Africa’s broadband and mobile connectivity when it’s finished in 2024. The 45k-km cable will link 46 locations across Africa, Europe and Asia.

BANKING- The Financial Regulatory Authority has approved Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt’s proposed EGP 1 bn capital increase, it said in a statement (pdf) Monday, allowing the bank to publish an invitation to subscription for existing shareholders. ADIB will offer an additional 100 mn shares at EGP 10 per share to existing investors.

FINANCIAL SERVICES- Jordan trading platform CFI Financial Group has acquired Egyptian brokerage El Mahrousa for Securities Trading and plans to launch CFI in Egypt in early 2023, Al Borsa reports.

LEGISLATION- The Senate Housing Committee approved legislation designed to accelerate the reconciliation process for illegal buildings.

PLANET FINANCE

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Emerging-market debt as a proportion of GDP reached a record high in 3Q 2022 even as the amount of debt slipped during the quarter, according to a report from the Institute of International Finance (IIF) picked up by Reuters. The debt-to-GDP ratio in emerging economies rose to 254% in the July-September period, matching the all-time high recorded in 1Q 2022, due to widening budget deficits and weaker economic growth, the IIF said in its latest Global Debt Monitor. Despite this, EM debt levels fell to USD 96.2 tn from USD 98.7 tn in 2Q.

Meeting interest payments is only going to become more challenging as interest rates continue to rise across the world. “In the face of tightening global financing conditions, access to international markets has become even more challenging for many high-yield borrowers this year,” Emre Tiftik, director of sustainability research at the IIF, wrote in the report. “The global sovereign interest bill is set to increase rapidly, notably for sub-Saharan Africa but also in EM Europe.”

ALSO WORTH NOTING-

  • HP plans to cut 12% of its global workforce — between 4-6k jobs — by the end of FY 2025, becoming the latest tech firm to announce layoffs amid a tougher economy. (StatementReuters)
  • Emaar looks overseas: Emirati real estate developer Emaar will allocate more than half of the AED 8 bn (USD 2.13 bn) in planned capital spending over the next four years to investments outside of the UAE in a bid to strengthen its footprint overseas. (Bloomberg Asharq)
  • UK economic activity shrinks again as recession deepens: The UK purchasing managers’ index (PMI) clocked a fourth consecutive month of contraction, as new orders plunged at their fastest pace in two years. (Financial Times)

Down

EGX30

12,600

-0.2% (YTD: +5.5%)

Up

USD (CBE)

Buy 24.51

Sell 24.60

Up

USD at CIB

Buy 24.52

Sell 24.58

None

Interest rates CBE

13.25% deposit

14.25% lending

Up

Tadawul

10,965

+0.3% (YTD: -2.8%)

Up

ADX

10,529

+1.3% (YTD: +24.0%)

Down

DFM

3,326

-0.1% (YTD: +4.1%)

Up

S&P 500

4,027

+0.6% (YTD: -15.5%)

Up

FTSE 100

7,471

+0.2% (YTD: +1.3%)

Up

Euro Stoxx 50

3,948

+0.5% (YTD: -8.6%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 84.77

-4.1%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 7.28

+7.4%

Up

Gold

USD 1,765.90

+0.6%

Up

BTC

USD 16,488

+2.2% (YTD: -64.2%)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 0.2% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.68 bn (27.8% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is up 5.5% YTD.

In the green: QNB AlAhli (+11.9%), Fawry (+6.5%) and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+3.9%).

In the red: CIB (-2.5%), Rameda Pharma (-1.7%) and Heliopolis Housing (-1.5%).

DIPLOMACY

Egypt has expressed “great concern” at recent attacks on Kurdish groups by Turkey and Iran. In a statement yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid called on the two countries to halt the attacks which he said were violating the sovereignty of Iraq and Syria. The Turkish military has targeted YPG units in northern Syria in the wake of last week’s terror attack in Istanbul while Iran has hit targets in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Turkey to launch ground incursion into Syria: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday threatened to launch a ground offensive into northern Syria to push the militia back from the border, saying that the recent wave of airstrikes were “only the beginning,” according to Turkish state media.

The handshake: This comes just days after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Erdogan expressed hopes that the two countries could improve ties after meeting for the first time since El Sisi came to power in 2013. The two were pictured shaking hands and conversing on the sidelines of the World Cup in Qatar on Sunday, and the day after both said the meeting could serve as a starting point for improving relations.

MY MORNING ROUTINE

Karim Rogers, executive director of El Alsson British and American School: 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 El Alsson British and American School Executive Director Karim Rogers (LinkedIn). Edited excerpts from our conversation:

I'm a father of four. I'm a people person who enjoys being social and active. I enjoy food and travel. Every day at work is different for me; there is no such thing as a routine. There's always something going on at school, and I'm constantly learning new things alongside the students.

I am in charge of all school operations. I have two principals who handle daily education operations with their teams, while I handle operations. I am involved in education, but not in its administration. My responsibilities include finances, human resources, licensing, admissions, buses, medical care, and all operations and resources required to keep the school running. My team includes the CFO, the head of human resources, the marketing and business development teams, as well as the buses and clinics. These are the people I work with every day.

In many schools, the principal is also in charge of operations. We don’t have that. The principal comes into my office and tells me what they require, and I handle it, so they aren't preoccupied with logistics that have nothing to do with them, such as licensing for operations or foreign employees, or where to get the money. Instead, they focus on education quality assurance.

My morning routine is determined by how well I slept the night before because of the kids. I get up and spend some time alone in the morning. I'll go to the club at 6am and do some kind of sport, either jogging, swimming, or going to the gym. I drop my youngest child at the nursery, and my other children take the bus. Then I'm in work mode.

I arrive at the office between 8-8:30am. My favorite thing in the morning is to drink my espresso. I have my own espresso machine and coffee blends. Then my assistant usually has a stack of documents for me to sign. I handle my finances, then I follow up on different departments and our weekly tasks. For example, right now it is admissions season, so I would be dealing with the registrar. I'm not involved in the nitty-gritty of operations. I try to delegate and empower others so that they can get on with the job.

The highlights at school for me are the activities, whether sports, arts, or theater — I like being a part of it. I try to schedule an hour-long walk around the school every day. I'll go floor by floor through all of the buildings — early years, primary, and secondary. I have my meet and greet and get to see everyone.

I’m generally a well-organized person. I'm the type who prepares my clothes for the next day at night so I don't have to worry about it in the morning. I keep a to-do list and keep track of what I've accomplished and what I haven't. If I haven't completed all of my tasks, ​​I'm disciplined. I'll return home to complete it. I believe that being organized is a requirement of our job. We also need to be easily accessible.

In my line of work. I'm always looking for ways to improve myself. My professional development is a top priority for me and I enjoy attending conferences and taking courses. I always look at the half-empty cup and try to fill it up. I like to think about how I can improve and learn from others. I try my hardest to provide the best possible outcome for our students.

Work-life balance, in my opinion, is a conscious decision that must be made. If I have any work obligations when I return home, I’ll do them. If not, it's either family time or alone time for me. It’s essential for everyone, whether they’re a father, a mother, or a director, to have their alone time. You require time to reflect. Work-life balance is essential to me. I don't believe you should work until 7-8pm every night. I won’t respond to emails or work matters after 5pm unless it’s really urgent.

I enjoy going for a walk in the club after I finish work, or watching my children at their sports training. If it's the weekend, we have our family breakfast or lunch. At night, I catch up on Netflix. I can't keep up with all of the shows, but there are a few that I'm currently watching, like House of Dragons and Suits, and I enjoy cooking shows. I also keep up with my social media, which is fun. I'm not a book reader; I prefer to read articles and journals. I enjoy watching National Geographic and the Discovery channel.

I enjoy both cooking and eating. When I travel, I always research cuisines and the best places to eat before going. I make a point of not only focusing on Michelin-starred restaurants, but also on street food. One of my favorite ways to unwind is to take my wife out to eat, which is great because Egypt has recently become a foodie entertainment hotspot.

The best piece of advice I've always followed is to be patient, listen, and learn. You must be patient because everyone eventually gets their slice of the pie. And in order to lead, you must be an excellent listener. You must also learn from others.

CALENDAR

NOVEMBER

20 November-18 December (Sunday-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 November (Sunday): Senate in session.

27-28 November (Sunday-Monday): The first edition of the Egypt Media Forum.

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

29 November – 6 December (Tuesday-Tuesday): US and Russia to hold talks on resuming mutual nuclear inspections in Cairo.

DECEMBER

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.

4 December (Sunday): House back in session.

4 December (Sunday): OPEC+ meeting.

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

5-7 December (Monday-Wednesday): Food Africa 2022 kicks off at Egypt International Exhibitions Center.

6 December (Tuesday): Enterprise Climate X Forum, Grand Egyptian Museum.

7 December (Wednesday): Euromoney Egypt 2022 conference

10 December (Saturday): The TriFactory’s Pyramids Half Marathon.

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.

December: Chinese President Xi Jinping visit to Saudi Arabia

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.

January: Infinity + Africa Finance Corporation to close acquisition of Lekela Power.

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): 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.

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.

End of December/early January: SFE’s pre-IPO fund to kick off roadshow.

4Q 2022: Electricity Ministry to tender six solar projects in Aswan Governorate.

4Q 2022: Raya Holding subsidiary Aman and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia to launch their fintech company.

4Q 2022: Saudi Arabia’s 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.

1Q 2023: Internal trade database to launch.

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