Tuesday, 7 February 2023

AM — Tons and tons of privatization chatter ahead of Madbouly’s Wednesday presser



Good morning, friends, and happy hump day. We have a packed issue for you this morning, so let’s jump right in:

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EGP WATCH- The EGP continued to inch lower against the greenback yesterday, with the USD changing hands at 30.35, according to central bank figures. The currency hit the 30 mark at the end of January following a sharper devaluation that helped spur the return of foreign inflows and alleviate FX woes that had stalled imports. The EGP has lost almost half of its value over the past year and is down 17% since the beginning of January.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Cabinet will release its hydrogen strategy within a month, Prime Minister Madbouly said yesterday. The document is expected to provide a roadmap for how Egypt can develop a globally-competitive green hydrogen sector. An unnamed global consulting office has finished work on the strategy, he said.

REMEMBER– In the works since 2021, the government was expected to reveal the strategy at COP27 in November. Egypt has signed framework agreements with a number of international companies to establish green hydrogen and ammonia projects that could attract as much as USD 83 bn in investment if they were all to reach the implementation phase.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Preventing another 2016, 2020, 2022: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly has tasked the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center to work on strategies that could reduce our exposure to external risks in the coming years, according to a cabinet statement. The center will work with experts on regular reports to cabinet on how policymakers can strengthen the country’s food and energy security, bolster supply chains and prevent a repeat of the 2022-2023 FX liquidity crisis.

The state has in recent months signaled willingness to give private-sector players the chance to be heard on policy development. The challenge now is to turn it into concrete action that will make it easier to do business. It engaged in weeks of consultations last summer that fed into its privatization strategy and helped to produce the final state ownership policy document. It has also created a Supreme Council for Investment, to which a number of private sector leaders have been appointed, although few details have been made public. And the National Dialogue process is also expected to allow non-government actors to express views on a range of economic, social and political topics.


Bok, gospodine predsjedniče: Croatia’s President Zoran Milanovic will meet with PM Moustafa Madbouly and House Speaker Hanafi El Gebali this morning as he wraps up a two-day visit to Cairo, according to a statement by his office. We have coverage of Milanovic’s meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday in this morning’s Diplomacy section, below.

The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie’s (OIF) two-day economic prospecting forum in Cairo concludes today. Representatives of 100 companies from more than 20 french-speaking countries are gathering to explore ways to boost cooperation with Egyptian firms working in agriculture, renewable energy and the digital economy.

PSA- Enjoy your last week of (relatively easy) commutes: The mid-year break at public schools is winding down and universities are back in session on Saturday, 11 February for the second semester of the 2022-2023 academic year.


Inflation: The CBE and Capmas are expected to publish inflation data for January on Thursday.


President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will be in Dubai next week to attend the World Government Summit, which runs 13-15 February. Twenty heads of state will be in town for the Davos-like gathering, which will see policymakers from around the world discuss global trends, according to Emirati state news agency WAM.

Petro-show next week: Oil and gas industry figures from Egypt and the region will congregate at the Egypt International Exhibition Center for the Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps) starting next Monday. The three-day conference runs 13-15 February.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The devastating earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey in the early hours of yesterday morning is front-page news everywhere this morning. More than 4k people have now been pronounced dead after a 7.8 magnitude quake leveled thousands of buildings in southern Turkey and northern Syria. (AP | Reuters | FT | Bloomberg | NYT | Washington Post)

President El Sisi has offered to send aid while the Foreign Ministry said it was following up on the situation of Egyptians living in the two countries. Four Egyptian students were rescued in Iskenderun yesterday after being stuck under rubble for hours, Ahram Online reported.

No tsunami risks: Egypt’s National Research Institute for Astronomy and Geophysics has said there is no possibility of the quake triggering a tsunami in the Mediterranean, according to state-run MENA news agency. Italy issued a tsunami warning following the disaster but has since withdrawn it.



We’re excited to unveil our next C-level event: The Enterprise FDI + Exports Forum, where we will take a deep dive into two of the most critical topics affecting our community.

Exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) have never been more important to our economy — or our businesses — than in the wake of the float of the EGP. We think we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build an export-led economy that makes us a magnet for FDI and all the benefits that will come with it for our nation.

Want to join the conversation? Drop us a line on events@enterprisemea.com.


Fuel price announcement when? We’re still waiting to hear what the government plans to do with fuel prices this quarter. Its fuel pricing committee was supposed to meet at the beginning of January to set prices for 1Q. The government has increased prices at the pump by 23-28% since April 2021, and decided on a rare fuel oil price hike last July.

Expect prices to rise: The government has committed to changing local fuel prices in line with movements in the global markets under the USD 3 bn loan agreement with the IMF.

The Senate is out of session for two weeks: Senators will reconvene on Sunday 19 February.

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


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

In today’s issue: As Egypt looks to build out a local green hydrogen industry, what needs to happen to make it a viable export product for Europe?


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Tons of speculation on state asset sales ahead of PM’s presser

Could BdC IPO in the first half — or will we “just” see the sale of a stake to a strategic investor? Or will United Bank go first? What about Semadco? Chatter about which companies are on the auction block (and which aren’t) as part of the state asset program is reaching a crescendo a bit more than 24 hours ahead of the presser Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly has said would take place after Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

Madbouly is expected to unveil a list of 20+ companies in which the state plans to sell shares.

FIRST OFF- Take it all with a grain of salt: Policymakers have a habit of using the terms “list,” “IPO,” and “stake sale” interchangeably. We’re not aware of anybody in the market with an IPO at the moment, suggesting that any activity before Ramadan (22 March or so) would be in the form of stake sales to strategics.

Herewith, a rundown on who’s said what — and what you might actually expect:

House Planning Committee boss Fakhri El Fiqi waded in, telling Al Mal Banque du Caire (BdC) will go ahead with its long-awaited IPO in 1H 2023 as part of the government’s rebooted privatization program. The state-owned bank plans to sell 45% of its shares to investors — as it had planned back in 2020 — but around half of that stake may now be offered to one or more strategic investor, El Fiqi said. BdC currently has until 31 March 2023 to wrap up IPO procedures after getting an extension from the Financial Regulatory Authority.

Also set to sell shares in the first half of the year: The four other companies that have already been added to the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s pre-IPO fund alongside BdC should also sell stakes in 1H 2023, El Fiqi said. These reportedly include two military-owned firms — bottled drinks firm Safi and fuel retailer Wataniya — alongside Misr Life Ins., and Egyptian Linear Alkyl Benzene (Elab). Another private sale we’ve been hearing reports of — Saudi sovereign fund PIF’s acquisition of United Bank — is set to go ahead by the end of 1Q, according to El Fiqi.

Could we be looking at 21 companies? That’s the contention of Asharq Business, which is out with a list of 21 firms it says will sell stakes this year — most of which were flagged by the EGX (pdf) itself last month as being in the privatization pipeline — citing an anonymous source.

Secondary offerings, too? The list includes EGX-listed firms at which existing shareholders could sell down their positions, including chemicals companies Sidpec and Abu Qir. Madbouly, however, said last week that all of the companies in the pipeline will be offering stakes for the first time.

eMethanex and Alex Bank have also been reported to be on the sale list, but public offerings of shares in either would need a green light from other shareholders, making it more likely we’ll see stake sales if they are, indeed, on the list.

A BIG QUESTION: How much equity will the state sell in each company? Anywhere from 5-20% of each, Asharq’s report suggests — a range we think may not be sufficiently attractive to investors. Strategics typically don’t want minority positions and they don’t want to invest in the absence of clear management control.

Khaleejis are apparently eyeing another fertilizer player: Al Borsa reported yesterday that Gulf sovereign funds are interested in acquiring an undisclosed stake in El Nasr for Fertilizers and Chemical Industries (Semadco), citing anonymous sources. Egyptian fertilizer companies have been targeted by wealth funds in the UAE and Saudi over the past year: between them, ADQ and the Public Investment Fund now own almost half of Abu Qir and Mopco after purchasing shares from state institutions last year.


Bring back the Investment Ministry to attract FDI, say senators, GAFI officials

Some senators want the Investment Ministry back: The Senate Financial and Economic Affairs Committee and GAFI officials yesterday called on the government to bring back the Investment Ministry. “We — senators and officials from the General Authority for Freezones and Investment (GAFI) — agreed that there is a pressing need for the return of the Investment Ministry as this could play a very positive role in doubling foreign direct investments coming to Egypt and offering facilities to investors,” said committee chair Hani Sarieddin.

Egypt hasn’t had an investment ministry since 2019: The ministry was abolished as part of a cabinet shuffle in late 2019 that saw Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly assume greater responsibility for attracting FDI and take charge of GAFI.

The call came following a committee meeting with GAFI officials to discuss obstacles to increasing FDI into the country. The “meeting agreed that there should be a single institution responsible for regulating and supervising investments in Egypt,” Sarieddin said. “We all agreed that the Investment Ministry should be back to play this role.”

A dedicated institution for promoting investment? If it is focused and has teeth, we agree. We’ve been calling on the government to establish an investment promotion agency dedicated to attracting multinationals to set up shop in Egypt. Investment Ministry or Invest Egypt: Call it what you like — it’s going to be needed if the government wants to meet its ambitious goal of attracting USD 40 bn in FDIs over the next four years. A mandate to run a targeted investment promotion program AND a clear authority to make it easier to do business in Egypt will be key.


Senate Agriculture Committee wants a gov’t committee to regulate fertilizers: The Senate Agriculture Committee called for the formation of a committee dedicated to supervising the production and distribution of chemical fertilizers to ensure adequate supply for local farmers.

More calls for action on family violence: National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) head Moushira Khattab urged the passing of the new Personal Status Act during the second day of debates by the Senate on a report on family violence. "We are in a pressing need for this law to be passed as soon as possible to settle family disputes which have become a major source of violence," she said. Lawmakers are in the process of drafting new legislation that will introduce tougher penalties for perpetrators of female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, Social Solidarity Minister Nevine El Qabbaj told the Senate earlier this week.


Capital increases for listed companies are going to be easier and faster

A streamlined capital increase process: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has amended rules governing capital increases in a bid to make it easier for EGX-listed firms to raise fresh capital, the FRA said in a statement yesterday.

Faster approvals: The FRA has brought in stricter timelines that the regulator says should shave up to 37 working days off the approval process.

  • Companies now have two working days to disclose capital increase plans after the FRA approves them. There had previously been no time limit on when companies should disclose FRA approval.
  • Companies must notify shareholders of meetings to approve capital increases seven days in advance, down from a previous 21 days.
  • Existing shareholders will have seven days to subscribe to a capital increase before the shares are offered on the EGX, down from 14 days previously.

Companies can now carry out capital increases in phases, provided that the total capital increase doesn’t exceed the company’s current issued capital.

All part of efforts to revive the EGX: Authorities are working to stimulate investment on the bourse which is currently enjoying one of its strongest rallies in years on the back of the EGP devaluation. The government is preparing to reboot its state privatization program which will see fresh IPOs on the EGX and is considering a temporary waiver on capital gains tax on stock trades.

SPEAKING OF CAPITAL INCREASES- The FRA yesterday approved CIB’s request to increase its issued and paid-up capital by 0.66% to almost EGP 30.2 bn, it said in a statement (pdf) to the bourse. The capital increase will be distributed over 20.44 mn shares.


Taager makes Riyadh its HQ as it shifts to a regional focus

Taager shifts HQ from Cairo to Riyadh: Egyptian e-commerce startup Taager has selected Riyadh to host its regional headquarters as the company looks to expand its presence in the Saudi market, co-founder and CEO Mohammed Elhorishy told Asharq Business. “The upcoming period will see a focus on the Saudi market as part of our expansion plan,” he told the news outlet on the sidelines of a tech conference in Riyadh.

About Taager: Established in 2019, Taager is a B2B platform that connects online merchants and suppliers, supplying merchants with storage and shipping services as well as an integrated data-led digital infrastructure. It currently operates in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Aiming big for Saudi: Taager wants to invest over SAR 50 mn in the Saudi market when it closes its ongoing funding round, Elhorishy said. The firm has invested over SAR 20 mn since it launched in Saudi, he added.

REMEMBER- Taager secured USD 6.4 mn in seed funding in July 2021, bringing total funding raised from investors since its launch in 2019 to over USD 7 mn. It counts 4DX Ventures, Raed Ventures, Beco Capital and Breyer Capital among its investors.

Not the first to opt for the Gulf: Several homegrown startups like Swvl and Vezeeta have moved their HQs to the Gulf as part of efforts to expand internationally and attract more investment.

Taager is hungry for more: The company wants to expand further in the Gulf, according to Elhorishy. “We are in the final stages of finalizing an expansion to Kuwait, Oman and Qatar,” he told Asharq, adding that entries to Africa and Latin America are also in the pipeline.


Higher personal exemption limits + new taxes on dutyfree alcohol

Customs Law amendments bring changes for travelers: The value of new goods travelers can bring into Egypt has increased and new taxes are being raised on duty-free alcohol, under amendments to the executive regulations of the Customs Law published in the Official Gazette last week.

Limit raised on customs exemptions for new purchases: Tourists and citizens entering the country will now be able to bring up to EGP 15k worth of new purchases for personal use or as gifts, up from EGP 10k previously. The exemption will also apply to purchases from duty-free shops within 48 hours of arrival worth less than USD 200.

Dutyfree booze hit with new tax: The amendments introduce a customs tax on dutyfree alcohol purchases equal to 1% of the bottle’s value or USD 13, whichever is greater. Travelers entering Egypt may now purchase up to two liters of alcohol per person, up from one liter previously.



Yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria dominated coverage on the talk shows last night. Ala Mas’ouleety got most of its air time focused on the deadly twin earthquakes with an interview with National Seismological Network head Gad El Qadi (watch, runtime: 3:32). Kelma Akhira dedicated the whole show to the disaster and also interviewed El Qadi (watch, runtime: 13:13)

Minor aftershocks are expected to occur until today, El Gadi told Ala Mas’ouleety. “Unless another earthquake occurs in a neighboring region, then we’ll see the aftershocks reinvigorated. This will further exacerbate the crisis,” he said.

El Hekaya’s Amr Adib wants everyone here at home to know the ABCs of what to do when an earthquake hits, urging authorities to train students and employees on evacuations during last night’s show (watch, runtime: 3:25). Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 14:24) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:56) also gave the story coverage.

President El Sisi’s sit down yesterday with his Croatian counterpart, Zoran Milanovic, got a mention from Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 5:12) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:46). Former Deputy FM Mohamed Hegazi spoke with Al Hayah Al Youm on the importance of recent visits by some EU leaders. He said that Egypt is looking to forge deeper partnerships with some European countries and consult over the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.


No one story is driving the international conversation on Egypt this morning. The Washington Post has reviewed King of Koshary in Arlington, where founders Ayob Metry and Nadia Gomaa combined their culinary talents to give restaurant goers a taste of home.

Also making the rounds: Social satire Feathers is getting ink in Variety, pigeon fanciers get attention from Xinhua, the AFP is talking about 15 days in detention for three TikTokers, and Haaretz is is talking about Al Gomhuria’s retracted op-ed.


More private-sector involvement in the aviation industry?


Egypt’s aviation sector could see more private-sector involvement: State-owned flag carrier EgyptAir will work more closely with private-sector airlines as the government looks to attract private investment into the sector, Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Abbas said yesterday. This came during a meeting between the heads of private-sector aviation companies and ministry officials yesterday.

No plans to privatize EgyptAir: The cabinet last week denied having plans to sell off the company in response to rumors circulating online.


Hyde Park Developments in talks with NBE for EGP 3.5 bn loan: Hyde Park Developments is seeking a EGP 3.5 bn loan from the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to finance two of its residential projects, Asharq Business reports, citing banking sources it says have knowledge of the deal. Some EGP 1.2 bn would be used to finance the state-owned developer’s Sixth of October project, with the remaining EGP 2.3 bn to be directed to the company’s North Coast project.


Gov’t to increase cultivation of oilseed crops amid localization push: The government plans to more than triple local production of soybeans and sunflowers by 2024 in a bid to localize the vegetable oil industry, according to a cabinet statement yesterday. The area used to cultivate soybeans will rise to 500k acres in 2024 from 150k this year, while acreage used for sunflowers will grow to 250k from 90k, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a cabinet meeting.


Eh? Network quality has improved? The number of areas of the country affected by mobile voice quality issues was down 34% y-o-y in 4Q 2022, while the number experiencing mobile data quality problems fell 41%, according to the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s (NTRA) quarterly complaints report. Mobile internet use was up nearly fourfold y-o-y for the quarter, while callers made some 3 bn calls using voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology, a 3x jump over the same period last year.


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Odds of US recession now just 25%, according to Goldman

The odds of a US recession are dwindling, according to Goldman: Goldman Sachs has slashed estimates for the likelihood of a US recession in the next year to 25% on the back of last week’s stronger-than-expected labor data, falling inflation, and signs of improving business sentiment, Bloomberg reports.

The US investment bank remains the outlier: Economists surveyed by Bloomberg last month gave a 65% chance of a recession in the next 12 months.

AND- Surprise Saudi oil price hike: Saudi Aramco has increased the price of its crude for buyers in Asia, the US, and Europe despite declining international prices, Bloomberg reported. The oil giant raised its Arab Light grade USD 2 a barrel above the regional benchmark for Asian buyers and also hiked all prices for European customers by USD 2. Global oil prices have fallen around 7% this year as tightening financial conditions offset rising demand in post-zero-covid China and western sanctions on Russian crude exports.


  • Chevron’s EastMed footprint could be about to grow: US energy giant Chevron is in talks with Algerian officials to secure an energy exploration agreement with Algeria, which has larger shale gas reserves than the US. (WSJ)
  • Companies could soon cross list on the Saudi, Hong Kong stock exchanges: The Saudi and Hong Kong stock exchanges will explore cross listings as well as cooperation on fintech and ESG under an MoU signed yesterday. This came during a visit to Riyadh by Hong Kong leader John Lee, who is trying to persuade Saudi Aramco to list on the Hong Kong exchange. (Statement)
  • Investors aren’t impressed by blowout oil + gas earnings: The world’s largest oil companies made more than USD 132 bn in profits and paid out USD 78 bn in dividends and share buybacks last year. But many investors are giving the industry a wide berth due to concerns about long-term profitability and greenhouse gas emissions. (WSJ)




+2.0% (YTD: +13.6%)



Buy 30.26

Sell 30.35



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Interest rates CBE

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17.25% lending




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Brent crude

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The EGX30 rose 2.0% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.6 bn (12% below the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is up 13.6% YTD.

In the green: Telecom Egypt (+6.2%), e-finance (+5.9%) and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+5.4%).

In the red: Abu Qir Fertilizers (-1.9%), Credit Agricole (-1.1%) and EFG Hermes (-1.0%).

Asian markets are seeing gains in trading this morning, while shares in Europe and the US are expected to follow suit later today.


Tourism + military cooperation in Egypt-Croatia talks: Cooperation on tourism, investment and the military industry were three of the key topics of discussion during talks between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Croatian counterpart, Zoran Milanovic, in Cairo yesterday, according to readouts of the meeting from Ittihadiya and the Croatian president’s office. Milanovic, who is in Egypt for a two-day visit, also held talks with Suez Canal Authority chairman Osama Rabie yesterday.


Europe would be our biggest green hydrogen export market. What needs to happen for us to get there? The global green hydrogen industry is “entering hockey stick territory: the point where it sees a sudden and sharp turn upward,” according to low carbon industries researcher BloombergNEF. The big three economies — the EU, US, and China — are set to drive that demand growth as they look to secure green power supply, and are busy building supply chains and infrastructure to accommodate the anticipated green hydrogen boom. Meanwhile, our abundant renewable generation potential and proximity to Europe is already attracting pledges of major investment from global firms to build local green hydrogen facilities for export to the EU. So what needs to happen to get green hydrogen flowing from here to Europe?

REFRESHER- Green hydrogen + green ammonia: When hydrogen is combusted with oxygen in a fuel cell it produces zero-carbon energy, making for an environmentally-friendly burn. However, the vast majority of hydrogen produced globally today is derived from fossil fuels — some 96% of the hydrogen consumed in Europe comes from natural gas. There is another way: Hydrogen can be produced by passing an electric current through water to split it into hydrogen and oxygen, a process known as electrolysis. Use renewable energy to power that electric current, and you have green hydrogen. Green ammonia is produced through the reaction of green hydrogen and nitrogen at high temperatures, in a process also powered by renewables. Our explainer lays it all out.

The EU wants a 50/50 split between homegrown and imported renewable hydrogen: Spurred by the need to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels and reach net-zero emissions targets, the European Commission last year introduced its REPowerEU clean energy plan. Under the plan, the bloc will look to produce 10 mn tons of renewable hydrogen and import another 10 mn tons from third countries annually by 2030. Imports would be split 60/40 between renewable hydrogen and green ammonia.

And we’re laying the groundwork to meet that demand: If all nine green hydrogen and ammonia facilities international power companies last year agreed to build here go ahead, they would collectively produce up to 7.6 mn tons of green ammonia and 2.7 mn tons of hydrogen a year when fully operational. The projects need some USD 83 bn in investment to get off the ground. And that’s just the beginning — the government signed another seven MoUs for potential green hydrogen projects in December, and will soon unveil its national hydrogen strategy detailing how it plans to develop the nascent industry.

Most of this hydrogen would be destined for the heavy industry + transport sectors: Green hydrogen can be used to generate electricity for any purpose — but most think its best potential lies in replacing fossil fuel use in “hard-to-decarbonize” heavy industries, including steel, petrochemicals, and heavy-duty transport, according to BloombergNEF. The EU wants more of its ammonia and refining plants to run on renewable hydrogen, and is aiming for 30% of its primary steel production to run on green hydrogen by 2030. The bloc is also hoping renewable hydrogen will increasingly replace Russian natural gas as a green fuel for trucks, planes, and seaborne vessels that transport goods.

But there are some major obstacles to getting an Egypt-EU green hydrogen supply chain in place:

#1- Transportation costs pose a problem for long-distance imports: Green hydrogen is technically difficult and expensive to transport — whether in its original gaseous or liquefied form, Reuters reports. Transportation issues are best solved by keeping supply chains as short as possible — one reason why the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) expects that 75% of global green hydrogen output will be domestically produced and consumed by 2050, according to a 2022 report (pdf).

Our best options: Export green hydrogen-derived products, and build a pipeline to Europe. “Depending on the end use of the hydrogen, it might be more cost-effective to first transform it into a commodity and then ship the commodity instead of the hydrogen itself,” IRENA writes. Those commodities could include green ammonia, methanol, steel, and transport fuels. In the long term, transporting green hydrogen through pipelines may provide a cheaper option than shipping it. By 2050, some 55% of internationally traded green hydrogen will be transported via pipelines, with the remainder shipped in the form of ammonia, IRENA predicts.

Players in the local industry are already thinking along these lines: The country’s first green hydrogen plant — built by a consortium of Norway’s Scatec, Fertiglobe, Orascom Construction, and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt — will feed Fertiglobe’s two existing ammonia plants in Ain Sokhna. Hydrogen Europe CEO Jorgo Chatzimarkakis said at the Enterprise Climate X Forum last year that he imagines we’ll kick off hydrogen exports by sending ammonia and methanol to Europe. He’d ultimately like to see a hydrogen pipeline linking Egypt to Greece and Trieste.

#2- Regulatory issues: EU members have for years been embroiled in disagreement over a draft law that would regulate the bloc’s use of renewables — at the center of which is how to define what “green” means when it comes to hydrogen, Euractiv reports. France is leading a charge to include hydrogen created from “low carbon” sources like nuclear energy in the green framework — while Germany wants to take a stricter renewables-only approach. The bloc is hoping to push the bill through by the summer, but so far hasn’t been able to resolve the conflict, Bloomberg reports.

#3- Global competition — not least from the US: The Biden administration’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act will offer US green hydrogen producers a USD 3.00 tax credit per kilo of hydrogen for their first 10 years of operation. That will push green hydrogen production costs in the US into sub-zero territory in the short term, according to S&P Global. That could spur private sector players to set up shop in the US rather than the EU — “causing a supply crunch and slowing clean H2 developments in Europe,” hydrogen firms told BloombergNEF. Meanwhile, China looks to be setting a goal in place to dominate the global market for electrolysers, the key technology used to separate hydrogen from water, Bloomberg reports.

The silver lining: Biden’s IRA could spur Europe to ramp up green hydrogen incentives. In an apparent response to US incentives, the EU has pledged to develop a renewable hydrogen bank, which will this year launch a pilot that aims to “de-risk the market in Europe, both for domestically produced and imported hydrogen,” EU top climate official Frans Timmermans has said. The EU Hydrogen Bank is set to support domestic green hydrogen producers by covering “100% of the cost gap in comparison to grey hydrogen produced in the EU,” and is exploring ways “to best support access of European consumers to hydrogen imports,” Timmermans said.

We could push for more EU support: COP27 saw the launch of the Global Renewable Hydrogen Forum, which could serve as a venue for Egypt and other emerging players to argue for wealthy countries to provide subsidies for our green hydrogen industries. That would go a long way toward evening-out the distorting effects of the subsidies now promised to US producers under the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. The forum is just one prong in ongoing cooperation with European partners on green hydrogen, including support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to draft our national green hydrogen strategy, and major financing from both Europe and the US to build up renewables capacity that would feed green hydrogen facilities.

Your top green economy stories for the week:

  • More green financing for local SMEs: The EBRD, the EU, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will provide USD 175.5 mn to local banks to on-lend to green projects and SMEs in Egypt.
  • Egypt’s hydroponic startup Schaduf teamed up with Saudi’s agritech company Mishkat to boost the kingdom’s sustainable farming practices. (The National)



6-7 February (Monday-Tuesday): Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie economic prospecting mission.

11 February (Saturday): Second semester of 2022-2023 academic year begins for public universities.

12 February (Sunday): The House reconvenes.

13-15 February (Monday-Wednesday): The Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps), Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

13-15 (Monday-Wednesday): World Government Summit, Dubai.

19 February (Sunday): Senate reconvenes.

23-27 February (Thursday-Monday): Annual Business Women of Egypt’s Women for Success conference.


March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

6-9 March (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes One-on-One conference, Atlantis, Dubai.

21-22 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

23 March (Thursday): First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.

30 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


April: GAFI to launch the country’s first integrated electronic platform to facilitate setting up a business.

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

10-16 April (Monday-Sunday): IMF / World Bank Spring Meetings, Marrakesh, Morocco.

16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

21 April (Friday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).

30 April (Sunday): Deadline for self-employed to register for e-invoicing.

30 April (Sunday): End of Mediterranean, Nile Delta oil + gas exploration tender.

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.


1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

2-3 May (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

4 May (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).

4 May (Thursday): IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Cairo.

16-18 May (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt will host its first conference on cybersecurity and defense intelligence systems (CDIS-Egypt).

18 May (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

20-21 May (Saturday-Sunday): eGlob Expo, St. Regis Almasa Hotel, Cairo.

22-26 May (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.


7-10 (Wednesday-Saturday): The second edition of Africa Health Excon.

10 June (Saturday): Thanaweya Amma examinations begin.

13-14 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

22 June (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.


18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

25-26 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.


3 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


19-20 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

21 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

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.

31 October – 1 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.


2 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


12-13 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

21 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


2023: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

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: Egypt + Qatar to launch joint business forum.

1Q 2023: FRA to introduce new rules for short selling.

1Q 2023: Internal trade database to launch.

1Q 2023: The Madbouly government will choose which state-owned hotels will be merged into a new hotels company ahead of an offering to foreign and Gulf investors.

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