Thursday, 9 February 2023

AM — Privatization program 2.0: Gov’t to sell stakes in 32 companies by 1Q 2024



Good morning, ladies and gents: We have another big issue to close out the week following yesterday’s presser from the PM on how the state plans to go about rebooting its privatization program.


  • It’s big: The government now plans to sell shares in 32 companies, 12 more than Madbouly had signaled a week ago.
  • There are plenty of new names: Kudos to any of our readers who correctly predicted that Sinai Manganese Company and Salhia Investment and Development Company would feature on the list.
  • And some notable absences: Alexbank, eMethanex and Enppi — recently flagged by the EGX for inclusion — were all MIA.
  • Some of our questions were answered, but others were not: We’re still waiting for clarity on how the government plans to go about the sales for these companies — whether via strategic sale, a public offering or a combination of the two. The show is supposed to get on the road this quarter so we should expect to hear more details soon.

^^ We have full coverage of the PM’s presser in this morning’s news well, below.

Electricity prices could change on a quarterly or semi-annual basis: The Madbouly government is looking into adjusting electricity prices every three or six months in response to the devaluation of the EGP and rising gas and diesel prices, Asharq Business reports, citing unnamed government sources. The proposal is modeled after the fuel pricing committee, which reviews fuel prices every quarter.

REMEMBER #1- Household electricity bills are set to rise come the summer. The current freeze on household electricity prices is set to expire at the end of the fiscal year in June — and economic conditions mean the government will have “no choice but to increase prices in July,” Asharq quotes its sources as saying. Residential electricity bills had been set to rise by as much as 21% last year under government plans to restructure pricing and phase out electricity subsidies by 2025. Households in the highest consumption tiers — which as of 2021 have not received subsidies — would have seen prices rise by up to 6%.

REMEMBER #2- 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.

EGP WATCH- The USD gained another 0.2% against the EGP yesterday to close at 30.42, according to central bank figures. The currency hit the 30 mark at the end of January following a sharp devaluation that helped bring fresh foreign inflows and alleviate an FX shortage. The EGP has lost almost half of its value against the greenback over the past year.


Inflation: The CBE and Capmas are expected to publish inflation data for January on Thursday. The median projection in a Reuters poll of analysts is 23.75%, up from 21.3% in December. This would be the highest rate since November 2018.

Hamas + Islamic Jihad in Cairo: Egypt is currently hosting senior officials from Palestine’s Hamas and Islamic Jihad in an effort to de-escalate violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the National reported yesterday, citing Egyptian security officials. Islamic Jihad representatives and Hamas leaders in Gaza have been in Cairo for several days, while its exiled leadership will join later this week. Hamas said recently that its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, will fly from Qatar this week to hold talks with Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel and other security officials.


President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will be in Dubai 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.

MPs are back next week: The House will reconvene on Sunday, 12 February.


There are three stories dominating the global front pages this morning:

#1 Turkey-Syria quake: The death toll from Monday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria has risen beyond 12k as public anger grows about the Turkish government’s slow response to the crisis. (AP | Reuters | Bloomberg | Washington Post | NYT | WSJ)

#2 Somewhere Satya Nadella is laughing: Shares in Google parent Alphabet plunged almost 8% yesterday after the company appeared to botch the unveiling of its AI chatbot it hopes to rival Microsoft’s powerful ChatGPT. In a presentation yesterday, the company’s Bard engine made a factual error, triggering a sell-off among investors concerned that the company is losing ground to its main rival. This came a day after Microsoft announced the launch of a new version of its Bing search engine and Edge web browser, which will integrate the company’s powerful ChatGPT AI tech which threatens to overturn Google’s search engine dominance. (Reuters | WSJ | Financial Times | CNBC)

#3 A slimmer Mickey: Disney plans to slash 7k jobs and cut USD 5.5 bn in costs as part of a company restructure being undertaken by the recently reinstated CEO, Bob Iger. (Reuters | Financial Times | WSJ | CNBC)

IT’S YOUR LAST CHANCE TO TAKE OUR JANUARY ENTERPRISE READER SURVEY and get a chance to break bread with us: Give us your thoughts on how 2022 panned out for your business and industry, and what you’re expecting in the year ahead in our Enterprise Reader Survey.

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THE SURVEY CLOSES TODAY — so jump in now if you want to have a meal with us.

Real Madrid was always going to be tough: Al Ahly’s dream of reaching their first Club World Cup final came to an end last night after they were handily beaten 4-1 by Real Madrid in Morocco. The Spanish and European champions proved too much for the Egyptian side, who held out until just before halftime when Brazilian winger Vinicious Jr. put Los Blancos 1-0 up. A second goal immediately in the second half made the task that much harder, and though a 62nd minute penalty gave the Red Devils hope, a quick-fire double in injury time sealed victory for the Spaniards.

Al Ahly will now play Brazilian champions Flamengo on Saturday at 5:30 pm local time for the bronze medal.

The Spaniards will now face Saudi’s Al Hilal in the final on Saturday at 9:00 pm. The Saudi side shocked Flamengo with a 3-2 win in the other semi.



We’re excited to unveil our next C-level event: The Enterprise Exports & FDI 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


Unis go back this week: The second semester of the 2022-2023 academic year begins for public universities on 11 February.

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


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Rebooted privatization program to see stakes in 32 companies sold to strategics, public investors

The reveal: The government will sell stakes in 32 state-owned companies over the next year under a rebooted privatization program designed to pull the country out of its financial crisis and secure much needed FX. In a press conference yesterday (watch, runtime: 16:22), Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said that the state will offer shares in the companies to strategic investors, via offerings on the EGX and a mix of both over the next 13 months.

That’s 12 more than last week: In an address last week, the prime minister said that at least 20 companies will be named as part of the state offering program.

Expect the first sales to take place in the next seven weeks: The ambitious program will begin during the current quarter and continue through to the end of 1Q 2024, Madbouly said. The government aims to complete at least 25% of the share sales within the first six months of the program, he said.

Yes, but #1: Strategic or EGX? It’s still unclear which companies are destined for the EGX and which are being earmarked for strategics. Madbouly said that the decisions on which way to go have been made by the investment banks working on the transactions, but didn’t provide any further information.

Yes, but #2: Stake sizes and valuations TBA. The PM also gave no indication of how much of the companies the government would be willing to sell to strategics. Strategics will want to acquire at least 51% of the companies if they’re going to invest. Press reports in recent weeks have suggested that the government has so far been reluctant to meet the Qatari sovereign wealth fund’s demands for substantial stakes in Vodafone Egypt and the Damietta and Port Said container terminal operators. Madbouly told Bloomberg separately that the government doesn’t have a target value for the sales.

REMEMBER- The privatization push is part of the country’s new state ownership policy which outlines how the government intends to more than double the private sector’s role in the economy to 65% and attract USD 40 bn in private investment by 2026. The government says it will reduce its involvement in a number of sectors via public share offerings, stake sales to strategic investors, and expanding public-private partnerships.


The line-up spans a wide variety of sectors including banking, oil and petrochemicals, real estate, ins. and ports.

Banking and financial services: Banque du Caire will finally go ahead with its long-awaited IPO, which has been repeatedly delayed for years due to poor market conditions. Arab African International Bank (AAIB) — whose ownership is evenly split between the Central Bank of Egypt and the Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund — is also on the list, as is United Bank, which has been rumored to be subject to a takeover bid by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. The privatization plan includes for the first time two ins. companies: Misr Life Ins. and Misr Ins., which were both named by the EGX in its 2022 annual report (pdf) as being in the IPO pipeline.

Oil and petrochemicals dominate the list: ‎The Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (Ethydco), Egyptian Linear Alkyl Benzene (Elab), Helwan Fertilizers Company, the Egyptian Polypropylene and Polypropylene Company (EPP), the Egyptian Drilling Company (EDC), and Pachin are among those tapped in the list. Other industrial and manufacturing firms include Misr Concrete Development Company, Sinai Manganese Company, El Nasr Mining, and the Egyptian Ferrous Alloys Company. Plastic producer Alamal Alsharif Plastics and pharma players Chemical Industries Development Company (CID) and Misr Pharma also made it to the list.

Military firms to be sold: As expected, two military-owned firms — bottled drinks firm Safi and fuel retailer Wataniya — are included in the list. The two firms were recently added to a pre-IPO fund managed by the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE), which has been restructuring the companies ahead of a share sale. Egypt has committed to reducing the military’s economic footprint under its USD 3 bn loan agreement with the IMF.

Four state-owned real estate players are in: El Nasr Housing and Development, Maadi for Development and Construction, El Mostakbal For Urban Development and Salhia Investment and Development Co, are all included, as are a number of state-owned hotels that will be merged into a single holding company ahead of a sale.

Ports: ُState-owned Port Said Container & Cargo Handling Co. (PSCCHC) and Damietta Container & Cargo Handling Co (DCHC) — which the Qatari Investment Authority is in talks to acquire — were named, as was the Suez Canal Authority’s Canal Company for Mooring and Lights.

And a lone tech firm: Misr Technology Services (MTS) will be put up for sale to investors.

That’s not all, folks: The plan will also see the state offering some of its assets, including two of the country’s largest wind farm projects: the 580-MW facility in Gabal El Zeit and the 545-MW facility in Zafarana. The Siemens-built, 4.8 GW combined-cycle power plant in Beni Suef will also be up for grabs, with the announcement coming months after it was reported to have been added to the SFE’s pre-IPO fund. The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is among those interested, waving a possibility to invest in all three plants as part of Riyadh’s USD 10 bn investment pledge, SFE head Ayman Soliman said last year.


There were a few notable absences from the list: Alexbank, eMethanex, Enppi, Assiut Oil Refining Company, and MIDOR weren’t among the 32 names announced yesterday. All of these companies were recently named (pdf) by the EGX as being in the government’s privatization plans.

The government’s announcement got ink from the foreign press: Bloomberg | Reuters | The National


Foreign investors want higher rates before returning to Egypt

Dovish CBE policy leaves EM investors disappointed: Would-be emerging market investors looking to return to Egypt after January’s devaluations were disappointed by the Central Bank of Egypt’s decision not to hike interest rates last week, analysts tell Bloomberg.

Flashback: The central bank chose to leave interest rates unchanged at its policy meeting last week, defying analyst expectations which had forecast rates to rise by at least 100 bps following last month’s currency devaluation. The CBE said it was waiting to see the impact of its huge 300-bps hike in December before increasing the policy rate further.

Record yields: Yields on EGP-debt have climbed sharply since the devaluation in early January. Lower demand has caused the yield on one-year t-bills to surge more than 400 bps over the past four weeks to a record high of 22.1%. Currently, almost the entire yield curve is above 22%, with only the extreme short- and long-ends of the curve lower.

But real rates remain low: Yields remain low on an inflation-adjusted basis as local prices soar. Annual urban inflation was running at a five-year high of 21.3% in December, squeezing real returns for portfolio investors.

And they could be about to turn negative: Inflation data is expected to show this week that prices continued accelerating in January, with analysts forecasting urban inflation to hit 23.75%.

Investors want higher rates: Investors were left disappointed by the central bank’s decision to hold rates, Edwin Gutierrez, head of emerging-market sovereign debt at abrdn, told the news outlet. “We think it’s a policy mistake and definitely caused some investors to rethink,” he said.

It’s investors’ turn to wait and see: “The dovish surprise can’t help but lead to some second-guessing of the bank’s commitment to inflation and is just one more reason to wait for further clarity before jumping back into the local market,” said an analyst at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

Just last month investors were talking of buying bonds again, but are moving with caution after last week's CBE rate’s policy. The pause “may have interrupted the recent momentum of policy decisions, which have been tentatively recreating the conditions for an attractive carry trade in the EGP,” Goldman Sachs strategists wrote in a note.

Don’t expect rates to stay where they are in the coming months: Analysts expect the central bank to move on rates in coming meetings in response to rising inflation. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank thinks rates will rise by another 300 bps over the first six months of the year.

Downgraded: The comments come a day after Moody’s downgraded Egypt’s credit rating to B3 — its first cut since 2013 — warning that transitioning to more sustainable sources of inflows will not reduce the country’s external vulnerabilities overnight. “While the situation may stabilize, Moody's does not expect Egypt's liquidity and external positions to rebound quickly,” it said.


Cabinet scraps 5% development fee for local mobile phone assemblers

Local mobile phone assemblers are going to pay one less tax: The Cabinet approved in its weekly meeting exempting a 5% development fee on imported mobile phone components as part of the government’s efforts to localize the industry, it said in a statement yesterday. The exemptions also include the final product, locally manufactured parts and accessories.

You heard it here first: A government source told Enterprise last month the Finance Ministry is considering scrapping the fee.

More privatization on the way? The government reviewed an inventory on vacant and built land and untapped hangers in factories and companies affiliated with the Military Production Ministry “to examine the best way to benefit [from them] for an economic return.” The housing minister was tasked with inspecting the areas, and determining which assets could be offered to industrial investors.

Speaking of the military: The Cabinet approved a presidential decree allocating 10 feddans of state-owned land in Giza to the National Authority for Military Production to set up a waste-to-energy plant.


  • More relay towers: Ministers approved proposals submitted by contractors to set up relay towers for mobile phone networks in 20 governorates.
  • One more chance for the informal economy: Informal projects will be given an extra year to legalize their statuses starting 6 April.
  • Gosoor gets new state owner: The Public Enterprise Ministry’s El Nasr Export & Import Co (Gosoor) will have its ownership transferred to the Trade Ministry’s Egypt Expo & Convention Authority (EECA).


Sri Lanka’s LOLC wants to expand in Egypt

Yesterday in M&A: A Sri Lankan financial services conglomerate that established a presence in Egypt last year wants to make new acquisitions, and Nilex-listed medical supplier ICMI has signed a purchase agreement to acquire a textile company.


(xxSA) Sri Lankan conglomerate LOLC Group wants to acquire several unnamed local firms under a yet-to-be-established holding company in the near future, Shiraz Refai, LOLC head of MENA strategic initiatives, reportedly told Al Mal. The company also wants to add consumer and SME finance to the services offered by its local subsidiary First Microfinance.

LOLC entered the Egyptian market last year with the EGP 80 mn acquisition of First Microfinance. The company said at the time that it would introduce new services including micro ins, micro leasing, and consumer finance starting 2023. LOLC is also planning to expand into a number of countries in the MENA region, Refai is quoted as saying.


ICMI is paying under the odds for Banff: The International Company for Medical Industries (ICMI) on Monday signed a purchase agreement to acquire a 72% stake in Mansoura-based medical textiles company Banff Non Wovens for EGP 23.4 mn, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). The transaction values Banff at some EGP 32.5 mn — EGP 6.7 mn less than the recent valuation approved by Banff shareholders last week. ICMI paid EGP 9.6 mn towards the acquisition upon signing, with the remainder of the acquisition to take place in stages through the rest of 2023.

What is ICMI — and what does it want with Banff? Founded in 2004, the Nilex-listed healthcare firm manufactures, imports, and exports medical supplies like surgical sutures and needle tips. It reported a net income of EGP 34k on sales of EGP 2.2 mn in 2020, according to its financials (pdf) for that year. Banff produces materials used by the healthcare industry. Its non-woven fabrics are used for goods like masks, surgical gowns and sterilization wraps.


GREGY is advancing: The consortium behind the 3-GW Greece-Egypt Interconnector (GREGY) is putting together the final technical and financial surveys ahead of a financial investment decision, Greek outlet eKathimerini reported yesterday. John Karydas, the CEO of the renewables unit of Copelouzos — which together with Samaras Group is drawing up plans for the project — made the statements at a conference in Washington.

BACKGROUND- Work on GREGY has accelerated last year as the EU steps up its search for new energy supplies following an energy crunch on the back of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Renewable energy player Elica — a 50/50 joint venture between Copelouzos and Samaras — is applying to the EU for funding, with the European Investment Bank and a number of Greek banks possibly contributing money to the EUR 3.5 bn project.


Could Serbia supply us with 1 mn tons of wheat?

A big wheat buy in the works from Serbia: Egypt is in talks to buy some 1 mn tons of wheat from Serbia as it works to diversify its wheat suppliers, the Supply Ministry said yesterday. Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy discussed the potential direct purchase in a meeting with a Serbian delegation headed by former president Boris Tadic yesterday.

The details: Serbia would supply us with wheat and corn of Serbian, Romanian, and Bulgarian origin, which would be transported from the Romanian Port of Constanta to either Alexandia or Damietta Port. The statement didn’t disclose a timeline or the price at which the wheat and corn will be purchased. The potential purchase came after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi last summer visited Serbia for the first time. The Egyptian and Serbian sides have scheduled further meetings to work towards an agreement.

Is this feasible? Bloomberg notes that Serbia is a relatively minor player among global wheat producers and typically exports no more than 1 mn tons of the grain each season. The country’s wheat exports this year are forecast to come in at some 600k tons, the business news service reports, citing US Department of Agriculture data.

We’ve also been gearing up for more Romanian wheat: Romania promised to increase wheat exports to Egypt during Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă’s visit to Egypt earlier this week.

REMEMBER- War in Ukraine sent international grain prices soaring last year, forcing Egypt — the world’s largest importer of wheat — to rely more on the local harvest, diversify the source of its imports, and pivot from international tenders to direct purchases on the global markets.

AND- Silo money from the EIB? The state is in talks with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to secure investment to establish a large silo in the Damietta Port with a storage capacity of 200k tons, as well as five 5-k ton silo fields in Sharkiya, Kafr El Sheikh, Dakahlia, Minya, and El Wadi El Gedid, according to the statement. El Moselhy met with EIB director Lionel Rapaille yesterday. The European lender in December approved a proposal to provide EUR 150 mn to Egypt to bolster its silo storage capacity.


Raya Customer Experience (Raya CX) has appointed Ahmed Abou El Ezz as its new CEO, after Ahmed Refky (LinkedIn) stepped down, the company said in an EGX disclosure (pdf). Abou El Ezz will assume his new role on 19 February when Refky leaves his position.



It was surprisingly a quiet night on talk shows yesterday: With Lamees El Hadidi, Amr Adib and Ahmed Moussa all having the night off, and Al Hayah Al Youm scaling back its evening show, Ramy Radwan on Masaa DMC and Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer more or less had the airwaves to themselves.

Privatization was the big story at home, though Masaa DMC was the only show to give Madbouly’s presser some airtime last night (watch, runtime: 2:33 | watch, runtime: 1:51). Gehan Saleh, an economic advisor to the PM, phoned into the show, telling Radwan that the state offering program will help to attract more foreign direct investment into the country. “Both ways, whether through strategic investors or the bourse, would empower the private sector participation. It’s all in the hands of hired investment banks and IPO advisors to decide on the size of the stake being offered depending on firms’ financial results,” Saleh said (watch, runtime: 9:14).

The aftermath of the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria was still getting a lot of attention on the airwaves. Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer spoke with two Egyptians rescued from under the rubble, including an engineering freshman who was rescued in Turkey’s Iskenderun (watch, runtime 8:09). The student recounted horrific scenes from the devastating earthquake after her five-storey building collapsed. Masaa DMC also had coverage (watch, runtime: 2:50 | 1:50).

Al Hayah Al Youm sat down with Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie, who talked about the recent incidents of vessels running aground in the canal, and refuted recent rumors of government plans to sell management rights of the canal to foreign companies (watch, runtime: 13:53).



Flutterwave comes to Egypt: Nigerian fintech startup Flutterwave has obtained licenses to set up shop in Egypt, it said in a press release yesterday. The approvals will allow Flutterwave “to act as an official payment service provided in the country” by collecting and setting payments locally and abroad. “We are proud to have been granted the Payment Services Provider and Payment Facilitator licenses in Egypt, which forms part of our international expansion strategy,” Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga Agboola said.


Contact partners with BMW’s local agent: Contact Financial will offer car financing and ins. to customers of Global Auto Group, BMW’s new agent and importer in Egypt, according to statements out yesterday (here and here — pdfs).

REFRESHER- Global Auto in January started assembling BMWs in Egypt for the first time in five years, soon after BMW Group handed the firm the exclusive rights to import and assemble BMW and Mini cars in the local market. Global Auto is a joint venture between Kuwait’s Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive, Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors and local firms Organi Group and Al Safi Group.


e-Finance to spearhead digitization of the fertilizer trade: EGX-listed fintech player e-Finance has been chosen by the Agriculture Ministry to operate an electronic system to manage the trade of fertilizers, the company said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The system will automate fertilizer distribution procedures for more than 5.7k agricultural coops, and fertilizer factories and outlets run by the Egyptian Company for Agricultural and Rural Development.


Clyde & Co lands in Egypt: London-based corporate law firm Clyde & Co has set up shop in Cairo through its new associate office Barakat, Maher & Partners Advocates & Legal Consultants, it said in a statement yesterday. The new firm will be headed by Clyde & Co Managing Partner Mohamed Barakat (LinkedIn), who has nearly two decades of experience in the legal profession in the US, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. It will handle capital markets, corporate and M&A, commercial, arbitration, employment, finance, regulatory, and restructuring cases.


Authorities have released all detainees arrested during clashes in the Cairo island of El Warraq in 2017, Rep. Tarek El Kholy, a member of the Presidential Pardons Committee said yesterday. A number of the island’s inhabitants have been detained in recent years following clashes with security forces for opposing the government’s plans to demolish their homes and redevelop the island.


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Maersk expects a major correction this year after bumper earnings in 2022: Danish shipping giant Maersk, widely considered a barometer for global trade, forecasts that underlying operating profits (EBIT) will plunge to USD 2-5 bn this year from a record USD 31 bn in 2022 as the shipping boom ends, the Financial Times reports. Last year’s earnings — the highest in the company’s history — were buoyed by soaring freight rates triggered by pandemic-related supply chain snarls. But a massive correction is now expected as freight rates normalize and demand for global containers falls, with clients now dealing with oversupply. “When this congestion goes away, you get more goods, your warehouses are full, your inventory is high,” Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc told the FT.

Turkey’s bourse suspended trading yesterday for the first time in 24 years as stocks plummeted in the wake of this week’s devastating earthquakes. The exchange will be closed for five days after a selloff erased USD 35 bn from the main equities gauge, according to Bloomberg.


  • TotalEnergies is the latest energy firm to register bumper earnings in 2022: Oil and gas giant TotalEnergies’ adjusted bottom line doubled y-o-y to USD 36.2 bn in 2022 on higher oil and gas prices. (Statement, pdf)
  • Uber beats estimates: Uber’s revenues rose 47% to USD 8.6 bn in 4Q 2022, beating an estimate of USD 8.49 bn. The company’s shares rose 5.5% on the news. (Statement)
  • The UK could torpedo the biggest gaming acquisition ever: Microsoft’s USD 75 bn acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard would hurt competition in the gaming market, the UK’s competition watchdog said yesterday. (Statement)




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The EGX30 rose 0.3% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.93 bn (5.1% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is up 16.1% YTD.

In the green: Mopco (+3.0%), Abu Qir Fertilizers (+2.1%) and CIB (+1.9%).

In the red: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt (-5.2%), Juhayna (-5.1%) and Qalaa Holdings (-3.9%).


Libyan political leaders have agreed on a mechanism to withdraw foreign fighters from the country during talks in Cairo, the UN said yesterday. Under the Egypt-brokered agreement, the 5+5 Joint Military Commission — composed of leaders from opposing sides of the country’s recent civil war — will coordinate on the withdrawal of mercenary groups. “What you have achieved here is an important step toward achieving sustainable stability and peace in Libya, in neighboring countries and the region in general,” UN Libya envoy Abdoulaye Bathily said.

Reminder: The US has been pushing for Russian mercenaries to leave the country. Washington has been putting pressure on Egypt to push Libyan officials to cut ties with Russia’s Wagner Group, a private military contractor with close ties to the Kremlin. Wagner fighters have been in Libya for several years where they have reportedly been deployed to assist forces linked to eastern military commander, Khalifa Haftar.


Karim El Deeb, chief operating officer at Bosta: 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 Karim El Deeb (LinkedIn), chief operating officer of logistics startup Bosta. Edited excerpts from our conversation:

My name is Karim El Deeb, and I am the COO of Bosta. I'm a telecom engineer, so I graduated and started working in telecoms immediately in the technology department. Then I joined Huawei in Dubai. Over time, I realized that tech isn't my thing and that I'm better at operations, commercial, and other areas that require business skills.

I wanted to try a different field, which is tricky when your entire experience has been in a single specialization. You're not a junior because you have nine years of experience, but companies won’t hire you as a senior because you lack relevant experience. So I was fortunate when Careem decided to hire me in 2017.

Startups are a new experience for everyone, and you end up working with a diverse group of people who may have little in common. I started working at Careem and advanced through the ranks, eventually becoming the director of operations for Egypt. That's when I went from being a telecom engineer to a business guy. Then, in July 2020, I joined Bosta.

Bosta's goal is to empower e-commerce players. While a traditional courier company is looking to serve the big players, there are many smaller players. According to research, Egypt has between 300k-600k e-commerce sellers. So who looks after these people? Not only as a courier service but also in all other capacities — creating their websites, handling their payments, tracking deliveries, storing their products, getting products from abroad, inventory management, and other services. We help smaller sellers with technology and also offer courier services to the big players. We currently operate in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

My job is to ensure the implementation of this vision through the team. My targets are revenue and bottom lines. But my main responsibility is ensuring everyone does their part to meet these targets by giving directions and making decisions. I lead the commercial and operational aspects, as well as the customer service and data teams. I couldn't function without the data team; I speak with them every morning.

I wake up around 7.30-8am, have a small snack, and then head to the gym next to my house. I work out for 45 minutes, and then I start work immediately. I work from home on Sundays and Thursdays and in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays — that's when we have face-to-face meetings and brainstorming sessions. Sunday and Thursday are reserved for Zoom meetings with the team abroad.

I don't drive to work; I take Careem — out of loyalty to my former company [laughs]. If I don't have morning calls or emails to address, I read Enterprise or catch up on the previous day's Bloomberg Technology, which gives you a market brief and always has an interesting interview.

At startups, no two days are alike. The company grows and changes every year, with new problems and a new team structure. During the initial growth stage we needed teams focused on new products. Now the focus is on profitability, so we need a structure focused on efficiency. It varies depending on the priorities at the time.

The one constant in my day is that I have to look at a snapshot of how the previous day closed in terms of volumes, active merchants, leads, signups, pickups, and KPIs in Egypt and Saudi.

Writing helps me stay focused and organized. I'm old school, and I keep a notebook. I used to write my tasks daily, but I found out that weekly lists are more efficient. I prepare it every Sunday morning or Saturday night, and whenever a new action point arises, I add it to the list. I then review my tasks daily to see what has been accomplished and is yet to be done.

On a professional level, I want to see Bosta become a recognized regional brand. You know how certain brands come to mind when you think of shipping or e-commerce? I want Bosta to be the first thing people think of if they want to start an e-commerce business.

On a personal level, all I want is for my son, Ali, to be happy and healthy. If he's good, I'm good.

I had a bad work-life balance experience until I realized its importance. People believe balance is beneficial only for their quality of life, but it is also essential for their quality of work. If you don't disconnect, you won't be able to function at your best. I divide my time into slots. Specific slots are reserved for my son when I leave work no matter what's going on — unless there's a crisis. For example, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, I switch off from work at around 5-6pm, and spend time with Ali. We watch movies or play video games together. On other days like Sundays, I can work until 8-9pm.

It's also crucial for me to catch up with my friends. I need a slot on Thursday or Friday to meet up with friends. If I miss this one day, the entire following week will be miserable. On Saturday mornings, for example, we have to go outdoors and get some sun.

I don't turn on my laptop during the weekend. I work out daily on weekdays, track my calories on my watch, and try to eat healthy. Then, at midnight on Thursday, I set a weekly alarm to turn off my watch for the weekend — no notifications, no calorie-tracking, and no exercise. Fridays and Saturdays are my rest days.

When I'm done with work, I go out or watch shows on Netflix. I've started listening to a new podcast called You Are Not So Smart, and I love the documentary series The Last Dance — I’ve watched it three times. I really enjoy documentaries, but I only watch them in the morning. At night, I like to watch simple shows that require no thinking, so I can truly disconnect.

Nothing is permanent, good or bad. I believe it was my grandmother who gave me this advice. Don't take your current health for granted; it may not last forever. If you're down or something isn't working, don't worry, it won't last forever, and things will get better soon. In the end, nothing is permanent.



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.

3 March (Friday): Journalists’ Syndicate midterm elections.

5 March (Sunday) Nahda Economic Forum, Intercontinental Cairo Semiramis.

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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