Sunday, 12 February 2023

AM — Food prices hit record high in January as deval pushes inflation higher



Good morning, wonderful people. We have a packed issue for you on this cold Sunday morning, setting the tone for what we think will be a busy week on the news front.

EGP WATCH- The USD gained another 0.4% against the EGP on Thursday to close at 30.55, according to central bank figures. The currency passed 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 and is down almost 20% since the start of the year.

EGX WATCH- The EGX had on Thursday its best day since mid-November. Investors appeared to cheer Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly’s unveiling of the government’s plans to privatize state-owned firms. The benchmark EGX 30 rose 3.9% to reach its highest level since May 2018 during a heavy day’s trading, which saw volumes EGP 2.5 bn — 35% above the trailing 90-day average. Foreigners were net sellers as regional and local investors bought heavily into the market, which has regained its footing since the EGP devaluation in October. The index is now up 20.7% year-to-date, making it one of the world’s best-performing stock exchanges.

What to expect: In a presser on Wednesday, the PM said that the government would look to sell stakes in 32 companies before the end of 1Q 2024 via strategic or public share sales.

FACT CHECK- Cabinet has denied a media report last week that it is planning to introduce a mechanism to price electricity on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. A report in Asharq Business had claimed that the government is considering adjusting electricity prices every three or six months in response to the devaluation of the EGP and rising gas and diesel prices. The proposal was said to be modeled after the fuel pricing committee, which reviews fuel prices quarterly.

SHOUT OUT #1- Our friends at ShiftEV welcomed PM Moustafa Madbouly for a factory tour — and a test drive of an electrofitted minivan (watch, runtime: 0:57). ShiftEV converts standard petrol-fueled vehicles into EVs using a proprietary made-in-Egypt battery technology. You can learn more about ShiftEV CEO Aly El Tayeb here. Aly was also our guest on stage at our December Enterprise Climate Forum.

SHOUT OUT #2- Our friends at Ratios Bakery here in the People’s Democratic Republic of Maadi. Samer, Jackie and their team are celebrating five years in business. If you haven’t yet tried our go-to, we think there’s no better croissant in town. World-class carbs from a bootstrapped business? What could be better on a cold winter morning?

PSA- It’s going to be chilly this week, with daytime highs fo 17°C through Friday, according to our favourite weather app, before the mercury breaks back past 20°C a week from today. Look for overnight lows in the 7-10°C range in the capital city all week.


The House of Representatives is back in session:

  • TODAY- The House will resume discussion of a draft tourism bill that would strip the power to form and regulate tourism chambers from the tourism minister and place it in the hands of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF). MPs gave preliminary approval to the legislation last month.
  • TOMORROW- MPs will debate and vote on a bill that will allow the oil minister to contract two companies — state-owned EGAS and our friends at Cheiron Energy — to explore for oil and gas west of the Burullus offshore gas field in the Mediterranean.
  • TUESDAY- Youth and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy will be in the hot seat to answer questions from MPs on youth centers, sporting clubs, stadiums and Egypt’s preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tough questions for cabinet as inflation spirals: MPs are directing questions to the PM and ministers in his government demanding to know their plans to calm soaring inflation — and will today try to settle on a date for discussions to be had. “The inflation rate [across the country] jumped to 26.5% in January and all signals show that there is no end for these high rates in sight. We need to know what the government's policy is to tackle this,” said Rep. Mervat Alexan, a member of the centrist Defenders of the Homeland Party.

^^ We have the full story on January’s inflation data in this morning’s news well, below.

The Arab League is meeting in Cairo to discuss the situation in Palestine: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be among the attendees at an Arab League meeting today to discuss recent events in Palestine, Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said yesterday (watch, runtime: 10:44). Egypt has for the past week been engaging with Palestinian factions to bring an end to the recent cycle of violence, triggered by the election of a far-right government in Tel Aviv that has escalated conflict on the ground in the West Bank.


EGYPS starts tomorrow: The three-day Egypt Petroleum Show will start at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. Running through to Wednesday, the conference will bring together more than 32k participants and over 2k delegates. It will see the participation of 41 global oil and gas firms, 500 exhibitors and 260 speakers. Our friends at Cheiron are official sponsors.

The EU’s energy commissioner is in town to discuss energy security: Kadri Simson is scheduled to arrive to Cairo tomorrow for talks with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz on advancing an agreement to increase gas exports to Europe signed in June between Egypt, Israel and the EU, the EU and Israel said over the weekend. The commissioner will also attend the EGYPS, where she will give a keynote speech and participate in a panel discussion on “Managing supply and demand in volatile times – supporting global economies and energy security.”

El Sisi in Dubai: The president will be in Dubai this 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.


#1- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi followed up on efforts to eliminate obstacles facing the industrial sector as part of plans to attract more investment into the country, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

#2- The state wants to make it easier for manufacturers of pharma products and medical supplies to get licenses, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said Thursday.

#3- Kuwait is making changes to how it helps out its Arab neighbors — but won’t say how: Kuwait will look into amending its policies on providing aid to Arab and developing countries through its Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah said, without specifying what changes would be made (watch, runtime: 4:36). “There are developments at the international level that require us to reconsider the mechanisms of the fund's work and harness the fund's work to preserve our national interests,” he said.

Following in Saudi footsteps? The hint comes a month after Saudi Arabia said it will shift away from providing unconditional foreign assistance, instead tying future development assistance to economic reforms in the countries it helps.

This could be significant for Egypt which is currently asking Gulf countries to invest in the companies it has flagged for privatization. Planning Minister Hala El Said and the head of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Ayman Soliman, were in Kuwait for talks with the country’s sovereign wealth fund over the weekend (more on that below), part of a roadshow which has also taken them to Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are major providers of aid to Egypt.

Egypt also wants more money from the EIB + World Bank: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait called on the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank to provide more money to support development programs during meetings with delegations from the two multilateral lenders.


The global business press is still dedicating heavy coverage to the aftermath of last week’s tragic earthquake in Syria and Turkey as rescuers continue to find survivors, almost a week on from the event. The death toll is climbing towards 30k, making it one of the worst natural disasters of the 21st century. (Reuters | AP | Bloomberg | Financial Times | NYT | Washington Post | WSJ).

Egyptian volunteers have so far collected 90 tons of donations to send to Syria, Africa News reported yesterday. Members of the public have been giving food supplies, clothes, blankets and baby milk to help the thousands of people who have been left without shelter in the freezing winter.

ACROSS THE ATLANTIC- The western press is freaking out about the downing by US warplanes of an unidentified flying object over Canada, a few days after an alleged Chinese spy balloon was shot down in US airspace.

The story is leading most front pages this morning: Reuters | AP | Financial Times | Bloomberg | Washington Post | NYT | WSJ | CNBC.


Al Ahly miss out on Club World Cup medal: Al Ahly lost their chance to earn their third straight bronze medal in the Club World Cup third-place decider yesterday which they lost against Brazilian champions Flamengo. The Egyptian champions lost 4-2 in an action-packed game, with Flamengo’s Gabriel Barbosa scoring two penalties and Pedro netting twice. Al Ahly’s Ahmed Abdelkader scored twice either side of halftime, giving them a lead after left-back Ali Maaloul missed a penalty. The game then turned in Flamengo’s favor after defender Khaled Abdelfattah was shown a red with only 20 minutes to go, allowing the Brazilian side to score three goals in the final 15 minutes.

Los Blancos champions: Real Madrid were crowned the champions for the fifth time after beating Saudi’s Al Hilal 5-3 against Saudi’s Al Hilal. Federico Valverde and Vinicius Jr both scored twice while Karim Benzema chipped in with one in the 54th minute.



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.


The Social Solidarity Ministry and the Arab League are organizing the first regional conference on “Social Welfare Policies and Achieving Community Security” at the end of February, according to a ministry statement. The conference will examine social welfare programs in Egypt and other Arab nations, as well as their connection to establishing community security. A date for the event is still TBA.

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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More stake sales in military-owned firms coming?

The government is “ready” to offer up stakes in all military-owned firms as part of the state privatization program and partner with private-sector players, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said on Thursday. Bringing in the private sector for partnerships “could increase governance and could improve performance, he said (watch, runtime: 3:02).

REFRESHER- El Sisi’s remarks came one day after Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly unveiled the government’s plan to sell stakes in 32 state-owned companies through sales to strategic investors and offerings on the EGX over the next 13 months. The plan expects to run from the current quarter through to the end of 1Q 2024, with at least 25% of the share sales — or eight transactions, for those of you keeping track at home — within the first six months. The line-up of companies include banks and financial services firms, oil and petrochemicals companies, real estate players, ports, a tech firm, and several state assets.

Two of these are owned by the military’s National Service Projects Organization (NSPO): Bottled drinks firm Safi and fuel retailer Wataniya were among the list released last week though the government hasn’t disclosed whether they will be sold to strategic or public investors or how much of the companies will be on offer. The two firms were placed into the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s pre-IPO fund last month.

Military-owned firms are not exempt from taxes + utility costs: All military-owned firms are subject to oversight from the Central Auditing Organization, as well as the military’s own regulatory bodies, NSPO head Maj. Gen. Walid Aboul Magd said at the inauguration (watch, runtime: 1:59). In FY 2021-2022, the group paid EGP 6 bn for electricity, EGP 3 bn for gas and EGP 4.5 bn in taxes, Aboul Magd said. The comments came during the inauguration of the second phase of a food industries “city” owned by an NSPO subsidiary, in Sadat City.

NSPO does enjoy some perks, but it doesn’t hamper competition, El Sisi says: “The NSPO could have some advantages in some areas, such as when it comes to executing on decisions, but this does not come at the cost of real competition,” the president said. NSPO projects are not granted any advantages in operating or production costs, he said. The global business press has stepped up commentary on the military’s involvement in the economy since the Sisi administration agreed with the IMF to curtail the state’s economic footprint as a condition of our latest assistance package.


Planning Minister Hala El Said is leading a business delegation to a number of Gulf countries along with Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) head Ayman Soliman to drum up interest in the offering program. The team was in Kuwait over the weekend for talks with investors — including the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the chambers of commerce and retail conglomerate Alshaya Group — the ministry said in a statement Friday.

The fourth stop: El Said also visited Qatar, Bahrain and Oman last week.

** Expect similar conversations to be had in Dubai this week when El Sisi travels to the emirate to attend the World Government Summit, which runs 13-15 February.


El Sisi denies Saudi tensions: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi denied there is a rift with Saudi Arabia and accused local media and social media users of trying to foment trouble. “If we can't say something good, we should remain silent … We must also not forget the support our brothers have given us,” he said (watch, runtime: 3:38). The comments come in the wake of a public spat started by two Saudi commentators who publicly criticized Egypt’s economic policies. The editor-in-chief of Gomhuria published a piece that appeared to criticize Saudi Arabia, but later retracted it.

Getting plenty of ink: Reuters, Bloomberg and The National have pieces on the president’s comments on Saudi Arabia, while Bloomberg picked up the statement on military privatization.


Abou Ghaly brings a Geely EV to the local market (with payment in FX), looks to use Egypt as a hub to sell EVs into Africa

Abou Ghaly will introduce Geely EVs here: Abou Ghaly Motors is introducing Chinese automaker Geely’s Geometry C electric car to the local market, according to a company statement.

The catch: If you want one you’ll need to pay in USD through Abou Ghaly’s freezone company in Alexandria due to the difficulties that local automakers continue to face securing hard currency payments for imports, Tamer Kotb, Abou Ghaly’s group chief operating officer, told Enterprise yesterday.

About the car: Geometry C can cover up to 550 km on a full charge with some 201 horsepower. The car saves motorists some 80% in fuel and running costs when compared with traditional vehicles, Abou Ghaly said in its statement. Check out more of the car’s specs here.

The auto sector is still facing logjams at the nation’s ports: “We are still unable to release any of our car imports stuck at the ports since last May due to the country’s FX squeeze,” said Kotb, telling us that cars aren’t among the government’s priorities when it comes to releasing backlogged imports.

Wait what? Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said at the end of January that the backlog of imported goods at our ports has been cleared.

The auto sector had a tough 2022: Annual car sales fell more than a third during 2022 on the back of the FX crunch, according to industry data out earlier this month. Sales are expected to pick up later this year after the central bank revoked import restrictions brought in last spring to conserve hard currency.


Abou Ghaly plans to start locally assembling Geely EVs at some point this year, Kotb told us. Geely will provide the know-how and technical expertise, while Abou Ghaly will cover the initial investment cost and take charge of marketing, distribution and sales, he said. The local automaker is in negotiations with Geely to use Egypt as an export hub for the Chinese automaker’s EVs to Africa, he added.

Abou Ghaly thinks the market is ready: “Talking to leaders in the green-industry ecosystem during the Enterprise Climate X Forum in December reinforced our belief that the Egyptian market is ready for EVs,” said Kotb. The company has been talking to “Geely and other international EV automakers about importing and even assembling their EV cars in Egypt and trying to convince them that local demand and the infrastructure are up to par,” he added. Our friends at renewable energy player Infinity have built at least 115 charging stations so far nationwide, part of a plan with the government to set up 6k vehicle charging points at 3k stations across the country.

EVs are now the priority amid market uncertainty: The local automaker last year said it hoped to start locally producing one of Geely’s traditional economy lines in the summer of this year, before later moving into EVs. But the signing of an agreement on local production for traditional vehicles has been postponed indefinitely, Kotb told us, citing the Chinese company’s concerns over “market uncertainty.”

Gov’t is backing the move: The government is supporting Abou Ghaly and other private secretary players with incentives to get the EV industry off the ground, Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said at the launch event, without elaborating. The minister expects the first locally-assembled EVs to roll off production lines next year. International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat and Trade and Industry Minister Ahmed Samir also attended the launch.

The national automotive strategy should unlock more investment in local production: “It’s unlikely that any investor will take serious steps into local assembly before the launch of the government’s automotive strategy and assurances that the program will remain in place for at least 5-7 years,” said Kotb.

We’ve been waiting for the government to unveil its automotive strategy for years: The government is working on the long-awaited strategy, which it says will provide incentives to carmakers in a bid to increase local assembly and component manufacturing.


Food prices hit record high on January devaluation

Inflation hit a fresh five-year high in January on the back of a record increase in food prices due to the devaluation of the EGP. Figures released on Thursday by state statistics agency Capmas showed that annual urban inflation jumped to 25.8% y-o-y in January, up from 21.3% the month before, driven largely by spiking food costs which surged to 48% from 37.3% in December. Inflation is now at its highest since November 2017.

Analysts were shocked: The pace of last month’s inflation surprised most analysts who had projected a more modest rise in prices, according to Bloomberg. The median forecast in a poll of economists conducted by Reuters had inflation accelerating to 23.75%.

Core inflation hit a more than five-year high as price pressures intensified across the broader economy: Core inflation, which strips out volatile items such as food and fuel, rose to 31.2% in January from 24.4% a month earlier, according to central bank figures (pdf). This is the highest core print since September 2017.

There was no respite for monthly inflation, which rose to 4.7% — its quickest rate since the month following the 2016 devaluation.

The EGP deval, economic headwinds, and import restrictions are still to blame: Successive devaluations of the EGP, the fallout from the war in Ukraine and an FX crunch that has stymied imports continue to push prices higher. The Central Bank of Egypt has allowed the EGP to devalue three times in less than a year as part of its agreement with the IMF to move towards a permanently flexible exchange rate. The EGP has lost almost half of its value against the greenback over the past year, passing the 30 mark at the end of January following a sharp fall.

Foreign inflows have started to return but there are signs that higher rates will be needed to really attract hot money back to the local debt market: Investors told Bloomberg last week that the central bank’s decision to leave interest rates on hold this month was causing them to rethink plans to invest in EGP assets. Though yields on EGP debt are at record highs, real rates are now negative and inflation is now more than 900 bps above the central bank policy rate.

Cue more rate hikes in the coming weeks? Analysts now expect the central bank to respond aggressively to last month’s inflation data with further rate hikes. EFG Hermes and Naeem Holding economists told Bloomberg they now expect another 200-bps worth of hikes in the next few months, while Goldman Sachs isn’t ruling out a surprise increase before the next policy meeting on 30 March.

Could prices to climb higher still? Analysts we recently polled all expect inflation to continue rising in the coming months and to remain elevated over the course of 2023. Factors that will continue prices further upwards include the devaluation, expected fuel and electricity price hikes, and seasonal factors including Ramadan. The central bank is targeting inflation at an average of 7% (± 2%) by 4Q 2024.

The data got a lot of coverage internationally: Reuters, the Associated Press and Bloomberg also covered the January inflation data.


Pharma delivery startup Yodawy lands USD 16 mn in series B funding

Yodawy closes USD 16 mn series B round: Pharma delivery app Yodawy raised USD 16 mn in a series B round led by Dubai-based Global Ventures and Delivery Hero’s VC arm, it said in a press release (pdf) Thursday. The round also saw participation from two first-time investors, Japanese healthcare-focused fund AAIC Investment and Saudi investment group Dallah Albaraka, as well as existing investors Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), C-Ventures (CIB’s VC arm), and P1 Ventures.

About Yodawy: Founded in 2018 by Karim Khashaba (LinkedIn), Yasser AbdelGawad (LinkedIn) and Sherief El Feky (LinkedIn), Yodawy pharma delivery platforms offers a built-in AI ins. approval engine. The company closed a USD 7.5 mn round in mid-2021. Since then, it has increased its revenues by 400% and launched new features.

Expansion in the pipeline: The startup will use the funding to fuel its regional expansion plans, expand its daily meds delivery program for chronic patients, and continue to automate its operations, the company said.

Read more: We interviewed Khashaba for our weekly My Morning Routine back in 2020.

Could things be picking up in StartupLand? Inflows appear to be picking up to local startups after a quiet January, when not a single startup announced securing new funding. February has so far brought us news of a USD 200 mn investment by Chimera Investments in MNT-Halan, bringing the super app’s value to USD 1 bn, as well as a USD 3.5 mn seed round by customer loyalty platform Gameball.


MSCI adds Ezz Steel, Heliopolis Housing to its small-cap index

Ezz Steel and Heliopolis Housing have been added to MSCI’s small cap index following its quarterly review. Heliopolis Housing is returning to the small-cap index after it was removed in May last year. There were no changes to the Egyptian firms included in MSCI’s standard index. See the revised index list, which comes into effect on 28 February, here (pdf.)


SODIC revenues up 13% y-o-y on record sales but impact of deval hits net income

SODIC reports higher revenues in 2022: Real estate giant SODIC’s revenues rose 13% y-o-y to EGP 7.8 bn in 2022, according to the company’s full-year earnings release (pdf). The increase was driven by deliveries in East Cairo projects, with Villette Sky Condos and SODIC East accounting for a combined 50% of the developer’s unit deliveries by value last year.

Earnings fell as SODIC prepares for more deval-induced inflation: The company’s net income fell 60% y-o-y to EGP 520 mn after it set aside some EGP 542 mn worth of provisions “for the potential future impact of the recent currency devaluation, which has impacted development costs across the industry, on the company’s future revenue backlog,” the release reads. Setting those provisions aside, normalized net income would have come in at EGP 941 mn — down some 14% from 2021 (pdf).

REMEMBER- Real estate players have seen their margins squeezed as the devaluation of the EGP and import difficulties on the back of an FX crunch send raw materials prices soaring. The government is granting developers a 20% deadline extension on their projects, part of a basket of measures to help soften the blow to the sector.

Sales rocketed in terms of both number and value of units sold: SODIC’s gross contracted sales almost doubled to a record EGP 21.3 bn in 2022 on the back of a 65% increase in unit sales. West Cairo contributed 37% of the sales, buoyed by the relaunch of its Karmell residential project in 4Q 2022. East Cairo accounted for 35% of gross contracted sales while the North Coast generated the remainder.

SOUND SMART- For more real estate companies, sales ≠ revenues. Most book a sale when you sign a contract to buy a home, but only record (some or all of) the value of the unit they sold you when they (a) deliver the unit to you or (b) hit a percentage of completion on a project.

This is SODIC’s first set of full-year results since it was acquired by our Emirati neighbors. The UAE’s Aldar and ADQ together acquired 85.5% of SODIC in late 2021 for EGP 6.1 bn.

SPEAKING OF WHICH- Aldar Properties reported a record AED 3.1 bn in net income in 2022 on revenues of AED 11.2 bn, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). Aldar Development saw its revenues rise 38% y-o-y to AED 7 bn, buoyed in part by SODIC’s contribution, along with new project launches and higher inventory sales, according to the release.

Aldar Development’s overall sales nearly doubled y-o-y to hit AED 14.4 bn in 2022 — the company’s highest-ever figure for annual sales — “driven by strong demand for existing inventory and new development launches.” The group’s development revenue backlog also almost tripled to AED 17.6 bn, “providing strong visibility on the group’s revenue across both the UAE and Egypt with revenue recognition expected over the next 2-3 years.”


AfDB has a new Egypt country manager

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has appointed Abdourahmane Diaw (LinkedIn) the bank’s new head of Egypt, effective 1 November 2022, it said in a statement. Prior to his appointment, Diaw was officer in charge of the bank’s Egypt country office and was the Northern Africa region’s regional manager for its portfolio and implementation support division. He has over 22 years of experience in AfDB.

Separately, AfDB appointed Egypt’s Ahmed Rashad Attout (LinkedIn) as acting director of the bank’s financial sector development department effective 1 December, according to a separate statement. He has over 23 years of banking experience in the region.



The aftermath of last week’s deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria continued to dominate the airwaves last night. Masaa DMC and El Hekaya focused on rescue efforts to find survivors on the sixth day of the catastrophe, with the death toll now above 28k and 80k still missing (watch, runtime: 14:36 | watch, runtime: 6:05).

Expect more aftershocks to occur in the coming days, Cairo University geology and water resources professor Abbas Sharaky told Ala Mas’ouleety, adding that “we can’t predict the magnitude of such quakes or its [accurate] location with currently scientific methods” (watch, runtime: 3:18).

Egypt’s provision of emergency aid to Syria got a lot of attention, with Al Hayah Al Youm noting a tweet by the UNHCR Egypt about Cairo being the first country to send a team to provide aid (watch, runtime: 7:44). Ala Mas’ouleety also noted Egypt’s aid effort (watch, runtime: 3:33).


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Gov’t to hire 30k new teachers in bid to end shortage + telcos can market micro ins. policies


Teacher hiring drive: The Education Ministry is looking to hire 30k primary school assistant teachers for the first, second and third grades to start in the 2023-2024 academic year, according to a Central Agency for Organization and Administration statement. Applicants must be under the age of 40 and hold an education degree to apply. There is an EGP 24 fee to submit an application, which can be done online here.

REMEMBER- This fiscal year’s budget set aside EGP 1.8 bn to hire 30k teachers, kicking off a plan to onboard the same number of new teachers every year for the next five years. Former education minister Tarek Shawki put the teacher shortage in public schools at some 250k staff back in 2021.


Telecom companies and online stores will be allowed to market micro ins. policies online after receiving regulatory approval, the Financial Regulatory Authority said (pdf) over the weekend. Ins. companies will now be given the greenlight by the market regulator to contract with online stores to allow dealers to take out product liability ins. The statement said telecom companies will be allowed to market and circulate micro ins. policies online.


More real estate registry offices: The government has opened 12 new real estate registry offices across the country in branches of Etisalat Egypt, Telecom Egypt, and Orange, and another four offices in Alexandria alone, according to a Justice Ministry statement. It also opened eight real estate notary offices in new cities across the country.

REMEMBER- Amendments to the Real Estate Registry Act were signed into law at the start of the year. They streamline the real estate registration process by reducing paperwork, digitizing some of the procedures, and putting a time ceiling on the entire process.


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Is FAB still interested in StanChart?

FAB reportedly still has eyes for Standard Chartered: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is working under the radar on an all-cash bid of USD 30-35 bn for UK-headquartered bank Standard Chartered under the code name Silver-Foxtrot, after putting earlier takeover plans on hold. The bank denied the report in a statement picked by Asharq Business. Bloomberg, which broke the news, has not retracted its story.

Russia retaliates against oil price cap: Oil rose more than 2% on Friday after Russia announced it would slash output by 5% in March in response to Western sanctions on its energy exports, Reuters reported. The move, which will remove 500k barrels a day from the market, caused Brent crude futures to climb 2.2% to USD 86.4 a barrel, and US crude to rise 2.1% to USD 79.7. Both benchmarks saw weekly gains of more than 8%. Washington — which spearheaded the move to impose a price cap on Russia’s seaborne oil exports — accused Moscow of weaponizing energy on Friday.


  • PIF onboard Abraj Energy IPO: The Saudi sovereign wealth fund will be an anchor investor in the IPO of Oman’s Abraj Energy Services, which is expected to raise as much as USD 244 mn. The state-owned oil-drilling unit is offering 49% of the company, with 40% of that stake earmarked for anchor investors. (Bloomberg)
  • All falls down: Adidas shares sink on Yeezy woes. Adidas shares fell 11% on Friday following news that the sportswear company stands to lose around EUR 1.2 bn in revenue this year if it is unable to sell its existing Yeezy inventory. The sportswear giant terminated its relationship with Ye last year following a string of anti-semitic comments. (CNBC)
  • Are Chinese firms returning to the US for listing? Hesai Technology, a China-based car sensor manufacturer, has launched an IPO on the Nasdaq stock exchange, signaling a potential return of Chinese companies to the US IPO market following a near two-year retreat. (FT)




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The EGX30 rose 3.9% at Thursday’s close on turnover of EGP 2.5 bn (35% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 20.7% YTD.

In the green: Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+10.6%), EFG Hermes (+8.2%) and CIB (+6.2%).

In the red: CIRA Education (-1.5%), Oriental Weavers (-0.4%) and Ibnsina Pharma (-0.3%).


No decision yet on MIR: Egypt and Russia have completed much of the technical work to introduce Moscow’s MIR payments system in Egypt but no final decisions have been made, Russia’s ambassador to Egypt Georgy Borisenko told Russia's RIA Novosti. Russian authorities have been working with the Central Bank of Egypt to set up Mir — Russia’s alternative to MasterCard and Visa since — last year following the introduction of Western financial sanctions on Moscow in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine.

The two countries are in talks to increase EGP-RUB trade: Egypt and Russia have been discussing the idea of increasing the use of national currencies in bilateral trade, cutting out the use of the greenback, Borisenko told the news agency. Russia’s central bank last month approved the EGP for use as a trade currency, allowing Egypt to purchase Russian commodities in RUB and reduce its exposure to the greenback.

Don’t expect the US to take any of this lightly: The US has come down hard on Turkey for expanding the use of Mir. Five local banks that had adopted the payment system quickly reversed course following pressure from Washington which threatened to impose sanctions.

El Sisi talks GREGY with Greek PM + lead contractor: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed by phone the progress of the 3-GW Greece-Egypt Interconnector (GREGY) project as well as the need to send immediate support following last week’s devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, the Greek presidency said Friday. El Sisi also met with the head of the lead contractor on the project, Copelouzos Group, Ittihadiya said.

REMEMBER- The consortium working on the project is close to finalizing the technical and financial surveys ahead of a financial investment decision, a senior figure at Copelouzos said last week. Work on the EUR 3.5 bn 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.



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.

March: Gov’t to launch the National Governance Index.

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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