Thursday, 16 February 2023

AM — Could Egypt issue its maiden sovereign sukuk as soon as next week?



Good morning, lovely people, and a very happy THURSDAY. We’re closing out the week with another packed issue.

THE BIG STORY here at home: Are we inching closer to our maiden sovereign sukuk issuance? Egypt aims to make its first sovereign sukuk sale as soon as next week, Bloomberg reports, citing sources it says are in the know. The government could begin roadshows for the sale this week, the sources said, with the final timing of the issuance dependent on market conditions.

How much are we looking to raise? Bloomberg reports that the issuance could be worth up to USD 1.5 bn, while FinMin has previously said it will look to issue USD 1.5-2.5 bn of the shariah-compliant bonds.

Moody’s, meanwhile, has weighed in on an offering worth up to USD 5 bn, having given this week a (P)B3 rating to a potential USD 5 bn sukuk issuance by the Finance Ministry’s sukuk company. The issuance “will be used by the company to purchase the usufruct rights to eligible real estate assets,” with the proceeds received by the government set to “finance investment and development projects included in the economic and social development plan in the state's general budget,” Moody’s writes. The P(B3) rating reflects Moody’s recent downgrade of our sovereign credit rating on “reduced external buffers.”

EGP WATCH- The EGP stabilized against the USD yesterday at 30.62, according to central bank figures. The currency passed the 30 mark at the end of January following a sharper devaluation that helped stimulate the return of foreign inflows and alleviate FX woes that had stalled imports.

But traders see the EGP under pressure over the coming 12 months, Bloomberg reports, saying 12-month non-deliverable forwards eased 1.2% yesterday to 36.025 against the greenback. That suggests traders see the EGP losing a bit more than 14% of its value against the USD over that period.

The next choke points to watch for: Demand for USD is unlikely to ease substantially in the run-up to Ramadan as traders finish stocking imported essentials for the holy month (they’re doing so a bit later than usual thanks to the FX crunch). Pressure will then tick up again in mid-April when dividend repatriation season begins in earnest.


A surprise exit by David Malpass: World Bank President David Malpass is set to step down from his post by the end of the bank’s fiscal year in June, he said in a statement on LinkedIn. Malpass’ surprise exit comes with less than a year remaining in his five-year term.

It’s about climate: The bank will “be well-positioned to feature sustainability more clearly in the mission” come the new fiscal year, Malpass said. He has been widely criticized for his attitude towards the climate crisis, last year refusing to say whether he believed in manmade climate change. The Financial Times, CNN, and Bloomberg have more on the news.

CORRECTION- El Sewedy Data Centers, a subsidiary of El Sewedy Capital, this week signed an MoU to build three data centers in Egypt, not El Sewedy Electric as we wrote yesterday. We’ve since updated the story on our website.


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Gulf investors reportedly eyeing stakes in merged Sidpec-Ethydco

Guess who wants Sidpec-Ethydco? Gulf investors are already lining up to get a piece of the planned merger between EGX-listed Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (Sidpec) and Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (Ethydco), sources in the know reportedly told Al Mal. The unidentified investors are reportedly looking to acquire between 16-20% of the new company, a number that could go up or down after the merger wraps up. The companies have not yet received any official bids, the sources said.

Where does the merger currently stand? The two companies are currently working on fulfilling the requests of their financial and legal advisors, Sidpec said in an EGX disclosure (pdf) last week.

Remember: Last year Sidpec expressed interest in fully acquiring Ethydco through a share swap, with the company’s chairman, Mohamed Ibrahim, signaling that the acquisition would wrap up in less than a year. Sidpec currently owns 20% of Ethydco, making it the company’s second-largest shareholder.

Ethydco is in the state’s privatization plans: The chemicals firm is among the 32 state-owned companies that the government is looking to part-privatize over the coming 13 months. The government has not mentioned Sidpec as being in line for privatization though an unconfirmed press report claimed it could look to offer a secondary stake to investors.

Our Khaleeji friends are buying big into Egyptian petchems: Saudi and Emirati sovereign wealth funds have together acquired significant minority stakes in two of the country’s largest fertilizer companies — Abu Qir Fertilizers and Misr Fertilizers Production Company (Mopco) — and are now reportedly after stakes in Helwan Fertilizers Company. Undisclosed Gulf funds are also looking to acquire shares in El Nasr for Fertilizers and Chemical Industries (Semadco).


Adnoc Distribution closes acquisition of 50% of TotalEnergies Egypt

Adnoc Distribution now owns half of one of Egypt’s largest fuel retailers: Adnoc Distribution, the distribution arm of UAE’s state oil company Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, has completed its acquisition of a 50% stake in fuel retailer TotalEnergies Egypt, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The acquisition marks Adnoc’s entry into the Egyptian fuel distribution market. The transaction has been in the works since last July.

What they bought: TotalEnergies Egypt is one of the country’s largest fuel retailers. It has a network of 240 fuel stations, more than 100 stores and more than 250 lube changing stations and car washes, as well as other fuel and lube operations.

By the numbers: Adnoc Distribution could stand to gain a c. 6% jump in EBITDA on a fully-consolidated basis in a year’s time, according to the release. The company’s EBITDA stood at AED 3.5 bn in 2022, while net earnings came in at AED 2.75 bn.

It’s 50-50: Shares of TotalEnergies Egypt are now split equally between Adnoc Distribution and TotalEnergies Marketing Afrique (TEMA). B Investments and another BPE Partners-backed vehicle exited TotalEnergies Egypt last week, divesting their combined 15.38% stake and handing complete ownership of the filling station to TEMA. Adnoc’s acquisition will yield an additional USD 2.2 mn for BPE Partners’ B investments and USD 3.2 mn for the other BPE Partners-backed vehicle.

The new owners: Adnoc Distribution is the largest fuel retailer and distributor in the UAE, operating more than 500 fuel stations and 362 convenience stores. Egypt is the company’s third market after it launched in Saudi Arabia in 2018 where it operates 66 filling stations.

Adnoc is looking to roll out “digitally-enabled Adnoc service stations” in Egypt and also said it plans to bring its Oasis convenience store brand here.


ODE gets greenlight for Gouna expansion

El Gouna is about to get a lot bigger: Orascom Development Egypt (ODE) has inked an agreement with Egyptian authorities to expand El Gouna, ODE said in an EGX disclosure (pdf) yesterday. Under the agreed master plan, the company will develop its remaining 17.4 mn sqm land bank, adding 1.2 mn sqm of connected lagoons and 1k hotel rooms every 10 years, it said..

This will more than double the town’s current size: El Gouna sits on a total land area of almost 37 mn sqm. Some 11 mn sqm have already been developed, according to ODE’s website.

Also under the agreement: The agreement also gives Orascom the right to connect its lagoon system to the sea, which it says will improve water quality for its Gouna residents. It will also push back the shoreline setback for its unbuilt landbank from the current 200 meters to 105 meters, increasing its buildable land.

The price tag: ODE will pay USD 112 mn in transfer fees for remaining plots, USD 21 mn upon signing and the remainder in installments over 15 years. The company is also paying USD 39 mn to settle with the Environment Ministry, which in 2021 fined it for allegedly causing environmental damage while constructing the resort town. The figure also includes payments to obtain environmental permits and approvals for the new developments.

Who’s paying? ODE will fund its growth from its own EGP 3.8 bn in cash on hand, a USD 30 mn shareholder loan from its parent company, Orascom Development, and future cashflows.


Big steps forward for our national automotive strategy

The Madbouly government yesterday launched three key bodies that will work to implement its long-anticipated national automotive strategy, according to a cabinet statement. It’s a step forward for plans to localize car component manufacturing and vehicle assembly. The Supreme Council for Vehicle Manufacturing and a fund to provide incentives for greener vehicles are now real after the House of Representatives approved their establishment in October, while the Trade and Industry Ministry launched a new unit dedicated to auto localization plans.

AND- Stellantis, Nissan, and Al Mansour Automotive are on board: Authorities also signed framework agreements with the local and global automakers on localizing their assembly operations, according to a separate cabinet statement. While details on the agreements were scarce, they aim to “achieve binding cooperation between the government and the companies towards the goals of the AIDP,” working with all three of the new automotive bodies as well as state investment body GAFI.

So are our friends at Shift EV: Shift EV attended the first meeting of the Supreme Council for Vehicle Manufacturing, where they proposed offering a temporary green incentive for the first 10k traditional vehicles converted to run on electricity. The startup converts standard petrol-fueled vehicles into EVs using a proprietary made-in-Egypt battery technology. PM Madbouly recently visited the Shift EV factory.

REMEMBER- The government is working to launch its automotive strategy AKA the Automotive Industry Development Program (AIDP). AIDP will provide incentives to carmakers in a bid to increase local assembly and component manufacturing here, up the sector’s competitiveness to become a regional manufacturing hub, and bolster export volumes.


#1- The Supreme Council for Vehicle Manufacturing got down to business in its inaugural meeting yesterday. The council will draft policies, strategies, regulation and legislation governing the wider automotive industry, including EVs.

Private sector players join the council: Four independent experts have been appointed by the Trade and Industry Minister to join the Supreme Council. They are:

The council is chaired by Madbouly and also includes several cabinet ministers, as well as representatives from the Customs Authority, the Federation of Egyptian Industries, and other state authorities.

#2- The board of the fund that will offer incentives for greener vehicle production was formed yesterday. The Environmentally Friendly Car Production Fund is designed to help develop the domestic production of environmentally friendly cars, including putting in place incentive programs to encourage innovation and otherwise make the sector competitive. Its purview includes electric vehicles, dual-fuel, and other hybrid cars.

#3- The Trade and Industry Ministry’s new auto industry unit was also launched yesterday. The unit will develop the mechanism to calculate incentives for local manufacturers under AIDP, based on the value added by a company’s local activities, annual production volumes, the value of new investments, and the environmental credentials of its products. It will also take the lead on accreditation and eligibility guidelines for automakers joining AIDP.


Cabinet gives poultry producers a break

Yesterday at the cabinet: The cabinet gave poultry players tax breaks, two executive regulations the greenlight, and approved more funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), it said in a statement following its weekly meeting yesterday.

No real estate taxes for poultry players: Poultry producers are being added to the list of 19 industries getting a three-year holiday from real estate taxes until the end of 2024. The tax holiday for manufacturers was first announced as part of the EGP 130 bn economic support package unveiled by the Madbouly government in the spring and was at the time expected to cost the government some EGP 3.75 bn. The poultry industry has been under pressure for almost a year after import curbs introduced to keep FX in the country caused shortages of feed and surging input costs.

New tourism + fisheries laws come into effect: The cabinet approved the executive regulations for overhauled Tourism and Hotels Act, which simplifies licensing rules for hotels and tourism companies in a bid to improve the business environment and cut red tape in the sector. Ministers also signed off on the executive regulations for the Protection and Development of Lakes and Fisheries Act, which was signed into law last year. The law regulates fish farms and establishes a new authority to protect lakes and fisheries against pollution and land encroachment.

AND- The cabinet greenlit an EUR 1.85 mn grant from the EBRD to upgrade the Cairo Metro Line 2. The EBRD is already loaning us EUR 250 mn to purchase new rolling stock and refurbish existing trains for the line.


Europe will need to wait until 2025 for more LNG from Egypt, says El Molla

Europe will have to sit tight as it waits for more LNG from Egypt: Egypt will boost its LNG exports to Europe in the long term, but the energy-deprived continent will have to wait another two years during which global supplies are expected to remain tight, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla told Bloomberg yesterday. The country is aiming to increase its LNG exports by around 40% starting 2025, the majority of which will be earmarked to the European market, he said. “I would expect to reach full capacity by 2025 … This is the time when the current drilling campaign that we are undertaking will materialize.” Egypt’s two LNG plants have a maximum capacity of 12 mn tons a year.

Europe is already taking up a big chunk of our LNG exports: Around 80% of the 7.5 mn tons of LNG Egypt exported last year went to Europe, the minister said earlier this week. Exports this year are expected to remain flat.

And there’s more to come: Last year Egypt and Israel inked an MoU to increase gas exports to the EU as the continent looks to phase out its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. Under the agreement Israel will supply more gas to Egypt’s LNG facilities before exporting it to Europe.

USD 8 bn of investment this year? A number of international energy players want to boost their operations locally, El Molla said, pointing at Exxon Mobil, BP, and Shell. The country should see some USD 8 bn in investments into oil and gas exploration this year, he said.


INA and Energean get the greenlight to start drilling new concession: The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) signed a concession agreement with Croatian oil and gas company INA and UK-based Energean, allowing the two companies to begin exploratory drilling at their 50-50 East Bir El Nus concession in the Western Desert, according to a press release (pdf) by INA.

El Molla sat down with the president of Italian EPC contractor Tecnimont Alessandro Bernini and Mubadala Energy CEO Sheikh Mansoor Mohamed Al Hamed to discuss cooperation in the oil and gas industry, refining, and the transition to clean energy, the Oil Ministry said.


Unemployment dips in 4Q 2022

Unemployment dipped to 7.2% in 4Q 2022, down 0.2 percentage points from the July-September quarter, according to data (pdf) from statistics agency Capmas out yesterday. The jobless rate is also down 0.2 percentage points compared to the same quarter last year.

REMEMBER- The unemployment rate doesn’t count people who are not looking for jobs or who are unable to work. The labor force participation rate — which counts everyone aged 15-64 either in work or actively looking for work — was effectively unchanged at 42.8% during the quarter and was down from 43.8% in 4Q 2021.

Unemployment among women rose: The rate of unemployed women rose 0.2 percentage points q-o-q to 19.3%, while male unemployment fell to 4.7% from 5.2%. Unemployment among women is consistently much higher than among men.

Youth jobless rates rose again this quarter: The rate of unemployment among 15-29 year olds accounted for 63.0% of all jobless people in 4Q 2022, compared to 61.9% the previous quarter.


Contact Financial net income up 21% in 2022

Contact Financial Holding’s normalized net income rose 21% y-o-y to EGP 609 mn in 2022 on rising revenue across its ins. and financing divisions, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). On a 4Q basis, normalized net income rose 38% y-o-y to EGP 205 mn driven in part by a 61% increase in new financing.

Robust revenues led the growth: The NBFS player’s financing division reported operating income of EGP 1.45 bn in 2022, up 33% y-o-y, thanks to a 24% increase in net interest income, higher revenues from portfolio transfer, and a surge in fee and commission income which doubled y-o-y, according to the company’s earnings presentation (pdf). The rise was underpinned by a 61% increase in new financing, which hit EGP 11.4 bn on the back of increasing demand for the company’s consumer finance, working capital, commercial trucks, and mortgage products. Meanwhile, the ins. division’s operating income rose 44% to EGP 195 mn. This was driven by an 83% rise in total gross written premiums, which the company attributed to“higher market penetration, increased cross-selling, and new product launches.”

What they said: “While the challenges faced during 2022 are likely to persist throughout the upcoming year, we are confident that we have put in place a strong strategy to help us navigate the difficult operating environment,” management said. “At the same time, we remain on the lookout for attractive investment [chances] to provide new services to our customers and new growth avenues for the company.”


Our friends at Gulf lender Mashreq Bank were named market leader in the UAE in Euromoney’s 2023 Trade Finance Survey for the third year running, according to a company press release (pdf). Mashreq also topped the best service category in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bangladesh, and was second in Egypt behind Banque Misr.

Axa Egypt was named the best North African insurer at the 2023 MENA IR Awards, an annual award ceremony recognizing ins. Providers in the MENA region, it said in a press release (pdf).

Cairo-based market research firm Intella won first place in the Startup World Cup regional competition allowing it to compete in the competition’s grand finale in Silicon Valley for a prize of USD 1 mn on 1 December 2023, according to a company press release (pdf). The competition runs 70+ regional events across the globe where startups of all sizes compete for a place in the global final. Intella previously secured USD 1 mn in seed funding led by Hala Ventures.

Microfinance outfit Tamweely won the International Business Magazine’s award for the best microfinance business in Egypt and the International Finance Awards for being the fastest growing microfinance firm in Egypt, the company said in a statement (pdf).



It was chickens and cars on the airwaves last night, with a three-year real estate tax holiday for poultry producers and steps towards our much-anticipated automotive strategy dominating coverage on the talk shows.

A lifeline for poultry producers? Cabinet’s move to bring poultry farmers into its real estate tax break scheme is “positive amid a critical phase seen by the industry,” Egyptian Poultry Association Deputy Head Tharwat El Zeiny told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 5:10.) “The poultry industry needs all the support it can get to be able to maintain production,” he said. Masa’a DMC also took note of the story (watch, runtime: 2:03.)

Cheaper chicks: The decision will help bring down market prices by 3-5%, EPA board member Mohamed Saleh told Salet El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 3:14.)

Feed the birds: El Zeiny said the recent release of some 2 mn tons of poultry feed from ports is not sufficient for the “hungry industry,” calling on the government to do more to up feed imports amid the FX crunch. Saleh spoke of an emerging crisis, saying that last week saw a shortage of USDs from banks to purchase corn and soy feed.

Steps to launch our national automotive strategy also got coverage: The strategy should pave the way for Egypt to export locally manufactured vehicles, Khaled Saad, secretary-general of the Egyptian Association of Automobile Manufacturers, told Masa’a DMC (watch, runtime: 4:58.) The story also got coverage from Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 6:05.)


Economy talk is once again dominating coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning.

Egypt is far from peak inflation, says Shuaa strategist: The impact of the EGP devaluation and the impending reduction of fuel subsidies means that “we are not anywhere close to peak inflation,” Aarthi Chandrasekaran, director of investments at Shuaa Asset Management, told Bloomberg yesterday (watch, runtime: 5:50). Inflation is already running red-hot, with record food prices pushing the headline figure to a new five-year high of 25.8% in January.

A big hike ahead: Chandrasekaran expects the Central Bank of Egypt to raise interest rates by at least 200 bps at its next policy meeting in March after leaving them unchanged earlier this month. She described the decision to maintain rates — which left foreign investors hesitant about returning to Egypt — as a missed chance to hold down inflation.

An FX shortage continues to be a problem: “FX demand is exceeding FX supply and there's a persistent FX overhang in the banking system,” Chandrasekaran said. “And I think we are going to see a downside on rates, on the EGP, and on economic growth.”


  • The Khaleejis are coming: AFP looks at Egypt’s drive to convince Gulf sovereign wealth funds to acquire state-owned companies as it tries to pull itself out of its economic crisis. Oh, and we got a shout out. (AFP)
  • It’s the economists, stupid: The IMF's attempt to push Egypt to reform its economy exposes major flaws in how the Fund designs its economic reform program, argues Timothy E. Kaldas, a policy fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. (Foreign Policy)


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PM Madbouly meets Turkish companies to drum up investment


Mending ties with Turkey through FDI: Representatives of a number of Turkish companies met with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly yesterday, where they discussed plans to invest a combined USD 500 mn to expand their activities here, according to a cabinet statement. The meeting with Turkish investors was “the first of its kind by an Egyptian PM in 10 years,” the statement reads. Most of the companies are prominent textile and apparel makers.

More from the SCZone’s Tokyo roadshow: SCZone Chairman Walid Gamal El Din discussed potential green fuel production projects in the zone with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, according to a statement by the SCZone. He also talked desalination projects with Japanese water pump manufacturer Torishima. Gamal El Din is in Tokyo this week to drum up investment from Japanese firms.


The expat car-for-FX scheme could run into June as the House Planning and Budget Committee continues to push for further extensions under amendments to the initiative making their way through parliament. The committee now wants to extend the scheme for another three months from the current deadline in March, after it gave preliminary approval to a two-month extension earlier in the week, Committee Deputy Chairman Yasser Omar said.

REMEMBER- The government is amending the scheme in hopes of streamlining it, amid low turnout that has seen the Finance Ministry collect just USD 38.5 mn in payments since the initiative was launched in November — a fraction of the USD 2.5 bn it had initially hoped to raise.


More financing for the private sector, courtesy of the ITFC: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is planning to allocate USD 120 mn in financing to private-sector companies in strategic sectors in 2023, ITFC CEO Hani Sonbol reportedly said in an interview with Al Mal.

Where’s the money going? The ITFC will channel USD 80 mn to SMEs and export-focused manufacturers, Sonbol reportedly said. The corporation has opened credit lines with banks and non-bank financial institutions that will on-lend to SMEs, and will provide direct finance to industrial firms. It is also in talks to provide finance to private contractors working on public-private projects and is offering advisory services to the finance ministry and state banks on sukuk.


Chipsy launches new production line: Chipsy Food Industries — a subsidiary of PepsiCo Egypt Group — launched a new USD 20 mn production line inside its factory in Sixth of October, according to Zawya.


A family payments app: Egypt-based fintech Copal has partnered with Mastercard to launch Egypt’s first family payments mobile app, it said in a press release (pdf). The app aims to boost financial inclusion among underbanked young people through its unified payment platform, which is fully managed by their guardians.


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A good year for Fertiglobe: The MENA fertilizers firm — a joint venture between Adnoc and the Sawiris-owned OCI — saw its full year adjusted net income rise 75% y-o-y to USD 1.3 bn in 2022, the company said in a statement (pdf), on the back of higher selling prices amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Adjusted EBITDA was up 59% to USD 2.5 bn. Revenues were up by half to register USD 5 bn.

Fertilizer prices are cooling: Fertiglobe’s revenues fell 11% y-o-y to USD 1.1 bn in 4Q 2022, while adjusted EBITDA was down 27% y-o-y to USD 427 mn, on the back of lower urea prices and plant turnarounds in the UAE and Egypt.

Fertiglobe will pay out dividends of USD 700 mn for the second half of 2022,, bringing total dividends for the full year to USD 1.45 bn.

And for Emaar Properties: Dubai’s largest listed real estate company posted an 80% y-o-y rise in net income to AED 6.8 bn in 2022, a press release (pdf) showed. Revenues were up 11% to AED 24.9 bn on the back of a stronger Dubai property market and a rebound in global tourism. Property sales hit a record AED 35.1 bn thanks to new project launches.

Emaar is “seriously looking at” potential new investments in Egypt, company chairman and founder Mohamed Alabbar told Al Arabiya TV in an interview (watch, runtime: 11:59.) He acknowledged “tough economic conditions” in the country but said now was an ideal time to invest, noting that Emaar has set aside some AED 1 bn in contingencies, in part to account for currency fluctuations in Egypt and Turkey.




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The EGX30 rose 0.5% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 2.67 bn (40% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 20.0% YTD.

In the green: Credit Agricole Egypt (+6.4%), Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+6.2%) and Juhayna (+5.1%).

In the red: Talaat Moustafa Holding (-2.1%), MOPCO (-2.1%) and Taleem Management Services (-1.4%).

Asian markets are in the green across the board in early trading this morning and futures suggest a similarly sunny outlook for European and US markets when they open later on today.


Mohamed Swilam, GM of Roche Egypt: 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 Mohamed Swilam, general manager of Roche Egypt (LinkedIn). Edited excerpts from our conversation:

My name is Mohamed Swilam and I am a pharmacist. I am very Alexandrian (laughs). Upon graduating, I fell in love with the pharma industry and the mission that we’re pursuing. I’ve worked at four companies in four countries, starting with Novartis in Alex, then AstraZeneca in Kuwait for two years, then Eli Lilly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia for 6-7 years.

Eli Lilly was where I learned everything from sales to brand management. The last thing I did there was a unique training program called the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, where I learned a lot about continuous improvements and solving problems. It prepared me to grow into a leadership position. I then moved back to Egypt. I had no intention of returning, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

What we do at work is exactly what I want to do in life: Make an impact. I consider myself fortunate to wake up every day excited about going to work. I feel fulfilled at work, and I know I shouldn’t take that for granted.

Being Roche’s GM in my home country adds a unique flavor because the impact is so personal. With over 100 mn people in a low-to-middle-income country, there are many diseases to fight. It drives us to work harder. My role is to facilitate that work by putting the right people in the right places. A significant portion of my time is also spent meeting with external stakeholders and government officials. But my most important role is to help my team do their job better.

I usually only have about 30 minutes in the morning, so it’s a very rushed morning routine. I try to get up and pray Fajr, then go back to sleep for a while before getting up around 7-8 am. Before I leave the house, I make my espresso, pray, and read Quran. Then I’m off to work. On weekends, I go for a morning workout.

When I’m not in meetings, I like to go around the office and greet everyone. My agenda is always full of back-to-back meetings, but I’ve begun to incorporate conscious breaks. I take two 15-minute breaks, and an hour to clean up emails, reflect, and do anything else that requires creative energy because back-to-back meetings do not foster creativity. My lunch break is 30 minutes long and it’s usually a business lunch. I take someone with me to the break area.

Managing to stay focused and organized is a journey in today’s highly dynamic work environment. We’re doing so many things at once that it’s beyond multitasking. What I try is to first be clear about what I’m doing, what value I’m bringing, and what my goal is. We’re not a large corporate elephant with a one-year plan. We have a long-term vision in mind, but we set what we want to achieve every 90 days.

There are many constants in my day. The spiritual aspect is very important to me, as is the sporting aspect. I grew up playing volleyball and Judo, and I’ve been boxing for the past five years. It’s a great way to de-stress at the end of the day. The minutes before I start are the most difficult because I have no energy. But I know it only takes one decision. I regain my energy after putting on my boxing gloves, and stay energized for an additional 3-5 hours after I’m done.

Another constant is my relationship with my family. I have two sons and a daughter. It’s part of my daily routine to maintain a close connection with them. At the end of the day, my wife and I tell each other about how our day went.

Work-life balance is extremely difficult to achieve. At some point I worked 24/7, especially when I was a first-line manager. My laptop was always on. I learned the hard way that relationships or connections can fall apart if you take them for granted, and if you don’t make time to participate in sports, your health may suffer. I stopped exercising for a while, and I ended up gaining weight and even fainted while playing football during Ramadan. I was in my late twenties at the time, so it was a wake-up call.

I gradually improved my work-life balance by incorporating sports into my lifestyle and not using the computer on weekends. Weekends are reserved for my family and my home. Now, work takes up roughly 80-90% of my time. I’d give myself a seven out of 10 when it comes to work-life balance. After a long day at work, I unwind by Boxing. I don’t like sitting on a couch with my hands on the remote. I do this when we watch a movie as a family, so it has meaning. Cooking also allows me to unwind, and I make the best seafood pasta.

Every now and then, I need a long weekend to truly unwind. We require more than just weekends in this fast-paced environment. I go on family vacations, change the scenery, visit the desert, or go to Saudi and perform Umrah. I also enjoy fishing, so I spend some time alone on a boat on occasion.

The best advice I’ve received recently is that genuine, positive, constructive feedback is a gift and that I need to pay attention to it. I’m accountable for the feedback I’m receiving. You must be aware of how others perceive you both professionally and personally. Being aware of how I am perceived by others. I constantly revisit my Johari window and I am conscious of my blind spots. I believe this is the essence of leadership — if I can influence myself to become a better version of myself, I will be able to influence others.



19 February (Sunday): Senate reconvenes.

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

23 February (Thursday): Telecom Egypt to announce its 2022 results.

24-26 February (Friday-Sunday): The Egyptian Private Equity Association and the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association are hosting a three-day private capital funds masterclass.


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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