Thursday, 2 March 2023

AM — Of fuel price hikes and daylight saving time



Good morning, friends, and welcome to a super-brisk news morning. We hope you’re looking forward to the weekend as much as we are.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Progress (of sorts) on the green hydrogen strategy: The Electricity Ministry has received the near-final draft of the national hydrogen strategy and is working to finish it, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said yesterday, according to a cabinet statement. Sources told us last month that the government is aiming to publish the strategy before the beginning of Ramadan at the end of this month. The plan was originally supposed to be unveiled before the end of 2022.

Incentives decided in two weeks: Recommendations on the incentives the government will offer to foreign companies to get involved in its green hydrogen plans will be submitted in two weeks by a working group formed yesterday by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad said.

REMEMBER- The national hydrogen strategy has been in the works since 2021 and will provide a regulatory framework for the local production of green hydrogen, covering the whole value chain — supply, demand, and infrastructure.

But what does the industry want? We spoke with private-sector players and industry experts this week to find out what they want to see in the strategy.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Are some banks slow-walking imports? Asharq Business reports that some state-owned and private-sector banks have stopped extending new letters of credit and documentary collection for importers amid the ongoing shortage of foreign currency. It’s unclear to us whether the story represents a new change in trade finance dynamics or whether imports of staples and other Ramadan essentials are crowding out lower-priority goods. Demand for FX always peaks in the months ahead of Ramadan as importers bring in goods for the month. We understand that many orders were delayed late last year and early this year amid the FX shortage, leading to a crush of seasonal demand when the central bank brought back documentary collection.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- Port management contract to be signed in two weeks: The government will sign a port management and operation contract with Hutchison Ports, COSCO, CMA CMG, and MSC on 15 March, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir told Ala Mas’ouleety last night (watch, runtime: 5:46). Under an initial agreement signed last year, the consortium could invest as much as USD 800 mn to develop, operate and manage two new container terminals at the Ain Sokhna and Dekheila ports.

FROM THE DEPT. OF WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US? As we report in this morning’s news well (below), Cabinet is looking into whether to bring back daylight savings time. We still have whiplash from the year in which we sprang forward in spring, then fell back for Ramadan, sprang forward immediately after Ramadan, and then fell back again in fall. That was 2014, and yes — four time changes in one year.

Does daylight saving time really save energy? It’s long been controversial, and one of the most well-respected papers on the subject suggests it actually increased energy use slightly in one US state, where households used more energy to cool their houses in summer.

One thing DST will do: Give us all jetlag for a few days when it comes into effect.


Shoukry is in New Delhi for the G-20 meetings: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is in India for the second day of the meeting of G-20 foreign ministers. As this year’s G-20 president, India has invited Egypt to attend the summits as a guest nation.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Forum kicks off in Somabay. The event will run until Sunday, 5 March and aims to further the discussions had at COP27 to boost private and public sector cooperation on climate action.


It’s another mixed morning in the international front pages: The Associated Press, Reuters and the New York Times have the latest from Ukraine where Kyiv is reportedly thinking about withdrawing troops from a city in the country’s east. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that western nations are stepping up pressure on the UAE over alleged Russia sanctions violations, the Wall Street Journal says that there are signs that the US labor market is cooling.

New prez in Nigeria: Nigeria’s ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu has been declared president-elect following disputed elections, Reuters reported. Tinubi, known as the “godfather” of Nigerian politics, received 37% of the vote which saw the lowest turnout in Nigerian history. Peter Obi, one of his biggest opponents, said he plans to mount a legal challenge against teh ballot.


We are delighted to share with you that the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will be taking place on Monday, 15 May at the Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza.

DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND? The first wave of invites is going out soon. If you’re a C-suite exec, exporter, investor, official, banker, or someone who should be part of the conversation, please TAP OR CLICK HERE to request a spot at this exclusive event.

What’s the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum? It is the latest in our series of must-attend, invitation-only gatherings for C-suite-level business leaders. The Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will discuss the critical topics of exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt.

We will be taking an in-depth look into some of the most vital industry topics, including:

  • How to effectively break into new export markets
  • How to leverage domestic trends in order to create export opportunities
  • What foreign investors are looking for
  • What the government's role should be

Why now? 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.

Think of the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum as a hands-on lab for how to turn the devaluation of the EGP into something that will turbocharge your company and our economy.

WANT TO ATTEND? Hit this link to let us know.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY ON STAGE? Drop a note to Patrick here and let’s talk.

WANT TO BECOME A COMMERCIAL PARTNER? Ping a note to Moustafa, our head of commercial, here.


It’s the beginning of a new month:

  • PMI: S&P Global will release Egypt’s February purchasing managers’ index on Sunday, 5 March.
  • Foreign reserves: Expect the central bank to release February’s foreign reserves figures sometime next week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for February will land at the end of next week.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will hold its second policy meeting of the year at the end of the month on 30 March.

OUR FRIENDS AT EFG HERMES are hosting their annual One on One investor conference in Dubai next week. It’s the largest frontier and emerging markets investor conference globally.

We have a date for CIFF: The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) will kick off at the Cairo Opera House on Wednesday 15 November and run through to Friday 24 November, the festival’s admins said in a statement yesterday.

CORRECTION- MPs have a few weeks off: The House will reconvene on Sunday, 19 March, not a week earlier as we previously reported. The story has been updated on our website.

Thanaweya Amma exam schedules are out: Thanaweya Amma exams are scheduled to take place between 12 June and 15 July, the Education Ministry said yesterday.

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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Fuel prices are rising 7-11% today

Fuel prices have risen by as much as 11% following a decision by the government’s fuel pricing committee that will drive inflation up in an economy already struggling with soaring prices. In a statement in the early hours of the morning, the Oil Ministry said that as of today petrol prices will rise by 7-11% and the cost of mazut for most buyers will increase by 20%.

Gasoline (petrol) prices as of today:

  • 95-octane is EGP 11.50 per liter, up 7% from the previous EGP 10.75.
  • 92-octane is EGP 10.25 per liter, up 10.8% from the previous EGP 9.25.
  • 80-octane is EGP 8.75 per liter, up 9.4% from the previous EGP 8.00.

Mazut (fuel oil) prices are rising 20% to EGP 6k per ton for all buyers except food and electricity producers, who will continue to be charged EGP 4.2k. Diesel prices will remain unchanged at EGP 7.25 per liter, with the fuel pricing committee maintaining diesel prices for a second consecutive time after an unexpected hike last July.

The rationale: The increase comes on the back of “fluctuations in Brent crude oil prices and the EGP’s exchange rate [devaluation] against the greenback,” the ministry said.

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

Same again next month? The new prices will be in place at least until the beginning of next month when the pricing committee should meet to decide prices for 2Q. The committee was supposed to meet at the beginning of January to set prices for 1Q.

Inflation is already running red-hot: The headline rate of inflation hit its highest level since November 2017 in January as the impact of the EGP devaluation caused food prices to accelerate at a record rate.

The subsidy bill has risen significantly: The government’s fuel subsidy bill reportedly quadrupled in the first six months of the fiscal year due to the EGP’s devaluation against the USD and higher oil prices.


Gov’t to miss deficit, debt targets on higher rates, import bill

FinMin revises its deficit, debt figures for the current fiscal year: The Finance Ministry now expects the budget deficit and debt-to-GDP ratio to increase during the current fiscal year as the impact of the EGP devaluation and rising borrowing costs squeeze public finances.

Budget deficit to rise: The Finance Ministry now expects the budget deficit to rise to 6.8% of GDP this year, from 6.1% last year, according to its mid-year review (pdf) for FY 2022-2023, which ends in June. The government had initially targeted a 6.1% deficit in the state budget. The budget deficit came in at 4.0% in the first half of this fiscal year. The revised figure for this fiscal year is in line with the latest forecast from S&P Global, which sees the deficit remaining high at roughly 7% of GDP over the next three years.

Debt-to-GDP is set to inch back up, too: The ministry is now predicting a debt level of 93.0% of GDP by June 2023, up from an earlier 84.0% target. Total debt-to-GDP declined to 87.2% by June 2022 from 90.6% a year earlier. The government wants to bring down the debt-to-GDP ratio to 75% by FY 2025-2026.

Debt + imports are getting pricier: Rising interest rates, higher commodity prices, and the impact of the EGP devaluation on the country’s import bill are all putting pressure on the public purse. The projected average interest rate on government bonds and bills this fiscal year has risen to 18.0% from the 14.5% estimated in the budget, while the prices of oil and wheat have risen above the benchmark price used to calculate the budget.

GDP growth is set to come in at 4.0-5.0% for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, leaving room to improve on the 4.0% growth the government predicted in a November letter of intent (pdf) sent to the IMF to secure its USD 3 bn loan. The Madbouly government sees growth clocking in at 5.5-6.0% in the medium term.

Everyone agrees: The IMF, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a recent Reuters poll, the World Bank, and Fitch ratings are all predicting growth in the range of 4.0-4.8% this fiscal year.

What’s next: The ministry will present the draft FY 2023-2024 budget to the House of Representatives by 31 March,


Auto sales fall 75% y-o-y in January

Auto sales hit a new low in January: Auto sales fell 75% in January compared to the same month a year before as import restrictions and an ongoing shortage of hard currency continue to weigh on the sector. Distributors sold some 5.4k vehicles were during the month, compared to almost 21.2k in January 2022, according to figures released by the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC). This is the lowest since at least the start of 2018, per our internal trackers.

The breakdown: On a y-o-y basis, passenger car sales were down 80% to just 3.4k units, while bus sales were down 39% and truck sales were 62% lower. AMIC figures reflect data contributed by member distributors, who include most (but not all) industry participants.

Sales fell sharply on the month: January sales were down by a third from December, with passenger vehicles down 32% and bus volumes 40% lower. Only truck sales improved on the month before, rising 11% to 1.1k units.

REFRESHER- The auto industry has been struggling for the past year. Import restrictions last year made it practically impossible for distributors to bring fully built up vehicles, assembly kits, and spare parts into the country and forced a number of global car manufacturers to suspend sales to Egypt. Total sales volumes fell more than a third in 2022, dropping from 290k vehicles in 2021 to 184k last year, with monthly sales volumes getting progressively worse as the year went on.

When will things start to look up? Though the central bank has already rolled back import restrictions brought in last spring to conserve hard currency, it’s going to take time before importers start clearing the thousands of fully assembled cars still stuck in ports, let alone place new orders. We expect sales to remain low into the summer.

Need a new car, stat? We’ve spoken to industry experts, and they’ve given us a list of locally-assembled 2023 models you can get your hands on right away. They’ve also let us know what you have to do — or how long you’ll have to wait — to get your hands on a model that’s currently in short supply.


It looks like daylight saving time is coming back

Daylight saving time could make a comeback: A draft law that would reinstate daylight saving time got the greenlight from the Madbouly cabinet at its weekly meeting, according to a statement. The law would see Cairo Local Time (CLT) pushed forward by one hour from the last Friday of April through the last Thursday of October.

The rationale: The move comes “in light of global economic conditions and developments, and the government's efforts to rationalize energy use,” cabinet said. The government last year began rationing the use of electricity — including restrictions on lighting in public spaces at night — in a bid to redirect more natural gas towards exports and increase hard currency inflows.

We can’t make our minds up: The state scrapped saving time in 2011, brought it back in 2014 and then kicked it to the curb again in 2016.

What’s next: The bill will now head to the House where it will be discussed by committees and the general assembly ahead of a final vote.

ALSO APPROVED BY CABINET YESTERDAY- A draft law preventing non-profit colleges from converting into for-profit private universities. Non-profit universities should redirect any additional income into developing their facilities and the quality of their services.

The news got significant attention overseas: Bloomberg | Reuters | ANSA.


EAEF wants to invest up to USD 50 mn in Egypt this year

EAEF looking to reinvest Auf Group sale proceeds in our food, healthcare + agriculture sectors: The Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF) plans to reinvest some of the proceeds from its sale of a stake in local snackmaker Auf Group in local businesses and funds, Vice President Cornelius Queen told us yesterday. The fund wants to invest USD 20-50 mn in Egypt this year, and hopes to deploy up to USD 100 mn in total within the next two to three years, he said.

Food, agriculture, and healthcare are all on the menu: The fund is in talks with funds and companies of all sizes, he said, declining to disclose potential targets. The food, logistics, agriculture, and healthcare sectors are of particular interest, while emerging, first-time fund managers are also on the fund’s radar, he added.

Auf exit: EAEF had invested in Auf Group through its partnership with Tanmiya Capital Ventures (TCV), which alongside members of the Auf family sold 60% of the company to the ADQ-owned Emirati F&B company Agthia last year. EAEF declined to say how much it netted in the transaction, which valued Auf Group at some EGP 4.9 bn.

We may see more EAEF investment in TCV funds: The firm acts as one of EAEF’s fund managers in Egypt and currently holds EAEF’s remaining 10% stake in Auf Group as well as its stake in Tamweel Mortgage Finance. EAEF has invested a total of USD 30 mn in TCV transactions since 2019, and the fund wants to continue its support for the asset manager as it sets out to fundraise again, Queen told us.

EAEF’s year in review: The fund last year made a fresh commitment to Algebra Ventures’ second fund and made a commitment to private equity outfit Ezdehar Management, Chairman James Harmon wrote in the fund’s annual letter to stakeholders (pdf). Its total portfolio in Egypt now stands at around USD 500 mn following the three EGP devaluations over the past year. EAEF has generated USD 200 mn in profits through its portfolio since 2015.

** ICYMI- We spoke to fund Chairman James Harmon in 2021 as part of our My Morning Routine series.


Elsewedy Electric earnings, revenues rise more than 50% in 2022

Elsewedy Electric booked EGP 5.4 bn in net income after minority interest in 2022, up 51% y-o-y, according to its earnings release (pdf). Revenues, meanwhile, climbed 52% to EGP 92.2 bn.

On a quarterly basis: Net income surged 79% to EGP 2.3 bn in 4Q 2022, while revenues rose 51% to EGP 29.6 bn.

Behind the figures: The company attributed the growth to “higher operating margins across all business segments, as well as the increased FX gains that offset rising financing and SG&A expenses.”

Wires, cables, and turnkey projects led revenue growth: Almost half the company’s revenues came from its wires and cables segment, which generated EGP 13.5 bn during the quarter, up 44% y-o-y. Revenues from turnkey projects came in at EGP 12.9 bn during the quarter, up 47% y-o-y and accounting for 44% of the group’s revenues.

The company is back to paying out dividends: The board has proposed paying out dividends of EGP 0.40 per share to shareholders, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). The company suspended dividend payouts in 2021.

Looking ahead: Elsewedy plans to ramp up its production of EV chargers and pursue new investments in green projects and renewable energy. “We are starting 2023 off on a cautious yet positive note as the supply chain continues to improve, primarily driven by China’s efforts to increase production after the removal of covid restrictions to meet the rising global demand, coupled with a slight decrease in shipping costs,” said CEO Ahmed El Sewedy. “Additionally, capital markets are becoming more aware of the ESG regulations, which will in turn provide new financing streams for investments in green projects and renewable energy.”


EFG Hermes tops EGX brokerage for second month of the year

EFG Hermes once again took the top spot in the EGX’s brokerage league table in February with a market share of 19.1% according to EGX figures (pdf). Rounding out the top three were CI Capital (6.8%) and Arab African International Securities (5.0%). Al Ahly Pharos Securities Brokerage, Pioneers Securities and Mubasher for Securities and Bonds were all tied for fifth place with 4.0% of the market.


Chambers names Egypt’s top arbitration litigators for 2023: Chambers and Partners has released its 2023 list of top Egyptian arbitration firms and lawyers.

  • Shahid Law Firm, Youssef & Partners, and Zulficar & Partners made the research firm’s top-ranked band
  • Matouk Bassiouny and Shalakany Law made Band 2.
  • ALC Alieldean Weshahi & Partners, Khodeir & Partners, Rizkana & Partners, and Zaki Hashem & Partners made Band 3.

Top-ranking lawyers: Youssef’s Karim Youssef and Zulficar’s Mohamed Abdel Wahab were awarded the top title of “star individuals.” Shahid’s Girgis Abd El Shahid and Shalakany’s Khaled El Shalakany made the top band for individual lawyers.

In Band 2 were: Matouk’s Amr Abbas, Rizkana’s Hazim Rizkana, Meysan Partners’ Tarek Badawy, and Shehata Attorney’s Tewfik Shehata.

Band 3 included: Khodeir & Partners’ Ahmed Kotb, Youssef’s Cesar Ternieden, Tarek Riad & Partners’ Tarek Riad, Jurisera’s Abdallah El Shehaby, Yehia Associates’ Ashraf Yehia, Ali & Co’s Haytham Ali, and Al Tamimi & Company’s Khaled Attia. Shalakany’s Adam El Shalakany and ALC’s Yehia Shahine were acknowledged under the Up and Coming category.



The proposed return of daylight saving dominated the airwaves yesterday, with some talking heads like Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa trying to persuade viewers that it’s a good idea (watch, runtime: 6:27). “Is it only us? No. The US and Europe also adopt daylight saving,” he said. Masa’a DMC pointed out that the news was getting a lot of attention on Twitter and Google (watch, runtime: 7:31). Al Hayah Al Youm also took note (watch, runtime: 0:48).

GERD round 4: Satellite imagery suggests that Ethiopia is prepping for the fourth filling of its controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to Yahduth Fi Masr (watch, runtime: 5:48).

A new rail line connecting East Port Said to Sinai’s El Arish and Taba is in the works, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:27). The project will be implemented over five years, with the first two-year phase connecting East Port Said and Bir El Abd and the remainder extending the line to El Arish and Taba at a later stage, he said (watch, runtime: 5:48).


The economy is topic du jour in the foreign press this morning: The Associated Press is the latest to look at the impact on the poor of soaring inflation, while CNN looks at the dynamics between Egypt and our GCC allies.

Mada Masr journalists are going to trial: Three journalists at independent news outlet Mada Masr will go to trial on charges of offending Mostakbal Watan MPs and allegedly misusing media channels, it said on Tuesday. They each face prison sentences of up to two years and fines of up to EGP 300k if convicted. Reuters picked up the story.


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Is e-Finance looking to bring in a strategic investor? e-Finance is in advanced talks with a local strategic investor looking to buy into an EGP 2.5 bn capital increase for one of the state-owned e-payments firm’s subsidiaries, Al Borsa quotes e-Finance Chairman and CEO Ibrahim Sarhan as saying at a presser yesterday. Some 70% of the proceeds from the capital increase would be spent to expand the company’s NBFS and cloud computing services, while the remaining EGP 750 mn would go to tech infrastructure, Sarhan said.

REMEMBER- Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund acquired 25% of the company last year for EGP 7.5 bn, becoming its single-largest shareholder.


Saudi shipping company eyes Suez Canal: Saudi Arabia’s state-owned National Shipping Company (Bahri) signed a non-binding MoU with the Suez Canal Authority that could see it establish an Egypt joint-stock company for maritime transport, it said in a disclosure to the Saudi stock exchange. The MoU aims to cooperate in “establishing an Egyptian JV for maritime transport that will specialize in owning, leasing, chartering, and operating vessels to transport general and bulk cargo, chemicals, oil, and all operations related to maritime transport.”

Details are still scant: The disclosure did not provide details on the ownership, finances or operations of the company.

Ownership: The Saudi sovereign wealth fund (PIF) owns 22% of Bahri, while oil giant Aramco holds 20%, according to its website. The remaining shares are listed on the Saudi stock exchange.


MNHD closes new securitization: EGX-listed Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (MNHD) closed a EGP 805.5 mn securitized bond issuance, the second installment in a three-year, EGP 3 bn program, its legal advisor, Dreny & Partners, said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The issuance is backed by an undisclosed receivables portfolio, and consists of three tranches rated A, AA, and AA+.

Advisors: Our friends at EFG Hermes acted as the transaction’s financial advisor, while NBE, Arab African Bank (AALB) and CIB along with EFG Hermes acted as underwriters of the transaction. CIB also acted as bookrunner and custodian, with KPMG as auditor. Dreny & Partners acted as counsel.

2023 in securitization: Some EGP 7.6 bn worth of bonds have been sold so far in 2023, slightly down from EGP 7.9 bn in the same period last year, according to data tracked by Enterprise.


The new capital’s developer is planning an industrial zone: The Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) will offer plots in a 2k-feddan industrial zone in the new administrative capital to investors later this year, Chairman Khaled Abbas told Asharq Business on Tuesday. ACUD — the military-owned owner and developer of the new capital — will finalize designs for the project during the second half of this year, he said.

Growing interest in the new capital: “We currently have offers from Gulf companies looking to obtain plots, but we’re still waiting to finalize the second phase’s plans to choose from [the plots],” Abbas said, without disclosing their identities.


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Dubai’s luxury real estate market was the most active in the world for the second year running in 2022 as the city continued to cement itself as one of the world’s foremost wealth hubs, according to research from real estate consultants Knight Frank. Luxury residential prices in the city soared 44% during the year on an influx of wealthy residents. The consultancy thinks the trend will continue this year and expects prices to climb by another 14%.

China factory activity soars following zero-covid reversal: China's manufacturing activity grew at the fastest rate in over a decade in February as the economy roared back to life following the lifting of covid-19 curbs. The manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 52.6 from 50.1 in January, the highest reading since April 2012. (Reuters | WSJ)




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The EGX30 rose 0.7% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 2.19 bn (9.2% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 17.3% YTD.

In the green: Palm Hills Development (+3.9%), Qalaa Holding (+3.6%) and Mopco (+3.5%).

In the red: Fawry (-2.3%), Talaat Moustafa Holding (-1.9%) and Abu Qir Fertilizers (-1.9%).

It’s a mixed picture in Asia this morning, with shares in China and Japan in the red but bourses in South Korea and Australia seeing gains. Stock futures point to a similarly patchy open in Europe and the US.


Selim Şankaya, CEO of Jade Textile: 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 Selim Şankaya, CEO of Jade Textile (LinkedIn). Edited excerpts from our conversation:

I'm Selim Şankaya. CEO of Jade Textile. I’m from Turkey. I studied at an American high school in Istanbul and then went to Bocconi University in Italy, where I lived for five years. After graduating, I started a company with two friends in Milan. We established a new payment system that enables people to pay for many things — including mobile bills and utilities — using pay box machines instead of going to the post office. It was one of my first business experiences. After that, I sold my shares in the company and returned to Turkey to join my family business.

We produce sportswear apparel for some of the world's leading brands, such as Nike and Under Armour, and premium brands, like Tommy Hilfiger and Lacoste. My father started operations in Egypt in 2008, and I could see the potential for our business and how much more it could grow in Egypt, so I decided to come and lead our company here. We expanded the business and increased our capacity six times in eight years with the help of our strong team here.

We ship our goods from Egypt to the world, and that’s actually our company's motto: From Egypt to the world. We have gone through quite a nice journey, and we still see big potential here. Hopefully, we'll be growing more. I’m the third generation of my family's company, and I’m also acting as the co-CEO of the mother company, Yeşim Textile.

My grandfather started the business, and his story goes back to 1958 when he first moved from the Greek border to Bursa in Turkey, my hometown. He started working in a fabric store in the Grand Bazaar, then slowly set up his own store and then went into production. He began by producing fabric and home textiles. Then we became a bigger brand and started exporting. But, as the second generation, my father was the one who transitioned the company from home textiles to apparel.

He started doing polo shirts, then moved on to a wider range of products, and Turkey was booming in textiles at the time, so we grew with that. Then we saw an opportunity in Egypt to supply the American market while also having a large workforce and manpower.

My responsibility extends to most parts of the business. I’m responsible for all our operations — our manufacturing, sales, marketing, and finance, as well as our strategic five-year plan. Currently, Jade Textiles is the biggest ready-to-wear exporter in Egypt.

I’m definitely a morning person. I love to wake up early no matter when I go to bed, and I love to start my day with sports. I exercise five out of seven days a week. I start my day with a workout session, depending on my location. If I’m in Egypt, I begin with a gym session, and when I’m in Turkey, I run. In the summertime, I swim. I also love playing tennis.

After that, I start by writing my three intentions for the day. This was something I took from a training I had with Nike. Writing my three intentions or three must-dos for the day keeps me more concentrated and allows me to stick to my purpose. Your intention could be a feeling you want to have, a task you want to complete, or a message you want to give to a certain person. They should be the three things you want to take from that day, accomplish, or give to the world.

I always have breakfast, even if I don't have any time. I have to have coffee or a small biscuit before starting my day. Another thing I do is start with the most difficult or challenging task and get it out of the way. Maybe that's why I do sports first, too (laughs).

I usually go to the office around 8:30-9am, and go through the day's schedule with my assistant. My target is to have at most four meetings in one day, so I can also take some time to complete personal goals and tasks, which is difficult in today’s rapidly changing world, amid customer expectations, surprises, and macroeconomic conditions, especially after covid.

In the evening, I love spending time with my family. When I’m here in Egypt, I love spending time with my friends, and occasionally, we have customer visits or team dinners.

Going through my emails is the one constant in my workday. Playing sports is a constant in my personal life, and staying in touch with friends and family to share my experiences and emotions is a constant in my social life.

I stay focused and organized by writing my daily tasks. That keeps me focused and disciplined in balancing my time and helps me stay in touch with my purpose.

The most important thing is to have a light mind and get things out of your system. Sometimes you do that through sports or socializing; sometimes, you do this just by being direct. Just throw it out of your system, and be honest; that helps you stay focused.

I come from a very happy family, and I'm a family person. Even though I'm social and like to spend time with my friends, my family is always my anchor. So hopefully, soon, I would love to start my own family — inshallah, as you say here in Egypt.

When work is done, I love eating good food — all kinds, from street food to family cooking. One of my all-time favorite dishes is koshari. My favorite cuisine is Turkish food, but in Egypt, it’s koshari.

And I like to read before going to bed. I always go to sleep by reading a book that makes me relaxed. In the summertime, I love to be in nature. I love to be in the desert or by the sea — wherever it is open air.

One of the best books I read in the last three years was Shoe Dog, the memoir by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Maybe I particularly enjoyed it because of my business. He talks about Nike's journey, the challenges he went through, and how life can bring you opportunities in the form of challenges.

Another book I enjoyed is Kaizen. It's about continuously improving yourself every day, one step at a time, and how you should always have a big purpose and goal. I'm currently reading The Four Agreements, which is also a great book.

My father and grandfather are my biggest role models in life. They always told me that reputation is everything. So be honest at all times, in both business and social settings, and be kind to everyone. My grandfather also gave me another piece of advice that I'll never forget. He would say the hand that gives is the hand that receives. So always be the giver. Life is not about material things, it's about feelings and sharing your heart with people.



19 February-11 March (Sunday-Saturday): 2023 Africa U20 Cup of Nations, Egypt, various locations.


March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

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

March: Palestine-Israel talks in Sharm El Sheikh.

Beginning of March: Rice to be added to the EMX.

2-5 March (Thursday-Sunday): Egypt CSR & Sustainable Development Forum, Hurghada.

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

5 March (Sunday): Senate reconvenes.

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

6 March (Monday): Telecom Egypt to announce its 2022 results.

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

7 March (Tuesday): Higher Education Ministry to unveil national strategy for higher education.

11-12 March (Saturday-Sunday): Techne Summit, National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

13 March (Monday): BEBA Egypt hosts discussion and dinner with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.

19 March (Sunday): House reconvenes.

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.

31 March (Friday): Finance Ministry to present draft budget to House of Representative by this date.


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.

9-11 May (Tuesday-Thursday): First edition of the Arab Actuarial Conference, Cairo.

12 May (Friday): Expat car import scheme ends.

15 May (Monday): Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza.

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.

12 June – 15 July (Monday-Saturday): Thanaweya Amma exams.

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.

13 October- 20 October (Friday-Friday): The sixth edition of El Gouna Film Festival (GFF).

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.

15-24 November (Wednesday-Friday): Cairo International Film Festival, Cairo.


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: 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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