Sunday, 5 March 2023

AM — El Sisi announces EGP 150 bn package targeting state workers, pensioners amid soaring inflation



Good morning, friends, and welcome to a very brisk news morning as we start this first full week of March.

EGP WATCH- EGP undervalued by 30% says Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse thinks the fair value of the EGP is 30% higher than current levels, setting the real USD exchange rate at 23.8, according to Al Mal, which says it obtained a copy of the note from the Swiss bank. The official exchange rate on Thursday put the EGP at 30.78 after slipping another 0.3% during the day. By contrast, Societe Generale says it sees the EGP at 34.00 by the end of the month, according to a Bloomberg report.

Net foreign assets deteriorate in January: The net foreign liability position of the Egyptian banking system widened to USD 21.7 bn in January from USD 20 bn the month before following two months of improvement, according to an EFG Hermes client note, which picked up central bank data. Commercial banks were responsible for much of the decline, with their liabilities growing by USD 1.4 bn to USD 13.1 bn.

PSA #1- Your Uber just got pricier: Ride-hailing app Uber has raised its prices for the second time in a month, this time in response to the government’s decision to raise fuel prices by as much as 11% last week. The minimum charge for UberX, UberX Saver and Uber Comfort has increased by 7.5-8% while the base rate is by as much as 11%, according to an email sent to Uber customers over the weekend.

PSA #2- It’s going to be hot and windy today, with the mercury hitting an unseasonably warm 35°C and the wind picking up some time around 11am CLT, raising the prospect of anything from blowing dust to a modest sandstorm.

PSA #3- We have 18 days (and just two weekends) left before Ramadan, which gets underway on or about Thursday, 23 March. Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.


It’s PMI day: S&P Global will release Egypt’s February purchasing managers’ index just after we hit “send” on this morning’s issue. The 26-month contraction in Egypt’s private sector accelerated in January as inflation fuelled by the devaluation of the EGP weighed on business activity.

It’s the final day of the Egypt CSR & Sustainable Development Forum in Hurghada.

The Senate is back in session and its various committees have a busy day ahead:

  • The Senate Economic and Financial Affairs Committee will continue discussing a report by the pro-government Mostaqbal Watan party on how to attract more FDI;
  • The Energy Committee will discuss Egypt’s potential to become a regional hub for green hydrogen and a study on introducing a carbon tax;
  • The Health Committee will discuss methods to support the local pharma industry;
  • The Agriculture Committee will review agricultural policies in light of the global economic crisis;
  • The Education Committee will look into the Education Ministry’s efforts supporting autistic students;
  • The Defence and National Security Committee will discuss cybercrime.


Our friends at EFG Hermes are hosting their annual One on One investor conference at the Atlantis Dubai this week. It’s the largest frontier and emerging markets investor conference globally. The four-day event runs Monday through to Thursday.

The US defense secretary is in Egypt: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin is leaving the US this week for a multi-day trip in the Middle East that will take him to Egypt, Israel and Jordan, the Pentagon said Thursday. The statement did not disclose details of his itinerary.


China is on most of the global front pages this morning after Beijing said it will set a growth target of 5% for 2023. (AP | Reuters | Bloomberg | WSJ | CNBC).


For our fellow export nerds:

What will the supply chains of the future look like? Our friends at HSBC are out with a report (pdf) on how corporates around the world are navigating an uncertain supply chain environment redefined by the lingering impact of covid and the war in Ukraine.

Reminder: That shift in global supply chains gives Egypt a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rebuild an export-oriented economy.

The key takeaway: Big companies are looking to simplify and shift supply lines closer to home to increase resilience. More than two thirds of companies in Asia Pacific and 60% elsewhere in the world said that they are likely to reduce their supply chain partners within the next 1-2 years, according to the survey of 787 businesses.

Companies are looking for reliable partners: “Reliability of supply has been a big problem over the past two years; a review of our supplier network has resulted in a 40% reduction in the number of partners we now regularly buy from, but resilience has improved,” said the chief financial officer of an Indian consumer-goods manufacturer.

The recent disruptions have firms stocking up: More than 8 in 10 of respondents said they had held excess inventory over the past two years due to the recent supply disruptions caused by the pandemic and higher freight rates, as well as in anticipation for further snarls coming down the line.

And you need to keep sustainability in mind if you want to sell to a global buyer: 47% of respondents said they’re investing in supply chain sustainability, while 37% are planning to to so in the next 12-24 months.

Which brings us to:


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:

  • Foreign reserves: Expect the central bank to release February’s foreign reserves figures sometime this week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for February will land at the end of this 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.

The House is still out: The House of Representatives will reconvene on Sunday, 19 March.

Thanaweya Amma exam schedules are out: Thanaweya Amma exams are scheduled to take place between 12 June and 15 July.

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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El Sisi announces EGP 150 bn program of wage hikes, pension increases amid soaring inflation

A new program of public-sector wage hikes, pension increases + tax breaks as inflation toll mounts: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced a new round of public-sector wage and pension hikes on Thursday designed to mitigate the impact of soaring inflation on the public (watch, runtime: 3:03). The measures include wage increases and a higher minimum wage for civil servants, higher pension payouts for state employees, and a higher income tax exemption threshold.

#1- Wage hikes: From 1 April, all civil servants and workers at state-owned enterprises will receive a minimum EGP 1k increase to their monthly salaries, and the monthly minimum wage will rise by at least 17% to EGP 3.5k. The minimum wage for employees with advanced qualifications will rise further: people with Master’s degrees will get at least EGP 6k per month and PhD holders will receive at least EGP 7k.

REMEMBER- This is the third minimum wage hike this fiscal year: The government has now increased the public-sector minimum wage by almost 50% since July before which it was set at EGP 2.4k per month. A second adjustment was made in October raising it to EGP 3k.

Will the private sector move in tandem? The National Council for Wages will start looking into setting a new minimum wage for private-sector workers and discussing the issue with businesses after the public-sector wage changes are signed into law, council member Magdy El Badawy told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 14:15). The council raised the minimum wage for private-sector workers to EGP 2.7k from EGP 2.4k at the start of the year.

Expect pushback: Efforts to raise private-sector wages have received pushback from some firms, who have complained that they can’t afford the higher wage bill. (We don’t think businesses should get exemptions: If you can’t afford to pay a liveable minimum wage, then your business probably doesn’t deserve to exist.)

#2- Pension increases: State pension payouts will rise 15% from 1 April. The measure will impact around 11 mn pensioners, according to National Organization For Social Ins. (NOSI) head Gamal Awad.

#3- An income tax break: The government will raise the personal income tax exemption threshold to EGP 30k from EGP 24k currently. (Remember: There are also plans — as yet still on the drawing board — to raise the maximum tax rate to 27.5% on high income earners, and we understand the taxman has no plan to back down on that front. Cabinet does not presently intend to raise corporate income tax to that level.)

#4- Higher bonuses for teachers, professors, and doctors: Public sector employees, public school teachers and university faculty members, and doctors will see hikes of EGP 300-500 to their bonuses, while doctors working night shifts and those in ER departments will see their incentives double. The Washington Post reported last month that more than 11.5k doctors left Egypt’s public healthcare system between 2019 and 2022 amid low wages and high inflation.

#5 More money for Takaful and Karama: Beneficiaries of the Takaful and Karama social support program will see a 25% rise in cash transfers.

REMEMBER- The government added 1 mn families to the program under two rounds of extra support last year, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 20 mn.

We knew more money was coming for social support: The World Bank agreed in December to extend a USD 500 mn loan to expand the Takaful and Karama program amid soaring food and energy inflation. The IMF’s USD 3 bn bailout package for Egypt also aims to expand the cash transfer program by an additional 5 mn families.


The full support package will cost some EGP 150 bn, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. The statement broke down the cost of some of the individual measures:

  • Pensions: Higher pensions will cost the state EGP 55 bn a year. According to National Organization For Social Ins. (NOSI) head Gamal Awad, the government will spend EGP 14 bn on pensions during the final quarter of FY 2022-2023 (watch, runtime: 4:26);
  • Wages: Public sector wage increases will add another EGP 14 bn to the government’s wage bill;
  • Takaful and Karama: EGP 6.5 bn will be spent to up Takaful and Karama cash transfers;
  • Tax: The higher tax exemption threshold will cost the government around EGP 8 bn, though according to Mostafa Salem, deputy chairman of the House Budget Committee, this is not included in the EGP 150 bn figure.

Expect costing to change when the dust settles: “The EGP 150 bn is just an initial figure,” Salem said. He added that the total figure covers the estimated cost of the measures in both the last quarter of the current fiscal year and FY 2023-2024.

It’s all about inflation: Inflation hit a fresh five-year high of 25.8% in January as the impact of the ongoing depreciation of the EGP causes the cost of living to soar. El Sisi’s address came a few hours after the Oil Ministry announced an immediate increase in fuel prices, which together with the currency volatility and higher demand ahead of Ramadan will likely contribute to further inflation in the coming months. Inflation figures for February will be out later this week.

What’s next? The government will send the new social protection package to the House for approval before it can go into effect.

The news got international attention: Reuters | Bloomberg.


Egytrans hopes to acquire trucking firm NOSCO by end of 1H 2023

Egytrans wants NOSCO: Transport player Egytrans expects to wrap a majority acquisition of trucking firm National Company for Transportation and Overseas Services (NOSCO) before the end of 1H 2023, Egytrans CEO Abir Leheta said during a press conference on Thursday, according to Al Mal.

We don’t have the details yet: Leheta didn’t disclose how much of NOSCO Egytrans is eyeing. Due diligence is still underway to determine the transaction’s value, which will be announced upon its completion, she added.

They could go the share swap route: Egytrans in October said (pdf) its board had agreed to pursue the NOSCO acquisition and that the two firms were considering executing the transaction through a share swap. Under the arrangement, NOSCO shareholders would receive new shares in Egytrans via a capital increase. The final method of the transaction will depend on the results of an independent fair value study.

About the two firms: EGX-listed Egytrans offers air, sea, and land transport services as well as customs clearance and storage. The company’s net income jumped more than 150% y-o-y to EGP 46 mn in 2022, on revenues of EGP 400 mn. NOSCO is a private trucking firm with more than 130 trucks as well as a specialized fleet for heavy and oversized cargo. It has worked on major national projects including power stations and refineries, the Zohr natural gas field, the Cairo monorail, and the transport of the Ramses II statue to its current location at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

What’s next: Once due diligence and valuations wrap, the transaction will still need the greenlight from regulators and shareholders of both firms.

Advisors: Egytrans hired Zaki Hashem & Partners as its counsel for the transaction, while NOSCO appointed Catalyst Partners as its financial advisor and transaction manager.


Sawiris partners with local, Emirati players to redevelop Morocco hotel

Samih Sawiris is leading the redevelopment in Morocco of the Mogador resort in Essaouira, Morocco, in a drive worth upwards of MAD 4 bn, according to the Moroccan News Agency. Sawiris is leading a consortium of four investors, the news agency says.

The players: Sawiris will invest through SOSTNT, his Luxembourg-based investment company, a source close to the matter told Enterprise. The three other investors are Emirati investment company Al Nowais, Egyptian hotel chain Sunrise Resorts & Cruises, and Belgium-based construction company Besix, a subsidiary of the Sawiris family’s Orascom Construction, our source said. The consortium signed an agreement to “revive” the activities of a firm named Societe D’aménagement D’essaouira Mogador (SAEMOG), which owns the seaside resort. Several Moroccan ministers and officials also signed the agreement.

The project: The consortium will renovate the existing hotel, convert its clubhouse into a boutique hotel and build a new clubhouse. It will also develop the town’s Club Med hotel and three other hotels on the beachfront, create a commercial area, and build a number of other real estate projects. This sounds to us conceptually similar to the turnaround that Sawiris brought to Andermatt in Switzerland.

Background: Samih Sawiris stepped down as chairman of SIX Swiss Exchange-listed resorts giant Orascom Development Holding last May, passing the top job to his son, Naguib Samih Sawiris. The elder Sawiris led the creation of ODH’s popular upscale Red Sea holiday destination El Gouna and a number of other resorts on the Red Sea coast.


This story has been corrected to reflect that the redevelopment of the Mogador resort could be worth upwards of MAD 4 bn, not as much as AED 4 bn as we wrote previously.



Crypto platform Rain throws in with MoneyHash on payments. Plus: STV is fundraising and Raya’s accelerator inks pact with GIZ

The latest from Planet Finance in our corner of the world shows that crypto is still alive, that Saudi’s VC ambitions haven’t flagged — and that Raya Holding is pushing deeper into the accelerator space.


Bahrain-based crypto platform Rain is partnering with fintech startup MoneyHash to offer its customers more payment methods, according to a company statement (pdf). MoneyHash’s API will allow Rain to add payment service providers and payment methods across the Middle East and Africa, the statement reads. The partnership will also help Rain improve its transaction success rate, reduce fraud, lower processing fees, and streamline its operations.

About Rain: Rain became the first fully licensed digital currency exchange in the region in 2019 when it obtained its license from the Central Bank of Bahrain. The company, which counts Egyptian Yehia Badawy among its four co-founders, raised USD 110 mn in series B finance in 2022, which it said it would use to expand overseas.

About MoneyHash: Founded by Egyptians Nader Abdelrazik and Mustafa Eid and American Anisha Sekar in 2020, MoneyHash’s payment aggregator platform allows companies to offer payment and fintech services at checkout as well as collect data and track analytics through a single dashboard. The company closed a USD 3 mn pre-seed round last year.


STV is raising for its second fund: Saudi venture capital firm STV is raising for its second Middle East-based tech fund, COO Luca Barbie said in an interview with Asharq Business. Barbie did not disclose the size of the second fund or say when it expects to reach first close.

STV’s first fund will deploy USD 300 mn in existing portfolio firms: The VC’s first fund plans during the next year to make follow-on investments in five or six of the most promising 28 companies in its existing portfolio “to cover the last mile before [we] exit,” Barbie said. The investments will come from the additional USD 300 mn STV injected into its first fund last October, bringing the fund’s total assets to USD 800 mn.

That could mean more money for local firms: Egyptian companies in STV’s portfolio include healthcare and pharma firm Vezeeta and furniture marketplace Homzmart.

A second fund has been in the works since 2021: STV was in talks with potential investors — including regional sovereign funds and international pension funds and endowments — to raise USD 1 bn for a second fund back in October 2021, Bloomberg reported at the time, citing anonymous sources close to the company.


Raya Holding’s accelerator, FutureTECH, inked an agreement with German development agency GIZ that will see them launch “new acceleration cycles, hackathons, startup bridges, and other ecosystem-building programs” through the GIZ develoPPP program, according to a statement (pdf).

What they said: “The partnership with GIZ manifests a significant expansion for Raya

FutureTECH that was previously only focused on start-ups providing advanced solutions that improve customer experience,” Raya Holding CEO Ahmed Khalil said in the statement. “Today, Raya FutureTECH is expanding to support start-ups operating in more industries,” he said, without providing further details.


PHD, Macro Group report strong 2022 results

We’re pushing deeper into 2022 earnings season this morning, with Palm Hills Developments reporting record high net income, revenues, sales in 2022 and Macro turning in double-digit top- and bottom-line growth despite the challenges of the past 12 months.


Palm Hills Developments booked record-high net income after tax and minority interest of EGP 1.26 bn in 2022, up by 52% y-o-y, the developer said in its earnings release (pdf). Revenues climbed 76% y-o-y to more than EGP 13.6 bn, another all-time high. New sales were up by half to a record EGP 26.0 bn.

Selling more units at higher prices: The EGX-listed company sold 20% more units in 2022 than the year before, with all projects seeing a rise in average sale prices. Almost 90% of new sales were accounted for by residential properties, which were up 51% y-o-y, while commercial sales rose 44%.

The focus remains on Badya and Palm Hills New Cairo: The company is continuing to focus on growing its two largest residential compounds, according to the release. It surpassed its overall construction spend target for the year by EGP 300 mn to hit EGP 3.7 bn, up 47% y-o-y.

What they said: “We have delivered record set of results, exceeding pre-COVID 19 performance levels and beating our targets and guidance for 2022 on almost all fronts,” said executive chairman Yasseen Mansour, adding that strong construction spending in 2022 and EGP 3.9 bn worth of ready-to-move inventory on the books as of year-end “will continue to boost our financial position in future periods.” The company is also focused on building out its portfolio of commercial developments at Palmet, Badya and Palm Hills, he said. New Cairo.


Pharma and cosmeceuticals firm Macro Group saw its net income rise 18% y-o-y to EGP 173.9 mn in 2022, according to the company’s earnings release (pdf). Revenues grew 23% y-o-y to record EGP 729.6 mn.

The breakdown: The company attributed the rise in revenues to a 26% y-o-y uptick in average pricing. Total sales volumes fell 3% y-o-y to 18 mn units, as market headwinds and inflationary pressures limited consumers’ purchasing power. The company introduced 30 new products last year – a third of them in 4Q alone — and plans to introduce another 35 new products in the near to medium term, it said. Macro made its debut on the EGX in the first quarter of last year.

Macro turned to exports to hedge against headwinds: Export sales more than quadrupled to hit EGP 30.5 mn in 2022 after Macro hired an export manager to increase its footprint across the Middle East and Africa. The move “increased [Macro Group’s] access to hard currency, cushioning foreign exchange fluctuations and making it easier in acquiring the necessary imported raw materials for premium products,” company chair Ahmed Elnayeb said in the release.



The one theme during last night’s talk shows: money, be it the government raising wages, a bn-EGP investment scam, or last week’s fuel price hike.

Talk of wages was everywhere last night after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi unveiled a new round of social protection measures designed to aid the public amid soaring living costs. Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 17:26), El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 10:30), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 14:15) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:29) all had coverage.

^^ We dive into the details in this morning’s news well, above.

One of Egypt’s biggest internet scams busted: Authorities have arrested people believed to be behind the fraudulent “investment” application Hoggpool, which stole a combined EGP 6 bn from thousands of Egyptians since its launch six months ago. The application advertised itself as an easy way to earn money through the mining of digital currency.

Bad news for the victims: The stolen money has “evaporated” and it is unlikely that the victims will get any of it back, information security expert Walid Abdel Maksoud told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 7:18).

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The blame can be divided between naive internet users who failed to do their research before “investing” and the relevant authorities, Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi said (watch, runtime: 3:27). There is no such a thing as making over a 100% interest from an investment, she said, voicing her disbelief that over 600k people fell victim to the scam. Masaa DMC (watch: runtime: 10:09) and Ala Mas’ouleety also had coverage (watch, runtime: 5:53).

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • Masaa DMC did its best to put a positive spin on last week’s fuel price hikes, inviting on Liquid Petroleum Gas Investors Association Chairperson Mohamed Saad Eldin who said that Egypt has the seventh-cheapest gasoline prices in the world (Masaa DMC | watch, runtime: 5:04).
  • A historic discovery: Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri joined Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa to discuss the recently-uncovered hidden chamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. (Ala Mas’ouleety | watch, runtime: 2:32 | 4:07)
  • The great relocation: Some 9k public sector employees have relocated to the new capital, Khalid Abbas, head of the New Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD), said. Abbas said previously that around 30k will be at the new capital by mid-March. (Al Hayah Al Youm | watch, runtime: 7:06)


Dominating the conversation on Egypt this morning: Cosmic ray tech reveals hidden corridor inside Great Pyramid. A nine-meter long, two-meter wide hidden corridor has been discovered near the main entrance to the Pyramid of Khufu in Giza, the Tourism Ministry announced at a press conference on Thursday. Scientists made the discovery as part of the Scan Pyramids project using a technology called muon radiography, which uses cosmic ray particles to generate 3D models of structures’ insides, according to a study published in the journal Nature. (AP | Reuters | AFP | BBC | National Geographic | Sky News | ABC News | CBS News | Voice of America)

AND- King Tut tome: An excerpt of British historian Guy de la Bedoyere’s new book Pharaohs of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of Tutankhamun’s Dynasty has been published by the Daily Beast.

Also making headlines: The economic crisis is continuing to get attention, with Reuters out with a piece answering questions about its causes and the potential solutions.


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Ezz Steel forecasts EGP 8.3 bn in losses on EGP depreciation: Ezz Steel expects to record losses of EGP 5.3 bn in the first two months of 2023 and EGP 3 bn in 4Q 2022 on the back the depreciation of the EGP, the company warned in an EGX disclosure (pdf) Thursday. The steelmaker in October forecast (pdf) losses of EGP 1.9 bn in 2H 2022 on the back of that month’s devaluation, which left the EGP at around 24 to the USD. The EGP now stands at nearly 31 to the USD. Despite the losses, the company is still expected to record a profit in the last quarter of 2022, Naeem Brokerage’s head of research Allen Sandeep told Asharq Business.


Comms minister meets with big names in the tech scene: Communications Minister Amr Talaat outsourcing and mobile phone assembly in Egypt with representatives of Ericsson, Lenovo, Nokia, and Detecon on the sidelines of the MWC Barcelona telecoms conference, the Ministry said in a statement.

Remember: Egypt’s local phone assembly industry is picking up steam. Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are all reportedly planning to set up factories here, joining Samsung and Nokia manufacturer HMD Global. MPs passed legislation this week that will slash customs duties on mobile phone components in a bid to attract more companies to the country.


BdC launches e-payments arm: Banque du Caire’s digital payments subsidiary Taly has launched with initial capital of EGP 500 mn, it said in a statement (pdf). The platform offers businesses digital payment acceptance, collections, and finance, as well as invoicing and prepaid cards, and also serves buy now, pay later (BNPL) players. The firm is headed by CEO Magdy Hassan, a payment industry veteran who previously spent 18 years at MasterCard, according to a separate statement (pdf).


Contact adds new consumer finance products: Contact Financial Holding’s consumer financing arm is now providing financing for furniture and home maintenance, it said in a statement (pdf).


Sphinx International Airport received its first flight on Tuesday since the airport reopened in November, according to Ahram Online. Nesma Airlines carried almost 170 people from Madrid to the airport, located west of Sheikh Zayed on the outskirts of Cairo. The airport was inaugurated in 2020 and was built to ease congestion at Cairo International Airport and provide easy access to the capital’s main tourist sites.

Wizz Air heading to Sohag from July: Low-cost airliner Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will relaunch flights between Abu Dhabi and Sohag this summer, it said in a statement Tuesday. The carrier will run three flights a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) from 4 July, it said. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi — a joint venture between European budget carrier Wizz Air and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ — already operates flights to Alexandria.


ATM Misr eyes the Tadawul, then the EGX: The Saudi parent company of ATM Misr wants to list on the Saudi Tadawul this year and is looking into listing its Egyptian arm on the EGX in the coming years, ATM Managing Director Amr Al Kouatli was quoted as telling Al Borsa.

Expansion in the works: ATM Misr wants to double its production capacity to produce 500 King Long buses in our market each year, Al Kouatli said. The company last week inaugurated its EGP 1 bn bus factory in New Suez. It also hopes to increase its use of local production inputs at the factory to 90%, he added, having last week said the local input ratio would reach as high as 60%.


More details on SCZone ties with Hungary: The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) and the Hungarian Export Promotion Agency (HEPA) will promote mutual investment, exchange expertise, and conduct training per a cooperation protocol they signed nearly a month ago during talks in Budapest, according to an SCZone statement. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi agreed on the “significant benefit” for Hungarian investors from investing in the SCZone during a meeting earlier this week.


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Another sign that the Fed will stay hawkish: Federal Reserve Governor Mary Daly has become the latest official at the central bank to signal that interest rates will have to rise further than expected and will remain higher for longer. “It’s clear there is more work to do,” the San Francisco Fed president said yesterday. “In order to put this episode of high inflation behind us, further policy tightening, maintained for a longer time, will likely be necessary.” Bloomberg and the Financial Times have more.

Turkey and the UAE are continuing to cozy up: Turkey and the UAE have agreed to more than double their trade volumes over the coming five years to reach USD 40 bn from last year’s USD 19 bn under a newly-signed agreement, Emirati state news agency WAM reports. The agreement is expected to open up new markets for the two countries in an array of sectors — agriculture, food security, telecom, logistics, real estate, and renewable energy. The former foes signed a series of major investment agreements in 2021 which will see Abu Dhabi invest USD 10 bn in key areas of the Turkish economy.


  • Global food prices slip again: Food prices continued to slip in February as a drop in vegetable oils and dairy prices sent the UN’s Food and Agriculture index to its lowest level since September 2021. (FAO)
  • PIF wants a piece of UK hotels group: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund reportedly wants a significant minority stake in British hotel group Rocco Forte Hotels in a transaction that could value the group at around USD 1.4 bn. (Bloomberg)
  • More cost-cutting at Amazon: E-commerce giant Amazon has hit the brakes on the construction of its USD 2.5 bn headquarters in Virginia, as it looks to cut unnecessary spending amid a cash crunch. The e-commerce giant said in January that it would lay off 18k employees around the world. (Financial Times)




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The EGX30 fell 1.6% at Thursday’s close on turnover of EGP 2.1 bn (4.1% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 15.4% YTD.

In the green: AMOC (+2.2%), Oriental Weavers (+2.2%) and Rameda Pharma (+1.7%).

In the red: Eastern Company (-4.7%), Fawry (-4.1%) and Credit Agricole Egypt (-2.7%).


Shoukry at the G-20: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attended the G-20 meeting on combating terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief on Thursday in New Delhi, according to a ministry statement. Shoukry also met separately with his Indian, British, Brazilian, Canadian, Dutch, Argentinian and Mexican counterparts where they discussed bilateral relations, trade and investment opportunities, as well as international issues including the implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As expected, the war in Ukraine dominated proceedings: G-20 foreign ministers were unable to produce a final statement following last week’s meeting, with Western nations and Russia trading barbs over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

MEANWHILE- Egypt, world leaders condemn Israeli minister's call to wipe out Palestinian village: Egypt condemned “in the strongest terms” calls by Israel’s far-right finance minister to “erase” the Palestinian village of Hawara following last week’s settler rampage. Other world leaders condemned the remarks, Including the UN and the US State Department, which called them “repugnant” and “disgusting.” Israeli settlers attacked the village last week, hours after two Israelis were shot by Palestinian gunmen, in what a senior Israeli military commander described as a “pogrom.”



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.

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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