Tuesday, 4 October 2022

PM — Methanol as green fuel?

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, wonderful people. It’s a short workweek, so we’re glad it’s almost-WEDNESDAY — meaning the long weekend is just around the corner. We have what we like to call a Goldilocks news day, where it’s not a torrential downpour but we can’t say it’s all quiet, either.

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Before we get into it-
Take our EV survey: Are you an ex-petrolhead shopping around for your first electric vehicle? EV-curious and wondering what all the fuss is about? Or are you not ready to say goodbye to that sweet smell of benzene as you wait at the gas station?

We want to hear from you: We’re taking the pulse on how the nation feels about Egypt’s nascent EV transition. Take a few minutes to fill out our short survey. We’ll be back with the results in a couple of weeks.
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THE BIG STORY TODAY

PMI was flat m-o-m, remaining in contraction territory: Activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector remained in contraction territory in September, but remained unchanged from August, according to S&P Global’s latest purchasing managers’ index (pdf). Continued inflationary pressures and import restrictions, coupled with weaker consumer demand, weighed on last month’s reading, which was flat at 47.6 last month. This is still below the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction, marking the 22nd consecutive month that the gauge indicates a decline in Egypt’s private sector activity.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

Global financial markets are once again dominating the conversation in the international business press this afternoon, picking up where we left off this morning. Global equity markets are building on yesterday’s rally, with Europe’s Stoxx 600 rising 2.39%, while futures for the US’ Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all rising ahead of the opening bell. The story is on the front pages of the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and CNBC.


** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:

  • The IMF could reach staff-level agreements on loans to Egypt and Tunisia “within days or weeks, hard to predict but it will be very soon,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said yesterday.
  • Kuwait’s Agility Logistics plans to invest USD 60 mn to set up and operate two customs and logistics services hubs in Ain Sokhna and East Port Said.
  • ​​The World Bank has approved a USD 400 mn financing agreement to boost the performance of the country’s transport and logistics sectors and support a shift towards low-carbon rail systems.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

We’re approaching the final long weekend of the year: Banks and the stock market will be off on Thursday, 6 October, in observance of Armed Forces Day, according to the Central Bank of Egypt and the EGX. The cabinet had already announced the holiday for both public and private sector workers. For those who usually work Saturdays, this coming Saturday, 8 October, is also an official holiday to mark the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

Those are the final holidays for 2022, boys and girls. Your next day off will be 1 January (falling on a Sunday and traditionally a holiday for banks) and then Coptic Christmas (January 7, which falls on a Saturday in 2023).

UPCOMING NEWS TRIGGERS-

  • Foreign reserves: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) should be out with September’s foreign reserves figures later this week. Reserves remained flat at around USD 33.1 bn in August, having fallen 20% since March due to headwinds caused by the war in Ukraine and tightening financial conditions.
  • Inflation to notch new highs? Analysts are expecting inflation to have continued rising in September due to the weakening EGP after reaching highs not seen since November 2018 in August. We’ll find out when Capmas and the CBE release the figures next week.

Fuel prices to rise this month? We’re expecting the government to hike fuel prices for the seventh consecutive quarter when the fuel pricing committee meets this month. Fuel prices have risen by as much as 28% over the past 18 months in response to heightened international oil prices, which surged earlier this year on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Fall weather looks like it’s here to stay. You can expect sunny skies and cooler weather this weekend. Look for the mercury to peak at 30°C on Thursday in the capital city (28°C in Alexandria) and an overnight low of 17°C. The long-range forecast on our favorite weather app shows temps won’t break above 28°C in Cairo during the day for the next two weeks.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

The Nobel Prize in Physics was jointly awarded to three scientists from France, Austria, and the US for their work on quantum mechanics. Alain Aspect, John Clauser, and Anton Zeilinger received the award for conducting “groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states,” according to a statement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Their findings have paved the way for new quantum information-based technology, where there “ is now a large field of research that includes quantum computers, quantum networks, and secure quantum encrypted communication,” the statement added.

The physics prize has frequently taken center stage among the world’s most prestigious awards and has been handed to some of the most iconic figures from the world of science like Albert Einstein and Marie Curie. The prize honors scientific breakthroughs that have altered the way we view the world, and is worth SEK 10 mn.


Could methanol-fueled cars be the new green alternative to traditional fuel? China is ramping up efforts to clamp down on emissions and reach carbon neutrality by exploring options beyond the electric vehicle, the MIT Technology Review reports, citing information from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and National Energy Administration. Even though China is a global leader in the adoption of electric vehicles, last month it said it would be accelerating the adoption of cars running off methanol cars and actively exploring new avenues to replace fossil fuels with energy sources like green hydrogen, methanol, and ammonia. 60% of the world’s methanol is manufactured and used in China, mostly in plastics manufacturing. The country experimented with a methanol-fueled car model a decade around, tracking data on their economic and environmental impacts for six years and concluding the cars are 21% more energy efficient than gas cars and emit 26% less carbon dioxide.

Kim Kardashian’s latest endeavors in the crypto world? A USD 1.3 mn settlement charge. Reality TV star and serial entrepreneur Kim Kardashian has agreed to pay a USD 1.26 mn fee for failing to disclose that she was paid USD 250k for an Instagram story she posted promoting the cryptocurrency EMAX, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement. Despite writing “#ad” in the story — indicating it was a paid post — the commission said that she needed to also share the exact amount she was paid for her endorsement. “This case is a reminder that, when celebrities or influencers endorse [potential investments], including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investors,” the SEC chair said.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

Relive the David v Goliath fight that shook Wall Street in Eat The Rich: The GameStop Saga: The three-part docuseries takes a lighthearted look at all the factors that drove then-loss making GameStop’s stock to dizzying heights in the first few months of 2021. The gist of what happened in real life (and in the Netflix docuseries) is as follows: GameStop was the most-shorted company on Wall Street in 2020, as hedge fund managers predicted the heavily brick-and-mortar store selling physical media would go belly up in an increasingly digital world (which goes double for the video-game industry itself). What started out as a sound assumption quickly spiraled out of control. When some astute number-crunching Redditors realized how much money was stacked against GameStop's survival, they swooped in and sent the stock price soaring in January 2021. The information is presented in an entertaining way, and is food for thought on how the GameStop frenzy could be somewhat of a template for future trends in retail investments (watch trailer, runtime 1:51).

Champions League nights are our favorite nights: Inter Milan plays Barcelona in the third round of the group of death at 9pm, while Bayern Munich plays Victoria Plzen at 6:45pm.

In a real test of their Champions League run, Liverpool will play an important match against the Scottish Rangers at 9pm. With three points so far, the Reds are tied with Ajax, who faces Napoli, currently sitting at the top of Group A thanks to a full complement of points.

The rest of today's games:

Eintracht Frankfurt x Tottenham (9pm)

Club Brugge x Atletico Madrid (9pm)

Porto x Bayer Leverkusen (9pm)

Marseille x Sporting Lisbon (6:45pm)

🍱 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Step into a Hawaiian capsule at Let’s Poke: The Poke bowl restaurant serves the signature Hawaiian dishes that are equally delicious and nutritious. And the best part is that it’s made right in front of you within minutes with fresh, colorful ingredients. The menu is divided into three sections: First, choose a protein, then four add-ins, a crunchy topping, and a sauce. You can mix and match a variety of protein options, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and sauces, or you can simply choose one of the house bowls. Their salmon poke bowl with ponzu soy sauce is our favorite, and we love the diner’s infectious island vibes. Let’s Poke has branches in Zamalek, Maadi, and New Cairo.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

The Sinatras are taking the stage tonight at 8pm at El Sawy Culturewheel: Experience the sophistication of a trip back in time to the swinging ‘40s with us as the Sinatras play some of the best jazz standards and oldies by Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and more, along with vocals by special guest Monica Roshdy.

Catch a screening of From Meir, To Meir at AUC’s Tahrir Cultural Center at 5:30pm: Filmmaker Maggie Morgan sets out to discover Meir, the village where her great-grandparents were born and where her grandparents left but continued to love. When she goes, she discovers a village in which people are attempting to flee.

Sing along to some of your favorite Egyptian folklore songs at Room Art Space New Cairo: Saad El Oud is taking the stage tonight at 9pm.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century weaves three important histories into one: It was unintentionally risky for Helen Thompson, a professor of political economy at the University of Cambridge, to release a book on the geopolitics of energy, global finance, and democratic politics on 24 February — the day that Russia invaded Ukraine. The book seems to have passed this difficult test fairly well thanks to its meticulous, interdisciplinary approach and Thompson’s admirable ability to not only hold expertise in the three major themes but to examine events with analytical detachment. But make no mistake, this is no breezy read. The modern history book traces the development of the current political climate over many years, and tells three overlapping stories — geopolitics, the global economy, and Western democracies — and shows how the years of political unrest prior to the pandemic coalesced into one major narrative.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 rose 2.6% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.1 bn (12.8% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 17.0% YTD.

In the green: Mopco (+5.4%), Fawry (+4.9%) and Heliopolis Housing (+3.9%).

In the red: Ibnsina Pharma (-0.9%), and CIRA (-0.7%).

🌱 FOUNDER OF THE WEEK

OUR FOUNDER OF THE WEEK- Every Tuesday, Founder of the Week looks at how a successful member of Egypt’s startup community got their big break, asks about their experiences running a business, and gets their advice for budding entrepreneurs. Speaking to us this week is Waleed Sadek, founder and CEO of PaySky (LinkedIn).

My name is Waleed Sadek, and I am the founder and CEO of PaySky. I've been in the payment industry for 17 years. I’m actually a medical doctor by study and training, but I've been interested in tech since my first year of medical school. I began learning programming and developing products alongside school. By the time I finished, I was already a senior manager and had worked at several companies, including multinationals. Eventually I decided to stick with software engineering.

I worked for several multinational corporations before launching my own business, and then Visa became one of my clients. We were meeting their objectives efficiently, so they offered me a job. I was in my early twenties, so I decided to leave the startup world for a while and join them because it was a fantastic chance to learn about and enter the financial services space. I was the head of innovations in the Middle East and North Africa before moving to London to lead the CEMEA strategy. My time at Visa was eye-opening, but the entrepreneurial siren began calling again.

I began by expanding on the knowledge I gained at Visa and researching the gaps I discovered there that no one was addressing. Because the market was not moving in the direction I expected it to, I considered doing it myself. I left Visa, formed a team, and founded PaySky, an innovative and disruptive company that has made significant changes in the region.

If you believe in your business, you put all of your cards on the table. I actually put all of my investments and savings into PaySky at some point. It was risky, but I had complete faith in what we were doing, and it has proven to be extremely successful and rewarding.

The most enjoyable aspect of my job is getting to strategize, execute, and deliver solutions for the market and industry. Working in a corporation has many advantages and perks, but you are still part of a larger scheme and are responsible for achieving the company's goals. When you start your own business, you get to create and deliver your own vision.

What I like about the startup environment is the fast-paced growth, agility, and ability to respond to market changes in hours rather than days or months as corporates would. However, the start-up environment is fraught with anxiety. As responsibilities increase, so does the stress. When you grow, you hire more people and feel responsible for their families.

If I could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting their own business, it would be to master their space before attempting to tackle or disrupt it. They must gain sufficient, solid ground knowledge by working in the space for some time. They should understand the problems and then come up with ideas to solve them.

At PaySky, we develop electronic payment solutions and then take these electronic payments and digital financial service solutions and either white-label them to financial institutions so that they can offer them to customers, or take them directly to consumers under the Yalla brand. We are currently present in over ten markets, serving central banks, retail banks, telecom operators, and post institutions. We created a world-class payments infrastructure that aided in the promotion of electronic payments and financial inclusion in over ten countries. We are addressing the issue of access to efficient and innovative financial services.

We believe that efficient financial services are a must-have for a healthy economy. What we are creating will enable people who have previously been ignored or underserved to gain access to financial services. And we're connecting our day-to-day work with a higher purpose that we all want to believe we're working toward.

The first KPI we consider is purpose alignment. Every decision we make, we ask ourselves, "Is this decision aligned with our purpose?" Of course, there are financial metrics, revenue metrics, profitability metrics, and so on. However, our purpose is our reason for being.

I believe fundraising is overrated. Many people are losing sight of the importance of value creation and revenue generation in favor of focusing solely on fundraising. That is deceptive to future generations. It's become a metric of success — how much money have I raised? — which is far from accurate. If you can run your business without raising funds, you'll be much better off because you'll be keeping the equity for yourself.

Consumer experience and user experience are two of my major areas of interest. It's amazing how we build things from our own perspective and then consumers can have completely different reactions. We can be captives of our own assumptions, which is one of the major reasons why startups fail. They are creating solutions to non-existent problems. Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug is a great book on the subject that I recently read.

I always look to data for inspiration. When you monitor the performance and transactions of your customers, the raw data is then transformed into insights. Data never lies. I also like to look at the market itself. When you enter a new territory, you get to survey their culture, their experiences, their apps, and their advertisements, and where they promote their own offerings. It reveals how people perceive value.

One local startup that has really impressed me is Naqla. They're attempting to Uberize, if you will, the process of truck transportation. It's a massively underserved sector of the economy, with challenges ranging from infrastructure to logistics to regulation. I think what they're doing will have a very positive impact on the economic performance and production of many industries.

📆 CALENDAR

SEPTEMBER

27 September-27 October (Tuesday-Thursday): The Egyptian Museum and the Manial Palace Museum host a book fair.

OCTOBER

October: Air Sphinx, EgyptAir’s low-cost subsidiary to commence operations.

October: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

3-4 October (Monday-Tuesday): Pre-COP27 Climate Summit, Kinshasa, Congo.

4-8 October (Tuesday-Saturday): The Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council of the Trade and Industry Ministry is organizing a trade mission to Kenya.

6 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, national holiday.

10 October (Monday): The CEO Women Conference.

10-14 October (Monday-Friday): Gitex Global, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE.

10-16 October (Monday-Sunday): World Bank and IMF annual meetings, Washington, DC.

15 October (Saturday): Cairo Metro will launch a global tender for maintenance work on the power stations and overhead catenary system of Line 1.

16-19 October (Sunday-Wednesday): Cairo Water Week 2022, Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo.

17 October (Monday): Fifth Egypt and UN-led regional climate roundtable ahead of COP27, Geneva, Switzerland.

18 October (Tuesday): The Egyptian-Swedish business forum, Stockholm, Sweden.

23-25 ​​October (Sunday-Tuesday): Egypt economic conference, Cairo, Egypt.

24 October (Monday): Empowering Sustainable Trade Flows with Factoring conference, St. Regis Cairo.

27 October (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

27-30 October (Thursday-Sunday): Cairo ICT, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo.

30 October – 1 November (Sunday – Tuesday): Egypt Energy, Egypt International Exhibition Centre (EIEC) in New Cairo.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

Late October: First Abu Dhabi Bank to complete full integration with Bank Audi’s Egyptian operations after merger.

NOVEMBER

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Arab League annual summit, Algiers, Algeria.

3 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

3-5 November (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Fashion Week.

4-6 November (Friday-Sunday): Autotech auto exhibition, Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

6-18 November (Sunday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

7 November (Monday): The inauguration of the first line of the high-speed rail.

9 November (Wednesday): Finance Ministry to host “Finance Day” at COP27.

7-13 November (Mon-Sun): The International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

21 November-18 December (Monday-Sunday): 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatar.

DECEMBER

3 December (Saturday): Dior Men’s pre-fall collection show in Giza.

13-14 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

13-15 December (Tuesday-Thursday): US-Africa Leaders Summit.

15 December (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

22 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

December: The Sixth of October dry port will begin operations.

December: Egyptian Automotive Summit.

December: Egypt to expand Sudan electricity link capacity to 300 MW.

JANUARY 2023

January: EGX-listed companies and non-bank lenders will submit ESG reports for the first time.

January: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

1 January (Sunday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

1 January (Sunday): Residential electricity bills are set to rise as per the government’s six-year roadmap (pdf) to restructure electricity prices by 2025.

7 January (Saturday): Coptic Christmas.

24 January-6 February: The 54th Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center

25 January (Wednesday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

26 January (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

FEBRUARY 2023

11 February (Saturday): Second semester of 2022-2023 academic year begins for public universities.

13-15 February (Monday-Wednesday): The Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps), Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

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

MARCH 2023

March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

23 March (Wednesday) — First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.

APRIL 2023

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

22 April (Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.

MAY 2023

1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

4 May (Thursday) National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).

22-26 May (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.

JUNE 2023

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday) Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.

JULY 2023

18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.

SEPTEMBER 2023

26 September (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

28 September (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

OCTOBER 2023

6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

2H 2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2H 2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

2H 2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q 2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

3Q 2022: Swvl to close acquisition of Urbvan Mobility.

4Q 2022: Infinity + Africa Finance Corporation to close acquisition of Lekela Power.

4Q 2022: Electricity Ministry to tender six solar projects in Aswan Governorate.

4Q2022: Raya Holding subsidiary Aman and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia to launch their fintech company.

4Q 2022: Saudi Jamjoom Pharma to inaugurate its EGP 1 bn pharma factory in El Obour.

End of 2022: Decent Life first phase scheduled for completion.

End of 2022: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will complete the roll out of its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

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.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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