Is EGP 7.75 a good rate for the USD? FT: Egypt expects building boom. It’s tax day for private citizens. Abraaj raises USD 1.3 bn for investment in Africa. EGX in disclosure overdrive. Are Egypt and Saudi in discord over Syria? FRSU delivery delayed.
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY
It’s tax day for individual taxpayers. Companies have until the end of April, but private citizens and professionals including lawyers must file tax returns today (with payment in full, thank you very much). Feeling the pinch? You’re in good company: Al-Borsa has a nice little feature this morning on which Egyptian actors, entertainers and media personalities have had the swallow the highest tax bills. At the top of the list…
Egyptian renewable energy FIT program investor briefing, JW Marriott, 8:00 a.m. Cairo local time. DNV GL will host the briefing alongside partners Eversheds, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Apricum, and Shahid Law Firm, on behalf of the Egyptian New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) and the Egyptian Electric Utility and the Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency. More detailed information on today’s investor briefing may be found here.
Today is the deadline for countries to submit their applications to become founding members of China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China announced yesterday that Egypt is applying to become a founding member, along with Denmark, Russia, Australia, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany and Italy and a number of other countries – even Taiwan – with 30 other countries already signed up. The United States has allegedly lobbied countries not to join China’s development bank, as it is seen as a competitor to the World Bank, in which the United States wields enormous influence.
Also today: The COMESA Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa continues, as does the Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai. Related to the former: As we’ve noted in our Calendar since the beginning of this week, the tripartite COMESA-EAC-SADC summit will be held in Egypt from 07-10 June, as confirmed by COMESA.
LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
“Just like we had a countdown to the economic summit in Sharm El Sheikh, we will keep an eye on the clock with all the projects that were announced at the conference. We want to have progress reports and make sure that we stay the course,” said Lamees El Hadidy. “This is supposed to be the role of the Parliament but since we don’t have a Parliament yet we are volunteering to play the role of watchdog,” she added. (She was only half joking.)
Mohamed El Sobky, the head of the government’s Renewable Energy Authority, joined the program by phone to confirm that all of the energy cooperation agreements that were signed during the EEDC are moving ahead as planned and will be finalized in April.
Khaled Hanafy, the Minister of Supply called in to report on his visit to Amereyya with UAE Minister of State, Sultan El Gaber. “The UAE is financing the construction 25 grain silos in Amereyya, the project is now 50% complete. The wonderful thing about the Emiratis is that they are not only providing us with financial assistance, they are actively making sure that things are moving quickly and smoothly,” said Hanafy. He also clarified that these grain silos are different from the agreement that he signed in Sharm El Sheikh for a logistics center in Damiyetta with Al Futtaim as the anchor investor.
When asked about the ongoing butane cylinder shortage, Hanafy claimed that it has largely been dealt with. “I have visited 11 different governorates during the past week to make impromptu inspections of distribution centers and I can assure you that the horrible scenes that we witness a week ago are no longer there. We want the subsidy to reach the end user so that we can eliminate the black market and the violations. We will start a pilot project for the new subsidy system in Port Said.”
El Hadidy also spoke with officials from the Ministry of Electricity and the Ministry of Petroleum, who promised that we won’t be suffering from the severe power outages that we had last summer. They claimed that the current outages are due to maintenance that is being carried out now ahead of the summer.
Amr Adeeb commented on the absurdity of the social media allegations that Mohamed Hassanein Heikal and actor Adel Emam have condemned the Saudi-led air strikes against Yemen on Facebook and Twitter.
“This is absolutely ridiculous how can anyone believe these fabricated statements. This is not Ustaz Heikal. We are in a state of war. Intelligence units are trying to spread rumors and create rifts within the coalition. These are all unsubstantiated claims,” said Adeeb. “Today we are seeing a whole new Arab world. Israel is afraid of us for the first time. I was very happy to be an Egyptian today.”
Adel Emam called in to the show to say that he his happy with the coalition and that the tweet that came out in his name was a fabrication.
Adeeb also expressed his outrage about the commentary on the Germanwings crash and the pilot who intentionally killed 150 people on board. “This immediately brought to mind the EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Atlantic in the ‘90s. The pilot was accused of the same thing. I remember at the time the Americans made it into a huge scandal for us because the pilot said “there is no God but God” and took down the plane. With this German pilot it was like….uh….he was depressed and committed suicide killing everyone on board, horrible, shocking but end of story. No one is calling him a terrorist because he’s not Muslim. They are actually shocked that someone who is not Muslim could do such a horrible thing.”
Where’s the EGP:USD exchange rate headed? The Ministry of Finance has set its projected exchange rate of the USD at EGP 7.75, an unnamed high-level source at the ministry told Al Shorouk.
The Financial Times has an interesting packet of stories today in its annual special section on Investing in the Arab World. It’s an ad play, to be certain, but the content is real. Interestingly: It seems the package is not behind the FT’s paywall. Stories of interest to many of you are below, and you can (very slowly) download the full pdf of the package here (we’d recommend doing that on your laptop / desktop / tablet as it’s in spreads and a disaster on mobile).
- Egypt expects building boom: Developers resolve legal disputes and form partnerships with government (quotes from Sodic’s Dasha Badrawi, Majid Al-Futtaim’s Alain Bejjani and Beltone’s Habiba Hegab)
- Falling cost of solar offers solace after halving of oil price in the Gulf region: Harnessing the sun’s rays is playing an important role in the push to develop cheaper power sources
- Political turmoil and economic slowdown end boom years: The plunge in the oil price and a deteriorating security situation in the region have radically altered the fiscal landscape
12 companies express interest in Egyptian tourism promotion and PR tender: 12 companies, including Tarek Nour Communications and JWT, have taken out pitch documents for a PR services tender issued by the Egyptian government earlier this month, according to Al-Shorouk. According to a representative from the government, the selected company will be tasked with improving Egypt’s image abroad and, when necessary, addressing the Western media’s portrayal of the country. The company will also be expected to provide a comprehensive marketing campaign for Egypt’s tourism sector. Interested companies are required to submit their bids to the government by 31 May.
Edita Food Industries’ local offering allegedly 1.5 times oversubscribed: Shares of Edita Food Industries offered to the public as part of the retail component of the snack maker’s ongoing secondary offering are so-far 1.5 times oversubscribed, according to a source at the EGX quoted by Al-Borsa. The subscription period for the retail offering ends today, with shares priced at EGP 18.50 per. No GDRs were offered to the public in Egypt. Selling shareholders are offering 92.5 mn ordinary shares to be listed on the EGX and as GDRs and 16.3 mn ordinary shares to the public in Egypt. The institutional offering, as we noted earlier this week, was 13.4x oversubscribed, generating demand in excess of EGP 22.8 bn. Trading is set to begin on Thursday.
Sameh El-Torgoman plans to establish new investment bank: Dr. Sameh El-Torgoman, former head of the EGX and one-time chief of the Egyptian Competition Authority, and former execs of EFG Hermes, Beltone Financial and Qalaa Holdings are planning to establish a new investment bank, according to a piece in Al-Borsa’s print edition that is curiously unavailable online. Among those said to be joining in one capacity or another: Mostafa Abdelaziz, Karim Naama, and Bassem Azab. The company will initially provide brokerage services, but will look to offer the full suite of investment banking services by year’s end.
EGX goes into disclosure overdrive: Al-Borsa claims that in response to the ongoing criticism of EGX chief Mohamed Omran, the bourse has begun peppering listed companies with requests for additional disclosures communicating their “actual financial health” and to note any material changes in the same.
CIB, the nation’s leading private-sector commercial bank, will distribute a dividend of EGP 1.20 per share, Reuters reported, noting that the bank netted EGP 3.74 bn in 2014.
Excavation work on the New Suez Canal will be complete by 9 April, according to Al-Wafd, citing a senior officer at the Armed Forces Engineering Authority who also noted the project would have significant demand for trained workers in the upcoming phases of the project. The New Suez Canal is due to be inaugurated by the end of August, as PM Ibrahim Mahlab reminded us yesterday. (Yes, we know, Al-Wafd is but a shadow of its former self — and that’s being very, very charitable — but still, this report smells genuine.)
U.S. Army National Guard soldier arrested attempting to board a flight to Cairo en route to join Daesh -FBI: According to a release from the FBI, on 25 March, Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, a U.S. citizen, was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force while attempting to board a plane to Cairo. “According to the charges filed today, the defendants allegedly conspired to provide material support to ISIL and planned to travel overseas to support the terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “In addition, they plotted to attack members of our military within the United States. Disturbingly, one of the defendants currently wears the same uniform of those they allegedly planned to attack.” (Read)
Growing calls against the cancellation of visas-on-arrival: Former Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) Elhamy El-Zayat is quoted by Daily News Egypt as saying that the discontinuation of visas on arrival for tourists travelling alone will negatively impact tourism receipts in the current year. “The expenses of individual tourists vary from USD 1,000 to USD 2,000 a week, whereas tourists that come in groups spend a maximum of USD 500 a week, said El-Zayat.” (Read)
YEMEN: Egyptian ships shell Houthi forces, evacuation begins. Ahram Online continues to have the best day-long coverage of the conflict in Yemen, both with its own reporting and analysis and wire copy. A spokesman for coalition forces confirmed yesterday that naval units had imposed a blockade of Yemeni ports to prevent the flow of weapons and fighters. The news was promptly followed by news that Egyptian Navy warships shelled Houthi fighters and troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh advancing on the port of Aden, marking what we believe is the first offensive action taken by the Egyptian Navy since 1973. Egypt is coordinating with KSA and Oman the evacuation of Egyptian nationals in Yemen.
We’re in trouble — just don’t ask what we’re doing about it: ICYMI, Egypt has entered an “era of water poverty,” Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Hossam Mogazi said last week. The minister notes that Egypt uses about 83 bcm of water annually, but gets only about 55.5 bcm from its share of Nile water and a further 4 bcm from groundwater and rain, according to a piece in Ahram Online. Water use will be a key national security issue for Egypt not in this century, but in the coming decade — we’d be happy to hear from readers with ideas on how we should shape our coverage of the issue.
Three notable pieces were published yesterday regarding the growing role of private equity in Africa. Karim Sadek, Managing Director at Qalaa Holdings, authored a piece in This is Africa regarding Egypt’s expanded diplomacy and investment in Africa in general, and Qalaa Holdings’ role in particular through its Rift Valley Railways concession, linking Kenya and Uganda by rail.
FT notes that Abraaj has raised USD 1.3 bn for two separate African investment funds, capping “the Sub-Saharan Africa fund at USD 990 mn, higher than the USD 800 mn the company had originally sought to raise. The North African fund will probably end up oversubscribed at USD 340 mn, exceeding its USD 250 mn target.” The National in Dubai has picked up the same story, apparently with a source of its own.
The Wall Street Journal published yesterday: ‘Rock Star Bob Geldof Spearheads U.S. Private-Equity Push Into Ethiopia,’ writing on how the founder of musical charity events Band Aid and Live Aid has instead turned to private equity to see real development on the continent. “They don’t have to die in vast numbers before we pay attention,” Mr. Geldof said in an interview. “The potential rewards in Africa are far greater than anywhere else.” Geldof has founded 8 Miles, a private equity firm focused on investment in Ethiopia, which has thus far raised USD 200 mn, as of 2012. The firm is part of a growing trend, as noted by the WSJ: “Global foreign direct investment has overtaken Western aid on the world’s poorest continent. Private-equity fundraising for sub-Saharan Africa hit USD 4 bn last year—more than triple what it was in 2013.” (Read)
Procurement notice: the EBRD is searching for a consultant to “identify both the policy and technology actions needed to achieve a sustainable low-carbon future of the Egyptian cement industry, thus reducing or mitigating the impact of the new regulations. Furthermore this Assignment would also be developed in an international climate policy and industrial competitiveness context.” (Read)
BMIC double capacity in Assiut? BMIC, a cement producer about 30% owned by EK Holdings, has reportedly announced it is undertaking an EGP 2.2 bn, two-year program to double production at its Assiut plant to 4 MTPA through the construction of a new production line. Negotiations are currently underway with Germany’s KHD International for machinery and equipment, according to Amwal Al-Ghad.
Cairo National Automotive can now sell you insurance on your new Mercedes, having acquired a license to establish Star Insurance as an insurance brokerage, the Daily News reports.
Wamda’s Aline Mayard interviewed one of online retailer Jumia Egypt’s two CEOs, Amaury Celier. He believes“the country is stable and is recovering from what happened in the last few years” and notes that Jumia Egypt is recording “double digit growth month on month” and is currently ramping up “logistic facilities and are investing in the team.”
Solar developers flocking to Egypt: PV Magazine has a non-exhaustive roundup of announced solar energy projects in Egypt — no new projects are announced in the piece, but it may be a good resource to find many of them listed all in one place. If you have a tip on a better list, let us know and we’ll run it here. (Read)
The UAE may soon allow 100% foreign ownership of domestic companies operating in select (and so-far unnamed) sectors, according to The National, citing remarks by UAE Economy Minister Sultan Al-Mansouri.
Arab Importer and Exporter Union plans USD 1.5 bn in Sudan investments: The Arab Importer and Exporter Union plans to invest over USD 1.5 bn in Sudan, mainly in manufacturing, wheat exports and solar energy, according to Daily News Egypt. Two MoUs are reportedly expected to be signed soon between the Union and the Sudanese Free Zones & Markets. One such MoU is expected to be signed by the Egyptian Mills Company to supply wheat to Sudan following the commodity exchange system. Another MoU is expected to be reached with a Chinese company for the production of solar energy in Sudan. (Read)
BG Group CEO Helge Lund poaches two M&A officers from Statoil: Lund has hired two officials from his former company Statoil for key management positions at BG Group: Katie Jackson as vice president for BG global strategy and business development and Tom Melbye Eide as BG head of general council. The hires were announced in an internal company memo last week, as reported by Reuters. (Read)
OLD NEWS POSING AS NEW: Any and all stories in the local press referring to Onera Systems seeking financing (originally reported on 05 February) and news of the World Bank’s report on Egypt healthcare reform (originally noted on 16 February, title: Roadmap to Achieve Social Justice in Health Care in Egypt) are blatant examples of the recycling of old news.
CORRECTION: In yesterday’s Enterprise, we misspelled the first name of Marc Lynch, Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and Professor of Political Science at George Washington University.
A MESSAGE FROM PHAROS HOLDING: Pharos Holding is pleased to announce the launch of its new online trading platform Pharoslive, which comes equipped with an array of new features and services aimed at enhancing your trading experience. Pharoslive provides you with instant access to your portfolio, allows you to execute your transactions in real-time and includes a live market data feed enabling you to follow market activity without the need to subscribe to third party providers. In addition, the new platform boasts a number of features that are unique to Pharoslive such as the conditional orders feature, trade triggers, trade tips as well as direct access to our research reports prepared by our team of professional analysts and economists.
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Ikhwan protest in London on Downing Street: What could be described as a handful or possibly a gaggle of Ikhwani protesters demonstrated in front of Downing Street in London on Sunday, 29 March. The demonstration made sure to make plenty of use of cute, adorable children who divide their time between soccer practice and indoctrination into their parents’ apocalyptic cult. The best part of the video is at the 0:59 mark:
Little boy with a microphone: “What do we want?”
Protesters: [cacophony of confused murmurs]
Little boy with a microphone: “When do we want it?”
(Watch R4BIA protest, running time: 1:34)
In other comedy news, Comedy Central announced that a virtual unknown to American audiences, South Africa’s Trevor Noah, will replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Noah has appeared as a correspondent on the program, where the show’s sometimes milquetoast writing (yes, it can sometimes be bland, don’t even bother with the angry emails) drowns out Noah’s voice. His standup, however, is serviceable. (Watch Trevor Noah’s standup routine on sports in America, running time: 3:18)
In other late night news, James Corden began his run on The Late Late Show last week, replacing Craig Ferguson. Like Trevor Noah, Corden is another non-American comedian and relative unknown in the United States. Over the course of his first week on air, he’s managed to pull big names to his show, most notably Tom Hanks, who in the following skit alongside Corden, acts out every Tom Hanks movie in 7 minutes. (Watch, running time: 7 minutes)
EGYPT IN THE NEWS
Saudi Arabia, Egypt show discord over Syria: The AP is running a story highlighting a long-observed but rarely discussed fork in the road between Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s respective foreign policies: Syria. While Qatar and Saudi Arabia both insist that no resolution of the Syrian civil war can see Syrian President Bashar Al Assad remain in power, Egypt has advocated for a political solution involving all actors in the conflict, sans Islamists extremists. The AP’s story highlights the fault lines at the Arab Summit: “After it [the letter from Russian President Putin] was read, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal took the microphone and lashed out at Russia in a speech aired live on TV. “They (Russians) speak about the misery the situation in Syria while they are a main part of the miseries that affects the Syrian people,” al-Faisal said, pointing to Moscow’s arms sales to Damascus … In his opening speech to the summit, el-Sissi [sic] repeatedly spoke of the need for action in Libya. In contrast, the Saudi king hardly mentioned it — a sign of their differing priorities.” (Read)
The Washington Post also published yesterday a remarkably similar piece to the AP’s above: Saudi Arabia’s hostile relationship with Russia is leaving Egypt stuck in the middle: “Many outside observers have suggested that Saudi Arabia could be using its power to flood the market with oil as a means of hurting the economy of Russia, another oil-producing giant, with the aim of loosening Moscow’s support for Assad. “If oil can serve to bring peace in Syria, I don’t see how Saudi Arabia would back away from trying to reach a deal,” one Saudi diplomat told the New York Times last month.”
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab addressed the COMESA Summit yesterday, where he invited the delegates to attend the inauguration of the new Suez Canal in August during his address, as reported by Ahram Online. See also coverage in Al-Mal.
One power grid to rule them all: A source within the Ministry of Electricity said to Al-Mal that the minister will propose, at the currently ongoing COMESA Summit in Ethiopia, to bring all of the Nile Basin countries under one unified power grid. (Read in Arabic)
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met yesterday with Volker Kauder, who leads the ruling CDU/CSU coalition in Germany’s Bundestag. The biggest news: “Kauder stated that he looks forward to President El Sisi’s upcoming visit to Germany in the near future,” per a release received late yesterday from Ittihadiya. The two discussed security and counter-terrorism policy, Libya, and the high-profile participation of German companies at the EEDC earlier this month, among other topics. Al-Ahram has more.
British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson met with the Governor of Luxor to discuss how to better attract tourists from the UK to Egypt and, more specifically, Luxor and Aswan, Al Borsa reports.
A court decision unearthed a corruption case reportedly involving seven Egyptian embassiesand the alleged misappropriation of over EGP 7 mn in state funds, Al Shorouk reports. The court suspended three Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees and penalized two of them to the equivalent of 500% of their basic salaries.
The Middle East’s growing oil demand problem: Jude Clemente of Forbes notes the growing disparity between the way the Middle East consumes energy relative to its past use and relative to the rest of the world: ”The Middle East now uses nearly 33% of the oil that it produces, compared to just 20% in 2000,” meanwhile, “oil is so ingrained in the Middle East’s energy demand structure that it uniquely accounts for nearly 40% of all power generation,” whereas “oil now generates just 3% of the world’s electricity,” down from 22% in 1970. (Read)
For a good companion piece, see the FT’s Falling cost of solar offers solace after halving of oil price, which we noted above as part of the paper’s Investing in the Arab World package today.
ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY & SUBSIDY REFORM
Fuel subsidies cost EGP 44.8 bn in 1H15, emergency spending tops EGP 600 mn
Al Shorouk, Al Masry Al-Youm | 30 March 2015
Fuel subsidies registered EGP 44.8 bn in the first half of the fiscal year, the Minister of Finance said. Upon reviewing the financing for the first half of the fiscal year, the ministry agreed to extended EGP 600 mn in emergency allowances to different government entities as well as to the Tax Authority. The allowances include EGP 120 mn to support the implementation of the new bread subsidy regime, EGP 108.5 mn to expand the delivery of natural gas to households, and EGP 44 mn to develop the Olympic Stadium in Maadi. (Read in Al-Shorouk or in AMAY.)
OIL & GAS
Delivery of the FSRU delayed due to the conflict in Yemen – EGAS
Al Masry Al Youm | 30 March 2015
The delivery of the Hoegh FSRU has been delayed due to the conflict in Yemen and the disruptions in the Gulf of Aden, Khaled Abdel Badie, the head of EGAS said. New protocols are being adopted when passing through the Bab el-Mandab strait now, Abdel Badie said, and strict rules were set organizing the passage of vessels through the waterway to ensure safety. The head of EGAS assured that Ain Sokhna Port is ready for the FSRU to dock whenever it arrives. (Read in Arabic)
Agreement to build a USD 250 mn CCR reforming unit for ASORC signed
Ahram Gate | 30 March 2015
An agreement to build a CCR reforming unit for ASORC was signed in the presence of the Minister of Petroleum, Sherif Ismail. Ismail says the project, which is expected to cost USD 250 mn, comes as part of the Ministry’s plan to increase the production capacity of high-grade octane to satisfy domestic demand and reduce reliance on the imports of refined oil products. France’s Axens had presented the winning bid to implement the project, which has a design capacity of 600 thousand tons of high-grade octane annually and 7 thousand tons of butane gas. (Read in Arabic)
Investment cost of MIDOR’s expansion projects revised upward by over USD 100 mn
Al Shorouk | 30 March 2015
The expect cost of the investment to expand MIDOR’s operations was revised upwards by over USD 100 mn to 1.365. This came after technical assessments showed that initial estimates undervalued the project, which is set to increase the production capacity by 60%. MIDOR will self-finance 40% of the project but seeks funding for the remaining 60%. (Read in Arabic)
BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES
Cigarette manufacturers to reduce production next year
Al Borsa | 30 March 2015
Tobacco producers have agreed to reduce their output of cigarettes and molasses in FY2015/16 to 63.8 bn cigarettes from a previously projected 82.8 bn. Molasses production will also be scaled back to 24 thousand tons from 30 thousand tons. Tobacco exports have decreased by 95% according to a source and producers are still struggling to acquire foreign currency. (Read in Arabic)
Sinai Manganese Company issues gypsum production tender
Al Borsa | 30 March 2015
The Sinai Manganese Company issued a tender for international companies to participate in an EGP 80 mn project to produce gypsum. The project aims to produce an extra 120 thousand tons of gypsum bringing up the total annual production capacity to 370 thousand tons. This is part of the investment ministry’s plan to restructure state-owned companies. (Read in Arabic)
ZOTYE to establish parts factory and assembly line in Egypt
Al Mal | 30 March 2015
Chinese carmaker Zotye Auto is planning to build a spare-parts factory as well as an assembly line for its motor vehicles in Egypt, according to Gen. Ashraf Lashin, head of public relations for Golden Group Auto Trading, Zotye’s sole representative in Egypt. (Read in Arabic)
TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS
Eastern Tobacco to build a railway track, dry port
Al Mal | 30 March 2015
The Eastern Tobacco Company is nearing an agreement to build a railway network passing through its industrial complex in Sixth of October and dry port, the company’s managing director said. The railway network will be used to transfer goods and containers as well as company employees. The group’s managing director noted that the project’s importance lies in having the company import 3,500 containers a year as well as the company needing 200 buses to transport its employees. The company said it will bear the cost, but hand the management over to the Ministry of Transport, and has already began receiving offers to conduct feasibility studies. (Read in Arabic)
Damietta Port deepening operations begin
Al Borsa | 29 March 2015
Dredging operations began setting up the Damietta Port deepening operations. The operations will take up to five months and aim to deepen the port from 14 meters currently to 16.5 meters, followed by a further expansion to 18 meters a year later. The port has not undergone any expansions since 1986. (Read in Arabic)
Health ministry to continue monitoring hospitals provision of 48 hours of free A&E
Al Borsa | 29 March 2015
The Ministry of Health confirmed it will continue to monitor private hospitals to ensure they are abiding by the PM’s decree forcing them to provide free A&E care for 48 hours. The ministry had earmarked EGP 2.7 bn to cover the cost of the decree. The ministry stressed that transferring patients requiring special care to public hospitals can only be done after liaising with health ministry’s emergency hotline. (Read in Arabic)
TELECOMS & ICT
Vodafone Egypt and Mobinil agree to TE’s price increase, Etisalat objects
Al Mal | 30 March 2015
Vodafone Egypt and Mobinil have agreed to Telecom Egypt’s near 800% increase in the price charged for use of TE’s fiberoptic cable infrastructure, with Etisalat objecting, according to an unnamed source. Vodafone accepted the prices charged to use TE’s new fiber-optic cables in October 2014 fearing the loss of more customers if they didn’t, Mobinil followed suit in January. NTRA has not interfered with the decision, the source said, as it is only concerned with the price charged to the end-users. (Read in Arabic)
BANKING & FINANCE
Barclays Bank Egypt opens new HQ at City Stars Mall
Al Borsa | 30 March 2015
Barclays Bank Egypt announced the opening of its new EGP 174 mn headquarters at City Stars Mall in Nasr City. According to Edward Marks, the company’s managing director, Barclays Egypt is looking to expand aggressively in 2015, particularly in the country’s attractive retail banking space. The bank already opened two additional branches, in Cairo Festival City Mall and the Mall of Arabia, in 2015. (Read in Arabic)
MasterCard to issue 2 mn cards for state employees
Al Mal | 30 March 2015
MasterCard Egypt CEO Magdi Hassan said that the company will be responsible for issuing electronic payroll cards to all governmental employees this year. Hassan added that the Finance Ministry issued and distributed brochures on the subject matter earlier this March so that the 2 mn employees who work for the governmental entities are prepared and ready to receive their payroll on these cards. The tables have finally turned where government employees will be on the other end of a customer service phone call. (We note that earlier stories have claimed the state will be paying as many as 7 mn employees electronically, raising the question as to whether MasterCard has a contract for only part of that figure or whether earlier reports were exaggerated) (Read in Arabic)
ON YOUR WAY OUT
Emaar Misr’s capital increase funded through capitalization of shareholder loans: The capital increase to EGP 4 bn from EGP 878 mn for the Dubai-based company’s local subsidiary will be taken care of through the capitalization of shareholder loans by parent company Emaar Properties, Al-Mal reports.
The only 31 things standing between you and your dreams: Notable highlights on the list:
8. Your appearance
9. Parental expectations
14. The finite nature of time
24. Fear in general… (Read)
Republicans see Obama as more imminent threat than Putin: Reuters / Ipsos poll (Reuters)
Jail sentences reduced in infamous dog killing case: Three men convicted for their part in the gruesome public torture and killing of a dog have had their sentences drastically reduced: two had their sentences reduced from three years to three months, and the third defendant from three years to one month. (Read)
Vox culled together Reddit AMAs (Ask Me Anything) of 5 astronauts to present: Life in orbit: 16 surprising things NASA astronauts have revealed in Reddit AMAs.
Two policemen injured while defusing bomb in Alexandria: Two policemen were critically injured while attempting to defuse an IED in Alexandria. (Read)
BY THE NUMBERS
USD CBE auction (Monday, 30 March): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday, 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Monday, 30 March): 7.65 (unchanged since Monday, 23 March)
EGX30 (Monday): 9,118.97 (0.62%)
Turnover: EGP 437.6 mn (31% below the 90-day average)
WTI: USD 48.06 (-1.27%)
Brent: USD 55.83 (-0.82%)
TASI: 8,957.1 (-1.3%)
ADX: 4,431.4 (+1.4%)
DFM: 3,444.7 (+0.2%)
KSE Weighted Index: 428.1 (-1.1%)
QE: 11,586.8 (+0.9%)
MSM: 6,215.0 (+0.4%)