Monday, 25 May 2015

Salman in hot seat on Amr Adib. IMF criticizes CGT delay. Al-Mal report torpedoes Arabtec shares. PHD rights issue 97% covered. Shell, Apache to begin fracking in February. Toyota Egypt eyes expansion. Special needs kids get boost from El Sisi.


  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will host conference of Libyan tribal leaders at 9:30 am CLT, Grand Hyatt Hotel.
  • Foreign Press Association Forum on Egyptian-European Relations, featuring EU Ambassador James Moran and other officials. Semiramis InterContinental Hotel, Cairo, starting at 18:00 CLT.
  • Arab Construction and Projects Forum, Fairmont Hotel, Cairo.
  • The Second Annual energy conference Energy and Future of Investment in Egypt, Intercontinental City Stars..
  • Day one of a two-day visit to Egypt by a Russian business delegation, headed by the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, is set to begin.


National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)’s Egypt on the Rise — West-East Corridor forum will take place at the JW Marriott, Cairo, on Wednesday, 27 May. Read more about the event and the featured speakers Basil El-Baz (Carbon Holdings), Hisham El-Khazindar (Qalaa Holdings), Ahmed Badreldin (Abraaj Group) and Omar Mehanna (NBAD) here.

Egypt’s Renewable Energy Summit, Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre. (Friday-Sunday, 29-31 May)


Amr Adeeb congratulated everyone working in the electricity sector last night. “Today was the ultimate test: Despite record heat above 40 degrees, we have not had power outages. I know that I have been very vocal with my criticism of the minister of electricity, but today I would like to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude for what he has achieved. He has done his job and now we have to do ours. We must continue to conserve energy and keep in mind that electricity prices are going up as of the first of July,” said Adeeb.”

In a discussion on the massive problems that the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (Maspero) has been experiencing lately, Adeeb’s co-host Khaled Abu Bakr proposed that Amr Adeeb should be appointed as the new Minister of Information “so that we can tear him apart on the talk shows.”

“The first thing I would do if I became the Minister is reduce the headcount at Maspero from 45,000 to 2,000 employees. That move alone would make it will be a better place. We can even pay them to stay home and we would be better off. Stay home and raise your children, that is much more important. If 43,000 people stayed home, just imagine how much traffic would improve,” said Adeeb.

In a very candid telephone interview with Adeeb and Abu Bakr, Minister of Investment, Ashraf Salmantalked about the problems with civil servants and dismantling the bureaucracy — and answered tough questions on the lethargic investment climate post EEDC.

“We are firefighting,” admitted Salman. “We cannot put the blame entirely on our employees. We have not invested a piaster on training them and today we are in desperate need of capacity building. Of course, government employees lack the proper mindset, but what have we done to help them?”

Salman explained that the Ministry of Investment has launched a large-scale initiative to train its employees and that he is hopeful that this will bring about a tangible change in mentality.

Asked why everything appears to be moving at an exceptionally slow pace, — the One-Stop Shop, the investment law, the MOUs signed in Sharm, Arabtec’s mn homes initiative —. Salman made no excuses.

“It feels like we are always missing something when it comes to investment. The money is there, the willingness is there but…,” said Adeeb.

Replied Salman: “You are absolutely right, we have inherited a daunting bureaucracy and we are working day and night to sort problems. The executive regulations of the investment law will be ready within the next three weeks. The delay has to do with issues concerning land allocation. For the time being, I am willing to intervene personally to move things forward for investors. If you want land come to me, I will give you land. I will personally sort it. This is too important,” said Salman. “We are 16 months away from having a real One Stop Shop. I know it’s slow, but my primary goal — as is the goal of all the ministers in this cabinet — is to fix things and create jobs, I have no other motive. I’m not happy with the USD 3.8 bn in FDI for the first half of the yea. This is not what we were going for; this is not Egypt, but things take time, it is not unusual as we are trying to build a system that will serve us well for the medium and long term. Previously the country was operating on a trial and error basis.”

“Mr. Minister, I appreciate your candor. Now I know that you will start to solve problems,” said Abu Bakr.


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The IMF criticized yesterday Egypt’s decision to delay imposing the capital gains tax, Bloombergreported. The capital gains tax, according to Chris Jarvis, the IMF’s mission chief to Egypt, is “a tax which raised needed revenue and which was fair” and noted that the delay in implementation means that supporting public finances will be borne by “people who are less able to afford it.” Former Finance Minister Samir Radwan was more blunt in suggesting that the government got “blackmailed” by those who refused the implementation capital gains tax, in a statement made to Al Shorouk. Radwan accused speculators of deliberately tanking the EGX in order to force the scrapping of the tax — and stressed that the EGX’s performance is not a gauge for the real economy. Al-Mal, meanwhile, called on technical analysis types to back its headline defense of the decision, while Al-Borsa says Cabinet has followed through with a directive that the tax not be collected; the order is retroactive to 19 May.

No new loan talks with IMF: Meanwhile, a number of Egyptian media outlets appear to have misunderstood one aspect of the Bloomberg story, prompting them to run with a claim that Egypt was preparing to engage in negotiations with the IMF for a USD 6 bn loan, as reported by Egypt Independent and Al Watan (Read in Arabic). The USD 6 bn figure being quoted from the Bloomberg article in the previous two sources is actually the sum recently received as deposits at the CBE from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.Sadda, meanwhile, stated that the negotiations were for the amount of USD 10 bn. Bloomberg’s Ahmed Namatalla in fact has Jarvis saying: “Egyptian officials haven’t requested IMF financing, he added. The North African country had reached two initial loan agreements with the fund since the 2011 uprising … It turned instead to Gulf Arab allies for bns of USD to meet financing needs.”

Al-Mal report torpedoes Arabtec stock: Al Mal headlined its print edition today with a report titled “The End of the Arabtec Legend” claiming that the one mn homes project will not go through. Negotiations between Arabtec and Al Mal have come to a halt, Al Mal claimed. The story, which comes after months of reports that the company is on the verge of agreeing terms with the Sisi administration for the USD 40 bn project, sparked a run on Arabtec shares in Dubai. Investors in the GCC are increasingly skeptical the Egyptian project will go through, a development that comes in the wake of a year-long boardroom shakeup at the builder. Al-Mal’s report made headlines across the GCC (examples here and here). Amwal Al Ghad has subsequently quoted Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly as denying that talks had been suspended; that Arabtec had demanded to borrow from domestic banks; and that the company wanted to import domestically-available building materials.

Palm Hills Developments rights issue almost 97% covered: The high-profile real estate developer announced in an emailed statement Sunday that it has bagged net proceeds of EGP 1.59 bn after the first 30-day subscription period for its tradable rights issue. The company will open a second subscription period to cover the remaining 3.39% to complete the EGP 1.64 bn capital raising. Also on Sunday, the company announced signing a bridge loan worth EGP 100 mn with Banque Misr and the Arab African International Bank, as reported by DNE.

Shell and Apache will begin shale gas production from their Western Desert concession in February, according to news reports. The first well is set to be dug before the end of the month, EGPC’s head Tarek El Molla said. Khalda Petroleum is carrying out operations on behalf of the two companies and will start drilling two experimental wells in the Apollonia field, DNE reported. The first horizontal well will be drilled in November.

Egypt is targeting USD 7.1 bn in investments from IOCs in FY2015/16, EGPC head Tarek El Molla told Reuters. El Molla expects the investment to be split into USD 4.5 bn for E&P activities and the rest spent on operational costs. By the end of the current fiscal year, IOCs are expected to have spent a total of USD 7.4 bn in Egypt, of which USD 4.9 bn went to E&P.

Kellogg’s business partners, like it or not: Misr Insurance, Misr Life Insurance, and the Religious Endowments Ministry will not sell their stakes in Bisco Misr, a source told Al Mal. Kellogg, which already controls an 86% stake of Bisco Misr, is expected to present an offer to acquire the rest of the shares this week.

Toyota Egypt eyes expansion opportunities, new models: Toyota Egypt will build a new EGP 80 mn service center in Burj Al-Arab, is targeting 15% growth in sales and will consider the introduction of new models, its CEO said yesterday at an event to inaugurate a new service center in Sadat City.

The military has established a new company named MP for Engineering Projects and General Supply, whose activities will encompass“ a wide range of services including development, contracting and construction for housing, sports facilities, schools, hotels, tourist resorts, hospitals, factories, and roads,”reports Mada Masr. As a military-affiliated company, MP for Engineering Projects and General Supply will likely benefit from limited regulatory oversight. Critics of the Egyptian military often accuse it of operating within a parallel economy, There have been estimates that Armed Forces’ share of the national economy to be upwards of 40 percent. This figure, however, has been denied vehemently by high-ranking government officials, including President Sisi.

Korean companies mull investment in Egyptian solar panel plant: Local Development Minister Adel Labib made headlines across the spectrum yesterday with his announcement that unnamed South Korean entities are interested in investing in an Egyptian solar panel plant to cover demand in the Gulf, Europe and Africa. The minister’s remarks, apparently made during or after a visit to Korea, also suggest the Korean government may be helping underwrite the construction of sewage treatment plants in El-Alamein and Siwa. The news has been widely covered based on a piece run by state-owned news agency MENA. Read in Arabic here and here)

Special needs children get boost from El Sisi: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has made services for children with special needs a front-page issue. The news comes after the president visited a group of community organizers advocating for the building of centers for individuals with special needs on a national basis (Al-Ahram stops short of naming the organization). The president stressed that individuals with special needs should be fully integrated into society.

Nabq Sina Hotel Company says it will look to raise EGP 200 mn in an upcoming IPO on the EGX. MH and Capital Financial Services will serve as independent financial advisors on the company’s fair valuation, Nabq Sina chairman Hossam Attia said; Pioneers and BLOM will advise on the transaction. (Read in Arabic)

Renovations in the offing: The government is planning to renovate 27 historic buildings at a cost EGP 400 mn, according to Deputy Antiquities Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz. (Read in Arabic)

MOVES- Amine Mazouzi has been named as the new chief executive of Algeria’s state owned energy firm Sonatrach, replacing interim chief Said Sahnoun, according to sources speaking to Reuters.

CORRECTION: Flat6Labs is a regional accelerator, not an incubator; Sunday marked the third demo day in Jeddah, not first. The company will hold its first demo day in Abu Dhabi on June 3.


Pharos Research is bullish on Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling

After Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling’s impressive performance so far in FY15, Pharos Research announced it is likely to revise the firm’s FV estimate upward. During the first 9 months of the fiscal year ending June 2015, the company reported a net profit of EGP 618.2 mn, including EGP 54.1m in capital and FX revaluation gains (as it generates its revenues in USD).

The company’s annualized net income is expected to come in close to the EGP 800 mn marker, c 19% above Pharos’ initial projected figure of EGP 635 mn. While the company is expected to distribute some 55.0% of its income in dividends, the downward adjustment to the share price post distribution will be somewhat limited. Click here for the full story.


A shrewd financial investor, Qatar boasts dismal return on investment in soft power: “Widely viewed as a shrewd financial investor, Qatar’s return on investment in soft power designed to position it as a progressive ally of world powers in the hope that they will come to the aid of the wealthy Gulf state in times of emergency is proving to be abysmal.” (Read)

World-renowned Egyptian actor Omar Sharif is suffering from Alzheimer’s, reports People Magazine. “He still knows he’s a famous actor. The loss of memory affects above all specific things, details like when he was in a specific places or who he acted with in a specific film,” said his son, Tarek. The news originally broke in the Spanish-language El-Mundo and has since been picked up worldwide.


Libyan tribal leaders arrive in Cairo ahead of meeting: 200 tribal leaders have arrived in Cairo on Sunday ahead of Monday’s meeting which aims at finding a solution to the ongoing crisis in Libya, according to a statement from the MFA and as reported by Al Mal. The meeting also aims to develop a support base for the legitimate Libyan government among the tribes, in addition to enlisting their assistance in fostering a national dialogue. (Read in Arabic)


The lead story on Egypt in the foreign press this morning is news that Egypt will open the Rafah crossing for two days this week starting on Tuesday, as reported by Al Arabiya, Palestinian news agency WAFA, and others.

The second lead story was on a bomb exploding in the northern governorate of al Sharqiyah on Sunday morning which resulted in one death and several injuries, Al Arabiya reported.


Some of us here at Enterprise are fans of golf pro Miguel Angel Jimenez. On Saturday, he hit a record 10th hole-in-one on the European Tour during at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. (Watch, running time 1:24). His unique warm-up routine may be viewed here, (Watch, running time 3:10).


Aqua Power buys land to build three renewable energy power stations worth USD 220 mn
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 May 2015
Aqua Power Egypt signed an agreement with the ministry of electricity to obtain land under the new unified tariff protocol, land where it plans to develop three renewable energy power stations with USD 220 mn in investments. These include a USD 90 mn solar power plant, with a production capacity of 50 MW in Aswan, in addition to two 50 MW wind power stations worth a combined USD 130 mn. (Read in Arabic)


Petrobel seeks to increase production by 30%, source says
Al Borsa | 21 May 2015
Petrobel, Eni’s JV in Egypt, seeks to increase its natural gas production in Egypt by 30% in 2015-2016 to around 1.5 bcf, a senior source at the company told Al Borsa. He added that Petrobel currently produces almost 30% of Egypt’s total output most from its El Gamil concession. The company’s Chairman said Eni has begun to reinvest in developing fields following the calming of the unrest domestically as well as having part of its EGPC dues repaid. (Read in Arabic)

Oil Libya Egypt signs five new export agreements
Al Mal | 21 May 2015
Oil Libya Egypt has signed five oils export agreements in May, the company’s Chief Executive told Al Mal. Oil Libya will export 1,500 tons of engine oils to Ethiopia, Chad, Bulgaria, Djibouti, and Greece in a USD 2.5 mn deal. Exporting is set to begin next June from Oil Libya Egypt’s plant in Borg El Arab and via the Alexandria Port. (Read in Arabic)


Egypt’s domestic wheat purchases this year are the largest ever, minister says
Ahram Online | 22 May 2015
The government’s purchase of domestic wheat this year is the largest ever, Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafy said. The government bought 4.58 mn tonnes of wheat from local farmers since the beginning of the harvesting season, surpassing the initial goal of 3.7 mn tonnes. More farmers were encouraged to grow wheat this year, according to Hanafy, after the ministry announced its purchase price prior to the planting season. (Read)


President El Sisi’s Germany visit to have positive impact on industrial sector – El Sewedy
Al Borsa | 24 May 2015
President El Sisi’s visit to Germany is set to have a beneficial economic impact on the industrial sector in particular, Federation of Egyptian Industries Mohamed El Sewedy said. El Sewedy stressed that Germany remains an integral economic partner of Egypt. He believes that cooperation agreements in vocational training could help improve the performance of Egyptian labour force. (Read in Arabic)

Cabinet approves NCCD’s acquisition of El Nil Cotton Ginning
Al Mal | 24 May 2015
The Egyptian cabinet has officially granted a compulsory purchase order allowing the National Co. for Construction & Development’s to acquire all shares of El Nil Cotton Ginning, according to El Nil board member Tarek Shawky. The move, he hopes, will put the rest the controversy behind the privatization of El Cotton, which has adversely affected over 10,000 shareholders since 2013. (Read in Arabic)


Military airports should be used for civilian flights, EBA suggests
Al Shorouk | 24 May 2015
Military airports should be used for civilian flights in order to increase the capacity of Egyptian airports and accommodate tourist arrivals, the tourism committee of the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA) suggested. The committee’s head gave an example of the need for a functioning airport serving the south Red Sea are given that the Marsa Alam airport is more than 200 km away from the South Marsa Alam area. This followed promises by President El Sisi to allow tourism operators access to military airports. (Read in Arabic)


Mobile phone penetration rate down 7.6% y-o-y
Amwal Al Ghad | 23 May 2015
The number of mobile phone users in Egypt dropped by 5.3% y-o-y to 95.66 mn in March, Amwal Al Ghad reported. This brought down the mobile phone penetration rate down to 110.96% from 119.36% last year. In contrast, ADSL subscriptions have grown by 15.98% y-o-y to 3.77 mn. (Read in Arabic)

Internet prices to be reduced before May’s end
Al Shorouk | 24 May 2015
Internet prices will likely be reduced before the end of month, CIT Minister Khaled Negm told Al Shorouk. Negm is insistent that ISPs will reduce their prices but noted that an alternative could be to double the internet speeds of all users at the same cost. Despite not having reached a final agreement with the ISPs, Negm insisted that the NTRA has capability to enforce a price change. (Read in Arabic)


Six banks to fund EGPC’s import of Kuwaiti crude
Al Mal | 24 May 2015
Six banks have agreed to lend EGPC USD 1.8 bn to fund the importing of Kuwaiti crude, Al Mal reported. The six banks are: Bank of Alexandria, Al Baraka, Blom, EGC, United Bank of Egypt, and the Arab Investment Bank. The loan is repayable over five and a half years and Al Mal said that eight more banks are assessing providing more credit facilities to EGPC. (Read in Arabic)

Banque Misr 2014-2015 revenues expected to grow 20% according to chairman
Daily News Egypt | 24 May 2015
“Initial indicators for the results of operations during the first half are good, and in line with the management’s settled strategy,” says bank chairman Mohamed Eletreby. Banque Misr saw its highest net profits last year with 2.51 bn EGP. Daily News Egypt sat down with Eletreby to discuss the bank’s growth and future plans. (Read)

Burgan Bank of Kuwait studies Egypt expansion
Arabian Business | 24 May 2015
Kuwait’s Burgan Bank is considering the possibility of expanding to Egypt. That said company CEO Eduardo Eguren has made it clear that, “he does not expect to make any acquisitions this year but that some would be possible later as a number of foreign banks in the Middle East pulled in their horns because of losses and regulatory pressure.” The company reportedly owns, “a factoring operation, which handles companies’ sales of their accounts receivable, in Egypt.” (Read)


Government announces delivery of 75,000 social housing apartments
Al Borsa | 24 May 2015
Prime Minister Mahlab announced the delivery 75,000 apartments, part of the government’s one mn apartment project, on Sunday. The government plans to deliver a total of 175,000 apartment throughout 2015, adds the source. (Read in Arabic)

Government completes Shutt-Ayoun Moussa highway ahead of schedule
Al Masr Al Youm | 24 May 2015
The 356 km Shutt-Ayoun Moussa highway will be inaugurated on June 30, two months before the planned deadline, said transportation minister, Hani Dahi. This is the first highway of the National Roads Project to be completed. The government is also striving to complete its work on the 70 km Suez-Cairo highway by June 30, added the minister. (Read in Arabic)

CPC eager to begin work on USD 500 mn industrial zones project
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 May 2015
Saudi Arabia’s Construction Products Holding Company (CPC) is eager to begin work on a USD 500 mn project to establish 10 to 15 industrial zones in Egypt, said company director Faisal Al Aqil. The industrial zones will be built over 3 mn meter squared of land. The company previously signed an MoU for the project with Egypt’s Ayady Company for Development and Investment, a nascent public-private sector enterprise. (Read in Arabic)


WB loan to repaid over 35 years, interest rates set according to LIBOR
Al Borsa | 24 May 2015
The USD 400 mn loan Egypt secured from the World Bank Group will be repaid over 35 years, Al Borsa noted. The terms include a five-year grace period and the interest rate for it will be set according a variable margin on top of the six-month LIBOR. The loan will be used to finance social safety net programmes giving underprivileged families as well as senior citizens conditional cash transfers. (Read in Arabic)

Ministry begins FIHC flotation feasibility studies
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 May 2015
The Ministry of Supplies began its feasibility studies to assess the possibility of listing the Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC) on the EGX. The study is done in cooperation with the European Investment Bank, according to Minister Khaled Hanafy. Hanafy hopes the flotation of FIHC could bring in EGP 4 bn. (Read in Arabic)

‘Trade and Industrial Dialogue Russia – Egypt’ investment forum set to create stronger relations between both nations
Ahram Online | 24 May 2015
The investment forum will take place over the next 2 days at the Marriot Hotel in Zamalek where both Egyptian and Russian Trade and Industry Ministers will meet to discuss strengthening economic ties, increasing investment and exports and furthering business partnerships. Businessmen from both nations are also expected to be in attendance to discuss potential manufacturing cooperation, following the trend of newly restored diplomatic relations between Egypt and Russia. (Read)

Study of Golden Triangle Project to be completed by early June, says Abdel Nour
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 May 2015
Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced that Italian engineering services and consultancy D’Appolonia will conclude its feasibility study of Golden Triangle Project—which aims to develop the country’s mineral resources in addition to providing a comprehensive economic plan for Upper Egypt—by early June. (Read in Arabic)

Legislative Committee meets to decide on foreign ownership Sinai projects
Al Borsa | 24 May 2015
The Economic Legislations division of the Supreme Legislative Committee met on Sunday to deliberate on the Special Economic Zones Law, and to specifically address the issue of foreign ownership stakes in the special economic zones. The meeting comes after the head of the Sinai Development Authority expressed reservations on the provisions prohibiting foreign ownership. The meetings included representatives of the ministry of interior and defense. (Read in Arabic)

IDB investments in Egypt reached USD 1.3 bn in 2014
Al Borsa | 24 May 2015
The Islamic Development Bank’s total investments in Egypt have surpassed the USD 3 bn mark, with USD 1.3 bn having been invested in 2014 alone, said Mohamed El Saaty, the head of the bank’s Country Programs Administration department. Among the programs that he cited as being part of this investment is the USD 460 mn Sharm El Sheik Airport development project and the USD 220 mn project connecting the power grids of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. (Read in Arabic)


Daesh murders 400 in Palmyra
Reuters | 24 May 2015
IS has continued its ruthless campaign of claiming cities in Syria. Most recently, taking control of the Ancient city of Palmyra, where fighters have killed at least 400 people, a majority of whom appear to be women and children. Palmyra is also home to some of the most notable Roman ruins, especially known for its well preserved temples, colonnades and buildings. Based on their previous record there is growing fear that the group destroys these historic ruins, only adding to their seemingly endless list of atrocities. (Read)


The world’s biggest hotel is set to open in Mecca, reports the Guardian. “ With 10,000 bedrooms and 70 restaurants, plus five floors for the sole use of the Saudi royal family, the GBP 2.3 bn Abraj Kudai is an entire city of five-star luxury, catering to the increasingly high expectations of well-heeled pilgrims from the Gulf.”

In spite of its impressive size, the hotel, as well as several of its of equally gargantuan peer developments, have been derided by western media outlets, which often cite the projects as examples of the Saudi Arabian government’s wasteful spending and puritanical interpretation of Islam. “Modelled on a ‘traditional desert fortress’, seemingly filtered through the eyes of a Disneyland imagineer with classical pretensions, the steroidal scheme comprises 12 towers teetering on top of a 10-storey podium, which houses a bus station, shopping mall, food courts, conference centre and a lavishly appointed ballroom.”


USD CBE auction (Sunday, 24 May): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday, 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Sunday, 24 May): 7.67 (+0.02 from Tuesday, 19 May, Reuters)

EGX30 (Sunday): 9,121.92 (+1.49%)
Turnover: EGP 653.0 mn (16% below the 90-day average)

WTI: USD 59.85 (+0.22%)
Brent: USD 65.45 (+0.12%)

TASI: 9,732.5 (-0.4%)
ADX: 4,616.5 (-0.7%)
DFM: 4,050.0 (-1.7%)
KSE Weighted Index: 423.0 (-0.2%)
QE: 12,443.4 (flat, -0.07%)
MSM: 6,375.4 (-0.1%)


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