Thursday, 4 June 2015

Orascom to build world’s largest power plants in Egypt. El Sisi’s Berlin visit makes waves. Cabinet backing away from VAT? Ramadan starts 18 June. PMI sags. EFG Hermes snags JPM’s MENA equities chief. Mobinil to shares to Egypt investors + rebrand.

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Make your travel plans now: Ramadan will start on 18 June and end on 16 July, according to calculations by the National Astronomy Institute, Ahram Online reports.

The OPEC International Seminar wraps up today in Vienna, with the cartel’s ministerial meeting taking place tomorrow. Reuters says the 12-member organization will “hold line on output” and play ostrich on the subject of Iran’s 1 mn barrels of daily capacity. The WSJ, meanwhile, notes that major global oil companies — IOCs, in local parlance — have seen earnings fall by half in the first quarter of this year. “The world’s biggest oil companies have taken a beating since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries let prices fall last year in favor of pumping more crude, injecting a note of tension into a long-standing marriage of convenience,” the Journal notes.

Emaar Misr is expected to announce the final pricing on its June IPO today.

The defense will make its closing arguments in the retrial of former Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste.

Our apologies for the typo in this morning’s headline on the email edition. We meant “build,” of course.

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING NEXT WEEK

A team from the International Monetary Fund is reportedly due to arrive in Egypt next week for talks. While we had previously reported IMF would be in town in early June for “routine discussions,” Mubasher is claiming the coming visit will be on 07 June for Article IV talks, citing an official at the finance ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity. We’re taking the report with a grain of salt: We’re hardly experts, but were of the belief that Article IV consultations were an annual undertaking. The most recent Article IV statement from the IMF was in November 2014, as we reported at the time, (2014 Article IV statement from the IMF here). During a press briefing on 28 May, Deputy Spokesman of the IMF’s Communications Department William Murray confirmed a visit in early June to consult on the possible implementation of VAT.

That said: It feels like the government is slowly giving up on plans to introduce a VAT. The Finance Ministry is looking to amend the sales tax to make it behave more like a value-added tax, Al Borsa reports. The newspaper cites unnamed sources as saying the Mahlab government is more likely to amend the sales tax to unify its rate and expand it to more services than it is to issue a new VAT law.

And speaking of the IMF: A recently-released IMF paper disputes some of the dogma central to the cult of austerity, suggesting it’s sometimes better for countries to just live with high levels of debt rather than taking on the problems that come with spending cutbacks and rapid tax hikes. Read Reuters’ take or download the paper in pdf.

The COMESA, EAC, SADC Tripartite Summit will take place in Sharm El Sheikh on 7-10 June (Sunday-Wednesday).

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Coverage of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to Berlin dominated the television networks last night. The media blitz surrounding the presidential visit was reminiscent of the EEDC in Sharm El Sheikh. Footage of large groups of supporters waving flags and shouting “Tahya Misr” aired non-stop on all channels. Coverage also included testimonials from avid German-Egyptian supporters of the president and Egyptian film celebrities, who accompanied the Egyptian delegation to Germany.

The testimonials included equal amounts of praise for Egypt and the Egyptian president and condemnation of the Egyptian and Turkish Ikhwanis in Berlin — and of the German Parliament for choosing to support them.

CBC, Al Nahar, Dream, Mehwar and ONTV presented joint coverage of the visit, with talk show hosts Magdy El Gallad, Youssef El Houssieny and Mohamed Sherdy conducting joint interviews with Trade and Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour and Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker from Berlin.

“Despite their best efforts, the ikhwani attempt to sabotage the president’s visit was a complete failure. I believe everyone in Germany now understands how extreme they are,” said Abdel Nour.

Asked about the German Economic Minister’s harsh public criticism of Egypt, Abdel Nour simply said, “There is a difference between what politicians can say in public in front of their constituents and what they say behind closed doors over dinner. On all fronts, I would consider this a very successful visit.”

They also interviewed prominent German-Egyptian civil Engineer Hany Azer, the official organizer of the president’s visit to Germany. Azer is a renowned tunnel expert and a member of the President’s Scientific Advisory Council.

On Al Yawm, Rania Badawi spoke on the phone to controversial German-Egyptian political scientist Hamed Abel Samad about the Al Sisi-Merkel press conference which ended abruptly after a veiled female reporter shouted insults at the president and was escorted out by security.

“It turns out that this so-called reporter is not really a journalist. She’s actually a medical student who got into the press conference with fake credentials, which is very surprising. Security at these types of events in Germany is generally quite high,” said Abdel Samad.

Badawi agreed saying, “Germany doesn’t make mistakes.”

“Well, it seems that they have started making mistakes including a busted elevator which caused the press conference to start 45 minutes late,” said Abdel Samad.

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SPEED ROUND

Orascom, Siemens building world’s largest power plants in Egypt: Orascom Construction announced that it will build two gas-fired power plants, each producing 4.8 GW, in a consortium with Siemens. The company noted in a statement that “Each power plant has a contract value of EUR 2 bn and will be constructed in a consortium with Siemens. OC’s combined share of the contracts totals EUR 1.6 bn. Once complete, each power plant will be the largest in the world, according to an infographic by Siemens, and the most efficient in Egypt. “One power plant will be located on the Mediterranean coast, north of Borolos Lake in Kafr El Sheikh Governorate, and the other in the new capital city development. Both will operate on natural gas with light fuel as a backup,” OC said. Orascom and Siemens have previously worked together to build a 1 GW natural gas-fired plant in Baiji, Iraq, “where OC installed Siemens equipment and received technical support on the EPC scope.” (Read Orascom’s company statement or coverage in the domestic press)

That news is part of an EUR 8 bn deal with Siemens to increase Egypt’s power generation capacity by 50%. President Abdelfattah El Sisi signed the agreement with on Wednesday at a ceremony in Berlin. Siemens will build three new natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants (including the two noted above) and 600 wind turbines with a total production capacity of 16.4 GW, based on MOUs signed at the EEDC in March. The deal marks Siemens largest order in its history, and will increase Egypt’s power generation capacity by more than 50% from its current base, according to a press release from Siemens on Wednesday. Another agreement will be signed for a rotor-blade factory to supply wind farms. The deal will provide jobs and training for over a thousand Egyptians. The contract is netting international coverage from the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, among other outlets.

Business conditions in Egypt’s non-oil private sector worsened again in May with the HSBC PMI reading coming in at 49.9, signaling another month of deterioration. The decline was driven partly by a stagnation in new orders with sources saying that “fragile economic conditions restricting new work inflows.” Cost pressures intensified and currency issues persisted with companies seeing their pricing power diminish in May. The positives: production output increased (albeit fractionally) and employment expanded for the first time in six months. The press release is here in pdf.

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Relief for auto assemblers in sight? Egypt’s automotive industry could be in line for a package of incentives rewarding assemblers that go further down the value chain into manufacturing. While not getting into specifics, Trade and Industry Minister Mounir Abdelnour, in Berlin with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday, said told reporters that a package of “significant incentives” for the industry would soon be announced. The news comes as Honda and Toyota are reportedly looking to use BMW assembler Bavarian Auto Group’s facilities to assemble their own brands and as the local agent of Lada looks to import assembly technology from Russia (reports on both in our Automotive section, below). Auto assemblers face challenges from fully assembled European, Turkish and Moroccan models, which enjoy preferential customs duties under free-trade deals. Mercedes announced in late April that it would stop assembly in Egypt and instead ship-in what the industry calls “completely built-up” units.

CABINET ROUNDUP- Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab’s cabinet returned to their usual meeting schedule on Wednesday. Their major decisions taken were:

  • Approving a USD 27 mn loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development to expand the Ain Shams University hospital. (Read in Arabic)
  • Approving deals made by the Water Resources and Irrigation Ministry to expand bridges in Al Wady Al Gadid. (Read in Arabic)
  • Reiterating the need to ensure wide availability of commodities during Ramadan. (Read in Arabic)
  • Add a clause to the penal code penalizing not reporting the presence of explosive devices. (Read in Arabic)
  • Appointing the Interior Education ministries with formulating a procedures and punishments for curbing cheating in the education system. (Read in Arabic)

Mobinil will sell 10-11% of its shares to local investors in the coming year, announced Orange chairman Stephane Richard at a press conference on Wednesday. He added that the company was looking for a new strategic partner in the company in the coming days. The move comes after Orange bought out Orascom Telecom’s remaining shares (5%) and voting rights (28.8%) in a EUR 209.6 mn deal in February, reports Al Mal. Richard also note the company is considering replacing the Mobinil brand name with Orange, in an effort to consolidate its African branding, though the change is unlikely to happen anytime soon, the newspaper quotes him as saying. Meanwhile, Richard noted that the company would prefer to withdraw from Israel as soon as possible, but caution that the move would take time. “I am ready to abandon this tomorrow morning but the point is that I want to secure the legal risk for the company. I want to terminate this, once again, but I don’t want to expose Orange to a level of risk and of penalties that could be really sizable for the company,” Richard said at yesterday’s Cairo press conference. The decision appears to have been influenced by pressure from French human rights organizations and represents a significant victory for the BDS movement against Israel. (Read in English and Arabic)

MOVES- Two personnel changes have the regional financial industry talking:

  • Sadiq Hussain, JP Morgan’s MENA head of equities, is moving to EFG-Hermes Asset Management, according to Reuters, citing undisclosed sources. Spokespersons from both institutions declined to comment. Hussain, who joined JPM in 2007, will reportedly remain based in Dubai.
  • Ayman Waked is returning home, Sigma Capital said in a company statement. Billed as a “first generation family member,” Waked will become Sigma’s director of sales and equity investments. The noted technical analysis leaves Beltone Asset Management, which he joined as head of trading in 2008.

ZTE mulls building a new factory in Egypt, will launch tablet devices in Egypt: Following up where we left off yesterday, Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has said it is assessing the building of a plant to manufacture communications devices in Egypt. The company is also launching two tablet devices in July with seven- and eight-inch screens. ZTE estimates that nearly 20 mn devices are sold in Egypt each year. (Read in Arabic)

The U.S. Energy Information Administration published its 2015 Egypt Country Analysis Brief (in pdf). With oil production having largely flat-lined since 2012, most of the country’s production still “is derived from relatively small fields that are connected to larger regional production systems.” Egypt still has the largest oil refining capacity in Africa, with estimates ranging from 704,000-725,250 bpd and is set to increase by another 85,000 bpd in late 2015 or 2016, according to the report. On the natural gas front, “discoveries in the deepwater Mediterranean Sea and in other areas have been undeveloped because the price that Egypt’s government was willing to pay foreign operators for the natural gas was too low, making some investment projects commercially unviable,” the EIA said.

Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin met with Oil Minister Sherif Ismail yesterday. “During the meeting the parties discussed development of cooperation between Egyptian companies and Rosneft. The company is interested in expanding the scope and areas of cooperation with its Egyptian partners,” Rosneft said. The company notes that has been a certified counterpart for EGPC since the start of 2015 and participates in all tenders for spot petrochemicals and liquefied hydrocarbon gas supplies to Egypt.

The Korean invasion continues, as representatives of Hyundai met with the head of the Red Sea Port Authority, Gen. Hisham Abu Sana, to explore investment opportunities available in three main ports of Suez, the Red Sea, and South Sinai. The main port of interest, however, remains the one in Suez thanks to the ongoing development of the New Suez Canal. Abu Sana showcased the variety of facilities and services offered at the port in addition to presenting future development plans for the maritime transportation industry. (Read in Arabic)

Two officers of the tourism and antiquities police were shot dead while on duty manning a checkpoint by the Pyramids on Wednesday after they were attacked by gunmen riding a motorcycle, according to security sources. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. (Read in Arabic)

Wednesday evening also saw the detonation of an improvised explosive device (IED) at the train station in Fayum, which severed the railway tracks connecting the villages of Al Zamalooty and Amariya. The explosion did not lead to any casualties, according to security officials on the scene. (Read in Arabic)

You can now be sentenced to one year in prison and be fined up to EGP 100k if you fail to report the presence of an explosive device, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Don’t know what a bomb looks like? Don’t worry, we can help you.

SPOTLIGHT: El Sisi heckled at German press conference

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday proved to be quite contentious as the president had to fend off remarks by Chancellor Merkel highly critical of Egypt’s human rights record, and which specifically condemned the high number of death sentences.

The conference got off to a late start, with Merkel explaining there was a technical problem with an elevator. “We made many trips up and down … We made it in the end, helped by a second elevator.” Following opening remarks by Merkel, which Bloomberg characterized as seeking to “strike a balance between criticism and support for continued relations with Egypt in an unstable region,” El Sisi gave his address.

The president underscored that the independence of Egypt’s judiciary must be respected and there can be no interference in or commentary on its rulings. Further, he reaffirmed that it was the people’s will to topple the religious fascism of the ikhwan on 30 June. He went on to state that German-Egyptian bilateral relations are of the utmost importance, as they are partners both in economic trade and on international security. (Watch the President’s address in Arabic, running time: 10 minutes)

As Merkel ended the press conference, El Sisi was heckled by an Egyptian reporter in German who called him a “murderer.” Egyptian reporters in attendance, led by Ahmed Moussa, began chanting “Tahya Masr,” [Long live Egypt] with the scene devolving into a screaming match and the pandemonium we’ve come to know and love about the Egyptian press corps. (Read in Arabic and English)

The international business community will also be reading that “Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel sparred with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi over the death penalty during a raucous Berlin press conference that descended into shouts and chants from visiting journalists” (Bloomberg) and that “Merkel tells Egypt’s Sisi: death penalty is wrong but let’s trade” (Reuters).

The WSJ, meanwhile, notes that ‘Sisi’s German Visit Highlights His Growing International Legitimacy,’ describing the president as “controversial” but “increasingly seen as vital bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism.”

The German press has been highly critical of President El Sisi’s visit. DW’s landing page has a negative op-ed titled ‘Germany lends hand to Egyptian propaganda‘ by the editor of DW’s Arabic department Rainer Sollich. Solich advances some nonsense when he argues: “At home, the president’s brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has also led to Egypt no longer being viewed as a neutral peace mediator by Israel since Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not the way contributing to regional stability works.” By the same logic, Morsi’s time in office would have also made Egypt an invalid interlocutor, as Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Arguments against attempting to exclude Egypt from the negotiating table on the Israeli-Palestinian issue invariably ring hollow.

Spiegel Online International does no better, with a critical op-ed by Raniah Salloum.

FAZ, the mostly widely circulated German newspaper abroad (according to the paper itself) has an incredibly negative German-language piece on the visit. The highest-rated reader comments are highly supportive of President El Sisi. (Read in German)

***
A MESSAGE FROM PHAROS HOLDING

Mohamed Taymour on taxes, life post-EEDC and the impact of mega-projects

During an interview with economic news platform Worldfolio, Pharos Holding’s Chairman Dr. Mohamed Taymour said he is optimistic about the Egyptian economy’s future, identifying the coming years as ones with great potential for recovery and growth across all business sectors. He cited several reasons behind his confidence—mainly his faith in the current government’s competence and its increased cooperation with the private sector in an effort to implement plans and projects designed to push Egypt forward.

As the Chairman of one of Egypt’s largest investment banks, Dr. Taymour is also aware of the challenges facing the country. He added that following the success of Egypt’s Economic Development Conference in March 2015, there needs to be a shift in focus to streamlining and implementation, noting that a lack of legislative reforms and an improved business environment could potentially deter investors. To read the full interview, click here.
***

WORTH READING

New card system is no panacea for Egypt’s bid to tackle costly energy subsidies: Patrick Werr in The National is highly critical of the new fuel smart card system, namely due to the system being created in parallel to the “family card” system which is used for “monitoring eight types of transactions including purchases of bread, groceries, petrol, health [redacted] and cash transfers. It was distributed to families based on their income level … The programme has been well received by the public. But rather than allowing the family card to be used for petrol purchases, the government devised a separate and parallel system based on magnetic cards provided by e-finance … A major problem with the magnetic card is that it is allocated based on the vehicle, not the family, according to Ahmed Darwish, who was minister of state for administration development from 2004 to 2011, and has been following the subsidy issue closely. A rich person could have three or more cars and be able to buy subsidised petrol for all three vehicles.” (Read)

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

The Sisi visit to Berlin aside, the lead story on Egypt in the foreign press is news of an extremely rare attack targeting the police near the Pyramids of Giza, resulting in the deaths of two tourist police officers. The AP reports: “The gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle at the back of the Giza Pyramids plateau on a main highway that leads to southern Egypt, wounding the two tourism police officers, a security official said. They died later of their wounds in the hospital, said the official … Egypt’s state MENA news agency said the gunmen fled and that an investigation was underway. MENA quoted an antiquities official in the area, Kamal Wahid, as saying the attack was 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from the main entrances to the pyramids.”

WORTH WATCHING

Only two episodes remain in the current seasons of Game of Thrones and Veep. Find the previews for the next episodes of both shows below:

  • Game of Thrones Season 5: Episode #9 Preview (Watch, running time: 0:35)
  • Veep Season 4: Episode #9 Preview, (Watch, running time: 0:30)

As the seasons of the above shows come to an end, a new season of True Detective is about to begin on 21 June. Watch the preview here, running time: 1:00.

DIPLOMACY

The tripartite technical committee assessing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will meet in Cairo on 11 June to receive and assess plans represented by consultancy offices, the Water Resources Minister told Al Shorouk.

OIL & GAS

Maridive secures USD 647 mn in contracts over the next four years
Al Borsa | 03 June 2015
Maridive has secured USD 647 mn in business contracts from 2015 to 2019, Al Borsa said. The first contract secured involves the renting of a maritime unit over two years for USD 25.5 mn. Al Borsa also reports that Maridive renewed a USD 12 mn contract with Qatar Petroleum. (Read in Arabic)

BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES

Unilever Mashreq to build two new factories
Al Mal | 03 June 2015
Unilever Mashreq announced plans to build two new factories at a total cost of EGP 500 mn, Al Mal reported. A Shampoo and detergents factory will be built in Sixth of October and will target its products for exports and the other will be for food products in Borg El Arab. Unilever Mashreq aims to complete the two factories this year. The company will also transform its Lipton Tea plant to run on solar energy in October, the media relations specialist said. (Read in Arabic)

Centamin hoping to secure exploration rights without having to go through tenders
Al Borsa | 03 June 2015
Centamin said it hopes to be able to secure exploration rights through direct decree rather than having to go through tender processes. Centamin wants to replicate its Sukari gold mine experience, Chairman Josef El Raghy said. El Raghy believes that tenders issued by the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority do not fit the industry’s model and will dissuade Centamin from participating in future projects. (Read in Arabic)

HEALTHCARE

Activating regional trade agreements to help pharmaceuticals exports, El Ezaby says
Daily News Egypt | 02 June 2015
Activating COMESA, SADAC, and EAC agreements will promote Egyptian pharmaceutical exports to African countries, the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ Ahmed El Ezaby said. Africa is a suitable outlet for Egyptian exports, El Ezaby noted, due to quality advantages and confidence in Egyptian pharmaceutical production. In 2014, Egyptian pharmaceuticals exports to African countries were valued at USD 300 mn, Daily News Egypt said. (Read)

Government spent EGP 32.7 bn on Healthcare in 2014
Al Mal | 3 June 2014
Government expenditure on healthcare reached EGP 32.7 bn during the 2013/2014 fiscal year, according to CAPMAS. While this is a 467% increase over healthcare expenditure a decade earlier, it still represents only 5.1% of the state budget and only 1.4% of GDP, much lower than any of Egypt’s regional neighbors. (Read in Arabic)

REAL ESTATE & HOUSING

EFG Hermes considers launching real-estate fund
Al Borsa | 03 June 2015
EFG Hermes said it is considering launching a real-estate investment fund to capitalise on the strong performance of the sector domestically and regionally, Al Borsa reported. The real-estate fund could be launched in 2016 and EFG is currently assessing this type of funds. Head of Asset Management, Nabil Moussa, denied focusing on index funds casting doubts over their financial viability as investment volumes remain weak. (Read in Arabic)

TOURISM

EGOTH requests that the former NDP HQ land be added to the Ritz Carlton
Al Borsa | 03 June 2015
The land holding the National Democratic Party’s headquarters, which is currently being demolished, should be added to the adjacent Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel, the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels (EGOTH) suggested. EGOTH has submitted that request to the Investment Ministry as it plans on allowing the Ritz Carlton to include an extension to its hotel. The Nile Ritz Carlton is scheduled for its soft opening this month. (Read in Arabic)

800k German tourists visited Egypt in 2014
Al Ahram | 03 June 2015
Egypt was visited by 800,000 tourists from Germany, a representative from the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) told Al Ahram. In total, German tourists spent EGP 2 bn in Egypt, a number which the AHK hopes to double in the upcoming period. The AHK urges President El Sisi to extend his support to the tourism sector and strengthen relations with Germany to enhance the attractiveness of Egypt as a tourist destination for Germans. (Read in Arabic)

BANKING & FINANCE

Banque du Caire picks Rasmala to manage its EGP 100 mn fund
Amwal Al Ghad | 03 June 2015
Rasmala’s asset management practice was picked to manage Banque du Caire’s fifth fund with an EGP 100 mn capital, Amwal Al Ghad reported. Rasmala’s offer was picked over four others and the bank will begin the issuance process. The fund will invest in capital and money markets. Banque du Caire aims to increase its investment portfolio by 15% this year. (Read in Arabic)

AUTOMOTIVE

Honda and Toyota negotiate with Bavarian Auto Group for right to assemble cars in its facilities
Al Borsa | 03 June 2015
Toyota Egypt and Al Futtaim Motors, the distributor of Honda cars in Egypt, are currently negotiating with the Bavarian Auto Group to utilize its BMW assembly facility in Sixth of October to assemble their respective vehicles. The move comes as both Toyota and Honda seek to cut retail prices by producing domestically. (Read in Arabic)

Al Amal Auto Group seeks to assemble Lada cars in Egypt
Al Mal | 03 June 2015
Al Amal Auto Group, the distributor of Lada in Egypt, will send representatives to Russia to discuss the possibility of assembling Lada cars in Egypt, according to Abdel Aziz Mahmoud, manager of Al Amal’s plant. The delegation will seek to assemble two brands, which as of now, have not been identified yet. (Read in Arabic)

OTHER BUSINESS NEWS OF NOTE

Greece’s ELVO signs cooperation agreement with Egypt on armoured vehicles
IHS Jane’s 360 | 02 June 2015
Greek military vehicles venture Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) has reportedly signed a preliminary cooperation agreement with Egypt to refurbish armoured vehicles. IHS Jane’s 360 is puzzled by the agreement “that calls into question the future of a company that was believed to be in liquidation.” After placing the company in receivership, Greece had started selling ELVO’s assets in October 2014. The details of the agreement remain unclear. (Read)

Pharos designates EGP 10.7 as the fair value of Ezz Steel stock and issues a “sell” recommendation
Al Borsa | 03 June 2015
Ezz Steel has been caught up in the midst of numerous difficulties which are shaking investor confidence, including EGP 697 mn net loss, the resignation of its CFO and delays in releasing its FY 2014 figures. These factors prompted Pharos Research to issue a “sell” recommendation for its shares and designated EGP 10.7 as the fair value for its stock. (Read in Arabic)

Dice Underwear to acquire sister company
Al Mal | 03 June 2015
Dice Underwear announced it is going to acquire Master Line, a sister company, in an EGP 25 mn deal. Also, Dice is planning to complete the acquisition of 80% of the United Dyers group before the month’s end. Dice Underwear’s 1Q2015 net profit soared to EGP 63.5 mn from EGP 5.3 mn a year earlier. (Read in Arabic)

EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS

Kuwait’s Agility Logistics considers USD 1 bn investment in Egypt on improved investment climate
Al Borsa | 02 June 2015
Kuwait’s Agility Logistics said it is willing to invest USD 1 bn in the new Suez Canal project area if the business climate in Egypt improves. Agility awaits the issuance of the investment law’s executive regulations and seeks solutions for the problems surrounding profit repatriation. The company is preparing to invest in logistics and airport services and expects the projects to be profitable. (Read in Arabic)

Finance Ministry increases financial support for NGOs by EGP 10 mn
Al Masry Al Youm | 03 June 2015
Finance Minister Hany Dimian approved disbursing EGP 10 mn in emergency financing to the Social Solidarity Ministry’s NGO support fund. The funding comes to acknowledge the role played by the fund, a deputy minister told Al Masry Al Youm. He added that the Ministry took into consideration the socially important role played by support funds and allowed them to maintain their bank balances in commercial banks, rather than forcing them the transfer all their balances to the CBE. (Read in Arabic)

Candidates for civil service must undergo competitive examinations — no exceptions
Shorouk | 03 June 2015
In an effort to curb nepotism and foster a culture of meritocracy across the civil service, PM Mahlab issued a decision making all government employment contingent on undergoing competitive examinations or following legally mandated protocols, adding that there will be no exceptions to this rule (Read in Arabic)

REGIONAL

Circle Oil to exit Oman operations
Times of Oman | 02 June 2015
Circle Oil will relinquish blocks 49 and 52 and exit operations in Oman, Times of Oman reported. The company is not willing to undertake exploration of shallow-water wells on a “sole-risk basis.” Circle Oil, therefore, wrote its invest in Oman off. Other existing assets have continued to perform well. (Read)

ON YOUR WAY OUT

If you’re in the UK, looking for a destination for your summer holiday, and hate delayed flights, then consider Egypt as a destination; only 19% of flights to there were delayed or cancelled, almost half the rate for flights going to Spain or Turkey.

Ezz Steel’s consolidated results showed a loss of EGP 835.6 mn in 2014 and a loss of EGP 46.8 mn on its standalone results, according to statements sent to the Egyptian Stock Exchange.

BY THE NUMBERS

USD CBE auction (last sale Tuesday, 02 June): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday, 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 02 June): 7.67 (unchanged from Sunday, 24 May, Reuters)

EGX30 (Wednesday): 8,905.60 (+0.66%)
Turnover: EGP 427.9 mn (14% below the 90-day average)

WTI: USD 59.53 (-0.18%)
Brent: USD 63.68 (-0.19%)

TASI: 9,678.8 (-0.4%)
ADX: 4,589.2 (flat)
DFM: 4,029.2 (+1.0%)
KSE Weighted Index: 426.2 (+0.3%)
QE: 12,182.1 (flat)
MSM: 6,467.7 (+0.2%)

 

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