Thursday, 25 June 2015

New capital deal falling apart? Israeli embassy flip-flops on H7aret El-Yahood. Emaar Misr subscription period closes today. FTA with Mother Russia? ERC concludes USD 48.7 mn in contracts. Natural gas to steel factors cut off.

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

New administrative capital’s MoU hasn’t been cancelled, says Housing ministry spox: Unnamed sources told Al Masry Al Youm on Wednesday that Egypt has cancelled the memorandum of understanding with Mohamed Alabbar’s Capital City Partners to build The Capital Cairo, saying the project will be reassessed by an unnamed state agency. The agency will supervise the drawing up of new feasibility studies and plans before tendering the project to potential investors within a year, the story claims, alleging that Alabbar failed to secure funding for the project. Housing Ministry spokesperson Wafaa Bakry denied the claim to Daily News Egypt on Wednesday, stating “Negotiations are still ongoing secretly with the presidency and reports of its termination are incorrect.” The same article recalls that earlier this month, Assistant Minister of Housing Khaled Abbas had admitted that while negotiations with Emirati investors are facing difficulties, “whether negotiations with the Emirati investors succeed or fail, the project will be implemented.”

The subscription period for the Egyptian public offering of shares as part of Emaar Misr’s IPO is due to close today. The offering to retail investors was 3.75x oversubscribed as of yesterday, while the already-closed institutional offering was 11x oversubscribed. At EGP 3.80 per share, Emaar Misr will have a market cap of c. EGP 17.6 bn when shares begin trading on 2 July under the stock symbol EMFD. EFG Hermes and JP Morgan are the joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the transaction. Check out Emaar Misr’sprospectus here and its early look presentation here (both pdf downloads).

It’s pucker-time in Riyadh as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Geneva tomorrow for talks with Iran in what is expected to be a marathon session ahead of the P5+1 deadline this coming Tuesday to finalize a “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” on Iran’s nuclear program.

Otherwise, how slow a news day is it? Well, bad enough that Al-Mal has been reduced to reproducing — verbatim — the lists of new members of no fewer than 15 export councils, sans institutional affiliation of said members.

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

CBC Extra featured in place of Hona Al Asemah the program “Lazem Nefham” [We have to understand] hosted by Magdy El Galad, who spoke with Food Safety Authority chief Hussein Mansour. El Galad referenced at the outset a recent claim appearing on the front page of Al Watan a few days prior that alleges that roughly half of the meat consumed in Egypt was not slaughtered according to halal practices. El Galad showed footage, for example, of cows being slaughtered in plain sight of other cows, a practice strictly forbidden in halal slaughter procedures. El Galad pled with viewers that halal slaughter is not simply the recitation of the shahada before cutting an animal’s neck, but included a number of requirements to help ensure the slaughter is performed in a sanitary and humane manner in line with religious principles.

More noteworthy was Galad’s picking up mid-program on a statement President Abdel Fattah El Sisimade during his first weekly “family iftar” in which the president reiterated his call for the Ikhwan to de-escalate and reintegrate into Egyptian society, saying that Egypt belongs to all Egyptians. He did however condition his statement by saying that the Ikhwan must cease resorting to violence as well as acknowledge that they will be unable to force their ideology and opinions on the rest of the Egyptian people.

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SPEED ROUND

FTA with Mother Russia? Denis Manturov, Russia’s acting Minister of Trade and Industry, said his country intends to sign a trade-liberalization agreement with Egypt. Manturov added that Russia is looking for opportunities to expand its industrial presence in Egypt, Al Masry Al Youm reported.

Egyptian Resorts Co. concludes USD 48.7 mn in land contracts: ERC has closed land sales contracts worth a combined USD 48.7 mn at Sahl Hasheesh, bringing total contracted sales to USD 79.4 mn. Land plots sold to sub-developers are meant to house a German curriculum school, a British school, as well as an international university, theme and aqua park, a hostel and residential developments. ERC has already recognized USD 2.6 mn in land sales in the first quarter of 2015; management now expects to recognize most of the balance of contracted sales within 2015. “Against this backdrop, we are working as rapidly as possible to bring to market Phase 1 of Sawari, our exclusive marina community. Our exceptionally popular summer series of boardwalk parties has launched and will run all season long every Friday; we’re about to launch weekly nighttime events; and we expect to soon make an announcement about an anchor attraction for those seeking a more active nightlife at Sahl Hasheesh,” said ERC CEO Mohamed Kamel.

EGAS cuts off gas supplies to steel factories: EGAS has cut off all of the natural gas supplies to steel factories until further notice, says Chamber of Metallurgical Industries chief Mohamed Hanafy. Hanafy added that steel rolling plants have seen their utilized capacities drop to 20-40%. Ceramics and fertilizer producers are also complaining about fuel shortages, with reports that ceramics exports falling by 40% y-o-y.

Mada Masr announced on Wednesday an MOU with Wikileaks on Tuesday for exclusive access to 100k unreleased Saudi cables from the recent leak. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is quoted as saying that Saudi Arabia carries “disproportionate influence in international affairs” thanks to its oil wealth, adding that the leaks were released to in light of the ongoing operations in Yemen.

Southeastern Asset Management (SAM), an investment fund working with Nassef Sawiris, said on Wednesday it has snapped up a 3% stake in Sika — backing it against a takeover by France’s Saint-Gobain, Reuters reported. “In its role as an engaged owner and constructive long-term shareholder, Southeastern will seek to work with all relevant parties to explore strategic scenarios that deliver full and fair value for the benefit of Sika stakeholders,” SAM said in a statement.

** INVESTOR RELATIONS ANALYST and writer wanted. Inktank is looking for an IR writer-analyst with strong communications skills. Check out the job posting here and emailjobs@inktankcommunications.com with a cover letter (a must; in the body of the email is just fine) as well as a CV and a writing or presentation sample if you have them handy. Inktank is an equal opportunity employer, though we do explicitly reserve the right to discriminate against those lacking a sense of humor.

John Casson, the British Ambassador to Egypt, published a “Health Check” on the UK in Egypt page on Facebook, where he asked for people’s input to assess the top ten ways Britain and its embassy are supporting Egypt. Casson’s points about UK-Egyptian cooperation included:

  • Supplying equipment, joint training on aviation security and countering IEDs, and fighting against Daesh;
  • Having British companies bring in half of all FDI to Egypt, specifically the USD 12 bn BP deal;
  • Spending USD 50 mn supporting new political and economic opportunities since 2011;
  • Launching the “My Right” project to help women and girls overcome violence, in collaboration between Britain and the Ministry of Justice;
  • Increasing the number of Masters and PhD scholarships;
  • Issuing 36,000 visas to the UK in 2014, at a success rate of over 82%.

Global FDI fell 16% last year to USD 1.23 tn, but FDI to Egypt rose 14% in the same period, according to UNCTAD’s 2015 World Investment Report, released yesterday and getting a fair bit of attention in the domestic press (English and Arabic alike). Emerging markets were net winners, with a 2% rise in FDI to USD 681 bn and five of ten top recipients being emerging markets. The UN agency said the global dip came largely because of “the fragility of the global economy, policy uncertainty for investors and elevated geopolitical risks,” adding that “new investments were offset by some large divestments, the most important being in the United States.” Read UNCTAD’s press release or skip straight to the report (66pp pdf download).

After leaving us to wait for months, the Mahlab government has finally issued executive regulations for the new civil service act just ahead of the 30 June deadline, Al Mal reports. The regulations will go into effect on July 1st. As we mentioned in Monday’s edition of Enterprise, the Executive Regulations consist of 22 articles outlining the requirements and standards for hiring in the civil service. The full text of the executive regulations and the law are here in Arabic.

We promised the IMF we’d implement a VAT oh, about 24 yearsago. Yes, years. That’s the unexpected nugget in veteran finance writer Patrick Werr’s weekly column on Egypt for The National, which this weeks deconstructs the 2015-16 state budget based on the vague outline the Mahlab government released earlier this week. The best quote goes to Amina Ghanem, former deputy finance minister, who notes that the government should “consistently redirect resources from current to productive spending (such as education, health, infrastructure and green growth)” as a means of “reducing the deficit in the future and for increasing growth rates, starting a virtuous circle of growth and deficit reduction.”

Egypt is not on the global medical tourism radar, laments Al-Ahram, while Jordan nets about USD 1.8 bn annually from the trade. The story may be worth reading just for the incredibly off-message photo the state-owned daily uses to illustrate the piece. In a nutshell: Construction workers burying each other in sand on the beach.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday signaled a shift in U.S. policy on responding to the taking of American hostages, stating that the U.S. government will no longer threaten to prosecute families who attempt to pay ransoms in order to secure the return of their family members, according to The Hill. FP reports that Obama will also create a post for a special envoy for hostage affairs. We at Enterprise find this odd, as we thought the U.S. already had an ambassador to Qatar.

The Amman Stock Exchange is headed for at least partial privatization. That’s the speculation after news emerged yesterday that the ASE would be transformed into a public company as a prelude to allowing some level of private-sector ownership. No timeline has been specified for the transformation, according to a brief report in Al-Mal.

A message from our youts: Eslam Hossam, internet celebrity and JWT copywriter whose short videos we’ve featured in the past, is the writer behind that Nestle Crunch ad that launched a thousand memes. In lastThursday’s issue we had lamented about what some of us here see as cultural stagnation with regard to comedy in Egyptian films and television, but one domain which has managed to allow real talent to rise is Egypt’s advertising industry. We have a short theory as to why Hossam’s ad in particular has resonated in Egypt. Read “Why that Nestle Crunch ad hit such a nerve“ on Enterprise.

***
A MESSAGE FROM PHAROS HOLDING

The sell-off of South Valley Cement shares has created a significant opportunity

Following the failure of South Valley Cement’s (SVC) negotiations to acquire Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding’s (EKH) stake in Building Materials Industries Company (BMIC) — a 1.8 MTPA cement producer in the governorate in Assiut — an unjustified selloff of SVC’s shares saw it shed 11.1% of its value in June alone and 36.3% YTD.

Pharos views this as an opportunity to buy into SVC given that its shares are trading c.80% below the investment bank’s fair value estimate, noting that said estimate does not factor in any acquisition deals or organic growth and capacity expansions. Pharos also adds that SVC’s enterprise value, according to current market levels, falls short of reflecting the average investment cost for its cement mill nor does it account for SVC’s 47.6% stake in BMIC. Click here to dive into the numbers
***

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

Michele Dunne demonstrates her concern for the environment by recycling everything she’s ever written into an interview conducted by Zachary Laub for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace titled Washington’s Egypt Dilemma: “Egypt used to play a major role in mediating between Israel and the Palestinian parties, and, within the Palestinian camp, between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. It can’t play that role as effectively anymore. By deposing President Morsi and declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist movement, Egypt has complicated its ability to mediate with Hamas, because it is affiliated with the Brotherhood.”

Meanwhile, Haaretz reports: “Hamas sources are already speaking of the end to an Egyptian ban on Hamas and of the creation of a new diplomatic channel between Hamas and Cairo. And a knowledgeable Egyptian official said that the appointment of a new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, after an absence of an ambassador over the past three years, is also not unrelated to the Egyptian rapprochement with Hamas.” (Read)

Public ties between Cairo and Tel Aviv are now starting to reflect the relative warmth of back-channel relations between the two countries since President Abdel Fattah El Sisi came into office: We have an ambassador heading to Israel. The Israeli ambassador has wished us all the very best of the season bil Arabi in a video message. And we have a Ramadan serial that not just focuses on Egyptian Jews, but which has (so far) managed to do so without denying the Shoah or wrapping itself in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Seemingly intent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Israeli Embassy in Cairo has done a flip-flop, lashing out at the popular (and incredibly slow-moving) Ramadan serial H7aret El-Yahood in a post on its official Facebook page. The embassy claims the show has taken a “negative” and “provocative” turn against Israel.

Less than a week ago, the same page posted about how H7aret El-Yahood marked the first time on Egyptian television that Jews were portrayed as normal people.

WORTH READING

With regard to the series The Jewish Quarter and the overall question of historical revisionism, and prior to the recent criticism by the Israeli embassy, Samuel Tadros weighed in with a series of tweets on Tuesday:

  • Ahmed Lutfi El Sayed [first director of Cairo University], Taha Hussein and many others were favorably disposed towards Zionist project. Even Nahas Pasha was not antagonistic. (View)
  • Egypt had an Egyptian Zionist Organization that operated until eve of 48 war (View)
  • In early 20’s Egyptian Jews celebrated anniversary of Balfour deceleration [sic, Declaration; document sent by UK Foreign Ministry viewing favorably the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, later part of the British Mandate for Palestine] with massive marches, Egyptian government sent representative (View)

The above were followed by a tweet to an article published by Tadros in last year in The American Interest:The Sources of Egyptian Anti-Semitism: “Sisi is Jewish and Egypt is now under Zionist occupation.” Thus screamed a September 21, 2013 headline on Rassd, the news outlet created and backed by the Muslim Brotherhood … Anti-Semitism is not only a dominant discourse in the country, but is rather the only common worldview shared throughout its political spectrum and among all levels of Egypt’s political class … In searching for the roots of anti-Semitism in Egypt and the larger Arab and Muslim worlds, observers often point to one of two main sources: either Islam or Israel … but tracing anti-Semitism to the Quran suffers from significant historical fallacies … The source of modern anti-Semitism must be sought elsewhere.”

The conclusions the piece draws as to the source of anti-Semitism in Egypt are not only fascinating, but speak directly toward the sentiment behind the showrunners’ intentions for The Jewish Quarter — to separate anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism in an effort to re-humanize the perception of Jews in Egypt. With regard to the program’s handling of history and portrayals of both Jews and Zionism, however, it is an absurdly tall order to expect an Egyptian television series to mount a complete revision of the history upon which generations of Egyptians have been raised.

Indeed, it’s exceedingly difficult to say where one would possibly begin if one wanted to confront Egyptians en masse with the inconsistencies in their knowledge of their country’s history.

We don’t often link to Egyptian Streets, but this piece posted this past Tuesday simply cannot be ignored:Manipulating The Past: Who Writes The History Of Egypt? The article succinctly sums up some of the most egregious examples of such revisionism from the time of the Pharaohs up to the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak. When faced with the scale of historical revisionism that has taken place, one may be left in a stupefied silence as to how to possibly explain it all and be believed by our family, neighbors and fellow countrymen.

WORTH WATCHING

Lexus has provoked the wrath of the entire world by promising what they claim to be a hovering skateboard, which every living individual in the world has been waiting for since the release of Back to the Future 2, along with robot butlers (not Back to Future-related but a core demand of we, the people).

It is difficult to determine how well the hoverboard works as the commercial doesn’t actually show anyone fully standing on it or riding it. According to a report by USA Today, the board is currently being tested in Spain, but Lexus insists that the board is functional and can support a person’s weight.

Another huge limitation: it can only operate on steel surfaces as the board’s technology works using superconductors and magnets, cooled by liquid nitrogen (hence the vapor rising from the board). It’s ultimate functionality is still awaiting confirmation with our own eyes; for now we must be content with this frustrating yet undeniably excellent ad. (Watch, running time: 37 seconds)

DIPLOMACY

Potential political solutions to the crisis in Libya topped the agenda during a call yesterday between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and British Prime Minister David Cameron, according to a readout on the meeting provided by Ittihadiya. Cameron also emphasized he is looking forward to meeting El Sisi soon in London; Cameron’s national security advisor delivered the invitation during a meeting with El Sisi in Cairo last week.

Egypt wins seat on UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission: Egypt won a two-year seat on the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)’s executive council according to state news agency MENA and as reported by Ahram Online.

ENERGY

Electricity Ministry requires 4 mn extra bbl of oil equivalents in July compared to June’s demand
Al Mal | 23 June 2015
The Electricity Ministry is asking the Oil Ministry for 143 mn bbl of oil equivalents for July, 4 mn more than what was demanded in June, a source told Al Mal. The fuel is used to supply power stations. The source added that demand in July is higher during the increasing energy consumption expected in Ramadan and as temperatures rise. (Read in Arabic)

EGAS continues technical studies to import Cypriot gas
Al Mal | 23 June 2015
EGAS is expanding and going forward with its technical assessment to import gas Cyprus, a source told Al Mal. The source said the assessment is purely technical so far with no date having been set for the imports or having finalized connecting the Cypriot field to Egyptian plants via a pipeline. Speeding up E&P activities in Cyprus could accelerate the beginning of the import process. (Read in Arabic)

EGAS inquires about available LNG, will issue import tender
Al Shorouk | 24 June 2015
EGAS has inquired from traders and international companies about the available LNG quantities in the next period, Al Shorouk reported. EGAS intends to issue a tender to supply LNG to the second FSRU, which is yet to be delivered. Oil Minister Sherif Ismail expects the second FSRU to arrive in August. (Read in Arabic)

Oil Ministry planning on increasing Egypt’s proven gas reserves
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 June 2015
The Oil Ministry has plans to increase the rates of E&P activities and expand the country’s reserves on natural gas, Minister Sherif Ismail said. Ismail noted that 56 new agreements have already been signed as the Oil Ministry has extended facilities to attract investors. (Read in Arabic)

INFRASTRUCTURE

Orascom-led consortium awarded wastewater plant contract
Al Borsa | 24 June 2015
The consortium of Orascom Construction-Aqualia-Veolia-ICAT was awarded the contract to design, finance, and expand the capacity of the Abu Rawash wastewater treatment plant. The project will be done on a PPP basis and the contract is expected to be signed within a month. While the monetary value of the project has not been disclosed, the project aims to increase the capacity of the Abu Rawash plant to 1.6 mn cubic metres from 1.2 mn currently. (Read in Arabic)

BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES

Government to cut offloading period for wheat cargoes
Reuters | 24 June 2015
Egypt has a plan to cut the offloading period for wheat cargoes in ports from the current 12 days to five or six days, the Supplies Minister said. The reduction of the offload time will be done in an effort to save on fees paid in foreign currency. “The plan includes efforts to decrease the time it takes for paperwork to be processed and upgrade offloading equipment,” Reuters reported. (Read)

REAL ESTATE & HOUSING

Building contractors complain of bitumen shortage
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 June 2015
The Egyptian Federation of Building Contractors intends to contact EGPC officially to complain about the shortage of bitumen domestically, Amwal Al Ghad reported. The Federation says bitumen is vital for all of the infrastructure projects currently taking place, especially for roads and bridges. In order to mitigate any potential project delivery delays, the Federation is considering imposing fixed bitumen quotas. (Read in Arabic)

Nasr for Civil Works to complete Sohag new industrial zone facilities by 2017
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 June 2015
The NCCW announced it would complete the facility works at the new industrial zone in the Sohag governorate by 2017 at a cost of EGP 130 mn, said NCCW chairman, Elewa Shalaby. The infrastructure of the project is being carried out in cooperation with Arab Contractors and Misr Concrete Development Co. he added. (Read in Arabic)

TELECOMS & ICT

TE still assessing the pricing scheme for its cable infrastructure, CIT Minister says
Amwal Al Ghad | 24 June 2015
Telecom Egypt (TE) is still assessing the pricing scheme for its network and cable infrastructure, CIT Minister Khaled Negm said. Negm denied to Amwal Al Ghad that TE had reached a decision to refuse to lower its fee structure. ISPs said lowering internet prices is contingent on TE lowering its prices. (Read in Arabic)

TE signs with Maadi Steel to secure MSAN cabinets
Al Borsa | 24 June 2015
Telecom Egypt concludes a deal with Maadi Steel for Network Communications to secure 130 MSAN cabinets across all the different governorates, as part of TE’s plan to provide higher speed internet, said Mohamed Fathy, Chairman of Maadi Steel. Fathy added that Maadi Steel has the technological means to prevent the cabinets from being stolen. (Read in Arabic)

OTHER BUSINESS NEWS OF NOTE

Omar Effendi’s appeal against its bankruptcy rejected
Al Borsa | 24 June 2015
The Cairo Economic court rejected Omar Effendi’s appeal against it being placed in bankruptcy, Al Borsa reported. Omar Effendi’s assets will now be sold in public auction after failing to repay EGP 600 mn to creditors including Bank Audi and Ahli United Bank. (Read in Arabic)

Egypt has successfully removed 4,727 encroachments on the Nile River, reports Ahram Online. The Environment ministry launched a campaign

EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS

Controversial presenter Islam El Beheiry acquitted of blasphemy charges
Al Masry Al Youm, Ahram Online | 24 June 2015
Sixth of October misdemeanor court acquitted TV presenter Islam El Beheiry of charges filed against him by lawyer Mamdouh Abdel Gawad, who claimed that El Beheiry was guilty of blasphemy for comments made on a religious affairs show he had hosted on Al Kahera Wal Nas. Ahram Online notes that “El-Beheiry received a five-year sentence in May, also on charges of blasphemy, in a case filed by lawyer Mohamed Abdel-Salam. The TV presenter appealed the verdict and was released on bail.” El Beheiry appears to face as many as 48 additional trials on similar charges due to third-party lawsuits filed against him at the height of his controversial show. (Read in Arabic or in English)

Cabinet greenlights Egyptian-Spanish security cooperation agreement
Al Bawaba | 24 June 2015
The Council of Ministers greenlit cooperation security and anti-crime cooperation agreement with Spain signed in Madrid on 30 April this year. According to the agreement, both parties will cooperate to combat organized crime and terrorism, in relation to organizations, individuals, funding, and public property among others. (Read in Arabic)

Cabinet approves private security of facilities and money draft law
Al Masry Al Youm | 24 June 2015
The Cabinet approved the private security of facilities and money draft law stating the legal requirements for the establishment of a private security of facilities or money firms. The draft law requires security firms to acquire licensing from the Ministry of Interior, as well as a set of prerequisites, including but not limited to, the company must be an Egyptian joint stock company, with 100% of its shares owned by Egyptians and a headquarters accredited by the Ministry of Interior. (Read in Arabic)

Appeal inspection committee rules in favor of excluding Ezz
Al Shorouk | 24 June 2015
The appeal committee at the Administrative Court ruled in favor of excluding business tycoon and former NDP chieftain Ahmed Ezz from running in upcoming parliamentary elections, returning the appeal back to Menoufia administrative court, where the appeal was filed. (Read in Arabic)

ON YOUR WAY OUT

Orascom Telecom reported a 1Q2015 net profit of EGP 373.86 mn, up from EGP 324.34 mn a year earlier, according to Reuters.

The Egyptian Army foiled an attack on U.N. peacekeeping forces in Sinai yesterday, according toreports in the domestic press that say the would-be attackers were members of Ansar Beit El-Maqdis (which ‘rebranded’ itself Wilayat Sina after pledging allegiance to Daesh last fall).

Iraq is driving itself to hunger with the UN estimating that 4.4 mn people there currently require food assistance, a situation made worse by the growing number of internally displaced persons, Hadi Fathallah writes for the Carnegie Endowment. “Because the conflict has disrupted the harvest and planting cycles, Iraq’s food insecurity is on track to worsen. Most arable land in central Iraq is either under Islamic State control or is the site of ongoing military operations,” Fathalla says noting that even when farmers were able to plant crops, they were not able to harvest them due to lack of machinery and fuel or unexploded mines in their fields and inter-ethnic violence.

The NYT’s Food Tour of Seinfeld’s New York: “The Kenny Rogers Roasters and its blinding red neon chicken is also long gone, as is Royale Pastry (called Royal Bakery and Schnitzers on the show), the bakery responsible for a marble rye worth mugging an old lady for and a black-and-white cookie that could bridge racial divides.” But take heart that Tom’s Restaurant is not only still around, but was featured, (as noted in the NYT piece) in an in-character interview with Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander (George Costanza) on Season 3 of Seinfeld’s new show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, (Watch, running time: 6:17)

Fans of the Soup Nazi may be heartened to learn (if they didn’t already know): “Jerry Seinfeld and several members of the production team went to Soup Kitchen International for lunch weeks after “The Soup Nazi” aired. Upon recognizing Seinfeld, Yeganeh did a “triple take” and then went into a profanity-filled rant about how the show had “ruined” his business and demanded an apology. Seinfeld allegedly gave what Feresten describes as “the most insincere, sarcastic apology ever given”. Obviously having seen the episode, Yeganeh then bellowed, “No soup for you” and ejected them from the restaurant” (Read)

The Egyptian Food Bank (more commonly known by its Arabic name: Bank El T3am) has drawn the ire of Egypt’s Facebook activist community, following the emergence of pictures across social media showing workers placing the organization’s charitable goods in boxes carrying President Sisi’s “Ta7ya Masr” (Long live Egypt) slogan. Critics accuse the organization of carrying out its ostensibly charitable actions for political purposes. A representative from Egypt Food Bank, however, vehemently denied these claims, instead describing the organization as a neutral, apolitical body. (Read in Arabic)

Beck released the lead single from his upcoming and as of yet untitled 10th album last week. (Listen, running time: 5:14)

BY THE NUMBERS

USD CBE auction (Tuesday, 23 June): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday, 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Tuesday, 23 June): 7.68 (unchanged from Sunday, 7 June, Reuters)

EGX30 (Wednesday): 8,456.82 (+0.14%)
Turnover: EGP 359.2 mn (25% below the 90-day average)

WTI: USD 60.20 (-0.12%)
Brent: USD 63.49 (-1.49%)

TASI: 9,313.1 (+0.4%)
ADX: 4,821.5 (+1.4%)
DFM: 4,164.5 (+0.5%)
KSE Weighted Index: 421.4 (-0.3%)
QE: 12,162.0 (+0.6%)
MSM: 6,449.1 (flat)

 

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