CBE lets EGP fall again — more to come? Business conditions improve. Emaar Misr IPO meets damp market. IMF delegation delayed. Cadaver transplants soon. Cabinet to review Golden Triangle plan. Greece rejects austerity package.
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY
Greeks overwhelmingly rejected more austerity as the price of accepting a new bailout packagein a referendum held yesterday. It’s anyone’s guess what’s next for Greece, the eurozone, the EU and global markets, with pundits suggesting everything from “Big deal — they go back to the bargaining table” to “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” What’s next?
- The Greeks want to talk. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras told supporters, “The mandate you’ve given me does not call for a break with Europe, but rather gives me greater negotiating strength,” noting that “this time the issue of debt will be on the negotiating table.”
- Germany is furious, essentially saying Greece has bought a one-way ticket out of the EU. Deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Tsipras has “torn down the last bridges on which Greece and Europe could have moved towards a compromise” and that further talks are “barely conceivable.”
- France is being reasonable. On the other side of the spectrum, French economy minister Emmanuel Macron is taking a far more level-headed approach, saying talks must resume.
- It’s gut-check time for Brussels. Eurozone finance ministers, the head of the ECB and top Eurocrats will hold a conference call this morning to chew the fat; Greek banks are likely to remain closed this week if they don’t agree to an emergency financing facility.
- But the most important meeting of the day will come as German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to fly to Paris for talks with French President François Hollande on what’s next.
Cabinet will review today a development plan for the resource-rich Golden Triangle zone, which stretches between Qena, Safaga and Qusseir, Trade and Industry Minister Mounir Abdelnour said yesterday, according to a report in Amwal Al-Ghad. Italy’s D’Appolonia was appointed in March by the Industrial Development Authority to develop to develop a master plan for the region. The company’s CEO noted at the time: “Egypt’s Golden Triangle offers the possibility to exploit phosphate for fertilizers projects, raw materials for the cement industry from shale and limestone, gold ores and gasoline production from oil shale and wind energy. Our expertise will be focused on developing a plan which will produce the economic benefits which Egypt needs while protecting the environmental and social aspects of the area.” The Mahlab government has declared the area a special economic zone and is expected to kick off a pilot development project next year. The triangle spans the Qena and Red Sea governorates.
Curious where the Golden Triangle fits into Egypt’s energy strategy? Have a look at Oil Minister Sherif Ismail’s EEDC presentation (pdf download).
There’s still no nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 countries, and speculation is mounting that talks could run straight through until a Thursday deadline. Speaking after his third meeting of yesterday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “If hard choices get made in the next couple of days, made quickly, we could get an agreement this week, but if they are not made we will not,” according to Reuters.
LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
Trying to make sense of Egyptian talk shows hosts attempting to fathom the devaluation of the EGP is perhaps impossible.
Amr Adeeb and co-host Khaled Abu Bakr began with Abu Bakr’s defense of an article in the draft anti-terror law that would see journalists jailed for up to two years if they publish figures contradictory to official military statements.
Adeeb then spent what would be the majority of his program on the currency devaluation. Adeeb argued that the move will not be of much use as we don’t export and tourism numbers are depressed. Of the suggestion that investors would welcome the move, he asked, “Where are the investors?” — without acknowledging that some investors may be waiting for a devaluation that goes much further. Adeeb tried explaining some things, mischaracterized others, and did a lot of yelling.
Over on CBC Extra, Magdy el-Galad was struggling to explain the same. “The dollar, uh, I hate the dollar,” El-Galad said, sounding like a teenager complaining aloud about their math homework.
Back over on Adeeb, the program received a call-in from Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez, who attempted to detangle the exposition that Adeeb and Abu Bakr had given. Ramez said that one must consider other currencies beyond the dollar, noting that the EU is Egypt’s largest trading partner, and that the pound was overvalued relative to the euro. He also said that he did not expect prices to go up as a result, in reply to earlier points raised before his call regarding Egypt’s reliance on imported goods. Immediately following the call, Adeeb said that they’ll monitor in the coming days and weeks if the devaluation does not have an effect on prices.
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The CBE let the EGP depreciate by another 1.3% yesterday as it sold USD 39.6 mn at a cut off price of 7.7301, Reuters reported. That’s EGP 0.10 more per USD than Thursday’s rate, and banks are expected to be selling USD for around EGP 7.83 – their highest rate ever against the EGP. The CBE had previously allowed the pound to fall EGP 0.10 on Thursday, the first time it permitted the national currency to sag in five months. “I think we are heading for further devaluations; we still have two auctions this week and I think we are going to see weakening in the pound at both,” Reuters quotes EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha as saying.
Business conditions for Egypt’s non-oil private sector improved in June for the first time in 2015, according to the Emirates NBD (formerly HSBC) PMI, posting a reading of 50.2. “The rate of expansion was only slight, restricted by a modest reduction in payroll numbers and another decline in stocks of purchases,” but input prices continues to rise sharply and staffing levels decreased, the press release noted. Jean-Paul Pigat, Senior Economist at Emirates NBD, expects Egypt’s economy to pick up momentum in 2H2015 with projects announced at the EEDC coming into implementation driving up new orders.
Emaar Misr shares sagged at the closing bell yesterday in their EGX debut, finishing the day up 3.7 percent from their EGP 3.80 offer price thanks to the EGX’s volume-weighted average price calculation; the way the EGX calculates closing prices masked a drop of as much as 2.4% in the last 15 minutes of trading, Bloomberg reports. Emaar Misr raised EGP 2.28 bn in the IPO, the biggest in Egypt since 2008 and a significant contributor to the EGP 21 bn in equity raised on the EGX since June 2013, according to a statement from the EGX (pdf download). The UAE’s The National, which followed the IPO closely, quoted Pharos’ Mohamed Radwan as saying, “It was a disappointing start, as it was expected to rise by 10 per cent or more. You had a lot of quick traders getting in and getting out very quickly, going after a minimal profit.” The newspaper also notes Radwan pointed to last week’s developments on the security front and ongoing turmoil in Greece as “severely dampening” investor appetite. Reuters said selling was fuelled by Greece, security concerns as well as “foreign exchange and energy shortages … and the central bank’s decision to let the Egyptian pound depreciate gradually.” The IPO, 36x oversubscribed, was priced significantly below two fair value estimates that put the FV per share at EGP 4.70 or above.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met with Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian yesterday to discuss the implementation of the FY2015-16 budget, the PM’s office said in a statement reported by Al Ahram. Dimian also gave Mahlab an update on the reforming of the sales tax as PM Mahlab stressed on the prioritization of control the budget deficit and debt levels. Mahlab also added that any fiscal expansions should be finance through sources that would not burden future generations.
The IMF delegation’s visit to Egypt has been delayed to the end of the summer, Christopher Jarvis, the mission chief for Egypt, said. Jarvis added that the Fund remains in close contact the Mahlab government, Al Mal reported.
EGAS has signed an agreement to raise the price paid to Eni and Edison for natural gas produced in Egypt, Reuters reported. The Oil Ministry will now be paying Eni between USD 4 to USD 5.88 per mmBtu, up from USD 2.65 per mmBtu previously. Edison will also receive USD 5.88 per mmBtu for gas produced.
The New and Renewable Energy Authority will issue new tenders for solar and wind energy plants in a matter of weeks, according to a brief report by the Daily News Egypt.
Transplants from cadaver donors to begin soon, Health Ministry says. The Health Ministry will soon begin allowing transplants of organs and tissues from clinically dead donors. Legislation permitting cadaveric donation has been in place since 2010, but its implementation has been on hold due to cultural objections to the practice in Egypt, said Health Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, who noted that cadaveric donations are standard across the world, Al-Shorouk reports.
Doha post vacant as Egypt moves ambassador to Mumbai: El Watan reported on the shuffle on Sunday, with some speculating that “appointing the ambassador in another place is an indication of possible downgrading of the Egyptian diplomatic representation in Qatar,” according to an analyst quoted by Qatari newspaper Gulf News. The Gulf News article, however, refers to Ambassador Mohammad Awwad, while the domestic media is saying the envoy’s name is Ambassador Mohamed Morsi.
25 terrorists killed in military raid in North Sinai: Al-Ahram quotes security sources saying that the military killed 25 militants in North Sinai on Sunday in ongoing anti-terror operations. Al Arabiya and Reuters were each reporting varying figures, citing unnamed security sources.
Ikhwan leader Yehia Hamed issued a rambling statement on Sunday saying the group rejects violence and jihad despite repeated calls to take up arms. At least part of this is at odds with a previous statement from January calling for a “long and unrelenting jihad,” a statement that has since been taken down. While constant mixed messages have always been a favorite staple of their media machine, more recently it’s been seen to also suggest a growing rift between the old guard in exile and the new youth leaders. From the latest statement: “Any disagreements within the Muslim Brotherhood have nothing to do with the peaceful approach. For the Brotherhood, non-violence is an essential principle — the group’s basic modus operandi. As Muslim Brothers, we are committed to the peaceful approach. We endeavor to clarify this for fellow revolutionaries,” followed shortly thereafter by: “The assassination of Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s public prosecutor, is the work of intelligence agencies.”
The Cairo Criminal Court on Sunday sentenced 23 Ikhwan supporters who had attempted to storm Media Production City in August 2013. The defendants received ten years in prison and were fined a total of EGP 275k for damages. (Read)
The Journalists’ Syndicate is denouncing the draft anti-terror law, calling it “unconstitutional” and “a set of new chains.” The syndicate called for an emergency meeting today to draw attention to what it says are efforts to stifle freedom of the press, reports Al Ahram Gate.
Court rejects dissolution of Nour Party over religious orientation: “The Supreme Administrative Court on Sunday upheld an earlier verdict in which it turned down a petition demanding the dissolution of the Salafi-led Nour Party” for being a religiously-based political party, according to AMAY and as reported by Egypt Independent, on the grounds that the case should have first been filed with a lower court. The Nour Party insists that they are open to all Egyptians regardless of religious affiliation and that they are not a faith-based group. It is unclear if the administrative court’s ruling opens or closes the possibility of another suit filed through a lower court.
Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has called for the destruction of the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, a recurring demand of many Salafists and a call recently repeated by Anjem Choudary, a prominent UK-based Daesh supporter of Pakistani descent who lives off the UK’s welfare state. Choudary made the comments to the Telegraph in their report published last week: ‘When Egypt comes under the auspices of the Khalifa [Caliphate], there will be no more Pyramids, no more Sphinx, no more idolatry.” Despite constantly inciting murder, including that of Pope Benedict, and encouraging recruitment to terrorist groups, the UK has failed to effectively move against him. Scotland Yard arrested Choudary in September of last year, but released him on bail, as reported by VICE.
At some point over the weekend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a “style guide” for the foreign press in Egypt on how to describe terrorism, producing an exhaustive list of words which should no longer be used (Islamist, jihadists), replacing them with acceptable terminology, such as “destroyers” and “eradicators” (view an image of the statement here via Alex Ortiz). Checking over the list of banned words, we note that Salafists are not included, so from now we’ll refer to every “radical fanatic” as a Salafi, in the spirit of compromise. Also, please try to imagine this video by INXS as a continuation of the list of acceptable words, (Watch, running time: 2:39)
The style guide isn’t the only recent move by the state’s media handlers raising the ire of journalists:Reporters could face up to two years in prison for reporting “false news or data about any terrorist operations that contradicts the official statements released by the relevant authorities,” according to a draft law approved by the Cabinet on Sunday and awaiting the President’s ratification. The news has gone viral on Twitter, with heavy RT’s of a story on the topic by The Guardian, among others. The move comes in light of conflicting media reports on the numbers from last Wednesday’s attack before the publication of the military’s official statement. Journalists are also reporting receiving calls from the State Information Service asking them to change previously filed stories: “As per Egypt’s new counterterrorism draft law, State Info Service just contacted me to ask me to change my reported # dead soldiers in Sinai,” on tweeted.
‘Armpit’ terrorist corpse causes alarm at Sayeda Zeinab morgue: Live explosives were found concealed in the underarms of a dead terrorist while his body was being examined at a morgue in Sayeda Zeinab. The bomb was disarmed shortly after Dr. Hisham Abdelhameed reported the sweat-stained explosive to authorities. The armpit terrorist was reportedly killed in North Sinai earlier this week. (Read in Arabic)
In the latest example of our national inability to say, “I’m sorry, no excuse, I was wrong,” the Sharm El-Sheikh hotel that thought it was a brilliant idea to send a man in tuxedo along its beach to point a (fake) pistol at vacationers’ heads has apologized. Sort of. Roughly summarized: “It was just a joke. Entertainment, actually. We’ve been doing it for 15 years. The Tourism Ministry has asked us not to do it again, so we won’t. And everyone knew it was a joke, anyway. Really.” You can read details of the ‘apology’ here in Al-Mal, or check out the Daily Mail’s coverage here. (We were remiss in not mentioning when we first picked up the story yesterday that this is just the latest in the Daily Mail’s patented “I went on an ultra-cheap package holiday to Egypt and had a pistol pointed at my head / stubbed my toe / drank myself stupid / got food poisoning, and Egyptian authorities did nothing about it” stories.)
In completely not-halal news, Cairo was ranked as home to the 11th-cheapest beer in the world, despite being dead last on average consumption per capita. Cape Town was the only other African destination to make the 75-city list at twelfth place. Cairenes spend an average of USD 25 per capita on beer each year, a rounding error compared with USD 1,542 per annum by residents of Helsinki.
CORRECTION: In our Thursday edition, we speculated that the new requirement that proceeds from GDR sales be settled in EGP applied to both foreign and domestic investors. We were wrong: It applies only domestic investors. See this notice from the EGX for more, and h/t Yasmine H.
A MESSAGE FROM PHAROS HOLDING
How low can the EGP go?
The Central Bank of Egypt effectively allowed the depreciation of the EGP against the USD in its latest FX auction on July 2, which saw the cut-off rate reach EGP 7.63 per USD from EGP 7.53 — in line with expectations we had reiterated and encouraged for months after the first round of depreciation in 2015 was instituted last February. That was promptly followed by a further EGP 0.10 at auction yesterday, the result of which is that the effective retail buy / sell rates now stand at EGP 7.80 / 7.83 per USD.
Should the CBE consider allowing the pound to fall as low as EGP 8.00 per USD to offset the stronger-than-expected appreciation of the EGP versus the Turkish Lira and the EUR over the past 12 months? With the USD/EGP retail sell rate already weakened to EGP 7.83 today, it’s certainly a possibility. Click here for a comprehensive briefing on how we got here and what could be next.
EGYPT IN THE NEWS
International media coverage of Egypt overnight and heading into this morning focused almost equally on “commodity” news takes on ongoing military operations against terrorists in Sinai as well as the implications for press freedom of the more stifling provisions of the new anti-terror draft law and the draft media law. AP’s story on the EGP hitting new lows against the USD is also getting wide pickup.
Back in April, Pew released an almost completely-overlooked and undiscussed projection on the world’s religious demographics up to the year 2050, with some tentative projections going up to 2100. The work is the end result of a six-year-long study, and its results are thought-provoking.
Among the most striking results of the projections: Muslims will nearly equal Christians worldwide, and while their numbers will decrease in relative terms, atheists and other religiously unaffiliated will grow modestly in Europe but almost double in the United States. Other major findings include:
- In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
- India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
- In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
- Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Projecting all the way to 2100 becomes less reliable, but using the same assumptions, Islam is expected to overtake Christianity as the world’s dominant religion, with the growth in numbers of both Muslims and Christians coming primarily by population growth in Africa.
Mr. Robot, a new U.S. cable television “cyberpunk thriller” series that premiered on 24 June on the USA Network, was created by Egyptian executive producer Sam Esmail and stars Egyptian actor Rami Malek. Christian Slater was brought out of deep cryogenic freeze to round out the cast.
We haven’t watched anything but the preview below, but so far, the show has managed to break into the top 20 highest-cable rated programs in America, keeping in mind that five places above it include different timeslots for Big Bang Theory and two different timeslots for Family Guy. Showrunner Sam Esmail in a Reddit AMA last week cited his inspiration for the show, in part, to his “personal experience with the Arab Spring, specifically in Egypt.” (Watch a preview from Mr. Robot, running time: 4:30)
EGPC’s dues to IOCs rise 6.1% q-o-q in 2Q2015
Reuters | 05 July 2015
Receivables due to international oil companies from the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) rose 6.1% to q-o-q to USD 3.5 bn, a source at EGPC told Reuters. IOC executives told the newswire that their companies are investing Egypt and are taking larger production shares to account for the back dues. The Oil Ministry said it aims to have paid off all of the IOCs’ overdue receivables by mid-2016. (Read here in English or here in Arabic)
Electricity Ministry asks renewable energy investors to amend their commercial registration
Al Borsa | 04 July 2015
Egypt’s Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency has asked renewable energy companies that had applied for temporary commercial licenses to amend their commercial registrations. The amendment will be in a format saying that the company is established to create a renewable energy project under the feed-in-tariff system. Eight companies have already amended their registration accordingly, Al Borsa reported, and seven more are in process. (Read in Arabic)
Petrojet aiming to increase revenues to EGP 6 bn in 2015
Amwal Al Ghad | 05 July 2015
Petrojet said it is planning to increase its revenues to EGP 6 bn in 2015 through expanding its project portfolio. In 2014, the company generated EGP 5.9 bn in revenues, Petrojet Chairman Mohamed El Shimy said. El Shimy expects earnings to increase as Petrojet was awarded a number of contracts regionally and domestically. (Read in Arabic)
Shell Egypt aims to double growth rates domestically
Al Shorouk | 05 July 2015
Shell Egypt is hoping to double its rate of growth in 2016 from an unspecified base last year, according to Al-Shorouk, quoting the company’s managing director. The company will also invest in increasing production capacity to 100 mn liters by the end of 2018. The company claims a 16% market share of Egypt’s 500 mn liter-per-year engine oil and lubricant market. (Read in Arabic)
BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES
EGP 27 mn revenues from Assay and Weights Administration
Al Mal | 05 July 2015
The Assay and Weights Administration made EGP 27 mn in revenues in the last six months as a result of stamping 26 tons of gold works, according to Khaled Hanafy, minister of supply and domestic trade. The authority also seized a total of 80 kilos of unaccounted for and unstamped gold and silver through 977 inspections. (Read in Arabic)
“Car City” project to cost c. EGP 100 mn to build-out
Al Mal | 05 July 2015
The preliminary cost of the new Car City project has been estimated at EGP 100 mn, says head of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, Ibrahim El Araby, of which, the government has already spent some EGP 10 mn. The project, planned in the industrial zone in New Cairo, is set to host automobile showrooms, as well as become the new home of the Nasr City car market. The Cairo Chamber of Commerce is currently preparing feasibility studies for 60-70 projects, El Araby added. (Read in Arabic)
Clothing sales to rise heading into Eid, prices rising
Al Mal | 05 July 2015
It’s high season for garment manufacturers and retail outlets, and Yehia al-Zananiri, first deputy of the clothing division at the Chamber of Commerce, says the industry is looking forward to 10 days of strong sales heading into the Eid vacation. Consumers of all socioeconomic backgrounds traditionally purchase new clothing to wear on the first day of Eid. Al-Zananiri expects a 10-20% rise in market prices compared with last year, pointing to rising overheads, higher energy costs, and production requirements including hangers and plastic wrapping. (Read in Arabic)
HEALTH & EDUCATION
Pharma market worth EGP 35 bn in FY2015
Amwal Al Ghad | 05 July 2015
Total pharmaceutical sales are expected to reach EGP 35 bn by the end of 2015 at a growth rate of 15%, says Ali Auf, head of the pharmaceuticals division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce. The launch of Sovaldi on the domestic market has played in the rise in industry revenues, Auf says. (Read in Arabic)
REAL ESTATE & HOUSING
PHD, MNHD to co-develop East Cairo community
Press release, Daily News, Al-Mal | 5 July 2015
Palm Hills Developments and Madinet Nasr Housing and Development have inked an agreement to co-develop a 103-feddan residential community 45 kilometers east of Cairo on the road to the planned site of the new administrative capital. According to an emailed statement, “PHD will be responsible for all construction, development, internal infrastructure, marketing and sales activities, while MNHD will be contributing the land alongside all associated external infrastructure.” The four-phase development will be home to 2,600 to 2,900 apartments with a built-up area of c. 484,100 square meters. PHD will take a 64% share of all revenue generated against 36% for MNHD. Pre-sales are due to begin in 4Q2015. (Read in Arabic or in English)
Hassan Allam begins delivering El Sherouk Springs
Amwal Al Ghad | 05 July 2015
Hassan Allam has begun delivering units at its El Sherouk Springs projects, Amwal Al Ghad reported. The project cost EGP 1.7 bn to implement and the company is looking to expand its project portfolio further, calling on its existing land bank. El Sherouk springs was completed over two phases and is located near the New Heliopolis area. (Read in Arabic)
Housing Ministry completes EGP 13 bn investment plan
Al Borsa | 5 July 2015
The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) completed the last fiscal year’s EGP 13 bn investment plan, selling 50,000 feddans for commercial and residential use, as well as 1,900 feddans of agricultural land. NUCA’s EGP 28 bn investment plan for the new fiscal year aims develop infrastructure on 30,000 acres through public tender. The ministry is also looking to build 60,000 social housing units, according to Minister of Housing Mostafa Mabdouly. (Read in Arabic)
Cairo Gardens housing project complete next year
Amwal Al Ghad | 05 July 2015
The Cairo Contracting & Real Estate Investment Co. aims to complete with Cairo Gardens housing project, located in the northern reaches Six October, by next year at a total cost of EGP 50 mn. Construction of the 200 housing units is 50% complete, according to chairman Mohamed Mostafa. (Read in Arabic)
Phase 1 of Rabwa Alexandria completed
Al Borsa | 05 July 2015
El Aasafira for Real Estate Development and Investments and the International Group for Real Estate Development have completed work on Phase 1 of the Rabwa Alexandria resort, at an estimated cost of EGP 180 mn. Property-owners should have access to their new residences after the Eid El Fitr holiday. Rabwa Alexandria includes villas, residential apartments, and shopping centers. (Read in Arabic)
EEHC cuts electricity off from some Sharm El Sheikh hotels
Al Shorouk | 05 July 2015
The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) in South Sinai has cut off electricity from some Sharm El Sheikh hotels due to accumulating unpaid energy bills. The hotels include two owned by Egyptian tourism companies. A member of the South Sinai investors’ association said the EEHC’s action came at odds with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab’s directives that urged support of Egypt’s tourism sector, including rescheduling of receivables owed to state agencies and public-sector banks. (Read in Arabic)
Luxor and Aswan initiative extended to September
Amwal Al Ghad | 04 July 2015
The Ministry of Tourism decided to extend the ‘Egypt in our Hearts’ initiative until September 30, changing its name to ‘Luxor and Aswan in our Hearts’ as per request from Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to promote domestic tourism. (Read in Arabic)
60% average Sharm El Sheikh hotel occupancy rate in June
Amwal Al Ghad | 05 July 2015
The average hotel occupancy rate in Sharm El Sheikh reached 60% in June, the head of the hospitality chamber told Amwal Al Ghad. Five star hotels had an occupancy rate of 59.8% but four star hotels were at 66.7%, he added. The rates were significantly lower in Dahab, registering 27.9% in June. (Read in Arabic)
AlMoez Holding Group to create largest tourism project in Ethiopia
Youm 7 | 05 July 2015
AlMoez Holding Group will create the largest tourism project in Ethiopia, expected to exceed USD 200 mn in investment costs, AlMoez Vice President Mostafa AbdelMoez announced on Sunday. AbdelMoez told Youm7 that the project is an Egyptian-Ethiopian joint venture and the first of its kind in Ethiopia and the Nile Basin countries. (Read in Arabic)
TELECOMS & ICT
Telecom and ICT contribute EGP 57 bn to GDP, says Itida
Amwal Al Ghad | 05 July 2015
The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) says telecom and ICT companies account for c. EGP 57 bn of GDP. Company spending on ICT has increased up to EGP 20 bn, says executive vice president Hossam Osman, broken down into EGP 17 bn on hardware services, while EGP 3 bn go to software services. (Read in Arabic)
ACT reports EGP 200 mn in 1H15
Al Mal | 05 July 2015
ACT completed works worth EGP 200 mn in 1H15, achieving an 18% growth rate from the same period last year, says head of marketing at ACT Hazim Mansi. ACT is studying expansion into Nigerian and Kenyan markets next year, he added. ACT has completed technological solution projects with its partners Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Cisco, Dell and Europa worth USD 20 mn, as well as signed contracts in the telecom sector worth USD 5 mn, and with the government worth USD 20 mn. (Read in Arabic)
AUTOMOTIVE & TRANSPORTATION
Ferry sinks in the Red Sea, Egyptian Navy rescues crew
Al Masry Al Youm | 05 July 2015
A ferry heading from Safaga to Daba, Saudi Arabia, sank in the Red Sea early yesterday morning 17 miles off the Port of Safaga. Within 30 minutes forces from the Egyptian Navy had reached the site and completed the rescue mission. According to Al Masry Al Youm, there are no reported casualties and the entire crew was rescued. (Read in Arabic)
EgyptAir Cargo to operate air cargo service to Chad
Al Mal | 5 July 2015
EgyptAir Cargo has entered into an agreement with Sarko Sea Transport and the Chad Trading Company to provide air cargo services from Cairo to N’Djamena. This agreement should provide further export opportunities to Egyptian companies that are looking to expand across Africa, said EgyptAir Cargo Chairman Bassem Gohar. (Read in Arabic)
Cabinet has not approved Metro ticket price increase
Al Shorouk | 5 July 2015
The Ministry of Transportation still hasn’t received approval from Cabinet to increase ticket prices on the Cairo Metro, sources within the ministry told Al Shorouk. The ministry had presented the Cabinet with two ticket price increasing schemes, one involving dividing the Metro lines into sections so tickets would cost between EGP 1.5 and EGP 3, while the other simply suggests raising the overall price. A metro ticket would cost EGP 8 without 50% of the government subsidy, the sources added. (Read in Arabic)
EGP 3 bn in compensation for National Roads Project
Al Borsa | 5 July 2015
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab received a report from the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation concerning compensation for land expropriated for (or otherwise allocated to) the National Roads Project. The government has allotted EGP 3bn in compensation, of which EGP 1.8 bn has already been disbursed. Completion of the project will require an additional EGP 2.6 bn. (Read in Arabic)
Al Amal Group to pump EGP 130 mn investments
Al Mal | 7 July 2015
The Al Amal Group, the sole distributor of Lada and BYD in Egypt, are looking to pump additional investment of up to EGP 100 mn to boost production in its assembly plants, ahead of the release of new car models within the coming three months. Al Amal is looking to boost its production rate to 15,000 cars instead of 10,000 annually, according to production manager Tarek El Moselmy. Additionally, the group is also pumping investments into improving its car service centres and showrooms, as well as building new ones, he added. (Read in Arabic)
BMW agrees to increase local component
Al Mal | 5 July 2015
Bavarian Auto Group have received BMW’s approval to increase its local content allocation in CKD models by 5 percentage points, operating with a total of 50% local components, said Farid El Tobgy, Chairman of Bavarian Auto Group. (Read in Arabic)
BANKING & FINANCE
NBE assessing EGP 500 mn in SME funding
Al Borsa | 05 July 2015
National Bank of Egypt (NBE) is assessing extending EGP 500 mn in funding to SMEs, Al Borsa reported. The bank is considering adding 400 new SME clients to its portfolio. 60% of the proposed new funding would be directed to industrial use and 30% for services. (Read in Arabic)
EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS
No unemployment benefit payments, says Social Solidarity Minister
Al Mal | 05 July 2015
There will be no unemployment benefit payments, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Waly said, denying rumors that spread on social media. The Ministry is more concerned with assisting the poor and is focused on making youth “more employable,” Waly added. Unemployment benefits are disbursed to certain groups in a manner organized by law and the Ministry is supporting the needier factions of society through the newly implemented Takaful and Karama programs. (Read in Arabic)
ON YOUR WAY OUT
At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton’s staffers held a rope around journalists covering the event, who were then herded and dragged around like cattle. View the image here via CNN.
BY THE NUMBERS
USD CBE auction (Sunday, 05 July): 7.7301 (+0.10 from Thursday, 02 July)
USD parallel market (Sunday, 05 July): 7.87 (+ 0.19 from Sunday, 28 June, Reuters)
EGX30 (Sunday): 8,314.72 (-0.68%)
Turnover: EGP 615.1 mn (29% above the 90-day average)
WTI: USD 55.62 (-2.48%)
Brent: USD 60.32 (-2.82%)
TASI: 9,160.7 (+0.3%)
ADX: 4,737.6 (+0.2%)
DFM: 4,068.9 (-0.5%)
KSE Weighted Index: 417.6 (-0.3%)
QE: 12,008.0 (-0.9%)
MSM: 6,434.4 (-0.2%)