Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Technip’s USD 2.9 bn refinery upgrade projects are among largest deals announced since EEDC



The two-day SolarTech Egypt kicks off this morning at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.

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The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet on Thursday, 30 July, to set interest rates— the same day a final verdict is expected in the retrial of former Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Monday that the Egypt-U.S. strategic dialogue will take place on 2 August, as we noted yesterday, citing a source close to the dialogue. The U.S. State Department has also issued a statement confirming the new date.

Also next week: The Emirates NBD Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index will drop on Tuesday, 4 August. Due out the same day are the PMIs for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

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With only 10 days to go before the official inauguration of the New Suez Canal, the hype leading up to the big day is gradually intensifying on the talk shows. Youssef El Housseiny hosted Samy Abdel Aziz, a member of the organizing committee for 6 August launch event.

“We have broken a record and set a new benchmark for Egypt,” said Abdel Aziz. “The Canal is an example of how we can respect deadlines, manage projects and pay attention to detail. What if we apply those same principles to other areas? If we can move 250 mn cubic meters of sand, can’t we remove 100 tons of garbage from our streets? What if we set a new goal for ourselves and say in six months Egypt will be clean and we will have new traffic laws? It’s not impossible. If these two things are fixed, it will make a huge psychological difference and it will lead to bigger and better things.”

El Housseiny: “What about the celebration? What shall we expect?”
According to Abdel Aziz, the inauguration will include:

  • 80 television cameras on station;
  • Plenty of muscle-flexing on the part of the Armed Forces in the form of naval and air shows;
  • A huge fireworks displays (presumably the evening of the inauguration; the opening itself is a daytime event);
  • A performance of Verdi’s Opera Aida, which was originally written in celebration of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1871;
  • Musical performances. including original songs written specifically for the occasion (maybe the new Boshret Kheir will come out?);
  • Live coverage of the event in New York’s Times Square;
  • A special issue of the Economist, which will include an interview with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Abdel Aziz also suggested that we may have some breaking news regarding new legislation on or around 6 August.

El Housseiny: “So, how much is this big shebang going to cost?”

According to Abdel Aziz it won’t cost the government a penny because the national and international companies that were involved in the construction are footing the bill. He also claims that donations and offers of goods and services without charge are pouring in from Egyptian companies. Excess funds from the event will be channelled to the Tahya Misr Fund.

It remains to be seen whether 6 August will be declared a national holiday, as many in the capital city are now speculating.

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Technip Italy inks agreements to manage upgrade of refineries in Upper Egypt, Alexandria; agreements are among the largest project agreements since EEDC: Project management firm Technip Italy finalized has landed two refinery upgrade projects worth a combined USD 2.9 bn. A refinery upgrade project with Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Assiut Oil Refining Company (ASORC) will see Technip plan and eventually execute an upgrade plan for ASORC to maximize diesel production through modern refinery technologies in Upper Egypt, a deficit market for refined product in general and diesel in particular. The announcement of the USD 1.5 bn agreement did not include specifics on the project. Separately, Technip announced a USD 1.4 bn agreement to help MIDOR in Alexandria expand its refining capacity to 160,000 barrels of crude per day from 100,000 today. Italian export credit agency SACE has pledged to help land export credit facilities for the two projects. The agreements — among the largest project announcements we can recall since the Egypt Economic Development Conference in March — are now beginning to win attention in the domestic press.

El Sisi inspects Suez Canal ahead of opening: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited the New Suez Canal after attending an Air Force graduation ceremony. The President and his team inspected the canal itself and reviewed preparations for the opening ceremony scheduled for Thursday, 6 August. The ceremony is expected to host a number of world leaders, Al Mal reports. In related news, International shipping agents have praised the New Suez Canal trials completed Saturday, and France’s François Hollande is among the foreign dignitaries due to attend, Al-Ahram reports. Mohamed Fawzy, Senior Maritime Supervisor at the Suez Canal Authority, announced that a number of leading international shipping agents and cargo vessel operators have praised Saturday’s trial run at the New Suez Canal, calling the new waterway a landmark achievement. He added that updated charts and maps of the canal, its waterways and facilities will be supplied to maritime operators ahead of the grand opening on 6 August.

Leading regional confectioner Halwani Bros. Company is among the hopefuls vying to acquire Egyptian confectioner Rashidi El-Mizan from Qalaa Holdings, reports Al Mal. Halwani is now conducting due diligence on the storied maker of halawa and tahina, with Pharos Holding serving as an advisor to Halwani. The move comes as part of Qalaa Holdings’ plan to divest its business units in the agrifoods sector, including Dina Farms. In other news out of Qalaa Holdings, Italy’s Edison announced that it has signed a joint development agreement with a Qalaa business unit to build an 180 MW combined-cycle power plant fuelled by gas produced by Edison’s Abu Qir concession. Construction could begin within six months once all permits are obtained, with operations slated to start in 2017. Edison has invested USD 2 bn in Egypt over the past six years.

Egypt parliamentary election observation interim report: Democracy International released a 33-page look at Egypt’s current political environment in the run-up to polls for the House of Representatives. Following a long list of recommendations, such as reforming the electoral system and keeping an eye on preventing the use of electoral districts for gerrymandering, the report concludes: “Unless there are significant changes, it appears that only a narrow range of voices will likely be heard in the upcoming legislative elections, once they finally take place. Even those candidates, parties, and movements that are able and choose to participate and who express some criticism of the basic nature of the current government are not likely to win seats under an electoral system and environment that makes little room for opposition voices and that rewards local power brokers and well-funded state supporting lists and coalitions.” (Read as a pdf)

Tensions between presidency and the Central Auditing Organization (CAO) appear to be escalating, report Youm7 and Mada Masr. On 9 July, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi passed a decree that gave the presidency the right to dismiss the heads of independent supervisory bodies, including the Central Auditing Organization and the Central Bank of Egypt, among others. It has been largely assumed that the passage of decree will pave the way for El Sisi to remove CAO head Hisham Geneina. Members of the CAO Club — in essence, a union of the agency’s staff — filed a memo with an Administrative Court on Sunday, arguing that the July 9th presidential decree is unconstitutional. Speaking to Youm7, Club spokesman Yasser Habib said the decree violates the independence granted to supervisory bodies under the 2014 Constitution. The constitution also mandates that the legislative branch establish the conditions on which the heads of the four organizations may be dismissed. Legislative authority presently rests with the Office of the President pending the election of a House of Representatives, potentially as early as this fall.

Finance Ministry employees have reportedly organized a protest over wage cuts and the new Civil Service law, reports Youm7. The Interior Ministry has granted the disgruntled employees permission to hold their protest on 10 August, outside of the Journalist’s Syndicate. The new Civil Service Law, which introduces a new system of salaries and leave for public sector workers as well as new early retirement provisions, is unpopular with many rank-and-file government employees. As we reported yesterday, the Finance Ministry employees are claiming that Finance Minister Hany Dimian is pushing through wage cuts at the ministry in contravention of the new law. Youm7 now adds that public sector employees believe the Civil Service act will cut their annual raises by 50-88% and that they will be forced to pay more in taxes. (On a side note, we remind readers that the Interior Ministry earlier this week refused to allow teachers permission for a march just a day before their protest was to have taken place.)

A move by the Finance Ministry to add to the state’s coffers by forcing state-owned banks to give up a large portion of retained earnings going forward is being criticized by the senior execs of a number of state-owned banks. Among them is Ismail Hassan, head of Misr Iran Development Bank and a former CBE Chairman, who stated that his institution had decided to limit dividend payments, adding that these decisions should be made by the banks’ OGMs alone, Al-Mal reports.

The Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce released its list of top 10 performing Egyptian pharmaceutical companies by sales revenue. The sector achieved sales of EGP 28 bn in 2014. Topping the list was Novartis AG, with sales of EGP 2.4 bn, followed by GlaxoSmithKline with EGP 2.3 bn and Sanofi with EGP 1.5 bn. Al Borsa carries the full list.

Ministry of Supply launches web portal: Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy launched the ministry’s new official web portal which includes instructions on how to obtain ration cards, daily updated food and vegetable prices, and instructions on how to open a subsidised bakery or supermarket. (Read in Arabic)


Why there’s no real inflationary risk if the CBE moves to cut policy rates

After successfully predicting the Central Bank of Egypt’s latest round of EGP depreciation against the USD, Pharos Research is anticipating a second round of policy rates cuts, based on a basket of factors on the domestic and international level. For months, Pharos had advocated a policy rate cut to accompany the EGP’s depreciation, and the bank’s “pause” is essentially without justification.

As the Egyptian government prepares to cut energy subsidies and raise the standard sales tax by FY16, CBE officials may be wary of inflationary pressures on consumer prices. Our take: The CBE may contrarily risk disinflation in the case of maintaining current policy rates, especially that international commodity prices have been gradually weakening since January 2014 to hit record lows in June. Indices and forecasts also imply that prices will only sink lower in 2H15, meaning inflationary risks are relatively low, even in the case of subsidy cuts. Learn more about our reasoning and what it might mean to you here.

SPOTLIGHT on relations with the UAE

Sultan Al Jaber talks about the New Suez Canal, an IMF loan for Egypt, and Egypt’s new administrative capital in a sit-down with WAM, the state-owned UAE news agency. Al Jaber, who many readers will recall from the EEDC, is Minister of State and Head of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office — essentially the Emirates’ “minister responsible for Egypt.”

On the Suez Canal Axis: “I am proud that a UAE company, the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC), was involved in this project. The NMDC founded and led the Challenge Consortium including the Dutch and Belgian firms Boskalis, Van Oord and Jan De Nul, that, in turn, was able to deliver the necessary dredging in record time.”

On Egypt’s talks with Mohamed Alabbar’s Capital City Partners on the New Administrative Capital: “…I have been following the ongoing negotiations between Capital City Partners and the Egyptian government and have noticed some inconsistencies in the reporting. Therefore, I believe it is better to wait for the official statements at the end of the negotiations, which will naturally take some time given the scope and size of the project. We wish this important project much success in achieving the desired objectives for the future of Egypt. … I do, however have to say that I believe that the global and regional experience, know-how and successful track record of Mr. Alabaar in the real estate sector speaks for itself. I have no doubt that he will exert every effort to ensure that these negotiations conclude with the best possible interests of both parties in mind. These are large-scale projects that need to be rooted in economic sustainability.”

On progress of post-EEDC economic reforms: “The long term plan, as stated by Ibrahim Mahlab, Prime Minister of Egypt, includes fiscal consolidation measures to reduce deficit through a gradual reduction of energy subsidies as well as the introduction of value-added tax, amendments to existing laws, and working on attracting direct investments to crucial sectors, such as transport and power generation … In other words, the vision and goals are there, what is now required is an unwavering effort and continued implementation of administrative, financial, legislative and regulatory reforms that will, in turn, contribute to the reduction of bureaucracy.”

On a potential IMF loan: “This is a sovereign decision that is taken solely by the Egyptian government … I believe that the economic and legislative reforms initiated by the Egyptian government have begun to show positive results, as demonstrated by Article IV conducted by the International Monetary Fund.”


It’s a mercifully slow day so far as foreign media coverage of Egypt is concerned, with coverage focusing largely on trials runs down the New Suez Canal and mentions of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Egypt next week as part of a tour that will include stops in the GCC.

Otherwise: The Guardian has picked up the story of the tragic Nile boat crash that left 35 dead, highlighting the prospective payout of an EGP 60,000 death benefit to survivors and the replacement of the head of the River Transport Authority. (Read)


The state of Islamist media in exile: Basil El-Dabh, former politics editor of Daily News Egypt, takes a deep look at Egyptian Islamist media before and after Morsi’s presidency, with a greater focus on the Islamist media now in exile. El-Dabh gives readers a good sense of the current status of the various satellite channels still in operation as well as Egypt’s diplomatic efforts to get other states to shut down broadcasts inciting violence in Egypt. (Read Islamist Media in a Post-Morsi World in the Atlantic Council)


Although 97.6% of all Egyptian adults believe smoking causes serious illness (see this WHO survey from 2009), per capita cigarette consumption in Egypt more than doubled between 1970-1980 and has barely budged back down since. The Economist explores Why smoking rates are not falling around the world. (Watch, running time: 2:44)


Egypt strongly condemns Al Shabab terrorist attack on Al Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu, housing Egyptian embassy among others: On Monday the MFA condemned Sunday’s attack in Somalia, where a suicide bomber used a lorry to detonate the gates of Al Jazeera Hotel, an attack claimed by Al Shabab which has left at least 15 people dead, according to the BBC and Chinese broadcaster CCTV America. Al Jazeera Hotel houses the embassies of Egypt, China and Qatar in Somalia, and CCTV was reporting on Monday that at least one Chinese embassy worker was killed. The MFA’s statement offered condolences to the families of the victims of the attack, and made no mention of any Egyptian casualties. Somali security forces told BBC that the attacker was suspected to be German-Somali, but that the German government has so far not responded to questions on the attacker’s nationality.

Grand Imam of Al Azhar met with the French Defense Minister on Sunday: Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El Tayyeb met with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Sunday during his visit to Egypt. Sheikh Ahmed El Tayyeb was quoted as saying that “Al Azhar is ready to train Muslim preachers from European countries especially France to fight extremism.” (Read)


General Electric, Philips, Schreder supply NUCA with 27,500 LED lights
Al Borsa | 26 July 2015
The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) bought EGP 1.71 mn worth of LED bulbs from General Electric, Philips and Schreder Egypt to light streets in 11 communities. The three companies were tasked by direct order, said Hend Farouh, head of the Central Unit of Sustainable Cities & Renewable Energy. The LED bulbs are meant to replace the standard issue light bulbs in 11 new cities including 6th of October, New Cairo, Shorouk, Al Obour, 10th of Ramadan, Sheikh Zayed and Borg El Arab, saving over 60% of total consumption. (Read in Arabic)

“Companies from four nations control future of Egypt’s E&P sector”
Al Mal (print) | 27 July 2015
The print edition of Al-Mal carries a story noting that companies from four nations are set to dominate the future of exploration and production activity in Egypt. Drawn from Italy, the Netherlands, the U.S. and the UK, the list includes BG, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Apache. A number of energy and oil sector analysts are pushing the government to enter negotiations with these companies to increase local production of petroleum resources, and cut gas imports that are set to spike in the near future.

1.2 mn homes to get natural gas hookups this year
Al Mal | 27 July 2015
Some 1.2 mn homes will be hooked up to the natural gas grid in the current fiscal year as part of the most ambitious connection program the government has ever launched, Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said. By comparison, 710,000 homes were connected to the grid in FY2014-15, a 7% rise on the previous year. Ismail positioned the move as part of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s directive that cabinet prioritize projects that will have a noticeable impact on the lives of citizens. (Read in Arabic)

BP has invested USD 2.1 bn in its North Alexandria concession
Al Mal | 27 July 2015
BP Group expenses at the North Alexandria offshore concession have surpassed USD 2.1 bn, sources told Al Mal. BP is stepping up spending and could invest as much as USD 7-9 bn more on the project, the source claimed, saying BP aims to extract 1 bcf daily from proven reserves of 5 tcf. Twenty-one wells were drilled on site, with a new drilling plan set for the coming period. (Read in Arabic)

EGP 500 mn to be invested in solar-powered residential compound
Daily News Egypt | 26 July 2015
The Modern Company of Real Estate Investment (MCR) will invest EGP 500 mn to construct a compound run by solar power in Shorouk City. The compound will be comprised of 50 villas and seven buildings, (DNE does not specify if these are administrative or residential units) and will be spread over a space of 10,000 feddans. MCR will run a global tender for a company to implement the project, which involves a 1 MW solar power plant. The project is expected to be delivered by March 2018, with Dar-Elemara responsible for execution. (Read)

Natural gas production rate falls again
Al-Borsa | 27 July 2015
Egypt’s daily natural gas production rate dropped 4.3 bn cubic ft, according to top officials at EGAS. According to Al Borsa, what’s driving the concerns of EGAS officials is that the monthly decline now stands at 130 bn cubic ft, dropping 30 bn from last year’s monthly rate, while newly tapped fields only cover 80 bn cubic ft. This leaves Egypt with a monthly production deficit of 50 bn cubic ft. Causes include maturing fields and slow pace at tapping into newly discovered ones.


El Arabia for Land Reclamation tasked with three projects
Al Mal | 27 June 2015
El Arabia for Land Reclamation announced in a statement on Monday that it was tasked with three projects worth EGP 26.5 mn. The first is completion of industrial works in branches one and two of Toushka in the Ganoub El Wadi development plan worth EGP 8.97 mn. The second is completing establishment of branch two, worth EGP 14.6 mn, while the third project involves purging and weed removal worth EGP 2.9 mn. (Read in Arabic)


13 offers to participate in logistics center in Damietta -Supply minister
Amwal Al Ghad | 27 July 2015
The Ministry of Supply announced it received 13 investment offers from companies to participate in the grain logistics center in Damietta, the most notable of which include the Emirati AlSudain Group, Inter Group, China Harbour, and ADM. The law that sets up the investment zone for the project is currently being drafted, and will be presented for approval to the cabinet and then the presidency in the coming few months, said minister of supply Khaled Hanafy. The total estimated cost of the project is EGP 13.1 bn. (Read in Arabic)


Operational preparations underway for the urban renewal Manshiet Nasser
Al Mal | 27 July 2015
A leading consultancy firm has been picked to present a comprehensive study to rehabilitate and restructure Manshiet Nasser, as part of the national campaign launched by the Ministry of Urban Development, under sponsorship of the Prime Minister. The initiative seeks to replan the neighbourhood and formalize the standing of its inhabitants, said Soaad Naguib, head of following up on large scale projects in the Greater Cairo region at the ministry of urban development. The study will include environmental tests and analysis of the area, including the presence of underground water – the primary cause for building collapses, as well as infrastructure and sewage and their availability or lack thereof. The study is set to be completed in 45 days. (Read in Arabic)


New Suez Canal inauguration to positively impact tourism -Tourism minister
Amwal Al Ghad | 27 July 2015
The recent boom in Egyptian tourism came as a result of intensive tourism campaigns in GCC markets during the month of Ramadan, says minister of tourism Khaled Ramy. Internal tourism also experienced a boom during the Eid El Fitr holidays, especially when tourists try different locations in the summer season like south Sinai instead of the North Coast. Tourism increased 8.2% in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, Ramy added. The inauguration of the Suez Canal Axis will have an important role in promoting Egypt internationally, said Ramy, noting that indirect advertising impacts tourism better than direct advertising. (Read in Arabic)

Egyptian Tourism Authority launches first regional office in Gulf
Amwal Al Ghad | 27 July 2015
The Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) announced on Monday the official launch of an office in Abu Dhabi. The office, which began operations earlier this month, is part of a plan to promote tourism in Egypt within the Gulf. Sami Mahmoud, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, said, “The launch is a key element of the strategic plan developed by the Ministry of Tourism and ETA to attract 20 mn visitors to Egypt by 2020, and drive tourism revenues to reach USD 26 bn.” ETA’s Abu Dhabi office is also collaborating with airlines to launch direct flights to Sharm El Sheikh, the Red Sea and the North Coast in Egypt. (Read)


MCIT to announces EGP 250 mn projects in mid-August
Amwal Al Ghad | 27 July 2015
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) will announce 50 projects as part of facilitating electronic government services in mid August. Total estimated investment is EGP 250 mn, with 50% coming from the national budget, allocated to the ministries of communication, health and justice, and the other 50% from grants from the European Union and the African Development Bank, according to sources speaking to Amwal Al Ghad. (Read in Arabic)

TE and NTRA meet to discuss technical difficulties related to fiber-optic cables
Amwal Al Ghad | 27 July 2015
Telecom Egypt (TE) and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) are set to meet at the end of this week to discuss the technical difficulties that arose from the plan to replace the old copper cables with fiber optic cables. The biggest issue to arise from the plan that TE launched back in 2012 was internet service cuts to subscribers of Link DSL, Vodafone, Etisalat and Nour. TE has spent EGP 2.5 bn on the cable replacement plan, and is expected to complete supplying 4 mn homes with fiber optic cables by the end of the year with a total investment of EGP 6 bn. (Read in Arabic)


Plan to put passenger names on railway tickets complete, implementation to start on Eid El Adha
Al Shorouk | 27 July 2015
The Egyptian National Railways (ENR) company received the full plan for applying ENR’s suggestion about printing the passenger’s name on tickets from the Ministry of Communication, sources told Al Shorouk. The plan will be completely implemented starting in the coming Eid El Adha, the sources added. The trial run will begin in Cairo at the Ramsis station in the coming weeks, and in the case of it succeeding, will be standardized throughout the country. (Read in Arabic)


Banque Misr to sign EUR 80 mn loan with World Bank
Al Borsa | 27 July 2015
After nearly three months of negotiations, Banque Misr announced on July 27 that it is close to signing an EUR 80 mn loan (EGP 688 mn) with the World Bank to support Egypt’s small and medium-sized enterprises. The bank aims to use the loan to support job creation opportunities for SMEs while working with other international financial institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and the European Investment Bank to obtain long-term funding for other major projects. Since 2011, the World Bank has approved a total of USD 4 bn in loans to Egypt. (Read in Arabic)

Barclays Egypt named “fastest growing foreign bank in Egypt” in 2014
Al Masry Al Youm | 26 July 2015
Global Banking and Finance named Barclays Egypt the “fastest growing foreign bank in Egypt” in 2014. (Read in Arabic)


Suez Canal Authority begins work on 460 fish farming ponds
Daily News Egypt | 26 July 2015
Suez Canal Authority Chairman, Mohab Mamish, has said that 460 of a total planned of 3,828 fish farming ponds are currently being established to coincide with the opening of the new Suez Canal, as per orders of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The production is part of the National Project for Fish Farming in the Canal Zone, which already involves a number of Spanish companies. The project may lead to advantages such as providing alternatives to high-priced meat and chicken, reducing transportation costs and rate of fish spoilage because of its strategic location and leading to self-sufficiency. (Read)

Russian delegation on site visit to proposed industrial zone
Al Shorouk | 27 July 2015
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced on July 27 that a Russian delegation is visiting Egypt on a four-day trip to select a site for the proposed industrial zone. The site visit is part of an agreement signed last month with Russia. The delegation, which includes representatives of 20 Russian companies, visited the Ataqa Harbor the Port of Al-Adabiya in Suez to survey the industrial zone’s surrounding areas. (Read in Arabic)


EGP 324.5 mn allocated to Cairo governorate for the new fiscal year
Amwal Al Ghad | 27 July 2015
The total budget of the governorate of Cairo for the new fiscal year has been set at EGP 324.5 mn, which is to be distributed on cleaning and public transportation agencies as well as the government as a whole. Cairo governorate also plans to initiate a number of mega projects including housing projects that aim to rehabilitate those living in urban slums and ramshackle homes. Moreover, it plans to transform the Maspero Triangle into an investment hub in the heart of Cairo. (Read in Arabic)


The River Transport Authority concluded its report on the Waraaq boat incident, which claimed the lives of 40 people. The report was submitted yesterday to the Prosecutor General’s Office. According to sources at the authority, the Waraaq boat was unlicensed, Al Borsa reports.

Pioneers plans IPO of real estate developer Rooya, Reuters reports: The transaction could be worth north of EGP 1 bn, the newswire quotes Pioneers’ CEO says saying, noting the listing could see shares issued and trading by 1Q2016. Pioneers acquired 60% of Rooya in March. (Read)

Government insurance fund established to cover “rapid transit accidents”: According to Al Mal, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) issued a decision to form a government insurance fund to cover damages arising any future accidents involving “rapid transit vehicles,” which we take to mean high-speed trains such as the rail line expected to be built by a Chinese firm. EFSA Chief Sherif Samy said that the insurance fund will cover hit-and-run accidents and provide EGP 40,000 in compensation in the case of permanent bodily injury or death. The program would also pay out a maximum of EGP 10,000 per incident in compensation for property damage.

Sinai locals can own the land they built their homes on: Head of the Sinai Development Authority Shawky Rashwan announced, in a meeting with North Sinai governor Abdel Fattah Harhoor, that Sinai locals will be allowed to own the land their houses are built on at a cost of EGP 1 per meter in the cities, and EGP 0.5 in the villages, at a maximum of 600 meters per single home. Rashwan urged locals to head for the governorate office to file for ownership, reported Youm7.

French financial conglomerate AXA plans to form an insurance holding company which will include its recently acquired life insurance company CIL. According to Al Borsa (which appears to be the only new sources picking up the story) AXA is holding a number of meetings with senior fund managers and investors. AXA had bought CIB’s shares in insurer CIL for EGP 763 mn and is awaiting final approval for the transaction from EFSA.


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