El Sisi talks Sinai plans, Asia tour, terrorism in call to Amr Adib
El Sisi orders EGP 10 bn development plan for Sinai to be complete in 1.5 years. (Speed Round)
EFG Hermes has IPOs on deck for Egypt, UAE, advising on acquisitions in KSA. (Speed Round)
EGAS makes LNG payment to importers for first time in a year. (Speed Round)
Egypt works with UN to set ergot limit standards once and for all. (Speed Round)
Finance Ministry issues EGP 6 bn bonds. (Egypt Politics + Economics)
Oil Ministry could add new partners to Seabird concession. (Energy)
AstraZeneca Egypt investing EGP 300 mn in 2016. (Health + Education)
SODIC targets recurring revenues of EGP 240 mn over four years. (Real Estate + Housing)
TDA to withdraw land from underperforming investors. (Tourism)
NTRA completes provincial ISP draft regulation, approval in days. (Telecoms + ICT)
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY
AIS and Choueifat placed under education ministry supervision: Education Minister El Helaly El Sherbiny has placed the privately owned International School of Choueifat and American International School in Egypt (AIS) under the Education Ministry’s administrative and financial supervision, Al Mal reports. The weakening EGP rears its head again in this instance: The head of private and international education at the ministry tells Al Masry Al Youm the move was largely due to the school requiring that tuition fees be paid only in USD. Health and education providers in Egypt are not allowed to increase fees by more than 7% annually. Enterprise was told by sources close to the matter who chose not to be named that the Education Ministry was spurred to action after Choueifat increased its USD-denominated fees for the current school year in line with the government-imposed cap, but well beyond that when accounted for in EGP after the exchange rate drop. Committees have been sent to the schools’ Katameya campuses, and it is unclear whether the decision also applies to the Sixth of October campuses.
We’re hitting day two of the three-day EFG Hermes One on One 2016 at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. We have some coverage on updates in Speed Round.
It’s about to be official: Mobinil is expected to announce its transformation into Orange Egypt at a press conference today.
Health Minister Ahmed Rady’s disciplinary hearing at the Doctors’ Syndicate is scheduled to take place today, Al Borsa reports. The Doctors’ Syndicate’s general assembly, which met last month with around 10,000 members in attendance, voted for a disciplinary hearing against Rady after members claim he made statements accusing the syndicate of playing politics, saying that around 8,000 doctors were unqualified, and dismissing half the attendees of the general assembly as being non-members. The assembly was prompted by a police assault on doctors at Mattariya Training Hospital.
Jordan’s energy minister is due to arrive in Cairo today to discuss progress on the Basra-Aqaba crude oil pipeline, with Egypt’s Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and Iraq’s Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, AMAY reports. Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan had signed an MoU last November to cooperate on oil supplies through the Basra-Aqaba pipeline, which terminates in Egypt, according to Mubasher.
ON THE HORIZON
The US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meets between 15-16 March. The Fed chair will hold a press conference after the gathering.
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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
Our talk show roundup is on hiatus this week, back next week.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi says he had ordered an EGP 10 bn comprehensive development plan for Sinai about a year ago. The president made the remarks in a half-hour call-in to Amr Adeeb’s OSN talk show, his second such call in as many months after an early February call in which he said “we have so far failed to reach our youth.” The EGP 10 bn figure for Sinai development includes funding for
- 27 agricultural and residential compounds for Bedouins, each containing 100-150 homes;
- 3,000-4,000 new homes not part of the compounds;
- up to 1,500 km in roads;
- a total of 20,000 new fisheries;
- a marble industrial complex housing five to six factories;
- a desalination plant;
- and 10,000-15,000 homes as part of the new Millennium City project, among other projects.
The president the projects are slated for completion a year and a half from now. El Sisi promised to complete these projects and more during his time in office. Adeeb interjected with a question as to whether this current term was his final one, but the president did not provide an answer. He then shifted gears to terrorism, offering his condolences to the victims of Monday night’s attack in Tunisia, which saw at least 50 people killed when Islamist fighters stormed through the town of Ben Guerdan near the Libyan border attacking army and police posts, Reuters reports. El Sisi concluded with his Asia tour, saying Japan and Korea’s work ethic has allowed them to transcend their lack of natural resource wealth. You can view the full interview here (run time: 28:49) and Al Masry Youm has published a pretty comprehensive transcript in Arabic.
More news from the EFG Hermes One on One 2016: EFG Hermes has a “very healthy” pipeline of potential IPOs in Egypt and the UAE, Bloomberg quotes group CEO Karim Awad as saying in an interview in Dubai on Sunday. The company plans to execute another offering on the EGX before the end of 1H2016, co-head of investment banking Mostafa Gad, said without mentioning the size of the offering, but adding that it would still not fall below that of Domty, Mubasher reports. Also in the first half of the year, the company expects to finalize advisory on two acquisitions in Egypt’s retail and food sectors, both of which are in advanced stages. Outside of Egypt, the company advising on two M&A transactions in Saudi Arabia’s food sector, Mubasher quotes co-head of investment banking Mohamed Fahmi as saying in Dubai on Monday. The group is also looking to finalize a private placement in the Saudi market in the first half, he said.
EFG Hermes’ head of Research Ahmed Shams pointed to the energy sector, which has attracted significant investment, as proof of Egypt’s potential to rebound. As for the FX crisis, Egypt is between a rock and a hard place. It can either devalue the EGP, a decision that has significant political pressure attached to it, nor carry on with import restrictions. Short-term solutions include continued borrowing coupled with the sale of state assets to shore up FX reserves, Al Borsa reports.
Awad, meanwhile, says Egypt has lagged in delivering EEDC projects from the pipeline, Al Masry Al Youm reports, and notes that GCC investment in Egypt has slipped since last year due to declining oil prices. That said: Egypt’s strong fundamentals and growing trade relations with other countries in the continent see it remain an attractive destination for investment. He also said OTMT’s acquisition of CI Capital is a sign of the financial sector’s resilience.
Speaking of which, Naguib was on air talking things up yesterday: Orascom Telecom and Media Technology Holding’s (OTMT) acquisition of CI Capital is a “good agreement” because it helps the company expand and complements Beltone’s current activities, Chairman Naguib Sawiris told CNBC Arabia TV. “When I dealt with EFG Hermes, I saw a lot of weak points … including their board of directors,” Sawiris said, explaining his vision to create a rival entity to the investment bank. Asked why the rise in Beltone Financial’s stock price was not reflected in a similar rise in OTMT’s share, Sawiris chalked it up to the limited number of Beltone shares available in the market. Next up for OTMT: an impending “opportunity” in the infrastructure and transport sectors. Sawiris is also looking at agrifood and eying “one or two” sugar factories. Sawiris also believes the EGP should be on a free-float: “If the market thinks the USD 1 is worth EGP 9, then that is its true value … You will not get foreign reserves as long as you wait and keep [the rate] fixed at an imaginary price,” he added. Reuters’ Arabic and English service have coverage, and you can watch excerpts from the interview here (run time 6:22).
EGAS has begun paying for LNG importers for the first time since deciding to postpone payments on LNG imports for 90 days last December due to the foreign currency crisis, sources tell Al Masry Al Youm. Reuters has coverage in English. EGAS has paid off its dues and will commit to the 90-day deadline, said EGAS chairman Khaled Abdel Badei. To date, Egypt owes LNG importers USD 1 bn, according to traders who see any further extension as threatening Egypt’s supplies. BP had rerouted a FSRU to Brazil back in January due to the delayed payments.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit is now formally Egypt’s candidate for the Arab League’s top job. Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Ben Helli said Aboul Gheit is the only candidate for the job so far, and his appointment will be discussed in a session on Thursday, according to Al Ahram.
Egypt will work with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to set standards for the limit on ergot in wheat shipments, Reuters’ Arabic service writes. The Agriculture Ministry reportedly asked the FAO to expedite sending an expert to analyze wheat shipments and help set the standards. In related news, the head of the Agriculture Quarantine Authority was not replaced because of issues relating to imported wheat shipments, the Agriculture Ministry said, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The move was part of a plan to develop and restructure the ministry’s agencies to realize the sector’s strategy for 2030, according to a statement from the ministry.
Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has bought a 30.3% stake in Egypt’s Alexandria International Container Terminals (AICT), according to a statement reported by Reuters. HPH is buying the 30.3% stake in AICT from the Middle East North Africa Infrastructure Fund, which is owned by HSBC, Abu Dhabi’s Waha Capital, and Dubai’s Fajr Capital, for an undisclosed amount.
British Airways is accepting payments for tickets in EGP again through tourism agencies after the successful repatriation of 50% of its profits, Al Mal reports. The airline had said last week it would no longer be accepting cash payments, limiting ticket sales to only credit cards, Al Masry Al Youm wrote.
The cabinet economic committee met yesterday. In a bid to get the ball rolling on the one-stop shop policy, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail ordered weekly progress meetings be held with the investment minister and the heads of General Authority of Investments and Free Zones, the Tourism Development Authority, the Industrial Development Authority, the New Urban Communities Authority among others, Al Mal reports. Among the most important decisions taken:
- Greenlit the “exceptional program to support exports,” which will run in parallel with current export programs. The exceptional program will add 50% to the export subsidy should exports increase 25% from the chemical, food, engineering, and textile industries. The program will run for a year as of March 2016. This decision will boost exports by around USD 2.5 bn, said cabinet spokesperson Hossam Qawish.
- Greenlit a policy to ensure nitrogen-based fertilizers are available for farmers.
- Gas pricing for fertilizer factories will depend on global fertilizer prices, with the pricing scheme put under inspection every six months.
- Fertilizer producers are allowed to export their excess produce once the Agriculture MInistry’s quota is met.
- Granted Lekela Power a land plot in the Gulf of Suez to conduct technical studies to build a 250 MW wind farm under the BOO system.
MOVES- PwC names Bob Moritz as Global Chairman: Robert Moritz will serve as the new global chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), starting his four-year term on 1 July 2016, according to a company statement issued Monday. Moritz spent his entire 31-year career at PwC and will be coming from PwC US, where he has served since 2009 as its chairman and senior partner. Moritz succeeds Dennis Nally, who will retire in June, having completed his second term as global chairman and his 42-year career at PwC.
THE MACRO PICTURE
It’s China all day every day this week it seems, with the country’s FX reserves falling at a slower pace last month, Bloomberg reports. Reserves were down USD 28.6 bn to USD 3.2 tn in February, the smallest decline since June and less than the USD 40.9 bn decrease expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The FT (paywall) also has coverage. Researchers at the Bank for International Settlements also discovered that recent outflows from China were likely due to Chinese corporates paying USD debt and not capital flight.
All eyes turn to Frankfurt on Thursday when European Central Bank will meet in a gathering expected to result in further stimulus measures. Economists in a Bloomberg survey are nearly unanimous in predicting action, particularly if Draghi wants to avoid a repeat of December when a stimulus tweak sparked a selloff. The question: What form will the measures take and how big will they be? The FT runs down a list of possible options in How low can Mario Draghi go to lift the eurozone? (paywall), but the short answer is rate cuts, tiered rates, and an expansion in the quantitative easing programme.
“[F]oreign exchange investors may finally have found a flicker of light to follow. It is a barely discernible flame and it leads them to emerging markets,” the FT (paywall) writes. The EM FX has taken a serious hit from oil prices, the China slowdown, and the USD’s appreciation, but this year it is “a bit better than flat,” says Paul McNamara, EM investment director at GAM. This suggests the underperformance of EM against major currencies is “at an end,” but does not mean a strong EM rally has begun. An FT (paywall) opinion piece posits that “Market froth comes and goes, but the underlying currents of emerging market growth have been running too sluggishly for too long.”
The world’s food bill has just fallen USD 9 bn from a previous estimate as oil becomes abundant and ships cut transportation costs, Bloomberg reports. This has led to an oversupply of, well, everything from grains to sugar, according to the United Nations. And who stands to benefit? “Large importers in the Middle East and Africa region,” said Cole Martin, a senior commodities analyst at BMI Research, a unit of Fitch Ratings Ltd. “Nations from Egypt, the largest wheat buyer, to Ethiopia are gaining as they run large food deficits or have had poor harvests due to the El Nino weather pattern,” he said.
EGYPT IN THE NEWS
Egypt’s removal of the man heading the department behind the ergot confusion made it to the international press, with the WSJ carrying the story. “The removal of a figure who many traders see as a champion of the ergot-free stance could signal a return to normality for Egypt’s grain-buying process following months of disruption,” the paper writes. However, the ministry says there is “no link between Moussa’s replacement and wheat whatsoever,” ministry spokesperson Eid Hawash told the WSJ by phone on Monday. “The decision was purely an administrative one.”
The Economist feels the intense psychological trauma inflicted upon some of us around here at Enterprise as a result of watching Egypt’s talk shows, in a piece subtitled ‘The absurdity of Egypt’s talk shows.’ Yep. The money quote: “Though their ranting is often nonsensical,” and we’ll just cut the quote off right there because that’s all you need to know about that (regardless of something about them being opinion-makers). The following video encapsulates how many of us feel about the vast majority of Egypt’s talk shows. (Watch, running time: 2:36)
Egypt had a small walk-on role in a piece by Reuters detailing how France’s Total and Italy’s Eni are making bets on new oil finds rather than making cuts like other oil firms. Eni, which was the first big oil firm to cut its dividend to mitigate the downturn, will keep seeking new resources in areas where it can use existing infrastructure to lower costs. “Its bet on finding new resources was boosted last year when it made the bumper Zohr gas discovery offshore Egypt … giving it the best track record in reserve replacement among majors.”
The British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson made what appears to be a social media snafu yesterday after he asked Twitter users what should be on his agenda before a visit by five British MPs to Cairo on Monday but left out “human rights” as one of the options. Human rights activists criticized the experiment in “crowd-sourced diplomacy,” particularly in light of the ongoing investigation into the death of Italian student Giulio Regeni and the crackdown on journalists and dissidents, the Guardian writes.
The ETF Files: Eric Balchunas tells the origin story of how AMEX’s SPY, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) and now the world’s most-traded security, grew out of an idea contained in the SEC’s 840-page postmortem report on 1988’s Black Monday, the biggest one-day crash in history. (Read The ETF Files: How the U.S. government inadvertently launched a USD 3 tn industry)
Premium cable television title sequence music: Ever wonder why so many of the opening theme songs from television shows sound alike? Some of us hadn’t even noticed it in the first place, to be honest, and those some of us watch a lot of television. Now in its sixth season, Portlandia offers a plausible answer. (Watch, running time: 3:24)
DIPLOMACY + FOREIGN TRADE
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin agree fighting terrorists extends to Libya and Yemen, the Kremlin said in a statement. Putin informed El Sisi of the implementation of a ceasefire agreement in Syria, noting it was key for stabilizing the region, Reuters reports. The presidents also discussed ways to resume flights between the two countries and to restore Russian tourism in Egypt to its previous levels, according to an Ittihadiya statement.
Final preparations before breaking ground on the new administrative capital were discussed at a meeting between Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly and top management of the Chinese State Construction Engineering Company (CSCEC) in China. Discussions also included approving final designs for CSCEC’s projects, including 12 ministry buildings, the cabinet headquarters, the new parliament building, a conference hall, and an exhibition hall, Al Mal reports.
An MoU to increase weekly flights between Egypt and Greece to 21 from its current 14 was signed between Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal and Greek Minister of Transport Christos Spirtzis. The agreement also grants both countries two air freight flights a week and grants EgyptAir fifth freedom access to use Athens as a transit point to a third destination, while granting Greece the right to determine a transit point in Egypt, Al Mal reports.
Kamal also signed an agreement to increase flights and air freight transport with Cyprus’ Transport Minister Marios Demetriades on Monday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Demetriades visited Egypt at the head of a Cypriot delegation hoping to use Egypt as a conduit for air transport to Africa.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Iraqi President Fuad Masum in his first official visit to Cairo on Monday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Masum is accompanied by a delegation including Iraqi national security, agriculture minister, and a number of presidential advisers, Ahram Online reports. Masum said he looked forward to cementing agreements signed with Egypt to boost cooperation and to take advantage of Egypt’s expertise in the industrial and agricultural fields. El Sisi pointed to real estate and infrastructure as other sectors for collaboration.
Oil Ministry considers adding new partners to the Seabird concession
The Oil Ministry is considering adding new partners to the Seabird concession in the south of the Gulf of Suez, Al Mal reports. Operations at the concession are not called off and will be started “soon,” EGPC Chairman Mohamed El Masry said. A consortium of Egyptian companies that include EGPC, Tanmia Petroleum, and Tharwa Petroleum were awarded the E&P rights to the site in late 2014, but development was postponed due to liquidity shortages. El Masry said companies including Trident, Tri-Ocean, and PICO Petroleum are currently being considered and could be added to the site’s developers. (Read in Arabic)
Rival groups offer to lead on USD 325 mn facility for Assiut refinery
EGPC has received two banking proposals to secure around USD 325 mn for the Assiut Oil Refining Company’s Hydrogen Cracking of Mazut Complex project, which has an investment value of USD 1.3-1.6 bn, a senior source tells Amwal Al Ghad. The project aims to convert low-valued mazut into higher-valued products the market needs. The first consortium includes Banque Misr and HSBC while the second is led by NBE, which is acting as a financial adviser alongside foreign banks, the source added. (Read in Arabic)
Electricity Ministry nearing final agreement with Toyota-led consortium for Gulf of Suez wind farm
The Electricity Ministry is nearing the final agreement with the Toyota-Orascom Construction-GDF Suez (Engie) consortium to build a 250 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, head of the feed-in tariff program Lamia Youssef told Al Borsa. Under the agreement, the ministry will buy the power at USD 0.047 per kWh for 25 years, she added. The Toyota consortium was the ministry’s second choice after the Leleka-ACTIS consortium, which presented a bid at USD 0.039 per kWh but did not follow through with procedures, adds Youssef. (Read in Arabic)
Daily natural gas production down 50 mcf, says EGAS
Egypt’s daily natural gas production fell to an average of 3.9 bcf in the first week of March from 3.95 bcf in February, an official from EGAS told Al Borsa. The production rate is expected to rise to 4 bcf daily by June, he added, where it will settle until the end of 2016 as compensation wells come online. Natural gas production falls 1.2 bcf annually, while the total number of compensation wells that have come online since 2013 have produced no more than 700 mcf annually, the source adds. (Read in Arabic)
Saudi’s AlFanar qualifies for USD 500 mn renewable energy projects
Saudi Arabia’s AlFanar qualified for tenders to build two solar power plants with a total capacity of 300 MW and a combined investment value of around USD 500 mn in the West Nile area, said Egypt’s director for renewable energy projects Mohamed Abdel Karim. Both tenders fall under the build-own-operate system, with the company owning and operating the plant for 20-25 years and the Egyptian Energy Transmission Company buying the generated power. (Read in Arabic)
Maridive awarded USD43 mn contract in UAE
Maridive & Oil Services was awarded an offshore construction contract worth USD43 mn in the UAE, it said in an statement on the EGX. Construction is set to start in 2Q2016 and be completed by 4Q2016. (Read in Arabic)
Oil Ministry begins laying out gas pipelines for Siemens power plants
The Oil Ministry has begun laying out the five gas pipelines that will feed the three Siemens power plants, announced Oil Minister Tarek El Molla. Trial runs on the five pipelines, which cost EGP 3.5 bn and run for 330 km, will begin in September. (Read in Arabic)
Permits could delay trial operations at 60% of participants in the “1,000 factories” project
The delay in receiving permits from the civil defense could set back the trial operations scheduled for May for up to 600 factories under the 1,000 factories project, despite earlier announcements by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail that all obstacles facing the project had been cleared. The project’s investors association has tasked the Industrial Development Authority with speeding up the permit process. A source within the association tells Al Borsa that extending infrastructure is going smoothly, but the permits remain the biggest hindrance. (Read in Arabic)
HEALTH + EDUCATION
AstraZeneca Egypt investing EGP 300 mn in 2016
AstraZeneca Egypt is investing EGP 300 mn in 2016 to expand its operational and production capacity, CEO Khaled Atef told Al Mal. AstraZeneca Egypt has grown 26% y-o-y in 2016 so far, he said, adding that the company will introduce three new medications to the market this year. Atef also said his company faces problems repatriating dividends and securing foreign currency, but was supported by the parent company. (Read in Arabic)
Pharmaceutical sector sales growth down in FY2015 due to FX crunch
Sales growth in Egypt’s pharmaceutical sector in USD declined to around 4% y-o-y to USD 4.1 bn in FY2015 due to FX liquidity shortages despite a 13% increase in EGP sales to EGP 31.7 bn, according to research firm IMS Health’s country report. The decline in the EGP’s real value while pharmaceutical prices remain fixed has hindered the growth prospects of the sector’s highest performers, especially considering that 11 out of the top 20 performing companies in Egypt are foreign-based. Novartis was the market leader in terms of sales at EGP 2.6 bn, followed by GlaxoSmithKline at EGP 2.5 bn, and Sanofi at EGP 1.7 bn. (Read in Arabic)
REAL ESTATE + HOUSING
SODIC is targeting recurring revenues of EGP 240 mn over next four years
SODIC is targeting recurring revenues of EGP 240 mn from their commercial and office building developments over the next four years, SODIC CEO Magued Sherif said at the EFG Hermes One on One conference. On upcoming expansion plans, Sherif stated that SODIC is negotiating for the purchase of 80 feddans adjacent to the Ceasar development in the North Coast with the Matrouh government. SODIC is still at this time considering issuing global depository receipts on the London Stock Exchange, Al Borsa reports. SODIC’s partnership with Heliopolis Housing to develop 655 feddans will raise the company’s land portfolio to 6 mn sqm, he added. (Read in Arabic)
Tourism Development Authority to withdraw land from underperforming investors
The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) will cancel development contracts it signed if developers have not achieved a minimum 10% completion rate within five years of their signing. Land will be withdrawn from underperforming investors, with Al Mal saying TDA is already assessing relevant cases and will give extensions to serious developers. Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou had said that no exemptions or extensions would be given to investors who have not completed 10% of their projects granted more than 15 years ago. (Read in Arabic)
TELECOMS + ICT
NTRA completes provincial ISP draft regulation, could approve it within days
The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has completed its draft regulation to provide internet services in towns in Upper Egypt and the Delta, a source told Al Mal. The draft is now being revised legally and procedurally and is expected to be approved in the next NTRA board meeting. The source said NTRA is still assessing whether to grant the licences for a fixed fee or for a 6-10% share of the revenues. The plan aims to increase internet penetration and access beyond the major cities while supporting SMEs. (Read in Arabic)
AUTOMOTIVE + TRANSPORTATION
Transport Ministry to issue EGP 15-20 bn worth of projects in ports this month
The Transport Ministry will issue projects in Egyptian ports worth EGP 15-20 bn this month. Al Mal writes that previous plans to issue container-terminal projects were not completed because of legal hurdles. The government will begin implementing the Alexandria-Abu Qir trainline project itself after the Chinese partner withdrew, Transport Minister Saad El Geyoushi said. (Read in Arabic)
EGP 1.7 bn passenger car sales in January
Passenger car sales amounted to EGP 1.7 bn in January, with 1,500cc-1,600cc cars making up 45% of these sales, Al Mal reports. 2,000cc cars and SUVs made up 22% of total sales, while 1,300cc-1,500cc cars made up 19% of total sales. As we noted last week, passenger car sales fell 38% y-o-y in January to around 9,600 units.
BANKING + FINANCE
NBE’s 12.5% interest rate certificates of deposit attract EGP 80 bn
NBE’s platinum certificates of deposit that carry an interest rate of 12.5% have attracted EGP 80 bn in investments as of February, board member Yehia Aboul Fotouh told Al Borsa. NBE has attracted savings of EGP 59 bn and a total of EGP 495 bn in deposits as of September 2015, he added, noting that the bank’s profits are expected to surpass last year’s by EGP 4 bn. (Read in Arabic)
EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development looking to finance retail sector this year
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is targeting the Egyptian retail sector in 2016, Egypt director Philip ter Woort tells Amwal Al Ghad. All indicators show increasing growth rates in the retail sector in the coming period, he said at the Retail Plus conference, underscoring the sector’s 35% share of Egypt’s GDP, and an annual growth of 20% in the retail sector worldwide. (Read in Arabic)
Finance Ministry issues EGP 6 bn bonds on Monday
The Finance Ministry issued EGP 6 bn worth of three- and seven-year bonds on Monday. Average interest on three-year term bonds was 13.4% and were covered 1.5 times, while seven-year bonds had an average interest rate of 15.1% and were covered 1.7 times, according to the Finance Ministry.
Clearing agent strike in Ain Sokhna port delays clearing of 140k containers
140k containers languished in Ain Sokhna port as a result of a strike during the second half of February by customs clearing agents working at the port, said the secretary general of Alexandria Port’s Clearing Agents Union Mohamed Nasr. The two-week strike ended last week. Fines for clearing delays get tacked on to the importer and must be paid in USD at a time of severe FX shortage, said Nasr. (Read in Arabic)
ON YOUR WAY OUT
SODIC’s co-development agreement with Heliopolis Housing involves a preliminary investment cost of EGP 20 bn, SODIC tells the EGX. SODIC and Heliopolis Housing had signed an agreement to co-develop 655 acres in New Heliopolis.
Being a monopolist is good business: Telecom Egypt’s 2015 after tax net profit increased 111% y-o-y to EGP 2.999 bn, Reuters reported. “The company said it was helped by a fall in the corporate income tax rate to [22.5%] from [30%] retroactively as of January 1, 2015, and changes to the taxation of dividends.”
USD CBE auction (Sunday, 6 March): 7.7301 (unchanged since Wednesday, 11 November)
USD parallel market (Sunday, 6 March): 9.8 (+0.05 since Saturday, 5 March, Al Mal)
EGX30 (Monday): 6,261.41 (+0.75%)
Turnover: EGP 449.2 mn (3% above the 90-day average)
EGX 30 year-to-date: -10.62%
THE MARKET ON MONDAY: The EGX30 climbed 0.8% yesterday buoyed by strong buying appetite from ex-Egypt institutions. OTMT and SODIC were some of the more notable gainers while Telecom Egypt bucked the trend and ended the day down 1.5% despite reporting that its bottom line more than doubled to EGP 3.0 bn in 2015. Market turnover came in relatively high at EGP 449.2 mn and local investors were the sole net sellers. GCC markets were mixed despite Brent crude hitting a three-month high during the day. European markets were mostly lower on growing doubts over a new Eurozone stimulus.
Foreigners: Net long | EGP + 17.0 mn
Regional: Net long | EGP + 6.0 mn
Domestic: Net short | EGP – 23.0 mn
Retail: 73.1% of total trades | 69.6% of buyers | 76.7% of sellers
Institutions: 26.9% of total trades | 30.4% of buyers | 23.3% of sellers
Foreign: 13.0% of total | 14.9% of buyers | 11.1% of sellers
Regional: 5.0 of total | 5.7% of buyers | 4.4% of sellers
Domestic: 82.0% of total | 79.4% of buyers | 84.5% of sellers
WTI: USD 37.83 (+4.04%)
Brent: USD 40.84 (+5.48%)
Gold: USD 1,269.80 / troy ounce (+0.49%)
TASI: 6,387.4 (-0.1%)
ADX: 4,566.4 (0.2%)
DFM: 3,380.6 (1.1%)
KSE Weighted Index: 364.1 (0.2%)
QE: 10,368.7 (2.3%)
MSM: 5,396.4 (-0.2%)
07-09 March 2016 (Monday-Wednesday): The EFG Hermes 12th Annual One on One Conference 2016, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.
07 March 2016 (Monday): The Retail Plus Conference, Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski Hotel, Cairo.
15-16 March 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday): US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meets. Fed chair will hold press conference.
21-22 March (Monday-Tuesday): The Africa CEO Forum, Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
23-24 March 2016 (Wednesday-Thursday): Microfinance Egypt, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.
29-31 March 2016 (Tuesday-Thursday): Future Rail and Metro Egypt, Cairo.
13-16 April 2016 (Wednesday-Saturday): Cafex, Cairo.
17 April 2016: German economic delegation visits Cairo.
25 April 2016 (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day (national holiday)
26-28 April (Tuesday-Thursday): Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, The Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
01 May (Sunday): Easter Holiday / Labour Day (national holiday)
02 May (Monday): Sham El Nessim (national holiday)
02-03 May (Monday-Tuesday): The Middle East Investment Summit 2016, Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai.
06 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day (national holiday)
27 November 2016 (Sunday): 2016 Cairo ICT Conference