Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 15 January 2017

What we’re tracking on 15 January 2017

It looks like it’s the Finance Ministry’s week in the spotlight between a presser Finance Minister Amr El Garhy is due to hold today and the start of the roadshow for Egypt’s eurobond issue tomorrow.

Egypt’s eurobond roadshow kicks off on Tuesday, 17 January with joint lead managers BNP Paribas, Citi, J.P. Morgan and Natixis holding a series of investor meetings in the Middle East, US and Europe, according to a statement from BNP Paribas over the weekend. The Roadshow kicks off in the UAE on Tuesday (breakfast in Abu Dhabi, lunch in Dubai), moves to New York on Wednesday (one-on-ones), Boston on Thursday (also one-on-ones), Los Angeles on Friday (one-on-ones), before wrapping up on Monday, 23 January in London. The statement notes that in addition to five- and 10-year notes, a 30-year tranche “could be considered” depending on market conditions. We’ve had a quick look at the roadshow presentation, and it looks very solid indeed. Speakers on the roadshow will include Finance Minister Amr El Garhy, Vice-Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies Ahmed Kouchouk and Samy Khallaf, advisor to the Minister of Finance and Head of Debt Management.

The Finance Minister will be holding a press conference today to discuss Egypt’s fiscal position in 1H2016-17, AMAY reported. The presser comes after El Garhy and other senior ministry officials met with investor associations over the weekend, with the minister reiterating his target of seeing tax collection equivalent to 15% of GDP. BothEl Garhy and Deputy Finance Minister Mohamed Maait are offering more conservative guidance on growth and the budget deficit: El Garhy sees GDP growth clocking in at 4% this year, lower than previous projections of 5%. Maait also expects the budget deficit come in higher than originally planned on the back of the float of the EGP and rising global energy prices. He added that Egypt must grow at 7% every year in order to keep up with an annual population growth of 2.5%, Al Borsa reports.

El Garhy has message: The private sector needs to be patient. It will take three years for the reform agenda to deliver sustainable results, he said, adding that the current challenges will ease over the next 6-12 months. He cites slight improvements in tourism revenues and Egypt meeting fuel imports required by industry as being crucial recent signs we’re on the right track. Pro-investment policies and tax incentives will also help speed up the recovery, El Garhy added.

Also: Stop importing, start exporting. It makes no sense that Egypt can muster a paltry USD 18 bn in exports and maintain a trade deficit of USD 50 bn, El Garhy said, when economies comparable to Egypt’s export USD 150-200 bn. “We used to import everything from needles to rockets.” Maait added.

All of this comes as an IMF team is set arrive in Cairo this week to follow up on the reform agenda, particularly on taxation, government sources tell Al Borsa. The delegation will reportedly meet with senior Tax Authority officials on the progress in implementing the value-added tax (VAT) and settlement of taxation disputes — the two key taxation reform policies adopted in 2016. Want to know what’s on the Finance Ministry’s mind in the meantime? The ministry issued a statement yesterday that should go some way to helping on that front.

Meanwhile, the local press continues to lose its mind over why the terms of the USD 12 bn IMF loan haven’t been made public, despite reassurances by the Ismail cabinet and the Finance Ministry that it is heading to the House of Representatives for a vote. The government has approved releasing the full report sometime this week, IMF Communications Director Gerry Rice told Al Shorouk in response.

Deputy Finance Minister Amr El Monayer also discussed the ministry’s vision for a tax policy for SMEs, saying that this will not breaks on unpaid taxes from years past, AMAY reports. “We are looking to address the root cause of why these businesses do not pay taxes,” which El Monayer, who heads tax policy at the finance ministry, believes boils down to complicated tax procedures. The ministry is working with the Trade and Industry Ministry and the Federation of Egyptian Industries on a law to simplify the tax code for SMEs, which (reading between the lines) could include a lower tax rate for the smallest of companies.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.