Back to the complete issue
Tuesday, 17 January 2017

What we’re tracking on 17 January 2016

A CABINET SHUFFLE IS COMING, expect Sherif Ismail to remain as PM: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi confirmed in the second part of his sit-down with state-owned newspapers that a cabinet shuffle is in the works. Speaking on his faith in the government of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, the president said a cabinet shuffle is coming “very soon” but did not elaborate further. He did, however, express “his full trust” in Ismail, which we’re taking as a sign the PM will remain the head of the government.

Good news for the Cabinet economic group? Speaking to the notion that the current cabinet is unpopular, El Sisi suggested approval ratings are fickle and move in the opposite direction of inflation, saying, “This is a very unfair way to assess the government.” The president’s remarks about cabinet came the section of his interview that focused on his political agenda, terrorism, and foreign policy. The first part of the interview yesterday dealt with the economy and his administration’s reform agenda. We rather like the current economic group in cabinet and hope any shuffle will leave them in place. They’re competent and they are, by and large, doing the right thing. Changing horses midstream works counter to the policy stability business needs in the coming years as we digest the VAT, the float of the EGP and other fallout from the reform program. (We have more on El Sisi’s interview in Speed Round, below.)

It’s eurobond roadshow day today, with Finance Minister Amr El Garhy having arrived in Abu Dhabi last night, Youm7 reports. After meeting with debt investors there, he’ll head to Dubai. The roadshow will then move to the US for one on one meetings in New York on Wednesday, Boston on Thursday, Los Angeles on Friday, before arriving at the final leg in London on Monday, 23 January. Egypt will be looking to raise USD 2-2.5 bn, with the issue primarily being five- and ten-year maturities but with a “small portion” at a 30-year tenor. El Garhy will be joined by Vice-Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies Ahmed Kouchouk and Samy Khallaf, advisor to the Minister of Finance and Head of Debt Management. We wish them all Godspeed.

Egypt has moved global energy markets: Commodity and energy benchmark player S&P Global Platts will begin assessing prices for LNG delivered to the Middle East as demand in this part of the world has risen tenfold, Reuters reports. The Platts Middle East Marker (MEM) price assessment (paywall) will rely on the five core markets of Egypt, Kuwait, Dubai, Jordan and Pakistan, with the port of Ain Sokhna set to be the point for the Platts price marker. Deliveries into other ports will be assessed by applying a freight cost factor, Platts said. The price assessment will be published at 16:30 London time daily. “[The move] is designed to reflect the growing importance of the Middle East as an LNG import destination rather than just an exporter of cargoes," Platts’ Global Director of LNG Shelley Kerr said.

The World Economic Forum gets underway this morning in Switzerland (forum website here). Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to address the WEF, marking the first time a Chinese president has attended the forum — it seems likely you’ll be able to stream it live here starting at about 12:10pm CLT. Enda Curran has a take on the Xi phenomenon in a piece for Bloomberg, noting him as an “unlikely champion for business elites.” Xi’s arrival comes as some among the elite of Davos look to pandering to the loons, including conference founder Klaus Schwab who urged that we should listen to the populists, CBS News reports. And just to make sure we’re in touch with the commoners, Schwab made sure to invite Shakira and Matt Damon to present on day one (at least the latter has real credibility among do-gooders for serious work on water and human rights).

The IMF appears to see some positivity in a Trump presidency, saying the U.S. economy would grow faster than previously expected in 2017 and 2018 based on the incoming Trump administration’s tax and spending plans. The IMF kept its global growth forecasts unchanged, however, due to weakness in some emerging markets Reuters reports.

Egypt will play its first match of the African Cup of Nations 2017 against Mali tonight at 9.00 pm CLT. As we noted earlier this week, tensions are high as a number of broadcasters from Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) announced they will air Egypt’s matches regardless of who has the broadcast rights. CAF has said unauthorized broadcast of fixtures could see Egypt booted from the ACN and from future CAF events.

In a rare goof on our part we failed to note over the weekend that the US and elected to lift 20-year sanctions on Sudan, a decision (pdf) many in Sudan hope will help alleviate the crippled economy. Reports show that the SDG has rallied since the announcement and strengthened 30% to the USD in the black market.

Three days (including today) and a wakeup until the Trump administration takes over in America. The Donald’s inaugural will be on Friday.

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.