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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

What we’re tracking on 01 August 2017

It is the first day of August. Do any of you happen to have any idea why this year is passing so quickly? We have a couple of weeks of earnings season ahead of us, then the Eid Al-Adha break at month’s end and into the first week of September — and a very pleasant scattering of long weekends throughout this fall.

And we have tons of news to kickstart the new month, from the Health Ministry’s bid to regulate pricing at private hospitals to the new bread subsidy system, a new lockup period for certain investors in an IPO, the ECA wanting signoff power on M&As, and Mohamed Alabbar looking to (maybe) sink some capital into the New Administrative Capital after all. And that’s just for starters. Read on:

The new bread subsidy system comes into effect today. Bakers and millers will pay forinputs at market prices in advance rather than be given access to subsidized wheat and flour with which to work. Millers will then charge bakers market price for flour, while bakers participating in the bread subsidy system will continue to sell loaves at EGP 0.05 per piece and then invoice the state for the difference. Al Masry Al Youm has the story, citing Supply Ministry spokesperson Mamdouh Ramadan, who says that a tonne of flour will now set bakeries back around EGP 4,700. To celebrate the new system, some 2,500 bakers from Sharqiya began an open-ended strike yesterday, Al Mal reports. Bakers in other governorates, including Gharbiya, are equally disgruntled with the new system and are threatening to partially shut down production, Ahram Gate reports.

Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday to discuss changes to the smart card and bread point systems.

Founders, “strategic” investors, private-equity types, HNWIs and some PMs may want to listen up: We rather hope we’re reading this the wrong way, but it seems to us that EFSA wants to force investors who take substantial minority stakes during the IPO of an EGX company to stick around for a minimum two-year period. The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority handed down amendments last week to the listing regulations under which shareholders who take positions equivalent to 25% or more of a company during an IPO will face a two-year lockup on 51% of their stake. The provision was included in a package of changes that was primarily focused on tightening penalties for non-compliance with listing regs.

Pictet Asset Management’s emerging markets consumer confidence index has hit its highest level in 24 years, according to FT. The index collects data from 25 countries. While both the US and Europe have seen a rise in consumer sentiment, the sluggish rise in consumption and growth in EM suggests potential for a run.

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