Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 3 February 2019

What we’re tracking on 3 February 2019

** Our 2019 Enterprise CEO Poll kicks off this morning. We’ll have 12 top executives speaking over the course of this week in industries ranging from financial services to health, education, construction, energy and law. We are running the interviews all week long in the place of our industry news section, which will return next week.

Egypt has been doing well in 2018 relative to its regional peers, but much more needs to be done. CEOs are looking at the macro challenges in particular, paying considerable attention to inflation, interest rates and foreign direct investment. With many seeing further subsidy cuts this year and inflation remaining a challenge, many are not as optimistic for interest rate cuts this year. Nonetheless, the CEOs see a number of sectors growing, particularly food and consumer goods, while expressing optimism for the tourism sector. And yes, all are giving raises to their teams this year.

The format: Each CEO answered roughly the same set of questions, tailored only for their industry. The Q&A interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity and are presented in “as told to” format — that’s journalism speak for “in their own words.”

Today’s participants are:

  • Osama Bishai, chief executive officer, Orascom Construction
  • Hend El Sherbini, chief executive officer, Integrated Diagnostics Holdings

The 2019 Enterprise CEO Poll begins after Egypt in the News, below.

Politics is going to drive the conversation on Egypt this week as a group of MPs associated with the largest, pro-administration bloc in the House looks set to introduce legislation that could amend the constitution. Up for discussion: Extending presidential terms to six years and bringing back the old upper house of parliament. We have chapter and verse in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Next tranche of IMF loan coming soon? The IMF’s executive board will meet tomorrow to decide on the fifth USD 2 bn tranche of Egypt’s USD 12 bn extended fund facility.

The new EGX30 Capped Index debuts this morning alongside the rebalanced EGX30. Again, we have more in this morning’s Speed Round, including the list of who is off the index and who is on.

Stocks are starting February on a high note: After plunging more than 13% last year amid the Emerging Markets Zombie Apocalypse, the EGX30 gained nearly 8.4% last month.

Also this morning:

  • German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is in town and looks likely to meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. A heads-up from the wires suggests Altmaier will sign unspecified “economic and energy policy agreements.”
  • Al Tayeb, Pope Francis to meet in Abu Dhabi: Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb is in Abu Dhabi today for an interfaith summit with Pope Francis, reports Al Masry Al Youm.

Goldman Sachs is withholding mns due to be paid to former CEO Lloyd Blankfein as the 1MDB scandal bites. The investment bank is holding off on paying three top executives pending investigations in Malaysia into Goldman’s alleged involvement in corruption related to the state investment fund, the Financial Times reports. Reuters also had the story.

The US Fed’s move to leave interest rates on hold is the beginning of a policy U-turn that should direct our focus to market concerns, Michael Mackenzie writes for the Financial Times. It is “hardly a shock” that the Fed changed its direction from signaling more rate hikes to “listening to markets” as the world economy slows and the US economy shows signs of weakness, Mackenzie says, noting that “detecting signs of trouble before they hurt the broader economy is exactly what central banks should do.”

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.