Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 13 January 2021

What we’re tracking on 13 January 2021

We have plenty of news for you on this fine Wednesday morning, starting with a surprise announcement from the Central Bank of Egypt that the nation’s banks cannot distribute cash dividends for fiscal year 2020, though they may issue dividends in the form of stock. The decision is meant to help banks meet aggressive new capital requirements — and make sure they have a buffer to deal with the impact of covid-19. We have chapter and verse in this morning’s news well, below.

Also big today: We have a new speaker of the House of Representatives as newly sworn-in MPs meet today to sort out committee assignments and elect committee chairs. The process could wrap up as early as tomorrow, Al Shorouk reports.

What legislation will keep those committees busy? Funny you should ask: Tap or click here to read our primer on the business-relevant bills we think are going to come up this session.

Dominating the conversation on Egypt in the international press this morning: We’ve formally reopened air space to flights into and out of Qatar. EgyptAir will run up to two daily flights between Cairo and Doha and four weekly trips from Alexandria’s Borg El Arab Airport starting Monday, 18 January, EgyptAir Holding Company Chairman Roshdy Zakaria said yesterday (watch, runtime: 3:01). Reuters, the Associated Press and Bloomberg all have the story.

PSA The weather isn’t looking great for the rest of the week, with a sand storm forecast for Cairo and the Delta today and tomorrow. Your best hope: Our favourite weather app shows a chance of a shower sometime today to wash all that dust away, but the [redacted] conditions look likely to continue overnight. Look for a daytime high of 25°C today, falling to 19°C tomorrow.

THE BIG STORY internationally this morning: Republicans are beginning to turn on Trump. The prospect of an unprecedented second impeachment trial against The Donald grew more likely yesterday as Republicans began to break ranks and come out in support of legal action against the president for last week’s White Riot. Though VP Mike Pence still seems to be fighting King Cheeto’s corner, Politico reports that a growing number of House Republicans came out in favor of impeachment — including no.3 House Republican Liz Cheney. And in a further sign that the president has lost his grip on the party, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy were also said to be open to punishing the president for seemingly encouraging an insurrection against Congress.

Egypt isn’t the only country trying to make sure Big Tech pays fair freight: Germany is getting ready to work with the incoming Biden administration to push forward with a global corporate tax plan put forward by the OECD last year, according to the Financial Times. Berlin is hoping that a Democrat-run White House will be more amenable to the OECD’s plans, which involve cracking down on international tax avoidance and closing loopholes that could net countries an extra USD 100 bn in tax revenue each year. Here at home: Egypt is looking to make sure that online sales (of goods, services and advertisements) by tech companies are subject to the same type of VAT and stamp tax requirements as their domestic, real-world competitors.


The 2021 Men’s Handball World Championship kicks off today, with hosts Egypt playing Chile at the Cairo Stadium at 7pm. Both the US and the Czech Republic pulled out of the tournament yesterday for covid-related reasons: they will be replaced by Switzerland and North Macedonia respectively.

Remember: The entire tournament is being played behind closed doors, but if you want to catch any of the games on TV, here’s how. You can find the full match schedule here.

Samsung will unveil its latest Galaxy flagship, the S21 on Thursday, coinciding with the virtual-only Consumer Electronics Show, which began yesterday.

For the iSheep: Apple has a “big announcement today,” but it’s not a new device — it’s “bigger and better.”

We’re a little over two weeks away from our next long weekend. The nation is expected to take Thursday, 28 January as a holiday in observance of Police / Revolution Day, which falls on Monday, 25 January.

We then settle in for our long holiday drought: Your next day off will be mid-Ramadan. The Holy Month should start on or about Monday, 13 April.


*** It’s Hardhat day — your weekly briefing of all things infrastructure in Egypt: Enterprise’s industry vertical focuses each Wednesday on infrastructure, covering everything from energy, water, transportation, urban development and as well as social infrastructure such as health and education.

In today’s issue: Part two of our rundown on what to expect in key areas of Egypt’s infrastructure in 2021. In part one, last week, we looked at what the year has in store for the water and renewable energy sectors. Today, our focus is on transportation, the natural gas transition, ICT and telecoms, and Iraq’s “reconstruction” mechanism.

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.