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Monday, 1 February 2021

Mansour retail, Ibnsina, Multi-Apex announce 2021 investment plans + lots of debt news

We have a smattering of investment and debt news that may be relevant to your industry, depending on where you hang your hat during the nine to five:

Ibnsina Pharma is planning to invest EGP 180 mn in 2021 to set up new distribution hubs and improve its tech capabilities, IR manager Mohamed Shawky tells Al Mal. The pharma distributor plans to grow its network, which currently spans 63 branches, and its portfolio of 9.5k products. It also wants to begin accepting e-payments from pharmacists and continue improving an app it launched last year. That’s about on par with the EGP 180-200 mn it invested last year after cutting back plans to commit EGP 300 mn to growth initiatives thanks to covid-19 and the government’s ban on construction.

Mansour Group eyes nationwide retail expansion: Mansour Group wants to accelerate the expansion of its supermarket footprint this year, adding 80 new branches of its Metro and Kheir Zaman supermarket chains across the country, the division’s Corporate Affairs Manager Seif El Batanouni said. The company established 45 branches of the upmarket and mid-range grocers last year, El Batanouni added, without disclosing how much the company invested.

Multi-Apex Pharma is reviving its plans to set up a 15k sqm production facility in Saudi Arabia, with Chairman Magdy Elba telling Souq Al Dawaa that the company plans to establish the factory within the next year. Multi-Apex had announced the plans towards the end of 2019 without specifying a time frame, but appears to have put the plan on hold last year as the pandemic broke out. The facility’s output will primarily be used for the Saudi market’s needs. Multi-Apex is part of the Ezaby Group and was formed after Apex and Multi-Apex Pharma merged in 2011.

ALSO FROM THE PHARMA INDUSTRY- Sales of meds grew 3.9% y-o-y in 2020 to hit EGP 80.5 bn, Souq Al Dawaa reports, citing unnamed industry sources. Novartis, Sanofi, Amoun, GSK, and EvaPharma were the top sellers last year, according to the sources. The sales also grew m-o-m, with December recording a 5.5% increase over November.

ON THE DEBT FRONT- Egypt could see sukuk issuances worth EGP 20-25 bn in 2021, Sarwa Capital CFO Ayman Elsawy said at a webinar on the sharia-compliant debt instrument last week, according to Al Shorouk. Our friend Bahaa Alieldean, managing partner at Alieldean Weshahi and Partners, echoed Elsawy’s forecast, saying he expects to see EGP 20 bn-worth of sukuk issuances going to market this year. A law allowing the government to issue sovereign sukuk on local and international debt markets is due to be put before the House during the current legislative cycle.

Need a refresher on how Sukuk work? We’ve got one here.

Who’s in the market for debt?

  • The National Bank of Egypt is considering providing EGP 2 bn in long-term loans to the National Railways Authority to be used to modernize its fleet of carriages over the next three years, sources told Al Shorouk.
  • The National Bank of Egypt and QNB AlAhli will provide part of the EGP 500 mn funding for Future Pharma’s new factory, sources told Souq Al Dawaa, with the rest of the funding provided by UK investment fund SPE.
  • Memaar Almorshedy subsidiary Degla Group for Investment is negotiating an EGP 300 mn leaseback agreement for one of its assets in its Zahra project in the North Coast with Al Taamir Mortgage.

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