What we’re tracking on 29 March 2021
Good morning, nice people. Mondays are typically the slowest news days of the week, but not so today — we have plenty going on.
IT’S A BIG DAY FOR: Our covid-19 vaccine rollout. Yesterday, we reported that it seems unlikely we’re going to be getting anytime soon the 5 mn of doses of AstraZeneca we had expected by month’s end thanks to global supply constraints. Coincidental or not, the news today is that (a) we’re getting a bunch of Sinopharm’s jabs “within days” in two shipments — one a purchase, the other a gift from China, and (b) we’re edging closer to an agreement to manufacture Sinovac’s competing jab.
It’s also a big day for capital markets as leading cosmeceutical player Macro announces a price range for its IPO on the Egyptian Exchange. Conventional wisdom is that new paper is key to luring back foreign investors in public equities, so this is very welcome news indeed.
…and for the Ever Zeft, as work to refloat it continues around the clock. The hope is that it might be refloated as early as today: The Associated Press is reporting that there will be two attempts to refloat it today, helped by a full moon that will make low tide lower and high tide higher.
- Individual investors began placing orders for shares in Taaleem, which yesterday kicked off the retail component of its IPO on the EGX.
- Preparations are underway for a possible operation to offload containers from the Ever Given, which is still refusing to budge from the Suez Canal.
- The revamped Tamayoz small-cap index will launch before the end of 2021, EGX boss Mohamed Farid told us.
CORRECTION: In yesterday’s EnterpriseAM, we said that Taaleem had priced its IPO at EGP 6.20 per share. We were incorrect. A close reading of the disclosure from the Financial Regulatory Authority indicates that Taaleem could price its IPO at up to EGP 6.20 per share, not at EGP 6.20. The company had previously said it expected to price the transaction at EGP 5.48-6.02 per share, and a senior source with first hand knowledge of the offering confirmed to us yesterday afternoon that bookrunner CI Capital will price within this range. We have amended the story on our website.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The two-day Arab Federation of Exchanges Annual Conference 2021 begins today. This year’s virtual conference will discuss ESGs for economic growth and capital markets as well as fintech and innovation.
The Startup Festival in Sharm El Sheikh ends today. Investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers and more than 80 startups are gathering for the event, which also features panel discussions and workshops.
Bok, prijatelji: The Egyptian-Croatian Business Forum meets this Wednesday, 31 March, for the first time since 2010. On the table: Giving a nudge to both trade and investment, a FEDCOC statement says. The forum will take place while Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman is in town next week. Grlić-Radman and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry are expected to attend.
The government’s fuel pricing committee is scheduled to meet next week for its quarterly review of prices. Faced with slightly higher global oil prices, the committee could hike prices this time around, after leaving rates steady since last April, Al Shorouk reports, citing unnamed sources. Oil prices rallied over the weekend, partly thanks to the Suez Canal blockage but also because of fresh Houthi attacks on Saudi Aramco’s facilities and expectations that major OPEC+ producers will continue to curb output.
*** It’s Blackboard day: We have our weekly look at the business of education in Egypt, from pre-K through the highest reaches of higher ed. Blackboard appears every Monday in Enterprise in the place of our traditional industry news roundups.
In today’s issue: Over a year into covid-19, online education remains a core part of student life. Student satisfaction with online learning directly impacts academic engagement and success. But just how satisfied are Egyptian university students with online learning? A recent joint AUC-GUC research paper sought to find out by surveying 280 undergraduate business students from Egypt’s top ten private universities and state-funded Cairo, Ain Shams, and Helwan universities. We take a look at what it found (hint: flexibility is seen as a plus of online learning, but low interaction levels and internet instability are definitely not).