Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 23 May 2021

TONIGHT: ADCB extends deadlines for bids on Alex Medical; Ever Given to remain under detention; Electricity privatization could take longer; it’s the last day of Premier League 2020-21

It’s a M&A-heavy start to the news week, with some of the familiar faces announcing timetables for key transactions down the road.

THE BIG STORY TODAY- Dominating the business news roundup this morning is EFG Hermes CEO Karim Awad’s talk with the press this morning, with major pickups in both the local press and the likes of Reuters. Awad spoke primarily on EFG and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s acquisition of the Arab Investment Bank — Egypt’s first bank privatization since 2006 — without revealing much beyond what was already announced last week. We sat down with CEO Karim Awad this morning who gave us more color and detail on the story, which we will run later this week.

Meanwhile, former CI Capital co-CEOs Hazem Badran and Tarek Tantawi are setting up their own PE firm — Valor Capital Partners. Their first transaction is also coming in 3Q2021. We have more details in the Speed Round below.

And while we’re on M&As, companies competing for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s 51.4% stake in Alexandria Medical Services now have until Thursday to make their final offers, the bank said in a letter to the Financial Regulatory Authority (pdf). This came after Cleopatra Hospitals Group (CHG) last week offered to buy shares at EGP 38.53 apiece, which was considerably lower than the average EGP 51.7 per share received by other bids. The lower offer has already prompted one of the other bidders, Nile Misr, to seek a downgrade itself. The other bidders include a consortium of Speed Medical, Saudi’s Tawasol, and Sherif Al Akhdar’s LimeVest and Alexandria for Medical Investment Company (the majority shareholder of Mabaret Al Asafra Hospitals).

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:

  • Get ready for regulation, specialized banks: Digital-first banks, and SME lenders will see a new regulatory framework in July under proposed amendments to the newly passed Banking Act.
  • More Sinopharm jabs: Egypt received on Friday another 500k-shot shipment of Sinopharm, China’s other covid-19 vaccine, the Health Ministry said.
  • FAANG tax: Multinational tech firms (including Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Netflix and Apply) would be made to charge VAT on e-commerce sales in Egypt in two phases under amendments to the VAT Act being considered by the government.

Ever Given won’t be released and the ruling on compensation claim postponed to end May: The Ismailia Economic Court rejected an appeal by Ever Given owner Shoei Kisen to overturn a May 4 decision that upheld the seizure of the boat, Al Shorouk reports. The court will also look at a USD 600 mn lawsuit filed by the Suez Canal Authority for damages against the shipowner on 29 May.

HAPPENING NOW- The House of Representatives has given final approval to amendments to the 2015 Electricity Act to delay the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company’s planned split from the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) to 2025 from 2023. Under the changes, state electricity production and distribution companies will also get more time to restructure their operations as the government phases out electricity subsidies over a longer period that it had initially planned. Other bills given the sign off today are:

  • A bill to exempt the Tahya Misr Fund from all taxes and fees.
  • A proposed law to dismiss government employees if they flunk a narc test.
  • An amendment to the criminal code that would give authorities the right to confiscate electronic devices used to carry out cybercrimes.
  • Legislative amendments that will see Egyptian companies pay equal fees when applying for licenses to work on projects abroad. Authorities had previously collected lower fees from companies registered as contractors.
  • A bill to establish an online portal for Egyptians seeking to go on the Umrah pilgrimage.

THE BIG STORY ABROADThe Iran nuclear agreement continues to dominate foreign coverage: Iran will proceed with its nuclear talks with the US despite the expiration of a three-month agreement allowing inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities yesterday, Bloomberg reports. “We will continue talks until a final agreement,” President Hassan Rouhani said, without commenting on the monitoring agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which diplomats expect to be renewed before the new round of talks in Vienna next week.

Meanwhile, Egypt is getting props from the UN Security Council in recognition of its role in mediating the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. It also called for “full adherence” to the ceasefire in Gaza and is urging countries to work with the United Nations to immediately supply a humanitarian aid package to help those affected, according to a statement.

FOR TOMORROW-

The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) is hosting its Healthcare Virtual Week, with online sessions taking place tomorrow and Wednesday to explore the future of healthcare investment in Egypt as well as ways to digitalize healthcare. Tomorrow’s hour-long session will start at 1pm and you can register here.

BEBA will also hold a virtual conversation with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla on 7 June to discuss the sector’s achievements. You can register through this link.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The El Gouna International Squash Open 2021 is ongoing and runs until Friday. Fans will be allowed to enter the stands, with the first few match days without charge and tickets to be sold for the semis and finals. You can also watch the matches live on PSA Squash YouTube page. The event is supported by our good friends at CIB.

Can’t get enough of Egypt’s favourite racquet sport? The CIB PSA World Tour Finals will run on 22-27 June in Cairo.

Bibliotheca Alexandria is organizing a webinar to discuss safekeeping artifacts and heritage this Thursday. Headlined “Fighting treasure hunting from Africa for the Americas: Protecting the history of the drowning world,” it will feature University of Edinburgh’s Arturo Rey da Silva. You can tune in live at 2:30pm from the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies’ Facebook page.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

One small-step for man, one giant leap for balloon-riding, martini-sipping, UK b’naires: A Virgin Galactic spacecraft completed a successful trip to space yesterday after a series of delays due to technical issues, reports The Financial Times. The VSS Unity reached an altitude of 89.2 kms, launching the company one step closer to offering space tourism in 2022 and competing against Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Richard Branson-founded Virgin Galactic is planning to complete three more test flights before it opens to the masses next year.

Are we turning rhinos into Rocksteady-type mutants to save them? Rhinos are being injected with radioactive material in their horns to discourage illegal poaching under a pilot program backed by Russian energy giant Rosatom, according to Bloomberg. The radioactive material will allow researchers and policy makers to detect and track down illegal trade and studies are currently underway to determine the safe dose of injection. Poachers killed 394 rhinos in South Africa for their horns last year, government data shows.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

Catch performances by the likes of Morgan Freeman and Anne Hathaway in standalone-episode series Solos. The Amazon-produced series explores what it means to be human by touching on the small joyous or heartbreaking moments we’ve all gone through, while also adding a sci-fi touch with depictions of time travel, artificial intelligence bots, illegal memory transplants, and sketchy smart homes. In a combination of Black Mirror-esque plots and deep self-reflection the multiple characters, the seven-episode anthology, the show adds a new perspective on human psychology and how it is evolving steadily alongside technology.

It’s the final matchday of a tumultuous covid-ridden Premier League. Ten matches are taking place at 5pm today to determine the final standings of the 20 teams that competed this season. Manchester City and Manchester United have already snagged the first and second spots respectively, while Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester are neck-to-neck to snag the third place title. Sheffield United, West Brom, and Fulham have been relegated out of the league regardless of their performance during today’s matches. You can check out today’s game schedule here.

The day’s matches will also determine whether Harry Kane or Mohamed Salah will take home the prestigious Golden Boot award. Both Kane and Salah have two trophies each, making today’s champion the third ever player to snag the Golden Boot three times, writes Premier League.

It’s also the last matchday for Serie A, with Inter Milan snagging the first place title. The rest of the spots will be determined based on today’s 8:45pm matches, but Atalanta, Milan, Napoli, and Juventus hold close enough points that it is expected that they will round out the top five.

The first four teams in each league will head to the Champions League, while the fifth-ranking team will compete in the Europa League.

🍕 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

The Waterway's Ted's Pizzeria is a must-try for pizza lovers. All the quintessential pizza types are well represented on the menu and created with the freshest ingredients and cheeses. The interior of the restaurant makes us feel like we're in Rome while eating our favorite chicken with spinach pizza, while the meat lover's pizza always manages to satisfy our carnivorous desires. Ted's isn't just known for their pizza — their smoothies are a meal alone with how filling they are and their salads are a great way to forgive yourself for eating so much cheese.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

Maadi’s What The Crust is holding an online pizza making class next Friday and Saturday. The two-hour interactive lesson promises to teach “the secrets of making Verace dough” while also giving a history lesson on true Neapolitan pizza and some tips for home baking.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Make sense of statistics with The Data Detective by Tim Harford. While any book focusing solely on statistics may seem like a yawn to many of you, Harford uses witty anecdotes to illustrate how statistics can mislead as well as examples of serious statistical studies that have changed people’s everyday behavior. Based on scientific research, the book presents ten rules to become more knowledgeable and comfortable with statistics and how to make the most of them to understand a situation and take action. Harford also delves into new areas such as big data and computer algorithms and explains biases and limitations that need to be taken into consideration.

Make sure to check out this review by the IMF, where Chief Statistician Louis Marc Ducharme argues the book’s importance in the covid-19 age to weed out misinformation.

🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect daytime highs of 36°C and nighttime lows of 19°C tomorrow, our favorite weather app tells us.

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. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of Commercial International Bank (tax ID: 204-891-949), the largest private-sector bank 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; and Act Financial (tax ID: 493-924-612), the leading activist investor in Egypt; and Abu Auf (tax ID: 584-628-846), the leading health foodmaker in Egypt and the region.