Sunday, 27 June 2021

TONIGHT: Contact to issue EGP 2.5-3 bn in sukuk. + El Sisi in Baghdad for infrastructure diplomacy push? ALSO: Eat Thai curry at Bua Khao.

A whole lot of debt: We start the week, ladies and gentlemen, with a number of major debt related news, with today’s top headlines telling us that things will bode well for our debt markets.

THE BIG STORY TODAY- We start with Contact Financial Holding, which is planning to issue sukuk worth EGP 2.5-3 bn in 3Q2021. The announcement, and those of others the company is quarterbacking, is hoped will breathe life into an anaemic sukuk market that was expected to do big things this year.

We could also expect to see Egypt’s second green bond issuance as early as next month, according to statements in the local press by Financial Regulatory Authority Deputy Chairman Islam Azzam. We cover both stories in greater detail in the Speed Round below.

Are listed companies about to start ESG reporting? Azzam had suggested to the local press that the FRA could soon require companies listed on the EGX, as well as non-banking financial institutions under its purview, to begin making ESG disclosures. ESG reporting requires companies to make regulatory filings with data on how their operations line up with environmental, social and corporate governance principles.

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

  • ADQ moves forward with EGP 10 bn bid for Amoun Pharma: A subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ is seeking FRA approval to launch an MTO for up to 100% of Amoun Pharma and is looking to offer EGP 37.8 per share through its subsidiary Ultra Welfare.
  • Egypt was the Arab world’s second-most attractive FDI destination in 2020: Egypt received USD 5.9 bn in foreign direct investment in 2020, accounting for 14.5% of the USD 40.5 bn invested in the region that year, coming second to the UAE, which received USD 19.9 bn.
  • Egypt received 210k doses of Sputnik V on Thursday: This comes under an agreement with Russia to deliver 10 mn doses of the jab.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Baghdad, in the first visit of an Egyptian president to the Iraqi capital in 30 years, according to an Ittihadiya statement. El Sisi sat down with his counterpart, Barham Salih, who called on Egypt to support Iraq in development projects and aid the country’s bid toward economic reform. Salih also suggested increased cooperation in education, culture, and religion, with the duo stressing the importance of strategic cooperation amid the covid-19 pandemic, and as disputes arise in the region.

El Sisi joined Salih and Jordan’s King Abdullah for a tripartite summit, according to a separate statement. The three leaders looked into boosting economic, security, and trade ties as well counter Iran’s growing influence in the region. Reuters and The National have both taken note of the summit.

El Sisi’s visit seemingly comes within the framework of Egypt’s continued push for infrastructure diplomacy. The latest display of this policy — through which the government aims to get local companies to help rebuild vital infrastructure in conflict-ridden regional countries such as Iraq — was an agreement signed last week to boost digital infrastructure cooperation with the latter country.


AmCham is featuring Oil Minister Tarek El Molla tomorrow in their virtual monthly event from 3-4pm. The minister will discuss how the oil sector has transformed in the past years, and is contributing to fueling the Egyptian economy.


There are two all-Egyptian finals at the 2020-2021 CIB PSA World Tour Finals today. Nouran Gohar — who knocked out reigning champion Nour El Sherbini in the quarters — booked her place in the final by defeating Australia’s Joelle King yesterday. She will play world no.2 Hania El Hammamy, who defeated France’s Camille Serme. In the men’s draw, surprise finalist Mostafa Asal will meet fifth seed Mohamed El Shorbagy in the final. Asal knocked out world no.1 Ali Farag in the quarters and second seed Tarek Momen in the semi, while El Shorbagy beat New Zealand’s Paul Coll yesterday to secure his place in the final.

It’s the second day of the Big 5 Construct Egypt at the Cairo International Convention Center.

The Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) MENA are holding a webinar titled Energy Efficiency in the MENA region: Status and Outlook on 6 July at 3:30pm. The session will focus on energy efficiency developments and provide recommendations for businesses and policymakers. Later on next month, CEBC will also host the webinar Women Entrepreneurs in Clean Energy on 21 July at 3pm in cooperation with the initiative, Women in Clean Energy MENA and Canada’s WiRE (Women in Renewable Energy).

The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) is organizing a virtual education week from 5-6 July with three seminars planned. The first, taking place at 10am on 5 July, will discuss skills-based learning while the future of investment in education will be the topic on the table at 12:30pm the same day. On 6 July, a talk on the digitalization of education in Egypt will be held at 12pm.


Dubai is cashing in on the USD 1 tn global events industry, greenlighting the way for Wall Street execs and jet setters to attend high-profile events amid fewer travel restrictions, writes Bloomberg. The financial capital of the Middle East is hosting one of the biggest gas conferences and an African investor summit this year, as well as multiple cricket events, including the T20 World Cup. Dubai has long been a flocking ground for conferences and events, which in 2019 accounted for 3% of Dubai’s USD 112 bn economy. The challenge now posed is whether the Emirate can control covid-19 cases while attracting attendees amidst changing global travel requirements and quarantine rules.


How the modern music scene came to be: Netflix’s new docuseries This Is Pop provides an overview of pop music across the decades and continents by looking at the impact of everything from auto tune to the festival scene and boy bands. Each of the eight episodes concerns itself with a facet of pop music and brings in musicians to discuss that specific facet: Boyz II Men are brought in to talk about the wave of boy bands, T Pain looks at auto tune, Hozier discusses protest music, Oasis talk about the UK music scene, and more. “This Is Pop doesn’t set out to present a unified theory of a musical genre as much as it tries to highlight significant brushstrokes in the overall painting,” writes Indie Wire.

Today in Euro 2020: The Netherlands is playing against the Czech Republic at 6pm with the victor going up against Denmark in the quarter finals, after the Nordic country beat Wales 4-0 in an epic match yesterday. Meanwhile, Belgium and Portugal are up at 9pm and whoever gains the lead will play against Italy who defeated Austria 2-1.


Head to Maadi’s Bua Khao for some of the best thai food you’ll ever get. The restaurant is run by a Thai family living in Cairo and they’ve tapped Thai chefs to ensure that every dish on the menu is true to its origins. Bua Khao’s specialty is undoubtedly their range of yellow, red, and green curry which you can have with chicken, duck, shrimp, or beef. If you work in Maadi, it’s a great place to order from during the office lunch hour. Not to be missed is their wonton soup, especially if you’re a fan of garlic and shrimp, as well as their coconut-infused Tom Kha Gai soup, and their delectable Pad Thai. From their appetizers to their main courses, you really can’t go wrong with anything you decide to feast on… trust us.


Get a scent customized to your personality at an exhibit by Frederik Duerinck called Algorithmic Perfumery. The Cairotronica organized event is taking place at AUC Tahrir Cultural Center until 5 July.

El Sawy Culturewheel has a rock festival going on tomorrow, featuring local bands Tafaqum, Rocksea and Kato Hafiz from 6-10pm.


The minutiae of Cairo explored: Max Rodenbeck — the previous Middle East bureau chief for The Economist — spent years working and living in Cairo, which he describes as ‘one of the most ancient, colorful, and multifaceted of cities.’ Cairo: The City Victorious is Rodenbeck’s exploration of Cairo’s rich history and dusty, chaotic, but beautiful present. The capital city of Egypt has long been a bustling metropolis that has managed to redefine itself time and time again under different regimes, ideologies, and stages of urban development. First published in 1998, the scope of this book will miss out on much of how new ring road flyaways, gated communities, and satellite cities that have altered life in the capital, but captures much of the city’s indomitable spirit which has endured through the ages and earned its its moniker of “the victorious.”

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- It’s going to be a hot one… The mercury is rising to 42°C tomorrow during the day before falling to 24°C at night, according to our favorite weather app.

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