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Sunday, 5 September 2021

TONIGHT: El Sisi talks vaccines for minors, covid-19 fourth wave + Freshly baked croissant at Miette

Summer is well and truly done with, ladies and gentlemen, as the newsflow moves from a trickle to a shower at the beginning of the month.


#1 Egypt’s non-oil private sector shrank again in August, but at a slower pace than in July. The IHS Markit Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index recorded 49.8 in August, up from 49.1 in July, but still below the 50 mark that separates contraction from expansion. Firms recorded a surge in purchasing activity in August off the back of an uptick in demand, as well as growing concern that rising raw material prices could keep income muted down the line.

#2 Four Egyptian startups have secured USD 125k each in seed funding in June, July and August in funding rounds all led by US accelerator Y combinator, Magnitt reports. The startups include Cairo-based delivery service ShipBlu, ins. marketplace amenli, SaaS startup Pylon and online auto-marketplace Odiggo, which had recently secured USD 2.2 mn funding. The other MENA startups funded include the Moroccan Chari and Freterium.

#3 ElSewedy Electric for Transmission and Distribution of Energy will build a substation for state-owned Electricity Company of Ghana, under the terms of a USD 16.7 mn EPC contract that will see the company implement the project over a two year period on a turnkey basis.

^^ We’ll have chapter and verse on all three stories in Monday’s edition of EnterpriseAM.

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

  • New covid restrictions incoming? The government could implement extra precautionary measures on public transport as covid cases rise, an unnamed government source told Al Shorouk, with back to school dates and entertainment venues also likely to be affected.
  • East Med Gas forum is now official: The final step to setting up the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) and its Cairo HQ was cleared on Thursday after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified its founding charter
  • More kashat for Kashat: The fintech startup has successfully closed a private bridge round for an undisclosed sum with participation from pan-African fund Launch Africa and Cairo Angels.

The EGX has begun implementing the new mechanism for calculating closing share prices today. Approved by the EGX last month, a “pre-close auction” system will be introduced in a move designed to improve accuracy, increase trading volumes and boost foreign inflows into Egyptian shares. EGX shares will also be allowed to rise and fall by 20% during a single session, up from a previous 10%, while the limit on intraday share price movements on Nilex shares are set at 10% compared to the 5% limit previously.

Want to get technical? EGX boss Mohamed Farid explained to us how the “pre-close auction” and “MVWAP” will work back in July.

HAPPENING NOW- El Sisi talks vaccines for minors, covid-19 fourth wave: Egypt could start providing vaccines to children under the age of 18 at schools once the vaccine gets approved for use by minors in Egypt, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said in his speech at the Abwab Al Kheir event today, which focuses on supporting local charities (watch, runtime: 15:40). He urged people to continue to adhere to precautionary measures and register for vaccines, especially as the threat of the fourth wave looms.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry received 525k doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and in cooperation with the African Export-Import Bank, the ministry announced in a statement. This is the country’s second batch of the single-shot vaccine, after the Health Ministry received 260.6k doses last month through the African Union.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- It was surprisingly a mixed bag in the foreign press, with no one story topping coverage abroad. US-based publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post are looking at security in light of Afghanistan and 9/11.

THE BIG BUSINESS STORY ABROAD- Saudi Telecom’s internet-services arm is seeking to raise up to USD 966 mn in a planned IPO in Riyadh, according to Bloomberg. Arabian Internet and Communications Services Company will sell 24 mn shares, representing 20% of the company’s share capital, they said in a disclosure last week. The company has set a price range between SAR 136 and SAR 151 per share. While a date for the IPO has not yet been set, the listing received approval from Saudi’s Capital Market Authority and the subscription period for individual investors will run from 19-21 September.

This is the latest in a series of listings on the Tadawul index, as it increasingly becomes an IPO hotspot, following the listing of Tanmiah Food, Theeb Rent A Car, and AlKhorayef Water & Power Technologies this year. Saudi renewable energy giant ACWA Power also announced their listing plans on the Saudi stock exchange a few days ago, and is reportedly hoping to raise more than USD 1 bn.


Conference season is back with a fury this month, with a number of conferences set to take place this week alone:

Key news triggers remaining in the first two weeks of September:

  • Foreign reserves: The central bank will release foreign reserves figures for August sometime this week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for August will drop this week.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 September.

International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) CEO Hani Sonbol will visit Cairo in the coming days to discuss financing Egyptian development projects, the cabinet said in a statement. Egypt is waiting on the disbursal of around USD 1.1 bn in financing from the corporation which was signed in January

It’s Labor Day weekend in the United States and Canada, so markets will be closed tomorrow, including the New York and Toronto stock exchanges and the Nasdaq.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- It’s a little bit warmer (two degrees warmer to be precise) until midweek. During the day, the mercury will max out at 37°C, and will drop to 23°C at night. Over in Sahel, you can expect highs of 31°C during the day and lows of 22°C at night.

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