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Monday, 13 September 2021

TONIGHT: EGX seems to be interested in SPACs too + Fawry to launch a consumer finance company ALSO: Read this satire on startup culture

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, to an uncharacteristically slow September news day that was pierced by new capital markets regulations. After yesterday’s bid by financial regulators to make listings easier, we may see SPACs debut here in Egypt.

THE BIG STORIES TODAY

#1- EGX boss Mohamed Farid wants to bring SPACs to Egypt: Egyptian companies wishing to go to market by acquiring or merging with another company could soon be able to do so under suggested amendments to listing rules submitted by EGX boss Mohamed Farid to the Financial Regulatory Authority for consideration, according to an EGX press statement (pdf). The proposed amendments also include clauses that would ease the process of listed companies acquiring non-listed entities.

#2- Fawry will launch a consumer finance company with EGP 10 mn in capital, after its board announced it had greenlit the establishment of the entity in an EGX disclosure today (pdf).

#3- EFG Hermes closed its buy-now-pay-later subsidiary Valu’s first EGP 323 mn securitized bond issuance, the firm announced (pdf), the initial tranche of a larger EGP 2 bn securitization program approved in July.

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

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

  • Egypt sees blockbuster 1H2021 for M&A: The value of M&A transactions in Egypt more than quadrupled y-o-y during 1H2021, seeing transactions worth more than USD 4 bn during the six-month period.
  • The FRA makes it easier for big companies to list on the EGX: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) will reduce the amount of capital that companies need to offer to the public in a move designed to encourage share sales on the Egyptian bourse.
  • Al Nowais could sell solar licenses in Benban: Ten companies are allegedly in the running to purchase the Emirati energy firm’s license to operate a solar plant in Aswan’s Benban solar park.

HAPPENING NOW- Israeli PM Naftali Bennett is in Sharm El Sheikh today to meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The two are set to discuss the Palestinan-Israeli peace negotiations, as well as bilateral relations between Egypt and Israel. This is Bennett’s first official visit to Egypt — and the first of any Israeli PM since Benjamin Netanyahu visited Hosni Mubarak just a few weeks before the 2011 revolution.

In other diplomacy news, the EU is set to begin discussions with the Foreign Ministry this week over its 2021-2027 strategic cooperation priorities, which will determine funding priorities for both countries, head of cooperation at the EU’s delegation to Egypt Ibrahim Laafia told Al Mal. The EU is expected to disperse between EUR 50-60 mn in funding to Egypt by the end of the year to support agriculture, environmental, and training projects, Laafia said.

PSA- Saudi Arabia has reduced the quarantine period for travellers to the kingdom to five days effective from 23 September, Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement. Unvaccinated travelers and those who have received a single dose of a vaccine recognized by KSA should present a negative pcr taken within 72 hours of travel, take another pcr test within 24 hours of arriving, and a third test on day five of their quarantine —after which they can end the quarantine period if the result is negative.

That includes us: Officials lifted a ban on direct entry from Egypt and 19 other destinations to the Kingdom last month, though tourists and non-resident travellers are only allowed to enter to perform Umrah.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- The United Nations is holding a humanitarian conference in Geneva today, and has announced it plans to raise more than USD 600 mn in contributions for Afghanistan throughout the year, the UN said in a press release (pdf). The Taliban’s takeover of the country last month ended the flow of bns in aid to the country, putting UN funding programmes under more pressure. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN has also been struggling financially, failing in some cases to dole out employee salaries, according to Reuters.

Over in the GCC, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) will be offering 7.5% of its drilling unit at Dhs 2.3 per share, valuing the company at USD 10 bn, the company announced (pdf) today. The company has opened subscription to UAE retail investors until 23 September, while institutional investors will have until 26 September to subscribe to the offering. ADNOC Drilling is expected to list on the ADX on or around 3 October. ADNOC’s IPO comes as Abu Dhabi is working to revive its IPO pipeline and following state-backed holding company ADQ announcing its plans to list before year end.

Advisors: Moelis & Company has been appointed as independent financial adviser, according to the company’s intention to float (pdf).

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

EFG Hermes’ fourth Virtual Investor Conference kicks off today and runs through to 21 September with the theme of “After Reflation — FEMs in 2022.”

Environment minister speaks at AmCham: Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad will give a speech on strategies for generating green, private sector-led growth at AmCham’s virtual monthly event tomorrow. Register here.

Ride-hailing app DiDi is launching in Egypt today, Al Arabiya reports. The Chinese company will launch in Alexandria before expanding to other areas of the country.

It’s day four of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open today: There are eight matches on today as the bottom half of the men’s and women’s round three draws are decided. You can find the schedule here.

Sahara Expo: The five-day agricultural conference continues at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event wraps up on Wednesday.

FOR TOMORROW-

Tomorrow is the final day that shareholders in EK Holding can apply to convert the trading currency of their shares from USD to EGP. Since 15 June, shareholders have been able to apply through their custodians to switch the currency of their shares to EGP — but will still be able to collect their dividends in USD. The EGX will announce after 14 September the EGP rate at which the shares will be converted.

The UN General Assembly starts tomorrow in New York and runs through to 30 September. The general debate will take place from 20-28 September. Leaders from at least 83 countries are expected to attend in person — in contrast to last year, when the meeting was almost 100% virtual. There’s no word yet on whether President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will attend in person or virtually.

Apple is holding a virtual event on Tuesday where we can expect a new iPhone, new AirPods and probably a new watch. Apple has scheduled the event for 7pm CLT and shows it running for two hours. You can stream it here.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

It’s interest rate week and 10 analysts we polled expect the central bank to leave rates on hold for a seventh consecutive meeting when CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday. Analysts pointed to the uptick in inflation and the pressure to maintain foreign inflows into Egyptian debt.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The temperature is set to drop by at least three degrees. The mercury will max out at 36°C during the day and will drop to 24°C at night.

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.