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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

TONIGHT: e-Finance’s shares soar in EGX debut + we’re still reproducing like rabbits

Well, friends, we made it through another workweek together, and our reward is a huge first-day pop for the IPO of e-Finance and an otherwise quiet news day to send us off into a three-day weekend. We hope you have a wonderful time with family and (for the sociable among you) friends.


e-Finance shares pop 50% in EGX debut: State-owned fintech platform and payments infrastructure provider e-Finance saw its shares rise 50.2% in their first day of trading on the EGX, closing at EGP 21 after opening at EGP 13.98. Shares were up c. 80% at their peak. The company sold 26.1% of its shares — which are now trading under the ticker EFIH — in the first activity in the state’s privatization program since tobacco maker Eastern Company’s secondary stake sale in March 2019. At some EGP 5.8 bn (nearly USD 370 mn) it’s the EGX’s biggest IPO since 2015. Reuters and Bloomberg both have the story, and you can check out their investor relations microsite here.

ALSO- Renaissance Capital still sees Egypt’s GDP growing 4.2-5% in 2021 and 2022, but is now penciling in higher inflation in FY2021-2022, the investment bank said in a research note yesterday.

^^ We’ll have more in Sunday’s edition of EnterpriseAM.

SOME MORE GOOD NEWS as we slide into the long weekend- We now officially have 98 women judges at the Council of State (Maglis El Dawla) after they were sworn in earlier this week, according to Al Masry Al Youm. This marks the first time the council has ever had women judges — a move that was put in motion after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued orders back in March to bring women into Maglis El Dawla and the Supreme Judicial Council. The judges were transferred from other judicial bodies, including the State Lawsuits Authority and the Administrative Prosecution.

SOUND SMART- These councils are important because of their purviews. Maglis El Dawla is the country’s administrative court system and is mandated with judicial matters related to the government — and its approval is oftentimes required for legislation before the House of Representatives passes it. The Supreme Judicial Council’s mandate covers administrative issues of the judiciary and is responsible for selecting the country’s Prosecutor General.

LESS GOOD NEWS- There’s going to be lots more of us by 2032 — like a total of 123 mn of us. And that’s a best-case scenario: If we don’t start learning to fill those quiet evenings with something else, state statistics agency Capmas reportedly thinks there could be 130 mn of us by then.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD? It’s still a pretty “meh” day in the global press so far, with no single story leading the conversation. Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s first trip outside China since regulators in Beijing blocked Ant Group’s IPO late last year is getting play in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. The Journal also notes that Wall Street stock futures are “wobbly” ahead of the market open as the street looks forward to results today from Tesla, IBM and telco Verizon.

This isn’t even slightly creepy… Fund managers are using AI to “learn and analyse” your CEO’s “language patterns and tone” to help them get better insight into how “truthy” s/he is being.

ALSO- Paint prices are going way up next year (you may wish to take that into account if you’re procrastinating on renovations or finishing up the new place you just bought) and Bundesbank boss Jens Weidmann has stepped down.

For photo nerds: Nikon’s latest teaser for the Z 9 is out and it seems the camera company is signalling that it’s finally brought its auto-focus capabilities up to par with Sony A1 and Canon’s R 3 / 5 / 6. Judge for yourselves (watch, runtime: 0:29).

HERE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD- Is our selling electricity to the EU in partnership with Greece and Cyprus going to get in the way of mending fences with Turkey? Ankara doesn’t seem to love our plans to link electricity grids with Greece and Cyprus, with the Turkish Foreign Ministry saying in a statement that the MoUs signed earlier this week to construct a subsea cable for the USD 4 bn EuroAfrica Interconnector project are “a new manifestation of the hostile policies of the Greek/Greek Cypriot duo towards Turkey.” Granted, the statement only covers the Turkish government’s disapproval of Greece and Cyprus’ maritime border claims, calling them “maximalist and unlawful.” The statement comes one day after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that Greece will act as the link between Egypt and Europe, opening up a crucial window for us to exchange electricity with the continent.

Mitsotakis in a live-streamed discussion earlier today has already come out with a response saying Greece does “not need to ask anyone to interconnect our grid with Egypt,” because of the borders demarcated by EastMed Economic Zone established last year (watch runtime, 33:37). Mitsotakis also reiterated how critical Egypt-generated power will be to the “the stability of the European grid,” saying that it “needs to find its way into the European grid.”

Fertiglobe has raised some USD 795 mn through its IPO on the ADX this week after the company listed a total 13.8% stake on the exchange at AED 2.55 a piece, according to a statement (pdf). This comes after the company had previously said it would price its shares at AED 2.45-2.65 apiece, potentially paving the way for Fertiglobe to raise up to USD 830 mn from the offering. The nitrogen fertilizer producer’s listing was still 22x oversubscribed and has become the third largest IPO on the ADX, valuing the company at USD 5.8 bn. Nassef Sawiris’ OCI remains the majority shareholder of the company, while ADNOC now indirectly owns some 36.2%. EFG Hermes, HSBC and Goldman Sachs were among the bookrunners on the transaction.

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

  • Next up on the SFE’s sub-fund menu: Education the transactiontion + manufacturing and distribution, the Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s CEO Ayman Soliman said at a conference yesterday.
  • CGT going up for debate at the House? A group of MPs have formally asked House Speaker Hanafy El Gebaly to allow debate of the upcoming 1 January 2022 reintroduction of a capital gains tax on EGX transactions.
  • Linking Egypt to the EU energy market: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pledged to link Egypt to the EU energy market through the undersea cable projects Egypt signed with each of Greece and Cyprus this week.


FOR TECH NERDS- MacOS Monterey is going to be released on Monday as an upgrade available at no charge — and yes, tabs in Safari will look normal.


The Cairo International Furniture Show, Le Marche, kicks off tomorrow. The four-day event runs until next Sunday, 24 October. It is the first and largest furniture, material and home accessories exhibition in the region.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We’re in for some beautiful weather this long weekend, with highs of 29°C and lows of 18°C through Saturday. The sun should be shining all weekend long, according to our favorite weather app, so pencil in some outdoor time.

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