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Monday, 8 November 2021

TONIGHT: Shoukry heads to DC for high-level talks + Alstom lands biggest rolling stock contract for Cairo Metro Line 1

Could we be getting more climate funding? It seems so, ladies and gentlemen, with developed nations pledging at COP26 more climate funding for developing countries and emerging markets. In local news, the Transport Ministry’s TransMEA conference and agreements signed there led coverage so far.


#1- CGT doesn’t have as many enemies in parliament as previously thought: The House Planning and Budgeting Committee has yet to receive any formal proposals to amend the law governing the capital gains tax, meaning the tithe is still on track to come into effect on 1 January, 2022, unnamed committee sources tell Al Borsa. For the House of Representatives to even discuss a proposed legislative amendment, the draft amendment must have the backing of at least one tenth of the House (ie. 66 representatives). Only 20 MPs had previously signaled their intention to draft a legislative amendment to postpone implementing the tax.

FinMin meeting with MPs on the tax hasn’t happened yet: Parliament had been scheduled to discuss the ramifications of introducing the 10% tithe on gains from EGX transactions with the Finance Ministry, GAFI, the EGX, and the Financial Regulatory Authority last month, but the meeting was postponed as Finance Minister Mohamed Maait was out of town, FinMin spokesperson Ragab Mahrous told Enterprise. The planned discussion comes as the reintroduction of the tax has been met with resistance from parliament, alongside fund managers and figures in the securities industry.

The Senate is still looking into the tax and is set to discuss the matter again within a week, according to the newspaper. The upper house of parliament had met with the Finance Ministry last month to hear its point of view on the matter, Mahrous confirmed to us.

#2- The National Authority for Tunnels signed a EUR 876 mn contract with Alstom for upgrades to Cairo Metro Line 1, the company announced in a statement today. Alstom will provide 55 new subway trains to Cairo’s oldest underground line, as well as supply spare parts and maintenance under the 8-year contract, which is financed by the French government. The contract is among 13 signed by the Transport Ministry on the second day of the TransMEA transport conference. We break down the other agreements and what they mean for our transportation infrastructure in this week’s Hardhat.

HAPPENING NOW- Shoukry in DC for high-level talks: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is in Washington, DC today for the two-day US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, with talks scheduled with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and the US State Department said in separate statements. The meetings, which will also be attended by senior officials from USAID and the Department of Defense, will cover “international, regional, human rights and bilateral cooperation on economic, judicial, security, educational and cultural issues,” the State Department said.

Here’s what we expect from the meeting: GERD, US military assistance, Israel-Palestine and the coup in Sudan will likely all be at the top of the priority list. Add to that the situation in Libya ahead of the talks in Paris this week — and US-approved plans to ship Egyptian gas to Lebanon — and there’s plenty to keep the two sides busy. More here.

In other diplomacy news, high-ranking members of the Egyptian Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) met for talks yesterday in Sharm El Sheikh, the IDF said on Twitter. The two sides agreed to amend an agreement covering the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza to allow for an increased Egyptian military presence in the area, according to Israeli media reports.

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

  • EGX-listed Ibnsina Pharma’s investment arm AIM is investing EGP 440 mn to establish a logistics service provider, Ramp Logistics.
  • Lighthouse Education reaches EGP 560 mn first close: State-backed education investment platform Lighthouse Education has reached a first close of EGP 560 mn, beating its initial fundraising target, thanks to Saudi’s Al Rajhi Investment Company committing EGP 75 mn.
  • Developers could hike real estate prices by 10-15% due to the rising cost of raw materials, including cement and iron, which saw an 80% price hike since the beginning of the year.


European gas spikes once again as Putin’s supply promises fall through: European and UK benchmark gas futures rose by as much as 9.7% this morning, as it became clear that promises of increased supply from Russia would not materialize. Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously directed state-owned Gazprom to direct gas to European storage sites from today. But the gas firm said it had no extra capacity, while the fuel was flowing in the opposite direction, from Germany to Poland, early this morning, Bloomberg reports.

The news dashed hopes of an imminent easing of Europe’s gas crisis, which has seen prices more than triple this year amid global fuel shortages. That said, Goldman Sachs is still holding out for an increase in Russian supply to Europe sometime later this week, according to Bloomberg.

Egypt to the rescue? Oil Minister Tarek El Molla held talks with EU officials about the prospect of exporting Egyptian natural gas to Europe as part of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum on the sidelines of COP26. Importing Egyptian gas could help Europe diversify its supply lines, strengthening its resilience to shortages and Russian political maneuvers.


Inflation: Inflation figures for October will be released this Wednesday, 10 November.

The two-day Africa Fintech summit kicks off next Tuesday, 16 November. The summit looks at innovation in the fintech ecosystem, venture capital and other forms of investing, and will also discuss the rise of healthtech.

Calling all Egyptian entrepreneurs aged 23-35: You have a little over two weeks to apply for the acceleration exchange program Meet Silicon Valley for a chance to travel to California for a 10-day program to meet with tech executives and investors. The program is being implemented by Injaz Egypt and TechWadi with the support of the US Embassy in Egypt, and the deadline for applications is 23 November.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- It’s going to be another unseasonably warm day, with a daytime high of 31°C and a nighttime low of 19°C, our favorite weather app tells us.

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