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Sunday, 12 December 2021

TONIGHT: Ezz Steel wants to buy Abou Hashima’s remaining stake in Egyptian Steel + CHG tender offer opens tomorrow + Shoukry in Riyadh + Bennett in Abu Dhabi.

Good afternoon, friends, and bravo on finishing the first day of what looks set to be a busy week as one and all rush to get deadlines met, transactions finalized, t’s crossed and i’s dotted before the end-of-year lull. On the M&A front, Egyptian Steel founder Ahmed Abou Hashima could be about to bow out of the company’s ownership structure, after Ezz Steel announced its bid to buy his remaining 18% stake, while Cleopatra shareholders can subscribe to CI Capital’s tender offer for 26.2% of the healthcare provider from tomorrow.

Elsewhere, a software bug has set the internet aflame, and the EU wants to make sure green financiers aren’t secretly burning fossil fuels. Not lighting up anytime soon: New Zealand’s pre-teens, who are likely getting a lifetime smoking ban come 2027.


#1 Ahmed Abou Hashima might soon become an ex-steel magnate: Ezz Steel is bidding to acquire 18% of Egyptian Steel for EGP 2.5 bn, according to a bourse disclosure (pdf), in a move that would see Ahmed Abou Hashima sell down his shares in the company he founded in 2010. Ezz Steel subsidiary Al Ezz Dekheila confirmed its plans to buy Abou Hashima’s entire stake in an all-cash transaction that would put the value of Egyptian Steel at around EGP 13.9 bn.

#2 Tick, tock: Starting tomorrow, Cleopatra Hospital Group shareholders will have until Sunday, 26 December to subscribe to CI Capital’s voluntary tender offer (VTO), which it launched last week to acquire 26.2% of the company, according to the timeline set by the EGX today. CI Capital subsidiary MCI Capital Healthcare Partners last week got the greenlight from the FRA on its offer to purchase the shares at EGP 5 apiece, with Cleopatra’s biggest shareholder, Care Healthcare, agreeing to sell an 8-12% stake in the company from its holdings at the proposed price. Cleopatra’s share price rose 1% on the news, closing at EGP 4.7 per share.

^^We’ll have more details on these stories and others in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.

PSA #1- We’ll have to wait a while longer to start signing up for booster shots: Today was supposed to be the first day that senior citizens, people with chronic medical conditions, and frontline workers such as medical staff could start registering with the Health Ministry to receive booster covid shots. It seems that we’ll have to wait for a while longer: a couple of us tried to sign up this morning, but neither the website nor the ministry hotline are currently allowing people to register for third shots. The ministry aims to start inviting people to register in the coming days, ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told us this afternoon, without providing specifics.

PSA #2- Attention joint stock and investment companies in Cairo: You have four days left to register for the government’s e-invoicing platform. As of this Wednesday, 15 December, more than 3.7k companies in the capital will be required to be on the system and start issuing electronic invoices for B2B transactions. Some 2.8k large taxpayers have signed up to the Finance Ministry’s new digital platform over several phases going back to November 2020.

HAPPENING NOW- Shoukry is heading to KSA: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is heading to Riyadh to launch what the ministry is calling a “political consultation mechanism.” We’re not 100% sure what this means but it’s supposed to enhance ties between Egypt and the Gulf.

The Food Africa expo opened this morning at the Egypt International Exhibition Center and runs through Tuesday.

The Arab Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy kicked off today in Aswan. The event runs until Thursday.

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

  • The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will likely leave interest rates on hold when it meets this Thursday as the bank looks to protect the economic recovery and maintain attractive real rates for the carry trade, according to an Enterprise poll of analysts.
  • Annual urban inflation slowed for the second month running in November as pressure on food prices continued to ease.
  • Abu Qir Fertilizers completed the sale of 10% of its shares on the EGX, raising EGP 2.25 bn (c. USD 143 mn) from local and international institutional investors.


Naftali Bennett will become the first Israeli leader to make an official visit to the UAE, after announcing in today’s cabinet meeting that he would be traveling to Abu Dhabi later in the day before meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed on Monday. The visit comes amid a rapid warming of relations between Israel and some of its neighbors, following several diplomatic agreements brokered in 2020 under former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — including a normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

Brave new Arab world: The meeting is being received as the latest sign that 2020’s diplomatic shake-up in the region is here to stay — with the burgeoning allyship cemented by fear of a common foe in Iran and its as-yet-unchecked nuclear enrichment program. The story is being picked up far and wide, including by Bloomberg, the Associated Press, and Reuters.

The US Midwest is still reeling from the aftermath of the tornado storm that ripped its way through six states yesterday, with death tolls expected to continue to rise as first responders search the wreckage. The Washington Post is among the US outlets running wall-to-wall coverage.

CORRECTION- In our coverage of the tobacco license tender last week, we suggested that the new company would be able to produce the same low-tax cigarettes as Eastern Company for the local market. That was incorrect: The latest iteration of the tender would allow the second company to contract with Eastern Company to produce low-tax cigarettes at Eastern’s facilities for domestic sale. Eastern Company would have the right to refuse if the two sides do not come to an agreement on commercial terms. We have updated the story on our website.


The Egyptian Economic Summit is taking place on Tuesday at the St. Regis Hotel. The one-day event will feature a range of panelists from institutions including CIB, EFG Hermes, the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Eastern Company, Oriental Weavers, Microsoft and Danone, among others. The full agenda is here (pdf).

EgyptAir will resume weekly flights between Cairo and Johannesburg on Thursday, 16 December, the airline said Thursday. Flights were suspended from South Africa and six other countries at the end of November to prevent the Omicron covid-19 variant from entering Egypt. Current precautionary measures for travelers entering Egypt from South Africa will remain in place.

TOMORROW’S WEATHER- It’s going to be a cloudy Monday… How fitting. Expect a daytime of 24°C and a nighttime low of 16°C tomorrow, our favorite weather app tells us.

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