Wednesday, 12 January 2022

THIS EVENING: Macro Group IPO gets green light from EGX listing committee + Egypt to dig for gold, other minerals in new industrial mining cities

You nearly made it to the weekend, ladies and gentlemen. And if you’re like us, we need it to get last night’s Afcon results out of our heads.

THE BIG STORIES TODAY-

BREAKING- The EGX’s listing committee has signed off on the listing of cosmeceuticals giant Macro Group’s shares ahead of its planned IPO, the EGX said in a press release (pdf) out just moments before dispatch. Macro’s shares will be listed on the EGX tomorrow under the stock ticker MCRO.CA. Macro Group plans to offer up to 45.8% of its shares in a transaction that could see the company valued at around EGP 3.5 bn, the FRA had said last month.

Egypt plans to set up industrial mining “cities” for the extraction of gold, copper, and phosphate, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said today at the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, adding that work is underway to establish the country’s first accredited gold refinery, according to Reuters.

The government is working on making more flexible mining policies as part of its plans to ramp up investments in the mining industry, El Molla said, according to Bloomberg AlSharq.

^^We’ll have more on this story and others in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.

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

  • World Bank hikes Egypt growth forecast to 5.5% in FY2021-2022: The bank revised upwards its prediction for Egypt’s GDP growth by 0.5 percentage points due to Egypt’s rising exports, growth in our tech and natural gas sectors, and a rebound in tourism.
  • …This comes amidst a forecasted slowdown in global growth this year: The World Bank is projecting a 1.4 percentage-point slowdown in global GDP growth to 4.1% in 2022, with developing economies to get the brunt of the hit.
  • Egypt to see its first locally assembled EV in 2023: Egypt will produce its first locally assembled electric vehicles next year, with El Nasr Automotive in talks with two Chinese firms with the aim of signing final contracts by March.

It’s day three at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh: The day saw Planning Minister Hala El Said headline a panel called Developmental Initiatives to Confront Poverty, speaking on the importance of lowering the poverty rate in order to pave the way for future development, according to a cabinet statement.

El Said highlighted the importance of the Decent Life initiative in this regard, detailing its progress so far. Some USD 45-50 bn have been earmarked for the initiative so far to provide education, medical services, housing, and more to beneficiaries, she indicated.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi also spoke today on Egypt’s economic reforms, mentioning how they paved the way for Egypt’s economic resilience and recovery from the pandemic and allowed the country to emerge largely unscathed, according to Masrawy. You can check out the full agenda for the forum here (pdf).

Some updates from WYF yesterday:

  • Egypt launched a local version of UN global initiative “Generation Unlimited” yesterday: The international initiative aims to form a partnership between government sector, the private sector and youth in the world with the aim of providing skills training to people between the ages of 10-24, according to a press release from UNICEF. The local version, dubbed Shabab Balad, was launched yesterday at the World Youth Forum in the first such program in the region.
  • Egypt will continue to support the Palestinian cause and push for peace talks to continue, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi reiterated during the forum, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

THE BIG STORIES ABROAD-

The US could see inflation hit a 40-year high, with consumer prices estimated to have climbed at 7.1% y-o-y, according to the Wall Street Journal. If the consumer price index numbers are as hot as expected, the Federal Reserve will be justified in its shift towards a tighter monetary policy and its plans to raise interest rates this year, as the central bank goes into inflation-fighting mode. At his confirmation hearing yesterday, Fed chairman Jerome Powell downplayed the impact of higher interest rates. The CPI will be out this afternoon and we’ll have coverage in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.

The story is making rounds in the business press: Financial Times | New York Times | CNBC | CNN.

Sigh, UK politics: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is sulking in parliament as we dispatch, apologizing for attending a party in May 2020 during the height of covid-19 restrictions — an allegation he had previously denied. When evidence of his attendance was released, the news inspired outrage across Britain as people accused Johnson of not following rules he himself had set. Johnson is currently attempting to defend his actions by saying that he thought the BYOB party was a work event.

Several parliament members have said Johnson must resign if wrongdoing is proved or face a no confidence vote, but Johnson has merely said he would respond ‘appropriately.

The story is all over the foreign press: The Guardian | Reuters | Financial Times | BBC | CNN.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Calling seed-stage fintech startups: You have until Tuesday, 15 February to apply to Orange Ventures’ seed challenge for a shot at EUR 500k. To qualify you need to have a seed-stage fintech business that has raised less than EUR 1 mn so far. You can apply here.

KUDOS- Tailored tutoring platform Orcas and online direct ordering food platform Zyda were the only two Egyptian startups in MENA selected for the third cohort of Google’s Startups Accelerator Middle East and North Africa, a three-month digital accelerator, the company announced in a press release (pdf). 11 startups in total had been selected from across the region.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is due in town from 20-21 January on an official visit, during which he will meet President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect a daytime high of 19°C tomorrow and a nighttime low of 10°C, according to our favorite weather app.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was corrected on 12 January, 2021 to reflect that the EGP 3.5 bn figure refers to the potential value of 100% of Macro Group’s shares, not the 45.8% of shares set to be offered in the transaction. 

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