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Monday, 30 May 2022

THIS MORNING: FRA opens consultations on NBFS strategy today; More EU sanctions on Russia unlikely

It’s a great day for investment news, friends, with further signs that we’re deepening our business and investment ties with the rest of the Arab world (through joint investment in manufacturing and the potential sale of a big stake in EgytAlum) and with Israel (through a new logistics zone on the border).

It’s also a bad day for gearheads as statistics out overnight show the total vehicle market contracted 25% last month, well more than double the rate at which it declined in March. Our reporting suggests the slump will be even worse in May.

^^ We have more on all of this below, in this morning’s news well.


FRA kicks off public consultations on non-bank financial services today: Public consultations on the second phase of the Financial Regulatory Authority’s (FRA) strategy to develop the non-banking financial services sector will begin today, the regulator said in a statement (pdf). The FRA has identified six key priorities for the four-year strategy including boosting use of fintech, accelerating digital transformation, achieving financial inclusion, and improving risk management.

ON THE COURT- El Gouna International Squash Open 2022 continues today and wraps on Friday. The competition features some of Egypt’s top seeds including world #1 Nouran Gohar and world #2 Ali Farag (who just took home the PSA squash championship cup). The prize pool for each of the men’s and women’s competitions is USD 180k.

Further afield: US financial markets are closed today in observance of Memorial Day, a federal holiday.

Good news for investors: The Trade Ministry is making it easier to obtain licenses for industrial land. Getting a license for industrial land will soon take just 20 days as the Trade Ministry looks to simplify procedures for investors, Minister Nevine Gamea said on Ala Mas’ouleety last night (watch, runtime: 3:04). The ministry will take over responsibility for issuing licenses and getting approvals from different authorities, she said, contrasting this to the current system which forces companies to obtain around 14 approvals before they can get a license.


The EU is unlikely to announce fresh sanctions on Russia: A German minister has warned that the EU’s unity on sanctions against Moscow is “starting to crumble” after the bloc was unable to agree on a plan to ban Russian oil imports. (Bloomberg | FT | Reuters)

On the ground: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy described conditions in the east of the country as “indescribably difficult” as Russian forces continued to shell Sievierodonetsk, a key city in Luhansk province. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday said that the “liberation” of the entire Donbas region is an “unconditional priority” for Moscow, indicating that Russia will continue to advance until it has total control of the two eastern provinces. (AP | Reuters | BBC)

MEANWHILE- China is making moves to ease its covid lockdowns: Shanghai will lift “unreasonable” restrictions on businesses from 1 June while Beijing reopened some public transport and non-essential businesses as infection rates fall, Reuters reports. The two cities have been placed under tight lockdowns for weeks, triggering concerns that the economy could be tipped into a recession — and that the world’s supply chains will be further snarled.

The news is driving a rebound in the Asian markets and US futures this morning: The Hang Seng and the Nikkei are both up more than 2%, while Chinese shares are seeing more modest gains. Shares in Europe are also on course to rise in early trading this morning.


PSA- Tomorrow is the last day for EGX-listed companies to file their earnings for 1Q2022, after the Financial Regulatory Authority granted listed companies a two-week deadline extension.

Tomorrow is also the application deadline for ITIDA’s annual Export IT program. The program is designed to encourage local IT companies to boost exports while reducing related costs.

Spring conference season is in full swing this week. Among the events taking place over the next few days:

  • Egypt Can with Industry begins today and wraps tomorrow.
  • The Islamic Development Bank’s 2022 annual meetings are scheduled for this Wednesday-Saturday, 1-4 June in Sharm El Sheikh. Enterprise will be attending the annual meetings and bringing you updates from there.
  • The Islamic Corporation for the Ins. of Investment and Export Credit will hold two high-level parallel meetings on climate action and digital transformation during IsDB’s annual meetings.

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


*** It’s Blackboard day: We have our weekly look at the business of education in Egypt, from pre-K through the highest reaches of higher ed. Blackboard appears every Monday in Enterprise in the place of our traditional industry news roundups.

In today’s issue: While strong academic performance is a fixture of acceptance requirements in educational institutions, athletic achievements among K-12 students also provide a path forward in the academic field, with similar financial perks. Sports scholarships geared towards top-performing athletes — a fixture of universities in countries such as the US and Canada — have also become available at several private universities in Egypt. Today, we give a rundown of the scholarships and financial support packages available for young athletes.

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. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.