Sunday, 3 July 2022

TONIGHT: We have a light rail + Retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla delayed. ALSO- House is still not done with the Competition Act

With the three-day holiday behind us, the countdown to the Eid break begins, ladies and gentlemen. Friday will be Wa’fa day, with the first day of Eid falling on Saturday. It is customary for us to get three working days off, so we’re expecting a very short week next week. But before we check out…

THE BIG STORIES TODAY-

#1- Habemus, light rail: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi inaugurated the first phase of the light rail transit system (LRT) connecting Cairo, the New Administrative capital and 10th of Ramadan in a ceremony today at the Adly Mansour station (watch, runtime: 47:00). The 103.3 km network runs primarily through East Cairo’s new desert cities connecting El Salam, by way of the Adly Mansour transit station, to Al Obour, Al Shorouk, Badr, Rubiki, 10th of Ramadan and Belbeis. Adly Mansour’s Cairo Metro Line 3 station was also inaugurated.

In attendance was European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Gelsomina Vigliotti who’s in Egypt for a four-day visit this week, according to a statement (pdf). Cairo Metro Line 3 received EUR 600 mn in funding from the EIB for construction — making it the largest single transport project backed by the EIB in Africa, according to the statement. Vigliotti is set to meet with government officials and private sector representatives to talk future EIB investments in Egypt’s energy and food security, as well as green projects ahead of the COP27 summit in November, according to a separate statement (pdf). This marks her first high-level visit to the country since the covid pandemic began in 2020.

#2- The deadline to subscribe to the retail portion of Ghazl El Mahalla’s IPO has been extended to 14 August, according to a notice on the bourse today. This follows reports last week that the delay was likely due to weak demand for the retail portion. The note also confirmed that the club will now allow investors to purchase up to 15 mn shares, up from 2 mn currently, in a bid to attract institutional investors


HAPPENING NOW- The House of Representatives voted to approve an agreement signed with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) at the end of March which could see USD 10 bn of fresh Saudi investment in the economy. The PIF and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) have already identified the companies — both private and state-owned — that the Saudi wealth fund will invest in.

Will the reforms to competition rules make it to the House before the recess? “Hopefully”: The House is still not done with committee level discussions on the proposed amendments to the Competition Act that would give the Egyptian Competition Authority sharper teeth at regulating M&As, House Economic Committee Ahmed Samir said. Somehow, he is hopeful that the debate will be out of committee and the legislation will be put up to a vote in a plenary session this week.

Plenary sessions are expected to continue tomorrow and Tuesday as the current legislative cycle draws to a close. Speculation is growing among MPs that recess could begin later this week though there’s still a chance that our elected representatives will have to postpone their annual Sahel getaways until after Eid.

On the legislative agenda this week:

  • Consumer finance: Government-drafted amendments to the Consumer Finance Act will be debated tomorrow. Three articles could be added to the act to provide greater fraud protections to consumers, according to a note seen by Enterprise.
  • Tax disputes: The House will also discuss government-drafted amendments to tax dispute settlements tomorrow, part of efforts to improve the investor climate and boost tax revenues.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Luhansk has fallen: Russian forces and Moscow-backed separatists have completed the capture of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, after it took control of Lysychansk, the last city that was still under Ukrainian control, a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry read.

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

  • GASC makes huge wheat buy: State grain buyer GASC last week made its largest wheat purchase in a decade, as it locked in 815k tons of wheat for shipment in August, September and October amid a price slump.
  • More love from our Gulf neighbors: Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) reached an agreement to acquire a 70% stake in local shipping and logistics firm International Associated Cargo Carrier (IACC) for AED 514 mn (USD 140 mn).
  • Qatari Diar’s string of victories in the Egyptian court system: Qatari Diar and other related investors saw taxation and administrative court rulings go in their favor last week.

enterprise

*** It’s Inside Industry day — your weekly briefing of all things industrial in Egypt. Inside Industry focuses each Sunday on what it takes to turn Egypt into a manufacturing and export powerhouse, ranging from initial investment and planning to product distribution, through to land allocation to industrial processes, supply chain management, labor, automation and technology, inputs and exports, regulation and policy.

In today’s issue: Local cement players are lobbying the government to extend a regulation which stipulates that cement production be cut by at least 10%. We explore the reasons behind their request and the status of the cement industry in Egypt as it stands today.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

It’s the start of a brand new month — and you know what that means…

  • PMI: Data measuring activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector will drop on Wednesday, 6 July.
  • Foreign reserves: Foreign reserves figures will be out sometime this week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for June will land on Sunday, 10 July.

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 39°C tomorrow and a nighttime low of 24°C, according to our favorite weather app.

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