THIS MORNING: Introducing our newest pillar advertiser; A lot of climate events are taking place this week
Good morning, friends, and welcome to the last full week of August — a month that has emphatically not lived up to its reputation for being light on news. Last week’s surprise changing of the guard at the Central Bank of Egypt, an unexpected cabinet shuffle, and Mohamed Farid’s shifting over to run the Financial Regulatory Authority have shaken up the regulatory and policy landscapes at the same time as the government continues to line up investment from the GCC and pursue talks for an IMF assistance package. Throw in some M&A news (not least the acquisition of Beltone by the UAE’s Chimera) and … wow. What a month.
We’re kicking off the week with a bit of news of our own: We’re absolutely delighted to welcome HSBC Egypt as our new lead pillar advertiser here at EnterpriseAM. HSBC is the largest international bank in the nation — and has the largest presence in our region of any international bank.
HSBC Egypt shares our values, whether that’s its focus on business leaders just like you, its belief that business is an international affair, or its longstanding commitment to net zero and the wider conversation about environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
As an institution, HSBC is deeply rooted in Egypt and the Middle East. Its origins in Egypt date to the late twentieth century. Today, it links businesses here to the Gulf, Europe, Asia, and North America. That’s exactly what we aim to do every morning here at Enterprise: To go deep on business, finance, economics and policy in a country in which we all do business and invest — and to connect you to the international trends and news you need to know about. Whether you’re working on business strategy in Zayed, pitching a US venture capitalist in Zamalek, boarding a plane for meetings in London, or want to know how an interest rate decision in the US will impact us here in Omm El Donia — that’s where EnterpriseAM comes in.
HSBC Egypt will be penning a column in EnterpriseAM every second Monday. The first, by the bank’s Egypt vice-chair and CEO Todd Wilcox, will appear tomorrow. (We had the chance to sit down with Todd back in June — our “Coffee with…” conversation is here and definitely worth reading.)
HSBC Egypt is also joining us for an exciting new product we’re launching very soon. We’ll have more for you on that in the days ahead — stay tuned.
Our more than 200k readers enjoy Enterprise without charge every day thanks to the generosity of major corporations including HSBC Egypt, EFG Hermes, SODIC, Infinity, Somabay, Etisalat by e&, PHD, Orascom Construction, CIRA, IDG, and Moharram & Partners. Thank you, all of you, for making this possible.
PSA- Your morning commute is going to stay reasonable(ish) for an extra week after the Education Ministry announced that the new school year for public schools will start on 1 October instead of 24 September as previously announced. The ministry’s international schools will begin the school year on 18 September, the statement said. Ministry-regulated private schools including MES, CES, Alsson, AIS are scheduled to open in early September. Embassy-affiliated and association-owned schools including NCBIS, BISC and the Lycée Françaid du Caire are all opening in the coming weeks.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-
The Madbouly government will hold another three rounds of consultations on its privatization strategy this week: Representatives from the power sector will meet with government officials today to discuss its privatization plans. A consultation with construction players will take place on Tuesday and water players are up on Thursday. The government is holding workshops and consultations with stakeholders from different industries every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday on its privatization plans. You can find more details on the schedule of the meetings here.
PSA- Students can apply to all government non-profit universities through the online public university enrollment (tansik) website starting Tuesday, 23 August, the Higher Education Ministry said in a statement Friday. The deadline for applications is the following Tuesday, 30 August.
SO MUCH COP-
Get climate finance for your business from the UK government: As the clock ticks down to COP27, the Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) is hosting a webinar tomorrow to introduce its plans to support low-carbon projects in Egypt. The CFA, backed by the UK government’s International Climate Finance (ICF), is a four-year technical assistance program designed to “develop a sustainable pipeline of bankable and investment-ready, low-carbon projects and identify suitable financing options.” The webinar is aimed at investors and developers involved in low-carbon projects in Egypt and will discuss climate finance, the CFA’s plans for Egypt, and the benefits of taking part in the program. The webinar takes place tomorrow (Monday, 22 August) starting at 11:30am CLT. Register here.
ALSO HAPPENING TOMORROW- The launch event for the global ClimaTech Run competition for tech entrepreneurs, hosted by USAID-backed Business Egypt, takes place at Le Lac Du Caire at 5pm CLT.
A delegation from the European Investment Bank delegation is visiting Egypt from 17-21 August to discuss the NWFE program with the International Cooperation Ministry, according to a ministry statement. Announced by International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat last month, NWFE is the mechanism by which the ministry will promote its pipeline of low-carbon projects to investors. The EIB delegation is meeting with officials from the international cooperation, agriculture, irrigation and housing ministries during its visit to discuss the details of the program.
The second Egypt- and UN-led regional climate roundtable takes place in Bangkok this Thursday: The one-day event will see climate negotiators from the Asia-Pacific region discuss climate finance with private- and public-sector stakeholders ahead of the COP27 summit in November. This is the second of five regional roundtables being organized by Egypt and the UN. The first took place in Ethiopia last month.
Egypt’s climate czar Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin was back on the airwaves last night to talk about COP27: In an interview with Al Hayah Al Youm, the UN climate change high level champion for Egypt and IMF executive director talked about Egypt’s ambitions for the summit and how the government is preparing (watch, runtime: 24:35).
LATER THIS WEEK-
Market watchers will be looking for clues on future Fed policy this Thursday when the big annual meet of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, starts.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD-
More than 20 people have been killed in an ongoing siege of a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. Islamic militants reportedly linked to Al Qaeda stormed the Hayat hotel on Friday and security forces were still trying to retake the building on Saturday evening. Two officers said that 25 bodies were recovered from the hotel, and more than 50 have been injured. (Reuters | Bloomberg | Wall Street Journal | Associated Press | BBC | The Guardian)
COVID WATCH- We’ve (almost) all had a first dose of a covid jab, and most of us have had a second jab. Some 50 mn people — 99.8% of those eligible for vaccination against covid-19 — have received a first jab, Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said at a cabinet meeting last week. Around 78% of those eligible have received a second dose, he said. Booster rates are significantly less, with fewer than a third of those eligible (some 8 mn people) having taken the third shot.
*** It’s What’s Next day: We have our weekly deep-dive into what makes and shapes pre-listed companies and startups in Egypt, the UAE and KSA, touching on investment trends, future sector insights and growth journeys.
In today’s issue: What’s next for F&B in Egypt? The Egyptian F&B sector has been expanding rapidly in recent years, with market consolidation and the rate of new players entering the country gathering pace. But what’s next?