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Wednesday, 19 October 2022

THIS EVENING: Qatar’s SWF snapping up USD 2.5 bn-worth of state-owned company stakes + MaxAB closes USD 40 mn pre-series B

Happy almost-THURSDAY, wonderful people. The weekend is (just) within reach, but the news cycle isn’t dying down just yet.


#1- Qatar to invest USD 2.5 bn in state-held firms: Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is in advanced talks to buy up 20% of Telecom Egypt’s stake in Vodafone Egypt, as well as other state-held stakes in unlisted companies, in transactions worth up to USD 2.5 bn, sources close to the matter told Bloomberg. A source close to the matter confirmed to Enterprise that talks are still ongoing with three different Arab sovereign funds — the Qatar Investment Authority, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s ADQ — as we’ve reported earlier, and that the two parties could come to an agreement by the end of the year. Telecom Egypt has yet to receive an official bid from any of the funds, the source confirmed.

#2- MaxAB closes USD 40 mn pre-series B: B2B e-commerce platform MaxAB closed a USD 40 mn pre-series B round to fund its expansion across the MENAP region, according to a statement (pdf). The round saw follow-on investments from early backers Beco Capital, 4DX Ventures, Flourish Ventures and Africa Platform Capital, as well as commitments from new investors Silver Lake, British International Investment (the UK government’s development finance institution) and DisruptAD (Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ’s venture platform).


Russia and the UK are competing for the top slot on the front pages of the international business press this afternoon. Russian President Vladimir Putin imposed martial law in the regions of Ukraine that Russia has annexed, indicating that military administrations will be installed in these regions, CNBC and Reuters report. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss is facing increasing political pressure as inflation figures jumped to the double digits again in September (Financial Times | Wall Street Journal).

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

  • Auto assembly legislation + expat car import scheme get parliament sign-off: The House of Representatives’ general assembly approved legislation that will see the establishment of a new council to set policy for local vehicle industry (including EV assembly) and another bill that will allow Egyptians living abroad to import cars and get customs and fee rebates.
  • The bidding war for Pachin is cooling off: Saybad Industrial Investment has abandoned its bid to take over EGX-listed paint company Paint and Chemical Industries (Pachin) after not being able to do due diligence on the firm.
  • Swvl could get booted off the Nasdaq: Cairo-born Swvl is reportedly considering combining (through a reverse stock split) or canceling some of its shares as it looks to avoid delisting due to low trading price.


Take our EV survey: Are you an ex-petrolhead shopping around for your first electric vehicle? EV-curious and wondering what all the fuss is about? Or are you not ready to say goodbye to that sweet smell of benzene as you wait at the gas station?

We want to hear from you: We’re taking the pulse on how the nation feels about Egypt’s nascent EV transition. Take a few minutes to fill out our short survey. We’ll be back soon with the results.



The Madbouly government’s economic conference takes place Sunday-Tuesday next week. You can find the agenda for the conference here.

Egypt and the UAE will host a two-day conference marking 50 years of bilateral ties. The gathering will take place next Wednesday-Friday, 26-28 October and is being produced in association with the two governments. Day one is an economic forum featuring ministers, senior officials and business leaders, while the following day will feature a cultural forum, according to a statement.

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) will launch a promotional campaign next week to drum up interest in investing there, SCZone head Walid Gamal El Din said, according to a statement. The pre-COP campaign will launch domestically next Sunday, 23 October, before the international campaign kicks off on Monday, 24 October.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Temperatures in Cairo will hit 30°C tomorrow during the day before falling to 19°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.

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