THIS MORNING: It’s crunch week at COP27 + Climate X is happening at the GEM
Good morning, friends. Before we get started on a very busy news day, we have an announcement to make:
Our Enterprise Climate X Forum is happening at the brand new Grand Egyptian Museum: We are delighted to let you all know that the Enterprise Climate X Forum is taking place at the Grand Egyptian Museum on Tuesday, 6 December 2022. We can think no better place to discuss the world’s most important industry than in a world-class museum that stands as a testament to our nation’s ability to persevere (and innovate) for seven millennia.
What’s the Enterprise Climate X Forum? It’s our first industry-specific conference, where CEOs, top execs, investors, bankers and development finance folks have the chance to talk about how to build a climate-centered business — and how to make sure your business continues to have access to the funds it needs to grow. You can learn more on our conference website here.
Some of the biggest names in business and finance are on board — are you? If you’re a C-suite exec, business owner, climate professional, DFI staff, investor or banker, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to signal your interest, letting us know your name, title and where you work.
Who’s on board? The Enterprise Climate X Forum is taking place with the generous support of our friends, including:
- Banking partners: HSBC | Mashreq | Attijariwafa Bank
- Telecom partner: Etisalat by e&
- Event partners: Hassan Allam Utilities | Infinity
IT’S A GREAT MORNING FOR: Market nerds, as the EGX30 is finally in the black for the year. The benchmark index is in positive territory year-to-date for the first time since mid-January after gaining 1.9% during trading yesterday. That means the EGX30 is now 0.3% in the green for the year and is at its highest level since 13 January.
Staging a comeback? Buoyed by optimism about an IMF assistance package, the EGX30 has soared more than 38% since early July after tumbling to its lowest level since November 2016.
The EGX has gained further momentum in the past few weeks, rising 8.2% since Egypt and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement for a USD 3 bn loan program and the central bank moved to a flexible exchange rate.
WATCH THIS SPACE #1- The Madbouly government’s state ownership policy document could go into effect at the end of this year, Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk told the Senate yesterday. The government has finalized the document, which would be ratified at the end of the year to go into effect, the minister said.
REMEMBER– The document is supposed to be a roadmap to more than doubling the private sector’s role in the economy and attract bns of USD in fresh investment. The document will lay out the industries which the government plans to open up to private companies and the ringfenced strategic sectors that will continue to see heavy state involvement.
When are we going to see it? We were expecting to get a first glimpse of the final document during last month’s economic conference, but instead were told that the document was “nearly” finished and that we’d need to wait. Little has been said about the document in the three weeks since the conference ended.
Maybe during the National Dialogue? The document is expected to be discussed before the National Dialogue, which could kick off any time after COP27. The document will be discussed by a dedicated subcommittee which will have the power to amend it.
WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Al Mansour Automotive hopes to start assembling electric vehicles in Egypt within the coming year and is close to finishing feasibility studies, our friend Ankush Arora, CEO of Al Mansour Automotive, told Bloomberg Asharq yesterday. This comes a few days after Mohamed Mansour told Bloomberg that he intends to produce 15k EVs over the next three years.
But they’re asking for government support: An Egyptian EV industry “cannot succeed or [be] adopted at an appropriate pace commercially without participation and support by the government,” Arora said, expressing hopes that the incentives included in the long-awaited automotive strategy will be announced in the next 3-4 weeks.
It’s also preparing to import electric Cadillacs: Al Mansour Auto will partner with GM to import electric Cadillacs to Egypt by the end of 2023. The two companies want to have five models available on the Egyptian market by 2025.
IN SHARM TODAY-
It’s crunch time at COP as the second and final week of negotiations gets underway. With the headline-grabbing speeches of the first week out of the way, it’s week two when state delegates really get down to brass tacks and push towards draft agreements.
But will Friday, 18 November be a day of joy or sorry? At the end of week one, delegates aren’t painting an optimistic picture. A Reuters report suggests an atmosphere of frustration as negotiators fail to make progress on key aspects of the talks.
As expected, trust between developed and developing nations is low amid an impasse on loss and damage: Developing countries are continuing to push for an agreement on new financing mechanisms but these are being blocked by rich nations, negotiators tell the newswire. “We haven’t seen huge solidarity between the developed and developing countries,” one policy analyst said. Instead there have been “disappointing commitments and action this year, which has dented trust.”
It’s Water Day at COP27: Sessions will focus on sustainable water resource management, water scarcity, drought, cross boundary cooperation, and the improvement of early warning systems. We’re expecting the official launch of the AWARE (Action for Water Adaptation and Resilience) initiative, in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization.
BACK IN CAIRO-
On the legislative agenda: The Senate will discuss and give a final vote to amendments to the 1982 law related to the performance of the country’s diplomatic and consular corps.
It’s day 2 of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) today. The CIFF is set to run until Tuesday 22 November.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK-
Five to seven agreements will be signed with companies to export renewable energy via the SCZone, Planning Minister Hala El Said told Bloomberg Asharq (watch, runtime: 1:36). The SCZone has long been expected to sign agreements with international companies to establish green hydrogen and ammonia plants at COP27. Initial agreements worth bns of USD have been signed this year, the most recent of which was with Maersk for a huge USD 15 bn facility capable of producing 3 mn tons of fuel a year.
The G20 summit starts tomorrow: G20 leaders are heading to Indonesia for the 2022 summit which takes place in Bali on Tuesday and Wednesday. US president Joe Biden is already in the country for high-stakes talks with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. The two leaders will meet face-to-face for the first time today and are expected to discuss a wide range of issues including tensions over Taiwan, the war in Ukraine, climate, and the global food and energy crises, Reuters writes.
THE BIG STORIES ABROAD-
The results from the US midterms continues to be the big story on US front pages, with many speculating about the likelihood of Biden 2024 as well as the future direction of the Republican Party after it failed to capture the Senate: Reuters | NYT | Washington Post | WSJ.
A dark day for Turkey: At least six people were killed and 81 were injured yesterday in a bombing in central Istanbul. The country’s interior minister has said that a person has been arrested in connection with the explosion, which the Turkish government is treating as a terror attack. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned the attack in a statement yesterday evening. (Reuters | AFP | BBC | Bloomberg | CNN | The Guardian)
PSA #1- The LRT has (again) extended its hours: The new light rail transit system (LRT) has extended its operating hours to 7:30am until 12am starting today, operator RATP Dev said yesterday.
SOUND SMART- The all-electric LRT links Cairo to the new administrative Capital and will ultimately go all the way to 10th of Ramadan City. The line starts at the Adly Mansour transport hub near Cairo International Airport, which serves as an exchange for the LRT, Cairo Metro line three, the Cairo-Suez railway line, and two bus lines. The first branch linking Adly Mansour to Badr City by way of El Obour and El Shorouk has been open since July. Two stations on the branch to 10 Ramadan and four on the NAC branch are also open.
PSA #2- If you’re self-employed, you have to register in the Tax Authority’s e-invoice system by 15 December. This includes self-employed doctors, engineers, lawyers, and artists, the Egyptian Tax Authority said in a statement. Only e-invoices will be considered for VAT deduction or refunds as of 1 April, 2023.
What e-invoicing system? In late 2020, the Tax Authority launched a pilot program for B2B e-invoicing with 134 companies, before expanding the system to all large taxpayers in July 2021. All B2B and B2C invoices across the country should be fully automated by December. We have a primer on the system, its purpose, the timeline of implementation along with a list of phase one companies here.
PSA #3- Good news for Upper Egypt startups: Applications for a Uplift4UpperEgypt — startup program run by Orascom’s Gemini Enterprises Africa, in partnership with the Sawiris Foundation, aimed at businesses in Upper Egypt, will open on 17 November, according to Al Mal.
CORRECTION– We incorrectly wrote in yesterday’s EnterprisePM that Andy Ogletree won USD 1.5 mn after claiming victory in the International Series Egypt golf tournament in Madinaty. The USD 1.5 mn purse is actually divided between all of the participants, with the first-placed player taking 18% of the winnings (equivalent to USD 270k). We have since updated the story on our website.
The US and Russia will hold nuclear talks in Cairo in a few weeks — but don’t expect a breakthrough, Reuters reports. Washington and Moscow will discuss resuming mutual nuclear inspections in late November or early December in Cairo, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies, though he downplayed expectations of reaching an agreement. Russia halted Inspections under the treaty in August, blaming travel curbs imposed by the US and Western allies on the back of the war in Ukraine.
Xi is visiting Saudi Arabia next month: Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a rare trip overseas next month with a visit to Saudi Arabia for talks with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir told Reuters that talks will focus on boosting trade and regional security.
It’s hard to understate the significance of this trip: Washington won’t be pleased about the trip which comes amid growing cooperation between China and US allies in the Gulf. Xi’s decision to visit Riyadh comes as the US-Saudi relationship hits its lowest point in years, and as Washington takes a more assertive stance against China.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.