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Thursday, 22 December 2022

THIS EVENING: First filling begins for Elsewedy Electric-Arab Contractors Tanzania dam + Suez Canal’s Osama Rabie addresses questions on new Suez Canal fund

Happy THURSDAY, wonderful people. It’s been a mad rush of a week, but judging by the volume of out-of-office replies landing in our inboxes today, a number of you are taking some much-needed time off with which to end the year.

*** We’re following your lead and will be taking an extended weekend ourselves. EnterpriseAM and EnterprisePM will not be publishing on Sunday, 25 December, and will be back in your inboxes at the usual time on Monday, 26 December. We hope you all have a Merry Christmas.


First filling begins for Elsewedy + Arab Contractors’ dam in Tanzania: Tanzanian officials began the first filling of the Julius Nyerere Dam, which was built by Elsewedy Electric and Arab Contractors under a USD 2.9 bn contract, according to a Housing Ministry statement. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Housing Minister Assem El Gazzar attended the filling ceremony, alongside Tanzanian President Samia Hassan and representatives from Elsewedy Electric and Arab Contractors.

CORRECTION- A story we picked up from the domestic press in this morning’s edition of EnterpriseAM incorrectly reported that one of the three consortiums qualified to bid on the Alexandria metro project is an alliance of Arab Contractors and France’s Alstom. The consortium is led by our friends at Hassan Allam, and Arab Contractors is not part of the consortium, an executive at Hassan Allam confirmed to Enterprise. The story has been amended on our web edition.


There are a couple of stories vying for attention in the international business press this afternoon. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s trip to Washington to request more aid and military assistance for its war with Russia is still on the front pages of the Financial Times and CNBC. Meanwhile, Bloomberg is leading with the Turkish central bank’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged for the first time in five months, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to raise the national minimum wage amid soaring inflation.


Rabie addresses questions on new SCA law + Suez Canal fund: Suez Canal Authority boss Osama Rabie held a press conference today to review details regarding draft amendments to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) law (watch, runtime: 2:23). Rabie addressed questions about the amendments, which if approved, would establish a EGP 10 bn fund, which would be deployed to help the SCA absorb external economic shocks.

REFRESHER- The House of Representatives gave its initial approval on the amendments earlier this week. The amendments require final approval in a plenary session.


The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee is meeting for its final meeting of the year. Seven of the nine analysts and economists we surveyed last week are forecasting the central bank to raise rates, with five of those surveyed expecting a 200-bps hike to support the currency and tackle rising inflation . This would take the policy rate to 15.25%, its highest level since early 2019. A Reuters poll found similar results.

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

  • Gov’t discusses imports, support measures as it prepares to lift curbs: Getting imported goods into the country was the subject of a meeting yesterday between Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, Central Bank of Egypt chief Hassan Abdalla, the finance and trade ministers, and the head of the Customs Authority.
  • Energy companies can bid for 12 new oil and gas exploration blocks in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta starting next week in an international tender set to be launched by state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company.
  • To sell or not to sell? Paint and Chemical Industries (Pachin) could respond to the takeover offer from Dubai-based National Paints Holdings (NPH) as soon as early January.


The Senate will be back in session next Sunday, 25 December, while the House of Representatives is in recess until Monday, 2 January.

Ten days until the e-invoicing registration deadline: Companies have until 31 December to register with the Tax Authority’s e-invoicing system after the Finance Ministry earlier this month gave companies another two weeks. Only 150k companies had signed up to the new system as of the end of November, well below a sought goal of 1 mn companies to register under the system.

REMEMBER- This deadline no longer applies to the self-employed: The Finance Ministry pushed the deadline for self-employed professionals — including doctors, pharmacists and lawyers — to 30 April 2023 after widespread opposition to the system.

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

????️TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We’re in for quite the rainy weekend: Be ready for a sunny day with chance of showers tomorrow and a cloudy with showers on Saturday. We'll see daytime highs of 18-20°C this weekend before the mercury falls to 11-12°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.

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