Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 12 February 2023

THIS MORNING: The EGX just had its best day in three months + EGP falls again against the greenback

Good morning, wonderful people. We have a packed issue for you on this cold Sunday morning, setting the tone for what we think will be a busy week on the news front.

EGP WATCH- The USD gained another 0.4% against the EGP on Thursday to close at 30.55, according to central bank figures. The currency passed the 30 mark at the end of January following a sharp devaluation that helped bring fresh foreign inflows and alleviate an FX shortage. The EGP has lost almost half of its value against the greenback over the past year and is down almost 20% since the start of the year.

EGX WATCH- The EGX had on Thursday its best day since mid-November. Investors appeared to cheer Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly’s unveiling of the government’s plans to privatize state-owned firms. The benchmark EGX 30 rose 3.9% to reach its highest level since May 2018 during a heavy day’s trading, which saw volumes EGP 2.5 bn — 35% above the trailing 90-day average. Foreigners were net sellers as regional and local investors bought heavily into the market, which has regained its footing since the EGP devaluation in October. The index is now up 20.7% year-to-date, making it one of the world’s best-performing stock exchanges.

What to expect: In a presser on Wednesday, the PM said that the government would look to sell stakes in 32 companies before the end of 1Q 2024 via strategic or public share sales.

FACT CHECK- Cabinet has denied a media report last week that it is planning to introduce a mechanism to price electricity on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. A report in Asharq Business had claimed that the government is considering adjusting electricity prices every three or six months in response to the devaluation of the EGP and rising gas and diesel prices. The proposal was said to be modeled after the fuel pricing committee, which reviews fuel prices quarterly.

SHOUT OUT #1- Our friends at ShiftEV welcomed PM Moustafa Madbouly for a factory tour — and a test drive of an electrofitted minivan (watch, runtime: 0:57). ShiftEV converts standard petrol-fueled vehicles into EVs using a proprietary made-in-Egypt battery technology. You can learn more about ShiftEV CEO Aly El Tayeb here. Aly was also our guest on stage at our December Enterprise Climate Forum.

SHOUT OUT #2- Our friends at Ratios Bakery here in the People’s Democratic Republic of Maadi. Samer, Jackie and their team are celebrating five years in business. If you haven’t yet tried our go-to, we think there’s no better croissant in town. World-class carbs from a bootstrapped business? What could be better on a cold winter morning?

PSA- It’s going to be chilly this week, with daytime highs fo 17°C through Friday, according to our favourite weather app, before the mercury breaks back past 20°C a week from today. Look for overnight lows in the 7-10°C range in the capital city all week.


The House of Representatives is back in session:

  • TODAY- The House will resume discussion of a draft tourism bill that would strip the power to form and regulate tourism chambers from the tourism minister and place it in the hands of the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF). MPs gave preliminary approval to the legislation last month.
  • TOMORROW- MPs will debate and vote on a bill that will allow the oil minister to contract two companies — state-owned EGAS and our friends at Cheiron Energy — to explore for oil and gas west of the Burullus offshore gas field in the Mediterranean.
  • TUESDAY- Youth and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy will be in the hot seat to answer questions from MPs on youth centers, sporting clubs, stadiums and Egypt’s preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tough questions for cabinet as inflation spirals: MPs are directing questions to the PM and ministers in his government demanding to know their plans to calm soaring inflation — and will today try to settle on a date for discussions to be had. “The inflation rate [across the country] jumped to 26.5% in January and all signals show that there is no end for these high rates in sight. We need to know what the government's policy is to tackle this,” said Rep. Mervat Alexan, a member of the centrist Defenders of the Homeland Party.

^^ We have the full story on January’s inflation data in this morning’s news well, below.

The Arab League is meeting in Cairo to discuss the situation in Palestine: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be among the attendees at an Arab League meeting today to discuss recent events in Palestine, Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said yesterday (watch, runtime: 10:44). Egypt has for the past week been engaging with Palestinian factions to bring an end to the recent cycle of violence, triggered by the election of a far-right government in Tel Aviv that has escalated conflict on the ground in the West Bank.


EGYPS starts tomorrow: The three-day Egypt Petroleum Show will start at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. Running through to Wednesday, the conference will bring together more than 32k participants and over 2k delegates. It will see the participation of 41 global oil and gas firms, 500 exhibitors and 260 speakers. Our friends at Cheiron are official sponsors.

The EU’s energy commissioner is in town to discuss energy security: Kadri Simson is scheduled to arrive to Cairo tomorrow for talks with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz on advancing an agreement to increase gas exports to Europe signed in June between Egypt, Israel and the EU, the EU and Israel said over the weekend. The commissioner will also attend the EGYPS, where she will give a keynote speech and participate in a panel discussion on “Managing supply and demand in volatile times – supporting global economies and energy security.”

El Sisi in Dubai: The president will be in Dubai this week to attend the World Government Summit, which runs 13-15 February. Twenty heads of state will be in town for the Davos-like gathering, which will see policymakers from around the world discuss global trends, according to Emirati state news agency WAM.


#1- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi followed up on efforts to eliminate obstacles facing the industrial sector as part of plans to attract more investment into the country, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

#2- The state wants to make it easier for manufacturers of pharma products and medical supplies to get licenses, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said Thursday.

#3- Kuwait is making changes to how it helps out its Arab neighbors — but won’t say how: Kuwait will look into amending its policies on providing aid to Arab and developing countries through its Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah said, without specifying what changes would be made (watch, runtime: 4:36). “There are developments at the international level that require us to reconsider the mechanisms of the fund's work and harness the fund's work to preserve our national interests,” he said.

Following in Saudi footsteps? The hint comes a month after Saudi Arabia said it will shift away from providing unconditional foreign assistance, instead tying future development assistance to economic reforms in the countries it helps.

This could be significant for Egypt which is currently asking Gulf countries to invest in the companies it has flagged for privatization. Planning Minister Hala El Said and the head of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Ayman Soliman, were in Kuwait for talks with the country’s sovereign wealth fund over the weekend (more on that below), part of a roadshow which has also taken them to Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are major providers of aid to Egypt.

Egypt also wants more money from the EIB + World Bank: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait called on the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank to provide more money to support development programs during meetings with delegations from the two multilateral lenders.


The global business press is still dedicating heavy coverage to the aftermath of last week’s tragic earthquake in Syria and Turkey as rescuers continue to find survivors, almost a week on from the event. The death toll is climbing towards 30k, making it one of the worst natural disasters of the 21st century. (Reuters | AP | Bloomberg | Financial Times | NYT | Washington Post | WSJ).

Egyptian volunteers have so far collected 90 tons of donations to send to Syria, Africa News reported yesterday. Members of the public have been giving food supplies, clothes, blankets and baby milk to help the thousands of people who have been left without shelter in the freezing winter.

ACROSS THE ATLANTIC- The western press is freaking out about the downing by US warplanes of an unidentified flying object over Canada, a few days after an alleged Chinese spy balloon was shot down in US airspace.

The story is leading most front pages this morning: Reuters | AP | Financial Times | Bloomberg | Washington Post | NYT | WSJ | CNBC.


Al Ahly miss out on Club World Cup medal: Al Ahly lost their chance to earn their third straight bronze medal in the Club World Cup third-place decider yesterday which they lost against Brazilian champions Flamengo. The Egyptian champions lost 4-2 in an action-packed game, with Flamengo’s Gabriel Barbosa scoring two penalties and Pedro netting twice. Al Ahly’s Ahmed Abdelkader scored twice either side of halftime, giving them a lead after left-back Ali Maaloul missed a penalty. The game then turned in Flamengo’s favor after defender Khaled Abdelfattah was shown a red with only 20 minutes to go, allowing the Brazilian side to score three goals in the final 15 minutes.

Los Blancos champions: Real Madrid were crowned the champions for the fifth time after beating Saudi’s Al Hilal 5-3 against Saudi’s Al Hilal. Federico Valverde and Vinicius Jr both scored twice while Karim Benzema chipped in with one in the 54th minute.



We’re excited to unveil our next C-level event: The Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum, where we will take a deep dive into two of the most critical topics affecting our community.

Exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) have never been more important to our economy — or our businesses — than in the wake of the float of the EGP. We think we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build an export-led economy that makes us a magnet for FDI and all the benefits that will come with it for our nation.


The Social Solidarity Ministry and the Arab League are organizing the first regional conference on “Social Welfare Policies and Achieving Community Security” at the end of February, according to a ministry statement. The conference will examine social welfare programs in Egypt and other Arab nations, as well as their connection to establishing community security. A date for the event is still TBA.

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

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.