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Monday, 20 February 2023

THIS MORNING: Sukuk roadshow ends today

Good morning, ladies and gents. If you read nothing else this morning, make sure you check out the results of the 2023 Enterprise Reader Poll, which we’re publishing in this morning’s issue.

No sugarcoating: It doesn’t always make for cheery reading. In the four months since we last did this, you have become noticeably more gloomy about the prospects for the economy, and in between soaring inflation, a weaker EGP and struggles accessing FX, the results are as downbeat as you’re probably expecting.

Yes, but: That’s not to say it’s all bad news, though. Investment plans seem to be holding up and positivity over M&A and FDI prospects remains.

We have the full results in this morning’s news well, below.


Stay tuned for a sukuk update: Investment banks are expected to wrap up calls with investors regarding Egypt’s potential sovereign sukuk issuance today, meaning we could just be a few hours away from learning whether the sale is going ahead, and — if it is — how much the government could raise. Both Bloomberg and Reuters have reported that the Finance Ministry is planning to sell a benchmark-sized USD-denominated sukuk — usually at least around USD 500 mn — with a three-year tenor.

Who’s working on the issuance: Our friends at HSBC are acting as lead managers and bookrunners along with Citigroup, Credit Agricole, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev starts a two-day visit to Egypt: Mirziyoyev will hold “high-level talks on a wide range of issues to further strengthen Uzbekistan-Egypt relations,” a statement from the president’s office said, without disclosing details. The country’s investment, industry and trade minister, Laziz Kudratov, said the visit will “mark a new start for investment relations” between the two countries. Kudratov was speaking in Cairo yesterday at the Egyptian-Uzbekistan business council, during which several MoUs were signed between Egyptian private companies and the Uzbek government to invest in the pharma, textile, energy, electricity and healthcare sectors.


  • The Agriculture Committee will discuss problems facing the poultry industry;
  • The Culture Committee will debate how to increase tourism to Rashid;
  • The Education Committee will discuss increasing the number of language and Japanese schools to meet growing demand.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Good news for contractors: The state will soon start disbursing compensation to contractors and builders who have suffered losses on state projects due to recent economic reforms, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette last week. The House late last year approved amendments allowing contractors whose work on state projects has been impacted by the devaluation of the EGP to file for compensation.


Leading the front pages in the global business press this morning: Facebook parent Meta is preparing to launch a monthly subscription service aimed at content creators called Meta Verified that will introduce additional features and new services. For USD 11.99 a month, El Face will give you “proactive account protection, access to account support, and increased visibility and reach,” a company spokesperson said. Meta Verified is set to be tested in Australia and New Zealand this week, with other countries to follow later. (Bloomberg | Financial Times | WSJ | CNBC)



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.


Missed this week’s Inside Industry? In our weekly vertical exploring all things industry and manufacturing, we looked at draft legislation that would legalize hundreds of thousands of unlicensed industrial projects.


Egypt is hosting the U20 Africa Cup of Nations: The pan-African tournament kicked off yesterday with Egypt and Mozambique playing out a goalless draw and Senegal edging past Nigeria 1-0. Cairo International Stadium, Suez Canal Stadium and Alexandria Stadium are all hosting games which will be played over the next month. The final will take place in Cairo on 11 March.

The government-hosted Cairo Food Summit is taking place on 27 February. The summit will bring together public- and private-sector players in the agricultural sector and related industries to discuss sustainable economic growth, according to a statement (pdf).

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


*** It’s Blackboard day: We have our weekly look at the business of education in Egypt, from pre-K through the highest reaches of higher ed.

In today’s issue: Surging inflation and the weakening EGP are making negotiating salary terms with foreign private teachers increasingly contentious. Local schools have limited capacity to respond to demands for hefty wage hikes, potentially leading to many of them leaving Egypt, sources tell us.

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