THIS MORNING: It’s PMI day + Uber fares hiked (again)
Good morning, friends, and welcome to a very brisk news morning as we start this first full week of March.
EGP WATCH- EGP undervalued by 30% says Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse thinks the fair value of the EGP is 30% higher than current levels, setting the real USD exchange rate at 23.8, according to Al Mal, which says it obtained a copy of the note from the Swiss bank. The official exchange rate on Thursday put the EGP at 30.78 after slipping another 0.3% during the day. By contrast, Societe Generale says it sees the EGP at 34.00 by the end of the month, according to a Bloomberg report.
Net foreign assets deteriorate in January: The net foreign liability position of the Egyptian banking system widened to USD 21.7 bn in January from USD 20 bn the month before following two months of improvement, according to an EFG Hermes client note, which picked up central bank data. Commercial banks were responsible for much of the decline, with their liabilities growing by USD 1.4 bn to USD 13.1 bn.
PSA #1- Your Uber just got pricier: Ride-hailing app Uber has raised its prices for the second time in a month, this time in response to the government’s decision to raise fuel prices by as much as 11% last week. The minimum charge for UberX, UberX Saver and Uber Comfort has increased by 7.5-8% while the base rate is by as much as 11%, according to an email sent to Uber customers over the weekend.
PSA #2- It’s going to be hot and windy today, with the mercury hitting an unseasonably warm 35°C and the wind picking up some time around 11am CLT, raising the prospect of anything from blowing dust to a modest sandstorm.
PSA #3- We have 18 days (and just two weekends) left before Ramadan, which gets underway on or about Thursday, 23 March. Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-
It’s PMI day: S&P Global will release Egypt’s February purchasing managers’ index just after we hit “send” on this morning’s issue. The 26-month contraction in Egypt’s private sector accelerated in January as inflation fuelled by the devaluation of the EGP weighed on business activity.
It’s the final day of the Egypt CSR & Sustainable Development Forum in Hurghada.
The Senate is back in session and its various committees have a busy day ahead:
- The Senate Economic and Financial Affairs Committee will continue discussing a report by the pro-government Mostaqbal Watan party on how to attract more FDI;
- The Energy Committee will discuss Egypt’s potential to become a regional hub for green hydrogen and a study on introducing a carbon tax;
- The Health Committee will discuss methods to support the local pharma industry;
- The Agriculture Committee will review agricultural policies in light of the global economic crisis;
- The Education Committee will look into the Education Ministry’s efforts supporting autistic students;
- The Defence and National Security Committee will discuss cybercrime.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK-
Our friends at EFG Hermes are hosting their annual One on One investor conference at the Atlantis Dubai this week. It’s the largest frontier and emerging markets investor conference globally. The four-day event runs Monday through to Thursday.
The US defense secretary is in Egypt: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin is leaving the US this week for a multi-day trip in the Middle East that will take him to Egypt, Israel and Jordan, the Pentagon said Thursday. The statement did not disclose details of his itinerary.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD-
MORNING MUST READ-
What will the supply chains of the future look like? Our friends at HSBC are out with a report (pdf) on how corporates around the world are navigating an uncertain supply chain environment redefined by the lingering impact of covid and the war in Ukraine.
Reminder: That shift in global supply chains gives Egypt a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rebuild an export-oriented economy.
The key takeaway: Big companies are looking to simplify and shift supply lines closer to home to increase resilience. More than two thirds of companies in Asia Pacific and 60% elsewhere in the world said that they are likely to reduce their supply chain partners within the next 1-2 years, according to the survey of 787 businesses.
Companies are looking for reliable partners: “Reliability of supply has been a big problem over the past two years; a review of our supplier network has resulted in a 40% reduction in the number of partners we now regularly buy from, but resilience has improved,” said the chief financial officer of an Indian consumer-goods manufacturer.
The recent disruptions have firms stocking up: More than 8 in 10 of respondents said they had held excess inventory over the past two years due to the recent supply disruptions caused by the pandemic and higher freight rates, as well as in anticipation for further snarls coming down the line.
And you need to keep sustainability in mind if you want to sell to a global buyer: 47% of respondents said they’re investing in supply chain sustainability, while 37% are planning to to so in the next 12-24 months.
Which brings us to:
We are delighted to share with you that the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will be taking place on Monday, 15 May at the Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza.
DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND? The first wave of invites is going out soon. If you’re a C-suite exec, exporter, investor, official, banker, or someone who should be part of the conversation, please TAP OR CLICK HERE to request a spot at this exclusive event.
What’s the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum? It is the latest in our series of must-attend, invitation-only gatherings for C-suite-level business leaders. The Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will discuss the critical topics of exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt.
We will be taking an in-depth look into some of the most vital industry topics, including:
- How to effectively break into new export markets
- How to leverage domestic trends in order to create export opportunities
- What foreign investors are looking for
- What the government's role should be
Why now? 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.
Think of the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum as a hands-on lab for how to turn the devaluation of the EGP into something that will turbocharge your company and our economy.
WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY ON STAGE? Drop a note to Patrick here and let’s talk.
WANT TO BECOME A COMMERCIAL PARTNER? Ping a note to Moustafa, our head of commercial, here.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
It’s the beginning of a new month:
- Foreign reserves: Expect the central bank to release February’s foreign reserves figures sometime this week.
- Inflation: Inflation data for February will land at the end of this week.
- Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will hold its second policy meeting of the year at the end of the month on 30 March.
The House is still out: The House of Representatives will reconvene on Sunday, 19 March.
Thanaweya Amma exam schedules are out: Thanaweya Amma exams are scheduled to take place between 12 June and 15 July.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.