Friday, 17 February 2023

Enterprise Weekend— Want to buy a car? Here’s what’s actually available



Good morning, wonderful people, and happy weekend to you all. We’re back this morning with issue two of our rebooted Enterprise Weekend Edition. The Weekend Edition is light on news and heavy on stories to read, videos to watch, and podcasts to which you may want to listen on Friday and Saturday (that being the weekend for the vast majority of our readers).

MUST READS this weekend include Last Week in 3 Minutes (below, for casual readers as well as folks who have been locked in meetings, on vacation, etc, all week), our essential roundup of which cars you can actually buy right now, and Analyze This, which this week focuses on the epidemic of dogs*it littering our city streets.

Enterprise Weekend comes out each Friday at 9:00am CLT. We’ll be back on Sunday at around 6:15am with EnterpriseAM. Until then: Enjoy the weekend.


It was a busy week on the investment front (and for FDI in particular), with investors pledging to pump money into Egypt to expand their operations in fields ranging from oil and gas to textile and data centers.

#1- DATA CENTERS: El Sewedy Data Centers and the UAE’s Gulf Data Hub plan to invest USD 2.1 bn to build three data center complexes here, which together would form the African continent’s largest data hub.

#2- TEXTILES + APPAREL: A number of Turkish textile and apparel companies plan to invest a combined USD 500 mn to expand their activities here, following a meeting between company reps and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly.

#3- OIL AND GAS: There were tons of investment pledges from oil and gas firms coming out of the Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps), with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla saying Egypt could see some USD 8 bn of FDI from oil and gas firms this year. He name-checked Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell as some of the players looking to boost operations locally. Emirati outfit Dana Gas also said it plans to invest USD 100 mn in our oil and gas sector over the next two years, while London-headquartered exploration and production outfit Energean plans to invest USD 350 mn in its Abu Qir concession this year.

BEYOND INVESTMENTS, EGYPS ALSO GOT US TONS OF EXPLORATION + EXPORT UPDATES: On the export front, El Molla said we aim to increase LNG exports by around 40% starting 2025, the majority of which will be earmarked to the European market. Around 80% of the 7.5 mn tons of LNG Egypt exported last year went to Europe, he also said, adding that exports this year are expected to remain flat.

On the exploration front: Croatian oil and gas company INA and UK-based Energean can now begin exploratory drilling at their 50-50 East Bir El Nus concession in the Western Desert. Meanwhile, EGAS and our friends at Cheiron got the green light from the House of Representatives to go drilling for gas west of the Burullus offshore field in the Mediterranean. Global majors Chevron, Shell, and Apache, and tech outfit IBM signed agreements on low(er) carbon projects, crude exports, and digital transformation with the Oil Ministry and affiliated firms.


#1- Two Saudi banks have United Bank on their radar: Riyadh-listed Saudi lenders Riyad Bank and shariah-compliant lender Al Rajhi Bank are reportedly looking to either fully acquire or buy into state-owned United Bank.

#2- Helwan Fertilizers up for grabs to strategic investors? The government is reportedly looking to sell up to 20% of the state-owned Helwan Fertilizers Company to strategic Gulf investors, with PIF and Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund ADQ both eyeing stakes in the fertilizers company.

#3- A new state-owned company that will own a portfolio of seven five-star properties nationwide could offer as much as 20-30% of its shares to private investors. The seven hotels on offer reportedly include the Cairo Marriott Hotel in Zamalek and Marriott Mena House next to the pyramids complex.

#4- Pachin bidders are evaluating their positions: Compass Capital, Eagle Chemicals and the Abu Dhabi-based National Paints Holding (NPH) are reportedly rethinking their takeover bids for EGX-listed Paint and Chemical Industries (Pachin) following its inclusion in the state privatization program.


Adnoc Distribution completed its acquisition of TotalEnergies, one of Egypt’s largest fuel retailers, while EFG Hermes’ second-largest shareholder, Tim Collins’ Ripplewood, sold two thirds of its position to Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Chimera and JS Holding Ltd. Meanwhile, Gulf investors are said to be interested in taking a piece of a merged Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals / Ethydco once the two complete their tie-up.

ALSO WORTH NOTING- Our external debt dropped for the second consecutive time by 0.5% q-o-q to just under USD 155.0 bn in 1Q FY 2022-2023, down from USD 155.7 bn in the fourth quarter of last fiscal year, according to central bank figures.



We could be getting our maiden sovereign sukuk: Egypt is reportedly planning to issue its first sovereign sukuk next week, following a roadshow that should have started last week. The final timing will depend on “market conditions,” sources in the know were quoted as saying.

What to expect: Bloomberg reported that the issuance could be worth up to USD 1.5 bn, while FinMin has previously said it will look to issue USD 1.5-2.5 bn of the shariah-compliant bonds.

Moody’s, meanwhile, has weighed in on an offering worth up to USD 5 bn, having given a (P)B3 rating to a potential USD 5 bn sukuk issuance by the Finance Ministry’s sukuk company. The issuance will be used to “finance investment and development projects included in the economic and social development plan in the state’s general budget,” Moody’s said.

Also: we’ll be keeping an eye out for news from the senate, which will reconvene on Sunday — and for more on the state privatization program, where we understand investment banks have gotten their first mandates for IPOs.

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

☀️ THE WEATHER THIS WEEKEND- It’s going to be a relatively warm and sunny weekend, with daytime highs of 20°C, and overnight lows of 6°C.


So, you want to buy a new car — do you have any options at all right now? Here’s the state of play as of February 2023.

Want to buy a brand new car? Only a few 2023 models are currently available at car dealerships around the country. If you’re picky and have a specific model in mind, odds are very good you’ll be waiting six or more months before you can get behind the wheel — or pay an exorbitant amount to get it. We’ve spoken to industry experts, and they’ve given us a list of locally-assembled 2023 models you can get your hands on right away. Not interested in any of the models available? They’ve also let us know what you have to do — or how long you’ll have to wait — to get the car you actually want, particularly if it’s imported as a “completely built up” vehicle.

Refresher: Egypt's automotive market has been going through a rough time for the past year, as import restrictions made it almost impossible for distributors to bring in fully built-up vehicles. FX shortages made the import of even kits for local assembly and spare parts challenging, forcing a number of global car manufacturers to suspend sales to Egypt — and prompting local assemblers to down tools. The import restrictions have led auto sales to fall more than a third in 2022, dropping from 290k vehicles in 2021 to 184k, according to figures released by the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC).

The import restrictions were officially getting scrapped at the end of last year, but it’s going to take plenty of time before importers start clearing goods out of ports, let alone place new orders.

As things stand, thousands of fully assembled cars are currently still stuck in ports, senior automotive industry figures told us. Imported vehicles are considered luxury goods and so are not on the list of priority commodities being released at ports, they explained.

This means that a vast majority of the 2023 models available are locally assembled models, which rely on spare parts that are more easily released from ports than cars that are completely built up, also known as completely built units (CBUs), several industry leaders told us. That also probably means you’ll be seeing locally assembled vehicles available sooner than you will fully imported vehicles, given that CKD kits appear to have a higher priority in the queue for FX.

Right now, some 70% of the cars available in the market are locally assembled models, Abou Ghaly Group Chief Operating Officer Tamer Kotb said. The rest are a (small) mixed bag of 2022 models and very few completely built 2023 models that distributors are able to release from ports by coughing up USD, Kotb said.

And even the locally assembled cars that are available are limited: The units available are in the hundreds, if not tens, at showrooms, Kotb said, adding that kits are coming through, but nowhere near fast enough to keep pace with demand.



  • GLS — EGP 4.46 mn
  • GLE — EGP 3.4 mn


  • Grand Cherokee — EGP 2.45 mn


  • Fortuner — EGP 1.7-2 mn


  • Accent RB — EGP 410-455k, (depending on the trim)
  • Bayon — EGP 635-760k
  • Elantra — EGP 550-585k


  • Arrizo — EGP 300-358k
  • Tiggo 3 — EGP 425k
  • Tiggo 7 — EGP 500-545k


  • Sunny — EGP 388.4-454k
  • Sentra — EGP 456k-581k


  • Mokka — EGP 760k-800k
  • Corsa — EGP 600-640k
  • Crossland — EGP 630-670k

Take these prices with a grain of salt: These are official listed prices released by agents of the car brands, but they may not reflect the final price tags at independent dealerships, which add their own markups, which can be as low as 5-10% and as high as 20-25%, El Rawas Motors CEO Karim El Rawas said.

How soon can you get the cars? Most car dealerships and distributors are selling what they have in stock right away, El Rawas and Kotb said. This is due to the lack of clarity around when imports will ease and when they could receive spare parts stuck in backlogs, Kotb said. Others, including BMW, which recently restarted assembling cars in Egypt after Global Auto got the exclusive rights from BMW Group, are taking bookings six months ahead, two industry insiders told us.

Want a specific (fully assembled) car that’s not available — and fast? Some dealerships allow you to pay in USD in return for completely built cars that are stuck in ports in free zones, several industry reps told us. You will also need to pay the customs fee for your car, the sources said. Abou Ghaly Motors offers this option for Geely’s electric Geometry C model, which will only be sold to customers who can pay in USD through its freezone company in Alexandria, Kotb told us. Car dealership MIG also facilitates imports via freezones, and promises delivery within 60 days, according to a customer service rep we spoke to.

When can we expect the car shortage to ease? The jury’s out. A few industry insiders, including El Rawas and Montasser Zaytoon, chairperson of Zaytoun Auto Mall and member of the FEDCOC’s auto division, expect the car import backlog to ease up by mid-2023, by which time they think the FX situation might have improved. El Kotb, however, said it is premature to forecast when the shortage will ease.

Until then, what are people buying the most? Mercedes, apparently. Mercedes cars were the most-registered of all car brands in January, Al Mal reports, citing data from the Engineering Company for Integrated Projects (ECIP). Meanwhile, El Rawas Motors’ most sold car brand in January was Audi, El Rawas said, adding that more high-end cars are often seen as an “asset” among buyers, especially with prices expected to rise further as the EGP continues to weaken over the coming months.

Background: Car prices rose between 20-35% m-o-m in January following the 4 Jan devaluation of the EGP, according to car price lists from agents seen by Enterprise.



Calling all Marvel fans: The latest Marvel hit kicks off phase five of the franchise with a bang. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hit screens over the past week to positive reception from critics, with many — including the Hollywood Reporter — saying it marks a new, more “narratively focused” era for the franchise. The film sees the grand entry of Marvel’s newest villain — Kang the Conqueror, played by Joanathan Majors, whose performance critics say is one of the highlights of the movie. The film’s plot sees Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return as Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne as they face new challenges in the daunting Quantum Realm (watch, runtime: 2:19).

WHERE TO CATCH IT- The movie is showing in Galaxy Cinemas, Vox, Plaza, Arkan and Point90.

Catch this Naguib Mahfouz classic at Zawya: Adapted from a Naguib Mahfouz novel, Bidaya wa Nihaya is a 1960s film centered on an Egyptian family that has to find ways to make ends meet after the father’s sudden death. The film stars Omar Sharif, Amina Rizk, Sanaa Gamil and Farid Shawqi, and offers a powerful exploration of poverty and Egyptian society in the ‘30s. The movie features breakout performances from the cast of Egyptian cinema icons, and a shockingly memorable ending symbolic of the struggles of the working class at the time. The film was nominated for the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1961.

WHERE TO CATCH IT- The film is showing today and 27 Friday at Zawya Cinemas at 7pm, as part of the cinema’s Naguib Mahfouz Festival. You can book your tickets online through elcinema’s website.


How an applied science graduate became one of the most influential content creators in the Middle East: The wildly popular El Daheeh — co-founded by Ahmed El Ghandour and Mohamed Hosam — has amassed more than 1 bn views on Youtube, thanks to episodes that brilliantly combine sarcasm and educational content in a bid make scientific topics more accessible. Al Da7ee7: Behind the Scenes, written by Taher Al-Moataz Billah, delves into the fascinating success story of the show’s host, El Ghandour, who started his journey as a bioinformatics student at AUC. The book digs into his backstory, distinct character and how he became a household name. It also got some decent reviews on Goodreads.

IF YOU’VE NEVER SEEN EL DAHEEH, we suggest you start with his snapshot of the history of inflation in Europe (watch, runtime: 9:02). About halfway into the episode, we were completely absorbed into the story and forgot it was even about inflation — making for a fun and memorable deep-dive into the topic. If you’d like an intro into who El Ghandour is and how he got to where he is today, read the book and watch this short BBC profile (watch, runtime: 2:05).



Looking for a lowkey spot for a weekend hangout with friends? Karakeib has you covered. The cafe — known to Dokki residents as one of the very busy spots in the famous Amman square — opened its doors in Sheikh Zayed’s 360 mall a few years ago, with both branches retaining their reputations as great, down-to-earth spots where you can hang out with friends without breaking the bank. It has two perks we love: It’s pet-friendly — and has great shisha. It also has a delicious hummus al sham that is perfect for a cold winter night. We recommend their chicken sweet and sour dish and their shawerma for a filling main course, and their tres leches for dessert.

💵 Per person: Around EGP 500, including shisha, a drink and dessert

🍻 Alcohol? No

🪑 Outdoor seating? Yes

🦽 Accessibility friendly? Yes


Sh*t doesn’t need to happen (or: Why you need to stop worrying and learn to love the pooper scooper)

To all of the proud parents of Cairo’s fur babies:

As a mom myself, I know we’re all smitten by the cuteness of our babies, furry or not. Our hearts melt as they babble, burp, and drool — you name it. But I think we can all agree on one thing: When it’s time to clean their chubby baby a*ses (however many times a day), it’s a gentle reminder that when you pray for rain, you better be prepared for the mud, too. And truly, the “brown situation” is one of the least-fun parts of parenthood. Fun or not, it’s our parental obligation to wash those butt cheeks, collect the diapers, toss them (the diapers, not the babies) in the bin, right?

But what if we woke up one day and decided to take our human balls of joy to the park — sans diapers — and left them to poop wherever they pleased? That would be a visual treat, wouldn’t it?

And therein, friends, lies the problem: Our city streets have become the Official Dumpsters of Doggie Doodoo, strewn with visual treats that leave no room for imagination. Name a size, color, texture, or state of decomposition, and you’ll find it on our streets.

Nowhere is this clearer in the capital city than in the People’s Democratic Republic of Maadi, where there’s no denying that a wonderful (and growing) community of dog owners are happily marching the streets with their bundles of joy. We love stopping to pet their dogs; seeing them come together for doggy playdates, birthday parties, and brunches; and saying “Hi” to Michael, the neighborhood’s famous dog whisperer.

As much as I hate to be a party pooper, I must point out the obvious (to which so many are oblivious): Your dog doing his business is, unfortunately, your business, too. We all share the same sidewalks and streets — streets on which you’ve left an unmissable trail of doggy doo. It’s a joy to step in — and spread to our cars, homes and work.

Yes, I know. It’s hard to scoop the poop. Hell, maybe you already have too much s*it in your own lives to even contemplate stopping to pick up more. But the rest of us don’t care if you’re lazy or distracted or your ingrown toenail is acting up — you need to pick up after your fur baby.

Leaving dog poop in the middle of the street or sidewalk is bad for everyone — the environment, our health, and the health of other people’s furry fiends. The bacteria and parasites in dog poop is impressive: A single gram of dog poop contains 23 mn fecal coliform bacteria (pdf) — that’s a lot of crap.

Wait, it gets worse: Roundworm, one of the most common parasites in dog waste, can remain infectious in contaminated soil for years. And don’t even get me started on salmonella, hookworm, tapeworm, giardia, and E. coli — all of which can transfer via waste to humans, to your own dog, or to others’ four-legged friends.

As a trained observer myself, I can confirm your dogs’ treasure also attracts pests — flies, rats, and roaches, all of which are vectors for disease.

“But it’s a fertilizer,” you say. I hear you, my dear friends. But the simple fact is that our sidewalks don’t need fertilizing.

“Okay, but my dog poops on the grass in front of my neighbor’s building.” Great. I won’t speak for your neighbors (who are unlikely to enjoy the s*itty situation you’re creating), nor will I speak for their poor gardener. But consider this: Dog poop is a crappy fertilizer. Cow manure is perfect — produced by animals that feed mostly on plants and rich in nutrients that helps grass grow. Dog poop, on the other hand, is highly acidic (most dogs have diets high in protein) and it can damage your lawn if you let it sit out for too long. Composting dog poop isn’t an easy peasy process, either, considering the strict guidelines you need to follow to ensure all of the parasites and bacteria die.

Do you think I’m bullsh*tting? Go read Can I use dog poop as fertilizer in my garden? on Doody Calls.

And so it is that your dogs’ feces sit royally in the middle of our streets waiting to decompose (a process that can take weeks), presenting a health threat to everyone around you.

If you don’t want to read articles beseeching you to clean up after your buddy, then please take a minute to read the signs around you — including, in our neighborhood, around Cairo American College and the Angolan ambassador’s residence. Not lacking in literacy, many turn a blind eye to these gentle reminders, leaving us no choice but to try to get their attention through less friendly measures.

They say accountability breeds responsibility — and it’s a no brainer that dog poop is here to stay until dog owners are held accountable for what’s obviously not a very civil act.

That’s why I’m suggesting our elected representatives come up with fines for dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets, leaving feces on any sidewalk, street, lawn or other public area. Perhaps our dear sanitation office (do we have one?) or the officials at the Hayy (are they still alive?) could consider the prospect of new revenues though fines on the order of what North American and European cities impose:

  • Los Angeles: USD 500
  • Washington, DC: UD 150-2k
  • Toronto, Ontario: CAD 300
  • New York City: USD 250
  • Obernai, France: EUR 1k
  • Berlin: EUR 35-300

So, dear parents of fur babies, act now and save your future pocketbooks. Or perhaps just be good for goodness sake. Resolve to stoop and scoop. It’s still February — certainly not too late to make it a New Year’s resolution to clean up after your dogs. Go buy a box of doggie bags and a pooper scooper — or put your babies in diapers.

Sorry, guys. Nothing personal. Or as Billy Crystal as Dr. Ben Sobel once said: Don’t kid yourself, Jelly. It doesn’t get more personal than this.”

ANALYZE THIS is a regular Enterprise Weekend column by the Mother of the Resident 15 Year-old.



7 February-1 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): Zāt exhibition, Safarkhan Art Gallery, Zamalek.

8-18 February (Wednesday-Saturday): Cairo Photo Week, Downtown Cairo.

11-14 February (Saturday-Tuesday): Art Cairo, the Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza.

15 February-2 March (Wednesday-Thursday): Naguib Mahfouz Festival, Zawya Cinema, Downtown Cairo.

16 February (Thursday): Afro Jazz Beginners Course with Mako Ruan from 7-8 pm, ‎Cairo Contemporary Dance Center.

17 February (Friday): TriFactory’s Saqqara Pyramid Race, Giza.

18 February (Saturday): Fun Nation’s standup comedy night at 9pm, Room Art Space New Cairo on Saturday 18 February at 9pm.

20-21 February (Monday-Tuesday): Omar Khairat performs live at 8pm on 20 and 21 February in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House.

24 February (Friday): Hamza Namira performs at The Marquee in Cairo Festival City, New Cairo.

24-25 February (Friday-Saturday): She Crafts bazaar from 12-8 pm, the Grand Nile Tower Hotel, Garden City.


8-18 March: Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, Cairo international Stadium Hall.

23 March (Wednesday): First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.


16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

22 April (Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).


1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

4 May (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).


10 June (Saturday): Thanaweya Amma examinations begin.

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.


18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.


26 September (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

28 September (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).


6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

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.

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