The EGX 30 Index has gained more than 50 per cent this year, but political uncertainty threatens to derail the rally. Mohamed Omar / EPA
The EGX 30 Index has gained more than 50 per cent this year, but political uncertainty threatens to derail the rally. Mohamed Omar / EPA

An uncertain week looms for Egypt stock markets



Political uncertainty is threatening to weigh on Egypt's stock market this week.
Trading has slowed since the Muslim Brotherhood's decision to push one of its senior leaders, Khairat Al Shater, for the presidency, reversing an earlier pledge to stay out of the race.
The EGX 30 Index has rallied as much as 51 per cent this year amid expectations that the worst was over as the country made steps towards political development more than a year after the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak from the presidency.
"If we have some bad news from the political arena, it could definitely impact the market," said Sebastien Henin, a portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. "Economic figures are also not very good, with less than three months of foreign reserves to cover imports, reaching dangerous levels."
A US$3.2 billion IMF loan needed to overcome a staggering economy became the subject of political haggling last week between the Muslim Brotherhood and the country's interim military rulers. The loan may now be delayed until June.
Egypt needs $11bn of financing in two years, the finance minister, Momtaz El Saieed, has said.
"The deal is not done, and we know it's not big enough," Mr Henin said. "On top of the economic and political situation, there are uncertainties as well at the corporate level."
News reports quoted Algeria's finance minister as saying that negotiations with Orascom Telecom's parent company, Vimplecom, could take "months" because of a price disagreement for a 51 per cent stake in the Algerian mobile phone subsidiary Djezzy.
Orascom Telecom shares fell 7 per cent on Wednesday and 4 per cent on Thursday, closing at 3.40 Egyptian pounds. The EGX 30 Index fell 0.2 per cent in the same period, closing at 4,827.02.
"OT has been dragging the whole market with it," said Wafik Dawood, the head of institutional sales at Mega Investments Securities in Cairo. "OT's 96 per cent rise this year was mainly driven by speculation that the Algerian conflict is coming to an end and that as soon as the valuation is out, the deal will go through. But now we are back to square one."
Several companies are expected to pay dividends this week.
Ahli United Bank has announced that on Wednesday it will issue to investors three shares for every one they hold.
National Société Générale Bank said it would pay a cash dividend of 1.25 Egyptian pounds per share on Wednesday.
Telecom Egypt, which has a monopoly in fixed-line telephone services in the country, has announced it will pay shareholders 1.10 pounds per share on Wednesday.
Global markets this week will have to grapple with US job numbers that were released on Friday and fell short of expectations. Only 120,000 jobs were added last month, far below the estimate of 203,000 jobs. US and European financial markets were closed on Friday to observe Easter.
The S&P 500 futures fell 1.2 per cent to 1,374, suggesting a weak opening tomorrow, Reuters reported. Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1.1 per cent to 2,722.50. Dow futures dropped 1.1 per cent to 12,841.
UAE stock markets finished lower last week. The Dubai Financial Market General Index was down 0.9 per cent to 1,686.50 on Thursday. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 2,558.98.
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure fell 0.2 per cent to 6,145.50, Bahrain's was little changed at 1,141.25, Oman's MSM 30 Index closed 0.3 per cent higher at 5,827.19, and Qatar's QE Index slipped 0.2 per cent to 8,825.18. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index closed down 0.42 per cent at 7,862.51 yesterday.
halsayegh@thenational.ae
twitter: Follow our breaking business news and retweet to your followers. Follow us

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra by Eliot Weisman and Jennifer Valoppi
Hachette Books

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Email sent to Uber team from chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi

From: Dara

To: Team@

Date: March 25, 2019 at 11:45pm PT

Subj: Accelerating in the Middle East

Five years ago, Uber launched in the Middle East. It was the start of an incredible journey, with millions of riders and drivers finding new ways to move and work in a dynamic region that’s become so important to Uber. Now Pakistan is one of our fastest-growing markets in the world, women are driving with Uber across Saudi Arabia, and we chose Cairo to launch our first Uber Bus product late last year.

Today we are taking the next step in this journey—well, it’s more like a leap, and a big one: in a few minutes, we’ll announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Careem. Importantly, we intend to operate Careem independently, under the leadership of co-founder and current CEO Mudassir Sheikha. I’ve gotten to know both co-founders, Mudassir and Magnus Olsson, and what they have built is truly extraordinary. They are first-class entrepreneurs who share our platform vision and, like us, have launched a wide range of products—from digital payments to food delivery—to serve consumers.

I expect many of you will ask how we arrived at this structure, meaning allowing Careem to maintain an independent brand and operate separately. After careful consideration, we decided that this framework has the advantage of letting us build new products and try new ideas across not one, but two, strong brands, with strong operators within each. Over time, by integrating parts of our networks, we can operate more efficiently, achieve even lower wait times, expand new products like high-capacity vehicles and payments, and quicken the already remarkable pace of innovation in the region.

This acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in various countries, which we don’t expect before Q1 2020. Until then, nothing changes. And since both companies will continue to largely operate separately after the acquisition, very little will change in either teams’ day-to-day operations post-close. Today’s news is a testament to the incredible business our team has worked so hard to build.

It’s a great day for the Middle East, for the region’s thriving tech sector, for Careem, and for Uber.

Uber on,

Dara

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre direct injection turbo
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Power: 261hp
Torque: 400Nm
Price: From Dh134,999

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Qureos
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2021
Number of employees: 33
Sector: Software and technology
Funding: $3 million

Intercontinental Cup

Namibia v UAE Saturday Sep 16-Tuesday Sep 19

Table 1 Ireland, 89 points; 2 Afghanistan, 81; 3 Netherlands, 52; 4 Papua New Guinea, 40; 5 Hong Kong, 39; 6 Scotland, 37; 7 UAE, 27; 8 Namibia, 27

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,600rpm
Torque: 320Nm at 1,500-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.9L/100km
Price: From Dh119,900
On sale: Now

From Europe to the Middle East, economic success brings wealth - and lifestyle diseases

A rise in obesity figures and the need for more public spending is a familiar trend in the developing world as western lifestyles are adopted.

One in five deaths around the world is now caused by bad diet, with obesity the fastest growing global risk. A high body mass index is also the top cause of metabolic diseases relating to death and disability in Kuwait, Qatar and Oman – and second on the list in Bahrain.

In Britain, heart disease, lung cancer and Alzheimer’s remain among the leading causes of death, and people there are spending more time suffering from health problems.

The UK is expected to spend $421.4 billion on healthcare by 2040, up from $239.3 billion in 2014.

And development assistance for health is talking about the financial aid given to governments to support social, environmental development of developing countries.

25-MAN SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina, Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins, Semi Ajayi 
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu
Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru, Odion Ighalo, Alexander Iwobi, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze 

On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai, Bryan Idowu, Ikouwem Utin, Mikel Agu, Junior Ajayi, Valentine Ozornwafor

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Volunteers offer workers a lifeline

Community volunteers have swung into action delivering food packages and toiletries to the men.

When provisions are distributed, the men line up in long queues for packets of rice, flour, sugar, salt, pulses, milk, biscuits, shaving kits, soap and telecom cards.

Volunteers from St Mary’s Catholic Church said some workers came to the church to pray for their families and ask for assistance.

Boxes packed with essential food items were distributed to workers in the Dubai Investments Park and Ras Al Khaimah camps last week. Workers at the Sonapur camp asked for Dh1,600 towards their gas bill.

“Especially in this year of tolerance we consider ourselves privileged to be able to lend a helping hand to our needy brothers in the Actco camp," Father Lennie Connully, parish priest of St Mary’s.

Workers spoke of their helplessness, seeing children’s marriages cancelled because of lack of money going home. Others told of their misery of being unable to return home when a parent died.

“More than daily food, they are worried about not sending money home for their family,” said Kusum Dutta, a volunteer who works with the Indian consulate.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Director: Adam Wingard

Starring: Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens

Rating: 4/5

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Company Profile

Name: Raha
Started: 2022
Based: Kuwait/Saudi
Industry: Tech Logistics
Funding: $14 million
Investors: Soor Capital, eWTP Arabia Capital, Aujan Enterprises, Nox Management, Cedar Mundi Ventures
Number of employees: 166

THE SPECS

Engine: 3-litre V6 turbo (standard model, E-hybrid); 4-litre V8 biturbo (S)
Power: 350hp (standard); 463hp (E-hybrid); 467hp (S)
Torque: 500Nm (standard); 650Nm (E-hybrid); 600Nm (S)
Price: From Dh368,500
On sale: Now

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES

All kick-off times 10.45pm UAE (+4 GMT) unless stated

Tuesday
Sevilla v Maribor
Spartak Moscow v Liverpool
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk
Napoli v Feyenoord
Besiktas v RB Leipzig
Monaco v Porto
Apoel Nicosia v Tottenham Hotspur
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Wednesday
Basel v Benfica
CSKA Moscow Manchester United
Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich
Anderlecht v Celtic
Qarabag v Roma (8pm)
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
Juventus v Olympiakos
Sporting Lisbon v Barcelona

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed

Power: 720hp

Torque: 770Nm

Price: Dh1,100,000

On sale: now

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

UAE medallists at Asian Games 2023

Gold
Magomedomar Magomedomarov – Judo – Men’s +100kg
Khaled Al Shehi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Faisal Al Ketbi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Asma Al Hosani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -52kg
Shamma Al Kalbani – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -63kg
Silver
Omar Al Marzooqi – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Bishrelt Khorloodoi – Judo – Women’s -52kg
Khalid Al Blooshi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -62kg
Mohamed Al Suwaidi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -69kg
Balqees Abdulla – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -48kg
Bronze
Hawraa Alajmi – Karate – Women’s kumite -50kg
Ahmed Al Mansoori – Cycling – Men’s omnium
Abdullah Al Marri – Equestrian – Individual showjumping
Team UAE – Equestrian – Team showjumping
Dzhafar Kostoev – Judo – Men’s -100kg
Narmandakh Bayanmunkh – Judo – Men’s -66kg
Grigorian Aram – Judo – Men’s -90kg
Mahdi Al Awlaqi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -77kg
Saeed Al Kubaisi – Jiu-jitsu – Men’s -85kg
Shamsa Al Ameri – Jiu-jitsu – Women’s -57kg

THE BIO

BIO:
Born in RAK on December 9, 1983
Lives in Abu Dhabi with her family
She graduated from Emirates University in 2007 with a BA in architectural engineering
Her motto in life is her grandmother’s saying “That who created you will not have you get lost”
Her ambition is to spread UAE’s culture of love and acceptance through serving coffee, the country’s traditional coffee in particular.