North Africa News November 2022
EGYPT – Saudi-Egyptian Investment Company acquires a 34% stake in Egyptian retail company B.TECH
The Saudi-Egyptian Investment Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, has acquired a 34.0% stake in Egyptian retail company B.TECH for USD 150.0 mn. B.TECH is one of the largest distributors of home appliances in Egypt. It is also owned by British private equity firm Development Partners International and the Egyptian Khattab business family. The new acquisition is the Saudi-Egyptian Investment Company’s fifth investment in Egyptian companies since its establishment in April 2022.
Oct. 3, 2022
EGYPT – Saudi IT company Solutions acquires a majority stake in Egypt’s Giza Systems
Saudi IT company Solutions has announced its acquisition of an 88.19% stake in Egyptian IT company Giza Systems. The acquisition deal has a total value of USD 158.0 mn. Solutions’ acquisition of Giza Systems aims to expand the Saudi company’s presence in Egypt and diversify its IT consulting services.
Oct. 4, 2022
EGYPT – British and Japanese banks provide funds to Egypt-Saudi Arabia electricity connection project
The London-based Standard Chartered bank and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have announced the provision of USD 566.4 mn to finance the electrical interconnection project between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The 14-year funding will be guaranteed by the Swedish Export Credit Agency. The electrical interconnection project will allow Egypt and Saudi Arabia to exchange up to 3,000 megawatts of electric power. The project will require a total investment of USD 3.0 bn and is expected to be completed by 2026.
Oct. 18, 2022
MOROCCO – Italian company Bedeschi to build three storage facilities for OCP Group
Italian company Bedeschi, specializing in the handling of bulk material, has signed an agreement with Morocco’s OCP Group to supply three storage facilities: two for fertilizers and one for sulfur, in the chemical complex of Phosboucraa. The storage facilities will have a total capacity of 300,000 tonnes of material. The Italian company will also supply six conveyor belts with a capacity of up to 2,000 tonnes per hour. The value of the deal between Bedeschi and OCP Group was not disclosed.
Oct. 4, 2022
MOROCCO – Switzerland’s SICPA inaugurates a new project in Casablanca
Swiss security printing leader SICPA has inaugurated a “center of excellence” in Casablanca Finance City. The new center represents SICPA’s regional headquarters for West Africa. It currently employs around 30 Moroccan engineers, specializing in the development of software related to security inking and business intelligence. The project is SICPA’s sixth “center of excellence” globally.
Oct. 6, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco suspends import taxes on domestic cattle
The Moroccan government has decided to temporarily suspend import taxes on domestic cattle weighing more than 550 kilograms. The decision aims to counter the increase in the prices of red meat in Moroccan markets and the difficulty of raising cattle locally in light of the ongoing drought. The tax exemption will remain in place until the end of 2023.
Oct. 19, 2022
TUNISIA – Dutch tomato producer Desert Joy invests EUR 200 mn to expand its activity in Tunisia
Dutch agricultural company Desert Joy has allocated an investment budget of EUR 200.0 mn to expand its activity in Gabes, southeastern Tunisia. The company specializes in the production and exportation of tomatoes. The investment will allow the company to generate around 4,000 new jobs and develop a production capacity of 36,000 tonnes of tomatoes, mainly destined for European markets. The expansion project will include the acquisition of agricultural lands, as well as the construction of plants for seawater desalination and for the treatment of wastewater to help with irrigation.
Oct. 22, 2022
ALGERIA – Car manufacturer Fiat signs an agreement to build a factory in Algeria
Italian car manufacturer Fiat, a subsidiary of Stellantis Group, has signed an agreement with the Algerian Ministry of Industry to build a vehicle production unit in Oran, northwestern Algeria. The factory will be located in the Tafraoui industrial zone. The project is set to become operational by the end of 2023. The value of the investment is yet to be disclosed.
Oct. 13, 2022
ALGERIA – Russian ridesharing service Yango becomes available in Algeria
Russian ridesharing company Yango, a subsidiary of IT company Yandex, has expanded its services in Algeria. Yango offers ridesharing services through a mobile application. Its expansion in Algeria marks its first entry into North Africa. The Russian company is already operating in several other countries, including Cameroon, Finland, Bolivia, Senegal, and Norway.
Oct. 17, 2022
ALGERIA – Two Italian companies earn contracts for new gas projects in western Algeria
Algeria’s national oil and gas company Sonatrach has signed two contracts with Italian companies Tecnimont and Arkad. The first agreement, signed with energy engineering company Tecnimont concerns the project of establishing an extraction unit for liquefied petroleum gas in the field of Rhourde El Baguel, western Algeria, with a budget of DZD 56.0 bn (EUR 402.4 mn). Meanwhile, the second contract was signed with engineering, procurement, and construction company Arkad. It concerns the construction of a low-pressure compression unit and a network of pipelines linking it to 24 different wells in the field of Tin Fouye Tabenkort, western Algeria, with a budget of DZD 24.0 bn (EUR 172.6 mn).
Oct. 27, 2022
ALGERIA – Hyundai’s car assembly factory in Algeria resumes operations after a two-year suspension
The car assembly factory of Hyundai located in the Zaaroura industrial zone, northwestern Algeria, has resumed operating after a suspension of over two years. The factory suspended its operation in March 2020 due to supply issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The industrial unit resumed its production at full capacity, utilizing seven production lines with an annual capacity of 70,000 vehicles. During the fourth quarter of 2022, all produced vehicles will be destined for Algerian public administrations. The cars will become available on the local market for the public in the first quarter of 2023.
Oct. 28, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt approves the establishment of a Supreme Council for the Automotive Industry
The Egyptian House of Representatives has announced its final approval of a new legislative text establishing a Supreme Council for the Automotive Industry. The new institution would be in charge of managing and stabilizing the automotive industry and the car market in Egypt. It would also set up a national strategy for developing the local automotive industry and attract carmakers to invest in the country.
Oct. 20, 2022
EGYPT – Egyptian government increases the minimum wage in the public sector
The Egyptian government has decided to raise the minimum wage for public employees from EGP 2,700 to EGP 3,000 (EUR 117 to EUR 130). The decision aims to help state workers cope with the rising cost of living in the country.
Oct. 26, 2022
MOROCCO – King Mohammed VI announces a ‘pact’ to create 500,000 new jobs between 2022-2026
King Mohammed VI of Morocco has announced during a speech before the Parliament the upcoming signature of a “National Pact for Investment” between the Moroccan government, the private sector, and banks. According to the Monarch, the agreement would help mobilize MAD 550.0 bn (EUR 50.8 bn) in private investments and create 500,000 new jobs during the 2022-2026 period. The application of the pact would be supervised by the Mohammed VI Investment Fund, which was set up during the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate its socio-economic impact.
Oct. 14, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian legislative elections to count 1,317 candidates
Tunisia’s Independent Higher Body for Elections (ISIE) has announced that a total of 1,317 candidates, including 193 women, have been registered to take part in the 2022 Tunisian legislative elections. The candidates will run for 161 parliamentary seats at the Assembly of the People’s Representatives, the lower chamber of the Tunisian Parliament. The elections are set to take place on December 17, 2022, more than eight months after Tunisian President Kais Saied decided to dissolve the country’s Parliament.
Oct. 27, 2022
ALGERIA – Algiers hosts the 31st Arab League Summit
Algeria has hosted in its capital Algiers the 31st Arab League Summit with the participation of official delegations from all the current 21 member states. The event was marked by the absence of several key figures, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. The Arab League discussed several topics during the Summit, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ongoing food and energy crises aggravated by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and the potential readmission of Syria to the Arab League.
Nov. 1, 2022
EGYPT – Urban inflation in Egypt reaches its highest annual rate in four years
The annual urban inflation rate in Egypt reached 15.0% in September 2022 – the highest rate recorded in four years, since November 2018 when it had reached 15.7%. Meanwhile, the overall inflation rate stood at 15.3% in September 2022. The figures are higher than the predictions of the Central Bank of Egypt. However, they are expected to decline in the first quarter of 2023, according to the financial institution.
Oct. 10, 2022
EGYPT – Central Bank of Egypt raises rates for interbank operations to counter inflation
The Central Bank of Egypt has decided in an exceptional meeting to raise rates for interbank operations by 200 basis points. The raise concerns the overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate, the main refinancing operations rate, and the discount rate, which now respectively stand at 13.25%, 14.25%, 13.75%, and 13.75%. According to the Central Bank of Egypt, the decision seeks to counter inflation and maintain it at a low and stable rate over the medium term.
Oct. 27, 2022
EGYPT – Egyptian Pound drops to its lowest value in history after its full liberalization
The Egyptian Pound reached its lowest value in history over the last week of October 2022. The price of one US Dollar climbed from around EGP 19.7 to over EGP 24.2, while the price of one Euro rose from EGP 19.9 to more than EGP 24.0. The drop in value of the Egyptian Pound occurred after the Central Bank of Egypt decided to fully liberalize the price of the local currency.
Oct. 28, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s inflation rate reaches 8.3% in September 2022
The annual inflation rate in Morocco has maintained its upward trend, reaching 8.3% in September 2022. The products that witnessed the highest increases in prices include food products (14.7%) and transportation (12.9%).
Oct. 20, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisia’s inflation rate reaches 9.1% in September 2022
The annual inflation rate in Tunisia continued its rise, reaching 9.1% in September 2022, up from 8.6% in the previous month. The products that recorded the largest rises in prices are food products (13.0%), transportation (8.3%), and domestic energy and housing (6.4%).
Oct. 5, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria reduces its daily oil production by 48,000 barrels in November
In line with the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce daily global oil production by two million barrels during the month of November in order to raise oil prices, Algeria has reduced its daily oil production by 48,000 barrels, from 1,055,000 in October to 1,007,000 in November. This is the second month in a row that Algeria – among other OPEC members – has reduced its oil production.
Oct. 5, 2022
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