TGIT: I’m sure we’re all happy it’s a quiet Thursday, but we weren’t expecting the news flow to be this quiet.
It’s also the unofficial sports issue, with much happening over the weekend that you don’t want to miss.
THE BIG DISAPPOINTMENT TODAY- The Middle East continues its trend as the worst region in terms of gender employment in finance for the fourth straight year, according to the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum’s (OMFIF) Gender Balance Index.
Having said that, Egypt is among the better countries among the region’s abysmal showing. Find out more in today’s Gender Equality section below.
In capital markets news, Nilex-listed companies have up to two months to hire nominated advisors to help them upscale their operations and promote their stock to investors under a decision (pdf) signed by EGX boss Mohamed Farid. The decision also requires the advisors, which are modelled after the UK’s ‘Nomads’ used in the LSE’s small-cap market, to stay on board with a company for at least eight months.
The announcement came after the exchange rolled out the new Tamayoz small-cap index, which was designed to help draw attention to listed SMEs with solid fundamentals. Companies that didn’t make it to the revamped gauge are being given access to sponsors to help them meet eligibility criteria including having achieved a four-year revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% or more. The program is set to be up to 70% funded through the EBRD.
** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:
- You no longer need a PCR test to come to Egypt if you’re fully vaccinated under new regulations issued by the Health Ministry.
- Egypt will receive the third and final tranche of the USD 5.2 bn standby loan from the IMF next week after the bank finished a final review on Cairo’s economic progress.
- The Suez Canal could soon offer shipping companies a VAT tax break as the authority works on making the canal more attractive to shippers.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Russian state-backed giant Gazprom is curbing natural gas exports to European countries, making a gas shortage worse and driving prices to 13-year highs, the Financial Times reports. Moscow is reluctant to go above and beyond its contractual obligations, and refusing spot sales to a gas-hungry Europe, which some watchers say comes amid volatile relations with the West as Russia looks to exert pressure on the EU to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will be used to ship gas directly into Germany. This also comes as Germany is angling to improve relations with the Putin administration and as the UK navy was accused of trespassing over Russian-annexed Crimea.
An opening for Egyptian LNG? Egypt’s LNG exports picked up steam after we brought the Damietta liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant online earlier in the year following an eight-year hiatus, which was expected to boost Egyptian natgas supplies to Europe. Since then, some 30 LNG shipments made their way out of the revived plant and the Idku facility.
Meanwhile, Europe’s gas infrastructure is leaking methane into the atmosphere — whether through venting or from cracks and holes in storage tanks, LNG terminals, or processing sites, video footage seen by Reuters showed. Methane, a primary component of natgas, is the second-worst greenhouse gas contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
It’s day three of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2020-2021 at Mall of Arabia. Yesterday’s games saw Nouran Gohar qualify for the semi-finals after she defeated France’s Camille Serme, while New Zealand’s Joelle King came out on top against USA’s Amanda Sobhy and is now tied for the lead spot with Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy in Group B. As for the men’s, Egyptians Mohamed ElShorbagy beat Ali Farag and rising talent Mostafa Asal took home a win against Marwan El Shorbagy. Elsewhere, France’s Gregoire Marche managed to defeat Welshman Joel Makin.
Up today… a very Franco-Egyptian kind of face-off: Women’s world no.2 Hania El Hammamy faces fourth-seeded Amanda Sobhy, while Salma Hany is up against France’s Camille Serme. In the men’s draw, no.2 Tarek Momen plays France’s Gregoire Marche while the Shorbagy brothers face off against each other. The tournament runs until Sunday. Tickets are currently on sale for the final two days on TicketsMarche.
Egypt Ventures + the International Cooperation Ministry’s Generation Next Forum will take place this Saturday, bringing together 400 entrepreneurs, innovators, and startups, according to a statement. The event will cover the role of international financial institutions in supporting tech startups, partnerships to facilitate access to finance, as well as startups’ role in achieving the sustainable development goals.
The Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) MENA are holding a webinar titled Energy Efficiency in the MENA region: Status and Outlook on 6 July at 3:30pm. The session will focus on energy efficiency developments and provide recommendations for businesses and policymakers. Later on next month, CEBC will also host the webinar Women Entrepreneurs in Clean Energy on 21 July at 3pm in cooperation with the initiative, Women in Clean Energy MENA and WiRE.
The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) is organizing a virtual education week from 5-6 July with three seminars planned. The first, taking place at 10am on 5 July, will discuss skills-based learning while the future of investment in education will be the topic on the table at 12:30pm the same day. On 6 July, a talk on the digitalization of education in Egypt will be held at 12pm.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
Europe’s electric car purchases surged 142% to 1.4 mn in 2020 and are expected to account for 10% of all vehicles on the road by the end of the decade, according to Bloomberg Green. This comes as oil refineries struggle to make ends meet with consequent blows to demand from the pandemic and the adoption of electric vehicles. Those in the industry have already resigned themselves to the incoming demand slump and are hedging their bets on other transport sectors, such as aviation and trucking, taking more time to transition to cleaner energy.
Further exacerbating the situation for European oil refineries? … Umm El Donia: Imports from new refineries that keep being built East of the Suez Canal will compete with European refineries and “are also likely to eat into the continent’s export markets,” the Bloomberg piece writes.
And the hits to Big Oil in the EU just keep on coming: The European Union’s new greenhouse gas emissions targets are now legally binding, after the European Parliament approved the bill with 442 votes in favour, 203 against and 51 abstentions, according to Reuters. The bloc’s targets include reducing net EU emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, as well as eliminating the emissions altogether by 2050.
But that may all be hype, as we apparently are very close to crossing the point of no return. Read today’s Climate Change story below to find out more.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
Just the thing to push your wanderlust into full gear: The World’s Most Amazing Rentals is a travel show on Netflix that follows three travellers as they explore some of the best places to stay around the globe. Each of the eight episodes takes place in a different destination, including Georgia, Indonesia, Mexico, Alaska, Bali, and Hawaii, and the hosts each get a chance to choose a rental to stay at in each country. Gorgeous doesn’t always mean expensive, as the hosts try and range out the price tags on each rental, which is something we personally appreciate. Overall, it’s the perfect show to relax to and will definitely help you plan your next vacation.
⚽ Last night’s fixtures: In Group D, Croatia took home a 3-1 victory against Scotland and England beat the Czech Republic 1-0. Meanwhile, the group F matches saw two ties of 2-2 (try saying that ten times fast) between Portugal and France as well as Germany and Hungary.
And that’s a wrap for the knockout phase. The round of 24 has been narrowed down, with 16 teams qualifying. The tournament’s bracket will see eight matches played with the victors heading to the semi-finals.
The matches you can look forward to:
- Italy (Group A’s top ranking team) vs. Austria (Group C’s second) on 26 June
- Wales (Group A’s second) vs. Denmark (Group B’s second) on 26 June
- Belgium (Group B’s top) vs. Portugal (Group F’s third) on 27 June
- The Netherlands (Group’s C’s top) vs. the Czech Republic (Group D’s third) on 27 June
- France (Group F’s top) vs. Switzerland (Group A’s third) on 28 June
- Croatia (Group D’s second) vs. Spain (Group E’s second) on 28 June
- Sweden (Group E’s top) vs. Ukraine (Group C’s third) on 29 June
- England (Group D’s top) vs. Germany (Group F’s second) on 29 June
Al Ahly is playing a semi-final match against ES Tunis for the African Champions League (ACL) on Saturday at 9pm. Al Ahly played a strong match against the North African country’s most successful club last week, coming out on top with a score of 1-0. South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs will face Moroccan Wydad at 6pm on the same day.
On that note, Egypt could request to reschedule the ACL final from 17 July if Al Ahly makes it to the top, since the original date would clash with Egypt’s U23 national team flying to Tokyo to take part in the Olympic Games, Egyptian Football Association (EFA) boss Ahmed Megahed told ONSports (watch, runtime: 08:27).
🧆 EAT THIS TONIGHT-
Felfela offers the best of oriental cuisine with a gorgeous backdrop, and is located conveniently in Downtown Cairo. We can’t get over their beautiful and elaborate decor, with every nook and cranny filled with something new to look at. It’s also a home for all of the Egyptian classics, from molokhia and stuffed pigeons to Alexandria-style seafood and fata, and it’s a great place to take your family for a Friday outing or a late night dinner. If you’re a resident of Downtown, you can get a taste of Felfela by stopping over at their takeaway branch, which is 10 meters away from the restaurant, and order some foul, taamiya, or kebda sandwiches. Here’s a sneak peek from the restaurant’s upcoming website.
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
A Go Padel tournament is taking place in Mall of Egypt starting today, and running till Saturday. The tournament offers prize-money of EGP 40k.
World-famous mezzosoprano Farrah El Dibany will get on an Egyptian stage for the first time tonight at the Cairo Opera House. You can get tickets for the event taking place at 8pm here.
Zar ensemble Mazaher is performing at Darb 1718 tomorrow at 8pm. Mazaher features some of the last remaining Zar practitioners in Egypt.
Sheikh Zayed’s Cairo Jazz Club’s ‘The Homies’ will feature DJunkie, A.K. & Kaboo tomorrow at 6pm.
Join a drum circle at Gusour Cultural Center tomorrow. There are a few time slots available and attendees will be provided with a drum.
A walking tour through Coptic Cairo is being offered by Walk Like An Egytian tours on Saturday.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
A novel to cozy up to this weekend: Lady of Zamalek, written by Ashraf El Ashmawi, is an epic crime thriller spanning key moments in Egypt’s history from the 1920s to the 1990s. The book was originally written in Arabic, but you can also get a hold of an English translation (courtesy of Peter Daniel). We found it at Diwan Bookstore, if you fancy a physical copy.
☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Hot hot hot… Friday will see daytime highs of 39°C, Saturday of 40°C, and Sunday a whooping 42°C, our favorite weather app tells us. Even the nighttime has become hotter with the mercury in the range of 24-25°C (and rising the days afterwards).