Sunday, 29 August 2021

EnterprisePM, abridged

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, to your abridged version of EnterprisePM. Don’t let the shortened version fool you, as it was a busy day in the local press.

THE BIG STORIES OF THE DAY- Swvl plans post-Nasdaq investment spree: Homegrown mass transport startup Swvl says it plans to invest big over the next three years to expand globally. CFO Youssef Salem says that the company will spend USD 250-300 mn to enlarge its global footprint but stopped short of providing specifics. Swvl has previously said that it wants to enter Latin America and Europe, and expand in Africa after it completes its listing on the Nasdaq via the all-female SPAC Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital.

An Egyptian investor is threatening to launch arbitration proceedings against the Ethiopian government, seeking compensation for alleged damages suffered due to the ongoing Tigray conflict. Investor Alaa El Sakty is seeking USD 40 mn in damages after two of his companies based in Tigray capital Mekelle suffered losses due to the instability, and says he will take the case to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington if Addis Ababa doesn’t pay up.

The earnings recovery continues: It was the turn of EGX-listed Cleopatra Hospitals Group and Orascom Construction to report their 2Q financials today. Coming off a difficult second quarter in 2020, both companies’ earnings bounced back this year, with Orascom’s net income almost tripling and CHG’s bottom line nearly doubling.

Catch all of these stories in greater detail in tomorrow morning’s EnterpriseAM.

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from this morning’s EnterpriseAM:

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Intelligence warnings of an IS bomb threat in Kabul is still holding the world’s attention this afternoon.

Otherwise the award for understatement of the month goes to Boris Johnson: “We would not have wished to leave in this way,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said after the last UK personnel were evacuated from Afghanistan, leaving behind thousands of British passport and visa holders. But Johnson remained optimistic, promising to “engage with the Taliban” if they respected women’s rights, stopped harboring terrorist groups, and gave safe passage to refugees. Elsewhere in la-la-land, Britain and France will on Monday lobby the UN to set up a “safe zone” in Kabul for those still trying to escape after the US airlift ends on Tuesday.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

We’re almost at the start of a new month. Here are the key news triggers coming up during the first half of September:

  • PMI: August’s PMI figures for Egypt, KSA and the UAE will land on Sunday, 5 September.
  • Foreign reserves: The central bank will release foreign reserves figures for August sometime next week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for August will drop on Thursday, 9 September.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 September.

OPEC+ countries are widely expected to proceed with plans to undo oil production cuts when they meet on Wednesday as oil prices recover, according to a Bloomberg survey. The majority of traders and analysts surveyed agree that the 23-nation alliance — led by Saudi Arabia and Russia — will move ahead with the planned output hike in their meeting this week as the “uncertainties over the world economy and the growth recovery in China have largely peeled away,” one analyst said, noting that OPEC+ will likely stick to the plan if the recovery continues. OPEC+ had reached an agreement late last month to gradually increase production till the end of 2022, extending the supply cuts to December 2022 instead of April.

Or not: OPEC+ could reconsider the output hikes after all, Kuwait’s oil minister told Reuters this morning. “The markets are slowing. Since COVID-19 has begun its fourth wave in some areas, we must be careful and reconsider this increase. There may be a halt to the 400,000 (bpd) increase,” Mohammad Abdulatif al-Fares said. He also said there was worry about the effect of a fourth wave on the oil industry and East Asian economies, in particular China.

Egypt hosts Digi Sign Africa this week: The three-day advertising and digital printing exhibition gets underway at the Cairo International Convention Centre on Wednesday, 1 September.

Cypriot prez in town this week: President Nicos Anastasiades arrives in Cairo on Saturday, 4 September for a joint Egypt-Cyprus summit.

FOR YOUR COMMUTE

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

Apparently, global sovereign wealth funds are not doing enough investing in ESG to meet the current rate of climate change, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, told Bloomberg. She explained that they are still too focused on maximizing returns and not enough on averting the climate crisis. She explained that so far the funds have been focused on maximizing returns from the low-carbon transition, but “given the gravity of the climate crisis, this is no longer sufficient.” A 2020 study (pdf) by the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds reported that over a third of wealth funds have a formal climate change strategy in place.

Bloomberg is doing a day in the life of a fertilizer container that has been stuck in the Port of Shanghai since May as to show us just how bad the global supply chain has become in light covid-19 outbreaks and typhoons. A fertilizer container headed to the US from China usually takes no longer than a few weeks.

YOUR DOSE OF GLOBAL COVID NEWS- Natural immunity trumps Pfizer vaccine? People with natural immunity from a previous covid-19 infection are apparently less likely to contract the delta variant than those who are vaccinated, according to a study (pdf) published by medRxiv, which was cited by Bloomberg. The yet to be peer-reviewed study explained that natural immunity affords longer lasting and stronger protection against hospitalization from the delta variant, in comparison to the Pfizer vaccine. The study revealed that those fully vaccinated with the two-dose Pfizer shot are six times more likely to contract the delta variant.

UAE opens borders to the vaccinated: Travellers from all around the world who have received a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine can enter the UAE starting tomorrow, according to a UAE government statement. The UAE hopes this will boost tourism — one of the country’s vital industries — while keeping everyone safe by mandating rapid PCR tests upon arrival.

Meanwhile, booster doses are now mandatory for Sinopharm inoculated individuals in Abu Dhabi. Vaccinated individuals who have taken the second dose of the sinopharm vaccine more than six months ago have to take a booster shot, Abu Dhabi’s media office stated in a tweet. Starting 20 September, individuals who have not received the booster shot will have the same status as unvaccinated people and will not be able to access certain public spaces. The city is aiming to follow Israel's lead after it administered a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine to try to limit the Delta variant’s spread in the country. The booster shot showed promising results reaching an 86% efficacy for people over the age of 60, according to the Financial Times.

Over to the far east, where Japan is studying the possibility of mixing Astrazeneca doses with Pfizer or Moderna ones to speed up vaccinations, Minister of Administrative affairs Taro Kono stated on a televised news program today. Studies have shown that mixing vaccines is as effective or more effective than taking two doses of the same one. Moreover, countries like Canada, France and Germany have already allowed it, though the US cautioned against the practice. Japanese vaccination rates have reached around 44% of the overall population and 90% of the elderly having received both doses, according to Bloomberg. The majority of young people remain unvaccinated.

ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh plays newly appointed Ji-Yoon Kim in this new Netflix dramedy The Chair. The show depicts how a woman of color, subject to racism and misogyny of academia, becomes the head of the English department of a small liberal arts school called Pembroke in the midst of a scandal at her department. "I feel like someone handed me a ticking time bomb and they wanted to make sure a woman was holding it when it exploded," she says at one point. The six episodes dropped on Netflix last week and has quickly become one of the most watched series on the platform.

This afternoon in the Premier League: It’s currently half-time in two afternoon ties between Spurs and Watford, and Burnley and Leeds. Later, Man Utd travel to Wolves for the day’s 5.30pm kick-off.

Two of the big Spanish clubs are in action today: Barcelona welcomes Getafe to the Camp Nou at 5:00pm, while Atletico Madrid is at home to Villarreal at 10:00pm.

Serie A: In the early kick-offs at 6:30pm, Napoli travel to Genoa and Sassuolo host Sampdoria. Later this evening, Jose Mourinho’s Roma will take on newly-promoted Salernitana, and AC Milan play at home to Cagliari; both at 8:45pm.

At home, the Egyptian Premier League 2020-2021 season came to a close over the weekend: Second-placed Al Ahly closed the gap at the top with a victory over Aswan after champions Zamalek drew with National Bank. Pyramids managed to claim third place with a remarkable 6-0 victory against Ghazl El Mahalla yesterday, overtaking Smouha who drew with Misr Lel Makkasa.

🥐EAT THIS TONIGHT-

A taste of Istanbul: Turkish cuisine Nişantaşı is true to its heritage, with culinary techniques passed down through generations. The all-Turkish chefs use the finest ingredients to create authentic Anatolian gastronomy, from kebab-rolls and traditional comfort food, to the Nişantaşı house speciality served in a ceremonious flourish of a sealed terracotta that is opened at your table. The atmosphere pays homage to Turkey, with its music, design, and staff hospitality.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

Startups Camp by Nubiavest in cooperation with Fekretak Sherketak will be taking place from today until Tuesday at 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Duat exhibition launches tomorrow in the memory of Egyptian Nobel prize-winning novelist Naguib Mahfouz at the Consoleya co-working space in Downtown Cairo. The exhibition documents the daily life of Naguib Mahfouz through a series of photographs by the late Mohamed Hegazy.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life by business psychotherapist and FT columnist Naomi Shragai is a book geared towards helping people survive business and work-related problems, complete with exercises and tips. Writing about the psychological aspects of work for the salmon-colored newspaper, her book delves more deeply into the emotional dynamics of our working lives through intimate stories, fascinating insights, and provocative questions.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- It looks like it’s another hot week in Cairo with highs of 39°C during the day and 25°C at night. For those of you still in Sahel, expect a daytime high of 31°C and 23°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.

GO WITH THE FLOW

Iron and Steel for Mines & Quarries + Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt report earnings

Iron and Steel for Mines & Quarries (ISMQ) reported a pre-tax net income of EGP 26.5 mn during 1H2021, according to its maiden bourse filing (pdf) reporting its earnings. The company’s revenues reached EGP 43 mn during the first six months of the year. Formerly part of Egyptian Iron and Steel, ISMQ was created after the government decided to liquidate the loss-making state-owned firm as part of a strategy to streamline the public sector. The company first listed on the EGX at the end of May this year. It did not disclose its net earnings nor a quarterly breakdown of its first-half financials.

Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt saw its net income rise more than 50% y-o-y to EGP 518.8 mn in 2Q2021, up from EGP 343 mn in 2Q2020, according to the bank’s financials (pdf). Net interest income increased by over 30% y-o-y to around EGP 1.4 bn, from EGP 1 bn last year.

MARKET ROUNDUP-

The EGX30 fell 0.1% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.65 bn (12% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 2.5% YTD.

In the green: Heliopolis Housing (+4.9%), Raya Holding (+4.1%) and Cleopatra Hospitals (+3.7%).

In the red: Speed Medical (-5.1%), Pioneers Holding (-3.3%) and GB Auto (-1.9%).

CAREERS

Some millennials are looking to retire in their 30s: Past years have seen millenials move away from a careerist path, and with that notions of employment and retirement. Whether or not this is covid-induced, many millennials are reporting burnout and stress as a leading cause for why they are choosing to quit their day jobs and retire decades early, according to a BBC report (watch, runtime: 08:04).

Financial Independence, Retire Early (F.I.R.E) is based on the concept that you can retire not based on your age, but rather based on how much money you save. If by the first 10-15 years of your career you manage to earmark most of your salary to your savings plan, you should be able to retire early. “I don’t want to be the guy that works until I’m 65 years old because I have to, and then I’m six feet under two years later. And I think a lot of people relate to that now more than ever, since they’ve seen how precarious life can be,” says a 41 year old school principal who recently started Wealth Building Educator, a YouTube channel about financial independence.

The math behind the movement: You need to be able to put away up to 25 times more than your annual expenditures to be able to retire early. That means that if you can live on EGP 60k a year (5k a month), then you need some EGP 1.5 mn in your bank account. How do you save EGP 1.5 mn? Well, you need to save at least EGP 8.3k per month over 15 years. Sounds impossible? People say that you don’t have to hit your F.I.R.E number by your 30s. Even if you’ve hit it by your 50s, you’d still be stockpiling some years to enjoy a few decades without having to work.

The New York Times argues that the movement works well for the “1 percenters”: The movement has been criticized as catering to an already wealthy segment of society that can afford to save that much from their six-figure paychecks. “A lot of FIRE blogs, while well intentioned, can be very tone deaf,” Kiersten Saunders, a 34-year-old marketing director, says.

In their defense, members of the movement refute the notion that most of them are wealthy, claiming that the movement actually makes you less of a consumerist. It allows you to reconsider your relationship with money, helping you become more self-conscious when it comes to how you spend both money and time.

Not a frugal life — just a slightly less materialistic one: Small decisions make a huge difference in terms of the money that you spend. Followers of the movement suggest that you can move to places with a lower cost of living instead of staying in big cities, and can turn down or minimize dining out or buying new clothes. Likewise, instead of booking a stay at a fancy hotel, you can go camping and enjoy life’s pleasures more modestly.

Liberation rather than deprivation: How does it feel to be 39 years old and 5 years into retirement? “Thrilling,” one member tells CNBC, arguing that the biggest misconception about the movement is retiring early and sitting back doing nothing. He says that FIRE has allowed him to do what he really enjoys the most, even if it were another less paid job that he actually enjoys.

Bulletproof against the pandemic: When everything shut down during the pandemic and many people lost their jobs, a few bucks in one’s bank account would’ve helped. Even for those who didn’t lose their job, most would have preferred to stay at home for safety reasons. F.I.R.E members have witnessed and overcome three recessions, which they claim the movement has protected them against.

You think that money can’t buy time? Think again. From fathers who are able to spend more time with their children saying it feels like being on paid leave, to caregivers being able to spend more time with their loved ones, the movement is giving people more than financial security and early retirement; it is giving them more time to spend on what matters most to them.

CALENDAR

24 August-5 September (Tuesday-Sunday): Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

September: Delegation of Russian companies to visit Russian Industrial Zone.

1-3 September (Wednesday-Friday): Digi Sign Africa, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

3-5 September (Friday-Sunday): The World Karate Federation will hold the third competition of the 2021 Karate 1-Premier League in Cairo.

4 September (Saturday): The first Egypt-Cyprus Intergovernmental Summit is taking place in Cairo.

5 September (Sunday): The updated date for EGX listed companies to institute the new mechanism for calculating closing share prices. The deadline was previously 2 September.

5-7 September (Sunday-Tuesday): The Arab Security Conference, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, Egypt.

7-8 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Euromoney Conferences will host the GlobalCapital Sustainable and Responsible Capital Markets Forum 2021, featuring Vice Minister of Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk.

8-9 September (Wednesday-Thursday): Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (ICF), Cairo

7-9 September (Tuesday-Thursday): Egy Health Expo, Al Manara International Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

9 September (Thursday): DevOpsDays Cairo 2021 is being organized by ITIDA and the Software Engineering Competence Center in cooperation with DXC Technology, IBM Egypt and Orange Labs.

11-12 September (Saturday-Sunday): International Conferences on Economics and Social Sciences, Cairo

12 September (Sunday): International schools begin 2021-2022 academic year

12-15 September (Sunday-Wednesday): Sahara Expo: the 33rd International Agricultural Exhibition for Africa and the Middle East.

13-21 September (Monday-Tuesday): 76th session of the general assembly, New York

15 September (Wednesday): The CFO Leadership & Strategy Summit is taking place in Egypt.

16 September (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

18 September (Saturday): Expiration of United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL

21-22 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

22-25 September (Wednesday-Saturday): Cityscape Egypt, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

30 September-2 October (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Projects 2021 expo, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

30 September-8 October (Thursday-Friday): The Cairo International Fair, Cairo International Conference Center, Cairo, Egypt.

30 September: Closing of 2021’s first oil and gas tender in the Gulf of Suez, Western Desert, and the Mediterranean.

October: New legislative session begins — must be held by the first Thursday of October.

October: Romanian President Klaus Iohannis could visit Egypt in mid this month to discuss ways to boost tourism cooperation between the two countries.

1 October (Friday): Businesses importing goods at seaports will need to file shipping documents and cargo data digitally to the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system.

1 October (Friday): Expo 2020 Dubai opens.

1 October (Friday): State-owned companies and government service bodies selling goods and services to customers that have not yet signed on to the e-invoicing platform will suffer a host of penalties, including removal from large taxpayer classification, losing access to government services and business, and losing subsidies.

6 October (Wednesday): Armed Forces Day.

7 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Armed Forces Day.

9 October (Saturday): Public schools begin 2021-2022 academic year

11-17 October (Monday-Sunday): IMF + World Bank Annual Meetings.

12-14 October (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

18 October (Monday): Prophet’s Birthday.

21 October (Thursday): National holiday in observance of the Prophet’s Birthday.

24-28 October (Sunday-Thursday) Cairo Water Week, Cairo, Egypt.

27-28 October (Wednesday-Thursday) Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference, Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, Cairo, Egypt.

28 October (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

30 October – 4 November (Saturday-Thursday): The first edition of Race The Legends, Egypt.

November: The French-Egyptian Business Forum is set to take place in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

November: Egypt will host another round of talks to reach a potential Egyptian-Eurasian trade agreement, which can significantly contribute to increasing the volume of Egyptian exports to the Russia-led bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

1-3 November (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Energy exhibition on power and renewable energy, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

2-3 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

1-12 November (Monday-Friday): 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Glasgow, United Kingdom.

16-17 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Africa fintech summit, Cairo.

26 November-5 December (Friday-Sunday): The 43rd Cairo International Film Festival.

29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo.

7-8 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): North Africa Trade Finance Summit.

12-14 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Food Africa Cairo trade exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

13-17 December: United Nations Convention against Corruption, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

14-19 December (Tuesday-Sunday): The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater.

14-15 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

16 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.

22-24 April 2022: World Bank-IMF spring meeting, Washington D.C.

May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt

16 June 2022 (Thursday): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools

27 June-3 July 2022 (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

**Note to readers: Some national holidays may appear twice above. Since 2020, Egypt has observed most mid-week holidays on Thursdays regardless of the day on which they fall and may also move those days to Sundays. We distinguish below between the actual holiday and its observance.

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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