Good afternoon, everyone, and if you’re all Ever Given out, then you’re just as confused as us.
HAPPENING NOW- Heavy winds have apparently blown the Ever Given back to where it was, after having been partially refloated this morning. We have the latest updates in this afternoon’s Speed Round below.
THE STORY IS STILL EVOLVING- With reports right during dispatch indicating that the ship is moving again.
THE BIG NEWS STORY at home (that doesn’t require catching up on water density equations) has to be the EGX being ranked as the second most active market in the Arab World by volume after the Tadawol, with some USD 43.9 bn-worth of equities changing hands, according to the latest report by Arab Federation of Exchanges. The lack of IPOs, however, is really starting to show. You can catch the highlights from the report in this afternoon’s Go With The Flow.
CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from this morning’s issue of EnterpriseAM:
It’s day one of Abu Dhabi’s play for a new oil benchmark: Traders began buying and selling futures contracts for Murban crude in Abu Dhabi this morning, marking the first time an Arabian Gulf OPEC member has allowed its oil to be sold and shipped anywhere in the world, reports Bloomberg. On its first trading day, June contracts were switching hands at a price of USD 63.93 at 4pm UAE time with over 6.3k lots traded, Intercontinental Exchange said on Twitter.
Abu Dhabi hopes that the futures will become the region’s main benchmark and open the local oil sector to financial traders. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) pledged to guarantee at least 1 mn barrels of daily exports to support trading on the platform ICE Futures Abu Dhabi. ADNOC CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber will ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange today to mark the occasion alongside ICE chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher.
MANDATORY COVID STORY- A lab leak being the origin of covid-19 is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Chinese government obtained by the Associated Press. The study instead says that the spread of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is “likely to very likely” to be the cause, while direct transmission from bats is “likely.” Spread through cold-chain food products was “possible but not likely.” The report provides “little new insight” into the origins of the virus and “leaves many questions answered,” though it does offer details on the reasoning behind the team’s conclusions, the AP writes. The publishing of the report has been postponed several times, fuelling speculation that China has tried to influence its findings. The final report is expected to be released in full in the coming days.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Egyptian-Croatian Business Forum meets on Wednesday for the first time
since 2010. On the table: Giving a nudge to both trade and investment, a FEDCOC statement says. Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry are expected to attend.
The Arab Federation of Exchanges Annual Conference 2021 is taking place today and tomorrow. This year’s virtual conference will discuss ESGs for economic growth and capital markets as well as fintech and innovation.
The HVAC-R Egypt Expo will run Thursday through Saturday at the Egypt International Exhibition Center in New Cairo. The fifth annual expo for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and energy and brings together more than 170 national and international operators with different suppliers.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization will open on Saturday, 3 April in El Fustat. Local and international visitors alike will pay less for admission for the first two weeks to explore the museum’s central hall, according to a cabinet statement. Meanwhile, the Royal Mummies Hall will be ready for visitors starting 18 April.
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group is set to take place from 5-11 April. This year’s virtual meetings will bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics. The topics up for discussion include the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, aid effectiveness, and the global financial system. Some events will be open to the public and can be streamed live from the World Bank’s platform.
The Spring Flowers Exhibit (Ma3rad El Zohoor) is currently taking place at Orman Botanical Garden in Giza. More than 200 exhibitors have set up shop to sell flowers, plants, agricultural products, and gardening equipment. The exhibit runs through 13 April.
AUC Press’ Mad March book sale will wrap up by the end of the month. The sale is open to the general public every day from 10am–6pm CLT at AUC Tahrir Bookstore & Garden.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
Facebook and Google are planning two new subsea cables to connect North America to Indonesia, with the aim of increasing subsea capacity in the trans-pacific by 70%, sources at Facebook told Reuters. The size of the investment was not specified. The Echo cable is being built in partnership with Google and is set to be completed in 2023. The Bifrost cable will be completed in 2024 in partnership with Indonesian and Singaporean operators.
Closer to home, Facebook and Telecom Egypt are building the 2Africa submarine cable project along with five other companies. The 2Africa project is part of the bigger Hybrid African Ring Path (Harp) subsea system. Harp will form two main arteries that will begin from a landing point in South Africa to points in three southern European countries, travelling along the eastern and western African coasts. TE is set to complete Harp in 2023.
Pay attention oil execs: Shell wants to link its director’s incentive plan to climate performance more closely. The oil giant is proposing making its energy transition performance 20% of the director’s incentive plan, Reuters reports. The move, if approved at the 2021 AGM on May 18, would place the energy transition metric on equal footing as cashflow generation for the director’s remuneration. Shell had previously said it is linking the remuneration of 16,500 employees to carbon emission targets, as part of its plan to become net carbon neutral by 2050. Shell’s total carbon emission peaked in 2018 at 1.7 gigatonnes per annum.
Fake meat gets some serious funding: In other ESG news, Plant-based meat manufacturer Livekindly Collective raised USD 335 mn to finance expansion in the US and China, Bloomberg reports. The funding round makes the Livekindly Collective one of the three highest funded plant-based food companies. The alternative protein industry is projected to swell up to a quarter of the global meat market by 2040, while alternative protein investments tripled to USD 3.1 bn last year from USD 1 bn in 2019.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
Egypt is playing against Comoros today at 6pm CLT in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers to determine who tops Group G. The Pharaohs ended its Thursday match against Kenya with a 1-1 draw. Afcon will take place in January and February next year in Cameroon.
🍔 EAT THIS TONIGHT-
Office favorite #2657 (we promise we do more than eat). Lucille’s is Enterprise and Inktank’s go-to restaurant when having an office-wide lunch, with employees always ready for their huge, juicy burger patties on a fluffy, sweet and slightly toasted bun. In fact, back in 2007 Time Magazine crowned Lucille’s as The World's Best Hamburger. We love their mushroom burger and western bbq bacon burger. Make sure to order an appetizer or two to go with your sandwich — you can’t go wrong with any of them. Lucille’s was opened in 1996 by American Lucille who put every penny into launching the restaurant in Maadi. Today, you can also find Lucille’s in New Cairo around the banks center.
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(All times in CLT)
The French Institute in Cairo is showing the 1963 film ‘Umm Al Aroussa’ by Atef Salem today as part of an ongoing series of monthly events titled Egyptian Society in Cinema. The film will be screened at the Downtown branch at 6pm.
There’s another Paint and Sip Session tomorrow at 6pm at Ora Restobar in New Cairo, possibly Brush It’s last event before Ramadan heads in.
Fabrica Musical Theatre Company is performing Broadway Bel Arabi this Thursday at The Zamalek Theater. Fabrica’s singers will perform translated scenes from Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Shrek, Into the Woods, Les Miserables, and more. The event will take place at 8pm and the dress code is ‘dress to impress’.
Beloved Lebanese singer Majida El Roumi is singing at Qubba Palace this Friday in what will be the palace’s first concert to the public. El Roumi will be joined by the maestro Nader Abbassi and the Philharmony Union Orchestra. You can buy tickets for the event here.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
The challenges of a CEO include everything from unforgiving demand to loneliness to responsibility, something Adam Bryant and Kevin Sharer understood when writing The CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders. The book is an authoritative, no-nonsense insider's guide to navigating leadership's hardships written through personal experience as well as interviews with over 600 CEOs. You can check out this review by Ladders, which writes “The CEO Test wins in getting across critical questions we need to ask ourselves not once but every day on the job.”
🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect daytime highs of 24°C and nighttime lows of 11°C tomorrow, our favorite weather app tells us.