Wednesday, 8 June 2022

PM — We’re falling behind on climate mitigation

TL;DR

🔎 WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TONIGHT

It’s really almost-THURSDAY now, friends — the weekend is so close, we can almost smell it. This afternoon’s news flow hasn’t quite taken shape yet, but we anticipate more stories to crop up over the course of the day.

THE BIG STORY TODAY-

Household electricity bills will be up as much as 20.8% by 1 July: Residential electricity bills are rising at the start of the new fiscal year on 1 July as part of the Sisi administration’s plan to phase out electrical subsidies by 2025, Youm7 reports, citing sources from the ministry.

^^We’ll have more details on this and other stories in tomorrow’s edition of EnterpriseAM.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

Once again, there isn’t one story driving the conversation in the international press this afternoon. Among the headlines and updates getting front-page treatment:

  • Turkey-Russia talks on unlocking Ukrainian grain shipments ended today on an inconclusive note, with Turkey saying more talks are needed with Moscow and Kyiv to ensure ships’ safety. (Reuters)
  • Big Tech stocks are seeing a downturn that is reminiscent of the dot-com bubble’s collapse in 2000, with the S&P 500’s information-technology sector down 19% YTD. (WSJ)
  • European markets are down on expectations that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates when it meets tomorrow. (FT)

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

  • The World Bank has again revised upwards its projection for Egypt’s GDP growth by 0.6 percentage points to 6.1% for FY 2021-2022.
  • EFG Hermes’ energy investment platform Vortex Energy has so far invested EUR 222 mn of equity capital into Ignis Energia, with plans to eventually invest EUR 625 mn in Ignis under an agreement signed with the Spanish solar developer in October.
  • Qatari companies have an appetite for Egyptian investments: A number of Qatari companies have expressed interest in investing in Egypt during meetings with GAFI head Mohamed Abdel Wahab, who is on a multi-day visit to Doha to pitch Egypt as an attractive investment destination

FOR TOMORROW-

The Digital Transformation Summit gets underway tomorrow, bringing together public and private sector players in the tech industries to share and discuss views on the current landscape of the market, recent tech innovations, and proposed strategies.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

NEWS TRIGGERS you’ll want to keep an eye on:

  • Inflation figures for May are due out on Saturday, 9 June (from state statistics agency Capmas) and Sunday, 12 June (central bank figures);
  • The Central Bank of Egypt holds its policy meeting on Thursday, 23 June.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- It’s that time of year when the weather forecast makes us want to cry (or plan a pool day): Get ready for the real Egyptian summer heat that’s coming in full force this week. The mercury will reach 42°C during the day tomorrow before falling to 24°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us. Temperatures will reach 44°C on Saturday before cooling down again next workweek.

enterprise

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE

Employees across all sectors report work intensification despite new technologies: Robots, machinery AI, and the like have all been hailed as being an essential part of making work easier and faster for humans. However, the humans in question have shown that the reality is quite the opposite, writes the Financial Times, citing government surveys. People now say they are working harder to tighter deadlines while experiencing greater levels of tension and stress. The share of employees who strongly agree that their job requires that they work “very hard” jumped between 1992 and 2017, rising 16 percentage points to 46%, according to UK government surveys. The proportion who cited that they work to “tight deadlines” at least three quarters of the time also rose to 60% in 2017 from 53% in 1992. This trend of intensifying work conditions is applicable across several sectors, from employees at major multinationals to workers at small local businesses, as well as across the globe with similar figures found in the US and Europe.

So why is this happening? A number of answers have been posed by the FT. It’s possible that technology and its instant connectivity to others has led to tighter deadlines and the immediate need to address demands. Machinery has also pushed employees to be able to keep up with the faster pace while more tech is being employed to monitor and regulate their work. Another possible explanation is that workplaces have simply cut headcount to save costs without coming up with more efficient ways of doing things. It’s also possible that email and instant messaging platforms, which keep employees accessible beyond work hours and outside of the office, simply tire people out mentally as they lead to constant distractions.

What can be done? The four-day workweek could be a good solution, because if “we can’t work less hard, perhaps we should just work less.”


Microsoft’s metaverse plans take a hit with departure of HoloLens boss: The executive that led Microsoft’s augmented reality headset project — HoloLens — is leaving the company following allegations of misconduct, The Verge reports. Alex Kipman will leave the company in two months’ time, according to an internal email obtained by GeekWire. Business Insider had earlier reported that over 25 Microsoft employees have accused Kipman of misconduct and verbal abuse. Microsoft’s augmented reality team has lost some 100 people in the past year, many of them to Meta, the Wall Street Journal reports, as the company’s headset project reports disappointing sales — shipping only some 200-250k units since its launch in 2016 — despite bns of USDs in investments poured into the project by the company.

👌 ENTERPRISE RECOMMENDS

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(all times CLT)

Now that Disney+ has officially landed in Egypt and the MENA region, watch Marvel series Moon Knight, which celebrates Ancient Egyptian mythology: The series, co-directed by Egyptian director Mohamed Diab, and follows the story of a comic book vigilante who assumes multiple alter egos to battle with the criminal underworld. The title character, played by Oscar Isaac, is the avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon who provided Moon Knight with supernatural powers to fight against evil. Diab’s casting selection and focus on the authenticity is a main feature of the director’s interview with the Hollywood Reporter, wherein he says that a major part of the 200-page pitch to Marvel was to avoid the “orientalist look, which always dehumanizes us.” Diab, Marvel’s first Arab filmmaker, tapped talents such as composer Hisham Nazih — known for his work in the Golden Parade in April last year — for Moon Knight’s soundtrack. Others include Ahmed Hafez, one of series’ three editors, Ramy series star May Calamawy, and The Kite Runner leading actor Khalid Abdullah.

Belgium faces Poland and Wales faces the Netherlands tonight in the European Nations League. Both matches are set to take place at 9pm.

There are several matches taking place in the 2023 African Nations qualifiers today, the most important of which is Tanzania against Algeria at 6pm.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(all times CLT)

Head to a weekly tango night every Wednesday, brought to you by HiGi at the Swiss Club Cairo. The dance enthusiasts are hosting a La Milonga night today at 9pm where they dance to the special style of Latin music.

Noha Fekry is performing today at Kempinski Nile Hotel’s Jazz Bar at 9:30pm.

Attend a conversation titled What do we want from speculative fiction? tomorrow at Contemporary Image Collective at 7pm. Malak Helmy and Mohamed Abdelkarim will lead a discussion that aims to pose answers for questions such as why we make images of the future.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Childhood in Ancient Egypt is the most comprehensive attempt at recounting the experiences of children in Ancient Egypt: Drawing on textual, iconographic, and archaeological sources stretching over a period of 3.5k years, Amandine Marshall — with help from Colin Clement — reconstructs a detailed image of life as a youngster from the Predynastic period to the end of the New Kingdom. Marshall explores how ancient Egyptians perceived children and childhood and how they were seen in the eyes of law, society, and the state. The book also goes into more everyday details about their lives such as what they wore, the activities they engaged in, games they played, and how their parents would protect them from illness, evil spirits, or ghosts. Illustrated with 160 drawings and photographs, the book is a major contribution to the growing field of ancient-world childhood studies.

🌊 GO WITH THE FLOW

The EGX30 rose 1.9% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 902 mn (7.5% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 14.3% YTD.

In the green: Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+7.0%), Heliopolis Housing (+5.4%) and Fawry (+5.1%).

In the red: CIRA (-2.2%), e-Finance (-0.9%) and Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (-0.1%).

🌍 CLIMATE

A new report shows climate change accelerated in 2021: Four key climate change indicators — greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification — set new records last year in another sign that the world is falling behind on climate change mitigation, according to a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level — 0.22°C to 0.29°C warmer than 2011, bringing us closer to the 1.5°C benchmark.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned: The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) rang alarm bells in a report earlier this year, saying that we have to act “now or never” to implement “immediate but deep” emission reductions to stave off real climate disaster. The report indicated that we would need to cut the planet’s emissions by 43% by 2030 if we want to limit annual global warming to 1.5°C. In what was termed “the bleakest warning yet” by some scientists, another IPCC report released in February warns of “irreversible” environmental damage if temperatures are allowed to exceed 1.5 °C. Increasingly extreme weather is causing “widespread, pervasive impacts” to ecosystems across the world, some of which are already beyond repair.

Where does Egypt stand on its emissions targets? Egypt is expected to announce soon its revised national targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or its nationally determined contribution (NDC) to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said last month. As per the Paris Agreement, all parties to the 2015 treaty are required to update their NDC every five years. The last NDC we submitted was in 2017 and it did not include binding targets for specific emissions reductions. While we have signed onto the original Paris Agreement and the updated COP26 pledge, Egypt did not meet a deadline to submit its updated NDC last year for COP26 and has in the past lagged other countries in submitting climate targets, David Waskow, a director of the nonprofit World Resources Institute said.

This is all pushing the UN to urge rich countries to share their climate mitigation tech: Developed countries should share the intellectual property for energy technologies that can help developing countries adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a video message (watch, runtime: 06:28). Batteries and related power-storage technology should be treated as “freely available public goods,” he said. Guterres also called for a global coalition on battery storage to be formed to fast-track deployment, indicating that it should be led by the governments and include tech companies, manufacturers, and financiers.

The push comes as part of a five-point plan to boost renewable energy usage: Renewable energy has become more accessible than ever over the past decade as the cost of wind energy declined by more than half while solar energy and batteries saw their prices fall 85%, Guterres said. The UN is now proposing that we also need to broaden access to supply chains and raw materials that go into renewable technologies, ensure governmental policy supports the use of renewable energy, remove subsidies for fossil fuels, and increase investments in clean energy. Private and public investments in renewable energy must triple to at least USD 4 tn a year, he added.

We could get more plans and specifics at COP27 in Egypt: The international organization will spearhead new action to ensure that all countries have access to early warning systems that indicate whether extreme weather is headed their way, Guterres said in a separate address (watch, runtime: 02:02). The WMO will lead these efforts and the action plan will be announced at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh in November, he added.

📆 CALENDAR

OUR CALENDAR APPEARS in two sections:

  • Events with specific dates or months are right here up top
  • Events happening in a quarter or other range of time with no specific date / month appear at the bottom of the calendar.

JUNE

9 June (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

9 June (Thursday): Digital Transformation Summit, The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo

14-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

15-18 June (Wednesday-Saturday): St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), St. Petersburg.

16 June (Thursday): EU-Egypt Sustainable Food Value Chain conference, Grand Nile Tower Hotel, Cairo.

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

21-22 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, Cairo.

21-23 June (Tuesday-Thursday): Commonwealth Business Forum, Kigali, Rwanda.

23 June (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

25-27 June: Big 5 Construct,

26 June (Sunday): The deadline for private companies to pre-register ahead of bidding for the second phase of the PPP national project to establish and operate 1k language schools.

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

30 June (Thursday): June 30 Revolution Day, national holiday.

30 June (Thursday): Deadline for bids for National Democratic Party HQ redevelopment contract.

June: Egypt will launch a unified ticketing system for all means of transport at the Adly Mansour Interchange Station.

June: Egypt and Israel will sign an agreement with the EU to increase LNG exports.

JULY

July: A law governing ins. for seasonal contractors will come into effect.

July: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

July: Actis’ expected sale of its majority stake in Lekela to Infinity and Masdar’s Infinity Power.

1 July (Friday): FY 2022-2023 begins.

1 July (Friday): Official rollout of e-receipt system begins.

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

21 July (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

26-27 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.

AUGUST

August: Work to extend the capacity of the Egypt-Sudan electricity interconnection to 600 MW to be completed.

18 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

SEPTEMBER

September: Egypt will display its first naval exhibition with the title Naval Power.

September: Central Bank of Egypt’s Innovation and Financial Technology Center to launch incubator for 25 fintech startups.

6-9 September (Tuesday-Friday): Gate Travel Expo 2022, El Kobba Palace, Cairo.

8 September (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

18 September (Sunday): Deadline for brokerage firms, asset managers and financial advisors to register with the Egyptian Securities Federation.

20-21 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

22 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

26–27 September (Monday-Tuesday): The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.

OCTOBER

October: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

1 October (Saturday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

6 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, national holiday.

10-16 October (Monday-Sunday): World Bank and IMF annual meetings, Washington, DC, chaired by CBE Governor Tarek Amer

18-20 October(Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

27 October (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

Late October – 14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.

NOVEMBER

November: Cairo Water Week 2022.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

3 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

3-5 November (Thursday-Saturday): Egypt Fashion Week.

4-6 November (Friday-Sunday): The Autotech auto exhibition kicks off at the Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

21 November-18 December (Monday-Sunday): 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatar.

13-14 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

15 December (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

DECEMBER

22 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

JANUARY 2023

January EGX-listed companies and non-bank lenders will submit ESG reports for the first time.

January: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

MAY 2023

22-26 May (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.

EVENTS WITH NO SET DATE

2Q2022: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt will invest in two companies in the financial inclusion and non-banking financial services sectors.

End of 2Q2022: The Financial Regulatory Authority’s new Ins. Act should be approved.

End of 2Q2022: Door for bidding for the contract to redevelop the site of the former National Democratic Party HQ to close.

1H2022: Target date for IDH to close its acquisition of 50% of Islamabad Diagnostic Center.

1H2022: e-Finance’s digital healthcare service platform, eHealth, will launch its services.

1H2022: The government will respond to private companies’ bids to build desalination plants.

1H2022: Egypt’s second corporate green bond issuance expected to be announced.

End of 1H2022: Emirati industrial company M Glory Holding and the Military Production Ministry will begin the mass production of dual fuel pickup trucks that can run on natural gas.

2H2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2H2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

2H2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

End of 2022: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will complete the roll out of its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

2023: Egypt will host the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in 2023.

**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 above 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.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.