Monday, 13 March 2023

PM — Rethinking celebrity partnerships



Good afternoon, friends. It’s shaping up to be a relatively brisk Monday, both at home and abroad.


Hassan Allam Utilities launches green logistics parks with Agility: Our friends at Hassan Allam Utilities will build green logistics parks in a joint venture with Agility, according to a press release (pdf). Hassan Allam Holding’s investment and development arm will develop the Yanmu parks, which include storage and distribution warehouses, alongside industrial developer Agility. Yanmu East Park, a 270k sqm storage park, will be complete and operational by 3Q 2023, while Yanmu West Park is expected in 2024. The parks will incorporate sustainable practices into its design, such as solar rooftops, the release said.

HSBC to acquire UK arm of collapsed Silicon Valley Bank for GBP 1: HSBC UK is buying the UK unit of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) — a major lender to British tech startups — for GBP 1 (no, we’re not missing a mn or bn), according to CNN. “This action has been taken to stabilize SVBUK, ensuring the continuity of banking services, minimizing disruption to the UK technology sector and supporting confidence in the financial system,” a Bank of England statement read. The move comes after ministers and bankers scrambled to find solutions to avoid contagion from the collapse of the US-based bank. The unit’s staff will retain their jobs and SVBUK will remain authorized by UK regulators. “SVB UK customers can continue to bank as usual, safe in the knowledge that their deposits are backed by the strength, safety and security of HSBC,” Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC said in a statement cited by CNN.

In a separate move to contain the fallout from SVB’s collapse: US private bank First Republic Bank obtained additional funding through JPMorgan Chase & Co., granting it access to USD 70 bn from multiple sources, Reuters reports.


And the Oscar goes to: Everything Everywhere All at Once’s Oscar dominance is front page of the international press today as it took home seven total awards last night, including three of the four big acting awards. Star of the indie film, Michelle Yeoh, became the first Asian woman to earn the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Evelyn Wang as she juggles family and professional tension and misery across multiple universes. Everything Everywhere has become synonymous with a forward-looking Hollywood, said the Wall Street Journal, rather than a movie industry obsessed with remakes and sequels. Netflix’s World War I epic, All Quiet on the Western Front was the other big earner, taking four awards including best international feature.

Also giving the Oscar’s ink: The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Reuters and the BBC.

HAPPENING NOW- El Sisi + Danish PM host joint presser: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederikson held a joint press conference earlier today following a meeting (watch runtime 14:25). The two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in the shipping, transportation, and renewable energy sectors, alongside issues of human rights and illegal migration, El Sisi said. Frederikson is on a three-day visit to Egypt, according to Al Shorouk.

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

  • US authorities have moved to guarantee all deposits held at the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank in emergency measures aimed at preventing contagion and a wider crisis in the banking sector.
  • Safi + Wataniya to begin offering prep on Wednesday: The government will start preparing military-owned bottled drinks firm Safi and fuel retailer Wataniya for offering on Wednesday, 15 March.
  • Metito + BII launch Africa water investment platform: Dubai-based water and wastewater treatment player Metito and the UK’s development finance institution, British International Investment, yesterday launched an investment platform that will finance projects to improve water security across Africa.


Egypt is playing host to PPP MENA Forum: The two-day Public-Private Partnership MENA Forum kicks off at the Nile-Ritz Carlton in Cairo on 19 March, bringing together over 300 regional and international PPP players to discuss new partnership models and projects to advance the region’s socio-economic growth. Discussions held under the patronage of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly will include policies for infrastructure projects, private funding for national projects, governance, and best practices.

????️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect the mercury to peak at 22°C during the day and fall to 11°C in the evening tomorrow as the sun gives way to some clouds throughout the day. Our favorite weather app doesn’t seem to think we’re getting any rainfall tomorrow.



Adidas recalibrates its focus following Kanye West split: Rethinking revenue streams following the end of its lucrative partnership with Kanye West, Adidas plans to refocus on its core business and return to its sports-based roots, CEO Bjorn Gulden said last week, according to Reuters. "You will see us invest in more sports, and be wider again than we have been, because that is also the DNA of this company," said Gulden, who has undertaken rebuilding the brand after taking the reins in January. Gulden also said Adidas would continue to partner with not only athletes, but also artists and celebrities, which would provide avenues for lifestyle brands.

Careful curation is the name of the game: Moving forward, Adidas should cautiously select its partners and the selection of less “risky” celebrity partners is just as important as diversification, research analysts and advisors tell Reuters. “Partnerships with celebrities clearly play a big role, but there is a risk because the person you partner with can go off the rails,” says retail advisory firm Ortelli & Co’s managing director.

A costly break-up: The sportswear giant severed ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in October after the rapper made a string of antisemitic comments. The split saw Adidas terminate its brand Yeezy, which generated as much as 7% of total revenues in its best-performing years, according to analyst estimates.

African designers are taking a new approach to upcycling: As fast fashion increases the amount of used clothing arriving in countries like Ghana, Kenya and Uganda from the West, some African designers have begun riffing on the idea of returning reappropriated items to the places they came from — with a steep price tag to match, says the Financial Times. Ugandan designer Bobby Kolade creates four clothing collections a year called Return to Sender made of deconstructed and reworked items sold internationally from his online store starting at USD 180 per piece. Ghanaian designer Yayra Agbofah makes tote bags from recycled denim that are sold at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum shop. “What would give me a lot of fulfillment is if I knew that somebody is buying this T-shirt because they find it cool,” said Kolade, “not because they can tell that it’s been recycled or repurposed.”

Close to 40% of ‘obroni wawu’ — or dead white man’s clothes — that end up in African markets will go to landfill, says environmental justice nonprofit the Or Foundation. Designers who spoke to the FT said they want governments to implement legislation that would limit the mns of tons of garments sent to their countries, calling for the Global North to take accountability for their waste. “Every time there’s a presidential election [in the US], it’s reflected here,” said Kolade, who has a personal collection of Trump T-shirts. Designers also said that with the rise of fast fashion and thrifting in the West, the quality of the clothes being sent to their countries is declining.



(all times CLT)

Let Gary Oldman bedazzle you as the unsavory and delightfully witty Jackson Lamb in Slow Horses, a British dark comedy espionage series in its second season on Apple TV. Slough House, the ugly and poorly-ventilated office where MI5 rejects or “Slow Horses” are kept in limbo, is anything but exciting as River Cartwright (Jack Lowden), a recent failed MI5 recruit, is about to discover. Unable to digest Lamb’s unpalatable managing skills, including daily rants reminding the ex-recruits of their failures and micromanaging from his in-office lavatory, Cartwright picks up a lead that MI5 have missed. Much to his joy (and Lamb’s dismay) Cartwright encourages the Slow Horses to save the nation from a terrorist crisis that could put MI5’s credibility under scrutiny.

Today in the Egyptian Premier League: National Bank hosts Pyramids, which is looking to reclaim the second position from Future, in a match that kicks off at 6pm. Pyramids is currently in third place with 39 points, three points behind Future (42) and league topper Al Ahly (44 points).

We have just a small handful of matches in the European leagues, the most important of which are Milan v Salernitana (Serie A — 9:45pm) and Girona v Atletico Madrid (La Liga — 10pm).

(all times CLT)

Get ready to be inspired by some of Egypt’s most talented female artists with Art d’Egypte’s Kaon exhibition at the Arts’ Hub in Zamalek. The exhibition, which kicked off last Thursday and runs through next Thursday, 23 March, is held in celebration of International Women's Day.

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO: The event features 100 performers taking the stage with their acrobatic acts. OVO is hosting 16 shows until this Friday, 18 March at Cairo international Stadium Hall, courtesy of real estate developer Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development (pdf).

A musical night at Rawabet with Youssra & Friends: Musician Youssra El Hawary will be performing at Rawabet Art Space tomorrow alongside pianist Andrew Milad and several other musicians, “bringing the spirit of friends jamming together to the stage through playfulness and improvisations.” The show begins at 8pm and wraps by 11pm and you can book tickets here.

Folk music with a side of education: Beit El Sennary plays host to Aswat: Egyptian ša‘bī identity in the Nasserist folk ensembles this Thursday, 16 March at 8pm. The event will include a concert by Firqa Al Alat Al Sa’biyya and a lecture from Kawkab Tawfik.


Ever wondered where all the old gods have gone? Look no further than American Gods by renowned storyteller Neil Gaiman. He posits some of ancient mythology’s mightiest deities are — unbeknownst to the human race — living side-by-side to us mere mortals after being left behind by immigrants who brought them to America and later pursued “newer” gods. Through the eyes of Shadow Moon — a regular joe bewitched by the mysterious and uncannily one-eyed Mr. Wednesday (can you guess who?) — Gaiman takes you on a supernatural journey to meet several gods, including Esther, Anubis, and Balqis (to name a few) on their epic battle for survival against irrelevance and anonymity. American Gods is also available in Arabic, translated by Hisham Fahmy.



Amer Group ends 2022 in the red: Amer Group recorded EGP 195 mn in net losses in 2022, compared to a net income of EGP 83 mn in 2021, according to a bourse disclosure (pdf). The company’s real estate arm saw its revenues drop 47% y-o-y in 2022, while its topline fell 29% y-o-y to EGP 1.3 bn last year.


The EGX30 fell 3.1% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 2.22 bn (8.3% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 5.8% YTD.

In the green: e-Finance (+1.4%), Orascom Construction (+0.5%) and Edita (+0.4%).

In the red: Ibnsina Pharma (-11.1%), Palm Hills Development (-9.2%) and Credit Agricole Egypt (-8.5%).



8-18 March (Wednesday-Saturday): Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, Cairo international Stadium Hall.

9-23 March (Thursday-Thursday): Art d’Egypte’s Kaon exhibition, The Arts’ Hub, Zamalek.

15 March (Wednesday): Season 3 of Ted Lasso will be out on Apple TV.

23 March (Wednesday): First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.


16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

21-26 April (Friday-Wednesday): LaLiga Egypt Football Camp, Xanadu Hotel, Makadi Bay, Hurghada.

22 April (Saturday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).


1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

1 May (Monday): Backstreet Boys at 7pm, ZED East, New Cairo.

4 May (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).


10 June (Saturday): Thanaweya Amma examinations begin.

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.


18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.


26 September (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

28 September (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).


6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

13 October- 20 October (Friday-Friday): The sixth edition of El Gouna Film Festival (GFF).

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