Wednesday, 7 December 2022

PM — Seaweed for cow burps



Good afternoon, friends, and happy almost-THURSDAY to us all. It’s a busy news day here at home — a theme we expect to carry through until the typical end-of-December lull.


More green hydrogen momentum: Egypt signed MoUs with seven companies and consortiums to begin conducting feasibility studies on new projects to set up facilities to produce green hydrogen and its derivatives, according to a cabinet statement. Fortescue Future Industries is separately also in talks with the Suez Canal Economic Zone over land allocation for its planned 9.2 GW green hydrogen plant, Al Borsa quotes the company’s President of Middle East, North Africa & Central Asia Moataz Kandil as saying.


China is officially rolling back many of its covid-zero policies, with the country’s State Council announcing today that the government will no longer require proof of negative PCR tests for travel between cities. Individuals with asymptomatic or mild cases of covid can also self-isolate at home, instead of being forced to go to a hospital or centralized isolation facility. The story is on the front pages of CNBC, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.


  • Morgan Stanley cutbacks: Morgan Stanley cut 2% of its global workforce yesterday, impacting 1.6k people from the company’s 81.5k employees. (CNBC)
  • In Europe, Meta will have to ask before it takes: EU privacy regulators are set to make it harder for Meta to use personal data for ads. According to a confidential decision, the social media giant will be required to get users’ consent before showing users personalized ads. (Reuters)
  • Huge changes are underway in global semiconductor supply chains: Taiwanese chip giant TSMC plans to invest USD 40 bn to set up two semiconductor fabrication plants in Arizona, one of the largest foreign investments in US history. Washington has moved to reduce its reliance on East Asia as the global semiconductor manufacturing center in recent months amid concerns about a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. (CNBC)

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

  • What business leaders think of the business of climate in Egypt: We discussed how to build a (potentially bn USD) climate-centered business to how to access climate finance and what is needed at the policy and regulatory levels to move the green economy forward during our inaugural Climate X Forum yesterday.
  • MPs give their final approval to Competition Act amendments: The House of Representatives yesterday voted to pass amendments to the 2005 Competition Act following two days of debate.
  • BII’s Sherine Shodhy on investing in the green transition + the VC ecosystem for sustainable development: After reading our five-step recipe for turning Egypt into a global export hub and FDI magnet, BII’s Sherine Shohdy tells us why the green transition should be a focal point for investments to underpin our economic growth.


Key news triggers to keep an eye on this week and beyond:

  • Inflation: Inflation data for November will land tomorrow.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday, 22 December to review interest rates.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Riyadh later this week to attend the China-Arab summit that will coincide with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the kingdom. Some 12-14 Arab leaders are expected to attend the summit on Friday.

The cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) will kick off the first session of its new intellectual forum tomorrow, according to a statement. The weekly forum will see experts including government officials, academics, representatives of multilateral institutions, MPs, and national dialogue members meet to discuss key policy questions and make recommendations on them to the prime minister.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The mercury will rise to 24°C during the day tomorrow before falling to 14°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.



Believe it or not, seaweed may be the antidote to cow’s methane burps: Farmers have been experimenting with adding seaweed to cows’ diets in an attempt to curb methane emissions caused by the livestock, Bloomberg reports. A new discovery has revealed the red algae species Asparagopsis contain bioactive compounds which prevent methane from forming in the stomach, but marine farmers do not have the supply to meet farmers’ demands. In response to this dilemma, Australian startup Rumin8 is aiming to ​​manufacture lab-formulated synthetic alternatives to seaweed to reduce methane by over 95% by next year.

Why does it matter? Cows can release up to 500 liters of methane a day — contributing 3.7% of total emissions, according to data released by the European Commission. Feeding cows more maize, barley or garlic can help reduce methane emissions.



(all times CLT)

Jennifer Lawrence takes a dark turn in Causeway: AppleTV+’s Causeway sees Lawrence play a US soldier grappling with trauma after a stint in Afghanistan. Lynsey, a once fiercely independent woman, suffers from a brain injury that affects her motor skills, leaving her unable to perform basic everyday tasks. She takes a job as a pool cleaner to pass the time until she can be deployed again and forms a friendship with a mechanic named James who lost part of his leg in a car accident. The film explores how the characters bond over their traumas that go beyond their physical injuries.

The World Cup is taking two days off after the end of the round of 16, and will be back on Friday and Saturday for the quarter finals.

Here’s how they line up (all times CLT):

  • Croatia v Brazil (Friday, 5pm)
  • Netherlands v Argentina (Friday, 9pm)
  • Morocco v Portugal (Saturday, 5pm)
  • England v France (Saturday, 9pm)

Over in the Egyptian Premier League: Current league leaders Al-Ahly will face Ghazl Al Mahalla today at 5pm and later tonight defending champions Zamalek play against El Gaish at 7pm.

(all times CLT)

Enjoy a smorgasbord of classical Arabic, funk and pop tonight with Palestinian/German electronic DJ duo Balout Krew at Cairo Jazz Club in Agouza from 9pm. OG favorite Safi takes over after to keep you dancing till close.

Go on a transcendental musical journey with Ali Eissa and his ensemble tonight at Room Art Space in Garden City from 9pm. Eissa’s musical compositions are influenced by classical music, Egyptian folk music and various Western musical genres.


Explore the nature of grief in The Furrows: Zambian author Namwali Serpell spins a haunting tale of a woman haunted by the disappearance of her younger brother, carrying her grief with her well into adulthood. Cassandra Williams loses her little brother Wayne in a tragic accident, and his body is never found. As the years go by, Williams sees Wayne’s face everywhere — in restaurants, planes, the metro — until one day, she meets a man who seems eerily familiar and his name is also Wayne. Serpell’s novel explores the nature of grief in a poignant way in this unusual story of mistaken identity and achingly heartfelt wishful thinking.


The EGX30 rose 2.0% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 3.2 bn. Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 23.8% YTD.

In the green: EFG Hermes (+6.8%), Talaat Moustafa Holding (+6.1%) and Qalaa Holding (+5.9%).

In the red: Rameda Pharma (-4.8%), Egypt Kuwait Holding-EGP (-2.4%) and Fawry (-1.7%).


One of the lasting byproducts of covid-19 in the world of work: Being a “digital nomad.” Digital nomads have recently been getting more attention in the professional world, as many large global firms allowed their employees to work remotely from anywhere in the world, at the same time as countries rolled out longer-term visas to lure more remote workers. The trend has picked up in many countries, including the US, where the number of employees in 2022 who call themselves digital nomads jumped 131% from 2019 to reach 16.9 mn, according to MBO Partners.

Digital nomads, by definition, are remote employees who combine work with travel. They pack their laptops and travel to work remotely and cut down on rent and costs from a few weeks to a few years. Some stick to one destination while others move around to various spots, according to the Financial Times. Many digital nomads are knowledge workers whose incomes surpass the EUR 2000-3500 monthly income criteria that the majority of European digital visa schemes set, which is part of the reason several cities are competing for them, the Wall Street Journal reports. Although other countries have a much lower criteria. Ecuador’s digital nomad visa requires proof of a foreign source of income of at least EUR 1,266 per month which is three times Ecuador’s basic salary, Euro News reports.

The demographics: In 2022, 47% of American digital nomads were millennials, 23% were Gen Xers, 17% were Gen Zers and only 13% were Baby Boomers, according to MBO Partners. Which adds up given that older workers are more concerned about covid-19 and are less likely to adhere to a nomadic lifestyle as the pandemic continues. Males also constituted a greater percentage of digital nomads at 59% while females constituted 41%.

Where do they go? Several destinations have emerged as hotspots for digital nomads with at least 30 counties introducing remote-work visas since 2020. In Europe, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia have all launched visas aimed at luring in remote workers. Bermuda, Costa Rica and Indonesia all have as well. “I am increasingly convinced the number of foreign tourists who are interested in staying in Indonesia will increase and will automatically have an impact on economic revival,” Indonesia’s Tourism Minister said, Reuters reports.

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? If working from a sunny beach or a small European cafe sounds too good to be true, that’s because it’s not so simple. There is a substantial amount of red tape to get past to become a digital nomad. “It requires as much planning and paperwork as it does whimsy and wanderlust,” the WSJ reports. Many workers have taken the plunge only to realize they’re encountering issues with Wi-Fi, visas, taxes and just loneliness/homesickness. However the remote-work visas being introduced have helped make the process easier. Some just get tourist visas and that they extend by leaving and reentering the country to avoid having to get resident or worker visas, Vice reports.

There are also benefits: US citizens, regardless of where they live, are required to file and pay income taxes. However, many are eligible for a deduction on foreign income taxes if they live in a country that has a tax treaty with the US, the WSJ reports.

Some digital nomads have created problems for their employers: During the height of the pandemic, some workers took off to random destinations, where their companies weren’t registered or covered by ins., without considering the legal ramifications. One company reports being caught off guard by tens of thousands of USDs in taxes, registration fees and penalties it owed for not registering in another state, after a remote employee that had been working from there’s personal income taxes altered a state that the company had a presence there, according to the WSJ. Since then some companies have had to restrict where their employees can work as they’ve become aware of the “potential legal and cybersecurity liabilities.”

The locals weigh in: Locals have complained that digital nomads hike up rent prices and in some instances have been disrespectful bars near temples in Bali turn into late night parties, The Financial Times reports. Others have complained that nomads break up communities by creating demand for Airbnbs. A resident in Mexico city explained that her building’s owners began forcing out its tenants and converting their apartments into Airbnbs, apartments identical to hers are rented out for seven times as much per month on the app, Vice reports. In October Mexico City inked a partnership with Airbnb to attract digital nomads to the city partially by encouraging hosts to offer better rates for longer stays.



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


5-8 December (Monday-Thursday): QS Reimagine Education Awards and Conference, multiple locations.

5-7 December (Monday-Wednesday): Food Africa 2022 kicks off at Egypt International Exhibitions Center. .

7 December (Wednesday): Euromoney Egypt 2022 conference

10 December (Saturday): The TriFactory’s Pyramids Half Marathon.

10-12 December (Saturday-Monday): The 2nd edition of the Nebu Expo for Gold and Jewelry kicks off.

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

13-15 December (Tuesday-Thursday): US-Africa Leaders Summit.

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

19-20 December (Monday-Tuesday): The Arab Administrative Development Organization’s conference on Modern Methods in Hospital Management, Cairo.

20 December (Tuesday): EGX-listed Pachin will brief shareholders on offers received to acquire the company in an ordinary general assembly.

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

December: Egyptian Automotive Summit.

December: Egypt to expand Sudan electricity link capacity to 300 MW.

December: Chinese President Xi Jinping visit to Saudi Arabia


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.

January: Infinity + Africa Finance Corporation to close acquisition of Lekela Power.

1 January (Sunday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

1 January (Sunday): Residential electricity bills are set to rise as per the government’s six-year roadmap (pdf) to restructure electricity prices by 2025.

7 January (Saturday): Coptic Christmas.

24 January-6 February: The 54th Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt International Exhibition Center

25 January (Wednesday): 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

26 January (Thursday): President El Sisi will visit India as “chief guest” at celebrations to mark the 74th anniversary of Indian independence.

26 January (Thursday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

30 January-1 February (Monday-Wednesday): CI Capital’s Annual MENA Investor Conference 2023, Cairo, Egypt.


11 February (Saturday): Second semester of 2022-2023 academic year begins for public universities.

13-15 February (Monday-Wednesday): The Egypt Petroleum Show (Egyps), Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo.

23-27 February (Thursday-Monday): Annual Business Women of Egypt’s Women for Success conference.

MARCH 2023

March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

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

APRIL 2023

1 April (Saturday): Deadline for banks to establish sustainability unit.

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

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).

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.

MAY 2023

1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

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

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

JUNE 2023

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday) Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.

JULY 2023

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.

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.


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.

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.


2H 2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2H 2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

2H 2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q 2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

3Q 2022: Swvl to close acquisition of Urbvan Mobility.

End of December/early January: SFE’s pre-IPO fund to kick off roadshow.

4Q 2022: Electricity Ministry to tender six solar projects in Aswan Governorate.

4Q 2022: Raya Holding subsidiary Aman and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia to launch their fintech company.

4Q 2022: Saudi Arabia’s Jamjoom Pharma to inaugurate its EGP 1 bn pharma factory in El Obour.

End of 2022: Decent Life first phase scheduled for completion.

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.

1Q 2023: Adnoc Distribution’s acquisition of 50% of TotalEnergies Egypt to close.

1Q 2023: Internal trade database to launch.

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