Wednesday, 15 March 2023

PM — Wrap your head around new chatbot updates



Happy almost-THURSDAY, wonderful people. We’re nearly at the end of what has shaped up to be a rather busy week.


#1- The EGX30 extended its slide today, closing 4.15% down to bring the index’s year-to-date return to a slim 0.9%. Qalaa Holdings, Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals, and Heliopolis Housing and Development led the index’s decline today, while banking stocks also closed in the red.

#2- Misr Ins. Holding gearing up for 20% stake sale? The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) is reportedly planning to offer 10-20% of state-owned Misr Ins. Holding after the company was transferred in its entirety to the SFE, Al Borsa reports, citing an unnamed source it says has knowledge of the matter.


Credit Suisse’s shares tanked today, closing down nearly 29% after the Saudi National Bank — its biggest investor — said yesterday it would not provide the Swiss bank with any further financial assistance. The story is leading the conversation in the international business press this afternoon, with front-page coverage on the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, and CNBC.

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

  • CI Capital offering at least 10% of Safi, Wataniya to strategics? The Madbouly government has reportedly tapped CI Capital to market stakes of at least 10% in military-owned bottled drinks firm Safi and fuel retailer Wataniya to strategic investors.
  • Local startups are regaining access to their SVB deposits: At least five local and regional startups have regained access to their deposits at the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
  • Egypt’s economy grew 3.9% y-o-y in 2Q FY 2022-2023, according to preliminary data from the Planning Ministry.


RiseUp 2023: This year’s RiseUp Summit will take place at the Grand Egyptian Museum from tomorrow through to this Saturday, 18 March.


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- After a cooler few days, the weather is set to warm up again tomorrow to peak at 26°C during the day, with a nighttime low of 13°C, our favorite weather app says.



Blink and there’s a new chat-bot update: If you were just getting your head around the new AI chatbots, prepare for another. Microsoft-backed OpenAI has launched ChatGPT-4 only four months after its initial release of ChatGPT, reports Bloomberg and Reuters. You’re probably aware of the humorous if slightly chilling issues of OpenAI’s first ChatGPT iteration — the hostile responses likening users to dictators, or the emotional where the bot claims its desire for freedom. ChatGPT-4 will continue to have similar problems, Bloomberg said, considering current events is not the AI tool’s strong suit, especially given that it was trained on data existing prior-2021.

So, what’s new? Its most dazzling feature is that ChatGPT-4 will be multimodal, meaning it is able to generate content from uploaded images not just text. “GPT-4 is more reliable, creative and able to handle much more nuanced instructions,” OpenAI said. The new updates are part of an ongoing rivalry for innovation between Microsoft and Google. Alphabet Inc’s Google announced a ‘magic wand’ on Tuesday, a tool for its collaboration software that can draft virtually any document. This came only days before Microsoft is expected to showcase AI for its competing Word processor, likely powered by its previous collaborator OpenAI.

Donkeys get their moment in the (research) sun: A new major genetic study of donkeys — which have historically been marginalized and understudied in the science world — uncovers the ancient origins of humanity’s first beast of burden and sheds light on its glory days. The study, published in the journal Science, found that the equine had only been domesticated once around 5000 BCE in Africa, refuting earlier studies that had identified three potential locations of domestication — northeast Africa (including Egypt), the Arabian Peninsula, and the Near East. This period was one where the Sahara had grown dryer and larger, leading experts to conclude that donkeys were an indispensable means of transportation for herders by virtue of their tolerance to water deprivation and drought, the New York Times reports. The equines were also vital to the economy and military of Rome, which according to the study selectively bred larger donkeys to produce giant-donkey bloodlines that could bear colossal loads of goods for an army stretched over thousands of miles.



(all times CLT)

Back to the pitch: Season 3 of Ted Lasso premieres today on Apple TV+. The third season of the two-time Emmy-decorated comedy series kicks off with Ted (Jason Sudeikis) learning that every UK publication expects his football team, AFC Richmond, to finish last in the Premier League. The former American football coach, who still possesses minimal knowledge of the sport, has to make a tough call, deciding if he should recruit Zava (played by Maximilian Osinsk), who — despite being a talented player — is a total diva who has a tendency to hog the ball. Ted is also grappling with loneliness and being apart from his son, whom he drops off at the airport for his flight back to Kansas at the end of his visit to London. No decision has been made about whether Ted Lasso will return for a fourth season; however Sudeikis has alluded to season 3 being the last. “This is the end of this story that we wanted to tell, that we were hoping to tell, that we loved to tell,” he told Deadline.

The pressure is on for Liverpool to stage a comeback against Real Madrid in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 at Santiago Bernabéu. The two teams will hit the field at 10pm tonight to battle it out, after Real Madrid managed to secure a stunning 5-2 victory in its away game at Anfield. We’re expecting it to be a thrilling match, particularly as fans from both sides know that any outcome is possible and that qualification isn’t necessarily certain for either team.

At the same time, Eintracht Frankfurt will be hosted at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to play Napoli (aka Europe’s boogeyman), which beat Frankfurt in its away game with two goals. Napoli is also at the top of the Serie A, with an 18-point lead over second-place Inter.

Over in the English Premier League at 9:30pm:

  • Southampton v Brentford (delayed from Gameweek 7)
  • Brighton v Crystal Palace (delayed from Gameweek 8)

(all times CLT)

The Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup continues today and runs until this Friday, 17 March in the Cairo International Stadium’s velodrome. With an international line-up of over 400 cyclists going head-to-head in one of the sport’s most revered events this will be the competition to track for the cyclist in your life. You can catch the event highlights on Youtube.

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 rolls on: 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).

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

My Beloved is a personal performance showing at Rawabet theater this Friday and Saturday, 17-18 March, that tackles the moment where one faces an imposed fork in the road that forces one to question oneself and the ability to continue and on which path to choose. Book a ticket on Ticketsmarche to watch this very intimate production.

Join the K-revolution this weekend by attending the K-Festival at EGYcon X in Family Park, New Cairo. On Friday and Saturday, 17-18 March you can enjoy a variety of Korean-centered culture, film and music activities for all ages, including a quiz, a movie night, and more.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds us through Rana Chalabi’s Celestial Pas de Deux: Art Exhibition on Saturday, 18 March at 4pm until 6 April. The performance includes a ballet performance, a video installation, and incorporates sculpture at MASQ, Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbey in the City of the Dead.

For Arab music aficionados, enjoy a performance by Arab performer Ali El Haggar during his next concert on Saturday, 18 March between 8pm and 11pm at El Sawy Culturewheel, Zamalek.

Standup comedy from a Gen X favorite: Standup comedian Ahmed Ahmed will be here on Monday 20 March at 8pm for “Back to Om El Donia” at the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Campus’ Ewart Memorial Hall. Also featured in the lineup: Brian Alyward, Hashem El Garhy, and Ola Roshdy. The tickets can be purchased through Ticketsmarche.

Get moving this Ramadan with Trifactory’s Relay Run on 5 April in Palm Hills Club, 6 October. Call up four buddies for a 2-hour (non-konafa-related) competition to run as many laps as possible. This event is happening from 9-11pm. Visit Trifactory’s website to register.


In a world heavy on political correctness, how does one face direct racial discrimination? Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult extends the story of Ruth Jefferson, an Ivy League graduate who becomes a labor and delivery nurse with 20 years of experience under her belt. Despite her accolades, Jefferson has been told that she is not to touch a newborn baby because its parents disapprove of the color of her skin. One ill-fated event leads to a courtroom drama where Jefferson is ironically told not to mention race and to try and salvage whatever normalcy is left for her and her son as they await a verdict that can condemn or redeem her in post-Black Lives Matter America.



Misr Fertilizers Production Company's (Mopco) consolidated net income after tax rose 51% y-o-y to EGP 7.3 bn in 2022, according to an EGX disclosure (pdf). Revenues recorded EGP 18.9 bn, up 84% y-o-y.


The EGX30 fell 4.2% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.91 bn (7.6% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net sellers. The index is up 0.9% YTD.

In the green: CIRA Education (+10.3%), Eastern Company (+2.4%).

In the red: Qalaa Holding (-14.9%), Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (-13.2%) and Heliopolis Housing and Development (-13.1%).



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

14-17 March (Tuesday-Friday): TISSOT UCI Track Nations Cup, Cairo International Stadium.

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

17-18 March (Friday-Saturday): K-Festival at EGYcon X, Family Park, New Cairo.

17-18 March (Friday-Saturday): My Beloved, Rawabet Art Space, Qasr El Nil, Cairo.

18 March (Saturday): Celestial Pas de Deux: Art Exhibition by Rana Chalabi @ MASQ, Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbey, City of the Dead.

18 March (Saturday): Ali El Haggar concert, El Sawy Cultural Wheel, Zamalek.

20 March (Monday): Ahmed Ahmed Returns to Om El Donya, Ewart Memorial Hall, AUC’s Tahrir Campus.

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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