Thursday will be a day off after all (for most of us): The central bank announced yesterday afternoon that all banks will be given Thursday off in observance of Armed Forces Day, giving us a nice long weekend. The government had earlier declared Thursday a holiday for government employees and staff at state-owned companies. The CBE’s move effectively closes the financial system, but there were mixed reports yesterday evening on whether private schools and other businesses would close their doors for the day.
The central bank also announced that its net international reserves increased fractionally to USD 36.535 bn at the end of September, up from USD 36.143 bn a month earlier.
It’s PMI day: Egypt’s purchasing managers’ index reading for September will be released this morning just after we dispatch today’s issue. You’ll find it here once it lands.
Finance Minister Amr El Garhy will announce tax figures for FY2016-17 at a press conference today at 9:00am CLT, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The ministry is expected to have exceeded its targets on tax collection for the first time ever by as much as 33%, the minister had previously said, and is likely to surpass the EGP 473.2 bn target outlined in Egypt’s USD 12 bn loan agreement with the IMF. The announcement will also include figures for the first quarter of FY2017-18.
On a related note, the Real Estate Tax Authority wants to collect EGP 10 bn by 2023, up from EGP 2 bn now, authority chief Samia Hussein said yesterday, according to AMAY.
Meanwhile, we’re very pleased to note this morning that our friend Hassan Abdou is back in the game, having accepted the post of executive chairman at Gemini Holding, the Sawiris Family office, the firm announced in a statement (pdf). Gemini’s investments include OTMT and Beltone Financial as well as real estate, oil and gas, mining, and media in Egypt and around the world. The executive chairman slot was created for Hassan and sees him return to Sawirisland, where he has a mandate to drive “performance within and across investments while optimizing long term sustainability for the Family Office.” We first met Hassan, a veteran of the finance industry since the 1990s, back in 2003 when he led transactions that created and grew Wind Telecom and Weather Investments, and he’s one of life’s good guys — as good and decent at the Game of Life as he is at that of business. Said Naguib Sawiris of the appointment: “Hassan is a highly experienced and successful manager and entrepreneur who created significant value for the Orascom Telecom and Weather Investment companies. His appointment is a step up of the talents and strengths of the Family Office team.”
Across the pond: Wait, there’s a reason why I employ diplomats? “The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump has confidence in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a day after Mr. Trump said the chief diplomat was ‘wasting his time’ by trying to negotiate with North Korea,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Nobel Prize season kicked off yesterday with the announcement that the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. “Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions.” The 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics will be announced today, followed by the prize for chemistry on Wednesday. The peace prize will be announced on Friday and the Prize for economic sciences will be awarded on Monday.
PSA- You may want to lay off the ibuprofen. Are you running enough distance or lifting heavy enough that “vitamin I” is part of your vocabulary? Whether you’re popping ibuprofen, naproxen or another NSAID after a heavy workout, you might want to think again. Setting aside what it could be doing to the kidneys of endurance athletes, the rest of us could be sabotaging our gains by dosing up, the New York Times’ always-readable Gretchen Reynolds reports. A recent study found “anti-inflammatory painkillers might slightly impair muscles’ ability to regenerate and strengthen after hard workouts.”
If you run a professional services firm, should you hire for insecurity? That’s the suggestion from Financial Times management editor Andrew Hill, who writes that whether you’re in investment banking or law, the best professionals just might be insecure overachievers. “The best client relationship builders in our firm are insecure. They are so hell-bent on making their clients feel good about them that they work overtime,” he quotes the head of one firm as saying. “Partners are earning over GBP 800k a year and the average guy here will be thinking, ‘God, I’m not worth it’,” the managing partner of a law firm told him.