Sure enough, MPs are in overdrive talking about a cabinet shuffle: MPs from the dominant Support Egypt coalition are blathering about who’ s in and who’s out in an expected cabinet shuffle, Al Shorouk reports. We won’t bore you with the details — it’s all hot air. The significance is in the chatter, not the content thereof. The Ismail Cabinet had submitted its resignation on Tuesday — a standard procedure after the inauguration of a president — and was promptly appointed as a caretaker government until a new cabinet is formed.
Analysts see interest rates being left on hold at the next MPC meeting: The Central Bank of Egypt’s monetary policy committee will next meet on 28 June, an top analysts are already leaning toward interest rates being left on hold, according to a poll conducted by Al Shorouk. Pharos Research head Radwa El Swaify sees interest rates left unchanged to counter a projected rise in inflation from the 46.5% increase in water prices and the threefold increase in metro ticket prices, not to mention upcoming subsidy cuts to fuel and electricity. She noted external factors such as a strengthening USD and oil prices.
Monetary easing won’t resume until at least the fourth quarter? El Swaify sees the monetary easing cycle picking up again in 4Q2018, expecting the CBE to lower rates by 200-300 bps. Beltone Financial lead economist Alia Mamdouh concurs on the upcoming MPC meeting holding interest rates steady to counter a potential hike in inflation. She sees interest rates not going up until the end of the year. Sigma Capital’s Aya Abdullah doesn’t believe rates will rise again until after 4Q2018, the newspaper reports.
Meanwhile, the Ismail Cabinet said yesterday it would take steps to offset rising oil prices (we have more in the Speed Round below).
This comes as the US is pushing for OPEC countries to increase production by around 1 mn bbl/d, people familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg. While criticism of OPEC pricing by a US administration is nothing new, this would be the first time a US government actually called for a specific production level, the business information service suggests. The request came after US retail gasoline prices surged to their highest in more than three years. This comes as Saudi Aramco raised its official selling price for Arab Light crude for July shipment to Asia. The price spike was the the highest since 2014.
In miscellany today:
“The gear you need to work from anywhere” is currently one of the most-watched videos on the Wall Street Journal, as tech columnist David Pierce gives you the rundown on “everything you need to work from anywhere, and how to fit your entire office in your bag.” You can watch the video (runtime: 2:44). Or you can take our advice: Just about everyone at Enterprise works remotely four days out of five every week — and one of us gets >90% of his daily work done on an iPad Pro (the model with LTE baked in, so we’re never away from the internet). Our go-to apps for iPad include:
- Google for Work, or whatever it’s called today, including Docs, Drive, Gmail, Sheets and Calendar. Docs is where we all work together to build Enterprise in a single file each day;
- Microsoft Office, including all the usual suspects. Word and Excel are particularly good, but don’t expect to do complex modeling on the latter. It’s best suited to reviewing reports and building tables for … still more reports;
- File Browser, to access stuff stored on our corporate Windows-based server (you want the version we’re linking to, which covers “computers + cloud”);
- Slack, the chat program that allows Enterprise staff to talk incessantly;
- PDF Expert, for viewing, editing (yes, editing), marking up, signing and storing pdfs;
- Evernote — for meeting notes, airplane ticket storage, searching inside handwitten notes, etc.
Are you ready to pay USD 1,095 a month (in the US) to “subscribe” to a Mercedes-Benz? “The app-based service initially available to drivers in Nashville and Philadelphia has three pricing tiers ranging from USD 1,095 to USD 2,995 a month, according to a company statement. Subscribers will get access to 30 different models, from C-Class sedans to GLE sport utility vehicles, and can swap cars as often as they like, depending on what tier they choose,” Bloomberg reports. The Verge has more. Or you can go read the Mercedes-Benz USA announcement about its “Collection” service.
Who is attacking US diplomats in Cuba and China? “For months, American officials have been worried that their diplomats have been subjected to targeted attacks involving odd sounds” first in Cuba, and now in China. Victims of the alleged sonic attacks “were stricken with headaches, nausea, hearing loss, cognitive issues and other symptoms after saying they heard odd sounds.” The attacks began in 2016 and appear to continue to this day,. Canadian diplomats have also been targeted. Read more in the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Globe and Mail.
NASA has something to tell us about Mars, but they won’t tell us what until we tune in for a press conference scheduled for later today. Until 8pm CLT today, you’ll have to do with Space.com’s (necessarily) skimpy overview.
Listen to the late Kate Spade talk about how she built her business. While the media force her husband and father to talk about her “severe depression” and 10-month separation, we prefer to remember the entrepreneur in the iconic designer. If you haven’t already, listen on your morning or afternoon commute to Kate and Andy Spade speak with NPR’s How I Built This (listen, runtime: 42:02).
Parents in emerging markets spend more time focused on their kids’ education than do their peers in western economies, the Varkey Foundation found in a survey of 27k parents in 29 countries, according to a guest piece written for the FT’s Beyond Brics blog.
No, dude, tell us how you *really* feel about women. The bozo who runs Statelet Airways told reporters earlier this week, “Of course it [Qatar Airways] has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position.” Akbar Al Baker’s subsequent apology tour has only slightly dimmed the aggressive “nothing wrong here, we’ve won” campaign Qatar has mounted in global media this week to mark the one-year anniversary of the Arab Quartet’s boycott.
The USD 500 mn yacht for the oligarch in all of us: Yesterday, we told you about the messy corporate divorce between Facebook and WhatsApp. Now, it’s the world’s most expensive divorce that’s caught our eye. Not because we have divorce on the brain, but because at the center of the dispute is a USD 500 mn yacht with “a spa, a swimming pool, two heliports and room for 18 guests, the Luna is more like a floating luxury villa than a yacht. A crew of 50 keep all nine decks in pristine shape.” Expecting trouble with the neighbors or an assassin or two? Don’t worry: “It has a missile detection system, an anti-drone system, bulletproof windows and bombproof doors,” the New York Times reports.
Your Ramadan rundown for today:
Bank hours run 09:30 am to 01:30 pm for customers and from 09:00 am to 02:00 pm for employees.
The EGX is running shorter trading hours. The trading session kicks off at 10:00 am, but closes at 1:30 pm. Tap or click here for the full schedule.
So, when do we eat? For those of us observing, Maghrib is at 6:55 pm CLT today. You’ll have until 3:08 am tomorrow to finish your sohour.