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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

What we’re tracking on 14 December 2016

Fallout from this weekend’s Cathedral bombing continues, with an MP claiming the House has “given the government a 30-day deadline” to join a “parliamentary revolution” against terrorism. We have more in Speed Round, below.

IFC chief in Cairo today, to meet El Sisi and confirm USD 10 mn investment in Algebra VC fund: International Finance Corporation Executive VP and CEO Philippe Le Houérou, in Egypt for a two-day visit, will meet President Abdel Fattah El Sisi today. According to Al Mal, Le Houérou will also meet with cabinet members and business leaders.

Le Houérou will sign three agreements for infrastructure development and improving access to finance for small businesses and young entrepreneurs, according to the IFC. One of the agreements he is expected to sign today is IFC’s USD 10 mn commitment to Algebra Ventures new venture capital fund, which expect will close in the USD 50 mn neighborhood. The fund has also landed commitments from the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund and Cisco, as we have previously reported. Le Houérou should also be signing an agreement today with Hassan Allam for infrastructure development assistance, according to Youm7.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on what we’re dubbing “part 1” of the Press and Media Act today, after voting to approve the law in principle yesterday, state-owned Al Ahram reports. As we noted earlier this week, the Media Act was divided into two bills: one to set up three regulators to police the media (Part 1), and one to establish regulations and guidelines for working in media (Part 2). The law, clearly on the fast track, has not just journalists in the independent press but members of the state-owned media and the current media regulation apparatus reeling.

It’s interest rate day in America, with Fed fund futures showing “a 97 percent probability that the Fed will lift rates by a quarter of a percentage point at the end of its two-day policy meeting” today, Reuters reports. The challenge now: Managing expectations at the start of the Trump era, the WSJ suggests, noting, “A rallying stock market, rising bond yields and the return of inflationary pressures are creating new challenges for the Federal Reserve … with investors already looking past an expected increase in the benchmark rate and focusing on any signals about a more aggressive policy in the months and years ahead.”

The two-day National Conference for Egyptian Scientists and Experts Abroad will kick off in Hurghada today.

** We have two conference reports for you this morning: Our wrap of RiseUp 2016 is here, and we have a quick report on Business News’ Automotive Summit in a spotlight, below.

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