What we’re tracking on 5 Feb 2017
We’re still waiting for news of a cabinet shuffle promised by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi late last month. A spokesman for Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said late last week that the final lineup is still a work in progress. Word on the street is that roughly 10 ministers could exit stage left, including possibly one member of the cabinet economic group.
Tonight’s the night: The Pharaohs will be facing off with Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations final tonight at 9pm CLT as Egypt hopes to take the title for the first time since 2010, FIFA reminds us. While the first and second spots in the championship will be determined tonight, Burkina Faso has already edged out Ghana for third place, according to the BBC.
It’s purchasing managers’ index day. The Emirates NBD Egypt PMI by Markit is due out this morning by 6:15am CLT — or just after we hit “send” on Enterprise. It will be posted here when released. The last iteration found the gauge to cap off the worst quarter on record. The Saudi and UAE polls are also due out this morning at the same time.
Random observation of the morning: It’s easier to open a new business in Egypt than it is in America. We kid you not. Writes Merryn Somerset Webb for the Financial Times (with the required dig a France): “The World Bank puts the US at number 51 on its list of ease of opening a new business across the world. That puts it below Russia, Belarus, Burundi, Egypt, Jamaica, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mongolia and even France.” Don’t believe her? Check out the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report here. Egypt is ranked 39 for ease of opening a new business, the US comes in at 51. The three easiest places in the world to start a business? In order, they are New Zealand, Canada and Hong Kong.
The Donald is “taking an axe to Wall Street regulation.” US President Donald Trump is looking to de-fang the Dodd-Frank act, a key piece of financial legislation in the United States passed in the wake of the global financial crisis that “reined in mortgage practices and derivatives trading and curbed the ability of banks to trade with their own money,” the New York Times’ Dealbook reports. Trump made the announcement while sitting next to Blackstone chief Stephen Schwartzman and openly praised JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon — a frequent target of regulators during the Obama administration — at the same gathering.
Snap[chat]’s IPO is the international business story you’ll be sick of within a week. Snap is the company that owns Snapchat — the app that makes your teenager certain that Facebook is only for old folks. The company would like to become the next Facebook and has some analysts predicting it’s more like the “next TV” because of its “lean back” experience. It also thinks it deserves investors’ money without giving them any say (at all) in how it will use the cash. As Reuters reports, Snap’s USD 3 bn IPO outlines “aggressive expansion plans but [offers] new investors no say on how the company is run and no promise of profits.” That’s right: A company that lost USD 500 mn last year will offer new shareholders exactly zero voting rights. Evan Spiegel, the 26-year-old Stanford dropout behind the company (profiled here in the FT), is now officially the tech entrepreneur we most dislike.
Sound smart: At least 10 of the 12 investment banks that have signed up to underwrite the Snap IPO weren’t even allowed a peek at the S-1 ahead of it being filed. On the list: Citi and the Royal Bank of Canada, Reuters reports. That prospectus, now public, is raising eyebrows for (literal) references to poop (as in we take our smartphones to the bathroom), sexting (Snap is about much more than that) and a ghost puking a rainbow. Check out the S-1 filing for yourself on the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.