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Sunday, 28 May 2017

What we’re tracking on 28 May 2017

We wish everyone a blessed Ramadan and hope day one wasn’t all bad for our fasting friends. Our first day was marked by sadness and disbelief that 29 Egyptians, some of them children, were murdered by terrorists on Friday, on the eve of Ramadan. Martyr prayers were held on Saturday at the Cathedral of Beni Mazar in Minya and the Church of the Sacred Family in the village of Dayr Jarnous, according to a statement from the Coptic Orthodox Church. They will be in our prayers and we hope they will be in yours.

Term limits have come to the EGX. The Ismail cabinet approved on Thursday a proposal from the Egyptian Exchange to limit the bourse chairman to a maximum of two four-year terms, according to Al Mal. Meanwhile, a seat on the EGX’s board reserved for a representative of the small cap NILEX will allow the representative to continue serving even if the company he or she represents sees its capital increase beyond the EGP 25 mn cap. We have more on the Thursday cabinet meeting in Speed Round, below.

You’ll want to check ahead before leaving for the airport this morning if you’re flying to or through Heathrow. British Airways canceled all of its flights through Heathrow and Gatwick yesterday “due to a major IT failure causing severe disruption to its global operations that is expected to run into Sunday,” the Guardian reports. “On Saturday night the operator said it intended to run a ‘near normal schedule’ at Gatwick on Sunday and the ‘majority of services’ from Heathrow,” the Independent added.

OPEC decided on Thursday to continue its 1.8 mn bpd production cuts for nine months through the first quarter of 2018, and judging from an offhand comment in a liveblog from The National, it seems Egypt did not join the production cuts. Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader of OPEC) and Russia (the largest non-member producer) led the agreement on continuing the production cuts. Reuters notes that oil plunged 5% after the meeting ended because of some vague analyst fantasy that the production cuts could have been deeper or lasted longer. The Financial Times also has coverage.

The Cairo metro will operate for one extra hour until the end of Eid Al Fitr, with operations starting at 5:30 am and ending at 1:00 am, the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operations announced, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

Rex Tillerson isn’t down with Ramadan. The US Secretary of State won’t hold an iftar or a gathering to mark Eid Al-Fitr this year, breaking with an 18-year tradition that has been upheld by both Democratic and Republican secretaries of state, Reuters writes in an exclusive this morning. In a great example of a non-answer that simultaneously passes the buck to US embassies, a State spokesperson said: “We are still exploring possible options for observance of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan. U.S. ambassadors are encouraged to celebrate Ramadan through a variety of activities, which are held annually at missions around the world.”

Now imagine how the story would be written if it happened in Egypt and you flipped the religions around: “A man fatally stabbed two passengers aboard a Portland, Oregon, commuter train after they tried to stop him from harassing two young women who appeared to be Muslim, police said on Saturday,” Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the New York Times is teaching Americans about home cooking during Ramadan and throwing in its favorite collection of Ramadan recipes for good measure. Time to read only one thing? Go for the recipes, which include staples and oddities.

Looking for a book to read as an antidote to Ramadan mosalsalat? Bloomberg View’s Barry Ritzholtz has recommendations from a former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the CEO of Vanguard, and hedgie and would-be Trump official Anthony Scaramucci, among others. Check out Summer Reading Season Starts Now. In our queue are tomes from the late, amazing David Halberstam, who covered everything from war to baseball, rowing and business in his storied career. Check out:

When do we eat? Maghrib prayers are at 18:49 CLT in Cairo, and the cutoff time for sohour is 3:12am.

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