What we’re tracking on 13 June 2017
Today’s episode of Qatar Smackdown is brought to you by the UK, which is urging the GCC states to ease the blockade on the Statelet, Reuters reports. “I am also concerned by some of the strong actions which Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have taken against an important partner," UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said following meeting Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani. Al Thani had also said that Qatar is still waiting for specific demands from the bloc and therefore sees no basis yet for a diplomatic solution. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities have reportedly renewed requests to Interpol for the extradition of 400 wanted terror suspects, including 26 in Qatar who were recently designated as terrorists, security sources said, according to Al Arabiya. Among the most prominent on the list is Ikhwan-affiliated cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.
A message to Egypt from the Statelet? The WSJ’s daily logistics column notes that “Qatar diverted two U.K.-bound LNG tankers from Egypt’s Suez Canal last week, highlighting the potential for disruption of vital energy arteries.” The piece notes that Egypt nets mns in fees from Qatari LNG tankers and quotes a trader as speculating that “the diversion may have been meant as a message to Egypt: ‘It is Qatar flexing their muscles.’”
Now, shrug that off by reading “These Are the Corporate Winners and Losers of theQatar Standoff” by Bloomberg’s Filipe Pacheco and Ahmed Namatalla, which offers a great sector-by-sector rundown.
Khaled Ismail makes the Financial Times: We don’t know why this wasn’t included in the FT’s Understanding Entrepreneurs package (which we noted yesterday), but it’s nevertheless always a delight when a friend of Enterprise winds up profiled in the salmon-colored paper. Heba Saleh has a very nice piece on Khaled Ismail’s one-man angel investment outfit KIAngel, the aim of which is not make a profit, but to “promote entrepreneurship in ways that make a difference to new companies, through the provision of capital, advice and connections.”Before becoming an angel investor, Ismail had created Egypt-based SySDSoft, an outfit that developed critical software for mobile phones — and sold the company to Intel in March 2011. “He says he had initially intended to give a chunk of [the proceeds] from the sale of SySDSoft to charity. But he decided traditional philanthropy was less effective than promoting business, which expands the middle class and allows it to become an employer.” Ismail argues that that legal framework for starting and winding down a business needs to be made easier. (Question for our fair MPs: Where’s that bankruptcy act we were promised?) Saleh writes that KIAngel has invested USD 1.4 mn in 13 companies since 2012, of which three failed. Ismail says he typically acquires 5-40% stakes at an average initial ticket size between EGP 300k-2mn.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify today in front of the same Senate committee before which former FBI boss James Comey appeared last week. Sessions will be grilled on his involvement in the ongoing probe into ties between the Trump administration and Russia, in both his current capacity and as a former Trump campaign official.
Pay close attention to where that email originated — and whether the tone is right — before you hit “reply”: The CEOs of Goldman Sachs and Citi joined the bosses of both Barclays and the Bank of England as the latest senior banking executives to be “hooked by an email prankster trolling top Wall Street brass, exposing a low-tech gap in banks’ cybersecurity armor.” The two men “responded over the weekend to emails sent by the anonymous prankster masquerading as top executives at the two banks,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Dealbreaker and RT have screenshots from the exchanges posted to Twitter by the ‘prankster.’
How to not lose your acceptance to Harvard: Shut your Face(book). In the wake of news that Harvard pulled acceptance offers extended to at least 10 incoming freshmen over their postings to a private Facebook group, the New York Times has recommendations that should be mandatory reading for any human being in ninth grade through to the c-suite, starting with: “If you wouldn’t want something you posted to end up on a jumbotron in Times Square, DO NOT POST IT.” We can’t remember the last time the Times used ALL CAPS TO SHOUT AT US, but have no problem with it at all in this case. The takeaway for adults and teens alike: Digital media literacy “is just as important as financial literacy now: Who we appear to be online can significantly impact earning power.”
The new 10.5” iPad Pro is getting rave reviews in both the mainstream and the tech press. You could do worse than to start this review by Italy’s Federico Viticci, the iPad productivity guru who predicted many of the features of iOS 11, which reviewers almost uniformly agree will make the 10.5” iPad a viable laptop replacement for many. 9to5 Mac has a roundup of other reviews you might want to check out if you’re considering dropping some coin on the device.
This morning’s edition of Enterprise is brought to you by: Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger, the Super Deluxe Edition. Specifically: The tracks from the group’s 1992 performance at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, which saw them share the stage with Nirvana and The Melvins. Listen to the album here, check out the poster here, and email us on email@example.com if you know where we can find a recording of the whole concert (including Nirvana and The Melvins).
So, when do we eat? Maghrib prayers are at 6:57pm CLT in Cairo, and the cutoff time for sohour is 3:08am.