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Monday, 19 June 2017

What we’re tracking on 19 June 2017

MPs will kick off today plenary session discussion of the Ismail government’s 2017-18 budget, according to local media reports. We have the latest in Speed Round, below.

The country’s three incumbent mobile network operators will be receiving their 4G frequencies today and the service should be fully active across the country in two months’ time, CIT Minister Yasser El Kadi said on Sunday, Al Ahram reports. It’s unclear when the service will roll out to customers, an executive from the one of the MNOs tells the newspaper, explaining that the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority still needs to finish mapping out the frequencies before they can be used. Orange sent out text messages last night inviting customers in Dokki to try out 4G service. Meanwhile, Telecom Egypt is getting ready to roll out 4G services by September, according to Al Borsa. The company has floated an RFP seeking an advertising agency to design and brand its new business, the newspaper reports.

Drafting of the executive regulations to the Investment Act to wrap by tonight? Investment Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr set tonight as the deadline for the committee drafting the regs to wrap their first cut, according to a ministry statement. Nasr said the document will be circulated to all ministries for feedback before being discussed at cabinet.

DEVELOPING- Several people were injured when a van drove into a crowd ofworshippers leaving a mosque in London’s Finsbury Park neighborhood in the early hours of this morning. The victims are believed to have been in the street after taraweeh prayers. Reports at dispatch time today noted “multiple casualties” but no word on the split of injuries versus deaths. The Independent noted, “Footage showed injured people motionless on the pavement as angry crowds surrounded a white man believed to be the driver.” One report claims two other men in the van escaped on foot. Counter-terrorism police are investigating, reports the Guardian, which was live-blogging from the scene as we hit “Send” this morning, while the Telegraph was posting regular updates.

It’s a great business — just check your conscience at the door when you start reading about it. “One mn Syrian customers,” Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek says. “Do you think they will ever forget Western Union?” Nope. Not when they recall the exorbitant fees they were charged to make transfers in their moments of desperation. Get beyond that breathless tone — and the utterly uncritical angle the piece takes — and Bloomberg Businessweek nevertheless tells a fascinating tale of how a company founded in 1851 is grappling with fintech and regulation as it profits from serving migrant workers and refugees around the world. It’s a bit much even for cold-hearted business lizards such as us, but you should still read “For Western Union, Refugees and Immigrants Are the Ultimate Market.”

Sleep-in this weekend — it’s good for your waistline. “Catching up on lost sleep over weekends may help people keep their weight down, according to a study in South Korea” Reuters reports, quoting the lead author of the study as explaining, “Short sleep, usually causing sleep debt, is common and inevitable in many cases, and is a risk factor for obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease, as well as mortality.” A lie-in on the weekend is part of the solution: “Sleeping in may be better than napping, as the sleep may be deeper and follows the body’s sleep-wake rhythms more closely, Yun said.”

When do we eat? Maghrib prayers are at 6:59pm CLT in Cairo, and the cutoff time for sohour is 3:08am.

REMINDERS- Egypt observes the Eid Al-Fitr holiday next week. It’s a three-day break starting Sunday or Monday — we’ll know when, exactly, on Saturday night. Neither the Central Bank of Egypt nor the EGX have made clear their holiday schedules as yet. We have, though: Enterprise is going to be taking a break for the full week to catch up on our sleep. We’ll be back to our normal publication schedule on Sunday, 2 July.

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