What we’re tracking on 22 June 2017
The House of Representatives approved the FY2017-18 budget yesterday, including the new subsidy increases adopted on Tuesday (we have more in Speed Round, below). The news came at the tail end of a marathon sprint to the finish-line by MPs which saw them vote on key legislation. Our elected representatives are heading off on break until Tuesday, 3 July, according to Al Shorouk, having postponed their summer recess past its original 30 June date to finalize pending legislation.
Price controls coming to private sector healthcare? That’s the worst-case take on comments from Health Minister Ahmed Rady, which we will explore further in the Speed Round. With the Investment Ministry trying to get a law in place to promote investment, it’s hard to wonder whether the good doctor was awake at the cabinet table at any point in the past year, year and a half.
The Investment Ministry has submitted draft executive regulations for the investment act to cabinet, Minister Sahar Nasr told Reuters yesterday. The regs will for the first time stipulate a specific number of days for the government to approve new licenses and clearances, reducing the waiting time for starting new businesses, Al Arabiya quotes Nasr as having said. The minister added that the regulations are likely to take an expansive view on what qualifies as new investment, not just limiting it to entirely new ventures. She hopes the law will boost foreign direct investment to an initial target of USD 10 bn in FY2017-18.
Two international stories worth keeping your eye on: Brent crude is now in a bear market,having broken below USD 45 for the first time since last November amid expectations a supply glut will worsen, Bloomberg reports.Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, King Salman made his kid’s short-term life easier, but long-term economic plans a bit more difficult to pull off, as he “reversed a decision to cut salaries and benefits for [Saudi] public sector employees,” the business information service notes.
The first round of elections for the EGX’s board of directors runs today. Seven candidates are vying for three seats on the bourse’s board.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will be attending the Nile Basin presidential summit in Uganda today. Egypt is expected to push for re-engagement in the Nile Basin Initiative.
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We’re on break until 2 July. We hope all of you have a joyous Eid and are looking forward to a wonderful summer vacation season with family and friends. Kol sana w entom tayebeen.
So, when do we eat? Maghrib prayers are at 7:00pm CLT in Cairo, and the cutoff time for sohour is 3:09am.
That’s all, folks. Enjoy the long weekend.