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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

What we’re tracking on 11 October 2017

The relatively quiet news week continues this morning. Today’s biggest story: Monthly core inflation cooled last month to its lowest level since September 2015, as we note in Speed Round, below. Most of you will roll your eyes when we write this, but: This doesn’t mean that prices are falling or are about to decline — just that they’re rising slower than they were in August. This is a point all of us need to make over and over to staff, colleagues, government officials, family…

We’re particularly worked up this morning about the notion of forcing food manufacturers to print prices on packaging, which appears to have been made mandatory in a snap decree issued yesterday by the Supply Ministry. More on that, too, in Speed Round, below.

Otherwise, the best news of the day is that fall weather has begun: We’re looking at a high today of 28°C in the capital city area.

Another change of weather: The Italians have become the latest EU actors to lose their fear of all things Iranian after Azimut, the EUR 48 bn asset manager based in Milan, announced it would acquire 20% of Iranian asset manager Mofid Entekhab for an undisclosed sum. That makes it the first global player to enter Iran. “We were looking for an opportunity to invest in a very interesting market. Iran is a great story,” said Azimut Sergio Albarelli told the Financial Times. Mofid Entekhab has USD 89 mn in AUM across six mutual funds and managed accounts, Azimut said in a statement announcing the transaction yesterday (pdf).

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Amr Garhy is off to Washington, DC, today for the annual IMF and World Bank meetings, according to a ministry statement. On the agenda are meetings with IMF bigwigs including Managing Director Christine Lagarde, where discussions will revolve around the IMF visit at the end of October and its review of the reform program. The week will also see meetings on the G20’s African initiative as well as sit-downs with ratings agencies and a plethora of international banks.

Egypt’s candidate for UNESCO boss is in third place again on second day of voting: Moushira Khattab finished third in the second round of voting yesterday with 12 ballots cast in her favor, Ahram Online reports. Ex-Qatari culture minister Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari was still in the lead with 20 votes, followed by France’s Audrey Azoulay with 13 votes. Daily rounds of voting will continue this week until a single candidate manages to get 30 of the 58 votes on UNESCO’s executive board. Otherwise, a two-candidate runoff will take place on 13 October. Qatar has been getting particularly nasty press for its campaign, with persistent rumors suggesting it bribed its way to the leading position.

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