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Sunday, 3 December 2017

What we’re tracking on 3 December 2017

Welcome to December, ladies and gentlemen. If anyone can tell us where the year went, we’d gratefully hear from you.

Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil will testify before the House of Representative’s Industry Committee today on the ministry’s plans to grow non-oil exports, ease licensing for industry, and attract manufacturers to the new administrative capital. Committee members intend to ask Kabil about the government’s bailout strategy for idle factories, which they say has not been moving as fast as originally anticipated.

Also at the House on this very busy week: The House Economics Committee will resume debate today on the Consumer Protection Bill, Ahram Gate reports. Meanwhile, the health, constitutional, and legislative committees will discuss today a bill on medical liability. The constitutional and legislative committees will also be meeting with the religious affairs committee to discuss a proposed law to regulate the religious discourse in mosques. Elsewhere, the defense and national security committee will look into a petition to discuss issuing licenses for tuk-tuks.

Egypt is expected to launch its first electronic visa at the Cairo ICT expo, which kicks off today.

We have a packed issue this morning, so we have just a handful of things for you that are making the rounds of the interwebs:

The US Senate has approved the most sweeping overhaul of America’s tax code since the 1980s. The House and Senate must now reconcile their respective bills. The expectation is for a corporate tax rate of c. 20% from 35% at present — and for plenty of wrangling about tangential and unrelated items salted into the bills to get them passed.

Also in America: US President Donald Trump is reportedly looking to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with his CIA director, Mike Pompeo, according to a New York Times story that got wide pickup over the weekend. Trump later tweeted that the report amount to “fake news.”

Xavier Rolet has stepped down as CEO of the London Stock Exchange effective immediately, according to Reuters. The LSE’s board would say only that Rolet’s “operating style” was a factor in his exit, Business Insider notes, but won’t provide details, sparking hand-wringing in the City.

Bad news for our subsidy budget: OPEC and other major oil producers decided on Thursday to extend output cuts through the end of 2018. CNBC and the Wall Street Journal have more.

Three execs at global cement giant LafargeHolcim (two of whom have since left the company) are under investigation in France for allegedly helping finance terrorism in Syria by making payments to local armed groups to keep a plant operating. OC and OCI’s Nassef Sawiris is the third-largest shareholder of Lafarge; no allegations have been made against any board members.

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