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Sunday, 4 March 2018

What we’re tracking on 04 March 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in Cairo today for a three-day visit, during which he will meet President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Ittihadiya spokesman Bassam Rady confirmed over the weekend. Talks are expected to extend to the US’ stance on Jerusalem, the Qatar boycott, and developments in Yemen and Syria, sources tell Egypt Today.

Just in time for the meeting, the Supreme Constitutional Court dismissed yesterday all legal challenges to Egypt’s transfer of two Red Sea islands to KSA, Reuters notes. MPs had signed off on the agreement to transfer Tiran and Sanafir last June, a week before it was ratified by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. The story is being widely picked up by the foreign press, with coverage on the Associated Press and US News, among others.

This will be MbS’ first public foreign trip since he became crown prince in 2017, Reuters notes. MbS is scheduled to fly to London on Wednesday and will then head across the pond to the US on 19 March, unnamed Egyptian officials tell the newswire.

The central bank is expected to announce foreign reserve figures “within days,” a banking official told Youm7. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said last week that proceeds from the recent USD 4 bn eurobond sale had already hit Egypt, bringing the country’s net FX reserves to around USD 41 bn.

A strike so quiet, not even workers knew they were on the picket line: A good friend of ours has let us know that contrary to a report last week from Al Shorouk, Helwan Cement factory workers did not walk out on strike. “If they were out on strike, it was the quietest strike in history. None of us here at the company knew there was a strike—not even the striking workers of Helwan Cement.”

Investment map of 1,270 projects finally launched: The Investment Ministry released its long-awaited investment map on Friday, compiling an interactive directory of 1,270 projects up for grabs across the country’s 27 governorates. Each governorate has at least one available project but the New Valley dominates the list with 202 openings. The map covers a wide range of sectors, including agribusiness, automotive, real estate and infrastructure, tourism, transportation, energy, and engineering industries, among others. The investment map has been a long time coming: Minister Sahar Nasr had initially said it would be ready for public viewing as early as July of last year, at which time the directory was expected to include around 600 projects.

A handful of us will be in Dubai today attending the EFG Hermes One on One — which kicks off tomorrow — and then meeting with friends later in the week. We may have a few meeting slots free in the second half of the week. Email if you’d like to talk about having coffee.

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