Back to the complete issue
Thursday, 5 April 2018

What we’re tracking on 05 April 2018

It’s a quiet news morning heading into what we hope will be a wonderful four-day holiday weekend for all those of you reading us from Egypt this morning. Banks and the stock exchange will be closed Sunday and Monday in observance of Easter and Sham El Neseem. We’ll be back on Tuesday at our usual time.

Before we get underway this morning, we’re pleased to report that we’re all going to be able to watch Egypt at the World Cup for free: The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has reportedly reached an agreement with FIFA to obtain the broadcast rights for Egypt’s matches at the World Cup, Al Ahram reports. The matches will most likely be aired on state television, which is accessible to the largest portion of Egyptians, according to EFA Executive Director Tharwat Sweilam. The agreement does not cover the rest of the Russia 2018 matches. Qatar’s beIN Sports has already locked down exclusive rights to air the games in the region.

In global business news of note this morning: China has fired back against The Donald’s escalation of a brewing trade war by threatening to slap a 25% tariff on USD 50 bn-worth of imports from the US, Bloomberg reports. These include imports of soybeans, automobiles, chemicals and aircraft. The Trump administration said on Tuesday it will impose 25% tariffs on some 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products from China.

In this high stakes game of chicken, the US appears to be blinking first. Following the announcement of the Chinese tariffs, the Trump administration has been downplaying the conflict and has even hinted that it is willing to sit down for talks to de-escalate this problem of its own making. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his country isn’t entering “World War III” and left the door open for a negotiated solution. Trump’s chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, tried to downplay the US threat of a 25% duty, saying, “These are just the first proposals [for tariffs]…I doubt if there’ll be any concrete actions for several months,” according to the Financial Times. (The newspaper has a roundup of analyst reactions here).

Trump himself tweeted: “We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the US.”

Asian stocks were inching their way up from a two-month low this morning as pressure from an anticipated Sino-US trade war eased after the US “expressed willingness to negotiate a resolution to the trade fight,” Reuters reports.

The modest rally in Asia comes after US shares recovered in a wild day of trading that saw the S&P 500 “claw back heavy losses” earlier in the day to close yesterday up 1.16%. The more tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 1.45%. Boeing, the US’ biggest exporter by value, ended the day 1.3% lower, “after falling nearly 6% at one point.” European equities also had a good end to the day, says the FT.

The trade war between Washington and Beijing could drive investors towards EM assets. “Increased tensions may actually benefit emerging-market assets as markets could dial down their optimistic view of global synchronized growth and ultimately global yields will come down. That would add to the return outlook for spread products such as EM,” PineBridge Investment Senior Fund Manager Anders Faergemann tells Bloomberg. Others point out that while a trade war with the US could drive Beijing towards agricultural producers from the developing world, it’s doubtful that that will be enough “to offset the concerns about slowing global growth and protectionism.”

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.