What we’re tracking on 03 May 2018
The Central Bank of Egypt should release foreign reserves figures some time between today and early next week.
Inflation numbers should come out on or about 10 May. This month is all the more significant as the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet on 17 May to set interest rates.
Did you plough cash into high-yielding CDs after the devaluation? It’s payment time: Banks that have issued high-yielding, 20%+ interest certificates of deposit following the November 2016 devaluation began paying on Wednesday, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Officials from the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr — which together hold 45% of the EGP 550 bn in CDs out there — tell the newspaper that they are ready to meet payments. Banks stopped issuing the 20% CDs back in February.
Is Egypt seriously considering Trump’s “Arab force” in Syria? Setting up an an Arab military force that would cover America’s withdrawal after defeat of the Daeshbags in Syria is under consideration among the nations invited to partake in the initiative, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reportedly said at a workshop on Wednesday, Al Shorouk reports. He made sure to note that the initiative — proposed by US President Donald Trump last month — would need significant preparation and consideration before any decision is made. Trump’s new national security advisor called acting intelligence chief Abbas Kamel last month “to see if Cairo would contribute to the effort.”
Further afield this morning:
The US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged yesterday and seems on track to raise rates next in June as it said that “a recent rise in inflation to near the U.S. central bank’s target” looks sustainable, Reuters reports.
Required reading for anyone planning a merger or acquisition: A megadeal joined Sharpie markers and Crock-Pots. What could go wrong? A lot. The Wall Street Journal presents a cautionary tale of how a USD 15 bn acquisition that brought together Elmer’s glue, Sharpies, Graco strollers, Rawlings baseball gloves and Bicycle playing cards became a “case study of the ways a megadeal can go bad.”
Required reading for anyone tempted to diss sell-side analysts: Elon Musk dismissed an analyst’s questions as “so dry, they’re killing me,” then promptly cut off another who was asking about a capital requirement. Investors were unimpressed, Reuters writes, “giving a rare rebuke” to the “iconoclastic” Tesla CEO by “sending shared down 5% despite promises that production of the troubled Model 3 electric car was on track,” Reuters reports.
Required reading for all Egyptians: How Cape Town beat the drought in the Financial Times. The pitch: “The city was on the verge of becoming the first major urban centre to run out of water but has averted the crisis. But for how long, and at what cost, in a divided country?”
Goldman Sachs promises it’s going to be very, very careful with its foray into consumer lending as CEO Lloyd Blankfein tried to “ease concerns among shareholders” that the firm “may be ploughin into consumer credit at the wrong point in the cycle,” the FT reports.
Bloomberg wants you to pay to read its redesigned website. Its editor-in-chief, former Economist boss John Micklethwait, explains why. We don’t like the redesign, but we suppose we’ll be shelling out for the subscription.
Simon Kucher & Partners opens office in Cairo: Our friends Martin Janzen and Sara Shenouda formally opened yesterday the Cairo office of Simon Kucher & Partners, the global consultancy that focuses on what it calls “TopLine Power” — helping clients profitably grow their revenues. We’ve intersected with Sara and Martin primary on the banking and finance beat at our parent company, Inktank Communications, and have found them impressive. We recently enjoyed meeting their CEO, Georg Tacke, in Dubai, and we’ll be introducing you folks to him in an interview soon. In the meantime, Simon Kucher’s blog is worth checking out. It’s a too-rare example of a company doing well at sharing knowledge as a teaser to prompt you to engage with them. Joining Martin and Sara at the Cairo office are Aly Khattab, Youssef Yakout and Sherine Soliman.