Back to the complete issue
Tuesday, 3 July 2018

What we’re tracking on 03 July 2018

It’s PMI Day: The Emirates NBD Egypt purchasing managers’ index reading for June comes out this morning shortly after we hit “send” on today’s briefing. You’ll find it here once it lands. May’s reading had dropped to 49.2 from 50.1 the previous month.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly will present his cabinet’s policy program to the House of Representatives today, Al Mal reports. The program will then be the subject of debate at a plenary session of the House on 9 July, state-owned Ahram Gate reports.

Madbouly finally gives us a set law on 19 public holidays: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued a decree yesterday listing the 19 public holidays of Egypt throughout the year, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The list of holidays was published on the Official Gazette.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will launch a joint development fund today, Sudan’s Minister of State Osama Faisal had said on Sunday. The three countries had agreed in January to set up a joint investment fund to finance infrastructure projects as part of talks to resolve a deadlock on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa have been warming following both outreach from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the UAE’s decision in mid-June to extend Ethiopia a USD 3 bn package of aid and investments.

Is Shafik Gabr behind Volkswagen’s latest problems in the US of A? That’s the claim by Bloomberg, which notes that Volkswagen’s US attorneys sent a letter to Congress saying lawmakers’ interest in VW’s cheating on emissions testing (background here) overseas is “the result of a campaign by a non-US national to try to pressure the company into paying him an unreasonable amount to settle a commercial dispute in Egypt.” One of the two lawmakers to receive the letter was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Republican of California), a longtime friend of Egypt. Gabr’s Artoc, which had the rights to VW in Egypt until late 2017, has paid some USD 80k to two firms to provide “strategic advice on commercial dispute between Artoc and VW corporation related to automobile dealership in Egypt.” Gabr, who has long cultivated ties to senior US lawmakers, was also the pre-revolution partner of Emaar in thel launch of Emaar Misr; the two parted ways in 2007. You can catch the Bloomberg story here or read the congressional filings of Gabr’s two lobbyists here and here.

In miscellany this morning:

  • Can you really go learn to become an entrepreneur in grad school? The Financial Times thinks so — and is out with its (very US-centric) top MBA programs for Entrepreneurs 2018. At the head of the class: Stanford, Babson and Dartmouth in the US, followed by Lancaster and City University in the UK. (Financial Times)
  • HFT is getting ridiculous, dude: High-frequency trading could get a boost from new technology that can track time down to the 100 billionth of a second. Is this really what finance was meant to do? (New York Times)
  • Shut your Face(book): Facebook has filed for a patent on a technology that can remotely activate the microphone on your phone to record and analyse the sound around you — without your knowledge. (Guardian)

For top executives, time management is like conjugal relations: You’re supposed to “figure it out for yourself … with equivalently dire initial consequences,” the Financial Times’ Andrew Hill writes. And yet it’s all quite simple when you boil it down: “The conclusions of recent research always smack of common sense. Schedule shorter meetings. Stay off email (electronic communications account for nearly a quarter of chief executives’ work time). Meet your team members and customers in person. Exercise. Stay off email. Get a good night’s sleep. Schedule time for spontaneous encounters, paradoxical though that sounds. Stay. Off. Email.” Read: The madness of executives’ obsessive time management.

Lost Boys found: Are we the only ones in Egypt paying as much attention to the fate of a Thai boys’ football team lost in a cave as we are to the World Cup? Rescuers, including British divers, found the boys (aged 11-16) and their 25-year-old coach yesterday. The next challenge: Finding a way to get them to safety through flooded passages — without scuba training. (Globe & Mail | Reuters)

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.