What we’re tracking on 9 July 2018
It’s a relatively quiet morning at home or abroad, ladies and gentlemen. You’d be forgiven for thinking we’re slipping into the dog days of summer, but it’s still a bit early: Local teams are still working on fall and winter IPOs despite headwinds sweeping global emerging markets, and the House of Representatives is due back shortly from a brief break. Look for next week to be particularly busy in the House in what’s likely to prove the last gasp of the current legislative term before summer vacation, Culture Committee chair Osama Heikal tells Youm7.
You can expect our fearless elected representatives to fall all over themselves scoring Brownie points on Thursday. That’s when the House is expected to receive a committee report on the Madbouly government’s policy program ahead of a general assembly vote on Sunday, when MPs are back from their weeklong recess. The House panel tasked with compiling a report from various sub-committees met yesterday to begin reviewing the commentary. Some lawmakers seem unhappy with the fact that the cabinet’s agenda makes no mention of the capital gains tax on EGX trades, which has been deferred twice before and is currently on hold until 2020.
Meanwhile: It’s always a pleasure to acknowledge the achievements of our friends. The nominations for the Middle East IR society’s annual awards are out. Among the highlights for Egyptian issuers, including our sponsors, CIB and SODIC:
- Hussein Abaza has again been nominated for best investor relations by a CEO (Middle East), pleasing all of us here no end;
- Leading corporate for IR (Egypt) sees nominations going to CIB, SODIC, GB Auto, Ezz Steel, and Telecom Egypt;
- Best investor relations professional (Egypt) nods go to old friends including Sherif Khalil (CIB), Yasmine Hemeda (CIB), Heba Makhlouf (SODIC) and Andre Valavanis (GB Auto). Also nominated is Sarah Shabayek (Telecom Egypt);
- Most improved IR team (small and midcap) sees GB Auto, Ezz Steel and Arabian Cement are among the five finalists;
- Most improved IR team (large cap) sees a nod go to Talaat Moustafa Group.
CIB takes home four nominations and GB Auto has gotten the nod in three categories, while SODIC got two nods. And as you’d expect from the GCC-centric awards program, no Egyptian company is among the nominees for leading corporate for IR in the Mideast. You can check out the full list of nominees here (pdf).
One third of sovereign funds plan to cut their equity holdings over the next three years, “citing trade wars, geopolitics and high valuations as headwinds to performance,” according to Invesco’s annual survey of 126 sovereign investors and central bank reserve managers with USD 17 tn in assets. Reuters has the rundown on the report, which found that while nearly one in two sovereign investors is now overweight equities, 35% “plan to reduce their equity exposure over the medium term.”
Mideast funds have appetite for private market asset classes, but PE isn’t among them, the UAE’s the National notes after speaking with Invesco’s head of institutional sales for the Middle East and Africa. Credit, infrastructure and real estate are all on the menu, but in a post-Abraaj world, PE is not looking terribly attractive to regional managers, the company’s 2018 Global Sovereign Asset Management Study found. The survey hadn’t been posted to Invesco’s website as of dispatch time.
Ethiopia and Eritrea appear to be burying the hatchet, announcing yesterday that they would re-open their embassies and phone lines between the two countries as Eritrea offered landlocked Ethiopia use of a port. Reuters owns the story, declaring it a “stunningly swift rapprochement between bitter regional enemies at their first summer since a war two decades ago.” It’s also another diplomatic win for Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed, who has in the meantime been mending fences with Cairo. Ahmed and Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki were shown on Ethiopian TV “dancing side by side to a song performed at the state dinner in Asmara. The music was sund in Oromo (Abiy is from the Oromo ethnic group),” Reuters East Africa bureau chief Maggie Fick tweeted.
We’re humming La Marseillaise this morning, and not just in anticipation of tomorrow’s France-Belgium world cup semifinal: BlackRock and Citi have become the latest Wall Street firms to announce they will expand their bases in Paris ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Financial Times reports.
Speaking of football, the week’s viewing schedule is:
- Tuesday: The first semifinal match sees France play Belgium at 8:00pm CLT.
- Wednesday: The second semi sees Croatia face England at 8:00pm CLT
- Saturday: Third-place match, kickoff at 4:00pm CLT
- Sunday: Final, kickoff at 5:00pm CLT
Four of 13 members of the Thai boys’ soccer team trapped in a flooded cave were brought to safety yesterday in a Thai-led international rescue operation. The harrowing underwater operation resumed just a couple of hours before dispatch this morning after teams restocked air tanks and rescue equipment along the lengthy escape route. Both the New York Times and CBS are running live updates on the rescue operation if you want to check in on them throughout the day.
This is how you take away your (aging) parent’s keys for good. First, you raise your infants / toddlers / elementary schoolers. Then you get the double-whammy of teenagers at the same time as you try to help the amazing people who raised you live lives that are as independent as possible. How do you set limits for an aging parent who shouldn’t be behind the wheel? The WSJ’s retirement columnist has a must-read for anyone out there grappling with that question.
It’s going to be hot and humid again today, but the Meteorological Authority says we can expect the humidity to ease a bit starting tomorrow evening. Look for a high of 38ºC today and an overnight low of 24ºC Tuesday night, heading into Wednesday.